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Spider-Mac 2 for .Mac
Apple is offering .Mac members an exclusive free demo of Spider-Man 2 from Aspyr, including the game tutorial and the first level of the action-packed game based on the feature film. .Mac members can also buy the full version of the game for $20--33 percent off the $30 retail price--through November 10th. Aspyr released Spider-Man 2 in mid-August.
PDF Enhancer 2.6 released
Apago has released PDF Enhancer 2.6, a utility that helps optimize PDF files for either print, web, and more using one of several optimizations, including image optimization, duplicate/unused element removal, and other techniques for reducing file size. It offers full featured imposition, page box and stamping managers, and more. Version 2.6 can now embed fonts, offers significant improvements to TrueTypeFont subsetting, has improved color support, and includes more optimization techniques. The Standard Edition ($180) supports all basic enhancement, security, and size reduction capabilities, while the Professional Edition ($350) adds document merging, page and Bates numbering, support for ICC color conversion, page layout and up to 3 hot folders for automation. A Server Edition ($1000) offers unlimited hot folder, a command line interface and a $500 JBIG2 compression option.
iPodDownload 1.0 is an iTunes plug-in that allows users to download tracks from your iPod to your iTunes library. iPodDownload is a free download for all users. [2.3MB]
Nanasaur 2 v1.1 is a free update that lets the game run much better on Macs with less than 512MB of RAM. "Previously, the system requirement for Nanosaur 2 was 512MB with the caveat that it would usually run on systems with as little as 320MB. With version 1.1, it should now run with as little as 256MB of RAM." [854KB] EasyFrame 1.1.2 ($15) is an interactive utility that enables users to apply different borders and frames to images. Version 1.1.2 offers an improved progress indicator, and an Open Recent menu. [4.0MB]
iSightWeb 1.0 allows users to set up a Web camera to capture images at a predefined interval, and store locally as JPEG images. This release is the first public release for general use. [633KB]
SwitchXS 1.5.5 ($250) provides virtually complete access to Mac OS X and all standard Mac applications for people who can only use one or more switches. It offers full mouse and keyboard emulation by means of a "scanning mode." The new version offers a Japanese localization and improved visibility options. [633KB]
DVDManager 1.1 helps manage a DVD collection on your Mac. It now imports your CSV-based data from your old database, includes a new "Retrieve & Continue" action, allows you to quickly change your ratings through the contextual menu, and sports some minor additional enhancements. [569KB]
MrArchitect3D 1.0 is a parametric 3D CAT tool that can be used to easily create 3D architectural elements and import them into other CAD applications. It exports to several file formats, including dxf, qd3d metafile and gdl. It can create 3D objects, such as vaults, stairs, columns, beams, arcways and more and is localized in Italian and English. [1.7MB]
3-port USB hub, reader
EDGE today announced the launch of a 3-Port USB 2.0 Hub Plus 9-in-1 Card Reader. Now available, the device offers three USB ports to accommodate multiple USB devices, with the added convenience of a digital media reader supporting nine card formats. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $30 after mail-in rebate. The EDGE 3-Port USB 2.0 Hub Plus 9-in-1 Card Reader utilizes a USB 2.0 interface for high-speed data downloads via the USB ports or the card reader. The 9-in-1 reader supports SD Memory Cards, MultiMedia (MMC) Cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo, SmartMedia Cards, Type I/II CompactFlash Cards, and IBM Microdrive.
Konica Minolta Photo Imaging has introduced DiMAGE Master, a new image editing and enhancing suite for use in conjunction with the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D, "the world's first digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera with body-integral anti-shake technology." DiMAGE Master is optional software designed to improve creative workflow for professional and advanced digital camera users. The software's newly developed 3D Lookup Table technology for RAW processing enables more accurate color reproduction, and can process any RAW images taken by Konica Minolta digital cameras.
PDF Hacks, ADmitMac info
In Brief: "PDF Hacks" (O'Reilly, US $25) by Sid Steward shows readers how to use a variety of PDF tools--not just Adobe Acrobat--to create, rearrange, customize, and present information as PDF.... The MacEnterprise.org (formerly MacOSXLabs.org) group will be presenting a "ADmitMac" WebCast on Tuesday, September 21 at 1:00 pm EDT.... A Silicon Valley startup claims to have cracked one of most elusive goals of the software industry: a near-universal emulator that allows software developed for one platform to run on any other, with almost no performance hit.... X-Rite today announced the appointment of John J. Zimmerer, Jr. as X-Rite's New Market Development Manager. Zimmerer worked at Apple as Color and Imaging Product Marketing Manager.
NYT review of the iMac G5
David Pogue's review of the new iMac G5 notes the striking resemblance to the iPod, easy access to the internals, and innovative speaker placement, but says that Apple "muffed one detail: even the top-of-the-line model comes with only 256 megabytes of memory. That's typical for consumer computers these days, but on a creative powerhouse like the Macintosh, it's not enough." The article, however, says that while the design will lure iPod fans with its 'attention-grabbing' design, the "feature that will ultimately make them happiest has nothing to do with quiet fans or thin power cords. In the long run, they'll benefit most from the iMac's stealth feature: Mac OS X."
Omaha, NE 1-to-1 initative
Nearly 2,000 high-school students are receiving iBooks as part of the Westside's school board's $3.3 million one-to-one initiative with Apple computer. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Omaha's Westside is the first public district in Nebraska to offer such a program, although some private schools in Omaha, including Brownell-Talbot, Duchesne Academy and Gross Catholic, require students to buy laptops: "Each Westside student will have access to programs for creating his or her own movies, composing and recording music, editing photos, listening to music and wireless surfing on the Internet. All students also will have word-processing, spreadsheet and presentation software. For now, the computers will not allow instant messaging, although Kingston said that could change because there are academic uses for the feature."
Tom Clancy\'s Splinter Cell
Aspyr today announced that the Mac version of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell has gone gold. "When two CIA agents mysteriously vanish in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, the NSA's secret sub agency, Third Echelon, deploys Sam Fisher - its most capable splinter cell operative - to recover them. Fisher soon uncovers a deeper conspiracy: a plot that threatens to destabilize the world order and spark nuclear conflict." Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later, PowerPC G4/G5 (867 MHz or faster), and DVD drive. It will begin shipping September 27 and it is expected to be in stores nationwide on October 2. The retail price is $50 and it is available for pre-order now. [Pre-Order from Amazon]
STM iPod cocoon updated
STM has updated its iPod cocoon for the "4G" (fourth-generation) iPods. The Cocoon now fits the latest 20G and 40G iPods, with clear access to the click wheel and other ports. STM's cocoon ships with 4 skins: (1) new 4G 20GB; (2) 4G 40GB; (3) 3G 10/15/20GB; and (4) 3G 30/40GB iPod. The clear plastic skin has been custom fit to for each of the 3G/4G iPods and offers access to the buttons and ports as well as velcro on the back so that it sticks securely to the Cocoon. The hard outer shell, completely enclosing your iPod, also offers a pocket for ear buds, a lanyard for wearing it around your neck and a belt clip.
Amazon search, Sony OLED
Morning Tech: Amazon has launched its Google-based A9 search engine technology that allows users to create a history of their Web searches and manage the information they find.... Sony will begin high-volume production of next-generation displays using OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology, which will be used in a new Sony Clie handheld device (only available in Japan).... Philadelphia expanded free outdoor wireless Internet access on Tuesday as part of a multimillion-dollar plan to connect the entire city by early 2006.... Hitachi will ship by the end of the year new 5,400 rpm 2.5-inch hard drives with capacities up to 100GB.
New Minolta cameras
Konica Minolta today added two new digital cameras to its product line, including the 6.1 megapixel Maxxum 7D digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera and its 8.0 megapixel SLR-Type DiMAGE A200. The Maxxum 7D supports interchangeable lenses, offers a large 2.5-inch color LCD, and features a body-integral CCD-shift, Anti-Shake (camera-shake compensation) technology. The DiMAGE, also supporting the unique Anti-Shake features, offers a built-in 7x optical zoom lens, a rotating 1.8-inch TFT Vari-angle LCD monitor, VGA (640 x 480 pixels at 30fps) and SVGA (800x600 pixels at 15fps) movie modes, and more. The DiMAGE A200 will be available in December. (Pricing not available.)
Apple iTunes UK under fire
Apple's iTunes music download service has been accused of overcharging UK users by the Consumers' Association, according to the BBC: "The group accused the service of charging UK-based customers nearly 20% more than those with addresses and payment details in France or Germany. The group has written to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) asking it to investigate iTunes for possible breaches of EU competition rules. Apple said its prices should be compared with other UK music downloads...The Consumers' Association said that while iTunes charges UK based customers 79p to download one track, customers in France or Germany only have to pay 99 euro cents - the equivalent of 67p."
FireWire 800 host adapters
WiebeTech today announced two new host adapters designed to provide FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 ports to any desktop or notebook computer as well as an RT5 FireWire 800 enclosure. The new host adapters feature two FireWire 800 and one FireWire 400 port: the PCI Host card supports desktop computers, while the Cardbus adapter (for laptops with PC card slots) also features a 1.3mm DC power jack for use with an optional 12V DC power adapter, allowing devices to be bus0powered. Both the notebook and desktop version are $90. WiebeTech's RT5 is a high capacity storage device, offering five front accessible drive bays with trays (included), dual FireWire 800 ports, USB 2.0 connectivity, RAID 0/1/3/5 support via the front panel, and a flush-fit heavy duty handle. Pricing starts at $1700 (enclosure only).
Adobe Photoshop Elements 3
Adobe today announced Photoshop Elements 3.0 for Macintosh, a major upgrade to its digital imaging software for photo hobbyists. It offers advanced editing tools--some of which were previously only available in Photoshop CS. Billed as a companion to Apple's iPhoto, it offers a new set of powerful editing tools, such as the Healing Brush and other "one-click fixes," in addition to more sophisticated techniques for more advanced creative control. Other new features include a new Spot Healling Brush, PDF slideshows, a better file browser with improved search functions, improved printing, and more. It will ship later this fall for $90.
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