DTP Tools has announced the release of Text Count 1.0, its latest Adobe FrameMaker plugĖin. It gives the user full control over overflow text length, simplifies assigning space to future content, and accelerates accounting connected to text materials. Text Count counts and estimates text elements and calculates price, displaying real time results in application palette and in report documents. Text Count costs $100.
Assurances from at least 47 superintendents at Maine schools that they're ready to press forward with laptops in high schools this fall, bolstered Maine education commissioner's confidence that a deal can be struck with Apple, according to Reuters. "Susan Gendron said the commitments bring her closer to the minimum level of 8,400 students and teachers necessary for Apple to rent laptops for $300 apiece per year, with training and other perks included. And a spokesman said the show of support will bolster Gov. John Baldacci's case as he goes before the Legislature to press for full implementation of the laptop program in all 119 high schools."
Apple is expected to open a retail store at the Jordan Creek Town Center, a new shopping area in West Des Moines, Iowa, expected to open August 4: "The two million square foot project will be the ultimate destination, a Town Center for West Des Moines. The vibrant master-planned development highlights three distinct features: (1) The 'Shopping District' is a two level enclosed shopping center featuring a dynamic combination of upscale fashion and lifestyle retailers in a streetscape design. (2) The 'Lake District' highlights a 3.5 acre lake surrounded by bike trails, pedestrian walkways, and a boardwalk offering waterfront dining, a hotel and amphitheater. (3) The 'Village' hosts a collection of large and specialty retailers in an open-air lifestyle design."
Evening tech news: Philips says its new 16-speed DVD writer can copy a DVD disc in less than six minutes; the Recording Industry Association of America launched a new round of lawsuits Tuesday against online music swappers, targeting 482 individuals around the United States; the U.S. movie industry is enlisting theater employees to help combat piracy, offering a reward of up to $500 for every person they catch illegally recording films and report to the police; Internet users who unwittingly send out millions of "spam" messages should be taken offline until their machines can be cleaned up, four of the nation's largest e-mail providers said Today.
NewsYouCanUse 2.5 ($15) is a small Mac OS X application that provides continuously updated newsfeeds in the menubar. It offers a customizable list of RSS (including MacNN's several category-based feeds), a quick visual indicator of updated feeds, drag-and-drop support for new feeds, a long list of selectable feeds, optional audible alerts, and more. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [376KB] Barcode Producer 2.7 is a barcode generation suite for Mac OS X that supports dozens of different barcode symbologies, vectorized (EPS, TIFF, and JPEG) export, and others tools for barcode integration, inventory lists, and barcode testing. It adds improved PDF Stamper functionality, PostScript font name matching, updated reference guides, and enhanced toolbars. [2.0MB] KeepAnEye 1.7 ($12) is a multipurpose monitoring and notification utility that can track an unlimited number of data sources through visual representations in (separate) windows, the menubar or the Dock. It also provides notification functions for changes in data feeds or to any of the available plugins. It adds PDF-based backup of groups/actions, copy/paste for duplicating actions, stock quotes observer plugin, and improved contextual help. [3.8MB] Media Rage 1.0 ($20) is a collection of tools for audio enthusiasts; it can edit information stored in MP3, AAC, and Ogg Vorbis audio files as well as assist in cataloging, organizing, sorting, and updating thousands of audio files. It supports a status dashboard, toolbar windows, catalog creator, finding duplicates, file editing, Unicode data, and more. Users of MP3 Rage can upgrade for $10. [1.4MB] KeystrokeRecorder 3.2.3 ($30) is a shareware utility that records each keystoke into a file or sends it via email for later retrieval. It features "smart preferences" to help hide the preference file, includes the name of the active application/process when the keystroke was recorded (along wtih date/time, encrypted logs/preferences, and more. [2.6MB]
A Pennsylvania school district has inked another one-on-one educational iBook deal with Apple, according to the Reading Eagle. The Kutztown School Board last night approved a four-year contract with Apple that will put a laptop into the hands of each of the 620 high school students beginning this fall. "Last June, the board rejected purchasing laptops for high school students because the price was too high. Recently, however, Apple made a new proposal with a lower price, and the district renegotiated some aspects of the contract." The article notes that about 400 school districts nationwide have implemented Apple's one-to-one computer program.
Eovia today released CADstyle, a full-featured plug-in that enables users to directly import CAD models and assemblies into Carrara Studio 3. CADstyle allows users to create photo-realistic or technical rendering from existing CAD models for brochures, technical documentations, on-line and off-line presentations, and more. The CADstyle plug-in natively reads DXF, VRML, OIV, STL, IGES, STEP, VDAFS, SAT and openNURBS files, and converts NURBS surfaces and solids into ready-to-render accurate polyhedric models using a crack-free tessellation engine. it is available for $300 via online download only (and requires Carrara Studio 3).
NewTech Infosystems has officially announced Dragon Burn 4.0 along with a limited-time $10 promotion upgrade offer. Dragon Burn ($50) offers a more robust alternative to the basic CD- and DVD-burning capabilities available with Mac OS. Version 4.0 offers new VCD/SVCD mastering, VIDEO_TS support for DVD Video burning, and "Picture CD" layout support as well as DVD+R Double Layer support. It also supports an extensive range of CD and DVD burners (including those not supported by Apple's own software), DVD+RW and CD-R/-RW multisessions, the UDF file system and layout filtering. For a limited time, owners of any Mac OS X CD/DVD burning software can upgrade to Dragon Burn 4.0 for only $10 (as well be entered into a drawing for a 17-inch PowerBook, iPod, or iPod mini).
DVCProHD Components 1.1 (free) is the latest version of the driver software for Panasonic AJ-HD1200A VTRs. "This updater only updates QuickTime components used by Final Cut Pro HD. It does not update the Final Cut Pro HD (version 4.5) application." [1.0MB] SharePoints 3.5 (donationware) is an application or a preference pane that makes it easy to add and delete share points for sharing specific folders via AppleFileServer (AFS) and Samba (SMB) file sharing. In addition SharePoints also brings back users and groups management to Mac OS X as well as easy configuration of AFS/SMB properties. [1.1MB] Aabel 1.5.7 ($350) adds new several new chart types, including high-low, range, min/max/median. Other new features include improved axis drawing, new options for box charts, drawing of constrained polygons, and other enhancements. Aabel is a high-performance data analysis & charting application utilizing AltiVec, Quartz, QuickDraw, and OpenGL. [update, demo] Steam 2.1 (donationware) reads and stores the schedules for the user's choice of BBC Radio and TV stations as well as displays a list of current programming in a small window. It can remind users regarding a favorite program. Version 2.1 adds a new detail button to display BBC info, the ability to stream TV from the News 24 and Parliament TV channels, access to BBC 7 archives, and other bug fixes. [1.1MB] Fish 0.98 (free) is an aquarium simulator that allows you to add fish to an underwater environment and customize them. "Fish show complex behavior. You can feed them, see its evolution as they grow, use different cameras to track them, and save different aquariums for later usage." It adds speech recognition support for giving commands, custom plant settings, and more. [3MB] KDX 1.4 ($30) is a powerful "BBS"-style (Bulletin Board System) encrypted internet communications system that provides voice chat (Internet Telephone), text chat, messaging, news, file and folder transfer, remote access, trackers and more. Version 1.4 offers a new "floating" mini monitor window, the ability to turn off sounds on individual chats, a single error window, and more. [client, server]
Alien Skin Software today released Eye Candy 5: Textures, a collection of ten seamless texture generators for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Macromedia Fireworks. It is the first a 3-part upgrade planned for Eye Candy 4000: Nature and Impact, the other two collections, will ship by end of Summer. EC Textures includes settings for over 200 frequently used effects, works with 16-bit images, offers an improved settings management system, and includes support for import/export of settings as well as new effects such as Brick Wall, Diamond Plate, Reptile Skin, and Stone Wall. It is is available for $100 and runs on Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later. Upgrades are $50.
Radical Breeze today released DiscBlaze 4, a new version of its CD and DVD burning software. This new version adds several new enhancements including support for additional disc image formats, the ability to set a custom disc icon and an MP3 CD type. The company says that VideoCD support will be released in a free update to 4.0 during the first half of July. Version 4.0 can burn Nero (.nrg) and .cdr disc images, can set a custom icon for any HFS+ (Mac) disc, simplifies image creation/burning, etc. It can also burn .ISO and .DMG discs, erases re-writable media, create Mac/PC-compatible discs, and create mixed audio/data CDs. It is available for $20 until June 25th ($25 after that date).
Aspyr today announced the Mac version of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has hit beta status and is projected to ship in early August. "Enter the gritty world of CSI and search for the truth with Grissom, Catherine, and the entire Crime Scene Investigation team. Armed with high-powered forensic equipment and razor-sharp wits, delve deeply into the mysteries of 5 baffling crime scenes to reveal the truth." It runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later and requires a 500MHz G3/G4/G5 Mac. Pre-orders are available now for $30.
Apple's recent ads are in the running for the Cannes Lions Awards at the 51st International Advertising Festival in Cannes, according to Macworld UK: "Also nominated in the automotive category is Apple's joint ad promotion with Volkswagen in the US, in which the two companies extolled the virtues of an iPod-enabled Volkswagen Beetle. Apple's media marketing for its iPod, and its bilboard ads for that product have also been nominated." AdAge predicts that Apple will take the coveted Grand Prix award: "The colorful 'Hip Hop' silhouettes are not only striking, they're a rare example of advertising-as-USP, in which the Day-Glo images are synonymous with the unique product they represent. It's a towering achievement in art direction."
Philips Electronics has launched the "world's first" 16x DVD writer, which can burn a disc in less than six minutes, according to Reuters. "U.S. computer maker Dell will be the first customer for the new DVD burner....Philips and Dell have a partnership to supply each other with products. Philips said it planned to produce 600,000 of the devices every month. Computer makers will pay between 80 and 90 euros ($97-$109) per DVD writer when buying in large quantities, while consumers will have to pay around 180 euros."
Aquafadas Software today launched a new Mac OS X application to manage digital video (DV) clips. iDive offers an on-screen digital video shoebox to store clips and still images. It features fast performance, automatic previews, customizable views, "drag & drop" attribute tagging and a timeline to help organize any collection. Aquafadas says it is designed to simplify "visualisation, tagging, storage, organisation and retrieval of digital video clips and photos." The $70 application is available for $50 for a limited time (for the first 250 licenses sold or through July 2004).
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,¬†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