Apple today posted Security Update 2004-01-26, which it says delivers a number of security enhancements for Apache 1.3, Classic, Mail, Safari, and Windows File Sharing. Additionally, Security Update 2003-12-19 has been incorporated into this security update.
EiffelStudio 5.4 for Mac OS X is the latest version of its development environment based "on the carefully designed programming language, Eiffel. Backed by the efficiency of the language and the powerful tools in the environment, EiffelStudio's users continuously produce 2 to 10 times as much quality software in the same amount of time as can be achieved using other languages and toolsets." It includes improved compiler speed, better support for multithreading, improvements to the GUI Builder, standardization process of Eiffel through ECMA, and more. A free edition is available for Mac OS X.
Apple today released AirPort 3.3, an update to its wireless networking software update, which provides "support for the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) specification for the AirPort Extreme base station and AirPort Extreme and AirPort clients. Also included in this release is v5.3 of the AirPort Extreme base station firmware. Instructions for updating the base station firmware can also be found in AirPort Help. The AirPort Extreme base station and AirPort Extreme client are Wi-Fi Certified for 802.11b and 802.11g interoperability." It is available via the Software Update in Mac OS X.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Monday gave final approval for a class-action settlement that will allow some Mac owners to receive a refund for their Mac OS X purchase, according to CNET News.com: "Under the terms of the deal, owners of certain older Macs can get a refund if they return their copy of Mac OS X or, if they want to keep Mac OS X, they can obtain a coupon for $25 off a $99 purchase at the Apple Store. Apple also agreed to pay $350,000 in legal costs to King & Ferlauto, the law firm that brought the suit."
ProjectOmega has announce the availability of an electronic book titled "Mac OS X - Panther for developers," as free download. The 88 pages cover information on many topics, spread across three chapters -- "A Unix Called Mac OS X," "The Xcode Revolutions," and "Major New APIs."
FWB Software officially announced today that the complete source code for its Hard Disk ToolKit, CD-ROM ToolKit, and DriveUp! 98 products is for sale (as noted earlier today), but says that company is committed to offering both sales and support on the products until any sale occurs. Update: Readers note that auction has now been pulled from eBay: "The seller ended this listing early because of an error in the listing."
A MacNN reader notes a Webpage that describes using an Xbox Controller under Mac OS X: "Although I've only tried this with an Xbox controller, I think you can do the same with PS2 and probably Gamecube controllers, but I like the double triggers of the Redmond unit. The other controllers are something to look into, but as for me I'm going to play some Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4."
Aspyr has released Nascar Racing 2003 Season Mac 1.2.7 Update, which has several fixes and brings Nascar 2003 up to date with the latest PC patch. Along with this update Aspyr is releasing Mac specific installers for several popular Project Wildfire user mods for Nascar 2003. [265MB] Creative Manager Pro announced today that it is currently in the final stages of development of Creative Manager 6.0, which will contain a new sync and sharing tool allowing users to take their web-based calendars and contacts on the road (as well as integration with iCal and AddressBook). appMac has released wKiosk Browser 3.1, a full-screen web browser for internet or intranet kiosks in public spaces. It adds new interface options, new buttons, more print options, French (and English) localization, and better stability/performance. It is $100 for Mac OS X 10.3 only. [2.3MB] CG Invoicer 1.7 ($70) is a small business invoicing/billing solution that "helps with your administrative needs so you can focus on driving the growth of your business. Entrepreneurs can benefit from this product, from personal trainers to wedding planners to online auctioneers." [8.0MB] The freeware Mac Sweeper 3.0 executes UNIX maintenence and optimization scripts and tools that are not readily available in OS X. A GUI is provided for every tool and script. [323KB] MultiMode OSX 4.5 adds reception of SITOR-A transmissions, as well as adds a shift display to Bit Rate mode. MultiMode allows your Macintosh to decode and transmit several different modes of non-voice communication often heard on shortwave and ham radio. The standard version is $90, while a "lite" version is $30. [1.2MB] QPict 6.02 is a fully featured, easy-to-use media asset manager for images, movies, fonts and sounds, offering functions to view, organize, search and batch process media files and supporting standards such as ANPA, EXIF and XML. It adds a new Mac OS 9-compatible version. [Classic, OSX]
Vidvox has released GRID 1.3, a video instrument designed for live performances: "The thumbnail grid interface allows you to instantly see and access 128 QuickTime movies in one unified window. But don't let its simplicity deceive you, because GRID takes full advantage of G4 Altivec and OpenGL hardware acceleration, giving you full resolution playback capability and the creative freedom to perform, rather than spend hours and hours preparing for your show." It is $25 and runs on Mac OS X 10.2.4.
Iomega today announced that it is shipping the new Iomega Micro Mini USB 2.0 Drive, a fast solid-state USB 2.0-enabed drive in an ultra-small package that offers transfer rates of up to 8MB/sec: "Lightweight at only 0.3 ounces (9 grams), the new drive fits in the smallest places and includes three snap-on caps in three different colors, a keychain, and an illuminating USB cable and dog tag lanyard (128 MB model only), that gives users the choice of carrying an Iomega Micro Mini drive or wearing one." The bus-powered drive is now available in 64MB ($50) capacity, while the 128MB model ($70) will ship in March. [photo/link updated]
Dantz today began shipping Retrospect 6.0, the latest version of its backup and restore software. Version 6.0 of the Desktop Edition ($130) features Panther support, "significantly" improved backup performance, and protection for up to three networked machines. The Workgroup ($500 for 20 clients) and Server ($800 for 100 clients) editions add support for backing up Xserve and Xserve RAIDs, supports for SCSI or Fibre Channel tape libraries. It is available for $800. Upgrades are $60, $200, and $350 for the Desktop, Workgroup, and Server editions. Electronic downloads are available immediately, while the boxed product will be available in mid-February.
PGP Corporation today announced PGP Universal 1.1, an update to its enterprise security solution for email which it says "shifts the burden of securing email messages and attachments from the desktop to the network in a way that is automatic and entirely transparent to users." It includes S/MIME and X.509 support, Microsoft Exchange MAPI support, PGP Universal Satellite Mac OS X, LDAP directory synchronization, PGP Universal Web Messenger Inbox, sending/receiving of attachments, display of HTML and inline images, automatica internationalization, and load balancing. Pricing starts at $20,000 for a 500-seat license.
A MacNN reader notes that the source code to FWB's commercial products is available on eBay with a starting bid at $65,000: "This is the complete source code to the following FWB commercial software products: - Hard Disk ToolKit 4.5 - CD-ROM ToolKit 3.0 - DriveUp! 98 1.0. This collection includes the complete source code for all three commercial products. These retail products can be seen at: http://www.fwb.com. Hard Disk ToolKit is the Macintosh industry-leading utility for managing hard disk drives. All code is fully functional and ready to be ported to OS X. This private party sale includes all sources. It does *not* include the right to use the product names nor the FWB brand, name, or logo. This sale is by FWB Software, Inc. and is the legitimate sale of this Intellectual Property."
Apple's worldwide marketshare was 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2003 and may even fall more according to some analysts: "Salomon Smith Barney analyst Rich Gardner expects Apple to post PC unit growth of 6% in 2004 this year, vs. 11% for the entire PC industry. One reason is price. Gardner says the average price of a Mac is $900, although half of PC buyers now spend less than $600...[However] Steve Jobs says analysts should stop worrying about market share and focus on profits." Meanwhile, a BusinessWeek interview, Steve Jobs talks about its rapid rise to the top of the digital music biz, Pixar, and what tunes he's listening to today, while BusinessWeek's cover story titled "Show Time!" says that "just as the Mac revolutionized computing, Apple is changing the world of online music. If Steve Jobs plays his cards right this time, Apple could end up with a big chunk of the digital-entertainment market."
iPod may define new era of open strategy (CNET News.com): "As the Macintosh celebrates its 20th anniversary Saturday, this diplomacy appears to be a defining element in Apple's strategy. Technology companies face a broad market shift away from traditional computing products and toward consumer electronics." From 'insanely great' to 'think different': "PC World asked many longtime industry players, including some involved in the Mac's early days, what the Macintosh has taught the PC--and, essentially, the computing industry. And, on the flip side, what has the PC taught the Macintosh?" OK, Mac, Make a Wish (Newsweek): ""The Mac-user interface was a 10-year monopoly," says Jobs. "Who ended up running the company? Sales guys. At the critical juncture in the late '80s, when they should have gone for market share, they went for profits. They made obscene profits for several years. And their products became mediocre. And then their monopoly ended with Windows 95." The Apple Mac is 20 (The Register): "Will Apple introduce a 20th Anniversary Macintosh* on Monday, two days after the platform's 20th birthday? Suggestions from some quarters suggest it might well do so, and it's hard to imagine the company not wanting to commemorate this significant milestone." What will become of Apple in the next 20 years? (ZDNet AnchorDesk): "If Jobs were at the helm for the next 20 years, I would give Apple a good chance of succeeding with its digital hub strategy. He has the imagination, savvy, and guts necessary become a 21st century digital-media mogul. As a business machine, the Macintosh is barely on the radar, however." The machine that changed the world (SF Chronicle): "'I think if you were to ask the Macintosh division employees today are you disappointed in the results of the Macintosh, we would say we really thought it would be the predominant operating system in the world today,' Kawasaki said. 'On the other hand, it has made millions of people happy and has lasted 20 years.'" Steve Jobs on the Mac's 20th Anniversary (Macworld): "We don't think that televisions and personal computers are going to merge. We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on."
apulSoft WormHole 1.1 ($25) is an audio plugin that can transmit 32-bit audio over any network. Version 1.1 adds VST support to the existing AU version. A demo of the $25 application is available online. It requires Mac OS X 10.2.3 or later and one or multiple Audio Units/VST hosts. [1.2MB] Cocktail 3.4 updates the $12 shareware for Mac OS X 10.2 or later that offers a combination of mix of maintenance tools and interface tweaks. Version 3.4 allows you to easily view and manage log files, modify hidden Login Window settings and browse entire file system, and check the status of SMART compatible hard drives. [1.5MB] Netflix Freak 1.1.1 is a $10 application for managing your rental queue. The free upgrade adds AppleScript support, the ability to view and assign star ratings directly from any of your queues, recent search tracking, improved display, and other enhancements. [475KB] Cyberduck 2.2b3 is a new version of the open-source SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) and FTP browser licenced under the GPL. New features include Keychain integration, full Unicode suport, a transfer manager and public key authentication over SSH. It is now also available in Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, French, German, Dutch and Spanish. [2.5MB] Random Sequence has released Scrap Book 1.0, a utility for organizing, editing and retrieving plain, rich text scraps and images using OS X system services. Selected Text in services aware applications can be added to Scrap Book with a keystroke, or be replaced with the content of a matching scrap. [372KB] iPhoto Buddy 1.18 brings iLife '04, iDVD, and better support for long library names to the freeware utility that allows you to use more than one photo Library with Apple's iPhoto as well as with itís companion programs, iMovie and iDVD. [2.6MB] The $9 LoginManager 6.3 is a native MacOS X utility that helps to manage the time frame for accessing the computer for each user (including network access). The preference pane can set designated times, offers monitoring options for each user, and can separately limit network access during certain times. [445KB] JFBRowser offers access to Rendezvous-based services via the Mac OS X Dock. Version 0.4 adds quick-service additions and some well-known preset services. [202KB]
"Tucson's first Apple Store opened Saturday at La Encantada with more than 600 people in line before the 10 a.m. opening. The first person got in line at midnight, said Christina Sanchez, store manager. The store logged 1,400 customers by noon, when management stopped counting. By 11:30 a.m., 1,000 free T-shirts were passed out," according to the Arizon Daily Star.
The Washington Post has posted a review of iLife '04, offering a rundown of new/useful features in the $50 suite of applications as well some missing features. A separate review of GarageBand concludes: "The GarageBand name hides a certain irony -- it's hard to make a song sound any way but slick and seamless in this program. But this same relative sophistication (especially all the effects-processing options) opens up some fascinating possibilities for anybody with a keen ear for sampling and hip-hop production values. You can have a lot of fun here."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†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
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl