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India gets Macs, iPods
Apple today formed a partnership to bring more of its products to more places India, including a deal for a possible Apple-branded store in the country. The Cupertino-based company brokered a deal with a PC vendor that will bring Macs and iPods into the world's second largest country. Wipro Infotech has joined Apple Computer International to sell Apple's entire range of products in India, including the new MacBook Pro and MacBook, its professional and consumer desktops (Mac Pro, Mac mini, iMac), enterprise solutions (Xserve, XRAID) and its entire iPod line. The deal will allow Apple to leverage Wipro's robust marketing infrastructure built over two decades in the PC domain and will create newer opportunities for both the companies to address new and existing markets.
PandoraJam 1.0 ($15) Stream music
wirelessly, record audio for playback on iPods, and submit tracks to
Last.fm. Now records AAC songs which
can be streamed to other computers and AppleTV.
[Download - 2MB]
iList Data 3.5 ($70) low cost database software for the Macintosh. Includes integrated graphing, user designed record editors, ten find modes, and batch editing. Also included is extensive support for cataloging images and other files. The new release has native support for Intel Macs and support for text clipping and web bookmark databases [Download - fill out form]
Path Finder 4.7 ($18) advanced file browser. The new release has a revamped Get Info window that provides summary information for multiple items. There is now also "experimental" Subversion support from within Path Finder with basic svn functionality (status, update, commit, diff, add, etc.). Finally, the redesigned Applications Launcher makes it easier to launch applications and comes with global quick key support for access from any application. [Download - 20MB]
ASA vindicates Apple
The British Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has vindicated Apple in contention over the company's "Get a Mac" ads, which unnamed parties complained unfairly portrayed Windows as an insecure operating system. The ASA rejected these complaints, essentially stating that Apple's claims are legitimate, and Macs actually are less virus-prone that counterpart Windows systems. The decision to reject the claims was, in part, based on a letter from a security research firm that indeed noted many fewer security threats for Mac OS X that various flavors of Windows.
Biz customer iPhone ban?
Apple's iPhone is scheduled to ship on June 29th, but customers with Cingular/AT&T business accounts may be unable to purchase the handset unless they stand in line as individuals through retail channels. "I just spoke to a Cingular/AT&T business representative from the headquarters of the company (not a kiosk) and was told that iPhones will not be available for purchase by business account customers until further notice," one informant told AppleInsider. Another user who spoke with his Cingular business account manager was also informed that he would be unable to purchase an iPhone via Cingular business channels, but must instead purchase the handset through the carrier's retail channels.
ZDNet: OS X copies Vista
One ZDNet blogger has claimed that, at least in her eyes, Mac OS X Leopard is a copy of Windows Vista in many respects. "If you've seen Vista, there's no way you could help but compare the feature-complete Leopard beta Jobs showcased with Windows Vista," wrote ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley. "And -- surprise -- Vista looked pretty darn up-to-date in comparison." Foley says Leopard's new desktop is "not a whole lot different" from Vista's Aero and Sidebar, while the new Finder offers many of the same capabilities as the integrated "Instant Search" feature in Vista, which many industry watchers said closely resembles Apple's "Spotlight" technology that shipped on April 29th of 2005 -- more than two years ago -- with the company's current version of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Most of the 'copied' features cited by Foley are known to have seen existed in various forms within the Mac community long before Vista began shipping to the general public earlier this year.
Philips SJM3151 Remote
Philips today backed up its universal remote series with the SJM3151, a new model tailored with iPods in mind. The six-device controller ships with its own iPod dock and offers full track navigation through an integrated LCD, but includes general buttons that can be custom-programmed for movie players, TVs, and other devices. Problems with distance have also been solved by the choice of wireless format, according to the company. Using the new ZigBee standard lets the remote tune the iPod from as far as 300 feet away where other devices have to use the line-of-sight IR transmitter.
Elektron 2 released
PeriodikLabs has released Elektron 2, enhancing the server software that provides RADIUS/802.1x authentication services for Wi-Fi networks. The latest revision of Elektron features authentication domains, where users can define multiple sources of authentication based on a domain; enhanced authorization for policies that perform actions based upon groups, dates, and access points; and EAP-fast support for the latest Wi-Fi authentication protocols. The update also implements SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) -- enabling users to monitor a server using a vast array of management tools -- as well as a FIPS 140-2 Crypto module to ensure network authentication security. Elektron 2 is priced at $750, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
iPhone Two Month Shortage
Apple will likely have to deal with serious supply issues for the first four to eight weeks of the iPhone launch, Dr. Simon Croom of the Supply Chain Management Institute has told ZDNet. The group's director indicates that the global nature of Apple's supply chain will cause the extra strain as the company tries to ensure enough stock for the entire US, slowing down its ability to deliver new units. The situation may be compounded further by a possible spike in returns and problems supporting the device, as both Apple and AT&T will likely have to iron out any initial bugs in the handset and its service.
ASUS Hermes and N13
ASUS will enter the increasingly competitive world of rugged PCs later this year, the company has announced at Taiwan's Computex show. The N13i (pictured) will meet the US military's toughness levels for shocks, waterproofing, and noise suppression, but should still exude a style that will make the 13.3-inch system relevant to more than just professionals. Most specifications were omitted, but the PC will be powered by a Core 2 Duo processor and will have the option of 3G wireless through HSDPA as well as 802.11g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Its screen will also swivel, the company says, though the inclusion of tablet input is unknown.
Razer Boomslang CE 2007
Razer today provided an early glimpse at the return of one of its most famous gaming mice. The Boomslang Collector's Edition 2007 will share the same general profile as the classic design but includes a titanium finish from end-to-end and a green glow that adds an eerie effect and also helps locate the mouse in a darkened room during a game session. The revamped Boomslang will also have the "latest technologies," according to the company, though no specific information has been given, including whether or not Razer will choose laser tracking or a high-DPI optical sensor.
Noise Buster 4.0
AKVIS has released Noise Buster 4.0, a new release of the tool that allows removal of noise from scanned and digital camera-captured images. The software reduces both luminance and color noise on digital images, purportedly without spoiling other aspects of the photo. Version 4.0 includes support for Photoshop CS3 and Intel-based Mac optimization. It also adds saved user presets. AKVIS Noise Buster sells for $50 USD. One license key allows activating the software on two computers. It requires Mac OS X 10.3.9, a G3 processor, and 512MB RAM.
Bookeen Cybook Teaser
Bookeen today launched a teaser site for its upcoming Cybook reader, signaling the impending announcement of the device. Most details are virtually absent but the company promises a genuinely portable design, which will be as thin as a magazine but with the same surface area as a paperback novel. A simple directional pad will handle the bulk of navigation tasks. Format support is also vague, though the inclusion of graphics and complex layouts suggests a minimum of PDF support.
FastTrack Schedule 9.2
AEC Software today released FastTrack Schedule 9.2, the latest revision of the company's flegship project management software for Mac and Windows systems. FastTrack Schedule 9.2 adds more than 40 feature enhancements while improving data exchange with Microsoft Project and Mindjet MindManager. The update is free for all registered users of FastTrack Schedule 9, while FastTrack Schedule 9.2 is available for $350 to new users. Upgrades from FastTrack Schedule prior to version 9 start at $150.
Anynote today hoped to simultaneously cater to avid gamers and media notebook enthusiasts through its new AL5600G. Though smaller than the 17-inch notebooks that often define the category, the 15.4-inch system includes some of their extras, including a subwoofer to fill out the sound of its speakers. The PC builder also focuses on fast but moderate performance with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo from Intel's Santa Rosa batch as well as a 256MB GeForce 8600M GS and a 1GB Turbo Memory cache to provide more desktop-like loading times.
Casper Suite 5 released
JAMF Software has released Casper Suite 5, an update to the client management software for Mac that aims to bring Mac users the same level of service and support in the enterprise environment as users on any other platform. The Casper Suite provides complete life cycle management through inventory, imaging, updating, and maintenance capabilities that are designed to make managing the Mac client easy as well as automatic. Operating through a centralized server and a single console interface, the software simplifies the work of Mac system administrators while offering new features that center around greater scalability as well as compliance and pro-active maintenance. Casper Suite 5 requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later (pricing was unavailable).
Captain FTP 5.0
Captain FTP 5.0, the latest version of Xnet Communications' FTP client, has been released. This update offers users the option of compressing or packing files before transferring them; adds Growl notification support; includes WebDAV transfer capabilities; and beefs up security with the addition of private keys with passphrase for SFTP servers. There are also new components for the GUI, namely the file Preview Drawer and the Tasks Drawer. The Preview drawer allows users to view files such as images, pdfs, play movies and audio files, it also shows general information about files/volumes such as permissions or file/folder size. The new Tasks drawer allows users to view and control background operations, allowing the main browser to remain open for navigating and other tasks. Captain FTP 5.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3.x or higher and is priced at $25
Xbox 360 Extra Cooling
Microsoft is stepping up the level of cooling in the Xbox 360 to combat its chronic overheating problems, according to both a Microsoft contact and those receiving repaired systems. The company has installed a second heatpipe and accompanying heatsink meant specifically to cool the AMD-made Xenon graphics chipset in the system, reducing the overall case temperature and preventing the "red ring of death" that usually signifies a fatally overheated system. It was not clear at the time of posting whether or not the upgrade also applied to new systems, though the change is likely.
Power Traveller and its importer Mango Energy have announced the US launch of the Powermonkey, a bullet-shaped battery extender that gives extra life to portable electronics. The device includes a 2200mAh lithium-ion battery that the company says is ten times more powerful than conventional batteries and charges for far longer than direct rivals. Using any one of ten different adapters lets the Powermonkey connect to devices with both universal and proprietary connectors: iPods with Dock Connectors last for up to 40 hours, the company says. A Sony PSP will also last for six hours while cellphones can survive an average of 96 more hours on standby.
Moto SCPL Leak
Motorola is well on its way to creating a bar phone version of the RAZR2 clamshell, a new set of leaked shots and details show. The tentatively-named SCPL ("scalpel") is even thinner than the new RAZR due to its one-piece shell but includes virtually all the same features, including a 2-megapixel camera with QVGA-quality video capture and a 240x320 screen that may also be one of Motorola's first to display a complete 16.7 million colors. Also confirmed is the use of the Linux-based JUIX for the operating system, similar to the RAZR2 V8, and a quad-band GSM radio with EDGE Internet support.
Parallels Server details
Parallels on Monday unveiled an alpha version of its Parallels Server at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, which will allow users to run Windows and Linux in virtual servers alongside Mac OS X on Intel-powered Xserve systems. The company today is providing some color on its latest software product, hoping to answer a several questions about the "what and why" of its recent announcement. Parallels Server for Mac aims to do exactly the same thing for Apple Xserve owners as Parallels Desktop does for consumer and pro Mac users. Parallels Server for Mac will allow IT administrators to run Microsoft Exchange Servers on Windows, Apache Web servers on Linux, and more right alongside Mac OS X Server.
2-year 0% Mac, CS3 lease
Apple is offering 0 percent financing for 24 months on new Mac systems and software -- including Adobe's Creative Suite 3 (CS3) -- until June 30th. "With Adobe Creative Suite 3 running natively on every new Mac, it has never been a better time to upgrade the Mac systems in your studio. Now you can bring your most visionary ideas to life as you take full advantage of multi-core processing power and the world's most advanced operating system." The Cupertino-based company enables customers to pay no interest on a lease of hardware and software with a $5,000 minimum for 24 months pending approval. Software choices include Adobe's CS3 alongside any Apple applications, providing the software value doesn't exceed 50 percent of the value of the lease.
Axes Voiis Mini
Axes today launched its unique hybrid Voiis Mini handheld. The pocketable device relies exclusively on Bluetooth to handle both calling, data, and music by contacting a nearby PC. A built-in microphone and speaker let it operate as an AIM, Skype, or Windows Live phone, while the network link also serves up instant messaging through Microsoft's networks. Streaming music from iTunes and Windows Media Player is also possible and is backed by a headphone jack for private listening.
Samsung UpStage in Red
Sprint this morning capitalized on the success of the Samsung UpStage by releasing a special, red-tinted version of the company's music phone, which has now officially become the company's best-selling Internet and media device at the same time. Like the black original, the red version of the dual-sided device includes a 1.3-megapixel camera, a microSD slot for up to 2GB of tracks, stereo Bluetooth, and mobile Internet through EVDO; it also bundles the battery wallet that protects the phone while also extending its call time to over six hours and music to 16.
Analyst on iPhone apps
Apple on Monday revealed at its World Wide Developers Conference that it would not release a software development kit (SDK) for its forthcoming iPhone, but that the device will run Web-based applications instead. A software development kit would have enabled developers to create more complex standalone applications for the iPhone, and Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster spoke with nine developers who offered their views on both the pros and cons of using Web-based applications. "The general consensus was that Apple has gone with a slightly limiting, but more secure way of offering third-party applications," the analyst said. The developer community was hoping for the release of a software development kit for the iPhone, but unanimously agreed that Web-based applications are more secure in spite of their limited capabilities.
Panasonic R6 Jet Black
Panasonic has continued the string of notebook announcements for Wednesday with a rare stylized addition to its line. Named after its color, the 10.4-inch R6 Jet Black is the first of the company's many Japanese notebooks to drop silver in favor of a matte black that drapes over the entire body. The change is also more than cosmetic, Panasonic says: while the 1.06GHZ ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo carries over from the R6a but hard drive space is doubled to 160GB to accompany the 1GB of RAM and 7.5-hour estimated battery life.
Dell Inspiron 1520 Leak
Full details of Dell's mainstream Inspiron notebooks has been revealed, courtesy of French forums citing special sources. The information validates Dell's own leak but greatly expands upon it: the 14-inch 1420, 15.4-inch 1520, and 17-inch 1720 will all have the option of up to a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo from the Santa Rosa generation but will also have budget options from earlier eras, including a new 1.5GHz budget Core 2 Duo and a 1.73GHz Celeron M in the case of the 1420. Graphics options will involve either Intel's X3100 or a 128MB GeForce 8400M GS on all models but will include a gaming-level 256MB GeForce 8600M for the two largest notebooks.
18 flaws in Safari 3 beta
Naysayers have challenged Apple's performance claims and security in the company's latest Safari 3 browser and have highlighted differences in font rendering. Within a few days of its release, security researchers have found as many as 18 separate bugs in Apple's newest Safari 3.0 browser, which was released as a public beta this week. Some of the security flaws reported, according to a new report, could be used to run unauthorized software on a victim's PC, challenging Apple's claims that Safari that "Apple engineers designed Safari to be secure from day one," one researcher told Infoweek. While the report notes that that Safari 3.0 beta is expected to contain bugs, Apple should have been more careful about exposing the public to such flaws, researchers claim: "In order to have a useful beta test of a Web browser, people need to use it in the real world, which is ultimately exposing them to malware," one researcher who discovered 10 separate flaws told the publication.
Sanyo XL50 Projector
Sanyo today unveiled what could be one of the most significant breakthroughs in its LCD projector series. The LP-XL50 includes a radical redesign of its aspherical mirror and lens that projects its image at an angle from the middle of the unit rather than at the end. The technique revolutionizes what can be done with projectors, Sanyo claims. With a minimum distance of just over three inches, the XL50 can be put into otherwise impossible positions: it can cast on to the floor or even hang from the wall, the company says. This method also maintains a relatively large image, creating a minimum 60-inch picture and as large as 80 inches.
Apple Design Awards 2007
Apple on Tuesday evening announced the winners of its annual application design awards at WWDC. Separated into seven categories, the 12th annual Apple Design Awards 2007 recognize technical excellence and outstanding achievement in Mac OS X software design and development; they were announced in March. The 'Best Mac OS X Leopard Application' was Delicious Monster's Delicious Library 2.0a, which allows users to catalog, browse, and share books, movies, music, and video games. Written using Objective-C 2.0, Delicious Library 2.0 (alpha) uses many new Leopard technologies, including Core Data, Core Animation, Calendar Store, Scripting Bridge, Spotlight, Core Image, and Image IO. The runner-up was IGG Software's iBank 3.0a.
Toshiba Satellite WXW
Toshiba was quickest to take advantage of NVIDIA's new GeForce 8700M GT by announcing its new 17-inch Satellite WXW for Japan. Dedicated to gaming, the system uses a 256MB version of the graphics chip to push performance in 3D titles and in Vista Home Premium; it also includes HDMI output for playing games and videos directly from HDTVs when the 1680x1050 main display is not enough. The WXW is one of Toshiba's Santa Rosa models and is equipped with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo on a faster 800MHz bus as well as a 1GB Turbo Memory cache for quicker load times.
Nvidia GeForce 8700M GT
Nvidia on Wednesday announced its highest-performance DirectX 10 GPU for notebooks. The new GeForce 8700M GT graphics processing unit (GPU) for notebook PCs extends its GeForce 8M Series product line to include high-performance notebooks. As with the GeForce 8M Series notebook GPU lineup, the GeForce 8700M GT delivers the fastest DirectX 10 gaming performance as well as compatibility with Windows Vista and high-quality HD DVD and Blu-ray video playback. The GPU delivers support for Microsoft DirectX 10 games and a more efficient, unified architecture that delivers up to a 70 percent performance improvement compared to previous generation GPUs.
EA games will use Cider
Steve Jobs made a big deal during his WWDC keynote address this week of an announcement that various Electronic Arts games -- including Need for Speed Carbon, Battlefield 2142 and Command and Conquer 3 -- would be making their way to Mac OS X later this year. What wasn't mentioned, however, was that these games will not be native Mac OS X ports. Instead, they will be made to run under Mac OS X with the aid of Cider from TransGaming (like X3: Reunion, Myst Online and other titles). This means they may not run at full native speed, and may exhibit other issues; they also will only run on Intel-based Macs--leaving many long-time Mac users out in the cold.
Leopard demo videos
As part of its website overhaul, Apple has posted a series of videos highlighting new features that will ship as part of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Much of the functionality is demonstrated in greater detail than presented in Steve Jobs' keynote address. Among the features shown are the revised Finder (Cover Flow, sidebar, and more), Mail.app, iChat, Time Machine, Quick Look, and Spaces. The overhauled website also features new navigation elements, improved navigation and metallic graphics as well as an updated Spotlight-like search interface with "live" results displaying nearly instantaneously.
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