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|MacUpdate Weekend Sale||:This weekend MacUpdate has slashed prices on Painter 12 and Painter Lite. Painter 12 retails for $429, but has been reduced by 54% to $199. Painter Lite has seen a 58% price cut from $69 to $29. Hurry, because these deals are only available until May 19th 2013.|
Felix 8 Mac port
SA International has released a Mac OS X port of Flexi 8, which features much of the same functionality of the Windows version. Flexi 8 is a sign designing software suite that lets users easily put together signs. The Mac version has received a slightly modified appearance to work in the Mac OS X environment. The application features customizable shortcut keys, direct PDF export for customer proofing, smooth full preview and on screen spell checking. Specifically for the Mac environment Flexi 8 has been updated with drivers for the latest printers and cutters and easier preset management, Save, Save As, Rename and Delete have all been added as buttons beside the preset selection.
Sync'Em public beta
A new solution for syncing Microsoft Exchange, Google and Apple contact and calendar information has surfaced, titled Sync'Em. Now available as a public beta Sync'Em, in its current state, can synchronize Exchange contacts with Apple's Address book or synchronize Exchange contacts across several Exchange accounts. The developer hopes to soon add functionality to allow users to sync Exchange calender events with iCal or across several Exchange accounts.
Karelia updates Sandvox
Karelia Software has announced the release of Sandvox 1.5, its website creation software for Mac OS X. For this new release, Karelia gathered feedback from its community and worked towards improving areas that users thought were insufficient. Some of the areas worked on include: media processing, blogging features, MobileMe compatibility and enhancing paglets. Several new designs have been added, and some older designs have been tweaked bringing the total of included designs to 50.
HSC Edit update
HumanSoftware today announced an update to its Aperture effects plugin, HSC Edit 1.4. A new module has been added to the bundle, MultiTones, which allows users to create black and white or multi-tone images using color filtering with contrast, brightness, and detail adjustments. The new tool resaturates images, allowing the hue to be adjusted for a duotone effect. User edges can be added, or picked from a preset library, then adjusted for blending.
Microsoft Seinfeld Ad
Microsoft tonight aired the first of its widely reported Jerry Seinfeld ads meant to restore awareness of Windows and improve Vista's poor reputation. The one minute, thirty-second segment conspicuously avoids any direct descriptions of Windows or attacks against rivals such as Apple; instead, it focuses on a chance meeting between Seinfeld and former Microsoft chief Bill Gates at a shoe store with a comedic conversation reminiscent of Seinfeld's own routines and TV show.
Optima System has announced the latest version of its web cam utility, CamSpinner 2.0. This release includes new presets for different settings, iPhone compatible display of webcam images in the phone browser, faster uploads, improved support for AppleScript functions, and more web page themes. Users can publish cam images on web pages, capture stills, and record movies with QuickTime cameras such as iSight.
Imagination signs deal
System-on-a-Chip manufacturer Imagination Technologies on Thursday unveiled it has signed a multi-year licensing deal with an anonymous "international electronics systems company" which could confirm earlier rumors regarding Apple. In April, Imagination was found to be exploring a secret licensing deal with Apple, a move that would let Apple have exclusive distribution rights to its PowerVR SGX chipset, and access to the Imagination's video IP cores.
JVC shows Procision HDTVs
At the CEDIA Expo on Thursday, JVC showed off its new range-topping Procision line of LCD TVs, comprised of the 42-inch LT-42X899, the 47-inch LT-47X899 and 52-inch LT-52X89. In addition, JVC offered a couple of Super Slim Procision LCDs, the 42-inch LT-42SL89 and the 46-inch LT-46SL89, which are 2.9 inches thick in the center, tapering down to 1.5 inches at the edges. All feature 1080p resolution, though the thicker Procision LCDs are alone in offering a new 120Hz display panel that supports 24/30p HD signals and the company's sixth-generation Clear Motion Drive III engine that uses a 32-bit Genessa processor.
AMD roadmap leaked
A leaked document shows chipmaker AMD's future products and when they are likely to hit the market. Not saving the best for last, the document shows December should see the start of production of the new Phenom quad-core X4 chips with 45nm architecture, rated at 3.0GHz and 2.8GHz while using up 125W of power, though shipment is delayed until January 8. Meanwhile, the 15W AMD Athlon 2650e – expected to compete with the Intel Atom – will see release in November, with a clock speed reportedly rated at 1.5GHz. A dual-core X2 3250e is rated at 1.5GHz and will use up 22W of power, the sheet suggests. While both have higher usage ratings than the Atom, AMD anticipates that the chip's performance will outweigh the slightly increased power usage.
Sony A900 ad leak
The upcoming A900 digital SLR camera from Sony will come with a 24.6-megapixel CMOS sensor, an ad leak from a Danish photography magazine has revealed. The details echo earlier reports, which indicated a 24.8-megapixel unit. The camera will be the flagship offering in the company's Alpha line of digital cameras, offering a full-frame Exmor sensor. The ad also indicates that the backside of the DSLR will house a 3-inch hybrid LCD with a 921,000 pixel resolution, capable of an Intelligent Preview function which may resemble Canon's LiveView.
iBiz 3, time billing
Many professionals need to track their time for billing purposes. You could manually write down the times you start and stop a project, but then you’d still have the headache of writing out an invoice as well. For a simpler, automated solution, consider iBiz 3 to track your time and print up your invoices.
Brin on Chrome for Mac
The Mac version of Google's Chrome web browser should arrive in "a matter of months," says Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The executive, interviewed by Wall Street Journal writer Kara Swisher, claims it is "embarassing" that a Mac version is not already out, since both he and Swisher use Macs. To cope with the situation, Brin says he is relying on virtualization software from VMware. At present Chrome runs only on Windows.
BBerry Storm Delayed
Technical problems could keep the BlackBerry Storm from a crucial ship date with Verizon, a tip delivered to BGR says. Although multiple past leaks had penned RIM's first touchscreen BlackBerry for an October launch, software problems have meant the device is only now entering the technical acceptance stage that approves phones for use on Verizon's network and should spend between three to four weeks in testing before it can be sold, pushing it into mid-November.
OWC warranty extensions
Other Word Computing today announced more warranty extensions, and retroactive coverage, for many of its FireWire and USB storage products. The company recently announced the addition of three year protection on its 80GB+ Mercury Elite-AL Pro, Pro 'Classic', and 40GB+ On-The-Go series, or two years on the 80GB+ Neptune 'Value Done Right' series. OWC has added the 80GB+ NewerTech miniStach v2, v2.5, v3, and GuardianMAXimus RAID-1 drives to its list of products with three year coverage. Customers that have purchased any of these drives earlier this year (back to January 1st) will be protected by the new warranty terms.
SVN Client 4.0 ships
Syncro Soft says it has released v4.0 of its SVN Client software, which enables collaborative programming via Subversion. The upgrade brings several changes, such as use of SVN 1.5, which remembers the revision at which a branch is merged. This is considered important for subsequent merges, which only integrate changes made since the last one.
Google Chrome browser
Comcast Sues FCC
Cable Internet provider Comcast on Thursday sued the US Federal Communications Commission to try and block the government body's net neutrality order, which requires that the company avoid discriminating against particular types of Internet traffic when managing its network. Comcast executive VP David Cohen describes the suit as an attempt to challenge what he claims is an "absence of pre-existing legally enforceable standards" that would require Comcast to obey the FCC's ruling.
AroundMe for iPhone
TweakerSoft today released AroundMe 1.0, an iPhone app that uses GPS to provide information about nearby businesses or points of interest, including banks, gas stations, hospitals, entertainment, bars, food and more. The user selects a category, picks a destination (ordered by proximity), and AroundMe plots the route to get there. To get friends to the same place, the information can be e-mailed. AroundMe is available from iTunes for $2.
PCalc 3.3 update for Mac
TLA Systems today announced the newest version of its calculator software, PCalc 3.3. PCalc is a scientific calculator with tools for quick conversion of units. This Mac OS X edition follows the release of a PCalc update for the iPhone, and mirrors its improvements. An improved RPN mode, for example, allows the calculator to work more like the HP calculators the software is modeled after.
Chrome Likely for Android
M-Audio ProFire 610
M-Audio has announced the ProFire 610 FireWire audio interface, bridging the gap between the FireWire 410 and the flagship ProFire 2626. The new device claims to provide several high-end features, including 24-bit/192KHz resolution, preamps, and integrated DSP mixing, all in a smaller, bus-powered form factor. The 610 can be used for recording or live production, using a variety of analog and digital inputs.
US Overtakes Europe in 3G
US cellular subscribers are finally catching up and even outpacing Europeans in their use of 3G devices, according to a new ComScore study. The research group explains the number of American cellphone owners with a 3G-capable device surged from just 16.7 percent in June 2007 to 28.4 percent a year later; the shift is both a 70 percent increase and enough to edge out Europe's average adoption, which also grew substantially but fell just short of the US at 28.3 percent. The US now has approximately 64.2 million customers with the faster service.
AKVIS Enhancer 9.5 ships
AKVIS is shipping v9.5 of Enhancer, one of its photo utilities. The app is intended to improve the visible detail in a picture through use of several modes: the main one increases color contrast, while Focus attempts to salvage out-of-focus images through sharpening techniques. A mode in the stand-alone version of the software, HDR, combines multiple exposures to achieve even lighting.
Hitachi 1.5-inch plasma TV
Hitachi is unveiling a 1.5-inch thick 50-inch plasma display, which heads up the company's new UltraThin 1.5 family of products that also includes 1.5-inch thick LCD HDTVs, at the CEDIA Expo on Thursday. The display, which Hitachi is quick to point out is among the largest and thinnest of its kind, will headline Hitachi's release of plasma HDTVs in the A-, S-, V- and X-series, made up exclusively of 42- and 50-inch displays. While not quite 1.5 inches thick, the new plasma HDTVs will be available with manual swivel stands or remote-controlled powered swivel stands.
Amazon to sell OLPC laptop
With Microsoft having finished a version of its Windows XP operating system for the One Laptop Per Child notebook in July, the computer should be nearing its launch date, and a Thursday report seems to confirm this. Citing an OLPC official, the report alleges both Linux-based Sugar and Windows XP operating systems will be available on the low-cost XO laptop, which was designed to help educate kids in developing countries. While the laptop is estimated to launch in about a month, another story from the same source has Amazon selling the laptop in November.
Samsung Omnia variants
New versions of Samsung's i900 Omnia smartphone are incoming, FCC filings appear to document. Two new Samsung phones, the i907 and i910, have been tested and approved by the FCC, revealing some of their features. The i910 may be the most significant of the two due to CDMA support, allowing use with carriers such as Sprint and Verizon. The i907 meanwhile supports dual-band WCDMA, which may mark it as the rumored AT&T edition.
DVKitchen video publisher
DVCreators has released DV Kitchen, its application for internet video publishing. The new SampleLab feature lets users preview the project at different resolutions before it is encoded. It also features a Bitrate Budget Calculator that assists choosing the correct settings. "The user can import a folder of movies and start encoding and uploading with as few as two clicks" claimed designer Josh Mellicker.
Chrome EULA, security
Google's newly-launched Chrome browser -- currently Windows-only but expected to launch soon for Mac and Linux -- is already taking some serious criticism, according to various groups. An initial concern was Google's end-user license agreement (EULA), which effectively claimed the right to use anything posted online via the browser, raising issues of both privacy and intellectual property. This language was actually a mistake, Google now claims.
Toshiba upconverting HDTVs
Toshiba showed off a fresh line-up of its REGZA line of LCD HDTVs at the CEDIA expo, which encompasses 12 new TV sets in the company's XV545, RV535, RV525, AV502 and AV500 series of REGZA LCDs, ranging from the 22-inch 22AV500U to the 52-inch 52VX545U. The XV545 and RV535 series HDTVs are significant for their use of the company's own built-in up-converting technology Toshiba calls Super Resolution Technology, or SRT. The technique automatically enhances standard TV signals, non-HD video game sources and videos viewed from camcorders to near HD quality, the company claims. The announcement follows a similar release of a couple of sets Toshiba released at IFA in Germany recently, though it called that up-converting tech Resolution+.
JVC 4K Projector and More
JVC today marked its place at CEDIA by launching five new projectors, three of which fit into its high-end Reference Series. The SH4K is built around a new 10-megapixel liquid-crystal-on-silicon system that produces a full 4K HD resolution (4096x2400) without swelling the size of the projector. This smaller size makes it feasible to get about four times the resolution of 1080p in a very high-end home theater or some more practical applications, JVC boasts. A Xenon bulb also promises a bright picture at 3,500 lumens.
No iTunes subscriptions?
Regular shoppers at the iTunes Store should not expect any announcements on the content side of the equation in the near future, rumors indicate. CNET cites anonymous sources, who say that people should not expect Apple to announce any new music content at its special iPod event on September 9th. More specifically, the sources claim they are certain Apple will not introduce a long-rumored subscription option for iTunes.
Intel Xeon 7400 Leak
Intel's first processor with more than four cores will launch within less than two weeks, a leak from within the industry claims. The architecture previously codenamed Dunnington technology should start shipping on September 15th as the Xeon 7400 series and will carry its planned six cores, helping out with particuarly demanding computing tasks, especially virtualization of multiple operating systems.
Pioneer at CEDIA 2008
Pioneer's efforts at the CEDIA show were unveiled today and focused on updates to its Elite Blu-ray and plasma lines. The releases are led by an addition to its Elite Blu-ray players of the BDP-09FD, its new top-end reader. The device is claimed as a first in the category and adds a new 16-bit imaging engine that it says improves video decoding, particularly for upscaling; most high-end readers still use 14-bit hardware. It also stands as Pioneer's first Blu-ray Profile 2.0 player with the option of Internet features as well as upgrading the player's firmware online.
EarthDesk 4.4 released
Xeric Design says it has posted v4.4 of EarthDesk, its global imaging software. The app replaces wallpaper in Mac OS X with an image of the Earth, depicting current sun or lunar illumination. The software is more critically focused on real-time cloud tracking, which highlights incoming stormfronts such as hurricanes. Multiple map views are supported, as is the option of using the software as a screensaver.
Three Swiss Apple Stores
Apple is expected to open three new retail stores in Switzerland by the end of the year, multiple sources say. One shop is the Rue de Rive location, Geneva's first Apple Store, which recently had the words "bientôt ouvert" (opening soon) added to its black construction facade (photo below). Workers are said to have already begun training, and it is believed that the store could effectively be ready to go by the middle of the month, though when exactly it will open is a matter of speculation.
Sony VAIO TZ Recall
Sony on Thursday joined up with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue a product recall for its VAIO TZ series notebooks. The PC builder explains that some of the 11.1-inch ultraportable systems have unusually positioned wires or loose screws in and near the display hinge that can trigger overheating or a short circuit, either of which is potentially dangerous. As many as 15 known incidents have been reported, including one with minor burns, the Commission says.
Apple Multi-Touch Fusion
Apple has been mulling a multi-touch system that would incorporate voice and visual data into the control system for its devices, according to a new US patent filing. Determining that some actions are best performed with additional senses besides just touch, the company suggests in one implementation that voice can be used to alter some properties of an object touched by the user. A visual editor could let a user speak out color changes for an object selected with a finger, while a word processor could enable users to drag and select text with fingers but speak out font changes.
New Sony LCDs, projectors
Sony today announced new US additions to its BRAVIA line, including two new 1080p projectors, a 240kHz frame rate 52-inch LCD TV, and a 40 inch LCD set measuring only 9.9mm (0.4 inches) thick. The VPL-VW70 and VPL-HW10 projectors are based on SXRD and both support 1080p HD, including a native 24 frames per second rate for film. Sony claims the BRAVIA Engine 2 is new and reduces unwanted noise while enhancing the colors.
Sony WiFi photo frame
Sony this past evening unveiled its VAIO CP1 Wi-Fi photo frame that allows pictures to be streamed real-time from a PC. The seven-inch, 800x480 LCD frame can connect to Picasa, allowing viewing of four web albums simultaneously. Pictures can also be uploaded from the frame to the Picasa account. Content is organized into "frames" and can be played in different modes including Slideshow, Flow (adding special effects), or Dissolve (fades images).
New Sony Blu-Ray products
Sony today announced several new Blu-Ray products, the BDP-S5000ES player and two complete home theater systems, the BDV-IT1000ES and BDV-IS1000. The BDP-S5000ES features new "HD Reality Enhancer" and "Super Bit Mapping" technologies claimed to further sharpen and enhance picture quality. Like many of the players coming out recently, this is compatible with Profile 2.0, allowing BD Live access through an Ethernet connection. An external port allows connection with flash memory, and Sony has included a 1GB Micro Vault storage device.
TiVo HD XL
TiVo for its efforts at the CEDIA expo rolled out the TiVo HD XL, a deluxe version of its once-basic HD digital video recorder. The set-top box earns its title through the switch to a full 1TB hard drive that TiVo estimates should provide about 150 hours of HD-level recordings, letting it finally replace most standard-definition DVRs. It also includes the higher-end remote of the now discontinued Series 3 recorder and is THX-approved for its picture and audio quality.
Sharp AQUOS LCD TVs
Sharp on Wednesday unveiled several new AQUOS LCD high-definition televisions to the North American market, including two limited-edition models. Sharp's D65U lineup offers a native 1080p resolution, and spans between 42- and 52-inches, featuring a 6ms response time. Sharp touts the energy-saving features of the line, saying it is Energy Star-compliant, with active backlight and contrast controls to reduce energy consumption while the set is in use.
Sharp AQUOS BluRay
Sharp today announced two new AQUOS Blu-Ray players, the BD-HP21U and BD-HP50U. Both offer full 1080p HD at 24fps with HDMI 1.3 outputs, x.v.Color, and a new "Quick Start" feature claimed to get going in under ten seconds. The devices can play anything from audio CDs to Blu-Ray discs. Other sharp devices can be linked for control by using AQOUS-LINK.
Dell Mini 9
Dell today is revealing the full details of the Inspiron Mini 9, its first netbook. The 8.9-inch portable once rumored as the Inspiron 910 shares a similar design to larger Inspirons but, apart from the smaller screen, uses a 1.6GHz Intel Atom chip and Ubuntu Linux to significantly shrink its size without significantly affecting its responsiveness or its feature set. The system weighs just under 2.3 pounds but has features that are often missing from some netbooks, including a near full-size and spill-proof keyboard (through eliminating a few non-essential keys) as well as built-in Wi-Fi and three USB ports.
HTC Touch Diamond Sprint
Official details have slipped tonight for Sprint's version of the HTC Touch Diamond. The carrier's edition of the Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone varies slightly from the Telus edition already available outside of the US and comes with a red-tinted back as well as a customized Sprint version of the TouchFLO interface with access to some more carrier-specific features. Other features remain the same and include a 3.2-megapixel camera, 4GB of internal storage and custom clients for media playback as well as YouTube videos. Opera Mobile also remains preloaded to offer a more complete browsing experience than Internet Explorer's mobile edition.
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