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Yi.magination Studios today announced the release of Comixware 2.0, the latest version of its “interactive storytelling apparatus.” Version 2.0 is a major update that introduces expanded file compatibility, user file sharing, better editing functions (cut, copy, paste, and insert), multiple selections, and Mac OS X compatibility. Customers who order Comixware before April 2nd will receive a $10 discount off the $50 price.
Members of the MacNN forums today discuss a number of topics, including: the possibility of quad-processor PowerMac G5s; ATI's recent announcement to stop developing new AGP video cards in favor of the PCI-Express platform; photos of a member's new iPod Mini; capturing the content of a live video stream on a Mac; the latest developer builds of Mac OS X 10.3.3.
Evening tech news: A federal court says 321 Studios' DVD copying software breaks copyright laws and that the company must stop selling the products; Microsoft is planning a number of new features for its Xbox Live online gaming service this year, including limited data storage on its network, the company said; Iran's bloggers fear a clampdown as popularity of online logs skyrockets.
A MacNN reader has informed us of the rather stringent procedure necessary to acquire an iPod Mini from an Apple retail store, indicating limited supplies. "The whole thing seemed like a lot of hoops to jump through to get a Mini."
Integration New Media has published a free "white paper" that "discusses seven key issues to consider when developing for Mac OS X. It's written by INM Senior Project Manager François Breton, and is supported by a case study of the recent conversion of Macromedia Authorware 7 to Mac OS X, performed by INM. It is a definite must read for any developer who is faced with projects that may involve Mac OS X."
McGraw-Hill recently published How to Do Everything With Mac OS X Panther, by Kirk McElhearn. The book covers topics such as Expose, iChat AV, .mac, iCal, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD, as well as easy methods for networking and customizing the Mac. The book also includes a bonus spotlight on "Writers and their Macs," offering glimpses of how three writers work with their Macs: novelist Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha), screenwriter Mike Rich (Finding Forrester), and suspense writer Jeff Abbott (Cut and Run). The book lists for $25, and sells from Amazon.com for $17.50.
Aspyr Media today announced that Medal of Honor Allied Assault Breakthrough has reached beta status. The expansion pack can be pre-ordered for $30 and is slated to ship in early March. Feral Interactive, meanwhile, today launched the mini site for Worms 3D, featuring screenshots, a trailer, profile, and more. Worms 3D is scheduled to ship in the second quarter.
aspect ratio 1.0.0 ($2.50) is an iMovie plug-in that changes a clip's aspect ratio, enlarging or shrinking it. The plug-in is ideal for correcting the aspect ratio of a non-square pixel clip or for importing footage from a different format. Impressionist ($10) is an iMovie plug-in that gives an impressionist painting look to iMovie clips. Sente 1.1 ($50) is an application for searching biomedical research literature in the PubMed database at the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The new version supports importing reference collections from EndNote and exporting data for use with TeX. OnDeck 1.7 (free) displays album artwork for the currently playing iTunes album, can upload the artwork and track information to an FTP or web server, and provides a sleep timer. The new version now displays both embedded artwork and image files that are saved in the same album folders as your music files. MathLink for AppleScript (free) is Scripting Addition (OSAX) that makes it possible to use Mathematica as a computational engine in AppleScript programs. Additionally, it allows external functions written in AppleScript to be called from within the Mathematica environment.
Apple tops Consumer Reports customer satisfaction list among PC makers, according to the March issue. As noted by c|net, Apple scored 74 out of 100, placing it in the "fairly well satisfied" category. Dell scored 62, Gateway 61, HP 54, and Compaq 51. Differences of more than four points are considered significant. The issue hit newstands last week.
London-based security expert mi2g has named Mac OS X "the world's safest and most secure online server OS," as noted by Macworld UK. The firm arrived at its conclusion by analyzing 17,074 successful attacks against servers and networks, a summary of which is available here (Macworld UK also has a brief synopsis of the findings). The full report can be purchased for £881.25.
Marathon Computer today announced that it will being shipping its G5 Rackmount in mid-March, allowing two G5 towers to be mounted side-by-side in 12U. It also allows for three possible mounting positions of a single G5. The G5 Rackmount costs $200.
Napster had struck a deal with HP shortly before its launch that would have seen the music service arrive pre-installed on HP computers, but "HP suddenly -- and without explanation -- returned Napster's $250,000 check and canceled the agreement," reports The San Jose Mercury News. HP, of course, would later partner with Apple. This is just one of the blows that Napster 2.0 has suffered since its inception. The company lost $15 million in its first two months of operation, has seen several executives depart, and the latest data shows Napster 2.0 only holding 12 percent of the online music business, compared to Apple's 56 percent.
SubRosaSoft.com today announced FTPDroplet 2.0, the latest version of its automatic ftp software. Users can configure their ftp information and simply drag & drop files to the icon, perform automatic file synchronization, monitor folders for changes and upload changed files, etc. Version 2.0 can hide/lock the the preferences for additional account security as well as can create a copy of the URL to the new file in your clipboard. SubRosaSoft FTPDroplet 2.0 is $15 (or $40 for a site license) and runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
CNN/Money columnist Patrick Regnier says "Steve Jobs just made me buy another iPod. And that ticks me off." Regnier offers praise for the new iPod Mini, which he says "packs a lot of power into a simple, clean package." Regnier comments, however, that by already owning one iPod, and by using Apple's iTunes store, he was "locked" into Apple's product family, because of compatibility issues. When asked why a more open-platform approach could not be followed, Apple says it's a "quality issue" -- the company wishes to maintain control over the quality of the content from its store.
Although Apple's official description of the GarageBand 1.01 update indicates it is primarily a maintenance release, the update also adds supports the ReWire protocol. This significant new feature is described in a KnowledgeBase article quietly published after the release of the patch. ReWire is a system invented by Propellerhead for routing up to 256 MIDI channels between ReWire aware applications. Logic 6 includes support for ReWire as well.
CNN reports that Jon Gales of MacMerc has discovered how to circumvent the Apple/Pepsi iTunes giveaway contest. By looking through the side of the plastic bottle from a low angle, it is possible to see if the cap reads "Try Again." The latter part of the phrase is visible when the bottle is examined from a specific angle: "It takes a few minutes to get used to the angle... and you may have to twist the bottle," Gales says.
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