DEVONtechnologies today released DEVONagent 1.5 ($35), the first major update in almost a year to the DEVONthink research companion software for Mac OS X. DEVONthink 1.9.2 ($40), a minor update to the notepad, outliner, and scrapbook software, was also released. DEVONagent 1.5 offers a revamped user interface to make Web research easier than in previous versions. DEVONthink 1.9.2 is a maintenance release that adds a new option to open groups within the current window, support for DEVONagent 1.5 and a few more QuickTime, XML and plain text file formats.
In Brief: The Guru Awards program, which honors excellence in Photoshop creativity, has extended the deadline for Guru Award submissions from February 1 to February 8.... Digital Criterion, a consulting company supporting Macs and Windows, announced that it is now serving over 15 cities, including it's newest location-- Kansas City.... Basasoft announced today that its first anniversary promo pricing for BasaOne, its Web Application Development Environment will end February 10.... Sony Ericsson has released the Themes Creator 1.60 development tool for Mac OS X.
Apple has released iPhoto 5.01, an update to the recently released photo organizing/editing application that is bundled with iLife '05. Apple says the update "addresses issues with upgrading iPhoto 4 libraries, dragging albums into folders, importing MPEG-4 movies, and also includes a number of other minor fixes." It is available via the Mac OS X Software Update feature (but not yet available via the Web)
US Modular has introduced two new palm-sized, disk-based storage devices. The Monstor Drive will be available in both 2GB and 4GB capacities, featuring quick file transfers via the onboard USB 2.0 port for up to 6.5Mps transfer speeds. Leveraging the latest micro-circuit technology, the device requires no external power and is both Mac/PC compatible. The drive features a 1500G shock resistance rating, ultra-lightweight/compact design (only 16 grams), a 4,200RPM mechanism, and driver-less operation. The Monstor Drive will ship later this month for $100 (2GB) and $170 (4GB). [corrected]
Call of Duty 1.5 ($45) is a free maintenance update to Aspyr's popular game for Mac in which "you get to fight alongside your brothers-in-arms as history comes alive. In momentous battles from D-Day to Stalingrad, youíll find yourself in incredibly real terrain, caught in breathtaking life and death combat." [Download - 19.9MB] iPresent It 1.1 ($18) allows users to convert PowerPoint, PDF and Keynote presentations into slideshows for the iPod photo. This version adds Keynote 2 compatibility, build support when using Keynote 2, support for high resolution presentations, and tracking of presentations. [Download - 904KB] First Tracks 1.08 ($10) is a specialized Internet tracking and browsing application that downloads and consolidates weather information and slope conditions for skiers and snowboarders. Registration enables the application to store preferences and user settings. [Download - 278KB] burnitagainsam 1.4 ($15) is the latest version of the shareware app that allows users to append files to a CD-R that already contains data. Support for DVDRs is currently in development. [Download - 620KB] Boinx Mouseposť 1.1 (free) is a unique tool that dims the screen and puts a spotlight on the area around the mouse pointer. Version 1.1 adds AppleScript support which enables interoperability with a broad range of remote control devices such as bluetooth enabled mobile phones (with Salling Clicker) and Keyboard Macro tools. [Download - 255KB]
Wolfire Software has just released Lugaru, its first Mac shareware game. The main character, Turner, is "an anthropomorphic rebel bunny rabbit with impressive combat skills. In his quest to find those responsible for slaughtering his village, he uncovers a far-reaching conspiracy involving the corrupt leaders of the rabbit republic and the starving wolves from a nearby den." Lugaru's primary feature is its unique combat system. Instead of relying on confusing button combinations to perform moves, Lugaru's moves are all logical and context sensitive. Lugaru is shareware, priced at $20.
Microsoft's management is becoming more and more frustrated by the growing predominance of the iPod on its Redmond campus. Wired News says that the growing number of iPods on Microsoft's main campus: "To the growing frustration and annoyance of Microsoft's management, Apple Computer's iPod is wildly popular among Microsoft's workers. 'About 80 percent of Microsoft employees who have a portable music player have an iPod,' said one source, a high-level manager who asked to remain anonymous. 'It's pretty staggering.' The source estimated 80 percent of Microsoft employees have a music player -- that translates to 16,000 iPod users among the 25,000 who work at or near Microsoft's corporate campus. So popular is the iPod, executives are increasingly sending out memos frowning on its use."
Marking the 19th consecutive year that Pepsi has advertised during the SuperBowl, the company announced it will air four new commercials for Diet Pepsi and the Pepsi iTunes promotion during Super Bowl XXXIX. The spots will air in the first and second quarters over a total of two and a half minutes during Fox's telecast on February 6th. The Pepsi-iTunes giveaway will be promoted using a number of popular tracks from a series of music genres to "illustrate how winning a free song from the Pepsi iTunes promotion is as easy as opening a bottle of Pepsi." The company announced that it has completed one of the TV spots [click to view] and that the other is still in development.
CSi today released Concepts Unlimited 2 Service Pack 2, the seventh release of its flagship product for conceptual computer aided design. The service pack also includes updates to Concepts 3D and Concepts 2D. The CSi-Concepts family of products targets professional design communities who need fast, flexible, and intuitive tools for turning ideas into precise CAD models. Service Pack 2 includes over 30 changes with the software, including an updated modeling kernel updated to support Spatialís ACIS R13 SP7; updated IGES, STEP, PROE, and CATIA v4 translators; and corrections for sharing perspective data with Adobe Illustrator. The company says that Concepts Unlimited is unique on the Mac market because it can bridge data sharing between enterprise engineering solutions and the Mac.
Aspyr today announced that it will publish Zoo Tycoon Deluxe, a bundle that includes Zoo Tycoon, and the Marine Mania and Dinosaur Digs expansions. "In Zoo Tycoon, you'll be challenged to build the most healthy and vibrant zoo possible. With an easy to learn interface, you can begin planning your strategy and building your ultimate zoo the moment you start the game, which is a good thing since you'll need to build, manage, and maintain a zoo with over 200 animals, exhibits, and zoo materials." Marine Mania adds killer whales, manta rays, and other exciting marine animals, while the Dinosaur Digs expansion pack allows you to evolve the zoo with more than 20 prehistoric beasts, 100 building materials, and 6 challenging scenarios. Zoo Tycoon Deluxe is expected to be released in March for $50.
In Brief: Apple has begun shipping its updated PowerBooks to customers, as noted by a shipment confirmation from the Apple Store for an order placed early Monday morning.... Apple officials continue to say that producing a G5-based notebook is a "design challenge" and extremely difficult.... The O'Reilly Open Source Convention, currently soliciting proposals, is scheduled for August 1-5 in Portland, Oregon.... A congressional committee said that a 3 percent tax on telecommunications tax could be extended to all Internet and data connections this year.... IDG World Expo has postponed its "Macworld On Tour" conference, which was scheduled to take place March 9-10, 2005 in Kissimmee, FL, saying that it was unable to generate sufficient interest.
Apple yesterday announced that it will lower the price of its iPod in Korea, following cuts by other manufacturers last week. The JoongAng Daily reports that the discounts are only for Apple's hard-disk drive music players and exclude the flash-based iPod Shuffle: "Local representatives even asked the media to 'keep quiet' about the price cuts, saying that headquarters feared opposition from other Asian countries. Kim Ji-hyun, a spokesperson for Apple Korea, said that the company wants to change people's perception of the brand as an expensive one." Samsung officials said that Apple may be using Korea as "the battleground because they want to get their grips on the local market here before they deal with Korean MP3 makers abroad." Apple lowered its 20GB iPod pricing nearly 14 percent from 418,000 won to 363,000 won.
THQ has announced that it will publish a follow-up to The Incredibles video game title, based on Walt Disney Pictures' presentation of a Pixar's film. Scheduled for release this fall, the new title will support PC/Mac computers as well as other popular gaming platforms, such as PlayStation 2/PSP, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, and Game Boy Advance/DS. THQ says that domestic shipments of The Incredibles game title have exceeded 2.5 million units, finishing as the overall best-selling new property of 2004 in the U.S. (according to The NPD Group). "This next installment in the videogame series will give millions of fans worldwide the opportunity to interact with Mr. Incredible and many other beloved Incredibles characters in a brand new adventure this fall."
Pixelglow Software today released a major new version of its flagship programming library macstl. The C++ header library is designed to "bring the Macintosh into the world of modern generic programming." macstl is a portable SIMD (single instruction multiple data) toolkit for developers that features fast transcendental and integer division functions, complex number arithmetic and cross-platform programming in an easy-to-use syntax. It requires Mac OS X 10.3 or Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 and supports Apple Xcode 1.5 + gcc 3.3, Metrowerks CodeWarrior 9.3 and Microsoft Visual C++ .NET 2003. The library is open-source and free when derived code is reciprocated; for others, licensing is $100 (Personal) or $500 (Corporate).
e2Sync today introduced e2Sync Personal v1.1, which delivers the ability to sync Microsoft Entourage X data (as well as MS Entourage 2004 data) using Apple's iSync application. "For the first time Entourage X users can now take advantage of iSync with all Entourage contacts, calendar, and tasks data being shared with any iSync compatible device." iSync-compatible devices include many of today's popular cell phones, Palm-powered PDAs and all Apple iPods that feature displays. e2sync Personal is a "genuine" iSync conduit, allowing synchronization with iCal, AddressBook, and .Mac and allowing users to keep two copies of Entourage in sync with eachother using .Mac and iPod users to sync info with Microsoft's popular productivity suite. e2Sync Personal is $40.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN