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Manga Studio 3.0
efrontier today announced the release of the Macintosh version of Manga Studio 3.0, the company's new manga and comic book creation software program designed for professional artists. The company says that Manga Studio contains "everything needed to create high-quality, manga-style comics without the use of other graphic software." The Mac version works with many popular graphic software packages such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop as well as all efrontier graphic software such as Poser and Shade. The company also announced the addition of "Power Templates," which are designed to be used as drawing reference for creating figures for comics and manga and also announced its manga related community web site called "Manga Revolution," which offers forums, galleries, Podcasts and other manga related content and information.
XP coming to Mactels
OsXBook.com has developed software dubbed "BamBios," which allows legacy booting of operating systems on Intel-based Macs. A non-EFI version of Linux can be readily booted using BamBios, and developers are excited about the possibilities of using the software to multiboot several operating systems on the new Mac hardware. "Linux works fine, and we have made good progress with booting an unmodified Windows XP installation." Meanwhile, the "Windows XP on an Intel Mac" contest is boasting a cash prize that has swelled to over $12,500, which may have already been won by one developer. A recent post by a user who is said to be very credible on the "WinXP on Mac" forums has submitted his process to the owners of the site for review, and there is now a thread on the forums asking for testers -- three MacBook Pros, three iMacs, and three Mac minis, according to Ars Technica. As yet no definitive evidence has been released to the public that Windows XP is running on an Intel-based Mac, however. [updated]
NCAA on Apple iTunes
CBS Sports and Apple today announced they will bring the 2006 NCAA Division I Basketball Championship distributed by CBS Corp's College Sports TV (CSTV) to the iTunes Music Store. The companies announced that for the first time ever, college basketball fans can pay $1.99 per game for condensed versions of all the 2006 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball championship games. Customers can also choose the new "Season Pass" feature on iTunes for $19.99, and receive condensed versions of all 63 games the day after they are played for viewing on a computer or iPod. Full-length versions of this year's semifinals and championship game, as well as compilations of buzzer beaters, upsets and memorable championship games from past NCAA Tournaments will also be available on iTunes.
Full iTMS movie, MacAddict
In Brief: Several reports are noting the existence of a full-length feature film -- released in late January and approximately 490MB in size -- on the 'Disney Channel' on Apple's iTunes Music Store, which some say may foreshadow a full blown video download service: High School Musical "follows Troy, a popular high school basketball start and Gabriella, a shy, academically gifted newcomer, who discover they share a secret passion for singing...." MacAddict has been acknowledged by the 2006 Maggie Awards with two nominations for its August and October issues in the Best Consumer Computer Magazine category, as well as a finalist in the categories Best Feature Article for May's "Untwist Your Wrist" and Best Color Editorial Layout for September's "4th Annual MacAddict Geek Quiz...." Living Graphs today released Physics Cheat Sheet 1.0, an interactive graphic calculator for Windows and Mac OS X.... NotePage, today announced a new RSS Scripts Directory containing scripts for managing, manipulating, and converting RSS feeds.... Virus hunters have discovered a new Trojan horse that encrypts files on an infected computer, then demands $300 in ransom for a decryption password.
Fortune on MacBook Pro
A new Fortune review says that while the new MacBook Pro offers a better foundation for the future, users may want to wait until more native applications for Intel-based Macs are available before buying. The reviewer notes that the battery life topped out at 125 minutes while watching a DVD, speed gains from a faster processors (as well as other components, such as memory and the graphics card), the lack of an internal modem, a somewhat limited DVD drive that doesn't record dual-layer drives, and faint snoring sound from the laptop's drive, but concludes: "If I had to replace my current PowerBook G4 right away--and had $2,000 to $3,000 to spend--I would get the MacBook Pro without hesitation. It's the evolved Mac, and it's intelligently designed. But my theory is that if you're not in a rush, it's best to wait for the software to catch up."
Earbud hearing loss
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today said additional research is required to determine whether portable music players--such as Apple's iPod--increase the risk of hearing loss. The statement was made in response to a U.S. lawmaker's request for a review of the issue. Representative Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, sent a letter on January 26th requesting that NIH review research to determine whether portable music players are contributing to premature hearing loss, as well as to recommend what people can do to prevent it from happening, according to a report from Reuters. The NIH said in a letter today that Earbud headphones, like those typically used iPods, project sound directly into the ear canal, while traditional earmuff-style headphones allow the sound to diffuse. "More research is required to determine if a particular type [of earphone] increases the risk," said James Battey, director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders in the NIH letter.
MS Office 11.2.3 update
Microsoft today released Office 2004 v11.2.3 and Messenger 5.1. As announced at Macworld Expo in January, the Office 2004 for Mac 11.2.3 Update brings Sync Services integration, Spotlight support and enhanced Smart Card technology. New support for Sync Services enables customers to sync calendar events, contacts and tasks with handheld devices and other applications that support Sync Services, including Apple's own Address Book. Spotlight support allows users to search Entourage 2004 emails and information, while the enhanced Smart Card technology leverages Apple's Keychain to allow users to digitally sign and encrypt mail.
Guba adds videos to iTunes
Guba today implemented a new feature that allows users to add video to iTunes that is discovered on its service, which makes the content accessible via Front Row. The subscription-based video search engine enables users to search and download video content from Usenet, and is fully compliant with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Guba video content is automatically formatted for iTunes on both Macs and PCs, which is the same format supported by Apple's iPod digital media players. Users can create iTunes podcasts of video groups or searches on Guba, which can be automatically downloaded by iTunes, according to Macworld UK. "By combining Guba with the new Front Row feature, we have been able to reach a whole new level of video-on-demand," Thomas McInerney, CEO of GUBA said.
Google acquires SketchUp
@Last Software today announced that it has been acquired by Google. The company is reassuring users that it will continue on the path it was previously traversing to help 3D architects, builders, woodworkers, gamers, and students. The SketchUp team got to know some Google employees while they were developing the Google Earth Plugin for SketchUp, which ultimately led to the acquisition. "This is one of those wonderful win-win situations; it would have been impossible for us to feel good about this acquisition if we didn't feel our culture, our users and our mission would be in good hands." Google's resources will allow SketchUp to serve its current users better, and Google's reach will allow the company to expose many more people to its 3D software. "'3D for Everyone' is becoming a reality; we're bringing the '3D' part; Google's contributing the 'Everyone.'"
Review, TN Apple Store
In brief: MacNN has reviewed RapidWeaver 3.2.1, Real Mac Software's Web design application designed to create quick, easy websites without the need to learn HTML.... Knoxville, TN may be the site of a new Apple Store as work proceeds at West Towne Mall next to Abercrombie & Fitch, Apple has postings on craigslist and monster.com for retail positions.... An avid Mac developer has launched Wirus.com, a unique music information community website that features albums, reviews, wiki information, news, and forums for artists.... Native Instruments today announced that its Kontakt 2 Tutorial DVD, which offers more than six hours of high-resolution video tutorial, is available in stores worldwide.... Apple's iPod Hi-Fi was recently dubbed Time Magazine's "Gadget of the Week".... Koyono has announced that its first made-for-iPod garment, the BlackCoat Work ($180, shown at right), is on sale via the company's website.
Plaxo for Mac now in beta
Plaxo today announced the public beta of its popular contact management software for Mac OS X. Plaxo for Mac represents "a major step toward the company's vision to offer the first truly universal personal contact management service, accessible on any platform, email client, browser, or mobile device," according to the company. Plaxo now supports full integration with the Mac, America Online, Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. In addition, Plaxo members can build their Plaxo address book by importing contacts from their Netscape, Palm, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail accounts. With the new Plaxo for Mac, users of Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther" and Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" can synchronize their Mac address book with their Plaxo address book to maintain up-to-date contact information. The free Plaxo for Mac, now in beta, allows Mac users to synchronize home and work computers, providing secure access to their information from anywhere, via any web-enabled device.
Wi-Gear unveils iMuffs
Wi-Gear today unveiled its iMuffs MB210 Wireless Headphones for iPod, offering support for the iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod with video. The iMuffs include Clear Voice Capture echo and noise canceling software for voice communications by separating out the voice signals of interest using proprietary signal extraction techniques. The headphones employ CSR's BlueCore3-Multimedia (BlueCore3-MM) silicon for enhanced Bluetooth connectivity and support for native music compression CODECS. BlueCore3-MM supports the advanced audio distribution profile (A2DP) and audio-visual remote control profile (AVRCP) which allow the wearer to control playback of their music via the ergonomic headset controls. The iMuffs ship with a compact Bluetooth dock adapter that allows users to stream music to the iMuffs from a range of 10 meters, and the earphones can simultaneously connect to both a mobile handset and an iPod via the adapter. The headset will automatically pause music playback to alert the user to an incoming call, who can then decide to accept or reject the call with a touch of a button on the headset. Once the call is finished, music playback automatically resumes.
Linotype FontExplorer X
Linotype today officially launched FontExplorer X 1.0 for Mac OS X. Following a discrete pre-launch towards the end of 2005, the new font management tool allows users to sort fonts and view samples as well as provides access to Linotype's comprehensive online library for seamless licensing and downloading of fonts. FontExplorer X 1.0 supports the management of all fonts a user has on their computer, regardless of the source. The company said that the open standard platform is designed for the management and licensing of fonts and that third-party foundries are able to offer their fonts via the same seamless platform (for a minimum transaction fee). Linotype has already reached agreements with foundries such as primetype, P22, Font Diner, x and y Ltd., Dutch Fonts, and Virus Fonts -- all of which will now offer their fonts for licensing via FontExplorer X 1.0 as well. The software is free and currently available for Mac OS X only (a PC version is in development).
Reason 3.0.5 for Mactels
Propellerhead Software today announced that Reason 3.0.5 with native support for Intel-based Macs is in the works. Reason offers sound professionals one-step loading of complex, customizable instruments/effect setups, a new instrument-packed soundbank, instant integration with MIDI keyboards/controllers, a new intuitive file browser, and a suite of mastering tools. The company says Beta testing of the new version is planned to start the week beginning March 20th, though a shipping date has not yet been set. The new version will run natively on Intel Macs, but will provide no additional features or enhancements, according to the company. "Preliminary performance tests provide astonishing results," Propellerhead wrote. Additionally, the Rewire and REX libraries have been updated to support Intel-based Macs. Reason 3.0 is currently shipping for $500, with upgrades from v2.x priced at $130. It requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later, although Mac OS X 10.3 is strongly recommended.
Jobs plans India trip
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is likely to visit Bangalore, India in the first week of April, following reports that the company will build a R&D and tech support facility in the country. CIOL reports that Jobs will launch Apple's facility, which will remploy about 3000 people by 2007: "this is a rare visit for Jobs who is usually conservative in his travel plans. The only Asian country he has visited in his official capacity is Japan. Jobs has special affinity to India. He had spent four years in the 1970's as a 'hippie spiritual tourist' visiting holy places in the country. Jobs admires India as one of the fast growing economies in the world. The company currently accounts for just around four percent market share in India for its products."
Wireless iPods coming?
A new report from UK-based research firm Generator says that Apple's iPod business could soon put second-tier mobile phone makers in the shade. The report says that Apple could ship as much as $4.2 billion in wireless iPods (WiPods) by 2010. "A lot of people don't realise that Apple's iPod business is already bigger than Sony Ericsson. What's more, Apple is the market leader in a growth market while Sony Ericsson is a second-tier player in a mature industry," explains Andrew Sheehy, Research Director at Generator. The report says that Apple's growing industry and volume of shipments allows it to negotiate competitive deals with traditional mobile phone suppliers, such as miniature cameras, video recorders and wireless modems.
TextWrangler 2.1.2 (free) updates Bare Bones' free text editor. The updated version of the popular, general-purpose text processing tool includes bug fixes for reported issues and other minor refinements. TextWrangler 2 features multi-file search/replace with Grep pattern matching, function navigation and syntax coloring, and support for remote FTP/SFTP servers and AppleScript. It requires Mac OS X 10.3.5 or later. [Download - 9MB]
Webstractor 1.6 ($80) now runs natively on Intel-based Macs, giving customers the ability to quickly automate the research and retrieval of Web content to create perfectly customized documents and reports. Webstractor 1.6 can capture every page visited online to view offline, track captured pages in a single document with thumbnail previews, monitor web sites and automatically capture important content, search quickly through every web page in a document, and crop, highlight and edit Web content, quickly and easily. It is a free update and requires Mac OS 10.3 or later. [Download - 4.9MB]
BurnAgain 2.2 ($25) is a new version of the CD recording tool that allows users to burn multiple sessions into one volume and can incrementally update CD-Rs. Version 2.2, which is available as a free update, includes other bugfixes and improvements. The software supports aliases, burnable folders, the option to hide previously burned files, the ability to change the CD title on each burn, and more. BurnAgain is available in English, German and French localizations and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 676KB]
EvoCam 3.6 ($25) is an update to the webcam software for Mac OS X that can stream video, view and record video from network cameras and video servers, create timelapse movies, or can be used as part of any home security system with its configurable motion sensors. Version 3.6 is Universal, adds standby recording, adds support for more network cameras and video servers, and more. Upgrades are $10; it requires Mac OS X 10.4 and QuickTime 7. [Download - 1.2MB]
iGallery 1.4 (free) updates the quick and easy web photo gallery creator. Users can quickly create a real web photo gallery from jpg, gif, tif and psd files. It offers options for image/thumbnail size, layout colors and fonts (with style sheet), slide show options, compression options, and more. Version 1.4 offers image rotation in 90-degree steps, drag & drop support for images/folders, and a tool to fix JPEG's Mac Type/Creator. [Download - 1.3MB]
EyeControl 1.2 (donationware) allows users to to remotely program your EyeTV from any networked Mac -- either on a local network or the Internet. Users can view recorded programs, sort the listing, create/edit/delete scheduled or recorded programmes remotely, play files locally in full screen direct from EyeControl, browse TV Guides on-line. It includes scripts to add programmes direct from guides and supports text in languages other than English. It requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 755MB]
Ovolab Phlink 3 released
Ovolab today unveiled the third major release of Phlink, its innovative telephony software for Mac OS X. Phlink 3 adds new features such as call snooping, advanced multiple voice mailbox features, remote control of Elgato's EyeTV. In addition, Phlink 3 is now available as a Universal Binary for use on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs. When call snooping is active, Phlink records all the conversations that take place on the phone line, regardless of whether Phlink has answered the phone or not. The new Voice Mailbox Setup wizard can create an unlimited number of voice mailboxes that allows users to record their own greeting and choose which email address to forward the voicemail messages to. Ovolab Phlink 3.0 is available immediately for $150, while upgrades to version 3 are $40.
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