Aladdin has released StuffIt Deluxe 8.0.2, the latest version of its compression utility for OS X. Version 8.0.2 offers full support for Mac OS X 10.3, and includes the latest version of StuffIt Archive Via Rename. The update also adds the option to allow users to specify whether UNIX file permissions are used. [Download - 13.7] EV Nova 1.0.7 contains a number of bug fixes, including fixes for Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) compatibility. EV Nova is the third game in the Escape Velocity series of space adventure games. It is $25 and runs on Mac OS 8/9/X [23MB] Progress Bars -- a new $15 set of FileMaker Pro templates from Brian Dunning -- allows FileMaker Pro scripts to display progress graphically to the user. Progress Bars includes demo database that explains exactly how to use it. [Download - 16KB] DerBrill has released Yibbah!, its first game for Mac OS X. "Help your Hulla to jump on as many platforms as you can." Yibbah! is a simple, but addictive game game, according to the developer. [Download - OS X, Classic] Enhanced Carbon Emacs 2003-11-14 is based on the standard emacs-21.3.50 CVS distribution, enhanced with many packages, including a fully customisable LaTeX editing environment based on AucTeX, RefTeX and other packages. From emacs, users can launch directly any latex process or any Mac application on files or regions being worked on. [Download - 40.8MB] GraphicXtras.com has updated its $20 Styles collection for Photoshop. The update includes 200 new glass/jewel styles. All the styles are royalty-free. [Download - buy] Econ Technologies has updated Portraits & Prints Template Maker to version 1.0.3, and has added free Winter Holiday templates to the Template Exchange. Portraits & Prints, the personal photo studio for Mac OS X, lets users easily enhance and print photos from templates. Portraits & Prints is $20 and Template Maker is $10. [Download - 672KB]
Apple has released the Power Mac G5 Firmware Update 5.1.4 via the Software Update utility in Mac OS X. The update improves performance for PCI-X, addresses a security hole, and improves the Open Firmware functionality.
Apple has announced its Worldwide Developers Conference 2004, the annual gathering of the Apple development community. This year the event is happening June 28-July 2 in San Francisco at Moscone West Convention Center. "WWDC is the definitive event for programmers, IT managers, content creators, systems administrators or anyone who wants to make the most out of Apple's innovative technologies and the robust and flexible Mac OS X platform."
WiebeTech today announced its Forensic ComboDock, a write-blocked FireWire 800/400 and USB2 bridge for 3.5" IDE drives. Designed for high-speed forensic analysis of data storage devices, it allows data to be read from drives without risk of writing data back to the drives. It uses the Oxford OXUF922 bridge, offers two daisy chainable FireWire 800 ports, includes a USB 2.0 port, blocks write operations to the drive, and features a power switch and a three light status system. It will be available in January 2004 for $400 or $530 with a optional Serial ATA adapter.
A MacNN reader located in the U.K. reports that Apple's QuickTime MPEG2 component (which retails for £20) "times-out December 15th whether you just bought it or not." There is nothing on the Apple Web site to explain this behavior.
Monster Cable's iCarPlay Wireless is an FM transmitter for "3G" (third-generation) iPods. The device will transmit music from your iPod to your (car) radio, while simultaneously charging the iPod. It features one-button FM channel selection with eight available channels, a Smart Digital Charger for fast iPod charges and maximum battery life, and 24k gold contacts for maximum corrosion resistance and power transfer. It is available now for $70.
Apple's iTunes Music Store continues to lead the industry with its competitors enjoying much less success due to Apple's "first mover" advantage, aggressive advertising and its iPod, according to TechNewsworld: "The first to take on Apple was BuyMusic.com in July. It expected 1 million daily song downloads. 'We're not achieving that at all,' says BuyMusic CEO Scott Blum. 'I've spoken with my competitors, and we're nowhere near (Apple's) numbers.'" The article notes that Apple spent over $125 million to advertise the iPod and iTunes Music Store in 2002.
Apple is currently beta testing a new interface for its support discussions. The update is expected to be unveiled late this week, and it includes a number of changes to the layout and the working of the discussions. The new interface seems to do away with the 'Helper program' -- which involved privileges for users that were considered knowledgeable by Apple -- in favor of an overall voting system. Former 'Helpers' were informed of this change only during the beta testing process last week.
Forbes' Happy Birthday Mac column talks about the contributions of Apple to the PC and music industries and the importance of Steve Jobs to the company: "He did not always get it right the first time, either--the first Mac lacked enough memory, was a commercial failure and led not only to layoffs but to Jobs' own ouster in 1985. 2000's PowerMacG4 Cube was also a high-priced flop. But more than most, he learned and adapted, and drove his teams to improve--over the long haul, great design can handle the odd failure, but not the failure to learn. Happy 20th, Mac! Take the day off, team. Chill, Steve. Just come back to work tomorrow."
Snow for Mac OS X 1.1 is a shareware screen saver for Mac OS X: "Let it snow on your desktop and have Santa and his reindeer fly around your screen for that Extra Festive Season Cheer, while snow piles up on top of your windows (really!). Maybe there's a polar bear somewhere too." Version 1.1 brings improved performance for non-accelerated displays, multi-monitor support, and more types of snow flake. A 10-day trial is available for download.
Apple has been named AdAge's Marketer of the Year: " Everywhere you look businesspeople and students parade their sleek titanium Powerbooks; computer geeks and tech pundits enthuse about the incredible speed of the new G5; and iPod users -- from hip teens to middle-aged suits -- nod to one another on the street as if they're in a secret club. (Apple expects to sell out its entire inventory of iPods this Christmas.) As if that were not enough, Apple is also striking a chord with music industry executives, potentially giving the troubled business a new lease on life, with its iTunes software that creates a new model for making money from downloadable songs.
iFotoalbum helps publish photo collections (from iPhoto or other application) over a local area network (LAN) or the Internet. It offers advanced functions such as a VIP area (with individual logins/user names), a tracker for albums, display of EXIF information, custom albums for certain users, photo descriptions, and system-wide album configuration options. simple mask 1.0 ($3) is an iMovie plug-in for clip post-production, offering live feedback (a.k.a. preview), import of any image as a mask, a collection of thirty ready-to-use high-quality masks, four mask pre-processors to automatically convert a picture to a mask, and support for 256 levels of transparency. [1.9MB] If Then Software's freeware DeepSix 1.0 will "remove "AdobeFnt" files that can cause your Adobe apps to crash in 10.2 or 10.3. Also removes the font cache files that can cause other apps to crash, including Flash. Fully automatic and safe for any system!" [191KB] EZxslt 1.5.1 ($130) simplifies the generation of Microsoft Word and RTF documents using data stored in FileMaker Pro 6 databases. EZxslt supports tables, headers, footers, and finer control over the generated output. It now supports multiple-column cell-based reports and forms and automatically generates XSLT Stylesheets. [form] Pariahware's Days Away v1.3 is a Mac OS X application that periodically reminds the user of upcoming events by discreetly fading in to focus, pausing for you to read the events, and discreetly fading back out. It now has options for resizing the print window and the ability to print the contents of the event list window. [unknown]
Totwise 1.3 is a youth program management system used by over 2,500 preschools, day care centers, community centers, youth sports leagues, and scouting programs in over 20 countries. The cross-platform, networkable software of adds printed receipts for payments, mailing label support, export functions, year-end payment reports, custom text/logo on invoices, printed sign in/out sheets, support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, faster performance, and improved networking. Pricing is free for programs with up to 5 kids, with licenses for larger programs starting at $300.
PowerSurge Publishing has released version 1.3 of Two Due, which adds categories and multiple levels of sub-categories as well as a separate Tree view that shows the to do list with items grouped by category. Users can easily expand or collapse different categories, focusing on one group of items at a time. Two Due is a To Do List manager that supports recurring To Do items; sorting and selection by multiple fields; multiple files with remembered viewing options for each; extra fields for each To Do item; automatic Web Publishing; etc. The Java-based application is $10 for a single-user.
Following up on a story from earlier this year, a MacNN reader writes: "In the holiday season spirit, I've been able to bring to the Mac community region-free firmware for the Powerbook UJ-815 Superdrive (UJ-816 is pending testing). The region-free capability is available not only for the unofficial firmware that allows previously 1x PowerBook superdrives to burn DVD's at 2x (and CD's at 16x), but also for OEM firmware, so that if people don't want to mess with the speed of their drive, they can still enjoy region-free capability."
The iPod is No. 3 in AudioRevolution.com's Top 100 of 2003: "The fact that the Apple iPod allows you to carry 4000 songs in your pocket is certainly a perk, but now, with their iTunes software and pay-per-download service, the iPod is even more essential. If you love music, you need an iPod to take with you to the gym, to play in the car, to connect to your computer at work and beyond." The top 5 items included TiVO, Mark Levinson No.40 (pre amp), Energy Take 5.2 (speakers), and Meridian 800 (DVD player).
Shinza.com and CoolStream today announced the new iSweet FireWire Web Camera, a "unique combination of form and function that combines impressive video performance with a stylish design not seen in other webcams. Despite its tiny three-inch size (it literally fits in the palm of your hand), the iSweet packs a high-resolution Sony 350,000-pixel CCD in its chrome and white acrylic body, delivering 30fps video per second at 640x480 resolution." The iSweet comes with a unique swivel/tilt clip for attaching the camera to the top of your PowerBook or iBook and mini-tripod. It is available for $130.
Brother has introduced its next-generation mid-range office laser printers. The new HL-6050 Series is designed for office desktops and small workgroups that need a fast, compact, and expandable monochrome laser printer. The USB-based printer features a 25ppm print speed, 1200 dpi resolution, 32MB of memory, built-in duplex printing, 500-sheet standard paper tray, wireless networking option(b), and advanced print functionality. The new HL-6050 Series features a 6 ppm speed increase, higher standard input and output paper capacity, twice the standard memory, and a lower cost-per-page than its predecessors. The HL-6050D and HL-6050DN are $550 and $700, respectively. They are expected to ship next week.
Apple today announced it has sold more than 25 million songs from the iTunes Music Store since it launched in April 2003. The 25 millionth song, purchased last Friday afternoon, was "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" by Frank Sinatra. Apple also announced that over $1 million of iTunes online gift certificates and allowances have been purchased since the features were added to the iTunes Music Store on October 16, 2003. "With over 25 million songs purchased and downloaded to date, the iTunes Music Store is hands-down the most successful online music store," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Music fans are buying and downloading almost 1.5 million songs per week from the iTunes Music Store, which is a rate of 75 million songs per year."
X Overload 2.01 updates the collection of useful utilities that lets you manage and maintain your Mac OS X and classic system folder. Users can manage system items in Mac OS X as well as the counter parts in the Classic System folder. Users can also delete localization language files. The $20 shareware is compatible with Mac OS X 10.2 or later (including Panther). [3.3MB] THHdesign has released Podtext 2.5 X with support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther and new font rendering features of Mac OS X. Podtext is a tool to transfer text-based notes into any iPod (even into the early ones), which can be read just like «Contacts» directly on the iPod's screen. The freeware supports both Mac OS 8/9/X. [Classic, OSX] On Air 2.2 VRS ($25) is a virtual radio studio (or a virtual DJ mixer). It now supports the Classic environment of Mac OS X, adds new volume adjustment functions, incluides a new iTunes importer, supports drag & drop, offers a new search engine, and has other functions. [6.0MB] Hi-Voltage has released UpdateGenie 1.3, its unique development tool designed to create update packages for FileMaker solutions quickly and easily. New in this release, is the ability to distribute update packages via CD-ROM. The release also provides improvements to performance, several fixes, and revised documentation. [Classic, OSX] UniLingua 2.1 is a vocabulary trainer for Mac OS X. It brings full Panther compability, other improvements, and new features, such as colored word lists to see how effective you trained your vocabulary, an optional black background screen during training and a new printing system. It is a free update to the 12 application. [1.9MB] Version 1.7 of the Quartz drawing application Intaglio is available now. It adds the ability to create "clipping" libraries in the Finder containing graphics, patterns, gradients, or colors. Other improvements to the $90 drawing & illustration application include improved drag & drop, clipping library samples, a new "Paste Style" commandm, and a new "Align To Grid" command. [1.8MB] Black Cat Systems has released DX Toolbox 1.1, an update to its $20 tool for radio propagation/conditions analysis and forecasting tool. It is designed for amateur radio operators, and other radio enthusiasts. Version 1.1 adds a grayline map: "Propagation between locations within the grayline region of the world is often greatly enhanced." [Classic, OSX] Seagull Video Player 2.5 updates Trinfinity Software's application for creating, managing, and viewing video playlists. It features an improved user interface, thumbnail display for videos, multiple playlists, additional video information fields, AppleScript support (along with examples), improved filtering, and video labeling functions. Updates to the $20 application are $10. [Classic, OSX] GCam 1.2 is MacMice's free video recording application for OS X, designed primarily to enable full 30fps recording in Quicktime format with Apple's iSight FireWire webcam. Version 1.2 of GCam adds support to view and record video in full 720x480 pixel DV Video format, a convenient email size 160x120 format, as well as in several PAL formats. [50KB]
MCE Technologies is shipping the QuickStream DV, a camera-mountable, self-powered digital video (DV) capture and storage solution that dramatically accelerates the post-production process. The solution offers the real-time acquisition of digital video directly from DV camera to the hard disk-based QuickStream DV. It also features selectable file formats, camera mountable, camera 'Record' button activation. File support includes QuickTime (.mov), raw DV (.dv), Windows AVI2, (.avi), and Canopus AVI2 (.avi). It also functions as a standard FireWire hard drive using the included MCE StreamManager clip management software (Mac OS 9/X). QuickStream DV is available in 90 minute ($600), 3 hour ($730), 4.5 hour ($850), and 6 hour ($1000) models.
Elemental Audio Systems today released version 2.0 of its unlimited band EQ tool box, Eqium. Eqium 2.0 adds automation support, a completely redesigned user interface, and Digidesign Pro Tools RTAS compatibility for Mac OS X and Windows XP. In addition to RTAS format, Equim 2.0 supports Audio Unit and VST formats on Mac OS X and VST format on Windows. It presents a flexible mechanism for automating EQ changes through a host and users may choose which of their filters will be externally controlled. Elemental says that any of Eqium's 11 filter types, including its 4 and 8 Harmonic Parametric filters, may be automated. It is available for $130 through the end of December and runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Trans Intl. today announced its new Enhance 7200 RPM Mobile Hard Disk Drive for 24x7 data-ready environments. The 2.5" drive offers enhanced features compared to standard mobile drives used in portable computers. It is designed for continuous operation to support 24x7 applications, never sleeps, and is designed to allow users to leave it powered on around the-clock as well as upports a read/write duty cycle. It uses 7,200 rpm spindle mechanism, features a low latency with a 10ms seek time, has an 8MB cache, and features an ATA-6 interface. It is also available as an external FireWire/USB portable Disk Drive ($375), featuring sustained data transfer rates of up to 40MB/s enabled by an Oxford 911 Fire Wire bridge chip.
Eagletron Inc.'s PowerPod provides remote movement for camcorders: users can move a camcorder up, down, left, and right as well as control optical focus --under the control of your PC. The compact robotic base, which can be mounted any standard DV camcorder, offers sophisticated control software providing features such as Internet remote control and viewing, motion tracking, and programmable video capture. It is available for an introductory price of $150.
The Little App Factory today released Netflix Freak 1.0, a full-featured application for managing a Netflix rental queue. It offers many unique features not available on the Netflix Web site, and is available to any Netflix customer using Mac OS X. Netflix Freak is available as a 30 day free trial, which allows you full access to all of its features. Registration is $10.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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