Celartem Technology USA recently agreed to aquire Extensis for $9- to-$11 million from ImageX. Extensis is a leading provider of software for creative professionals in the digital imaging market. Celartem sees a "strong synergy" between its core technology -- VFZ (Vector Format for Zooming) -- and Extensis' digital media applications: "Celartem's core technology for imaging is a perfect match with the Extensis brand, their products and their customer base," said Osamu Ikeda, CEO of Celartem USA.
La Jolla Underground today released VV Browser 1.0, a utility for REALbasic developers that allows virtual volumes created by REALbasic to be browsed. Volumes are displayed as a hierarchical lists; file sizes and modification dates are also displayed.
Bare Feats has posted a "real world" speed comparison between several FireWire RAID devices. Among the devices benchmarked are the Miglia MediaBank, the Wiebetech RAID, and the Granite Digital FireVue Hot-Swap RAID system.
Afternoon tech news: Bugbear is the latest email virus causing havoc in the Windows world; one MacNN reader notes an iBook look-alike by Sony, which is apparently only available in Japan; The Department of Transportation has ruled that a new type of fuel cell can be taken on commercial planes, clearing the path for industry acceptance of this alternative to standard laptop batteries.
MacFamilyTree 3.2, OnlyMac Software's popular shareware genealogy program that helps users to document, store, and display information about their family, has been released. The update improves Gedcom import and export for all files and special fixes for Reunion Gedcom files and UltimateFamilyTree Gedcom files, fixes numerous bugs and adds a features. The Mac OS 9 & X application is priced at $25.
3D Pitch/Setback 2 is a Mac OS 9 & X rendition of the popular North American card game. It features solo or Internet play against gamers via the GameSmith opponent matching service. The $20 game also supports popular rule variations, including play without parnership ("cutthroat"), offleading, bid stealing, and more.
FirewireDirect has announced the debut of the SlimLine Ultra III line of FireWire and FireWire/USB 2 combo hard drives and drive enclosures. The drives feature a new form factor, with a sharp, metallic, sapphire blue enclosure and is available in capacities of up to 160 GB. Pricing is determined by the size of drive and connectivity options, ranging from 60GB (FireWire - $190, Combo - $210) to 160GB (FireWire - $390, Combo - $400).
Muscle! 1.5.5 is a $10 fitness journal application for Mac OS X. It is geared towards weight lifting and general cardio exercises and allows users to plan and keep track of workouts, keep track of diet and supplement data, set goals and monitor progress. The update adds an auto-calculation feature for some popular diet plans.
Photo Galaxy Volume 5 "Mixed Impressions" is a collection of more than 1000 royalty-free digital photos on CD-ROM. It includes topics such as aerial landscape and mountain shots, as well as mountains, valleys, hills, meadows, boats, cars, concerts, religious art and yachts. The images are provided at a resolution of 1600x1200; the price is $30.
Apple will be opening Apple Store Somerset in Troy (MI) on October 12th at the Somerset Collection Mall, which is located two miles west of I-75, exit 69. The Apple store is located in Somerset North on the first floor near Nordstrom.
Apple's AirPort 2.11 software, now available via the Web (after it was released via Software Update earlier this week): This software includes the latest version of the snow (dual-Ethernet) base station firmware - v4.0.7. This new firmware fixes potential issues with sending email when connected to Verizon DSL services and improves compatibility when posting messages or sending email through secure web sites. Instructions for updating the base station firmware are listed at the end of this document. There is a new checkbox in the AirPort tab of the AirPort Admin Utility that allows the base station administrator to enable or disable configuration of the base station over the WAN port - "Enable Configuration on WAN." Configuration over the WAN port is enabled by default. Disabling this checkbox also does not publish the base stations' Rendezvous information over the WAN port. When enabling Internet Sharing over AirPort (commonly referred to as a Software Base Station) you can enter a quoted or hex-escaped password. This provides compatibility with Windows or other wireless clients that require an Equivalent Network Password. If you have questions, see your network administrator for additional information on the WEP encryption key or password that you are using. There is a pull-down selection to create a 128-bit encrypted Computer to Computer Network in the AirPort Menu Extra. This updated base station firmware is recommended for customers that have problems initiating connections through certain ISP services or successfully browsing secure websites.
The Mac Treasure Tracing Club notes several new DVD drives displayed at Ceatec 2002 in Japan: Panasonic displayed several versions of its multifunction DVD drives, which support 8x DVD-ROM, 2x DVD-RAM, 2x DVD-R and 1x DVD-RW as well as 24x/16/4x CD-RW functions. The company showed tray-loading, slot-loading, and external USB 2.0 versions of the drive. The reports notes that the demo unit had a production date of July 2002. Pioneer displayed both DVR-K11RZ (tray-loading notebook SuperDrive with 2x/2x/8x DVD-RW and 16x/10x/24x CD-RW functions) and its 3.5" desktop DVR-105RZ (4x/2x/12x DVD-RW and 16x/10x/40x CD-RW). A "traverse mechanism" (slot-loading?) version of the notebook SuperDrive drive appears to be even smaller and is due to begin production in December 2002 with 2x/2x/8x DVD-RW and 16x/10x/24x CD-RW functions.
Chaparral Software is shipping EZxslt 1.0, a new application that generates Microsoft Word documents using data stored in FileMaker Pro 6 databases. Dubbed as the "first automatic XSLT stylesheet generator for FileMaker Pro 6 and Microsoft Word users," users can automatically create XSLT Stylesheets based on Microsoft Word documents using a simple highlight mechanism to tag stylesheet template. It supports drag & drop of source files, files stored locally or on networks, and page break and text flow modes for multiple record output. Pricing starts at $130 for a small workgroup license. A free demo and tutorial are available online.
Youpi Key 1.7.3 is free automation utility for OS X that can execute actions based on a keyboard equivalent, a menu item, and/or a regularly scheduled time (or computer event). It can open files, display folders, launch applications, run system actions, execute Unix commands, simulate the keyboard/mouse, type text, and perform other actions. The freeware brings better compatibility with OS X 10.2, adds contextual menu support, and fixes a few bugs.
Tech Superpowers has expanded its public 802.11b access network, NewburyOpen.net, to five locations on Newbury street in Boston (MA). Zoe Home (279 Newbury) joins Trident Booksellers and Cafť (338), The Wrap (247), and Tech Superpowersí Internet Cafť (252) locations to offer free wireless access. The Zome Home location also provides access to the Internet via a publicly accessible flat-panel iMac (provided by Tech Superpowers).
Rampell Software has released Unpopular 1.0, an application that works with Internet Explorer to eliminate annoying web pop-up advertisements before they appear: "[it]is also able to intelligently determine which pop-ups the user has requested to see, such as a form for filling in information, and which pop-ups are simply aggressive advertising." It features different levels of control for pop-under/pop-up advertising as well. The $20 utility is available for OS X and is also on sale as a bundle with AlwaysONline X for $35. AlwaysONline X ($19) works with AOL and several other modem-based ISPs to prevent disconnects due to inactivity under OS X.
El Gato has updated its EyeTV 1.03 software for its $200 EyeTV digital video recorder device, which allows users to watch TV shows, pause live television, skip commercials, and archive programming to disk and/or external media. It adds new features such as repeating schedules, a new slider control to adjust the recording duration, higher quality VideoCDs (with Roxio Toast), an option to keep the entirelive TV buffer in RAM, new sound preferences, and other enhancements.
Microsoft's VBA Converter for Excel X converts Visual Basic for Applications macros that are opened or saved in Excel 5.0/95 Workbook format, but requires Office SR1 updater to applied before it can be usd.
AppMac's wKiosk 1.0b is a preview of its $100 secure Internet browser for OS X. Designed for internet kiosks in public spaces, the browser integrates Netscape's HTML gecko engine and offers full-screen browsing. The Cocoa-based application offers compatibility with Flash and QuickTime and the ability to limit access by URLs. The final version is due in November in both French and English.
Creative House has updated its vector-based paint program Expression 3. It has new paint tools, including dynamic erasing using arbitrary graphic objects, real-time feflection mapped fill, user-definable fringe textures for organic blotting effects and fuzzy fills, effect lines for comics and dramatic line patterns, a new transform fill, and independent control of width and transparency variability. Other features include native support of Photoshop PSD and PNG format (including image import/export). Upgrades to the $150 application are $100 for registered users. A 30-day demo for Mac OS 8/9 and OS X is available online.
IOXperts today released USB Still Camera driver 1.02, an update to its $10 driver that allows users to use one of 80 non-standard, low-cost digital cameras (complete list) with Mac OS X. Version 1.02 brings support for Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar.
Griffin Technology has posted the first beta release of Final Vinyl 0.6, an OS X only audio application that allows users to easily record their collection of old vinyl records using just the Griffin iMic ($35) and a turntable: "Previously users wishing to record their old record collection had to hook up their entire stereo system just to power their turntable. Now users can connect the record player directly to their iMic, and using Final Vinyl record and save all their old albums."
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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