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Kensington has released what it describes as the "first and only" Wi-Fi network detector. The WiFi Finder enables on-the-go users to determine if a location is "hot" without the use of a computer. This is helpful for people traveling with a laptop who don't have immediate access to the computer, or don't want to wait for it to start up. It detects 802.11b and 802.11g signals from up to 200 feet away. Pricing information is not yet available.
Topics of discussion on the MacNN Forums today include: Comparing the dual-1.25GHz Power Mac G4 to the new Single-1.6GHz Power Mac G5; getting get aliases to "stick" in new terminal windows; predictions for the new 15-inch PowerBook G4, which not updated when the 12- and 17-inch PowerBooks debuted; and the basics of beginning to program Mac OS X software using the Cocoa development environment.
Afternoon tech news: VIA Rail Canada is kicking off a four-month test of a high-speed wireless Wi-Fi Internet service on selected passenger trains in the Montreal-Toronto corridor in partnership with Bell Canada and Intel; Computerworld is following Hunter College's implementation of new Apple hardware and software at the school's Film and Media Studies department; a French high school student is being investigated on suspicion of defacing some 2,000 Web sites -- including that of the U.S. Navy.
MacNN reader Adam Yellin let us know that he received his upgrade to Quark 6.0 in the mail today via UPS. "It installs no problem and seems to work fine and very fast. You do indeed need to register it online (or over the phone) so multiple installs are a no-go. After registering the product you are given a link to download Full Res Preview & EPS Preview extensions for better image viewing in Quark documents." The upgrade version ($500) does not come with a manual or any documentation.
MacNN reader Benjamin Bressman reports that Safari users who visit ESPN.com get a page that has no scroll bars. "It appears that the whole page loads, and if you resize your window you can see some of what you were missing, but at no point do the scroll bars appear and let you move further down the page." A discussion on Apple's support forums documents the issue, but neither Apple or ESPN have responded to concerned users.
EndNote 7, a significant update to the software for citing referenced works, will ship for Mac OS X in August. The latest version allows you to: create a subject bibliography with topic headings; manage and cite images; create a bibliography with popular word processors using rich text format (RTF) files; explore new ways to use your EndNote references; and discover new and updated content files. EndNote 6 remains available for the Mac platform until version 7 ships. EndNote costs $300.
Meilenstein today announced its PCI TV Tuner solution, Televio 1.6. Televio offers a full size and high grade TV picture with stereo audio, a IR remote that controls all Mac applications and a stereo FM radio. The 125 channel TV-Tuner and the 9-bit Philips ADC feature a crystal-clear TV video stream with a full 640 x 480 size and 29.97 fps frame rate (NTSC). The stereo TV sound is decoded by 2 x 16-bit 32 MHz audio ADC; and the integrated IR remote is able to send key events to every Mac application. Televio is compatible with Mac OS X 10.1.5 and later. It is $160.
Apple will soon release a security update to Mac OS X that will fix a vulnerability in Mac OS X's screen saver that could let users bypass the password security application, according to Security Supersite. "Security Update 2003-07-14 addresses a potential vulnerability when a password is required upon waking from the Screen Effects feature, which could allow an unauthorized user access to the desktop of the logged in user."
Mac users can participate in the public beta of Diablo II 1.10 beta patch, the last update that will add new gameplay changes. The patch disables the use of Battle.net. The beta requires a US version of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, while the final version will also work on Diablo II Classic. [Download - 12MB] X-Builder is a multimedia authoring tool specifically designed for creating applications for the Mac OS X platform. It combines a powerful multimedia authoring environment with the ability to save projects as standalone applications. It is currently available as a beta application. [Download - 6.5MB] Parallel Software has released AuthPay Express for Mac OS X. AuthPay is an "end-to-end Mac OS X solution" that acts as the framework for direct processing with the clearing houses, so that the middleman is "not needed any longer." [Download - demo, full] Alarm Clock Pro 6.2.7 is an update to the $15 replacement for the traditional alarm clock that now remembers the main window height, adds an 'Alarm' menu, and corrects a bug with the Window menu. It allows you to wake your Mac from sleep, and/or play various alarms, including activating iTunes as an alarm. [Download - 1.2MB] Password Retriever 4.5.2 adds a number of new features and bug fixes to the password and serial number storage utility. Version 4.5.2 stores all program settings in a single file; logs invalid password attempts; and corrects window sizing bugs, among others. Password Retriever offers an encrypted file format using -bit Blowfish encryption for strong security. [Download - 1.0MB] PlasmaDesign has added another five high-quality images to its collection of widescreen desktop backgrounds. Each is rendered at 1920x1200 and 1440x900 pixels. The widescreen backgrounds are free to registered users of the site ($5). [Download - see Web site] OmniWeb 4.5 beta 3 is an update to the alternative Web browser for Mac OS X. This releases addresses a number of bugs, including a "rather nasty crasher" that appeared in beta 2. OmniWeb 4.2.1 -- a final-release version of the browser -- is also available for users seeking a more stable release. [Download - 4.1MB] Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 5.1.7 for the Classic Mac OS. The update resolves security vulnerabilities in previous versions of Internet Explorer. Users of Mac OS X can download and install Internet Explorer 5.2.3 for Mac OS X, which was released in mid-June. [Download - 11.4MB]
KeynotePro.com has released Palo Alto, a print-inspired Keynote theme for general business applications. Palo Alto is an adaptable general-purpose theme, with a clean, business-casual aesthetic. The core of the design - sharp contrasts of color and whitespace, with a blend of reversed and neutral type - is surrounded by a visible framework of structure and subtle visual accents. Palo Alto is available for immediate download for $20.
Pangea Software today announced that its current game in production, Billy Frontier, has gone alpha and should be available by the first week of August. Billy Frontier is an arcade style action game where you play a space cowboy: "The game is made up of four different types of mini-games: Duels, Shootouts, Stampedes, and Target Practices. "It's the kind of game you pick up when you need a break and just want to blast stuff. The art and music is probably the best of any game we;ve ever done, and the gameplay has more variety than any game we've done for the Mac.'" The game is expected to cost around $15 and only be available for purchase via the Web.
KB roundup: The AirPort Extreme Base Station 5.1 firmware (released in June) fixes issues where it is unable to negotiate a working MTU/MRU setting with an ISP and problems printing to Epson Stylus Photo 820 printers. Apple also notes that sometimes Macintosh clients can connect to an encrypted network (WEP) but Microsoft Windows clients cannot. Meanwhile, Apple says that when used under 50Hz fluorescent lighting, the image from the iSight camera may have bands.
The FCPUG Network, which consists of over 25 Final Cut Pro User Groups from around the world will gather at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City, Thursday July 17 as part of the Macworld CreativePro festivities. Apple's Brian Schmidt is scheduled to appear at this event to demo DVD Studio Pro 2, while FCP Product Manager Paul Saconne will demo "What's new and what you should know in FCP 4." The meeting will be open to the public on a first-come first-seated basis with doors opening at 5:00 pm and the meeting starting at 6:30 pm. A $5.00 donation (requested) at the door will offset the cost for snacks and drinks.
MacNN reader Hal Bergman notes that he and a friend spent the night in front of the Apple Store Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA, in anticipation of its grand opening later today and in an effort to be first in line for the new store. Meanwhile, MacNN reader Christopher Lockhart offered some more details on the Apple retail store we noted in Johannesburg, South Africa: "I went past the store situated in Sandton Square Mall (part of Sandton City Mall) last night and the wraps are off. While the shop looks identical to an AppleStore, it is actually an 'Apple Centre'. As far as I understand, from a conversation I had many months ago, the store is a joint effort with Apple South Africa and a local dealer, Cool Apple Buddy. I think there may be another store opening in Cape Town, as a joint venture with Project 3. Apparently, both these dealers were chosen for their long and successful experience in running a retail store."
Nisus Software has released Nisus Writer Express 1.0, its new native Cocoa application for word processing under Mac OS X. It offers the ability to read/write documents in Unicode, RTF, RTFD, plain text format and Microsoft Word (.doc); a customizable interface; AppleScript and Perl macros; noncontiguous selection; numerous keyboard shortcuts; an exclusive Document Manager; three-level Find & Replace with support for Regular Expressions (GREP); multiple editable Clipboards; and other features. The company says that future updates will include features such as footnotes and endnotes, right to left input, line numbering, integrated tables, a thesaurus and much, much more. It is available immediately for $60, with upgrades starting at $35.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ¬≠Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ