Sony today debuted the VRD-MC3 and VRD-VC30 recorders, featuring "computer-free" synchronization with the company's new Hard Disk Handycam camcorders. The "DVDirect" recorders enable real-time recording of home video footage as well as TV shows from digital video recorders to DVDs without the need for a computer. Both devices allow for quick video transfers from a digital camcorder via USB, and support consolidation of several mini-DVDs into a single full-size DVD by directly connecting to Sony DVD Handycams. The VRD-MC3 model also enables computer-free recording of digital still images directly from flash memory cards to DVD, enabling users to store photos or create a slideshow for playback on a home DVD player or computer DVD drive. Both recorders are slated for shipment in October for $250 (VRD-MC3) and $200 (VRD-VC30).
Divine Fiat today released Photo Options, its latest theme for Apple's Keynote presentation software designed for professional and amateur photographers. Photo Options consists of two themes entitled "Darkroom" and "Light Box," along with Photo Icons as related extras. "Photo Options is about versatility for the user. All of the photo cutouts for both themes were created using David Astling's amazing command line utility, svg2key, so the look and feel of the themes can be altered without losing the photo cutouts. Simply change the attributes of the cutout layer in the master slide." Darkroom and Light Box are each available for $20, while the Photo Options theme set which includes both themes is available for $50.
iPods, digitial music players, and other portable storage devices are being targetted by a larger number companies, according to a new survey. A new Ipsos Reid poll, conducted on behalf of Sun Microsystems of Canada, says that Canadian businesses are trying to minimize business risks by monitoring and managing the portable storage devices their employees bring to work. The survey found that almost half (49%) of senior leaders in mid- and large-sized businesses across Canada have established policies to prevent personal laptops and USB keys from entering the workplace and nearly 30 percent have banned MP3 players, such as iPods. The companies appear to be wary of employees stealing customer information with forty-two percent of surveyed executives saying that the greatest negative impact a security breach will have on their operations is theft of customer information.
Nvidia will reportedly manufacture the video chips in the next version of Apple's next-generation video iPod, adding 3D graphics functions to the forthcoming version of Apple's music and video player. A new analyst report says that Nvidia has scored a major design win over Broadcom for supplying the next-gen iPod video chips. The current-generation "5G" iPod uses PortalPlayer's MP3 processor and Broadcom's multimedia chip; however, according to the EETimes, the chip designs for future players from Apple have been up for grabs. The report also says the video has been delayed and is now due out in the first half of 2007, although it does not provide any further details. "Based on our analysis, we believe Nvidia is designed into the next-generation vPod socket at the expense of Broadcom," said Satya Chillara, an analyst with American Technology Research (ATR) in a new report. ATR has upgraded Nvidia to a "buy," while downgrading Broadcom to a "hold."
Apple is offering refurbished MacBook Pros with glossy displays--with a $300 savings on both the 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo MacBook Pro (512MB/80GB) for $1,699 and the 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo MacBook Pro (1GB/100GB) for $2,149. Interestingly, Amazon.com is offering a slightly older 1.83GHz MacBook Pro (512MB/80GB) for $1650 after a $150 mail-in rebate. In addition, non-glossy refurbs of the MacBook Pro with 512MB of RAM and a 80GB drive are available for $1,550 (1.83GHz model) and $1,699 (2.0GHz model), while the 2.0GHz MacBook Pro with 1GB RAM, 100GB drive and 256MB Radeon X1600 is only $1,949 (and the faster 2.16GHz model costs $200 more at $2,149). All refurbished Apple products come with free shipping and a standard one-year warranty. Apple also offers extended AppleCare Protection Plans for customers who purchase refurbished equipment, lengthening the warranty to three years.
nova media today unveiled launch2net 1.2 with improved statistic features. launch2net turns a mobile device into a wireless internet connection tool for a Mac OS X computer and supports most mobile devices and mobile network operators worldwide. Version 1.2 allows users to track the data volume transferred or the time spent online to keep control of the online costs by monitoring the current connection details as well as the time and data usage of a whole period. The length of a period can be defined individually. "The launch2net statistics window flips like a dashboard. First you see the connectionīs time, upload and download speed," according to the company. launch2net requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later and runs on both PowerPC- or Intel-based Macs. It costs Ä75 (and is a free upgrade).
freiheit.com today announced its new, free service that enables the encryption of e-mails when used with Google Mail, Yahoo! Mail und Hotmail/MSN. The encryption application, freenigma, is based on Web 2.0 technology (Ajax) and can be integrated into any webmail program as a Firefox extension. Google Mail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail/MSN are the first to be supported, but plug-ins are also planned for Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes and mobile devices. freenigma is platform-independent software that runs in a Firefox browser under GNU/Linux, Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows XP. The company said that it will provide an open application programming interface (OpenAPI) to allow software developers to extend freenigma and integrate it into their own applications. freenigma, which will be launched as a free software service available worldwide, will be available as a public beta at the beginning of August.
Mark/Space is shipping The Missing Sync 2.5 for Windows Mobile, offering Mac users the ability to connect the latest devices running Windows Mobile 5 to their Macs. The update improves synchronization of contacts, calendar events, and tasks with Apple's Address Book and iCal applications, as well as Microsoft's Entourage 2004 software. The Missing Sync 2.5 also introduces a toolbar that provides quick access to the most used commands, as well as a customizable, drag-and-drop install feature that recognizes certain file types. Supported devices include the Cingular 8125, the Motorola Q, the Palm Treo 700w, T-Mobile MDA Vario, and various others. The Missing Sync 2.5 is priced at $40 (system requirements were unavailable).
Kerio today released Kerio MailServer for Mac OS X as a Universal Binary, offering native compatibility to Intel Mac owners. The groupware mail server combines email, contacts, calendars, and tasks in an effort to aid small to medium-sized businesses. The update introduces a plug-in for Clam Antivirus, offering a minimum level of virus protection out-of-the-box by scanning all email messages as they pass through the server. ClamAV is also usable alongside the optional built-in McAfee Anti-Virus to offer dual antivirus control for enhanced filtering. The software supports usage of Apple Mail, iCal, Address Book, or the AJAX-based Kerio WebMail to view, manage, and share contacts, calendars and email folders, immediately syncing all changes with the server. Kerio MailServer is priced at $500 for 20 users or $750 with integrated McAfee Anti-Virus functionality, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Prosoft Engineering today released NetWare Client for Mac OS X IP Edition 2.0, an application designed to connect Mac systems to a Novell Network using the IP protocol. The software features an integrated login process, enabling the Mac to boot with a single login prompt and presenting the NetWare home directory on the desktop. Contextless logins allow users to login from anywhere on the internet by providing a username and password, and full context information is provided automatically. The NetWare Client 2.0 supports printing to a NetWare queue, allowing users to add jobs or delete jobs as desored. The client includes an entirely new browser as a standard application, rather than a menu bar item, and users may elect to launch the browser automatically on startup. The software runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.2 or later. NetWare Client for Mac OS X IP Edition 2.0 is priced at $150 per seat.
Intel's next-generation laptop chip, code-named Merom, may be officially announced sooner than expected, according to a set of presentation slides obtained by the Chinese publication HKEPC. Intel may launch both the laptop and desktop variants of the Core 2 Duo processor simultaneously on July 23rd, and though Merom would still remain widely unavailable until August, Conroe will likely be rushed out on launch day. The widely-anticipated August launch would make Merom available approximately one month sooner than the September target originally set on Intel roadmaps, according to AppleInsider. Intel is planning to launch its Merom laptop chips, which could find their way into Mac laptops later this year, with clock speeds between 1.6GHz and 2.33GHz, matching the current generation Core Duos; however, the chips will sport many performance enhancements.
In brief: MacNN has reviewed Final Draft 7 and Final Draft AV ($230), a Mac scriptwriting solution that offers various informational reports.... OpenOSX today is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and is offering a free OpenOSX Office download with every order for the next two weeks.... Advanced Computer Innovations has expanded its "instant online conversion" service, adding support for Microsoft Office 2003 XML and several other new file formats.... 2ndSite today released FreshBooks 3.3, an update to its online service that features activity and account reporting.... The Macintosh Business Users Society of Greater Philadelphia (MacBUS) today announced that the July MacBUS meeting will feature a presentation on MarketBlast by Todd Salkovitz of MYOB (Mind Your Own Business) on Tuesday, July 25th at 6:45 p.m.... RainyDayMagazine.com has posted a fabricated image of what it believes Apple's Boston Store would look like, were it a glass cube.
Iomega today announced its new REV 70GB Backup Drive, an update to its high-capacity removable storage for backup and archive needs. Featuring nearly double the capacity of its previous-generation drives and improved transfer speeds, the drives are now available worldwide in external USB 2.0 and internal ATAPI models. It utilizes the same ruggedized, removable, 2.5-inch 70GB REV disks as well as backward read/write compatibility with first-generation REV 35GB disks. The company said that the REV platform now features two capacity points: REV 35GB drive and disks for desktop backup and archive needs and REV 70GB drive and disks for server backup applications. In addition, the REV product family includes automation solutions, such as the REV Loader 280, which manages eight REV 35GB disks in an innovative desktop enclosure.
LaCie today announced that it will upgrade its 300 Series LCDs to 12-bit, and will add a 20-inch panel to its display offerings. The 300 Series monitors (319, 320, 321) now offer 12-bit gamma correction, which is 16 times more precise than the previous generation, according to LaCie, and are designed for graphics professionals on Macs or PCs who require accurate color rendering. The LaCie 320 monitor features a uniformity-enhanced A-TW-IPS LCD panel, offering a resolution of 1600x1200 pixels, a luminance of 280 cd/m2, and a strong contrast ratio of 700:1. All 300 Series Monitors offer CRT-grade color gamut in a flat screen monitor, while the broad gamut of displayed colors is 72 percent of the NTSC (National Television System Committee) video standards gamut, and 100 percent of the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) gamut. LaCie's 320 monitor is priced at $1,400, with a blue eye pro colorimeter also available for $1,650.
WiebeTech has announced two more additions to the TeraCard series of PCI host adapters, adding SATA connectivity to Macs or PCs via PCI-express (PCIe) expansion slots. The TeraCard TCES0-2e ($100) adds two external SATA ports, allowing users to easily connect external enclosures housing SATA drives. The TCE2-0 ($100) adds two internal ports, supporting up to two extra hard drives inside the host system. The TCE2-0 is also sold as part of a bundle with the G5Jam for $160. Both new cards require Mac OS X, as well as a free PCIe expansion slot.
Nova Development has announced plans to distribute Parallels Desktop for Mac across the United States, including the Apple Store. Parallels is virtualization software available for Mac OS X that was recently released for sale after an extended public beta test period. Featuring support for any version of Windows or Linux, Parallels believes they have an edge over Apple's Boot Camp which requires Microsoft Windows XP SP2 as well as a restart when users decide to switch from Windows to Mac OS X. Though Parallels doesn't currently support DirectX, the company has plans to support the technology in an upcoming release. Parallels will arrive at over one thousand retailers including the Apple Store later this month.
DUY Software has released Magic Spectrum, a new mastering tool based on "adaptive equalization" technology. Magic Spectrum allows users to match spectrums, playing a 'target sound' song through the software allowing users to apply the sound character or traits to another song. The Spectrum matching feature includes several presets, recorded from highly acclaimed pieces of varying genres. The application also offers an equalizer that allows up to four different responses that users can combine "vectorially." Magic Spectrum is available for $320 (system requirements were unavailable).
Troi Automatisering today released Troi Dialog Plug-in 4.5 for FileMaker Pro 8.5, a Universal and cross-platform plug-in for the database system. Troi Dialog Plug-in 4.5 ensures the list of Dialog functions is visible when creating custom functions, adds a consistency check for missing resources, fixes several bugs, and includes cleaned up example files. Troi Dialog Plug-in 4.5 works with FileMaker Pro 7, 8, and 8.5. The plug-in is also usable with runtimes from FileMaker Developer 7, FileMaker Advanced 8, or FileMaker Advanced 8.5. Troi Dialog Plug-in 4.5 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is priced at $50.
Alarm Clock Pro 7.7.7 ($20) is a simple or advanced alarm system, automation solution, and reminder manager. The update features an improved update checking system, snooze queue window, stopwatch enhancements, revised license agreement, improved Address Book importing, and improved time zone management. This update is free to existing users and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 6.6MB] Disc Cover 1.1 ($40) allows userts to design CD/DVD labels as well as jewel case inserts and covers. New in version 1.1 are 20 new pre-made designs, more custom size options, iTunes importing, improved Image Tricks support, image storing palette, and new clip art. Mac OS X 10.3 or later is required to run Disc Cover. [Download - 26.4MB] Captain FTP 4.5 ($25) is simple GTP client for Mac OS X that tries to simplify syncing files. This is a rerelease of version 4.5 after some users reports problems that could only be fixed with an upgrade. Version 4.5 originally added Universal support, speed improvements, server interaction, and file finding. This hot-fix is available free to all Captain FTP 4.5 users. [Download - 6.9MB] SQLiteAddOns 2.5 ($40) extends the use and capabilities of SQLite to AppleScript and AppleScript Studio. Version 2.5 adds complete Intel-based Mac support via Universal Binary compiling. Also new is support for SQLite3 and several bug fixes. A PowerPC running Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later is required or Mac OS X 10.4 or later on Intel-based Macs. [Download - 444KB] MMEmail 1.0.3 ($35) allows users of FileMaker 7 to build-in an advanced email client that is designed to be seamless for the end user. Newly added for version 1.0.3 is improved stability, email related bug fixes, and full support for Macs running on Intel processors as a Universal Binary. Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later is required. [Download - 7.0MB]
Katsura Shareware has released Sirds 1.0, a new application which creates Single Image Random Dot Stereogram (SIRDS) or Single Image Stereogram (SIS) from depth map images and pattern images. This new tool features "wall-eyed" SIRDS or SIS support, customizable dimensions, hidden surface removal, center to both sides anti-distortion measures, oversampling, stereogram viewing marks, and AppleScript support. Sirds 1.0 costs $15 and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later; a free demo is available on the Sirds website.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN