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FireWire Depot today launched its Newnex FireNEX-MX Dual 1394a Ports MultiMode Repeater, a FireWire 800-compliant optical repeater for extra long distance connections. It is the S400 version of FireNEX 1394b (FireWire800) optical repeater and is capable of sending FireWire signals across a multi-mode optical fiber cable up to 1000 meters. The FireNEX-MX device is slightly larger than a deck of cards and will work for both 1394b (FireWire 800) and 1394a (FireWire 400) with signals speeds of up to 400-, 200- and 100-Mbps. The FireNEX-MX set ($850) includes is two FireNEX-MX optical repeaters and two 120VAC/12VDC DC power supplies. It is expected to ship in the first week of October. Optical cables are available separately starting at $65.
ADTX today announced certification and availability of new 400GB SATA drives in its L Series RAID systems. The L Series RAID system combines a 2Gb Fibre Channel or Ultra SCSI interface with Serial ATA (SATA) drive interface technology and state-of-the-art ADTX-specific features to create a platform-independent solution for demanding storage needs. ADTX offers both a value-oriented Standard Performance model as well as a High Performance model, which uses large amounts of high-speed memory and a special ADTX RAID controller design that incorporates a parity generating coprocessor.
Absoft has released its Visual Numerics' IMSL Fortran Numerical Library 5.0. Available bundled with Pro Fortran Compiler Suite 9.0 for Mac OS X, the IMSL Fortran Numerical Library is the "gold standard" mathematical and statistical library for Fortran programmers developing high performance computing applications, according to the company. It saves development time by eliminating the need to write code from scratch. Version 5.0 includes new powerful and flexible interface modules for all applicable routines. Pricing for Absoft's Pro Fortran Compiler Suite v9.0 for Mac OS X is $1,600 ($1075 to education).
Yummy FTP 1.0 ($25) is an FTP/SFTP client application with "a feature set, level of convenience and an attention to detail that we think can be rivalled only by combining several of the currently available alternatives." It offers synchronization, remote editing, AppleScript support, Rendezvous and more. [Downoad - 2.3MB] Tickershock ($20) is an interactive RSS and Atom news headline reader "inspired by the news crawls of 24-hour cable news channels." RSS an Atom are emerging news syndication formats for providing short summaries of Web site content. [Downoad - 938KB] FontCard 1.1 ($17) is the latest version of the 'haxie' that modifies the Font menu. This update os now "5 to 30 times faster at displaying font menus," works with Cocoa applications, works in BBEdit 8.0 and Carbon applications that use the font panel, and more. [Downoad - 1.3MB] EasyFind 3.3 (free) adds the user's favorite folders to the top of the directory pop-up menu.... WordService 2.5.2 features a revised French localization and now sorts lines case-insensitive... XMenu 1.3 lets the user name the menus, is slightly faster when resolving aliases and symbolic links, and does not prompt for user name and password when resolving aliases to servers and disk images. [Downoad - EasyFind, WordService, XMenu] SlimServer 5.3.0 is a free open-source utility for that "not only will it power Squeezebox, but it also serves the SLIMP3 network music player or any software MP3 player on your network." It can also stream music live over the Internet. The update adds a referrer check for settings pages. [Downoad - form] Deep Freeze ($270) for Mac OS X allows administrations to keep workstations standardized and secure. It restores the entire directory to its exact original configuration after a logout, restart, selected time interval, or on a selected day of the week. [Downoad - buy]
In Brief: Carbon Computing announced that it has acquired the trade identity ExTRA BYTES -- "one of the most valuable resources for Canada’s film and video industries" -- from Musicware Distributors.... the next meeting of the Portland Mac Filmmakers' User Group will feature the presentation of "My Mother, My Hero," a film made with Final Cut Pro.... This week's Envision Web Show of the Week features flowers from the Pacific Northwest, specifically Washington state and British Columbia.... The Iconfactory's Tiki Time icon collection is "chock full of exotic trappings from the tiki craze of the 50's and 60's which has once again become popular."... The new Bose SoundDock Digital Music System is available for order from the Apple Store with a 3-5 day delivery time.
ChangeThis has published a manifesto titled "6 Design Lessons From the Apple Store" written by Information Architecture guru Jesse James Garrett (founding partner of Adaptive Path). "Say what you will about Apple computer, its products have drawn the kind of attention and spawned the kind of loyal (some might say rabid) customer base that other companies would kill for. Famous for its attention to detail, the company recently stepped outside of its comfort zone of hardware and software and built its first retail stores. The thought that went into each detail, both successful and unsuccessful, and how Apple transformed its brand identity into a physical space and experience, bears lessons for those developing all kinds of products and services."
Apple has another design coup on its hands with the its new iMac G5, according to PC Magazine, which gives the new PC its highest rating--5 out of 5. "Simple, stunning all-in-one design. Quiet. Just one cord (for power), thanks to optional Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. More compact than other all-in-one desktops. Gorgeous 20-inch screen and desktop-caliber hard drive make machine more usable than a desktop-replacement notebook, for the same money and space use. Can be mounted on the wall or on an arm (with a VESA-compliant mounting kit)." The review, however, notes that the graphics cannot be upgraded and that the speakers don't deliver much bass and some flaws with Apple's (optional) Bluetooth keyboard/mouse.
Newer Technology and Other World Computing today announced a second model of the NewerTech RoadTrip! FM transmitter. The new 'RoadTrip!' model allows users of the iPod and other digital music players to listen to their favorite audio files through a car stereo system using the 87.7 FM radio frequency. The original 'RoadTrip!' model broadcasts using the 107.7 FM frequency. Both are available for $20. Aside from its broadcast frequency, the new 'RoadTrip!' model is exactly the same as the original. It connects to a vehicle's 12-volt cigarette lighter and has a 3.5-millimeter stereo jack that is compatible with all four generations of iPods, the iPod mini and other devices with a standard analog mini-jack (headphone jack).
GarageCube has released Modul8 1.1, an update to its application designed for realtime video mixing and compositing under Mac OS X 10.3. It has been designed for VJs and live performers, offering a state-of-the-art user interface, support for flash animation, QuickTime codecs, most 2D image formats, realtime color channel and transparency adjustment, full resolution workflow, realtime contrast/saturation filters, looping, spatial transformations along any axis, sound input-triggers, automatic motion and colorization, luma-key functions, MIDI connectivity, alpha channel transparency, and much more. Version 1.1 offers a new scale mode (per layer), the ability to re-scan for midi devices, and other bug fixes. It is available for 300€.
LaCie has introduced the d2 Hard Drive Extreme with Triple Interface, its external hard drive storage solution with capacities up to 250GB. The new drive offers USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 connectivity as well as a 7,200 rpm mechanism with 8MB buffer for higher performance. Made of a metal alloy that dissipates heat and prolongs drive performance, the fan-free (quiet) drive features a slender, stylish case that offers versatile desktop and rackmount configuration options and ships with a a space-saving drive stand allows for upright desktop use. It is expected to ship later this month for $200 (160GB), $250 (200GB), and $280 ($250). Larger capacities are expected later this year, while worldwide availability is slated for November.
A Mac retailer in Montreal, CA may soon be forced out of business due to a declining user base and "plunging popularity" of Macs, according to an article in Montreal's The Gazette. B.Mac Le Magasin Inc. has closed three of its four stores in the Montreal area and laid off 37 of 52 employees. The fourth store may be forced to close next month--or face the prospect of bankruptcy, according to one reader. "The newspaper blames poor worldwide Mac sales and a low percentage of the overall PC market but doesn't provide information about Montreal's market where there is an apparently thriving design community that mainly uses Macintosh systems."
Digilink today released a "lite" version of its file transfer utility. MediaMover Lite contains all features to send and receive files through internet, but is limited to a single jobticket for all customers and support for a single IP address and single port. The $610 license includes a license for unlimited users. The full version of MediaMover, now available for $3000, add support for event triggers, hot folders, multiple IP addresses, multiple ports, and integrated support for MediaBase, the company's media asset management system. MediaMover offers easy integration into existing websites, supports Mac file transfers (with file info attributes), and other features.
Aspyr Media is now shipping Homeworld 2, the space-based, realtime strategy game that is the second chapter in the Hiigarans’ galactic fight. "The Hiigarans’ struggle to survive continues. The Hiigarans and their leader Karan S’jet may have been looking forward to years of peace once they finally reached their Homeworld of Hiigara, but that was not their destiny. Now the group faces a tremendous enemy from the ancient corners of the galaxy." Homeworld 2 utilizes an innovative 3-D engine that creates cinematic-quality graphics, stunning special effects, and beautifully rendered ships along with camera panning, zooming effects, and views which rotate all 360 degrees. The $50 title runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later on a G4/G5-based Mac (800MHz or faster).
The MathWorks today announced two new and three upgraded products for engineers developing closed-loop control systems within the Simulink environment. Simulink Control Design provides advanced functionality for performing linear analysis of nonlinear models, allowing engineers can extract linear approximations to analyze characteristics such as time and frequency responses and pole-zero dynamics. Simulink Parameter Estimation calculates model parameters to match the response of Simulink models to the measured outputs of physical systems. The company also upgraded Control System Toolbox (specialized tools for designing and analyzing controllers), System Identification Toolbox (build and evaluate linear models), and Simulink Response Optimization (optimizes time-based signals).
FileWave today announced an update to its flagship software suite, FileWave X 1.7. The new version allows businesses of all sizes to distribute Mac OS X software easily and rapidly across networks. Version X 1.7 adds directory services integration using the LDAP protocol for better support of open standards and industry tools. The software management tool includes three modules: FileWave XServer, XAdmin, and XClient. FileWave XServer centrally stores all data relevant to end users, while FileWave XClient is installed on end-user systems. It is free of-charge to qualified academic customers that sign up for a two-year support contract.
Canon today introduced its new stylish five-megapixel PowerShot SD20 Digital ELPH cameras in four new colors, new thinner SD300/SD400 PowerShot cameras with 3x optical zoom, and its highest resolution 16.7 megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II SLR for commercial photographers. The flagship SLR (pictured at right), which leverages the company's second-generation DIGIC II image processor, is the successor to the company's Canon's 11.1-megapixel EOS-1Ds SLR introduced in 2002. The new EOS-1Ds Mark II camera will be on display at the Canon booth at the Photokina trade show in Cologne, Germany (at the end of the month) and at New York City's Photo Plus show in October.
Microsoft may help the lagging Mac game market in Japan by releasing a series of newly translated games. Wired News says that currently only two popular (localized) games that are available (Railroad Tycoon and Sega's Puyo-Puyo Fever), but that Microsoft will translate, market, and support as many games as possible: "Microsoft didn't specify which titles will be released in the Mac Games Collection, or how many. However, Microsoft's Kazama stressed there will be 'more and more.' She said the company will carefully select the best games, fully translate them to Japanese (not just translate some menus and text), and said the games would be optimized to run on most PowerBooks and iBooks."
Stairways Software has released Keyboard Maestro 2.0, an update to the powerful system utility for Mac OS X that offers three functions: powerful macros, program and windows switching, and clipboard switching. Using Keyboard Maestro's macros you can control applications, windows, or menus; insert text; open documents, applications or URLs; execute scripts; control the system, iTunes, or a PowerMate; and more--using keyboard, mouse, scheduled/repeating, or application triggers. The Clipboard Switcher lets users select from a number of named clipboards, storing information away for later retrieval. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later and is available for $20. Upgrades are free for purchases after July 1, 2004 and $10 for other registered users.
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Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram has formally announced that it will roll out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in it's iOS app with an update that will bring the program to version 7.1.5. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app, and some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y