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With the availability of Office 2004 for Mac just weeks away, Microsoft today revealed its new print advertising campaign that will start appearing this month. "Each of the campaign's print ads convey that even deep inside the most imaginative professional there is still an inner type A personality who wants to work smarter."
MacNN reader Dave Schroeder provided some more details on the Trojan Horse for Mac OS X reported first by MacNN earlier today: "This is actually a little bit of the Classic/Carbon paradigm catching up with us, and represents an oversight in the way Mac OS X handles presenting the file to the user. In the case of this proof of concept, a file can be made to appear as an ordinary mp3 file, complete with the familiar icon and .mp3 extension, and even audio content. However, the file contains a PowerPC code fragment - a piece of executable code; a little application - that can be made to do anything the author desires (limited by the permissions of the user executing it)."
CNN/Money reports that Apple's market-leading iTunes doesn't matter: "Apple may be the undisputed heavyweight champ of online music. But its market share in the computer business, which still accounts for nearly two-thirds of the company's total sales, remains Hobbit-like small. Apple is clearly an innovative and cool company but in the grand scheme of things, its results are only significant for Mac junkies and/or Apple shareholders. Investors looking for clues about what's happening in the broader tech world would be better off digging through the reports from Intel and IBM."
Network Associates has released Virex 7.5 Beta 1 as part of its McAfee Beta Program. NA's anti-virus application helps you keep your Mac free of viruses, Trojan horses and other malicious code, according to the company. It includes an updated revision of the Network Associates Olympus scanning engine, realtime 'On Access' scanning, automatic eUpdate functionality, scheduling options for On Demand scans and updating, and the latest 4240 McAfee antivirus engine.
Rampell Software has released TypeRecorder X 2.1 for Macintosh, a major upgrade to its cross-platform keystroke recording application. TypeRecorder X records all keystrokes typed and applications used on a computer, providing a "potentially life-saving" record of your work as well as a useful log of computer activity. Version 2.1 implements numerous speed ups, fixes all outstanding bugs, and improves application-usage recording. It comes with a free 5-day trial, and can be purchased for $34.99 directly from Rampell Software.
Afternoon tech news: An executive from Google says he doesn't expect to see a credible search product from the software giant for years; Japan's fair trade agency raided Intel's Japanese office Thursday and a government source in Tokyo said the world's largest chipmaker is suspected of violating antitrust laws; RealNetworks said on Wednesday it had held exploratory talks with computer makers about the impact of a landmark ruling by the European Commission that could help boost the adoption of its media player.
Intego today said it released an updated virus definitions for Intego VirusBarrier to protect Mac users against the first Trojan horse that affects Mac OS X. This Trojan horse, MP3Concept (MP3Virus.Gen), exploits a weakness in Mac OS X where applications can appear to be other types of files: "The Trojan horse's code is encapsulated in the ID3 tag of an MP3 (digital music) file. This code is in reality a hidden application that can run on any Macintosh computer running Mac OS X. Intego says the malicious application can delete files, propogate itself by sending a message to other users, and also infect other MP3, JPEG, GIF or QuickTime files.
Today’s Washington Post dissects the recent jump in Apple’s stock and looks at its historical performance (free registration required). "Regardless of how the company is doing in the market overall, Apple's stock price has tended to rise or fall in close association with whatever new product is causing positive or negative buzz... Apple's stock is ‘like Disney stock used to be’: People buy it for sentimental reasons more than economic reasons. People tend to grow attached to their PowerBooks or iPods and end up wanting to own a piece of the company.”
MacPlay and Buena Vista Interactive today announced that TRON 2.0 will ship in May for Mac OS X. The story-driven action game captured over 20 Best of 2003 awards last year with its Windows release and takes place in present day, twenty years after the events in the original film. TRON 2.0 will retail for $50; pre-orders are being taken now for $40.
Web Crossing today announced a new Register Plus plugin, allowing businesses to implement a Terms of Service (TOS) agreement, Age Checking and five new custom registration fields within its WebCrossing discussion software. The software is available free for a limited time to any Web Crossing customer via the the sysop control panel: "The new Register Plus plug-in provides an option for obtaining agreement with the Terms of Service before a user's registration is processed. Register Plus can automatically prevent duplicate email addresses from registering [and] also provides an option to notify the administrator when a new user registers."
PasswordWallet 3.0 ($15) adds over 50 new features including unlimited categories, much larger notes, faster display, new security features, single-direction syncing and new appearance preferences. The application securely stores passwords and other confidential/important information. Upgrades are $12 for the Mac version and $9 for the Palm version. [1.4MB] Chinese Rewriter 2.2 is the latest version of the Chinese conversion utility for Mac OS X. Chinese Rewriter can convert text and ID3 tags between Traditional and Simplified Chinese. It supports batch processing and provides Chinese text conversion services through the Mac OS X Services menu. Version 2.2 adds support for ID3v2.3 tags. [2.6MB] iTunes Publisher 4 ($5) exports playlists from iTunes into the following formats into HTML (with automatica links to the MP3 files), tabbed-text (for import into databases or spreadsheets), Quicktime Streaming Server fromat, and M3U (a general playlist format). [119KB] Butler 4.0b10 (donationware) is a file launcher, bookmark manager, web search utility, pasteboard extension, etc. It also provides custom hotkeys for actions, the ability to move and copy files, control iTunes, access the system preferences, change the current user, and more. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [627KB] Front End Media Player 1.0 ($7) is a playlist-based digital media player & viewer that uses the powerful QuickTime media system. This allows you to play back and view movie files, (*.mov), as well as most popular sound and image formats. Front End Player also supports DV, MPEG1, MP3, and the new MPEG4 format (QuickTime 6 required). [Classic, OSX] The Fontz 3.6 ($10)is a versatile font utility that allows you to browse installed and uninstalled fonts, see what they look like at different type sizes, styles and colors, and group them in like categories using a "WYSIWIG" group editor. Version 3.6 adds improved recognition of uninstalled fonts. [1.3MB]
TLA Systems has released DragThing 5.1, an update to the popular dock application for Mac OS X. It includes new dock window styles like metal and translucent black, completely rewritten preferences and dock storage code (with support for XML import/export), improved desktop trash functions, full control over how Exposé affects your docks and the Desktop Trash, better contextual menu previews (including support for Adobe InDesign and plain text documents), new AppleScript support, and Traditional Chinese language support. It is a free update to users of DragThing 5 and $12 for users of earlier version. The full version is $30. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Apple Canada has removed three channel reps who handled western, central, and eastern regions of the country, much to the dismay of resellers and distributors who did business through those representatives. Apple Canada acknowledged the restructuring to ITBusiness.ca but offered no real explanation for the reason behind it, which has left the company with a single national sales manager. Rumors suggesting Apple will open its own stores in Canada have been kicked around for some time.
The Apple Specialist Marketing Co-op (ASMC), an organization comprised of over 100 Apple specialists, hosted a three-day conference last week at HP's Washington campus and the Embassy Suites in Portland, OR. Details of the event can be found in today's press release. "Wow, there is a strong future for the 'Apple Specialist' and I have seen it. I came away from this event 20 minutes late for my flight home -- I didn't want to leave the last seminar. It felt good to see the level of support offered from Apple," one dealer reportedly said of the event. Relations between Apple and its independent resellers have become increasingly tense in the past few years, with some resellers filing suit against Apple alleging unfair business practices and shareholder fraud.
Real Networks plans to launch its Rhapsody online music store in Europe within six to twelve months, CEO Rob Glaser said in an interview with the Financial Times Deutschland. Glaser also revealed that in the wake of the European Commission's ruling ordering Microsoft to allow PC makers to install competing media software on their systems, Real has been in talks with Dell and HP to better position its products in the market. HP earlier this year struck a partnership with Apple that will see the PC giant selling rebranded iPods and installing iTunes on all of its new computers. Roxio has said it will launch its Napster service in Europe this summer; Apple also plans to launch a European iTunes Music Store later this year.
Terra Soft Solutions has announced the forthcoming release of a 64-bit version of Yellow Dog Linux. Dubbed Y-HPC, the 64-bit version is built upon the 2.6 kernel and will offer both 32- and 64-bit libraries, with native double-precision floating point operations (FlOPS), 16GB (8GB tested to date) memory addressing, and the gcc 64-bit tool chain. A beta is currently available to Enhanced members of YDL.net, with the final version slated to ship in May. A new version of the 32-bit Yellow Dog Linux, also based upon Red Hat's RPM-based Fedora, is also scheduled for release in May. Terra Soft Solutions also sells Apple hardware with Yellow Dog Linux pre-installed.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.27 ( -0.72 )
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
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