MacScan is seeking private beta testers to test the new version of its application for Mac OS X. Users must be running Mac OS X, and register to be a tester by visiting the MacScan forums. Those interested are asked to send a message to Moderator with their current system specs.
FileWave Inc., a provider of Mac OS X systems management software, today released FileWave X 1.5, which adds support for Mac OS X 10.3. FileWave is a solution that enables the distribution and management of desktop software in enterprise-wide Macintosh networks. FileWave X 1.5 for OS X has been certified for Apple's Xserve and also supports Appleís Airport technology for mobile computing.
Symantec today told MacNN it will release updates to Norton Utilities 8.0 ($100), Norton AntiVirus 9.0 ($70) and Norton SystemWorks 3.0 ($130) to make these products fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. Current users of these products will be able to download the updates via Symantecís LiveUpdate at no cost on Monday, December 22, while product replacement CDs will also be available in mid-January. Users can request replacement CDs by completing an online form. Symantec also said it would release Panther compatibility updates for Norton Personal Firewall 3.0 ($70) and Norton Internet Security 3.0 ($100) at the end of January.
Analysts at JP Morgan today initiate coverage of Apple with a "neutral" rating. In research published this afternoon, the analysts mention that Apple is poised for "robust margin expansions" in the forthcoming quarters on account of its new digital music product offerings. JP Morgan expects Apple's new professional products and the improving tech spending scenario to further boost the companyís earnings growth in the forthcoming years. However, the current valuation of the companyís stock already reflects its near-term earnings growth potential, the analysts believe.
@Last Software today released its Architectural Desktop plug-in, which allows the import of SketchUp's native 3D geometry directly into AutoDesk's Architectural Desktop (ADT) program. In automatic mode, vertical surfaces are translated as walls, horizontal surfaces become slabs and sloping surfaces become roof slabs. A manual mode allows users to specify the exact method of translation for specific surfaces by using the material assignments within SketchUp, while method uses section slices from SketchUp to convert lines to walls or curtain walls in ADT. The SketchUp to ADT plugĖin is available for free for a limited time.
Apple today released Soundtrack 1.1, an update to its music composition software. Users can create custom music for video, DVD or Web projects; the software includes pre-recorded Apple Loops which you drop into the timeline to start building a song, and it automatically syncs up the loops to your project tempo and key. Version 1.1 offers general improvements as well as automatic linking to relocated files on your volume. It is available via the Mac OS X preference pane. The full version is $300.
Pyramid Design has released FTP Suite 3.0, a major update the FTP solution for REALbasic applications. Version 3.0 features Fine Transfer Sequence Control, Multiple Language Capability, Variable Send Buffer Size, and Status Events. Pricing starts at $30. [Download - site not updated] 24U Plug-In AutoInstaller 1.1 helps simplify installation, registration and updates both 24U and other third-party plug-ins in any multi-user FileMaker environment. It offers an improved interface, a new interface for preparing version files, and includes MacBinary encoded copies of plug-ins. [Download - 2.4MB] 24U SimpleSound Plug-In 2.0 is a cross-platform plug-in for FileMaker Pro that allows users to create sound-enabled databases. Version 2.0 lets users select sound files from any location, specify sound paths with absolute and relative paths, play all QuickTime-supported audio formats, and more. [Download - full, update] Ovolab Phlink -- a telephone answering suite -- has been updated to version 1.2. The latest version improves support for AppleScripts and for caller ID service in additional European countries. [Download - 457KB] Bitcartel has released RAW 1.1, an update to its $20 Internet audio recorder that records AAC files or MP3 files. This update adds MP3 encoding via iTunes, and introduces a progress window to monitor encoding. [Download - 400KB] OSXvnc 1.31 is a full featured VNC server providing remote access to the GUI, keyboard and mouse using any VNC client. Version 1.31 is a maintenance release that corrects several problems with the Startup behavior, a few crash bugs, a login problem for older clients, and performance issues. [Download - 267KB] iKey 1.0.5 gives beginners and advanced users the ability to create a hotkey that performs a series of actions which can control any aspects of the Mac OS. Version 1.0.5 introduces several new new shortcuts, and also offers a number of new examples for new users. [Download - 1.9MB]
An Australian version of Apple's iTunes is due in the first quarter of 2004, while Microsoft's Ninemsn joint venture has announced plans to offer music downloads beginning early next year, according to Australian IT. The article notes that the "Ninemsn's music service will sell music from BMG, EMI, Festival Mushroom, Sony, Universal and Warner Music in partnership with European music distributor OD2. The partnership will also provide music from independent labels such as Ministry of Sound and Beggars Banquet as part of a 250,000 track catalogue. Tracks will be available in Windows Media format. Ninemsn managing director Martin Hoffman said the company would also attempt to secure agreements with Australian-based independent labels."
RealViz today announced Stitcher 4.0, an update to its industry-standard application for creating panorams. Stitcher can create panoramas in a variety of formats--up to full spherical panoramas, which can easily be displayed using QuickTime 5 or 6. Stitcher combines overlapping photos easily into wide-angle, high-quality images. The software integrates with Photoshop, offescustom interpolation method for the re-sizing, has a 'Best Rendering' option, includes interactive QuickTime VR previews, and offers an improved interface as well as workflow enhancements. Version 4.0, scheduled for worldwide release in January 2004, will be a free up-grade for v3.5 owners and the company is offering a $50 savings on all first-time purchases of Stitcher 3.5 through the end of the year. The full version is $400 (before savings).
North Plains today announced that it an integrated enterprise digital asset management solution for Adobe Creative Suite, allowing users to design and collaborate, while ensuring that the organization can manage, protect and distribute each asset. North Plainsí integrated support of the Adobe Creative Suite includes three new components for TeleScope Enterprise 7.1, including management of both Adobe CS and InDesign assets as well as on-the-fly graphics conversion. The TeleScope I-Pieces for Adobe Creative Suite will be available later this month.
Information Week's Apple: Can Sex Appeal Counter Sticker Shock? discusses Apple's pricing versus other competitors, noting that while Apple leads its competitors in technology, only 15% of business-technology professionals say advanced technology is their most important criterion for choosing a PC vendor; and that 83% of respondents choose cost as the number one priority: "Problem is, Linux users can get similar capabilities for even less, says Gordon Haff, an analyst at research firm Illuminata. 'The challenge Apple has is they're not just competing against Windows in the server space. They're also competing against Linux,' he says 'And I don't see Apple having a clear knock-down punch against Linux.'"
The latest TWICE Top 100 CE Retailers ranking has Apple in the No. 34 spot behind other PC vendors such as Dell, Sony, and Gateway: "For Apple, a 471.6% sales surge born of a near doubling in store count (to 51 units) delivered the Macmeisters to 34th place on the TWICE rankings with $383 million in volume under their belt." Dell was in fourth place behind Circuit City, buoyed by some $5.3 billion in consumer product sales, representing a mighty 18.8% leap in volume over 2001, while Gateway broke into the Top 20 with $2.1 billion in sales, landing in 13th place amid a 30% drop in revenue.
Other World Computing today debuted its new OWC Neptune line of external FireWire storage drives. The "value" drives are available in 60GB to 250GB capacities and use the Oxford911 bridge solution as well as offer two 6-pin FireWire 400 (1394a) ports, a 7200RPM drive mechanism, and either a 2MB or 8MB data buffer. All drives include a FireWire cable, Intech Hard Disk SpeedTools and Dantz Retrospect Express, as well as a one-year limited warranty. OWC says that the 1.5" x 9" x 5.5" drives are highly portable, weighing only 2.7 pounds, and boast an extremely compact and shock resistant design for maximum portability. Prices for OWC Neptune storage solutions start at $110 (60GB), $130 (80GB), $160 (120GB), $190 (160GB), $240 (200GB) and $300 (250GB).
Group Logic today released MassTransit 4.2, an update to its Mac OS X file transfer software for the print media and graphic arts industry. MassTransit 4.2 provides an integrated workflow solution that delivers improved performance, stability and reliability, new options for hosting its unique, web file transfer workflows, integrated security for web-based file transfer workflows, and enhanced flexibility in designing file transfer system architectures. It is a paid upgrade for Mac OS 9 users. Group Logic say it will continue to provide maintenance for the Mac OS 9 version of MassTransit until the end of 2004.
El Gato Software has updated EyeTV 1.3.1, its software for its EyeTV digital video recorder (DVR). EyeTV 1.3.1 now provides integration with Roxio Toast 6 Titanium and also adds support for the new program guide TVTV by FAST TV Server AG, which it says "makes finding and automatically recording programs significantly more comfortable." It is a free update for users of the $200 USB-device. Last week we noted new FireWire-based EyeTV DVRs for the European market.
Companion Engineering and Design Corp today released Intuem 1.1, an update to its audio application with support for AudioUnit instruments, AudioUnit effects and an integrated audio and MIDI mixer. Version 1.1 adds support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, includes a UI-facelift, and offers a new toolbar with improved graphics and controls. Other improvements include adjustable quantise strength, advanced preferences for buffer size customization, more MIDI options, and other enhancements. It is a free upgrade for v2.0 owners and $50 for others. The full application is $80.
Reference Miner 1.1 for Mac OS X 10.2 is a free utility that can search PubMed for biomedical literature and Amazon for books. It adds an Amazon power search feature, can save book cover images as JPEGs, and allows user to open multiple search windows simultaneously. [1.6MB] Monkeybread Software's Make Icon 1.0 is a utility to create file icons based on the file content. It uses the first page of PDF files and the default image on non-PDF files (TIFF, JPEG, BMP, Photoshop, GIF, PNG, etc.). It is freeware. [Classic, OSX] Cross Culture's Mergemill 3 ($80) merges templates with content source files to generate web pages from a database or spreadsheet, or reformat database data into readable form for publishing. It adds support for content source files in XML format and performance improvements of up to 700 percent. It is a free upgrade and runs on Mac OS 9/X. [6.9MB] Advenio has updated SQLGrinder 1.2.6 for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. The $50 SQL utility offers an SQL Editor that features syntax coloring, the ability to browse database schemas, save/organize created queries, and import/export table data, query data and database schemas. [1.3MB] dSoft's ResellerPower 3.7 updates the integrated database system with functions for quoting, order entry, purchase order, price list management, and accounting features. It now supports privleges for cost/price/level, invoice enhancemens, split commissions, email ship notices, custom HTML emails, improved scheduling, and other functions. Pricing starts at $350 (single-user version). Wormhole 1.07 is a utility for moving files between networked machines, including Mac and Windows computers. IT requires that each computer be running a licensed ($15) copy of the application to create an instant connection. This release fixes some overlapping controls on Panther and bugs under both Mac OS 9/X. [1.3MB] Redcort Software has released version 4.9 of Virtual TimeClock, which adds support for Panther as well as improved reliability on Mac OS 9: "[It] can easily and accurately track worker arrivals and departures, hours worked, overtime and wages." Upgrades are $90, while new licenses are $180. [Classic, OSX] OwlView 1.1 ($35) is a simple inexpensive thematic mapping application. It allows a user to combine data from a spreadsheet, database or text file with geographic boundaries to produce maps which visually display patterns of spatial distribution within the data. It can now create a map directly from an open Excel or FileMaker Pro window. [582KB] Yenco.com has updated its $20 shareware, iEvents 2.0.8. The client-side tool quickly creates custom calendar websites that can then be easily uploaded to any internet server or iDisk. It fixes graphic export issues as well as some minor UI issues under Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. [1.0MB]
SubRosaSoft.com today announced CipherDisk, which offers on-the-fly data protection on any internal or external volume. SubRosaSoft CipherDisk provides "driver level" 448-bit transparent encryption for Mac OS X volumes: "Once you convert a plain volume to an encrypted volume, it will be inaccessible to anyone until you enter a password to unlock it. When unlocked, the drive will run and behave normally like a regular volume." It supports both Panther and Jaguar and uses either Blowfish (448-bit), TEA (128-bit), or SRS (128-bit) encryption. It is available for $80.
In an hour-long interview with LA Times on Monday departing Disney board members Disney and Gold, Gold claimed that 'Eisner called him and others -- including Pixar Chairman Steve Jobs -- 'Shiite Muslims,' according to The Drudge Report: "Gold took that to mean that Eisner believed his critics were extreme in their views. [However] a company spokeswoman said Eisner 'categorically denies' calling anyone a 'Shiite Muslim.'"
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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