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Oakley Split Thump
Oakley has quietly introduced a new update to its glasses, dubbing it the Oakley Split Thump. In a change from previous models, the glasses have audio controls built right into the arms underneath the stylized Oakley logo and feature removable headphones so that they can be used as regular sunglasses without the extra burden. The Split Thump will come in three models with storage ranging from 512MB to 2GB in capacity and should sell from $250. A precise release date is unavailable.
Review: Spotlight, Spaces
Review: Leopard's Spaces and Spotlight 4.5/5 stars The introduction of Spaces to Mac OS X Leopard is hardly new; Linux and UNIX users have enjoyed the concept of virtual desktops for years. However, its inclusion in a mainstream operating system is new and is executed well enough that it may see use by the average user, especially on notebooks. Learn why and read about Spotlight in the fifth installment of our Leopard review.
Doorstop Security Suite
Amid recent concerns about Leopard's security, Open Door Networks today announced several updates for its various internet security products, bringing compatibility with Apple's new operating system. DoorStop X Firewall and Who's There? Firewall Advisor have reached version 2.2, and Open Door Networks updated the eBook Internet Security for your Macintosh: A Guide for the Rest of Us , introducing Leopard security tips, and issues with other products, like the iPhone and Apple TV. All three internet security products are available separately, or together as a suite for $80.
RAID Monitor 2.7 ($20) will automatically check the status of any software or hardware RAID. If a fault is found with the RAID it will generate an email notifying the recipients of the fault. fixes several bugs, adds TLS support, adds support for nested RAIDs in Leopard and a minor interface update. Version 2.7 drops support for 10.3.x, however version 2.6.2 is still available for 10.3.x users. [Download - 1.2MB]
iRecordMusic to 1.6 ($25) enables you to record Internet music, sports and news for listening on your iPod, PDA, mobile or computer. Broadcasts in RealAudio, WindowsMedia, or QuickTime can be recorded as MP3, AAC, OGG, FLAC, 3GPP, AIFF. Schedule recordings with iCal. Record multiple sources at the same time. AppleScript support. This release adds support for OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and fixes an issue with QuickTime 7.2 where real-time encoding to Apple Lossless failed. [Download - 8.2MB]
LazyMouse 2.0.3 ($10) system utility for saving time dealing with dialog boxes and alerts. LazyMouse version 2.0.3 is a maintenance release that makes the following changes: Reduced idle-time CPU load to almost 0, the register reminder will now disappear after 20 seconds; cleaned up the look of the registration reminder window. Also, LazyMouse is now a little more forgiving about snapping back the cursor after a slight mouse move. [Download - 1MB]
PayLoom 1.0 ($20) plugin for RapidWeaver that builds PayPal shopping cart web pages. Designed for novices and experts alike, PayLoom allows users to build a web store in minutes. PayLoom also gives experts access to PayPal's power-user features such as: built-in image processing, easy to add categories, Web 2.0 light-box effects, and is self-contained -- only a basic PayPal account is required. [Download - 633KB]
Stock Investment Guide to Version 2.3 ($70) tool for performing comprehensive fundamental stock analysis of publicly traded companies. The Stock Investment Guide provides users with easy-to-use tools to use historical stock data to analyze historical growth trends, project earnings, and sales, and determine Buy, Hold, and Sell prices. This version adds an advanced feature to weight high and low PE ratio calculations used the analysis. PE ratio weighting provides different views of companies with expanding or contracting ratios and growth rates. This version also updates the routines to integrate data from StockCentral.com following changes to their web site. [Download - 6MB]
CycoreFX HD 1.6 released
Cycore Systems today released CycoreFX HD 1.6, an update to the plug-in collection for Adobe After Effects that adds seven new plug-ins. CycoreFX HD 1.6 features a total of 71 plug-ins with 16 bpc support. The upgraded bundle includes nine plug-ins with support for 32 bpc (float, while several other plug-ins boast added functionality like built-in support for AE lights and new user interface options. All the plug-ins are Universal Binaries that run natively on Intel-based Macs, and every plug-in is compatible with Adobe After Effects CS3. The update is free for all current CycoreFX HD owners, with new licenses priced at $300 (system requirements were unavailable.
QuickTIme 7.3, released earlier today, introduces several major security enhancements, closing some serious holes in Apple's multimedia playback engine. The first involves a situation where viewing a maliciously crafted movie file may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This is because memory corruption issue existed in QuickTime's handling of image description atoms. By enticing a user to open a maliciously crafted movie file, an attacker could cause an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue by performing additional validation of QuickTime image descriptions.
Flock browser hits 1.0
The Mozilla-based Flock web browser has finally reached v1.0 status, its developers have announced. Although very similar in functionality to Firefox, Flock concentrates on Web 2.0 services, integrating sites such as Flickr through items like a filmstrip minibar. Flock 1.0 adds a "People" sidebar to the browser, which in turn allows users to integrate Facebook and Twitter; this not only allows users to see what friends are doing, but to be notified when they update their pages, and communicate from a central location. Photos and videos can likewise be dragged-and-dropped to friends for sharing. Other changes include stability and performance improvements, such as the elimination of several memory leaks. Flock is available for Mac, Windows and Linux systems.
Google vs. iPhone
Google's recent announcement regarding the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is set to increase competition with Apple's iPhone, but won't initially offer any features the iPhone doesn't already provide, according to industry analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. The Open Handset Alliance consists of Google, T-Mobile, HTC, Motorola, and other companies that aim to develop an open software platform for mobile computing called Android. Apple's iPhone is not a member of the new alliance and will not use the new Android OS, but already offers many of the features -- like full Web browsing functionality -- provided by the new software. As a result, Apple has little need to join the OHA and has little to fear from the competition, according to Munster.
NOXON 2 iPod/Wi-Fi radio
Terratec is now selling the NOXON 2 for iPod, a mini-stereo system which combines several different inputs. While it can dock several different iPods (including the Touch) and tune in FM radio, one of its other main functions is Internet radio, as it can browse 10,000 different stations via an 802.11b/g wireless connection (Ethernet serves as backup). For more variety, users can stream music from their computer's hard disks, or listen to a variety of podcasts without synching them to an iPod first.
iTunes 7.5, QuickTime 7.3
SoloRecord on Leopard
Arcosoft today announced that it has tested its VONaLink SoloRecord VoIP call recording software under Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, confirming the application's compatibility with Apple's newest operating system. VONaLink works with any VoIP phone system based on the open SIP standard -- such as Vonage -- to record phone calls or provide screen "pops," and the company's VONaLink ScreenPop software is also available when recording is not required. Both VONaLink SoloRecord ($100) and ScreenPop ($30) are Universal Binaries that run natively on Intel-based Macs, requiring Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Samsung M4650 smartphone
Another competitor for the iPhone has been announced in the form of Samsung's M4650, which will likely preempt the arrival of Apple's device in South Korea by at least several months. Critically, like the iPhone, the M4650 has a multitouch interface, enabling more complex interactions than rivals such as the HTC Touch. The main menu for the 4650 is also very similar in aesthetics and layout to the iPhone's Home screen, complete with tiled program icons and a row of quick-launch buttons. In reality, this is a custom overlay for Windows Mobile 6.
T-Mobile OLPC Wi-Fi
T-Mobile today announced that it would offer free access to its HotSpot Wi-Fi points to anyone buying the One Laptop Per Child project's XO system through the Give 1 Get 1 program, providing an incentive for users who want to contribute to the developing world system but receive a unit of their own. The deal lets American buyers activate their own XO to use with any of 8,500 US locations, including airports and many Starbucks locations. The company did not say whether XO owners would still be able to create mesh networks to share with other devices at a given access point.
There is reportedly a major bug in Leopard's directory-moving code, which manifests in the Finder, that can lead to significant data loss if a destination volume (where a file is being moved) disappears while a move operation is in action. The bug is reported and described on Tom Karpik's blog, and involves a situation where a file is copied from one volume to another. A test setup by Karpik involves an SMB server and a MacBook Pro running VMWare. Essentially, the directory to be copied will be deleted if the destination is closed down in the middle of the process.
Google on Own Phone
Google will not rule out the possibility of producing a cellphone under its own name, the company said today during a question and answer session regarding the Open Handset Alliance and its Android platform. Chief executive Eric Schmidt explained that while his company would not pre-announce any devices, the firm would also not "close the door" on the prospect of making its own handset at some point in the future. The emphasis today was on establishing a platform for other companies to build their phones and not any concrete products, Schmidt said.
LG KS20 launches in Europe
Just days before the iPhone makes its European debut, LG has officially released the KS20 to "major" European countries. The phone is significant mainly in that it is another all-touchscreen device from the company, mirroring some of the same philosophies as the iPhone, such as fingertip control. The KS20 separates itself however by running Windows Mobile 6, and by featuring 3.6Mbps HSDPA, giving it a broadband speed advantage over the iPhone's EDGE.
iSync phone plug-in update
Nova Media today released a new version of its iSync phone plug-ins with support for 44 Samsung phones under Mac OS X Leopard and 21 Samsung phones under Mac OS X Tiger. iSync synchronizes data from Address Book and iCal with a mobile phone, while iSync phone plug-ins extend the number of supported mobile phones that work with iSync. Nova Media's iSync phone plug-ins are available online for $15, and every license includes free updates for one year that begin on the date of purchase. The plug-ins require Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later.
E-Ten Glofiish X600
Clarifying release information, E-Ten has announced another version of its Glofiish smartphone, bearing the originally anticipated X600 identifier. The phone again uses a SiRFstar III GPS receiver, and boasts 802.11b/g wireless; here, Bluetooth support is confirmed to be at the 2.0 level, but HSDPA is gone, leaving users with EDGE as the fastest cellular protocol. Similarly stripped away is the resolution of the 2.8-inch touchscreen, which is limited to 320x240.
Sony-Ericsson K660i Leak
The Japanese and Swedish phone partnership Sony-Ericsson is poised to launch a new set of phones on the 6th, according to a pre-release leak as well as brief mention on the company's own product pages. The K660i will attempt to bridge the gap between smartphones and smaller devices by allowing web browsing in landscape mode with a cursor; this allows sites to fit more on to a single page and also lets users jump to links or text boxes without repeatedly tapping a directional pad. The bar phone will support HSDPA only over European networks but should add quad-band GSM and EDGE access to permit calls and 2G data in the US. A 2-megapixel camera and FM radio will be built-in when the phone ships in either lime/white or black/wine color combinations before the end of the year.
Teleport 1.0 released
After remaining in development or beta for three years, Abyssoft's Teleport application has at last reached a v1.0 release. The program allows users to use a single mouse and keyboard set to control several nearby Macs; when a cursor is moved off the edge of one computer's screen, both the mouse and keyboard transfer over to another specified machine. Users can sync Clipboard contents, as well as drag-and-drop files as if they were on the same system. The first complete version of Teleport brings with it Mac OS X Leopard compatibility, unspecified improvements, and a number of bug fixes.
Google Mobile Official
Google today announced its long-awaited initiative for mobile phones, aiming to overturn the traditionally closed approach to cellphone software design. Now called the Open Handset Alliance, the push will see 34 different companies working together to create an open-source software platform that takes away licensing fees while adding the ability to easily modify code for new devices or features. Handset makers HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung have all pledged to implement the software as part of the group; the Alliance also includes key cellular carriers such as Sprint and T-Mobile in the US, Europe's Telefonica, and Japan's KDDI and NTT DoCoMo. Several component makers including Broadcom, Intel, and Qualcomm are also onboard, Google says.
Dr Pepper iPhone game
Dr Pepper today released Matchcaps, the first-ever "advergame" designed specifically for Apple's Safari Web browser on the iPhone. "There's always more to Dr Pepper. Consumers want enhanced access to fun and games on their iPhones, and Dr Pepper will be the very first to deliver it to them," said Andrew Springate, vice president of Dr Pepper marketing. "With the launch of this advergame, Dr Pepper can interact virtually with its consumers anytime, anywhere through their iPhones." Developed by Imaginuity New Media, the game follows the popular "match three" format familiar to online gaming fans. Matchcaps is already available online for free.
iPhone credit card policy
Apple may be violating standards and laws with its credit card policy for iPhones, an informal investigation has revealed. Typically, buying an iPhone at an Apple Store requires either a credit or a debit card, although it may be possible to pay as little as $1 of the $399 price in this way. The company does not accept payments entirely in cash however, and has not so far explained why. It is suspected that this is done to aid tracking purchases, since shoppers are limited to two phones per person, a measure to prevent bulk purchases for the gray market, whether domestically or in Europe, where the phones must also be hacked.
Sierra Apex 880
Kicking off the release of a new series of adapters, Sierra Wireless today unveiled the Apex 880. The USB adapter is smaller and sleeker than earlier AirCard devices but manages to support a full HSUPA connection; users on AT&T's upcoming network and other carriers can download as quickly as 7.2Mbps in peak conditions but also upload at 2Mbps when supported. This and normal HSPA work on all three supporting bands across the world; legacy EDGE and GPRS support four bands for wider roaming.
Toshiba Gigabeat U206
Toshiba on Monday morning released new versions of its Gigabeat U series to appeal to fresh listeners. Both the U104 and the U205 share the same flat-panel control scheme, 1GB of flash storage, and a new set of gold, light blue, and pink color options. Both are also based around the same 1.1-inch color OLED display and MP3/WAV/WMA audio support as well as photo viewing, the company says. The U104 starts the line at $87 with the core feature set; the $129, 2GB U205 adds in-canal earbuds and both an FM transmitter and tuner, letting it connect to a car's stereo without an adapter or share music with any FM-capable music player.
Web cap gone for O2 iPhone
British carrier O2 has decided not to impose a cap on Web usage of the iPhone, according to national newspaper The Telegraph. Going on sale in the UK November 9th, the phone will there cost £269 plus £35 to £55 per month; although O2 has long intended to market data usage for the product as "unlimited," the company at one point decided to impose a "fair usage" policy, restricting iPhone users to 200Mb per month. This is relatively standard for the cellular industry, but the data-heavy focus of the iPhone -- including functions such as YouTube and Google Maps -- may have easily brought users into conflict with download caps.
Samsung SATA II 64GB SSD
Samsung today claimed to be the first company to produce a solid-state drive using a Serial ATA II bus, giving it the added headroom to take advantage of higher flash memory speeds. The interface gives the 1.8-inch, 64GB disk as much as three gigabits per second of bandwidth and uses improved NAND flash memory to write data as quickly as 100MB per second -- more than twice as fast as the 45 megabytes of earlier solid-state drives and even faster than a conventional 1.8-inch hard disk, Samsung says. Read speeds are faster still at 120MB per second.
UK iPhone to have 1.1.2
When the iPhone launches in the United Kingdom on November 9th, it will be preloaded with a new version of the firmware, a British publication is reporting. T3 says it has already reviewed the first non-American version of the iPhone, and discovered that its firmware iteration is in fact 1.1.2, as opposed to the current 1.1.1 on US devices. The primary change is increased language support: "dozens" of languages have been added, such as French and German, the latter important because the phone will launch in Germany on the same day.
Google Open Phone
Google's expected announcement today of its mobile phone effort may include a different arrangement than suggested, according to a new claim by USA Today. The paper cites sources which suggest Sprint as the confirmed US carrier; NTT DoCoMo in Japan is the other provider, the report says. In turn, Motorola and Samsung would help with the hardware side. This teamwork would create an "open phone coalition" of companies which would help develop a cross-platform mobile operating system that would not be tied to any one device or service provider.
Kmart denies Blu-Ray drop
Kmart has issued a statement denying earlier speculation that the retail chain is dropping Blu-Ray players from its shelves and exclusively selling HD DVD players. In its statement, Kmart said it intends to support both the HD DVD and Blu-ray platforms, and has no plans to support either platform exclusively. "There have been numerous statements in the media today, attributed to Toshiba, indicating exclusive support for the HD DVD format in Kmart stores," said Kmart officials. "These statements are false."
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