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NetNewsWire and Spring Earn Top Awards in Inaugural Mac OS X Innovators Contest

by Derrick Story

O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, Santa Clara, California--Brent Simmons and Robb Beal earned top awards in the inaugural Mac OS X Innovators Contest run by O'Reilly & Associates and sponsored by Apple Developer Connection.

Simmons' winning entry, NetNewsWire, is a popular RSS news reader for Mac OS X. It can fetch and display news from thousands of different web sites via a user interface that represents the elegance and power of Mac OS X. The full version includes a weblog editor, Internet scrapbook, advanced search functionality, and is AppleScriptable.

Beal's second-place entry, Spring, is a unique, web-inspired desktop for the Mac OS X platform. Users work with canvases and icons (called Spring Objects) to retrieve and manage information, and to communicate with others. Even though Spring is wildly innovative, it's also easy to use and represents the type of application we expect to see on the Mac platform first.

Both Brent Simmons and Robb Beal were able to accept their awards in person Thursday morning at the Emerging Technology Conference. Their applications were installed on all the computers in the Rendezvous Lounge so other conference attendees could experience them first-hand. ADC is also sponsoring a reception for the two winners and their families on Thursday evening, 6 p.m., in the Lounge.

Interviews with both Brent and Robb will soon be published on the Mac OS X Innovators Contest site. The next contest begins on May 8. The winners from that competition will be announced at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, Oregon this coming July.

Derrick Story is the author of The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers, The Digital Photography Companion, and Digital Photography Hacks, and coauthor of iPhoto: The Missing Manual, with David Pogue. You can follow him on Twitter or visit

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