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Spam Sweep 1.4 released
Bains Software today released SpamSweep v1.4, an update to its powerful spam filter for Mac OS X. SpamSweep is an advanced bayesian spam filter with a simple, easy-to-understand interface. SpamSweep seamlessly combines many filtering technologies, including domain and relay blacklists, sender whitelisting, and a bayesian filter to automatically delete spam messages before they're downloaded by your email client. In addition, SpamSweep can notify you when you have new good mail by playing a sound, displaying an alert, or triggering your email client. The update adds the ability to trash messages without marking them as spam, and fixes several bugs. SpamSweep is $25 shareware: it will only filter one account in trial mode.
MacBook protection packs
Marware today announced the immediate availability of its Protection Packs for MacBook in black and white. The Protection Pack for MacBook consists of a hand rest and a keyboard cover. The hand rest is a slim cushion of PVC leather designed to prevent scratches and provide a smooth, padded work surface. Marware says he non-permanent special adhesive allows for "effortless, complete and clean removal" The dual-purpose keyboard cover is made of microfiber--the same material used for lens cloths--and protects against the transfer of dirt and doubles as a screen cleaner. The protection packs are available in both black and white for $20 each.
Apple Stores openings
Apple today announced it is opening two new retail stores in the US later this week. The company will open its third retail outlet in Connecticut on Saturday, July 1st at 10:00 at 100 Greyrock Place in Stamford: the Apple Store Stamford. Apple also announced the opening of a a third retail store in Knoxville, Tennessee: the Apple Store West Town Mall will hold its grand opening on July 1st at 10:00 and is located at 7600 Kingston Pike. Last week, Apple opened a new store in Raleigh, North Carolina and said it plans to open a seventh retail store in Japan as well as recruiting for three new retail outlets in the UK.
GUBA, WB video service
GUBA today announced its new video service featuring Warner Bros. (WB) Entertainment video content, allowing consumers to rent and buy movies as well as television shows online. GUBA is the first U.S. video sharing community to distribute licensed Warner Bros. Entertainment's content online, and is set to compete with Apple's iTunes Music Store for video downloads by offering more than 200 of the latest movie releases. Such releases include Syriana, Good Night and Good Luck, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Everything is Illuminated, as well as catalog titles such as The Matrix, Batman Forever, and Best in Show. Rental prices start at $1.99 per movie for unlimited views during a 24-hour period. Catalog films will be priced at $9.99, while new releases will retail for $19.99 and become available the same day they are released on DVD in stores. Television shows will start at $1.79 per episode.
Geneforge 4 unveiled
Spiderweb Software has announced the upcoming release of Geneforge 4: Rebellion, the next chapter in its fantasy epic adventure. Once again players return to the world of the Shapers, where they explore freely and choose for themselves what side they will fight for. Players can create and mold strange, powerful monsters, and can choose to serve the rebels in a war against the ruling shapers or elect to join the power hungry lords for more power. Players can choose among several sides, and the game offers dozens of different endings. Geneforge 4 is scheduled for release in late 2006 for Mac, and is priced at $30. Geneforge 4 requires Mac OS 8.1 or later.
VPN-1 SecureClient ships
Check Point Software Technologies has released Check Point VPN-1 SecureClient R56 for Mac, enabling remote users to securely access corporate networks protected by Check Point VPN-1 gateways, including Safe@Office and VPN-1 UTM Edge. "[Check Point VPN-1 SecureClient] encrypts and authenticates data to protect against eavesdropping and data tampering. [The software] also extends security to the desktop by enabling security administrators to enforce desktop security policies for remote users." VPN-1 SecureClient R56 for Mac requires Mac OS 10.3 or later, and is available as a Universal Binary to natively support Intel-based Macs. The software is licensed per-user on an additive basis with packages ranging from 25 to 1,000 or more clients (specific pricing was unavailable).
Citigroup upbeat on AAPL
Citigroup has added Apple along with two other companies to its investment research recommended list. The iPod-maker's recent share price weakness signals an attractive entry point into a company with strong fundamentals and a likelihood of taking market share in the PC business, according to Reuters. Citigroup holds a $75 price target on Apple shares, which rose during morning trading. Analyst firm Bear Stearns in mid-June lowered estimates for Apple based on iPod seasonality, but maintained its "outperform" rating on the stock predicting second-half strength. The firm wrote that Intel-based Macs and music will likely drive earnings in the second half of the year, noting that Apple's valuation looked attractive.
Daily vX released
INtex Publishing today released Daily vX, its notebook and journal software with RSS/blogging support. The application features full integration with Mac OS X applications such as Mail, Safari, and iCal. The software is compatible with FileMaker 8, Microsoft Office, and integrates with audio recording for audio notes. Daily vX can also import or export HTML, RSS/blog, XML, Excel XLS, and ASCII formats. Additional features include an integrated formula calculator, classification with the help of intelligent lists, a "QuickSearch" feature that saves search criteria, and the ability to make iCal appointments from notes. Daily vX is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Foxconn breaks labor laws
An iPod manufacturer for Apple which denied previous claims of labor abuse in Chinese plants has admitted to breaking Chinese labor laws, according to one report. Foxconn, a company that manufactures iPods of various types for Apple, was reported to employ mostly female workers under sweatshop-like conditions earlier this month. Foxconn denied the report, however, saying there were "huge discrepancies between the truth and the claims in the report." Apple then began an audit of Foxconn to investigate employee working and living conditions, as well as interviews with employees and managers to ensure adherence to Apple's supplier code of conduct. Chinese labor laws state that companies can ask employees to work no more than 36 extra hours per month. Foxconn admitted that its employees are asked to work more than 80 extra hours each month, according to China CSR.
Business Card Composer 4.0
BeLight Software today released Business Card Composer 4.0, the latest iteration of its do-it-yourself business card tool. The update features more than 100 new card designs, interface changes, and improved badge-production capabilities. Business Card Composer 4.0 improves iPhoto integration, as well as object and text editing functionality. The application includes a new Clipart panel, new editing Tabs in the "Inspector," and Zoom options to fit to width, height, or page. Users can utilize adjustable shadows featuring color settings, as well as the ability to set object position or size manually via Inspector. Business Card Composer 4.0 is priced at $35, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Intel debuts Xeon 5100
Intel today introduced its dual-core Intel Xeon Processor 5100 series, previously codenamed "Woodcrest," for the high-volume server, workstation, communications, storage, and embedded systems. The processors are based on the chip maker's Intel Core Microarchitecture, the same technology used by Apple in its new Intel-based Macs. Apple is expected to debut an Intel-based replacement for its Power Mac systems before the end of 2007, in line with its promise to migrate its entire line of Macs to Intel. The Cupertino-based company has already rolled out a complete family of notebooks featuring Intel chips, along with Intel-based eMac and Mac mini systems.
ComChart SU 9.1 released
ComChart Medical Software has released ComChart-Single User 9.1, its "single user" version of the electronic medical records application. ComChart EMR is a comprehensive electronic medical record program created in 1991 by a practicing physician. The software is designed to facilitate the delivery of high quality medical care, mimic the structure of the traditional paper medical record, and allow physicians to continue their usual work-flow patterns. ComChart 9 is accessible remotely via a Virtual Private Network (VPN), allows users to create a PDF document of a patient's chart, and can track two patient pharmacies. ComChart SU 9.1 is priced at $100 (system requirements were unavailable).
Cocoa, Ruby on Rails
In brief: The F-Script project has posted a document entitled "Exploring Cocoa with F-Script," describing the process of graphically exploring and manipulating the Cocoa frameworks.... Group Logic today announced that Compose System -- a software developer of prepress workflow solutions -- is using the ExtremeZ-IP File Server to meet demands of prepress file sharing from Mac desktops to Windows servers.... Big Nerd Ranch has announced the latest offering of its Ruby on Rails Bootcamp ($3,500) from August 14-18th, 2006.... Delicious Monster today announced the Gamblers' Sale for Delicious Library, offering a secret number of the full version of Delicious Library over the next four weeks while weekly reducing the price.... Sonic Impact Technologies today unveiled its K1 iPod video accessory with "MaxxBass" technology ($300), offering fifth-generation iPod owners a 7-inch LCD display coupled with audio speakers.
Sonic Impact unveils K1
Sonic Impact Technologies today unveiled the K1 iPod video accessory with "MaxxBass" technology, offering a 7-inch high definition LCD display with audio speakers for video iPod owners. MaxxBass technology uses a Waves patented psychoacoustic algorithm, allowing users to hear bass far below the physical limitation of the speakers by taking advantage of the latest research in how sound is perceived, according to Sonic Impact. The K1 is slated for shipment from Apple starting in August for $300.
SQLGrinder 2 released
Advenio today released SQLGrinder 2, an update to the database development environment for Mac OS X. The application is entirely rewritten from the ground up, offering faster overall performance alongside a new schema browser. SQLGrinder 2 features a new SQL library, multiple editor/result set history buffers, and code completion using database keywords. The software includes table, column, and procedure names, as well as client-side result set searching/sorting. Additional SQLGrinder 2 features include sleep detection, table add functionality, drop as well as truncate capability, and improved data import/export. SQLGrinder is usable with Oracle, Sybase, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, or any database that offers a JDBC driver. The software is priced at $60, with upgrades available from version 1 for $20. SQLGrinder 2 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later with JDK 1.4 or newer.
LightWorks 7.6 released
LightWork Design today released LightWorks 7.6, enhancing the 3D graphical software focusing on easy creation of photorealistic imagery. The latest release features "Final Gather" to calculate lighting automatically, an enhanced development framework that allows LightWorks to integrate itself within applications, and new platform support for Microsoft Visual C++ version 8, as well as support for 64-bit Microsoft Windows on Intel/AMD. The software runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and offers many other improvements including enhancements to LightWorks real-time, as well as a range of new materials shaders (pricing and system requirements were unavailable).
Civ IV for Mac ships
Aspyr Media today announced that Sid Meier's Civilization IV has begun shipping in North America for Mac. The game features multiplayer support over LAN, the internet, and "Play-By-Email" for competing or cooperating with live players. A 3D world brings dozens of fully animated units and customizable armies, as well as cities and wonders. Key features of Civilization IV include fast-paced game play for a more streamlined experience, greater accessibility via an easy-to-use interface, a flexible tech tree allowing players more strategic choices for developing civilizations through unique paths, and more. Designed from the ground up for modability, the game includes a powerful map editor with XML and Python support. Civilization IV ships for $50, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
GSC seeks successors
The developer of Game Server Configulator (GSC) tools -- which enable game administrators to run online multiplayer game servers in Mac OS X -- is seeking developers to take over the GSC project. Martin van Spanje stated that due to lack of funds the project may be discontinued, and that the previously announced "RCON Meteor" is also to be cancelled. "I understand many people are using my tools to host their clan wars and it's been great fun making the apps, but these apps are not paying my bills and did cost time and money to make the past few years," Spanje said. GSC tools are currently the only tools available to Mac users that enable them to run online or LAN multiplayer game servers from the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty series.
Bin-it 1.2 released
Acutus Trading today released Bin-it 1.2, a desktop utility that brings the Mac OS Trash back to the desktop. Bin-it features include a floating trash can on the desktop that is not hidden by the Dock, and trash level display that changes the trash icon based on the amount of files in the trash. Multiple trash icons coupled with numerous opacity and size threshholds allow users to further customize the trash, while the can itself is resizable. Acutus Trading also announced that MacZOT.com is featuring Bin-it 1.2, offering the first 150 customers the opportunity to purchase Activation Codes for $2.50, an 80 percent discount. Bin-it 1.2 is priced at $13, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
eMac Repair Extension
Apple has launched an eMac Repair Extension Program for Video and Power Issues. The company's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list applies to 1GHz as well as 1.25GHz G4 eMacs that exhibit a certain video or power-related issue as a result of a specific component failure, which were sold roughly between April of 2004 and June of 2005, according to Apple. Symptoms of the documented problem include scrambled or distorted video, no video, and no power. Affected models fall within the serial number ranges G8412xxxxxx - G8520xxxxxx, YM412xxxxxx - YM520xxxxxx, and VM440xxxxxx - VM516xxxxxx. An Apple technical support representative or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will physically examine suspect machines to determine if the component failure identified for the eMac Repair Extension Program affects the computer and, if so, arrange for the repair. eMac owners can bring suspect machines to an Apple Retail Store, an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or can call the nearest Apple contact center.
'Lack of Clarity' at Apple
One analyst believes that Apple's secrecy is a detriment to the company, cautioning potential investors to shy away from the iPod and Mac manufacturer. Robert Renck of the private research firm R. L. Renck & Co. is one of the few analysts who rates the company a sell because of its inability to provide more color on its products and future company direction, according to Marketwatch. "Renck believes the company's skimpy segment disclosure makes it a 'have-faith, trust me' stock. As a result, he has warned his clients, Wall Street's bullish forecasts aren't without risk for this simple reason: Analysts can't get a true and complete picture of how Apple makes its money." Renck, however, noted Apple is not doing anything wrong other than its penchant for secrecy. ""Without clarity," he said, "analysts can't forecast with any degree, other than to rely on what management says."
Jobs to keynote WWDC
Apple today announced that CEO Steve Jobs will deliver the opening keynote for Apple's annual developer conference, which takes place in August. The company's CEO will headline a team of Apple executives, including Philip Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing; Bertrand Serlet, senior vice president of Software Engineering; and Scott Forstall, vice president of Platform Experience. Apple said that Jobs would offer a keynote preview of Mac OS X "Leopard" on Monday, August 7, 2006, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at San Francisco's Moscone West and that throughout WWDC 2006, developers will receive detailed information and best practices on developing Universal applications that take advantage of the performance of Intel-based Macs, including special sessions on performance optimization using Apple software development tools. The cost of the five-day conference is $1,600 (US) per attendee, with a $300 (US) Early Registration Discount that has been extended through July 7.
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