European regulators will conduct an oral hearing Nov. 12 that will give Microsoft an opportunity to comment on charges that it abused its dominance with Windows; at the height of the Internet boom, e-books were hailed as the future medium for publishers, but the bubble has burst and printed books are preferred by consumers; analysts were doubtful Friday that Microsoft would be able to uphold a pledge to prevent e-mail attacks and make software security a "no. 1 priority."
Synthetic Aperture today announced Color Finesse 1.1, a free upgrade to its color correction plug-in for Adobe After Effects. Color Finesse offers high-end color correction and enhancement tools--including multiple color spaces, tonal correction, curve-based correction, automated color matching and balancing, six-channel secondary color correction, reference images with split wipes, smart color legalizing, and waveform monitor and vectorscope displays. Version 1.1 adds secondary preview monitor support, preview pan and zoom, enhanced secondary color correction with additional controls, and mask and alpha mode previewing. The $600 plugin also works with Final Cut Pro and Discreet Combustion.
Hoodman Corp. has released a new line of anti-glare hoods for Apple's PowerBooks. The Eclipse PowerBook hoods offer optimum outdoor performance, privacy while working, and compatibility with Apple's 12-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch PowerBooks: "Hoods spring into shape when removed from their carry bags requiring no assembly. Slip the hood over the screen and you are ready to go. Spring tension keeps each hood mounted in place. Collapsing in just seconds makes the E2000 Eclipse PowerBook hood line convenient and easy to use." Each is priced just under $30 and includes a travel bag; all are available for order now from the company's website.
"Having Apple's new Power Mac G5 around the office is like having a superhero assistant," says Mercury News columnist Jon Fortt. Mr. Fortt cites the machine's graphics capabilities and its ability to handle multiple demanding tasks at once as strong points. "For example, the G5 managed to resize a 122-megabyte file up to 1.68 gigabytes in three minutes, while also smoothly playing a full-screen movie and compressing an edited DV movie to Quicktime format," explains Fortt.
Tim Verpoorten of Surf-bits today announced the second in a series of articles on upgrading and modifying the Apple Power Mac G4 Cube. "My Great Cube Adventure: Part Two" is available now for online viewing. Part 2 deals with "easy upgrades" and maintenance.
PhoneAgent 1.0 ($30) offers dozens of functions for the Sony Ericsson T610 mobile phone, including management of its phonebook, SMS and MMS messages, custom themes, and WAP profiles and bookmarks. It requires either a Bluetooth USB adapter or built-in Bluetooth and runs under Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later. [3.4MB] The Wild Bits released Ask The DJ 1.4. This new version includes a new tracks browser, works with Unicode (Japanese script support) and includes a French version. Ask The DJ is a $30 application that analyzes beats to perform truly seamless transitions between tracks. [1.4MB] FrameSeer 1.2 is a $50 network packet capture application. The native Mac OS X application will diagnose network problems by capturing traffic on your Ethernet, AirPort, PPPoE, PPP, and loopback interfaces. It features extensive online help, packet decoding, and filters. [748KB] MOTU has posted updated MOTU PCI Audio for OSX drivers, which contains drivers for MOTU PCI-324 and PCI-424 audio systems under Mac OS X 10.2.2. MOTU FireWire Drivers and Consoles OSX 1.06 were also updated this month. [PCIAudio, FireWire] Camfrog Video Chat is new videoconferencing software that allows users to host their own video chat rooms. The company says it is interested in making the software compatible with iChat AV: "If you know any technical information that is freely available that would allow this please let us know." IPSecuritas 1.1b2 is a free front-end to the Mac OS X built-in IPSec core and allows to configure and establish secure IPSec tunnels to remote networks. It adds a new host-host transport mode, certificate authentication, easier setup, automatic key exchange initiation, substitute DNS functionality, and auto-start. [479KB]
A MacNN reader notes that Apple is planning to build a retail store in Tigard, Oregon (a suburb of Portland). The store is expected to open on November 15 in Washington Square Mall (next to the Eddie Bauer store). Apple's retail website has not yet been updated; it will be Apple's first store in the state of Oregon.
Apple will soon release WebObjects 5.2.2, an update to its enterprise rapid application development environment, to allow developers to build projects under Panther, according to WebObjects Product Manager Bob Fraser: "WebObjects development will be supported on Mac OS X v 10.3 (Panther) with an upcoming WebObjects Software Update (WebObjects 5.2.2). This update will include: (1) Support for WebObjects application development using Xcode; (2) Qualification of WebObjects applications running under Java 1.4.1; and (3) Qualification and support for WebObjects applications running on the JBoss application server. No WebObjects software update will be required to deploy WebObjects applications on Mac OS X Server v 10.3 (Panther Server). The WebObjects runtime libraries will be included."
Impression 1.71, the backup software for Mac OS X, has been fully recompiled and optimized for the Power Macintosh G5 architecture and also fixes a bug in the $25 application. [570KB] Radical Breeze's DiscBlaze 2.0.3 updates the CD/DVD burning software with support for burning ISO disc images, the ability to optionally set which platforms (Mac or PC) specific files are visible on when on a Mac/PC hybrid disc, and revamped and updated Burn Lists. It is $20 and runs on Mac OS X 10.2.6. [1.1MB] Acrux has released X-Builder 1.02, an update to its authoring tool specially designed for creating multimedia projects and applications for Mac OS X: "X-Builder projects contain slides, and each slide in a project is constructed using X-Builder's built-in tools for creating text, banners, lines, rectangles, buttons, input boxes, controls, choice lists, graphs etc." [7.4MB] f(x) 3.0 beta brings improvements for intense computations in the shareware scientific calculator. It also offers the ability to select numbers already in the memory stack, editable constants, enhanced numeric input, resizable windows, and other enhancements. [2.1MB] The personal radio system for Mac OS X, Wimpus, records radio streams, breaks them up by song, and recommends new music to the user based on user song preferences and ratings. The application is free for use with the current release (v0.99). [3.1MB] ThermographX 0.8 monitors the various temperature sensors inside newer Power Mac G4 and G5 models. The shareware records maximum and minimum temperatures, shows temperature records over time (using a zoomable display) and shows individual sensor temperatures on models that have them. Version 0.8 increases compatibility with older systems. [940KB] The Omnigroup has released OmniGraffle 3.02, an update to the professional diagramming charting applications. The maintenance update is free for both Standard ($70) and Pro ($120) users; however, the details were not available. [Classic, OSX] Symantec has posted updated October Virus Definitions for its line of Norton Anti-Virus Software. It is available for Mac OS 7/8/9/X.
Apple specialist MacForce, an independent Portland, Oregon, on Friday is opening InnerSpace, a showcase of digital lifestyle technology: "Designed to mimic a home environment, InnerSpace will showcase new technology that helps automate home appliances. .... the center will show visitors how to use Macs to control everything from lights, heating and alarms to controlling a home theater." MacForce is offering free seminars this weekend as well as holding giveaways for several products.
Bodelin has released ProPrompter, its teleprompter softwaare for Mac OS X. It works with Avid iNews or any text file; offers both horizontal and vertical flipping; both smooth forward or backwards scrolling; the ability to adjust the scroll speed with either keyboard or a scrolling mouse; auto cue points; and full selection of font, styles, and sizes. The ProPrompter software was originally designed for use on the Bodelin ProPrompter LCD but is now sold separately on CD or as a download. It is available for $60.
FireWire Depot will soon release version 2.1.5 of its firmware software for its PCI host adapters. The update improves "deep sleep" support for its IOI-4601, IOI-4602, and U2FW-PCI01 products. "The conclusion we have discovered is that only PCI Host Adapters with a PCI-to-PCI bridge can go into deep sleep," the company notes. Version 2.15 also fixes a issue under Mac OS 10.2 where the drive would not show up when connected through a 1394b hub/repeater to a 1394b host.
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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