LAS VEGAS--Get ready for the collision of social networking and peer-to-peer file sharing.
With the beta release of LimeWire 5.0 (download for Windows| Mac), which was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show here, the popular P2P service is incorporating a social element that will enable people using Jabber-compatible services like Gmail to share files with friends on their buddy lists. Lime Wire calls this a "personal sharing network."
The idea, said Lime Wire CEO George Searle, is to add trusted context to user searches for content, given that people are more likely to want--and feel comfortable with--content … Read more
Probably the most popular pro-level database maker for the Mac, FileMaker Pro has just released a major update to coincide with Macworld 2009. Offering a sleek new interface that's as nice to look at as it is intuitive, FileMaker Pro's new Status Toolbar puts commonly used features right where you need them. Even if you're not happy with the default layout of the new toolbar, you can easily customize the available icons to improve the work flow for specific projects.
The new browse feature gives you a centralized location for navigating to different parts of your database … Read more
That's curious--you don't see big company billionaires mingling with consumers in a frenzied trade show environment too often (although you should). So I snared him for a quick interview about his booth duty and the plans for Intuit overall.
Regarding hanging out with The People, Cook simply said that it's a great way to get customers to talk to him for free (versus paid surveys, I assume) and … Read more
At the Macworld 2009 keynote presentation this morning given by Phill Schiller (Steve Jobs was absent this year due to widely reported health issues), one of the more exciting new software developments was to the iLife suite of software for Mac.
Long touted as the comprehensive suite from Apple to manage your digital lifestyle, iLife includes the popular Mac apps iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD, and iWeb. Over the course of the speech, several enhancements to each software were given screen time, and many of the new features were those long requested by fans as well as innovative new features from … Read more
With its launch of iPhoto 09, Apple has begun showing some reasons why it's worth enduring the hassle of geotagging your photos.
It's generally not easy right now to label your photos with information about where you took the pictures--the process usually is done with special software to marry the photos with location data taken from a separate GPS receiver.
Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, demonstrated what you can do with iPhoto at the Macworld 2009 keynote Tuesday.
iPhoto 09 works best with photos that already have been tagged. That's getting more common, as GPS hardware support becomes less of a rarity. For example, Nikon's Coolpix P6000 has a built-in GPS receiver, and Nikon has begun selling its GP-1 GPS receiver, which can plug into its SLR's flash mount so location data is embedded in the photo. Apple's iPhone can geotag its own photos, and camera manufacturers say GPS support in cameras has become a matter of when, not if.
But the software also can help you tag your own images. Clicking a photo flips it over, letting you type in a location, then showing the spot using a map. (Google supplies back-end mapping services). Helpfully, iPhoto then can spread that location data to other photos with similar time stamps, and they can be bundled together into a group called an event.
OK, but what can you do? Once you have geotagged photos, what can you do with them?
For one thing, sift through them geographically using iPhotos' new Places interface. Viewing an iPhoto event can show an associated collection of pushpins on a map, and clicking each pin shows the photo.
For another, you can search for photos based on where you took them, not on whatever filing system you might use. iPhoto can handle geographic hierarchies, so if you labeled a photo with "Eiffel Tower," it'll find it with a search for "France" or "Paris." … Read more
On Tuesday, TechSmith released Jing Pro, a paid premium version of its free screen capture and casting software. The new service, which runs $14.95 a year, upgrades videos to H.264 encoding, takes off the Jing watermark in the bottom corner of recorded clips, and gives users the option to upload directly to several popular video hosting sites including Facebook, YouTube, Viddler, and Vimeo.
Of the news, one of the biggest changes is the move to the MPEG-4 AVC video format. It's the go-to format for iPods and iPhones, as well as set-top boxes like the Apple TV … Read more
Skype 2.8 for Mac will ship on Tuesday, with new features including screen sharing and an integrated Wi-Fi hot spot connector.
Available only for Mac OS X at first, the new version will add screen-sharing capabilities to the app's voice, video, and chat communications features. Skype spokespeople told me that users will be able to run all four channels at once with acceptable performance.
Screen sharing is useful in business settings (I get a lot of demos over apps like Webex, for example), but it has personal applications as well: People could share photographs, and presumably videos as … Read more
Google plans to release on Monday a beta version of Picasa for Mac OS X, helping Apple fans catch up to Windows and Linux users already employing the free tool for editing, cataloging, and uploading photos.
The Mac version largely matches the features in Picasa 3 for Windows, said Jason Cook, Picasa's marketing manager. Though the company has been scrambling to include some secondary features such as geotagging and the ability to get photos printed, the core abilities of Picasa are present, he said.
Picasa lets people edit and print photos, create collages and movies, and add labels, star ratings, and tags. More significantly, given Google's cloud-computing focus, it also lets people upload their images to the company's online Picasa Web Albums site where images can be shared. Google acquired Picasa in 2004.
"We have many Mac users," Cook said, though declining to offer any estimates, "and we think they'll be excited about this. It makes the Picasa Web Albums experience better." … Read more
Soonr's free service and accompanying App Store download allows users to store up to 500MB of files, which they can access on the go, from the iPhone or a standard Web browser.
New users create their account on their iPhone and then download a desktop application (available for PC or Mac) which handles the synchronization of files. In the same form of other desktop-syncing applications, the user only has to choose the directories that they want to keep updated, and any changes … Read more