NetShade 1.2 is a $25 Internet security tool that makes your Web presence anonymous and more secure. Version 1.2 adds the ability to manually enable and disable proxies; default is now set to filter out one-dot proxies; offers a new interface for proxy filtering; offers the option to enable NetShade on specific network ports. [Download - 972KB] DockFun! 4.2 ($20) is a tool for Mac OS X that enables users to run an infinite number of Docks. Registered users of the new version can now disable the DockFun! splash at startup. Additionally, version 4.2 offers improved Dock menus, bug fixes, and is compiled with GCC 3.3. [Download - 810KB] TriVectus today announced the release of version 2.2 of FlightMath, its utility for performing flight calculations. New in version 2.2, FlightMath can now download radar images for many airports in the United States. [Download - 1.0MB] Digital Alarm Clock is a small desktop application that displays the time using '70s style digital graphics. Its authentic-looking LED display illuminates your desktop in "reassuring shades of Nixon red - just like you remember from your old bedside table." [Download - 570KB] NoteTaker 2003 is a powerful tool for organizing text and image information. NoteTaker's user interface metaphor uses a visually rich "spiral" notebook pages with section tabs. It can do everything from "managing the daily to do list information to sharing a project team binder across the Internet." [Download - form] CopyWrite 2.0 a major update to the $30 organizational tool for writers. The document editor now offers inline spell checking, line-spacing option; the Project Binder (left-hand drawer) replaces the 'Browser' as a way of organizing your project; and search filtering now offers 'filter by category', which uses your custom category list for a more powerful search. [Download - 451KB] NovaMind 1.7 is the latest version of the mind mapping software. Version 1.7 introduces Chinese and Japanese localizations. [Download - 4.2MB] Added: OSXnews Beta 1 pre 2 an update to the open source Usenet news reader for Mac OS X New features include: preliminary threading support, customizable toolbars, better spell check in compose, integration with Apple Mail for email. and more. [Download - 138KB]
The VideoLAN team has released VLC Media Player 0.71a, an update to the very useful utility for playback of various video and audio files. The updates adds new demuxers (PVA and NSV) for wider foramt support for video playback, restores DV audio support, and a new OpenGL video output plugin for Mac OS X (with transparent-spinning-cube effect). It is available for free. The VideoLAN team is also looking for new Mac OS X developers. [updated]
O'Reilly has released "iPod & iTunes: The Missing Manual, Second Edition" ($25). In this freshly updated edition, New York Times tech columnist J. D. Biersdorfer uncovers secrets of the iPod, and its new "colorful spin-off," the iPod Mini. "Music playing isn't the only tune the iPod knows," the publish says, the book "should have been in the box." Topics include "iPod as PDA," "iPod as hard drive," "iPod as e-book," and "iPod as GameBoy."
I.R.I.S announced today the release or Readiris Pro 9 for Mac, the new version of its flagship OCR software for the Mac platform. OCR software takes scanned pages or documents and converts letters to editable text characters. Over the past years, I.R.I.S. has been developing its an entire range of OCR products for the Mac OS platform.
Apple today posted a number of new downloads, including: iDVD 4.01, which it says "is highly recommended for all users of iDVD 4 and will provide for improved reliability when authoring and burning DVDs." Apple also posted NVidia FCode flasher 1.1 for updating the NVIDIA Graphics Card Firmware: "This firmware update is for customers using Mac OS X version 10.2 or later with an Apple Cinema HD Display and a Power Mac G4 with one of the following NVIDIA graphics cards: GeForce2 MX, GeForce2 MX TwinView, GeForce3, or GeForce4 MX." Apple recommends upgrading to Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later before updating the firmware. Apple's GarageBand Jam Pack 1.0.1 will upgrade your version of GarageBand Jam Pack 1.0 to GarageBand Jam Pack 1.0.1. This update installs a number of additional effects presets. Apple's AirPort 3.3.1 software, released yesterday on the Web, is now available via the Mac OS X Software Update as well.
macXware today released a Panther-optimized version of MediaEdit Pro, its package for professional movie, audio and image editing as well as rotoscoping. It also now features a customizable UI, advanced audio mixing, flexible text and titling tools, image masking, MIDI file conversion, a new crop effect, and the ability to create any effect with the REALbasic script editor. It also features advanced color correction, 200 transitions/effects/filters, MPEG-4 export, realtime preview of effects, 3D effects, compression tools, and more. The company also reduced the price to $40.
Macromedia has released Fireworks MX 2004 7.02, a free update to its web graphics utility. The updater fixes bugs in all language versions of Fireworks MX 2004 and includes all fixes addressed in the previously released Fireworks MX 2004 7.0.1 updater as well as additional fixes which greatly slowed down performance in earlier versions of Fireworks MX 2004, including switching focus from other applications and opening files from Dreamweaver. Yesterday we noted Macromedia's FreeHand MX 11.02 upater.
Infoworld reports on Apple's $10 billion growth strategy: "Apple Computer Inc.'s chief financial officer Fred Anderson and corporate controller Peter Oppenheimer spoke at Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.'s Semiconductor and Systems conference March 1. ...The wide-ranging 40-minute discussion covers a range of topics, with a particular focus on iPods, Apple notebooks, the creative professionals market, and retail. And the discussion confirms Apple's aggressive plans. 'We would like to become a $10 billion company again,' the executives said, confirming the company already has control systems in place to enable it to handle more revenues than it takes today."
Other World Computing today announced a 1.5GHz version of its Mercury Extreme G4 processor upgrade for PowerMac G4 models. OWC also announced it has reduced prices by as much as $40 on select Mercury Extreme G4 models. Pricing ranges from $330 (G4/1GHz) to $530 (1.5GHz). The G4 upgrades feature 256KB of 1:1 L2 Cache on-chip and 2MB of high-speed L3 Cache. They are compatible with Apple PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics (Sawtooth), Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio and Quicksilver models. Each Extreme G4 processor upgrade is backed by a three-year warranty and a 30-day 100 percent money-back guarantee.
Boinx has released MiracleSight, a new application for iSight users and other webcams that displays what is in front of the camera and reacts to motion: "Using the iSight mounted on top of your display, MiracleSight mirrors what is in front of your computer. It watches and if it detects motion, it reacts by drawing bubbles where the motion is happening, playing a sound or speaking a phrase of your choice using Mac OS X speech synthesis." The application is freeware and runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Maxon today shipped Joe Alter's hair plugin for 3D artists, Shave and a Haircut 2.5, for CINEMA 4D: "The hair looks more lifelike than in previous versions thanks to a string of enhancements such as improved antialiasing, smoother soft shadows and a completely new look for frizz and kink that is closer to the real thing." Rendering has been improved by up between 25% to 100% when compared with version 2. It runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later and requires Cinema 4D R7 or R8. Updates are Ä43, while the full version is Ä300.
HideItControl ($10) is a new system enhancement that allows user-specified applications to automatically hide all their windows when the application is not in the foreground, reducing desktop clutter.March 2004 Mac Hints & Tips (free) is a PDF containing 12 pages of Mac OS X tricks pulled from user group newsletters, books, magazines, and other resources. A searchable database of over 5,000 tips is also available on the site.EarthDesk 2.5 ($20) replaces your desktop picture with a beautifully rendered image of the Earth, continuously updating in the background. Version 2.5 brings full map centering and zoom support for all map projections to the world time and mapping tool.Audacity 1.2 (free) is a new version and major upgrade to the free cross-platform audio editing software. Audacity can record sounds, play sounds, import and export WAV, AIFF, Ogg Vorbis, and MP3 files, and more. Built-in effects include Echo, Change Tempo, and Noise Removal; the software also supports VST and LADSPA plug-in effects.xTime Project 1.6 ($100) is a project management solution for Mac OS X that allows users to manage resources, time, and the costs associated with any project. Version 1.6 contains various improvements across the board; version 2.0 is due in May and will feature full Microsoft Project support.J2SAutodata 1.0 (49 Euros) is an InDesign CS plug-in designed to count and display the total pages in an InDesign document or book.Lux 3.9 ($15) is a Risk-like strategy game that builds on the board game's concept with random maps, custom maps, easy network play, online rankings, and a challenging AI.
Thomson and Fraunhofer, the company that license and own the patents behind the MP3 audio format, is developing a version of MP3 that features digital rights management, c|net reports. In the past year, Thomson and Fraunhofer has seen online music services forgo the unsecure MP3 format in favor of AAC or Windows Media formats that offer copy protection technologies; the company's move is intended get the format into that space, which it sees as becoming a "significant mass market." The protected MP3 format is expected to be available on devices and services by the end of the year and will be available free of charge to MP3 licensors.
Eric Clapton will release a four track sampler EP later today exclusively on iTunes from his upcoming album "Me And Mr Johnson," according to NME.com. The EP will include the tracks "When You Got A Good Friend," "Come On In My Kitchen," "Milkcow Calf Blues," and "If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day." The full album will debut March 22. Yesterday we noted a Wall Street Journal article that discussed how such exclusive content is pivotal for the success of online music stores.
Brother today announced an all-in-one laser multifunction center geared towards business users. The new MFC-8220 replaces the MFC-8500 and delivers print and copy speeds of up to 21ppm, digital copying, stand-alone faxing, and PC fax sending/receiving. The printer features PCL 6 and PostScript Level 3 support, a 250-sheet paper capacity (with an optional second 250-sheet tray), and USB 2.0 connectivity. The MFC-8220 will ship later this month for $350 and is compatible with Mac OS 8.6 and newer and Mac OS X; an optional network Print/Fax server can be purchased for $250. [site not updated]
Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich predicts that Apple's iPod "could be the 'killer app' that pushes it out to the wider masses....In a research report Monday, he said the success of the iPod demonstrates Apple's 'tech know-how and strong brand' and could make the company 'relevant again,'" according to Dow Jones Newswires. In his report, he estimates iPod's revenue to come in around $1 billion this year, contributing 15 cents to per-share earnings and said that number could double to $2B by fiscal year 2006, adding 25 cents to the EPS.
Early morning tech news: The file-swapping technology associated with the original Napster era is being transformed to block unauthorized copying and take advantage of now-popular legal services; in an ironic twist, Oracle is seeking information from Microsoft, its archrival, to help in its defense against a Department of Justice suit; video games can make children fat and, in the case of violent games, aggressive and even criminal.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN