KB roundup: Apple offers some troubleshooting assistane for unexpected Safari quits and notes on how to Install Mac OS X Server 10.2.3 on Power Mac G4 (FW 800) or eMac (ATI Graphics). Meanwhile, Microsoft confirms that Virtual PC is not compatible with the new G5 Power Macs: "Virtual PC relies on a feature of the G3/G4 processors called 'pseudo little-endian mode' for increased performance when emulating a Pentium processor.... Because the new G5 processor does not support this feature, large portions of the VPC for Mac program must be rewritten and carefully tested to work properly on the G5 CPU."
Microspot's PhotoFix 3.5.5 ($70) is an update to the digital media editing application, adding the ability to import images from scanners that have TWAIN drivers as well as from digital cameras; it can also now display EXIF data from digital cameras. The editing program offers tools and palettes for retouching, feathering, cloning, airbrushing and more. [Download - Classic, OSX] SubEthaEdit 1.1.3 (formerly Hydra) is a rebranded version of the Rendezvous-based, collaborative text editor with developer support. This release of SubEthaEdit contains localizations for French, German, Japanese, Swedish, Trad. Chinese, Ukrainian, Spanish (new) and Dutch (new). It requires Mac OS X 10.2 and Safari 1.0. [Download - 1.5MB] iMedia Software is now shipping Mac Cleaner 1.2, which "allows you to tidy up your finder system in a unique, easy, and automatic kind of way! The real power of MacCleaner is its ability to move, delete, create, or copy lots of files all at once." The Mac OS X 10.2 utility is $10. [Download - 903KB] izi-Event 1.5 is a $175 FileMaker Pro-based software solution for arranging seminars, conferences, festivities or other events. Version 1.5 adds free fields on contact / participant level, which can be named by the user. It can geneate personal mailings, offers registration functions, and produce report, labels, and badges. [Download - Classic, OS X] piPop 1.2 (donationware) is a menu based utility to help make your workflow smoother. Place shortcuts to all your most commonly used folders in piPop's root menu and access volumes and running applications via a simple and very customizable interface. [Download - Classic, OS X] DVDibbler is an advanced GUI for the Mac OS port of MEncoder. It is an open-source project, part of the SourceForge organization. [Download - 368KB] Hog Bay Notebook 2.1 ($20) lets users record and organize their ideas in a convenient way. "Bring order to your Mac with this simple and powerful tool," the developer says. Hog Bay Notebook is ideal for planning trips, starting a journal, or recording ideas. [Download - 368KB] NewTek today released the fourth edition of its Texture Collection, which includes fifty high-resolution textures and brings the total number of free textures available from NewTek to 200. It includes images in the categories Wood, Metal, Sky, Nature, and Stone. [Download - registration required]
Evening tech news:Between the Blaster worm and the Sobig virus, the last two weeks have been stressful for many Windows users; DownhillBattle has published a parody of Apple's iTunes Web site, suggesting that artists are underpaid by the service; A new set of services aimed at giving independent music labels online distribution is springing up, hoping to reach companies like Apple's iTunes and the new Napster.
Noting Microsoft's Big Role Campus, The Washington Post reports that the company has "lavished $500 million over the past five years on research and teaching projects at 1,000 schools, funding efforts by 6,000 academics in computer science, electrical engineering, linguistics, biology, mathematics, graphic arts, music and other fields...Microsoft, for its part, acknowledges that its donations are about business development as well as philanthropy, but that it is a win-win situation for everyone."
MMISoftware has released three new programs, offering simple, easy-to-use solutions for repetitive tasks. JPEGCleaner (JC) removes unnecessary data (meta-data, resource forks) from jpeg and gif files and can also change the 'quality' of the jpeg image. WebSiteCleaner (WSC) removes unnecessary characters from html files, and prepares jpeg and gif files for use on the Web. quickWebAlbum (qWA) creates 'photograph albums' from a folder of JPEG files for viewing with a Web browser. Each program is $5 shareware. [Download - WSC, JC, qWA]
Marware today announced the release of an updated leather iPod case, the CEO Classic, for third generation (3G) iPods. The $35 case features high-quality leather construction inside and out, clear plastic screen protection, easy access to the earphone & remote jacks and hold button, and a removable lid with an earphone storage pocket. The iPod can be charged without removing it from the case. The CEO Classic uses the Multidapt system of interchangeable clips, which allows for a variety of carrying options.
Afternoon tech news: Security researchers believe that the creator of the Sobig mass-mailing computer virus won't stop with Sobig.F -- the money may be too good; Wired Magazine has published an article on MIT's OpenCourseWare initiative, which offers educational material on the Internet for free; a China-made office suite will replace Microsoft Office in Shanghai schools, after a demand from the software company for license fees; Amazon.com said Tuesday that it filed 11 lawsuits against marketers that allegedly used its name when sending bogus e-mail.
D-Link today launched its first Airspot Public/Private Gateway. The D-Link Airspot DSA-3100, described as a "complete hot spot gateway," provides a firewall, DHCP server router, and wireless connectivity functions for both public and private broadband Internet access in a single device: "Designed to allow businesses to create a public hot spot right out of the box to cater to the growing force of Wi-Fi enabled mobile consumers and businesspeople, the D-Link DSA-3100 delivers intelligent management capabilities for monitoring and controlling up to 250 public user accounts while maintaining a private LAN for employees behind a robust physical firewall."
MacPlay today announced that No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M's Way has gone 'gold' and will begin shipping on September 15, 2003: "No One Lives Forever 2 sports 40 levels of secret agent fun. Set in the 1960's, the game places the player in the role of Cate Archer, an agent for the anti-terrorist organization UNITY. Her job description involves stopping the evil group H.A.R.M. as they try to unleash their nefarious plans on an unsuspecting world. This time the scheme involves a top-secret Soviet project that could launch World War III." The Mac OS X title can be pre-ordered for a special price of $40.
DiscBlaze 2.0 is a preview of the $20 application for creating CDs and DVDs. The new version features a redesigned interface, "Burn Lists," Toast compatibility, and indication of the total size of the burn data. [Download - 1.0MB] Shoo is a $12 shareware utility for Mac OS X that allows the user to quickly open a file in any pre-selected application. It is targeted at Web designers, graphic artists and programmers. Command-dragging a file in the Finder will then launch the file in the specified application. [Download - 1.1MB] Microspot's Mac OS X digital media management application, PhotoXtra 2.3 (£40), can now import from scanners that have TWAIN drivers, displays EXIF data from digital cameras, offers batch renaming of album files, and can apply keywords and comments to a group of images. [Download - 10.4MB] 24U Software has released Plug-In AutoInstaller, a new utility for simplifying installation, registration and updates of all plug-ins in multi-user FileMaker solutions. It is pre-configured for (and bundled with) 24U FileMaker Plug-Ins, but it can be used for other 3rd party plug-ins as well. [Site not updated] Intelli Innovations today introduced Site Turbo, a Web site optimization tool for Mac OS X. Site Turbo optimizes HTML for unnecessary markup tags and white space, dramatically reducing file sizes. The software also optimizes GIF, JPEG, and PNG image files, removing extra resources and other data for the fastest download times. [Download - 673KB] Desktop Movie Player 2.1 can play QuickTime movies on the desktop behind the Finder icons. Under version 2.1, when looping randomly the last movie is not chosen to be the next one; the last movie in the list is no longer ignored; a menu command for Open the Movie Folder has been added. [Download - 948KB] SoftIntegration today released Ch 4.0, the newest version the C/C++ interpreter for cross-platform scripting, 2D/3D plotting, numerical computing, shell programming and embedded scripting. Major enhancements include shell programming, computational array for numerical computing and bug fixes. [Download - form]
Shapiro Consulting Group has announced its nwe Asiva Correct+Apply Color, a Photoshop plug-in for applying color changes without masks. The plug-in, currently in final testing, supports 8- or 16-bit RGB and CMYK files: " This product is not only great for simply changing items (catalogue items, flowers, etc.) from one color to another, it also has a unique ability to change skin tones and make-up on faces." The plugin, due in mid-September, supports Mac OS 9/X and Photoshop 5.5 or later. Pricing was not available.
Toshiba introduced two slim-line optical disk drives designed for notebooks. The SD-R9012 super slim supports 8x DVD-ROM, 16x CD-R and 10x CD-RW, while the SD-R6112 slim drive adds 2x DVD-R, 1x DVD-RW, and 1x DVD-RAM read support. The tray-loading drives include buffer underrun technology, feature a 2MB buffer, and feature low energy consumption. They are expected to ship to PC manufacturers later this month. Meanwhile, Hitachi will begin selling 2GB and 4GB versions of its Microdrive miniature hard disk drive later this year. The drives, which fit inside a type II Compact Flash (CF) case, will cost about $500 for the 4GB model (November), while same size CF cards will cost between $1,000 (SanDisk) and $1,500 (Lexar).
Other World Computing today dropped its prices up to 20 percent on every FireWire-based product in OWC's line of storage solutions. The price cuts affect products in OWC's Elite FireWire 800/400 + USB Combo line (up to 13%), its Elite FireWire 400 + USB Combo line (up to 12%), its Mercury On-The-Go lines (both FireWire and Combo), as well as on its lines of Mercury DVDR-W & CDR-W optical storage solutions.
ArcaneWare today announced a name change to Chronopath. The announcement also accompanied three new product updates.
"New Icon Tuesdays" continue as the Iconfactory again releases its latest icon creations, this time from resident artist Kate England. "Wild West" is a set of free icons that "conjures up images of tumbleweeds, ghost towns and tall tales and includes icons that any fan of the old west will love." It comes as either Mac or Windows icons as well as a handy iContainer for use with Pixadex.
Apple offered the first glimpse of the Power Mac G5 in China at the BIRTV (Beijing International Radio, TV & Film Equipment Exhibition) Expo, according to The Beijing Macintosh User Group: "Apple's stand at this year's BIRTV Expo in Beijing, capital of China, is remarkably larger than that of the previous year. Three massive ads were hung out in front of the exhibition centre, with two in clear sight when you approached the exhibition centre, and one in front of building 8B, where Apple exhibited." Apple will officially show off the G5 at launch parties in twenty major Chinese cities between September 2-27. The launch parties will kick off in Beijing, and will proceed to Shanghai, Tianjin and 16 other cities before winding down in Shenzhen.
Maxtor is now shipping its Maxtor OneTouch line of external hard drives, featuring its OneTouch button and Dantz Retrospect in a sleek new industrial design. The OneTouch button can be customized to auto-launch applications or can be used for instant backup copies of files, and/or automated backup copies. OneTouch also supports a complete system restore capability (OS, drivers, applications, settings and user files) to the original computer system. The low-end 120GB/7200RPM ($200) is available with a USB 2.0 interface, while the other models are available with a FireWire/USB 2.0 connectivity: 200GB/7200RPM ($300), 250GB/7200RPM ($350), the Mac-formatted 250GB/7200RPM ($350), and 300GB/5400RPM ($400).
Exabyte today began shipping new IBM LTO Ultrium 2 tape drives: the entry-level Exabyte 110L tape autoloader with LT0-2 support ($8100), the midrange Exabyte 221L ($10,500) and the higher-end Magnum20 tape libraries ($16,500)--the latter two which offer native Fibre Channel connectivity. Exabyte LTO libraries with IBM LTO-2 tape drives provide twice the capacity and more than double the performance of the previous generation Exabyte LTO libraries. The LTO-2 tape drives are backward read/write compatible with LTO-1 tape media and offer up to 60 terabytes (TB) of capacity (using 150 cartridges) and throughput of up to 2TB per hour. It also reduced prices onits LTO-1 meida cartridges to $63 (from $85).
Runtime Revolution is now shipping Revolution 2.1, the latest update to its user-centric multi-platform development tool for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Unix. It offers built-in support for databases, XML, Internet protocols, and report generation. Version 2.1 brings an updated interface; support for MySQL, PostgreSQL, ODBC and Valentina, and new system palettes which float above all applications. it is available in three editions: Express ($75), Studio ($200), and Enterprise ($600)--each of which reflects a discount of 50%.
Fuji today announced its Fujifilm FinePix S3000, a digital SLR-type camera for everyday photographers. Replaces the existing FinePix 3800, it offers 3.2 megapixel resolution, a 6x optical zoom, movie recording (10 fps without sound) and several scene positioning modes as well as optional wide and telephoto lens adapters, SLR-inspired styling, and lower power consumption. It is bundled with a 16MB xD-Picture Card, four AA alkaline batteries, shoulder strap, USB cable, and a lens adapter ring. It will ship in October for $400.
The Register says that the reported delay of OpenOffice for the Mac is largely a result of lack of volunteers on the open-source project as well as due to some internal release schedules, but may not be as long as initially projected: "We may be able to wrangle a 1.5 release with our required changes or something. Others, like Ximian, want to add stuff to. So the long and short of it may be that there isn't an 'official' Aquafied OpenOffice.org release until 2005 and OOo 2.0, but there could be an interim release. In any case, our Aqua work will still be going on with NeoOffice, and when it works there would bemoved into OpenOffice.org CVS."
One MacNN reader notes that latest (private) developer version of Panther, Apple's next release of Mac OS X, uses bash as the default terminal shell: I will mention here the big shock that many people will face when they open Terminal for the first time in Panther. Apple has apparently switched from tcsh to bash as the default shell for Panther 7B44."
A MacNN reader notes some important differences in the automatic and downloadable versions of Symantec NAV 9 updates: "I don't know where the fault lies, but the virus updates for NAV 9 differ between the LiveUpdate feature (August 14, 2003 with 28,674 viruses named) and the and the Symantec's http download (August 19, 2003 with 28,756 viruses identified). In addition, SoBig.F is only mentioned in the download version."
Trucker Software's Workspaces 1.0 offers the ability to customize (and switch between) different desktop environment with different applications sets using custom hot keys or a system menu. The $15 shareware runs on Mac OS X (Jaguar/Panther). [557KB] Human Software has released AutoFocus 1.0, a new Photoshop plugin that offers an innovative DeBlur tool (to focus images slightly blurred), a powerful DeNoise tool (to remove grain or decrease noise), and an advanced Sharpener. The $70 plugin works in RGB and CYMK modes and runs on Mac OS 9/X under Photoshop 5.5 or later. NetNewsWire 1.04 ($40) updates the easy-to-use RSS Web newsreader for Mac OS X with Apple's Web Kit (Safari's HTML renderer), custom style sheets, displaying differences in updated items, performance boosts, TypePad weblog editing support, and support for gzip compression. [3.0MB] DVDxDV 1.06 ($25) adds the ability to view and extract all the video on a DVD without the need for any additional plug-ins or software: "You can now extract all of the video from a DVD with perfect audio sync from beginning to end." The video clips can be imported directly into iMovie, Final Cut Pro, or iDVD without any additional conversion. [211KB] SlashDock 2.3.6 ("donationware") is a dock-based Mac OS X application that fetches and updates headlines for the lastest postings on websites that offer an RSS/RDF feed. Updates are obtained automatically, if new articles are available, the dock icon will flash with an image representing the article 'topic'. [205KB] Norbyte's Downfall 2.1 ($15) adds a new board, offers a high-score reset function, and other improvements to the 3D arcade/puzzle gam: "Downfall takes the falling blocks genre one step further with its real-time 3D graphics and 25 uniquely designed implementations of the classic concept." [733KB] ABDialer 1.0b ($10) is a phone dialer for Mac OS X Address Book using any standard modem or mobile phone connected to the Macintosh and, optionally, can play touch-tones directly to the phone using the computer speaker. It offers a menu extra, a setup assistant, and support for international dialing. [1.2MB]
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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