FireStarter FX 1.0b2 is a Mac OS X CD burning application that enables you to duplicate and write many kind of CDs, and burn VCDs and SVCDs. It also offers overburning and CDDB access. Beta 2 adds automatic burner detection, support for data-burning, ISO support, user interface improvements, and a new license agreement (it is now 'donation-ware'). [Download - 2.5MB] Aspyr today released Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets demo. "Be Harry Potter and unlock the mystery at the heart of the Chamber of Secrets [...] Harry's second adventure will be every bit as magical and dangerous as his first." [Download - 18.4MB] Aspyr also made available a trailer for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, the latest edition of the popular skateboarding game. [Download - link not functional; size unknown] Vicomsoft today announced the upcoming release of SpamBolt, a "new and inventive" server-based anti-SPAM solution that will be available at the end of May. "Once installed on a network, SpamBolt will instantly begin to protect mail servers from Spam attacks," the developer says, "while providing the system administrator with a powerful set of mail rules that ensure SPAM is blocked forever, while important andgenuine emails are led safely to their final destination."
NewTek today announced it will preview LightWave 3D  at SIGGRAPH 2003, which takes place from July 29-31. NewTek's LightWave 3D  is expected to ship in the fourth quarter of this year and development for this release of LightWave will focus on workflow and user interface improvements. In addition, LightWave  will include enhancements to character animation tools and game development tools, as well as improved integration with other production tools and with 3rd party add-ons. New purchases of LightWave 3D [7.5], full copy or upgrade, after April 1, 2003 (until version 8 ships) will receive the LightWave 3D  update for free via the Web.
Billboard reports that "high-quality design and simplicity of use are expected to be the hallmarks of the new digital music service from Apple Computer," as it offers details of Apple's new music service expected to be unveiled on Monday. The article notes that the service will feature songs from high-profile artists not previously available via online services: "Label sources tell Bulletin that the service is an a la carte download store -- not unlike that of rival Liquid Audio -- that is built into Apple's iTunes player. No subscription is required for the service, and tracks are expected to retail for an average of 99 cents. Once purchased, tracks are transferred to the consumer's iTunes music library and are automatically synched to the user's iPod portable player. " "Content can also be burned to CD. Credit-card information is stored on file in the store's shopping-cart system so the consumer does not have to re-enter the information for each purchase. The offering is expected to be made available initially only to users of Apple computers."
Apple shareholders have voted to advise management to expense employee stock options, rejecting the company's wishes to keep the costs off the books, according to the AP: "Based on a preliminary count, Apple announced at its annual meeting Thursday that a majority of shareholders approved a nonbinding measure advocating the accounting switch. Apple hasn't said whether it will follow its shareholders' advice.
Apple's Xserve and PowerBooks are used by the Minnesota Wild NHL team to offer fans watching from the 74 luxury suites at the Xcel Energy Center the ability to watch high-definition game images on PowerBook G4s while browsing live stats, scores and news over the Internet: "The data is created, stored and delivered on Apple's Xserve systems. While the team has a PC-based network, it has used the Xserve to handle media-rich images. The team claims it saves money too because it doesn't pay client-access fees for Mac OS X Server or for QuickTime Streaming Server."
Stone Design today shipped a new plugin named FontSight that adds a visual font typeface menu to all Cocoa-based applications with a Font or Format menu. It adds visual font menu to native OS X applications, the ability to set font size of the menu, and the ability to view "as one list" or "as families" as well as set if it appears at top level or in Format menu. It is $20 sharewware. [840KB] Mitz Pettel's Vidi 0.4 is a freeware application for watching and recording TV on the Mac using the Formac Sutdio DV/TV video converter. Vidi can also be used to listen to FM radio stations (a feature that Formac's own StudioTVR software for Mac OS X lacks). [340KB] Solutions Etcetera has released SuperCard 4.1.1, a free upgrade to SuperCard's authoring environment. It includes over 100 changes and additions in direct response to user feedback to the initial 4.0 release. SuperCard ($180) can be used to create many types of applications, including games, teaching aides, utilities, automation tools, kiosks, and other multimedia projects. [7.5MB] Player Manager 2003 is now in final test and moving towards Gold master. The game had been greatly enhanced over the past weeks, adding many new features such as multiple leagues, enhanced player AI, Fantastic 'Live TV' coverage on selected games with superb new 3D views, Players also display in-game fatigue, enhancements to in-game feedback and messages, according to the developer. DockFun! 4.0 beta allows users to run and configure multiple docks under Mac OS X. It has been rewritten in order to support multi-threading for dual processor Macs and users can now create docks using an iTunes playlist-like interface. Docks also now support auto-launch of single or multiple applications and hotkeys for specific applications. [800KB] Trailerpark QT 1.1.3 is a QuickTime multimedia list player, allowing easy access and organization of multiple video and other media files. It features global floating windows, one-click contextual menu access, one-key control, and other display and playlist options. Registration ($13) allows larger-than 160x120 views, including fullscreen support. [Classic, OSX]
KB roundup: Apple says that the AppleCare Protection Plan CD does not start up on all Macs and explains ways of working with the CD. Another KB article notes that a FireWire hard drive that is not bus-powered may not appear on the desktop, if it is connected to the computer before it is connected to an AC power source. Finally, Apple describes how to bind the QuickTime Streaming Server to serve from only one of the server's IP addresses.
Griffin today announced it is now shipping its iTrip FM Transmitter for iPod has begun shipping. Officially announced at MacWorld Expo SF this past January, the iTrip rests atop the iPod and attaches securely to the headphone jack, allowing users to broadcast the iPod playback to any radio station: "Unlike other FM transmitters, the iTrip can broadcast to any available frequency on the FM dial. The station choice is selected in the iPod itself. The iTrip also requires no batteries. It draws its minimum power directly from the iPod and automatically shuts off after 60 seconds without music. For on the road charging, iTrip cleverly rotates 90 degrees out of the way, exposing the FireWire port." It is $35.
Nisus Software today announced the public beta release of its new OS X word processor, Nisus Writer Express. It has been written from the ground up in Cocoa and incorporates a new, user-friendly interface, industry standard RTF, plain text and unicode support, a customizable interface, fully scriptable (AppleScript, menu based and Perl macros), an exclusive tooldrawer and the ability to open and save as Microsoft Word documents (.doc). Other features includ multiple, editable clipboards, non-contiguous selection, an advanced find/replace function, user-definable keyboard shortcuts and Classic Nisus file format support. It requires a G3 or better and Mac OS X 10.2 and is $60; upgrades are $35. The beta will expire on May 24, 2003.
E.piphany today announced that Fred Anderson, Apple's executive vice president and chief financial officer, has agreed to join E.piphany's board of directors, pending his election at the company's annual meeting on May 30, 2003. E.piphany is a leading provider of marketing, sales, and service solutions for the largest global enterprises. Anderson joined Apple as executive vice president and CFO in March 1996. In his capacity as CFO, Anderson oversees the controller, treasury, investor relations, tax, information systems, internal audit, facilities and human resources functions. He reports to the CEO and serves on the company's executive committee. Anderson came to Apple from Automatic Data Processing (ADP), where he also served as CFO.
Karelia Software's Watson 1.7 is a free upgrade to its desktop interface to over twenty of the most popular Web services and content. This update adds new tools and enhances the program's configurability. Watson's new "SiteSearch" tool is used to search on individual Web sites and display the results in a convenient list. For some sources, the user can specify the section of the site as well as the searching text. Version 1.7 also brings a revamped 'Epicurious' cooking tool. A single-user license is $30, while a "household" license is $40. [1.8MB]
Now AAPL Stock: 95.12 ( + 1.48 )
GoPro revenue drops, Karma drone delayed
Action camera maker GoPro announced its first quarter results on Thursday, and the news was largely bad. While unit sell-through of the cameras was close to the year-over-year compare, revenues dropped 49.5 percent from Q1 last year, though was slightly above the company's guidance. Overall, the company lost $107 million in GAAP net income, and margins declined to 32.5 percent from 45.1 percent in the year-ago quarter. The company further announced that it would be delaying its planned Karma drone product until this winter, which will likely further impact next quarter's results. The upside of the delay, said GoPro Founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman, is that the Karma will now benefit from debuting just before the holiday buying season. http://bit.ly/1OgpdgD
Netflix iOS app now offers cell-data controls
In a new update to its iOS app on Thursday, subscription entertainment service Netflix has introduced new user controls for streaming over cellular networks to prevent overages, throttling, or other usage issues caused by the high data rate of streamed HD video. Users can choose from a given amount of streaming video that "costs" 1GB of cellular data, which lowers video quality to allow as much as four hours of video per GB (the "automatic" setting provides three hours, while higher quality settings reduce the time to two hours, or one hour at the best setting). In addition, the updated app now offers more 3D Touch options from the app icon, beyond the "peek and pop" previews for video. http://apple.co/24AD1vR
Bentley launches app for Apple Watch
Carmaker Bentley now offers an Apple Watch app for its Bentayga SUV -- a vehicle with a starting price of $229,000 -- that offers some advanced automotive functions not previously seen in other car apps for Apple's wearable. The app allows Watch wearers to control various seat adjustments, environmental controls (including seat massage), and the entertainment system. In addition, various vehicle stats are available at a glance, including distance traveled and vehicle speed. The app is available free on the App Store. http://apple.co/24AyXvs
Lunch with Cook auction nets $515K
The Charitybuzz auction that offered lunch with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple HQ and a pair of passes to a future Apple event (winner's pick) has ended with a high bid of $515,000, the highest amount the annual auction has fetched since 2013. Proceeds of the auction will benefit Cook's preferred charity, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, where Cook was recently named to the board of directors. The winner, who was unnamed, will be responsible for their own transportation and accommodation, and Cook has up to a year to schedule the meeting -- making it possible that the winner will be among the first to dine with Cook in the new Campus 2 cafeteria, which is set to open along with the rest of the new facility early next year. http://bit.ly/236Wf9N
Free Windows 10 upgrade program ends July 29
Ending speculation, Microsoft has officially announced that it will end free Windows 10 upgrades on July 29, the one-year anniversary of the rollout of the OS. Following the 29th, Microsoft's ubiquitous OS will retail for $119 and up. http://bit.ly/1O0a7kA
US tech giants to candidates: support TPP
Tech giants including Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Uber are among thirteen major US corporations who have written an open letter to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton urging them to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, reports Reuters. Although not yet made public, the letter also asks the candidates to make it easier for the companies to hire tech workers from overseas. Both are not happy with the TPP deal, although Trump is sterner in his opposition to any kind of trade deals between countries. Trump has not rejected outright the idea of importing high-tech talent from overseas, while Clinton has already voiced her support for the idea. http://reut.rs/1Wb0Zwq
Apple mandates June 1 app IPv6 support
Apple has set the deadline for IPv6 support for App Store-supplied software. On June 1, apps thast use a custom networking stack and that are submitted to the app store must support IPv6-only networks. The rule, announced last year as coming soon, will only affect a small portion of submitted applications that do not use the NSURLSession and CFNetwork APIs. http://apple.co/24yBTIY