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Text Count, SimpleChart
Sticky Windows 2.3.3 ($16) shrinks your windows into tabs when you drag a window towards the edge of your screen, providing you with a completely clutter-free workspace. The tab can be created by dragging a window to any edge of the screen (Sticky Windows also supports multiple screens). When the mouse reaches the margin of the screen a tab will appear. The new release has better support for fullscreen applications and better performance and minor bug fixes. [Download - 1MB]
Billings 2.5.1 ($60) time tracking and invoicing software from Marketcircle Inc. that delivers professional invoices in minutes. Enhancements in this release include the ability to bulk edit comments in working slips, automatic notification on potentially invalid time slips, better client list sorting, projects list status bar updates when a new time slip is added, when switching between clients, or when project selection index changes. [Download - 18MB]
Text Count 1.2 ($70) plug-in for InDesign and InCopy CS-CS3. Offers a broad range of copy fitting tools, overset management including overset preflight, tools for text-related accounting, and estimate features for text space planning. The new release has frames that display overset now have a user-defined position, color, and opacity. [Download - 2.6MB]
24U SimpleChart Plug-In to version 1.1 ($50) allows you to generate different kinds of charts from your data into standard container fields. It generates pie charts, horizontal and vertical bar charts and line charts/area charts. The new update works on FileMaker Server 9 and inside Instant Web Publishing. [Download - 5MB]
Aperture to Archive plug-in 1.1 ($15) Aperture export plug-in. Allows you to quickly generate an archive of images in several different compression formats. It features support for Disk Image, Tar Bzip, Tar Gzip, and Zip formats. The new release has an improved plug-in UI and a new Introduction Guide. [Download - 3MB]
PC Mag chief, Vista
PC Magazine editor-in-chief Jim Louderback today chose to express his frustration with Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system as he passed down the publication's leadership to his successor, Lance Ulanoff. Louderback said he is tired of Vista's broken features, and that he may even switch to Linux moving forward. "The litany of what doesn't work and what still frustrates me stretches on endlessly," Louderback wrote. The former editor-in-chief, who is assuming a position as CEO of a company called Revision3 to experience a change in scenery, lists numerous buggy features in Vista which include sleep mode, unreliable networking, and general slugishness when compared to the older Windows XP in many areas.
Apple's growing influence
Apple's influence in the technological community continues to rise as a wide array of businesses and individuals alike utilize as well as discuss the company's innovations. WSJ.com today introduced a free video podcast titled "Tech Diary" aimed at documenting the results of people and technology coming together, with one of the first episodes following a man as he tries to start conversation with people around him using an iPhone. While the iPhone fails to attract attention in the named episode, the facts that the test centered around Apple's cellular phone and that the video was published as a video podcast hint at Apple's growing presence among consumers, whether or not the hype surrounding its products persists.
Lotus ND8 coming to Mac
On Friday, IBM released Lotus Notes Domino 8 for Windows Vista and XP, but said that the Mac version would not be released until next year. The new release features a redesigned user experience, a new look and feel, as well as dramatically enhanced functionality for organizing messages and threads with the intent of structuring inboxes to deal with floods of email. A Mac OS X release was conspicuously absent from the announcement, however. We spoke with IBM the story behind current Mac development of Lotus ND8, when we can expect a release, and what users look forward to in the update. The IBM executives we spoke with said that Louts Notes Domino's stronghold in the Mac universe is with advertising/publishing agencies and educational institutions. However, they described a "new cachet" surrounding Macs in business, and says they "see the growth" already underway on an enterprise level. To that end, the company is investing heavily in developing the next release, ND8, for the Mac. "We want to get it right," IBM told MacNN. "In fact, the version we're currently running on a widescreen iMac looks better than the Windows release."
Google sued by A. Airlines
Google is facing a fresh lawsuit from American Airlines, Reuters reports. American, the largest airline corporation in the world, has taken issue with Google's practice of selling search terms to other companies for advertising purposes -- specifically, in this case, phrases such as "American Airlines" or "AA.com." American claims that this constitutes an illegal use of its trademarks, as it was not consulted before sales began. Companies that pay Google for these advertising services have their ads appear whenever a user enters relevant terms into a search engine.
HTC Touch and LG Rumor
Sprint at a late-night event on Thursday has confirmed both the Palm Centro and a pair of new higher-end phones. The CDMA-based HTC Touch is real and will be more than just a switch to Sprint's network, according to the presentation. The touchscreen phone will double in processor speed to 400MHz and sport 128MB of RAM; although it may run only on Sprint's standard EVDO network when it launches, the new Touch will receive an upgrade to faster EVDO Revision A service and gain TeleNav GPS support in the process.
AAPL shares down, then up
Shares of Apple Inc. are on a rollercoaster ride this week, fluctuating wildly. The shares went from ~$124 on Wednesday to ~$112 on Thursday, then back up to ~$122 on Friday. The reason for the dip may have been pure profit taking by investors who have seen tremendous gains in the stock this year. The shares are up nearly 80% from a year ago. American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu told Macworld UK. "The stock's been a huge outperformer, and I think it's just [investors] taking some profits. It's probably one of the few names people have made a lot of money on." The recent surge, meanwhile, is likely due to an overall bump in the market brought about by Federal Reserve Board's announcement Friday that it was cutting its discount rate by 50 basis points, to 5.75%, from 6.25%. "Banks use the so-called discount window to borrow money directly from the Fed, rather than from eachother, which is the more common way that they obtain short-term financing." The Fed also lengthened the period of borrowing at the discount to a 30-day term, renewable by the borrower, from the previous overnight loans. Just before the close of trading, Apple's shares were up about 4 percent.
Thank MP4 Watch II
Hong Kong exporter Thanko has begun selling the MP4 Watch II, a a wristbound device that attempts to tackle the abilities of its handheld brethren. Aside from playing MP4 video files, it loads JPEG images and MP3/WAV/WMA audio, and can also tune in FM radio. Should that not be enough, it can display lyrics, record voice, and view books through a text reader. The "II" designation comes from the addition of an internal speaker. The watch's main limitations are connected to size: its screen measures 1.8 inches, and its battery life is limited to eight hours of audio and less for video. A 2GB player costs $92, while 4GB runs $118.
Moto Q9m at Verizon Aug 22
A source close to Verizon on Friday confirmed the final feature set and release date Motorola's media-focused Q9m smartphone. Coming in a red trim that separates the phone from other Q models, the handset will also have a custom media front-end that allows quicker access to music and video both stored locally and available through Verizon's V CAST services. A flip-back button will let traditionalists bring up a conventional front-end with easier access to e-mail, texting, and the web. Compared to the original Q, the Q9m will also support an expanded 4GB of memory on miniSD cards, an upgrade to Bluetooth 2.0, and expanded support for AMR audio.
Apple: teen marketing
A BusinessWeek editorial opines that one of the secrets to Apple's success is the efficacy with which it markets to teenagers, generating a "unique cultural cachet. "[...] widespread teen affection for the iPod didn't happen overnight. Like most trends among youth, it began with the cool hunters and early adopters telling everyone this would be the next big thing and it spread until it became a cultural phenomenon." The article says that Apple accomplished this cachet by fulfilling several requirements: meeting a real need ("Music has always been teens' No. 1 love. It's the soundtrack to their lives."), knowing that design matters ("Other brands teens love extend the aesthetic in their advertising to physical stores, too"), and letting the media do their marketing ("whenever Apple began to get lots of media attention, it would scale back on marketing").
Anti-RIAA class action?
The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) may soon bear the brunt of a class action counter-suit, according to reports. The elevation request was filed in Oregon this week on behalf of Tanya Andersen, a woman previously sued by the RIAA for illegal file sharing, but who had the accusations against her successfully dismissed with prejudice -- preventing the RIAA from seeking further action. Should the new status be granted, it will cover anyone who has been sued or threatened by the RIAA, so long as they "have not actually engaged in actual copyright infringement," the petition reads.
Vodafone iPhone Deal Soon
Apple and Vodafone are in the final stages of negotiating a deal to provide the iPhone in Europe, says an anonymous but reportedly well-informed source. The two companies are claimed to be ready to introduce their deal within the next two weeks but still have software bugs and other technical details to address before the cellphone can be introduced to the public. The formal introduction may take place significantly in advance of actual shipments, according to the report, though the purported insider would not say when the phone would be in stores or whether pricing had been established.
Apple faces another suit
Apple is being slapped with another class-action lawsuit over the battery in its iPhone, this time by a Northern California resident who is echoing claims of a similar suit filed in the state of Illinois. Sydney Leung is accusing both Apple and AT&T of fraud because the companies neglected to inform potential iPhone buyers of the costs related to maintaining a working battery for the device over the course of the iPhone's lifespan, according to AppleInsider.
Sony PZ1 Remotes
Sony on Friday resisted the movement towards complex controls with news of its new PZ1 series remotes. Each boasts just the essentials for controlling either analog or digital channels and includes extra-large buttons that can be used by the pool or at the dinner table when a traditional remote would be harder to wield. The PZ1FD model (pictured) is the simplest to use with a wide design and waterproofing good enough to resist most splashes, according to Sony's claims. It ships in red, silver, and white to Japan near the end of August for an estimated $22.
Wii production delay
The Nintendo Wii, which remains one of the best-selling of the next-generation console systems, has now had a production increase delayed, say sources within the company's Taiwanese component makers. Nintendo had been intending to boost the number of consoles built as early as June, but due to reduced supplies of ICs and PCBs, Nintendo will likely have to delay increased production until 2008.
ASUS Eee PC Specs for US
ASUS's vaunted Eee PC ultraportable will cost considerably more than expected when it arrives in North America, according to an interview with the company's chief executive Jerry Shen. Although the PC maker originally intended to release a $199 system to most of its markets, that version has had its price raised to between $229 and $239 and was scrapped for the US due to a two-cell battery that only nets two hours of total battery life. All American versions will ship with a more expensive but considerably longer-lifed four-cell battery pack capable of four hours of runtime. Despite their sizes and costs, every system will have enough CPU performance and memory to stream web-based Flash video from YouTube and other sites, ASUS says.
iPhone horror story
In brief: An iPhone owner who was billed nearly $5,000 in data roaming charges is telling the tale online, Apple co-founder Steve 'Woz' Wozniak is reportedly dating comedian Kathy Griffin, AT&T has announced the iPhone is in stock at all of its U.S. stores, and GizMac today began its "Replace Your Case" trade-in promo. An iPhone owner who received a bill from AT&T for more than $5,000 says he apparently racked up the charges by using the carrier's EDGE network internationally. AT&T charged the customer $0.2 cents per kilobyte of data transferred while overseas, amounting to a total cost of $4,953.37. The shocked customer notes that surfing to a 1,000KB Web page cost him a whopping $20.
HMC-1 media center
The Korean company HIDVAN is preparing a new media center with a host of high-end features, the DABODA HMC-1. While the company is not saying how much content the center can hold, it has the option of 3.5-inch IDE or SATA hard disks, and it is fully HD-capable, thanks to DVI, component and HDMI outputs, as well as a decoder good up to 1080p. Composite and S-Video ports are available as SD-only alternatives. Optical and co-axial 5.1 sound (including DTS) is supported, and two USB 2.0 ports allow media from portable players and hard drives. Most media is sourced through wired or wireless LAN connections.
Analyst on iPhone, Macs
Apple is still likely selling iPhones in greater than expected quantities, even as signs point to increased Back-to-School Mac sales for the Cupertino-based company. RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky says the RBC's "technology adoption panel," which is made up of 3,665 technology-oriented users, found that 17 percent purchased a Mac laptop within the last 90 days for a 12 percent jump over the previous quarter. The analyst expects shipments of 2 million Macs in the September quarter, according to Barron's, for a rise of 27 percent year-over-year. RBC Capital is maintaining a $175 price target on Apple shares, and views the recent 20 percent decline in price as a buying opportunity.
Gateway PCs in China
Joining existing companies such as Dell and HP, Gateway today announced the launch of Gateway China, the company's first dedicated effort to sell PCs in the southeast Asian country. The American company intends to sell both desktops and notebooks in the region and has customized its line for the Chinese audience. Some systems are low-cost but also have higher-end features such as current-generation Core 2 Duo processors and Vista Home Premium. Sales should be strong given a very successful test run in June, Gateway said.
AKVIS ships Sketch 5.5
AKVIS has released the v5.5 update to Sketch, a program that helps convert photos into mock pencil, charcoal and watercolor illustrations. The major addition in the update is the "Color Strokes" effect, which differs from the normal Coloration option by imitating the style of color pencils. The program now also has better color profile handling, and is available not just as a plug-in for titles like Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro, but as a piece of stand-alone software. The Mac version is a Universal Binary for Mac OS X 10.3.9; all versions cost $72.
Dell Execs Cooked Books
Dell today revealed that it had finished an inside investigation into the company's accounting practices for the past four years and will have to drop its reported revenue over the period. The self-examination, which began roughly a year ago at the Texas-based PC maker, discovered evidence that some executives at the company had "reviewed" results with the goal of adjusting the final results to line up with company targets. In most cases this involved declaring income in advance; but in one case sales figures had been distorted to reach the figure, Dell said. The revised numbers could cost the company anywhere between $50m to $150m depending on the final correction.
Shuffle wristband case
USBFever.com has begun shipping its iPod shuffle 2 Watch Style case, a colored wristband designed to tote Apple's smallest iPod while offering protection from harmful dust. The new case is worn around the wrist like a wristwatch, providing lightweight protection while maintaining easy access to all ports and sockets. The case comes in a variety of colors which include blue, black, green, "frost" white, pink, and purple. USBFever.com's iPod shuffle 2 Watch Style case is priced at $10.
Verizon CDM 8905
Confirming one of the mystery phones of the carrier's product leaks, Verizon today released the CDM 8905. The device is consciously vintage in its looks and is tailored to subscribers looking for a basic phone in clamshell form. A monochrome LCD on the outside provides basic call info while the color LCD on the inside; Internet access is limited to 1XRTT and other features center around SMS text messaging and updates plus speakerphone support.
Pdf-Office Professional 7
Universe Software has released pdf-Office Professional 7.0, extending functionality of the PDF form creation software and incorporating a Windows Vista look/feel. Pdf-Office Professional aims to provide an intuitive way of making interactive PDF forms without the need for training, producing forms that users can simply fill out electronically on the screen and print. The software supports up to 128-bit encryption for data protection, and the technological software platform is updated to use the latest version of Java 6 to ensure absolute independence from hardware as well as software constraints. Pdf-Office Professional 7.0 is available for Mac, Linux, and Windows systems. The Mac edition requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and is priced at $135.
Nokia Wants Qualcomm Ban
Nokia today demanded that the US International Trade Commission ban imports of certain 3G cellular chipsets made by Qualcomm, arguing that the semiconductor firm is violating five Nokia patents. The cellphone maker claimed that certain Qualcomm cellular chipsets capable of EVDO and HSDPA were hurting its business by effectively copying techniques that helped Nokia increase the power efficiency of its own chipsets, taking away a key competitive advantage of the company in the US. The response is justified since Qualcomm itself has sought out similar bans against Nokia products in other countries, the announcement said.
Mossberg: iWork vs. Office
Apple's iWork '08 is a good productivity suite, but still inferior to Microsoft Office, says tech columnist Walt Mossberg in a new review. He observes for example that despite upgrades, iWork still lacks an equivalent to Outlook, a program which combines mail and calendar functions and is integrated throughout Office, as opposed to Apple's separate Mail, iCal and Address Book functions.
Palm Centro Leak
Palm's frequently leaked "Gandolf" may actually be targeted at youth rather than a direct sequel to the Treo, according to leaked details of a presentation to Sprint financial backers and the media. The silver and white handset will reportedly be known as the Centro and is consciously designed for a younger audience that might be buying its first smartphone and does not need the cost or the size of the Treo. The design will be Palm's smallest to date while still offering the full QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen of its larger phones. Its appearance is very close if not exact to early photos, according to the report.
Samsung at 85 Percent
Samsung's plant power outage will only give it enough NAND flash memory to provide 85 percent of the chips its primary customers will need for the second half of August, according to the head of memory device maker PQI. General manager Jance Lu noted that while her company is already secure, a shortfall is likely to occur for other companies and that the total amount of flash available would dip by about 3 percent. The sudden fluctuation in prices for the memory could force Samsung to change its prices in September to make up the difference, Lu said.
VPC, Premiere Pro, iWeb
Apple today posted iWeb 2.01, an update to its recently released software for easily publishing websites: "iWeb makes it easy to create a website thatís stunningly beautiful ó and totally you. Start with an Apple-designed theme, then customize it with your own text, photos, movies, and podcasts until itís exactly what you want. And switch themes with a click anytime." Apple said that the update addresses issues with upgrading and publishing iWeb 1.x websites. Separately, Adobe has also released an "strongly recommend" Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 3.0.1 update for its professional video editing application. According to the company, the update provides important bug fixes for encoding and decoding H.264-encoded content. Microsoft also released Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac 7.0.3 Update to address a vulnerability in which an attacker can overwrite the contents of the computer's memory with malicious code. Microsoft, however, said the update does not support Windows Vista.
Popcorn 3 debuts
Roxio has debuted a new version of their video conversion, recording, DVD duplication and burning tool, Popcorn 3. We spoke with Vito Salvaggio, Vice President of the Mac division at Roxio about the new release, what it means for current users of the program, and how first time users will benefit from its significant changes. Like previous releases, Popcorn 3 allows you to take a Video_TS disc and encode video for the iPod, Sony PSP, and other platforms. Also, like, previous iterations, it allows you to modify the DVD options for disc/video output; you can choose from among the various choices for languages, subtitles, etc, for instance. New in this release, however, is TiVo to Go support, allowing you to automatically convert your TiVo recordings to the format of your choice. It also sports compatibility with Elgato's EyeTV.
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