OmniWeb switches to WebKit
The Omni Group has released OmniWeb 5.8, switching the browser's base to the same version of WebKit in use by Safari 3.1. It includes the latest security patches and features of Safari 3.1, including downloadable fonts, CSS animation, HTML 5 media tags and client side database storage. The new version includes upgraded toolbar icons, a Google Chrome user agent option, a bugfix for Leopard's Spaces and support for Non-POSIX file URLs, providing improved compatibility with Dreamweaver and other Carbon and Classic applications.
Briefly: games, web ranks
In brief: MacNN has reviewed MacSoft's Drop Point: Alaska, for snowboarding enthusiasts. The game allows players to drop from helicopters onto virgin mountain peaks, snowboarding on over 100 challenging trials. The rendering of snowy mountains provides strong visuals, for systems that can handle the visual challenge (Mac Mini owners may not have the best experience). Drop Point Alaska offers a vast playing area but may be too much for low-end machines.
Apple No. 10 online brand
Nielsen Online says Apple remained 10th on its list of top online brands in July, a slight increase over june. The research firm says 51.7 million unique users visited an Apple-owned website or used Apple software in July, up from 49.9 million in June. Apple also finished 10th on Nielsen's list of Top Parent Companies/Divisions.
iPhone web, video tools
Autodesk acquires GBS
Autodesk has acquired the assets of Green Building Studio (GBS), further consolidating the market for Mac-based architecture software. GBS' web service will soon join the Autodesk product family, while the GBS team will continue selling, training, and supporting architects as they use the GBS web service to design carbon neutral buildings today and in the future. Autodesk also plans to continue support for the Green Building Studio web service and carbon neutral building design training. The gbXML schema will remain an open industry standard, and the GBS web service will continue to be available to any other BIM software.
Slife 2.0 unveiled
Slife Labs has debuted Slife 2.0, the latest evolution of of its time and activity management software for Mac OS X. Released in conjunction with Slife Teams, a subscription-based collaborative web service, the Slife software package provides a solid platform for 'time-based' workers such as designers and consultants to keep track of productivity, eliminating reliance on time-sheets or spreadsheet applications.
Though servers offering the software are currently buckling and inaccessible to many users, Firefox 3.0 on Tuesday has made its debut with the Mozilla organization looking to set a record for browser downloads. The major new release of the open source Web browser is available today in approximately 50 languages, and is purportedly three times faster than its predecessor, offering "15,000 improvements" including a smart location bar and malware protection. The new Firefox 3 smart location bar, dubbed "Awesome Bar" by Mozilla, adapts to user entries over time. The Firefox 3 Library archives browsing history, bookmarks, and tags, where they can be searched and organized.
web widgets on the desktop
Mesa Dynamics has posted a beta of Amnesty Hypercube, which is designed to “free” Google Gadgets and other web widgets from the confines of a web browser to the desktop. Not to be confused with Dashboard widgets, web widgets are tiny applications -- often snippets of HTML code -- designed to be inserted in blogs or other web pages. Amnesty Hypercube allows these widgets to be launched from within Dashboard or from the desktop.
- Totus Copy 1.0 utility for transferring data off of a failing hard drive. OS X has a number of safety features built into it's copy functions, if it detects an I/O error or a stalled read the transfer will fail. OS X also gets file information for all files before it even copies the first one. While these are great functions to prevent further damage to a hard drive it makes it very difficult to transfer data. Totus Copy will scan a failing hard drive and recover the files from it onto a separate functional hard drive. It does this by using a very gentle non-intrusive scanning method. [Download - 224KB]
- BlogAssist 2.2 ($10) tool to help weblog and website editing by making HTML markup easier. BlogAssist adds a small menu to the right-hand side of the menubar in all applications. You can simply select and copy some text into the clipboard, choose a suitable operation from the menu, then paste the result in the desired location. The text will have been transformed like magic. For example, copying hey and choosing Bold will result in hey - the HTML tags for boldface text, wrapped around the original text. [Download - 2.1MB]
- Tablatures 1.7 (39 EUR) Mac OS X editor for PowerTab tablatures. PowerTab is a well-known and widely adopted tablature editor for Windows systems and thousands of transcriptions in this format are available on the net. The tool can export tablatures in MIDI format for playback or use in other applications (for instance, GarageBand). Version 1.7 adds a couple of configuration options requested by users. [Download - 2MB]
- Domainer 1.7 ($40) an application for web site owners, marketers and investors track and manage their domain names. RAGE Domainer allows web site owners to centralize domain details, as well as those of their competitors, with one easy tuse application. Domainer also provides an overview of a domain's value through various popularity measures including Google PageRank, AlexaRank, incoming back links, and social tags. This free update adds more powerful smart folders and the ability to see name servers within the domain details view. [Download - 9.8MB]
- MMScript 1.1 ($35) a plug-in for FileMaker Pro. This plug-in allows you to create Script Events that call FileMaker Pro Scripts in your Database. The plug-in also allows you to call a script when the user has been idle for any specified amount of time. New to version 1.1 is the ability to do shell scripting as well as many underlying enhancements and bug fixes. The new release also has updated core plug-in code to include all changes/enhancements from other CNS Plug-ins. [Download - form]
Apple's .Mac service, once a promising method for sharing media, performing online backups and more, has paled in the presence of free alternatives and represents an untapped opportunity for Apple according to a recent report from CNET. The articles posits "$99 a year is hard to justify for the .Mac service. 10GBs of storage? I can get that for $20 from Google, and I can get much more if I want it. Photo sharing? I can do that for free on Flickr, and upload as many photos and videos as I want for $24.95 a year. Build my own Web site? Lots of services offer that capability for free."
Apple's Web traffic
According to new data from Nielsen Online, Web traffic to the Apple Inc's sites collectivly grew 13 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2008, from a three-month average monthly unique audience of 42.9 million to 48.4 million. Total minutes spent on the site grew 12 percent year over year, from 9.4 billion in Q1 2007 to 10.5 billion in Q1 2008, while total purchases at The Apple Store grew 32 percent month over month, from 322,000 purchases in January 2008 to 424,000 purchases in February 2008. iTunes, Apple Store and QuickTime were the top three fastest growing Apple Computer Web channels year over year in Q1 2008
Analyst Apple myths
Michael Gartenberg of Jupiter Research has published an article addressing the suitability of Apple products -- the Mac and iPhone in particular -- for business purposes. Noting that Most IT departments are not deploying Macintosh systems in large numbers and those that are are deploying are usually in niche spaces such as graphic arts, Gartenberg says that the Mac OS has changed significantly in the last few years and says that Apple's systems now offer a reasonable alternative for Windows systems used in businesses.
WebYep 1.2.2 Released
Objective Development, makers of LaunchBar, recently unveiled WebYep 1.2.2 - an update to its content management system designed for small and medium sized businesses. The product enables users to turn any existing site into a fully editable environment, creating and editing pages from within a web browser, on any platform. WebYep also integrates with popular web authoring tools such as Dreamweaver, RapidWeaver, and Freeway.
Apple 12th in Web traffic
In brief: Bookendz Docking Station review posted, Apple 12th in Web traffic, Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco announces Keynote Lineup, Cocktail discounts, prizes offered, and WWDC Scholarships for Australian University Staff and Students ... We have posted a review of the Bookendz Docking Station for 13" MacBook, which replicates all the ports on your MacBook and adds a hub for the USB devices, which gives you five USB 2.0 ports. The hub has its own power supply to add power to the extra USB ports and a green LED on the top of the dock indicates the power is working properly. You do not have to use the power supply, if your peripherals do not require power.
iPhone users access media
M:Metrics, a mobile metrics research group, has found the iPhone to be the great game-changer for the wireless industry, saying that it effectively lives up to the hype surrounding the device. Mark Donovan, senior analyst for M:Metrics, said that the iPhone is "compelling consumers to interact with the mobile web," citing "off-the-charts" usage for tasks including text messaging and mobile video. The firm's figures show that 85-percent of all iPhone users access news and other remote information during January.
Aspyr Media has released The Sims Castaway Stories for Mac, the third release in the product line. The title has begun shipping to retail stores throughout North America. This Sim Story takes place on a tropical island. "Help them make a new life in an unexplored paradise in this easy-to-play, laptop-friendly version of The Sims." This title features two ways to play: a directed Story mode, allowing users to fulfill goals as they explore the island, build a shelter, learn to find food and make life comfortable as possible and an open-ended Free play mode, in which you create your Sims and determine how they'll evolve on their new island home. The Sims Castaway Stories is available now for only $30 through Aspyr's website.
IE 8 takes on Safari
Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) beta, a test version of the company's free Web browser that will compete for dominance with Apple's Safari browser and Firefox. IE 8 features 'Activities,' or contextual services that provide quick access to a service -- such as 'look up' or 'send' -- from any Web page. Activities for example could allow a user to select the address of a restaurant and display an in-place view of the map using a favorite map service.
RAGE SEKeyword 1.1
RAGE Software today released RAGE SEKeyword 1.1, a free application for website owners designed to discover niche keywords among Web searches. The software uses Yahoo! Search technology to find the most relevant keywords for a particular website, according to RAGE, and suggests the most popular searched keywords based on site content. RAGE SEKeyword 1.1 informs users about what search engine keywords competitors are targeting by reading the meta keywords of competing sites. The software is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
TalkShoe comes to iPhone
Community chat service TalkShoe has come to iPhone, bringing live phone calls together with online chat. The service presents users with a Web-based interface to host live discussions, according to Yahoo News, and is designed to facilitate discussions about podcasts or other events in real time as they progress. TalkShoe's new iPhone interface allows users to take part in community calls, while registered users can use an iPhone to conduct as well as manage those calls. iPhone users have access to a link that automatically dials in and participates in a call, allowing up to 250 people to talk together simultaneously.
Eye-Fi Manager 1.5 update
The Eye-Fi crew today released Eye-Fi Manager 1.5, an update to the Eye-Fi Card firmware that adds a new feature -- 'Smart Boost' -- to make wireless photo uploads more efficient and determine the most efficient way to upload photos to a desired location. "In the past, the Eye-Fi Card would first upload your photos from the camera to the Web, where they would then be sent to your online photo-sharing site and to your computer via the Web-based Eye-Fi Service," the Eye-Fi crew said.
Freeway 5 to ship March 27
Softpress Systems today announced that both Freeway 5 Pro and Freeway 5 Express will ship on March 27th, 2008. Freeway is designed for developers who prefer to focus on design issues, rather than coding. The update brings the ability to create CSS menus, personalized blogger templates, and a range of dynamic effects from fade to pulsate. Freeway 4 Pro users can upgrade to the latest release for $70, while upgrades from Freeway 4 Express to Freeway 5 Express are available for $40. A public beta version of the software is available from the company's website.
Web Help Desk 9 preview
Web Help Desk is offering a sneak peek of version 9.0 of its self-titled software, which offers users a feature complete, cross-platform virtual help desk for their websites. The software features an entirely web-driven interface, and offers one-step connectivity with most database systems. Web Help Desk 9.0 can automatically assign tickets, and allows for two-way correspondence, LDAP synchronization, customized reporting, automated SLA email reminders and ticket updates. A free demo is available from the Web Help Desk website, while pricing is circumstantial.
iRite for Dreamweaver
WebAssist today announced the release of iRite, a cross-browser text editing plugin for DreamWeaver. Normally, DreamWeaver users are required to make manual adjustments for rich text formatting; iRite allows users to focus on written content by providing a number of word processor-like functions to DreamWeaver’s interface. WebAssist is currently selling iRite for $50, a $25 discount from its usual price, while users of WebAssist Super Suite, Developer Suite or Admin Suite can upgrade for $30.
SeeFile 4.0 debuts at MWSF
SeeFile today plans to unveil SeeFile 4.0 at a press release during Macworld. The Web server software enables companies to share media files, and boasts one-click installation with approval features alongside 3D, flash, and RAW support. SeeFile 4 works with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to offer one step installation with an embedded PostGres SQL database, and includes a new approval workflow designed to increase productivity as well as customer usage. SeeFile is priced from $500-$5,000, while complete bundled server systems running on a Mac mini server (1TB of storage) start at $1,500.
Bookdog 5 released
Sheep Systems today released Bookdog 5, an update to the bookmark management utility that adds integration with del.icio.us bookmarks alongside a new user interface and support for the new release of Netscape Navigator. Bookdog allows users to sort, import/export, migrate, and verify bookmark collections in Safari, Firefox 1-2.x, Camino, Google Bookmarks, del.icio.us, OmniWeb, Opera, Shiira 2.x, and Netscape Navigator. Bookdog 5 is priced at $20 for a 2-Mac license with one year of upgrades, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later for basic functionality. Mac OS X 10.4 or later is required for some features, such as del.icio.us support.
Mac OS share hits 7.3%
Strong holiday sales of both MacBook and iPhones resulted in significant market share gains for Apple during the month of December, according to a Net Applications survey. Mac OS X rose to a record 7.3 percent share from 6.8 percent in November, while the company's iPhone garnered .12 percent share over the previous month's .09 percent. The survey suggests that more than one in 1,000 people on the internet are browsing the Web with an iPhone, according to Fortune.
Slew of Apple patents
No less than 10 Apple inventions surfaced today at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, with three new applications filed alongside seven documents that were officially granted to the Cupertino-based company. Apple's latest inventions include 'Pulldown correction for progressive display of audiovisual recordings,' as well as two patents related to iPhoto that create computer generated mosaics and touch up photos to remove blemishes. Seven previously-filed patents detail technology for DVD Web system, MagSafe, speech synthesis, and more.
Nokia opens door to Apple
Nokia has offered Apple a chance to join its Ovi Web portal, which would integrate the iTunes Store with the company's own collection of services -- including the Nokia music store, photo sharing, and access to services like Flickr. "In Finnish, Ovi means door. And our door is open. Of course, Apple can get into our portal. We even invite (Apple Inc chief executive) Steve Jobs to do so," said board member Anssi Vanjoki. Vanjoki also said that Apple's iTunes Store would be an enrichment for Nokia's customers, according to Thomson Financial.
ActiveState has released ActiveTcl 8.5 and ActivePerl 5.10.0 Build 1001. The latest release of ActiveTcl comes in conjunction with the official release by the Tcl Core Team of version 8.5.0 of the Tcl dynamic language and the Tk GUI toolkit. Tcl (pronounced 'tickle') is a powerful and easy to learn dynamic programming language suitable for a wade array of uses -- from Web and desktop applications to networking and administration. ActiveTcl is available for Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, and Microsoft Windows.
Big Medium 2 CM system
Developer Josh Clark and Global Moxie have unveiled Big Medium 2, a Mac OS X- and UNIX-based web content management system. Big Medium is designed to provide content management features such as version control, workflow, a search engine, content syndication, granular editing privileges, and Unicode support. The software also supports many features for content sites, like pullquotes, image galleries, podcasts, scheduled publication, visitor comments, w WSIWYG CSS style editor, and more. Current Big Medium customers can upgrade to v2.0 for no additional charge, while new users will look to pay $185 per server installation, with a 30-day free trial available as well.
Dragon Web Surveys 8.0
FM::Nexus has released Dragon Web Surveys 8.0, signaling a complete redesign of the survey software for the FileMaker database platform. Dragon Web Surveys 8.0 is entirely rebuilt with the fully integrated PHP functionality in FileMaker Server 9 for increased reliability, allowing respondents to attach files as well as images with responses while connecting responses directly to any existing FileMaker databases. Dragon Web Surveys 8.0 is priced at $1,900, and requires Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows.
Quicken for iPhone users
Intuit today announced that it will be providing Quicken as an online software service for iPhone and mobile users by January 8th for $3 per month, which it hopes will expand its constantly-growing 14 million user-strong base. Reuters reports that with yearly sales of 1.7 million copies, Quicken has gained 8-percent marketshare, putting it at 80-percent for 2007. The service will be accessible through web browsers on most mobile devices, using the same encryption techniques used for internet banking to keep a user's data safe. The iPhone version, while having a lighter feature loadout than for other devices, will be completely optimized for on-the-go financials on the iPhone's crisp screen.