Microsoft this evening pulled an advertisement from its Web site that combatted Apple's 'Switch' marketing campaign. The advertisement was based around the purported testimonial of a freelance writer who switched from the Macintosh platform to Microsoft Windows. Readers of MacNN's initial report were quick to discover that the photograph of the woman used in "Confessions of a Mac to PC convert" was actually a piece of stock photography (used commonly in low-budget advertising). While Microsoft maintains that the story is genuine, the software maker told c|net that it "regrets" publishing the ad, in what was clearly poor judgment.
Acme Made recently introduced iCover, a line of protective covers designed specifically for Apple's flat-panel displays and iMac computers. The iCover, which comes in 15- and 17-inch variants ($30 and $45), was introduced last week at the Mac Business Expo. The iCover boasts an attractive design, while maintaining durability.
Apple has bought a large amount of retail space in the upper level of the Cherry Creek shopping center in Denver, Colorado, observes MacNN reader Will Jessop. The mall, described as "upscale," is home to boutiques for retail chains such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Tiffany’s, DKNY, Prada, Saks 5th Ave and Bang & Olufsen.
OpenOffice.org has released OpenOffice.org 1.0.1 X11 for Mac OS X and Darwin. Based on the OpenOffice 1.0.1 code, this public beta release runs on the XDarwin/X11 window system, similar to past releases. It contains many bug fixes, and features printing capabilities.
Countering Apple's Switch campaign, Microsoft has posted the 'Confessions of a Mac to PC Convert.' The switcher, who is unnamed, writes "I am a freelance writer; I demand the best in mobile computing. There's a much greater choice of portable computers and features, for less money, on the Windows platform. My laptop came with 512 MB of RAM, a 15" screen, a DVD player, and Windows XP Home Edition pre-installed, for $450 less than a comparable iBook. My recommendation is to go straight to Windows XP Professional; the extra features for mobile users are worth it." [MS has pulled the page, but it can be found here]
CrushFTP 3.0b27 is a $25 FTP client featuring multihoming, virtual servers, bandwidth limiters, remote administration, virtual directories and more. The latest beta adds auto sensing of LAN transfers, better support for remote serving files supporting PASV mode and adds the ability to install bootup service automatically. [Classic, OSX]
On Saturday, Apple announced the Maintenance Program for Mac OS X Server, which offers a three-year subscription for major Mac OS X Server upgrades. The pre-paid updates are automatically shipped, saving time and administrative hassle. Pricing starts at $500 per machine for a 36-month maintenance contract on a limited 10-client license of Mac OS X Server and $1000 for the same contract for unlimited-license of Mac OS X Server.
Newer Technology has updated their NUpowr 500MHz G4 processor upgrade cards for PowerBook G3 'Pismo' systems. "The revised upgrade uses the latest low-power PowerPC G4 processor, which not only runs up to 20 degrees Celcius cooler but also extends the usable battery time by an average of 20 minutes." The price is $300.
Aspyr has announced that Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns has hit Gold Master (GM) status and is being sent into duplication. The expansion pack to Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds features characters, vehicles and locations from the Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones movie. The Mac OS 9 & X game is priced at $30.
Mathworks has released a MATLAB 6.5R13 updater that brings Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar compatibility as well as other bug fixes to the industry application that integrates mathematical computing, visualization, and a language to provide a flexible environment for technical computing.
Square Box today announced CatDV Pro 3.0 (and CatDV Workgroup Server), the professional version of its popular cross-platform video logging tool and media asset database. CatDV Pro 3.0 offers automatic logging of DV footage, meta data support (with unlimited custom fields), support for several log formats (Avid, DPS and Final Cut Pro), search/print functions, and support for other media types. The $275 application is available for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. CatDV Workgroup Server ($700), which offers a client-server architecture, requires Mac OS X, Java 1.3/1.4 and MySQL. The entry-level CatDV Pro 2.5 is also available for $80.
Buena Software today announced the release of Effect Essentials for Final Cut Pro, a set of 10 effect plugins for use with Apple's non-linear video editing software. The plugins are being offered at an introductory price of $200 until November 1st ($50 off). A time-limited demo, which includes the fully functional, free Camera Flash plugin, is available onine. The effects work with Final Cut Pro 3.0 or later under Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.
John Ellenich has posted photos from the Apple Store Somerset grand opening in Troy (MI). MacGroup-Detroit has posted photos, a video and a QTVR of the new store as well.
Creative today announced the NOMAD Jukebox Zen, a pocket-sized hard drive MP3 player with both USB and FireWire connectivity that the company positions against the iPod. It holds up to 8,000 songs by supporting both MP3 and Microsoft WMA formats: "Compared to the 20GB Apple iPod, which only stores approximately 5,200 MP3 songs, the NOMAD Jukebox Zen can store up to 60% more songs and is priced 40% less. The NOMAD Jukebox Zen is now shipping at only US$299 after a $50 mail-in rebate." It features an anodized aluminum case, stylish carrying case with belt loop, a 12-hour battery, both data/music storage options, and a "scroller wheel" for song navigation.
Several utilities and applications have been updated, including Project Timer 1.2.2, Kids GoGoGo 6.0, Aquataxx 1.0, and Virtual WineCellar 4.0: ScriptSoftware's Project Timer 1.2.2 is a major upgrade to the popular time tracking program, adding moer keyboard shortcuts, a new caching engine for improved performance, and other enhancements. [Classic, OSX] MAKI Enterprise's Kids GoGoGo 6.0, adds an updated database, new installer, improved domain blocking, better network security, and improved image filtering/blocking, and bug fixes to the $30 parental control application. [Classic, OSX] Aquataxx 1.0 is a $10 shareware version of the classic strategy game "Ataxx. The OS X-only game allows you to play the computer, a user in the room, online friends, or watch a demo; has four switchable board/piece appearances (including support for custom skins), and 15 different board configurations and 5 computer difficulty levels. [282KB] Virtual WineCellar 4.0 is an easy-to-use cellaring software for wine collectors. It features standard data entry fields as well as several advanced functions, such as a suppliers database with order-to-inventory processing, integration with Vinote barcoded neck tags, support for digitized bottle labels, and much more. Licenses start at $20. [2.1MB]
SimBiotic's EcoBeakerHS 1.1 is an educational tool for teaching ecology, environmental science, and evolution to high school students: "It presents students with a community of species, and has them discover important biological concepts by doing realistic experiments on these communities." Version 1.1 adds better graphics, improvements to the ten laboratories and accompanying workbooks, and other enhancements. Pricing starts at $600 for ten-user license and a single set of books.
Blue Line Studios today announced version 1.6.0 of its 'JewelCaseIllustrator' CD labeler software. JewelCaseIllustrator is a drawing program for creating labels, tray liners, and booklets for CDs and DVDs. One key feature of the application is its ability to create of Finder-like directory lists to index entire volumes. This version adds a 'Filter Picture' command to change placed pictures' RGB and HSB values. The update is free to registered users of the $25 software.
SquidCam v1.1 is a $25 audio and video conferencing application for Mac OS X that allows multiple users to conduct conversations over a network connection. SquidCam features audio and video connectivity, as well as text messaging and voice mail.
If Then Software has released My Favorites Martian 1.0, a small utility that syncs Web site bookmarks between multiple computers using an FTP server of your choice. The Internet Explorer and Chimera-compatible application has a publish and subscribe motif, which allows instant syncing of all of your important bookmarks across numerous computers. It is designed to keep work and home bookmarks organized.
On October 19th, there will be a large gathering of MacFreaks in the Netherlands town of Maarssen where there will be an Ellen Feiss look-alike contest. Ellen Feiss is featured in Apple's Switch advertising campaign. Throughout the day there will also have a contest called "Oud Hollands PC Werpen," roughly translated to mean "Old Dutch PC Throwing," in which participants will try to throw PCs as far as possible.
DV Graphics today expanded its Iconize Me! service to include two new offerings. DV graphics will create a digital caricature icon of you for use in Mac OS 9 or X. The basic service costs $15 and the new $25 and $35 packages offer larger images and full-use licenses.
Numerous news sources and readers have reported that IBM has announced a 64-bit processor that is expected to be used in upcoming Macs. The IBM PowerPC 970 can process data in 64-bit mode as well as today's standard of 32-bit. Currently 64 bit processors, which can address massive amounts of memory, are mostly found today in high-end servers. Apple, IBM and Motorola have all declined to comment on the switch, which has been rumored as the processors in Macintosh computers have trailed Windows-based counterparts in clock speed. [updated]
Now AAPL Stock: 100.41 ( + 0.79 )
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for â‚¬30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives
Parallels Access 3.1 updated for iPad Pro
Virtualization software Parallels Access 3.1 has been updated with support for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, including Apple Pencil support. The software allows remote access to your PC or Mac from anywhere to control desktop applications from iOS or Android tablets and phones, with native touch gestures, as well as from any computer with an HTML5 web browser. Featuring three resolution choices for your mobile device ("Best for your Device," "More Space," and "Same as Computer") and 3D Touch support for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the update also adds a new Tablet Mode in Windows 10, which makes it easier to interact without a mouse or keyboard. http://bit.ly/1OWZqjg
Hyundai brings CarPlay to more 2016 models
Along with its previously-announced support for adding CarPlay technology to the 2016 Sonata, 2017 Elantra, and 2017 Ioniq, a leaked memo to dealers has revealed that CarPlay-supporting software updates will be available today that bring the infortainment tech to the 2015 and 2016 non-hybrid Sonata models, the 2016 hybrid Sonata, the 2015 and 2016 Genesis Sedan, the 2016 Tucson, the 2017 Santa Fe, and the 2017 Ioniq. Owners can upgrade the system themselves by visiting the Hyundai website, and will need a Mac or PC with either an SD card slot or SD card reader to transfer the update to the vehicle. http://bit.ly/1YZqkqS
Google Paris HQ raided by investigators
Google's Paris headquarters has been raided by dozens of French police. The Tuesday raid was part of an ongoing investigation into possible tax-avoidance practices, stoked by widespread dissatisfaction with the way multinationals like Google are structuring their business operations. Although trading in many countries around the globe, Google reports its international sales only in tax-friendly Ireland, similar to a practice adopted by Apple. According to French law, if it completes any of its sales contracts in France and not Ireland alone, it could be in breach of its laws. Google, for its part, denies any wrongdoing, and said that it is fully compliant with French law. http://reut.rs/1Udk2T9
Apple TV extends universal search to NBC
Apple has extended its universal search function on the Apple TV to now include NBC shows in its results, provided the user has installed the NBC tvOS app. The search results can be generated either through Siri, or through the Search app, and includes support for searches by title, genre, and actor, among other queries. NBC joins CBS, more recently, among other channels including: Disney Channel; Disney Jr; Disney XD; FOXNOW; FXNOW; HBO GO; HBO NOW; Hulu; Nat Geo TV; Netflix; PBS; PBS Kids; SHOWTIME; SHOWTIME Anytime; Starz, and Watch ABC, all of which are supported by universal search. http://apple.co/25lGi5R