Last Day of Work has released the Mac version of Fish Tycoon, allowing players to cross-breed, nurture, and grow exotic fish in a virtual aquarium. Players search for the fabled seven magic fish of Isola, on the island of Isola. The loss of those seven magic fish has broken the ecosystem, and until players find the magic fish and solve their genetic puzzle, they must nurture and breed fish as a means to finance research. Players sell fish in a virtual store and use the proceeds to buy supplies -- such as medication or eggs -- to assist in the care of the fish. Fish Tycoon is available for $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
A company in Taiwan has unveiled the "MP5 series," an iPod docking station that features a 1940s-style valve amplifier. The iPod sits in a silver docking station with wooden trim, which rests beside a matching amp with three illuminated glass valves on top, according to CIO Tech Informer. The device features two 50w speakers covered in a wood, leather, or glossy black finish. An S-Video output enables users to connect a docked video iPod to a TV, while a remote control allows users to operate the device from afar. The device fits all iPod models except the Shuffle, and is already on sale in Germany for $900, according to the report.
TIME Magazine has taken its first look at Apple's 13-inch MacBook, touching on the notebook's price, non-Universal Mac software, and Boot Camp. The reviewer notes that the MacBook lacks various features offered by its more expensive sibling, the MacBook Pro, such as a backlit keyboard, the light-sensitive display, a dedicated graphics card, and an ExpressCard/34 expansion slot. Despite this, however, attention is brought to the fact that the MacBook shares most of the professional notebook's features, such as the built-in iSight camera, the Apple Remote, a break-away magnetic power connector, and wireless Bluetooth support. TIME found Apple's Boot Camp software to be a great success. "I even tested out MTV's Urge service with -- Jobs forgive me ó an iriver clix music player. It all worked together even more smoothly than it had done on my high-powered Dell desktop."
Seagate has debuted its new Barracuda ES and Savvio 10K.2 hard drives, which are optimized with a variety of storage requirements for the enterprise market. The Barracuda ES offers SATA capacities of up to 750GB, powers RAID systems as well as other multi-drive solutions, and can support 50 percent more capacity within the same form factor, according to Seagate. The second-generation 2.5-inch Savvio 10K.2 delivers high I/O transaction performance with a 1.6 million hour MTBF reliability, offering up to 146GB of storage capacity. The Savvio drive consumes an average of 15 percent less power than its prior generation, and boasts a size 70 percent smaller than conventional 3.5-inch drives (pricing and availability were unavailable).
Sonnet Technologies today unveiled the iFreq, an in-vehicle FM transmitter and charger for iPod nano. The device features a new design and mounting system, allowing users to snap the iFreq cradle on or off an adhesive-backed magnetic disk that attaches to the dashboard. iFreq utilizes the line-out signal from the iPod to obtain a clean, consistent sound level, and is designed to provide a high signal-to-noise ratio with stereo separation, as well as extended frequency response. The body of the accessory integrates simple controls with a backlit display, which plugs directly into a car cigarette lighter jack. iFreq is compatible with all iPod models that feature a dock connector when used without the Nano mounting cradle, and is expected to ship in the third quarter of 2006 for $80.
RSS Menu 1.8b is a system-wide menu that enables users to listen to podcasts or read RSS/Atom feeds without switching applications. The update improves speed and performance, resulting in more stability and less CPU usage. RSS Menu 1.8b also incorporates numerous bug fixes. [Download - 776KB] Daily vX ($20) is professional journal and note taking software. Users can write a journal, take notes, document ideas or comments, save text/code snippets, store important data such as registration keys, and note todo's. The software features full integration with Mac OS X applications such as Mail, Safari, and iCal. [Download - 19MB] Cyberduck 2.6 (free) is an open source FTP and SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) browser licensed under the GPL with an easy to use interface. The application features integration with external editors, as well as support for many Mac OS X system technologies such as Spotlight, Bonjour, the Keychain, and AppleScript. [Download - 7.9MB] Cocktail 3.7.2 ($15) is a general purpose utility for Mac OS X that offers various maintenance tools as well as interface tweaks. Cocktail features are accessible via a graphical user interface, designed to simplify the use of advanced UNIX functions. [Download - 1.7MB] On Air 1.1 ($40) offers native compatibility to Intel Mac users, enhancing the video source control application. On Air allows users to manage multiple video sources, from Web and DV cameras to IP cameras, as well as Apple's iSight. Version 1.1.0 supports the D-Link DCS 900 camera, and improves overall application stability. [Download - [form]]
FirmTek is now shipping it SeriTek/2SM2-E ExpressCard adapter, one month ahead of original projections. Announced at NAB, the solution provides the MacBook Pro with storage performance capable of streaming live video directly to disk. "Now professional and amateur videographers can perform almost any and all of their work in the field. FirmTek's established hot-swap compatibility also makes it easy for users to move entire drives and arrays from the MacBook Pro to any FirmTek-equipped desktop system, or into secure storage, in seconds," the company said. FirmTek says its SeriTek/2SM2-E is the first ExpressCard solution shipping that supports SATA drives and enclosures. It is available now for $120 or as part of specially priced bundles with selected hot-swappable drive enclosures.
In brief: CBS and Apple today announced that prime time programming from The CBS Television Network is now available on the iTunes Music Store.... Apple has cut the prices of its fifth-generation iPod sold in Canada, offering the 30GB iPod -- which was CAD$379 -- for $349, while the 60GB model is now $459, a $40 drop from the original $499 price tag.... Black Cat Systems is offering a 20 percent discount on all of its software products through June 15th, 2006 to celebrate its 15th anniversary.... Verbatim today announced that it will begin shipping 2X Blu-ray write-once and rewriteable media in July.... Nova Media today introduced nova media phone plugins 2.9.1, featuring Nokia E70, Nokia 6102i, Nokia 3250 and BenQ EL71 support for Apple's iSync software.... Softchaos today began shipping Workstrip 3.2.3, an update to its software alternative to Apple's Dock in Mac OS X.
Sid Meier's Civilization IV for Mac has hit beta status, and is scheduled to ship later this month. 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.
MOTU today began shipping Ethno Instrument 1.0 and Symphonic Instrument 1.1.2 as Universal Binaries to run natively on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. The Ethno Instrument features 4GB of ethnic instrument sounds combined with another 4GB of world music loops and phrases. Symphonic Instrument 1.1.2 boasts an 8GB library of new sounds from orchestras and musicians, and includes a built-in convolution reverb processor to produce realistic room ambiences. Symphonic Instrument is available as a free download for registered Symphonic Instrument users (pricing and system requirements were unavailable).
Wrappers has launched the MacBook sleeve and lap protector, a heat resistant rubber sleeve for Apple's 13-inch MacBook. The tailored cover serves as a protective sleeve on-the-go, and can be used as a mat to the shield users' lap during computer usage. Made from heat-resistant rubber, the sleeve insulates against temperatures up to 250 degrees centigrade. Constructed from 76 percent rubber and 24 percent cotton, a spongy exterior guards the notebook against scratches and light bumps. The cover comes in six varying trim colors consisting of black, purple (shown at right), red, blue, green, or orange. The heat resistant rubber sleeve is available for £18.
Newer Technology (NewerTech) today introduced the NewerTech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter. The device is a single-source solution to allow any 2.5-inch, 3.5-inch, or 5.25-inch hard drive or optical drive mechanism with standard IDE/ATA/ATAPI 40 pin or any Serial-ATA interface to be plug-and-play accessible via USB. Offering transfer speeds of up to 480Mb/sec, the adapter is backwards compatible to provide USB 1.1 connectivity. Allowing quick connection of hard drives and optical drives, the drive adapter includes all necessary hardware for plug-and-play of supported storage devices to any Mac or PC with an available USB port. No software is required for the use of the adapter on any Mac system running Mac OS 8.6 or later, and a CD is included with drivers for Windows-based systems. The NewerTech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter ships for $25.
JAVOedge has launched NeXskin for iPod nano, a skin case featuring Hyper Touch Technology (HTT). Protecting the Nano from everyday bumps and scratches, a thermo chromic dye allows the NeXskin to change color based on the ambient temperature. Users can grab the skin to create artistic designs with the heat from their hands, or allow the case to change color naturally. NeXskin measures 3.61 x 1.67 x 0.35-inches, and weighs approximately 0.53 kg. The silicon skin ships with a Plexiglas screen shield, and is treated to repel surface dust. NeXskin is available for $13.
Boinx Software has released FotoMagico 1.7, bringing better support for the Apple Remote and Apple's GarageBand music production application. The slideshow application solution allows you to wirelessly control a presentation using the Apple Remote control device that comes with the new Macs. Version 1.7 also integrates with Apple's GarageBand 3 to help users create a soundtrack with sound effects, voice over and royalty free music to go with your pictures. FotoMagico saves a preview movie of the slideshow and opens it in a new GarageBand project, allowing users to add jingles, sound effects and voice recording features to their slideshow soundtracks. "Once your work is finished and saved, simply drag the GarageBand project file back into the FotoMagico Storyboard to add it to the slideshow," the company noted. Version 1.7 also brings better drag & drop support. It is available in both German and English for $80.
PDFClerk 1.0 (15Ä) is a PDF manipulation tool that allows you to join multiple PDF documents together, rearrange the page order, delete individual pages, impose multiple pages onto a sheet of paper and rotate pages on imposed sheets, making it easy to create own books, booklets and magazines. Users can create prints for languages that read from right to left like Arabic, Chinese and Hebrew. The Universal Binary software runs on Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 674KB] Jon's Phone Tool v3.5 ($15) is a Universal Binary of the versatile phone dialer for Mac OS X. Users can use it to dial their Bluetooth mobile phone or a standard land line through the Mac's modem or speakers. JPT can also make calls via Vonage, CallVantage, Skype, Ovolab Phlink, Parliant's PhoneValet, an Asterisk PBX server, IP Phones from Cisco and others. JPT features extensive AppleScript support, Bonjour notifications, caller ID, a call log, a notepad, and call timers. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 3.4MB] LaunchBar 4.1.1 ($20) is a maintenance update for the company's popular, award winning search and system utility. The update includes a number of improvements and bug fixes, improves compatibility with Xcode 2.3 (supports the new ADC Reference Library structure), and provides a couple of new web-search templates in the factory configuration. The softwarwe provides instant access to your applications, documents, contacts and bookmarks, to a music library, to search engines and more, just by entering short abbreviations of the searched item's name. [Download - 866KB] PreemptiveThreadTD 2.0 ($20) is an update to the toolkit which makes it easy for REALbasic users to execute code in OS native, preemptive threads on Mac OS X and Windows. Version 2.0 fixes numerous bugs which could lead to crashes when using version 1.0. The PreemptiveThreadTD toolkit includes 4 classes for implementing and communicating with preemptive threads: PreemptiveThreadTD, CriticalSectionTD, SemaphoreTD, and ThreadCompletionTimerTD. Using these classes REALbasic users can create threads that execute code which would block a standard Thread and lead to sluggish behavior or a frozen UI. [Download - 272KB] Veenix Font Tools 5.1 ($50) updates the Type Book Creator tool. Type Book Creator that allows users to easily create type books/catalogs/printouts of any font collections--whether activated or not. Version 5.1 brings a Visual Font Database/Font List Auto-scroll to quickly view or preview fonts. The update also adds type-specing information to the Font Measurements feature, new type-specing information to Type Book layouts, a new Type Book layout, and other interface refinements. It runs on Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 1.0MB] Downfall 2.6 ($20) is a fun arcade puzzle game, that uses the latest technology to produce stunning 3D graphics. The Tetris-like game consists of over 30 different boards to play, with smooth 3D animations and endless replayability. All the boards have special blocks like indestructibles, dynamite sticks, snow shovels, wrecking balls etc. This updated version includes a new board called 'Petrified' that has been added to the 'Demolition' category and fixes a number of other bugs. [Download - 1.1MB]
CBS Corporation and Apple today announced that prime time programming from The CBS Television Network is now available on the iTunes Music Store, which has sold over 30 million videos to day. The expanded CBS lineups includes the Emmy Award-winning reality series "Survivor," the popular dramas "NUMB3RS" and "NCIS" and several top-rated CSI programs: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "CSI: Miami," and "CSI: NY." iTunes now offers over 100 TV shows for $1.99 per episode for viewing on a computer or iPod. Apple also said it that iTunes was he world's most popular online video store online video store with over 30 million videos sold. The new CBS offerings include episodes from the just-completed 2005/2006 season, and earlier for some series, as well as the upcoming season which starts in September. New episodes in the fall will be available on iTunes the day after they appear on the network.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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
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