Apple and Marketsource will be holding more \"Demo Days\" events past the holiday season in Circuit City stores, MacNN has learned. The next Demo Day event will be Sunday, Jan. 14. Two further Demo Days at Circuit City are tentatively scheduled for mid-March. Macintosh enthusiasts interested in participating in these paid events should contact Marketsource. Also, Circuit City is running, through Dec. 23, a \"Manager\'s Special\" rebate of $100 off the purchase of an iMac or iBook. This is in addition to the HP/Apple rebate of $100 if you purchase a HP 648C printer with an iMac or iBook, and buyers can also utilize Compuserve 2000\'s instant $400 rebate off three years of Internet service. (The $100 rebate does not apply to the G4 Cube as erroneously reported in Marketsource\'s own email.)
PineHill Products has recently released SiteToolkit 1.0, a complete set of Web site tools. The $15 toolkit will optimize Web pages, generate and automatically add META tags, upload entire Web sites and submit the sites to more than 40 search engines.
ACD Systems International will be exhibiting ACDSee 1.5, a high-speed image viewer and browser for the Mac, at MWSF. The software supports more than 40 popular image and multimedia formats and offers fast viewing and playing of multimedia files, including MPEGs and MP3s, using QuickTime.
A Yamaha press release says that Apple has plans to support Yamaha\'s FireWire-based mLAN technology in Mac OS X, quoting Apple VP Clent Richardson (Worldwide Developer Relations) as saying that he "believes Yamaha\'s mLAN will be the ideal way to handle audio and music over FireWire," Yamaha is offering developer licenses for its mLAN protocol can route digital audio and control data from one device to another for creating and mastering music.
Rio has begun shipping the Rio 800, the company\'s high-end, $270 MP3 player. Features include up to two hours of music storage, a voice recorder, rechargeable battery and remote control. The device comes bundled with Casady and Greene\'s SoundJam MP.
Software Perspectives has released Relax 2.6, a natural-environment simulator for the Macintosh. This version includes performance improvements and three free environments. The update is on sale for $8 until Dec. 31. The company has also released a newly recompiled Relax Super Bundle and a new Relax Expansion Pack.
OmniGraffle 1.0b2, which expires Feb. 1, is an update to OmniGroup\'s software for drawing diagrams, family trees, flow charts, organizations charts and layouts. This beta offers the ability to open .diagram2 and .dpalette2 files, the ability to adjust page margins, optimizes the layout function and fixes numerous bugs.
Aveo has launched a new broadband locator that allows users to check for availability and order broadband service from Excite@Home and Telocity. If no broadband service is available in a user\'s area, they can request to be informed when it does become available.
Xicons today posted PhotoReal, a set of system replacement icons for OS X by Rene Mollema.
Today\'s bargains at DealNN include domain name registration for $11, 256 MB of PC100 RAM for $129, Virtual PC 4.0 upgrade for $39, and refurbished iMac DV systems with software and free overnight shipping.
Interesting threads in our forums include users experiencing difficulties ejecting DVDs from iMacs, possible overheating of slot-loading iMacs, complications using Flash 5 and ATI\'s Radeon, password protecting the ability to print, the range of an Airport software base station, using OS X icons under OS 9, and recommendations for affordable DV cameras.
games.macnn.com has information on the release of the long-awaited 1.04 patch for Diablo II and an unofficial 1.02c patch for Heavy Metal: FAKK2.
Kingston has introduced IdentiGuard touch verification products that are available in USB and PC card versions. The products help to manage passwords using up to 9,000 unique identifying characteristics of your fingerprint. A Mac-compatible version of the product is expected sometime next year.
Dan Williams has begun porting Quake 1 to Mac OS X, working off of firstname.lastname@example.org\'s GLQuake port for MacOS 8/9. "This port is done in Carbon, but will probably have some Cocoa code for the input stuff." Currently it builds and plays demos and has sound support; however, mouse and arrow key input are not functioning.
Hewlett-Packard recently introduced two Mac-compatible multifunction devices, offering copying, scanning and printing capabilities. The $500 Officejet g55 offers 2,400 x 1,200-dpi color resolution; 36-bit color support; 600 x 600-dpi black resolution; 12 ppm print speed; the ability to copy wallet-size photos, posters and T-shirt transfers; and can make up to 99 copies at once, while the $800 Officejet g85 also adds faxing capabilities as well as the ability to copy books, fabrics and flowers and prints e-mail attachments that contain color graphics. Both offer image editing and OCR software as well.
XFree86 4.02 is an open source implementation of the X Window System that now works on Mac OS X. Additionally, this version offers increased ATI support, adds multihead configuration support and improves nonIntel platform support.
FileChop 1.0 segments files (applications, documents, etc) into smaller pieces of any designated size to make it easier to send those pieces over email or for storage on fixed-size removeable media such as Zip disks.
Apple\'s interim general manager in Brazil, Marinaldo Azevedo says that plans for a manufacturing plant in Brazil are underway, as a feasibility study is reportedly nearing completion, according to a special report from a Brazilian Mac Website. "While he declined to specify Apple Brazil\'s marketing plans for 2001, Azevedo said the division will be \'very aggressive\' in the new year. Some Brazilian users have criticized Apple Brazil\'s recent marketing campaigns here, saying that its efforts were borrowed directly from Apple\'s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters without modifications that would render them relevant to the Brazilian public." [updated]
osx.macnn.com has news of OmniGroup\'s OmniGraffle 1.0b2, a port of Quake I to Mac OS X, XFree86 4.02 for Mac OS X, and a Carbon version of BasePlant 1.0.1.
Iomega has begun shipping its Predator CD-RW drive and will be widely available in the United States during early January. The $270 external drive offers 8x4x32x speeds and interchangeable adapters, but currently ships with a USB 1.1 interface. A FireWire adapter will be available in the first quarter of 2001 for $330, with USB 2.0 and PCMCIA adapters to follow later in the year. It is bundled with Adaptec Toast, MusicMatch Jukebox Plus and MGI PhotoSuite software.
Dominion Software has released WorkingPapers Pro 2.1.1, a maintenance update to its $100 scanning and organizational tool that can catalogue and cross-reference thousands of documents. Version 2.1.1, a free upgrade for existing customers, can be obtained by emailing the company with name, address, and company name. A demo is available online.
Yamaha is offering developer licenses for its mLAN technology, a FireWire-based protocol that can route digital audio and control data from one device to another for creating and mastering music. Apple currently supports the technology in Mac OS X and "believes Yamaha\'s mLAN will be the ideal way to handle audio and music over FireWire," according to Apple VP Clent Richardson. Usage of both the mLAN logo/trademark, mLAN API specification and Yamaha-owned patents are royalty-free to licensees. An administration fee of approximately $1,800 is required from licensees with an annual renewal of approximately $900.
Micro Center stores will begin selling Sonnet Technologies\' products soon. The stores will initially be selling Tango, Tempo Ultra ATA66, and Crescendo/PCI G3.
During the past week, MacDesktops has posted 14 new pictures, including Alloy Apple (logos, Apple), Bad Boyz (animation), blue lure (art) and Join the Evangelista (logos, Apple). The pictures are free and available in a wide range of sizes.
Apple Master Harry Marks has written a tribute to Charter AppleMaster Dana Atchley, who died recently. \"He was a multimedia artist passionate about combining the ancient art of storytelling with the powerful tools of multimedia technology.\"
Asantť is now shipping GigaNIX, its new $260 Gigabit Ethernet adapters for Mac OS, Windows and Linux systems, which it claims is an average of 16% faster than Apple\'s integrated Ethernet port on Gigabit Power Macs, offering transfer speeds of almost 40MB/sec. A PC-only model is $150. [price updated]
Cafederic has posted BasePlant 1.0.1, a collection of more than 200 classes to enhance PowerPlant, the framework from Metrowerks. This Carbonized update adds better support for CodeWarrior 6, compiles without precompiled headers and offers support for Universal Headers from 3.2 through 3.4b1. The regular price is $150 for commercial ($35 personal license), in-house development, but for the first 30 days, the price will be $95.
Morning tech news: Adobe and Microsoft are among Fortune\'s List of 100 Best Companies to Work For; and Last minute efforts to open up AOL Instant messaging are part of the conditions for which Microsoft Bill Gates is pleading before the imminent finalization of the AOL-Time Warner merger.
Yesterday we noted Jobs\' keynote satellite coordinates and Webcast info, Adobe\'s InDesign 1.5.2 update and GoLive 5 demo (and FAQ) and Apple\'s ASIP 9.04 Update 1.0, and a new $100 Apple Education rebate. We also noted shipment of USB/FireWire combo drive enclosures and the release of PhotoFolio 3.0, new Epson 980 drivers, and Open Door\'s Who\'s There? 1.0b13.
Taylor Design\'s TextSpresso 1.8 improves Mac-to-HTML and Mac-to-ASCII conversion in its $30 text filtering application with over 180 built in filters and 9 user editable filter types. A demo is available online.
Stephen Becker has posted a public beta version of InfoManager 2.0b1, his Mac utility that includes features such as an enhanced clipboard, new printing tools, file and folder organization, and his WebPrint Plus engine for on-the-fly customization and formatting.
ChaoticSoftware has posted QuickMovie 1.3, a minor update to the $20 application for creating QuickTime movies from a series of images.
Early morning tech news: Adobe is sticking by its 25 percent growth forecast, despite a slowing economy and says that Acrobat will be its fastest growing business next year. SmartDisk Corp, the owner of VST Technologies, says it expects to post a fourth-quarter loss instead of the profit expected by analysts, due--in part--to weak demand in the personal computer market.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl
XCOM 2 ships on Steam for Mac, Windows
Feral Interactive today announced that the highly anticipated turn-based strategy game XCOM 2 is out now for OS X and Windows, and is available to buy through Steam and through the Mac App Store shortly. The sequel to the popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 is available as a standalone base game and as the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. The XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition comprises the base game, the Reinforcement Pack and the XCOM 2 digital soundtrack. Versions start at $60. http://bit.ly/1KuEFsX