Cyberduck 2.1b2 is an open source SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) and FTP browser licenced under the GPL. Cyberduck features the same intuitive interface for both FTP and SFTP browsing. Cyberduck is now Mac only, with a completly rewritten user interface using the Cocoa Framework. You can open connections to multiple servers thanks to its document based interface. A simple favorites manager allows you to store freuqently used servers.
Apple's Security Update 2003-08-14 addresses a potential vulnerability in the fb_realpath() function which could allow a local or remote user to gain unauthorized root privileges to a system. The 1.1MB update is available via the Software Update function in Mac OS X or via the Web. (Security Update 2003-08-14 v.1.0 Server is also available). [OSX, OSXServer]
Platypus 1.6 is an application that creates Mac OS X application wrappers around scripts, allowing them to be executed seamlessly from the graphical environment. Version 1.6 adds support for dropping items on to apps as parameters to script. [190KB] The freeware Focus 2.5 shows active application's icon with optional clock. It fixes a bug with autohiding. It also offers custom display of size, transparency, position on screen and window layering as well as an optional clock (analog or digital). [173KB] Koingo Software's Font Pilot 1.3 offers the ability to browse installed fonts, can display a list that exactly what each font looks like, and print out reference pages. The $16 shareware runs on Mac OS 9/X. [863KB] TriVectus has released a collection of four OpenGL-based screen savers for Mac OS X featuring photo-realistic textures: Gravity (chaotic, scientifically inspired screen saver), Clock (photo-realistic analog clock screen saver), Warp Field is (remake of a classic screen saver), and Planets (animates various planetary systems). [CL, GR, WP, PL] Panopticum FX 2.0 ($350) is an upgraded and enriched big effects collection of plug-ins for Adobe After Effects. It features new and improved productivity tools, such as professional quality effects, like creating engravings, realistic fire, lens and crystal surfaces, diversified backgrounds and more robust text-editing capabilities. [20MB]
City Mac of Saint Louis (MO) says it will host the premiere of Apple's new G5 computer at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, August 20, 2003. The demonstration will be geared toward professional photographer, graphic artist and creative ad personnel. City Mac notes that Apple representatives, along with representatives from Adobe, Epson, Xerox, and Lacie will be on hand to demonstrate the G5 and answer questions. The event is open to the business community. However, reservations are required (call Betty at 314-206-6214 before August 18th).
Unsanity has released FontCard 1.0, a new Mac OS X system "haxie" that modifies the Font menu in Carbon (and soon Cocoa) applications to show the font name in the font face. It can add an icon that displays the format of a font next to the font menu item, display the font name in the font face, group fonts into submenus, and add font collections to the font menu. The $17 shareware offers WYSIWIG font display, the ability to mark/reveal duplicates, and other font management functions.
The Java-based XML tool, oXygen XML Editor 2.0.3, is now available as an Eclipse plugin, offers batch validation, can validate a XML Schema while allowing external entities, improves support for Relax NG, offers content assistant on request for entities, has syntax coloring enhancements, offers Perl-like regular expression groups support in search/replace, includes configurable menu shortcut keys (and other new keyboard shortcuts), and incorporates configurable selection colors. Other features include spell-checking, print support, and schema conversions. A Professional license is $75.
Keynote Theme Park has completed a major update of its most popular theme, "Titanium 2". Cutouts have been totally redesigned using the modular panel design first seen in the Basic Research theme. This will add a great deal of customization and flexibility with the soon to be released Supplemental Photo Master Slides. "PowerFills" include opaque, translucent and fade-out tiles and a fill for covering up unwanted photo cutouts on multiple cutout Master Slides. It is a free upgrade to the $13 theme.
MacityNet reports using the Hicom 302 PC-card GPS receiver successfully with Mac OS 9/X: "we inserted the CF GPS in the PCMCIA adapter and then both in the PCMCIA slot and as magic the PC Card icon appeared on the desktop: it's seen as a modem (if you click on it the modem panel opens): it's a serial device and it's seen by all the applications as that...[it] interacts perfectly with the Mac OS X version of Route 66 showing our 2D and 3D coordinates and our direction." Route 2004 For Mac USA/Canada will be avalaible "soon", while the dated Route USA 2002 is still available.
The TechZone's comprehensive comparison of three major desktop OSes, and concludes, "As Bruce Tognazzini notes in his discussion of Fitts's Law, it is important to look at the user's productivity, not the computer's. Generally, Mac OS X and Windows XP are far easier to configure than Linux-based systems. And, despite its limitations in a few areas, Mac OS X is arguably the most elegantly implemented and fundamentally usable operating system currently available, despite occasional user interface gaffes."
Apple Korea has opened an Apple Experience Center in COEX Mall in southern Seoul as part of efforts to reach out to local PC customers, according to The Korea Herald (and as anticipated here earlier this week): "COEX Mall Apple Experience Center is operated by Macrobiz, a partner firm that is currently in charge of Apple Korea's retail sales. Apple added that its Experience Center would provide full customer support and enable users to have fun-packed computing experiences doing things such as editing films and manipulating images."
MacPlay today announced that it will distribute Virtual Programming's 3D strategy/programming game MindRover in the United States: "The action takes place in a research station on the ice-locked moon Europa, where the gas giant Jupiter dominates the sky. Players build robotic 'rovers' with parts found in the lab and program the machines for a variety of behaviors. They then pit their creations against each other in one of four types of competitions: races, sports, battles, and puzzles." The $30 title, available for pre-order now, will be released September 15, 2003.
The freeware multimedia player VLC 0.62 "mainly fixes a regression issue that made some streams unplayable. [It] also features an improved MPEG TS muxer, [...] DVD menus navigation in the wxWindows interface and fixes to the VCD navigation." [8.0MB] Malte Brill's uGrabIt is a video capture tool that can record videoclips from almost any device, including FireWire/USB devices and videocards. Users can choose the dimensions, codec type, and framerate for capture. Registration (Ä10) lifts the 30 second limit. [Classic, OSX] Puzzle Pro 2.0 is a $50 Photoshop-compatible plug-in that can create a "jig-saw puzzle" effect: Users can split an image into dozens of custom-shaped pieces. It supports RGB, CMYK and Grayscale color modes, a number of built-in effects for each puzzle pieces, and EPS and AI file export. [3.6MB] Niagara Software has released Advanced Team Scheduler 7.0, an update to its $32 team scheduling softare. It offers expanded, object oriented support for team player rosters, inactive/active player status, XML-based export, improved plugin support, an integrated email client, and new filter views. [300KB] FeedMe 0.2 is a small, dock-based RSS reader that provides the ability to browse virtually any RSS headline. The open-source (freeware) module offers several default options. (Users can use the MacNN XML feed as well.) [310KB] XTron 2003R3 is a software companion for the Turtle Beach Audiotron digital music player. The release brings a number of fixes and improvements and an improved interface. The software controller for the Audiotron device runs on Windows XP and Mac OS X. [13MB]
KeynoteHQ.com has released "Blue Abstract," the latest Keynote theme designed for business, law, scientific, and educational users. The $15 theme package includes both 800x600 and 1024x768 sizes. Blue Abstract features 34 different slide masters and photo layouts, and also includes 64 bullets, title bars, and other objects; 4 background textures for photo cutouts; custom chart fills; 3 alternate chart fill pallets; plus a free title font. Bullet sets include gold, silver, colored balls, and other bullets that can be used to customize the appearance of any Keynote theme.
Beachwood Middle School in Cleveland, Ohio will offer each of its 240 students and 40 teachers a new iBook for class- related use at home and school, according to The Plain Dealer: " Last month the district leased the iMacs for four years. Each computer costs about $1,000. The district spent $300,000 of its $700,000 technology budget to start the program.... The district has been using wireless laptops in school for five years, but students could not take them home...'Apple seems to be more user- friendly for our kids. A lot of the programs they have seem to work better with some of the projects we are working on in our in our art and technology classes.'"
Walter Mossberg's review of the iSight and iChat AV concludes: "iSight's biggest drawback is you won't be able to do video chatting with most of the world, which uses Windows and slow, dial-up connections...Still, Apple often sets the trend for other companies. And sometimes, as in the case of the iPod music player, the company even deigns to extend its products to Windows users over time. So Apple's success in video instant messaging holds hope for all of us."
Sawmill 6.5 is a new version of the log analysis tool. It adds support for about 100 new log formats, improves support for generic W3C and CSV logs, improved DNS lookup to resolve all fields, adds a "session visitors" view and other session enhancements, adds incremental HTML statistics updating, adds country/region/city user tracking, and other improvements. Licensng is $100 for a single-configuration or $200 for a 5-pack.
Synthetic Aperture today released Test Gear 1.0, a new plug-in for Adobe After Effects which provides a variety of visual and audio test instruments for use by motion graphics artists and video editors. Test Gear adds traditional waveform monitor and vectorscope displays to After Effects as well as image histogram displays, audio waveform display, image slice display, a color picker palette, and custom/preset color swatch books. It features standard After Effects-style dockable palette windows and is compatible with Mac OS 9/X. The $125 plugin is $30 off for a limited time.
IOGEAR introduced a new MiniView Micro 2-port USB KVM with built-in 6' cables. It allows users to use one keyboard, one monitor and one mouse to control two PC or Mac systems. The self-powered KVM switch features mouse and keyboard emulation to ensure smooth operation, as well as support for Plug-n-Play monitors and most wheel mice. IOGEAR's patented VSE Video Signal Enhancement technology provides 32-bit color support at resolutions up to 1920x1440. The unit features 6-foot long KVM cables molded into the unit that provided VGA and USB connectivity. (Pricing not available.)
Apple has provided more information on its Final Cut Pro 4.01 update, which was released a few days ago via Software Update, which offers performance improvements and enhancements in several key areas, including performance improvements in render speed and playback; support for French, German, and Japanese localizations; fixes iMovie 3.03 import; editing enhancements, and other changes. (It is only available via the Software Update.)
Apple is among the top 5 Best B-To-B Web Sites, as ranked by B-To-B Magazine: "Beautifully designed, with unique look and feel. Easy to navigate. Well-executed basics plus great animations, technical support and product demos." HP, 3Com, American Express, and Dell ranked ahead of Apple (respectively): "This year, as a whole, the Web sites we judged are offering users more resources, such as white papers, e-mail newsletters and in-depth customer case studies. More sites are enabling users to browse in different languages."
TechnoWarehouse today announced faster G4 upgrades for the original iMacs as well as a price reduction. The G4 upgrade for tray loading iMacs is available now for $250 (after $25 rebate). It replaces the original PowerPC G3 processor with a PowerPC G4 operating at 466MHz/1MB, doubling the size of the original 512K backside cache. It is fully compatible with Mac OS 9/X and supports up to 512MB of memory. TechnoWarehouse also offers a G3 500MHz upgrade for $175 (after $25 rebate). The upgrades are compatible with all tray-loading iMacs (Rev A - D). TechnoWarehouse also offers a G4/500MHz Upgrade for slot-loading iMacs that is compatible with iMacs running speeds of 350MHz - 500MHz.
Microsoft has announced an agreement with Europe's largest digital music outfit, OD2, to form the continent's first major a la carte online download service: "Beginning today, music fans with Microsoft's Windows Media Player version 9 can purchase individual music tracks for 0.99 euros or 75 pence from OD2's library of over 200,000 songs, representing a 25 percent discount from most other European subscription services." Meanwhile, Toronto-based Moontaxi Media, who in late May announced plans for a Canadian system that allowed users to legally download music, now has the backing of the 5 major record labels, including BMG Canada, Sony Music, Universal, EMI and Warner: "Called PureTracks, users will be able to download music for as little as $0.99 Canadian, much cheaper than their US counterparts (if you factor in the exchange rate)."
Wired Magazine writes about Apple's innovation and its potential value to larger companies such as Disney and Sony: "Like a comet that passes Earth every few years, Apple Computer consistently comes out of the blue with products that alter the trajectory of the technology business and leave observers rubbing their eyes in amazement. [However], The biggest impediment to any potential corporate benefactor is also Apple's single biggest asset, cash pile [$4.5 billion] notwithstanding: Steve Jobs."
Small Fry Studios today announced "Hillbilly Whack! Save Winnie May", a new game described as "an arcade adventure game featuring over 13 levels of single play centered around a Hillbilly named Samuel Jones as he tries to find his lost sweetheart Winnie May. Hillbilly Whack is based on fighting, building up your shack, and running around at break-neck speed, while you encounter lots of obstacles on your way to Save Winnie May. There is also a two player - multiplayer mode - where each Hillbilly can run around and pick up more pieces to add to their shack while fighting it out for pieces." It will released in the Fall for Mac OS X as shareware.
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