QPict 5.2.6 updates Rune Lindman's media asset manager that supports ANPA, EXIF and XML. The update to the $35 application supports AAC files, batch processing encoding during the trial, shortcuts display, more preferences and other enhancements. A demo is available for both Mac OS 9/X. [4.5MB] The aquarium management software for Mac OS X, Maquarium 1.5, allows users to track chemicals, schedule tasks, keep notes, and manage inventory. It now allows users track 7 new marine specific chemicals and offers a refined UI, custom configurable conditions, a new fish notes section, iCal integration, and new fish additions to its built-in fish profile database. [395KB] Barcode Automator 1.3 ($100) is a free update to the bulk barcode generation software for Mac OS 9/X, adding support for exporting TIFF barcode at up to 2400 dpi, international characters in the Values Editor, delimiter removal feature for text imports, and improved XML configuration import/export routines. [1.2MB] Intelli Innovations today released Barcode Producer PDF417 for Mac OS X. The size of a regular barcode, PDF417 barcodes can hold over 1 kilobyte of data. The $500 software generates barcodes in PostScript format for viewing or printing in any EPS-capable graphics product and supports varying amounts of PDF417 barcode error correction. [595KB] iTerm 0.7.5 is a terminal emulation program for OS X that supports VT100/ANSI/XTERM emulation and offers multi-tab within one window, AppleScript, transparent windows, Address Book, and an anti-idle function that avoids disconnection. It features a revamped preferences and bookmarks, performance increase in text rendering, improved keyboard shortcuts, and other enhancements. [1.3MB] webRemote iTunes 2.1 ($10) allows for the control of a Music Playing Server from any web browser, including web enabled PDA's, or a wireless equipped laptop. ("For those of you in entirely Mac networks and that can install the client software on individual machines, iHam on iRye is a 'nicer' and freer solution, our program is meant to allow control from devices other than a Mac." [1.5MB] Install 1.0 is the new and powerful software deployment solution that puts the robustness and security of Apple's own Installer application in your hands, without the hassle of wrestling with package files and installation scripts. Pricing is $200 (basic), $500 (framework for customization), and $1000 (full source).
Thursby Software has released DAVE 4.1, a free update to its cross-platform file and print sharing for Mac OS 9/X. It provides NT Domain Login, shares files and printers between Macs and PCs, supports Microsoft standard browsing (including WINS), provides three options for Security, and supports Microsoft standard NTFS file format as well as shares CDs, printers, hard drives, folders, etc. and supports Windows shortcuts .LNK files. Version 4.1 fixes a problem duplicating a file over 4GB, other file copy errors with large files, installation issues with System Preferences, NetBIOS errors, Keychain issues, and other enhancements. Pricing is $150 for a single-user license. [Classic, OSX]
ExtremeTech has published letters to the editor regarding the controversy surrounding Apple's benchmarking practices for its new G5 marketing. Earlier this week we noted these questions, and the subsequent response form Apple.
PowerLogix today announced lower pricing on PowerForce G4 Single and Dual CPU upgrades as well as adding single and dual-1.4GHz upgrades to its line of Power Mac G4 upgrades. PowerLogix has priced the new 1.4GHz single-processor G4 upgrade at $600 for PowerMac G4 AGP, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio, QuickSilver, and QuickSilver 2002 models. It also reduced the pricing on its G4/500 Blue Chip WS and LS (for PowerBook Wall Street and Lombard models respectively) to $380 (was $400); its iForce G4/500 upgrade by $70 to $300, and lowered pricing on its Power Mac G4 single processor upgrades by $50.
Eyegonomic today unveiled its new 24" TFT-based display, which supports up to 1920x1200 pixel resolution. The T24 features a sleek aluminum enclosure, that appears to borrow some of Apple's latest design characteristics. It offers wide 170/170 (H/V) degree viewing angles and supports analog, DVI, S-Video and composite inputs. The T24 retails for Ä3800 and will be available in August.
Afternoon tech news: Modeling itself on a federal bill that would create a national opt-out list for unsolicited commercial email, the Michigan Senate passed what one member described as the nation's toughest anti-spam bills; the World Wide Web Consortium has released Version 1.2 of the Simple Object Access Protocol as a formal standard; a federal appeals court is expected to rule today on whether Microsoft should be forced to incorporate Sun's Java programming language in the Windows operating system.
Badia Software today announced the availability of five new 'Xtensions' for QuarkXPress 6.0. BigPicture XT, FullMeasure XT and ContactPage XT will cost between $60 ad $90, but are currently available for free as public betas. The other two -- Vistas XT and DragNCopy XT -- are freeware. BigPicture XT has been upgraded to version 2.0, which now sports a redesigned interface, sortable picture lists, integrated search engine, as well as new picture usage views. FullMeasure and ContactPage have both been updated to versions 3.0.1 and 1.0.1, respectively, to address bugs. [Download - beta form, demo form]
Apple has posted a rebroadcast of Tim Schaff and Frank Casanova's delivery of the QuickTime State of the Union address at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference. The purpose of the event was to "learn what's new this year" in the QuickTime industry, and and "to see where this foundation technology is headed."
MacPlay today announced that its role-playing game (RPG) Another War is now shipping: "Another War is a departure from the fantasy games that dominate the RPG genre. It places the player in the boots of an adventurer who attempts the noble rescue of a friend from Germans in Nazi-occupied France. Like many heroes, he gets more than he bargained for and soon finds himself snared in a web of blood-stained intrigue. The storyline eventually takes the player to battle-scarred Leningrad, where Soviet and German engineers guard a secret project that could turn the tide of the war." The $30 RPG runs on both Mac OS 8/9 as well as Mac OS X. MacPlay is also running a promotion offering 25% off the purchase of two or more titles.
Prosoft Engineering has added significant enhancements to Data Recycler X, its $50 utility for Mac OS X that protects the user from accidental file deletion. Version 1.2 addresses the need for secure deletion with the inclusion of a data shredder with three levels of security. Also included is a search feature for finding deleted files and support for RAID drives. [Download - form] Nick Zitzmann's SafariCookieCutter 1.2 is a simple cookie editor for Apple's new Safari Web browser, which allows any user to add cookies to Safari's cookie database, edit existing cookies, and delete cookies. It is available in English, French, and German. [68KB] Llamagraphics today released Life Balance 3.2 for Palm handhelds and the Mac OS. It allows users to "input their goals, check off tasks and have what they got done immediately influence what appears on their to do list next." The new Life Balance Desktop companion edition features XML exchange files, which can be used to add a variety of plug and play templates. The $80 bundle includes the Desktop Companion software, Palm OS Mobile edition and the Life Balance Conduit. CryptoQuote 1.2.1 is an update to the word puzzle game which contains hundreds of quotes. The update adds more Quotes, includes the letter frequency, and offers a resizable window. It is $5 shareware for Mac OS X. [513KB] RedleX has released Mellel 1.6, a major update to its $25 advanced word processor that offers full support for input Arabic and Farsi (Persian) as well as a redesigned user interface, magnetic palettes, extended support for CJK languages, added support for more than 10 additional languages, three new tab types, show/hide invisible characters and page elements and other enhancements. [3.9MB] WebAlbum 1.1 can publish your pictures on internet or CD without any knowledge of HTML: "Just drop a folder with pictures (filenames up to 28 characters, without special characters) on it and here we go - ready in a few seconds! The foldername will be used as titel and sitename." The "mailware" supports JPG, TIFF, GIF und PICT. [166KB] Safari Enhancer 2.04 adds several functions to Apple's Safari webbrowser, including enabling the debug menu, removing underlines from links, increasing the font size for the download window, changing the color of hyperlinks, setting the minimum font size, removing/restoring the brushed metal UI, and clearing the site icon cache. [511KB] AudioTools 0.1 is a free open-source set of tools for working with audio and music. It includes pitch and frequency converters, a metronome and tools for working with the harmonic series. [896KB] DSP-Quattro 1.1 introduces new Inserts of Effx chains, VST mach-o support, improved VST compatibility, an expanded Audio File Editor, the introduction of the regions management, new editing functions, and the export as AudioCD Image. The professional sound editor features real-time plug-in hosting on both Mac OS 8/9 and Mac OS X platforms. New licenses are £100.
The New York Times looks at video chat software recently introduced by Microsoft and Apple: "Apple, on the other hand, would sooner die than release anything that could be described as "stuttering" or "microscopic." In iChat AV, video is as crisp, clear, bright and smooth as television (640 by 480 pixels), in a window as small as a Triscuit or as big as your screen. Unless you begin to type, the typed-chat window isn't even visible during a video or audio call." Meanwhile, The Baltimore Sun says that the "Power Mac G5 tower's only negative is its case, which lacks the grace and beauty typical of Apple hardware. Some already have dubbed the machine the "cheese grater" after the aluminum screen grille on the front face."
ActivCard has announced new versions of smart card-based authentication and digital signature solution, including ActivCard Gold for Mac OS X. Corporate and government organizations can now safeguard nearly 100 percent of their desktops, laptops, and servers with multi-application smart card technology -- for secure login, secure remote access, secure web, as well as secure email signing and encryption. Organizations can now confirm and validate user identity with the strong authentication capability of ActivCard Gold from any computing system in the enterprise operating on the four most prominent platforms (Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X). Pricing was not available.
Anark has released the Anark Client 2 for Mac OS X, allowing Mac users to view Anark content created with Anark Studio 2, the newest version of its multimedia authoring software. Anark Client 2 enables multimedia developers using Anark Studio to deliver captivating multimedia experiences over the Web as well as through standalone applications such as CD-ROM, DVD-ROM and kiosks. It supports Apple's new Safari Web browser as well as Netscape and Mozilla browsers. Anark Client 2 for Mac OS X is one of several enhancements included in the new Anark Studio 2, along with video export, the ability to save as a screensaver and more. It expected to ship in the third quarter of this year for $1000.
FireWire Depot today announced its latest FireWire/USB2 enclosure and various cable accessories. The AMS MPD 2.5-inch hard drive enclosure has a built-in rechargable battery that will last up 10+ hours before needing a recharge and offers both FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connectivity. The enclosure kit includes a power supply to recharge the battery and supports all 9.5mm drives. It will ship on July 8th for $115.
Apple Korea has announced its new strategy to carve out a "significant share in the general consumer market in Korea," according to The Korea Herald. Apple Korea says it will actively promote its computer products for ordinary users as well professionals, on which it has been focusing until now. To that end, Apple Korea and its sole local distributor, Dugo Tech, plan to jointly open a Apple Store Experience Center in COEX Mall in August this year. In addition, Apple Korea launched its online store."
Tech news: The RIAA says it plans to sue hundreds of individuals who illegally distribute copyrighted songs over the Internet--for damages that could range up to $150,000 per violation; FileMaker will showcase a variety of K-12 education software solutions, based on FileMaker Pro 6 at NECC; Virginia entrepreneur received $35 million for patent infringement claims against eBay, which could force eBay to change its business practices; and Sun will begin to focus on value propositions and Intel x86 hardware in a major strategy shift for the company and has plans to underprice similar offerings from Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM by 25 percent.
Apple has quietly posted the winners of the Eighth Annual Apple Design Awards, which "honored developers for the creation of outstanding Macintosh-compatible software products." Salling Clicker 1.5 from Salling Software received the Best of Show (Best Mac OS X Product) award and the Most Innovative Mac OS X Product award, while MacKiev's World Book 2003 won in the Best OS X Technology Adoption category and was the runner up in the Best Mac OS X Product category. A full list of winners and runners up is available, including Apple Design Awards for QuickTime content.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl