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Apple is likely to unveil a video-enabled iPod at next week's Macworld Expo, says industry analyst Rob Enderle. "This time analysts don't expect any major computer introductions, in part because there is a good deal of Macintosh inventory in distribution channels," explains a Forbes article. Several analysts suggest that Apple is not likely to introduce and handheld computer at this time, and will instead focus on iPod-like devices.
Freeverse Software today made available preview releases of eight new Internet-ready board games for the Macintosh. The games -- which will continue to be offered as freeware even after the previews expire on February 1 -- offer online play and ranking via the GameSmith opponent matching service. "We're offering these eight games in gratitude to the entire Macintosh community for its unwavering support of Freeverse over the years," said Ian Lynch Smith, President of Freeverse. Full support for Apple's Rendezvous networking technology is planned for the final releases, which will debut before February 1.
charlieX Screen Rulers 3.1 is a minor update to the $15 set of on-screen rulers and desktop measuring tools for Mac OS X. Version 3.1 fixes problems with the 'Help' file display, updates the dragging ruler interface, and improves Mac OS X 10.2.3 compatibility. [Download - 1.8MB] Chaotic Software today released FridgeMagnets 1.0, a free application that allows Mac OS X users to place virtual "fridge magnets" over their desktops. "We just thought it would be fun to write (and it was), and thought you might enjoy it," says the developer. [Download - 914KB] MacDICT has been updated to version 2.5. This release includes access to an encyclopedia, and functions better under Mac OS X. MacDICT is a $10 client for the DICT protocol. It connects to dict.org to provide access to a number of databases, including Webster's Dictionary and the World FactBook. [Download - Classic, OS X] PhotoRescue 184.108.40.206 is a maintenance update to the digital photo recovery solution for Mac OS X. Version 220.127.116.11 of the $30 application incldues an unspecified number of enhancements. PhotoRescue will recover data from from Smartmedia, Memory Stick, and CompactFlash media. [Download - 240KB] Brightness Control 1.0.2 introduces a more compact interface, and adds new features to the free Mac OS X utility for rapidly adjusting screen brightness. Version 1.0.2 also adds the ability to restore brightness to the normal setting when the application is closed. [Download - 250KB] Ken Winograd and Space-Time Associates today released Hang3000 2.0.3, an update to the Mac-compatible version of the classic game that includes two new categories: Country Music and Jazz. The "secretly educational" game costs $25 to register, and is compatible with Mac OS 9 and OS X. [Download - 1.2MB] Added: Stone Design today released PStill 2.5, an update to its $70 PostScript to Portable Document Format (PDF) conversion program. New features include the ability to combine multiple PS, PDF, and graphic image files into one PDF document, and the ability to redistill PDF files to create smaller files. Additionally, the developer released StampInStone 2.0 ($50), an update to the native Mac OS X PDF watermarking application. [Download - StampInStone, PStill]
Apple next week will announce a plan to charge for upgrades to its "digital hub" software, according to c|net. "Apple is expected to announce at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco Tuesday that consumers will have to pay for new versions of iDVD, iPhoto and iMovie, which will be sold together as a bundle. Previously, Apple had offered upgrades to its digital media, or 'i' applications, for free...The move to charge up to $50 for the software trio is potentially the first step in charging for all six "i" applications, which would continue to be bundled for free with new Macs."
KAUi Software is offering full-day, fee-based seminars on Final Cut Pro, Microsoft Office v. X, Mac OS X, QuickTime 6, DVD Authoring, Acrobat 5, and Digital Workflows with Adobe. "All classes provide workbooks, CDs, and real-world examples of solutions using each product," explains KAUi. Most seminars cost about $600 per user. A complete iCal-compatible schedule is available.
The recently-formed Final Cut Pro User Group Network will hold the world's "largest" gathering of Final Cut Pro users next week at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. The event -- which will be held at the Marriott Hotel on January 8 -- will bring together leaders from the Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Cupertino FCP user groups, as well as dozens of other FCP gurus from the USA and abroad.
Wired News talks about the future of Macworld Expo tradeshows, noting that next week's show may be the last as Apple prepares to move to series of smaller, regional conferences (much like Macromedia): "If Apple pulls out of the summer 2003 show in New York, which looks likely, other big exhibitors are liable to follow suit. If so, the show could suffer the same fate as Macworld Tokyo, which was cancelled after Apple withdrew. According to Macworld organizer IDG World Expo, Apple will make a decision about attending the summer show in New York by the end of January. A cancellation could also spell the demise of the San Francisco show, the largest of the Macworld events in the United States, say longtime Mac watchers and industry hounds. The rumor is that Apple is planning to organize its own, smaller, regional conferences. "
Crywolf and Noren Products have announced new enclosures to "meet the specific needs of Apple customers for noise reduction, heat dissipation, size, style and affordability." The CoolMac Silencer enclosures utilize Noren's proprietary heat pipe and air flow technologies to provide 100% silent cooling which eliminates the need for external fans. The company claims that compuers inside the CoolMac Silencer actually run below their normal (i.e. natural convection) operating temperature and that the enclosures reduce the noise of an Apple Xserve from 82 dB to 38 dB and a PowerMac G4 from 65 dB to 37 dB. The gCab is designed for PowerMac G4s that must operate in environments requiring near silence, such as a sound or video production studio. It holds "a few external optical drives" and features a slide out tray. The xCab 7U rack mount system can be configured to hold up to 6 Xserves or any non-Apple rack mount server 31" in length.
Alias|Wavefront is now shipping Maya Personal Learning Edition 4.5, a special version of Maya that provides free access to Maya's 3D and animation functions for non-commercial use. Version 4.5, as noted by Loop Rumors, offers a watermark-free wire frame mode, open native Maya ASCII and binary files, advanced NURBS modeling and subdivision surface from Maya complete 4.5, and Japanese documentation. A Maya|Beginner's Guide ($20) includes the software and a one-hour DVD learning guide and booklet, while a free download is available online.
Blue World has released its Lasso Professional 6.0.2 Update witih enhanced support for JDBC data sources, allowing the Lasso Database Browser to instantly browse enterprise-level databases such as Sybase, Frontbase, OpenBase, Oracle and more on all supported platforms. Users can also now utilize the Site Builder, Form Builder and other Lasso productivity wizards to build data-driven Web sites backed by enterprise-level databases. It is a free update to the $1,200 Web development and deployment application. Blue World also posted step-by-step directions for connecting Lasso to Sybase and FrontBasevia JDBC on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. [30.5MB]
iCal Script Integrator 1.1 allows you to use AppleScript straight out of iCal's events by modifying its "e-mail notification" script, allowing iCal to schedule tasks or start applications for you. [123KB] Hamrick Software's VueScan 7.6 is a $40 scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce high-quality scans with advanced color fidelity and color balance, the ability to restore faded colors, and batch scanning options. It adds description and copyright fields to Files tab, increases scan speed on some Epson scanners, supports Photoshop Elements as a photo viewer, and has other enhancements. It runs on Mac OS 9/X. [2.0MB] NYRO Technix is shipping NXRAID v1.1, its software-based RAID 5 solution that offers partition- based RAID for IDE, FireWire, SCSI and Fiber Channel systems under Mac OS X.. This latest release includes new features, such as four-drive advanced configuration for the Xserve, auto-degrade on the Xserve and select fiber channel systems, and GUI with authentication on all systems. A special discount of $20 is available on the $190 product at Macworld Expo SF. Summary 2.3.2 adds more support for search engines, new language codes, the ability to run on "headless" Macs (OS X command Line version), and other changes to Jason Linhart's log file analysis software. It is available in Basic ($60, support for 3 domains), Plus ($250, 50 domains), and SP ($700, 1,000 domains) versions. [Classic, OSX]
Readers note that Apple will introduce an online address book for its .Mac customers on January 7th as noted by a graphic on the Website. It will offer the ability to sync the Mac OS X 10.2 Address Book with the online service through iSync.
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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
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.