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Syncro Soft updates Oxygen
Syncro Soft today announced a major update to its XML editor, releasing Oxygen 9.0. New in this version is a CSS-based visual XML editor that allows the user to edit the page as it is seen when it is viewed through a web browser. Using industry standard W3C CSS 2.1 specifications, Oxygen allows users to create and modify XML content without being locked into a proprietary format. Syncro has also introduced wider support for the W3C CSS 3.0 draft, allowing the use of CSS XML namespaces and the "attr" function. Oxygen comes with support for many XML formats - such as DITA, DocBook 4/5, TEI P4/P5, and XHTML, with CALS and HTML table models - and is available now, starting at $230 for a standard license, or $50 for an academic license.
Tidy Up! 1.3 ($30) search for duplicate files and packages; by the owner application, content, type, creator, extension, date modified, date created, name, label, visibility and more. You can also search by the tag, duration and bit rate of MP3s and AACs audio files, search the content of the iTunes, iPod and iPhoto databases, search the messages of Mail and synchronize deletions with iTunes, iPhoto and Mail. The new release adds compatibilty with Mac OS X 10.5 and the possibily to exclude from the scan, with one click, any items associated with the system. [Download - 8.3MB]
Snapz Pro X 2.1.1 ($70) screen and video capture tool. Includes "Live Preview" which shows you exactly how your screenshot will look before you save it to disk. The latest release has full Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard compatibility. It also fixes input problems with the new registration interface, and has improved error handling -- especially out of disk space warnings. [Download - 11.6MB]
VersionTracker Pro Mac 4.5 ($50) subscription-based software program that compares the user's software with a continually-updated online database, and alerts users immediately when updates are available - with information on system compatibility, new features, user reviews and ratings. Users can then make informed decisions on updating, and download the upgrades. The new release is Leopard Ready: Use the OS filtering feature of VersionTracker Pro to tell you when your favorite applications have been updated for Apple's latest OS. [Download - 2.1MB]
GarageSale 3.4 ($30) lets Mac OS X users create eBay auctions using an intuitive and Mac-like interface. It features a WYSIWYG auction editor and imports photos from iPhoto, a digital camera, or iSight. The new release adds support for eBay's new user defined item specifics system, can cancel running auctions directly from within the application, and allows users to specify deposit setting when selling cars on eBay Motors. [Download - 18.4MB]
WireTap Studio 1.0.1 ($70) complete audio recording and management solution. Record the discrete audio output of any application, as well as all system audio, or even record audio input from any microphone, line-in, or audio input hardware. The new release includes full Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 compatibility, finer-grained VU meters in Preferences->Source that better indicate average and peak values. Also, the export drop zone now includes iPhone, to drag your audio clips to your iPhone for use as custom ringtones. [Download - 19.1MB]
Papers, a program which helps scientists on the Mac to create and organize their Personal Library of Scientific literature, has been updated to version 1.5. The new release brings over 100 new features and bug fixes. A major new addition is support for search engine plugins, it ships with built-in support for Google Scholar, Google Books, Pubmed, Scopus and Web of Science. The new release is also fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, has an improved and streamlined user interface, and more tightly integrates with other applications in the literature workflow. This is a free update for existing users and prices start from 29 euros for a single user license. PhD students and undergraduates can receive a 40 percent discount upon sending proof of studentship.
leopard review part four
Dashboard has not seen many changes in and of itself in Leopard, with only three listed on Apple's New Features page. However, what changes exist may be very significant to some users: Web Clip in particular may redefine the very concept of the Dashboard even for novice users, while their more experienced and even professional counterparts can turn to Dashcode. Merge this with an improved Front Row interface for media playback, and Apple's extra-layer services -- that is, those which exit the familiar desktop -- are a large step forward for Mac OS X. Click ahead for the fourth portion of our Leopard review.
Open Komodo for Web dev
Refurb MacBooks from $949
Apple is once again offering several of its reconditiond consumer-oriented MacBook laptops for sale via its online store at discounted rates. The company's White MacBook 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo comes with 1GB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and a Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive for $949; Apple's White MacBook 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo also ships with 1GGB of memory, but offers a 120GB hard drive and an 8x SuperDrive DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW for $1,099; The Black MacBook 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo is also available with 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, and an 8x SuperDrive DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW for $1,299. Refurbished iMacs are currently limited to the 20-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (1GB of memory, 250GB hard drive, ATI Radeon X1600 graphics card) for $1,099 and the 24-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (1GB of memory, 250GB hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT graphics card) for $1,449.
Google announcement Monday
The long-awaited announcement of Google's phone plans will occur earlier than expected, and not in the form previously laid out, says the Wall Street Journal. While it had been suggested that an announcement would come November 13th at the earliest, the Journal's sources say that it will mostly likely happen Monday, November 5th, and with different carriers. T-Mobile is still involved, but the other main party is said to be Sprint. Foreign carriers may be included, but have not been mentioned.
Artlandia has released SymmetryShop 2 a significant revision to its Adobe Photoshop plug-in. The tool is a companion of Artlandia SymmetryWorks, which provides a similar functionality in Adobe Illustrator. The plug-in creates both interlocking patterns and patterns based on simple geometric regions, possibly with smoothed away boundaries. Both surface patterns and borders can be generated. SymmetryShop patterns remain fully editable and allow unlimited iterations and refinements in multiple Photoshop sessions. The new version adds support for smart objects and offers new ways to design patterns: smart objects, introduced in Photoshop CS2 and enhanced in Photoshop CS3, allow the designer to make patterns from any combination of source layers, including vector art.
Microsoft behind JPEG XR
The multinational Joint Photographic Experts Group, responsible for the JPEG standard used in virtually all mainstream imaging, has announced that the next iteration of its standard will be based on Microsoft's HD Photo format. HD Photo is built into Windows Vista, and was originally dubbed Windows Media Photo, hoped to offer some degree of proprietary control for the company; in its new incarnation however it will be called JPEG XR, and remain neutral as with the current JPEG technology. Prior to today Microsoft had already partly opened up HD Photo, providing the SDK for free to interested developers.
Tunefilm clear covers ship
Tunewear today began shipping Tunefilm, a clear protective film cut to fit Apple's iPhone as well as each of the company's current-generation iPods with liquid crystal displays. Tunefilm is designed to provide protection against dirt and scratches, covering the multi-touch display of Apple's iPhone and iPod touch as well as the standard display of third-generation iPod nano and iPod classic players. Tunefilm also guards the polished back cover of each device, and lays atop the iPod classic's click-wheel. Tunefilm is priced at $13 for iPhone and iPod touch owners, while customers looking to protect third-generation iPod nanos can expect to pay $10. Tunefilm for iPod classic is available for $13.
According to security vendor Bit9, QuickTime is among the most security flaw-ridden Windows applications. Apple's media player ranks second on the list of programs that are difficult for an IT department to patch and/or "represent unexpected and unquantified vulnerabilities in an enterprise IT environment." Another Apple product, iTunes, appears at number 6. Meanwhile, according to a ZDNet report, Yahoo's standalone IM client, Yahoo Messenger, is number one on the list. Microsoft has only one entry on the list: Windows Live MSN Messenger at #4.
Wii lead shrinks vs. PS3
Nintendo's Wii continues to outsell Sony's PlayStation 3 in the consoles' native country of Japan, but that lead is diminishing, Reuters reports. In the four weeks leading up to October 28th, 110,415 Wiis were sold, versus 47,183 PS3s. Though this is still a ratio of more than two to one, the figures mark the fourth month in a row that the ratio has shrunk, it having been six-to-one as recently as June.
Reasons for increasing PS3 sales are attributed mainly to a better or at least broader software lineup, and several price cuts, bringing the console down from its original peak of $599 for a 60GB model. Sony today launched the US 40GB PS3, dropping the price to $399, $100 lower even than that of the discontinued 20GB PS3.
Blockbuster Near Death
The large video store chain Blockbuster may be on the verge of financial collapse, the company's latest quarterly results show. The company posted a net loss of $35 million during the summer and will be engaged in a defensive effort to protect its "core rental business," company chief Jim Keyes says. This involves both ramping down Blockbuster's promotions for its online Total Access rental service and emphasizing new developments in its brick-and-mortar stores. Jobs and duplicate resources will be cut both online and for retail shops, Blockbuster says.
Fastmac headphone adapter
Fastmac today unveiled a 3-in-1 Universal Headphone adapter for Apple's iPhone that features a built-in microphone as well as a volume slider and phone control buttons. The compact flexible adapter works with any 3.5mm headphone to offer the same functionality as Apple's own iPhone headset, and is available in three models that range from basic to premium. Fastmac's basic headphone adapter ($5) features a flexible cable and gold plated connector, while the company's mid-level model ($10) adds a shirt clip as well as a built-in microphone and a music playback/phone control button to answer or end calls. The company's premium headphone adapter ($20, shown at right) incorporates all the features of both the basic and mid-level models and adds an adjustable volume slider as well as a noise suppressing microphone.
Sony Compact PS2 in 2008
Sony is developing its third redesign of the PlayStation 2 to appeal to budget-conscious gamers, according to an as-yet unverified claim from British gaming site MCV. The publication alleges that the system will be even smaller than the slimline model introduced in 2004 and will incorporate the power supply into the device itself rather than in a separate brick. It would both be easier to carry around and less expensive to make, the site says. The improved profile would permit selling the PS2 for $99 US in early 2008, a significant drop from the current $129 price.
Kmart to drop Blu-Ray
Retail bargain chain Kmart has decided to temporarily drop Blu-Ray players from its stores, say reports. The absence is only temporary, set to last throughout the holiday season, but may be a significant blow to Sony's Blu-Ray format, which otherwise continues to dominate retail sales. The HD DVD Promotions Group claims that unlike Target's Blu-Ray exclusivity -- which turned out to be based on a financial deal -- Kmart has made its decision based on demographics, given that the price of Blu-Ray players is on average higher than that for HD DVD, and tailored mainly for wealthy home theater enthusiasts.
Nokia Music Stumbles
Nokia's newly-opened Music Store is already suffering from conflicts over licensing issues, according to new reports. The cellphone designer has been forced to open its new direct-download store for cellphones and PCs without access to music from major label Warner Music, which has pulled out from the store over complaints that Nokia's MOSH service is undermining the store through its file-sharing feature; Nokia wants to offer Warner's catalog legally on one hand but is doing little to stop pirated copies of that catalog from trading hands on the other, Warner claims. Nokia has publicly refuted the claim, noting that MOSH uses fingerprinting to recognize and block copyrighted material.
Samsung Katalyst on T-Mob
A Samsung phone, known as the Katalyst, will go on sale with T-Mobile in December, a leak indicates. The phone is notable mainly as the first slider to be tied to T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home service, which (after $20 extra per month) gives users access to unlimited national calls via any available Wi-Fi point. Features are otherwise mid-range, consisting of Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel camera and music playback. Other standard T-Mobile options such instant messaging and myFaves will continue to apply. No prices have so far been mentioned. [via Boy Genius Report]
AT&T iPhone plan update
Changes have been made to the iPhone's international data schemes, AT&T has announced. A new Data Global Plan now allows 50MB in transfers per month, covering e-mail, web browsing and any other Internet traffic, in 29 countries including Canada, China, Mexico and various other states across Asia and Europe. Previously, users were limited to 20MB. The new international plan costs $60 per month on top of domestic service, with an additional $0.005 being charged for every extra kilobyte in covered countries. Outside of these regions, the 50MB cap is invalid and users are simply charged $0.01 or more per kilobyte used. Under the 20MB plan, this rate goes up to $0.0195/kb. The new plan should take effect immediately.
Facebook Mulls OpenSocial
Facebook is not opposed to the idea of joining Google's OpenSocial web app platform for social networking sites, company board member Jim Breyer told Silicon Alley Insider today. The director hoped to shake off notions that Facebook was omitted from the recent announcements because it opposed the idea of an open platform and wanted to fence users in. Members would invariably want to port information from MySpace and other social networks when they switch to Facebook, and should not be restricted from carrying those web apps over to other services if they want to leave, Breyer said.
Two new Mac game titles
Virtual Programming today released Europa Universalis 3 and Championship Manager 2008, its world conquering strategy and football management simulation games for Mac OS X as well as Windows systems. "Europa Universalis III delves deeply into the areas of exploration, trade, warfare and diplomacy. This epic strategy game lets players take control of a nation and guide it through the ages to become a great global empire." Championship Manager 2008, conversely, puts players in the shoes of a football team manager while trying to manage a budget. Each game title is priced at $40, and both requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Sprint May Spin Off WiMAX
Sprint has yet to launch its Xohm WiMAX service but is alread considering spinning it out as its own company to help the financial bottom line, according to alleged sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal. The cellular carrier is reportedly under fire from critical investors who consider the 4G Internet access a diversion from cellular profits, pointing to poor results in the latest quarter as evidence; the company may end up merging Xohm with Clearwire and taking the company public to raise money, the report claims.
.Mac problems continue
Users continue to report ongoing problems with .Mac in spite of Apple attempts to solve them, reports and anecdotes indicate. Although Apple began maintenance of .Mac's Sync system on October 19th, some users are still unable to use it, forcing manual synchronization of data such as contacts, calendars and Dock layouts. Some European customers, meanwhile, continue to cope with extremely slow image upload speeds, often topping at a virtually unusable 78-80kbps. A few .Mac subscribers complained of outright outages on November 1st, though these appear to have been connected to scheduled maintenance.
Sony OLED TV for US Soon
Sony's XEL-1 OLED TV could be available in the US before 2008 depending on how well it fares in Japan, company electronics president Stan Glasgow has told journalists at a press gathering. While the 11-inch set is only officially slated to launch in Japan on December 1st, a relatively modest reception in the country or a favorable supply of OLED panels could lead to an early US release, possibly reaching stores by the holidays.
iPod touch parts low
Shoppers may sometimes have a difficult time finding an iPod touch this holiday season, reports suggest. Market sources are quoted as saying that although Apple had intended to rapidly expand shipments of the Touch towards the end of the year, a general shortage of touchscreen panels has made this difficult, with volume shipments only expected to resume sometime this month. This may however serve to keep NAND flash prices low, since with lower demand from Apple, manufacturers have had to seek out other companies to buy their product.
Everex $300 Linux Notebook
Everex will have brand-new notebooks that popularize Linux by making it accessible and widespread in the same way Steve Jobs generated success for the Mac, the company revealed today. Like the company's new $199 gPC desktop, the portables would achieve an extremely low baseline price of $300 or less by running a custom Linux distribution known as GOS; the variant on Ubuntu Linux is designed to be more accessible to newcomers but retains the open-source design and typically free licensing. This could be essential for Linux adoption in the general market, where difficult software can easily scare away users; Apple has recognized this, according to GOS Linux founder David Liu.
Wi-Fi suit targets Apple
An Ottawa, Canada-based company, Wi-LAN, has filed lawsuits against 22 technology companies over patent infringement. Two related actions were filed through a court in the Eastern District of Texas, and accuse companies of violating patents connected to Wi-Fi technology, as well as power consumption in DSL hardware. Notable is the prominence of the companies targeted: defendants include everyone from Apple, which builds wireless into its computers, iPhones, iPods and routers, to Best Buy, Dell, Intel, Sony, Texas Instruments and Toshiba.
Toshiba WQUXGA LCD
Toshiba's Solutions division today unveiled one of the few truly high-resolution computer LCDs available. The unnamed screen measures 22 inches diagonally but is capable of a 3840x2400 resolution -- four times as sharp as typically larger 1920x1200 displays and even sharper than the 1680x1050 images often generated by LCDs at the same size. This gives it a 200DPI density closer to that of photo paper with a full 16.7 million colors, Toshiba says. Though not the first display to achieve the feat as it follows an obsolete IBM display, the screen makes fewer sacrifices by maintaining a 235cd/m2 brightness level and a 300:1 contrast ratio.
Fujitsu LifeBook S6510
Fujitsu finished its week with a potential breakthrough in its LifeBook S-series. The S6510 (pictured) incorporates a design technique that can significantly increase the display area without expanding the notebook itself: called SlimEdge, the process cuts down most of the side bezels and allows a 14-inch screen to fit in the space that would normally be limited to a 13.3-inch screen. Users can sit further back from the notebook while still having the advantage of a compact notebook, Fujitsu claims. The S6510 is further one of the few 14-inch notebooks with an LED backlight, which simultaneously slims down the notebook while boosting brightness to 300 cd/m2 and improving color accuracy.
MySpace joins OpenSocial
Challenging the alliance formed by Microsoft's recent purchase of just over one percent of Facebook, Google has announced that MySpace -- the other giant social network -- has joined the OpenSocial platform, which allows developers to write programs using one set of tools that can work across a number of social sites, eliminating the need for companies to customize their programs for each site. Chris DeWolfe, chief executive and co-founder of MySpace, told Reuters. "OpenSocial is going to become the de facto standard (for developers) instantly out of the gates. It is going to have a reach of 200 million users, which is way bigger than anything else out there." The system was unveiled earlier this week, and allows users to rank their friends, recommend music and more. Social networks such as LinkedIn and Friendster have already joined the program. Google shares passed $713 yesterday before closing at $703.
SOHO Labels 3
Chronos has announced the release of SOHO Labels 3, a major upgrade to the label design and printing tool. The new release allows users to design and print CD and DVD labels on practically all manufacturers' label stocks. It can also print to DVD Covers, Jewel Case Inserts, Booklets, etc. Design and print a variety of DVD covers, jewel case inserts, booklets, and more. Also new is direct-to-disc printing that can be used with select Canon, Epson, and HP inkjet printers. In addition, there is now Seiko Label Printer Support, Brother Label Print Support. and Custom Field Support, which allows you to use custom fields from the Mac OS X Address Book on label, envelope, and letterhead designs. The new release is a $20 upgrade for registered SOHO Labels & Envelopes users, while the full version is priced at $40.
Punch's Shark, Shark FX
CAD software developer Punch Software announced two new products, Shark and Shark FX, based heavily on the core technologies of Concepts Unlimited v4. Believed to be the next version of Concepts Unlimited, the central technologies of the software will be improved, introducing additional modeling tools, multiple viewports, and full parametric dimensions and constraints. Pricing and availability has yet to be mentioned.
Possible iTunes 7.5 update
Apple is preparing a new update to iTunes, bringing it to version 7.5. Although the update is a large step from v7.4, the new version will primarily be focused on stability fixes and small feature additions, and doesn't seem to include any outstanding new features, according to AppleInsider. There have been several users reporting problems while upgrading iTunes tracks to iTunes Plus, which Apple will supposedly be resolving.
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