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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French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
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