FirewireDirect has unveiled the Vanguard Ultra One, an Ultra 160 SCSI Raid Solution for 1U Rackmounts providing RAID level 0, 1, 3, 0+1 and 5. The system offers storing capabilities up to 800GB and is powered by an Intel 80303 64-bit RISC processor. It also features 256MB of High Speed Cache and a Smart function LCD panel for user controls. The Enclosure Kit (no drives) is priced at $2655, 480GB (4x120) is $3655, 720GB (4x180) is $4355, and 800GB (4x200) is $4555.
epicware's Fire 0.31e is an update to the popular multi-protocol internet instant chat client that provides support for AIM, ICQ, Yahoo!, IRC, MSN, and Jabber chat services. This version adds more smileys, sends typing notifications, and fixes several bugs. [2.2MB] AppMac's bManager 3.0 is a $100 professional contact manager and CRM application for OS X, offering support for Apple's Address Book, integrated email functions, vCard format support, unlimited contacts, group management, and an improved interface. [6.0MB] Deep Sky's maintenance update, HTTP Client Deux v1.1.1b01, is a 4th Dimension component which provides a comprehensive set of HTTP and HTTPS request methods for use throughout 4D based projects. Sound Studio 2.06 fixes several bugs in the audio recording and editing tool. The digital audio editor can record up to 2GB of audio, mix audio, apply effects filters, generate tones, pitch-shift and resample audio, and open and save in several file formats. [1.2MB] Pangea has posted Bugdom 2 v1.01 addresses issues on older versions of Mac OS 9 as well as a problem saving games on Mac OS 9 and other minor localization issues. [300KB]
Angelo Scicolone's $10 shareware XChar 3.0 for quickly locating special characters adds support for Mac OS 8/9, displays HTML codes for special characters, offers customized translucency, and other features. ergonis software also released PopChar X 1.3.1 ($30), a maintenance update to the OS X sibling of the popular PopChar Pro. Users can also enable a similar menu within Mac OS X (with less functions) under the International Panel in the System Preferences under the Input Menu tab ("Character Palette"). [XC, PC-X]
Apple yesterday evening posted QuickTime 6.02 via the software update and on the Web, but has not detailed the changes, according to one reader, although we have not been able to confirm it. A standalone QuickTime 6.02 installer is also available. Update: Most users report that the software update function has been down since last night, but the download is indeed available on the Web.
IDG yesterday said it would continue the East Coast Macworld Expo with or without Apple, but noted that Apple's response surprised even the IDG CEO: "I spoke to Apple as late as 9 p.m. last night, and they said nothing to me about what they did today," Greco said. "Nothing." Greco said that he speaks regularly to Apple, and that the two firms have been working on plans for two more Macworld shows, in Britain and Germany. Greco speculated that Apple may not want to have two major US shows each year, because the company doesn't have enough new products in its development pipeline to justify the large, expensive keynote events held at each show....Greco predicted that the loss of Apple would depress Macworld attendance by only 10 to 15 percent, and he vowed the show would proceed."
Badia Software has announced two new XTensions for Mac QuarkXPress 4.1 and 5.0: ContactPage XT and Exportools XT. ContactPage XT ($60) fast-tracks the creation of picture contact sheets, along with captions, for easy cataloguing. It has a comprehensive set of customizable features that lets users select page size and margins, grid layout, picture and text box dimensions, as well as extensive caption information. It also includes a "resume" feature that begins cataloguing exactly where you left off after a break. Exportools XT ($60) automates the process of saving document pages as individual files in several popular formats, including EPS, PostScript, plain or rich text, page screenshots and html. Users can choose which pages to export (spreads as well as single pages), the rules governing the file names, and, optionally, any program in which to open the new files for post-processing.
Macaroni 1.0 is a $8 shareware tool which handles regular maintenance for Mac OS X's Unix core, offering automatic execution of standard Unix tasks, a configurable interface for adding custom tasks at specified intervals, a history of performed actions, and other options. [1.1MB] QuantumSoft today released pro Fit 5.6.3, a free update to its $95 tool for the analysis, processing, plotting and evaluation of numerical data and mathematical functions. The update provides various bug fixes and improves compatibility with Mac OS 10.2. [Classic, OSX] Griffin's PowerMate 1.5.1 driver for Mac OS X brings a new Special Key command and other usability enhancements to the software for its PowerMate USB Multimedia Controller. [3.3MB] Emailchemy 1.3.2 adds new export options, an Outlook Express for Windows conversion wizard, improved Eudora converters, and better QuickMail conversion to the $25 email conversion utility. [323KB]
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