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IOXperts, has released USB WebCam Driver 1.0 for Mac OS X, a generic software driver that enables more than thirty USB "webcams" to work with the Macintosh. The $20 program will include support for even more devices with future releases, says IOXperts VP of Engineering Dave Koziol. A complete list of compatible units is available on the IOXperts Web site.
NewTek today announced the LightWave Holiday Bonus Pack, an offering that provides $1,400 in learning materials free to purchasers of a full commercial license copy of LightWave 3D ($1600). The bundle includes books, DVDs, CDs, discounts for NewTek-sponsored seminars, and magazine subscriptions.
MacNN has correct a number technical problems that caused our discussion forums to be unavailable this afternoon.
Formac today released devideon x.2, the second release of its DVD authoring software for the Mac. devideon x.2 allows users to design custom DVD menus, add chapters and use parallel encoding to accelerate the DVD creation process. The software is shipped with Formacís next-generation devideon superdrive, which incorporates the latest Pioneer A-105 mechanism with a 4X DVD write speed. This release adds the ability to burn a movie project as a Super Video CD, features a better user interface, and takes advantage of the proprietary PARENC routine, which allows the application to encode several movie chapters simultaneously to MPEG2.
Santa Cruz Digital Styles today released the TiStick ($90) and SnowSeal ($80), two laptop carrying bags for Apple's PowerBook G4 and 12" iBook. Both bags -- which represent the company's first product line -- sport a clear outer pocket for CD storage or personalization, and feature a colorful microsuede lining. Both products also utilize a water-repellant zipper design, sport integrated handles and come with a padded contoured shoulder strap. Santa Cruz Digital Styles donates 1 percent of its profits to charitable organizations for providing technology to underserved communities.
The University of Western Australia (UWA), which began teaching IT courses on the first Macs in the mid-eighties, has dropped Mac support from its teaching programs, claiming that the cost of Apple hardware was the reason for the decision (up to 2.5x the cost): "There was nothing about OSX we didn't like, we just couldnít really afford the hardware costs." The Australian IT article notes that in contrast, the University of NSW installed a new Mac lab last year with 20 machines, primarily for teaching human computer interface (and is also working on Cocoa software development courses).
Intelli Innovations has released Barcode Producer 1.7, an update to its $90 barcode generation software for Mac OS 9/X. This update adds higher quality text rendering for PICT and TIFF exports, a new Window menu, and support for printing to Dymo LabelWriter printers. [1.1MB] XRG (X Resource Graph) is an open-source system monitor application for Mac OS X. It will monitor your CPU usage, memory usage, network activity, disk activity, and your local weather. [362KB] DockFun! 3.6 adds application launcher features and full control from the status bar to the $15 shareware utility for maintaining multiple docks under Mac OS X. [2.4MB] Aspyr has posted a demo of Return to Castle Wolfenstein: "You are B.J. Blazkowicz, a highly decorated Army Ranger recruited into the Office of Secret Actions (OSA) tasked with escaping and then returning to Castle Wolfenstein in an attempt to thwart Heinrich Himmler's occult and genetic experiments." The $50 title runs on Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [106MB] SloppyDisk has released Descender, a new arcade game based on the classic Tetris. Descender offers "16-bit graphics, fluidly-moving pieces, and beautiful backdrops" as well as one- and two-player modes. A demo of the $12 shareware is available for Mac OS 8/9/X. [7.3MB]
A special New York Times report takes a look at The Wi-Fi Boom, noting security and troubleshooting with which users are faced as well as the tangible benefits of universal (free) access; another article examines the future of Wi-Fi: "On the horizon are advancements in the technology aimed at providing truly reliable security, network speeds up to four times faster, and the potential for voice calls or streaming audio and video over a Wi-Fi network.Unfortunately for Wi-Fi adopters, those next steps may not all lead in the same direction, at least at the outset." Finally, columnist David Pogue notes that Apple still leads other Wi-Fi vendors in user-friendlification. [free registration required]
headshack today released chartConstructor 1.2, an update to its project management application, which allows for the creation of both Gantt and PERT Charts. It adds the ability to enter task durations in hours and minutes as well as in days and also includes Start-to-Start, Start-to-Finish and Finish-to-Finish dependencies as well as support for reading and writing CSV (comma separated values) files. The $30 shareware is designed for small- to medium-sized business.
Fink 0.5a is a free, open-source UNIX porting project for Mac OS X, offering full Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) compatibility: "Applications included in Fink range from well-known UNIX desktops such as kde3 and GNOME, open-source alternatives for graphics editing such as the Gimp, and special-purpose applications for genetic and molecular modeling. In total, over 700 binary packages for Mac OS X as well as over 1800 source packages can be easily installed (and removed) with the aid of fink."
RedLightRunner today added two new Legacy Free Shirts, featuring the communications protocols of the modern Macintosh - USB, Firewire, and Ethernet. The shirts are available in both short and long sleeved configurations. RedLightRunner offers a number of Apple logo collectibles, including over 300 different Apple items (Apple T-shirts, watches, pens, posters, MacAquariums, etc.).
MacNN reader James Holt notes that Apple has quietly pulled its IP over FireWire preview software release: "Apple has pulled ALL mention of the preview release of IP over firewire as well as the download." The software allowed Macs and other devices to use existing IP (networking) protocols and services over FireWire, including AFP, HTTP, FTP, and SSH.
Spring 1.0 is a new desktop application for Mac OS X: "a hyper-visual, web-inspired rethinking of the desktop" with integrated support for AIM transers, Amazon.com, personal intros with others, visual web search, store locators, desktop weather, easy access to maps/directions and stock charts. The $22 application is available as a time-limited demo. [4.1MB]
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN