NewTech Infosystems today unveiled Dynamic Drive Support, Live Update (DDS/LU), which has been incorporated into all of the company's new CD/DVD production and backup/disaster recovery software. DDS/LU eliminates compatibility problems for the more than 2000 different models of CD and DVD burners, according to NTI. DDS/LU dynamically confirms support to any CD-RW or recordable DVD drive even if the device isn't listed in NTI's drive support database. Earlier this month, NTI released the newest version of its DragonBurn CD and DVD mastering software ($50) with support for Mac OS X. The new DragonBurn multi-burning engine allows users to simultaneously write multiple CDs or DVDs and fully supports new 4x DVD-R internal and external drives as well as advanced CD writers including recently released 52x CD-R and 24x CD-RW drives. It fully supports ISO 9660 MS-DOS and Joliet, HFS (Mac OS) and HFS+ (Mac OS Extended) file systems as well as hybrid CDs and DVDs using both Mac OS and ISO file system combinations, both external/internal USB 2.0 and FireWire drives, and BurnProof and other buffer-underrun protection technologies.
ARTIS Software today announced the release of Team Task 2.0 for Mac OS X, an easy-to-use, networked task organizer. It is a peer-to-peer (P2P) application to share tasks, ideas, and to-dos. It concentrates on task management and has an Aqua-style interface. "It takes task organization to the next level by enabling users to send notes, tasks, or reminders to everyone in their team," the developer says. [Download - 190KB] IOXperts has released version 1.0.2 of its 802.11b driver for Mac OS 9. It continues to support more than 60 different 802.11b wireless networking cards on PowerBooks equipped with PC Card slots. This new release fixes some bugs and includes support for the Short Preamble feature, which is intended to improve network throughput when transmitting streaming video or voice. Pricing is $20 for use with a single wireless card. [Download - 211KB] ConvertMake 1.0b1 is the initial beta release of the new developer tool for Mac OS X that automates the conversion of makefile or other script-based systems into Project Builder projects. Key features include: the ability to convert nearly any system that uses the GNU toolset; the ability to import multiple source trees into a single project; an option to create static library, dynamic library, tool, application, and framework targets; and a detailed manual with examples. [Download - 523KB] TFTP Server 1.4 is a simple utility that helps you to use and configure the TFTP server shipped with the standard Mac OSX distribution. With this application you can easily start/stop the TFTP server and change the path where the files are sent and received from TFTP clients, which connect to your Mac acting as TFTP server. Details of the latest release are not available. [Download - 138KB] Hologramophone has made available pixound Maker, an application for Classic that creates a visual representation of sound by varying color based on sound characteristics. A Mac OS X version is expected in the near future. pixound Maker costs $77. [Download - Download link not functional] Modeless Software today released a maintenance update to Liquid Ledger, its Cocoa-based personal finance solution for Mac OS X. The update fixes minor bugs with respect to importing transactions and working with foreign currency accounts, and enhances window-based view options. In addition, a new User's Guide is available that is targeted at both existing Liquid Ledger users as well as Mac users looking to evaluate Liquid Ledger as a personal finance alternative. Liquid Ledger for Mac OS X is available for $45. [Download - Update, Demo form]
Apple was among five technology firms that were honored with the Outlook 4Mobility 2003 Innovation awards at the 13th annual Wireless Dinner earlier this week. Apple was recognized "for showing the industry that Wi-Fi is cost-effective for mass adoption and for leading 802.11g implementation [found in its AirPort Extreme Products]." The other companies honored were Digital Orchard, Monet Mobile Networks, Nextel Communications, and Research In Motion.
A MacNN reader forwarded a note from an official Ala Moana Shopping Center representative regarding the "late April/early May" opening of an Apple retail store in Hawaii (first noted by MacNN last November): "We are indeed going to have an Apple Store here in our mall. It will be located on the mall level (second floor), on the Macy's side of the mall, right next to Alfred Dunhill, across from Shirokiya. Their projected date of opening is Late April or Early May." (The store is not yet listed as "Coming Soon" on Apple's retail website.)
Spiderweb Software today announced Geneforge 2, its next "fantasy epic with a science fiction twist. In Geneforge 2, you can explore a huge world, choose which side you will fight for, and, as always, make your own horde of fanatically obedient mutant monsters." Geneforge 2 features a "huge and open" storyline, allowing users to join with any of several factions and reach dozens of different endings. It will ship this Summer for $25 ($32 with a hint book). Geneforge (original) is currently available as a demo ($25 shareware) for both Classic and Mac OS X.
Orange Micro has begun shipping its OrangeCombo Notebook Card for laptop computers. The OrangeCombo provides both USB 2.0 (2) and FireWire (1) ports on a single card. The $120 PC Card will ship in April with video editing software, a USB 2.0 cable, and a FireWire. It also ships with both USB 2.0 and FireWire drivers for Mac OS X. (The USB 2.0 ports on the OrangeCombo are "backward compatible" with all USB 1.1 devices.)
Network Computing columnist Steven Schuchart says, in a review of Apple's Xserve, "I hadn't touched a Macintosh in years, and the idea of an Apple server was as foreign to me as sushi once was. However, after testing the Xserve, I found that my experience with the product was a lot like my experience with raw fish--I liked it." Mr. Schuchart says the Xserve is a "pleasure to use," features a functional case design, and its software is simple to upgrade. On the flipside, he points to the Macintosh-only remote GUI-based management and the difficulty involved with connecting to legacy KVM schemes as weak points.
Apple today announced that its Board of Directors yesterday approved several measures to enhance corporate governance, including adding two additional independent directors to its board, increasing the use of independent committees on the board and reducing issued stock option overhang from 23 percent to 16 percent.
Apple today described the following issues in its support knowledge base: Although the Apple Pro Speakers look very similar to the speakers that come with the Power Mac G4 Cube computer, they are functionally very different; if a 12-icnh PowerBook's battery is completely drained, it may not charge properly the next time the computer is plugged into an outlet; some PowerBook G4 computers may not show the battery as 100 percent charged in Mac OS X, even when the power adapter is plugged-in; how to use your PowerBook G4 (12-inch) computer with the lid of the computer closed and an external monitor or projector connected via the video output port
Tech news: The Library of Congress' Copyright Office will hold a series of public hearings over the next two months in Washington, D.C. and California to decide what changes, if any, should be made to the section of the DMCA that restricts bypassing copy-protection schemes; Networking giant Cisco Systems on announced it will buy Linksys, a manufacturer of networking gear for consumers, in a stock deal valued at $500 million; Yahoo has completed its acquisition of Web search technology company Inktomi, highlighting the portal giant's intent to boost its own flourishing search business.
On heels confirmed receipt of 17" PowerBooks by both individuals and resellers (see 17" Wonderland Photogallery), Tom Bihn has posted new information on its 17" PowerBook cases, including its The Size 1 Mitre ($30), a basic sleeve in a titanium color to protect your Powerbook from scrapes & scratches, and The Size 1 Monolith ($40), a vertical hard-sided case with full suspension and padding that will fit inside any daypack/bookpack. Booq also added a new PowerSleve17, its "innovative and stylish laptop sleeve optimized for the new 17" PowerBook G4. Made from real durable ballistic nylon, this padded, toploading laptop case with sturdy snap lock offers room for your PowerBook's power adapter, iPod, and other accessories." It features a padded, detachable carrying handle and black & metal zipper pulls. It will ship at the end of April for $40. Booq is also shipping its FoleeMessenger17, its messenger bag for the new PowerBook G4 (15" or 17") made from tough, lightweight weather-resistant 1680D nylon. It features a large back and front document pocket with dual internal organizers/dividers as well as as an external front pocket in outer flap for travel documents.
The Omni Group today announced OmniGraffle 3.0, an update to its Mac OS X diagramming and drawing application. Due in early April 2003, version 3.0 adds a multitude of new features, including "smart guides", a complete redesign of OmniGraffle's Info panels, a new Style & Selection panel, a revamped Shadows panel, a new caching architecture, improved AppleScript support, improved support for importing OmniOutliner files, the ability to choose patterns for shape fills, and an improved Selection tool. The new OmniGraffle 3.0 Professional version also adds import/export of multiple-page Visio 2002 files, multipage HTML document export, keyboard-based editing, hyperlinks within documents, a Presentation mode, and ColorSync Workflow & Proofing support. The standard version is $70 ($25 upgrade), while the Pro version is $120 ($60 upgrade from version 2.0 until end of May; $75 thereafter).
Apple says it is "very confident" that it will be able to update its Apple Extreme products via a software or firmware update "that will keep everything in sync with the ratified standard," according The Baltimore Sun, which discusses the various wireless technologies and potential problems that could arise from some companies (such as Apple) using the non-finalized 802.11g standard.
David Pogue writes about Intel's mega Centrino marketing campaign that touts the built-in 802.11b wireless technology as something new, rather than its upgraded new Pentium M processor technologies: " The astounding part of Intel's marketing message is its implication that wireless laptops are somehow a new idea - Intel's idea, at that. In fact, wireless networking has been a smash hit with laptop luggers ever since Apple introduced wireless PowerBooks in mid-1999."
Apple is offering .Mac users (free) exclusive Jaguar training as part of its subscription-based Web tools offering. The collection of more than 80 online manuals and tutorials (divided into 8 categories) is valued at $30 and is designed to help users better understand Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar. It includes QuickTime movies, tips and other hints, and other useful resources.
Thursby has released DAVE 4.02p1, an update to its application for sharing files and printers as well as external storage devices on a PC network. The OS X-only patch fixes problems with the vi editor, copying files (including those larger 4GB), printing crashes, and other bugs. Thursby is also offering users of DoubleTalk a $100 upgrade to DAVE (directly from the company). [1.1MB] Mac Messenger 2.2 is an alternative client for MSN's instant messaging network: "It's much faster and stabler than MSN Messenger. It uses nearly no memory! PPC and Carbon releases are available, an an old Mac Messenger 68k version is available." Verson 2.2 brings a new emoticon experience and quick-paste messages. [Classic, OSX] Josh Aas has released iTunes Publisher 3.05, an update to his $5 utility that can export playlists from iTunes into HTMl, text, tabbed-text, QTSS (QuickTime Streaming Server), and M3U, a general playlist format. Version 3.05 correctly preserves selected field/sort order between launches and offers bottom (as well as top) navigation on multiple-page HTML exports. [61KB] Duover 1.5.1 is a $20 shareware synchronization application for Mac OS X that offrs network synchronization, scheduling, incremental backups, folder-specific configurations, and "quiet" operation for all actions and unattended schedules. Version 1.5.1 can now track deleted and renamed files in one folder and delete or rename them in the other during sync, offers exact backups, and better supports symbolic links. [998KB] Deep Sky's SMTP Client Deux 1.2.0 is a "peepware" 4th Dimension component which provides a complete implementation of the SMTP protocol. It includes full compatibility with SMTP AUTH, authenticated login for SMTP servers. This update resolves issues specifically with recenet versions of 4D and offers better encoding options. [986KB] KeyWebX is a $10 utility that "takes your PDF or QuickTime file generated with Keynote, slices it into separate Jpeg images and makes very simple HTML pages to browse them. You can optionally disable HTML generation and use PSD as output format without images quality loss." [500KB]
iDVDthemePAK.com today released two free Drop Zone Themes for iDVD 3.0 software. "ConcreteZone" and "StreetZone" are the first free Drop Zone Themes, which are exclusive to iDVD 3.0; the offer the ability to drop in movies or images to certain zones in the menu. All iDVDThemePAK themes ship with custom buttons, layouts and completely unique graphic backgrounds. (Last month iDVDThemePAKs released 2 new full Menu Theme collections.) Individual iDVDThemePAKs are $30, while a bundle of PAK 1/2 or PAK 3/4 is $54.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives