Norbyte has released version 2.0.1 of Downfall, its 3D arcade/puzzle game. The updated version features enhanced graphics, one bug fix, and a printable manual. "Downfall takes the falling blocks genre one step further with its real-time 3D graphics and 24 uniquely designed implementations of the classic concept." Downfall is $15. [Download - 730KB] VPN Tracker 2.0.3 for Mac OS X introduces interoperability between equinux's VPN Tracker and CheckPoint's VPN-1. "The delivery of this highly requested support follows intensive cooperations between the two leading edge internet security companies," says equinux, "and comes as great news to CheckPoint users in the Mac OS X community." VPN Tracker ($90-$200) can be purchased for download from the equinux Web site or from authorized VPN Tracker consultants worldwide. [Download - 3.2MB] IconBox 1.1 is an iPhoto-like application that helps store and manage your icons. It allows you to browse through your collection of icons using libraries, preview the icons at any size and export them with the click of a button. IconBox also allows you to search for your favorite icons by name, description or keywords. Version 1.1 corrects small bugs, makes interface adjustments, introduces a reworked "icon matrix," adds icon descriptions, and several other features. [Download - 1.1MB] nikotel has released mac2phone 1.8 for Mac OS X: "The development focus was on making the software faster, user friendly and rock solid. With version 1.8, we have reached this goal. Right now we are using our own interface (skin system) on a Java program and beginning with version 2.0 we will use a native Aqua interface. Soon we will also release a Phone software which will allow video conferencing between Mac OS X computers and also Mac OS X to PCs and vice versa." IGG Software has released maintenance updates to its iBank and iWork programs. iWork 1.3.5 offers improved printing and fixes a number of small bugs. Ibank 1.1.1 includes options for importing QIF files and users can now choose a location to where backup files are saved. The iBank updated also fixes a few small bugs. iWork costs $25 and iBank costs $20 ($35 together). [Download - iBank, iWork] Gentoo has released two 'LiveCD' Linux distributions for the Mac. "We are releasing two full-featured LiveCDs for the PowerPC: one with KDE 3, and another with GNOME 2." Calillona 1.1 is an update to the powerful plug-in for Sherlock that searches the Amazon.com catalog. Version 1.1 adds support more categories for the USA and UK catalogs, and improve some internal logic. "We will support more countries as soon as Amazon provide the corresponding Web Services (XML). [Download - subscribe] Ecamm Network has released iChatter 1.0, an iChat add-on that adds voices to the instant messaging program. "You'll hear your Instant Messages spoken aloud using Mac OS X's built in speech synthesis." iChatter is $8 shareware. [Download - 1.4MB] iCalViewer 1.0.4 is an update to the utility that displays iCal events traveling across a window, the screen, the desktop, or as a screen saver in real time. Version 1.0.4 provides better sorting of events on display (no longer random) and live updating of the application only. Bug fixes and other small enhancements are also included. [Download - 710KB] Epigroove has released an update to SuperTac, its "simple yet addictive game." SuperTac is cross-platform (Mac OS X, Mac Classic, and Windows) and playable over the Internet, "allowing you to challenge all of your friends from around the world." SuperTac is made with REALbasic. Details of the latest update were not published. [Download - Classic, OS X]
iMovie 3.0.3, which was released yesterday, introduces a number of changes, including changes to methods for: activating the Ken Burns Effect, deleting audio or video clips, and switching from NTSC to PAL. Additionally, version 3.0.3 corrects an issues whereby some users may have experienced unexpected results if they reversed or sped-up a PAL clip in iMovie 3.
Motorola is preparing a next-generation two-core G4-class PowerPC processor, which it will unveil this week, accord to The Register: "The chip, as yet unnamed - at least in public - will contain two PowerPC cores with AltiVec, Motorola's SIMD engine. It will also contain its own memory controller, capable of connecting to DDR and DDR 2 SDRAM...The G4+ that appears on the January roadmap will be fabbed at 0.1 micron, the sales sheet says, and will feature a "higher level of integration" than previous G4-class CPUs."
PDASmart.com is offering an iPod Internal Battery Replacement Kit, which is designed for the "classic" iPod (not the new 3G iPods): " The Do-It-Yourself kit comes complete with very detailed instructions and all the right tools to do the job without damaging your iPod (please don't pry open that case with a flat-tipped screwdriver!). We had this battery developed with the same lithium-ion polymer battery technology as the original and it is rated at 3.7 volts and 1500mAh." It is $60 and an optional mail-in service (plus battery) is $68.
JR Hill & Co today announced The Wrap for the new 10GB, 15GB and 30GB iPods. It is a "simple, inexpensive, clear vinyl wrap to protect your new iPods finish from srcatches and fingerprints. Made specifically for those who don't want a full size case and want some protection when keeping their iPod in their pocket, backpack, purse, fanny pack, etc. With simple static cling, The Wrap clings to the iPods front, back, sides and bottom. Since the new iPods have touch sensitive scroll wheel and buttons, the iPod is fully usable through the clear vinyl. The top is exposed for easy access to the headphone/remote jacks and hold switch." It is $8 with a special shipping price of only $2.
Palm today announced plans to acquire Handspring, which was created five years ago by the people who had founded Palm, according to the AP: "The deal calls for the Silicon Valley rivals to merge after Palm completes its spinoff of PalmSource, the unit that makes the Palm operating system for handheld computers. The transactions are expected to be completed back-to-back in the fall, and the merged company will be renamed, the companies said. Under the proposed terms, Handspring's shareholders will receive 0.09 Palm shares -- and no shares of PalmSource -- for each share of Handspring common stock owned. Palm will issue approximately 13.9 million shares of Palm common stock to Handspring's shareholders on a fully diluted basis."
Apple today released Keynote 1.1, an update to its presentation software. It features improved PowerPoint import and export compatibility, enhanced performance of imported QuickTime video, a new option to maintain 3D transitions within projected screen area, improved interaction and feedback while working with slides in the Navigator, an option to down-sample images upon import, reduced size of Keynote themes and files, reduced size of exported PDF files, optimized playback of exported QuickTime files, the bility to jump to specific slide during slideshow, and the ability to show series labels on vertical bar charts. It is available via the Web and via the Software Update.
SoftIntegration today released Ch 3.7, an update to its C/C++ interpreter for cross-platform scripting, 2D/3D plotting, numerical computing, shell programming and embedded scripting. Major product enhancements include C99 features, computational array for numerical computing and bug fixes. It is available for Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X and HP-UX. Ch Standard Edition 3.7 for Unix, Linux and Mac OS X is free for personal, academic and commercial use, while the Professional edition is $600. McGraw-Hill Higher Education's ClearLearning has begun shipping version 4.4 of Test Pilot Enterprise. The platform-independent Java web application extends Mac OS X's web services with a new web-based test and survey authoring and delivery server. Version 4.4 adds new features for automated custom reports and gradebook generation, built-in uploading and streamlined installation. Pricing starts at $50 for up to 9 instructors. Pariahware has released ClipSaver 1.2, a Mac OS X utility that gives users the ability to automatically save text in the clipboard to a file. It has options for saving clipboard items into separate files, customizing the filename, and setting the type/creator of the file A 30-day demo of the $10 shareware is available online. [877KB] Optigold ISP 3.2.6 is a cross-platform business software package designed to run all aspects of an internet service provider (from billing to server management). It fixes syntax error in HTML code for customer domain additions, supports the trigger of billing cycle create server events during package addition, and now offers an audit trail that tracks decline emails as well as disk usage import into SQL databases. Pricing starts at $1000.
Symantec today announced Norton SystemWorks 3.0 for Macintosh, its first complete antivirus and drive repair/optimization solution for Mac OS X that includes both Norton Utilities (NUM) 8.0 and Norton AntiVirus (NAV) 9.0 along with Retrospect Express Backup and Aladdin's Spring Cleaning (uninstal utility and privacy utility). NUM 8.0 includes tools for disk repair, data recovery and optimization, including support for drefragmenting Mac OS X hard drives in idle time, new scheduled FileSaver scans, Mac OS X startup support ("boot"), and Mac OS X support for Volume Recover and Wipe Info. NAV 9.0 adds the ability to scan and disinfect PC viruses. The $130 suite is now available for pre-order and is expected to ship later this month. Current users of Symantec's Mac products, as well as users of select competitive products, are being offered a $50 mail-in-rebate. NUM 8.0 and NAV 9.0 both run Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 and can also be pre-ordered separately for $100 and $70, respectively.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE