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MacNN reader Alan Rockowitz notes that Apple is soliciting applications on Monster.com for an upcoming retail store in Tucson, AZ. Meanwhile, another reader notes that one Apple retail store is offering discounts on refurbished hardware: "I went by the Apple Store in Woodfield Mall (Schaumburg, IL) today to find out that they were selling many of their demo units and "off the shelf" units for huge discounts. They had a 1 Ghz PowerMac G4 (mirror door) for only $1199, and one of the older iPods (30 Gig) for $299. If you don't mind a little dated equipment, many other Apple Stores may be having similar clearinghouse items."
KavaSoft has released iConquer 2.1, a new version of the game of world conquest for Mac OS X. This new version features six new maps, including Switzerland, Southeast Asia, and a more complex world map. It also includes new toolbar items, an improved statistics window, and better accessibility for vision-impaired users. The $13 shareware allows up to 6 players to play against each other over the Internet or against the computer. [7.5MB] FastScripts 1.1 is a utility for quickly and elegantly running scripts (AppleScript or shell scripts) from whichever application you happen to be running at the moment. It adds support for application-specific scripts, keyboard shortcuts, and automatic synchronization with folder changes. A demo of the $10 shareware is available now. [93KB] Jyrki Wahlstedt's SquashCounter 0.1 is a Mac OS 10.2 utility for counting points and squash games according to the chosen method (traditional/PARS/PARS9). It also features warmup and game interval timers, draw management (loser is out -method), printing the results and HTML export. [500KB] PowerMail 4.1.3 is an update to CTM Development's alternative email client. It features improvements in searching, online documentation, AppleScript, international text and general robustness on Mac OS 8/9/X. It is a free update to the $50 shareware. A 30-day demo is available. [5.0MB] DivXWMAConverter allows you to "convert DivX movies files with WMA audio so that they can be converted under Mac OS X with DivX Validator. The WMA codec is not available under Mac OS X, as a consequence tools like DivX Validator won't be able to validate DivX files including WMA audio. Although movie players like MPlayer allow you to play such DivX movies, I noticed that MPlayer is much slower than QuickTime for playing movies, and G30based computers (500MHz and slower) may not be fast enough to play high-resolution DivX movies." Active4D 3.0b15 is a fully dynamic server-side embedded scripting language for 4th Dimension which brings support for Microsoft's Active Server Pages to the 4D environment. It includes a full HTTP server, a dynamic embedded scripting engine, more than 200 new web-focused commands, automatic session support, transparent cookie and file upload support, and both debugging tools. Developer licenses are free, while deployment licenses start at $700 for the first year (and $270 annually thereafter). It runs on Mac OS 9/X. [1.4MB] Skunk Studios today released Mac OS X versions of Gutterball 3D (realistic 3D bowling game), Spelvin (casino-style word game), QBz (puzzle game), and Word Up (word game with three different modes). A free trial of the games is available; each title is $20. Mac OS 8/9 versions are also available online.
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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
Google prevails in UK street mapping case
Possibly setting the stage for other court battles in the UK, a High Court fight between Google and StreetMap.EU has concluded in Google's favor. StreetMap.EU claimed that Google's dominance in the field destroyed the 20-year-old firm's business, when Google started promoting its own service in search results over the older company's -- the judge disagreed. Commercial director Kate Sutton said after the judgment that "StreetMap has been frozen in time; because of what Google did, StreetMap has not been able to properly invest in the website since 2007." An appeal is planned. http://bloom.bg/1KKhECt