Microsoft has addressed a security vulnerability found in the Office v. X suite with the release of a new security patch, Office v. X 10.1.1 updater (requires Office v.X SR1). In addition to resolving the certificate validation issue (see MS02-050) and the newly reported vulnerability in Word's field codes that could allow an attacker to maliciously use field codes and external updates to steal information from your computer without your knowledge (see MS02-059). The update also fixes the ability to create QuickTime movies in PowerPoint under Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, has enhanced importing capabilities between Mail and Entourage, and has stability enhancements across Office v. X when using Jaguar. Microsoft has also released SSL security updaters for the Mac versions of Office 98 and Office 2001 to address the certificate validation security flaw. [v.X 10.1.1, 2001SSL, 98SSL ]
PandaWare has updated its 'TimeCache' expense and billing application to include an enhanced 'List Manager,' more accurate calculations, more formatting options, bug fixes and better reliability under Mac OS X 10.2. Version 5.0.8 is free to registered owners of the $50 utility. [Classic, OS X]
Apple today reduced the price of its low-end 15" iMac by $100 to $1,199. The model features a 15" flat-panel, 700MHz G4 processor, nVidia GeForce2 MX GPU, 128MB of SDRAM, a 40GB drive, and a 56K modem. Earlier this month, Apple discounted the price of its 15" SuperDrive iMac by $100, following similar $100 reductions on the 15" CD-RW and Combo drive iMacs in August. Another MacNN reader also notes that Apple has updated its refurbished products listing at the Apple Store (lower left hand side: 'Special Deals') with refurbished Power Macs, iBooks, flat-panel iMacs, CRT iMacs, and eMacs. Other readers note the dissappearance of the 15" flat-panel Apple Studio Display from the Apple Store (and its absence from the recently announced Apple displays promo).
MacNN reader Michael Golamco points out that Apple Japan has its own set of 'Switch' ads. The advertisements follow the same 30-second testimonial format of the English ads. Update: reader Josh Brammer let us know that the Japanese 'Switch' ads have indeed appeared on TV in Japan.
Eudora 5.2 beta 13 adds the following changes to the highly popular email client: a functional "quit" button on the toolbar, support for the "delsp" parameter (used by Apple), improved error reporting around mail delivery, and countless bug fixes. [Classic, OS X] Unity 3.0.5 provides a number of improvements and new features to owners of Unity Session, Unity DS-1, Unity AS-1 and Unity Combo versions 3.0.0 and up. Unity 3.0.5 brings Mac OS X 10.2 support and a new 'ProSwitch' feature -- used to toggle automatically between independent programs -- to the popular line of applications. [Classic, OS X] BitHeadz has added three new "Phrazerized loop titles" to its collection of musical instrument sounds. All of the loops were recorded by a number of "well-respected musicians from around the globe," according to the developer. The three Phrazer versions include: Electric Guitar Loops, Bass Guitars Loops, and Drum & Percussion Loops. The suggest retail price is $70 each, or three for $120 from the BitHeadz online store. Celcorp's Celview 3.0.2 for Macintosh adds improvements pertaining to FTP functionality, general bug fixes and compatibility with Mac OS 10.2 and 10.2.1. Celview is a 5250/3270 terminal emulation app for Mac OS 9/X. [AS/400, Mainframe] TCP Deux v1.1.1b1 is a public beta of Deep Sky's latest 4th Dimension component. With the TCP Deux component, a 4th Dimension developer can program TCP-level routines, "without worrying about which particular plugin is going to be used." [Classic/OS X]
Apple CFO Fred Anderson led today's conference call making several notes on Apple's fourth quarter financials, including numbers on Apple's successful retail division.
Apple earlier today made StuffIt Expander 7.0 available via its OS X software update mechanism: "As a convenience to our customers we are providing an alternative means to obtain the update, as it has been available via the Aladdin web site since the announcement of this vulnerability on October 2." We noted the StuffIt Zip vulnerability several days ago as well as the StuffIt Expander 7.0 release (which resolves the issue) in September.
Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2002 fourth quarter (which ended September 28). For the quarter, it posted a net loss of $45 million, or $0.13 per share, after more than $52M in one-time charges. These results compare to a net profit of $66 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenues for the quarter were $1.44 billion, flat with the year ago quarter, and gross margins were 26.4 percent, down from 30.1 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 35 percent of the quarter's revenues. Apple said it expects slightly increased revenues and a "slight profit," before one-time expenses for its next fiscal quarter. Before the one-time charges, Apple posted a $7 million profit or $0.02 per share, meeting its guidance for the quarter.
ATI has posted October 2002 Retail Update for Mac OS 9.2.1 and Mac OS X 10.2.1 users. The drivers support Radeon 8500, Radeon 7000, Radeon Mac Edition, Rage 128 Mac products (Orion, Nexus 128, Xclaim VR 128), Xclaim VR, Xclaim 3D Plus, Nexus GA, Xclaim 3D, and Xclaim GA.
Synergy Creations has released Periodic Table 3.3, an update to the $15 science software for Mac OS 9 & X. The update adds the ability to save tables as graphics for use in other programs, type-ahead for faster searching, and British English spelling preferences for element names. [Classic, OSX]
Gordon Barret notes the release of HP Photosmart 2.05 drivers for Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, offering compatibility with the photosmart 7550, 7350, 7345, 1315, 1218, 1215, 1115, 1100, 1000, 230, and the 130 printers. He also notes: "A second call to HP came up with this tip; if the Print Center is having problems with USB connections to HP printers try downloading and installing the HP Deskjet 5550 driver (15.17 MD download). It needs to correct the previous problem. I tried that sure enough, it worked just fine."
Web Help Desk 6.1 is a technical support Web application built with Apple's WebObjects 5.1. Features include email based support requests and updates, automatic support request, SMS messaging support, FAQ file attachment, improved search options and enhanced preferences. A 'Starter' package, with 2 Technician/Administrator seats is $3,350; other packages are available.
A Wired News article on the Bay Area Wireless Users Group shows how to increase the range of PowerBook G4 "three to four times." They use the Senao's EnGenius Long Range Wireless LAN PC Card, which uses 200 milliwatts of radio signal, compared to the 30- to 100-milliwatt range of most wireless cards. An open-source project, WirelessDriver, offers a free Mac OS X driver compatible with the card. "Tests on one TiBook showed the EnGenius card both extended its range and reduced network dropouts at a number of coffee shops from San Francisco to Pacifica, California." Range can be further increased with an external antenna.
LapCop is a stealth application for Mac OS X that transmits an electronic beacon to a specified email address to help track of the computer if stolen or lost. The $15 application is available immediately, but will not transmit data until registered.
A new AppleScript Pro Session will feature Time Cole of Adobe, who will be giving a special presentation on using AppleScript in InDesign and InCopy. The five-day training event in New Orleans on November 4-8 will also feature sessions on Photoshop, Illustrator, QuarkXPress, QuickTime and other applications. Pricing is $500 per day or $2000 for all five days, with discounts available for those attending three days or more.
Nick Zitzmann's DiskSpy 1.2 is a small free program that acts as a software disk LED for Macs running Mac OS X. It displays visual notifications in the menubar when the OS is reading from or writing to a disk. DiskSpy Solid 1.2 ($5 shareware) is a more advanced version, which also displays network activity in the menu bar. DiskSpy Solid will show when a read or write is occurring on any active physical network interface. It has the ability to watch reads and writes to network disks (including Apple's iDisk service, AFP/NFS/Samba/WebDAV disks, and FTP servers), watching a program use the network, or simply testing to see if a connection is working. Both come with cautions for laptop users (battery life) and those interesting in saving CPU cycles. [DS, DSS]
OWC today introduced a new line of Mercury On-The-Go portable storage solutions that feature both USB 2.0 and FireWire ports. Weighing less than 12 ounces and measuring only 3.0" x 5.5" x 1.0", the bus-powered drives have shock absorption casing and feature a cool blue activity indicator light, near silent drive operation, a large 2MB or 8MB data buffer, two FireWire ports, and a single USB port. Prices start at $190 for a 20GB/4200 rpm drive and $220 for a 20GB/5400 rpm version.
Pangea Software today announced that Bugdom 2 has gone final and is now available for purchase ($30) along with a free demo. The boxed CD version of Bugdom 2 is now in manufacturing and expected to be available within three weeks. It The CD will also come with many additional demos and unregistered full versions of other Pangea games; it will sell for $35 and will only be available directly from Pangea Software (Bugdom 2 will not be sold in retail stores). Bugdom 2 contains all new characters, levels, and gameplay, including ten new levels. It requires at least an iMacDV/400, 128MB RAM and 8MB of VRAM(as well as a Rage 128 or better graphics card).
Server Logistics has released an update for its Apache 2 software installer for Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar. The latest update includes Apache 2.0.43, which fixes several security issues as well as Jakarta Tomcat 4.1.12 (Security Update), and mod_perl 1.99_07.
OpenOSX today began shipping its $50 Grass GIS 5.0.0 CD, which it says is the first stable version of Grass for Mac OS X, built entirely with an Aqua interface, making it at least 20% faster than previous versions. Without typing a single 'UNIX' command, the OpenOSX package installs the state-of-the-art Geographical Information System that OpenOSX ported. Grass is a complete GIS, now in development for more than 20 years." The Grass 5.0.0 binaries are available online for free.
Hemera today announced that its Photo Clip Art for Macintosh is now available in stores and online in North America. The image collection features real photos of people, animals and objects and includes 100,000 pre-masked images with backgrounds users can adjust to match the color of their project. It also includes PhotoFont Maker, which allows users to fill their fonts with realistic photo textures. The $50 package is designed to add eye-catching photos and visual impact to any project, from Web pages and CD labels, to invitations and school projects.
SAS has posted JMP 5.01, an update to its $100 application that dynamically links statistics with graphics to interactively explore, understand, and visualize data. Version 5.01 brings improvements to Contigency, Distribution, Fit Model, and Survival modes as well as Data Table, Control Chart, and Formulas. It also adds improvements to JMP scripting language (JSL). Upgrades are $400, while a full academic version is $450.
Apple will announce its fiscal year Fourth Quarter results today after the market closes at 4 pm ET. Earnings per share estimates are at $0.02 per share. The quarterly conference call will begin at 5:00 pm ET and will be available via QuickTime over the Web.
Dauger Research has released Pooch 1.3, the Parallel OperatiOn and Control Heuristic application. The latest version of the cluster management software now enables application writers to take advantage of multiprocessor Macs and cluster computing using a single API. It can now launch multiple parallel-computing tasks per node and uses Rendezvous, supplementing Service Location Protocol, to perform registration, discovery, and resolution of cluster nodes over local networks and the Internet. Pooch 1.3 is shipping to current users with an active subscription and is available for $175 for the first computer node ($125 for each node thereafter).
Glenn Austin today released DTerm 3.0, a $64 developer tool for Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 for embedding and displaying runtime diagnostic information in real-time. The new version improves performance while reducing CPU load, and offers more display customization of the diagnostic output. DTerm consists of a group of instrumentation libraries for Mac OS 9, CFM, and Mach-O, and a separate application to display that instrumentation information. It can also create a customized, limited copy of itself that can be freely distributed to end-users to help diagnose problems. Upgrades from previous versions are free.
Discreet today announced it is shipping Discreet cleaner 6, an update to its industry-standard video encoding software. It includes support for MPEG-4 and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio compression through Apple's QuickTime 6; new 2-pass variable bit rate (VBR) encoding for MPEG-2; new Watch Folders; AltiVec optimizations, an improved filtering engine, and improved dual processor support. Cleaner 6 is $600, with upgrades starting at $180.
Mathemaesthetics has updated Resorcerer 2.4.1, the popular Mac programming professional's data and resource file editor for Mac OS X and Mac OS 9. It brings two-byte language display in the Hex Editor, a new AltiVec-to-English disassembler, and a completely rewritten, Carbonized, color cursor editor for Mac OS 'crsr' resources. Other changes include improved AppleScript support, opening of alias files, better screen-capture in the pixel editors, persistent preferences, data type etymology display, pasting hex data from C and Rez source files, menu and dialog editing, etc. It is a free update for v2.4 owners. Upgrades are $128, while full versions are $256. [Classic, OSX]
Now AAPL Stock: 145.83 ( + 2.1 )
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