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GyazMail 1.1.8 ($18) updates the Cocoa-based email client for Mac OS X with advanced functions such multiple accounts, multiple character support, 2- and 3-pane display, message threading, rules/filters, templates, customizable shortcuts, and more. It fixes a few bugs. [Download - 2.8MB] BackTrack ($15) silently logs to a daily log file everything you type in any application. The log file contains the application name, the window name, the date & time, and what you typed. [712KB] Digital Anarchy's Text Anarchy 2.1 for After Effects and Final Cut Pro offers functions for creating and animating text. It offers improved font support, OpenType support, improved speed, and better support for foreign language character sets. It is $130 through Jan. 31 (before an additional $30 discount for FCP users). [Download - 5.4MB] plugroll clip 1.0 (free) simply "rolls" your clip left/right, and up/down, wrapping the portions of the clip that fall off screen on one side wrap to the other side. shift clip 1.0 (free) is similar but does not wrap the clip across the screen and allows the color of the background to be chosen. [Download - RC, SC] Galerie 3.2 adds instant FTP functions to the freeware program for Mac OS X to export the current iPhoto selection as a Web page. It offers accented character export, EXIF data, pictures quality selection, and HTML templates. [Download - 868KB] One Key 1.1 is a function-key launcher that enables users to launch applications and open files via the keyboard. Version 1.1 adds an All Items window for quick viewing, automatic online updating, and bug fixes. [Download - 868KB] The 3D Assistants EZ/Pro ($100/$200) are a collection of keyframe assistants for Adobe After Effects that take care of layer management. "The 3D Assistants exist to allow you to arrange and manage your layers in 3D space They do so working directly within the After Effects 3D environment. There ae no import issues and no additional render time." [Download - Pro demo, EZ demo] Drop WaterMark 1.4 ($13) allows users to watermakr single images or folders of images. The latest version offers a EXIF/IPTC view, insertion of EXIF/IPTC data, and a new interactive window. [Download - OS X, EZ demo]
Sony today announced it will release a free firmware upgrade to its 530 series of dual format DVD/CD-recordable drives that will allow them to achieve up to 8X DVD-R and 4X DVD-RW recording speeds. Owners of the internal DRU-530A or external FireWire-based DRX-530UL Dual RW drive will be able to download the free firmware upgrade from Sony's Storage Support Web site in late February. The updated firmware will enable recording of a full 4.7GB DVD-R disc in around 10 minutes when using 8X DVD-R media. In addition, using 4X DVD-RW media, users will be able record a full 4X DVD-RW disc in less than 15 minutes.
WebEx quietly announced a forthcoming update to its WebEx meeting software client for Mac OS X. The software allows businesses software to share data, voice, and video interactivity needed to enable dynamic, real-time online meetings. Due by the end of the month, the update will bring compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3.
Afternoon tech news: Microsoft plans to broaden its attack on Linux and related operating systems this week by giving away a set of tools for migrating applications to Windows; CNN reports that E-mail users on both sides of the Atlantic hoping for a legislative reprieve from spam are feeling let down; Lindows.com's attempt to submit claims under the California-Microsoft settlement procedure has been rejected by a judge.
Aspyr today announced that "Nightfire," "Command & Conquer Generals," and "Splinter Cell" have all reached the alpha development stage. In "Nightfire" -- the latest James Bond 007 game (shipping in late February) -- players operate in the snow capped Austrian Alps and outer space as well as underwater in the depths of the South Pacific to defeat an evil criminal mastermind. "Command & Conquer Generals" ($50) is a modern war game that features both current and fictional political entities and armies. Tom Clancy's "Splinter Cell" (expected to ship late February) places the player in the middle of a rogue political faction to infiltrate and investigate it.
Caphyon has released Advanced Web Ranking 2.3, a tool that helps check your web site position on all major search engines. It is able to query over 130 search engines and quickly find out if you're moving up or down in the rankings, or if your site is listed at all. Version 2.3 features advanced filters for the Current Rank report, backup and restore functionality and the ability to generate reports for a previous date. It is $50 (standard) or $100 (professional).
IBM today released its XL compilers for Mac OS X. XL Fortran Advanced Edition V8.1 for Mac OS X includes full compliance with Fortran 77, Fortran 90, and Fortran 95 standards as well as support for a partial draft Fortran 2000 standard. The suite is optimized for the G5 architecture and offers symbolic debugging support. It also released XL C/C++ Advanced Edition V6.0 for Mac OS X, which multiple levels of increasing optimization to trade-off compile time with code execution speed, various compiler options and pragmas to tailor for the specific needs of a compilation, and partial GNU C/C++ portability support to ease migration of code from GNU C and C++.
MakeMusic! will begin shipping Finale 2004 for Mac OS X to customers on January 16th. A "New Year Progress Report" notes that CDs are currently in production: "We have made arrangements to expedite the process so we expect to start shipping on January 16. As requested, this is an OS X version only – including support for OS 10.3 Panther. We are already focusing our full attention on our next project, Finale 2004b, which will support OS 9 and offer additional improvements." It will be a free update to Finale 2004. (Finale 2004 was announced in August 2003 and delayed several times.)
Other World Computing has reduced prices by as much as 10 percent on many of its 7200RPM Mercury Elite Pro FireWire 800+400/USB 2.0+1.1 and FireWire 400/USB 2.0+1.1 external storage solutions. The drives are available in 40GB to 320GB capacities in both 5400RPM and 7200RPM models. FireWire 400/USB 2.0 models start at $137, while FireWire 800/USB 2.0 models start at $200. The largest reduction came on the 160GB 7200RPM FireWire 800/USB 2.0 with an 8MB data buffer, which is now $260 ($30 reduction).
The Iconfactory has released a new set of freeware icons from resident icon artist, Dave Brasgalla. Kong is based on the landmark 1933 film from RKO, soon to be remade by Lord of the Rings director, Peter Jackson: "Six months in the making, these highly-detailed icons evoke the mystery, thrills and high adventure of King Kong, while at the same time being useful around your desktop! Dave has also created two new custom Kong desktop pictures, and sounds, available at his personal site, Pixelhuset."
Microsoft last week debuted Office 2004 for Mac, the newest version of the productivity suite on the Mac platform. Designed for Mac users, with several Mac-only features, the new version of the suite is expected to ship in the "first half of this year" (i.e., June 2004) with dozens of new features, including a new "Project Center" in Entourage X to organize information, a new Notebook Layout view in Microsoft Word, a new Scrapbook, an Excel Page Layout view, and Compatibility Reports for helping determine document compatibility with Windows and Mac Office versions.
Obinary today updated its free Java-based Enterprise-Content Management System (CMS) to include high-performance caching and server-side image resizing templates. Magnolia 1.1 includes an improved caching mechanism that works seamlessly and automatically to deliver the best possible performance for dynamically created web pages, while maintaining full authentication mechanisms--this makes serving even large and complex web and intranet content extremely fast.
A MacNN reader writes: "Just wanted to point out that AAPL is up over 11%, to $24.62, so far this week, and it is up a dollar today in the first hour of trading. Also to note is it's been upgraded from peer perform to outperform by analyst Thomas Weisel." Meanwhile, Forbes reports that Merrill Lynch reinstated coverage of the computer manufacturer with a "buy" rating and a price target of $29 and a 2004 earnings-per-share estimate of 42 cents: "We think Apple has gotten its act together in focusing on core markets, building a mature management team and, most important, innovating again. People will pay more for Porsches, but they have to perform. We think iPod's leading position is defendable for perhaps two years and is important to Apple's 'cool' image."
LightWork Design today announced that auto.des.sys Inc, has released a LightWorks Sketch plug-in for the latest version of form.Z: "LightWorks Sketch is a unique technology that supports rendering at the conceptual design stage and also allows the easy creation of impressionistic and stylized presentations at any point during the design process. It works directly from the 3D model to give designers the ability to instantly generate non-photorealistic and hand-drawn images that can very quickly be re-rendered from any viewpoint, without having to use other tools."
HP will not be providing WMA support on the iPod, according to Muffi Ghadiali, product marketing manager for HP's digital entertainment products group: "Contrary to reports, Hewlett-Packard will not be supporting Microsoft's Windows Media Audio format in its forthcoming HP-branded iPod," according to Wired News. "According to Paul Thurrot's WinInfo newsletter, HP is working with Apple to add support for WMA to the iPod. Thurrot's report was widely circulated online on Monday. "
The AirPort Monitor Utility ($10) allows you to view information about the Apple AirPort Base Station. It uses SNMP to retrieve base station data and then displays it in well organized tables providing easy access to detailed information, including AirPort uptime, routing, wireless connections, client signal strength, etc. [404KB] Cunning Fox 1.0 ($15) provides a convenient method for viewing all running process, displaying relevant information such as CPU usage, memory, etc. in a small popup window. Users can "pause" other application to gain optimal performance for a specific application. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [387KB] AOL has posted AIM 4.7b3, a new beta of its peer-to-peer messaging client. It brings Friendly Name support: "Now, when you add an ICQ or Mobile user to your Buddy List, you will have an opportunity to create a more familiar Friendly Name for that user." It is free and runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later. [3.4MB] iTunesSaver 1.03 is a basic screensaver that will display the artwork (if available) and track information of the current iTunes track. The update to the freeware now displays artwork along with the text and implements "gliding" text. [76KB] TunesAtWork 0.8 is a specialized web server runs on your home Macintosh and serves web pages that present your music collection (including playlists) organized visually much the same as in iTunes itself. [1.2MB] MySQL 5.0a is a new alpha release of the next generation version of the open-source database server. Version 5.0 will bring support for stored procedures, elementary cursor support, true VARCHAR support, speed enhancements, and other usability enhancements. Foundation 4 ($300) is a major upgrade to the development shell for 4th Dimension that can be starting point for new database projects. Version 4 is completely re-written, offering an improved variable naming convention, a new interface, and easy localization (with English and French versions included). Upgrades are $150.
DVDthemePAK.com today released four new DVD menu theme collections for Apple's DVD Studio Pro 2.0 software. Available in PAL & NTSC formats, each theme includes several completely custom menu templates, button shape designs, and composite graphic backgrounds. A new free Theme is also available for immediate download. DVDThemePAKs are priced at $80 (single) or $140 for two. It requires DVD Studio Pro 2.0 or later.
KeyStrokes 3.1 is an update to the on-screen keyboard for Mac OS 9/X that offers significantly easier and faster typing for people unable to use a hardware keyboard. Version 3.1 supports word prediction in languages with a non-Roman alphabet including Cyrillic and Eastern European languages; adds Dutch and Italian pre-built word prediction dictionaries; offers AppleScript support; features automatic backup and restore of user dictionaries; and adds a numeric pad keyboard model. It is $250 with cross-upgrades from similar apps priced at $200.
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