Sonnet announces Fusion PCI Flash Drive
Sonnet (www.sonnettech.com) has announced the Fusion PCIe Flash Drive, a rugged, pocket-size solid-state drive (SSD) storage device with 256GB or 512GB storage capacity — and the newest member of Sonnet's growing family of Thunderbolt 2 technology products.
The Sonnet flash drive serves as an alternative to USB thumb drives and portable SATA-based hard disk drive and SSD storage products. It connects to a compatible Mac or Windows computer, or at the end of a Thunderbolt device daisy chain, via an attached 0.5-meter Thunderbolt cable.
Measuring 1.75 inches wide by 4 inches deep by 0.8 inches tall and small enough to fit in a user's pocket, the Fusion PCIe Flash Drive's enclosure is crafted out of aluminum. This is designed to transfer heat from the SSD and allowed Sonnet to design the device without a fan to enable silent operation. The design also enabled the device to be bus-powered and require no power adapter.
Sonnet expects to make the new drive available in June 2015 at an...
LaCie doubles capacity of Rugged Thunderbolt SSD
LaCie (www.lacie.com) has announced that its Rugged Thunderbolt storage solution will be available in a 1TB SSD capacity.
With double the storage, the new LaCie Rugged is just as portable with no size or weight increase compared to the 500GB offering. Plus, it still features the lightning–fast transfer rates of Thunderbolt and is tough in the field with shock, dust and water resistance, according to Erwan Girard, Business Unit manager for LaCie.
The LaCie Rugged delivers speeds of up to 387 MB/second — three times faster than a standard mobile hard drive. It's MIL–compliant, which means that data is protected even during accidental drops of up to 2 meters (6.6 feet). With its cap in place, the LaCie Rugged is also IP 54–rated for superior protection against dust and water splashing — even during operation. Plus, it's resistant to vibration and shock and is tough enough to be shipped for reliable delivery to clients or partners, according to Girard.
With both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0...
T3 Thunderbolt 2 RAID upgraded to support RAID 5
CalDigit (www.caldigit.com) says its T3 Thunderbolt 2 RAID storage solution has now been upgraded to support RAID 5, and is available to pre-order at prices staring at US$499 for a 1.5TB model. It will ship April 20.
The T3’s 3-bay design allows CalDigit to offer RAID 5 in a form-factor traditionally found in larger multi-bay storage towers. In smaller form-factor RAID storage most people use 2-bay RAID 0 storage that does not offer single drive redundancy.
However, the T3 offers RAID 5, which means that in the unlikely event of a drive failure all user data is still available and users can carry on working, says Kosta Panagos of CalDigit. This isn't available on storage solutions that only feature RAID 0. When used in RAID 5 mode the T3 offers the same transfer speeds as a 2-bay RAID 0 device, as well as single-drive redundancy, Panagos says.
The 3-bay design of the T3 with RAID 5 means that users get an extra drive’s worth of storage compared to traditional 2-bay storage. When used...
SoftRAID version 5.0.7 is up to 86% faster
SoftRAID (www.softraid.com) has updated its self-title software to version 5.0.7, which is reportedly up to 86% faster.
With SoftRAID, you can create volumes with several different RAID levels. Any SoftRAID volume can use up to 16 disks.
In version 5.0.7, reads from SoftRAID mirror volumes (RAID 1) are now up to 86% faster than AppleRAID. SoftRAID is now uses all of the disks in a mirror volume for reading data. By spreading the reads over multiple disks, reads from mirror volumes now approach the speed of stripe volumes. SoftRAID mirror volumes with two disks can now read at speeds of up to 270 MB/sec using HDDs (disks with rotating media) and 710 MB/sec using SSDs (disks with solid state media).
SoftRAID has also improved the performance for RAID 1+0 volumes. Reads from RAID 1+0 volumes are now up to 67% faster than AppleRAID. SoftRAID is now uses both disks in each mirror pair of a RAID 1+0 volume. This produces reads speeds which approach that off a RAID 5 volume with the same...
The Mac Support Store launches redesigned web page for Apple...
The Mac Support Store, initially "just" an Apple Certified Repair Shop and reseller in Brooklyn, has launched a redesigned web page for Apple rentals.
Started by Jeffrey Graber and Judith Barr, a married integrate who also reside in Brooklyn, the Mac Support Store has been an Apple business with a one-stop apparatus for out-of-warranty repairs for Macs, iPhones, and iPads. It also sells refurbished Macs, memory upgrades, and accessories.
Now, The Mac Support Store has launched a new Apple renting module that allows business to lease Mac portables, displays, desktops, and accessories. Through the rental store, business can also lease iOS items such as the iPad Air. The company’s newly redesigned webpage for Apple rentals offers a library of accessible rentals, including device information and cost.
"We have a best prices for Apple rentals in New York City," says Mac Support Store Vice President Jeff Graber. "However, if you find a reduced cost in NYC, simply contact us with the...
Apple Watch buyer's guide eBook published
iOS Guides has released Apple Watch Introduction, an US$1.99 eBook available in the iBookstore that reveals "everything you need to know" about the Apple Watch, from its hardware specifications to the in-built apps that you'll be using.
The 84-page eBook is available on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac. It runs on an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, and a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.
The Apple Watch will be released April 24. There’s quite a large price gap between the lowest-end model, which will cost around US$350, and the highest, which will be nearly $17,000 and encased in gold. Pre-orders will start on April 10.
iFlicks for Mac OS X gets redesigned interface, more
Jendrik Bertram has released iFlicks 2.2 (www.iflicksapp.com), the first major update of iFlicks 2 for Mac OS X.
The utility has integrated video mixing and encoding capabilities for users to choose the best option to quickly import their video files into iTunes and automatically complete them with metadata and artwork. Version 2.2 features a redesigned interface, improved metadata, chapter and subtitle support, faster processing, and more powerful rules.
iFlicks 2.2 requires mac OS X 10.8.3 or higher. Special upgrade pricing is available at the Mac App Store for a limited time: US$18.99 through April 20 (it's $24.99 afterwards).
Drylab R&D has announced Dailies Creator 2.3 for Mac OS X
Drylab R&D (http://drylab.no/products/) has announced Dailies Creator 2.3 for Mac OS X. Creator is part of an integrated system for distributing digital dailies and is used by film and TV drama productions.
Now, the DIT can provide the DP, producer, director, script supervisor, and others with Retina display ready dailies viewable on their own specially configured iPads. Creator ingests QuickTime-compatible files, transcodes to H.264, organizes them into shots, scenes, takes, and adds metadata. Clips and metadata are distributed to authorized iPads on-set or off (via the cloud).
Dailies Creator and Viewer are free downloads but require a paid subscription. Set Report is a paid Apple App Store download. Subscriptions are sold on per-device, per-month basis. The Drylab Dailies system is also available for resellers wishing to provide the service to their customers, with optional white labelling.
PopSockets available for iPhones, iPads
The backside of your iPhone and iPad is prime real estate. PopSockets (http://www.popsockets.com/) are designed to help you make the most of it.
They expand to two levels, tilt in all directions, and collapse tight against the back of your device to fit in your pocket. You can use them for texting and photo grips, headset management, multi-directional stands, and hip clips.
PopSockets can be customized in a variety of designs. A pair of PopSockets starts at US$15, and additional items, such as the Custom iPhone 5/5S Case, is available, as well.
Arturia launches soft synth classics collection
Arturia has released V Collection Classics, which rounds up five of its Analog Classics soft synth emulations of five analogue synthesizers from five bands.
Think ARP 2600 (1970-81), MinimoogTM (1970-81), Synthesizer Expander Module (1974-79), Jupiter-8 (1981-84), and Prophet-5 (1978-82). V Collection Classics is available to purchase as a boxed version for US$229 from any authorized Arturia dealer or online as a boxed version or download directly from Arturia at http://tinyurl.com/mlycubl .
Adobe announces storytelling app for the iPad
Adobe has launched Slate, a new free iPad app that lets you turn words and images into a story that can be published as laid-out Web content, in minutes.
It's made for anyone who wants to communicate with impact. Students, teachers, non-profit organizations, small business owners or corporate communicators can now turn their next report, newsletter or travel adventure into a document that captures attention. Through designed magazine-style layouts with elegant fonts, beautiful colors and eye-catching motion, Slate content automatically adapts to any device for a high-impact reading experience on tablets, smartphones or computers. Slate creations are links that can be shared easily via text message, email, embedded in websites, or posted on social media channels, according to Paul Gubbay, vice president of product development, Adobe.
He says that key features include:
° Professionally designed themes that allow users to simply tap to select from multiple font combinations, colors and...
Sonnet enhances xMac Pro Server with additional PCIe card...
Sonnet ( www.sonnettech.com) has announced the Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kit – Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion Edition, the latest addition to their line of Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe card expansion systems.
The new chassis is an accessory for Sonnet's xMac Pro Server and Echo Express III-R rackmount expansion systems, and is itself a self-contained three-slot PCI Express (PCIe) expansion system that mounts inside the xMac Pro's or III-R's enclosure and can connect to a second 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 bus on a Mac Pro computer.
The PCIe Card Expansion Edition enables the use of a variety of high-performance PCIe cards with the latest Mac Pro computer or any other computer with Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 ports. The new model supposedly supports every low-profile, Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card on the market.
The Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion Edition will be demonstrated at the 2015 NAB Show in booth SL10824. It's due to be available this summer at a manufacturer's suggested...
Scholarships announced for FileMaker DevCon 2015
Molly Connolly of Thorsen Consulting and Cris Ippolite of iSolutions have announced a new scholarship opportunity available to FileMaker developers.
The scholarships have been established to encourage FileMaker developers wishing to take advantage of the many professional training and networking opportunities at DevCon (http://www.filemaker.com/learning/devcon/). The scholarship will cover the cost of a full conference pass to DevCon 2015. Connolly and Ippolite will select two developers for the award.
"We understand that when you're first starting out, funding a conference fee, hotel and airfare is not an easy thing to do," says Ippolite. "These two scholarships will make it possible for two developers who would not normally be able to attend DevCon to join us."
Both Connolly and Ippolite have found DevCon sessions and professional networking opportunities add great value to their businesses.
"Coincidentally, both Cris and I attended our first DevCon in Monterrey, California and...
AKVIS announces new Easter Pack for ArtSuite
AKVIS (www.akvis.com) has announced a new frame pack for AKVIS ArtSuite, which lets you decorate their photos with frames and effects.
Extra frame packs can be installed to the program to increase its functionality. The new Easter Pack includes 50 designs. They include eggs, chicks and bunnies, and blooming flowers. You can use these frames to decorate your photos, prepare postcards, and more.
Note that the frame packs can only be used in the AKVIS ArtSuite Standalone program. To add a frame pack to ArtSuite, copy it into a folder selected in the program's preferences.
AKVIS ArtSuite, with all its frame packs, runs on Mac OS X 10.6 and higher. A demo is available for download. The ArtSuite standalone application sells for US$69; the price of the new frame pack is $15.
HoudahSpot 4.0 also available in a German version
Houdah Software (www.houdah.com) has added a German localization to HoudahSpot 4.0, a file search tool for Mac OS X.
The utility builds upon Spotlight and is designed to make it both more powerful and easier to use. You can set up the search criteria, locations, sort order, result display options, etc. and save these settings as defaults for new searches. Version 4.0 has been completely reimagined for OS X Yosemite.
HoudahSpot 4.0 costs US$29 for a single-user license. A family license is available for $44. A full-featured demo is available for download. Upgrades from previous versions are priced at $17 and $26, respectively. HoudahSpot licenses purchased on or after Nov.1, 2014, qualify for a free upgrade.
Yummy FTP update for Mac OS X reduces transfer fimes
Yummy Software has released Yummy FTP 1.10.2, an update to their FTP + SFTP + FTPS file transfer client for Mac OS X.
Yummy FTP focuses on speed, reliability and productivity. Its highly tuned multi-connection file transfer engine is coupled with an intelligent recovery system to automatically handle most all file transfer issues and more. Among other improvements, version 1.10.2 reduces transfer times in tests against popular rivals.
Yummy FTP requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later and costs US$24.99. It's available directly from Yummy Software (http://www.yummysoftware.com/) or from the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.
WaterField Designs rolls out Vitesse cycling musette
WaterField Designs (www.sfbags.com) has announced the Vitesse, a cycling musette redesigned for multi-functional use.
Inspired by the classic bike musette, WaterField owner Gary Waterfield says he maintained the bag’s best features and added upgrades: enhanced comfort, improved materials and increased functionality. The resulting Vitesse is the quintessential bag for cyclists, commuters or travelers, he adds.
Crafted from waxed-canvas to give the bag some structure and full-grain leather for style, this lightweight musette bag is built to last. The quickly-adjustable nylon strap is thicker than the standard musette and is sewn at an angle for enhanced comfort.
Like a classic musette, the Vitesse has one main compartment, but WaterField adds a bit of depth to it as well as two interior pockets, leaving space for wallet, phone keys and a few larger items—lunch, books, or a tablet or laptop in a sleeve. The traditional musette is open-topped; WaterField offers this style or one with a...
ChronoSync 4.6 released on World Backup Day
Econ Technologies (www.econtechnologies.com) has released ChronoSync 4.6, an update of the Mac backup, bootable backup, and folder synchronizing app, on World Backup Day.
It works with any device you can connect to a Mac such as external drives, thumb drives, network volumes, remote Macs, or even a PC. A demo is available for download. Registration is US$49.99. Existing users update for free.
ChronoSync 4.6 adds SmartScan, an advanced algorithm for analyzing a volume for changes. File system analysis can often be the most time consuming part of a synchronization or backup. While SmartScan won’t copy your files any faster, detecting which ones need to be copied can see speed improvements. Version 4.6
Ohanaware conjures up Magic for OS X
Ohanaware has released Magic, a photo enhancing application for Mac OS X. It was designed to improve the luminosity and colors of a photo based upon traditional photography techniques.
Complimenting the core functionality, Magic also includes vignette (with corner softness), border and a new stylize selector (which features Ohanaware's third generation Toning engine). Auto Enhancement will attempt to correct exposure, colors and red eye.
Ohanaware's real time effects engine is at the heart of magic, providing direct feedback to the user as options are adjusted and tweaked. Sixteen click syles are included in the app, so you can alter the photo's look with one tap on the trackpad or mouse.
Magic sharing supports Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Apple Mail, Messages, AirDrop, iPhoto, Aperture and the upcoming Yosemite Photos app. A new split-view preview displays the original and edited image, with a divider down the middle that can be moved.
Magic is available from the Ohanaware website (www...
MacBackup Guru revved to version 4.0
MacDaddy has announced Mac Backup Guru 4.0 for OS X, an update to its utility and which has three main features.
It provides a contextual menu to copy and paste a bootable volume in the Finder It provides incremental Snapshots in OS X. And it provides straightforward clone/sync functionality.
Incremental Snapshots use only a small fraction of the disk space to store daily versioned backups which can be accessed via the Finder and appear to be standard copies. This is done by employing hardlinks to the original files for unaltered files. Mac Backup Guru also offers the more traditional clone and sync functionality, with built in Contextual Menu Items in the Finder to make it easier access its capabilities and streamline the user interface.
Mac Backup Guru requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later. It costs US$39 and is available here (http://macdaddy.io/mac-backup-software).
Freemium apps driving mobile ad growth
A new report from App Annie (http://www.appannie.com), an app market data analysis firm, and the International Data Corporation (www.idc.com) research group says mobile app revenues are beginning to displace other forms of monetization, including mobile browser and PC-based advertising. What's more, freemium and in-app advertising models driving the majority of growth among various business models.
"App Annie has tracked the growth of the mobile economy since its infancy, and we're really starting to see publishers hit their stride with mobile in-app revenue growing 1.7x last year," says App Annie CEO Bertrand Schmitt. "The continued innovation in mobile apps, monetization models and mobile advertising have driven significant growth in freemium and in-app advertising revenues. The space has matured significantly and publishers have the required ‘know-how’ to monetize off the significant app usage they’re generating."
The report says that freemium app revenues grew by over 70%, while...
QuarkXPress 2015 will be available April 28
Quark Software says QuarkXPress 2015, the next major version of Quark’s design and layout tool for print and digital publishing, will be available on April 28.
The company says QuarkXPress 2015 will deliver increased performance with a new 64-bit architecture, efficient print and digital production and many of the most user-requested features. The new version of QuarkXPress will continue to be sold as a perpetual license.
Features include: 64-bit performance; verified PDF/X-4 output; larger page sizes, a dedicated orthogonal line tool;l fixed layout interactive ebooks; custom paper sizes; the ability to relink any picture in the usage dialog; the ability to collect for output for a complete project; user-definable shortcut keys on the Mac; tablet styles; a format painter; automatic footnotes and end notes; a faster table tool for Excel integration with table styles; text variables for automatically populating reoccurring fields – such as running headers; and more.
In anticipation of...
Adobe launches Comp CC for the iPad
Adobe has released Adobe Comp CC, a free iPad app that enables the rapid creation of layout concepts for mobile, Web and print projects. It's available at the Apple App Store.
With Comp CC, designers can start layout-design projects on an Apple tablet, creating concepts that incorporate previously created assets and then move to the desktop where essential Adobe Creative Cloud tools, including Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC and InDesign CC, can be used to create production-quality work.
Comp CC extends the mobile and desktop workflows enabled by Creative Profile and Creative Cloud Libraries. Creative Cloud Libraries consist of design assets — such as images, colors, text styles, brushes and more — that members have created with Creative Cloud tools. And a member’s Creative Profile surfaces their libraries, as they move from app-to-app and desktop-to-device, in the right context — enabling members to effortlessly work across devices and apps.
Thanks to their Creative Profile and...
Fuddruckers serves up Apple Pay
Seventy-two of Fuddruckers (http://www.fuddruckers.com) company-owned fast casual restaurants throughout the country are now accepting Apple Pay, a new category of service that transforms mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay.
According to Peter Tropoli, Chief Operating Officer of Luby's, Inc., "We're excited to provide Apple Pay, a convenience-oriented technology that pairs perfectly with our award-winning, fast casual fare," says Peter Tropoli, chief operating officer of Luby's Inc. Luby's operates restaurants under the brands Luby's Cafeteria, Fuddruckers and Cheeseburger in Paradise and provides food service management through its Luby's Culinary Services division.
Apple announced Apple Pay in September 2014, describing it as “a new category of service designed to transform mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay.” It works with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus through a NFC antenna design, a dedicated chip called the Secure Element, and...
GoodTask 2 has been updated for Mac OS X Yosemite
Haha Interactive has released GoodTask 2 (http://goodtaskapp.com/mac), an update to their to-do/task manager application for Mac OS X.
GoodTask works on top of Apple's stock Reminders app. Completely re-imagined to fully feature Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, GoodTask 2 has been rebuilt from the ground to make it more powerful with better usability, according to the folks at Haha.
GoodTask 2 is a free update for existing users and is now on sale at 25% off for a limited time: US$14.99 instead of $19.99). It's available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category. It is a free update for existing users.
Micron, Intel unveil new 3D NAND flash memory advancements
Micron Technology (www.micron.com) and Intel (www.intel.com) have announced the availability of their 3D NAND technology, the world's highest-density flash memory.
This new 3D NAND technology, which was jointly developed by the two companies, stacks layers of data storage cells vertically with "extraordinary precision" to create storage devices with three times higher capacity than competing NAND technologies. This enables more storage in a smaller space, bringing significant cost savings, low power usage and high performance to a range of mobile consumer devices as well as the most demanding enterprise deployments, says Brian Shirley, vice president of Memory Technology and Solutions at Micron Technology.
Planar NAND flash memory is nearing its practical scaling limits, posing significant challenges for the memory industry. 3D NAND technology is poised to make a dramatic impact by keeping flash storage solutions aligned with Moore's Law, the trajectory for continued performance...
Synium Software releases CleanApp 5
Synium Software has announced CleanApp 5 (http://www.syniumsoftware.com/cleanapp/), an update to their uninstaller and system maintenance tool for Mac OS X. Version 5 has been rewritten from scratch and features a new user interface, improved usability and enhanced algorithms to reclaim disk space.
CleanApp 5 requires OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. It's a free update for customers of CleanApp 4. There's a reduced upgrade pricing of US$4.99 for those using CleanApp 1, 2 or 3. The full version of CleanApp 5 costs US$14.99.
Paragon releases free Paragon Boot Camp Backup
Paragon Software Group has announced Paragon Boot Camp Backup, a free Mac OS X based backup solution for Windows partitions on Mac computers.
It includes incremental imaging, file-level recovery, a scheduler, the ability to restore to a smaller target disk, automatic check of file system for errors, and more. For a 100GB volume and 22 GB of occupied space, it takes only 12 minutes to back up and 15 minutes to restore the entire system, according to the folks at Paragon.
The backup tools delivered with Mac OS X don't support the Windows native file system NTFS and work on the file level only which has a negative effect on computer performance. Paragon Boot Camp Backup backs up NTFS Boot Camp partitions at the sector level. It creates incremental chains, where each new increment describes the changes between the current state of the backup object and the previous state. Paragon says this saves disk space, speeds backups, and allows recovery to a particular point in time.
AudioBooktoMP3.com announces Audiobook Converter 3.8.1 for Mac...
AudioBooktoMP3.com has announced Audiobook Converter for Mac 3.8.1, an update of the audiobook DRM removal software for Mac.
The utility is designed to help users remove DRM protection from iTunes M4B audiobooks and Audible AA, AAX audiobooks while while converting the DRM M4B, M4A, AA, AAX audiobook files to unprotected MP3, AAC, M4A, AIFF, AU, M4R and FLAC. It now supports batch audiobook conversion so that you can convert multiple audiobooks with a single button.
Audiobook Converter requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later. It's priced at US$29.95 for a personal license.
IK Multimedia launches SampleTank 3 sound collections, more
IK Multimedia has revved SampleTank (www.sampletank.com), its sample workstation, to version 3.5 has just received a major update in the form of version 3.5.
The update consists of 11 brand new sound collections, which are now also available in IK's new SampleTank Custom Shop. Also introduced are new features that make browsing SampleTank 3's thousands of sounds and patterns faster.
SampleTank 3 sports a 33GB library of "bread-and-butter" sounds (with over 4,000 instruments from every category), 55 effects, MIDI patterns, groove tools and an enhanced sample engine. The latest update is complimentary for current users of all existing SampleTank 3 versions. SampleTank 3 and SampleTank 3 SE users can purchase the new Beats Series and Elektronika Series sound libraries from the IK online store for $39.99 each or 50 Gear Credits in the IK Custom Shop.
The full version of SampleTank 3 is available now via the IK online store and select music instrument retailers with upgrades starting at...
New Earth science educational app is available for Mac OS X
Tasa Graphic Arts (http://www.tasagraphicarts.com) has announced Earth's Rocks and the Rock Cycle, a new Earth science app available for Mac OS X.
It provides teachers, students, and parents with Earth science content about rocks and the rock cycle. Photographs of rocks and their environments plus animations are designed to help students visualize the processes that change Earth over time. Scored quizzes and essay questions are included to encourage exploration, independent study, and written communication.
Users can use what they've learned about composition, texture, and color to identify rocks. Animations show the geologic processes in action: volcanic eruptions, flowing lava, weathering of rocks, streams transporting sediment, glaciers moving, caverns being formed by water, rocks being deformed by intense heat and pressure deep underground.
Earth's Rocks and the Rock Cycle costs US$7.99. It's available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Education category.
Passware exposes suspects' Photo Stream to computer...
Investigators now have a unique tool that leverages Passware's research in live-memory analysis for over-the-air acquisition of Apple Photo Stream contents without an Apple ID or password.
Passware — a provider of password recovery, decryption, and electronic evidence discovery software for computer forensics, law enforcement organizations, government agencies, and private investigators — has announced version 2 of its flagship encrypted electronic evidence discovery product, Passware Kit Forensic 2015. This new release now acquires suspects' iPhone and iPad photos without Apple ID or password, provided the physical access to the computer with iCloud application installed.
According to Apple, "Your new photos appear automatically on the iOS devices, computers, and Apple TV you set up with My Photo Stream, no matter which iOS device or computer you use to take or import new photos." This also concerns shared photo stream where photos and videos of trusted contacts are automatically...
PhotoScissors 2.0 for Mac OS X removes image backgrounds faster
TeoreX has announced PhotoScissors 2.0 (http://www.photoscissors.com/download.html). The cross-platform application removes unwanted backgrounds from photos.
Version 2.0 provides improvements to further enhance results and reduce time required to obtain them. In particular, the improved edge feathering algorithm plus the "Offset Boundary" option allow for neater and more precise contours of the cut out object. The "Shadow" option applies a transparent shadow to the picture. A new interactive processing mode optionally allows applying all changes to the image in real time.
The price for a single license of PhotoScissors is US$19.99. PhotoScissors is available both for Mac OS X and Windows users.
Splice 2.3.1 is now available in the Mac App Store
Einstein's legacy (http://www.einsteinslegacy.com) has released Splice 2.3.1, an update to their movie management utility for Mac OS X.
Splice is designed for professional and amateur video content creators who need a simple tool for organizing and joining a collection of video clips together into a single movie. Version 2.3.1 introduces enhanced full screen support, tighter integration with the User Notification Center, improved progress reporting and better error handling.
Splice 2.3.1 is available for US$9.99 from the Mac App Store (in the Video category). It requires Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or higher.
App Tamer for Mac OS X revved to version 2.0.5
St. Clair Software (http://www.stclairsoft.com/) has introduced an update for App Tamer, its Mac utility that manages applications to deliver more efficient CPU usage, increased battery life and quieter operation.
App Tamer's AutoStop capability automatically slows down or pauses applications when you switch away from them, and then restarts them when you click back to them. Version 2.0.5 fixes a compatibility issue with Safari and improves its user interface and usability.
App Tamer now offers its CPU history graph with a logarithmic scale. This mode shows much more detail when CPU usage is a lower percentage of total capacity, a common occurrence on 8- and 16-core Macs
App Tamer comes pre-configured to automatically manage Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Spotlight, Time Machine, Word and other apps when they're in the background. Customizing it for other applications is just a mouse click away.
App Tamer requires Mac OS X 10.7 or higher. You can try App Tamer free for 15 days. A license...
CircleIcons lets developers create icons for iOS, Mac, WatchKit...
Bayhoff Software (http://www.bayhoff.com) has introduced CircleIcons 1.0 for OS X, a new app designed to make it easy for developers to create "circle icons" for their iPhone, iPad, Mac, and WatchKit apps without the need to hire a graphic designer.
Developers can choose between three icon types, including App, Document and Folder, as well as numerous color collections or even resize pre-existing icons. They can export an icon as a Xcode asset catalog, favicon, App Store icon and more.
CircleIcons 1.0 requires OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later. It costs US$9.99 and is available exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Developer Tools category.
Apowersoft Mac Screenshot unveiled for Mac OS X
Apowersoft (http://www.apowersoft.com/) has announced Apowersoft Mac Screenshot, a screenshot utility for Mac OS X.
It's designed for those who want to take snapshots of anything displayed on their Mac. The screen capture tool can be used to make quick edits, upload screenshot to free cloud space and share image online. It provides image annotation, allowing you to add arrows, line, circle, text, highlight and more based on their needs.
Additionally, Apowersoft Mac Screenshot allows you to upload the screenshot to free cloud space provided by screenshot.net. Once it's uploaded, four image links are provided for sharing. Aside from the image uploading feature, it also supports saving as an image file to local disk in PNG, JPG, GIF, TIFF and BMP formats.
Apowersoft Mac Screenshot requires Mac OS 10.6 or above. It's priced at US$39.95 for a personal license and $99.95 for a commercial license. A trial version is also available for downloading, but it will expire after three days.
4DX Games releases Weasel Woodpecker for OS X, iOS devices
4DX Games has unleashed Weasel Woodpecker, their newest game title on Mac OS X, iOS, Android, PC, and Facebook platforms.
You can play the game for free on each platform. You've seen the already iconic photo of a weasel riding on a woodpeckers back. Now you can re-enact the photo by becoming a weasel, trying to hitch a ride from the unsuspecting woodpecker. You soar through the skies, dodging trees and collecting acorns.
Weasel Woodpecker consists of randomly generated levels. The gameplay follows the "simple to control, hard to master" ideology. You start by controlling the weasel. By timing your jump correctly, the weasel lands on the woodpecker's back. Once you've managed to hitch a ride, you control the woodpecker, avoiding obstacles and collecting acorns along the way. When you see a ledge at the end of the level, you will need to jump off. Be careful not to miss the platform.
Weasel Woodpecker is available at the Mac App Store and the Apple App Store.
Beezwax announces InspectorPro 5 for FileMaker
Beezwax Datatools (http://www.beezwax.net) has rolled out InspectorPro 5, an update of its developer tool for FileMaker solution analysis.
InspectorPro works to identify hard-to-find issues, compare database versions for changes, and identify all dependencies, unreferenced items and more. Version 5 offers 64-bit DDR parsing, detailed version comparison highlighting, three new interactive visualization tools, WebDirect compatibility reports and a streamlined user interface.
InspectorPro 5 analyzes solutions built on the FileMaker Platform 12 or 13, and is available now for Mac OS X 10.7 or later, and Windows 7, 8 or later. FileMaker Pro Advanced is required for a developer to generate the DDR (Database Design Report) to be used for analysis.
InspectorPro 5 is priced at US$495 for new customers, and is available for purchase and immediate download from Beezwax online. A Team License (for up to five users) is $1195. A full-feature trial download is available. Upgrade pricing, and...
AKVIS Points 1.0 lets you apply pointillism effects to your...
AKVIS has released AKVIS Points 1.0 for Mac OS X and Windows. It turns images into pointillism paintings. This painting technique is characterized by applying of separate brush strokes in the form of dots or spots.
A complex hue is decomposed into individual colors, which are displayed on the canvas as dotted strokes, small dabs of paint of pure color. The optical mixing of these dots provides a visual perception of an entire painting.
The software runs on Mac OS X 10.6 and higher Windows XP/Vista/Win7/Win 8 and on Mac OS X 10.6-10.10. It is available as a standalone program and as a plugin filter for Adobe Photoshop, Corel PaintShop Pro, and other image editors.
AKVIS Points, Home license, sells for US$49. The functionality of the program depends on the license type. Consult the official website (http://akvis.com/en/points/index.php) for more details about license types and versions of the software.
Fantastical 2 is reimagined for Yosemite
Flexibits has introduced Fantastical 2 (http://flexibits.com/fantastical), an update of the OS X calendar app.
Designed exclusively for OS X Yosemite, Fantastical 2 for Mac includes features such as a full calendar window (with day, week, month, and year views), an intuitive parsing engine, iCloud reminders support, light theme, time zone support, birthday reminders, and more. The upgrade sports a new design and includes OS X Yosemite features, including a Today Widget, Action & Share Extensions, plus Handoff support to provide continuity between Fantastical 2 for Mac, Fantastical 2 for iPhone, and Fantastical 2 for iPad.
iCloud Reminders are even better as users can now see their events and dated reminders together in the main list. Reminders can be quickly created by starting sentences with "reminder", "todo", "task", or "remind me to." Users can also add dates, times, and location-based geofences (when I arrive/when I leave) to their reminders.
Fantastical 2 for Mac is...
Sky Battles launches on Steam for Macs, PCs
Peter Lacalamita has launched Sky Battles (http://store.steampowered.com/app/346670), his new indie air combat game on Steam, the online store for Mac and PC games.
Sky Battles features bi-planes and giant titan bosses like krakens, sea monsters and fire breathing dragons to name a few. It also includes a multiplayer mode allowing players to engage in online dogfights.
Sky Battles includes a multiplayer mode allowing players to engage in online dogfights. Steam achievements and leader boards have been implemented to complement the gaming experience.
RESCUECOM releases 2015 Computer Reliability Report
RESCUECOM’s 2015 Computer Reliability Report brings some interesting shifts among the big names in computer and tablet manufacturers.
Most noteworthy in the 2015 report is the lead Amazon has claimed over the competition. With a higher reliability score than the rest of the manufacturers combined, Amazon holds the top rank. The manufacturer even surpassed well-known names in reliability like Apple and Samsung this year. Amazon’s “A+” grade is due in large part to focusing on one product: the Kindle tablets.
Still, both Samsung and Apple have impressive reliability grades of “A-” for 2015. In fact, these long time contenders for the number one spot almost tied in reliability score. Samsung managed to gain a narrow lead over Apple. The full list of rankings is explained in-depth in the 2015 Computer Reliability Report (http://tinyurl.com/pg4gs2r).
Lenovo and Asus mark the middle ground with reliability grades of “B” and “B-”, respectively. While these grades are respectable, they still...
PDF Checkpoint now supports preflighting of LibreOffice PDF files
Zevrix Solutions (www.zevrix.com) has announced PDF Checkpoint 1.7.7, a maintenance update to their PDF preflight and conversion solution.
The app automatically preflights, exports as images, splits and optimizes Adobe PDF files. The software can also convert the color of PDF colors, downsample resolution and compress images. The new version lets users preflight PDF documents created with LibreOffice as well as files that underwent GhostScript conversion.
PDF Checkpoint 1.7.7 can be purchased on the Mac App Store and Zevrix website for US$39.95, as well as from authorized resellers. The update is free to licensed users. A demo is available for download. PDF Checkpoint requires Mac OS X 10.7 or higher.
PDFpen 7.1 adds advanced page numbering, custom stamps, more
Smile has released PDFpenPro 7.1 and PDFpen 7.1, the latest version of its all-purpose PDF editing tool for the Mac. This version brings advanced page numbering options, including control over font, color, formatting, and page range.
PDFpen also allows for the creation of custom stamps, including dynamic stamps with the user’s name and the date the document is stamped. There are also a series of new additional stamps to choose from, such as Paid, Faxed, Copied, and more.
OCR is easier with new auto-deskew, which straightens the text of a scanned document, necessary for accurate OCR results. The German localization has been improved in version 7.1, as has VoiceOver support in forms.
PDFpen retails for US$74.95, and PDFpenPro for $124.95. Family pack licenses, which cover up to five computers in one household, are $94.95 for PDFpen and $149.95 for PDFpenPro. Office pack licenses start at $224.95 for PDFpen (five users) and $349.95 for PDFpenPro (five users).
Upgrades from earlier single...
FirstBank offers Apple Pay services for customers
FirstBank Holding Company, says it will begin offering Apple Pay mobile payment services for customers. Apple Pay is currently accepted at more than 700,000 businesses and retailers nationwide.
Customers can add their FirstBank debit or credit card by going to settings on their Apple device, opening "Passbook & Apple Pay”" and then selecting "Add Credit or Debit Card." After their debit or credit card information is added, customers can hold their finger on the phone’s Touch ID scan—near the vendor’s contactless reader—to make a purchase.
FirstBank (www.efirstbank.com) serves more than 650,000 customers and operates more than 115 locations in Colorado, Arizona, and California. A majority of its stock is owned by management and employees.
Three new channels added to the Apple TV
Three new channels have been added to the Apple TV: Young Hollywood, Tastemade, and TED Talks.
Young Hollywood (www.yhworldwide.com), which targets Millennials — has launched celebrity-focused programming. It will premiere seven new original half-hour series this month totaling over 100 episodes. After the initial launch, Young Hollywood will continue to regularly debut new series on Apple TV, including the launch of a new weekly flagship entertainment news show “Young Hollywood Now.”
Tastemade (www.tastemade.com), "a video network built for the connected generation," is also launching on the Apple TV, marking its Apple TV, marks the foray into programming dedicated to food and travel. It provides hundreds of episodes of its original programming to millions of users of Apple's set-top box. Tastemade doesn't require authentication and offers instant access to its large, HD library of food and travel programming at anytime and anywhere around the globe.
TED Talks (www.tedtalks.com),...
Tune-Instructor for Mac OS X updated with 25 workflow options
Tibor Andre has announced Tune-Instructor 3.5 for Mac OS X, an update that provides 25 workflow options for organizing iTunes files, plus playback controls.
An interactive widget permits rating, playback, progress and title information within the notification center. The app allows for custom editing of the ID3-Tag, which contains all metadata of an MP3 file. Users can organize their song libraries, lyrics, artwork, files, and folders however they wish.
Tune-Instructor 3.5 (http://www.tune-instructor.de/en/start.html) requires Mac OS X 10.10 or later and iTunes 8.2 or later. It's donationware .
Cyberpunk 3776 available on Steam
Peter Hann is releasing Cyberpunk 3776 (http://www.cyberpunk3776.com) on the Steam platform with added features. The original release is currently available for Mac OS X and PC systems.
Here's how the game is described: "Cyberpunk 3776 is a side-scrolling shooter set in a dystopian future world where you are the last of all of humanity. Avarice and indifference have brought about the end of days and an extraterrestrial force has come to declare war in a showdown to the end.
"With gameplay based on the golden-age of arcade shooters, the controls have been simplified and the playthrough streamlined. The driving force behind the game is its dark themes of life and its eventual end, portrayed as monologue by voice actor Nico Uusitalo."
App Wrapper updated to version 3.5
Ohanaware (www.ohanaware.com) has released App Wrapper 3.3, an update to their App Store preparation tool.
It was designed to simplify the process of preparing applications for submission to the Mac App Store and deploying on web sites. App Wrapper features a graphical user interface for adding the required App Store properties, creating high resolution icons, code signing an application, placing an app into a App Sandbox and packaging it in a signed installer or creating a zip file, and more.
App Wrapper 3.3 adds a UTI control option, either Merge, Replace or Disable for controlling App Wrapper's UTI handling. It also adds code to deal with app icon names not ending with .icns.
There are three pricing options (owners of App Wrapper Mini and App Wrapper 2.x are entitled a discount when upgrading): US$49.99 - 1-Year Update Plan; $9.99 - 30-Day Pay As You Go; and $199.99 - 1-Year Small Team Update Plan.