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Firebox X updated
WatchGuard Technologies recently updated its Firebox X network protection hardware to neutralize the latest Java threats against Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger users. Malicious web pages are reportedly the most common methods of implementation for viruses or attacks, but WatchGuard says that its equipment prevents against these kind of incursions by running network traffic through its Application Proxy technology - a proxy that separates user traffic from web-source to neutralize these exploits. Application Proxy is currently available in all of WatchGuard's products, including the Firebox X line of protective hardware.
OsiriX 3.0 for Leopard
OsiriX Medical Imaging Software today was updated to version 3.0, adding, among other things, Leopard compatibility and exclusivity. The new version has been revamped to include both a new, intuitive user interface, and vastly enhanced application performance. The radiologist-designed software has several new third-, fourth-, and fifth-dimension navigation features that have been added. OsiriX is a completely open source project, distributed under the Open Source General Public License.
Safari 3.0.4 Windows
Apple has released a security update for Safari 3.0.4 for Windows. The new release addresses an issue where visiting a malicious website may result in the disclosure of sensitive information. Specifically, WebKit allows a page to navigate the subframes of any other page. Visiting a maliciously crafted web page could trigger a cross-site scripting attack, which may lead to the disclosure of sensitive information. This update addresses the issue by implementing a stricter frame navigation policy. This issue is addressed for Mac OS X in Security Update 2007-009. http://images.macnn.com/macnn/nimagesii/app_070112_safari.jpg
Security Update 2007-009
Apple has released Security Update 2007-009 for both Mac OS X Leopard and Tiger (Intel, PowerPC). The company recommends the update for all users. Among the included security enhancements are the closures of several bugs where visiting a maliciously crafted website may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. For instance, a Tiger-specific format string vulnerability exists in Address Book's URL handler. By enticing a user to visit a maliciously crafted website, a remote attacker may cause an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue through improved handling of format strings. Another Tiger-specific issue, the potential for memory corruption in the handling of images with an embedded ColorSync profile is exploited by enticing a user to open a maliciously crafted image. This update addresses the issue by performing additional validation of images.
The Sims 2 Bon Voyage
Aspyr today announced that the Mac version The Sims 2 Bon Voyage has begun shipping throughout North America. Due in stores nationwide later this week, the title was licensed from Electronic Arts as the sixth expansion pack for The Sims 2; it was developed for the Mac by Aspyr Studios, Aspyršs internal development team: "Whisk your Sims away from their everyday routines and take them on exciting trips to three exotic locations! Whether relaxing on a lush tropical island in a luxury suite, camping with the family on a pristine mountaintop, or exploring the culture of the Far East, your Sims will enjoy new activities to relax and rejuvenate them. It is available for $35 as pre-order from Amazon.com.
Sonnet 21-in-one reader
Sonnet today unveiled its new 21-in-one Multimedia Memory Card Reader and Writer ExpressCard/34 product, allowing users to read information from and write information to over 21 different media card types. The card, designed to sit flush with the edge of a MacBook Pro, the reader will take media from MP3 players, digital cameras and picture frames, cell phones and other devices that use Memory Sticks, MMC, SD, XD, among others. Sonnet is selling the device for $30, and requires a MacBook Pro running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger or later.
MaxMenus 1.5.1 ($30) haxie-free utility and launching application. Allows access to your commonly used applications, documents, folders, volumes, preferences. The new version 1.5.1 addresses several compatibility issues with Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). The release of MaxMenus 1.5.1 is for compatibility purposes primarily and is available immediately in download form at no cost to registered users of the software. For non-registered users, a 30 day trial version of the preference pane is the default configuration. [Download - 568KB]
Meridian 3.3.3 ($20) alarm clock and timer for Mac OS X that features improved compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Meridian starts with an improved Menu Bar Clock, and adds Alarms, Time Zones, Timers, Stopwatches, and Chimes. It can show you the time in any city, remind you when it's time for an important meeting, track a parking meter, or help you time your latest podcast. [Download - 3.2MB]
Application Wizard 2.3 ($20) lets you quickly open, quit, show and hide applications, open them automatically at startup and force them to open using Rosetta, turn single application mode on and quit background-only applications and the Finder. The Address Book item can now be added to the Special menu, so that you can quickly access your contacts. Application Wizard lets you view cards, display phone numbers in large type, create pre-addressed email messages, visit home pages, invite contacts to a chat, copy mailing labels and create vCards. [Download - 2.3MB]
Sapiens 1.1 ($20) application launcher. It predicts the applications you will likely need and offers a visualization of this prediction in an intuitive way. Sapiens is activated by moving the mouse in a circle therefore touching the keyboard is really the last resort to be used in case you want to search for a specific application. New in this release: launch animation improved in Leopard, double icon Leopard bug fixed. [Download - 968KB]
Valentina 3.5.1 ($200) build Local Applications in Ruby and Web Applications with Ruby on Rails. Provides improvements to time/date handling and encryption in all Valentina products, and 12 improvements in Valentina Studio. Documentation is now available for setting up Valentina with Ruby on Rails and support for ActiveRecord 1.5. Support for ActiveRecord 2.0 is currently under development. Support for is also available on the Windows and Linux versions. [Download - 21.8MB]
Virtual Programming has released Domination in digital download format, marking the sequel to its "Massive Assault!" game title. Players enter the universe of Domination to become part of the renewed global conflict between the Free Nations Union and the Phantom League on distant planets. The new game features land, sea, and air strategic warfare in a sci-fi setting. The game is priced at $30, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Universal, XM settle suit
Universal Music and XM Radio have settled a lawsuit over a piece of third-party hardware, reports say. The item of contention was Pioneer's Inno player, which is able to record XM broadcasts in addition to playing MP3s; the problem is that it can naturally record Universal artists without permission, something the record label objected to. Under the terms of the settlement, Universal will be the first company signed to a multi-year agreement covering all XM radios with "advanced recording functionality," potentially opening the door to safe recording on many other devices.
Apple shipping times
With Christmas fast approaching, Apple has provided many specials for its wide variety of products, with details posted in the Apple online store. In order to make sure that customers receive product by Christmas, a minimum purchase date last is available through the online store portal. Dates range from December 13th to the 19th for standard orders, and December 20th to the 21st for overnight shipped goods. Some computer configurations could add some delay, and may not result in a Christmas delivery.
NPD on Leopard vs Vista
The release of Mac OS X Leopard in late October was both Apple's strongest operating system release to date and evidence that the company may have a greater understanding of how to launch such software, according to a new study from NPD Group. The research firm notes that Apple sold 20.5 percent more copies of Leopard in its first full month on sale than Tiger, which released about 2.5 years earlier. The actual revenue increased by 32.8 percent, hinting at more stand-alone copies sold with the new release in place of up-to-date program copies or those bundled with new systems.
Analyst: 24-25m iPods sold
Apple may have sold as many as 24-25 million iPods during the first two months of its December quarter, according to one research analyst. "While it is too early to make a definitive call on December quarter iPod results, we have analyzed the first two months of NPD data (October and November) for the quarter and found that it suggests iPod units of 24m-25m," said Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster, whose current iPod unit estimate for December of 2007 is 23.5 million, above Wall Street consensus of around 23 million.
Nokia triple-slider patent
Nokia has laid claim to to an unusual new cellphone design, a patent application reveals. Most sliding smartphones can currently shift only in a single direction, while a select few -- such as Samsung's F520 -- shift in two, allowing access to either a numberpad or a QWERTY keyboard. Under Nokia's new concept however, a phone would add a third direction, exposing music and/or game controls. This would be an extension of the numberpad layer, much as on the company's dual-sliding N95.
Dash Express GPS Pre-order
Dash on Monday began taking pre-orders for the Dash Express, its unique take on in-car GPS. The finished version of the previously reported device now comes in black but continues to sport a unique feature that connects either across a wide-area GPRS cellular link or short-range WiFi to get map data from a Yahoo Internet service instead of through a specialized channel; it can not only receive live traffic updates but new map information and allows local searches for businesses such as restaurants. A Send2Car feature permits a family member or a friend to upload markers in real-time to the mapping hardware.
Sony-Ericsson Z660i Leak
Sony-Ericsson should be preparing its first truly slim flip phone for early next year, say sources with information from the Esato forums. The Z660i would be a spiritual descendant of the W890i, adopting a clamshell form but remaining exceptionally thin: the closed phone would be just 0.55 inches thick, say the reports. As a result, the phone would also include an external LCD for call info. The Z660i's membership in the mid-range 600-series phone line will dictate a smaller 2-megapixel camera to keep the price in check.
Windows Mobile sync
In brief: An iPhone troubleshooting/usage eBook has been released, a tutorial explains how to restore single images in Aperture, there's a 20% off SmileOnMyMac products, The Missing Sync for Windows Mobile is now Leopard-compatible, and SL MultiTracks Volume 7 has been released in Apple Loops format ... Ted Landau, in association with TidBITS Publishing, has released "Take Control of Your iPhone," a 195-page ebook explaining how to use iPhones more effectively and with less hassle, including dozens of step-by-step problem-solving procedures. The book covers activation, set up, ringtones, the core iPhone applications, and hardware peripherals, as well as how to best use Wi-Fi, EDGE, and Bluetooth connections. Through the end of December, an introductory offer drops the ebook's $15 price to only $10.
Jibe Sound Machine
Newcomer Jibe Audio will draw on past Apple success to create one of the first deluxe iPhone docks, says BusinessWeek. The magazine notes that Jibe has enlisted the help of former Apple designer and PowerBook co-creator Robert Brunner and his firm Ammunition Group to produce the Sound Machine. Resembling the recent iMac with a floating design, the dock includes a connector to charge, play, and (through USB) sync the iPhone but brings Bluetooth audio support: even when physically detached, the Sound Machine will serve as a speakerphone for the iPhone and any other handset with hands-free support.
Apple TV in the lead
The new breed of retail-based internet video delivery devices which has emerged over the last few years is currently led by Apple's set top box -- Apple TV -- according to a new study by ABI Research. What's more, the firm says devices like Apple TV will see shipments of 1.2 million next year. Apple unveiled its wireless media streaming device on September 12th of 2006 during a special event in San Francisco. The device has seen limited success since it began shipping on March 21st of this year, and Apple has turned most of its attention to other areas -- primarily its iPhone cellular handset.
Samsung t819 Launch Leak
The release details of the Samsung t819 slider and its potential network have been leaked, says a spec sheet leak from BGR. The escaped information largely confirms the feature list with a 1.3-megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, and microSD storage; the device is now known to be shipping in at least a coffee brown hue and will be available sometime in January with support for instant messaging and T-Mobile's My Faves calling feature.
Toshiba G910 & G920
While generally unknown for its cellphones, Toshiba is expanding its effors with the G910 and G920, both successors to the initial G900. Recent FCC filings reveal that the phones differ significantly in shape and appearance: whereas the 900 had a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, the new models are clamshells, and have much smoother button surfaces. The phones do however share Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in common, and as well as tri-band GSM, which may limit the phone to being sold unlocked in the US.
Sony Mylo Sequel at FCC
Sony is in the midst of developing a sequel to its Mylo communicator handheld for the near future, says a new FCC filing. The device is largely faithful to the original's design with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard but adds a camera on the back for taking photos likely to be uploaded and shared later; while likely to be simpler than a dedicated Cyber-shot camera, it will include a macro mode switch and likely a flash for nighttime shooting. Wireless testing also reveals the addition of 802.11g wireless, though whether it will be used for new features or just for supporting modern networks is unknown.
Nvidia nForce 780i board
Nvidia has introduced a new nForce motherboard, the 780i. Like the 680i, the 780 is able to link an unusual three Nvidia cards together in SLI mode, resulting in performance up to 2.8 times faster than a single card; this is purportedly enough to play Crysis with maximum detail at 1900x1200, or Call of Duty 4 at 2500x1600. The 780i is specifically tailored to Intel's Yorkfield (QX9650) processor, which is rated at 3GHz and has a 1.33GHz front-side bus.
Refurb, MacBook for $1,219
Amazon.com is currently offering Apple's 13.3-inch White 2.2GHz MacBook with 1GB of memory, a 120GB hard drive, and an 8x SuperDrive DVD/CD burner for $1,219 after a $75 rebate. Apple's online store is selling its current-generation 1GB iPod shuffle in blue, green, pink, and orange for $79 each alongside previous generation 4GB iPod nanos in pink, red, and blue for $149 each. The company's previous generation 8GB iPod nano is also available in black and red for $179. Reconditiond MacBooks are currently limited to one model: the Black 2.16GHz MacBook with 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, and an 8x SuperDrive DVD/CD burner for $1,249.
iPhone vs. Windows Mobile
The iPhone has already overtaken Windows Mobile phones in terms of North American smartphone popularity, a report from Canalys suggests. The iPhone currently occupies 27 percent of the US market; despite not being legally available in Canada or Mexico, this has reportedly been enough to put it in second place in North America overall, slightly ahead of the Windows Mobile platform. The market is dominated by Research in Motion's BlackBerry platform, which controls more than a third of sales.
Ribbit today released what it says should be the first service to integrate voice on the web with phones. A self-titled platform, Ribbit's technology is based entirely on an Adobe Flash interface that acts as a software telephone switch between both Internet-based and real-world phone systems: an embedded website widget talks both to real cellular and landlines but also to normally incompatible services like Skype and Windows Live. Voice communication effectively becomes transparent and easy for developers to integrate without much work of their own, the Mountain View, California-based company says.
PS3 2.1 Update Leak
Sony is about to update the PS3 with its promised DivX playback and other features, according to information posted on Sony's PlayStation Spain website. The version 2.1 upgrade will bring native support for the video format either stored locally or streamed across the network. It should also bring the anticipated Blu-ray Final Standard Profile support that allows the console to use picture-in-picture commentary and other special features previously reserved only for the newest stand-alone movie players.
Denon today rolled out a last-minute gift option through two new compact stereos designed to pull content from non-traditional sources. The S-52 and its smaller S-32 counterpart both bring Ethernet and 802.11g WiFi that lets each system take music from any Mac, PC, or other networked storage and play it from the device using a relatively complex LCD menu system. It can not only play AAC, MP3, and WMA songs but also Internet radio and lossless formats like FLAC and WAV, Denon says. Those with a subscription or a free trial for Real's Rhapsody service can also stream content directly from the Internet, including both their own libraries and preset channels. Even the time is calibrated online, Denon says.
AKVIS Frame Suite 2.6
AKVIS has released AKVIS Frame Suite 2.6 for Mac and Windows systems. AKVIS Frame Suite enables users to apply frames and edge effects to pictures, simplifying the process of creating greeting cards from personal photos. The latest revision adds new Christmas decorations to the pattern library, joining the 12 edge effects to provide a vast number of photo frame possibilities. AKVIS Frame Suite 2.6 is available for $50, and requires a G3 or better Mac. The software is also compatible with Mac OS X Leopard.
3G iPhone is 'niche tech'
Although a 3G iPhone has been guaranteed for 2008, its importance has been overrated, says Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. HSPA 3G is intermittent in Europe and Japan, Wu says, let alone in the United States; so while the technology can offer speeds up to 3.6Mbps (through the likes of AT&T), users end up defaulting to 2G technologies such as EDGE most of the time. 3G also comes with increased costs: parts such as power amplifiers may add as much as $15 to the price of building a phone, an amount that may then be saddled onto the backs of shoppers.
Palm Treo 755p at Verizon
Verizon this morning confirmed previous rumors by releasing its version of the Palm Treo 755p. The smartphone is a considerably more streamlined, faster version of the company's now-outdated 700p with an internalized antenna and 128MB of RAM. Software is its main focus with support for real-time 'push' e-mail from Microsoft Exchange servers and a built-in Google Maps tool for mapping and associating contacts to physical locations.
Vista Disappointment 2007
Both Apple and Microsoft have defined the list of the most significant technology disappointments of 2007, according to a new review of the year by PC World. Windows Vista reaches first place among the disappointments for the gap between what was originally promised and actually delivered. Despite its extended, five-year development time, the software had to cast off important promised features such as the WinFS file system to make its January 2007 release window. The OS is not fundamentally flawed, but is frequently plagued by hardware compatibility issues, poor performance, and excessive security warnings.
11- to 13-inch UMPC at MW?
Expectations for the widely-anticipated Mac sub-notebook have changed, say members of research firm Piper Jaffray. Analyst Gene Munster argues that where the firm previously expected an 8- to 11-inch system, they now believe that Apple's "thinnest and lightest" notebook ever will sit somewhere between 11 and 13 inches. It will also be fairly expensive for its size, coming between $1,099 and $1,999; this may be attributable to the option of a 64GB flash drive, or even the inclusion of touchscreen technology similar to that of the iPhone.
Toshiba Qosmio HD DVD-RW
In a late addition to its PC range, Toshiba on Monday revealed its first-ever portables to support HD DVD re-recording. New versions of the 15.4-inch Qosmio F40 and the 17-inch G40 each sport HD DVD-RW drives that allow them to be used hundreds or thousands of times for HD DVD content, such as large data backups or for videos. An update in February will allow either of the systems to burn copies of unprotected HDTV broadcasts pulled from their built-in digital TV tuners, the company adds.
Alltel today catered to particularly busy phone users with a new service known as Voice2TXT. An intelligent voice recognition program, the feature based on SpinVox automatically converts voicemail into individual text messages to let users check missed calls without having to use the phone's speaker. This can be ideal for businesspeople who may need to check messages but would rather not disrupt a meeting, says Alltel senior VP Wade McGill.
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