Copyright © 2015
Lemke Software has released GraphicConverter 4.9.1, an update to its popular graphic manipulation application. It offers complete EXIF handling improved, a resizeable window with live scrolling, improved TIFF and RAF import, and support for RAW formats. [Classic, OSX] SimplyProjects 1.1b2 addresses a number of user interface and database issues in the project management system for small-scale and shareware software development. It offers text and HTML export as well as Read-Me and version history generation. [1.6MB] Revolution 2.1.2 updates to the user-centric multi-platform development tool for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Unix. It offers improved OS X compatibility, better support for older versions Mac OS 8/X and improvements in the script editor and debugger. Discounts of $100 and $200 are available on Studio ($400) and Enterprise ($1200) editions. [Classic, OSX] Troi Dialog Plug-in 3.5.1 ($50) for FileMaker Pro 6 is a tool for displaying all sorts of dialogs in FileMaker Pro. The update adds a big input dialog function in which the user can enter a long text, improves the InputDialog function, and adds the possibility to preload bulleted fields. It runs on Mac OS 9/X. [977KB] 24U Appearance OSAX 2.1.1 is a scripting addition for advanced user interaction (AppleScript dialogs, text messages, progress bars etc.). The update brings Mac OS X 10.3 Panther compatibility, and other minor enhancements. It is $30 and runs on Mac OS X. [option-click] Lightsoft's Kairos 2.1.1 brings Panther compatibility to the $20 shareware that records the weather conditions for up to 3 locations you specify and graphs the data. Kairos can be programmed with alerts that can send out emails and run scripts when triggered. [option-click] Waterfall Software today announced iVideo 1.5, an update to its easy to use movie organizer. Version 1.5 adds compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" and also brings major speed upgrades, individual movie previews, a new keyword system, an export to iMovie feature, menu dock, and more. [1.8MB] Added: Glass Bead has released SnapMail 4.1, a new version of its secure messaging and file transfer software that runs native on Mac OS X and Classic. It costs $25 per user and provides comprehensive, private, and secure messaging. [Classic, OS X] Added: Ben Bird has announced the release of SecuritySpy 1.0b35, an update to his $50 multi-camera video surveillance software. Improvements included with version 1.0b35 are: more efficient motion detection; motion detection mask can now be a complex area; and "Input switching" to use all three inputs of the DFG/1394-1 FireWire device simultaneously. [726KB] KavaSoft has released iTunes Catalog 1.1 for Mac OS X, an update to the software that creates Web catalogs of an iTunes music library, displays the cover artwork for each album, and copies album artwork into iTunes. Version 1.1 makes it much easier to match albums in your collection with the correct artwork and also allows users to create HTML catalogs. [1.3MB]
Native Instruments has updated Kontakt, its flagship sampler software, to include new features, Mac OS X compatibility, and new import capabilities. Using an advanced peak-detection algorithm, Kontakt 1.5ís newly developed Beat Machine divides any percussive loop into individual hits. Kontakt also supports the REX 1 and 2 sample formats for loading pre-sliced loops. The update is $30; the full version is $400. [pricing updated]
The New Jersey Final Cut Pro Users Group and the NJ Filmmakers will host a special joint meeting to discuss production and distribution trends for independent filmmakers. The meeting will take place on December 10 at 7:00 p.m., William Patterson University, Wayne, NJ. "We will discuss 24P production, DVD authoring, and there will be a roundtable discussion on distribution. Additionally, we will screen some shorts, and have a big raffle at the end of the event." Presenters will include Apple Certified Instructors Arthur Aldrich (FCP) and Jem Schofield (DVD SP), as well as film distributor Allen Chou.
Apple has released Mac OS X 10.3.1 -- an update to its recently-released "Panther" operating system -- via the Software Update utillity. The update "delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for the following applications, services and technologies: FileVault, Printing, WebDav, and FireWire 800 drives." The update also helps address an issue recently identified with external FireWire hard drives using the Oxford 922 bridge chip-set with firmware version 1.02 that can result in the loss of data stored on the disk drive. "Even with the improvements available in this update, Apple recommends you update the firmware on your FireWire drive. Please contact your drive manufacturer for more information." The update also includes the latest Security Updates.
Apple recently added three more pages of "switcher" stories to its Web site. Earlier this year, Apple launched its "Switch" campaign to help move Windows users to the Mac platform. Apple's site includes "thousands of emails from people who have successfully switched from PCs to Macs."
Badia Software announces the release of Printools 4.0 for QuarkXPress and QuarkXPress Passport 6.0. This updated version of Printools sports a completely redesigned user interface and runs in QuarkXPress 6 and Mac OS X natively. Printools is an XTension that provides pre-press professionals with a sophisticated suite of printing tools, including rename at print, batch printing, print to file, preflight checking, page slug customization, print style handling, and state-of-the-art live previews. Each tool now has a dedicated panel with new features. Single licenses start at $100, while upgrades are $50. It runs on Mac OS 9/X.
Write Track Media today released new plug-in for Apple's Xcode development tools: Xcode Clippings Menu is a plug-in that adds a new "Clippings" menu to Xcode allowing developers to quickly gain access to snippets of code and other text resources directly from the Xcode menu bar. The "clippings" are text files that are stored in any number of subfolders within a primary clippings folder. Each subfolder within the primary folder becomes a menu item in the menu which, when selected, offers the user the ability to select one or more items for insertion into the front source document. A limited demo of the $10 plugin is available.
Ars-technica's John Siracusa has written his in-depth review of Panther, concluding: "This is nothing to be ashamed of, but the other side of the coin is that many of the year-old complaints also still apply: unpolished corners of the user interface, the Finder, the metadata situation, and even user interface responsiveness (to some degree) are all still issues in Panther. But I do think the overall rate of improvement is accelerating; it's just not distributed quite the way I would like. As with Jaguar, many problems can be overcome or avoided with the help of third party software. Like Jaguar before it, it is nearly impossible to recommend against upgrading to Panther."
methodshop.com writes about The New DJ Revolution: mp3j's who use iPods: "Somewhere in East London the turntables are motionless. The only thing spinning is a chorus of iPod hard drives, or the ceiling (if you're friends with the bartender). The club's name is Dreambagsjaguarshoes and the event is called noWax. The concept for noWax is simple: MP3s, not wax. iPods, not decks. On noWax nights, mp3jís bring their iPods and wait for the automated projector above the DJ booth to flash their number. They then plug-in and mix three songs back-to-back against another mp3j. noWax is a public competition very similar to 'Rap Battles', a la Eminem's movie 8 Mile."
Chronopath has released Restore 1.0, a new application for archiving and restoring documents. It can "track" several files and archive them according to a custom schedule, offering the ability to instantly revert to an older version of a document. A free trial of the $15 shareware runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later. Chronopath also released DomainTracker 1.0, a $10 shareware application for monitoring, tracking, and organizing both current and future domains. Users can auto-fill all domain info, view color-coded lists, filter and sort domain names, and performa a who-is of the domain.
The MathWorks has launched its new Bioinformatics Toolbox for MATLAB, wich facilitates the analysis of complex bioinformatics data, from genomic sequences to microarray data analysis, and speeds up the development and deployment of algorithms. The toolbox is designed to visualize large amounts of research data, offering access to standard genomic file formats, and Web-based databases (GenBank, PIR, etc.); specialized routines for visualizing microarray data protein feature analysis; genomic, proteomic sequence statistics, conversion and alignment; and dotplot, clustergram data visualizations. Pricing starts at $1000.
Parliant today announced the first major upgrade of PhoneValet 1.1, its multi-line-capable computer telephony solution for Mac OS X that tracks calls and dials numbers. Version 1.1 offers tighter integration with Mac OS X Address Book and iChat; AppleScript and "Apple Events" dialing (with sample scripts for FileMaker Pro as well as sample trigger scripts for incoming calls); Panther compatibility; and a new streamlined interface. Other features include call logging, custom call actions, voice dialing, and caller announce. Pricing for the hardware/software solution starts at $130 (with additional lines priced at $90).
Intuit today announced QuickBooks Pro 6.0 for Mac, which it says "incorporates customer-driven enhancements designed to address the unique needs and work style of the Mac small business owner. [It] is the second annual release since Intuit's announcement last year of its multi-year plan for annual upgrades." As noted last week, the new version offers import/export to the Windows file format as well as email integration (for sending invoices, etc.); automatic data backups, customizable toolbars and reports, and Microsoft Excel integration. It is $300 with a $100 mail-in rebate for previous owners. It runs on Mac OS 9/X.
FileMaker today announced FileMaker Donations, a fundraising and donor management application that helps charitable organizations and other non-profits intelligently manage a broad range of donor and fund raising information. Built on the popular FileMaker Pro 6 database software, FileMaker Donations provides fundraisers with an affordable, simple to use tool for managing and reporting on fund raising initiatives and donor programs, including management of donor networking, volunteers, communications, donor and campaign histories, etc. It is $130 (or $363 bundled with FileMaker), runs on Mac OS X 10.2, and is available from FileMaker's recently launched website dedicated to assisting non-profits.
Small Fry Studios is now shipping its Hillbilly Whack! Save Winnie May game title: "[It] combines old school graphics and old school game play to equal old school fun. The game features more than 13 levels of single player action centered around a Hillbilly named Samuel Jones who is trying to find his kidnapped sweetheart Winnie May. In Hillbilly Whack! you fight, collect boards to rebuild your broken shack, and run around at break neck speed." Hillbilly Whack! also features a classic two player-one keyboard mode. It is available for Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
Weekend tech news: Internet search engine Google has unveiled free software that lets people search the Web quickly, without launching a Web browser; with the new Longhorn operating system, Microsoft is reviving its pre-Web desktop software; Microsoft faces a major showdown in Brussels this week when it gets a last chance to defend itself against European Union regulators' charges it abused its dominance of desktop computer operating systems.
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Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Herm√©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ