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MIF Filter 2.0 ($100) is QuarkXPress import and export filter for Adobe FrameMaker documents, offering a method for exchanging documents between QuarkXPress and Adobe FrameMaker. It supports all elements, including large tables, page layout, graphic objects, styles colors, etc. and also converts cross–platform files. It now supports Mac OS X and Quark Xpress 6.0. [QXP4/5, QXP6] Apimac Slide Show 6.2 is a maintenance release of the $30 slide show and presentation tool for multimedia files. This release primarily fixes an issue with multimedia files that do not have File Type and Creator codes and introduces an Italian localization. [Download - OS X, Classic] PlasmaDesign.co.uk today added three new dual-monitor images to its online collection of digital artwork. There are over 150 wallpapers available to members of the site (£7 membership). Menu Master 1.1.1 is a $10 'haxie' that allows users to change or remove menu shortcut keys in any application. Version 1.1.1 works correctly with Safari's bookmarks, no longer creates incomplete key combos, and much more. [Download - 1.1MB] AllStop ($5) is a stopwatch/timer/reminder application for Mac OS X. "AllStop makes it easy for the user to time events and activate reminders at specified intervals." [Download - 1.5MB] MacLessonPlanner Pro! 2.0 is a $22 program for creating and editing lesson plans. The latest version "alleviates the task of transcribing subjects and times of daily events from the current week's plans to next week's plans." [Download - 155KB] iPaste 1.0 ($10) is an unobtrusive utility to keep frequently used items that are pasted into applications easily accessible via 'Hot Keys' and/or contextual menu. Users can customize what clips are available and iPaste will also track the items the user copies to the clipboard. [Download - 322KB]
MacRetreats today announced the keynote speakers for the first annual Mac Networkers Retreat, a 3-day gathering of Mac Networking and IT professionals to be held July 7-9 on the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Opening the event will be Tom Yager, Test Center Director and Columnist for InfoWorld, while Alan Oppenheimer, president of Open Door Networks, will be presenting a historical look at Apples contribution to networking innovation and where future opportunities lie based on past experiences. The Mac Networkers Retreat features a series of lectures, discussion groups and workshops covering topics of interest to Mac Network and IT Managers. Pricing is $700 before June 1st.
Evening tech news: The latest widespread Internet worm known as 'Sasser' is showing more pep after a slow weekend debut; Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has been fined $800,000 by the U.S. federal government for violating an antitrust rule; the European Commission has warned societies which collect royalties on behalf of musicians that they may be breaking competition rules by extending their national monopolies into the world of the Internet.
Apple has released Security Update 2004-05-03 for Mac OS X via the Software Update utility. The update offers several improvements to security, with updates made to AFP Server, CoreFoundation and IPSec. The update includes the improvements implemented with the previous security release. It is available for Jaguar and Panther users as well as for both client and server versions.
According to a letter submitted to Guardian Unlimited, the UK Inland Revenue is not allowing Mac OS 9.2.2 users to access its online tax service. "If I had a Windows operating system - even as old as 98 - I could access the self-assessment site [...] less fortunate Mac owners will no doubt have to wait to find out that the IR has disenfranchised them."
Apple's Motion won a 2004 Editors' Choice Award at NAB. Motion, Apple's newly introduced motion graphics package with real-time previews, procedural behavior animation and Final Cut Pro HD integration, won in the Content Creation category, while Fast Forward Video's Covert DVR won in the Content Management grouping and VBrick Systems' EtherneTV won in the Content Delivery class. The winners were selected by a judging panel comprised of editors from 20 industry publications. Apple's Motion was one of the 5 products to be recognized in the Content Creation category at the second annual Awards for Innovation in Media (AIMs). Apple also took home five other awards at NAB 2004.
Daystar has expanded the XLR8 system upgrade technology to include the Apple PowerBook G3 1999 series (a.k.a., "Bronze Keyboard" or "Lombard" PowerBooks). Combining technologies from Daystar and XLR8, the new upgrade not only provides fast G4, OS X performance, but also features a low-power design that extends battery life and runs cooler than competitive offerings, according to the companies. The MAChSpeed G4 LOMBARD is factory-installed in a unique 24 hour turnaround program (or an exclusive "Week-ender" installation program for even faster turnaround). The 433MHz MachSpeed G4 Lombard is $260 with 2-day, 2-way shipping, CPU upgrade install, and testing. The "Week-ender" program is $300.
Apple's "Uneven illumination" problems with recent PowerBooks has gained much attention. The discussion appears to point to similar problems by many users and repeated problems--even after repair by Apple: "The issue manifests itself by both the infamous white spots and uneven display illumination. Apple has been good about fixing PowerBooks with the problem, but it is troubling that some users are reporting that they are on their third displays from Apple in just over six months." (Discussion has been ongoing on our own forums for several months. [poll])
jzmo today announced a new leather laptop bag for women: The Think Pink bag, part of the new Manhattan Nines Collection, features light pink leather with an array of nine hand-cut circles in hot pink, The dimensions are 13.5" (h) x 14.5" (w) x 4.6" (d); it is designed to hold carry an iBook or the 12- and 15-inch PowerBook G4. The bag also features several pockets for a cell phone, iPod or PDA. Think Pink will begin shipping on June 30 and is a limited edition bag. The bags retail for $250 and include a limited edition pink ribbon keychain, while supplies last. Customers who place pre-orders before May 31 receive 10% off.
Noting it could make Windows users envious, TIME says that "Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac is clearly superior to its PC counterpart for most users. Last fall Microsoft put out a bloated update of Office for Windows that focused more on collaborating with other users than on making it easier for you to get your own work done. The streamlined Office for Mac puts individuals first.
Adobe today announced three new seminar series' for creative professionals and print service providers. The Adobe Creative Suite Tour will focus on insider tips and tricks for Adobe CS, visiting 10 major cities between May 12 and July 15. For print service providers there are three options: Tech Talks in-person seminars (Boston and San Diego), live online eSeminars (90 minute session during May) and OnDemand seminars--all of which are designed to help stay abreast of the latest advancements in design software and print technologies.
Aspyr Media today announced Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is coming to Mac. KOTOR is being developed internally by Aspyr, and is due to be completed this August: "Set over 4,000 years before the first Star Wars film, KOTOR throws players into a galactic war between the Jedi and the Sith. Taking the action to a time period not seen in the Lucas Arts’ films, KOTOR introduces new stories, new characters, new species and news areas of the universe." KOTOR ($50) offers the familiar Star Wars staples, including dozens of offensive, defensive and enhancing Force powers and customizable light sabers, etc.
Sonnet Technologies today announced its Encore/ST G4 Duet 1.3GHz, a dual processor upgrade for most "Sawtooth" G4 Power Mac systems, including most AGP Graphics, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio and QuickSilver (2001 and 2002) machines. The CPU upgrade card offers dual 745x G4 processors running at 1.3GHz--each with its own 2MB of L3 cache. It will operate at 1.3GHz in all AGP- and Gigabit Ethernet Macs (with 100MHz bus), and 1.267GHz in the other G4 systems (with 133MHz bus). The upgrade includes a factory-attached heat sink and carries a three-year warranty. It will ship in June 2004 for $700.
The Audio Engineering Society (AES) New York Section will discuss the effects of digital portables on the sound of music, according to Stereophile Magazine. "The organization has announced what it terms a 'controversial and essential' industry forum on the relevance of 16-bit and high-resolution formats such as DVD-A and SACD in a market 'where consumers are flocking to the portability — and significantly lower sonic quality—of digital media players such as Apple's iPod.' The event will take place on Wednesday, May 12, 6:30pm, at Tinker Auditorium at the French Institute–Alliance Francaise in New York at 55 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenues)."
HELIOS Software today announced it has added new security features to its HELIOS WebShare, its high performance server for realtime remote file access. The new HTTPS support encrypts file content during transfers. In addition to the already existing password encryption for secure log-ins to WebShare volumes, the software now also supports security certificates. The HELIOS WebShare HTTPS support has been completely developed in Java, replacing the previous Apache/SSL tunnel solution. The package includes a dummy security certificate with documentation on how to create your own certificates, as well as how to have them validated.
Actual ODBC Driver for OpenBase ($30) is an ODBC driver that lets OS X users access OpenBase databases from applications such as Excel and FileMaker Pro. "With the Actual ODBC Driver for OpenBase, you can connect quickly and easily to your database. The driver's setup assistant will walk you through the steps needed to connect - in most cases you only need to supply two parameters!" [731KB] IOXperts USB Still Camera Driver 1.03 ($10) adds support for Mac OS X 10.3 and for three new cameras, including he Che-ez! Splash camera and Digital Dream's L'espion Xtra and Sportsman. The driver is a plug-in for Apple's Image Capture Architecture (ICA) which allows many low-cost still cameras to work with ICA-aware applications such as Apple's Image Capture and iPhoto. KeyCue 1.0b2 ($12) is a system utility that quickly displays all available keyboard shortcuts when user presses (and holds) the command key. The company is offering a 20% discount to all beta testers. It requires Mac OS X 10.3 or newer. [659KB] ChartMaker Pro 7 ($40) gives you the ability to add line charts, bar charts, column charts, scatter charts, pie charts, Gantt charts, and function charts using FileMaker's built-in features--without plug-ins or licensing fees. ChartMaker Pro is available now for FileMaker Pro version 5, 6, and 7. [1.7MB] Cheap Impostor 1.0 ($25) is a simple (powerful) alternative to high-end page imposition software. It produces 2-up output PDF, reorders pages for magazines and books, supports automatic and manual duplex printers (with and without collation) and offers variable output page sizes as well as control over page zoom and horizontal/vertical offset of 2-up. [484KB] PhotoToolCM 1.3 (freeware) is a contextual menu plugin that helps you manage/organize JPEG photo image files. I can display Exif information directly on contextual menu, supports lossless transform (rotate/flip) and cleaning (for smaller files), and can batch rename multiple JPEG photo image files using their Exif date. Version 1.3 can attach a thumbnail icon and displays a progress bar during operations. [564KB] Duover 1.6 ($20) is a file synchronization app for Mac OS X that includes adds password storage for AppleShare voluments, improves Keychain support in Mac OS X 10.3, improves network error reporting, and has other changes and enhancements for improved reilability and better data protection. [947KB]
Steve Jobs has been voted The Chronicle 200's CEO of the year "because he excelled at running two companies [Apple and Pixar]: "To be sure, there were other chief executives whose companies produced more-stellar financial results last year than Apple and Pixar, which, if combined, would still rank 15th on The Chronicle 200 list. Intel's Craig Barrett, for example, oversaw a company that again led The Chronicle 200 with $176.4 billion in market cap, a hefty 65 percent gain from the previous year. Carly Fiorina helped Hewlett-Packard boost revenue by 18.4 percent to capture the No. 2 spot with $74.7 billion in sales."
Maxon today released an eXchange plugin for data exchange between Graphisoft ArchiCAD 8.1 and Maxon Cinema 4D . The plugin transfers all relevant objects, object classes, lights, materials and cameras of an ArchiCAD project, allowing architects to "visualize their projects perfectly by combining ArchiCAD's proven design tools with CINEMA 4D's high quality rendering." In addition, two optional Cinema 4D modules are now available: The Advanced Render module provides greater realism with rendering effects such as radiosity and HDRI lighting and the Sketch and Toon module can offer a more stylized result such as a painting or sketch of the building.
IZotope has announced Mac OS X support for its entire line of professional audio plug-ins. The plug-ins will be available in Pro Tools, MAS, Audio Unit, and VST formats in the third quarter of 2004. iZotope's line of 64-bit effects systems including Ozone (analog modeling, $300), Trash (distortion plugin, $200), Spectron (spectral processing, $100), and Vinyl ("vinyl" simulation", free) currently support all Pro Tools 6.1+ (HTDM, RTAS, AudioSuite), VST, and DirectX host applications on Windows.
IDG World Expo today announced a new line-up of presentations to be held on the exhibit floor at Macworld Boston. The new "Geeks & Gadgets" Stage will feature real-world Mac users who "have done extraordinary things with Mac technology - from building 'smart homes' to uploading content from a base camp at Mount Everest. The Geeks & Gadgets presentations are open to all attendees at the summer event, which will be held July 12-15, 2004 at the new Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
Microsoft has offered details on its new "Janus" antipiracy tools, which are designed to bring piracy-proof digital content to mobile devices and home networks and will be used by AOL, Dell, Disney, Napster and Freescale, and others: "[it] has been seen as a potential way to let subscription music services such as Napster and RealNetworks' Rhapsody move to portable MP3 players...But the new digital rights management tools also include features that would protect content that is streamed around a home network, or even block data pathways potentially deemed "unsafe," such as the traditional analog outputs on a high-definition TV set."
XTension 5.1 ($50) updates Sand Hill Engineer's home automation software for Mac OS X. It now incorporates the ability to create Graphic Views with 'hot' icons on photo-real backgrounds, including support for "live" video and new labels/icon overlays that represent the objects in the video field view. A free lite version is available. DoThisNow 1.1 ($20) adds several new actions, new graphics, and fixes to the scheduling application. It adds new Log Out, Shut Down, Restart and Sleep actions as well as new Set Desktop Picture action. Users can run an AppleScript, launch an application, delete the contents of a folder, speak a message, and perform repetitive tasks. [2.4MB] LazyMouse 1.0 ($7) is a Preference Pane that moves the cursor to the default button whenever a dialog box appears on the screen: "In other words, it will save the user time moving the mouse to dismiss dialogs." The shareware requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [315KB] DX Toolbox 1.7 ($20) updates the radio propagation / conditions analysis and forecasting tool. This version adds a propagation forecast map, which shows the estimated signal level for a given frequency from all parts of the world, for given solar conditions, and the time of day and day of year. [Classic, OSX] DeskCover 1.0 (free) resolves "an unrecognized yet widespread aesthetic error in Mac OS X. On lightly colored or busy desktop pictures, icon names become nearly unreadable. DeskCover inserts a customizable translucent sheet between your icons and the desktop picture. This sheet automatically resizes itself upon launch to fit all desktop icons within the sheet." [120KB] DesktopCollage 2.01 ($13) can easily arrange images, movies and animations ("stickers") on the desktop, offering complete control over the layering of the stickers and transparency support. Version 2 supports all QuickTime files, adds a floating semi-transparent audio controller, automatic scaling, better transparency options, and support for Fast User Switching and Exposé. [550KB]
eX-cinder today launched Morph Age 2.0, its application for morphing/warping images and movies for Mac OS X 10.3: "New features include morph/warp from QuickTime movies as curves can be animated with keyframes, layers that allow handling of occlusions in warping effects, colorizing (Hulk-like Warp), a novel, extremely fast hybrid rendering engine that makes use of both the processor and the graphics card for real-time rendering even on mega-pixel images." It is available for $80 (20% discount) through end of June. Registered owners receive a $50 discount on upgrades.
A memo from the Office of the Superintendent of the Arlington Public Schools says that the company will move to a predominantly PC platform, while "Macintosh computers will be retained for specialized applications such as the Arts curriculum, the iLife suite including iMovie and Special Education. I found persuasive the conclusions that in the absence of any particular advantage or disadvantage to instructional effectiveness or to teaching staff, the move to one predominant platform will result in lower costs (both in direct outlays and in opportunity costs to enhanced services) and to more effective and efficient technical support services."
Mage Software has released inkBook 1.0, a note-taking application that offers a free form layout of pencil and paper and leverages Apple's InkWell: "Just like a real pencil and notebook, you write your notes with your pen and tablet on inkBook documents. What you write remains how you wrote it, where you wrote it. However, inkBook harnesses the power of Apple's handwriting recognition technology, InkWell, to also recognize what you write. This gives you the ability to search your handwritten notes and even copy and paste them as text or graphics to other applications." A 30-day trial of the $20 application is available.
OrangeWare today announced Version 3.0 of its 802.11a/b/g "Wireless Driver for Mac.", which it says runs at up to 108 Mb/s and supports over 20 different wireless cards. "OrangeWare offers the Wireless Driver for Mac to end users for $15. When it is combined with a host of non-Apple wireless cards, it can run at the newest performance modes called 'Super G' or 'Turbo Super G'. These capabilities are offered only on wireless cards using the Atheros wireless chipset." The drives enable Mac users to use low-cost AirPort card alternatives, upgrade to faster networking from 802.11b networking, and connect to 802.11a networks. A free trial is available.
ComChart Medical Software has announced ComChart-SU EMR, a low cost, full-featured electronic medical record program that helps faciliate the creation of a paperless medical office. ComChart-SU EMR includes all the functionality of ComChart EMR v7.8, but is limited to a single computer. ComChart-SU EMR will file labs from Quest, LabCorp and others and interface to several billing programs. It includes an integrated patient scheduling calendar, an integrated copy of Medical Letter's February 2004 Adverse Drug Interaction Database, and support for template, dictated, and point & click progress notes.
KRCS Group will open an Apple Centre in Leicester, England and is celebrating by giving away iPods, according to Macworld UK. "This will be the company's fourth high-street Apple Centre. It opens in the Haymarket Centre on Tuesday May 4....'Leicester is home to a very high number of print, creative, and related industries. We have had a strong customer base in the area for many years, so the city was always part of our high-street expansion plans.'"
Tech News: Google, not content with limiting its ambitions to the Internet search industry, has set loftier goals for itself: to create a foundation to tackle "the largest problems of the world"; California has set tough new standards for electronic voting, barring a third of existing machines from November's ballot and ordering new security measures before thousands of others can be used; Tiny Antigua and Barbuda have successfully challenged a U.S. ban on Internet gambling, dealing the United States another setback at the World Trade Organization.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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