WaveMetrics is now shipping IGOR Pro 5, the latest edition of its powerful and extensible graphing, data analysis, and programming tool for scientists and engineers. IGOR Pro produces journal-quality scientific graphs, handles large data sets, has special support for time-series or other evenly-spaced data, and imports data in many formats. Regular pricing starts at $550, while academic pricing starts at $400.
Apple is readying a minor update to Mac OS X Server that will deliver a number of system enhancements and bug fixes, reports Microsoft Watch. Apple last week provided developers with a pre-release seed of version 10.3.2, an update to the server counterpart of the "Panther" OS. Sources said the server update will improve the Server Admin and Workgroup Manager applications as well as the QTSS Publisher and Network Image Utility.
SQLabs has released Dictionary, a set of REALbasic projects that demonstrate how to replace the database engine built into REALbasic with SQLitePluginPro, and how to achieve even better performance with just a few simple changes to the source code. The projects that come with Dictionary demonstrate how to create a simple database application in REALbasic. [Download - 4.1MB] Hog Bay Software has released Hog Bay Notebook 2.3, an update to the powerful $20 tool to organize ideas. Version 2.3 provides improved support for OS X 10.3 Panther and also allows indexing of larger documents. [Download - 1.1MB] HumanSoftware has released Calendar 2004 Templates for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. With these templates, users can create a calendar with their own images. The complete suite is $20. [Download - buy] Herodotus 1.2 ($5) updates the web browser history and bookmark search application. Version 1.2 can search the content of web pages (in addition to the title url), offers more search options, caches pages for improved performance, and supports Safari, IE, OmniWeb, Netscape/Mozilla, Firebird, and Opera. [1.1MB] CE Software's QuicKeysX 2.02 brings Panther compatibility to its $100 keyboard automation utility for Mac OS X. It also offers shortcuts for storing and retrieving collections of images and text, pop-up menu selection, recording and playback, a redesigned interface and new multi-step shortcut tools. [11MB] By Design has released a Mac OS X version of its Napoleonic Games: The $25 game title features Battalion-level conflict, command new graphics (see hedge rows, streams, chateaux, smoke clouds, etc.), skirmishers, a new elegant interface, and rich historical content. It requires It runs on Mac OS 7/8/9/X. [1.9MB] Gideon Softworks has released Dock-It v1.6, a maitenance release to its $12 multifunctional launcher and Finder enhancer for the Mac OS X. The free update fixes a few bugs under Mac OS X 10.3.1 and other bugs. [1.4MB] DiscBlaze 2.1 is a free update to the $20 CD/DVD burning burning utility for Mac OS X which adds the ability to create new DMG and ISO disc images. Version 2.1 can now make Mac/PC hybrid ISO disc images from a disc layout, can make DMG disc images from a disc layout, now make an ISO disc image from an existing folder or volume, and other changes. [1.2MB] The freeware SafariKeywords 0.5 "teaches Safari a feature that's long been available in other browsers, such as Mozilla or OmniWeb and is known as 'Mozilla Keywords'. It basically lets you tell Safari where to search for the words you entered into the search bar, instead of always consulting good old Google." [58KB] DVDxDV 1.067 updates the program that can extract the audio and video from a DVD. It creates a Quicktime file on your computer that is a copy of the video on the DVD. The update provides real-time audio preview, and improved audio mixing. [545KB] Office Applications For Mac OS X (39) ($40) is an X11-based Office Suite containing OpenOffice.org Professional and the Gimp Graphics editor. OpenOffice.org Professional contains enhancements you can't find in the downloadable version. The installer includes the X11 environment if necessary and even installs icons on your desktop for easy application launching.
MindVision Software today released VISE X 1.01, a new installer product designed exclusively for creating full-featured, visually stunning Mac OS X installers. New features include a standard Mac OS X UI for installes, application bundle support, support for Mac OS X text and graphic file formats, the ability to set a background graphic for the installer, display of QuickTime movies in splash screens and billboards, and an integrated XML translator option for localization. It also offers zip post processing, building of Mac OS X disk image, support for long file names, and both Panther and G5 support. Pricing starts at $650 per year.
Runtime Revolution today announced the release of PreceptorTools, an easy-to-use 'courseware' builder for its multi-platform development environment. Teachers, trainers, and students can use PreceptorTools to develop teaching modules, instructional aids, and presentations for every major platform in minutes, without any programming needed. "Beginners can get started right away, while experienced Revolution developers can use Revolution's rich feature set to customize PreceptorTools for their own needs." Single-user educational pricing starts at $50.
WiebeTech is now shipping RaidTECH, its hardware-based FireWire 800 RAID solution with both striping (allows capacities to 500GB) and mirroring (automatic data redundancy) modes. RaidTECH provides hot swappable dual drive bays, uses the Oxford OXUF922 FireWire bridge, includes an international power supply, and is compatible with most recent operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS 9/X. It features two FireWire 800 ports and also includes a USB 2.0 port. Pricing is $600 (case-only), $840 (2x120GB), $1000 (2x180GB), and $1280 (2x250GB).
IOGEAR today introduced its MiniView Extreme Multimedia KVMP (Keyboard, Video, Mouse, Peripheral) Switch, which can control up to four USB or PS/2 computers with a single keyboard, monitor and mouse, while sharing speakers, a microphone and other USB peripherals.The MiniView Extreme brings an added bonus to traditional KVM switches by offering USB peripheral sharing capabilities. The unit allows PC keyboards to simulate Mac and Sun multimedia functions through Hot Keys. The 2-port version is priced at $130, while the 4-port version is priced at $180. Both include high-quality bonded KVM cable, are available immediately, and support Mac OS 8.6/9/X.
Galerie 3.1 updates the freeware program for Mac OS X that will export create a Web gallery of the currently selected iPhoto album. It sports several advanced features such as HTML templates, photo quality selection, etc. Version 3.1 supports all QuickTime-compatible files (including video and music), more file format support, and other improvements. [672KB] Thumnailer 2.1 is a freeware application for Mac OS X that creates and displays picture thumbnails, offers picture viewer functions, and also creates slideshows with music. It will also convert any image that Quicktime can read into a PICT, BMP, JPG, TIFF, PNG, JPEG 2000, Photoshop, TGA, or MacPaint format. [784KB] Frequency 1.5 is a desktop weblog client, allowing users to manage web blogs, including Blogger, Radio, Movable Type, or other Blogger API or metaWeblog API system. It brings official support for Radio, Movable Type, GeekLog, pMachine, and EraBlog.NET, improved post editing, support for titles and categories, and improved HTML Previewing. [Classic, OSX] Alco Blom has released Web Confidential 3.6.2, a maintenance release (for Panther) of the $20 application for managing user IDs, passwords, registration numbers, etc. It offersa automatic entry of WWW forms, encryption, system integration, and synchronization with Web Confidential for Palm via Conduit. [4.0MB] The $25 backup utility Impression 1.81 archives files to locally-mounted media or multiple optical disks (CD-R, CD-RW or DVD-R, etc) and offers advanced such as incremental backups. The free update fixes several bugs under Mac OS X Panther. [572KB] Cocktail 3.2 ($12) is a general purpose utility for Mac OS X 10.2 or later. The application simplifies the use of advanced UNIX functions, gives access to hidden Mac OS X settings and let you easily optimize your system. Versio 3.2 include new Mail and Safari settings in Interface category, updated scripts and droplets, bug fixes and other improvements. [1.8MB]
Rampell Software today released FunKeys X 1.0, a new application for Mac OS X that allows users to assign keyboard shortcuts to various tasks. It supports opening documents, launching applications, opening URLs, the ability to execute system actions (Sleep, Restart, Hide Others, etc.), insert commonly used text, and more. A free trial of the $20 utility is available. It runs on Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later.
Stupendous Software has released version 1.3 of the Glows & Blurs effects plugin pack ($25) for iMovie. It has 3 new Extreme Glow effects which allow for intense glows that can flare out portions of the image. The complete plugin pack contains 32 effects for iMovie--five of which are fully functional in the free demo version. Blur effects include simple defocus, extreme defocus, and horizontal and vertical blurs as well as blurs of individual color components and a variety of glow and diffusion effects. It is a free update to registered owners of the Stupendous Bundle ($200).
Metrowerks today released CodeWarrior Development Studio for Mac OS v9.1, a maintenance release of its Mac OS development tools. The 9.1 update includes bug fixes to the C/C++ compiler, IDE, Debugger,MSL, PowerPlant, and PowerPlant X. The release notes contain details for each of these changed components. Both full and web-update installers are available from the company. Pricing starts at $400 for Mac OS X (Mach-O) targets only. [full, Web]
MacResQ announced today a new Power Mac G3/G4 "SuperDrive" upgrade as part of its PowerMacResQ repair program. The new service offers Power Mac G3/G4 owners to upgrade to a DVD/CD burner. Owners of the Power Mac G4 or Power Mac G3 Blue & White can now easily replace their built-in CD-RW-only or DVD-only drive with a drive that can burn CDs and DVDs that can be played in most consumer CD/DVD players. The price for this "SuperDrive" upgrade is $300, and includes pick-up at the customer's location, overnight delivery to the PowerMacResQ service center, expert installation within 24 hours, and return overnight shipping to the customer. A ground shipping version of the upgrade is $250.
BeLight Software has released version 2 of Business Card Composer, its Mac OS X program to create and print business cards. This application adds such features as the ability to search and use images from the Internet, order cards in online print shop, create custom paper layouts, generate ID cards for several people from Apple Address Book. An Assistant allows users to choose among nearly 130 supplied designs to create professional designs with a few as 3 mouse clicks. Version 2 is a free upgrade to the $40 application. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Microspot today announced MacDraft Personal Edition (PE), a technical drawing and design application with features from the professional version, MacDraft 5.5 - Quartz Edition. Developed exclusively for Mac OS X MacDraft PE offers an easy-to-use graphic design solution with an accurate, scaled drawing environment up to 43 cm (17Ē) square complete with tools for drawing lines, curves and filled shapes and powerful text tools. It can also import pictures (PDF, PICT, TIFF, JPEG and more), adjust the transparency of all objects as well as export MacDraft PE drawings as PDF's or various other picture formats. MacDraft PE also contains sample documents and three symbol libraries as examples for home, office and garden layouts. It is available for Ä115.
SC2003, the 15-year-old supercomputing industry trade show and conference, featured a large presence by Apple, according to The New York Times: "or the first time, Microsoft was an exhibitor. Apple Computer, which in the past had only a tiny presence, was also a new force on the strength of a surprisingly powerful homebuilt supercomputer recently assembled by researchers and students at Virginia Tech from 1,100 new Apple G5 desktop computers. The achievement was viewed here both as a vindication for I.B.M., whose microprocessor is at the heart of the new Apple computer, and as an indication that the action in computer design is shifting from the PC world and back to the makers of powerful machines." [free reqistration required]
Peninsula Group today began shipping QuickTrack V, its cross-platform tracking software that provides item, asset and people tracking and library functionality. It has been completely rewritten to provide a new interactive reporting module and support for MySQL as well as the built in SQL database. It offers the ability to track items and people across multiple locations; check items in/out to different users; search for item/people history; create custom reports (for viewing or CSV export); perform searches; and support for barcode technologies. It is available for 265 pounds or 325 pounds with the Phoenix II barcode reader.
MacNN reader Raymond Ocampo reports receipt of his MicroMat TechTool Pro 4.01 disk utility for Mac OS X, which was first announced at Macworld Expo SF and then delayed several times: "I finally got my TechTool Pro 4 in the mail. I was surprised they released the product without news or email. I got the update since I own Drive 10 and TTP3 already and it was supplied without any fanfare packaging. I only received the CD and an invoice. That's it. The manual can be read in PDF. Of course I'm a little disappointed since I wanted the printed manual and being a previous owner, I though would have received the full package."
Booq today introduced the Boa.XL, a full-featured laptop backpack designed for the 17-inch PowerBook. Booq says that the new backpack "offers ample cargo room for books, folders and accessories, yet its slim appearance and light weight may fair well with many owners of those large and somewhat heavy PowerBooks.....a carefully contoured shoulder strap design and unique back surfacing are the results of months of development." The Boa.XL integrates a detachable seatbelt nylon hip strap and a weather-protected iPod pocket lined with non-scratch fabrics. The $150 backpack can also be used with the 15-inch PowerBook.
Weekend tech news: The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to approve antispam legislation that could end more than six years of failed attempts to create a federal law restricting unsolicited commercial e-mail; the U.S. technology services market will double its usage of low-cost countries next year, market research firm IDC said; by cozying up to IBMís PowerPC platform for Xbox, Microsoft could "neuter the Linux threat," Red Herring says.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl
XCOM 2 ships on Steam for Mac, Windows
Feral Interactive today announced that the highly anticipated turn-based strategy game XCOM 2 is out now for OS X and Windows, and is available to buy through Steam and through the Mac App Store shortly. The sequel to the popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 is available as a standalone base game and as the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. The XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition comprises the base game, the Reinforcement Pack and the XCOM 2 digital soundtrack. Versions start at $60. http://bit.ly/1KuEFsX