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Prosoft Engineering is offering an exclusive 30% discount on Data Backup to MacNN readers: "Make a bootable backup of your entire drive the way it is now, before you try loading Panther on your machine...If anything goes wrong, easily revert back and have all your files and all your work back." The backup utility offers scripted operation, schedules for backups, file exceptions, post processing, mirror backups, evolutive backups, incremental backups, file syncing, compression, passwords, and volume comparisons. It is $50 before the special discount (use special offer code: 'PAN123').
Mike Bombich has updated his popular drive cloning utility for Mac OS X. Carbon Copy Cloner 2.3 for Mac OS X 10.2 offers options for creating a bootable drive backup, file syncing among two volumes, scheduled backups in the background, and execution of pre/post scripts. Version 2.3 can now use disks with custom mount points, offers better compatibility with Panther, has a new interface for setting the pre/post-action scripts, and includes fixes for G5 compatibility.
Members of the MacNN forums today discuss a number of topics today, including: comparing the dual-1.25GHz PowerMac G4 to the single-1.6GHz PowerMac G5; performance numbers for Power Mac G5 clusters compared to other platforms; photos of users' Power Mac G5 setups; the future of the PowerBook, following the debut of G4-equipped consumer iBooks. Through the Mac OS X forum users discuss initial impressions of Mac OS X 10.3, and expected arrival dates of shipments.
Intel's Craig Barrett, when asked by ZDnet in an interview if the company was trying to bring Apple top the Intel platform, said "we keep trying, but frankly it gets less and less interesting each year. When they were 10 percent of the market it was a more interesting issue. But at 2 percent of the market...our sales can blip 2 percent quarter on quarter, so we can shrink or grow by a couple of Apples."
Evening tech news: Amazon has added the ability for consumers to search book text using its online Web site, instead of being limited to title, author and subject queries; Microsoft Thursday reported that earnings jumped 28 percent for the latest quarter, thanks to stronger-than-expected sales of software for personal computers and servers; Intel is going back to its PC roots by adding MMX technology to its upcoming Xscale applications processor for cellphones and PDAs.
c|net reports that Apple is slowly opening the iPod platform to add-on developers. "The iPod, which turned two years old this month, spent its first months focused on doing one thing--playing music. Apple added other features, such as address and calendar information, the ability to store notes and a couple of games. Now, the computer maker is starting to let other companies join the act." While stopping short of opening up the iPod's operating system or freely offering a developer's kit, Apple has "quietly been working with a number of other companies to boost the number of add-ons that attach to the iconic white player."
FireWire Depot Depot will be moving from Napa, California to Acworth, Georgia. During the move, the Web site will still be available for online orders, but will be offline from October 28 - November 1. FWD will not be shipping any products between October 28 and November 3. "Unfortunately AT&T has disconnected all our lines a week sooner than they were supposed to, so we cannot accept fax or phone orders at this time, but we can still receive and send emails," the company said.
Feral Interactive announced today that it will publish Ubi Soft's Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc for the Mac: "Rayman one of computer-gaming's best-loved characters is coming to the Mac for the very first time. He’s stepping up to the big time with his biggest and best adventure yet - Hoodlum Havoc with a whole range of new weapons and powers. With sales of more than 11 million copies sold, the Rayman series is an enduring success across all gaming platforms. This Christmas Mac owners will for the first time be able to find out what all the fuss is about as they discover the top-notch character designs, voice acting, graphics and gameplay of Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc." It will ship for Mac OS 9/X.
The Iconfactory has released CandyBar 1.6, which it says is "an easy and safe way for users to customize the default system icons that come with Mac OS X, like the default folder, trash can and many more. In addition to Panther compatibility, CandyBar no longer requires a hard restart of the computer for changes to take effect. It is a free update to the $13 utility. [3.8MB] Ultimate Pen 1.0 allows you to draw on top of any application. The $20 application for Mac OS X launches with a system-wide hot key, includes seven different drawing tools, supports presure sensitivity with a pen tablet, and offers automatic save functions. [384KB] Compare is a $2 shareware utility that can play two different song files via the left and right channels to help users compare the quality of each. It supports drag & drop and offers a simple intuitive Aqua interface (for Mac OS X only). [876KB] DockExtender 3.1 can organize all of your applications and documents into as many as 10 different menus, which are accessible via a mouse click or a system hotkey. The $20 shareware also offers multiple dock configurations, complete menu customization, and a menubar item for convenient access. [1.8MB] MAKI Enterprise has released the RSS/Blog reader NewsFan 1.1 for Mac OS X. The software can gather RSS feed from new sources, search for keywords, supports proxy servers, and can export headlines to HTML. Version 1.1 features many bug fixes and improvements. [1.1MB] The $30 MacFamilyTree 3.6.3 helps you to document, store, and display information about your family. It offers the ability to draw and print family trees, lists, cards, heritage charts, descendant charts and genograms as well as automaticall generate web pages. The unregistered version can be used as a Gedcom file browser. [1.5MB] MediaWrapper 3pr2 automatically lists and labels disk contents with support for text coloring, multiple fonts and sizes and more control over the disk layouts. It supports double sided printing, full page front pictures, a new Wrapper for CD paper sleeves with a circular window and support for multi-session disks. [Classic, OSX]
A MacNN reader notes that while the Windows version of URU, the sequel to Myst III will ship next month, Ubi Soft has not decided on a Mac version, according to a response from the company's customer service: "Unfortunately, Uru is not currently available in a Mac compatible version. The development of a Mac compatible version of URU is currently under consideration, but as of yet we do not have a definitive answer as to whether or not this will be done, and if so, when it would be released. If you have any other questions concerning this issue, please contact us again via toll free telephone at 1-888-824-7038 or the self-help website."
Design Science is soliciting beta testers for MathType 5, an upcoming Mac OS X-compatible version of the mathematical notation for word processing, web pages, desktop publishing, presentations, and for TeX, LaTeX, and MathML documents. Version 5 will include fully compatible with Microsoft Office 98, Office 2001 and Office X for Macintosh as well as hundreds of new mathematical symbols and templates; MathPage technology to easily convert Microsoft Word documents to web pages; CMYK, RGB and spot color support; a customizable equation toolbar; and built-in translators for MathML, TeX, LaTeX, AMS-TeX and AMS-LaTeX. The final version is expected to ship in January 2004.
MacPlay says it will now publish Classic '80s Compilation Activision Anthology: Remix Edition for the Macintosh, which was announced last month. It includes over 75 Atari 2600 favorites from Pitfall! and Kaboom! to River Raid and features an '80s-themed soundtrack that will let gamers play their way down memory lane and an additional 30 titles not available on last year's PlayStation 2 computer entertainment version. Users can play all of the games in classic mode or, for an added challenge, they can be played in 15 different unlockable "wild and wacky" enhanced gameplay modes. It is $30 and expected to ship in time for the holidays.
WSJ's tech columnist Walter Mossberg writes "For consumers and small businesses, the burden of using Microsoft Windows just keeps getting heavier. After growing easier to use for several years, Windows PCs have taken a giant step backward because they are so insecure. Windows is riddled with security flaws, and new ones turn up regularly. It is increasingly susceptible to all kinds of viruses, malicious Trojan horse programs and spyware. As a result, Windows users have been forced to spend more of their time and money supporting their computers. But for consumers and small businesses, there's a simple way out of this endless morass: Buy an Apple Macintosh computer."
MacReporter 1.1.5 brings Panther compatibility to the $15 application that tracks news articles on the web via RSS feeds. It offers automatic notification when new articles appear, a plug-in system that allows unlimited expandability, user settings such as refresh rate and notification mode, and other advanced features. [1.2MB] Spiny's Comictastic 2.1 helps users find and view their favorite comic-strips a quick and convenient process. It supports 18 strips "out-of-the-box" and will automatically download comic archives, export comics in JPEG, TIFF and PNG with drag-and-drop, and easily add support for new comics. The $15 shareware runs on Mac OS X. [662KB] Outlook Express to vCard Converter is a free utility is designed to convert the Outlook Express contacts to the vCard 3.0 format used by the Mac OS X Address Book application as well as Address Book and Palm Desktop v4.1. It requires Mac OS X 10.2 and FileMaker 5.0. [75KB] Panther Cache Cleaner 2.0 is a $10 utility designed to provide easy access to numerous OS X maintenance and utility options. It helps simplify system maintenance chores and can improve system performance by tuning internet and file caching settings and by implementing RAM disks. [2.7MB] CSSEdit 1.5 updates the cascading style sheet editor with realtime previews of changes to your CSS document, enhanced visual editors for various elements, and a powerful source environment with customizable syntax coloring and auto-indentation. It is $15 for a limited time. [546KB] mizog.com has updated its file shredding software which includes support for the Gutmann standard. SecretShredder ($13) supports trash shredding accross multiple volumes, offers better French localization, supports up to 50 shreds per file, has a new dock menu, and other enhancements. [255KB] Northern Softworks' shareware ($8) Renicer 1.2.6 is designed to run in the background, and automatically prioritizes whatever application is in front. It also ups the priority of the Finder, Dock, and Window Server. Users can also adjust the priority levels of other applications (on launch or one-time only). [1.2MB] Big Medium 1.2.2 updates the browser-based web content management system. It adds support for SMTP e-mail as an alternative to sendmail and also addresses a handful of reported issues. The suite of Perl scripts is $130 and runs on Mac OS X (and other unix) Web servers. A free demo is available. [form] The free AppleScript Mount Me! v2.04 will "seek out and mount any external/internal physical disks that refuse to mount for whatever reason. You will be able to select which disk(s) you would like to mount through a simple dialog box. To mount a disk image, simply drag the file onto the Mount Me! icon." [196KB]
ScreenTime Media today released SWF Desktop for Macintosh: "[It] enables designers to create computer wallpaper that can deliver branded, updateable content, images, animations, news, calendars, links, web applications and games directly to users' desktops. SWF Desktop automatically generates a one-click application that will install the wallpaper and set it as the current desktop. The wallpaper can include vector graphics, pictures, animations, interactive controls, XML news feeds, web services, applications, hyperlinks, video, and chat rooms. Both free and Professional ($100) editions are available.
Micro Solutions' new RoadStor portable media player is a compact device for viewing, copying, toting and sharing digital photos, audio and video. It combines a digital photo viewer, CD burner, DVD player and MP3 player into a single package. It is "about the size of a small hardback book" and features a snap-on rechargeable Lithium Ion battery that delivers two hours of continuous play time. The USB 2.0-enabled device offers built-in video, S-Video output jacks and a stereo audio output jack; one-touch digital photo CD creation from flash memory cards; a six-in-one flash memory card reader; an integrated CD-RW/DVD player mechanism, and a remote control. It will ship later this month for $250.
SubRosaSoft today released DesktopEarthPro 2.0, its $15 application that uses a combination of satellite imagery and calculated data to provide realtime views of the entire globe: "With real time cloud maps, simulated horizons, and live pictures of the moon and sun, superimposed on your choice of earth map.... Once images are created they can be automatically set as your desktop picture, saved to archive, or sent via FTP to your web server." It also posted Panther-compatible versions of its other software: Guardian Bundle (computer protection bundle), DiskGuardian (suite of disk utilities), MailGuardian (email redirect/SPAM blocker), HomeGuardian (movement/sound detection), ComputerGuardian (computer theft utility), and CopyCatX (volume duplication).
David Pogue has written an overview of Mac OS X Panther's features for The New York Times: "Finally, surely there's value in using an operating system that, well, isn't Windows. Mac OS X isn't just free of viruses; it's also free from copy protection, "activation" (a Windows XP feature that transmits information about your PC back to Microsoft), and pop-up messages that nag you to sign up for some Microsoft database or clean up your icons. When you use Mac OS X, you feel like it's yours; when you use Windows, you feel as though you're using someone else's toys, and Mrs. Microsoft keeps peeking in on you."
Boris FX has announced Graffiti 3, its integrated titling solution that delivers broadcast-quality vector title and graphics animation inside over 20 nonlinear editing applications. Graffitiprovides precise control with the ability to format words or individual characters as well as create 3D modeled text. Version 3 features OpenGL acceleration, vector paint, advanced title animation, expanded animation options, new spline tools (bezier pen, brush, and shapes), and seven new text effect filters. The $600 application will ship on October 31st; upgrades are $150 (previous owners) and $250 (Final Cut Pro owners).
Apple has launched a suite of marketing tools and programs for the iTunes Music Store (ITMS) that makes it easy for labels and artists to promote and sell music via its online music service, according to BillBoard Bulletin. Called iTunes Producer (paid subscription required), the free suite of tools are due at the end of the month and will allow record labels and artists to easily upload, manage, and sell content via the ITMS. The publication also notes a new marketing partnership in which labels will receive a discount on Google advertising when marketing the ITMS. Apple also has an iTunes Link Maker, a simple web interface that will automatically generate HTML for songs at the ITMS.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir