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Mozilla today released Firefox 18.104.22.168, introducing three security fixes. The update prevents the race condition from being exploited when setting the "window.location" property, which can generate a fake HTTP Referer header and be used as a conduit for cross-site request forgery attacks. Other unspecified errors could be exploited to cause memory corruption, and allow for remote execution of malicious code. There have been no feature additions or interface enhancements with the latest release, but with the upcoming v3.0 release of Firefox, the existing version will most likely only see security and stability enhancements.
Brother color MFC lasers
Brother on Tuesday unveiled its first line of digital color laser copier-printers, with the introduction of the DCP-9040CN and DCP-9045CDN. Targeted at small offices and workgroups, the DCP-9000 series uses the same single-pass print engine that is resident in the HL-4000 and MFC-9000 series devices that were introduced earlier this year. The new line of all-in-ones feature up to 21 pages-per-minute print speeds in both color and monochrome, producing up to 2400 x 600 DPI prints. The units connect through Ethernet and USB 2.0, and the upper model features compatibility with USB Direct Interface electronics, such as USB flash drives and PictBridge-enabled cameras. Brother is selling the DCP-9040CN for $600, while the DCP-9045CDN will be available for $700 in December.
Chocolatier 2 released
Tuscon, Arizona-based PlayFirst has introduced Chocolatier 2: Secret Ingredients, the followup to its successful game that maintained a Top 20 position on several casual game sites for approximately five months. The sequel again puts players in touch with the Baumeister family 40 years after the events in the original game. Players must assist Evangeline Baumeister's rebellious granddaughter with reforming the Baumeister chocolate empire by traveling the world and finding new recipes. PlayFirst is offering Mac users a 60-minute trial of the game, and sells the full version for $20 from its online store as a digital download.
Office 2008 features
Microsoft's Mac Business Unit has updaed the Office 2008 Sneak Peek site, unveiling a few new features from PowerPoint and Word. PowerPoint 2008 now allows users to export slideshows directly to iPhoto in either PNG or JPEG format, which the company intends for users to be able to upload to their iPods so they can bring their presentations with them, without requiring a computer. Apple Remote support has also been introduced, allowing presenters to make use of the small six-button remote in PowerPoint. Word 2008's Notebook Layout View has been improved, providing greater flexibility for idea management. Users can customize their workspace background with different images, and color-coded tabs can be used to ensure efficient note-taking.
Refurb iPods from $79
Apple's online store is offering refurbished iPod shuffles, iPod nanos, and fifth-generation video-capable iPods on clearance at discounted rates. The Cupertino-based company's popular second-generation iPod shuffle is shipping in blue, green, and orange colors for $79 each. Reconditioned blue 4GB iPod nanos are available for $149 a piece, while (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition 8GB iPod nanos are priced at $199. Previous generation video-capable iPods are also in stock, with the U2 Special Edition selling for $199 and the white 80GB model priced at $219. All refurbished Apple items ship for free and come with a standard one-year warranty.
Orange iPhone numbers
As the launch of the French iPhone approaches, France Telecom's Orange wireless anticipates being able to sell 100,000 iPhones by the end of 2007. Reuters reports that as the company is bracing themselves for the upcoming launch, competitors Vivendi SFR and Bouygues Telecom are preparing to counter the release with 3G+ service on their networks. Apple is hoping that the device's cult status will overcome both competing services, and the prospect of the two year contract - something that is unappealing in a country where unlocked phones are commonplace.
Jobs most powerful person
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has officially taken the title of the most powerful person in business, ranking no. 1 on Fortune's Power 25 list ahead of Media colossus Rupert Murdoch. "During the first two decades of his remarkable 30-year career, the Apple Inc. founder twice altered the direction of the computer industry," says Fortune. "In 1977 the Apple II kicked off the PC era, and the graphical user interface launched by Macintosh in 1984 has been aped by every other computer since." The executive's iconic iPod became the 600-pound gorilla of the digital music player business, and Apple's unique retail stores recently helped the company to report yet another record quarter.
Universal on Music, Apple
Universal Music Group has been slow to acknowledge technological change and has been ensnared by the "golden handcuffs" of Apple's music efforts as a result, says the music label's chief Doug Morris in a newly published interview with Wired. The executive observes that Apple approached Universal for signing on to 2003's iTunes Music Store at a time when the latter was desperate to find a successful online music sale model and was willing to take a risk on the iTunes operator, which promised minimal damage due to its small computer marketshare and the lack of a monopoly on digital music players at the time.
Blu-ray vs HD DVD in Euro
The Blu-ray disc format accounts for nearly three quarters of all HD movies sold in Europe and is contributing to an overall lead for the format, according to new reports from manufacturers. The Blu-ray Disc Association says it has sold about one million movies on the continent compared to about 370,000 HD DVD titles, giving the former standard a 73 percent marketshare. The wider adoption of the format becomes even clearer if PlayStation 3 games are factored in at 21 million units total for Europe, the Association boasts. No games are currently made for the Xbox 360's HD DVD attachment as the drive is considered strictly optional.
MYOB US today unveiled the latest version to its small business accounting software, AccountEdge 2008, introducing a new command center, better Mac OS X App integration, and more. The company says the redesigned command center is more than just a cosmetic fix, offering quick-access task drawers that store common functions. AccountEdge 2008 can now integrate with both iCal and .Mac services, allowing users to set reminders and to-dos, and to back up their accounting information to iDisk. A new enhanced search function allows users to search contacts, items, transactions, and other databases for information such as postal codes, item descriptions, and first name, among others. MYOB AccountEdge 2008 is available directly from the company's online store for $300, and requires a G3 with 128MB of RAM running Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Guitar Hero III goes 'gold
Aspyr Media on Tuesday announced the Mac version of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has been declared "Gold Master" and is scheduled to begin shipping to retail stores December 10,2007. Released in partnership with Activision, Inc, the Guitar Hero franchise makes its debut on Macs and "gives even more gamers the opportunity to unleash their inner-rock star," the company said, Developed and published exclusively by Aspyr, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for Mac matches its console counterparts with a set list that includes many of the most popular rock songs ever recorded. It offers multiplayer action-inspired battle mode, boss battles, and a host of unlockable content as well as visually stunning rock venues. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later, and is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. [updated]
Google Drive Service Soon
Google is working on its first network storage service, says a claim from the Wall Street Journal. The paper refers to anonymous sources which say the company plans to offer a mixture of free and paid service plans that would primarily serve as backup but also as a way of merging Google's various web-only and software services. A user could search through the Google drive and find photos stored locally in Picasa as well as text files stored online through Google Docs, the paper says. File management would also be virtually transparent and behave more like a drive local to the computer than a website.
Time Navigator backup
Atempo on Tuesday announced that it has added Mac OS X Leopard support to its Time Navigator backup and recovery software for enterprise-class data protection and data-intensive businesses. Time Navigator for Mac OS X preserves high-value data through its time-based restoration process and includes features customized for Macs. Offering a native Mac OS X graphical user interface as well as dedicated widget, Time Navigator simplifies critical process of managing data across multiple levels of storage media. Time Navigator, the company claims, is suited for protecting high-value data in markets with a large Mac presence such as digital media and post-production, life sciences, higher education and others. The software supports Windows, Mac OS, Linux and UNIX platforms.
Greenpeace December 2007
A combination of new entrants and shifts in corporate practices have shaken up the rankings for ecologically friendly electronics makers, according to the December 2007 Greenpeace guide to the technology industry. Apple has improved from its previously very low scores, moving from 12th to 11th place; this is largely due to the use of aluminum and glass for the new iMac as well as a reduction in toxic chemicals for many iPods. The company nonetheless needs to more explicitly outline which hazardous substances it continues to use and also needs to greatly expand its takeback policy for recycling obsolete hardware outside of the US, Greenpeace argues.
Cheaper unlocked iPhones
German-based wireless carrier Debitel is launching a service plan for Apple's iPhone to capitalize on a recent court ruling that forced Deutsche Telekom and the Cupertino-based company to offer the handset as an unlocked device, capable of working with other cellular providers. Debitel is offering customers a €600 sign-up bonus to make up for the additional cost of purchasing an unlocked iPhone in Germany, according to AFX News, which makes unlocked iPhones cost the same amount as those sold with a 2-year Deutsche Telekom cellular contract.
Zune 80 Battery Life
The just-launched Zune 80 may fall well short of the iPod classic in battery performance, according to benchmarking performed by CNET. The site reports that the hard disk-based player runs for 22 hours with Wi-Fi disabled, eight hours short of the competing 80GB iPod's official figure of 30 hours. Switching Wi-Fi on without using it drops battery life to about 18.5 hours, the tests show. By contrast, Electronista's iPod classic review netted 32.5 hours before time constraints forced an early end; CNET's own review generated about 45 hours of runtime.
Microsoft Backs Verizon
Microsoft on Tuesday was quick to say it would support Verizon's new Any App, Any Device initiative, encouraging companies to produce unlocked phones that would support Verizon's network. As US cellular customers get used to smartphones, they will want the ability to install their own software and the freedom to switch carriers, Microsoft claims. The Redmond-based software maker's Windows Mobile 6 OS technically allows users to install apps signed by Microsoft but is often restricted by Verizon and other carriers, which in the past have regularly blocked voice-over-IP and other programs that would compete with their own services.
Dell Precision with Penryn
Dell today expanded its fledgling line of computers using Intel's 45-nanometer Penryn technology with the release of the Precision T5400 and T7400. Both tower systems are designed for the new Xeon 5200 and 5400 quad-core processors and can use two of them for as many as eight cores in a single system -- this includes the range-topping 3.2GHz chips with a 1.6GHz front side bus, according to Dell. Each also boasts dual PCI Express 2.0 slots that can individually handle up to a Quadro FX 5600 card with 1.5GB of memory for the most intensive 3D work.
Failing MacBook drives
A previously reported manufacturing defect is resulting in permanent data loss for numerous MacBook owners, according to Retrodata -- a UK-based drive recovery firm. The company says the critical flaw resides only in Seagate 2.5-inch SATA drives produced in China with a firmware version of 7.01, and an Apple spokesman has acknowledged that the company is looking into the matter. Retrodata says the problem is so severe that Seagate should recall the hard drives, and that Apple is responsible for replacing the drives free of charge.
European Mac Feast begins
Aquafadas today announced that it has teamed up with 15 other independent European developers to help organize the great Mac feast, offering Mac users a 10-day window to purchase 30 Mac applications with discounts ranging from 30-70 percent. "This year's WWDC in San Francisco was not only great for delving into Leopard, but also an amazing opportunity to meet with fellow developers and think about great things to do together ." say Claudia Zimmer, Aquafadas' CEO.
Zipit Wireless Messenger 2
Zipit today rolled out the Wireless Messenger 2, its foldable handheld built with instant messaging in mind. Nicknamed the Z2, the device connects through Wi-Fi and allows chats through AIM, Windows Live, or Yahoo with a full QWERTY keyboard and navigation pad but without the expense of a cellphone or a notebook. Beyond reducing the price, this also makes the Z2 an ideal substitute to keep teenagers and younger kids in a malware-free environment, Zipit says. Particularly concerned parents can remotely control access through a web portal.
Apple news video network
The Digital Lifestyle today launched a new 24-hour online network dedicated to Apple followers. The site mixes original programs with popular Apple/tech-related podcasts and YouTube material, as well as daily news updates and live coverage of breaking tech news events. Using live video technology from Mogulus, viewers can watch live broadcasts and participate by submitting their own video segments. Original shows include "Root Access," a weekly live tech help show with a former Apple "Mac Genius" and "Gary's Garage," offering a look at Apple and other company's products of the past.
Apple ranked bestseller
Apple has earned a spot in the Mid-Year CMP Channel Bestsellers list for both its desktop and notebook computers. The study -- conducted in conjunction with the NPD Group -- reveals the top five Desktop PC bestsellers as Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Apple, Acer, and Sony. The top five notebook PC bestsellers are listed as Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, Panasonic, Sony, and Apple, respectively.
Fujitsu 320GB Laptop Drive
Fujitsu today became one of the first notebook drive makers to break past the 300GB barrier and announced the MHZ2 BH series, a new line of 2.5-inch Serial ATA drives destined for notebooks. Like the recently announced Toshiba and Western Digital equivalents, the new range tops out at 320GB without sacrificing much speed, spinning at the same 5,400RPM as drives that were previously limited to 250GB of storage. This also occurs while minimizing power draw: the 320GB disk consumes 0.6 watts at idle and no more than 1.9 watts at peak, suiting it to very energy-sensitive computers or handhelds.
Dell XPS M1530
Dell today completed the overhaul of its XPS notebook line by introducing the XPS M1530. The system is one of Dell's few high-end 15-inch notebooks and is aimed at the same audience that would otherwise seek slim, stylized portables such as Apple's MacBook Pro: the minimalist system is 0.9 inches deep at its thinnest point and uses a slot-load optical drive (like the M1330) in place of the usual tray-loading option. A minimum 128MB GeForce 8400M GS graphics chip provides dedicated 3D acceleration even on the least expensive model, which also includes a 2-megapixel webcam and a fingerprint reader.
Verizon Any App Any Device
Verizon today hoped to shake up the US cellular industry by announcing a new strategy that will allow customers more choice of their own hardware and software. Nicknamed "Any Apps, Any Device," the option will let any cellphone, computer, or similar device that meets a certain minimum technical threshold run on the carrier's network and use its services. Testing will also certify those devices not already offered by Verizon to greenlight them for the company's network, the company says. These devices will be able to use any software users like rather than what Verizon dictates for its own handsets.
Group Logic recently unveiled an update to its Windows-based AFP server, ExtremeZ-IP 5.1.1, bringing compatibility with Apple's latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. ExtremeZ-IP is scalable software that brings Apple Filesharing Protocol to Windows networks, which the company certifies will work with all versions of Mac OS X. The software allows network administrators to get rid of antiquated AppleTalk support for file and print sharing, replacing it with the less-chatty AFP service. Group Logic advertises that the product is simple to install and maintain, since the system doesn't require a client version to be resident on each machine connected to the network. ExtremeZ-IP is priced according to how many Mac clients are requiring network access, starting at $700 for a 10-user license.
Evaluation Modo Swift 3D 5
Luxology recently unveiled the Evaluation Modo 301 learning kit, while Electric Rain announces Swift 3D 5.0 for Mac, with support for Papervision3D. Swift 3D is designed to allow Flash animators to be able to create three-dimensional animations and incorporate them with Adobe Flash, without requiring the artists to learn how to work with 3D software. The introduction of Papervision3D support allows Swift 3D users to export .3DS and .DXF models into Papervision3D projects, while creating all necessary ActionScript 3.0, FLA, and 3D files that are needed to run the project, without requiring any coding input from the user. Swift 3D is currently shipping, available for $250 from Electric Rain's online store.
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