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: 153.17 ( -0.17 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE