Apago today released Pheon, its $1000 Mac OS X conversion application that can convert from TIFF/IT, Creo Brisque, copydot, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF formats to PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3, EPS, DCS, JPEG, PNG and TIFF formats. It also provides a full-featured image viewer that supports common formats as well as complex formats such as TIFF/IT-P1 and Brisque native LW+CT files. The viewer provides spot color simulation and separation previews along with an eyedropper tool and rulers for precise inspection. It also offers batch-processing functions.
The way to go after illegal file sharing services is to compete with them, says Peter Lowe, Apple's Director of Marketing for Applications and Services. This can be done by offering quality and speed that is greater than that of file-swapping services, Lowe says. In the view of Apple, people use these services because they are quick, not because they are free. Lowe also stated that "we fundamentally believe subscriptions are the wrong path," because "that's not what consumers are doing offline [when they buy music]."
Pictographics' iCorrect EditLab 4.0 offers professional quality color correction with a unique AutoQueue function correcting multiple photos. iCorrect offers color balance, white/black point, brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue selective editing functions. It includes special alogrithms for corrrecting colors such as sky blue, foliage green, and skin tones and includes TIFF, TIFF/LZW, JPEG, and BMP support. It runs on Mac OS 9/X and is for $60 ($20 off) for a limited time.
FirewireDirect has begun shipping its StingRay 800, a dual-interface USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 3.5" desktop hard drive. The StingRay 800 is FirewireDirect's first storage offering available in up to 320GB capacities: "Most users will see sustained reads of over 50MB/s and writes of over 40MB/s." Pricing for the enclosure starts at $140.
Deep Sky has released BASh 1.8.5, an update to its 4th Dimension component, which provides a dynamic stack space module for reusing variable space, and encoding and cryptography routines and other functions. Version 1.8.5 contains 24 new methods and a whole new module of code. [Download - 6.6MB] Unsanity has released FruitMenu 3.1.1, an update to its $10 Mac OS X 'haxie' for Apple Menu customization. The new version includes a German localization and a few bug fixes. FruitMenu's visual editor can customize the contents of the Apple Menu and contextual menus for easier file navigation and launching. [Download - 1.1MB] ActiveDeveloper 2.14 is a maintenance update to the incremental Objective-C & C IDE, JIT compiler and debugger. In addition to Cocoa, version 2.14 now also supports developing QuickTime apps in Objective-C and includes an updated user guide Licensing starts at $50. [Download - form] Runtime Revolution's Revolution 2.0.2 is a free maintenance update to its multi-platform software development environment. The update offers improved database library access, distribution builder, script editor, and stability improvements. Pricing starts at $75 for a limited time. [Download - 13.3MB] Dantz has released Retrospect Driver Update 4.0103 for Retrospect 5.1, which adds support Certance/Seagate DAT72, Pioneer DVR-105 (Apple version), Pioneer DVR-106, and three other Tandberg drives. It also includes improved support for Sony's DRU-500A optical drive and improved tape library support. [busy server] IGG Software has released iWork 1.4, an update to its intuitive time-billing and invoicing application. New features include completely customizable invoice templates, a drop down menu for quickly adding work events and some UI changes as well as bug fixes. iWork costs $25. [Download - 3.2MB]
Canon today unveiled two new dual-function camcorders, the Optura 300 and the Optura Xi - capture vibrant video or still images, which can then be directly printed on any PictBridge-enabled photo printer. Canon's mini DV Camcorders offer a 10x or 11x optical zoom and a 200x and 220x digital zoom, respectively as well as a 2.0 megapixel CCD.
Last week Buy.com tried to burst into the online music sales scene, taking cues from Apple's successful iTunes Music Store. Like iTunes, it features no monthly subscription fees and charges a small fee to download a song.
Sonnet today introduced Encore/ST G4 1.4 GHz, its fastest upgrade card for the Power Mac G4. It utilizes the 745X series of Motorola G4 chips, has 2MB DDR (Double Data Rate) L3 backside cache, and delivers processor performance of up to four times that of the original system. The Encore/ST line also includes upgrades with speeds of 800MHz, 1.0GHz, and 1.2GHz. All models are compatible with many G4 systems that employ AGP graphics. The Encore/ST G4 1.4GHz is priced at $600; the $60 Cube Dealer Installation Kit will be available "soon".
Iconfactory's "New Icon Tuesdays" offers Clipper System, a set of freeware system replacement icons from resident artist, Gedeon Maheux. Clipper contains over 80 all-new icons for use with CandyBar, our popular system icon utility for Mac OS X. Clipper's icons are simple and clean with open/drop states included for all folder icons. It is available as Mac OS X, and Win XP icons or as an easy-to-use iContainer for use with CandyBar and the newly released Pixadex.
NewTek previewed LightWave 3D  at SIGGRAPH 2003 and also announced that NewTek's LightWave was the winner of a 2003 Primetime Emmy Engineering Award. LightWave combines a state-of-the-art photo-real renderer with intuitive and powerful modeling and animation tools to create a 3D production solution for broadcast graphics, games, print, web, and visual effects for film and television. Version 8, due later this year, offers enhancements in dynamics, character animation, modeling workflow, animation workflow, and texturing tools.
Alias Systems announced today the launch of new Maya 'Learning Tools' books and DVDs. Over 75 Learning Tools are now available, including a new DVD series for beginners looking familiarize themselves with the recently-released Maya 5. There are also Maya 5 books for intermediate artists, and new techniques DVDs for advanced users. Prices range from $20 to $130 for training materials; prices of Maya 5 books have been reduced to $60 from $80.
Fuji Photo Film today announced its flagship FinePix S7000, a 6 megapixel camera that offers "the highest" resolution image files available to consumers. Other new cameras from the company include the FinePix S5000 ($500) with 10x optical zoom, the FinePix A310 ($300) with its advanced CCD, and two new digital cameras for consumers--the 2.1MP FinePix A205 ($280) and the 3.2MP FinePix A210 ($300). The FinePix S7000 ($800) will ship in October, while the others are expected to be available next month.
MadsonLine today announced the Neoprene iPod Jogging Pack, a hip-pack for convenient storage of Apple's popular MP3 player. The lightweight neoprene construction offers compatibility with all iPod models iPods and includes a velcro strap to hold iPod securely in place: "The iPod Jogging Pack is designed with active people in mind. Ideal for everyone from the casual walker to the serious athlete." It is available for a special introductory price of $30 (regularly $40).
Mozilla Thunderbird is a redesign of the Mozilla mail component: "Our goal is to produce a cross platform stand alone mail application using the XUL user interface language. Our intended customer is someone who uses [a stand alone browser] as his primary browser and wants a mail client based on Mozilla that 'plays nice' with the browser." [11MB] Intaglio 1.5 is an update to the Mac OS X drawing and illustration application by Purgatory Design. It adds the ability to bind text to a graphics path and fixes a few bugs. Intaglio is available for an introductory price of $60 until August 1st and will be $90 thereafter. [1.5MB] Wild Bits has released Ask the DJ 1.3, an update to the sophisticated mix engine which analyses the music's rhythm to perform DJ-like transitions between tracks. Version 1.3 handles AAC protected (".m4p") files from the Music Store and can index FAT (MS-DOS) volumes, such as iPods. The $30 shareware runs on Mac OS X. [1.1MB] AB2FM 1.1 is a tool that automatically imports all records of the Apple Address Book into a FileMaker-file. It is free for personal use, but requires a $5 license for full access. [32KB] Manyetas has released Ritmo 1.0.3, a new free update to its $25 streamlined drum sampler AudioUnit. It can now select the audio device on which sample auditions will be heard as well as handles the master volume and all notes off MIDI controllers and MIDI pitch bend. [3.4MB] MacFamilyTree 3.6b7, now in beta, helps document, store, and display information about your family. Users can draw and print family trees, lists, cards, heritage charts, descendant charts and genograms as well as include multiple partners and people in same sex relationships. The $25 application runs on Mac OS 9/X. [1.5MB]
Tenon today released iTools 7.1, adding the ability to support either Apache 2 or Apache 1.3 to its Web server configuration application. It now allows administrators to now toggle back to Apache 1.3 for FileMaker Web Connectorsupport and includes Apache 2.0.47, PHP 4.3.2, phpMyAdmin 2.5.1 and MySQL 4.0.13. Other changes include: an improved interface, disk quotas for ftp users, new web log reports, and easier MySQL set-up. Existing Apache settings are also now imported automatically. It is a free update to the $350 application.
Uwe Gohlke Software has released ES-Backup 3.2, which offers data backup and archiving solution for HELIOS publishing servers as an HELIOS independant version. It brings HFS+ support for Mac OS X computers, barcode support in tape changers, faster backup and restore as well as software write-protection and recycling of tapes. The new script implementation allows to run customizable commands before and after backup and restore jobs. SCSI and FireWire tape changers and tape drives such as AIT, DLT, SLR and VXA as well as backup to hard drives are all supported.
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