Shotcut

Shotcut is a cross-platform video editing app from Meltytech LLC (Dan Dennedy) that offers a rich set of features, including native editing support for “oodles” of audio, video and image formats (including ProRes); native multitrack and multiformat timeline editing (no import required) with trimming, thumbnails and waveforms (cached); resolution support to 4K; audio mixing and video compositing across all tracks; append, insert, overwrite, lift, and delete (ripple) editing on the timeline; color correction and audio filters; the ability to create, play, edit, save, load, encode, and stream MLT XML playlists; encode/transcode, capture, streaming and batch encoding with job control; and much more.

Shotcut 20.12.17 is a free, open-source download for OS X 10.10 and up, Linux, and Windows. The latest release brings low-resolution previews, an audio pitch filter, and other improvements, while low-resolution proxies are planned for the months ahead.

Please remember that today there is still a processing cost to scale down the source video to the preview resolution. So, this is still not a silver-bullet, magical cure-all for performance issues. This feature will be more beneficial when low resolution proxies are used, which is planned for version 20.04 in April.

LosslessCut

LosslessCut is a cross-platform program from Mikael Finstad for losslessly trimming/cutting video and audio files. (It’s based on FFmpeg, Chromium, and Electron). Other features include:

  • Lossless re-merge of selected segments (for cutting out commercials etc.)
  • Lossless merge of arbitrary files (with identical codecs)
  • Lossless extracting of all data streams from a file (explode video, audio, subtitle and other streams of a file into separate files)
  • Take full-resolution snapshots from videos in JPEG/PNG format
  • Manual input range of cutpoints
  • Can include primary streams (audio/video), or all streams
  • Can remove audio track
  • Apply a timecode offset
  • Remux into different output format
  • Change rotation/orientation metadata in videos. Great for rotating phone videos that come out the wrong way without actually re-encoding the video.

LosslessCut 2.7.1 is freely downloadable open-source software for OS X 10.10 and later, Linux, and Windows.

LiveCode

LiveCode is a cross-platform, open-source, visual, rapid development system that provides authoring on Windows, Mac or Linux systems and deployment of apps, royalty-free, across Mac, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, Raspberry Pi, web servers, and HTML5 web apps. It has strong similarities in design and programming to Bill Atkinson’s brilliantly revolutionary HyperCard for early Macs but is much more powerful.

LiveCode can open HyperCard stacks (though you may need an older LiveCode version to do it, and the stacks may need changes to function and look the way they did before). LiveCode guides, lessons, and dictionary offer more details.

LiveCode 9.5.1 is the latest “stable” download for OS X 10.10 through 10.13+, as well as Windows and Linux. (Earlier versions support PowerPC and Intel Macs back to Mac OS X 10.5).

LiveCode licensing options range from the free, open-source Community license through several commercial versions with support for closed-source apps and additional support. There’s also a 10-day trial available.

LiveCode for FileMaker (“LCFM Native”) promises to convert FileMaker applications into native smartphone apps. (Pricing depends on several different factors.)

Our new tool lets you take an existing FileMaker layout, run it through the compiler, use built-in LiveCode functionality to augment your app with native functionality and deploy it as a native app. For example take a FileMaker Go or Desktop layout and convert it to become a native Android app. Presto, your FileMaker solution is now a native Android app. And still talking to FileMaker.

MuseScore

MuseScore is a professional music notation program that’s cross-platform and open-source. In addition to a full set of notation and formatting feature, text support, and MIDI import/conversion, MuseScore offers playback capabilities with a mixer, MIDI output, synthesizer, and SoundFont samples. For getting started, there’s a Startup Wizard Tour feature along with a library of video tutorials. Other features include support for MusicXML files, early music, fretboard diagrams, keyboard shortcuts, and much more. (See the MuseScore 3 Handbook for more information.)

MuseScore 3.4.1 is freely downloadable open-source donationware for macOS 10.12 and later, plus Linux, Windows, and additional platforms.

MacDrive

MacDrive is software from OWC Digital for using Mac-formatted drives on Windows systems. Features include support for reading and writing unencrypted, non-Fusion HFS+ volumes; formatting, partitioning, and repair; plus support for Target Disk Mode, DVD/CD, flash drives, etc. It also supports Time Machine backup browsing/copying, as well as access from Boot Camp, VMware Fusion and Parallels. A Pro version even supports SoftRAID RAID 0/RAID 1 volumes, mounts Mac sparse disk images, creates Mac ISO files, burns Mac Blu-ray discs and offers automatic file defragmentation

MacDrive 10.5.4 is priced at $49.99 for Windows 7/Server 2012 and later with a free 5-day trial available. MacDrive Pro is priced at $69.99.

MacDrive 10.5 APFS beta offers preliminary support for reading (but not writing) unencrypted APFS volumes, but the company warns about Apple’s APFS performance problems with hard drives:

While APFS does offer many advantages for Mac-formatted SSD drives, its performance on traditional platter hard drives is significantly worse. As a result, if you are going to be moving files back and forth between a Mac and a PC on a non-SSD hard drive, we recommend keeping your drive formatted as HFS+.

Keeping the drive HFS+ gives you the ability to both read and write to the disk on a PC with MacDrive, while retaining the ability for the drive to be mounted on non-High Sierra Macs.

Paprika

Paprika is a cross-platform recipe manager from Hindsight Labs LLC that features cloud sync; interactive recipes (tap to check off each completed step, etc.); timers; automatic scaling; switching among multiple recipes; smart grocery lists (sorting ingredients by aisle); meal planning; web recipe browsing and downloading; support for adding multiple photos, and also for hyperlinks, metric/English conversion, inventory, natural language processing “that can automatically recognize any recipe written in plain English on any website”, import/export, sharing, printing and more. (See the Paprika user guide for more details.)

Paprika Recipe Manager 3.4.1 is priced at $29.99 for macOS 10.12 and up.
Paprika 3.4.4 is priced at $4.99 for iOS 9 and up.
Paprika is also available for Windows and Android.

Gramps

Gramps (Genealogical Research and Analysis Management Programming System) is a free, cross-platform genealogical app from Donald N. Allingham and the Gramps Team that “helps you track your family tree” – people, relationships, places, events, sources, citations, repositories, media, notes, calendars, bookmarks, filters, image metadata, and more. Other features include tools for database checking, duplicate detection, merging, “soundex” analysis, and support for GEDCOM import/export, as well as Web Family Tree export. (See Gramps Wiki for more details.)

Gramps 5.1.2 is a free Python app download for Mac OS X 10.5 and later and for various versions of Linux, or Windows.

Gramps attempts to provide all of the common capabilities of other genealogical programs, but, more importantly, to provide an additional capability of integration not common to these programs. This is the ability to input any bits and pieces of information directly into Gramps and rearrange/manipulate any/all data events in the entire data base (in any order or sequence) to assist the user in doing research, analysis and correlation with the potential of filling relationship gaps.

Firefox: critical security patch (72.0.1)

Firefox 72.0.1 brings a critical security patch for “targeted attacks in the wild abusing this flaw.”

Version 72.0.0, the previous version released just a day earlier, also brought security fixes, plus additional privacy and security protections and feature updates:

Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection marks a major new milestone in our battle against cross-site tracking: we now block fingerprinting scripts by default for all users, taking a new bold step in the fight for our users’ privacy.

Firefox replaces annoying notification request pop-ups with a more delightful experience, by default for all users. The pop-ups no longer interrupt your browsing, in its place, a speech bubble will appear in the address bar when you interact with the site.

Picture-in-picture video is now also available in Firefox for Mac and Linux: Select the blue icon from the right edge of a video to pop open a floating window so you can keep watching while working in other tabs or apps.

Firefox is the free, cross-platform web browser from Mozilla, promising better privacy than Google’s Chrome and offering an appealing, open-source alternative to Apple’s Safari.

Firefox 72.0.1 is a free download for OS X 10.9 and up, plus Linux, and Windows.

Firefox ESR 68.4.1 (see security notes and downloads) adds the critical security fix to the Extended Support Release family for OS X 10.9 or later, Linux, or Windows. A Firefox FTP server includes all the various versions for downloading.

Firefox Quantum Developer Edition is an alternate version for desktop systems that incorporates tools such as editors, debuggers and responsive design views.

Firefox Quantum for Enterprise is a version that lets people set up policies (e.g. proxy, restrict features) with Group Policy on Windows and a JSON file on Mac and Linux.

Firefox for iOS 20.2 is a free mobile version for iOS 11 and up, with automatic search suggestions, a private browsing mode, tracking protection and Siri Shortcut support for iOS 12.

KeePassXC

KeePassXC is a cross-platform password manager that features AES/Twofish encryption with a 256-bit key, a password generator, auto-type, csv import and database merging, website favicon support, SSH agent integration, and more, including YubiKey challenge-response support, TOTP generation, DEP and ASLR hardening, browser support, and a command-line program. (See EFF article, plus the KeePassXC docs and FAQ for more details.)

KeePassXC 2.5.2 is freely downloadable, open-source donationware for macOS 10.12 and later, plus Linux and Windows. The latest release brings a few fixes, changes and improvements.

KeePassXC-Browser is a plug-in for Google Chrome, Chromium, Firefox and Vivaldi that connects to KeePassXC.

Anker USB-C Ethernet adapter

Anker USB C to Ethernet Adapter [Amazon] provides a Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 Mbps) connection for Macs, Windows and Linux computers with USB ports but which may lack Ethernet ports of their own. The device’s  built-in USB-C cable plugs into a host computer USB-C port or you can use it with standard USB 3.0 Type A ports via an inexpensive adapter (e.g Onvian USB C to USB 3.0 adapter). Other features include a compact enclosure with aluminum or space gray exterior and three helpful status indicator lights.

Anker USB C to Ethernet Adapter has a list price of $19.99 but is typically discounted at Amazon. Onvian USB C to USB 3.0 adapters were priced at $4.99 for two, when checked.