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Pangea made public the first screenshots for their upcoming game, Nanosaur II: Hatchling. "Hatchling" is the sequel to the popular Nanosaur game, originally released in 1998. This time the player pilots a pteradactyl and travels to other planets. “Fans of the original game are going to be blown away with what we’ve done in this one,” said Brian Greenstone, President of Pangea. The developer expects Nanosaur II to ship in early 2004, but an exact date has not yet been set. The game will run on a 600Mhz or greater G4 Mac, with a 32MB video card.
Evening tech news: The U.S. presidential election is less than a year away, but some tech experts have lingering concerns about the way electronic voting is being handled; a federal judge will consider on Monday whether a San Diego company may continue to take advantage of a feature in Windows to send "pop-up" messages promoting its own software to block such ads, a lawyer said on Wednesday; Japan's computer giant NEC said it has developed the world's smallest transistor, a breakthrough that could make it possible to build a supercomputer the size of a personal computer.
GoatCactus Software today announced the release of Voice of the GoatCactus 1.0, the initial version of its algorithmic music composition tool for Macintosh users. Voice of the GoatCactus "taps into the self-organizing powers of the integers to enable users to produce an infinite variety of original music." Users have the ability to influence the style of music that Voice of the GoatCactus creates. The product is available directly from GoatCactus Software and retails for $30.
O'Reilly has released "AppleScript: The Definitive Guide," a book by Matt Neuburg that explores the scripting language "from the ground up." According to Neuburg, there has long been a need for a complete, systematic book about AppleScript. "AppleScript is a fairly small language," says Neuburg, "but I was amazed by how difficult it was to write this book! It took more than twice as long as I'd expected."
iSkin today released its updated ProTouch PB keyboard protector for Apple's iBook and PowerBook laptop computers. ProTouch PB is made of a flexible, high-grade silicone that provides a transparent barrier against spills, dirt, food crumbs, and other unwanted elements; it is molded to fit the keyboard, which the company says "provides a normal and comfortable feel that actually quiets each keystroke." The protector also fits older Apple portables, including the PowerBook G3, "clam-shell" iBooks and the PowerBook G4 Ti as well as both North American (ANSI) and International Standard (ISO) keyboards. It is available now for $20 in Arctic (frosted transparent), while Sonic (transparent electric blue) will be released shortly afterwards. iSkin today also launched its iSkin Tattoo Service, which allows organizations, businesses and institutions to order iSkin products with their logotype, web site address or company message printed on it to create a unique, functional branding solution. The service currently offers custom printed iSkin eXo2 iPod protectors and the newly released ProTouch PB keyboard protectors.
Apago has released PDFmerge v1.0, its application that makes it easy to combine multiple source documents, in the most common file formats, into a single PDF file. Supported input formats include PDF, JPEG, TIFF, PNG, PSD, PostScript, GIF and more. The application's file list supports drag-n-drop, reordering, sorting and more. PDFmerge also offers support for PDF bleed and trim boxes as well as advanced AppleScript support. It is $90 and runs on Mac OS X.
Yenco.com has released iKeeper 2.0, an update to its utility for organizing product information. It contains over 90 enhancments, including redesigned product and internet windows which combine list and detail views into a single, simplified interface and a new persistent, integrated search interface. Other new features include one-click access to recent documents, automatic software updates, a feedback interface, and other updates. The $20 shareware runs on Mac OS 8/9/X. It is a free upgrade to purchases after June 1, 2003, while upgrades are 75% for others through end of March 2004. [Classic, OSX]
ADS Tech has announced PYRO A/V Link, its $700 FireWire-based universal Digital Video (DV) format converter, is now being bundled with the full versions of Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Encore DVD and Adobe Audition. The integrated hardware/software solution provides users with the best value and the best components for capturing, editing and exporting both analog and digital video in real-time. PYRO A/V Link Professional is an external box that connects to your computer via FireWire and offers composite, S-VHS and component connectors. It is now available with a 6-ft. composite analog and video cable, a 6-ft. S-VHS cable, two 1394 cables, and a power supply (as well as software).
Media 100 has announced the Media 100 HD, an $8000 solution powered by new GenesisEngine (844/X) technology, called HDX. Media 100 HD features 10-bit uncompressed resolution-independent native HD and SD editing as well as real-time processing to support resolution independence that allows editors to mix and match HD and SD source material in the same timeline-- a first for personal computers. With HDX, Media 100 HD additionally supports broadcast-quality format conversion between all HD and SD formats. It will ship in February 2004 and will be available as Mac-based system starting at $15,000.
Puppy Games today announced a new Mac OS X version of Alien Flux 1.5, its $20 arcade game: "Defend the cutest, fluffiest little creatures in the Galaxy from a horde of evil aliens from the fifth dimension! With only fast reactions, animal cunning and a very big laser cannon to help you, you must rescue the Fluffies as malevolent Bubbles attempt to turn them into lime jelly." It features several different characters and 100 levels of arcade action as well as an online hiscore table.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has announced its TransPod FM, a wireless all-in-one car solution for Apple's iPod. The solution includes a wireless, drift-free, digital FM transmitter, mounting system and charger unit that provides an elegant, all-in-one solution for using an iPod in a car. Compatible with all new, port connector versions of the iPod, the TransPod FM features a new design with LCD display and an audio output jack that accomodates a cassette adapter or auxilary plug. TransPod FM will begin shipping next week (December 17) for $100.
Apple next year is expected to launch a next-generation iMac featuring magnesium-alloy cases and "a high proportion of plastic parts for cost reduction, according to a Digitimes report: "The first model of New iMac using a magnesium-alloy case will come with a 20-inch LCD display and is expected to hit the market in January or February...Apple will outsource production of the New iMac to Taiwan-based Quanta Computer, which will manufacture the machines in Songjiang, Jiangsu Province (China)."
Aspyr today released released the SimCity 4 Landmarks add-on, which allows users to add notable, real-world architecture to your cities. It includes The Mayflower, Seoul Soccer Stadium, the Parthenon, the Brandenburg Gate, the Capitol Records Building, the Arc de Triomphe, Grand Central Station, and more! The add-on requires a full version of Simcity 4 Macintosh ($50).
Perceptive Automation and Ovolab today released a new set of scripts for integrating Indigo, Perceptive Automation's intelligent home control and automation server, with Phlink, Ovolab's telephony product for Mac OS X: "Using Indigo together with Ovolab Phlink, you can have total control over your house from anywhere in the world. Warm up the hot tub from your mobile phone, turn off the lights, and more."
The MathWorks has released SimPowerSystems 3, which provides electrical engineers with a tool to model and simulate power systems with their controllers in the Simulink environment. It provides engineers with tools to analyze and gain insight about power system behavior before the production of costly physical prototypes, offering the ability to model and simulate complex, self-contained power systems, such as those found in automobiles, aircraft, manufacturing plants, and power utility applications. SimPowerSystems 3 provides the ability to design and analyze the generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption for electrical power systems in a single environment.
The freeware TinkerTool 3.1 is an application that gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into Mac OS X. "The tool makes sure that preference changes can only affect the current user. You don't need administrative privileges to use the tool. [It] will never change any component of the operating system, so the integrity of your system is not put at risk." Version 3.1 offers control of font-smoothing for QuickDraw applications, new options for the minimum font size and visible history entries in Safari, and other enhancements.
TinyBooks v1.1 brings improved handling of international currencies to the accounting/bookkeeping designed for Sole Proprietors, home and other small businesses, and family finances as a "simple, flexible, non-bloated, single-entry bookkeeping program." Individual ($50) and Company ($300) licenses are available. [177KB] The "donationware" Serial Mail 2.1 is a plugin for Apple's Mail application designed to generate serial mailings from a template. The program will process the message body of the (selected) template message and replace strings by their corresponding value from the Address Book for each recipient. [368KB] LAJ Design today updated eOrdering 2.3. The cross-platform applications create eccommerce sites: 'Complete' ($65) is designed for products with single cost options; 'Gold' ($75) add the ability to have several cost options, while 'Professional' ($450) can also create 'categories' for products. Version 2.3 adds a simple login, sample scripts, and other enhancements. [Classic, OSX] A Better Finder Rename v6.05 adds new date formats, accelerates the context menu and fixes a number of minor bugs. The $20 shareware contextual menu plugin for the Macintosh Finder allows users to quickly rename multiple files using both interactive and automatic modes. It runs on Mac OS X only. [1.7MB] Page Sender 3.1.2 updates SmileOnMyMac's fax software that works for Mac OS X. It will now display the unread fax indicator and sent fax progress bar in Panther and has other minor fixes. A 30-day demo of the $30 application is available for Mac OS X 10.1.3 or later. [2.9MB] Electric Butterfly has released MaxiToolbar Pro 1.3, a cross-platform toolbar solution for REALbasic developers. Developers can add Mac OS X-style toolbars to Mac OS X, Mac OS 9, and Microsoft Windows applications. The application is now royalty-free and available for $30 per developer. It is a free upgrade for registered owners. [556KB] mailMaker 1.1 is a $15 application designed to create custom email messages for multiple recipients. It now supports PowerMail as well as Apple Mail, Eudora, Microsoft Entourage, PowerMail and Mailsmith. Messages, including the list of addresses, the message, and the location of any attachments, can be saved for future use as well. [319KB] Maxprog's iCash 1.4.3 is a $25 shareware personal finance and money manager designed to track incomes, expenses, credits, debts and banks transactions. The update adds transaction auto-completion using recent transaction data, a balance report for a given date, display of notes in the printout, and other changes. [Classic, OSX]
adnX today released VideoWeb 1.5 (VB), an update to its $20 utility that allows users to share a webcam or DV Camera on the internet. Version 1.5 adds a new interface, brings better performance, supports remote web servers using ftp, and has other bug fixes. KidsBrowser 1.1 (KB) for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther updates the $30 web browser designed for children. Version 1.1 brings better performance and stability and an optimized interface. Finally, the company released GoWeb 1.0 (GW), a free tool that can manage your favorites among several browsers, including Chimera, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and OmniWeb. [VB, KB, GW]
IDG World Expo today announced that the Macintosh Gaming Area at the upcoming Macworld Expo in San Francisco will provide the year's first look at the best new games coming to the Mac in 2004. Located on the Expo exhibit floor, it will highlight new games showcased by top game publishers such as Aspyr and MacSoft, as well as popular AAA game titles. The area will also feature an all-new Mac Gaming Arcade, sponsored by Apple and equipped with the newest Power Mac G5s and 17" iMacs. Attendees will be able to experience top AAA game titles first-hand, including Halo, Unreal Tournament, Age of Mythology, Indiana Jones, Splinter Cell, Tron 2.0, Ghost Master, Republic and many more. The Expo also offers a two-day Power Tools Conference on Game Development.
CharisMac Engineering will be demonstrating this week its storage area networking (SAN) software, FibreShare V2 in ProMax Systems' booth (#447) at the DV Expo held December 10-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the largest event on the west coast for video professionals working in production, postproduction and delivery. "The shared storage will be utilized on workstations running a variety of high-end professional video applications and SD and HD capture cards including: Adobe Premiere Pro, the AJA Kona SD/HD IO system as well as the Pinnacle CineWave SD/HD capture card." CharisMac will also be demonstrating new offerings from ProMax, including the new SATAmax internal serial-ATA host adapter as well as SATA external storage, ProMax's new DirectDrive and ProMedia Converter.
Virtix today released Virtix Arsenal for iMovie, which allows you to place special effects at a position on the screen and change that position over time, using a technique called keyframing. "You can use this technique to make the effect match up with your scene as the camera moves or as the objects in the scene move, adding a professional realism to the effect." The Laser and Machine Gun effects have controls to add realistic 3D perspective and the movable, keyframeable positions can be used with the Arrow, Spotlight and Witness Protection effects. Virtix Arsenal is an iMovie plugin with its own custom user interface. It includes 12 effects and is available for $35.
Trolltech today announced its Qt Solutions, which will provide new add-on components and tools to extend and enhance the Qt application framework. Qt Solutions provide platform and industry specific tools and components, as well as cutting-edge components that are too new to include directly in the Qt framework releases. Trolltech is releasing the first eleven Qt Solutions components and tools, including those for SOAP, MFC migration, Pie Menu creation, QtService, SSL, undo/redo, Window menu, etc. All the Qt Solutions mentioned are freely available to Qt Enterprise licensees. Some components will be available under dual open-source and commercial licenses as well, according to the developer.
Shinza.com today announced its new ZeroShock Sleeve designed for today's larger 15-inch notebooks. The new Large version of the sleeve fits Apple's Aluminum 15-inch PowerBook G4. The ZeroShock 15-Inch Notebook Sleeve is composed of a high-resistance polyurethane foam that provides superior absorption of external impact force. "This added absorption not only helps protect your valuable notebook but also the even more valuable data contained inside." It is expected to ship beginning December 15 for $30. It will be available in gray, blue, and black.
ALAP today released InTools 1.1, which adds support for Adobe's newly released version of InDesign CS. The tool suite includes InStarburst for creating customizable starbursts that are completely editable InDesign objects; InItemMarks to place custom crop and registration marks for both objects and pages; InPathfinder to combine multiple objects; InPrint to select/export/print a portion of an InDesign page to a variety of formats; InNudge to interactively adjust the position and rotation of objects; and InModify to consolidate all the options for modifying selected objects. InTools runs on Mac OS 9/X and is priced at $100.
The MacBU has officially announced its new release for MSN for Mac OS X v2.01, its Internet subscription service client for Mac OS X. The update includes fixes for users running Panther, specifically minimizing dialing crashes and enhancing MSN browsing performance. It also includes the latest version of Windows Media Player for Mac OS X, which enables MSN for Mac OS X users to view Media Player 9 content. The MSN for Mac OS X update is the first to be released through Microsoft's AutoUpdate, which makes users aware of the update and gives them the option to install the download to receive the latest enhancements to MSN.
Oxalyn Software has released AE Monitor 1.0, a tool that helps developers understand the flow and structure of Apple Events by monitoring Apple Events as they occur and presenting the data in an easy-to-understand format, including the ability to export data to a text editor for closer examination. It offers session-wide monitoring, event grouping, event filtering, support for Mac OS X Jaguar/Panther, and a small ticker window to inconspicously list/log events as they occur on the screen. The software is available for Mac OS X and costs $20.
Blue World Communications has released Lasso Professional 7, a significant upgrade to its Web application server for building and serving data-driven Web sites. Lasso Professional 7 delivers support for various industry standards, over 220 new tags, a full commercial license of MySQL 4, image manipulation options, data caching, internationalization, multi-server support, security enhancements, Apache 2 support, better PDF file support, improved administration, and optimizations for Panther and G5 Power Macs. A $50 discount is being offered on Lasso 7 through the end of the month for both upgrades and full licenses.
Heuris and JVC Professional Products Company have released Heuris Pro Indie HD Toolkit, a series of software tools that allow videographers bring footage, shot with the JY-HD10U camera, into Apple's Final Cut Pro digital video editing program. The Pro Indie HD Toolkit features three powerful software tools: XtractorHDV ($200) import utility, MPEG Power Professional-DTVHD ($4800) MPEG-2 encoding software and the XtoHD ($100) player utility. The bundle is available for $4800, a $300 discount.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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