Belcarra Technologies today announced the availability of a Mac OS X host driver to complete its USBLAN suite. USBLAN is Internet networking on USB, based upon the CDC Ethernet standard, which is enhanced to simplify file, data and printer sharing over USB with smart, Linux-based personal devices such as PDAs, MP3 players, and cell phones. Data Reader 1.6 ($10) is a scientific application that allows users to read the data from a graph and export to an ASCII file for further processing. Version 1.6 corrects interface glitches, adds the possibility of scroll when dragging points, corrects several bugs, and adds the ability to handle very large files. PDF support is also included. [Download - 634KB] Trygve H. Inda has released EarthDesk 2.0.4, an update to the $20 application that replaces your static desktop picture with an animated, real-time rendered image of the Earth. The new version better supports situations where the user has chosen to leave the Earth image on the desktop when quitting EarthDesk -- the old images will be replaced with current images the next time the application is launched. [Download - 3.6MB] Granted Software released an update to Peripheral Vision, its $7 monitoring utility that helps Mac OS X users keep track of connected peripherals. New in the update is the ability to customize the notification scheme allowing registered users to choose the style (visual, audio or both) for each type of peripheral. [Download - 518KB] Mactracker 2.0.5 is an update to the application by Ian Page that provides library of information on all Macintosh models. Version 2.0.5 adds the latest hardware releases from Apple like the new PowerBook G4, iMac, Power Mac G4 (MDD), and iPod (20/40 GB), and Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther). [Download - Classic, Classic]
Dream Vision Distribution ("D.V.D.") is a new film distribution company that intends to bring independent films to the public audience. Montreal-based filmmaker JF Leduc launched the company after he found it difficult to get his own film, Die Alive, on the market. The company uses Macintosh computers to spearhead this "filmmaking revolution." The Mac platform was Mr. Leduc's choice for the creation of his movie: "I then did the professional grade DVD authoring on my PowerMac G4 (using Apple's DVD Studio Pro)."
Case Closed Bags is offering two unique cases for Apple's iPod music player. The "Clarance" case offers a clear vinyl front with a selection of three distinct "3-D hologram" backs plates. A top strap provides added security, while a detachable swivel clip provides the ability to attach to a belt. The "Sheldon" collection includes six colorful full-wrap designs, rigid protection and a vinyl screen shield. Elastic sides ensure a snug fit; a detachable swivel clip is also included.
Computer Systems Odessa has released ConceptDraw V, a major upgrade to its flowcharting and diagramming application. It is completely redesigned to facilitate charting and presentation tasks for business and technical users and offers ConceptDraw Basic, a built-in scripting language that enables developers to create customized visualization solutions based on the ConceptDraw drawing engine. It also features Microsoft Visio impport, access to ODBC-compliant databases, and other advanced file functions. Pricing starts at $150.
Apple will participate in three different fall Education Conferences, including League for Innovation 2003 (Conference on Information Technology), which takes place from October 19-21 in Milwaukee, WI, where Apple will showcase its enterprise solutions, hands-on classroom sessions, and higher education solutions (Booth No. 626). Apple will also offer a peer-to-peer theater with K-12 educators presenting leadership examples of iLife, 1-to-1 solutions, and Mac OS X migration at T+L2 2003, which takes place October 22-24 in Anaheim, CA (booth No. 1427). Finally, Apple will participate in EDUCAUSE 2003, which takes place November 4-6 in Anaheim, CA. Apple will offer Panther demonstrations, hands-on classroom sessions, and higher education solutions presented by faculty as well as a special Empowering Expression in the Digital Age session with Frances Hines, Apple's Senior Director of Higher Education.
Sue Burch, director of technology for the Grand Island Public Schools, has been selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator by Apple, according to The Grand Island Independent: "Burch was picked because of her leadership integrating technology as a critical tool in the K-12 learning environment, said John Couch, Apple's vice president of education. This is the second time Burch has received the honor. The Apple Distinguished Educator program provides a forum for educators worldwide to exchange ideas and information about the effective uses of new technologies in the creation of engaging learning environments that promote student achievement. Burch was among more than 240 educators worldwide selected for the program. Apple Distinguished Educators complete two years of service to the program."
MacPlay today began shipping No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way, its $50 first-person shooter game title for Mac OS X: "NOLF 2 once again stars 1960's era secret agent Cate Archer, who works for the anti-terrorist organization UNITY. Her job description involves stopping the evil group H.A.R.M. as they try to unleash their nefarious plans on an unsuspecting world. This time the scheme involves a top-secret Soviet project that could launch World War III. To defeat H.A.R.M., Cate must make her way through 40 levels of battles against female ninjas with attitudes, Pierre the Mime King, and The Director...As in the first game, NOLF 2 sports a generous amount of humor to complement the action."
ProMax has introduced its new Internal 500 GB SATAmax for professional uncompressed SD video editors. The RAID kit features two 250 GB SATA drives with 7200RPM/8MB buffers, a single 2-Port SATA PCI Host Adapter, 2 SATA drive cables, a single 120 GB FireWire 800 external boot drive, a FireWire 800 cable, and a power cord: "Each system is bench tested for 24 hours. The two SATA drives are striped as RAID-0 using MacOS 10....Our tests prove the SATAmax array will handle 8-bit, 10-bit, and 16-bit SD video" with 58MB/sec write- and 61MB/sec read- speeds, according to ProMax. The kit is $1,200.
The Arizona Daily Star notes that planning to open a third Arizona retail store in Tucson: "Bebe, L'Occitane and Apple Computers [sic] are among the 18 new retailers that just joined the list of tenants at the upscale La Encantada shopping center in the Catalina Foothills. "La Encantada launched a "30-day countdown" Tuesday for its opening on Nov. 7. Most of the 42 stores and restaurants that have committed to opening at the center will be ready for business next month." La Encantada will be an intimate, open-air village center with extensive landscaping, upscale shops, walkways, patios and courtyards. Apple's other Arizona stores include Chandler and Phoenix.
Macworld Conference and Expo today began accepting attendee registration for January's Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Exhibit Hall access costs $15 for "early bird" registrants, while conference combo packages that include access to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote start at $400.
Willow Design has released a new carry case for the Power Mac G5: "The G5 case complements Willow's line of [cases]...The tower case case features three layers of protection (two separate foam layers plus a corrugated plastic layer) for extra shock cushioning, comfortable wrap padded handles, reinforced end handles for easier lifting or two person carrying and a thickly padded contoured shoulder strap." The new G5 tower cases are covered by Willow's 100% satisfaction guarantee and lifetime guarantee against defects in materials and craftsmanship. It is $250.
META/DMA has announced Scopo Gigio AE2, a new version of the full-featured waveform monitor and vectorscope for Adobe After Effects. Scopo Gigio AE2 places the scopes in a full-time floating window for users of After Effects 5.5.1 and up. The package also includes version 1.1, an update to the layer-based effect for users of After Effects 4.1 through 5.5. Scopo Gigio AE2 costs $75, with discounted upgrade and site license pricing available. Demo versions are also available.
Matrox has released a set of RTMac 4.0 Preview Release 4 drivers, which provide full RTMac functionality under Mac OS X: "This version will probably be the last beta before the final release. It improves audio/video synchronization, and has overall improvements in performance and stability. The G5 is not currently supported because of bugs in Mac OS X and the G5 firmware." Registration is required to download the software. It works with Final Cut Pro (Mac OS X) and offers WYSIWYG support for Adobe After Effects and Discreet combustion.
Island bands Thursday and Thrice will perform for fans on Wednesday night, October 15th at the Apple retail stores in New York City and Santa Monica, California, respectively. At 7:00 p.m. EDT, Thursday will take the stage at the Apple Store SoHo, while Thrice will open at the Apple Store Third Street Promenade at 7 p.m. PDT. These performances kick off tours for both bands, which begin on October 17th in Pennsylvania. The music performed at these events will be available exclusively for purchase on Apple's iTunes Music Store and both events will be videotaped, and the content will be streamed in QuickTime.
Apple's Mac OS X Update program offers a free $20 upgrade to Panther to all new Mac purchases on or after October 8th and to any Power Mac G5 purchase (regardless of date): "Customers who purchase a qualifying new Power Mac G5 (M9020LL/A, M9031LL/A, M9032LL/A) regardless of purchase date that does not have Mac OS X Panther v10.3 included can upgrade to Mac OS X Panther." The program ends on December 26, 2003 and orders must be postmarked or faxed by December 17, 2003.
Pacific Image Electronics today announced the PrimeFilm 3650u, a value-priced film scanner that is designed for "the hobbyist or photography enthusiast who is looking for image enhancement features and easy handling of large image files. The inclusion of Digital ICE3 allows the user to digitally clean, correct and restore film images to optimize the image quality." The PF3650u produces a digital image of approximately 17.9 million pixels (3,456x5,184) with a 3.2 dynamic range, 48-bit color and 3600x3600 dpi optical resolution. It supports images up to 10" x 14", USB 2.0 connectivity, and a variety of film color management profiles with 17 negative film terms, 13 positive color profiles and 10 B/W profiles. The $350 scanner includes Photoshop Elements.
AOC has extended its line of value-priced displays with the launch of the LM729, an ultra-thin 17" LCD monitor priced at $400. The LM729 is the first monitor in a new line of flat-panel displays designed by AOC in collaboration with Lunar, an industrial design firm that recently won three BusinessWeek Industrial Design Excellence awards. In addition to the new look, the monitor features advanced adjustability functions, including 25-degree tilt, 70-degree swivel, 1280x1024 resolution, and 110mm height-adjustment. It offers built-in speakers and a base with a concealed storage tray. AOC monitors are backed by a comprehensive three-year warranty, during which AOC will repair, replace or rebuild products at no charge.
Apple today announed it would release iCal 1.5.1, an update to its calendar program, and iSync 1.2.1, an update to its synchronization software. In addition to managing multiple calendars and sharing them over the Internet, iCal now includes an all-new interface for creating and managing event details and improved support for working across time zones. iSync, which allows users to instantly sync their Mac address book and calendars with their mobile phone, Palm OS device, iPod and other Macs, now delivers calendar support for Symbian-based smartphones and supports new mobile phones from Sony Ericsson. (The updates are available online: iSync and iCal.)
FootTrack 1.3 ($30) is a Mac OS X application that allows you to catalog and easily search your digital video tape footage. It improves drag & drop support, offers resizable movie viewer, has better contextual menu support, and other enhancments. [1.9MB] St. Clair Software has posted a second public beta of Default Folder X 1.9b2, its $35 utility for enhancing open/save dialogs in Mac OS X. This beta release improves its new hierarchical menus and its support for "Panther". It also corrects installer issues as well as provides other fixes and enhancements. [3.5MB] MovieEdit3D 0.88 ($7) allows you to create a single digital video (DV) file showing one or more imported DV files moving through 3D space: "For example, one DV movie can be drifting across the screen, with another zooming in from a distance, while another is rotating. Plugins allow fancy 3D warping or grid effects to be applied to all or part of a movie." [340KB] PublicSpace.net has released a new beta of its $15 Finder contextual menu utility: A Better Finder Rename 6.0b1: "This first beta focuses on the new, completely re-designed user interface. The new UI makes extensive use of disclosure areas in order to make room for many new options for power users, while avoiding to overload novice users with too much information." [1.8MB] Oxalyn Window Divider 1.3 is a a custom control for REALbasic that allows attached controls to be dynamically rearranged by the user. It offers the ability to programmatically collapse and expand regions, a new example project for easy modification by developers, and other enhancements. The $8 shareware PodWorks 2.3 updates the Mac OS X application that allows you to copy songs from any Mac iPod to any Mac running Mac OS X 10.2. It is capable of reading directly from the iPod's internal database, resulting in nearly instantaneous display of all metadata, including data not available through ID3 (including "Date Added" and "Play Count"). [299KB]
Apple today announced that Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther," the next major release of its OS will be available on Friday, October 24, beginning at 8:00 p.m.: "Panther delivers more than 150 breakthrough new features including a completely new Finder that provides one-click access to a user's favorite files and folders; Expose, a revolutionary new way to instantly see all open windows at once; and iChat AV, a complete desktop video conferencing solution for business, education and consumers." Panther will be $130, while a 5-user family license is priced at $200. Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers will host special events Friday night, October 24, at 8:00 p.m. to celebrate the introduction. Apple also said it would ship Mac OS X 10.3 Panther Server on the same day for $500 (10-client) or $1000 (unlimited client).
Ars Technica has written an in-depth review of the new 15" Aluminum PowerBook, concluding: "The 15" Aluminum PowerBook G4 is a balanced, capable laptop computer that is experiencing some significant first-production-run jitters. If you are a perfectionist (like many Mac users, including me) then you may start to see small problems everywhere. For example, my up-arrow key cap is slightly higher on one side, and my battery has a tiny bit of in-and-out play when seated in the PowerBook's base. All of these things can build up to the point where you are no longer satisfied with your PowerBook." There is also another 15" Al PowerBook review in our MacNN Forums.
Apple will bring a second store to Georgia, according to NorthFulton.com: " The Apple Store has begun a $1 million renovation of a space in North Point Mall. [Apple] has a store in Lenox Mall, the only other Apple Store in Georgia (Atlanta). This is the first commitment of a number of electronic retail outlets that are interested in the area....No date has been set for the opening of the North Point store. Shawmut Design and Construction of Boston, Mass. is handling design and construction of the facility."
TOLIS Group and Exabyte today announced they have entered into an OEM Agreement that will bundle a customized version of TOLIS Group's BRU for Mac OS X backup software with Exabyte's line of tape library products: "The bundled backup and restore solution will reduce configuration errors and effectively make Exabyte's tape libraries 'plug and play' for Mac users." The software will automatically recognize and configure the Exabyte tape libraries and supports both SCSI and Fibre Channel interfaces, tape bar codes, and all Exabyte tape library configurations. BRU for Mac OS X is an expansion of the BRU CLI (Command Line Interface) product and provides an Aqua user interface.
Jomosoft has released osXigen 2.2, an update to its fully featured FTP/SFTP client application. The fully multithreaded application offers synchronization (including in different time zones), web site management, queue based download & uploads, BBEdit integration, active bookmarks, file filters, firewall support, custom sounds, multiple icon sets, and system integration. Version 2.2 adds a Transcript Log window and Droplet support as well as improves reliability and performance and fixes problems related to very large files (larger than 4GB). It is $20 shareware for Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R