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Carbon Copy Cloner 2.1 -- a hard drive backup solution for Mac OS X -- gains the ability to create ASR-ready disk images. Version 2.1 also includes improved documentation, and a handful of small bug fixes. CCC 2.1 only works with Mac OS X 10.2, because of dependencies on technology in the new OS. [Download - 844KB, v1.3.1 for OS 10.1] Kensington has released a new beta version of its MouseWorks 2.2 driver for Mac OS X. Details of the update are not currently available. [Download - 2.5MB] QuicKeys X 1.5.4 is a maintenance update to the Mac OS X automation utility that includes an improved menu selection shortcut for better application compatibility. QuicKeys can combine and simplify common, repetitive tasks such as: launching programs, opening files, mounting servers, running Unix commands, and entering text. QuicKeys is priced at $80; a demo is available. [Demo download form] Fetch Softworks has released Fetch 4.0.3, a free upgrade to its $25 FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client for the Mac. Version 4.0.3 offers improved compatibility with Mac OS X 10.2, in addition to dozens of improvements relating to AppleScript, Kerberos security, and the use of SOCKS gateways. [1.2MB,]
Knowledge Base roundup: You may need to format your AirPort password in a specific way before connecting to third-party wireless access points; "Mouse keys" may have been inadvertently activated if typing numbers using the numeric keypad does not work, but holding down the Shift key allows the numeric keypad to work as expected; Apple has outlined a number of compatibility factors with regard to Apple displays and Power Mac G4 computers; it is possible to customize the location, appearance and content of the date/time feature in Mac OS X; an Apple document explains the different "hold" features found on the iPod; if the Final Cut Pro application unexpectedly quits after installing the 3.0.2 update, it may be necessary to revert to the previous version.
IDVDthemePAK has unveiled two eight-theme collections of custom menu styles for Apple’s iDVD 2.0. Each theme includes completely custom button designs and composite graphic backgrounds. Each pack contains 6 motion themes and 2 still background themes. Theme packs are priced at $30 each (or $54 for the pair). Two free themes are also available -- one of which can be downloaded for at any time (see direct link), and the other is available to purchasers of both collections.
Netscape 7.01 brings popup Window Controls; a new Home Page Group feature to open multiple pages when starting up the application; new AOL Mail features to unsend mail, check message status, and keep messages marked as new; and COPPA Compliance and improved security (including greater control of certificates). [Classic, OSX]
Andromeda Software today released its Andromeda RedEyePro Filter, a Photoshop-compatible filter that will also be bundled in its Photographic Tools & Lens Effects Software Collection. RedEyePro is compatible with Photoshop 6/7 as well as both Mac OS X and Mac OS 9. The electronic version is available for $30; while the boxed version will ship next week. GrimRipperCM 1.3.2 is a new version of free resource fork stripping contextual menu item. The plug-in is now available in 3 variants: Standard (two submenus), Pro (single submenu) and Extreme (no submenu). Email Magician 2.0 includes a new Setup Wizard in the $36 Eudora utility that offers automatic spam protection using nearly 1,500 spam characteristics as well as the ability to create filters, mailboxes, and address book entries. It also offers single-click archiving of email messages, options to export to FileMaker and strip html from messages, and an "intelligent" Urgent Filter note-pad. It only runs on Mac OS 8/9 and is a free upgrade. [2.8MB] Gimp-Print 4.2.5-pre1 is a pre-release of the open-source printer drivers compatible with the CUPS print spooler built-in to Mac OS X Jaguar (and Darwin 6.0). It contains improved support for the Epson Stylus Photo 950/960/PM-950C and 2100/2200, enables the paper cutter option for Epson Photo printers, has support for the Epson Stylus Pro 5000, and automatically updates the PPD file for every existing Gimp-Print printer (queue) in Print Center. [5.2MB]Mark Malson has updated AutoTagX 2.6 for Mac OS X. It automatically tags and organizes your MP3 files using drag-and-drop and the internet music databases. Version 2.6 allows you to tag compilations, has flexible naming of title tags, and other features. [561KB]
LiveMath 3.5.3 brings Mac OS 10.2 (Jaguar) support to the fully graphical, WYSIWYG, math, algebra, calculus and 3D graphing application. One MacNN reader writes: "I have never found a problem that LiveMath could not solve. Compared to the competition, Mathematica is far too complicated and MathCad (on the PC), is just clumsy. LiveMath lets you focus on your work, not the interface. Plus, it has a cool web plugin, so anyone can use your 'live math'." Student ($100), Academic ($250), and Commercial licenses ($400) are available as well as demos for both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.
InterSystems announced that its Caché database will be available for Mac OS X in early 2003. It features an advanced object database as well as robust SQL and multidimensional database engine as well as real-time data analytics, built-in support for Web services, automated EJB management, and a new distributed concurrency engine and support for massive distributed cache memory.
Wolfram Research's new Neural Networks application package provides a robust environment for modeling data structures. The Mathematica application package is designed to train, visualize, and validate neural network models using Mathematica's number-crunching and visualization capabilities along with a comprehensive set of neural network structures and intelligent learning algorithms. It also includes special functions to address typical problems in data analysis, such as function approximation, classification and detection, clustering, nonlinear time series, and nonlinear system identification problems. The $900 application is available for $245 to educational institutions and $50 to students.
Audio Hijack 1.6 enhances the "audio output of any Cocoa or Carbon application on your Mac." It can add professional-quality DSP effects to any application which outputs audio content, record audio output from any application, add an equalizer to applications, and can trigger any appication using its "Timers" function. It has an improved oscilloscope plugin, new Monomizer/Voiceover plugins, and Dutch and Spanish localizations. The $16 utility is for Mac OS X only. [2.0MB] LCedit+ 3.02, an update to the advanced LanBox lighting editor, adds scene compression 200% faster screen refresh, and several other enhancements to the free program for editing the light scenes and sequences inside the LanBox-LC. It also features several built-in tools and can be used to trigger light scenes and queues during performances. [Classic, OSX] Maildrop 1.2 is a Mac OS X application for sending customized mass emails. MailDrop sends personalized, individual emails. It offers support for attachments, HTML email, import/export, and more. Version 1.2 adds an iTunes-like "filter" search box, improved performance, better import, and other bug fixes and enhancements. The $60 application is available for 20% off with coupon code 'CPN712254455'. [1.9MB] The MBS REALbasic plugin 2.8a14 features a new REALbasic class for using Apple's Rendezvous network service for registering, browsing and resolving local network services in developer projects. It is sold as part of the big MBS Plugin Collection which extends REALbasic with more than 3000 functions. [4.9MB]
MacForce, in conjunction with Apple, will present the Macintosh Pavilion at the Portland Information Technology Exposition & Conference (ITEC) on December 11-12, 2002: "The pavilion will mark the first time an Apple reseller will have a major presence at the business-oriented technology expo." The pavillion will feature the latest Apple solutions for business, including the XServe platform and Mac OS X server and will be providing free seminars.
Power Picker is an After Effects plug-in adding interactive color picking functions for text, backgrounds, and end effects. It also has a few image processing operations of its own, including the ability to directly map blacks, midtones, or whites to the chosen color as well as "warming and cooling" of video and still image tones. It costs $65 and is compatible with both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [522KB] Gerard Hammond's SyBrowser 4.1 adds native Sybase 11 connections, improved Mac OS X support, and column/table resizing to the suite of 32-bit ODBC and native client database management applications for Sybase, Oracle, PostgreSQL and MS SQL databases. The $45 shareware can execute SQL queries and save the queries to disk for reuse. [3.4MB] Redcort Software today released Virtual TimeClock Pro 4.2, a free maintenance update to its $180 time and attendance software replacement for mechanical employee time clocks. It adds automatic break deductions, routines for salaried workers, and other enhancements. [Classic, OSX] HTML Converter 2.0, for Mac OS X only, has been rewritten from scratch with an open-source codebase. It also brings a ten-fold performance improvements and support for ISO Latin-1 encoding to the free utility for converting special characters to corresponding HTML character codes in HTML, PHP and ASP files. A command-line (CLI) version is also available. [OSX, CLI]
Microsoft Query X for Mac uses Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) to allow users to import data from databases into Microsoft Excel X. You can use Query X to create new queries or refresh existing queries that were created in other versions of Excel, such as Excel 98, Excel 2001, and Excel for Windows. It requires the latest Office update and a compatible ODBC driver. [1.5MB]
Strata has released Strata 3D 3.8 for Mac OS X. The application can model, render, and animate 3D content and output for Macromedia Flash and other file formats. Version 3.8 offers advanced rendering features, including Caustics (the effect of light as it passes through an object or as reflected off an object); Toon rendering (cartoon-like rendering with some control over the outline width and color); and enhanced Deformation and Jiggle tools. It also includes new Raydiosity features, such as Stochastic Sampling and Multiple Diffuse Ray Bounces. The retail version is $700, while academic licenses are $450. Upgrades start at $100.
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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
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir
Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.
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