Aspyr Media recently announced that it would \'port\' Tom Clancy\'s Ghost Recon to the Macintosh platform in late 2002. Last week, Aspyr demonstrated an \'alpha\' release of the game at Macworld Expo. Now available for preorder, the $50 tactical combat game will offer multiple single-player missions, and an online multiplayer mode. Aspyr also said today that The Sims Vacation ($30) had reached the \'beta\' development stage, and Westlake\'s Star Wars Jedi Knight II: would reach beta in the coming weeks.
Jason Linhart has released Summary 2.2, an update to its log analysis software package that brings new search analysis reports, better WebSTAR V support, more intra-day reporting, better error reporting, and other minor enhancements. It is available in three versions: Basic (personal use, $60), Plus (business, $250), and SP (service providers, $700).
Dantz has posted a Retrospect Driver Update 2.8 for its Retrospect 5.0 backup software, which offers support for new devices, including Seagate USB 2.0 Travan 40 (TR-7, TR-5), Sony LIB-152E, Sony LIB-302, Sony CRXP-90-MU, and support for WORM media using the Sony SDX-500C (firmware update required).
Evening tech news: America Online has halted its effort to let users of its instant messaging service chat with users of other services; the U.S Congress will soon consider an entertainment industry proposal that would authorize copyright holders to \"disable\" PCs used for content piracy; online retailer Amazon.com today announced a narrower quarterly loss on increased sales compared with the year ago quarter.
Last week we published a review of the CoolPad and PodiumPad, and a reader review of NewerTech\'s latest \'Pismo\' PowerBook upgrade. Today we\'ve posted reviews of Escape Velocity Nova and iChoose 0.4. See Reviews.MacNN.com.
Adobe has released a Document Framework update for InDesign 2.0. This update fixes an issue related to the editing of tint swatches based on the Black, Registration or Paper color swatches in Adobe InDesign documents. The Document Framework update allows users to open any documents plagued by this issue and and stop future reoccurrences.
TC Works today announced that Adobe would bundle the latest version of TC Works with its Premiere 6.5 video editing software. With the addition of TC Works software, Adobe Premiere users can take advantage of real-time effects processing of audio tracks. All TC Works Plug-Ins feature a \"concise and streamlined\" interface to support the Adobe Premiere 6.5 workflow.
Graphisoft has announced the fall release of ArchiCAD 8, its flagship architectural CAD solution with improved navigation and document management, increase application speed and essential developments in 2D drafting, according to Architosh.
Imaja today released Astral Blossom 1.0, a $20 screen saver that features a \"constantly changing colorful display of luminous, geometric, kaleidoscopic, psychedelic, generative art. Multiple sets of mathematically generated \'flower petals\' are rendered dynamically with beautiful transparent color combinations generated by Astral Blossom\'s internal color synthesizer.\"
WebXport 2 is a cross-platform, direct export tool from Carrara Studio 2 to the Viewpoint (VET) format. The free extension allows users to quickly and easily export animated, interactive 3D scenes, offering the ability to preview the VET content before exporting to the Web. Viewpoint Media Player (VMP) is the client host of the VET rich-media platform, which includes both an ActiveX control and a Netscape Plug-in that permits its graphics and online services to be accessed through Web browsers and across multiple platforms.
Jeff Gordon\'s AppleSpec July 2002 update adds information on new iMacs, eMac, xServe, iPods, speedbumped Powerbooks, and \"lots of other technical details\" to the database that contains up-to-date information on almost all Apple Products.
IOGEAR today launched what it calls the \"world\'s smallest\" KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switch, MiniView Micro. The compact device is about the size of a deck of cards (2.5\" x 2.25\" x 0.875\") and weighs 0.75 lbs. Users can control two computers from a single console. The $50 KVM is bundled with six foot KVM cable set; Macintosh support requires IOGEARís Mac Adapter.
Apple\'s Disc Recording Update 1.0, available via the OS X Software Update, delivers additional iTunes and Finder support for a number of LaCie, EZquest, and Iomega CD-R devices.
Apple today announced its latest retail store opening in Los Angeles, The Grove. An email to customers claims that \"Los Angeles has more Macintosh fans than any other place on the planet. So we\'ve planned something special for the Grand Opening weekend at California\'s biggest Apple Store. The first Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27, the doors stay open \'til midnight.\"
ID3X v2.6 is a $15 shareware editor for manipulating ID3 tags (used to store title, artist and other info in mp3 files). It is now bundled with the freeware MP3-Info CMM Contextual menu utility, has stability and performance improvements, and new \"composer\" field support. It is available for both Classic and OS X.
Curious Labs today announced Poser 5, a new version of its 3D-character animation tool for artists and animators. The upgrade to the $550 application includes dynamic cloth and strand based hair, photo-based facial modeling, and a new FireFly Renderer as wella s displacement mapping, 3D motion blur, depth of field, procedural textures, luminosity/refraction/reflection, a new MorphPutty Tool, and collision detection. It will be initially be available for Windows, while a Mac version will be announced later this summer.
Apple has released its Backup 1.0 application for current iTools Members and OS X users, offering iDisk backup services to .Mac trial users and full backup features, including CD/DVD backup (only to Apple-compatible internal CD-RW/SuperDrives), to paid .Mac members. Apple has also posted its iDisk Utility 1.0, which offers the ability to password protect your Public folder, allow others to put files in your Public folder, wiew the available storage space on your iDisk, quickly open your iDisk or other .Mac members\' iDisks, and quickly open other .Mac members\' Public folders. Some of the features, however, require a valid .Mac membership. [updated]
mac:method has released AACelerator 1.0, a batch encoding utility for MPEG-4 AAC audio files. It offers the ability to to batch encode audio files into the new MPEG4 audio format called AAC, which \"can be used within iTunes as well as other digital audio players that support the QuickTime engine. Be aware, though, AAC files will not work on your iPod or other portable digital players that don\'t explicitly support MPEG4.\" The free utility requires QuickTime 6 Pro and OS X.
IDG today announced that 58,250 people attended last week\'s Macworld Expo in New York City: \"Already the best-attended technology event in New York City as well as in San Francisco, this year\'s Macworld Conference & Expo/New York featured a show floor with nearly 250 exhibiting companies.\" Attendance was down by nearly 6,000 from the record attendance at the 2001 Macworld Expo NY. (While the number of exhibitors was also down from last year, IDG claimed it was the \"largest ever\" show occupying nearly 100,000 net square feet.)
Mover 4 is a new $100 animation pack for Vue d\'Esprit 4 that brings support for fully animated digital characters, enhanced motion effects, and network rendering to the powerful 3D application for the creating, rendering, and animating natural scenery. It includes Poser 4 animation import, Vibrations/Spin/Twinkle effects, multiprocessor rendering across a network of computers, and bundled Poser models.
headshack today releaed chartConstructor 1.0.4, an update to its $30 project management application. It adds German localization and fixes problems users were experiencing with the French localized version. The $30 Gantt and PERT chart creator is designed for small- to medium-sized business who /;donít require some of the features (and cost) of other options, but still need to produce charts to aid with project management.\"
e-on software has released Ozone 2.0, a new version of its plug-in for LightWave 3D that can create and embed atmospheric effects in scenes. Ozone 2.0 has a new algorithm that claims to model the behavior of Earth\'s real atmosphere, a new volumetric atmosphere system that closely simulates the interactions of light and air as light travels through the atmosphere, and includes an extensive set of over 100 predefined atmospheres. The $250 suite includes a Master plug-in , an Image filter plug-in, a Pixel filter plug-in and a Shader plug-in, allowing the creation of advanced shaders (e.g. reflective materials will reflect the surrounding atmosphere), according to the company.
Redcort Software has releasd Virtual TimeClock Pro 4.0, its software replacement for mechanical employee time clocks. It tracks worker arrivals, departures, hours worked, and overtime as well as offers reporting options that can generate timecards grouped by worker, department, job or client. Version 4.0 brings native OS X support, simplified controls, department-based tracking, enhanced messaging to multiple recipients, international date/time support, and other enhancements. [Classic, OSX]
Epson UK has posted Epson Print Drivers for the Stylus Color 1160 v1.2aE and Stylus Photo 1200 v1.2aE. These are not yet available on the US site (coming in \"3rd Quarter 2002\"), but two separate reports indicate that they work fine with US systems.
MediaPipe 0.8.7 is a flexible, open-source framework that \"allows you to build decoding, filtering, encoding and even streaming pipelines.\" It also features an SDK that allows developers to quickly support other media types.
Maxum\'s PageSentry 4.1 brings stability, performance, and enhancements to the Internet server early warning and failure recovery solution for Classic and OS X. It now includes automated routine maintenance with included sample scripts, maintains a history of server performance, remote triggers for server tests, and other enhancements. A free trial is available online. It is a free upgrade for v4.0 owners and $70 for others.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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