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FastScripts 2.1 ($15) is an update to the utility for executing scripts on your Mac. Major new features include: application-specific keyboard shortcuts, improved script error dialogs, redesigned preferences dialog, and AppleScript language updates. [Download - 386KB] FlexoStep ($300) is step and repeat software for use in Adobe's Illustrator and Macromedia's Freehand. Users create custom die configurations and completely automate the task of stepping, repeating, distorting, and adding printer's marks and job info. [Download - options] Advanced Web Ranking 3.5 ($150) is a tool that helps check a Web site's position on all major search engines. This version features the ability to display all the active scheduled tasks, suggest keywords using the Google Suggest service and the ability to zoom in and out in the Rank Evolution charts. [Download - 7.5MB] Creative Manager Pro 7.4.5 ($175/month) is the latest version of the Web-based integrated project management software and job tracking solution for advertising agencies. The update adds features for calculating project milestone dates using the projects end date and upgraded support for the security enhancements in Apple's new Mac OS X v10.3.7 and iCal 1.5.5, among other upgrades. [Download - form] Adium X 0.73 is an update to the alternative instant messaging client for AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and more. The update fixes several crashes, resolves a couple long standing problems with away messages on various protocols, and significantly improves MSN connectivity. [Download - 4.7MB]
In Brief: Two Mac-using parents get creative with their children's Christmas gifts.... Another family celebrates christmas with a creative Mac-inspired Quilt.... A MacNN reader reports that the Citibank iPod promotion is only available to new customers and current or former customers are not eligible.
Sean Kelly has released skEdit 3.5, an update to the web-development text editor for Mac OS 10.2 or later. Version 3.5 adds integrated SFTP support, offering standard SFTP operations (e.g., uploading, downloading, and managing files) as well as editing of files on a remote server--directly and securely through the familiar skEdit interface. Other new features include line numbers that work with line wrapping, a "show invisibles" feature, performance and stability improvements, faster syntax highlighting, improved localizations, and more. It costs $20; a 25-day demo is available online.
Ron Avitzur has published the story behind Graphic Calculator, the popular Mac OS X application bundled on classic Mac computers. Avitzur apparently developed most of the application for free after his contract expired at Apple in the early/mid 90s. The bundled application was created by two non-paid ex-Apple contracts sneaking onto campus and receiving support from dozens of other Apple employees--both officially and non-officially: "I view the events as an experiment in subverting power structures. I had none of the traditional power over others that is inherent to the structure of corporations and bureaucracies. I had neither budget nor headcount. I answered to no one, and no one had to do anything I asked. Dozens of people collaborated spontaneously, motivated by loyalty, friendship, or the love of craftsmanship. We were hackers, creating something for the sheer joy of making it work."
Steve Jobs has been named The Sunday Times Business Person of 2004: "IT is not often that a company boss gets to bathe in the success of a product that is a smash hit with consumers. It is rarer still for that product to be genuinely important, transforming not just the company that designed it but the face of an industry. It is even more remarkable for one chief executive to enjoy this level of success, not at one company, but at two quite different businesses in the same year. And to accomplish all this while undergoing treatment for cancer — well, that’s just incredible." Others considered include the Google co-founders, Roger de Haan (sold Saga travel and insurance group), Lakshmi Mittal (steel magnate), and Sir Terry Leahy (CEO of Tesco).
Japanese company Clarion will begin selling a car audio and video system in Japan next year, which will be compatible with Apple's iPod portable music player, according to The Mercury News: "Clarion said earlier it will also release an iPod-compatible car DVD player in the United States in January. Users can connect an iPod to the system and select songs and artists by touching the seven-inch monitor. Clarion will introduce the iPod-compatible car equipment in Europe by the middle of 2005 and also plans to manufacture the parts for automakers on an original-equipment-manufacturer basis. Apple Computer declined to comment on the deal because it does not have a business alliance with Clarion for the product."
Dover Studios has released Maya NURBS Modeling DVD, the first title in its MacVFX Training Series. The Maya NURBS Modeling DVD provides an introduction to NURBS Modeling in Maya on Mac OS X, offering step-by-step lessons for on Maya's powerful modeling tools as wella s numerous tips for efficient modeling. Lessons include: how to keep objects organized using the layer editor and how to create accurate scale models using reference images. Each of the modeling techniques are then utilized in the final exercise, creating a traditional kerosene lantern using NURBS curves and surfaces. It is available for $50 along with free shipping through the end of 2004.
New counsel and new plaintiffs have been added in the reseller lawsuit against Apple that claims the company driving them out of business by opening its own chain of retail stores, according to Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. The report sasy that new attorneys with a background in franchisee litigation have been hired and that a fifth plaintiff has also joined the case on the invitation of the original plaintiffs. "The dealers, called Apple resellers, accuse Apple Computer of breach of contract, unfair competition, intentional interference with economic advantage and other offenses. The new lead counsel is David Franklin, of San Diego, who litigated a similar suit in the early 1980s against the company that issued FotoMat franchises. Another San Diego attorney and one from Tennessee also have joined the case. They replace Marcus Merchasin, of San Francisco, who filed the original lawsuit in 2003."
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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