We have added a FireWire Storage report to our Comdex coverage, which covers two new technologies that will prove beneficial to Mac users looking for improved FireWire solutions. Earlier today we posted a report on Eskape Labs, which was demonstrating its Mac products at parent-company Hauppauge\'s booth. Other exclusive Comdex coverage includes our report on I-Jam, a USB Pavilion report, and Power Mac G4 Cube knock-off.
games.macnn.com has information on the status of third-person 3D action game Rune and the shipping status of 3D kart racing game Cro-Mag Rally; earlier today, the site posted a first look at the Diablo II Expansion Set, the upcoming add-on for the amazingly successful Diablo II which is expected for a Mac/PC release in the first half of 2001.
iMac DVs from Apple\'s new manufacturing plant in the Czech Republic have started to appear on store shelves in Europe. The plant in Pardubice under the management of the same company that produces entry-level iMacs in Asia, Foxconn, covers more than 21,000 square feet and employs 300. Meanwhile, Jan Tichy informs us that the plant will be expanding in the coming months, adding a third production line.
SETI UNiT Manager 3.0b3 is an AppleScript designed "to get the maximum out of SETI@home. It offers fully automated down-/uploads, off-line crunching, RAM Disk handling and detailed statistics about your productivity." Readers are encouraged to join Team MacNN.
Blueworld has released Lasso Studio 1.7 for Adobe GoLive 5.0, which provides a visual development environment for building database-driven Web applications, including a configuration wizard, Lasso Site Builder, as well as Lasso tag selectors, tag editors and converters. Version 1.7 offers the ability to create HTML-based template files, a new tag editor and conditional tag inspector, an updated CDML 5 converter, and an improved installer. A $50 discount off the $350 regular price is being offered for an electronic download as well as a $100 discount for registered customers of Lasso Studio 1.5 for Dreamweaver 3.
Both OEM and Deluxe version of Adaptec Toast 4.1.2 are now available from the company\'s website, bringing bug fixes, additional drive support as well as support for Ricoh\'s JustLink (buffer underrun protection) technology. [4MB -- deluxe or OEM]
Blue World has also released Lasso Web Data Engine 3.6.6, a free maintenance release to its middleware Web tool for connecting to databases and developing dynamic Websites. Version 3.6.6 offers enhanced security for Instant Web Database Publishing, an improved installer, a new XML Developer Kit, and instant XML/WML publishing.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R