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First Look at Exposure 2
Digital photography, some film veterans will argue, has no feeling, due to the lack of imperfections in digital imagery. Others prefer the artistic qualities that film grain provides, and the varied tonal ranges that exist or have existed through different film types. Unfortunately, film is slowly losing ground to the digital lifestyle, and many film types are being discontinued, never to be seen again. Alien Skin's Exposure 2 gives new digital photographers a chance to play with well-loved vintage film effects - some that are even discontinued completely - and provides film photographers with the chance to keep using their tricks of the trade on in to the digital age.
HierarchicalDock 1.1 (donationware) an application which allows for hierarchical menus for folders in Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)'s Dock. New in this version is the use of QuickLook previews for files instead of file icons (optional) and two new sorting-modes (by "last used date" and "creation date", additionally to alphabetical sorting). Alias files are now resolved, too. Many bugs have been fixed as well, like the change in the screen's brightness when clicking on a folder.[Download - 1.5MB]
Bin-it 1.5 ($13) desktop trash can utility for Mac OS X. The update adds Leopard compatibility, a new preferences window interface and more options for the text label. Bin-it 1.5 provides quick and easy access to the Mac OS X Trash. It includes a floating trash can on your desktop (instead of the Trash being hidden in the Dock), a Trash Level Display and many adjustable options for trash themes, sounds, sizes, opacity and more. [Download - 1.7MB]
CoverSutra 1.2 ($22) a way to control iTunes without having to leave the currently active application. CoverSutra does this through the use of global keyboard shortcuts, information bezels and a transparent floating window. In addition, CoverSutra has integrated support for Last.fm, the popular social music recommendation service. This new version enables users to now choose from three different cover styles including a retro vinyl record style. The player controls window has also been redesigned with a more slick and compact UI. [Download - 2.4MB]
OnMyCommand 1.9 (free) UNIX shell script and AppleScript executor. It allows users to build their own contextual menu items or GUI applications. The new release includes fixes for full Mac OS X 10.5 compatibility, an option to customize the shell executed by popen, and an environment variable export for open-based execution modes. It also has support for piping of context information to command. [Download - 8MB]
BlogAssist 2.1.2 ($10) tool to help weblog and website editing by making HTML markup easier. BlogAssist adds a small menu to the right-hand side of the menubar in all applications. You can simply select and copy some text into the clipboard, choose a suitable operation from the menu, then paste the result in the desired location.This update adds German localization, updates the French localization, and other changes. [Download - 2MB]
Eschalon ship date
In brief: A new book delving into Mac OS X keybaord shortcuts has been released, a new volume of SL MultiTracks CID WAV Drum Loops debuts, a release date for the game Eschalon: Book I has been released, PulpMotion is coming to North American stores, LightScribe holiday templates have been released ... A new book, Core Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts, by Dean Pirera, is coming out this January (2008) written exclusively for Mac users wanting to learn all the tips and tricks for navigating with a keyboard. The book is printed in a handy A5 spiral bound format and is the most comprehensive desktop reference guide of its kind available with over 1,000 Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts laid out tables all thoroughly tested on OS X 10.5 Leopard. Included are keyboard shortcuts for Finder, Apple Mail, Address Book, Safari, iTunes, iPhoto, iWeb, iMovie, iDVD, GarageBand (the entire iLife '08 suite) the OS X system itself and more.
Refurb Mac Pro, iMac
Apple's stock of refurbished Mac Pro high-end desktop systems has dwindled to just one model, but its previous-generation 24-inch iMac has rejoined the list of reconditioned products. The lone high-end desktop available via Apple's online store is a Mac Pro Quad 3.0GHz Intel Xeon with two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors for $3,299. The refurbished Mac Pro features 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, a 16x SuperDrive DVD/CD burner, and an ATI Radeon X1900 XT graphics card with 512MB of video memory. The Cupertino-based company's previous-generation 24-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac includes 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, an 8x SuperDrive DVD/CD burner, a built-in iSight camera, and an NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT graphics card with 128MB of video memory.
Line6 Leopard support
Line6, developers of popular guitar modeling software for Mac OS X, has stated in a forum post that the company has decided not to support Leopard at this time. In response to a reader who wrote: "I currently own an M-Audio Ozone USB midi keyboard and audio interface. Was a great unit until I upgraded to Leopard. M-Audio does not have drivers available yet. Is the KB37 working on Leopard? I'm contemplating either trying the KB37 or downgrading my system back to Tiger. Any insight or advice?," a technical support representative responded: "We do offer drivers and Gearbox for Leopard on our website for download as Public Beta. So far everything has worked fine with our test machines here however, we have decided not to officially support Leopard at this time."
Toronto-based Voodoo Ergonomics recently unveiled Mojotones 2.0 for Mac, a utility that allows users to create ringtones from audio files. Users can use an entire song or just a segment from it to make a ringtone, and the program integrates with iTunes to obtain audio files, or it can take files from anywhere on the hard disk. Mojotones is a Universal Binary application, requiring 10.4.9 or higher, and a cellphone that is capable of playing MP3, AAC, or WAV files. Voodoo Ergonomics is selling MojoTones 2.0 for $20 per user, with a demo available on the company's web site.
Connect360 3.2 released
Nullriver has released the v3.2 update to Connect360, the company's transcoding application. The software allows Mac owners to stream media to their Xbox 360 consoles, which normally restrict content to a limited number of formats loaded from Windows PCs. Connect360 users can browse images from iPhoto, including RAW formats, and stream any music compatible with iTunes, including Internet streams but with the one exception of DRM-encoded tracks.
'Hack' prank angers many
What began as an unidentified cracker allegedly defacing Apple 'fanboi' sites last month has turned out to be nothing more than a prank. A cracker calling himself 'malcor' claimed responsibility for defacing GlennWolsey.com on November 17th, and similarly took credit for defacing MacApper.com just a few days later. After another alleged 'hack,' which resulted in the defacing both AppleMatters.com and iPhoneMatters.com, the hosting company of those sites immediately pulled the pages and initiated an investigation which brought the farce to light.
WebDesign, Syncro SVN
Desktop Carousel 3.1 (free) a Mac OS X application that can change or update your desktop picture at specified intervals. It is intended to work with high quality webcam images. The new release is optimized for Leopard, has an option to convert pictures to 'Blue tone', 'Grey tone' or 'Sepia tone'. (default setting is to convert to Sepia), remote picture lists, 'Save' and 'Mail' the current desktop picture, and AppleScript support. [Download - 1.6MB]
MacPractice 3.1 (price varies on app) Mac practice management and clinical software applications. The new release requires MySQL 5 and provides Leopard and Tiger compatibility, reducing the cost of implementation for existing Mac users. All new purchasers of MacPractice will receive the new version. MacPractice 3.1 increases the potential number of simultaneous MacPractice users to 50, with the caveat that installations of 25 or more simultaneous users must use a Mac Pro or better as a dedicated server. Offices with less than 25 users are still not required to have a dedicated server although performance of the new MacPractice Server application in MacPractice 3.1 will be enhanced if they choose to do so.
WebDesign 2.9.6 ($30) fully featured web development software for Mac OS X. This free update adds Universal Binary support, an all new text engine with improved support for Unicode source code and a re-designed user interface. RAGE WebDesign 2.9.6 also adds support for Mac OS X Leopard. [Download - 16MB]
Advanced Web Ranking 6.0 ($100) tool that helps check your web site position on all major search engines. Advanced Web Ranking runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. This version features the ability to connect remotely to a TCP/IP server for faster access to a centralized database and the ability to search in the localized version of Google and Yahoo search engines. Also adds the ability to connect remotely to a server (centralized database). [Download - 16.2MB]
Syncro SVN Client 2.6 ($25) a platform-independent Subversion (SVN) client. Version 2.6 of the Syncro SVN Client introduces a filter option in the History view, drag and drop operations in the Working Copy view, better indentation of text in the compare panel and in the editor panel with the option to configure the size of the tab character. Files and folders can be dragged from other applications and dropped in the Syncro SVN Client's Working Copy view as unversioned resources. The structure of the file tree can be changed in the Working Copy view by drag and drop operations inside this view. [Download - 12.6MB]
Cellular boarding passes
Some airline passengers boarding in Houston, Texas today may be the first in the US to use their cellphones as boarding passes. Continental Airlines and the Transportation Security Administration have launched a pilot project at George Bush International Airport, in which fliers with cellphones (or PDA-like devices) are able to receive on-screen barcodes, which are in turn scanned by TSA employees at an appropriate checkpoint. The specific implementation of the technology is not being used anywhere else in the world, claims TSA official Melvin Carraway.
Google developer playgroun
Google recently unveiled the Google Mac Developer Playground, a website for open source projects and demos. The Mac team of engineers uses the area to host projects that they build, from experiments to useful tools, as well as "just for fun" titles, something that they reportedly spend around 20-percent of their time on each day. Statz, for example, was created by Dave MacLachlan - one of the engineers responsible for the Mac version of Google Desktop - in his spare time. The program allows you to update your account status across many different messaging services.
Sony Direct PSP Store Hint
Sony is genuinely considering an online store that would let users download games directly to writable storage on the PlayStation Portable, the PlayStation Network's operations director Eric Lempel has hinted to MTV. Where current owners of the handheld game system have to receive content after first buying it through a PC or the PlayStation 3, the electronics maker is 'definitely thinking about' establishing a service which would use the Wi-Fi onboard the PSP to buy and download games from the device itself. Time has been the chief obstacle to establishing the heavily requested feature, according to Sony.
700MHz Bidder Slip
Some additional bidders in the FCC's auction for the 700MHz band have been revealed, according to filings and public revelations. In addition to confirmed bids by cable provider Cox and open access advocate Google, Leap Wireless (which owns the cellular provider Cricket) has submitted an SEC filing indicating that it use a subsidiary to participate in the auction. A partly-connected firm known as Denali Spectrum License will also join in, Leap notes.
Orange Visual Voicemail
Countering a previous announcement that said Visual Voicemail would not be available in France until February, users in metropolitan areas of France are reporting that they have full access to the service. SetteB.IT recently spoke with Louis Michel Aymard, spokesman for France Telecom, and he confirmed that visual voice mail had been operational since November 29th. This is especially good news for French iPhone users, since Orange has sold 30,000 of them to customers in five days, with 48% signing up for the two year contract.
Price & Verizon access
The decision to open up the Verizon cellular network was at least partly motivated by costs, says Denny Strigl, the company's COO. The Associated Press notes a speech given today by Strigl, in which the executive explained to investors that by involving third parties, it will be able to collect revenue while offloading important costs, most notably marketing and customer service. "We think it's a phenomenal new source of revenue for us," Strigl commented.
Sprint Xohm in Days
Sprint's heavily anticipated Xohm WiMAX Internet service will see its first practical service within days, states the company's VP of product management, Bin Shen. The fourth-generation wireless will be used by trial members in Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington D.C. with the intent of proving the viability of the service before it becomes widely available in spring 2008. Initial users of the connection's multi-megabit speeds will primarily use add-in PC cards to access the network.
BenQ X-series LCDs
BenQ on Wednesday inaugurated the X series, its first complete line of LCD displays made just for gamers and others who demand fast response times. Aside from a checkered flag pattern at the base to reflect its gaming pedigree, the X is the first line to include two different gaming modes: an action mode adjusts the color and response for first-person shooters and most typical games, while a racing mode does the same for the typical camera views found in driving simulations.
Belkin BT Phone Adapter
Belkin today tackled one of the most common problems of modern cameraphones. The Bluetooth USB Adapter with Kodak Technology uses the camera maker's photo upload process to simplify offloading images from a phone without needing a cable or a card adapter to fit frequently small microSD storage. The system can be set up simply enough that just bringing the phone within range will automatically upload photos to the computer, Belkin says. Bluetooth 2.0 also ensures that photos can reach the PC quickly without having to be resized or compressed.
iMac, iPod giveaway
In brief: We've posted a review of the video conversion tool VisualHub, Mediafour is giving away an iMac and iPods, Macfun is offering a 25% sale, iProng Magazine -- dedicated to iPhones and iPods -- has made its debut, and Scotsys is offering some great one-day promotions ... We have posted a review of VisualHub, the logical upgrade to the free iSquint, which has served many of us as the iPod video conversion software of choice for quite some time. VisualHub includes a well-written manual, while iSquint gives you the lyrics of a popular song in the Help menu. VisualHub can also use an Xgrid-enabled network to process any queued files with stitching available to refine a user's workflow. There are a number of cautionary notes in the manual though, not the least of which is the potential to wear down your DVD drive if you convert directly from a disc.
LaCie's new external drive
LaCie today unveiled a new external hard drive designed by Neil Poulton. The latest storage device is sleek and compact, accommodating a 3.5-inch hard drive with a bright blue line underneath that creates an ambient glow. Ranging in capacities from 320GB to 1TB, the drive features natural heat dissipation via a sturdy casing with bottom plate holes for natural airflow that allows fanless operation. LaCie's new hard drive is priced from $120, and comes preloaded with LaCie's 1-Click Backup Software for both Mac and PC systems.
Nokia on HD Video Capture
Cellphones will have the option of not just playing but also recording high-definition video in as little as two years, Nokia chief technology officer Tero Ojanpera said in an interview today. The senior official explains that the technology strong enough to encode the sharper video on a handset in real-time is "a couple of years away" for practical purposes given the current state of video. The Finnish company only began shipping phones with NTSC (640x480) video capture late last year with the release of the N95, which is considerably smaller than the minimum 720p (1280x720) often considered the baseline for HD.
Sharp 820SH and 821SH
Japanese carrier Softbank has begun carrying two new 3G phones by Sharp, the 820SH and 821SH. Both are extremely flat, stainless-steel clamshells, and come in an unusual assortment of colors: the 820 can be had in blue, black, red, white, gold and green, while the 821 has deeper hues of red, green, purple, silver, cyan and brown. The phones also have Bluetooth, GPS and two-megapixel cameras, but the primary attraction is 1Seg TV recording, saved to microSD cards up to 2GB in size.
Squeeze 4.8 for Flash
Sorenson Media on Wednesday released Sorenson Squeeze 4.8 for Adobe Flash. On the heels of Adobe's Flash Player 9 Update 3 with H.264 video support, the company said that the upgrade enables users of Sorenson Media's application to encode MPEG-4 video compatible with the newly-released Adobe Flash 9 Update 3 software, using the H.264/AVC, AAC and HE-AAC codecs. The "true" MPEG-4 files are also compatible with popular devices such as Apple's iPod and Sony's PSP, the company noted. Sorenson has also included other MPEG-4 variants within Squeeze 4.8 Flash, including the ability to encode into MPEG-4 Part 10 or 3GPP formats. In addition to the H.264 support, two other Flash-based codecs are also available: Sorenson Spark Pro and, for an additional $100 purchase, the On2 VP6 Pro Encoder plug-in.
FileMaker Pro 9.0v3
FileMaker has released new updates for its popular database application: FileMaker Pro 9.0v3 and FileMaker Pro 9.0v3 Advanced Updater both bring more compatibility with Mac OS X Leopard and support for Safari 3 and Firefox 2 on Leopard. The software updates FileMaker Pro 9.0v1 or 9.0v2 or FileMaker Pro 9.0v1 or 9.0v2 Advanced to version 9.0v3. The update brings support for FileMaker's Instant Web Publishing from within Leopard. The company says it can now be correctly enabled and disabled on Mac OS X 10.5. The company's documentation also says that a problem has been fixed in which Instant Web Publishing might display the wrong value from a value list and could then be committed to the database.
Nokia takes on Apple
Top Nokia executives have detailed two initiatives designed to mold the cellphone maker into an integrated end to end customer service organization, much like Apple. The first move comes as the introduction of Nokia's "Comes with Music" service that offers customers who purchase select Nokia devices 12 months of free unlimited access to the Nokia music catalog. Nokia customers outside the U.S. will have access to all of Universal Music's tracks during the 12-month trial period, downloading as many tracks as desired.
On-demand HD via FiOS TV
A select number of people now have access to HD video-on-demand through FiOS, Verizon has announced. Customers in Tampa, Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, Richmond and Virginia Beach can now download approximately 75 HD videos through FiOS TV, among these free episodes from shows such as Golfweek Magazine, and paid movies like Transformers and The Hoax. An HD set-top box is required, which costs $10 a month in addition to FiOS TV service.
Access will expand in 2008 to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC; during the same year, the number of videos should gradually increase to over 1,000, while the total HD channels available will grow past 150.
Red VX8350 from Verizon
Verizon Wireless has begun selling a new version of LG's VX8350, the VX8350R. The R is simply a cosmetic enhancement, sporting a glossy red coat instead of the basic black of the original. It is otherwise unchanged; the device sits in the middle range of Verizon's lineup, with features such as Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel camera and a microSD slot that supports sizes up to 4GB.
External controls ease music playback, and the phone is also enabled for V CAST Video and Music downloads, as well as VZ navigation. A VX8350 (black or red) is normally $100 with a two-year contract, but can be had for $50 online.
Nielsen DMM for Web Video
The well-known ratings firm Nielsen has produced a tool it vows will stamp out piracy of web-based video services, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Called Digital Media Manager, the feature will let content providers identify the nature of embedded Flash videos and prevent casual attempts at converting the clips into potentially illegal downloadable versions or preventing bootleg uploads. While the technology will primarily be marketed to companies that create the content they host, such as the NBC/News Corp joint venture Hulu or the Discovery Channel, it will also be applicable to sites that often host user-made video, such as MySpace or YouTube. This will allow certain copyright holders to post videos on these pages knowing that any ads or other revenue deals are intact, says the Journal.
iPods sent to fire victims
Some younger victims of October's California wildfires are receiving iPods donated by Apple, according to San Diego's Union-Tribune. Over 100 high school students from the Poway school district, specifically those whose families lost their homes, are being given third-generation iPod nanos. The idea was reportedly conceived by Steve Boyack, a Poway resident, who has been involved with fire relief through the Mormon church and the San Diego Community Fire Relief Team.
MIF Filter plug-in ships
DTP Tools has released its new MIF Filter plug-in for InDesign CS3 and CS3. MIF Filter plug-in is an import filter enabling users to convert FrameMaker documents into InDesign, easing migration for companies with legacy documents in the FrameMaker format. The software enables users to spot as well as process colors, and supports all paragraph and character attributes. Anchored frames accompany tables and graphic objects, while sideheads are interpreted using margin in text frames as well as new anchored text frames. MIF Filter 1.0 is available from €35-€1,800, depending on desired page credit (system requirements were unavailable).
Dell Smartphone Imminent
Dell is near the end of developing its return to the handheld market through a smartphone, according to a hint in the latest issue of Forbes. Expanding on a leak from earlier this year, the Texas PC maker is allegedly coordinating the production of a phone with the Taiwanese manufacturing firm Quanta and is drawing on the expertise of recently added executive Ron Garriques, who previously headed the mobile division at Motorola before he jumped to Dell early this year. The new phone will focus heavily on music and video playback as well as Internet access, although the report is unclear as to whether the computer builder is customizing the interface or using off-the-shelf software.
Yojimbo 1.5 update
Bare Bones Software has released the v1.5 update for Yojimbo, its data and information organizing software. The app supports both The Missing Sync and .Mac Sync, and can incorporate material ranging from serial numbers and passwords through to text documents and PDF files. New to v1.5 is image support, letting users keep photos handy, or use them as a visual reminder. Yojimbo now also has improved search and filtering performance, partly due to the indexing of additional terms for Spotlight, such as tags.
Moto Z6c at Verizon
Verizon today provided a new alternative for world roaming through the Motorola Z6c world edition. Like the earlier BlackBerry 8830, the Z6c supports both the carrier's native CDMA and also GSM networks: with a good SIM card, the phone can operate in Europe and other areas where CDMA service is non-existent, the company says. The slider drops the digital broadcast reception of the similar Z6tv but retains 3G access for downloading and streaming music or video over the Internet.
TiVo Music Choice
TiVo today added Music Choice content to its digital video recorders as an alternative to conventional TV. The service provides "several thousand" music videos as well as custom news and similar content through the DVR's TiVoCast feature: with a broadband Internet connection on the TiVo, users can search for and pull down videos on request rather than waiting for full downloads and frequently paying for these clips, the two companies say.
iPhone version of Google
Google has launched an iPhone version of its homepage, linking itself even more closely with Apple. While the iPhone already had an integrated version of Google Maps, American users who visit Google.com from an iPhone are now redirected to a new page, somewhat resembling the iPhone edition of Facebook. Tabs at the top take users to Gmail, Calendar, Reader and "More" (Picasa, GOOG-411, etc.), while many pages have a secondary menu bar, letting users pick app options such as Gmail's "Contacts."
Penryn C2D in January
Intel's first mobile processors using the company's 45-nanometer Penryn architecture have been exposed and have a fixed release date, according to a new leak. The initial release will continue to use the Santa Rosa mainboard platform but ramp up clock speeds, add new media-oriented SSE4 extensions, and increase the Level 2 memory cache without affecting the power use or the price. Every mainstream processor will have a typical peak power use of 35 watts virtually identical to the larger and slower 65nm models they replace, according to the tip. The introductory processors will all be dual-core chips, with quad-core waiting until the release of Intel's new Montevina mobile platform in the summer.
30,000 French iPhones sold
Orange sold approximately 30,000 iPhones within the first five days of their availability in France, one French publication reports. What's more, Orange says that 20 percent of all French iPhones sold were unlocked -- or usable with cellular carriers other than Orange -- at a €750 premium vs. iPhones tied to Orange service, which sell for €400. Yesterday a German court overturned a previous injunction that forced Apple's carrier in the region to sell unlocked handsets in the same manner. [corrected]
Nokia 6263 at T-Mobile
T-Mobile today gave more clues to the imminent launch of its third-generation wireless network with the introduction of the Nokia 6263. As confirmed in an FCC leak, the clamshell is the second phone after the Samsung t639 to support T-Mobile's future 1,700MHz UMTS network for 3G speeds. It also adds an unusually strong musical focus for its class with dedicated music controls on the outside as well as a bundled 512MB microSD card for storing AAC, MP3, and WMA tracks. Nokia also touts extended capacity for the card slot at up to 4GB versus the 2GB of most phones, and adds an FM radio for extra music.
Cambridge Newton II and HD
Cambridge this morning upgraded its home theater speakers, starting with the introduction of the Newton II. The speaker series builds on the original by adding aluminum domes to the tweeters that improve clarity without affecting the overall sound; low-end and mid-range drivers have also been bolstered, the speaker designer says. Certain bookshelf and center satellite speakers also have new front ports to install them in cabinets or for wall mounts. Prices vary depending on the size and focus of the speakers, but start at $350.
Karim Edition Opus
Olive Media and designer Karim Rashid recently unveiled a stylized version of the Olive's OPUS N°5 digital music player. Rashid - having designed things from Dirt Devil vacuum cleaners to the Smiramis Hotel in Athens, Greece - has created four designs, inspired by binary notation. The boxes can hold up to 2200 CDs in lossless quality, and is capable of outputting up to 352.8 kHz, or up to eight times what a CD is capable of. Olive is currently selling the OPUS N°5 Karim Edition for $3000, and is available from the company's web site.
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