PGP Freeware 8.0 is a free, single-user version of the PGP security suite. It allows you to encrypt files as well as the contents of the clipboard, and also provides the ability to create and manage PGP keys; however, "PGP Freeware does not include any plug-ins for integration with electronic mail or instant messaging clients, nor does it include PGP Disk. PGP Freeware is licensed solely to individual users for non-commercial use. Freeware may NOT be used for any commercial interactions." (We noted the release of the commercial PGP products this morning.)
Macworld UK has confirmed a recent report on MacNN indicating Apple UK has discontinued its "double RAM" offer, in favor of RAM price reductions. The "Double your RAM" offer was originally advertised as running through January 6, 2003.
Tiggon has introduced the DeskBerry, an attractive filing device designed to organize smaller desktop items such as disks, letters and memos. Tiggon products are designed to "breathe life back into the stale and cluttered office environment," and the company says that DeskBerry is no exception. The $6 unit is available in Crystal, Blue, Purple and Red colors. It can also be customized with a printed logo.
PostWorx recently introduced the Freestyle Speedball in three colors that match Apple's latest computers. The Freestyle Speedball increases laptop mobility on a desk surface, and creates a more comfortable keyboard angle. It also increases ventilation under the laptop, because it raises the rear of the machine off a flat surface. Currently, it is available in white, titanium and gun metal grey colors.
Imacclothes last week begun offering a product it calls the iMac Screen Shirt. The $20 protective cover safeguards any 15- or 17-inch iMac flat-panel computer from dust, debris and scrapes, when it's not being used. Still in development are the iMac keyboard "Scarf," the iMac base "Blouse," and an Epson printer "cape."
Blue World Communications today announced the availability of the first beta release of its Lasso Studio 6 for Adobe GoLive 6. Lasso Studio transforms Web site editors, such as GoLive, into robust environments for building Lasso-based Web sites. Lasso is Blue World's database programming environment, which directly competes with other industry standards such as PHP. Lasso Studio 6 for Adobe GoLive 6 is scheduled for final release by the end of 2002. The beta version is currently available to qualified parties by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Lasso Studio 6 for Macromedia Dreamweaver MX is scheduled to be available in early 2003.
MuchoThumbs Pro 3.0.2 is a maintenance update to the $30 Web photo gallery creation software from MuchoSoft. MuchoThumbs Pro 3 offers a tunable directory structure, ASP & PHP page creation and HTML slideshows. It is compatible with Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [Download - 1.7MB] A new application called "eSanta" simulates a connection to the North Pole with which children can email Santa Claus with a Christmas wish list. Unlike several online "Santa sites," eSanta always formulates automated responses. eSanta works locally, and does not rely on Internet services to function. The program also displays the remaining days until Christmas. [Download - 302KB] LiveTime Software today announced the release of LiveTime Support 1.0, the first in a new suite of applications that address the "burgeoning demand" for Business Activity Monitoring solutions. Key features include: a "Knowledge Management" system for storing a detailed base of technical articles, Case Management, for tracking client history, and built-in reports for managing workflow and performance. In November, we noted the upcoming release of LiveTime Support. A single-server/five-user license is $5,000. Notice: Earlier today, we noted the release Now Up-to-Date & Contact 4.2.6, however, the update has since been pulled due to conflicts.
Intuit today launched the Quickbooks 5.0 sweepstakes, which will run until December 16. The grand prize consists of an Apple iMac, an iPod, a .Mac membership and Apple Pro Speakers. Five "first prizes" consist of a 10GB iPod with standard accessories. 25 "second prizes" include one-year subscriptions to .Mac. Purchasers of Quickbooks 5.0 may elect to be entered into the contest, however non-owners may also enter the sweepstakes. Yesterday, we noted that Quickbooks 5.0 is now available for pre-order.
Evening tech news: U.S. District Court Judge J. Frederick Motz expressed "surprise" this morning during a preliminary injunction hearing in the Sun vs. Microsoft antitrust case with the striking down of previous cases by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly; AOL today previewed version 9.0 of its new online Web content software, which is slated for a fall 2003 release; Dell is proceeding with "caution" as it attempts to muscle its way into the into China's technology market, which will soon be the world's second largest.
An article in Network World says that Mac OS X is creating new converts: "Macintosh servers and workstations might no longer be the black sheeps of network and systems management. The reason, IT executives say, is that a new version of Apple's Unix-based operating system - Macintosh OS X 10.2 - is giving them the long-sought-after tools to bring these machines into the management nuclear family."
Nikon Capture 3.5 adds a 10+MP output mode as well as an 'auto-vignetting' mode which corrects for light falloff around the edges of images as well as offers improvements in performance, the ability to work tethered with OS X, dual-monitor support, and more options for color noise reduction. [26MB] Mail Scripts 1.3.3 adds an option to export messages as text files (one file per message) instead of mbox files to the collection of AppleScripts for Mail and Address Book. [218KB] The $50 DictMaker 1.1 is an application for creating, searching and maintaining dictionaries or reference lists of any kind: "Driven by a high performance database engine it is fast, robust and reliable. It is a tool that can be used to maintain and distribute dictionaries, common terminology and reference information of any kind." Double-Byte language support is planned for early 2003. [2.8MB] Emila 0.31 is an indexing and search tool for your email. It creates a master database of your existing email, and lets you perform various kinds of searching and filtering on that database. [200KB] AppMac has released wKiosk 1.0 for Mac OS X, its full-screen web browser for internet kiosks. It offers options to hide/show the toolbar and URL field as well as security for preferences, bookmark management, managed URL access, and automatic return to the homepage after a timeout period. It is $100 until the end of the year. [7.0MB] MacChampion's Alepin 2.11 updates the company's Note Pad replacement for OS X. The free update to the $10 shareware adds new Toolbar icons, a new Highlighter tool and menu, tracking of creation and modification dates for pages, Stickies X import, and automatic creation of a new page after pasting or dragging text. [571KB]
KB Roundup: Apple says that some Entourage messages could be lost after a Force Quit under Mac OS X 10.1 and that it added data loss prevention features under Mac OS X 10.2; Apple describes how to turn off NetInfo and LDAP connections at startup to improve startup times (and prevent from "being unexpectedly managed"); A cable select feature in some Power Macs forces the device to set its ID as either master or slave, based upon its position on the ATA/ATAPI cable--only Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors) and education model of Power Mac G4 (QuickSilver 2002); and Apple describes how to use a Sony Ericsson T68 phone as a Bluetooth Modem.
MacNN reader Chris Lopata notes that Microtek has quietly delayed the release of some of its scanner drivers after releasing ScanWizard 7 last week: "Microtek revised its Mac OS X release schedule for many of its scanner drivers. Several drivers that had been listed with release dates of Dec. 1, 2002 (immediately prior to the US Thanksgiving weekend) have been push back to a future date 'to be announced.'"
Canon today debuted its PowerShot S45, the successor to the PowerShot S40. The 4.0 megapixel digital camera features a high-resolution 3X f/2.8 optical zoom lens and a compact, silver-toned aluminum exterior, exclusive "DIGIC" Imaging Processor to help improve overall image quality, increased processing speed and enhanced camera features such as a 9-Point AiAF autofocus system; 9-position White Balance; an improved Movie Mode that captures clips up to 3 minutes of video with sound; and Direct Print capabilities with Canon printers. It will be available in December for $650.
Electric Rain has released Swift 3D LW 2.0, which allows LightWave 3D users to render 3D content to the SWF file format as both vector and raster output as well as AI, EPS, SVG and Toon Boom's PNT format. Version 2.0 offers an improved RAViX III rendering engine (with transparency, reflectivity, advanced specularity, and multiple shadows), "smart" layering technology, and textured raster export to SWF. It is available for both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X for $250. Upgrades are $150 with a special $20 discount through December 20th.
Audible today announced Mac OS X compatibility for its Otis portable digital audio player: "Users will soon be able to download audio files, transfer them to the Otis and listen to any of Audible's 34,000 hours of valuable spoken audio on the go. Audible is the leading provider of downloadable spoken audio that informs and entertains anywhere and at anytime with audio editions of books, newspapers, magazines, radio programs and original shows." Otis, with 64 MB of internal memory and a card slot for adding an external SD memory card, can play MP3 files as well as Audible's own secure audio formats is available for free with a 12-month membership (pricing starts at $15/month). Mac compatibility is due by the end of the week.
counsell.net has released My Address Book v1.0.1, a $15 shareware that allows information from Apple's Mac OS X 10.2 Address Book to be uploaded to a MySQL database; it will quickly connect to a MySQL server, create the required data table, upload information, and create a PHP Web page to view/search uploaded entries. [895KB] St. Clair Software's Default Folder X 1.6.4 is an update to its popular utility for enhancing Open/Save dialogs in Mac OS X. It adds a menu to the Dock for quick access to folders, includes the ability to exclude Default Folder X from certain applications, and delivers significant improvements in reliability and performance. [2.6MB] QuickPopup 3.1b is a public beta of the application that allows users to exchange popup messages over corporate, school and home networks without connecting to the Internet. It now keeps a message archive, transparent message encryption, clickable URL, and long user name support. Pricing starts at $15 per copy with substantial discounts for site licenses and education institutions. PigMoney 1.0 is a new expense-tracking application for Mac OS X featuring auto-complete and auto-repeat functions as well as a dynamic search field and transaction filters. It can import data from other applications (including databases, spreadsheets and other financial apps) using tab delimited text. Data can be exported to tab delimited text as well as to Quicken (TM) QIF format. The $13 shareware (introductory offer) is available for Mac OS X 10.2. [267KB] Xupport 1.2.1 adds an option to activate "File System Journaling" in Mac OS X 10.2.2 in the $20 shareware system utility that can configure many "hidden" Mac OS X options, including system/network optimizations, bootable backups, firewall configuration, and system service changes. [318KB] 24U Commenter 1.0 is a $10 COM plug-in for Metrowerks CodeWarrior that allows you to comment out or uncomment the current selections much faster by adding an "Un/Comment Selection" as a new menu item to the Edit Menu as well as a configurable keyboard shortcut. [49KB] The $60 email tool sMailing 4.5.2 brings a better SMTP engine, better performance, Base64 and MD5 authentification support, improved logging, new import functions, and other bug fixes. It is available in English, French, and Spanish. [4.5]
Following our report late last month (based on a reader tip), The Chronicle of Higher Education has a follow-up story on Saint Leo University's plan to offer an iBook laptop to every incoming residential student and full-time faculty member. The article notes that the decision was made largely on Apple's promise for ample technical support for the machines, despite some concerns by the faculty.
Apple's senior vice president of retail Ron Johnson said that Apple had its busiest week ever at its retail stores, with over 365,000 people visiting its 50 stores in the six-day Thanksgiving week, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
PGP today released PGP Personal 8.0 and PGP Desktop 8.0, which includes full support for Mac OS X (10.2 and later); new enhanced user interface; plug-in for Apple Mail that supports PGP/MIME (RFC 3156); Microsoft Entourage integration; dock and services integration; expanded Unicode support for multiple language and country support in keys and data; PGP Disk format compatibility between Mac OS X and Windows; and encrypt using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) in PGP Disk. A promotional price of $40 is available for PGP Personal (PGP Disk and PGP Mail) through the holiday season. (PGP Admin 8.0 for use with PGP Enterprise and PGP Desktop as well as its other PGP VPN or PGP Firewall products will be available during 2003.)
Mozilla.org has posted Mozilla 1.2.1, an update to its open-source browser project. It fixes a DHTML bug in Mozilla 1.2, which caused some sites to be rendered improperly. [Classic, OSX] SwapTop 1.9 is an update to the $15 shareware Desktop Picture management utility. It allows Mac users to set up a schedule to automatically select a random desktop picture, to download new pictures from the Webshots network each day, and to search online for new images. Version 1.9 adds a Mac OS X screen saver module for displaying archived pictures and also adds new Dock menu commands, and fixes a potential scheduling bug after sleep. It is available for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [611KB] Proteron has released LiteSwitch X 1.5, an update to its Mac OS X keyboard application switcher. It includes new options in the preference pane, scroll-wheel and key-repeat support, custom color and transparency settings, and support for international unicode. The $15 utility is free to users of MaxMenus ($30). [529KB] Stupendous Software has released two new iMovie plugin packs, containing a total of 45 effects, including 8 free effects. Scratch & Dirt, which has 23 effects, includes effects for making video clips look like film by adding film artifacts and damage, while SplitScreen & PiP (22 effects, 4 free) includes effects for combining multiple clips into split-screen and picture-in-picture configurations. Each pack is $25 and is compatible with Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [SD, SSPP] Now Software has released Now Up-to-Date & Contact 4.2.6, which allows users to open and read calendars created in the company's recently released Windows version of Now Up-to-Date. It is a free update to the $90 application. [Updated pulled by developer] Christi's Tree 2.0 is a free desktop Christmas tree for Mac OS X, which "works either as a floating desktop christmas tree or as a dockable christmas tree. Christi's Tree can be decorated with lights, christmas balls, and cranberry garland, or just left as a plain tree." [604KB]
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