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: 136.93 ( + 0.27 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE