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WiebeTech is now shipping an improved version of its FireWire DriveDock ($140) and Super DriveDock ($160) FireWire-to-IDE bridge interfaces. Both DriveDocks now support ATA-6 drives: "The FireWire DriveDock is similar to the Super DriveDock, but uses an AC adapter, not bus power, and provides support for CDs and DVD drives as well." A product upgrade is available ($70 or $80) for prior purchasers of either device: by returning their product for upgrade, any user will receive a unit with ATA-6 support added to the bridgeboard and new firmware.
MacNN reader Elizabeth MacLean was told by an MYOB representative that Account Edge 3 would ship "sometime within the next month" -- contrary to information on the company's Web site that indicated a mid-October date.
StyleGrid 5.0 adds Quartz text rendering, a new data engine and a redesigned API for "StyleGrid" to the Spreadsheet plug-in control for REALbasic. According to the developer, the StyleGridUtilities plug-in defines a "MutableStyleGridMatrix object," which can capture,create and mutate any StyleGridMatrix object.
ArcaneWare has released TypeJet 2.0, an updated version of its font viewing utility. Rather than scrolling through menus to test each font, TypeJet ($12) allows users to flip through fonts in predefined groups. Version 2.0 sports a new interface and icon, allows viewing of "uninstalled" fonts, offers "smart font sets," and includes other small usability enhancements. [Classic, OSX]
IDG World Expo today announced it began discussions regarding Apple's role in upcoming Macworld Conference & Expo events, confirming that Apple will participate in Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco in January 2003 with a presence on the show floor as well as the keynote presentation from Steve Jobs. IDG also says that both parties have also agreed to hold ongoing discussions about Apple's role in upcoming East Coast Macworld events. (Over the weekend, IDG suggested it may attempt to squeeze Apple by leveraging attendance at other non-East Coast Expos.
Adobe has released Acrobat Reader 5.1, an update to the application for viewing PDF files. Version 5.1 adds support for commenting tools, digital signatures and the ability to save forms and forms data for offline completion, submission and archival storage. (Adobe today announced Windows and Solaris versions of its $75,000 Adobe Document Server for Reader Extensions server, which provides enterprises the ability to automate electronic forms and document processes-reducing reliance on inefficient paper-based workflows; however, no Mac OS X version was noted.) A version with search/accessibility is also available. [Std, Search]
Aspyr Media today said that Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast has gone "Gold" and is expected to available soon. The $50 title is available for pre-order and runs on both Mac OS 9 and OS X.
Bio-IT World reports that Apple's life science efforts may be on the verge of bearing fruit, but says that "one last challenge Apple will have to overcome is the perception that Apple solutions are expensive." The article also notes the the lack of bioinformatic benchmarks on the system as another area of concern among some researchers.
MacFamilyTree 3.2.5 helps document, store, and display information about your family. The update offers better support for Gedcom files, improved card printing, and several bug fixes. It is available in English, German, Spanish, French, Swedish, Italian, Danish and Norwegian; the unregistered version ($25) can be used as a Gedcom file browser. ReferenceWorker 1.0 allows users to enter and manage bibliographic information for academic projects and can generate lists according to the MLA or APA formats. The OS X-only application is $9. [1.2MB] SilverNetworks today released SilverCreator 1.02, an update to its game creation software for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. It offers an event-based scripting language and supports QuickTime as well as features a fast sprite system with full transparency support. [Classic, OSX]
Sony today debuted a portable, battery-operated CD-RW and DVD-ROM drive that doubles as a stand-alone CD, MP3 and WAV player. The lightweight drive incorporates a Memory Stick media slot, a USB 2.0 interface, a 24x/10x/24x CD-RW mechanism, support for 8x DVD-ROM playback, an 8MB buffer, MP3 and WAV audio format decoding, a wired remote control with a backlit LCD display, and a software bundle (Retrospect Express, B's Recorder Gold burning software, ArcSoft's PhotoBase and PhotoStudio). It is due in November for under $300.
Netlock today announced that it is developing a Mac OS X client for the Nortel Contivity Switches. Existing Macintosh VPN for Contivity customers whose VPN clients are currently under active maintenance, will receive the new Mac OS X client free- of-charge. Customers presently considering purchasing clients for older Macintosh versions can now do so and be assured the Mac OS X client will be available to them at no additional charge when they purchase Annual Maintenance. The OS X VPN client features include NAT traversal for interoperability with most network infrastructures and compression for improved data rate performance. It is due later this year.
Adam Iser has released Adium 1.6.2c, an update to the popular third-party AIM client. The update fixes a few bugs and restores the host to 'toc.oscar.aol.com:9898' for better connections. (A build of Adium 2.0 is due in December). [1.3MB] MAKI Enterprise has updated its email client, Magellan 3.5, which brings faster decoding of languages, support for the Address Book in Mac OS X 10.2, attributed deletion, improved spamming dictionaries, and other fixes. [Classic, OSX] Redcort Software's Virtual TimeClock Professional 4.1 is a free maintenance update to the software-based time clock that tracks worker arrivals, departures, hours worked, and overtime. The update brings support for Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, better support for Mac OS 9 in a mixed platform environment, and other stability enhancements. New licenses are $180, while upgrades are $90. [Classic, OSX] Elmer 4.5 creates sample tests to help users prepare for their ham radio written examination. It contains all FCC question pools for each of the three written exams: Technician, General, and Extra Class. Version 4.5 contains the new Extra class question pool that went into effect in July 2002. [Classic, OSX] AtWork 3.0, an update to the $16 time-billing and invoicing application, now includes new auto-save features, a improved help file, support for multiple documents, and sorting table columns and database enhancements. [3.6MB]
The Beijing Macintosh User Group has documented the opening of Beijing's third AppleCentre at the Oriental Plaza in Beijing, China, and MacNN reader Tadd Torborg has posted photos and a video from the grand opening of the Apple Store Millenia in Orlando, FL. Both stores opened this past weekend. Apple has also posted a list of the ten other upcoming stores expected to open by Thanksgiving, as noted by MacNN in late September.
CourseForum 1.0 is a web application that lets instructors add interaction to existing online or face-to-face courses. Instructors and students can create, share, and discuss ideas, Q&A, research, student portfolios, project work, and more. Versions are available for OS X, Windows, Linux and FreeBSD, while prices start at $99.
WiebeTech is now shipping 180GB ($550) and 200GB ($600) Super DesktopGB FireWire drives. The bus-powered drives now offer ATA-6 support (necessary for the larger capacities) and improved PowerBridge bus powering circuitry. Upgrades are available for past purchasers of Super DesktopGB, which "will allow units to receive a bridgeboard with hardware support for ATA-6 drives, new firmware and improved PowerBridge circuitry." The $80 upgrade requires the return of the user's drive. New drives include an enclosure, a vertical stand, a FireWire cable, an AC adapter, and MacDrive 5 software.
The Boston Globe reports that IDG may use attendance at other Macworld Expos--San Francisco, Tokyo, and Paris--as leverage to get Apple to attend Macworld Boston: "'We don't have to let them. We might not let you cherry-pick which Macworld events you do ... that's currently under discussion here." Apple said it would not participate in Macworld Boston in 2004, and that it would reevaluate its participation in the final New York Macworld, in July.
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Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ