In brief: MacNN has reviewed Sophie's Cards v4 ($40), a FileMaker-based database of greeting card photos and text.... The G5 Drive Bracket Team today announced its Thanksgiving weekend special, offering its G5 Drive Bracket for $40.... Marware fifth-generation iPod products are now available through Dr. Bott resellers worldwide.... Adobe is hosting a breakfast event in Stockholm, Sweden, on November 24, focused on the company's Creative Suite and Cinema 4D.... The Sinbad Development Team today released Sinbad 1.1, its freeware web searching application featuring 23 modules for finding various types of information.... The fight for the itunes.co.uk domain is finally over as Ben Cohen has officially abandoned all further attempts to get the domain it once owned back from Apple..... Otter today began shipping the OtterBox for iPod nano, its waterproof case for the popular MP3 player. [updated]
EdgeBlur today announced three new models of surfACE laptop computer stands, designed to suspend the notebook at a comfortable working height. When used in an armchair, the surfACE completely supports the weight of the mobile computer on the armrests to relieve weight, pressure, and heat from the users legs. When used upside-down the surfACE performs the same functionality on sofas and beds, while two side boards offer surfaces for a mouse and other peripherals. SurfACE is a system of interchangeable parts that can be added and detached to create a custom configuration, and any brand of notebook computer with a width of 16 1/2-inches or less is compatible with pre-assembled models. The SurfACE 1.2 ($100), surfACE 1.3 ($120), surfACE 1.4 ($130), and surfACE 1.5 ($150, shown at right) are available with a lifetime guarantee for the original owner. SurfACE 1.5 features a new hardware connecter that fixes to a standard camera tripod to create a height-adjustable workstation.
The fight for the itunes.co.uk domain is finally over as Ben Cohen--a former dot-com millionaire--and his company, CyberBritain Group, has officially abandoned all further attempts to get the domain it once owned back from Apple. Nominet--a .uk registry--awarded the domain name to Apple in March of this year because it was an "abusive registration," according to a report from ZDNet UK. Cohen responded to the ruling by demanding that the expert presiding over the dispute resolution procedure should not be an "Apple Mac" user "because in the view of the Respondent there is a 'cult' associated with the products of the Complainant, which attracts fanatical users".
Otter Products today began shipping the OtterBox for iPod nano, its waterproof case designed to protect the Nano from the elements. The interactive design is waterproof up to three feet, fits iPod nano 2GB and 4GB models, and is offered with a lifetime unconditional guarantee. The Nano's clickwheel is protected by a thin membrane that remains fully functional through the case, and an included belt clip provides cable management for headphones. The external headphone jack is compatible with any standard mini stereo plug, and when combined with waterproof headphones the OtterBox for iPod nano allows the device to be worn while swimming. The OtterBox for iPod nano is available for $40, while an optional armband is priced at $15.
EarthDesk 3.1 ($20) is a free update to the dynamic desktop map application that makes use of a new display settings interface, updates the daylight saving time database, and fixes a rare bug that would cause EarthDesk to stop responding. [Download - 5.69MB] SuperDuper! 2.0 ($30) updates the disk copying utility for Mac OS X, adding the ability to easily schedule backups and providing additional imaging options. Version 2.0 allows more control over shutdown, offers better AppleScript support, and more. [Download - 2.3MB] FTP Suite 4.2 ($80) is a free upgrade to the software library allowing REALbasic applications to implement the FTP protocol. Version 4.2 adds two "Smart Commands": DirectCommand to send a command directly to an FTP server, and SITECommand to send a standard FTP SITE command to an FTP server. [Download - 811KB] Filegazer 1.1 ($20) allows fast navigation through a file system in order to cope with the increasing capacity of modern hard drives. New features include a shortcut menu for selecting the source for a browser menu, improved memory management, and a bugfix. [Download - 1.3MB] ScreenAction Studio 1.0 ($30) captures on-screen action while importing video clips, images, and sounds. Features include the ability to change cameras live during capture, record with date and time, widescreen/full-screen movie settings, and more. [Download - 6.5MB] EyeHome 1.7 (unknown) accesses digital content stored on Macintosh systems--photos, music, video, and movies--to be viewed on a TV and home entertainment system. Version 1.7 offers iTunes 6 and iPhoto 5 compatibility, as well as a bug fix affecting Mac OS X 10.4.3. [Download - 15.7MB]
In brief: The FastIcon has released a new icon set for desktop use, "iSimple," containing 12 freeware icons.... Marware today introduced its new line of cases for fifth-generation iPods (Sport Grip Backwinder shown at right, $20), designed to preserve the slim profile of the device while providing maximum protection.... A FAQ on TiVo's forthcoming support for the iPod notes that TivoToGo service is not yet available for the Mac, and iPod support is even further out.... Peachpit has released new books in the Apple Pro Training Series: DVD Studio Pro 4 ($50), Shake 4 ($55), and Optimizing Your Final Cut Pro System ($55).... Sid Meier's Civilization III system requirements have been set to Mac OS X 10.3.9 running on a PowerPC G4/G5 at 500Mhz or faster.
Marware today introduced its new line of cases for fifth-generation iPods, designed to preserve the slim profile of the device while providing maximum protection. Most cases are expected to be available by the middle of December. The Sportsuit Convertible ($35, shown at right)--available in black, blue, and silver--has been completely redesigned for the iPod video, constructed from orca-skin neoprene. Features include a side-opening lid, hand strap, a built-in headphone cord winder, translucent silicone clickwheel protection, static film to protect the display, and a redesigned armband that uses the "Multidapt clip system."
SkipJam announced today support for the iPod, providing docking directly to the SkipJam iMedia Center. Using Firewire or USB 2.0, users can connect their iPods directly to any iMedia Center or to any iMedia enabled PC and immediately play music, photos and video throughout their home. The SkipJam iMedia support for the iPod also allows SkipJam users to record audio or video content directly onto the iPod Storage, creating a plug'n'go recording solution which records shows directly onto the iPod drives for portability.
GarageGames today released an update to its 3D gaming engine for developers: Torque Game Engine 1.4 offers more than 200 feature enhancements, including improved work flow, more tutorials, localization support and editor updates. Version 1.4 also features integrated Unicode font rendering, enhanced map2dif interiors, and better support for Mac OS X and Theora video codec. The company says that verison 1.4 represents the last free update. Full commercial usage on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms is $500, while its unique indie license is only $100 for developers making less than $250,000 annually. Both licenses are royalty-free, offer unlimited publishing, private forum access, and membership in the Torque Developer Network wiki.
A FAQ on TiVo's forthcoming support for the iPod notes that TivoToGo service, which promises to simply the video transfer process to the iPod and other mobile devices, is not yet available for the Mac and iPod support is even further out: "TiVo ToGo does not support the Mac operating system, so this extension of the program also will not be available. A Mac version of the service is expected sometime next year. To recap: TiVo owners with a Series2 box who subscribe directly with TiVo and have a Windows-based PC and a video-capable iPod or PSP can use the service--when it's completed next year."
GizMac today announced that its XRackPro2 is featured on revised Apple Workgroup Cluster website. The XRackPro2 is a rack-mount enclosure cabinet designed to reduce noise and add mobility to Apple's Xserve line of servers and RAID systems. Noise from rack mount equipment located inside the XRackPro2 will be reduced up to 75 precent, according to the company, while the heavy duty caster wheels provide a method for easily moving the rolling rack enclosure cabinet when needed. "XRackPro2 was originally designed for the Xserve server and Xserve RAID," says Tim Cave, founder of GizMac. "We are pleased that our noise reduction rack mount enclosure cabinet became part of the Apple Xserve Workgroup Cluster." XRackPro2 rackmount enclosures are used in scientific and medical work groups, video and audio post production, film and broadcast applications, graphics, and other environments that require noise reduction and/or flexibility of equipment location.
OmniPilot Software is offering a pre-built Quick Poll solution for Lasso, allowing users to easily add polling functionality to their websites. Lasso users can add a poll to their Web site including a question, two or more answers, and buttons to cast a vote or see the results. Lasso's Quick Poll solution can increase interaction with visitors to the site without the need for extra coding or software. "Quick Polls provide a fun way to gather insight on specific products sold on your Web site or may provide general feedback on your company's services." The source code for the Quick Poll solution is completely open and can be easily customized. The solution is built using CSS and XHTML, requires Lasso Professional 8, and utilizes the built in SQLite database for data storage. In recent weeks, the company has also released pre-built message board, collaboration, and blogging solutions.
Samsung is being investigated by the South Korean government for allegedly selling NAND flash memory chips to Apple at half their market value. The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said on Wednesday that the Samsung is suspected of "dumping" 2GB and 4GB flash memory chips to Apple, which are used in Apple's popular iPod nano, a practice that is hurting other South Korean memory manufacturers, according to The Korean Times: "FTC Chairman Kang Chul-kyu indicated last month that his agency might take action against an alleged unfair deal between Samsung and Apple, if local MP3 players request the probe, making it clear that the investigation would be very thorough." Samsung, however, claims it has maintained margins of 30 percent, which would make the dumping claims untenable, since such profits could not be generated by selling memory at half of its fair market value.
MaxUpgrades today released MaxConnect, an internal hard disk drive mounting solution that allows seven additional hard disk drives to be installed in a G5 Power Mac (PCI Express). The MaxConnect consists of two mounting assemblies: one that enables four hard disk drives to be installed in the optical drive bay and one that enables installation of three additional hard disk drives in the CPU bay of the new Power Macs. "With the MaxConnect internal hard disk drive mounting solution, a G5 Power Mac (PCI Express) can house a total of nine disk drives internally," and offers data transfer rates up to 500MB/sec using RAID software. The CPU assembly is available for $100 along with either power ($20) or SATA data ($10) cables, while the Optical Bay assembly is $220 (includes power and SATA data cables). An optional SATA PCI card is also available.
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Samsung still not recommending Windows 10
Nearly a year after release, Samsung support is recommending that owners of its PCs not upgrade to Windows 10. In an email exchange with UK Samsung technical support and an individual in need of help getting Wi-Fi to work, the support representative wrote that "honestly speaking, we don't suggest installation of Windows 10 to any Samsung laptop or PC and we are still coordinating with Microsoft regarding to this matter" and "the Drivers that we have on our website are not yet compatible to the latest version of Windows." Samsung will update users when there are no more compatibility issues with Samsung hardware and Windows 10. Microsoft has no meaningful comment on the matter. http://bit.ly/1PgrJcx
T-Mobile offers 'tourist' plan
A new plan from T-Mobile is launching on June 12, and will offer visitors to the US a flat-rate $30 plan that offers a free US SIM, 2GB of high-speed data, and 1,000 minutes of calls good for a three-week period. The plan will work with any unlocked GSM-compatible smartphone, and is advertised as "unlimited" data (but speed will slow down after the first 2GB). The plan does not automatically renew, but can be manually renewed for those staying longer. It also comes with unlimited international texting to some 40 countries, but does not offer any international talk minutes at all. http://t-mo.co/1TI1Pe9
First hardware RAID 10Gbps USB 3.1 controllers
Marvell today announced the Marvell 88RC13xx family of high-performance RAID storage controllers with a full set of features that include eight 6Gbps SATA ports, four lanes of PCI Express 3.0, and a 10Gbps USB 3.1 device port with Type-C connector support. The move paves the way for high-performance USB-C UASP hardware RAID multi-drive arrays, utilizing the full bandwidth of USB 3.1. http://bit.ly/1P0JBmb
Tama debuts adapters for Lightning-only iPhone
Predicting an iPhone without a standard 3.5mm headphone, a Chinese accessory maker has released three Lightning-to-headphone-adapters ready should Apple pull the trigger on what would be a controversial decision. The three adapters, picked up by Macotakara, includes two models that simultaneously support charging an iPhone over microUSB while the user also continues to listen to music. Rumors have suggested that Apple will eventually drop the 3.5mm jack on one of its next-generation iPhones, although it is not clear whether it will be in the 'iPhone 7,' due this year, or a future model. In the interim, the Tama Electric Lightning-to-headphone adapters offer little particular utility. http://bit.ly/1P0sYXM
French Google tax raid evaluation could take years
The data retrieved from the Paris raid on Google's headquarters by French police could take months or even years to analyze, according to a prosecutor assigned to the case. Authorities seized dozens of files and related data that recorded Google's financial transactions in the country with a view to lodging a claim for unpaid taxes by the Internet search giant. Although Google has denied any wrongdoing, it must complete all of its sales contracts in Ireland, where it is incorporated. If French authorities sifting through the documents seized in the raids discover that any of its French sales transactions were completed locally, it could be subject to further action, including fines. http://reut.rs/1P0n8G2
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea