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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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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k