Apple has released Pro App Runtime†1.5.1, an update for Mac OS X 10.3 that improves performance of Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Soundtrack, Cinema Tools, Compressor, and LiveType. The update offers interface ehancements, improved reliability, and is required to receive future updates. The update is available via Mac OS X's Software Update utility.
Aspyr has announced the release of a Mac version of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield, the much-anticipate third installment to the popular Rainbow Six series. "Command an elite, multinational squad of special operatives against a hidden terrorist foe." Raven Shield is powered by the Unreal 2003 graphics engine and features fifteen all-new single-player missions, and six dedicated multiplayer maps. Raven Shield is $50.
Evening tech news: Judges in Finland and Sweden have given Microsoft what it has twice been denied in the U.S.: preliminary injunctions barring Linux vendor Lindows.com from using the Lindows name; two North Carolina men face charges under new anti-spam legislation and up to 20 years in prison for allegedly operating one of the most prolific spamming operations in the world; Microsoft said on Friday that its latest version of Office software inadvertently contained a font featuring two swastikas, and said it would offer tools to remove and replace the offending characters from the program.
MetaCommunications today announced Production Pack 3.0, a major update to its software for Virtual Ticket. Version 3.0 adds support for Adobe InDesign and the Adobe Creative Suite on Mac OS X. Production Pack provides creative, publishing, and prepress staff the ability to access related production and digital asset information from within their production tool of choice. Virtual Ticket Production Pack 3.0 is expected to ship in early 2004.
Aspyr today announced it would publish The Sims Makin' Magic expansion pack for the Macintosh: " Add a little magic to your Sims' lives. Cast spells, hypnotize friends, and even turn a neighbor into a frog. Perform magic, quest for ingredients, and unlock spell recipes. You can craft charms, animate minions, and add magical decor. But watch out, spells can go haywire if you're not careful. Either way, the neighborhood will never be the same." It features 175 new items and requires the full version of The Sims to play. It is available for pre-order for $30 and wis expected to ship in late January.
The free find-file utility for Mac OS X, EasyFind 3.0, adds support for advanced search operators Users can use the high-end operators "near", "before", "after" and "xor" as well as parenthesis. It also offers more convenient access to the settings defining which files to scan when searching for file contents. [189KB] SQLitePluginPro 1.0b4 for REALbasic offers both bug fixes and new functionality as well as institutes a limitation of 10 rows per query for the unregistered version of the plugin. The update adds support for compressed fields, native BSD calls, and other features. It is avaialble for a special introductory price of $90. [1.4MB] MindVision has released Installer VISE 8.3, an update to its versatile installer brings enhanced stability for installs on both Classic Mac OS and Mac OS X. Version 8.3 is a maintenance release that all current users are encouraged to install. Pricing starts at $650 per year. [1.4MB] Photologist 1.4 updates the $20 shareware application designed for image management, manipulation, and presentation solution. Version 1.4 brings panther compatibility, automatic version checking, improved file management, and other enhancements. [3.5MB] Dracosoft has updated Christmas Avalanche 1.02 ($10), its addictive arcade/puzzle game: "As the Avalanche rapidly approaches, you must destroy it as quickly as possible. Use bombs and combine bonuses for increased enjoyment." It also updated Amazed 1.01 ($10), its fun filled maze game for Mac OS X with four different difficulty levels. [AMA, CAV] The $16 shareware Password Retriever 4.5.8 is an update to the secure data storage tool (up to 448-bit) geared for web passwords, serial numbers and other sensitive information. It boasts a completely revised synchronization engine, as well as a robust new Find Services function. [1.1MB] Cross Culture has released Mergemill 3.0.1, an update to the applicaiton that allows users to generate both index and detail web pages from a folder of content source files. Earlier versions create similar web pages with ease from databases and spreadsheets. The $80 software runs on Mac OS 9/X. [6.9MB] Pop the Wheezil 1.01 is a new tetris-like shareware game by Ground Zero Software: "You must align different colored balloons in rows and columns as they float to the top. Your balloons will pop and disappear when four of the same color are together." [9.5MB]
MacSoft today announced that Halo for Macintosh began shipping to retailers on December 11 and is available today at some North American retailers. Halo for Macintosh is expected to be available in Europe later next week. The game features many enhancements over the critically acclaimed and best-selling Xbox version, including 16-person online multiplayer mayhem, better graphics, new vehicles, new weapon, new maps, customizable multiplayer games and the precision of playing with a mouse and keyboard. The $50 title requires a 800MHz G4 machine running Mac OS X 10.2.8.
LAJ Design today released Quickie Web Albums 4, a cross-platform application that creates custom Web Photo (and movie) albums. Version 4.0 offers a new slideshow option, a full redesign of application layout, a funciton to auto insert IPTC / EXIF information into the description, CSS style sheet support, and other options. The application will move your digital pictures to web photo albums and offers dozens of options to customize your albums, including the ability to use a custom templates and custom logos. A 45-day demo of the $23 application is available. [Classic, OSX]
X Overload 2.0 is an application with a collection of useful utilities that manages and maintains the Mac OS X and classic system folder. It can manage Contextual Menu Items, Fonts, Preference fi les, Preference Panes, Services, Screen Savers located in the library folders in Mac OS X as well as the counterparts in the Classic System folder. It can also delete unnecessary localization language files. Version 2.0 offers an updated description database, a new user interface, descriptions for more than 7500 items, and more. The $20 shareware offers 1-year of free upgrades.
Dr. Bott has released the TiCase15 II for 15" Aluminum PowerBooks, offering protection for the laptop in an elegant, brushed aluminum briefcase. TiCase15 II includes matching cutouts to hold the power supply, power cable, and accessories as well as an iPod. The TiCase15 II is designed so that it can only be opened when it is right side up, while the detachable cover allows users to use the PowerBook while it is in the case using special "Lift-o-Matic" rear pads, which provide access to the rear ports while adding an ergonomic tilt to the keyboard. The total combined weight of TiCase15 II, PowerBook, power supply, and power cable is less than 12 lbs. It is available now for $430. Dr. Bott also makes TiCase12 for 12" PowerBooks ($400) as well as TiCase17 for 17" PowerBooks ($550).
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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,¬†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