SanDisk announced today that its new SanDisk Connect SD Wi-Fi cards are now being sold at BestBuy.com, CompUSA and other retail outlets. SanDisk and Bitstream also announced that SanDisk will include the trial version of ThunderHawk, Bitstream's pioneering wireless Web browser, with each SanDisk Connect SD Wi-Fi card. SanDisk also revealed a worldwide agreement with 3, a leading video mobile networking company in the UK, to supply SanDisk-branded SD cards for select video mobile phones offered by 3.
F1 and @Last Software have announced the release of the SketchUp Book for 3.0. This book is the second in the SketchUp series, and provides comprehensive coverage of all functionality of this release of SketchUp. The book also features contributions from SketchUp expert and enthusiast, Professor Bob deWitt, MA, MFA. As with the first book, topics are covered by a series of illustrated, hands-on exercises, targeted to all levels of SketchUp users. It costs $63.
Evening tech news Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Tuesday defended his company's efforts to secure its software and fend off open-source rivals; Yahoo! has launched a set of premium e-mail features that lets users create hundreds of decoy addresses to thwart spam mail; Microsoft lanched a new version of its Office software for Windows today, "betting its spam fighting capabilities and enhanced features will recharge growth for its second largest cash cow," comments Reuters.
MacNN reader Benjamin Stanley reports receiving his copy of Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther." Mr. Stanley has published photographs of the box, documentation, and CDs.
The Big Nerd Ranch will offer its revised Cocoa training class -- modified to incorporate new features added to the Panther -- on November 10-14, 2003. Students will receive the edited 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.
Canto today announced Cumulus 6, an update to its digital asset management solution that simplifies creation, management and deployment for users, administrators and system integrators. Cumulus 6 incorporates a new central user management and features EJaP technology (Embedded Java PlugIn) to customize the application by adding new functions and integrating it into any workflow. Cumulus 6 also now offers support for Mac OS X clients as well as an improved interface with central management of all assets, a new toolbar, simplified menu structure, and other performance improvements. Workgroup and Enterprise Editions are due in late November.
Aspyr today announced The Sims Livin' Large Combo, which includes the original, The Sims, along with the Expansion Pack, The Sims Livin' Large: "Create your Sims. Design their personalities, skills, and appearance. Control their lives and guide your Sim's relationships and careers. Choose careers, make friends, fall in love, argue with the neighbors, or shoot hoops in the backyard.... A bunch of new game elements, social interactions, interesting and unique characters and skins will create tons of cool new experiences for you and your Sims." It will ship October 27 or through the Aspyr store immediately for $60.
Formac today announced the Gallery 1900, a second generation 19" LCD with the latest ColorProof VA TFT. The advanced TFT technology delivers considerable performance improvements for brightness (300 cd/m2) and contrast ratio (700:1): "Combined with Formacís proprietary digital graphics technology, and a unique conical viewing angle technology the new Gallery 1900 guarantees a crisp and vivid picture, from edge to edge. Formacís new display comes with both DVI and ADC interfaces." It offers an SXGA resolution of 1,280 x 1,024, a 5:4 screen ratio, and an ultra-slim bezel design. It is available now for $850 with a 3-year warranty.
MumboJumbo has released its Chainz puzzle game for Mac and Windows: "Chainz presents a board full of multi-colored links. Players rotate them to form chains of three or more same-colored links. As the chains disappear, additional links drop down to adding the possibility of new combinations forming that score extra points! Some bonus links multiply points earned while others serve as "wild links" that can be joined with links of any color. As players clear links from the board, a meter on the side of the screen fills; when it hits the top, the level ends and the next challenge begins." A demo of the $20 title is available.
Arturia has announced its CS-80V, an software-based synth that replicates Yamaha's CS-80 analog synthesizer. Expected to be released on November 1st and based features of the original synth, the software also adds a new generation of innovative features, including a modulation matrix, a multitimbral mode, and an arpeggiator. The synthesizer is based on True Analog Emulation (TAE), proprietary technology developed by Arturia and includes more than 400 presets made by a selection of talented sound designers. It works with both Mac OS 9/X and supports CoreAudio (stand-alone), Cubase SX (VST/AudioUnits), Pro Tools 6 (RTAS/HTDM), Logic 6 (AudioUnits), and Digital Performer 4 (AudioUnits).
SereneScreen Marine Aquarium 2.0.6, an update to the fish tank screensaver, brings Mac OS X 10.3 compatibility as well as other minor changes. Marine Aquarium callows users to choose seven fish from a library of 26 as well as customize the tank by adjusting the lighting, the bubbles and the sound as well as screen saver feature settings. [Classic, OSX] Ritmo 1.1 is a free update to its streamlined drum sampler AudioUnit plug-in. The maintenance release provides compatibility fixes for QuickTime 6.4 and Panther as well as a new MIDI controller learn feature. It is $25. [5.8MB] Cocoatech's Path Finder 3.0.1 brings more preferences, new reports, performance optimizations, improved documentation, and Mac OS 10.3 ("Panther") compatibility to the file browser and integrated file utility. Pricing starts at $35, while upgrades are $10. [4.9MB] The freeware TagService 1.0 was designed to save time when coding HTML: "It will HTML tag the selected text. To determine what kind of tag to use the service searches for a colon - text before the colon is used as the Tag-Text. The service has a keyboard short-cut of Command-Shift-." [81KB] iResize 1.0 is a new Mac OS X utility designed to resize and compress images. It offers support for .jpeg, .pict, .tiff,.gif, .psd and QuickTime images as well as batch functions. Users can specify the height/width, use nested folders, and customize settings. It is freeware. [792KB] Apimac Note Pad 1.6.5 ($20) improves memory usage and performance. The application that lets you save and organize "any piece of text you may want to be at hand... You can assign a category to each note; notes can be easily retrieved by category via a pop-up menu, or by content simply typing the text to be found in a search field." [Classic, OSX] Navicat 4.3.1 ($85), by PremiumSoft MySQL Studio is a powerful MySQL Frontend Tool for administrating and monitoring MySQL server on Mac OS X platform. The new version allows the importing/exporting of CSV, Text or XML files to/from MySQL database using its import/export wizard. [1.1MB]
Destineer's MacSoft today announced that the Mac version of Bungie Studios' Halo: Combat Evolved will be available on December 3. MacSoft says the game features many enhancements over the critically acclaimed and best-selling Xbox game, including online multiplayer support, new maps, vehicles and weapons: "Halo is optimized for the Macintosh with the precision offered by the mouse-and-keyboard and full support for high-end hardware including graphic resolutions up to 1600 by 1200 and beyond. Halo's online multiplayer feature will enable players to battle it out with fellow gamers worldwide in a variety of individual and team-based games."
Other World Computing has expanded its line of laptop screen protectors (LSPs) to cover the new 15-inch and 17-inch Aluminum Apple PowerBook G4 models. Made from all-natural, top-grain cowhide leather, the new LSPs fit across a laptop's track pad and/or keyboard to prevent the keyboard and button on the base of the laptop from coming in contact with, and leaving skin oils or permanent marks and indentations on, the laptop's built in display. Pricing starts at $14 and each also includes one Apple Polish screen cleaner and wipe. Custom logo-stamped versions are also available.
Dynagram has released INposition 6.0, its QuarkXPress Xtension that now provides compatibility with QuarkXPress 6 and Mac OS X. INposition 6.0 allows you to impose, preview, edit, color separate and print all within one environment. It also offers new support for InDesign 2 working files, Acrobat under OS X, and PageMaker 7 in Classic environment. INposition now also offers support for custom imposition orders; a set of validations has been implemented to allow for more flexible pagination patterns as well as user interface improvements and new keyboard shortcuts.
CrystalMaker 6.3 is an application for fully-interactive visualization and analysis of crystal and molecular structures. Version 6.3 brings new features for visualizing molecular crystals, a redesigned and easier-to-use menu commands, a dozen new keyboard shortcuts, an improved interface designed for Mac OS X "Panther" and support for the company's upcoming Single Crystal diffraction program (public beta available now). It also includes commands for optimizing molecular views, and repairing molecular fragments. A single-user license is $535 (commercial) or $370 (academic).
The freeware Galerie 3.0 exports the current iPhoto selection to Web pages (as well as any set of other pictures). The gallery contains a separate HTML page for each photo that enables to navigate to next and previous page as well as thumbnail index page. Users can use templates and other settings to customize the web gallery. Version 3.0 adds support for pop up windows, frames, sorting options, and other enhancements. It runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
Rogue Amoeba has today released Detour 1.2 ($12), with support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther and Unsanity's Xounds 2.1 (coming soon). Detour provides the ability to choose the audio output device and relative volume for all of your applications Users of Xounds can send their Xounds sounds out through one set of speakers and their music to another. Both audio recording and enhancing tools, the original Audio Hijack and the enhanced Audio Hijack Pro ae also compatible with Panther as well as all Freebies, including LineIn, the Audio Input software and SoundSource, its convenient menubar audio device selector.
metaobject has released version 4.3 of its PDF compression tool for Mac OS X. Version 4.3 of PdfCompress now also tackles edit-data left in PDF files by applications such as Adobe Photoshop--removing this data can make files up to 10 times smaller, according to the developer. PdfCompress optimizes PDF files by applying specialized image compression and also can downsample images to a lower resolution suitable for screen-viewing. It also offers support for Mac OS X services under v10.2.4 or later. Pricing is $27.
A MacNN reader notes that Apple's increased iPod advertising: "Just thought it was interesting to note that not only are the new iPod TV commercials in heavy rotation on primetime TV, but all this week Howard Stern has been doing 'live' commercials for the iPod and ITMS stating that its the easiest way to download your music and take it with you. He says he 'loves his iPod', but he says that about every product he's paid to promote. Robin Quivers says she 'wants to get one' (which is probably closer to the truth). He's mentioned the gift certificate feature as well as $.99/song and (as low as) $7.99/album. The fact that its available for both Mac and windows is mentioned again & again (this should come as no surprise)."
LANDesk Software today announced LANDesk Management Suite 8, an update to its IT management solution that offers expanded inventory management, improved software distribution, enhanced console usability, improved database efficiency and scalability, and new business intelligence functions. It adds role-based administration and increased Mac OS X support, which provides software license monitoring, application policy management, patented LANDesk Targeted Multicast technology to Mac OS X computers running Mac OS X Jaguar or newer--allowing IT to manage Macintosh computers with the same tools and processes they use to manage their other computers. Pricing starts at $90.
WiebeTech today announced price reductions on the high-end versions of its MicroGB+ pocket drives, ranging between $20 and $90: "All high end configurations of our pocket drives have been considerably cut in price," said James Wiebe, CEO of WiebeTech. "Users will be especially pleased to see that FireWire 800 pocket drives, with 60GB/7200RPM performance, is now priced at $450, down from $530."
Belgium-based software developer Chickenbyte has released an update to its icon organizing tool: IconBox 1.5 features manual re-ordering of icons within a library, the ability to sort icons by various criteria, the ability to drop files or folders onto it to change their icon, custom background colors for each library, faster searching, and both support for filtering unwanted files on import and for importing ICNS files. It also features several new export formats including ICNS, PNG, GIF and Windows XP icons and the ability to export multiple icons at a time. The $13 utility runs on Mac OS X.
Alco Blom has released URL Manager Pro 3.1, an update to his popular shareware ($25) bookmark manager for the Mac. It is available now in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. This latest version adds a new system-wide bookmark menu, lets you select a destination bookmark file when you add a bookmark and significantly improves the Mac OS X look and feel and of the application. It offers system-wide URL access, integration with all popular browsers, cross-browser history, and import/export functions. [Classic, OSX]
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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