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Support for Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) will not be available for Apple's new AirPort Extreme products until Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" ships (due "by the end of the year"), according to a report from WWDC 2003. WPA "fixes the broken encryption system in today's Wi-Fi and 802.11g, while adding better support for corporate-style network authentication and security," according to the AirPort Weblog. Apple recently released AirPort 3.1, which brings AirPort Extreme products into compliance with the released 802.11g spec and also offers support for third-party 802.11g products using the Broadcom chipset (such as Asanté's 802.11g PC Card introduced earlier this week).
Déjà Vu 2.4 ($15) is a preference pane for Mac OS X that allows you to schedule unattended backups, featuring bootable backups, incremental backups, remote location/volume support, and system cloning. It adds backup progress in the menu bar, offers a new tabbed UI for its preferences, adds a new preference for performing manual backups, and several new localizations (Dutch, Chinese, and Swedish). [570KB] Wild Bits has released Ask the DJ 1.2, an update to its sophisticated mix engine which analyses the music's rhythm to perform DJ-like transitions between tracks. Version 1.2 is highly optimized and calculates transitions 4x faster on systems with AltiVec and 1.6x faster on G3 systems as well as fixes several problems with the v1.1 release. It is $30 shareware. [1.1MB] Gpg Tools 1.1.6 is a freeware Mac OS X graphical interface to the GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) utility that "provides approximately the functionality of the old PGPtools." It adds support for GPG 1.2 and Latin 1 encoded key names as well as a new mechanism for dealing with string encodings and large text blocks. [195KB] Synergy is a $5 application for Mac OS X 10.2 that puts three buttons to control iTunes in your menubar: previous track, next track, and play/pause; as well as providing you with visual feedback about the currently playing tune; it can also automatically download and display the cover of the currently playing album. [621KB] VirtualLab 3.6.1 is a $100 data recovery software for Mac OS 9/X that "recovers deleted files, damaged or missing volumes and even formatted disks. An exhaustive scan of the drive is performed to locate lost partitions and files." It adds a new Wizard to assist in helping find lost files and can also undelete files, unformat & restore partitions, and recover data from corrupted partitions & B-trees. [2.0MB]
SecurityFocus has published a report that indicates the Dantz Retrospect installer for Mac OS X contains a significant security hole that has yet to be addressed by the developer, as noted by MacNN reader "Little Matt." The advisory reads: "We recently noticed a serious problem with default permissions of the Retrospect client software, installed on Jaguar client and server."
Debate continues at Foster High School in Tukwila, Washington over whether the school should be allowed to accept an offer of free Macs. The school board has an all-Windows policy, and as such, teachers were not allowed to accept free Macs. Since we first noted the controversy, the school has been offered free surplus PCs from Boeing, but teachers still want to acquire the Macs as well. At the July 8 school board meeting, board members will listen to a presentation on the cost of maintaining the Macs, using the numbers as a factor in determining whether to accept the grant for the Macs.
Apple will open its first high profile retail store in downtown Chicago, at 679 North Michigan Avenue, tonight at 6:00 p.m. CDT, as first noted earlier this month. It is Apple's first store with an Internet cafe where visitors can check email and use Apple's new iChat AV and iSight digital video cameras to video conference (users can also win one of 20 iSight cameras). The new store also features a class Studio that overlooks an eco-friendly greenroof garden and a forty-foot long Genius Bar. Apple will host more than 300 customer events every month, including new "Genius Bar Unplugged" technical sessions taught at the Genius Bar and a Studio Series of hands-on classes. The Apple store will also feature an expanded kids section with seven computer stations connected to the Internet. Update: One reader notes that there was already a line forming around the building as of 9 am ET and Apple has posted photos of the new store on its Website.
Pound Hill Software Inc today announced its Catalyst XMP Solution, an integrated set of tools for Adobe's eXtensible Metadata Platform (XMP) that allows users to specify both the metadata embedded in graphic arts documents and the look-and-feel of the dialogs that collect the data. In addition to designing and defining these controls, enterprises can generate their own plug-ins for applications such as Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat and QuarkXPress to collect the data. It also includes a companion application called Metavue, a metadata browser and search tool. Catalyst, its generated plug-ins and XTensions, and Metavue run on Mac OS X and Windows. The full version is due in July, while a preview of the Mac OS X version is available for purchase now.
Whether or not the new Power Mac G5 really is the "worlds most powerful personal computer" as Apple's marketing claims is a moot point, according to ExtremeTech editor Andreas Pfeiffer, "when it finally ships, it will have done one rather essential thing: bring the Macintosh platform up to par again with its Windows counterparts, and give it renewed credibility as a hardware platform to be reckoned with." Meanwhile, c|net's Michael Kanellos points out other inconsistencies in the benchmarks and says that Apple and AMD will pull out all the stops this year: "underhanded behavior should be in full throttle. Apple and AMD are faced with declining market share. Both companies, however, have come out with products that will rival Intel's. Any advantage they can obtain--test results, customer wins--will suffice."
Thursby has updated ADmitMac, its utility that allows Macintosh users running Mac OS X v10.2x to participate in Microsoft networks taking advantage of the directory services provided by both Active Directory and NT Directory Services. Version 1.0.1 offers the following changes: user templates are now copied properly to network home directories; cached credentials now work with NT domains; users may now log in when their account has no password; users may now specify a distinguished name for computer names when joining a domain; and more. [Download - 13.0MB] SubRosaSoft ImageMounter is a freeware utility for mounting problem disk images. It was created during testing at SubRosaSoft and found to be helpful for mounting some images created with other disk imaging solutions that will no longer mount. [Download - 660KB] Mulberry v3.1b3 is an update to Cyrusoft's $36 email client for Mac OS X, featuring S/MIME and PGP8 support, as well as support for up to eight user-defined labels on messages. Other changes to the release include support for SSL client-side certificate authentication, integrated support for Mac OS X address book, and acertificate manager dialog for importing, viewing, deleting certificates. [Download - 9.8MB] Keyboard Spy 1.1 allows you to record all keyboard keystrokes in a log file in the background. The $10 application, available in English and French, uses very little memory, CPU and disk space and doesn't require any special installation. [Download - 650KB] Interactive Solutions released MovieWorks Deluxe 6.0.1 an update to its simple-to-use video, sound, animation, paint and image editing tool. In addition to being able to now drag and drop .dv files directly into MovieWorks, this maintenance update includes important reliability improvements. The 6.0.1 updater is free to registered 5.x and 6.0 users and may be downloaded from the MovieWorks website. MovieWorks is $120; upgrades from older versions are $40. [Download - Classic, OS X] Remote Browser 3.1.3 is an update to the application that provides access to files on the local host as well as remote UNIX systems with an easy-to-use graphical interface. Version 3.1.3 fixes a problem that sometimes caused the application to freeze if the transcript window was open; adds global preference to warn user about open documents and background processes upon termination; adds a new Site preference to assign permissions for any new files; and keeps the computer from going to sleep during longer file transfer operations. [Download - 1.6MB]
Aspyr Media today announced that SimCity 4 is now shipping for the Mac. The 4th generation title features new simulation and graphics engines, an all new regional game play, and the new ability to track the lives of individual Sims as they go about their daily routine: "players experience new God-like powers of creation as they lay the groundwork for their cities by molding mountains, carving valleys, seeding forests and laying rivers. With these new landscape creation features, players can now construct the most realistic metropolis imaginable. [Users] are part of an entire region. Each city a player creates becomes part of an ever-growing tapestry of municipalities that, once connected by transportation networks, share and compete for resources. Depending upon the choices made by a player, this multi-city game play can result in a variety of outcomes within that region." The $50 title requires Mac OS X 10.2. Aspyr has also posted more information on Star Trek Elite Force II, which it says is currently in beta testing with the conversion being done by Westlake Interactive. The title is available for pre-order and will run on Mac OS 9/X. The company has also posted an Elite Force II trailer as well as its 007 Nightfire trailer.
Asanté unveiled its newest wireless adapter at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference this week. Utilizing the new IEEE 802.11g (AirPort Extreme) standard, the FriendlyNET AeroLAN AL5402-XG ($100) moves data and digital multimedia files at 54 Mbps. The AL5402-XG takes advantage of the latest wireless and security technologies, including: high-gain 15.5 dBm design for extended range; built-in site manager for simplified operation; supports both 64-bit and 128-bit WEP encryption; and Backwards-compatibility with the older IEEE 802.11b standard.
99mac in Sweden has published a series of pictures of the first European Power Mac G5 unit. The photos are accompanied by information, which will soon be available in an English translation (currently Swedish only).
FireWire Depot today announced the immediate availability of the FireNEX 1394b Optical Repeater and a USB to 6-in-1 Compact Flash Card Reader. The FireNEX 1394b Optical Repeater is capable of sending IEEE1394 signals across an optical fiber cable up to 500 meters in length and is designed for professional audio and video transmission applications such as broadcasting, scientific research, military, and medical monitoring systems. It will work with 1394b and with 1394a and is now available for $890 for a pair of optical repeaters. Optical cable is also available. FireWire Depot's DB-35U 6in1 is a USB 2.0 6-in-1 Compact Flash Card Reader that supports six different kinds of storage cards: CompactFlash, SmartMedia, IBM Microdrive, MemoryStick, MultiMedia-Card, and Secure Digital Card. It is $50.
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Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ