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Forums Roundup: Readers are discussing the new Adobe Creative Suite and the changes in the new version (which yesterday we noted had some problems with some Macs); availability and receipt of new G4 iBooks; details on how to encrypt and digitally sign Mac OS X 10.3 mail using secure certificates and Mail.app; reverse migrations from Apple to Dell; the top 5 shareware/freeware applications for Mac OS X; delays in the delivery of Panther in the UK; PowerBook G4 shipment delays of nearly 2 months on Apple Store orders (may be to due to white spots issues on PBG4 LCDs); problems with Junk Mail filtering in Panther's Mail.app; Camino's future as well as both unofficial and official weekly builds; and a Panther bug list.
MacMedia has released PhoneAgent 1.12 for Mac OS X, an application for managing Sony Ericsson T610, T616, Z600 mobile phones. It offers functions for phonebook, SMS, MMS, Wap bookmarks, and media exchange (photos, sounds, games, themes). Version 1.1 supports downloading pictures, sounds and themes from the phone, simple picture editor for theme elements, an incoming call alert on the computer screen, dragging Wap bookmarks from/to Safari, and the ability to export/import phonebook pictures in vCards. It is $30 shareware and requires Mac OS X 10.2.6, QuickTime 6.4, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Both EZQuest and FireWireDirect have posted new FireWire 800 firmware updates to address the FireWire 800 data loss issue under Panther noted by Apple earlier this week. (Yesterday, La Cie, WeibeTech, and OWC also posted firmware updates to address the critical data loss issue.)
Apple yesterday confirmed that it plans to issue an update to older versions of Mac OS X to fix security flaws that were patched as part of the new Panther OS, according to CNET News.com: "Apple's policy is to quickly address significant vulnerabilities in past releases of Mac OS X wherever feasible. The shipment of Panther does not change this policy. Apple has an excellent track record of working with CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) and the open-source community to proactively identify and correct potential vulnerabilities."
Ascendant Softworks has released MimMac 1.0, an easy-to-use data backup utility that is "designed to aid with moving your critical data between systems, and merging your old data with fresh system installs. It can also be used for simple backups, selective incremental backups, and full system clones. A fully-functional twenty day trial is included, and is $10 for a single machine license. MimMac requires OS 10.2 or higher (compatible with 10.3)."
Apple will open a new Apple Store Old Orchard in Skokie, IL on Friday, November 7th at 6 pm. Meanwhie, Apple is expected to hold the grand opening of two new retail stores today at 10 a.m. local time: Corte Madera (CA) and Sagemore (Marleton, NJ). A MacNN reader writes: "I just walked by the new Apple Store in Corte Madera, CA (which is opening tomorrow morning) and snapped a few shots. Nice store (aren't they all?). Here are some photos I took of the preparation for tomorrow's opening, including heavy security."
Marketcircle has released DayLite 1.5, an update to its powerful and reliable customer relations application that allows you to synchronize your sales efforts. The free update offers a streamlined interface, full Palm support, XML-based import of lead information, workflow activity sets, import of QuickBooks contacts, Panther compatibility, and other features. The application also offers contact and sales management features, such as a built-in SQL database, project activity management, revenue forecasting, scheduling, contact sharing, synchronization with Mac OS X's AddressBook, and user-defined data forms and extra fields. It is available for $150 per seat.
Native Instruments has released Traktor DJ Studio 2.5, an update to its $200 professional DJ mixing software, according to MacNN reader George Qualley. Version 2.5 features high-end time stretching and pitch shifting for independent control over a track's pitch and tempo as well as offers an additional waveform display, OSC and MIDI clock synchronization, compatibility with Final Scratch databases, new record cases, seamless looping, extended ID 3 tags, and a reworked auto-gain function. It will be available in stores on November 10th, while the online update is available now for $50.
Apple's AirPort Extreme Firmware Update 5.2, released as part of its AirPort 3.2 software update earlier this week, also provides support for the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) specification, which greatly increases the over-the-air data protection and access control on a wireless network using strong new encryption algorithm as well as improved user authentication, enhanced security for handling unsolicited Internet traffic (denial-of-service attacks), new protection mechanisms to help prevent loss of Internet connectivity, and additional improvements in USB printing performance." However, readers note that WPA requires an AirPort Extreme base station and AirPort Extreme clients running Mac OS X 10.3: "Use of WPA reduces the maximum number of network users. Computers with wireless cards that only support WEP (including AirPort) cannot join an AirPort network that has WPA enabled."
Eudora 6.01 updates the popular email utility with a few Panther-specific bug-fixes as well as many other issues with IMAP accounts, printing, long filenames, etc. Qualcomm's email utility is available in Lite, Sponsored, and Paid ($50) modes. [Classic, OSX] PreDView 1.0 allows you to preview the video and audio sources available to your computer: "[It[ is designed to allow you to preview these streams in the easiest and most natural way possible." The freeware supports floating and regular windows, transparency, and many other features. [133KB] Flash AV Players 2.4 updates the Flash application that broadcasts MP3, SWF (Audio and Video) and JPEG files by loading playlists in XML format. It offers a MP3 and database ready feature as well as a new playlist search engine, navigation and sound controls, etc. Licensing is €30 per site. [406KB] The freeware programs AWS Guitar Tuner 1.3 (plays notes in standard and alternative tunings) and Indie Toolbar 2 (customizable standalone Internet toolbar) updates address compatibility issues with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. AWS Guitar Tuner also is now available for Mac OS 9. [Classic, IT-OSX] Gideon Softworks has released SSH Helper 1.1, a free OpenSSH configuration utility for Mac OS X that offers control over access your account, the ability to generate new OpenSSH keys, view/export your Public Keys, and setup/control over the OpenSSH Server. It offers Panther compatibility. [3.7MB] Dog Park Software's MacLoggerDX 3.5 logs into your favorite Telnet or TNC DXCluster and as DX Spots are received, tunes your radio to the spot, looks up the call and displays the DX station on the Grey line Map with distance and bearing from your station. The $95 application runs on Mac OS 9/X. [
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k