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FastCut, Goldfish, MoRU
Goldfish 1.1 ($35) creates individual websites in a few simple steps, offering an easy-to-use interface. The application supports drag-and-drop, allowing users to place items on Web pages without prior knowledge of code. Goldfish presents rulers to aid with content alignment, and includes numerous templates to work from that offer one-click website creation.
FastCut 2.0 RT Preview (€10) has been re-written from the ground up, and is now based on OpenGL to benefit from hardware acceleration. FastCut allows users to edit video in real-time, and features dynamic playback quality for optimal performance. Once video frames are uploaded to the video memory (VRAM) of the graphic card, they can be manipulated in real-time on a pixel-by-pixel basis with CoreImage, and can be used as textures on geometric objects in a 3D OpenGL world. Version 2.0 also features 3D motion keyframe animation, masking, and video transitions. [Download - 328KB]
MoRU 1.2 ($10) provides an enhanced interface to Apple's Spotlight searching tool, featured in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. MoRU allows users to create more powerful searches than the basic Spotlight interface while improving usability, and was designed as a utility that maintains recently-used documents/applications. Version 1.2 adds support for all Spotlight attributes, as well as "OR" in search constraints. The update also features an improved text constraint interface and an "Apply" button to the "Smart Group" editor. [Download - 700KB]
PictoGrab 1.1 ($15) a free upgrade to the automated picture downloading utility for Mac OS X. Users can specify minimum and maximum file sizes, as well as search depth to refine searches. PictoGrab supports drag-and-drop of URLs, and can save to any destination folder. PictoGrab 1.1 offers full support for Photocasts, allowing users to drop the link to a Photocast onto PictoGrab to quickly download all pictures contained therein. The update also features performance and usability improvements. [Download - 1.9MB]
Quick-O 1.0.1 (€12) batch converts images and extracts frames from movies in four different formats. Version 1.0.1 is available in German, and supports PNG, JPEG, Photoshop, and Tiff export formats. The update offers some minor bug fixes and various cosmetic adjustments. Quick-O 1.0.1 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later, and QuickTime 6.4 or later. [Download - 1.1MB]
Pre-loaded iPods illegal?
Experts in digital copyright law are questioning the legality of loading copyrighted content onto iPods, even if users actually purchase that content. A new breed of online sales have emerged along with the miniature media players from Apple and other companies, where individuals load up the gadgets with copyrighted music and videos before selling them at marked-up prices online. A 60-gigabyte video iPod loaded with 11,800 songs was recently put up for auction on eBay with a starting bid of $799, but was removed by site staff members after it was discovered. "That is a copyright violation, one that we don't even need to hear from the rights owner about before removing," eBay spokesman Hani Durzy told USA Today. "Some of those sales may be legal, and some not," said Andrew Bridges, digital music lawyer at Winston-and-Strawn. Services like TVMyPod already pre-load iPods with content, but purchase the content for each individual iPod and ship the disks to customers along with the iPod itself. "The question that needs to be asked is, if you buy a DVD, are you allowed to put it onto an iPod?" TVMyPod co-founder David Onigman said.
Carbon fiber iPod cases
C6 Manufacturing has released new Carbon fiber cases for the iPod nano and video. The cases are made from real aerospace carbon fiber, aluminum, and stainless steel screws. The cases also include a stainless steel belt clip, a protective clear cling-on screen prorector, and an assembly tool. The Nano case costs $40, while the iPod video case is available for both 30GB or 60GB models and is available for $50.
FireWire drive price drops
Other World Computing announced it is lowering the prices on the Mercury Elite-AL Pro FireWire 800/400 models. The external aluminum drives utilize the Oxford 912 Chipset and are EMC/Dantz Backup Certified. All models ship with a FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 cable, Dantz/EMC Retrospect Backup, Intech HD Speedtools, and a two-year warranty. The company cut prices by up to 23 percent on its models--which feature capacities of up to 500GB. The 80GB with 2MB data buffer costs $140 ($10 drop); 160GB with 8MB data buffer is $180 ($10 drop); 200GB with 8MB data buffer is $188 (from $200); 250GB with 8MB data buffer is $200 ($10 drop); 300GB with 8MB data buffer is $240 ($20 drop); 400GB with 8MB data buffer is $340 ($10 drop); and 500GB with 8MB data buffer is $450 ($20 drop).
British warship iPods
One of six new British warships, the HMS Daring, includes iPod charging sockets, according to reports. vnunet.com reports that all the ship's cabins now come equipped with not only the iPod chargers, but internet access, CD player, and a five-channel audio entertainment system. The iPod-friendly British ship was launched February 1 and will enter service in 2009. Secretary of State for Defense John Reid said "the launch of this first Type 45 [warship] is a milestone in the development of the Royal Navy of the future. It is proof that the government gives our sailors the tools they need to do their job now and in the future."
Networks credit iTunes
Networks are beginning to see the fruits of their digital content distribution plans with iTunes, as some executives are crediting iTunes with increasing viewership. Reuters reports that the executive producer of "The Office," praised NBC's for pushing the envelope with its iTunes relationship and has credited iTunes with boosting broadcast viewership: "Nobody will disclose numbers for these television downloads. It's easy, however, to keep an eye on the iTunes download chart, which usually shows NBC's The Office as the top full-length program, followed by ABC's Lost and Comedy Central's South Park. Producer Ben Silverman said that The Office was helped by users who discovered the show when they were browsing to find something to put on their new device and that he was confident that eroding audience or invading any of the existing windows, due primarily to their portable and on-demand nature.
New smart phones
Sony Ericsson has unveiled two new "smart" phones, the M600 and the P990. Styled much like the iPod, the M600 is a Symbian OS-based phone equipped with basic versions of Micrsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and security software. The 15mm thick phone reportedly will not come with a camera or wi-fi in order to keep prices down. The P990 (pictured below) will ship with push email support, digital camera functions, WLAN (802.11b and 3G), 64MB memory stick, numerical flip-down keyboard, and a business card reading function. Both phones are expected to ship in the second quarter this year.
Barcode Basics updated
Brian Dunning today released an updated version of its Barcode Basics for FileMaker. The software offers an easy way to create printable, scannable bar codes from FileMaker data. The software does not require any special fonts or plug-ins, and adds EAN-13, Barcode Basics in all four of the most common formats: Code 39, Code 128, EAN-13 and POSTNET. Code 39 is the most common barcode format, used by most handheld scanners. Code 128 supports the greatest number of characters, and most modern scanners can support the format. EAN-13--a superset of UPC-A--is used to identify products around the globe, and is often seen on product tags or boxes. POSTNET is the barcode format used by the U.S. Postal Service to encode ZIP codes and delivery point codes onto envelopes. Barcode Basics--priced at $100 or $300 for the developer version that permits redistribution--is available for FileMaker 5, 6, 7, and 8.
AAPL drops by 6 percent
Apple stock (AAPL) dropped 6.4 percent today, responding to investor concerns over potential growth slowdown. AAPL dropped to $67.26 on the NASDAQ late in the afternoon, down $4.59. AAPL has seen a downward trend in its price since the January 12 peak of $86.40 following CEO Steve Jobs' keynote address at the Macworld Expo. According to Yahoo Finance, Benjamin Reitzes of UBS Investment Research believes that worries are unfounded. Reitzes reportedly cited a continually strong interest in the iPod video and nano, as well as a "strong response" to the new Intel-based MacBook Pro.
OWC lowers Mercury prices
Other World Computing (OWC) today lowered prices on its newly enhanced FireWire 800-capable version of the Mercury On-The-Go portable 2.5-inch drives. "Adding FireWire 800 capability to the On-The-Go line of portable storage solutions doubles the potential power and now we're making them even more affordable," said OWC CEO Larry O'Connor. OWC's On-The-Go plug-and-play drives are compatible with Mac OS versions 8.5 through 9.2.x, as well as Mac OS X 10.0.3 and higher. Mercury On-The-Go modes are available in 40GB, 60GB, 80GB, 100GB, 12OGB, and 160GB capacities starting from $150. All Mercury Portable drives include a carrying case, cables, and Intech SpeedTools HD Utility software.
Podcasts in business
Podcasting is reaching into the realm of real estate, as Bruce and Diane Kink of Keller Williams in The Woodlands, Texas are now using the technology to keep clients up-to-date. With podcasting, the realty team can allow potential customers and clients to show friends and family the property they are interested in, even if they live far away, according to The Villager. Podcasting allows for video and audio files to be downloaded from the iTunes Music Service onto an iPod, and allows users to subscribe to updates of a service such as the realty listings from the Kinks. Bruce Kink noted that "utilizing this technology to enhance client expectations, we think, is going to be a key factor in growing a business for the success of clients and buyers. We do know that we have become a techno-savvy society and by keeping up, people know we have their best interest in mind when selling homes."
NanoDeco Designer Covers
Kiwali today unveiled its NanoDeco Designer Covers for Apple's iPod nano, a collection of adhesive covers designed to dramatically enhance the look and appeal of the digital music player. "It's been months in the making, but NanoDeco is a natural follow-up to our exciting ShuffleDeco collection," said Paul Lee of Kiwali. "We've received rave reviews about the sophisticated look of our ShuffleDeco product line, but NanoDeco features even more incredible designs that just has to be seen to be believed." The collection features ten wide-ranging designs, including the 60s-inspired Kungfu-esque "Retro Fury," the delicate "Flight of the Butterfly," and gothic "Magik-and-Lace." Each NanoDeco is printed on naster poly using special inks for vibrant colors. The backing uses a light "repositionable" adhesive, making covers exceptionally easy to apply and remove. Covering the front and the back of the iPod nano, NanoDeco provides limited protection from scratches and everyday hazards. Kiwali NanoDeco covers are priced at $15 each.
TheCodingMonkeys has released SubEthaEdit 2.3, a new Universal Binary version of its text editor for working with HTML files, codes, text, notes, and more. Various advanced features include a UNIX command line utility, overhauled printing with collaborative metadata, customizable syntax highlighting, AppleScript support, and more. New features to SubEthaEdit include a refreshed User Interface, improved printing with dark backgrounds, quick access to Mode, Tabbing, Line Ending, File Encodings, and Wrapping via popup menus in the bottom status bar, and more. SubEthaEdit 2.3 costs $35.
EyeControl 1.0 (free) allows the user to remotely program their EyeTV from any networked Mac on a local network or across the internet. Users can view their recorded programs, which are grouped and expandable by title, can Create/Edit/Delete scheduled programs or recorded programs remotely, browse online TV guides, and more. EyeControl requires a PowerPC or Intel Mac running OS X 10.4 or higher with EyeTV 1.8.x. [Download - 503KB]
Saint Valentine's Day Collection (free) is a collection of romantic screen gadgets and thoughtful ideas. It is a small, program to allow Mac users to use their Macs in bringing a special romantic touch to their special day with their special someones. The program includes such gadgets as a "Love-o-meter," a "love test," and others. [Download - 1.27MB]
Can You Raed Tihs 2.0.0 (free) is an application developed to help users explore the fact that people do not read a word one letter at a time, but rather as a whole word-- if the first and last letters remain unchanged, the middle letters can be scrambled without making the word much more difficult to read. Version 2 adds the capability to 'unscramble" messages using a built-in dictionary with over 45,000 American English words. [Download - 1.3MB]
RSS DreamFeeder 1.3.1 ($50) is a program for reposting webpage content as RSS feed via Dreamweaver without retyping the content or knowing RSS/XML code. DreamFeeder searches through the user's website for new and updated content to include in the RSS feed. It also helps the user build links within their pages to the feeds it creates, both as alternative content headers (link tag) and as feed:// protocol links. [Download - 1.78MB]
F-Script 1.3.1 (free) is a scripting layer specifically designed for the Mac OS X object system, providing scripting and interactive access to Cocoa frameworks and custom Objective-C objects. Based on SmallTalk, F-Script includes a high-level model for object manipulation and an object browser. New features include GCC 4.0 support, an improved object browser, an extended exception handling system, improved Core Image integration, and more. [Download - 11.8MB]
DropCopy 1.01 (free) uses Bonjour technology to allow the user to share files and folders between multiple Macs across the LAN. Users drag their files in the Finder to a hot-zone containing a list of destinations, which dissapears when one is not dragging things over it. DropCopy also supports clipboard sharing and short text messages. New in version 1.01 is Universal binary, a complete re-write for Tiger, a fixed bug pertaining to long filenames with foreign characters, and more. [Download - 1.1MB]
Garden State Plaza store
In brief: A MacNN reader has posted photos (below) and a video from the opening of the Apple Store Garden State (Paramus, New Jersey), which boasted a line that wrapped around one section of the mall.... Apple will be exhibiting at Video Forum 2006 this week, which will host a dedicated theater showcasing Apple's video, effects, and DVD-editing software.... A reporter at the Garden State Plaza (GSP) recently discovered that it is apparently more difficult to get a job with Apple in any capacity than it is to get into Stanford University, and that the company hires only one percent of applicants.... The iTunes Music Store is coming to Singapore in roughly one year, according to one avid Mac user.... Channell Commercial's CIO favors the iPod integration kit for his Mercedes R500 more than any other gadget.
Toshiba iPod drive cable
Addonics has announced the availability of a Toshiba 1.8-inch to 2.5-inch IDE connector, which allows users to connect the drive to any computer including the hard drive found on the Apple iPod. It can be connected to the standard 40 pin IDE cable commonly found on desktop computers, server, and industrial PCs by adding the Addonics 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch converter kit. The connector allows iPod owners to connect the hard drive inside their iPod as a regular 2.5-inch hard drive to other computers. With the connector, an iPod user who has defective iPod can export data off the drive. The Toshiba 1.8-inch to 2.5-inch IDE hard drive connector convertor costs $15.
New Plextor NAS storage
Plextor today announced the PX-EH family of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. Available in 250GB or 400GB capacities, the external hard disk drives are designed to allow multiple users to share data with fast perfomance assured by a high-speed processor and UltraDMA 133 HDD technology. In addition to providing shared storage across the network, the devices include a print server that can share a USB-connected printer, an automated backup scheduler, administrative security, and the ability to configure the device as a dedicated FTP server with 94.5 Mbps throughput for FTP transfers. The PX-EH25 with 250GB capacity costs $300, while the PX-EH40L with 400GB costs $450 (product availability was not noted).
iTunes patent suit
A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday to discuss the case of David Contois, owner of Contois Music and Technology in Essex Junction, who is suing Apple and asking the judge to end the distribution of iTunes software. "Apple has copied the invention," according to the lawsuit. "Apple's infringement has been and continues to be willful." The suit--filed in June--claims that Contois exhibited his software to play music on a computer at industry trade shows in 1995 and 1996, in Nevada as well as California. Apple denies the allegations and is seeking reimbursement of its own legal fees, according to the Associated Press. Contois charges that Apple's "current or future employees" viewed his patented software at the aforementioned trade shows, and later duplicated it. Contois formally notified Apple of the patent in September of 2004, but says that Apple knew about the patent as early as January 2003. Apple says the lawsuit should be dismissed because Contois did not make his claim sooner, according to the report.
120GB Passport USB Drive
Western Digital (WD) today announced that its Passport Portable USB Drives are now available with 120GB capacity. It features a textured, non-slip rugged protective case, outfitted with a high-performance WD Scorpio 2.5- inch EIDE 5400 RPM hard drive, 2MB cache, and Data Lifeguard protection. "WD Passport Portable USB Drives are designed to serve as a digital file briefcase by enabling owners to add instant extra storage; slip the drive into a WD Passport carrying case for on-the-go convenience." Passport 120GB can store approximately 53 hours of DVD-quality movies or over 30,000 MP3 music files or approximately 34,000 digital photos. The Passport Portable USB Drive 120GB costs $200.
iPod claims another victim
Dell stopped selling its more expensive digital music players last month after the device failed to compete with Apple's iPod. While the hard-drive-based Digital Jukebox players are no longer for sale, the company will continue to offer its flash-based DJ Ditty--which competes directly with Apple's own iPod shuffle. "We saw an opportunity to streamline and consolidate our portfolio," said Dell spokesman Liem Nguyen. "We made a decision to transition from the hard-drive products to flash players at the beginning of this year." Dell will continue selling music players from other device makers through its Web site, according to Nguyen. Dell discontinued its three larger Digital Jukebox devices which were cost up to $300 in late December and early January, according to Bloomberg News.
CrystalMaker Software today released CrystalMaker 7.1 for Mac OS X. CrystalMaker is a Mac Program for crystal/molecular structures visualization, featuring real-time photo-realistic graphics and 3D display. Version 7.1 is a Universal binary application, with a new "depth profile" feature allowing users to zoom through densely-packed structures, seeing through surface atoms and into the structure's interior. Other new features include the ability to export high-resolution graphics in a wide range of image formats, automatic update checking, high-quality bond rendering, and various performance improvements. CrystalMaker 7.1 costs $430; it is a free update for existing users.
It is an exciting time for consumer technology, with gadgets and devices that once used to the stuff of dreams now coming to fruition. ...JBL Synchros Reflect in-ear headphones
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