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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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 €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