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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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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
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Herm√©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL