Snak, an IRC client for both OS 9 and OS X, has been updated to version 4.8.1. The update fixes bugs found in version 4.8 and includes a number of usability improvements; better AppleScript support, useful spam filtering, and integration between iTunes and Snak.
A MacNN Reader notes that the new CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive PowerBooks are available in Apple retail stores now, \"They are already available at the Apple store for purchase and take home, no need to wait for delivery.\"
Carr Software has announced two new elementary teaching aid programs. MacLessonPlanner Pro! 1.0 can create templates for lesson plans; MacGrader Pro! 1.0 allows teachers to keep all of a student\'s grades for the entire year in a single file. Both programs are developed by an elementary school principal and former 4th grade teacher and are aimed at elementary school teachers. MacLessonPlanner and MacGrader are $15 shareware.
Sustainable Softworks has released IPNetMonitor v2.5.2. Candidate Version 2.5.2 fixes bugs with DHCP Test as well as logs TraceRoute PortScan errors during copy and paste actions. IPNetMonitor 2.5 provides a set of twelve commonly used Internet tools that allow Macintosh users to monitor and debug their connections to the Internet. IPNetMonitor costs $30 to register.
Netatalk 1.5 Release Candidate 1, an AFP (Apple File Sharing Protocol) server for Linux and BSD Unix, is now available. Netatalk is a collaborative effort by 26 SourceForge developers. Netatalk v1.5 RC1 adds encrypted logon and fixes bugs.
Palm Inc., today announced quarterly revenue of $290.6 million, up 36% over the previous fiscal quarter. Although revenue is down 44% from the $522.2 million reported for the same period last year, Palm\'s management remains optimistic, \"This quarter\'s significant increase in revenue and improved results over last quarter reflect that we have gained traction in the marketplace and restored operational rigor,\" Eric Benhamou, Palm\'s chairman and CEO said this afternoon. Palm manufactures Palm OS-based handheld computers as well as licenses its operating system to other top PDA makers like Handspring and Sony.
AOL has released AOL Instant Messenger v4.5.494 for Mac OS X. The new version adds file transfer support, partial direct IM support and new buddy icons. Additionally, AOL has squashed many bugs, added secure passwords and AppleScript support.
Charismac will release Discribe v5.0 at Macworld Expo in January 2002. Version 5.0 of the CD/DVD mastering/authoring application will include a host of new features including DVD mastering support, video CD support, and integration with Apple\'s Disc Burner and iTunes as well as native OS X support. The application will offer for over 250 CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW mechanisms and supports the creation of CDs in most all popular formats including: CD Extra, Hybrid, ISO-9660 and both track-at-once and disc-at-once audio as well as offers support for ATAPI, SCSI, FireWire (1394) and USB recorders. It is expected to cost $70 (price reduction of $30), while upgrades and competitive upgrades will be $30.
CNN reports that Steve Jobs will unveil a new consumer product that is \"innovative, revolutionary, and different\" at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco on January 7.
Microsoft\'s settlement of the private antitrust actions filed against it \'makes a mockery of class actions\' because it deliberately fails to compensate plaintiffs and is likely to be rejected by the court perhaps in the next couple of days, according to the plaintiffs\' lawyerq quoted by Forbes.com.
Afternoon tech news: Sony\'s Playstation 2 edged out Microsoft\'s Xbox and Nintendo\'s GameCube, according to holiday sales figures released by an independent third-party; Hewlett-Packard was top PC notebook vendor in retail sales in October, although sales fell 9 percent in the month compared with October 2000; Japan\'s second-largest chipmaker, NEC, will halt chip production at its Scottish plant by April as demand for electronic devices and mobile handsets in Europe shrinks.
Architosh reports on a rumor that Elsa may release \'workstation class\' graphics board for the Mac, the new version of Shade Professional and Personal (noted here earlier today), and an image gallery of Shade Professional R5.
A MacNN reader writes about the newly launched PressPlay on-demand music subscription service that offers music via streaming and downloads: \"The press play music service launched today and has restrictions suchs as not being able to play previously downloaded songs if you cancel your subscription, being unable to burn tracks unless online, being unable to burn more than 2 songs per artist per cd, etc... It also only works with Windows. wonder how long this one is going to last.\" (We also recently noted Universal\'s newly released copy-protected CDs, which do not work on Macs.)
Calerga has released SysQuake 2 and SysQuake 2 LE for both Mac OS 9 and OS X. SysQuake 2 helps understand mathematics, physics and engineering and offers rapid design of high-performance technical systems. Version 2 provides a better integrated development environment, a smoother learning curve for simple tasks, improved graphics, object-oriented programming, and libraries of functions which extend its core programming language. SysQuake 2 LE, a limited free version, also adds high-quality numerical functions, the ability to share data with internal/external sources, the ability to add custom commands/functions written in C or other compiled languages; and low-level file access.
MOTU has unveiled the 896, a two rack-space 96 kHz FireWire audio interface with 8 channels of 24-bit analog I/O, 8 channels of ADAT optical digital I/O, 8 built-in mic pre-amps, AES/EBU digital I/O, word clock sync, and sample-accurate ADAT SYNC. It also offers CueMix Plus no-latency monitoring of live input with separate front-panel volume control over the monitored input signal. The $1,300 audio interface includes AudioDesk, MOTUís audio workstation software, and is expected to ship in the first quarter of next yera.
The North Lawndale Time Dollar project, which lets young volunteers earn a refurbished Macintosh computer in exchange for 20 hours of pitching, was started by a freelance computer consultant and helped by a local Macintosh users group called The Rest Of Us, whose members also donate computers and software. (Charter One Bank also donated eleven new iMacs and a network printer to Buffalo 7th and 8th graders at Lincoln Academy.)
Reaktor 3.05 is a free update to the sound design studio that can be used as a synthesizer, sampler, effects processor, groovebox, etc. It brings enhanced ASIO and DXi support, improved stability, and allows Mac users to load all ensemble files written with the PC version.
MacHack, an annual conference for developers, has issued a \"Call for Speakers\" asking developers interested in hosting/conducting sessions related to software (and hardware) development to submit proposals b February 1st. Each accepted speaker receives discounted admission to the conference. MacHack 17 will take place June 20-22, 2002 in Dearborn, Michigan.
MacNN reader Joe Ryan notes yet another (unannounced) retail Apple Store expected in Texas (we also noted an upcoming store in New Jersey): \"Saw your note about the new NJ store. I thought I\'d pass on another store opening: Grapevine Mills in Grapevine, TX. This is only about 40 minutes away from the Willow Bend store, but it\'s by far the largest mall in the area and will give Apple a lot of exposure. The store front is currently boarded up wtih a \'coming soon\' and an Apple logo on it. It\'s across from Bed Bath & Beyond, which is one of the larger stores in the mall.\"
MacPlay today announced it will debut No One Lives Forever and Icewind Dale at Macworld Expo in January 2002. No One Lives Forever is described as \"one of the most critically acclaimed first person shooters, while Icewind Dale, a \"classic dungeon crawl,\" incorporates gameplay elements from Baldur\'s Gate, offering players a chance to \"hone their combat skills while exploring the enormous caverns and dungeons beneath the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.\" Both titles are expected to ship for both OS X and Classic in early 2002.
osx.macnn.com has a report on the release of the Cocoa-native version of Oni, notes on updates to StimpSoft\'s free utilities, and news about Adobe\'s lack of OS X support in its recently release Distiller 5.0 server software.
Sustainable Softworks\' IPNetShareX 1.0b2, which provides graphical access to the Mac OS X Network Address Translation (natd) services that can share a single Internet connection with multiple computers, fixes a crash when starting starting a local caching name server.
A US federal district court judge yesterday filed a preliminary injunction order against Adobe, barring it from distributing its InDesign 1.5 page-layout software amid allegations of copyright infringement by PC software maker Trio Systems, according to Macworld UK. \"The injunction affects InDesign 1.5, as well as the Adobe Design Collection, a software kit including InDesign, a company spokeswoman said. However, the company will continue to distribute the software outside of the US, where the court has no jurisdiction.\"
The Omni Group today released Oni 1.0 (v1.31) for OS X, a Cocoa-native version of its upgrade for the anime-styled action adventure game. The update requires Oni for Mac OS 9 and OS X 10.1.
Salon.com\'s look at the state of Mac Game Market, noting that \"a solid seller in the Mac market may rack up one third of the unit sales of an A-list PC title...call up a Mac game developer today, ask them how it\'s going, and you\'ll hear them say things like \'it\'s been a great year\' and \'we\'re optimistic.\'\"
Stephan Somogyi talks about how Macs influenced \'Lord of the Rings\', which used Glenn Anderson\'s HiDef preview app that \"accepts individual uncompressed frames sent to it over gigabit Ethernet via FTP, and allows users to do useful things with them. But what\'s important about HiDef to the non-film-nerd is that it runs on a Power Mac G4 under Mac OS 9, and neither of those facts are likely to change soon.\"
ExpressionTools has introduced new Professional and Personal versions of ExpressionToolsShade, its advanced 3D modelling program. Shade Professional R5/E, which is expected to be available on December 19, is $1,500, while Shade Personal R5/E is due in mid-January 2002 or $500 (printed manuals are an additional $90). Shade R5/E adds new features such as flexible rotation for Ball Joints, support for multiple object cameras, enhanced Polygon Mesh editing functions, an import function for Motion Capture Data (BVH files), and other features.
Raymond Ocampo notes that Apple finally released its AppleWorks 6.2.2 Update for all international versions.
Opera has released updated versions of its alternative browser, Opera 5.0b5 for Classic and Opera 5.0b3 for OS X. The updates offer a new 30 day banner-free period, cookie editor, PNGs with alpha channel support for the toolbars, a new status bar, improved drag & drop (with support for dragging urls to the transfer window to download). [Classic, Carbon]
Cameron Marshall writes that he received email confirmation from Apple, indicating that his new DVD/CD-RW Combo PowerBook G4 has shipped: \"It left Taoyuan City, TW, 12/19/01 4:12pm, which I\'m guessing is local time. Looks like Christmas may come on time after all.\" (Yesterday we noted a forthcoming special Combo upgrade program from Apple for all 550MHz/667MHz PowerBook owners.)
Kent Salas writes about a Mac modification he applied to a Mac G4 called Project: BlueIce G4: \"Basically I took a G4 cut some window holes in the chassis, made the case covers transparent and installed some case lighting.\"
Yesterday we noted Apple\'s Combo Drive upgrade path for select PowerBook G4 owners, Microsoft\'s Internet Exploer 5.1 for Classic, a new Apple Store in New Jersey, Apple\'s new start page agreement with AOL, and teh release of Package Tracker 3.7, GameRanger 2.1.4, Default Folder 3.1.3, and VueScan 7.3.5.
Black Cat Systems has released an OS X version of Rad 1.2b1, its interface software for the $150 GM-10 radiation detector, which plugs into any Macintosh or Windows computer (using a standard serial port), and detects alpha, beta, gamma, and x-ray radiation.
Blaze 1.5 adds Export to Styled HTML, Spell Check, better shortcuts, and the ability to import HTML to the $12 shareware text editor. [Classic, Carbon]
StimpSoft has posted updates to two of its freeware OS X utilities: Son of Weather Grok 4.1.4 adds a dock item menu to the application icon, including the ability to change weather stations if the application icon has a window \"attached\"; Skwonk! 1.1 adds the ability to skwonk an Airport network (choose \"Select Network\" from the File menu), and has better error handling (more descriptive messages). [SOWG, SK]
Aspyr is offering a free site license upgrade to all schools (K12 or university) who purchase a single retail copy of its recently released action/adventure game, Otto Matic ($35 + $8 shipping & handling). The mail-in only offer is limited to the first 200 educational institutions and allows educators purchasing Otto Matic to install the game on all computers at the school\'s location. The game runs under Mac OS 8/9 and OS X.
IPNetRouter 1.6.3 adds a new DynDNS client to the Internet sharing utility, allowing users to submit a dynamic IP to DynDNS.org for proper secondary domain routing. The $90 software includes a complete IP router, a built-in DHCP Server, NAT with inbound port mapping, and IP filtering to setup your own firewall as well as support for PPPoE and QuickTime streaming.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
WhatsApp working on Mac desktop app?
Allegedly-leaked information from a WhatsApp beta enthusiast account on Twitter appears to suggest that the messaging service and app maker may be developing native Mac and Windows versions, allowing users who sign up with the service to text each other all over the world using either Wi-Fi or cellular data. The source of the documents is in question, but it would not be unusual for the service to expand onto Mac and Windows desktops. WhatsApp is currently available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, Symbian, and Windows Phone. http://bit.ly/1Ura0zN
Drake's Views an iTunes, Music exclusive
Drake's new album Views (formerly known as Views from the 6) has debuted on iTunes and Apple Music as an exclusive in the first week of its release. The singles Once Dance and Pop Style, however, are available elsewhere in the interim. Securing exclusives from leading artists has been a key strategy that Apple has adopted in trying to attract users to its services. Most notably, Taylor Swift's hugely popular 1989remains unavailable to users of competing services like Spotify or Tidal. http://apple.co/1NLwsSH
TSMC chip sales to Apple jump $2B in 2015
Apple A9 and A9X chip supplier TSMC saw sales to Apple jump $2 billion in 2015. TSMC's fabrication partnership with Apple on the A-series processor helped drive its revenue to $26.4 billion, up six percent over the previous year, although its dependence on Apple's chip orders meant that without its business, TSMC's revenue would have actually declined by two percent. The Taiwan-based chip maker is currently sharing Apple's A9-series chip supplies with Samsung, although is rumored to be gaining all Apple's orders for the next-generation Apple A10 chips. http://bit.ly/24tCE6e
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