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A reader writes about a recent article in Fortune Magazine (not available online), titled \"Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Capitalism,\" which talks about the the slew of recently released consumer products \"bastardizing the iMac appearance.\"
Fortune Magazine\'s latest \"Most Admired Company\" list includes the likes of General Electric, Cisco, Walmart, Southwest Airlines and Microsoft in the top 5 positions respectively with Intel and Dell roundout the list at No. 9 and No. 10 respectively. Apple was not among the top 10 (or the bottom 10 for that matter).
We have confirmed that Apple is offering to repair and service misaligned DVD mechanisms in new Titanium PowerBooks G4. The program will provide expedited repair (3 days plus a few days for shipping) to any person experiencing problems with the slot-loading DVD mechanism: \"The unfortunate part is that they you\'ll need to go out without your PowerBook for a few days.\"
Micah Lanier is soliciting help in developing various designer button plug-ins for his freeware application ButtonMaker. Version 2.1 is due to be posted next week, but does not include any pre-designed buttons: \"...because of the removal of Aqua, Platinum, Openstep, and Hi-Tech at Apple\'s request. I\'ve also decided to also remove BeOS and IE buttons in order to avoid future trademark issues.\"
Wacom\'s Macintosh beta driver 4.57-3 offers different mouse acceleration curves and some bug fixes. It is for its line of Intuos, Graphire, PL, ArtZ II, ArtZ, UD, PenPartner, ArtPad II, ArtPad and SD series tablets and is for Mac OS 7.0 or later (but not Mac OS X).
LaserSoft\'s new $50 SilverFast SE is a limited version of its high-end SilverFast Ai imaging application. SilverFast SE is designed to work with all major scanners while SilverFast DC-SE is designed to process data from all digital cameras.
Macromedia has posted Flash 5.0a, an update to version 5 of its vector media authoring environment for the Mac. The update provides overall improved reliability and stability for Flash 5 including improved export of complex Flash movies and better export to animated GIF format, system freezes when dragging to the timeline, and a fix for positioning items using the arrow keys.
FireWire Depot warns that it has discovered \"a non-destructive virus (MBDF-A) in the USB drivers for the combo 2.5\" and 3.5\" FireWire/USB enclosures. We recommend that you download the following free software [Disinfectant 3.7.1] to eradicate it from your system. We have notified the manufacturer and the developer of the software and will receive new replacement CD\'s. Replacement, clean, disinfected drivers can be found at our Website.\"
Nik Stanosheck notes that Microsoft’s MacTopia Website has posted 2 fonts that have been updated: \"They are Arial and Times New Roman. Mac OS 9.1 comes with version 2.6 of these fonts, but these new updates from MS are version 2.9. I figured a number of your users would want to know that. You may wish to remind them that the only way to update your fonts is by starting up from another disk other than the disk your Fonts are stored on, since they are otherwise always in use by the OS.\" [Arial, Times New Roman]
Quarter to Three has published an interview with Blizzard Entertainment\'s Bill Roper regarding the company\'s role-playing strategy game, WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos. The interview begins with comments on the current status of the game\'s development...
SimHQ.com has published an interview with Sickware CEO and Lead Programmer Sylvan Clebsch on the upcoming massively multiplayer flight combat sim for the Mac and PC, Target Korea. Among other things, Clebsch details how the company plans to involve the community itself in the development of the game...
GameSpot UK has published a preview of Tropico, PopTop Software\'s upcoming building/strategy game of Caribbean dictatorship and political intrigue. \"The aim of Tropico is simple: as El Presidente, stay in power by any means necessary. Achieving this is rather more complicated than one would imagine, as coups, armed revolutions and foreign interventions are just three of the more efficient ways of removing you from office should you take the task in hand a little too lightly.\"
FEED Magazine has published an interview with Ion Storm\'s Warren Spector, the Producer on the critically acclaimed and award-winning game Deus Ex who is now working on both Deus Ex 2 and Thief III. Spector speaks in detail on game design, his background before entering the world of game development and the role he sees that the story plays in every game. \"What I want to do, at least until someone comes up with a better idea, is to provide the skeleton of a story -- the powerful, traditional narrative arc -- while leaving players in complete control of the minute-to-minute,\" saus Spector. \"Players can and should own their highly personalized story, but the overall arc belongs to the developers.\"
Beta testers involved with Phase V of the World War II Online Closed Beta Test share their experiences in the game at Crossroads of WWII. Five new screenshots of the massively multiplater online war combat game are also included.
Lind Electronics\' Website lists a $100 PowerBook G4 power adapter for obtaining power from a standard cigarrette lighter and on airplanes.
CTM Development has released PowerMail 3.08, an update to its $50 flagship e-mail application with full compatibility with complex languages such as Japanese, Chinese and Hebrew. It brings authenticated STMP support, a built-in HTML viewer, Palm Desktop script support, and Microsoft Entourage import/export. A 30-day trial as well as an (separate) early beta for Mac OS X is available.
Apple will stream a live Webcast via QuickTime of next week\'s Macworld Tokyo keynote by Steve Jobs on February 22nd, 10 am local time (Feb 21st, 8 pm ET). [page removed]
Following reports of installation problems, start-up freezes, public preview expiry problems, and other problems with the preview of QuickTime 5, Apple\'s Tech Info Library has information on how to remove QT 5 Public Preview. Our Multimedia forum also has notes on how to install the QuickTime 5 Previews on non-US systems and on the Sorenson 3 codec in the latest public preview release. QT 5 Preview 3 expires April 15th, as noted in the license agreement. Readers can provide feedback on QuickTime (suggestions or bug reports) directly via the Apple Website. [also see comments from QT5PR2 Expiry and QT5PR3 Release news items]
A MacNN reader notes that Apple\'s (public) developer ftp server has a \'GM\' release of the latest CarbonLib 1.2.5 (contained in the SDK). The latest release version, CarbonLib 1.2, is available online from Apple\'s software pages. Version 1.1 ships with Mac OS 9.1.
Afternoon tech news: free ISP Juno (which lacks Mac support) says it is open to mergers or acquisitions as the company reevaluates its market position, calling the free ISP model \"dead\"; Nortel\'s earnings warning has led tech shares down sharply today; DSL provider Covad has said it will shut down another 60 offices in an effort to get a handle on its finances; and cell phone makers could be held liable if their products are proven to contribute to airplane crashes.
SmartDisk has lowered its prices by $40 to $100 on VST ultra-thin FireWire and FireWire/USB Combo Hard Drives as well as lowered the price on its portable 120GB RAID FireWire Tower drive by $1,000. We have pricing and other info on future products...
FEED Magazine has published an article discussing the issue of story and plot in action games and more specifically, Oni. The article includes a two-page interview with Bungie\'s Hardy LeBel, Lead Designer on Oni, which contains many insights into decisions on the game\'s design...
Hellfire Arena 1.5 is the latest release of the mod for Quake III: Arena. The new version adds random weapon spawning, six types of runes, telefrag instagib, new spawn as spectator and record game commands in the user interface, a grappling hook, improved \"intelligent\" weapon switching, a new individual weapon scoring method and more.
One reader forwarded a circulating email from Stuart Kerry, the Chair of the IEE 802.11 Standard working group, in response to recently uncovered security flaws in the WEP algorithm, which he says has generated \"some misconceptions on this topic that are now spreading through the media.\"
Yaya.com is currently looking for a Macintosh network programmer in the Los Angeles and Century City, CA area to work on online interactive games...
Eastgate Systems has released StorySpace 2.0, a $100 upgrade to its hypertext writing environment for creating large, complex, and challenging hypertexts: \"Storyspace is designed for the process of writing. Where other systems often emphasize visual presentation, Storyspace emphasizes writing, linking, and organizing.\" Version 2 of the $300 application adds customizable, template-based HTML export, improved typography, new intuitive map views, better sound and video support, and multiple undo and contextual menu support.
PC Magazine\'s John Dvorak writes about the MHz Gap between Macs and PCs as well as his shock at \"the similarity of the two speeches [more] than anything else,\" after returning from Bill Gates\' recent CES keynote: \"The two keynote addresses had a weird sameness to them. Both men showed off their next-generation operating systems. Gates showed how cool Whistler is. And Jobs showed how cool the Mac OS X is. To me, OS X looked cooler.\"
Ted Capiendo has posted instructions on accessing Apple\'s iDisk from his Windows PC: \"It\'s kind of complicated and involves emulating a Mac. If anyone knows of a simpler way, I\'d like to hear it.\"
We\'ve had much reader feedback on the recent QuickTime 5 Preview 3 release, both MSNBC and Business Week\'s anti-mac sentiment, Microsoft\'s latest Windows XP release, and on a report saying that Apple may attend a UK-based expo in November.
Yesterday we noted the release of QuickTime 5 Preview 3, a UK-based live showing of Jobs\' keynote from Macworld Tokyo next week, and Mac support for Coola\'s Palm services. Other updates included Smith Micro\'s updated video conferencing solution Videolink pro 1.1, ImageViewer 5.4, and Email Merge 2.0.
Final Draft Inc. has releasd Final Draft AV (Audio Video) which it describes as \"a self-contained, full-featured word processor specifically designed for dual-column, audio/video scriptwriting.\" The $250 application is available at a $100 discount during an introductory offer.
Intelli Innovations has posted P.O. Toolbox 1.2, an update to its U.S. Postal Service package management tool. Version 1.2 adds a new city/state and zip code lookup tools and other improvements to the $100 utility. Classic and Mac OS X versions are available as well as a time-limited demo.
After a year-long hiatus, Clixsounds, the site for Mac alert sounds, has returned with a new audio file, contest, and special pricing on some of its products.
CrushFTP 2.0fc3 is the latest pre-release version of the full-featured $20 Java FTP server. This update improves the application\'s ability to limit bandwidth and offers various other minor improvements and fixes.
In honor of \"National Shareware Amnesty Week\" Ambrosia Software is offering all of its shareware games and utilities for $10 each, representing a savings of 33% to 75%. The offer expires Feb. 20.
Apple is reportedly working with Toast creator roxio to add support for other CD-RW drives to iTunes, according to Macworld UK. The development comes as a surprise given Apple\'s purchase of Radialogic\'s CD Master late last year, which already supports numerous third party drives. iTunes 1.1, as it is being billed, is expected to be released within two months, as per Apple CEO Steve Jobs\' promise that third-party CD-RW support would arrive within 90 days of Macworld Expo.
Early morning tech news: Oracle has denied that it is courting former president Clinton for a spot on its board of directors; E*Trade Japan has added PDA support for online brokering; ITC has sold its 10+ million share stake in Earthlink; and hackers defaced The New York Times web site after defacing sites belonging to HP, Compaq, Gateway, Intel, AltaVista, and Go.com late yesterday.
Mozilla 0.8, the latest version of the open-source browser project, offers several changes, including find/replace functionality, improved appearance manager support, and other changes as well as substantial performance improvements according to one reader.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.23 ( -1.04 )
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR