Rob Galbraith has posted an article on digital file transfers, comparing an Alienware Laptop, a discontinued Dell Desktop and a MDD Dual 1.25GHz PowerMac in RAW photo and Photoshop batch processing. The article concludes that the Windows machines beat the Mac in virtually all of the benchmarks: "The fastest dual processor Mac has been soundly thumped by one of the fastest single processor PCs. If this report had included a dual processor PC, the PC's margin of victory could have been even greater. Even the Dell, a modestly equipped desktop by current standards, matches or bests the dual 1.25GHz desktop Mac in numerous benchmarks. And the recently discontinued Powerbook G4/800 trails by a significant margin throughout. If the processing of RAW photos in particular is where your workflow hangs up, a Pentium 4-equipped single processor PC offers a compelling solution."
The Iconfactory has released volume 4 of its World of Aqua series by resident artist David Brasgalla. This latest collection includes 17 all new icons for Mac OS X based on objects from the real world, pop culture and more. World of Aqua 4 is available for Mac OS X.
Stata 8 is expected to ship for Mac OS X later this month. The general-purpose statistical package is designed for researchers of all disciplines, and features new publication-quality graphics, a new GUI, new data management functions such as ODBC support for full SQL selection, new statistics, new programming features (object-oriented programming, a programmable GUI, etc.), and significant performance improvements. The application will only be available for Mac OS X. Upgrade pricing starts at $500, while product pricing starts at $1,215 for single-user license. Late last year, Stata also released a Mac OS X version of Stat/Transfer, a $250 application for transferring data among the different spreadsheet and statistical programs. It supports Microsoft Access, dBase, MS Excel, JMP, SPSS, SAS, Stata, Systat, ODBC-compliant sources and many other applications. A $100 discount is offered to education customers.
Dartware has posted a public beta-test release of InterMapper 4.0b4 for Macintosh (Classic and MacOS X). Many of the new features require the use of InterMapper Remote 4.04b4, which is also entering public beta test. Version 4.0 offers drill down maps, aggregate actions to configure multiple devices, remote configuration, a new Map Status probe for scalability, and enhanced monitoring of remote networks with security. PowerMail 4.1.1 brings improvements in importing of PowerMail 3 databases, scripting, compatibility with Mac OS 8.6, spell-checking and German language localization. The $50 email client runs on Mac OS 8/9/X and is available as a time-limited-demo. [4.7MB stupidFish programming has released shadowClipboard b1 for beta testing. shadowClipboard is a cocoa clipboard enhancer that remembers the last ten items copied to the clipboard. a simple interface lets you choose which item to paste into applications. It runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later. [258KB] Desideratum has released Praeco 1.6, an update to its professional eBay auction tool for buyers and sellers. This version adds customizable export functionality, auction notes, increased password security, improved bid result reporting, and an updated database engine. [Classic, OSX] Nano Software has released Accounts 1.4, an update to the personal finance and small business accounting application that is available with both brushed metal and Aqua interfaces. The new version adds reconciliation, calendar date fields, a brushed metal appearance, performance improvements, initial localization for French and German languages and other new features. A demo of the $35 application for Mac OS X only is available. [1.4MB] mod_rendezvous v0.2 is an update to the Apache 1.3.x module which "causes all running Apache 1.3.x servers to register themselves on Rendezvous, and thus be visible in Apple's new Safari browser under the Rendezvous section of the bookmarks, and in any other application which browses for Rendezvous enabled web browsers." The source code is also available. [app, source] EZ shop ($150) enables Web site owners to implement an E-commerce infrastructure "in seconds." It has been updated to include Safari support. It is drag-and-drop-installable, and inlcudes features found in professional packages. "If you have a Web site you can convert to an ecom shop in minutes not hours with EZ shop." [updated link]
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French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
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