Macromedia today announced Macromedia On Demand, a new online application that offers streaming seminars and modules to help new and prospective users "realize the benefits of using Macromedia products." Macromedia On Demand specifically targets users who need more than pre-sales information, but are not "quite ready for detailed, technical content."
"What makes Apple's new music-distribu-tion system so delicious (if not downright in-sid-ious) is that you don't think of it as a music distribution system," says Randall Rothenberg of AdAge, "taking pages, obviously, from Amazon, and less obviously from Starbucks, Crate & Barrel and a few other vanguard retailers, Apple has drafted a new book on experiential marketing." Rothenberg reports spending $100 in the first two days of using the iTunes Music Store, thanks to "the ease with which a music aficionado can browse and taste the surfeit of offerings." The number of tracks sold by Apple's new online music store each week has fallen by about half since the service was launched in late April, according to the New York Post.
ChartMaker Pro 5.0 gives you the ability to create line charts, bar charts, column charts, scatter charts, and pie charts all using FileMaker's built-in features, "without plug-ins or licensing fees." You can also serve the images over the Web using the Web Companion. [Download - FM 5/6, FM 4.x] Rob Randtoul has released a number of new desktop background images to address the "severe shortage of quality wallpapers [...] designed to look good on wide-screen format monitors." All of the images are rendered in wide-screen format at 1920x1200 and 1440x900 (8:5 format) and are available to members of PlasmaDesign. Lifetime membership costs $5 and provides access to all artwork -- "past, present and future for the life of the site." Screen 640x480 2.0 is a utility for Web designers to properly size their Web sites to be viewable on older Macs. Version 2.0 adds the ability to choose resolution between 640x480, 800x600 or 1024x768. The application is freeware, but "as Web site traffic costs some money, you can say thank you with a few dollars." Source code is included. [Download - 764KB] Alfred 1.5.1 is an easy to use, customizable, universal plug-ins manager. It is inspired by Mac OS 9's Finder and Extensions Manager. This maintenance update provides the following improvements: slightly enhanced performance of the file browsing; corrects bug whereby some packages were malformed; many icons and toolbars have been revamped to improve overall user experience; and more. [Download - 1.5MB] Artman21 has released JChecker 3.0, and update to its powerful HTML source code editor and checker. It supports 16 HTML/XHTML validation dictionaries, auto-generation for DTD dictionaries, auto HTML error correction, and powerful link checking including sub linked pages. Additionally, "it inherits powerful editing functions from its brother Jedit, including regular expression search, AppleScriptability, and enhanced macro functions." Verson 3.0.5 adds five new validation check items, improved recursive link checking and several minor bug fixes. [Download - Classic, Mac OS X] Danicsoft today released a significant update to Copernicus, its flagship screen-capture utility. Copernicus allows you to capture and handle screenshots in Mac OS X with "unprecedented ease." Version 1.2 introduces many new features, options and fixes many bugs. Copernicus can be used on a trial basis for 30 days, after which Copernicus will watermark screenshots with the phrase "please register copernicus" until registered for $10. [Download - 1.1MB]
Paul Boutin of MSN's Slate Magazine writes that Apple's AirPort Extreme was the only solution that allowed him to "blanket the entire property with Wi-Fi, using only off-the-shelf consumer hardware and without running more cables..[with a few more restrictions: (1) all had to be the same model and (2) mass-market consumer hardware]...The only product that met our needs was Apple's AirPort Extreme base station. At $199 for the entry-level model, it's a bit pricier than most other home Wi-Fi bases, but it has all the right stuff for our project."
Apple's Security Update 2003-06-09, available via the Mac OS X software update, addresses a potential security issue when the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) is used to reshare a Network File System (NFS) mount. This update also addresses a situation where LDAP bind authentication requests may be improperly sent when using Kerberos authentication. The 1.4MB update requires a system restart.
Following a weekend report by AppleInsider, eWeek reports that Apple is "nearing the release of desktop systems featuring IBM's 64-bit PowerPC 970 chip, but a 64-bit version of Mac OS X may lag behind by a month or two. Sources said that the IBM chip will make its first appearance in a new Power Mac known internally as Q37. However, sources said, Q37 won't ship with a 64-bit version of Mac OS X, limiting OS performance gains in the initial release. Instead, Q37 will launch with a special build train of the current Mac OS X Version 10.2, a k a Jaguar."
LaCie today announced a significant price drop on its 19" and 22" electronblueIV CRT displays. Designed to deliver state-of-the-art color accuracy and increased brightness and contrast, the LaCie electronblueIV CRTs provide high fidelity picture quality and feature a new electron gun for greater picture sharpness and improved performance for graphic professionals as well as a new super bright mode ideal for users working in video and gaming applications. The electronblueIV monitor lines comes with a unique dark blue casing, non-glare tube and color-enhancing blue hood (black inside) to ensure consistent lighting conditions. The estimated prices are $380 and $800, respectively.
Several MacNN readers that some "small" percentage of .Mac users are experiencing problems with their iDisk and are unable to access their Web pages, as confirmed by Apple support (and dozens of readers in the support area): "A small percentage of users are currently unable to access their iDisk. Also, these users will not be able to access their published HomePages. We are working on resolving this problem and will post once it is fixed."
iPatch 1.0 is a new utility by Alexandre Colucci. It can compare resources of two applications, and can produce a self-applying patch to update an older version of an application to a newer version. It easily creates entirely standalone patches. It supports both French and English localizations. [565KB] WebEvent today announced a free 15-day trial of its WebEvent Publish software, a Web-based event calendaring solution. Available as a licensed or hosted application, WebEvent Publish runs on all major operating systems and offers the added flexibility of creating custom event fields, filtering events by custom category and supporting multiple time zones to accommodate worldwide audiences. FootTrack 1.1 is a Mac OS X application that allows you to catalog and easily search your digital video tape footage. The application now includes a new "Getting Started" document, a new clip detail view, clip filtering functions, , the ability to edit the date recorded, and other earch enhancements. It is $30. [1.1MB] NetDraw 2.0 is a simple Network Drawing application that allows users to connect to a remote host and sharing a common whiteboard in real-time. Users can print and/or save their work. Version 2.0 features object drawing and other advanced features. Versions are available for Mac OS 8/9/X and Windows. [Classic, OSX] iChatter 1.0 is a plug-in which adds voices to iChat, allowing users to have Instant Messages spoken aloud using Mac OS X's built in speech synthesis. The $8 shareware requires iChat (Mac OS X only) and the freeware Application Enhancer. [1.0MB] Mountain King Studios has released Demonstar, a Mac OS X version of its vertical scrolling shooter game title that offers joystick support, 3-D rendered graphics, explosive sound effects, and a brilliant soundtrack. A demo of the $16 shareware is available online with over 18 levels of gameplay. [5.0MB]
Ilexsoft's HighDesign 1.0.1 is an update to its professional CAD and illustration program that provides innovative concepts and powerful vector tools in a friendly environment. This release introduces Mac OS 8/9 compatibility, improves stability and performance, solves some minor issues with the DXF import, adds a "Previous View" command and improves layer management and other features. The Standard version is $150, while the Professional version is $350. [Classic, OSX] oXygen XML Editor 2.0.2 brings support for RelaxNG, support for TEI documents and the ability to import HTML documents as XHTML. The Java-based XML editor supports XML, XSD, XSL, DTD and features powerful Code-Insight and a flexible approach to XML editing that allows users to manage all XML related documents. Pricing starts at $75. Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes has updated iCal Calling iTunes! 3.0. The application lets you use iCal to schedule iTunes music playlists to play. The free version can schedule the start and stop times of playlists, set playlists to shuffle before playing, and schedule Internet radio stations, while registration ($5) also enables setting iTunes volume by event, recognition of recurring events, and the ability to use more than a single iTunes Calendar. [246KB] Rage Software has released Macintosh Explorer 3.6, an update to its integrated file browser and file management tool. Version 3.6 brings enhanced Mac OS X support with a revamped interface taking advantage of OS X toolbars and drawers. It also improves speed of file browsing. It is a free update to the $15 shareware application. [1.4MB] Brendan McCarthy's iTunes Monitor 1.0 displays "the connected users (by hostname or IP address) and their current status with a colored indicator. Files in the local music library which are currently open are also listed." [118KB] Steve Becker has updated WebPrint Plus X 2.1, his set of universal tools for collecting, saving, printing, and editing information. It lets users select and save or print anything from a single character to multiple pages and allows users add time-date stamps and notes. Version 2.1 features enhanced Undo, customizable auto-save, and other enhancements. [1.8MB] IDIot 1.0 is an installer tool for software authors and system admins: "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 is donationware for Mac OS X. [127KB] Stefan Schramm's SessionTimer Pro 4.2 is a $10 application for logging time spent on multiple projects: "It is immune to system crashes or accidental quitting. In fact, the computer does not even need to be turned on." It is available for Mac OS X and Mac OS 8/9 (as well as Windows). It is freeware for up to three timers. [Classic, OSX]
ATI Technologies today announced its Remote Wonder for Mac users. The radio-frequency (RF) remote control works with any Apple computer equipped with a USB connector, offering access to a host of multimedia application functions using its full built-in mouse control and programmable macro buttons. It offers wireless access to Apple's core multimedia software technologies, including DVD playback, movie file playback (QuickTime), music playback (iTunes), live presentation control (PowerPoint, Keynote) and Internet surf control (Internet Explorer and Safari). It is $50 and available now from ATI.
LapWorks today announced the SwivlPad, an accessory to its flagship product, the Laptop Desk v2.0: "Placed beneath the Laptop Desk when it is configured to work at a table or desk, this small disk is a 'turntable' which allows for 360 degree rotation and viewing of notebook screens. Available only from LapWorks' website, the SwivlPad is $20, or $15 when purchased with a new Laptop Desk." It features non-slip material on both outside surfaces to securely grip all surfaces and a dry lubricating Teflon inner layer for effortless swiveling for 360 degree screen-sharing.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
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