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"Head First Java" by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates combines "humor, puzzles, strong visuals, and a friendly conversational style" to enable newcomers to the Java programming language to acquire skills rapidly. "Going head first into anything involves a certain amount of daring," explains publisher O'Reilly, but the "fast, irreverent, fun, and engaging" book is a highly "effective" guide. The $40 book is written for readers with "some scripting or programming experience" who want to learn Java and who "prefer stimulating dinner party conversation to dry, technical lectures.
KB update: Apple's RAID Admin application included with Xserve RAID can be used with Java-enabled operating systems other than Mac OS; video clips with a 16:9 aspect ratio will not work any version of iMovie (Apple recommends Fina Cut Pro or Final Cut Express); the AppleCare Protection Plan CD does not start up all Macintosh computers; Apple notes that Mac OS X 10.2.4 and later include an updated "httpd.conf" file as part of a larger Rendezvous update, which may cause problems with the configuration of Personal Web Sharing.
The Omni Group has released versions 3.0.1 of the premiere Mac OS X diagramming applications OmniGraffle ($70) and OmniGraffle Professional ($120). The new releases contain numerous fixes for the most commonly reported problems as well as some performance enhancements. Improvements to printing shadows have been added, and overall application stability has increased. Version 3.01 also brings Improvements to Visio's XML format import and export to OmniGraffle Professional. [std, pro] DropJPEG 2.1 brings a new non-generic icon and French localization. The freeware utility for Mac OS X will convert most images including screenshots into JPEG via a simple drag-and-drop operation. [50KB] Intaglio 1.3, the Mac OS X drawing and illustration application from Purgatory Design, adds several features to aid the creation of technical illustrations. Changes include support for multiple on-screen rulers, automatic dimensioning, improved drawing unit display and editing, better grid creation and use, and other miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements. The $60 application runs on Mac OS X only. [1.4MB] CDFinder 4.1.2 is a fast and powerful disk cataloging tool that can catalog hard disks, iPods, CD-ROMs, DVDs, floppies, ZIPs and almost any other media. It has a flexible user interface and powerful search functions, supporting Audio-CDs, MP3 files, and iTune's new AAC files. It is a free update to the $25 shareware application. [1.2MB]
Tech news: Analysts are looking at Amazon.com as one of the likeliest candidates to take the next crack at the retail music-download business and Apple's iTunes Music Store; AOL Time Warner's settlement with Microsoft on Thursday offers AOL the use Microsoft's Windows Media 9 Series software, including its DRM tools for securing music and video files from piracy; a subsidiary of electronics maker Sony is to sell downloadable movie files that self-destruct after a given time; and Taiwan-based Quanta Computer, the world's largest maker of notebook PC computers, will locate its U.S. manufacturing and distribution headquarters in Nashville, TN.
David Watanabe has released version 0.92 of Acquisition, a popular Mac file sharing program. Acquisition is a gnutella client supporting modern gnutella features such as Ultrapeers, swarm (multi-source) downloads, download resumption, and distributed network discovery. Acquisition is built using code from the LimeWire gnutella client, and consequently supports the same rich set of protocol features. The new release has important protocol changes including support for compressed message streams. It also features various aesthetic and stability fixes as well. The $15 shareware runs on Mac OS X.
Apple today kicked off a new promo for education customers. 'Buy a bundle, get a bundle back' offers up to $300 off the already-discounted education price when customer purchase any Mac laptop, any iPod, and any eligible Canon printer. The offer does not apply to the iBook CD-only configuration. The promotion runs from May 30, 2003 through September 27, 2003; the products must be purchased by from the Apple Education Store for Individuals or a participating Apple Authorized Campus Reseller and the Canon printer must be purchased by June 28, 2003. Users must purchase all qualifying Apple and Canon products at the same time on the same invoice to be eligible for the mail-in rebate.
Microsoft Watch has posted 'Panther vs. Longhorn: The Rematch,' which attempts to clear some of the confusion generated by the first article: " Specifically, some readers took issue with what they described as an apples-and-oranges comparison between the Panther version of Mac OS X (a k a Version 10.3 and due to reach developers in June and end users this fall) and the Longhorn upgrade to Windows (which won't ship until 2005). But that's precisely the point: If Apple sticks to a yearly cycle of product updates between now and 2005, it will be going on Mac OS X 10.5 by the time Longhorn delivers GUI enhancements and other features designed to take on Mac OS X 10.2. Even if Redmond comes through with all of the capabilities it's predicting, it will still be choking on dust kicked up by an additional couple of Mac OS X revs."
The $20 Mac OS X system utility, Xupport 1.3.2, improves the ability to clear LS caches, offers better swap file support, and has other changes. Xupport provides a simple GUIto configure many Mac OS X options. It includes several unix command to optimize and secure your Mac, and activates features that are disabled by default. [214KB] Dartware has updated its InterMapper 4.0.5 network monitoring and alerting program and its companion viewer and configuration tool, InterMapper Remote 4.0.5. InterMapper provides a graphical view of your network and notifies the network manager of problems using sounds, pages, e-mail, and text messages. Version 4.05 adds improved installers for many unix distributions, drill-down maps, an improved POP3 probe, and other changes. Pricing starts at $500. [Classic, OSX] John MacDonnell's DockFun 4.02 is an update to the popular dock utility that lets users run an unlimited number of different dock configurations. It adds support for "floating docks" as well as support for multiple docks, drag & drop support, and other new features. A demo of the $20 shareware is available for Mac OS X only. [815KB] Easy Software Products today released ESP Print Pro v4.4, a complete printing solution for Unix-based systems. The product is based on the Common UNIX Printing System technology and supports AIX, FreeBSD, HP-UX, IRIX, Linux, MacOS X 10.2, Solaris, Tru64 UNIX, and Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP. Version 4.4 adds support for MacOS X 10.2.x and client support for Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, and Windows XP. The new release also adds drivers for several new Epson and Lexmark printers and supports printing of binary PostScript files to most printers. ESP Print Pro is available in Standalone ($50), Multi-User ($245), and Enterprise ($7,500) versions. Capilano Computing has released DesignWorks 4.5, an update to its suite of electronic circuit schematic drawing tools. Version 4.5 of the multi-page, hierarchical schematic capture editor adds Mac OS X support as well as PDF export. It is a free upgrade to those who purchased the Designworks Professional ($400) after June 1, 2001. Others can upgrade for $200. It runs on both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [1.2MB]
Avid today announced it is now shipping its Media Composer Adrenaline system, which combines next-generation Media Composer software with new Adrenaline hardware to offer real-time, multi-stream, uncompressed standard-definition video editing and 10-bit high-definition media expandability: "Media Composer Adrenaline is the industry's first system to support uncompressed SD video over a standard FireWire connection. The product offers a robust feature set, including 24p Film Composer offline editing functionality, 24-bit audio capabilities and a powerful real-time color correction tool that can automatically correct an entire sequence with a single click." Pricing starts at $25,000; it runs on Mac OS X or Windows XP.
KeynotePro.com has released SoHo, "a print inspired Keynote theme for general business applications. Designed to answer the needs of a more stylized business aesthetic, our SoHo theme bridges the worlds of print and presentation with vivid color, classic type and commanding layouts." Along with the standard general-purpose slides included in each Keynote theme, SoHo also includes 9 additional slide masters, a mix of both photo layouts and additional specialized text layouts. It is available for $20.
Sonnet Technologies today announced its Allegro FW800 PCI adapter card. It installs into any available 64-bit or 32-bit PCI slot, adding FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b) connections for utilizing high-speed digital peripherals. Each card has three 9-pin external FireWire 800 ports and can connect up to 63 devices. It requires Mac OS X 10.2.3 for FireWire 800 operation (It will operate at FW400 speeds in early Mac OS X versions and under Mac OS 9). It is compatible with the Power Macintosh G3 All-in-one, Blue & White Power Macs, and all Power Mac G4s models except the the Power Mac G4 Cube. The $90 card is due in June 2003.
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Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k
Google prevails in UK street mapping case
Possibly setting the stage for other court battles in the UK, a High Court fight between Google and StreetMap.EU has concluded in Google's favor. StreetMap.EU claimed that Google's dominance in the field destroyed the 20-year-old firm's business, when Google started promoting its own service in search results over the older company's -- the judge disagreed. Commercial director Kate Sutton said after the judgment that "StreetMap has been frozen in time; because of what Google did, StreetMap has not been able to properly invest in the website since 2007." An appeal is planned. http://bloom.bg/1KKhECt
TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF