Apple has released Mac OS X Server 10.2.4 via the Software Update utility in Mac OS X. It delivers a number enhancements, including many related to: Workgroup Manager, Client Management, Server Status, Netboot, Network Install, QuickTime Streaming Server, File Services, XServe, Print Server and Mail Server. Earlier this month, Apple released Mac OS X 10.2.4 (client version).
Sony Ericsson Clicker! 0.99 lets you remotely control your Macintosh from a compatible Sony Ericsson phone, offering the ability to control PowerPoint or Keynote when giving presentations, control DVD Player or iTunes from your sofa or bed, and use AppleScript to "control anything you like". Sony Ericsson Clicker also has a built in "proximity sensor", allowing you to trigger actions when you leave or come back to your Mac. This preview release will expire March 1st 2003. (Info not available on Web site.) [148KB] Canto today released Cumulus 5.5.2, a free upgrade to its digital asset management solution for enterprises, workgroups and single users. It includes enhancements in compatibility with Mac OS X Classic Mode and enhanced OPI as well as an enhanced Pix Asset Converter which enables digital images cataloged in Cumulus to be converted into JPEG, TIFF and BMP formats, as well as conversion into RGB, CMYK and Greyscale color spaces with the simple click of a button. It also a Quark XTension update to Drag & Drop from Cumulus into Quark XPress 5.x. DivXRay 2.2 now features advanced encoder settings and a fast MPEG2 Demultiplexer. Registered users of the $15 utility are now able to access advanced settings of an MPEG4 encoder and save them as a set of presets. The release also features a "very fast" (faster than BBDemux) demuxer for MPEG2 Video, AC3 Audio and SPU Subtitles. DivXRay is a movie converter to convert MPEG-2-Program Streams into AVI files by using ffmpeg 0.4.6 [947KB] Fe77 today introduced update to Server Manager.app 1.02, its desktop client used to configure server settings from the comfort of the Finder. Server Manager v1.0.2 includes several changes including the addition of an online help system, Server component installation checking, the ability to verify Apache2 configuration files at the time you save your changes and several bug fixes. Pricing starts at $60. Electric Image's 3D modeler, Amorphium 3.1, has several bug fixes, including an improved Tin import/export module and better stability as well as remembered window settings and an improved Object Properties tab. Upgrades from v3.0 are free. Pricing is $40 (electronic download). [3.1MB]
"Apple has been behind the curve when it comes to Web services technology, but its November 2002 release of its WebObjects development platform, which includes the ability to create and support Web services, was a step forward in the company's not-yet-defined plan for making its mark in the Web services market," according to SearchWebServices.com: "In this second part of a two-part column looking at Apple and Web services, we'll take a closer look at WebObjects, and see what its capabilities say about the direction that Apple may be taking with regard to Web services."
MicroNet today announced the addition 52x CD-RW and a 4x DVD-R/W drives to the MicroNet Advantage product family, featuring rugged enclosures with both FireWire and USB 2.0 ports. The MicroNet Advantage DVD-R/W drive offers 4X DVD-R, 2X DVD-RW, 16X CD-R and 8X CD-RW capabilities. (4X DVD-R recording speed translates into approximately 15 minutes to fully record a high-speed 4.7 GB DVD-R disc.) The device is compatible with DVD Studio Pro. The new CD-R/W offers advanced features such as SMART-BURN media verification, Buffer Underrun Protection, and SMART-X high speed Digital Audio Extraction, while offering 52x CDR burning speed, and 24x CD-RW burning. It ships with Toast Lite; both devices are compatible with iTunes and iLife.
Jon Johnson has released the initial version of REALbasic Preference Pane Generator 0.8, a utility that works with REALbasic XML projects to provide a method of utilizing system preference panes on Mac OS X. Preference Panes were previously only available to Cocoa developers through the NSPreferencePane interface. Licensing is $30 for one preference pane project, while additional licenses are $15 each, or $100 for an unlimited license. [1.0MB] Tyrell Software today released a Mac OS X package installer for Plone 1.0, a free package containing the Zope application server and the Plone Content Management System, an intranet server that can function as a document publishing system and as a groupware tool for collaboration between separately located entities. The Mac OS X package requires Mac OS X 10.2. [20MB] Astro 1.2 is a Digital Asset Management solution that uses FileMaker and the power of Troi plug-ins to let users locate catalogued files quickly. It offers functions for cataloging, deleting, and listing disk contents as well as the the ability to show all images on a specific disk, create thumbnails, search disks by file name/type, and add labels and notes to images. It is $100 ($500 for an unlocked interface as well). [2.2MB] Unsanity's FruitMenu 3.0 is a $10 utility that gives you the ability to customize the Apple Menu and contextual menus. It will also launch applications and shell scripts from the Apple Menu and contextual menus. Users can also assign hotkeys to particular Apple menu items, have application-specific settings, and use single-button mice to invoke the contextual menu. [1.0MB]
Apple and Akamai have partnered with the College of Education at CSUS to provide an internet broadcast of the keynote at the (free) 9th Annual Multicultural Conference at CSUS on Saturday March 1st. The featured speaker is Christine Sleeter, a Professor in the College of Professional Studies at California State University, Monterey Bay, where she coordinates the Master of Arts in Education Program and teaches courses in multicultural education.
Alessandro Montalcini has released USB Overdrive 10.2.2, an update to his universal mouse and joystick driver for Mac OS X 10.2. The new version fixes a couple of minor issues and adds several new handy commands including Eject, sound volume control, brightness control and more. It als now includes both English and Japanese localizations. [600KB] Nemesys Software has released an update to its synchronization tool. File Synchronization 1.1.1 fixes a problem that would prevent automatic synchronization to start at launch, fixes a problem with files and folders reported sizes in the preview window and fixes another problem that would prevent File Synchronization to start on Mac OS X 10.1. [500KB] Safari Debugger 2.0 will activate "hidden debug features in Apple's Safari web browser that will fix most problems with online banking and many other web sites." This version adds a much improved user interface and is packaged as an application instead of a shell script. [57KB] pdfmodify is a PERL tool that allows you to modify existing pdfs adding data in the correct position in the correct page: "It's simple to use it like a batch application to fill every PDF form in your archive. It's simple to use it inside your cgis." t2pdf PRO + crypt 6.0 adds PDF encryption (permissions, user and owner passwords, 40- or 128-bit encryption) to the standard txt2pdf, a flexible PERL application for converting old .TXT files into PDF format. Glen Sawyer's MacMP3Gain 1.4 is an AppleScript Studio application which wraps up the command line version of mp3gain in a "quaint GUI. It is free and open source. You may download either the application itself or the entire project including the source code." Recent changes include a "Target MP3 Gain Value" option and a new preferences file to save previous dialog settings. [109KB]
IDG World Expo today announced that Apple, IBM, HP and other technology and life sciences companies will exhibit at the upcoming Bio-ITWorld Conference & Expo, taking place March 25-27, 2003 at Boston's Hynes Convention Center: "Bio-ITWorld Conference & Expo attracts pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academic, government and life science professionals who come to learn how technology tools for the life sciences can drive efficiencies, create opportunities and increase profitability within their organizations."
Auto FX Software's digital lighting and shading effects package, Mystical Lighting, "lets anyone apply photo-realistic lighting and shading effects to digital images. With this software you can enhance the ambiance of your images and improve its beauty. [It] includes 16 visual effects, over 400 presets for instant results and an infinite variety of looks." It works as a Photoshop-compatible plugin or stand-alone application under both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. The $180 package is available with a $30 through the end of March.
RedLightRunner today added over 100 new Apple Collectibles to its Web site. Included are new Apple logo pens, keychains, clocks, and money clips as well as a rare collection of 79 Apple insider shirts spanning 24 years of Apple Computer history, including early Apple Employee shirts, Newton team shirts, and shirts from the Fremont Macintosh Factory. RedLightRunner offers over 400 different Apple items (Apple T-shirts, watches, pens, posters, MacAquariums, etc.).
Tech news: PCMCIA has announced the development of a new PC-card specification codenamed NEWCARD that delivers external expansion with reduced size, increased speed, lower costs and support of advanced serial I/O technologies, USB 2.0 and PCI Express; isco will share key technology at no cost with chipmakers and computer companies to help drive the use of wireless networks within corporations; Intuit has apologized for its controversial new antipiracy technology in TurboTax, continually in the background on computers with Microsoft's Windows XP; and Gateway updated its Profile 4 line of all-in-one desktop PCs with a DVD burner option and lower prices, making it more competitive with the iMac.
Keyspan announced it has developed software that allows a user to personalize the functions of its Keyspan Presentation Remote ($80). The new software layer for the USB device allows users to customize the remote by redefining the actions of the buttons on the device, allowing users to customize the device functions for different applications, including PowerPoint and Keynote. The software may also be used to modify the remote so that it is capable of controlling additional applications. The free software will be available for download from the Keyspan web site on March 1st. By Design has completed a new Napoleonic wargame only for the Mac based on the the Waterloo Campaign engine and covering the battle between Napoleon and the Russian in 1812. Borodino is a new tactical-level Napoleonic simulation game for OS X that features Battalion level conflict, new graphics, group-based movement (in or out of formation), enemy flag capture, and other features. It is $25. Sokoban 1.7 is an addictive puzzle game modeled in the tradition of the ancient Japanese classic from the 1980s, requiring logical thinking and spatial planning: "The goal is to push boulders to their correct desitations in a crowed environment. Since the boulders are so heavy, you can only push them, and the challenge develops in keeping them from getting stuck." It adds new graphiccs, smoother animation, 300 new levels, a level stats screen, and other new features. It runs on both Mac OS 8/9/X. [4.9MB] Vizspring Software's iWatch 3.1 updates the company's $10 timer application that can act as a kitchen timer, an alarm clock, a stopwatch (with lap memory) as well as a clock displaying the time and computer uptime. It also features "actions" which adds options for displaying system alert messages and beeps, playing sound files, playing QuickTime movies, telling iTunes to start or stop, and even telling the computer to sleep, restart, or shut down or launch an application (or other file). [1.3MB] ExhibitionX 1.01 is a $15 shareware utility for viewing picture folders and iPhoto 2 albums: "Consisting of four easy to navigate 3D environments; the walk-around gallery, octagonal carousel, book view and multi-cube. ExhibitionX is a fun and practical way to present and view most popular image formats." It features OpenGL rendering, iPhoto 2 integration, keyboard navigation, and custom background textures and colors. [1.3MB]
Robert Lack has created a Safari wish list with some interesting feature suggestions for Apple's new web browser, including bookmark filtering, content-based searches for bookmarks, improved bookmark folders, and custom search forms in the "Google Search field." (Other improvements such as form autofill and tabbed browsing are rumored to be part of an upcoming Safari build.)
The Seattle Times notes that Mac users must factor Microsoft into future: "But Apple's fortunes have always remained tied to Microsoft, and specifically to Microsoft software, a point underscored last week when the Redmond software giant purchased the Virtual PC product line from veteran Mac software developer Connectix, raising questions once again about which way the scales would tip."
Stephane Madrau has released SwitchRes X 3.0, a final version of the shareware monitor resolution utility. The $15 shareware manages the resolution of all your monitors via a customizable menu. It allows to access some unsupported screen resolutions, and incorporates features relative to the Monitor Resolution, Monitor BitDepth, and Video Mirroring into one single utility. [1.2MB] epicware's Fire 0.32c adds new Swedish and Russian localization, better handling of conversation browser resizing, undo/redo support in chat windows, consolidated multiple buddy login on/off sounds, improves CPU utilization, and has better parsing of smileys. [5.3MB] YouHo Me has updated FreeLance Tracker 1.5, its job tracking software that is designed to track time of your job and builds reports, which can be used to supplement regular invoices (as a reference). It adds the ability to switch the current job to another client, saves reports, tracks billed/invoiced clients, and a adds a simplified interface. It is available for Mac OS X for $10 (introductory price). [1.4MB] MacCandy today released MacMaid, a shareware utility described as "the easiest way to organize your desktop. For people that keep everything they download on their desktop and dislike having to manually move and delete files each time." It features a 'Miniature' view (to save screen space), a log window to track files, and a SafeGuard feature that protects you from replacing files you may want to save. The $10 utility runs on Mac OS X. [1.0MB] Xupport 1.2.7 provides a GUI to configure many Mac OS X options, that are not or hard to configure manually, and more. It includes several Unix commands to optimize and secure your Mac, and activates features that are disabled by default. Verrsion 1.2.7 includes an improved file browser (displaying files that begin with a '.'), a 'man' browser for browsing the system Unix command manuals, and a function to conveniently locate files in the Finder. [386KB] Optigold ISP 3.1.9 is an update to Digital Point's cross-platform business software package to run all aspects of an internet service provider (from billing to server management). Version 3.1.9 adds new accounting restrictions, new VISP functions, updated domain registration forms and few bug fixes and other miscellaneous feature requests. A free version supporting up to 100 customers is available. ArcaneWare's Serial Storage 2.6 is a $20 shareware designed to organize your serial numbers, passwords, credit cards, (or any other information you'd like to store) into different folders. It uses military-strength 448-bit encryption and now features customizable fields and entry types as well as an advanced search feture. [2.3MB]
WiebeTech today announced a 250GB version of its DesktopGB+, its fanless, high-performance (7,200 rpm) FireWire storage device in a sleek aluminum enclosure. Based on the popular Oxford OXFW911 FireWire bridge, DesktopGB+ features dual FireWire ports for daisy chaining capabilities, user upgradeability, ATA-6 compatibility, a universal AC adaper, and Mac Drive 5 software for reading Mac-formatted drives on Windows computers. The 250GB/7,200 rpm version is $600, while a 0GB (case-only) version starts at $140.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
WhatsApp working on Mac desktop app?
Allegedly-leaked information from a WhatsApp beta enthusiast account on Twitter appears to suggest that the messaging service and app maker may be developing native Mac and Windows versions, allowing users who sign up with the service to text each other all over the world using either Wi-Fi or cellular data. The source of the documents is in question, but it would not be unusual for the service to expand onto Mac and Windows desktops. WhatsApp is currently available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, Symbian, and Windows Phone. http://bit.ly/1Ura0zN
Drake's Views an iTunes, Music exclusive
Drake's new album Views (formerly known as Views from the 6) has debuted on iTunes and Apple Music as an exclusive in the first week of its release. The singles Once Dance and Pop Style, however, are available elsewhere in the interim. Securing exclusives from leading artists has been a key strategy that Apple has adopted in trying to attract users to its services. Most notably, Taylor Swift's hugely popular 1989remains unavailable to users of competing services like Spotify or Tidal. http://apple.co/1NLwsSH
TSMC chip sales to Apple jump $2B in 2015
Apple A9 and A9X chip supplier TSMC saw sales to Apple jump $2 billion in 2015. TSMC's fabrication partnership with Apple on the A-series processor helped drive its revenue to $26.4 billion, up six percent over the previous year, although its dependence on Apple's chip orders meant that without its business, TSMC's revenue would have actually declined by two percent. The Taiwan-based chip maker is currently sharing Apple's A9-series chip supplies with Samsung, although is rumored to be gaining all Apple's orders for the next-generation Apple A10 chips. http://bit.ly/24tCE6e
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-Élysées. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel