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A Finite Element Meshing Toolkit (licensing) is a Mac OS X-native, full-
featured software toolkit for generating 2D/3D finite element meshes (grids) and geometry preparation. Developed at Sandia National Laboratories, its main goal is to reduce the time to generate meshes, particularly large hex meshes of complicated, interlocking assemblies. [Download - restricted]
InEventScript 1.0.2 ($80) is a automation tool for publishing professionals for the Adobe InDesign CS platform. Version 1.02 contains several feature enhancements, including improved timing of scripts associated with opening existing documents and creating new documents. Additionally, the location of the plug-in's custom data has been modified for increased flexibility. [Download - CS2, CS1]
EdGCM 2.4 (free) offers a NASA/GISS Global Climate Modeling interface. In addition to a variety of minor bug fixes and feature upgrades the new version of EdGCM includes a new release of the NASA/GISS GCM (v1.0.6). The updated GCM fixes a bug in the driver to the radiation code and has other enhancements. [Download - 30.6MB]
Adminalyser 1.0 (20€) allows you to analyse virtually every text-formatted admin log file. This application counts the domain names, IP-numbers and e-mail addresses in your log file and, lists info (domain, IP-address or e-mail) used by the worst spammer or hacker; the number of attacks conducted by the worst N spammers and hackers as a percentage of the total amount of attacks; and information about individual DNS entries. A limited demo is available. [Download - 1.2MB]
FootTrack 2.1 ($50) updates the DV-cataloging tool t hat allows you to import, catalog, and search your video tapes. Users can also compress footage, burn the the catalog to CD, organize/group clips, and more within a familiar interface. It overhauls the picture window, fixes frame capture, supports H.2264 with QuickTime 7 installed, adds a new Swedish localization, and more. [Download - 11MB]
CASE Studio 2.19 ($370) is a database modeling tool that allows users to visually create and maintain Entity Relationship diagrams and Data Flow diagrams, reverse engineer already existing database structures, generate SQL scripts for various databases automaticallly, generate detailed HTML and RTF reports, etc. It adds full support for Informix 10, Pervasive v9, and Sybase ASE 12.5.3 databases and more. A Lite version with limited features is $185. [Download - Full, Lite]
Shure E4c earphones
Shure today has begun shipping its E4c sound isolating earphones, which combine the "studio quality sound that listeners have come to expect from the E Series with a sleek, lightweight design to complement today's popular listening devices." The E4c earphones further are optimized by leveraging Shure's new High-Definition driver with Tuned-Port technology to significantly enhance bass response. They also feature sound isolating sleeves, which contour to the inner-ear to natural seal out more background noise. Weighing just over an ounce, they also feature a small, portable, attractive design. The E4c earphones ($300) include a pair of disposable foam sleeves and triple-flange sleeves, three sizes of flex sleeves, and three sizes of ultra-soft flex sleeves as well as offer a 2-year warranty.
Kodak V-Series cameras
Kodak today announced its V-series of digital cameras, which includes two five megapixel models -- each smaller than a deck of playing cards -- that are designed for "trendsetters who seek high-style, compact personal electronics." The Kodak EasyShare V550 and V530 zoom digital cameras combine video and still photography as well as allow users to automatically turn video into stop-action still pictures and record up to 80 minutes of TV-quality videos with sound. Both feature built-in image stabilization technology and realtime video zoom using the professional-caliber Schneider-Kreuznach lens.
Demand down for products?
Apple stock today dropped by 44 cents to $35.11 after one analyst said that demand for some Apple products was weak, while demand for others was strong. MarketWatch reports that Thomas Weisel Partners (TWP) said it found continued strong demand for the iMac G5, refreshed PowerBook and some iPods, including the iPod mini and Shuffle. TWP said that Mac mini sales were disappointing and that the demand for the high-end iPods appear to have slowed down considerably. "Our checks suggest Mac Mini sales are somewhat slow, as consumers realize that price including monitor is no bargain," he said. The firm maintains a 'Peer Perform' rating, with fair value range of $26 to $38, saying that the "current valuation is reasonable, but on the high side."
oXygen 6.0 XML
Syncro Soft has released oXygen 6.0, with updates to the XML Editor, Schema Editor and XSLT Debugger components. XML Editor 6.0 adds a visual schema editor for W3C XML Schema and Relax NG schema designed to simplify the development and understanding of schema files. The schema diagram is synchronized in real time with the changes from the document and allows a quick navigation through the schema structure expanding in place the references to different schema components. The entire suite gains support for importing database content, Microsoft Excel sheets and legacy text data files(Comma Separated Values for instance) into XML documents. It is possible to connect to: Oracle, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL or any other database server that supports JDBC connectivity. Pricing starts at $50.
Toon Boom 3 beta
Toon Boom Animation announced today the Beta release of Toon Boom Studio 3 for Mac. This latest Toon Boom Studio release enables users to build animations by selecting artworks from existing libraries and animate them using motion paths. Toon Boom Studio 3 features a rich toolset that "facilitates and simplifies the creation of cartoon animation projects." Toon Boom Studio V3 brings significant improvements to animation keyframing, asset reuse, and lip synchronization. In addition, this latest release offers a simplified user interface with Drawing and Sceneplanning modes unified into one single mode. Only current customers with registered license keys are invited to participate in the Beta phase. Instructions will be sent to them directly.
iMove positioning tables
MaxUpgrades today announced availability of iMove "positioning tables" for the new Apple iMac G5 2.0GHz 20-inch and 17-inch models (also see 1.8GHz version). The iMove attaches to the iMac's aluminum base and enables the user to move the unit around a desk for optimum viewing angle and position. iMove also features a locking mechanism for securely gripping the iMove to the table surface.iMove's unique design enables iMac G5s to glide on the desktop surface at any distance or position the user desires. The iMove positioning tables sell for $100 each. MaxUpgrades also offers iMove positioning tables for Apple Cinema Displays, available since last summer.
New Apple Stores
Apple is in the process of finalizing leases and renovation plans for four additional retail stores this year, including two locations in California, one in Massachusetts and one in New York City's Staten Island. Over the next seven months Apple is expected to open between 20 and 30 new outfits. The first of two new California stores will open this summer at The Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, CA. A second (southern) California location is slated for the Brea Mall, in Brea, CA. Apple has inked a deal for a store in the renovated Burlington Mall, which will bring the number of Apple retail stores in Massachusetts to six. Most anticipated of the four new store locations is one planned for the Staten Island Mall in New York. Apple also plans to expand its Westchester Mall store, directly adjacent to the existing Apple retail location. The store will occupy the former retail spots of both The Body Shop and KB Toys.
AfterTen Software today announced the release of WeatherManX 1.8.16. WeatherManX is a $10 tool that displays detailed weather information for multiple user defined locations in the U.S. and throughout the world. This free upgrade for registered users is Mac OS X 10.4 compatible and includes several bug fixes. Each city displays current conditions information, 24 hour weather historical data, extended forecasts, current weather alerts, several Nexrad radar displays, satellite images and solar and lunar data using beautiful full color icons. AfterTen also released WeatherMenu 3.7.2. As with the WeatherManX update, WeatherMenu ($5) now supports Tiger. Current features of WeatherMenu include putting as many cities in the menu bar as space allows and monitoring as many additional cities as memory allows.
In brief: A deadlock between competing camps over ultra wideband (UWB) could derail efforts to establish an IEEE standard for the short-range wireless technology.... Peachpit has published "Creating Keynote Presentations with iWork: Visual QuickProject Guide," a $13 book by Tom Negrino.... Registered Digidesign SampleTank 1 SE users can now update to SampleTank 2 SE -- a major upgrade to the version of SampleTank that was included with Pro Tools|HD and Pro Tools LE systems -- for free.... Nintendo released details on its planned new "Revolution" game console at E3 today, and unveiled a new mini-portable device called the GameBoy Micro.
accessTunes 1.2.1 ($15) shares your iTunes Music Library whenever the computer is on, making it available as a shared iTunes library on the local network, and accessible from anywhere in the world via the Internet. This version adds support for OS X 10.4.1, and fixes many bugs reported by users. [Download - 2.9MB]
SASS 1.5.0 ($70) is a "Stock Analysis and Selection Software" for retrieving detailed historical financial data, and current stock quote data, from the Internet for free. Version 1.5.0 adds the ability to fetch detailed current stock quote info from the net. Previously, SASS only retrieved historical data. [Download - 1.9MB]
ClassicFrames 1.6 volume 9 ($40) for Mac OS X is a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop/Element, JascPaint, and Corel for creating picture frame effects. This new volume is made of more 75 rectangular or oval frames. ClassicFrames features options for frame materials and colors, as well as mattes. [Download - buy]
PhotoBooth 1.6 ($30) is an update to the digital photo printing software. This update includes dramatic speed and memory management improvements. This version also adds the ability to duplicate print items to produce identical prints, as well as the ability to export cropped images for later printing at home or a professional photo lab. [Download - 573KB]
Comic Life 1.1 ($25) takes advantage of Tiger's tremendous CoreImage technology by providing a variety of instant filters that transform your photos into comic book illustrations. Version 1.1 brings a number of functional and cosmetic updates, such as improved performance, custom page sizes and fixes for a number of small bugs and graphics. Also new in 1.1 is video capture from iSight. [Download - 4.2MB]
OD4Contact 2.5 ($54) is a major update to the popular PIM and contact relation management software. Version 2.5 bring support for Tiger technologies, including Spotlight and Smart Groups. The new Spotlight search technology will instantly locate information about contacts, tasks, past phone calls, mails, and faxes. [Download - 5.9MB]
Apple ships Final Cut
Apple is now shipping Final Cut Pro 5 and Final Cut Studio. Both products were first announced in April, and were widely expected to begin shipping this month. Final Cut Studio is a new HD video production suite that features Final Cut Pro 5, a major update to the professional video editing software; Soundtrack Pro, a new audio editing and sound design application that makes video projects sound as good as they look; Motion 2, "the first" real-time motion graphics application with GPU accelerated 32-bit float rendering; and DVD Studio Pro 4, "the first" commercially available DVD authoring software that burns high definition DVDs to the latest HD DVD specification. Final Cut Pro 5 is also available separately from Final Cut Studio.
iPod Xbox integration?
iPod news: H2O Audio is now shipping its water-submeragable iPod case.... XtremeMac recently announced that its new Airplay FM transmitter for iPod shuffle is now shipping.... Microsoft is again attempting to hurt Apple using the same strategy it used for operating systems in the 1980s and '90s.... The iPod is credited as hard drive maker Seagate reports strong financial results for its latest quarter.... Goldman Sachs said Microsoft hinted that its upcoming Xbox 360 gaming console may be able to connect with competitor products such as the PSP from Sony and the iPod from Apple.... The U.K.'s music industry is currently investigating legislation similar to the ‘iPod Tax’ that has hit the Netherlands, with the taxes collected going to record labels to help make up for losses from digital piracy.
UK iPod Tax
Briefly: Goldman Sachs said Microsoft hinted that its upcoming Xbox 360 gaming console may be able to connect with competitor products such as the PSP from Sony and the iPod from Apple.... The U.K.'s music industry is currently investigating legislation similar to the ‘iPod Tax’ that has hit the Netherlands, with the taxes collected going to record labels to help make up for losses from digital piracy.... A teenage girl was punched in the face and had her iPod snatched in a night time attack by a gang of four girls.... Columnist Kaytryn Hill lists the top five reasons she has "fallen in love" with her iPod, a "tiny 2-by-4-inch, tune-playing technological genius."... Jason Kottke lists "50 fun things to do with your iPod" including being a DJ at a club, getting mugged, and reliving the old Walkman days.
The iPod is credited as hard drive maker Seagate reports strong financial results for its latest quarter, reports Digital Music News. Seagate most recently announced increased profits of 44% for the March quarter, with the company attributing a great deal of the growth to record iPod sales. "Apple and consumer electronics were important to Seagate's results," said America Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu in regards to the profit surge. And the company has plans for more. "We are confident that Seagate will maintain strong revenue and earnings in the June quarter, which is then followed by what we expect to be a seasonally strong second half of calendar 2005," said Seagate’s president and CEO, Bill Watkins. Net income for the quarter was $229 million, on total revenues of $1.97 billion.
MS iPod strategy
David Haskin of Mobile Pipeline likens Microsoft's strategy for digital music players to its operating system strategy of the 1980s and '90s. "As happened in the 80s and 90s, Microsoft is again attempting to put the hurt on Apple by making system software available to any vendor -- as long as they compete with Apple and its closed approach to system software. It's ancient history now, but Windows, as deployed by the Dells and Compaqs of the world, obliterated the Macintosh. Now, MP3 players from the likes of Creative Labs, iRiver and Archos -- and eventually smartphone vendors -- have a legitimate shot of obliterating iPod and iTunes." Haskin also says "the only way that Apple can come out of this with its iPod line intact in the next few years is to capitulate to Microsoft." Last week, Steve Jobs acknowledged that, while he still doesn't like the PlaysForSure approach, Apple could adapt to the changing competition.
XtremeMac recently announced that its new Airplay FM transmitter for iPod shuffle is now shipping to retailers, distributors and customers who placed advance orders. "Airplay has been very well received since its launch in January, so we are excited to extend the success and popularity of Airplay to iPod shuffle users." The Airplay transmitter for iPod shuffle costs $50. During the past month, XtremeMac has released a total of twelve new products designed specifically for iPod shuffle, including: Car Charger, Bumperz, SportWrap, Shieldz, TuffWrapz, SuperHook, SuperClip, Audio Splitter, Audio Kit, Home Stereo Cable, and Auxiliary Audio Cable.
H2O Audio announced today that it has begun shipping the "world's first" waterproof case and headset for the latest generation iPod. The SV-iP4G is now available to consumers and distributors worldwide. The SV-iP4G provides iPod users with a secure, waterproof and submersible audio system. The system enables sport enthusiasts to take music with them regardless of outside conditions and recreational environments. The SV-iP4G waterproof case provides a unique full-function dial and push button assembly design that gives users ready access to all of the iPod's Click Wheel command controls even when fully submerged in water. The H2O Audio SV-iP4G housing and headphones are $150 together.
OWC reduces pricing
Other World Computing (OWC) today announced it has reduced the price of its Mercury Extreme G4/1.4-1.5 Gigahertz processor upgrade from $430 to the new lower price of $395. "As with all our processors, it is 100 percent compatible with Apple's recently unleashed Tiger." The Mercury Extreme G4/1.4-1.5GHz includes 256KB of 1:1 L2 cache on-chip and 2MB of high-speed L3 Cache, and is covered by OWC's three-year limited warranty and 30-day 100 percent money-back guarantee. The processor is compatible with Apple PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics (Sawtooth), Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio and Quicksilver models. The full line of OWC Mercury Extreme G4 Processor upgrades starts at $195 for 1.0GHz.
Sony HDR-HC1 Handycam
Sony [site not updated] today announced what it calls the world's smallest and lightest high definition consumer camcorder. The ultra-compact HDR-HC1 Handycam camcorder, which "fits comfortably in your hand," weighs only about 1-1/2 pounds, and packs a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens. It features full HD resolution based on HDV 1080i. The sub-$2000 camcorder also captures 2.8-megapixel digital still images, which can be stored directly on Memory Stick PRO Duo media for transfer to PCs and other devices. According to Sony, it is the only HD video camera that allows users to record high-definition video and take a 1-megapixel digital still image at the same time. For quick framing and easy image sharing, the camcorder has a 2.7-inch wide hybrid, touch-panel LCD screen to access menu options. Users can switch between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios.
Redbug VR tour suite
Redbug Technologies has released public beta versions of Mapwing Creator Pro and Mapwing Viewer, applications designed to create and to share virtual reality tours. Mapwing Creator Pro is an authoring application enabling users to build virtual reality (VR) tours from digital photographs. With Mapwing Creator Pro, users can create VR locations or “points” out of images and connect these together to form tours. Tours can be enhanced by adding an interactive map, text comments, and hotspots. Mapwing Viewer is a browsing application that allows users to open Mapwing tour files. The public beta versions of Mapwing Creator Pro and Mapwing Viewer are available as free downloads. Redbug encourages Mac users to submit feedback to help improve the final products.
VPN Tracker fixed
Thanks to Apple‘s Mac OS X 10.4.1 update, VPN Tracker 4 is now "completely Tiger compatible," according to developer equinux. Due to a kernel issue in the first version of Tiger (OS X 10.4), VPN connections were plagued by sluggishness. Apple, in close cooperation with equinux, has now solved this problem. equinux presented VPN Tracker 4 at the Networld+Interop trade show in Las Vegas this May. The new version offers important features like Smart VPN (automatic VPN connection when needed), Mode-Config support (with support for Cisco‘s EasyVPN), and automatic NAT detection. VPN Tracker is available in two editions: Professional and Personal. The Professional Edition can be purchased for $200. The Personal Edition, designed for the classic VPN end-user, is available for $90.
AIM Mail Web interface
Mac users report success accessing the beta version of AOL's new free email service, despite initial concerns that the service might be Windows-only (see our original note). The Windows AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) client offers integration with the free service, while Mac users can only access it via a Web interface. Each account comes with 2 gigabytes of storage -- comparable with Google's Gmail and more generous than the free offerings from Yahoo and Microsoft. Unlike AOL's regular email accounts, users do not have to actively save messages to avoid deletion: AIM mail never expires.
In brief: Sony's today unveiled its next-generation PlayStation 3 console, featuring backwards compatibility, Blu-Ray discs, and 2.18 teraflops from a 3.2GHz nine-core Cell processor (other reports indicate the console has seven cores).... We've posted a review of Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional, which offers a "cool new organizer tool" and improved performance despite some Windows only features.... Apple is set to open its Toronto retail store -- the first in Canada -- on Saturday. The first 1,500 people to visit the store will receive a free Apple t-shirt and are eligible to win a $3000 "digital lifestyle" package.... Apple is beginning to ship its Final Cut Studio to customers, according to reader reports.... The $100 early bird discount for the third annual Mac Design Conference & Digital Photography Expo in Tampa is ending May 20th.
Sillysoft Lux 5
Sillysoft Games has released Lux 5, a major update to its Risk-inspired world domination game. Highlights from this fifth edition include map scenerios, increased continent values, new graphics and sound, and 12" screen support. The update also improves the multiplayer component of the game, with a more intuitive chat area. The preferences window now contains a switch to control which of twelve languages Lux displays in. In an effort to get online players to vary their selection of map there is now an alternating "Map of the Week." Lux comes with a free 20 game demo and costs $25 to register.
Power Game Factory
Sawblade Software today announced Power Game Factory, its new software for creating side scrolling action games without any programming. Featuring a polished graphical user interface, Power Game Factory is "capable of producing games similar to many of the most highly regarded console video games of the past two decades, but with far superior graphics and sounds. Best of all, no programming is required," according to the company. The game development environment can create games that combine high resolution sprite graphics and realistic physics with authentic old school gameplay, including multiple levels, characters, weapons, and items. Develpers can quickly generate royalty-free applications; also included are collections of extra level background graphics and game music. The software will ship "later this Spring" for $44.
Merlin, iMap, Catalog, ...
Merlin 1.3 (€145) updates single-window project management application with a netplan view, a modern form of the traditional PERT chart with more extensive
information, It also supports Tiger's "Spotlight" search technology, improved printing options, better project progress overviews, new view options, new columns, CSV export, and more. [Download - 6.3MB]
iMap 3.1 ($200) is a new version of the mapping application. iMap imports georeferenced data from databases or spreadsheets and maps it onto image or vector maps. Version 3.1 improves import speed, offers selected record export, supports .eps map files, is Tiger-compatible, offers new stats, and more. Upgrades v2.x are $100. [Download - 2.1MB]
Catalog 1.0 ($20) allows users to easily index, browse, and search their volumes--even without physical access to the drive. "Whether you need to manage your backup CDs, find a specific font located in a stock art package, or just want to catalog your audio CDs, Catalog will assist you. Sporting a sleek user interface that takes advantage of OS X to the fullest, Catalog is incredibly simple to use." [Download - 520KB]
MegaSeg 3.1.1 ($200) is a free update to th DJ and radio automation software. The new version dramatically improves search engine speed, adds better support for QuickTime 7.0 (on both Panther and Tiger versions of Mac OS), and features other improvements. MegaSeg is a totally self-contained DJ music mixing and radio automation system. Upgrades from version 2.0 are $70. [Download - 6.2MB]
Data Backup 2.05 ($60) brings Tiger-compatibility to Prosoft Engineering's data backup and sync application for Mac OS X. It offers functions for backu/restore, creating bootable backups, schedules, file exceptions, mirror backup, versioned backup, file/folder sync, and compression. [Download - form]
iDiddy combo accessory
Pacific Rim Marketing today announced the iDiddy, a new iPod accessory that integrates an earbud, lanyard (iLanyard), and leather case. The iDiddy is a "Wearable and Tangle Free" integrated combination for the complete range of Apple's currently shipping iPod product line. "These products represent the state of the art in lanyard technology, completely integrating the earbuds into a synthetic leather iLanyard. When not in use, each individual earbud slides into a clip on the iLanyard to prevent tangles. In addition, the iLanyard is adjustable to accommodate the differences in height of each individual wearer." They are in production and scheduled to ship to customers the end of May; iDiddys are available in three colors, Onyx, Mocha and Snow. The iDiddy is available for the Shuffle ($50), Mini ($60), 20GB/Photo ($70), and 3G 20GB iPod ($70).
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