PowerLogix today announced the PowerCube, an aluminum alloy enclosure for the PowerMac G4 Cube. The PowerCube offers both up-to-date styling as well as functional improvements over the original acrylic Cube enclosure: "Cube owners can now realize significantly enhanced CPU and graphics performance without the risk of additional heat...The PowerCube is precision machined using 5052 aluminum alloy, then hand-assembled. Three finishes are available: 'G5-style' anodized aluminum, glossy black powder coat, or cool white powder coat. Two optional perforated cooling grilles are offered; anodized aluminum or mirror chrome. It is $270.
Small Fry Studios announced today "Hillbilly Whack! Save Winnie May" has gone gold for Macintosh and will be available soon. Hillbilly Whack! combines "old school graphics and old school game play" and features more than 13 levels of single-player action centered around a Hillbilly named Samuel Jones who is trying to find his kidnapped sweetheart Winnie May. Hillbilly Whack! also features a classic two player-one keyboard mode where two users can battle each other as they each try to collect as many boards as possible before time runs out.
Griffin Technology today released the iFire Amplifier & Adapter for Apple Pro Speakers. Announced this summer, the iFire allows any computer with FireWire or an iPod with its charger to connect to the Apple Pro Speakers. Previously, only select models of Macs could use the speakers. The iFire connects to other audio devices using its included mini-jack cable. It retails for $40. Griffin also announced the APS Extension Cable [site not updated] ($13), which adds a much-needed six feet to the Pro Speakers' short three-foot cable.
Apple today posted Security Update 2003-10-28 via the Mac OS X Software Update, which addresses a potential vulnerability in the implementation of QuickTime Java in Mac OS X v10.3 and Mac OS X Server v10.3 that could allow unauthorized access to a system.
Afternoon tech news: Critics of proposed U.S. Federal Communications Commission rules designed to prevent consumers from redistributing copies of digital television shows on the Internet say the move won't stop piracy but will curtail technological innovation and the "fair use" of content; at its Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft offers a long-awaited look at the Longhorn OS --which Chairman Bill Gates has described as Microsoft's biggest effort since Windows 95; prosecutors looking to throw the book at accused computer hackers have come across a legal defense expected to become even more widespread in an era of hijacked PCs: "the computer did it."
Apple has posted an iBook G4 Developer Note, which offers details and other information about the new G4-based iBooks (announced last week), offering new features such as G4 processor, a faster 133MHz system bus, bus slewing for power management, a 32MB ATI Mobility Radeon 9200, a 50- or 61-watt-hour battery, USB 2.0 ports, AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth support, and slight size/weight modifications. It is also available as a PDF document.
Apple has pulled its Safari download, according to one MacNN reader: "After installing Panther, my Safari stopped working. I went to the download site to get a copy to reinstall it, only to find it is no longer available as a standalone download. The Safari Web page is missing the download button and the former download page just redirects you to the Safari info site.
Microsoft has settled antitrust class action lawsuits with five states and the District of Columbia, according to Infoworld: "The six new settlements, with a total value of about $200 million, brings the total number of states that have settled to 10. Class action lawsuits against Microsoft for antitrust-related practices continue in five states. The total cost to Microsoft of all 10 class-action lawsuits it has settled is about $1.55 billion, including a $1.1 billion settlement of a California lawsuit in January... The settlements, in the form of hardware or software vouchers to past purchasers of Microsoft software, will be $32 million for Kansas and $6.2 million for the District of Columbia."
Apple today documented the new security enhancements and bug fixes in Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, including fixes for Finder permissions, Personal File Sharing and kernel exploits, nfs crashes, a zlib vulnerability, a new OpenSSH exploit, nidump utility, Mail, Dock and others. Meanwhile, SecureMac describes a Mac OS X 10.3 Panther Screen Lock Bypass: "With the screen effect active, keys pressed before the authentication window appears will be sent to the general user environment."
Rogue Amoeba Software has announced Nicecast, an new application to broadcast music using Mac OS X: "Nicecast can help you create your own internet radio station or allow access to your iTunes Music Library from anywhere in the world! By setting up a Nicecast stream using iTunes, users can listen to their music library from anywhere in the world, on a Mac, a PC, or even a Linux machine." A preview version is available now and will expire December 7th. Introductory pricing is now available for $30 ($10 off) through the end of November 2003.
WindowShade X 3.1 brings Panther compatibility and a new Japanese localization to the $10 shareware haxie that provides Classic Mac OS 9 functionality under Mac OS X. Users can make a window transparent, miniaturize it on the desktop (or to the dock), hide entire applications, and other functions. [1.4MB] XRay 1.06 ($10) updates the File/Folder information utility for Mac OS X. This version is fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther). XRay offers detailed view of files, folders, applications and volumes. It can be run from the Finder's Contextual menu, the Services menu or by dragging and dropping items onto the application's icon. [1.5MB] CourseForum technologies has released an initial public beta of both of its wiki-style forum products, CourseForum 3.0b and ProjectForum 3.0b. Version 3.0 is a major update, offering new "themes" feature, allowing complete customization of the appearance of each forum. Versions can be downloaded for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux and FreeBSD. [CF, PF] disclabel 1.2.1 updates SmileOnMyMac's CD labeling software with reworked scripting compatibility under Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther). disclabel is available as a 30-day free demo and costs $30 for registration. It requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [3.2MB] ROSE Development has released 4D Column 1.0, a new plug-in for 4th Dimension to display and manipulate columnar data. It is designed to display field-, array- or mixed lists of data in a scrollable and selectable area. 4D Column supports customizable colors and fonts as well as selection of multiple rows, searching, and column sorting. [396KB] Niagara Software's $32 Advanced Team Scheduler 7.5.1 now shares file-format compatibility with Mac OS, Mac OS X, Windows, Unix, Linux, adds the ability to import older ATS v7 project files, has object-oriented support for handling of game score results, offers a printable view for HTML output, and other enhancements. [2.6MB] SecretService 0.3 ($8) enables you to "encode text in all Mac OS X aware applications with just one click!... Simply highlight the text to encode or decode and select SecretService from the Services menu, plain text will change right there in the application and coded text will appear readable in a new window!" [Jaguar, Panther] X-Chat Aqua 0.11 is a "Mac OS X IRC client. If you are familiar with XChat for UNIX/GTK+/X Windows, then you will be at home with X-Chat Aqua. X-Chat Aqua uses the IRC engine from XChat and has been designed to look and feel like XChat." The freeware adds support for Panther. [1.9MB]
Nikon today announced its new Nikon Coolpix 3700, a sub-compact digital camera with an "advanced feature set, small size and refined style." It features a 3x Optical-Zoom Nikkor len, 3.2-megapixel resolution, support for SD flash memory, and 15 Scene Modes, including the Panorama Assist Mode for automateing the process of capturing and piecing togethe seamless panoramic images. It also features Nikon's Macro Mode, 30fps video capture at 640x480 (with sound), 5 hours of voice memo, a new rechargeable, Lithium-ion battery (200 shots), and support for the new Duracell CP-1 battery, which will allow for up to 250 shots before disposal. It will be available later this fall for $400.
Apple has posted a final version of its X11 v1.0 X Window system for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther: "X11 for Mac OS X offers a complete X Window System implementation for running X11-based applications on Mac OS X. Based on the de facto-standard for X11, the open source XFree86 project, X11 for Mac OS X is compatible, fast and fully integrated with Mac OS X. It includes the full X11R6.6 technology including a window server, libraries and basic utilities such as xterm." It features a X11 Dock Menu, double-clickable apps, XFree86 4.3, full screen mode, and custom app menu command keys. It only runs on Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther).
Ovolab today released Ovolab Phlink (formerly known as InTouch), the final version of its telephony product, which was introduced at Apple Expo in Paris. Combined with the Ovolab Telephone Adapter, a small USB device, Phlink can answer telephone calls and identify the caller through Caller ID as well as take messages, and send them by email to a predefined email address - encoded in AAC or 3GPP. Additionally, Phlink can be set to execute scripts, launch applications or open documents. It can also provide information to the caller, either through prerecorded audio messages or by using Mac OS X's speech synthesis and can generate custom mesages for specific callers. It is available for a special price of Ä100.
Other World Computing (OWC) has expanded the low end of its Mercury Extreme line with a 700MHz G4 processor upgrade. The Mercury Extreme G4 processor upgrades feature 256KB of 1:1 L2 cache on-chip and 2MB of high-speed L3 cache. They are compatible with Apple PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics/Sawtooth, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio, Quicksilver and Quicksilver 2002 models. It is $200 and comes with a 30-day, 100 percent money-back guarantee, as well as a three-year limited warranty and an option for customers to sell their old processor to OWC.
Linguisoft today released Grammarian Pro X v1.5, a major update to its all-in-one writing utility that features spell checking, grammar checking, dictionary, thesaurus, autocorrect, macro shorthand autotyping, and more. Version 1.5 was redesigned specially for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther and adds new functionality based on technologies introduced with Panther, including new features such as a thesaurus, a new redesigned spelling and grammar interactive and batch checking interface, the ability to hide the Grammarian dock menu, an option to use brushed metal or standard windows, and much more. Grammarian PRO X v1.5 is a free update for registered users. It is $40.
The Iconfactory has released Wild West Vol. 2, a new set of freeware icons from Iconfactory artist, Kate England. It includes icons of a Panther and a Longhorn so platform junkies can decide who should rule their desktop range: "We invite visitors to mosey over to the Iconfactory Showroom to rustle up these new icons as well as see a sneak peek at next week's release. Wild West Vol. 2 is available as standard Mac or Windows icons as well as a handy Pixadex iContainer complete with keywords for easy searching."
Following yesterday's announcement, Adobe today announced it is now shipping invdividual component applications of Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop CS, InDesign CS, Illustrator CS, InCopy CS, and GoLive CS. Details and pricing are available in our announcement report.
BitJazz has released SheerVideo Pro 1.2.1, the latest version of its "ultrafast and powerful" nondestructive software video codec for the production and archival of professional film and video. Version 1.2 enhances support for native video (Y'CbCr[A]) formats. It can now export or capture Y'CbCr formats directly through the Sheer encoders --without using the Sheer transcoders. It also can now capture component video in real time directly to all Sheer Y'CbCr formats, including 4:4:4, 4:2:2, and Sheer RGB formats as well as display Sheer Y'CbCr[A] 4:4:4[:4] video using QuickTime 6.4. The set of QuickTime codecs is $150. (The company is seeking beta testers for an upcoming 10-bit video version).
Jasmine 1.7 ($30) is an update to the low-cost multitrack editor for Mac OSZ X. It now has the capability of scrubbing all tracks of a multitrack session simultaneously. This version also supports a number of speed improvements. Other features include instant recording, a moving tape display, overdub recording, intuitive editing, multilevel undo/redo, etc. [371KB] Granted Software's Peripheral Vision 1.5 is a monitoring utility that helps OS X users keep track of the peripherals connected to their digital hub. Users can launch any application, AppleScript or Unix script when a peripheral is connected or disconnected. It also support speech functions to describe events. It is $7 for Mac OS X. [941KB] Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor 2.4 teaches the skill of touch typing in an accessible, fun, and step-by-step way. Version 2.4 adds extra teacher options to control student access to games, an option to save the student files in the student's home directory, and improvements in the way passwords are handled. It is a free upgrade to the $26 application. [Classic, OSX] ESP Graphics today released Poirot 1.0, a $16 search & replace utility: "Poirot allows you to describe types of things you want to find Ė such as all of the phone numbers or all of the email addresses in a document in a various formats, and replace all or part of what is found." It supports text, HTML, and XML files. [Classic, OSX] The freeware AutoPairs 2.12, now compatible with Panther, modifies the behavior of certain keystrokes, to help you keep paired characters such as parentheses properly matched (e.g., AutoPairs will type the right parenthesis and a left arrow for you.. This and other pair macros can be turned on and off individually, and configured differently for specific applications." [111KB]
Apple's iChat AV is now available for $30 from the Apple Store. The software, free with the purchase of Mac OS X Panther, runs on Mac OS X 10.2.5 or later. The software offers video conferencing over broadband connections and audio conferencing over dial-up connections. The IM application also offers simple instant messaging with both .Mac and AOL members. iChat AV public beta was previously available as a free download for Jaguar users.
Apple's WebObjects 5.2.2 Update is for users who "plan to develop their WO applications on Mac OS X 10.3 Panter or who use the Xcode development tool suite should install this update." It fixes incompatibilities with Xcode 1.0, Java 1.4.1 for Mac OS X, and Mac OS X 10.3 as well as problems with Enterprise Object Frameworks runtime and WOFileUpload. The new release also provides tighter integration between WebObjects 5.2 and the new JBoss features on Mac OS X 10.3 Server.
MPlayerOSX 2.0b6 is binary distribution of MPlayer ("The Movie Player for Linux"), offering a native GUI for Mac OS X. It offers support for dozens of movie formats, including 3ivx, DivX 3,4,5 and other codecs files in both window or fullscreen modes (along with antialiased text-based subtitles). This version offers "small changes, recompiled MPlayer and preflighter, flac and new QuickTime codec support." It is freeware. It runs on Mac OS X (Panther is recommended).
Lemke Software's $30 shareware GraphicConverter 4.9 adds G5-optimizations to the popular graphic utility: "Those who use GraphicConverter on a G5 Macintosh can look forward to faster opening of JPG- and Foto-RAW-pictures as for these functions optimized code has been added. Opening JPG-pictures on a G4 will be faster too...The EXIF-information from digital photos in JPG format are saved to TIF-pictures now too. If you take your picture in JPG format and save the processed picture in the lossless TIF format you can still display EXIF information such as the date or the camera settings at any time." [Classic, OSX]
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Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl