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FileWave today announced significant updates to its flagship software suite for automated management of software. FileWave 1.6 allows businesses to share Mac OS X software easily and rapidly across their distributed networks. The administrator defines a model configuration only once at a centralized location, and is then able to deploy the configured software to all relevant client computers. With version 1.6, the reporting features are greatly enhanced. FileWave is currently offering FileWave X 1.6 free of-charge to qualified academic customers that sign up for a two-year support contract.
Hitachi plans to announce this week the largest 3.5" hard drive, according to CNET News.com: "The new drive has a capacity of 400GB, spins at 7,200rpm and uses ATA interface technology..[It] can come with either the parallel ATA interface long used in desktop computers or the newer Serial ATA interface. Dubbed the Deskstar 7K400, the drive is being tested by manufacturers and could be in digital video recorder (DVR) products available to consumers later this year [for up to 400 hours of video recording]."
Andres Ojeda has released a collection of over a 150 categorized desktop pictures for the Apple Cinema HD Display. All of the images are high resolution widescreen 1920x1200 photographs. Master Spell 5.0 is an update to its educational spelling quiz app. This version adds the long-awaited voice recording feature along with over 800 recordings to start with in the regular download. [Download - OS X, Classic] Znippetizer-X 1.6 ($15) is the latest version of the text clipping storage and retrieval system for Mac OS X. Under version 1.6 snippets can now be moved between groups within the Findsheet. Several bug fixes are also included. [Download - 1.7MB] BR Perfect Moment 1.0 is an iMovie title plugin that provides users an advanced -- "something noticeably lacking in basic iMovie." It offers complete control over text color, placement, font, size, transparency, and embedded graphics. [Download - 2.2MB] XMenu 1.1 -- a freeware application that brings back the good old Apple menu -- now always displays its menus on the right hand side of the menu bar. Additionally, it comes with revised icons and allows users to sort items by kind. [Download - 84KB] Cyberduck 2.3b1 is an open source SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) and FTP browser licenced under the GPL. This minor update adds external editor support (for applications such as SubEthaEdit, BBEdit, TextWrangler, Text-Edit Plus). [Download - 2.7MB]
Pine has released new versions of MathMagic Personal Edition ($120) and MathMagic Pro Edition ($700). MathMagic is a line of equation-editing plugins, providing automatic formatting of equations and a WYSIWYG interface for producing equations. It operates either as a plug-in for InDesign, as an XTension for QuarkXPress or as a standalone application. The new 4.3 version adds several new features and workflow enhancements for the Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress and standalone versions. MathMagic is available now for Mac OS X. [Download - Personal, Pro]
Evening tech news: BlueCat Linux BSP offers an embedded variant of Linux with support for the Linux 2.6 kernel, the PowerPC G5 processor, and both 32- and 64-bit applications; Umax has acquired Microtek in a trans-European deal that concluded in February; in an attempt to grab support from Google, a key proponent of the syndication format RSS has proposed that it merge with its challenger under the auspices of an Internet standards body; Camera maker Eastman Kodak has launched a federal lawsuit against Sony, saying its rival's digital cameras and camcorders infringe on Kodak patents.
TextLightning 3.0 is an update to the $27 PDF-to-Rich Text Filter. Version 3.0 features support for most encrypted files using an updated EGOS engine, and better font substitution as well as significantly improved performance. [1.5MB] FinFlow 1.2 ($15) is a general purpose financial application for solving time value of money problems and analyzing cash flows using present worth, annual cash flow, or internal rate of return analysis. Version 1.2 adds two new compounding frequencies and U.S. Rule amortization, lets users expand and duplicate cash flow events and UI enhancements. [1.2MB] Beholder 1.2 updates the freeware Mac OS X application for finding images on the web. New features include: iPhoto-like thumbnail resizing, sorting by text or color information and improved support for image retrieval from providers such as iTMS RSS feeds, eBay and Amazon. [579KB] ScrapX 1.3 is the latest version of the shareware scrapbook utility built for Mac OS X 10.2 or later. It adds unlimited undo/redo, rich text editing, text selection, image zoom, selective checkboxes, PDF-based search, and other functions. The $20 utility is half-off until March 25. [3.4MB] Captain FTP 3.2 brings improved performance wtih an optimized set of FTP commands, user-defined auto-reconnect attempts, improved Rendezous connectivity, better proxy/firewall server logins, and other advanced functions. The $25 application runs on Mac OS X only. [3.8MB] Reconnector 2.1 ($50) connects automatically to the correct file server and mounts the chosen volumes at startup as well as offers services for automatic reconnection. The application will also launch specified application on connections and offers email-based notification for server connection errors. [Classic, OSX]
Pinnacle Systems today announced CineWave 4.5, the new version of the standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) solution for Final Cut Pro 4. CineWave 4.5 features new real-time HD capabilities, advanced 24-bit multi-track hardware enhanced audio support, desktop mirroring for multiple programs such as Apple's Shake, and full support for Apple RT Extreme. Pinnacle has also leveraged the fast 66MHz bus interface on its PCI-X compatible TARGA Cine Engine for significantly improved transfer speeds for "guaranteed real-time performance" for SD and HD. The upgrade is free for v4.0 owners and $300 for others. Upgrades to the faster 66MHz Cine Engine are $300 as well.
IntelliScanner Pro is a complete home and business inventory solution for Mac OS X. It features the ability to seamlessly barcode and track any kind of item (computer equipment, books, DVDs, furniture, jewelry, etc.) and scan barcodes into any Mac application. The USB-based CCD scanner package includes Inventory, "Collection" software for organizing assets, "iConfig" for simple configuration, custom audio/visual alerts, xTagger software for printing barcodes, pre-printed serialized asset tags for tagging inventory, and a 7-ft USB cable. It will ship at the end of the week for $400.
Digital Thought Software today announced fxStablizer Pro, a more powerful version of its digital film post processing plugin for iMovie that adds fine tuning of the stabilization. The company is bundling several plugins with the "Pro" version ($35), including fx TV Safe Zoom (shrinks video clips and still photos to remove overscan), fx Picture Ken Burns Effect (animates motion of single image), fx Zoom and Pan (fixed zoom/pan), and fx Animate (stop frame animation using "onion-skinning" techniques), fx Ken Burns Effect (pre-control stablization). A limited version of Stabilizer, Animate, Ken Burns Effect, and Zoom & Pan is available with the standard version ($20).
Chaparral Software has released Brushfire 2 for Mac OS X, an update to its FileMaker Pro analysis package that adds comprehensive field, layout, relationship, and dependency analysis reports to its suite of script analysis capabilities. Brushfire 2 utilizes HTML as a presentation mechanism, retains its fast performance and adds many new error and overview reports. The company also said the Mac OS X version is "much easier to set up and run than prior versions." It is available for $280 (before a limited $30 discount). Upgrades from prior versions to Brushfire 2 are $130. It requires FileMaker Developer 5.5 or later.
4D, Inc. today announced 4D for OCI 2003.3, a major upgrade to 4D for OCI that provides a Mac OS X version of 4D for OCI. Included with the release is an enhanced Framework that makes building 4th Dimension-based applications that work with Oracle even easier. 4D for OCI is a 4D plug-in that allows 4D applications to communicate with Oracle servers using the comprehensive Oracle Call Interface, or OCI.
ProClip announced it is now offering holders for Apple's iPod mini, expanding ProClip's product line of custom mounts. The holders attach to ProClip mounts that clip on the car or truck's dashboard or console, without any damage to the vehicle's interior and are easily self-installed. The iPod Mini Holder is $20, while the iPod Mini Holder with Tilt Swivel is $25. Both are expected to ship in the second week of March.
iS3 1.0 dials into NASA's web servers and uses their 'NASA Solar System Simulator' to return an image of any planet or moon as seen from any other planet (or some man made objects) at any given time along with some other options such as constellation lines and planet orbits. [Classic, OSX] iRecordMusic 1.2 (previously RAW) is an update to Bicartel's $20 internet audio application. The update brings advanced iCal scheduling, iTunes playlist and tagging support, and important bug fixes. iRecordMusic enables you to record Internet audio as MP3 and MP4-AAC, supporting RealAudio, WinMedia, QuickTime and more. [803KB] RadioLover 1.2 updates Bicartel's MP3 radio song recorder with improved song splitting options, improved tagging and important bug fixes. It enables you to record MP3 radio streams as separate songs, offering support for iTunes Radio Tuner, Shoutcast-compatible radio streams, and MP3, M3U, and EXTM3U radio stream playlists. [0.6MB] AquaMinds NoteTaker Viewer for Mac OS X allows users to publish and share their multimedia rich notebooks and folios with other Mac OS X users. The free application supports navigation by Notebook Drawer, lookup by Index pages, animated page turning, content printing, full text searching, Slide Show presentation and even dynamic reading by text-to-speech. [4.3MB] googol-Choo-Choo 3D 1.4e ($21) is a 3D model railroad simulation program that can create layouts via drag & drop of track or other items: "You can see the layout in 3D from driver's seat of a running train or from several other locations. If you want to create your own trains or structures, you can do it with 3D modeling software and import the file into googol-Choo-Choo 3D." [2.8MB] MacKiev has posted a collection of a dozen free St. Patrick's Day templates for The Print Shop ($50): "There are matching jewel case covers and CD labels so users can make their own 'Irish Songs' CD's to give as holiday gifts. And some St. Patrick's Day postcards and greetings cards, of course." Handwritten Vol. 1 for LiveType ($100) offers Final Cut Pro editors a new LiveFont package that allows them to render handwritten effects quickly. Handwritten Vol.1 is the first LiveFont package based on a specific theme with a total of ten fonts included in the package. The company also recenly posted five free effects for Apple Live Type. MacSpeech has released ScriptPak for Safari 1.2, which adds voice commands for controlling Safari, including navigating links, making text larger or smaller, managing bookmarks, and much more. The ScriptPak for Safari is priced at $10, requires iListen 1.6.4, and also includes a coupon good for a $10 discount on the upgrade to iListen 1.7, which will be available later this year. Buena Software has reduced the price of its Effect Essentials plug-ins for Adobe After Effects to $200 ($50 reduction) as well as is offering an additional $20 discount through the end of March (for a promotional price of $180 before before April 1st). Buena also added a set of tutorial videos that walk users through various tasks with the plugins in the set.
Archway Systems today announced a new pricing structure for VersaCAD, its full production design and drafting package. VersaCAD Unlimited Site License pricing structure is now available according to the size of the purchasing company and defined by the total number of employees rather than one fixed price. This change is effective immediately and applies to VersaCAD for Windows and Macintosh. "These new prices can dramatically reduce the cost of VersaCAD ownership while increasing the value of a customer's investment," says Tom Lazear, president and co-founder of Archway Systems. Pricing starts at $1000 (1-5 employees) and goes up to $4000 (101 employees or more).
Lexmark this week unveiled new printers and All-In-One (AIO) products that that use Lexmark's new ink technology, a six-color system that combines dye-based and pigmented inks. The new Lexmark X5270 All-In-One and Lexmark Z816 can generate a four-color, 4" x 6" borderless photo on glossy photo paper as fast as 32 seconds in QuickPrint mode. The company said the new products are due "soon" but provided no specific release date.
FileMaker, the database software subsidiary of Apple, today unveiled FileMaker Pro 7, a major revision to the company's flagship product. FileMaker Pro 7 packs more than 100 new features into the upgrade, including the ability to store any kind of file in a database with the new Container field, support for opening multiple windows of the same database at the same time, support for databases up to 8TB in size, new formatting options, and more. FileMaker Pro 7 and FileMaker Pro 7 Developer are available now for $300 ($150 upgrade) and $500 ($400 upgrade), respectively. FileMaker Pro 7 Server, Server Advanced, and Mobile will ship in early summer.
LaCie has announced the Data Watch USB, a stylish black watch that features 128MB of flash memory. The watch connects to Macs or PCs over USB or USB 2.0 and can read and write data at speeds in excess of 7MB/sec. Macworld UK notes that U.K. pricing is £50 excluding VAT (about $90), while US pricing is $70. [updated]
In a lengthy discussion with The Guardian surrounding Napster's UK plans, CEO Chris Gorog predicts that Apple's AAC format will lose momentum: "The iPod is great if you're happy to only shop at one record store. It's like buying a car and finding you can only drive down one road. I think consumers, when they understand that, will be kind of pissed off." Napster employs Microsoft's WMA format, the only viable alternative that provides DRM support and has widespread playback support on most MP3 devices (but no the iPod).
DockDetox 1.2 (free) is a haxie that removes application bouncing from the dock. Version 1.2 features full Panther support and allows users to specify applications that it can ignore.Jerk 1.0 (free) is an iMovie plug-in that makes a motion clip "jerky," giving the clip "a distinctively surreal, nightmarish quality." The plug-in effectively reduces the frames per second from 30 to about 1.8 and can produce other unique effects when used in conjunction with other plug-ins.Pixadex 1.5 ($19) is a tool for importing, organizing, and searching huge numbers of icons quickly & easily. Pixadex allows users to store all of their icons in a single place according to user-specified collections. Version 1.5 adds several new features listed here.
Apple to date has not paid a royalty tax imposed on MP3 players in France, according to Ratiatum.com. France, like Canada, charges makers of such devices 10 Euros for each MP3 player that is sold in the country (15 Euros if it's larger than 40GB). Ratiatum.com is unaware of Apple's reason behind refusing to pay the tax, but speculates that the company's position could impact the opening of iTunes Music Store in France.
MacThemes has published an interview with User Interface Designer Mike Matas. Seventeen year-old Matas is responsible for interface design for much of The Omni Group's software. Matas, a diehard Mac enthusiast, lives right across a lake from Microsoft's headquarters, has even had an appearance on TechTV's "The Screen Savers." In the interview Matas talks about his career, what he thinks of the Mac OS X interface, and what he plans to do after the OmniGroup. Matas offers insight on 3D interfaces, system organization, and alternative methods of interfacing.
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Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Herm√©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh