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Tasks Pro 1.7.1 ($125-500) multi-user, web-based task management solution to effectively coordinate and organize your professional and personal projects. Group controls allow projects to be set up only for people who need to see them. Set due dates and priorities, get automatic e-mail notifications, leave each other notes, and publish calendars. The new release can dynamically create password fields when user clicks “change password” to avoid browser autocomplete bugs NoteList 2.3 ($20) store searchable notes in a free format using full formatted RTF text and images. Notes can be categorized and filtered and searched by category and keyword. The list of available notes will be adapted to the matching notes as they are typed and the list will adapt itself to the search string. In this release, categories use custom font and size. There are also some bug fixes. [Download - 310KB] Groupcal 3 ($25) lets you use your Microsoft Exchange calendar from iCal. Allows users to synchronize events and tasks book people or resources for meetings and view Free/Busy time. The new release has changes to help Groupcal work smoothly in with MarkSpace's syncers and adds 5-minute and 10-minute interval selections for auto syncing. Groupcal also now works around Exchange problems to fix multiple issues with recurring and detached events. [Download - 3.9MB] xTime Planning 1.5 ($70) time/scheduling management tool with human resources functions (you can add a working schedule, holidays and days off for each resource). In this release, you can choose which groups to display in the calendar, add multiple resources for an assignment, convert a daily assignment to an hourly assignment and draw directly an hourly task on the calendar (with the command key). [Download - 4.9MB] Studiometry 4.1.5 ($190) solution for companies to organize, plan, invoice, track and create with Client and Project data. Offers project summaries, customizable templates, Import/Export options, project templates, to-do suites, spec suites, file actions, contact logs, customizable ID formats, overdue invoices and to-do notices. This release features drastic performance improvements to two areas of the program: improved initial sync times, and startup. Visual invoice template loading has also seen significant performance boosts. [Download - 21.7MB]
Austin-Soft.com has announced the shipment of AXAnalyst, Autocross coaching software that will read directly from a GTechPro RR (available separately), providing objective analysis of your runs and helping you find what you've done right–and where you need improvement. It provides a "two-minute analysis" that can be done between runs. The tool can read files in GTechPro PASS format, automatically "crop" the data to the beginning and end of an autocross run, and display the data in multiple forms: run map, strip chart and G-G circle. Because it records the forces on the car, the straighter the map, the faster you drove. AXAnalyst requires a GTechPro RR and Mac OS X 10.3 or later. It is priced at $70.
Though consumers are eagerly awaiting the launch of the iPhone, some corporations are dreading it. Already inquiries from employees are flooding into IT departments, asking whether or not mail services and other infrastructure will be compatible with the device. Many companies are already saying no because the iPhone can't send and receive email through corporate BlackBerry email servers, and workarounds or patches might represent a security compromise. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is planning to combat this situation by announcing plans to integrate with current corporate email set-ups. "According to a person close to Apple, the company is expected to fight for this market, currently dominated by players like BlackBerry's RIM, Palm Inc. and, increasingly, Nokia Corp. and Motorola. If Apple comes up with an acceptable strategy for integrating with business software systems, many companies might change their tunes."
Infinity Data Systems has launched the first version of SimpleBooks, an invoice and billing program. The highlight is its interface, which is said to be intuitive enough that reading the manual is unnecessary. Aside from its primary purposes, the software can also be used to create estimates, and track important information such as time, customers and inventory. Users can further generate reports, and export their data to a backup that can be restored at will. SimpleBooks can be downloaded for $10 in Intel-only or Universal Binary versions, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or higher.
A few details of the flash-based Zune have surfaced, a claimed insider within Microsoft has said. The smaller, skip-proof player is reportedly codenamed "Draco" and will share all the features of the hard disk version despite the size reduction, including the Zune's characteristic Wi-Fi music sharing and video playback -- both of which are omitted in its current rival, the second-generation iPod nano. Capacities should also be similar to its competition with 4GB and 8GB of storage, the source says.
Roughly 40 percent of those signed up for AT&T's notification list for the iPhone use outside carriers, the provider's CEO Randall Stephenson told a gathering at the NXTcomm conference on Tuesday. While the company head declined to break down which carriers were seeing the greatest amount of potential converts, he noted that the statistics were very promising for AT&T. They could represent a significant increase in marketshare, he said. The US release of the iPhone will officially require AT&T service for the next few years, forcing customers of opponents such as T-Mobile and Verizon to wait until contracts expire or else pay cancellation fees if they want to switch to the device.
The v4.2 update has been released for Cheetah3D, a program that combines modelling, animation and rendering into the same package. Numerous improvements have been introduced, the foremost being in the realm of performance: soft shadows and blurred reflections should not only be calculated faster, but with more detail, requiring only 16 samples in the case of the former effect. Edge antialiasing and the irradiance cache have also been improved, and the maximum ray depth has been increased to 24. Other changes to the program include sky light, soft shadowing for point light, and options like Space Navigator control and bucket-based rendering. The full version of Cheetah3D 4.2 costs $130, and requires Mac OS X 10.4; the demo version prevents users from saving.
Sony today launched a full eight LCD front projectors that target meetings and other small environments. Topping the list is the C-series and its flagship CW125, according to Sony. The 3-LCD unit challenges Sanyo's new WXU10 as one of the few in the class to run at a native WXGA (1280x800) resolution that suits widescreen notebooks and 720p HD footage; in contrast to the Sanyo, however, the CW125 is brighter at 3,000 lumens and can be controlled through a web browser when attached to a local network. Other models in the C-series run at XGA (1024x768) and range in brightness from 2,700 to 3,500 lumens; three models (CW125, CX155, and CX125) share the networking feature while three more (CX100, CX120, CX150) all use Sony's Remote Commander for steering multiple projectors through one remote.
In a posting to his blog, Mozilla CEO John Lilly reacts harshly to Steve Jobs' keynote address at the Apple WWDC earlier this month, saying that Jobs wants to "bring more of the world under directed control from Cupertino," and is out of touch with the way that the Web actually works. Pointing specifically to a slide that shows Apple's hope for the future -- a two-slice market-share pie of the Web browser market split between Safari and Internet Explorer -- Lilly opines that Wikipedia, Creative Commons, Linux and Firefox have all shown that duopolistic control scheme will not work.
Details of the as-yet unannounced M610i by Sony Ericsson continue to emerge. Previously submitted for FCC approval under the codename "Lizy," it has made yet another appearance at the organization, now under the codename "Elena." Little has changed; the phone is still identified as having Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and should also have UMTS broadband, along with standard tri-band GSM services. Unwired View does cite rumors, however, that the phone will have a 3.2-megapixel camera, a 2.6-inch QVGA screen, and 160MB of memory, which is 100MB more than the M600i.
The MacSoft division of Desineer Studios will begin shipping the first expansion pack for Age of Empires III for Mac OS X, "The WarChiefs," on June 25th. The pack allows players to utilize three new civilizations - Aztec, Iroquois, or Sioux - each with unique units, buildings and abilities. Also introduced with the pack is a new single-player campaign with 15 additional missions that feature real historic figures and events. Additions to existing European civilizations are included as well. WarChiefs will requires a G4/G5 or Intel processor running at 1.4GHz or faster, Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher, 512MB RAM, and a 64MB Video Card, and be priced at $30.
Microsoft today unveiled a new wireless desktop combo that focuses on comfort for those who use their PCs for long stretches. The Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000 bundles the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 and the Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 into a single pack that the company hopes will reduce strain. The keyboard's gull-wing design brings fingers closer to the individual keys while also including programmable keys that save work when checking mail or the web; the mouse brings precise laser tracking as well as a grip that shifts pressure away from muscles that cause carpal tunnel syndrome, according to Microsoft.
Complementing the earlier announcement of the WXU10, Sanyo has also announced a pair of projectors designed for truly large gatherings. Heading the news is the pictured XF47: a combination of four 330W lamps produces an unheard-of 15,000 lumens, putting out enough brightness that images as large as 600 inches across will display clearly, Sanyo says. The system is also the first from the company to include a wireless video transmission system that can play 720p or 1080i HD video from up to 100 feet away with virtually no lag. Images are scaled to fit a 1024x768 resolution and come from either DVI or VGA, five sets of component and RCA inputs, or S-video.
Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against Immersion, the makers of force-feedback technology used in numerous game controllers. The issue stems back to a suit filed by Immersion in 2002, which accused both Microsoft and Sony of infringing patents; Microsoft settled for $26 million in 2003, but the Sony suit carried on, until the company agreed to a settlement with Immersion earlier this year. Microsoft alleges that under a sublicense agreement, it is owed part of the restitution: $15 million for the first $100 million from Sony, plus 25 percent between the $100 and $150 million marks, and 17.5 percent of anything over $150 million. Immersion denies that it owes anything to Microsoft, and says that it intends to fight the lawsuit, which was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Samsung at a special event today unveiled some of its fastest and largest-capacity drives to date. The SpinPoint N2 is now the world's highest-capacity 1.8-inch hard drive and provides as much as 120GB of storage in a form suitable for portable media players such as the iPod as well as camcorders and other handhelds. Its 4200RPM speed is also quick enough to handle the demands of ultraportable notebooks, Samsung says. The drive also incorporates 8MB of cache and will run from completely idle to ready in two seconds. Unlike many of these drives, the N2 is available as a stand-alone drive for regular users and ships now for $249.
Gefen Inc. has launched a wireless USB 2.0 extender based on the ExtremeUSB technology, which makes it possible to interface with USB 2.0 and 1.1 devices up to 100 feet from the computer. The 802.11g-based adapter works with Mac OS X, Windows and Linux, and consists of a wireless transponder that plugs into one of the host system's USB ports and a four-port USB hub that can be placed within normal WiFI range and serve connected USB devices. Hagai Gefen, president and CEO of Gefen says "Subsequent versions will also support multiple receiver hubs connected to one sender unit, allowing a same time distribution that delivers data real-time with no cables."
While analysts remain generally upbeat regarding the prospects for Apple's iPhone, some are beginning to posit some questions about price, battery life, and keyboard functionality as the launch date enters a two-week frame. Shaw Wu with American Technology research thinks that the keyboard will be one of the biggest points of contention for early adopters of the device. Saying that the keyboard will "likely require a learning curve for most users,' Wu reports in a research note that he is not overly concerned believe users will likely spend the majority of their time on navigation-type tasks, i.e. scrolling through menus, surfing the web, etc. Wu also points out that iPhone's firmware and software will be easy to upgrade in the case of user distaste.
Toshiba today announced that it will be one of the first PC makers to include HD DVD as an option for many of its mainstream notebooks, rather than limiting it to exotic models. The current Satellite P205 as well as the as-yet unannounced X205 and 15.4-inch Qosmio F45 (likely based on the Japanese F40W) will all have the option of HD DVD readers which can burn to CD and DVD. The company also confirmed once again that its upcoming Qosmio G45 will be the first to include native HD DVD-R burning to write up to 30GB to a single disc. The Qosmios and the X205 will also have HDMI output for displaying video on a TV at 1080p and 1080i respectively, Toshiba says.
The 3D modeling and rendering application Bryce 5.5 is now available as a free download from DAZ Productions. This release is one step behind the current version of Bryce for Mac OS X, 6.1. The software is known for creating photo-realistic 3D landscapes and featuring a shallow learning curve for beginners. Daz Development says "Start out building or importing a landscape as impressive as the Grand Canyon. Populate it with buildings, people or any other object you create or from the extensive DAZ 3D library. The Light Lab provides you robust control over your sunsets, moonlight nights or high-noon ambiance. Tree Lab allows you to plant your landscape like the gardens of Versailles. You'll have to register your copy of Bryce 5.5 on the publishers web-site to gain access to your free Bryce serial number" Bryce 5.5 is available immediately as a 140MB download and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
JVC this morning revealed a new breakthrough for its D-ILA projection technology that could make greater-than-HD video a reality in home theater. A smaller 6.8-micron pixel pitch and a smaller 0.25-micron gap lets the Japanese firm create a chip less than 1.3 inches across that can still deliver a full 4096x2400 resolution -- offering 4K resolution at a physical size small enough for projectors beyond the industrial-scale units often seen today. The use of new liquid crystals also cuts out wasted light and delivers an exceptional 20,000:1 contrast ratio, according to JVC.
For the first time, Alienware today chose to break away from its complete-system approach and has released the P2 barebones kit. The design includes the familiar alien-themed P2 extended ATX casing but guts the internal computer components so that experienced hobbyists can buy and install the parts themselves; only a 700W power supply, front Firewire and USB ports, and blue-tinted LED case lights remain from the pre-assembled system. The case has tool-free access and the airflow design needed to cool hot CPUs and video cards, Alienware says.
AT&T today officially launched its Video Share service, representing the first time its subscribers can stream live video from their phones courtesy of a 3G Internet connection. The service is currently limited to one-way video calls with two-way voice but allows for features that would have been previously impossible with the carrier's network, such as showing a family event in real-time or asking for advice. Certain devices also include front or swivel cameras that allow for self-portraits.
Sanyo this morning targeted its LCD projectors at two ends of the spectrum with models that should work both at home and at work. The 7.7-pound WXU10 (shown) is one of the few portable projectors to display at a native 1280x800 resolution -- making it one of the few that both matches the displays of many recent widescreen notebooks and an ideal fit for 720p HD video. To that end, the projector sports DVI and VGA for computers as well as component for analog HD and RCA/S-video for lower-resolution sources. Though officially made for meeting rooms with a 3-25 foot throw and instant on/off, the projector and its 2,000-lumen brightness are useful for movies and games, Sanyo claims.
EditShare on Tuesday announced the addition of Apple Final Cut Pro (FCP) Project Sharing capabilities to the EditShare product family. The company's EditShare Project Sharing technology provides tremendous collaborative workflow benefits by enabling multiple editors to work on the same project simultaneously. EditShare is the only collaborative workflow and shared storage solution to offer project sharing for Apple FCP and Avid editing systems. The new EditShare Apple FCP Project Sharing feature allows multiple Apple FCP editors to simultaneously open and work from the same projects. The software includes a rights management and rules-driven architecture allow administrators to pre-define user access and prevent overwrites. Support for Apple's Final Cut Pro will ship as part of the EditShare 5.0 standard feature set in the third quarter of 2007. Existing EditShare 5.0 customers will be provided an update with the new Apple FCP Project Sharing feature free of charge.
Viewsonic on Tuesday ramped up the quality of its smaller LCD TVs by introducing the 35-series, a new collection of screens that offer stronger image quality without the associated price. The 26-inch N2635W, 32-inch N3235W, and 37-inch N3735W are all capable of higher than 720p resolution and are relatively bright and fast for the size with a 500-nit brightness and an 8ms pixel response time. Chin-mounted 20W stereo speakers also provide relatively strong sound for setups where external speakers aren't an option, and PC video input is standard for an easier hookup with media center computers.
Samsung today used the CommunicAsia expo in Singapore to launch three new phones designed as much for style as for their technical performance. The E840 (pictured, right) is the thinnest slider phone yet at 0.42 inches and comes with both a tempered, mirror glass facing as well as the choice of colors such as Topaz Gold or Noble Blue. In spite of its size, however, the slider includes a 2-megapixel camera, an external microSD slot to back its 70MB of internal memory, and MPEG-4 video capture as well as playback. AAC, MP3, and WMA (including protected WMA) audio is supported by an FM radio and Bang & Olufsen's IcePower audio enhancement technology. The E840 ships now in southeast Asia but may see its way to the US courtesy of quad-band GSM that helps with roaming American networks.
Swarmcast's Autobahn Accelerator for iTunes is a free utility that allows customers to accelerate downloads of music and video from Apple's industry-leading iTunes application. As the first in a series of free applications developed specifically to speed the download of video content from popular video sites, Autobahn Accelerator runs in the background every time music or videos are downloaded from iTunes; it is currently available for users with Windows 2000, Windows XP, and 32-bit Vista, running Internet Explorer 6 and 7, as well as Firefox. The company said a Mac version is in development and will be available soon, but gave no release date.
Adobe on Tuesday released Adobe Digital Editions 1.0, a new software application built for acquiring, managing and reading eBooks, digital newspapers, and other digital publications. Available as a free download for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, the software enables publishers to deliver a new digital reading experience: built as a lightweight, Rich Internet Application (RIA), the software works both online and offline, and supports PDF and XHTML—based content as well as Flash SWF for rich interactivity.
Aliph's Jawbone Bluetooth headset will accompany the iPhone at its June 29th launch, the company announced today. The $120 device will sell at the Apple Store online as well all of Apple's retail outlets and should offer a relative premium option for hands-free calls thanks in part to a unique noise canceling system that recognizes speech and boosts voice volume while also filtering out background noises. Black, red, and silver versions will be in stock, Aliph says. The company already sells its headset through AT&T's stores.
A lengthy piece in New York Magazine that profiles Steve Jobs, the history Apple Computer Inc. and the current status of Apple Inc. opines that Google will buy Apple. A purported quote from one of Steve Jobs' neighbors reads "I think that Google is going to buy Apple. It would be a victory for Apple; they’d get major-league partners, money, and engineers. And it would be a victory for Steve—a huge win that lets him leave the stage.' The article's author thinks that this speculation is made plausible by the fact that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is now on the Apple board; engineers at the two companies are collaborating on Google Maps for the iPhone; as well as the YouTube deal for Apple TV. "But is there any reason to think that in such a merger Jobs wouldn’t wind up as CEO—or, at least, chairman of the board?" the magazine asks.
QuickerTek has introduced an 802.11n CardBus upgrade for Apple PowerBooks going back to the Pismo models. Dubbed nQuicky, the card works with all IEEE 802.11 b/g/n networks. The nQuicky works with any PowerBook with a free PCMCIA slot, including: 15" and 17" Aluminum PowerBooks, all clock speeds; Titanium PowerBooks, all clock speeds; Pismo (includes FireWire port); and Black PowerBook. It requires Mac OS X version 10.3 or higher. The nQuicky is backed by a one-year warranty and is priced at $150.
Cocktail 3.8, a new version of the maintenance and troubleshooting tool, features a completely refreshed interface and several other improvements. Among them are a "Disable Sudden Motion Sensor" feature, ability to enable/disable Spotlight indexing of selected disks, significantly improved cache clearing capabilities, network optimization routines, and ability to prevent DS Store file creation on network volumes. The new release is a Universal Binary and runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. It requires Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server 10.4 - 10.4.9, and is priced at $15.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.27 ( -0.72 )
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko