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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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE