Apple knowledge base notes: Apple Open Firmware Update 4.1.7 on Mac OS X 10.1 and later provides the groundwork for password protecting computers at a low level. Apple also notes that it is possible to specify the memory usage settings for a Classic application in Mac OS X by selecting Show Info from the File menu and choosing Memory from the pop-up menu.
Citrix Systems today announced the availability of an ICA 6.3 client for Mac OS X. The ICA (Independent Computing Architecture) client takes advantage of Apple's Aqua interface technology to offer a UI consistent with that of other applications running on Mac OS X. ICA technology provides a "foundation for deploying applications and information onto any device," by keeping program logic on the server, and utilizing a client-side user interface. It offers ennhanced Internet proxy server support, transport layer security encryption, universal printer driver support, and multiple session support. [Classic, OSX]
PBS has identified a a Mac-compatibility issue affecting computers within 349 of the broadcasting company's stations. Those who use PBS Connect -- the database software used by many employees and affiliates -- with a Macintosh and Microsoft Internet Explorer, may find that the "back" function does not work as expected. Users have been advised to either access the service using Netscape, instead of Internet Explorer, or use IE's 'Open Link in New Window' feature. PBS has contacted Microsoft, and will issue an announcement upon resolution of this conflict.
Apple recently began offering celebrity-branded iPods as well as custom-engraved iPods as a part of its "iPod Corporate Gift" program (available via the Apple Store). A MacNN reader notes that Apple has apparently engraved a limited number of iPods for Steven Spielberg's mini-series "Taken," and that one such iPod is now up for auction on eBay.
Atomic Bird's Macaroni 1.3 adds a new Mac OS X "repair permissions" feature as well as an "apply to all" option in job-scheduling restrictions to the $8 tool that handles regular maintenance for Mac OS X's UNIX core. [1.5MB] MacAnalysis 2.2.6 is a $50 utility that "hacks your server (Unix, NT, Mac) like any experienced hacker would, and informs you what it did and how to efficiently fix the vulnerabilities in your server. [It] recognizes specific versions of specific daemons [and] gives a detailed description of the issues it discovers on your server." The built-in database is updated regularly and it includes trace IP, visual traceroute, firewall, ping, name scan, finger, port scan, reverse IP, services scan, DNS lookup, whois, email notification, and other functions. [Classic, OSX] ThemeChanger v11 is a freeware theme changer for Mac OS X, which currently supports .theme, and tpkg2 files: "It's still in early alpha so don't expect a finalised product." [112KB] Optipix 1.1 updates Reindeer Graphics' $100 suite of Photoshop plug-ins for enhancing digital photographs (for Mac OS 9/X). It adds two new plugins: Safe Median, a variation on the standard median technique for noise removal that is both color-safe and leaves corners intact. Power Median, a median plugin with a user-definable neighborhood, is designed to remove noise that has an orientation, such as scratches. [252KB] Optigold ISP 3.1.4 adds the ability to define a password retrieval letter, employee reports, bug fixes and feature requests to the $1000 cross-platform business software package. Optigold is a specially-designed business management suite intended for use by Internet Serbice providers. [Download form] Pod2Go 0.4 is a free application that will download news, weather information, and stock quotes to an iPod. Version 0.4 adds RSS support, 40 more news sources, vCard output and improved documentation. It automatically syncs content when the iPod plugged in and also includes weather display options. [275KB]
MacProf has published an interesting tutorial that shows how to install an "internal" Bluetooth adapter into a PowerBook G4. The demonstrated implementation allows for rapid removal of the device, should it cause radio interference in a specific situation. Internal installation of the Mitsumi adapter requires soldering, and thus voids the warranty of the PowerBook.
AquaMinds's NoteTaker 2003 is new Mac OS X application featuring a "spiral notebook with tab sections" metaphor with transparent support for Services, QuickTime multimedia support, AppleScript programmability (technology preview), embedded web page viewing, and document/file linking. "[It] also makes extensive use of user defined Categories for database-like management and active indexing of content for on-demand information lookup and retrieval." Users can take notes, manage project plans, create slide presentations, drag or clip information from other applications (or use NoteTaker Services), index and search notebooks, publish and share information, and add voice memos. The $70 application runs on Mac OS X only.
NoteHeads' professional music notation application, Igor Engraver 1.7, brings Music XML import functions, allowing users to enter music by scanning a score and producing Music XML (with the help of another program) and then importing the data into Igor Engraver. The free update also incorporates a new copy protection scheme using serial numbers and has other bug fixes. [14MB] PrefsOverload 5.1.3 is a manteinance update to the $15 shareware utility for managing preference files on Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. It can now delete entire folders on Mac OS X and also brings some minor interface improvements. [2.4MB] batista.org today released version 2.0 of Pop-Up Zapper ($20 shareware) for Mac OS X which now "features invisible popup windows. Pop-Up Zapper makes popup windows invisible in Internet Explorer and then zaps them away. The user can selectively allow 1 popup window to exist and can have a custom list of sites where popup windows are allowed." [728KB] CommonGround Softworks has posted a Mac OS X 10.2-compatible version of Qilan 2.7b3, its Web development environment that "allows web sites to communicate with single or multiple 'backend' data sources. The Qilan graphic environment builds query and report logic that reside on the web server." The upgrade also adds access support for Microsoft Access database schemas and data. It will be a $100 upgrade.
Apple Specialist Haddock has opened a store in Oklahoma City, OK at the request of Apple (and as an answer to peoples' request for an Apple Store). The new store is "right next to the newest Jimmy's Egg restaurant, and across the street from Barnes & Noble on North May at Memorial Street" and currently taking application for service and retail positions.
Formac today announced that Decisionmarkís TitanTV.com electronic programming guide (EPG) will be incorporated into Formacís studio tvr software, which is bundled with its studio DV/TV. The software enables Mac users to watch and record TV from their computer, and to receive up-to-date program listings with Ďone-step schedulingí and personal video recording (PVR) capabilities. Studio DV/TV ($400) is a high-quality digital video recording solution that captures and converts standard analog television/video signals into professional DV format.
Canon has posted its File Viewer Utility 1.1.1 for Mac OS X, which "allows you to process RAW images into 16-bit TIFF files, 8-bit TIFF files or JPEGs. In addition, the File Viewer Utility can be used for a broad range of RAW file adjustments, including image processing parameters (digital exposure compensation, white balance and color matrix settings, custom tone curves, subject pattern sharpness and edge enhancement), as well as detailed IPTC captioning and even the application of up to 26 different Personal Functions to the EOS-1D and EOS-1Ds." It supports EOS (1Ds, 1D, D60, D30) and PowerShot cameras (G3, G2, G1, S45, S40, S30, Pro90 IS) and is now Jaguar-compatible. [form] Canon has also released Mac OS X native drivers for its flatbed scanners, including the 5000F, 8000F, D1230UF, D2400UF, LiDE 20, LiDE 30, N670U, N676U, N1240U, N650U, N656U, and N1220U CanoScan models.
Broadq's Qcast Tuner 1.0 allows PlayStation 2 users (with a Sony network adapter) to use their gaming console as a media player. It offers playback of DivX, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MS MPEG-4, AC3, and Ogg-Vorbis encoded files as well as integrated playlists, parental/access controls functions, slideshow functions, and other functions. The $50 application runs of Mac OS X.
Macromedia today announced it is shipping Macromedia Director MX for Mac OS X, its multimedia authoring environment for building interactive content and applications for CD/DVD-ROM, kiosks, and the web. It includes seamless integration with Macromedia Flash MX, the new Macromedia MX user interface, Mac OS X support, new workflow efficiencies, and the ability to create accessible content for people with disabilities. It is available immediately for $1,200. Upgrades are $400 from v8 or v8.5; while educational pricing is $500.
Apple today announced it will broadcast Steve Jobs' keynote via satellite and the web (via a QuickTime Webcast) at Macworld San Francisco on Tuesday, January 7th at 9 a.m. PST.
Dr RawStock introduced its AtomicMedia brand of high-performance DVD-R 4X recordable discs, which are designed for the professional filmmaker using the Pioneer A05 (or compatible) mechanism and are "extremely affordable, retailing for as much as 70% below competing brands." A single disc (including case) is $3.30, whle a spool of 25 discs is $65.
Yamaha today introduced its internal CRW-F1ZEM CD-Recorder ($130) for Apple's Power Mac G4 towers (mirrored drive doors). The drive features 8MB of memory and burn speeds of up to 44x (CD-R). It features the DiscT@2 (Tattoo) Laser Labeling System, which allows graphics and text to be burnt onto CD-R discs, eliminating the need for labels and "is also the first CD recorder ever to offer 24X CD-RW ReWriting. Mt. Rainier support adds true drag-and-drop CD rewriting and on-the-fly formatting to CD-RW creation." Yamaha also offers two sleek Mac compatible external models: FireWire/USB (CRW-F1ZDX, $280); and SCSI (CRW-F1ZSX, $330). The Mac version includes Roxio's Toast 5 Lite, Adobe Photoshop LE, and MusicMatch Jukebox. The company says the drives will be carried nationwide by retailers and distributors, including the Apple Store.
Prosoft Engineering today announced two new software titles, which it says will make their debut at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Data Recycler X will safeguard valuable disks and data, providing a safety net for recovering deleted files and folders. In addition, Data Recycler X will scan drive volumes to check file system integrity and will monitor the hard drive to help prevent accidental deletion of valued data as well as provide an early warning system for drive failures. Data Backup, built for both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, provides the ability to backup and restore valuable data. The application offers scheduling and "Programmable Actions" to save and execute custom backup profiles at specific times. Each title will be $50 and will be available for purchase after January 7th.
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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