Extensis has released Font Reserve 3.1.3, a maintenance update to its font management utility. It provides a single point of access to all fonts on your computer. "Font Reserve's rich feature set is cool enough for designers, strong enough for IT professionals, and fast enough for the most demanding production managers." Details of the latest update were not published. Font Reserve costs $100.
Gigawiz today announced the release of Aabel 1.5.5 for Mac OS X, an update to the $350 data analysis and charting application. This update introduces a unique graphic switch for switching between Quartz (for forward compatibility) and QuickDraw (to allow exporting in PICT format), while still using OpenGL for dynamic drawing of 3-D graphs. It provides full PDF support for import, export, and clipboard; has added 15 new chart types in 5 categories; allows two levels of preferences for chart customizing; provides an extended date format; allows generating and storing histogram bin data, and exporting data from selected scatter chart points.
Apple has released Final Cut Express 2.02, an update to its video editing package with advanced editing, compositing, and real-time effects for full-featured DV editing. It includes fixes and improvements, including changes to the UI and window displays, documentation, and user preferences. This update also fixes known issues with audio and video syncing over FireWire, Timeline editing functionality, and capturing long clips.
The Seattle-Post Intelligencer offers a look at the MacBU, which it says is "one of the closest things to neutral ground in a computer world divided into technological factions. The Mac BU, as it's known, makes Microsoft software for Apple computers, bridging the gulf between the companies' operating systems and linking their respective followers in the process. It may be the only place at Microsoft where someone can be spotted wearing an 'I Don't Do Windows' shirt. And nowhere else would a Microsoft employee, recounting a speech where he captivated a crowd, liken himself to Apple's Steve Jobs, rather than to Microsoft's Bill Gates."
Olympus earlier this month introduced the VP-1 Data Projector, the first-ever projector from Olympus. The new 1,000-lumen projector weighs 2.4 pounds, which the company says "is one of the smallest and lightest projectors of its kind in the world." The project offers a 1:1.2 Zoom Olympus Zuiko Digital, a contrast ratio of 2000:1, S-XGA (1024x768) resolution, and Picture-in-Picture technology in a small form facto--nearly the size of a daily planner (1.85" H x 7.1" W x 6.4" D). The VP-1 will be available in the US in March 2004 for $2,500.
Gateway plans to acquire rival eMachines in a bid to regain its footing in the PC game and broaden the distribution of its Gateway-branded consumer electronics devices at retail, reports CNET News.com. The company plans to purchase privately held eMachines for $30 million in cash and 50 million shares of its stock (the total value of the deal would be approximately $234.5 million). Under the agreement, Wayne Inouye, eMachines' CEO, would become CEO of Gateway, and Roderick Sherwood would remain as Gateway's chief financial officer. Waitt, Gateway's founder, would remain as chairman of the board.
CNN/Money columnist Paul R. La Monica asks, now that Pixar and Walt Disney have gone their separate ways, does it make sense for Apple to buy Pixar?" Both companies are run by Steve Jobs, and, with its success in online music, Apple is beginning to look "more and more like a content company." Independent media researcher Dennis McAlpine says "It's an interesting idea [...] The basis of Pixar's success is computer animation and Jobs is trying to get more into music and entertainment." Pixar's market value, as of Thursday's market close, was $3.6 billion.
Apple's Better together promo offers a new Epson Stylus C84 for free or up to $99 on select Epson printers with the purchase of any Mac between January 30, 2004 and March 27, 2004. The promo is available at participating Apple Authorized Resellers and requires users to submit a mail-in rebate.
GameRanger will soon introduce ladders, rankings, and ratings in the latest release of the "Premium" edition of its online gaming service. "You will be able to see how you compare to other players and experience the electrifying rivalry among friends and foes." Before being completely implemented, the feature will be publicly beta-tested to ensure compatibility and catch bugs.
Servoy BV announced today it will be offering training classes for its namesake development and deployment environment. The two day class (held in London, England) will provide attendees with a thorough understanding of the application development and deployment process. Early-bird registration is $1000. Techie Tours announced today a Digital Photography and Macintosh Basics Workshop with John Tenny June 6-12. John is the technology mentor for five American universities, consultant to Intel, and adviser to several online learning projects.
MathMagic Personal Edition 4.2 is a standalone equation editor for manipulating any mathematical expressions with an easy-to-use graphical interface and various powerful features. Support is included for countless image formats for importing symbols, multiple undos, Drag&Drop, and Sharing across Mac/Windows/QuarkXPress. The latest version of MathMagic comes with an extended trial period. The new version also offers better cross-platform support, an improved toolbar layout, and bug fixes. It costs $120.
Web Information Solutions has released MindFortress 1.0, a multi-media knowledge base application for the Mac OS X platform that includes 28 built-in cards that vary from Financial to Notes, Pictures, offline Web Pages, Health and Body, Identification, Internet, and Phone: "You can customize those cards and create your own with our template editor." Other features include Categorization of your cards; a favorites bar for quick access; your choice of Icon, List, or Column views; startup password, and a full search. It currently runs on Mac OS X 10.3 and is available for an introductory price of $15 ($15 off).
Fire 0.32.i addresses some unannounced Yahoo! connection changes implmemented earlier this month in the multiprotocol peer-to-peer messaging client. It offers support for AIM, ICQ, IRC, Jabber, MSN, and Yahoo! Messenger. The freeware runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later.[5.1MB] PDF2Office v1.0.1 ($100) updates the PDF document convertor. It improves table support, table recognition, support for merged cells, graphics (placement, positioning, and processing), security in PDF documents (including copying/printing support), and columns/section formatting. Version 1.8 of the Quartz drawing application Intaglio is available now. This version adds a fun new "Effects" features, new vector and bitmap operations that produce shadows, glows, 3D lighting, etc. Effects require Mac OS X 10.3 for display, and use the velocity engine in a G4 or G5 processor to increase rendering speed. Beverage Software has released Rating Bar 1.1, an iTunes rating utility that fits in the menu bar. Version 1.1 includes a number of enhancements, including vastly improved performance, and a couple of bug fixes. [92KB] Positive Spin Media has released BombSquad 2, a new version of the $5 shareware minesweeper game for Mac OS X. Version 2 features a resizable board, resizable cells, Apple help, improved "rules", localization support, and toher features. [283KB] Nemesys Software has released File Synchronization 1.3 ($12), which introduces "filters" that let you exclude some files and folders from the synchronization and can now synchronize from the preview window (without another scan). Finally, multiple items can be deleted from the preview window. [2.4MB] Pod Manager 2.2 is an $8 Shareware aimed at extracting music files from an iPod; it can be used to retrieve songs losts after reformatting a Mac hard drive, or so as to move music files from an iPod to another Mac. Version 2.2 improves support for ".m4a"/AAC files. [386KB] breve 1.8 is a free software package which makes it easy to build 3D simulations of decentralized systems and artificial life. Version 1.8 improves shadowing, adds a new "Speed" menu that allows simulations to be slowed down (OS X only), improved documentation, new AppleScript functionality, better error reporting, and new plugin samples. [1.9MB]
Microspot has released Microspot Interiors 3.4 for Mac OS X via electronic downlaod as well as launched a new Online Interiors Users Area (OIUA) for downloading additional materials. Interiors 3.4 is bundled with a basic set of Furniture Libraries, while the entire set can be easily downloaded from OIUA. In addition the new area offers a helpful guide with simple step-by-step instructions on how to build a room and add furniture and will include a 'Library of the Month,' featuring various types of furniture as well as completed rooms. Microspot Interiors ($116) is a 3D design application that allows users to visualize interior designs.
Ebranta today announced it has developed a new digital signal processing (DSP) software technology that enables musicians to receive interactive pitch information while playing an instrument: eTuner, a chromatic tuner and musical pitch analysis application, displays the note closest to the pitch being played, and the amount of variance between the detected pitch and the displayed note. It is available for Mac OS X 10.2.1 or later for $35.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R