Grammatica is a multilingual grammar and spelling checker for Mac OS X, available in English and French. It offers analysis of the function of words in a phrase (part of speech and grammatical links; homophones and homographs; synonyms and definitions in French). Also included is an Internal dictionary of 500,000 words. New in version 5 is a FR-ENG bilingual grammar checker, and offers recognition of the level of language: colloquial, popular, literary, archaic, and slang. Pricing starts at $30.
SFBags has released a new carrying case for Apple's iSight webcam, and its accessories. The $24 case can hold the iSight, mount, and cable together. Three internal compartments and a self-locking zipper secure all the iSight gear. It is made of sturdy Ballistic nylon and a soft interior lining. It is available with Lead Indium trim.
ZappTek has released a utility to change iCal to use Entourage instead of Mail.app for e-mailing event reminders. iCal via Entourage 0.1 is available as freeware and is available for immediate download. [Download - 35KB] Software developer Adam Knight created Text Reader: "All I wanted was a program that took a text file and saved it to an audio file for my iPod. All I could find were programs I had to pay for to do this simple task (simple: the OS does it for you)." [Download - 44KB] SiteSucker 1.4.1 is a Macintosh application that automatically downloads Web sites (HTML documents, images, backgrounds, movies, etc,) from the Internet. The latest version now lets you log in to sites and HTTP proxies; corrects a problem with the "Overwrite Existing Files" ; and now generates unique file names for query URLs. [Download - 44KB] Acquisition 9.3 adds a "Clear Complete" toolbar button and the ability to set the location of the incomplete folder. Acquisition is a $15 gnutella client supporting modern gnutella features such as Ultrapeers, swarm (multi-source) downloads, download resumption, and distributed network discovery. [Download - 1.7MB] iStorm 2.6.3 is a $20 collaboration program that uses Rendezvous technology to allow a group of creative people to set up an online collaboration and start being creative immediately. Version 2.63 adds simultaneous editing in the shared scratchpad, voice messages, webcam snapshots, and GUI improvements. [Download - 5.1MB] SnapMail 4.1b1 is a complete chat, messaging and communication application for a Mac-based office. It uses peer-to-peer technology on local network, and keeps messages and documents "safely in-house." The latest beta includes countless improvements. [Download - 4.5MB]
Autodesk today announced that it will make Autodesk DWF 6 (Design Web Format) files available for Mac OS X, which will allow Mac users to view and print design information created by Autodesk design software. Autodesk also will provide a DWF Developer's Toolkit for Mac OS X developers to create third-party design applications that leverage DWF files. DWF is an open, non-editable, file format that helps customers share data for seamless design collaboration and communication throughout project lifecycles. Autodesk is now working with Apple to create a Mac OS X version of the Autodesk Express Viewer, a lightweight application that will allow Mac OS X users to be a part of the design review process, allowing them to view and print design data, without having access to the software used to create them.
Wilson, a sporting goods manufacturer, has a new, hip golf ball they're marketing called the Jack. The Web site for Jack features "Jack's apartment," full of hip, cool things, one of which is the ipod and its headphones. MacNN reader Colin Sandy writes: Super Agent 'Jack Bauer' sports a new Apple Power Mac G5 in his newly refurbished office, which was destroyed in the last season of Fox Television's '24.' A glimpse of the G5 and Bauer's new digs are shown in the Season 3 preview of 24."
Aspyr Media today announced that it will publish the newest expansion pack to the top selling 'Zoo Tycoon' franchise on the Mac platform, "Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania." The developer has not specified when the Mac version will be available.
Mark/Space has introduced the Missing Sync for iQue 3600, which offers Mac OS X to Palm Desktop 4.x HotSync support, desktop mounting on Mac OS X, iTunes integration (using AeroPlayer), and an iPhoto plugin (SplashPhoto). The $30 software, however, does not provide map generation support for the Mac: "Because Garmin uses a proprietary mapping format that is Windows only. Maps for the Garmin iQue 3600 must be generated on a PC or by using Virtual PC on the Mac."
Apple is holding a special event briefing on the future of digital production as part of its major presence at IBC later this week, according to Videography.com: "This event will be hosted by Phil Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President, World Wide Product Marketing. During this event Phil Schiller will run through a market overview outlining the fundamental shifts that are changing the film and video industry at the moment and how Apple intends to move with these with the introduction of its new range of products. This is the first time that Apple will have such a high level event in Europe showcasing its offering and commitment to this market."
Infoworld's CTO writes: "I used the Mac running OS X to replace a PC client and Linux server; the level of functionality was raised; and I did more with less. All the GNU and Unix tools Iíve used for years were right there in OS X: ps (process status), rsync, top, SSH (secure shell), Apache, Samba, and various Unix shells. I was able to access Windows file systems, and I easily shared Mac files to the Windows machine on my network via Samba, the open source file-sharing stalwart. I hardly struggled even for a second."
Aspyr today launched its new website, which it says "also features our new DVD and Music Products. We are venturing not only onto other game platforms (PC and Game Boy Advance), we are also venturing into other entertainment mediums." Three DVD titles ($20 each) are expected to ship in mid-October, including "Growin' A Beard', 'The Journey', and 'Live from Shiva's Dance Floor', while six other music titles are expected to ship in mid-October for between $11 and $20.
Apple has new financing options at the Apple Store for Business, including Technology Financing, which offers instant credit decisions for up to $15,000 with a Prime + 4% APR (currently 8.25%), no finance charges when you pay your initial purchase in full by the due date, and low monthly payments (just 2.5% of the outstanding balance). Apple's Commerical Credit allows businesses to acquire the latest IT equipment with "reduced risks associated with owning obsolete equipment." The lease program offers FMV (fair market value), 10%, or $1 lease options as well as special low-rate lease-financing for the new Power Mac G5--offering a 36-month, 0%, Fair Market Value lease without any down payment.
TruSoft has released HotApp 1.8, its $15 shareware system utility that provides control over Mac OS X from the keyboard. It can launch applications, search the address book, open URLs, execute system actions, copy/paste text and now open Safari bookmarks and simulate mouse events. [Download - 1.4MB] Epson has posted Epson Printer Driver 1.7a, a new Epson Stylus 3000 printer driver for Mac OS X 10.2.4. [Download - 4.5MB] Native Instruments has posted a demo of REAKTOR 4.03, its modular sound studio Mac OS 9/X that offers functions for sound design and music production. Version 4 features new modules and interface elements, an integrated browser, graphical sample mapping and new preset functions. Hexcat's DeepVaccum 0.5 (DV) is a donationware web utility based on GNU 'wget' command line tool that includes number of options to fine tune your downloads through both http and ftp protocols. Users can download: whole single pages, entire sites, ftp catalogs, link lists from a text file, filtered downloads by file type. [Download - 196KB] Desktop Manager 0.32 is Richard Wareham's project to implement an "easy to use" virtual desktop manager for OS X: "To implement virtual desktops, I've had to delve into the internals of OS X and reverse-engineer some functionality....Consequently I appologise if this does weird things to your system but it works for me." [Download - 178KB] IGG has released iWork 1.4.4, an update to its $25 time-billing and invoice application integrated with iCal and Address Book. New features include a 'Total Time' tracking on invoices, improved invoice template replacement engine, ability to email invoices as PDF attachments and several small bug fixes. [Download - 3.6MB]
Extensis today released Suitcase X1, a new version of its popular font management tool. Suitcase X1 offers functions for managing, previewing and activating fonts in Mac OS X. Users can preview fonts before activation, add keywords and styles for each font, search for fonts, detect and repair corrupt fonts (using FontDoctor technology), find duplicate fonts, and auto-activate fonts within QuarkXPress 6 (as well as InDesign and Illustrator). The English version is available for $130 with upgrades starting at $50 and $60 for previous owners of Suitcase and FontReserve, respectively. French, German and Japanese versions are due by the end of the year.
Apple's CHUD Tools 3.0 (Computer Hardware Understanding Developer Tools) are designed to help developers measure and optimize applications under Mac OS X: "Shark is a source line level profiling tool which shows you where time is being spent...MONster provides direct access to performance counters and presents the data in both spreadsheet and chart form. Saturn is an exact, function-level profiler with which you can generate and view a complete function call trace of your application." The CHUD Tools suite also includes several additional tools for benchmarking and hardware related development.
Apple has landed yet another "one-on-one" educational computing initiative with the Chicago-area Schaumburg schools buying thousands of iBooks for its students: "By fall 2004, each fourth- through sixth-grader in northwest suburban School District 54 will get an Apple iBook to use both in school and at home--about 5,200 computers total....The program has a total budget of $6.6 million, including hardware, wireless Internet access for classrooms and 21 digital video cameras."
Verbatim today announced the industry's first 32x Ultra Speed + CD-RW discs. "With the ability to write and rewrite at speeds of up to 4.8MB/sec-the industry's highest rewriting speed-users can burn a 10MB file in about 2 seconds. Fully compliant with the latest release of Orange Book Part III Volume 3 Version 1.1, Verbatim DataLifePlus Ultra Speed + 32x CD-RW discs have been tested and qualified by leading 32x drive manufacturers." Verbatim says it will begin shipping the premium-quality 32x CD-RW discs in October for $2 per disk (street price).
The Iconfactory has expanded its freeware G5 Drives icon collection to now include a complete system replacement set: "G5 System is visually based on the industrial design of Apple's newly released G5 towers and is rendered in cool and meticulous detail for use in your OS X toolbars and desktop. G5 System comes complete as an easy to use CandyBar iContainer that will instantly set your default system icons with a simple double-click. The iContainer version also contains the toolbar icons needed to complete your thematic makeover, a special addition not included in either the Mac or the Windows downloads."
Blue World today announced Lasso Professional 7, an upgrade to its Web application server product for building and serving data-driven Web sites. Version 7 introduces an embedded MySQL 4 database server for greater performance, support for transactions, tighter security, and easier installation and maintenance. LP7 also supports Unicode for internationalization; offers 'dramatically' enhanced performance; adds SOAP/WSDL/XML support; includes image manipulation functions; incorporates caching and load-balancing; and supports Apache 2, Panther and the G5. It is due in October for $1000. Upgrades from v6, v5, and v3 are $400, $500, and $600, respectively.
Maxon today released updates to its animation applications: Cinema 4D 8.2 has more than two dozen interface and workflow improvements, including improvements to the material manager, better organization of complex projects, several display modes (such as icon lists or name lists or both), customization of mouse buttons, enhancements to the Thinking Particles module, and a more flexible color chooser. BodyPaint 3D 1.1 brings compatibility with Cinema 4D 8.2 and also includes a number of workflow improvements, OpenGL-based performance improvements, and other enhancements.
A MacNN reader notes that one student has offers some detailed notes and comments on the Virginia Tech G5 Supercomputer from a September 4th, 2003 information session: "In particular, it appears that the entire system of 1,100 Power Mac G5 was installed at cost of $5.2 million for 'system itself, memory, storage, and communication fabrics'. Apple also beat out Dell (too expensive), Sun (too many processors), IBM/AMD (too expensive and too many processors), and HP. The system has 4 'head' nodes and 1 management node. It will be fully operational by January 2004 and will run Mac OS X because there isn't enough support for Linux."
Alaska's Denali Borough School District will offer a 12-inch PowerBook G4 to every high school student, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: "A total of 129 laptop computers are being prepared to hand over to high schoolers at Tri-Valley, Anderson and Cantwell schools." The "one-on-one" initiative offers a carry case for protection, wireless connectivity, and Microsoft software such as PowerPoint and Entourage to each student as well as training and support for students.
Native Instruments has released FM7 1.1.1, which brings the company's FM synthesizer to Mac OS X and Pro Tools users on OS X. It fully supports AudioUnits, RTAS, VST, and standalone operation with CoreMIDI and CoreAudio. FM7 also offers distortion and filter operators, extensive modulation functions, a comprehensive effects section, and audio input. The FM7 1.1.1 update is available to all registered users as a $30 direct download ($50 on CD). The "FM7 Sounds Vol.1" preset collection, which adds 256 additional presets to the FM7, is available in a special package bundle with the update for $60 ($80 on CD).
Panasonic Industrial today announced that HEURIS has introduced DVD ConnexIT for Mac OS X and QuickTime, the first QuickTime plug-in specifically developed for A/V and PC convergence between Panasonic DVD-RAM products. The new tools bring Mac OS X compatibility to Panasonic's OEM SW-9571-CYY DVD MULTI Drive, allowing Mac OS X users to playback material with QuickTime Movie Player or edit with QuickTime-based editing tools such as Final Cut Pro as well as offers direct read capability for RTRW file format. The bundle also features Software Architects's ReadDVD! v2.0 UDF file system reader for Mac OS X, which mounts and reads UDF formatted discs on any Mac.
iClip 2.5 ($20) is a multiple clipboard/scrapbook application that works as a small window that floats above all other applications, allowing easy access to multiple bins. Version 2.5 adds Hot Key access, text clipping editing, Unicode support, and the ability to copy multiple stored text clippings with a single operation. [Download - 2.4MB] Karelia today released Watson 1.7.3 ($30), an update to its desktop interface to over twenty of the most popular Web services and content. It adds a preference to default to the most recently used tool and to download updates to tools automatically on launch. [Download - 2.0MB] J2SEditor 1.2 (Ä250) is an IPTC caption editor for Mac OS 9/X that can be used to view images according to their color profile, sort files and add or modify textual meta-data of graphics files. It offers batch editing functions, editing without recompression, a toolbar for workflow integration, thumbnail-based views, full screen display, cropping, and other functions. [Download - 1.7MB] Didier Guillion has released Galerie 2.9b1, an update to the free HTML and thumbnail generation application for iPhoto albums. It has many advanced and custom features, including custom photo quality, templates, EXIF data display, and thumbnail size/shape customization. [Download - 594KB] iTerm 0.7.7 updates the terminal emulation program supporting language encodings, VT100/ANSI/XTERM emulation and many convenient GUI features. It adds support for ANSI 16 color sequences, mid-button paste, alternate screen buffer mode, and custom scrollback buffer size as well as has new icons and several bug fixes. [Download - 1.6MB] Macropod's KoalaCalc 4.01 is a free scientific calculator for Mac OS X. It offers mathematical functions, unit conversions, statistical calculations, a built-in tape recorder, voice recognition, an expression evaluator, a customizable constants menu, and user preferences. [Download - 1.4MB]
Encyclopaedia Britannica today announced its 2004 Ultimate Reference Suite, a multimedia reference library with 100,000 articles for everyone from young children to adults. It has three encyclopedias: the full 32-volume Encyclopedia Britannica as well as Student and Elementary versions--each with an integrated "reference library" that includes a dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, and historical timelines. The Suite also includes over 8,000 articles from the Britannica Book of the Year covering events of the past decade as well as a world atlas, with maps hot-linked to encyclopedia articles, timelines, and rich multimedia. Customers get free quarterly updates and a 90-day free subscription to Britannica's online premium service. It is $70 on either CD or DVD before a $20 mail-in rebate.
Brother has announced four new color inkjet Multi-Function Center (MFC) products targeting a range of home, home office and small business users. Each of the new Color MFCs features color inkjet printing, color faxing, color copying, color scanning and PC fax capability. The printers feature 14 ppm monochrome and 12 ppm color print speeds, 4800x1200 dpi resolution and USB 2.0 connectivity, The new color inkjet line-up includes two sheet fed based models, the MFC-3220c ($130) and MFC-3320cn ($180) and two flatbed models: the MFC-3420c ($180) and MFC-3820cn ($230). They are expected to ship in October.
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