Evening tech news: The record industry today opened a new front in its war against online piracy on by surprising hundreds of thousands of Internet song swappers with messages warning that they could be "easily" identified and face "legal penalties" for their actions; ComScore says its new service for rating search-site usage is more accurate than rival offerings, and its data confirms that Google leads the pack; the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said today that two-thirds of unsolicited commercial email ('SPAM') is fraudulent.
Belkin today introduced the first accessories on the market for the new Apple iPod. Belkin is offering the Auto Kit for iPod, Backup Battery Pack for iPod and Mobile Cassette Adapter -- all compatible with new iPods with dock connector. All three products will be available in North America on May 1, 2003.
PowerLogix today announced lower pricing on its PowerForce G4 Single- and Dual-CPU upgrades.
Apple will soon launch a series of television commercials depicting people singing while listening to an iPod, according to Forbes. The viewer will not hear the music they're singing along with, and instead hears only their voices. The ads are meant to be memorable -- "there is little chance they won't make an impression," the article says. The advertising campaign is expected to showcase the new iPod, and Apple's iTunes Music Store.
KavaSoft's iConquer 2.02 is a new version of the Mac OS X game of world conquest. iConquer allows up to 6 players to play against each other over the Internet or against the computer. Version 2 features dramatically enhanced network speed and stability. iConquer 2 now comes with several maps, including Europe and The World. The $13 game title is available in ten languages. [7.3MB] Stargazer's Delight 6.2 is an astronomical desktop planetarium and sky simulator. It contains all the constellations and boundaries, provides info on every star, shows the phases of the moon and the apparent brightness of the planets. Animated graphs illustrate the length of night and day as well. It is $30 and runs on Mac OS 9/X. [4.5MB] Kanzu has released iCan 2.1, a $10 (shareware) skinnable trashcan for OS X desktops. Version 2.1 offers much improved speed and response when dragging items to the trash, an improved force delete, options to view the trash's size and item count in its label, the ability to empty the trash of individual volumes, and a customizable contextual menu. [1.9MB] metaobject and OCSoftware release PostView, an advanced document and image viewer. It offers support for a variety of formats, the ability to view facing pages, navigate via PDF outline, search for and copy text from PDF and Postscript files, and print EPS/Postscript files on non-Postscript Mac OS X printers as well as view paper boundaries overlayed on document. It is $22. [1.5MB] J2SEditor 1.1 is an IPTC caption editor with file management capabilities running on Mac OS X and Mac OS 9. It features an image browser, copy/move/delete features, and an IPTC caption editing module lets you edit textual meta-data of graphics files separately or in batch without affecting the documents. It supports all IPTC-compatible file formats such as JPEG, TIFF, Photoshop (PSD) and native IPTC image files. KEL9000 has released MissionLog 1.0, a "revolutionary weblogging system. MissionLog doesn't use templates or cookie cutters to display weblogs. Simply load a precreated HTML document and select the area for your weblog. MissionLog supports WebDAV, FTP and RSS." It is $15. [1.4MB] dot software has released Link Checker 1.1.4, a fast link verifying tool that allows you to find all broken and redirected links on your web site. It can store settings for multiple web sites, has custom Regular Expression link parsing modules, fixes broken links for local sites, multiple socket connections for speed, and can save your link checks in HTML reports. [Classic, OSX]
Lexmark today unveiled its PrinTrio X1150 All-In-One (AIO), which offers four imaging components in a single compact solution: printing, copying, scanning and PC-faxing: "With its small footprint, the X1150 fits anywhere a traditional inkjet printer would, and the low profile, slanted design allows for easy accessibility when the user is seated." The $100 USB printer features 4800 dpi color printing, 9600 dpi scanning, 14 ppm black/8 ppm color print speeds, and compatibility with Mac OS 9/X. Lexmark also introduced three other injket printers. The Lexmark Z600 Color Jetprinter Series ($50) features up to 4800x1200 dpi print resolution and fast print speeds of up to 14 ppm in black and up to 8 ppm in color. The Lexmark Z700 Photo Jetprinter Series ($80) offers up to 4800 dpi resolution, six-color photo print support, edge-to-edge printing and automatic cartridge alignment and PrecisionSense technology, which automatically adjusts the driver according to the media being fed through the paper tray. Finally the Lexmark P700 Photo Jetprinter Series ($100) is the industry's first sub-$100 photo printer with on-board camera card readers, offerings the same capabilities of the Z700. The printers are expected to ship in May.
JR Hill & Co has introduced its 17" PowerBook Sleeve designed to be "a simple yet stylish leather case. Made of durable full grain leather or balistic nylon, with 1/8" padding in front, back and sides, your PowerBook will be well protected. The Sleeve can either be carried by itself or can be placed into a briefcase or backpack and your PowerBook will be protected. The Sleeve also features a zipper on all three sides, leather piping and handles." The leather version is $110, while the nylon version retails for $85. Both will be shipping on May 12, 2003.
Netgear today introduced its dual-band 802.11a+g VPN firewall solution, the Netgear ProSafe Dual-Band Wireless VPN firewall (FWAG114). With the ability to simultaneously support 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g WLAN standards, the FWAG114 delivers offers tri-mode wireless signal reception, a Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall with routing functionality and support for two 3DES-encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnels using digital certificates for Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) encryption key exchanges as well as other security features: SPI firewall to prevent Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks, Intrusion Detection System (IDS) including logging, reporting and e-mail alerts, Web URL content filtering and prevent replay attack. It will ship in June for $460.
Following up from yesterday's report, MacNN reader Josh anon says that Lightbox recently added Canon EOS 10D support, including large previews and raw conversion. Meanwhile, Dennis Dimick provided more thoughts on the iView Multimedia Pro update: "I finally got to my cache of EOS D10 CRW (raw) files and checked whether they work with iView Media Pro 1.5.7. Yes, impressively, iView sees them as either thumbnails or full size onscreen previews."
Microsoft has released the results of recent survey commissioned by the MacBU regarding the "many habits and styles people have when it comes to what goes in and out of their [email] inbox." Among the findings: "When it comes to attachments, the most common reason people say 'oops' after sending e-mail is because they forgot to include one. Almost half of survey respondents said that forgetting to include their document attachment was their most common e-mail faux pas. Other frequent goofs included misspelling words and replying to all instead of to the sender only; each of these gained almost a third of the votes.... Generation Y respondents forgot to include attachments almost three times as often as their older e-mailing counterparts." Users can participate in the same survey online.
Apple has posted a streaming QuickTime archive of yesterday's event as well as its new marketing video on its music revolution and television ads that were showcased at yesterday's special event in San Francisco. Yesterday we posted full coverage of the event along with notes on the new iPods, music service, and iTunes 4. [updated]
IOGEAR today announced its new FireWire 800 PCI cards for desktop Macs. Two 3-port cards feature either three FireWire 800 ports or two FireWire 800 ports and one standard FireWire 400 port for legacy connectivity: "At data transfer speeds of up to 800 Mbps, double the current FireWire 400 standard, Apple's FireWire 800 provides more than two times the available bandwidth of Hi-Speed USB 2.0." Users can daisy chain up to 63 FireWire devices together. The cards come with a three-year limited warranty. Both cards are priced at $100 and are available now.
LapWorks today announced its MouzPad attachment for its flagship product, the Laptop Desk. This snap-on, rigid plastic accessory increases the Laptop Desk's mousing surface for notebook users who prefer an external mouse. The MouzPad creates a 6" by 9" mouse-friendly work area, yet extends the Laptop Desk by only 3". It supports both right or left-handed users, and both v1.0 and v2.0 of the Laptop Desk. The MouzPad is thin (1/8" thick), lightweight (3.7 ounces), and made of durable black polycarbonate. The $10 accessory is $5 when purchased with a new Laptop Desk.
Palm Desktop 4.1 is the latest version of Palm's syncronization software for the Mac. It offers Date Book, To Do List, Address Book, and other function and can be used as a stand-alone application, or to view, sort, find, edit, back up, and add applications to a Palm handheld. It features a new Send To Handheld Droplet, which allows you to send image and audio files to the Palm handheld or expansion card as well as support for latest Palm handhelds. [11.2MB] Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes has updated iTunes Library Manager 3.0, a $5 shareware AppleScript applet that makes backup copies of the iTunes Library database file, allowing users to easily save multiple iTunes Library configurations which can be retrieved and loaded at any time. It adds iTunes 4 support as well as an Updater applet to assist with upgrading iTunes 3 Libraries. [144KB] Norpath today announced Norpath Elements Studio 2.0, the latest version of its authoring software for building interactive multimedia applications and computer-based training solutions. It features a new multi-platform builder for deployment on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Solaris. The $600 suite includes a comprehensive suite of design tools for creating interactive graphics, animation and multimedia as well as easy-to-use pre-built application logic, knowledge, database and interface components. [29MB] bManager 4.0 is a professional contacts and to-do-task manager that allows you to share your contacts on a network, allowing users to manage users and privileges (add, modify and delete). Version 4.0 offers an assistant to configure the application, to-do-list management for each user, improved search, custom fields/checkboxes, and notes for each contact. Pricing starts at $80. [7.0MB] OnMyCommandCM 1.5 is a new version of contextual menu command line instruction executor. UNIX command may take a clicked object path as a parameter so you may perform an action on file or folder. A command can be executed in Terminal.app or silently. It offers support for text selection in Cocoa applications. The freeware has a collection of over 130 commands submitted by users. [152KB] Epic Games reports that a version of the Macintosh UT2003 demo has been submitted to Macsoft, which is ready for large scale testing: "Macsoft will be doing some testing on this and creating an installer for it but hopefully this week the Mac demo of UT2003 will be released." 4D today announced 4D for Dreamweaver MX, a free extension plug-in for Dreamweaver MX(tm) that inserts 4D tags into web sites designed in Dreamweaver MX. Engineered for rapid deployment of sites designed in Dreamweaver MX, it provides a GUI interface that allows designers to quickly and easily generate technically accurate 4D tags. The 4D for Dreamweaver MX plugin is certified for use with 4D 2003 on Mac OS 9.1 and Mac OS X. [v3/4, MX] equinux has released a pre-release of VPN Tracker 2.0pr, its unique Mac OS X IPsec client, which adds support for digital RSA certificates. Certificates can be issued, digitally signed, validated and managed centrally. User specific certificates eliminate requirements for password sharing and guarantee that only intended recipients or network devices have access to transmitted data. The final release is expected at the end of May; it will be a free upgrade to all new purchases. Pricing starts at $80. [2.9MB]
Akamai today announced that Akamai and Apple are extending their commitment to Akamai's global platform and EdgeSuite content distribution services to deliver industry-leading streaming video and audio over the Internet. Akamai's suite of services currently provide the worldwide infrastructure to support content delivery and software downloads for Apple.com, including the extremely popular QuickTime Movie Trailers site, as well as serving as the backbone for Apple's QuickTime Streaming Operations. Additionally, the Akamai EdgeSuite platform provides the network architecture that handles file distribution for Apple's new iTunes Music Store. Apple has been working with Akamai since 1999, and has taken advantage of a range of integrated capabilities of the Akamai EdgeSuite service, including global traffic management and site visitor analysis tools.
Several readers note that Apple Stores will be holding a special events for the launch of the new iPods, Live on Stage: " From 6 to 10 p.m., enjoy a live DJ spinning tunes on his iPod. Receive a free event poster (while supplies last). And get a limited edition T-shirt for $10 - or for free if you buy an iPod. That's not all: you can also enter to win a JBL sound system worth $1800. Special Appearances. Singer-songwriter Liz Phair will appear at the SoHo store and ska band Less Than Jake will appear at The Grove during this special event."
Apple describes how the authorization works within iTunes 4 and how to deauthorize a computer; the differences in the AAC and MP3 codecs that can be used in iTunes 4; how interrupted downloads are handled by iTunes; and how to locate downloaded files purchased from the Music Store. Meanwhile, MacNN readers Scott Rose and Joshua Rafofsky offered a few notes about sharing music using iTunes 4, including the ability to share playlists (as well as music) over the Internet (as well as Rendezvous networks) and bookmarking URLs for specific playlists.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R