Archive for October, 2008
In broad, soap operatic strokes of the finest sort, IBM and Apple are at each other’s throats over Apple’s latest recruit: IBM’s vice president of microprocessor technology development. Improbably named Mark Papermaster, the man in question is responsible for IBM’s blade server division, and IBM is pretty sure there’s a non-compete in there somewhere, especially with Apple’s recent acquisition of PA Semi, a chip developer with PowerPC technology similar to IBM’s — IBM has filed lawsuits both against Apple in California (a state traditionally indifferent to non-competes) and against Papermaster in New York. We’re not going to get into all the sordid details, but just because IBM and Apple are very, very angry at each other right now doesn’t mean they’re mad at you. Probably.
Telemarketers-turned-inventors from the United Kingdom have started shipping TrueCall (£99.99), a device that acts as an automated secretary on your land line, either forwarding trusted numbers to your phone or answering untrusted numbers with an automated message and shooing them away. When an unrecognized number dials in, TrueCall asks them who they are and then rings you asking whether or not you want to take it. Sure, it’s not the most fun way to automatically ditch unscrupulous callers, but we’d like to listen in on the conversation when a robocall reaches this baby — it’d be like one wall talking to another wall.
With all of the political mudslinging going around this time of year, Apple has decided to add a different type of mudslinging to the barrage of TV commercials. Tonight, they released two new “Get a Mac” ads: Bean Counter, and V Word.
In Bean Counter [direct video link], PC is sitting at a desk, counting money out into two stacks. The largest stack is for advertising and the smaller stack is for bug fixes for Vista. When Mac questions him, he says that he’s having to take drastic action because of the frustration of Vista users. In the end, PC gives up budgeting and puts all of his money into advertising. This commercial is no doubt in response to Microsoft’s recent advertising strategies. In V Word [direct video link], PC makes every attempt to “beep out” the word “Vista” in the ad.
Sure, these commercials are well thought out and somewhat funny; but is Apple’s mudslinging getting a little old? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to take part in our poll. You can watch the new commercials by visiting the Apple website.
Thanks for the tip, Tony!
I’ve been using Faststone Capture portable for ages to handle my screenshot tasks, but PicPick is a very capable alternative.
PicPick provides the usual capture functionality and Windows hot key replacements (print screen and the control + and alt + variations), but it doesn’t stop there. The integrated editor is packed with features, and can easily handle any quick edits I need for creating documentation or blog posts.
The editor’s tabbed interface makes working with multiple images easy, especially when working with the repeat function to re-capture the same region for, say, a step-by-step installer tutorial.
Since most of my screen captures have to fit into a 500 pixel <div> tag, I was eager to test PicPick’s ability to scale images. Resizing is very good, producing reductions that are on par with those created by CS4.
So what else does PicPick include? How about a color picker, screen ruler, crosshair (for finding pixel-accurate screen locations), protractor (wth?), and whiteboard. The whiteboard feature works well with pen input, and allows you to markup your screen with multiple colors and pen widths prior to capturing.
On the downside, the editor lacks layer support and elements can’t be moved once you place them. It can be especially frustrating with text, but PicPick isn’t really designed for that kind of editing.
It’s free, and packs a ton of useful features in a half-megabyte portable package.
[ via Freeware Files ]
If we had to describe the past week to you, we would probably say that it was very educational. Actually, that’s not what we’d say at all, our true answer would likely be laden with copious amounts of crying and more profanity than a Bob Saget stand-up comedy special. For decency’s sake, we’ll explain it to you, dear readers, as being positively chock-full of education.
How so, you might inquire? Well, first and foremost, we’ve learned to never trust colleagues who claim to have discerned knowledge from the future based solely on their favorable placement on the time zone chart. We’ve learned that entering the stock market during a period of remarkable turmoil is an unfathomably unwise course of action. We’ve also learned that Chihuahuas, while adorable, are not what established investors would refer to as “blue chip” stocks. Finally, we’ve learned the sort of anguish one feels when they lose their entire savings and all personal property within a matter of hours, and, as a result, how to build a comfortable dwelling out of a hollowed-out Maytag dishwasher.
The Japanese video game industry seems to have had an equally disastrous week, with significant decreases in hardware sales across the board. However, it’s difficult for us to feel pity for the companies involved in this weekly Battle Royale — we wager nobody at Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo has been forced to learn the proper way to cook and eat shoes due to the unfortunate figures you see below.
- DS Lite: 31,914 10,471 (24.70%)
- PSP: 23,901 2,144 (8.23%)
- Wii: 22,877 2,453 (9.68%)
- Xbox 360: 7,763 508 (6.14%)
- PS2: 6,982 1,636 (18.98%)
- PS3: 5,734 1,498 (20.71%)
[Source: Media Create]
This sexy MID has been dropping jaws for more than a year now. Unfortunately, the plastic mock-up has always been a non-working, gutless model with little more than a glossy screen and backlight to demonstrate the form factor Intel’s gunning for with its future Moorestown Mobile Internet Devices. That all changed today when a world’s first working, Moorestown prototype (which we think is the device above) hit the stage at Intel’s Taipei, Developer Forum in the familiar hands of Anand Chandrasekher. Moorestown consists of a Lincroft micro-architecture that integrates the 45nm processor, graphics, memory controller, and video encode/decode functions onto a single, tiny chip with 10x less idle power draw than those first-gen, Atom-based MIDs and UMPCs. That’s pretty Impressive. As we’ve heard before, we can expect the new Moorestown MIDs to hit in 2009 / 2010 with support for wireless 3G, WiMAX, GPS, Bluetooth and digital mobile TV. We can hardly wait. We’ll update you with video just as soon as we can track it down. Until then, check Anand’s original video demonstration of the concept from 2007 after the break.
For individual Mac users or small businesses, it’s usually not a problem deploying new Macs with a standard image — as a Mac support specialist, you might just load each machine manually. But imagine if you need to deploy hundreds or thousands of Macs, PCs, or XServes. You’d need a small army of techs or a way to do the job automatically.
That’s where DeployStudio comes in handy. This freeware tool can be used to create deployment files using Netboot, external USB or FireWire drives, or any AFP, SMB, or NFS sharepoint on the network.
DeployStudio works with Mac OS X 10.4.11 to 10.5.3 at this point, and is updated regularly to include new OS versions. The package consists of DeployStudio Server, DeployStudio Assistant, DeployStudio Admin, and diffPackageMaker.
DeployStudio Server creates a network based deployment server containing the images. Assistant is used to configure the server and to create the NetInstall sets, while Admin is used to monitor deployments, manage disk images and scripts, enter configurations, and more. diffPackageMaker can look at the difference between two file system snapshots and create installation packages based on what has been changed or added.
Detailed documentation PDFs and screencasts are available on the DeployStudio site.
Mygazines made a splash a few months ago by launching a service that lets you read your favorite magazines online - without paying. The plan might have worked if the company had, I don’t know, partnered with magazine publishers to make free ad-supported versions of the magazine available. But that’s not what happened. Instead, Mygazines encouraged users to scan their own magazines and upload them to share with others.
Flash forward a few months and Mygazines is no more. A visit to the company’s homepage shows a message saying that the service has gone under due to “monetary reasons and the state of the global economy.” Because that’s what did it in. The global economy. Not a flawed business model that was incurring the wrath of publishers.
Capcom has been one of the most prolific publishers of downloadable titles for PSN and XBLA for a while now — with notable games Bionic Commando Rearmed and Mega Man 9 hitting digital store shelves earlier this fall. To reward them for their tireless productivity, Sony is giving the publisher their own Capcom-branded storefront on the PlayStation Store. The first of what Sony hopes will be many “publisher portals”, this dedicated page will feature the company’s games, setting them apart from the rest of the pack. The storefront will open in November — perhaps, some have postulated, in sync with Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.
We’ve accomplished many an hour of restful, mugger-prone napping on the subway, but there’s always the danger of missing your stop — a problem we’re usually too drowsy to consider at 2am in the morning. Not clever hacker Pyocotan, however. This resourceful fellow has built the Noriko-san sleeping mask for fashion-forward commuters, which broadcasts your destination to fellow passengers on a garish LED display, while you’re busy getting some shut-eye underneath the mask — in the hope that they’ll be kind enough to wake you up at the right stop after they’ve rid you of your iPod and wallet. With a cost of $200 in parts, and considerable impracticality to boot, this device isn’t quite ready for the commercial sphere, but that’s of little concern to Pyocotan — he’s just busy being awesome. Video is after the break.
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