Peachpit Press has released "iChat AV 2 for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide," a task-based guide that "gets you up and running fast as it covers the basics of setting up and working with iChat." Topics include creating your Buddy List, sending instant messages, initiating audio and video chats, configuring your FireWire Webcam, creating chat rooms, transferring files, and more. The $15 book features simple step-by-step instructions with hundreds of screen shots and tips.
Readers of the MacNN forums today discuss a number of topics, including: owners of the dual-2.0GHz Power Mac G5 discuss their level of satisfaction with the new machine; G5 owners discuss the recently-released Power Mac G5 firmware update, and its effects; a member's review of MacMice's "The Mouse;" general discussion of the recently-released Mac OS X 10.3.2 update; the optimal Halo settings for a Power Mac G5; the latest custom Mac OS X themes and GUI modifications.
Apple's first quarter 2004 financial results will be made public on Wednesday, January 14. An analysts' conference call will be held after the close of the U.S. markets. The conference call will be streamed live via QuickTime.
Weekend tech news: Columnist Bill Howard looks at the future of the television, and its continual entanglement with the PC; Microsoft and the New York attorney general are going after a sprawling e-mail spam ring, saying they hope to drive it into bankruptcy by exposing what they called its schemes of deception; in a surprise setback for the recording industry, a U.S. appeals court said Friday its methods for tracking down those who copy its music over the Internet are not authorized by law.
Sybex has announced the release of "Mastering Mac OS X, Third Edition" by Todd Stauffer and Kirk McElhearn. This nearly 900-page resource covers all features new to Mac OS X 10.3 and provides expert advice on running Classic applications, networking, system and data recovery, encryption, iApps, Web serving, Internet security. Also included is over 250 pages of advanced material, including extensive focus on troubleshooting and maintenance. Todd Stauffe is the author or co-author of over 30 books covering topics such as Web publishing, upgrading the Macintosh, and using the iMac. Kirk McElhearn is a freelance writer, journalist, translator and contributor to TidBITs.
IBM is said to be ready to deliver a new version of its PowerPC processor to Apple by the end of this year, in time for a revision to the flagship PowerMac G5 line, reports Forbes. "The main improvement to the PowerPC chip, known internally at IBM as the PowerPC 970fx, will be a reduction of the features on the chip itself, from sizes of 130 nanometers to 90 nanometers." Apple CEO Steve Jobs has gone on record saying that the G5 computer will contain PowerPC chips that run at 3 GHz by the summer of 2004. Systems with chips as fast as 2.6 GHz would be a logical mid-step come January, says industry analyst Peter Glaskowsky, "speeds of 2.4 to 2.6 GHz would be consistent with exactly where I would expect them to be right now."
Lunar Software has released EarthBrowser 2.0, a $30 application for Mac OS X that will display the the earth with live weather, clouds, earthquakes, webcams and more. EarthBrowser is an innovative earth simulation (and screen saver) that combines an easy to navigate 3D globe with real-time weather conditions, 7-day forecasts, and display of live earthquakes, webcams, volcanoes and current cloud formations. Version 2.0 includes a 16x increase in earth resolution, 4x more cloud resolution, over 17,000 cities with full 7 day forecasts, hundreds of webcams, tectonic plate boundaries, a world time clock, and more.
Apple's flagship retail store on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago is the highest-trafficked Apple retail store worldwide, averaging 30,000 visitors per week. The Chicago Sun-Times also notes that Apple is selling an iPod "every 10 minutes" and that Apple currently has flood of applicants for its retail positions: "'There's even a waiting list to work for Apple. "We have 17,000 applicants for 1,000 retail positions,' [Apple VP Ron] Johnson said. 'It's harder to get a job at an Apple store than it is to get admitted to Stanford University,' quips Johnson. There's a sign of the economic times."
Steve Jobs' Macworld Expo San Francisco keynote will be available via the Web in QuickTime 6: "Watch Apple CEO Steve Jobs deliver the Macworld Expo keynote address from Moscone Center in San Francisco. See the live webcast right here on January 6 at 9am PT exclusively in QuickTime and MPEG-4. It's an event you won't want to miss."
MacNN readers note that the redesigned MSNBC.com website initially did not provide support for Apple's Safari browser, however, the company has since enabled the browser: "it seems like they were going out of their way to block apple's browser, safari. i clicked on the year in pictures link off of their homepage and was sent to this page. This goes along with none of their videos--that used to work before the redesign--being accessible. with everyone moving to W3C standards for designing websites why are they intentionally blocking out Mac users." Update: Readers also note problems with some of the multimedia files on the website, including the Flash-based image albums and the WMP video files.
Nisus Software today released Nisus Writer Express 1.1.1, an update to its word processing application that contains "many fixes and improved reliability." A 30-day demo of the $60 application is available online. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [280KB] Rating Bar is a $5 shareware System Preference that "puts the little 5 star rating widget of the currently playing song in you menu bar, useful for anyone who uses the rating system as a means of organizing songs into playlists." It requires Mac OS 10.2. [90KB] Black Cat Systems has released DX Toolbox 1.2, an update to its $20 radio propagation / conditions analysis and forecasting tool for amateur radio operators, and other radio enthusiasts. It adds calculations for MUF and LUF. [Classic, OSX] Silent Night 1.1 allows "users of PowerBook Rev. A to have the PowerBook's fan turn on at a higher temperature, much like it was before the 10.3.2 update. It includes an uninstaller if you would like to go back to the way it was after the 10.3.2 update." [2.5MB] FinKit 2.0 ($25) updates the flexible and intuitive financial calculator that lets you calculate annuities, bonds, dates, interest, loans, etc. It now includes an advanced interest on deposit calculator that calculates simple and compound interest using fixed or variable rates and six day count conventions. [1.5MB] Old Jewel Software's Painter's Picker 1.1 ($14) is an extension to Mac OS X's color picker panel that adds the ability to choose related colors, such as complementary colors, analogous colors, etc. It brings a new support for web designers with html-style color strings and web safe color navigation. [777KB] Koingo Software's Mac Pilot 1.1 ($10) provides a GUI for many common command line and hidden functions in Mac OS X. It can now "erase your tracks," by clearing the 'Recent Files' used in numerous applications, empty Safari/IE Cookies/History, etc. Version 1.1 can also turn on the hidden Exposť button. [780KB] If Then Software's DeepSix 1.2 is a utility to 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. It has been updated to not affect AdobeFnt.DB files. [218KB] The $5 shareware Hover Text 1.1 is a Carbon Event button-type control with a mouse rollover effect available for use in Carbon apps on Mac OS X 10.2 or newer. It is packaged in a Mach-O library that is statically linked to your application. [116KB]
Paradigma Software today released Valentina Technology Release 1.1.0, which includes a general update to all Valentina products and includes numerous fixes and SQL improvements for all supported development environments. For Mac OS deployment, version 1.1 introduces support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. Valentina C++ for Mac OS X also now supports development with Apple's Xcode development environment as well as Metrowerks CodeWarrior, Java, REALbasic, Macromedia Director, Purity's WebSiphon and XCMD compatible products, while Valentina SDKs are available for every major development IDE.
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Samsung still not recommending Windows 10
Nearly a year after release, Samsung support is recommending that owners of its PCs not upgrade to Windows 10. In an email exchange with UK Samsung technical support and an individual in need of help getting Wi-Fi to work, the support representative wrote that "honestly speaking, we don't suggest installation of Windows 10 to any Samsung laptop or PC and we are still coordinating with Microsoft regarding to this matter" and "the Drivers that we have on our website are not yet compatible to the latest version of Windows." Samsung will update users when there are no more compatibility issues with Samsung hardware and Windows 10. Microsoft has no meaningful comment on the matter. http://bit.ly/1PgrJcx
T-Mobile offers 'tourist' plan
A new plan from T-Mobile is launching on June 12, and will offer visitors to the US a flat-rate $30 plan that offers a free US SIM, 2GB of high-speed data, and 1,000 minutes of calls good for a three-week period. The plan will work with any unlocked GSM-compatible smartphone, and is advertised as "unlimited" data (but speed will slow down after the first 2GB). The plan does not automatically renew, but can be manually renewed for those staying longer. It also comes with unlimited international texting to some 40 countries, but does not offer any international talk minutes at all. http://t-mo.co/1TI1Pe9
First hardware RAID 10Gbps USB 3.1 controllers
Marvell today announced the Marvell 88RC13xx family of high-performance RAID storage controllers with a full set of features that include eight 6Gbps SATA ports, four lanes of PCI Express 3.0, and a 10Gbps USB 3.1 device port with Type-C connector support. The move paves the way for high-performance USB-C UASP hardware RAID multi-drive arrays, utilizing the full bandwidth of USB 3.1. http://bit.ly/1P0JBmb
Tama debuts adapters for Lightning-only iPhone
Predicting an iPhone without a standard 3.5mm headphone, a Chinese accessory maker has released three Lightning-to-headphone-adapters ready should Apple pull the trigger on what would be a controversial decision. The three adapters, picked up by Macotakara, includes two models that simultaneously support charging an iPhone over microUSB while the user also continues to listen to music. Rumors have suggested that Apple will eventually drop the 3.5mm jack on one of its next-generation iPhones, although it is not clear whether it will be in the 'iPhone 7,' due this year, or a future model. In the interim, the Tama Electric Lightning-to-headphone adapters offer little particular utility. http://bit.ly/1P0sYXM
French Google tax raid evaluation could take years
The data retrieved from the Paris raid on Google's headquarters by French police could take months or even years to analyze, according to a prosecutor assigned to the case. Authorities seized dozens of files and related data that recorded Google's financial transactions in the country with a view to lodging a claim for unpaid taxes by the Internet search giant. Although Google has denied any wrongdoing, it must complete all of its sales contracts in Ireland, where it is incorporated. If French authorities sifting through the documents seized in the raids discover that any of its French sales transactions were completed locally, it could be subject to further action, including fines. http://reut.rs/1P0n8G2
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea