Cocktail Updated to 3.8

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007, 14:11
Category: Software

In other news, Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests, has been updated to version 3.8.
The new version, a small download, sports the following fixes and improvements:
Major interface improvements:
-Updated Cocktail Help.
-Improved Activity Log.
-Added possibility to join Cocktail eList.
-Added possibility to include Activity Log when providing feedback.
-Other miscellaneous fixes and improvements.
-Misc. New “Disable Sudden Motion Sensor” feature.
-Spotlight. Added possibility to enable/disable Spotlight indexing of selected disk.
-Spotlight. Added possibility to erase Spotlight index for selected disk.
-Databases. Improved rebuilding of Launch Services database.
-Databases. Added possibility to restore default file associations when rebuilding Launch Services database.
-Startup. New “Startup delay” feature.
Click the jump for the full story…


REVIEW: Future Sonics Atrio Earphones

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007, 11:02
Category: Review

Like you, I’m an iPod lover.
I find that there are two main applications where I use my iPod with earphones: doing yard work or while working out at the gym. When I’m in my vehicle, I connect my iPod to an Alpine iDA-X001 head unit via a docking cable in the center console. When I’m at home my iPod is usually attached to one of a few speaker systems that I use.
That being said, I’ve been testing Atrio series (US$199) headphones from the gang at Future Sonics. You’ll recall that I’ve been a huge fan of their FS1s and especially their SoftWear custom fit sleeves, so expectations for the new ‘phones are high.
More than three years of R&D went into developing the Atrio and it shows in the sound quality. The tag line for the Atrios is “bigger sound at lower volume” and it’s true. The benefit with higher quality earphones is that they sound better at a lower volume than a cheaper earphone at a higher volume, which saves your hearing. You shouldn’t have to crank the volume all the way up to enjoy your music. It’s better to invest in a quality pair of earphones and listen to your music at a lower volume.
More after the jump…


Jawbone’s Bluetooth Headset to Debut Alongside iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007, 09:33
Category: News

On Tuesday, peripherals maker Aliph announced that it would be releasing its Jawbone Bluetooth Headset alongside Apple’s iPhone at 157 Apple Store retail locations on June 29th.
According to Macworld News, the Jawbone provides the usual features found within a Bluetooth-based headset, but features a background noise elimination technology called Noise Shield. The device can also continuously adjust speaker volumes throughout the call and is made from medical grade materials.
The Jawbone retails for US$119 before delivery and is available in black, red and silver colors. A wall charger for the unit can be ordered for US$19.99 and four additional earbuds can be ordered for US$9.99.


What the heck is a Mouse Jiggler?

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007, 09:59
Category: Accessory

That was my reaction when I saw this little diddy from our friends at WiebeTech. The Mouse Jiggler (US$30) is actually pretty self explanatory and quite simple. Just stick this little device in your USB port (no, it’s not a USB flash drive) and it jiggles your mouse around on your screen. Since Mouse Jiggler registers as a Human Interface Device (HID), no new software is installed or required. An LED counts off the number of minutes Mouse Jiggler has been working.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself “Why would I want something that jiggles my mouse around?” Good question. It’s sole purpose (at least that I can think of, anyway) is to prevent timed screen savers and sleep mode from invoking and their associated password dialogs.
The Mouse Jiggler is available in two speeds (fast and slow). The fast version makes constant large motions that it’s obvious at a glance that it’s working. The slow version makes constant small motions allowing you to use the computer while Mouse Jiggler is attached.


QuickerTek 802.11n Upgrade Released for Older PowerBook Models

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007, 08:25
Category: News

Even if Apple’s newest Santa Rosa-based MacBook Pro laptops may be a bit rich for your blood, QuickerTek might have a solution. The recently-released nQuicky, which functions as an 802.11n CardBus adapter, works with any PowerBook sporting a free PCMCIA slot, including the “Pismo” PowerBook G3 (the unit with built-in Firewire) and the Black PowerBook.
According to MacNN, the nQuicky, which retails for US$150, allows for full compatibility with 802.11 b, g and n networks and boasts a speed of 300 megabits per second as well as three times the range of a standard 802.11 g network.
QuickerTek has stated that the nQuicky will be available in late June and require Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later to run. The nQuicky ships with a year’s warranty from QuickerTek.


VLC Updated to 0.8.6c

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007, 08:05
Category: Software

Video Lan Client, the popular open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), has recently been updated to version 0.8.6c. The new version, a 23.3 megabyte download, adds the following bug fixes and changes:
-Windows Vista compatibility.
-Cropping in Direct3D.
-Full screen change crash on Mac OS X.
-RSS filter string overflow.
-Few memory leaks.
-MKV demuxer crash (related to seeking).
CDDA / Vorbis / Theora / SAP plugins:
-Security updates (VideoLAN-SA-0702).
-Fixed a problem with detecting embedded subtitles (GAB2 format) in AVI.
-Updated FLAC API compatibility.
-Support for new v4l2 encoder API.
-New localisation: Arabic, Persian.
VLC 0.8.6 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run and is available as a free download.
If you’ve tried the new version and had either a positive or negative experience with it, let us know.