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Google and Fox Partner
It's hard to know on MySpace and other social networking sites just what users will be looking to buy. Perhaps that's why Google and Fox today announced a partnership that sees Google as the exclusive provider for targeted advertising on most of Fox Interactive starting at the end of this year, including MySpace and many gaming-oriented sites under the GameSpy and IGN banners. General searches will also be handled by Google. To secure the deal, Google has to pay out a minimum of $900 million in share payments over the course of the next few years, until 2010.
Nike+iPod with non-Nike
Marware has announced a new addition to its iPod case line with the Sportsuit Sensor+ for Apple's iPod Nano. Designed to complement the Nike+iPod sports kit, the pad is built with neoprene and rubber allowing runners to attach the Nike+iPod sensor to any pair of running shoes from any manufacturer. The case is designed uniquely for the Nike+ wireless sensor allowing for easy removal or attachment, protection from damage, and velcro connection. The new Sportsuit Sensor+ for iPod nano case is available for pre-order now at the price of $10 -- it will be available at Apple Stores or via the Dr. Bott reseller network. [website not yet updated; image included]
Pimp My Mac, contest won
In brief: MacMod.com has launched its "Pimp My Mac" video podcast, a computer modification video podcast series for Mac users.... A contest challenging developers to get Windows XP to run in Mac OS X on an Intel-based Mac has concluded, with the winner receiving £630.38.... BeLight Software has announced a crossgrade for Disc Cover, offering owners of any version of Disclabel or Discus the ability to purchase Disc Cover at a 40 percent discount.... Take Control Books has released "Take Control of Syncing in Tiger" ($10), a new eBook to help users synchronizing data between Macs and other devices such as mobile phones....
Suitable Systems has released SeisMaCalibrate, a new software tool that calibrates Sudden Motion Sensors (SMS) found in Apple's newer notebooks to obtain accurate acceleration readings in three axes. SeisMaCalibrate is the first tool that, axis by axis, accurately determines each SMS's offset and scale error, according to Suitable Systems. The error values are used to create calibration values, which are stored for later use by other programs. SeisMaCalibrate is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
IntelliMerge 5.1 released
Intelli Innovations today released IntelliMerge 5.1, a point update to the Mac OS X business communication and email merge software suite. The update includes an enhanced AutoSubscriber tool, IP tracking of subscribe/unsubscribe requests, and an improved invalid e-mail detection system. New enhancements in IntelliMerge 5.1 include AutoSubscriber to download and process subscribe as well as unsubscribe requests more than twice as fast as the previous release; and IP tracking to provide the IP address of subscribe as well as unsubscribe requests through the AutoSubscriber to prevent abuse. IntelliMerge is available for $100, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. The upgrade is free to all IntelliMerge 5.x users.
ChatFX, iChat Theater
Following Apple's Leopard demo today during the keynote address at WWDC, some users questioned if Apple had copied ChatFX with iChat Theater. The developer of the iChat plug-in issued an answer in the form of a blog post. "ChatFX relies on Quartz Composer which is brilliant and created by Pierre-Olivier Latour, Apple gives it out free to developers," stated lead developer Julian Miller. "Also iChat was necessary and is free from Apple and part of the OS. We may have inspired Apple but Apple definitely inspired us." Miller, a recent video guest on the MacNN podcast, said that there are indeed new features planned for ChatFX including support for more video chat applications such as Gizmo, Skype, and Yahoo IM. Julian Miller also reminded readers that, "Leopard is not available till sometime next year but people can get ChatFX and use it right now."
Apple posts keynote video
Apple has posted a video of the keynote speech given by CEO Steve Jobs at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). The video -- which is available in both QuickTime and MPEG-4 formats -- shows the introduction of two new Apple systems, and offers a preview of Mac OS X Leopard. "Watch Apple CEO Steve Jobs kick off the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote preview of Mac OS X 'Leopard' from San Francisco's Moscone West." Jobs announced the new Mac Pro and the Intel-based Xserve system prior to previewing Mac OS X Leopard.
MacBook, mobile broadband
Franklin Wireless has unveiled the CDU-550 USB modem, offering laptop owners without ExpressCard slots such as Apple's MacBook a means to access mobile broadband. Notebook owners with ExpressCard slots can use the V640 EVDO card for Verizon as well as the S640 card for Sprint, but MacBook owners were left out in the cold. The new modem features USB 2.0 connectivity as well as support for Mac OS X, and an early test demonstrated that even UMPC users can expect real performance when on the road, according to Electronista (pricing was unavailable).
WWDC goes "as expected"
Gene Munster, senior analyst of Piper Jaffray today spoke on Wall Street's disappointment due to Apple's announcements falling within expectations. "We believe the best approach to looking at Apple's product roadmap is to focus on a 6-9 month timeframe. While many rumored products were not announced at WWDC, we believe most of the products, including new iPod nano, video iPod, iTunes film downloads, and iPhone will be announced within 6-9 months." The analyst highlighted the fact that Apple raised its low price entry point by starting its Mac Pro line at $2,499, and reiterated Apple's quick Intel transition. "The Mac Pro completes the Intel transition, which spanned 210 days in total, as Apple moved all of its Mac offerings to Intel based processors."
MS kills VirtualPC
Microsoft's Mac Business Unit today announced that it will cease development on a Universal version of Virtual PC. Current VirtualPC customers will continue to receive product support, however. "Developing a high-quality virtualization solution, such as Virtual PC, for the Intel-based Mac is similar to creating a version 1.0 release due to how closely the product integrates with Mac hardware," said the Mac BU. "The Mac BU still recognizes that customers continue to need access to Windows applications from their Intel-based Macs, and feels confident that alternative solutions offered by Apple and other vendors, combined with a fully packaged retail copy of Windows, will satisfy this need." The announcement comes as the recently launched Parallels Desktop offers a full virtualization solution for Intel-based Macs, allowing users to run copies Windows or other operating systems from within Tiger. VMWare has promised to offer a full virtualization solution for Macs by this fall.
Universal Office coming
The Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) of Microsoft today announced that it would offer a Universal version of its flagship MS Office productivity suite and Mac Messenger client. The company said it has made great strides in gradually transitioning to the new platform as Apple completes its transition to Intel-based Macs. The impact of the new architecture and operating system capabilities combined with the Mac BU's support of Mac OS tools and technologies has led the Mac BU to several product roadmap decisions aimed at providing Mac customers with solutions to meet their needs. "Tens of millions of lines of code have been 100 percent transitioned to Xcode on the road to a Universal version of Office for Mac," says the Mac BU.
Universal QuarkXPress 7.01
Quark today announced a free Universal update to QuarkXPress 7 for Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger. QuarkXPress 7.01, which is available at no additional cost, runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs. The company said that QuarkXPress is the first major design and publishing tool to be released as a Universal application and that its new graphics engine, XDraw, leverages the power of Quartz 2D "to achieve the highest-quality rendering of text and graphics." QuarkXPress 7, released earlier this year, is the latest version of the design and publishing software; it combines many new design features with job-driven production capabilities in a collaborative environment. QuarkXPress 7, now shipping, is available through Quark resellers and partners worldwide and from the Quark online store at $750 for new users and for $250 as an upgrade to previous versions.
CinemaNow DVDs Work
Last week, Electronista reported that an engineer claimed CinemaNow's Burn to DVD feature for downloaded movies was fundamentally broken. Discs burned would allegedly refuse to play in most DVD players, effectively negating the point of paying extra for a physical copy. Not surprisingly, CinemaNow disagrees with that engineer's report. The company sent a statement to the press denying the problem and claiming that its DVDs work in "most" players that can handle recordable discs. CinemaNow also says that its customers are happy and even cast doubt on the sincerity of the engineer in question, suggesting that his anonymity meant he had something to hide. There has yet to be an independent test supporting either CinemaNow or the original claim.
Sony Drops Plasma TVs
The battle between LCD and plasma technology for HDTV displays has been raging for years: champions of the former tout LCD's reduced risk of burn-in and the ability to scale to smaller sizes, while advocates of the latter point out the historically brighter and more colorful output of plasmas. It appears plasma was dealt a serious blow, as Sony just recently announced that it would halt production of plasma TVs altogether. The Japanese company had previously started phasing out plasma displays from the lineup, at least in part due to the absence of plasma-capable factories. It's also quite clear that Sony's Bravia and SXRD lineups have been runaway successes whose designs largely compensate for the image quality differences between LCD technology and plasma. Sony's most recent LCDs even offer distinct advantages, such as 1080p resolution at smaller screen sizes (as low as 40 inches).
Apple at WWDC
Apple on Monday at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco debuted new Intel-based Mac Pro and Xserve systems to complete its transition to Intel, followed by a preview of Mac OS X Leopard. Replacing the Power Mac G5 and the older G5-based Xserve, the new systems feature dual dual-core 64-bit Intel processors and maximum storage capacities of 2TB each. While Apple offered a sneak peek at its next-generation operating system which will replace Tiger in the near future, the company said it would hold out on all of its "top secret" features to give Microsoft less time to copy its designs. Apple painted a clear picture of similarities between Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista -- which is due to ship in early 2007 alongside next version of Mac OS X -- while poking fun at the Redmond-based company as it offered glimpses to the future of its own Leopard software.
Square Enix hardware?
Discussing prospects for next-gen success, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada claims that some of the most successful products in recent times have been tied to dramatically innovative hardware, such as Apple's iPod or Nintendo's DS. "The strategy behind Nintendo and the iPod, to create a new environment based on hardware, is completely valid," Wada says. "But, this is impossible if you don't have experience making hardware." Square will thus be partnering with Taito to produce an unknown product sometime in the future. "In our talks with Taito, ideas for an actual physical product have come up. In any case, we will be releasing some 'thing.' It's interesting in that it's not the sort of thing you expect from Square Enix."
AMD to Drop ATI Name
When AMD made it public that it was acquiring ATI, many people wondered what would become of the Canadian graphics card maker. At least one answer became clear today: the ATI name will effectively disappear. Despite what people have read in the press, AMD's Richard Baker says, the deal is a takeover and not a merger; there's no incentive to keep the ATI name since the smaller company is being absorbed entirely. The Radeon brand (and other product names associated with ATI) are likely to remain. It's entirely possible that many of us will see AMD Radeons in our computers before long - but will AMD continue ATI's practice of shipping its own video cards, or follow the nVidia model and leave it up to third-party manufacturers?
Playing PS1 and 2 games will certainly be feasible on the PS3, but you'll have to spring for an adapter if you want to transfer saves from your PS2 memory cards. Eurogamer points out this information which can be found in the official PS3 FAQ. A PS2 card's data must be copied to a "virtual memory card" on the PS3 hard drive, and since the PS3 will have no built-in reader for memory cards, the only possibility is an unannounced external product.
Cinema Display Price Drop
In the flurry of news about the Mac Pro and Leopard, you may have missed one other important piece of news: Apple cut prices on its Cinema Display line, which puts them in the reach of more people. The 20-inch display only received a modest drop to $699, but the 23-inch display shaved $300 to reach $999 while the 30-inch received a massive $500 price cut to $1999. They're otherwise identical to what Apple announced in 2004, aside from slight LCD panel upgrades over time. The new prices take effect immediately.
Cinema Display price drops
Alongside the introduction of its quad-core Mac Pro desktops on Monday, Apple also slashed the price of its Cinema Display product line by up to $500. The 30-inch HD model now retails for just $1999, down from $2499. The mid-range 23-inch Cinema HD is now priced at $999, down from $1299. And the 20-inch Cinema Display dropped $100 in price to $699. All three models are available directly from the Apple online store.
OSX Leopard Previewed
As Apple had announced in advance of WWDC, Steve Jobs previewed OS X Leopard at his keynote speech today. New features include Time Machine, which performs live backups of your data as you change files and lets you visually browse your system's change history; Spaces, which lets you run multiple virtual desktops; and, as speculated, true 64-bit support for Intel Macs that support it (including the new Mac Pro and Xserve). There are also major updates to Dashboard, iCal, iChat, Mail, and Spotlight. See the full PR and a screenshot after the jump.
Tokyo Game Show expands
This year's Tokyo Game Show will be substantially bigger than that of 2005, Next Generation observes. The show's organizers are proclaiming that 143 businesses will be operating 1,710 booths in 2006, which compares to a figure of 131 businesses and 1,433 booths for 2005. The Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) attributes the expansion to the imminent arrival of two new consoles as well the second generation of Xbox 360 games. Running from September 22nd to the 24th, TGS 2006 will also feature speeches by Square Enix president Yoichi Wada and infamous Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Ken Kutaragi.
Mac OS X Leopard preview
Apple today at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) previewed Mac OS X Leopard, the next generation of its operating system featuring 64-bit application support and a new "Time Machine" backup application. The company noted, however, that it would not show all of its "top secret" Leopard features yet, preventing Microsoft from "starting the photocopiers" too early. Time Machine automatically and transparently backs up data, allowing users to restore entire drives or just specific documents from a specific time/date using visual navigation based on a timeline. Time Machine also automatically configures any attached drives for support, backing up music, photos, documents, and more.
Finale 2007 for Mac ships
MakeMusic today shipped Finale 2007 for Macintosh, a major upgrade of the company's music notation software that includes a wide variety of new features, including suppot for Intel-based Macs. The update delivers robust performance with linked parts--the ability to automatically create and format parts as a score is created; these parts are dynamically linked and always remain perfectly in sync with the score, according to the company. In addition, users of both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs will experience new speed and redraw enhancements. Kontakt Player 2 is also now integrated into Finale 2007, employing the latest technology to play back sounds from Garritan Personal Orchestra. MakeMusic 2007 also offers the ability to Import digital video, which is automatically synchronized with notation as users compose, edit and play back their score. Other new features include enhanced Human Playback, Update Brackets and Groups, Quick Change, Vertical Collision Remover, updated Playback Controls, enhanced positioning of cross-staff augmentation dots, and more. Upgrades from v2006 are $100, while the full version is $600.
Mac Pro Announced
As virtually everyone was hoping for, Apple finally switched its pro tower line to Intel processors. Gone is the Power Mac; in its place is the Mac Pro, which uses two Xeon 5100 chips in either 2, 2.66, or 3 GHz increments. Expansion is much improved over the G5: there are two optical drive bays and four hard drive bays, which (if you buy through Apple) gives you up to 2 TB of storage. Graphics start at a GeForce 7300 GT and extend all the way to X1900 XT and Quadro FX 4500 cards - which fit in a card space double-sized to accomodate larger cards without sacrificing nearby slots. Most important from our perspective is that Apple only has one stock model at $2499 for 2.66 GHz; if you want more or less, you have to custom-order your system. Full PR and inside/outside photos after the jump.
Mac OS X Leopard Server
Apple today previewed Mac OS X Server 10.5 Leopard, the next major release of Apple's UNIX server operating system. Leopard Server, also scheduled to ship in spring 2007, features a new Server Assistant and Server Preference features that allow non-technical users to setup and manage a server "with just a few clicks of a mouse," according to the company. Apple said it Leopard Server will include, for the first time, native 64-bit server applications that take advantage of the increased processing power of 64-bit computing. Other new features include iCal Server to share calendars, schedule meetings and plan events; a wiki server to share and communicate; Spotlight Server to find content on servers; and Podcast Producer to automate Podcast production. It will also feature updated QuickTime Streaming Server, Mail clustering, adaptive firewall technology, and more.
System Shock 3 official
Though EA is known to have renewed the System Shock trademarks earlier this year, no one was sure that a third game was in the works until PC Gamer UK recently revealed its existence. The project has been assigned to EA Redwood Shores (The Godfather) since series creators Irrational Games have been swallowed up by Take Two. The Irrational team is working on a spiritual successor of its own called BioShock, which received plenty of critical praise for its showing at E3 2006.
Intel transition complete
Apple today unveiled two new product offerings at the World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, completing its planned transition to Intel-based processors in just 210 days, far ahead of schedule. The new Mac Pro and Intel-based Xserve replace the older G5-based Power Mac and Xserve models, boasting higher storage capacities, 64-bit processing capability, lower power consumption, and better overall performance. The company announced that half of new Apple retail store Mac buyers are new to the Mac, that its last quarter results saw the strongest Mac shipments in a 13 week quarter with 1.3 million Macs in total, and that Mac share is growing faster than the industry rate. Apple also said 1,000 company engineers will be on site to coach the 4,200 attendees, or one employee for every four attendees with 100 hands-on labs.
Shutdown of EA servers
Online service has been closed for a number of games as of August 1st, and more servers will follow in October, Electronic Arts' Website indicates. The majority of affected games are older sports titles such as Fight Night Round 2, and anything labelled 2005. Click "read more" to see a comprehensive list. Not mentioned there however is EA's hyped RTS Armies of Exigo, which the subsite says will be unplayable online as of October 1st.
Singer working on game
Bryan Singer, the director of popular movies like Superman Returns and The Usual Suspects, has told SpikeTV that he is currently contributing to a videogame for Atari. Players will assume the role of a Secret Service agent charged with protecting the President of the United States. No further details are available for the time being, but it should be noted that Singer has generally been uninvolved with previous games based on his movies.
Intel Xserve debuts
Apple today replaced its G5-based Xserve with a new Intel-based model, which the company says is five times faster than the previous generation. The new server system features a smaller processor, less cooling requirements due to power-efficient chips, redundant power supplies, and up to 2TB of storage capacity. Pricing for the new Xserves starts at $3,000 -- roughly $300 less than a comparable Dell server -- with a standard configuration boasting 1GB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and dual dual-core 2.66GHz CPUs. The Cupertino-based company will also offer one million BTO configurations, with the new Xserves due to ship in October of 2006.
Mac Pro replaces Power Mac
Apple today replaced its Power Mac line of pro desktop systems with the Mac Pro that boasts an all dual core Intel Woodcrest 64-bit CPU running at up to 3GHz with 4MB of L2 cache, as well as a 128-bit vector engine. The new Mac Pro is 1.6 to 2.1 times faster than the Power Mac G5 Quad, according to Apple, with an average real-world speed increase of 200 percent for everyday apps. The Mac Pro provides space for four hard disks because it requires less cooling than the G5-based Power Mac, offering a total possible storage capacity of 2TB. The pro system features a second optical drive, four PCI Express slots, and a double-wide graphics slot. The case design remains similar to the G5 Power Mac, with the exception of the second slot. The inside of the new Mac has been entirely redone, according to Apple, and a base configuration will ship for $2,499 (2.6GHz/256MB/SuperDrive). The company is offering "millions" of other configurations via BTO, ranging up to a dual dual-core 3GHz with 16GB of memory, 2TB of storage, and ATI Graphics x1900 or Nvidia FX4500 video capability. [Images included]
WWDC Keynote Feed
Steve Jobs' keynote at the World Wide Developers Conference will begin shortly. As of 9:30 AM Pacific, Apple's online stores are temporarily down - there will certainly be something new to buy when this is all over. Click "read more" to see the updates as they appear - and please be gentle on refreshing the page! Update: keynote is now over.
Apple store update
Apple has temporarily closed its online store with the company's customary "We'll be back soon" post-it message, which has historically signaled new product offerings or significant product updates. "We are busy updating the store for you and will be back within the hour," wrote Apple on its website. The closure comes just minutes before Apple CEO Steve Jobs is scheduled to present his keynote speech at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. MacNN is offering live coverage of the special event at the Moscone Center with up-to-date details on events as they unfold.
Law would target ratings
US House Representative Cliff Sterns (R-FL) has proposed legislation called the "Truth in Video Game Rating Act." The act would require the Federal Trade Commission to create rules governing game ratings; specifically, it would force ratings bodies to review a game's content "in its entirety," as opposed to using supplied video highlights of the most objectionable material. Publishers could be held accountable for mischaracterizing games sent to review boards, and the General Accounting Office would be tasked with studying the ESRB and possible alternatives - such as a universal ratings system that would also cover music, movies and TV.
Treo Nitro Leaked
Palm hasn't been as successful in the smartphone market as it once was with PDAs. That may be in part due to the relatively high price of the Treo series: they've almost always been targeted at the higher end of the phone spectrum, which has kept the phones from being as ubiquitous as they could be (an especially dangerous proposition with the cheap and stylish Motorola Q as a rival). This sober reality might soon change with the advent of the budget-oriented Treo Nitro. First hinted at in a Cingular roadmap, the Nitro has now made its public debut through a photo leak. Similar in looks to its Treo 700 bigger brother, the new phone is expected to use PalmOS 5.4 and pack in 64 MB of internal memory alongside an SD slot and a VGA camera. It should be ready for the holiday season and might make a good alternative for those who want a smartphone but have a chronic aversion to Windows Mobile. A full-size photo is waiting after the jump.
Project 51 and Castlevania
Project 51 Productions has acquired the worldwide animation rights to Konami's Castlevania series, and has plans for direct-to-DVD movies, a television series, and theatrical films, says GameDaily BIZ. Particular mention is made of an unnamed project featuring Eisner Award-winners Warren Ellis (writing) and James Jean (art direction). In the live-action realm meanwhile, Crystal Sky Pictures and Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil, Aliens vs. Predator) are working on a Castlevania movie that should premiere in 2007.
SmartDisk unveils ByteSize
SmartDisk today introduced ByteSize, a 2 x 2-inch external USB hard drive offering storage capacities of 6GB and 8GB. The ByteSize is a "mass storage class" peripheral, requiring no driver installation when used with operating systems such as Mac OS X, Mac OS 9, Windows XP, and Windows Me. "Our new ByteSize drive offers the perfect combination of size and storage," says Charles Klinker, vice president of marketing for SmartDisk. "It's small enough to slip into your pocket while offering the capacity to store hours of video or music and thousands of photos." ByteSize drives are priced at $120 and $150 for 6GB and 8GB capacities, respectively.
AOL Releases Search Data
Whether AOL likes it or not, its actions continue to make both positive and negative press. The latest story is one of apparent clumsiness with data. Recently, the company published a research paper online (still available at the time of this post) that studied user behavior during searches. By itself, the article is harmless and even quite interesting. What the publishers didn't consider were the ramifications of also including a compilation of the raw search data as a secondary file. Though the screen names were replaced with random numerical IDs, the data contained large amounts of what was sometimes very personal information that could be traced to specific people. AOL was quick to remove the data yesterday after realizing the potential danger, but it doesn't help the company's image after the large job cuts announced on Thursday.
Carmack on id's next game
Speaking at QuakeCon 2006, John Carmack has dropped a few morsels of information on id's next game. Though it will still be a first-person shooter, it will also be an all-new intellectual property, meaning no connection with the likes of Doom, Quake or Wolfenstein. Similarly, Carmack says that the emphasis will be on gameplay over graphics, and that it will do things "never seen from id before...We are branching out into different directions." Part of this involves the megatexture terrain first developed for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. "I said that I'd developed a third-generation megatexture technology at 128,000 x 128,000 textures, so it's a pretty safe bet it's not a corridor shooter." Finally, the game will have multiprocessor support, "a lot of people in it," and ship for both the PC and the Xbox 360. There's no word on a release date, as per usual.
Blackberry 8100 Stealth
The Blackberry is almost synonymous with business smartphones these days. Take the bus during rush hour and you'll probably see at least one commuter thumbing through their e-mail. One area where Research In Motion's "crackberry" cachet falls flat, however, is in the all-important cool factor. Sony has its Walkman phones, Motorola has its FOUR LTTR phones, but RIM's Blackberries have been strictly for the 9-to-5 crowd. That's why the recent leak of the 8100 Stealth is so exciting: unlike the rest of the lineup, the Stealth is clearly geared towards those who'd rather get news of a friend's party than keep up on the latest board meetings. In addition to a slimmer shape that makes it better-suited to phone calls (as was first seen in the 7100 series), this newest Blackberry will come equipped with a camera for photos and a media player for music. You can also expect EDGE mobile broadband (EVDO may come later) to round out the package when the phone drops at the end of the year. See a full image after the jump.
Best Kakuro released
Best Kakuro Software has released Best Kakuro 1.0 for Mac, a challenging number puzzle solved in a crossword style grid. The game is also known as Cross Sums, presenting black squares that contain the sum of the adjacent white squares. Best Kakuro puzzles offer five difficulty levels, with sizes ranging from 8 x 8 to 14 x 22. All puzzles offer a unique solution, and all are solvable by logical methods with no guessing required. The software features quick puzzle creation for all puzzle types, as well as the ability to print puzzles or solve them on-screen. Best Kakuro 1.0 is priced at $15 (system requirements were unavailable).
Umundo today introduced a free service allowing video iPod users to view, publish, and share video clips taken with camera-enabled phones or mobile devices. The free service requires no registration or subscription, and users can transfer video clips as well as pictures directly via multimedia messaging service (MMS) or email. Umundo utilizes its own RSS Syndication Engine, a patent pending technology that enables tagging, filtering, media format conversion, and bittorrent P2P distribution. "We have included viewing on a Video iPod as an option to offer more choice to the consumer; we convert the files produced by phones (3GPP and 3GPP2) to the format accepted by the iPod device (H.264), to bring a high quality video," said Prashant Parekh, founder and CEO of Umundo.
Franklin USB EVDO Modem
Owners of laptops with ExpressCard slots received the good news recently that they could join the ranks of mobile broadband users with the V640 EVDO card for Verizon (and accompanying S640 card for Sprint). But what about those of us without any card slot at all? Thankfully, Franklin Wireless is up to the task with its CDU-550 USB modem. Available through Sprint later in August, the modem runs on USB 2.0 and supports not just Windows, but MacOS X and Linux as well. An early test demonstrates that even UMPC users can expect real performance (and an unsightly protrusion) when on the road. Pricing isn't listed yet, though it will probably compare all too well to the $180 price tag of the ExpressCard adapter.
HL2 Episode 2 at Leipzig
Half-Life 2: Episode Two will have its first public showing at this month's Leipzig Games Convention, GamesIndustry.biz is reporting. Valve will be demonstrating the game alongside Portal and Team Fortress 2, all three of which will be bundled and shipped together for the PC, 360 and PS3 by the end of the year. The console versions will also include Episode One and the original Half-Life 2. The Convention takes place from August 24th to the 27th.
OsiriX 2.5 released
The OsiriX Team today released OsiriX 2.5, a major update to the open-source medical imaging software offering a new Q&R interface. OsiriX 2.5 is designed by radiologists, for radiologists offering better rebuild functionality; faster MIP for Intel processors (SSE); DICOM Structured Report DICOM SR); quicker navigation in databases; faster displaying of large images; and the ability to export images as QuickTime or JPEG directly from the database window. OsiriX 2.5 is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later with at least 1GB of memory.
Win a Wii at 7-11
It seems that convenience chain 7-11 will be giving away 711 Nintendo Wiis between November 1st and January 31st. That might be interesting news by itself, but what's piqued the attention of I4U and other Websites is that the contest rules list the price of the Wii at about $300 US, rather than the $250 cap Nintendo has been promising. It could be an error, but at the same time, it could be that Nintendo has rethought their pricing or that the 7-11 promotion is a bundle. We will post clarification if/when it comes.
Web 15 Years Old
This week is famous for more than its computer introductions. On August 6th, 1991, Tim Berners-Lee posted a summary of the World Wide Web project to Usenet, describing it as an "easy but powerful global information system." The key feature was hypertext: the ability to create links within a document that take visitors to content elsewhere on the Internet. Of course, few people (even Berners-Lee) could have predicted the results at the time. Today, the Web and hypertext form the backbone of Internet communication, and even the most traditional forms of publishing are being revolutionized: news is no longer the domain of journalists, and encyclopedias now track the most recent trends in pop culture as well as more "serious" material. At the current rate, the next fifteen years of the Web should be at least as dramatic.
Google not selling music
&WTModLocGoogle has no current plans to enter the digital music market and take on Apple's industry leading iTunes, according to Reuters. Following a luke-warm reception to Google's video service, the company executives told a group of music industry veterans. "We are not going to be selling music," Chris Sacca, head of business development for Google, said in an August 3 address to music distributors and merchants. The company was expected to launch a service as early as January according to analysts--including one at Bear Steams who expected the new service to rival iTunes. The speculation hit a fever pitch when Google began offering Sony BMG music videos earlier this year. Sacca stated that the ecosystem of products and integration in the home, car, and on the go is key: "To really grasp this takes a certain amount of humility to look beyond your walls."
Dylo's Adventure released
South Winds Games has announced its first game now available for Mac and PC. The game, Dylo’s Adventure, is an action platform game that mimmicks the platform era of gaming. The plot focuses around helping Dylo, a dinosaur, save the world from "cute" alien invaders. The alien's goal is to build an amusement park, however in order to do so they must first 'remove' the dinosaurs wandering around on the surface. Dylo must save the day by jumping, running, and ducking through dozens of levels as he uses the technology of the time to combat the aliens, animals, and treacherous terrain. With "child-safe" graphics, this action game is suitable for all ages. It requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later running on any PowerPC- or Intel-based Mac (clock speeds over 450MHz). The game is available to download now for $20.
Silver Anniversary IBM PC
Twenty-five years ago, IBM pulled the wraps off of its original PC. Though some of us march to the beat of a different drummer, it's hard to deny the massive impact the IBM PC had on the computer market. It added greater legitimacy to using personal computers in business - at the time, IBM still had tremendous sway over businesses (the classic saying "nobody was ever fired for buying IBM" was taken very seriously). More importantly, the PC marked the first time a personal computer manufacturer licensed its technology to other companies: by 1983, Microsoft no longer had to tie MS-DOS to IBM computers, and Compaq was producing the first PC clones. It created a computer market where people thought less about which platform they bought and more about the quality of the company they bought from. For better or for worse, the computer market today would be very different without IBM's fateful decision to expand beyond mainframes.
360 hard drive for $14.99
If you feel your Premium 360 is lacking hard drive space - or you made the mistake of buying a Core system - your salvation could be here. Kotaku has pointed out a print ad which offers a 360 hard drive for $14.99. Some Sears outlets are refusing to honour the mistake (and posting signs to that effect), but there should still be a chance of success at shops with price-matching policies, such as Best Buy.
QuickerTek MacBook handle
QuickerTek has released a new carrying handle that fits all of Apple's MacBook consumer laptops. The handle features the same patent-pending technology used in handles for MacBook Pros, iBooks, and other previous-generation Macs. Featuring a padded black grip and brushed aluminum hinge, it offers both a non-slip ergonomic grip along with styling designed to compliment the black or white plastic of the MacBook. Like other QuickerTek handles, this new release features the ability to tilt the computer on a flat surface for a typing surface to match personal needs while offering better heat dissipation. The MacBook handle costs $50 and is available to order now.
MacNN Live WWDC coverage
MacNN will offer live coverage of the event at live.macnn.com. Apple CEO Steve Jobs will present the keynote at the company's annual developer conference in San Francisco, where he will offer the first public display Mac OS X Leopard; in addition, several reports speculate that he may also introduce several other products. The company has already begun taking shots at Microsoft and its much delayed Vista operating system with "Hasta la vista, Vista" and "Mac OS X Leopard: Vista 2.0" banners hanging in the lobby of Moscone Center West. The WWDC Keynote (starting at 10 a.m. PST) and other news coverage will be offered throughout the day (and rest of the week). Users can discuss the news as it happens on MacNN's IRC Channel or growing user forums.
Seagate 2.5" 160GB HD
Seagate today announced its new 160GB portable drive. The new addition to its 'Momentus" 2.5-inch SATA hard drive product line is available from select retailers such as Transt Int. The new drive offers speeds up to 5400RPM as well as an 8MB cache. The drive is compatible with MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and (Intel) Mac Minis and any other Mac or PCs utilizing 2.5-inch drives. Featuring high shock tolerance, low power consumption, and quiet load/unload acoustics, the drive is designed for those "who value their quiet portables or slim desktops but need more storage." The 160GB Momentus 2.5-inch SATA hard drive is now shipping for $270; for an additional $100, it can be ordered with the miniXpress enclosure.
MacFun.com is a new casual game site devoted entirely to Mac users. "The site was created to provide a community where Mac gamers worldwide can find high-quality, highly entertaining, and highly addictive games for their Macs, all in one place," according to the company. Offering an impressive range of family-friendly puzzle, strategy, word, arcade, and card games, MacFun.com offers downloadable fun for every taste, with an eye toward emerging Mac games. The company said it is focused solely on the "needs and interests of Mac users of every age and skill level," and will offer "quick, clever and affordable entertainment." Dozens of the best casual Mac games are available today on MacFun.com: while the company plans to continue to add more as well as offer community-building features. In addition, MacFun is providing Mac development services for third-party and original casual games, a unique Mac-specific DRM solution for license, and distribution opportunities for independent developers.
REALbasic 2006r4 debuts
REAL Software today announced that REALbasic 2006 Release 4 will ship this September and include support for Intel-based Macs. REALbasic is a cross-platform software development environment used for many types of applications -- from utilities to server-centric needs. The new version will be able to create Universal Binaries for running applications natively on Intel-based Macs as well as the ability to run natively on Intel-based Macs. REAL Software said that most REALbasic applications can be re-compiled as Universal Binaries "with one mouse click." REALbasic 2006r4 is available for testing via REAL's beta testing program, which can be accessed by anyone currently on a REAL update plan. There is no information on updated system requirements or pricing for Release 4.
VMware today announced a new product that will enable Intel-based Macs to run x86 operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, NetWare and Solaris, in virtual machines at the same time as Mac OS X. VMware will demo the product today during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2006 in San Francisco. The new Mac product is based on VMware's robust and advanced virtualization technology, shipping for more than seven years and used by more than four million people today. The company said that in the future, all virtual machines created with any of VMware's products will run on Intel-based Macs and, similarly, non-Mac OS X virtual machines created with the new product will run on the latest versions of other VMware platform products. The beta release of this product is expected to be available later this year. Interested parties will be able to sign up for early access.
'Hasta la vista, Vista'
MacNN has exclusive shots of yet another banner from Apple's worldwide developer conference that makes reference to Microsoft's yet unreleased operating system. Taking yet another jab at Microsoft using its annual developer conference at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco, a newly photographed banner reads 'Hasta la vista, Vista." Apple, expected to debut its next-generation operating system, Mac OS X 10.5 Leapard, is trying to out-duel Microsoft, whose next-generation Windows operating system has been delayed many times. Another banner (not photographed) says 'Redmond has a cat problem', according to a MacNN reporter. On Sunday, we noted the "Vista 2.0" banner photographed earlier in the weekend. As usualy, we expect the online Apple Store to be taken off-line temporarily while the company updates/adds new products. MacNN will offer live coverage of the event at live.macnn.com.
Slide 0.1.41 (free) delivers digital content from numerous chosen sources delivering images, text, and video. The update includes a widget allowing all the features of Slide desktop, such as the ability to automatically share photos or add "visual bling" to profiles/blogs. Slide Desktop and Widget require Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
[Download - Application, Widget]
SiteTagger 3.1 ($10) is designed to replace conventional bookmarking methods built into browsers with a standalone tagging method. SiteTagger allows users to access bookmarks through the system menu bar or the application. Version 3.1 adds OPML export, improved plug-in support, a new Script Editor, an enhanced system menu, multiple drag-and-drop import capability, bookmark copy & paste, more international localizations, and several minor bug fixes. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 1.5MB]
ReallyEasyReader 3.0 ($30) is designed to help users improve reading ability by loading a chosen document and flashing words by as they read, which doubles reading speed after progressive use, according to the company. Version 3.0 adds the ability to switch between reading and viewing documents with the escape key; movement of the text view to the desired reading location; new speed reading commands; and a new tutorial to demonstrate new features. ReallyEasyRead requires Java 1.4+ running on 'any' operating system. [Download - 1.8MB]
Default Folder X 3.0.2 ($15) is a plug-in for any Mac OS X native application that adds a side toolbar for any save dialog, allowing users to access favorite locations as well as several other commands. The latest release corrects a flaw which disabled Default Folder X's command keys and hotkeys in PowerPC applications running on Intel-based Macs. Version 3.0.2 is free to version 3.0 owners, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 5.0MB]
Hawkeye 1.0.8 ($30) allows users to create custom DVD mixes and convert video media with an 'easy to use' interface. The update brings several new features including new video encoding modes, as well as support for devices like the PSP, iPod, and video-capable mobile phones. Version 1.0.8 also adds SVCD output support. Mac OS X 10.4 or later is required to run Hawkeye. [Download - 14.9MB]
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