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Electric Rain today released Swift 3D 3.0 for Mac OS X, its standalone application for designers to build and export 3D animations to the Macromedia Flash (SWF) file format, as well as other major vector and raster formats. The Mac OS X version offers significant advantages over previous versions by utilizing Mac OS X's dynamic memory management and multi-tasking capabilities, providing faster rendering speeds and enhanced workflow. It includes support for RAViX III Rendering Engine, SmartLayer Technology, EMO Ray Tracer, and other functions. It is available for $170; upgrades are $90.
mail.it 2.5 is a $60 email plug-in for FileMaker Pro that lets you send, receive and manage email from within. It now supports sending multi-part messages, offers performance improvements, includes additional header tags, and adds support for Japanese 2-byte characters. [1.6MB] The Omni Group released version 2.2.3 of the outlining and organizational tool OmniOutliner today. The new version provides a number of small updates including a fix for an international text input issue. [1.6MB] Image Surfer 2.0 ($20) enables you to view, sort, rotate, and present a slide show and/or export it to a QuickTime movie. Users can export images to a DV stream with pan/zoom effects as well as add sound. [683KB] Edwin Buehler's Wine XT 1.1 is a tool used to manage the contents of your wine cellar. The $50 utility allows users to note sight, smell, taste and the quality of a wine as well as manage the wine cellar racks. It adds a Wine browser, more column lists, and a new country report. [4.6MB] Onyx 1.2.3 is a utility for enabling many system options, such as hidden Finder options, more Dock options, system optimizations, cache deletion, and other functions. It is freeware for Mac OS X. [449KB] A public beta of FaceSpan 4.0 for Mac OS X is scheduled to be released on September 1, 2003: "[It] is based on its an award winning predecessor, FaceSpan 3.5 a solution for creating feature-rich applications with AppleScript. FaceSpan 4.0 is an entirely new application, rewritten from the ground up."
Apple has reached a tentative settlement in a class-action lawsuit that alleged the company had failed to fully support Mac OS X on some G3-based Macs, according to c|net: "[Apple] agreed to refund the $129 purchase price of Mac OS X for customers who bought it for use on certain G3 Macs and have never been able to fully take advantage of it. 'If you are completely dissatisfied (with Mac OS X), you can return it and get your money back...If you want to keep OS X, but are kind of annoyed that you don't have full support, you can get (a $25) coupon.' The suit claimed that Apple had promised that OS X would be 'fully optimized' to run on all G3 machines but charged that such optimization was not done."
Iomega today announced that working prototypes of its new Iomega Removable Rigid Disk (RRD) technology, with an expected native capacity of 35GB (70GB compressed) per cartridge at product launch, are now being evaluated by potential OEMs and that server and desktop products incorporating the removeable 2.5-inch RRD drive are expected to be available for shipment in early 2004 (external USB and internal ATAPI) with Serial ATA-based mechanisms planned for the third quarter. [image added]
Vydeo Integrated Systems has released SDIsland Enclosure, its all-metal enclosure for the popular DV-to-SDI converter. The portable external converter provides connectivity to a PAL and/or NTSC DV video signal as input via 4-pin and/or 6-pin 1394 ports and automatically generates and outputs an SDI video signal through 75ohm BNC connectors, along with a separate 48KHz AES/EBU digital stereo audio signal. "This new enclosure is both rugged and cool. Clear, hard anodized aluminum was used throughout...Laser engraving was done instead of silk screen printing."
PhotoshopWorld today announced that attendees of the Expo will be able to supplement their Adobe Photoshop training by learning new graphics tablet techniques. As part of its "Pen Powered" series, select instructors will "use Wacom graphics tablets during their sessions instead of a mouse so participants can learn top Photoshop techniques from a pen-and-tablet point of view.... the instructor will share Wacom tablet commands and shortcuts throughout the course." PhotoshopWorld, which will take place in Miami (FL) from September 30 to October 1, 2003 will also feature a special Adobe keynote presentation with the first in-depth look at new Photoshop technology.
Fuji Photo Film today announced new Mac OS X-compatible Camera Shooting Software package for its FinePix S2 Pro digital camera. Fujifilm also announced a price reduction for the FinePix S2 Pro, which is now available for $2300. The software package will include a new EXIF Extractor and updated versions of the RAW File converter LE, RAW File Converter EX Version 2.0 and Camera Shooting Software Version 2.0. The software update is available as a free download for current owners and will ship with new FinePix S2 Pro cameras beginning in August.
FirewireDirect.com has introduced special new special "Welcome to FireWire 800" package, which includes a 3-port FireWire 800 PCI card for $40, when purchased along with one of its Ultra III 800 (FireWire 800/1394b) hard drives or enclosures: "That's $40 less than the lowest advertised price anywhere." The company also recently introduced Beta and Bilingual FireWire 800 cables.
The Iconfactory has released Satin, the latest addition to its collection of ready-to-use icons. Satin is a "bold and unique icon collection rendered in a simple, contemporary style with soft outlines and shadows. These icons will feel at home on any platform and will bring richness and depth to your application or website." Stockicons.com provides developers and designers with high-quality, royalty-free collections of icons for use in software applications, website designs and interactive presentations. Pricing for the collection is $350.
KidzCan has released KidzMail 1.1, a full-featured email client designed for children: "With KidzMail, children draw pictures and send them to people in their address book. Addressing email is as simple as choosing recipients from a list of pictures and names. Parents control the address book...Pictures are sent as both JPEGs and KidzMail pictures." The full-featured email client also offers filing folders, email drafts, a trash, and other standard features. The unregistered version ($10) can receive unlimited email and can create photos, but is limited to a total of 10 outgoing messages.
Stone Design today shipped PStill 2.8, its PostScript to PDF conversion program that provides automated PDF Workflow and can repurpose and shrink printed output from any application. PStill's watched folders can have custom preference sets to repurpose the PDF files for specific purposes and can make folders available on the network. Version 2.8 now offers new "pre-flight" overprinting, forced RGB-to-CYMK conversion for images, and other new digital prepress features. PStill can also combine multiple PS, PDF, and graphic image files into a single PDF document as well as redistill PDF files to create smaller files. It is a free update to the $70 application.
The Apple Store is offering a free 128MB Lexar CompactFlash card ($70 value) with the purchase any Nikon Coolpix 3100, 4300, 5400, or 5700 camera between August 12, 2003 and September 26, 2003. It has also created a section with a list of Apple Store products that have mail-in rebates as well as provided convenient download links to each of the rebates.
A review of total pay from 2000 through 2002 for 243 CEOs running companies with 2002 revenue of $5 billion or more also shows that total pay ranged from a low of $336,000 a year received by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s Warren Buffett to $219 million a year for Steve Jobs of Apple Computer Inc, according to Bloomberg: " Besides having the group's highest three-year average annual pay, Jobs also wins my Most-Ludicrous-Pay-Package trophy, which isn't awarded every year... In March 2003, after the end of my study period, Jobs gave up the ghost entirely on stock options. He turned in his 27.5 million option shares for a grant of five million free shares worth $74.6 million."
REAL today released REALbasic 5.2.1, a maintenance update to its popular cross-platform development environment for both Windows and Mac applications. Fulll versions start at $100; cross-platform development requires the $400 Professional version. [Classic, OSX] BBAutoComplete 1.2 adds word auto-completion to BBEdit, Mailsmith, Script Debugger, Tex-Edit Plus, and TextWrangler by automatically looking for expansions in the programís open documents. It offers suggestions for alternatives, has a new icon, offers integrated help, and other features. [550KB] The $15 Mail to FileMaker Importer is an AppleScript-based application that can be used to automatically import email data from "Mail" into a "FileMaker Pro" database. Users can configure the database and fields to be used for importing. [325KB] Version 5.9 of A Better Finder Rename features improved file number handling, allowing users to specify which part of a number should be changed as well supports renumbering based on file size. The $15 shareware offers batch renaming functions via a contextual menu. [Classic, OSX] SetDesigner 2.5 ($20) is a plugin-based tool for aiding in the design and visualization of theatrical sets. It offers OpenGL-based rendering, Paint Schemes for applying color or texture images, control over basic lighting, and fine control over object parameters. [1.5MB] 4D WebMail Lite 2.0 and its source code are both now freely available. The 4D application adds cross platform iCal calendaring as well as dozens of other new features. 4D developers can integrate the 4D WebMail source code directly into applications or customize the application and develop additional functionality. XBar 1.0 is a dynamically resizable application and file launcher that allows users to categorize applications: " By arranging applications by category, XBar greatly increases efficiency when looking for frequently used files and applications." Donations for the freeware are requested. [145KB] Terry Teague's AutoCopyROM 1.0b1 is an application for Mac OS that allows auto captures of ROM images for Macintosh emulators. It can run without keyboard input. It supports any Mac (except 128K/512Ke) running System 6.0.4 or later; it only runs in Classic mode under Mac OS X. [44KB]
Daystar Technology today announced new lower pricing across its complete upgrade line. With price reductions of up to 32% due to "record sales volumes, and increased economies of scale cost reductions, Daystar is passing new manufacturing cost savings to customers. It is offering the 366MHz and 466MHz MaChSpeed G4 ZIF for $90 (32% discount) and $200 (15% discount), respectively and the 450MHz and 350MHz MaChCarrier G4 for $220 (25% discount) and $140 (10% discount), respectively. Prices of other upgrade products are available at the company's website.
MacPlay today announced it will distribute Hearts of Iron, the next release in its exclusive distribution agreement with British publisher Virtual Programming: "Spanning the years 1936-1946, Hearts of Iron offers epic gameplay on a global map which features every nation in the world at that time. Players select a country and build its technology and military, even developing super-weapons in the process, as they plan a strategy to win World War II. They can take the war to any front they wish and in the process drastically alter the course of history." The $30 real-time strategy game is available for pre-order now and will ship September 15, 2003:
United Online today began offering NetZero Platinum for Mac and Juno Platinum for Mac Internet access services for Mac OS 9 platform, after launching Internet access for Mac OS X users earlier this year. NetZero Platinum for Mac and Juno Platinum for Mac offer both Mac OS 9/X users reliable Internet service with thousands of access numbers nationwide and Web-based email. The service $10 per month; software can be downloaded via the web.
Agfa Monotype has released the entire collections from Bergsland Design, ShinnType and JY&A Fonts, adding over 300 fonts and font packages to Fonts.com. Bergsland's 18 typeface families includes the Avenue, which is available in serif, humanist sans serif, and old style versions (starting at $32 per font family). ShinnType has released 21 families, including Beaufort, a "kind of grotesque with small serifs and a no-nonsense, orthodox appearance." ShinnType fonts begin at $40. JY&A now features 29 typefaces, including the Integrity family featuring condensed letterforms, high x-height and varying stroke thickness for an unconventional, yet highly readable appearance (pricing starts at $20).
Apple on Tuesday filed with the SEC its Form 10-Q for the third quarter of fiscal 2003, which is available as an 85-page PDF document. Some annotated highlights about its investment gains, stock repurchase plan, net sales breakdown, retail segment, R&D costs, and legal proceedings are available....
WildPackets has released a free filter to identify traffic generated by the "MSBlast," "Lovesan" or "Blaster" worm, which began circulating on August 11th. The filter can detect worm-related traffic that may occur when home laptops are attached to corporate systems running Windows 2000/NT 4.0/XP. The WildPackets "MSBlast" Filter is distributed as non-supported freeware for use with EtherPeek for Mac 4.2 (and other products).
Mariner Software has released an update to its streamlined word processor for the Mac, Mariner Write 3.5, which brings support for importing non-Roman Microsoft Word files; improvement to Microsoft Word file conversion; new Japanese, Dutch and Swedish language support; and the ability to set the default save file format as well as the preferred action "on Startup". It is a free update to registered owners and $25 for all pre-3.0 users. A full license is $80.
DEVONthink Personal Edition 1.7, a $35 personal information manager, adds a new outline feature to PIM and freeform database application as well as the ability to edit text or RTF contents directly in any browser window. It also features a syntax coloring option for HTML and XML, a highlighting toolbar button, PDF- and HTML- to-plain/rich text converstion, zooming, and realtime character/word count.
Total Training for Adobe After Effects 6 ($550) covers virtually every aspect of working with After Effects 6 (AE6), Adobe's sophisticated animation and effects package. With special emphasis on the features new to version 6, it offers in-depth video instruction on Adobe's new text animation system, integrated paint tools, a completely revamped Motion Tracker, a professional new Keying Filter, and several new effects. it includes four in-depth sets of content: The Fundamentals; Animation & Special Effects; 3D, Expressions, Text & Design; and Compositing & Advanced Effects.
SubRosaSoft today announced MailGuardian, a collection of tools that "help guard your email. Integrating automated redirecting and dynamic flexible blocking, it not only helps manage your important or urgent eMail, but can remove most unwanted eMail before having to bother with a long list of spam." It supports multiple email accounts, supports email forwarding as well as POP3 accounts; identifies junk mail based on title, body, sender, or addressee; and has other features. It is $25.
Steve Jobs talks about innovation, the iPod, Silicon Valley startups, the PC industry, music, and "being creative" in a stagant market in the latest issue of BusinessWeek: "The rate of innovation now is not significantly different from what I've seen over the last 20 years, if you take out the Internet craziness. I see a recovery in innovation coming out of this downturn. I see some very strong companies that have been built even in these very tough times. And I see some new sprouts popping up out of universities. I'm an optimist. Meanwhile, BusinessWeek's Charles Haddad says that Apple's School Days Are Numbered: "Sadly, it's looking like Jobs & Co. won't overcome the new classroom enemies: School superintendents and district IT managers."
WiebeTech is now shipping its FireWire 800 version of its MicroGB+ pocket drives. The bus-powered MicroGB800 delivers peak data transfer rates close to 50MB/sec, and sustained transfer rates are approximately 38MB/sec when using 60GB/7200RPM drives. The compact enclosure is about 5" x 3" x .65". It features dual FireWire 800 ports and a single mini USB2 port as well as an optional AC adapter and an attractive carrying case. Pricing is $160 (case-only) or ranges from $260 (20GB) to $530 (60GB/7200 rpm).
FireWire Depot today introduced the IF8C, a new dual-drive internal Firewire 800 converter, which converts two IDE/ATAPI devices into internal IEEE-1394B (FireWire800) drives: "The IF8C has a unique design - the main board is housed in a rugged plastic housing. This mates directly to the rear of the Master device. An IDE cable is then used to connect to the slave device. It is compatible with Mac OS 9/X and will ship in late August for $130.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k