Apple has also released Mac OS X 10.2.8 Server Update, which address the same security issues and other changes as the Mac OS X 10.2.8 update released earlier today. In addition, it improves client login and authentication by addressing Directory Services authentication stalls and improving login when using the LDAPv3 plug-in. Version 1.3.1 of PostView ($22), the the advanced document and image viewer for Mac OS X, improves compatibility with StarOffice/OpenOffice Postscript files and encrypted PDF files. The $22 native Cocoa application uses the Embeddable Graphic Object System (EGOS) to provide advanced Postscript and PDF services. [715KB] Card Validator 3.5 for FileMaker Pro allows users to check the authenticity of credit card numbers with a single calculation. Version 3.5 includes additional error checking for invalid cards. The freeware is available for FileMaker Pro 5/6. [Download - 76KB] TaskCapture is a personal automated timekeeper for Mac OS X that offers the same automated timekeeping features of JobCapture, CaptureWork's enterprise timekeeping software, without the administration module. TaskCapture is available for 10 day trial, after which registration is $50. [Download - 4.3MB] shadowIP 2.03 ($8) is an update to the multiple IP monitoring utility that adds display support for the active user and is Mac OS X Server- and Panther-compatible. shadowClipboard 1.5 ($8) is a clipboard enhancer that updates the window mode with optional fade effects as well as the aqua mode and interface. [Download - sIP, sC] ClipMasterCM ($10) is a new Mac OS X software for for easy access to multiple clippings, allowing users to save the current clipboard content for later pasting and organize other snippets of information. [Download - 139KB] Ranchero's NetNewsWire 1.05 is a $40 RSS Web newsreader for Mac OS X. Version 1.0.5 fixes several bugs and improves the RSS parser to handle some feeds it couldn't read before. [Download - 3.0MB]
SmartSound has released five new music CDs for its Movie Music library, each with ten to twelve tracks. The tracks are designed to work with the developer's soundtrack creation technology for visual content creators. The CD titles are: Blockbuster II, Christmas, Comedy, Memories, and Vacation II. There are currently 11 CDs in the Movie Music CD library. Each CD has a price of $30.
Apple today released Mac OS X 10.2.8 Update via the Software Update Control Panel, which delivers a number of security enhancements, including those for the OpenSSH and Sendmail vulnerabilities noted last week (details below). Apple also says the update "delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for the following applications, services and technologies: Audio, Bluetooth, Classic compatibility, Finder, Graphics, LDAP, Power Management, Safari, and FireWire and USB device compatibility.The update also provides updated security services and includes the latest Security Updates." Apple says the update works only with G3- and G4-based Macs, and does not work with Power Mac G5 computers.
MacNN reader Alex Koralewski has updated his SuperDrive firmware hack for the latest 12" and 17" PowerBooks from Apple: "As you may recall, I've released the unofficial firmware for the PowerBook SuperDrive to enable DVD-RW and boost CD-R/DVD-R speeds to 16x/2x, respectively. I've now made the downgrades available for not only the 15/12" but also for the 17" PowerBook. This is good news for those who don't want to void their warranty but want 16x cd burning speed, as well as the 17" powerbook owners who want that option to back out just in case."
Liebermann today introduced its Grand Canyon Professional Desktop Monitors Series, which it says is the "largest, highest image quality and highest resolution LCD displays in the world." They are available in 3 different sizes, 76" ($8,500), 81" ($12,500), and 92" ($17,500), with resolutions up to 6400x1200 pixels. They combine four TFT LCD displays--either 19", 20.1" or 23"--with a Quadhead Multiple-output Professional Graphics PCI card. The monitors have a 750:1 or 800:1 contrast ratio and 300- or 350 cd/m2 brightness. The company also introduced its Cinerama Personal Desktop Monitors Series (pictured at right), which are available in 45" ($1,500), 51" ($2,800), and 57" ($4,000) formats, with resolutions from 3072x768 to 3840x1024 pixels using three TFT displays (15", 17", or 19") and an optional Matrox Parhelia 512-bit Graphics Adapter.
Don DeBlasio notes that Sierra Entertainment is no longer producing games for the Mac: "I'm a longtime MacNN reader and player of Sierra/Hoyle Card and Casino games on the Mac. I was just checking out their latest offerings for 2004 on their website when I noticed that their new games are not available for the Mac. When I called Customer Service to confirm, the agent said that 'There aren't many Mac users out there and it costs twice as much to develop our games for the Mac platform than the Windows platform.'" (Meanwhile, Aspyr today announced that it is seeking applicants to fill several Macintosh programming positions, saying that next year it hopes to expand upon its current 60% Mac game marketshare and the 21 Mac titles it expects to ship by the end of the year.)
FixerLabs has released NoiseFixer 1.1, an Adobe Photoshop plugin designed to reduce grain and color channel noise in photographs and ShadowFixer 1.1, an update to its expoure correction plugin for Photoshop. Both add support for larger images and improve memory usage. NoiseFixer is designed to work independently on the grey and color component channels, while ShadowFixer is designed to be used on an image area which has boundaries that lie along those of an object or shadow in the image, blending the over/under exposed regions into the whole picture. The plugins are $17 each and support 8-bit images (24-bit RGB) and 16-bit images (48-bit RGB).
Galerie 2.9 is an update to the freeware Web gallery generation utility. Users can now link to the home page from index pages, translate more strings, and insert a line break in translated strings using "[br]" sequence. It is now available in Icelandic and Japanese versions. [627KB] iPassepartout can quickly search for files (or drag) and simultaneously, in the same window, see/read/play/select/copy/drag the content of the files found without opening/launching/activating any other application. It combines the features of TextEdit, Preview, QuickTime, iTunes, Finder's Find, etc. The full version is $35 and the lite version is $20. [906KB] Nortpath Elements Studio 2.1 ($250) allows non-programmers to create multimedia and learning applications. Version 2.1 adds a runtime theme editor, an interaction tracker for monitoring messages passed between elements, knowledge elements for creating interactive quizzes and tests, and an email element to send mail from your application. [form] Zync, now available as public beta, is a Zope Product that allows export of objects from the Zope DB to a traditional file system and vice versa, including conversion of all attributes and meta data. [form] Calillona 1.5 a channel for Sherlock that let you search Amazon's catalog. Version 1.5 adds support for japanese localization, an improved customers review display, and compatibility with Panther (Mac OS X 10.3). iPIM 1.0 is a professional solution for creating calendars and contacts used to manage all the appointments and deadlines for one or more individuals. It uses proprietary client/server technology, offering access to data in realtime, without needing to acquire third party applications. Personal ($60) and Network ($90) licenses are available. Lumacode's LiveSearch 1.1 a launcher and file finder for Mac OS X. The $18 shareware now offers movie/sound previews, attribute editing, EPS file previews, and other enhancements. [1.8MB] Deep Sky has released a final version of Athenaeums 1.0, an EIMS filter for archiving of standard EIMS documents, specifically the EIMS error log. It offers compatibility with Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, customizable archive target directory, and custom archive document names, and custom archive document creator/document types. It is $30 for an initial CPU license. [230KB] Menutimer 1.1.2 is a freeware Mac OS X utility from Cheshland Software. It offers convenient menubar access to several timers and the ability to display a custom message when the time has run out, a stopwatch mode, and options to use days/hrs/min/sec/ms. [276KB]
A MacNN reader writes "After losing most of the site's usability after their last upgrade, I sent numerous emails (as I'm sure many others did as well) to Bank of America asking them to fix their site so Safari was fully functional. As of today, I was able to perform all on-line banking tasks with Safari again. They seem to have listened and responded to our pleas!" (Users may have luck with using third-party utilities such as Safari Debugger to enable compatibility with some websites.)
Sonnet is now shipping Aria extreme, its $80 CardBus adapter that provides 802.11g wireless networking fo PowerBooks. It installs into any CardBus slot and instantly adds wireless connectivity with data transfer speeds up to 54Mbps. The Aria extreme is compatible with Apple's AirPort Extreme Base and other 802.11g devices, and is also backwards-compatible with previous 802.11b Wi-Fi network devices. It supports both 64-bit and 128-bit WEP encryption, supports G3 PowerBooks with a CardBus slot and 15" PowerBook G4s, and requires Mac OS X 10.2.6 and AirPort 3.1.
IRIS Group last week announced the worldwide release or Readiris Pro 9, the new version of its flagship OCR software, featuring recognition and conversion to PDF in 104 languages (Russian, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, etc.), a "completely redesigned" interface for Mac OS X, and a number of new input and output formats as well as a new Corporate Edition (CE). It also features a new OCR engine with "Autoformat Technology" for optimized accuracy/speed and document formatting as well as support for PDF input, HTML/text/RTF/image output, and CE features such as business card recognition, output to structured files, integration with contact managers (Now Contact, Entourage, AppleWorks), and multipage OCR. It is available for Mac OS 9/X for €150, while the CE is €400.
Aladdin today announced StuffIt Deluxe 8.0, a new Mac OS X version of its access and compression utility. The new version allows users to schedule backups and burn to CD/DVD with Archive Assistant, adds plug-ins for Adobe's Photoshop and Illustrator and Microsoft Word, improved compression speed, Archive via Rename, .ynec and .cab file access, and a new user interface. It is available now for $80 with upgrades starting at $30 (or via a $50 mail-in rebate). It requires Mac OS X (v10.2 for some archive features).
MacOSXLabs is hosting an "AppleScript for System Admins" webcast this Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. It is presented by Sal Soghoian of Apple Computer, and Ryan Booz of Penn State University. "Discover how AppleScript can be used for administrative tasks, and how to interact with the file system within Mac OS X." Penn State University will present a case study on how they use AppleScript to manage their Macs.
CPC's MacCaption for Mac OS X is a new version of the company's video captioning software for Mac OS X. It can import from a text file and automatically generate individual captions and features "many icons to further format the captions and position them to cut down the time for caption preparation to 1/3 of the time it used to take using CCaptionPro software." It also offers visual closed caption synchronization and positioning, Drag & Drop DV and MPEG closed caption decoding, MPEG closed caption encoding, automatic MPEG subtitle file generation, and realtime DV/FireWire closed caption display. The DV version is $3,000, while the MPEG version is $4,000.
Radical Breeze has released DiscBlaze 2.0, a major update to its CD/DVD burning software that can burn data CDs, support multiple sessions to the same disc, erase CD-RWs/DVD-RWs for later use, and other features. It is a free upgrade to the $20 application. [1.1MB] CDFinder 4.2 updates the fast and powerful disk cataloging tool. It supports hard disks, iPods, CD-ROMs, DVDs, floppies, ZIPs, and "anything else that spins". Version 4.2 improves launch times, improves cataloging speed, now supports "batch create" under Jaguar, handles long file names, and other features. It is $25 for Mac OS 9/X. [1.2MB] Chop 1.0b is a Cocoa droplet (for Mac OS X) that lets you manage file/folder ownership and permissions, offering both single-file and recursive modes as well as the ability to delete all ".DS_Store" files in a particular folder. [257KB] iPhoto Extractor 2.0b1 (free) will resurrect missing iPhoto libraries by traversing the iPhoto library structure and copying the target files into a sorted destination: "This way you can import all or some of your files back into iPhoto and not worry about thumbnails and other files you would have to manage manually." An AppleScript and Mac OS X application is available. [154KB] REALSound 1.0 can extract sound resources from any file or application and saving them as sound files: "You can either open a file from inside REALSound to extract the sounds, or just drag and drop it on top of REALSound's icon to have REALSound automatically open and extract the files for you." The freeware runs on Mac OS X. [563KB] Object Craft's PDF Viewer 1.4 for Mac OS X adds a Spanish localization to the free barebones PDF viewer that claims to be "much faster than the alternatives." [148KB] Dantz last week posted RDU 4.1.109 for Retrospect 5.1, which adds new hardware suppport to its backup application. It includes support for EZQuest Boa and OWC Mercury Elite drives as well as Quantum tape drives. [668KB]
Keynote Gallery has released Ecosystem ($10), its unique, "environmentally friendly" Keynote theme with several cut-out masters including multiples and bleed versions for use with Keynote's Push and Cube transitions: "With a total of 29 masters, 5 custom bullets, 6 custom chart fills, text background and a leaf graphic." Meanwhile, iDVD Themetastic has launched with several new themes for iDVD 3, including Lasso, Planets, and Brown Ochre--each of which is $7.
TurboWorx today announced its R&D Workflow Collaboration applications for Mac OS X. The suite enables academic research organizations to create components of proprietary, internally developed, and open source programs: "Once a vendor develops TurboWorx 'wrappers' for its applications, libraries of these components can be assembled and made accessible throughout a university, to companies, and around the world. Constructing workflows is now a matter of pulling together those components needed to run that particular process, enabling workflow collaboration and creating efficiencies in the discovery process. It is available in Builder (component/developer environment), Group (single-user with five workers), and Enterprise (with web services) editions.
Iomega today announced that its Iomega Super DVD 4X External Drive is now shipping worldwide, after it began shipping an internal version ($260) earlier this month. Featuring a USB 2.0 connection, its supports all major DVD and CD standards, including DVD+R/+RW (4x2.4x12x), DVD-R/-RW (4x2x12x), DVD-RAM (3x), and CD-RW (24x16x32x). The $330 drive includes Iomega Automatic Backup software, which provides continuous real-time backup, optionally saves multiple revisions and keeps multiple backup sets on different destination drives, allows users to exclude files by file type, and can perform scheduled backups and even cache backups temporarily when the destination drive is not available.
Plextor, shipping its internal PX-708A DVD±R/RW drive, is expected to ship the USB/FireWire external version of the same drive, PX-708UF, later this month. Designed for burning DVD+R/RW (8x4x12x), DVD-R/RW (4x2x8x), and CD-R/RW (40x24x40x) discs, it offers a dual interface that supports both USB 2.0 and FireWire. The drive features a 2MB buffer and includes Roxio Toast 5 Lite as well as a 30-day trial version of Dantz Retrospect data backup software. The internal IDE version is $300, while the external version is $360.
Netgear today announced the launch of the FWG114P ProSafe 802.11g Wireless Firewall with USB Print Server. The FWG114P combines a router, four-port 10/100 switch, 802.11b/g compliant 54Mbps wireless access point, USB print server, an SPI firewall, and advanced industry-standard wireless security features soon to include Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), via a free firmware upgrade due in December. It also offers a powerful detachable 5dBi antenna for optimized wireless performance. Other supported protocols include NAT, DoS protection, intrusion detections, 40/64/128-bit WEP encryption support, and VPN pass-through. It is due in October for $275.
NEC today announced two new NEC AccuSync LCD monitors: the 15-inch AccuSync LCD51V ($310) and 17-inch LCD71V ($440). Engineered to enhance user productivity and comfort, the displays feature the latest thin frame design and advanced screen performance traditionally only seen in high- end models. They feature a brightness levels of 250 cd/m2, 400:1 contrast ratios, have analog input signals, and support up to 1024x768 and 1280x1024 resolution, respectively. The NEC AccuSync LCD51V and LCD71V are available in white and black cabinet options.
Macromedia today announced the debut of its MAX Conference, which combines the best of the company's popular DevCon and UCON events. The event will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, from November 18-21. The conference will help developers and designers sharpen their skills, learn about new Macromedia products including the MX 2004 product line, and network with their industry peers. Attendees who register by September 26 will save $200 off the registration fee of $1100. Macromedia also announced the new MAX Awards, which will showcase and recognize the most innovative digital experiences built with Macromedia technology. Categories include: Advertising; Business; Branding; Customer-Facing Applications; e-Learning; Education; Government and Non-Profit; and Media, Entertainment, and Gaming. Submissions are due by September 26.
Information Security Corp (ISC) has announced SecretAgent 5.7 for Mac OS X (as well as Linux and Solaris), its file encryption and digital signature utiity providing cross-platform compatibility with Windows. It includes support for the S/MIMEv3 CMS file format, improved X.509 certificate management and LDAP directory access, the ability to create self-decrypting archives for a wide range of target platforms, and full support for PolicyAgentT security policies. The $265 application can encrypt, sign, decrypt, validate, securely erase, and hash files and/or email messages.
Rebutting Sun's desktop Java initiative, Internet Week says the company should remain focused on server Java and providing a better cross-platform Java experience to Mac users: "I have only one piece of advice for Scott: If you really want an alternative to Windows, buy a Mac. It runs Unix just fine, has a great and stable graphical desktop environment that for the most part is Redmond-free," and concluding: "Java on the desktop is an idea that has come and gone. Stick to servers, Scott, and move front and center to fight that battle. Better yet, buy Apple."
dcRAW-X 1.5.1 is a $15 robust batch image converter which helps Mac OS X users to convert "raw" format digital pictures to Adobe PhotoShop (PSD) format for post-processing. The latest release of dcRAW-X has added support for several newly available digital cameras (Canon EOS 300D, Nikon D2H, and Fuji FinePix S5000, F700). [604KB] Conversation 1.2, an update to the freeware IRC client for Mac OS X (see chat.macnn.com) that provides a simple interface to the Internet Relay Chat (IRC). It adds smiley support, both English and French interfaces, nickname completion, sound alerts, text searches, and access to other IRC commands via the GUI. [621KB] Conoa EasyShapes ($110) is a 3-D plug-in set for non-linear video editors and compositors that allows users to map video onto spheres, cubes and cylinders using its proprietary 3-D rendering engine. Conoa EasyShapes works within a variety of video editing and compositing systems. It includes three plug-ins: CylinderWarp, Sphere and Cube and supports 16 bit-per-channel color. Upgrades are $70. [form] iPodRip 2 is $9 application for iPod owners. It allows users to transfer music from your iPod back to your iTunes Library, listen to music directly on your iPod, and supports all iPod Media Types -- MP3, AAC, Protected AAC and Audible.com Content. A limited trial is available. [291KB] Andrew's (vector) plugins Vol 1 "Mixed effects" now includes a wide selection of new color options using the Illustrator swatches palette for a specified color range, as well as presets throughout the plugins set plus an update of the warp 10 distortion plugin to include additional warping features as well as updated dialogs. [288KB] The $20 shareware Freaky Font Viewer 1.0 is a software application that allows you to view samples of fonts on your computer--to group fonts by style, family, use, or anything at all. In addition to viewing fonts on-screen, you can also print a font group for easy "cheat sheet" access. [Classic, OSX] Chronopath today released Safeguard 1.0, a new version of Serial Storage--its $15 shareware application for storing confidential data. It adds a redesigned interface, iPod synchronization, improved data retrieval and write speeds, a new live filter, password generator, and enhanced "Panther" performance. [1.5MB]
Apple says it will continue to focus on innovation, noting that quality comes before quantity, according to The Independent. "We would like to see our market share grow," Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, admitted to The Independent on Sunday last week at the Apple Expo held in Paris. But he argued: "Our strategy is to innovate. We are the innovator of the industry. Most of our competitors try to copy us. Our strategy has worked really well for us." Another article quotes Jobs as saying "Other computer makers provide one part of the solution; we're the last company providing everything. With the other guys, whenever something doesn't work they all point fingers at each other - it's the software, it's the hardware, it's the network. With us, we make the whole widget."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl