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FlightCheck Workflow OS X
Markzware has announced the release of FlightCheck Workflow 3.1 (formerly MarkzScout). FlightCheck Workflow is a tool for prepress operations, simplifying and automating many of the tedious workflow processes while managing thousands of documents and electronic files destined for print. Version 3.1 introduces Mac OS X support, Microsoft Office Product Support, a faster scripting engine, and more extensive PDF checking.
WiFi antenna for G4 Cube
QuickerTek today announced a new 5 Dbi omni-directional antenna for the Apple's G4 Cube desktops. This new WiFi antenna extends the wireless range and reception pattern up to five times that of the original Apple stock antenna, according to the company. The $130 antenna package includes all cables, tools and installation instructions as well as a software CD for measuring wireless system performance.
LaCie product news
LaCie will begin shipping its Big Disk Extreme drive later this month. Utilizing the new OXFW912 from Oxford Semiconductor, it offers maximize transfer rates of up to 88MB/sec--up to 50% faster than other FireWire 800 drives, according to the company. The largest model drive offers 500GB using a 5.25-inch, 7200 rpm mechanism with an 8MB buffer (others feature a 2MB buffer). The drives feature two FireWire 800 ports and one FireWire 400 port. It will be available for $400 (320GB), $480 (400GB), and $580 (500GB). LaCie also quietly introduced a new 1000GB drive: the $1,200 LaCie Bigger Disk hard drive offers FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 2.0 connectivity.
This year Apple continues its sponsorship of the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group for Computer Science Education (SIGCSE). "As the world's largest vendor of UNIX-based systems, Apple continues to lead the way for innovative approaches to educating the next generation of computer scientists." Speaker Sessions at SIGCSE include "Mac OS X: The Ultimate Platform for CS Education" (March 5), presented by Matt MacInnis, Manager of Research and Scientific Computing at Apple Higher Education. Apple will also attend AccelrysWorld 2004, a Software for pharmaceutical, chemical, and materials research expo (March 8-10).
Brother, Epson promos
Apple is offering a Brother Printer promo, offering up to a $75 instant rebate on select brother printers. Users can receive $50 off Brother HL-5070N Network Laser Printer or $75 off Brother MFC-8820DN Laser Multifunction when the printer is purchased along with a new Power Mac G5. Products must be purchased on the same invoice from the Apple Store for Business between February 19 and March 11, 2005.
Apple is also offering up to $200 discount on the purchase of select Epson Projectors when purchased along with any PowerBook G4 (at the Apple Store for Business). The promotion runs through March 27, 2004 and offers discounts on the Epson PowerLite S1 Projector ($100), Epson PowerLite 54c Projector ($150), Epson PowerLite 74c Projector ($200), and Epson PowerLite 820p Projector ($200).
Safari Extender 1.0
Batista.org has announced Safari Extender 1.0, a $10 contextual menu item that adds extra features to Safari such as the ability to re-order the Tabs used for Web browsing, and compose an email with the current web address in your browser. It can also temporarily turn images off, which helps speed loading for rapid browsing. After you find what you need you can then turn graphics back on easily. Other convenient functions in the contextual menu allow users to quickly go back or forward in a page, reload the page and increase or reduce the text size.
Afternoon tech news: Internet company Yahoo and software provider Sendmail said Tuesday that they will jointly develop a system for authenticating e-mail, with the goal of mitigating spam; an FBI raid of Columbus, Ohio hosting company CIT Hosting last Saturday resulted in the shutting down of the entire operation, seizure of all the company's Web servers and all customer data, as part of its investigation of a hacking incident; trumpeting services like wireless video calls or satellite navigation, mobile phone companies showcased their latest technology on Monday.
Apple's iPod music player is not only popular with shoppers - it is also becoming increasingly popular with thieves. A series of muggings in Britain of people for their iPods has been reported, and experts warn the distinctive white headphones could be the secret of its appeal to criminals. "Having white headphones might be stylish but they act as an indicator to thieves. You really are an obvious target if you use them."
Agfa, dincTYPE fonts
Agfa Monotype has introduced 20 exclusive fonts and font volumes, including new Laurentian ($151), Fairbank ($84) and Mosquito Formal ($340) families. They are offered PostScript fromat for Mac users with individual fonts starting at $42 and are immediately available via Fonts.com. Meanwhile, dincTYPE has released several new tyuefaces for free, including Gee Whiz, Sixteen, Joe Strummer, Amy Johnson, JoJo, Jodigirl, Zelda, La Dolce Vita, and Little Love.
Sharp LCD monitors
Sharp today announced two new LCD monitors, including its 20.1-inch LL-T2015 LCD monitor offering a resolution of 1,600x1,200, a 16ms response time, 8-bit gamma correction technology, both analog and digital video inputs, 250-nit brightness and a 400:1 contrast ratio, and horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 176 degrees as well as the ability to accept input from 3 different computers. It is available in white or black for $1,300. Sharp also debuted its 19-inch LL-191A LCD monitor ($700) with stereo speakers. It offers SXGA (1,280x1,024) resolution, 16ms response time, analog video input, 220-nit brightness and a 500:1 contrast ratio, and horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 160 degrees.
Petty music at ITMS
Universal Music yesterday announced that it has made available for downloading 99 Tom Petty tracks, spanning albums from 1976 to 1993, across the major music services, the company announced. Additionally, it said that two exclusive live Tom Petty tracks will be available on the iTunes Music Store on March 2. The iTunes Music Store now features over 200 Tom Petty tracks. Meanwhile, iTunes is also offering Widespread Panic's entire live concert (8 hours) for $15: "For the first time ever, iTunes is offering an entire live concert experience for sale. Widespread Panic's pair of sold-out, year-end concerts at Phillips Arena in Atlanta, GA are now available."
iCal Backup 1.0b3 is an AppleScript application that backs up Apple's iCal calendar files according to user specified preferences--only when the calendars have changed since the last backup. The latest beta compensates for a bug in Mac OS X 10.2's handling of file names in AppleScript (subsequently fixed by Apple in Mac OS X 10.3). [595KB]
CamSpinner 1.0b2 is a webcam utility that allows users to publish a webcam on a site, record images and video using Apple's iSight or any other QuickTime webcam. Features include custom away messages, templates, built-in FTP, Keychain support, and more. It is freely available until May 31. [257KB]
Microspot's free MacDraft 5.5.3 update improves DWG file support, resolves problems opening documents saved in an older version, and fixes a copy/paste bug. The full version of the 2D design, drafting and technical illustration package is $350. It offers a full complement of drawing tools in a multi-layered, scaled drawing environment. [2.5MB]
photo paper (b&w) is a color effects iMovie plugin that simulates different kinds of black & white photo paper: "you have direct control of the paper's sensitivity to light, making it very easy to achieve some stylistic 'madium' to 'hard' photo paper effects." The $3 plugin is a derivative of its 'quicksilver/rainbow' plugin. [451KB]
24U SimpleDialog Plug-In v2.0 adds more than 10 features to the FileMaker plugin that allows you to display progress bars and almost arbitrary dialog boxes combining multiple user input and dialog elements (free text, password, pop menus, etc.). It adds improved dynamic sizing, more custom features, regular expression-based validation, and more. [2.6MB]
Tenon's Post.Office 3.5.3 (v722) is a replacement mail server and list server for Mac OS X. It includes Spam filtering, IMAP4, etc. as well as a new script that runs in conjunction with McAfee's Virex to scan messages for viruses, discover unwelcome file attachments; rewrite subject lines, and other features. A starter package ($300) supports 100 mailboxes and 10 lists.
Panther training book
Lynda.com today announced "Mac OS X Panther Hands-On Training", a step-by-step, tutorial-based book that uses a combination of project-based lessons, guided exercises, and QuickTime tutorials to help readers gain practical experience using Panther and the iLife suite. Topics include the new Finder and Desktop, managing system preferences, managing fonts, printing, faxing, using Safari, etc. It is available from Amazon for $25.
Macromedia today announced that more than 150,000 customers are now using Contribute, making it the fastest growing new product in Macromedia history, according to the company. Contribute 2 allows non-technical individuals and teams to update, create, and publish web content to any HTML website, while maintaining site standards for style, layout, and code. Effective April 1, 2004, the product will be $150. Special introductory pricing of $100 is available until then.
Media 100 seeks buyer
Media 100 today announced that it is actively seeking additional capital or a sale of all or part of its business, which may "involve a reorganization, and expects to make a more definitive announcement regarding whether or not such a transaction will occur within the next two weeks. In the event negotiations do not result in definitive arrangements in the short term, the Company may be required to cease operations." Media 100 says that it has not been able to achieve appropriate revenues levels to sustain operations. Media 100 sells video editing software for visual effects, sound design, interactive authoring, and professional editing.
ArtSite, ArtWebsite launch
Leaning Post Productions today announced ArtSite and ArtWebsite, two products for K-12 teachers and students of art studio, art history, and multi-cultural education. ArtSite allows teachers and students discover, assemble, and share collections of worldwide art, and allows students to share portfolios of their art and writing on a classroom computer or a school Intranet, while ArtWebsite (Windows only) makes it easy for art departments to publish their accomplishments on the web. ArtSite is available for Mac and Windows for $200, with a server version costing $500.
FAXstf Server released
Smith Micro today announced FAXstf Server, a dedicated Mac OS X solution that allows multiple Macs to fax through a single network server. The software supports one or more fax servers on a network configured to handle both single and multiple dedicated fax lines for sending and receiving faxes. FAXstf Server also supports automatic forwarding of faxes in PDF format to email addresses and remote administration. Smith Micro also announced FAXstf X Pro 10.5, which brings auto-print, auto-email, full AppleScript support, and more to the desktop fax software. FAXstf Server sells for $400 with five client licenses, while FAXstf X Pro sells for $90. (Site not updated.)
MDC: Mac OS X Security
An in-depth tutorial at O'Reilly's MacDevCenter takes a look at Mac OS X Security and techniques and applications that users can employ to make their Mac more secure. "Unfortunately, some Mac users forget that security is more than just applying the occasional patch. It is a continuously evolving quest that requires additional steps to make their systems more secure. Luckily, the Unix foundation of Mac OS X, Darwin, has provided us with powerful tools that we can leverage to help our computers remain secure in an otherwise dangerous world."
Starbase Defender released
Bigger Planet today released Starbase Defender, a retro arcade shooter game for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. "Inspired by arcade classics like Missile Command and Tempest, Starbase Defender has a simple premise: you must defend your "cores" from theft by alien attackers. As the aliens' numbers increase, and their attacks become more elaborate, the game grows increasingly challenging." The game is available as $20 shareware, but can be registered for $16 until April 4.
Eminem sues Apple
Eight Mile Style, the music publisher for Eminem, filed suit late last week against Apple claiming it used one of Eminem's songs in a television advertisement without permission, the Associated Press reports. The ad in question was one of the first launched for the iTunes Music Store, and featured a 10-year-old singing "Lose Yourself." The ad initially aired on MTV in July 2003. "Eminem has never nationally endorsed any commercial products and ... even if he were interested in endorsing a product, any endorsement deal would require a significant amount of money, possibly in excess of $10 million."
Google, Napster, phones...
Early morning tech: Search Beyond Google talks about the search engine's future and its ability to stay ahead of its competitors; Roxio's Napster has passed the 5 million mark in online song sales--ahead of other only-on-PC services, but far behind iTunes; a recent deal between Nokia and Cisco Systems gave Wi-Fi cell phones a key boost--but analysts say the devices may be slow to catch on, because carriers remain reluctant to sell them.
Writing his weekly column on his 15-inch PowerBook, Executive Editor David Coursey of ZDNet's AnchorDesk touts the stability of Mac OS X compared to Windows: "The nice thing about Mac OS X is that it's darn near uncrashable. No matter what programs I install or uninstall or how I use it, OS X just runs. I've been using it since before the commercial release and have had only one serious crash--and that was during a hardware installation. The machine then booted right up without further incident. Other that that, the OS has been--at least in my experience--rock solid. And that's more than I can say about my Windows machines."
MimMac, Tasks Pro...
Mozilla 1.7a is the latest version of the alternative open-source Web browser for Mac OS X. This update includes enhancements to Mozilla's pop-up blocking feature, the ability to toggle Smooth Scrolling, and better changing of the download directory. [Download - 14.8MB]
Ascendant Softworks has released MimMac 1.1 ($10), an update to the simple backup, cloning, and data migration utility. Version 1.1 adds the ability to perform multiple simultaneous backup operations, including both multiple sources to a single destination, and multiple source and destination sets. [Download - 404KB]
Tasks Pro 1.0 is a Web-based hierarchical task manager with multi-user functionality. Features include advanced user and task permissions, e-mail notifications and reminders, RSS feeds iCalendars, and a powerful interface. Pricing starts at $125. [Download - demo]
Brad Rhine today released version 1.6 of Frequency, his $9 program for updating Web logs that eliminates the need for a Browser-based interface. The new version adds the ability to save posts as drafts for later editing and posting. [Download - OS X; Classic]
BCI 4.0.1 is a tool to convert quickly cameras files from 72dpi to other resolutions. Version 4.0.1 offers many new features, including Panther compatibility and other minor improvements. [Download - 431KB]
Quark has released a PDF Filter patch for QuarkXPress 6.1. Some QuarkXPress users reported the unexpectedly exit of QuarkXPress application under the following conditions: exporting a layout as PDF, importing PDF files, or changing full resolution of imported EPS and PDF files. [Download - 2.7MB]
iTuner 1.6 is a small application that controls iTunes, removing the need to have large windows open. Version 1.6 fixes miscellaneous bugs. [Download - 235KB]
PowerSurge Publishing has released version 1.4 of Two Due, its $10 to-do list manager. The latest release adds several new features. Closed items can now be moved to a separate archive file, as well as simply being purged. [Download - 743KB]
Security Update 2004-02-23
Apple has posted download versions of its Security Update 2004-02-23, which was released yesterday evening via the Mac OS X Software Software Update. The Jaguar Client v1.0 and Panther Client v1.0 versions both include several updated components: DiskArbitration, IPSec, Point-to-Point-Protocol, tcpdump, while Panther Server v1.0 and Jaguar Server v1.0 also included an update to QuickTime Streaming Server. Apple provided a full listing of the security fixes.
PocketMac iPod Edition
PocketMac iPod Edition is a new tool for Mac and Windows systems that allows users to sync their contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, & documents between a Mac and an iPod: "While the Mac contains built-in tools to export AddressBook/iCal information to the iPod, PocketMac iPod Edition converts and copies users' Entourage data to the iPod, from within the familiar iSync application." It also offers the ability to convert and copy text, rich-text, PDF, and Microsoft Word documents to the iPod's built-in note viewer. The $24 license includes both Windows XP/2000 and Mac OS X versions.
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