Alessandro Levi Montalcini has posted a public beta of his OS X-compatible USB Overdrive X 10.0.0b1. The popular mouse and joystick driver currently only supports mouse devices (and is also likely to be the same codebase used by Microsoft for its Intellipoint mouse drivers). Alessandro provided some details on licensing and upgrades for the $20 shareware: \"The final version of the USB Overdrive X will soon be distributed as shareware through Kagi. Users of the Mac OS 9 version who registered after the release of Mac OS X are entitled to a free upgrade using the same code they already received. All new registrations cover both the Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X versions. Users who registered before the release of Mac OS X can get a special price for the upgrade to the new Mac OS X version. All registered users of the ALM Share package will receive a free registration for the Mac OS X version upon request.\"
Todd Orner writes about a (yet unconfirmed) report about the closing of PAR Technologies: \"I have been a loyal PAR Technologies customer RAM, iRez cams, etc. (my purchases have been primarily RAM) for almost six years. I received an EMail from a former PAR employee yesterday telling me that PAR closed t
Swaystairs Software has released RumorMill 1.3.2, a maintenance release to its NNTP new server. This update is free to registered 1.3 users and incorporates several fixes and minor enhancements, including daily and weekly backups for preferences, and the option to add articles to the database from disk files. It is $90 for commercial use and $35 for private or educational licenses.
Macromedia has released Flash Player 6 public beta for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. Macromedia encourages developers to test current content with the new player, to ensure compatibility. A \'Frequently Asked Questions\' page is available for more information. [Classic, Carbon]
According to an osOpinion editorial, Mac gaming may be rebounding. \"Thanks to some attention from Steve Jobs and exclusive deals with Nvidia, Apple has turned the corner with some key developers and has delivered systems with the horsepower necessary to drive speed-thirsty entertainment titles. Developers like MacPlay, which has worked to bring top game titles to Mac OS X, also are joining the fray. [..] Apple has made significant improvements at both the consumer and professional ends of its product spectrum.\"
O\'Reilly Network founder/writer Tim O\'Reilly, has posted an article noting Apple\'s presence at the O\'Reilly Bioinformatics Conference. \"They provided a room full of sleek hardware for the Bioinformatics Hackathon that preceded the conference, which was then used for the terminal room during the conference, and announced high performance enhancements to BLAST on OS X.\" When Mr. O\'Reilly asked speaker Ewan Birney of the BioPerl project about his reaction to Apple\'s support of the \'hackathon,\' Birney reportedly \"held up his PC laptop, and said \'Bugger all! I should have bought a Mac!\'\" [See: photo gallery]
MacNN reader Scott Seller shares with us an email from Formac regarding Mac OS X support of its ProFormace video Card.
The LA Times has posted an interview in this week\'s Technology section with Trent Reznor of rock band Nine Inch Nails. Reznor praises Apple and calls the iPod his favorite new \'tech toy.\' The audio and video for a recent live video DVD were edited entirely on Apple computers, according to the interview. Reznor also uses a Power Mac G4 at home: \"I\'ve got [an Apple] G4 tower. It\'s about 6 months old. And I have a mini sort of writing rig [an Apple G4 with a DVD burner]\"
TrashLater v2.1, a set of two applications, is now available. The applications work in conjunction with eachother to provide timed, automatic deletion of folders such as internet cache, download folders, and backup folders.
CNN/Money reports that the European regulators have approved the planned acquisition of Compaq Computer by Hewlett Packard. c|net has posted a News.com video with HP CEO Carly Fiorina saying the HP-Compaq merger will \"advance Linux\" (see related article); Walter Hewlett remains strongly opposed to the merger.
To follow-up a story we have been covering for the past few weeks, The Bank of America has informed Macintosh customers that effective February 11 they will no loner support online banking with the Macintosh version of Quicken citing changes in their online banking platform and \"economic reasons.\" Intuit has informed MacNN that Quicken for Mac currently connects to over 1,000 financial institutions. Officials told MacNN that Bank of America is \"looking into\" possible continued support for Mac Quicken users.
MacSoft\'s Website says it will release Stronghold, a castle-building strategy game, in May of this year; Beach Head 2002, a war simulation game, in March; and Master of Orion 3, the sequel to the popular turn-based galactic strategy game, in June (as noted by IMG).
About 120 middle school students at Lindsay Middle School have received an iBook as part of a \"pilot program that Hampton City Schools sees as the future in educating not only its students but their parents and other people in the community.\" Students will be able to take home the laptop after the parents attend a training session.
Forbes.com has an article on the \"relatively quiet product announcement\" of gigahertz Power Macs, noting that \"despite all the credit that the much-hyped iMac line gets for turning Apple\'s fortunes around, the Power Mac line is Apple\'s moneymaker, consistently outpacing all the other product categories in terms of revenue. Apple sold 212,000 Power Mac G4s last quarter, totaling $366 million in sales, compared with 233,000 iMacs and $204 million for the same period.\"
Bare Bones Software today released BBEdit 6.5.2, a maintenance release to its HTML and text editor. This update incorporates various enhancements, interface refinements, and fixes for reported issues.
A new Beta of Omni Group\'s diagramming application, OmniGraffle 2.0b7, includes improvements on stability, some bug fixes, and numerous tweaks, including an \"improved AppleScript support that goes beyond just mere AppleScript support.\"
Matt Bentley sent us a note on Quicken X issues with Fleet Bank, following yesterday\'s report on Bank of America\'s discontinuation of Quicken support.
Westlake has released UT X Preview 2, an update to the popular game. The \"early pre-release\" (intended for the \"brave\") fixes a major bug that caused a problem for many users and requires that you have either UT version 436 or UT Game of the Year installed (or a previous UT X Preview).
Rainer Brockerhoff has released XRay 1.0b7, an update to his file/folder information utility for OS X. It more detailed view of files, folders, applications and volumes, allows users to change permissions, type/creator/extension, and other features. It offers an integrated file browser and some performance improvements.
HELIOS Software is now shipping its server software for Apple\'s Mac OS X, including EtherShare 2.6, a high performance server for Mac clients (and its PCShare 3.0 counterpart); EtherShare OPI 2.1, a server-based OPI, including image replacement with color separation and proof printing support; PDF Handshake 2.0 for PDF print services, incuding PDF OPI and imposition, a Create PDF Server, and Internet Printing; and Print Preview 1.1 for last minute proofing. All products offer an easy-to-use installer as wel as native OS X and Mac OS 9.x server administration for management of users, volumes, printers, ColorSync, and other server administration tasks.
MacNN Reader Alvin Mok notes that Apple has posted the new developer notes for both the new G4 iMacs and the speed-bumped Power Mac G4 and notes a few interesting points about the new iMac.
Qualcomm has posted a new beta of Eudora 5.1b20 for OS X, ofering nearly a dozen fixes and enhancements.
Vista Systems has released RenderBoy v2.3.0, an update to the shareware ($40) solid modeler and ray-tracing renderer. It lets users easily model and render photo-realistic 3D images and animations, complete with shadows, reflections, refractions, textures, and more. Version 2.3 includes DXF file import for importing and rendering more complex geometries.
Felt Tip Software has released Sound Studio 2.0, an update to its digital audio editing and recording application, bringing new effects (Chorus, Flanger, EQ, etc.), new filters (graphic EQ with 3, 10, and 30-band controls), a new mix option for clipboard audio, a new sound recording and playback engine, auto start/stop recording for VOX-style and timed-length recording, and other enhancements. Upgrades to the $50 application are $20. A 14-day demo is available.
Chad Schexnayder writes about a fix for problems when using the Beta version of the Palm desktop software for OS X.
eWeek columnist Mathew Rothenberg writes that the new speed-bumped Power Macs \"seem particularly minor in comparison with the big things Mac insiders say Apple has in store for its professional systems. Multiple eyewitnesses insist that Apple is far along in the development of new towers that already offer clock speeds in the neighborhood of 1.6GHz and triple the performance of the current systems\' 133MHz system bus....The as-yet-unannounced Macs are also reported to include some significant improvements to I/O, possibly including new versions of FireWire and USB; DDR RAM in place of the current SDRAM; and a faster interface to hard drives.\"
Now AAPL Stock: 93.24 ( -0.95 )
Netflix iOS app now offers cell-data controls
In a new update to its iOS app on Thursday, subscription entertainment service Netflix has introduced new user controls for streaming over cellular networks to prevent overages, throttling, or other usage issues caused by the high data rate of streamed HD video. Users can choose from a given amount of streaming video that "costs" 1GB of cellular data, which lowers video quality to allow as much as four hours of video per GB (the "automatic" setting provides three hours, while higher quality settings reduce the time to two hours, or one hour at the best setting). In addition, the updated app now offers more 3D Touch options from the app icon, beyond the "peek and pop" previews for video. http://apple.co/24AD1vR
Bentley launches app for Apple Watch
Carmaker Bentley now offers an Apple Watch app for its Bentayga SUV -- a vehicle with a starting price of $229,000 -- that offers some advanced automotive functions not previously seen in other car apps for Apple's wearable. The app allows Watch wearers to control various seat adjustments, environmental controls (including seat massage), and the entertainment system. In addition, various vehicle stats are available at a glance, including distance traveled and vehicle speed. The app is available free on the App Store. http://apple.co/24AyXvs
Lunch with Cook auction nets $515K
The Charitybuzz auction that offered lunch with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple HQ and a pair of passes to a future Apple event (winner's pick) has ended with a high bid of $515,000, the highest amount the annual auction has fetched since 2013. Proceeds of the auction will benefit Cook's preferred charity, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, where Cook was recently named to the board of directors. The winner, who was unnamed, will be responsible for their own transportation and accommodation, and Cook has up to a year to schedule the meeting -- making it possible that the winner will be among the first to dine with Cook in the new Campus 2 cafeteria, which is set to open along with the rest of the new facility early next year. http://bit.ly/236Wf9N
Free Windows 10 upgrade program ends July 29
Ending speculation, Microsoft has officially announced that it will end free Windows 10 upgrades on July 29, the one-year anniversary of the rollout of the OS. Following the 29th, Microsoft's ubiquitous OS will retail for $119 and up. http://bit.ly/1O0a7kA
US tech giants to candidates: support TPP
Tech giants including Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Uber are among thirteen major US corporations who have written an open letter to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton urging them to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, reports Reuters. Although not yet made public, the letter also asks the candidates to make it easier for the companies to hire tech workers from overseas. Both are not happy with the TPP deal, although Trump is sterner in his opposition to any kind of trade deals between countries. Trump has not rejected outright the idea of importing high-tech talent from overseas, while Clinton has already voiced her support for the idea. http://reut.rs/1Wb0Zwq
Apple mandates June 1 app IPv6 support
Apple has set the deadline for IPv6 support for App Store-supplied software. On June 1, apps thast use a custom networking stack and that are submitted to the app store must support IPv6-only networks. The rule, announced last year as coming soon, will only affect a small portion of submitted applications that do not use the NSURLSession and CFNetwork APIs. http://apple.co/24yBTIY
YouTube Unplugged OTT service coming 2017?
As part of the continuing YouTube evolution, the video streaming service is reportedly considering a paid subscription service that would provide users "over the top" cable TV service. According to sources familiar with the matter, the service has been in the works since 2012, has already made changes to accommodate the live video feeds, and could debut the offering as soon as 2017. http://bloom.bg/1rvx8BW