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Hearing damage lawsuit
A new lawsuit against Apple claims that the company's popular iPod player causes hearing loss, that the company does not adequately warn users of the risks, and that the design of its white earbud phones excerbate inherent risks. The Mercury News reports that an iPod owner has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming the device causes hearing loss and that the iconic music player is "inherently defective in design and are not sufficiently adorned with adequate warnings regarding the likelihood of hearing loss." The complaint, which seeks class action status, was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California. Ironically, at least one report has claimed that Apple's engineers increased the sound output because Apple CEO Steve Jobs is partially deaf. The lawsuit seeks compensation for plaintiffs' hearing loss and upgrades that will make the iPods safer, citing the company's early compliance efforts for sound volume in France.
Adobe's Mac commitment
Adobe today said it would not deliver native Intel versions of currently shipping professional products and that customers would have to wait until future major releases--which could be more than one year away--for native Intel Mac support. While noting an upcoming release of a native Intel Mac beta of Lightroom, its newly introduced professional applications for photographers, Adobe refused to provide additional release dates on the native Intel versions of its applications, except to say it was moving its development to Apple's Xcode development platform to help ease the Intel transition and was focused on the next major releases of its professional, which due to planned development cycles would delay the release of any native Intel Mac support.
Metaobject announced the immediate availability of PdfCompress 5.0, its compression tool for Mac OS X. Version 5.0 features minor bug fixes, as well as a new compression method based on JPEG 2000 that squeezes an additional 20 percent out of photographic images, according to the company. PdfCompress optimizes Quartz PDF files by applying specialized image compression methods to the images stored in the file, as well as removing unnedded elements, reducing file size without visible degredation. PdfCompress is a fully native Cocoa application for Mac OS X Tiger. Version 5.0 is a free upgrade for existing users or can be purchased new for $27.
iPod nano battery program
iPodResQ today began offering its new iPod nano high-capacity battery program, a nationwide service designed for all Nano owners that want longer play life. The service is performed with a same-day turn around, as iPodResQ sends a custom iBox each customer location in the continental U.S. via an overnight courier to pickup the Nano for overnight delivery back to the iPodResQ service center. PodResQ receives the Nano, installs a new 400mAh high-capacity battery the same day it is received, and returns the device back to the customer overnight. "We are the first company to offer a high-capacity battery for the nano and we are happy to report excellent results from our newest battery that offers an approximate 10 percent increase in play time from the factory battery," said Ryan Arter, President of iPodResQ. Arter also said that a self-install version of the battery is not available due to the complexity of the installation. The iPodResQ iPod nano high-capacity battery program is priced at a $64 flat-rate for all customers inside the continental U.S, and is also provided to customers in Alaska, Hawaii, or any international location at an additional cost to cover extra shipping expenses.
Pandora 1.9.3 ($20) updates the image collector web spider and search agent for Mac OS X. Pandora hunts down images by "spidering" a URL or performing a keyword-based search, preparing a slideshow with found images. Version 1.9.3 fixes the "Show Web Page" function, and a "Close Tab" menu item and shortcut has been added to close tabs that are in the overflow menu of the tab bar. [Download - 982KB]
RadRSS 3.1 ($30) is an update to the REALbasic component for reading RSS and ATOM news feeds, bringing support for Photocasts and better support for RSS feeds generated by Apple's iWeb. Version 3.1 also includes a new ReceivedNonXMLPage event that fires when a page that is not XML is received. [Download - 36KB]
Matinee ($10) is now available as a Universal binary application. It is a 1-Click movie launcher for Mac users who rip DVDs to their hard drive. The application does not rip the DVD, but provides a clean interface for accessing all the titles that are available to watch on the user's computer. Matinee supports up to five configurable VIDEO_TS locations and pulls all the user's movie titles into one organized list automatically, and supports movie box art. [Download - 482KB]
Dossier 2.0 ($25) updates the a full-featured information organizational tool for the Mac for notes, to-do lists, passwords, and more. Version 2 adds many new features, including smart folders, live search, blogger and LiveJournal integration, an integrated calendar, flexible views, encryption, Rich Text editing, drag and drop import, contextual menus, a customizable toolbar, spellcheck, AppleScript support, Universal binary support, unlimited undo/redo capability, and more. [Download - 1.7MB]
NoteList 1.2.0 ($15) allows users to store notes in a free form using text and images with full word processing capabilities. NoteList adapts itself to the user's needs, featuring a full set of tools for formatting and working with text as in a word processor. It is a native Cocoa application for Mac OS X, and is Spotlight native. [Download - 412KB]
iGet 2.0.4 ($50) is a file-transfer tool for Mac OS X. iGet lets users move files between Macs without resorting to only partially compatible protocols like FTP and SFTP. The application is network-oriented, supports Spotlight, and understands packages, Finder labels, HFS metadata and resource forks, and more. Version 2.0.4 is a maintenance update which fixes several bugs. [Download - 6MB]
\'iPods for Senators\'
The Intellectual Property Action Committee (IPAC) is raising funds to buy a fifth-generation video iPod for a host of U.S. Senators, following a recent hearing on the highly-debated "Broadcast Flag" and "Audio Flag" proposals which took an unexpected turn. "Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on the 'Broadcast Flag' and 'Audio Flag,' a set of proposals by the MPAA and RIAA that would stifle innovation by giving content holders a virtual veto over new technologies and existing user rights," IPAC claims. Senator Stevens of Alaska, however, surprised the audience at the hearing after announcing that his daughter had bought him an iPod, which suddenly gave the 82-year old committee chairman "a much greater understanding of the many ways innovative technology can create choice for consumers."
Mac IE download removed
In brief: As of this morning, Microsoft's Internet Explorer for the Mac is no longer available for download, following the company's announcement that it would ceased distribution of the Mac version.... Big Nerd Ranch Europe today announced that its Ruby on Rails Bootcamp is coming to Europe from April 10-14th, 2006.... AJA Video today announced a special discount for new AJA KONA, Io or XENA customers for the purchase of high-quality motion graphics collections from 12 Inch Design, offering 75 percent off the purchase of any single volume through the end of April..... GetGoingSeminars-and-Training today released "Get Going with GarageBand 2," ($30) a DVD offering in-depth training and tutorials for Apple's popular music creation software package.
Office \'04 ScriptPak
MacSpeech today released a new ScriptPak for Microsoft Office 2004, which installs over 1,000 commands into iListen that allow users to do virtually anything in Office 2004 that they would normally do using keyboard shortcuts or menus. MacSpeech claims the bundle allows users who use the entire Office 2004 suite to save nearly $50 over purchasing each ScriptPak separately, and that the bundle is a deal for users that use three of the four Office applications. "We announced this ScriptPak--which is actually a bundle of our previously announced ScriptPaks for Entourage, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word--at Macworld last month and we are pleased to make it available to iListen users," said Chuck Rogers of MacSpeech. The ScriptPak for Microsoft Office 2004 is available from the MacSpeech website for $60, and requires iListen 1.6.8 or later.
iPod nano vs Shuffle
Apple's tiny iPod shuffle may be replaced by a new 1GB version of the iPod nano, according to recent reports. Appleinsider reports that the possible new Nano version would most likely feature a small screen, thus making it a more enticing low-end product in the digital music player market. Adding a screen would reportedly only cost Apple about $8 more per unit. The smallest iPod nano version ships with 2GB of storage, costing $200, whereas the Shuffle costs $100-130 with 512MB- 1GB available.
Rage Google Sitemap
Rage Software announced today the immediate availability of Google Sitemap Automator 1.1. Sitemap helps search engines which utilize Google Sitemaps to locate and index important documents on a website. This free update significantly improves the speed of scanning web sites, fixes problems with scanning certain websites with sub-domains and adds the ability to re-open sitemap project files and scan existing websites with modified filter settings. Google Sitemap Automator 1.1 is available as a free upgrade or trial version and the full version costs $30.
Gefen wireless extenders
Gefen announced it will be showing new products at IS Europe: the Wireless Video Extender, Wireless USB Extender, Component Video Extender, and 8x1 DVI Switcher. The Wireless Video Extender provides wireless solution for existing audio/video components equipped with composite and/or s-video connections. Full audio support is provided through the same sender and receiver system. Based on 802.11a standards, the unit enables high-bandwidth wireless transmission capable of penetrating through two walls and/or floors without interference.
Marten IDE 1.3 released
Andescotia today released Marten IDE 1.3, its graphical software development environment. The Marten IDE (Integrated Development Environment) supports the Prograph visual programming language, allowing developers to diagram code instead of writing it by placing icons of operations onto a canvas, and then link them together to define the control flow of the software. The software comes with the editor/interpreter application, documentation, language extension libraries, three class application frameworks, and example projects illustrating the use of the development environment. The update features the ability to copy or move language elements such as classes, methods, and code via drag-and-drop. Version 1.3 also features the ability to build C export executables inside the Marten IDE, eliminating the need for Xcode. Enhancements include improved debugging information, updated application frameworks featuring new object editors, and new libraries for MySQL, IOKit, as well as other APIs. Marten 1.3 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is available for $70.
Apple crossgrade orders
Apple is now accepting orders for crossgrades, allowing users to get the latest versions of Final Cut Studio, Logic Pro, and Logic Express. The Universal applications are designed to run natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macintosh systems. Users can upgrade from Logic Express 7 or 7.1 to Logic Express 7.2 for $30; from Logic Pro 7 or 7.1 to Logic Pro 7.2 for $50, or from Final Cut Studio to the Universal Final Cut Studio for $50. Apple notes, however, that not all of its Pro applications have been ported to the Intel Macs. "Shake and Final Cut Express are not currently eligible for this crossgrade program. Universal versions of these applications will be announced at a later date." Logic Express 7.2 and Logic Pro 7.2 will begin shipping some time this month, while the Universal Final Cut Studio is slated for shipment in March. Aperture's update will be available for free through the Software Update preference pane, according to other reports.
ExtremeZ-IP Print Server
Group Logic today released ExtremeZ-IP Print Server 4.2, an update to its print server software for Mac and Microsoft Windows systems. Mac users can locate and use printers directly from the print dialog of any Mac OS X application, while Bonjour technologies handle manual, error-prone tasks such as PPD selection and other configuration options. The update also features automatic selection and use of the proper printer PPD file, which removes the hassles of misprinting due to improper configuration. Boasting better print queue management, simple setup, and detailed logging of print jobs, ExtremeZ-IP Print Server is designed to replace Print Services for Macintosh (PSFM). Group Logic today also launched its new online Web store where users can purchase new ExtremeZ-IP File and Print Server licenses, product upgrades, or purchase additional clients. ExtremeZ-IP 4.2 is available as a free upgrade to version 4.x users, or $700 for a 10-client workstation license (system requirements were unavailable).
Final Cut Pro training
New training DVDs for Final Cut Pro 5 HD are now available. The training includes three DVDs of professional instruction for everything the standard Apple Final Cut Pro manual covers, shown step-by-step. Final Cut Pro is a program for making videos and movies in any format, available as part of Apple's Final Cut Studio ($1,300). Final Cut Pro HD training DVDs cost $100.
The Sims 2 Nightlife
Aspyr Media today announced that The Sims 2 Nightlife--the second expansion to The Sims 2--is now live on its website and available for pre-order. "Your Sims are on the town hitting all the swanky hot spots. Whether they're dancing until dawn, romancing that special someone, or striking out at the bowling alley, it'll be an unforgettable night! Let your Sims loose to enjoy their favorite after-dark activities as they pursue a life of pleasure. Determine their love lives as you discover the chemistry between Sims. Will their life aspirations and personalities click or clash? It could be the beginning of a stormy affair or a dating disaster. Ready for fun and romance? Bring on the night!" The Sims 2 Nightlife Mac version is slated for release in March, and is priced at $30.
SMS Mac, Searchlight
Send SMS 1.5 (10 EU/year, 10 EUcents/SMS) along with Send SMS 1.5 Yahoo! Widget and SMS Mac 1.5 Address Book plug-in are all available now, adding the possibility to recieve an SMS reply in an email account. The software set enables the user to enter an SMS and send it to any mobile number in the world via Internet. [Download - [options]]
Searchlight 1.0 ($30), now a Universal binary, is a power search, bringing Spotlight to the local network. Through a web interface users are able to search for documents stored on their server. Powered by RSS technology, they will be informed whenever documents are changing or when new ones are created. [Download - 1.82MB]
HotApp 1.9.2u ($15) is a recompilation of the existing HotApp for new Intel Macs. HotApp is a utility application that allows users to control various elements of Mac OS X 10 directly from the keyboard. Users can perform various tasks with minimal key usage: launch their favorite application, copy/paste repetitive text, search the address book, open the default browser, start the default screen saver, execute system actions, and more. [Download - 2.4MB]
Flipbook Tweaker 1.0 ($16) allows conversion of QuickTime or DV movies into a flipbook. Flipbook Tweaker allows users to send animated wishes and greetings through mail for viewing any time, with no need for a TV set or projector. [Download - 700KB]
Astro IIDC 2.03 Japanese (21,000 yen) is the new Japanese language version of AstroIIDC. The new version has been completely localized for the language, including installers, QuickTime components, application, help tool tips and all documentation. Astro IIDC can record movies, grab frames, averaged frames, or sums of frames; has extensive AltiVec optimization for real time processing for flat field, dark frame, image alignment and stacking; and supports movie recording as fast as 240 frames per second to disk, or as long as 1 hour per frame. [Download - 3.0MB]
iTheater RC1 (free) is a media center application for the Macintosh. It aids the user to play, manage, and share their photos, movies, and music. The new version is a Universal binary, featuring video, music, DVD, and weather modules. [Download - [two files]]
iTunes UK, nominee music
iTunes UK is offering music from all of this year's Brit award nominees, with albums from each artist available for purchase at the store, as well as an exclusive remix of Beyonce's hit single "Check on it." Nominees this year include Antony and the Johnsons, Ian Brown, James Blunt, Robbie Williams, Will Young, Charlotte Church, Kate Bush, Katie Melua, KT Tunstall, Natasha Bedingfield, Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand, Gorillaz, Hard-Fi, Kaiser Chiefs, Sugababes, Tony Christie, Arctic Monkeys, The Magic Numbers, Craig David, Dizzee Rascal, Kano. Lemar, Miss Dynamite, and Kasabian. Helene Grimaud's new album 'Reflection' is also available exclusively on iTunes, according to Macworld UK. Other exclusives include Coup deBam, Fania Music All Stars, The Go! Team, and Isobel Campbell.
In brief: Apple has sought a trademark on the phrase "Mac Pro" from New Zealand's Intellectual Property Office late last year, leading to speculation that the company will rename its PowerMac desktop line.... ProjectWizards has opened its first U.S. office in Atlanta, Georgia.... Iconfactory today released Agua Extras Vol. 1, extending the set to include a wide variety of folders, badges, and "other goodies".... A major Belgian music retailer is partnering with the iTunes Music Store, and will offer its customers 20 free iTunes downloads to help introduce them to the service.... Adobe on Monday confirmed its commitment to bringing the Creative Suite applications to Apple's Intel-based Macs.... Namesco, a domain name and hosting provider in the UK, is offering site visitors a chance to win one of five, limited-edition blue iPod nanos.
Steve Software has released SteveScan 2.0. Available for free download, SteveScan allows users to continue to use the single-user version of Virex 7-- no longer available from McAfee as a single-user license-- on systems that are incompatible with it. SteveScan leverages the Virex engine and enables users with newer systems to scan and disinfect the startup disk or users folder and link users to the download site for Virex updates. New features in version 2.0 include user feedback while scanning, canceleable scans, a faster GUI, print reports, and the ability to save reports to a text file. SteveScan as been tested with Virex 7.2.1, and "should be compatible with Virex 7.5.1 as well," according to the developer. It runs on Mac OS 10.2 or later. McAfee is offering a Tiger-compatible version of the Enterprise version, starting at $40 per client.
Apple fights new iPod tax
Apple is among a group lobbying to postpone a new iPod tax set to take effect in Switzerland on March 1. The new tariff will add the cost of flash- and drive-based music players as well as audio/video recorders with a built-in hard drive; it could increase prices as much as 20 percent on some items, according to swissinfo. The of the new tax follows a 5-year musician trade group lobby effort with Swiss authorities and could generate around SFr2.5 million a year, according to the report. "Swico, whose 400 members include Apple, IBM and Sony, is also unhappy with what it calls "discrimination" between players with flash memory and those with a hard drive. The tax on a four-gigabyte MP3 player with flash memory will be almost SFr19 ($15), while that on a four-gigabyte iPod will be around SFr2. A 400-gigabyte DVD recorder will incur an extra SFr138 charge."
DVD Studio Pro 4.0.3
Apple has posted DVD Studio Pro 4.0.3, an update to the professional toolset for producing DVDs. The company said that the update brings compliance for the 1.0 HD DVD Video standard content specification to both Mac OS X Tiger and Panther users. "Users with DVD Studio Pro 4.0 or later need to install this update to ensure their projects are compliant with the 1.0 HD DVD Video standard content specification." The 6.8MB update is available via the Web or Software Update.
Keyspan software updates
Keyspan today announced that it has posted software updates that add support for Intel-based Macs and for Apple's "Front Row" software. The company said it has added support for Intel-based Macs to its USB serial adapters and USB Server products. Additionally, Keyspan has also updated software for its entire family of IR (infrared) remote controls, as well as Keyspan's recently released Easy Presenter RF (radio frequency) remote, and Keyspan's USB PS/2 Adapter. The software updates for Keyspan's infrared remotes also now include support for Apple's Front Row application, allowing Keyspan's Digital Media Remote, Express Remote and Remote for iTunes to be used to control Apple's Front Row. The updates are currently in beta and are expected to be released as final versions in February.
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