Microtek has released a public beta of its ScanWizard 7 scanner driver software for Mac OS X. The new software supports its ScanMaker 4800, 4850, 4900 and 8700 models. iPod2iTunes 1.8 offers faster play list synchronization, better corruption protection, and several bug fixes. iPod2iTunes from crispSofties provides synchronization of tracks and playlists from an iPod to any number of Macs. [Download - 256KB] Mark-O-Matic for Adobe InDesign is a new application that automates the creation of InDesign documents based on mechanical specifications. It can create marks and guides for an ads live, trim, and bleed areas, and it can create dimension marks on separate layers. Mark-O-Matic is compatible with Mac OS 9 and OS X. [Download - 1.2MB] Roni Music's "Amazing Slow Downer" is an application that allows musicians and audiophiles to slow down music, without altering its pitch. The utility does not require users to copy the music to their hard drives first, but rather can slow down audio in real-time, directly from a CD. It is currently only available for Mac OS 9. [Download - 257KB] BlueService 1.1 is a maintenance update to the Mac OS X 'service' that allows Cocoa and certain Carbon applications to send rich text to BlueTooth devices that support OBEX Object Push or OBEX File Transfer. Version 1.1 has no text size limitation, uses packet sizes that are more compatible and has a connection timeout of 60 seconds. [Download - 257KB]
RedLightRunner today kicked off a holiday sale, with discounts of 10 percent on some Apple collectibles. Over 40 new Apple-branded items have been introduced, and about 70 items are now under $10. Additionally, all purchases over $75 are instantly reduced by 10 percent.
Armin Heurich, a school library Media Specialist from Ithaca, New York let us know that the school district where he works is undergoing a major technology renewal. Nearly $1 million in computer hardware, video equipment, and peripherals have been purchased this year. The majority of computers purchased are either Apple iBook or eMac machines. Several eMac labs have been established, while the iBooks are used primarily by teachers for lesson administration via AirPort. iMovie, and eventually DVD authoring will be taught at the schools. In order to best educate students and faculty, the district uses a "technology mentor" approach, in which 24 teachers are trained with the latest technical skills, which are to be passed on to others at the school level.
ComputerUser.com has published a short editorial that examines Apple's Mac OS X "push." While many Mac users are satisfied with the selection of software available for Mac OS X, graphics professionals are struggling with the transition. OS X versions of many critical software titles remain absent, and this has left some firms with few options: "We will buy no new Macs next year, period," said IT director Steve Swanson, reffering to the fact that Macs in 2003 will only be able to run OS X. The department Mr. Swanson runs uses Quark Xpress, and a "stable" OS X version of that application will not be available for some time.
MacNN reader Eugene Chan has posted a photo gallery of this past weekend's Apple Store Bay Street grand opening in Emeryville, CA. Gary Allen also posted a photo album and provided a short on-site report: "The Bay Street Apple Store--the 50th--had a impressive grand opening! The first-in-line trio arrived at 3:30 p.m. on Friday but they were later tossed off the property by a clueless security staff at 10:30 p.m. ('A line for a store opening?!') and had to return in the morning to resume their position." Updated: Nathan Trebes provided us with an iMovie-edited video from the store opening.
Apple has posted two new parodies of its "Switcher" TV ad campaign. Both ads are viewable online, and feature Will Ferrell dressed as Santa Claus. The first ad features Ferrell casually discussing the proper holiday greeting, while the second spot features Ferrell listing what's on Santa's iPod. Earlier today, we noted a New York Times article on the plethora of Switch ad parodies.
KB roundup: Apple describes two circumstances in which Mac OS X 10.2 may be in a restricted mode, where users may not be able to change the Dock, burn discs, or use certain system preferences and applications; Another document says that erasing all the email addresses from the Mac OS X 10.2 Server Monitor may prevent users from adding another email. The Finder will not launch on a Power Mac G3 when used in single-user or verbose modes under Mac OS X 10.2.2; Finally Apple's Discussion topic has notes on Broken DNS in 10.2.2, which appears to be a common issue (although many other DNS-related problems listed in the thread).
Bare Bones Software today released BBEdit 7.0.1, an update to its HTML and text editor. This update incorporates various interface refinements and fixes for reported issues. It is a free update to registered users of the $180 application. [9.3MB] A public preview of Bookit 3.0b1 is now available from Everyday Software. The shareware ($12) bookmark management application, available only for Mac OS X, brings support for the Navigator (Chimera) browser, an improved interface, and broken link detection, a preview menu and the ability to synchronize bookmarks from remote computers (such as a portable) and Classic browsers. [500KB] BK Task Timer 2.0.1 updates the $15 shareware timer that helps users keep track of their time spent on projects and the tasks associated with those projects. [Classic, OSX]
The first column in a series of holiday shopping guides by Executive AnchorDesk editor David Coursey, is "a blatant attempt to get you into an Apple Store and convince you to maybe even buy something while you're there." Citing several different reasons for switching to a Mac, Coursey writes: "I urge you to consider a Mac as a new computer in your home this holiday or perhaps as a first computer for someone you know who still doesn't have one." Meanwhile, an article in The New York Times says that "Apple's quirky [Switch] ads have never been as good at building market share as 'mind share,' or buzz. [It] has received so much attention that imitations and parodies are showing up across the Web."
Canon has posted new Remote Capture 2.6 for its line of PowerShot digital and EOS digital SLR cameras. It is available for both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. Pangea's Bugdom 2 v1.04 update fixes rare problem where game would freeze for a few minutes when launched and also has other maintenance tweaks. The full version is available for $30 online. [300KB] Sustainable Softworks has posted IPNetMonitor 1.1.1, which corrects bugs in its Subnet Calculator function, fixed release and rebind for DHCP lease under Mac OS X 10.2, and updates the TCP Flow documentation. A demo of the $40 utility is available online. [792KB] MobileSync 1.01 is a synchronization application for Sony Ericsson mobile phones and Microsoft Entourage. It lets you take your personal information with you by keeping the calendar and phone book of Entourage and your phone up with each other's changes. It lets you use IrDA, cable, or Bluetooth where applicable on the following phones from Sony Ericsson: T39m, R520m, T65, T61d, T68, and T68i. A 7-day demo of the $25 utility is available. [768KB] iKeeper 1.5 enables you to rapidly enter, view, or modify internet and product information and quickly search for information. The $20 shareware now supports OS X, supports International date preferences, and improves the search and print routines. [187KB]
David Every has written an article titled RISC or CISC: Which is Better?: "AMD has written some things lately, as well as Intel has in the past, pointing out that the difference between RISC and CISC no longer matter. That CISC is catching up and surpassing RISC. So let's look at this hypothesis."
Readers have provided a number of tips and news items on Apple's retail and online stores: MacNN reader Creag Banta provided an update on the construction of the (yet-announced) Apple Store in Chicago on Michigan Avenue: "The empty lot (old Gap demolished) at the corner of Michigan Ave and Huron Street now has a big black construction barrier with a white Apple logo and www.apple.com. This site is across the street from Neiman Marcus, kiddy corner from Tiffany's, across the street from Saks and two blocks south of Water Tower Place. Another half block south is the Sony store on Michigan Avenue." [added 11:30 am ET] Apple today announced it opened its 49th and 50th retail stores in the U.S. this weekend, with new store locations in Denver, Colorado and Emeryville, California. It says it now has stores in 24 states in the U.S., with a retail location within 15 miles of 85 million people, about one third of the U.S. population: "In addition, this holiday season visitors to the Apple stores can choose from two holiday wrapping paper designs created exclusively for Apple by San Francisco artist Rex Ray. Apple is hosting a special holiday shopping event at all of its retail store locations on Friday, November 29 from 6 p.m. to midnight. Customers who attend the event will receive free stocking-stuffers, special values and a chance to win a new 15-inch iMac." [add 10:30 am ET] Readers note that Apple has begun its 180-day 'Same As Cash' promo (as of November 1st), which is available at Apple retail stores (both online and retail) as well as through participating dealers. The Apple Store has also begun same-day shipping on select products: "Orders for In-stock items eligible for same day shipping must be received before your local time of 2pm, pending payment processing. Orders placed on the weekend or on a holiday will not begin payment processing until the next business day." Apple stores are also carrying several refurbished items. The online store has 5GB iPods (with the original scroll wheel) for $200 as well as refurbished 15" and 17" iMacs, PowerBooks, iBooks, and Power Macs. (Click 'Special Deals' in the lower left-hand corner of the Apple Store main page.) David Allen also notes that Apple Store Glendale Galleria (as well as others) are also carrying refurbished equipment. The Apple Store Oakbrook in Oak Brook, IL, will open on Friday, November 29th, a day before most retail store openings to take advantage of Apple's special Thanksgiving Event, which will take place at Apple retail stores on the same day from 6 pm to midnight.
Planar today launched new family of premium flat-panel desktop monitors featuring a "first-of-its-kind base that provides users with resistance-free swivel, pivot and height adjustments -- requiring no more force than the light touch of a single finger." The PX family includes a 17-inch display with ultra-thin bezels and a panel depth of just two inches as well as 16 ms response time, SXGA (1280x1024) resolution, and both analog and digital (DVI) inputs. It is available in white, black or silver for $590 with integrated speakers. Planar desktop monitors include free, 2-Day Air advance product replacement for 3 three years. [site not updated] The Sharp LL-T17A3 is a new 17-inch SXGA (1280x1024) analog monitor with a contrast ratio of 500:1 and 250-nit brightness. It features built-in stereo speakers and a color management function compatible with the "sRGB" international standard for color reproduction, including two color modes: "Vivid" mode for dynamic primary colors, and "Standard" mode for displaying colors beyond the sRGB standard. It is available in frost gray or black for $550.
Xnet has released Captain FTP 2.0, an update to the $25 FTP client for Mac OS X; it includes supports MacBinary, resume transfers, Unicode names, and VMS as well as has an integrated local file browser, an improved GUI, bookmark functions, and new localized versions in English, German, French, Japanese and Chinese. XBase 1.0.1 improves performance and adds a mailing list manager its online content management solution for Mac OS X. The WebObjects-based solution is $500 ($400 off). It requires Mac OS X Server. Sillysoft has released Lux, an epic expansion of the classic board game Risk. Built specifically for MacOS X, It features gameplay on over a billion different worlds, and comes with 10 enemy agents ranging from easy to deadly. It is $10 shareware. [1.0MB] gallery is web-based application for managing (storing, cataloging and retrieving) digital photos built on PHP and MySQL. It supports adding a single photo or an entire folder and stores a thumbnail of each image in the database so that it can be viewed even if the photo is in offline storage. MacLogger DX 1.9 adds new drivers to the $70 application for amateur radio Operators and short wave listeners to "get the most out of their computer controlled radio transceivers." It runs on both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [8.3MB]
Location X 1.2 brings the popular location manager functionality of Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. Version 1.2 adds new plug-ins for changing Microsoft Entourage settings and running shell scripts when users switch locations. It also includes built-in plug-ins for changing network settings, default printers, Mail settings, time zone, QuickTime settings, running AppleScripts, and changing system sound volume. It is available for $10. [1.1MB] metaobject has updated its PDF compression tool for Mac OS X. PdfCompress 3.0 adds an option for applying compression to many common text PDFs as well as the image-compression options available in previous versions. It is $25. [site not updated] [813KB The Quesa Development Team has released Quesa 1.6d16, an update to its open-source, high-level 3D library for developers. It incorporates numerous performance enhancements and almost complete API coverage: "Applications written to the Quesa API can take advantage of an extensive 3D toolkit that includes file importers/exporters, plug-in renderers, and high-level geometries, while still leveraging the performance of low-level OpenGL 3D hardware acceleration." [823KB] Ben Mackin's Cocoa eFax 1.0 is a $10 shareware that sends and receives faxes using almost any fax modem. It no longer requires ghostscript for sending/receiving faxes, supports multiple file types, offers batch faxing to a single number, has scheduling features, and includes cover sheet support. A demo supports unlimited receiving and up to 5 outgoing faxes. [732KB] Chimerachanga 1.0 is small utility for turning "on some of the 'hidden' preferences within Chimera (Navigator) 0.6, without having to manually edit the preferences file each time," including HTTP Pipelining, disable Chimeraís Cache, enabling Favicons in the URL Bar and in the Sidebar, enabling History in the Sidebar, forcing the Download Window to Disappear, adjusting the RAM Disk Cache, and a custom preference. [151KB] Riccardo Ettore has released TypeIt4Me for OS X, a text utility that expands abbreviations as you type using custom abbreviations. A 30-day demo of the $27 utility is available online. Upgrades from the Mac OS 9 version are $9. [829KB] Gideon's FileXaminer 1.5.2 updates the shareware ($10) file/folder information utility for Mac OS X, which allows you to modify file and folder attributes. [2.4MB]
Macromedia today unveiled Director MX, the first Mac OS X-compatible version of its multimedia-authoring environment. The $1200 authoring application, due in December, adds a number of new features as well, including the new MX interface, QuickTime 6 compatibility, better integration with other MX applications, and the ability to create content for those with certain disabilities.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl