Native Instruments has released a demo of Kontakt 1.1, its software sampler that features real-time time-stretching and resynthesis, graphical breakpoint envelopes, an integrated loop editor, analog-modelled filters, and visually displayed modulation. It includes a sample library containing more than 3GB of sounds in various styles and categories as well as 17 different sound filters filters. Version 1.1 began shipping earlier this month with support for HALion, EXS, and SDII files.
IBM today introduced \"the world\'s fastest desktop hard disk drive\" with IBM-exclusive technology called \"tag \'n seek\" (i.e., tagged command queuing), which enables the new IBM Deskstar 180GXP to perform nearly 25 percent faster than its predecessor. The new 180GXP is a 7200 RPM drive and features a fourfold increase in cache size -- up to 8 MB (as well as average seek time of 8.5 ms). It is available in capacities of 30GB, 40GB, 60GB, 80GB, 120GB and 180GB.
Aabel 1.1 is a free update to Gigawiz\'s data analysis and charting application that adds Mac OS X 10.2 optimization. Aabel is \'pipeline-oriented,\' allowing realtime, \"two-way interaction\" between charts and worksheets or databases. Version 1.1 is available for both the AltiVec-enhanced and the generic versions of the application.
Leister Productions has released Reunion 8.0 -- a significant update to its genealogy software. The $60 upgrade ($90 retail) includes Mac OS X compatibility, more Web output options and enhanced charting features. Reunion 8.0 retains compatibility with Classic versions of the Mac OS.
Digital Voodoo today announced Mac OS X 10.2.x-compatible drivers for its entire line of \'Standard Definition\' QuickTime capture and playback PCI cards. The \'Standard Definition\' range of capture and playback cards is fully optimized for use with editing suites, such as Apple\'s Final Cut Pro. The new drivers are available to registered customers, on the Digital Voodoo Web site.
Apimac Note Pad 1.6 is a Mac OS 9 & X shareware application ($15) that saves and organizes any piece of text (Copy/Paste, dragged text, etc). Notes can be assigned categories and organized in different ways. The update fixes known bugs and also includes a number of minor interface changes. [Classic, OSX]
ActiveDeveloper v2.10 is a runtime Objective-C and C IDE, JIT compiler and debugger with support for Cocoa and WebObjects. The Mac OS X software allows users to develop, test, debug and run applications as well as deploy native applications with no dependency on ActiveDeveloper. A personal license is $50.
MyiCal.com is a new free sharing service for users of Apple\'s iCal calendar program, which allows calendars to be published via WebDAV instead of uploading static calendars. An alternative to the $100 .Mac service offered by Apple, MyiCal is hosted by goBlox Technologies on Xserve servers. Future plans include Web-based email, Internet storage, community calendars and more.
FileMaker Mobile 2.1 is a new mobile database that allows users to transfer and synchronize data between FileMaker Pro databases (which now support XML importing and exporting) on desktop computers and handheld devices. The $50 software is compatible with FileMaker Pro 5.5v2 and 6, runs on handhelds with Pocket PC 2002, Palm OS 3.1 and desktop computers with Mac OS 9 & X.
Apple has pulled all iPods from the stores in France in order to bring the device into compliance with a French law that requries audio devices to output a maximum of 100 decibels (versus other parts of Europe, which mandate a 104 db maximum). Apple is expected to release firmware update on October 8th to bring existing iPods into compliance with the French regulation, according to MacGeneration.
PCV, a Macintosh development company, is looking for Windows products that people would like to see ported to the Macintosh platform.: \"We are asking the help of interested Macintosh users to identify such products by sending us an email with the name of the product and contact information, if any. We would also like to hear about any Macintosh products which are no longer supported, that have not been updated for while, or are not available for OS X, which you would like to see available.\"
Simon 1.0b2 is a Mac OS X only application that checks web and FTP sites at a desired frequency and determines when they change or go down. The introductory version is now available as a free download.
Post.Office 3.5.3 version 712 is a mail and list server for Mac OS X. The update adds a performance boost and features, including improved header and message body-based regular expression filtering and Mac OS X 10.2 compatibility. A free version, with 10 mailboxes and 2 lists, is available; a starter package, with 100 mailboxes and 10 lists is $295.
Audio Hijack 1.0 is a $16 audio enhancement utility for Mac OS X. The software runs in the background and pipes audio through a customized set of DSP filters (basically creating an equalizer for any Cocoa or Carbon application, including RealOne, DVD Player and Windows Media player). All sound played through the application can also be recorded to an AIFF file for later use.
IOGEAR has released the thinnest USB hub on the market, MicroHub. The four-port hub measures 9cm x 4cm x 1cm, which is smaller in size than a credit card, and weighs less than two ounces. The device is currently available for Mac OS 9 & X at a price of $15.
Eggplant, the first test automation product for Mac OS X, is now available. It provides functionality testing for GUI-based applications from the end-user experience, and utilizes a TCP/IP connection so that development and testing can occur in Mac OS 9, Windows, Unix and Linux.
Pixels Digital has announced a pre-purchase offer for the Mac OS X version of PiXELS 3D 4.1, which will be released on October 30th. Included in the offer is the now fully Mac OS X compatible PiXELS 4.1, ShaderMaker Pro, Tempest micro pixel renderer and Power Particle System. Owners of version 3.x can receive the upgrade price of $199 (a savings of $500); the general pre-purchase price is $400 (a savings of $400).
Intelli Innovations has released a new functionality update to its automated barcode creation software for both Mac OS 9 & X, Barcode Automator 1.1. It supports 9 different symbologies, including vectorized EPS and TIFF export capabilities, and comes bundled with OCR typography. New features include improved AppleScript performance, smaller, highly optimized EPS exports, and an Optimized Test Environment feature, allowing users to preview individual barcodes independently of bulk generation.
A reader notes that a new Apple Store is being built at the Menlo Park Mall in Edison, New Jersey.
Blobber 2.0 is a free tool that allows users to change the wait cursor in Mac OS X 10.2. It now sports a new interface, plugin support and more.
Kids Server for Mac OS X is a proxy server software with advanced web filtering capabilities. It includes more than 10 filters, a Google search filter, movie restrictions, log recording and more. Pricing is based on a yearly subscription and the number of users, and begins at $250 (for 1 year, 10 users).
FUNDimensions 4.06 brings Mac OS X 10.2 compatibility to the $1,830 fundraising software and database application for small non-profits and schools that manages the entire fundraising process. It runs on both Mac OS 9 as well as Mac OS X.
Lexmark today introduced the Lexmark X85 All-In-One Print Center, its single-unit station featuring an inkjet printer, flatbed scanner, and color copying and fax. It features 4800 x 1200 dpi when printing on photo paper and up to 2400 x 1200 dpi in black and color on all paper types, offering users the option of generating photo-quality output on other media, such as card stock, transparencies and iron-on transfers. Other features include 12 ppm monochrome printing, 6 ppm color printing, 600 x 1200 dpi optical scanning resolution (along with 48-bit color scan depth), and copy speeds of up to 10 cpm in black and up to 3 cpm in color,. The $200 X85 ships with both a black and color cartridge. Lexmark also last week introduced its $90 Lexmark Z45se Color Jetprinter, which offers 4800 x 1200 dpi on photo paper and photo-quality resolution of up to 2400 x 1200 dpi on all other paper types. It features print speeds of up to 15 ppm in black and up to 9 ppm in color.
REALmac software has released AudioX 2.1, an update to its $15 shareware utility for recording sound from any input source under Mac OS X (e.g., built-in microphone, USB microphone or a FireWire video camera). Version 2.1 adds a level meter, a new 40-second record limit in the demo, and other interface enhancements.
Mark Delfs has released a pregnancy calculator, Labor Day 1.0, which \"will time your individual contractions, and even better, track the distance between your contractions. The results are added to a table, which can be viewed on screen, or even e-mailed to a doctor.\"
MOX Optimize 2, now compatible with Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, is an application that can accelerate Mac OS X by allowing users to \"tweak your system settings and configure many hidden system options. Easily use powerful UNIX commands to optimize your system without having to learn them.\" The utility features automatic startup optimization and a scheduler for regular \"cleaning jobs.\" The utility offers features such as network connection optimization, Finder acceleration, improved application launch times, and cache management. A single-user license is $20, while upgrades from v1 are $10.
ArcaneWare\'s Serial Storage 1.2.1 is an application to the OS X application designed to organize/store/retrieve serial numbers, passwords, credit cards, or other information into different categories. Version 1.2.1 adds import/export for easy database backups as well as other enhancements to the $10 utility.
Rage Software\'s Macintosh Explorer X 3.2 provides an enhanced interface, copy & paste of files, improved Mac OS X support including better scrollwheel support and support for OS X 10.2.x, and improved drag and drop support to the $15 disk browsing utility for OS X.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R