FirewireDirect has unveiled the Vanguard Ultra One, an Ultra 160 SCSI Raid Solution for 1U Rackmounts providing RAID level 0, 1, 3, 0+1 and 5. The system offers storing capabilities up to 800GB and is powered by an Intel 80303 64-bit RISC processor. It also features 256MB of High Speed Cache and a Smart function LCD panel for user controls. The Enclosure Kit (no drives) is priced at $2655, 480GB (4x120) is $3655, 720GB (4x180) is $4355, and 800GB (4x200) is $4555.
epicware's Fire 0.31e is an update to the popular multi-protocol internet instant chat client that provides support for AIM, ICQ, Yahoo!, IRC, MSN, and Jabber chat services. This version adds more smileys, sends typing notifications, and fixes several bugs. [2.2MB] AppMac's bManager 3.0 is a $100 professional contact manager and CRM application for OS X, offering support for Apple's Address Book, integrated email functions, vCard format support, unlimited contacts, group management, and an improved interface. [6.0MB] Deep Sky's maintenance update, HTTP Client Deux v1.1.1b01, is a 4th Dimension component which provides a comprehensive set of HTTP and HTTPS request methods for use throughout 4D based projects. Sound Studio 2.06 fixes several bugs in the audio recording and editing tool. The digital audio editor can record up to 2GB of audio, mix audio, apply effects filters, generate tones, pitch-shift and resample audio, and open and save in several file formats. [1.2MB] Pangea has posted Bugdom 2 v1.01 addresses issues on older versions of Mac OS 9 as well as a problem saving games on Mac OS 9 and other minor localization issues. [300KB]
Angelo Scicolone's $10 shareware XChar 3.0 for quickly locating special characters adds support for Mac OS 8/9, displays HTML codes for special characters, offers customized translucency, and other features. ergonis software also released PopChar X 1.3.1 ($30), a maintenance update to the OS X sibling of the popular PopChar Pro. Users can also enable a similar menu within Mac OS X (with less functions) under the International Panel in the System Preferences under the Input Menu tab ("Character Palette"). [XC, PC-X]
Apple yesterday evening posted QuickTime 6.02 via the software update and on the Web, but has not detailed the changes, according to one reader, although we have not been able to confirm it. A standalone QuickTime 6.02 installer is also available. Update: Most users report that the software update function has been down since last night, but the download is indeed available on the Web.
IDG yesterday said it would continue the East Coast Macworld Expo with or without Apple, but noted that Apple's response surprised even the IDG CEO: "I spoke to Apple as late as 9 p.m. last night, and they said nothing to me about what they did today," Greco said. "Nothing." Greco said that he speaks regularly to Apple, and that the two firms have been working on plans for two more Macworld shows, in Britain and Germany. Greco speculated that Apple may not want to have two major US shows each year, because the company doesn't have enough new products in its development pipeline to justify the large, expensive keynote events held at each show....Greco predicted that the loss of Apple would depress Macworld attendance by only 10 to 15 percent, and he vowed the show would proceed."
Badia Software has announced two new XTensions for Mac QuarkXPress 4.1 and 5.0: ContactPage XT and Exportools XT. ContactPage XT ($60) fast-tracks the creation of picture contact sheets, along with captions, for easy cataloguing. It has a comprehensive set of customizable features that lets users select page size and margins, grid layout, picture and text box dimensions, as well as extensive caption information. It also includes a "resume" feature that begins cataloguing exactly where you left off after a break. Exportools XT ($60) automates the process of saving document pages as individual files in several popular formats, including EPS, PostScript, plain or rich text, page screenshots and html. Users can choose which pages to export (spreads as well as single pages), the rules governing the file names, and, optionally, any program in which to open the new files for post-processing.
Macaroni 1.0 is a $8 shareware tool which handles regular maintenance for Mac OS X's Unix core, offering automatic execution of standard Unix tasks, a configurable interface for adding custom tasks at specified intervals, a history of performed actions, and other options. [1.1MB] QuantumSoft today released pro Fit 5.6.3, a free update to its $95 tool for the analysis, processing, plotting and evaluation of numerical data and mathematical functions. The update provides various bug fixes and improves compatibility with Mac OS 10.2. [Classic, OSX] Griffin's PowerMate 1.5.1 driver for Mac OS X brings a new Special Key command and other usability enhancements to the software for its PowerMate USB Multimedia Controller. [3.3MB] Emailchemy 1.3.2 adds new export options, an Outlook Express for Windows conversion wizard, improved Eudora converters, and better QuickMail conversion to the $25 email conversion utility. [323KB]
Now AAPL Stock: 96.43 ( + 1.21 )
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ
Spotify deploys new $15 family plan
Spotify has today launched a new family program. Up to six family members can have individual accounts for $15 per month for the group. All current "Premium for Family" members will be migrated to the new program. The new plan is available today globally, minus Canada. http://spoti.fi/1OSJrCK
Speck CandyShell Clear with Glitter case
Speck today announced CandyShell Clear with Glitter. Thousands of tiny pieces of glitter are embedded within the case, with what the company calls "military-grade drop protection in a slim profile." CandyShell Clear with Glitter is available now on Speck's website for $40 and up. http://bit.ly/1OSHIgM
Three UK nudges MMS users toward apps
British carrier Three has suggested its users take advantage of messaging apps, as part of an announcement regarding multimedia messaging (MMS) price rises. While the price of a message will increase on June 13 from 17.4p ($0.25) to 40p ($0.58) per MMS, Three notes that customers can avoid the hefty fees by using Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other services. http://bit.ly/1Rk0TKM
Belight Soft launches Art Text 3
Belight Soft has launched the latest version of its graphic design software, Art Text 3. The new version sticks with the goals of the previous iterations in developing a creative art text tool that is easy to use for beginners, but produces powerful results that will also appeal to pros. Among its key features are over 70 customizable templates to assist with logo design, word art, web elements and picture captions. Users can customize 3D materials using over 200 textures, over 140 bump map surfaces and over 80 environment map textures. Users of either of the two previous versions can upgrade to the new version for $30, a $20 savings. New users can also enjoy the $30 price as an introductory offer through the Mac App Store until May 31. http://bit.ly/1U6jFqu
KnowRoaming network now extends to 86 countries
KnowRoaming customers can now use its global SIM sticker to take advantage of its unlimited data plans when travelling in 86 countries. The SIM sticker is, as its name suggests, a special sticker that is applied to the back of an existing SIM card for use outside the US in supported countries. It works in conjunction with the KnowRoaming smartphone app. The latest expansion of its network came with the addition of 12 Latin American countries where travelers can now also enjoy its unlimited data plans, which are available for $8 per day. http://bit.ly/27KkXli
BMW to start supporting CarPlay this fall
BMW will add CarPlay support as one of the entertainment add-on for its X5M and X6M models, the first BWM models to do so, starting from this summer. A German-language catalog for the manufacturer spotted by Bimmerpost advises the option will arrive in August. It is unclear if the support will only be included in European versions of the car, or for further afield. The display in the vehicles will be among the largest thus far seen for CarPlay, at 10.25 inches, and hinted at possible wireless CarPlay support. The X5M currently sells for €96,470 (US$108, 275), while the X6M retails for €99,327 ($111, 453). http://bit.ly/1XnZ4DJ