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Logitech unveils mice, pen
Logitech today unveiled four new laser mice and a digital pen at a CeBIT press conference to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary. The accessory-maker is introducing a special edition of its Logitech G7 Laser Cordless Mouse in Europe that features a compact, mobile black LAN case--making it easy for gamers to take the mouse to competitions while protecting it from the wear of travel. The G7 mouse offers full-speed USB cordless performance, uses 2.4GHz digital cordless technology, features a 2000dpi laser engine, and ships with two lithium-ion battery packs. The MX610 Left-Hand Laser Cordless Mouse is slated for shipment in early April for $60, while the Logitech MX400 Precision Laser Mouse is expected to ship in April for $40. Logitech's V150 Laser Mouse for notebooks will ship in June for $30 (digital pen pricing and availability were unavailable).
Pac-Man released for iPod
The iPodMame project has made it possible for iPod owners to play Pac-Man on their iPod nano or iPod video media players. A subset of the iPodLinux project, iPodMame is trying to bring the MAME game emulator to iPods, enabling users to play classic games on the gadgets. The emulator can currently run Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man on the iPod nano, as well as fifth-generation iPods. Additional games to be supported by MAME include Pengo and Joust, according to Engadget. In early November of 2005, iDoom 1.1 was confirmed to support the iPod nano, allowing Nano owners to play the classic Doom game in full color.
Growing iPod sales
While Apple's iPod has basically cornered the digitial player market in the US with nearly 75 percent marketshare in 2005, the company's ability to expand into international markets, such as China or India, may allow it continue its phenomenal growth curve. TheStreet.com reports that the international market (270%) is expected outpace the domestic market (170%) and that Apple could continue its exponential sales growth if it were able to garner a larger share of the emerging markets, which success has been limited. Apple had roughly 16.5 percent of the digital music player market in terms of unit sales last year, according to a combined data estimate from market researchers iSuppli and NPD. In the US, Apple has relied on tying content to its iPod--especially sales from iTunes; however, the columnist notes that outside the US, most users rely on free content, thus allowing users to buy much lower priced (commodity) music players--potentially keeping Apple from dominating the international markets.
Acropolis goes Intel
GameHouse's Acropolis is now available as a Universal Binary application for native execution on Intel-based as well as PowerPC-based Macs. "In the game, you travel across mythical lands and unearth stunning relics in this lexical adventure from the creators of Word Slinger. Link letters to find words hidden in the grid and glorious treasures will dazzle your eyes. Find long words and unleash electrifying power-ups to aid your quest. A word challenge of epic proportions, Acropolis is legendary fun for the entire family." Acropolis is now available as a digital download for $20. It requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Unported Mac apps
At the Morgan Stanley Semiconductor and Systems Conference, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that over 1,000 applications have been ported to the company's Intel-based Macs, but added that some key software is experiencing performance challenges. "For power users, they are going to notice a difference [in performance]. They may or may not find that acceptable," Oppenheimer said. The CFO aimed to reassure the market that major Mac applications are on schedule to be optimized for the Intel-based Mac platform, according to EETimes Online. "We have commitments from our major developers," Oppenheimer said. "They will release universal versions of their applications--not only Adobe, but also Quark and Microsoft." The executive restated Apple's plan of allowing Intel Macs to run virtual versions of Windows operating systems, and detailed recent security threats for Mac OS X as harmless, proof-of-concept threats that have had negligible impact.
Black mm50 speakers
Logitech today announced new version of its portable speaker system for iPods. The company's mm50 Portable Speakers for iPod are now available in black to match the design of the new black iPod nano and iPod video models. Logitech's white mm50 speakers have become one of Logitech´s most popular speaker products, according to the company. The system features a protective case, an auxiliary input for iPods without dock connector (or other MP3 player), an daptor plate for iPod nano, a pass-through connector for data synchronization, a credit-card sized wireless remote, and optional battery-power operation for up to 10 hours of on-the-go use. The speakers are available for $150 and ship with a 2-year limited warranty.
New Logitech headphones
Logitech today announced its Logitech Noise Canceling Headphones, which deliver premium noise canceling technology for an unmatched price performance. Using Logitech SilentSound noise canceling technology, the headphones filter out environmental noise over a broad range of frequencies, including the sound of a jet engine, a fan, or an office air conditioner. The headphones remove up to 22 decibels, and 92 percent, of background noise -- a level comparable to other noise canceling headphones, even those that are twice the price, according to the company: " "Logitech's headphones outperform other products in their price range, which typically claim to remove 10-18 decibels of noise." They will be available in Europe and in the U.S. beginning in April for $150. Logitech also debuted a black version of its mm50 Portable Speakers for iPod.
Apple storage shining
One blogger is questioning why Apple does not keep people up to date on its progress in the enterprise markets with regard to storage. After its second quarter in 2005, Apple had sold 76 petabytes of storage, collected approximately $78 million in storage sales, and was ranked as the no. 12 storage vendor in the world according to Gigaom.com. By the end of 2005, the company's storage sales were roughly $185 million, and it had moved up to no. 10 overall. "They have done a good job of selling into the small and medium business market," said Robert Cox, vice president of research for Gartner. "They are in a good and a growing market, and have done a good job of building a reliable and easy to use device from commodity components." About 40 percent of Apple's Xserve RAIDs are connected to non-Mac OS servers, and the price-per-gigabyte ratio of the storage solution dwarfs most SCSI storage solutions, costing a fraction of similar products from Dell, HP, and others.
nanoTune for iPod nano
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today introduced the DLO nanoTune for iPod nano. It combines an FM Transmitter, FM Radio and Headphone Amplifier into one convenient unit. The nanoTune's FM Transmitter allows owners to play their iPod nano's music in the car, at home, anywhere there's a stereo. It also adds an FM radio to the iPod nano for on-the-go news, sports and weather updates. Other unique features include a headphone amplifier, an integrated protective case that doubles as a desktop stand, and a 30-pin iPod connector for use with all existing iPod car chargers and most iPod docks. The DLO nanoTune costs $70 and is available immediately.
Blog wars, VectorWorks 12
In brief: ZDNet blogger George Ou has posted a follow-up to Paul Murphy's claims that Apple's recent advisory comprising 40 CVE vulnerabilities should count as just one security issue.... Image Source announced that it has joined the QuarkAlliance program, enabling QuarkAlliance members to purchase Image Source photography directly and receive special member benefits.... Nemetschek North America recently announced the availability of localized versions of VectorWorks 12 for Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and France.... The battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray is heating up as Sony and Lionsgate announce films which will be the first to appear on Blu-ray, and with Samsung preparing to launch the world's first Blu-ray Disc player.... One Voice Technologies today announced that it has added voice enabled commands to access and play Apple iTunes music from within Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005.
iTunes offers TV \'pass\'
Apple's iTunes Music Store on Wednesday took its first step toward a monthly subscription model with a new service called Multi-Pass that lets users buy TV shows on a monthly basis, according to Reuters. "iTunes is launching the service in partnership with Viacom's Comedy Central Network, which is rolling out 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' and 'The Colbert Report' on the service. Fans will be able to buy the next month's series of 16 new episodes via Multi-Pass for $9.99, or to pay $1.99 per episode. Four episodes air each week and viewers can download each episode after it's been broadcast." While the multi-pass' is not a complete subscription model--users can keep the episodes--Apple until now has only offered videos and TV show episodes for $1.99 per episode. [updated]
PodFreq nano for iPod
Sonnet today announces PodFreq nano, a premium FM transmitter that enables wireless sharing of iPod nano tunes, audiobooks and podcasts to any nearby FM radio at home, outside, or in the car. PodFreq nano features an integrated, backlit display and dedicated tuning buttons: users can quickly tune and broadcast to any empty station frequency without having to navigate through menus; in addition, the package bundles most popular iPod nano accessories in one package, including an integrated dock and protective case, car charger, car cradle, and USB 2.0 cable. Sonnet says that the PodFreq nano delivers the highest quality FM broadcast signal using the iPod's line out signal (instead of the headphone jack). The PodFreq nano features a telescoping antenna for increased broadcast range. It is available now for pre-order for $100 and is expected at the end of the month.
Updated Centrino computing
Intel this week debuted the next generation of its Intel Centrino Mobile technology, which is expected to be available next year. Codenamed Santa Rosa, Intel Executive Vice President Sean Maloney outlined Intel's mobile future with advances in its mobile computing platform. Detailed for the first time at Maloney's keynote, Santa Rosa is designed to give users better overall performance and graphics, improved wireless connectivity and improved security and manageability. Santa Rosa is expected to include a more powerful mobile microprocessor, an improved graphics chipset, codenamed Crestline, an 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter (codenamed Kedron), as well as Intel-optimized advanced management and security solutions. The platform will also include Intel's NAND flash-based platform accelerator, codenamed Robson, which enables much more rapid boot-up time and power savings.
NAND flash in notebooks
Users may soon see virtual "instant on" functions in their notebooks thanks to the growing adoption of flash memory--the same memory found in most new iPods. As noted yesterday, Intel this week said that it would begin to use NAND flash memory in its notebook platform to help users achieve faster startup times and achieve some power savings. While NAND flash has been used as memory for digital cameras, cell phones, and MP3 players, the move would mark the first foray for flash memory into notebooks. NAND flash, which can retain memory without power, is the focus of the tech industry as it competes with drive-based storage alternatives. Late last year, Intel announced a joint venture with Micron to produce flash memory chips and said that Apple had prepaid for $500 million worth of flash for its iPod players. It is not known if Apple will incorporate the new flash-based memory into its new line of Intel-based notebooks--the MacBook Pro, which began shipping last month.
Captain FTP 4.5 released
Xnet Communications has released Captain FTP 4.5, the latest iteration of its file transfer software that runs natively on both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs. Captain FTP is designed to combine FTP transfer capability with a user-friendly interface. The software allows local network FTP users to share files directly between each other, and includes tabbed FTP connections with drag-and-drop support for transfers between tabs. A "Transfer Manager" allows users to pause or halt transters in progress, while offering key authentication for for secure FTP transfers. Version 4.5 further reduces memory consumption, fixes more memory leaks, enhances support for existing remote file editors, and offers improved large file support for files exceeding 2GB. Captain FTP 4.5 is available for $25, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Intel WiMax notebooks
Intel is planning to equip its notebooks with 802.11n, a higher-bandwidth WiFi standard, and displayed a combination WiFi/WiMax chip which the company has codenamed Ofer. The chipmaker later this year will introduce Merom, a new dual-core mobile processor boasting 4MB of onboard cache and a 20 percent increase in performance without raising power consumption. The chip is to be based on Intel's latest circuitry known as Core Microarchitecture, and will be placed into existing notebook platforms built on existing platform hardware--codenamed Napa. The new systems will hit the market in time for the holiday season, according to an Intel manager. The next platform upgrade--codenamed Santa Rosa--will arrive early next year and will combine Merom with a new chipset named Crestline and 802.11n wireless module, according to a report from eWeek.com.
Stone Studio on Mactels
Power Manager, Redax
A Better Finder Attributes 4.0 ($20) updates the utility that allows users to modify file information that the finder ordinarily protects, such as creation dates, modification dates, and file flags. Version 4 offers a new detachable/resizable file list drawer with a dynamic information display, simple drag-and-drop installation, and the ability to operate as a stand-alone application or via the optional contextual menu plug-in. The update also offers experimental support for Canon CR2, Nikon NEF, and Adobe DNG raw file formats.
[Download - [form]]
Power Manager 3.2.1 (€20) is software designed to automatically start up, shut down, restart, log out, wake up, and put a Mac to sleep. The new version is available as a Universal Binary, helping users save energy on both Intel and PowerPC Macs. The software enables users to conserve energy, saving time and helping to reduce electricity bills. Power Manager 3.2.1 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. [Download - 408KB]
Podcast Monkey 1.0 (unknown) is a Mac OS X tool designed to create and publish podcasts. No knowledge of XML RSS feeds is necessary, and the application offers drag-and-drop support. Podcast Monkey features include the ability to publish to an FTP server or to a local folder on the Mac, pull-down category selection, and pull-down language selection. Users can simply drag-and-drop to add episodes.
Redax 4.0 ($350) is a plug-in for Adobe Acrobat 6 and 7 that permanently removes sensitive content from PDF documents. The plug-in allows users to select content by drawing boxes around it, or by using Acrobat standard mark-up (highlight, underline and strikethrough) on text. Redax 4.0 supports text and vector or bitmap image redaction, includes improved support for multi-user redaction workflows, offers pattern matching that automatically marks up Social Security numbers, and more. [Download - [form]]
CollectionX 1.4 ($18) is a tool for publishing collections--which can consist of text, images, sounds, and movies--to the Web. Collection pieces are combined together into a Web page from a choice of themes, forming a simple database that collates the elements. The application builds a self-contained folder with the necessary HTML, Flash, media, and XML database. CollectionX 1.4 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 5.9MB]
iTunesJoin 2.0 ($10) is an application and set of AppleScripts that resides in the scripts menu of iTunes, allowing users to join multiple tracks into a single new track. The software can join multiple AAC audio tracks into a new AAC audio file without loss of quality, or can join any set of tracks excluding protected AAC files and convert the joined file according to iTunes import preferences. iTunesJoin 2.0 can also join any set of tracks into a QuickTime movie without loss of quailty that can be played by iTunes. [Download - 1.1MB]
Apple vs. Dell vs. HP
Apple, Dell, and HP are among the finalists for the 2006 Life Science Industry Awards. The Life Science Executive Exchange, an online community of senior executives--together with The Scientist and The Science Advisory Board have announced the finalists and said that the winners will be announced at a cocktail reception on April 3 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. Apple was named a finalist in the "Computer Hardware" category along with rivals Dell and HP/Compaq. More than 2,400 scientists from around the world were independently surveyed by market research firm BioInformatics for the companies that have "made the greatest contributions to life science technology in the past year." The awards recognize those life science suppliers voted 'best-in-class' in each of the 18 categories. Overall, Apple is one of 23 finalists selected from the pool of 'hundreds' of nominations.
One Voice Technologies today announced that it has added voice enabled commands to access and play Apple iTunes music from within Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005. This feature combines Apple's iTunes with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005 to allow music owners to play iTunes music from within their Media Center by using simple voice commands--without any voice training required. The new feature will be included in One Voice's upcoming Media Center Communicator v2.1 release. One Voice's Media Center Communicator is a complete in-home multimedia communications package for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 -- enabling users to speak, using voice recognition, to play and view all their digital content from MP3 music, digital photos, slideshows, videos, live TV and more. Media Center Communicator also comes with a suite of communications features to send and read E-mail, SMS text messaging to mobile phones, Instant Messaging (IM), full motion PC-to-PC audio and video chat and PC-to-Phone calling to any phone within the U.S. and Canada.
Exploit for pre-Tiger Macs
On the heels of recent Mac OS X worms and exploits--some of which have been recently patched--a newly revealed Mac OS X exploit in pre-Tiger systems may allow an application to gain root access after the computer restarts. "Rogue code and trojans resident on OS X boxes prior to Tiger don't have to work overtime to 'get root'. If they're patient and wait, they get it on next boot with no privilege escalation whatsoever. Any process running in an admin account (and sometimes below) can corrupt the OS X boot sequence on such a machine to get arbitrary code to run as root in single user mode." The site provies a "proof of concept" that demos the exploit, which takes advantage of the operating system default settings to check for a (usually non-existant) StartUpItems folder in the local user's Library folder. [updated]
Bookends 9.0.3 released
Sonny Software today released Bookends 9.0.3, a Mac-only bibliography, reference, and information management application designed for students as well as professionals. The update adds color labels for referencs, and allows users to assign command key shortcuts for static groups. Version 9.0.3 incorporates drag-and-drop support for import of PubMed references from a browser, downloading and attachment of PDF files from a browser, and attachment of a PDF from Preview or Adobe Acrobat Reader. Users can assign the keyboard shortcut command-V to paste plain text, and the update adds a restore default font option. Improved action pop-up and contextual menus are included, as well as the ability to enter multiple URLs. Bookends 9.0.3 is priced at $100, or $70 for students. The upgrade is free to anyone who purchased Bookends on or after November 1st of 2004, and the company is offering discounts to users switching from EndNote or other reference management products. Bookends 9.0.3 requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
OnScreen DNA for Mactels
OnScreen Science today announced that its free preview version of OnScreen DNA, a new application for learning about DNA structure and function, is now available as a native application for Intel-based Macs. Designed to give science teachers and learners a fully 3D and dynamic tool for visualizing and understanding DNA, it allows users to rotate the virtual DNA double helix in 3D, identify all DNA components with a mouse click, and zoom in/out to obtain different perspectives. In addition, it also allows users to go through the beginning of the gene transcription learning activity, which is one of six learning activities in the full version, each of which has a corresponding on-screen testing activity (full version only). OnScreen DNA, now in the final testing stages, will be also be a Universal Binary, while OnScreen DNA Lite ($50), which consists of a detailed walkthrough of DNA's structure and the phenomena of denaturation and renaturation, is currently available for PowerPC-based Macs running Mac OS 10.3 or later. A ten-user license is $174.
nova media today unveiled message2net, a Universal Binary application for SMS- and phonebook management. message2net allows to send, receive and manage SMS-messages on a Mac OS X computer using a connected mobile phone and supports advanced features like multipart-SMS, group-SMS and direct Adress Book access. The integrated phonebook management can be used to edit contact information stored on the SIM-card as well as to transfer names and numbers from the SIM-card to Apple's Adress Book back and forth. "message2net is the first in a row of mobile data management applications" states Jan Fuellemann, PR spokesperson at nova media. "We are unhappy with the lack of Mac OS X suppport of the mobile phone manufacturers and hope to fill the gap with our solutions." message2net is available for download today and supports many mobile phones from Motorola, Nokia, Siemens and Sony Ericsson. A demo is available, while the full version is €17.
PCI Expansion chassis
Mobility Electronics has announced a new Magma PCI Express to PCI Expansion Chassis. The Magma PCI Express to PCI Expansion System provides a cost-effective solution for expanding the capability of PCI Express based computers by adding PCI slots. "As computer manufacturers migrate to PCI Express, the number of available PCI slots has been reduced or completely eliminated. However, many companies have a substantial investment in configurations built around conventional PCI and PCI-X hardware." The new Magma expansion system provides an economical migration path to PCI Express based computers while providing a method to protect investments in PCI hardware. The new expansion chassis provides six PCI slots in Magma's standard 4U rack-mount enclosure. The host connection is through a 4 lane (x4) PCI Express host card. A pair of Infiniband cables connects the PCI Express host card to PCI expansion chassis. It is compatible with PCI Express based Windows, Mac OS X and Red Hat Linux computers and is available for $2,000.
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