DEVONtechnologies today released a beta of its Internet search agent DEVONagent as well as posted DEVONthink 1.7.1. DEVONagent 1.0b1 ships with a total of 15 plug-ins for querying a great variety of search engines and databases and scanning the Usenet. New "crawler sets" allow users to scan custom lists of websites automatically. DEVONthink 1.7.1 ($35) adds tight integration with DEVONagent, features an automatic update check function and offers improved database optimisation.
Mozilla.org has released Mozilla 1.5b for Mac OS X, an update to the open-source browser project with a spell checker for MailNews and Composer, improved unstyled XML display, and improved performance, stability, standards support and web compatibility as well as other changes. [15MB]
A posting on Stopdesign website clears up some speculation about an Apple.com redesign: "Happy Cog Studios and Stopdesign may begin collaborating immediately on a new project for Apple Computer. We hear talks have been going on between involved parties for months. Additional details of the rumor will remain under lock and key for now. But you’re smart. Put the two of us together. You can probably imagine what the project might involve [link to Apple.com]... this does not imply a visual redesign is in the works. Happy Cog and Stopdesign will be consulting with the in-house team, providing guidance and a bit of a jump start as they explore the waters of web standards and forward-thinking design.:
QuickToolKit announced today that QuickToolKit Fast&Easy and Professional editions will be demonstrated at the FileMaker Developer Conference in Phoenix Arizona, together with a new series of Skins available to customize any FileMaker solution. Project24 has released an update to its popular Weather-Calendar software for the Mac. It offers up-to-date local weather information via Apple's iCal. The latest version offers improved usability and reliability. Apimac has released Address Book 5.4, the latest release of its telephone and address application, fully integrated with Internet and Mac OS X. New in this version is an Event alarm and a Recurrences window for Birthday and Anniversary days, which can be personalized at Preferences. Registration is $25. [Download - Classic, OS X] Badia FixUnknown XT is a patch for QuarkXPress 6.0 that solves the problem of "Unknown" file names when printing. PostScript files and documents sent to RIPs will now have the correct layout name. Users are advised to only install the patch if they are experiencing this problem. [Download - form] The imaginatively-titled “Freecell” is a Mac OS X version of the classic solitaire game. Freecell is a solitaire card game "in which almost any deal can be won," if the player has enough skill. The card table consists of four free cells (top left), four stacks (top right), and eight columns (bottom). The latest version offers localization support, and improved gameplay. [Download - 184KB] GrantSlam is the "original and most-widely" used software for preparing NIH grant applications. It automates the application process for all PHS-398 (including SBIR Phase 1 and Phase 2) and PHS-2590 forms. It was originally designed by a medical researcher, and will help users prepare NIH/PHS grant applications as easily and accurately as possible. Pricing starts at $415.
Following this week's introduction of the Macromedia MX 2004 product line, a MacNN source notes that a new version of FreeHand MX will be included with Studio MX 2004 box and that the same upgrade will be available for free via download from the Macromedia website in the "near future."
Andromeda Software, Alien Skin, nik multimedia and Ingram-Publishing Join Together -- three top Photoshop plug-in makers and one of the largest stock imagery companies -- have partnered together to create a unique bundle called "The Big 4 Graphics Bundle." The bundle includes seven major professional Photoshop plug-in programs and over 200 royalty-free images. The bundle is priced at $200 -- a purported $635 savings.
The Big Nerd Ranch will launch its revised Cocoa training class September 22-26, which has been modified to incorporate new features being added to the Panther release of the Mac OS X operating system and developer tools. Students will receive the first draft of the second edition of Aaron Hillegass's book, Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X. The Xcode IDE and the new bindings mechanism will be covered in the revised course. Class price of $3500 includes lodging, all meals, original instruction materials, 24-hour lab access, and transportation to and from the Atlanta airport.
Seapine today announced the availability of TestTrack Pro 6.0. Version 6.0 of the issue management tool includes numerous new features such as fully customizable workflows, multiple user assignments, enhanced email notifications, increased custom field support, and an improved licensing model. Pricing starts at $300. Seapine also released Surround SCM 2.0, the latest version of the cross-platform software change management (SCM) tool, includes integration with Borland JBuilder and Macromedia Dreamweaver MX, enhanced expandability and process control, email notification, and other security and usability improvements. Pricing begins at $600.
Ars Technica has published a comparison of the nine most popular Web browsers for Mac OS X. Camino, Firebird, iCab, Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Netscape, OmniWeb, Opera, and Safari are compared for compatibility, speed, quality, and features.
Casio today announced the EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z4U, the latest addition to the EXILIM Series of card-size LCD digital cameras. The new EX-Z4U features a CCD with 4 million effective pixels and a 3X zoom lens. The EX-Z4U will be available in October 2003 for $400. Casio also announced two new additions to the EXILIM Series of compact card-size digital cameras with the new EX-S20U ($280) and EX-M20U ($330) models. Both 2 megapixel cameras are more compact than previous models, without any sacrifice to functionality. They will be available in October 2003.
Sony today launched its new single-CCD 3.3 megapixel MiniDV Handycam, DCR-PC330, as well as what it calls the world's smallest and lightest tape-based camcorder, the DCR-IP1. Both feature a 10x optical zoom, Carl Zeiss optics, Super SteadyShot picture stabilization, and hybrid LCD touch screens with improved menu controls.
IOGear has launched new USB and PS/2 KVM Console Extenders that "make remote access computing easier and more cost-effective." IOGear's KVM Extenders allow network managers to move KVM consoles away from the local computer in noisy server rooms to a "more comfortable working environment." Users can access computers remotely by just plugging in the extenders, avoiding lengthy software installation. Pricing starts at $250.
MGU Software today released CarbonMaker 1.0b1, which allows users to build Mac OS X applications easily, eliminating the use of any programming language. The latest version includes: multimedia support, faster compilations, a new interface, and English and French support. [site currently unavailable] ProjectForum 2.5 and CourseForum 2.5 add SSL support and other enhancements to the web-based applications for collaboration. ProjectForum ($200) is designed for increased interaction, coordination and communication for both online and face-to-face workgroup projects, business teams and project intranets, while CoureForum ($100) brings the same benefits to online or face-to-face courses and student groups. Free versions of both are available as well. TennisAce 2.0 ($25) lets users track their performance against any number of players. View and print a variety of statistics, track court fees and prize money, and print fun awards for your partners. Version 2.0 features support for doubles matches and more detailed statistics. [Download - options] Lemke Software's GraphicConverter 4.8.1 adds a crop feature for digital photoservice to the contextmenu in the browser, remembers the last print settings, includes zoom previews up to 5000%, has a new watermark feature, and includes other fixes. It is a free update to the $30 graphic utility. [Download - Classic, OSX] PublicSpace has released version 3.2 of its "A Better Finder Creators & Types" ($10) Finder enhancement, which allows users to quickly change file-to-application associations by setting the creator & type attributes of files. The new version allows the tool be started from the Finder by pressing the Command-Control-C hot key combination. [Download - 1.2MB] BeLight's Business Card Composer 1.1 ($40) is a Mac OS X application for creation and printing self-made business cards. It adds enriched input of hieroglyphical text for users from Japan, China etc., both raster or vector output options. and new paper layouts from Japanese and European paper manufacturers. [6.1MB] Speed Download 2.04 updates the company's download manager with new Chinese and Swedish localized versions, new scroll wheel functionality and .PDB support as well as increases maximum number of simultaneous downloads. The $20 utility runs on Mac OS X. [1.3MB]
MacNN reader "Cory" let us know about an incompatibility between Kensington's laptop anti-theft device and the 17" PowerBook G4: "The AC power port is too close to the security port that the Kensington locks into." As a result, 17" PowerBooks can only be locked to the device when running on battery. Update: MacNN reader Brad Stone confirms that the standard Kensington lock system does not work with the 17" PowerBook G4. However, "Alex" let us know that the "Slim" Kensington Microsaver laptop lock kit will work with the model.
FWB, under new management as of July 2003, says it has discontinued RealPC, its PC emulation product, noting that claims of its pending release by previous management were bogus: "The previous management had made claims in press interviews and on the company website regarding the status and upcoming release of RealPC OSX claiming it was in late beta and about to be released. After more thorough investigation and interviews with the previous staff, we have found that the development had not formally been started, and it appears not a single line of code has been written."
Orange Micro today announced the OrangeLink FireWire 800 PC card, which allows legacy notebooks with a Type II CardBus slot to connect to newer FireWire 800 peripherals. It offers plug and play convenience, backward compatibility with the previous FireWire 400/1394a standard, daisy-chain capability, and up to 45 watts of bus power that can be provided through the connection (with an optional $15 external AC power supply). It is equipped with two 9-pin FireWire 800/1394b ports. It is expected to ship on September 30th for $90 and includes BTV Pro software.
Geekspiff has released ThemePark 1.1, which allows users to create or modify the way Mac OS X looks, as well as to change the appearance of individual applications: "Just draw titlebars, buttons, and other widgets in the graphics editor of your choice, and paste them into ThemePark to create a new theme or modify an existing one." Version 1.1 of the system utility adds the ability to edit resource files that store their data in their resource fork, allowing many Carbon programs to be tweaked. The theme designer, creator, and editor is $20.
Sendstation Systems today announced that its PocketDock will start shipping next month. The PocketDock, designed for use with Apple's iPod, allows a standard 6-pin FireWire cable to connect to the iPod's proprietary docking port. It will be available beginning September 12 for $19 (SRP) directly from SendStation Systems and soon after, from authorized dealers worldwide. Customers who pre-order their PocketDock before Sept. 12 will receive a $2 discount.
A MacNN reader notes that Direcway has started a special beta program for a Mac version of its satellite internet service: "I went there tonight to check my account info and noticed they are taking applications to beta test a Mac version of Direcway. Previously, this required an expensive Hughes router or the use of a PC to act as a gateway in order for Macs to use the connection."
EndNote 7, now shipping, is an update to its $240 bibliographic software for researchers and students. It delivers Mac OS X compatibility, subject bibliographies, flexible image handling with Microsoft Word, and connectivity to explore and mobilize reference collections, including support for StarOffice, OpenOffice, AppleWorks, FrameMaker and other documents using Rich Text Format (RTF). Other features include XML export, use of references in data visualization tools, and connecting to an institution's online resources with OpenURL links. EndNote 7 has over 1,500 content files including output styles, templates, import filters and connection files.
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Comixology fires up $6 all-you-can-read service
Amazon-owned Comixology has launched an all-you-can-read comic subscription service. After a 30-day free trial, for $6 a month, subscribers can draw from a large selection of the Comixology library, minus Marvel and DC comics. For now, the service is US-only. http://bit.ly/1WMAOft
QuarkXPress 2016 now shipping
Quark is now shipping QuarkXPress 2016, the newest version of Quark's graphic design and desktop publishing software that now features near-WYSIWYG fixe HTML5 publishing as well as improved operability with InDesign and Illustrator and support for multi-Color Gradient Blends, OpenType Stylistic Sets, a Color Picker (Eyedropper tool), Touchpads for Pinch and Zoom (Mac only) and more. Users on any previous version of QuarkXPress (versions 3-10) can upgrade to version 2016 for $350, while QuarkXPress 2015 users can upgrade to 2016 for $180; new licenses are available for $850 (education licenses are available for $90). http://bit.ly/1OL23Pu
Kanex debuts GoPower USB-C for MacBooks
Kanex today introduced its GoPower USB-C, a portable power solution designed to charge a USB-C MacBook on the go along with an iPhone or iPad simultaneously. Featuring 15,000 mAh of power--capable of charging an iPhone 6s seven times or the USB-C MacBook one full time--the GoPower USB-C Portable Battery features one 3A USB-C port and one 2.4A port for other devices, priority charging detection technology and a pass-thru charging to your devices when the battery is plugged into a power source. http://bit.ly/1TKaf8z
i.am+ EPs earphones are Apple Store exclusive
Musician turned consumer electronics entrepreneur Will.i.am has launched a new pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones, dubbed the i.am+ EPs. The new earphones are an Apple Store exclusive, and feature large 14mm drivers and aptX support for high-quality wireless streaming. The i.am+ EPs support A2DP controls, have a 30-foot range and can last up to six hours on a charge. The design is said to be inspired by the "iconic shape of vinyl records," and are made from spun metal and paired with a woven fabric cord. When not in use, the EPs magnetically click into place around the neck. The iam+ EPs are available now at select Apple Store and Apple.com for $230, are available in gold-on-black or black-on-black. http://bit.ly/1OKVlt2
Ultimate Ears debuts UE Roll 2 speaker
On Tuesday, audio accessory maker Ultimate Ears unveiled a new version of the UE Roll Bluetooth speaker. The new UE Roll 2, which sells for $100, looks identical to the previous version, but gets about 15 percent louder. In addition, the unit now supports a Bluetooth source signal up to 100 feet away, an improvement on the original's 65-foot limit. While both the old and new versions of the UE Roll offer an IPX7 waterproof rating, the company now includes a blow-up "floaty" with the speaker to avoid the risk of prolonged exposure. The new unit will begin general shipping next month. http://bit.ly/1TJWE0Z
Philips launches Hue White Ambiance bulbs
Philips latest HomeKit-compatible Hue light bulbs have hit the market. The new Hue White Ambiance bulbs are designed to allow users to control their color temperature to enhance either focus, or create a more relaxing tone. Combined with the latest update to the Philips Hue app, the new bulbs can be set according to user "routines." The "wake-up" mode gently turns up the brightness of the bulb, while conversely, the "go to sleep" mode gradually reduces the color temperature and brightness. The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit retails for $130, while single bulbs sell for $30. http://bit.ly/1TJT3Qn
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ