WiebeTech is now shipping an improved version of its FireWire DriveDock ($140) and Super DriveDock ($160) FireWire-to-IDE bridge interfaces. Both DriveDocks now support ATA-6 drives: "The FireWire DriveDock is similar to the Super DriveDock, but uses an AC adapter, not bus power, and provides support for CDs and DVD drives as well." A product upgrade is available ($70 or $80) for prior purchasers of either device: by returning their product for upgrade, any user will receive a unit with ATA-6 support added to the bridgeboard and new firmware.
MacNN reader Elizabeth MacLean was told by an MYOB representative that Account Edge 3 would ship "sometime within the next month" -- contrary to information on the company's Web site that indicated a mid-October date.
StyleGrid 5.0 adds Quartz text rendering, a new data engine and a redesigned API for "StyleGrid" to the Spreadsheet plug-in control for REALbasic. According to the developer, the StyleGridUtilities plug-in defines a "MutableStyleGridMatrix object," which can capture,create and mutate any StyleGridMatrix object.
ArcaneWare has released TypeJet 2.0, an updated version of its font viewing utility. Rather than scrolling through menus to test each font, TypeJet ($12) allows users to flip through fonts in predefined groups. Version 2.0 sports a new interface and icon, allows viewing of "uninstalled" fonts, offers "smart font sets," and includes other small usability enhancements. [Classic, OSX]
IDG World Expo today announced it began discussions regarding Apple's role in upcoming Macworld Conference & Expo events, confirming that Apple will participate in Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco in January 2003 with a presence on the show floor as well as the keynote presentation from Steve Jobs. IDG also says that both parties have also agreed to hold ongoing discussions about Apple's role in upcoming East Coast Macworld events. (Over the weekend, IDG suggested it may attempt to squeeze Apple by leveraging attendance at other non-East Coast Expos.
Adobe has released Acrobat Reader 5.1, an update to the application for viewing PDF files. Version 5.1 adds support for commenting tools, digital signatures and the ability to save forms and forms data for offline completion, submission and archival storage. (Adobe today announced Windows and Solaris versions of its $75,000 Adobe Document Server for Reader Extensions server, which provides enterprises the ability to automate electronic forms and document processes-reducing reliance on inefficient paper-based workflows; however, no Mac OS X version was noted.) A version with search/accessibility is also available. [Std, Search]
Aspyr Media today said that Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast has gone "Gold" and is expected to available soon. The $50 title is available for pre-order and runs on both Mac OS 9 and OS X.
Bio-IT World reports that Apple's life science efforts may be on the verge of bearing fruit, but says that "one last challenge Apple will have to overcome is the perception that Apple solutions are expensive." The article also notes the the lack of bioinformatic benchmarks on the system as another area of concern among some researchers.
MacFamilyTree 3.2.5 helps document, store, and display information about your family. The update offers better support for Gedcom files, improved card printing, and several bug fixes. It is available in English, German, Spanish, French, Swedish, Italian, Danish and Norwegian; the unregistered version ($25) can be used as a Gedcom file browser. ReferenceWorker 1.0 allows users to enter and manage bibliographic information for academic projects and can generate lists according to the MLA or APA formats. The OS X-only application is $9. [1.2MB] SilverNetworks today released SilverCreator 1.02, an update to its game creation software for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. It offers an event-based scripting language and supports QuickTime as well as features a fast sprite system with full transparency support. [Classic, OSX]
Sony today debuted a portable, battery-operated CD-RW and DVD-ROM drive that doubles as a stand-alone CD, MP3 and WAV player. The lightweight drive incorporates a Memory Stick media slot, a USB 2.0 interface, a 24x/10x/24x CD-RW mechanism, support for 8x DVD-ROM playback, an 8MB buffer, MP3 and WAV audio format decoding, a wired remote control with a backlit LCD display, and a software bundle (Retrospect Express, B's Recorder Gold burning software, ArcSoft's PhotoBase and PhotoStudio). It is due in November for under $300.
Netlock today announced that it is developing a Mac OS X client for the Nortel Contivity Switches. Existing Macintosh VPN for Contivity customers whose VPN clients are currently under active maintenance, will receive the new Mac OS X client free- of-charge. Customers presently considering purchasing clients for older Macintosh versions can now do so and be assured the Mac OS X client will be available to them at no additional charge when they purchase Annual Maintenance. The OS X VPN client features include NAT traversal for interoperability with most network infrastructures and compression for improved data rate performance. It is due later this year.
Adam Iser has released Adium 1.6.2c, an update to the popular third-party AIM client. The update fixes a few bugs and restores the host to 'toc.oscar.aol.com:9898' for better connections. (A build of Adium 2.0 is due in December). [1.3MB] MAKI Enterprise has updated its email client, Magellan 3.5, which brings faster decoding of languages, support for the Address Book in Mac OS X 10.2, attributed deletion, improved spamming dictionaries, and other fixes. [Classic, OSX] Redcort Software's Virtual TimeClock Professional 4.1 is a free maintenance update to the software-based time clock that tracks worker arrivals, departures, hours worked, and overtime. The update brings support for Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, better support for Mac OS 9 in a mixed platform environment, and other stability enhancements. New licenses are $180, while upgrades are $90. [Classic, OSX] Elmer 4.5 creates sample tests to help users prepare for their ham radio written examination. It contains all FCC question pools for each of the three written exams: Technician, General, and Extra Class. Version 4.5 contains the new Extra class question pool that went into effect in July 2002. [Classic, OSX] AtWork 3.0, an update to the $16 time-billing and invoicing application, now includes new auto-save features, a improved help file, support for multiple documents, and sorting table columns and database enhancements. [3.6MB]
The Beijing Macintosh User Group has documented the opening of Beijing's third AppleCentre at the Oriental Plaza in Beijing, China, and MacNN reader Tadd Torborg has posted photos and a video from the grand opening of the Apple Store Millenia in Orlando, FL. Both stores opened this past weekend. Apple has also posted a list of the ten other upcoming stores expected to open by Thanksgiving, as noted by MacNN in late September.
CourseForum 1.0 is a web application that lets instructors add interaction to existing online or face-to-face courses. Instructors and students can create, share, and discuss ideas, Q&A, research, student portfolios, project work, and more. Versions are available for OS X, Windows, Linux and FreeBSD, while prices start at $99.
WiebeTech is now shipping 180GB ($550) and 200GB ($600) Super DesktopGB FireWire drives. The bus-powered drives now offer ATA-6 support (necessary for the larger capacities) and improved PowerBridge bus powering circuitry. Upgrades are available for past purchasers of Super DesktopGB, which "will allow units to receive a bridgeboard with hardware support for ATA-6 drives, new firmware and improved PowerBridge circuitry." The $80 upgrade requires the return of the user's drive. New drives include an enclosure, a vertical stand, a FireWire cable, an AC adapter, and MacDrive 5 software.
The Boston Globe reports that IDG may use attendance at other Macworld Expos--San Francisco, Tokyo, and Paris--as leverage to get Apple to attend Macworld Boston: "'We don't have to let them. We might not let you cherry-pick which Macworld events you do ... that's currently under discussion here." Apple said it would not participate in Macworld Boston in 2004, and that it would reevaluate its participation in the final New York Macworld, in July.
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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