A reader notes another problem with iChat (we reported on a different problem yesterday) that causes the Buddy List to not update after an extended period of time.
BitHeadz has released Unity Topaz Study Kits ($150), which is based on the Sonic Emulations title that was released earlier this year. The kit offers over 300MB of multisampled drums performed by New York session dummer, Zach Danziger. Also released is Ultimate Acoustics ($150), which is 450MB of quality acousitc guitar and bass samples in Unity 3.0 format.
x|GRIND Visuals System beta 2 is a real-time visuals/presentation system, three components of which are now ready for open beta testing, simultaneously for Mac OS 9 and Windows. This beta version has a complete new real-time particle system component. particle|GRIND, text|GRIND and movie|GRIND make up the system, and each component costs $40.
Miglia has announced the availability of MediaBank MT-R with Mac OS X Raid Software. The MediaBank MT-R is an external aluminum FireWire case with space for up to two hard drives; it uses the Oxford 911 based ATA/FireWire bridge boards and a software Raid solution from Charismac Engineering, one single case will let you access in Raid 0 or Raid 1 up to 320Gb of data. This is the first FireWire drive in Raid mode used under Mac OS X, but is also compatible with Mac OS 9. The price is $250 with a 2 year warranty.
Griffin has released gPort v1.2, an update to the drivers that brings Mac OS X 10.2 compatibility to the entire line of gPort Serial Adapters. Also, two new PowerMate SDKs for developers have been released. The two SDKs provide a complete set of instructions on how to access the PowerMate hardware, including capturing the data being sent from the device and setting the brightness of the LED.
A MacNN reader has posted a slideshow of photos from the Apple Tent at Moby\'s Area2 tour in Mountain View, CA.
Netscape Communicator v4.8 is an integrated web browser, email client and instant messenger for Mac OS 9. Changes in the latest version are unknown at this time. [page currently unavailable]
Password Administrator, a new plug-in for FileMaker Pro, was released at the FileMaker Pro Developer Conference. The plug-in allows users to change the passwords or privileges of multiple files at one time. A single-user license is available for $200, while a Developer license is $400. Chaparral Software also previewed its Brushfire 2 analysis tool, which adds dependency tracking across all fields, layouts, relations and scripts in all files of a FileMaker Pro solution as well as support for FileMaker Pro 6.0. It provides (summary) reporting in XHTML and XML formats for integration into FMPro solutions. It is expected to ship in December for $280 per developer.
TimeCache 5.0.5 is a ($50) time and expense billing application for Mac OS 9 & X. The update fixes bugs found in the previous version, including hybird job numbers not displaying properly and calculation errors.
Cro-Mag Rally 2.1 is a maintenance update to the Mac OS 9 & X racing game. An automatic online version checking feature has been added as well as other improvements.
Microtek has pushed back the release of its drivers for the Scanmaker 3800, 4800, 4900, 5600 and 8700 yet again, after promising their release for yesterday. The page now states that the drivers are in alpha testing, with no option to download and no release date noted.
Speed Download 1.8.9 is an update to the download manager for Mac OS 9 & X. It now has new plugins, fixes bugs and improves page downloading. A trial copy is available; the price is $20.
Creo today has signed a definite agreement to acquire ScenicSoft, a company that develops and markets software for the publishing and printing industries, and is a pioneer in developing digital prepress solutions. \"Under the terms of the agreement, Creo will acquire ScenicSoft for approximately $9.5 million in a combination of cash, equity and an assumption of liabilities. The acquisition is expected to close within 90 days and is expected to be accretive to Creo\'s adjusted earnings per share within one year from the close.\"
NP Grade 2.03 is an easy-to-use gradebook solution for teachers and schools. Features include customizable grading scale, alphabetized lists of students, points-based grading system, an attendance tracking system, six different customizable printout reports, class file protection and encryption schemes, a fully integrated and automatic backup system and free technical support. The update fixes different bugs from the previous version. A single license is $20.
REAL Software has announced the winners of its Cubies awards, an annual award given to \"recognize the contributions [REAL Software] users have made to the industry by promoting the excellence of what they have produced with REALbasic.\"
MacSpeech today released iListen 1.5, the latest update to its speech recognition program, which now works with Mac OS X. It also includes improved recognition performance, Transcription support (can read from AIFF/WAV files for automatic speech-to-text conversion), playback in correction, shared profiles between Classic and OS X, a new iListen Dock menu for OS X, and improved stability and reliability. Upgrades are $40 (and also includes the next major update). Update: MacSpeech\'s Chief Evangelist Chuck Rogers offers a word of caution on the quality of the update and \"struggling\" company, providing us with details of the release and other notes on the company.
Dantz has released Retrospect client v5.0.536 for Mac OS X only, which is now compatible with Jaguar. It also corrects a problem that caused the Retrospect client to spontaneously turn itself off after approximately 17 minutes and restores the \"Defer\" button functionality under OS X. The company also announced full Retrospect 5.0 and client compatibility with Apple\'s Xserve including Mac OS X Server 10.1.5 (with support for Jaguar Server coming in a future update) as well as provided details on Retrospect\'s Jaguar compatibility.
Iomega has announced it is shipping its new Zip 750MB USB 2.0 drive. The $180 drive has a transfer rate of up to 7.5 MB/sec (maximum) and is backwards compatible with 100MB and 250MB Zip disks. The drive also features a password protection in firmware and Zip disk serialization to allow users to \"lock\" the disks and drive. Included with each Zip 750MB drive are Iomega Automatic Backup and Iomega Sync software, which gives users automatic and transparent protection against data loss due to theft, hard drive failure, hackers, malicious viruses, and human error. A FireWire version of the drive is planned on being released in September at the Apple Expo in Paris with a suggested price of $200.
iMedia has released MediaEdit 1.2.5, an update to its $40 consumer digital video editing software. Version 1.2.5 features a refined user interface with a new better toolbar and support for Mac OS X 10.2; \"dramatically\" improved audio editing functions; enhanced controls for editing and exporting; and new special effects. The company also updated Liner 1.2, its outlining application built for OS X only. The update brings performance improvements by up to 20%, remade export plugins, improved \"file saving\", new keyboard shortcuts, and better support for voice notes. [ME, Liner]
MacNN reader Chad Brantly notes that Canon\'s \"Photoshop-only\" plugin module for the CanoScan N1240U works with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0: \"I have been using this plug-in with my N1240U and Photoshop Elements 2.0 with no problems. This would be helpful to a lot of consumers who donít want to shell out the money for Photoshop, but donít mind laying down $99 for Elements.\"
Optigold ISP 3.0.6 is a cross-platform business software package that runs different aspects of an internet service provider, from billing to server management. The latest version adds web interface options, a new invoice format, password server events triggered automatically, SMTP gateway enhancements and a few other features. A free working copy is available.
Matrox has released a RTMac 1.2 firmware updater which address a \"ghost monitor\" issue where a VGA monitor was falsely detected under OS X. (The company notes some issues users will experience problems with limited-resolution second monitors, which it promises to address in a future update.)
Tri-Backup 3.12 is a backup utility for Mac OS 9 & X that offers two different modes: \"Immediate Actions\" for easy and immediate backup, synchronization, and restorations, and \"Programmed actions,\" for scheduled, automatic backup and synchronization. The update brings several new features, including a live icon displaying the backup process in the Dock and automatic updates. The price is $50, or $30 for the upgrade only.
DV Graphics has updated its icon section with \"on-page\" previews and links of its freeware icon sets as well as its Switchers 3.0 collection, which features a complete collection of Switchers icons as of Macworld NY 2002. (It is also offering an \"Iconize Me!\" service that provides users with custom drawn icon based on a photo for $15.)
Virtix has released Virtix Sample Pack 2.0, which contains six iMovie effects, including three new effects called \"Dream Border\" (cloudy white border), \"Glint\" (sparkle of light) and \"Virtix Soft Focus\" (soft, hazy look) and smoothness control in \"Extreme Black and White\". Other bundled plugins include \"Flame\" and \"Letterbox\" effects. The free sample pack, available for Classic and OS X, is available online.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
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