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London visual effects school Escape Studios has announced the Ridley Scott Awards, a new initiative to seek out and support film, television and computer game creatives. The awards, co-sponsored by Apple, are open to anyone not currently employed in these industries. Winners will receive copies of Alias|Wavefront's Maya, Apple’s Shake compositing software and a work experience placement with a top company.
Name Stalker 1.2 is a domain management/tracking tool used to track domains you own, or "stalk" domains you don't own. Versiosn 1.2 adds fixes for a few registrars, support for projected release dates of domain names, a new GUI, and built-in support for SnapNames. It runs on Mac OS X and is free for use with up to 100 domains. Bruno Blondeau has released MacResponder 1.0, an automated email responder for when you're unavailable. MacResponder scans email accounts periodically and automatically sends replies to tell people you're away or in vacation. For advanced users, MacResponder features rule-based settings to trigger actions based on the sender or the subject and works with multiple email accounts. The personal version is $10, while the "Pro" version is $20. [620KB] SwitchRes X.1 is a new version of the background-only application (daemon) that allows you to control the resolutions of all your displays. Version X.1 partially rewritten using the Application Enhancer framework. As a result, it has the ability to: display Contextual Menu in Finder with icons and checkmarks; disable resolutions before they are applied, even on per-application basis; use resolutions aliasing before the first resolution is applied; and apply application settings before the application is launched. [Download - 1.0MB] IPNetMonitorX 1.2 is the latest version of the powerful Internet tool kit for Mac OS X that includes Lookup, Ping, Trace Route, Name Server Query, Who Is, Finger, Subnet Calculator, DHCP Lease, TCP Dump, Address Scan, Port Scan, Link Rate, Connection List and TCP Info functions. This update is distributed as an Internet Enabled Disk Image; fixes a bug that closed launcher palette when bringing app to front from Dock; and allows allow odd number ping size. [Download - form] Bebosoft has released Forms To Go 1.6.1, a form-to-email script generator in PHP, ASP and Perl language. The script can optionally validate field input for proper value format. New in this version is the addition of Perl language, a preference panel with many setting and bug fixes. Forms To Go is shareware and costs $11, and is availlable for Classic and Mac OS X. [Download - Classic, OS X] LispWorks 4.3 is an update to the portable ANSI Common Lisp integrated development tool from Xanalys, which recently became vailable for the Mac platform. Additional new features and enhancements in LispWorks 4.3 include: more powerful hash tables; improved CLOS; improved MOP compliance; more compiler checks; bivalent streams; FLI supports bit fields instructs and unions; CAPI extensions; and more. LispWorks for Macintosh is available as a Professional Edition at $1,000 and Enterprise Edition at $3,000. [Download - site not updated] FixerLabs today announced the release of NoiseFixer 1.0, a new approach to removing noise from digital images. NoiseFixer treats color and luminance noise with an easy to use and intuitive user interface, allowing full control over the level of noise removal. It operates on 8 bit and 16 bit images and is available as a Photoshop plug-in for both Mac and PC platforms. FixerLabs also released ShadowFixer, a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop that enhances detail in under-exposed regions of a digital photograph. [Download - Shadow, Noise]
Engineering Audio today introduced Aurius, a device that enables users to transmit audio from a computer to an FM radio receiver. It uses a USB interface, and will work with any audio program. It will sell for $55 and be available in "late-summer." Engineering Audio also unveiled its RemoteRemote, a wireless remote control for Apple's iPod. Unlike IR-based products, it does not require a direct line of sight. It costs $35 and will also be available late-summer.
Apple has posted a preliminary version of the its Developer note for the Power Mac G5, which offers in-depth technical information on the new Power Mac. The document contains nearly 100 pages of detailed information on the new system.
Rogue Amoeba Software has released Detour, its newest audio utility for Mac OS X. Detour provides the ability to choose the audio output device and relative volume for all of your applications - "a capability never before seen on OS X." From serious audio pros to the computer music lover, Detour provides the control over your sound that you've always wanted. For example, you can send iTunes music and DVD Player sound to an external set of speakers or headphones while keeping noises from iChat and other programs coming out of the computer's smaller built-in speaker. Detour can also be used to lower the volume of some applications relative to others.
[Updated from 8:40 a.m.] Apple is offering one of three free items to encourage users to renew their .Mac membership. Apple is offering either a free copy of the The Sims ($50 value plus up to $15 off expansion packs), a free copy of Everquest ($50 value), or $20 off a purchase at the Apple Store. Apple also launched a "Refer a Friend" promotion, which offered discounts on membership renewal to those who sign up friends for .Mac. Update: Apple has also extended its "Every Mac needs .Mac" promotion until September 27. The promotion offers a .Mac membership to any purchaser of a new Mac for $70. Apple has repeatedly renewed the promotion, as the ending date approached.
MacNN reader Kieren MacMillan let us know that the Safari browser has stopped working with Scotia Bank's online service: "I pointed my Safari browser at Scotia Bank to do my online banking, and was denied entry because I wasn't using a 'supported browser'." Scotia has not responded to users inquiring about this anomaly.
The hacker defacement contest, which is expected to kick off on Sunday, will award free hosting services, Web mail, unlimited E-mail forwarding, and a domain name of choice to hackers who can break into various Websites, according to InformationWeek. The contest offers the most points for hackers who are successful in hacking a Mac: "Web-site defacement points will be awarded based on the type of operating system running the Web site. Defacement of Web sites running Windows will only win a single point, while sites running Linux, Unix, and BSD are each worth three points. Sites running AIX, IBM's version of Unix, are worth three points, while sites running HP-UX, Hewlett-Packard's version of Unix, and Macintosh, Apple's operating system, are worth up to five points."
SmartDisk today introduced FlashHopper, a portable, miniature USB flash memory drive: "FlashHopper offers the fastest, smallest, and easiest way to transport and share files from home or office computer. Simply plug FlashHopper into a USB port and the unit is automatically recognized by your computer as a removable drive; then, drag and drop files, transport and share." It is available in four configurations up to 512MB capacity. Suggested retail prices are $40 (64MB), $70 (128MB), $100 (256MB) and $200 (512MB). It is compatible with both Mac OS 8/9 and Mac OS X.
The America's Army game is coming to the Mac later this month. Rated T for Teen, the game consists of "two interlaced game experiences that highlight the role of various types of units within the Army and the development of the Soldiers that comprise these units. As with Soldiers in the U.S. Army, game players are bound by the laws of land warfare, Army values and realistic rules of engagement as they navigate challenges in teamwork-based multiplayer force versus force operations." Mac gamers will be able to join the ranks of over 1.7 million registered players of America's Army. It will be available later this month.
Rock bands The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica are refusing to make their music available as individual downloads at the iTunes online music store, according to a Reuters report: "That move comes in response to Apple's decision to allow users to buy single tracks and is intended to protect the future of the long-playing album, the format that has dominated the music industry for decades, an agent for the bands said."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL