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O'Reilly's "Essential ActionScript 2.0" by Colin Moock ($40) aims to educate readers about object-oriented programming (OOP), what Moock terms, "one of the most important revolutions in programming history." Moock is one of the most universally respected developers in the Flash community. Moock succeeds in delivering what programmers need to maximize their productivity, says Gary Grossman of Macromedia, Flash architect and creator of ActionScript.
Apple \"Silhouette\" ads
Apple's "Silhouette" advertising campaign for iPod has won a "Media Lion" award at the 51st annual Cannes Lions Festival. Apple UK says the event "celebrates the best in international advertising, marketing and creativity. The iPod campaign included TV, outdoor, print and in-store advertising and was honoured in the 'Young Adults (18-34)' category." The campaign goal was to "establish iPod as the MP3 player for our core target audience of young adults, finding the optimum balance between building broad awareness with the 'early mass' whilst maintaining the 'cool factor' amongst early adopters of digital music."
Final Cut Express 2 promo
Apple has launched a new Final Cut Express 2 promo, offering a savings of $200 when users purchase the video editing software along with a new Mac. The "Pro editing. Instant savings." promotion offers a $200 mail-in savings when Final Cut Express 2 is purchased on the same receipt as a new Mac from the Apple Store online, retail locations, or authorized Apple resellers in the US only (not valid in conjunction with other discounts, including Goverment or education discounts).
Free WebObjects frameworks
Cassini today announced the release of the Open Construct Engine ("OCE") frameworks (for Apple's WebObjects development solution) to the open-source community. The developer says the open-source release is a direct reponse to high-pricing concerns expressed by some of its clients. "We think that by issuing these frameworks we will help to push WebObjects further forward as a CMS solution and prove it is clearly the best environment for serious web development." The initial release includes core OCE frameworks, including applications for building site navigation hierarchies, administering system users, and rendering content as well as sample websites, developer documentation and a database-independent XML import/export utility.
Grokker visual search tool
Groxis today released Grokker 2.1 for Mac OS X, which can be "used for exploring vast collections of documents, journals, photos, and web pages -- visually." Groxis says that Web search results are converted into intuitive Grokker knowledge maps, which can be filtered, edited, saved, and shared even with PC users. Version 2.1 also features performance improvements of up to 200%, a new Google beta plugin, support for web proxies, improved categorization, new exclusion based on keywords, keyword highlighting using different colors, and easy deletion of duplicates. A beta is available for Mac OS X 10.2 or later. Registration is $50.
Evening tech news: A Canadian court says Internet service providers aren't responsible for cached copies of music on their servers; Microsoft will offer up to $34 million in product vouchers to settle a class action in Massachusetts, the latest resolutions to suits claiming it broke laws on unfair competition and consumer protection; U.S. wireless companies need to make it easier to surf the Web on cell phones if fast new Internet services are to become widely popular among consumers, according to analysts.
Dashboard vs. Konfabulator
John Gruber says the origins of Apple's Dashboard technology, announced as part of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger earlier this week, are not with Arlo Rose's Konfabulator, but with Apple's original Desk Accessories and that Apple's Webcore-based implementation will allow many more developers/designers to create "gadgets" much more easily and that Dashboard's "gadgets" will offer much better performance: " Dashboard is not a rip-off of Konfabulator. Yes, they are doing very much the same thing. But what it is that they’re doing was not an original idea to Konfabulator. The scope of a 'widget' is very much the modern-day equivalent of a desk accessory."
Global Optimization Tlbx
Maplesoft today released its Global Optimization Toolbox, which extends Maple 9.5, its application environment designed for scientific and engineering problem-solving, mathematical exploration, data visualization, and technical authoring. The Global Optimization Toolbox allows Maple users to obtain the "absolutely best answer" to modeling problems that have many possible solutions, under complicated constraints, offering additional advantages of natural and flexible problem definition, syntax-free visualizations, and technical knowledge management capabilities. It is available for $1,700.
NetSuite supports Safari
NetSuite today said it was the first application service provider to offer native Apple Safari Web browser support. "This provides Mac users an unprecedented opportunity to run their business using the world's most advanced Web-based business application: NetSuite is a single, integrated software system that enables small and midsized businesses to run their entire business operations--from sales, customer support/service, and marketing, to financials and ecommerce--on a single application."
In Brief: Internet service providers do not have to pay royalties to composers and artists for music downloaded by web customers, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Wednesday. Apple has posted support pages on batteries for its PowerBook/iBook and iPod/iPod mini. Architosh.com has announced a Mac OS X Software Design Competition and an Apple Xgrid Technologies Rendering Software Design Race, offering $20,000 in marketing and Apple Hardware to the winners of each.
Dell DJ for iPod
Dell today launched its "A Deal that Rocks", which takes direct aim at Apple's market-leading iPod MP3 player. Dell is offering a 15GB Dell Digital Jukebox (DJ) for $99 after mail-in rebate to customers who send in an iPod for "recycling". The limited-time offer also includes get free DJ shipping, 25 free Musicmatch downloads and a copy of Microsoft Plus! Digital Media Edition and Windows Media Player 9, for a limited time. Dell says the Dell DJ has up to 20 hours of battery life before needing a charge or about two times that of the iPod. The purchase price is $199; users must send in a $100 mail-in rebate along with their iPod for recycling.
Aspyr ships BHD
Aspyr today announced that Delta Force: Black Hawk Down is shipping for Mac. It will be available in stores nationwide by July 5 for $40. "In late 1993, the United States launched dual military operations in Mogadishu Somalia. Delta Force Operatives and Army Rangers were sent in to capture Somali warlords and restore order. Experience the intense combat of Operation Restore Hope in this ground breaking first person shooter."
fmMailmergeX, DX Toolbox
Added:Labels X 1.6 is a 'haxie' for Mac OS X that adds and customizes labels functionality. This update adds Mac OS X 10.3 Panther compatibility, offers a "Relaunch Finder" button, and introduces the option to remove the "Label" Finder menu item. [Download - 1.4MB]
A Better Finder Attributes 3.4 ($10) is the latest version of the contextual menu plug-in that allows users to change file date and other attributes. The latest version offers an updated interface, can make modification dates and creation dates match, and offers changes to support Mac OS X 10.3. [Download - 2.3MB]
fmMailmergeX 2.0 and fmMailscanX 2.0 are FileMaker Pro add-ons for bulk mailing and email scanning/processing, respectively ($50 each). This upgrade adds support for FileMaker Pro 7, allows multiple email accounts, has better control of processing errors, and features a simpler interface. [Download - fmMailmergeX, fmMailscanX]
DX Toolbox 2.0.0 is a radio propagation/conditions-analysis and forecasting tool for amateur radio operators, shortwave listeners, and other radio enthusiasts. This version of the $20 utility adds improvements to the propagation forecasting tools. [Download - 2.8MB]
Border (£15) is a simple application for drawing decorative borders and frames. It includes more than 170 different patterns that can be adjusted in various ways to fit round anything. [Download - 1.4MB]
ClockWorksMB is a $20 application builder, that makes it possible for a non-programmer to develop original digital creation software. Version 1.2 introduces templates that give good starting points to create most popular projects, and fixes bugs. [Download - 5.7MB]
AudioRack 1.0r1 is an audio player system for Mac OS X intended for use in live-assist and automated radio. This version offers multiple audio output device support, a new automation system, bug fixes, and major interface changes. [Download - 4.0MB]
WorkStrip 3.2 (£23) is a multifaceted “file management tool” for Mac OS X that offers a file tracking system and innovative file preview feature. The new version offers instant file previews in the Finder, Hot Menus, and a WorkStrip Trash item. [Download - 1.9MB]
Rendezvous for Windows
Apple has released a preview of its Rendezvous for Windows 2000/XP, which allows applications/devices to automatically and transparently discover other nodes on a network. "This preview release includes full link-local support, allowing Windows machines to discover advertised HTTP and FTP servers using Internet Explorer. It also includes a printer setup wizard which allows Windows machines to print to Rendezvous networked printers, including USB shared printers connected to the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express Base Stations. With the included Rendezvous SDK, Windows and Java developers can begin the process of adding Rendezvous service discovery to their applications." Versions are also available for Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD as well as Java clients.
Oracle on Mac OS X
Oracle today officially announced plans to make Oracle technology available to Mac OS X developers. As noted previously, the Oracle Database 10g Early Adopters Release 2 is now available for Mac OS X. Oracle also says it plans to have the production version of Oracle Database 10g for Mac OS X available for free download/evaluation during the second half of this year and that JDeveloper 10g for Mac OS X will be available for free download/evaluation during the second half of this year as well.
Broderbund Kid Pix Deluxe
Software MacKiev today announced that the Mac OS X version of Broderbund Kid Pix Deluxe 3. In development for nearly two years, the title has been enhanced for Mac OS X, offering integration with Apple's iLife suite of applications. Users can import a picture from iPhoto, add sounds from iTunes and export their animated Kid Pix pictures and slide shows directly to iMovie. The new Mac OS X Edition of Kid Pix Deluxe 3 also features a number of kid-friendly enhancements such as large 3D full-color cursors, bigger buttons and gentle built-in coaching to help younger users get started. It can now be ordered from the Apple Store online for $40 (and will soon be available in all Apple Store retail locations).
PhoneValet Message Center
Parliant today began shipping its PhoneValet Message Center (PVMC), which it says turns any Mac running Mac OS X into a telephone communications hub for homes and small businesses. PVMC extends Parliant's existing PhoneValet multi-line computer telephony solution, adding full message center functions. PhoneValet Message Center includes the hardware and software for "greeting callers professionally, announcing each call by voice and on the screen, and permitting the call to be recorded in whole or in part." The application offers voice mail, conversation recording (with automatic iTunes transfer), a searchable call history, talking caller id, caller-activated AppleScripting, a fax controller and voice dialing. It is available now for $200 (and does not require a modem).
iPix Interactive Studio
IPIX InfoMedia has released iPix Interactive Studio 1.2, which includes new features and functionality that expand the options for creating panoramic photography. Version 1.2 now supports the Fujifilm FinePix s7000 and FinePix S20 Pro digital cameras as well as features new image editing and hot-spot tools for annotating, correcting and linking panoramic images. The hot-spot tool, a major upgrade to the popular IPIX i-linker, is now offered for the first time on Windows and Mac OS X platforms. It is a free upgrade for existing users. Pricing starts at $900.
Plextor 12x DVD drive
Plextor today announced the new PX-712UF DVD+-R/RW drive with support for high-speed 12X DVD+R and 8X DVD-R recording. It features a dua-interface with both Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and FireWire ports and offers the ability to create, edit, and share customized DVDs and CDs, including support for both DVD+R and DVD-R recording. The PX-712UF supports 12X DVD+R and 8X DVD-R Writing; 4X DVD+RW and 4X DVD-RW Rewriting; and 16X max DVD-Reading. The DVD/CD burner also boasts high-speed 48X CD-R Writing, 24X CD-RW Rewriting, and 48X max CD-Reading. The drive includes Toast Lite 5/6 for Mac users. It has an 8MB buffer and features Buffer Underrun Proof Technology. It will ship in August for $300.
PeopleSoft supports Safari
PeopleSoft announced plans to certify Apple's Safari web browser for PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne solutions. The company previously certified Safari for PeopleSoft Enterprise applications (PeopleTools 8.21 and PeopleTools 8.45) and is now expanding support to PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne 8.94 by the fourth quarter of this year. "[It] marks the enterprise applications industry's largest commitment to the Macintosh platform. At Apple's premier developer event, PeopleSoft's Jesper Andersen will discuss how PeopleSoft and Apple have teamed to provide PeopleSoft customers with increased platform choice and the highest performance application environment for Mac OS X users." Andersen will speak at WWDC on Thursday, July 1 (3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.).
Turtle for Maya
Illuminate Labs today released Turtle for Maya, a "radically" fast photorealistic renderer for CGI creation. "Turtle has the best integration of any renderer in Maya, it offers the best raytracing speed, it renders larger scenes than other renderers can handle and it offers the latest rendering technologies in Global Illumination, Final Gather and Ambient Occlusion." It offers new LiquidLight raytracing and global illumination algorithms with support for caustics, color bleeding and other global illumination effects. Turtle can render both internally in Maya 6 (Mac OS X) and externally as a standalone application. It is available for $1,200 (single workstation with GUI) and $1000 (single CPU render node without GUI).
New Web plugins standard
The Mozilla Foundation, in partnership with Apple, Macromedia, Opera and Sun Microsystems today announced a series of changes to web browser plugins, which it says "will allow web developers to offer richer web browsing experiences." The new plugin technologies will be implemented in, among others, upcoming versions of the next generation Mozilla Firefox web browser and the Mozilla 1.x Internet suite as by other third-party plugins and browsers that support the initiative. The companies are working to extend the Netscape Plugin Application Program Interface (NPAPI) in a manner that allows greater interactivity with plugins such as Flash, Shockwave, QuickTime and Java to produce "a richer, more interactive web."
.Mac lagging?, SATA/SCSI
In Brief: The latest edition of Mac.Ars takes on the .Mac gap: why is .Mac still offering only 15MB of e-mail storage when Gmail has a full gigabyte?; Pacific Digital says the combination of its Digital Talon controller and WD Raptor 10,000 rpm SATA hard drive outperforms many 10,000 and 15,000 RPM SCSI drives; Use Tasks is a monthly subscription service for Alex King's popular Tasks and Tasks Pro software with monthly accounts subscriptions available for $4 (single) and $18 (25-users) as well as a lifetime account for $250; the Mac OS X 10.3.3 update may cause problems for some USB or FireWire devices, RAID PCI cards, or SCSI PCI cards, requiring users to boot their computer using 'Safe Mode'. Some blue Power Mac G3s will not boot from the Mac OS X 10.3.2 Install disc when you hold the 'C' key, requiring users to startup using openfirmware.
Apple Design Winners
Apple has posted the 2004 Apple Design Awards Winners, which were announced at its WWDC conference last night. The Best Mac OS X Product was Big Bang Chess 1.0, a freeware game from Freeverse Software (which also won in the 'Best Mac OS X Technology Adoption' category). Panic's Unison newsreader was the runner-up in the best product category and was also named as the 'Best Mac OS X User Experience' product (with Chronos' recently launched $30 SOHO Business Cards as the runner-up). Macromedia's Contribute 2 web publishing tool was chosen as the "Best Product New to Mac OS". Pixelglow's GraphViz automated software layout was the runner-up, but won in the Best Mac OS X Open Source Product category.
Wireless travel router
Netgear has launched its WGR101 54 Mbps Wireless Travel Router, a pocket-size 802.11g router. In addition to delivering up to 54Mbps wireless Internet access when linked to an existing wired Ethernet connection, the WGR101 also provides the added security of a "double firewall" along with routing functionality. It supports NAT, SPI, VPN (IP-Sec and PPTP) pass-through, 64- or 128-bit WEP encryption, and is upgradeable to future WPA security standards. The "small, attractive" WGR101 (measuring 0.7 x 2.3 x 3.4 inches) has an internal antenna and is bundled with a convenient carrying case. It is available now for $100. (Site not updated.)
LightWave 3D  ships
NewTek today announced it would begin shipping LightWave 3D , which adds a wide range of new character animation tools and dynamics to the modeling, animation and rendering application. Designed as a production tool in film, broadcast, print, game development, and web development, it brings an extensive set of new tools, improved workflow, and integration with popular production tools. Specific enhancements include faster IK/FK, import/export of character rigs, improved Soft Body dynamics, bone dynamics, improved character animation, new particle system tools, animatable UV coordinates, and improvements to LScript scripting language. It is available for $1,600, while electronic upgrades are $500.
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