Copyright © 2016
Zones Inc., which owns and operates the MacZone online store and catalog, has reported second quarter earnings of $92,000, or $0.01 per share on revenue of $145.2 million. Revenue decreased 15.5 percent from $171.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The company attributed the decline in revenue to macro economic issues, and credited its management team for retaining profitability.
A Los Angeles Times Syndicate article compares the Mac buyer\'s experience at the Glendale, CA Apple retail store to that of Fry\'s and CompUSA stores located nearby. The author gave a strong recommendation to the Apple store, praising its helpful and available sales staff, wide open aisles, and a comprehensive selection and availability of current Macs. \"Not only is it the sole place where you actually can work with video and photos and burn a CD, it\'s the only place where you can be certain to find well-maintained machines.\"
Apple is cutting prices on older Power Mac G4s in order to clear the machines from its distribution channels, according to Macworld UK. However, a number of UK-based dealers contend that the price cuts are not deep enough, as evidenced by older 733 MHz Power Mac G4s still costing more than new, \"QuickSilver\" G4s at the same speed.
Blizzard Entertainment has announced that its latest Mac/PC title, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, has sold over 1 million copies and has become the fastest selling expansion pack ever. More than 2 million copies of the role-playing/action game have been sent to retail to satisfy demand. The game captured a record 17.7 percent of the total U.S. PC game market in its first week alone, according to NPD INTELECT.
The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA), whose members include Apple, has announced the addition of twenty-two new companies to its organization, bringing the total number of member companies to 103. The organization\'s purpose is to certify interoperability and promote Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11) products. The standard was popularized in the Mac community by Apple\'s AirPort and AirPort Base Station.
As promised, Aspyr Media has released a Carbonized version of The Sims, one of the bestselling Mac games of 2000. In addition, the company has released The Sims 1.1.4 (Classic) and The Sims: Livin\' Large 1.2.1 (Classic), updated versions of the original game and the first expansion pack that fix a number of outstanding bugs.
According to MacNN sources, there is a technical problem disallowing PowerPC upgrade manufacturers to use the new, faster G4 chips from Motorola. Currently, upgrade cards offered by most vendors top out at 500 Mhz, though processors running at higher clock rates have been available for months. A source inside one prominent upgrade manufacturer told MacNN that there is indeed a roadblock, but \"no further details can be provided at this time.\" Motorola is currently selling its 867 Mhz MPC7450 for $435 in quantities of 1000, while 677 and 733 Mhz versions are approximately $341, and $374 respectively.
Extensions Tracker 1.1 has been posted. The utility monitors extensions and control panels folders, saving all changes (either files which have been removed or added) to these locations. The new version fixes bugs, adds 68K support, and removes the shareware reminder at system startup.
Ricoh has introduced its Aficio 1015 and Aficio 1018 multifunction digital imaging systems, which include print, copy, fax and other capabilities. Both devices sport a new control panel, various paper capacities, standard electronic sorting and optional faxing and network printing capabilities. The Aficio 1015 and 1018 are now available at a suggested retail price of $2,750 and $3,250, respectively.
CMP Media has released statistics for the PC Expo, which was held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York from June 26-28. The show attracted a little over 50,000 attendees and over 500 exhibitors. Prominent, Mac-related product introductions at the show included Panasonic\'s DVD Video Recorder, QPS Superdrive, and USB 2.0 adapters/devices. Among the expo\'s exhibitors was Adobe, which did not exhibit at the Macworld Expo last week.
PiDirect is a new software application for Handspring PDAs to be used in conjunction with the MemPlug Springboard module to allow users the ability to run applications and read-only databases stored on the Flash memory cards. The $10 utility can be downloaded from http://www.memplug.com.
Speaking at Microsoft\'s annual Financial Analyst meeting, Bill Gates outlined the .NET intiative, said that Microsoft would spend $5 billion on research and development in the coming year, and announced a new small business financial management software package. \"Over the next 10 years, an advanced new generation of PCs and smart devices will transform business processes and revolutionize how people work, learn and spend their leisure time,\" said Gates. A recorded webcast version of the meeting can be accessed at Microsoft\'s Investor Relations page.
ForgotIt 1.3 is the latest release of a password and Internet address management tool that is now compatible with Mac OS X, while retaining Classic compatibility. The new version adds drag and drop re-ordering of password lists and built in compression of passwords. [Classic, Carbon]
Afternoon Tech News: Amid financial turmoil, Hewlett Packard says it will cut more than 6,000 jobs; Groups are reporting to the FTC that Microsoft\'s Windows XP and Passport will violate privacy; Hitachi has announced that it will exit the traditional desktop monitor business, citing weak economic conditions.
A CNET article discusses how Apple should handle Microsoft\'s .NET initiative. Columnist Chris LeTocq says \"One of the key elements of Apple\'s target market strategy is limiting the need for Windows-Mac interaction, protecting its base from the intrusion of another platform.\"
Name Stalker 1.0b2 is the latest release of a cross-platform domain tracking and management tool that allows users to track domains they own and capture domains they want. A free download of the software is available after filling out a form.
The $35 shareware Graphic Converter 4.09 adds scrollwheel support under OS X, IPTC captions (in HTML creation), better JPEG performance, swf file import, better performance under OS X, adn live resizing of the image window under OS X. [Classic, Carbon]
StyleGrid 2.5 is a new version of the REALbasic plug-in for creating styled spreadsheet controls. The tool supports multiple views, different styles in each cell, colspan to join cells, cell borders per cell.
Youpi Key 1.0 a freeware launcher application for OS X that can be triggered by a keyboard equivalent, menu item, or that can run schedules at pre-defined intervals or settings.
Radiohead, who recently released a video for “I Might Be Wrong” exclusively on the Internet in QuickTime, says it was was made entirely on a PowerBook running Final Cut Pro, After Effects, Videodelic and Hash Animation Master. It was animated, shot and edited in May/June 2001.
CE Software today announced the upcoming release of an OS X version of QuickMail, its Internet and interoffice e-mail system which includes server software for Macintosh and client software for both Windows and Macintosh. The Carbonized application will also include several enhancements and minor fixes. A public beta is planned for later this summer. Purchases after July 26, will be offered a free upgrade.
Native Instruments\' Tracktor DJ Mixer is a new DJ software package that contains a mix and remix tool for the home PC setup. It offers two decks that play MP3s, Audio CDs, and WAV files as well as an integrated pitch bend, cross fader, EQs with kill switches, resonant filters, separate monitor output, and playlist creation. The $60 package is available for $40 as an online download.
Nano Sans is a new \'techno\' pixel font family from Joe Gillespie: \"For Web, multimedia and interface design, it is just perfect for situations when you want that \'modern progressive\' look.\" The $15 Nano Sans TrueType family comes in two sizes, 5 px (smal caps only) and 7 px, and includes regular, bold, oblique and bold oblique styles.
Deep Sky has posted a final version of TCP Deux v1.0, a 4th Dimension component which provides cross-platform TCP wrappers for different TCP plugins. Licensing starts at $95 per year for a developer license (renewals are $45), while deployment licenses are $195 per application.
Vicomsoft is soliciting applications for beta testers for the OS X-compatible version of its Internet Gateway application. The company previewed it last week at the Expo and expects it to be released by the end of the September.
Fidelity Media released MegaSeg DJ 2.0.2, described by the company as \"iTunes on steroids.\" The maintenance update fixes bugs as well as adds a few new features, including an AutoSeg Trim setting when a song does not have a custom end time. MegaSeg is currently bundled with the Griffin USB audio adapter through the end of July for $149.
CNET says that \"Apple clearly hopes to stretch the life cycle of the iMac,\" in its first look of the new models that were introduced at last week\'s expo in New York. The article also states that Apple is trying to appease gamers with the addition of more VRAM in the new iMacs.
Yesterday we published a review of MacLink Plus Deluxe 13, the first OS X release of DataViz\'s file translation tool; reported on record attendance for last week\'s Macworld Expo in New York; new and upcoming game releases from Aspyr Media; and a stellar earnings report from Roxio, makers of Toast Titanium. Software updates included Microsoft Windows Media Player 7.01, and CalendarMonster 1.2.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.27 ( -0.72 )
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
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko