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Maplesoft today announced the upcoming release of Maple 9, the newest version of its analytical computation software. Maple 9 for Mac OS X will be available for shipping in late June. The improvements in Maple 9 focus on three areas: a more open and accessible infrastructure; a more versatile user interface; and "continued innovation in mathematics education and analytical computation." Highlights of the new release include: code generation to MATLAB and Visual Basic, an API into Maple, Mac OS X platform support, OpenVizTM graphics, new student packages, and user interface enhancements. The suggested retail price for Maple 9 is $1800.
National Instruments today announced LabVIEW 7 Express, a major upgrade to the entire family of LabVIEW graphical development products. "A culmination of four years of engineering effort, LabVIEW 7 Express dramatically simplifies the creation of measurement and automation applications and extends LabVIEW to a wider range of targets, from embedded FPGAs to Palm OS and Microsoft Pocket PC PDAs," the developer says. Designed to reduce development time for new and experienced users, Express VIs "encapsulate measurement functionality in easy-to-use, interactive virtual instruments for the most common measurement and automation applications."
After a long period of uncertainty, an update to the Opera Web browser for Mac OS X will be released tomorrow, according to c|net. "We've decided to stay and fight on the Mac platform," Opera Software representative Pal Hvistendahl said. Opera is a private company in Oslo, Norway, that has stood its ground against Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla for years. In January the company was suprised when Apple Computer released its Safari browser based on the open-source KHTML code. At the time, Opera Chief Executive Jon von Tetzchner warned that continued development of Mac Opera might not be "viable" with Apple becoming yet another competitor.
Several readers report that Oprah Winfrey today gave a 15GB Apple iPod to each person in the audience of her live television show. The show was about her "favorite things," according to one reader who notes that Oprah had the iMac DV on her program in 1999 to demo iMovie.
MacNN reader Todd Neely provided us with a brief first look at the new Disk Warrior 3.0.
Bare Bones Software today announced that its 10th Anniversary Essay Contest is now open for entries. The winner of the contest will receive a limited edition BBEdit Anthology, a 10th Anniversary T-shirt, and a BBEdit Polo shirt. "The BBEdit Anthology is a one-of-a-kind omnibus edition, containing every final version commercial release of BBEdit since the first one 10 years ago." It is priced at $250.
SF Gate columnist Mark Morford says Apple's iTunes Music Store is a step in the right direction, but also has a number of significant shortcomings. "Apple's service is almost exactly like buying the CD at the store, only a bit cheaper," Morford says, "but the money's still going to the same places, supporting the same outdated system," and most of the money you spend "goes straight into the record-biz corporate coffers." Mr. Morford also says that so far, the store only caters to "the most mainstream of music fans," lacking many alternative records, and almost all independent music.
Eiffel Software today released a beta of its development environment, EiffelStudio for Mac OS X: "This is a fully functional version of EiffelStudio that works on the Mac. We still have a little bit of work to be done on native look-and-feel aspects, but we think it is hands-down the most sophisticated development environment available for the Mac platform. For a limited time we're offering it for free. We're looking to the market to give us feedback to guide final development and ensure that it has everything that the Mac developers want." It is based on an object-oriented programming language, offers plain-English syntax, supports multiple inheritance and genericity, incorporates graphic modeling tool, and includes a multi-platform GUI builder. [form]
SloppyDisk Software has released an update to Descender 1.1, its arcade game based on the ever-popular classic Tetris. This update adds glowing pieces as well as the ability to choose your own MP3 or AAC music, update your preferences during a game, start at more advanced levels, and other improvements. It is $12 shareware and runs on Mac OS 8.6/9/X. [7.3MB] Eudora 6.0b18 brings several bug fixes and a few new features to the popular email client: "it contains a number of minor improvements, and one major one, real junk mail filtering. In fact it has successfully filtered at least 99% of the spam I receive," according to one reader. [Classic, OSX] St. Clair Software's Default Folder X 1.7 is an update to its utility for enhancing Open and Save dialogs in Mac OS X. Default Folder X 1.7 adds hotkeys in the Finder for quickly accessing favorite folders, expands options for sorting recently used folders, and now integrates with Terminal and FileBuddy. It also corrects compatibility problems with MT-Newswatcher, Meshwork, and MovingPicture. It is a free update to the $35 utility. [3.9MB]
MacNN reader Kevin Watts notes some reocurring problems with Apple's .Mac service, which he says that Apple has yet to acknowledge: "Some of my outgoing email on my .mac account is not getting through. Some is. (Obviously, since you received this.) There seems to be a problem with .mac's outgoing mail server. If you look in the .mac support section you'll see there are a number of us with the same issues. Apple's response is to tell us nothing, or try to blame our isp's. This is a similar problem to the massive smpt problem a few weeks ago, which Apple downplayed by saying 'only a few people were having problems.'"
MacPlay annnounced it is now shipping the historical strategy game Europa Universalis II. The $30 title is the first in MacPlay’s distribution agreement with British publisher Virtual Programming: "Europa Universalis II covers the years 1419-1820, beginning with the 100 Years War between France and England and ending with Napoleon’s rise and fall on the battlefields of Europe. Players can choose from over 180 Nations to control, including not only the European superpowers but also the Chinese Empire, the African tribes, the Cherokee Indians, and more." The game features 9 scenarios, over 500 missions, and historically accurate graphics and music. Players can play against up to 7 human opponents over a LAN or the Internet or battle against computer-controlled opponents.
Inventive has released iScooper 1.1, an automatic media downloading application for Mac OS X. It enables users to automatically download and browse batches of pictures. It is designed to work with web pages that contain many links to photos. Version 1.1 adds ability to reload downloaded items, automatically ignores duplicates, includes additional options for mouse button during slideshows, and other enhancements. It is $20 and runs on Mac OS X only. [1.9MB] VirtualKeyboard X 2.0 is a new version of Vincenzo Corallo's on-screen-keyboard for Mac OS X. It offers point-and-click typing using pointing devices such as a head mouse, mouse, trackball, etc. and "is designed primarily for disabled persons but it can be used also to teach the children to write, to prepare kiosk environments, etc." It now supports all languages which use Roman alphabet, correctly visualizes all the combinations of the modifiers keys, custom sounds, and other features. The $10 shareware runs on Mac OS X. [813KB] ElectricImage 5.04, an update to the 3D animation package, includes bug fixes and new features for the Animator and Camera. It is a free update, whle new licenses are $1,300 and upgrades from previous versions start at $350. It runs on Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [2.5MB] Print Center Repair 3.0 is "designed to rectify situations where Print Center will not open, printers cannot be added, and numerous other errors. Although Print Center Repair cannot fix every printing problem, it is capable of resolving most of the common ones." [469KB] Ecamm Network has released PalmFileEdit v1.0, which enables OS X users to view and edit the contents of PRC and PDB files using an easy Aqua interface: "Palm files are presented in a simple document window. Attributes can be modified in an intuitive way. Resource and record data can be edited using either the hex editor or by entering ASCII." It is $15.
MacNN reader Alex Nepple writes: "I'm a graduate of the Madison Metropolitan School District (Madison, Wisconsin), where they are eliminating Macintosh computers. The district in the past has been on the cutting edge of using technology in education-- and was on the Internet very early in the game. It once had plenty of Macs but its presence is now fading to a point where their purchase is no longer allowed. Very disappointing for a district with 45 schools, considering the number of teachers I know that use the Macintosh platform at home and school."
LightWork Design has created a new LightWorks Industrial Pack to provide application developers with a complete solution for integrating its rendering and visualization technology into their Industrial CAD applications. It includes an SDK, documentation and a full range of support services. The software offers sketch rendering for styling, real-time hardware-assisted pre-visualization, rendering of NURB surfaces with support for any type and complexity of trimming curve, LWA-Enabled support, a library of Industrial-specific procedural shaders, and advanced visual effects such as lens flares, halation from high-brightness image areas and depth-of-field.
SubRosaSoft today announced the immediate availability of SubRosaSoft ZipX, an easy-to-use utility for generating industry standard ZIP format archives. The $13 utility runs on Mac OS X. The company also announced its AMS2Bay/DiskGuardian Bundle ($425), featuring the sleek looking AMS Venus Alloy FireWire enclosure with its SubRosaSoft DiskGuardian software and its SuperGuard3/Volume1 Bundle ($160), which includes a SuperGuard 3 FireWire enclosure with DES 64-bit/40-bit hardware ecryption and its SubRosaSoft Volume 1 - File Utilities (Encryptor, Decryptor, Shredder, Freerasor, and Textcrypt).
Fastware.net today announced that its SDIsland DV-to-SDI converter with separate AES/EBU audio will be available as a self-assembly kit in early July. The SDIsland converts DV over 1394 to SDI with separate AES/EBU audio. The device features both 6-pin and 4-pin 1394 inputs, dual SDI outputs, 1394 bus power and a portable DC power adapter inputs: "Customers assembling this simple enclosure kit themselves can save hundreds of dollars off the suggested retail price. In less than ten minutes, virtually any user can have a complete, high tech looking, high performance DV over 1394 to SDI converter with extracted, re-clocked, re-synched AES/EBU audio." The kit is $800 with an extra $50 discount being offered through the end of May for all pre-orders.
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Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram has formally announced that it will roll out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in it's iOS app with an update that will bring the program to version 7.1.5. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app, and some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y