Apple CHUD Tools 4.3.3 (free) updates Apple's set of applications and tools for measuring and optimizing software performance on Mac OS X. The latest iteration of CHUD offers improved code analysis, as well as enhanced support for Intel performance counters. [Download - 32.6MB] DayLite 3.0.3 ($150) is a business productivity manager that offers "Heads Up Display" (HUD) functionality. The update offers improved performance for the report writer, as well as the ability to import projects or send a selected note as an email. [Download - 23.4MB] Headdress 1.1 ($15) is designed to help users manage virtual hosting on Mac systems. Version 1.1 offers MAMP -- a standalone Mac installer for Apache, MySQL, and PHP -- and PHP support. Headdress 1.1 can also open the MAMP configuration file to host multiple sites through MAMP. [Download - 821KB] Opera 9 beta 2 (free) brings a new account storage format to the Web browser software. Users installing over an existing profile will be prompted to convert all accounts to the new format. Opera 9 beta 2 is unable to store widget preferences via the widget.setPreferenceForKey method. [Download - [form, 4.4MB]] iMaginator 2.4 ($50) updates the image processing and painting application, offering interoperability with Videator. Version 2.4 refines the Polka Dot plug-in offering anti-aliased edges, incorporates better memory usage, and offers faster library loading times. [Download - 10.8MB]
Podstar has unveiled the Podstar Diablo series for iPod video, a range of "devilish" body castings. "Available in 8 dastardly designs, each of these first-generation Podstars come with a unique personality that just screams with a melancholic but sensual anti-hero vibe." Each Podstar character includes an aluminum hook, a removable screen protector, and an individual Podstar ID. Characters include "Darkside," "Crimsomniek," "Nightstalker," "Garou," "Sideshow," "Big Top," "Reaper" (shown at right), and "Splatterfest." The cases are crafted from high-grade silicone, are compatible with both 30GB as well as 60GB fifth-generation models, and are shipping for $30. Cases featuring a sterling silver earring are also available for $33.
KeynotePro has released Palo Alto 2 Themes, its technically minded, "bright and modern" approach of the original Palo Alto theme. The new theme offers a more flexible framework, additional master slide options, and HD variations. "Palo Alto 2 is a supremely adaptable general-purpose theme, with a clean, business-casual aesthetic - equally at home with shareholder reports and abstract art. The core of the design - sharp contrasts of color and whitespace, with a blend of reversed and neutral type - is surrounded by a visible framework of structure and subtle visual accents." Palo Alto 2 is available for download in a Pro Edition that includes Palo Alto 2 HD for $30, or in a bundle with two other Pro Edition themes for $75. A Standard edition which includes the standard 4:3 version is available for $20, or in a Bundle with two other themes for $50. Palo Alto 2 requires Keynote 3.0 or later, and the Helvetica Neue font face.
Octaga is developing an X3D plug-in for Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader that will allow any user to read and interact with 3D visualizations and virtual reality embedded in a PDF document. The software is designed to enable creative professionals to more quickly and cost-effectively collaborate on projects that require visualization with 3D, video, and audio. X3D is the ISO ratified 3D scene interchange format and runtime system for 3D visualization, virtual reality, and augmented reality (3D with text overlays, audio, and video). X3D supports several file format encodings and programming languages, providing interoperability of 3D data across diverse computing environments and great flexibility in manipulating, communicating and displaying scenes interactively. The Mac version is due to be released in the fall of 2006 (system requirements were unavailable).
One Mac developer has released BarracudaDrive 3.0 beta, a free and secure multi-user Web-based file manager that does not require FTP access. The application includes a user editor and a database for restricting access, as well as a personal Web server. BarracudaDrive offers an integrated real-time chat server/client, an HTML editor, and HTTPS tunnels for securing other services such as telnet, FTP, VNC, or HTTP. The beta release adds WebDAV, and a set of extensions to the HTTP(S) protocol that allows a server to appear as a standard network drive. BarracudaDrive 3.0 beta is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Completedigitalphotography.com has posted a free set of utilities that enable Photoshop Camera Raw Mac users to manage multiple versions of a raw file. The Photoshop Camera Raw Version Control package is a set of simple "droplets" that allow users to create and delete new versions, specify any version as the current version, and automatically create batches of thumbnails or full resolution renderings of an entire set of versions. Users can also create additional, editable versions of any raw file, each of which can contain an entirely different set of raw conversion parameters. The packages includes two Automator actions that offer version control functions for Automator workflows, and the system makes it possible to switch back and forth between different sets of Camera Raw parameters at will (system requirements were unavailable).
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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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl