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FileMaker Server updates
FileMaker today unveiled updates for FileMaker Server and Server Advanced 9.0 that allow the database application to function under Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, as well as several other fixes. In addition to solving the compatibility issue, FileMaker server will now close properly and disconnect users when an ODBC/JDBC session is active. Field indexes no longer lose synchronicity with server side scripts, ODBC/JDBC clients, and Filemaker clients.
Yellow Dog Linux 6.0
Terra Soft today released Yellow Dog Linux 6.0 for Apple's G4 and G5 Macs, as well as the Sony Playstation 3 and IBM System p. Built on the CentOS foundation -- a popular derivative of Red Hat Enterprise Linux -- Yellow Dog Linux aims to serve as an enterprise level Linux distribution with a 'just-works' desktop experience for both PS3 and Apple PowerPC systems.
iPhoto, more updated
Apple today issued updates to its iPhoto, Braille Display, and ProKit software. The newly released iPhoto 7.1.2 addresses issues when publishing photos to a .Mac Web Gallery, improves overall stability, and fixes several other minor issues, according to Apple. The issue could arise when users subscribe to a maliciously crafted photocast, which may lead to arbitrary code execution.
Linux creator blasts 10.5
Linux creator Linus Torvalds recently blasted Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard for having a file system that is "complete and utter crap" at a Linux conference in Melbourne. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Torvalds says that while he prefers Leopard to Windows Vista, both companies are guilty of using their respective operating systems as a way of exacting control over their users, forcing both software and hardware upgrades upon them. This was in response to a query on what he felt regarding the two systems.
Squish 3.3 released
Froglogic today released Squish 3.3, an update to its cross-platform automated GUI testing tool. The software offers support for creating as well as running automated GUI tests of applications based on a variety of user interface technologies which include Trolltech's Qt toolkit, Java AWT/Swing/NetBeans, Java SWT/Eclipse RCP/JFaces, Web/HTML/AJAX and Mac OS X Carbon/Cocoa. Squish is priced at $3,500 for a 'tester' license or $700 for a 'runner' license (system requirements were unavailable).
Slim Lenovo AC/DC adapter
ThinkPad maker Lenovo has released a new AC/DC combo power adapter, one which differs substantially from most currently on the market. Where many power adapters are typically brick-shaped and possibly fairly heavy, Lenovo's new 90W adapter is only half an inch thick, and roughly the same in dimensions as a deck of playing cards. This makes it 33 percent smaller than Lenovo's last adapter, and crucially for travellers, 25 percent lighter as well.
The adapter is on sale now for $120, but is only shipping in three to four weeks. Accessories include a dual-charging cable, and power tips for a multitude of devices.
Nokia launches N-Gage, Ovi
After considerable delay, Nokia has finally begun an initial rollout of its N-Gage gaming service. The online network allows people to download and play a variety of high-end cellphone games, rendered with both 2D and 3D graphics. The client software is now available through the company's First Access program; although it is only officially said to work with the N81, third-party sources have already managed to remove the software's protective "wrapper," and run N-Gage on phones like the N95. The service was initially slated to launch in November, but the date was then moved to late December, and finally to sometime after the holidays.
Bosco's Screen Share 3
Hutchings Software today unveiled Bosco's Screen Share 3, an update to its free cross-platform screen sharing software, adding Universal Binary code and various improvements to the clients. In addition, a number of performance enhancements were made to both Mac and Windows clients. Bosco's screen share is designed to make setup and usage relatively simple; the author points out that most open source screen sharing utilities require complex setup. Hutchings Software is currently distributing Bosco's Screen Share 3 for free from its website.
PocketMac GoBetween for Meeting Maker ($25) is an automated application that syncs MeetingMaker data to iCal and the Mac OS X Address Book. The software supports Apple's iPhone as well as certain Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola, and Siemens devices. All iPod models are also supported, according to the company, alongside many Palm PDA/smartphones and specific Handspring PDAs.
TextExpander 2.0.5 ($30) is an update to the customizable typing shortcut tool for Mac OS X. The application enables users to define abbreviations for frequently-used text strings and images, which when typed automatically expand to the abbreviated content. The latest release fixes registration as well as the Dvorak keyboard layout, and repairs a bug that could cause double launches after upgrading. [Download - 3.9MB]
Time Out 1.5.2 (free) serves as a break reminder for Mac users, helping users remember to take breaks to prevent strain or injury. The update adds support for Spaces in Mac OS X Leopard, with breaks appearing in all Spaces even when switched mid-break. The latest release also enhances URLs for the Help menu to better support localization. [Download - 1.8MB]
Foreign translation dictionaries '08 ($45 for standard, $70 for pro) are the latest revisions of the English-Italian, English-Spanish, and English-German translation libraries. The updates improve compatibility with Mac OS X Leopard, and add Google Web as well as Google Images support for word searching directly from within the application. [Download - varies]
BarcodeMaker CS3 ($150) is an Adobe InDesign CS3 plug-in that enables users to print barcodes in CMYK process and spot colors. The latest release adds five new barcodes, and includes new features for text placement as well as justification. The update brings the total number of supported barcode patterns to 27. [Download - form]
Paperclip 1.0 ($10) is a new note taking application that supports document-specific notes, a menu bar application, and a note viewer. The software can store text, links, images, and movies alongside text. Paperclip 1.0 features multiple note colors and does not save notes in a Marker font by default. [Download - 1.7MB]
HTC touch tablet?
Cellphone maker HTC may be working on a previously unheard-of kind of tablet device, a Portugese site claims. Dubbed the "Magnum," the prototype tablet is distinguished by an oversized OLED touchscreen, larger than any currently on the market. It is also said to have an 80GB hard drive and 2GB of ROM, and operate using a 800MHz Marvell processor, 512MB of RAM, and a 128MB AMD graphics processor.
The accounts have engendered considerable media skepticism however, due to an incongruous feature set. Despite the size of the screen, it only supports 65,000 colors, and the system's overall battery life is said to be 30 hours -- as long as the much smaller iPod classic, and several times that of most notebooks.
ATT Aloha Deal Approved
The Federal Communications Commission today approved AT&T's plan to buy 700MHz spectrum from Aloha, finalizing a deal first set in motion in October. The $2.5 billion deal was given to the American carrier despite reservations by FCC commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps, both of whom raised concerns that AT&T's exclusive access to this portion of the 700MHz band would potentially hurt competition and work against the public's interest in maintaining an accessible network.
Apple and Dell Penryn Soon
Both Apple and Dell are likely to release notebooks based on Intel's Penryn 45 nanometer processors at or near the same time, according to multiple reports. While HP has been one of the quickest major PC builders to adopt the new Core 2 Duo variants for its upgraded Pavilions, a new claim by CNET suggests Dell will announce its own speed increases within a week. Exact changes were not provided, though the report suggests the updates are most likely to arrive first for high-end XPS notebooks rather than the lower-cost Inspiron line.
iPhone vs. rivals
Apple ranked third in the global hardware market during the fourth quarter of 2007, according to canalys.com, with its iPhone garnering a whopping 28 percent of the smartphone market. Smart mobile device shipments reached 118 million last year, up 53 percent over 2006, while converged device shipments of smart phones and wireless handhelds rose 60 percent to hit 115 million in 2007. Apple entered the market late in the year, and has thus far shipped only one device.
Nokia 3120 classic
Finnish giant Nokia has announced the 3120 classic, an upcoming 3G phone which differs from many of its Western rivals in that it jettisons any special form factors or smartphone-like functions. Rather, the Classic comes in a standard candybar shape, and uses a two-inch QVGA screen paired with a regular numeric keypad. The phone does however have a two-megapixel still camera with flash, and another front-facing camera for video calls.
Moto Z12 Spotted
Motorola's upcoming ZINE Z12 media phone has been spotted in its first full photo just days ahead of its likely launch, says Czech site iDNES.cz. Already partly uncovered in December, the slider phone is now known to be wider than the Z8 and Z10 it replaces but also sports a very different control scheme: the familiar physical controls appear to have been replaced with touch-sensitive buttons.
Chinese piracy allegations
The most popular search engine in China may be facing legal sanctions over music piracy, says Agence France-Presse. Three of the four major labels -- Warner, Universal and Sony BMG -- have filed a request in a Beijing court, asking that Baidu pull down links to illegal music. Specifically, the labels allege that Baidu is indexing illegal hosting sites, while simultaneously profiting from advertising. Music trade group IFPI claims that piracy in China has dramatically hurt its own profits, with over 99 percent of tracks in the country said to be distributed illegally.
Dell XPS 630 Teaser
Dell today provided a very early teaser for the XPS 630, its upcoming gaming desktop. Showcased in a very limited form at CES, the mid-tower is now known to bear a stronger resemblance to the range-topping XPS 720 with wide open venting for cooling high-performance parts. External colored lighting should also be present and more conspicuous than for the top-end system.
Fanurio 1.9 released
Atelier has released v1.9 of Fanurio, its billing and time-tracking application for freelance businesses. When a new assignment is received, users create a new project and add invoices and expenses, charging flat or hourly rates, or nothing at all. Data can be imported from CSV files, or exported to CSV, Excel and HTML, the last used for printing or e-mailing invoices to clients.
Arcade Daze System
Iconfactory today relesed Arcade Daze System for CandyBar, a freeware icon collection designed to spice up the look of the trash can as well as folders and files. The icon set includes more than 130 system replacement icons, which can replace everything on the desktop as well as various other folders, files, and hard drive icons. Arcade Daze System is available for free for personal use, and works with the CandyBar icon organization utility.
Opera Mobile 9.5
Opera today rolled out its self-titled Opera Mobile 9.5, the latest version of its browser for smartphones. The new version is built around Opera's in-house Presto web renderer and now offers panning and zooming, giving viewers an iPhone-like ability to either view a page at full size or center on content for a clearer look. The update is also said to draw sites much faster than before: even complex sites with AJAX and other Web 2.0 technologies render quickly and accurately, Opera says. Support for Flash Lite 3 also provides support for MySpace, YouTube, and other sites that are heavily dependent on Flash audio or video.
Apple trainers alliance
A group of independent Apple Authorized Training Centers today announced the formation of the Certified Training Alliance (CTA) alongside the launch of www.CertifiedTraining.com. The website is aimed at promoting independent Apple Authorized Training Centers as well as the Apple Training and Certification they provide. "We formed this organization to create a single point of contact for the best training experience on the Apple platform," said Kevin Langdon, CEO of Crywolf Training.
SuperDuper! 2.5 update
Shirt Pocket has released the v2.5 update for SuperDuper!, its Mac backup utility. In addition to performing functions such as scheduling and restoration, the program is notable for also creating bootable backups, and cloned ones that let users resume work as soon as the information is copied to a new hard drive. The new version at last brings full Leopard support. including the ability to create bootable SuperDuper! backups on the same volume as one for Time Machine.
Universal Boxing Manager
Winter Wolves Games today released Universal Boxing Manager 1.3.8, an update to its boxing manager simulation game that adds a redesigned right-panel with detailed statistics. The latest release allows players as well as the computer to 'throw in the towel' to avoid serious injury. The game is priced at $25, and requires Mac OS X (specific system requirements were unavailable).
Rogers Unlimited Data
Confirming earlier leaks, Rogers Wireless today began offering its sought-after Communicate Value Pack, the first bundle plan to offer true unlimited web browsing with the Canadian provider. An improvement even on AT&T's $20 unlimited plan, the Rogers pack allows both unlimited browsing from the device itself as well as 2,500 outbound SMS text messages and 1,000 MMS sent picture or video messages. It also supplies caller ID, recent call history, and voicemail, according to Rogers.
ShareTool 1.0 released
Bains Software has released the initial version of ShareTool, its remote access software. The program lets users tap into any of their Bonjour services via the Internet, including screen and file sharing, as well as iTunes Music Sharing. Routers supporting NAT-PMP or UPnP are automatically configured, and remote services appear in applications like Finder and iTunes without extra effort.
MS Laser 6000 and 7000
Microsoft this morning reworked its Wireless Laser mouse options for desktop and notebook owners with a pair of mice focused on simplicity rather than sheer control. Both the Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 (pictured) for the desktop and the notebook-minded Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 connect over RF frequencies and roll with new ergonomic designs, an improved scroll wheel grip, and fewer buttons to reduce clutter. The 7000 supplies a button that can be used for Flip 3D on Windows Vista systems or assigned elsewhere on other operating systems, while the 6000 serves as a full-size mouse but includes a miniature USB transmitter that stows away inside the mouse for travel.
Sony-Ericsson K850 Rogers
Canadian cell provider Rogers today said it was the first carrier on the continent to carry the Sony-Ericsson K850, one of the cellphone maker's highest-end camera phones. The candybar design centers around photography with a 5-megapixel camera and a xenon flash bright enough to capture more distant subjects than usually possible with cellphones. It also supports 3G Internet access on Rogers' HSDPA network and grants the phone access to two-way video calls as well as faster downloads and uploads.
Naval Battle, Chess & Bkgm
Two new games are available for iPods on the iTunes Store. Naval Battle: Mission Commander (iTunes link) is similar in concept to the classic Battleship boardgame, but introduces new rules, a campaign with 18 missions, and a hotseat multiplayer mode. Players can additionally take advantage of surrounding terrain in combat, and employ special weapons such as torpedoes and reconnaissance flights. The game costs $5, but will only run on Classic and fifth-generation iPods, as well as third-generation Nanos.
16GB iPhone and 32GB touch
Apple today doubled the capacity of its touchscreen media devices, releasing both a 16GB iPhone as well as a 32GB variant of the iPod touch. The new capacities allow fewer sacrifices for owners who want to carry as much media as possible. "For some users, there's never enough memory," Apple Worldwide iPod and iPhone Product Marketing VP Greg Joswiak says. On the iPod touch, the new storage level allows as many as 7,000 songs or 40 hours of nonstop video; the iPhone now holds half as much in exchange for its cellular functions, which remain unchanged from the original 8GB model.
MS Needs Loan for Yahoo
Microsoft may need to abandon its longstanding financial independence to complete a takeover of Yahoo, the company said late yesterday. Despite its large cash reserves, the company's Chief Finance Officer Chris Liddell acknowledged that the $44.6 billion proposed deal might require that the firm borrow money and accumulate debt. While the $21 billion in reserves owned by the Windows developer would cover nearly all the cash portion of the proposed deal, a loan would help Microsoft avoid wiping out these reserves and leaving itself without options if it needs more cash in the near future, according to the executive.
Incubator 2.4 for Leopard
Austin-based Mindcad today unveiled Incubator 2.4, an update to its outlining and brainstorming program designed for visual thinkers. The new version brings with it Leopard compatibility, and the ability to import and export FreeMind maps. In addition to supporting the new XML-based format, users can also upload or download shared maps from MindMeister. Incubator is available in English, German, and French languages, and sells for $50 from Mindcad's website.
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