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Pyramid Designs has released a set of classes and code modules for REALbasic that implement five common FTP operations. FTP Suite 1.0 enables any REALbasic program to transfer or delete files and upload or delete directories. The next version is expected to include directory downloads and the "list" command. Hobbyists can obtain FTP Suite for $30, while commercial developers must pay $60.
The PandaWave has published a 357-page document outlining its YAAF application framework. The YAAF Developer's Guidebook details "Yet Another Application Framework" -- a free cross-platform C++ framework that compiles and runs on Microsoft Windows 95 through Windows XP, Mac OS 5 through X, and on Linux under X Windows. [site not updated]
With the goals of the 'No Child Left Behind Act' in mind, Apple recently announced that it would offer a new series of 'Curriculum Mobile Labs' to help raise student achievement, through the integration of technology into the education system. "Apple Professional Development is included with every Curriculum Mobile Lab to ensure teachers can effectively use the technology in the classroom." The mobile labs include Airport-equipped iBooks, educational software, and other wireless networking solutions.
"Only the bravest" will have adopted new 'tablet' computers by the end of next year, a Gartner exec says; research in battery and portable power technology -- namely fuel cells -- may eliminate the need for device-specific charging solutions; the amount of junk email in inboxes has risen by over 80% since the beginning of the year.
MindVision Software has announced two significant additions to its software lineup -- FileStorm and FileStorm Pro. FileStorm ($20) allows Mac OS X software developers to quickly "package and deliver" software products. Disk images created using the application can be used for Internet distribution, or can be used to write product CDs. The 'pro' version of the suite ($80) allows developers to create installers from within FileStorm.
OmniGraffle 2.1 for Mac OS X 10.2 is a drawing and diagramming tool from The Omni Group. It supports transparency in PDF export, EPS export, and printing as well as uses Quartz technology for anti-aliased fonts, drop shadows, and transparencies. The update brings Japanese and French localizations, a new Network pallete and an updated UML palette. [15.6MB] Trinfinity Software has released its development tool for Mac OS 9 & X, ASCII Tools Pro 1.0. It allows developers to manipulate text quickly by converting a character to it's ASCII in decimal, hexadecimal, octal, and binary values. Other features, such as the Extract tab, allow a file to be loaded and the ASCII values to be extracted, and a Format tab gives developers to organize and format text. A single user license is $10. [Classic, OSX] The Omni Group, in collaboration with PopCap Games, has also announced the Mac OS X version of Mummy Maze ($20) and Seven Seas ($15). The puzzle games were previously only available for PC, Palm and as Web-based games. Free demos are available. [Mummy, Seven Seas]
Olympus and Epson have announced a special three-month promotion which offers a $75 rebate when consumers purchase any Olympus Camedia digital camera and one of three Epson Stylus Photo ink jet printers. Customers must purchase an Olympus Camedia digital camera and either the Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX, 825 or 925 printer within 30 days of one another. The digital camera and printer do not have to be purchased at the same time.
REAL Software has announced the availability of paid priority technical support, which "gives developers the security and flexibility they require and provide all customers with access to the appropriate level of assistance." Five options are available (in addition to the free web based assistance), ranging from the $50 Single Incident to the $2500 Premier Plan, which includes unlimited incidents, one day response time, and access to Directed Engineering Services.
Aladdin has updated iClean 5.0.1, its $30 tool that helps remove "Internet build-up and clutter" (cache files, unused downloads, etc.). The update brings Mac OS X 10.2 compatibility and an improved Cookie Editor for easier navigation and cookie deletion. Solutions Etcetera has announced a free 30 day trial version of SuperCard 4, an authoring and RAD tool for Mac OS X. Users can create games, teaching aides, utilities, personal productivity tools and more. [9.5MB] XTension 3.9.2 is a home automation application for "any Mac, from the Mac Plus, to the latest iMac. It will also run under X, in the "classic" mode." A free "lite" version is available, along with the $40 classic version. [290KB] Surround SCM 1.1 is a cross-platform change management tool with client and server support for Mac OS X. Enhancements include file sharing, history reports and a repositories. [9.0MB]
Sonic Desktop has updated their line of royalty-free music, SmartSound, with a new version of the popular Edge Series. “With Edge 4, I was looking to create intense, dark, edgy sounds that evoke the feeling of danger and excitement you feel when watching a luge competition or bungie jumping on ESPN,” said Edge 4 composer Michael Hakes. “The inspiration for many of these thrashin’, speed metal licks came from bands like Rage Against the Machine, Limp Bizkit, Korn and others.” Two CD formats are available, 44k ($130) and 22k ($70).
BitHeadz has released an update to their loop-sequencing program, Phrazer 2.0. It adds support for Mac OS X, the ability to bring in MP3s, a new "Save As Project" feature and a new customizable user interface. It also provides overall improvements in sample file search and integration with standard sequencers such as Digital Performer, Logic, Cubase and Pro Tools.
VPN Tracker 1.0.2 ($50) is a maintenance update for the Mac OS X VPN client. It allows users to connect to other commercial VPN gateways or software gateways using Linux, Mac OS X or Windows. The release smashes bugs and adds minor enhancements. [3.0MB] iEvents 1.5b2 ($20) is a Mac OS 9 & X client-side tool for creating custom calendar websites that can be uploaded to any internet server or iDisk. It now fixes a menu handling bug in the Classic version. [982KB] Office v.X 10.1.2 is a security update for the office suite for Mac OS X. It is now a combined updater that includes all previously released updates for Office v.X. [14.6MB]
Charles Haddad of BusinessWeek comments on a recent Giga Information Group report that stated Apple "is in full retreat in almost every market segment, home users being the prominent exception." He notes that Apple's downfall has been predicted numerous times, but has still survived and actually turns a profit. Haddad credits Apple success to high profit margins, an extremely loyal user base, and recent cross-market products.
Other World Computing has introduced three new Mercury Elite Pro external FireWire storage solutions, which featurs 8MBs of cache in 120GB, 180GB and 200GB capacities. The drives ship with Intech HD SpeedTools, a FireWire cable, external power adaptor and a two-year OWC warranty. The 120GB, 7200RPM model is $300, the 180GB model is $450 and the 200GB drive is $500.
Emailchemy 1.4 adds an Entourage converter, a Neoplanet converter/wizard, and Outlook Express 5 for UNIX/Solaris converter/wizard, and an improved Outlook Express 5 for Macintosh converter to the $25 application that reads email files from the proprietary formats of the most popular email applications and converts them to standard formats. [336KB] Advenio has released SQLGrinder 1.2.4, an update to its native Mac OS X SQL editor and developer tool that allows developers to easily create, edit and execute SQL queries as well as browse their database structures. It has improved import and export functionality as well as bug fixes. A demo of the $50 utility is available. [1.3MB] AppMac's nQuick 5 for Mac OS X is a productivity utility offering a utility palette with access to applications, OS X files, email functions, text clippings, and access to notes, passwords, serials numbers, and URLs. The $20 is automatically invoked when moving the cursor to the left or right side of the screen. [2.0MB] A Mac OS X version of Prosoniq's acclaimed free NorthPole VST Resonant Filter PlugIn is available: "In short, you can send any of your VST/WaveLab tracks through this 'virtual analog' device to either create special effects or to simulate the behaviour of an analog 4-pole filter." [Classic, OSX]
Apple today announced its updated iBook line with processors running at up to 800 MHz and the ATI Mobility Radeon (AMR) 7500 graphics with up to 32MB of memory. Apple also reduced pricing by $200 across the line.
Apple today announced new Titanium PowerBook G4 notebooks with processors running at up to 1 GHz, 1MB of DDR level 3 cache, a slot-loading SuperDrive, and a new ATI Mobility Radeon (AMR) 9000 graphics chip with up to 64MB of RAM. Pricing starts at $2,299 and availability is listed as 1-2 days for the low-end model and 5-7 days for the high-end model at the Apple Store.
Microtek today announced it would begin shipping the ScanMaker 6800 in mid-November. The flatbed scanner integrates ASF's Digital ICE technology for photo prints, allowing users to scan a damaged photo print and apply Digital ICE for photo correction to remove dust and lint while also correcting most scratches and cracks. It also features 48-bit color, 4800x2400 dpi optical resolution, FireWire and USB 2.0 connectivity, a built-in 4"x5" transparency light plate, and an 8.5"x11" scan area. The $400 scanner includes Adobe Photoshop Elements; ABBYY FineReader Sprint for Optical Character Recognition; Microtek's scan, color copy and e-mail utilities; ScanWizard 5 scanner controller; USB 2.0 cable, and PCI FireWire host controller card and cable.
Ableton earlier this month introduced LIVE 2.0, a major upgrade to its sequencing instrument for Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, and Windows. Version 2.0 offers enhancements to the performance and jamming features of the original software and also adds multi-track recording and editing with "Elastic Audio," described as the "unique ability to render audio totally elastic. This feature allows tempo to be set at anytime during recording, performance or playback." Other features include DJ-like cross-fading, relative session mapping, MIDI control of tempo and transport, presets to save/recall effect settings, and new Gate and Redux effects. It is due in December for $400 with upgrades either $70 (online) or $90 (boxed). [site not updated]
Now AAPL Stock: 96.04 ( + 1.05 )
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh