Interesting threads in our forums include a discussion on the G4\'s performance compared with the Athlon, the PowerBook G4 logo rubbing off another part of the case, making an OS X-bootable CD, PageMaker fans and the application\'s future, and several discussions on the forthcoming new iBook.
Westlake Interactive has identified a bug in the Mac version of Escape from Monkey Island, the 3D adventure game recently released by Aspyr Media. The bug affects the area to the right of the boat on Jumbalaya Island, which can be worked around by disabling the music before entering the area and enabling it after leaving the beach. A patch will soon be released to address the issue.
Macromedia Shockwave 8.5.0 is a new version of the browser plugin for playing Shockwave and Flash content on the web. Version 8.5.0 of the player enables users to see content created by the latest version of Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio.
Evening tech news: Sun Microsystems will shut down for a week in July and is asking its employees to take holidays or unpaid leave during that period in order to control costs and preserve funding for research and development; Intel CEO Craig Barrett suggests that Moore\'s Lawwhich states that computing power will double every 12 to 18 monthshas far outlived initial expectations and that it will likely be unsustainable within 10 to 20 years; and a new study predicts that the number of shipments of Bluetooth-enabled devices will grow 360 percent each year between now and 2005, which will result in shipments of 955 million Bluetooth-enabled devices in 2005.
Katoemba Software has released Family Address Book 2.0.4, a new version of its contact organizer. Version 2.0.4 uses the selected category as the default for new contacts, and will now show the US or European address style in the data entry screen.
PineHill\'s CreativePage 2.6 adds OS-X compatibility to the $25 customizable web site creation package. Other features include \"Crash Protection,\" updated HTML assistants, and support for AppleScript and contextual menus. [Classic--750KB, Carbon-900KB]
Sonic Solutions has introduced SonicStudio HD 1.6, an update to its premastering software that has a 48-bit HDSP processing engine and support for CD, DVD-Audio, audio for DVD-Video, and EMD mastering. Version 1.6 brings jog-style scrubbing, synchronization and audio matching, editing of soundfiles during recording, EDL track naming, additional soundfile import routines, a timecode status window, AutoSonic 24-bit soundfile output (for compatibility with other Sonic products), and \"the ability to burn a reference CD-R from non-44.1kHz soundfiles, or sample-rate convert audio on the fly as it is captured.\"
Dennis Flynn notes that there is a problem with the proximity switch on the front of Apple\'s 15\" flat-panel Apple Studio Display that can cause an immediate restart of the connected machine when a two-way radio is used nearby (within a 10-15 foot radius). When the two-radio was activated in any way in the immediate vicinity, the Power Mac G4 Cube or Power Mac G4 tower immediately restarted. Popular on school campuses, the two-way radios that were used in this instance were a Motorola S50 and Motorola SP50. Apple is aware of the problem and is looking into a solution.
Pooch 1.0.1 is a maintenance release of the Carbonized utility for simplifying the operation of parallel applications. The application is now fully functional on OS 9.x, but some minor issues remain when running the utility on Mac OS X.
iArch Global has reduced the price of its magazine publishing software, PubPro 3.0, to $400. Orders placed before June 23 will receive the unlocked version, which lets the user modify or add layouts, scripts and reports.
JewelToy 1.1.1 is a new version of the puzzle game for Mac OS X created by Giles Williams. Version 1.1.1 adds Eric Cherry\'s alternative graphics, a graphics preference panel, and other minor improvements and additions. The source project for the game is also available.
VueScan 7.0.15 is a new version of Hamrick Software\'s $40 scanner software that offers batch processing and automatic color-balancing and cropping. The new version adds support for the HP 5300C/5370C and variable CCD exposure for older Microtek scanners.
Optima System today released PageSpinner 3.1b1, its $30 HTML Editor for the Mac that supports HTML 3.2, HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0 plus additional Netscape and Internet Explorer extensions. The new version adds improved Mac OS X Classic compatibility, previews of local Server Side Include files, automatic line feed detection, proxy icon support, better support for Cascading Style Sheets and HTML 4.01, support for editing files on ftp servers with Interarchy 4.0.1 and higher, bug fixes, and more. This preview version is only available for registered owners of PageSpinner 2.1 and 3.0.x.
ircle 3.1b10 Carbon version is an updated release of the popular IRC chat client for the Mac that removes the hard-coded expiration date of May 1st. The developer recommends not running the Carbon version on OS 9.x, although it is technically possible.
Macromedia has posted Dreamweaver 4.01 [7.8 MB] and Dreamweaver UltraDev 4.01 [6.1 MB], maintenance updates that resolve a number of outstanding issues with each application, including several problems experienced when running the applications on OS 9.1.
iCab Preview 2.5 is a new version of the alternative web browser for the Mac and Mac OS X. The new version adds partial support for cascading style sheets (CSS1), customizable toolbars, support for passive mode in FTP, a progress bar for downloads, new settings in font preferences, improvements to the kiosk mode, and a variety of bug fixes. A German version is also available. In addition to English, the browser is also available in German, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, French, Danish, Italian, and Spanish. [1.3 MB -- PPC; 1.2 MB -- 68K; 1.4 MB -- OS X]
Deep Sky Technologies has released BASh 1.5.5, a 4th Dimension component that provides extensive utility functionality for 4D programmers, including a dynamic stack space module for reusing variable space. Version 1.5.5 adds more than two dozen new methods to the popular 4D component, which brings the total to 222 methods across 22 modules of code.
The $9 shareware Relax 3.0 sports a cleaner interface, a faster, more efficient sound engine, threaded activity for minimal interruptions, and the ability to play simple nature calls at a user specified rate. A new $9 Expansion Pack contains six add-on environments. Upgrades are $5. NoiseMaker is also a new freeware tool that enables anyone to create environments for Relax 2.0 or 3.0.
KeyStrokes 2.1, a free update to the $45 shareware utility that provides a fully-functional on-screen keyboard, brings new keyboard sizes, language-independent word prediction, Italian and Spnish dictionaries, a more responsive typing engine, and compatibility with Mac OS 9.1.
Several readers in our forums are reporting problems with iTools\' SMTP services, which Apple quietly introduced earlier this year.
Owendo, a French technology research group, has put together a 279-page report comparing 33 application servers, including Apple\'s WebObjects. The report, which is available for purchase for about $1,650, calls WebObjects a \"Rolls Royce in the development area,\" citing its functionality and exceptional value.
Following our report yesterday on \"temporarily unavailable\" iBooks, ZDNet speculates on the next generation iBook, which it says may surface at Apple\'s May 1st press event: \"One source who has seen a prototype of the new iBook said the unit resembles the Titanium laptop far more than it does the current curvy, bulky iBook. The prototype, which may or may not be cosmetically similar to those ultimately sold to consumers, was all white including the keyboard and trackpad. \"
Harry Zink followed-up on yesterday\'s note about the absence of the Sorenson 3 codec in the released version of QT5: \"Naturally, after my prior e-mail Apple announced MPEG2/4 codecs at NAB, and the \'missing\' Sorenson codec should be available from Sorenson within 30 days or so.\"
DeskPictRotator Pro 1.02 is a $10 shareware utility that can randomize the startup of the Mac OS desktop picture, offering a sortable listing of pictures, thumbnails, picture-specific positioning, customizable change intervals, scheduling features, and limited multiple-monitor support.
Peter Bartoli has posted an OpenBSD on Virtual PC page with directions on \"how to get the most secure UNIX-like operating system there is running on the best virtual machine made for the best laptop hardware....Included are hard disk images, source patches, kernel config file, precompiled kernels and bins, and a discussion of known issues that keep me from throwing away the ugly boat anchor of a work-issue laptop I\'ve been gifted with.\"
MacPerl 5.6.1a1, based on the general release of perl 5.6.1 earlier this month, is now in alpha testing: \"There is a binary release in addition to the source release. It is not ready for production use, there are a lot of bugs, but it is usable.\"
Yesterday we noted Apple\'s Teacher Institutes initiative for the education market as well as shipment of Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio (promising FreeHand 10 next month). Important items included LaCie\'s $600 DVD-RAM/DVD-R drive, Mac compatibility for eMarker, and Apple\'s selection of Descartes for logistics planning and software. Other recent updates include ColorSync 3.03, BBEdit 6.1.1, and Pepper 3.6.4 as well as OS-X related releases such as Adaptec beta SCSI drivers, MYOB AccountEdge, Stata 7 beta, and many others on osx.macnn.com.
nVIDIA is reportedly planning price cuts on its GeForce graphics cards in an effort to bring its forthcoming GeForce 3 down to a $400 price point, instead of the original $600 target (Apple sells the Mac version of the card for $500). The cuts are also expected to affect the GeForce 2 MX, which Apple uses in some of its Power Mac G4 systems, although the cuts will likely not affect end Mac-users.
Adobe has posted a beta of Acrobat eBook Reader 2.1, its software for viewing eBooks. The new version features CoolType font rendering technology, allowing fonts to be viewed at a number of resolutions, a two-page layout feature, and a built-in interactive dictionary. [form]
During the past week MacDesktops has posted 15 new pictures, including: Air Power (AirPort), Amanever en El Llano (Landscapes - Rural), Cindy Margolis (Portraits), Red dress (Portraits), and Warrior Princess (Games).
Morning Tech News: Amazon.com reported a lower-than-expected first quarter loss of $234 million as revenues jumped 22 percent to $700M; Microsoft is planning on requiring those who wish to use its Windows Media Player 8 software to upgrade to Windows XP, a move that echos the company\'s strategy years ago to bundle Internet Explorer; 47 of the top 50 undergraduate universities in the U.S. use FileMaker, the database software from the Apple subsidiary that bears the same name; 3Com is offering buyers of its failed Audrey Web appliance a full refund; and Earthlink and Cox have entered into an agreement to test Earthlink\'s Internet services over Cox\' cable lines.
Now AAPL Stock: 119.87 ( + 0.09 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE