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: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R