One Finger Snap Makes Trackpads Tolerable

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Date: Saturday, July 30th, 2005, 02:26
Category: Software

Old Jewel Software has released One Finger Snap, a utility for Mac OS X that lets you bring up the contextual menu by simply clicking and holding the mouse button down…

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Panic Unison Usenet Client (Updated)

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Date: Friday, July 29th, 2005, 11:46
Category: Software

Panic Unison Usenet ClientRemember the early days of Usenet? Using your ISP’s awful news server and crawling through mountains of alt.whatever? What a pain. Usenet has taken a new direction these days and most ISPs only offer a fraction of the newsgroups that are available and they store very little, making archives weak. Don’t even get me started on the censored newsgroups.
Anyway, if you want to return to the glory days of 1981 (!) you’ll need a decent Usenet client…

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FileSalvage to the Rescue

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Date: Friday, July 29th, 2005, 10:03
Category: Software

File Salvage 4.1 Drive Recovery SoftwareSubRosaSoft.com LLC has announced FileSalvage version 4.1. The latest generation of their data recovery software for Mac OS X software adds detailed logging and the ability to process disk images. Defense attorney’s, law enforcement and corporate agencies can now access EnCase, Unix DDM, CopyCatX, etc. image file systems without purchasing expensive computer forensics software…

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Sony VAIO Engineers Being Recruited for Intel PowerBook?

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Date: Friday, July 29th, 2005, 10:43
Category: Hardware

Apple PowerBook 100A story over at Engadget speculates that Apple may be recruiting a team of ex Sony VAIO notebook engineers to design the new Intel PowerBook:

A reliable source tells us that Apple has been ?having trouble playing catch up with the learning curve for designing using the Intel platform? and that in order to have an Intel-based PowerBook out by next year they?ve been scrambling to recruit an engineering team with some experience building light and thin Intel-based laptops. And how are they going to do that? By poaching from Sony apparently…

PowerBook cognoscenti will find this story highly plausible because it was Sony that either totally or partially developed (depending on who you ask) the original PowerBook 100 for Apple in 1991. The PowerBook 100, incidentally, was voted the Best Gadget of All Time, by Mobile PC 2005.

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CueType 1.0.3 Improves Typing Skills

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Date: Friday, July 29th, 2005, 10:52
Category: Software

A friend once told me that the single best way to learn how to type was to practice on Instant Messenger. I’ll be damned if my horrible “hunt and peck” style hasn’t turned into a respectable 25-30 words per minute because of my inline chatting. The problem is that my speed probably won’t get much higher than that without professional help. That’s when I cam across a Mac OS X application that bills itself as a “keyboarding driller featuring innovative typing cues.” Read More…

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Privacy Friday: Microsoft's Lockware Strategy

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Date: Friday, July 29th, 2005, 10:57
Category: Archive

Recent headlines blare that Microsoft has forged a new “alliance” with Hollywood, but what does that mean for people who use or create software and hardware that works with Microsoft products?
Seth Schoen, EFF’s staff technologist and resident expert on “trusted computing,” attended this year’s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) to find out. In a four-part series of updates on Microsoft’s security and lockware strategy for Windows, Schoen explores the implications of the latest developments on your ability to control your own computer, create or use interoperable products, exercise your fair-use rights, protect your privacy, and maintain computer security. (Source: EFF)
Read More:
Part 1: “Microsoft Trusted Computing Updates
Part 2: “The Dangers of Device Authentication
Part 3: “Protected Media Path, Component Revocation, Windows Driver Lockdown
Part 4: “Microsoft Sells Out the Public on CGMS-A

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Privacy Friday: Is Your Printer Spying On You?

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Date: Friday, July 29th, 2005, 10:21
Category: Archive

Imagine that every time you printed a document, it automatically included a secret code that could be used to identify the printer – and potentially, the person who used it. Sounds like something from an episode of “Alias,” right?
Unfortunately, the scenario isn’t fictional. In an effort to identify counterfeiters, the US government has succeeded in persuading some color laser printer manufacturers to encode each page with identifying information. That means that without your knowledge or consent, an act you assume is private could become public. A communication tool you’re using in everyday life could become a tool for government surveillance. And what’s worse, there are no laws to prevent abuse. (EFF paper: “Investigating Machine Identification Code Technology in Color Laser Printers“)

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It's Been 15 Years: Time to Dump the Term "PowerBook"

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Date: Friday, July 29th, 2005, 06:42
Category: Opinion

The venerable PowerBook has been with us since 1991 when Apple released the PowerBook 100 (with the help of Sony) and Xerox PARC veteran and long-time Apple Fellow Alan Kay coined the term. Apple trademarked “PowerBook” shortly thereafter further solidifying the term in the modern technical vernacular. Apple launched their consumer notebook in 1999 and called it the “iBook” to differentiate it from its more expensive brother, the PowerBook.
As the iBook gained in “power” over the years Cupertino had a difficult time differentiating between their entry-level iBook and professional PowerBook offerings causing a lot of hand-wringing inside Apple’s marketing department. What exactly is the difference between an iBook and a PowerBook these days anyway? Monitor spanning? Puh-lease.
Click through for some of my suggestions…

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iDiddy Eliminates iPod Spaghetti Factor

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Date: Thursday, July 28th, 2005, 18:52
Category: Hardware

iDiddyWhen the iPod shuffle was announced back in January I expressed some concern about the “Spaghetti Factor

I was expecting Apple to do something innovative with the lanyard like include the headphones in it, instead you plug headphones into the bottom (top?) and the result is a mass of spaghetti hanging from your neck. The spaghetti problem is blatantly obvious in the new TV ads where people are dancing around with them around their necks. I bet we’ll start hearing stories really soon now about how the lanyard/headphone combination gets caught car doors, etc.

An interesting product called the iDiddy appears to have addressed this oversight with a wearable and tangle-free earbud and case combination for all iPods.
The iDiddy is a quality product that starts with a gorgeous hand-sewn leather iPod case, but that’s where the similarity to other iPod cases ends. What makes the iDiddy different is that the earbuds have been embedded into their “iLanyard,” making the earbud wires otherwise invisible. The iLanyard can also be detached from the case and can be used with any audio device with an eighth-inch stereo mini jack. One nice feature is the small clips on the side of the iLanyard for attaching the earbuds when not is use. The iDiddy makes your iPod easy to hang on a hook when not in use and easy to grab when you’re on your way out the door. Read More…

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Apple Announces Multi-Button Mighty Mouse

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Date: Thursday, July 28th, 2005, 13:54
Category: Hardware

Apple Mighty MouseApple today announced a new USB mouse called Mighty Mouse (US$49, free shipping). The wrinkle: rather than giving us a standard two-button mouse (that we’ve been begging them for forever,) Mighty Mouse is a sleek “no button” model like the Apple USB mouse that has two tiny sensors under the hood for left and right clicking. In addition they’ve added two side buttons that seem to be positioned in a slightly ackward location.

Meet the mouse that reinvented the wheel. The scroll wheel, that is. At $49, Mighty Mouse features the revolutionary Scroll Ball that lets you move anywhere inside a document, without lifting a finger. And with touch-sensitive technology concealed under the seamless top shell, you get the programability of a four-button mouse in a single-button design. Click, roll, squeeze and scroll. This mouse just aced the maze.

Mighty Mouse is a multi-button model with a cable. I would have prefered a Bluetooth model but suspect that the wireless version could be announced for around US$79 in the fall. I wish the Mighty Mouse was a little more like the two-button mouse with built-in trackpad mockup from Chris Hungate that we posted in May.
Will you be purchasing one?
(Thanks to everyone, and I mean everyone, that wrote to me about my earlier piece.)

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