Copyright © 2015
MacPractice, which supplies Mac-based software for doctors, chiropractors and dentists, has updated its medical records software. MacPractice EMR now allows doctors to record patient visits with procedure codes and diagnoses, simplifying the billing process. The company says it has also improved the process of creating and sharing narrative medical reports.
A vast selection of refurbished Macs are currently being offered at Apple's online store at discount prices. The 20-inch iMac with 1GB of memory, 250GB hard drive and 2.4GHz processor is priced at $999. Get a Mac Pro with 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor, 2GB of memory and 320GB hard drive for $1,999. Currently one MacBook model, in white, is being offered at $1049 with a 2.4GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 160GB hard drive. Fifteen inch MacBook Pros start at $1,299 with 1GB of memory, 120GB hard drive and 2.16GHz processor while 17-inch MacBook Pro models start at $1,899 with 2GB of memory, 160GB hard drive and 2.33GHz processor. Lastly is the 1.6GHz MacBook Air with 2GB of memory and 80GB PATA hard drive for $1,349.
Developers of Firefox 3.1 Beta are exploring multi-touch gesture functions that might be used in the official release, according to Mozilla blogger Edward Lee. One Bugzilla enhancement has already been resolved which allows three-finger gestures on the MacBook Pro trackpads. Two related bugs designed for implementation on Mac OS are in the process of review and have already received patches.
Gefen has released a 3x1 rack-mounted switcher with support for HDMI v1.3. "Always on" switching allows users to instantly change between three 1080p HDMI inputs, such as a Blu-Ray player, Apple TV or Sony Playstation 3. The output can be connected to an HD monitor or projector and it works with the latest generation of HDMI, which includes supports features such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS master audio.
deCarta is releasing an API for iPhone developers, allowing them to include the company's location-based technology in their applications. deCarta Mobile's client/server platform works with GPS and celltower-based location services, permitting users to plan routes and pan, zoom or add pin overlays to maps. The company notes that there are already 300 iPhone apps available that use location-based technology, and it is hoping to capture a chunk of that business.
A lawsuit filed by Klausner Technologies regarding visual voicemail technology was filed against a number of wireless providers earlier this summer, and one of those companies, Verizon Wireless, has decided to settle it out of court, according to a Friday report. Klausner reportedly granted Verizon Wireless and its subsidiary, Vodafone Group, a patent license, allowing it to use the voice message alerts. The exact terms of the agreement were not disclosed, though the deal was closed on Thursday.
Rumors that production of the Mac mini will stop has caused concern for some members of the MacNN forums, and others hope that a better replacement is in the works. Forum goers debate the practicality of buying Applecare in response to one users question "is Applecare worth it?" Members discuss the performance differences between the 5400 and 7200 hard drive speeds in the new MacBook and MacBook Pro. Long time forum member, Simon, started a thread looking for some assistance with iCal. FTrain, a Junior Member of the forums, started a thread in hopes of finding an answer to a problem they are having when starting up their "white dome" iMac.
While China does not officially get the iPhone, one Chinese company has made a very similar-looking copy of one, officially called the Wang TouchCool orange F4. The company responsible, Iorgane, not only copied the look of the popular Apple device, but many of the functions are similar as well. For example, a similar touch interface is used, and a gyroscope will turn the screen 90 degrees when the phone is tilted horizontally. Viewing photos is done with the same finger swipe as on the iPhone, and video and MP3 playback are likewise supported. Iorgane even went with the fruit theme, though instead of an apple, the logo resembles an orange.
Buffalo Technology has unveiled the DriveStation 2Share external hard drive, which can be used either as a traditional hard disk to backup a single computer, or networked to allow sharing between several computers. The 2Share is available in 500GB, 640GB of 1TB capacities, all using one or two 3.5-inch 7,200rpm SATA drives. The models connect to computers via USB 2.0, and a network via Ethernet.
Denon has recently announced the upcoming release of a high-end Blu-ray player that promises reference-standard playback, the DVD-3800BD. It's the first Blu-ray player to use the 10-bit Silicon Optix sxT2 HQV Realta chipset to provide the player with highest resolution HD video currently offered via an HDMI 1.3a connection with 36-bit deep color support. To ensure high-quality sound reproduction, Denon used a DDSC-HD audio output along with dual 32-bit floating-point Burr Brown DSPs and its AL24 processors and Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoders.
TiVo announced on Thursday it will add to its current on-demand video library with the addition of a Disney and Jaman VOD services. Jaman offers a selection of international independent movies and foreign films and serials and launched on Thursday, while Disney film rentals will come via CinemaNow and begin next week. Either is at least thus far being offered in standard definition only with MPEG-2 encoding. The new content is accessible through Series2 and Series3/HD DVR hardware.
A recently performed informal experiment saw an eight-year-old American student pick the Linux version of the XO laptop over the Windows XP version. The eight-year-old, representative of the target audience for the educational notebook, spent an afternoon exploring each notebook, finally picking the Linux version mostly because it had more software that was not yet explored. Each iteration had its pros and cons, however, including the Linux version's slower web browsing and more complicated user interface, at least to those used a Windows interface.
Posimotion has introduced what it claims is the "world's first" mobile Wi-Fi network hub designed for gamers. About the size of a wallet, the G-Fi VS supports ad-hoc 802.11b/g connectivity between devices within a 100-foot range. The device allows gamers, including iPhone and iPod Touch users, to set up impromptu networks for multiplayer games or to share files and digital media.
A leak today through a Chinese news site today has revealed possible Motorola plans for a new, high-end slider phone. The VE66 should carry a five-megapixel camera and will have fairly complete networking, including an HSDPA/UMTS model for 3G cellular access in both Europe and North America as well as Wi-Fi. It should also take the design slightly higher than most Motorola phones with touch controls at the corners of the directional pad.
Excel Software has updated its QuickLicense utility, which allows developers to block access to their applications by unlicensed users. Version 3.0 adds language customization features, support for certain multimedia applications, and a new purchase and activation process with a "Try, Buy and Register" option.
Graphisoft has released its latest building information modeling (BIM) tool, MEP Modeler for ArchiCAD 12. The software is designed to help architects integrate mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) models into projects. Users can create and edit 3D MEP networks from within the program, or import files from third-party applications via the IFC format. Visualizations can be created that use wireframe representations of the structures and color coding of the mechanical systems.
IntelliScanner has combined a barcode reader with special software aimed a helping comic book collectors organize their collections. Using a database of more than 250,000 comics, Comic Edition automatically downloads information on each item in a user's collection, including the title, date, author and cover art. The software includes support for the iPhone and online collection sharing.
Tycoon Games has released Heileen, a "visual novel" game following a young girl in the 17th century. The protagonist is forced to undertake a voyage to the New World, meeting friends along the way. Players interact with the storyline on the way to three possible endings. The game plays out over eight chapters, and includes 4,500 screens of dialog.
A software error has caused a variety of song titles in the UK iTunes Store to mistakenly be censored, according to BBC News. The glitch flagged the word "hot" as offensive, leading to incorrectly-displayed names such as "H*t H*t Heat." Store entries are routinely scanned for profanity, and edited as needed; an Apple spokesman explains the censorship as a "database glitch."
Aero Quartet has released Treasured, a diagnosis application for corrupt movie files. The software can check the contents of a movie file and determine if it can be repaired, and can offer a preview of the contents. It interfaces with Aero Quartet Movie Repair Service technicians who can offer customized solutions, promising a 90 percent success rate within a 48-hour turn-around time.
BlackBerry subscription rates have dropped significantly and now leave Research in Motion dependent on its new devices to avoid a potentially damaging level of fall sales, a research note from AmTech Research analyst Rob Sanderson says today. He notes that weekly subscription rates have fallen by 20 percent from September to October and that forecasts of 2.9 million new BlackBerry users by the end of its current quarter, which ends in November, are currently "at risk."
Detectomatic ($1) allows users to turn their iPhone or iPod touch into a "decision making" tool. The premise of the application is that you enter a task that needs to be delineated to someone then walk around until the phone starts beeping and flashing, whoever is closest at that point receives the task at question. The application actually works by detecting motions by the user. As the user approaches the predetermined target for the task they simply tilt the iPhone slightly and the alarm will start to sound.
GarageSale 5.1 ($15) allows users to create eBay auctions from their desktop. Users can choose from over 140 free listing designs and then add in any details and upload up to 10 images per auction free of charge to the GarageSale Image Service. The update has added new support for fixed price listing durations, eBay's return policies and importing items from Delicious Library 2 along with other improvements. [Download - 22.9MB]
SwitchEasy has launched CapsuleThins for the 4G iPod nano. The ultra-thin hard case is available in 10 colors. The cases are 1.2mm thick, made of Lexan polycarbonates, offering both flexibility and strength for resisting impacts. It features a slide-in lock design that can withstand nearly 3g-force drops or collisions. The case provides a full cover design, protecting the screen, click-wheel and a connector protector.
In an unusually political move, Apple has taken a stance on a ballot issue affecting its home state of California, according to an announcement. The company has declared itself publicly opposed to Proposition 8, a measure which would amend California's constitution to ban gay and lesbian marriages. Such marriages were legalized following a decision of the California Supreme Court, which noted that sanctions against them violated an equal protection clause of the state's constitution.
Researchers at the University of California's Berkeley campus today said they have discovered a new technique that may result in much smaller electronics as well as optical storage. By using an extremely small writing arm that depends on lenses with plasmons, or the results of quantum plasma oscillations, the new technology can etch data much more closely spaced together than current hardware while using a process similar to a hard drive; 80 nanometer circuits are possible today but can already shrink down to five nanometers depending on the process.
Access -- most famous for developing Palm-compatible operating systems after its acquisition of PalmSource -- has announced a new version of its Access Linux Platform, v3.0. For the public the most notable difference should be a new appearance, with more detail and enhanced transitional animations. Also present is LiMo (Linux Mobile) support, which should enable the use of standardized Linux apps for phones, rather than just ALP- or Palm-specific ones.
The highly-anticipated T-Mobile G1 handset shipped to eager buyers earlier this week, bringing with it the first application of the Android operating system developed by Google. Users are already pointing out the lack of an iPhone-like virtual keyboard as a shortcoming, as they are forced to turn the phone sideways and open up the screen to access the QWERTY keyboard, which is a two-handed operation. But according to the Android roadmap, a fix is slated for the first quarter of 2009.
Third Street Software has released Sente 5 Undergraduate Edition, a lower-cost version of its academic reference manager. The software aids users in finding, organizing, reviewing and citing academic literature, and it maintains a library of PDF files for future browsing. The Undergraduate Edition is fully-featured, but limits each library to 250 references. It is aimed at students, who theoretically need fewer references and would prefer a lower price.
At next week's Professional Developer Conference, Microsoft will offer a developer version of its Surface computer to developers for $13,500, including a 10 percent discount, according to a Friday report. Interested developers are paying more for the Surface than commercial customers, whose version costs $12,500, because it includes the Software Development Kit (SDK) promised earlier this month. Either price is significantly higher than the $5,000 to $10,000 range Microsoft said the Surfaces would cost back in May of 2007.
Syncro Soft is distributing a new version of its Oxygen XML Editor suite, now at version 10. The software handles not only the creation of basic XML code, but XML Schema and multiple forms of debugging. The 10th edition introduces an XQuery and XSLT 2.0 processor from Saxonica, dubbed Saxon-SA. Other new features include a new XML instance generator, use of proposals from included or imported Scheme and XSLT modules, and updates to document frameworks as well as the XPath and FOP processors.
Small-scale phone maker Hop-on on Friday said it would develop a phone based on Google's Android platform. The open-source mobile operating system is pitched as giving the company a boost in competing in the high-end phone business, where it has little presence and would otherwise need to license software from another firm. Technical details of the phone are unavailable, though Hop-on claims the phone will cost below $200 and should be launched at January's Consumer Electronics Show.
Wireless provider Sprint on Friday announced it will soon offer the HTC Touch Pro for sale and use on its network, bringing with it HTC's TouchFLO 3D interface on its 2.8-inch screen along with a five-row QWERTY keyboard and Windows Mobile 6.1. Like the Touch Diamond, the slider has a built-in 3.2-megapixel camera that can scan business cards and produce video. Sprint will bring some of its in-house features to the Touch Pro, including Sprint TV and the ability to download songs from the Sprint Music Store. Access to YouTube will be made available thanks to a custom HTC application.
Owners of MacBook Pros with GeForce 8- or 9-series graphics cards can use tweaking to enable physics acceleration in supporting Windows games and applications, an independent hacker claims. Tom Karpik notes that the GeForce drivers included with the latest Pro are already outdated compared to the latest desktop-level drivers, which allow recent NVIDIA cards with 256MB or more of memory to use the newly-acquired PhysX API. A special conversion tool and some file editing are all that is required to turn on PhysX support, says Karpik.
Samsung is close to releasing a cellphone with a camera that's both high-resolution and with real optical zoom, according to a report by Telecoms Korea. The combined package would include an eight-megapixel sensor like those in shipping Samsung camera phones but would also have a 3X zoom system to deliver longer-ranged and more accurately focused shots than most cellphones, which normally rely on digital zoom that simply scales pixels upwards.
Dell Japan today provided a look at one of the few netbooks explicitly with business in mind. The Vostro A90 is stylistically very similar to the home-oriented Inspiron Mini 9 but comes in a more somber all-black trim and with more features in its base model than the earlier computer, including 1GB of minimum memory, an 8GB flash drive and previously option-only items like Bluetooth and a VGA camera. Windows XP is also its only operating system choice.
Samsung today reported poorer than expected results for its summer quarter that included mixed results for its cellphone business. Although revenue for the Korean company climbed by 15 percent year over year to the equivalent of $13.8 billion in the July-to-September period, the company's actual earnings were nearly cut in half to about $924 million. The fall was triggered by a steep drop in the company's profit margins as the cost of upgrading its chipmaking factories, a chip oversupply, and heated competition in HDTVs and Samsung's other home electronics all pushed Samsung to either lower prices or raise expenses.
Google has released v1.5 of its Data APIs Objective-C Client Library, a framework for Mac OS X developers which allows the use of Google data in third-party programs. Included is a variety of APIs, including ones for Google services such as Calendar, Picasa, YouTube and more. The new library includes the Book Search API, which allows people to browse and search for the contents of books online, and the Finance API, which lets people track portfolio information.
Server colocation firm Macminicolo late Thursday made a claim that Apple is planning to finally update the Mac mini with three key changes in the works. Describing two as confirmed through unnamed sources and a third as a "99% educated guess" without identifying each, the Internet hosts say the miniature desktop should first switch from its full DVI connection to a mini DisplayPort connector like newer MacBooks. The change would require the use of a video adapter for most current displays but would significantly free up space on the crowded back of the computer, allowing Apple more room for expansion or cooling.
Apple is loosening restraints on the iPhone Software Development Kit, according to a refined licensing agreement discovered by AppleInsider. Developers are now able to discuss techniques with each other, when troubleshooting problems with applications; another developer may have insight on how they got around the same issue. Apple also liberated other aspects of the non-disclosure agreement, allowing more learned iPhone developers to comprise a variety of training methods for others.
Morrison SoftDesign on Thursday unveiled FontDoctor 7.6 for Mac, offering users a number of application-specific fixes, user interface updates, and other issues. The update includes improved support for Quark, Microsoft, and Adobe font caches, and older font suitcases. Support for PostScript file name repair has been enhanced, as well as diagnosing Mac OS X font compatibility issues. FontDoctor 7.6 is available for $70 from Morrison SoftDesign's website.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.99 ( + 1 )
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Hermés face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd