"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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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