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SRS Labs today began shipping its SRS Circle Surround (CS) encoding software plug-in product: SRS Circle Surround VST Pro is a plug-in for for Steinberg VST. It features a Circle Surround encoder and decoder for encoding and monitoring surround mixes. It enables VST users to easily encode up to 6.1 channels of surround sound into stereo delivery formats for television and radio broadcasting, cable delivery or playback in surround using standard stereo CDs. The $500 software runs on Mac OS X and will be distributed exclusively by Wave Distribution.
Lemke Software has released CADintosh 5.0, a new version of its 2D-CAD program for technical and architectural drawings. Version 5.0 features a new automatic catching mode, fixes print issues on Mac OS X, offers an improved GUI for Panther, optimizes CLI functions, improves DXF import, and has other fixes. Other functions include interactive window redrawing; import/export of HPGL, DXF, and PICT; and extra filters and symbols with registration ($33). It is avaialble in German, English, French, Danish and Japanese. [Classic, OSX]
A MacNN reader discovered that GarageBand (part of iLife '04 released today) cannot be installed without a DVD Drive. After speaking with a few Apple representatives the reader found that not only did the reps not know about the system requirements but had the same problems on their own machines. A closer look at the GarageBand system requirements reveals that having a DVD drive is indeed a requirement to install the popular audio program. Another reader provides a workaround for installing iLife on Mac OS X Server.
Forums Roundup: Some debate has started over how quickly Mac computers become outdated in comparison to Windows machines; there's a thread on the Apple stickers that come with the purchase of every Mac computer; the overclocked eMac is getting some looks; iPod owners are deciding that it is better to wear the iPod in-ear headphones upside down; the posts are buzzing with the release of iLife '04; and the Powerbook picture thread just keeps growing.
TestKit is an open-source unit testing tool for software developers writing for the Mac OS X environment. It is an adaptation of JUnit for Objective-C and the Mac OS X development environment. TestKit shares much of the functionality of JUnit, and it adds functionality to help programmers with the problems and challenges unique to Objective-C. A quick-start guide and API documentation are available.
Afternoon tech news: The sum of damages caused by computer virus attacks has skyrocketed to $55 billion, up from 2002, when damages from computer attacks cost businesses roughly $25 billion; after months of decline, music downloads over peer-to-peer services are on the rise, a new report shows; European firms are being urged to buy a licence for Linux to avoid legal action by SCO which claims the operating system unlawfully includes some of its computer code
Native Instruments today announced Traktor FinalScratch 1.5, a new Mac OS X Panther compatible version of its digital DJ system co-produced. The upcoming Traktor FS 1.5 software will bring FinalScratch to the Windows platform, offer much easier installation, incorporate enhanced ScratchAmp handling, include support for network and Firewire drives, and improve performance. Earlier today we noted continuing Final Scratch compatibility issues with Panther, which are expected to be resolved by the update.
Yi.magination Studios announced a preview edition of Comixware 2.0, an update to its interactive storytelling apparatus that combines content and software in one integrated package. Version 2.0 features expanded file compatibility, user file sharing, user-definable scene lengths, copy/cut/paste commands, an improved GUI and Mac OS X compatibility. A final gamma build of version 2.0 is available now. The full release will be $40 for electronic download ($45 on CD) and will be released on February 21, 2004.
The Mercury News has a review of GarageBand, Apple music studio application: "Though GarageBand contains many of the advanced features that can be found in semi-professional programs such as Cakewalk Home Studio and Sony Acid, it hides the complexity, allowing you to manipulate music more like you change fonts, boldness and italics in a document." It is only available as part iLife '04, which we noted began shipping on January 14 (and today in the UK) and should be available in Apple Stores and resellers later today.
Knowledge Base: Apple notes that Panther's login window only shows an "Other" option if NetInfo is enabled; Mac OS X's FileVault may prevent some Safari users from viewing RealOne Player content; iPhoto ignores the Page Setup's scaling options to print pages; Mac OS X client computer account records created in Active Directory require additional access to certain attributes in order to work as expected.
Trinfinity Software's Collage X 1.0.1 updates the freeware visual plugin for iTunes with performance enhancements and bug fixes. Collage X searches the Internet for images relating to the artist, track, and album that are playing and displays collage of these images. [Classic, OSX] EditiX ($40) is a Java-based XML editor supporting the latest XML and XML-related technologies such as XSLT / FO and XSD Schema. It has realtime XPath location and syntax error detection. [8.4MB] The freeware iPhoto Mailer Patcher 4.0 adds support for Claris Emailer, Mailsmith, Outlook Express, PowerMail and QuickMail Pro it iPhoto 4. The application can also restore iPhoto to the original state, limiting support to America Online, Eudora, Mail and Microsoft Entourage. [360KB] CloakIt 3.0 lets you cloak a folder and its contents. It features password authorization at startup and the ability to make folders invisible/visible. It requires Mac OS X and is $12 shareware. [886KB] RadicalPhoto 1.1 ($15) is a photo enhancer and image converter, offering options for Brightness/Contrast and Red/Green/Blue levels as well as Hue/Saturation and effects (Smooth, Sharpen, Emboss, Blur, etc). It adds rotate and flip options. [1.1MB] iPhoto Diet 2.1.6, not yet tested with iPhoto 4, adds a German localization and minor interface tweaks. The application scans through an iPhoto library folder and moves any undesired originals to the Trash (either manually or automatically). The freeware runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. ˛[306KB] The $12 shareware GPRS Script Generator 1.9.2 brings the number of supported mobile networks presets to over 200 carriers in the entire world. The software utility helps users create custom modem scripts to connect using a GPRS compatible mobile phone. [1.0MB]
TiVo Desktop 1.6 allows a networked TiVo Series2 DVR with the TiVo Home Media Option premium feature package to stream music and photos from any Mac to the device. Version 1.6 adds support for iPhoto 4, but does not (yet) support AAC audio files (including music purchased at the iTunes Music Store). It requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Griffin Technology today announced that its PowerPod iPod Auto Charger ($25) now includes a separate Dock-to-FireWire cable. Recently redesigned, Griffin says the PowerPod is still the only iPod charger fully compatible with both original and new Apple iPods as well as the recently announced iPod mini. The new PowerPod now includes a new ultra-light ultra-flexible 48-inch Dock-to-FireWire cable. In addition to its use as a charger cable, the PowerPod's Dock-to-FireWire cable can be used for normal syncing and docking operation.
A MacNN reader reports a problem developing between Native Instruments, maker of FinalScratch DJ, and Mac OS X "Panther" users
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Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO