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Wolfram updates Digital Image Processing 1.1
Wolfram has released Digital Image Processing 1.1, a free update to the Mathematica application package that features a collection of fundamental and advanced image processing tools. Digital Image Processing, designed for engineers, scientists, medical professionals, and students, offers the ability to prototype and perform sophisticated analyses. Version 1.1 offers significant speed and performance improvements, greater memory efficiency, and new graphics functions including ShowImageHistogram, ShowImageWarp, ShowLineProfile, and ShowRegionOfInterest functions. Users can create and automate custom analyses and design prototype procedures and algorithms. The $900 application is available for $250 to education customers and students.
PDF slideshow explains Quartz Extreme
A PDF slideshow used at Siggraph 2002, written by Peter Graffagnino of Apple, provides information on Quartz Extreme. It will be available with Jaguar (10.2) on August 24th, and is the first OpenGL-based windowing system. It will feature true system integration (Quartz2D on a texture, Video on a texture), improved texture upload performance, programmable shaders, many new extensions, and new tools.
PARC Forum to host OS X, UNIX discussion
The PARC Forum, located in Palo Alto, CA, will be hosting a discussion with Ernest Prabhakar, who is responsible for Open Source, Java and XML technologies at Apple. The topic will be the Open Source BSD underpinnings of Mac OS X, and the abilities of it to run Java and UNIX tools and utilities side-by-side with productivity software (Microsoft Office and Apple's iApps).
Adobe lowers Q3 estimates
Adobe today issued an intra-quarter business update for its third-quarter of fiscal 2002. The company lowered its third-quarter revenue target range to $270-290 million from the previously-targeted range of $300-320 million. Additionally, third quarter earnings per share are now targeted at $0.18 to $0.23, down from the original target of $0.24 to $0.27. The software giant cited lower-than-expected revenue in the month of July as the reason for the anticipated shortfall.
KB: ADC/DVI adapter noise, QT MPEG-1 limits
Knowledge Base roundup: Apple's AppleCare Knowledge Base notes that DVD Studio Pro users must purchase a new QuickTime Pro 6 license, when upgrading to QuickTime 6, as the "Pro" version is required for some Studio Pro features; Apple's ADC to DVI Adapter produces an audible low volume high-pitch noise when the attached monitor is in sleep or shut down modes; Mac OS X root users may encounter file copy errors when attempting to copy files created by other users from a remote disk back to the local Mac OS X startup disk; and QuickTime 5 and 6 have limitations when working with MPEG-1 media, including disabled editing functions in QuickTime Player (with or without QT Pro).
IDG may move summer expo to Boston
IDG is considering moving the summer Expo back Boston due to price increases at New York's Jacob Javitz Center and an enticing free rent offer for Boston's new convention, which is expected to be completed in 2004. IDG is seeking a "few years of free rent" at Boston's new convention center and guaranteed hotel rooms, according to the New York Post, which notes that Macworld Expo is "the largest tech event in New York" and brings in about $4 million to the local economy. [updated]
LogPile beta 5 improves several elements
LogPile 1.0b5 is a free utility for viewing and printing Mac OS X's system-level and application-crash logs. It provides a find and filter feature for basic data-mining operations. LogPile can also be used to clear the contents of a specified application log. Currently, LogPile will not clear the contents of a Mac OS X system log, due to permissions-related restrictions. The latest version includes an overhauled preferences system, user interface tweaks and a more powerful filter engine. LogPile is designed to complement -- and in some cases replace -- Mac OS X's 'Console' utility application.
NetMailR offers database-driven network comm.
NetMailR is a cross-platform network email messaging system for the Mac that uses FileMaker Pro technology. Users are identified by their account names, thereby avoiding dependency on a particular computer or workstation. The program requires FileMaker Pro 5 or later and is easily integrated into existing database solutions. All files are "fully unlocked" (similar to 'open source'), so users can customize them for internal use within a business or organization.
Toshiba intros 5,400 rpm 60GB notebook drive
Toshiba today "the world's first" high-performance 60GB drive for notebooks. The 2.5-inch hard disk drive features a disk rotational speed of 5,400rpm, a "slim" height of 9.5mm, a fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) motor for quiet operation, an Ultra DMA/100 interface and a 16MB internal buffer. Production is expected in September, although final pricing and availability is not yet available. (Toshiba currently sells a 4,200 rpm version of the Super Slimline 60GB drive.) Update: Several readers note that IBM is currently selling 5,400 rpm 60GB notebook drives with a street price of $335.
Button Builder update patches bugs, UI
Button Builder extreme 3.1 is a free update to REALmac's $20 utility for the generation of Web site interface elements. Button Builder comes with over 100 buttons in 10 different sizes. Version 3.1 delivers several bug fixes -- including CSS and interface glitches -- and usability enhancements, such as an improved preferences panel and a fully-resizable main window.
AdvantEdge compositing plugin available
Ultimatte Corporation today announced AdvantEdge, a professional-level blue screen matte extraction and compositing plug-in that offers the ability to combine multi-frame images to produce a composited sequence of images. It includes a Video Correction filter designed to reduce the artifacts found in 4:2:2, 4:1:1, and 4:2:0 video image formats and also includes Separate Shadow Mattes, Smart Matte Sizing, and Roto-Screen Correction as well as other features. The package, compatible with both Classic and OS X, includes plug-ins for Premiere, After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Discreet combustion. Demos are available online.
BitEngines offers trial SSL certificates
BitEngines today announced that it would offer free trial versions of its InstantSSL security certificates. Production InstantSSL Certificates are available from $50 to $450. The InstantSSL Trial Certificate provides full SSL functionality for 30 days and is fully supported by BitEngines' technical support staff. InstantSSL Certificates are compatible with all common Web servers, but BitEngines prides itself with support for Mac webmasters who want to implement SSL encryption.
QueueSocket: Socket solution for REALbasic
Drew Hamlin's QueueSocket 1.0 is a complete open-source Socket solution for REALbasic developers designed to "improve Internet and network communication using the Socketcontrol. QueueSocket provides a simple introduction program as well as a complex, fully developed Network Tic-Tac-Toe game with accompanying source code and internet tracker application."
Latest Nvidia GPU demos run under Jaguar
Architosh reports that Nvidia's was demonstrating its latest GPU demos under Jaguar at Siggraph: "Nvidia was showing a demo of the GeForce4 Titanium running their impressive demos (previously only available for Windows) under Jaguar (10.2) which now supports all of the vertex capabilities of the cards. Things were running at an impressive rate, full screen, on an Apple Cinema HD display (1920x1200)." It also notes that PTC is looking for user feedback on Mac OS X port for ProENGINEER.
DockFun 3.0 offers multiple dock configs
DockFun! 3.0 is a shareware ($15) OS X utility that can run an infinite number of OS X's Dock configurations. Version 3.0 adds the ability to save and load Dockfun!'s Docks and Prefs, has a new dock Inspector with more features and stability, includes interface improvements and new help tags, and has other stability improvements.
GolfMeister 3.5.1 tracks golf stats
GolfMeister 3.5.1 is a shareware ($20) program used to record and analyze golf scores. It tracks statistics such as greens in regulation, drives in fairway, eagles, birdies etc. Version 3.5.1 runs natively on OSX and includes a number of bug fixes.
Tech: new IBM chip foundry, AOL 8 with Google
Afternoon tech news: IBM is opening a new 140,000-square-foot chip foundry to forge chips for other companies using 300-millimeter wafers and silicon on insulator technology. America Online released a preview version of its upcoming AOL 8.0 service (currently for Windows), which features Google search technology; Dell may be hitting the efficiency wall and may not be able to "cut much more fat from its operation," on the heels of manufacturing improvements at HP, which "will likely erode the Dell's comparative cost advantage."
Pioneer announces new \"SuperDrives\"
Pioneer expects to launch a recordable DVD drive for notebook PCs in the fourth quarter, according to c|net. The drive will read and re-write DVD discs at 2X speed, record CDs at 16X speed and rewrite CDs at 10X speed. The article also notes that the DVD Forum is expected to approve a 4X DVD-R spec and a 2X DVD-RW spec next month and that Pioneer will introduce products using the specifications by the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, The Inquirer reports that Apple is expected to use the new 4X DVD-R mechanisms in upcoming (desktop) machines and the "SuperDrive" laptop mechanism in an updated PowerBook G4--both of which are due in the "next two months."
Morphon updates XML, CSS validating tools
Morphon Technologies has released XML-Editor 2.0.5, an update to its $150 Java-based validating XML-Editor which can create and modify XML documents. It adds support for substitution groups (schema) and the ability to group elements in the tree into virtual nodes. The bundled CSS-Editor 1.3, a companion Cascading Stylesheet (CSS) editor also written in Java, brings Undo/Redo functions, a directory listing for editing many files, syntax coloring, and the ability to search for rules and properties. It is available separately for $40. A 50% discount is offered to students on XML-Editor 2.0.5. Demos of both the XML and CSS tools are available online.
Bonzai: removable flash storage drive
SimpleTech today launched its Bonzai USB Mini-Drive, which it says is "the smallest portable, removable flash storage solution currently available for downloading, storing and transferring data between digital devices." The storage device measures 2.5" x 1.3" x 0.25" (LWD). The removable flash card can be inserted into a PDA, smart phone, MP3 player, digital still or video camera, or any other device that uses an SD or MMC card. It is expected to available in capacities of 64MB to 512MB with 64MB ($80) and 128MB ($120) versions available now.
WeatherPop 1.3.5 updated for Jaguar
Glucose has released WeatherPop 1.3.5, a new version of its freeware utility that tracks weather conditions in the menubar. The new version reduces the frequency of update check, adds Traditional Chinese and German localizations, new custom display options, and combines the menu extra and application in a single package, which will launch either depending on which OS X version you are running "since Apple has disabled third-party menu extras in Jaguar." An "Advance" is $8 with color icons, a five-day forecast, and proxy support. [WP, WPA]
Sun: no plans for StarOffice for OS X
Infoworld reports that Sun and Apple have no concrete plans to codevelop a version of Sun's StarOffice productivity suite for Mac OS X, despite statements by Sun officials last week in a c|net story that claimed the companies were "30 days away from a plan" and that Apple developers "have been working in the StarOffice source code." (Yesterday we first noted that two developers have been working on an Aqua version of OpenOffice.org after an OS X developer build of OpenOffice.org was released earlier this month.) Update: OpenOffice.org community developers tell MacNN that Sun has never formally committed to an OS X version and that the Sun official's comments in the c|net story were "misconstrued and out-of-context."
ScriptSoftware updates digital photo utils
Last week Script Software updated Photomover 2.1.1, its photo utility that moves (via email, FTP, and HTTP transport) and adjusts or resizes your photos from a source (any file, folder, or application like iPhoto) to any destination, such as an email address, FTP site or one of the free online photo upload services.
The company's OS X-only PhotoCircus is a slide show screen saver, with features for showing background or foreground alpha channel images, set background color for text and background, and optionally display image annotations (e.g., file name and/or custom message with the images). PhotoCircus is available with sample images and royalty-free frame images. The utilities are $20 each. [PM, PCSS]
iBook laptop initiative at rural highschool
Apple says its wireless iBook laptop initiative is raising student achievement and is part of the reason that nearly 80 percent of all graduating seniors at rural Cascade High School are now planning to earn college degrees.
Nomia 1.0 word puzzle game released
Sphera Software has released Nomia 1.0, which "challenges a player's word searching skills. Letters are presented on a grid in a similar fashion to word-search puzzles. Words are found and selected simply by drawing a line through the letters in the direction of the word." It also features advanced game-generation features, allowing users to modify rules to create different game types and also offers the ability for players to compete against others on the Internet.
Eyeballs 2.1 puts \'eyes\' in your menubar
Stick Software released Eyeballs 2.1, its $10 shareware described as "a fun Mac OS X application that gives you a set of eyeballs in your menu bar or on your desktop. The eyes watch the cursor move around as you work. They get sleepy depending on how busy you're keeping the cursor, and they blink periodically. They are extremely configurable, in terms of the colors they use, their eyelid and pupil style, how sleepy they are, and a bunch of other things."
PowerMail 4.0 email application updated
CTM Development has released PowerMail 4.0, an update to its $50 e-mail application. It adds a new "Recent Mail" interactive log window to quickly process mail, partial POP3 downloads for selectively fetching large messages, SSL security for authentication, server-side mail management, an enhanced address book, interface improvements, a stationery-like feature for repetitive messages, mobile settings, and Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) compatibility. It is available in English, Japanese, French, German and Dutch user-interfaces. Upgrades are $30.
Apple Maintenance Program covers OSX upgrades
The Apple Maintenance Program is a three-year subscription for major Mac OS X upgrades for institutions with 10 or more seats. The program, available to both education customers as well as businesses, is designed for customers currently running OS X (Mac OS 9 customers must first purchase Mac OS X through the Apple Volume Licensng Program). Pricing for the three-year plan is $147 per seat for institutions with 10-99 seats, $117 for 100-999 seats, and $87 for more than 1000 seats. Customers can call 1-800-800-2775 for more information.
Portraits & Prints 1.2 photo studio updated
Portraits & Prints 1.2, Econ Technologies' personal photo studio, adds more advanced cropping features, several photo scaling options, a new contrast setting, full AppleScript support, and the ability to save mutiple enhancements as a single effect for later use. It is available for $20 along with its $10 companion Portraits & Prints Template Maker.
ScreenTime For Flash v2 adds Flash MX support
ScreenTime Media's screen saver creation tool, ScreenTime For Flash v2, adds support for native Flash MX playback on both Classic and OS X as well as creation of one-click custom installers for Mac OS 8 & 9 or X and integration of all screen savers into a single control panel with full preview capability. ScreenTime screen savers can also include dynamic content from the web, links to websites, xml data streams and full interactivity. It is $300, while upgrades are $100. The company's ScreenTime for QuickTime v2 can also transform QuickTime movies and Flash animations into screen savers, but does not currently support QuickTime 6 or Flash MX.
MCE extends PowerBook G4 drive upgrade
MCE today extended its CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive upgrade to 550MHz and 667MHz PowerBook G4 models. The upgrade replaces the original CD-RW-only or DVD-only drive that shipped in some PowerBook G4 configurations with a a slot-loading CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, which writes to CD-R and CD-RW media at up to 8x speed, reads CD-ROM discs at up to 24x speed and reads DVD-ROM discs at up to 8x speed. The $300 drive is bootable, and is compatible with Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X as well as Apple's iTunes, Disc Burner, and DVD Player software.
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