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iPhone charge/sync cradle
Though Apple includes a dock with the unit, WirelessGround has released its own charging and synchronization cradle designed for the iPhone. The device allows users to synchronize and recharge their iPhones using a USB-based Mac or PC, holding the phone at a slight angle for easier viewing. It includes a blue light LED indicator, and can also charge directly from AC power. It does not, however, include the integrated audio-out port nor speaker grill of the Apple iPhone dock. The WirelessGround USB Sync and Charge Cradle is priced at $23 and available immediately.
Time Clock Pro
iGlasses 2.0 ($10) adjust and manipulate your webcam's video settings from within iChat AV and many other programs, including iMovie, Photo Booth, Yahoo! Messenger, Skype and web-based chat. You can modify colors, brightness, and even pan and zoom your Mac's built-in iSight. There is also a brightness booster, image rotating, digital panning/zooming and a night vision function. Also works with some third-party web cameras. [Download - 600KB]
Cineon/DPX Pro v2.5.7 ($350-400) way to load and save Cineon or DPX film (or High Def) images into QuickTime. The new release includes direct support for 10-bit Uncompressed YUV 422 codecs in Final Cut Pro. This development greatly improves loading and playback speed for Final Cut Pro users. By performing the conversion inside the Cineon/DPX Pro QuickTime components, several internal steps that QuickTime normally performs are eliminated, improving speed and ensuring 10-bit image compatibility.
Simon 2.3.1 ($30-200) site monitoring tool for Mac OS X. It checks web pages, FTP and DNS servers, local or remote ports or volumes, and other services for changes or failures, and notifies you via e-mail, sound, speech, or HTML reports. This release includes a rewritten Port service plug-in, to improve reliability, and enables the Preview feature for this plug-in. It also adds German localization, and updates the French localization. [Download - 8.1MB]
Time Clock Pro 1.0 (free) utility to help the user keep track of time spent on any number of projects and remind the user when to take breaks. The user can set the desired time between breaks. If the user is not ready to take a break when prompted, he can postpone the break before he is reminded again and this time is also settable. Settings, project running times and project logs are saved between sessions. [Download - 3.3MB]
Under-desk mini mounter
Cinammon Peripherals has shipped the CinnaMount mini Industrial Edition, a new raw aluminum mount that allows Mac mini owners to secure their Mac mini and Mac mini-sized external hard drives under their desks. The mount is much thinner than similar plastic mounts, which are usually 1/4" thick. The instructions manual and drilling guide are available as free downloads. The new model is sold as a kit which includes a small aluminum mount for the Mac mini power supply and is priced at $35 Canadian, or around $33 USD. [corrected]
Review, facefarm on iPhone
In brief: MacNN has reviewed Macware FontLibrary, facefarm.com has announced iPhone compatibility for its free face matching service, and Aleratec has introduced its new DVD/CD Disc Repair system. Matterform Media has closed its technical support until further notice, and Belltech Systems has released a beta version of its Web-based diagramming application. MacNN has reviewed FontLibrary from Macware ($60), a collection of 100 font families that comes with a license to use the fonts on five different Macs with ability to print all of the fonts. The collection comes with a font manager that both installs and organizes the fonts, which contain True Type and OpenType styles.
'Genuine Advantage' gaffe
Microsoft has yet to offer a reason for problems with its Genuine Advantage (WGA) service, which stopped functioning properly between Friday night and Saturday morning. Though it was fixed by later on Saturday, the glitch temporarily identified many legal copies of Windows as illegal, crippling their features. While WGA can disable relatively little in copies of Windows XP, much more can be harmed in Vista, such as the Aero interface and the DirectX API, the latter of which is crucial to many media services, such as games. The only temporary solution is to disable anything that contacts WGA, at the cost of updates and patches. Since remedying its servers, Microsoft has offered to help restore affected copies of Windows to their full functionality.
MacBook Subnote Concept
Apple may have already put in place several design cues that would make the frequently predicted Mac subnotebook a reality, well-known Japanese concept designer Isamu Sanada has pointed out through a new concept rendering. Nicknamed the "MacBook lite," the concept would use the tubular structure of Apple's recent Bluetooth keyboard, the LED display backlighting first seen in the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, and either flash memory or a smaller hard drive to reduce the thickness below that of any existing subnotebook. This design could also use a touch-sensitive keyboard to reduce size even further and potentially fit a DVD drive, Sanada says.
Kodak EasyShare leak
In advance of the IFA 2007 show in Berlin, Kodak has leaked information on three new EasyShare cameras. The preeminent one is the V1253, which can not only take 12-megapixel still photos, but shoot videos at resolutions up to 720p. The zoom lens has a 35mm equivalence of 37-111mm, and the sensor sensitivity extends to ISO 3200, enabling flash-free shots in otherwise dim environments. Other touted specifications include a 3.1-inch LCD, and 32MB of internal memory supplemented by SD and SDHC cards.
Pano Logic today revived the concept of the thin-client PC with its self-titled Pano device. The small computer is just inches wide and will be virtually free to use through a totally network-based environment that virtualizes a copy of Windows and all local programs on a server, stripping out most of the up-front costs of owning a system. Even the main CPU and local storage are absent, Pano Logic says. The system not only saves the cost of buying a full PC for each person but also improves security by hosting all data behind a secure area. Power consumption is also extremely modest at just five watts.
Willcom Wilcon Cellphone
Sanyo and Willcom today partnered to reveal the unusual Wilcon, a concept cellphone the two hope will pave the way for more easily-powered devices. Helped largely by the extra longevity of Sanyo's eneloop battery design, the similarly battery-shaped phone can operate for up to five full hours of conversation or 250 hours of standby on a single AA battery; users could simply recharge the battery (up to 1,000 times) or replace it altogether at a local shop, Willcom says. The power demand is reportedly light enough that a solar panel could recharge the device without much difficulty.
Sprint NYC WiMax
Samsung will be responsible for handling the Sprint WiMax presence in New York City, Reuters reports. Samsung has officially been given "lead vendor" status in New York, meaning it will see the bulk of profit from building and installing necessary radio hardware, as well as supplying phones and chipsets. No date for the availability of WiMax to subscribers has been set; the news remains significant, however, as Sprint's forthcoming XOHM service has only been announced for three cities to date: Baltimore, Chicago and Washington D.C.. The New York debut may coincide with the proper commercial service, beginning in Spring 2008.
Iomega shared storage
Iomega has introduced a new line of home network hard drives that use 10/100 Ethernet do deliver media and other files to desktops, portables and other drive-accessing systems throughout a home or small business. The new drives are available in 320GB, 360GB and 500GB capacities, featuring 7200 RPM SATA-II hard drives with 8MB cache. The drives aren't quite plug-and-play, however, requiring use of a "Discovery Tool Home utility" for Windows on each PC and a manual setup process for Macs and Linux-based systems. All three models include a USB 2.0 port for use with a single computer. Also bundled are two client licenses of EMC Retrospect HD backup software, allowing users to set up automated backup schedules or perform immediate backups; create progressive backups that capture only the changes from the previous backup; restore a file to any previous backed-up point in time; compress backups; and more.
Judge Rules on P2P Theft
An Arizona court ruling late last week could potentially upturn the entire peer-to-peer software business, according to observing lawyers. In the case of Atlantic Records versus Jeffrey and Pamela Howell, presiding judge Neil Wake has ruled that the Howells' act of making content available through KaZaA equated to copyright infringement by itself and that the Howells were liable for perceived damages, which now reach $40,500 and include a permanent injunction which would prevent the Howells from infringement in the future. Using settings to control P2P trading are invalid as there have been "several cases" in the past where defendants had let their local content transfer to other users, Judge Wake said.
AIM client for iPhone
The first known AIM client for Apple's iPhone has been released, allowing users to send instant messages to friends and co-workers on-the-go. The software, which is currently described as "a first buggy version," was released primarily as a usability test, according to the developer. The author has yet to implement suspend functionality, but that feature is planned alongside vibrating the iPhone when an IM is received. "The idea is to provide an 'Adium' for the iPhone, and we're moving towards it," the developer said. Programmers skilled with Objective C and UIKit are welcome to contact the author about helping with the project, as well as users familiar with libPurple who can provide guidance with implementation.
Unlocked iPhone for 350Z
George Hotz, the soon-to-be college student from New Jersey who unlocked the iPhone for use on wireless carriers other than AT&T via a complex hardware method that involves soldering internal components and using a number of command line utilities, has traded the unlocked device for a Nissan 350Z and three 8GB iPhones. Hotz originally put the modified iPhone up for auction on eBay, but experienced problems with fraudulent bids as well as other issues, posting "I have had tons of problems with ebay and this auction. If you are serious about buying the phone, please e-mail me with your phone number." In the midst of the difficulties, Terry Daidone, the founder of Certicell -- a company that provides "solutions for the wireless aftermarket" -- contacted Hotz and made him an offer.
Dell OptiPlex 755
Dell today improved the eco-friendliness and management control of its pro offerings with the OptiPlex 755. The system is one of the most efficient desktops from Dell to date and matches the tougher EnergyStar 4 standards for power draw and includes special power settings that can cut effective power use by as much as 78 percent, Dell claims. The update also adds Intel's brand-new version of vPro that allows admins to remotely manage the system even when there is no OS or the system is shut off. The Texas PC designer includes its own remote client manager to back up Intel's platform.
Yahoo! Mail phone messages
Yahoo! has upgraded its web-based mail service with several important changes. The first is a text messaging application, which sends SMS messages to mobile phones at no extra charge; this feature is currently available only in the United States, Canada, India and the Philippines. The company has also implemented instant messaging support, allowing users to get in contact with people on Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger clients.
Parallels Desktop 3 update
Parallels late last week announced Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac Beta2, a feature-oriented update to its virtualization software for Mac OS X. Parallels Desktop for Mac allows Intel Mac owners to install and use Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista right alongside Mac OS X without rebooting. The software blends Mac OS X and Windows application windows together using its "Coherence" technology to simplify interaction between the two operating systems, making Windows applications look and feel like Mac OS X programs. The update includes major enhancements to Coherence which include Coherence support for Expose and Transparent Windows; support for overlapping several Windows and Mac windows, and the ability to silently boot into Coherence mode. Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac Beta2 will be released as a free upgrade for existing Parallels Desktop 3 customers. New licenses are priced at $80. [updated, corrected]
NeoOffice 2.2.1 released
Planamesa has released NeoOffice 2.2.1, the latest version of its OpenOffice-based suite for the Mac. Critical to the update is the support of the native Mac OS X spellchecker, as well as Address Book. Users can now also open "most" Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 documents, and print in resolutions higher than 300dpi. Users of X11, meanwhile, can download a coinciding version of RetroOffice. Both suites require Mac OS X 10.3 or later and 400MB of hard disk space.
USB charger, iPhone case
USBFever.com has launched its Ultra Slim USB Travel Charger that works to charge an iPod or iPhone on-the-go. The charger measures 42 x 70 x 15mm and weighs 43 grams, charging devices with 5V 1A output. A retractable power plug eases the charging process, and the entire charger is shorter than a credit card and only half as high as a SIM card (1.5cm). The company today also unveiled its iPhone Aluminum Case, a protective cover for iPhone owners filled with neoprene lining that ships with a 360-degree swivel belt clip. USBFever.com's device charges an Apple iPhone or iPod, most PDAs, cellular phones, and USB-powered MP3 players. The Ultra Slim USB Travel Charger is priced at $12, while the iPhone Aluminum Case is available for $20.
Nokia OLED BT Headsets
Nokia today made aggressive steps into music phone accessories with a series of new Bluetooth audio systems. The stereo BH-903 (pictured) and mono BH-902 each revolve around a monochrome OLED screen that provides vital data beyond the basic notices of other earpieces. Both sets display call data and notify of inbound MMS and SMS messages; the 903 adds a full directional pad for controlling music on any cellphone that fits A2DP stereo audio profile, and will also pause music for new phone calls.
Q emulator v0.9.0a89
Developers have released the latest stable version of Q, an open-source program that emulates operating systems including Windows, Linux and more. Though still in alpha, the program now includes features such as fast-switching between multiple Guest PCs, more pre-installed operating systems, and the ability to start live CDs in three mouse clicks. Several more changes involve the interface, most notably a "Mac-like" interface for configuring the software firewall. A fullscreen toolbar has been implemented, as has a new icon set. Q is downloaded as a 9.5MB Universal Binary.
iPhone UPnP client
One iPhone user who holds a full-time day job as a Java developer has created a UPnP (Universal Plug-and-Play) client for Apple's iPhone that provides access to streaming audio and video content. UPnP is designed to simplify network connectivity of PCs and intelligent devices -- such as the iPhone -- by using TCP/IP and the Web to enable control as well as data transfer among networked devices. The software, which is in an early alpha stage but is "very usable," will show up on SourceForge.net in the near future, according to the developer. Apple's iPhone currently offers built-in support for YouTube but lacks access to UPnP content out-of-the-box. The software will allow iPhone owners to access their own UPnP services as well as remote locations over the internet with a simple proxy configuration.
Nokia Auto Navigation 500
Nokia today stepped up the features of its mapping devices with a new model. The Auto Navigation 500 includes Nokia's largest screen yet for one of its GPS models at 4.3 inches while merging the device with Bluetooth for hands-free calling support. An integral FM transmitter beams audio through a vehicle's sound system and provides a convenient boost to sound for the built-in audio and video media players. Navigation is made easier with contact information for nearby points of interest and Traffic Message Channel support that provides live overlays of road congestion and the option of avoiding slower roads.
Apple Glasgow store opens
Apple on Saturday launched its first Scottish store, located at Buchanan Street, Glasgow. An Italian site reports that some eager consumers waited outside overnight, and that by 7 AM there were approximately 70 people waiting in line, and at 9 AM, the line had extended to hundreds. The outlet is an elaborate two-level building with a glass staircase, and at launch had 18 iMacs, 2 Mac Pros, 2 Mac minis, and 32 MacBooks and MacBook Pros on display, amongst other products. The store will occasionally play host to live music, with native band The Dykeenies scheduled for 8 PM on August 28th.
Leopard "Welcome" movie
A copy of Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard introduction video has surfaced on YouTube, displaying the company's traditional "Welcome" message in numerous languages set atop a deep-space theme. A simple techno beat accompanies a warm introduction for new Leopard users when installation completes. Mac OS X Leopard is officially scheduled to ship in October, but Apple released developer-only copies at its World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco as early as June. The Cupertino-based company announced that Leopard would see delays as a result of the iPhone shipment, but released a Leopard early start kit with a beta version in late July.
Wolverine ESP 250GB Player
Wolverine began its week by shipping the Wolverine ESP 5250, making it the most capacious handheld media player to date. The notebook-size 250GB hard disk allows it to store as many as 80,000 songs and 500 hours of video; an optional cradle turns the device into a semi-portable DVR. FM radio is built-in and can also be captured. Photographers should be pleased with room for 125,000 photos, native RAW support for most large camera makers, and a multi-format card reader with CompactFlash, SDHC, and other newer memory standards.
Sony VAIO LT
Sony today became the first computer builder in the US to offer Blu-Ray in an all-in-one PC with the introduction of the VAIO LT. Larger than the Japanese L series, the 22-inch LT is large enough to be used both as a PC and for watching HD video content; an optional version now includes a Blu-Ray rewriter that can play and burn dual-layer 50GB discs. Every LT also brandishes HDTV and analog TV tuning that runs independently from the PC, allowing users to watch live video (including over CableCARD) without waiting for the PC to boot up. A VESA wall-mount kit is an option for particularly space-conscious users who need even less of a footprint in the living room or at a desk.
European iPhone contracts
The subject of speculation for months, information has purportedly been leaked regarding Apple's European contracts for the iPhone. As suggested, the phone should be carried by T-Mobile in Germany, Orange in France, and O2 in the United Kingdom; sources for the New York Post add, however, that T-Mobile has signed a deal in which Apple will receive 10 percent of data and voice charge revenues. Similar arrangements are said to be "close" to completion with O2 and Orange.
Acer Acquires Gateway
Taiwan computer giant Acer today announced that it would acquire Gateway through a share buyout valued at $710 million. The move is meant to give Acer an edge in the US market and will create the third-largest PC maker in the country with 10.8 percent of the market -- nearly doubling the marketshare of next-best competitor Apple's 5.6 percent, according to data from research group IDC. It should also create the third-largest computer company in the world, Acer claims. Both Acer and Gateway believe the merger will complement their own strategies, with the Taiwan firm receiving a boost in recognition and Gateway receiving better presence for itself and its eMachines budget label.
SanDisk Sansa Clip
SanDisk on Monday kicked off the release of the Sansa Clip, one of its smallest and most capable screen-equipped players yet. Although smaller than most matchboxes, the Clip has both a four-line color OLED and an iPod-like wheel that helps users easily pick tracks in spite of the small size. Audio quality is also the best you could expect for the class, SanDisk claims. The Clip additionally blurs the lines between traditional in-pocket players and wearable models with its namesake clip fastening the player to a belt or detaching for a thinner profile in a closed space.
Equator physics tool
Equator Software, a new company formed by the co-founder of ON Technology, has debuted its first software title dubbed Equator. The software allows high school and college-level physics students to easily navigate mathematical problems with its integrated word processor-like math editor, drawing palette, searchable formula reference library, algebra generator and drag-and-drop calculator. Equator records each step of students' work, along with figures and comments, collects all problems of an assignment into a single file and then generates homework-quality documents that can be printed.
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