Jordi Bird of AppleTalk Australia has published a detailed guide to converting a PC ATI Radeon 7000 video card to work on a Mac. Users have been performing the procedure for some time, with widespread success. "There is a fair deal of ambiguous information concerning the software conversion [...] I decided to write my own guide on how to perform this conversion, due to the high cost and general unavailability of Mac ATI graphics cards in Australia." The procedure is not authorized by ATI and could result in damage to the card.
Apple has posted iSight 1.02, which features enhanced IIDC compliance, improved auto exposure and auto white balance, and better overall performance for your iSight video camera. It requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later and the iSight video camera.
Reader Arrol Lofton has informed us of problems with AOL's "Advanced Spam Filtering" whereby legitimate emails will be forwarded to the "spam" folder. AOL's Mac OS X client does not provide a way to disable this feature. AOL has advised users to access their account via a Windows machine to disable this feature.
BusinessWeek reports that companies in 2003 posted the highest profit surge in history. Apple recorded the largest increase among tech companies, a 552 percent jump in annual profits to $137 million, thanks to strong sales of its computers and the iPod. By comparison, the crowded software industry didn't see such a sharp increase. "Although profits at Oracle rose 22%, to $2.5 billion last year, sales climbed a meager 4% [...] Microsoft barely surpassed the industry's 8% total annual sales gain, with an 11% increase, to $34.3 billion."
User group news: Darin Ingram of Grounded4Life Productions will be on hand at the monthly Portland Mac Filmmakers' User Group meeting to give an in-depth demonstration of Appleís Shake.†The monthly user group meetings are held at MacForce in Southeast Portland; this meeting will be held February 23 at 7:00 p.m. The next meeting of the Macintosh Business Users Society of Greater Philadelphia (MacBUS) will be held on February 24 at 6:30 pm. This month's meeting will include a question and answer session, along with some Mac OS X Panther tips.†
iAdvertise Limited this week launched i@dvertise at the Multi Channel Retail Show in London, England. The Mac OS X software solution uses a client/server architecture: firstname.lastname@example.org will collect and manage multi-format media files, to create and schedule playlists in varying screen layouts, and to monitor the player stations to ensure the playlists are correctly executed. The email@example.com (client) downloads schedules and the required media files, offering the ability to drive up to 8 separate display systems (projectors, large format TFT) simultaneously.
Marware today introduced several new iPod mini cases: The Mini Sportsuit Basic case is made of high-tech, rugged and light weight 2mm neoprene and offers easy access to the wheel and controls, a plush lined interior, a low-profile spring clip, velcro closure, and a bottom grommet for easy access cable syncing. The Mini SportSuit Sleeve features a pouch-style neoprene design, vulcanized rubber sides and access to the hold switch and headphone port. It also offers a stretchable front pocket for storage of earphones or other small accessories as well as a removable belt clip on the rear of the case. The Mini SportSuit Basic ($25), Mini SportSuit Sleeve ($20), and Mini SportSuit Safari ($20) are shipping now, while the Mini SportSuit Runabout ($20 wristband case) will ship on March 1 and the Mini SportSuit Convertible ($35 all-around sports case) will ship on March 15.
Navicat 5.0.1 is a MySQL Front End for graphically adminstrating and monitoring MySQL server on Mac OS X. The maintenance update is available free to current users; Navicat costs $95. [1.4MB] LCedit+ 3.2 is an advanced LanBox lighting editor for LanBox controllers, which start at Euro 295. Version 3.2 adds a a tool for creating paths for moving lights, and patterns for simple lights as well as import/export to spreadsheets. [Classic, OSX] macXware has announced a Mac OS X version of LogoCreator. The $40 design tool includes 75 customizable templates, tagline/slogan generator, a diverse assortment of object and text tools and the ability to easily transfer your results to business cards and letterhead. It runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later. The Iconfactory's iPulse 2.0.2 offers several important additions including motherboard temperature and bandwidth reporting as well as cool support for owners of the Griffin PowerMate. The $13 utility for Mac OS X offers displays system info on the desktop or in the dock. [1.9MB] iFlash 2 is a rewritten version of the $10 application for creating virtual flash cards. It offers more than two sides per deck, image attachments, advanced importing and exporting, a completely new memorization system, a re-designed multi-document interface, a completely new card show, and automatic dictionary lookup. [1.0MB] Lemke Software's Fontbook 4.0 ($10) offer printing of both installed and installed fonts, display of all characters of a font in your system, and a display of the key combinations to access all characters inside a font as well as various layouts for printing the samples. [Classic, OSX]
Aspyr today announced that The Sims Makin' Magic has gone Gold and is expected to ship later this month: "Add a little magic to your Sims' lives. Cast spells, hypnotize friends, and even turn a neighbor into a frog. Perform magic, quest for ingredients, and unlock spell recipes." The expansion pack includes 175+ new items, a new charm maker, a new Baker's Oven, a Skeleton Closet, a Spookshow stage, and custom rollercoaster rides. It will be available in stores by March 4, 2004 for $30 (and requires a full version of The Sims, available for $50.)
Miglia Technology today announced it has added FireWire 800 support to the MediaBank HS-R. The external low-cost FireWire storage solution features two easily removable hard drive trays, hardware support for RAID 1 (mirroring), and fully automatic (standalone) drive duplication: "Many customers use MediaBank HS-R not only because it protects against a drive failure, but also because it makes backing up your entire drive so easy. By mirroring data on two drives and featuring hot swap capability, it completely automates the backup process." It requires Mac OS X 10.2.5 for FireWire 800 support and is £300 (case only).
Apple is offering .Mac members 10% off camcorders at any Apple retail store, as part of its .Mac exclusives. The offer is good through March 31, 2004: "We're making filmmaking even easier with this timely digital camcorder discount for .Mac members, now through March 31, 2004 only at the Apple Retail Stores. You'll need to present a printout of this .Mac page to get the 10 percent discount on any digital camcorder in stock, including the latest models from Canon, Sony and JVC."
REAL Software today began soliciting entries for the REALbasic Design Awards, which will be presented at REAL World 2004, The REALbasic User Conference, scheduled to take place March 24-26 in Austin, Texas. REAL will offer awards in several categories, including Best Overall, Best Business Software, Best Cross-Platform Software, Best Educational Software, Best Entertainment Software and Best Developer Tool. The deadline for entry is March 12, 2004. Winners will receive a REALbasic Design Award recognition gift and a "Select" level membership in the REALbasic Developer Program ($1000 value).
A MacNN reader reports that his iPod mini, pre-ordered in January, was delivered this morning by FedEx, following reports earlier this week on shipment and Apple's announcement of retail availability. The iPod mini will officially go on sale at retail outlets Friday at 6:00 p.m.
Gefen today released the ex-tend-it 4x4 DVI Matrix Switch that "combines multiple, cross-platform DVI video sources with multiple DVI displays to create an integrated environment without networking or patching cords." The device also accommodates a USB keyboard and mouse for use with computers. The 4x4 DVI Matrix Switch costs $2,500.
Rob Schoeben, Apple vice president of Application Marketing, will be on hand for the 2004 Digital Music Forum, a 1-day event in New York City that will feature leading music and technology executives. The forum will tackle such topics as viable business models for selling music online, status of pending lawsuits and legislation regarding digital copyrights, whether the music industry can profit from legitimate uses of P2P, and what the future holds for satellite and Internet radio. The forum takes place March 1, 2004; registration is $300 before February 20, and $400 after.
EZQuest's Pro Audio FireWire 800 Hard Drive is a new line of external drives optimized for digital audio. The drives ship preformatted for optimized use with large amounts of data, feature 8MB of cache, and all spin at 7,200 RPM. The drives have also been qualified by Digidesign for use with the Pro Tools HD system. The drives feature FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connectivity and are available now in 120GB ($290), 200GB ($350), and 250GB ($420) capacities.
Apple leads the industry 802.11g revenues, according to Business Week: "According to research by tech tracker In-Stat/MDR, Apple grabbed 20.2% of the global market for NIC and wireless access points offering the 802.11g flavor of Wi-Fi. That put the Mac folks behind only Cisco subsidiary and industry leader Linksys in sales of gear running 802.11g, which is quickly become the de facto standard for consumer and small-business Wi-Fi use. Still, if Apple is No. 2 in sales, it leads in revenues. In 2003, it pulled in $148.3 million in 802.11g revenues, putting Jobs & Co. ahead of Linksys by some $32 million."
SuperDuper 1.1(56) ($20) provides users with the ability to instantly revert their system to a saved state, in the event of data corruption, accidental deletion of files, or unresolvable system issues. Version 1.1(56) adds a "copy newer" setting that greatly speeds up backup scripts. The update also improves the handling of non-boot drives, reduces the size of Safety Clones, and fixes some minor bugs. Existing copies of SuperDuper will auto-upgrade the next time they are run.
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