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Meetro for Mac OS X
Meetro today launched Meetro for Mac OS X, the world's first location-aware social messenger, for the Apple's Mac OS X. Built on a custom location-aware client-server architecture, Meetro has combined the best features of social networks and messengers while stressing physical location--a combination commonly referred to as a 'social messenger'. Meetro says it has created, from scratch, an entirely new software representing the new standard in online and offline social interaction. Designed to facilitate real-time meetings with people locally, Meetro bridges the gap between traditional messengers and the next-generation local meeting place. Every time a user logs into Meetro, it generates a new list of people based on your profile and physical presence. It features worldwide location support, fully integrated profiles into the messaging experience, a 'face pane to viewing who's online visually, and realtime updates now supporting Growl. Meetro is available for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP.
Core 2 Duo benchmarks
Preliminary benchmark results for the Core 2 Duo, the next interation of the CPUs found the first-generation Intel-based Macs, show significant performance improvements over an over-clocked AMD FX-60 and will be bring better power efficiency, according to ExtremeTech: "The Core microarchitecture has us excited. Those performance numbers look extremely promising. Remember, the AMD-based system we tested against was roughly the same performance as the FX-62, but the Core 2 Duo was not the highest-end Extreme SKU. Rather, it was the CPU one step down. And it still put a serious hurt on the AMD system. It's worth noting that the Intel systems we tested on were noticeably quieter than the overclocked FX-60s. We weren't in an environment where we could make any real noise measurements, but it was a salient reminder that the Intel chips have a maximum thermal rating of 65W, while the AMD chips are rated at 110W. It looks from these early tests as if Intel's boasts of dramatically better performance with dramatically less power utilization are going to come true." Apple may use the new Core 2 Duo chips for future versions of its MacBook, MacBook Pro, Intel iMac, and Mac mini.
Bluetooth Firmware 1.2.1
Apple today released its Bluetooth Firmware Update 1.2.1, which improves Bluetooth performance and reliability issues. "When the update package is downloaded, the Bluetooth Firmware Updater application will be launched. Follow the on screen directions to update your Bluetooth Firmware. Please note that if you were successful in installing Bluetooth Firmware Update version 1.2. This update is not needed." It is 1.4MB in size and requires a PPC-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later.
One week at an Apple Store
Spending a few hours or the day at the local Apple Store can be a chaotic, but interesting experience, but spending an entire week is something that was never possible before--at least until the opening of Apple's 24-7 flagship Fifth Avenue retail store in Manhattan. Following the bizarre trapped in an elevator experience, one blog is documenting an attempt to spend an entire week at Apple's new Manhattan store, as the exploration of a completely new kind of experience: "What would happen if a daring young go-getter were to confine his or herself to the 24-hour Apple Store for seven straight days? Trapped in that glass cube, with nothing to breathe but the smug exhalations of satisfied iMac buyers, could this person handle the strain of non-stop exposure to iPod Nanos, to people griping at the Genius Bar? Or would they starve to death? Perish due to exhaustion?"
Apple Store in Boston?
Apple plans today to present several building designs for its "signature" Boston store at a hearing before the Back Bay Architectural Commission, according to a report by The Boston Globe. The Cupertino-based company is seeking to demolish a small building at 815 Boylston St.--that currently houses a Copy Cop store and construct--so that it can build a three-story building with a glass facade across from the Prudential Center. The new store, designed by San Francisco architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, would be just over 22,000 square feet and feature a spiral stair case in the middle of the store. Following concerns last March that previous designs for the proposed Apple Store structure didn't fit well with the rest of neighborhood, the company has proposed several designs that would add vertical columns and divide the faade in nine sections. The revised gives the facade a boxier look, appearing to fit in more with adjacent buildings, according to the report.
Sandvox, Jiggler, Wx, Mori
Sandvox 1.0.2 ($40) updates the website creation tool for Mac OS X, replacing the Style menu with a full-featured Format menu. Users can enable or disable autosave, and the update includes a preference to automatically maintain a backup of open site documents. Sandvox 1.0.2 also includes incremental publishing.
[Download - 14.4MB]
Jiggler 1.3 (free) is a freeware utility that keeps Macs awake through lengthy tasks when it would otherwise fall asleep by jiggling the mouse periodically. The latest iteration of Jiggler runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and adds the ability to jiggle the mouse when iTunes is playing to ensure music isn't interrupted. [Download - 168KB]
Wx 3.42 ($10) is a major update to the Universal application that displays weather information from the U.S. National Weather Service in a transparent window, as well as the dock. Version 3.42 offers an expanded live radar console with panning, national radar mosaics, and five radar types. [Download - 808KB]
BetterZip 1.1 ($20) updates the archiving tool, allowing users to quickly inspect archives without first extracting their contents. BetterZip 1.1 features faster archive creation, the ability to create tar archives, support for password encrypted zip files, and German localization. [Download - 954KB]
iVisualize 1.5 (unknown) enables iTunes to utilize Mac OS X's Quartz Composer graphical routines, creating graphical effects that react to music and display song information. The update offers five visualizations and a template, as well as clips bait for users wanting to try their creative hand. [Download - 9MB]
Mori 1.2 ($30) is a digital notebook designed to ease the process of recording and organizing notes. Mori 1.2 features improved performance, a more flexible user interface, and better support for user-defined columns. The update also offers a widescreen view layout option that enables users to collapse the interface into a simple text view in one click. [Download - 2.3MB]
Mopar launches podcast
Mopar today launched a new podcast and website dedicated to playing videos of Mopar fans, allowing enthusiasts to showcase their lifestyles online. "Videos of cool cars, decked-out garages, car club events, professional and grassroots racing action [...] will be premiered on Mo-Pod.com," Mopar stated. Videos are viewable on the website as well as Podcast subscription services, such as Apple's iTunes and Podcast Alley. Site visitors can view clips from a library of Mopar videos, which are freely available for download to computers and iPods. Mo-Pod.com features six categories which consist of Racing, Mopar Life, "MoRides," "Xtreme," Spotlight, and Heritage. Enthusiasts whose submissions are chosen for the Mo-Pod.com podcast will receive a free one-year subscription to Mopar Magazine.
iTunes U adds schools
Apple's iTunes U service for Universities has seen widespread adoption in the recent past, with three more schools joining its ranks from the end of May through June. Duke University's Fuqua School of Business in North Carolina today launched a website that allows users to download Fuqua speeches, interviews, and conference presentations to their iPods. North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in early June became the first North Carolina system to join iTunes U. The faculty of NCCU has elected to utilize iPod technology in their delivery of instruction to teacher education majors, according to Newswise. The Daily Review reports that Ohlone College announced that in September it will make class lectures and other educational content available on iPods, joining iTunes U with an increasing number of educational institutions moving to digital instruction over the internet.
iTunes patent suit
Apple and David Contois, owner of Contois Music & Technology, faced off in front of a federal Judge today to define the terminology that could be used in a forthcoming trial. Contois -- who is seeking an injunction against the iTunes Music Store along with unspecified damages and legal fees -- is suing Apple for stealing his patented software. Apple denies the claims, and has filed a suit against Contois for its own legal expenses. In the U.S. District Court in Burlington, attorneys for both sides argued about the terminology to be used in the upcoming litigation. The final decision regarding the terminology could provide an advantage to one side, should the case make it to trial or if Judge William Sessions III is asked to make a decision based only on legal filings, according to the Associated Press.
Consumer-rights protection agencies in Denmark, Norway and Sweden have extended the June 21st deadline for Apple to respond to concerns over iTunes' terms of service. Earlier this month, the consumer agencies in the three countries ruled that Apple's iTunes breaches Scandinavian consumer laws, according to Reuters. "We know our Norwegian colleagues are prepared to take the issue to court and of course if they get a ruling in Norway it will be very interesting for us because our consumer laws are so similar," Marlene Winter at Denmark's National Consumer Agency told Reuters. The agencies have now given Apple until August 1st to respond to claims that its leading music service violates rights guaranteed to consumers under other laws. Apple could be forced to changes its terms of service or close down iTunes in those countries.
MusicGremlin takes on iPod
MusicGremlin today unveiled a competitive portable music player coupled with an integrated online digital music service that stands to threaten Apple's iPod/iTunes dominance. MusicGremlin has partnered with Amazon.com in its launch, offering both an iTunes-like pay-for-play system allowing consumers to purchase individual tracks for ownership at $0.99 each, as well as a subscription-based service that allows users to pay a flat monthly fee of $14.99 for unlimited rental access to the company's music library. That library boasts more than two million songs from the four major music labels, in addition to thousands of independent labels. MusicGremlin users don't need a PC to utilize the service, either, as the device offers Wi-Fi connectivity to download songs from any wireless access point. The Gremlin MG-1000 hard drive-based player ($299.99) offers 8GB of storage capacity -- or roughly 2,000 tracks -- and connects to Windows PCs for transfer. The software for the player is incompatible with Mac OS X, however, leaving Mac users to fend for themselves.
iTools goes Universal
Tenon today released iTools 8.2.2 with the latest Apache 2.2.2 as a Universal Binary for both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs. Apache 2.2.2 is a maintenance update to the 2.2 Apache fork, and is considered the Apache gold standard. iTools 8.2.2, also a maintenance update, includes updated packages -- phpMyAdmin 2.8.1 and MySQL 5.0.18, with Apple's suggested configuration for improved MySQL performance -- as well as new Apache modules to enable both legacy Macintosh applications and various other Web tools to run with iTools 8.2.2. The updated version of iTools supports Maxum's NetCloak, SmithMicro's WebDNA, OmniPilot's Lasso, and Macromedia's ColdFusion packages. iTools is available in two separate packages: The Universal Binary version is priced at $350, while an iTools bundle that includes Post.Office and WEBmail with one year of support is priced at $1,000.
Budget 5.1 released
Snowmint Creative Solutions today released Budget 5.1, offering a simplified setup and improved help for new users. Budget is a personal finance tool for Mac OS X offering a flexible, user-friendly alternative to register-based finance programs. Users can choose different levels of usage from basic to advanced, and can dynamically adjust pay allocations with more options as well as instant feedback. Revised, streamlined help topics are designed to ease the process of getting started with the software, and the update includes various maintenance fixes for reported issues. Budget 5.1 is a Universal Binary that requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later, and is a free update for existing users. The software is priced at $30.
Refurb MacBook Pros
Apple is offering its refurbished 1.83GHz MacBook Pro notebook with 512MB of memory for $1,599, 21 percent off the original price; the 2.0GHz MacBook Pro boasting 1GB of memory for $1,999, 21 percent off; as well as its 2.16GHz MacBook Pro featuring 1GB of memory for $2,199, a 22 percent discount. The company is selling refurbished iMac G5 systems with SuperDrives which include the 17-inch 2GHz iMac with a 128MB ATI Radeon 9600 graphics card for $949, a savings of $550; the 17-inch 1.9GHz iMac with a 128MB DDR ATI Radeon X600 Pro graphics card for $999, a $300 discount; its 20-inch 1.8GHz iMac with a 64MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics card for $1,099, an $800 savings; its 20-inch 2.0GHz iMac with 512MB of memory, a 250GB SATA hard drive, and a 128MB DDR ATI Radeon 9600 graphics card for $1,249, a discount of $550; as well as its 20-inch 2.1GHz iMac with 512MB of memory, a 250GB SATA hard drive, and a 128MB DDR ATI Radeon X600 XT graphics card for $1,299, a $400 savings. Apple is also offering refurbished Intel Core Duo iMacs with SuperDrives which consist of the 17-inch 1.83GHz Intel iMac with 512MB of memory, a 160GB SATA hard drive, and a 128MB GDDR3 ATI Radeon X1600 graphics card for $1,099, $200 off; and the 20-inch 2.0GHz Intel iMac with 512MB of memory, a 250GB SATA hard drive, and a 128MB GDDR3 ATI Radeon X1600 graphics card for $1,399, $300 off the original price.
FuzzMeasure Pro, FruitMenu
FuzzMeasure Pro 2 ($250) is a major update to the audio and acoustical measurement application for Mac OS X. FuzzMeasure Pro 2 supports waterfall plots, reverberation time measurements, and improved impendence measurement capabilities. The software also includes numerous improvements to its core signal processing components, which enhance calculation precision and measurement capabilities.
[Download - 2.1MB]
SuperDuper! 2.1.2 ($30) adds Growl support to scheduled and manual backup operations of the disk copying utility. Users can set up numerous types of notifications to trigger when copies succeed and fail: pop-ups, mail, or sending a notification directly from one Mac to another over the network. [Download - 2.7MB]
FruitMenu 3.6 ($10) is a "haxie" offering users the ability to customize the Apple Menu and contextual menus. FruitMenu 3.6 is a free update for all registered users, offering native compatibility on Intel Macs as a Universal Binary. The software includes a new automatic version checker, as well as a redesigned preference pane interface. [Download - 2.9MB]
Super Get Info 1.3 ($20) enables users to change folder and file permissions, as well as ownership on AppleShare server volumes. The update is free to all registered users, and runs natively as a Universal Binary on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. [Download - 836KB]
GraffitiButton 2.0 ($30) enhances the button class for the REALbasic integrated development environment, offering 28 custom and standard button styles. Version 2.0 button styles include Windows 16- and 32-bit, Windows XP, Aqua, KDE2, Mac Classic, OfficeXP, Gel, 3D Hover, Faded, WordPress, FireFox, Oval Popup, Image Button, TabXP, Inset Orb, Plastic Orb, and more. [Download - 103KB]
AddressX 1.3 ($20) allows users to access a Microsoft Exchange Global Address List (GAL) directly via Apple's Address Book application. The update offers native compatibility for Intel Macs as a Universal Binary, uses the same Exchange server setup code as Groupcal, updates the uninstaller, and adds a preference allowing the AddressX Daemon to quit along with AddressX. [Download - 2.3MB [form]]
The Missing Sync for PSP
Mark/Space has released The Missing Sync for Sony PSP 1.0, designed to extend the usefulness of the PlayStation Portable. The software features native video encoding on Intel and PowerPC-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and offers syncing for iPhoto albums as well as iTunes playlists. Users can create stylized Web pages from Address Book contacts, iCal events/tasks, notes from the included Mark/Space Notebook application, and Safari bookmarks. The Missing Sync includes WebSnacks, a website downloader for offline viewing of RSS feeds, blogs, and favorite websites. The application also features a saved game backup/restore tool, as well as tracking for multiple Memory Sticks with support for separate content. The Missing Sync for Sony PSP 1.0 is available for $30, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later.
ImageMachine for OS X
Visifex Software today launched ImageMachine for OS X, which provides easy, drag & drop batch image processing. It supports over 70 file formats, and features 33 image filters. ImageMachine leverages Apple's Core Image library, allowing users to use their GPU to apply a broad library of image filters, ranging from simple color shifts to drastic geometric transformations. ImageMachine is multithreaded, so it will take full use of newer Macs with multiple cores and/or CPUs. ImageMachine's Universal Binary runs natively on both Intel and PPC Macs. ImageMachine uses Mac OS X's internal image reading capabilities where available, and in the case of more obscure formats, ImageMachine uses the powerful ImageMagick library to read a vast number of formats. It includes 33 image filters, which range from simple scaling, to artistic color effects and geometry transformations. A demo offers full functionality with a watermark restriction, while the the full version is $20. [corrected]
SATA card for G5 Macs
WiebeTech has announced its new low-cost solution to add SATA connectivity to Macs or PCs with standard PCI/PCI-X expansion slots. The new card is the first introduction of the TeraCard Series of host adapters from WiebeTech. The new TCS1-1 adapter card has one external and one internal Serial ATA port to allow connection of SATA devices--on two independent channels. The card, a 32-bit, 33/66MHz fully compliant PCI host interface, supports bootable, hot-swappable storage devices on a Mac as well as deep sleep under Mac OS. It ships with two brackets to support low profile PCI and regular size PCI in one card. The TCS1-1 is priced at $60 and is available now.
Freeverse ships WingNuts 2
Freeverse today announced WingNuts 2: Raina's Revenge, a sequel to its original arcade action game title, "WingNuts: Temporal Naviagator". "WingNuts 2 takes you on a fantastic journey to over 30 real, (and not so real), locations and time periods as you hunt Baron Von Schtopwatch and the mysterious 'Raina'. Play through time as you encounter enemies from the 1920s into the distant future. With over 100 real world aircraft, helicopters, blimps, tanks, ships and submarines, you'll never run out of things to shoot!" WingNuts 2 features dozens of "Boss" planes and ground units, a plethora of power-ups (including Super Mecha Mode), and a Flying Aircraft Carrier as he base of operations. Utilizing OpenGL particles and CoreImage time dilation effects, the game provides over 30 levels. WingNuts 2 is a Universal Binary that will run natively on all new Intel-based Macs. It requires a 800MHz G4 or better, 32MB of VRAM, 512MB of RRAM, and 950MB of hard drive space. An electronic download is avaialble for $30.
ITC investigates Apple
Creative Technology today announced that the U.S. International Trade Commission has voted to institute an investigation of Apple for the iPod's infringement of U.S. Patent 6,928,433, which Creative refers to as the "ZEN Patent." As noted last month, Creative claims that the ZEN Patent covers the user interface in Creative NOMAD and ZEN portable digital media players as well as those manufactured by Apple, including the iPod, iPod nano and iPod mini. The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Creative Labs, Inc., of Milpitas, CA, and Creative Technology Ltd. of Singapore on May 15, 2006. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain portable digital media players that infringe Creative's ZEN Patent. Creative has requested that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist order.
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