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Mac OS X x86 patches
Maxxuss has released patches for Mac OS X 10.4.4 8G1165 x86, a preliminary release of the Patch Solution for Mac OS X on the Intel platform. A work-in-progess, the patches would ultimately allow users to run Mac OS X 10.4.4 8G1165 x86 on a generic x86 computer with SSE2. "There's still a lot of work to do, like support for SSE2-only CPUs, a proper installation procedure and a PPF patch. However, if you like to play around, this will get you started." Base patches are available as a zip archive that contains a modified mach_kernel system file--anti-TPM, anti-EFI, and a patch for VMWare--, a AppleSMBIOS kernel extension replacement, and the decrypted system files along with an installation shell script.
Apple updates iLife apps
Apple today released updates to most of its iLife '06 suite, enhancing iDVD, iMovie HD, iWeb, and iPhoto. iDVD 6.0.1 resolves issues with integration with the other iLife applications, importing of legacy projects, and some theme-related issues. iMovie HD 6.0.1 addresses issues with Ken Burns rendering performance, Scrubber Bar editing performance, and theme image quality. iWeb 1.0.1 fixes issues related to publishing, blogs, and other bugs. Finally, iPhoto 6.0.1 resolves issues with photocasting, viewing thumbnails in large libraries, and ordering cards/calendars/books. The iPhoto update also addresses a number of other minor issues, according to Apple.
Members of the OS x86 Project recently discovered a hidden message to hackers within the hardware restrictions of Mac OS X, and have now unearthed a poem from Cupertino-based tech giant. One hacker named Maxxuss has discovered that a few pieces of Mac OS X search for a secret message in "commpage" which gets decrypted via the TPM (Trusted Platform Module). "Your karma check for today: There once was a user that whined; his existing OS was so blind, he'd do better to pirate; an OS that ran great; but found his hardware declined. Please don't steal Mac OS! Really, that's way uncool. (C) Apple Computer, Inc." Following the spirit, members of the OS x86 Project have offered up their own poem to the developers of Apple's work. "Rime of the Ancient Hacker; There once was a hacker named Maxxuss; who Steve did not think was a genius. But Steve pondered awhile, grabbed the phone with a smile, and said "Bill, there’s a thing to discuss..."
Apple releases iTunes 6.03
Apple today released which it says includes stability and performance improvements over iTunes 6.0.2. As with all versions of iTunes 6, Apple also includes this caution note: "Note: After purchasing music from the iTunes Music Store with iTunes 6 or later, you will also need to upgrade your other computers that purchase music from the iTunes Music Store to the latest version of iTunes." This morning we noted new SI Swimsuit videos on the iTunes Music Store and Apple also recently added a new 'Reggae' to its music selection categories.
Apimac Timer, iClock
Apimac Timer 2.0 (free) is a professional stopwatch, alarm clock, countdown and clock utility for Mac OS X. Events include playing alarms with favorite sounds, playing song files, speaking a specific message, and announcing the time. Between the features it includes a log (also automatically updated when some event occurs) and tickers that remind the user that a certain timer is running.
[Download - 2.7MB]
iClock 3.0 ($20) is a centrally located time hub that controls many time related functions. Time and date can be viewed simultaneously in any format or color, it includes a ToDo list, and iClock offers a calendar, stop watch, calculator, timers, and world time zones. New features include Universal binary, an improved ToDo list, alarms, chimes, floating clocks, Growl, and more. [Download - 8.11MB]
iCash 3.1 ($30) is a software intended to control the user's personal finances, keeping track of incomes, expenses, credits, debts and bank transactions. Version 3.1 improves the file manager, checks for more data types, improves Excel export to retain all formatting, adds more scheduling options, and uses a new SQL engine to improve performance by up to 10x. [Download - [options]]
CopyPaste + yType 2.6.5 ($30) is a multiple clipboard editor/archival utility including yType, which adds typing acceleration, instantaneous spell checking, word prediciton, a typing logger, inline equation solving that works in any application, and more. CopyPaste makes all clipboard material available by HotKey, menu, or Palette. In addition to yType, the new release includes various improvements, fixes and Japanese documentation. [Download - 6.46MB]
Troi File Plug-in 3.0.5 for FileMaker Pro 8 ($70) is a tool for getting access to information outside the FileMaker Pro database. Any files or folders stored on the computer can be accessed through the functions of the plug-in. New features include an improved TrFile_Launch function, fixed bugs, preparation for Universal binary, TrFile_CreateFile can now create files with no Creator or no File Type, and more. [Download - 2MB]
KnowledgeMiner 5.1.5 ($65) is a data mining tool that enables anyone to use its unique artificial intelligence to extract hidden knowledge from data. New features include extended AppleScript support, the creation of Analog Complexing classification and clustering models, several properties added to the GMDH and fuzzy model classes, general maintenance and minor bug fixing. [Download - 6.3MB]
First Disney 2006 podcast
Walt Disney has released its first 2006 episode of the "Official Disneyland Resort Podcast," available via download from Apple's iTunes podcast directory or from the Disneyland website. This month's release focuses on the opening of the new attraction "Monsters, Inc. Mike-and-Sulley to the Rescue!" at Disney's California Adventure Park, and goes behind-the-scenes for an inside look at the workings of the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride, according to Designtechnica. The show offers interviews with people involved with the attractions, and the podcast itself is hosted by Michael Geoghegan. The Official Disneyland Resort Podcast first launched in October of 2005, and has achieved a good ranking on iTunes, scoring four-and-a-half stars out of five, according to Disney.
Intel Mac sales strong
American Technology Research's (AMTR) Shaw Wu is maintaining a 'buy' rating on Apple's stock (AAPL), despite the recent weakness, according to a recent research note. Wu said AMTR had checked into Intel's yeilds, which have apparently improved, thus enabling Apple to ship more high-end Core-Duo based Macs. Wu also noted that interest in the new MacBook Pros remains high, with key distributors and Apple stores already in stock and many more MacBook Pros en route to pre-order destinations. Wu says "Over the next 12-24 months, we see a Mac upgrade cycle with the Intel transition, continued penetration of iPod [plus] iTunes in digital music and video, and extension of both its Mac and iPod [plus] iTunes franchises into new business areas including home entertainment servers, cell phones, and other consumer electronics."
Real falls short
RealNetworks shares today dropped nine percent after the company issued a sales and profit forcast that fell short of Wall Street expectations. One of Apple's largest competitors, the company's stock gained 15 percent on Tuesday in anticipation of forth-quarter financial results which was bolstered by a positive brokerage comment, according to MarketWatch. RealNetworks turned a profit, partially due to a $434.4 million gain related to a legal settlement with Microsoft back in October. The company earned $295.6 million, or $1.61 per share, compared to a loss of $972,000, or a penny per share registered for the fourth quarter of 2004, according to the report. Revenue reached $83.6 million, up from $72.5 million the previous year, below average expectations of nearly $85 million. RealNetworks has doubled its subscriber base since 2004, and the firm is working with manufacturers to produce a viable alternative to Apple's iPod.
Pixar looks to OS X
Pixar is seeking a new software engineer to create more native Mac OS X applications, according to a job posting on Highend 3D. The job listing calls for the developer to be "responsible for developing Pixar's in-house proprietary animation software, according to Architosh.com. "The Engineering Team is looking for Mac software engineers to help create and maintain new software for the studio. The position requires a deep understanding of software application engineering, an ability to collaborate in a cross-functional team of world-class developers, and skill in designing and implementing robust, easy to maintain code."
Iomega sells 1M REVs
Iomega, maker of hard-drive based removable storage solutions is celebrating its 25th year of business with a success in the REV Drive platform. The company announced it has sold over one million Iomega REV 35GB disks in the last 22 months. The REV drive is currently shipping in ATAPI, external USB 2.0, FireWire, SCSI, SATA and multi-disk autoloader configurations for small and medium sized businesses. According to the company, new REV products can be expected this year, stating that the one million marker is "a great start in less than two years, and we're going to build on that heritage with new products in our REV technology platform."
Sprint gets 1M downloads
Sprint Nextel today said that its customers have downloaded one million songs from the Sprint Music Store, a competitor to Apple's own iTunes Music Store. Sprint launched the service on October 24th of 2005, and while the company charges $2.50 per song versus Apple's 99-cent pricing, Sprint allows customers to purchase songs from a catalog of over 320,000 songs via mobile phones using its "Power Vision" network. Apple, however, reported one million downloads during the first week after launching its service. A Sprint spokesman David Gunasegaram said Sprint Nextel does not intend to compete with iTunes, and that "it's a value-added [service] for our customers." Sprint had not made an estimate of the time required to hit the one million-song mark, according to a report from bizjournals.com.
Legion Arena reaches alpha
Freeverse today announced that Legion Arena for the Mac has reached "alpha" status, and is on schedule to ship this Spring. Created by Slitherine Software, Legion Arena is a Role Playing Strategy game designed on a "massive" scale where players must take control of a small band of warriors and train them to be the mightiest army in the world. Players can buy equipment, choose from over 100 skills, personalize the appearance of squads, and earn experience as well as denari for victories. "Legion Arena takes the best elements of Role-Playing games and puts it in the context of an epic strategic struggle," according to Freeverse. Players can participate as either the Romans or Gauls in over 100 scenarios and with more than 20 unique units. Units include Praetorians, Elephants, and "Naked Fanatics" (pricing and system requirements were unavailable).
iPod skins from cellfan
Cellfan.com announced the availability of its "skins" for iPods. The skins and wallpaper maker now offers ten categories of officially licensed vinyl skin styles for iPods: Sports/Swimsuits, Collegiate, Entertainment, Art, Valentines Day, Music, Military, Comics, StyleSkins, and Nations. The skin is made from a professional-grade vinyl, which is printed via a proprietary process that ensures details and premium images, and is then coated with a glossy finish and custom cut. The skin will not void a device warranty and can be easily removed. The skins are available for all iPod models and cost $13 (which includes delivery).
Fake Apple event hits net
A fake invite today was sent out by a user in Germany. The hoax invite, which read and looked like a real Apple-sanctioned event, was sent to several Mac websites and touted a 'special event' with U2 lead Bono. The fake red invitation said "Please join Steve and Bono" for an "invitation-only event" at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco on March 1st at 10 am. The invite also offered the words "Together we can fight it." Several reports had speculated on a special red iPod from Apple to help Bono's fight against AIDS. "U2's Bono may partner with Apple on a new red iPod in the near future to help promote a new project to battle AIDS. The charity is designed to raise money to help finance the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in Africa, and hopes to convince the world's largest companies to release special red-branded products while offering a portion of the profits to the fund." [updated]
VPN Tracker Client, Intel
Equinux today announced that its VPN Tracker Client is now fully compatible with Apple's recently-released Intel-based Macs. VPN Tracker allows users to connect to remote locations with secure communication using IPsec encryption, and the entire VPN system core has been rewritten for the new processor platform. Version 4.6 incorporates support for NETGEAR FVS338 and FVX538 Routers, as well as the Linksys BEFVP41 VPN gateway. Equinux is offering the VPN Tracker 4.6 update free to all registered VPN Tracker 4.x users, and single licenses start at $90. The application requires Mac OS X 10.2.5 or later.
Equinox Digital Music Distribution announced the availability of Indonesian music on iTunes. The catalog of over 60 Indonesian artists forms Southeast Asia's largest selection of music in digital format, according to the company. It will include little known genres such as Bali rockabilly, Bandung electronica, and Jakarta metal. Distribution agreements have been signed with Musica Studios, Aquarius Musikindo and Pro Sound Records, as well as top indie labels like Aksara Records from Jakarta, Fast Forward Records from Bandung and Electrohell Records from Bali. The music will be available on Friday, February 17 and will feature artists, such as Dewa, Rossa, KLa Project, Homogenic, Netral and Dewi Lestari. "We are thrilled to bring this new and exciting dimension of Indonesia to music fans around the world," said Mark Hanusz, proprietor of Equinox Publishing and Founder of Equinox DMD. "People will soon discover that Indonesia has so much more music to offer than just gamelan."
DigiTunnel VPN Universal
Gracion Software today announced the availability of DigiTunnel Virtual Private Network (VPN) 1.4.3 client software for Mac OS X Tiger. DigiTunnel is a VPN client for connecting to VPN servers such as Windows Server, NT Server 4.0, Watchguard, Nortel, TrendNet, and Mac OS X Server Tiger, using standard PPTP. DigiTunnel creates an encrypted extension of a remote network, making file sharing, email, and Intranet web services available to remote Mac users. The program is now a Universal binary application for Mac OS X Tiger on Intel Macs or PowerPCs, and costs $60.
USB Overdrive, HighDesign
USB Overdrive X 10.4.5 ($20) is a device driver for Mac OS X that handles USB mouse, trackball, joystick and gamepad from any manufacturer and lets the user configure them either globally or on a per-application basis. New features include Universal binary and Mighty Mouse support, with Bluetooth support and a native preference pane coming soon, according to the company.
[Download - 408KB]
HighDesign 1.6.2 ($150) is a 2D CAD and illustration program for Mac OS X featuring advanced vector tools, and many special tools developed to assist the user in the design process. The new version includes support for pen tablets, the ability to search inside text blocks and annotations, enhanced dimensions, printing, bug fixes, and improved stability and updated localization. [Download - 9.9MB]
Better Finder Rename 7.1.5 ($40) is a comprehensive file renaming solution for the Mac. Version 7.1.5 features improved RAW photo fie handling, support for Adobe's Digital Negative format, experimental support for Canon's CR2 RAW format, experimental support for Nikon's NEF RAW format, more date formats, and a fixed startup bug. [Download - [options]]
YourBackup 1.0.0 ($15) is a utility to backup, restore, and transfer the Library folder's data (email, Address Book data, Favorites, etc.) between two computers. Available in English or French, the Universal binary program requires at least Mac OS X Panther. [Download - 688KB]
iKey 2.2.0 ($30) is now a Universal binary. iKey is an automation utility, a program that creates shortcuts to accomplish repetitive tasks. The user picks one or more commands that give the shortcut its functionality, a context in which it runs, and a launcher that defines how the shortcut is activated. New features include added "double key" based launchers, added "USB Device Event" based launchers, an added "Drag by" movement for the mouse, added support for Apple Backup, a new contextual menu, floating menus, date/time based launchers, bug fixes, and more. [Download - 4.79MB]
Pronto Patent 1.1 ($30) downloads patent document page images from the United States Patent and Trademark Office website and automatically creates a single, multi-page PDF of each patent. New in version 1.1 is Universal binary, added download of Published Applications in addition to the Issued Patents, new preferences, and more. [Download - 236KB]
TiVo Desktop for Mac 1.9.2
TiVo has released TiVo Desktop for Mac 1.9.2, its software designed to publish and share digital music, photos, and TiVo recordings between networked TiVo Series2 DVR and any Mac. The latest version brings provides compatibiilty with Mac OS X v10.4. Digital music and photos, as well as the TiVoToGo feature are included with every regular paid subscription to the TiVo Service. While TiVo has already released a version for Windows users that supports TiVoToGo transfers; however, a Mac version with this feature is forthcoming, according to the company. TiVo Desktop for Mac 1.9.2 requires a networked TiVo Series2 DVR, iTunes 3.0.1 or later for music, and iPhotos 5 or later for photos. TiVo states that the latest version of its TiVo Desktop for Mac does not support Apple's new Intel-based Macs.
Front Row glitch fixed
In Brief: Mac OS X 10.4.5, released yesterday, appears to have fixed the well-publicized video glitch with FrontRow software in Apple's Intel iMacs, according to ATR analyst Shaw Wu.... Sports Illustrated is offering eight SI Swimsuit videos on iTunes feature "a more in-depth showcase, including videos on invididual models.... Apple's dual-core iMac notebooks and MacBook Pro desktop PCs will hit store shelves in Taiwan between the end of this month and the middle of March and the new 1GB iPod nanos will be available this week for NT$5,300.... For the second consecutive year, Peachpit and the Pearson Technology Group are recognizing Scott Kelby, who published 11 titles in 2005, as the No. 1 computer book author in the U.S., according to research based on Nielsen BookScan data.... Readers note a new 'coming soon' sign for a new Apple store inside Toronto's Eaton Center shopping mall, the second store in Canada, which one reader speculates may open as early as June 1st.... Virgin Mobile is first European cellular operator to deliver live TV to its customers, a move that could impact the Apple's own move into the digital video world.
OWC lowers RAID prices
Other World Computing today announced lower prices on its Mercury Elite-AL Pro RAID FireWire 800 models, cutting prices by $50 on its 500GB and 1TB (terabyte) solutions. The sleek external aluminum storage solutions utilize the Oxford 912 Chipset and "the leading hard disk mechanisms on the market to provide reliable, high performance storage," according to the company. The FireWire storage solutions are available in capacities ranging from 160GB to 1TB. The drives ship with both FireWire 800 and FireWire 800-to-400 cables, Dantz/EMC Retrospect Backup, Intech HD Speedtools, and a full two year warranty. They are available for $230 (160GB/4MB, $10 drop), $290 (320B/16MB), $330 (400GB/16MB, $10 drop), $400 (500GB/16MB, $50 drop), and $600 (600GB/16MB) and $900 (1TB/16MB, $50 drop).
Microspot Modeler 3.6
Microspot today released Microspot Modeler 3.6, an interactive 3D modeling application that makes it simple to create and render models in real world dimensions as well as "view the results as you are working." The software can be used to produce own furniture items and accessories to add to the items already supplied with the company's Microsoft Interiors product or can be used as a standalone modeler. Version 3.6 adds two new tools and three new palettes to help create animations using camera, objects, lights, the sun, textures and colors. Animation brings designs to life and allows them to be distributed using QuickTime. The software also adds 3ds file import, dramatically increasing the possible items that can be placed into 3D scenes. In addition, the update brings dynamic tessellation, support for translucent objects, and improved Mac OS X Tiger support. It is available for $130 (£80 or €120), while upgrades are $50 (£30 or €40).
Daystar PB G4 CPU upgrade
Daystar Technology today introduced its XLR8 CPU upgrade for the Aluminum PowerBook G4 systems, delivering up to 40 percent more speed for owners of most PowerBook G4 systems. Users place the PowerBook in a provided box, after which shipping, testing, installation and quality assurance is handled completely by Daystar's Apple Certified Technicians. The upgrade uses the latest Freescale PowerPC (7447a/b) processor, improving xBench 1.2 Scores jump from high 20's to over 50. Daystar claims the upgrade makes G4 PowerBooks run over twice as fast as Intel-based systems running current Mac PowerPC applications and that QuickTime encoding is up to 30 percent faster than Apple's first Intel-based iMacs. The XLR8 MAChSpeed G4 Aluminum CPU upgrade is available for $500 (with three-way shipping), and works with most Aluminum PowerBook G4 systems. It runs at either 1.92GHz or 2.0GHz, depending on the original clock speed of the system.
Real vs iTunes
RealNetworks continues to fight iTunes' dominance with its subscription-based download service, which has reportedly doubled its subscriber base since 2004. According to a Forbes report, Real and the growing list of iTunes competitors (Napster, Yahoo, Google, Amazon), are confident that consumers want to pay one monthly fee versus individual payments for digital content. Forbes says that Real now has 1.4 million subscribers compared to its 700,000 customers at the end of 2004. The main issue is reportedly the lack of interesting and compatible iPod-competing devices on which to put the digital content once it is paid for and downloaded.
10M Macs in 2006?
Apple may ship a total of 10 million desktop PCs and notebooks in 2006, doubling the more than 4.5 million Macs it shipped in its 2005 fiscal year. The Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) reports that Apple's major contract makers Foxconn Electronics (the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry), Quanta Computer and Asustek Computer are expected to benefit from the increased sales as Apple transitions to the new Intel-based architecture. Digitimes notes that Foxconn manufactures Apple's Mac mini computers, Quanta holds orders for the PowerBook series and Asustek has orders for Apple’s iBook models. The EDN report further noted that Quanta also manufactures Apple’s upcoming MacBook Pro. Foxconn also manufacturers the CRT-based iMacs, while Quanta produces the flat-panel iMacs.
CRYPTOCard announced today its new Universal binary version of CRYPTO-Server 6.4 for OS X two-factor authentication solution for VPN, LAN, and WWW secure access. The CRYPTO-Server is the authentication hub of the solution and includes several components: CRYPTO-Logon, -VPN, -Web, -Kit, -deploy, -Migration, and -Console. The server creates one-time passwords, and secret PINs as part of its security features. New features include a new machine-to-machine architecture, protection for a mobile workstation even when unconnected from the CRYPTO-Server, and more. A 25-Token capacity Replica Server license costs $625, with a 25-Token capacity Primary/Replica server license starting at $1,250.
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