Mozilla's Chimera 0.6 (12-20) adds several new enhancements to the open-source browser project for Mac OS X that has a Cocoa user interface, and embeds the Gecko layout engine. It adds improved stability, support for Shockwave Director content, better RealPlayer support, new toolbar buttons for tabs, automatic downloads, an improved Global History option, more bookmark options, suport for services, support for URL Manager Pro, and support for Rendezvous, allowing you to see local servers (for OS X 10.2.3 and later, enabled via a hidden preference).
Eric Smith -- the man who helped police arrest a scam artist after being scammed himself on eBay -- appeared this evening on CNN's 'Connie Chung Tonight,' to tell his story. Eric, along with a band of other Macintosh users, investigated the crime after being turned away by police. Mr. Smith sold an Apple PowerBook on eBay, but later discovered that the purchaser had given him a fraudulent check. 'Connie Chung Tonight' will air again at 11 pm EST/8 pm PST.
The Hess Memorial Macworld Events and Party Page has been updated to include a list of countless Macworld-related events. "Even if you don't go to the [San Francisco] show, check the list for related Internet events," explains creator Ilene Hoffman. All companies, user groups, and Web sites are asked to send their announcements before Sunday, Jan 5th, 2003 for inclusion in the final list.
Apple has posted its December 2002 Developer Tools update on its (private) Apple Developer Connection site. It is available for free to registered developers. PowerMail 4.1 is an updated version of CTM Development's $50 email client for Mac OS X. The update includes the following: Mac OS X 10.2.3 compatibility; a "Recent Mail" log window; a user interface redesign; partial POP3 downloads; SSL security; server-side mail management; an enhanced address book; mail scheduling; live spell-checking; Address Book integration; and unlimited undos in text fields. [4.6MB] DayChaser 1.01 is a calendar and scheduling application built exclusively for Mac OS X. The update improves record deletion, adds Mailsmith integration, offers custom sound alerts, supports annual calendar entries, and other enhancements to the $20 application for Mac OS X. [1.1MB] Wavefunction's Spartan '02 for Macintosh -- a molecular modeling environment for Mac OS X only -- allows users to build, display, manipulate and align organic, inorganic and organometallic molecules, and polypeptides. The company says that a "polynucleotides builder, automatic tautomer detector, ribbon style displays for biopolymers, and linear regression analysis will be included in a free maintenance release to all Spartan'02 for Macintosh customers." Commercial pricing is $2,500, while Academic licenses are $1000. Alias|Wavefront today released a public beta of mental ray 1.5, a new version of its rendering plug-in for Maya. Version 1.5 for Mac OS X is available for free and is useable only by licensed Maya 4.5 customers on the Mac OS X platform. [Download form]
Apple has posted a preview release of Script Editor 2.0pr, a Mac OS X application that can read, write, record, and save AppleScript scripts. (It is located in the AppleScript folder in the Applications folder on your hard drive). Script Editor includes a simplied interface, find/replace features, multiple undos, a new dictionary browser (with color coding and grouped events/classes), a contextual menu, and support for Application Services. The preview release of the new GUI scripting architecture uses a special version of the System Events application to enable AppleScript scripts to select menu items, push buttons, enter text into text fields, and generally control the GUI of most non-Classic applications. Apple has posted examples to demonstrate a few possible uses of GUI scripting. It requires Mac OS X 10.2.3.
Gefen will debut its ex-tend-it ADC Switcher at Macworld Expo SF. It allows users use a single Apple flat-panel display, keyboard, mouse and set of speakers with two Macs. The $450 device can accommodate the DVI graphics cards as well for cross-platform system compatibility (and connectivity to legacy Macs). It ships comes with a 28-volt power supply, two six-foot DVI cables for the display connection, two six-foot USB cables for keyboard and mouse, and two audio cables. It can be operated remotely using a RMT-2 remote control (sold separately).
Graphisoft is now shipping Artlantis 4.5 for ArchiCAD, according to Architosh: "the company is running a special Holiday Savings offer where users can save up to 20 percent on the New User pack or Upgrade pack. Artlantis New User Pack includes Artlantis Professional 4.5 for ArchiCAD, Billboard Volume 1, and Shaders 10. The offer ends December 30, 2002." The application runs on Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. VPN Tracker 1.5pr, a preview release, offers better interoperability with third-party VPN solutions (eg. WatchGuard Firebox, Draytek Vigor) and integrates better into corporate firewall structures. VPN Tracker is a Mac OS X client that allows you to connect to other commercial VPN gateways or software gateways using Linux, Mac OS X or Windows. The personal edition (for a single network connection) is $80, while the Professional Edition ($200) can be used to connect two or more networks through a secure internet tunnel connection and can also secure AirPort networks. [2.9MB] MySQL 4.0.6, which addresses the recent security issues (as does MySQL 3.23.54a), is now available and "has been declared 'gamma' which means it is ready for production use, and MySQL AB is encouraging developers to consider switching to 4.0 now." Version 4.0 further increases the speed of MySQL Server in a number of areas, such as bulk INSERTs, searching on packed indexes, creation of FULLTEXT indexes, as well as COUNT(DISTINCT) and offers the InnoDB storage engine as a feature of the standard MySQL server, including full support for transactions and row-level locking. [6.6MB] wKiosk 1.0 ($100) is a full screen, secure web browser designed for internet kiosks. It is powered by the Netscape Gecko HTML engine and offers options to hide the dock, menus, Finder, and individual Web browser elements (URL field, toolbar, etc.) as well as lock the system by disabling 'Force Quit,' Power, and EjectCD keys. It can also manage bookmarks, prevent unauthorized URL access, and restart itself. The company also released wKiosk Server 1.0b2, a software application for managing users of wKiosk and limiting the access time of wKiosk stations. [WK, WKS beta]
Immersion today announced Mac OS X support for its force-feedback technology, which "adds realism to the virtual world by enabling users to feel shock waves, pings, thumps and other sensations while interacting with their computer. Immersion's force-feedback capabilities are now Mac-ready and software developers can incorporate a world of effects into applications running on Apple's latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.2.3. The first use of force-feedback is expected to occur in the field of gaming, where Force-feedback technology for games and peripherals-such as joysticks, game pads, and steering wheels-has become ubiquitous in the PC market."
KB roundup: Apple has outlined the security issues addressed in Mac OS X 10.2.3 (released yesterday). Other support updates note that when file sharing is on, the computer does not go to sleep and that if you include a period in the Rendezvous name for your computer, the system will not warn you that a period is an invalid character and Rendezvous will not save the new name. Apple has also posted the Mac OS X 10.2.3 updater, the Mac OS X 10.2.3 Combo updater, Mac OS X Server 10.2.3 updater, and Mac OS X Server 10.2.3 Combo updater.
Linguisoft has updated its writing tool and grammar checker application: Grammarian Pro X v1.0.2 "addresses many enhanced functionality, performance, and reliability issues and many minor bugs. The list includes typing slowdown fixes and enhanced interactive checking functionality." It is a free update to the $40 application (introductory pricing). Objectpark Development's LetterWorks 1.1 is an update to its application for writing letters: "[It] lets the author focus on content while layout, formatting and default text are determined by a predefined stationery. In addition, LetterWorks automates the process of filling in the receiver's address." The $30 application (holiday pricing) is now available with an Italian user interface. [1.5MB] 4D today released its free 4D Business Kit Dreamweaver plug-in (4DBK Dreamweaver), a GUI extension for Dreamweaver that allows HTML page designers to easily add specific 4D Business Kit tags directly into Dreamweaver MX documents. 4D Business Kit provides catalogs, shopping carts, payment systems, tax calculations, shipping, customer management and order tracking, all integrated into a unified multi-language, multi-store e-commerce tool for $500. [1.1MB] Xupport 1.2.2 updates the Dock position and alignment settings, adds Mac OS shortcuts It provides a clean GUI (Graphical User Interface) to configure many Mac OS X options, that are not or hard to configure manually, and more. It includes several unix command to optimize and secure your Mac, and activates features that are disabled by default. It is $20 and is available for Mac OS X 10.2 only. [322KB] CandyBar 1.03 brings Mac OS X 10.2.3 compatibility to the Mac OS X-only application for customizing the icons found in the toolbars of the Mac OS X Finder. It also lets you customize folders, clipping icons, locations and the OS X Trash icon. [2.0MB] CodeTek's VirtualDesktop 2.1 allows users to switch between multiple desktops and applications. Version 2.1 adds support for Microsoft Word windows in the Pager (which can now be dragged between desktops), adds a new mini-icon in the Status Bar tool (previously a 'V', now a mini-window), and has other enhancements. It is available for $30 for a limited time ($10 off). [4.1MB]
Ableton today released LIVE 2, an upgrade to its sequencing instrument for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. LIVE 2 offers enhancements to the performance and jamming features of the original software and also adds multitrack recording and editing with "Elastic Audio," which is described as the "unique ability to treat audio as being totally malleable with independent control over tempo and pitch. This feature allows tempo to be set at anytime during recording, performance or playback. In addition, users can drop in recordings, loops and complete songs that will play in sync, direct from disk." LIVE 2 can also synchronize loops and recordings of any length at any time, offers advanced automation handling, DJ-like cross-fading, relative session mapping, MIDI-based tempo and transport controls, and new Gate and Redux effects. Upgrades are 70 Euro, while the full version is 400 Euro.
BIAS has began shipping SoundSoap, a new digital audio signal processing tool for the Mac OS X: "SoundSoap is the first professional-quality noise reduction solution that's also easy enough for average consumers to use effectively. By adjusting just two knobs, anyone can reduce unwanted hiss, room noise, rumble, electrical hum, and other background noise from almost any digital media file - including digital video (DV) soundtracks, PowerPoint and other presentation software soundtracks, Flash and other web-tool soundtracks, digital audio workstation tracks, cassette or other analog tape recordings that have been transferred to a computer, and other sources." It is available as a VST plug-in (works with 3.2 of Peak LE, Peak DV, and Peak as well as Cubase SX) and will be available as a standalone application (free downloadable update).
Macromedia has posted a warning about its Macromedia Flash Malformed Header Vulnerability Issue: "Macromedia has recently become aware of a vulnerability where a hand edited malformed Macromedia Flash movie (SWF) header can be exploited to cause a buffer over-write issue which could potentially lead to execution of arbitrary code. This can only occur with Macromedia Flash movies (SWF) that have been hand edited with a binary editor; Macromedia Flash the authoring tool will not output movies with this vulnerability...Macromedia has isolated the issue and released an updated player (6,0,65,0 or later) which is available for download."
Apple today filed its Annual Report (SEC form 10-K), which includes a section on critical accounting policies (revenue recognition, allowances for doubtful accounts, inventory valuation, purchase commitments, valuation of long-lived assets, and valuation of non-Current debt and equity investments and other sales and operational details. We have some annotated highlights from the report...[details added]
Now AAPL Stock: 95.18 ( + 1.54 )
Micromat MacCheck released for free
Micromat, the developers of TechTool Pro, today announced a new troubleshooting utility called MacCheck. The new product can perform a series of critical tests on Macintosh systems, helping to isolate what might be wrong with a particular computer. The program quickly tests many of the critical systems in a Macintosh computer, including RAM, I/O, Volume Structures, Partition Maps, Batteries, and RAID systems. MacCheck is being offered free of charge and is available for download immediately from the Micromat website. http://bit.ly/1SKFwaV
Hyundai Sonata 2016 gains CarPlay
The 2016 Hyundai Sonata can now be upgraded to incorporate Apple's CarPlay mobile technology, which augments the built-in infotainment system in the car to incorporate many iPhone features, such as Apple Maps and Siri voice control of navigation and other smartphone functions. The upgrade is accomplished through an SD card owners can obtain from their local Hyundai dealer. Although not disclosed, the upgrade was said to cost "a small fee" when it was initially announced in December of last year. http://bit.ly/1TJzK8f
TimePorter carry tote for Apple Watch
Twelvesouth today began shipping TimePorter, a new travel tote and portable charging stand for Apple Watch that that carries a 6m Apple Watch charging cable, extra Watch bands, USB chargers and more. The case also incorporates the Apple Watch Charging Disc, converting your case into a charging and display stand. It is available for $50 in white or black. http://bit.ly/1SCQM4T
WaterField cycling ride pouches
WaterField's new cycling ride pouches are custom-fit to carry both in one compact kit and are ready for the summer cycling season. The Cycling Ride Pouch includes a clear window that allows basic phone access with the phone still safely within the case, and the Cycling Club Pouch incorporates a padded phone pocket to separate up to an iPhone 6 Plus-sized phone from the tool compartment. Both handsome pouches fit neatly in a back jersey pocket, with optimized surface area for comfort. The Cycling Ride Pouch sells for $80, with the Club Pouch retailing for $50. http://bit.ly/1rRqN4e
Dish providing on-site iPhone repair services
Dish has expanded into the iPhone repair industry. Available today, the satellite television company's "Smart Phone Repair" routes a technician directly to a customer's door. DISH's network of technicians in all 50 states will repair cracked screens and replace batteries on Apple's iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus. In the coming months, the company intends to expand its service to include additional devices and smartphone accessories. http://bit.ly/1SLaDiW
India rejects Apple's refurb request
Apple's request to the Indian government to be allowed to sell refurbished iPhones has been rejected, a move that will hurt the company's efforts to attract budget-oriented consumers. Opposition to the importation of refurbished iPhones is said to have been led by local smartphone makers (and, it should be noted, Samsung), who feared that lower-cost iPhones would undermine the government's own mandates on manufacturing phones in India, and trigger a flood of used electronics into the marketplace, driving prices generally downward. Currently, Apple has just two percent of the smartphone market there, and is also applying to the government for permission to open directly-controlled Apple Stores. That decision is still pending. http://bloom.bg/1rRgi0I
Amazon Prime Now available via website
Amazon's Prime Now rapid delivery service is now available to use from the web, giving users an alternative to using the normal mobile app. Available as a free option for Prime subscribers in certain areas, the web-based service continues to offer the same selection of goods as the mobile version, and is still free for deliveries within two hours, $8 for within one hour. http://amzn.to/1UvqYgi