Google's Mac Team has released Visigami, an image search application and screen-saver. The open-source application, available under Apache license, can search from three different image sources, including Google Images, Picasa, and Flickr. From within the application, users can specify any image search query and images matching the search will start animating on the screen. According to the documentation, there are multiple ways of animating the images: fan, carousel, and grid as well as a few different camera views: fixed, autopan, and mouse pan. The screen-saver uses the same settings that were setup by the application, but the team says it is easier to tweak the settings in the application than to run the screen-saver. In addition, users also have the ability to use sliders to adjust settings such as display speed and zoom.
Snarb.tk has released Cover Stream 2.0, an update to its iTunes controller that extends iTunes Cover Flow to the desktop. The upgrade features new graphics, a playlist and search filter, an integrated songs browser, Last FM and Apple Remote support, full screen mode, Apple-flavored bezels, desktop artwork, and much more. Cover Stream, a popular iTunes controller, was developed exclusively for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, extending iTunes Cover Flow to the desktop and giving users a quick and convenient way to control, browse and search their music library.
Green Volcano has released Photon 1.1, the first major update to its high-performance digital photo workflow application for Mac OS X. Version 1.1 brings an enhanced caching engine and better filesystem support. Designed for both professional photographers and advanced photography enthusiasts, Photon enables users to review and organize large numbers of photos by focusing on the front-end of the photo workflow process: ingest, review, and culling. Photon's intelligent on-demand caching engine offers full resolution views of the digital photos available within seconds. Additionally, Photon's innovative "stacking" feature streamlines the process of organizing large batches of images by making it easy to quickly shuffle photos into separate stacks using a single keystroke.
Apple has quietly updated its online Apple Store in both the US and the UK to stop orders of the iPhone, marking the first time the company has ceased orders altogether since the iPhone's launch last year. Both 8GB and 16GB versions are listed as "currently unavailable" and are not given estimates for when they should return to the ordering system.
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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