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Revolution 2.7.2 released
Runtime Revolution today announced the release of Revolution 2.7.2, a Universal application upgrade for its cross-platform development solution. The company said that the entire Revolution product line now runs natively on Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger"-equipped Intel-based Macs, including Revolution Studio and Revolution Enterprise. Revolution Studio ($300) can compile applications for the following platforms: Mac OS X (for both Power PC- and Intel-based Macs), Windows, Linux and Solaris. Revolution Media ($50), a template driven version especially for graphic designers that want to develop rich, interactive media, is also updated. The 2.7.2 update also includes improvements to the installation process, accessing the online documentation system and small fixes for the IDE and engine.
OmniDazzle offers UI tools
The Omni Group has announced the public beta of a new product, OmniDazzle: a set of fun and useful enhancements that help users track the location of your mouse pointer and provide options for highlighting certain areas of your screen. When OmniDazzle is open, various plug-ins can be activated to professionally emphasize a section of your screen, or turn your mouse movement into an area of focus that trails visual effects across your desktop. Each plug-in can be configured to suit your own particular preferences: change colors, make objects bigger or smaller, or change the way you activate the OmniDazzle plug-in of your choice. "OmniDazzle helps you call out your cursor, or part of your screen real estate - or just add some visual fun to your display," the company said. The final release will cost $15.
Wireless M-Audio USB MIDI
M-Audio today announced its new MidAir line of wireless USB MIDI controllers and interfaces--including the MidAir 25 and MidAir 37 controllers, which are designed to meet the needs of performers who desire more freedom of movement, as well as studio musicians who are looking to eliminate long cable runs and clutter. The new MidAir 25 delivers 25 velocity-sensitive keys in a totally wireless chassis. Using the included 2.4GHz receiver, it delivers an effective range of 30 feet with the same consistent, realtime response and low latency as wired controllers. Users also get eight MIDI-assignable knobs, mod and pitch bend wheels, assignable sustain button and a pedal input.
Refurb iBooks, eMacs
Apple is offering refurbished 12-inch 1.33GHz iBooks for $799, a 21 percent savings; as well as 14-inch 1.42GHz iBooks for $1,049, a 20 percent discount. The company is also selling its refurbished 17-inch 1.25GHz eMac for $569, 13 percent off; and its 17-inch 1.42GHz eMac with a SuperDrive for $799, a 21 percent savings. Refurb iMacs available from Apple include the G5 17-inch 1.9GHz with SuperDrive for $999, 24 percent off; 17-inch 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo for $1,099, 16 percent off; G5 20-inch 2GHz with SuperDrive for $1,249, a 31 percent discount; and the 20-inch 2GHz Intel Core Duo for $1,399, an 18 percent savings. As always, all refurbished Apple items come standard with a one-year warranty and free shipping.
ChatFX, Who Said This?
ChatFX 1.1 ($20) adds special effects to video conferencing in iChat. ChatFX effects include bluescreen, distortion, 3D comic book, desktop, and more. The software combines Quartz Composer and iChat to offer a new video conferencing experience, allowing users to chat with various themes such as King Kong or Star Wars in the background.
[Download - 2.9MB]
Who Said This? 1.0 (free) is designed to make learning quotations fun. The application offers a test to identify 20 authors of 20 quotations, selecting a quote at random as the test begins. Users pick the author from a drop-down menu of ten names for each quote, and correct answers are rewarded with five points. [Download - 1.9MB]
Kitty Spangles Solitaire 2.1 ($20) updates the collection of Solitaire games, adding French translation as well as new game types. Version 2.1 includes "Baker's Dozen," "Double Scorpion," and "RedBlack Spider" games, while improving the Solitaire player guide documentation. [Download - 8.9MB]
Album Cover Finder 4.0.4 ($9) allows users to search for multiple album covers, track listings, reviews, artist info, and videos. The updated version can automatically add images to digital music files, offers a new user interface, provides access to six different Amazon databases, and includes a quick search feature that produces high-quality JPEGS of requested artwork as well as 36 other covers by the same artist. [Download - 3.9MB]
Pandora 1.9.7 ($20) updates the Web spider and search agent for Mac OS X, resolving an issue with a new Google results format. Pandora 1.9.7 introduces faster keyword searches, fixes a bug when encountering an EPS file while previewing a folder, and respects the "custom icon" preference. [Download - 919KB]
Aspyr updates The Sims 2
Aspyr Media today released a free update for The Sims 2, along with Universal Binary patches for the University and Nightlife expansion packs. The Sims 2 1.0 Rev E fully fixes a bug on Intel-based Macs where all offspring of a couple had identical facial features. The Sims 2 University 1.1 Rev A provides Universal support for the expansion and includes some minor bug fixes. The Sims 2 Nightlife 1.2 Rev A also offers native compatibility with Intel Macs, while repairing a random crash after a baby is born. All three upgrades are available as a free download to existing customers. The Sims 2 is priced at $45, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.8 or later. The University ($30) and Nightlife ($35) expansion packs require Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Seasonality goes Universal
Gaucho Software today released Seasonality 1.3 as a Universal Binary, enabling its complete weather monitoring software for Mac OS X to run natively on Intel Macs. Seasonality features seven-day forecasts, satellite images, condition graphs, sunrise/sunset times, and more. The latest iteration includes a weather journal, improved radar images, and a new graph interface that can display up to six different graphs concurrently. Seasonality automatically keeps track of the high/low temperatures and sunrise/sunset times for each journal entry, and returning to past journal entries is accomplished by simply clicking the appropriate day on the built-in calendar. New radar images automatically load while exploring the map, which spans the entire continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Seasonality 1.3 is priced at $25, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Equinux today introduced a new application called "CoverScout," designed to help find and apply thousands of album covers to any iTunes music library in one click. The application uses Google, Amazon, the iTunes Music Store library, or any other website to search for the appropriate album cover. CoverScout can handle large music libraries by performing multiple search operations for album covers simultaneously. Once album covers are found, they are automatically (if possible) attached to the appropriate music file in the iTunes library to be displayed in iTunes as well as on an iPod. CoverScout is available for $16 in both English and German, requiring Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later with an active internet connection.
Fabrix launches MBP cases
Fabrix today launched its new collection of laptop cases built specially for Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro (MBP). Each laptop case is cushioned with internal quilted padding that provides the laptop with protection against scratches and light bumps. The cases are hand sewn to precise dimensions for a snug fit, and feature a Velcro strap to fasten the notebook firmly inside the case. Varying styles include "Autumn Hues;" "Aqua Colors" (shown at right); "Bold Statement;" "Spotted in Black;" "Spotted in Pink;" "Spotted in Blue;" "Denim Beauty;" "Denim Splattered;" "Denim Black;" "Denim Red;" "Brown Classic;" and "Urban Camo." The new cases are designed to be hand carried or slotted into a backpack or messenger bag, with prices ranging from $33-36.
Vista a distant second
In a tour of Microsoft Windows Vista, Computerworld listed "20 things you won't like about Windows Vista," and dubbed Apple's Mac OS X the best operating system. The publication places Windows Vista as "a distant second-best" to Mac OS X, with Linux and Windows 2000 tying each other "a notch or two" below Vista. Windows XP is rated as only a half step better than Windows 2000. Apple has the best operating system this year, last year and next year, according to Computerworld. "So, why is the year-old Mac OS X Tiger so much better than Windows Vista, which Microsoft won't even ship before January 2007? It isn't that Apple has put more effort into its operating system; Microsoft has mounted a gargantuan effort on Windows Vista. It's that the two companies have very different goals. I've come to believe that Microsoft has lost touch with its user base."
iTunes, Death Row videos
Apple's iTunes Music Store has begun offering more than 25 exclusive video downloads from Death Row Records, along with a rare remix version of Tupac Shakur's "California Love." The iTunes offering includes tracks by the Dogg Pound, DPGC, Dr Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Tupac, and Warren G & Nate Dogg. A specially priced video album is also being offered that includes "Gin and Juice" by Snoop Doggy Dogg, "Nuthin' Bug A 'G' Thang" by Dr. Dre, "California Love" by Tupac, "Murder Was the Case" by Snoop Doggy Dogg, "How Do U Want It" by Tupac, "Let Me Ride" by Dr. Dre, "Doggy Dogg World" by Snoop Doggy Dogg, and the "California Love" special remix version by Tupac featuring Dr. Dre, according to AllHipHop News.
Radio stations, iTMS
Emmis Communications today announced that it is the first company in the U.S. to integrate the iTunes Music Store into its radio station websites. The integration of the iTunes Music Store will reflect the programming of each radio station, allowing listeners to shop from playlists of station artists as well as top picks from on-air talent and celebrity guests. Emmis' rollout of the integrated storefronts begins today with Chicago alt-rocker WKQX-FM (www.Q101.com), and Indianapolis contemporary-hits station WNOU-FM (www.radionow931.com). The iTunes integration will continue to all Emmis radio markets in the next month, with KROX-FM and KDHT-FM in Austin next in line, along with KPNT-FM in St. Louis. "We approached Apple with the idea, and we developed the back-end technology to make this possible," said Rey Mena, vice president of Emmis Interactive. "Many Web sites link to iTunes, but we're the first to pull iTunes' entire 2.5 million-song catalog into our sites, weaving station programming with the Apple platform."
Thunderbird goes Universal
The Mozilla Foundation has released Thunderbird 22.214.171.124, updating the full-featured email client to provide native Intel Mac support as a Universal Binary. Thunderbird 126.96.36.199 provides stability and security enhancements designed to provide a safer email experience for users. The update offers several security fixes which include Website XSS using BOM on UTF-8 pages; double-free on malformed VCard; buffer overflow in crypto.signText(); remote compromise via content-defined setter on object prototypes; privilege escalation through XUL persist; HTTP response smuggling; fixes for crashes with potential memory corruption; and EvalInSandbox escape. Thunderbird 188.8.131.52 improves product stability, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
6-Port SATA PCI adapter
NitroAV.com today began shipping the 6-Port Serial-ATA PCI Host Adapter, an update to its SATAStar series PCI Host Adapters. The 6-Port Serial-ATA PCI Host Adapter includes four shielded eSATA ports and two internal SATA ports, each offering a 1.5Gbits/sec transfer rate. "The new SATAStar series 6-Port SATA PCI host adapter gives you the maximum ports available on one card, whether you need four external ports or two internal ports or any combination. All other vendors give you the option of either four external ports or internal ports, but the six port SATA card offers you all this in one card," said NitroAV. The 6-Port Serial-ATA PCI Host Adapter is priced at $60, and requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.
Apple posts Civ IV trailer
Apple today posted a Sid Meier's Civilization IV Mac trailer to its website. Sid Meier's Civilization IV features multiplayer support over LAN, the internet, and "Play-By-Email" for competing or cooperating with live players. A 3D world brings dozens of fully animated units and customizable armies, as well as cities and wonders. Key features of Civilization IV include fast-paced game play for a more streamlined experience, greater accessibility via an easy-to-use interface, a flexible tech tree allowing players more strategic choices for developing civilizations through unique paths, and more. Designed from the ground up for "modability," the game includes a powerful map editor with XML and Python support. Civilization IV is slated for shipment in June for $50, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
RapidWeaver goes Universal
RealMac Software has released RapidWeaver 3.5, bringing native compatibility for Intel-based Macs to the website building software. A new streamlined interface integrates themes into the main window for easy selection, while a new blog page style features coherent design throughout the archive and category pages to provide improved continuity. RapidWeaver 3.5 offers full perma-link support, as well as Ping support to easily notify websites that a blog has been updated. An enhanced link panel enables users to link directly to blog entries, podcasts, or a particular photo from an album or page resource file. RapidWeaver is priced at $40, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Quark, NewerTech pricing
In brief: Quark today demonstrated the Universal Binary version of its DTP software at the London launch of QuarkXPress 7.... Newer Technology (NewerTech) today announced price reductions on both its 60-watt-hour and 67-watt-hour PowerBook G4 17" Aluminum Batteries ($130 and $160, respectively).... YourHead Software has teamed up with Loghound Software to offer a 35 percent discount on all RapidWeaver plug-ins via the coupon code "RW35ROCKS" for a 35 hour period.... Iconkits.com has released its latest stock icon collection, Office Vector Kit ($300, site unavailable), which includes 160 stock icons in scalable EPS Format.... Babya has introduced the first Mac versions of Babya Photo Workshop & E-Type, which feature Core Image technologies and native Intel compatibility.... Intelligent Assistance has released Intellicaster, a turnkey automated podcasting system that records TV or radio broadcasters' locally originated programming and publishes it to the Web.
WireTap Pro 1.2.0 released
Ambrosia Software has released WireTap Pro 1.2.0, an update to the audio capture utility that adds compatibility with Intel Macs. The software allows users to record audio from any running application, as well as from any microphone, line-in, headset, or radioSHARK. WireTap Pro 1.2.0 can now record Mac audio when running under Rosetta on Intel Macs, and the update fixes the available source records in AppleScript as well as the Automator action. The latest version always includes Finder in the processing application popup, and repairs an issue that caused the preprocessor field to go blank if the postprocessor field had a file in it. WireTap Pro 1.2.0 also resolves a bug that caused a file choosing sheet to get stuck on systems running Mac OS X 10.2. WireTap Pro 1.2.0 is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Puppy Luv: A New Breed
Lost Sock Games and Macgamestore.com today announced the release of Puppy Luv: A New Breed, its virtual puppy simulation software. "Puppy Luv 'A New Breed' is your new travel and home companion. This puppy will provide unconditional love for you and the entire family and you will have hours of fun playing with your new best friend. From caring to tricks your new puppy will keep you entertained for hours and hours, but don't forget him, he still gets hungry and is always looking to be loved." The software features real-time attributes that change depending on the dog's mood which can be tracked, and users can train the dog to do tricks. Four different breeds consisting of Mutt, Beagle, Dalmatian, and Labrador are available in various colors. The back yard is upgradeable, and a new storefront offers more than 25 different dog toys. Puppy Luv: A New Breed is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
TuneStage for iPod nano
Belkin today announced the TuneStage for iPod nano, a device that allows you to play the music from your iPod nano through your home stereo wirelessly via Bluetooth technology. With a transmitter connected to your iPod nano and a receiver wired to a home stereo system, TuneStage offers reliable, high-quality sound without the clutter of cables. Wirelessly connected through TuneStage, your iPod nano becomes the ultimate remote, offering full control of any music collection. The device uses Bluetooth v1.2 technology to transmit from up to 33 feet away to a home stereo--through a home entertainment cabinet or even from another room. The receiver connects via RCA or 3.5mm outputs to any auxillary input on a home stereo system. The transmitter unit draws power directly from the iPod nano, while a mini-USB port under the transmitter offers an added convenience of charging the Nano while in use. It will be available in North America in July for $180 with launches in Asia, Europe, and Australia to follow.
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