Copyright © 2015
Apple has filed a lawsuit accusing hand-held scanner maker Unova of using computer-related technology protected by six patents without permission, according to Bloomberg: "Unova's Intermec unit is using the patented technology in software and scanners that are hand-held or mounted on vehicles and used by delivery people or warehouse workers, Apple claims. The suit seeks to bar Unova and Intermec from selling machines and software that rely on Apple's innovations, including those related to data transmission and the voltage on circuit boards. "Apple's suit is the latest chapter in a fight over technology between the two companies as Unova sued Apple and other computer makers last May, claiming infringement of a patented invention to monitor use and recharging of portable computer batteries. Unova has collected at least $150 million in legal settlements from laptop makers over the 'smart battery' patent."
Apple Knowledge Base notes: To force-quit applications that do not appear in the Dock, special steps must be followed; Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) includes a feature that allows you to "lock" the screens of client computers, this feature can be cutomized by the adminsitrator; it is possible to disable HTML rendering of images or embedded objects in Mail.app; Apple has made available a set of PDF documents that contain instructions for installing replacement parts in the PowerBook G4 (12-inch) computer.
37signals -- an interface and usability analysis group -- has published a report that examines 25 popular e-commerce Web sites. The Apple Store finished in last place, while Lands' End and Petco finished first. The report, which costs $100 to view, evaluates how retailers handle misspellings, synonyms, hyphenation, plurals, and other real-world search query variables.
Jeremy Johnson has posted photos from the grand opening of Apple's Dallas, Texas retail store. A MacNN reader notes that Apple is apparently planning the launch of a Portland, Oregon store, as indicated by Apple's employment Web site.
Script Software's CopyPaste X 1.5.2 is an update to the popular clipboard enhancement utility for Mac OS X. CopyPaste offers contextual menu and dock access to up to 10 saved clipboards, instant application of text filters, import/export of many text file types, and many other productivity features. Version 1.5.2 adds new tools to the contextual menu and the dock menu, including E-mail Comment, E-mail Uncomment, URL Extractor, and Eddress Extractor. [2.3MB] GoogleSynth is an experimental application for texture image synthesis. It attempts to recreate a "target" image using the textures present in an "input" image using random searches of the Google Image Search. [304KB] Webbingtec's HtmlMap Maker 2.1 is a $15 web authoring utility allows you to create image maps without writing code. Version 2.1 adds enhanced cursor display, HTML output case option, and French and German localization. [404KB] Norbert Doerner has released CDFinder 4.02, a maintenance update to his application for catalogging hard disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, floppies, ZIPs and audio-CDs and the TAG info of MP3 files. The $25 shareware runs on Mac OS 8/9/X. [1.1MB] Econ Technologies has updated its webcam application, ImageCaster 1.04. It now includes "Frame Canvas" control, improved script execution and error reporting, enhanced FTP browse and upload options along with several bug fixes. Imagecaster offers the ability to capture video at multiple resolutions from multiple sources, rotate images, add time stamps overlays, and deliver webcam images to FTP servers as well as local hard disks and servers. A demo of the $20 utility for Mac OS X is available. [744KB] Time Track 1.2 has a new AutoTrack feature, which allows users to automatically track the time spent using almost any application. Other new features include background operation, automatic startup at login, AppleScript support, and new Control Strip Module (CSM). The $25 for tracking time spent on projects is bundled with Trinfinity's freeware calendar, QuicKalendar, which can be launched via a menu item or command key. [Classic, OSX] Thinkertons.com has released Jotz 1.2 dubbed as "the zero-learning-curve notepad for Mac OS-X." Version 1.2 adds database functionality by providing note-sorting by up to 8 different note attributes as well instant search display ("LIve Find"). The $18 shareware runs on Mac OS X only. [702KB]
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Hermés face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir