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Evening tech news: Turning up the heat in the computer server wars, IBM announced a new benchmark for its Power4-based systems that it claims puts it first in performance and price; operators of peer-to-peer networks cannot escape copyright infringement claims by giving their members the ability to mask the content that changes hands on their networks, a federal appeals court ruled Monday; businesses and government agencies would have to notify consumers under a proposed law if hackers break into servers and steal some types of personal information, including Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers and credit card information; and NEC says it will test within two years a newly developed fuel cell that will dramatically improve the battery life of notebooks--up to 40 consecutive hours.
Casady & Greene announced today that it would shutdown on July 3rd: "It is with profound regret that we inform you that Casady & Greene will close its doors on July 3rd, 2003, after nineteen years in the Software Publishing business. We have endured many industry downturns, but the last three years have presented a series of economic disasters from which we were unable to rebound." Theh company said the authors of each of the products it distributed have provided list of contact points for customer support and and product purchases.
IBM says it will begin sampling its new IBM PowerPC 750GX microprocessor next month, the next generation of the "G3" processor. Based on the PowerPC 750FX processor, the new chip uses IBMís advanced 0.13-micron copper process with Silicon-on-Insulator technology and will be offered at frequencies up to 1.1GHz. The 750GX includes 1MB of internal L2 cache, 4-way set-associative, additional L1 and L2 cache buffers for pipelining of up to four data cache miss operations, and support for up to 200MHz operation of the 60x system bus interface with additional bus pipelining. IBM's PowerPC 750FX is used in currently shipping iBooks at speeds up to 900MHz. Production is targeted for December 2003.
Impatica says it will preview Mac OS X versions of its flagship products at NECC. Impatica for PowerPoint can to add "narrated business presentations to your web site or e-mail marketing programs. Users can deliver fully narrated and animated PowerPoint presentations to [web users] at normal modem speeds. [It] simply converts the PowerPoint file into a compressed format that is optimized for streaming over the Internet. The Impatica file is typically 95% smaller than the PowerPoint HTML files." Impatica debuted new K-12 pricing: for $1000 per year per school, Impatica for PowerPoint may "be used by all teachers at school and at home, and by all students at school." Corporate pricing is $500 per desktop. The company also showcased Impatica OnCue, which "provides a simple solution for the production and delivery of synchronized video and PowerPoint presentations combined with searchable text, dynamic indexing and navigation."
Kaydara today announced the upcoming release of Motionbuilder 5, the latest version of its real-time 3D character animation software. Dubbed as the "next-generation solution for feature film, series broadcast, television commercial, FX, game and interactive 3D artists," it offers a unique real-time photorealistic rendering engine and "smart" character technology (HumanIK) for quickly creating complex character set-ups and animation. It includes a new story-time line, enhanced character animation, photorealistic rendering, UI and workflow improvements, and a new clipart library.
Dantz's new Driver Update for for Retrospect 5.0 v3.6 adds support for several Sony StorStation Library models as well as Tandberg Autoloaders as well as improved DVD+RW media handling. [504KB] MMISoftware has updated iCalMaker 1.1, its text-based appointment creation/editor tool for iCal files. The update includes: sorting by start date, end date or summary; export as a text-based file (with repeat events); and export in tab- and comma-delimited formats. The $25 shareware runs on Mac OS X 10.2. [398KB] Macintosh speech middleware developer CommandSets.com has released the final version of their Safari Command Set for Mac OS X English Speech Recognition, iListen from MacSpeech, and ViaVoice for Mac OS X from IBM. The Safari Command Set adds 78 spoken commands to automate many of Safari's functions. It is $10. 4th Quarter Accounting 7.2, a set of multi-user accounting applications designed for mid-sized businesses, offers "exceptionally powerful AR and AP systems supporting three separate approaches to reconciling debts and payments: (1) distribute funds when disbursing or receiving cash; (2) review open items by date and seniority to receive or pay selected items, (3) audit and match amounts due and paid for account accounts." Pricing starts at $2,750. DEVONtechnologies has updated EasyFind 2.8, which can now search for file contents in any file as well as a new option to only search for folders and is able to sort by file type. The contextual menu now only contains enabled items and so complies to Apple's Human Interface Guidelines. The freeware runs on Mac OS X. [171KB] Reindeer Graphics has released Image Processing Tool Kit 5.0 ($250), which "contains implementations of most commonly used algorithms for image processing, analysis, and measurement, and is suitable for educational use. Included on the CD is a detailed 500+ page lavishly illustrated tutorial describing the functionality of each plug-in." Keynoteuser.com has released "Frames" designed as a complete Presentation Building System. The standard version ($10) includes 26 slide layouts and a few extras, while Frames Pro ($20) comes with 60 slide layouts and 14 pages of extras; and the Frames PowerUser ($30) comes with 96 slide layouts, 30 pages of extras, additional slide overlays and tutorials on making your own photo cutouts.
Adobe today unveiled the Adobe Digital Kids Club, a new program designed to promote the use of digital photography in schools. The program provides teachers, parents and students with essential digital photography resources, such as expert advice, training, lesson plans and curriculum ideas, a community to share best practices, and a showcase for student work. "Adobe's family of Photoshop products has been at the heart of the digital photography revolution that is dramatically changing and improving photography for professionals and amateurs alike," according to the company.
Alltek Vision today released its new Nu-View 1024 PC-to-TV converter system. The system enables users to easily convert their existing LCD or TFT monitor into a cable-ready, high-definition television for $170. It is compatible with PC and Macs when used with most TFT or LCD displays and features a built-in cable-ready television tuner, which delivers 125 channels of digital cable, with an automatic channel scan feature. The company says that users can view cable digital television from their desktops at the same picture quality produced from high-definition televisions at the industry-standard picture resolution of 680x740.
The Power Mac G4 Power Supply Exchange Program -- which offers owners of certain Power Mac computers quieter replacement fans for $20 -- ends today. The program began in February to address concerns of 'Mirrored Drive Doors' Power Mac G4 owners, who complained of abnormal noise levels produced by the computer.
Symbolic Composer 5.0 is a full Mac OS X-native version of the the powerful music composition lab, with a large collection of computer music and research algorithms "packed in an efficient music composition language and interactive development environment." According to the developer, Symbolic Composer is the "most powerful music molecular language" available for any computer platform, and it also includes the MCL Common Lisp interpreter that lets you "extend and customize the composition functionalities." Version 5.0 totals over 1000 music algorithms, suitable for modern, dance, classic, electronic, ambient and experimental styles.
AOL/Netscape has released Netscape 7.1, an update to its browser offering a slew of new features in both its browser and mail modules. Users are offered a free Netscape mail account, junk mail controls, Palm synchronization, flexible mail views, mail import, pop controls, tabbed browsing, images to fit screen, web site icons, search from the URL field, find-as-you-type, full screen mode, and multiple concurrent downloads, a download manager, and improved print preview/setup. [18.3MB] Readers also note that Mozilla.org has posted final builds of Mozilla 1.4, the open-source browser effort and the code-base for the latest release of Netscape. It runs on Mac OS X only and has similar enhancements to the latest release of Netscape. [15.1MB]
iSwipe 1.4b3 is the latest version of the multiprotocol search and download tool, offering support for WWW, FTP, Hotline, Napster, OpenNapster, Gnutella, FastTrack, Carracho, OpenFT and now the iTunes network. It supports file sharing, a download manager (with retries and resumable downloads), and other features. It is "donationware" and runs on Mac OS X. [Download - Classic, OSX] Dog Park Software has released version 3.0 of MacLoggerDX, its radio software that lest you listen to any SWL program, DX Net, or W1AW Bulletin. Version 3.0 enables Log Panel columns to be re-arranged, adds band and mode filters, enables the Select, Delete and Export commands for multiple Log entries, and more. MacLoggerDX costs $70 to register; version 3.0 is a free update. [Download - 7.0MB] ArcaneWare today introduced Library, its new application for cataloging your books. It uses databases to store information, and offers a helpful 'autofill' feature that lets you type in a book's ISBN and query Amazon's database to automatically fill in all of the book's information, and even download the cover image. Library is shareware. The full version can be purchased for $10. [Download - 281KB] UniLingua 2.0 was released today is the second fully-rewritten version of the vocabulary trainer for the Mac. It is now optimized for Mac OS X and has many new features, including improved word management. UniLingua is a vocabulary trainer that helps you to learn foreign languages. It is shareware and costs 12 EUR. [Download - 1.3MB] Xupport 1.3.4 adds a new trial system, print buttons, bug fixes, and code optimizations to the $20 interface that enables you to configure many Mac OS X options, that are otherwise hard to access. It includes several Unix commands to optimize and secure your Mac, and activates features that are disabled by default. [Download - 220KB] eZedia today released a beta of eZediaMX 3.1 at NECC, an update to its multimedia authoring softtware; it adds the ability to export interactive eZediaMX projects to a non-interactive QuickTime movie and animate media-text, graphics, and movies-by adjusting the position, rotation, scale, and opacity levels of the media as it moves along a path. It also provides users with new tools to rotate and flip images. [available to registered users only] Galerie is a freeware program for Mac OS X, written with AppleScript Studio, that enables you to export the current iPhoto selection as a Web page. It offers a number of features not included with the iPhoto HTML export, including accented character export, EXIF data in Web pages, better page appearance, picture quality selection, HTML templates, and image watermarking. [Download - 252KB] Synergy Creations has released ConverTable Units 2.3, which updates its unit converting software, adding features for converting values in external files (along with its internal conversions). ConverTable Units' can "show the math" being used, allowing to be used as a teaching tool. A demo of the $15 shareware is available. [Download - Classic, OSX] The BASIC programming language Omikron Basic 7.5b for Mac OS, now in beta, adds new Carbon and Classic compile options as well as a new BASIC command CALLR, which can be used to call assembler routines such as the ones directly integrated in BASIC programs with the Assembler Library. Pricing starts at $55 (lite version). [4.6MB] BKeeney Software has released BK Task Timer 2.1, the latest version of the simple, easy-to-use, timer that keeps track of the time spent on projects and the sub-tasks associated with a project. Version 2.1 includes interface enhancements, prioritization, the ability to split and join events, automatic backup, and other new features and bug fixes. A single user license costs US $20 and a site/multi-user license costs $100. [Download - Classic, OS X]
Extensis today announced that it had reached a definitive agreement to acquire DiamondSoft, Inc., the developer of the font management software solution Font Reserve. DiamondSoft will retain its office based in Mill Valley, California and operate as the Bay Area office for Extensis. Extensis will continue to market and support both Suitcase and Font Reserve products and will be working with development teams in Portland and the Bay Area to integrate and extend technologies from both font management products into new and innovative solutions in 2004, according the press release.
Reader Kevin Merrell reports a number of bugs in Adobe's new Acrobat 6: "links from one PDF to a second PDF will take you only to the first page of the second document. The ability to interconnect PDFs from any source to any destination is one of the foundations of the technology." Additionally, "other less-distressing disconnects include removing the ability to directly set form field tabbing order, and the nasty practice of Acrobat 6 deleting unnamed destinations from PDFs saved in previous Acrobat formats."
Mac consultant and enthusiast Bob O'Connor let us know about a feature request a number of users have made for the next release of Mac OS X. Many users are seeking a Citrix-like solution for Mac OS X, that would allow multiple, concurrent users to access a Macintosh application remotely. Mr. O'Connor encourages those who could benefit from such a feature to contact Apple and request this functionality.
Apple's "You Save. They rave." promotion offers a $99 mail-in rebate with the purchase of a Mac and an HP DeskJet or Photosmart printer or any HP all-in-one product between June 29 and September 27, 2003. The offer is available only at participating Apple Authorized Resellers.
Immersion Corp. today released a MicroScribe Software Development Kit (SDK) for Mac OS X. Immersion's MicroScribe G2 digitizer is an articulated arm that design engineers, game developers, animators and industrial designers use to convert physical objects into digital 3D models for virtual manipulation and editing. The Mac-based SDK allows application to collect positional and orientation data from the digitizing hardware. Companies such as Eovia, Ashlar-Vellum, Evoqe, auto.des.sys, and PiXELS Digital are expected to implement the Mac OS MicroScribe digitizer support, according to the press release. It will be released on July 2nd on its Website.
PowerSchool, a division of Apple, today announced PowerSchool SIS 3.6, an update to its web-based, single-server Windows and Macintosh compatible student information system for K-12 schools and school districts. The new version features more scheduling versatility, including matrix displays for graphical representation of student schedules across the term, walk-in scheduling for enrolling students one section at a time, improved management of state attendance reports, and additional features to accommodate complex scheduling. Legacy data conversion has been enhanced as well for automatic data upgrades from any legacy system, with no loss or corruption of data, according to PowerSchool.
SBook5 5.07 is an "extremely fast, AI-based personal information manager. Information is organized in free-format entries --- one for each person or company. Each entry can have any number of postal addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, photographs, URLs, and other information." The freeware now properly handles AddressBook-to-SBook for syncing of Apple-provided fields. [2.1MB] Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes has posted several new AppleScripts for iTunes in the past two weeks, including Rip To iPod (Rips CD tracks straight to iPod), Append To Selected Tag, This Tag, That Tag Scripts ( swapping and copying data between track tags), and Proper English Title Capitalization (with an editable exceptions list). [updated links] Modesitt Software (formerly Maui Software) announced that it will once again be selling and supporting its time and billing product TimeSlice. It can be used to track billable time spent on clients, business projects, specific jobs and more. A demo of the $50 application is available online. [1.8MB] Babel Company's Impression 1.6 brings a significant speed boost and bug fixes to the backup application for OS X: "File copy backup speeds have been improved by over 40%, and hfspax speeds by up to 10%." The $20 application can create reliable archives that span multiple optical discs or securely back up files to disk images. [559KB] Emailchemy 1.5.1 ($25) reads email files from the proprietary formats of the most popular email applications and converts them to standard formats that any application can use. Version 1.5 adds a new Mulberry wizard and Netscape/Mozilla wizard as well as several bug fixes. [379KB] Graph550 is a free program to graph mathematical equations: "It currently supports functions specified in terms of x, functions specified in terms of y, and parameterized equations. It also allows for precisely determining the view, and control of how the function is graphed. Once you create a graph, you can print it out, or export it to PDF, PostScript, or TIFF format." [269KB] Jiiva has released SuperScrubber 1.1, offering up to a 50% increase in performance in its disk sanitization software. Additional features include new scrub operations such as a configurable repeat operation; a double reminder to prevent accidental scrubbing; user interface enhancements; and updated documentation. The $30 application supports both Mac OS 8/9 and Mac OS X. [2.0MB] REAL Software has posted a final candidate of its next-generation cross-platform development application, REALbasic 5.2fc4. The company has noted the changes or a final release date for the software, but registered users can download the pre-release software for testing. [Classic, OSX] Insider Software's updated FontAgent Pro 1.3 now includes an Xtension for Quark XPress 6 for ocating and opening the correct fonts in any Quark 6 document. The $100 font utility repairs or eliminates corrupt fonts, duplicate fonts, unnecessary point sizes, and builds optimized font libraries as well as enables users to build font libraries and font sets, activate and deactivate fonts, and preview fonts in various typefaces. [2.0MB] bManager 4.1 is a professional contacts and to do tasks manager that allows you to share your contacts on a network. A separate server application allows you to manage users and privileges (add, modify and delete), while a CRM option with Customer RelationShip Management functions is available is as well. It adds new German, Spanish, and Chinese localization as well as better performance. Licenses for the standard version start at $80 ($130 for the CRM version).
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HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc