Red Marble Games today announced Flip Words 1.0, a colorful and fun new word game in which "players click on a grid of letters to find words, and use the letters of those words to solve popular phrases -- quotations, titles, occupations, and more. If the 2000 included phrases are not enough, players still will never run out of phrases to solve, because the game can automatically download new phrases from the Internet." Players can also create their own phrases and submit to the database for approval. Flip Words also tracks high scores over the Internet. The $20 title runs on Mac OS X.
Design Intuition 1.3 ($115) is a CAD design tool for Mac OS X for professionals or novice users with support for blueprints, x-ray vision display, 3D views, automatic dimension display, and more. Version 1.3 offers a new technology called Repeaters, which allows you to quickly lay out repetitive objects. [Download - form] Goalwatcher 1.0 (free) is a small Mac OS X application that "will bring you you up-to-date with the results of the Euro 2004 - European soccer championship in Portugal." It requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and an Internet connection. [170KB] KeyShowX 1.0 ($10) allows users to run multiple Keynote presentations from a remote computer using a client/server application. "No configuration efforts required: only enabling Mac OS X UI Scripting support. It is perfect companion to Keynote for exhibition booths, multi-screen presentations and showroom environments." [225KB] DoubleCommand 1.5 (free) is a Mac OS X kernel extension that lets you remap certain keys to certain other keys. Version 1.5 better supports Panther: "Mac OS X 10.3.3 now includes a new feature under the Keyboard preference pane - choosing the function keys behaviour! This means you can have real function keys by default and require pressing the fn key for volume and brightness." [29KB] Cliptor 1.2 ($5) is a utility to extract the text/picture out of the text/picture clipping file. For registered users, there is a "ClipText" function that allows you to clip a text on a picture. Version 1.2 adds a ColorManager feature. [Download - 1.0MB] PhotoFirst ($125) is a fully integrated application that takes the difficulty out of organizing, annotating, RAW converting, comparing, enhancing, and creating professional quality, client-ready output from digital photographs. It dramatically simplifies and reduces the time spent on digital post-production and works with hundreds of digital photos at a time. [Download - form] QuickPop X ($10) can define almost any key combination (hotkeys) to launch applications, documents and open folders. When these "hotkeys" are pressed from within any application, the selected item will launch instantly. [Download - 604KB] PMX is a $60 project management application for Mac OS X. Users can manage resources, time and cost associated with any project. PMX lets users model your project, track resource allocation and cost and helps you to determine where and when your schedule is. [Download - 2.5MB] Service Guy 3.0 is a freeware utility used mainly for deleting, moving, copying files like with Finder, but with more features. Version 3.0 is completely re-written, and a better design. [Download - 1.5MB]
In Brief: Apple advises users not to put USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 hubs in the same chain; Derman has published an article on how to create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, often called a tunnel; the Iconfactory has announced the release of the first official freeware collection from new artist/designer, David Lanham; HD for Indies has posted a lengthy article on how to put together and use SATA disk arrays for uncompressed HD workflows; Macworld Boston will mark the debut of WOW Iron Chef of Web Design Competition as well as a series of educational sessions on Web design.
"The pieces of Apple's mini-store strategy are beginning to fall into place, now that construction has begun on at least three of the stores: Stanford Shopping Center, Santa Rosa Plaza and and Bridgewater (NJ)," according to ifoapplestore. "All three will be just 1,500 to 2,000 square feet, and feature an interior and exterior design derived from existing store elements. The mini-stores stores will stock accessories, iPods, laptops and selected desktops, but will focus on those grab-and-go types of products that don't require lots of space. Some designs even show open stacks of merchandise, something the full-sized stores avoid."
Apple yesterday said that the iTunes Music Store had achieved more than 85 million downloads, up from 70 million announced on the the first anniversary of iTMS on April 28--which included 5 million songs that were redeemed as part of the Pepsi-iTunes promotion--far short of the advertised 100 million song giveaway. On its first anniversary, Apple also began offering free music downloads each week, but did not say whether those free downloads were included in the latest numbers or how many free songs had been downloaded.
Tech news:Steve Jobs said that Pixar would be willing to consider a new distribution deal with estranged partner Walt Disney, but said no new offers had been mode (nor had talks resumed); Adobe announced a partnership with authentication company Identrus to add secure digital signatures to PDF documents; Seagate plans to ship later this year 1-inch disk drives with up to 5GB of storage, which could be used in music players and digital cameras; and Microsoft filed its official appeal against the European Commission's competition decision earlier this year.
In Brief: Noting that eBay may block users from a certain country for 'some legally sensitive items," Apple provides a Safari workaround for those not located within Germany; Telemak has deployed 12 iMac-based interactive kiosks in 10 top located Neckermann shops, allowing users to watch streaming travel videos on Neckermann travel destinations; Apple also notes MSN sign-out problems due to cookie settings and problems resulting from renaming DVD Studio Pro 3; and Adaptec says it is no longer developing SCSI drivers (or patches) for the Mac OS, but will provide technical support for products in their complimentary support period.
The iPod is listed among the 50 Moments That Changed The History of Rock & Roll, as noted in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine. "By the end of 2003, the iPod has become a cultural phenomenon. Close to 3 million of the devices have now been sold, and they're expected to soon outsell portable CD players....'I never used to see people walking around listening to music on the streets,'said Moby. 'Now everywhere I go, I see the iPod’s white headphones.'"
Canon today introduced its new Optura 500 ($1,200) and Optura 400 ($1000) Mini DV 2.2-megapixel camcorders, new dual video/still photography devices that are smaller than their predecessors. Both offer selectable focus points, continuous shooting mode, built-in flash, and photo review as well as a 10x optical zoom, image stabilization, a RGB primary color filter, a 16:9 widescreen mode, a manual audio level control, and a swivel grip. The Optura 500 adds a high-resolution 2.5 inch LCD, MPEG4 support, USB 2.0 connectivity, and the ability to shoot in total darkness up to 4.9 feet away. They will ship in mid-July.
Glaresoft today introduced iDrum, a third-party plug-in software instrument designed specifically for Apple's GarageBand music software. iDrum adds a powerful drum machine to GarageBand's music production studio. It offers nearly 200 iDrum files, an innovative new drum loop file format, and over 500 individual drum sounds ranging from classic beatbox bloops and bleeps to high quality ethnic percussion. iDrum also runs as a plug-in in Logic Pro, Logic Express and Digital Performer. It is available now for $50 (and requires Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later).
Dosch Design has recently announced several new visual graphic collections for artists using computer-assisted animation and other graphics software: Interior Scenes ($120), a collection of 25 cutting edge, completely textured 3D-scenes of interior settings, ranging from ultra functional modernism to progressive futurism; Animated Humans for Cinema4D ($120), which includes 10 animated human 3D-characters for Cinema4D; Logo Animations for Lightwave3D ($120), which includes 25 logo animations of cutting-edge design and quality; and Construction Materials v2.0 ($80), which offers 250 seamless tileable textures that can applied to 3D-models or used in other computer graphics software packages (including Photoshop).
Apple today announced that Fred D. Anderson, Apple’s former executive vice president and CFO (for 8 years), has been elected to Apple's Board of Directors. Anderson retired on June 1 and was succeeded by Peter Oppenheimer as chief financial officer. "Fred is widely regarded as one of the industry’s leading financial experts and we want his guidance and judgment to continue benefiting Apple's shareholders," said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. "Though it is currently out of vogue to add insiders to boards, Fred is the exception to the rule." Anderson currently serves on the board of directors of eBay and E.piphany.
A San Antonio school district today is voting to take back iBooks from over 950 students, after it signed a $2.2 million 4-year contract with Apple last December that offered laptops for the high school's teachers and students, training for staff, and supporting equipment such as printers and projectors. Three of the Board members who voted for the initiative no longer on the Board, and one of the Board members who voted against it, is now vice president of the school board, although district officials, including the Superintendent, haven't been told why.
Apple was among those recognized in the Association of Support Professionals' seventh annual "Ten Best Web Support Sites" competition. Recognizing excellence in online service and support, the 2004 winners also included Cognos, Hewlett Packard, Interwoven, Iomega, National Instruments, RM (Research Machines), and Xilinx. The award winners were selected by a panel of judges with expertise in Web support design and implementation, using a scoring system based on 25 separate performance criteria in areas such as overall usability, design, and navigation; Knowledgebase and search implementation; interactive features; personalization; and "the major site development challenge."
Digital Heaven has released two more plug-ins for Apple's Final Cut Pro 4.0 and Final Cut Express 2.0: DH_Box is a new filter which "makes it easier than ever to create picture-in-picture effects and DH_WhipPan simulates a camera whip pan transition. The company says that DH_WhipPan is "the first" Final Cut plug-in to come complete with five specially created and royalty-free 'whoosh' sound effects. The entire range of ten Digital Heaven plug-ins are available for individual purchase for $10 each. Demo versions of both plug-ins plus a Flash tutorial and example movie are available.
Adobe Acrobat 6.0.2 addresses multiple known issues in Adobe Acrobat 6.0, including support for forms that use Adobe's XML forms architecture, creation of barcode-enabled forms, and a security update. It requires installation of the Acrobat 6.01 update. [4.4MB] DropWaterMark 2.0 ($17) allows you to easily watermark images allowing you to protect your images. It adds a new interface, size/rotation editing, a greatly improved interfactive mode, code improvements, and a new 20-day limitation (before registration). It supports both text and image watermarks. [Classic, OSX] Idea Knot 0.5 updates the free brainstorming tool with better printing, simpler navigation and preferences. It has been localized for English, Swedish, Spanish and German audiences as well. It allows you to quickly tie ideas together by quickly recording ideas and allowing you connect/organize them via multiple groupings. [Classic, 718KB] SWF, Lock & Load 1.0 ($20) offers the ability to create Flash Preloaders; it offers output of Flash files (FLA and SWF), over 100 graphical prealoder templates, the ability to create "Smart Preloaders" based on connection speed, custom feedback messages showing current statistics, and resuable file settings. [3.2MB] PDF Pen 1.2.1 ($30) updates SmileOnMyMac's PDF editing utility (for Mac OS X 10.2.5 or later) with enhanced speed and responsiveness for document display, text editing, and freehand drawing. It also enables you to edit PDF files. split, combine, reorder, and augment PDFs with text, image overlays & watermarks. [2.2MB] ZeboPhoto 1.5 ($10) is a versatile image viewing and editing solution for the Mac. Version 1.5 adds a new 'Quick Capture' menu item that offers settings from your last capture, allowing you to bypass Screen Capture window. It also can now save screen captures in BMP, GIF, JPEG, JPEG 2000, PDF, PICT, PNG, PSD, QuickTime Image, SGI and TIFF formats or send them to the clipboard. [2.7MB] xTime Project 2.1 ($100) is a new version of the project management application. It offers new calendar options, drag & drop of Address Book resources, export of resources, project export to an image file (TIFF, JPEG, PDF, or EPS), better performance, improved support for Mac OS X 10.2, a German localization, improved printing, and more. [1.9MB] LightWayText 4.1.4 ($25) is a popular Japanese text editor available in English, a French, and Italian; it supports multilingual word processing (including 2-byte languages), Unicode, RTF import/export, automatic creation of backup files, quick searching, ready-made templates, tables, bookmarks, and more. [Classic, OSX] Madena 3.1 is a medical image viewer and image processing program that can open all QuickTime-compatible image file formats as well as most DICOM and ACR/NEMA file formats. It now automatically organizes files into subsets according to file information, offers a heirarchical listing, adds dragable crosshairs for marking photos, etc. [2.7MB]
SubRosaSoft.com today released VolumeWorks 1.1, a free update to the innovative utility for Mac OS X that allows users to resize partitions on their hard drive without reformatting. It offers numerous improvements which include partition shifting, Diskology’s Disk Jockey support, a new and streamlined user-interface and a new OS X bootable CD that boots systems ranging from iMacs to the latest PowerBooks. It is available for $50 (or for $60 on CD).
In Brief: In response to concerns, Apple has changed the way it lists security updates and has improved the language it uses to communicate security updates (as noted in the recent security update); Security Focus reports on a EIMS buffer overrun vulnerability that affects the freeware mail server when running on Mac OS 7; While 12x DVD writers are just beginning to appear on the market, a preview of the first 16x DVD-Writer is now available; MARSD (Mac Amateur Radio Software Developers) has released a $10 CD sampler of some of the best free and commercial Mac software available for Amateur radio operators.
Tech news: SBC will sell wireless Internet access at up to 6,000 McDonald's restaurants, as well as provide the Internet connections for the stores in its region; in a bid to expand its printing business, Hewlett-Packard has announced a slew of new products and partnerships focused on color imaging and printing; Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 and the next version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 will support new CPU-based security protections designed to stop incoming malicious executable code from being triggered; and Dell is expanding its 64-bit server line with a new, four-processor Itanium 2 server aimed at high performance workloads such as databases, engineering clusters and heavy duty ERP applications.
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,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
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