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Bento 1.0v2 update
FileMaker's newly released Bento personal database has reached version 1.0v2, adding a number of features and stability implementations, as well as compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5.2. Bento now supports several language formats, such as International English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. Several import and export functions have been refined, related to Smart Collections in the iCal Events library, records, calculations, and address formats. The update is free to existing users, and is available for new users for $50.
Yahoo assures investors
Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang today sent a letter to the company's stockholders in an attempt to reassure investors of its stance on the Microsoft deal. Yang claims that Yahoo is positioned to increase its value by around 60-percent by 2010, by emphasizing on its current business model. Citing the company's Panama search marketing system, Right Media buyer/seller meet-up service, and Blue Lithium marketing system, Yahoo is poised to grow its $2 billion in cash reserves to the double-digits by 2009.
Call Recorder for Skype
Ecamm Networks today unveiled Call Recorder for Skype 2.3, an update to its call recording software, which has added support for the newly released Skype 2.7. In addition to compatibility, the update also adds a two-track video recording function, enhanced video recording quality, and several bug fixes. New users can purchase Call Recorder for Skype 2.3 for $15, while Ecamm also has a time-limited demo version available for download.
AT&T iPhone tethering
AT&T will reportedly offer an iPhone tethering plan to users, according to an informant for The Boy Genius Report. The alleged tethering plan is mentioned in what appears to be a message meant for customer service representatives or technicians. The report claims that iPhone customers will be required to sign a new two-year contract, but the date will roll back to the original purchase date within 48 hours, echoing issues that surfaced from users upgrading to the 16GB iPhone.
Mac OS X 10.5.2 and the accompanying graphics update were released to alleviate both minor and substantial issues, but may have instigated a few issued of its own. According to users in Apple's Discussion forums [1|2|3|4], the update has created some printing problems, compatibility issues with third-party wireless routers, sound-related glitches, software freezing, and failures when using Time Machine to back up data.
- Opacity 1.0 ($90) program for drawing graphics for the screen. Useful for making resolution independent images and icons for applications and the web. It includes vector objects, pixel editing, and live filters. It also has plenty of new features like Variables and Factories -- and Opacity can help you make your graphics resolution independent. [Download - 7.4MB]
SyBrowser 8.6 ($90) can query Sybase, OpenBase, MySQL, PostgreSQL and ODBC databases hosted on OSX, UNIX, Linux, and Windows servers. Offers Point and Click generated SQL, Database, Table, Column lists and an ER Diagramme module. In this release there is a new menu "Check for Updates". This checks for a new version of SyBrowser. Also, the number of rows is now displayed more often. Finally, the release has increased the size of the autocomplete listbox by 2 pixels per row. [Download - 9.5MB]
TranslateIt 9.1 ($20) multilingual dictionary that allows you to look up words on the fly. Just hover the pointer over an unfamiliar word in any Cocoa Application, and you will see its translation in a pop-up window instantly. The deluxe version includes improved on-the-fly word look-up in Cocoa applications: real-time translation of words under the pointer in Cocoa applications (without selecting them), including UI elements such as menu items, buttons, Dashboard, etc. [Download - 19.8MB]
Valentina 3.5.2 ($200) build Local Applications in Ruby and Web Applications with Ruby on Rails. The new release includes these enhancements: allowing data files under the Linux operating system to be larger than 4 GB; execute complex SQL JOIN statements that include filter conditions in the FROM clause; executing NOT (FldMethod) SQL statement is now over 40 times faster in this release. Valentina Server products now have improved encryption support between different user sessions. It is strongly recommended that any installations of Valentina Office Server and Valentina Embedded Server are updated to 3.5.2. [Download - 21.8MB]
GroBoto 2.2.1 ($80) 3D art and animation application (OS X version 2.2.1). This is the first version to offer GroMobile Gizmo creation tools. GroMobile Gizmos are Dynamic, interactive 3D Desktop games and kinetic sculptures, playable with our free GroMobile Player application (available for OS X and Windows). Also included are full Leopard compatibility, new object group management tools and more.[Download - form]
Yahoo! Mail for Safari 3
Yahoo! has taken the wraps off a an upgrade for it's Mail system that includes better support for Safari 3. The rollout will take up to two weeks, but when it's done, Yahoo! says users running the most recent update of Tiger (OS 10.4.11), as well as those using any version of Leopard (OS 10.5.x) "will have a version of Safari that plays nice with the All-New Yahoo! Mail. Or maybe it's a version of Safari that the All-New Mail plays nice with. Either way, they are pals now, and that's what really matters." Presumably the new updates will work with Safari for Windows as well.
Real time file replication
FileReplicationPro today unveiled a Mac OS X Real Time Replicator, software that offers instantaneous file replication for Mac OS X and mixed operating system server environments. Rather than waiting for scheduled replications across a large server network, FileReplicationPro uses Filesystem Event Notifications to capture changes to files as they occur, and synchronizes these changes throughout a network. A single server license is available for $500, with bulk discounts also available.
Harman Kardon does Blu-ray
Harman Kardon today announced its support for the Blu-ray video standard, and confirmed this by hinting at a standalone player, which will cost approximately £500 (~$980). While details were scarce about the Blu-ray player, a spokesman for the company adds that it will release additional players, including all-in-one AV systems, according to What Hi-Fi?. In addition, the forthcoming DVC 600 combination Blu-ray/HDD recorder will be able to record up to eight channels of standard or high-definition TV to a 1 Terabyte hard drive.
Rush Limbaugh's plea
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh is a well-known Mac fanatic who has mentioned Apple and its products a number of times on his nationally syndicated program. His latest rant regarding the company comes across as part conspiracy theory, part plea. He says he's been having some significant problems since upgrading to Leopard and hasn't had success resolving them. "I'm a big Mac guy. I love Macs, and I've got four Mac Pros. They're the top-of-the-line Mac Pros, maxed out. And they just had a new system upgrade, went to 10.5 Leopard, and they've had two upgrades since October. Yesterday brought 10.5.2, which was loaded. It was a big, big update. I've been having two problems since I went to Leopard that I hoped this update would solve, and it didn't solve them; and it's frustrating."
Google Android SDK Revamp
Google today surprised developers by issuing a major overhaul of its Android SDK, the developers' kit for its new mobile operating system. Though referred to just as the m5-rc14 release, the software reveals a major change to the user interface that significantly scales back similarities to Apple technology in its look and feel. The Mac OS X-like dock at the bottom has been replaced with a tray of buttons that bring users directly to the features they like. Other elements such as the full-page web browser and Google Maps are also now more complete and share less of a direct similarity, screenshots show.
Yahoo/News Corp. merger?
Yahoo has added News Corporation to the list of potential partners that could save it from purchase by Microsoft, says The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper -- which itself has been purchased by News Corp. -- cites anonymous sources, who say that in exchange for a cash infusion, Yahoo would have to surrender a stake worth as much as 20 percent or more, thereby granting News influence over many websites and the world of online advertising. News already owns MySpace, IGN and Rotten Tomatoes.
Jeopardy! Deluxe download
Macgamestore.com and Encore Software today announced the release of Jeopardy! Deluxe as a digital download. The game, which was previously only available as a boxed shipment, tests players' knowledge of trivia facts like the TV show. Jeopardy! Deluxe features more than 3,000 clues from the TV show writers, three difficulty levels, and a daily clue. The game is priced at $20 and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Samsung See N Search
Samsung today said it had developed a new technology that could effectively wipe out the need for a keyboard to provide real Internet access for TVs. Nicknamed See'N'Search, the technique not only finds metadata from the closed captioning found in many TV shows but also uses its own algorithm to study the picture itself for text and other information that reveals the content. It then automatically scours the Internet for videos and websites that relate to that content; users can simply use a remote to pick items from a list that appears automatically instead of typing out information.
Toshiba HD DVD firmware
Toshiba has released a new firmware update for several of its HD DVD players. These include the A3, D3, A30 and A35 (not pictured), which have migrated from v1.3 to 2.0. The A30 and A35 should now be capable of 1080p/24 video; other changes are mostly fixes, such as improvements to network connectivity and HDMI/DVI handshakes. The update also addresses a unique playback error which affected a portion of discs.
Troi Dialog Plug-in 5
Troi Automatisering today unveiled Troi Dialog Plug-in 5 for FileMaker Pro 9, a plug-in designed to extend FileMaker's dialogue boxes in a number of different ways. The latest version adds compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and an improved InputDialog function, which provides access to upwards of 15 input items. PresentImage has also been revamped, allowing users to view full screen slideshows of pictures or movies. Troi Dialog Plug-in 5 is currently available for $60, with free upgrades available for those who purchased v4.x on or after February 1st, 2007.
MadCatz X360 HDMI Kit
MadCatz on Wednesday afternoon provided what it says is relief for owners of a generation of Xbox 360 game systems. The Xbox 360 HDMI Conversion Kit is designed to supply all of the consoles released before Microsoft's upgrade to the line between the summer and fall. Plugging into the standard output jack, the adapter provides the same 1080p output as systems with HDMI built-in and even supports HDMI 1.3 on supporting HDTVs. Surround sound still carries through in Dolby Digital and DTS, and can be routed through a secondary optical output for home theaters that use a receiver for audio instead of HDMI's built-in support.
ROKR E8 headed to T-Mobile
T-Mobile will be the next carrier to sell Motorola's ROKR E8, reports say. Though the information was initially rumored, it is now claimed to have been confirmed by an official source, even if no prices or release dates have been mentioned. The phone features a dynamically-lit keypad, which changes how buttons are lit as users move from calling to music. Also present are 2GB of built-in memory, a microSD expansion slot, and the ability to sync directly with Windows Media Player 11 via USB. [via Phone Scoop]
Archos 3G Players in 2008
Archos will be one of the first to provide a dedicated portable media player with cellular Internet access, the company has revealed during this week's Mobile World Congress show. While short on information, the news indicates that at least one device in Archos' next generation of players will include 3G or better services that allows it to connect to the Internet anywhere it can receive an appropriate signal from a cell tower. The feature should provide extended access to the web through the Opera web browser included with the company's higher-end players.
Pirate Bay access in EU
A recent Danish court decision against an ISP violates EU law, a Swedish judge has declared. Cecilia Renfors, a government investigator being asked to propose new file-sharing legislation, says that Denmark was in error when it told Tele2 to prevent customers from reaching The Pirate Bay, a site well-known for aiding piracy through hosting BitTorrent trackers. The site's owners are in fact facing copyright infringement accusations from a group including Fox, EMI, Sony BMG and Universal.
Buddy Beacon Expands
Buddy Beacon's creator uLocate today said its service was expanding to include several carriers and web services. Previously limited to Helio phones with a GPS device, the service willl soon let Alltel, Boost Mobile, MetroPCS, and Sprint users both update their positions and their current activities. The service should now also be available through the web: users can add an iPhone application as well as a Facebook tool for updating information across the popular social network.
.Mac Web Galleries, more
.Mac subscribers have received an email describing recent changes to Apple's support for .Mac Web Galleries, Aperture post-production software, and Apple TV device. Apple TV owners who update to the company's latest software can view public photos and movies of .Mac members, and a new entry in the Photos menu allows users to navigate to any .Mac member's account, according to Macworld.
Union 2.5 VJ software
Nearly one year after its previous major release, Livid Instruments has introduced Union 2.5, an update to its all-in-one live VJ software mixing studio with hundreds of effects, live video inputs, audio aware effects, and complete MIDI integration. Livid's Union offers controls to create, mix, control, perform, and record cutting edge visuals in real-time. Version 2.5 brings audio aware effects, freeFrame support, multiple cue points, advanced Sound Trigger with filters, waveform display, BPM Synch with rate adjustment, a new Caption module, and four additional video layers. According to the company, Livid's video engine allows for instant manipulation and control of multimedia content: it offers hundreds of built-in effects and support for FreeFrame effects, movie triggering, live feed manipulation, advanced modules, MIDI learn and countless other performance enhancing tools.
Apple's biz gift, rewards
Apple has launched a new corporate gifting and rewards program to help businesses give back to workers via Apple products. The program offers firms iPods, iTunes Gift Cards, and iPod accessories at special pricing as well as in bulk. Businesses can order a lot of at least 50 iPods (any model) and receive a free engraving on the back of each unit, or can request an engraving of the company logo for a one-time setup fee.
Office 2004 11.4
The Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit today announced Office 2004 11.4, an update to the suite (which has now been replaced by Office 2008) that resolves a longstanding security issue. Specifically, the new release fixes a vulnerability that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code. Before you install this update, make sure that the Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.9 Update is installed on your computer. To verify that you have installed this update, select the Microsoft Component Plugin file in the Microsoft Office 2004/Office folder on your hard disk, and then on the File menu, click Get Info.
Acer Eee PC Rival Likely
Acer is expanding its line to include budget ultraportable computers, Acer president J.T. Wang said today. The company chief refrained from providing details but stated that multiple devices would be released to tackle both price and size throughout the spring and summer of this year. However, previous leaks have pointed to likely direct challengers to ASUS' popular Eee PC line. Both 8- and 9-inch systems are expected with the same 800x480 resolution as the ASUS system, though whether these are the only products or are still in place for the mid-year launch is unclear.
Spore to ship in September
Electronic Arts and Maxis today announced that Spore, the massive online multiplayer game from the makers of The Sims, will hit store shelves on the weekend of September 7th. "The wait is almost over," said Maxis Chief Designer Will Wright. "We're in our final stages of testing and polish with Spore, and the team at Maxis can't wait to see the cosmos of content created by the community later this year." Spore gives players their own personal universe in a box, according to the developers. Players create and evolve life, establish tribes, build civilizations, sculpt entire worlds, and explore a universe created by other gamers.
New net neutrality law
A new law backing net neutrality has been proposed by a member of the US House of Representatives, the Associated Press writes. The bill was introduced by Democrat Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, who is also the chairman of a House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet. Called the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, it would require the FCC to determine whether Internet providers are "blocking, thwarting or unreasonably interfering" with rights to send or access data.
Mossberg on Lenovo X300
The Lenovo ThinkPad X300 is real and should have distinct advantages over the MacBook Air, Walt Mossberg says in a preview of the portable. Like its Apple cousin, the X300 will include a 13.3-inch screen and a full-sized keyboard but in a far thinner shape compared to other notebooks in the class through the use of a 1.8-inch hard drive; online store leaks and reports have also suggested the computer will share the MacBook Air's CPU design, albeit at a slower 1.2GHz clock speed.
Google abandoning Yahoo?
Google may be losing interest in protecting Yahoo from a hostile buyout by Microsoft, says the Wall Street Journal. Sources "familiar with the matter" tell the publication that Google -- long rumored to be involved -- may be concerned about attracting attention from regulators, given that both companies already control vast amounts of web search and advertising. A Google/Yahoo partnership might theoretically constitute a violation of US antitrust law.
Spaces for Front Row?
Apple has filed for a patent that could retrofit its Spaces feature for use with Front Row and Apple TV. The application, filed on January 7th, is the second patent revealed on February 7th relating to a potential future feature set for Apple TV. One block diagram shows an example of an architecture for generation and use of spaces in a display environment, interfacing with an operating system and Expose.
BBerry Stereo Gateway Leak
Research in Motion's Remote Stereo Gateway music hub has been exposed, courtesy of a premature listing for the device through Tessco. The online store largely confirms details and notes that the Gateway is designed not just for BlackBerries but other devices as well. Any device that supports Bluetooth's A2DP stereo audio profile, including computers and rival phones, can use the device to pipe music through to a home stereo. It also functions in reverse and supplies audio from a conventional device to a set of Bluetooth headphones.
Faber Acoustical has released v2.0 of its two signal analysis applications, SignalScope and SignalScope Pro. The programs both have a new interface that splits analyzers into separate windows, allowing users to track multiple readouts at the same time. Captured and live signals can be compared directly, and AppleScript support is now described as "comprehensive." Hardware graphics acceleration has been made possible through an OpenGL renderer, while Quartz is being used to output to PDF files or print.
BlackBerry Home Server
Research in Motion and its partners have used the Mobile World Congress show to unwrap a pair of key updates for its BlackBerry smartphones, including its first "push" e-mail service for the home. Known as a Unite Server, the feature turns an always-on computer at home into a conduit for RIM's signature e-mail service. Instead of connecting directly to RIM's master servers, a phone speaks to the user's own computer. Running the service can potentially improve access to mail for personal users and serves as a drop-off point for important e-mail besides the phone itself. The Unite Server also helps manage music, photos, and videos transferred to the BlackBerry, RIM says.
Mariner Software has released updates for two of its writing applications, MacJournal and StoryMill. MacJournal 5.0.2 now properly downloads images from blog posts, and keeps size intact when sending images resized for a blog format. Exporting has been improved, as has the reliability and simplicity of recording. Finally, bugs have been fixed with .mac synchronization, and migrating content from v4.0 to 5.0. MacJournal costs $35 and runs on Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
MS Study on Teen Piracy
Most teenagers pirate music, software, or videos only because they are unaware of the law, Microsoft claims through the results of a new study published today. The Zune maker observes that nearly half of younger teens, or 49 percent, are not aware of copyright laws online, while less than 10 percent feel they know the laws well. This knowledge has a major impact on whether or not they consider bootleg downloads worthy of punishment, Microsoft claims: while 57 percent said illegal downloading demanded punishment, this number climbed dramatically to 82 percent when they were more clearly aware of the laws.
(Updated with T3 removal) Spreading advanced multitouch technology to other MacBooks may be simpler than expected by the public, an Apple spokesperson has revealed. While the Air is currently the only MacBook to support gestures such as pinching and swiping, the Apple representative notes that this is entirely software-based. As a result, existing MacBooks and MacBook Pros may gain the extra commands in the future, though no official release plans have been laid out.
Jamba DRM Free Phone Music
Mobile entertainment firm Jamba (known as Jamster in the US) today claimed it would be the first company of its kind to offer cellphone music without digital rights management (DRM) in Europe. The firm says it has signed a deal with music label EMI that allows the company to be one of the few to sell music without copy protection both for computers and for many cellphones, and has developed a unique dual-format delivery system. On computers, the service supplies larger but more universal MP3 files; cellphones are sent more tightly compressed AAC+ files that more readily fit on their limited storage without losing as much quality as other formats.
USBfever adds four cases
USBfever today unveiled four new cases for the iPod touch, made from lightweight plastics, featuring a number of different designs. The cases leave the screen and ports accessible, while covering the chassis of the Touch. The designs range from a skull, a Japanese-inspired floral pattern, colorful boxes, and a patchy grey case, featuring Argentinean revolutionary Che Guevara. All four cases are available from USBfever.com for $20.
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