Apple will open a retail store in the Stanford Shopping Center (Palo Alto, CA), which is less than one-half mile from the existing Palo Alto store on University Avenue, according to ifoAppleStore: "why install a new store near one that already exists? One expert suggests Apple will completely close its Palo Alto store for renovation (stone floor, wooden furniture), and use the Stanford site as a temporary sales location. The lack of new job listings for the mall seems to confirm this scenario." Another reader notes that Apple is preparing another Northern California location in Santa Rosa, CA in Santa Rosa Plaza: "Walls are up, with an Apple sign with on the front, around a space" and that another store will open in Barton Creek Square Mall in Austin, Texas in a few weeks. [updated]
iCook is a small Mac OS X kernel extension that allows simple overclocking of the IBM 750FX processor found in G3-based iBooks by patching "the kernel image in memory to disable it's ability to set the CPU speed. It then sets up a sysctl called hw.cpuspeed that allows the CPU speed to be set and monitored by the user. iCook makes no permanent changes and everything goes back to normal after a reboot." [42KB] DoThisNow 1.2 ($20) adds several new actions to its action/script scheduling application. New actions include "Take Screenshot," "Repair Permissions," "Clear Internet Cache," "Run Unix command," "Open URL in Web browser," "Set iChat Status," and more--for a total of 20 different actions. It can be easily setup to run repetitive, time critical or other tasks. [2.5MB] CamSpinner 1.0 ($10) lets users publish a web cam on a web site, grab still images and record QuickTime and MPEG movies using iSight or other QuickTime-compatible camera. It features automatic FTP upload, built-in page templates, custom online/offline messages, AppleScript support, integration with Keychain, a history log, and support for Salling Clicker. [368KB] APOD Viewer v1.0 ($5) is a Sherlock 3 channel that provides easy access to the images and data on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day website and also provides a search tool and results area as well as allowing selected favourites to be saved for easy access at a later date. [subscribe] eSuite4X 2.8 - Web Developer Edition offers functions for developing database driven web sites quickly, including the ability to setup a local web server (Apache 2, PHP 4.3, WebDAV, MySQL 4). Other features include instant publishing of sites to a remote server, PHP code generation, report generation, improved database backups, a new preference pane, SQL4X Manager J 2.8, etc. [28MB] NovaMind's Branch Proposal System (BPS) is available as a free plug-in for its "mind-mapping" NovaMind 2.1 ($80) application. BPS works to suggest words and phrases related to information on the existing Mind Map branches, offering the ability to insert multiple words with a click of the button. Version 2.1 also adds the ability to export to Microsoft's PowerPoint file format. Surf Shop Cart 7.3.725 ($170) is a Perl based e-commerce solution for Mac OS X. It adds batch importing of categories and items (as well as manual entry), unlimited categories/subcategories, IP address logging, better MySQL integration, QuickBooks integration, XML order output, tiered pricing, gift certificate support, and other enhancements. Barcode Automator 2.2 ($500) is a specialized barcoding suite specially designed for bulk generation and AppleScript automation. Barcode Automator supports 9 different symbologies, includes vectorized EPS, TIFF, and JPEG export capabilities, and comes bundled with OCR typography. Version 2.2 improves the barcode value editor, better compatibility, PostScript name matching, etc. [1.6MB] SonicMood 1.0 ($10) plays soothing harmonies while you work: " SonicMood bathes you in gentle tones played by selected instruments to calm and relax you while you work on your computer. You may select from 21 different 'Moods' - combinations of instruments, note scales, and timings." [Classic, OSX]
Redmac is a new online store for Canadian Mac users to purchase enhancements, accessories, and peripherals. "Canadians no longer have to be frustrated with extensive border delays and costs, or worse-yet, doing without productivity-improving accessories," says Matthew Montano, founding partner of Redmac. Redmac is also making available the many products marketed for PCs, but are otherwise 100% compatible with Macintosh computers. All items are priced, including their shipping costs, in Canadian dollars. Redmac also ships to customers within the United States.
Aladdin today announced Internet Cleanup 2.0, a new version of the company's privacy tool that "blocks suspicious data transmissions, cookies, referring URLs, ad banners, and pop-up windows. The software cleans up e-mail attachments and instant messaging log files to protect confidential information. Version 2.0 also offers secure file deletion [and] also manages browser cookies, allowing users to protect their preference and password-saving cookies while deleting the rest." Other new features include SpyAlert for monitoring transmissions by all applications,, better cookie management, deletion of more types of files (instant messaging logs, email attachments, etc.). Upgrades to the $30 utility (for Mac OS X 10.2 or later) are $20.
Native Instruments today announced that the final version of NI Komplete 2 is available, following the limited-time special pre-launch upgrade that was offered throughout May. It is an extensive collection of sound generators and effects, containing eleven software synthesizers, samplers and effects. NI Komplete 2 is available for $1150. Customers who already own two or more instruments from the package can upgrade to the bundle for $800 ($440 for four or more; $120 for those with seven or more).
Mekanica Software has released Formation 1.0 ($30) for Mac OS X. Formation is a personal information organizer that combines lists, notes, contacts, calendar, media browsers, scrapbook, smartlinks, and more, within an innovative customizable interface.†Formation can create up to 14 custom columns, each with its own column type.†Column types include text, text with icon, check box, pop-up menus, priority, date, and password.† Each item within a list has its own notepad with the option of unlimited pages.
Designed to match the style of Apple's iPod Mini, Matias today announced its newest iPod Armor aluminum hard case, the iPod Armor mini. The new case features a rugged and stylish aluminum shell, hard ABS window, docking port access, and iTrip compatibility. "Based on our original iPod Armor design, iPod Armor mini offers the best protection available for your iPod mini," said Vesna Vojnic, Marketing Manager for Matias. The iPod Armor mini case comes bundled with the Armor Clip belt clip, and retails for $50.
LaCie and Roxio today announced the first comprehensive double layer DVD authoring solution for the Mac. Lacie's DL DVD+/-RW will be capable at writing to both single layer (4.3GB) and double layer (8.5GB) recordable DVDs at speeds of up to 4x, as well as to CD-RW and CD-RW formats. The drive will sell for $250 when it ships in June, and will include a full version of Roxio's Toast 6 Titanium software.
Iogear today introduced the MiniView Ultra+ Multiplatform KVM switch, its first 8-port KVM switch that allows users to share a single display, USB, and PS/2 peripherals across eight systems. An AutoScan feature allows users to monitor every attached computer for a specified amount of time while the On Screen Display assigns unique names to each computer for easy access. The MiniView Ultra+ Multiplatform is available now for $500.
"Reassessing" the handheld market, Sony says it plans to exit the U.S. handheld market, and will stop making existing Clie models for U.S, and hold off from producing new models; ATI is pulling the wraps off a new line of graphics cards for desktop computers, technology that works with PCI Express, the latest high-speed computer connection standard; Microsoft has decided to extend support for many of its products, reflecting the new reality that customers are increasingly reluctant to update major software components every few years.
IDG World Expo and the Apple Specialist Marketing Co-op (ASMC) today announced plans to hold upcoming ASMC meetings and vendor fairs at the twice-yearly Macworld Conference & Expo. Apple Specialist dealers and leading industry vendors will gather at ASMC meetings held at Macworld Conference & Expo events in Boston and San Francisco. The next Macworld Expo will take place July 12-14, 2004 at the new Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
Extensis today released its Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution, Portfolio 7 and Portfolio Server 7 for Macintosh. Portfolio can organize, retrieve, repurpose, and distribute digital files quickly. Portfolio Server also provides instant access to assets across the Internet and other wide area networks. Portfolio 7 includes NetPublish, an add-on module that automates the process of dynamically distributing Portfolio catalog contents through the Internet. Version 7 also offers new AutoSync functionality, one click CD/DVD archiving, batch image conversion, and round-trip embedding of IPTC and XMP metadata into JPEG and TIFF files. Portfolio 7 is $200 with a single NetPublish license (additional users are $200). Upgrades are $100.
CMS Products today announced it has reduced pricing on the portable ABSplus drive series, its backup and restore solution. "The shock-mounted, portable ABSplus provides the worldís easiest backup and recovery solution,Ē said Ken Burke, president of CMS Products, Inc. "The ABSplus is perfect for mobile and home users, SMB owners and students. Now, with significant price reductions from 15% to 25%, a good value becomes a great value." The FireWire drives support startup ("bootability") on any Mac OS X machine; The FireWire-only versions are available in 20GB ($230), 40GB ($260), 60GB ($320), and 80GB ($400). (The USB 2.0 models are also compatible with the Mac, although not "officially supported.")
Digital Alarm Clock 2.5 ($8) brings multiple LED digital clock sizes and colors, multiple-alarm functionality and improved iTunes integration as well as a lower registration fee. The small Mac OS X desktop application offers digital and analog chimes, or the option to launch any application, open any file, or play iTunes music. [2.4MB] Netflix Freak 1.2 ($15) is a full-featured application for managing a Netflix rental queue. It brings support for printing all rental queues, two new ways to rearrange your rental queue (cut and paste & renumber), synhcronization of star ratings in both directions with the Netflix website, improved rental history import, and more. [772KB] After Dark + Fish 1.01 ($10) is an update to the classic screen saver for Mac OS X that includes a new module called "Kaleidoscope" which displays moving patterns on the screen. Users can choose from seven patterns provided or select their own graphic files or photographs as well as playback music. [8.5MB] Grunge Vol.1 ($75) is the Optimistik Animation's second LiveFont package for Apple LiveType and Motion. It includes ten total fonts, which are "sure to work for any Gen-MTV project that your working on. Great for DV, film, print and web." A bundle of both "Handwritten Vol.1" and "Grunge Vol.1" is also available on a single DVD for $100. Duality 5.0b2 updates the theme software with new XTender technology. It also allows themes to be applied on a per-user basis, offers instant theme changing, has improved performance while switching themes, includes simplified theme management, can import of guiKit-based themes, and more. [680KB] Ciao 1.0 (free) screensaver for Mac OS X that logs the current user out after a period of inactivity. It offers options for a Normal logout (with an opportunity to save your work), Force logout (will kill active applications), and Fast switch (will bring the login panel to the front and keep the user logged in the the background). [29KB] Safari Prairiefire 0.9 is an application that scans for expired bookmarks. This version allows the user to edit, rename, and test bookmarks and links in "a way that is many times faster than doing the same things inside a web browser." [1.8MB] Black & Bleu 9.0 ($30) is an application that provides a comprehensive collection of Macintosh OS error codes (both Classic and OS X) with listings that also include a detailed explanation and solution suggestions. Version 9 adds 800 more error codes (for a total of 8,617 error codes), improved documentation under Mac OS X, a revamped architecture, etc. A "Pro" version is $130. Tag 1.0 ($20) is a new XHTML editor that offers functions for auto-completion, live preview, code styles for intelligent syntax coloring (built-in support for PHP, CSS, XHTML), snippets for storing commonly used code, line numbering, a color picker for hex conversion, instant search, regex support and more. [2.5MB]
Nattress has updated its plugin filters for Final Cut Pro. Standards Converter 1.55 ($100), now compatible with Final Cut Pro HD, offers "the only" solution for converting between the three major frame rate standards of Film, PAL and NTSC within Final Cut Pro. Version 1.55 features new algorithms to deal correctly with progressive source video with support for 25p, 50i, 30p and 60i conversion. Film Effects 1.5 ($100) adds G Vignette and G Smart De-Interlacer plugins; enhances the others with new advanced duotone tinting options, dithered levels; includes a master control; brings new RT versions of both G Film Plus and G Film Presets; and offers G Nicer v1.5, a new update to the chroma reconstruction filter which intelligently adds new detail to the low quality chroma.
The Wyrmkeep Entertainment has released Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb, a classic adventure game for Mac OS X that "tells the tale of Rif the Fox and his attempt to prove his innocence in the theft of the Orb of Storms, a relic of the ancient Humans. The player guides Rif and his companions/guards Okk the Boar and Eeah the Elk in discovering clues, overcoming challenges, and exploring a land of intelligent, humanoid animals." The $20 game title runs on Mac OS X 10.1.2 or later. A demo is also available.
Pepsi Australia has launched a new promotion that offers a free iPod every hour between May 31st and July 11, 2004. Pepsi drinkers must purchase a promotional 600ml Pepsi bottle and SMS the unique code the back of the label. Pepsi is offering a free 15GB iPod player to one of the entries each hour and will also offer a chance to all entries to win one of 10 additional iPods during during September 24th drawing.
Digital Scores has released 3D-Matrix 1.6, a powerful environment for creating 3D models. Designed for novice game developers and graphic designers, it offers an easy-to-use interface and a range of export functions so 3D Matrix can act as a gateway to other powerful tools." The latest version includes a mathematics language that allows students to express and visualize equations, an open-source XML file format, new polygon optimization tools, a multi-step undo and redo feature and significant performance improvements. A free Lite version is limited by reduced polygon count, while the 'Standard' version is $300.
Sonnet Technologies today announced price reductions of up to $100 its CPU upgrades. Sonnet's Encore/ST G4 upgrades are now available for $500 (1.4GHz), $350 (1.2GHz, $20 reduction), $250 (1.0GHz, $50 reduction), and $200 (800MHz, $40 reduction), while Sonnet's Encore/ZIF G4 processor upgrades are $400 (1.0GHz, $100 reduction), $300 (800MHz, $50 off), $250 (700MHz, $50 off), and $170 (500MHz, $30 off). The 500MHz Encore/ZIF G3 is also now available for $150, a $20 reduction. Sonnet is also offering discounts of up to $25 (when purchased with a new Mac) with its "Make your old Mac smile" mail-in rebate program.
Ovolab today released Ovolab RemoteTunes 1.5, its $15 remote control application for iTunes applications running on a network: "Using Ovolab RemoteTunes, you can play songs on any Mac you are authorized to log in to - whether on the local network or on the Internet - and the audio will play from the remote computer's speakers. You can also create and edit playlists, rate songs, turn visual effects on or off, and more." It requires Mac OS X 10.3 (and does not require any software installation the remote Mac).
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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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl