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The Omni Group on Thursday announced the release of an update to its project planning application, OmniPlan. OmniPlan 1.5 offers a number of significant improvements, new features and support for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Version 1.5 features are live filtering, improved time scales, file linking from within projects, auto-scroll arrows (to quickly snap the view to the selected task's Gantt bar), improvements to filtering and display options, improved printing options and additional scheduling features. As well as general compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, OmniPlan 1.5 also brings built-in support for Quick Look and improves usage with Spaces. OmniPlan 1.5 is available as a free update for existing OmniPlan 1.0 owners. New users can try OmniPlan for free and license it for $150. Licenses (including quantity, educational, and family discounts) are available.
In brief: We have a review of the Logic3 JiveBox, Apple comes in 12th in Web traffic, the IK Multimedia Plug and Mix promo has been announced, dates have been set for the Lasso Developer Conference 2008, and Aperture/Sony Alpha 700 RAW tests have been posted ... We have posted a review of the Logic3 JiveBox. This all-in-one cube houses a 2.1 speaker system that delivers a surprising amount of volume for such a compact system. The JiveBox comes complete with IR remote, 3.5mm line in cable, AC adapter, and an assortment of docking cradle plates to fit various iPod sizes new and old. The focal point of the JiveBox is the 7-inch glossy black block that encases all of the speakers and neatly hides the cables underneath the unit. A changeable glowing LED light strip that can be changed to red, blue, or green complements its simple design.
Apple today unveiled iTunes 7.6.1, a minor update to its media player software, advertising several bug fixes and increased compatibility with Apple TV 2.0. As with other recent updates, details on the bug and compatibility fixes were scarce, with the update saying little more than what was written above. The update is available through Software Update, but hasn't yet surfaced on Apple's support website.
Dell today announced to its Canadian and Latin America customers that the Inspiron 1525n now has the option of shipping with Ubuntu Linux 7.1, as well as with the Canadian models of the XPS M1330n and Inspiron 530 – the latter two will ship throughout Latin America soon. Like the previously announced US, UK, Spanish and German models, the computers will feature DVD playback capability. Support options are available starting at $65 for 30 days, all the way to $275 for 1 year of standard support from Canonical.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X300 does well but falls short of Apple's MacBook Air in key areas, says a new review by Walt Mossberg. Due for release on February 26th, the X300 is found by the journalist to offer more features, though it was significantly bigger, heavier, and more expensive than the Apple notebook. Prices start at $2,476 for a bare-bones model or $2,799 for a ready-to-run version with a half-size battery; while appropriate for the cost of the 64GB solid-state drive, the system has no option for a traditional hard disk to lower the system to Apple's starting $1,799 price tag, Mossberg notes. The likely most popular X300, which comes with a DVD drive and a full-size battery, will retail for close to $3,000.
The FCC will on Monday hold a public hearing to discuss the ramifications of traffic shaping, it has announced. The focus will specifically be on the concept of net neutrality, an FCC policy which traffic shaping is said to violate, by dictating which services and/or websites an ISP customer can use. Panels at the hearing will be staffed by academics, engineers, lobbyists and politicians, in contrast to a workshop held last year which was mostly helmed by industry representatives and supporters. The hearing is scheduled for 10AM to 4PM at the Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Art Lebedev Studio today announced that it had at last begun shipping the Optimus Maximus. The anticipated keyboard builds OLED displays into the keys that can change depending on the context; Photoshop can replace normal letter keys with editing icons, for example. Also unique to the Maximus are ten keys designed just the Optimus' features and the ability to create custom profiles that can in turn be traded through removable SD cards. The controlling Mac OS X and Windows software, Optimus Configurator, also ships today.
Equilibrium today released MediaRich CORE 3.8.5, an update to its entire MediaRich suite of applications. The latest release -- which upgrades MediaRich Server, MediaRich for SharePoint, MediaRich Merchandizer, and MediaRich Audio/Video Server -- allow users to process videos in parallel. A new 'Sonic Flash Zoom and Pan' feature accompanies video templating with an optional extension package, and the latest releases offer compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Current server customers can upgrade for free (pricing for new licenses was unavailable).
Canadian carrier Fido has adopted two high-end smartphones, which are now on sale. The first is Samsung's BlackJack II, which like the version at Fido parent Rogers, has been simply renamed as the Jack. The phone features items like a QWERTY keyboard, a two megapixel camera and a built-in GPS receiver, with storage provided by 155MB of internal memory and external microSD cards. Its major highlight however may be support for Fido's burgeoning 3G service, which here allows 3.6Mbps HSDPA. The Jack costs as little as $225 CAD after a three-year contract, a data plan and a $100 rebate; contract-free, it can cost as much as $425.
Media Catalog 3.8.3 ($25) Indexes your removable media, such as Backup CDs and DVDs that you can quickly and easily find your files. In the 3.8.3 version of Media Catalog the most outstanding new feature is the option to automatically catalog and eject volumes, making it ideal for a setup on a headless Xserve. The improved quicksearch now behaves more intuitively and more precise. With the reduced memory footprint users of large catalogs will find a huge increase in responsiveness of the application. [Download - 444KB] DiscLabel 5.1.2 ($36) CD/DVD label design software for Mac OS X. It can import track lists from iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD, Finder, and Toast; import images from iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD and Finder; multiple layers, drawing tools and gradients for creating custom designs; use more than 1300 clip art files via the DiscLabel Clip Art Browser and more. The new release adds various bug fixes and improvements. [Download - 11.8MB] Dupin v1.3 ($15) assists with locating, sorting, filtering, and deleting duplicate tracks in iTunes. You can quickly find all sets of duplicate iTunes tracks based on your choice of criteria and select the "Keeper" tracks from among a number of duplicates automatically using a variety of versatile filtering options. The new release includes these features: adds Newest/Oldest Date Modified options to Filter Controls; adds Largest/Smallest File Size options to Filter Controlsl displays Bit Rate Rounding status in Filter Controls window; bit Rate Rounding is applicable to bit rate options in Filter Controls. [Download - 1.8MB] Daylite 3.7.1 ($190) productivity management software. With a new option to customize small, regular and large font size from the general preference pane for the Daylite month calendar view and an optimized time display, users get a better overall feel of their month's work. In addition, the busy bar can be removed from the Daylite 3.7.1 calendar view - another feature highly requested by Daylite users. [Download - 46.2MB] iWatermark 3.1.1 ($20) allows users to secure, protect and get recognition for photos and artwork. Add your signature, url, email address or logtall your photos. iWatermark is integrated to work with Photoshop, ACDSee, iPhoto, Cumulus, Portfolio, PhotoStation, iView and other photo organizers. The latest version has dramatic speed, user interface and other improvements. [Download - 8.1MB]
Gefen today unveiled new distribution amplifiers that deliver component video to 1080p with audio up ranging up to a 300 meter distance. The company's 1:4 Component/Audio CAT-5 distribution amplifier and the 1:8 component/audio CAT-5 distribution amplifier both enable the delivery component video to multiple displays. Each device features RCA (left/right) analog and digital (S/PDIF and TOSlink) audio inputs to provide an easy way of sending audio as well as video to four or eight remote locations from a single source. Gefen's 1:8 Cat-5 receiver is priced from $1,500, while the 1:4 receiver is available for $800.
The Korean home division of LG is releasing a new version of its SH150 slider, the SH150A. The A refers to the introduction of a new, 2.2-inch AMOLED screen for the phone, which boosts color depth to an unprecedented 26 million colors -- more than one and a half times the number found on most HDTV sets. This is mainly for the sake of watching DMB mobile TV, which can also be displayed in HD resolution.
ASUS has catered to both frequent video chatters and gamers with the launch of two new displays. Both the 22-inch MK221H and the 24-inch MK241H sport swiveling 1.3-megapixel cameras with microphone arrays, giving users of any OS with USB webcam support the ability to join video chats without extra hardware or software drivers. HDMI is equally standard on the screens and allows them to double as a TV equivalent for outside sources, such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 or a dedicated Blu-ray player. Chin-mounted 2W stereo speakers provide sound for users without the space for separate audio.
An EDGE network outage that seems to be based around pre-paid AT&T iPhone GO clients is on its fifth day today, leaving many without mobile internet access. According to Scott Kleinberg of iPhone, Therefore I Blog, users have been experiencing intermittent success surrounded by failure to access the EDGE network. Several have reported switching to the billed service and are back on the network. AT&T has not officially commented on the matter, other than to say they are working on a solution to the problem.
Google today expanded its AdSense web service to include AdSense for video, one of the first large-scale ad revenue systems for web-based footage. The feature allows videos from YouTube to either embed ads in the videos themselves or to use the company's overlay system to put text ads on top that change based on the video and its surroundings: ads will change based either on text on the video's host site or on cues in the video itself, Google says. In-video ads are paid out based on impressions while text ads are based on the number of actual clicks.
French mini-PC vendor Linutop yesterday unveiled the Linutop 2, a more powerful version of its tiny Linux-based PC, offering faster internals, greater capacities, and an optional VESA mounting bracket. While the original is geared towards being a web surfing kiosk or digital sign computer, the Linutop 2 is designed primarily to be a home computer, according to LinuxDevices. Linutop is selling the model for 280 Euros (~$410US).
HP's Compaq 2133 ultra-mobile PC may use non-Intel hardware to achieve an exceptionally low price, says an off-hand remark in an article comparing the devices. Although previous leaks have pointed to Intel's Silverthorne forming the backbone of the 8.9-inch miniature notebook, the report claims that at least one version will use a Via processor and sell for $499, putting the computer into the same price .league as the ASUS Eee PC and Everex CloudBook. This is most likely to involve Via's notebook-oriented C7-M processor and should be helped by the use of Linux instead of Windows as the stock operating system.
Though typically associated with cellphones, Motorola has announced its very first collection of modems based on the DOCSIS 3.0 standard, which has yet to deploy in any wide fashion in North America but can dramatically increase the possible bandwidth of cable Internet connections. Aimed at the average consumer is the SURFboard SB6120, which permits as much as 160Mbps in standard DOCSIS mode, or 195Mbps under Euro-DOCSIS; because of its internal design, this works without the need for hybrid support by cable operators.
Satirical software and news company The Daily Grind today unveiled DeIMG, a re-branding of its software That's Not A Picture, which is designed to turn images into table data, for, as the author puts it, "browsers which support tables but not images". The largely pointless and futile app converts PNG, JPG. GIF, and PDF files into HTML, XHTML, or XHTML+CSS. Usage of the application is largely in question, as the developer proudly displays users' qualms and frustration on the product's webpage.
Following its introduction of the mainstream-oriented GeForce 9600 GT, NVIDIA has also announced a new video card for professionals, the Quadro FX 3600M. Slotting into notebooks, the card is equipped with 512MB of G-DDR3 memory, and uses a 256-bit interface that provides up to 51.2GBps of bandwidth. Its primary purpose is for tasks such as CAD, modeling and rendering, and as well as various kinds of simulation.
Syncro has launched an update to its SVN Client software, bringing it to v3.1. The program is multiplatform, and lets users quickly share, track and update code or documents. New to the upgrade are two extra modes for the Synchronize view, compressed and flat. Flat simply displays resources as a list, while compressed displays SVN content as a two-level tree, grouping resources by parent folder. Each mode prevents people from having to dig into subfolders or receive the full list of material.
Ilexsoft today unveiled HighDesign 1.8, a major update to its professional CAD application, featuring over 50 new features and improvements. HighDesign Professional supports the AutoCAD DWG and DXB file formats, from v9.x to 2008, while both Standard and Professional versions support DXF from v12.x to 2006. The Professional version can export projects as high-quality TIFF images. HighDesign 1.8 Standard sells for $150, while the Professional version is available for $350.
Microsoft today quickly halted speculation about its significant announcement by revealing that it will freely publish the application programming interfaces (APIs) and communication protocols for many of its key products, allowing any company looking to use some of Microsoft's techniques for their own software. The access extends to both Windows Vista and Server 2008 as well as the .NET framework that underpins some application code. Office 2007 and Microsoft's latest server suites for Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL are also covered, according to the company. More than 30,000 pages are expected to go online and will include documentation of how the company implements cross-platform standards.
iPod accessory builder DLO has a new version of its VideoShell case, designed specifically for the iPod nano. As with other VideoShells, the Nano model is made out of polycarbonate, offering stiff protection from impacts and scratches while allowing access to the clickwheel, dock connector and headphone jack. Because it is transparent, it can also fully protect the screen; to further improve video watching, a sliding kickstand rests the Nano at an angle on flat surfaces. DLO is selling the new VideoShell for $20.
Apple is developing a technology that would let users tailor the content of a podcast to their own needs, says a new US patent filing. Recognizing that current podcasts are essentially one-way downloads, the company describes a system that would let users set criteria that appears in the podcast. Software loaded on the subscriber's computer would either allow direct control of the podcast's contents by the user or else retrieves data already stored on the computer for later use. This information is promptly sent to a server that processes the information and automatically generates both current and future podcasts in a custom RSS feed based on that data; different audio and video could be added to each file from a basic template.
The US Patent and Trademark office today published five of Apple's patents, describing versatile multi-touch input device and control methods in a wide array of fields. The device appears to be an ergonomic multi-touch keyboard-style device that can accept a wide array of touch commands, including typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting. The patents involve actions that are simple for the user to know and remember, while the system has little difficulty differentiating between the actions.
Jumsoft has released the v1.1 update to Relationship, its customer management tool. The program operates within a single window, and arranges contacts into manually- and automatically-assigned groups, which can be password-protected for privacy. Relationship is further integrated with Address Book, and can assign event reminders for each person.
T-Mobile this morning revealed HotSpot@Home Talk Forever, a new spin on its existing voice-over-Internet service that takes the previously mobile-only concept to landlines. Similar to Vonage and other VoIP systems, subscribers attach a landline phone to a specialized router that that eliminates the need for long-distance fees; users can place unlimited calls to any place in the US. T-Mobile's variant includes a special Linksys router that also supplies 802.11g Wi-Fi for other devices in the home, including T-Mobile cellphones already using the mobile version of HotSpot@Home.
Human Software has released XFile 2, the latest version of its specialist resizing plug-in for programs like Photoshop and PhotoPaint. The software gives users more control over how an image will altered, and attempts to preserve more detail. XFile 2 incorporates an option called "seam carving," also known as non-linear resizing; this lets users alter the size and aspect ratio of an image while keeping a particular focus area intact.
Paramount has become the last studio to drop HD DVD, the company quietly said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. The movie house said it would begin releasing movies on Blu-ray in the near future and claimed it was "pleased" that the industry had chosen a single HD movie disc format. This should help the end user, Paramount claims. The company follows previous HD DVD holdout Universal in switching to Blu-ray and came more than a day after Toshiba halted HD DVD production, leaving both studios with virtually no alternative but to opt for Blu-ray.
Linkin Park's Apple Store concert, hinted at by band member Mike Shinoda, was played last night at the New York City SoHo location. The event got underway just after midnight according to reports, and was filmed and recorded for a later release on the iTunes Store, sources for Billboard say. The finished product will likely be ready in March, featuring songs such as "Wake," "My December" and "Bleed It Out."
Microsoft will make a "significant company announcement" within hours, the firm announced today. Without providing details, the software developer notes that it will hold a mid-day conference and makes clear that the news is unrelated to its attempted acquisition of Yahoo. However, the presentation will include both Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer, chief software architect Ray Ozzie, and legal counsel Brad Smith, suggesting that the news will involve legal issues relating to the company's core Windows or Office businesses. Servers and Tools senior VP Bob Muglia is also said to be involved.
NVIDIA's contribution to the ongoing Game Developers Conference is a new addition to its staple GeForce graphics card line. Marking one of the instances in which the graphics chip maker is launching its mid-range card first rather than its flagship, the 9600 GT is designed to replace the outgoing 8600 GT and dramatically improves performance: in addition to boosting the clock speeds for the core and memory from 540MHz and 1.4GHz to 650MHz and 1.8GHz, the 9600 doubles the number of onboard stream (pixel and geometry) processors to 64.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k