Several MacNN readers report continued difficulty sending and receiving .Mac email. Apple's status page for the online service still states that "all .Mac services are online and operational." .Mac users have reported email-related problems for over a week. Apple has responded to the issues, noting that an "extremely high volume" of email messages has caused some of the problems today.
Boinx iStopMotion, a stop-motion animation and timelapse recording application for Mac OS X, has reached preview release status. "Customers attest the software a high quality and a depth that makes it a valuable addition to the Digital Hub." New features include editing of frames in an external image editor application and exporting of frames. The licensing model includes a free 'Lite' license, which offers all the features at an Internet-suitable output resolution. Before June 30th, customers can purchase the iStopMotion DV license at an introductory rate of $36. [Download - 396KB] John Haney has released CryptoQuote 1.0, a word puzzle game for Mac OS X. CryptoQuote contains hundreds of quotes to be decoded like CryptoGrams in some newspapers. "CryptoQuote makes solving these puzzles fun and easy, taking advantage of your Mac to provide features which make it better than working on paper." CryptoQuote is $5 shareware. [Download - 298KB] PDFshrink 3.0 reduces the size of PDF files created by Mac OS X, Adobe Acrobat Distiller and other software. PDFshrink compresses images within the PDF file, "but PDFshrink doesn't stop there like some competing software products." Version 3.0 adds more resolution choices, support for encrypted PDF with proper password, AppleScript support, and an improved user interface. [Download - 1.5MB] If Then Software has released IDIot 1.0 released for Mac OS X. "If you distribute your Mac OS X software electronically, use an internet-enabled disk image (IDI) which 'cleans up' after itself leaving behind only the desired software and nothing else related to the download process ... it will remove all traces of the 'shell' that the software comes in and simply place the software on the desktop." [Download - 127KB] Xmonitor is a real-time system and email monitoring application for Mac OS X. XMonitor allows you to easily monitor your disk, CPU, RAM and network usage, PPP status, IP address, email, and more. The latest release adds HTVC Version Checking; includes support for the cut, copy, paste, and clear commands; corrects cosmetic issues; and fixes a handful of bugs. [Download - 1.3MB]
Microsoft, which agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle antitrust claims in California, dropped a provision in the agreement that would give its software away for free to schools after Apple complained, according to Bloomberg: "Schools that are awarded vouchers under the settlement can now receive any manufacturers' technology product, according to court documents filed in San Francisco. Previously, Microsoft planned to give schools either free Microsoft software or cash to buy any computer products."
Aladdin is now shipping Spring Cleaning 6.0, its all-in-one cleaning and privacy protection suite. It offers 20 powerful tools designed to clean, protect and organize Macs, including applications to uninstall computer programs, remove duplicate files, manage Internet cookies, history and cache files to improve their computer's performance and help manage and protect Internet privacy. Version 6.0 now removes language files to increase performance and make additional hard drive space available; has improved preview of search results, deletes Sherlock cookies; includes a system Menu for Mac OS X; and other Mac OS X optimization support. The $50 suite is available now. Upgrades and competitive upgrades (from competing products) are $20.
Derek Sivers, President of CD Baby and Hostbaby, has posted notes from Apple's meeting with independent music labels, which took place last night: "There are 6-7 million copies of iTunes in use; there have been 3.5 million songs sold so far; Apple is selling about 500,000 songs a week now; More than 75% of songs have sold at least once; 45% of all songs have been bought as an album....Big labels don't get preferential treatment....'Everyone is going to get the exact same deal. It's not negotiable. It's take it or leave it.'...a special Music Store Encoder tool for Mac OS X will be released in 90 days or so."
iCommune 401(ok) is a "quick and dirty hack to allow iTunes 4.0.1 to share music beyond your local network. 401(ok) redirects incoming connections on port 4689 to port 3689. This allows for the iTunes music sharing server normally run on port 3689 (but with limited access), to be reached on port 4689 globally. The local network limitation in the iTunes sharing server is achieved by sending server responses with a low IP time-to-live. By doing a local port redirection, the server responses are sent with the normal TTL, and the 'subnet' limitation is eliminated." Meanwhile, a tutorial describes how to access your iTunes 4.0.1 music collection beyond your local network.
Trisection 1.0 Is a new puzzle game for Mac OS X that "follows in the grand tradition of Tetris, involving fitting falling pieces into an existing matrix. But in Trisection, you're matching up colors, not just completing rows. And unlike the square blocks of Tetris, Trisection uses a triangular grid and pieces, making it a much more interesting puzzle." The $15 shareware features more than a dozen levels, many different Aqua-style rendered pieces, sound effects, and two soundtracks. [6.4MB] SquidCam 1.5b2 is a video phone/video chat application designed for use with broadband connections. It enables audio/video connectivity with one or more people using SquidCam over a network connection as well as text messaging. It offers compatibility with the new Windows version of SquidCam, faster video, better quality video, improved audio, and other changes. It is $25. [757KB] Pariahware has released ChimeX 1.4, an update to its Mac OS X utility that "brings back the hourly chimes missing in the new OS. Choose between speaking the time, playing an alert sound, playing a sound file (System 7 through MP3), or having ChimeX randomly choose a file from a folder. Alerts may be set for the hour, quarter past, half past and quarter of." Version 1.4 removes the dock icon and places it in the menu bar and also introduces an alarm setting. A 30-demo of the Mac OS X shareware ($5) is available online. [1.0MB] appMac software has released a preview version of xTime Project 1.0b1 designed to organize, track and manage projects. It offers functions for creating Gantt charts display project details in daily to yearly timelines; project views to illustrate assignments and resource usage, AutoFit formatting, resource allocation, summary bars, task dependency tracking, a calendar, and data exchange with iCal as well as other databases and applications. It is $100 through the end of July. [1.9MB] PowerQuote Software has released PowerQuote 10 printing estimating and management software. It handles offset, copy and brokered jobs. The system is designed for quotes, job tickets, invoicing, easy recall of jobs for reorders, and more. The Lite version can be upgraded to the Standard version to gain production schedule, invoicing, account receivables and network capability. Pricing starts at $1,700.
Aabel 1.5 is described as an integrated application that provides native worksheets, a database metaphor, numerous 2D and 3D graphs/charts, statistical tests, multivariate data analysis methods, data processing and data filtering tools. Version 1.5 adds 35 new chart types in 19 categories; a complete set of new statistics (t-tests, Wilcoxon sing-ranked test, Mann Whitney U-tests, F-test, correlation and covariance matrices, one-way and two-way ANOVA, full Kaplan-Meier analysis and logrank test); a user-defined/non-linear curve fitting module, new text frame and table editors for generating styled text and tables; additional import functions including Excel and Fortran formatted files; new marker symbols; and other changes. Aabel 1.5 is $350; academic/educational licenses are $250; it is free upgrade for registered users.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE