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MacNN readers note that Creature House's website now includes a Microsoft copyright notice and that the company has temporarily removed all downloads, indicating tha that company and its Mac-compatible Expression 3 drawing application with advanced features for both vector illustration and raster paintingL "Downloading and ordering are temporarily suspended due to a revision of the download process. We expect downloading to resume in mid November 2003." Update: A Microsoft spokeperson submitted a brief statement to MacNN: "Microsoft posted a public notice in September 2003 that was in the final stages of an acquisition of Creature House, a small software company based in Hong Kong. Creature House is a privately held company and the terms of the acquisition were not disclosed."
We've published highlights from Apple Executive VP of Worldwide Sales and Operations Tim Cook's presentation to analysts at a meeting this week. We will also publish notes from Ron Johnson and Fred Anderson's presentations soon.
Paul Berkowitz has released Sync Entourage-Address Book 2, an AppleScript application that synchronizes Entourage X and Apple's Address Book in Mac OS 10.3 Panther. It allows you to maintain Entourage as your centralized Personal Information Manager while at the same time taking advantage of the direct access provided to iSync, iChat, iPod, the .Mac Address Book, Fax programs, and more by Mac OS X's Address Book. It now works with Panther; syncs AB's friend, father, etc. to Entourage custom fields, and is now fully automatic. A 14-day demo of the $20 application is available. Upgrades are $8.
Matrox has released the final version of its RTMac 4.0 drivers for Mac OS X, however, the current release does not yet support Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, the G5, and QuickTime 6.4, however the company is working on a update. (Requires user registration and serial number.) [form] Wilhelm 0.9 is a 128x4 MIDI sequencer for those who want analog-style, real-time step sequencing for MIDI devices. It syncs to other CoreMIDI applications or external devices via MIDI Beat Clock, while data can be recorded and manipulated during playback and sent to other CoreMIDI applications. [1.5MB] The $10 shareware MPEG2 Works 3.1 updates the DVD/SVCD/VCD creation/authoring tool for Macs. It adds terminal output messages, fixes system crashes, adds a German localization, 48kHz audio support on DVD/VOB conversions, and other enhancements. [Classic, 1.1MB] AOL has released AIM 4.7b1, an update to its instant message application for Mac OS 9/X. The beta contains bug fixes and other optimizations. [3.3MB] Mulberry 3.1 is an internet mail client that supports IMAP and SMTP. Version 3.1 adds S/MIME plugin for S/MIME cryptography support, a new PGP8 plugin for PGP v8 release, support for SSL client-side certificate authentication, updated to LDAPv3 with SSL support, new support for up to 8 user-defined labels on messages, and integrated support for Mac OS X address book. [10MB] MMISoftware has updated iCalMaker 1.5, its $25 text-based appointment creation/editor tool for iCal files. It now supports drag-and-drop for iCal, vCal, text, tab- and comma-delimited files, and text-clippings; custom export formats; export of iCal files (Eudora, Entourage, Mailsmith, Mail). direct import of appointments from iCal. [427KB] Monkeybread Software's Burn folder 1.0 is a simple application to burn a folder to a CD or DVD. Itis made with REALbasic, requires Mac OS X 10.2 or newer, and includes the source code. It is freeware. [840KB] pHATmatik PRO 1.1 ($150) can play back any loop locked to tempo in your host environment, such as Apple's Logic or MOTU's Digital Performer. It offers loops at any tempo, in any key, loads any loop in industry-standard wav or aiff format, and supports import of ACID-ized wav files. Version 1.1 offers support for Mac OS X Audio Units, saving/loading PHATfiles, other enhancements. [multiple options] crispSofties has released iPod.iTunes 2.3, which brings compatibility with Panther and iTunes 4.1. It provides synchronization of tracks and playlists to to (1) synchronize music and playlists on different Macs; (2) restore tracks and playlists from an iPod; (3) clone an iPod; (4) transfer an entire music library between Macs using the iPod. [472KB] 4D Column 1.1 for Mac OS X is a plug-in 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 new features such as type-ahead display/filters, multi line display on all data-types, new commands, and improved speed. [420KB]
Apple has posted a QuickTime rebroadcast of yesterday's analyst meeting with Apple executives, which was held at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, CA with CFO Fred Anderson (Introduction), Tim Cook (Sales Update), Ron Johnson (Retail Update), Phil Schiller (Mac OS X Update), and Q&A (with Steve Jobs and other execs).
Apple today said that there were over 1.5 million songs downloaded from Apple’s iTunes Music Store during the same period that Napster reported selling 300,000 songs during its first week of operation. Apple said that more than 17 million songs have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store since it launched in April 2003. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the iTunes Music Store had more than 80 percent market share of legally purchased downloads last week.
MacNN readers note that several music artists have endorsed the iTunes Music Store with direct links to the iTunes Music Store, including Pearl Jam: "Visitors to www.PearlJam.com will see a link to 'Downloads' which shows entire albums for sale online via iTunes. They even have a link to Download Apple's iTunes. Click on a song and iTunes will launch and bring that song up for you in the iTunes Music store. This is the first band I have seen linking directly to the iTunes music store." Another reader notes that limpbizkit will be using Macs and an iSight camera to record QuickTime movies from the band's Back2Basics Tour 2003: " I will have my G4 17" with me on tour and it has the iSight camera hooked up to it so i can record Quicktime movies instantly and post them. I will also be shooting with my video cam and editing together ill movies on the tour bus and posting those also."
Apple has experienced about 36 percent year-on-year overall market growth this quarter, and holds about 2.5 per cent of market share, according to an IDC report noted by Macworld UK: "The UK PC market has seen 17.4 per cent market growth across manufacturers during the quarter, IDC revealed, adding that consumer sales, a trend toward notebooks and the back-to-school market have driven sales here in the quarter.Success in education sales has been helped by the UK government's Laptop for Teachers scheme, and schools, colleges and universities have benefited from the increased emphasis on IT in education."
Sig Software has released Classic Menu 2.72, a Panther update to its user interface enhancement that brings the classic configurable Mac OS apple menu back to Mac OS X, replacing the system's built-in apple menu (but keeping it within easy reach)." [59KB] Panther Cache Cleaner 2.1 is a utility designed to provide easy access to numerous OS X maintenance and utility options. Version 2.1 of the $8 shareware is new for Mac OS X 10.3 and release adds the ability to repair root directory OS X symbolic links, to recreate the OS 9 Desktop alias, to enable the Panther Expose Blob and new Login Items management tools. [2.9MB] even-t 1.3 for Mac OS 10.3 is available immediately. The €20 application supports the iCalendar format and webcal protocol. It allows users to manage multiple calendars and use it as a standard viewer for internet shared calendars. [option-click] Stephane Madrau's SwitchRes X 0.2 is a background-only application (daemon) that allows you to control the resolutions of all your displays. It also offers Control Panel, a Menu Extra for the menubar, and a Contextual Menu extension to change all your resolutions. It offers Panther compatibility, restoral of icon saving, new UI, and fixes for several bugs. [1.1MB] 4D 6.8.5 updates the relational database and rapid application development environment with fixes for number of problems, including a memory leak when printing labels, problems with encrypted client/server connections, and others. [multiple options] Multiple Launcher X 1.1 is an Mac OS X-native application allowing users to create a stand-alone launcher that can open multiple items, including web sites, e-mails, documents, applications and folders. Multiple Launcher X also allow users to create aliases to open documents from customized applications. [885KB] Fabrizio La Rosa's iSynCal 2.1 ($17) is built to synchronize events and todo from iCal calendars between two or more Mac computers using the standard Apple File Sharing; it also be used to synchronize some calendars between multiple users on the same Mac. [808KB] Citrus Software has released VoiceNoteMenu can quickly record voice notes from within the MacOS X menu bar. It can store 99 files in the menubar for easy access. It is $10 shareware for Mac OS X. [860KB] QuickPlayCM 1.0 is a Contextual menu plugin that lets you play movie and other multimedia files that are supported by QuickTime without launching any applications. The freeware runs on Mac OS X 10.3 Panther only. [200KB]
Stupendous Software has released Big & Bold 1.1 ($25) title plugin pack for iMovie, which contains 40 titles for iMovie, featuring motion and strong graphic elements: "Many of the titles have controls to allow modification of the appearance and motion of the text. The new version 1.1 has been updated with five titles enhanced to result in smoother animation." It is a free update to registered users of the Stupendous Bundle ($200), an all-in-one collection that now includes 14 iMovie plugin packs featuring over 400 effects and titles ranging from color correction to slow motion. It runs on iMovie 2.x or later and both Mac OS 9/X.
Ambrosia Software has updated its screen/video capture utility for Mac OS X, Snapz Pro X 1.09, which fixes number of minor issues relating to Panther compatibility and removes the Internet version checking feature as well as makes other improvements: "Barring any bugs introduced by new system software, this will be the last version of Snapz Pro X 1.0.x. We're actively working on Snapz Pro X 2.0.0, with many major new features, as well as radically enhanced movie capture speed."
Rainjul has released a first public beta version of Polywogg, a journaling/blogging service for Mac OS X Jaguar and Panther. "This first release of Polywogg is packed with innovative features, many never before seen on any journal service, such as video blogging with Apple's iSight camera and comprehensive desktop web client application support. The blogging and journaling phenomena are ultimately about the appeal of social networking." It is available as fully functional and non-expiring software with both a Polywogg Reader and Polywogg Publisher. For a limited time, a one-year subscription for five journals is free for Apple .Mac members and $15 for others.
Less than a month after Pepsi announced a blockbuster deal to give away 100 million downloads from Apple's iTunes music service to its customers, McDonald's is close to a announcing a much bigger deal, according to the New York Post: "In a dramatic move that gives a thumbs up to the music industry's efforts at creating legal alternatives to file sharing, McDonald's plans to give away up to 1 billion songs in a marketing campaign, according to sources familiar with the matter. Both Pepsi and McDonald's are paying Apple's retail price of 99 cents per song, sources say. And McDonald's has arranged to buy up to a billion songs to meet customer demand." Update: McDonald's Corp characterized the report as "pure speculation," saying in an issued a statement that "There are no agreements to announce, so anything else is pure speculation."
TOLIS Group has released BRU for Mac OS X, which delivers its BRU data backup and restore technology with user-friendly graphical interface to commercial Xserve, G4 and G5 users: "Macintosh users will appreciate the graphical interface that provides point and click access to all of BRU's robust features while adhering to the Aqua interface standard. For advanced users, BRU for Mac OS X is also fully scriptable from the command line to customize operation by using the familiar UNIX scripting tools (sh, cron, at, etc.)." It is $500 with 30-days of free support and available for special $250 pricing to users of Dantz Retrospect.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
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