A supercomputer made from 1,100 off-the-shelf Apple Macs at Virginia Tech now ranks third among the world's 500 fastest supercomputers, many of which handle with ease 1 trillion calculations per second. The Terascale Cluster computer, nicknamed ``Big Mac'' by some, conducts 9.6 trillion calculations per second. Theoretically, Big Mac could handle a potential 17 teraflops, or 17 trillion operations per second, according to the Associated Press. That still falls short of the No. 1 machine, Japan's Earth Simulator, whose 5,000-plus processors keep it on top with 35.8 teraflops, with the potential of another 5 teraflops.
Intuit's Website offers new information on the yet-announced QuickBooks 6.0 for Mac, its financial application for small business owners. Version 6.0 will allow users to share data with Windows users, export reports to Microsoft Excel, email integration (invoices, statements, reports), automatic file backup, custom reports via drag & drop, and check for software updates from within the application. It is expected to be available this month, according our report from last week. Pricing is $300 or $100 off for upgrades with 15% discounts for QuickBooks Pro Advisors, as noted by the Website. Update: Users can sign up for more information on the product as it becomes available from Intuit."
SoftRAID 3.0.1 brings Pather compatibility as well as support for Panther specific features such as support for Case Sensitive HFS+ volumes, the ability to enable or disable Journaling, and support for displaying disk bay numbers in XServe and PowerMac G5 drive position information in the Disk tiles. The $130 application runs on Mac OS X. [3.4MB] Norbyte has released version 2.2 of Downfall, its $17 3D arcade/puzzle game. The update includes 3 new boards, improved graphics, and "a couple" of bug fixes. Downfall takes the falling blocks genre "one step further" with its real-time 3D graphics. [Download - 800KB] Rage Software today announced the availability of WebDesign 2.3.1, an update to the fully featured Web-authoring package for Mac ($21). WebDesign 2.3.1 fixes problems with pasting text into the text editor and minor drawing issues. It also brings increased compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3. [Download - Classic, OS X] CasBaH Software today released version 1.2.1 of SpamRoboCop, the utility forAppleScript for Mail, Entourage, Eudora 5, and Mailsmith 2 to confirm sent SpamCop reports. This release is for Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) compatibility. [Download - 104KB] IGG Software has released iBank 1.2, an update to the money management software. New features include support for investment accounts, stock quotes downloading, password protection and more. [Download - 3.3MB] Primate Plunge is an new Mac desktop game in which the player must "help Monkey navigate his way down through five beautiful worlds." Monkey will find help along the way in the form of "power-ups," including parachutes and jetpacks. [Download - 5.7MB] "Aupperle Services and Contracting" has released version 2.00.01 of its Mac OS X Driver for the DFG/1394-1 uncompressed analog to digital video converter. The new version now provides Panther (Mac OS X 10.3) support, works around QuickTime Broadcaster's limitations to allows the user to select NTSC or PAL signal and has many small optimizations to improve speed and reliability. [Download - 132KB] MMISoftware has updated its $5 One Trick Ponies: webSiteCleaner (moves unnecessary characters from html files, and prepares jpeg and gif files for use on the web); JPEGCleaner (removes unnecessary meta-data, resource forks) and quickWebAlbum (creates photograph albums from a folder of JPEG files) to reflect recent changes in Panther (Mac OS X 10.3). [WSC, JPC, QWA] FinKit 1.5.2 is a Panther update to the $25 flexible financial calculator that calculates annuities, bonds, credit cards, dates, equipment leases, loans, funds, and more. It does on-the-fly currency conversions between 182 currencies, using rates that are updated via the Internet. [1.5MB] cosmicsoft has released starQuiz 2.3.3 ($30) for giving tests in the classroom, offering instant automatic grading and results analysis. The new version fixes bugs related to printed quizzes and Panther issues. A 30-day demo is available. [Classic, OSX]
iHollywood Forum today that several key industry executives, including Apple's Peter Lowe, will participate in Music 2.0, a summit with a focus on the music industry, the digital age, and new content, technologies, and business opportunities. Keynote speakers include Apple's Peter Lowe (Director of Product Marketing, Consumer Applications); RealNetworks CEO/Founder Rob Glaser; Roxio CEO Chris Gorog; Sony CTO Phil Wiser; and representatives from the RIAA, record labels, Electronic Frontier Foundation (as well as 50 others). The summit will take place Dec. 8-9, 2003, from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Hilton Universal Hotel in Universal City in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, ON24 has an interview with Apple's Peter Lowe--available in RealAudio format--talks about Lowe's background and his work at Apple, including iTunes and the recent Windows launch and the complete "music experience".
Oxford Semiconductor, the manufacturer of the FireWire 800 microchips/firmware at the root of the FireWire 800 Dataloss Issue under Panther, has offered more details: "FireWire drives under some Mac OS platforms occurs with OXUF922-based products with software revision 1.03 or less. It does not affect any other Oxford products such as the OXFW911 FireWire and OXFW912 Firewire800 bridge solutions."
Apple today released Security Update 2003-11-04, which addresses a potential vulnerability with the Terminal application in Mac OS X v10.3 and Mac OS X Server v10.3 that could allow unauthorized access to a system." Apple said it would also offer Jaguar security updates for the older version of Mac OS X, while the release version of Panther fixed several security flaws. Apple also released an update to Xcode Tools 1.01, its developer utilities: "The Xcode Update addresses an issue in the Xcode IDE that could potentially lead to data corruption or the loss of files particularly when source files contain illegal characters. This update is strongly recommended for all Xcode users."
Addlogix has updated its support site with the latest Oxford922 firmware to resolve a HDD enclosure issue with MacOS 10.3. As of today, Addlogix has completely updated its products in all of the channels with the latest firmware. EZQuest is also offering firmware updates on its Web site that will solve the Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) FireWire 800 compatibility problem recently detailed by Apple. In addition, all EZQuest FireWire 800 drives are now shipping with the updated firmware.
Agfa Monotype has introduced collections from six type foundries, adding over 1,000 fonts and font packages to Fonts.com, its site to preview, purchase and download fonts. The releases from Burghal Design, Classic Font Company, Identikal Foundry, Ingrimayne, Process Type Foundry, and Typadelic are the most recent of several foundry installments.
Apple's annual analyst meeting will be held tomorrow (November 5th) from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, Pacific Time. It is being held at the company's Cupertino headquarters in California.
Evening tech news: A federal appeals court on Tuesday considered whether a trial judge's order ending Microsoft's long-running antitrust case should be tossed out in favor of harsher remedies; investors are pondering whether Gateway's foray into consumer electronics will lead to renewed growth or go nowhere; computer game fanatics should not be labeled addicts, although many players say they are hooked on a hobby that is affecting their social lives, scientists say.
Avid today announced a lower-price version of its Avid Xpress DV software, its digital video studio. Reduced by over $1000, it offers over 100 real-time effects, including automatic expert color correction, moving titles, picture-in-picture effects, customizable interface and keyboard workflow, and a bundle of Boris Graffiti LTD for 2D title creation and animation and Sorenson Squeeze 3 Lite for high-quality encoding to Windows Media 9, QuickTime, Flash, MPEG-2, and other formats. It is expected to ship on November 15 for $700. Upgrades from Avid Exprss DV 3.5 and lower to Xpress Pro are $300.
LaCie and Roxio today announced that they will bundle Toast 6 Titanium with the LaCie d2 Dual DVDĪRW FireWire Drive (FireWire-only version). "This is the first time this exclusive bundle is being offered at no additional charge," said Salem Tirane, LaCie product manager. LaCie's drive integrates 4x/2x/12x DVD+/-R and 16x10x32x CD-RW functions into a single "superdrive" mechanism with a 2MB buffer and a tray-loading mechanism. The bundle, expected later this month, will feature Toast 6 Titanium, Toast 5.2.2 lite, a FireWire cable and power adapter with pricing starting at $280.
Contour Design let us know that it is now shipping the Contour Showcase, which was announced last month for third-generation (3G) iPods: "[It] is the first case that offers solid protection while letting users enjoy everything they love about their iPods - elegant design, slim dimensions, and ultimate portability. Through the skillful application of advanced dual-injection molding technology, Contour Design has created a case with a clean, trim, seamless look that highlights the pure beauty of the iPod." It is shipping now for $40.
Prosoft Engineering today announced that its entire line of disk/system utilities is compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther (as well as the Power Mac G5)--including Data Rescue (data recovery), Data Recycler (protection from accidental file deletion), Data Backup (backup and sychronization) and NetWare for Mac OS X. The company is also offering a $10 discount on its Data Rescue X, which it says "works miraculously to recover data from FireWire drives that have been corrupted by Panther." Users can enter the code 'PAN911' when purchasing the product.
RedLightRunner.com today added 40 new items to its line of Apple collectibles, including 18 new rare vintage Apple logo T-shirts. Other items include Apple posters, a Glass Apple Logo Paperweight, Vintage Mac OS Watch, 'Think Different'-branded clothing and apparel, Apple logo golf balls, etc. The company specializes in finding and offering unique, one-of-a-kind Apple logo gifts and collectibles via its Website.
REAL Software has released REALbasic 5.2.2, a free update to the powerful, easy-to-use development tool for creating custom applications for both Macintosh and Windows. This update to REALbasic boosts support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther and includes an updated REALbasic Project Manager, improvements to VB Project Converter, and updated Unicode support. Pricing starts at $100. [Classic, OSX] Gideon Softworks has released xBack v2.5.1, an update to its utility that allows you replace your desktop with a screen saver. Users can customize the backdrop on multiple monitor setups. The $12 "honorware" runs on Mac OS X only. [1.9MB] The database publishing tool Mergemill 2.6 ($60) merges templates with content source files to create the desired output. It enables users to quickly and easily generate web pages from a database, or reformat database data into readable form for publishing. It runs on Mac OS 9/X and requires QuickTime for graphics processing. [7.1MB] Optima System's PageSpinner 4.6 Public Beta 2 is a preview of the $30 web authoring package for Macintosh. PageSpinner 4.6 supports live previews of HTML pages, better CSS support (with previews), interface fixes for Mac OS X Panther 10.3, improved AppleScript support and other enhancements. [4.2MB] Fracture 1.2 updates Stick Software's $10 screensaver that draws fractal images, patterns that are created from mathematical formulas. It can draw a variety of types of fractals and offers several configuration options. Version 1.2 of Fracture adds a "save every completed image" feature. [275KB] J2SEditor 1.5 is an update to the IPTC caption editor with file management capabilities for Mac OS X. It can be usded to view images according to their color profile, sort files and add or modify textual meta-data of graphics files without affecting the documents. It can now search for files based on IPTC information. [form] Mellel 1.6.8 is a new version of the $25 word processor for Mac OS X; it adds support for Mac OS X 10.3 and several bug fixes to the advanced, multilingual word processor with options for paragraph/character styles, tables, page styles, footnotes/endnotes, RTF export/import, spell-as-you-type, etc. [3.7MB]
Realmac Software today released RapidWeaver 2, its new web design package allowing users to design, create and publish web sites. RapidWeaver 2 was designed from scratch in Cocoa, offering the ability to choose and create navigation bars and buttons from drop down menus then customize them as required. It also offers one-click "export" for creating fully functioning websites. The package contains over 20 customizable web designs (with additional theme packs expected to follow shortly). It is $25 and run on Mac OS X only.
Bitcartel today released RAW 1.0, a new audio utility that offers the ability to record Internet audio as high-quality MP4-AAC--from BBC RealAudio radio, to movie trailers, news webcasts or even Flash jingles. It supports multiple simultaneous recordings, the ability to split files manually (or automatically by time) and support for RealAudio/RealVideo, QuickTime, MIDI Web sounds, Flash, MP3/M3U/EXTM3u streaming net radio. It requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and RealOne Player (for Real codec support). A demo of the $20 shareware is available online.
Mindwrap today released Optix 6 for Mac OS X Server 10.3 "Panther". Optix works in concert with Sybase's Adaptive Server Enterprise 12.5 to provide indexing and management of all types of enterprise documents. Mindwrap says its existing native Mac OS X client is fully compatible with the new server, allowing a 100% Apple system implementation at the workgroup, department, or enterprise level. images. The Optix Mac client can store and index any document or file found on the desktop and is fully scriptable using AppleScript, allowing users to easily customize its operation and integrate it with third party applications such as OCR.
Sorenson Media has released an update to the Mac version of the Sorenson Video 3.1 Pro video codec: The Sorenson Video 3.3 Pro video codec addresses a compatibility issue with Mac OS X Panther. Sorenson says that during Panther pre-release testing, the Sorenson Video 3 Pro codec was not listed within the Apple QuickTime codec options; however, the 3.3 update resolves this compatibility issue. Registered users of Sorenson Squeeze 3 Compression Suite and Sorenson Video 3 are able to download the free update today.
Media 100 today announced Media 100 i Version 8.2.1 software featuring support for the new Power Mac G5 platform from Apple, as well as Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. Media 100 systems with the new Media 100 i Version 8.2.1 software are planned to begin shipping later this month. Media 100 recently began shipments of the Mac OS X-native Media 100 i Version 8.2 software, expanding the Media 100 i toolsets for editing, effects design, audio design, and media management. In addition, Version 8.2 gives Media 100 i editors tighter integration with 844/X, the Companyís award-winning, real-time, online vertical editing system. It will be available as a free download.v
Apple today announced that its first retail store in Japan will open in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district on Sunday, November 30 at 10:00 a.m. This will be Apple's 73rd retail store, and the first outside the U.S. The Apple Store Ginza will feature five floors where "customers can shop for and learn about the latest Apple products and solutions as well as visit the popular Genius Bar to ask the Mac 'Genius' questions and receive service." The companys says the store will host more than 400 customer events each month including a Studio Series of hands-on training classes.
osXigen 2.5 updates the $20 FTP/SFTP client for Mac OS X. The free update adds compatibility with Mac OS 10.3 "Panther" and some bug fixes. OsXigen is a fully multithreaded, queue-based client with BBEdit integration; support for AppleScript, including hot folders and droplets; web site mirroring and synchronization, etc. [1.0MB] Prefling 2.0 lets you open system preference panes directly from the Dock: "It shows you a menu with all the preference panes installed and active. It's the ideal replacement for the 'System Preferences' item that's in your Dock by default." [55KB] Pacifist 1.6 is a shareware ($20) application that opens Mac OS X .pkg package files and allows you to extract individual files and folders out of them, allowing users to install individual applications without reinstalling Mac OS X. It can also verify existing installations and find missing or altered files. [762KB] PowerQuote 10.05 printing estimating and management software adds support for Panther (Mac OS 10.3) and adds support for 2 separate taxes on their invoices (such as GST and PST). PowerQuote handles offset, copy and brokered jobs with functions for quotes, job tickets, invoicing, easy recall of jobs for reorders, and more. Pricing starts at $1,200. FileSpring Pipeline 1.3 is a free, open-source utility that lets web and database developers add PHP to existing FileMaker/CDML web solutions without having to change any existing CDML code, allowing both PHP and CDML code to co-exist on the same page. Version 1.3 adds compatibility with Panther and simplifies installation. [506KB] Multiple Picture Viewer 2.0 is a simple picture viewer for image files which contain more then one picture. It offers functions for export and copy to clipboard of the current picture. The freeware runs on Mac OS 9/X. [Classic, OSX] Snowmint has released Budget 4.3.1, an update to its finance application that now includes an income allocation method that allows users to easily set up their envelopes to pay regular bills. Other functions include checkbook management/printing, currency conversion, reports/statistics, reminders, and QIF import. [2.7MB] Ultimate Pen ($20) is a new application for drawing on top of other applications, offering a variety of tools to draw with in a choice of colors, and is pressure sensitive with a pen tablet. It also includes functions for hiding the menubar, a system-wide hotkey, and automatic save functions. [388KB] Split&Concat 1.6 is a utility to split and recombine large files for transfer, for posting to newsgroups, or for burning to multiple CDs or DVDs. The new version has been built for Mac OS 10.3 "Panther" but can also be run under 10.2. It requires a donation for full use. [673KB]
Musicmatch on Monday sent an e-mail to its customers letting them know that iTunes for Windows renders its Matchbox Musicmatch software inoperable with the iPod, but offered instructions for users to uninstall iTunes and resume using Musicmatch according to CNET News.com: "As a valued Musicmatch customer and iPod user, we want to alert you to a serious software conflict caused by iTunes for Windows," the company said in the e-mail. "Apple iTunes for Windows prevents Musicmatch Jukebox from working with the iPod by deleting critical files used by Musicmatch."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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