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DJ-1800 1.2 is an update to the $40 complete professional DJ system for the Mac. Version 1.2 offers many new features, including: a new crossfader interface, full support for ContourDesign ShuttlePro, ShuttlePro v2 and ShuttleXpress, and visual feedback of button presses. [Download - Classic, OS X] DiscBlaze 2.0.2 is an update to the $20 CD/DVD burning software. The free update offers many improvements: users can now select multiple files; the displayed file size is now updated properly; sorting by file size now works as expected; and more. [Download - 1.1MB] Gideon Softworks has released xBack v2.5, a $12 update to the utility that allows users replace the desktop background with a screen saver. Version 2.5 no longer uses Apple Screen Saver Engine, adds a screen menu to xBack menu for choosing backdrop screen on multiple monitor systems, and fixes a permission issues with DVD media. [Download - 564KB] iMakeHTML 1.2.1 can "generate HTML for many tags including text, images, tables, and even QuickTime movies. It also has a convenient preview in browser function. You can work in a distraction free full-screen mode or a standard two-window interface." [Download - Classic, OSX] FontCat 3.0 ($15) offers font search improvements, improved PDF generation, more sorting options, better printing options and other features to the shareware application for displaying system fonts. The Deluxe ($25) version ads XML export and PDF and image (Photoshop, png, tiff) export. [Download - FC, FCD] Gideon Softworks has also released Dock-It v2.5 ($12), an update to its multifunctional launcher and Finder enhancer for Mac OS X. Version 2.5 offers many internal bug fixes, better icons, performance improvements, support for multiple monitors, and other minor enhancements. [Download - 1.5MB] piDog Software has updated FontThing 1.3, a $10 utility allowing users to preview, install and activate fonts from any location. This update allows users to customize the available font preview strings. [Download - 1.0MB]
Dr. Bott today began shipping the PocketDock, a small device add-on for "3G" (third generation) iPods that lets you connect the new iPod's docking port to a standard 6-pin FireWire cable. Designed and built by SendStation Systems, PocketDock allows owners of the new 3G iPods to leave their docking cables at home but retain the easy access to their iPod. The PocketDock is smaller than a box of matches and allows a standard 6-pin FireWire cable to connect to the iPod's proprietary docking port. PocketDock is compatible with iPods that use the dock connector; it is available for $20 from Dr. Bott.
Evening tech news: To help sharpen its focus on communications and electronics systems, Motorola intends to create a separate company out of its semiconductor unit, which builds chips such as the PowerPC; Nokia set out ambitious goals for its new combined cellphone and gaming device on Monday, as it seeks to wrest control of the market from Nintendo's GameBoy; while a growing number of devices feature USB 2.0, some actually transfer data at the slower speed of its predecessors, according to industry experts.
DigiEffects today announced Euphoria, its first offering of plug-ins for the Photoshop market. Euphoria will focus on artistic tools and special effects for the Web, most of which are based on DigiEffects’ vast set of plug-ins for Adobe After Effects but are optimized to work for the Photoshop environment. The collection consists of a set of 20 artistic tools and effects that have not been seen before in Photoshop. Euphoria is now available for the Mac OS at a price of $200.
WiebeTech has published a white paper that addresses Hard Drive capacity concerns as cited by a recent lawsuit against major computer manufacturers. The paper analyzes the mathematics behind the varying capacity claims of hard drive manufacturers and operating systems, "ultimately providing an explanation for the majority of the numerical differences."
Avid has released Avid Free DV, its free software application for users to try/test-drive the popular editing application: "Once you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with the Avid Free DV software, we invite you to step up to the robust production and networking features found in our professional line of products such as Avid Xpress DV software and Avid Xpress Pro software." The 26MB download requires Mac OS X 10.2.4 and a 667MHz G4 processor.
XRG 0.3 (X Resource Graph) is an open-source system monitor application for Mac OS X. XRG will monitor your CPU usage, memory usage, network activity, disk activity, local weather, and stock market data. It adds a CPU temperature graph for supported CPUs, the ability to invert the disk read or write graph, and the ability to enable/disable the graph window's drop shadow. [738KB] Pariahware's $10 shareware Days Away 1.1 is an update to its Mac OS X application that periodically reminds the user of upcoming events by discreetly fading in to focus, pausing for you to read the events, and discreetly fading back out. Users now have the option to only show events within a chosen time frame. [871KB] JWTM is a professional java tree Web menu applet, a comprehensive solution for website navigation. JWTM is browser-independent and highly-configurable, it could be easily customized to fit your website needs and to achieve an unlimited variety of menu appearances. Weblet ZipCodes provides FileMaker Pro or Lasso sites with the ability to perform zip code proximity searches. Weblet ZipCodes includes the current 2003 United States Postal Service zip code database, which provides latitude, longitude, city, state, and more for over 42,600 current United States zip codes. The full version is $130, while the lite version is $40. Alco Blom has released URL Manager Pro 3.1b2 ($25), another beta of his professional bookmark manager for Mac OS X/9. The UI has been improved and it now offers a system-wide bookmark menu, including support for Safari, Mozilla, Netscape and Mail. [Classic, OSX] Runtime's Revolution 2.1.1rc1 is the latest update to the $300 (limited time offer) user-centric multi-platform development tool for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Unix. It adds support for Polish language in Unicode functions, improved Mac OS X compatibility, and better OS support as well as improvements to the script editor and debugger. iChat Streaming Icon can stream a video feed or file (any QuickTime-compatible file format) as the buddy icon, allowing everyone who can see your buddy icon to see your video--even those without a camera. [105KB]
An article in the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Apple's iChat AV/iSight software/hardware combination is enabling internet communication for the deaf: "When my girlfriend and I were able to talk to each other using iChat with iSight, I can't describe the feeling I had,'' the Chicago film school student said in an e-mail to The Chronicle. "I'm sure it is the same feeling people had long ago when the telephone was invented, being able to hear someone's voice with all their inflections from a distance. We can communicate with all the inflection and expression, as we do in person, from a distance. I have been waiting for so long for technology that improves accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing."
Human Software is now shipping a new plug-in to perform multiple selective color corrections in RGB: AutoSelect can now perform multiple color changes, without having to create masks using adjustable ranges to deliver color changes that are precise, smooth and follow the different shades of color. AutoSelect 1 comes as a filter plug-in compatible with applications supporting Photoshop 5.5 (including Photoshop 8) and higher plug-ins-kind. AutoSelect 1 offers multiple color correction modes on top of any RGB photos or layers. It is available for $80 for Mac OS 9/X.
Aspyr today announced it will be publishing Wakeboarding Unleashed Featuring Shaun Murray. The conversion is being handled by Beenox and is currently in beta testing, according to Aspyr. "Rip across a lake behind a screaming speedboat, tricking through dangerous terrain with only a sliver of wakeboard between you and the blistering water below. Catch mind-blowing air in 9 exotic locations around the world-from Lake Powell to Hong Kong Harbor. Tired Already? Then steer the boat and help your friend pull off challenging technical ticks on the most realistic-looking water ever." The $30 title, available for pre-order now, will run on Mac OS X 10.2.3 and require a 700MHz G4 processor.
Computerworld's second G5 look, Apple's dual 2-GHz G5 by the numbers, says: " It's clear from two weeks of testing that Apple's new Power Mac G5 dual 2-GHz machine is the fastest thing the company has ever produced. And while you can debate benchmarks until eternity, it certainly appears poised to meet or beat anything now out on the Windows side." The review includes basic tests and comparisons with two other recent Apple models, including startup and reboot times, launch times for several typical apps and the times needed to process a variety of tasks.
Intelli Innovations today released Barcode Producer 2.0, a major upgrade to its award-winning barcode generation suite for the Mac. Version 2.0 now includes a Symbology Guide, which offers categorized access to information about various barcode symbologies. It also features a new EAN AutoCheck that offers easier Bookland EAN generation by automatically completing user input with the appropriate check digit information; new multinational options; an ISBN Check Digit Calculator; more barcode support; Panther compatibility, and a Barcode Producer Plug-In Engine that offers an expandable architecture. It is $130 for Mac OS 9/X with upgrades from previous releases priced at $40. [Classic, OSX]
Veta Chat 1.0 ($10) is an application for communicating with other Mac (and soon Palm users) via Bluetooth. Users can quickly exchange messages by creating a small peer-to-peer chat room of up to 7 people on the fly by simply hosting the chat and letting the others join you. [944KB] multiple movie 1.0 ($4) allows you to place, and animate in position and size, as many movies as you like. Users can define starting position and size as well as ending position and size, and the plug will generate all sizes and positions in-between. It supports pictures, movies, and animated GIFs. [527KB] uGrabIt 1.1 is a video capture tool which allows to record videoclips from almost any device. Users can select the dimensions, the desired codec and the framerate: "To make the digitized material fit into iMovie it needs to be digitized in DV Pal or DV NTSC format. In wide parts of Europe DV Pal is used in the USA and other countries it is NTSC." [Classic, OSX] Volumes Menu 1.0 adds a menu to the top right corner of your screen that allows users to browse through their volumes with infinite recursion, eject removable media and network volumes, and move and copy files by dropping them on Volumes Menu's icon in the menu bar. The donationware runs on Mac OS X 10.2. [142KB] MailTemplate 1.3 and EntourageTemplate 1.3 are Mac OS X software applications for creating e-mail messages with templates. Version 1.3 of each adds attachment support, compatibility with Mac OS 10.3, and other nternal changes for easier localization. Each is $10 with a 15-day trial available for Mac OS X. [MT, ET] Cemetary 1.2 is a free Halloween screen saver for Mac OS X: "A spooky desolate cemetery is haunted by bothersome bats, ghastly ghosts, lethal lightning, scary skeletons, wicked witches, and zany zombies! Beware; they rise from the grave looking for their next victims!" Registration ($5) enables a few "bonus" creatures. [1.6MB] CTM Development's PowerMail 4.2.1 updates the email client with support for FoxTrot high-speed search technology with extensible search functions, multithreading, indexing, scheduling, contextual menus, import/export, multiple signatures, PGP, spell checking, and other features. Upgrades to the $50 application are $30. [5.1MB]
Epson today launched a scan-print-copy device that is optimized for office-level workloads and busy households. The low-profile Stylus CX6400 triples as a scanner, PC-free printer and PC-free color copier, offering unique features such as a PIN-based digital lock, Epson's new photo restoration technology and easy-to-navigate LCD panel. It incorporates Epson's DURABrite CYMK-based ink system with four individual cartridges, offers up to 22 ppm black and up to 11 ppm color printing, is even quieter with its newly designed engine and mechanism, and features up to 5,760x1,440 optimized dpi and ultrafine three-picoliter ink droplets. The $200 device also integrates a multifunctional flash card reader.
Asante today released five updated drivers that offer full compatibility for Apple's Power Mac G5 computers, saying it is "the first" to offer a complete line of 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet adapters for Mac OS X. "By updating our drivers for the 64-bit, PowerPC G5 microprocessor, we're able to deliver maximum network throughput," continued Wong. "All of the drivers have been thoroughly tested for compatibility and are blazing fast." Updated drivers are available for the FriendlyNET GigaNIX 1032TA (Gigabit, 32-bit MHz PCI), FriendlyNET GigaNIX 1000TA (Gigabit, 64-bit PCI), FriendlyNET GigaNIX 1000SX (Gigabit PCI), GigaNIC 1064SX, and FriendlyNET AsanteFAST 696 PCI.
Motorola today announced that it plans to spin-off its semiconductor operations--the division that manufactures the PowerPC G4 processor--into a publicly traded company, which "reflects Motorola’s intention to increase its focus on communications and integrated electronic systems, as well as create an exciting opportunity for the company’s Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) as an independent semiconductor company with its own focused strategy." Motorola says it has not finalized details of the transaction and is considering an initial public offering (IPO) of a portion of SPS, followed by a distribution of remaining shares to shareholders in a tax-free manner.
Dantz today announced that Retrospect 5.1 is now fully compatible with the impressive new line of Power Mac G5 computers via a new Retrospect updater (noted here last week): "Apple is pleased to have worked closely with Dantz to ensure their timely support of the new Power Mac G5," said Ron Okamoto, Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations, Apple. "Dantz has done a great job enhancing our customers' ability to safely and reliably protect their data." Retrospect 5.1 is available in Server ($800 for 100 clients), Workgroup ($500 for 20 clients), and Desktop ($130) editions.
Apple and Dell are among the companies competing for a $156 million purchase of nearly 130,000 laptops for Michigan's sixth graders: " Dell hosted a low-key gourmet dinner at the very upscale Tribute restaurant in Farmington Hills for 60 or so school superintendents and educational information technology leaders. That's also why Apple Computer hosted a dinner of its own a couple of weeks ago for key members of its Michigan user groups, urging them to spread the word and use their influence among their educational contacts. Apple probably has the edge, based on the much-publicized success it has had with the nation's two most-watched educational experiments with wireless laptops." A MacNN reader provided a few more details:
Griffin Technology today announced that the new iTrip FM Transmitter for "3G" (third generation) iPods has begun shipping (as anticipated last week). The new iTrip is similar to the Original iTrip, offering features such as unlimited station frequencies and battery-free iPod mating design. The new model improves upon its predecessor with an even sleeker body style, new power saving features and a red LED light to match the new iPods red backlight perfectly. The $35 compact device rests atop the iPod and attaches securely to the headphone jack without any cables. Griffin also released over 100 new international iTrip frequencies--including those for European users--which are available for download for the new and older iTrip models.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
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