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NTFS 1.0d1 for Mac OS X allows read only access to NTFS formatted volumes, the default filesystem used by Windows 2000 and XP, although compression and encryption are not currently supported. [178KB] Openlab 3.1.5r2 is a modular imaging program designed specifically for multi-user scientific imaging. It offers functions for image acquisition, measurement, presentation and publication as well as time lapse imaging, ratio imaging, deconvolution and 3D imaging. (Pricing not available.) ThinkFree Office 2.2 is a $50 suite of productivity apps (word processing, presentation, spreadsheet, and file management) that provide MS Office compatibility. Version 2.2 adds a German localization, improved performance for the presentation application, a built-in version checker, and a new registration wizard. ALAP today announced Imposer Pro for Adobe InDesign, which features imposed page configurations from 2-up printer spreads to 8-up printer flats as well as multi-page signatures and multiple sheets. It also supports tiling and adds support for split web, sheetwise and multiple unit printing. It is $400 with upgrades from InBooklet starting at $200. Swampwolf's Howl is an open-source and royalty-free SDK for Windows 2000/XP and Linux that allows software developers to easily embed Zeroconf/Rendezvous functionality in their applications. Charlie Boisseau has released D-Base 1.4, which provides the ability to remotely see all your hosted FileMaker Pro databases, layouts, fields and scripts. Users can also create easy drag-and-drop CDML tags. Version 1.4 adds a new tag generator, improved HTTP, bug fixes, and interface improvements. [Classic, OSX]
Terra Soft has sold 260 custom-configured Xserve servers to the US Navy for a unique sonar imaging system through defense contractor Lockheed Martin: "Terra Soft has provided device driver enhancements, kernel development, tuned firmware allowing serial (RS-232) port-based control; performance testing, and management of third party engineering and systems integration." Navy submarines will utilize on-board HPC clusters for the realtime image processing. The Xserves, running Yellow Dog Linux, provide a "solution twice as dense, less power consumptive, and higher performance than the previous solution at a similar cost."
FID today unveiled the irock! 830 digital audio player ($100), which supports both MP3 and WMA files and sports a stereo FM radio with 20 programmable presets and USB connectivity. "[It] features a sleek, ultra-compact design--smaller than a business card and only 0.6" thick [and] features an amazing 30 hours of continuous playback with one AA battery." The irock! 830 with 128MB of memory will be available "shortly." The irock! 860 features 256MB of storage ($150) will be available in September. Both will ship with high-fidelity earphones, a carrying case and a neck strap.
M-Audio earlier this month began shipping Transit USB, a high-resolution mobile audio upgrade: "Small enough to fit in your shirt pocket, Transit USB brings 24- bit/96kHz recording and playback to any USB-compatible computer." It features a 1/8" stereo analog/optical digital input and TOSlink optical digital output for recording from stereo mics and transferring audio between the computer and other digital devices such as MiniDisc and DAT. The digital output also provides AC3 and DTS passthrough from the computer to an external decoder such as a surround receiver. The $100 bus-powered device includes Mac OS 9/X drivers as well as a convenient male 3.5mm to female TOSlink adapter.
DeadEnd Software has released webRemote 2.2 (formerly webRemote iTunes), which adds JukeBox' mox, the option to bypass logins and live updating of playlists to the $10 utility that allows you to control iTunes from any web-browser; webRemote DVD Player 2.0 ($5), which allows you to control the Mac OS X DVD Player from any web-browser, offers complete customization using HTML 'skin files'; and ListSaver 1.0 ($6) can backup and restore iTunes playlists for syncing multiple machines or restoring playlists after OS installation for a new user. [
MakeMusic! has announced Finale 2004, its music software for or creating, editing and printing sheet music. It brings support for Mac OS X, including new Mac OS X icons and support for Application Services, long/unicode filenames, PDF export, and built-in USB MIDI. Other new features include Human Playback, SmartMusic sound font, audio file export, faster note entry, SmartMusic enhancements, and easy shortcuts. The Mac OS X version is due on October 20th. Finale 2004 requires registration within 30 days and authorizes installation on two computers.
Apple has released AirPort 3.1.1 software for its AirPort/AirPort Extreme products with updated AirPort Extreme Base Station firmware; however, Apple has provided only a generic description of the changes: "This software update provides improved AirPort wireless networking software, and is recommended for all users with an AirPort Extreme enabled computer or an AirPort Extreme base station....This software includes v 5.1.1 of the AirPort Extreme base station firmware."
At LinuxWorld, Sun showed off "Mad Hatter," its upcoming unified desktop, which will sell for half the price of Windows, according to eWEEK: "The demo, dubbed 'Looking Glass,' used transparent, 3D windows that could rotate in space and hide behind one another, drastically increasing the desktop space. The GUI demonstration also featured a Mac OS X-like 'dock' containing thumbnail copies of recently viewed documents.... As for the Apple connection, Schwartz said that the practically every Sun employee owns an Apple desktop at home. 'We would love to partner with Apple...They're everyone's favorite company, and iTunes is really cool.'"
David Paul Green has updated his free amateur astronomy database software, The Simple Observing Log (TSOL) and The Caldwell Observing Log (TCOL). TSOL now supports entries for CCD astrophotography and TCOL now provides full reporting and sorting capabilities for all 109 Caldwell Objects. Green has also posted a Spanish version of TEC: The Eyepiece Calculator, which lets users determine magnifications and fields of view for multiple eyepieces. All software is free and runs on Mac and Windows. Also available are The Ultimate Messier Object Log and Overlooked Object Log.
The Darwin team at Apple has released version 2.0 of the Apple Public Source License, which includes numerous changes to "make it even easier for Open Source developers to use and comply with, has been certified as conforming to the definition of a "Free Software License". Users can also use a new or existing "Apple ID" to access the source code under the terms of APSL 2.0, rather than needing a separate Darwin account .
Objectpark has released LetterWorks 1.4, an update to the text processor, specially targeted for writing quality letters. It adds page break functionality, can create letters in different languages, has various user interface improvements, and corrects some minor bugs. LetterWorks is $30, while the Pro version is $60. [1.9MB] David Byrum's Absolute Backgammon 2.1 brings improved Speech Recognition (for game play), a game snapshot command, and other minor enhancements. The $25 shareware offers support for French, English, Italian, five skill levels, advanced graphics and sound effects, game statistics, and other features. [963KB] Publicspace.net's A Better Finder Launcher 1.0b1 offers the ability to launch application by simply typing the first few letters of the application. It offers a filter-as-you-type menu that narrows the list of matching application names. The $10 shareware runs on Mac OS X only. [4.1MB] Aron Nelson has released UpFront for Mac OS X (donationware), which brings back the Mac OS 9's windowing preferences when switching applications to Mac OS X: "In OS 9, you click on any application window and the application and all of its windows come forward." [626KB] ATI has posted Remote Wonder 1.2.1 drivers for its Remote Wonder, an RF-based remote control ($50). It adds customized button assignment and new actions to the USB handheld device for controlling iTunes, QuickTime Player, El Gato's EyeTV, PowerPoint, Keynoe, Safari, and IE. [2.8MB] Keith's Image Stacker 3.3 is an image processing program for improving signal-to-noise ratio using several images. Oriented primarily toward astrophotography, it can align many similar, overlapping images to create a single image that comprises either the sum, or the average, or some value in between of the individually stacked images. [549KB] Nmap 3.3 ("Network Mapper") is an open-source utility for network exploration or security auditing. It can scan large networks or single hosts and uses raw IP packets to determine what hosts are available on the network, and what services (ports) and OS is running as well as what type of packet filters/firewalls are in use, and dozens of other characteristics."
CS Odessa will release a major update to its flowcharting and diagramming software, ConceptDraw V, in early October. It will add a built-in scripting language to allow users to create custom visualization solutions based on ConceptDraw drawing engine as well as new customizable toolbars, the ability to create more complex documents, an advanced libraries of shapes and XML for Visio support, which lets import MS Visio diagrams. A public beta version is due at the end of August.
The European Commission charged Microsoft Wednesday with what it called continuing abuses of its dominant market position, and sought to force the company to change the way it distributes its Media Player software and also said it intends to fine Microsoft for the alleged abuses, according to Reuters: "It accused Microsoft of leveraging its dominant position in media players, the software that plays movies and video on computers, and low-end servers which manage everything from Web sites to e-mail systems." ; however, it is offering Microsoft one last opportunity to comment before concluding its antitrust probe.
Merrill Lynch's Michael Hillmeyer projects Apple to "bring in $6.75 billion in sales in fiscal 2004, vs. a projected $6.14 billion in the year that ends this September -- and up 10% from his previous forecast. Hillmeyer also has boosted his earnings-per-share projection for fiscal 2004 by 16%, to 32 cents, according to BusinessWeek Online: "[He] has been one of Wall Street's biggest bears on the company. But Hillmeyer has been softening his tone of late. He upgraded his recommendation from sell to neutral in early July."
Nettlesting has released Net Tool Box 2.4, an update to its networking utility for Mac OS X. It offers traditional network tools (ping, traceroute, DNS & MX lookup, etc.) as well as Geographical IP Mapping, a Port Scanner, a Service Scanner, a live connection viewer, and both Traffic and Packet Watchers. Version 2.4 adds new Rendezvous Tools, an SSL Terminal, an improved traceroute tool, and a searchable port database. The $30 utility requires Mac OS X 10.2.3. A limited demo is available.
Apple today announced that DVD Studio Pro 2, its new application re-designed to simplify professional DVD authoring with an improved user interface, will be available beginning August 18. Pre-orders for the English version are available now at the Apple Store with an estimated ship time of 7-10 business days. New features include fully customizable templates, an innovative menu editor, timeline-based track editing, and a new MPEG-2 encoder. DVD Studio Pro 2 is $500 (full version) and $200 (retail upgrade).
SmartDisk recently began shipping an 80GB version of its bus-powered FireLite FireWire drive. The portable external hard drive "offers great looks, huge storage capacities and a trim design. At just 3 1/4 inches x 5 inches x 3/4 inch FireLite offers storage for your applications and data and is available in either USB 2.0 or FireWire connectivity." The 80GB drive is $400. Other FireWire models include 60GB ($280), 40GB ($230), and 30GB ($220) and other USB 2.0-only models include 60GB ($270) and 40GB ($220).
Shipment of MicroMat's TechTool Pro 4 has been delayed from from "Late July/early August" to "Late Summer 2003," as indicated by a note on the company's website. Announced in January 2003 at Macworld Expo SF, the new Mac OS X-native system utility offers functions for disk optimization, drive diagnostics, volume repair, and data recovery as well as a new "eDrive" feature, which allows you to create an invisible emergency volume from your existing drive. Pre-orders for registered owners of TechTool Pro 3 or Drive10, its currently shipping disk repair and optimization utility for Mac OS X, are $50.
Apple has posted a feature on Phish Festival, which drew more than 70,000 fans: "The first weekend in August, Phish headlined a massive three-day festival...In addition to performing, the band set up a tent where fans could make their own free custom mix CD of live Phish tracks with iTunes. The tent ran at full capacity, with lines outside until 4AM each night. Some fans even lined up during the Phish performances for access to the iMacs.... Phish also rented a 100,000-watt radio station, completely driven by iTunes, and broadcast from the event commercial-free."
The International QuickTime VR Association will be holding its annual Interactive Imaging conference, the IQTVRA Summit, in Washington DC from October 1-3. The conference is geared for dynamic media content creators and features cutting edge developers demonstrating techniques and discussing business strategies in hands-on workshops. This year's conference features sessions for marketing and legal issues for both photographers and developers, along with tools and techniques from sponsors and industry professionals. Registration is $950 (non-members) or $675 (IQTVRA members).
Roxio is expected to debut Toast 6 Titanium, an update to its popular CD and DVD authoring suite in the next 45 days. Toast 6 is expected to offer new features for converting audio via drag & drop to burn audio or enhanced audio CDs as well as the ability to digitize old records and tapes via its analog music conversion companion application, Spin Doctor. Users will also be able to create video discs directly from DV camcorder input as well as burn VCDs, SVDs or DVDs with menus, buttons, and chapters. Roxio has also extended its photo functions to add pan and zoom effects, cross-fades, and soundtracks. It is also expected to better support iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie file formats.
CE Software has released QuicKeys X2.01, an update to its system automation utility. It adds support for turning shortcuts on/off, action triggers on key release, support for special hardware key functions (volme, brightness, etc.), and expanded AppleScript support. Upgrades to the $100 utility start at $20. [11.2MB] MySQL Studio 4.24 is an $80 MySQL Database GUI Admin Tool for administrating and monitoring MySQL server on Mac OS X platform. The new version improves support for MySQL 4.x, enhances MySQL Connection settings and backup, and fixes expiration problems with the demo. [700KB] The donationware Framed 1.1 is a quick and easy tool to create animations from a series of still pictures. Version 1.1 has a revamped interface and the ability to specify the number of frames for each photo as well as fps playback speed. [Classic, OSX] Indigo 1.2 is a $35 intelligent home control server for Mac OS X 10.2.6 that integrates X10 hardware devices to provide control of home devices, such as lights, fans, appliances, sprinkler systems, etc., from a variety of handheld remote controls. It offers support for the PowerLinc USB interface, better reliability, and bug fixes. [772KB] All Thumbs 1.2 ($8) is a powerful thumbnail/thumbnail website creation system for Mac OS X. A new "Reduce original images" option allows you to reduce your original images. It supports JPEG, PICT, PNG, and Photoshop formats and offers features for resizing, image rotation, website templates, and thumbnail creation. [821KB] Black Cat Systems has released Atomic Mac 5.8, a $25 shareware periodic table that contains a wealth of nuclear information on each isotope, including half life, decay mode, and daughter products. The latest version adds an interactive window for computing x-ray attenuation data. [Classic, OSX] Mac OS X binary distributions of Tcl/Tk Aqua 8.4.4 are now available. Tool Command Language (Tcl) is an interpreted language used to glue together building blocks built in system programming languages like C, C++, and Java, while Tk is a portable GUI toolkit for Tcl. [4.9MB]
Daystar Technology today announced that it has formally started shipping XLR8 MAChSpeed Control - OS9 and MAChSpeed Control - OSX, cache enabling, protection and testing software. Working in partnership with EchoFX, Daystar has introduced new compatibility enhancements in a "ground-up" rework of the MAChSpeed Control Software. Previously introduced by XLR8, Inc. as a single software package, MAChSpeed Control is now distributed as two separate utilities: one for Mac OS 9 users ($10) and one for Mac OS X/Classic ($18) users.
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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 Hermés 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
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir