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News Archive for 07/06/27

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iPhone: Motorola worried, Jobs to speak at Apple

06/27, 9:55pm

Jobs to hold company intro

Motorola says that the pending launch and future success of Apple's much-anticipated iPhone may hurt its business. Ahead of the Friday retail launch and an expected private introduction by Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself at Apple's Cupertino-based company, The company has admitted that it is worried about the effect of Apple's iPhone, but says that the slow mobile data connectivity and "multitouch" interface may negatively impact consumer experiences. The company's hugely successful RAZR mobile phone has helped it become the world's second-largest mobile phone maker, but it hit a huge hurdle early this year when it posted a lost of $181 million for the first three months of 2007 -- after trying to gain market share ground from industry-leading Nokia.

Apple posts Final Cut Pro 6.01, more

06/27, 9:05pm

Final Cut Pro 6.01 update

In concert with updates to all of the Final Cut Studio applications, Apple on Wednesday released Final Cut Pro 6.0.1, which delivers improved stability; support for the AVCHD format through the Log and Transfer interface; FXPlug improvements with Motion and third-party applications; improved master template support and resolution of issues with long filenames. Motion 3.0.1 update [16MB], also released today, improves stability and resolves performance issues that may be encountered when using Motion 3.0 on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs. Recommended for all users, the update Includes specific fixes for 32-bit float projects, rendering of intersecting 3D groups, and Final Cut Pro integration. The full release notes are available online.

Apple updates laptop SuperDrive firmware

06/27, 9:00pm

Laptop SuperDrive firmware

Apple today posted an update to its SuperDrive firmware for its laptops. The 12MB SuperDrive Firmware Update 2.1, which is installed in the '/Applications/Utilities' folder, improves readability of certain CD media on most its MacBook laptops (all but the currently shipping models), according to the company. It requires Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later and either the original MacBook Pro Core Duo (15 -inch 1.83GHz, 2.0GHz, or 2.16GHz) MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo (15 -inch 2.16GHz or 2.33GHz); MacBook Core Duo (13 -inch 1.83GHz or 2.0GHz); or MacBook Core 2 Duo (13 -inch 1.83GHz or 2.0GHz). In concert with updates to all of the Final Cut Studio applications, Apple also released Final Cut Pro 6.0.1, which delivers improved stability; support for the AVCHD format through the Log and Transfer interface; FXPlug improvements with Motion and third-party applications; improved master template support and resolution of issues with long filenames.

Suitcase X1 InDesign CS3 plug-in released

06/27, 5:50pm

Suitcase X1 for CS3

Extensis has released an update to its font auto-activation plug-in for Adobe Creative Suite 3 applications. This new plug-in automatically activates fonts in Suitcase X1 when you open InDesign CS3 documents, and is compatible for use with both the Client/Server and Single-User versions of the product. The plug-in requires Suitcase X1 v11.0.4 or higher, Adobe InDesign CS3 v5.0 or higher and Mac OS X v10.4.8 or higher. Currently, the plug-in is available in English only, but support will be extended to French and German versions later this summer.

MySpace gunning after YouTube with pro TV

06/27, 4:50pm

MySpace TV incoming

MySpace is set to launch a service that will compete more directly with YouTube, according to the social network's co-founder Chris DeWolfe. Titled MySpace TV (link to be active soon), the site will represent a complete reworking of the company's knowingly lackluster web video feature to speed up finding videos and otherwise compare more closely to its Google-owned rival; the page will focus heavily on professional content with ads appearing before TV shows and other videos to give an incentive to major outlets such as NBC. User-made videos will also be easier to find as every MySpace page will have a mirror TV site that shows just the videos, says DeWolfe.

HP lays claim to supercomputer dominance

06/27, 4:40pm

HP supercomputer dominance

HP is touting its role in a newly-published list of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world. According to TOP500, over 40 percent of the list is dominated by HP systems, specifically the Cluster Platform 3000BL and 4000BL, based on BladeSystem c-Class servers. The figure represents a 10 growth for HP since November of 2006.

The company is not, however, the creator of the fastest supercomputer. That mantle belongs to IBM, who produced the Blue Gene/L installed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (pictured). Using the Linpack benchmark, the computer was rated at 280.6 teraflops per second. IBM is already attempting to break the petaflop barrier with the Blue Gene /P, which will be deployed elsewhere by the end of 2007.

Western Digital expands DVRs with 500GB drive

06/27, 4:30pm

WD My Library 500GB

Western Digital this afternoon launched a third external drive beyond its desktop and notebook models: the My Library Video Edition DVR Expander (not shown) is one of the few drives explicitly made to boost the capacity of video recorders for recording more shows or keeping longer archives. Currently tested for Scientific Atlanta's near-ubiquitous 8300-series HD systems, the drive plugs into any functional external SATA port on a compatible DVR and adds an extra 500GB of space beyond whatever is included inside the recorder itself. This level of space adds about 300 hours of standard NTSC video or 60 hours of typical HD footage, by Western Digital's count.

Briefly: Adobe contest; Mac OS X mic issues

06/27, 4:25pm

Adobe contenst, mic issues

In brief: Adobe is holding a contest in the near future titled "Take Creative License" for designers to alter or mash-up images, Apple's latest Mac OS X update appears to disable microphone input for one line of USB adapters, Ambrosia Software has released EasyEnvelopes 1.0.5 as a free update, and Cocoa Bootcamp has returned to the Big Nerd Ranch. Adobe's forthcoming contest aims to reward designers as well as creative pros. Participants must work to create a winning advertisement for the Adobe Stock Photos Service by mashing up, altering, and combining images available from the Adobe Stock Photos library. Adobe plans to reward the winning entrant by publishing the ad in the September issue of Graphic Design: USA Magazine alongside an editorial feature highlighting the designer's creative process.

Apps: CoverScout, Ulysses, iRecordMusic

06/27, 4:10pm

A Better Finder Rename

    CoverScout 2.3.4 ($20) finds missing covers whenever iTunes reaches its boundaries. Can scout album artwork on Amazon-websites and displays the results in a preview, allowing you to select the images you want to apply to your songs. In the rare case you can't find the covers you're looking for on the Internet, you can use the built-in snapshot feature to take a picture of the actual cover with your iSight camera and later edit it in the CoverScout editor.[Download - 11.9MB]
    Ulysses 1.5.1 ($80) Mac OS X text editor for creative writers. Changes include a French localization, a preview of the LaTeX Exporter and an improved spotlight importer, as well as tons of small features, tweaks and some bugfixes. Requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher. Users of Mac OS X 10.3 will need to continue using Ulysses 1.2.2. [Download - 1.3 MB]  
    iRecordMusic 1.6 ($25) enables you to record Internet music, sports and news for listening on your iPod, PDA, mobile or computer.   Broadcasts in RealAudio, WindowsMedia, or QuickTime can be recorded as MP3, AAC, OGG, FLAC, 3GPP, AIFF. The new release adds wireless streaming of audio to Airport Express and Safari 3 Beta compatibility, so installing Safari 3 Beta will not cause iRecordMusic problems [Download - 11.2 MB]
    A Better Finder Rename 7.8.5 ($20) comprehensive file renaming solution for the Macintosh. The new release focuses on a better integration with fully automated workflow setups. It is now possible to create "silent" droplets, which require no user interaction. Such droplets can be part of fully automated workflows that are executed without human supervision. [Download - 6.8 MB]
    Aperture to Archive export plug-in (free) this plug-in allows users to quickly create compressed archives of their images in various formats. Giving Aperture users the ability to produce archives in zip, bzip2, gzip and disk image formats, the Aperture to Archive plug-in integrates into a workflow requiring the output of compressed images. [Download - 488KB]
    iTunes Dupes Barrier 1.1.1 ($10) allows you to search the duplicate songs inside the iTunes and iPod songs' databases. The new release fixes a bug that caused crashes with iTunes 7.1 when using certain iPods. Requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later iTunes 4.0 or later. [Download - 2.2MB]
    WSL-Amazon 2.0 $50 cross-platform REALbasic class library for accessing Amazon Web Services. wraps the Amazon Web Services ECS 4.0 API into an easy-to-use library of 36 powerful methods and 164 properties with support for their US, UK, German, French, Canadian, and Japanese Amazon stores. Includes extensive search and information retrieval capabilities, plus the ability to create, update and checkout Amazon shopping carts.

Nintendo Wii to get original downloadable games

06/27, 4:00pm

Original Wii downloads

The Wii is to get original games through its download service, says Nintendo. While players have already been able to buy games through the Virtual Console, these have been older Nintendo games, from platforms such as the NES and the N64; with the newly-announced WiiWare however, the Wii will join the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in having completely new games sold only online. Buyers will have to visit the Wii Shop Channel and spend some of their Wii Points for each title.

Review video shows iPhone retail packaging

06/27, 3:55pm

iPhone retail packaging

USA Today on Wednesday published an iPhone video on YouTube along with its print review of the new iPhone, offering a peek at the company's retail packaging for the iPhone. The reviewer notes that the "excruciating slow" -- as dubbed by David Pogue -- network may be faster in some cities, as the EDGE network actually operates at two different speeds across the US. Already game developers have promised several games, music add-ons, as well as walllpapers, cases, and possible Microsoft Exchange support. AT&T has limited sales to one iPhone per person and posted its store locator, while Apple also plans opening two new stores this weekend to help bolster sales and many are requiring some employees to spend the pre-launch night at the store.

Call/Recall develops terabyte DVD-like discs

06/27, 3:50pm

Call Recall 2 Photon Discs

Storage firm Call/Recall today revealed the 2-photon disc, a new approach to optical storage that could dramatically increase the amount of space for HD movies and other forms of extra-large content. Rather than burn two-dimensional pits as with every optical format from Laserdisc through to Blu-Ray and HD DVD, the photonic system creates 3D spaces on the disc. The third axis creates a near-exponential amount of extra space. A 5.25-inch disc can hold 1TB -- 40 times the space of a single-layer Blu-Ray disc and 200 times that of a DVD, the company says.

MiniMail: iTunes-like minimize for

06/27, 3:50pm

MiniPlayer for Mail

MiniMail is a new plugin that provides one of the most requested features for Apple's the ability to minimize the application's window and display the subject as well as a brief summary of the message content, much like iTunes offers a minimized song display/control view option. The small window can be resized to suit your screen size, or available desktop space from 1 to many lines of message content displayed in the message viewer. The plugin also has built-in controls, allowing you to cycle through your inbox with your keyboard or the on-screen arrows. There is also support for keyboard shortcuts. You can also use an action menu to reply-to, forward, redirect or bounce an incoming message, or flag messages. MiniMail is priced at $9.

Parrot brings Party, speakerphone to North America

06/27, 3:15pm

Party, PMK5800 in N. Am.

Bluetooth specialist Parrot is bringing two previously-announced accessories to North America. The Party is a Bluetooth speaker, able to stream audio from any device with A2DP stereo, such as PCs, cellphones and adapted media players. Non-Bluetooth devices are supported through an auxiliary jack, or else through an RF dongle that plugs into a headphone jack.

The PMK5800 meanwhile is an "all-in-one" car kit, in that it plugs directly into a car's power port, sending output to speakers via FM. A2DP means it accepts music as well as voice. It should ship in the third quarter for $130; the Party will come in the same timeframe for $170.

iPhone: new game, t-shirt, wallpaper, killer app

06/27, 3:15pm

iPhone Iconfactory icons

In brief: The iPhone's Web browser may well be its key to being revolutionary, the popular logic game Aha! comes to the iPhone as does task management tool Copper, FastMac will give out "iGot iPhone" shirts on launch day and Iconfactory's icons are now iPhone-compatible.... nobosh opines that the full-fledged Web browser included with the iPhone will allow the device to establish its legacy by breaking down the barriers between software developers and development platforms which will result in better, more creative, and faster to market applications for consumers. "Historically, mobile phone software has been difficult for developers to write. [...] With the iPhone, the only requirement for the developer is a knowledge of HTML, Javascript, and a back-end language like Java, PHP, or Ruby on Rails. There are far more developers out there who know these languages of the Web than who know the languages of mobile phones."

AT&T lists iPhone stores, sets one-phone cap

06/27, 3:05pm

ATT iPhone Store Locator

Hoping to avert the potential confusion over iPhone stock for Friday, AT&T on Wednesday launched the iPhone store locator. The web-based tool helps anyone find a company-owned AT&T store as far as 50 miles away to make sure that customers don't inadvertently visit resellers, which are currently barred from selling the iPhone at their shops. Entering a specific address will also provide maps to help navigate to the store. Notably, however, the company has set a one-iPhone limit per person to prevent the hoarding or wide-scale auctions with high profile launch events.

Trekstor rolls out 250GB DataStation Pocket t.ub

06/27, 2:35pm

Trekstor 250GB DS Pocket

Trekstor this afternoon revealed its 250GB DataStation Pocket t.ub, its compact external drive for notebooks. The new version both boosts capacity to the quarter-terabyte level while maintaining peak efficiency through the company's signature Y-shaped USB cable; the drive plugs into two USB ports at once to prevent a single USB interface from becoming a bottleneck. Its black aluminum shell also keeps the inside from overheating without adding significantly to the drive's bulk, the German firm says.

Cowon iAudio 7 to hit US next month

06/27, 2:05pm

Cowon iAudio 7 Comes to US

Cowon's iAudio 7 is already bound for the US, the company revealed today. The player should arrive largely unchanged from its Korean version and will be one of the longest-lasting players in North America through its switch from a micro hard disk to flash, driving most common music formats (including AAC and OGG) for up to 60 hours. Capacities will also top out at 8GB as with the Asian version of the 7.

Microsoft to design its own PCs for India

06/27, 1:40pm

Microsoft IQ PC

Microsoft today revealed its first entry into producing its own computers. Called the IQ PC, the system (not pictured) will be made by India PC makers Wipro and Zenith and is targeted primarily at students for whom many typical systems would be too expensive or lack the right software; the system will ship with the Encarta dictionary as well as Works for production and specialized learning tools, Microsoft says. The software developer has also launched a new Education channel on MSN and says the site will have custom online courses and tutoring regardless of which PC is used to access them.

Analyst: iPhone cheaper than BlackBerry

06/27, 1:15pm

iPhone beats Blackberry?

Although the iPhone is seen by many as too expensive, it may still be cheaper than popular BlackBerry phones, according to the research firm Piper Jaffray. Analysts note that by choosing the right plan and phone, buyers can easily save on the cost of phones like the BlackBerry Pearl or Curve. Starting with the $500, 4GB iPhone, new AT&T customers must then pay another $36 as an activation fee, and sign up for a two-year contract; at a rate of $60 a month for two years, this amounts to $1,975. Matching AT&T's $80/month plan for a BlackBerry, the cost raises to $2,420, but this is still less than the cost of a Pearl ($2,430) or a Curve ($2,480).

Apple iPhone Q&A: box contents, iTunes 7.3?

06/27, 1:15pm

iPhone Q&A: iTunes 7.3?

Apple has published a Questions and Answers (Q&A) Web page about its forthcoming iPhone that lists the box contents and states specifications, which interestingly mention iTunes 7.3 or later as one of the phone's requirements. The device, which is due to hit store shelves this Friday at 6:00 p.m. ET, ships with the a stereo headset, dock, dock connector to USB cable, a USB power adapter, documentation, and a cleaning/polishing cloth. Both Mac and Windows system requirements show iTunes 7.3 or later as necessary to use the iPhone, despite the fact that Apple is currently offering iTunes 7.2 for download via its website. The new Q&A could signal an imminent update to iTunes, and aims to answer the most commonly asked questions potential customers may have about the iPhone.

JVC ships all-in home theater with 1080p, iPod jack

06/27, 12:50pm


Electronics maker JVC today unwrapped the IL-H1, a budget home-theater-in-a-box that adds inputs not always seen in its class. The 360W, 5.1-channel system centers around a uniquely vertical receiver that serves as a hub for digital media. Two HDMI ports provide input and output for HD signals in 1080p, including those encoded with Dolby Digital, Pro Logic II virtual surround, or DTS. USB is also up front; the port not only plays MP3/WMA music and most MPEG videos from any USB storage but also provides advanced connections for iPods, allowing the receiver and its remote to pause and skip tracks as well as charge the device.

iPhone hype spurs another publicity move

06/27, 12:25pm

iPhone hype heightens

In the midst of rising publicity and anticipation which continue to mount around Apple's forthcoming iPhone launch, one individual who holds the third place in line at the company's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York has promised to auction off one of the two iPhones he plans to purchase in an effort to support the Taproot Foundation. This is the second documented case of persons standing in line at an Apple store days ahead of the planned June 29th launch in an effort to attract both publicity as well as funds for a dedicated cause. Yesterday Keep a Child Alive announced that it holds the first place in line to receive an iPhone at Apple's SoHo retail store in New York, and that the organization plans to auction off the first iPhone purchased from that store on eBay to prevent the death of children infected with AIDS in Africa.

New Samsung chip takes cellphone digital TV worldwide

06/27, 12:20pm

Samsung Mobile TV Chip

Samsung today rolled out a new chipset it hopes will break the barriers for over-the-air digital TV. A combination channel decoder and RF tuner have been made on a smaller, 65 nanometer process that lets them support more than one digital TV standard at once. The technology would let companies using the chip build true world handhelds: Europe's DVB-H (handheld) and DVB-T (terrestrial) video formats would work on the same chip that supports Korea's DMB, Samsung notes.

Dell matches Windows Inspirons with Linux versions

06/27, 12:10pm

New Dell Linux systems

To coincide with the release of new Inspiron laptops and desktops running Windows, Dell has also launched two new Linux equivalents, loaded with Ubuntu. The laptop is a version of the 1420N, measuring 14.1 inches; it runs off a 1.5GHz Core 2 Duo processor, and has integrated graphics and 1GB of RAM. The hard disk holds 80GB, and the optical drive is a 24x DVD combo model. Wireless comes in the form of 802.11a/b/g.

AT&T publishes iPhone FAQ

06/27, 11:45am

AT&T publishes iPhone FAQ

AT&T has published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Web page that aims to answer most of the common questions consumers may have who are looking to purchase Apple's iPhone when the device hits shelves this coming Friday. The wireless carrier notes that wireless insurance is unavailable for the iPhone but that Apple offers its own warranty for the device, and that activating the handset usually takes a just a few minutes. AT&T says customers can upgrade to iPhone by visiting a company retail store and mention that they are replacing their existing phone, and adds that customers will soon be able to upgrade through myWireless online. Existing AT&T customers can add iPhone to a FamilyTalk plan without the need to switch that plan, and users who just upgraded a phone recently will experience no penalties or restrictions from upgrading to an iPhone.

Analysts: iPhone service costs beat expectations

06/27, 11:20am

Analysts on iPhone service

Fears that high priced service plans for Apple's iPhone would turn many potential customers away have subsided somewhat, according to two industry analysts. Senior analysts Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray and Shaw Wu of American Technology Research both agree that service plan pricing for the highly anticipated device is less expensive than many had feared, and that the cost of using the iPhone is competitive with other similar devices. "We find these price points better than feared and believe the $59.99 and $79.99 plans will be particularly attractive for mainstream users," Wu wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN. Munster notes that Apple's unlimited data (email and Web) functionality included in all its plans is typically an add-on service, adding that the plans are 25 percent cheaper than were expected which "removes one of hte barriers to entering the market."

Upgraded HPs pack quad-core chips, 3GB memory

06/27, 11:05am

HP Pavilions June 2007

Countering Dell, HP has issued a refresh of its Pavilion desktops with extra speed, including some firsts for the industry. The Intel-based m8120n tower is the company's first quad-core mainstream system, shipping with a 2.4GHz Core 2 Quad; it should also be one of the first home systems to ship with 3GB of memory in standard trim, HP notes. Its media center origins continue with a TV tuner, dual 320GB hard drives, and a wireless keyboard/mouse combo for browsing in the living room.

MetaComm upgrades to Workgroups 2007

06/27, 11:00am

Workgroups 2007 released

MetaCommunications has released the 2007 version of Workgroups, its management software suite aimed at creative, marketing, publishing and print businesses. Among more than 50 changes, one of the new additions is Solution Libraries, which introduce extra functions to Workgroups in a plug-and-play fashion, emphasizing specialized processes and vertical industry segments. These will be released for free starting in July; initial Libraries will include Creative, Photography, Prepress, Web Development and more. Workgroups requires a Windows 2000 or 2003 server, but client software is available for Mac OS X 10.3. Prices start at $1,700 for individual programs or $5,000 for the whole suite. Upgrade options are also available.

Apple details iPhone keyboard with new video

06/27, 10:45am

iPhone keyboard video

Apple today posted a new video detailing the intelligent keyboard found in its forthcoming iPhone, which some critics said made the device unfit for practical business use. The video covers such features as the included English language dictionary, automatic correction as users type, and word anticipation functionality to intelligently guess which word users are typing as letters appear on the screen. The iPhone also enlarges the 'tap area' around keys that users are most likely to press next by comparing the series of letters already typed to known words, making those keys which are unlikely to see inclusion harder to hit while increasing the likelihood that users will tap on letters that spell actual English words.

Joesoft ships Jax music software

06/27, 10:15am

Joesoft ships Jax

Joesoft has released its third software product, Jax. Its functions include loading YouTube videos into iTunes, where they can be synched with an iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV. Users can also copy items like news, directions and movie listings onto a device, either as a text file or converted into audio. Music however is the focus of Jax, which will hunt down album art, and allow users to pick international covers where available. Lyrics can be requested as well, in turn giving the ability to search for songs with particular word combinations. New visualizers are added, and Music Map guides users through connections between bands, musicians and songs. Jax costs $50, and is a Univeral Binary for Mac OS X 10.4; also required are iTunes 6.4 and a broadband Internet connection.

Belkin intros Washable Mouse, Mouse Trap

06/27, 10:15am

Belkin Washable Mouse

Solving the frequent problem of grime on mice, Belkin on Wednesday took the unusual step of releasing the Washable Mouse. A watertight body and materials add enough water resistance to the design that it can be run under a faucet, scrubbing free the bacteria and dirt that accumulates over time. The technology underneath is also more advanced than some rugged mice, Belkin says: it uses a touch-sensitive pad for horizontal and vertical scrolling as well as a 1200 DPI optical sensor that provides better-than-average tracking, especially on unorthodox mousing surfaces such as upholstery. The Washable Mouse is driven by USB and should work with Macs and Windows PCs alike when it ships in August for $30.

MPC intros faster ClientPros, TransPort notebook

06/27, 9:50am

MPC June 2007 PCs

MPC has just refreshed three of its core models, adding speed as well as a few key features. Most distinctive in the group is the pictured ClientPro 434 all-in-one: the thin profile PC receives an upgrade to Intel's 3-series chipset and is now one of the fastest systems of its kind, getting up to a 2.66GHz desktop Core 2 Duo as well as GMA X3000 video in the system's stock form. Pros and others who may need physical security also get access to a Smart Card reader, while home users still have access to extras such as a TV tuner. A base model loaded with Vista Home Basic starts at $1,893 with a 1.6GHz Pentium dual-core, 512MB of memory, an 80GB hard disk, and a 17-inch screen. Custom orders can outfit the PC with usual upgrades plus either a 17-inch touchscreen or a 19-inch widescreen.

iPhone web searches skyrocket

06/27, 9:35am

iPhone searches skyrocket

Pointing to widespread awareness, web searches for the term "iphone" have increased dramatically in the past month. The research firm Hitwise claims that between the weeks ending May 26th and June 23rd, the volume of US searches rose 583 percent. Crucially for Apple, the company was the primary recipient of redirected traffic, accumulating 54.4 percent of hits. iPhone carrier AT&T came a distant second at 6.5 percent, while Wikipedia, Engadget and MySpace rounded out the top five. Searches broke into several categories: while the majority were variations on the basic product, price was the next biggest concern, followed by trailing interest in news and the release date.

SanDisk unveils 8GB microSD card, 4GB M2

06/27, 9:00am

SanDisk 8GB microSD

SanDisk today claimed to be the first in the world to introduce an 8GB microSDHC card, doubling the capacity of removable storage on even the newest cellphones. The extra space matches the built-in storage on the iPhone, SanDisk says, and is good for roughly 2,000 songs or five hours of MPEG-4 video at full VGA. This card and a smaller 6GB version are also rated as Class 4 SD devices that can write at a minimum 4MB per second to ensure they work well for video capture or other high-stress tasks.

T-Mobile brings cell/Wi-Fi hybrid calls nationwide

06/27, 8:25am

T-Mobile Hotspot at Home

T-Mobile on Wednesday announced a US-wide launch of HotSpot@Home, its currently unique service that bridges cell and VoIP calling. Expanding from the limited trial, the carrier pairs a D-Link or Linksys wireless router with special phones using Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) that can switch back and forth between Wi-Fi and regular GSM phone connections. The service lets cellphone users call regardless of reception indoors and without eating into subscription minutes -- in some cases letting subscribers drop landlines entirely, T-Mobile says. Those with the plan can also connect for free at T-Mobile's public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Intego ships ContentBarrier X4 DP: Mac, Windows

06/27, 8:05am

ContentBarrier X4 DP

Intego has released ContentBarrier X4 DP a new addition to its "Dual Protection" product line. The package combines the company's parental control software Content Barrier with Editions Profil's Parental Filter for Windows; hence it is designed to protect Intel-based Macs running both Mac OS X and Windows via Boot Camp, Parallels or VMWare. ContentBarrier allows administrators to set different profiles, corresponding to user age or maturity. This allows parents to choose whether children have access to newsgroups, peer-to-peer software, e-mail, chats and the web. They can set schedules, so children can only use the Internet at certain times, and on specific days. Meanwhile, Parental Filter filters web pages, by URL and by category, as well as content. It likewise offers schedules and time limits, and can limit use to specific programs or block selected programs. It also provides logs and monitoring features, so parents can check up on what their children see on the Internet. The package is priced at $60 and requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher and Windows 98 SE, Me, NT, 2000, XP or Vista 32-bits.

RenderMan Studio, RenderMan for Maya ship

06/27, 8:05am

RenderMan for Maya 2 ships

Pixar Animation Studios today announced two major releases of its RenderMan software, RenderMan Studio 1.0 and RenderMan for Maya 2.0. The company also unveiled a new licensing policy that delivers major performance increases on multi-core computers. RenderMan Studio is a major expansion of Pixar's render tool suite which includes a "pro" version of the RenderMan for Maya plug-in, major enhancements to the Slim graphical RenderMan shader editor, the Alfred dispatcher for managing network rendering, the "it" image compositing tool, and unrestricted RIB generation. RenderMan for Maya 2.0 is available on Windows XP and Mac OS X for $1,000 per license, while pricing for RenderMan Studio 1.0 starts at $2,000 per license and is available on Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Apps: BetterZip, Bin-it, DiscLabel, Additune

06/27, 8:00am

BetterZip, Additune

    BetterZip 1.5 ($20) lets users quickly inspect archives without first extracting their contents. The latest release offers a preview that displays images, PDF documents, HTML pages, and text files in a drawer without the need to launch external programs. BetterZip 1.5 also brings support for opening and extracting SIT archives alongside support for MacBinary, BinHex, and DiskDoubler archives. [Download - 3.3MB]
    Bin-it 1.3 ($13) is a free update to the desktop trash can utility that adds customizable themes. Bin-it 1.3 allows users to drag-and-drop custom bin designs to create new themes, and supports the addition of two sounds to custom themes to represent trashing files as well as emptying the trash. [Download - 1.6MB]
    DiscLabel 4.3 ($35) enhances the CD/DVD label design software for Mac OS X, enabling users to import images from iDVD themes. DiscLabel enables users to import track lists or images from various applications, and prints to most label/paper types while working with direct-to-CD printers and printable CDs/DVDs. The latest revision includes major usability enhancements to image effects, and offers miscellaneous printing improvements. [Download - 14.1MB]
    Additune 33 Beta (free) is a public test version of the Mac-only music recommendation application designed to help users grow existing iTunes playlists by reviewing the unique mood of each playlist. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and promises to protect personal information by ensuring all library contents remain anonymous. [Download - 307KB]
    DAQ Plot 10.4.43 (unknown) is an online temperature lab that writes a graph to an online image to show up-to-date temperature information. The latest release includes improved device-level multi-processing to enable faster launches as well as quicker changes in hardware state. The update also includes more than 1,000 source-level improvements to facilitate compliance with public Mac OS X Leopard specifications.
    Virtual TimeClock 5.5.3 ($200) is a maintenance release of the time and attendance software designed for small to medium sized businesses that features several timecard backup optimizations. The update includes manual as well as scheduled backup support to iDisk volumes for .Mac members, and is free for all Virtual TimeClock 5.5 users as well as those enrolled in the Redcort Software Maintenance & Support program. [Download - 5.4MB]

Briefly: SATAdock review, Ambrosia widget

06/27, 8:00am

iPhone charity, 3 apps $5

In brief: MacNN has reviewed WiebeTech's SATAdock for attaching drives without cases, a new Dreamweaver CS3 book is out, the third person in line for an iPhone in New York will be donating proceeds from selling his iPhone to charity, TheMacPack is back, a new line of African-themed sleeves for MacBooks has debuted, and EasyEnvelopes has been updated.... We've posted a review of the WiebeTech SATAdock v4 -- essentially a way to use a normal internal hard drives externally, without putting them in a full case. The device has LED lights that let you know the when FireWire or USB cord is attached, or when the +12V input jack is active, uses the Oxford 924 bridge chip set, and is priced at $170.


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