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NetSpeedometer, ShredIt X
NetSpeedometer 2007 (free) displays internet connection speed with a graphical representation styled after a speedometer. The software helps track data as it passes in and out of the host machine. NetSpeedometer 2007 runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary.
[Download - 5.6MB]
ShredIt X 5.7 ($20) is an easy-to-use 'file shredder' and hard drive cleaner application for Mac OS X. ShredIt X erases files, folders, free disk space, already-deleted files, hard drives, external drives, CD-RWs, and floppy disks. The update adds a scheduled freespace shredding feature. [Download - 2.8MB]
TopXNotes 1.2 ($25) updates the modern notepad for Mac OS X. The software offers the ability to view as many notes as will fit on the display, a sliding toolbar to keep text buttons hovering above the typing area, and a note organizer feature with a table of contents to categorize and group notes. The latest revision adds new import and export options, as well as additional category icon choices. [Download - 4.6MB]
ComicBookLover 1.2 ($25) enables users to view, collect, and organize digital comic books. The update offers improved performance when displaying comic covers by loading images in the background, removes the limit on the number of displayable comic covers, and features a faster startup time on launch. [Download - 3MB]
PhoneAgent 1.3.1 (€30) is a tool for Phonebook, SMS, MMS, Themes and Wap management of Sony Ericsson T610, T616, T630, T637, Z600, K700i, K750i, W800i, K800i. Primary PhoneAgent features include phonebook management, SMS management, the ability to upload bookmarks, and more. The update runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary. [Download - 17.5MB]
Sloppy Sokoban 1.8 (free) is a puzzle game for Mac that stresses logical thinking and spatial planning over finger reflexes. The game challenges players to push boulders to their correct destinations in a crowded environment without getting stuck. The update offers full screen play with more than 200 new levels and a new game ending. [Download - 5.5MB]
XDA Orbit comes to the UK
O2 is now shipping its XDA Orbit smartphone to the UK, says The Register. The product is known elsewhere as the HTC P3300. The Orbit has the P3300's built-in GPS functions, but is also coming with CoPilot Live, a satellite navigation suite commonly favored by O2 rival T-Mobile. The phone runs Windows Mobile 5.0 and has 64MB of RAM, 128MB of ROM, and can expand its storage with a microSD slot. Its camera is rated at 2 megapixels, and the display is a 2.8-inch LCD with 65,536 colors. USB, Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11b/g connections should be supported. Business customers can buy the Orbit for prices starting at £85 ($166).
CIO tests Mac for business
John Halamka, the chief information officer of Harvard Medical School believes that the Mac platform has improved dramatically for business purposes, according to CIO Magazine. Also the head of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Halamka conducted a test of three major operating systems on the market -- including Mac OS X, Red Hat's Fedora Core Linux, and Windows XP -- to evaluate their suitability in an enterprise environment, using each for a month. The CIO provided high praise for his MacBook testbed and its operating system, noting the stability and unintrusiveness. "His MacBook didn't crash or freeze once during the month he used it. And his work was never interrupted by automatic antivirus or antispyware updates -- a frequent annoyance with Windows," writes CIO's Meridith Levinson. Halamka was also quick to compliment the usefulness of Microsoft's Mac e-mail client Entourage and for the platform's easy connections to varying wireless networks.
Apple Security Update
Apple today released Security Update 2006-007 to provide fixes for numerous holes throughout the operating system and included software. The update offers repairs for AirPort, Apple Type Services, CFNetwork, ClamAV, Finder, ftpd, gnuzip, Installer, OpenSSL, perl, PHP, PPP, Samba, Security Framework, VPN, and WebKit. The update is available via any Mac OS X system through the 'Software Update' feature or online from Apple's downloads page. [updated]
Pocket Photo Album
The Pocket Photo Album, sold by Crazy About Gadgets, is an inexpensive means of storing and viewing important photos. Up to 56 images (of unspecified size) can be transferred to the Album through a USB cable and bundled software, after which files can be browsed individually or in a slideshow mode. The display is a 1.1-inch LCD screen. A rechargable lithium battery supplies the Album with up to three hours of continuous power. CAG is offering the product for £35, or about $70 US. It comes with a keyring, USB cable and carrying pouch.
Refurbished iPods dwindle
Apple's refurbished iPod offerings have dwindled to just two items following the busiest shopping day of the year. The company's 4GB iPod nano ($149) and its iPod Hi-Fi ($299) appear as the only remaining refurbished iPod-related items in the U.S. The company is still offering numerous refurbished Mac systems, however, with various Intel-based Macs alongside its dated PowerBook professional notebooks. Refurbished Mac systems include various 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros ($1,449-2,199); consumer-oriented MacBooks ($899-1,099); 17-inch G4 PowerBooks ($1,799-1,899); 14-inch G4 iBooks ($999); 17-, 20-, and 24-inch Intel-based iMacs ($949-1,699); Mac mini systems ($649-699); and quad-core dual-processor Intel Xeon-based Mac Pro workstations ($2,199-3,299).
Forums November 28
Forums roundup: Members are discussing the newest revision of the MacBook Pro featuring Intel's Core 2 Duo processor, and whether it may be the first flaw free release from the Cupertino-based company.... One user voices concern over the apparent ability of Flash-based websites to activate built-in iSight cameras -- although to what extent these sites can access the iSight is still being debated.... Another user asks what items would be useful to clean a glossy notebook screen without scratching the display or causing other damage.... Another user questions the current generation of full-size iPods which are accused of being sluggish compared to previous generations.... Meanwhile, several posters are speculating on when the next revision of Apple's Mac Pro will be released, mentioning the forthcoming Macworld event in January of next year.
iPods, Macs bolster Apple
Strong sales of Apple's second-generation iPod shuffle and specific iPod nano models, coupled with healthy momentum from the company's Mac systems are contributing to a strong holiday quarter for Apple, according to analyst Ben Reitzes of research firm UBS. "Our checks point toward solid iPod sales for new Shuffles [and] certain Nanos along with momentum in Macs," the analyst wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN. "We continue to believe Apple will launch new products in calendar '07 (not fully reflected in our model) including cell phones, iTV and even ultraportable devices." UBS raised its target price for Apple shares to $108 following its recent studies.
Fuji portable photo printe
Fujifilm's Pivi MP-300 is a photo printer that, weighing only half a pound when loaded with paper and batteries, can be carried in the same bag as a compact camera. Owners transfer an image to the printer via a USB, infrared or PictBridge connection, and from there the 300 will print a 5 megapixel image in approximately 38 seconds. Different image sizes may take more or less time. Prints are full-color, but roughly the size of a playing card. The MP-300 is currently available exclusively in Japan for the equivalent of $127 US.
Wal-Mart video downloads
Brick-and-mortar retailer Wal-Mart today unveiled its first direct-download video service in an effort to reward DVD buyers at its stores. The chain plans to launch a beta test allowing customers to purchase movies as well as TV shows solely as downloads. Starting Wednesday buyers of certain DVD movies such as Superman Returns will be able to purchase download versions of the same movies priced between $2-4 for portable-quality editions designed for handheld players such as Apple's iPod and a hybrid download that includes both the portable version and a full-quality copy for computers. No file format was specified, according to Electronista, but Wal-Mart is likely to involve protected Windows Media files similar to those of its existing music store. The move comes after Wal-Mart held talks with Apple to offer rumored iTunes coupons and gift cards that would allow the retail giant to collect a small amount of revenue from iTunes video sales.
iPod recommended 75%
Many big-box retailers are recommending Apple's iPod to customers asking about MP3 players about 75 percent of the time (up from 63 percent in June of 2005 and 68 percent in November of 2005), while Microsoft's Zune player only received roughly 8 percent of recommendations, according to checks performed by research firm Piper Jaffray. The firm spoke with 40 big-box retailers to gauge which MP3 players salespeople were suggesting for more than $200, revealing that some salespeople had never even heard of Microsoft's Zune player when approached during the checks, despite the fact that the devices were sold in their stores. Zune held the 7th spot on Amazon's top 10 best-selling MP3 players list during its launch week in mid-November, but the player abruptly fell out of the top 10 after the initial buzz subsided. Piper Jaffray maintains its 'outperform' rating on Apple shares with a price target of $99.
Crayola MP3 Player
Crayola today revealed its first digital jukebox, the simply-titled Crayola MP3 Player. The child-oriented player has a simple interface and dual audio jacks for sharing music; both earbuds and headphones are bundled with the device to let children and parents alike listen in comfort, according to the crayon maker. Although the player can store only 256MB of MP3 or WMA music, Crayola also includes an SD card slot to add as much as 2GB of additional storage. Power is provided through a single AAA battery, though the company does not list battery life. Crayola says its MP3 Player is available today from the company online store for $50.
Roadmaster Hands-Free Kits
Roadmaster USA on Tuesday released two new hands-free kits for drivers. Both of the VR3 Hands-Free Speakerphones have active noise cancellation and echo suppression to maintain call quality, but differentiate on convenience, according to the company. The more advanced BT200V model (pictured) has a built-in LCD that displays caller ID and call waiting, giving the driver the option of accepting or rejecting calls in advance as well as providing a call history. It also eliminates the need for wires by running on a lithium-ion battery that can be charged by a car's 12-volt outlet. The LCD model ships today for $70.
The company is also touting its simpler BT100P adapter for those with less demands. While screenless, the more basic model plugs directly into the 12-volt port and thus requires no batteries. It ships with an external earphone set to counteract noise and retails for $40.
APC Power Ready bags
APC is selling five new notebook cases in its Power Ready line. The cases are designed to protect devices like cellphones, PDAs and laptops, sheltering them with extra padding and organizing their cables into nearby pockets. They're specifically meant to be used with the APC Universal Power Adapter, which can charge up to three devices simultaneously through air, auto or standard AC power outlets. The Power Ready cases allow this to be done without removing the devices in question. When an outlet is unavailable, APC suggests the Universal Notebook Battery, which can charge a device while sitting inside a custom pocket. Cases in the Power Ready line include the Saddle Bag ($60), Slim Backpack ($50), and Roller ($90).
Patents, exploding modem
In brief: The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today published two of Apple's newly granted patents titled 'Method and apparatus for synchronizing audio and video streams' and 'Computer controlled display device,' which relate to a method and apparatus for synchronizing audio as well as video streams and a previous iMac swing arm design mechanism.... A video editor in Chicago reported the loss of her 15-inch PowerBook along with two external hard drives after a cable company representative instructed her to plug her cable modem into the wrong outlet, resulting in an explosion which fried all four devices.... Avast has released Avast! Antivirus Mac Edition to beta testers, which requires an Intel or PowerPC-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.x or later.... AssistiveWare today announced a new podcast series and videos which depict Mac users with disabilities sharing their experiences on the Mac, as well as a new edition of its AssistiveWare Newsletter.... InterVideo has announced free updates to its InterVideo iVideoToGo Platinum and DVD Copy 5 Platinum iPod conversion software.... Innovatu has launched thePodVod.com, a website that allows individuals to upload as well as sell their own audio and video content through an online portal.
Merlin 2.0 released
ProjectWizards today released Merlin 2.0, marking the second generation of the established project management software. Merlin 2 features a completely reconditioned user interface, a new 'utilization' view, a report generator, and a tool to control project progress. Users can create a new project with the updated software by using one of several templates along with Merlin's extensive set of components, or by importing one of the numerous supported file formats. The new utilization view offers a clearer overview of resource work, and allows users to identify as well as resolve over utilization of resources. The application includes a new interactive print preview, as well as a new reporting function that allows project managers to create and modify significant reports with a few mouse clicks, according to ProjectWizards. Merlin 2.0 is available for €150, while upgrades are available for €75.
Arcade GameSTICK Xbox 360
MadCatz today announced its Arcade GameSTICK for the Xbox 360, a controller made explicitly for playing the vintage games from the Microsoft console's Xbox Live Arcade service. The design replaces the left analog pad with a full-sized stick, suiting it to arcade games and their frequent dependence on a single analog control. The stick is also capable of spinning a full 360 degrees, MadCatz adds, and can plug into a PC thanks to its USB cable. The console accessory maker hopes to give owners a sample of available games and ships the GameSTICK with full copies of Frogger, Time Pilot, and Astropop. MadCatz expects its new arcade stick to ship to stores December 19th for $50.
FontDoctor X v7.3 ships
Morrison SoftDesign has released FontDoctor X v7.3, the latest version of its software tool for font problem diagnosis, repair, organization, and now font archiving and back-up. Now available as a Universal Binary, version 7.3 also features updated font cache handling (including support for Quark, Microsoft, and Adobe); better support for font foundry names; and many bug fixes. In addition, the software resolves many outstanding compatibility issues, the company said. The software offers powerful font organization and archiving features to sort and clean-up existing font folders into a neatly organized font library (organized by font name, family name, alphabetically, or by other options). It can also print font sample sheets, convert Windows fonts to Mac (and vice-versa) as well as generate font diagnosis and organization reports as needed. FontDoctor is available for $70 ($20 upgrade for owners of previous versions).
Keynote Themes FX 1.0
Jumsoft has released Keynote Themes FX 1.0, a package of innovative motion themes for Apple's Keynote presentation application. The package features themes with high-quality backgrounds in the form of movies to "make the presentations dynamic, fun, and captivating." The Keynote Themes FX package includes three completely new themes: Water, Redsmoke, and Brushstroke. Every slide background in the theme includes a looped movie, such as flowing water bubbles, rising smoke, or drawing pictures. Presentations created using Keynote Themes FX have all of the same elements or actions of a simple presentation: texts, colors, places for images, and special effects. Creating a presentation using Keynote Themes FX is exactly the same as creating a presentation using the usual themes, according to the company: users can add, edit, and format text; add photos or movies; and use Keynote's transitions and special effects. Keynote Themes FX are powered by QuickTime - H.264 and Pixlet codecs and are available in 1024x768 resolution. Keynote Themes FX 1.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4.3 Tiger and Apple iWork '06. The special, introductory price this week for Keynote Themes FX is $40 ($20 discount).
Universal Suitcase Fusion
Extensis today released a free update for Suitcase Fusion, the company's next-generation, single-user font manager. SuiteCase v12.1.3 brings improved performance for font activation and searching speeds as well as enhanced font corruption checking. This update also adds native support for Intel- and PowerPC- based Macs for FontDoctor. Morrison SoftDesign's FontDoctor is the industry standard tool for locating and eliminating hard-to-find font problems that impact a system's performance and applications. FontDoctor is free with the purchase of Suitcase Fusion. "The performance enhancements in this update offer Suitcase Fusion users even faster font activation and provide added stability which our users demand," said Halstead York, Extensis Product Marketing Manager. It requires Mac OS X v10.3.9 (PowerPC) or Mac OS X 10.4.4 (Intel) and s available as a free update to the $100 application.
Hoping to please both 3D designers and home users alike, 3Dconnexion today revealed its SpaceNavigator add-on. The controller responds to input in all directions through its controller cap, allowing architects to make height adjustments to buildings or map software owners to quickly zoom into a new locale. Two programmable buttons also give users easy access to predefined functions such as auto-zooming, 3Dconnexion says.
Currently compatible with Google Earth and the basic design tool SketchUp, the device has an SDK that will let any developer implement support for the SpaceNavigator in their software. The hardware works with Windows XP but is expected to gain Mac support in 2007, according to the company. It ships today at a price of $59 for individual users and $99 with a corporate license.
Computrace on Mactels
Absolute Software today that its Computrace software products now support Intel-based Macs for native operation on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs. "Apple Universal Agent compatibility means Absolute's education customers can now install one piece of software that supports both the Classic environment and the new Intel processor. This added flexibility means the company's solutions better support institutional needs for simplified total cost of ownership, improved lifecycle management and easier disk imaging." ComputraceComplete lets admins efficiently monitor who is using the networked computers, what hardware and software changes they make, and where each laptop is located. Computrace Data Protection allows customers to track fixed, remote and mobile computer assets and remotely wipe sensitive data if the computer is lost, stolen or nearing the end of its lifecycle, while ComputracePlus provides admins with detailed reports for every computer with an internet connection to help reduce and deter theft as well as recover lost or stolen computers.
Disney's Toontown Online
Disney Online today announced the availability of Disney's Toontown Online for Macs as well as the addition of new "gags" to "keep players on their toon-toes." The first massively multiplayer online game designed for kids and their families, Toontown invites players to live life as a cartoon character, along with thousands of other players in a continually growing online world. Now both PowerPC and Intel-based Mac players can join the more than 15 million PC-based 'Toon' characters created in the game. "We are thrilled to offer Mac players the chance to get in on the fun and help expand the world of Toontown," said Steve Parkis, vice president of Premium Content for Disney Online. "One of the reasons Toontown is so popular is there's always something new for players - like the special new gags we've just added to the game."
Arcam FMJ DV139 DVD player
Though Blu-ray and HD-DVD may represent the cutting edge of video playback, the Arcam FMJ DV139 is meant to exploit the possibilities of standard DVDs. The player's onboard processors can process DivX files and upsample video to 1080p, which is in turn matched with a corresponding HDMI port. Stereo, S-Video, component, composite and SCART ports are also present. Audiophiles can make use of the player for both DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD discs, which is a rare feature in the current marketplace. Supported decoding standards include Dolby Digital, Pro Logic II and DTS 5.1. Toroidal transformers help ensure powerful sound output. Arcam will be shipping the DV139 to the United Kingdom next month for the price of £1,800 ($3,486).
Queen's Univ on iTunes U
Queen's University located in Kingston has become the first Canadian university to launch iTunes U, a Web application that offers up a wide range of download-able multimedia files to the university community as well as anyone else seeking a "taste of the university experience." The now-portable aspects of life on campus will include audio versions of public lectures, videos of debates, football games, convocation ceremonies and even archival footage of the original live version of the university mascot Boo-Hoo the Bear. While much of the initial content is being supplied by CFRC (101.9 FM), Tom Dean, an assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will be the first to make his Operating Systems course lectures and labs available through iTunes U so that students can listen to them at their leisure, the University said.
Blackmagic HDMI I/O card
Blackmagic has introduced the Intensity, an HDMI I/O card for Macs and PCs. It's a PCI Express device that requires Mac OS X or Windows XP. The two HDMI ports allow video to be transferred at HD quality in 720p or 1080i, or SD quality in NTSC or PAL. Two audio channels allow sound to pass through at the same time. Aside from displaying HDTV, Blu-ray or HD-DVD signals, owners can also do live mixing of two HDV cameras using a pair of Intensity cards and Blackmagic's On-Air 2.0 software. Web and TV broadcasters can send the content to a video deck for broadcast using one of Blackmagic's DeckLink cards. The Intensity should be on sale by the end of the week for $249.
Wal-Mart Video Downloads
Large-scale retailer Wal-Mart today unveiled its first direct-download video store with what it says is a unique approach to downloads. While the company plans to launch a beta test that allows customers to buy movies and TV shows solely as downloads, its new service will primarily accommodate DVD buyers at its stores: buyers of certain DVD movies, beginning with Superman Returns this Wednesday, will be able to purchase download versions of the same movies for an additional price. Prices will vary between $2 for a portable-quality edition for handhelds to $4 for a hybrid download that includes both the portable version and a full-quality copy for computers. A file format was not specified but is likely to involve protected Windows Media files similar to those of its existing music store.
The retailer has been historically resistant to video downloads, frequently seeking instead to protect its often lucrative DVD sales which dominate the US market. Wal-Mart has in the past been accused of threatening Apple for its movie download service, and has alternately been rumored to have engaged in talks with the same company to minimize the impact of a likely decline in physical sales.
Professional Office beta
DEVONtechnologies has released DEVONthink Professional Office as a public beta, adding email archiving, paper capture, and web sharing to "the only" document manager for the Mac that is based on artificial intelligence. The advanced email archiver connects to all major email programs and imports messages or complete mailboxes to a database while keeping formatting as well as attachments intact. According to the developer, the simple interface resembles an email program and allows to easily select mailboxes or messages to import. In addition, users can filter messages by flags, priority or date range, and hide already imported messages. The new 'Export as Email' function can be used for both sending documents as attachment using the default email program and for replying to archived messages. DEVONthink is a database application that offers a flexible work environment as well as powerful management features, tools to effectively work with documents, and an integrated RTF editor to write new documents. Professional ($80) and Personal ($40) versions are already available from the company.
TRENDnet Super G adapter
TRENDnet has released a new USB 2.0 wireless adapter based on Atheros' Super G technology, which boosts the performance of 802.11g networks from 54Mbps to 108Mbps. The TEW-445UB is an extremely compact unit with a single antenna, but does sport a power output of 23dBm, and also uses Atheros' eXtended Range technology to reduce deadspots. Lower transfer rates are supported using 802.11b and the draft 802.11e standard. Multiple forms of encryption are available, namely 64, 128 and 152-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2, and WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK. TRENDnet claims a maximum range for the adapter of 164 to 328 feet indoors and 492 to 984 feet outdoors. The 445UB should be shipping now for the price of $72.
ThinkPad T60 Core 2 Duo
Having previously updated its mainstream line of portables to the faster Core 2 Duo processor, the company quietly improved its flagship ThinkPad T60 to use the new chip. Both the standard T60 and the workstation-oriented T60p can be upgraded to use as much as the top-end, 2.33GHz processor. Other performance details for the systems have also been upgraded with all stock systems shipping with at least 1GB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive, and the option of integrating broadband from Cingular or Verizon as well as adding Mobility Radeon X1400 graphics.
Additionally, the company says it will introduce a new, 15.4-inch widescreen option -- the first wide-aspect choice in the normally conservative T60 line. Buyers will have the choice of 1280x800 or 1680x1050 displays and will have access to the same features as standard-ratio models. Prices for the refreshed line range from $1,549 for a 1.66GHz widescreen T60 model with Intel GMA 950 video to the $4,149 T60p with a 2.33GHz processor, 2GB of memory, and a Mobility Radeon FireGL V5250 workstation-class graphics chip. All models are available this week.
MacGPS Pro 7.0 released
James Associates today released MacGPS Pro 7.0, an update to its Mac software that works wth Garmin and Magellan GPS receivers for transferring Waypoints, Routes, Tracklogs, and GPS satellite Almanacs. MacGPS Pro works with virtually all brands of GPS receivers for a real-time display of GPS information on a moving map on any Mac. It allows import of maps from a wide variety of sources--all of which can be viewed without a connected GPS receiver or used in real-time as a moving-map display of your current position and velocity. They can also be used as a background to graphically create, display and edit Waypoints, Routes and Tracklogs. Version 7 adds the ability to print the Map Window complete with multiple maps and overlaid GPS data. In addition, it can be used with the New MacElevation digital elevation data to know and plot the altitude of any US map or GPS data. it can also save PDF files, has an expanded/revised Help menu, and has new USA locator maps that make it easy to find and open the correct MacTopos map with a simple double-click. The Universal Binary is available for $60 ($10 discount for electronic delivery).
iSymphony M1, M2 ship
iSymphony today launched its new iSymphony music system, a multi-function audio playback device with support for Apple's iPod player. The iSymphony M1 integrates a CD/MP3 player with USB and SD/MMC inputs for flash memory devices to play through the unit. The M1 also features an AM/FM stereo tuner, MP3 as well as WMA playback, a backlit clock with the ability to wake to music, and a built-in universal dock for iPods with adapters to support all dockable models. The system charges the iPod while docked, and allows users to remix tunes through the system. The iSymphony M2 includes all of the M1's features, adding a Progressive Scan DVD/MPEG4 player along with additional flash memory via Memory Stick compatibility. The iSymphony M1 is priced at $200, while the iSymphony M3 is available for $300.
Apple sale, trick Safari
In brief: Apple is gearing up for another holiday sale following its Black Friday "Ready. Set. Shop." event, offering discounted goods to Australian and UK customers while supplies last via its online store from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. PST on December 1st.... One blogger has posted a means to trick Apple's Safari Web browser into automatically filling in a password field by reducing the size of the input fields on a Web page, such that the fields created but are not visible to the unsuspecting viewer.... Opera Software today released Opera Mini 3.0, the latest version of its mobile browser that introduces new features to enhance mobile social networking on community sites such as MySpace or Hotmail.... Other World Computing (OWC) today lowered pricing on its Mercury On-The-Go USB 2.0 portable bus-powered 2.5-inch hard drives (from $100) with up to 120GB of storage capacity.... FileMaker today announced that its special program for FileMaker 6 customers, which extended the availability of customer support as well as discounted upgrade pricing by more than five months, will expire on December 20th, 2006.... MacTech Magazine today announced that its MacForge Mac open source project index contains more than 40,000 projects. [updated]
Universal AccountEdge 2007
MYOB today released a Universal version of MYOB AccountEdge 2007, its business management and accounting application for Mac small businesses. In addition, AccountEdge 2007 is designed to sync contacts with Mac OS X's Address Book: one-click on the Sync Cards button will update contact cards in either system with the most up-to-date information available. Once in Address Book, users can sync contacts to their phones, PDA, and other software applications, including Entourage. The software also features new error-correcting features: errors made when reconciling bank statements can now be fixed instantly with the new Undo Reconciliation feature. It also now allows users to easily generate a PO from a sales order or quote.
M Cubed ships Minim 1.0
M Cubed Software has released its flagship software: Minim 1.0 is designed for musicians and songwriters to organize and share their compositions. Minim tracks songs by letting users add metadata and lyrics; audio and multimedia files associated with the song; and collaborators for multiple-author pieces, with iChat integration. Minim also allows users to create albums, group songs with the appropriate album, and add cover artwork--in a clean, easy-to-use interface. The software integrates with iCompositions.com, the leading community for independent, Mac-based musicians. It runs on Mac OS X 10.4 or later as a Universal Binary. Minim is only $25 (with five-user and education discount licenses also available). Minim is available at 50% off until December 1st with the coupon 'LAUNCHDAY'.
YouTube on Verizon Phones
Cellphone provider Verizon today revealed that it will give access to YouTube videos on its phones. The feature, which launches in December, would see subscribers to the company's V CAST video service gain access to highlighted videos as well the ability to post videos directly from their phones using a five-digit code as an identifier.
YouTube notes that the deal is not exclusive and that the video hosting site, recently acquired by Google, is shifting its efforts towards Internet-connected mobile devices. Though neither company involved is willing to discuss the exact terms of the deal, a Verizon spokesman said that the provider is increasingly turning to more lucrative music and video plans as the cost of regular voice service continues to fall.
DesignWorks 4.6.1 released
Capilano Computing has released version 4.6.1 of the DesignWorks schematic capture package. Offered as a Universal Binary for native performance on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs, the update also includes several refinements to the user interface. Users can draw, save, edit and print complete, professional circuit diagrams using powerful features like bussing, multi-level Undo/Redo, and automatic gate packaging. The package includes a library of common 74XX and discrete symbols provided as well as allows users to create their own libraries using the built-in symbol editor. DesignWorks Lite 4 schematic capture is intended for hobbyists or occasional users who need to draw simple, single page schematic diagrams and is priced at $40; it includes basic symbol libraries, sample designs and on-line documentation. DesignWorks Professional offers electronic circuit schematic drawing tools with hierarchical design, standard and custom netlist formats, extensive symbol libraries, and more. It is available for $500 ($100 discount for electronic delivery). A free viewer is also available.
H2O ships 2G Nano case
H2O Audio today announced that it has begun shipping its new H2O Audio for iPod nano Gen 2, the latest addition to H2O Audio's popular line of adventure sport accessories for iPod music players. H2O Audio for iPod nano's compact and durable form-fit case perfectly compliments the Gen 2 nano's slim-line design, according to the company. The Gen 2 housing ships with an armband and H2O Audio offers accessories including its patented waterproof headphones as well as a swim belt for off the arm extended water wear. H2O Audio for iPod nano Gen 2 features the company's patented durable "elastomeric" diagonal T-seal providing "absolute waterproof protection" as well as its unique full-function Commander scroll-wheel assembly that provides users with access to all click wheel functions--even when submerged in up to ten feet of water. The secure waterproof housing is rated to 10ft. (3m), is compatible with a wide range of standard headsets, and offers full view Menu screen, while delivering extreme impact and scratch protection. It is available for $80, while the headphones are $40.
Google VP on iPod video
Apple's popular iPod has already transformed the digital music industry and become a cultural phenomenon, but at least one Google executive believes that the media player will continue to revolutionize culture and the industry. One Google exec is predicting the iPod will lead a further media transformation of similar magnitude in the coming decade, according to Silicon.com. "Speaking at the FT World Communications Conference, Nikesh Arora, Google's VP of European operations, told delegates that, in the coming years, the plummeting price of storage and its increasing volume-to-size ratio will give iPods almost unlimited potential to hold music and video. Arora said, by 2012, iPods could launch at similar prices to those on sale now and yet be capable of holding a whole year's worth of video releases. Around 10 years down the line that could be expanded, creating iPods that can hold all the music ever sold commercially." He also said that that there will be greater convergence between mobile and internet, as consumers expect to be able to access traditional web content and services on the mobile platform.
Nokia 6000-Series Updates
At a press event in Amsterdam, Nokia on Tuesday launched three new cellphones built for the mid-range as well as a single entry-level model. Leading the announcements is the 6300 (pictured), a thin bar-shaped phone built for style. The new device is only 13.1mm (0.52 inches) thick and has features not always seen in phones its shape, such as a 2-megapixel camera, FM radio, and 135MB of built-in memory with support for up to 2GB more via microSD cards. Nokia expects the device to sell for €250 ($328) without a contract when it and the other three models ship in early 2007.
Notably, the company has also released a new dual-mode phone, the 6086. The handset is one of the few announced phones to explicitly support the Unlicensed Mobile Access used by T-Mobile and other providers, a technology that lets callers automatically switch from a traditional cellular network to WiFi to save roaming costs. The device is also a true world phone with quad-band GSM and should ship for €200 ($262).
Details of the remaining phones and a photo gallery follow after the jump.
PDFpen 3.1, PDFProtect 2.1
Two developers today updated their PDF utilities. SmileOnMyMac has added new link features to PDFpen 3.1, its PDF editing and form-filling tool for the Mac. Users can now add, edit and remove URL and page links to PDF documents, features that were previously available only in the Pro version. The software can replace text in PDFs with editable text blocks, overlay text/images, copy/paste rich text from PDFs, insert/reorder PDF pages, move/resize/delete images, create cross-platform PDF forms (with Pro version) and more. The company also released a retail version (available at Apple Stores) for $50. PDFpen, a Universal Binary, costs $50, while PDFpenPro costs $95. Upgrades from earlier versions of either application are $25 (and free to users who purchased after July 1, 2006). Both versions require Mac OS X 10.4 or later. Meanwhile, PDFProtect 2.1 is a specialized software application that can change, add or remove security level standards in the PDF documents. Users can change current document encryption settings by simply selecting the PDF file or folder with PDF files and setting new protection options. It features 40- and 128-bit encryption, and recursive search for PDF documents. It is available for $30 and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Embraceware's Awaken 3.0
Embraceware has released Awaken 3.0, its digital alarm clock for Mac OS X that wakes users by playing music or podcasts from the iTunes library as well as put users and any Mac to sleep with the sleep timer feature. The developer says that alarms can be created on a daily or weekly basis and that users can also setup a one-time alarm for any specific date and time in the future. Awaken also offers the ability to have the volume of the music -- as well as the brightness of the screen -- gradually fade in at the set alarm time. Version 3 is a complete re-write that features a refreshed UI, podcast support for the alarm and sleep timer, a new emergency alarm, a selection of preset alarm sounds, a warning system for alarm setup problems, support for custom or non-standard iTunes library locations, and more. A 14-day trial is available, while the full version is $9. It is a Universal Binary and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
StorCenter NAS servers
Iomega today announced the next-generation of its Iomega StorCenter network-attached storage (NAS) devices, which offer small- and medium-sized business networks improved performance using faster Intel processors in a whisper-quiet desktop form factor. The new StorCenter Pro NAS 250d Servers will soon be available worldwide in four new models ranging in capacity from 500GB to 1.5TB. All models feature the Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 operating system, optimized for file and print services. The StorCenter Pro NAS 250d 500GB server also comes with a built-in Iomega REV 70GB drive for server backup and restore operations, while the flagship Iomega StorCenter Pro NAS 250d 1.5TB Server offers print server functions. The 750GB/1.5GB NAS storage devices use SATA-II hot-swappable hard drives, offer both Gigabit Ethernet and Ultra 320 SCSI connectivity and support hardware-based RAID options, including RAID 5 (striping plus parity), RAID 0 (striping), and RAID 1 (mirroring). The 750GB and 1.5GB models use 3x250GB and 3x500GB drives (respectively), while the 500GB models use two-drives and support RAID 0/RAID 1.
MOTOFONE Global Debut
Motorola this morning officially released its handset for the developing world, the MOTOFONE, to the international market. The phone was previously announced this year and is designed to reach communities where such devices were previously impractical. A high-contrast, plastic e-paper display consumes little power, is easy to read in daylight, and resists the cracks or dust likely to affect more fragile LCDs, Motorola says. The interface also avoids using text, relying instead on audio, icons, and numbers that allow even the illiterate to use the MOTOFONE properly. Simultaneously, however, the phone retains Motorola's more recent ultra-thin design and is intended to provide a sense of style even to poorer regions, according to the company.
Two versions of the phone are scheduled for launch. Debuting today is the F3, a black GSM-based model that ships to India immediately and to other countries within the next few weeks; the F3c (pictured), a silver CDMA phone, is expected by the end of 2006. Motorola has not specified which countries are likely to receive the phone next, but has not ruled out a North American release.
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