Rob Galbraith has posted an article on digital file transfers, comparing an Alienware Laptop, a discontinued Dell Desktop and a MDD Dual 1.25GHz PowerMac in RAW photo and Photoshop batch processing. The article concludes that the Windows machines beat the Mac in virtually all of the benchmarks: "The fastest dual processor Mac has been soundly thumped by one of the fastest single processor PCs. If this report had included a dual processor PC, the PC's margin of victory could have been even greater. Even the Dell, a modestly equipped desktop by current standards, matches or bests the dual 1.25GHz desktop Mac in numerous benchmarks. And the recently discontinued Powerbook G4/800 trails by a significant margin throughout. If the processing of RAW photos in particular is where your workflow hangs up, a Pentium 4-equipped single processor PC offers a compelling solution."
The Iconfactory has released volume 4 of its World of Aqua series by resident artist David Brasgalla. This latest collection includes 17 all new icons for Mac OS X based on objects from the real world, pop culture and more. World of Aqua 4 is available for Mac OS X.
Stata 8 is expected to ship for Mac OS X later this month. The general-purpose statistical package is designed for researchers of all disciplines, and features new publication-quality graphics, a new GUI, new data management functions such as ODBC support for full SQL selection, new statistics, new programming features (object-oriented programming, a programmable GUI, etc.), and significant performance improvements. The application will only be available for Mac OS X. Upgrade pricing starts at $500, while product pricing starts at $1,215 for single-user license. Late last year, Stata also released a Mac OS X version of Stat/Transfer, a $250 application for transferring data among the different spreadsheet and statistical programs. It supports Microsoft Access, dBase, MS Excel, JMP, SPSS, SAS, Stata, Systat, ODBC-compliant sources and many other applications. A $100 discount is offered to education customers.
Dartware has posted a public beta-test release of InterMapper 4.0b4 for Macintosh (Classic and MacOS X). Many of the new features require the use of InterMapper Remote 4.04b4, which is also entering public beta test. Version 4.0 offers drill down maps, aggregate actions to configure multiple devices, remote configuration, a new Map Status probe for scalability, and enhanced monitoring of remote networks with security. PowerMail 4.1.1 brings improvements in importing of PowerMail 3 databases, scripting, compatibility with Mac OS 8.6, spell-checking and German language localization. The $50 email client runs on Mac OS 8/9/X and is available as a time-limited-demo. [4.7MB stupidFish programming has released shadowClipboard b1 for beta testing. shadowClipboard is a cocoa clipboard enhancer that remembers the last ten items copied to the clipboard. a simple interface lets you choose which item to paste into applications. It runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later. [258KB] Desideratum has released Praeco 1.6, an update to its professional eBay auction tool for buyers and sellers. This version adds customizable export functionality, auction notes, increased password security, improved bid result reporting, and an updated database engine. [Classic, OSX] Nano Software has released Accounts 1.4, an update to the personal finance and small business accounting application that is available with both brushed metal and Aqua interfaces. The new version adds reconciliation, calendar date fields, a brushed metal appearance, performance improvements, initial localization for French and German languages and other new features. A demo of the $35 application for Mac OS X only is available. [1.4MB] mod_rendezvous v0.2 is an update to the Apache 1.3.x module which "causes all running Apache 1.3.x servers to register themselves on Rendezvous, and thus be visible in Apple's new Safari browser under the Rendezvous section of the bookmarks, and in any other application which browses for Rendezvous enabled web browsers." The source code is also available. [app, source] EZ shop ($150) enables Web site owners to implement an E-commerce infrastructure "in seconds." It has been updated to include Safari support. It is drag-and-drop-installable, and inlcudes features found in professional packages. "If you have a Web site you can convert to an ecom shop in minutes not hours with EZ shop." [updated link]
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Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives