osx.macnn.com today reports on a new public beta release of Opera 5 for Mac OS X, bringing stability and new features to the trimmed-down Web browser; and OmniGraffle 1.1.2, the Cocoa-built diagramming tool. Several other key software updates are also noted.
OmniGraffle 1.1.2, the Omni Group\'s Cocoa-built diagramming application, offers bug fixes and performance enhancements over the previous release. The Omni Group has also permanently reduced the price of OmniGraffle from $109.95 to $59.95.
PocketNotes 1.0 is a new notepad application from Pocket Software that includes the ability to manipulate skins, attach notes to each item or outline, ability to set items by priority, and some advanced search functionality. The Carbonized app is $20 shareware. [download form]
eleather.it has unveiled its latest line of cases for Apple\'s PowerBook Titanitum G4. The cases are Genuine Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather Board and water-resistant. Pricing ranges up to $241.
CrushFTP 3.0b10 is the latest release of Ben Spink\'s FTP server tool that supports users/groups, ratios, quotas, bandwidth limiters, remote admin, virtual serving, redundancy, load balancing, virtual directories. The new version allows full GUI remote administration, redesigns the interface, and fixes Mac OS X bugs. [Classic, Carbon]
FireWire Direct has debuted the FX Series RAID/Storage Cluster External System, an IEEE 1394 system that uses the Oxford 911 IDE to FireWire Bridge Technology, which th ecompany claims makes these new RAID Solutions up to three times faster than standard FireWire storage devices. The clusters are available in 2, 4 and 8-bay configurations (up to 640GB) and \"combo\" hard drive/CDRW configurations. Pricing ranges from $699 to $2895.
Amid rumors and speculation that it will close down its semiconductor operations, which produce the PowerPC 7400 series and other processors for Apple, Motorola has announced a breakthrough in chip design that will allow engineers to cram 50 percent more density into circuits. The new process uses \"photomasks\" to produce chip silicon wafers that will eventually be as thin as .05 microns. Current leading edge processor designs, including the Pentium 4 and PowerPC 7400, use silicon wafers that range between .11 and .15 microns. However, Motorola says it could be 2005 before the new method is used to develop desktop processors.
Afternoon tech news: The Department of Justice is urging the Supreme Court to reject a review appeal from Microsoft regarding its on-going anti-trust legal proceedings; Intel has launched three new processors under its Celeron brand-name, with speeds ranging up to 1.1 Ghz; Defunct console maker Sega is entering a new pact to bring more advanced games to hand-held computing devices.
Sun is showing off a new version of its StarOffice productivity suite, viewed by industry pundits as the only real competition to Microsoft Office, at this week\'s LinuxWorld conference and Expo. The new version, 6.0, breaks the suite into individual applications that can be run separately, and does away with the proprietary \"start-bar\" functionality and e-mail checking component. Sun had originally developed a Mac OS X flavor of StarOffice, but turned its Mac-based development over to OpenOffice.org, who continues to revise the software and offer downloadable releases.
Opera Software has released the first public beta of its Opera 5 Web browser that is compatible with Mac OS X. The company previously offered a bug-ridden alpha version of the software. The new release adds keychain support and auto-completion of URLs, which were previously only offered in the Mac OS 9 release of Opera 5. The new version also adds a new button bar and significant stability enhancements.
See Jane Code has released JaneBUILDER for PHP 1.1, which allows vistual editing of PHP files, used in Web page development. The new release offers two new Auto-Janes and an add-on tool, Jane SQL. User requested functionality and bug fixes have also been incorporated in the new release.
nQuick 2.1 is a small utility that allows users to store items such as notes, passwords, to-do lists, and more. The new version gets an improved interface, new options and preferences, as well as the ability to manage styled texts.
Adobe has released SVG Viewer 3.0b1, a Web plug-in that allows vieiwing of interactive graphic contact. The new version is available in a Mac OS X 10.1 flavor, includes more \"elements,\" better support for cascading style sheets, significant performance improvements, and other enhancements. [Classic, Carbon]
Macgamefiles.com is now offering a demo version of Tony Hawk 2 for Mac. The limited version allows users play an unlimited number of 2-minute skate sessions, but does not include the park editor, multiplayer functionality, or access to customized skaters.
In the wake of Apple\'s decision to discontinue its KidSafe Web-access restriction iTools service, Intego is offering users a free copy of its Internet filtering tool, Content Barrier. The offer is good through October 1, 2001.
Iconographer 2.1 a fully-featured 32-bit icon editor that is now Carbonized. The new release also adds full support for the Mac OS X icon format, improved icon format conversion, a revamped colors palette, and live window dragging. [Classic, Carbon]
MacNN reader Andrik Aschoff notes a ZDNet Germany article that details a Microsoft ad which shows Windows XP running on a desktop Power Macintosh system.
LCedit+ 2.0 adds OS X support to CDS advanced technology\'s LanBox-LC lighting editor. The new version also includes a Fixture library with a selection of predefined fixtures, intensity, and position indicators on the stage, Command macros, and more.
The South Pacific Mac Developer\'s Conference takes place on October 3rd in Auckland, New Zealand. Admission is priced at $40. \"We hope that you will be able to touch-base on traditional Macintosh directions with tools like Filemaker, Applescript and REALBasic as well as look into newer development methodologies presented by MacOS-X with UNIX, WebObjects and Cocoa,\" said show organizers.
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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