MacAcademy today announced the return of the Learning Extravaganza, to be held in Orlando, FL. March 17-21, 2003. Back by popular request, the event offers four days of training, 64 workshops, and seven of the nation's leading instructors in their fields of expertise. It provides a variety of hard-to-find training workshops, such as Mac OS X 10.2, Excel, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, Final Cut Pro, Illustrator, and DVD Studio Pro.
Leaders from the Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and L.A. Final Cut Pro user groups will meet for the first time at the NYDV Show, Friday, January 31 beginning at 7:00 p.m. A number of New York-area FCP gurus are expected to deliver presentations and speeches. Over 400 Final Cut Pro users gathered at a similar event earlier this month, at Macworld Expo in San Francisco.
A new Apple retail outlet is among the stores planned for the new "Short Pump Town Center" mall in Richmond, Virginia. The mall, which was described by a local MacNN reader as "upscale" is expected to open this Fall. Other stores include Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel, and Pottery Barn.
Apple Knowledge Base notes: Mac OS X's Grab.app allows users to capture the screen's contents in the form of a PDF or TIFF file; Some Sony DFW-VL500 cameras may not register as connected when they are, in fact, connected to the computer's FireWire 800 port; Apple has outlined which Macintosh computers are available with built-in Bluetooth modules.
The 10GB iPod is again available for order, and is in stock at the Apple Store. Additionally, it is available as a BTO option on the new Power Macs. The 5GB model is no longer a BTO option for Power Mac buyers; it remains unavailable for individual order as well. The 22-inch Apple Cinema display -- which was discontinued today in favor of a new 20-inch model with more work space -- is still available at Apple retail stores nationwide for a discount price of $1500.
c|net reports tha Opera Software has "expressed significant doubts it will continue producing a browser for the Mac OS, echoing a growing problem for third-party Mac developers as Apple Computer steps up its own application development efforts."
Extensis today announced it is shipping Portfolio 6.1 for Mac OS X, its Digital Asset Management solution. In addition to adding Mac OS X compatibility, Portfolio 6.1 offers a redesigned user interface, adds a recently used catalogs menu, long filename support, and a new batch rename feature. It is available for immediate download and is a free update to registered Portfolio 6 users. Boxed versions are expected to ship on February 7, 2003 for $200. Version 5 customers can upgrade for $100.
PTHiTunesNotifier 2.1 adds the ability to disable the menu bar controller and a hotkey for toggling play/pause to the freeware application that pops up information about the currently playing track in iTunes. [281KB] SafariTabs 1.0 allows users to launch several bookmarks groups. The transparent launcher located in top-left corner of the desktop. The $15 shareware allows users to open Safari's windows from grouped bookmarks. It offers drag & drop support, the ability to create new bookmarks categories, add new bookmarks in the defined categories, and to modify the existing bookmarks. [268KB] MacWise 10.3 allows a Macintosh to be used as a terminal -- connected to a host computer directly, by modem, or over the Internet. The emulators support video attributes such as dim, reverse, underline, 132-column modes, and graphic characters sent from the host computer, as well as enhanced Viewpoint mode. It emulates ADDS Viewpoint, Wyse 50, Wyse 60, Wyse 370, Televideo TV 925, DEC VT100 and Prism terminals. It is $95 and available for Mac OS X. [1.7MB] LabanWriter 4.4 is a free graphical notation editor for Laban Movement Notation. Labanotation can be used for recording dances, or any type of movement in written form. This version adds a new tool for creating spirals, and the ability to zoom in and out of a score while working. It runs under Mac OS 8/9/X. [1.3MB] Unsanity has updated WindowShade X 2.1.2, the $7 shareware utility that brings back the classic window shade function to Mac OS X. The minor update fixes several bugs including X11 compatibility. [1.1MB]
Iogear today debuted its palm-sized USB print server, which users on a network to share a USB printer capable of printing standard or tabloid-sized documents. The printer server integrates Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) to allow users to print from any computer over a LAN/WAN (Local Area Network/Wide Area Network) or the Internet by specifying the device's URL. It also supports multiple protocols (IPX, TCP/IP, Netbuei, AppleTalk, lpr, SMB) and incoporates a built-in Web management to configure, monitor and reset the printer. The USB device has an auto-sensing 10/100Base-T port. Update: IOGEAR let us the know the device is available now for $90. [updated]
Secure.CC today announced eShox 1.3.2 (as well as mShox 1.3.2). The single-app ecommerce solution features a new Safari store interface theme, mproved shop/admin interfaces (includng one-step process for adding shop products and improved multi-manufacturer and multi-product interfaces), view/print invoice options for customers, compatibility with Mac OS X Server 10.2, support for Canada Post and UPS Canada shipping carriers, and other bug fixes and optimizations. eShox is a storefront solution for Mac OS X, while mShox is a music industry-specific version. A discounted introductory price of $300 for each product is still available.
Some notes on the updated Power Mac G4s: The only Mac OS 9 bootable machine is an older Dual 1.25GHz PowerPC G4 (with 2MB of DDR L3 cache per processor) for $2,499. It is available at the Apple Store. All the Power Macs are pre-installed with (and only run) Mac OS X. All models are "Bluetooth ready" and require a $50 Apple Bluetooth module for full functionality All 3 models feature 64MB of GPU memory. The Radeon 9700 Pro is available as a BTO option, but is listed as "coming soon" for an additional $300. The Nvidia GeForce4 Titanium with 128MB is available now as a $300 BTO option. The high-end dual-1.42GHz model features 2MB of DDR SDRAM per processor versus 1MB on each of the lower-end models. An updated SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) writes DVD-R discs at 4x speed, reads DVDs at 8x speed, and has a 16x/8x/32x mechanism (vs. 2x/6x DVD-R and 8x/4x/24x CD-RW in previous SuperDrive models). Only the high-end model is equipped with a SuperDrive (where as the top 2 previous models featured a SuperDrive). It is available as a $200 BTO option. Ultra160 SCSI drives are no longer available as a BTO option on Power Macs, however, Ultra SCSI PCI card is a $50 option. A new 180GB Ultra ATA option is available as a $150 upgrade from the 120GB drive.
With Enterprise Pty Ltd has announced the immediate release of Witango 5 for Mac OS X (based on Pervasive's Tango codebase). Witango 5's visual programming interface allows developers to quickly build sophisticated web applications that connect web sites to databases. It offers full support for ODBC and supports the native Oracle Call Interface and "will be joined by Witango 5 FileMaker Server for Mac OS X as soon as possible in 2003." Witango outputs XML files, runs in full pre-emptive multitasking mode, offers mail integration (POP3, IMAP4 and SMTP), features XML web services, includes enhanced debugging, incorporates expanded error reporting options, and optimizes variable handling. Prices starts at $600, while upgrades are $415. A free demo is available.
Brother today announced it previewed new color flatbed Multi-Function Center (MFC) models at this month's 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show. The 6-in-1 models feature color inkjet printing, color copying, color scanning, color faxing, PC faxing, and PhotoCapture functions as well as other functions.
Interarchy 6.1 is an update to the $45 shareware file transfer utility, bringing Rendezvous support, an improved installer, SFTP set permissions fixes, and other enhancements. Math Game House has released iStorm 2.0, an update to its group collaboration application. Version 2.0 features a built-in TeX interface and Math Processor, as well as the full-color shared chalkboard for group collaboration. The Math and TeX interface sport intelligent in-line substitution mode, which enables users to type an expression and see it replaced by TeX equation or the answer by a single key stroke. It is $20. [full, upgrade] iChalk 2.0, an Internet-enabled chalkboard for Mac OS X, now supports full color. iChalk also offers a simple chat system, and an innovative tracing. It also allows users to export the chalkboard images as JPEG file and also to a QuickTime movie file. The $10 shareware runs on Mac OS X. [2.6MB] WGA Technologies today released Mac OS version of its authentication client for FireBox firewall systems for large and medium range corporative LANs. WGA Client 1.0 for Macs, an alternative to the Java-based clients, provides the same major features as WGA Version 2 for Windows and supports Mac OS X and Classic Mac OS. A demo is available online. [417KB] Erich Rast has released an update to his $15 shareware password management tool: ForgotIt? 1.4 is a multi-document application for managing passwords and Internet addresses, using strong Blowfish and AES (Rijndael) encryption to protect password lists and can also optionally launch URLs that belong to a password entry. Version 1.4 features better security, cleartext export options, UI enhancements, and other enhancements. [Classic, OSX] Tess 1.50 is a $35 Classic Mac application for exploring the mathematics of tessellations and for creating symmetric illustrations. Version 1.50 for Mac OS 7/8/9 offers 3D viewing modes using OpenGL: "you can now see your illustrations on tori, cylinders, and planes embedded in three dimensions. The geometries of the surfaces used are mathematically connected to the symmetries of the illustration." [672KB]
Apple today introduced the 20-inch Apple Cinema Display, a wide-format active-matrix LCD with 1680x1050 pixel resolution for $1,300. Apple says it provides more work area than Apple's previous 22-inch Cinema Display. Apple also dramatically reduced the price of its 23-inch Cinema HD Display, with 1920x1200 pixel resolution from $3,500 to $2,000 and also reduced the price of its 17-inch Studio Display, providing 1280x1024 pixels, from $1000 to $700.
Apple today announced speed-bumped Power Mac G4s, featuring up to dual-1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processors. The updated Power Macs also feature FireWire 800 and offer internal support for 54Mbps AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth wireless networking. Based on Apple's Xserve (up to 2MB of DDR Level 3 cache and 333 MHz DDR memory), the new Macs offer up to 21 gigaflops (21 billion floating point operations per second) of performance. The Macs bundle both iLife and QuickBooks for Mac New User Edition. The 1GHz Power Mac G4 ($1,500) and dual-1.25GHz Power Mac G4 ($2,000) are available now, while the dual-1.42GHz Power Mac G4 ($2,700) will be available starting next month. single 1GHz G4/133MHz bus/256MB PC2100/60GB/Combo drive/Nvidia GeForce4 MX -- $1,500. dual-1.25GHz G4/167MHz bus/256MB PC2700/80GB/Combo drive/ATI Radeon 9000 Pro -- $2,000 dual-1.42GHz G4/167MHz bus/512MB PC2700/120GB/SuperDrive/ATI Radeon 9000 Pro -- $2,700
The $100 professional for photomanipulation software MacBibble 3.0 is now completely multithreaded and Altivec-optimized, offering speeds up to 10 faster than the other manufacturers' software when converting raw files under OS X. Version 3.0 also offers support for Nikon D1/X/H/100, Fuji S2, Olympus E10/E20 and Kodak 720x/760 cameras, live previews, persistent options via image-based preference files, remembered window positions, an improved image browser, Photoshop integration, IPTC captioning, and batch processing. [3.0MB] Spiny has released Xbench 1.0, an update to the benchmarking utility for Mac OS X: "Xbench is useful not only for comparing the relative speeds of two different Macintoshes, but also for optimizing performance on a single machine. Xbench is accompanied by a website that allows graphical side-by-side comparison of any out of thousands of submitted benchmarks." [264KB] Biorhythms 9 is an update to the biorhythm program for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. New features include: circadian rhythms, Intuition cycle, Advanced/Simple mode, enhanced Calendars and Comparisons, plus comprehensive help. It is $25, while upgrades are $15 for all registered users. [1.6MB] David Feldman has updated iWebCal 1.05 for compatibility with iCal 1.02, allowing users to publish iCal files on the Web without using a WebDAV server or a .Mac account. The PHP-based files allow users to view any iCal 1.02 calendar file via standard Web server. It is open-source and is compatible only with Mac OS X. [form]
Adobe has released a Photoshop 7.0.x AltiVecCore Update plug-in, which enhances the reliability of Adobe Photoshop 7.0.x software running on a Mac OS X that uses the G4 processor: "It does not replace the AltiVecCore plug-in installed in the Plug-Ins:Adobe Photoshop Only:Extensions folder. Both the AltiVecCore and AltiVecCore Update plug-ins should be present in that folder for optimum performance on the G4 processor." [12KB]
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R