Ampede today released LayerLink, a software plugin for Apple's Motion video application that brings native multi-layer Adobe Illustrator support to Motion--which the company says is "on par with Adobe After Effects, the gold standard for Illustrator integration." With LayerLink, video graphics professional can now take advantage of Motion's realtime tools when using Illustrator artwork. LayerLink provides a new command in Motion's File menu: "Import Illustrator as Project...," keeping layer settings, names, and visibility intact. Users can scale, rotate, move, apply filters and animate each layer separately using any of Motion's tools. It is available for $120 with a limited-time $20 discount.
Apple and Steve Jobs are among the finalists in the first annual Billboard Digital Entertainment Awards, which will be presented on November 5 in Los Angeles. Apple was nominated in three categories, including Innovator of the Year for iTunes (BitTorrent, Sony's Eyetoy, and XM Radio), Brand of the Year (EA Sports, Virgin Mobile, and XM Radio), and Best Music Service (Musicmatch, Napster, and Rhapsody) categories. Jobs was nominated as the Visionary of the Year (Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser and Sims creator Will Wright).
Evening tech news: In first report as public company, search giant Google posts third-quarter profit of $52 million, thanks to booming online-ad revenue.... Since opening its first store last year near Los Angeles, Sony has quietly opened stores in seven other cities. Some retailers that sell Sony products worry they will lose sales.... Intel said it has scrapped plans to enter the digital television chip business, marking a major retreat from its push into consumer electronics.
LocFactory Editor ($50) is a dedicated Text Editor for Localizers and Translators, and is the first of three major new localization tools which TripleSpin will be releasing over the coming months. [Download - 4.8MB] Tiger Woods 2003 1.1.1a is the latest version of the golf game for Mac. This patch fixes a bug that prevented the game from launching on video cards with more than 128MB of video memory. [Download - 1.4MB] BodyPaint 3D Release 2 ($500) is the latest version of the bodypaint exchange plugin for many 3D animation programs. The new version adds compatibility with Maya 6 for Mac. [Download - see options] Acoustica CD Label Maker ($22) allows users to create their own CD/DVD labels and jewel cases with "the ultimate in ease and flexibility." The latest version adds support for the Epson R320 Printer. [Download - 2.3MB] Black Hawk Down Mac Patch 1 is the latest update to the action game for Mac. The update allows the game to run on certain PowerBooks that incorrectly report their CPU speed under Mac OS X 10.2.8. It also fixes a random crash. [Download - 1.4MB] NewsTicker 2.0 ($5) is the latest version of the headline tracking application for Mac OS X. Details of the latest release were not published. [Download - 701KB]
The BabelColor has released the second version of its color comparator and translator software. BabelColor 2.0 ($65), available for Mac OS 9/X, simultaneously displays color data and color patches from two RGB (Red-Green-Blue) spaces selected from 19--up from 13 in the previous version--pre-defined spaces, such as ProPhoto, eciRGB, Adobe (1998), and sRGB. Version 2.0 also adds two color decks to this selection: the first one simulating the chips found in the FED-STD-595B standard, and the second one showing chips disposed at fixed color intervals according to the Munsell HVC notation. It allows users to easily translate color coordinates back and forth between any RGB space or color deck.
Apple has begun warning users with older version of iTunes that their dated clients will no longer be supported by the iTunes Music Store. According to an AppleInsider report, those with older versions of iTunes are being advised to update to the latest version of the software (4.6), as previous versions will soon no longer be supported. "Get the latest version of iTunes. You are using a version of iTunes that will soon no longer be supported. Upgrade today to take advantage of the latest application features and Music Store enhancements," according to a message displayed on computers running the older clients.
Snerdware has released Groupcal 2.0, which allows you to access and manage your Microsoft Exchange calendar seamlessly from Apple's iCal calendaring software. It can synchronize events and tasks, book people or resources for meetings, respond to meeting requests, view Free/Busy time and more. It now offers 2-way event synchronization, 2-way task synchronization, improved Free/Busy time adjustments, the ability to send/receive meeting invites, sharing of Exchange calendars, manage Exchange calendars with iSync devices and iCal, and other improvements. It requires Mac OS X 10.2. A single-user license is $65, while a 5-user license is $260.
Apple's Steve Jobs said last week that even though his company is pumping out more iPods than ever, demand might outstrip supply this holiday season. The company may ship as many 4 million iPods, according to AppleInsider: "We've taken our best guess, and we're building a lot, but the demand may be even larger," said Jobs, perched on a wooden stool during the grand opening of the company's mini store in Stanford, Calif. "So if you want to be sure to get an iPod this holiday season, I'd get one soon."
Contour Design has introduced the iSee carry case for the 20GB fourth-generation iPod. The hard-shelled carry case offers an ultra-clear body made of plastic, horizontally mounted belt clip, and quick-release latch system. It features secure latche on either side of the case to ensure that the iPod stays sealed within and also allows you to conveniently remove your iPod from the case. The case features easy access to the click-wheel, headphone jack, hold switch, and dock connector, which also has its own dock port cover to block out dust. The iSee-20 is available for $20. A model for the 40GB "4G" iPod is also expected soon.
MacSpeech today released a new add-in to its flagship iListen product that allows users to control the Macintosh cursor using their voice. Its new MouseAnywhere ScriptPak allows the user to position the mouse using commands like "Go," "Nudge," and "Move Mouse." The new ScriptPak also allows users to use their voice to click or drag the mouse while holding down a modifier key such as the Shift, Option, or Control keys. The MouseAnywhere ScriptPak is available now for $20 and requires iListen 1.6.5 ($100) and Mac OS X 10.3.
MYOB US today announced MYOB AccountEdge 2005 and MYOB AccountEdge Network Edition 2005, its for small businesses, which offers new features and fully integrated electronic business services. It features MYOB Payroll Forms Service to print and electronically file over 250 US Federal and state tax forms, including forms W-2, W-3, 940, and 941 directly from the software. It now offers the ability to create/schedule reoccuring transactions from a single location, email customer statements and invoices in batches, a new Company Data Auditor, remote credit card processing for on-the-go charging of credit cards, and more. The single-user version is $300, while the network edition is available for $400. Upgrades are $140 (single-user) and $250 (Network Edition).
Digital Mind today announced the release of the world's first 100GB portable music player and storage device. The DMC Xclef 500, released earlier this year in an 80GB model, features a 20+ hour battery life, studio-quality direct encoding, voice recording, FM Radio (and FM recording), PC and Mac compatibility, USB 2.0 connectivity, a 12MB buffer, digital input, five-band equalizer, and support for MP3 and WMA file formats as well as also Ogg Vorbis, WAVE and ASF. It also has a multi-lines graphic LCD with EL back light that supports up to 7 lines of text. The portable music player uses standard 2.5" portable notebook drives and is available a no-drive configuration. The DMC Xclef is available in no drive ($150), 40GB ($250), 60GB ($300), 80GB ($350), and 100GB ($450) models. It ships with earphones, USB 2.0 cable, Li-Ion battery, carrying case, and line-in cable.
LaCie today introduced its 800GB capacity LaCie Ethernet Disk, allowing up to 25 users to instantly store and backup data across a network simultaneously. Administers can fully customize user access controls from any computer on the network using a web administration tool and files can be accessed via HTTP or FTP on Macs or PCs (using the built-in Windows XP Embedded software). The "sturdy and slender" d2 19-inch casing can be mounted in standard rack and supports monitors weighing as much as 40 pounds. Additional space can be added to the LaCie Ethernet Disk by daisy-chaining LaCie hard drives via the USB or FireWire port. It is available in 160GB ($600), 250GB ($800), 500GB ($1000), and 800GB ($1,500) models. The drives ship with silicon feet and bracket covers for standalone use, as well as power and Ethernet cables.
Corregon 1.0 ($20) is a new puzzle game in which players match colored marbles to clear the game board. "As marbles are cleared, the board collapses, often leaving one or two orphaned marbles at the end of the game. However, careful planning will yield an empty board." Higher levels include more marble colors, blocking walls, shifting boards, cloaked "invisible" marbles, and other twists. [4.6MB] PhotoBooth 1.0 ($20) allows users to print full or cropped pictures, directly from their iPhoto library, while ensuring the printed image conforms to the picture size specified. The size of the image can be chosen from a variety of standard photo sizes and full previews are available. A 20-day trial is available. [148KB] Alarm Timer 1.0 ($5) is a useful repeating timer, and simple alarm clock for Mac OS X 10.2 or later. It can be used as a reminder to get up and take rest, time your egg, an exercise timer or even run an AppleScript after the time is up. "What makes Alarm Timer different is that you can have it signal to you continuously, without the need to constantly close dialog boxes." [376KB] A enhanced version of NI's REAKTOR Instrument Collection I ($70) includes the drum machine "Rhythmaker", the lead synthesizer "Titan", the bass synth "Grobian", the pad synth "Atmotion", the envelope controlled multieffects unit "EnFX", the dub delay "Longflow" and the filter bank "Anima". The reissued version is now optimized for Reaktor 4 and Reaktor Session, and contains various enhancements to the instruments. PC-Mac PasswordVault v3.3 ($20) is a password manager which securely stores website usernames and passwords, Internet banking data, and more. It improves security by only allowing service passwords and the master password to be unmasked temporarily, protecting them from observation. New custom build options include forcing the user to enter a master password on startup, as well as a custom Help button to display organization-specific info. [Classic, OSX] DesktopRSS 1.1 (free) lets you manage easily all your RSS channels so that you have a quick access to all the latest news. It can automatically check whether recent news are available. A complete listing of MacNN RSS feeds includes both long and short titles in several different categories. [928KB]
In Brief: Apple is running a 3G mobile iPod marketing campaign with leading mobile 3G company, 3.... IBM said it will significantly increase its microprocessor production during the current quarter, which should improve G5 chip availability.... DV Graphics has released an understated, yet well-designed set of icons to help urge people to vote.... Apple will soon end support for older versions of its iTunes jukebox software that attempt to access the company's online music store.... Ambrosia has announced the availability of a collectable board game incarnation of the popular Escape Velocity: Nova computer game.
LaCie today announced a new high-end series of LCD monitors for graphics professionals. The new 21.3-inch LaCie 321 LCD Monitor utilizes SA-Superfine TFT technology, which it calls "the most advanced LCD panel technology available today." The LaCie 321 Monitor offers a color gamut previously achievable only on CRT monitors, according to the company. The monitor displays 72% of the NTSC video standards gamut and features 10-bit gamma correction for smoother color gradation, DVI/VGA inputs, a high contrast ratio of 500:1 and a brightness of 250 cd/m2 as well as viewing angles of 176-degrees and up to 1600x1200 resolution. It also features height-adjustment, tilt, swivel, and pivot capabilities (requires ATI Radeon 9800) as well as a LaCie monitor hood. It is due in November for $1,700, including a three-warranty.
Ambrosia Software today announced its latest gaming title, Darwinia for Mac OS X and also says it is seeking beta testers: "Combining fast paced action with strategic battle planning, Darwinia features a novel and intuitive control mechanism, a graphical style ripped from 80's retro classics, and a story concerning a tribe of video game sprites trapped in a modern 3D game world. The world of Darwinia is a surreal and Retro place, filled with epic fractal vistas and populated by iconic video game sprites from the past twenty years of computer games. The world is locked in warfare and on the verge of self-destruction, as the once peaceful Darwinians are besieged by a massive Red Viral onslaught."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.4 ( + 0.81 )
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX