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BakBone Software said recently it will offer a variety of Beta releases of its upcoming product releases. NetVault users are encouraged to take advantage of the Beta programs and be the first to receive access to new products and provide feedback for enhancements to future product releases. BakBone's Beta Program allows approved applicants to download any products in the Beta program without the need to re-apply for each new release.
Afternoon tech news: Gmail, based on massive storage and search, represents a radical new approach to free e-mail, but the service raises privacy concerns; Microsoft will pay Sun Microsystems a total of $1.6 billion to settle a long-standing set of legal disputes, the companies announced Friday; for years, video game companies have envied Hollywood moviemakers for their stars, special effects and mass-market appeal -- but now they are learning that these things can come at a high price.
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: overclocking a Power Mac G4 dual-1.25GHz "MDD"; Apple's very quick turnaround time for a PowerBook repair; speculation about the possibility for a 10" iBook; discussion and speculation about future revisions of the iPod; opinions on the best public relations approach to Mac security; shipping status of Unreal Tournament 2004 for Mac.
Web Information Solutions today released MindFortress 1.1, a multimedia knowledge base app for the Mac OS X platform that can be used as a Digital Wallet, a Notebook, a Serial Number storage, and Password storage. It offers28 built-in cards and an unlimited number of custom cards to create your own storage items. It adds an AddressBook and Stickies import plugins, improved text import, more keyboard shortcuts, URL support, QuickTime movie/info support, and other changes. It also includes features for categorization of your cards; a favorites bar for quick access; Icon, List, or Column views; startup password, and an advanced search. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Mark/Space today announced The Missing Sync for Tapwave ($40), enabling users to connect and synchronize information between a Zodiac console and a Mac computer running Mac OS X v102.8 or later via USB or Bluetooth. Users of the Tapwave Zodiac, an entertainment-focused device based on Palm OS, "will be able to benefit from a specially-designed Game Installer developed for games sold through the Tapwave store. While many games designed for the Zodiac only include installers for Windows PC users wrapped in a .zip file, the Missing Sync Game Installer allows Mac users to drag-and-drop these or any .zip file for installation on the Zodiac. It also offers a High Score conduit that enables users to share high scores over the Internet."
Apple today launched a new promotion that offers a $100 rebate when a Mac and HP printer (priced higher than $100) are purchased at the same time between April 2 and June 26. The "Impress For Less" promo is available from the Apple Store online and participating authorized resellers.
Mark/Space today announced The Missing Sync for Tapwave, which allows Mac OS X users to connect and synchronize data with the entertainment oriented Palm OS-based Tapwave Zodiac. It also offers a High Score conduit that enables users to share high scores over the Internet. Both the Tapwave Zodiac 1 and Zodiac 2 are supported by the software, which requires the devices to be running the Zodiac 1.1 Software Update. The Missing Sync for Tapwave sells for $40. [Site not updated.]
iSpeak It 1.5 ($13) adds the ability to split large documents into multiple tracks, make AAC tracks bookmarkable so they remember where you left off, and a number of minor enhancements and bug fixes. It can convert any web page or document into an MP3/AAC track in iTunes using the built-in text-to-speech capabilities. [415KB] Translation Service 1.2 ($5) adds a "Translate" menu to the Services menu to translate text between a dozen languages. It supports English, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, Greek, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian. Version 1.2 allows you to customize keyboard shortcuts and choose which languages appear in the menu. [660KB] Galerie 3.3 (free_ updates the application that quickly builds web-based photo/thumbnail galeries from iPhoto albums. It adds support for only transferring modified files via FTP, creating index pages without thumbnails, deleting unused files via FTP, custom font faces for text warkmarks, anti-aliased font support, and other features. [950KB] Curio 1.1 ($100) updates the brainstorming tool that offers "an environment with customizable project dossiers to help clarify goals and strengthen client communication, an unlimited number of flexible idea spaces, a built-in asset library, easy organization and searching, and an assistant called Sleuth to help break through creative roadblocks." [1.6MB] Forty-Two DVD-VX Plus 2.0 ($15) transcodes video, including DVD video, to multiple formats on Mac OS X. Version 2.0 offers a new interface, a setup assistant, portable player support, support for more input formats (VOB, MPEG 1/2, SVCD, WMP, etc.), four motion vectors, 2-pass encoding, custom volume settings, custom bitrates/sizes, audo crop size correction, and other features. ATI Dispaly Utilities 4.2 are available for the Radeon 9800, 9000, 8500, 7000, and Mac Edition (AGP & PCI). It now includes a new 3D/OpenGL Overrides panel (a list of caveats can be found in the ReadMe. It is available for Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later. [5.4MB] Sample Manager 1.0 ($50) is a full-featured batch audio processor for Mac OS X, offering full support of AIFF, WAVE and Sound Designer II audio files and partial support for ACID, Recycle, and Apple Loop files. It also supports any sample rate or bit depth, file sorting, waveform viewing, file/audio/MIDI info, change gain and fade functions, custom extraction, G4/G5/AltiVec optimizations, etc. [685KB] TaskTime 1.4 ($10) adds the ability to add clients from Address Book data to the application designed to track time spent on jobs one does for your clients. The new version also adds the ability to included personal information on invoices and send a message with invoices. [1.8MB] On-Target Reports 4.0b, now in beta, is an easy to use reporting tool for popular databases including FrontBase, mySQL, ODBC, OpenBase, Oracle, postgreSQL, PrimeBase, REALDatabase, Sybase ASE and Valentina (Valentina 1.x and forthcoming 2.x), allowing rapid and easy visual report building and printing. [form] Ukelele 1.0b3 (free) is a Unicode Keyboard Layout Editor that simplifies keyboard layout editing by providing a graphical, drag & drop interface to ".keylayout" files. In addition, it can assign multiple-character strings and can create "dead keys", where a keystroke sets a new state that modifies the output of the following keystroke. [522KB]
MacBurn is an affordable new CD/DVD authoring application from macXware. The application encompasses a core suite of features, including the ability to burn audio CDs and multi-session discs, save and load Burn Lists, create a compilation audio CD from multiple CDs, burn existing disc image files, erase re-writable media, and more. MacBurn sells for $30.
NeoTron has released three new KeyGuides, unique laminated "professional placemats" that feature a full-size keyboard layout labeled with the entire default set of hundreds of keyboard shortcuts. The new KeyGuides are available for Final Cut Express 2 ($12), After Effects 6 ($25), and Boris Red 3GL ($13).
Re:Vision Effects has released Effections, a bundle of RE:Vision Effects' products for use within Adobe After Effects-compatible applications such as discreet Combustion, Boris Red, Final Cut Pro, and Pinnacle's Commotion. Effections ($850) includes the Pro versions of Twixtor (slows down/speeds up footage and frame conversion) and ReelSmart Motion Blur (pixel tracking and motion blurring) as well as FieldsKit (3 plugins for deinterlacing), SmoothKit (smoothing imagery), Shade/Shape (converts 2D elements into rendered artwork), and RE:Fill (fixes holes in images). Effections Plus ($1,200) adds RE:Flex which creates visually stunning morphs and warps with an easy-to-use interface.
Apple is looking to ride the wave of technology growth in India and China, The Hindu Business Line reports. In 2003, the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) accounted for $100 million in revenue. In its effort to expand that, the company has started launching products simultaneously in all markets and has tried to keep pricing reasonable to those markets. Apple's also setting its eyes on high performance including, and hopes to have the same success with India's film business, which is the largest in the world, as it enjoys in North America. Yesterday we noted a report regarding Apple's plans to potentially open a large retail store in a Singapore mall.
Apple is among a list of tech companies set to be hardest hit by a decision by the Federal Accounting Standards Board to require companies to treat stock options as expenses, Reuters reports. According to Credit Suisse First Boston, had the rule been in place in 2003, Apple would have reported a loss of 27 cents per share instead of a profit of 16 cents per share, a reduction of 242 percent. Technology companies, which often dole out hefty options packages to executives, stand to be among the most affected by the new accounting standard.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.27 ( -0.72 )
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
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