Freeverse Software announced today that it will show its new children's Web browser, "BumperCar," at MacWorld San Francisco next week (booth #4232). "We've been really happy with the progress we've made on BumperCar this far, and we're looking forward to showing educators and purchasers at MacWorld," said Ian Lynch Smith, Freeverse President. Based on Apple's WebCore technology, it offers Child Protection with support for ICRA content tags, customizable white-lists using researched data from The Open Directory Project, and more.
The Hess Memorial Macworld Events Web site again populates its page with press conferences, parties, author signings, and user group gatherings taking place around Macworld Expo San Francisco. A list of Internet events is also available for those not in the San Francisco area during the expo. Macworld Expo San Francisco takes place next week, January 5th to 9th.
In Play writes: "Today's Financial Times publishes a positive story on Apple, saying its iPod portable digital music player has helped redefine music on the move since it was launched a little over two years ago. ....About 7% of Apple's $1.7 bln in fiscal Q4 revenue came from the iPod. The success of the iPod has drawn comparisons with Sony's Walkman cassette player, launched in 1979, which also helped redefine the music industry." [registration required to view FT article]
MBS plug-in v3.4 is a collection of plug-in parts which extend the REALbasic development environment. It now supports XML classes, Windows-based printing, plugin support, transparency, support for MIDI, AppleScript, WebKit, QuickTime, etc. Pricing is Ä40 (personal) or Ä80 (business). [19MB] Aspyr has released a patch for Jedi Knight II: the 1.03b/1.04b patch fixes a few minor bugs and improves stability. The ReadMe file included with the patch contains a full list of fixes, including better support for GameRanger, stability issues when switching maps, etc. [2.6MB] The Fontz X 3.5.5 ($10) is a versatile font utility that allows you to browse installed and uninstalled fonts, see what they look like at different type sizes, styles and colors, and even group them in like categories using a "wysiwyg" group editor. It is now Panther compatible, offers customizable font links list, and more. [1.0MB] Dog Park Software's MacLoggerDX 3.8 ($95) adds support for Split Operation Rig Control and Logging, popup support for multiple logs. amd Copy/Past/Clear and Save-to-Disk to the TNC & DXCluster panels. MacLoggerDX tunes your radio to the spot, looks up the call and displays the DX station on the Grey line Map with distance and bearing from your station. [8.8MB] Rogue Amoeba has released Audio Hijack 2.03, which adds support for Mac OS X 10.3.2, a new duplicate preset menu option and fixes a few bugs. The $16 tool can record any audio on your computer and export audio from almost any application to an AIFF file. [1.5MB] EazyDraw 1.5 is an illustration or drawing software application that offers vector-based graphics for creating simple, non-photographic drawings, technical diagrams and illustrations such as logos, icons, buttons and stylized art. Version 1.5 provides significantly optimized performance for large professional level drawings. A limited demo and $20 trial license (for 9-months) is available. [7.3MB] Canon's PowerShot ImageBrowser 3.5.2r2 adds a preview mode, file export function (resize/rename batch conversion), export of shooting information, and integrated RemoteCapture functions (as RemoteCapture Task), supporting the PowerShot A80, G5, S50, A70, A60, A300, S400 and SD100. [15.2MB]
Route 66 has released Route 2004 3.6.0 (build 3), an update to its door-to-door route planning application for the US and Canada. The update provides better support for Mac OS 10.3.x ("Panther"), changes the GPS refresh rate to one second (real-time GPS), prevents the application from crashing when used with GPS for a long time, extends the GPS baud rate options, and also fixes several minor bugs. The full version is available for $40.
Rainer Brockerhoff has released Zingg! 1.3, a freeware fast launch contextual menu for Mac OS X. Zingg! shows a list of some or all applications that claim to open the selected file. Users can select certain applications to be always included or always excluded from the list, and Classic applications may receive special handling. Version 1.3 adds new configuration options for listed applications, more sorting options for application display, contextual menu-based preferences, and other enhancements.
Maxum Development today announced that it has added NetCloak functionality to its newest Internet server management tool, iAssist. The latest version of iAssist has also expanded to include functions for installing and managing Apache 2, complete with support for SSL and Virtual Hosting. iAssist provides graphical, remote installation and control of a variety of Open Source Internet services, including Web proxy, Secure Shell, SSL Tunneling, and Apache 2. Upgrades for any NetCloak user are $100.
Insider Software today released FontAgent Pro 1.4, an update to its Mac OS X native font management and repair utility with support for auto-activation in Adobe Photoshop CS. In addition to Panther support, the new release uses Apple's latest installer technology for a simplified installation process. The Cocoa-based font utilty repairs or eliminates corrupt fonts, partial and unmatched fonts, duplicate fonts and unnecessary point sizes, and builds optimized, organized font libraries; it can also build font sets, activate and deactivate fonts. It is available for $90 online.
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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