Apple has posted iDisk Utilty 1.01, which allows users to open other .Mac users' public folders, iDisks and manage your own iDisk. Some functions require .Mac membership. It runs on Mac OS X and is available in a combined English/Japanese version. [316KB] Network Associates has updated its DAT file for Virex 7.x, offering additional support for Microsoft Office v. X and improved handling of encrypted ASP script files, better support for MIME binary files, support for ACE (WinACE) Archiver and additional packers, BZIP compression, additional LHA compression formats, PDF 5.0 files, and improved scanning for MIME formats. [3.1MB] HPIJS 1.3 is a free, open source printer driver that is prepackaged for Mac OS X Jaguar (10.2 and higher) and Darwin (6.0 and higher). This driver supports 212 printers (Apollo, HP DeskJet, LaserJet, OfficeJet,Business Inkjet, Mopier, PSC, PhotoSmart and more) and uses the open-source Foomatic printing system in combination with ESP Ghostscript, an open-source PostScript interpreter, and CUPS, the built-in printing spooler in Mac OS X Jaguar. [1.3MB] Collaborate 1.1 is an update to the combination chat and whiteboard program through which "individuals in disparate locations can interact to work out ideas. [It] functions as a distributed network allowing an arbitrary number of individuals to be involved." Version 1.1 ads a pencil tool for freehand drawing, support for more file formats, IP-based restriction, chat and/or whiteboard restrictions, and other enhancements. The $10 sharewarw is free to students, faculty and staff of educational institutions as well as to staff of non-profit and charitable organizations. [1.5MB] B-Prolog 6.3 is "is a Prolog system with extensions for programming concurrency, constraints, and interactive graphics. The system is based on a significantly refined WAM, called ATOAM, that facilitates software emulation. In addition to an ATOAM emulator with a garbage collector written in C, the system consists of a compiler and an interpreter written in Prolog, and a rich library of built-in predicates written in C and Prolog."
Brother has updated its MFC-3100c printer and scanner drivers to include support for Mac OS X 10.2.1. The update addresses general printing problems with OS X, in addition to bringing support for the OS revision. [Download - Printer, Scanner]
MacNN reader Callum Duncan notes that Mac OS X's Calculator application is capable of performing currency, length, volume and speed calculations via the 'Convert' menu. Currency exchange rates can be updated via a menu item.
Semicolon Software has released Solitaire Till Dawn X 1.0, the Mac OS X implementation of its popular Solitaire virtual card playing game. Solitaire Till Dawn includes countless variations of the classic card playing game. [Download - 6.9MB] Impasse 1.2.5, from software developer Glucose, is now fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.2. Impasse is a $10 OS X firewall that offers live monitoring of rejected/accepted packets. "Once OS X 10.2 Jaguar was released, we were concerned that our existing Impasse users would just convert en masse to the built-in Jaguar firewall. What happened was just the opposite." [Download - 439KB] Silhouette is a graphics "vectorization" tool that converts relatively simple bitmap images into vector designs. It is available as standalone software, but is also offered as a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator versions 8,9 and 10 for Mac OS X or Classic. [Download - Classic, OS X, ILL - Classic, ILL - OS X] Updated: Alexander Wilson Studios today updated its growing offering of free Internet Explorer Toolbar Icons for Mac OS X and OS 9 to include a set of Canada-specific links and icons. PandaWare has released TimeCache 5.0.9 -- a minor update that adds new features, improvements, and bug fixes to its $50 time and expense billing application for Mac OS 9/X. [Download - Classic, Classic] Jotz 1.0.93 is a maintenance update to the multimedia notepad for OS X that adds OS 10.2.2 compatibility and automatic URL conversion. Because Jotz has evolved greatly since its debut, version 1.0.93 also allows users who obtained a trial demo in the past to obtain another evaluation license. [Download - 758KB]
Sterling Ledet & Associates today announced a new incentive program for purchasers of its Platinum Client Annual Training Pass, offering any person purchasing or renewing a Platinum Pass Membership a choice of a Canon Elph Digital Camera or an iPod. Platinum Pass Members receive one full year of instructor-led, hands-on training at any of Sterling Ledet & Associates' training centers in Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego or New Orleans in any of the company's hundreds of open enrollment classes. Classes are limited to no more than 8 students. First-year membership is $6,000, while renewal is $4000. One-year of online instruction can be included for an additional $500 per year.
Epson today released its Print Image Matching II (PIM II) plug-in for Adobe Photoshop 7.0, 6.0, and Photoshop Elements 1.0 and 2.0. The plug-in enables Photoshop users who own a PIM II-enabled digital camera and PIM. II-enabled Epson photo printer to take advantage of the print matching and automatic benefits offered by its Print Image Matching technology. It allows users to import JPEG files containing PIM II information or import Exif 2.2 images with Exif Print technology or import an image with color expansion information only while disregarding other image enhancements for flexible print matching control. It will be available as a free download (as is the original PIM plugin).
MacNN readers note that the iPod has received some notable mentions by celebrities: "The Apple iPod was named a 'Rosie's Pick' in the Gift Guide of the Rosie magazine Farewell Issue. For the 'Music Man' in a woman's life, it says: 'He'll never be at a loss for a tune with Apple's iPod, which holds a thousand downloaded songs ($299). At Apple stores or www.apple.com.'" "In an interview with breakfast DJ Sara Cox this morning on the UK's Radio 1 station, Robbie Williams (currently the UK's most popular male singer) talked about iTunes and iPod when asked about what CD's he's currently listening to. Hear it from 1m 40s onwards in the following clip."
Marketcircle's DayLite 1.2 adds online/offline capability, global find, bulk mail merge and sorting options to its CRM application that includes contact management and scheduling functions. The Personal Edition is $95, while the Business Edition (built on top of a relational database) is $150. [pricing updated]
Andromeda has released its new Adobe Photoshop compatible plug-in: Andromeda RedEyePro Filter offers both novice and expert modes, resizable box and paintbrush tools, support for both RGB and CMYK images, and removes both circular and non-circular red-eye while preserving glints and reflective details as well as preserving iris color and transitions. It is compatible with Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. It will ship early next month for $40. Preorders are available for $30.
Marathon Computer today announced R'ears for Xserve, which allows Apple's Xserve to be mounted in racks tht are less than 29" deep: "R'ears attach to the rear-mounting hardware that comes with the Xserve, and adjust inward so that even a 22"-deep rack can support the rear of the Xserve. R'ears include anchor points for the Xserve's scissors-type cable management arm." The all-steel R'ears (with a clear zinc finish) will be available later this month for $40.
Morning tech news: Roxio today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Napster, including Napster's intellectual property and technology patent portfolio (without any of Napster's liabilities, including pending litigation); A Japanese supercomputer that studies the climate and other aspects of the Earth maintained its ranking as the world's fastest computer, peforming 35.86 trillion calculations per second -- more than 4 1/2 times greater than the next-fastest machine; and Scientists at Northwestern University say they have harnessed the properties of light to encrypt information into code that can be cracked only one way: by breaking the physical laws of nature.
Apple has posted a new Keychain First Aid 1.0 utility, which can verify or repair your keychain configuration. It resolves issues where a user's .Mac password is not saved in the Internet preference pane, Apple's Mail/iChat apps continue to prompt users for their password, saved passwords could not be read if they were created or modified by certain pre-release versions of Jaguar, and other fixes. [101KB]
The free VideoLAN client 0.4.6 can be used to display video read locally on the computer, including DVDs, VCDs, MPEG and DivX files and from a satellite card. This new release uses a52dec as the default decoder for AC3 sound for improved quality and fixes a hangup in the esd plugin. [1.3MB] Alco Bloom's URL Manager Pro 3.0.3 adds support for Apple's Mail application and several bug fixes in the $25 shareware bookmark manager. It can store, manage, and organize bookmarks and supports virtually all shipping browsers. It is available for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [2.4MB] breve 1.4 is a 3D simulation environment for decentralized systems and artificial life. Version 1.4, available for Mac OS X only, adds a new physics engine, added plugin support, major speed improvements and other enhancements. [1.0MB] Kensington has posted MouseWorks 2.1, an update to its driver software for Mac OS X. It supports all Kensington USB and ADB mice and trackballs except, one-button mice, Turbo Mouse 1.0-4.0 (the older, 2-button models), the Orbit 3D and Orbit Elite, and its ValuMouse products. [3.0MB]
Apple is offering a new promo for education purchases of Mac OS X. X on campus offers a bundle of Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar (and the "Getting Started with Mac OS X CD") along with 128MB ($100), 256MB ($130), or 512MB ($170) of memory. It offers RAM for virtually any Mac and runs from November 12, 2002, through December 31, 2002.
OpenOSX Grass Update is designed for its Grass 5.0 Version 1 CD and will update the Grass installation to be the same as the (now shipping) Version 2 CD. It fixes a few potential bugs including a "window name 'frameosx_BG' already exists in parent" error and installs Tcl/Tk 8.4.1. GRASS GIS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) is an open-source Geographical Information System (GIS) with raster, topological vector, image processing, and graphics production functionality. The CD is $50.
The Atomic Learning Library has released Storyboard Pro, a freeware video and multimedia storyboard software package: "[It] is designed to give teachers, students, and home movie makers a tool to plan ahead when creating video projects. New with this edition, the software now includes tips and tricks that link to online sample videos that are part of Atomic Learning's Video Storytelling Guide." it allows users to add shot titles, descriptions, annoted photos/movies clips/sounds, create templates, camera tips, and other features. The company also offers access to thousands of narrated QuickTime screenmovie tutorials for a $50 (annual) subscription fee. [Classic, OSX]
Griffin today released iMic Control 1.5, an update to its free software that offers sound control functions for its iMic USB Audio Interface ($45). It provides sound shaping control to applications that previously had none, such as web browsers streaming music or audio and also enables Audio Play-Through monitoring on Mac OS 9. Version 1.5 includes an adjustable input gain control, which allows users to adjust their sound input level when recording music or voice into the Mac as well as Bass and Treble control.
Dr. Bott today announced price reductions on its iPod Connection Kit w/FM Transmitter ($45) and iPod Connection Kit w/Tape adapter ($40). The iPod Connection Kit provides several options for connecting to iPod's 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack to automobile stereo systems, home stereo systems, mic input of computers and other devices, boom boxes, and clock radios.
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