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Apple has released Mac OS X 10.3.2 via the Software Update utility in Mac OS X. The update offers improved functionality and increased stability and security. It includes updated Mail and Address Book applications, improved font management, the latest ATI and NVIDIA video drivers, more robust PostScript printing, improved file sharing/directory services, and security updates. The update also includes enhancements to FireWire 800, USB printing, FileVault, and WebDAV.
While Apple remains silent, several developments point to the prospect of a G5 PowerBook during 2004, speculates BusinessWeek. For the upcoming Macworld expo in January, columnist Alex Salkever says, the consensus now holds that Apple will mostly upgrade its existing product lines, rather than introduce all-new models. "I believe the real fireworks will start long after Macworld -- in fact, about 6 to 10 months out. That's when Apple lovers can expect to start hearing rumors of the long-awaited G5 laptop [...] The machines, which would incorporate the ballyhooed 64-bit G5 chips, could spur huge sales in Apple's professional laptop lines."
SpamSlam is a convenient tool designed to eliminate all unwanted junk messages from your email accounts. According to the developer, SpamSlam is the best anti-spam tool because it combines the strengths of the two best filter types (Challenge/Response and Statistical Content-Based) while "subsequently eliminating their disadvantages." SpamSlam doesn't issue challenges to messages that are clearly junk email, thereby greatly reducing the amount of bandwidth consumed by unnecessary challenge emails. It employs a Statistical Content-Based Filtery that is "many times more efficient than previous versions of SpamSlam."
Symantec today confirmed to MacNN it would deliver Mac OS X 10.3 Panther compatibility updates for Norton AntiVirus 9.0 for Macintosh, Norton SystemWorks 3.0 for Macintosh and Norton Utilities 8.0 for Macintosh on Monday, Dec. 22 (after first telling MacNN earlier this month). Users will be able to download the Panther compatibility updates at no cost via Symantec's LiveUpdate. Symantec also said that current users of Norton SystemWorks 3.0 for Macintosh and/or Norton Utilities 8.0 for Macintosh with Apple hardware released after June 22, 2003 (post-G5) will require a replacement boot CD for use in emergencies when the main hard drive is not functioning properly.
Apple today released Battery Update 1.1, which enhances the performance of the battery to ensure that full capacity is available for your PowerBook or iBook. Installation of the Battery Update requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and is designed for the iBook (Dual USB), iBook (Late 2001), iBook (Opaque 16 VRAM) iBook (32 VRAM), iBook G4 (12-inch), PowerBook G4 (12-inch), PowerBook G4 (12-inch DVI), PowerBook G4 (15-inch FW 800), and PowerBook G4 (17-inch) PowerBook G4 (17-inch 1.33GHz). Apple says that "once the Battery Update software has been installed, each battery you install in your PowerBook or iBook will be updated automatically." It is available via the Mac OS X Software Update.
Fidelity Media updated its software for professional DJ mixing and radio automation. The MegaSeg 2.7.1 update fixes Unicode compatibility issues, has better support of the Contour ShuttlePro controller, and allows Playlist Event lists to be edited and reordered by drag-n-drop. Full versions are $200. [Classic, OSX] DeepSix 1.1 (donationware) is a simple utility that removes some of the font-related files that can cause some design-based applications to unexpectedly quit, especially Flash, Microsoft Office and Adobe products. It will remove the "AdobeFnt" files, font cache files from the various libraries, and problematic Microsoft Office files. [195KB] Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor 2.4.1 ($26) makes learning to touch type simple: "With its easy-to-use, stunning visual interface, it takes a fun and accessible approach to teaching touch typing. [It] uses games and step-by-step tutorials so that novice users can learn to touch type in record time, and experienced typists can improve their skills." [Classic, OSX] iKeeper 2.0.1 fixes a few bugs in the $20 utility that allows users to quickly enter, view, or modify internet and product information and quickly search through your records to find the information you need, when you need it. [Classic, OSX] Eovia has updated Amapi Designer 7.1, its high-end tool used for the conception, modeling and assembly of 3D objects and scenes. It brings support for Mac OS X 10.2, mouse wheel support, improved theme management, new options to keep new kinds of shapes, better Carrara export, and other enhancements. Full licenses are $500. [form] Cocktail 3.3 offers maintenance tools and interface tweaks, all accessible via a comprehensive GUI and toolset. Version 3.3 includes a major update to Pilot, a new scheduler that allows you to run miscellaneous maintenance tasks at scheduled times, while the Options button allows you to customize your system optimization even more. [1.9MB]
X2 Studios has launched its much-anticipated Jumpgate redirect service. The service is available for Mac OS X, Windows and *nix users. Users can get a free week upon sign-up to test the service. The subscription cost is $12/year ($1/month).
Bare Bones Software today released Super Get Info 1.2, an update to its system utility offering a powerful alternative to the Mac OS X Finder's Get Info command. Version 1.2 adds the ability to modify the Finder labels for selected items, the ability to locate a file by its file system catalog information, and an option to suppress alias resolution when running on Mac OS X 10.3. It now requires Mac OS X 10.2 and is available free of charge to registered owners of the $20 application.
O'Reilly is publishing a new quarterly journal for OS X developers -- MacDeveloper Journal. It is available in electronic form via the Zino magazine reader for Mac. The publication covers Cocoa, Mac OS X, Unix and related developer topics and will be released quarterly. A partial copy of the first issue can be downloaded for free (registration required) from Zinio, along with the free Zinio reader.
RE:Vision Effects today released major upgrades to products: Twixtor (Pro), a retiming solution; RE:Flex, a warping and morphing solution; and ReelSmart Motion Blur, its solution for adding motion blur as a post-process. All three product updates offer significant speedups on multiprocessor systems and G5 and AltiVec optimizations. The versions updated are the Shake versions and the After Effects-compatible plugin versions that work also work with combustion, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro and Commotion.
Apple has publicly launched its new Apple Discussions for support of its products, as anticipated several days ago by MacNN: "Today we released a new version of Apple Discussions featuring a significant update to the user interface and a change to the way posts are rated. As well, users can now qualify for extra new features through the ratings to their posts as well as other factors. Other significant new features: Custom information on the profile page. Users at level 2 and above can post extra information to be shown on their user profile page; and Custom user icons. Users at level 3 and above may upload a custom user icon."
A MacNN reader reports that Apple has quietly patched the MPEG-2 Component expiring bug that we reported on Monday. Users must login to the Apple Store and visit the software download purchases section to download the updated Component. Versions are available for QuickTime 6.3 and QuickTime 6.4 (in the same download).
LightWork Design today updated LightWorks 7.4, its rendering solutions for developers of advanced 3D computer graphics software. It now includes shaders that seamlessly work in both software rendering and hardware rendering; offers HDRI (high dynamic range images) support for photorealistic lighting; includes efficient and controllable sky light effects, and has a new plugin architecture that offers the ability for customers to add new shaders and plugin modules without having to recompile their application.
Aspyr is now shipping Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield, the third game in the Rainbow Six line, which has sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. Raven Shield features a new storyline in which Team Rainbow traverses the world in a string of dramatic operations. The game uses graphics technology provided by the next-generation Unreal engine to power 15 new single-player missions, six dedicated multiplayer maps, and fifty-seven weapons with real-world accessories. It is available for $50 and runs on Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later (requiring at least a 733MHz processor).
Aspyr today announced it will publish The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King for the Macintosh. Beenox Studios will be performing the conversion. The $50 game title is due for completion in April 2004. It is already available for PlayStation 2, PC, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox. Aspyr also began shipping Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, the latest installment of the highly acclaimed Jedi series. The $50 game title is available for Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later.
BBC's review of Apple's iPod advertising reports that Apple's PR department has secured 6,000 iPod and iTunes stories in major publications worldwide and also notes that the advertising campaign has managed "not to blow the product's cool...subtle evolution of Apple's tried-and-tested formula. The only innovation is that it uses neon hues, rather than the traditional white backdrop. Apple supremo Steve Jobs - who takes a hands-on approach to marketing - needed a little persuading to make even this revolutionary step, according to TBWA agency head Lee Clow."
Agfa Monotype has added more than 600 fonts and font packages on Fonts.com. Cape Arcona includes 22 fonts and font packages, which are available in both PostScript and TrueType varieties. Individual fonts start at $22 with volumes beginning at $26. All 581 fonts and font packages from ITF's Red Rooster collection are now available, including the recently designed Dundee, based on children's comic book masthead designs. Individual fonts start at $56 with volumes beginning at $106. Martin Wait has added two new fonts to Fonts.com, including Tractor, a squiggly design created on a digital drawing board. Each font is $32.
DataRescue has released PhotoRescue v2.0, a new version of its digital photo recovery software for Mac OS X. The application offers "what you see is what you get" digital image data recovery solution. PhotoRescue will undelete, unerase and recover pictures, images and files lost on corrupted, erased or damaged media. Version 2.0 offers support for larger storage devices, new RAW image file fornats, better recovery, Panther compatibility, and performance improvements. A "Wizard" version is available for $30, while an "Expert" version is $30 ($10 off) for a limited time.
Planar Systems has expanded its PL line of LCD monitors with new 17-, 19- and 20-inch monitors, incorporating enhanced visual performance with innovative features designed for corporate IT buyers and business people. Planar has integrated 2-watt TrueMedia speakers and a built-in power supplies and VESA mounting interfaces. The 17-inch PL1700 (without TrueMedia speakers) and PL1700M feature 16ms response time and 450:1 contrast ratio. The PL1910M includes analog and digital (DVI-D) inputs, a 700:1 contrast ratio, and a 170-degree viewing angle. The 20-inch PL2010M offers UXGA resolution, a 600:1 contrast ratio and a 25ms response time. Planar's new PL1700 ($460), PL1700M ($470), PL1910M ($680) and PL2010M ($1000) will be available in January 2004.
Adobe today opened the Adobe Digital Media Store, an online retail site that offers a wide variety of PF digital content. The Adobe Digital Media Store has thousands of titles for immediate download, including Adobe PDF eBooks, links to digital magazines and newspapers, maps, research reports, and other documents.
Unsanity's FruitMenu 3.2 ($10) brings Panther compatibility to the haxie that gives you the ability to customize the Apple Menu and contextual menus using a visual editor. It also features a new Japanese and French localization. [1.7MB] Blue Mango has released a free Enhanced QuickTime External, which extends the QuickTime features available to the Revolution software development system, including movie playback, callback message response, wired actions, editing, movie download status, and intermovie communication. [88KB] Bebosoft's Forms To Go 2.0 updates the $12 shareware internet developer tool that will create (validating) form-to-email scripts in PHP, ASP or Perl (from a standard HTML form). It adds support for uploading attachments, text field dump, and other bug fixes. [Classic, OSX] mail.it 18.104.22.168 is the latest version of the $60 email plug-in for FileMaker Pro that lets you send, receive and manage email with any FileMaker Pro database. It offers better compatibility with non-standard emails, better parsing, speed improvements, and other fixes. [form] Derman Enterprises's KMremoteControl 1.3 is cross-platform program that lets you use one system's keyboard/mouse to operate multiple PCs and Macs. Version 1.3 offer Panther support, and several fixes. A trial of the $25 application (2-license pack) is available online. [2.8MB] The $10 shareware ClipCommControl 1.1 allows users to extend Copy/Paste across your networked Macs. It provides Clipboard Sharing between systems. Version 1.1 adds Panther support and can send/fetch a clipboard via the dock menu. [2.2MB] Burnz 1.07 is a maintenance release to the drag-and-drop disc-burning application that "burns data discs at least twice as fast as the Finder on most Macs." It works with any burner and disc media supported by Apple (CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, etc.). [691KB] Apago's $90 PDFmerge 1.0 can combine multiple source files in PDF, PS, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, PSD and other formats into PDF. It offers high-quality page previews and now adds support for import/export of the file list for future reuse. [2.1MB]
Willow Design has introduced Minimis PowerBook & iBook Sleeves, new sleeves that minimize the size needed to protect and sheath all five of Apple's laptop offerings: "At just over half an inch bigger than each notebook, each sleeve is as small as possible while still offering good protection. They easily slip into another bag or briefcase, but can also be carried safely as a portfolio or over the shoulder with the convenient shoulder carry strap." The cases feature one-quarter inch of soft foam reinforced by outer high density plastic outer panels along with an extra layer of foam. Pricing starts at $41.
Digilink's MediaMover 2.0 is an application for transfering files with a Mac or PC browse--without requiring any extra software. Version 2.0 has an increased speed for downloading and uploading files, including speed improvements of up to 100% with Mac OS X. It also features a new server-based license structure, drag & drop support for resuming downloads/uploads, and a filter option to exclude files. It can be used with a Microsoft Acces, SQL Server and MySQL databases. Pricing starts at $4025.
BounceUsII lite is an audio bouncer (mix-down), player and meta data editor for BWF and SD2 files for OS X. It allows users to bounce up to ten tracks of BWF or SD2 mono files into one stereo file with a few clicks. The output choices are either BWF for Avid or QuickTime for Final Cut Pro. It allows FCP editors to make use of the metadata included in the professional BWF audio format. Spherico is offering a free version of the utility for a limited time. In January, the application is expected to become a commercial product for €25.
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HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko