Microsoft on Tuesday quietly posted another security update to its Office 2004 for Mac suite. Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.8 Update, the company said, fixes "a vulnerability in Word 2004 that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code." In addition, the update also includes several other unspecified improvements to improve security and stability, according to the release notes. The 9.1MB update requires that users install Office 2004 11.3.7 update, which was released in mid-August. Last month the company announced its Office 2008 for Mac product line-up, which will bring both native operation on Intel-based Macs as well as XML file format compatibility when it is available on January 15th.
In brief: Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) is complete according to reports from developers while Mac OS X 10.4.11 -- the last release of Tiger -- is on the way, new skins for the 2G iPod shuffle are shipping, Epson has launched its new fiber paper, and FileMaker will be exhibiting at the Zend/PHP Conference.... It appears that Apple has closed development of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), and will soon be shipping to printers as a "golden master" -- just in time for Apple's October deadline. AppleInsider reports that the company has begun to provide Leopard-related support training materials to its support staff. The most recent build of Leopard, 9A559, asked developers test delivery of printer drivers through the Software Update mechanism, based on information provided to MacNN by an HP representative. It contained only one other known issue.
Apple is reportedly halting shipments of MagSafe power adapters for the MacBook Pro in favor of redesigned models due later this month. The stop was enacted because of apparent design flaws that can cause the units overheat and fray, especially at the connection point between the brick and the wire according to AppleInsider. In addition to the overheating issue, some recent MagSafe adapters have shown a defect where the pins at the connection point spring back into place, resulting in a faulty connection to the host Mac. Finally, some units exhibit a more innocuous issue where the LED indicator does not light up even though charging is taking place.
IOSPIRIT GmbH has released Remote Buddy 1.7, a new version of the software that gives users full control over their Mac via their remote control. It features more than 95 directly supported applications and system functions, as well as a real virtual mouse and keyboard, built-in presentation tools. It also includes support for the iPhone, iPod touch and the Nintendo Wii remote. This release has a redesigned configuration interface as well as an extended version of Remote Buddy's integrated AJAX Remote. The AJAX Remote is what allows the usage of iPhone and iPod Touch as remote controls for the software.
PhotoVu has unveiled its newest digital picture frame software with a significant increase in the ability to display high resolution digital camera images, including those taken with Canon's new 21.1-megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark III. Digital picture frames serve as standalone devices that produce digital photographs on a high-resolution LCD set within a set frame. Users can display still photographs that occasionally change in sequence, and the digital frames often include a hard drive for storing massive amounts of digital pictures. PhotoVu's software update includes 160GB hard drive support for standalone play as well as automatic rotation of images for those cameras that support orientation sensor and image EXIF tagging.
FoneLink, a conduit between macs and mobile phones, will (starting in November) integrate a full-fledged SMS manager to send, receive, answer, forward and archive SMS messages on a Mac. The new feature will support multipart as well as group SMS, and messages can be stored in user-defined folders. There will also be a search field that allows users to find messages by name or by content. Other already-existent features in the tool include contact and calendar management, media and file transfer, iTunes playlist synchronization, ringtone creation up to backup and restore functions.
Imation today announced the addition of a 300GB cartridge to its family of RDX removable disk cartridges. The RDX system is a low-end tape replacement solution designed to provide small and medium-sized businesses with easy and reliable backups while accommodating security needs as well as potential expansion. Each RDX cartridge houses a high-capacity 2.5-inch hard drive in a shock-proof design that allows the cartridge to sustain a fall from up to one meter, according to Imation, all while boasting transfer rates of up to 45MB/sec for 100GB of data backup in less than one hour. Connectivity options include SATA as well as external USB, and RDX disk cartridge capacities range from 40GB to 300GB to suit specific needs.
Sprint will soon launch its own response to the iPhone with LG's newest music and messaging device: the RUMOR by LG is an affordable device designed for teens and comes in two color combinations--black/blue and white/silver. The device opens slides open to offer a full QWERTY keypad with automatic messaging mode support (also available with a press of a button). Sprint promises easy access to Facebook and other social networking sites through Sprint's Social Zone service, according to Laptop Magazine.
The flagship Apple retail store at UK Regent Street on Tuesday received its ten millionth visitor since opening in November 2004. The lucky shopper, Michal Revivo, was awarded a black MacBook, an iPod nano and a One-to-One personal training membership. The UK Regent store recently underwent a major expansion, gaining an elevator and a new display area for laptops and desktops. The store also includes a two-room Studio for group instruction and demonstrations. In mid-September, Steve Jobs used the London store to announce that the iPhone will be available November 9th in the UK through the O2 cellular network.
Cerulean Studios on Friday announced that it is bringing its popular multi-protocol instant messaging client called Trillian to Mac OS X. The software has served Windows users as an internet communication aid that enables users to send messages as well as chat with others using AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ, MSN Messenger, and Internet Relay Chat (IRC). Trillian is also known for its skinning feature that allows users to customize the look and feel of the software while supporting various features like audio chat, file transfers, group chats, and chat rooms. Trillian also provides users with buddy icons, the ability to create multiple simultaneous connections to the same network, server-side contact importing, typing notification, direct connections (via AIM), proxies, encrypted messaging, SMS message support, and various privacy settings.
The Federal Communications Commission today solidified some of the rules for the upcoming 700MHz auction early next year, potentially deciding which companies can participate in an event which may decide the future of cellular calling or wide-area Internet services. The US regulatory body has set a $10 billion cap on the value of the entire spectrum that will be available, preventing companies from using money alone to outbid others. Small companies which make no more than $40 million will also receive a discount on their winning bid price, the organization says.
Toshiba today began selling the TLP-XC2000U, a business/educational projector that nevertheless has several distinguishing aspects. Among these is the projection itself, which shines at a bright 2,000 ANSI lumens, with a special "Eco-Mode" to extend lamp life up to 3,000 hours. The system also has a three-megapixel document camera, which is arm-mounted, and boasts 16x digital zoom and an LED light for illumination. The projector's native resolution is limited to 1024x768, but it accepts HDTV and DTV input, with signals up to 720p/1080i. Finally, pricing is relatively modest for the performance class, set at $1,099.
Apple has once again topped PC Magazine's annual reader satisfaction survey, significantly leading the pack of Windows PC manufacturers. For Desktops, Apple earned a 9.1 overall score; the average overall score for Windows-based desktop PC makers is 7.8 out of 10 (the same as last year's). However, Apple was down from last year in almost every category except technical support, which went up to 8.4 points. Among Apple's marks: 85 percent rating for the reliability of software included on the computer, 93 percent score for new desktops working right out of the box, and the 9 out of 10 score for the attitude of the tech-support provider.
NVIDIA intends to head off upcoming video cards from AMD by moving up the schedule of its own mid-range hardware, claim Taiwanese graphics card makers. The company has reportedly shifted the release of its upcoming GeForce 8800 GT video card from November 12th to October 29th to beat AMD's ATI Radeon HD 2950 Pro to shelves and potentially take more sales in the market -- an especially cutthroat move when both cards are expected to be some of the most popular for their price/performance ratios, the sources say.
Details have been revealed for Sonos' ZoneBridge BR100, an accessory which may save considerable money for those wanting to implement the company's wireless stereo technology. Whereas setting up a Sonos network currently requires having either the company's ZP80 or ZP100 stations near an Ethernet port, at a cost of $350 or $500 per unit, the BR100 should cost approximately $100, while still converting Ethernet transmissions into wireless broadcasts. Two Ethernet ports are available; this frees up a ZP station to be placed in a remote area, where it can be attached to speakers and/or an existing amplifier. The ZP100 features a built-in amp unit. At present, the BR100 is expected to be released later in the fall. [via Crave]
An anonymous source has posted images of what appears to the LG's popular Shine phone with AT&T markings. While this suggests that the phone will be adopted by the American carrier in the immediate future, the model in the photos is notably different, missing the trademark "roller" control found on several models. In its place is what appears to be a jogwheel, or possibly a directional switch. Any other changes are unknown; the basic Shine is a slider clad in silver-colored metal, and features a two megapixel camera plus 1GB of included storage. [via Gizmodo]
Samsung SDI's OLED team has developed what should be the world's first small OLED display to feature a truly high resolution, the company revealed today. Previous attempts at the organic display technology had been limited to a quarter VGA resolution (320x240), but a new technology from Clairvoyante dubbed Pentile lets Samsung remove a third of the needed sub-pixels and pack the main pixels closer together. The reworking allows for a wide VGA resolution of 800x480 in a display measuring just 3.08 inches across, Samsung says.
Following numerous reports of feuding between Apple and its chosen French iPhone carrier, Orange, the Cupertino-based company and the wireless provider have finally said they will settle the terms of the deal by the end of October. MacBidouille reports that Orange CEO Didier Lombard has issued an announcement, claiming that the steps to make the iPhone available in France will see completion by the end of the month. Apple and Orange late last month were at odds with one another over the proposed percentage of service revenues that would go to Apple as part of the deal between the two companies.
In brief: We've posted a review of the LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive, some iTunes Store Alternatives for Apple TV owners have been reviewed, and the Moog Synth Anthology VI has shipped, a Photoshop CS3 Channels and Masks lesson from lynda.com has debuted, and Iconfactory's new Spooky Stickers Halloween Icon Set has made its debut ... We have posted a review of the LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive, which is rugged and tough enough for all your travels in everyday life. Though it is not the fastest, or most advanced mobile external hard drive on the market, it is dependable and worth considering for its durability and build quality. We tested the 80 GB Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive with an USB 2.0 interface, which is capable of transfer speeds up to 60MB/s.
AT&T is on the verge of releasing a new version of its successful Samsung BlackJack cellphone, a leak from Mobiledia reveals. Formally known as the i617, the BlackJack II would tweak the design of the QWERTY-keyboard phone to add a sharper 2-megapixel camera as well as a slightly refined look with a deep red color option. Windows Mobile 6 will also be standard on the device rather than just an upgrade and should include Office Mobile out of the box. Access to AT&T's Music and Video download and streaming services will be available over the phone's 3G, HSDPA-based Internet access that carries over from the original BlackJack.
India telecom giant Reliance landed an exclusive retail relationship with Apple: Reliance Retail announced a $19.3-billion agreement with the Cupertino-based company to build a series of iStores that would showcase both Macs and iPods and eventually the iPhone. The first store, which will be officially dubbed "iStore by Reliance Digital," is expected to open by the end of October-end in Banglore, the "Silicon Valley" of the second most populous country. Closed on Monday, the deal is the first exclusive relationship with an international brand for Reliance Retail and also a first for Apple, according to the report.
Canon has issued a service advisory for one of its prominent compact cameras. Select models of the PowerShot A650 IS have been determined to have a light leak, potentially ruining photos. The issue only affects the camera in specific conditions, however: the LCD screen must be unfolded, and the surrounding lighting must be high, as in daylight. Furthermore, while owners should check whether their camera has a zero in the serial number's fifth digit, even models with that zero may be unaffected if they have a special marking inside their battery cover.
Google today announced that it had bought Jaiku, a popular updating service similar to Twitter that lets users send and receive short text, photo, and web link updates either from their computer or through a mobile device like a smartphone. The deal has been closed for a secret amount but is said to bring the Finnish startup into Google's lineup because the latter considers live streams of user activity and mobile presence "important," according to the Jaiku team. New registrations for the still beta-stage service have been temporarily shut down to control the flow of new members while Jaiku integrates, though Jaiku notes its service will still accept additional members through invitations.
ConceptDraw MINDMAP 5.2 ($200) supports mind mapping, brainstorming, and other personal productivity methodologies. The new release supports Mac OS X Leopard, including the new Quick Look feature. In addition 5.2 adds integration for iCal and the MINDMAP user interface meets Leopardís rich visual standards for the user interface. [Download - form] Civilization IV 1.74 ($50) Game where the player develops a civilization and rules over it through time. This patch will update any current version of the game to 1.74. This patch is intended to bring the Mac version up to date with the PC version of the game offering a variety of fixes. [Download - 73.1MB] Jedit X 1.41 ($30) Cocoa based text editor. Both English and Japanese versions are available. Supports Unicode, Text Encoding Auto Sniffer, Customizable Syntax Coloring, Split Editing Window, Line Numbers Display. This is a maintenance update that improved the visibility of IBeam cursor, multi-file Replacing, back slash to yen key swapping and fixed other 6 minor bugs. [Download - 18MB] PasswordWallet 4.2 ($10) password management application. PasswordWallet for iPhone gives you access to your passwords on your iPhone: no internet connection or hacks required. †And it's all secured with 448-bit BlowFish. Version 4.2 brings category and group selection, faster load times, and a much more functional layout. It also adds better support for missing system fonts, multiple category selection, lots of features around iPhone export and fixes a few usability issues. [Download - 2.4MB] Jisho 2.1 ($15) easy-to-use Japanese-English dictionary. Supports searching in Japanese (Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana), English, German, Russian, and French. Automatically converts hiragana and katakana to roman letters. Version 2.1.1 brings an introductory splash screen, increased accuracy, and a refined user interface and experience. [Download - 25.6MB]
BitTorrent, the creators of the peer-to-peer format typically associated with online piracy, have announced their second "legitimate" service, BitTorrent DNA. DNA is not connected to the company's TV and movie sales; rather, says Reuters, it is a means of improving the speed of downloads and streaming for third-party businesses, who may not necessarily be able to handle the bandwidth on their own. Rather, users download a client that taps into a unique network; as new files are downloaded, old ones are uploaded, the latter continuing for a short time after the former.
BenQ on Tuesday gave both presenters and home theater users the SP820, a new semi-portable DLP-based projector. Labeled as an ideal projector for just about any area, it has a 4,000-lumen brightness that displays clear pictures even in brighter rooms. Its 2,000:1 contrast ratio is roughly five times higher than some competing models and delivers far more accurate blacks than most projectors, the company claims. In a rare move, BenQ also opens up color management: home theater viewers or presenters concerned about color accuracy can adjust the principal six colors of the projector for their individual hue and saturation levels to get a near-perfect image.
Apple today re-released its Texas Hold'em mini game to provide compatibility with the company's new third-generation iPod nano and revised iPod classic portable players. The game, which features seven tournaments starting from a modest $1,000 pot spanning through $2 million in potential winnings, features progressively difficult computer-controlled opponents who may or may not telegraph information about their hands. Players must learn to read each opponent's body language for signs of bluffing, and the game tracks a variety of statistics like the largest pots won and lost as well as the longest winning and losing streaks.
The popular social networking site Facebook is working on a music platform that would put it in direct competition with MySpace, while linking it with iTunes, say several anonymous sources. While MySpace has long been used as a venue for promoting bands, thanks in part to items like a built-in music player, Facebook has kept to a more utilitarian approach, only allowing minor applications such as iLike, which shares iTunes playlists and links to free MP3s. iLike would be incorporated into the new promotion platform, but the format would also allow sampling from iTunes, and ultimately buying tracks directly. Aesthetically band pages would retain the current Facebook style, as opposed to the custom and often visually dramatic looks of MySpace sites.
Alienware today took the unusual step of launching an option for 64GB solid-state drives with its high-end gaming desktops, following its recent introduction of the same feature for its notebooks. The flash-based storage is available for both the Area-51 ALX and Aurora ALX systems and is meant to replace the main hard drive for gamers who want extremely quick load times without the penalty of a noisy or potentially unreliable 10,000RPM rotating hard drive. The option pairs up two of the 64GB drives in a RAID 0 stripe that not only improves speed even further but provides a continuous 128GB of space.
Satellite company Tarium has rolled out Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) -- a combined broadband and voice-call service that works with Mac OS X that delivers both voice and broadband internet connectivity at the same time through one portable device. The system would allow Mac users to access the internet at broadband speeds from remote locations where DSL, high-speed cable, and other services are unavailable. Tarium's BGAN is already accessible in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and North as well as South America, according to Macworld UK. The service is already available across 85 percent of the planet's land mass, reaching 98 percent of the global population.
VTech on Tuesday morning unveiled a new home cordless phone that can double as an interface for the iPhone or most any cellphone. The LS5145 serves as a normal cordless phone for landline connections but also incorporates a Bluetooth receiver that will relay calls from one of up to eight different Bluetooth-equipped cellphones to its handset, allowing users to leave their cellphones docked and take their calls in areas where the cellular signal would normally drop off, such as a basement. Bluetooth headsets will also work for private calls, the company says. The VTech phone's use of the 5.8GHz frequency means that it will not only avoid conflicting with its own Bluetooth transmissions but also most Wi-Fi networks.
The former Beatle and solo artist, George Harrison, is the latest featured addition to Apple's iTunes Store (iTunes link). The American storefront currently highlights just one album: a 2001, double-disc remastering of Harrison's "All Things Must Pass," including alternate versions of tracks such as "My Sweet Lord" and "Isn't It a Pity," as well as a behind-the-scenes promotional video. Also present however are a number of other albums, such as "Cloud Nine," "Live in Japan" and "Living in the Material World." Most are $10, though some are $12.
HighPoint has unveiled its RocketRAID 2522 SATA RAID controller, which the company says is the world's first SATA RAID controller to deliver unmatched sustained read and right performance throughput at 1200MB/sec. The RocketRAID 2522 supports up to 40 SATA hard drives, as well as OCE (Online Capacity Expansion) that allows users to add storage to an existing RAID array without losing existing data. Dual external mini-SAS ports connect to any storage device with SATA, eSATA, or Infiniband connectivity, according to HighPoint, which offers support for various operating systems including Mac OS X as well as Linux and Windows. The controller fits into any PCI-e x8 or x16 slot to support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, and JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks).
RealNetworks and TiVo today announced the full launch of their official music collaboration. Simply called Rhapsody on TiVo, the finished service lets any TiVo Series 2, Series 3, or HD DVR box with a high-speed Internet connection gain access to all of the Rhapsody online store's music catalog and play it without needing a computer online at the time. The service takes advantage of Rhapsody's subscription method to let users browse and play music without the worry of having to buy tracks and transfer them across the local network. Like on a computer-based store, listeners can jump between albums from a given artist or see similar artists; a unique play system lets users continue to play songs while they browse menus.
AT&T on Tuesday announced that it is paying $2.5 billion for radio spectrum from Aloha Partners to expand its mobile wireless network. The licenses cover 196 million people in the 700 MHz frequency band, according to the largest telecom company. Last month, AT&T promised to unveil an upgrade to its mobile network with a six-fold upload increase, but those improvements won't include Apple's iPhone until the Cupertino-based company unveils a newer model with support for the carrier's faster service--something which Apple CEO Steve Jobs said is not expected until next year (when battery life issues are resolved).
Following the day after a primitive "jailbreak" was developed, hackers are now claiming to have successfully installed applications on Apple's v1.1.1 iPhone firmware. The technique was developed by a coder called "asap18," who says that several applications have been tested and are functioning properly. Critically, these applications can be accessed via normal Home screen buttons, rather than loading them via a command-line terminal.
Sony today switched its attention to add-in Blu-Ray drives for PC users looking to jump to the HD storage format. The BWU-200S is the company's first 4X drive and writes a full 50GB Blu-Ray disc in about 45 minutes, or half the time of the company's first drive from last year. Such speed makes it possible to burn nearly four hours of 1080i video in a reasonable amount time, Sony says. The new burner is also one of the first to burn DVDs as quickly as a dedicated DVD drive and will write a single-layer DVD-R at 16X, eliminating the need for a second drive just for quicker burning.
Keyspan on Tuesday its "Sync Cable for iPod", a cable that connects an iPod to the new Sync media system available in 12 models of 2008 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. The cable, which has both USB and 3.5mm stereo connectors (for connection to the vehicle system) and a 30-iPod connector, works with recent generations of the iPod, including the: iPod video, iPod nano, and iPod touch; it also has the unique ability to connect older iPods to the Ford Sync media system. Older models of iPod that are supported include the iPod mini, the 4th generation iPod, and the iPod with color display. When connected to the Sync media system, the iPod's content is automatically displayed on the screen of the Sync media system.
SCEI this morning made Japan the second region to offer the 40GB PlayStation 3 after Europe, launching the new model but also adding extras previously unseen in any territory. The 40GB model itself is unchanged from the European version and cuts storage, the multi-format card reader, and two USB ports to trim costs; Wi-Fi carries over from the 60GB model. In exchange, Japanese buyers can now pickup a ceramic white model with a matching SIXAXIS wireless controller. Both it and a version in the original black will be available in the country for $341 on November 11th bundled with a copy of Spiderman 3 on Blu-Ray. A US release date is expected soon but is unlikely to include the white color scheme.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl