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c|net: iMac inventory overflowing
Apple resellers and distributers are now finding themselves stuck with as much as 15 weeks of inventory in a rapidly-slowing economy, according to a c|net article that points to distributor Ingram Micro stock of over 2,600 units and less than 200 orders from resellers over the past week. A demand slowdown hit Apple in the third quarter, as the company -- along with many other industry leaders -- warned of reduced earnings due to declining demand. Apple had said it expected to exit the quarter with inventory flat with levels at the end of last quarter, when it had 4-5 weeks of inventory. Other published reports reference a $100 order incentive Apple is offering to dealers who purchase iMacs by the end of the month to achieve lower inventory levels and achieve the quarterly revenue and profit expectations.
Apple releases Repair Privileges Utility 1.0
Apple has posted Repair Privileges Utility v1.0, described in an Apple Knowledge Base article. The utility is available to users of Mac OS X 10.1.5, and solves several file permission-related errors in Disk Copy, the Classic environment and Print Center. Users experiencing problems with any of the noted applications -- or with unexpectedly locked files -- are advised to consult the free Repair Privileges Utility.
Electric Image updates Universe 4.07 package
Electric Image has posted an Universe 4.0.7 update, which adds support for Xpressionist from Ramjac and Fyreworks from TripleDTools as well as a few new features, such as the ability to mix the use of UV and projected texture spaces on a single group, new shortcuts, and an improved 3D text creation window to 3D modeling, animating, and rendering package.
Intuit mulls QuickBooks Pro 5.0 for Mac, OS X
Intuit is considering reinstating development of its QuickBooks small business accounting software for OS X, according to a NewsFactor article that notes a recent customer survey soliciting user feedback on the potential release of QuickBooks Pro 5.0 Edition for Mac, including a question that asks "what reasons would most likely compel customers to purchase QuickBooks Pro 5.0 (including an option of OS X compatibility), and requests ranking for importance of new features."
IPNetRouter 1.6.7 updates DynDNS data
Sustainable SoftWorks has released IPNetRouter v1.6.7, an update to its $90 Internet access routing software, which delivers automatic updates to the DynDNS host information, every 25 days. [trial, update]
Orlowski, Dvorak criticize 'Real People'
The Register columnist Andrew Orlowski last week posted an editorial criticizing Apple's new Real People advertising campaign, characterizing it as "low and dirty." In an attempt to take a humorous perspective on the campaign, Orlowski refers to Damon Wright, featured in an ad, as a "Manson Family cultist." PC Magazine contributing editor John C. Dvorak calls the Real People ads an act of "desperation," in a column posted Monday. Mr. Dvorak believes that Apple's latest advertisements are part of a trend towards "weird ads," citing Dell Computer's "dude" commercials.
Budget 3.0 release focuses on UI
Budget v3.0 is a "totally redesigned" iteration of Ron Hooper and Kyle Hammond's $25 finance and money-management application for Mac OS X. The new user interface, which is the highlight of this release, is "better than ever," and adds to the usefulness of the program, according to Mr. Hooper. Reminders, checkbook managements and the ability to print business checks are only a handful of features in the shareware application.
Troi ClipSave Plug-in 1.1 works with Mac OS X
Troi ClipSave Plug-in v1.1 is a $10 FileMaker Pro addition for database developers who intend to use ScriptMaker steps such as "Copy All Records." Version 1.1 is described as a "Super Fat" plug-in, which can be used with FileMaker Pro 5.5 under Mac OS 8,9 and X. A new user guide and an improved 'Version' function are among other changes in the latest revision.
WebDNA offers commerce tools for Websites
Smith Micro today announced the first two products in its WebDNA eBusiness Development Suite v4.5: WebDNA Commerce Edition v4.5 and WebDNA Developer Edition v4.5 both feature several new features, including UPS OnLine Tools, a new WebDNAMonitor program, and SSL (Secure Socket Layer) support for TCP connections.
Smart Connection 2.0: workflow for InCopy 2.0
WoodWing Software is shipping Smart Connection 2.0, a powerful workflow solution designed for Adobe InDesign 2.0 and InCopy 2.0 (released yesterday). It adds offers multiple story XML support and now uses a powerful check-in/check-out mechanism, allowing multiple people to work on the same page. It includes workflow notification, direct messaging, versioning, an optional web overview module, an easy to use workflow configuration tool and extensibility via a Software Developer’s Kit. A 30-day trial of the $700 application is available online. Upgrades are $300.
Virtual PC 5.04 update posted by Connectix
Connectix has posted Virtual PC 5.04, an update to the PC emulation software that adds password protection, long file name support for shared folders, advanced COM port settings, additional networking options, and improved printing help. French, German, and Japanese 5.0.4 Updaters will be "available soon." [site overloaded as of 2:15 pm ET]
Aspyr to bring The Sims Vacation to Mac OS
Aspyr Media today announced that it would bring The Sims Vacation expansion pack to the Mac with the port expected to by done by Westlake Interactive: "Pack your bags because you're taking the Sims on the vacation of a lifetime. Enjoy beautiful, fully customizable destinations such as Vacation Island's serene tropical beach resort, rustic woodland hideaway or the cool winter wonderland....While on your vacation, the Sims can interact with over 125 new items including the Snowman and the Camping Tent." It will be available for both Classic and OS X. The release date of the $30 title is uknown, however, it is available for pre-order now.
4D Portal v1.5 manages community, content
4D today announced 4D Portal v1.5, which supports OS X and contains several feature enhancements to the "portlet" components, including Calendar, Task Manager, Forums, Surveys, and Chat. 4D Portal users can easily create Web-enabled, data-driven applications to improve workflow and productivity, all with a single tool. It includes a built-in Web server (or can be run as CGI to 4D WebSTAR V). 4D Portal is available for free along with its source-code.
Belkin debuts USB-charger for cell phones
Belkin today introduced its new USB Sync Charger Mobile Power Kit for cell phone users and Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) enthusiasts. It allows users to synchronize and charge their handheld or cell phone with the same cable. Users can transfer data without a bulky cradle and can charge mobile devices through any powered USB port on their laptop or desktop computer. The kit offers an interchangeable tip design to provide "rapid" charging for most popular cellular phone models. It also comes with a USB cigarette lighter adapter that converts the sync charger for use in any vehicle. The kits are $25 for PDAs (Palm, Sony, Handspring) and Pocket PCs and $10 each for a variety of cell phones, including Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, and Ericsson.
Apple posts stand-alone versions of updates
Fix Up 4D (FU4D) v1.0.0 fixes 4th Dimension
Deep Sky today announced the release of Fix Up 4D (FU4D) v1.0.0, a set of 4D extensions which "enhance, improve, and correct the 4th Dimension development and runtime environment." The 4D extensions allow for the actual 4D environment to be patched, repaired, and improved. FU4D includes a comprehensive set of individual improvements to the 4D environment--all of which work independently of each other.
Casio intros new credit-card size camera
Casio today introduced two new compact digital cameras with 3X optical zoom lenses and a high-resolution primary color CCD as well as debuted its new super-slim, credit-card sized EXILIM series of digital cameras with two new models.
Air Whisper 1.0b: new 'skinable' MP3 player
Kanex Group's new Air Whisper 1.0b offers high-quality playback and easy browsing through MP3 files. The player features technology for skins creation called "ezFFS" (easy free form skins) as wel as an "always-on-top" (i.e., floating) window. Other features include a hierarchical album list, sorting options, automatic album list update for new and deleted tracks, keyboard commands for playing Tracks and volume adjustment, and ID3 tag support. The free preview is compatible with both Classic and OS X.
Apple Store France begins affiliate program
Apple Europe tommorow will launch an affiliate program that will offer selected partners a 3% commission on Apple Store sales generated by leads from the Web. The program is initially targeted to the Apple Store France "but will be most likely be extended to other European countries," according to MacNN's sister site, MacGeneration.com. The Apple Store US has offered select US Websites the opportunity to participate in a similar (private) commission affiliate program for several months.
Preview of PostgreSQL database system for OSX
oneDBX 0.0.1d1, now available as a preview release, is a port of the PostgreSQL database system to Mac OS X, which is slated to include a full SQL transactional object-relational database, a panel for database server control and configuration, Unicode data support, Perl and PL/PgSQL stored procedures, a Perl client module, and an Objective-C client framework.
Hitachi intros lightweight 15" LCD
Hitachi has added a lightweight 15" monitor to its "value" line of LCDs: the new CML152 monitor, which weighs only 6.6 lbs, features a 350:1 contrast, 250 nit brightness, a "brickless" design (i.e., no external power converter is needed), digital input, resolution support of 1024 x 768 at 75 or 60Hz, and a pixel pitch of .297 mm. The monitor will begin shipping to distributors in early July and is available in ivory ($450) and black ($460).
OpenSSH vulnerability could allow access
An OpenSSH vulnerability, details of which are due out next week, can allow access to a Unix system, including OS X. Users are encouraged to upgrade to OpenSSH 3.3 (released last week) and "enable priv seperation in their ssh daemons" since version 3.3 does not directly address the issue, but "makes the daemon less vulnerable to attack." [sshd, the SSH daemon, is disabled by default on OS X]
VCD Copy X 1.1 util adds SVCD support
Nathan Sturtevant has released VCD Copy X 1.1, which adds better error handling, fixes a few GUI issues, and has better support for SVCDs to the OS X utility for copying the tracks off of a VCD or SVCD.
LaunchBar quickly accesses files, apps
Objective Development's LaunchBar 3.2.2 is an update to the popular keyboard-based launcher for OS X that allows users to access applications/URLs/documents by typing a portion of the name. Version 3.2.2 adds improved Watson and Preference Pane recognition, the ability to drag multiple files to an application (even if the target app is not yet running) and fixes a few bugs. The free, built in evaluation license offers access a maximum of 7 different items per session, while both Business License ($40) and Home User License ($20) are also available.
HP invests $1.2 bilion, debuts new printers
HP today unveiled its $1.2 billion investment to reset the imaging and printing market. Between now and early 2003, HP will roll out worldwide more than 50 new imaging and printing products, including three new inkjet printers. [site not updated]
ViewSonic debuts new LCD monitors
ViewSonic today debuted four new LCD displays for graphics users that range in size from 15 inches to 18 inches and has added four new LCDs to its flagship VX series of LCD flat-panel displays as well as introduced an ultra-dense, wide-format 22" flat-panel display. [updated]
Lexmark PrinTrio features print, scan, copy
Lexmark today introduced the PrinTrio, a $150 inkjet printer that also offers scanning and copying. The PrinTrio offers 2400 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi) resolution in black and color on all paper types and print speeds of up to 11 pages per minute (ppm) in black and up to 6 ppm in color. It supports scan resolutions of 600 x 1200 dpi (up to 9600 dpi enhanced) and 48-bit color, while copy features include the ability to reduce or enlarge images between 25 and 400 percent, and can produce up to 9 copies per minute (cpm) in black and up to 4 cpm in color.
Free Adobe plugins for PNG, JPEG2000
Fnord Software today released a free JPEG 2000 file format plug-in, j2k, which is designed for Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects: "JPEG 2000 uses state of the art compression techniques to store images in smaller files and with higher quality than is possible with standard JPEG. JPEG 2000 also supports advanced imaging options such as alpha channel transparency, optional lossless compression, and support for 16 bit-per-channel images. j2k also provides more compression options than QuickTime 6 Public Preview." Fnord today also released SuperPNG 1.0, its plug-in for enhanced reading and writing of PNG files that provides full access to the PNG file format including support for reading and writing 16 bit-per-channel PNG files, variable compression, and more. Both work under Classic and OS X. [j2k, SuperPNG]
CopyPaste X 1.4: multiple clipboard util
CopyPaste X 1.4 now integrates with CopyPaste 4.5 Classic, adds a Danish localization, supports OS 9 SimpleText files (and RTFD files), improves performance, and has other enhancements. ScriptSoftware's multiple clipboard utility includes a clipboard extender, recorder, editor, and the ability to save clipboards through restarts.
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