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Apple has released Hard Drive Update 1 for its Power Mac G4 computers (Mac OS 9 only). The update, which "improves the longevity of some hard drives," includes support for the Power Mac G4 Cube and Power Mac towers characterized by "AGP Graphics," "Digital Audio," "Gigabit Ethernet" and "Quicksilver." Not all drives require the update; the installer will determine if the update is needed. Users are advised to backup any important data before running the update: " It is strongly recommended that you back up the data on your hard drives to an external drive or removable media before running this update. Do not reset, shut down, or turn off power to your computer while updating the firmware. If an error occurs during the update process, your hard drive(s) may become unusable. In that case, all data on the drive(s) would be lost."
Apple discusses a number of issues in its AppleCare knowledge base today, including: why an .AVI file may not play as expected in QuickTime Player; basic troubleshooting steps and tips for iPod for Windows 2.0; a !=1607 error message may appear when you try to install iPod Software for Windows; when looking at Apple System Profiler and Server Monitor on an Xserve (Slot Load) server, you may note that the two applications do not report the same hard drive capacity; Some USB-based PostScript printers may not print or might display PostScript errors under Mac OS X 10.2. Apple also released the AirPort Extreme Admin Utility v3.1 for Windows and the AirPort Extreme Mib software.
KeynotePro announced today the release of Flux ($20), the developer's first theme in its new 'Warp Series' for Keynote. The Warp Series "questions everything about traditional presentation design" by offering chaotic imagery, contoured chart fills, and non-linear bordering and accents. Flux includes twelve bonus slide masters, chart effects, and paste-on border modifications to provide more options to make Flux presentations unique.
[Updated June 20] Several universities will be hosting live satellite feeds of WWDC keynote by Steve Jobs as well as several Apple Stores, although it is unclear whether it will be available at all stores.
Apple today acknowledged continuing .Mac problems, noting that several outages have affected .Mac within the past 12 hours. Apple's .Mac service has been plagued with email and connectivity problems, for the past month or so. Apple says that the HomePage content access problems as well as "all other aspects of .Mac" from earlier in the week have been resolved, but that the system continues to experience slow mail delivery. Apple also acknowledged that its .Mac system status message has not been tracking the problems, as it was designed to do.
Dauger Research has released Pooch 1.3.5, an update to its Parallel OperatiOn and Control Heuristic application. This version debuts new features for Mac computer lab or other administered environments. It also adds a new suite of command-line tools, the ability to install Pooch via a command line, and capabilites designed for the Cluster Node XServe. It is $175 for the first compute node and $125 for each node thereafter. QuickInvoice, for Filemaker Pro 5.0+, enables you to easily produce invoices and keep records of sales and payments, without having to learn how to use the more sophisticated commercial packages. GST (Australian) or other sales tax is automatically calculated for each invoice if desired. A summary of total sales, GST, payments and amount owing can be displayed for any date range, while overdue payments are automatically marked. DayLite 1.4.1 is a business solution designed to manage customers, accounts, marketing campaigns and sales. Version fixes problems with saving documents, adds better import functionality, has more colums in the contact/organization list, and fixes Address Book sync, iCal exporter and various other bugs. It is a free update to the $150 application (Business Edition). [15MB] CDS advanced has released LCedit+ v3.0.3, an update to its advanced LanBox lighting editor for multiple platforms. These new versions adds MIDI clock support, new instructions, linked lists, and LanBox usage examples for OS X version of MAX as welll as several bug fixes. The latest software versions for the LanBox DMX lighting controller can be downloaded for free. [Classic, OSX] Boinx iStopMotion 1.0 is a final version of its stop-motion/claymation animation software that offers time lapse capture, editing of frames in an external image editor, use of uncompressed images, and other advanced features. The free Lite license offers all features but limits the resolution of the captured frames to 320x240 pixels. The DV license can be purchased online for $40 (a 10% discount is being offered through end of the month).
The Fink, Gentoo, and DarwinPorts projects today announced the formation of "a cooperative development alliance forged to facilitate delivery of freely available software to Mac OS X. Under this new alliance, the projects will share information and coordinate efforts for porting software to Apple's Mac OS X and Darwin operating systems. Members of the alliance will share information using the www.metapkg.org Web site, which will provide a home for this cooperative effort."
Aspyr today began shipping Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003, which includes a new Career Mode that "completely immerses the player into a rags to riches, struggle to the top game; players can create their own custom golfer and develop their skills through competitions and challenges against amateur and PGA TOUR opponents. New rendering effects allow the grass to grow around your feet, making the rough rougher; weather effects let you feel the sun, the wind and the chill as the fog rolls in." The $50 title runs on Mac OS 9/X. Aspyr has also posted a demo of the game. [60MB]
Griffin Technology today announced the iTrip FM Transmitter for new iPods recently released by Apple. The Ultra lightweight iTrip connects directly to the top of the new iPod and can broadcast to any available frequency on the FM dial. The iTrip station is selected directly from the iPod itself. The iTrip also requires no batteries as it draws its minimum power directly from the iPod and automatically shuts off after 60 seconds without music. The new iTrip can also remain attached and functioning while atop an iPod thatís docked or charging. The New iTrip - FM Transmitter for the new dockable iPod is priced at $35 and will begin shipping July 21.
MacNN readers report that Symantec is now shipping Norton Utilities for Mac 8.0, after announcing the product earlier this month: "I ordered the Norton 8 upgrade Thursday morning from the Symantec store and by Thursday evening I received the UPS tracking number. Therefore, those who paid for overnight shipping could be getting their boxes as early as Friday (today)."
Apple will offer a delayed Webcast of its WWDC 2003 Keynote: "Tune-in on Monday afternoon June 23, 2003 to see a replay webcast of Steve Jobsí Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address exclusively in QuickTime MPEG-4."
Centurion today announced that it will showcase the full Mac OS X version of its DriveShield hard-drive and data protection software at the National Educational Computing Conference in Seattle, Wash., June 30 Ė July 2, 2003. Now multi-platform, the DriveShield security solution ensures stable, consistent computer configurations and protects machines from unwanted user changes such as Internet downloads, software installations and modifications to settings. The software restores system settings, adds/deletes files, and restores the drive to the administrator's configuration upon reboot. (Pricing not available.)
Martian Technology today added iTunes Music Sharing support to its Martian NetDrive Wireless products. Music stored on the company's line of wireless hard drives can now be streamed directly into Apple's iTunes software with no special setup or configuration required: "users connected to a network containing a Martian NetDrive simply see the music appear within iTunes; a single click gives them full access to all music stored on the NetDrive using Apple's Rendezvous technology." The software is available on newly ordered Martian NetDrives, and an update for others is forthcoming. NetDrive Wireless products combine a hard drive with a small, silent, low-power enclosure and an 802.11b wireless network interface. It is available in 120GB ($480) and 40GB ($400) and kit-only ($380) versions.
Apple today announced the immediate availability of Shake 3, the next generation of its compositing and visual effects software featured in the production of over a hundred motion pictures, including Lord of the Rings, Finding Nemo, Matrix Reloaded and X-Men 2.
Apple has seemingly inadvertently posted specifications of upcoming Power Mac models on its online Apple Store. Under the Power Mac G4 section, a list of specifications describes "the world's fastest personal computer" as containing 1.6, 1.8, or 2.0GHz PowerPC G5 processors. Update: The Apple Store went offline at 12:05 a.m.; it is back online as of 12:25 a.m.; the image in question has been removed, but can be found here: Power Mac G5 specs (our screenshot). [published 6/19]
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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