Panic has announced Desktastic, an entertaining application that allows users to draw directly on their desktop with Mac OS X. Notes, diagrams, phone numbers and to do lists -- as well as doodles -- are among the suggested uses for the app. Desktastic ($9) creates an invisible \"white board\" layer above the icons and desktop picture, but beneath application windows, to provide a tidy method for containing sketches.
Blizzard Entertainment today announced that Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, the highly anticipated sequel to the company\'s top-selling PC game series, is now available for the Macintosh and Windows worldwide. In \'Reign of Chaos,\' players of the strategy/fantasy game return to the world of \'Azeroth,\' after the end of the second war between the \'Orcs\' and the Humans.
Photo Control has unveiled a docking station for Appleís latest DVI-equipped PowerBook G4. The G4 DVI BookEndz Docking Station differs from the previous PowerBook docking station in that it makes it possible to convert the new G4 DVI PowerBook into a \"complete desktop system,Ē and can take advantage of DVI output. The DVI Docking Station carries the same $245 price tag as its predecessor.
Afternoon Tech News: The Recording Industry Association of America plans to take its war on piracy to the private citizen, with threats of dragging individuals into court; Sweden\'s national post office is encouraging residents to use ePostbox, its email delivery system, instead of regular mail; in an attempt to increase Internet security and privacy, curb piracy, and stop the theft of trade secrets, computing giant Microsoft unveiled plans for a system it calls \"Palladium\" (discussed on the MacNN open forums).
TimeCache 5.0.2 is a maintenance update to PandaWare\'s $45 time and expense tracking application, which addresses several bugs from the previous release and offers interface enhancements. Problems with displaying and printing multi-project reports have been corrected in the release; improvements have been made to a number of interface elements, particularly in the Mac OS X version.
Apple has submitted Mac OS X for an independent security evaluation by the U.S. government\'s National Information Assurance Partnership, which \"will evaluate Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server on a series of common criteria used by a number of countries to evaluate the security features of various technologies. The evaluation allows governments and businesses to compare the relative security features of different products,\" according to c|net. The article notes that the testing, which could take year and is required by some US government agencies, may help Apple penetrate some government circles.
Quark has released a QuarkExpress 5.01 update, a free update that brings several bug fixes and new features to the industry-standard desktop publishing and layout software. Some of the changes, including enhanced spell checking and enhanced hyphenation, are due in a forthcoming Quark Xpress Passport 5.01 updater. It is available online or via the phone ($15); however, standard shipping & handling charges apply.
Apple\'s recently acquired Emagic division has announced Logic 5.2, an update to its digital audio and MIDI production application with new several new features, plugins, and other enhancements.
NYCwireless is a \"nonprofit organization with a mission to create enough wireless hot spots throughout the city allowing Internet access from anywhere, installed the Bryant Park system two weeks ago....[It] has a list of about 70 hot spots in New York City, most in Manhattan,\" according to The New York Times. Boingo and T-Mobile are other commericial wireless carrier offering WiFi access throughout the US. [registration required to view NYT article]
MacNN reader M. Robert Spryn has started an online petition and feedback campaign urging Macromedia to solve some of the Flash performance issues on the Mac, which dozens of others have experienced (as noted in our MacNN forums). Other readers note similar Flash performance debates as well as playback problems are reported on the Macromedia Support Board.
Firewalk X 2.1.4 is a \"full featured firewall for Mac OS X. Offering flexible firewalling plus features such as restricting application connections and interactive, real-time alerts.\" It has TCP/UDP/ICMP filtering, self-optimization routines for current network activity, time-expiring firewall rules, application- and IP-based restrictions, port scan and packet flood detection, and both English and French-localization. Version 2.1.4 of the $35 utility offers a kernel panic fix for dual processor machines, speed optimizations, and other enhancements.
mp3voodoo 2.1 is an update to the MP3 catalogging system that fixes many bugs and also includes a global player that floats above all applications and the ability to control music via the dock menu.
Lyrictracker Client 3.2 allows users to search for lyrics online via the Lytracker database. It also allows users to share your lyrics with others. It adds support for the iPod, sortable result lists, new icons, an improved user interface, and a few bug fixes. The $10 application runs on both Classic and OS X.
Badia Software today released Printools 3.0 for QuarkXPress and QuarkXPress Passport 5.0. This updated version of Printools incorporates new tools and bigger previews, runs faster and more efficiently, has built-in support for English and German, and is QuarkXPress 5-native. The $80 application offers an interactive live preview which shows exactly how the page will fit the printing area, together with the actual page contents and printer marks. It also adds a collection of powerful time-saver tools, including: preflighting, batch printing rename at print, print to file, print selected items and output usage reports - such as style sheets or picture usage.
Roxio has released a free Toast 5.1.4 Titanium updater, which provides support for the Gracenote CDDB2 database, 48x recording, anti-aliased text rendering in certain interface areas, enhanced DVD+RW support and expanded \"Optimize on the Fly\" features. Roxio will be attending Macworld New York (booth #631) where they will be demonstrating and selling Toast Titanium and Toast with Jam.
MacNN readers have reported receiving shipment confirmations of Blizzard\'s Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, which went \'GM\' several weeks ago. The $60 real-time strategy game has both single player or multiplayer modes (over Battle.net).
One MacNN reader writes: \"According to KCRA TV, Channel 3, of Sacramento CA, some Apple Computer employees arriving for work at the Laguna plant, south of Sacramento, last night and this morning recieved pink slips. The reduction in force was necessitated by \'competition\' according to one unnamed source.as quoted in the broadcast. No official responses to inquiries could be had as the Public Relations Department of Apple Computer in Cupertino had not yet opened this Wednesday morning.\" Another reader provided some follow-up: \"They say that several graveyard shift employees at Apple\'s Elk Grove (Laguna) site were laid off last night. Rumor has the count at 40 with possibly more to come.\"
In response to the discontinuation of Timeslips billing software, both Casady & Greene (C&G) and MYOB have announced competitive upgrade pricing for customers. Registered users of C&G\'s TimeSlice Mac 1.x-2.x may upgrade for $30, while Timeslips users can upgrade for $40 (with proof of purchase). TimeSlice sells for $60 and is available for both Classic and OS X. MYOB is offering a $50 rebate through the end of August on MYOB AccountEdge, its $250 small business management and time billing application. Both offers require proof of purchase to be submitted.
The $5 shareware JJEdit 0.5 is described as a \"light-weight Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Java programming on Mac OS X. It includes a text editor for editing Java source code with features such as code colouring and autocompletion of Java class names.\" It also links in with javac, the built in Java compiler and the built in Java runtime environment, allowing you to edit, compile and run Java programs from within one application.
easyPalette pre1 is a preview of the REALbasic utility that adds cross platform, customisable tearoff palettes to REALbasic projects: the API is \"very simple, involving in many cases only a few calls to create the palette, handle the mouseDown, mouseDrag and mouseUp events....[it] handles everything from the moment your user clicks on a popup button until they release - including the tearoff action.\" A demo is available.
Apple may ship Jaguar in early August, according to c|net: \"The new version, code-named Jaguar and officially known as Mac OS X 10.2, is now expected to ship in early August, barring unforeseen difficulties, said sources familiar with Apple\'s product strategy. In May, Apple indicated the OS would ship by the end of summer, which many analysts took to mean the end of September or even October.\"
Sustainable Softworks has released IPNetTuner 1.01, a utility that can optimize networking and internet connections by tuning internal TCP/IP parameters to match your network environment. It supports over 20 adjustable parameters including the TCP Window Size, Time Out intervals, Maximum Segment Size, and MTU. Upgrades to the $30 utility are $15 for Classic version owners. IPNetShareX 1.0c1 offers graphical access to OS X\'s Network Address Translation (NAT) services without having to use the command line. It is free for non-commercial installation (no technical support) and $25 for a commercial license (\"Pro\" version). [IPNT, IPNS, IPNS Pro]
Chaotic Software has released an update to its popular MP3 tag editor, MP3 Rage 5.1.1. The $25 shareware adds several new features and improvements, including a Contextual Menu Plugin for OS X, support for long filenames when organizing music via moving or copying to a different volume, support for long filenames in the MP3 Player, and other enhancements.
Wine Chronicle 1.0 is a full-featured database application for wine enthusiasts, of all levels, to catalogue, track, inventory, and manage their wine collection. It records information about individual wines, vineyards, wine importers, prices, value, reviews and personal tasting notes. Wine Chronicle can be used to manage wine collections based on review ratings, country of origin, vineyard, wine type, and other categories. A 15-record limited version of the $40 application is available online. [Classic, OSX]
A CNBC interview with Jacques Chammas of Apple Middle East says that Apple has experienced 40% unit growth and 15% revenue growth in the past three years, noting that Apple has had a \"very good push in Egypt and certain Levant countries.\"
Dr. Bott today announced it has updated its iPod Connection Kits with white and transparent coiled cord Auto Charger. The new white iPod Auto Charger retails for $25, while the iPod Connection Kit with FM Transmitter retails for $50 and the iPod Connection Kit II with Cassette Adapter retails for $48. Updated versions of each kit are available immediately.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
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