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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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Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ