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ScreenCaffeine has released "the first" third-party LiveFonts, high resolution animated fonts for use with LiveType in Final Cut Pro 4 (FCP): four exciting display fonts that showcase styles from slow undulation to brilliant animated lights. FCP's broadcast quality titling program called LiveType, which gives the user the ability to easily create high quality, high impact titles. Each font is $65. VoodooPad 1.1 is a unique $20 notepad application that is like having "your own personal hypertext library." It allows users to store notes, Web addresses, to-do lists, and other pieces of text, and link them together, to form a "miniature World Wide Web." [560KB] Lumacode's Mac Minder 1.4 brings Panther compatibility to the $20 shareware for managing application usage on Mac OS X. It adds import/export of user settings for quicker setup in classroom and multiple machine households and support for multiple concurrent sessions. [724KB] Alex King has released Tasks 1.8, an update to his web-based hierarchical task manager. It now supports more languages (Dutch, French, German, Italian, etc.), offers a Quick Search from the sidebar, uses dynamic data for iCalendar (using PHP iCalendar 0.9.4), has an improved HTML toolbar, spam protection to email addresses on about page, and updated documentation. [432KB] Canvas 9.0.2 Professional Edition for Mac OS X, Build 720 update is now available for free download. Countless bugs from previous versions of the cross-platform, technical drawing program have been addressed with Build 720. [form] jtech softworks has released PMX 2.1, an update to the project management application for Mac OS X. It adds the ability to print Project and Resource views as well as Gantt, PDF export, HTML export, and other performance improvements. A demo of the $60 application is available. [837KB]
DesignSoft today released Time Sheet Manager 2 ($300), an application for Mac OS X that imports and merges employee time sheets from any version of the DesignSoft StopWatch Time Sheet software. User also can filter time reports apart from the master time sheet file, allowing users to track, print and export long-term projects or employee productivity. All reports can be printed or exported to tab-separated text files.
Apple, a longtime supporter of the DVD-R format, confirmed Monday that it is adding support for DVD+R and DVD+RW into Mac OS X with the release of Panther due next week, according to CNET News.com: "Apple is only adding support for backing up data and has not yet added support for the format into its media applications, such as iDVD and iTunes....The company has shipped some machines with Sony-made drives that can write to both the +R and -R standards, but in those cases it turned off the +R capabilities. An Apple representative said that the move came at the request of customers...Apple did not say whether it would add DVD+R support into future versions of its iApps, such as iDVD."
Apple has released an updated Mac OS X USB Debug Kit: "With the release of Mac OS X 10.2.8, the logging version of the IOUSBFamily kernel extension is now available. Separate versions for the G5 Power Mac system and non-G5 Power Mac systems will also work on Power Macs running Mac OS X 10.2.7." Meanwhile, Apple has also posted the latest version of its CHUD Tools 3.01, applications and tools for measuring and optimizing software performance on Mac OS X as well as for hardware bringup and system benchmarking.
Napster returned last week after a long absence -- this time as a pay service -- and this week Apple's iTunes expands from the Mac to the Windows world. Napster 2.0, bears little relation to the original free-swap phenomenon, according to USA Today. The new version sells songs for about $1 and charges a monthly subscription fee of $10. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray analyst Eugene Munster of says Napster is likely to quickly gain market share -- a recent consumer study found Napster had 92.5% brand recognition, compared with 29.5% for Apple and 15% for Rhapsody. "People will check out Napster, because they've heard of it," he says.
iCab 2.9.6 updates the compact alternative browser for the Mac. The update preview version includes a new version of the OpenSSL library for better security, a new Mac OS 10.1 version of the application, and other bug fixes. Mozilla 1.4.1 is also available with "thousands" of bug fixes as well as a revamped bookmark system, support for click and drag dynamic image and table resizing, better contextual menu support, better pop-up blocking, and new Tab/Window preferences. [iCab-Cl, iCab-OSX, Mozilla-OSX]
MOTU last week unveiled the 896HD, a double rack-space, FireWire audio interface that is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers as well as its new virtual instrument plug-in for MOTU DP4 (MAS), Pro Tools (RTAS) and other Mac OS X audio hosts. MX4 is expected to ship in Q4, 2003 for $300, while the 896HD, which replaces the 896 and includes new features, is also expected to ship in the fourth quarter for $1,300.
Weblet Chat ($30) is an online chat system for FileMaker or Lasso web sites that provides a fully functional online chat system and offers developers customization options to create their own personalized system. The petite collection of format files and databases are designed to help users build their own system. Marc Moini's Smart Scroll X 1.0 ($15) adds "essential" user interface enhancements to Mac OS X, including scrolling speed control, choice of scrollbar arrows, and universal scroll keys: "Easier than clicking on tiny arrows, faster than scroll wheels or trackpads." [770KB] Aspyr has posted an update to its third-person 3D action/adventure game based on the Quake III engine: American McGee's Alice 1.1.1 brings support for texture compression, anisotropic filtering (better texture quality), FSAA under Mac OS X, widescreen resolutions, window mode, and HID to enable gamepads. [3.9MB] Tabasoft has released Biferno, a free object-oriented, HTML embedded, scripting language for web development with high-level built-in classes as well as methods and properties and a plugin architecture. Biferno is an open-source, cross-platform project for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and Classic. [Classic, OSX] Mellel 1.6.7 updates the $25 advanced word processor for Mac OS X with support for automated citations and bibliography entry and innovative citations list management. Version 1.6.7 also includes improved line-breaking behaviour with Japanese, both Japanese and Esperanto localization and other bug fixes. [3.4MB] SRK Graphics Research has released a viewer for Digital Elevation Models (DEM) for the 1:250,000 scale (a.k.a., 1 degree DEMs) DEM250viewer only reads native 1 Degree DEMs from the USGS, and displays them. It offers a Grey Scale display as well as options for adding color and JPEG export. It runs on Mac OS X. [13.4MB] XShelf 1.1.2 (donationware) for Mac OS X is an application that enhances Drag and Drop operations in MacOS X by providing a shelf where Drag and Dropped items (such as files, text, or URLs) can be stored for later use, allowing users to "pause" and use multiple simulataneous drag & drop operations. [104KB] DejaMenu 1.0 (donationware) is an application that allows access to the menubar as a context menu. DejaMenu is intended to ease access to the menubar for people with large screens or multiple monitors. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2, including Panther. [63KB]
Another Chicago-area school district has purchased more than 300 AirPort-equipped iBooks for every sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grader and teacher to use in and out of school, according to the Daily Southtown newspaper: "District 128 will pay $362,000 ó a discount ó over four years for the computers, digital cameras and other equipment; Apple is providing free teacher training, systems help and curriculum development aids."
Following our note of TinkerTool system applications over the weekend, MacNN readers note that Cocktail 3.0b1 is now in beta. The $10 shareware system utility offer the ability to enable/disable journaling, set disk spindown time, "rebind" systems for optimal performance, manually run cron scripts, force empty trash, view/print/save dialogs, change network ports, renew the DHCP lease, optimize your system using Pilot, and other features. The update is compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 and also brings performance improvements.
FileMaker announced today shipment of FileMaker Tasks ($70), a full-featured tasks management application that helps business professionals more efficiently manage common business tasks. Built on the popular FileMaker Pro 6 database software, FileMaker Tasks makes it simple to create, assign, and track everyday tasks and easily communicate deadlines and deliverables.
The next meeting of the Savannah Macintosh Users Group (Savannah, Georgia) is being held tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. James Sentman -- author of CD Session Burner 2.0 -- will be demonstrating his program and also demoing DropDrawers by SigSoftware. A hands-on demo on how to add RAM to an iMac will also be presented. Several door prizes will be given to lucky individuals attending the meeting, courtesy of Feral Software, SigSoftware, Oreilly & Associates, and others.
America Online today launched AOL Communicator for Mac OS X, a stand-alone, advanced communications application for AOL members that brings together enhanced e-mail, instant messaging and a full-featured address book into one integrated suite. AOL Communicator can consolidate e-mail from multiple AOL Screen Names--as well as POP and IMAP accounts--into a single application; it can be used alongside AOL internet services. Other functions include spam filtering, email management, a full-featured address book, and integrated AOL IM functions. AOL members using Mac OS X 10.2 and higher can download AOL Communicator at no additional charge from AOL Keyword: AOL Communicator.
Glendower Software's SwitchBack 3.8 offers the ability to backup, mirror, archive, and synchronize files via a simple interface. The $30 utility can startup automatically, offers previews of functions, and can exclude specific items. [650KB] Niemeijer Consult's SwitchXS 1.1 provides access to Mac OS X and other applications for people who can only use one or more switches. Version 1.1 supports multiple switches with user-configurable scanning methods, auto-stepping and auto-selecting single switch scanning methods, automatic menu scanning, and improved responsiveness and scanning accuracy. [768KB] Vincenzo Corallo has released VirtualKeyboard X 2.1, a new version of his $10 shareware on-screen-keyboard compatible with the Mac OS X. It offers point-and-click typing using pointing devices such as a head mouse, mouse, trackball, etc: "This program is designed primarily for disabled person but it can be used also to teach the children to write, to prepare kiosk environments, etc." [site not responding] FinLease is an advanced lease calculator that enables you to set up and calculate complex leases quickly and easily. It offers options for deferred payments, support for different compounding frequencies (ranging from annually to daily), installment options, "points", and other functions. It is $50 shareware for Mac OS X. [1.1MB] GameRanger 3.4, the online gaming service for Mac users, adds voice communication for Premium members (under Mac OS X only), priority listing for games hosted by premium members, recognition of sound input devices, support for Flash and JPEG banners, name filtering by plugins, and improved options for each game host. [183KB] Caphyon's Advanced Web Ranking 2.1 features importing/exporting keywords and URLs, sending reports to an email address, access through a proxy server with authentication, and more. The $50 Java tool helps check your web site position (along with others) on all major search engines. [4.0MB] Term's Little Helper 1.2 can access information about disks, network, processes, logs, system and translate obscure BSD error messages into clear understandable text. It provides an alternative to some of the "confusing" terminal commands. The $8 shareware runs on Mac OS X (including Panther).
Sonny Software's Bookends 7.7 is a Mac-only full-featured bibliography/reference and information management system for professionals and students. It adds integration with the Mellel word processor, better import of references and cover art, attachment of images, improved BibTeX support for scanning documents, better Nisus Writer Express support, more sorting options, and other enhancements. Bookends 7.7 also works with its new free application Reference Miner to save books or articles found online at Amazon or PubMed. Bookends is $100 ($70 for students) with an additional 20% discount for registered users of Mellel.
Octiv has released a new audio plug-in for iTunes: The Volume Logic plug-in runs on Mac OS X and provides real-time digital remastering using a state-of-the-art 5-band dynamics processor that examines and adjusts the audio thousands of times a second. "Anything playing in iTunes including MP3s, AACs, Internet radio, or CDs will be digitally remastered for consistent volume level and spectral balance. Low levels are intelligently raised and loud signals are kept under control, all in real-time." It is available through a public beta program that runs until Dec. 31, 2003.
SubRosaSoft today released MailGuardian 1.5, an update to its email utility with functions for automated redirecting, flexible blocking, and removing spam. It includes a simplified setup, easier "white list" updates (i.e., known users list), and a new AutoResponse with optional custom emails for responding to messages with specific keywords. It also supports multiple email accounts, offers mail forwarding, supports POP3 mail servers, and automatically removes SPAM e-mails based on title, body, sender, and addressee lists. It offers hundreds of preset filters with frequent block list updates. The Mac OS X application is $25.
Secure.CC has released eShox 3.5, an update to its PHP-based ecommerce solution. It offers improved statistics, more customizable email messaging, and the ability to feature products; version 3.5 also improves serial number generation, daily currency rate updates, and Rendezvous printing. A new free Express Service allows new users to "get their stores up and running immediately" with 30 days of unrestricted use using a unique domain name and SSL url hosted on Secure.CC servers without any cost. Licensing starts at $300 per-store per year with $100 for renewals; discounts are available for multiple licenses and select users--up to 50% off.
The Boston Globe's review of the recently released Avid Free DV is not very positive: "Free video editing programs like Apple's iMovie and Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker don't have anything to fear from Avid Free DV...Avid's offering is a pale version of its robust Express line of editing products...But for the merely curious, this software is a nightmare. It isn't intuitive. It obfuscates its functions with jargon. And its interface is daunting. That's quite a checklist of negatives when you take into account there are no tutorials to explain the workings of the program, its help files are unhelpful, and there's no technical support."
DVDthemePAK.com today released its first two DVD menu theme collections for Apple's DVD Studio Pro 2.0 software in PAL & NTSC formats. ThemePAK1 includes Adventure, Bubbles, Cinema, Industrial, Metal Time, Retro TV, Sports, and Undersea themes, while ThemePAK2 includes Beach, Corporate, Mechanical, Motorsports, Ocen, Road Trip, Techworx, and Valentines themes. Each theme includes several completely custom menu templates, button shape designs, and composite graphic backgrounds. Two free Themes are also available -- one which requires purchase of both both collections together; Each DVDThemePAK is priced at $90 or both PAK 1 and 2 for $160.
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 ¬≠Power 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