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Dr. Bott's naviPod is the first wireless remote for the iPod consisting of a receiver that plugs into the top of the iPod and a 5-button infrared remote control that produces the same functions as the Apple iPod wired remote: "Just plug in a pair of self-powered speakers, or connect to a stereo receiver/amplifier, and the iPod becomes the centerpiece of a digital entertainment system. Play/Pause, Next, Previous and Volume, are all right at your fingertips." It sports an audio out port and chrome stand; models are available for generation 1 and 2 iPods (includes a pass-through FireWire port) as well as 3G iPods. Both models are $50.
Spiderweb Software has released Geneforge 2, its newest fantasy epic game title with a science fiction twist: "In Geneforge 2, you can explore a huge world, choose which side you will fight for, and, as always, make your own horde of completely obedient mutant monsters. You are an apprentice Shaper. You are being given the power to create life and mold it to serve your own needs. The whole world fears and respects the Shapers. Your secrets are many, and your power is absolute." Geneforge 2 is $25, or $32 with a hint book. It runs on Mac OS 8/9/X.
An updated Apple tech support document alludes to the widespread "dead FireWire ports" on Power Mac G4 machines, as noted by many websites and readers (see here or here or here). The problem is sometimes relieved by reseting the NVRAM from Open Firmware, booting into or Mac OS 9 or reformatting the drive, resetting the PRAM and PMU, and reverting back to Mac OS X 10.2.
StoneGarden 1.0 is a new $15 game title for Mac OS X: "Take part in a battle of two wizards who struggle to gain world dominance by capturing territories with magic stones in this puzzle game...The flexible scoring options allow you to choose 4 different scoring methods, and 3 different game lengths." [2.6MB] Game Show Presenter, a $75 tool that educators and trainers use to boost attention by making learning fun, is now available for Mac OS X. The software includes a quiz editor for writing questions and complete multimedia game show suitable for presentation in classrooms or meetings. [12.4MB] CasBaH today released SpamRoboCop 1.2, an update to its utility for finishing SpamCop reports on the web. SpamRoboCop is an AppleScript for mail applications that helps users complete spam reports. It adds support for Eudora 5 and Mailsmith 2 as well as improves Entourage and Mail support. [40KB] The free IPSecuritas 1.0 is a front-end to the Mac OS X built-in IPSec core and allows to configure and establish secure IPSec tunnels to remote networks with a easy-to-use interface. It's GUI can start/stop any number of secure tunnels and uses the RC4 algorithm for encryption. [430KB] LogMaster 4.3 is a system utility that offers users the ability to view log files as well as monitor them in a live status window. It offers search, filter, and email options. The $9 shareware runs on Mac OS X only. [527KB] Fountain Music 1.1 is an iTunes visualization plugin which animates particles to the beat of the music. Version 1.1 is "much more responsive," adds 6 different fountain modes, adds a menu feature, and custom control of particle sizes. [28KB] Burning Bytes has released Monitorer X 1.5, a $12 shareware extension that records every single keystroke in the background and saves it into a textfile. It also can take screenshots at periodic intervals or triggered by specific text entry. Users can now choose screen capture quality. [1.3MB]
MCE today began shipping the MCE Internal 2x DVD-R/RW + DVD-RAM Drive upgrade for all PowerBook G4 models, several weeks ahead of its previously announced release date. The MCE drive is the first upgrade of its kind for the PowerBook G4 to implement cartridgeless DVD-RAM technology which stores and accesses data like a hard drive on removable 4.7GB or 9.4GB DVD-RAM media with drag & drop file support for the DVD-RAM volume. The drive is compatible with iDVD and other popular DVD authoring applications. Prices start at $350.
Quark has released Edit Original, a QuarkXTensions module for QuarkXPress and QuarkXPress Passport software on Mac OS that allows you to open pictures with a default application and update modified pictures. Edit Original is a replacement for the Open Publisher command provided by the Subscriber Options dialog box found in QuarkXPress 5 and earlier. Badia's OpenNow XT is a free XTension that lets you double-click on any picture to access file information, with options for updating, revealing and opening the image with its creator application. [updated]
Charismac today updated its high-performance Emulex Fibre Channel host bus adapter (HBA) driver to support Mac OS X. Shipping for over three weeks now, the new optimized for OSX Fibre Channel driver supports the Emulex LP 6000, 7000 and 8000 series of Light pulse Fibre channel cards. The Charismac Emulex driver for OS X is available only as part of the FibreShare v2.0 solution, its SAN sharing that allows multiple users to access shared storage over Fibre Channel connections. Upgrade pricing can be obtained by contacting Charismac at email@example.com.
In response to whether Apple made the right decision by choosing IBM's G5 processor, Intel's senior VP and chief technology officer Pat Gelsinger said that "Steve Jobs has made the wrong CPU choice for 20 years, he just added a few more years to the life of his bad decisions. Steve's not an illogical guy, he's passionate and opinionated about the directions he wants is a poor path for the company as well as a poor path for the users.
Gateway has released its first (multifunction) MP3 player as it continues to expand into consumer electronics: "It can play MP3 files, it can be used as a portable storage device for shuttling data between two PCs, and it can also function as a digital voice recorder...Like Sony, Hewlett-Packard and to a lesser degree Apple, Gateway plans to come out with a wide variety of branded household gizmos that can be used, and sold, with its PCs." (Also see Apple's strategic shift.)
equinux today released VPN Tracker 2.1, an update to its VPN client for Mac OS X. Version 2.1 includes new encryption algorithms, advanced deployment supporting import/export of connections, and extended scripting support. It adds support for the AES algorithm (Advanced Encryption Standard), which has been approved by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for use in U.S. government organizations and supports key lengths for IPsec phase 1 and 2 (128-, 192- and 256-bits). The Personal version is $90, while the Professional version ($200) can addiitionally create certificates and CA's and sign certificate requests.
Group Logic today announced a migration program for WAM!NET users to switch to MassTransit Enterprise, following the acquisition of the WAM!NET print media business last week by Savvis. MassTransit Enterprise is Group Logic's software product large file transfers and includes workflow and proofing features, including programmable e-mail notification of file arrivals and other key events; detailed, easily exportable logging and tracking of transmission data; and bandwidth usage prioritization. Group Logic is extending a special offer to WAM!NET customers who purchase before September 30, 2003.
Responding to the iPod shortage in Australia, a reseller in Ireland notes problems with Apple's distribution in some parts of Europe: "I am a major reseller in Ireland. Australia has not had half the problems that we have had. There have been less than 100 iPods delivered to Ireland since the launch of the 'G3' pods. It is a discrace. There have also been no G4s for 3 weeks as well as no PowerBooks. What are we suposed to sell?"
The $50 Auto Reply 1.2 plug-in for EIMS (Eudora Internet Mail Server) can specify users for whom an auto-reply email message is to be sent, with the plug-in maintaining a list of those addresses to which it has sent a message. Version 1.2 correctly handles the case where the Mail Folder is an alias, supports writing to its own log file, and fixes a couple of bugs. [101KB] Sheep Apps has released Manga Reader 0.7, an freeware "manga" viewer with simple keyboard controls: "[it] can open single pics, only supports JPEG and GIF at the moment, or can open a complete folder at once. So for your manga to read easy you should put all the pics in one folder and then open it. Also supports multiple windows, so you can read more then one manga at the time." [880KB] EOS Image Manager 0.9 is a Cocoa application that enables users to quickly view, thumbnail, rename, and manage (move, copy, and delete) images. This version now includes the option to view thumbnails for some/all files, iTunes-style alternate row highlighting, a new "Size" column, and standard printing and page setup support. [187KB] Old Jewel Software's My Favorite Things 0.8.2, now in beta, is a self-configuring launch utility that tracks commonly used files, folders, applications, terminal commands and URLs in a system-wide menu. [559KB] Northern Softwork has released Jaguar Cache Cleaner 1.8.5, a utility designed to provide easy access to numerous OS X maintenance and utility options. The $8 shareware adds the ability to restart system daemons, to clean archived system logs, and to customize select hidden OS X settings as well as the ability to automatically (on-the-fly) prioritize the frontmost application for better performance. [2.6MB]
Kodak today introduced two new digital cameras and an additional printer dock. The Kodak EasyShare DX4530 zoom digital camera ($400) is a 5-megapixel digital camera, the Kodak EasyShare CX6230 zoom digital camera ($200) is its new point-and-shoot, fully automatic zoom digital camera, and the new Kodak EasyShare printer dock 4000 ($200) is designed to work with the EasyShare DX4530 digital camera and other EasyShare CX/DX 3000- and 4000-series cameras to deliver durable, borderless 4 x 6-inch Kodak prints in as little as 90 seconds with or without a computer.
IOGEAR has launched its new Memory Mouse, a mini mouse capable of storing files of up to 32MB: "The tiny peripheral is a great tool for mobile travelers who donít want to lug around bulky laptops and have limited space to work. By storing PowerPoint presentations, MP3s, photos and other files, Memory Mouse enables users to transfer data to a Mac/PC by simply plugging the device into a USB port." It offers 800 dpi resolution, and features a retractable cable. The $50 device is available immediately from all major catalog resellers, online resellers and selected retail outlets.
Metrowerks today announced CodeWarrior Development Studio 9.0, an update to its popular development environment. It includes Metrowerks PowerPlant X C++ framework, which allows developers to write native Mac OS X code using Mac OS X supported features; "the fastest" compiler and build system available for the Mac platform; a visual display of packages along with drag & drop support; and expanded Objective-C code development support. It is expected to ship in early September 2003 with a pre-sale special pricing ($50 off) for new Mac OS developers of $350 per license for the base product (Mac OS X host and Mac OS X target) and $200 for license renewals.
Rob Walker of Slate's Ad Report card deconstructs BuyMusic.com's latest advertisements, calling them a "me-too" copycat of Apple's iTunes Music Store Ads: "...BuyMusic is explicitly interested in underscoring that its service is a copycat. And that message ignores the fundamental truth that advertising is a form that's essentially antithetical to self honesty: It may be true that in real life 'the rest of us' are trend-followers, not trendsettersóbut none of us like to think of ourselves that way."
Steve Jobs is transforming Apple from niche PC maker into a high-end consumer-electronics and services company, according to a special report by BusinessWeek Online: "Indeed, the release of iPod for Windows last August established the demarcation line in an extraordinary strategic change for Apple, a company that over the past two decades has steadfastly refused to loosen its control over the creation, manufacturing, or distribution of its products...Morphing into a consumer-electronics company also capitalizes on a hip brand -- the cult of cool -- that Apple has spent billions building." Meanwhile, one analyst calls Apple's enterprise strategy an oxymoron: "companies are finding that OS X and Xserve are a viable, sometimes cheaper, alternative to Windows-based networks," boosting Apple's corporate sales to nearly 40% of its total revenue--which could help resurrect a falling market share: "That could be a life preserver for Apple, whose PC market share slipped from 4.1% of U.S. shipments in the second quarter of 2002 to 3.5% in the same quarter of 2003."
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