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Readers: some iBooks exhibit burning slowdown
MacNN reader Ryan Mulligan notes problems with some iBook burning mechanisms, which do not burn at the rated speed of 16x. The issue has been confirmed by various tech support representatives (and is widely reported in our forums as well as Apple's), but Apple has yet to formally acknowledge the problem or address the issue in either of the recent system updates (Mac OS X 10.2.3/Mac OS X 10.2.4 or via firmware patch). The problem was first noted almost four months ago (in November 2002).
Apps: Tax Cut, Apago, IPNetSentryX, Dark Room
State-specific versions of H&R Block's Tax Cut for Mac are now available for the following U.S. States: CA, IL, MA, MD, MI, MN, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA and WI.
Apago has released AppleScript-based patches for its PDFshrink and PDF Enhancer PDF workflow products to allow the applications to take advantage of Mac OS X 10.2.4's new PDF Services. [Download - 90KB
IPNetSentryX 1.0b2 fixes"idleTimeOfParent" and URL notification, and improves the 'Address Scan' workflow of the security application for Mac OS X: " IPNetSentryX ($40) silently and intelligently watches for suspicious behavior, and when triggered, invokes a solid filter which completely bans the potential intruder from your Macintosh." Upgrades from the Classic version are $20.[Download - 984KB
EZ Shop updates the £100 e-commerce store solution to make it easier for the user to process online payments via its prebuilt shopping cart system for Adobe GoLive users. EZ Shop now includes Paypal and Intellipay merchant scripts.
Pyramid Designs has released version 1.2 of FTP Suite, its set of classes and code modules that allows FTP operations to be implemented in REALbasic applications. This release corrects a number of bugs, adds additional documentation, and brings a number of minor feature additions. Pricing begins at $30. [Download - 4.1MB
Cocktail 1.0.4 is an update to Dicom Datautveckling's application that simplifies the use of of advanced UNIX functions and gives access to hidden Mac OS X settings. Version 1.0b4 adds a new methods for: authorizing users, verifying user's privileges, reading current journaling settings; adds a button for the "Journaling" feature; adds a "Restart Dock" feature and "Report" feature in Auto Pilot. [Download - 833KB
LAJ Design today released Quickie Web Albums 3.0, a cross-platform application that creates custom Web Photo (and movie) albums. It adds support for user comments, the ability to watermark full-size and thumbnail images, preliminary FTP functions, optimized image rotation, and other new functions. [Classic, OSX]
Dantz charges for international tech support
Dantz today announced that it will begin charging its customers for technical support (over the phone). New customers will receive 1 or 2 free incidents (depending on the product purchased) for installation and setup support. These incidents will be valid for only 30 days after the date of a full product or upgrade purchase (requiring proof of purchase). Dantz will charge customers a flat-fee ($40) for single-incident support for Express Users (and $70 for registered customers of other products). The company will continue to offer its online resources for free, saying that these changes were needed to to" keep our costs in line and our support quality at its customary high levels, Dantz must charge for technical support." Correction: Dantz began charging for domestic U.S. technical support calls last year; this model was expanded worldwide today. [updated]
Tech: questions raised about Google
A Web site managed by Public Information Research examines Google's "monopoly," content delivery methods, strategies, data collection, and its use of "spyware." The site accuses the search engine titan of recording all potential information about its users, and using questionable tactics for site ranking. Web log software maker SixApart points to Google's recent acquisition of Pyra (maker of the Blogger journaling software) as unusual.
KB: AP Extreme; notes; manuals
Apple has released documentation that explains how to: reset an AirPort Extreme Base Station; control the range of an AirPort Extreme network; determine if a USB printer is connected; use a printer that is connected to the USB port on an AirPort Extreme Base Station; find the meaning of the indicator lights on the Base Station. Apple also notes that WAN privacy access is not required to enable USB printing.
Apple's Knowledge Base was also updated with information on: changing an account password in Mac OS X; using the Advanced Calculator; erroneous disk error reports; CD recognition problems under Classic; Xserve RAID power consumption and thermal output readings (also see slot-load); and 12-inch PowerBook battery charging. Also described is a no sound after restart bug on a PowerMac G4 (FW 800) computer.
OS X: 3rd-party 802.11g, Classic security bug
@stake, Inc., notes that Mac OS X 10.2.4 fixes a security bug in the Classic Environment, which could allow users to gain root privileges: "TruBlueEnvironment is part of the MacOS Classic Emulator. It is setuid root and installed by default. By setting certain environment variables, it is possible to overwrite any file on the system, or create arbitrary files owned as root with the attacker's umask. This vulnerability can be leveraged to create files that will get executed by root through the cron facility."
Meanwhile, Nick Sayer has written a Perl script for getting Apple's AirPort Extreme driver, now available in Mac OS X 10.2.4, to recognize the Linksys WPC54G PC Card (and perhaps the Linksys WMP54G PCI card)--both of which feature 802.11g compatibility. (Previously, the AirPort driver was only available with AirPort 3.01 software, which was bundle with AirPort Extreme BaseStation.)
Apps: Ugly Dockling, Addressix, PHP 4.3.1...
Ugly Dockling 1.2 can customize change the dock images for Classic Running and Classic stopped, adds a new bug reporting mechanism, and incorporates other bug fixes in the $10 dock utility that can create custom hierarchical menus accessible via the dock. [Classic, OSX]
A Sharp has updated Addressix 1.3, its envelope printing utility for Mac OS X. It now integrates with the Address Book, remembers printer settings, auto-completes addresses, and prints bar codes for automated sorting. A trial of the $13 utility is available online. [416KB]
PHP 4.3.1 is a security fix for the PHP scripting language models: "The PHP Group today announced the details of a serious CGI vulnerability in PHP 4.3.0. A security update, PHP 4.3.1, fixes the issue. Everyone running affected version of PHP (as CGI) are encouraged to upgrade immediately. The new 4.3.1 release does not include any other changes, so upgrading from 4.3.0 is safe and painless."
DVDxDV 0.1 is a new program designed to restore the audio and video from DVDs created with iDVD back to min-DV or any other QuickTime supported format: "If you've ever created a DVD with iDVD and wanted to re-edit the video or send a clip of it over the internet." The beta version of DVDxDV is free; it requires Apple's commercial QuickTime MPEG2 plugin ($30). [493KB]
VLC 0.51: alternative media player for OS X
VLC 0.51 (VideoLAN Client) is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. Version 0.51 adds a new mouse gesture interface, the ability to set the audio volume at any time, support for MPEG-2 intra slice refresh (aka. Slice-I) streams, playlist enhancements, new FTP/http/UDP URL handling, and new step forward/step backward commands. The freeware player is available for Mac OS X only. [3.5MB]
Apps: Keyboard Maestro, iClock, Budget...
Michael Kamprath has posted a public beta release of Keyboard Maestro 2.0b1, which "represents a complete rewrite" with multiple trigger types for macros. It features improved hot keys, Griffin PowerMate integration, and application-launch-based triggers. It can also simulate scroll wheel action, macro grouping, and application targetting. The $20 utility for Mac OS X includes hot key functions, a program switcher, and a cipboard enhancer. [920KB]
Paladin's Palette Protector is a $12 plug-in for Adobe InDesign 2.0 that remembers the positions of your palettes and puts them in the right places at startup. [242KB]
Budget 3.3.3 for MacOS X adds simplified date entry, searchable help, a multiple envelope debit transaction, and various bug fixes to the $30 personal finance tool with reports/statistics, planning, reminder, to-do, checkbook management, and check printing functions. It is for Mac OS X only. [2.0MB]
24U Transcoding Plug-In 1.0 is a FileMaker Pro plug-in that allows your databases to transcode and convert text and numbers in several ways. It contains several utility functions for working with transcoding tables, which you can use to translate text between text encodings as well as create, combine, analyze, and test transcoding tables before implementing them in your solutions. [124KB]
Script Software also updated three of its applications: Easy Card Creator 1.2, which adds sharing options to the $30 software for creating greeting cards; iClock, which replaces the Mac OS X system menubar clock with a advanced, customizable clock; and Project Timer 1.4, a major upgrade to its time tracking application with a new data import system. [ECC, IC, PT-OSX]
Planet PDF describes new PDF workflow options
Planet PDF writes about enhanced PDF workflow options in Mac OS X 10.2.4: "there's information about several new PDF-related features and capabilities in the new version of OS X that provide a variety of new PDF Workflow options, including enhanced use of Applescript. In addition to the previous ability to create PDFs directly in OS X through the 'Save-As' menu, v. 10.2.4 adds "the option to process the saved PDF file with AppleScript scripts that can perform a variety of tasks such as adding the saved file to a compressed archive, or including the PDF in an outgoing email message."
Apps: Xupport, MP3 Sushi, KuebSite, Lightbox
Lightbox is a $25 image management tool for Mac OS X that can
download images, convert raw files, organize into multiple albums/libraries, backup or transfer to CD with offline viewing, create and display slideshows, design a Website as well as provides Adobe Photoshop integration. The $25 utility requires Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar.
Realmac Software's Voice Box 1.3 will save text files as AIFF sound files, offering the ability to view/display news using XML/RSS technology. Voice Box will read out each word as you type it in 1 of 22 voices, and allows users to change the pitch and rate of the Mac's in-built voices and then save it out to an AIFF sound file. Version 1.1 adds new AppleScript support, more examples, and and updated manual. [300KB]
Malia Software's MP3 Sushi 1.1 includes a server application for sharing and streaming music) as well as MP3 Buddies, which locates Jukebox and Radio servers on a local network using Rendezvous. Version 1.1 adds a startup script, file searching, and other fixes. It is "donation-ware" and runs on Mac OS X. [1.0MB]
Mail Siphon 2.8.2 adds compatibility with Mac OS X 10.2.4 to the e e-mail agent that will receive and send messages. It supports supports multipe email accounts. helps manage email, and has other advanced features. The $20 shareware runs on Mac OS 8/9/X. [780KB]
Laurent Muller's $20 shareware system utility, Xupport 1.2.6, now displays both the IP address and the hardware address, displays more hardware and system info, includes a revised "Sharing" drawer, and fixes problems with its "Network Optimizer". A 20-use demo of the Mac OS X utility is available. [3.8MB]
Netinfo Database Loader 1.1 is free FileMaker Pro-based solution to easily import informations in NetInfo databases: "It is a particularly useful tool if you want to create a shared LDAP-based directory for your contacts, using Joel Rennich's excellent method to use LDAP with NetInfo in Mac OS X Server 10.2." Version 1.1. adds a new Aqua-based interface and the ability to automatically create the toload.txt file to import in NetInfo. [220KB]
Sync-Hole attempts to sync your QuickTime movies by changing the framerate of sections of the video track(s), or changing the offset of the audio track. The source-code to the freeware utility for Mac OS X is available as well. [42KB]
Kualo Software's web design application KuebSite 1.5 ($20 shareware) uses a template-driven GUI and a simple database to automatically create websites. It now supports styled text, QuickTime and Flash videos and a label generator with the ability to create navigation bars. It is available in English, Spanish and French for Mac OS 9/X. [2.4MB]
CourseForum today introduced ProjectForum 1.3, its web-based software for flexible workgroup collaboration and coordination of projects and team: "[It] lets you build an intranet or project site where everyone can actively and directly contribute, without complex software or a full-time administrator getting in the way. It can be used for project planning, task assignments, meeting notes, team discussions, research, brainstorming and more." Pricing starts at $200. [1.0MB]
For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solution ...VisionTek 128GB USB Pocket SSD
USB flash drives dealt the death blow to both the floppy and Zip drives. While still faster than either of the old removable media, sp ...Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens Camera
Smartphone imagery still widely varies. Large Megapixel counts don't make for a good image, and the optics in some devices are lackin ...
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