FireWire Depot today introduced the Cutter800, a $150 1394b Firewire 800 USB2 combo 2.5" enclosure. The Cutter 800+ (1394a/USB2.0) provides features an "extra slim" aluminum casing. It will begin shipping immediately. Over the next two weeks FireWire Depot will be introducing additional 1394b products including single and multi-bay enclosures.
Afternoon tech news:Electronics firms are pushing a new concept of wireless home networks that snatch movies, photos and music files from computers around the house and play them back on the living room TV and hi-fi; the reach of Microsoft's software on desktops worldwide has made computer networks a national security risk susceptible to "massive, cascading failures," computer security experts said; MacNN reader "Clint" let us know that the "Fire" and "Proteus" instant messaging clients still do not work with Yahoo!'s IM service, following recent changes to the service's protocol.
Greene County, Carolina students will soon get to take their Apple iBook laptop computers home, as a part of the county's iTech program. The program allow every student in middle- and high-school to have access to an iBook computer. Superintendent Steve Mazingo originally expected students to take computers home after Christmas, but most students should have their laptops by November. The first group of computers will go out Oct. 14, when the parent training sessions begin. Students will start training Oct. 15.
Iomega today announced that it is shipping a new generation of USB 2.0 flash memory drives, the Mini 512MB USB 2.0 Drive ($200) and the Mini 1GB USB 2.0 Drive ($380). The new solid-state devices use USB 2.0 for dramatically higher performance: up to 9MB/sec. in reading files and 7MB/sec in writing files. Iomega's current Mini 128MB ($70) and 256MB ($110) USB drives have also been updated to the new USB 2.0 standard, with performance of approximately 8MB/sec (read) and 5MB/sec (write). They are compatible with Mac OS 8/9/X.
Zapptek's iPod It 2.1 adds a number of usability enhancements, including the ability to transfer To Do list of 2.0 iPods to Entourage Tasks. The $15 iPod utility transfers information from Entourage, Stickies, Mail, Address Book and iCal as well as downloading weather forecasts and news headlines directly to your iPod. [416KB] PreceptorTools, now in beta and due later this year, can develop training modules, instructional aids, and presentations for every major platform in minutes--without any programming: "The prebuilt navigation aids, quizzes, and exams let teachers focus on delivering educational solutions, without worrying about how to code them." [1.8MB] VVI has updated its graphing software system, Vvidget 8.6.1. It adds polar, log-r polar and point fill plots to the existing plot types: "With the wizards, you can enter a list of numbers and click a button to get the graph you want. We've also improved PDF pasteboard exporting, inspector tabbing..." It is available starting at $75 for a limited time. Granted Software's Still Life 2.2 brings AppleScript support, watermarking and other new features. Still Life is a stand-alone application that enables users to pan and zoom over digital images and produce a video for use in iMovie, iDVD or any other multimedia project. It is $25 and runs on Mac OS X. [1.5MB] Meilenstein has updated its PCI TV Tuner solution, Televio 1.7. It now features an Internet-based Channel Assistant to ease setup and configuration and supports dual card configurations. Televio ($230) offers full-size (640x480) and high grade TV-tunerwith stereo audio, a IR remote that controls all Mac applications and a stereo FM radio. It is not compatible with G5 Power Macs. Karelia Software today released Watson 1.7.4, a maintenance update to the $30 desktop utility that offer access to dozens of web services from a single desktop interface. The free update to the Mac OS X application fixes several bugs. TFTP server 2.0 helps utilize and configure the TFTP server shipped with the standard Mac OSX distribution: "TFTP is a simple protocol used to transfer files...The only thing it can do is read and write files from/to a remote server. It cannot list directories content or change the working directory, and currently has no provisions for user authentication." [175KB] Sustainable Softworks has released IPNetMonitorX 1.3c2 ($40), an update to the popular networking utility, featuring 16 integrated tools designed to help you quickly identify problems, locate where the problem is, and gather data. It now works with the CheckIP feature of DynDns.org. [904KB]
Dell today introduced several new consumer electronics products, including the Dell Digital Jukebox MP3 player, the Dell Music Store and the Dell W1700 LCD TV, an ultra-bright flat-panel monitor integrated with speakers and a HDTV television tuner due by the end of year. Dell also previewed its redesign of Dell.com, which will be launched next week. Dell also announced today an exclusive software application for home digital media management: The Dell Media Experience converts the PC into a digital entertainment center that makes it easy to listen to digital music files, add music to photo slideshows, watch DVDs, and view video clips.
Group Logic today released ExtremeZ-IP 3.1, a free upgrade to its file and print sharing product line. With this upgrade, the ExtremeZ-IP File Server now fully supports Windows 2003 Server and Windows XP; the upgrade also delivers a major advancement in the product's print server compatibility with Mac OS X. The system integrates seamlessly with the Mac OS X printing architecture and provides additional printing features, such as Rendezvous support, queue management, detailed job logging, automated PPD downloading, redundancy when used with Windows clusters and support for numerous Windows print services.
AmbiCom's new Wireless Printer Kit allows users to send printer data across a wireless communications link. The virtual cable is based on a Bluetooth system-on-chip technology and will provide cable-free USB wireless replacement for other peripherals. "The retail price [$70] tag is designed to beat the cost of alternative Wi-Fi (802.11) options." The Wireless Printer Kit supports HP, Lexmark, Epson, and Canon devices and includes two adaptors with built-in software, power supply and A/B connector converter. It will be available initially through CompUSA beginning next week. A $40 PC adaptor will also be available for enabling additional PCs.
Macromedia today unveiled a public beta release of Macromedia Central, providing a "new way for people to interact with Internet information without relying on a continuous connection." The Central public beta includes two initial beta applications: Movie Finder and AccuWeather, which will be part of a larger application library being created by third parties for Central. Since the start of the initial beta program this summer, close to 1,000 developers have joined the application development community for Central.
Canto has released a limited version of the Single User Edition of its digital asset management application: myCumulus, available or for €20, offers the same features and functionality as the full version of the popular Single User, but is limited in the number of media assets that users can organize. Canto also announced that the professional Single User Edition is now available in its eshop at a reduced price of €70 (previously €90). Upgrades to the full single-user edition are €50.
The Samba Team has released Samba 3.0, a new release of the open-source/free software-based file and print server suite for Microsoft Windows clients. Samba 3.0 contains the first open-source/free software implementation of Windows NT Primary and Backup Domain Controller functionality for transparent migration of Windows NT domains to Samba 3.0. It also integrates into a Microsoft Active Directory domain in both native and mixed mode, fully implements Kerberos 5 authentication, implements Unicode character sets on the wire, scalable printing, and improved documentation. Samba 3.0 runs on Mac OS X; an older version is included with Mac OS X Server.
Following Digital Voodoo's announcement about Mac development, company founder Grant Petty (who no longer works there) has written a response to the "text monolog basically slamming Apple Computer, QuickTime, and Mac based products in general...It's important someone responds to this because they have criticized technologies that I believe in, and that thousands of our DeckLink customers have been using successfully to build strong businesses. I personally believe the info posted here could not be more wrong, and as a competitor, it's our duty to offer an opposing view on their statement."
Sibelius has released Sibelius 3, a "major" new version of its music notation software for Mac OS 9/X that contains over 170 new features, plug-ins and enhancements. It includes Kontakt Player Silver, which allows users to play back music using high-quality instrumental samples, burn compositions to CD, and create audio files to post on the Internet. In addition to new features for arrangers, composers and engravers, it has an array of functions for those involved with teaching music as well as a fresh interface, "Shadow Notes", live playback, engraving, auto pagebreaks, 30 new plugins, and customizable feature sets for different users. Upgrades to the $600 application start at $120 for v2.x and $150 for v1.x users. [form]
Apple today announced the winners of the "Apple iLife Educator Awards" for 2003, recognizing the most innovative classroom uses of iLife, its integrated suite for digital photography, moviemaking, digital music and DVD creation. The Grand Prize winner is Jon Hand, an 8th grade science teacher at Mansfield Middle School in Connecticut, for his "Grass Born to be Stepped On" project. The "Apple iLife Educator Awards" contest was open to all K-12 district or school level educators, or pre-service teachers and faculty or staff of accredited Colleges of Education in the US or Canada (excluding Quebec). A complete list of the winning entries and lesson plans is available on the Web.
At IBC this year, Digital Voodoo, a manufacturer of high-end video capture cards, announced it was suspending further development on the Mac platform, saying that Final Cut Pro 4.0 would be the last version it would support and that it could not guarantee that future versions of its video cards would be compatible with current or future generations of G5-based Macs: "These were difficult decisions for us to make. They are based on where we believe the future of post production is going which we believe is 10 bit RGB. Sony with the HDCAM SR and Thompson’s Viper are two companies who believe in the same future. No doubt Panasonic will follow this lead also...moving away from a QuickTime component only solution is in the best interests of current and future users of our products and the company itself."
Secure.cc today released eShox 3.1, which updates its commerce application for Mac OS X. Version 3.1 adds customizable customer emails; invoices, packing slips and purchase orders; printing to Rendezvous / LPR printers on local networks; automated, daily currency exchange rate updates; and new functions for exporting XML order data. The solution uses PHP and MySQL to provide a customizable store front with multiuser administration, realtime statistics, database import/export, shipping functions, realtime payment processing, and other advanced features. Single-store licensing is $300 for the first year and $100 for each subsequent year.
Touting its own services and software, OneStat.com reports Microsoft's Windows dominates the operating system market on the Web with a global usage share of more than 97 percent--with Windows XP having slightly more than 38 percent Windows 98 having nearly 23% percent, while the global usage share of the Mac OS X is at 1.5%, followed by Linux at 0.5%.
The $25 shareware backup utility, Impression 1.7, adds initial (basic) support for multiple burners, as well as basic support for network backup operations to the backup application for Mac OS X. It also adds an automatic Internet-based version checker to help keep folks up-to-date, and fixes a host of reported bugs. [567KB] Pixture Studio has updated its freeware QuickImageCM 2.2, a Contextual menu plugin that makes it possible to view/edit/print/convert image files without launching any applications. It can now scale images by ratio, sort image file names before display, and displays date created/modified in the info dialog. [590KB] PDFViewCM 1.0 is a free contextual menu plugin by Pixture Studio. It can "display PDF file(s) quickly without launching any applications. It support multiple page PDF files and it has most of the popular features in other PDF viewer (e.g. page jump, zooming, printing...)." [190KB] SubRosaSoft has released DesktopSun 1.0, a freeware utility for Mac OS X which places realtime pictures of the sun from the SOHO observatory as the desktop. DesktopEarth, also free, downloads realtime global cloud maps, then superimposes them on the map of your choice of Earth views (political, geographic, elevation etc...) and places it as the desktop. [DS, DE] KMremoteControl 1.2 ($20) lets you use one system's keyboard/mouse to multiple PCs and Macs. The update adds the ability to send one keystroke as another, an option to "float" KMremoteControl, and an option to emulate a two-button mouse. [2.8MB] eMode 1.4 is a tiny little application to display your current mood on iChat and/or your homepage. It adds an emoticon-set-installer (menu "Smileys"), an option to restore iChat to the original Aqua-smiley-set, and a new default smileyset. [595KB] Blue Line Studios today released a final version of PhotoShow, its tool for creating digital photo albums. Among the many features and built-in tools are QuickTime exporting, sorting, and the collecting of pictures. It is $15 and available or Mac OS 7/8/9 with a OS X version planned soon. [1.2MB] Radical Breeze's Macabinet 1.4 offers speed improvements, a custom shared preferences folder (for sharing preferences among multiple users), the ability to treat clippings as ordinary files, and other bug fixes. The $10 utility helps organize the desktop and stores commonly used documents in a small drawer for easy access. [1.2MB]
Several MacNN readers note an article in a Japanese newspaper [Japanese link], Asahi Shinbun that reports on Tokyo University's plan to replace 1150 Windows-based PCs with iMacs in March of 2004. (Other details are not yet available.)
Apple will announce its quarterly its Q4 2003 financial results on October 15, 2003 and will offer a QuickTime audio broadcast of its quarterly conference call at 5 pm ET. (Earlier this month, we noted a 2-part series on an Apple Corporate Briefing with CFO Fred Anderson, which is also available in QuickTime.) Anderson earlier this month said Apple has a projected 7-8% overall growth rate in revenue for fiscal 2003 (based on his guidance for its fiscal Q4 2003).
Apple's troubleshooting knowledge-base describes an error after updating Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server to version 10.2.8 where you may not be able to connect to the Internet or your network. This only affects some computers using a 10BASE-T Ethernet connection. Meanwhile, users of Apple's troubleshooting discussion forums discuss a bug affecting some ATI Radeon and Lightwave users. Neither Apple nor ATI have addressed the issue.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for â‚¬30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives