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Pachysoft's OfficePool 2003 is now available. It "completely automates your 2003 NCAA March Madness Basketball Pool." It enables you to print and view detailed standings and brackets or build an entire Web site. Pricing begins at $15. [Download - Classic, OS X] Unsanity has released Labels X 1.1.2, a minor update to its "haxie" for Mac OS X that enables users of the operating system to color-code folder icons. The update adds an option to change file modification date on label change; the contextual menu is no longer shown for the Desktop folder; fixes an incompatibility with Folder Icon X contextual menu module; addresses a bug causing Labels X contextual menu to crash the Finder under some circumstances. Labels X is priced at $10. [Download - 1.1MB] Spherico has released TimeSync Script, an AppleScript for Mac OS X 10.2.4 that corrects a common bug whereby the date will be reset to January 1970 after restart. The script requires Apple's UI Scripting beta to be installed. [Download - 81KB] Eudora 5.2.1 b6 fixes a number of bugs found in the previous release of the popular email client, including a fix to the "UTF-8 message cut-off problem," and new sort buttons in file display for ESP mailboxes. A number of other technical issues have been addressed. [Download - 3.5MB]
Apple today began shipping its 17" Aluminum PowerBooks to resellers, almost 2 weeks after its announced "February" ship date. Resellers report receiving shipment confirmation from Apple: "So far they only have shipped one unit, probably getting one unit out to each Apple Specialist for display purposes." Pre-production units arrived at Apple retail stores around the US last month, but many stores simply used it as a non-interactive display model (though users at some locations were able to explore the laptops). New 17" PowerBooks from the Apple store currently show 3-5 week estimated ship date, the same time-frame quoted to some customers in late February.
Aspyr Media today announced it will publish BloodRayne for the Macintosh. Developer Terminal Reality will perform the Mac conversion of Majesco's original title, BloodRayne, which was initially published for console and PC: "Set in the mid-1930s, BloodRayne introduces the sexy, supernatural Agent BloodRayne. An unholy union of human and vampire, Agent BloodRayne was raised and trained by a secret governmental agency to hunt down and eliminate global evil forces. Now she must take on an occult faction of pre-Nazis and their army of vile, unearthly ghouls to prevent them from unleashing creatures of unfathomable terror onto the world." It is expected to ship later this month for Mac OS X. The $50 title is available for pre-order now.
Other World Computing today introduced a 250GB model of its Mercury Elite Pro external FireWire drive. Mercury Elite Pro hard drives measure 1.5-inches x 9.0-inches x 5.5-inches and weigh less than three pounds. The new 250GB model operates at 7200RPM and is available immediately for $480. It ships with Intech HD SpeedTools, a FireWire cable, external power adaptor and a two-year OWC warranty that covers all parts and labor. Mercury Elite Pro drives with 8MB of cache and 7,200 rpm mechanisms are also available in 200GB ($380), 180GB ($340), and 120GB ($260) capacities, while two models with 2MB of cache, 120GB ($240) and 80GB ($190), are also available.
The Mercury News says that IBM has become the leader in the laptop revolution, originally started by Apple's Titanium PowerBook: "Witness the IBM ThinkPad T40, a sophisticated black laptop built for business. Like the TiBook, it's an inch thick. But it not only weighs a pound less, in battery tests it smokes the TiBook and the 12-inch PowerBook." NPD Techworld reports that Apple was not among the top 5 in unit sales in Janauary 2003 laptop sales (as measured by retail, coporate sales, and mail order channels). The Top 5 included Toshiba (26.6%), Compaq (24.3%), IBM (19.9%), and Sony (8.4%).
piDog Software's Telnet Launcher 2.5 is a suite of tools for managing telnet and SSH logins via Mac OS X's Terminall.app. It can now automatically enter passwords for fast logins, can store passwords in Keychain, and can set sessions to minimize to the dock on launch. Other features include dock menu access to session groups, easy SSH port forwarding configuration, custom terminal commands, custom session settings, etc. It is a $5 upgrade to the $20 application. [1.0MB] Objectpark Development has released LetterWorks 1.2, an application for writing letters with ease and style: "[it] lets the author focus on content while layout, formatting and default text are determined by a predefined stationery. In addition, LetterWorks automates the process of filling in the receiver's address." It adds support for printing envelopes as well as adds an French user interface to the English, German and Italian variants. The $30 application runs on Mac OS X only. [1.6MB] Myth II v1.3.2 is an update for Myth II: SB v1.3, offering Carbonization (allowing Myth II to run natively under OS X). Other improvements include "improved keyboard and mouse responsiveness and reduced chat lag. Myth II v1.3.2 is entirely backwards compatible with Myth II v1.3 and will work flawlessly on both PlayMyth.Net, and Marius.Net." [3.5MB] CodaTek's DockExtender 3.03 allows you to organize and access your applications, documents and web sites through custom menus from the Dock. Users can create up to 10 separate (custom) menus that can also be activated by pressing a HotKey. It is $20 shareware for Mac OS X only. (The company also recently updated SafeClean 2.3.1, its $25 shareware which removes Internet history files, caches, e-mails and conversation logs.) [DE, SC]
Apple's short Java 1.4.1 FAQ explains that "the Java 1.4.1 Update adds Java 1.4.1 to Mac OS X. It does not replace Java 1.3.1. Both versions exist simultaneously to preserve backward compatibility for applications and services that rely on prior versions." Safari will apparently use Java 1.4.1, if installed, while other applications must specify the new implementation. The document also includes instructions making Version 1.4.1 the default for opening JAR files. Apple also covers installing Mac OS X Server 10.2.3 on a Power Mac G4 (FW 800), installing an older version of Mac OS X, and DVD Player Compatibility listing (as well as notes on factors that affect writing to or reading from optical media), and the sound specifications on the 12" Aluminum PowerBook.
FirewireDirect.com Inc. has announced larger capacity versions of its Vanguard FireWire RAID product line. The hardware controlled FireWire RAID product now includes support for RAID Level 0 (Striping) and Level 1 (Mirroring) as well as support for newer large capacity hard drives. It now supports up to 500GB of storage. The Vanguard Series II RAID system is built with a rigid, metal casing and rugged design and offers an auto-rebuilding feature will rebuild the lost data while allowing access to the other drive (in cases of RAID 1 failure).
Students at The University of Western Australia studying Communication Studies will receive a 20GB iPod as part of their semester enrollment: "The Communication Studies students will primarily make use of the iPod as a 20GB storage drive on which they will keep their digital media projects throughout the semester. The iPod also provides teachers with the means of delivering course materials electronically to each student, including contact details, sound files, video clips, audiobooks and e-books - all with the click of a mouse. The convenience of such a process has allowed the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to introduce digital media elements to a wide variety of teaching disciplines with ease."
Trinity Software has released three open-source, freeware AppleScripts for iTunes: Capitalize Words In Tags, Extract Artist From Song Name, and Remove Track Number from Song Name. [CWIT, EAFSN, RTNFSN] Ext2 Filesystem 1.0d4 adds write support to the utility that allows Mac users to access Linux Ext2 formatted hard disks, floppies, CD-ROM's, etc., from within Mac OS X. The freeware also supports file advisory locks and includes the complete set of e2fsprogs commands. [619KB] phelios has released SNAP!, a freeware logic for the Mac: "The objective is simple, break the bricks with the ball and make the highest score!" [2.4MB] Northern Softworks today releaed Lights Out 2.1, its new Energy Saver utility for Jaguar: "It offers a secondary idle timer to put your Mac to sleep even when Energy Saver fails to do so [and] offers easy control of all aspects of Energy Saver. It can even shutdown your Macintosh after a specified idle period." The $8 shareware adds limited support for PowerBooks and the ability to perform a user logout after a user-specified period of activity. [1.2MB] MuchoSoft, Inc.'s MuchoViewer 1.0 is an image and movie browser that offers options to view files in list or slideshow modes. The QuickTime-based application supports most image formats and includes a preferences dialog that enables users to select the file formats needed and customize the slideshow. The "donation-ware" runs on Mac OS 9/X. [1.0MB] equinux has released a new version of its VPN program for Mac OS X. VPN Tracker 1.6 includes optimized support for VPN appliances from SonicWALL, NetScreen and WatchGuard. Version 1.6 also sports a "completely revamped user authorization concept. As a result system administrators are now able to allow normal users to start and stop the VPN connection on their own, without administrative authentication." Licensing for the Mac OS X application is $80 for the personal edition and $200 for the Professional Edition. [2.7MB] DEVONtechnologies has updated its $45 information manager and freeform database. DEVONthink Personal Edition 1.5.2 now permits 30 hours of usage time before showing a registration reminder. The update also includes up to 30 percent faster retrieval of similar words based on the context, minor interface changes and bug fixes. DEVONthink, fully or semi-automatically, classifies elements, lists similar contents and words immediately using fuzzy algorithms; finds and compares text and images; summarizes texts intelligently; and offers high performance concordance tools. [1.7MB] CG Invoicer 1.5, a $70 application for Mac OS X and Classic, is designed for independent business owners. CG Invoicer generates invoices and has custom reporting features. Version 1.5 adds payment history printing, includes new custom sales reports, offers improved quotes/estimates, and adds the ability to filter the open-invoice listing by date. [Classic, OSX]
Willow Design has added an Apple 20" Cinema Display carry case and dust cover to line of 28 other cases designed for Apple computers. The Cinema Display case offers excellent protection through multiple foam layers with corrugated plastic reinforcement, a hardboard bottom and a double plastic reinforcement layer for the display side outer wall. The case also features a heavy duty molded handle, contoured shoulder carry strap and bottom luggage feet which keep the case securely upright. The $185 case is covered by Willow's 100% satisfaction guarantee and lifetime guarantee against defects in materials and craftsmanship.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k