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Dr. Frame 3D
Dr. Software has released Dr. Frame 3D, a $900 structural analysis tool that offers direct manipulation and instant feedback for modeling three-dimensional structures. The software was developed to assist architects and engineers make better designs in less time. It is used primarily for frame and truss structures made of metal, concrete or wood. It performs linear and nonlinear analysis; allows interactive manipulation of loads, supports and members; and updates displacements, moments and design checks, all in real time.
The second major version of Screentool, a $12 screenshot and screen video capture and organization tool is now available. Version 2.0 is completely rewritten from with a redesigned interface and new features such as sound in recorded screen videos, export options, and a catalog system. [Download - 1.3MB]
CGIScripter 1.73 Enterprise Edition ($50) is an update that adds the billity to generate Perl CGI scripts for Sybase and DB2 databases. The update to the multi-platform development application also adds support for using HTML checkboxes to facilitate the creation of Web survey forms. [Download - 1.3MB]
iSpeak It 1.4 ($10) is the latest version of the utility to convert text documents to audio files (text-to-speech technology) for portable listening. This release adds the ability to load DOC files without Word, a description of speech directives to insert into text, full Panther support and bug fixes. [Download - 408KB]
TimeSlice 2.7.2 is an update to the $50 utility that tracks billable time spent on clients, business projects, specific jobs and more. The new version adds improved tracking, graphs, a "Window" menu, a quick search, and improved printing. [Download - OS X, Classic]
Balooba has released a utility that allows users to automatically scan Safari bookmarks for expired entries. User can select from a list which ones to delete or keep. [Download - site not updated]
Lasso 7 beta
Blue World Communications today announced that Lasso Studio 7 is now ready for beta testing. Lasso Studio 7 is an upgrade that provides enhanced functionality and compatibility with the latest versions of Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe GoLive and Blue World Lasso Professional, in addition to support for new tags introduced in LDML 7. Lasso Studio allows non-programmers to quickly build data-driven Web sites. Those interested in beta testing are asked to contact email@example.com. The $300 suite will be available as a finished product "within the next few weeks."
AEC \'Boot Camp\'
The National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) announced today that it has expanded the venue size for its 'Adobe Certified Expert Boot Camp'. NAPP previously announced that the half-day workshop had sold out, but says it has now doubled its capacity, due to popular demand. The workshop is being held at PhotoshopWorld Conference & Expo on Februrary 29th. Tickets are being sold for $99 each and are available only to PhotoshopWorld attendees.
RIAA suit; Google
Evening tech news: eWEEK says that Google is having a relevance problem in its search engine results; a lawsuit charges the RIAA group with extortion and racketeering in its attacks on file traders; Intel has committed to release Linux versions of essential supporting software at about the same time it releases Windows versions.
AOL releases AIM 4.7
America Online has released AIM 4.7, an update to its peer-to-peer messaging client. Version 4.7 offers Friendly Name support, allowing you create/view alternate names for each user as well as Multi-point File Sharing, which allows you to share files from multiple locations. The free client is available for Mac OS 9/X.
Glimpse of wireless future
BusinessWeek Online has a special report on future of wireless technologies, including UWB (for home use), WiMax (for commercial use), and wOzNet, created by a company started by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak: "...some of the new technologies could take a bite out of Wi-Fi's growth. This might take a while: The wannabes have yet to prove their worth in the marketplace, and industrywide standards for some of them still need to be agreed on, a process that's never easy or fast. Still, rivals are lining up -- and Wi-Fi had better watch out."
HELIOS Software is now shipping HELIOS WebShare, a secure and "extremely fast" server solution that enables users to access their file servers over the Internet: WebShare replaces inefficient and insecure file transfer methods such as FTP, VPN, ISDN, e-mail and others; using an intuitive Web browser interface to enable real time file uploads and downloads, document proofing, and remote file management." HELIOS WebShare is a two-tier server application that uses a WebShare WebObjects to generate dynamic HTML content pages from data provided by the WebShare File Server.
Apple \'exporting America\'?
CNN's Lou Dobbs has added Apple to list of companies "'Exporting America:' These are U.S. companies either sending American jobs overseas, or choosing to employ cheap overseas labor, instead of American workers. 'Exporting America' will air on February 18 at 6 p.m. ET. The list includes PC vendors such as Dell, Gateway, and HP as well as other tech giants such as Microsoft, Adobe, Yahoo!, Google,
Prepaid Cards at Target
Over the weekend, Apple started selling $15 prepaid music cards at Target, according to CNET News.com: "The cards are being sold both with the iPods in the electronics department as well as in the CD section, Apple said. Tim Deal, a Technology Business Research analyst, praised Apple's move to offer the prepaid cards. 'This is another way for Apple to generate interest in the iPod," Deal said. 'By placing gift cards on end caps in 1,200 Target stores, Apple will appeal to impulse shoppers, last-minute gift buyers and many who have yet to learn about the music store.'" Apple yesterday advertised the card in its eNews letter and over the weekend, we noted that Apple's iTunes Music Store has a new section for redeeming the Prepaid cards.
Space Colony for Mac OS X
Aspyr today announced it will bring Gathering's Space Colony to Mac OS X: "You've built the perfect simulated life on earth. Now let's see how you do with the rest of the galaxy. Turn a variety of fully-realized worlds into beautiful utopias. Or trash them with some killer parties. It's up to you in 24 different levels. You're not just playing a game. You're playing God. Create your own worlds to explore, conquer and defend!." The Mac conversion is being handled by Trihedron and is currently in "alpha" development stage. It is due in May for $30 and will run on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
CodeBlender Rally Shift
CodeBlender Software today released Rally Shift, a racing car game for Mac OS X in which users can drive "high performance rally cars on a variety of rally courses. Compete against hard to beat computer drivers on both dirt roads and paved roads through forests, windy mountain passes and desert. Two players can also compete against each other on the same computer. Rally Shift features very realistic physics where you can put your driving skills to the test. Slide through turns on dirt roads, brake and accelerate at the right moment to keep your car on the road or you will see your competitors speed away." It is available for $25.
Google vs. Yahoo!
Morning tech news: Facing increased competition from Yahoo! and Microsoft, Google expanded its Web index to more than 6 billion items -- including 4.28 billion Web pages, 880 million images, 845 million Usenet messages (Yahoo officially dropped Google yesterday); EarthLink today announced legal action against a multi-state spam ring in which 16 individuals and corporations sent out more than 250 million illegal junk emails; Adobe Policy Server, due at the end of 2004, is designed to store and administer security rules for PDF documents.
EchoFX releases USBVision
EchoFX has announced USBVision, which offers Mac OS X support for XLR8 InterView as well as a wide range of new devices including Belkin VideoBus and VideoBus II, iRez USB Live and CapSure, Global Village VideoFX, Alpha Data USB Video Adapter, Hauppauge USB-Live and "many others -including those originally sold as 'PC-only.'" The update allows up to eight video capture devices to run simultaneously on one computer, including video broadcast and webcam packages and also adds a snapshot button and audio input support; the USBVision Capture software also now features hardware accelerated full-screen playback and AppleScript support. It is free for registered users of InterView (available for $65) and $25 for others.
Apple becomes debt free
As anticipated last month, Apple is now a debt free company, according to a letter from Steve Jobs to company employees: "Today is a historic day of sorts for our company. When I arrived back at Apple in mid-1997, the company was burdened with $1 billion of debt. Through everyone's hard work we turned Apple around, paid off the majority of our debt and began to amass a war chest of cash in the bank which has grown to about $4.8 billion! But there was still $300 million of remaining debt, which we decided to hold to maturity. Today we used $300 million of our cash to pay off this remaining debt. Apple is now a debt-free company - for the first time in over a decade! It sure feels good."
SGI SAN supports OS X
Silicon Graphics has introduced the InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS, which it bills as "the first truly heterogeneous Storage Area Network (SAN) that fully supports Mac OS X." The SAN also allows Mac OS X workstations to directly share files with Discreet systems and software, and also supports IRIX, Windows, and Linux. The InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS is available now; pricing is unavailable.
Now Up-to-Date & Contact
Now Up-to-Date & Contact 4.5.2 brings Rendezvous networking support to the cross-platform calendar and contact manager. The update also adds support for the Xserve G5, scroll wheel mouse support, enhanced calendar banner display, and stability improvements. The update is free download to version 4.5 users; the software sells for $130 (boxed) or $120 (download).
Mac.Ars: 64-bit computing
Eric Bangeman of Mac.Ars explains and opines 64-bit computing in the context of Apple's Power Mac G5. With no consumer 64-bit applications for Mac OS X, and no 64-bit version of Mac OS X on the horizon, Bangeman discusses why the marketing angle of 64-bits may be more significant than the computing muscle it has the potential to flex.
Apps: ABFR, OmniWeb, ...
- A Better Finder Rename 6.2 ($20) adds the ability to insert numbers within existing file names to the utility for quickly batch renaming files.
- OmniWeb 5.0b2 is the second public beta of the forthcoming Web browser. Testers are encouraged to send feedback; a list of known bugs and changes is documented here.
- Bluetooth Updater 1.3.4 is for Mac OS X 10.2.8 users and provides enhanced stability for Bluetooth connections to some Symbian OS mobile phones. Mac OS X 10.3 users should be using version 1.5, released earlier this month.
- MacMessenger 3.0 and aMSN are two alternative clients for the MSN instant messaging protocol.
- NetScrape 1.2 ($15) is an application that finds all the images on a given website, downloads them, and presents thumbnail and full-sized views for browsing.
PowerSchool SIS 3.7 ships
PowerSchool, a division of Apple, today released PowerSchool SIS 3.7, its latest version of the web-based, single-server Mac and Windows compatible student information system for K-12 schools and school districts. Version 3.7 includes automated schedule scenario set-up, new capabilities to allow for scheduling far in advance, and improved data-capture of scheduling results. PowerSchool also announced that it is a finalist for the 2004 SIIA Codie Award for Best Education Administration Solution, the third year in a row it has been a finalist. Winners will be announced May 18.
iPod mini pricing and more
In an interview with Macworld UK, Apple's iPod worldwide product marketing manager Danika Cleary explained the pricing and position of the iPod mini. "The iPod mini is smaller and at a slightly lower price. It's very fashionable, so it may appeal to women or younger people who may not have considered an iPod previously," Cleary said. The article also includes an interesting observation from Edgar Matias, president of Matias, the company that makes the iPod Armor case:
Compression Engine 1.5 X
Popwire today released Compression Engine 1.5 OS X, a high performance server based media encoding/transcoding system "for Broadcasting companies, media houses, ISP's and mobile operators who deal with large amounts of content." Version 1.5 adds support for 3:2 pull down, 2:3 pull down, NTSC and PAL conversion, Watermark support, and MPEG-1/2 output and RealMedia support. Pricing is unavailable.
Practical Color Correction
Intelligent Assistance has released Practical Color Correction, a complete tutorial for Apple's Final Cut Pro that explains the process of improving image quality by adjusting color characteristics. "Color Correction" uses a combination of tutorials that can be worked through sequentially or via a unique learning engine that allows users to focus on a precise piece of knowledge. Editors can buy all the tutorials, "How2s" and advice as a complete package for, $35 or buy individual content for as little as $0.25 each.
QuickerTek AirPort antenna
QuickerTek today began shippping its 8 Dbi directional TiBook antenna, which extends the range of Airport cards and/or third-party Wi-Fi PCards with external antenna ports. The company says that this directional 8Dbi antenna triples the range of omni antenna designs and says it is compatible with both the PowerBook G4 and the PowerBook G3 Pismo. This new directional antenna replaces the QuickerTek Stub antenna in the product lineup. It is available for $55 and includes a software CD for measuring wireless system performance. It supports both Apple Airport and Aiport Extreme wireless products.
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