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Stairways Software has announced Keyboard Maestro 3.4, the latest version of its 'productivity enhancer' for Mac OS X. This release includes a 'typed string' trigger, allowing the user to fire off macros when typing a matching string. Triggers can be created with easily remembered mnemonics. Appearance has been enhanced to look more like the default system program switcher. Import/export of the named clipboards has been improved for better sharing of macros.
Unsanity says it has brought Mac OS X Leopard compatibility to three of its utilities: Smart Crash, FruitMenu and Application Enhancer. Designed to allow users to repurpose menus, FruitMenu 3.7 includes various bug fixes and drops QuickTIme in favor of ImageIO to process images. Support for Mac OS X 10.3 has been dropped, and the launch time has been "significantly reduced." FruitMenu allows users to customize Mac OS X menu functions, create hot keys linked to files, folders and commonly used tasks, and instantly set desktop pictures.
App Cubby today announced the availability of Trip Cubby, an iPhone app that tracks mileage for tax deductions or corporate reimbursement. Trip Cubby features predictive input, auto-entry, auto-calculation, and access to frequent trips. Data can be searched and sorted to generate reports. Customizable tabs allow grouping or categorization of trips.
Three years after settling a wrongful termination suit against his former employer, Tim Bucher has decided to help Dell take on the iTunes empire. The former Apple Exec tells BusinessWeek that one day in 2004, Steve Jobs came to him saying "people think you are sometimes manic-depressive," and proceeded to fire him. Bucher says the charges of mental illness are "completely false," and he went on to sue Apple. Today, Bucher has moved on -- he heads a 120-member team to put Dell back in the music business.
After a brief silence, Apple on Monday acknowledged the many issues plaguing its MobileMe suite of online services, offering users a free 60-day extension for past problems, as well as a concerted effort to continually improve. Echoing words from CEO Steve Jobs to Apple staff, the message notes that the newly helmed MobileMe team is dedicated to providing a service that "we can all be proud of." Apple has already credited users one month for prior issues which were claimed to have been resolved.
If youíve ever stored a digital picture in iPhoto or sorted and arranged your favorite songs in iTunes, you know the convenience of storing and organizing data in different ways. Just as you can manage and rearrange pictures or music, so you can now organize recipes using a unique recipe management program called MacGourmet Deluxe.
Palringo today announced the addition of vocal instant messaging functionality (push to talk) to its rich messaging iPhone application. This app allows users to use push to talk functions without being locked into a carrier or certain equipment. Other Palringo-supported platforms include BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, or Java based devices from manufacturers including Nokia, Motorola, LG, Samsung, HTC, HP, and Sony Ericsson.
Comm-Unity Networking Systems today announced the sixth and final public beta of its upcoming FTPit Pro 2.0.0 plug-in for FileMaker Pro 7.x or higher. The application has been completely re-written, allowing users to transfer files to and from your computer using FTP, all from within FileMaker. This beta is now feature complete, including DownloadDir and UploadDir functions. The next release will be the final version.
Boston Acoustics has unveiled the Horizon iDS2 iPod Speaker system with two built-in 3 1/2 inch full-range speakers and 60 watts of power. Measuring roughly 5- by 13- by 6-inches, the speaker/dock comes in black or white models; customers can order grilles in a variety of colors to match room decor.
Label Wizard 1.1.0 includes several "user interface enhancements" and bug fixes. Black Cat Systems says its label utility gives users "complete control over the layout of the label," including text, pictures, objects and serial numbers. The $20 utility is a Universal Binary requiring Mac OS X 10.2 or higher. [Download - 3.4MB].
Limit Point Software has introduced Mailings 1.9.40, the newest version of its batch emailing application for Mac. Mailings can deliver any web page or plain text document with attachments to multiple recipients for marketing, announcements, or updates. Additional features including logging, progress monitoring, scheduling, error recovery, throttling, personalization, and more. Settings can be saved for reuse or archiving.
In brief: MacNN has reviewed MacSoft's Drop Point: Alaska, for snowboarding enthusiasts. The game allows players to drop from helicopters onto virgin mountain peaks, snowboarding on over 100 challenging trials. The rendering of snowy mountains provides strong visuals, for systems that can handle the visual challenge (Mac Mini owners may not have the best experience). Drop Point Alaska offers a vast playing area but may be too much for low-end machines.
Epson has introduced the WorkForce line of printers and all-in-ones for "micro-business" users. This line includes the WorkForce 600, 500 all-in-ones and WorkForce 40, 30 printers. Capabilities of different models include scan, fax, copy, photo, or WiFi connectivity. All WorkForce models include four-color individual cartridges allowing replacement each color as needed and optional high capacity black cartridges for high printing volume.
A Filipino auction site has announced plans to sell the iPhone 3G at a price much cheaper than the local market, says CNET. In a press briefing on Friday, Auction.ph unveiled a special program to put the iPhone on sale through its website. Angelo Hernandez, public relations chief at Auction.ph, currently says that the iPhone will be auctioned off at a starting price of just 1 peso (2 cents), increasing in cost through 0.50 peso bidding increments. There will however be a ceiling to bids, with a maximum price of 5,000 pesos ($110).
Apple on Monday released iPhone 2.0.2, an update to its second-generation software for the original iPhone and iPhone 3G. The update is about 242MB and first appeared via iTunes just after 5PM EST. As is usually the case with iPhone updates, Apple provided few details, saying simply that the update contains "bug fixes," and links to existing online iPhone support resources. Over the weekend the company seeded iPhone v2.1b4, a private beta, to developers, but removed the much anticipated 'push" feature that would allow applications to respond to internet triggers (new email, an IM, etc.) without being open. The major software update along with the unique "push service" was announced in June 2008 at Apple's WWDC and was expected to launch in September, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
bambooapps has announced Keep Your Word, Mac software geared towards those looking to learn a new language or track numerous groups of terms. The app allows users to classify and group large sets of words, building a unique dictionary for study and memorization. It further supports any and all characters handled by Mac OS X, allowing almost any word to be entered into a database. Users can also tag and annotate entered words for future search options.
Google this afternoon made a move to placate frustrated developers for its mobile phone platform by releasing a new beta of the Android SDK. Version 0.9 is the first kit available to those outside of Google's Developers Challenge and is described as the first to have largely settled the operating system. No major changes are expected from 0.9 until the finished 1.0 release, the company says.
TransGaming has announced an agreement with game developer BioWare, allowing the former's digital distribution portal -- GameTree Online -- to offer Jade Empire Special Edition for the Mac. Jade Empire is an action-RPG, loosely based on the myths of ancient China. Players are given the choice to act as a hero or villain, and throughout its setting are a host of human and supernatural enemies, fought using magical martial arts and weapon styles. The title can be purchased as a digital download for $40.
Toon Boom Animation has announced Toon Boom Studio 4.5. The software allows animators to create, animate and publish creations; v4.5 adds photo animations and live-action cartooning, with rotoscoping, as well as more export options for iTunes and YouTube. Also new is expanded Flash support through Toon Boom Studio Importer, which now lets people export to Flash CS2 and CS3.
Random Ideas has announced the release of Edibles, an app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The software is a food journal, used to track calories, carbs, WeightWatchers points and other values typically tracked when following a diet regimen. The application allows users to set a "budget" for whatever value they are tracking, and then follow weekly and daily allowances based on this figure.
Tom Bihn has announced the Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Briefcase. This bag was designed around the TSA's new "checkpoint-friendly" program guidelines and allow laptops to pass through the x-ray scanner without being removed from the case if it conforms to one of several designs. Three sizes are available that are specifically fit for Apple laptops but are also suitable for many others. Shipping will begin by late September.
Google is aiming to bring public opinion to bear on white space technology, company bloggers have announced. As a member of the White Spaces Coalition, Google is pushing the FCC to authorize the technology, which would take advantage of the frequencies between over-the-air TV broadcasts to deliver broadband Internet, in some cases where it may not have been accessible before. The FCC is said to have completed testing on a second phase of white space devices, and should rule on their practicality "in the coming months."
Nickelodeon, Viacom, and Imation today announced a new line of electronics for children under Nickelodeon's Npower brand. New additions include web cams, camcorders, digital cameras, digital voice recorder and other electronics themed after Nickelodeon's TV show iCarly. Npower has also expanded their line of SpongeBob Squarepants products, including a digital picture frame and MP3 player dock. For children ages two to four, digital photo viewers and boomboxes were added to the Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go! lines.
A leak this weekend by TmoNews suggests that T-Mobile's US division will have a second iPhone rival after the Android-based HTC Dream. Known as the Samsung Tocco in Europe, the t919 would drop the front video camera from its original launch but would be one of T-Mobile's premier touchscreen devices, coming with a five-megapixel camera as well as a microSDHC slot that can handle at least 16GB of content. The device would support 3G data over the American provider's 1,700MHz UMTS network and so support much faster Internet access.
Using its home country's Olympics as a springboard, Lenovo has announced the IdeaPad U8, a new mobile Internet device (MID). The device is equipped with a 800MHz Atom Z500 processor, 1 to 2GB of RAM, and a 6GB solid-state drive. It also has twin cameras, and includes at least one USB port, which lets it access mobile TV through supporting tuner add-ons. It is unknown if other peripherals might be compatible.
Dell's miniature Inspiron 910 could be unveiled before the end of the week, a discovery shows at Gizmodo. The company's first netbook is allegedly poised to launch before August 22nd and should include many of the specifications that have been leaked over the past few months, ranging from the 1.6GHz Atom processor to storage at 4GB, 8GB or 16GB depending on the trim level. Between 512MB and 1GB of RAM will keep the costs low.
Apple is nearing an agreement to sell the iPhone in Russia, says Vedomosti. The regional publication cites inside sources, who claim that two out of the three major cellular carriers in Russia -- Megafon and VimpelCom -- are on the verge of signing a deal to distribute the iPhone. The only stumbling block at present is said to be bulk orders, as Apple may want carriers to accept unusually large quantities of the phone all at once -- between 1 to 1.5 million units each, for a total of 3 to 4.5 million for the whole country.
Microsoft's next-generation Zune update will will be cautious and focus primarily on storage, the FCC has revealed through a new filing (PDF). Government tests prove the existence of a Zune with 120GB of storage but also reveal a design fundamentally unchanged from the Zune 80, including the hybrid touch and directional pad. The device also appears to be running the existing Zune 2.5 software rather than a new revision, although this may not necessarily apply to the final product.
More than a third of all new Windows PCs recently bought by large businesses have deliberately been setup to run an operating system other than Windows Vista, InfoWorld says in a new study of a user network. Although Microsoft officially cut off most Windows XP sales on June 30th, the publication notes that 35 percent of all the systems brought online at enterprises since then either take advantage of a downgrade loophole that allows vendors to preinstall XP on normally Vista-based systems or else have installed another operating system of their own, whether it involves XP or an alternative such as Windows Server 2003 or 2008.
Kensington today unveiled what it believes is the first genuinely universal Wireless USB dock. The simply-titled Wireless USB Docking Station connects to any computer that supports Wireless USB, whether internally or through an adapter, and provides enough connections to serve as a full stand-in for a wired dock without the extra cables; the device can output a DVI video signal up to the 1680x1050 of most 20-inch displays and has five USB ports as well as a stereo minijack for external speakers.
Data on the next version of the SATA connection standard has been unveiled, according to its governing body. The SATA-IO group has announced early specifications for SATA Revision 3.0, which it expects to be finalized by the end of this year. The initial specs relate to the physical portion of the interface, which should double transfers speeds compared to current SATA II links, with a peak of 6Gbps. The format is also set to include "advances for data streaming," SATA-IO says, and "better power management."
Problems with reception on the iPhone 3G may have been acknowledged by Apple's CEO, a new report claims. In a response to a customer complaint, an e-mail has allegedly been sent by Steve Jobs, saying: "We are working on some bugs which affect around 2% of the iPhones shipped, and hope to have a software update soon." The message is believed to be legitimate because of Jobs' occasional willingness to reply to general mail, and his typical terseness.
Microsoft could face antitrust action in China based on a new law, according to claims made by a local firm on Monday. Software firm Evermore's chief executive Gus Tsao says that a new measure against monopolistic behavior passed on Friday would potentially allow firms to accuse Microsoft of abusing its position by tightly integrating Office with Windows, preventing Evermore's upcoming EIOffice 2009 and other competing office suites from offering a similar level of features.
SkyBlueCanvas says it has posted the v1.1 beta of Lightweight CMS, its content management system for websites. The software is designed to eliminate the need for a programmer when posting text and pictures to a site, regardless of the underlying technologies. The software is further based on open-source technologies such as Apache, and is compatible with PHP 4 and 5. Licensing is covered under GNU/GPL 3.0.
Sprint today backed up the launch of the Katana Eclipse with a second flip phone. While lacking the lights of its companion, the RAZR VE20 has a larger external display with RAZR2-like touch controls that support music as well as checking the inbox and other basic menu functions without opening the clamshell. It also carries a two-megapixel camera, again like the RAZR2 and an improvement over the Sanyo phone's 1.3-megapixel offering.
MPC this morning hopes to extend the reach of Intel's Classmate PC to a wider audience with the TXTbook, the first North American version available for individuals. The design is largely unchanged from the second-generation model and is small enough with its 8.9-inch screen to be used comfortably by smaller children but durable enough to handle most common drops. The system boasts a speed improvement over the original by switching to a 1.6GHz Atom that also gives the small notebook up to five hours of battery runtime on an expanded capacity battery.
Turkcell, the largest GSM provider in Turkey, has announced that it will finally be offering the iPhone 3G later this year. No official release date has been published yet, but the carrier seems unlikely to join the second phase of the iPhone 3G rollout, as there are only four days left until worldwide expansion on August 22nd. The company has also yet to disclose official subscription plans, but these should become available before the iPhone's shipment. Turkcell will be the second carrier to offer the iPhone in Turkey, as Vodafone made a similar announcement earlier this year.
First-generation iPod nanos may have potentially serious faults, accounts suggest. One owner reports that his Nano was recently plugged into his notebook, and after about 10 minutes of charging, began to emit a sizzling sound. The Nano then exploded open, spewing sparks and smoke. The iPod was immediately unplugged and moved to a safer place, where it continued to smoke and spark. The issue has been reported to Apple's customer service, but is awaiting an official response and plan of action.
After multiple leaks and an early Canadian launch, Sprint today began carrying the Katana Eclipse, the next version of Sanyo's extra-thin clamshell. The design draws most of its attention for its elaborate external lighting that can be used both as entertainment and information. While it can flash to music, it can also illuminate during calls in different colors or even different patterns to identify particular users without either a conspicuous ringtone or even vibrations that might be missed in a noisy environment.
Two new Apple Stores opened this weekend, say reports. In addition to one in Altamonte Springs, Florida, another location opened its doors in Carlsbad, California. The Carlsbad store can be found within The Forum at 1923 Calle Barcelona, and is next to Z Gallerie and across from Anthropologie. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10AM to 9PM, and on Sunday operates from noon to 6PM. No workshops have been scheduled so far.
HTC's inaugural Google Android phone the Dream is now cleared for use in the US, a filing with the FCC shows. Listed as the DREA100, the device appears a match for past descriptions and will have not just Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but also the 1,700MHz UMTS support necessary for faster data speeds and better calls on T-Mobile USA's network, both of which should assist Android's data-heavy focus.
The fire last Tuesday at Apple's Cupertino headquarters caused significant damage, according to the Santa Clara County Fire Department. Although no one was injured during the three-alarm incident, which began at 10PM local time and ended only two and a half hours later, the SCCFD now estimates material damage to be about $2 million. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, tallies on damage were uncertain.
HP today added yet again to its EliteBook lineup with two new systems that push the line towards the ultra-mobile category. The 12.1-inch 2730p (shown at top) is the first convertible tablet in the line and is characterized as one of the thinnest notebooks in its class at just over 1.1 inches; though the styling is similar to the earlier Compaq 2710p, it now finds room for a full trackpad as well as separate tablet buttons and a jogwheel for fast scrolling through documents.
Toshiba on Monday nursed its losses in HD format conflicts by launching its first player based on its promised Extended Detail Enhancement technology, or XDE. The XD-E500 upscales from as little as 480i up to 1080p, as with some DVD players, but sports customization features that Toshiba argues bring the player's output closer to real HD. Viewers can increase the sharpness of the picture to overcome the softness inherent to DVD's lower resolution and restore some of the perceived detail.
HTC's Android-based Dream phone may not support push-based work mail or ship as soon as expected, according to a reported first-hand account of the device by IBB Consulting senior principal Moe Tanabian. The veteran claims that the device only supports push e-mail through Google's own Gmail service and that support for Microsoft's Exchange service isn't known, potentially hurting its usefulness for business similar to what was encountered with the original iPhone firmware.
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