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Simon Fraser has released an update to MT-Newswatcher, an application that lets you download a threaded Usenet newsreader. Usenet, a globally distributed news network, contains thousands of messages distributed daily, plus articles, discussion groups, and more. Fraser’s program will help you sift through this high volume of content to specifically target the articles you want to read. MT-Newswatcher has sophisticated yet easy-to-use filtering, searching, and sorting features, works transparently across multiple news servers, and views and saves binaries easily. The program is free and can be downloaded from Fraser’s site.

Qsys’s PictureSnooper2K 1.2 enables you to automatically search for, download, and decode binary files from newsgroups. PictureSnooper will search Usenet Newsgroups while unattended and download binary files, decode them. It then saves them to a directory of your choice so you can view them when and where you want. You can track images using an image fingerprint and search messages for specific authors or artists. The latest version is OS X-compatible, and has file name extension filtering, expanded multipart image tracking over multiple newsgroup lists, and several bug fixes. Users will need QuickTime 3 or better and access to a news server through their Internet providers. The shareware license costs $35.

MacSoup is a browsing tool for Macintosh users that lets you select Web articles and mail to download and read offline. The program can optionally interface with Eudora or Claris e-mailer, and has true reference-based threading with a graphical display of thread trees, kill files, and multiple mailboxes with mail filters. You’ll need the downloadable Internet Config version 1.1 or later. The shareware program requires a $20 registration fee, and it can be downloaded from the MacSoup site.

Scamecanica has released an update to Options Czar, an application that lets you design, calculate, and track stock-options strategies using text data from the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Options Czar downloads data from the CBOE, then evaluates purchases and sales of calls, puts, and stocks, and combines the results into options strategies. You’ll need Mac OS X or Classic to use the program; download the demo from Scamecanica’s site.

Karelia’s Watson is a browser plug-in that gives an Aqua interface to Internet services such as television and movie schedules, telephone directories, image searches, and even your eBay activities and stock quotes. Watson also offers a user-friendly alternative to those of you who are tired of looking for (and continually typing in) URLs–conveniently named icons that can go in a configurable toolbar. Download the free plug-in from Karelia’s site.

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