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News Archive for 06/12/04

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James Kim's wife, daughter found; James still missing

12/04, 10:55pm

Some Kim Family Found

The wife and daughters of James Kim, whose family was reported missing, were found today by search times looking for the group, according to an update by CNET. The Portland Police indicated that James' wife Kati, as well as daughters Penelope and Sabine, were found in "good condition" by rescuers and have been airlifted to a nearby hospital. James, however, has not been found and is said by Kati to have left on foot in order to seek help. The family survived its ordeal by conserving its limited supplies, keeping warm with the car heater, and even burning the car tires when the heater was no longer available, officials said.

Search teams are continuing a round-the-clock search and hope to find James alive given his good condition before leaving the car. We at Electronista hope for the entire family to be reunited shortly and wish the rescuers the best of success.

MacSOS releases Risky Business SOS

12/04, 6:05pm

Risky Business SOS

MacSOS Solutions today released Risky Business SOS, an application designed to simplify and guide a company through the task of documenting Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs). "Every organization has a strict legal obligation to the community and employees to identify, assess, control and document the hazards, substances and procedures at their workplace," said MacSOS Solutions. "This software application is designed to aid compliance with these regulations." Key Risky Business SOS features include online SOP creation and access with versioning, as well as hazard identification history of corrective actions. The software manages risk assessments of hazards as well as procedures, handles hazardous substances with versioning, and helps keep tabs on dangerous goods alongside exposure risk-controls. Risky Business SOS is priced at $500 for a small business license.

CompuSTAR Pro car remote handles many tasks

12/04, 6:00pm

Multitasking car remote

Firstech's upcoming CompuSTAR Pro remote handles numerous functions beyond starting a car or opening doors from a distance. A color LCD displays data such as a clock, a parking meter timer and internal car temperature, while the starter itself can trigger heating or air conditioner systems at the same time. Vehicles are safeguarded with extra security features such as a siren and two-way paging capability. Range on the Pro extends to 6,000 feet. The key should be available in mid-January. To determine cost and availability, contact Firstech directly, or speak with Canadian companies such as Staub or Robert Thibert.

PowerAid Mobile battery pack debuts

12/04, 5:35pm

PowerAid battery pack

US Modular today debuted its PowerAid Mobile battery pack, a handheld device that stores its own lithium-ion battery to charge most portable electronics such as cellular handsets and iPods. A typical device gains an additional 2-3 hours of run time, according to Electronista, and the Mobile version of the company's existing charger plugs into any USB device. The PowerAid Mobile ships with ten connectors to match the power demands of compatible devices, and the device itself can recharge through either an AC adapter or the 12-volt port found on many cars. US Modular expects the smaller PowerAid to ship this month for $50.

MySpace worm exploits QuickTime

12/04, 5:15pm

Worm exploits QuickTime

A worm affecting the MySpace journal network is exploiting Apple's QuickTime player, according to one report. As much as a third of MySpace could be contaminated with infection beginning by visiting a journal with an embedded QuickTime movie. The contaminated movie uses JavaScript to display a menu that links to an external website where users are asked to enter login information which is promptly stolen, and in turn used to infect the user's own MySpace journal. The purpose of the worm appears to be spam, which is sent to names on a user's MySpace contact list and directs readers to a pornography site, which also hosts adware by Zango. IDG News observes that Zango paid $3 million last month in a dispute with the Federal Trade Commission, who accused the company of failing to ask for consent before installing its product.

Sprint carries rugged Sanyo phone for kids

12/04, 5:00pm

Sanyo SCP-7000 at Sprint

In addition to the M1 music phone, Sprint today also began carrying the SCP-7000, a toughened phone meant primarily to survive the oftentimes rough use by children. A rubber trim covering a large portion of the handset both aids in maintaining a safe grip and better resists against cracks due to drops.

Equal protection is offered by the software, Sprint says. Parental controls are built in that can limit access to specific inbound or outbound phone numbers as well as curb the use of Sprint's multimedia services. The company offers the phone now for $180 at retail stores but will lower the price to $30 when tied to a two-year agreement.

DLO unveils Home Dock Pro for iPod

12/04, 5:00pm

Home Dock Pro unveiled

DLO today introduced the HomeDock Pro, an updated version of its longstanding iPod dock system that is built for home theater integration -- unlike the earlier HomeDock and HomeDock Deluxe. -- The system features RS-232 as well as RS-485 ports to enable more advanced stereo systems to automatically control the iPod and trigger it alongside lighting, sound, and television systems. The Pro edition also adds the ability to navigate and play videos directly from a TV-based menu system; the previous Deluxe model allows for music navigation on-screen only. The dock comes bundled with an 18-button wireless remote, and works with all click wheel-based iPods, according to Electronista (pricing and availability were unavailable).

US Modular preps PowerAid Mobile battery, charger

12/04, 4:35pm

PowerAid Mobile Charger

US Modular today said it will unveil the PowerAid Mobile battery pack. The handheld device stores its own lithium-ion battery and charges most portable electronics such as cellphones and iPods: a typical device gains an additional 2-3 hours of run time, according to the company's estimates. The Mobile version of the company's existing charger can plug into any USB device and ships with ten connectors to match the power demands of compatible devices. The PowerAid Mobile itself can recharge through either an AC adapter or the 12-volt port found on many cars. US Modular expects the smaller PowerAid to ship this month for $50.

Digimage releases Color It! 4.5

12/04, 4:35pm

Color It! 4.5 released

Digimage Arts today released Color It! 4.5 for Mac OS X. The latest revision of Color It! is a fully-featured image editing program with advanced paint tools that is easy to learn and use, according to Digimage, using as little as 6MB of memory when running. "Color It! has everything most people need to edit, improve, and modify images or create their own from scratch." Users can save images in various formats, and a fully customizable tool palette offers more than 75 built-in filters and effects. The software includes patterns usable with a brush with complete control over size, shape, opacity, and more. Color It! also supports pressure sensitive tablets, and accepts input from digital cameras as well as scanners. Color It! 4.5 requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later, and is priced at $60. Owners of Color It! 4.0 can upgrade for $40, while owners of other Digimage Arts software can purchase the latest version for $50.

SpeakerCraft speakers aim, conceal themselves

12/04, 4:10pm

Self-concealing speakers

SpeakerCraft has developed the TIME line of speakers, which have the unique ability to conceal and aim themselves. Normally built flush against a wall or ceiling, the speakers emerge on cue, and automatically rotate to a "sweet spot" pre-defined by the user. Each unit drops to a 15-, 30-, or 45-degree angle, and has a rotation range of 320 degrees. Three distinct models (the One, Three and Five) offer increasing levels of power and fidelity. The top-of-the-line Five can produce 100W, and has a frequency range of 33Hz to 20KHz. A single Five costs $750. To buy from SpeakerCraft, shoppers must locate a dealer through the company's website.

PNY reveals 4GB SD card

12/04, 4:00pm

PNY 4GB SD Card

PNY has just released its first SD card to support the new SDHC standard. The new 4GB model is the first from the company to take advantage of the new standard's higher memory limits and is also rated as a Class 4 card, giving it a minimum write speed of 4MB per second. This gives it the sustained performance needed for higher-end cameras and even HD-quality video recording, PNY says. Using the card requires an SDHC-capable reader such as that built into the Nikon D40. The 4GB card will be available this month for online retailers at a price of $120, while brick-and-mortar stores will receive the card in early 2007.

Apple acquires broadcast media firm

12/04, 3:45pm

Apple acquires Proximity

Apple has recently acquired Proximity, a company that produces solutions for creative media asset management and production workflow software. A statement on the website says: "We are pleased to announce that all Proximity technology and intellectual property, including artbox workgroup and artbox enterprise, was recently acquired by Apple... We remain a dedicated leading provider of creative media asset management and production workflow software. Our cutting edge production workflow solutions are widely considered the defacto standard for the ingestion, retrieval, browsing, editing, management, cataloging and storage of broadcast rich-media assets. Proximity solutions empower the customer to Protect, leverage and extend media with the best-of-breed equipment available in broadcasting today." The company said that existing Proximity customers with current support contracts will be contacted by Apple with details regarding their specific agreements and support requirements.

NEC produces durable, ultraportable laptop

12/04, 3:20pm

NEC VersaPro Ultralite VC

NEC today said its new VersaPro Ultralite VC is one of the few ultraportables to combine strength with its slim profile. Though weighing only 2.1 pounds without an optical drive, the 12-inch system's hardened outer shell is capable of supporting 330 pounds of pressure, preventing the case from easily shattering during a drop or the screen from cracking while inside a tightly-packed bag. The computer has a rubber-mounted hard drive and an extra-durable USB port for frequent use of flash drives and other add-ons.

NEC also claims to deliver an extreme level of efficiency: by using a low-voltage 1.06GHz Core Duo, the system can run on its own power for at least 4.5 hours and as much as 14.5 hours when using the extended-capacity battery. A fingerprint reader is standard, as is a FeliCa sensor for making wireless payments in NEC's native Japan. The VC is available now at an open price on the Japanese market; a North American launch has not yet been announced.

Apps: Descender, BetterHandles, Disco

12/04, 3:05pm

Descender, BetterHandles

    Chat Transcript Manager 1.1.1 ($20) enables users to scan thousands of saved chat conversations, view images inline, search based on multiple criteria, and display custom chat views. The update fixes an issue that prevented the software from working on Mac OS X 10.3.9, enhances several localizations, and includes numerous minor fixes. [Download - 2MB]
    Descender 1.6 ($12) marks the latest revision of the Tetris-style arcade game with animated pieces, 2-player support, and a global online high score system with a Game Boy-inspired 'surf-rock' soundtrack. The update adds a 'recent online high scores' screen, a new background for level 30 and above higher key sensitivity settings, and fixes a minor graphical glitch. [Download - 8.3MB]
    MovieChapterizer 1.2 ($15) enables users to add chapters to videos as well as sound files that are playable in QuickTime Player. Version 1.2 increases the number of chapters users can add to a video or sound file to 50, adds support for the WAV file format, includes a volume control slider, and increases the area of the 'splitview' occupied by the movie to better suit large screen displays. [Download - 2.4MB]
    BetterHandles 1.0 ($30) is a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator that combines a tool and palette to ease the process of working Bezier curve handles. The plug-in supports selection of multiple handles to collectively move, extend, rotate, and retract. Handles are extendable and retractable without changing angles, and edit points numerically convert multiple points from corner to smooth or vice versa. [Download - 1.1MB]
    Disco Public Beta 3 ($15) is another disc burning utility that claims to accomplish real burning tasks with minimal effort. The software features Disc spanning, full multi session support, audio burning, disc erasing, multi-file system support, one-to-one copies, VIDEO_TS burning, motion sensor support, and many disc imaging options. The update allows users to manage the index library and index existing disks, offering more than 30 new features and bug fixes. [Download - 900KB]
    iWisdom 1.20 (freeware) is a Java-based program that manages a collection of quotations or other brief insights including author, source, year of publication, title, and category. The latest revision adds the ability to generate RSS feeds, as well as a new Collection Tab to store information about a broad wisdom collection. [Download - 3.1MB]

Antec debuts Nine Hundred performance case

12/04, 2:45pm

Antec Nine Hundred Case

Antec has recently launched its Nine Hundred computer case. The enclosure is tailored for gaming and includes an extensive amount of cooling to reduce the heat of even the hottest-running CPUs and video cards, the company claims. Two LED-lit, 120mm fans are mounted at the front; a rear 120mm fan and a top-mounted 200mm fan draw heat out of the case quickly. The case also provides attachments for middle- and side-mounted 120mm fans for immediately cooling particularly hot components.

Convenience is also important in the Nine Hundred, Antec says. A tray on the top of the case provides room for music players or other peripherals while front-mounted audio, FireWire, and USB ports exist to connect those external devices to the host PC. The tower includes room for as many as nine 5.25" external drives and ships now for $150.

Pro Import Cmb 1.05 released

12/04, 2:35pm

Pro Import Cmb 1.05

Automatic Duck today released Pro Import Cmb 1.05, an application for the Combustion compositing suite by Autodesk. Pro Import converts Avid (OMF), Final Cut (XML) and Premiere Pro (AAF) files to the Combustion format, retaining most of the visual effects applied in native applications. The latest release adds a slew of updates, including Universal Binary status, and increases the speed of the software on PowerPC systems. Pro Import Cmb also provides compatibility with Avid DNxHD media and Combustion 4.04 for the Mac. The update is available for free to existing Pro Import users. Automatic Duck also released a P2 import crash fix for Pro FCP products, and is offering a new version of its Free XML Exporter for Final Cut Pro. The plug-in is designed to simplify the exporting process, removing the intermediate settings dialog and inserting the current filename into the save field.

DLO readies iPod dock for home theater integration

12/04, 2:10pm

DLO HomeDock Pro

DLO today introduced the HomeDock Pro, an updated version of its longstanding iPod dock system. Unlike the earlier HomeDock and HomeDock Deluxe, the Pro model is built for home theater integration and has RS-232 as well as RS-485 ports to let more advanced stereo systems automatically control the iPod and trigger it alongside lighting, sound, and television systems. The Pro edition also adds the ability to navigate and play videos directly from a TV-based menu system; the previous Deluxe model only allows for music navigation on-screen, DLO says. An 18-button wireless remote is bundled with the dock. The dock works with all click wheel-based iPods. Pricing a launch date have not been announced.

Bare Bones releases BBEdit 8.5.2

12/04, 1:55pm

BBEdit 8.5.2 released

Bare Bones Software today released BBEdit 8.5.2, a maintenance release that fixes reported issues and adds minor refinements to the HTML and text editor for Mac. BBEdit offers grep pattern matching, search and replace across multiple files, function navigation, and syntax coloring for numerous source code languages. The application also features the ability to open as well as save via FTP and SFTP, Applescript and Unix scripting support, clippings, code folding, intra-application automation, and a complete set of HTML tools. BBEdit 8.5.2 is available as a free update to registered license holders, and costs $125 for new users. The software requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.

Digg founder reveals iPhone details?

12/04, 1:40pm

Digg founder on iPhone

Digg founder Kevin Rose has revealed various details about Apple's forthcoming iPhone in the Diggnation video blog. The new unit will ship in 4GB and 8GB storage capacities for $249 and $449, with flash-based storage providing lower power consumption and a slimmer profile. The phone is said to be extremely small, and will feature two separate batteries to power the MP3 player portion of the device as well as the telephone aspect of the handset. Separation of these two batteries will enable consumers to listen to music without fear of losing phone connectivity. The phone, according to Rose, will feature a slide-out keyboard and a touch-screen face. Additionally, the phone reportedly works with all major phone providers including T-Mobile, Cingular, and Verizon with support for all major standards including GSM, TDMA, CDMA, and Spring PCS.

LG unveils 22-inch widescreen LCD

12/04, 1:20pm

LG 22-inch LCD

Electronics giant LG today released its first 22-inch widescreen display, the L226WT. The screen incorporates HDCP encryption support to allow full-quality playback of certain Blu-Ray and HD DVD movies. LG adds that the 1680x1050 display is part of the new generation of LCDs and has an exceptionally high 3,000:1 contrast ratio as well as a quick 5ms (gray-to-gray) response time well-suited to games and videos. Input is provided through a single DVI-D port. The L226WT is compatible with Macs and is one of the first displays to be officially certified for Windows Vista, the company says. It ships today in Korea and will be available in North America soon for a currently unknown price.

Nokia announces new 1325, 1265 phones

12/04, 1:10pm

Nokia announces 1325, 1265

Promoting them at the 3G World Congress in Hong Kong, Nokia has announced two new CDMA phones, the 1265 and 1325. Pocket-lint notes that the phones are basic models, having no cameras or music players. The 1325 (pictured) does have a screen with 64,000 colors however, and can record up to a minute and a half of voice. Talk time is 3.5 hours and standby is 156. The 1265 is further stripped down, having only 60 seconds of recording and a black-and-white screen. Pricing and dates for both phones are unknown, but they will be shipping to Africa, Latin America, east Asia, and the Middle East.

XtremeMac's MicroMemo for 2G Nano

12/04, 1:10pm

MicroMemo for 2G Nano

XtremeMac today announced its MicroMemo recorder designed specifically for the second-generation iPod nano as well as a lapel microphone called MemoMic that works with all versions of MicroMemo. The devices enable digital recording of interviews, lectures, meetings and more, directly to the iPod nano. MicroMemo for iPod nano offers one-touch recording via on-screen menus and controls. The device features a flexible, detachable microphone and a built-in speaker for instant playback without headphones. The included microphone can be detached, exposing a 3.5mm jack which accepts input from other microphones, or line-in devices such as digital mixers. MicroMemo attaches to the bottom of the iPod nano via the dock connector and a toggle switch on the unit selects between microphone, line-in sources, or headphones. It is built to complement the shape and aesthetics of the new iPod nano. It is available in black or silver anodized aluminum (matching the iPod nano) for $60 and will begin shipping early this month.

USB Stylus Pen combines multiple functions

12/04, 12:30pm

Three-in-one USB pen

Sold by Restoration Hardware, the new USB Stylus Pen combines three different functions into the same device. Its standard purpose is as a traditional ballpoint pen, but it also contains a PDA touchscreen stylus, and removing the endcap reveals a 128MB USB drive. When completely assembled, the pen measures six inches in length and features an ergonomic grip towards the front. The ink cartridge can be replaced should the well run dry. Restoration is currently selling the Stylus Pen for $69.

Belkin debuts cable-free USB hub

12/04, 12:20pm

Cable-free USB hub

Belkin today debuted its cable-free USB hub (site not updated) that enables instant wireless connectivity of USB devices. The device utilizes Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology with the Wisair chipset, allowing users to place a laptop anywhere in a room and still access USB-based devices such as printers and scanners. The device offers connectivity up to 30-feet from the hub, transferring data at up to 480Mbps for USB 2.0 devices. The cable-free USB hub includes a USB dongle that connects to a computer as well as a Dongle stand to provide optimum wireless reception. The device is scheduled to ship in the U.S. in mid-December for $200, with planned launches to take place overseas at an undetermined date.

Belkin promotes "first" wireless USB hub

12/04, 12:00pm

Belkin wireless USB hub

Belkin is promoting what it calls the industry's first USB hub to not require a direct connection to a computer. The Cable-Free USB Hub instead uses Wisair's Ultra-Wideband chipset to connect wirelessly, permitting the unit to be placed anywhere within a 30-foot range. The USB receiver dongle plugs into desktops and laptops; an optional stand may provide better reception. The hub itself has four USB 2.0 ports, which run at speeds of up to 480Mbps. The Cable-Free launches in the United States in mid-December for the price of $200, while Asian, European and Australian releases will follow after an indefinite time period.

Samsung launches three Ultra Edition media phones

12/04, 11:45am

Samsung Ultra Edition Trio

At the ITU 2006 conference, Samsung today revealed three phones in its high-end Ultra Edition line, each built for specific users. Leading the announcements was the i600 Ultra Messaging. Recently approved by the FCC, the i600 is the world's thinnest smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard at 11.8mm (0.46 inches), Samsung claims. The communicator is also one of the few of its size to integrate a forward-facing VGA camera for video chats and also supports the faster HSDPA mobile broadband standard. The i600 is set to debut in Asia and Europe as of early 2007, according to Samsung, though availability of the phone in North America is likely to follow.

Click through for photos as well as details of the Ultra Music and Ultra Video models.

Toshiba launches two new cellphones

12/04, 11:25am

Toshiba TS32, TX80 phones

Toshiba has launched two new cellphones in Hong Kong, the TS32 and the TX80, says The Register. The former is a business-oriented candybar phone, measuring only 0.4 inches thick, but likewise has limited features, such as Bluetooth 1.2 and a 1.3-megapixel camera. Active talk-time is just 2.5 hours, and onboard memory is restricted to 5.5MB, though a microSD slot can provide up to 1GB of extra storage. More relevant to the public may be the TX80 (pictured), a clamshell phone with 40MB of memory and anywhere between three (3G) and five (GSM) hours of talk-time. Video calls are limited to VGA resolution, but stills can be taken with the phone's full 3.2 megapixels. The TS32 will ship in black-grey, black-purple and and silver-and-gold colors, while the the TX80 will come in black, white and pink. Prices for both models are unpublished.

Gibson ships HD.6X-Pro digital guitar

12/04, 11:10am

Gibson digital guitar

Gibson today began shipping the HD.6X-Pro digital guitar, an instrument which the company calls a revolutionary first for professional musicians. The guitar's unique Hex pickup immediately converts the motion of the strings into a pre-amped digital signal that can produce studio-grade output regardless of the intended destination. The HD.6X-Pro features a standard 0.25-inch output for conventional amplifiers with support for other devices via Gibson's Ethernet-based MaGIC system, ensuring a direct connection to computers while greatly simplifying the wiring process. Attached to an included breakout box, a single Ethernet cable carries all the needed input and output signals for miles without a loss in quality, according to Electronista. The guitar is available through Sweetwater for $4,000; a limited run of 100 guitars signed by Les Paul is also shipping for $8,000 each.

Sanyo M1 music phone arrives at Sprint

12/04, 10:40am

Sanyo M1 at Sprint

Sprint today revealed that it carries the Sanyo M1, a high-end music phone targeted at frequent listeners. The clamshell design holds a full 1GB of internal memory, allowing it to store a large number of AAC, AAC+, or MP3 songs without requiring a removable card. Dedicated music controls on the outer shell also give control without having to open the phone itself; the phone also has access to Sprint's own radio and TV streaming services.

The M1 is equally notable for its camera, according to the cellular provider. Its 2-megapixel camera is uncommon amongst music phones and includes autofocus for more accurate photos. Sanyo's device is additionally one of Sprint's Power Vision phones, supporting EVDO broadband as well as video capture. The phone ships today for $350 at retail or $200 alongside a two-year service plan. A profile gallery follows after the jump.

TrackClipPRO tracks head motions in 3D games

12/04, 10:35am

NaturalPoint TrackClipPRO

While VR headsets have largely fallen by the wayside, products like NaturalPoint's TrackClip PRO are salvaging some of the benefits. The PRO, shipping today, clips on to an existing pair of over-the-ear headphones, tracking a user's head movements in PC games. Motions are exaggerated so that a user doesn't have turn completely away from a monitor. NaturalPoint boasts that the PRO has a full six degrees of freedom, meaning that in supported titles, players can tilt or thrust their view as well as rotate it. Some notable games in the lineup include EVE Online, GTR 2, and Flight Simulator X. The TrackClip PRO can be bought online for $40.

Briefly: Apple at RSNA; tracking iPods?

12/04, 10:30am

Apple at RSNA, free icons

In brief: Apple recently made an appearance at the Radiological Society of North America's (RSNA) annual conference in Chicago, showcasing its 24-inch iMacs and Xserve server systems as documented by two MacNN readers.... A few grad students have demonstrated a means to track users of the iPod+Nike Sport Kit, which is raising personal privacy concerns in some areas.... A video on YouTube is contradicting Apple's claims that its computers don't crash, as the two hosts experience a black MacBook repeatedly restarting on its own accord.... ToonSanta.com today released five free holiday icons available in Adobe Illustrator and 128x128 PNG formats.... Booq is showcasing its array of protective bags for Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro as gift ideas for creative professionals this holiday season. [corrected]

Gibson intros HD.6X-Pro digital guitar

12/04, 10:10am

Gibson Pro Digital Guitar

Guitar maker Gibson on Monday released the HD.6X-Pro digital guitar, an instrument the company calls a revolutionary first for professional musicians. The new guitar's unique Hex pickup immediately converts the motion of the strings into a pre-amped, digital signal that the company says can produce studio-grade output regardless of the intended destination. Though a standard 1/4" output is included for conventional amplifiers, the HD.6X-Pro can also link to other devices through Gibson's Ethernet-based MaGIC system: this not only ensures a direct connection to computers but also greatly simplifies the wiring process. Attached to an included breakout box, a single Ethernet cable can carry all the needed input and output signals for miles without a loss in quality, according to Gibson. The guitar is available today through Sweetwater for $4,000; a limited run of 100 guitars signed by Les Paul is also shipping for $8,000 each.

iPod Wi-Fi video transmitter launches

12/04, 9:55am

Wi-Fi video transmitter

Princeton has launched its PCK-UAV wireless video transmitter intended primarily for Apple's fifth-generation iPod. The adapter plugs into the iPod's headphone jack to relay music, photos, and video through UHF channels to a compatible TV, such as many in-car models already available in Japan. The transmitter includes an iPod cradle and a special cable; although the hardware's use of standard RCA jacks allows for DVD players or virtually any other video source to broadcast a signal, according to Electronista. The PCK-UAV ships within the next few days in variants with and without an iPod mounting kit from $90.

Tricky Software releases Armado

12/04, 9:45am

Armado released

Tricky Software today released its latest game title where players assume the role of Armado the armadillo, embarking upon a great adventure to free the queen -- the last of the Great Eagles. "While on a journey to visit the queen, Armado learned of a growing darkness from the south; armies of giant ants marching northward. They moved slowly at first, but eventually overwhelmed and colonized the legendary eagle nests in the mountains. Soon, the queen herself was captured, and imprisoned." Armed with a satchel filled with magical eggs, players must place the eggs one by one into the ancient nests to free the queen from imprisonment. Armado requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and is available for download from Tricky Software's website (pricing was unavailable).

Crossword Forge 5.0 builds "Live" puzzles

12/04, 9:30am

Crossword Forge 5.0

Sol Robots today released Crossword Forge 5.0, a major upgrade to the popular classroom crossword and word search puzzle generator. Version 5.0 now generates interactive word search puzzles that users can play on the Web. The "Live" puzzles, which require Flash 7 player, use an easy drag-select interface that offers immediate feedback when users find a word. Additionally, Crossword Forge lets users choose whether to offer hints, and how many to offer. Version 5.0 also includes improved support for Intel-based Macs with Mac OS X's built-in multilingual spell checker. In addition, it adds built-in support for making Greek puzzles, allowing users to create puzzles in over 15 languages with easy tools to add more. Crossword Forge is immediately available for $50 (electronic delivery) and $65 (CD delivery). Existing users can upgrade for free (if purchased after 2/16/03) and free demos are available.

Quicky USB Transceiver for iBooks

12/04, 9:20am

Quicky USB Transceiver

QuickerTek today said that its Quicky USB Transceiver now supports Apple's iBooks, allowing users to double the wireless performance of Apple's previous-generation laptops. Quicky temporarily clips to the top of the open iBook case, offering a unique combination of a wireless transceiver and an external antenna. It requires no computer skills to either set up or use: when connected to the USB port, users experience ten times more RF power than a stock iBook, according to the company. This additional wireless power produces greater operating distances from the AirPort Base Station or wireless access point, and more available networks to choose from. Quicky works with all 802.11/b/g WiFi equipment including Apple AirPort and AirPort Extreme. It does not require any extra software drivers. Quicky, priced at $225, ships with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.

Keyspan ships TuneView iPod remote control

12/04, 9:20am

Keyspan TuneView Remote

Keyspan this morning began shipping the TuneView remote for iPods. The controller is unique courtesy of its two-way interaction with the iPod, the company claims. Using a two-way RF signal, the TuneView can view the iPod's content directly from a color LCD and effectively eliminates the need to view the iPod screen directly for track information or more advanced playback controls. The remote connects to a specially-made dock that can both synchronize with a host Mac or PC and relays both line-out audio as well as images through S-video. The TuneView works with all dockable iPods and is available for $179.

Free Mac Word templates at Stocklayouts

12/04, 9:10am

Free Mac Word templates

StockLayouts has released Microsoft Word version of its library of agency-quality graphic design templates for creating high impact print marketing materials. Created for business users of the Mac who are seeking a simple and inexpensive way to create professional-looking marketing materials for print, this release delivers the same output quality as high-end graphics applications and provide a time- and money-saving answer for producing brochures, newsletters, flyers, postcards, ads, business cards, letterheads and more. The royalty-free templates, designed for Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac, include pre-designed layouts, high resolution stock photos, original artwork, color palettes, and suggested headline and subhead copy. Users are able to make as few or as many edits to their layout as they like by adding text, changing colors and fonts, exchanging or re-sizing photos and graphic elements.

Bookends 9.1 goes "Universal"

12/04, 9:00am

Bookends 9.1 released

Sonny Software has released Bookends 9.1, a Mac-only full-featured bibliography/reference and information management application for students and professionals. Version 9.1 is now a Universal Binary for native operation on both Intel/PowerPC-based Macs. It also offers automatic downloading PDF-based files via PubMed works with many more publishers, allows Global Change operations to be restricted to selected references, and offers improved importing of references and naming of downloaded PDF files. The software offers easy categorization, advanced search, and more functions for saving, retrieving, and formatting references for bibliographies or footnotes. Bookends retails for $100 ($70 for students). It is free for anyone who bought Bookends on or after November 1, 2004. There are also special discounts for those who are switching from EndNote or other reference management products, and for registered users of Mellel.

Azureus launches BitTorrent-based video service

12/04, 8:50am

Zudeo Video Service

Software developer Azureus today made its first entry into the commercial realm by introducing its new Zudeo service. A combination of software and a portal website, the service is meant to share long-form content such as games and videos at no cost to their creators. This is possible by using an updated version of the company's existing BitTorrent client: as all files are downloaded from an Internet-wide group of peers rather than a central server, even HD-quality videos can be downloaded free and quickly, Azureus says. The company is offering a mix of both commercial and user-submitted content and already includes official material from Tony Hawk. More content deals are expected in coming weeks.

The program itself is also dramatically expanded, according to the company. While the previous edition (known under the Azureus name) focused solely on downloads, the new Zudeo edition allows for browsing, content channels, and searches to help discover new media. A peer-to-peer streaming feature is promised for the near future. Files are currently free to download with the new service, though the company has not said whether or not it will charge for downloads in the future.

Keyspan ships TuneView for iPod

12/04, 8:50am

TuneView for iPod ships

Keyspan on Monday announced it is now shipping "TuneView for iPod," a powerful remote with color LCD screen and 2-way RF connectivity that provides a new wireless way to manage an iPod. "TuneView is unique. It's unlike any iPod remote that you've used before," said Keyspan president Mike Ridenhour. "TuneView features a color LCD screen that lets you remotely view the contents of your iPod and control playback -- allowing you to manage the iPod as if it were in your hands." TuneView for iPod consists of a 2-way RF remote with color LCD screen, a universal iPod dock, a USB power adapter, audio and USB cables, and selected dock inserts. It is available now for $180 and will be available outside of North America in January.

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