MacNN reader Chris Schmid notes that AirPort Extreme, based on the 802.11g standards, will not be available in Switzerland due to certification problems by the Swiss certification authority Bakom, according to an InfoWeek report [German?]. It is not known when AirPort Extreme will be approved and sold by Apple Switzerland.
Synergy 0.7 is a $5 shareware Cocoa application for Mac OS X 10.2 that puts three buttons to control iTunes in the menubar: previous track, next track, and play/pause: "These controls, together with the ability to control iTunes via system-wide Hot Key combinations, mean that Synergy provides the fastest way of skipping between songs when using the keyboard or the mouse." [796KB] moEnvelopes 0.4 uses the groups from AddressBook from Mac OS X 10.2 to print envelopes, offering the ability to customize the fonts, graphics, or envelope size. [492KB] Easypress has released Atomik Roundtrip 1.0, its software solution that brings "single-source" XML publishing to QuarkXPress users. It offers full, bi-directional XML support and allows publisher to integrate QuarkXpress into XML workflows. A single-user license is $4,500, while a 5-user license is $13,500. A demo is available. Digital Voodoo today announced that Version 3.0 of its Media Transfer software with support for Mac OS X as wel as both NTSC and PAL formats and an option to export to DV. The capture and print application has RS422 for remote deck control, enbling users to capture sequences or individual frames, pause, forward, rewind, stop, pre-roll and eject. It is now shipping with all SD Digital Voodoo Macintosh video cards and is available as a free upgrade for registered customers. Apple Safari AppleScripts 1.0 contains a pack of pre-written AppleScripts for importing photos into iPhoto, "Page-scrubbing" web pages, display thumb-linked images, create a phone list, full screen window display, and side-by-side window display. Minolta late last month released updated Mac OS X scanner drivers for at least some of its film scanners: "Specifically I've got a Minolta DiMAGE Scan Multi that now works under Mac OS X, either as a Plug-in in PhotoShop, or using the separate Mac OS X version of the DiMAGE Scan Utility software. After I'd downloaded and installed it, it even accepted my serial number from the earlier DiMAGE Scan Multi 2 software to enable the Digital ROC and GEM software." NewTek today posted a second edition of NewTek's Texture Collection, which includes fifty free high-resolution textures. Subjects covered in the second set of textures include Wood, Metal, Sky, Nature, and Stone. All textures are unretouched photographic images at 1600x1200 pixel resolution and offered as JPEG files.
Apple's Design Awards will feature a Student Category again this year. The 8th Annual Apple Design Awards student category will recognize a winner and a runner-up for software innovation and use of Apple technologies and the winners will receive a hardware prize and a scholarship to attend Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, to be held May 18-23. All entries for the student category must be received no later than 5:00 PM PST, Friday, March 21, 2003.
MacNN readers note that the online Apple Store has a note on Apple's fulfillment problems with new orders of 5GB iPod ($300): "Due to significant holiday demand, the 5GB iPod is temporarily unavailable." Both the 10GB ($400) and 20GB ($500) iPod have a 5-7 day estimated ship date.
Other World Computing has introduced two new CD-RW external FireWire drives that operate at 52x speeds, allowing users to burn CDs in less than 90 seconds. The new 52x-speed Mercury Pro drives are compatible with both Mac and Windows-based systems, have both a FireWire and/or a USB port, feature Lite-On SMART-BURN technology, and can burn write CD-RW at 24x and read CDs at 52x speeds. Each drive ships with 25 pieces of CD-R media, one piece of CD-RW media, Roxio Toast Lite 5.2.x and all connecting cables. The FireWire version is available today for $160, while the combo FireWire/USB 2.0 version is $180.
ackNOWLEDGE today announced its iSkin "GLO" iPod Protector. The "GLO" series of iSkin iPod Protectors include seven new photo-luminescent Skin Tones that glow in the dark, including Martian (bright green), GloBug (bright yellow), FireFly (bright orange), Fusion (bright red), Aura (bright pink), SkyLite (bright light blue) and Electra (bright blue). The $25 protectors are made of durable high-grade silicone and feature an anti-slip grip. It is available for all 5GB, 10GB, and 20GB models.
Ian Page's MacTracker 2.0 incorporates info on the the Mac Clones and descriptions for virtually every Mac model, a new printing engine, smarter interface, death chimes, data on the latest Mac models, additional data for each of the included models, and other enhancements. [Classic, OSX] SoftIntegration has released Ch 3.5, a new version of its C/C++ interpreter for cross platform scripting, 2D/3D plotting, shell programming and numerical computing. This version includes command line editing in Ch shell and more advanced scripting features for shell programming and numerical computing. The Standard Edition is free for personal, academic and commercial use, while the Ch Professional Edition is $1000. Unsanity's Application Enhancer 1.2.1 (APE) system allows you to enhance or redefine certain behaviors for applications running on your system using third-party enhancer modules to modify how your applications work. Version 1.2 features a disable message at startup (when pressing the shift key), has an epanded the Application Enhancer SDK (available separately for software developers), and fixes two small memory leaks. Some available APE modules include Xounds; Metallifizer; and iChat Enhancer. [375KB] The FileWave XClient 2.0 for Mac OS 10.2 updates the automated software distribution and management software with a new security protocol, scalability, redundancy and better integration with Mac OS 10.2. Version 2.0 automatically downloads new software or updates software already installed and maintains the installed state of the software guaranteeing the applications delivered are always available in the proper location. Phelios has released Helix for Mac OS X, a chopper rescue game: "The Mission: Fly Helix, a trusty helicopter and save the dolls from evil headless ghouls, multiplying eyeballs and other ghastly obstacles by beaming them up to safety." A demo of the $15 game title is available online. [12.7MB]
Formac today announced a VGA version of its Formac Gallery 1740, which combines Formac's "trendy" design with Fujitsu's MVA technology for 1280x1024 resolution, 220 cd/m2 brightness, a 400:1 contrast ratio, a viewing angle of up to 160 degrees, and an ultra-fast pixel response time of 10-25ms. It ships comes with the patent-pending Formac Display Connector (FDC), an innovative connector cable which combines USB, power and video. It is due at the end of the month for $700.
NEC-Mitsubishi has introduced its new NEC MultiSync LCD2080UX display with resolutions of up to 1600x1200. The 20.1-inch display features a sleek design with ultra thin-frame bezel and utilizes DDC/CI protocol, which offers the ability to remotely control and track the monitor's settings through a local area network or signal cable. The LCD also features upgraded Ambix+ triple-input technology for up to two simultaneous analog or digital inputs and uses NEC's XtraView+ wide-angle viewing technology for a 176 degree horizontal and 88-degree vertical veiwing angle. It is due at the end of the month for $1,600 with brushed aluminum and black cabinet options.
Avid today unveiled its Symphony system for the Mac as well as new Mac OS X versions of the Media Composer, Film Composer, and Avid Xpress systems. Symphony v4.7 for the Mac platform will offer real-time 10-bit DVE, Ultimatte keying and color correction processing on Mac OS X. New in both the Mac OS X and Windows versions of Symphony, Media Composer and Avid Xpress software is real-time color correction, as well as 23.976 fps project support for all Media Composer systems. The Mac versions also feature Avid's new MetaSync, which allows editors to synchronize virtually any kind of metadata with traditional video and audio content. The Avid Symphony v4.7 ($90,000; up to 22% off through end of March), Media Composer XL v11.7 ($12,000), Film Composer XL v11.7 ($53,000) and Avid Xpress v5.7 ($6,000) systems are expected to be available in the first quarter of this year.
Secure.CC has updated Mac OS X ecommerce solution, eShox 1.3 (as well as its music industry-specific mShox 1.3). Version 1.3 includes multiple pricing levels for single products (depending on quantity ordered), automatic price updates, real-time quotes for UPS shipping, and other bug fixes and optimizations. The ecommerce products automatically configure Apache and MySQL to instantly create a store front for businesses, offering Web-based administration, integration with third-party databases (for transferring customer info), customer automation, product serial numbers, interface themes, tax calculation, and payment processing as well as credit number validation for offline transactions.
Jiiva is now shipping its new disk sanitization product for the Mac: SuperScrubber is a $30 disk utility that will "completely and permanently" erase all data from a specified internal or external hard drive or partition, leaving no retrievable trace of the old data. SuperScrubber conforms to the Department of Defense standard for disk sanitization (DoD 5220.22 M) when selecting the built-in Military Scrub configuration. [2.3MB] Alco Blom's URL Manager Pro 3.0.4 for Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 updates the extensive bookmark manager to organize and manage your bookmarks. Version 3.0.4 adds support for the Safari and Chimera browser bookmark file format: "Both formats are XML based. URL Manager Pro can read and write these formats and put these files in the necessary folders of the user's and browser's preferences." [2.2MB] HyperSpell 1.0b1.1 brings is a convenient menu under OS X that offers instant access to Mac OS X's built-in spellchecker. Users can utilize HyperSpell's menubar icon to quickly enter word(s) that need to be spellchecked and display a list of possible spellings (via control-click). The freeware is for Mac OS X only. [187KB] Jason Weber has released ExecutiveSync 1.2, a free update to his $20 utility that uses Time and State synchronization techniques to consolidate the content of two folders. It supports file archiving, multiple sync projects, Windows Servers, file history logs, and other features. Version 1.2 is optimized for Mac OS 10.2.4, addresses compatibility issue with Roxio Toast, improves log file generation when errors are encountered, and has better handling of Mac OS X Unix permissions. [1.7MB] PowerSnip is a freeware application designed to capture, store, search, print and export "Text Snippets". It offers the ability to quickly search snippets and flexible output options, including text storage of up to 32k with a Description and Keywords. Snippets can be added from within PowerSnip or through a supplied Contextual Menu module. [1.3MB] Scooter Graphics has updated the Nu Font Pack 2.0 ($31), adding Nu Sans Monospaced-Bold Italic font ($8) to the family, which includes included all the Nu fonts available from Scooter Graphics: Nu Sans--based on Apple's Espy Sans bitmap font, Nu Sans Monospaced--a monospaced version of Nu Sans, Nu Serif--based on Apple's Espy Serif bitmap font and Nu Casual--based on the Casual font found in Apple's Newton Message Pad.
Scalado today released a Flash Viewer Component for ImageZoom, its tool for adding interactivity to images, including creating zoom and transition effects and editing interactive texts. The new Flash Viewer Component is an extension to Macromedia Flash MX, which makes it possible to import and use ImageZoom projects within Flash movies. The extension has the same functionality as an ordinary HTML-based ImageZoom object but is optimized to enable objects to be used in normal Flash presentations. The component is free of charge. ImageZoom, which allows developers to create fast zoom to high- resolution image details on the web over low bandwidth with playback via Flash player 6 or a Java applet, is 270 UKP (Professional) or 70 UKP (Standard).
Apple's FireWire 14 SDK includes "everything you need to develop FireWire drivers and applications for Mac OS X," including sample code, debug versions of the FireWire system software, useful FireWire applications, tools and web links, and source code to the Mac OS X FireWire system software. [7.0MB] Austin-Soft's DTerm 3.1 is a developer utility that provides an external tool to display and capture diagnostic information. The new version fixes several problems, improves the monitor application's interface, and adds more session window settings and other enhancements. The $64 application runs on both Mac OS 9/X; upgrades are free. [1.0MB] Simon Extreme is a "reinterpretation of the classic 1978 Milton Bradley game Simon, complete with authentic gameplay and sound samples from the original game. Simon Extreme features Mac OS X Aqua-inspired graphics, alternate sound sets (Metal, Trip Hop, and Windchimes), and local as well as internet high scores. The freeware is for Mac OS X only. [2.7MB] Netopia's Timbuktu Pro 6.03 fixes an issue with the Host Relauncher, adds a new preference to limit the color depth your computer when hosting a screen-sharing session and has other fixes. The collaboration software package allows users to control/view other Macs, exchange files, and chat with others via online messaging or voice communication. Pricing starts at $95. Safari Toolkit 1.3 remove underlines from hyperlinks, changes the browser interface, and activates hidden features in Apple's Safari browser. It now includes an uninstaller. Scifience Studios also released The Metal-less Sync 1.0, which removes the brushed metal interface from iSync and replaces it with an Aqua one. [ST, TMLS] Nick Zitzmann's SafariCookieCutter 1.0 is a simple cookie editor for Safari, allowing users to add cookies to Safari's cookie database, edit existing cookies, and delete cookies: "[it] is useful for increasing the life of existing cookies, and manually importing your cookies into Safari from another browser." [54KB]
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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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl
XCOM 2 ships on Steam for Mac, Windows
Feral Interactive today announced that the highly anticipated turn-based strategy game XCOM 2 is out now for OS X and Windows, and is available to buy through Steam and through the Mac App Store shortly. The sequel to the popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 is available as a standalone base game and as the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. The XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition comprises the base game, the Reinforcement Pack and the XCOM 2 digital soundtrack. Versions start at $60. http://bit.ly/1KuEFsX