Rebuild mirrors up to 50-times faster
SoftRAID has introduced a new 4.0 version of its self-titled RAID software and disk management utility. Previously announced in January of last year, the upgrade offers a wide range of new features and improvements, such as 64-bit kernel support in Snow Leopard operating systems, and full compatibility for Solid State Disks (SSD). Also amongst the new changes is the ability to now rebuild mirrors approximately 50-times faster, enabling mirror rebuilds to take less than 10 minutes on 1 – 2TB volumes.
Apple bans Jobs flyers
The man behind "Bring Back Steve Jobs" flyers at last week's Macworld Expo says the stunt was not meant as a slam against Apple. Gleb Budman and his colleagues were told by Apple representatives to stop handing out flyers to Expo attendees lined up for Apple's keynote on Tuesday morning. Budman says the message was meant as a "compliment" to Steve Jobs -- and a plea for Apple to reverse its decision to abandon the Expo after this year.
iPhone runs Windows
Developers at Citrix have been doing some guerilla marketing at Macworld Expo, holding impromptu demonstrations of forthcoming app allowing iPhone users to run Windows. The app is actually an iphone version of the company's XenDesktop thin client software. The virtualization software supports most Windows XP and Vista applications.
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Freeverse iPhone Apps
Freeverse is showcasing four upcoming iPhone and iPod touch games at Macworld Expo: Flick Baseball, SlotZ Racer, Roads of Ruin, and Days of Thunder. Flick Baseball is an arcade baseball game where users can customize their characters and play against other teams. The will include several modes, including full season, exhibition and championship as well as an added feature: home-run competition. Controls for the game have yet to be fully developed.
PulpMotion 2 for Mac
Aquafadas has unveiled PulpMotion 2 at Macworld Expo, the latest update to its slideshow animation application. Using the program, people can make custom slideshows from photos, videos, and music files on their computer. Version 2 gives users an improved interface made to simplify the creation process, over 80 themes and presets to choose from, and the ability to create custom themes. Video options were added to enable freezing a movie on the first or last image, after it has played. The update also enables multiple documents to be opened simultaneously, and theme support for transparent backgrounds.
Targus: laptop pads, bags
Targus is demonstrating new products at both CES and Macworld Expo. In San Francisco, the accessory maker unveiled a new line of "eco-friendly" laptop cases and bags for the Aluminum MacBook Pro and at CES, Targus is touting a new line of laptop cooling devices for PCs and Macs.
Show flloor in North Hall
We have some photos from the show floor in North Hall. The hit of the day was the Pulse Smartpen, a pen capable of recording audio, writing and drawings on specialized paper, then redrawing it on a desktop application. The smartpen won a best of show award. Cases from Incipio, which also won a best of show, were popular and Topaz photo software was attracting attention. iPod accessories and cases were being shown at numerous venders throughout the hall.
Excel Software has released DocProtect 1.0, an application for protecting rights and access to files, from actions like drag-and-drop copying to exporting and saving. The software wraps a protective license around the document to limit use by non-licensed users. It also works with HTML projects, offering the above protection and password protection for image collections, video and audio files, PDFs and Excel spreadsheets. Developers can design trial period access for the software, which works with files like CAD and .mov, .mp3, .avi and others.
City of Heroes for Mac
NCsoft has launched City of Heroes for the Mac, a massive multiplayer online (MMO) game where users create either a villain or hero, and do battle against creatures, giant monsters, and other players inside player-versus-player zones. Previously only available as an open beta, players can now receive the full copy as a digital-only Mac Special Edition. With the edition, users can expect access to the full City of Heroes and City of Villians game, twelve possible character slots to choose from, and exclusive in-game-items including a mission teleport power and a Valkyrie themed costume set.
Tuneblocker iPod cable
Matais has come up with a simple solution to a minor annoyance that affects every iPod and iPhone user -- the unwanted sync. Tune Blocker allows users to charge their devices through USB, without having to sync through iTunes. The cable comes with a built-in switch, so users can choose whether or not to sync.
Lego Batman coming to Mac
The official announcement has yet to be made, but Feral Interactive is giving MacWorld gamers a first-hand look at the Mac OS X version of Lego Batman.
Mac Data Recovery
Disk Doctor Labs has announced its new Disk Doctors Mac Data Recovery software. Compatible with Mac OS X Leopard and Tiger, the stand-alone software solution supports both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs and provides recovery from hard drives, camera/flash cards, FireWire drives, and USB drives. The software features a user interface that the company claims allows even a novice to handle complex recovery, support for both HFS+ and HFSX file systems, and an advance volume scanning option that helps in variety of unique situations, including recovering formatted volumes, volumes when not getting mounted, volumes having damaged partition map, volumes having corrupt catalog file or any kind of corruption in B-Tree.
Parallels raises the bar
The way Serguei Beloussov sees it, a lower price isn't the key to winning over Mac users with its Parallels Desktop virtual machine software. In an interview with MacNN, the CEO said he's now taking a cue from Apple, positioning Parallels as a premium product with improved quality and service. What he says he won't do, is get in a price war with close competitor VMWare Fusion.
Businesses embrace iPhone
Kerio Technologies says it is seeing significant -- even surprising -- growth in iPhone users of its MailServer products for small-to-medium-sized businesses. Worldwide Marketing VP Dusan Vitek tells MacNN says the introduction of the iPhone 3G led to a significant increase in demand in recent months.
Photos: South Hall
We have more Expo showfloor images from the South Hall at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Crows on the day after the Phil Schiller keynote were heavy, especially at the Axiotron booth, featuring the new 15-inch Modbook. Microsoft, Dr. Bot, Griffin, Roxio and Nikon were getting heavy foot traffic as well. G-Technology (Booth No. 1544 S) had possibly the most unique display on the floor, a G-DRIVE Mini that had survived being run over by a FedEx truck was being used in a semi-crushed state to serve up video for a laptop.
iToner 2 update
Ambrosia Software has released iToner 2, the latest update to the company’s custom ringtone application that enables users to create personal ringtones for the iPhone. By placing MP3, AAC, WAVE, or AIFF audio files into the iToner window, songs can be synced to the iPhone for later use. Features of the new version offer a cropping ability where users are able to scrub the sliders to the desired section of a song before syncing, over 40 pre-created custom ring tones, and ClearTone technology to help optimize audio to match the iPhone speaker’s capabilities.
PersonalBrain 5.0 ships
TheBrain Technologies has released PersonalBrain 5.0, the latest version of its information visualization and organization software. Offering a dynamic interface that enables users to link all ideas, files, and Web pages, it helps users better understand their information, see hidden connections, and "liberate themselves from linear file organization." Version 5 includes integration with many Mac OS X technologies, including Spotlight, QuickLook (for fast document previews), Address Book, iCal, and Apple Mail. It also includes an “outline” view that enables a broader view while retaining the flexibility of a networked structure, offers visual tagging to help find information quicker, and includes a new presentation mode that enables full screen visualization.
ATTO Xtend SAN iSCSI
In addition to demoing its FastStream RAID controller, ATTO has updated its iSCSI Software Initiator for Mac OS X/Xtend SAN with new enterprise-class features to provide better security and automation for medium- to large-installations. Xtend SAN now supports HeaderDigest and DataDigest with error level 1 processing -- which is used to guarantee the integrity of iSCSI header data. The new Xtend SAN Command Line Interface (CLI) enables almost complete automation of iSCSI target management. According to the company, this benefits larger installations where there is a need to execute commands in script or batch modes from workstations with minimal to no user interaction is required.
SoftRAID 4.0 demo at Expo
SoftRAID on Wednesday announced SoftRAID 4.0, a major upgrade to its RAID management software for Mac OS X. Expected to be demonstrated at MacWorld (booth 342), version 4.0 will be released by the end of Q1 2009 and will bring RAID enhancements to improve the rebuilding process -- especially on large volumes. With Fast Mirror Rebuilds, SoftRAID keeps track of which parts of the volume are used when a mirror disk is not present, and only rebuilds those sectors when the other mirror disk is reconnected. This allows users to rebuild there mirror volumes in minutes rather than hours.
Livescribe has announced its Livescribe Desktop software for the Mac. On display at Macworld Expo (and previously available as a beta version), Livescribe Desktop works with the company's Pulse Smartpen to allow audio and written notes recorded to be transferred into the Mac. Although first created for Windows XP/Vista, the software offers Mac-only features such as export/sharing of notes as PDF files, the ability to change the on-screen ink color of digital notes, and AAC export for audio files for iTunes compatibility.
Intego releases updates
Intego has released new versions of VirusBarrier Server 2 and VirusBarrier Mail Gateway 2, along with ContentBarrier X5. Virus Barrier 2 and Virus Barrier Mail Gateway add improved scanning and bug fixes. Server 2 scans every file that is copied to the Mac OS X server it protects, and scans all files that are launched on the server. If it finds a virus, it quarantines the file or files, and sends logs to administrators alerting them of the activity. VirusBarrier Server 2 can also be set to run scheduled scans of local and network volumes. It requires Mac OS X (Server) 10.4 or higher and is now available starting at $300.
Expo showfloor shots
Apple gets a lot of attention at MacWorld, but its the Mac fans and hundreds of other exhibitors that make the show such a spectacle. Here's an inside look from the show floor, including a shots of former Mac evangelist Guy Kawasaki. Other galleries include 17-inch Unibody MacBook Pro, a closer look at iWork '09 and iLife '09, Apple's Expo booth, and Schiller's Expo Keynote.
Safe Eyes Mobile
InternetSafety.com has announced the mobile version of its Safe Eyes for the iPhone and iPod touch. Originally created for the Mac and PC, Safe Eyes Mobile is filtering software that enables iPhone/iPod touch users to control what content can and cannot be viewed while surfing the web. Working as its own browser, the program contains many features found in Safari including multiple page capabilities, bookmarks, and zoom capabilities. Using the company’s web-based interface, owners can simply log into a password-protected account to change any desired settings or block specific categories for different users.
Intelliscanner mini ships
IntelliScanner (Booth No. 537S) has announced its IntelliScanner mini cubed. The scanner uses barcode technology to automatically organize household items like movies, books and wine. The mini offers personalized asset tags and new software features for managing home assets, managing items for insurance records and sharing items with friends. The scanner is portable, with a rechargeable battery and retains scanned info until it can be synced to a Mac via USB.
Lotus Notes 8.5 announced
IBM (Booth No. 3418 N) is now shipping Lotus Notes 8.5 and also at Macworld Expo announced that a final version of its free Lotus Symphony document, spreadsheet and presentation software will be available later this month. Lotus Notes 8.5 offers an estimated 40-percent storage reduction by limiting attachments to a one-copy-only system and improves the user-friendly aspects of the software, arranging collaborative tools onto one screen, linking team rooms, instant messaging, to do lists, calendars and browsers all in one space.
Home design arrives on Mac
Punch Software (Booth No. 3526 N) has released Home and Landscape Design Studio for the Mac at the Macworld Expo . The software offers a QuickStart system to help users design a home quickly, a Going Green service with information to help build an energy efficient home, and a new object library for more realistic 3D modeling. The software is geared to help users save time and money when building a home.
Autodesk adds to Mac line
Autodesk has released Mac OS X versions of its 2D and 3D design software Toxik, Mudbox and Autodesk ImageModeler. Company officials tell MacNN the Mac is making great gains in the creative community, spurring demand for more titles to complement its venerable 3D Modeling software Maya and photo-panorama creator Stitcher Unlimited.
iWork '09 photo gallery
We have a taken a close-up photos of the new iWork '09 productivity suite, introduced at Schiller's Expo keynote Tuesday morning. iWork features new templates in Pages, Numers and Keynote, and adds publishing to iWork.com for collaborative efforts or sharing with friends and family. Keynote '09 gains a magic move feature and can now be managed by an iPhone or iPod touch for running presentations. Pages '09 adds full-screen view and dynamic outline capabilities, while Numbers '09 gets new charting options and improved formula writing.
See also Galleries for the Apple Keynote, iLife '09, the new 17-inch MacBook Pro and the Macworld Apple booth.
In brief: JNSoftware and FastMac have both announced special promotions in order to celebrate this years Macworld Expo. Meanwhile, HearPlanet has opted to promote its new iPhone application by getting a double decker tour bus and taking Macworld attendees on tours of San Francisco guided by its app. Also, recordings from WOWODC 2008 have been released and are available until the end of January at a reduced of $150, a savings of $50.
A closer look at iLife '09
We have a slew of photos from iLife '09 which was being shown at the Apple Booth at the Expo, which was announced Tuesday morning with updated versions of iPhoto, iDVD, iWeb, and GarageBand (with new tutorials and self-learning functions). It is expected to ship by the end of the month and will be included as part of Apple's Mac Box Set bundle, which is also set to ship in the same time frame. iLife's iPhoto has added a Faces option for navigation using facial recognition, which is now built in to the application and has learning capabilities. Slideshows have been upgraded in iPhoto and Geo-tagging allows users to search for photos by location. iMovie has added image stabilization and new precision editing capabilities, GarageBand has added music lessons hosted by major musicians and iWeb has added widgets, allowing users to quickly integrate timers, HTML code, iSight links and more.
Apple Booth photos
We have many photos from the show floor, including the Apple booth. Photos incude shots of the Ilife '09/iWork '09 iMac line, the Laptop line that includes 4 17-inch MabBook Pros and the iPod booth. Microsoft, Kensignton, FileMaker, Elgato and Dr. Bot are all nearby.
MW09 keynote video
Apple has posted an official video of today's Macworld 2009 keynote event, hosted by senior marketing VP Phil Schiller. During the keynote Schiller announced several new products, including a 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro, the iLife '09 home suite, and the iWork '09 office suite. Schiller also exposed changes to DRM and pricing at iTunes. Update: Apple also posted a video talking about the battery technology used in the 17-inch Unibody MacBook Pro and the marketing video touting its battery life, battery lifespan, and other "green" features.
Final Expo keynote: images
Apple VP Phil Schiller gave what could be the company's final Macworld Expoo keynote, announcing the 17-inch Unibody MacBook Pro as well as iWork '09 and iLife '09 software upgrades. The company also announced big changes in iTunes, including variable song pricing (due in March) as well as a move to a fully DRM-free catalog (by end of March). Apple has also posted a QuickTime stream of the MWSF keynote.
17-inch Unibody MBP
We have some close-up shots of the new 17-inch Unibody MacBook Pro intrduced at Tuesday morning's keynote by Phil Schiller. The new MacBook Pro offers a non-glossy option with a new five-year-lifespan battery that is non-removable.
ChronoSync 4.0 ships
Econ Technologies has released ChronoSync 4.0, an update to its automated synchronization and backup application for Mac OS X as well as releases a new companion product ChronoAgent 1.0 for Mac. ChronoSync can be used to synchronize or backup documents -- at scheduled or triggered times -- either between folders on your Mac, other Macs, PCs, or external drives, etc.; users can setup schedules to automatically mount volumes. ChronoSync 4.0 adds many new features, most notably bootable backups, full Admin access, and faster synchronizations, while the new ChronoAgent that runs on the destination Mac and communicates directly with ChronoSync for full root access to the destination Mac.
Xsilva Lightspeed at MWSF
Montreal-based Xsilva Systems demonstrated LightSpeed 2.5 at Macworld Expo this past week, showing users how the software works with touchscreen computers. CEO Dax Dasilva guided MacNN through the workings of LightSpeed, pointing out the iPhone-like functionality of Cover Flow integration. Users can browse through products or customers using Cover Flow, giving retailers a visual overview of their database. Licensing for LightSpeed 2 starts at $750, and is available through Xsilva's online store.
Macworld interview part 1
Those going to the upcoming Macworld Expo in San Francisco can expect a much larger show this year, with nearly 50,000 registered attendees, and over 450 vendors are making a presence at the show. Paul Kent, Vice President of the Macworld Expo, told MacNN today that the 2008 event will dwarf previous years, with an estimated 25-percent increase in floor traffic, and an18-percent increase in vendor attendance. As of today, MacWorld Expo will feature 453 vendors, 48 of which are new and taking up residence in the year-old Developer's Pavilion.
New events at Macworld
The organizers of next month's Macworld Conference and Expo have announced a number of new and returning exhibits, which they say coincide with larger-than-average bookings. IDG World Expo notes that while it is only the South Hall of Moscone Center that sells out on a regular basis, the West Hall has just sold out for the first time in Macworld's history. Among the exhibits at the expanded expo will be a Podcast Studio, featuring live broadcasts from popular Mac-themed shows, though no particular names have been mentioned.