Apple U.K. has announced a Winter savings promotion for British and Irish residents. The offer -- valid until January -- allows purchasers of new Macs to split payment over six months, with no interest.
Mobility Electronics today announced that Mac OS X 10.2.2 now offers support for MAGMA CardBus-to-PCI Expansion Systems, allowing users to upgrade their PowerBook computers to Mac OS X without losing compatibility with the MAGMA CardBus Expansion line of products. The company offers external (mobile) expansion systems for 1-, 2-, and 4-slot PCI cards (both half- and full-length) starting at $945.
New: CandyBar 1.0.2 is the latest version of the simple Mac OS X toolbar/system icon customization utility from Panic and The Iconfactory, which now includes full support for OS X 10.2.2. [1.6MB] New: Mulberry 3.0 brings a new user interface, new text macros and several bug fixes to the scaleable email client for Mac OS X. The new interface sports a standard OS X toolbar, option three-pane window layout, a tabbed mailbox pane and separate mailbox/address book windows. [Download form] Doug's AppleScripts has released iTunes Library Manager 2.5, an AppleScript applet that makes back-up copies of the iTunes Library database file. It now displays the name of the currently loaded "Library" in the Source pane, automatically backs-up current Library before loading a new one, and other enhancements. It is $5 shareware. iCal Calling iTunes! is another script that schedules iTunes Playlists to play with iCal and Make Mine MPEG-4 assists in ripping CD tracks as MPEG-4 audio using QuickTime Pro. [ILM, ICI, MMM] Sophisticated Circuits has added new features for Mac OS X to the public beta of iDo Script Scheduler. Version 1.5b10 includes the ability to run Unix shell and Perl scripts on a schedule, on idle, and with Hot Keys. [1.7MB] Isadora v0.9.8 adds three new 'actors,' an Image Tiler, a ditherer and video preloading to the graphical programming environment. An Isadora program is created by linking together "graphically represented building blocks," each of which performs a specific function. [6.5MB]
Update: Apple has released Backup 1.2.1 via the Software Update application in Mac OS X. New features since v1.0 include Disc spanning, scanning performance improvements, a combined CD/DVD mode, updated iTunes and iCal 'QuickPicks,' a better log file and support for larger 'recordable' CDs (such as 700MB). Version 1.2.1 also sports a 'metal' UI design. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 for Mac has reached the beta development stage, according to Aspyr Media. Developer Erkki Halkka has released the final version of Eki's PlugPak 2.0 ($50) for LightWave. New features in version 2.0 include SeaGen -- the highlight of the release -- which is a script for creating oceans. The update also includes 'Scenes,' which is a new script for previewing WIP models in a pre-made, lit scene. [Web site unavailable] Centromedia has announced the availability of Address Office 3.5 for Mac OS 9/X. Address Office is a free PIM (Personal Information Manager) that stores basic contact information such as phone numbers and addresses, in addition to email addresses, relevant URLs, and IM handles.[Classic, OS X] Events 1.5 Beta 3 is an update to the calendar Web site creation tool. Version 1.5 runs natively under Mac OS X (as well as supporting Classic versions of the Mac OS with the latest CarbonLib from Apple installed). iEvents generates HTML Web pages files that can then be uploaded to any Internet server. [981KB]
Aladdin Systems today announced financial earnings results for third quarter, ended September 30, 2002. The company reported a net income of $336,163 -- or $0.03 per share -- on revenues of $1,943,060, compared with a net loss of $387,102 on slightly lower revenues for the year ago quarter. "Being profitable in this economy is important," said Jonathan Kahn, CEO of the compression software maker, "the combination of the StuffIt and Ten for X product releases helped make the quarter successful."
British software maker Feral has released a demo of F1 Championship 2000 for the Mac OS. A trailer of the fast-paced racing game was also released today. The developer will ship a full version of the game November 22nd; the game will debut at the London Mac Expo, at the Islington Design Centre.
3DO is now shipping the Mac version of Heroes of Might and Magic IV. The game is the fourth installment in the popular strategy/fantasy series, in which "Emilia Nighthaven" must battle the "evil immortal King Gavin Magnus" and his "horde of Dragon Golems." 'Heroes IV' is available for Mac OS 9 & X at a retail price of $50.
SoftIntegration today released SIGL for Mac OS X, its solution for 2D/3D graphical plotting within the framework of C/C++: "SIGL meets the demand for an easy-to-use cross platform C++ graphical application. All functions in SIGL are supported in Ch, a C/C++ interpreter. The same graphical application can be either compiled in C++ or run from Ch directly without compilation... With SIGL, you can design and deploy the graphical application running across different platforms." It contains a plotting class with many member functions for visualization and simplifies the graphical plotting for C++ users. The $300 package requires XDarwin with the OroborOSX window manager in Mac OS X.
Planar today added two new 17-inch LCDs to its PL monitor product line. Planar's high-end PL171M offers both analog and digital inputs, ultra-slim bezels, integrated speakers and better visual performance. It is available with black, white or silver bezels for $560. The PL170, with a "sleek industrial design" and only an analog input, is available with black or white bezels for $520. All Planar desktop monitors include a three-year warranty with free, 2-Day Air advance product replacement for all three years.
Trolltech today announced the release of Qt 3.1, which Mac OS X 10.2 support as well as Motif integration to its multiplatform C++ software development tool. The Qt 3.1 QMotif integration module allows developers to insert Qt-based code into existing Motif applications step by step. The software is integrated with the Mac Appearance Manager, offers anti-aliased text drawing, user settings and greatly improved OpenGL support. Qt 3.1 is free of charge to open-source developers on Unix/Linux.
Script Software's Easy Card Creator 1.1 can create attractive and personal cards using personal digital photos. It can also create envelopes and supports templates for saving commonly used card styles. Version 1.1 supports drop shadows on nearly all objects, translucency, captions, and round rectangles as well as offers an improved interface and more folding options. [2.5MB] Stick Software has released Issa 1.0, a $10 shareware OS X application that offers a "virtual refrigerator poetry set." It allows you to change fonts, styles and colors, use different word lists, and export finished poems as text, HTML or images. [876KB]
A new Knowledge Base article provides more details on File System Journaling introduced in Mac OS X Server 10.2.2, which was released earlier this week (other Journaling-related articles, include Repair a Journaled Volume, fsck Reports Benign Errors, Disk Quotas and Journaling Not Compatible): "Mac OS X Server version 10.2.2 provides a new journaling feature for the Mac OS Extended (HFS Plus) file system which enhances server availability and fault resilience. Journaling protects the integrity of the file system on Xserve and other computers using Mac OS X Server in the event of an unplanned shutdown or power failure. It also helps to maximize the uptime of servers and attached storage devices by dramatically expediting repairs to the affected volumes when the system restarts. "Journaling is a technique that helps protect the integrity of the Mac OS Extended file systems on Mac OS X Server volumes. It both prevents a disk from getting into an inconsistent state and expedites disk repair if the server fails."
Bare Bones Software today released BBEdit 7.0, an update to advanced text editing application. Version 7.0 offers integrated support for CVS, support for multiple Web sites, new Sort Lines and Process Duplicate plug-ins, rectangular selection, ASP/VBScript syntax coloring, "Quartz" text smoothing, and better support for Mac OS X Services. The $180 package is available as a cross-grade ($120) to owners of GoLive, Dreamweaver, or BBEdit Lite. Upgrades are $50 for any registered user of v2.5 or later through the end of the year--after which version 6.1 customers can register for $60 and v6.5 owners can register for $50. [site inaccessible due to heavy traffic]
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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