Austin-Soft has released HappyGear 2.6, a game utility to bridge newer USB game devices -- such as joysticks, racing wheels, and gamepads -- with programs that were not designed to use these devices. HappyGear 2.6 sells for $30; upgrades from previous versions are free. [Download - 974KB] Singlestep Technologies recently announced its network integration and information management software, Singlestep Unity, which allows IT managers to better manage their networks by integrating event data from multiple network management systems. Pricing has not been announced; a demo version is not available. TinyBooks 1.0 is an accounting/bookkeeping program designed exclusively for Sole Proprietors, and home/small businesses. TinyBooks is a simple, flexible, "non-bloated," bookkeeping program. A single-year license is $50; it is compatible with Mac OS 9 and OS X. [Download - 162KB] SmallScreen X 2.1 is a Cocoa Mac OS X port of the "Small Screen" application that can simulate lower screen resolutions without the hassle of switching your own resolution. It supports multiple, moveable, resizable screens. [Download - 99KB] eBreak is a utility that offers a new way to time breaks while at work. It includes two different window views, transparency, and integrated Mac OS X mail support, which allows you to enter your SMS cell phone number and have eBreak send reminders to your phone as your break starts to wind down. The "donationware" works with Mac OS X 10.2. [Download - 162KB] The Mac OS X demo version of Strata 3D Studio Pro 3.8 has been made available for download. Studio Pro 3.8 retails for $700. [Download form]
MCE unveiled a number of new product in recent weeks: the CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive Upgrade ($250) adds internal CD-RW/DVD-ROM functionality to the original iMac; the iMac Storage Stacker ($350-$500) sits beneath a flat-panel iMac and utilizes its FireWire connectivity to expand storage space; the N-Charge Extended-Life Slimline ($300) is a portable, flat battery that offers three times the battery life of an iBook battery -- or twice the life of a PowerBook G4 internal battery -- and the ability to charge an iPod; the Lucid SuperDrive Portable DVD-R/RW is an external FireWire DVD/RW drive that offers 1x DVD recording; the SuperDrive Internal Upgrade ($500) adds 2x DVD authoring to any PowerBook G4, allowing it to record 4.7GB discs. Soon to be available is the QuickStream DV, a self-powered portable digital video capturer and digitizer.
pseudoroom has posted a new icon collection, called Creative Tools 2. It includes icons related to creative professional themes. The collection is compatible with Mac OS X only.
Bluefish444 today introduced Acetylene, a new SD-SDI video card for the recently launched combustion 2.1 desktop compositing software by Discreet. Acetylene provides high-end broadcast realtime video playback with frame-buffer support for simultaneous realtime preview on YUV SD-SDI broadcast and analog composite monitors. It also offers broadcast support for uncompressed SD QuickTime video files (SMPTE 259M) and two BNC x SD-SDI outputs, SD-SDI 4:2:2/4:2:2:4 output, a single BNC x analog composite output, a single BNC x genlock input for house sync, and both Mac OS 9/X drivers. It is available for $2,000.
German airliner Lufthansa is beginning to implement a new service that enables passengers to access Internet content while in flight. During the three-month trial phase of FlyNet, Lufthansa will be the first airline worldwide to provide uninterrupted broadband access during a scheduled flight. The technically ambitious project is the result of the collaboration between Lufthansa and Connexion by Boeing launched in mid-June 2001. Passengers can connect their laptops to the plane's local network via ethernet cables or WLAN technology. Flight LH 418 bound for Washington DC left Frankfurt Wednesday carrying the first FlyNet trial hardware.
Evening tech news: Microsoft Thursday reported earnings of $2.55 billion, or 47 cents a share, compared with $2.28 billion, or 41 cents per share, a year ago; despite strong earnings, its first-ever dividend stock split and first-ever dividend, shares of Microsoft fell almost seven percent, to $52.60 today; disagreement over intellectual property issues could derail efforts by W3C to create new Internet services standards; Sun Microsystems yesterday reported its largest net loss ever, taking more than $2 billion in acquisition-related charges, but squeezed out a small operating profit; CNN/Money looks at how this week's earnings reports will affect the wallets of top CEOs. Added: Macromedia announced the acquisition of privately-held Presedia, a leading provider of online presentation and "e-learning" solutions.
At NAB in April 2003, Ultimatte will introduce updates to AdvantEdge software, a new generation of matte extraction tools designed written for Adobe, Apple, AVID, Discreet and other leading effects and NLE products. The update will include support for Media 100 and Incite systems. The AdvantEdge solution provides an intuitive and modern UI design filled with innovative features including separate shadow channel, smart matte sizing, digital chroma filtering, and roto screen correction. In addition, Ultimatte will introduce new products in its hardware product line.
Eric Zelenka and Mike Bombich of Apple will host NetInstall in Depth, a webcast dealing with network management using Network Install and NetRestore for Mac OS X. Network Install enables client systems on your network to automatically discover a server-based disk image and install its contents on their hard drive. Built on top of the Mac OS X native, command-line version of Apple Software Restore, NetRestore delivers a fast, easy-to-use initial deployment solution that can be used in a variety of environments. The broadcast will begin at 10:00 a.m. On Thursday, January 23.
Apple has forced a developer to stop distributing a plug-in that turned iTunes into peer-to-peer music-sharing software, according to c|net: "The plug-in, called iCommune, allowed iTunes users to browse the music libraries of other Macintoshes over a network and stream or download music from them. On Wednesday, Apple notified developer James Speth that he was violating the terms of his software agreement and ordered him to stop distributing the plug-in and to return Apple's development tools. Speth removed the iCommune download from his Web site."
Group Logic today announced MassTransit 4.1, an update to its file transfer and remote workflow software. Version 4.1 incorporates OpenSSL technology for authentication and encryption, offering identity validation through X.509 certificates and either RC4-128 and 3DES encryption for file transfers. It also adds support transferring multiple terabytes in a single file transfer session and improved web file transfer workflows. It is a free upgrade to v4.0 owners.
The Orphanage's Magic Bullet is a 24p mastering suite, which converts high-quality digital video to to 24 frames per second and offers a simple, creative environment for editing and retouching. It will also output either to a sequence of image files to be sent to a film recording facility, or to a digital video tape format (or both). Magic Bullet SD works on all SD format video, and Magic Bullet HD works on all resolutions supported by After Effects, including standard HD formats. The suite includes Magic Bullet plug-in (converts the video sources to 24p and reduces artifacts), Look Suite (apply themes to footage), Opticals (film-like transitions), LetterBox (cropping utility), and Broadcast (NTSC broadcast specs with settings for DV output and uncompressed SD output devices). Pricing starts at $1,000. The suite was recently used for Night Light, a film short recently selected for the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
Update: this report has been discredited A MacNN reader notes that POS*IM has stopped Mac development and terminated support for its point-of-sale (POS) and inventory management (IM) software: " A friend who has a business running POS on his Macs has received a letter stating not only will there be no OS X upgrade but if he switches to Windows, it will cost 25% of what his cost is currently. As an ex-Apple employee for Apple Retail, I'm well aware that Apple has a pretty incredible POS system themselves. Maybe a move like this will motivate them to release it to the masses."
Apple has posted details of the iLife Up-to-Date program, offering customers who purchase a qualifying new Mac with an Apple SuperDrive on or after January 7, 2003 that does not include iLife, an upgrade to iLife for $20. Additionally, all new PowerBook G4 purchases (with an Apple SuperDrive) are also entitled to a free QuickBooks CD.
Native Instruments made seveal product announcements at NAMM 2003, including Reaktor 4, an update to its flagship sound studio, Vokator for vodicing, Reaktor Session, and Kompakt, a streamlined sampler.
e-on software has announced Ozone for Cinema 4D, its plugin for adding ultra-natural animated atmospheric effects. Ozone 2 for Cinema4D is a suite of 4 different plug-ins: Master, Image filter, Pixel filter, and Shader plugin, allowing users to fine tune the included pre-sets or generate entirely new atmospheres. It is due in the Spring for $250. CoolLocalizer 1.0 is a lightweight image analysis software for confocal microscopy: "Compared to existing imaging software for microscopy CoolLocalizer features less number of functions and focuses on the tasks most microscopists actually ask for. In addition CoolLocalizer is equipped with a logical and user-friendly interface." Demos are available online. Pricing starts at $300 for educational and $400 for commercial licenses. [Classic, OSX] Everyday Software has updated ClipEdit 2.7, a $5 shareware utility that allows users to create and edit text and picture clippings as well as export them in numerous picture formats and text. Quick Change 2.5 is a freeware program designed to allow users to set up a quick list of their favorite application types for quick access when changing file attributes. [CE, QC] Glenwarne has released a Mac OS X update to its personal and network fax software. FaxElite 6.5 is free to FaxElite 6.0 owners. The updates require Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar. Pricing starts at $100 for the Server (and $230 for a 3-user pack). The single-user edition (SU) is $75. [SU, network] Pariahware's ChimeX 1.3 utility brings hourly chimes to OS X, includes more custom chime presets, an enhanced GUI, "more natural" sounds, and an improved preferences pane. The $5 utility is available as a 30-day demo. [1.1MB] FinKit 1.2 for Mac OS X is a multi-function "time value of money" calculator, which can calculate effective and equivalent rates, convert periodic to nominal and effective annual rates, calculate the real rate of return after inflation and taxes, find the rate for single payments based on present and future value, and other calculations. The $15 shareware is only available for Mac OS X. [1.6MB] ergonis software today released PopChar X 2.0, its $30 utility for "typing" unusual characters easily without having to remember keyboard combinations. It features automatic detection of the current font, is now available in English and German (with other languages to follow), and incorporates several other new features as well as bug fixes. [1.4MB] Qualcomm's latest Eudora 5.2.1b2 betas for Classic and Mac OS X have several bug fixes, restored registration, better CPU utilization, and performance improvements. [Classic, OSX]
FirewireDirect has released UltraBURN II Plus, its DVD+RW/+R recording device based on the latest mechanisms available for DVD burning. It records DVDs to DVD-R (4x), DVD-RW (2x) as well as DVD+R/RW (2.4x) as well as integrates a 24x/10x/32x CD-RW and a 8x DVD-ROM mechanism. FireWire ($450), FireWire/USB 2.0 combo ($480 w/25pk of media) and an internal drive ($415 with 25 pk of media) versions are available. It includes Charismac Discribe for Mac.
Elemental Audio Systems announced that its products will add support for Digidesign's RTAS audio plug-in format on the Macintosh. Firium is a linear-phase mastering quality equalizer with a built-in spectrum analyzer that gives users complete freedom in creating their ideal EQ curve; Eqium is an unlimited-bands, fully sweepable, surgical EQ offering 11 filter types; and Inspector is an analysis plug-in with a spectral display, peak and RMS meters, clip counters, and alarms to alert users of excessive clipping and other undesirable events. Each are now available in three formats: VST for MacOS 9, VST for MacOS X, and AudioUnit for MacOS X. Firium and Eqium are available separately for $100 each or bundled together for $130, while Inspector remains a free download for a limited time.
Brendan Bolles has created Power Picker, which offers a full-featured, interactive color picker from within After Effects: "Apply Power Picker to any solid or text and it takes over the color of that layer while leaving the Alpha channel intact." A time-limited emo is available online. Ubercolor is Mac-only application ($65) that brings ICC Color Management to After Effects. It lets you easily select source and destination profiles and use color management in After Effects. Each application is $65. Finally, xMeta is free plug-in set that lets you save out the ICC profiles (and other data) embedded in files.
BIAS announced that its entire line of pro audio production software is fully compliant with Mac OS X 10.2.3 Jaguar, including its new Peak 3.2 digital audio editing application and Vbox 1.2 multi-effects control environment: "the most recent Mac OS 10.2.3 update addresses several issues with audio on OS X including reliability with USB audio device playback and recording." Vbox 1.2, now a native Mach-O application, adds compatibility with BIAS' new noise reduction product SoundSoap and improves performance. The $100 graphic control environment for VST plug-ins can combine, repatch, and mix multiple VST plug-in effects and integrates into any VST host application for realtime effects processing. Vbox SE for OS X is bundled free with BIAS Peak 3.2 and BIAS Deck 3.5. BIAS Peak 3.2, also now a native Mach-O application, adds support for its SoundSoap noise reduction plug-in. It is a free upgrade to $500 application for owners of v3.x.
Global Moxie last week introduced Big Medium, a full-featured content management system offering a browser-based interface to add, edit and publish Web content. Big Medium is a suite of Perl scripts that runs on servers with the UNIX operating system, including Linux, Mac OSX, Solaris and FreeBSD and can manage hundreds of websites on a single server. The $300 package uses customizable design templates to easily update "look and feel" of individual websites, offers page caching, and multiple account and permission support for an unlimited number of contributors to add, edit and publish content with five levels of role-based permissions (writer, editor, publisher, webmaster or administrator).
AppMac's xDNS Builder 1.0 can setup a DNS service under Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server, offering an easy-to-use interface and assistants to set up master domains and associated zone files. [400KB] GVOX recently released a Mac OS X update to MusicTime Deluxe 3.5, a $120 application that offers users to create and print music with lyrics, text and guitar chords on up to 16 staves. Upgrades are $70: "The OS X program flawlessly loaded my old music (nearly 100 pages worth I wrote out a year or so ago for a benefit concert) and, as a new feature, has the smarts to take repeats, etc. gvox has had some problems during 2002, but appear to have their development/support issues taken care of," according to one reader. Ugly Dockling 1.1 reduces the clutter in the Mac OS X dock by creating a menu similar to the old Favorites menu found in the Mac OS previous to OS X. Users can create hierarchical menus by either dragging files and folders onto the icon in the dock or via a Contextual Menu. Verssion 1.1 can show the Classic status in the dock icon and can start/stop classic from the menu. The $10 shareware is built for Mac OS X 10.2. [2.3MB] Mireth Technology's MacVCD 4.16 fixes a QuickTime 6.1 menu issue in its $20 movie player that plays Video CD, Super VCD, and QuickTime movies and offers automatic VCD format recognition, full-screen playback, a resizable, floating window, and other advanced features. A free demo is available. [488KB] Vincenzo Corallo has released VirtualKeyboard, an on-screen keyboard that offers point-and-click typing using pointing devices such as a head mouse, mouse, trackball, etc. The freeware utilty is designed for those with disabilities. Doug's AppleScripts has updated Make Mine MPEG-4 4.01, a $7 shareware utility that automates the process of importing iTunes CD tracks and then encoding them as MPEG-4 files using QuickTime 6 Pro. MPEG-4 audio encoding (also known as Advanced Audio Coding, or AAC) allows for higher quality compressed audio at smaller bit rates. It features a new AppleScript Studio interface, improved stability, stored settings between uses, selection of an output folder, and more. [405KB] Kanzu has released iCan 1.0, a customizable trashcan for the Mac OS X desktop. The $10 shareware offers custom trash can styles, custom sizes, custom sounds, and advanced features such as secure shredding, force delete, and the ability to drag locked items to the trash. It is for Mac OS X 10.2 only. [2.4MB]
Apple will hold the grand opening of Apple Store Knox Street retail store in Highland Park, TX on January 25th at 10 am. The first 1000 people to visit the Apple store receive a free Apple T-shirt as well as a Grand Opening Sweepstakes for Digital Lifestyle Collection (15-inch flat-panel iMac with Combo drive, a 5GB iPod, a Canon PowerShot S200 digital camera, a Canon ZR40 digital camcorder and an Epson Stylus Photo 820 printer). Entries will be accepted until February 1st.
Kerio last week introduced its secure corporate messaging server Kerio MailServer 5.5 for Mac OS X, which it says is "the first and only" mail server for the Mac that integrates the McAfee Anti-Virus engine. It provides businesses with encrypted access to mailboxes via POP3, IMAP, WebMail, and WAP and features an optional internal antivirus protection for incoming/outgoing traffic. It also features anti-spam functions, including filters and the ability to limit the mail traffic. Kerio MailServer is $400 for the standard version and $680 with an integrated McAfee antivirus engine.
OpenOSX today began shipping a new version of its OpenDB 2.2 product rebuilt with new software for Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar. The single-click installer package will install and fully configure a suite of popular server and client applications including: MySQL and PostgreSQL servers with ODBC connectivity in addition to web-based graphical server administration which supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, SSL, Samba and more. The OpenDB package is $30 and upgrades from previous versions are $15.
Casady & Greene has releasd Spell Catcher X, its $40 writing tool that has been rewritten as a Cocoa application. It features both US and foreign language dictionaries, instant thesaurus lookup, global writing support, extensive writing statistics, customizable shorthand glossaries, interactive and batch checking, writing support for the Classic Layer of Mac OS X (batch checking only). New Mac OS X features include dock-based control, Services support, a new check selection window, integration with the standard spelling service under Mac OS X, and other enhancements. Registered users can upgrade at the early-bird upgrade price of $20 ($10 off).
Marathon Computer has introduced Vert-X ($40) an alternative to rackmounting for Apple's Xserve server. "We reasoned that even people without equipment racks would want to use Xserve. So we came up with Vert-X -- a solution that allows individuals and workgroups to use one or more Xserves in an office environment without incurring the initial expense of installing equipment racks," said Marathon spokesman, Michael Rowland. "Vert-X essentially allows you to treat the Xserve like a tower case."
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