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Readers of the MacNN forums discuss expected dual-2GHz Power Mac G5 ship dates, and benchmarks of machines that have arrived. Initial testing of the dual-2GHz Power Mac using PSBench shows a slight lead over an x86 machine equipped with dual-3.0.6GHz Intel Xeon processors.
The Omni Group has released Export to iCal, the second of an ongoing series of free "add-on" releases to their products. Export to iCal allows OmniOutliner users to create iCal calendars from their OmniOutliner documents. The Omni Group also released an update to its OmniOutliner Export to iPod add-on. [Download - iCal, iPod] Blue Line Studios today announced the public beta release of PhotoShow, a tool to create digital photo albums. Among the many features and built-in tools are QuickTime exporting, sorting, and the collecting of pictures. It is currently available for the Classic Mac OS only, but a free update to an OS X version is planned. [Download - 810KB] Budget 4.2 is an update to the $30 personal finance application that helps people "plan where their money is going and track how well they stick to their plan." Version 4.2 introduces a new credit card refund capability, new preference settings, vastly improved performance for statistics and reports, and a user defined starting date to show statistics. [Download - 2.6MB] Trucker Software has released Workspaces 1.0.2. It is a maintenance release suggested for all users of pervious versions of Workspaces. This release addresses an issue whereby the machine will hang when shutting down if Workspaces is running. [Download - 745KB] MacGhostView is a general purpose Postscript and PDF previewer for the Macintosh. It is similar to the ghostview program found on Unix machines and is based on ghostscript 7.05. MacGhostView is shareware with a one-time $20 registration fee. [Download - 6.9MB]
Apple's PowerSchool Division of Apple has announced PowerSchool PowerPack, a new support offering for teachers, administrators, and parents. PowerPack, which will be offered through September 26, 2003, includes PowerSchool tutorials, self-paced, hands-on training modules, and FAQs for teachers and administrators, including reports, letters, and templates; complete user guides; and QuickTime movies product overviews of PowerSchool and PowerGrade. It also includes a Parent Night kit for introducing kids' parents and special offers from leading education companies. It can be purchased as an individual school site license ($600) or as a district site license (starting at $1,200).
FirmTek today announced its new SeriTek/1S2 Serial ATA PCI host adapter, which provides "an easy and affordable way for Power Mac users to take advantage of the market's latest offerings in Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) storage technologies." The company says that SeriTek/1S2 boosts overall system performance with data transfer rates of up to 150MBytes/sec or 1.5Gbits/sec. It is now shipping for $70.
Apple's QuickTime chief Frank Casanova has criticized Microsoft's move to transform its proprietary Windows Media 9 multimedia software into a standard, according to Macworld UK: "When you are part of a standards organization you don't develop it behind closed doors," Casanova said. The report notes that Microsoft earlier this month submitted its Windows Media 9 a/v codec to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) for review and ratification of its software as a standard: "Casanova believes Microsoft has not frozen development of its software while waiting for ratification [and is] critical of Microsoft's approach to standards development."
Afternoon tech news:: A St. Petersburg Times column talks about the recent decision by a Florida school district to eliminate Macs and switch to Wintel computers; CDW has posted a letter to current Mac Warehouse customers, noting that the company is now the nation's leading distributor of Apple products; Following Apple's lead, Samsung and Napster will team up to market a new Napster-branded music player that will be available this fall; and Intel's new Pentium 4 Extreme Edition will run at 3.2GHz and come with 2MB of level-three cache.
BareFeats' new 15" Aluminum PowerBook benchmarks offer a first look at the performance of the latest laptop: "the new 15" (and 17") Aluminum PowerBooks don't seem to suffer from the missing level 3 cache. The larger on-chip level 2 cache seems to take care of business. The bumped up clock speed and Radeon 9600 graphics translate into better performance." Apple has also posted updated 15-inch PowerBook and 17-inch PowerBook developer notes.
Microsoft today released IntelliType Pro 5.0 and IntelliMouse 5.0 drivers for its line of keyboard and optical mice, according to readers; however, the details on the updates were not available. Maxprog's eMail Bounce Handler 1.3 is a $20 bounce e-mail filtering and handling tool that recognizes bounce e-mails from multiple POP accounts using a customizable set of rules and extracts the recipients addresses allowing you to use them again to try sending your mail or to take them off your list. [Classic, OSX] IntelliPrompter 1.1 adds reverse directional prompting, a revised speed control system, background teleprompting, automatic full screen positioning, and other features to its teleprompting application. It is available in Personal ($80), Presenter ($400), and Pro ($700) editions--the latter two are bundled with a remote control. [Classic, OSX] ergonis software today announced PopChar X 2.1.1, its $30 Mac OS X tool for "typing unusual unusual characters without having to remember their keyboard combinations." The maintenance update fixes some minor issues, is smaller and faster, and offers Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" compatibility. [1.5MB] Michael Tsai's spam filtering application, SpamSieve 2.01, improves speed and reliability as well as fixes a few bugs. The $25 application brings Bayesian spam filtering to popular e-mail clients. It marks messages as junk within each application and works any number of mail accounts and integrates with Mac OS X's Address Book. [2.0MB] ImageIP's free Quick-Snap Movie Tool 2.4 for Mac OS X can save frames from any QuickTime movie file or convert any image to JPEG format with a single click. The $15 Pro version additionally offers image size and compression adjustments and either bi-linear, pyramid, or Bicubic compression types. [166KB]
MacPlay today announced a multi-title agreement with JAMDAT Mobile in which it will publish multiple JAMDAT titles for the Mac, including Kasparov Chessmate, The Emperor's Mahjong, and Hard Rock Casino--all of which are expected to ship in the fourth quarter of this year. "The relationship with JAMDAT builds on our already strong presence in the Mac entertainment software market. JAMDAT produces top quality games that appeal to wide audiences and we are excited to bring them to Mac users."
DirectMath 1.1 is a mathematical word processor and front end to the Mathematica computer algebra system. It uses a powerful pattern matching system to anticipate calculations, including computing integrals, solving differential equations, and performing other calculations--and can offer results in a single step or in a step-by-step display. It can also be used without Mathematica as a standalone equation editor with PDF, HTML, LaTeX, MathML, and SVG export functions as well as sophisticated drawing tools that allow you to integrate geometric and symbolic constraints in drawings. It is $20 (or $35 with Mathematica integration). [Classic, OSX]
SmartDisk today introduced CrossFire, a new line of high performance desktop hard drives with both USB and FireWire connectivity. With a 3.5" mechanism and capacities up to 250GB, CrossFire drives are "engineered to be sleek and stylish" and feature a high-performance 7200-RPM mechanism and fanless operation. The company said that will be available October 6 through retailers and distributors, as well as through the company's Web site.
Ultimate Technographics and Apple reseller xpedx today announced a special joint promotion, offering a 1.6Hz Power Mac G5 for free with any purchase of Impostrip All Jazzed Up, its $7,000 imposition prepress solution. Impostrip 6.8 offers client imposition as well as new features in Impostrip 7 for Mac OS X, such as a server-based imposition, Signature Server print server, an optimized print engine for Jaguar, and preview of imposed PDF signature based documents. Customers must purchase Impostrip by October 10 to be eligible and will receive a free upgrade to Impostrip 7, which is due in October.
Every seventh grade student and teacher in Carroll, Iowa will receive an iBook as early as the end of the month, according to the Associated Press: "Monday, the Carroll School Board approved a four-year lease agreement with Apple Computer to provide laptops. The district will lease 135 computers from Apple for $165,000. That total breaks down to about $300 per student per year. Money will come from equipment levy funds..The computers will be equipped with password protection that will help prevent students from using the laptops for recreational purposes."
Alco Blom has released URL Manager Pro 3.1b1, an update to his $25 professional bookmark manager for Mac OS X/9. It features a "much better Mac OS X experience"; adds Shared Menus support to the Safari and Mozilla browsers; and can specify the destination bookmark file when you add a bookmark. [Classic, OSX] MonkeyByte's Galactica 2.1.2 ($20) is "a fun and challenging game of galactic colonization and warfare! Use your superior technology and great fleets of starships to re-unite the surviving factions of the once great human empire!" The company is also taking sign-ups for a new Galatica Tournament. It runs on Mac OS 9/X. [4.3MB] My Favorite Things 0.9 is a self-configuring launch utility that tracks applications, documents, folders, bookmarks, and even terminal commands that users use most often. It places these most used things into a custom menu available either from the menu bar or via a universal hot key. It is free during the beta period. [660KB] The freeware SmallImage will "reduce the size of your JPEG files, without changing the quality or resizing your images" by removing metadata from the file--a savings of up to 40% without recompression. [900KB] GPSNavX 1.3 is a $50 Mac application designed for boaters to display realtime position on full color charts: "Just plug your GPS into your Macintosh and watch as your boat moves along in real-time, plotting a track behind the boat and logging your historic position on a digital chart." [250KB] piDog Software's TelnetLauncher 2.6 adds keyboard shortcuts for session launching to the application for managing telnet/SSH sessions. The $20 helper application can assign custom shortcuts to sessions, offers simple setup of ssh port forwarding, and other custom settings for session (as well as dock-based access and organization). [1.3MB]
TomatoChip.com is now stocking the new Compucable FireXpress800 350DX hard drive enclosure for 3.5" drives. The external FireXpress800 350DX enclosure features three built-in FireWire800 connectors and one USB 2.0 connector, enabling it to serve as a FireWire800 repeater hub for both new FireWire800 and FireWire400 peripherals. The $140 enclosure also supports ATA 100/66 protocols and drives larger than 200GB. It bundles standard FireWire 9-to-9pin cable and a FireWire 9-pin to 6-pin (Bilingual) data cable.
Digidesign has posted Pro Tools LE 6.1.1, a free update with support for more hardware, custom shuttle lock speed, and auto-scrolling tracks. CoreAudio Driver 6.1.1 is an update to its single-client, multichannel sound driver that allows CoreAudio-compatible applications to record and play back through Digidesign audio interfaces. It adds support for Digi 002 and Digi 002 Rack; the ability to use the MIDI ports with Digi 001, Digi 002, and Digi 002 Rack; support for crossfades in iTunes and other iTunes fixes; and an "opt in" mechanism to prevent unwanted applications from acquiring Digidesign hardware. Yesterday we noted Digidesign Pro Tools 6.2 and more information is available here.)
Panic today released Transmit 2.6, the latest version of its popular Mac OS X FTP client. Version 2.6 adds support for SubEthaEdit (formerly Hydra), conveniently displays the number of items in file lists, fixes some UI issues for Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther), and patches several bugs, including problems with SFTP and and renaming. The ftp application offers SFTP/SSH support for secure file transfers, flexible list views, batch downloads, synchronization functions, Rendezvous support, a built-in text editor, image/text previews, and a favorites manager. It is a free upgrade to the $25 application.
RealViz today released MatchMover Professional 3.0 for Mac OS X, its application for automatically tracking 3D camera data and motion from videos and film sequences. It offers users the ability to move smoothly back and forth between Automatic and Manual processes, with no interruption of workflow, providing "the ease of automatic tracking, with the precision control matchmoving professionals demand." Pricing starts at $2000 for limited use.
We have yet another Show floor Gallery as well as a new feature article that indicates that the lawsuit by Apple Records may have delayed the launch of a European iTunes Music Store by at least another ten months, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Our second showfloor/keynote gallery from Apple Expo in Paris supplements our original keynote photo gallery), where Apple yesterday updated its PowerBooks as well as introduced new Bluetooth wireless keyboard and mouse. Other Expo news includes new products includes Canto's Cumulus, e-on software Vue 4 Professional, NewerTech/OWC PowerBook batteries, Microspot's MacDraft 5.5, and Ovolab's InTouch telephony solution.
ALAP has updated its Adobe Photoshop import XTension for QuarkXPress, ImagePort 1.3. This version is a maintenance update which provides compatibility for QuarkXPress 6.0 as well as fixes a few bugs and adds new features. New features include added support for several blend types in Photoshop 7. Multiple versions of the same image can be conveniently placed in one picture box--without being 'flattened; ImagePort now includes support for Adjustment Layers via a palette that provides familiar controls to give the user full access to layers, channels and paths in a Photoshop image. It is priced at $100 and available for Mac OS 8/9/X.
QuickerTek is now shipping its AntennaKit, an external antenna that works with Apple's Snow and both versions of Apple's Extreme Airport Base Stations. The company says the AntennaKit typically increases signal strength up to 50%, increases line-of-sight distance by an average of 250 yards, and makes it easy for users to install their own antennas--even on base stations that do not provide external antenna ports. The $130 AntennaKit. includes a 5Dbi Omni directional antenna along with the necessary connections, brackets and illustrated installation instructions. Installation in Snow Base Stations requires drilling a small hole in the cover.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
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
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y
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