Babel Company has released Impression 1.0, the initial general release of its backup utility for Mac OS X. The developer has added multi-directory backup support and a help system per beta users' requests. Impression can be used to back up directories to (and restore them from) multiple optical discs (CD-R, CD-RW, and DVD-R are supported). It includes a utility for erasing re-writable discs.
MacMice today unveiled a new frosted version of its popular IceMate base stand for the Griffin Technology PowerMate USB controller. The new fully-frosted IceMate traps the blue light that the PowerMate emits, and displays it as a blue glow all around its surface. Both the original clear and the new frosted IceMate base stands for the PowerMate improve not only the good looks of the PowerMate, but add better ergonomics and better long-term resistance to the PowerMate sliding on a desk surface, according the the manufacturer. The $20 IceMate is machined from a solid billet of bead-blasted acrylic.
Apple today describes the following issues in its AppleCare knowledge base: when the Mac OS X firewall is active, you cannot send or receive a file via iChat; with some DVD-Video discs you may notice a narrow distortion or discoloring at the left or right edge of the picture; a Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors) computer with a ATI Radeon 9000 Pro graphics card installed may have difficulty waking from sleep; when a SCSI or Fibre Channel PCI card is installed in an Xserve or Xserve (Slot Load) and no boot path has been selected, a startup delay of up to 7 minutes may occur.
SQL4X Manager J 2.5 is a public preview of the $60 database management tool for professional users, Web site creators and Mac OS X developers. Version 2.5 adds: the ability to graphically create and alter table definitions and mosfiy SQL views; an enhanced assistant to easily create and manage database connections; Keychain password storage; and a redesigned interface. [Download - 2.7MB] Sapphire Innovations has released a free update to 'Andrew's (Vector) plugins Vol 4 - Multi-Tool 1' -- a plug-in set for Illustrator 10. New features include improved paint path effects, jitter/noise effects, random placement options, additional paint/mouse cursor effects. The set costs $24. [Download - link not functional] ShortCat 1.0 allows you to set up Web site URL "shortcuts" to access length URLs with a signle word. The shortcuts can be used together with keywords for easy use of search engines. [Download - 746KB] AOL Instant Messenger 4.5.995 is now available for Mac OS 9 & X. AOL has not made available details of the release, which builds on previous versions of the popular instant messaging service. [Download - 3.2MB] YOW* has released version 2.0 of its Girl loop mixing instrument software. The update includes a surround sound mixer for multi-channel performance or studio mixing on anywhere from 3 to 16 channels. The new version also provides a cleaner interface, improved session management, comprehensive MIDI control, new live recording features, MIDI clock and tapped tempo sync, transport control from MIDI sequencers, support for Cycling 74's Pluggo VST plug-ins, support for VST instruments, and enhanced efficiency. Girls is priced at $100. [Download - Classic, OS X] Macaroni 1.3.4 is a maintenance update to the automated system maintenance tool for Mac OS X that adds a "self-repair" capability so that Macaroni can recover from certain types of corruption. Macaroni handles regular maintenance for Mac OS X's Unix core. Normally these tasks run on a regular schedule, in the middle of the night. [Download - 572KB] iAlarm 1.5 is an update to the Mac OS X utility for setting up regular alarms. iAlarm provides 5 basic alert types for users; play iTunes, speak the local weather, speak the headline news, speak a custom message and of course a standard beep. Advanced users can create their own custom AppleScript to be executed by iAlarm or select text files to be spoken. Version 1.5 adds the ability to wake the computer up from sleep, news customization, and iTunes playlist, in addition to iTunes volume control and a sleep timer. [Download - 502KB]
Digital Meadow today announced the release of Studycard Studio 1.0, which allows users to create and memorize multimedia, multilingual flashcards, quizzes and tutorials, including picture and sound identification, or spelling tests with speech. It supports fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, multiple answer, and true/false questions and can create tutorials by adding informative explanations to follow wrong or correct answers. The software supports drag & drop of graphics and other custom layout options. A free "Lite" version of the $30 application is also available. [3.1MB] Maxprog's iCash 1.1 is a $25 shareware personal finance and money manager designed to track incomes, expenses, credits, debts and banks transactions. It offers unlimited categories, multiple account creation, a SQL backend engine, password protection, export/import routines, search functions, and drag & drop support. Version 1.1 is available now in English, German, French, Italian, Dutch and Spanish with several improvements, new features and bug fixes. [Classic, OSX] PineHill has released CreativePage 3.1, a "major" update to its web site creation software for Mac OS X. CreativePage 3.1 is a feature-full and powerful (X)HTML editor. It includes a new save engine, an improved interface, the ability to insert optimized versions of the assistant's output code, and support for Camino in preview in browser function. A demo of the $30 software is available. [1.7MB] Color Consultant Pro 1.0 is an interactive color wheel designed to help artists of all kinds apply color theory to design effective color schemes: "Like a traditional color wheel, CCP gives visual guidelines to how colors work together. But Color Consultant Pro goes beyond what a traditional color wheel can do." It supports both Scientific (additive/RGB) and Artistic (subtractive/RYB) color systems and allows color schemes to be saved and exported to various formats for use in other applications. The $35 application runs on both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [2.2MB] The PandaWare Company has announced a public beta test of its new keyboard-powered file launcher and browser application, DiskWrangler. The system utility enables users to launch applications, files and Web and mail URLs from the keyboard. In addition, it has a disk browser which lets users view and manipulate files under keyboard control, allowing them to copy, move, delete and view and change file attributes and permissions. Deep Sky Technologies today announced the release of TCP Deux Professional v1.1.1, a 4th Dimension component which provides cross-platform TCP wrappers for different TCP plugins available for 4th Dimension. TCP Deux Professional is the source code version of the TCP Deux 4D component. Pricing starts at $200 for the first year.
Keynoteuser.com today announced its first "Pro" Keynote theme: lowercase. The "completely original theme" comes in two colors with three different shade variations in each color, offering the option to mix and match versions. lowercase also includes many extra slide layouts, large and custom photo cut-outs, seven pages of objects, a design guide, and PDF versions of both the objects and bullets for use elsewhere. It is available in "blue" beginning today with "orange" coming soon. The introductory price is $14 each, or $20 for both when "orange" ships.
The Mac Division of Smith Micro Software today announced a Bluetooth-enabled version of its QuickLink Mobile Mac wireless data connectivity solution. QuickLink Mobile Mac users can instantly connect wirelessly to the Internet via their Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone without the need for a tethered cable. Smith Micro also announced it's newest Mac version of QuickLink Mobile Mac now supports Sprint PCS' 1xRTT high-speed data network (in addition to wireless data networks provided by Verizon Wireless, Cingular Wireless, TELUS Mobility in Canada, AT&T Wireless Inc., Nextel Communications Inc. and T-Mobile). It will begin shipping in the second quarter of 2003 for $40. (The Website currently lists the product for $60.)
Legato Systems has added Mac OS X support with the release of NetWorker 7, its suite of disk backup/recovery utilities for enterprise-level, multiplatform environments. NetWorker 7 also offers the ability to simultaneously perform multiple reads and writes to disk as a backup target as well as a support for several ATA disk arrays from EMC CLARiiON, StorageTekís BladeStore and NetApp NearStore. It also includes improved restore performance at a directory level, automated tape cloning for disaster recovery, and expanded platform support for Windows 2003 Server, IBM AIX, Linux, HP Tru64, and Mac OS X. (Pricing not available.)
Algo Vision LuraTech today released its LuraWave.jp2 plug-in for Photoshop, which offers users (from version 4.0 upwards) a new plugin for that leverages the JPEG2000 standard for image compression. The image format JPEG2000 uses wavelet technology for greater compression of image data and to create smaller graphics files. As part of a special sales promotion, the plug-in is available for EUR 29.99 (incl. VAT)--more than 50% off. It is only available for Mac OS 9 or earlier (Adobe added JPEG2000 support for Photoshop 7 via a $100 plugin bundle announced last month. Meanwhile, j2K is a free Photoshop plug-in for reading and writing the JPEG 2000 file format, the successor to JPEG. It supports Photoshop 5.5 or later.)
MacNN readers that the Apple Store is currently offline with a note saying "We'll be back soon." The offline store, which is usually an indication of a new product announcement by Apple, may signal a new line of iPods due out later today, almost a month after the industry expected the announcement (as reported by Forbes.com). Update: The Apple Store is back online without any indication of new iPods; however, one reader notes that the original G3-based CRT iMac is no longer available: "A non-ceremonious departure for a once-revolutionary item, indeed." It continues to be available through the Apple Store Education, according to several other readers. Another reader notes the addition of a Cluster Node version of the Xserve for $2,799 (the same price as the low-end single-processor 1.33GHz Xserve). This model features a dual-1.33GHz PowerPC G4, but lacks a CD-ROM drive and an ATI graphics card. It also has a single Gigabit Ethernet Port and a limited version (10-client) of Mac OS X Server. [updated]
Mobility Electronics today announced a new Mac-compatible version of its Juice power adapter. Juice is "the first and only" product that enables users to simultaneously charge their laptop and a mobile phone or handheld from any power source -- either a standard wall outlet, auto outlet or airline outlet: "Juice's sleek, silver package combined with its all-in-one functionality makes the product appealing to Mac users who appreciate Apple's signature design and world-class performance." The $120 power adapter will be available later this month from the Apple Store, Apple retail stores, and other national retailers.
mac:method has released the final version of AACelerator 1.0, an utility that can encode audio files into MPEG-4 Advanced Audio Codec (AAC) audio files (the new encoding format included in QuickTime 6). "the same bit rates as MP3 files will result in audio files with superior sonic quality...allowing you to store your music collection in much less disk space." It features drag & drop support, encoding of hinted stream files, embedding of ID3 tags in files, streaming data rates between 8 kbps and 320 kbps, and batch processing. A registration fee of $12 will unlock the features to support creating hinted streaming files and embedding QuickTime Annotations. [497KB] AudioBookMaker 2.0 is an upgrade to the $3 utility that converts text files to audio files using Jaguar's built-in text-to-speech abilities. The resulting audio files may be then dragged into iTunes, used for multimedia projects, converted to MP3, and even carried with users on their iPods. Version 2 adds approximate words-per-minute control as well as the ability to control the length of preview and how to read numbers. [656KB] Altair Engineering has released PBS Pro 5.3, an application designed for the improved utilization of IT resources and skills at "enterprises with numerically intense computing environments." PBS Pro intelligently queues and schedules computation workload across complex networks to optimize hardware and software utilization while minimizing job turn-around times. It now offers support for Mac OS X and enhanced GRID functionality for bi-directional support for Globus V2, GRID FTP via x509 certificates, and peer scheduling. Detto Technologies announced that its consumer migration products Move2Mac (PC-to-Mac) will be available in Japan in the Spring 2003. Media Vision will act as the exclusive distributor in Japan for Detto's migration products and will localize, publish, and distribute Detto's products, with first customer shipments expected in the second quarter of 2003.
Red Rock Software, who parternerd with SPSS last October to bring DeltaGraph 5.0 for Mac OS X, will handle all sales and maintenance for DeltaGraph 5.0, accoding to a note received by the reader. The $300 charting application features a Formula Builder with over 50 mathematical and statistical functions and 80 different chart types and 200 different styles (2-D and 3-D). It is expected to ship on March 24, 2003 and is available for pre-order now. Upgrades are $200 from v4.x.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
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
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for ‚ā¨30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives