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News Archive for 07/07/05

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Apps: PathFinder, AudioLobe, GarageBuy

07/05, 6:35pm

UI Browser, PandoCalendar

    PathFinder 4.7.1 ($35) a maintenance release of the file browser that can provide an effective Finder replacement. The new release features a number of enhancements and bug fixes and is a free update for all licensed Path Finder 4 customers. Among the changes: resolution of an issue where hitting tab in the svn commit panel submitted instead of focussing the cancel button and improved speed of moving items to the trash and deleting items. [Download - 27MB]
    AudioLobe 1.6 ($20) an application providing audio speed and pitch processing for Mac OS X 10.4. This release adds the Jump menu and keyboard shortcuts to aid skipping through a track. It also adds display fields under the loop start and loop end buttons to show the loop start and end times. These fields are displayed when the loop button is clicked. Finally, it alters the speed increment/decrement buttons to adjust by 0.05 instead of 0.1 for greater granularity of speed control. [Download - 1.5 MB]
    GarageBuy 1.0 Beta 5 ($30) application to help you find and purchase items on eBay -- the first Mac desktop application officially certified by eBay for bidding. Supports the ability to place Bids and Purchase Items directly from within GarageBuy, a gallery List View and saved searches. It also has access your iPhoto library directly from within GarageSale, a built in scheduler and free image serving. The new release also includes Growl Support [Download - 13.7MB]
    PreFab UI Browser 2.0.4 ($55) assistant for Apple's GUI Scripting and Accessibility technologies. It helps you to explore, manipulate and monitor the user interface of most Mac OS X applications running on your computer. Also generates AppleScript statements to control even non-scriptable applications using GUI Scripting. This release adds a new feature for developers testing their Macintosh software products for correct implementation of Apple's Accessibility technology. It also fixes two bugs in generated AppleScript scripts, including one that occasionally assigned invalid AppleScript index number -2147483648 to a UI element. [Download - 1.3MB]
    PreFab UI Actions 1.2.1 ($35) implements "universal attachability" for AppleScript. With UI Actions, you attach an AppleScript script to a native Mac OS X application. From then on, the script will be triggered automatically every time the user performs the actions you specify in the target application. This release fixes a bug where UI Actions Setup crashed if a script was attached to a target application and the target application subsequently quit, or if UI Actions Setup was relaunched and the target application was no longer running. [Download - 2MB]
    PandoCalendar 7.0.1 ($35) places a fully functional calendar on your desktop. You can change the calendar's font, size, and the colors used to draw the calendar; the background can be entirely transparent, so you can still see your desktop picture. The new release fixes a bug that would corrupt the end date when importing of a pattern style recurring note that had an end date specified, and another bug that could cause PandoCalendar to crash when importing a pattern style recurring note with a blank pattern. [Download - 1.4MB]

Briefly: review; movie trailers on iPhone

07/05, 6:05pm

Review, iPhone trailers

In brief: MacNN has reviewed LiveWires in-ear headphones from Earpiece Technologies, Apple has set up a special website designed to provide movie trailers to iPhone owners, IK Multimedia has launched a promotion that offers IK effect plug-in purchasers a second IK effect for free, and Fast Icon has released its "Creatures" icon collection. MacNN has reviewed LiveWires in-ear headphones ($250, shown at right) from Earpiece Technologies, a set of audio earphones that are actually molded to fit the exact shape of each customer's ears via silicone prior to shipping. The earphones fit snugly to isolate noise while offering deep lows alongside formidable highs.

Microsoft tackles Xbox crashes with 3-year warranty

07/05, 5:00pm

Xbox 3 Year Warranty

Responding to complaints and its own research into the high Xbox 360 failure rate, Microsoft today has expanded its warranty to address specific problems reported by users. Those whose systems fail with three red lights -- also known as the "red ring of death" -- can contact Microsoft for a free replacement up to three years from the day they purchased their consoles. Gamers who have paid for repairs in the past can also seek out refunds, Microsoft says.

Orange offers budget SPV C200 smartphone

07/05, 4:45pm

Orange SPV C200

The French branch of European carrier Orange today rolled out the SPV C200. Standing in contrast to premium devices, the C200 is intended for bringing smartphone-class features to a lower price. Its candybar design offers only a keypad and joystick (rather than a keyboard) for control but is preloaded with Windows Mobile 5 for better Internet access and document viewing than the custom programs that often come with more limited handsets.

Global Conflict: Palestine for Mac released

07/05, 4:35pm

Global Conflict: Palestine today released Serious Games' Global Conflict: Palestine, a game where players assume the role of a freelance journalist who has just arrived in Jerusalem armed with a pen, a notepad and sharp wits to navigate forthcoming challenges. Players must create an article and get it published for a newspaper by collecting quotes from dialog in the game, gathering information by building up trust with each side or taking a more confrontational approach to reveal the truth. The game includes situations taken from real-life events that complicate beliefs as well as ideas about the tumultuous situation. Global Conflict: Palestine is priced at $20 and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.

Helio sharing iPhone's YouTube clips?

07/05, 4:25pm

Helio Gets YouTube

The American virtual carrier Helio today announced that it had added YouTube Mobile, its own adaptation of the web video service. Like Apple's iPhone client, the Helio version includes a custom program for searching and playing videos and plays re-encoded versions of the clips in full-screen rather than the normal Flash versions. The use of an EVDO-based 3G wireless network gives the phone an advantage, the company says. Subscribers with a YouTube Mobile profile can record and upload clips through a Helio Album that are automatically posted to the Google-run website.

Denon releases new surround bar

07/05, 4:20pm


Pushing the increasing trend of more compact surround-sound systems, Denon has released the DHT-FS3 X-SPACE, a bar speaker meant to do away with the need for satellites. It does this by incorporating six drivers and seven amplifiers, with separation coming from signal aim and DSP simulation. It can supply 150W of sound, and is intended mainly for connection to DVD players and satellite receivers.

Not all of the supported codecs have been published; one of the known formats however is Dolby Pro Logic II. Denon states that it plans to release an add-on for the unit in September, which will allow audio from Wi-Fi sources such as Internet radio. The price of the FS3 is 700 ($1,412). [via Tech Digest]

NBA basketball-themed phone launched in China

07/05, 4:00pm

NBA N111 Phone

The NBA today revealed that it will capitalize on the popularity of its sport in China by releasing a custom-branded phone. Dubbed the N111, the handset will stress the theme with basketball imagery on front and back, including a texture similar to the ball itself. Variants on the phone will even come in different colors for favorite teams, the organization says. Every phone will ship with related games and the ability to keep track of a team's playing schedule and other details through WAP browsing.

Apple missed iPhone sales target of 1m?

07/05, 3:40pm

Sold between 200-700k

Writing for TheStreet, Scott Moritz claims that the sales goal -- or so-called whisper number -- both internally at Apple and on Wall Street was 1 million phones. Instead, analysts estimate somewhere between 200,000 and 700,000 iPhones were sold through July 3rd. "There's a lot of rejoicing at Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile," says IAG Research's Roger Entner. "By not selling out, it is still a solid success, but it also proved that not everyone in the country is willing to drop $600 on a new phone. Still, analysts predict that AT&T could take about 2.6 million customers from its rivals. We previously reported that AT&T sold out of its initial iPhone stock in a few hours, and that iPhone sales shattered previous AT&T sales records.

New iStuff transmitter hunts for clearest signal

07/05, 3:35pm

iCast Autoscan FM

The upcoming iCast Autoscan FM Transmitter by iStuff broadcasts audio from media players to nearby FM radios; its unique trait, however, is that it can be set to scan for the clearest frequencies in an area, which if selected, should reduce audio interference. Up to four frequencies can be saved in memory for quick selection. The Autoscan is also notable in that while it is designed for iPods, it can be used with any device that includes a standard headphone jack. Power is supplied through either a 12V car outlet or a single AAA battery. The transmitter should begin shipping on July 16th for 30 ($60).

iPhone shortcut: typing punctuation

07/05, 3:35pm

iPhone typing shortcut

David Pogue has posted a new iPhone tip to his Missing Manual Web site: If you want to type a period or other puncuation, simply touch and hold the ".?123" key then slide your finger to the desired button. When you've selected the punctuation, the keyboard automatically changes back to the normal character entry mode. This allows you to quickly select a punctuation character without having to tap more than once. Pogue writes: "This makes a HUGE difference in the usability of the keyboard."

Flash Encryption Tools come to Mac

07/05, 3:30pm

SWFEncrypt for Mac OS X

Amayeta Limited has announced the release of SWF Encrypt 4.0, offered in February 2007 for Windows, as a Mac OS X application. The tool provides Adobe Flash Developers with advanced obfuscation techniques along side encryption technology to protect and secure their Flash ActionScript Code. The Adobe SWF File Format is an "Open File Format" which means there is no native protection and the contents of the SWF file can be viewed using Flash Decompiler Tools. These tools break open the resources that make up a SWF file and can display the full ActionScript Source Code. SWF Encrypt 4.0 shields ActionScript from Flash Decompilers and SWF hackers by encrypting and obfuscating the SWF whilst retaining its original functionality. The company has also released a Mac OS X version of SWC Encrypt 1.0, the an Encryption Tool for Flash Component Files. Pricing is $125 for a single user license, per product. The software requires Mac OS 10.2.x or Better.

Dell to take Asian PC makers head-on at retail

07/05, 3:25pm

Dell Reaching Asian Shops

Dell's move to sell at retail is going global, the company revealed today. While the system builder has only just broken its longstanding tradition of direct-only sales by offering PCs at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club in the US, it now hopes to sell its systems in retail stores across Asia, including Dell's local headquarters in Singapore as well as several other countries. The decision was spurred on in part by stronger-than-average sales in the area, Dell says. Examples from both the low- and high-end of the company's Inspiron desktops and 1x20 notebooks will be available.

CS Odessa ships ConceptDraw Business Suite

07/05, 3:00pm

ConceptDraw Business Suite

CS Odessa has begun selling the ConceptDraw Business Suite, a combination of three separate applications aimed at increasing work efficiency. ConceptDraw 7 is used for producing business graphics, including everything from charts and floor plans to network diagrams. Project 3 meanwhile handles project management, and has recently had a major redesign to improve its interface and options. The last third of the suite is MINDMAP Pro, which is used to create, record and share information throughout a business. In August the Mac version is being upgraded to MINDMAP 5, which will be free to those who buy the suite beforehand. The whole package currently costs $500 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher.

Dynamic touchscreens in Apple patent

07/05, 2:55pm

Dynamic touchscreens

Apple has filed a patent that covers touchscreens with reactive input for various portable devices -- presumably the iPhone, but also potentially forthcoming versions of the iPod and Macs. The patent calls for a method of displaying icons on a touch-sensitive display, which trigger actions based on user input. The patent describes a variable response based on the "actual contact and the estimated contact." In other words, selecting one icon will lead to a defined second set of icons, and so forth, anticipating what the user would like to select. The system can learn to adapt based on user history and other factors including gestures. For instance, the first symbol may be selected using one or more tap gestures and the second symbol may selected using a swipe gesture. "Two or more consecutive taps may correspond to the second symbol if a time interval between two or more corresponding contacts is less than a third pre-determined value."

Verizon picks up D&B designer cellphone case

07/05, 2:50pm

Verizon Dooney Bourke Case

Verizon on Thursday kicked off the launch of its new Chocolate phone by introducing a new designer wrist case. The Dooney & Burke Limited Edition wristlet is tailored for women who want to bring just a phone and other essentials with them on a short trip. Its main compartments holds the phone itself with a soft lining that avoids scratches; a side pouch holds basics, such as cards or the earbuds likely to accompany a music phone such as LG's model. Owners can also detach the wrist strap for stuffing the case into a larger bag.

Vertu readying second-generation Ascent phone

07/05, 2:20pm

Vertu Ascent Ti at FCC

Vertu today inadvertently revealed that a first true successor to its Ascent luxury phone is in the works. A just-published FCC filing reveals that the new device, simply named the Ascent Ti, will show changes both inside and out. The phone will gain its first camera at 3 megapixels and will gain UMTS mobile Internet access for when the phone is used in Europe. The design should also revolve around a more ergonomic grip with a ridged titanium shell that inspires the device's name. Sapphire, scratchproof coating on the LCD as well as gold trim are features inherited from earlier Vertu models.

Patent: iPhone, iPod "hold" in darkness

07/05, 1:45pm

Light sensitive hold

Apple has issued a patent for a hold switch that is automatically triggered by ambient light. In other words, if a device is put into a dark space, it will be triggered to enter "hold" mode. Possible applications for this patent include an iPhone that automatically turns off the ringer in a dark movie theater, or (more likely) an iPod that automatically resists any user input when it is placed in a pants pocket or purse. As soon as the device is taken out and again placed in a lighted environment, it is taken out of hold mode and ready for use.

Adobe Flash on iPhone in two months?

07/05, 1:45pm

WSJ on iPhone Flash

Apple plans to add Adobe Flash support on the iPhone relatively quickly, says Walt Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal. The technology columnist reports that Apple already expects to release a software update for the phone in the near future that will deliver at least part of the functionality through Safari, permitting the many web-based video sites and other pages that use Flash for animation or interfaces to display properly. No timeframe has been given, but the fix could occur within "a couple of months," Mossberg estimates.

RIAA accused of illegal investigations

07/05, 1:25pm

RIAA probing illegal?

The Recording Industry Association of America, notorious for its attempts to clamp down on music downloads, has suffered another legal setback. The organization faces a counter-suit from Rhonda Crain, who was initially accused of illegal fire sharing, and expected to pay $4,500 in her dispute. Crain is, however, a Texan grandmother, who claims she had never heard of file sharing before she was threatened.

The newly-expanded Crain lawsuit alleges that the RIAA not only falsely accused her, but "illegally employed unlicensed investigators in the State of Texas," the filing reads, "and used the information thereby obtained to file this and other similar actions across the country."

Nokia building N95 successor with 8GB storage?

07/05, 1:10pm

Nokia N95 8GB Leak

The Nokia N95 should see a sequel with enough storage to tackle the iPhone, says an unintentional leak by the Finnish company itself. An XML file for the phone's web browser user agent has shown up on Nokia's website that points to an N95 with 8GB of internal storage, far more than the 160MB built into today's version and placing it in direct contention with Apple's device. But the device may be a significant redesign or even a new N-series phone altogether, according to reports.

Apple patents dialing via clickwheel

07/05, 12:55pm

Click-wheel dialing patent

Three patents filed by Apple Inc. surfaced today that detail telephone and text entry interfaces for a cellular-capable device via a click-wheel. The second patent will enable users to "type" or dial phone numbers with a click-wheel interface and receive suggestions for completing words or phrases to speed typing efforts. The first patent, titled "Telephone Interface for a Portable Communication Device," describes a rotary dial driven by an iPod-like click-wheel. The rotary dial produces numbers as well as icons arranged in a circular pattern, allowing users to scroll through the icons and numbers with the touch of a finger via either a click-wheel or touch-screen interface.

Nisus launches Writer Pro 1.0

07/05, 12:55pm

Nisus Writer Pro 1.0

After years of maintaining only a lightweight word processor for the Mac, Nisus is making a return to the professional Mac word processing market with a Universal Binary word processor, Writer Pro 1.0. The new release is built from the same core as Nisus Writer Express, but sports several additional or expanded features including a Table of Contents generator, indexing, bookmarks. There's also attribute sensitive search, that allows you to locate items in documents based on their formatting. With regard to layout, Writer Pro 1.0 includes the ability to place floating images, an enhanced proprietary macro language, and more. The native file format for Writer Pro 1.0 is RTF (Rich Text Format). The tool will also read Word (.doc), Word Perfect, and AbiWord documents. Nisus Writer Pro requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, but Mac OS X 10.4 is needed for full right to left text support. The tool is priced at $80, or $45 for an upgrade from Nisus Writer Express.

Corega prepares rare iPod shuffle speaker

07/05, 12:15pm

Corega iPod shuffle stereo

The Japanese company Corega is near launching the CG-IPSPDC02, a new portable iPod speaker. Unlike so many products the 02 is designed exclusively for the second-generation shuffle, which slots into an inline dock. Apple's design is also echoed in the rounded edges of the speaker, as well as its color, with different versions of the speaker being available for each shuffle variant. A USB port allows synching and charging with a computer; the satellites produce 0.5W per channel. Corega will begin shipping the 02 later in July for 3,675 yen ($30). [via Fareastgizmos]

Apple patents multi-touch mouse concept

07/05, 11:35am

Apple Touch Mouse Patent

Apple today was shown to have filed a US patent that may point towards the future of its desktop mice. Originally submitted in March 2006, the patent would use a variant of the multi-touch concept behind the iPhone and apply it to a hand controller. An optical sensor built inside the mouse would map the surface and recognize contact from the user's hand based on changes in the image. Information would then be translated to a flat grid in software that the computer can use to recognize the user's intent, the patent says.

Odd-i prepares P480 media player

07/05, 11:35am

Odd-i P480 media player

The Korean company Odd-i is preparing to ship the P480, a fairly robust media player. It runs a version of Windows CE, and aside from playing various music and video files, it can also tune in DMB digital broadcasts. An e-dictionary allows quick translations, and in a rare feat, it also serves as a portable GPS unit. An analog stick allows quick control, while file transfer is done through an SD slot. The P480 should ship to Korea later this month in 30 or 60GB versions, though prices are unknown. [via Akihabara News]

USB 2 ExpressCard support comes to MacBooks

07/05, 11:30am

MacBook, USB2 ExpressCard

Synchrotech has unveiled its MicroU2E USB 2.0 to USB 2.0 Mode ExpressCard 34 | 54 Host Adapter, offering USB 2.0 Mode ExpressCard device support on USB 2.0 ports. The adapter features a small footprint that is slightly larger than a book of matches, accepting USB 2.0-based ExpressCards in either 34 or 54 form factors. Supported USB mode ExpressCards include Novatel Wireless Merlin ExpressCards (XU870, EX720, V740), storage media ExpressCards like Datafab's expSSD, RS-232 host adapters like Synchrotech's EXP34-RS232-01, most ExpressCard to memory card media adapters like Synchrotech's EXP34-ADP-CF2-01, and several others. The device does not work with any ExpressCard using the PCI Express (PCIe) portion of the ExpressCard standard, however, but allows the use of USB-based ExpressCards in the latest generation of 3G wireless devices on slotless MacBooks. The accessory is priced at $40. offers waterproof iPod cases

07/05, 11:10am

Waterproof iPod cases has begun offering new waterproof iPod cases and headphones from H2O for Apple's portable media player. The cases are rated waterproof at up to 10-feet, with two models that accommodate the video iPod and second-generation iPod nano. Waterproof headphones also available that work with both of the afore-mentioned cases, each of which feature a "Commander Scroll Wheel" that enables users to access the iPod click-wheel while in the water or wearing a glove. Both cases also feature a "LatchTight" locking system with a "SealTight" connector keep water away from the sensitive player. Both cases ship with a sport armband, with pricing of 50 and 55 for the iPod nano and iPod video cases, respectively. H2O's waterproof headphones are available for 30.

TextParrot becomes GhostReader 1.1

07/05, 10:55am

TextParrot now GhostReader

AssistiveWare, under its ConvenienceWare brand, has released GhostReader 1.1, a successor to the earlier program TextParrot. Like the latter, GhostReader is used to have the Mac OS read documents back to a user, in accents and languages ranging from British or American English through to Turkish and Swedish. A Safari plug-in allows the reading of any text under the mouse cursor, and recorded tracks can be exported to iTunes to create podcasts or audiobooks.

Verizon offers new Chocolate with 4GB, iPod wheel

07/05, 10:35am

LG VX8550 at Verizon

Verizon today made official the launch of the VX8550, better known as an update to the Chocolate. The revamped version changes the style slightly but also changes the control scheme. Replacing the directional pad is an iPod-like metallic scroll wheel that allows for quicker navigation through the media player as well as in some phone menus; the keypad is also touch-sensitive and includes vibration response, Verizon says. Storage has also been upgraded to handle microSD cards as large as 4GB and theoretically allows up to 1,000 songs to be swapped in and out of the phone.

MetaEdit+ 4.5 for Mac OS X, Linux released

07/05, 10:20am

MetaEdit+ 4.5 released

MetaCase has released MetaEdit+ 4.5, the company's domain-specific modeling environment for Mac OS X and Linux systems. The software aims to significantly increase overall productivity by providing a superior approach to effective software development. MetaEdit+ 4.5 makes defining modeling languages more convenient than previous releases, enabling developers to simultaneously define as well as use and test modeling languages while updating previously constructed models automatically. To aid developers during code generator definition, MetaEdit+ 4.5 adds generator syntax highlighting, validation, debugging, and traces generated code back to the modeling elements from which it originates. MetaEdit+ 4.5 is also more open with an improved SOAP Web Services-based API, as well as import and export support for models and DSL's in XML format. The software is priced from 1,000 to 9,500, with introductory licenses priced at 150. MetaEdit+ 4.5 requires Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later.

V7 rolls widescreen NAV720 GPS with Bluetooth

07/05, 10:10am

V7 NAV720

Growing its GPS line by one, V7 has introduced the NAV720, an expanded version of the NAV700. The new version adds a built-in Bluetooth transmitter for hands-free phone calls and supports Traffic Messaging Channel adapters for live road condition updates; the 400MHz processor is also quick enough to handle MPEG-4 videos as well as other extras, such as MP3 playback and games for the passenger.

Infinity Data launches SimpleBooks Pro 1.0

07/05, 10:05am

SimpleBooks Pro 1.0

Matching the earlier release of the basic SimpleBooks, Infinity Data has released the expanded SimpleBooks Pro 1.0. Whereas the previous software was limited to billing, invoices and estimates, Pro handles an increased spectrum of tasks, including ledgers, purchase orders and supplier management. The most critical component may be Payroll, which calculates federal, state and local taxes, along with special payments such as Medicare and Advanced Earned Income Credit. Payment schedules can be arranged anywhere between daily and monthly timeframes. The software costs $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.2. Intel-only or Universal Binary versions are available.

Apple hit with Apple TV, iTunes lawsuits

07/05, 9:30am

Apple photo/iTunes suits

Apple is facing a pair of potentially expensive lawsuits relating to intellectual property, according to reports. The first of the two relates to the Apple TV, and specifically its promotional campaign, which has used an iconic image of the product surrounded by dozens of small video screens. This, however, bears a striking resemblance to an earlier image (seen below) by photographer Louis Psihoyos, who filed the eight-page suit with the state of Colorado.

Sanyo intros GPS unit with digital TV, DVR functions

07/05, 9:25am

Sanyo HD1700DT

Sanyo this morning launched a new in-dash GPS receiver for drivers who need their in-car system as their primary entertainment. The HD1700DT not only tunes 1Seg-formatted digital TV broadcasts on its 7-inch screen but includes measures to keep watching, according to the company. The tuner adjusts to improve reception as the car transitions from one broadcast tower to another; those who want to watch shows outside of the car can burn them to rewritable DVDs for use with a home DVD player or the car itself.

O2 tipped for UK iPhone contract?

07/05, 8:35am

O2 Tipped for UK iPhone

Cellphone carrier O2 may have beaten all others to win a contract for the iPhone in the UK, says country's Times. The paper claims that the European provider has been willing to accept terms similar to those for the AT&T deal in the US, including a revenue-sharing system where Apple sees a portion of the subscription costs and an initial price of 300 ($605). O2 would also have to change its network to adopt the Visual Voicemail system, the Times alleges. Carphone Warehouse and other third-party resellers would only get an opportunity to sell the phone after an exclusive run.


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