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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: 93.7 ( -0.57 )
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
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.