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A judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement that would allow some Mac OS X owners to get a refund. Apple had already reached a tentative agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit that claimed that the company had failed to fully support Mac OS X on some G3-based Macs. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge gave preliminary approval to the settlement at a hearing last month. Under the terms of the deal, owners of certain older Macs can get a refund if they return their copy of Mac OS X or, if they want to keep Mac OS X, they can obtain a coupon for $25 off of a $99 purchase at the Apple Store. Apple also agreed to pay $350,000 to King & Ferlauto, the law firm that brought the suit.
Evening tech news: The U.S. House of Representatives could vote as early as next week on a bill to outlaw e-mail "spam" that has already passed the Senate; Yahoo is expected to stop selling its streaming-video service as a standalone product within the next few weeks, according to sources familiar with the plan, raising new questions about the viability of charging for television-like content over the Internet; online travel agency Orbitz has notified law enforcement authorities about a recent security breach that has allowed spammers to obtain customers' e-mail addresses.
XtremeMac is expected to introduce a new Bluetooth-based iPod accessory that will stream music from the player – or any music source – to portable speakers, headphones, a home stereo, or even a car, according ExtremeTech: "It sounds simple. Plug the transmitter into the source's headphone or line-out jack and the receiver into either a set of headphones or speakers or, with the right cable, into a home stereo or home theater. But sending audio wirelessly is not so easy."
Integration New Media today announced a new product, adding to its line of Macromedia Director products. INM's Impressario will bridge the gap between multimedia and PDFs and will enable seamless integration of PDFs into Macromedia Director with "a degree of ease and flexibility never seen before. Users will have the ability to add Director's effects to the PDF, (transparency, inks, animation, etc.), customizable toolbars and buttons, and display of multiple PDFs simultaneously. Impressario will support both Windows and Mac. It will ship in November.
Blue World today released the Lasso Syntax Module for Adobe GoLive CS. The Lasso Syntax Module makes it easier for developers to build and maintain sites based on Lasso Dynamic Markup Language (LDML). The Lasso Syntax Module is immediately available at no charge to users of Adobe GoLive CS, the latest version of Adobe's authoring tool for Web professionals which recently shipped. The Lasso Syntax Module delivers two essential features to speeding the process of coding and troubleshooting: syntax coloring and code completion as well as additional features include automatic parentheses balancing and parentheses selection.
SAS this week introduced JMP 5.1, an update to its advanced data analysis and visualization application for statistical discovery. It supports Linux as well as new statistical platforms that extend your data visualization and modeling capabilities, a powerful new Design of Experiments (DOE) platform for increased experimental design options, and Six Sigma enhancements for measuring, analyzing, improving, and controlling critical business processes. Functions include a new surface, parallel, and cell plots; a Space Filling Design platform for modeling complex, nonlinear systems; and the production of Gage Charts, Agreement Reports, and Agreement Comparisons. Upgrades to the $1000 application for Mac OS X 10.1 and later are $150. It is due later this year.
Easy Barcode Technologies today introduced Easy Barcode Reader Pro, a barcode scanner designed to read barcodes into any desktop application. The Easy Barcode Reader Pro features instant, driverless, plug-and-play operation with any USB-based Mac and offers advanced customization options with the included setup booklet. It offers support for over 15 barcode symbologies, including EAN-8, EAN-13, UPC, Bookland EAN ("ISBN barcodes"), Code 39, Code 128, I2of5 (ITF), Industrial 2 of 5, Matrix 2 of 5, Codabar, Telepen, and MSI/Plessey. It offers impact resistant midnight black finish with detachable USB cable. The $390 device is compatible with Mac OS X 9/X, while the original Easy Barcode Reader remains is $255.
Newer Technology introduced an extra high-capacity NuPower replacement battery compatible with the PowerBook G3 FireWire (2000/Pismo) and PowerBook G3 Lombard (1999/Bronze Keyboard) models. Utilizing the latest Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) cell technology, this new 6600mAH PowerBook battery provides 12.5 percent more capacity than the Apple stock battery for PowerBook G3 Lombard and FireWire models and is available immediately for $160. The new extra high-capacity battery rounds out the line of additional NuPower replacement batteries for G3 and G4 PowerBooks, including the NuPower 5400mAH battery for Pismo and Lombard models, which is available at a reduced price of $146.
Epson today announced the Stylus Photo R800, a new desktop photo printer featuring new Epson UltraChrome Hi-Gloss¸ pigment inks, which includes eight individual cartridges and features the new Gloss Optimizer as well as Photo Black and Matte Black ink cartridges. The R800 also features a 1.5-picoliter ink droplets, resolutions up to 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi, and direct CD printing capabilities. The printer is capable of making photo quality prints up to 8.5 inches by 11 inches on cut-sheet paper and up to 8.3 inches by 44 inches on roll paper. It will be available in February 2004 for $400.
address-o-sync allows users to share and sync the contacts and Mac OS X AddressBook groups of the addressbooks on your Rendevouz network. Users can share only certain groups created in the AddressBook and create a password for protecting the AddressBook. It requires Mac OS X Panther or Mac OS X 10.2 (sharing only). [483KB] Kepmad Systems released ImageBuddy 2.8.5, ($17) adding batch rotation of images, Mac OS X 10.3 support, file extension suppression, increased Project Size support and bug fixes. Imagebuddy is a digital image layout program that offers Drag & Drop support from iPhoto. [Classic, OSX] Location X 2.0 ($20) updates the location manager for Mac OS X. It offers a new user interface, the ability to reorder location options, a new security model to reduce the number of times you are required to enter your password, enhanced Entourage support, and a new plug-ins, including one for changing your system default SMTP server and default web homepage. [1.4MB] The Omni Group has released OmniOutliner 2.2.6, an update to the $30 outlining and organizational tool for Mac OS X that addresses recently discovered issues with the application when running under Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther". [1.6MB] BIAS reports that "updates for Peak, Peak LE, and Peak DV to version 4.02 for compatibility with Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) are now available for download. The 4.0.2 update is free...BIAS Deck is currently OS 10.3 compatible. BIAS SoundSoap plug-in is currently OS 10.3 compatible, but the standalone version will require a [free] software update for OS 10.3 compatibility." [PK, PKDV, PKLE]
Netopia today released netOctopus Systems Manager 5.0, its cross-platform solution solution that can be used to track software/hardware inventory and remotely manage all computers and software on a corporate network. It includes Mac OS X 10.3 Panther compatibility MSI compliant installers, improved software recognition and inventory, updated netOctopus Agent deployment tools, and an entirely new custom fields module to create a virtually unlimited number of fields for their asset management databases and perform calculations on those fields with each update. It is available now online and will ship on CD in November. Pricing was not available.
FlashFixers has releaed ImageRecall 2.0, a professional-grade photo recovery program that retrieves lost images, data and sound files from flash memory cards. ImageRecall 2.0 offers advanced features, including CD Writer that allows users to save recovered photos directly to CD; Card Check that tests memory cards for errors; and Secure Erase that completely deletes all data from memory cards. ImageRecall 2.0 is supported in North America by FlashFixers, a professional photo recovery service recommended by many major digital camera and card manufacturers. A personal version is $40, while a commercial license, for photo retailers and service labs that perform occasional photo recovery, is priced at $130.
Confessions of the World's Largest Switcher talks about the history and assembly of the G5 Supercomputer, noting that the "latest numbers are 9.555 tera and we still have more tricks left. We are hoping for another 10 percent boost to become the first academic machine to cross 10 tera. The last ratings put us at number three worldwide." The systems will be upgraded from Mac OS X 10.2.7 to Panther in the next few, which may also provide an additional speed boost: "This will require an install and a recompile of some of the code. Custom code included InfiniBand drivers and some parallel communication libraries known as MV APICH [ported from Linux]. The PCI-X timing was changed to increase InfiniBand performance to 870MBps. Also, message caching and dynamic memory management were added for improved scientific application performance."
Australian telecommunications giant Optus will phase out 5000 Mac desktops, as part of a strategy to cut IT costs during its $400M IT architecture upgrade, according to Australian IT: "In the process, it will dump Apple from about 5000 desktops, ending 11 years of loyalty which began in 1992 with the rollout of the user-friendly machines across the company in the world's largest business deployment of the computers.... Optus was now in the process of moving all its users to Windows-based machines... In recent years, the Windows machines have started to push aside Apple in Optus, grabbing about 50 per cent of its 10,000 desktops."
Lexar Media today introduced Image Rescue 2.0, an enhanced version of its image recovery software. Version 2.0 can now recover "lost" or deleted digital images from any memory card--including all mass storage compliant card flash memory readers--including JPEG, TIFF, and most RAW file formats as well as Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. The software also can upgrade Lexar's CompactFlash firmware and capture information about the memory card using the Lexar JumpShot cable (available separately for $13 or bundled with Professional Series CF cards). The $40 software for Mac OS X 10.2 or higher is bundled free of charge on all of Lexar's Professional Series CF and will also be available as a stand-alone product at retail locations nationwide in November.
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Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
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