Belkin today introduced the Hi-Speed USB 8-in-1 Media Reader & Writer ($40). Users can edit, store, and transfer files to and from computers and eight types of media cards. With four slots dedicated to eight types of media, users have the option to read and/or write the following media cards: CompactFlash I, CompactFlash II, SmartMedia, Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, IBM Microdrive, Memory Stick, and MemoryGate Memory Stick. It will begin shipping May 30.
Mumbo Jumbo, a subsidiary of United Developers, is pleased to announce the release of Power Chips and High Roller, a new title that offers casino-style puzzle action. Power Chips is an action puzzle game with "all the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. Players eliminate groups of three or more matching chips from the game board as new ones fall from the top of the screen." High Roller requires players "to swap dice on a board by aligning 3 or more matching dice. Adding a classic 1950ís muscle car theme, High Roller is an action puzzle game full of chain-reaction matches and bonus dice that provide even higher payoffs." Both games are available on a single CD-ROM for $20.
Apple today describes the following issue in its troubleshooting database: Server Monitor may erroneously indicate that a RAID volume is "degraded" when the volume is being journaled; the Apple Remote Desktop menu bar item is represented by an exclamation point and contains the Request Attention command; Folders created on a Windows 2000 Server by Mac OS X AFP clients may have the wrong permissions, preventing Mac OS X users from accessing the folders they create; when using the Software Update preference pane, the Apple Remote Desktop 1.2 installation may stop responding ("hang"); the Mac OS X on-screen volume indicator may behave erratically if the volume up or down keys are held when the Keyboard Repeat Rate is set to maximum. Additionally, Apple has posted frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the merger of Apple IDs with .Mac accounts.
Fortune Magazine has released its annual survey of on US CEOs' income. In an article titled "Have they no shame?" [requires AOL registration], it lists 12 CEOs who collected over $22 million a year in compensation, including Apple's Steve Jobs, Honeywell's David Cote, Cisco's John Chambers, Lucent's Pat Russo, Tenet's Jeff Barbakow, and Sun's Scott McNealy. Jobs reportedly collected over $77 million, according to The Register.
MOTU today announced it is now shipping Digital Performer 4.0 (DP4) for Mac OS X. DP4 includes a previously unannounced Freeze Tracks feature that allows users to temporarily "print" audio tracks and virtual instrument tracks to disk to free up additional computer processing resources. "Initial DP4 orders shipped to the retail channel on our announced target date of April 2nd, 2003. Since then, manufacturing has steadily ramped up to fulfill thousands of upgrade orders." As a "Mach-O" app, DP4 takes full advantage of Mac OS X's built-in MIDI and audio services, delivering CoreMIDI XML MIDI instrument patch lists, support for CoreAudio, multiple CoreAudio driver support, device remapping, and interapplication MIDI. DP4 carries forward hundreds of patch lists from previous versions and publishes them for any Mac OS X application that supports this new Mac OS X standard. Upgrades are $150 plus shipping & handling.
Prosoft Engineering today announced special bundle pricing on its Data Safety System. The package includes all three Prosoft system utilities: Data Rescue X, which recovers your files from a corrupted drive and ships on a bootable Mac OS X CD; Data Recycler X, which allows you to instantly undelete accidentally deleted files by protecting the drive space being occupied by the deleted files; and Data Backup X, which provides the ability to backup and restore your Data as well as several data synchronization functions. The bundle is available for $150, a savings of 20% off the list prices of each utility. (Shipping & handling is charged for the CD version.)
Manyetas has released Ritmo 1.0b5, the second public beta of the audio unit drum sampler plug-in for hosts such as Emagic's Logic Audio 6. Free hosts such as Granted Software's Rax are also available. This version adds sample auditioning in the file browser, as well as displaying info about the selected audio file as well as multi-out support. The beta expires May 15th. [1.0MB] Maxprog's iCash 1.2 is a $25 shareware personal finance and money manager. It offers unlimited categories, multiple account creation, a SQL backend engine, password protection, export/import routines, search functions, and drag & drop support. It now features support for Quicken QIF Categories, Accounts and Transactions import. [Classic, OSX] Parallel Software today released its Mac OS X credit verification solution: AuthPayX Server Engine and its AuthPayX Client offer easy integration with other systems and communication methods in commercial and educational enterprises: "These products are ideally suited for print center integration, credit card systems that involve large volumes of authorizations, and mail and telesales applications. It also allows for a single clearing point for web-based transactions, Point of Sale (POS) and other E-commerce applications such as CRM." Parallel's AuthPay X Client is available with full AppleScripting support for Filemaker and 4th Dimension workflows and applications. The products are in beta and are expected to ship in two weeks. Intelli Innovations today released Address Validator, its new U.S. postal address standardization software that identifies, finds, and corrects missing information in postal addresses. It spiders each postal address in any imported tab-delimited file/database, checks it for errors against the U.S. Postal Service's national address databases, then returns a standardized address list. Standardized addresses include correct street names, abbreviations, and full 9-digit zip codes (Zip+4). The Mac OS 9/X application is $700. [878KB] iStopMotion 0.6 is described as an "Easter Egg" release, featuring improved speed, a completely new timeline, voice control and much more. The stop motion animation software (also called Claymation) offers Onion Skinning, a technique that lets "you see the last 1 to n pictures taken through the current live feed from the camera. That way, you can move your objects and see in real time how far you moved them in relation to the most recent pictures." A (free) temporary license until May 31st is available. [478KB]
Navicast 2.0 is a QuickTime-based system that enables anyone to run their own powerful streaming media channel on the Internet. Navicast consists of Channel, Studio and Administrator modules. Navicast Channel is an unique and powerful media channel offers functions for viewing, rating, and searching channels; Navicast Studio can publish and manage media in a user's Navicast Channel, offering support for streaming media, QTVR, Flash, and other files as well as password protection, embedded hyperlinks, and subtitles; and the Web-based Navicast Administrator manages and monitors the Navicast system. The Web-based tool lets users create users and set privilegies, monitor viewer stats, enhance live broadcasts and more.
OSNews has interviews with one of Fink's project leaders regarding its package/installation management solution for Mac OS X and with Apple's Jordan Hubbard, who is working on DarwinPorts, a similar effort to bring more Unix software on Mac OS X: "the goal of DarwinPorts in a nutshell: To create an open-ended, 2nd generation architecture which benefits from a lot of the knowledge already gained through experience with systems like FreeBSD ports and fink." DarwinPorts currently has 350+ ports in its tree, while Fink has 2,300+.
MacSpeech released a New Transcription Solution, a bundle of several products that saves customers $100. The $300 iListen Transcription Solution includes the latest release of iListen, Griffin Technologies iMic USB Adapter, VXi Parrot Translator Microphone/Headset and the Olympus DS-2000 Digital Voice Recorder (refurbished model) as well as a USB cable. iListen offers continuous speech recognition, direct dictation into virtually any Mac OS 9/X application, enhanced support for Microsoft Word 2001, correction functions, and control of various system functions.
MacNN reader Hyok Ki Chung writes: "While browsing a Korean Mac magazine site, I found this interesting article. It's about the USB 2.0 controller chipset on MDD Power Mac 1.25GHz and 1.4GHz motherboards. According to this article, the controller is made by NEC, model number ĶPD720101. This is the link for the article; The article is in Korean, but basically what it describes the NEC USB 2.0 controller. It also mentions about the driver saying that Mac version is not available yet. Here is the link for the controller [on NEC's site in English]. It looks like we already have USB 2.0 built-in Power Macs. I guess itās just matter of time. Hopefully, Apple will add the driver to an updater soon."
Tenon today announced iTools 7.0, a suite of Apache configuration and management tools for Mac OS X 10.2.5. The new package includes the latest Apache 2.0.45 and new and improved web-based & Aqua desktop tools for secure remote, domain-specific administration, not only for Apache, but also for DNS, and multihoming FTP. iTools 7 also includes a built-in web traffic log summary reports and a built-in system updater as well as options to set up Firewall filters (on protocols, ports or IPs) and to set up IP6 over IP4 tunneling. Also included is mod_dav 2.0 for collaborative web development, with an easy to configure panel that lets you set up password controlled WebDAV with a single button setting. The iTools package is $350.
TechnoWarehouse today announced the 500MHz G4 upgrade for slot-loading iMacs. The iTechDV upgrade features 1MB of backside cache running at 250MHz, offering up to a 55% improvement in some speed tests: "When customers place an order for the iTechDV G4 upgrade, TechnoWarehouse ships a box with a manual with motherboard removal instructions, anti-static wrist strap, antistatic bag for the motherboard, as well as a prepaid shipping box and label for sending the motherboard to TechnoWarehouse. Telephone and email support is readily available for those customers who have questions about the removal and shipping process." The estimated time for return of the upgraded motherboard is ten business days with options for expedited shipping available for an additional fee. The iTechDV G4/500 upgrade is available in the US for $300.
A MacNN reader notes the return of James Speth's iCommune 2.0a1, an application that extends iTunes to share music over the network: "You can share the music in your iTunes library and access other iCommune music collections. iCommune music collections appear as playlists in your iTunes window. You can browse through them, and choose to stream or download the music they contain." The software is available again after the author was forced by Apple to remove the software: "Version 2.0a1 is a complete re-write of the code. iCommune is now a standalone application that communicates with iTunes via open interfaces, and is free of any Apple licensing restrictions."
Aspyr has posted a multiplayer patch for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. Version 1.01 allows users to join online games using GameRanger, as well as play among others over a LAN or the Internet. [1.7MB] MaxiMice 1.0 is a Mac OS X system utilty designed for users with RSI, carpal tunnel syndrome and similar disorders. It allows users to scroll and drag windows without using the mouse button or scroll wheels. A simple and intuitive System Preferences pane controls all configuration options and each feature can be enabled and fine-tuned on a per application basis. It is $10 shareware. [185KB] Drew McCormack's Trade Strategist 1.0b is a program for developing and testing stock market strategies on Mac OS X. Trade Strategist is free, but an upgrade to a new Trade Strategist Pro is $15 until the beta program expires (normally $30). The public beta adds new features to Trade Strategist, including "recommendations," which applies trade strategies to current stock market data to offer guidance on buying/selling shares. [1.7MB] Brad Rhine today released a $6 shareware utility for sending content updates to Blogger websites. Frequency reduces the time it takes to update usersí Blogger websites by eliminating the need log into Bloggerís web-based update system. The demo version gives users unlimited access to all features of the program, but places a Frequency advertisement at the end of each website update. It is currently available for Mac OS X, with versions for Mac OS 9 and Windows in development. [1.4MB] Vizspring has released an update to its flagship font manager application: Typeset 1.6 is a full-featured font viewing utility offering quick display speeds, multiple Favorites sets, and an intuitive user interface. Version 1.6 is now up to 40% faster than before with optimized display and navigation code, adds a new Slideshow window, improves printing, and other features. The $25 shareware for Mac OS 9/X is limited to 50 fonts until registered. [1.1MB] Net Monitor 3.02 is network monitoring tool for Mac OS X. The system utility offers customization of of any of the 7 different graph types (with multiple scaling options) and includes special features for PPP interfaces, such as connect/disconnect, auto reconnect, audio feedback for PPP events, minimum speed connection, etc. Version 3.02 adds a graph fade out effect. It is $7 shareware. [290KB] nik multimedia's Dfine 1.0 is a new Photoshop plugin for noise reduction (both Luminance and Chrominance), JPG artifact reduction, contrast/light adjustments, and color cast/balance options. Users can optimize noise reduction, use camera-specific profiles, selectively apply effects to portions of the photo, and use detail-specific brushes for sky, skin, and other types of detail. It is compatible with Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. It is $100. Architosh has news on the release of auto.des.sys form.Z 4.0, a 3D modeler for the Mac: "form.Z 4.0 has been rewritten internally to support plugins, multiprocessing and the new UNIX-based Mac OS X, offering a new level of visualization capability on desktop systems. Additionally, there are many enhancements to the interface and a great number of new tools."
Pangea today released its "Mac-original, Mac-only" game called Enigmo, a 3D puzzle game where the player manipulates various streams of flowing liquid so that the droplets can reach their destination: "Liquids (water, oil, and lava) fall from droppers, and will bounce off walls in a visually stunning cascade. By moving various types of bumpers, sliders, accelerators, and sponges, the player diverts the flow of the falling droplets." The $20 title features 50 different levels as well as a built-in level editor that allows users to share different levels with eachother. It is initially only available via the Web. A demo is available online for both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [19MB]
Agfa Monotype announced it has released the complete font collections from GalloFonts and Presence Typo on Fonts.com. The GalloFonts collection contains 69 fonts and font packages described by founder and designer Gerald Gallo as "original, unique and useful alphabetical, ornament and specialty fonts." Among the alphabet fonts is Pleasant Hand, a casual script that imitates informal handwriting. Leaf Assortment, with its 94 precisely drawn leaf designs. GalloFonts are available in both PostScript and TrueType formats. Prices for individual GalloFonts begin at $22 with volumes of two or more fonts starting at $40. The Presence Typo collection contains 143 fonts and font packages from 14 typeface families. Prices for individual fonts in the collection begin at $34, with volumes of three or more fonts starting at $80.
The Omni Group today released OmniGraffle 3.0, an update to its its diagramming and charting software for Mac OS X. Version 3.0 features a new, customizable interface, "smart" guides, dynamic tools, improved drawing tools and effects, AppleScript support and expanded image support. The Professional version adds Microsoft Visio import/export functions, multipage documents, manual guides, a presentation mode, the ability to save your workspace, easy access to frequently used styles/shapes, ColorSync support, mouseless editing, and multiple editing windows. Same version upgrades are $25 and $60 for the standard ($70) and professional ($120) versions, respectively.
Sonnet today announced a new Encore/ZIF G4 1.0GHz model, the fastest processor upgrade available for Power Macs with "ZIF" (Zero Insertion Force) processor sockets. The upgrade utilizes the 745X series of Motorola G4 chips, has 256K of L2 cache and 1MB of L3 cache, offering up to ten times speed improvements over the original system. The first shipping version of the new Encore/ZIF G4 1.0 GHz is compatible with Beige G3 Power Macs. Additional speeds and expanded compatibility with Blue & White and G4 PCI Graphics systems are expected in the coming weeks. It is expected to ship "soon" for $700. Sonnet continues to offer its entry-level of Encore/ZIF G4 models, which are compatible with all Beige G3s, Blue & White G3 Towers, and PCI Graphics G4 Towers. The Encore/ZIF G3/500M is $170, while the Encore/ZIF G4/500 is $300.
Apple today announced that more than 150,000 AirPort Extreme wireless networking products have been sold this past quarter, representing nearly half of all 802.11 products the company shipped during the quarter. AirPort Extreme, the next generation of Wi-Fi wireless networking technology, is based on the new 802.11g standard. "Apple was the first computer company to ship 802.11b products with the launch of AirPort in 1999, and now we're the first company to ship 802.11g in volume with AirPort Extreme," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of Hardware Product Marketing. "802.11g-based AirPort Extreme runs five times faster than 802.11b, but it's fully backward compatible with the millions of 802.11b Wi-Fi products."
Apple has released Mac OS X Server 10.2.5 Update with updates to the Open Directory and Password Server, improved File Services, enhancements to the Client Management and Workgroup Manager, better Server Administration Applications, a new NetBoot/Network Install/Network Image Utility, better SSL support in its QuickTime Streaming Server, and networking improvements, including greater data network performance and transfer rates using IP over FireWire as well as the ability to share Mac OS Standard (HFS) CD volumes using Workgroup Manager. It is available via the Automatic Software Update feature of Mac OS X.
Opera pledged to continue developing a Mac version of its web browser after it released a test update for Windows and Linux, despite earlier threats to halt development of its Mac product when Apple released Safari. c|net's report notes that the Mac version typically follows other releases, but that Opera's Mac browser is more than a generation behind the new Windows and Linux releases with the release of version 6 in December 2002.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†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