Evening tech news: Microsoft and Intel are both backing the 802.11b wireless networking standard which Apple uses for AirPort though, the companies are still considering Bluetooth; PC manufacturers are increasingly worried about the amount of clutter that will come from advertisers in Windows XP, due this Fall; HP\'s new OmniBook 6100 is among the first laptops to incorporate ATI\'s Radeon Mobility graphics chipset - meanwhile Apple continues to use the slower Rage 128 chipset in its portables.
Pro Tech has introduced several new digital audio peripherals including the Pro Tech DSP (Digital Signal Processor) intelligent microphone which the company claims improves accuracy for speech recognition applications, priced at $110. Also new is a $100 headset that features a quick-disconnect cable for easy headset release during telephone calls or other distractions.
SmartDisk, which introduced the FireFly 5 GB palm-sized portable hard drive at last month\'s Macworld Expo in New York, has reported earnings. For the second quarter of 2001, SmartDisk reported revenue of $20.7 million compared with revenue of $30.9 million for the same quarter last year. Net loss from operations was $1.8 million.
John Mracek, the former Senior Director, System Software Marketing at Apple who was responsible for the Mac OS strategy and brand, has joined CoVia, which produces collaboration software.
Tribeworks and Artful have jointly announced Webkool, an open source application server for Mac OS X. Available later this year, Webkool is based on Key 4, XHTML and SQL, has support for servers running Apache, IIS and Zeus, and with server databases such as MySQL, Oracle and SQL Server.
Leaked betas of Mac OS X 10.1 are circulating around the \'Net, according to c|net, which cites concern from analysts that such widespread leaks will lead to reduced profits from the $20 shipping and handling fee that Apple will be charging for the upgrade in September.
LogotypeMaker 3.1.2 is the latest version of a tool that allows typesetting of a text string using all the user\'s activated fonts. The new release Added a menu command to insert the font names directly within the fonts list, includes page numbers on print-outs and fixes bugs.
Callisto has added support for MP3 music files to PhotoParade, their software that takes digital photos and turns them into slideshows and screen savers. Owners of PhotoParade Maker 3.0 can download the MP3 update for free by signing into their accounts on the PhotoParade Web site.
Adobe has announced that it is partnering with a number of different educational publishersAddison Wesley Higher Education Group, Houghton-Mifflin, and McGraw-Hill, to name a fewto deliver electronic textbooks based on PDF for the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader, which is available for both Mac and Windows. The eTextbooks, which will be available this Fall at the publishers\' Web sites, university bookstores, online book retailers, and Adobe.com, will cover a broad range of general topics such as accounting, business, chemistry, English, history, marketing, mathematics and political science.
AIMGadget 2.1 is the latest release of a tool that allows easy creation of logs in AOL Instant Messenger. The new version fixes some bugs, and allows you to delete individual favorites.
osx.macnn.com reports on a new version of Connectix\'s Virtual PC for OS X Test Drive which boosts performance, technical notes and specs for OS X builds through 10.0.4, and Carbonized versions of Peak and Deck, two digital audio tools from Bias.
MacNN reader Norman Phillips points us to a PC World article comparing ATI\'s upcoming Radeon II graphics chipset (expected to debut some time in Septermber) and NVidia\'s GeForce 3, which is currently available as a BTO option in Apple\'s Power Mac G4 line. Radeon 2 will use ATI\'s SmartShader technology, which uses pixel rendering software from Microsoft.
In its third update in the past week, PandoCalendar 5.7.2, which places a fully functional calendar on the Mac desktop includes a work-around for a bug in CarbonLib that could cause a random Type 2 Error crash, when choosing a label.
FireWire Direct has begun shipping its SlimLine ULTRA II Series FireWire hard drives, which feature the 2nd generation Oxford 911, Ultra ATA/100 chipset. The new drives range from a 40GB HDD for $199 up to an 80GB, 7200RPM drive available for $359. †FirewireDirect will offer RAID configured ULTRA II drives starting at $469.
The state of Pennsylvania is offering a tax-free computer week where personal computers, including Macs, can be purchased without state or local tax. The period runs from August 5-12, and includes peripherals.
Connectix had posted a revised version of the Virtual PC for Mac OS X Test Drive. Test Drive 4.0.6 offers vastly improved Windows 2000, XP, and NT performance, fixes a bug with PPP connections, and resolves an IP address problem.
Catara Software has announced a \"Back to School Promotion\" where users can purchase any of the company\'s products, including Qube and iRoku, for $7.
Vicomsoft has released SurfDoubler 7.0.1 and Internet Gateway 7.0.1, new versions of its software utilities for sharing a single Internet connection among multiple computers. The new versions add improvements in the area of DHCP client support, DNS server support, Internet filters, and more. A full list of changes is also available.
As noted by The Register, Apple has posted a Technical Note for developers describing the changes provided by Mac OS X system software updates 10.0.1 through 10.0.4.
Bias plans to release Carbonized, Mac OS X compatible versions of Peak and Deckótwo of its popular professional audio applicationsóin late Fall, according to Macworld UK. The company expects a more complete implementation of the CoreAudio API to be included in Mac OS X 10.1, which is expected to be released in September.
August virus definitions, which update virus protection utilities with the latest virus strains, are now available for Norton AntiVirus, McAfee Virex, and Intego VirusBarrier.
Scholarly Digital Editions has announced Anastasia, a new XML publication system for hybrid (Mac/PC) CD-ROM and the Internet. Anastasia is designed for \"handling large and highly-complex XML documents and document sets, where extremely precise control is required over their presentation.\" The program can create output in any format, and is optimized for HTML output direct to Web browsers. The full publication system is available for prices ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 depending on configuration; an academic site license is available for $1,000. An evaluation version is also available.
QuickPAD Technology has introduced the QuickPAD Pro, its cost-effectve alternative to the laptop for both business and educational users. The one pound, $300 QuickPAD Pro includes a built-in word processor, spell check, spreadsheet, scientific graphing calculator, database, personal organizer, and daytime scheduler. The screen can display 16 lines with 80 characters per line. As sold, the unit holds up to 300 pages of content and a port for personal flash cards up to 128 MB. Users of the device, which is operated on four AA batteries producing up to 200 hours of use, can also send and receive email with any ISP. For educational needs, password-protected folders let up to 10 students share a single unit.
Simon & Schuster Interactive has announced the release of Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Fallen, its third-person 3D action/adventure game that utilizes an enhanced version of the Unreal Tournament engine. The $40 game features three complete and intertwined storylines that let players take the role of Sisko, Worf, or Kira; 10 new Federation issue weapons with multiple firing modes; and opposition in the form of 20 alien species, each with \"well-tuned\" AI, and a new bio-analogous race known as the Grigari.
Architosh reports on Nemetschek product updates, including products for France and Portugal, and shipment of VectorWorks SPOTLIGHT 9.0.1.
LaCie has announced that it is equipping its line of 7200 rpm external FireWire hard drives with a new controller that provides a sustained transfer rate of 35MB per second and burst transfer rate of 50MB per secondódouble the data throughput performance of previous FireWire hard drives. The drives are available in 20 GB ($230), 40 GB ($280), 60 GB ($330), and 75 GB ($430) capacities.
ThrobberDeveloper 2.1 is a maintenance release of Vizspring Software\'s $10 utility for creating Internet Explorer 5.x \"throbbers\" (the spinning \"e\" in the top-right corner).
AppMac Software has released mPeople 1.0, a new Classic and Mac OS X utility for managing personal contacts. Available in English and French, mPeople offers options for securing the data as well as a keyboard shortcut for bringing up a floating window from any application.
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS has announced the release of its new modular software for synthesis, sampling, and effects processing, REAKTOR 3. The new version offers optimized performance (including AltiVec instruction sets), a redesigned user interface, and new functions and modules. New modules include a granular synthesis module and modules for graphical editing of waveforms and shapes. REAKTOR 3 is shipping now for $500.
MultiLoops has announced the release of its second title, Naked Drums: Pop R&B, a $150 drum sample loop library containing over 450 grooves and fills ranging from 60 BPM to 240 BPM. The tracks on the 4-CD set consist of snare, kick, hit-hat, stero overheads, tom 1, tom 2, and tom 3 in 24-bit Sound Designer II and 24-bit .WAV formats.
Over the past week, MacDesktops posted 14 new desktop pictures, including Abbey Road (Music), Coolness (Art), and Shenmue - Chapter 1 (Games).
Charismac Engineering has combined their Macintosh and Windows 2000 RAID software packages onto a single hybrid CD. The RAID software supports RAID levels 0 (striping) and 1 (mirroring) using either Macintosh 9.x or Windows 2000 (Professional and Server) operating systems. Additionally, the price of the CD has been reduced from $200 to $100, and is available for a limited time for $60.
XLR8 has announced reduced pricing on many of its processor upgrades by up to 16 percent. MACh Speed G3 ZIFs, MACh Carrier G4s, and Dual MACh Velocity G4 upgrades are a few of the products included in the price reductions.
Hamrick Software\'s Website says it is no longer supports Mac OS (or even OS X) with its excellent VueScan driver software: \"I got an e-mail from a manager in Apple\'s Developer Relations Group giving me a hard time about supposedly violating some sort of Non-Disclosure Agreement (which was just nonsense). I\'m quite busy trying to add support for the Canon FS-4000, and I don\'t have time to waste arguing with Apple. I\'ve dropped Mac OS support as a result.\" [updated]
Softmagic is now shipping SendStory, an easy-to-use XML content creator running on Mac OS X. The solution offers collaboration among writers and editors in different languages and regions and support for both offline and online publishing. The $100 application offers integration with Apple\'s iDisk storage and automatic conversion of XML to HTML based on the pre-defined style mapping mechanism.
Matt Croydon points to an article at The Register \"about 10.1 beta builds and its speed boosts. There\'s also an article on betanews about the builds.\"
Verbatim is now shipping 5- and 10-packs of its new colorful Pocket CD-Rs, 3-inch CD-Rs that offer 185MB of storage. The 16x Pocket CD-Rs, for $15 and $25 respectively, are produced in five colorsblueberry, tangerine, avocado, grape and rubyand are packaged in ultra-portable slim cases with matching colors.
SmithMicro has announced an update to its VideoLink Pro for the Mac, which it claims is the only \"standards-based videoconferencing solution available for the Mac.\" It offers cross-platform support for H.323 standards and new support for H.261 video compression and integration with VideoLink World, a free Internet service that allows users to meet and collaborate on-line.
Brother today announced a new line of 5-in-1 monochrome flatbed laser Multi-Function Center models with USB connectivity: the MFC-6800 ($500), MFC-9700 ($600) and MFC-9800 ($800)--all of which offer plain paper faxing, laser printing, digital copying, color scanning, and PC faxing. The machines are expected to ship in the 3rd quarter with 10 ppm (6800) and 15-ppm (9700, 9800) print engines. The company says it is supporting OS X initially through downloadable drivers on its website and with out-of-the-box readiness on later production models.
Daniel writes: \"In issue 73 of NetAction Notes that was published today (August 1), Audie Krause of NetAction writes about the Sircam virus that is going around the Windows world. The article offers several tips on how to protect one\'s computer against infection, something that, Krause writes, is especially important for activists and non-profit organizations that maintain extensive mailing lists. My favorite tip comes at the very end of the article: \'Or, consider doing what I did: recycle your PC and replace it with a Mac. You\'ll still need virus protection software, but there will be significantly less risk of infection.\'\"
DangerIsland has reduced the price on its time billing and management software, TimeShark to $50 (from $300) and announced an upgrade to version 5.0, which will offer OS X compatibility. The software allows users to record hours, track expenses, manage budgets, create invoices, store bids and quotes, manage deadlines and analyze project performance. OS X upgrade details or pricing not available.
Yesterday we reported on Apple\'s plans for a retail store in Miami, Florida. Other reports included FiLMBOX 3.0 for Mac OS X, Maxtor\'s Ultra ATA/133 HD interface spec, new \"QuickSilver\" Power Mac G4s compared to the competition, Macromedia World 2001, new RAID solutions from Seek Systems, and ATI\'s Xclaim USB TV Tuner. Software releases included OmniWeb 4.0.3, iDVD 1.0.1, Conflict Catcher 8.0.9, and Burning Monkey Solitaire II 2.5.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for ‚ā¨30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives