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MOTU last week announced MachFive, a $400 universal sampler plug-in for Macintosh and Windows. MachFive supports all major plug-in formats on both platforms (MAS, VST, RTAS, HTDM, Audio Units and DXi) and imports all major audio file, sample and soundbank formats and also offers many advanced sampling features, including support for sample rates up to 192kHz and the ability to import and playback multi-channel samples in surround. MachFive is expected to ship in the first quarter of 2003 for all plug-in formats on Mac OS 9 and OS X, with a Windows version soon to follow. Disk streaming (the ability to stream very large samples from hard disk) will be offered as a free update soon thereafter.
MacNN sources report that Apple may delay the release of iLife, its suite of four digital hub applications due to problems with GM ("Golden Master") of the iLife CD. The $50 package will not be available for sale as anticipated on Saturday, January 25th (and the new release date was not yet known); however, the unreleased individual components, iMovie 3 and iPhoto 2, maybe made available via the Internet for download (as previously announced). iTunes 3 is already available (released last fall) and iDVD 3 will only be available as part of the retail package. (Apple would not return phone calls to confirm the iLife delay or the availability of iPhoto 2 and iMovie 3 downloads). New Apple Store orders are quoting 5-7 days for the estimated shipping date, while one reader noted that his order would ship on January 30th. [We are seeking additional confirmation and details.]
An Adobe promotion encouraging engineering houses to move to Adobe Acrobat as part of their workflow in drawing production has brought about some problems with the Acrobat software not running in Mac OS X.
A reader notes a security issue with MYOB 3 relating to permissions. "I've had an ongoing discussion with the tech support about permissions required to run the program. What it boils down to is this, the normal user of the program is required to have access permissions, rwx, to the MYOB applications directory..."
FireWire Depot has announced a number of new products, some of which will be available now and some within the next 30 days. The company also said it would introduce and begin shipping FireWire 800 (1394b) products in March, including enclosures, hubs, repeaters, PCI cards, and cables. The 2.5" eDrive enclosure for 9.5mm and 12.5mm hard drives in FireWire-only ($100) and FireWire/USB 2.0 ($110) configurations. The IceCube 3.5" FireWire hard drive enclosure ($115). The combo FireWire/USB 2.0 version will be available soon. It supports 160GB and 250GB versions of both Maxtor and Western Digital (WD) drives. The MantaRay 3.5" FireWire hard drive enclosure ($115) is also compatible with the high-capacity Maxtor and WD drives. The HotButter 5.25" FireWire enclosure ($110). A FireWire/USB 2.0 version will be available soon. New PowerBook G4, PowerBook G3, and iBook mini power supplies ($65). The FireDINO Hubzilla 4 port FireWire hub/repeater ($75). ColdChisel FireWire DVDROM/CDRW portable ($280).
MacNN reader Geoff Harriman has informed us that the free trial version of TurboTax for registered Quicken for Mac users is only Windows compatible. "I thought about trying to run it in Virtual PC. Imagine my surprise on discovering that even this second-rate alternative was specifically named impossible on the label: "This TurboTax for Windows product will not run on a Mac operating system using Windows emulation software."" After calling an Intuit customer service rep, Geoff was informed that the promotion was not valid for Mac users, and to try TurboTax would cost $50. "That seems like an ill-chosen (and annoying) strategy for a company trying to overcome a legacy of uneven, inconsistent and shoddy Mac support."
Simon Extreme 1.0.1 is a Mac OS X version of the 1978 Milton Bradley game, Simon. The update fixes hanging problems some users were having. [2.7MB,] MaBaSoft has released Application Wizard 1.0, which opens, quits and shows/hides a single application or a group of applications. Users can also force applications to quit and relaunch them, start and stop Classic, relaunch the Finder and the Dock, log out, put computers to sleep or restart and shut down. The $15 tool is available in English, German, Dutch, French and Italian. [1.7MB] Alepin 2.2 is a $10 shareware alternative Notepad and Scrapbook for Mac OS X. It offers features such as importing from the Classic Note Pad, Stickies X or folders of text files, RTFD Export, multi-page documents, Auto-open of a specific file, auto-save, QuickFind, sorting and naming using the Categories drawer and more. [462KB] iVisit X 2.8a2 is a solution for multi-party video, audio and text conferencing over the Internet or intranets. The Mac OS X tool supports color video, multiple simultaneous connections, call screening, quality settings for video and more. [724KB] X Resource Graph 0.1.5 (XRG) is an open source system monitor application for Mac OS X. It monitors CPU and memory usage, network and disk activity and local weather. The update squashes bugs, adds the ability to modify the graph refresh rates and more. [224KB]
A MacNN reader notes that the Apple Store in Tysons Corner has the 12" PowerBook in stock. "...while I was there an employee was unpacking a 12" PowerBook. He said they had a few in stock." We previously noted that several readers receiving shipment confirmation of 12" Aluminum PowerBook orders. Another reader has informed us that the Apple Store in Denver has received a first shipment of 12" PowerBooks as well. Mac Business Solutions in Gaithersburg, MD has also received its first shipment of 12" PowerBooks, and has posted a gallery of photos. [updated]
JAMF Software has announced that its Casper Suite will now be free for K-12 systems. The Mac OS 9 & X tool does not require users create a complete install image for different departmental configurations, but instead keeps separate images for each application. "... if you have one department that will need Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Mozilla and one that will need Powerpoint, Excel, and iCal there is absolutely no reason to maintain two 3GB disk images."
Blizzard Entertainment has announced plans for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, an expansion set to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. The expansion set includes a new chapter in the Warcraft saga, along with one new Hero per race, new units, 3 new tilesets, player-built shops, neutral Heroes and more. The strategy game is slated for release in the summer of 2003 and is expected to retail for $35. Both Mac and PC versions will be released simultaneously.
Wired News reports that Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, has given Kevin Mitnick, who was labeled "the most wanted computer criminal in U.S. history," a 1GHz PowerBook G4 after his parole ended on Monday. "When Mitnick was locked up, the Web was mostly text. Popup ads and multimedia were nonexistent. The last browser he used was an early version of Mosaic (which later became Netscape's Navigator)." Tuesday, two federal appellate courts ruled that Internet prohibition was too broad a punishment for computer criminals, saying that it was as essential as a phone (free registration required).
Apple's focus on computer and software development misses the company's core strengths, according to Russ McGuire, the online director of Business Reform Magazine: Apple should "go searching for the next insanely great product. What's the next item that has technology that's ready, a market environment that's ripe, but which lacks the incredible design that can both make it work easily and well, but also make people want it? That's what Apple should be all about. Capturing the margins while the product is hot. Exiting the product line when it commoditizes."
MacNN reader William Clark notes that UK consumer electronics store chain Dixons, which has had trouble keeping iPods in stock until now, will no longer sell Apple's digital music player. Although the reason for the decision was unclear, a store employee speculated that it may be related to Apple's iPod stocking policy, which requires the chain order one Mac for every PC version (the Mac version doesn't sell nearly as well) or Apple's inability to provide enough PC units for the demand. The device is not available via its online ecommerce store.
The New York Times reports that a federal judge ordered Verizon to give the RIAA the identity of an Internet subscriber suspected of making available unauthorized copies of several hundred songs--even though it had not filed a lawsuit against the individual. Meanwhile, The Boston Globe notes that the ruling may "chill the practice of Internet music swapping." "It's also a severe legal setback for critics of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a controversial 1998 federal law designed to prevent illegal distribution of copyrighted materials in digital form. Supporters of the law, including the recording industry, computer software makers, and Hollywood movie studios, say it's a vital weapon in their efforts to prevent theft of their valuable intellectual property. But critics argue the law gives major corporations unreasonable powers to restrict the freedom and invade the privacy of consumers."
A Better Finder Select 3.0b1 is a beta of the Finder file filtering utility for Mac OS X. The $10 shareware contextual menu plugin, which allows power users to filter file selections based on a range of criteria, has been rewritten from scratch to take full advantage of Mac OS X's Cocoa programming interface. [1.5MB] Macron software's $8 shareware GPRS Script Generator 1.5 is an utility to create Macintosh modem scripts to connect to the internet using a GPRS enabled mobile phone. Version 1.5 add more carrier presets bringing the list of supported carriers to more than 100 network mobile operators. [1.1MB] MAKI Enterprise has updated Kids GoGoGo 6.6.0, its $30 access control application for Internet access (via content filtering and a built-in database) and restricting computer use. It offers the ability to directly view browser histories, supports time-based restrictions, support for Apple's Safari browser, user-based application restrictions, an extended database, and a new trial period. [Classic, OSX]
IGG Software has released iWork 1.1.2, a $20 shareware time-billing and invoicing app that integrates with iCal and Address Book. New features include the ability to make job events To Do items in iCal, automatic invoice number generation, an invoice palette for storing often used graphics and formatted text and French, German and Italian localization. [1.6MB] Paul Berkowitz has updated Sync Entourage-Address Book 1.1, an AppleScript application which keeps Microsoft Entourage and the Jaguar Address Book syncronized. The update enables one-way syncing to avoid the corruption and allows you to keep Address Book's display sorted as Last name First. [3.4MB] CommandSets.com has released ten command sets for the speech recognition system built into Mac OS X (a.k.a., PlainTalk). Combined the sets add almost 700 spoken commands to Mac OS X's vocabulary. The sets include PlainTalk versions of sets previously released for iListen and ViaVoice, including BBEdit, iCal, iPhoto, iTunes, Mail, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Word, and MS Messenger. The new set has over 40 commands for Apple's TextEdit program. The new Command Sets sell for between $8 and $25. For a limited time, it is giving away the full TextEdit command set for either iListen, PlainTalk, or ViaVoice. Export-Import Entourage 1.2.5 will export and import almost everything from one identity of Entourage X to any other (to and from Entourage 2001) , as well as transfer Contacts. Calendar, Tasks and Notes to and from other PIM programs on the Mac and Windows, with special converters for Microsoft Outlook , Excel and other programs. [OSX only]
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Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ