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Tarun R. and several other readers have forwarded us a letter from Jordan Hubbard, release engineer and chief evangelist on the FreeBSD project, which reveals that Hubbard has been hired by Apple to help with Darwin development and encourage a working relationship between Apple and the open source community.
MacSoft has released an open beta of a patch for Rogue Spear, the popular tactical first-person shooter for the Mac. The update fixes most of the known crashing and sound bugs, although a known bug remains that prevents the use of \"Random Map\" in multi-player games. Those who choose to help beta test the patch are encouraged to especially play online, and send in reports of any crashes or problems. The beta update will expire on July 4, 2001, after which users will have to re-install the game.
Black & White, a popular god game released earlier this year for the PC, is currently being ported to the Mac, according to LionGames.com. Mark Webley, director of Lionhead Studios, expects the Mac version of Black & White to be released before Christmas 2001. The game will be published by UK-based Feral Interactive.
At NECC 2001, SmartDisk has introduced a VST Charger Bay for Apple\'s new iBook, which simplifies the charging and storing of multiple iBooks. Designed for teaching, training, and other professional settings, the VST Charger Bay features a modular design that allows users to snap multiple charger bays together for charging or storing. A mirror located on the side of the unit provides a convenient view of the battery charging status. The charger bays are also designed to fit directly into the Bretford MobileCart, providing the ability to securely store, charge, and transport up to sixteen iBooks on one cart. A single VST Charger Bay will cost $30, while a 5-Pack will cost $130; both will be available in August 2001.
MCF Software has announced its acquisition of MacRADIUS Authentication Server from Cyno Technologies. As part of the acquisition, MCF will also acquire the WebRADIUS plug-in for Web server authentication and the RADIUS Client SDK, a software development kit for integrating RADIUS client capabilities into software products.
Steinberg has announced the release of HALion, a virtual studio audio sampler for Cubase VST. HALion features up to 32-bit support, drag and drop, 16-way multitimbrality, 12 virtual outputs, a waveloop editor, and more.
BitHeadz has released Phrazer 1.0.2, a new version of its loop-based composition tool for the Mac. Version 1.0.2 adds QuickTime movie support, corrected factory content lengths and tempos, improved tempo calculation to set tempo based on sample length, Roland PC 300 USB MIDI keyboard support, Acid 2.0 format support, FreeMIDI synch support, sample munge silence, a hide editor view, and a master key track event.
The New York Times reports that IBM will announce plans for a new silicon transistor that could speed processors up to 100 GHz (more than 100 times the clock speed of the fastest current Macintosh) within two years. Meanwhile, Intel\'s recently announced new transistor technology would only produce chips running at up to 20 GHz. It is as of yet unknown whether IBM plans to develop PowerPC chips for use in Macs with the new transistor process. [free registration required]
WhizGraph 1.2, a significant update to the shareware graphing application, has been posted. The new release adds undo capabilities for most operations, and implements the display of multiple functions for the \'Function\' Plot feature.
IOGEAR plans to demonstrate its new MiniView II USB KVM switch at next month\'s Macworld Conference & Expo in New York City. The $300 MiniView II is the first USB KVM switch to incorporate USB sniffing technology that eliminates the wait previously experienced for the keyboard and mouse to re-synchronize with the computer. In addition, the company will display its full range of KVM, FireWire, USB, and USB 2.0 products.
iSpQ VideoChat Macintosh 5.0b1 is the public beta version of nanoCom\'s video chat application for Mac OS X. Features include video instant messenging, multi-person videoconferencing, Video Text Chat Rooms, V-Mail, and Directories. Version 5.0 adds user profiles, offline messenging, and a new interface.
Palm, Inc. has announced that Sears is now carrying Palm handhelds in its 860 stores nationwide, devoting more than half of its handheld computer shelf space to the Palm m100, m105, and IIIc products, and accessories such as color faceplates and leather cases. Palm expects the retail establishment to help introduce its products to more than 100 million new customers each year.
We\'ve also posted several more photo-galleries from the NECC Show Floor, including pre-show, keynote, and Apple-booth pictures: I | II | III | IV | V | VI
Electric Image has posted Universe 3.1, an update to its professional 3D modeling, animation and rendering software. Version 3.1 includes a new OS X version of the Universe rendering engine, Camera, which it says is optimized to render up to 20 percent faster than under Mac OS 9. The company says it expects to offer the entire Universe application for OS X later this summer. The free update also includes improved performance of up to 10%, better window refresh/drawing, up to 30 percent faster for rendering of ray trace shadows, new marquee tool for objects in project window, additions to the model import options, and an average of 10 percent faster rendering overall on Windows, Macintosh and Sun Solaris platforms.
Afternoon tech news: America Online has added 5 million customers over the past eight months—including 750,000 in Latin America and 1 million in France—with a total customer base of 30 million, surpassing its closest competitor, Microsoft\'s MSN, by 25 million customers; ATI Technologies has signed agreements with five additional original design manufacturers (ODMs) to release graphics card products using ATI\'s chip technologies; and Napster has lost in both of its appeal requests in the preliminary injunction that forced it to block many of the songs on the swapping service and decimated its user base.
Curriculum Advantage has announced that it will be expanding its cross-platform (Mac/PC) ClassWorks state editions, which target specific math and language arts skills needed to meet each individual state\'s requirements, to include all 50 states. Versions for California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Arizona, New York, and Virginia will ship in the Fall, joining Texas, Florida, and Mississippi, which are currently available. Versions for the rest of the states will be released through the Fall and Winter, and all 50 states will be covered by January 31, 2002. The state editions are available as an add-on purchase to ClassWorks Gold Edition 2.
Fujifilm has announced shipment of its $700 FinePix 4800 Zoom Digital Camera, which features a 2.4 million-sensor Super CCD, with High Definition Color technology that generates a 4.3-megapixel image file. Additional features include videoconferencing, image voice annotation, and the ability to capture either up to 80 seconds of AVI video with sound or record up to 30 minutes of audio. The camera was designed by F.A. Porsche, the designer of the classic Porsche 911 sports car.
The \"MacHack Top 100 Issues with Mac OS X,\" available as an Excel spreadsheet, provides the results of a poll among attendees of last week\'s MacHack 2001 in Dearborn, Michigan that provides a glimpse of developers\' biggest qualms with the new operating system. The top gripe among developers was general poor performance, followed by poor performance in the Finder and the inability to open more than one Get Info window.
Meshwork 1.8 is the first version of Codenautics Software\'s 3D modelling application to support Mac OS X. Other additions include Viewer Options in the Preview window, Zoom In and Zoom Out, and minor improvements and bug fixes. [Classic: 411 KB; Carbon: 474 KB]
Sorenson Media is now accepting pre-orders for Sorenson Video 3 Professional Edition for the Mac, a $500 ($350 upgrade) video application that delivers the same video quality as Sorenson Video 2 at less than half of the bit rate.
YENCO.COM has released iEvents 1.0, a new $20 Classic and Mac OS X application for quickly creating custom calendar Web sites that can be easily uploaded to any Internet server or iDisk. iEvents features single or multiple calendar generation, WYSIWYG preview and edit in a single window, style documents for changing calendar appearance, and more.
Troi Automatisering has released Troi Coding Plug-in 1.6 for FileMaker 5.5 for Classic and Mac OS X, a $40 tool for securing FileMaker data, exporting or emailing data without risk, and importing safely back into FileMaker. Version 1.6 adds an improved version function and has been tested with FileMaker 5.5 and made compatible with Mac OS X.
YourHead Software has released Time-X 1.0, a new full-featured $10 digital clock for Mac OS X that supports skins. The clock serves five functions: clock, date, chronograph, timer, and alarm. A reference guides that starts users on the path to creating their own skins is available from the company\'s Web site.
BTV Pro 5.0.1 is a new version of the shareware $35 video capture, editing, and animation application for the Mac that adds a new option to capture a single frame after a specified delay, new shortcut keys for adjusting brightness, contrast, and saturation, and minor improvements and bug fixes.
piDog Software has released xPerlEdit 1.2, a new version of its $30 Perl editor for Mac OS X that adds a new autoformatting helper, a built-in syntax check function, and additional optimizations and bug fixes.
AppMac Software has released sMailing 1.0, a mass e-mail application for Classic and Mac OS X. sMailing features an import function that only integrates valid e-mails, personalized e-mails, and the option to send as either text or HTML. [form]
Native Instruments has announced the release of ABSYNTH, its $300 software synthesizer that is currently only available for the Mac. ABSYNTH features a semi-modular patch window, graphical envelope editor, envelope function generator, waveform editor, spectral waveform editor, three independent LFOs, and waveform transformations. A demo is also available.
Seagate Removable Storage Solutions (RSS) and Imation Corporation have announced plans to extend existing Travan products to higher capacities, performance, and unique solutions. The Travan tape drive is available in ATAPI/IDE, SCSI, FireWire, and USB interface configurations and is compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, and Unix.
COMPanion Corporation has released a Mac OS X version of Alexandria 5.43, a library automation solution for Mac and Windows. Alexandria for Mac OS X is being demonstrated this week at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), which was kicked off with a keynote speech by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
CE Software has released InOut Tracker for Mac and Windows, an office network utility that provides instant access to the in/out status of employees or co-workers. Features include organization by name, in/out status, or date/time returning, the ability to seamlessly contact those that are out via e-mail, the ability to view the status of remote servers on other InOut Tracker servers, print a customized report, and instant notification when a selected user returns or logs out. InOut Tracker is $60 for a 5-user pack, $100 for a 10-user pack, $200 for a 25-user pack, $300 for a 50-user pack, or $400 for a 100-user pack.
Lexmark International has introduced the Lexmark X73 and X83 All-in-One Print Centers, which combine inkjet printing with scan and copy capabilities for prices under $200.
PioneerPlanet.com sizes up the new iBook with a review that focuses on how well the consumer portable handles a suite of digital devices, including a digital camera, digital camcorder, MP3 player, Palm handheld, and FireWire hard drive. The iBook does well with each device, but the reviewer calls for a larger hard drive and more durability for both the keyboard and exterior case.
Virtual Ink has announced mimio 1.6, an OS X-compatible version of its software that is due in the summer of 2001. Version 1.6 of the software for its collaboration tool to integrate digital whiteboard information with QuickTime will also offer direct export to iMovie.
Mike Brady has released Open Prolog 1.1b5, a maintenance update to his Prolog language interpreter for the Mac.
Corel Corporation has introduced Bryce 5, the latest version of its $310 ($160 upgrade) 3D landscape creation and animation application, which will be available for both Classic and Mac OS X in July 2001. New features in Bryce 5 include network rendering, which splits the rendering work between multiple computers, premium rendering options that add depth of field, blurred reflections, and soft shadows, a Tree Lab that powers the creation of organic 3D trees, Metaballs, and a Light Lab for control over lighting direction, intensity, and tinting. French and German versions will be available in August 2001.
At the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) today, Steve Jobs kicked off the conference by emphasizing Apple\'s commitment to students, teachers, and administrators.
Steve Jobs is scheduled to deliver the opening keynote for the National Education Computing Conference (NECC) today at 8:30 am CT. The NECC Website promises a \"live\" Webcast, although details are not provided.
Iomega today is expected to launch a USB-powered Zip 100MB drive this week at PC Expo, which it says is \"roughly half the size of its predecessor.\" The drive is due in August for $100 and will be bundled with its Iomega QuikSync automatic backup software. (It currently sells a 9 oz. USB-powered Zip 250MB drive for $180.)
Summary.net\'s Analog 5.0.2, in sync with the latest Unix version, now supports the new IIS log format with four-digit years and also offers Traditional Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese language files as well as Japanese (in four character sets.)
Adobe\'s ATM Light 4.6.2, a freeware system component for generating high-quality screen font bitmaps from PostScript outlines in Type 1 or OpenType format, supports OS X Classic as well as font rasterization under OS 9.1. ATM Light 4.6.2 does not support Apple\'s GXGraphics extension and does not support the Apple Language Kits.
The popular OS X theme utility, XMorph 1.2, includes new features such as Batch import of MetaMorphX 1.1 themes, Mac Help files, the ability to remember your password, SafeTheme for protecting your system against corruption, and a new setup assistant.
MacOSX.org reports that Mac OS X 10.04 \"breaks OpenSSH\'s connections with newer versions shipping with systems, such as Redhat 7.1....Robert Toups has provided us this patch to download and install the latest OpenSSH and all dependencies. Type \'sh fix_ssh.sh\' to run the patch. Developer Tools required.\"
Gideon Softworks has released xBack 0.1 (along with the sourcecode), which allows you to display screen savers on your desktop while you work.
Mac-Stacks Emporium\'s Patent Grabber 1.1 adds background operations and multiple patent selection to the $20 shareware utility for automatically downloading U.S. patents from free public patent archives.
SSL Socket 2.0, a $60 REALbasic plugin that allows applications to connect to and communicate with Secure Servers (https), now supports Carbon applications.
Fastware.net has posted a Flash 301 Update Utility for its BridgeIt FireWire-to-SCSI converter box, which brings added stability when used with the FW Extension as well as support for a full chain of seven SCSI devices. The Company also reports that the SIM Extension for Mac OS, which will bring support for scanners, printers and CD-R/RW, is due by mid-July.
Stimpsoft has posted a public beta of Solscape 1.0b1, an application designed to \"mine\" specific web sites for Solar and Geomagnetic Data and activity, including up to the minute photos, alerts, warnings and forecasts. The freeware appilcation (suggested donation of $50) can archive the data for further study, download it a specific intervals, and alert you as to current Aurora activity in your area. [Classic, Carbon]
Over the weekend we noted Adobe\'s plans to skip next month\'s Macworld Conference & Expo in New York. Other reports included a new FireWire hard drive from MacSmith, a new AOL for Mac OS X client, MacHack 2001, a LEGO Mindstorms for Mac project, and a FireWire DV WebCam. Software releases included PrintToPDF 2.2.3, iLabel 1.6, and Quake III: Arena 1.29f Beta.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k