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WorqSmart has announced major upgrades to two of its most popular plug-ins: eAuthorize and Events. eAuthorize 4 is WorqSmart's Internet credit card authorization worqhorse for FileMaker Pro. The new release is rebuilt for compatibility with Intel-based Macs and includes new features such as improved error handling and an improved registration process. The software can also now use Authorize.net to process high-speed payments in both card present and card not present environments. The tool is priced at $250.
In brief: October dates for Cocoa Bootcamp have been announced, Shoe Pouch for Nike's iPod Sport Kit is now available in 8 colors, Peachpit will hold a "Voices that matter" conference for Web designers, MedeFile medical records are now available on the iPhone, and a scanner has been certified for lenticular prints ... Big Nerd Ranch has announced dates for the latest Cocoa Bootcamp class, to take place this Fall. The class, scheduled for October 1-5, 2007, comes on the heels of the September class, which sold out shortly after the dates were released. The class features the talent of Aaron Hillegass, and offers in-depth Cocoa training. While students are not required to be familiar with Cocoa or working on Macs, they are expected to have some background in an object- oriented language like Java, C++, Python or Ruby. The class is fast- paced and intense as it traverses a lot of Cocoa territory. Aaron Hillegass's seminal work, 'Cocoa Programming on Mac OS X,' provides the text for the class. The class is held in a retreat setting outside Atlanta, GA. Class price of $3500 includes lodging, all meals, original instruction materials, 24-hour lab access, and ground transportation to and from the Atlanta airport.
Apple today released Pro Application Support 4.0.1, which improves general user interface reliability for Apple's professional applications and is recommended for all users of Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Aperture, Final Cut Express HD, Soundtrack, Logic Pro and Logic Express. The 7.6MB update requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Toon Boom Animation today announced the upcoming release of Toon Boom Studio 4, offering users of the all-in-one animation studio a smooth experience creating rich animations for a variety of mediums including video and television. Studio 4 features a redesigned user interface for an improved workflow and a smoother experience, as well as greater flexibility via the ability to customize workspaces. Extended animation styles import, vectorize, and animate photographs while a broader selection of brushes help users create better line styles. A new Feather Edges feature applies blurs and glows to drawings, improved motion capabilities set more realistic moves with the new peg's Orient to path feature, and advanced Web publishing options help users play back animation on the internet more efficiently.
Suitcase Fusion 12.1.6 ($100) is a professional font manager boasting a number of stability improvements. The latest release stabilizes the process of adding fonts as well as checking for corruption, and includes plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator CS3 and Adobe InDesign CS3. The update also fixes an issue in 12.1.5 where the show missing fonts dialog was displayed at startup under certain conditions. [Download - 46MB] Dejal Time Out 1.5 (free) serves as a break reminder tool for Mac OS X. The utility features two kinds of breaks: a "Normal" break, typically for 10 minutes after 50 minutes of work that reminds users to move as well as relax, and a "Micro" break: a very brief pause of typically 10 seconds every 10 minutes, reminding users not to tense up too much for long periods. Break lengths are customizable, as is the period between breaks. [Download - 2.3MB] xTime Project 4.5 ($100) enhances the tool for creating, tracking and managing projects. The new release offers better performance for all Intel-based Macs, better import/export of Microsoft Project documents, improved Undo functionality that works for all actions, a new full-screen mode to make presentations that are compatible with all views, support of the ISO date format, and many improvements of the Gantt view. [Download - 2.7MB] Wx 5.0 ($17) brings a revised interface to the weather application covering the United States. The new release allows users to track up to 20 locations and 20 weather maps. The update eases setup for first time users, and Wx offers a new internal location database with Google Maps integration. Wx's radar console is multi-threaded for a significant boost in performance (up to 10X) and offers a zoom/pan mode. Finally, Wx has a new iPhone export feature, allowing registered users to view weather locations and maps on an iPhone with the accompanying "iPhoneWx" Web app. [Download - 2.8MB]
GridIron Software has begun shipping Nucleo Pro 2, an update to the tool that optimizes the workflow for visual effects artists using Adobe After Effects. The new release sports a feature dubbed "Background Render Queue," which allows media to be dragged into one specific spot, then tagged with appropriate render settings, allowing a batch process to take place. Support is available for most popular 3D rendering applications, including: Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya, Maxon Cinema 4D, Newtek LightWave, Softimage XSI, and Apple Shake. There is also a Pre-Composition Proxy feature that allows the addition of a proxy with a single keystroke. If a proxied composition is changed, Nucleo Pro 2 re-renders only the modified frames in the background, then updates the composition's proxy automatically. Nucleo Pro 2 is priced at $400 and supports all versions of Adobe After Effects version 7.0 as well the new After Effects CS3 Professional on both Windows and Mac OS X. The upgrade price from Nucleo Pro 1 is $100.
CalDigit has begun shipping the HDPro Tower and Rack Mount 8-bay RAID storage solution. The bay supports RAID 0,1,5 and 6 and can attain data transfer rates of 400MB/s in RAID 5. It can handle capacities from 2.0TB up to 8.0TB, and uses PCI Express direct attach as a storage interface that connects the host and RAID controller at up to 20Gbps, eliminating the need for an additional host adapter. Prices start at $4000 for a 2TB system which includes a CalDigit Controller Card. CalDigit officials said "Unlike Fibre Channel, SCSI, FireWire and eSATA RAID storage, the CalDigit HDPro is using a direct connection to the computers bridge chip and memory system combined with high link speeds. This direct link eliminates latency introduced by the conversion of other interfaces and provides superior bandwidth, availability and deployment flexibility over earlier-generation SCSI and Fibre Channel technology."
A new startup called Action Engine has secured $20 million in venture capital to build mobile Web sites for a bevy of content providers and corporate Web sites, including MSNBC.com, TiVo and others. The funding comes from equity firms Baker Capital, Northwest Venture Associates and the Spangler Group. According to a report from CNNMoney, the company lets its content partners negotiate with the wireless carriers, and in turn reveives a cut of subscription and advertising revenue that its customer’s mobile applications generate. "The iPhone has been the single most exciting thing in our industry. We're not Steve Jobs. We don't have the cachet of an Apple. So they validated the mobile Web market overnight," said Action Engine CEO Scott Silk, "But a lot of companies are paranoid about Apple doing in mobile what it did to music. So we became a logical partner for carriers and media companies."
Accessory maker iHome has developed the iH82, a new set of portable speakers for the iPod. Based on the existing iH80, the base of the unit is essentially the same, but with an entirely optional second speaker for louder, stereo sound. Crucially, the extra speaker does not require its own power supply; it instead takes its power from the dock speaker, which uses a wall adapter or eight C-cell batteries. The dock itself supports fourth- and fifth-generation iPods along with minis, nanos and shuffles. An infrared remote comes standard. iHome has yet to announce pricing or a release date for the set. [via iLounge]
Samsung is ready to make one of the largest breaks from its historical phone designs, according to a new product leak. The i550 would not only ship in a brushed metal with thin buttons similar to Sony-Ericsson's W880 but would also be the first Samsung phone in the world to come equipped with a GPS receiver. Controls would also veer sharply from Samsung's past with a BlackBerry-style trackball and shortcut keys for the map tool as well as music. Phone users would also have true 3G access to the Internet with a 3.6Mbps HSDPA connection, and could place video calls over the network with a front camera, the source claims.
DE:Noise is a new Final Cut Pro/Adobe After Effects plug-in that handles spurious frame-to-frame defects ranging from fine digital and electronic noise to blotchy spots (e.g. dirt on the film). The tool uses proprietary motion estimation (optical flow) techniques and feature-sensitive, edge-preserving spatial filtering methods to reduce the visual impact of various problems such as: noisy video (that can happen with low-light capture), excessive film grain, CG renders affected by ray-tracing sampling artifacts, fingerprints and dust captured during film scan/transfer and printing, snow, drop-outs and many other defects.
Businesses cannot make online changes to a contract without informing their customers, according to a ruling by the Ninth Circuit of the US Court of Appeals. The issue stems from the case of Joe Douglas, a customer of the phone company Talk America, which recently merged with Cavalier Telephone. Douglas was initially a customer of America Online, part of which was acquired by Talk, which in turn provided phone service to former AOL subscribers. Following the acquisition, Talk altered its contracts, raising prices and inserting legal clauses protecting it from the likes of class-action lawsuits.
Eurocom has quietly released an upgrade to this year's D900C gaming notebook. The Phantom-X version adds several features sought after by its high-performance audience. Systems can now use Intel's 2.4GHz or 2.66GHz Core 2 Quad desktop processors. The graphics can also be upgraded from the stock GeForce Go 7950 GTX to the newer GeForce 8700M GT, which adds DirectX10 visuals and better overall 3D to the 17-inch desktop replacement. Each hard drive slot is now also rated for up to a 250GB hard drive, stacking to create as much as 750GB of storage either in a RAID array or as separate disks.
Dell has at last begun shipping the XPS M1330, according to a new update from the company's official blog. The 13.3-inch gaming system has encountered a number of delays since its announcement in June that have prevented its shipping as expected. The Texas-based PC maker did not specify what had triggered the more than month-long delay but noted that the extra-thin LED backlit display was the most likely extra to delay ship times. Other general setbacks such as "part shortages, technical glitches, [and] simple cosmetic issues" could also play a role, Dell noted.
The joint venture of LG Philips LCD has created a new flexible display technology which may circumvent some of the costs of current OLED screens. According to an application filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, instead of relying on crystals and diodes, the LG Philips solution fills each pixel with a combination of oil and water. When an electric field is applied from plastic electrodes, the floating oil parts, revealing the color(s) of the underlying layer.
Verizon today announced that it would buy out Rural Cellular for $757 million, bringing all the customers of the smaller provider into the larger carrier's fold. The move gives the larger carrier access to 716,000 new subscribers and should help the company provide service in large portions of the northeast as well as the south, north-central, and northwestern US, many of whom either have few choices in carriers or are serviced by rivals. Most of Rural Cellular's subscribers use GSM phones but will eventually be converted to CDMA networks, Verizon said. However, all the GSM networks will remain active to provide roaming for customers of AT&T, T-Mobile, and other providers based on the competing standard.
ASUS today revealed full details of the P735, the new flagship in its P series of smartphones. The 2.8-inch LCD dominating the front provides extra room for the relatively new addition of Windows Mobile 6, which brings in simple Excel, PowerPoint, and Word editing. It also provides expansive room for web browsing with a faster variant on UMTS mobile Internet that sustains 384Kbps, including during uploads. The addition lets ASUS install a front video camera and is accompanied by 802.11g Wi-Fi that fills the gaps when indoors.
Delphi today broke cover on its new NAV300 GPS receiver. Confirming the earlier leak, the 300 spins the formula set by the NAV200 with the addition of Bluetooth for hands-free speakerphone calls and a new point-of-interest recommendation feature: a September update will add ZAGAT's ratings to hotels, restaurants, and other entertainment spots that surface on maps of Canada and the US included with the 3.5-inch map unit.
Microsoft is said to be working on updates that may address some of the most common complaints about Windows Vista, without requiring the highly-anticpated Service Pack 1. According to sources at nV News, testers in the Windows Server 2008 beta are eligible to download early versions of new "Performance and Reliability" and "Compatibility and Reliability" packs, for both the 32- and 64-bit editions of Vista. The former should improve speeds when copying large file folders, an issue that has made Vista problematic for many modern computing demands. It should also reduce the time needed to reach the Login screen from Hibernate.
Acer today released a new version of its starter notebook, the TravelMate 2480. The budget 14-inch widescreen system achieves a low price through the inclusion of a newer-generation 1.6GHz Celeron M, 512MB of RAM, and modest storage with a DVD/CD-RW drive and an 80GB hard disk. Vista Home Basic also helps lighten the demand on the system for most users. The system nonetheless includes a few extras such as a multi-format card reader for camera files and an ExpressCard slot. Users can upgrade the system to 2GB of memory and can buy the system in the US now for $539.
USB Fever has introduced a 7-in-1 FM transmitter with remote and a USB charging port for the iPod. The seven features are: iPod Car Holder, iPod Charger, iPod FM Transmitter, MP3 FM Transmitter, USB Charger Port, Remote, and LED Display with Backlight. The included remote can control the iPod and the FM Transmitter, while the built-in LCD features a frequency display; the device features output to the full FM frequency (87.5M~108MHz, 0.1 interval). The unit is adjustable nearly 180 degrees in standard lighter-style car power adapters, with compatibility for voltages between 9V and 15V. It's compatible with the iPhone (some features), iPod 5th Gen (Video), iPod Nano 2, and all other Music players (thru 3.5mm line-in cable). The 7-in-1 FM transmitter is priced at $35.
MYOB has released FirstEdge v3, a significant update to the small business management and accounting software for Mac-based small businesses. This release is Universal (for the first time), features the ability to undo bank account reconciliation, has new budgeting tools, including two years of budgeting. An enhanced reporting mechanism delivers receivables with tax reports, displays a list if linked accounts, grouped by command center, and an allocation Memo field that runs on the Job Transactions report to that descriptive text from sales. The tool can also now hold up to 7 years of transaction history, combine accounts and combine contact cards and sports improved auditing and financial control tools. Another primary new feature is the ability to synchronize contacts between FirstEdge and Mac OS X's Address Book. MYOB FirstEdge is priced at $100 for new users, and $80 for upgraders.
Patrick Walton and Tom Anthony have collaborated to deliver a hack that allows the Apple TV to use its internal hard drive to boot and perform operating system functions, but also use an external, USB-based hard drive to store media. The new capability is the result of a contest established by AppleTVHacks.net and FatBounty with the intended goal of using an external USB drive as a primary storage for the Apple TV. The hack requires an SSH-enabled Apple TV. You can enable SSH on your AppleTV via these instructions. It also requires an Intel-based Mac to patch the kernel on the Apple TV remotely. You'll also need an original, unmodified copy of the 'mach_kernel.prelink' file from the Apple TV, which can be extracted from the Apple TV Software 1.1 update. Finally, you will need an external USB drive formatted using 'Journaled HFS+.'
PopCap Games today launched a custom version of its flagship game, Bejewelled, for Apple's iPhone. The game is available free of charge to iPhone users who log onto the company's website via the Safari Web browser on the cellular handset, offering the original match-3 puzzler title customized with Web 2.0 capability to take advantage of the iPhone's unique display and input controls. PopCap developed the Safari-based version of Bejeweled in partnership with Polish developer Arkadiusz Mlynarczyk, one of the first programmers to take advantage of the Apple iPhone's capabilities for video gaming purposes. "We're excited to be providing the most popular puzzle game of the 21st century to users of the most advanced mobile device yet created," said Andrew Stein, Director of Mobile Platforms at PopCap. "We wanted to give the hundreds of thousands of iPhone users a fun, fast gaming fix -- and at no cost, no less."
TotalView has announced two new software distributions. Most significant is the first release of MemoryScape, a graphically-based memory debugger that addresses glitches in C, C++ and FORTRAN code, in both simple and complex multi-threaded applications. Owners can track memory leaks and usage in real-time, as well as events and any corruptions. The program is further touted as "non-intrusive," meaning that it can detect errors without recompiling code. Versions are available for both Intel and PowerPC systems.
Panasonic backed up the release of its 5-series cameras today with its new SDHC Pro card. Where most cards have to focus on either storage or speed, the new card stores 8GB while keeping a Class 6 speed rating that guarantees at least 6MB per second and as much as 20MB. The combination of features is enough for the SD5 and SX5 to record 1080i HD video in real-time for as long as three hours in an economy mode or 80 minutes at maximum detail.
BlueAnt on Monday morning launched the Z9, a Bluetooth earpiece the company claims will break from the traditions of most headsets. At 1.5 inches long, the Z9 is one of the smallest headsets ever and is small enough to hide as a tie or shirt clip without drawing attention. The piece is also less of a burden to the ear at 0.35 ounces, BlueAnt says. Size is also said to be no obstacle to call quality as a dual microphone array actively reduces background noise and is switchable to a Max setting that ramps up filtering in particularly noisy environments.
In brief: iPhone customers are now being told by Apple's online store that the cellular handset ships within 24 hours, Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner believes investors should purchase shares of Apple if the stock falls to $130 after iPhone activation figures disappointed investors, and several iPhone hacks surfaced over the weekend. Apple's online store has finally begun shipping the cellular phone, iPod, and internet communication device within 24 hours of customers placing their orders. The update comes after weeks of waiting periods following the iPhone's launch on June 29th, when nearly every handset sold out of every Apple and AT&T store in just two days' time.
Microsoft is said to be downplaying Apple claims of a jump in Mac sales in the last quarter. CEO Steve Ballmer is reported to observe that while there are millions of Macs in existence, Microsoft expects to acquire its billionth Windows user by 2008. "If you stop and just think about that, parse that for a second," Ballmer says, "by the end of our fiscal year '08, there will be more PCs running Windows in the world than there are automobiles, which is at least to me kind of a mind-numbing concept."
Hoping to bring relief to crowded home theaters, IOGEAR today launched its new 4-port HDMI switch. In contrast to some AV switches, the new model automatically detects and routs the audio and video of an active HDMI source to an attached HDTV or receiver. A wireless remote will also allow manual control of sources. Either method is ideal for the Apple TV and other media devices that may compete for limited space on the default ports of most HDTVs, according to IOGEAR.
Applications not actually available on the iPhone have been found in the device's firmware, according to an observer. In the process of searching through the iPhone's system preference files, the individual discovered five unusual listings within “Default ApplicationState.plist”: com.apple.unitconverter com.apple.widget.phonebook com.apple.widget.translation com.apple.widget.worldclock com.apple.mobile.radio
Panasonic on Monday revealed that it would bring two of its latest HDC cameras to North America. Both the SD5 and SX5 are based on new 3CCD designs that can produce a 1080i widescreen HD picture. The Crystal Engine onboard processing has been upgraded at the same time and ups contrast and lowers noise across most shots while still extending battery life. An advanced optical image stabilizer also helps steady shots, Panasonic says. Owners can also take advantage of a new pre-record mode that continuously records 3-second short clips and tacks the most recent clip to the front of a deliberately recorded video to capture sports or other impromptu scenes where the user is likely to press the record button later than necessary.
Adobe has announced the shipment of ColdFusion 8, the latest incarnation of its web development tool. The eighth edition introduces several major features, most notably the Server Monitor. This allows developers to analyze site aspects such as memory usage and page processing time, picking out which objects and processes are responsible for the longest delays. The program now also has greater Ajax support, specifically in the inclusion of pre-made components such as text editors and tab navigators.
Apple and Dell are driving a resurgence in demand for 20-inch computer LCDs, according to claims made by Taiwan display market insiders. Although most computer monitor producers are now focusing almost exclusively on 19-inch and 22-inch widescreen displays, the two American firms have placed orders that are expanding the relatively small market for 20-inch models. The moves are expected to help AU Optronics, CPT, and LG-Philips LCD, as all three companies are the highest-volume suppliers of 20-inch LCDs while Samsung and other manufacturers only produce a small percentage of screens at that size.
Sony has made a surprise expansion of its Xplod head units through the XAV-W1. Marking two firsts at once, the W1 is both the first in-dash SACD player from Sony as well as the company's first large visual jukebox for cars. Owners with both the special disc format and a compatible audio system can listen to music in 5.1 surround; stereo is also available for regular CDs as well as MP3/WMA tracks. The same optical drive includes DVD support for movies (including DVD-R discs) viewed on the built-in 7-inch touchscreen, complete with either Dolby or DTS sound with surround audio systems.
Samsung today catered explicitly to Americans with the release of four new Lifestyle cameras. The NV8, NV15, and NV20 upgrade the sensor depth of the NV point-and-shoot series to 8, 10, and 12 megapixels respectively; the improved sensors are matched by equal processing improvements with ISO sensitivity up to 3200, noise and shake reduction, and an auto-contrast feature that automatically adjusts the brightness of central subjects in poor lighting conditions. Face detection and 14 preset modes further help compose shots.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k