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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 connection´s 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 €75 (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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Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL