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MacSoft announced today that Microsoft Game Studios' best-selling real-time strategy game, Age of Mythology, for Mac OS X recently went 'gold master' and is now in the final stages of manufacturing. Discs have been replicated and product will begin shipping from MacSoft's fulfillment center on Friday, November 14. MacSoft estimates that Age of Mythology should start showing up on store shelves in the US by the middle of next week. "Age of Mythology transports players to a time when heroes did battle with monsters of legend and the gods intervened in the affairs of mortal men."
Atlassian Software Systems today released JIRA 2.5, bringing "vast enhancements" to its issue management application. Improvements include the ability to internationalize the product for new languages, customise field management, edit issues in bulk, and group projects into specific categories. The JIRA Professional commercial license is $1,000, while the Enterprise commercial license is $4,000. Both licenses include unlimited projects, users and issues plus free upgrades and support for a year.
Addlogix (formerly CompuCable) is now releasing the final batch of the USB Christmas Trees for this holiday season. These 4" tall transparent Christmas trees plug right into any USB port -- ranging from a Cinema Display to a firePOD. Built-in LED draws power from the bus and oscillates through a rainbow of 6 different colors. Supplies are limited.
Apple has announced that the iPod is now available to order through all 165 Virgin Megastore and Virgin Xpress retail locations in the U.K. "We're thrilled to be working with Virgin Retail to bring the iPod to even more customers," said Mark Rogers, Apple's sales director and general manager for the U.K. and Ireland.
Evening tech news: After watching Microsoft stock fall despite this year's tech rally, Microsoft shareholders sharply questioned Chairman Bill Gates and Chief Executive Steve Ballmer during the company's annual meeting yesterday in Bellevue; c|net has published a report on technology in education, and the increasing acceptance of corporate education deals, even in the absence of proof that computers measurably improve learning among younger students; Sony has unveiled a new notebook that it describes as the world's lightest -- it uses carbon fibre casing and has a 10.4-inch liquid crystal display, weighs about 1.75 pounds, and is less than one centimetre thick.
Apple plans to open five Apple stores "within a store" at Australian retail chains in time for Christmas. According to Australian IT, "the new stores within David Jones will be structured differently to Apple's previous, less than successful attempts at selling computers in the department store chain, as well as Harvey Norman." The five locations in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, the Gold Coast and Sydney are scheduled to open December 1, 2003 and will be staffed by trained Apple employees.
Sonnet Technologies has begun shipping its new Presto Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000 Ethernet PCI Adapter Card, for improved network performance. "The high-speed adapter runs at ten times the speed of 100BaseT and is compatible with all 10/100/1000BaseT hubs switches and router." The Presto Gigabit supports Mac OS X 10.2 and later, and Windows 98 SE, Me, XP,2000.
Marathon Computer has announced the DisplayLock for Apple Displays designed to secure Cinema Displays to any flat surface for both safety and security. DisplayLock's solid aluminum bar fits through the bottom of the Cinema or Studio Display's plastic kickstand, and is secured into a bracket attached to the desktop. The bracket can be secured in a fixed position, or by means of a single center screw that allows the Display to swivel." The $20 mechanism uses special Allen wrench (included) for deterring theft.
Pariahware's Days Away 1.2 ($10) is a Mac OS X application that periodically reminds the user of upcoming events. Users can now import events from iCal calendars, show more than one event at a time, choose longer delays between reminders, and more. [994KB] iShelter 1.0 can easily backup/syncronize your data to another ssh-enabled server simply by using drag and drop. It offers incremental backup, compression, and automatic transfer via ssh (secure shell) tunnels and also preserves timestamps, owner, group, file access permissions. It is $10 and runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [306KB] Alco Blom has released URL Manager Pro 3.1.1, a maintenance release with fixes for Panther (and other bugs) as well as new features such as a new Sort button in the toolbar (Shared Menus now again work for Safari in Panther.). The popular bookmark utility for Mac OS 9/X is $25. [2.7MB] mTrading 1.2 updates AppFactory's companion for personal investors. The "major upgrade" can watch stocks, perform basic transactions, perform future profit/loss estimations, offers multiple portfolio views, personalize the home screen, and track international markets. It is $15 through the end of the month. [2.8MB] The shareware uCalendarX 3.1 adds Panther compatibility as well as the ability to import/export iCal files to the easy-to-use calendar and PIM application. It also offers custom output ranges, UI improvements, and several bug fixes. [2.1MB] Yellow Mug Software's EasyFrame 1.0 ($12) is fully interactive application that allows you to add frames to photos: Users can "try on" different borders, drag the result directly to Mail or other applications, and can save the image. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [830KB] PDF Browser Plugin 1.2.3 updates the freeware browser plugin for Mac OS X that allows users to view PDF documents directly within the browser page (without launching an additional application). This version fixes a problem with frames under Mac OS X 10.2 and also adds a Czech localization. [212KB]
Craig Barnes, the founder of Extensis and Now Software, is launching a new company, You Software, to develop and market a complete line of productivity software that will "fundamentally make the Mac OS X software you already own (such as operating systems and applications) easier to use and customize, so your computer works the way you want it to work. In the next 90 days, You Software will ship several titles designed for Mac OS X. These initial System Enhancement Utilities are focused on the real world needs of users and make using Mac OS X faster, easier and more efficient."
YazSoft has released Speed Download 2.1, a free update to its download accelerated and management utility. It offers a Panther-optimized engine and is available in Italian, Dutch, German, French, Swedish, Chinese, and Japanese localizations. Other features include improved contextual menus, direct file transfers between machines with Speed Download 2 (internet or Rendezvous), download priority, improved 'Sensitive Servers' performance, custom post-processing based on file extension, better FTP performance, better modem performance, and better dock status display. Upgrades are $15, while the full version is $20.
Media Lab today announced AlphaMania 2 + Effector Sets ($200) for Mac OS X: "AlphaMania 2 adds an entirely new kind of cast member to Director that can create delightful and dramatic interactive visual effects with surprising ease. AlphaMania 2 + Effector Sets are the only tools that allow Director authors to include video-style special effects that render and composite live on stage as their project is playing. This means that the effects can react to what the end user of the Director movie does, enabling a uniquely memorable interactive experience."
KDS today introduced its latest 19-inch flat panel monitor to complement its existing Radius flat-panel display line-up. The Rad-9b offers consumers a large format, multimedia LCD display for an array of business, graphics-intensive and consumer applications. The ultra-thin (1.62-inch), stylish-black LCD features two built-in two-watt stereo speakers, a 500:1 contrast ratio and 1280x1024 resolution as well as a 0.29mm pixel pitch and 16.7-million displayable colors. The Rad-9b is currently available for $650.
Scott Kevill has updated GameRanger 3.5 with full Unicode support, offering support for non-Roman alphabets in chat rooms, game rooms, private messages, etc. Other changes include anti-cheat measures for Ghost Recon, support for the Clone Campaigns update, support for Premium-only games, Undo/Redo, better Panther compatibility, and other bug fixes. The online gaming service offers internet and multiplayer gameplay for dozens of popular games. The basic service is free, while a $50/year Premium edition offers extensive personalization options, in-game voice communication, and more.
LCedit+ 3.1 updates the advanced LanBox lighting editor, for multiple platforms. This new version of LCedit+ adds a complete (spreadsheet-like) table-based cuelist editor for creating and editing of complex cues. Users can also now use nearly any key combination as programmed button actions. Other changes include UI improvements, a new LCedit+ tutorial/reference, a new "reconnect interfaces" command, and more fixtures definitions. The software works with the LanBox-LC, -LCX and -LCM are DMX-512 lighting controllers, which feature built-in sequencers, faders, patchers, lighting memory etc. [Classic, OSX]
Intelli Innovations has updated IntelliPrompter 1.3, its advanced teleprompting software built for Mac OS X. Version 1.3 adds Unicode input for support Japanese and other two-byte international character sets; improvements to the Microsoft Word importer; and supports up to 20 tagged "jump points" in the teleprompter text. IntelliPrompter features a SmoothPrompt scrolling engine, text styles and background effects, full screen direction, multiple monitor and LCD projector support, AppleScript compatibility, storyboards, and handheld remote control support. Pricing starts at $80 (with a free "Finding Nemo" DVD on purchases of $130 or more for a limited time). [Classic, OSX]
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
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 Hermés 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
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir