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.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-√Člys√©es. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel
Verizon gives last offer, issues workers ultimatum
Verizon has offered striking workers its "last, best and final offer" following 10 months of protracted negotiations with union leaders. The latest offer comes on the back of 36,000 Verizon employees taking strike action two weeks ago. The proposal includes a 7.5 percent wage rise, better benefits and voluntary retirement incentive offers. The striking workers, mainly on from its fixed line operations, have claimed that Verizon has outsourced 5,000 jobs to workers overseas and that it has been deliberately hiring low-wage, non-union contractors. Verizon recently posted revenue of $32.2 billion for the March quarter. http://cnnmon.ie/26AmwSv
CarPlay comes to Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche has revealed that its new 718 Cayman series will be the latest vehicles in its range equipped with support for Apple CarPlay. The new Porsche models joins the recently announced 718 Boxster, the 2017 Macans and the 2016 model of the 911 in offering support for Apple's iOS in the car interface. Both are fitted standard with an eight speaker sound system and the Porsche Communications Management (PCM) system. The entry-level Cayman starts at $53,9000, while the faster S variant starts from $66,300. Although already on sale, the won't reach US dealers until late November. http://prn.to/1Tj1EW7
Macphun offers free Photos filters
Image editing software maker Macphun are offering a free set of up to 30 photo filter effects to extend the range of filter options available to users of Apple's Photos app for OS X, which replaced the previous iPhoto program. The first 15 filters are available after installing the software, and includes filters such as "Ancient Canvas" and "Twilight," while users who sign up for the Macphun newsletter will unlock the other 15 effects. The extension integrates directly into Photos, and include sliders for finer control of the effects and a masking brush. http://bit.ly/1VEgQD6