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Pixels Digital has released PIXELS:3D 5.5, a new version of its three-dimensional image rendering and design application. The updated version is a Universal Binary application capable of running natively on PowerPC and Intel-based Macs, adds new NURBS curves, supports ambient lighting, Volumetric scattering, indirect diffuse lighting, OpenEXR output and more. It also features faster OBJ and 3ds support, a more native Mac OS X native look and feel (Quartz fonts, system dialogs), support for Mac OS X's native Tcl Framework and its private Opus framework, adjustable samples for soft raytraced shadows, and improved pixel filtering, faster rendering (raytracing, depth of field, etc.). LogoMaker also now works with Illustrator 8 files. Upgrades are $50, while the full version is $150.
The American Balloon has released PopCopy 2, a menubar application that tracks the history of any and all text, images, or files that have been copied to the clipboard. Users can select an item by pressing a user-defined (by default Command+Shift+V) hotkey combination, which presents the user with a menu to choose a previously copied item, and when the hotkey is released, places this item into the clipboard, and pastes it into the frontmost app. Version 2, completely rewritten, sports new features such as customizable hotkeys, a new hotkey interface which lets the user preview three items at once, and better item previewing in the menubar, offering a submenu with the full path of a file, a larger preview of an image, or a longer preview of text. PopCopy 2 also adds support for text from Microsoft Office. It is available for $14.
The Omni Group has released OmniDazzle 1.0, a set of fun and useful enhancements that help users highlight certain areas of your screen, create special effects, and track the location of your mouse pointer. "By allowing you to manipulate your screen, OmniDazzle offers practical features for doing presentations, taking screen shots, focusing on specific tasks, and adding visual information to your desktop," the company said. With OmniDazzle, 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. It is available for $15.
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Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Hermés face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ