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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: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k