Earlier in the week, Apple announced slot-loading Combo drives standard throughout its entire PowerBook G4 notebook line. Starting January 14, 2002, Apple will offer current PowerBook G4 550MHz and 667MHz owners the opportunity to upgrade their existing DVD-ROM or CD-RW drive to the new Combo drive for $299.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein-- the much-anticipated sequel to id Software\'s Castle Wolfenstein-- will be released in late January by Macintosh developer Aspyr Media. Although RtCW is a strong single-player game, it also features a multiplayer mode that puts players in a team-based Axis versus Allies contest where online gamers must mobilize and work together to accomplish mission objectives. RtCW runs under Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X and can be pre-ordered form Aspyr for $50.
According to a ZDNet article, the release of Adobe products could \"help reinvigorate sales for professional oriented Macs\", although the biggest boost will come with the release of Photoshop during Apple\'s second quarter.
Hamrick Software\'s VueScan 7.3.5, a scanner utility for acquiring images from both flatbed scanners and film scanners. The update adds separate color spaces for Monitor and Files, displays the histogram data after a preview or scan, and disables the application when running on a (yet unreleased) PowerPC G5, which is expected in the next revision of Power Mac early next year.
Microsoft has posted Internet Explorer 5.1 for Mac OS 8/9, which it says \"is much lighter on its feet, with plenty of bug fixes and impressive new stability and versatility.\"
c|net notes that LCD shipments have skyrocketed in Asia over the past year. According to market research from IDC, about 1.73 million LCDs will be shipped this year, with the average 15-inch LCD monitor selling for less than $400. Earlier this year, Apple decided to stop producing CRT displays for its PowerMac systems in favor of LCD Studio Displays.
Native Assault, a fast-paced action arcade game for Mac OS X, was updated to version 1.2 today. It features high quality 16-Bit pre-rendered 3D graphics, \"gripping\" sound effects, and \"a slew of enemies to blow away.\" Version 1.2 brings compatibility with OS X 10.1, including a fix for display problems experienced by some users using the 10.1 update.
IOXperts has posted a Final Candidate Beta of its FireWire DCam Driver for Mac OS X. The latest beta includes substantial performance enhancements; discount purchasing of $15 is available.
MailBurst v2.2.2 addresses multi-threading issues, improves performance and fixes some address parser errors; the upgrade is free for version 2.1 users and $130 for owners of earlier versions.
Adobe yesterday announced Acrobat Distiller Server 5.0, which offers a centralized, server-based solution for high-volume Adobe PostScript to PDF file conversion. Version 5 ships with enhanced document security options, improved font and language support, tools for simplified administration, and support for the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). Adobe is shipping versions for Windows NT4.0, Windows 2000 and Windows XP as well Sun Solaris and Red Hat Linux, but not for OS X. No support plans are listed on its OS X compatibility site.
Adobe is taking pre-orders on InDesign 2.0, the next generation of its page layout software that offers native OS X-comptaibility, object transparency, long-document management options, one-step table creation, XML import and export, improved performance, and other enhancements. The $700 application is available as a $100 upgrade previous versions and as a $300 competitive upgrade. It is expected to ship in the first calendar quarter of 2002.
The Universal Music Group today is expected to release its first copy-proteted soundtrack, which will prevent users from copying the \"music onto another CD or use their PCs to \'rip\' tracks in digital MP3 format. The copy-protection technology will also render the disc unplayable on Macintosh computers, DVD players and game consoles, such as Sony\'s PlayStation 2. It might not even play in some CD players,\" according to SiliconValley.com. Mac users can provide feed back to Universal via its Website. [feedback link added]
An interview with Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen has some interesting comments about the company\'s development plans for OS X, which notes a Photoshop for OS X release is due sometime in the second quarter of next year and that Adobe is still evaluating plans to bring its forthcoming DVD software to Mac. [Photoshop for OS X] \"Our Windows business has been growing. But from a creative, professional perspective, the true creative professional or designer is still predominately Macintosh....Many [OS X users] are waiting for Photoshop, which we intend to release in the second quarter of next year. We think many customers will buy not only Photoshop, but OS X, new Macs and a lot of other Adobe OS X apps.\" [DVD app for Mac?] \"Will you be developing products for both Mac and Windows? We haven\'t decided yet. It\'s something we\'re still evaluating. The challenge on the Mac is that it would be competing against Apple with their DVD Pro solution. If we believe they will have an unfair advantage, then we will probably choose not to compete against them.\"
Intelli Innovations has released Package Tracker 3.7, an update to its multi-carrier package management software that adds Tracking History, a new QuickTrack option, improved Airborne Express support, and a new AppleScript Studio example. [Classic, Carbon]
Scott Kevill\'s free multiplayer online gaming service, GameRanger 2.1.4, has \"extensive\" changes to support new server back-end, offers manual selection of games (including Cocoa games), simplifies the regististration process, and centralizes Buddy/ignore lists preferences on the main server. An OS X version is still in development but due \"soon.\"
URLomatic 1.1 adds the ability to access REAML-protected URLs to the shareware ($15) utility that routinely access URLs on Webservers for maintenance purposes. [Classic, Carbon]
Shawn Neal writes about Apple\'s new start page, which ws previously with Excite and is now with Netscape/AOL: \"When you go to http://livepage.apple.com (IE on Mac default start page), it goes to a Apple - Netscape page now. It also pops up a little window explaining the new start page.\"
St. Clair today released Default Folder 3.1.3, an update to its shareware enhancement for Open and Save dialogs. It restores the ability to show and hide the Finder when file dialogs appear, as well as fixing a compatibility problem with Eudora and minor issues with several features.
A MacNN reader writes about receipt of the anticipated (but yet-unreleased) OS X 10.1.2 update by some Apple Stores: \"Last night (12/17) I stopped by my local Apple Store located in Schaumburg, IL (Woodfield). I was playing around with the computers they have on display and I noticed that they we running OS 10.1.2. I asked the guy who was working there and he said they refresh the computers everyday and they just got the latest build that day. (along with his rant about how he didn\'t like OS X) This could mean that an update is soon to be released. I didnít notice too much difference in performance or features, other that the windows seem snappier. That may be due to the window compression supposedly turned on. I cannot remember the exact build number other than a 84 on the end???\"
Lou Palma writes about an upcoming (unannounced) retail Apple Store in Northeast New Jersey: \"I was shopping in the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey last night, and on the first floor (right across from Williams Sonoma), there is a boarded up store with the words \'Announcing Apple Computers & Software\') painted on it. It did not say when the store would be open, however. This is good news for those of us in Northeast New Jersey like myself. The Tice\'s Corner store is a little far to drive. The Short Hills mall is \'the\' upscale mall in Northeast NJ. It should be a good location for Apple.\"
Tangram Enterprise today announced OS X support for its flagship IT asset tracking product, Asset Insight, which tracks and manages \"every business asset from the moment the purchase order is approved to its final disposal.\"
Willow Design has introduced the Walmopiztreet Slipcase for Pismo or Wallstreet PowerBooks. The $65 case features a contoured protective flap, large mesh accessory pocket, zippered organizer pocket and convenient back map or magazine pocket. Willow has also posted details about its \"more standard two level case,\" the PowerBook G3 Carry Case, offers more protection plus rom for accessories up an inch thick. The $90 case is on sale for $70 as part of Willow\'s 2001 year end sale.
JomoSoft\'s osXigen 1.0 is a new Cocoa-native ftp client with support for queue-based downloads, \"active\" bookmarks, and filters with regular expression matching as well as Keychain and AppleScript support. The registration price is $15 ($10 off) through February 2002.
Carvware has updated its $15 shareware GamePad Companion 1.2, which adds the the ability to use many gaming devices to control the mouse cursor, mouse buttons, and scroll wheel. It also now includes an auto-fire option as well as the option to turn off key-repeat. Version 1.2 also adds better filtering, multi-device support, auto detection of added/removed devices, and an improved user interface.
4D has released a second public beta of 4D WebMail 1.0b2, a Web-based email client built entirely in 4th Dimension. It is compatible with SMTP or POP3 email servers and supports Virtual Hosts.
ZipBurst CGI 2.6 is a multi-threaded native database search engine that offers the ability to search by proximity to a location or by any text, numeric or date values in a record. Version 2.6 adds support for map images as a location selection device, improves performance, and fixes a few bugs. The lite version is $100, while a 12-month license for the \"Pro\" version is $200.
Glucose\'s new web assistant, Surfboard 1.0, a natural language-based summarization tool that claims to work \"with your web browser to get more out of the enormous expanse of web by reducing pages to their most important points and highlighting key pieces of information.\" A 30-day demo is available.
Michael Norris has released SoundScript 1.02, an update to his QuickTime sound scripting application, featuring hard-disk soundfile playback, looping, fading, recording and pitch-changing in real-time, manually or under script control. Version 1.02 adds a \"Crossfade Sounds\" function and has more keyboard shortcuts.
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Atari, Sigfox partner for IoT development
Atari and Internet of Things pioneer Sigfox today announced a global partnership to develop a line of new connected devices based on Atari's brand. The collaboration will cover a wide range of new Atari products, with launch products covering "categories such as home, pets, lifestyle and safety" according to the pair. Development of the new product line will begin this year. http://bit.ly/1WvklfB
Samsung still not recommending Windows 10
Nearly a year after release, Samsung support is recommending that owners of its PCs not upgrade to Windows 10. In an email exchange with UK Samsung technical support and an individual in need of help getting Wi-Fi to work, the support representative wrote that "honestly speaking, we don't suggest installation of Windows 10 to any Samsung laptop or PC and we are still coordinating with Microsoft regarding to this matter" and "the Drivers that we have on our website are not yet compatible to the latest version of Windows." Samsung will update users when there are no more compatibility issues with Samsung hardware and Windows 10. Microsoft has no meaningful comment on the matter. http://bit.ly/1PgrJcx
T-Mobile offers 'tourist' plan
A new plan from T-Mobile is launching on June 12, and will offer visitors to the US a flat-rate $30 plan that offers a free US SIM, 2GB of high-speed data, and 1,000 minutes of calls good for a three-week period. The plan will work with any unlocked GSM-compatible smartphone, and is advertised as "unlimited" data (but speed will slow down after the first 2GB). The plan does not automatically renew, but can be manually renewed for those staying longer. It also comes with unlimited international texting to some 40 countries, but does not offer any international talk minutes at all. http://t-mo.co/1TI1Pe9
First hardware RAID 10Gbps USB 3.1 controllers
Marvell today announced the Marvell 88RC13xx family of high-performance RAID storage controllers with a full set of features that include eight 6Gbps SATA ports, four lanes of PCI Express 3.0, and a 10Gbps USB 3.1 device port with Type-C connector support. The move paves the way for high-performance USB-C UASP hardware RAID multi-drive arrays, utilizing the full bandwidth of USB 3.1. http://bit.ly/1P0JBmb
Tama debuts adapters for Lightning-only iPhone
Predicting an iPhone without a standard 3.5mm headphone, a Chinese accessory maker has released three Lightning-to-headphone-adapters ready should Apple pull the trigger on what would be a controversial decision. The three adapters, picked up by Macotakara, includes two models that simultaneously support charging an iPhone over microUSB while the user also continues to listen to music. Rumors have suggested that Apple will eventually drop the 3.5mm jack on one of its next-generation iPhones, although it is not clear whether it will be in the 'iPhone 7,' due this year, or a future model. In the interim, the Tama Electric Lightning-to-headphone adapters offer little particular utility. http://bit.ly/1P0sYXM
French Google tax raid evaluation could take years
The data retrieved from the Paris raid on Google's headquarters by French police could take months or even years to analyze, according to a prosecutor assigned to the case. Authorities seized dozens of files and related data that recorded Google's financial transactions in the country with a view to lodging a claim for unpaid taxes by the Internet search giant. Although Google has denied any wrongdoing, it must complete all of its sales contracts in Ireland, where it is incorporated. If French authorities sifting through the documents seized in the raids discover that any of its French sales transactions were completed locally, it could be subject to further action, including fines. http://reut.rs/1P0n8G2
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