Microsoft has acquired new digital photography software application iView, giving the software giant a mid-to-high-end photography application that in some ways rivals Apple's Aperture. iView MediaPro is more powerful than Apple's consumer-level iPhoto, positioning Microsoft to offer a Windows-based alternative to match the Cupertino-based company's multimedia software that ships with new Mac systems. iView touts its application as a visual database for all media files, enabling users to create a customized, centralized and searchable repository to manage a wide variety of digital files. iView MediaPro is priced at $200 and works with both Mac and Windows systems, whereas Apple's Aperture is only compatible with Mac OS X and is priced at $300.
Apple today released the MacBook Pro 17-inch SMC Firmware Update, adjusting fan behavior in the 17-inch MacBook Pro. Many MacBook Pro owners reported overheating issues shortly after the units began shipping, and the OSx86 Project recently put out a call to all MacBook Pro owners experiencing heat issues in an effort to draw Apple's attention to the high running temperatures of the laptops. Apple's firmware update prior to this latest release appeared to fix some overheating issues in MacBook Pros, which was said to address intermittent boot issues at the time of its release. Users began reporting an increase in the usage of the fans in their notebooks within hours of the update, however. The update released today requires Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later, and is only designed for 17-inch MacBook Pros.
Apple is offering more refurbished 13.3-inch Intel Core Duo MacBooks, each featuring a built-in iSight camera, as well as refurbished 17- and 20-inch G5 and Intel Core Duo iMacs. Apple's refurbished White 1.83GHz MacBook with 512MB of memory, a 60GB 5400 rpm SATA hard drive, and a SuperDrive is available for $949, a savings of $150. The White 2.0GHz MacBook with 512MB of memory, a 60GB 5400 rpm SATA hard drive, and a SuperDrive is priced at $1,099, $200 off. The company's refurbished Black 2.0GHz MacBook with 512MB of memory, an 80GB 5400 rpm SATA hard drive, and a SuperDrive for $1,299, a $200 discount.
Apple has released Mac OS X 10.4.7, addressing numerous security issues in the operating system, as well as specific fixes. The update affects Mac OS X 10.4 through 10.4.6, as well as Mac OS X Server 10.4 through 10.4.6. Mac OS X 10.4.7 includes security fixes to AFP, CLamAV, ImageIO, launchd, and OpenLDAP. The update is available on Apple's support downloads Web page, as well as via Mac OS X's built-in software update feature. [updated]
CaptureWorks today released JobCapture 6.0, the latest version of its utility software for both Mac and Windows systems. The update offers a History Palette for the operating system as well as Document Shepherding designed to provide a new approach to asset management and organization. "JobCapture is designed for organizations that need to accurately track time and activities in computer-intensive workflows. The software brings a new level of precision and completeness to records by using a patent pending method to track document-specific work activity in a automated way that almost impossibly satisfies both users' needs for privacy and control over their time records and managers' needs for accurate, timely data." JobCapture is priced at $200 per tracked machine, which includes the Manager and Antenna software. The application requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
In brief: MacNN has reviewed Web Design in a Nutshell ($35) from O'Reilly Media, a book covering everything from Windows XP to C++.... MacNN has also reviewed the PodFreq FM transmitter ($100, shown at right) from Sonnet Technologies, offering iPod owners a way to play audio content through a home FM stereo.... Apple has launched a localized version of its "Get a Mac" ad page for UK visitors.... 22Moo is currently completing testing of its VG-SD+USB Video Glasses System ($250), lightweight glasses that support direct connectivity to Apple's video iPod as well as other A/V output devices.... Boinx Software has placed entries in its slideshow showcase on "virtual display," depicting one father's recollection of a perfect day along with the crowning of a Nigerian chief.
PodShop today announced that it is celebrating Independence Day a week early by launching its new website, as well as a special sale price on iDrops, its cleaning, polishing, and scratch-removing product. "A refresh of the podshop.com website has been long overdue, and I felt it was time to break free of the boxed software site creation programs and start over from scratch," said Christopher Anderson, founder of PodShop. "I wanted to give the site uniqueness and character." The new website was designed and coded by the company's sole employee featuring XHTML and CSS exclusively. To coincide with the launch of the company's new website, PodShop is also offering its iDrops solution for cleaning, polishing, and scratch removal for $12 until July 4th.
AVerMedia Technologies today announced Mac compatibility for its AVerVision Document Camera software, enabling Mac users to connect their AverVision document camera to any Mac system. Users can control the camera directly from a computer, and the AVerVision 300i as well as the AVerVision 300p already offer Microsoft WHQL compatibility. "The compatibility of our AVerVision software with the MAC operating systems is key to expanding the availability if our exceptional AVerVision presentation products to the large market of MAC users," said Winny Ledin, Product Manager for AVerMedia Technologies. "Combined with the official Windows WHQL XP logo certification, the AVerVision Document Cameras can now be used with virtually every computer available." The software is available for free via download from Aver.com.
Formac ElektroniK today introduced its Disk Mini line of storage solutions, a portable hard drive for Apple and PC systems boasting a dual interface. The Disk Mini range of bus powered drives offer USB 2.0 as well as FireWire 400 connectivity in 60GB, 80GB, and 120GB capacities. The drives are housed in a lightweight, shock resistant casing that features a sleek black color. Disk Mini drives are pocket-sized, measuring 3.25 x 5 x 0.75-inches and weighing just over six ounces. The devices require no software installation when used with Mac OS or Microsoft Windows, and are designed for users who require convenient, portable storage. Disk Mini drives are available for £80 (60GB), £90 (80GB), £115 (120GB) excluding VAT. All Disk Mini models are slated for shipment in early July.
Parallels today released Parallels Compressor, an easy-to-use universally compatible management tool designed to help companies utilizing virtualization conserve hard disk resources and optimize performance. The application reduces the size of virtual hard disks up to 50 percent or more by automatically deleting temporary and unnecessary files within Windows, compressing the actual virtual hard disk image file. Parallels is making Compressor available to any individual or enterprise using Parallels, VMWare and Microsoft solutions running Windows 2000, 2003 and XP. The company plans to expand its portfolio of tools over the coming months, and pledges to make those tools compatible with all of the industry's major virtualization solutions, including the open-source Xen hypervisor, and a broader variety of operating systems. The software is available in two versions which include Compressor Workstation ($50) and Compressor Server ($180).
Coca-Cola is inking a deal with Apple to offer Coca-Cola-sponsored content on iTunes, and is offering its customers discounts for the online store. Music has been one of the primary battlegrounds between Coca-Cola and rival soft-drink maker Pepsi, with insiders believing that the iTunes deal could help Coca-Cola maintain its edge in the competitive UK soft-drinks market, according to DigitalBulletin. Pepsi in 2004 entered a similar partnership with Apple as part of a US promotional effort, promising to distribute 1 million songs through Apple's iTunes.
GizMac Accessories today began shipping its 4U XRackPro noise reduction enclosure rackmount cabinet, designed to use and store equipment such as Apple's Xserve and Xserve RAID systems. By reducing noise levels, the 4U XRackPro2 rackmount cabinet allows users to place computer, audio/video, medical, and other equipment in areas that require low noise levels. The 4U XRackPro rackmount cabinet features locking front and rear doors, protecting the rackmount systems from unauthorized tampering. The unit ships with legs instead of wheels to provide extra stability, which offer adjustable height with a protective material to help avoid leaving marks on furniture. Optional carpet-safe casters will be optional for customers who require mobility. The cabinet is available for $500.
TransMedia today announced the upcoming launch of automatic PC-to-PC-to-Cell Phone Sync for files, contacts, and calendars as well as new browser based applications, Glide Calendar, and Glide Write. Glide's synchronization technology is designed to provide up-to-date, on-the-go access to users' photos, music, videos, documents, contacts, and calendars from PCs as well as SmartPhones. Users can sync or access home files, work files, contacts, and calendars through the "Glide Effortless" service. Glide Sync supports manual synchronization of home as well as work computers to automatically back up, convert, and protect files (pricing and system requirements were unavailable).
Many iPod shuffle owners are becoming increasingly frustrated with the small players, and are banding together with the hope that Apple will recognize their problem. One student from Vancouver, British Columbia has already purchased his fifth iPod shuffle, two of which failed due to a symptom he calls "the flashing orange and green lights of death." A thread on Apple's own support forum which is titled similarly has seen more than 36,000 visits since late October, according to PC World, spanning more than 550 posts from disgruntled Shuffle owners experiencing the generic "error." While some users are able to fix their Shuffles by following Apple's reset instructions via iPod Updater, others report that their small iPods aren't recognized by the updater software or iTunes, eliminating the option of resetting or restoring the player.
Apple has said that the state of a Mac OS X-compatible open source x86 Darwin kernel is "in flux," and while Apple stands to lose hardware sales to software pirates, there are ways to counteract piracy without closing Mac OS X, according to one blogger. "Mac developers and power users no longer have the freedom to alter, rebuild and replace the OS X kernel from source code," wrote Tom Yager of InfoWorld. "Stripped of openness, it no longer possesses the quality that elevated Linux to its status as the second most popular commercial OS." Yager notes that users in demanding fields such as biosciences and meteorology frequently hack operating system kernels to trim, alter throughput, and open the resources of massive grids. "Even if I don't need to hack the kernel, knowing that I can affords me a level of self-sufficiency and insulation from vendors' whims that fixed system software, such as Windows', does not," Yager adds.
Dejal Systems has released Caboodle for Mac OS X, a new application that allows users to easily store, organize, and track information. "Everyone comes across information that they want to refer to later. Maybe gifts you've received or sent, product serial numbers, recipes, directions to someone's house, a photo of your pet, or anything else. Caboodle is a tool to help store and organize such varied bits of information," the company said. Users can arrange the items in an outline-like hierarchy, and include both structured fields and free-form text and pictures in each entry, along with web links, lists, tables, PDFs, and any other kind of file as attachments. In addition, entries can be encrypted to hide sensitive information. The Universal Binary application requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. It is available immediately for $15 (single-user) or $20 ("Household") license or $100 (site license).
Power Support today introduced the newest addition to its line of iPod accessories: the Kimono Cases for iPod with video. This new line combines intricate designs and stunning aesthetics with the functionality and attention to detail that has made Power Support a top-seller of accessories in Japan for Apple products for over a decade. "Inspired by majestic temples, gardens and palaces, Kyoto craftsmen and artists have been admired the world over for creating beautiful works of art for thousands of years. Within Kyoto lies the historic district of Gion, uniquely known for its living art, the Geisha. Famous for their beauty and revered for their mastery of dance and performance, the colors and elegance of the Geisha can now be wrapped snuggly around the userís iPod." Expected to ship next month, the Kimono Case will be offered for $40 and is compatible with either iPod video.
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AirMap iOS app for drone operators
Provider of airspace information and services for unmanned aircraft AirMap announced today the release of the AirMap app for iOS and Apple Watch. Operators can now access low-altitude airspace advisories, create flights, file digital flight notices to over 80 airports, and manage unmanned aircraft. Building on the success of AirMap's Digital Notice and Awareness System (D-NAS), the AirMap app brings to iOS devices a fully integrated airspace management solution for recreational and commercial drone operators. The app is free. http://apple.co/21wCadD
BlackBerry video calling available on iOS
BlackBerry has made its video calling feature available to Android and iOS users. The company reports limited availability of the new cross-platform feature for now, citing "because this is the first time we're launching BBM Video calling, and we want to monitor performance, gather feedback, and iron out any kinks that may arise before we roll it out globally." http://blck.by/1ruu4pC
Apple loses iPhone brand exclusivity in China
Apple has lost its exclusive rights to the 'iPhone' brand in China, the Beijing Municipal High People's Court has ruled. According to Quartz, Chinese company Xintong Tiandi is now free to continue selling its non-smartphone "IPHONE" branded products, which include smartphone cases, among other leather goods. The Chinese court ruled that Xintong Tiandi, which registered the "IPHONE" trademark in 2007, could continue to use the trademark because Apple did not start selling the iPhone in China until 2009. Apple also could not prove that Xintong Tiandi's ongoing use of the trademark would cause Apple material harm. The latest ruling by the Chinese government follows its recent decision to shut down the iTunes Movies and iBooks Store. http://bit.ly/1SNhRmB
Bowers & Wilkins bought by EVA Automation
High-end UK audio equipment maker and fixture in Apple retail stores Bowers & Wilkins has been bought out by a California "smart home" tech firm, EVA Automation. Fomer Bowers & Wilkins owner Joe Atkins will continue as CEO of the joint venture, with EVA Automation founder Gordon Yu acting as executive chairman. The two companies said the merger will combine EVA's AV technologies and Bowers & Wilkins' acoustic engineering talents to grow the now-combined firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it is expected that the Bowers & Wilkins brand name will continue. http://yhoo.it/1SLt6zj
Micromat MacCheck released for free
Micromat, the developers of TechTool Pro, today announced a new troubleshooting utility called MacCheck. The new product can perform a series of critical tests on Macintosh systems, helping to isolate what might be wrong with a particular computer. The program quickly tests many of the critical systems in a Macintosh computer, including RAM, I/O, Volume Structures, Partition Maps, Batteries, and RAID systems. MacCheck is being offered free of charge and is available for download immediately from the Micromat website. http://bit.ly/1SKFwaV
Hyundai Sonata 2016 gains CarPlay
The 2016 Hyundai Sonata can now be upgraded to incorporate Apple's CarPlay mobile technology, which augments the built-in infotainment system in the car to incorporate many iPhone features, such as Apple Maps and Siri voice control of navigation and other smartphone functions. The upgrade is accomplished through an SD card owners can obtain from their local Hyundai dealer. Although not disclosed, the upgrade was said to cost "a small fee" when it was initially announced in December of last year. http://bit.ly/1TJzK8f
TimePorter carry tote for Apple Watch
Twelvesouth today began shipping TimePorter, a new travel tote and portable charging stand for Apple Watch that that carries a 6m Apple Watch charging cable, extra Watch bands, USB chargers and more. The case also incorporates the Apple Watch Charging Disc, converting your case into a charging and display stand. It is available for $50 in white or black. http://bit.ly/1SCQM4T