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Final version of Narrator released
Narrator 1.0 is a $25 application that utilizes Apple's speech synthesis technology to "read" complex documents. Several "actors" can be defined with varying voices to portray any number of "characters." Narrator is immediately available through Dejal's online store for Mac OS X.
Ogg Vorbis: new audio compression format
Ogg Vorbis 1.0 is a new audio compression format and is roughly comparable to other formats used to store and play digital music, such as MP3, VQF, AAC, and other digital audio formats. It differs from these other formats because it is completely free, open, and unpatented. The latest version is compatible with Audion, Unsanity Echo and MacAMP.
Logitech now supports OS X wireless devices
Logitech is now fully supporting Mac OS X with its current line wireless mice, keyboards and trackballs. The new software compatibility enables specialized features , such as internet hot keys and multimedia controls. The software is now available and is compatible with the current line of mice and keyboards, ranging in price from $15 to $100.
Final MWNY galleries
VideoClix: add interactive content to QT 6
VideoClix is a Mac OS X only QuickTime 6 compatible interactive video authoring software. It enables users to build Hyper Objects into QuickTime movies, allowing viewers to click on actual items in the video for improved interactive content. The price is $400, with a MacWorld show special of $250.
Perl 5.8.0 Released
Perl 5.8.0 has been released, sporting numerous bug fixes and development changes. Highlights include improved Unicode support, a new threading implementation, a new I/O implementation, better numeric accuracy, 64-bit support, safe signals, a number of new modules, and extensive regression testing. Perl 5.8.0 is currently only available via source (not binary), so a C compiler is required to install the release. A number of other changes and incompatibilities are listed in the Perl release notes, and a list of download mirrors is also available on the website.
Mactracker 2.0: info on all Apple computers
Mactracker 2.0 Preview 1, an application that provides detailed information on every Apple, Motorola, PowerComputing and UMAX Mac OS computer ever made, is now available. The latest preview adds images to descriptions as well as many other improvements. [Classic, Carbon]
Internet Explorer hanging on MacNN pages
In recent weeks, a number of readers have informed us that Internet Explorer 5.x on Mac OS X consistently hangs while viewing pages on MacNN. We have indeed been following up with this, and recently turned to Microsoft to obtain some help tracking down the bug; however, we need some help getting the correct debug information to send to them. Please visit our explanation in the forums for instructions on what to send us. Thank you for your assistance and patience in this matter. Update: limited testing has suggested that emptying and disabling browser cache may offer a temporary solution to the problem.
Apple clarifes .Mac email-only conversion
Apple has clarified that it will not be offering .Mac email email-only accounts to non-paying users, according to a recently updated FAQ on its Website: "If you want to convert your .Mac trial account to an email-only account, you cannot do this directly. You must have a full .Mac member, who has purchased an additional email-only account, include your converted account as part of their membership." Meanwhile, several readers note that Apple has begun deleting posts critical of the .Mac subscription fee (and $130 Jaguar pricing) in its Apple subscription area. We recently noted an online .Mac feedback form by Apple as well as several petitions for and against .Mac. Education customers can send comments to Apple directly, where "the AppleCare Education Support team in Austin will provide executive summaries of the feedback activity captured."
Sorenson files counterclaim against Apple
Sorenson Media has responded to Apple's April 2002 lawsuit against it by filing counterclaims for breach of contract, fraud, and related claims in Federal Court in San Jose, CA. Sorenson's claim focuses on an email sent from Apple CEO Steve Jobs to Sorenson Media's CEO, in which Jobs states that Apple had exclusive rights to past but not future versions of software codecs produced by Sorenson Media.
Black & White 1.1.6 game updated by Feral
Black & White 1.1.6 is an update to Lionhead's god game, adding support for the multiplayer GameRanger service, improves performance with GeForce video cards, and includes several fixes and enhancements. Black & White is published on the Macintosh by Feral, and was ported to the Macintosh by Zonic.
Myster P4: peer-to-peer file sharing util
Myster P4 is a new release of the peer-to-peer file sharing utility that allows you to share your files with others and download files being shared by others on the Myster Network. The cross-platform application (Classic, OS X, Windows, Linux) has search functions, support for all data types, supports a "realtime, self-organizing and self-optimizing network," and other advanced features. [Classic, OSX]
Sony to bring EverQuest gaming to OS X users
Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has announced that its flagship product, EverQuest, is coming to the Mac. SOE, which became an official online gaming developer for the Mac in January and previously made its top games at The Station, such as Wheel of Fortune Online and Jeopardy! Online, available to Mac users. Due out in the Spring of 2003, Mac users can purchase the original EverQuest and its expansion packs including: The Shadows of Luclin, The Ruins of Kunark and The Scars of Velious. EverQuest, the described as the "world's most successful massively multiplayer online game," has close to 100,000 simultaneously users during peak periods. The Station will offer software updates and news about the game, message boards and other community features for $13 per month.
Air Whisper 1.0: another MP3 player
Kanex Group today released a new MP3 player, Air Whisper 1.0, which claims to utilizes "much less system resources than other MP3 players." It supports skins, an always-on-top window, hierarchical song organization, ID3 tags, CBR and VBR playback, keyboard shortcuts, and other standard player functions. A 30-day trial of the $20 application is available online.
Dual Athlon, single Pentium best dual-1GHz G4
Digital Video Editing has published the second round of its Mac vs PC: Benchmark Duel, comparing a Single Processor Pentium 4 2.53GHz against the dual-1GHz Power Mac G4 and the Dual-AthlonMP 2000+. The tests cover both Adobe After Effects 5.5 video editing and Adobe Photoshop 7 image editing and the article concludes: "the dual Athlon is still the fastest PC we've tested, but the single Intel P4 2.53 GHz machine runs a close second, and even beats the dual Athlon on some of the tests. And, as expected, the Mac dual 1GHz G4 could not even come close to keeping up with these two PCs."
MacSpeech debuts ScriptPaks for Quark, iTunes
MacSpeech today announced ScriptPaks for QuarkXPress and iTunes. ScriptPaks are plug-ins that add application-specific commands to the company's iListen application, as well as its free Mac OS 9-only ListenDo! utility. The QuarkXPress ScriptPak ($40) offers voice access to over 125 commands in QuarkXPress, while the iTunes 2 ScriptPak ($15) allows the user to control iTunes "even when it is not the front-most application" with commands to skip to the next song, raise or lower volume, pause, fast forward, and rewind. A ScriptPak for iTunes 3 is in the works and is expected to be available by the time the company releases its forthcoming Mac OS X products, iListen 1.3 and iDictate 1.0 (as noted yesterday). Both ScriptPaks are in final testing and will be released as soon as testing is completed. [site not updated]
OWC intros G3 533/G4 550 upgrades
Other World Computing Wednesday introduced the Mercury G3/533MHz and G4/550MHz ZIF upgrades for the Apple PowerMac G3 'Beige' and 'Blue & White' and G4 "Yikes" models. The new $260 Mercury ZIF plug-and-play upgrades are fully compatible with all existing hardware and software, according to OWC.
snapHappy 1.2 offers contrast, color tools
snapHappy 1.2 is a simple image viewer and organizer for Mac OS X that can browse, sort, rename, rotate, export, crop and manage images. Version 1.2 adds color channel, brightness and contrast adjustment; introduces special effects and; fixes several bugs.
cleaner 6 coming to Mac OS X this fall
Discreet today announced that it would ship cleaner 6 for Mac this fall. Expanding upon cleaner 5.1, version 6.0 for Mac will adopt many features from Mac OS X's Aqua user interface for a better user experience. New watch folders, drag and drop capabilities and nested settings are part of the new streamlined workflow of the application. cleaner 6 for Mac is expected to ship initially in North America this Fall for $600 ($180 upgrade).
MWNY Expo Show floor report posted
We've posted a second roundup of new products, which were shown at the Expo in New York, including a new Griffin prototype, Postworx's Speedball, Pixologic Zbrush 1.5 and Creo's Six Degrees.
Reader: Additional Apple SoHo pictures
MacNN Reader "ber" has provided us with an additional gallery with pictures from the Apple SoHo opening. ber notes: "My comments were about how helpful the management [in SoHo] was -- especially today with so much new stuff being announced this week and old promo literature that doesn't reflect the new products."
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