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"After two decades in which it captured the hearts of graphic designers, architects and other creative types, Apple is targeting its Macintosh systems at accountants," AccountingWEB reports. Apple's SME business development manager Dan Richardson at Softworld last week said his "number one priority" is accountancy. [Registration Required]
Evening tech news: Gateway began laying off 17 percent of its 11,200-person staff and closing 76 of its retail stores today; a new security hole in the Windows 2000 operating system when used with Microsoft's Web server software has allowed computer attackers to compromise machines, including a U.S. Army server; to stem the unrelenting flow of unsolicited, unwanted email, individuals and companies are going to extraordinary lengths.
Apple today posted a third beta of X11 for Mac OS X, its X Window system that offers a complete suite of the standard X11 display server software, client libraries and developer toolkits. Beta 3 brings pseudocolor (8-bit) visual plane support, an option to quit X11 without presenting warning dialog, keyboard shortcuts, better window resizing, hardware accelerated scrolling in 16-bit mode, and other enhancements. The optional software developer's kit contains headers and other support files for X11 beta 3, enabling you to compile your own X11 applications. All SDK users are advised to upgrade to this version.
Iomega today announced the latest addition to its line of USB flash memory drives: the new 256MB Iomega Mini USB drive. The portable storage device weighs less than an ounce and is as small as a car key. It also supports Iomega’s patented Active Disk technology, which allows Active Disk Powered software applications to conveniently launch and run directly from an Iomega Mini USB drive. The Iomega Mini USB Drive is now available in 64MB ($60), 128MB ($90) and 256MB ($160) sizes.
Strangelove 1.0bis a free Cocoa utility that converts Microsoft Word documents into PDF files using antiword and ghostscript utilities. [291KB] Jake MacMullin's JJEdit 1.1 is a light-weight Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Java programming on Mac OS X. It includes a text editor for editing Java source code with features such as code colouring and autocompletion of Java class names. JJEdit also links in with javac, the built in Java compiler and the built in Java runtime environment, allowing you to edit, compile and run Java programs from within one application. [425KB] Freeverse today posted release versions of the Freeverse Board Games Deluxe series. The new games feature four levels of AI for solo play, and offer online play and ranking and LAN play via the GameSmith opponent matching service. The series features support for multiple graphic backgrounds, an included mp3 soundtrack, support for third party mp3 files, and support Freeverse's Emotidolls technology, which allows users to express emotions across the network online via aquafied on-screen dolls. The $20 sharewarwe suite includes 4 In A Row, 7th Fleet, Chess, Go, Mancala, Reversi, and Tic Tac Toe. MediaLab's PhotoCaster 3.04 is an Xtra for Macromedia Director ($200) that can import Photoshop files, layer by layer, as individual Director cast members: "Each layer appears as an individual cast member, indexed, anti-aliased, properly registered, transparency preserved and good to go!" It support layer previews, Director 5/6/7/8/MX, Photoshop 5/6, alpha channels, control color mapping, and other features. Version 3 supports Photoshop Layer F/X, text layers, better color handling, and Mac OS X. It is a $50 update for current Photocast 3 owners and $130 upgrade for version 2.0 owners. FTP Thingy is a ftp client application, that "delivers only basic ftp abilities with none of the complexity. You can view files on a server in a file browser. You can download and upload files which have managers for queuing your file transfers. You can add directories and files to a server and delete them." [236KB] Genuine Fractals 2.5 enables users to create resolution-independent images from any size file and lets you print superior quality enlargements without any degradation in image quality. Version 2.5 features an improved user interface, easier batch encoding and new Mac OS X support. Upgrades to the $160 application are $30. A Print Pro version ($300) adds additional support for CMYK, CIE-Lab, and Multichannel (up to 16 channels) encoding and rendering.
4D today announced it is shipping 4th Dimension 2003, with support for integrated Web Services, including XML, SOAP and WSDL, and an easy-to-use Web Services Set-up Wizard: "4D requires virtually no re-coding from the developer. Whether you're an end-user aiming to streamline business processes while saving costs, or a developer seeking greater productivity and more versatility, 4th Dimension 2003 will meet your needs with power and efficiency." It also includes support for XML import/export, a new reporting engine with an enhanced Quick Report Editor, direct output to HTML and XML formats, a new Method Editor, new printing features, and an integrated compiler for performance improvements of more than 50%. Pricing starts at $350; whle upgrades start at $175.
A MacNN reader notes that Apple has begun shipping 17" PowerBook to individual customers (as well as resellers): "I ordered a 'lunch tray' PB (17" PB) during the keynote in January. I actually waited on the phone with my sales rep. while the internal order and sales systems at Apple were "bounced" so the newly announced products were being made available to order. Today, I see that my credit card has been charged for the order. This is a clear indication that the order is going out today (Federal mail order statutes require a credit card not be charged before the day a product ships). The order status on the Apple web site has not updated yet, though I expect it to later today to indicate the order has shipped." (We reported that Apple began shipping production units of the 17" PowerBook on last Friday.) Update: Several readers have alreay received FedEx tracking numbers, as indicated in a number of posts in our forums.
Aladdin today released MakeBundle 2.0.1, an application designed to simplify the process of creating bundled applications, libraries, or plugins from the Metrowerks CodeWarrior programming environment: "Although CodeWarrior provides the ability to create bundles, MakeBundle streamlines the process down to a simple drag & drop. We created MakeBundle to make our own development process more efficient, and realized other software developers would benefit as well." It is available for free.
Apple today notified customers that it plans to release a Mac OS X security update for a newly announced Samba security issue: "We are aware of the recently-announced security vulnerability in the third-party Samba software, and are preparing a software update to incorporate the fix from the Samba team. Samba is shipped with Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server, but is not enabled by default. This means that most customers of Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server are not affected. For systems that have enabled Samba, we recommend reading the information available from the Samba site and taking the measures that are best for the particular system environment. The Apple software update will be available for Mac OS X 10.2.4 and Mac OS X Server 10.2.4."
Clutter 1,0d7 is another development version of the small Mac OS X application that lets you put music CDs on your desktop. It makes improvements to the play/puse/back/forward music navigation buttons, better compatibility with large iTunes libraries, and other improvements. [159KB] JomoSoft's full featured FTP/SFTP client, osXigen 2.01, for Mac OS X is a maintenance release that adds tthe ability to automatically refresh the browser upon job completion, support for ssh-aggents, better support to keep the connections alive using some servers, a new preference to ask/force/skip files that look the same, more toolbar layout buttons, and a new Spanish localization (in addition to English, German, French, and Italian). The Mac OS X-only application ($20) features BBEdit integration, synchronization, firewall suppport, and other advanced features. [1.7MB] Fink has released an improved KDE 3.1 with many improvements: "people who have only enabled the stable Tree may now build KDE 3.1 by using fink install," while a full binary installer will be available in 3 weeks, according to representatives. KDE 3.1 features performance improvements, updated audio drivers, support for Apple's X11, reworked Info Files, and other improvements. BombSquad 1.1 is shareware game for Mac OS X: "A nimble rip-off of a classic game. BombSquad is shareware, and reasonably priced at $5." Version 1.1 now features an Online Record Book where scores from all registered users are stored. [220KB] Mariner Software today announced the second release of Mariner Write 3.1 Public Beta 2, a preview version of its flagship word processing application for Mac OS 9/X. It improves the Microsoft Word document import, adds headers and footers, footnotes and endnotes, as well as table support as well as fixes various bug fixes. [4.7MB] Ugly Dockling 1.3 reduces the clutter in the Mac OS X dock by creating a menu reminiscent of the old Favorites menu found in Classic Mac OS. Users can create their own hierarchical menu's by either dragging files, folders and volumes onto the Ugly Dockling icon in the dock or by using the supplied Finder Contextual Menu. It can also directly launch any System Preference pane from the menu, shows Classic status in the dock icon using default or user supplied images and can start/stop classic from the menu. It is a free update to the $10 utility. [5.9MB] DVDxDV 0.21, the software which exports the audio/video from iDVD created DVDs, now offers presets for iMovie and Final Cut Pro, making it much easier to export video. In addition, the user interface now has a more sleek looking brushed metal look. [492KB] Granted Software released Still Life 2.0.1, its pan and zoom application designed to be used as a companion to iMovie or other video projects. It offers bezier curved pans, shot rotation/spin, alignment and rotation guides, one-click screensaver emulation, OpenGL-accelerated export routines, QuickTime-based export, and other advanced features. The $25 application is $10 off for a limited time. [792KB]
Apple has posted its 17" PowerBook G4 developer note, which provides technical details on the new PowerBook for deveopers "New features include: a clock speed of 1 GHz with the Power PC G4 microprocessor, an nVidia GeForce4 440 Go display controller with 64 MB of DDR SDRAM memory, and a DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive." It includes information on the internal logic and custom ICs, the I/O ports and built-in I/O devices, the expansion features, and the system software. (Last Friday, we noted that Apple began shipping its first 17" PowerBooks to customers, after announcing the product at Macworld Expo in January.)
PowerSchool, an Apple subsidiary, today announced PowerSchool 3.5, an update to the company's web-based student information system (SIS) for K-12 schools and school districts up to 10,000 students. It includes an enhanced Master Schedule Builder with multi-day scheduling, visual schedule matrices, walk-in scheduling and new scheduling reports that schedule course enrollment and include information on room utilization and under-scheduled students. In addition, version 3.5 expands on its GPA tracking system by adding a new integrated honor roll calculation system, which simplified searches, as well as data import and export for creating multiple honor roll methods that can be school-specific or shared across many schools from a server.
MacMice.com today announced the iCinema riser base for Apple's line of Cinema Displays. The iCinema stand is a "beautifully crafted 4-inch riser stand made from clear acrylic, and is fully adjustable to fit the 20, 22, and 23-inch Apple Cinam Displays...iCinema encourages erect posture, reduces back tension, and overcomes the most common ergonomic complaints about the Apple Cinema Display design." It is $180.
MacNN readers report a delay in shipment of Apple's replacement power supplies as part of Apple's Power Mac G4 Power Supply Exchange Program for MDD Power Mac G4s, which were originally expected to ship on March 10: "Due to an unexpected supply delay, limited quantities of the kits will begin shipping at the end of March 2003. There has not been a change to the original lead time Apple quoted you when you placed your order."
MediaEdit 1.5 is an inexpensive ($60), full-featured movie editor for Mac OS 9/X. A Pro version ($90) features audio editing, movie/track export, image filters, a brush editor, annotations, and bookmarking. Version 1.5 features a project organizer, new filters, improved effects, a new script engine, dock previews, camera export, movie compression control, and other features. [ME, ME Pro] ScreenRecord 1.3 is a fluid and powerful screen recording tool that captures the screen as a movie. The $14 utility features a either fixed, smooth panning, or auto-panning camera, full-screen capture, audio/video recording, and the abilityt to stream to a DV camera. [1.1MB] Mien Software's Paintfx 1.2 is an inexpensive image editing program with many filters and tools. It features "all the tools you'll ever need; filled with tons of image filters and effects. Paintfx is perfect for those who need more than basic features, but don't want to pay the high prices of other tools." The $30 application offer maks editing, a variety of export options, custom brushes/effects, and a full line of painting tools. [2.8MB] DBF2LDIF 1.1 is a $6 shareware utility for converting DBF files and Outlook Express Export contacts to the LDIF format, which is used by Mac OS X's Address Book for importing of addresses. Among the new features in version 1.1 is Outlook Express Export file support, greater number of fields displayed when selecting, and greater number of fileds available for LDIF generation. [Classic, OSX] Taylor Design's text cleaner and editor, TextSpresso 2.2, uses an enhanced threading system for Mac OS X for performance improvement of alost 2x on large files. Version 2.2 also fixes several bugs with the preferences window. A demo of the $30 utility is available on the Web. [Classic, OSX] SyBrowser 5.0 is a suite of 32-bit ODBC and native client applications that provide an overview of the tables in Sybase, Oracle, PostgreSQL and MS SQL databases hosted on UNIX, Linux, and Windows servers. It allows the execution of SQL queries against these RDBMS and the query results can be saved to disk. Complex queries can be saved to disk for reuse. Version 5.0 features enhanced Sybase support, including entity relationship (ER) diagramming and stored procedure modules. The $90 application runs on Mac OS 7/8/9/X. [3.7MB] Oliver Holme today released Squid Manager 1.2 for Mac OS X, which provides an intuitive Mac interface for managing the open-source web proxy, Squid. Available tasks include starting and stopping the proxy server, rotating log files and reloading the configuration file. The freeware also periodically checks Squid's state so that you can easily identify if your proxy server stops unexpectedly. [388KB]
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Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL