Apple has released iPod Software Update 2.0.1, which includes better support for Asian languages, enhanced On-The-Go playlist functionality, improved playback performance, corrected artist sorting, and USB 2.0 support for Windows. Also imrpoved is backlight functionality, handling of mp3 VBR songs, and left/right channel swapping.
Apple will offer WWDC attendees the opportunity to have their FireWire 400 (IEEE 1394a) devices tested for compliance for free while at the show. Testing will be conducted by the 1394 Trade Association and will be completely underwritten by Apple, "a $500-$1500 value per device." "Bring multiple devices and recoup the cost of your WWDC attendance," says Apple.
breve 1.6 is a freeware 3D artificial life simulation environment with realistic physical simulation and an OpenGL display engine. Users define the behaviors of agents using an easy-to-use language and observe how the agents interact in a simulated world. This release features major enhancements to physical simulation, graphical rendering and much more. [1.7MB] Desideratum has released Praeco 1.7.5, an update to its auction monitoring and bidding software for eBay buyers and sellers. This update adds new result definitions to the bidding engine, as well as a workaround for a Safari browser bug. A demo of the $30 utility is available online. [Classic, OSX] Alex King's tasks 1.6 is a web-based, hierarchical task-manager/to-do list/lightweight-project manager. It uses PHP and MySQL to manage items as well as produces iCal-enabled calendar. Uses can schedule due dates and browse the list via PDA's using a beta interface. It is donationware and requires Mac OS X. [391KB] IconBox 1.2 is a $13 application for organizing icons; it can export icons as .tiff, import icons/folders, search the library, and other iTunes-like features. Version 1.2 offers faster import routines, import of IconFactory iContainers, drag & drop reordering, and new French, German, Spanish and Japanese localizations. [1.3MB] Gabriel Gritsch has released ftp-config is a GUI that helps you install a professional ftp-server under Mac OS X: "No need for compiling, installing and configuring.... I suggest a donation of US-$20 or Euro 20. Description and specifications you'll find inside the program." [size] Temperature Monitor 1.0 is a freeware Mac OS X application available in English and German that displays the current processor temperature of selected Macs. The temperature can be displayed in a standard window, in the Dock, or a "floating" transparent window as well as selectable time intervals, a talking thermometer, and ASCII output. [226KB] Steinberg has released Cubase SX 1.0.6, an update to its music creation and production software that corrects countless bugs found in the previous version. [12.2MB] PlasmaDesigns today added five more images to its collection of widescreen wallpapers, specially designed for Apple Cinema Displays and Powerbook notebooks. The "painstakenly rendered" desktop wallpapers are available in both 1920x1200 pixel and 1440x900 versions. Lifetime membership cost $5 and provides access to the entire artwork collection.
The Mac OS X Lab Deployment Project is hosting a 'Deployment Initiative' Special Interest Group (SIG) luncheon on Tuesday afternoon at this year's WWDC. "We'll have an informal, open discussion on the lab administration topics raised by the audience," the group says. The discussion will focus on challenges that commonly arise when deploying labs in a higher education environment. The meeting will be held in the Conference Room; invitation is not required.
Apple has released AirPort 3.1 software, which is available via the Software Update: It includes v5.1 of the AirPort Extreme base station firmware. Instructions for updating the base station firmware can be found in AirPort Help. This update is compliant with the final IEEE 802.11g specification for both the AirPort Extreme base station and AirPort Extreme client.Additional new features include AirPort Extreme base station and client support for Interference Robustness, which provides improved performance when 2.4GHz devices like cordless phones and wireless video distribution system cause significant interference with the AirPort network, simpler WDS setup within the AirPort Admin Utility, and more.
Written by a Toronto-based journalist, Confessions of a soon-to-be ex-Mac user cites the myth of the Megarhetz myth, price disparity, and the marginalization of Mac users as primariy reasons he will complete his reverse migration: "Faced with the delimma of buying a new computer, I can't justify the cost of yet another Macintosh. The new 17-inch iMac with a 1 Ghz processor doesn't hold up against a 2.5 Ghz Dell Dimension with an 18-inch flat-screen monitor for the same money (give or take a buck or two)."
Apple's enlistment of Indie Bands could increase the number of songs available at the iTunes Music Store to 400,000 in the next four months (currently the store advertises a 200,000 song collection). Rolling Stone, who says that Apple is not charging for premium placement, is offering the same deal to all labels (including the major record labels), but that Apple faces challenges in trying to get kids to buy music: "One key concern among labels is figuring out how to let kids who don't have credit cards buy music. 'You look at Apple's most downloaded tracks, and it's U2, Coldplay and Sheryl Crow. Our label has a much younger demographic." Apple reps say they are looking into stored-value cash cards teens could use for music purchases.'"
John Fried of the The Philadelphia Inquirer, offering a number of movie-editing tips, says that iMovie helped make his task more manageable: "Except, maybe, for that 3 percent of the population that clings to iMacs and other Apple computers, anyone falling into the movie-making thicket will find that condensing six hours of mind-numbing videos into 30 minutes of watchable film - and endowing it with transitions, background music and text - can be a daunting task." Meanwhile, The Globe and Mail discusses Apple innovation in the context of the "innovative" new "Athens" PC design, co-developed by Microsoft and HP as well attempts to integrate software with hardware.
Geekspiff has released ThemePark 1.0, its solution for customizing the look and feel of Mac OS X. It can create new themes simply by pasting in your own graphics, merge a theme with an existing one, quickly preview themes while they are being built, edit resource files found inside of many applications, and export themes in 'dlta' or 'xscheme' format to share with others. The theme editor is $20. [2.7MB] Ipanema 1.1 will keep track of the IP addresses for ethernet, Airport, PPP and a 3rd party ethernet card (if installed) and report you the IP address automatically via email (Mail.app)--either daily, manually, or when it changes. Ipanema also displays your "real" IP address if you are behind a firewall. It offers abbreviated reports (for SMS users), more preferences, and other changes. [425KB] appMac's wKiosk Browser 2.1 is a secure web browser for internet or intranet kiosks in public spaces. Version 2.1 adds a print function, cookies and cache management (automatic cleanup), more options for new windows, and several bug fixes. The $150 application works in English, French, German, and Spanish. [11.4MB] Work Sets 1.0 is an application that allows you to capture and restore the state of your Mac, remembering which applications you have running and for enhanced applications (BBEDit, iTunes, MS Word, Safari, etc.), it will remember which documents those applications have open, their position on the screen, etc. and can instantly restore any "state" by a custom hotkey. It is $25. [831KB] Kensington has posted MouseWorks 2.3, an update to its driver software for Mac OS X. This version supports USB and ADB mice/trackballs except one-button mice, Turbo Mouse (1.0-4.0), Orbit 3D and Orbit Elite, and ValuMouse products. The update adds support for the Kensington Wireless Desktop, and fixes several bugs. [2.9MB] 24U Hex OSAX 1.1 is a $11 AppleScript addition, which allows developers to convert text and integer numbers to hexadecimal notation and back. Version 1.1 offers alignment of hexademical numbers and the ability to add prefixes as well as decode values with prefixes. It can be used by developers to transfer data between platforms and over the Internet. [26KB] Hog Bay Notebook 2.0b is a $20 application for Mac OS X designed to organize ideas. Version 2.0 is a complete rewrite with many new features including: multiple notebooks for easy notebook sharing; separate note titles; multiple windows for each note; note highlighting; drop from the Finder; a new "find similar" command. [717KB] Glucose today updated WeatherPop 1.8.1, which now works correctly with OS X 10.1, and ha updates to handle changes in data sources: "Future versions of WeatherPop will gain the ability to automatically update to handle changes in weather sources and reporting problems to Glucose." A free version (WP) as well as a 14-demo of the $8 version (WeatherPop Advance-WPA) are available. [WP, WPA] xTime Project 1.0 is a new application from appMac Software. It is designed to organize, track and manage projects. Users can create Gantt charts to display project details in daily, monthly, and yearly timelines. It also offers autofit functions, summary bars, critical path highlighting, summary views, task dependencies, and other functions. The introductory price is $100. [6.4MB]
3Com has unveiled its new family of fully complaint 802.11g wireless offerings at CeBIT America. "The 3Com OfficeConnect Wireless 11g solution addresses two major issues with existing wireless product offerings: speed and security...3Com is able to offer a competitively priced solution with 54 Mbps data rate and 256-bit security encryption at a distance of over 300 feet from the access point to PC card."
Apple has announced the grand opening of its Apple Store North Michigan Avenue in Chicago on Friday, June 27th from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Apple is hosting a special opening-night musical performance with a guest musical artist and a DJ spinning tunes on the iPod. It will be offering free t-shirts to the first 1,000 people, a Digital Lifestyle Collection Sweepstakes, and special events in the first 30 days, such as a special DJ appearance by Eddie and Jobo of the WBBM local morning show. The Website has a special description of the store: "Weíve taken everything that we learned from our other stores and designed the ultimate Apple Store especially for you. The store is filled with the full range of Apple products and accessories, including the entire iPod family and a selection of digital cameras, camcorders and other products. We even put in the first-ever Apple Store Internet Cafť with 16 computers for you to check your email and experience the Mac at your own pace. "
JomoSoft has released OsXigen 2.1, which brings more AppleScript support and various reliability fixes as well as a new feature to "monitor" a Finder folder for new files and automatically upload the new files to a remote server. It is a free upgrade to the $20 FTP/SFTP client. [968KB] WindowShadeX 3.0pr is a public preview of Unsanity's system utility that offers the ability to assign various actions to the minimize and double-click buttons in window title bars. This version adds Minimize-In-Place functionality, allowing you to minimize windows "in place" to a much smaller images representing windows. The Mac OS X utility expires September 1, 2003. [1.9MB] PDF Browser Plugin 1.2 displays Quartz compatible PDF documents within web browsers. Version 1.2 can now display Postscript documents if Ghostscript is installed; it also now understands URL commands to directly open a certain page, can hide the scrollbar, and supports transparent PDF documents. A Swedish localization is also available. [190KB] Manfred Shubert's Vektor3 v3.2 is an update to the $20 chess program for Mac OS X. It features an intuitive user interface, a customizable 2D chessboard, multiple document support, an annotation editor, a variety of difficulty levels, an opening book, a position editor, ExaChess compatibility, PGN import/export, HTML export, multiple undo/redo, and extensive HTML help. [2.3MB] PrintMagic 3.0 for OS X lets users select the text that they want to print in virtually any program, allowing them to print portions or discontinuous blocks of text within any document (or web page). It can now print graphics, features a 'PrintBoard' to collect/organize material, options to change font/size, and the ability to print lists of Finder windows. Upgrades to the $25 utility are $13. [1.4MB] Hazard Software released a iTunes Tracker 1.0, a program allowing people to connect and download a list of shared music. The client connects to a server maintaining a list of iTunes shared library addresses, and allows users to access any of the shared iTunes library on the list. It requires iTunes 4.0 (and will not work with iTunes 4.01). [606KB] BeNicer 2.0 is a "simple but handy little script to set the priority of your (and other) processes through the 'renice' UNIX command. (e.g., perhaps you would like Classic to get less processor time, etc.) Requires MacOS X 10.1 or later. Full AppleScript source included." [38KB]
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Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl