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Connect360 syncs Mac, Xbox
Nullriver has released Connect360, an application for Mac OS X that allows an Xbox 360 to play back music and view digital photos stored on a Macintosh. "Connect360 automatically indexes your iTunes and iPhoto libraries and shares them to your Xbox 360. You can then use the Xbox 360 Dashboard to browse and play your media, organized in the exact same way that it is on your Mac." Connect360 keeps the Xbox up to date as content is added or removed from the iTunes library, and the application supports MP3 audio files alongside JPEG photos. A built-in access control list can limit which Xbox 360s can connect to a Mac, and the software supports wireless connections as well as the Xbox's built-in network port. Connect360 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is priced at $10.
Apple\'s secret weapon
Apple may be holding a secret weapon to double its market share in the desktop computing market, which would make the initial difficulties of switching to Intel chips pay off down the line. According a ZDnet blog, Apple's exclusive ability to deploy Mac OS X on the x86 platform will put the company in a unique position should it decide to move toward virtualization. Apple may choose to take the paravirtualization route by implementing a thin layer of software called a "Hypervisor," which would allow users to install multiple operating systems such as Mac OS X for Intel, Linux, Windows, or BSD directly onto the raw hardware, according to the ZDNet blog. Many hurdles still remain, however, before Apple can take the plunge. "Intel would have to release new Core Duo CPUs that have VT support which is likely in the near future," the blogger adds. Apple may also need to implement a BIOS compatibility layer for EFI to support Windows installations that require conventional BIOS. "If Steve Jobs plays his cards right and delivers true paravirtualization, Apple may indeed double its market share."
Songbird takes on iTunes
The true challenger to Apple's iTunes jukebox software may come from the open-source community, not from a corporation, according to a new post at CNET blogs. The Pioneers of the Inevitable--a small company based in San Francisco--recently launched Songbird, an open-source alternative to Apple's iTunes. The News.com blogger cites the fact that while Songbird's launch was initially received with mixed feelings, the project's success will depend on the involvement of the open-source community, as well as the user-created extensions which are expected in the near future.
Plasq anniversary, Pluzzle
Plasq today released a new game--Pluzzle 1.0--in celebration of the company's one-year anniversary. The game offers time-tested, numbered-block puzzle gameplay and a "suave" new look. "Pluzzle is a neat little sliding-tile puzzle, which you can shrink or expand to suit your skill." The game features draggable tiles, automated jumbling of tiles, animated tile movements, and custom image support via drag-and-drop. Pluzzle also features a customizable game board/tile size, as well as sound effects. The game is based on mathematician Sam Loyd's "Fifteen Puzzle," produced during the 1870s. Pluzzle is available for free, and the numbers can be disabled to enhance the challenge (system requirements were unavailable).
GarageBand 3; iMac G5
In brief: Apple has documented a flaw in GarageBand 3, where the menu for selecting outputs lists inputs within the preferences pane.... Owners of first generation iMac G5 systems may experience another issue documented by Apple: starting the machine in single-user mode may cause the computer fans to run at full speed for as long as the user remains in single-user mode.... Apple has acknowledged that "under certain circumstances, an exported Aperture Library contains no images after copying to another computer and re-importing there".... Apple has noted that users connecting a video iPod or iPod nano to a computer running Mac OS X and launching iPod Updater may end up with a disabled "Restore" button, coupled with a message that reads "You must connect using FireWire to restore this iPod".... Apple has documented yet another issue--some users may see a message that reads: "unable to upgrade this photo library" the first time they launch iPhoto after upgrading to iLife '06.
iPod video conversion
A flurry of applications are surfacing designed to convert video into a format compatible with the fifth-generation iPod. ISquint.com has released iSquint 1.2, an update to the free iPod video conversion utility for Mac OS X. The application is many times faster than QuickTime Pro, and works with almost all popular video formats, according to the author. Lenogo Software also released its Lenogo DVD Movie to iPod Video Converter version 05, and claims the app is the fastest DVD movie to iPod video converter software thus far in the world. Another Mac developer released Senuti 0.32 yesterday, updating the utility that copies music from an iPod to a Mac. iSquint 1.2 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is available for free. Lenogo DVD Movie to iPod Video Converter is available for $30 (system requirements were unavailable). Senuti 0.32 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later, and is available for free.
CHUD, Script Debugger
Apple's CHUD 4.3.2 (free) is a set of applications and tools for measuring and optimizing software performance on Mac OS X, as well as for hardware bringup and system benchmarking. The release offers support for new hardware, no longer depends on the Xcode Developer Tools package, and fixes other bugs. [33MB]
EnzymeX 2.5 (Free) is a program for molecular biologists that helps determine which restriction enzymes to use to cut any DNA of interest. Version 2.5 now runs as a Universal Binary, offering support for Intel-Macs, and is up-to-date with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The application also adds support for the buffer system of the Japan based Toyobo company, and adds/improves various tools--including the codon table viewer and powerful ways to create and edit custom enzyme sets using the set editor. [2.7MB]
Script Debugger 4.0 ($200) provides developers with the ability to quickly and easily author AppleScripts, providing functions for creating, editing and debugging. Version 4.0 offers a simplified interface, concurrent script execution, supports the new bundled formats introduced in Mac OS X (along with long file names and Unicode characters), an improved script editor, improved debugging, and more. Upgrades are $100. [10.3MB]
Info.xhead 1.2 ($15) is a secure and extensible database for storing website passwords, serial numbers, memberships, online purchases, credit cards, bank accounts, and more. Version 1.2 supports Intel-based Macs, offers import/export of data from CSV files with Unicode encoding, and scheduling of automatic backups of the database and preferences. The software supports 448-bit Blowfish encryption, can backup data securely to .Mac or another computer, sync the database to an iPod, supports Spotlight searches, and more. [810KB]
Senuti 0.32 (free) adds support for new Intel-based Macs. The iPod utility copies music from the iPod back to a Mac, copies back playlists, and offers the option of importing music directly into iTunes, or to an alternate location. The utility also offers search and sort options, as well as the ability to playback songs directly off of an iPod--with jukebox player functions. The application requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [2.7MB]
Esperance DV 2.3 (free) a utility that allows users to create RAM disks. The System Preference Pane allows users to temporary store files in memory to improve speed. Version 2.3 add native support for Intel-based Macs and a new Italian localization. [217KB]
AAPL \"misplaced rumors\"
American Technology Research today discussed "two misplaced rumors" which contributed to Apple's decline yesterday. Addressing the MacBook Pro shipment delays as well Apple's acknowledged iMac Core Duo video glitch, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu defended Apple's position on both counts. "From our proprietary checks, we believe strong demand and a four-week backlog are the main reasons for a stretch in lead times for MacBook Pro. In addition, we believe the video glitch with FrontRow can be easily fixed with a software update." The company said it will remain comfortable with its guidance estimates, and added that Apple's fundamentals remain sound, arguably among the strongest in technology. "We would take advantage of the pull-back to build and/or add to AAPL positions."
\'The Movies\' coming soon
Feral Interactive today announced that it will release a Mac version of Lionhead Studios newest title, dubbed "The Movies." The game "enables you to build and control your very own Hollywood motion picture studio. Starting at the dawn of the silver screen, you compete with other budding movie moguls to create a string of box office smashes and rule the Industry. All the things you have ever heard about Tinseltown - from starlet scandals to box-office records, from greenlighting a script to making the final cut - are all right here. A unique mix of strategy and artistry, The Movies demands that you do it all, from developing a slate of films to formulating a release strategy, you must manage the the introduction of new technology, turn talent spotter and make unknowns into stars and then manage their ballooning egos." The title will be available this summer as a Universal Binary application. (Pricing not yet available.)
Opera, seSales, Barcodet
Opera 9 TP 2 (free) is the technology preview of Opera 9 browser, codenamed Merlin. New features include widgets, BitTorrent, customizable search engines, improved content blocker, improved pop-up blocker, site specific preferences, thumbnail previews and more. [Download - 10.7MB]
seSales 1.1 ($130) is an update of Zarra Studio's point-of-sale software for Mac OS X Tiger on Power PC. seSales is designed to be an affordable point of sale system for businesses that choose to use OS X . Version 1.1 includes inventory import and export abilities, changes to the activity reports and more. A Universal binary will be available soon. [Download - 12.5MB]
Barcodet ($100) allows the user to create barcodes from data stored in their FilMaker Pro (v5-8) databases. Bar codes appear instantly as data is entered, with typefaces as small as a millimeter in height. The codes work with laser, ink-jet, and thermal printers. There are fifteen different bar code types available.
VODcaster 1.1 (free) updates the tool for publishing audio and video podcasts, offering drag-and-drop support with a clean and simple interface. VODcaster features include ToolTips that explain where information will be published, full undo support, and more. Version 1.1 includes the ability to import RSS feeds via alocal file or a URL, modify the time and size manually, modify the publish date and time manually, and the ability to specify a URL to media without requiring the media to be stored locally. [Download - 823KB]
RAW Developer 1.4.5 ($100) is a RAW image conversion application designed and optimized specifically for Mac OS X. The application offers drag-and-drop batch conversion, as well as access to basic adjustments for casual users. The update includes a new option available in the open file dialog to enable or disable recursively opening subfolders, as well as support for the Phase One P30 and P45 digital backs. [Download - 1.8MB]
Blackmagic has released DeckLink 5.4.2, an update to its software for its professional video capture cards. It adds a choice of custom file name numbering in FrameLink, verified compatibility with After Effects 7.0 as well as stability and performance improvements in the Blackmagic Deck Control application and some models of DeckLink hardware cards. This release version also adds support for Blackmagic DeckLink PCIe cards including HD Pro and HD Plus. The company also released Multibridge 5.4.1 for Mac OS X, which supports Multibridge Extreme on Mac OS X, its all-in-one bidirectional analog converter for audio and video that instantly switches between HDTV and standard definition video. The installer includes support for all models of Multibridge, and all models of DeckLink cards, adding support for hardware down conversion and DVI-D scaling for the Apple 30-inch Cinema Display.
ChronoSync 3.2 released
Econ Technologies today released ChronoSync 3.2, an update to the automated synchronization and backup application that includes full Universal Binary support to run on Apple's new Intel-based Macs. ChronoSync synchronizes between folders on Macs, PCs, external drives, and iPods. Version 3.2 adds a new rule allowing for inclusion and exclusion of files and folders based on path name. The update adds an option to sync over Finder/Spotlight comments associated with files, and performance of "Trial Syncs" is optimized to instantly synchronize files after reviewing pending changes. ChronoSync 3.2 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later, and is available for $30. Upgrades are free for existing users.
AT&T targets Apple
AT&T says that Apple and others are infringing on its MPEG video compression patents. PC Magazine reports that "AT&T possesses several patents related to video compression, which the company says are an essential component of the MPEG-4 video technology. In a bid to drive its global licensing program, AT&T has targeted Apple Computer, Inc., CyberLink Corp., DivX, Inc., InterVideo, Inc., and Sonic Solutions as unlicensed companies whose products and software utilize the MPEG-4 technology." The report also says that AT&T has contacted national retailers that distribute products the potentially infringing products, to let them know that they may be held liable for infringement. AT&T says that it can provide proof of the infringements, which could result in potential damages including lost profits, royalties and - assuming willful action - treble damages and attorneys' fees, according to the report. "Last year, AT&T announced that Pentax and Nero are among the latest licensees of its MPEG-4 patent package, allowing the two licensed companies to move ahead unencumbered by patent restrictions."
Quark 7 font activation
Insider Software today released the first QuarkXTension to provide automatic font activation for QuarkXPress 7, which is currently in public beta. The QuarkXPress 7 Beta XTension is available free to all users of FontAgent Pro, Insider's recently updated utility for font management, diagnostics, optimization and repair. FontAgent Pro, designed for creative professionals, provides a complete font management system that integrates diagnostics, repair, font selection, font book creation, and design tools It offers modern features, such as multiple font libraries and a Font Player that provides interactive real-time font selection tools. FontAgent Pro also offers unique administrative functionality, including the ability to secure workstations, permitting modifications to libraries and sets only if approved by the administrator. Multiple startup sets can be configured and fonts can be auto-activated without launching FontAgent Pro. Licensed users of FontAgent Pro ($100) are eligible to download the software.
Henrico iBook contract
Apple has renewed a contract to supply Henrico County middle school students with new iBooks for another four years, beating out Dell and other PC makers. The new Apple contract follows a controversial school board decision last April that chose Dell to supply computers to every high school student and teacher next year. The four-year iBook program renewal, which begins on July 30th, is for 12,675 iBook laptops at a cost of $1,246 each. The report notes that Apple's bid was higher than an expired Dell bid from last year that offered 14,000 machines to middle schools at a cost of $1,111 per unit; however, that bid expired on November 1, 2005 and the Times Dispatch did not provide any details as to why the higher bid from Apple was approved Thursday night by the School Board.
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