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Apps: VLC, ContactPage XT, MacPython...
VLC 0.6.1 is an update to the freeware media player for Mac OS X that brings improved vorbis and mp3 audio support for the transcoding module, improved HTTP remote control interface, a new subtitle module, improved PS muxer, and other changes. [8.0MB]
Jumsoft's MailHere 1.0 is a $6 shareware email notification utility for Mac OS X that can check multiple POP3, IMAP and .Mac accounts for new mail and displays a 3D world, @ sign or text animation on your desktop (or play a sound) whenever new mail is waiting. [4.1MB]
Badia's ContactPage XT 1.5 for QuarkXPress 4/5/6 is a $70 cataloguing tool for creating picture contact sheets with user-defined captions. It offers support for QuarkXPress 6 and new options for fitting and positioning pictures, new user preferences, and expanded caption capability. Upgrades are $20.
Soporific's freeware Ticker 2.0 downloads stock quotes and displays them in a list on the desktop. It tracks several stock details as well as offers the ability to enter shares to track portfolio values, floating windows for specific stocks, and a color-coded display. [103KB]
Wings 3D 0.9810e is an open-source polygon mesh modeler inspired by Nendo from Izware, offering rudimentary support for assigning materials on a per-face basis and upcoming support for vertex colors. Models can be textured with a bundled experimental plug-in (AutoUV). [2.5MB]
Creative Manager Pro 5.7 is a web-based project management and job tracking solution for creative firms. It supports CRM, document management, shared calendaring, accounting, contact management, artwork approval, and digital asset management. It now supports Safari and Mac OS X.
Platypus 1.5 creates application wrappers around scripts, i.e. creating Mac OS X applications that execute a script they are bundled with. Scripts can be run transparently from the graphical window environment without using the command line interface. [204KB]
Tinderbox 2.0 ($145) is utility to store your notes, thoughts and ideas. Version 2.0 offers performance improvements of 30%, a new Weblog assistant, integration with bloggers, an improved interface, and support for xHTML, CSS web design or RSS-based feeds. [3.7MB]
The freeware MacPython 2.3 for Mac OS X contains a complete unix-Python plus a number of Mac-specific extras, including a PythonIDE (with an editor, debugger, class browser and more), a package manager, interfaces for Apple technologies (AppleScript, QuickTime, etc.), and a PythonLauncher program. [5.8MB]
Linksys ships Wireless Game Adapters
Linksys today announced its Wireless Game Adapters, the first wireless network adapters for use with gaming consoles. The 802.11b ($80) and 802.11b ($130) network devices can wirelessly connect the PlayStation 2, Xbox, or GameCube consoles together for head-to-head gaming and to the Internet for live online multi-player gaming. Linksys is also now shipping its 5-Port ($130) and 8-Port ($170) Workgroup Switches, which provide non-blocking, wire speed switching for 10-, 100-, and 1000-Mbps clients with auto-negotiating ports and automatic MDI/MDI-X crossover detection.
Luxology debuts 'modo' 3D modeling app
Luxology yesterday previewed its new subdivision surface modeling application at the DeskTop Images event in San Diego. Code-named 'modo', the 3D modeling application is due out at the end of year and will support Mac OS X. A few screen show that modo can shapeshift to effectively use your monitor space; can mimic your familiar environments; and will focus itself to specific task requirements such as basic modeling, UV editing and texturing modes." The company's G5 Performance Response says that it expects that 30% of its sales will be on the Mac platform.
EVOQE releases solidThinking 5.5 for Mac OS X
EVOQE today announced that solidThinking 5.5, bringing Mac OS X support to its professional design software. Version 5.5 includes a rich set of modeling tools and also includes handling of surface and solid modeling; polygonal modeling with Subdivision surfaces; reverse engineering tools; and an associative dimensioning & drawing environment. Version 5.5 offers Variable Radius Round in Construction History, Shelling, Chamfer, Fillet surfaces, and other tool improvements. It is available in three packages: FORMA ($500), DESIGN ($2750), and VANTAGE ($5000).
Quark offers XPress demo version
A demo version of QuarkXPress 6 is now available. The demo version is a full working copy of QuarkXPress, with a number of limitations, including watermarking, print limitations, and export restrictions. QuarkXPress is a highly popular page layout and desktop publishing suite for the Mac. Version 6, which was recently released, supports for Mac OS X.
Nikon sponsors, equips Beach Photo Safari
Nikon will equip 50 digital photography enthusiasts with top-of-the-line digital SLR cameras for an exclusive photo shoot in Miamiís South Beach district, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals announced today. The first-ever Nikon South Beach Photo Safari will take place Monday, September 29, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as part of the PhotoshopWorld Conference & Expo in Miami, Florida. Registration for the Photo Safari is $200 and limited to the first 50 participants.
Apple begins Mac pilot program at Best Buy
Apple has confirmed that will begin a pilot program to sell Macs at a limited number of stores, according to an Apple statement released to c|net, following reports by MacNN (this morning) and other sites (earlier this week): "As part of a pilot program, a few Best Buy stores will begin carrying a larger selection of Apple products, and Apple sales representatives will work in some Best Buy retail locations to help enhance the customer buying experience. The program starts the week of August 10 and we will review its progress in the weeks ahead." The new program marks a return of Macs to Best Buy shelves, where Macs were available until early 1998.
iAdapt attaches Macs to PA systems
Communication Design today introduced the iAdapt PA, an audio adapter that allows an individual to connect his or her computer system to almost any public address system. While the iAdapt PA is primarily targeted at Keynote and PowerPoint users, the adapter is also compatible with other devices such as the iPod. The iAdapt PA is priced at $50 and is currently shipping. Included in the kit are a carrying case, iAdapt PA unit and a patch cord.
Think Factory 2.0 offers neural network APIs
10191 Technologies announces the new release The Think Factory 2.0, a set of value added neural network engines for Mac OS X developers. Both backpropagation and Kohonen neural networks architectures are available--either as an executable that works in the background in client/server mode or a bundle object for embedded neural network application. The $25 shareware package contains the neural network engines, complete APIs description, and GUI sample codes.
Safari access limited at some websites
Several MacNN readers followed up various conflicts and problems they experience with Apple's Safari web browser, noting that sites such as Chevron, Shockwave.com, Contintental Airlines, and others still do not support Apple's new browser. Another reader notes that the CBC is only broadcasting the Toronto Rocks Festival in Windows Media format.
Advertisers mimic latest Apple ads
Ameritrade has launched a new TV advertising campaign featuring fake "real people" played by comedian Chris Hogan (see Advertising Age for video links). The ads borrow from Apple's "Switch" commercials, which feature genuine Mac-converts. Both the Apple and Ameritrade commercials feature a speaker on a white background, accompanied by simple background music and end with the speaker stating their name and occupation. Similarly, BuyMusic.com has imitated Apple's iTunes Music Store ads to promote its online music service.
Tech: immersive apps; "typosquat" case; ...
Afternoon tech news: Immersive technologies that let people express ideas or input data through ordinary physical actions are one of the dominant themes at the Siggraph computer graphics conference; Air France on Wednesday won the right to take over a 'Typosquat' Web Site that uses a "garbled version" of its name apparently to steer business toward other travel firms and some finance companies; avid music-swappers have moved to private networks for exchanging files, to avoid legal action from record labels.
KB: Epson 1280 on AP; AIFF on iPod; ...
Apple's support knowledge base has been updated with the following issues: You may see a "communication error" alert message when using an Epson Stylus Photo 1280 printer connected to the USB port of an AirPort Extreme Base Station; AIFF files you copied from an audio CD don't play on the iPod; how to use proxy server support for the iTunes Music Store in iTunes version 4.0.1; the iMovie 3 export to iDVD option is designed for use with iDVD 3.
Apps: Heredis, xTime, Salvage, ABGateway...
A beta version of the English edition of Heredis for Mac OS X will be complete in August. The developer will be seeking beta testers of the genealogy software in the near future. Those interested are asked to contact the company.
xTime 1.1 is an update to the $100 time management software for Mac OS X that enables users to organize, track and manage projects. Version 1.1 features better support of languages, more than 50 new options, a better calendar, and bug fixes. [Download - 6.2MB]
Salvage 1.3 is a tool for recovering digital camera pictures from corrupt media. Version 1.3 is a maintenance release that corrects a problem where the application would report fewer than the actual number of recoverable pictures in the unregistered version. [Download - 145KB]
Andrew's (Vector) plug-ins Vol. 6 is a $12 collection of plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator that offer includes a perspective guideline grid/path plug-in for "stunning 3D effects." The latest version ($5 upgrade) contains new grid features, swatch options, alignment settings and tutorials.
ABGateway ($50) is a communications interface that enables Mac OS X users to read values from an Allen-Bradley PLC. ABGateway can access any data table in the memory of these PLCs. It is not designed to access the program files or edit the program files. [Download - 359KB]
Ilan Szekely has released Type/Creator Database 2003.8 for Mac OS X, an update to the $20 utility for editing application type and creator codes. The August release has been rewritten for Mac OS X and is now based on the Panorama database tool. [Download - 4.2MB]
Aladdin Systems has released Internet Cleanup 1.0 J, a Japanese version of the new Macintosh privacy tool that blocks banner ads, pop-ups, and detects the presence of 'spyware' on the computer. Internet Cleanup ($30) resolves privacy concerns by removing cookies, history files and Internet clutter that can be traced.
PublicSpace has released version 3.1 of its "A Better Finder Attributes" Mac Finder enhancement. The new version allows the tool to be started using the Ctrl-Command-A hot key combination from within the Finder. The hot key is now also configurable via System Preferences. [Download - 1.3MB]
Synk 4.1 is a backup, synchronization and archiving tool for the Mac. Version 4.1 includes exclusion support, localization support, and a German localization. Synk 4 is free for download and use, but donations are accepted. [Download - 366KB]
ImageIP offers image enhancement, movie tools
ImageIP has released SupaImage 2.0, an update to its unique image enhancement application. SupaImage can be used to enhance digital photos or video frames by combining two images (or video fields) together to give one higher resolution result. The company's Quick-Snap movie tool for Mac OS X can save frames from any QuickTime playable movie file (including DV clips), or convert any image (including PDF, GIF etc) to JPEG with one click. The Pro version ($15) offers control over compression levels, output image size and other features.
ImageIP also has two iMovie plugins for Mac OS X, including the Picture in Picture Pack ($15), which can incorporate any movie or image file over or under your movie clip with effects, transparency, and transition controls. Pop Effect iMovie Pack ($20) includes dozens of popular effects, including Highlight, CrossHair target, Point Blur, Flying Colour Squares, Dancing Blur Lines, Hi Saturation Colour enhancer, Tunnel Vision, and Sparkle.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 goes 'gold'
Aspyr today announced that Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 has gone "gold" and has begun duplication: "Players take on the role of legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk and 13 other athletes as they skate through enormous free roaming levels. The game's enhanced career mode allows players to earn respect and the chance to take on all new pro goals based on each skater's personal history." The $40 Mac OS X title features 190 goals and 14 stunts. Aspyr today also posted a trailer of its upcoming Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb Trailer.
StarBand debuts satellite modem for business
StarBand today announced the national expansion of the StarBand 480 Pro service with a business-grade satellite modem delivering faster speeds, instant networking capability and compatibility with Macs. It provides high performance Internet service with peak download speeds of up to 1Mpbs and upload speeds of 100Kbps in Turbo Mode, which is available for most large file uploads. The modem includes a four-port Ethernet router for instant networking. Pricing starts at $600 for equipment and $150/month access fee with a 2-year contract.
MCE debuts 2x DVD-R/RW/RAM drive for PBs
MCE today announced an internal 2x DVD-Recordable drive for the PowerBook G4. The MCE Internal 2x DVD-R/RW/RAM drive also reads and writes with true drag and drop, random-access functionality to 4.7GB single-sided or 9.4GB double-sided DVD-RAM media at up to 2x speed. It also offes 16x/8x/24x CD-RW speeds and reads DVD-ROM discs at up to 8x speed. The drive is bundled with Mac DVD authoring and CD burning software and is expected to begin shipping in quantity on August 18 for $350. Installation must be handled by MCE Technologies or by an MCE Technologies Authorized Upgrade Center.
Apps: iChatUSBCam, AudioX, LaunchBar...
The $10 shareware iChatUSBCam 1.0 patches iChat AV to work with most QuickTime video sources, including USB cameras. It also allows for video conferencing on G3 Macs that fall below Apple's minimum requirement of 600MHz. Version 1.0 contains support for using DV cameras on G3 machines. (Requires Unsanity's Application Enhancer). [63KB]
Realmac Software today released AudioX 3.1.2, a $20 sound recording application that enables recording from any input source ie. built-in microphone, USB microphone, FireWire video camera or even via a Mac's audio-in port. It adds more options to the contextual menu as well as other enhancements. [2.3MB]
Oranged.net's Studiometry 1.0 tracks client data, project data, project files, to-do's, debts, invoices, notes, and more. It offers custom invoices, automatic notification, re-occuring events, secure data storage, and other features. It is available for $40 ($15 off) if purchased before August 20th. [3.4MB]
FolderControl 1.2 is a free update to the $20 utility that automatically sets up, sizes and arranges your Finder's folder windows. Version 1.2 adds a drag 'n drop window to provide a convenient target when processing folders. It now supports preference sets for different configurations. [3.6MB]
UpdateGenie ($42) is a unique development tool designed for FileMaker developers to create and distribute update packages quickly and easily. It supports cross-platform updates, update of specific files, runtime solutions, plugin updates, and a restore function. [7.0MB]
LaunchBar 3.2.12 is an update to the popular utility for launching files, folders, and bookmarks based on the first few letters of the name and/or custom abbreviations. The update brings improved preferences and other enhancements. Pricing starts at $20 for non-commercial licenses. [240KB]
UnCoverIt 2.0b10 adds support for photo covers and imports albums directly from iPhoto and also sports a new CD-ROM envelope cover template. The $15 shareware application automatically generates labels for Data, Audio, MP3, and Photo CDs and other media types, offering integration with iTunes and iPhoto. Upgrades are $7. [1.3MB]
CubicConnector 2.0 adds map, sound options
Click Here Design has updated CubicConnector 2.0, which links cubic format QuickTime VR (QTVR) panoramas into virtual tours. The new release can add maps to virtual tours (based on QuickTime Sprites), create sound that plays when a viewer enters a node, include directional sound, and auto-rotation options. Version 2.0 also adds support for polygonal hotspots that can span the edges of cube faces and options to add movie info annotations and full-screen playback. Upgrades to the $80 application are $45.
Macs now available at some Best Buy locations
MacNN reader Mark Bostrom forwarded a report about Apple products at Best Buy, as anticipated earlier this week: "Best Buy (Arlington Heights, about 26 miles northwest of Chicago) has Apple products on display and in stock. I didn't take notes, but here is what I remember seeing: G4 with 17-inch flat panel, Titanium PowerBook G4 1GHz, 500 MB/60 GB ($2449 after $150 rebate), 12 inch PowerBook, iBook 12 inch ($1149 after $150 rebate), lots of Airport Extreme Base Stations, iBook batteries and various Power Adapters. I didn't check the software department. A Best Buy manager was proud and very positive about having Apple on board."
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