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]
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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