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Tech: MS flaw; dumb moves; gov traffic
Evening tech news: Microsoft today warned about a serious flaw in all versions of its popular Windows software that could allow hackers to seize control of a person's computer when victims read e-mails or visit Web sites; among Business 2.0's list of the "101 Dumbest Moments in Business" is Microsoft's attempt at rebutting Apple's Switch campaign; several government Web sites in the United States and United Kingdom have been caught off-guard by traffic spikes spurred by the attack on Iraq and worries about a rise in terrorist attacks.
Apple releases iPod Software 1.2.6
Apple has released iPod Software 1.2.6, a new version of its iPod system software that provides improved battery management which solves a problem that may appear to shorten your iPod's battery life. "Some customers have reported that over time their iPod's battery life has declined," Apple says. This update enables the iPod to more accurately monitor its battery charge, thus using the entire battery capacity and regaining long battery life. The result is longer playback time and extended standby time. After updating the iPod, customers can expect at least 10 days of standby battery life on a full charge.
Ricoh unveils new color laser printer
Ricoh today unveiled the Aficio CL3000, a compact color laser printer that "brings workgroup performance onto the desktop." With print speeds of 17 pages per minute (ppm) in color and 21 ppm in black & white, the CL3000 is the ideal solution for customers looking a for a productive alternative to the color inkjet, says Ricoh. The CL3000 has a maximum resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi for optimum image quality. It comes standard with Ethernet, USB and a Parallel port. There is also the option for FireWire, AirPort (802.11b) and Bluetooth connectivity.
Gefen releases new DVI video splitter
Peripheral maker Gefen today detailed its new ex-tend-it DVI Splitter, which is engineered to deliver accurate and reliable reproduction of any digital video signal including television signals. Designers, audio/visual professionals, presentation professionals, artists and engineers who work on multiple displays and combination systems can benefit most from the DVI Splitter, according to the manufacturer. Each split signal is capable of powering a digital display or projector simultaneously and up to four DVI Splitters can be combined to power eight digital video displays using just one port. [Site not updated]
Al Gore joins Apple\'s board of directors
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore today joined Apple's Board of Directors, according to the company. "Al brings an incredible wealth of knowledge and wisdom to Apple from having helped run the largest organization in the world -- the United States government," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said in a statement. "Al is also an avid Mac user and does his own video editing in Final Cut Pro." Mr. Gore said that he had been particularly impressed with Apple's Mac OS X operating system and the company's commitment to the open-source software movement.
Alsoft DiskWarrior 3.0 pre-orders for OS X
Alsoft is taking pre-orders for its DiskWarrior 3.0 upgrade; the latest version provides Mac OS X native directory repair: "This version is not a simple port to Mac OS X; extensive changes have been made to the application, allowing DiskWarrior to take advantage of advanced technologies in Mac OS X. The new version offers dramatic speed improvements, supports file journaling and Mac OS X RAIDs, offers full Unicode support, conforms to Apple's security standards, uses Mac OS X's native memory model, and rebuilds directories on disks as large as 2,000 gigabytes (2 terabytes)." The $40 upgrade is available only on a Mac OS X bootable CD. (No information is available for full version pricing or the ship date.)
XtremeMac updates Deluxe iPod Case
XtremeMac today launched a new and improved version of its Deluxe iPod case with new "incredibly supple, glove-soft leather." The new cases have been tweaked to fit the varying thickness of 5GB, 10GB or 20GB iPods. XtremeMac also debuted its latest designer fashion colors (Caribbean Blue, Chestnut Brown, Butterscotch Checker, Apple White, Embossed Black, Embossed Moss Green, and Gray) as well as a number of fabric cases (e.g., London Plaid, Dark Denim, and Camouflage). It is available in three bundled configurations, starting at $40.
Terra Soft launches Yellow Dog Linux 3.0
Terra Soft Solutions today announced Yellow Dog Linux 3.0, a new generation of Linux for the PowerPC architecture. It offers an "ultra-modern" gcc 3.2.1 compiler and the first port of Red Hat's 'Anaconda' to PowerPC, a smart and friendly installer. The install includes XFree86 4.3, GNOME 2.2, and KDE 3.1 as well as the Mac-On-Linux emulator. It also boasts improved hardware support (eMac, all GeForce 4-based Power Macs, and the 12" PowerBook), 3D support for ATI Radeon GPUs, and sleep support for all Apple ATI Radeon Mobility-based portables. Yellow Dog Linux 3.0 ISOs images are available today exclusively to YDL.Net Enhanced members and pre-installed on all Macs sold by the company. Retail Yellow Dog Linux packages will be available for pre-order March 31 with anticipated shipment the week of April 16.
Terra Soft also announced its new YDL.Net Enhanced membership, which adds personal webspace, FTP access to 10MB storage, immediate, direct access to Yellow Dog Linux ISOs, and ongoing, direct access to Yellow Dog Linux errata for $5 month. The standard version of YDL.net offers a lifetime email account with web-based and client-side access, on-screen support for 27 languages, custom folder and address management, and spell-checking.
Apps: Super Get Info, FabGrab, Xkeys...
Bare Bones Software today released Super Get Info 1.1, a free update to its file and folder information utility for Mac OS X, offering a more flexible interface than the Finder's "Get Info". Users can now invoke Super Get Info from within any
application that supports Mac OS X Services as well as "add" and "remove" permissions using an improved interface designed for more flexible application of recursive permissions to files and folders. A 30-day demo of the $20 software is available online. [936KB]
SereneScreen Marine Aquarium 2.0 features five new fish types and a new user interface. The five new fish include an Emperor Angelfish, Blue Ring Angelfish, Red Fin Butterfly fish, Rock Beauty Angelfish, and Squarespot Anthias, increasing the number of fish in Marine Aquarium to 26. The user interface also presents interesting facts about each fish. A demo of the $20 Mac OS X screen saver is available online. [3.0MB]
Unsanity's FruitMenu 3.01 offers the ability to customize the Apple Menu and contextual menus by adding custom commands, folder, and other menu items. The $10 shareware for Mac OS X can display your IP within a menu, assign hotkeys to file/folders, create application-specific contextual menus, move/copy file/folders, and other advanced features. It adds an ability to specify the contextual menu popup delay for the "Click and Hold Mouse Button to Access Contextual Menu In Finder" option (for single-button mouse users). [1.0MB]
David Stark's freeware Xkeys 1.01 (XK) allows you to "launch applications and open files and folders just by pressing a function key. Function keys can have submenus, duplicating the functionality of Fkey Expander. It can also be put on standby with a keystroke." Meanwhile, the freeware uControl 1.3.2 removes the one-handed typing feature (due to possible patent infringement) from the freeware utility that offers the ability to remap (modifier) keys, create a virtual scrollwheel on any trackpad, and offer lefties a sensible mouse. [XK, UC]
OWC launches nationwide dialup for Mac users
Other World Computing today announced the launch of FasterMac.net, a Macintosh-only Internet service that provides nationwide 56K dialup access throughout the US specifically for Macintosh computer users. OWC has already provided more than five years of Internet access in the Chicago-area through OWC's OWC.NET division. FasterMac.net provides online, step-by-step technical directions for configuring Mac-specific operating systems and e-mail clients with the FasterMac.net service. It is offered in Annual ($10 per month), Quarterly ($12/month), and Month-to-Month ($13/month) plans. Each plan provides users with up to 150 hours of connection time per month, five free e-mail addresses (@FasterMac.net), and 5MBs of free Web space.
Divine Divinity coming to the Mac OS X
Larian Studios and e.p.i.c. interactive announced today that they have signed a contract to bring Larian Studios' role playing title Divine Divinity to the Mac OS X: "Warrior, Wizard or Survivor? Which fate is yours? It's your decision, one that will influence the gameplay of Divine Divinity playable as an action based RPG or a classical RPG! According to prophecy, you are the chosen one. Only you have the strength, the courage and the magic to save the legendary lands of Rivellon from submission under the Lord of Chaos." The game will ship in the third quarter of this year.
MacResQ launches PowerMacResQ repair service
MacResQ has launched its new nationwide repair service for Macintosh PowerMac and iMac computers. The service, known as PowerMacResQ, will provide Mac users throughout the US with a source for 24-hour repairs on their computers. The cost of the PowerMacResQ program is $130, which includes the 3-way overnight shipping, the initial diagnostic service, and the PowerBox (used to ship the computer). The company offers same day pick up and promises 24-hour repair turnaround for most repairs. The cost of repairing the computer is not included.
OS X 10.2.4 bug exposes .Mac passwords
MacNN reader Will Dean reports on a security hole in Mac OS X 10.2.4, which exposes a user's .Mac password as plain text. (Earlier this week, Apple notified customers of Samba Security Bug in OS X and promised an update.)
"This bug has been confirmed in Mac OS X 10.2.4 and also occurs in a recently leaked build of 10.2.5 (6L11) and may affect older versions as well. There is a major security hole in the Keychain Access application.
"When you open up the Keychain application, you will see a list of stored passwords for the various services, such as your e-mail, Airport and iChat. When a user opens the Keychain application and selects the iTools password keychain and then clicks on the "show passphrase" option (on bottom of page), the user's .Mac password will be exposed [in plain text] without authentication.
"The only way to protect the password is to lock all keychains; by default Apple sets all keychains to unlock. Whenever you unlock a keychain all of them unlock. Note: This bug only affects a user's .Mac password, not other passwords in the Keychain. [Other Keychain password entries require authentication before the display of the password. Users can also change the 'Access Control' of the password to protect the display of this password.]" [updated]
Apps: Ch Toolkit, AutoTagX, Mac Explorer
- SoftIntegration today released Ch Control System Toolkit 1.5, a superset of
C interpreter for scripting, 2D/3D plotting and numerical computing. It is designed for modeling, design, and analysis of continuous-time or discrete-time linear time invariant (LTI) control systems. The update enhances the Web-based control and analysis capabilities. It costs $500 for commercial and $200 for academic.
Publicspace.net today announced version 5.4 of its "A Better Finder Rename" Macintosh Finder enhancement. The new version of the $15 shareware provides a number of enhancements including improved numbered file lists and character replacement, and other minor interface tweaks. [Classic, OSX]
AutoTagX 2.6.5 automatically tags and organizes MP3 files using drag-and-drop and internet music databases. Version 2.6.5 adds alternate formats for naming, an editable list of characters to omit from album names, drag & drop installation, and an new uninstaller for previous versions. A demo of the $13 can tag up to 25 files or albums. [692KB]
Rage Software's Macintosh Explorer 3.5 is an upgrade to the integrated file browser and file management tool. Macintosh Explorer ($15 shareware) provides an alternative method of browsing files; it can also remove unneeded files, back up documents, and display/change extended file info. It adds spring loading folders, more UI customization options, export of lists to text, and improved file move/copy. [1.2MB]
WP: Apple discontinues original iMac
Apple has confirmed that it is discontinuing the original iMac, coinciding with the disappearance of the CRT iMac yesterday morning from the Apple Store. The Washington Post confirms that Apple still continues to the sell the G3 iMac through its Apple Store Education (and some international stores such as the Apple Store UK).
Digital Performer for OS X to ship April 2nd
MacNN readers report that MOTU's Digital Performer 4 for Mac OS X has gone 'GM' (Golden Master) and will ship on April 2, as noted on the company's website. The company demonstrated an OS X version at NAMM 2003, which brings support for universal MIDI and audio compatibility via Mac OS X's CoreMIDI and CoreAudio services as well as support for Apple's Audio Units plug-in standard to its state-of-the-art audio production environment. Other new features include Rewire 2.0 support, enhancements to DP's QuickScribe notation window, including score arrangement features such as repeat barlines, endings, codas, and others. Upgrades are $150.
WiebeTech reduces price on 120GB DesktopGB
WiebeTech today announced price reductions on its DesktopGB FireWire enclosures, offering the 120GB DesktopGB for $190--the same price as its 80GB unit. The DesktopGB features dual FireWire and a USB 2.0 port, a 7200 rpm mechanism, and is bundled with Media Four's MacDrive 5 software. The case-only configuration is $80 ($30 reduction), while both the 80GB and 120GB versions are $190. Each includes the enclosure; vertical stand, cables and AC adapter.
Apple Store coming to Huntington Station, NY
The Long Island Mac Users Group notes that an retail Apple Store will open at the Walt Whitman Mall in New York: "Construction has been started on a new Apple Store in the Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station. It's where the FYE record shop used to be. It's in section 'G' not far from Bloomingdales. Expect the store to open around the middle of May... I wonder how this new store will affect the nearby Apple dealer B.C. Computers on Depot Road. Curious how The Apple Retail Stores seem to pop up next to The Sharper Image stores. The new store has not yet been announced at [Apple's retail Website]."
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