ackNOWLEDGE has made available a version of its popular 'iSkin' iPod protective casing for the new, thinner 10GB iPod. The new iSkin is made of durable silicone, offers heat ventilation, provides access to controls and is highly flexible. The new $20 case also fits the original 5GB iPod, as well as the new 20GB iPod.
Apple's iPod for Windows is "beginning a new legacy," according to Tom's Hardware Guide, which states that it's "no coincidence" that the iPod has receive endless kudos over the past year. "When one starts from scratch and has lofty design goals, as Apple did with the iPod, it is very rare to actually be able to pull it off," says columnist David Stellmack "Apple deserves the praise that it has been getting for the iPod for this reason alone." Stellmack notes that while the Musicmatch Jukebox software for Windows is inferior to iTunes, it still provides sufficient accessibility to Windows users.
Apple has posted a .Mac status Web site, which currently contains the service outage explanation sent via email to customers earlier today. Previously, (major) outage explanations were available in the .Mac support forum, which was only accessible to paying members (and inaccessible during .Mac service interruptions).
Freeverse Software today concluded its 'Mac Card Game Week' with the release of 3D Bridge Deluxe 2 -- a Mac OS 9/X implementation of the popular card game. 3D Bridge Deluxe supports the most popular bidding styles and conventions in play around the world. It features solo or Internet play against other gamers via the GameSmith opponent matching service. Users can assign photographic avatars to represent themselves online.
Pixels Digital today announced 'competitive upgrade' options for the Mac OS X version of its PiXELS 3D 4.1 suite. Owners of "any" 3D animation package for Mac OS X can pre-order PiXELS 3D 4.1 for $300. Current owners of PiXELS 3D 3.x or later can pre-order version 4.1 for $200; all other customers can pre-order for $400. PiXELS 3D 4.1 for OS X is expected to ship at the end of the month.
Northern Softworks has released Jaguar Cache Cleaner 1.0, its new freeware tool to clean Jaguar system caches (~/Library/Caches, /Library/Caches, and /System/Library/Caches). Cache Cleaner only runs under Mac OS X 10.2.x ("Jaguar"). [900KB]
Several readers note that the Apple Store has discounted the 15" SuperDrive iMac by $100, lowering it to $1,699. In early August we noted that Apple quietly reduced MAP (minimum advertised price) and subsequently lowered pricing on its the 15" CD-RW and Combo drive iMacs. [story updated]
Shecom has introduced its Ikebana DVD-R/RW external FirmWire drive unit. The $430 combo drive supports 2x DVD-R and 6x DVD read- speeds as well as features an integrated 8x/4x/24x CD-RW mechanism. It features a 2MB buffer and bundles BHA B's Recorder Gold software.
An Apple response to the downtimes in the .Mac service has been posted on the members-only status page, citing equipment failures as the cause of the outages in the past two weeks (including this morning). "...since the equipment vendor has not been able to persuade us that the problem will not occur again, we've already begun installing new equipment from a different vendor. We're completely back up and running now, and no data or mail was lost. We expect the equipment change over to be complete within the next several weeks, and we'll be working hard to ensure that there are no further issues during that time."
The Southern California MacFair 2002 has been scheduled for November 16th at the Cerritos College in Norwalk, California. The 1-day event begins at 10 AM and will features over 30 exhibitors, including Apple, Aladdin Systems, MYOB, Movieworks, MacSolutionExperts.com, MCE Technologies, ProVue Development, CoolMacStuff.com and more. There will also be more than 18 informative seminars including Mac OS X 10.2, CD and DVD authoring, database development, small business solutions, Macintosh programming and desktop publishing. Admission to the event is $15 at the door or $10 with advanced registration online.
Marathon Computer has announced a compact USB keyboard with a built-in trackpad, especially designed for rackmounting. The R*Keyboard, which measures 15.25" x 5.5" x 1.6", features a GlidePoint touchpad with left and right buttons, Function keys F1 through F15, a 55" USB cable with USB pass-through port, fold-out feet and keyhole slots for fixed mounting. The keyboard is available for $100, or together with Marathon's R*Key heavy-duty rackmount keyboard drawer for $375.
PubPro X2, the publication management software, has received a major upgrade. "We have listened very carefully to all our users and tried to integrate in all their ideas and suggestions. We have cleaned up the interface, improved many functions while adding several new onesĒ. Among the new features is a comprehensive new module to help track and plan the distribution of the publications.
Stalker Software has unveiled CommuniGate Pro Groupware for Mac OS X, an addition to its flagship email server CommuniGate Pro. It allows the messaging server to replace or run alongside Microsoft Exchange, and take advantage of calendaring and scheduling features. It runs with Outlook on the desktop, supports standards such as SMTP, POP, IMAP and offers the functionality of shared folders, Webmail, LDAP Directory, personal Web pages, S/MIME, Mailing Lists and SPAM/Virus protection.
Klear Advantage has released protection overlays for the palm rest areas on Powerbook G4s, iBooks and other laptops that have silver or metallic finishes. The easy-to-apply overlays protect from scratches, scrapes, nicks, marks and paint discoloration cause by everyday wear and tear. A year's supply (12 pads) is available for $28.
Apple has released an update to the iPod 1.22 software for Europe only (Mac OS 9, Mac OS X), which will bring the sound level down from 104 dB to 100 dB, according to MacGeneration. Last week, we noted that Apple pulled all iPods from stores in France because they did not comply with a French law that requires audio devices to output a maximum of 100 dB. The update comes a day earlier than expected, and requires version 1.2.1 of the iPod software before installing.
SONICblue has introduced two new portable digital music players, the Rio S50 and S35S sport player. Both players include support for MP3 and WMA audio formats, offer 128MB of built in memory (upgradeable to 256MB), a backlit screen, a clock and stopwatch, an integrated FM tuner, and Mac and PC compatibility. The S50 features a carrying case and offers battery life of up to 35 hours. The S35S is "made to withstand the rigors of an extreme workout" and includes an adjustable armband. The Rio S50 ($180) and S35S ($200) will be available soon.
Several updates are available on the Web, including AirPort 2.05 (for Mac OS X 10.15 only), 4D WebSTAR 5.2.1, Clarion 1.3, TextCleaner 2.1, and Weblet Zipcodes. Apple's AirPort 2.0.5 Updater for Mac OS X 10.1.5 is available via the Web (after AirPort 2.1.1 was released for Mac OS X 10.2.x Jaguar). It contains the latest snow (dual-Ethernet) base station firmware - v4.0.7 and improved PPPoE status within the Internet Connect application. [3.6MB]] 4D's WebSTAR 5.2.1 update is available online (as a 67MB download), although the changes are not documented the version history included with the document. Clarion 1.3 is a shareware ($10) music interval training/practice application. It has been rewritten from scratch as a native Cocoa Mac OS X application and features interval recognition with any synthesized instrument included with QuickTime, difficulty customization, and custom scales. Studio 405's Text Cleaner 2.1 is a $80 text preparation utility, adding QuarkXpress 5 compatibility, Mac OS X Classic support, updated Panorama Engine, additional DropClean Droplets, and expanded Copy & Paste (now limited by RAM). [4.1MB] Weblet ZipCodes, from Brian Dunning, provides either Lasso or CDML websites with the ability to perform zip code proximity searches. It includes the Zipwise 2002 Edition zip code database, which provides latitude, longitude, city, state, and more for over 49,000 current United States zip codes. Full and partial versions are available for $130 and $40, respectively. (Zipcodes FM provides similar functionality for FileMaker databases.)
KAUi is offering full-day, fee-based hands-on seminars on Final Cut Pro, Mac OS X Server, QuickTime 6, DVD Authoring, Acrobat 5, and Digital Workflows with Adobe. Each class provides workbooks, CDs, and real-world examples of solutions using each product. Currently scheduled classes are based in the Atlanta, Georgia area (but can be provided at other locations with a minimum of ten attendees).
Digidesign has announced Pro Tools 6.0, an update to its professional audio editing solution. The update will bring Mac OS X compatibility; a streamlined new look for the Mix, Edit, and Transport windows; multi-user login functionality to save custom profiles; new DigiBase file management; enhanced MIDI functionality (including support for Mac OS X's Core MIDI Services); additional Beat Detective features; new Import Session options; plug-in functionality enhancements, MachineControl additions, and other enhancements. It is due in the second quarter of 2003.
Several readers report that Apple's .Mac service has been down since 10:30 am ET: "The .Mac network is down again, not allowing users to check email through their client application OR check it through a web brower." We have noted persistent reliability issues with the service since it was introduced in July.
Rainjul has introduced Aizai, its Internet service that allows individuals and groups to view, create and distribute digital photos, movies, music, web pages, documents and folders via virtual television channels. The service "introduces the concept of the channel service network, an open system for broadcasting Internet channels." Aizai's Global Tuner allows individuals to navigate channel service networks. It is available as a time-limited, fully functional demo, and ships with Global Tuner and Global Broadcaster, which works with Apple's .Mac and other WebDAV servers. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar and a single-user license is $30.
iPhoto Diet 1.02 is a freeware droplet application that scans through the iPhoto library folder and moves any undesired originals to the Trash: Apple's iPhoto automatically backs up original copies of your photos whenever you make changes, such as adjusting brightness or cropping. This makes it possible to revert back to the original if you are unhappy with your changes. The originals, along with the modified photos, are kept in the iPhoto library and over time add greatly to the library's size."
iccToolBox Standard 1.05 is a suite of tools for evaluating and managing ICC/ICM profiles for a variety of graphic arts applications and devices. It features 2D and 3D graphs (distribution, gamut, gray-balance/UCR, and GCR), channel analysis, and graphical profile tag-editing as well as an integrated Lac Calc and TIFF utilities. It is $160 Candadian and runs on OS X.
Several utilities and applications have been updated, including MadWave's Mac driver software, starTime reminder utility, TypeJet font utility, NI's instrument collection, Audiocorder, and WebPrint Plus for OS X. MadWaves has released both Classic and OS X versions of its drivers and software application for its MadPlayer interactive music device, which allows users to create, share, and mix music as well as listen to MP3/WMA Music (via SmartMedia) and FM music. Doug's AppleScripts has released Make Mine MPEG-4 v3.1, an AppleScript applet that automates the process of importing CD Tracks and encoding them as MPEG-4 files using QuickTime 6 Pro (tracks are subsequently added to the iTunes Library). [112KB] Pod2Go 0.3 is a freeware application that will download news and weather onto your iPod. It adds weather support for international cities, 10-day forecasts, and auto-syncing. It is available or OS X 10.2. [172KB] Cosmicsoft's starTime 1.51, a $15 shareware reminder utility that can launch applications and run macros or shell scripts is now compatible with Mac OS 10.2. [3.8MB] ArcaneWare's TypeJet 1.1.3 is an update to its $11 shareware font viewing utility, adding the ability to display font names along with the styled text, a new Classic version, and other enhancements. [Classic, OSX] Native Instruments has announced Reaktor Electronic Instruments Vol 1, a set of new instruments for Reaktor 3 sound studio, including three synthesizers, three unique effects, and a drum machine. It is due at the end of October for $70. MP3 Rage 5.3, an update to Chaotic Software's $25 set of MP3 tools for Mac OS 9 and X, can now eliminate duplicates in its catalog function, has improved handling for malformed ID3 tags, and has the ability to edit the 'compilation' tag used by iTunes. [2.0MB] The $20 shareware Audiocorder 3.5.0 adds AppleScript support, support for monophonic sound input devices (ie: Telex and Labtec USB microphones) a pause button, and a button to manually split a recording into individual tracks (ideal for breaking an album or CD into one track per song). It is available for both Mac OS 9 and OS X. [Classic, OSX] Stephen Becker's WebPrint Plus X 1.0 for OS X provides a set of universal tools for collecting, saving, printing, and editing information with the Mac that work in virtually any program. The $35 utility offers a built-in text editor, the ability to save/print styled text, drag & drop printing, and other features. [1.2MB]
Palm today announced its new Zire handheld, dubbed as "the most affordable and lightest-weight Palm-branded handheld," is the company's new entry-level PDA. The 3.8 ounce device offers a distinctive, polished white face and silver back and has a removable flip lid to protect its 160x160 monochrome display. It also features a new two-button design, has an infrared port for "beaming" data to a PC or other handhelds, and is bundled with Classic Palm Applications (Date Book, Address Book, Note Pad and To Do's) as well as four interactive games (Puzzle, Minehunt, Giraffe and Hardball).
Niemeijer Consult today released KeyStrokes 1.5, an update to its virtual keyboard utility for users with disabilities. Version 1.5 adds Dwellix ("a more advanced dwelling feature that simplifies typing without clicking") and new SmartTransparency technology that makes the keyboard invisible when you do not need it and automatically makes it appear when you do need it. The $195 utility for Classic and OS X is also now localized in French.
HP has posted updated Deskjet 2.0e drivers for many of its USB inkjet printers (it also supports Ethernet AppleTalk network printing). Supported printers include the Deskjet 350, 640, 800-series with on-printer USB ports, 900-series, 1125c, 1220c-series, cp1160-series, cp1170 series, cp1700-series, 3320-series, 3420-series, 3820-series, 6120-series, and 5550-series. The release provides faster printing under Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, more stable printer communication, the ability to save more than a single preset (under Jaguar), and both Digital Photography options and 2400x1200 and 4800x1200-enhanced printing for supported printers.
Isadora 0.97 is a graphic programming environment for Macintosh computers that provides interactive control over digital media, with special emphasis on the real-time manipulation of digital video. It adds the ability to choose between three rendering modes (auto, copy, direct, and decom), now uses QuickTime Compression Sequence, offers AltiVec acceleration for internal copying of video data, and brings new Actors (Broadcaster, Listener, Loop Calculator, and Comparator).
MacASP 1.0 is a server/development system designed to deliver dynamic site Web pages from Mac OS 8/9 and OS X. It adds server side processing to Mac web servers (WebSTAR, WebTen, macHTTP, Apache) as well as provides a BASIC-like scripting language, built-in ODBC support, Pricing starts at $300 and it is free for use with MacHTTP and Personal Web Sharing (under Classic). [Classic, OSX]
Goliath 1.0 brings enhanced SSL support, including support for client certificates and trusted CA certificates to the open-source WebDAV client for Classic Mac OS as well as Mac OS X. The version also has bug fixes for Unicode file names sent from WebDAV servers and better handles files names that are too large for classic Mac OS. [Classic, OSX]
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Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl