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Lasso Professional 8.5
OmniPilot Software today unveiled Lasso Professional Server 8.5 (LP 8.5), a free version of Lasso Developer 8.5, new charting software for Lasso, and a new education curriculum package during the Lasso Summit, which is being held in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Version 8.5 brings Universal Binary support to natively running on Intel-based Macs and support for LJAX, new Web 2.0 techniques for modern dynamic web design, including Lasso AJAX tags and JS functions that work together to enable interactive page updates. The new update also brings support for many native data sources including: Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Oracle, MySQL, SQLite, ODBC, Filemaker and OpenBase; builtin LDAP Integration; new prepared statements that allow faster DB operations; shell support; an enhanced Site Admin; and several email enhancements (direct sending to remote SMTP servers, SSL support, improved encoding speed, and better support for attachments). [site not updated]
Apple ships MacBook Pro
In brief: Members of Apple's discussion forum have reportedly received confirmation that their MacBook Pros have shipped, following reported delays on some early orders.... This year's MacGathering keynote address will be delivered by Sinbad, a comedian known for his roles in movies such as Houseguest and First Kid.... Pagesuser.com has opened its store, offering products that help users get more out of the iWork suite of applications.... Altec has unveiled its Altec inMotion iM111 ($100, shown at right) speaker system for portable digital players, offering a "savvy, lightweight design".... Apple is getting some free publicity at the Olympics, as atheletes listen to and promote their iPod during the games in Italy.... Computer Spectrum recently unveiled the PodOLock for iPod mini ($20) owners, an anti-theft system that secures the player in a clear acrylic case.
Analysts doubt Amazon
Amazon is expected to unveil its online music service in the near future, a move that will plunge the online retailer into the digital music industry in direct competition with Apple's iTunes Music Store. Numerous analysts, however, aren't convinced the sales giant can steal Apple's luster off the line. "I don't think [Amazon's prospective store] is a threat at all," Tim Bajarin said, principal analyst with Creative Strategies. "There are a lot of things that Amazon would have to get right for this to work," Bajarin added. iTunes boasted 83 percent of the market for U.S. digital music sales in December of 2005, and reached 14 percent of the active internet in January. "I have doubts that Amazon will be able to displace the iPod's position of dominance in the market," said Tim Deal, an analyst with Technology Business Research. While Amazon could offer its own digital music player to work with its music service, analysts have their doubts the company can stand up to Apple's "coolness" factor, according to a report from TheStreet.com. Bajarin quipped "can you imagine a teenybopper bopping along to his Amazon pod or whatever? That's a stretch for me."
Mactracker 4.0.3 (free) provides detailed information on every Apple, Motorola, PowerComputing, and UMAX Mac OS computer ever made. The software includes items such as processor speed, memory, optical drives, graphic cards, supported Mac OS versions, and expansion options. Version 4.0.3 covers the latest hardware from Apple along with an updated release for iPod that adds the startup and death chimes. The update also provides information on the type of firmware for each Mac model, along with the power provided by its FireWire ports.
[Download - 10.7MB]
Troi File Plug-in 3.0.6 ($70) for FileMaker Pro 8 is a tool for obtaining access to information outside the FileMaker Pro database to the rest of the computer, provided by the functions of the plug-in. Version 3.0.6 fixes a bug that would crash FileMaker, and is a recommended update for all registered users. The new version also cleans up code in several places, and improves the TrFile_Launch function for files residing on a network disk. [Download - 2MB]
OD4Contact ($55) updates the contact relation management software for Mac OS X, adding support for Intel Macs and new task format support based on ICS storage. The software uses Spotlight to manage contacts, tasks, and communications, and integrates with Tiger applications such as iCal. A "Communication Center" module provides insight into communications such as email, phone calls, postal mail, and faxes. [Download - 14MB]
MyProject 1.0 ($15) tracks projects, tasks, and to-do lists. The software features customizable labels to easily change project status, and can send mailing lists or import emails from Address Book. MyProject features a customers list, can email selected customers, and boasts a simple intuitive user interface. MyProject 1.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3.8 or later. [Download - 2.3MB]
iPod Access 3.7 ($15) updates the iPod application, allowing users to play video files from an iPod. The update also adds an option for ID3 Tag transfer for WAV, video, and iFM files. iPod Access copies songs from an iPod back to a Mac, and utilizes the iPods internal database to display song information. The application features instant listing of all iPod songs, offers playlist support, incorporates playlist cloning into iTunes, and more. [Download - 1.6MB]
Symantec protects OS X
Symantec's Security Response Team has confirmed the second Mac OS X worm, noted earlier today by MacNN. Identified as a new "proof-of-concept" worm, OSX.Inqtana.A targets Mac OS X users; Symantec currently categorizes the new worm as a Level 1 threat (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being most severe) and says that the worm spreads through the previously indentified (and corrected) BlueTooth Directory Traversal Vulnerability in Mac OS X. "We have speculated that attackers would turn their attention to other platforms, and two back-to-back examples of malicious code targeting Macintosh OS X this week illustrates this emerging trend," said Vincent Weafer, senior director at Symantec Security Response. Information about the new worm was posted by security firm F-Secure.
Synergy, iBackup, SEEdit
Synergy 2.5 ($10) updates the iTunes accessory, fixing an issue related to using half-star ratings in iTunes 6.0.2 or later. Synergy is a small Cocoa application for Mac OS X 10.2 or later that adds three buttons to control iTunes in the menubar: previous track, next track, and play/pause. The application also provides users with visual feedback about the tune currently playing.
[Download - 1.3MB]
iBackup 5.0.1 (free) is an easy-to-use backup/restore utility for scheduled backups of files, folders, applications, and system preferences. iBackup is available as a Universal Binary, making it compatible with Apple's Intel Macs. Features include scheduled backups, multiple selection of items, the ability to copy only modified items, and more. The software supports Dutch, English, German, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish. [Download - 2.1MB]
SEEdit Maxi 3.7 ($30) updates the XHTML editor, adding an "Insert Color" item to the Insert menu and Anchors to the "Insert Link" tool. SEEdit Maxi features modifiable templates, an advanced tag editor that handles classes, a link creator, syntax checking, and colored syntax. The application supports BBEdit, TextWrangler, and DreamWeaver. SEEdit Maxi 3.7 also includes "Quick Insert CSS," line numbers, line preview, an auto-complete dictionary for text/HTML/CSS, multi-language support, and an RSS news feed tool. [Download - 2.8MB]
DX Toolbox 2.6.0 ($25) searches the Web to gather information on solar and geomagnetic conditions that affect radio propagation. DX Toolbox includes several propagation forecasting tools, and is designed for ham radio operators as well as other radio enthusiasts. The application displays in real-time information such as solar flux, A-index, K-index, sun spot number, X-ray flux levels, X-ray flares, solar wind, and more. [Download - 3.2MB]
Hardware Monitor 3.3 (€7) reads out all available hardware sensors in Macintosh computers, supporting more than 100 different hardware sensors and over 200 hard drive temperature sensors. The application can display and visualize measured values in numerous ways, and can store as well as export readings. Additional supported sensor types include battery sensors on portable computers, voltage sensors, current--or amperage--sensors, fan speed sensors, sensors for pulse-width controlled fans, power/load sensors, and ambient light sensors. [Download - 2.4MB]
QuickKeys X3 ($80) offers flexible tools to automate time-consuming and repetitive tasks. The application includes hot keys, timers, and custom toolbars to allow customization. Version 3 features a redesigned interface, public shortcuts, more logic, more variables, and features shortcuts as files. The update also offers improved recording/playback, subscopes, text tools, printer switching, and more. [Download - [form]]
Daylite 3 public beta
Marketcircle today released the public beta of Daylite 3, enhancing the Mac business productivity management software with over 150 enhancements that offer at-a-glace control of projects, team productivity, and business opportunities. The update offers automatic highlights for past-due task, opportunity and project items, the ability to drag a URL or any other file directly into a Daylite project, opportunity contact or organization, and functionality that integrates data from website forms for consulting inquiries or demo requests directly into Daylite. Marketcircle is engineering Daylite 3 to deliver time-saving business productivity tools that include shared calendars and meetings, project/activity delegation with task completion notification, and multiple pipelining for projects/opportunities. Daylite 3 is available for $150 (system requirements unavailable).
PodOLock iPod anti-theft
Computer Spectrum recently unveiled the PodOLock for iPod mini owners, an anti-theft system that secures the player in a clear acrylic case. Users insert a cable at the top of the case and lock the device to any object using a cable system. PodOLock works with many pre-existing silicone and polyvinyl covers, and users can insert the iPod upside down as well as backwards to prevent usage of the player. When inserted for usage, PodOLock provides full access to the front controls, the bottom port, and all features on the top of the iPod. The acrylic case is expected to ship March 1st for $20, and includes a 5/32-inch steel aircraft cable.
Second Mac OS X worm
Yet another concept worm for Mac OS X has emerged, confirming that the platform is vulnerable to malware--despite the reluctance of many users to acknowledge potential security issues in Mac OS X. The new Java-based concept worm that will soon expire was discovered by F-Secure; it exploits a Bluetooth vulnerability in older versions of Mac OS X Tiger. Although Apple has since corrected the problem in the latest releases of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, some users have chosen not to upgrade or many have not yet upgraded, thus allowing previously discovered and addressed exploits to be leveraged by malware. MacSecurityNews reports that OSX/Inqtana.A tries to spread from one infected system to others by using Bluetooth OBEX Push vulnerability CAN-2005-1333. Users are urged to update to the latest version of Apple's OS X operating system (Mac OS X 10.4.5 was released earlier this week). This is the second worm for the Mac OS X platform, as earlier this week reports of the first worm for Mac OS X prompted a response from most major security vendors and some attention from Apple. [updated]
Free ads for Apple
Apple is getting some free publicity at the Olympics, as atheletes listen to and promote their iPod during the games in Italy. "But the biggest winner of all may have been Apple, maker of the tiny iPod that soared to glory along with Teter. This Olympics, U.S. snowboarders have competed while listening to the personal music device, and skiers, speed skaters and other Olympians from all over the world have been observed listening raptly during practice and before competing.... All of which makes for great press." While Apple said it does not target atheletes, the iPod is a "sponsorship waiting to happen," according to once Olympic Committee spokesperson. "One of the lasting images of these games is going to be these snowboarders with their iPods," said Abraham Madkour, executive editor of SportsBusiness Journal, a trade magazine that covers the sports industry. "It's the perfect form of subconscious marketing."
Show Controller v3 ships
Alien Apparatus Company has released Solo Performer Show Controller v3, an update to its system for controlling the background music, lyrics displays, MIDI effects, and light shows for musicians. The unique system can be controlled by the musician while performing by using a six-button foot controller to control software that runs on both Windows and Macintosh computers. Solo Performer Show Controller plays mp3, AIFF, WAVE, and MIDI files; it can control MIDI effects units, lights that operate using the industry-standard DMX512 protocol or MIDI, and can display lyrics on-screen in a karaoke-like manner. Version 3, which was previewed at the 2006 NAMM show and now shipping, brings a new user interface that improves the flexibility of the viewing options, allowing users to easily save play lists and customize the screen display. It also expands the lighting capabilities from 16 channels using an integrated 32 channel DMX512 light controller. The company also added MIDI-based light control. It is available for $600 and runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Component Video Extender
Gefen today launched its new Component Video Extender, offering an alternative to HDTV accessibility. The system can extend DVD players, satellite television set-top boxes, or any video device with RGB connectors up to 300 feet from the display over a single CAT-5 cable. System hardware includes sender and receiver units, both painted black to blend with system aesthetics, and both run on a single, included power supply. Sender and receiver feature VGA and CAT-5 ports, and the system includes a six-foot long VGA to RGB cable for component connection. Installation is plug-and-play, requiring a simple connection of the system to the video source and the extended display. The Component Video Extender is available for $300.
Altec inMotion iM11
Altec has debuted its latest speaker system for portable digital players, including the iPod. The Altec inMotion iM111 is new portable audio system that offers a "savvy, lightweight design" with slick silver grills and a docking station that folds neatly into the system with the push of a button. With the iPod docked, the iM11 delivers rich, out-loud sound using superior MaxxBass technology for quality bass without a subwoofer. It measures just 8.5" wide x 1.4" deep x 4.3" high and weighs only 14 oz. The built-in iPod docking station can be used for both data transfer and recharging the iPod. It also features an input jack for connection to other audio devices and features more than 18 hours of battery life. The Altec Lansing inMotion iM11 Mobile Audio Dock is now available for $100. The iM11 is made for iPods with color display, iPod nano, iPod mini and iPod with dock connector. Each package includes a power supply, an international plug set, a 3.5 mm stereo cable, iPod docking adapters and a protective carrying bag.
Apple serves DMCA notice
Apple is moving to prevent further discussion of running its Mac OS X operating system on generic Intel-based machines. Apple's legal team has notified OSx86 Project--a site dedicated to getting Mac OS X running on machines not non-Apple-branded machines--that it is in violation of the US DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), forcing the site to close down its user forms and post notice. "We're sorry to report that despite our best efforts, the OSx86 Project has been served with a DMCA violation notice. The forum will be unavailable while we evaluate its contents to remove any violations present. We thank you for your patience in this matter." Apple has gone through extensive efforts to develop and install technology to prevent users from running Mac OS X on computers other than Macs; however, hackers have been able to successfully work around many of the security mechanisms in the operating system and recently posted instructions and discussion of how to alter Mac OS X 10.4.4 to run on generic Intel's. Earlier this week, the OSx86 wesite noted a secret poem from Apple that urged hackers not to work around Mac OS X security mechanisms.
Apple support; iPod TV ad
In Brief: Apple is planning to setup a tech support center in Karnataka, India--following the outsourcing trend in the US and PC rival Dell.... Apple has posted iTunes + iPod TV Ad featuring Wynton Marsalis, which began airing yesterday during primetime TV.... Apple-history.com has been updated to include the new video iPod, the iMac G5 (iSight), the iMac (Core Duo), The PowerBook G4 (Dual-Layer SD), the dual-core PowerMac G5 and the MacBook Pro.... Nisus Writer Express 2.6.1 ($70), a free update to the multilingual word processor for Mac OS X, is a Universal Binary, which allows Nisus Writer Express to run natively on both PowerPC and the new Intel-based Macs.... Apple is selling 3 millions songs per a day--over 30 million in the last 10 days--during its promotional countdown to 1 billion songs.
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