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Orbicule has announced Undercover 2, a new release of the recovery solution exclusively designed for Mac OS X. In addition to enhanced Leopard support, the new release has a dead-Mac-timeout feature: if a Mac is not connected to the net for more than two months, it will automatically be locked. This allows recover of at least some of the 'dead Macs' that are stolen but never connected to the Internet. In addition, Undercover now only connects to the Internet when a network change occurs, reducing network traffic while making the recovering system even more aggressive. Memory footprint and CPU usage have been dramatically reduced. In most cases, memory footprint is down 75%. Undercover 2 now sports dozens of under-the-hood improvements and fixes. Undercover is priced at $50.
MacScan 2.5 ($25) anti-spyware software for Macs. The new release a includes a highly demanded scan scheduler. With the new MacScan Scheduler, users can set specific days and times when MacScan will automatically scan for Spyware. Also included is improved Leopard support. [Download - 4.6MB] LiveDictionary 1.3 ($25) a Safari extension that adds fast, convenient dictionary lookups to the web. Once installed, it becomes a transparent part of Safari. LiveDictionary offers a wide array of dictionaries for technical terms, general language, and bilingual usage. The new release adds compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and remotes nonfunctioning Ultralingua.net dictionaries. [Download - 11.9MB] Ultralingua Multilingual Dictionary 6.1 ($30) multilingual dictionary/thesaurus specifically optimized for Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard. In addition to giving the Ultralingua interface the look and feel of Apple;s new operating system, version 6.1 includes improvements in features and data: updated and enhanced dictionaries for most languages, improved verb conjugator, improved data display. [Download - 16.7MB] RailModeller 3.0.4 ($40) solution for creating layouts for model railroads and slot cars on Macs. More than 180 libraries are included providing tracks and accessories from virtually any manufacturer of model railroad tracks, allowing the user to start planning their model railroad empire right away. The update to version 3.0.4 improves the compatibility with Mac MoVe, provides some new functions and improves existing functionality and contains a number of bugfixes. [Download - 6.8MB] Diet Sleuth 5.1.0 ($35) a nutritional database and personal health logbook. For each day, you select the foods you have eaten, and the number of servings of each. Diet Sleuth will automatically calculate your caloric intake, fat grams, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, cholesterol, along with sodium, potassium, and calcium. This version adds features to make it easier to copy meals eaten between different days, and also includes several bug fixes. [Download - 3MB]
Apple has released a new version of its Xcode Developer Tools, 2.5. The release fixes two security issues. First, a flaw where processing a file with maliciously crafted TekHex content may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. The problem occurs because a buffer overflow exists in gdb's handling of files with Tektronix Hex Format (TekHex) content. By enticing a user to run gdb's "restore" command on a maliciously crafted TekHex file, an attacker may cause an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue by performing additional validation of TekHex records.
Security experts have analyzed Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard firewall, and have declared the feature unreliable, according to heise Security. Firewalls are designed to prevent unwanted traffic -- such as denial of service attacks -- from entering a secured network, and are configured to prevent unauthorized access by intruders. The firewall in Mac OS X Leopard, however, comes pre-configured to allow all incoming connections and even deactivates previously-enabled firewalls when upgrading to Leopard. What's more, even when configured to deny all incoming connections the firewall still allowed incoming connections in one test.
Apple's announcement that it has sold two million copies of Leopard in just four days could have dramatic ramifications for the company's bottom line. According to analysis firm Piper Jaffary, if Apple sells a total of 3.5 million copies in its fiscal first quarter, it could add up to $0.07 per share (or $92 million) to the consensus analyst estimate of $1.53 EPS. This assumes that the Street already had $250 million in Leopard revenue factored into estimates. It also assumes a $115 average selling price and a 60% margin on the software.
Intel cannot keep up with processor demand, ASUS complains. The multinational system builder says that Intel is failing to supply enough CPUs to the market, specifically in the realm of notebook PCs. InfoWorld writes that this is exacerbating problems PC makers have had throughout 2007, such as a lack of small hard drives and LCD screens, due to general demand for mobile computers. The recall of approximately 10 million Sony batteries, meanwhile, has created a drought in the overall battery supply. Intel has yet to comment on the issue.
The 40GB version of the PlayStation 3, going on sale November 2nd, should run at lease somewhat more smoothly than its predecessors, reports say. Sony is said to be switching to smaller 65nm circuitry in the revised console, reducing power consumption from 200W to 135W. Aside from wasting less energy, this should make the system cooler, which Sony is taking advantage of by shrinking the heatpipe. As part of the revision, the motherboard is being replaced, and a new battery will power the clock when the rest of the console is off.
Microsoft has posted another "sneak peek" at new functionality in the forhcoming Office 2008 for Mac OS X. The latest gallery details new themes, templates and styles. Mac BU officials said "Dozens of new Template designs help users make a statement and get their work noticed. Modern, suite-wide Themes and Styles also help users consistently apply a professional look and feel to their documents and presentations." The Mac BU has also announced that an update to the public beta of Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) client for Mac 2.0 will be available later today.
Hoping to draw in more high-end customers, Sprint is said to be readying a new plan for BlackBerry phones that undercuts the competition. Starting on November 4th, subscribers will be able to pay $30 above voice costs for the BlackBerry Power Vision Plan, so named because of its support for media services such as Sprint TV and Sprint Navigation. Crucially, users will have access to unlimited BIS mail, as well as unlimited web browsing, downloads and text messaging. The plan is $5 less than a next-best T-Mobile package, but does come with clauses. Subscribers must agree to a two-year contract, and Sprint's BlackBerries cannot be used as modems without a $15 add-on. [via RIMarkable]
Microsoft today sent word that it and its partners were shipping accessories for the new Zunes, preparing for the release of the actual player in shops by mid-November. The jukebox maker itself expects to launch its themed accessory packs as well as add-ons for previous players: the Home AV pack ($100, pictured) includes both a charging and syncing dock as well as an, RCA video cable, and remote; the dock is also available by itself for $50. A Car AV pack ($80) includes the company's reworked FM transmitter, while the company is also shipping the Premium Earphones of the Zune 80 and a leather case for $40 each. All should work with the Zune 4 and 8 flash players as well as the Zune 30 and 80 hard drive models, Microsoft says.
Prima Cases has teamed up with fashion designer Nicole Miller to launch a new line of Prima Select iPhone and iPod cases. The cases are made in a European facility with high quality leather, according to Prima Cases, where they are detailed and finished. New iPod cases include the iPod video Envelope ($20) in green, black, and cordovan as well as the iPod nano Envelope ($18) in black, green, and cordovan. iPhone cases include the flip style case ($45), Vertical Jacket ($30), Open Face ($30), and Lateral Holster ($35).
NVousPC today switched its attention to ultraportables and released the Carbon, hoping to appeal to both pop art fans and serious travelers. The 12-inch system is as customizable as the PC builder's larger systems and allows for individualized paint schemes on most of the outer shell: the outer lid, inner bezel, keyboard area, and even the base can be individually treated with either a stock design or personal art. Despite the outer focus, the system comes with 802.11n wireless stock and can be outfitted with as much as a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo and a 1GB Turbo Memory cache to shorten load times.
Magellan today took its opportunity at the SEMA car equipment show to release the Roadmate 1200. This new GPS is made to lower the price floor for entry level GPS by offering the same features as other units at a lower price. The 3.5-inch touchscreen navigator covers much of the expected features with a 3D mode, rerouting to avoid certain roads, and 1.3 million points of interest accessible from the built-in maps.
Presenting at the SEMA tradeshow, Sony has announced several new car audio products. At the fore are three speakers in the new GTX series, comprised of the XS-GTX1620S, GTX6930 and GTX1640. The 1620S produces 260W of peak power (60W RMS), and comes with a highly-oriented polyolefine (HOP) cone woofer for better bass, along with a 0.75-inch tweeter that can be mounted separately to fit a car's dynamics. Two-way passive crossovers guide frequencies for clearer response.
Panasonic today ventured beyond its in-dash Strada GPS with the new CN-GP50U, the Japanese firm's first semi-portable GPS in the US. The device has one of the largest screens in the class at 5 inches and starts out with higher-end features inside, including Bluetooth hands-free calling through cellphones and the choice of Clear Channel's real-time traffic service. Free space on the memory card can be used to store and view photos, the company says.
Canon is updating its line of compact business projectors with the LV-7365. The unit is able to project a 100-inch image from a distance of 9.2 feet, and uses a 1.6x zoom lens, which is multicoated to reduce reflections, flare and ghosting. Brightness is rated at 3,000 ANSI lumens, with a contrast ratio of 500:1; though the projector's native resolution is only 1024x768, signals up to 720p and 1080i are supported through DVI-I input. RCA, D-sub 15 and stereo mini-jack ports are also included, the latter two in the form of outputs as well as inputs. Canon expects the 7365 to be ready in mid-November for $1,499.
Toshiba on Tuesday acknowledged the increasing reliance on storage for notebooks by rolling out a new line of internal drives for do-it-yourself upgrades and expanding the top end of its external drive models. The 2.5-inch internal HDD range lets users of MacBooks and other easily upgradable portables with a Serial ATA connector replace their built-in disk with a larger model without turning to kits normally reserved for professional system builders; they include the same shock protection and native command queuing as the latest professional drives. The internal options should be ready today at prices ranging between $80 for an 80GB drive to $190 for a 250GB add-on.
iLugger today unveiled the latest addition to its iMac case collection in response to Apple's release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The 17-inch and 20-inch iMac cases are designed for trips across college campuses, as well as to and from the office and general travel. All 17/20-inch cases come in gray, black, blue/black, orange/black, brown/leopard, and black/leopard color combinations. iLugger's 24-inch cases ship in black only. iLugger's new cases are priced from $110 to $190.
The famous Yellow Pages phone directory, owned by Apple partner AT&T, is now available in a format specifically tailored to iPhones and iPod touches. Users must navigate to the Yellow Pages website via the Safari browser, where a formatted version of the site appears that allows users to quickly start a search or input a place and category. The site also provides access to ratings, maps and directions, and in the case of the iPhone, the ability to dial a number directly from a listing.
The Portland Group has released its PGI Workstation suite of 64-bit parallel compilers and tools for Intel-based Macs, including the newly released Mac OS X Leopard. Designed for engineers and scientists who need high performance technical computing, PGI Workstation includes tools for building as well as debugging and profiling 64-bit and 32-bit Fortran, C, and C++ applications. Key compiler features include automatic user-directed parallelization and optimizations for extracting maximum performance from the newest generation of multi-core processors. PGI Workstation Complete is priced at $700 for academic institutions or $220 as part of a subscription plan, while business and government licenses of the software are available for $1,000 or $300 via subscription.
Catering to a growing number of gamers that use wireless networks for game sessions, D-Link today launched the Xtreme N Gaming Router. The Draft 2.0-spec device cuts down on the bandwidth and latency problems that sometimes plague Wi-Fi through intelligence: the device includes packet routing that prioritizes games regardless of the title or even the operating system, supporting Macs, Windows PCs, and game consoles. The router can optionally run its 802.11n connection on the 5GHz band to reduce interference and includes an unusually high-performance processor to handle large traffic loads.
Syncro Soft has released the latest version of its Subversion application, Syncro SVN Client. The software allows developers to better share documents and codebases, with options to browse repositories, check changes and authorize them, and examine revision histories. The v2.5 upgrade lets users associate file types with particular editors, using three different linking options: OS defaults, external applications specified by the paths to their executable launchers, or Syncro's built-in editors. This change also allows external programs specified for diff operations to take precedence over the internal one.
Eye-Fi today launched the 2GB Eye-Fi SD card, the production version of the wireless card first previewed late last year. The new memory is the first to build an 802.11g Wi-Fi adapter directly into the card itself and lets users transfer photos either to a local Mac or PC without having to attach a card reader or USB cable. Through a special setup process, users can not only specify a photo for automatic transfers but also send photos directly to blogs and photo websites, allowing users to post to Facebook, Flickr, and similar pages while bypassing a computer altogether.
Revamping its Guide+Play mapping units, harman/kardon today released three new models that expand the size options as well as the onboard hardware and software. The GPS-810 (pictured) is the largest of the line and adds to the screen size at 4.3 inches, making the device easier to read from a distance; it also includes the full software suite, which adds text-to-speech readouts of street names as well as a JPEG viewer, the option of Clear Channel's real-time traffic service, and playing back the latest Windows Media DRM audio and video stored locally on an SD or SDHC card. As the company's flagship, the 810 also includes the signature wireless rotary controller that began the line as well as Bluetooth speakerphone use and an FM transmitter for wirelessly linking audio to the car stereo. It ships with 2GB of built-in North American maps, support for both Macs and PCs over USB, and should be available in November for $600.
Fidelity Media has released the v4.1 upgrade to MegaSeg, its live DJ software. Users can queue up long playlists of music, videos and announcements, transitioning and beat-mixing between files, while finding and previewing new tracks using a proprietary engine. The latest version adds compatibility with Mac OS X Leopard, but also introduces some 40 other improvements, such as buttons for pitch control, a MIDI trigger for previews and the ability to insert URLs into Events and the Scheduler. Unspecified improvements have been made to items like QuickTime, importing, ID3 tags and keyboard shortcuts. MegaSeg costs $250, and is a Universal Binary for Mac OS X 10.3 or higher, on computers with at least 600MHz and 512MB of RAM.
Google is planning to announce its first mobile OS and unsettle the phone industry in as little as two weeks, according to anonymous sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal. The financial paper claims the search engine is ready to reveal an open-source OS for phones that would wrap together some of its core web programs, including Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube. The goal would be to loosen the grip held by cellphone carriers on the choice of programs available on phones; where most carriers often block competing software, the Google platform would allow most any code and would permit developers to hook into specific hardware features, such as using GPS for geotagging photos. In exchange, Google could embed context-sensitive ads where appropriate
In a public announcement, Apple claims it has already sold two million copies of Mac OS X Leopard since its official debut last Friday. This figure includes retail, reseller and online Apple Store sales, as well as less voluntary arrangements, including "under maintenance" agreements and new Mac sales. The company further contends that this is the fastest-selling Mac OS release in Apple history, trumping even first-weekend figures for Mac OS X Tiger. "Early indications are that Leopard will be a huge hit with customers," reads a statement by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "Leopard's innovative features are getting great reviews and making more people than ever think about switching to the Mac."
AT&T began Tuesday by introducing the A737. The new phone adapts the basic philosophy of the A717 and A727 flip and candybar phones to a slider form, including the HSPA access that provides one-way video streaming over Video Share as well as AT&T's music download services from eMusic and Napster. A 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth with stereo audio support, and microSD card support up to 4GB help the device live up to its expectations as a media device.
Following up on last week's announcements, USBfever has unveiled some new iPhone cases in its "Crystal Case" series. Opting for black as the base color of the case -- rather than the cheery designs previously released -- iPhone owners now have a choice of adorning their phone with a black and white star or a caricature of a disc jockey. Both new cases are available for $20 through USBfever.com.
Fujitsu today introduced the ScanSnap S300 to North America, after releasing the scanner in Japan on October 6th. The new scanner is the latest in the line-up of portable, multi-page document feeders from the Tokyo-based company. Designed for use on USB- or AC-supplied power, the S300 scanner measures 11.2" x 3.7" x 3" and weighs about three pounds. Fujitsu is targeting the scanner towards business professionals who rely on mobility in their day-to-day work. The S300 will be available after November 21st, for appromimately $300.
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Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir
Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.