Skype 2.5 for Mac Released

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Date: Wednesday, January 31st, 2007, 13:28
Category: Software

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On Wednesday, Skype announced that Skype for Mac 2.5 has gone gold according to an article on Macworld News.
The new version of the software is capable of sending Short Message Service (SMS) messages to mobile phones (i.e., “text messaging”), supports audio-based conference calls between as many as 10 people and supports one-on-one videoconferencing.
Skype’s features are generally available for free but charges a given fee for the ability to send calls to and receive calls from land lines and cell phones. The program requires an 800 MHz or faster G4, G5 or Intel-based processor, Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, 40 megabytes of disk space and 512 megabytes of RAM. The program can also function with a microphone and webcam.
The software is available for download here.

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Rayner Software Releases iBatt 2.0

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Date: Wednesday, January 31st, 2007, 08:00
Category: Software

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Rayner Software has releases version 2.0 of its battery analysis and diagnostic program. The new version, a 405 kilobyte download courtesy of MacUpdate features a rewritten back end, new interface and Universal Binary compatibility. The program takes available battery data and presents it as a series of gauges and line graphs displaying battery history.
The program also takes a more social aspect and shares available data with iBatt’s server in order to compare your battery data with that of others using the same model in order to see where your performance stands among your peers.
The program can also establish a Health Report, grading your battery from A+ to F with A+ representing a perfectly usable battery while F represents an essentially dead unit. The report card is generated through the program’s own internal tests as well as through comparing your battery performance to that of others via iBatt’s server.
Finally, the program can examine your battery’s deterioration provided it’s run in the background during most of your laptop’s use.
iBatt requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and can be used on iBooks, PowerBooks, MacBooks and MacBook Pro laptops. The software features a trial period and is available for a $19 shareware registration fee.

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The Flying Toasters Live On Via ToasterClone

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Date: Friday, January 26th, 2007, 07:33
Category: Software

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A staple of the 80′s lives on in Mac OS X through ToasterClone. The Flying Toasters screensaver is now available as a free open source download from uneasysilence.com.
The screensaver comes in both classic (black and white) and modern (color with some 3D elements) forms and is available for free as part of an open source project for Mac OS X and Windows.
ToasterClone is a 455 kilobyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.

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Keynote v4 Previewed at MWSF07

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Date: Thursday, January 25th, 2007, 12:26
Category: Software
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I give a lot of presentations and am a huge fan/advocate of Apple’s presentation application, Keynote. During his keynote address at Macworld Expo 2007 in San Francisco I noticed a few new effects that aren’t available in the shipping version of Keynote 3. So did the good folks at KeynoteUser.com who have the juice on new features that are likely to come in version 4.

Many people noticed some unusual Keynote presentation effects in Job’s recent keynote at MacWorld (e.g. the small text exploding above). Now Brian Peat over at KeynoteUser.com has gone through the keynote with a fine-toothed comb, identifying a bunch of new stuff, like path animations and lots of explosions that cannot be done with Keynote 3

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

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Japan far Ahead in Reinventing use of Cell Phones

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Date: Sunday, January 21st, 2007, 12:59
Category: iPhone

As stock markets swooned and techies buzzed over Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs’ long-awaited entry into the mobile-phone market, Japanese consumers could be excused for wondering: Why the fuss?

Many Japanese had a hard time buying Jobs’ hype about “reinventing” the phone. The revolution is well under way in Japan, where cell phones are used for everything from navigating home by GPS to buying movie tickets and remotely updating blogs.

Japanese cell phones also download music, surf the Internet and make phone calls.

They’ve been a natural extension of daily life the last few years, spurred by the Japanese decision to be the first country to upgrade to third-generation mobile-phone networks, or 3G, which increased broadband capabilities and allowed for greater, faster transmission of voice and data. Apple’s iPhone, by comparison, will operate on a 2G network.

Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/21/2007 | Japan far ahead in reinventing use of cell phones

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Missing From The iPhone: One More Thing

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Date: Thursday, January 18th, 2007, 11:00
Category: iPhone

Jason wrote his top 13 missing iPhone features in his ZDNet blog, The Apple Core, and he makes good points; the only ones I disagree on are more related to my own work style: I don’t need OTA downloads from iTMS because I shun DRM; I don’t use Office so I don’t need Office support, and I personally like the sealed battery if it cuts down on size (it does) and gives better clean lines (it does). But these are just me, and most people will find those important.
But the one thing Jason missed – the big missing functionality in my world – is handwriting recognition.
I’ve written on a handheld device for years; first it was a series of Palm OS devices, then a Sony Ericsson P800. (OK, fine, there were two Newtons before any of that.) It’s just so much more natural to write than to type with your thumbs on tiny keypads. I know the whole opposable thumbs thing is cool, but just because we have them doesn’t mean we must be reduced to them. Writing is natural, and hey – isn’t the iPhone UI all about natural gestures and movement?
OS X has had Inkwell in there for a couple of years, quietly lurking below the surface, and it still hasn’t been taken advantage of. If you read Lev Grossman’s article in Time about the origin of the iPhone, it’s easy to guess that Inkwell came about because Apple was thinking tablet (and Steve spake, saying unto them, “makest me handwriting recognition software, for lo, I may want to use it!”), but by the time they changed directions, Inkwell was done and released. So maybe now’s the perfect time: Inkwell on an iPhone? Killer.
I’m also holding out hope for the “next” iPhone. So soon, you ask? Well, remember the time in the way back, before the keynote last week? There were rumors going around about how there were going to be two iPhones, one consumer, one smartphone. The iPhone that Steve demo’d wowed everyone so well, and does things so much better than any smartphone does, that we all thought that was it… but what if it’s not? What if (are you sitting down?)… what if that was Apple’s idea of a consumer level phone? What if there’s a higher-end phone, a real smart phone, waiting in the wings?
A lot can happen between now and June. I’m holding out hope.
Contributed by: Steve Abrahamson

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iPhone Version of OS X Under 500 Megabytes

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Date: Monday, January 15th, 2007, 08:57
Category: Software

An article over on Macworld.co.uk describes how the upcoming iPhone version of Mac OS X will weigh in at under 500 megabytes of space that will be used on a “versatile” flash hard drive according to Apple’s vice president of worldwide marketing, Greg Joswiak.

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The operating system, according to Joswiak, will sit in the flash memory of the iPhone and that Apple will “provide updates to the operating system like we do today,” with a similar software update structure being developed such as the one used for the company’s iPods and Macintosh computers. Specific details as to this have yet to be released.
Joswiak also claimed that Apple was able to reduce the file size of Mac OS X by removing technologies that didn’t need to ship with the iPhone and that the small, durable form factor of a flash hard drive worked well for the iPhone.
So far a list of included and excluded Mac OS X technologies has yet to be seen.
If you have any comments or feedback, please let us know.

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MWSF: Parallels Update Due Within a Few Weeks

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Date: Thursday, January 11th, 2007, 20:40
Category: Software

San Francisco — Parallels Desktop, the extremely popular Windows virtualization program for Mac OS X, will receive a significant update within the next few weeks according to company product manager Benjamin Rudolph.

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The free update will include full USB and iSight camera support as well as improved 3D graphics and multicore processor support.
With Mac OS X 10.5 on the horizon, the design team has found that its current builds function well with betas of the upcoming Apple operating system, albeit there are no plans to specifically wrap Parallels around Mac OS X 10.5-specific technologies such as Spaces or Time Machine.
Although Parallels has been on a run as of late, being cited as a solid, reliable product, concerns have arisen with regard to Microsoft’s upcoming operating system, which will be released at the end of the month. Current Microsoft licensing forbids the use of the home editions of the operating system under virtualization environments such as the one Parallels provides, a move that pushes the user to look towards variants of the operating system within the $400 range as opposed to one within a $100 range.
Parallels has yet to test the home editions of Vista on its current builds and was unable to provide further comments as to whether it was possible to run the operating system, despite possible licensing violations.
If you have any comments or feedback on this, please let us know.

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MWSF07: CrossOver 6.1 En Route

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Date: Thursday, January 11th, 2007, 19:03
Category: Software

San Francisco — CodeWeavers, which recently moved its CrossOver program beyond the beta stages and released version 6.0 of its WINE-based Windows virtualization program, will release version 6.1 of its software within “the next few months” according to company representatives.

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Version 6.1 of the software will feature significant improvements in Windows’ Direct3D and system 3D support as well as boost support for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 web browser. The company will also improve support on CD copy protection, allowing the program to function when a legitimate CD is inserted in an optical drive (this can help improve recognition of valid CDs and allow for additional Windows games to be recognized and played).
The firm is currently also exploring retail channels to sell the software in.
If you have any comments or feedback, let us know.

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iPhone Compared to Five Other Leading Smartphones

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Date: Thursday, January 11th, 2007, 09:31
Category: iPhone

TNL.net has posted an interested chart comparing the specifications of Apple’s iPhone to the Motorola Q, Nokia E-62, Palm Treo 750, RIM Blackberry Pearl and the Samsung Blackjack… Click through for their chart.

So it’s official: Apple now is a phone manufacturer. With the announcement of the Apple iPhone, we can now finally assess that new product and I have to say, color me impressed. The company has managed to overcome a lot of the problems surrounding existing mobile phones and created a device that is close to what geeks like myself want: 2 megapixel camera, MP3 player, video player, phone with integrated address book, calendar, email, web browser, SMS, notepad, google maps, and support for other widgets, which makes the whole platform more extensible.

It’s a very smart move on the part of Apple, which highlighted the change in the way the company is operating by changing its name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. , reflecting the fact that they are no longer just a computer company.There were a few interesting items of interest, though.

The TNL.net weblog ยป The iPhone is here

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