Benoit Widemann announced today AliasMenu 3.0 ($25), a Mac OS X add-on that adds user-defined menus to the menu bar. Each menu extra has a corresponding folder and the menu automatically reflects the folder's content. AliasMenu brings the metaphor of the old Apple menu one step further, while keeping its intuitive way to organize the menus' contents, according to the developer. Version 3.0 allows menus created with AliasMenu 3.0 to be mixed with Apple's system menus and other third parties menu extras. The latest version also includes Unicode support and interface enhancements.
Apple’s professional applications marketing team is compiling a video collection to showcase the "best of the best" Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Shake and Logic projects. "If you’d like the chance for your best work to be seen by thousands of professionals worldwide, now’s your chance." DV enthusiasts are encourages to submit their "most superb material" by February 15, 2003, and I will be considered for inclusion in the next "demo reel," to be premiered at NAB 2003.
Destineer today acquired Macintosh game developer MacSoft from Infogrames. The sale included all rights to the MacSoft brand and all MacSoft-branded existing products and products under development, as well as first rights to publish Macintosh versions of future Infogrames' products. Destineer plans to publish at least ten major Macintosh games under its MacSoft label during 2003, including Master of Orion III, Neverwinter Nights, Dungeon Siege, and Halo. The majority of MacSoft's employees will join Destineer immediately. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Other World Computing has reduced pricing on all of its Mercury Elite Pro external FireWire storage solutions, which feature some of the industry's "largest and fastest" hardware components. The new prices are from $20 to $50 dollars lower. Pricing is now $420 (200GB/8MB cache), $350 (180GB/8MB cache), $280(120GB/8MB cache), $260 (120GB/2MB cache), $200 (80GB/2MB cache), $180 (60GB/2MB cache), and $160 (40GB/2MB cache).
Apple today announced to .Mac members that both iMovie 3 and iPhoto 2 will be available as downloads on January 31st from Apple's Website. Update: One reader reports that the Apple store in West Hollywood has iLife in the stores for sale this evening.
Charismac is now shipping Nitro 200, a high-performance, external FireWire drive which features a high-speed 7200 RPM drive, Oxford 911 bridgeboard technology and includes the Anubis Utility products for both OS 9 and OS X: "The Nitro 200 is also SAN-ready in anticipation for the release of Charismac's FibreShare for OS X which will support FireWire along with fibre channel drives. Only drives with a custom firmware for SANs will be supported with Charismac's FibreShare SAN volume management software. The Nitro 200 includes the firmware necessary for using it in a SAN." The Nitro 200 carries a 1-year warranty and is available for $500.
Freeverse Software today began shipping the ultraviolent car-thieving game Payback in North America. Published in the United Kingdom by Virtual Programming, the game features "all the fun of automobile thievery and random violence without any of the pesky life-changing consequences. Blow through the city at your own pace. You can do what the local kingpin tells you, uncover secret missions or just go on a mad killing spree. Steal rocket-fast sportscars. You'll also have an arsenal to help you complete missions or slaughter innocents." It supports an advanced 3D rendering and physics engine, an explicit soundtrack, and an advanced 3D audio system. A demo of the $30 title is available online.
MindVision has released FileStorm 1.5 for Mac OS X, an update to the developer tool for packaging and delivering software products with features for customizing the "look & feel" of disk images or CDs (e.g., backgrounds, icon placement, etc.) from a WYSIWYG interface. Version 1.5 adds enhanced options for controlling the size, selection, and alignment of icons on disk images; support for multi-language license agreements; different disk image formats (DMG or IMG); create read-only and read-only compressed images, and post-process encoding (GZip, BZip, MacBinary, and BinHex). FileStorm 1.5 also features an improved interface for disc burning that supports additional burners, allows selection between multiple burners, and controls burn speed, post-burn verification, ejection, and desktop mounting. It is $20 with a Pro version priced at $80.
Everyday Software's Bookit 3.1 is a minor update to its bookmark management application. The new version adds complete support for Safari and also introduces a new Bookit file format as well as updates to the dockling and system menu application. A demo of the $12 shareware is available for Mac OS X. [504KB] Translation Service is a $25 utility that allows you to replace the selected text with a translation in any of several languages with a single click. It works in any Mac OS X program from the Services submenu of the application menu. The $5 utility requires a connection to the Internet. [176KB] Bookie 1.0 provides Rendezvous bookmark sharing via a small icon in your menu bar from which users can globally access your bookmarks and those of any other computer on the LAN. Users can also configure the application to publish bookmarks, collect others, or do both (the default behavior). The $8 application only runs under Mac OS X and currently only supports Safari (with support for OmniWeb, Chimera, Mozilla/Navigator, and Internet Explorer planned for for future releases). [361KB] Eric Hangstefer's miXscope 1.2 (formerly Microscope) is a freeware application written specifically for the USB QX3/QX3+ Computer Microscope. The software allows you to capture images as jpeg or tiff, create time-lapse QuickTime movies, and add a text comment and/or time stamp to the image or movie. Version 1.2 adds image auto-save functionality and a new "invert color" option (negative effect) as well as improves sleep issues and color picker performance. [356KB] ChangeDesktop is an application that will change your Desktop picture at random from any number of folders you choose. Version 2.4 of the freeware adds a system-wide hot key for changing the Desktop picture as well as an updated Remote Accss feature, which allows other Internet users to view your Desktop picture and now info about the currently playing iTunes song. It now supports GZIP photo compression, has rewritten documentation, and support drag & drop onto its dock icon. [2.0MB]
Virtix has released Virtix Effects for AfterEffects, which is compatible with Adobe AfterEffects 4.1 and up for the Mac. Virtix Effects is also compatible with Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 (and works under both OS 9 and OS X). The $125 package contains 30 special effects including: Blur Edges, Bubble, Crosseyed, Edge Detector, Emboss, Extreme Black and White, Extreme Color, Funhouse, Glint, Heat, Laser, Point-to-Point Laser, Lightning, Median, Moonlight, One Color, Pixel Fixer, Rain, Scope, Smoke, Snow, Sparkle By Color, Spins, Spotlight, Stained Glass, Sunset, Topograph, Tunnel, Witness Protection and Zap.
GoodbyeSpam.com is billed as an anti-spam protection Web-based service for consumers and small businesses, which the company says works with all e-mail accounts including POP3, AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN, IMAP and Juno. Users can establish Approved and Blocked lists and can also import names from all their e-mail accounts for pre-approval: "When e-mail arrives in the inbox, the program eliminates blocked e-mail and places all non-approved messages in quarantine. It then automatically sends an e-mail to each sender asking them to click on an embedded link. Once senders do so, their names are placed on the Approved list, their messages are returned to the inbox and all future e-mail will go through." The Home version supports a single e-mail account and offers two levels of security for $3.22 per month ($10 quarterly), while the Professional version manages an unlimited number of e-mail accounts and offers three levels of security for only $5.32 per month ($16 quarterly). Both versions are available for a free 30-day trial.
Lemkesoft has posted GraphicConverter 4.5.3, an update to its popular graphics application. The free update to the $30 utility for Mac OS 8/9/X adds adds MRW import, support for bicubic scaling with QuickTime 6, improved display quality in the slideshow, better rotation speed on custom angles, improved support for GIFs, real previews in the resource fork, better Photoshop plug-in compatibility, and other enhancements. [Classic, OSX] Version 2.0 of AysMon has been released to support upcoming software updates from Apple. AysMon is a no-cost utility for monitoring network related system resources such as open server ports, bandwidth, and disk utilization: "It enables to see at a glance if unintended services are running on their machine without having to learn anything about a command line interface or the Unix underpinnings of Mac OS X." It is $5 and runs on Mac OS X only. [513KB] Key Holder is a shareware password account database application, offering "quick and easy access to your online account login information. For each account, the account name, user, password, Internet URL, and a memo field for miscellaneous notes can be kept. A menu command allows you to go directly to the account URL by automatically launching your web browser, e-mail, or other Internet application." The $15 shareware supports multiple account files (each with its own password protection). [1.4MB] ARTIS Software today announced Screen Tools 2.0, a collection of four visual utilities for on-screen use for use by website developers, graphic designers, and photographers. Version 2.0 adds a new utility called ARTIS Screen Guides. This application displays visual guides on your desktop to help aligning objects in all applications that don't offer guide lines. The Small Screen utility also displays browser content sizes to help designing web pages for the most popular browsers. The $10 bundle also includes Screen ruler (displays translucent rulers on the desktop) and Screen Loupe (magnifies screen). [296KB] EOS Image Manager 0.6 is a Cocoa application that enables users to quickly view, rename (add and remove chars, change case), and manage (move, copy, and delete) all of their images from a single, uncluttered interface. The free utility allows users to organize thousands of downloaded images and digital photos in minutes. [197KB] Musicnotes today announced that it successfully launched its Macintosh digital sheet music viewer, enabling Mac users to see and print sheet music directly from the musicnotes.com website: "Our Macintosh viewer has been available for over a month and is performing beautifully...We have already received more than 1,000 orders from Mac users." [200KB]
Apple has begun shipping its AirPort Extreme Cards, 12-inch BTO PowerBooks, while other readers report receipt of iLife (International users in UK and Italy) and the AirPort Extreme BaseStation (antenna and modem port version). Apple is showing a 3-5 day ship time on the AirPort Extreme BaseStation (with modem) and a 1-2 days for those without a modem and antenna port. Meanwhile, MacNN reader Don DeBlasio provided some details on the AirPort Extreme BaseStation:
ATI today announced that the Radeon 9700 Pro is now available exclusively to Mac customers purchasing new Power Mac G4 systems: "ATI's Radeon 9700 Pro is a great option for built to order Power Mac G4s..It also delivers twice the performance of any competing product on the market and enables gamers to crank up the quality-enhancing features while maintaining frame-rates that they can brag about." The graphics card offers eight parallel rendering pipelines (over 2.5 billion pixels per second); four parallel geometry engines (300 million transformed and lit polygons per second); Hyper Z III memory bandwidth saving technologies, a high-performance 256-bit DDR memory interface (offering 20 GB/second of graphics memory bandwidth); Smartshader 2.0 advanced pixel and vertex shader technologies and SmoothVision 2.0 anti-aliasing. As noted yesterday, the card is listed as "available soon" as a BTO at the Apple Store.
One MacNN reader provided some additional details on Apple's School Night at The Apple Store program (which debuted Wednesday evening), while another talks about more agressive educational pricing for education institutions:
Stupendous Software has released two new iMovie plugins: Labels & Overlays (36 effects--including 6 free--of for annotating movie clips using a variety of labels and markers) and Time Effects 2 (13 effects--including 3 free--of for acceleration and deceleration of clips), bringing the total number of iMovie effects available from the company to 254, including 43 free effects. Each of th new packs is $25. In addition, the Stupendous Bundle package, which contains all 10 iMovie plugin packs available from Stupendous Software, is available for $200 (a 20% discount). Educational customers can take advantage of the Educational Workstation Bundle and Educational Lab Bundle packs. The effect packages require iMovie 2.1.1 or later run under Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.
Inventive has released iClip 1.0, a clipboard enhancement utility that offers users the ability to copy & paste and drag & drop various clippings to and from its multiple "clipping bins," which are easily accessed from within any application via a floating application window. The $15 software runs on Mac OS X. [1.2MB] Stephane Madrau has released SwitchRes X b7, a new beta of the software for managing display resolutions, now allows users to use monitor resolutions not offered by the standard system installation, such as 1280x1024 in 75Hz on an external VGA monitor or 640x480 (60Hz) on a video projector when using an iMac DV. MacLoggerDX 2.3 adds multiple log fixes in user-selectable locations, a new AOR AR-5000 driver, and other enhancements to the $70 DX Internet radio station tuner is available for Mac OS 9/X. [9.2MB] Blackmagic Design and AJA Video have added real-time color correction to the Kona SD 2.4 software as well as full compatibility with uncompressed 8- and 10-bit Digital Voodoo format QuickTime files. The $3,300 Kona SD uncompressed 10-bit PCI video card offers real-time capture and playback from fully digital SDI video connections as well as real-time application of effects. It is a free update for registered users of the product. Name Stalker 1.01 is a cross-platform tool that allows you to manage your own domain as well as track (stalk) domains they you may want. Version 1.01 1.0.1 is a maintenance release, and adds updated parsing code and updated installer code for OS X. The freeware, data-base driven application offers email reporting and suppport for International Domains (in addition to .com and .org addresses). Levelground Media today released Vintasion 1.0 and Fattenizer 1.0, for use in MAS recording environments, which offer the ability to enhance individual audio tracks and project mixes by adding user-tunable vintage style 'coloration' with Vintasion or 'fattening' with Fattenizer. Both include 64-bit internal processing, a Dual Processing Core, and custom fine tuning parameters. Each is $130 (or bundled together for $170). Users can receive 25% off through February 8th.
Now AAPL Stock: 99.81 ( -0.54 )
T-Mobile offers 'tourist' plan
A new plan from T-Mobile is launching on June 12, and will offer visitors to the US a flat-rate $30 plan that offers a free US SIM, 2GB of high-speed data, and 1,000 minutes of calls good for a three-week period. The plan will work with any unlocked GSM-compatible smartphone, and is advertised as "unlimited" data (but speed will slow down after the first 2GB). The plan does not automatically renew, but can be manually renewed for those staying longer. It also comes with unlimited international texting to some 40 countries, but does not offer any international talk minutes at all. http://t-mo.co/1TI1Pe9
First hardware RAID 10Gbps USB 3.1 controllers
Marvell today announced the Marvell 88RC13xx family of high-performance RAID storage controllers with a full set of features that include eight 6Gbps SATA ports, four lanes of PCI Express 3.0, and a 10Gbps USB 3.1 device port with Type-C connector support. The move paves the way for high-performance USB-C UASP hardware RAID multi-drive arrays, utilizing the full bandwidth of USB 3.1. http://bit.ly/1P0JBmb
Tama debuts adapters for Lightning-only iPhone
Predicting an iPhone without a standard 3.5mm headphone, a Chinese accessory maker has released three Lightning-to-headphone-adapters ready should Apple pull the trigger on what would be a controversial decision. The three adapters, picked up by Macotakara, includes two models that simultaneously support charging an iPhone over microUSB while the user also continues to listen to music. Rumors have suggested that Apple will eventually drop the 3.5mm jack on one of its next-generation iPhones, although it is not clear whether it will be in the 'iPhone 7,' due this year, or a future model. In the interim, the Tama Electric Lightning-to-headphone adapters offer little particular utility. http://bit.ly/1P0sYXM
French Google tax raid evaluation could take years
The data retrieved from the Paris raid on Google's headquarters by French police could take months or even years to analyze, according to a prosecutor assigned to the case. Authorities seized dozens of files and related data that recorded Google's financial transactions in the country with a view to lodging a claim for unpaid taxes by the Internet search giant. Although Google has denied any wrongdoing, it must complete all of its sales contracts in Ireland, where it is incorporated. If French authorities sifting through the documents seized in the raids discover that any of its French sales transactions were completed locally, it could be subject to further action, including fines. http://reut.rs/1P0n8G2
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