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Apple Shake support
Apple on Tuesday released Shake 4.1 with a lower price tag, but also cancelled support contracts for current Shake customers. The company is offering Shake license holders three options in place of previous support contracts, according to FxShare. The first option allows customers to continue with end-user email support, as well as SDK support for the duration of their Maintenance contract. A second option allows customers to cancel their Maintenance and receive a pro-rated refund for the unused portion. Existing software licenses will continue to function according to the Software License Agreement. Maintenance customers that wish to cancel their contract must do so by July 23rd, 2006.
TaskTime4, RSS Menu
TaskTime4 4.1.8 ($20) is a free update to the time tracking software that fixes a problem with saving preference settings. TaskTime4 4.1.8 removes excess length from invoices, fixes a status icon bug that occurred in Project Manager if the status menu text was edited, allows any length of message in the Personal section of the Preference window, and adds a field for client Web addresses in the Product Manager window.
[Download - 3.9MB]
RSS Menu 1.8.2 (donationware) improves the system wide menu RSS/Atom feed reader that also supports podcasts. RSS Menu 1.8.2 fixes a crash when using the iTunes integration, repairs a bug when enabling iTunes or Safari integration, adds a tooltip when hovering over an episode that shows comments of a podcast, and modifies preferences which are set when the software is launched for the first time. [Download - 886KB]
kTunes 1.0d43 (Lite $40, Pro $110) brings native compatibility for Intel Macs as a Universal Binary to the Karaoke application designed to run shows. kTunes allows users to rip, mix, and play CD+G media. The pro version supports management of multiple venues, singers, and rotation, while a new burning plug-in allows users to make backups as well as mix discs. [Download - 2.6MB (Lite), 2.6MB (Pro)]
FlickrExport 2.0 (£12) is a plug-in for iPhoto that provides a direct export interface to the Flickr.com online image service. Version 2.0 supports uploading to existing Flickr photosets, displays a list of tags used on Flickr that users can add to photos before uploading, and offers the ability to copy the title/description back to iPhoto if it has changed inside FlickrExport. [Download - 1.4MB]
SQLiteManager 2.0.8 ($40) updates the SQLite database management tool, adding a new "InstantQuery" technology for faster queries, full SQLite2 as well as SQLite3 support, and full REALSQL Server support. The update also offers browse tables/views/indexes, the ability to rename tables or add columns to existing tables, and a built-in virtual machine analyzer. [Download - 5.5MB]
FirmTek ships SATA card
FirmTek today began shipping the SeriTek/2SE2-E, a Serial ATA host adapter fully compatible with the new PCI Express bus architecture found in Apple's Dual-Core G5 Macs. The adapter offers two external SATA II ports at up to 3Gbps, enabling users to incorporate individual drives or RAID arrays as high-performance storage on Dual-Core systems. The card includes hot-swap compatibility that allows users to easily move drives or volumes from one system to another, and is solely intended for use with Apple's Dual-Core G5 systems. The new card design is incompatible with older PCI-X and PCI slots, and is priced at $100.
Apple 4th in BW IT top 100
BusinessWeek (BW) today unveiled the results of its Information Technology 100 list, declaring Apple no. 4 among the top contenders and the only U.S. company to place in the top 10. In choosing the 100 participating companies, BusinessWeek begins with financial data from Standard & Poor's, trimming the contestants to information-technology companies and adding non-U.S. companies suggested by a network of foreign bureaus. Further filtering results in the remaining group of companies which are ranked on four criteria: return on equity, revenue growth, shareholder return (given equal weight), and total revenues (which was weighted). Hon Hai Precision, the parent company of Foxconn which manufactures iPods for Apple, claimed the no. 2 spot above Apple, while Google placed 13th ahead of Quanta Computer, which came in 31st. Microsoft earned the 37th spot, trailing Sprint Nextel and Asustek Computer. [updated]
MGS offers free Web games
Macgamestore.com (MGS) has launched a new page where gamers can play free Web-based games. The page currently offers 15 Web games that consist of newer titles along with clones of classic games, separated into categories of arcade, card & board, and puzzle games. Visitors need only a Java-capable browser such as Apple's Safari or Mozilla Firefox to play, and Macgamestore will add more free games on a daily basis over the coming months. Currently available arcade games include "Thing Thing 3," "Alex In Danger," "Astroys," "Turbo Spirit XT," "Fish Tycoon," "Jump," "Table Hockey Tournament," and "Space Vaders." Card & board games thus far consist of "Mah-Jomino," and "Mahjong Towers Eternity." Puzzle games include "Flip Words," "Gem Shop," "Quatrix," "Magic Vines," and "Mystery Case Files: Huntsville."
Disc Makers, Mac
Disc Makers today announced that its entire line of automated duplication systems are now compatible with Mac systems. The Elite2 (shown at right), Elite4, Elite Micro, and Pico systems allow users to create master disc content to duplicate as many discs as desired. The Mac version of the Pico 25-disc unit is the lowest priced automated DVD/CD duplicator for Mac users, and the Elite4 system is the only Mac-compatible four-drive CD/DVD duplication/printing system on the market, according to Disc Makers. The company offers a 30-day guarantee, 50 free Disc Makers Ultra 16x DVDs, discounted pricing on future blank media purchases, and free technical support for the duration of the product warranty. The automated duplication systems all require Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later, with pricing ranging from $700-4,800.
DLO unveils Nano FlipFolio
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today unveiled the FlipFolio Leather Case for iPod nano. The protective case allows Nano owners to carry the player with the headphone port on the top or bottom, while a transparent front offers full access to the clickwheel in either configuration without removing the device from the case. FlipFolios come in black, white, and pink with contrasting stitching. The soft leather enclosure includes openings for the hold switch, and features a sewn-in belt clip allowing users to secure the device on a belt, purse, or clothing. DLO's FlipFolio Leather Case for iPod nano is available for $25.
Apple products in EU
Apple is halting the sale of several products overseas to comply with a European Union directive that prohibits the sale of electronics which contain hazardous materials. While most of Apple's products comply with the directive on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (the RoHS directive), a number of items will be pulled for lack of compliance. Apple's iSight, AirPort Base Station With Modem, AirPort Base Station Power Over Ethernet & Antenna, iPod shuffle External Battery Pack, and all versions of the company's eMac will be withdrawn, according to AppleInsider. "Because of our precautionary approach to substances, Apple was able to meet many of the RoHS restrictions long before the deadline of July 1, 2006," the company wrote on its environmental materials website.
Lineform 1.1 released
Tribar Software has released Lineform 1.1, a new graphical editor designed for creating posters, diagrams, and drawings. The software features an easy-to-use interface, Bézier editing tools, Boolean operations, typesetting, and artistic strokes. Lineform 1.1 includes Core Image filters that combine the power of Quartz as well as Core Image, and the update features SVG import/export. The graphical editor includes AppleScript support, Spotlight support, a new media browser, and a status bar that provides contextual help as well as information. Lineform 1.1 also features group editing, effects, blend modes, opacity control for groups/graphics, and group clipping. Lineform 1.1 is priced at $80, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Keynote Photos 2.0
Jumsoft has released Keynote Photos 2.0, a set of photographs designed to add texture to Keynote presentations. "When you're reaching deep within and you want more than any theme can offer, Photos 2.0 gives you that added edge. Simply select the Jumsoft photo right for you, adjust opacity to suit your purposes, and add the headlines, text and graphics necessary to convey your ideas." Jumsoft photographers utilize a wide array of texture families, from feathers to metal, offering numerous choices suitable for a broad range of subjects and situations. Keynote Photos 2.0 is compatible with both versions of Keynote, Pages, and Microsoft PowerPoint. The collection is priced at $40. [corrected]
C4 Engine updated
Terathon Software recently released an update to the C4 Engine, enhancing the ability of developers to create 3D game titles on both Mac and Windows systems. C4 Engine Build 123 offers settings for texcoord scale as well as offset under the Texcoord pane for the material editor, and includes separate settings for the "s" and "t" directions. The update supports dual diffuse texture maps, and the material editor has a new popup menu at the bottom of the General pane that allows users to select how the two textures are combined. Additional changes to Build 123 include a list of scene export tools maintained in the Tool Manager, the ability to register a scene export tool, and changes to the handling of right mouse button events. The C4 Engine is priced at $100, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later with a GeForce FX or Radeon 9500 or better graphics card. [updated]
Murder over iPod
A 17-year-old boy has been convicted of second-degree murder and robbery in a July stabbing of a 15-year-old boy in an attempt to commandeer the teen's iPod. Darren Samuel was convicted after a three hour deliberation and faces up to 25 years in prison, according to a report from the Associated Press. Christopher Rose, 15, was stabbed in the chest after he and his friends refused to hand over an iPod to another group of youths who demanded the digital player. Samuel admitted during trial that he was with the group who robbed Rose and his friends, but said he "froze" when the attack began and did not participate. Samuel laid blame on his cousin Aaron Farrell, 20, who will be tried on murder charges in July.
SoonR supports Macs
SoonR today announced Mac support of the SoonR service with SoonR 0.1.1840. SoonR now allows Mac users to securely search their computers with Spotlight, access as well as share files on Macs, and make Skype calls globally using a standard cell phone. "We are excited to extend the power of the Mac to mobile phones." said Martin Frid-Nielsen, CEO of SoonR. "Users have been asking for this capability, and we fully understand the necessity and importance for any Web-based services company to be Mac compatible." The service enables users to convert Microsoft Office documents into an interactive thumbnail view on any cell phone, requiring no installation on the phone itself. SoonR for Mac includes SoonR Desktop and SoonR Talk, with SoonR Organizer due in August. The Mac version is currently in beta, requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and is available for free via download.
USB video capture device
Daystar Technology has launched the XLR8 ProView USB, a full-screen USB 2.0 video capture device for Mac systems. The XLR8 ProView USB delivers 29.97 FPS (frames per second) video via QuickTime, and accepts audio/video from any standard device through S-Video or standard RCA connectors. The device can capture in raw video format, or from any QuickTime-compressed format. ProView USB captures 640 x 480 resolution boasting 29.97 FPS with no dropped frames, and digitization of video from any standard analog device allows users to capture video from VHS, BetaMax, DVDs, or CDs directly onto a Mac. The XLR8 ProView USB package includes the USB 2.0-to-S-Video/Composite device and an RCA Stereo to Mini-jack for audio, while QuickTime handles the audio/video. The XLR8 ProView USB is priced at $99, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.5 or later.
Groupcal 3.40 released
Snerdware today released Groupcal 3.40, updating the software that allows users to access and manage Microsoft Exchange calendars from Apple's iCal. Groupcal 3 supports synchronization of events as well as tasks, reservation of people or resources for meetings, and enables users to view free or busy time. Groupcal 3.40 allows multiple capabilities to better integrate invitations, features the ability to support customized Exchange-server logins, and includes numerous bug fixes. Groupcal 3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and is priced at $60.
Intel fab shifts to 65nm
Intel today announced that it is manufacturing more than half of its PC and server processors with 65-nanometer (nm) technology during the opening of a chip fabrication plant in Ireland. Apple utilizes the same technology in its Intel-based Macs, and is expected to unveil a new Intel-driven Power Mac before the end of 2006. The facility is one of three Intel factories globally using the 65nm technology, which allows the company to produce smaller, faster chips that consume less power when compared to older technology, according to Macworld. Intel is leading the movement toward 65nm processes on a large scale, with its $2 billion plant located outside Dublin now operating at high volume. An Intel executive said the company will continue to invest heavily in the latest technologies, as well as in building new plants.
iTunes DRM bill approved
French lawmakers today agreed on the softened draft law that threatened Apple's iPod/iTunes ecosystem. The original bill was dubbed "state-sponsored piracy" by Apple, and the latest version of the law includes a loophole for digital music vendors that offers record labels more leverage. Under the new bill, a regulatory authority will hold the power to resolve disputes by forcing companies to license their exclusive file formats -- such as Apple's FairPlay and Sony's ATRAC3 -- to competitors, but only if the restrictions they impose are "additional to, or independent of, those explicitly decided by the copyright holders," according to the Associated Press. The U.S. government backed Apple in its fight against the new law in late March, saying that companies need to protect their intellectual property.
Barcode Producer 3.9
Intelli Innovations has released Barcode Producer 3.9, an update to its barcode generation software suite for Mac OS X. The software supports Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, or QuarkXPress, allowing users to print barcodes using an integrated Symbology Guide. Version 3.0 adds new Barcode Document Icons, support for OpenType fonts with a window that provides font names and PostScript name equivalents for reference purposes; and the ability to save Margins and Control Characters between project launches. In addition, it offers 8 pixel-wide borders and can automatically provide barcode value verification. Barcode Producer 3.9 now provides a quicker test response, and includes updated IntelliScanner product information. Barcode Producer is $150 for Mac OS X 10.2 or later. This release is a free upgrade for all Barcode Producer 3.x license holders.
Internet Cleanup 4.0
Smith Micro Software today announced Internet Cleanup 4.0 for Macintosh, a new version of its software that protects users' privacy and enhances their Internet experience. Internet Cleanup's comprehensive solution blocks users private information from being transmitted over the Internet without their approval, helps manage Instant Messenger (IM) chat logs, selectively blocks Flash ads, and gives users greater control over their Internet experience. The Universal Binary runs natively on Intel-based Macs; protects personal information (account numbers, passwords and any other sensitive information); scans any Mac for evidence of surveillance Spyware and safely removes it; allows users to create search criteria that can filter out or find email attachments based upon file name, sender, file size, date, time and more; offers selective history editing/cleaning; deletes instant messaging chat logs and form auto-fill elements; offers schedules to delete unwanted files periodically; and more. It is available for $30 or as a $15 upgrade.
ElevenBC for Intel Macs
Eleven Wireless today launched the new version of its business center computer solution, called ElevenBC. This software update is optimized to take advantage of Apple's new Intel-based Macs. ElevenBC enables hotel properties to deploy a fully functional, managed computer for guests to use for business or personal use. ElevenBC's software manages key aspects of the computer system, allowing hotels to customize the look and feel of the guest experience. Additionally, after a guest ends their session, ElevenBC electronically shreds that guest's private documents, files and other settings. "With the click of a mouse, guests can switch between Mac OS X and Windows XP. Both Windows Office and Mac Office are available for use by guests, allowing them to create and edit documents, presentations and spreadsheets in whichever environment they prefer. A color laser printer allows guests to easily print their documents and available USB ports let guests take their data with them," according to the company.
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