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.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE