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John Siracusa of Ars Technica has published a detailed analytical report on Mac OS X's Finder interface. "It's no secret that I don't like the Mac OS X Finder," says Siracusa, who has expressed this feeling throughout a number of articles on Mac OS X. "The topic has never been given the thorough treatment that I believe it deserves," he says, "In this article, I will attempt to rectify the situation." Mr. Siracusa outlines what he believes is a "fairly conservative vision of what the Finder could be."
HumanSoftware has released PhotoFixlens 1.0, a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop that corrects zoom and wide-angle distortion such as barreling and pin-cushioning imperfections in an image. It offers an advanced user interface with an "extra large" preview and now an unlimited zooming ability on any portion of the working area. PhotoFixlens costs $40. [Download - Purchase to Download] Mighty MIDI 1.0 a lightweight MIDI player for OS X. It is donate-ware. Currently, the only known bug occurs "when playing two or more MIDI files using the same output device," in which case "pausing/stopping one will stop the other as well." [Download - 135KB] Ampersandbox has released Imprint 1.0, a simple program for creating labels and envelopes from the Mac OS X Address Book. It incorporates a real-time preview window; auto-sizes fonts to make sure that text never runs off a label; formats addresses for more than 20 countries; and includes templates for common Avery labels. Registration is $25. [Download - 702KB] KisMAC 0.04b is a wireless 'stumbler' application for Mac OS X, that allows uoi to seek out other devices on a network. It supports Airport, and other iterations of the 802.11b standard including products from Orinoco and Prism2. Support for AirPort Extreme is not possible, because "Broadcom keeps their documentation for the chipset a secret." The software is also compatible with external antennas for capturing of packets in a wider area, and NMEA compatible GPS devices, for geographical anaysis. "Unlike most other applications for OS X we are completely invisible and send no probe requests." [Download - 2.9MB]
Digital Anarchy has released 3D Assistants EZ for Adobe After Effects. Based on the popular 3D Assistants Pro package, the EZ version is a collection of six keyframe assistants that enable users to easily manipulate, animate and arrange layers in 3D space. 3D Assistants EZ includes many of the functions of the Pro package and offers an "affordable and intuitive way to use 3D within Adobe After Effects." While many designers are comfortable in 3D space, trying to position, rotate, then animate layers in 3D space is difficult, according to the developer. 3D Assistants EZ addresses this issue. Regularly priced at $100, the Mac OS 9/X suite is available now for a "limited time" for $90.
Agfa Monotype has introduced a new Monotype Library of 1,334 fonts. Over 300 new fonts are in the collection, with designs such as Linex Sans, Haarlemmer and Mosquito. Also featured are classic Monotype faces including Gill Sans and Times New Roman. Each font includes the euro currency symbol. The library will be available May 1st. Pricing has not been announced.
The organizers of AppleScript Pro Sessions today announced that Ethan Wilde, author of three AppleScript books, will be leading a session on scripting QuickTime. The five-day training event in Monterey, CA, June 2-6, is a "unique opportunity to learn more about AppleScript," Apple's scripiting/automation technology. Also announced was a new bonus session on scripting MultiAd Creator. "Creator has long been recognized for its tremendous AppleScript support, especially in the area of attachability," said Ray Robertson of Scripting Matters. The first day of the sessions is an introduction to AppleScript. Subsequent days look at scripting real-world applications. Early Bird pricing (available until May 1) is $400 per day, with discount packages offered for attending three days or more.
MacNN readers note that Apple is now shipping Build-to-Order (BTO) Power Mac G4s with ATI's Radeon 9700. "If you go to the Apple Store and choose PowerMac G4, the Graphics Support option no longer says '[available soon]' for Radeon 9700. I phoned up and they confirmed that it is available now in BTO G4s, with a 3 to 5 day delivery time. There has been no mention on the main Apple web page."
Sources familiar with the forthcoming release of Mac OS X "Panther" have told eWeek that Apple will freeze development on new features in May and finalize enhancements to the user interface in July. This makes a mid-September release likely, according to the report.
Bella today debuted its series of keyboards products designed specifically for digital video editing. The keyboards have an integrated jog/shuttle controller and work with leading video applications, such as Final Cut Pro , Avid Xpress DV , Adobe Premiere , Media 100 i and others. The keyboards can also be used as standard keyboards, enhancing applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Internet Explorer and other applications. The built-in, fully programmable jog/shuttle controller allows users to have precise control of timelines and video clips with both inner and outer jog shuttle rings. Each keyboard comes with easily installed software that includes presets for most popular applications, while additional presets will be available via a free download.
Alien Skin Software today began shipping Xenofex 2, a plug-in offering 14 effects for Photoshop, Fireworks, Paint Shop Pro, and Photoshop Elements. Completely rewritten and now compatible with Mac OS X and Windows XP, Xenofex 2 adds four new filters, 10 upgraded classics and the user-friendly Eye Candy 4000 interface. Xenofex 2 simulates spectacular natural phenomena, such as Fluffy Clouds, transparent fog or a sunset. Effects in the $130 package include Burnt Edges, Classic Mosaic, Constellation, Cracks, Crumple, Electrify, Flag, Lightning, Little Fluffy Clouds, Puzzle, Rip Open, Shatter, Stain, and Television. It runs on Mac OS 9/X. Upgrades are $70 from version 1 and $100 for Eye Candy owners.
HP today introduced new services, programs and several new products, expanding its portfolio of imaging and printing products for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), including a new monochrome LaserJet printers, price reductions on several printers, and a new six color DesignJet printing system.
Apple's launch of the personal computer on April 1st, 1976 is highlighted in TIME Magazine's 80 Days That Changed the World: "Nobody, not even Jobs, saw what was coming next: that Apple would create the look and feel of every desktop in the world and start our love affair with the personal computer."
United Online today announced the availability of a Mac version of its NetZero Platinum value-priced Internet access service. The release of NetZero for Mac OS X follows the company recent announcement of a Mac product for its Juno brand of Internet access. United Online says that NetZero developed a Mac version of its software based on strong demand and feedback from the Mac user community. NetZero Platinum now offers Mac OS X users reliable nationwide Internet service for $10 per month.
ADS Tech today launched its Dual Link product line at NAB 2003, which combines USB 2.0 and FireWire connectivity. Its new Dual Link Drive Kit allows users to easily add external FireWire or USB 2.0 drives to any desktop systems: "Users simply plug their drive into the sleek smoke and gray casing, and the drive mounts automatically...the drive kit provides two 400-Mbps FireWire ports and one 480-Mbps USB 2.0 port." The $100 unit is externally powered, supports Mac OS 9/X, includes InTech's SpeedTools, and will ship in April. ADS Tech also introduced its Dual Link PCI Card (3 USB 2.0 ports, 2 FireWire ports), which will ship immediately for $100 and its Dual Link Cardbus PC Card (2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 FireWire port), which is also available now for $100. All products are listed as being Mac compatible although it is unclear whether the company will provide USB 2.0 drivers for Mac OS X (none are available for Mac OS 9). ADS is also demonstrating its HDTV UpConverter at NAB 2003. The $600 device will convert standard interlaced video into cinema-quality HDTV). It converts standard interlaced video (480i or 480p) and standard definition television signals into HDTV with progressive-scan resolutions of 480p, 720p or 1080i, providng users with cinema-quality video. In addition, with this device users can experience high-definition video from legacy, interlaced video equipment, such as VCRs, cable TV boxes, DVD players, satellite receivers and video game devices. It will begin shipping in May.
Aspyr today announced it is co-publishing NASCAR Racing 2003 Season along with Vivendi Universal Games--with the conversion expected to be performed by Westlake Interactive. NASCAR Racing 2003 Season showcases new dynamic 3D graphics including a populated pit row, team war wagons, pit signs, aerial objects such as planes, helicopters, blimps, and more. In addition, the enhanced game play, automatically adjusts to match the player’s driving ability, allowing both rookies and veterans the opportunity to trade paint with the pros. Uses can choose to compete against a full field of 42 NASCAR drivers online via Internet or LAN in NASCAR Racing 2003 Season. It runs under Mac OS X only and requires a 733MHz G4 processor. It will retail for $50.
Wired News reports that a Minnesota man is finalizing the design for his flat "pizzabox" Mac and hopes to go into production in three to four months as part of the "launch his own Macintosh-manufacturing business, building a low-cost, upgradeable Mac called the iBox. However, Fraser may still face legal problems with patents and trademarks, legal experts said. Apple is notoriously protective of its intellectual property, and has not hesitated to go after hardware manufacturers, software publishers and websites for infringement."
A 14-month renovation of the American Museum of Natural History's Hall of Ocean Life brings a new "virtual ocean" with video, special lighting effects and interactive displays using Power Mac G4s, according to Wired News. "The dioramas of preserved sea creatures that have terrified and enchanted generations of New York City schoolkids aren't going anywhere, but they'll be joined by a slew of video screens featuring images of marine ecosystems and their living inhabitants, along with interactive displays running on Macintosh G4 computers.
SpamRoboCop is an AppleScript for Mail designed to "make it easier for you to finish your spam reports to SpamCop," allowing users to forgo the traditional SpamCopy confirmation process by automatically visiting links for each email. It only works with Mail for Mac OS X. [27KB] QIF Master 2.0B2 is a beta of the OS X application that will help enter banking, credit card, and investment transactions into Quicken. It adds support for Quicken 2003, a preference to mark unknown transactins as cleared, new TIF date format support, and other bug fixes. QIF Master will also convert comma-separated value (CSV) files into QIF. A 60-day demo of the $16 pplication is available. [2.2MB] Adobe's InDesign 2.0.2 Long Document Performance update fixes a performance problem wth reflowed text: "When text is reflowed in a document in Adobe InDesign, (for example, by adding text to a story or placing a frame with text wrap over a story), the text may be slow to recompose if the story contains a large amount of text." [75KB] oXygen XML Editor 2.0 adds a tree view/edit mode, spell checking, XML catalog support, configurable external tools, audo generationof required elements, EOL/EOF display (via graphical marks), soft wrap, and other changes to the $75 Java application. oXygen offers code insight and a flexible approach to XML editing as well as the ability to manage all XML related documents. Education licenses start at $50. [11MB] Melonsoft's Exhibit 2 is an update to the photo gallery creator with HTML templates. Version 2 features a new image list feature for improved control over each gallery's image titles, captions and hierarchy; a newly redesigned interface for better workflow and quicker gallery creation; better caption layout on all pages; and an option to show image titles within index pages. It is a free upgrade to the $15 shareware for Mac OS 9/X. [Classic, OSX] ASC has released Version 1.0.8 of its Mac OS X Drivers for the DFG/1394-1 Video-to-FireWire Converter hardware. The driver allows any QuickTime-based video application to view, record or broadcast full size, full frame rate, uncompressed YUV 4:2:2 video. Users can adjust the image properties of the Video in real-time, specify signal type, select from three analog input sources, embed timecodes and specify field dominance. The AltiVec-enabled driver uses far less CPU cycles for delivering video than DV, supports up to three DFG1394-1 units simultaneously per Mac and is ideal for Video Conferencing or Video Broadcasting.
Blackmagic Design announced DeckLink Pro, a flexible uncompressed 10-bit SDI real-time effects Quicktime card with analog video monitoring, and 8 channels of SPDIF audio monitoring. The $1,300 card, expected to ship the week after NAB 2003, features features 10-bit uncompressed SDI capture and playback along with SDI, analog component YUV video monitoring with an incredible 8 channels of SPDIF digital audio monitoring for 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. Other features include a built-in DV Bridge, real-time and instant playback from DV edits to video output, compressed full resolution high quality JPEG capture and playback mode, and a Sony compatible RS-422 serial deck control port. The company also introduced DeckLink SP, which allows low cost connections to analog broadcast decks such as Sony Betacam SP with SDI mastering output. The high-quality analog component YUV uncompressed video card also offers analog stereo audio for connecting to analog broadcast decks; it also features a true 10-bit uncompressed SDI video output with 8 channels of embedded SDI audio along with an SPDIF digital audio output. It will be available late April/early May for $1,100.
Pinnacle Systems today announced that Pie Town Productions, a television production company specializing in reality and documentary programming, has replaced all of its editing facilities with Pinnacle CineWave RT Pro, a combination of Apple's industrial-strength Final Cut Pro editing software, advanced Pinnacle creativity tools, and Pinnacle's renowned TARGA Cine video processing and effects engine. Pie Town is using the systems to produce popular programming for Paramount Domestic Television, MTV Networks, The Food Network and Home and Garden Television.
Apple today announced Apple Remote Desktop 1.2, an update to its application for distributing and installing software, copying files, gathering asset management information and remotely controlling system settings over the network. It is available now for $300 for the 10-client edition and $500 for the unlimited client version (with substantial discounts for education). The changes include: Remote Software Installation to remotely install new software to groups of Macs simultaneously over a network; Remote Network Startup Disk to set any number of Mac® OS X clients to start up from specified NetBoot or Network Install disk images on a remote server; Automatic Update for upgrading Apple Remote Desktop clients automatically over the network; and enhanced security including encrypted control and KeyChain® support to protect passwords and private data.
Media 100 today announced new Version 8.2 of its Media 100 i digital video solution for the Mac OS X platform. It expands the Media 100 i toolsets for editing, effects design, and media management and offers tighter integration with 844/X, the company's editing system for compositing of unlimited layers. Media 100 says it plans first shipments of Media 100 i Version 8.2 software in the third quarter of 2003. Version 8.2 features new source/record editing using dual subsampler windows; allows editors to composite and view a single frame of all video, effects and graphics layers when the CTI (Current Time Indicator) is stationary; includes expanded Powerlog features to support working with 844/X; and has many new media management and workflow features. (Media 100 also announced 844/X Version 2.0 at NAB 2003 and Version 4.6 software for iFinish.)
Eudora has released an update to its popular email client, Eudora 5.2.1, bringing numerous bug fixes, including dramatic performance boost for HTML saves, restored PPP control under Mac OS 9, better peformance with multiple windows open, less CPU utilization, and a re-enabled battery check under Mac OS X. The email client is available in Light, ad-sponsored, and commercial versions ($40); upgrades from previous versions are $30. [Classic, OSX] The open-source browser Mozilla 1.4a features dynamic image and table resizing in Composer, smooth scrolling (see release notes for enabling this feature), and improvements to spam filtering. In addition to these feature improvements, 1.4a also contains fixes for perfomance, stability, standards support and website compatibility. Lemke Soft has released Graphic Converter 4.6, an update the to the popular utility for manipulating graphic images. It adds ECW import/export, PDF export under Mac OS X, MDC import, better TWAIN compatibility, and several other bug fixes and improvements. The $30 shareware is available for Mac OS 8/9/X. [Classic, OSX] EOS Image Manager 0.8.5 is a Mac OS X-only application that enables users to quickly view, rename (add/remove chars, change case, re-series), and manage (move, copy, and delete) all of their image files. In addition to powerful image management tools, users can also create full-screen slide shows with several options. [177KB] stupidFish programming has updated its multiple clipboard enhancer, shadowClipboard 1.1, which adds a brand new append feature to clipboard functionality, displays icons of files copied from the Finder correctly and fixes numerous bugs and interface glitches. The $8 utility can be tested for 30 minute sessions. [429KB] MacFamilyTree 3.5 helps users document, store, and display information about your family: "You can draw and print family trees, lists, cards, heritage charts, descendant charts and genograms." Version 3.5 adds unlimited relationships between two people, a new engine, beter HTML export (with CSS support), UI refinements, and other fixes. It runs on both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X and is available in multiple languages. The unregistered version ($25) can be used as a Gedcom file browser. [2.1MB] Vincenzo Corallo has released VirtualKeyboard Classic, a new version of his on-screen-keyboard compatible with the Mac OS 8-9. VirtualKeyboard Classic is an on-screen keyboard that offers point-and-click typing using pointing devices such as a head mouse, mouse, trackball, etc., and is "designed primarily for disabled persons but can also be used also to teach the alphabet to the children, to prepare kiosk environments, etc." The freeware runs on Mac OS 8/9, while an OS X version is "available soon." [654KB] EvoCam 3.1 is a webcam application that provides true WYSIWYG editing of text captions, picture badges, clocks and effect items--all floating on top of live video from your camera. It adds a built-in web server, Rendezvous support, email server authentication support, international date formatting for clock items, and increases the number of images you can leave on the server. A 15-day demo of the $20 application is available. [1.0MB] Evological has also released ImageDV 1.5, a utility which allows you to easily extract digital images from DV video on a FireWire DV camera or from previously captured DV video clips. Images can be extracted, deinterlaced, and saved in a variety of formats. The update features improved support for Mac OS X version 10.2, adds 'Enter' and 'Return' keyboard equivalents for saving the current image, and fixes several bugs in the $30 shareware. [635KB]
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HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko