The Houston Area Apple Users Group (HAAUG) will host the First Annual HAAUG MacFest in Houston, TX at the Courtyard (by Marriott) on Saturday, April 26. Bob ďDr. MacĒ LeVitus will be a featured guest. Additionally, in-depth sessions on Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office for OS X will be presented. Admission is $20 ($25 at the door) for HAAUG members, and $30 ($35 at the door) for non-members.
Troll Touch today announced that it is now taking orders for its touch-screen upgrades for Apple's 20- and 23-inch Cinema Displays. "Touchscreen systems eschew input from mice or trackpads in favor of direct contact with the computer screen itself." Troll Touch's touchscreens use PSR-1, Pressure Sensitive Resistive technology. The company said the units will work with any non-sharp pointer -- a fingertip, for example, eraser or gloved hand.
Several MacNN readers report receiving replacement power supply/fan units from Apple in recent days. Replacements were sent to owners of Apple's latest Power Mac series (MDD), to address noise output issues.
IGG Software has released iWork 1.3, an update to the time-billing and invoicing application. Version 1.3 includes a new set of graphical reporting tools so that users can "quickly assess how they are spending their time, what activities are making them the most money and how income is changing through time." Other new features include a mouse idle timer, the ability to check for updates over the Internet, and several other small enhancements. iWork costs $20. [1.6MB] Hydra 1.0 is a Rendezvous-based, collaborative text editor with developer support. It allows users to simultaneously work on text documents on a local network. "Hydra is a collaborative distributed text editor, combining the simplicity of TextEdit and the power of Rendezvous." It allows to share documents on a local network (with Rendezvous) or over the Internet. Every participating user can type simultaneously and see what others are typing. "In addition to its rich networking capabilities, Hydra does everything you'd expect from an advanced text editor," the developer says. [667KB] Northern Softworks today released version 2.1.1 of Lights Out, its new $8 Energy Saver utility for Mac OS X. This release offers improved user feedback; the Dock icon now provides visual indication of the applications status; Dock menus are available to provide manual control of Lights Out's features. Lights Out is an application designed to give users more control over Apple's Energy Saver. [1.2MB] SignalScope 1.05 is an audio signal analysis software designed to work with Mac OS X compatible audio hardware. It functions as a spectrum analyzer as well as an oscilloscope. Version 1.0.5 includes much-improved labeling of the Voltage, Frequency, and Time axes. The $25 shareware also includes the ability to select any audio input device, user-definable full scale voltage, the ability to save Oscilloscope trace data or spectral data, and a choice of five possible frequency spans (dependent on the current sampling rate). [655KB] As noted yesterday, Soybo is now available for Mac OS X. Download links became functional today. [1.5MB] Version 2.0 of Script Timer, an AppleScript and application scheduling product for Mac OS, will execute scripts or applications at any time of the day on a daily, weekly, weekdays only, monthly, or one time basis as well as at regular time intervals ranging from minutes to weeks with specifiable start and stop times. . Version 2.0 now has a runtime engine (background operation) and a GUI for scheduling. It also supports start/stop times for interval actions and can also invoke actions when the computer is idle. [350KB]
QuickTime 6.1.1 is now available via the Software Update utility. It offers improved MPEG-4 streaming. Further details are not available. Apple today also released QuickTime 6.1 for Windows, resolving a security issue: "A potential vulnerability in Apple's QuickTime Player for Windows could allow a remote attacker to compromise a target system. This exploit is only possible if the attacker can convince a user to load a specially crafted QuickTime URL. Upon successful exploitation, arbitrary code can be executed under the privileges of the QuickTime user. Versions affected: QuickTime Player versions 5.x and 6.0 for Windows. QuickTime Player for Mac OS and Mac OS X are not affected. Recommendation: Install QuickTime version 6.1 for Windows."
Buena Software has updated its Effect Essentials suite of plugins for Adobe After Effects. Version 1.5 of the suite adds live dragging in the Super RGB Curves, HSV Curves, Feedback, and HSV Manipulator plugins; colored backgrounds in Super RGB Curves and HSV Curves show you what changes will look like, and expanded host application support for 7 of the plugins, including Final Cut Pro, discreet Combustion, and Adobe Premiere. (The remaining 3 plugins - Super RGB Curves, HSV Curves, and HSV Manipulator are not yet supported in other applications, but we plan to add support soon.) The free update also offers improved speed and multiprocessor support in HSV Curves and better stability in all the plugins. It is $200 before (20% off) for all purchases before April 15th.
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore received 30,000 stock options for joining Apple's Board of Directors, according to a regulatory filing released on Monday. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Apple said it gave its new director Gore the stock options with an exercise price of $14.95, according to Reuters. AAPL is trading at $14.14 as of this morning.
John Eric Fu notes that Iomega's HotBurn Software is not compatible with Mac OS 9.2.2: "A little warning to readers out there who are thinking of buying an Iomega external CD-RW for use on their Macs: the included Iomega HotBurn for Mac software is *not* compatible with Mac OS 9.2.2. I just bought an Iomega CD-RW 48x24x48 USB 2.0 external drive for some cross-platform use (with USB 1.1) with a Mac and PC. The Mac is a Beige G3DT running 9.2.2. Basically, I couldn't get the drive to work with Iomega's included HotBurn, Toast, or Disc Burner. I checked the Iomega Knowledge Base to learn this shocker: their "OS 9-compatible" HotBurn software doesn't work with 9.2.2. So basically, they are advertising an OS 9-compatible product that doesn't work with the latest version of OS 9."
Apple has placed No. 381 in the Forbes 500 2003 listing, dropping 92 places from No. 289 last year. Apple is ranked No. 285 by sales, 443 by assets, and 301 by marketvalue (with no ranking given for its profit ranking). General Electric, Citigroup, ExxonMobil, AIG, and Bank of America were among the top 5 companies, while other computer industry players fared much better: IBM is No. 9, Microsoft is No. 15, Dell is No. 50, HP is No. 109, Sun is No. 213, and Gateway is No. 632.
Westfield and Apple today announced that they have partnered to provide over $500,000 worth of computers, and associated educational equipment to New Zealand primary and intermediate schools. The new Shop for your School campaign offers points for each purchase from any retailer in the nine (9) Westfield branded shopping centres. At the end of the campaign, the top ten schools with the most points per student at each centre will receive computers and other electronic equipment such as digital cameras. Westfield has fun the campaign for over 2 years, providing over $3 million in computers. The new campaign will run from May 1st to July 14.
mark/space recently announcded an updated version of its Missing Sync software, which now provides Mac OS X Support for the Samsung i330 phone, allowing users to HotSync the Samsung handheld with any USB equipped Mac and your Samsung handheld USB cradle or cable. The $30 softawre bundle includes HotSync (for Mac OS X to Palm Desktop 4.0 HotSync support), Mark/Space Mail (for checking multiple pop accounts), and SplashPhoto (mobile image viewer).
Rendezvous Beacon 1.0 is a freeware product that allows users to publish Rendezvous services on a computer or to serve as a proxy for Rendezvous services on other computers or devices. It is available as a free download and requires Mac OS X 10.2. [150KB] Serial Storage 2.6.2 adds German-localization and several bug fixes to the $20 shareware that securely stores and organizes serial numbers, passwords, credit cards, into different folders. Version 2.6.2 now includes a German version, and a few interface modifications and bug fixes. [2.6MB] Fifth Wave has released Convert 2.0.1, a complete upgrade/rewrite of its conversion application for Mac OS 9/X. It converts temperature, velocity, time, radix (base), mass, currency, bartending, and other units in over 45 different conversion categories. Version 2.0.1 adds support for the "Windows" menu, new conversions for the Time and Radix, and other bug fixes. [185KB] Waterfall Software's new "elegant, and secure data storage solution titled Wallet can store passwords, serial numbers, contacts, or whatever you want it to store with a few clicks of the mouse." It features 448-bit Blowfish encryption and password protection. A demo of the $15 shareware is available for Mac OS X only. [1.5MB] Yenco.com's Archive 5.0.2 fixes a Mac OS X catalog issue with certain volume names. Archive enables you to quickly catalog your disks: "then when you need to find a file, just type in what you are looking for and it will return a list of all files that match your search criteria, what disks the files can be found on, and even detailed information about the files." The $20 shareware runs on Mac OS 8/9/X. [731KB]
Ableton and PowerFX today announced the enclosure of a specially compiled PowerFX Sample CD with Ableton's LIVE 2.03 audio software. The sample CD includes over 500 MB free Samples and Loops and users are entitled to an online account with 10 free Downloads from PowerFX's downloadable library.
Blue World Communications has released Lasso Professional 6.0.4, a free update to the Mac OS X version of its Web development and delopyment environment. It provides new features and several fixes, including support for "catalog-less" datasources, such as OpenBase and an improved JDBC connector. [32MB] kokorozashi today announced iMage 1.0, a free image file format translation utility software with support for JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, Photoshop, PICT, BMP, MacPaint, and other file formats, including PDF import and import/export of JPEG 2000. It runs on Mac OS 8/9/X and requires QuickTime 4 or later. [64KB] The StudioSystem 4.3 is an all-in-one administration package for recording studios and musicians. The $60 FileMaker solution features an integrated archive module, contact/invoicing/inventory databases, a studio calculator, calendar functions, label tracking, and a track sheet printer. All printable forms can be customized (English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian templates already included). [Classic, OSX] Audiocorder 3.7.1 adds additional Applescript support and several bug fixes to the sophisticated audio recorder utiity for the Mac. The $20 shareware can operate as a volume operated (VOX) audio recorder (with customizable sound triggers), offers scheduled reocording functions, can record telephone conversations using a Mac's internal modem (Mac OS 9 only), and playback AIFF, WAVE, and mp3 sound files. [Classic, OSX]
LaCie last week announced it began shipping its new line of desktop d2 FireWire 800 hard drives in capacities of up to 500GB. The drives use LaCie d2 slim, aluminum case design and feature two FireWire connectors to permit daisy-chaining additional drives without the use of a hub. The drives also include a USB 2.0/USB 1.1 connection. The drives are now available in 200GB ($470 for 2MB buffer/7200 rpm drive), 250GB ($600 for 8MB/7200rpm), 400GB ($850), and 500GB ($1100). Each drives includes a one-year warranty, three cables (USB 2.0, 6-pin FireWire-to-FireWire 800, and FireWire 800-to-FireWire 800), and LaCie Silverlining Pro for Mac OS 9 (although drive operation at 800Mbps speeds requires Mac OS X).
Apple's Emagic has announced Version 6 of Logic Gold and Logic Audio, which Incorporate many of the new features found in Logic Platinum 6 and also adds "a new level of processor efficiency and extensive enhancements to the Arrange window that offers more editing and mixing power." In addition, the update debuts two new setup and file management solutions ó the Setup Assistant and the Project Manager as well as a superior sounding new Channel EQ and MP3 import/export functionality. The company says it plans international shipments of Logic Gold 6 and Logic Audio 6 in late April 2003.
CMS Peripherals today began shipping its new ABSplus storage devices with integrated scheduling and One Button Restore for Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar." The advanced configuration options allow users to backup sets of specific files at specific times, or schedule complete unattended backups as well as a single-click interface to a range of restore options, including a "redirect restore" function for those who prefer to restore a copy of their backed-up data to an alternate location. The pocket-sized ABSplus is available in capacities of 20GB, 30GB, 40GB and 60GB at a starting price of $300 (with either FireWire or USB interfaces). The ABSplus for Desktops ships in 80GB, 120GB, 200GB and 250GB capacities starting price of $350.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN