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.
Apples 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 youd like the chance for your best work to be seen by thousands of professionals worldwide, nows 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: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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