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.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-√Člys√©es. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel
Verizon gives last offer, issues workers ultimatum
Verizon has offered striking workers its "last, best and final offer" following 10 months of protracted negotiations with union leaders. The latest offer comes on the back of 36,000 Verizon employees taking strike action two weeks ago. The proposal includes a 7.5 percent wage rise, better benefits and voluntary retirement incentive offers. The striking workers, mainly on from its fixed line operations, have claimed that Verizon has outsourced 5,000 jobs to workers overseas and that it has been deliberately hiring low-wage, non-union contractors. Verizon recently posted revenue of $32.2 billion for the March quarter. http://cnnmon.ie/26AmwSv
CarPlay comes to Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche has revealed that its new 718 Cayman series will be the latest vehicles in its range equipped with support for Apple CarPlay. The new Porsche models joins the recently announced 718 Boxster, the 2017 Macans and the 2016 model of the 911 in offering support for Apple's iOS in the car interface. Both are fitted standard with an eight speaker sound system and the Porsche Communications Management (PCM) system. The entry-level Cayman starts at $53,9000, while the faster S variant starts from $66,300. Although already on sale, the won't reach US dealers until late November. http://prn.to/1Tj1EW7
Macphun offers free Photos filters
Image editing software maker Macphun are offering a free set of up to 30 photo filter effects to extend the range of filter options available to users of Apple's Photos app for OS X, which replaced the previous iPhoto program. The first 15 filters are available after installing the software, and includes filters such as "Ancient Canvas" and "Twilight," while users who sign up for the Macphun newsletter will unlock the other 15 effects. The extension integrates directly into Photos, and include sliders for finer control of the effects and a masking brush. http://bit.ly/1VEgQD6