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Pro Pack SR2: 3D-character animation add-on
Curious Labs' Pro Pack SR 2 is an upgrade to the Pro Pack add-on that adds important functionality and plugins to the 3D-Character Animation Tools, including 3DstudioMax and LightWave support, exporters to generate 2D Flash animation, and web deployable 3D characters and other core functions. Service Release 2 offers plug-in support for 3D Studio Max versions 2.x, 3.x and 4, "dozens" of additional Python methods, and updated product documentation as well as other enhancements.
LOOK4 v1.1: bug fix to OS X search tool
esd software has released LOOK4 v1.1, a maintenance release to its new, fast search tool for local files that fixes an authorisation bug that was discovered after v1.0 was released.
Tech: 500,000 Game Boy Advance units sold
Evening tech news: Nintendo's Game Boy Advance sold 500,000 units last week after making its U.S. debut; Palm has introduced Michael Jordan editions of its entry-level m100 and high-end m500 Palm handhelds, which come with additional software at a $25 to $30 premium over the garden variety models; after today's market close, Oracle announced fourth-quarter earnings of $855 million (15 cents a share), narrowly beating the analyst consensus of 14 cents a share; and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell below the "psychologically critical" 2,000 mark as it closed on Monday at 1,988.63.
Extensis Preflight Pro 2.2: Pre-press tool
Extension Preflight Pro 2.2 is a new version of the $400 application for identifying and correcting pre-press printing problems. Version 2.2 updates Illustrator support to accurately inspect version 8 and 9 .ai and EPS files and modifies PDF support to match Preflight Online. [form]
3D design software Carrara Studio ships
Eovia Corporation is now shipping Carrara Studio, a full-service, cross-platform 3D design application and the "matured offspring" of Ray Dream Studio and infini-D. The $400 application features instant 3D visualization of modeling, texturing, and scene work, twenty five third-party plug-ins that provide advanced effects and tools, five distinct modelersSpline, vertex, Metaball, Text, and Terrainthat allow designers to fit the tool to the job, and a fully supported version of Amapi 3D, a NURBS implementation. Owners of Carrara may upgrade to Carrara Studio for $100, while owners of any version of Infini-D or Ray Dream may upgrade for $150.
MacSoft releases Pong, now in 3D
MacSoft has announced the release of Pong, a 3D version of the popular arcade classic. The $20 game features twenty levels complete with power-ups and secrets, as well as multiplayer action for up to four players that includes numerous cooperative and competitive modes.
Iomega names new CEO, warns of Q2 loss
Iomega has named Werner Heid as its new president and CEO. Heid had served as president of Proxima Corporation, a manufacturer of multimedia projectors, since 1998 and then served as a vice president after it merged with InFocus Corp. Heid replaces Bruce Albertson, who resigned last month over differences with the board regarding the company's direction. The appointment of Heid was coupled with a warning of a second-quarter loss of $62 million. Heid plans to take the company "back to the basics" and focus on selling its flagship Zip drives.
Asanté ships Gigabit Ethernet switches
Asanté is now shipping its Asanté IntraCore 65120 Gigabit Ethernet switches. The new $3400 IntraCore 65120-12G 12-port switch breaks a significant price point barrier, with a cost-per-port under $400, well below the industry average of $1000. The IntraCore 65120-2G offers ten 10/100/1000 switched ports plus two 1000BaseX Gigabit GBIC interfaces and costs $3500.
WeatherCenter 1.5: Online weather tracking
WeatherCenter 1.5 adds full international support, including weather images and metric support, full customizable theme support, access to an archive of online themes, an updated and feature-enhanced preferences panel, and better performance.
Cocoa version of GIMP in development
Mat Caughron reports that efforts have begun to create a Cocoa version of the free graphics editor, GIMP: "When you gunzip and untar gimp_cocoa.tar.gz you will get a launchable app that contains the main GIMP toolkit, but less than 10% of the features currently work." CDs with the native (XFree86 version) of the GIMP will ship on June 25 for $25 (pre-orders are $20). Proceeds of sales of the CD will go towards further development on the project. The shipping version will offer a point-and-click installer, more than 100 filters, is fully functional, and of course, the source code.
CarbonMaker 1.0a3: build Classic, OS X apps
CarbonMaker 1.0a3, a new alpha version the tool that allows you to build applications for both Mac OS 9 and X using a WYSIWYG window/menu editor.
Seagate unveils new USB storage drives
Seagate today unveiled DiskStor drives, a new line of USB-based drives that offer sustained data transfer rates of up to 12 Mbits/sec. DiskStor 20 (STH6201U-R) and DiskStor 40 (STH6401U-R) are available in the U.S. for $270 and $350 respectively, and in Europe/Asia with special power accessories.
Royalty-free image Web site now finds home
PhotoEmpt has relocated its royalty-free image web site at with full size watermarked previews, including eight themed sets of images as well as a small number of free Images. Each themed set of 100 images is $50 for medium resolution and $300 for high-resolution images.
DVD-R/DVD-RAM recorder, player in Japan
Harry Sarkas notes that Pixela Corp in Japan has introduced external FireWire and ATAPI versions of a DVD-R/DVD-RAM recorder/player [Japanese] for both Mac and Windows in Japan (model nos. PIX-DVRR/FW1 and PIX-DVRR/AT1): "I believe they are based on the Panasonic drive mentioned last month. Pixela also has a USB MPEG-2 hardware encoder, which encodes video into MPEG-2 in realtime over USB. I do wish this would go on sale here in the U.S.!"
New inexpensive optical wheel mouse
The AOpen O-35 is a new USB-based optical wheel mouse that is designed for right or left handed use, sports an ergonomic design, and offers three buttons with a ratcheting wheel positioned between the two top button keys. Available now for $22, the optical mouse comes with a limited one-year warranty.
Toshiba unveils power-packed digital camera
Toshiba has introduced its new PDR-M81, a new 8.5 ounce, 4.2 Megapixel digital camera that is expected to be on store shelves in July with a street price under $1000. The camera is able to capture high-resolution 2400 x 1600 imagesin addition to 1200 x 800 and 720 x 480and features a 2.8X optical zoom and 2.2X digital zoom. Other features include a polished silver and black color scheme, an AVI movie mode that lets user film up to three minutes of video at 160 x 120 resolution (15 fps), or 60 seconds at 320 x 240 (15 fps), a built-in microphone, a 1.5-inch color LCD display, automatic playback of images, and an 8MB SmartMedia card.
NEC-Mitsubishi unveils thin frame LCD
NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display has introduced the NEC MultiSync LCD1850X, a $2300 thin frame 18-inch LCD monitor that features a native resolution of 1280 x 1024 at 75 Hz and weighs 18.7 pounds. It also includes both a Digital Video Interface (DVI) port and an analog port through a traditional VGA connector. The MultiSync LCD1850X is pivot-enabled and provides the widest viewing angles possible in both portrait and landscape orientation. Additional features include low power consumption and reduced emissions, On Screen Manager for display adjustments, wall/arm mounting capabilities, no-touch auto adjust upon initial power on, a high-bright backlight, and a three-year warranty.
MacPlay seeking requests for Mac games
MacPlay, a new Mac game publishing company whose 2001 lineup includes Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Sacrifice, and Giants: Citizen Kabuto, is asking for Mac users to e-mail the company at email@example.com with requests for the games they would like to see ported to the Mac.
WSJ: Eidos misses Tomb Raider opportunity
The Wall Street Journal reports on Eidos Interactive's missed opportunity to release a new Tomb Raider game to coincide with the release of the movie, which would likely rake in millions in revenue. Meanwhile, Austin, Texas-based publisher Aspyr Media, which has worked with Eidos to bring Tomb Raider games to the Mac platform, plans to begin shipping Tomb Raider: Chronicles for the Mac this week, which is the first in the series to include a free level editor. In addition, the game will ship as a Carbon application for native compatibility in both Classic and Mac OS X.
CalendarMonster special pricing offer
Ascending Technologies has announced a limited-time special offer on its calendar solution for FileMaker Pro, CalendarMonster. Beginning today and ending on July 16, purchasers of 10 or more seats of CalendarMonster will receive on free license pack at the level immediately smaller than their purchase pack. For example, if the user buys a 10-pack, they'll get a 5-pack free. If they buy a 100-pack, they'll get a free 50-pack. In order to receive the free license pack, users must respond to their payment confirmation e-mail with the message "Send Me My 'Limited-Time Offer' Free User Pack, Please!".
Price reduced on MGI Commerce
PagePlanet Software has eliminated the Essentials and Essentials Plus builds of its Modular Gateway Interface (MGI), a plug-in for WebStar that provides everything from forms processing to e-commerce to banner ads to credit card processing and hundreds of other functions, and now offers the MGI Commerce Edition at $300, down from its previous price of $1000. Existing owners of MGI Essentials and Essentials Plus may upgrade to MGI Commerce for $100.
Lexmark introduces new office laser printers
Lexmark has introduced eight new monochrome laser and multifunction printersthe W820, T622, T620, T522, T520, X522 MFP, X520 MFP, and X720 MFPthat offer fast print speeds for their class and range in price from $700 to $4700.
Default Folder 3.1.2: system dialog enhancer
St. Clair Software today released Default Folder 3.1.2, an update to the Open/Save dialog enhancement utility that now allows users to change the Finder labels on files and folders (via the Get Info command) and includes compatibility fixes for users of Photoshop 6.0.1, AdobePS, and Extensions Strip.
WebMiner 2.0b2 adds SSL, AppleScript support
Brookline Software's WebMiner 2.0b2, now Carbonized, brings SSL support and an expanded AppleScript dictionary to the Web utility for automating common Internet tasks such as opening web pages, downloading content, submiting forms and retrieving results. [Classic: 3.0MB, Carbon: 1.1MB]
London-based MacExpo scheduled for Nov 22-24
Macromedia, Epson, Hermstedt, Iomega and OKI Systems are among the exhibitors expected at the London-based MacExpo, which will take place at London's Business Design Centre in Islington from November 22-24, according to Macworld UK.
Adobe updates Stroke/Fill plugin for InDesign
Adobe's Updated Stroke and Fill Plug-in for InDesign 1.5.2 changes how dashed lines are positioned at the corners of rectangular paths.
Macromedia Freehand 10 trial available
Chris Corwin notes that Macromedia has posted a free, 30-day trial of FreeHand 10.
EuroTable conversion utility for Classic, OS
EuroTable adds Internet-based updates to non-Euro zone currencies to the mini application for easily converting Euro-Zone currencies into Euro-Zone currencies and to other common currencies; it also automatically calculates Value Added Tax (VAT). [Classic, Carbon]
Gather Items 3.1: CM module gets new options
Gather Items CM Plugin 3.1 is an update to the Contextual Menu plugin designed to "gather selected files and folders into one common folder. It is also useful if you work with lots of files and need to quickly sort them or to quickly and easily clean up a mess in the Finder." Version 3.1 adds new move-, copy-, and alias-into Folder options.
Quick Pallet Maker 2.0 pallet-loading app
Quick Pallet Maker 2.0 is an upgrade to the $380 (4-users) pallet-loading and packaging design software that calculates and displays optimal pallet loads, based on Primary Package or Box dimensions and load restrictions.
Megadeath band streams Album in QT format
Heavy Metal band Megadeth's new album, The World Need A Hero, is being streamed in QuickTime format from June 18th to the 25. Megadeth, a band that has used QuickTime and Macintosh's before, had a QuickTime movie on their previous Album, Risk. They are currently in Europe on a world tour, and should be headlining shows in the US this fall.
Apple Engineer at LAFCP User Group meeting
Randy Ubillos, the lead engineer and creator of Final Cut Pro will be the special guest at the next meeting of the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group, Wednesday June 27 at the LA Film School in Hollywood.
New locations for Apple Retails Stores?
Jeff Alexander writes "I haven't seen these mentioned yet -- The Job Openings link off of [Apple's retail Website] now lists several not-seen-before or not-confirmed-before locations including two in the Boston area."
Clintons bunk with Jobs for weekend
The Clintons were house guests of Steve Jobs this past weekend while they attended their daughter's graduation at Stanford: "The Clintons are doing their best to blend in with other families here this weekend, along with Mrs. Clinton's mother, Dorothy Rodham, and Dick Kelley, the widower of Mr. Clinton's mother, Virginia, though it is safe to say that the parents of most other graduates are not bunking at the home of Steve Jobs, co-founder and chairman of Apple Computer." [free registration required]
FontLine PR 2.0 offers online Font info
The freeware FontLine PR 2.0 connects users to an online directory of Font websites, listing the site name/URL, license (freeware or commercial), platform, font type (TrueType or PostScript), a description of the website, and the author's e-mail address.
Roundup: iBook advertising in Australia
Over the weekend, we noted Apple's outdoor iBook advertising efforts in Sydney, Australia. Other reports included Apple's free VST CD-RW offer, Epson's lowered ink jet printer pricing, pre-registration end for Macworld Expo New York, the new mp3PRO codec, the Cube's impending demise, the U.S. premiere of Tomb Raider, a new voice recorder/MP3 player from Olympus, and layoffs at Humongous Entertainment. Software releases included Text File Depot 1.1c, NotePod 1.0, and Mint Audio 1.0.
There are a lot of cloud services out there, and nearly all of them can be used for backing up key files and folders. A few dedicated ...Plantronics BackBeat Pro Bluetooth headphones
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