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Popular topics for discussion today on the MacNN forums include: speculation about the first revision of the Power Mac G5; the so-called "oscillating buzzing noise" produced by the new Power Mac G5; unusual "white spots" appearing on the displays of 15" PowerBook G4s; applications that don't work in the latest developer builds of Mac OS X 10.3; the upcoming release of a Mac OS X appearance theme called "BBX Omega."
After talking to Mac QuickBooks customers all year -- including a survey of Mac users in February -- Intuit will introduce QuickBooks Pro 6.0 for Mac in November. The upgraded QuickBooks will give Mac users greater data sharing capability as well as increase overall efficiency. QuickBooks 5.0 -- the last major update to the suite -- was released in December 2002. QuickBooks 5.0 retails for $300.
iSeek is a $15 program for Mac OS X that allows users to instantly search many Internet resources from within any program. It includes pre-configured search shortcuts for dozens of useful Internet resources. [Download - 3.2MB] iOrganize 5.1.0 is a new version of the popular organization tool for Mac OS X. This new version adds several improvements to the Favorites drawer such as the ability to reorder favorite notes, and a new way to add new favorites by "drag&drop" from the note lists. [Download - 1.3MB] OnDeck 1.3 will display album artwork for the currently playing iTunes track in a unobtrusive window. Version 1.3 brings a new window with resizing and floating, tested with iTunes 4.1. OnDeck is a free download. [Download - 145KB] radmind 1.2.0 is a suite of Unix command-line tools and a server designed to remotely administer the file systems of multiple Unix machines. Version 1.2.0 implements many new features, including: pipelined lcreate; progress output option -v to fsdiff; and -R to radmind usage. Documentation has also been update with known issues. [Download - 145KB] ScopeDriver is a planning, logging, and control interface for astronomical telescopes. It allows you to connect your computer to a telescope compatible with the Autostar, LX200 or Gemini command sets. Version 2.0 improves performance of virtually every aspect of the application. Registration is $30. [Download - Classic, OS X] Fire 0.32.g is an update to the free Instant Messaging Client for Mac OS X, which supports all of the most popular instant messaging services (AIM, ICQ, IRC, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo!). Version 0.32.g fixes compatibility with MSN, which was cut off. [Download - 5.8MB] Aspyr has released Alice 1.1, an update to the popular role-playing game for Mac. This update includes: support for texture compression; support for anisotropic filtering; increased texture quality; support for full-screen anti-aliasing; support for widescreen resolutions; HID for game-pads. [Download - 3.9MB] Native Instruments has released a demo version of Reaktor Session. Reaktor Session includes a vast range of powerful synthesizers and resynthesizers, samplers and beat-loopers, groove and drum machines, surround and innovative effects, and "revolutionary creations never seen before." [Download - see form]
Ambrosia Software has released iSeek 1.0, an Mac OS X application that "allows you to instantly search for anything you seek, no matter what program you are running. iSeek puts a familiar search field in your menu bar, needing just a click or keystroke to start your search!" Users can search for information on Google as well as news sites such as the BBC News, MacNN.com. The utility saves recent searches for convenient access and can be configured to search any Internet search site. It is $15 and runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
Iceni Technology has released Gemini Solo 1.7 for Mac OS X, a standalone version of its PDF text and image extraction application. It can export reflowed plain text, HTML, RTF and eBook formats from PDF, TIFF, PNG, EPS and JPEG images: "The advantage of being stand-alone is that you do not need licenses for additional software such as Adobe Acrobat." It also supports custom resolution rendering, support for double-byte characters and Unicode output, batch conversion, full layout retention, and other advanced features. It is $160, while upgrades from the plugin version are $60.
Diskology has released the Disk Jockey, a new hard disk copy and diagnostic tool that allows users to "copy data between IDE hard disk drives at lightening fast speeds while maintaining all of the attributes of the original hard disk, including hidden folders, multiple partitions and operating system files. Other supported functions inlcude data mirroring functions, block level drive/data testing, volume mounting, and secure volume deletion (using either a one-pass or three-pass erase). The $300 utility works with FireWire and USB devices.
Pangea today announced its first anthology collection: The Pangea Super Pack is a collection of all of Pangea Software’s OS X native games including Cro-Mag Rally, Otto Matic, Bugdom 2, Enigmo, and Billy Frontier: "If bought separately these games would total $115, but the Super Pack is retailing for only $50!" The Pangea Super Pack is scheduled to begin shipping this coming Monday, and pre-orders are now being taken on the Pangea Software web site. For a limited time UPS Ground shipping is free on all orders placed on the Pangea order page.
MicroMat has delayed TechTool Pro 4 yet again, according to its Website. The Mac OS X version of the drive utility is now expected to ship in November 2003. Earlier this month, the site had indicated an 'October 2003' ship date. TechTool Pro was introduced in January of this year at Macworld Expo SF and then delayed in August 2003 to "Late Summer." The drive utility suite offers predictive diagnostics, a new "eDrive" feature to create an invisible emergency volume, the ability to run its battery of tests simultaneously, and improved optimizations features to unfragment files.
Matrox let us know that the latest Matrox RTMac 4.0 beta is not compatible with the recently released QuickTime 6.4 (when used with Final Cut Pro 4.0, its OK with Final Cut Pro 3), noting that there is not yet an easy method of reverting back to an older version of QuickTime and recommending that users wait until a solution is available. Matrox confirmed that it is working on a solution with Apple.
A MacNN reader writes: "Norton SystemWorks 2004 for Windows is incompatible with VirtualPC 6.1 running WinXP or Win98. (It likely also affects VPC 6.1 running WinMe and Win2000, although I haven't tested with that.) This occurs because NSW 2004 (unlike NSW 2002 or 2003) runs a hardware check at the time of install, and VPC 6.1 fails that check. Microsoft has investigated the problem and confirmed this to me. Yesterday, I asked that they try to work around the problem, as Connectix did when TurboTax for Windows wasn't compatible with VPC 6.0--Microsoft has not yet responded to the request."
Apple has posted a QuickTime 6 MPEG-4 stream of the Oct. 16 Special Music event at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, where Apple introduced iTunes for Windows and made other announcements.
The Savoy Label Group (SLG) has announced it has partnered with Apple to offer its music catalog through Apple's iTunes Music Store (iTMS): "Home to a who's who of jazz such as Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine, John Coltrane, Jimmy Scott and many others, as well as current luminaries such as Hubert Laws, James Moody, Lou Rawls and Andy Bey, SLG now offers over 3000 classic and contemporary tracks from the extensive catalog. SLG's new repertoire includes adult contemporary stars such as Joan Armatrading as well as cutting edge projects.
Apple said it doesn't have any illusions that it can make great profits from selling songs over the Internet: "Instead, Apple is counting on the store as a key part of an overall music business for the company that can produce substantial profits--mainly through sales of its iPod digital music player. 'The iPod makes money. The iTunes Music Store doesn't,' Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller told CNET News.com...Schiller said the music store is close to profitability but is still losing money. Apple doesn't see the business as having much long-term profit potential either."
Verbatim announced today a new family of DigitalMovie 1x-4x speed DVD Recordable media with the unique look of a movie reel. Verbatim DigitalMovie discs are available in 3-packs with a choice of 4.7GB DVD-R or DVD+R media packaged in clear DVD Super Jewel Box cases: "In addition to giving personal videos the realistic look of a classic Hollywood movie reel, the discs are ideal for backing up DVD video titles and transferring video tapes to optical media that won't degrade over time."
Keynote Theme Park has updated its theme for Keynote, Global with new animation in the background: All charts and tables have been sized for each photo cutout and have a dark translucent fill that lets the background show through. In addition, charts have been customized for the blue-gray complimentary background. Extras include a stand alone animated globe, 6 views of still globes, a Robinson projection map, design elements, one complimentary background and 12 photo cutouts. It includes three theme variations. It is a free upgrade to the $13 theme (and is also available for $30 as part of a 3-theme set).
Apple quietly announced the grand opening of its Apple Store UTC (San Diego, CA) and Apple Store Legacy Village (Lyndhurst, OH) on October 24th, as anticipated earlier this week. Apple will also be holding its special "Night of Panther" events at retail stores and some university locations across the US to celebrate the introduction of its next generation operating system, Mac OS X 10.3 Panther.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ