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MacHack today announced the availability of the MacHax Best Hack Contest CD-ROM. The disc represents the compilation of \"the best\" software \'hacks\' introduced at the annual MacHack expo. The $20 CD also contains this year\'s papers and materials from a number of the conference sessions.
Open source IBM developers have released Jikes version 1.16 for Mac OS X. Version 1.16 is a sequential update to the Java compiler project, which has been in development for nine months.
We\'ve posted reviews of RagTime Solo and the Lexmark Z53 color printer. See MacNN|Reviews for more.
Apple shares hit a 52-week low of $14.36 today, breaking the previous low of $14.44. Apple shares traded as low as $14.01 this afternoon, but rebounded slightly, only to remain in negative territory (down five percent).
Evening tech news: The American Civil Liberties Union filed lawsuit on Thursday in an attempt to overturn key portions of the controversial DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act); Emerging wireless data links that utilize the 802.11 standard will \"force entrenched telecommunications companies to remake themselves\" in order to escape the current industry slump; Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates gave his company a \"C\" grade on for stumbling in its delivery of .Net; Dell may be preparing to launch its own handheld PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), as it reportedly is considering a deal that would have Compal Electronics manufacture 1.5 million Dell-branded devices.
In the wake of last week\'s Macworld Expo -- where Apple\'s hardware announcements were muted -- a report from the Gartner Group suggests Apple is relying on innovative software to help it ride-out the slump in computer sales. The Gartner report suggests that many of Apple\'s software moves will help integrate Macs in small-to-medium enterprises, but don\'t signal its re-entry into the corporate market, as noted by Macworld UK. The report concludes that businesses need to eliminate Mac OS 9 dependency by 2004 or 2005 at the latest.
MacNN reader Jason Greene notes that Apple has resolved a .Mac Webmail security vulnerability that allowed users to view another email by simply entering the unique URL associated with the email (which is sent to a server as the \"host referrer\" after a user visits a Website contained in the email). An unauthorized access to the unique URL now redirects to the .Mac com page, according to MacFixIt. Buqtraq also notes an iDisk and Mail.app security issue that sends an iDisk password when configured in OS X in the clear (unencrypted) via Mail.app, when it is not configured to use SSL (as is the default); however, the iDisk password is sent using the secure HTTPS/WebDAV protocol when accessed directly.
Contour A/V has released a settings package that allows ShuttlePRO owners to use the device in conjunction with Macromedia Flash MX. This collaboration between Contour and Macromedia enables users to control frequently-used commands and navigate with the tactile feel of a control surface. The settings are available for free from the Contour A/V Solutions Web site.
The Mercury News talks about the pricing backlash after last week\'s paid .Mac subscription and implicit no-OS X-upgrade policy announcements at Macworld Expo, noting that Apple may be alienating its own user base: \"Regardless of how you feel about the $129 price tag [of Jaguar], is this upgrade a really big deal? It is an increasingly important question, because Apple has begun effectively charging a penalty for buying its software too early....If the latest version of OS X contains core technologies on which Apple will build its future, wouldn\'t it make sense to put them into people\'s hands without a lot of hassle?\"
Other World Computing today announced it is now shipping the PowerLogix\'s PowerForce Series 100 G4 upgrade for \"AGP\" PowerMac G4s (350MHz, 400MHz, 450MHz and 500MHz models), \"Gigabit\" PowerMac G4s (single 400MHz and dual-450MHz or 500MHz models), and PowerMac G4 Cubes (450MHz and 500MHz models). OWC is selling the 700MHz ($450), 800MHz ($590), and 1GHz ($790) upgrades, which carry a 2-year warranty. The 700MHz and 800MHz models are expected to ship in 2-3 weeks.
Apple is offering a $20 upgrade on retail purchases made after July 17th of Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server as part of the Mac OS X Up-To-Date and Mac OS X Server Up-To-Date programs. It runs through October 31, 2002 and also provides an OS X \"Jaguar\" upgrade path for all new Macs purchased after Jaguar was announced on July 17th. Mac OS X 10.2 is expected to ship on August 24th. One reader writes: \"So those copies of os 10.1 are no longer useless wastes of shelf space at the retailers. They are actually upgradeable at a discount. Now the price of shipping and handling on the other hand, that\'s another discussion.\"
MacNN Rob Belk notes that Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) has released a beta OS X driver for its MOTU 828 FireWire-based digital audio hard disk recording system, 828 Firewire Audio v1.0b1. (We previously noted the company\'s ClockWorks beta for its USB rack-mount MIDI interfaces.)
Skytag\'s FileBuddy 7.2, an update to its file/folder utility, adds scroll wheel support, better performance, periodic checks in the Info window, and other enhancements. Upgrades to the $50 utility are $20 for registered users.
SBook5, currently in alpha testing, is described as \"an extremely fast, AI-based personal information manager. [It] organizes your information into pages, or entries, with one page for each person, company, or thing that you need to track. Each of these entries can have any number of postal addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, or other information. SBook recognizes the information that you put into each entry and allows you to intelligently manage it.\"
Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, reviewing a \"near-final\" version of the Windows iPod (announced last week and is expected to be available in late August) notes that the Windows-formatted device works \"perfectly,\" concluding \"The iPod just gets better and better. No other digital music player comes close. And now, it works with Windows, too.\"
Eastgate Systems has released Tinderbox 1.1.4, a new version of its personal content management assistant. Tinderbox helps people make notes, analyze them, and share them in weblogs and news sites. It adds map options make Tinderbox even better for meetings and presentations, has more powerful agents to \"extract key patterns from semi-stuctured text notes,\" and has improved export to better create complex web pages from simple parts. It is available for $95 in an introductory offer and runs on both Classic and OS X.
The latest versions of Flash 6r40 and QuickTime 6 released last week are now fully scriptable in Mozilla and Netscape 6 browsers.
Epicware\'s multi-platform instant messaging client Fire 0.31b, with support for AIM, ICQ, Yahoo , IRC, MSN and Jabber IM, adds support for the latest Yahoo! protocols, fixes an ICQ disconnect bug, and other enhancements.
Infinisys last week released After Dark X, an OS X-only screensaver with eight modules, including a new Flying Toaster module, \"Space Toaster X\". Among the modules are new improved versions of old After Dark favorites such as Starry Night, Warp, Messages and Line Art. After Dark X ($20) uses the built-in OS X screensaver engine as well as OpenGL.
Louis Suarez-Potts of OpenOffice.org notes that the company has released a new Mac OS X port of the open-source OpenOffice.org 1.0, a free office productivity suite: \"If you are interested in joining in the work (and it\'s rather fun), please visit the Mac module in the Porting project on OpenOffice.org. You can download it from there. The port is exciting, necessary (millions already use OpenOffice.org), and can be perfected--and with your help, all the sooner.\" The latest build currently supports both print and save functions, according the company.
A MacNN reader notes that HP has posted its HP ScanJet 7450c scanner driver for OS X, after promising the July release earlier this month.
Linuxworld.com writes: \"Apple\'s new rackmount server is just another Unix box -- with big implications for the Linux community. Four million new Unix users a year, that\'s the MacOS X promise and it\'s a market full of friends with whom we should be working.\"
English and German versions of MacSOUP 2.5b2, Stefan Haller\'s offline newsgroup utility, are now available online. The $20 shareware now runs natively on OS X, has support for multiple email accounts and multiple personalities, supports threaded email, and other enhancements.
Early morning tech news: Palm will announce today that it is cutting prices by up to 34 percent on five of its six handheld lines, including cuts on the m105 handheld from $150 to $100, the m125 from $180 to $170, the m130 from $280 to $250, the m500 from $300 to $200 and the i705 from $450 to $400 (with a $100 rebate with a one-year service contract); AOL Time Warner reported net income reached $394 million, or 9 cents a share, on revenue of $10.6 billion for the quarter ending June 30; and ADC developers have received the latest Mac OS X 10.2 testing version, which c|net says is the first released to software developers since Apple\'s World Wide Developers\' conference in May.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ