Digital-Tutors has announced availability of the "Fundamentals of Maya: Polygon and Sub-D Modeling" training kit. It is the latest release in a library of training resources for digital artists. In over 3.5 hours and 2 discs of innovative training methods, it guides users though the fundamentals of modeling an original concept monster in Maya. Digital-Tutors also announced the Teratology Monster Challenge, a promotional challenge that lets users submit their work and have the opportunity to win a number of prizes.
Apple this afternoon released Mac OS X 10.3.8, an update that "delivers improved compatibility and reliability." The update is available from Apple's support site and via the Software Update utility. Among the improvements: updated OpenGL technology, new ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers, enhanced file sharing and directory services, and "improved compatibility for third party applications and devices." The update also includes all previous standalone security updates. A 103MB combo installer is also provided for Mac OS X 10.3 users running system software older than version 10.3.7. For users of Mac OS X Sever, Apple has released standalone and combo updates specific to the Server platform.
Reinvented Software announced the release of Feeder 1.0 ($25) for Mac OS X today. Feeder is an application for creating, editing and publishing RSS feeds. Feeder supports the full RSS 2.0 specification, including enclosures for podcasting and video blogging. Feeder provides editing features to insert and edit links and images, auto-complete fields and customizable templates to save repetitive typing.
Nattress has released Standards Converter 2.0, an update to the powerful plug-in that allows users to convert between PAL, NTSC and 24p inside Apple's Final Cut Pro video editing suite. Version 2.0 includes a completely new codebase for improved conversion quality, Varicam 60p to 24p conversion, and Film Source NTSC to PAL conversion. Additionally, the update allows DV NTSC 4:1:1 to 4:2:2 conversion and offers new tutorial movies and a new instruction manual. Standards Converter costs $100.
Aspyr Media has scrapped plans to develop Men of Valor for Mac. The decision to remove the title from Aspyr's calendar was "a result of several different factors and much deliberation." Aspyr says it "remains dedicated to continuing to bring high-quality games to Mac users and apologizes for the change of plans."
SpiderWorks today announced "Learn C on the Macintosh (Mac OS X Edition)," an e-book by Dave Mark that has been completely updated for Mac OS X. The book is intended for beginners: "Don't know anything about programming? No problem! Dave Mark, whose best-selling books have helped educate legions of developers world-wide, starts out with the basics and takes you through a complete course in programming C using Apple's free Xcode Tools." The book is available for download for $15.
Mel Karmazin of Sirius Satellite Radio, said he's talked recently with Apple about adding satellite radio to the iPod, but the "current thinking" at Apple is that "they don't need to put a satellite radio in their box".... Apple has been granted a trademark on the word "VoiceOver," its forthcoming spoken English interface, and on the word "Bonjour," which it describes as computer hardware or software.... Living a Story To Tell takes a stab at the "Napster To Go Service" and looks at how to get a free game piece for the iTunes Promotion.... IBM, Sony and Toshiba unveiled a new "supercomputer-on-a-chip" Monday know as "Cell" that could disrupt Intel's dominance of the computer industry and change the nature of digital entertainment.
Triple Triangle has released Mechanical Cubed, a suite of InDesign plug-ins that automate the creation of advertising mechanicals. It comprises Slug Cubed, Crop Cubed and Job Spec Cubed. Mechanical Cubed integrates these tools so that studio artists can create or modify a mechanical setup in a single step. The latest addition to the suite, Job Spec Cubed, allows mechanicals to be created from a simple PDF Job Specification form or automatically from a front-end job management system such as a FileMaker database. Slug Cubed, Crop Cubed and Job Spec Cubed are priced at $200, $80 and $130 respectively per seat.
As Apple's stock climbs to record levels, company executives are cashing in on stock options and making significant profits. Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, has made around $2.3 million, according to estimates. Last week, Schiller sold 75,000 shares, which he purchased at $47 per share. Schiller sold his shares at approximately $78 on February 4th. Last fall, Schiller made over $8 million when he exercised 286,000 employee stock options. Jon Rubinstein, Apple's Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, sold approximately 9500 shares of stock on January 27th, worth $688,000. Last month Rubinstein sold 250,000 shares of employee stock options, for a profit of over $13 million. Apple stock yesterday hit a new all-time high of over $80.
Plantronics today released MX100-s, a dual-purpose headset/stereo headphone device that can be connected simultaneously to the Apple's iPod and a mobile phone, allowing consumers to answer a phone call while listening to their iPod. The headset offers a secure fit and versatility with twin connectors: one plugs into the iPod and the other into a mobile phone. A single cord links them to the headset/headphone with stereo earbuds, while A switch on the headset cord allows users to choose between the two inputs and a single volume control works for both devices. The headset leverages Plantronics' AcuSpeak microphone technology to deliver clear, crisp conversations over the phone. It is available for $40 (at retailers and the Apple Store).
Apple has added a refurbished 17-inch flat-panel iMac G4 to its refurbished inventory at the Apple Store. The 1.25GHz previous-generation iMac is $1,100 and includes 256MB of RAM, an 80GB drive, and a SuperDrive. (In contrast, a 17-inch 1.6GHz iMac G5 is also $1,100, but only includes a Combo drive). In addition, Apple has added a single processor 1.8GHz Power Mac G5 (256MB/80GB/SuperDrive) for $1,300 and a dual-2GHz (512MB/160GB/SuperDrive) for $2,100. Apple continues to offer a refurbished version of the AirPort Express Base Station (with AirTunes) for $100, a 24 percent discount from normal pricing. (We noted several other models yesterday, many of which were sold out.)
HumanSoftware has released ClassicFrames 1.6 volume 8 for Mac OS X, a Photoshop plug-in for creating picture frame effects. It can be used to create classy picture frames, with options for frame materials and colors, as well as mattes. This new volume is made of more 100 rectangular or oval frames. ClassicFrames is also compatible with photo software from Jasc and Corel. Volume 8 is priced at $40.
Tech industry news: Daily computer security headaches such as viruses and spam threaten to spread to a far wider range of devices -- from phones to car engines, a survey to be published by IBM on Wednesday has found.... Carly Fiorina, the embattled leader of Hewlett-Packard, stepped down as chairman and CEO on Wednesday as HP tries to redefine itself.... The Federal Communications Commission on Monday published a list of domain names to which telemarketers may not send e-mail without permission from cell phone subscribers.
BugReporter 1.0 ($50) is a developer tool for improving customer feedback in the event of a crash. BugReporter captures Mac OS X "Crash Logs", allowing them to be sent directly to the appropriate developer. [Download - 620KB] ConvertIt Pro 2.3 ($17) is a unit conversion program containing over 2400 unit conversions including currency. There is a new option to add an infinite number of your own conversion units. [Download - 620KB] A Better Finder Attributes 3.7 ($10) is a contextual menu plug- in that allows users to change the file date and other attributes of Mac OS X files. The new release introduces a new swizzle triangle user interface and makes significant internal changes. [Download - 1.7MB] Name those Files! 2.0.3 ($12) is a powerful batch renaming utility that allows users to easily rename large numbers of files or folders using advanced numbering, trimming, and search and replace capabilities. The update improves speed for many operations, adds parent folder variables, and improves help. [Download - 2.4MB] iCalPublish 2.0 ($7) allows users to combine several iCal calendars and publish them as one calendar to your .Mac account or another WebDAV server for viewing on the Web. Version 2.0 allows multiple sets of combined calendars, WebDAV support, multiple servers, and import back into iCal. [Download - 1.2MB] WSL-Amazon 1.1 ($50) wraps the Amazon Web Services API into an easy to use REALbasic class library of 72 powerful methods and 66 properties with support for the US, UK, German, and Japanese Amazon stores. This minor update adds support for search queries that contain accentuated characters and quotation marks. [Download - 492KB]
In brief: The 47th Annual Grammy Awards will feature a special tsunami relief fund-raising musical performance of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's "Across The Universe," which will later be available for download from the iTunes Music Store.... FileMaker will offer free FileMaker Education Starter Kits for educators and administrators at the Texas Computer Education Association Conference.... SessionLoops announced today that selected drum loop packs from their Drum Foundations library are now available as downloads in the Apple Loops format.... Columnist Rob Enderle says, "while there are a number of trade offs that Apple made for the Mini that I donít think were necessary, the product is actually closer to what I think the consumer market is actually looking for in a desktop offering."
Thorsten Lemke today released GraphicConverter 5.5, an update to his popular graphics utility for Mac OS 9/X. The utility offers many options for manipulating graphics, including import/export, slideshows, batch conversion, and browsing/organizing photos. Version 5.5 adds DCS/WinFax/AMC/MHT archive import, support for SVG import through ImageMagick, a new keyword window for setting image info, easy access to zoom functions during a slideshow, 40-step undo, smudge/blur functions, and more. It also improves photo raw import (with support for more models), keyboard selection, contact sheet creation, TIFF/MP2 import, lossless JPEG cropping, the levels indicator display, etc. GraphicConverter is available for $30 (electronic delivery).
BeLight Software today released Business Card Composer 3.0, a new version of its business card composition tool. Version 3 adds new printing technology, new tools for badges production and many enhancements, including the ability to print multiple designs on a single sheet and more than 500 professional business card designs as well as 100 unique masks. The business card kit now offers 2 CDs with 23,000+ clipart images and free high-quality Avery paper for 100 business cards. The boxed edition is available for $40, while the electronic download is $34. Electronic upgrades are free for previous owners or $20 for boxed version.
Tunewear will ship its Prie Podwallet for Apple's iPod later this month. The compact wallet supports al iPod models as well as features elastic rubber to stabilize the iPod, access to the 30-pin connector and headphone jack, a removable black leather soft face cover for screen protection, a zippered meshed-net pouch for accessories/cables, and a small organizer for credit cards, business cards, bill/documents, and more. It also offers a belt loop and two snap buttons to attach the case to any strap. It is made from leather. The Prie Podwallet is is expected to be available the end of this month for $60. (This is a smaller version of the Prie PodOrganizer, also due later this month.)
Now AAPL Stock: 92.43 ( -0.82 )
Cook to speak at Startup Fest Europe
May is turning out to be a busy travel month for Apple CEO Tim Cook: following on from reports that he will head back to China to meet with government officials there to help smooth out some recent difficulties, Cook is scheduled to be among the guest speakers at Startup Fest Europe in Amsterdam on May 24 at 11:10AM local time. His talk will run about 35 minutes, according to the schedule for the event. Other speakers across the five-day event will include Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, and Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt. http://bit.ly/1q3Zvpr
Retail VP Kupbens leaves Apple
Bob Kupbens, who joined Apple in 2014 just ahead of Dame Angela Ahrendts to run the online Apple Store and other web-based retail programs as vice president of online marketing efforts, has reportedly left the company for another position. Kupbens, who was previously in charge of digital marketing initiatives and e-commerce at Delta Air Lines, replaced Jennifer Bailey when she was appointed to run the Apple Pay project. He has overseen the redesign of the online store, the online iPhone upgrade program, and has generally worked to make the site better integrated with the retail Apple Stores. No replacement for Kupbens has yet been named.
Xcode updated for Git security
Apple on Friday patched two known critical vulnerabilities in its Xcode development tool that were concerned with the Git source code management client portion of the program. For unknown reasons, Apple waited seven weeks to update the version of Git shipping with the command-line tools in Xcode to v2.7.4, released by Git developers on March 17 to address the vulnerabilities. The flaw, now corrected, could allow for cloning a repository with a specially-crafted file structure, giving attackers a chance to execute malicious code on systems where cloning operations were initiated, reports Computerworld. The Command Line Tools package is not installed by default on OS X, but users have the option of installing it, and in some cases were forced to disable Git until the tools were updated. http://apple.co/24BQJP3
Twitter for Mac gets Moments, Polls
Twitter has updated its Mac app with Moments and Polls, features previously rolled out in its web portal and in its mobile apps. The new Moments tab is designed to make it easier to find more interesting and relevant content. Content is curated in categories including News, Sports, Entertainment and Fun, with trending topics highlighted for an easier to use, more engaging experience. The Twitter for Mac app also picks up the ability to create custom multiple choice polls via Tweets that are live for a 24-hour period. Users can also share GIFs in both Tweets and Direct Messages thanks to a new GIF search function. http://apple.co/1rxCvA0
GoPro revenue drops, Karma drone delayed
Action camera maker GoPro announced its first quarter results on Thursday, and the news was largely bad. While unit sell-through of the cameras was close to the year-over-year compare, revenues dropped 49.5 percent from Q1 last year, though was slightly above the company's guidance. Overall, the company lost $107 million in GAAP net income, and margins declined to 32.5 percent from 45.1 percent in the year-ago quarter. The company further announced that it would be delaying its planned Karma drone product until this winter, which will likely further impact next quarter's results. The upside of the delay, said GoPro Founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman, is that the Karma will now benefit from debuting just before the holiday buying season. http://bit.ly/1OgpdgD
Netflix iOS app now offers cell-data controls
In a new update to its iOS app on Thursday, subscription entertainment service Netflix has introduced new user controls for streaming over cellular networks to prevent overages, throttling, or other usage issues caused by the high data rate of streamed HD video. Users can choose from a given amount of streaming video that "costs" 1GB of cellular data, which lowers video quality to allow as much as four hours of video per GB (the "automatic" setting provides three hours, while higher quality settings reduce the time to two hours, or one hour at the best setting). In addition, the updated app now offers more 3D Touch options from the app icon, beyond the "peek and pop" previews for video. http://apple.co/24AD1vR
Bentley launches app for Apple Watch
Carmaker Bentley now offers an Apple Watch app for its Bentayga SUV -- a vehicle with a starting price of $229,000 -- that offers some advanced automotive functions not previously seen in other car apps for Apple's wearable. The app allows Watch wearers to control various seat adjustments, environmental controls (including seat massage), and the entertainment system. In addition, various vehicle stats are available at a glance, including distance traveled and vehicle speed. The app is available free on the App Store. http://apple.co/24AyXvs