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Pro Tools|HD update
Digidesign today announced that Apple Logic Pro 7.2 is now compatible with latest update to its Pro Tools|HD systems. The company said that Apple Logic Pro 7.2, now available from Apple, is now fully compatible with Digidesign Pro Tools|HD systems using version 7.1 of DAE (Digidesign Audio Engine), support all Logic features, including ESB and EXS24TDM. "To install the Pro Tools files needed to support Logic Pro 7.2, customers must download Pro Tools HD 7.1cs4 or higher, available as a free update for all Pro Tools HD 7 owners from the Support section of the Digidesign website. The company said that although Logic Pro 7.2 ($1000 standalone or a $50 cross-grade) is a universal version that runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Mac systems, Digidesign hardware and Pro Tools software are not "yet" compatible with Intel-based Mac systems. The Pro Tools|HD hardware currently requires a PowerPC-based Mac system or a Windows XP system. IN addition, Digidesign said that customers using Pro Tools HD 6.9.x and earlier software must use Logic Pro 7.1 or earlier.
PGP Desktop 9.05
PGP today released PGP Desktop 9.05, an update to its desktop security tool for Macs. The application, which protects data while it is on your system and while it is in transit, provides encrypted email, volume disk encryption, IM encryption, PGP Zip archives, and secure file shred. The software supports Apple Mail, Microsoft Entourage, Eudora 6.2, and Thunderbird email clients as well as both AOL Instant Messenger and Apple's iChat messaging clients. Version 9.05 adds support for non-compliant mailservers that use message IDs greater than 70 characters (which the coompany notes is in violation of standards). PGP Desktop supports Mac OS X Panther and Tiger. The company, however, notes that PGP Desktop for Mac OS X 9.0.5 is not currently supported on Intel-based Macs, but that it will provide support for these systems in a future release. The update is free; a perpetual license for PGP Destkop home is $100, while the Professional version (with DoD Common Access Card support) is $100.
AppZapper 1.1 ($13) is now a Universal binary for Mac OS X 10.4 and above. AppZapper allows the Mac user to remove most applications easily as AppZapper finds leftover support files and allows users to remove them with a single click. New features include menu filtering to remove batches of support files by file type, and localization into Chinese, Italian, and Polish. [Download - 814KB/a>]
PowerMail 5.2.3 ($60) is a Mac email client for fighting spam, now a Universal binary. PowerMail offers spam protection, including integration with SpamSieve, and leverages the FoxTrot engine. a New features include reliability enhancements for all users, a Universal binary PowerMail Spotlight plugin, better performance, and more. [Download - 6.7MB]
TerminalOne 1.0 ($40) is a native Cocoa color terminal emulator for Mac OS X, supporting all graphics characters with any font, whether fixed or not. Features include an accurate VT320 terminal emulator with color xterm extensions, an accurate VT102 terminal emulator with Terminal behavior, support for text wrapping on resize, copy, and paste, flexible scrollback, tabbed session, and more. [Download - 1.85MB]
Anthracite ($100) is a Web mining Desktop toolkit that gives the user tools to build a powerful data processing system for making complex manipulations. Anthracite is built for people who need to transform internet sources and/or large data sets into integrated information without scripting. [Download - [login]]
World Clock Deluxe 4.3 ($16) allows the user to display multiple digital or analog clocks in a horizontal or vertical palette in the menu bar and in the Dock. The Rosetta-compatible application can show the time in over 400 cities and 200 time zones and world times (Coordinated Universal Time, Internet Time, etc); can show seconds, weekday, date, date change; arrange clocks alphabetically, by time, longitude, etc; and more. [Download - 1.3MB]
Captain FTP ($25) is an FTP client allowing local network FTP users to share files directly between each other. New to Captain FTP is easier file management, the addition of built-in file viewers for movies, sounds, pictures, or PDF, a new browser column to show file attributes, and the file/folder synchronizatoin has been enhanced with a visual browser. [Download - [options]]
WiFi, Bluetooth iPods?
Apple may be one step closer to developing a wireless iPod, according to a new report. PortalPlayer--the chip maker behind the audio logic of Apple's iPods--is adding Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support to its products, according to Reg Hardware. PortalPlayer has tied-in with Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR), a UK-based Bluetooth chip designer, and said it will integrate its PP5022 audio chip family with CSR's UniFi Wi-Fi and Bluetooth controller. The company will demonstrate a reference platform based on the combined technology next week at the 3GSM show in Barcelona, according to the report. Apple is rumored to be hosting a music-related event later this month--the week following 3GSM. The invite reportedly depicts an Airport Express Wi-Fi adaptor's power light, suggesting a Wi-Fi focus for the event.
Song countdown entryform
In brief: Apple's one billion song countdown continues, but users unable or unwilling to purchase songs from the iTunes Music Store can fill out an alternative entry form, up to 25 times per day for a chance to win without purchasing tracks.... Unity--an application that allows users to create 3D games with animated characters--is now available at Macgamestore.com.... Industry watchers yesterday speculated about the possibility of Apple's profit margins suffering, due to the company's decision to cut prices on its iPod shuffle players.... Shares in Samsung Electronics and other Asian memory makers fell today after Apple's iPod shuffle price cuts fueled fears of a greater price decline in chips utilized by the music players.... A small Maine museum is taking advantage of the proliferation of iPods to reduce tour costs, offering a podcast of its latest exhibit on the Inughuit people of Northwest Greenland.... Aural New York is offering special colors of earbuds ($15) for use with iPods in pink, black, and the limited edition blue.
NoodlBoard widget for OS X
NoodleBoard is a new, free dashboard widget for OS X that allows the user to securely share their thoughts, ideas, lists, links, or anything else with others. NoodleBoard combines the dashboard, Ajax, and cryptography to allow users to create a private virtual white board which is shared across the internet. Once a board is set up it can be shared with as many other NoodleBoard users as the owner wishes. The Universal application uses the blowfish algorithm to encrypt all content before it leaves the user's computer to be shared with others.
Podcasting pushes Apple
Apple can credit the popularity of podcasting for some of its present and future potential marketshare gains. With the introduction of podcasting and the dominance of the iPod, Apple has reworked the perception of digital content downloading, making it easier and more accessible to mainstream users. According to an Oxford Analytica report cited by Forbes, Apple is likely to become more popular in the coming years thanks to the attention the company has garnered since the introduction of the iPod. With the video iPod, Forbes says that video podcasting "may provide Apple with a platform that allows it to compete with traditional broadcast media, such as cable television, satellite and film-on-demand."
Colored iPod earbuds
Aural New York is offering special colors of earbuds for use with iPods. Currently available in three colors-- pink, black, and the limited edition blue- the company plans to continue releasing new colors and styles. "Aural New York adds flavor to the most visible part of the iPod ensemble, the headphones. White ones were indeed cool for a while, but let's get real, even your great-great-grandma rocks 'em nowadays." All headphones come with both black and white earbud pads. All color styles cost $15.
iTwist for iSight
iTwist, a program for use with an iSight camera, is now available. iTwist allows users to answer and hang up iChat video phone calls without the use of a keyboard or mouse. iTwist will interrupt the screensaver to show who is calling, and allows the user to answer or hang up the call by twisting the iSight lens open or closed. iTwist also allows users to switch off any specific function directly from iChat AV preferences. iTwist automatically changes the screen view mode to fullscreen for all iChat AV video calls, and all incoming video, audio, and IM panels are shown directly onscreen. iTwist requires OS X Tiger, iChat AV and an iSight camera for use of the video phone options, and costs $20.
WINE on Intel-based Mac
Open-source developers from the X86 Project have managed to compile a version of WINE--software that allows applications written for Microsoft Windows to run on other platforms--for Intel-based Macs. The Darwin Project has been working to port WINE to Mac OS X for some time, and now the latest version can be compiled to run on Mactels, according to a note on the X86 Project forums. Currently WINE offers a development toolkit for porting Windows source code to Unix, and a program loader that allows numerous unmodified Windows programs to run on x86-based Unix varients, according to Macworld UK. "Think of WINE as a compatibility layer for running Windows programs," WINE developers state on the project website. "WINE does not require Microsoft Windows, as it is a completely free alternative implementation of the Windows API consisting of 100 percent non-Microsoft code." [updated]
Meadows Publishing has released a stand-alone version of CopyFit for use with QuarkXPress. CopyFit Desktop is an XTensions module for QuarkXPress and is compatible with Macintosh QuarkXPress versions 4.11, 5.01 and 6.5. CopyFit Server is an XTensions module that works with QuarkDDS 3.50, the server version of QuarkXPress. CopyFit modifies overset text within a box by applying a user-defined set of attribute parameters (point size, scaling, leading, etc.) as a guide. Each box in a QuarkXPress layout can be "tagged" with its own set of unique CopyFit settings, and the tagged boxes can be CopyFit at any time. CopyFit Desktop costs $225, while CopyFit Server for DDS costs $1,500.
Intel iMac first look
Digit today provided its first look at Apple's Intel iMac, discussing some of the major differences between the new model and the previous iMac G5. "This latest generation of Apple's all-in-one runs circles around its predecessor--most of the time." The review covers the 23-second startup time, the fact that Apple applications such as iPhoto and Safari open before bouncing twice in the dock, and Apple's Rosetta emulation software. A recent interview with Tom Boger, senior director for desktop product marketing at Apple shed some light on the iMac's Core Duo 2-GHz processor. "I think the key there with the Intel Core Duo, what makes it unique in the marketplace from a processor standpoint [is that] it's giving us this dual-core performance. But unlike other dual-core processors, it does so with low power consumption," Boger said. "should you decide to plunk down your money now at the nearest Apple store, well, you won't be disappointed when you get your new iMac home," Digit reported.
Hardened PB compromised
A security researcher at the recent ShmooCon hacking conference was taken by surprise when an unknown hacker compromised his PowerBook running Mac OS X, disabling the firewall and starting up a file server. The PowerBook had been 'hardened' to all known attacks at the time, and future analysis of the PowerBook revealed nothing about how the attacker managed to penetrate the system. "The machine was as hardened as best practices could suggest for anyone," the researcher said. The researcher believes that a previously unknown exploit caused the compromise, and with Apple's switch to Intel-based Macs, crackers will feel at home with the memory architecture and other elements below the application level. The successful attack underscores a number of trends that has already caused a shift in focus amidst security analysts and could result in more attacks on Mac OS X, according to SecurityFocus.
iTunes sells 12M videos
In brief: Apple yesterday said its iTunes Music Store had sold 12 million videos, just hours after the company announced the addition of CBS Showtime programming at the store.... World of Warcraft (WoW) is now running as a Universal Binary with a new updater to version 22.214.171.12459.... The FastIcon has released a new icon set entitled "iFunny," designed with strokless drawings and simple shapes.... Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today introduced the nanoShell ($15, shown at right) line of cases for Apple's iPod nano.... Adobe is sponsoring Flashforward2006 Seattle, which takes place February 27th through March 2nd in the Washington State Convention and Trade Center.... Apple's trailers Web page now offers the latest World of Warcraft (WoW) trailer for The Burning Crusade, an expansion to the online role-playing adventure that will feature two new races and a new world.
iPod museum tours
A small Maine museum is taking advantage of the proliferation of iPods to reduce tour costs. According to Bowdoin College's Campus News the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum has created a podcast of its latest exhibit on the Inughuit people of Northwest Greenland, allowing visitors to hear Arctic winds, Greenlandic dog teams, and people speaking, singing, and playing sealskin drums. Visitors can use their own iPods or borrow one from the reception desk, free of charge. The podcast is available on the museum's website or through the iTunes Music Store, with each selection accompanied by a photograph so that users can still see the exhibit even if they are unable to visit it.
OWC price reduction
Other World Computing (OWC) today announced price reductions on its complete line of Neptune FireWire solutions. All Neptune FireWire solutions run at 7200 RPM and include connecting cables, Intech HD SpeedTools and EMC/Dantz Retrospect Backup Software. The 80GB with 2MB data buffer costs $100 ($5 drop); the 160GB with 8MB data buffer costs $130 ($10 drop); 200GB with 8MB data buffer costs $150 ($15 drop); 250GB with 8MB data buffer costs $170 ($10 drop); 320GB with 8MB data buffer costs $200 ($20 drop); and 400GB with 8MB data buffer costs $290 ($10 drop). Earlier this week, OWC reduced prices on its Mercury Elite-AL Pro FireWire 800/400 models and its newly enhanced FireWire 800-capable version of the Mercury On-The-Go portable 2.5-inch drives.
NitroAV expansion cards
NitroAV.com announced updates to its SATAStar Series product line with two new PCI-Express (PCIe) Host Adapters. The PCIe FireWire 800/1394b and FireWire 800/1394b plus USB 2.0 Combo host adapters both support one-lane (1x) with transfers up to 2.5GB per second, and are compatible with Mac OS X, MS Windows, and Linux. Both are backwards compatible with standard FireWire 400/1394a and USB 1.1 standards. The FireWire 800/1394b PCIe Host Adapter costs $125, while the FireWire 800/1394b plus USB 2.0 Combo costs $150.
SheepShaver PPC emulator
Gibix.net has recently released an experimental native Intel port (for Mac OS X 10.4.4) of SheepShaver, an open-source PowerPC Mac OS run-time environment that allows users to run PowerPC classic software on a different operating system. SheepShaver requires a copy of Mac OS to run, as well as a Power Macintosh ROM image. Users operating a PowerPC-based system will run applications at native speeds with no emulation, while on other systems the software provides a PowerPC G4 emulator, without a Memory Management Unit (MMU). Performance with the current CPU emulator using basic just-in-time (JIT) translation techniques is roughly one-eighth of native speeds. Supported platforms include Linux (i386, ppc, x86_64), Mac OS X (i386, ppc), Darwin, NetBSD 2.0, FreeBSD 5.3 and Windows for the x86 architecture. SheepShaver is distributed under the GNU GPL for free.
World Dominos Championship
Toybox Games has released World Dominos Championship, the ninth game available from the developer for the Mac. World Dominos Championship, is a distinctive take on various time-honored dominoes games: "This colorful eye-catching variant of the classic domino is wonderful for the whole family. Choose from 5 engaging games suited to even the novice, facilitated by a pop up help window. Perfect for unfamiliar and experienced users alike! An ingenious selection of options allows for user-set preferences, such as a customizable background option and music volume. Innovative reorder and zoom buttons allow for an aesthetic appearance and minimizes confusion throughout this novel entertainment experience." It offers five different game types (All Fives w/Double 6s, All Fives w/Double 9s, All Threes, Block Game, and Spiral). It is available for $20.
Xserve BIO cluster
Terra Soft Solutions announced the release of a mobile, pre-configured 8-node Xserve bioinformatics cluster, the Y-Bio Cluster. Y-Bio Cluster enables bioinformaticists to conduct research in the time required to apply power, log-in, and upload data. The default configuration of the Y-Bio Cluster includes XRack Pro2 mobile cluster housing, HP Procurve 2724 switch, TORQUE Resource Manager and Moab Cluster Suite, 64-bit gcc and tool chain, and more. It offers NCBI BLAST, EMOBSS, Glimmer, ClustalW, HMMR, Wise, and FastA tools for genetic sequence analysis, with support for both Power and x86 Linux desktops and clusters. Terra Soft's Y-Bio Cluster costs $47,383.
iTunes charity for Katrina
Apple's iTunes is offering a new exclusive single to raise money for victicms of hurricane Katrina. On Tuesday, Apple began promoting a new Exclusive Charity EP by members of REM (Michael Stipe) and Coldplay. "Michael Stipe and special guests including Chris Martin of Coldplay and Justin Timberlake have re-recorded Joseph Arthur's song 'In the Sun,' and the only place you'll find it is on iTunes. All the proceeds from sales of this exclusive EP will be donated to the In The Sun Foundation, which was established by Stipe for the purpose of helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina."
Apple coming to Boulder
Apple has signed a lease for a fourth retail store in Colorado. The company has leased 4,900 square feet in the Twenty Ninth Street area of Boulder, Colorado, in the midst of a huge redevelopment project, according to the DailyCamera. The store is set to open in the fall, according to the report, wich also stated that Boulder has an above-average Mac user base in Boulder due to the University of Colorado and its students. One local filmmaker told the DailyCamera that many Boulder residents already travel to the Cherry Creek Apple store because "employees there are better trained and computer-savvy than those at other computer stores."
Apple not threatened
Despite rampant speculation that Apple will enter the world of digital film downloads, Apple's future likely hinges on sales of its hardware and software. Analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research said that digital media plans or services from "pure internet service companies," such as Google, Yahoo, Ebay, and Amazon are unlikley to affect Apple and its stock price because Apple relies on a "store and forward" service--embracing the pay-per-song model rather than the more demanding streaming or subscription services offered by many of its competitors. Wu notes that while its competitors may be able to offer better or more internet resources for any digital media music or video service, Apple manages well because it has outsourced most of its "backend services" to companies such as Akamai and Speedera and that it may have favorable long term contracts for media delivery. Wu also estimates that the average number of songs downloaded per iPod user has increased by about 50 percent.
FastStream 5300 unveiled
ATTO Technology yesterday unveiled the FastStream 5300 Storage Appliance, designed to add RAID protection to critical data without suffering a performance impact. The FastStream is an external device that integrates into existing SCSI storage and offers over 480MB/sec transfer rates. The FastStream Storage Appliance features a "one-button" setup wizard that simplifies installation and configuration, while a provisioning feature enables optimal use of storage assets as well as the ability to modify the storage infrastructure with minimal or no disruption to application services. The device is JBOD and RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 configurable, and RAID levels can be changed dynamically. The ATTO ExpressNAV integrated management console offers an intuitive point-and-click interface that allows for remote configuration, management and diagnostics. The FastStream features 4-Gb Fibre Channel SAN connectivity and Ultra320 interfaces, which eases connectivity to SCSI storage (pricing and availability were unavailable).
Mac on Windows
Thursby Software has released two software updates for allowing Mac users to connect to a Microsoft networks, DAVE 6.1 and ADmitMac 3.1. The DAVE release fixes a number of issues, including kernel panics, a cifsd crash when changing passwords, slow Finder response when connected to Windows Server, crashes in Printer Setup Utility, and more. ADmitMac 3.1 features support for Access Control Lists and share names longer than 12 characters. New features include increased speed, the ability to use any folder as a local home folder location, deplyment support for mapping user UID, GID, and group GID attributes, enhanced administrator control, and more. DAVE 6.1 is priced starting at $120 for Mac OS X 10.3 and 10.4 or Classic Mac OS. AdmitMac is priced starting at $120 for Mac OS X 10.3 and 10.4.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today introduced the nanoShell line of cases for the iPod nano. The nanoShell is a hard transparent protective case for the iPod nano offered in Crystal Clear, Tech Lime, Indigo Blue, Perfect Purple, or Pretty in Pink. Each nanoShell package also includes two interchangeable backings that provide either a transparent matching smooth back or a solid color reinforced belt clip backing. The screen is fully viewable through the case, and te clickwheel is still accessible. The DLO nanoShell cases cost $15.
New music phones coming
Apple can expect more competition from moble carriers as they roll out more phones that offer music playback. Samsung's A900, often called 'The Blade' can be used with Sprint's own music service, which offers downloads for $2.50, while Motorola's newest iTunes phone, the Slvr, works with Apple's iTunes; however, downloads on both of these device is limited to 50 and 100, respectively. The Wall Street Journal reports that Nokia plans to launch the N91 phone, which will provide high-fidelity sound, a 3,000-song hard drive, and 12.5 hour battery life for between $500 and $700 (after carrier discounts), while Motorola is expected to introduce Rokr E2 with a capacity of 500 songs and Sony Ericsson in May will debut the W810i Walkman phone, which will store 500 songs and will be priced at $400 (before carrier discount).
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