Bobby Cronkhite Software today released ZeboPhoto 1.2.1, a maintenance update to its $5 image viewer/editor made with REALbasic. Version 1.2.1 adds: the option for full-screen slideshows; rotation, mirror, file name and file path effects to the browser; and a preference pane for the browser. Additionally, the file browser now remembers the position of the last directory or file to which it was set. [Download Classic, OS X] The final version of iScreensaver Designer 3.0 is now available. It is "the world's only" cross-platform screensaver editor, allowing users to create screensavers for Mac OS 9/X and Windows 9x/XP. Version 3.0 includes a new Slide Show editor with advanced features. The iScreensaver download is free and all features can be tested with no time limit before purchase ($200). [Download 6.1MB] Today Kanex Group has released Restore Desktop 2.0, a new version of its free utility for desktop icon management. Restore Desktop is a Contextual Menu plug-in that automatically saves and restores the icons' positions on the Mac desktop after a resolution change. "How many times you change screen resolution and discover that your neatly placed icons have shattered all over the screen. No more," the developer says. [Download 9.0KB] DigiLife Reports 1.4.6 delivers enhancements including international character output, full custom fields support in Address Book reports, and column customization in the Detailed iTunes report to the $20 suite for transforming information from Address Book and iTunes into printable reports. [Download 7.2MB]
Apple Keynote 1.0.1 is now available via Mac OS X's built-in Software Update application. The update provides support for the following languages: Japanese, French, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish.
O'Reilly has released "Using Samba, Second Edition," a $40 guide for Mac OS X users to using the cross-platform networking tool. Authors Jay Ts, Robert Eckstein, and David Collier-Brown walk users through making the most of their file and print sharing solutions. "Considering that Samba now comes with Mac OS X, the result of all this is that Samba is becoming a 'one source' solution for networking all three of the major operating systems that will be in use a few years from now, that is, Unix, Mac OS X, and Windows," explains coauthor Jay Ts.
IBM today detailed its PowerPC Blade platform, which is based around the new PowerPC 970 microprocessor, running at speeds of up to 2.5 GHz. The new IBM PowerPC 970 is expected by many analysts to appear in future Apple products. The latest PowerPC 970 units run at frequencies ranging from 1.8 GHz to 2.5 GHz, according to IBM, making the 970 "the fastest PowerPC so far."
The University of Michigan is hosting the fourth annual Great Lakes Academic Lab Management Conference on June 27-28 and is currently making a call for presentations: "LabMan was conceived as a casual, small scale, inexpensive, intimate conference intended for persons who manage, supervise or are otherwise involved with maintaining computing labs in higher education, K-12 or library facilities. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet their colleagues from other institutions who, like them, face various challenges in putting together resilient, robust, academic computing labs."
Aspyr today that it will bring SimCity 4 to the Mac in May. Aspyr has licensed SimCity 4 from Electronic Arts and is currently working with i5Works to convert the game to Mac OS. The fourth generation of SimCity, SimCity 4, features new simulation and graphics engines, an all new regional game play, and the ability to track the lives of individual Sims as they go about their daily routine. SimCity 4 will be available for $50. [updated] Aspyr also posted info on Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2003, which entered beta earlier this month, and will be released in April 2003. It features a new course and PGA TOUR golfer lineup along with "Enhanced True Swing mouse swing" for an improved feeling of swinging a golf club on the computer, play at 12 different PGA TOUR courses, and a Career Mode in which players can create their own custom golfer and develop their skills through competitions and challenges against amateur and PGA TOUR opponents. The $50 title, compatible with Mac OS 9/X, is available for pre-order. [updated]
Canon today introduced five new PowerShot digital cameras, the A300 (3.2MP), A60 (2.0MP), A70 (3.2MP), S400 Digital Elph (4.0MP), and the S50 (5.0MP) and the EOS 10D SLR (6.0MP) as well as the new professional CanoScan 9900F and two new Bubble Jet Direct printers (the i450 Color Bubble Jet Printer and i470D Photo Printer), and an updated photo printer, the wide-format i9100 Photo Printer, which replaces the S9000. [links added]
Tenon today released Xtools 1.2, its Mac OS X application that integrates Apple's Aqua desktop with X Window tools. It supports the latest XFree86 4.2.1 (although v4.3 was released today) and X11R6.6 as well as has improved screen rendering, refresh & redraw operations, OpenGL and Motif operations, pseudocolor, visuals, antialias font support, XDM, key mapping, secure shell and Jaguar support. There is also improved compatibility for CDE, KDE, and Gnome desktops and compatibility for Fink X11 applications. In addition, the new Xtools now allows you to view Mac applications on the X Window desktop while running in full (dedicated) screen mode.
metaobject today released version 4.0 of its PDF compression tool for Mac OS X, PdfCompress, adding image downsampling to the $25 utility. PdfCompress optimizes such PDF files by applying specialized image compression methods to the images stored in the file, and removing other elements: "Photographic images are reduced by up to a factor of 10 without visible degradation using JPEG compression [and] bi-level images are typically reduced by 20-30% using lossless CCIT Group 4 (Fax) encoding." [826KB] MAKI Enterprise has updated its email client software. Magellan Pro 1.4.3 improves attachment handling, has better message handling (especially RFC822 /multipart messages), and has support for an additonal mailto scheme. The multilingual email client offers automated reply functions based on message content, auto forwarding functions, a mail database, and content analysis for filtering spam. It is $80, while upgrades from Magellan are $30. [Classic, OSX] Exhibit 1.5, an update to Melonsoft's premier photo gallery creation tool with custom HTML templates, includes many performance enhancements, as well as custom thumbnail sizes and a more stable "None" template option. It is $15 shareware and runs on Mac OS 9/X. [Classic, OSX] Bruno Blondeau's iPasteboard is a new Mac OS X application that lets you create an unlimited number of clipboards, which are "easily accessible from a clean and efficient user interface." It offers built-in preview of clipboard content, a keyboard shortcut for clipboard access, Mac OS X Service support, a dock men, and a toolbar. A demo of the $15 shareware is available. [382KB] appMac software has released wKiosk browser 2.0 ($150), its full-screen web browser for internet/intranet kiosks with functions to disable ForceQuit and disable downloads as well as other access control functions. It can optionally integrate with wKiosk Server to control users and limit time access. wDesk browser 1.0 ($60) is desktop version with central adminstrative controls for business environments, while wKids browser 1.0 ($30) has an interface designed for children (offering parental access controls). The products are based on Netscape's Gecko rendering engine. [WK, WD, OSX] Readers report the release of QuickTime Broadcaster 1.01, although Apple has not specified any changes. Apple's live encoding software lets users produce professional-quality live events for online delivery; it supports FireWire capture from most FireWire-equipped sources, including DV cameras, some webcams, and DV converter boxes.
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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