MacNN readers have posted photos from the Grand Opening of the Chicago Store. "AKMA" has also posted "photos of the line around the Chicago Apple Store and a few interior shots at my dot-Mac site" (as well as a few comments in his blog). The Chicago Sun-Times, also covering the opening, talks about the detrimental effect of the Apple Store on Apple dealers in the area and other retailers, noting that "an announcement may made soon about an Apple store that will have a direct impact on his Evanston business." [updated]
MacProf has published Face to face with the new G5: "We have published another interesting picture gallery with comments of the new G5 with many interesting news and details received from an official presentation at Apple Italy. Wireless antennas, locking mechanism, how to unmount fans, design and material details...."
Apple's new 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks (as well as Palm's Zire Handheld) received the "Gold" Awards in the 2003 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) competition (see Computer Equipment Gallery), co-sponsored by BusinessWeek and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Apple's Xserve received a Silver Award in the competition. Judging criteria for each entry fulfilled five areas of industrial design excellence: design innovation, benefit to the user, benefit to the client/business, ecological responsibility, and appropriate aesthetics and appeal. This year internationally, 25 designs from 13 countries were awarded from over 172 entries. Photos of other winners are available in the IDEA Showcase.
Several readers note that Fleet Bank has no plans to support Apple's new Safari browser for its online banking services: "At this time, there are no immediate plans to support Safari for HomeLink use. However, we are continually updating and expanding our products and customer suggestions are reviewed on an ongoing basis." Customer servicer responses suggest the use of Netscape 6.2 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 and higher (except 5.1.1 - 5.1.4 and 5.2.1 on Macintosh).
Greene County (North Carolina) leaders on Thursday approved a lease agreement that will provide laptop computers for every middle and high school student this school year, according to The Free Press: "Supporters say the program will allow the rural county to teach students important skills they'll need in the digital age. It's the first countywide initiative of its kind in North Carolina, they say. The program, which will provide more than 1,715 Apple iBook computers for students and 136 of the devices for teachers, will cost the county about $3.23 million over four years. The deal includes software, servers and other related equipment."
Dantz yesterday evening confirmed to MacNN that it is investigating the potential security flaw we noted yesterday: "Dantz Development treats security concerns like this as our highest priority and we are now investigating this report so that the best course of action can be taken quickly. Data integrity and security is at the core of all of our products and we want to make sure our customers always have the most secure data on any platform."
KB roundup: Apple continues to post information about its latest Safari 1.0 release, including noting that Safari doesn't resolve certain aliases (e.g., IE bookmarks), users can drag only one bookmark at a time from IE, and that Safari may only print the visible portion of a webpage, cutting off the portion you must scroll to see. Finally, the iSight camera, designed for video conferencing, does not output the DV format necessary for capturing video with iMovie, iSight's microphone can be used to capture audio in the Audio pane of iMovie. MacNN readers also note that Apple has pulled Backup 1.2.2 and replaced it with Backup 1.2.1. Although Apple did not offer any details, a MacNN reader offers a possible explanation: "Apple probably pulled the 1.2.2 version because it didn't work with external CD burners even if you have a paid .Mac account, as I do. You must remove the com.apple.backup.plist file from the system before re-installing Backup 1.2.1 - you will get a warning if you try to install 1.2.1 over 1.2.2. Going back to 1.2.1 resolves the external burning issue."
Catchy Software has released MaxiMice 1.01, which brings clickless scrolling and window dragging to Cocoa applications. Users can automatically scroll when the mouse pointer comes close to an edge and windows can be both moved and scrolled by holding down a modifier key. It can provide an alternative to a scroll wheel or provide relief for people suffering from RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome." The $10 shareware runs on Mac OS X. [362KB] Addressix 1.3.3 allows users to print evelopes quickly. The $13 shareware can access common addresses in the Address Book, can print bar codes, supports custom envelope sizes, and other features. Version 1.3.3 fixes formatting for a number of non-US countries, properly formats the country name in all caps, and removes blank lines from Address Book info. [448KB] The freeware BCViewer 1.1 is designed to help store, retrieve, and organize business card images: "This software is intended for only storing and referencing business cards, it is not designed to scan the cards into the computer. BCViewer, Business Card Viewer, is a small, free, program that is so simple there are no manuals needed for it's use." [7.9MB] Jeremy Wood's Flipbook 1.0 is a $20 application designed to combine still frames into animations. It supports transitions (Fade, Push, Wide, Slide), titles (for introductions, credits, etc.), cropping, rotating, and adding layers. The software can be used for stop-motion animation, or tweaking home-made movies made with a digital camera. [2.5MB] Segue 1.0 is a $10 shareware movie file converter that can "can interchange your .avi, .mov and .dvc movie files. Just drag and drop movie files over the main window to begin converting them.Not only is it useful to convert files, but you can adjust compression settings and add QuickTime filters to existing movies." [499KB] AGDesign's Laze E 1.01 uses the Mac OS X DiskRecording Framework to perform basic CD-R and CD-RW functions such as 'Erase' and also author simple CD-R(W)s with the easy to use interface. Version 1.01 includes a dock app that you can launch at start up and use to erase CD-RWs from the desktop. [972KB]
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives