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Alpha8 8.0b5 is the fifth public beta release of a new version of the popular "Alpha" text editor, originally created by developer P. Keleher. "The biggest new feature in this release is the move to Tcl 8.4.x, resulting in important performance benefits for many operations." A test version of Alpha for Mac OS X is also in development by Source Forge programmers, but is not currently available to the public.
One observant MacNN reader points out that Microsoft's latest Tablet PC promotional material features a mid-nineties 7xxx/8xxx series Apple Macintosh. Jason Botts notes that an overview demo, found on the Tablet PC Web site, shows an older Power Mac computer -- possibly obtained from a stock image bank -- with Windows XP superimposed on the display. The Tablet PC platform is not Mac-compatible.
The W3C Internet standards body has decided to drop a controversial proposal that would have allowed patent holders to charge royalties on technology used in Web standards; a recent Microsoft internal memo about open-source software makes it clear that the software giant fears Linux, according to NewsFactor; Dell today announced that third-quarter profits rose 31 percent, as it gained market share.
Metrowerks' CodeWarrior 8.3 is a maintenance release of MSL, Debugger, IDE, and Compilers and Command Line Tools: "After installing we strongly recommend that you rebuild all of your pre-compiled headers and libraries to take full advantage of the patched components." [28.8MB] LetterWorks is a new application for "writing quality letters with ease and style. [It] lets the author focus on content while layout, formatting and default text are determined by a predefined stationery. In addition, LetterWorks automates the process of filling in the receiver's address!" It is available for Mac OS X 10.2 for $30. [1.3MB] The Omni Group has released OmniDiskSweeper 1.3.1, which adds compatibility with Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" and also brings improvements to the Software Update function. The $15 utility can find and delete "big, useless files and thus making space on your hard disks." [1MB] Nemesys Software today released File Synchronization 1.0, a new utility for Mac OS X that has the ability to synchronize multiple pairs of folders or files. A 30-day demo of the $9 shareware is available online. [2.2MB]
Business Week talks about Apple's education sales initiatives, noting that it is pushing "training" as an integrated package. (Apple is currently exhibiting at the National School Boards Associationís 16th Annual Technology and Learning Conference, which runs from November 13-15 in Dallas). "[Apple] has persuaded the teachers' college at the University of Texas, for example, to require every student to buy an iBook and learn how to use it. The university, with Apple's encouragement, has incorporated into its curriculum instruction in how to use laptops to do everything from create assignments to control and monitor the laptops of students. From an OS X-equipped iBook, teachers can turn Internet access on and off, and see what students are working on." "Apple is pushing training in primary and secondary schools, as well. Today, a day's lessons for teachers comes as part of a package sale to schools. Apple isn't just selling iBooks, it's teaching educators how to use them for everything from math instruction to making movies. Schools can buy a prepackaged cart of 10 iBooks, each preassembled with curriculum software and connected wirelessly through an Airport wireless base station on the cart. The teacher rolls the cart into the classroom, distributes the iBooks, and then packs it all up when the lesson is over. No mess, no fuss."
Belkin has released Mac drivers for its USB-based game controller. The $30 Nostromo n50 SpeedPad is designed for for games that use a keyboard and mouse, offering 10 programmable buttons, a programmable 8-way directional pad and throttle wheel. The Nostromo Array Programming Software (NAPS) allows users to program the SpeedPad with up to 57 functions. Drivers are available for both Mac OS 9 and OS X. (The online price is $35).
ARTIS Software today released TextureMagic 1.4, an OS X-compatible version of its tool for creating and editing seamlessly tiling textures on the Macintosh. The $40 utility can create textures from scratch or convert photos of surfaces into seamless textures. A Pro version with 250 royalty-free textures on CD-ROM is $80. [2.1MB] Key Xing 2.5 is a $7 shareware utility for OS X, which allows you to launch files,programs, folders, URLs, and AppleScripts from the keyboard. Version 2.5 adds a contextual menu plugin, an option to paste text into other programs, an improved UI, and new shortcuts such as force quit and connect to server. [780KB] Myster PR5 brings OS X-related enhancements to the Java-based file sharing utility that allows you to share your files with others and download files being shared by others on the Myster network. [Classic, OSX] Macaroni 1.1 is an update to the utility handles regular maintenance for Mac OS X's Unix core, adding new scheduling features such as the ability to run only during system idle time.A 35-day trial of the $8 shareware is available. [1.1MB] eClick 1.2.2 brings cross-platform file compatibility to the $25 shareware that creates button graphics for web sites and presentations: "[it] reduces the button creation process to 6 steps, from selecting a button's style, size, color, shadow and label to choosing its final output file format. eClick includes over 900 button styles." [1.2MB] Colourfull Creations has released Code39 Class for REALbasic, which offers developers to add put bar codes in their development projects. Code39 currently supports Code 39 and Extended Code 39 Bar Coding. It is available for $10 ($25 with source-code). [Classic, OSX]
Several MacNN readers note a new Apple Switch ad on US primetime television: "Didn't hear about anywhere else, so I figured I'd mention it. I am watching The West Wing and a new Celeb Switch ad aired, featuring Yo Yo Ma. Couldn't see any changes on Apple's Switch site." Update: Apple has posted Yo Yo Ma's switch ad. His switch story is also available.
Mil productions today announced it will release Modularing 3.0 for Mac OS X at MacExpo next week in London (November 21-23). The modular music system features, full MIDI support, with audio synthesizers, sampler, controllers and many different sequencers. It can run as a standlone application or in conjunction with ProTools and other existing recorders. Other features include Core Audio support, direct-to-disk recording in QuickTime/AIFF format, window management, and a realtime samples & loops player with synth, pitch transposition and effects, as well as Seq Tracker for song composition and subsection live playing. It is Ä320.
WiebeTech today reduced prices on its MicroGB, its bus-powered pocket-size storage drives with both FireWire and USB 2.0 interfaces. The 60GB/4200RPM version is now $370 ($50 reduction), while both the 4200RPM and the 5400RPM version of the 40GB drive were reduced by $10 to $270 and $300, respectively. It is also available in capacities of 0GB (case-only), 20GB, and 30GB capacities. The product features an aluminum enclosure, USB 2.0 cable and FireWire cables, and an AC adapter (required only for USB usage).
Iomega today introduced its Iomega Mini USB Drive, a sleek, key-sized device, initially available in 64MB ($70) and 128MB ($100) capacities. It features Active Disk technology, offers USB connectivity, supports password protection, and weighs only 0.7 ounces (20gm). The Iomega Mini USB Drive features low power consumption and a sliding key ring design that "easily moves between the drive body and the cap according to user preference. This design feature offers improved security; users can keep the key ring with the drive when traveling and easily detach the key ring from the drive when it is connected to a PC." It will be available later this month in the US and worldwide in January 2003. A 256MB version will be available in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2003.
Dauger Research announced it has achieved over 217 billion floating-point operations per second on a cluster of 33 XServe's: "The Applied Cluster Computing Group at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) recently acquired 33 XServes for the purpose of using them as a parallel computing cluster. Using Pooch, provided by Dauger Research, the JPL group has begun running parallel computing code on what is presently the largest working XServe cluster known to exist."
Intelli Innovations today introduced IntelliMerge SQL, its new specialized database software for electronic business messaging. It can create, preview, deploy, and report on dynamically created e-mail campaigns. It offers an integrated campaign/message editor with plain text, styled text, html, and text/html combination messaging as well as built-in MySQL and OpenBase database support, support for file attachments, a bounced-email checker, and several MySQL tools. It is available in four versions, starting at $350 for the personal version.
TNC today announced XBase to build online news/Web-magazine websites. The WebObjects-based solution offers various functions from unlimited category system, reporter mode and administrator mode to manage news articles, online forum, ad management, user polling, and user management system as well as a web interface for remote management. Pricing starts at $900 per copy.
Digital Video Editing compares the new Dual-1.25GHz PowerMac to a single-processor Dell featuring the newly released Pentium 4 3.06GHz procesor with HyperThreading enabled (the system also uses PC1066 RDRAM) using various Digital Content Creation benchmarks (After Effects and Photoshop): "As for comparing the Dell workstation with the fastest Mac on the market, well, the two machines are apparently in different classes. Take a look at the test results, and youíll have to agree that, using these benchmarks, the Mac was slaughtered again, and this time by an even wider expanse than ever."
Willow Design has released three new dust covers for the 17" iMac ($20), the 17" eMac ($20) as well as the older G3 Classic iMac ($17). Each dust cover is custom fitted to cover the desktop, keyboard, mouse and extra speakers and features special mesh openings at the rear to "vent excess heat from the computer in case it's been left on in sleep mode or turned on accidentally." The three dust covers are covered by Willow's lifetime guarantee against defects in materials or craftsmanship.
Apple has appointed Tony Ho as vice-president of Asia Pacific reporting to John Brandon, Apple vice-president of the Americas and Asia Pacific, according to The Star Online. Ho is "responsible for driving the strategic direction and business plans to grow the companyís revenue in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan), Apple said in a statement [and] will also expand the companyís customer base, lead sales and marketing function and direct the channel strategy throughout the region."
Singlestep has released LDAPBrowser for OS X, allowing users to locate organizations, individuals, and other resources such as files and devices in a network. The free LDAPBrowser, created with the object-oriented VNOS environment, runs the ldapsearch command and parses the results into a view-only Browse Tree: "It is a simple application that connects VNOS objects in a powerful user interface to handle the input and output options of command line functions. This provides easier access to information in directories and enables automation." It requires VNOS, which costs $200/year. [updated]
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Google prevails in UK street mapping case
Possibly setting the stage for other court battles in the UK, a High Court fight between Google and StreetMap.EU has concluded in Google's favor. StreetMap.EU claimed that Google's dominance in the field destroyed the 20-year-old firm's business, when Google started promoting its own service in search results over the older company's -- the judge disagreed. Commercial director Kate Sutton said after the judgment that "StreetMap has been frozen in time; because of what Google did, StreetMap has not been able to properly invest in the website since 2007." An appeal is planned. http://bloom.bg/1KKhECt
TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5