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Kaydara late last month began shipping MotionBuilder 5, the latest version of its powerful real-time 3D character animation software. Announced last July, it features a new innovative story timeline, a built-in clipart library, great file format support via Kaydara FBX and a simple 'drag and drop' approach to high-end animation. MotionBuilder's newstory timeline combines an independent shot, standard animation, character, camera, digital video, digital audio, constraint and command tracks with a powerful suite of editing controls and real-time performance. It is available now for Mac OS X for $1,000.
There are several hot topics for discussion on the MacNN Forums today, including: Power Mac G5 dual-2GHz orders beginning to ship; speculation about future "speed bumps" or minor revisions of the Power Mac G5; order status for purchasers of the 12" PowerBook G4; the return of the Mac OS X 10.2.8 update; the latest developer build of Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther;" continued discussion in multiple threads about customization of the Mac OS X GUI.
MacNN readers report continuing delays in 12" PowerBook orders, after we noted 2-week delays in late September: "A friend of mine ordered a 12" Powerbook in August, and it was supposed to ship in mid-September. When the new ones were announced, they upgraded her for free to the new model and moved her ship date to the 25th. Then on the 25th they moved her ship date to the 3rd of October. Today they moved her ship date to the 15th of October. She's getting really frustrated, and since I'm the one that converted her to Mac, I'm getting really frustrated, too. She really needs her Mac, and currently she's using a borrowed Vaio to do her work. The e-mail from Apple asked her to call them today."
RealCADD is a professional 2D CAD application that is easy to use, with "many features" at a "shareware price." Version 3.50 is faster, features 'hierarchized' objects, offers importation of Bitmap or Vectorial pictures, can find and replace text, and includes new drawing tools. Version 3.50 is a $20 update to the shareware application, which costs $95 for new users. It is compatible with Mac OS 9/X.
Photos of Virginia Tech's Terascale Cluster of G5 Macs are available again after being briefly posted last month. The $5.2 million project networks 1100 dual-processor 2GHz Power Mac G5s into a clustered supercomputer that will be used to perform research on nanoscale electronics, chemistry, aerodynamics, molecular statics, computational acoustics and molecular modeling, among other tasks. We first noted the SuperComputer project in early September.
Apple today also posted a special G5 version of the Mac OS X 10.2.8 update, which fixes problems with waking from sleep with some PCI cards, iChat/AirPort compatibility, support for these third-party disc burners, support for Bluetooth and FireWire devices after waking from sleep, improved FireWire support, and improved modem support.
Tech news: VeriSign said on Friday it would suspend its controversial new SiteFinder service that steers mistaken Web searches to its own page after the organization that oversees Internet policies demanded it do so; Yahoo has launched "Yahoo Business Messenger," an instant messaging product for corporations that integrates the popular WebEx virtual meeting software; the exportation of U.S. tech jobs overseas is a trend that's here to stay, according to Dell CEO Michael Dell; Sony said today it would unveil its all-in-one PSX game device to the public next week, which packs a TV tuner, DVD recorder, hard-disk drive, and the PlayStation 2 game player into a single white box; Microsoft faces a proposed class-action lawsuit in California based on the claim that its market-dominant software is overly vulnerable to viruses capable of triggering cascading failures.
Apple has reposted Mac OS X 10.2.8 Update (Build 6R73) as well as the corresponding update for Mac OS X 10.2.8 Server and a special smaller update for those who had previously installed the original Mac OS X 10.2.8 Update, which was released briefly last week. Build 6R73 includes an updated Ethernet driver for 450MHz and 500MHz dual processor Power Mac G4 desktop systems and an update to the battery status menu. The original Mac OS X 10.2.8 update release was pulled by Apple due to various problems encountered by users.
Epson last month introduced its Stylus CX5400, a triple function USB device that can be used as a scanner, printer and color copier. The Epson Stylus CX5400 prints documents and text at up to 22 ppm in black and up to 11 ppm in color and "also operates more quietly from start to finish than its predecessor" using its newly designed engine and mechanism. It offers frame-ready, borderless photographs at up to 5,760x1,440 optimized dpi using ultrafine three-picoliter ink droplets for sharp, vivid images. It also features an individual ink cartridge system, an integrated stand-alone color copier, and a built-in 1200x2400, 48-bit flatbed color scanner. It is available now for $150.
The Cox News Service has more details on the $3.2 million program to arm Greene schools with iBooks, which we noted more than a week ago: "Tim Cook, executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations for Apple Computers, visiting Thursday with Greene County officials and school board members, said the iBook laptops should be distributed by the middle of the month. Through a four-year lease agreement between Apple Computers and Greene County schools, about 1,800 students and 170 teachers will receive the computers. Piloted in Henrico County, Va., the program in Greene County is the first countywide iTech program in North Carolina, officials said."
iOrganize 5.0 ($20) adds support for multiple notepads to the organization tool for Mac OS X. Users can store and organize notes, ideas, text extracts and web links; it lets you quickly and easily store what you want with several special features for advanced users. [1.4MB] My Favorite Things is a self-configuring launch utility that offers a system-wide menu to launch applications, websites, terminal commands, and your favorite email addresses. It is $18 and runs on Mac OS X 10.2. [519KB] The $10 trialware MenuTunes offers a configurable system-wide frontend for controlling iTunes: "In addition to standard playback controls, MenuTunes can also change the repeat and shuffle modes, currently selected playlist, and even let you specify a rating for the currently playing track." [316KB] WebCode 1.2 is a free HTML source code editor, offering file navigation, a notes area, a tag helper, find/replace functions, custom inserts, and other features. [1.1MB] The MacWise 10.6 terminal utility emulates ADDS Viewpoint, Wyse 50, Wyse 60, Wyse 370, Televideo TV 925, DEC VT100, VT220 and Prism terminals and also supports ANSI color and Esprit III color (in Wyse 370 mode). MacWise allows a Macintosh to be used as a terminal -- connected to a host computer directly, by modem, or over the Internet. The update has speed optimizations for Mac OS X. Upgrades are $50 to the $95 application. [2.0MB] microSynth is a $20 standalone software synthesizer with "multitrack sequencing capability. It uses your Macintosh's keyboard as an input device, so you can play and compose music without connecting any outboards. [It] uses 'QuickTime Music Synthesizer' as its sound source by default, but also has a capability to load "SoundFont2" and "DLS" files." [971KB] The Dantz Retrospect 5.1 SCSI Update will improve support for Retrospect with the latest SCSI Card drivers from ATTO and other vendors. This update requires Retrospect 5.1 and Mac OS 10.2 or later and is not compatible with Mac OS 9. [Retrospect, Express]
Apple will also be running a series of seminars, including a session on Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, at London's annual print, visual communications and workflow event, Digital Solutions OnDemand, according to Macworld UK: "The presentations will take place in the dedicated Apple Theatre on each day of the exhibition that runs from October 21-23 at London ExCeL. The company will present Mac OS X, including the new features of Panther, at 10.30am each day. The other seminars will look at Apple hardware updates, specifically the PowerMac G5, at 12pm, and Xserve and Xserve RAID at 2.30pm."
Apple will participate in IfraExpo 2003, the world’s largest trade fair for publishing professionals. It takes place in Leipzig, Germany, from October 13-16. Apple will host a series of seminars aimed at journalists, editors and designers who are looking for robust, real-world solutions that will give them an advantage over the competition. Apple will also join The Digital Architecture Tour in Europe: "If you are an architect, 3D modelling or CAD professional, join us at the Hellenic Centre in London on October 31st and find out how you can improve your design workflow by embracing the very latest tools and technologies. Apple experts, along with representatives from Adobe, Abvent, RealVIZ and others will be on-hand to answer your questions."
A New York Times article discusses adaptive frequency hopping technology in Apple's new Bluetoth wireless keyboard/mouse: although "some wireless devices are like rude houseguests, always interfering with other gadgets under the same roof.... Apple's new cordless keyboard and mouse are models of decorum, discreetly taking the measure of their environment and bending over backward not to get in the way."
Apple earlier this week declared "Panther", the next major release of Mac OS X 10.3, "Gold Master", according to several sources including AppleInsider and The Register. Several sources anticipate the release within the next 30 days, although Apple has only said it would the new OS by "the end of the year."
Apple yesterday evening released DVD Studio Pro 2.0.2 Combined Update, which "includes DVD Studio Pro 2.0.1 and DVD Studio Pro 2.0.2 and is strongly recommended for all users of DVD Studio Pro 2. This update includes French, German and Japanese localizations as well as providing a number of other improvements. The DVD Studio Pro 2.0.2 update is the only update available for DVD Studio Pro 2." Users are required to enter a DVD Studio Pro serial number to download the update.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.31 ( -0.97 )
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.