Apple today noted that is recent QuickTime 6.5.1 update resolves "CAN-2004-0431 where playing a malformed .mov (movie) file could cause QuickTime to terminate." eEye Digital Security said they reported the flaw back in February, according to CNET News.com: "Apple is downplaying the seriousness of the flaw in its advisory. A movie file could be created, the firm maintained, that would cause malicious code to execute when the user opened the file...Since movie files are not generally thought to carry code, the flaw could be used to disguise a virus or Trojan horse program and lure unsuspecting Mac users into running the program." The report notes that Apple didn't issue a security advisory until eEye discovered that Apple had patched the security flaw and asked Apple to do so.
Adium X 0.53 updates the customizable and extensible AOL instant messaging client: "It features an all new, customizable message display, custom link titles, two new protocols (Yahoo! Japan and Novell GroupWise) and a ridiculously long list of improvements and fixes." [4.3MB] oXygen XML Editor 4.0 improves usability and adds a full featured XSLT debugger in the standalone version. Other features include several important enhancements to debugging, Emacs-like shortcuts, more font options, improved search/replace, new plugins, and outliner improvements. It is available for $75 (23% off) until the 15th of May. [14MB] Hogwasher 4 ($50) is a new version of Asar's Usenet Newsreader and Email client for the Mac. It offers multi-account article assembly, an optional multi-pane display, a completely rewritten database engine for improved stability and performance, improved online documentation, more powerful filtering, built-in spell-checking, and other features. Upgrades are $25. [4.3MB] Cheetah3D 1.5 ($60) now supports ngons (polygons with n edges) throughout the entire app from the polygon objects over the polygon tools too the file loaders and exporters. It also features "dramatically improved polygon tools." The 3D modeller and renderer for Mac OS X offers many tools from simple polygon editing over advanced subdivision modelling to boolean operations and Bezier splines. [6.9MB] FTPDroplet II v2.1 ($15) brings a more detailed interface with better progress indicators and also is now available in French, Spanish, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), and German. The drag & drop application quickly uploads files to specific destination; it runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [1.6MB] StarCraft/Broodwar 1.11 corrects a handful of small issues with the popular real-time strategy game, while Nanosaur 2 1.0.5 brings a Dutch localization as well as improved localization and manuals for all other languages to the $25 action game. Mail Toolbox v1.1 ($21) adds SSL supported, an improved interface, message forwarding, printing, speed improvements, bug fixes, and both French and Spanish localization. The application helps manage email accounts by providing a client to browse mailboxes, delete spam, etc. It supports POP3, APOP, IMAP, and SMTP protocols. [2.9MB] .com Solutions Inc. has updated its FileMaker 7 AppleScript Reference with a new FileMaker 7 version of the file (16K download file), in addition to the PDF version. The guide provides a side by side quick reference for commonly used FileMaker 6 and FileMaker 7 AppleScript code examples. Each code example is stored within a FileMaker 7 database field for easy copying to the MacOS X Script Editor.
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: The maximum hard drive size for a Power Mac G4; protective sleeves for PowerBook G4s; recent changes made by Apple to its iBook Repair Program; replacing a failing flat-panel iMac's hard drive; Apple CEO Steve Jobs' position on video features in future iPods; the merits of a 12" iBook as a desktop replacement.
Apple has a possible fix for users experiencing problems using the iPod Updater 2004-04-28, requiring users to delete the "iPodDriver.kext" driver file using the Terminal and reinstall iTunes. "iPod's disk icon appears in the Finder, but it does not appear in the iTunes Source list or in the iPod Updater. To resolve this issue, you'll need to delete one file and reinstall iTunes. Follow each of the steps below. (1) Open Terminal (/Applications/Utilities). (2) Type: sudo rm -R /System/Library/Extensions/iPodDriver.kext (3) Press Return. (4) Enter the administrator account password when prompted (5) Quit Terminal. [Restart, redownload iTunes, Reinstall iTunes]."
Wired News talks about how Windows XP users are mimicking Mac OS X: "although the machine is running Windows XP, the interface is almost indistinguishable from an OS X machine. Notice the dock, desktop background, menus, system font and icons for applications and folders. Even the keyboard shortcuts belong to the Mac OS X. The system belongs to Kurt871, who won the latest monthly screenshot contest at AquaXP, a site devoted to turning XP boxes into faux Macs. AquaXP has 9,000 members. The site is named after Apple Computer's distinctive Aqua Mac OS X interface. A similar site, Aqua-Soft.org, has 16,000 members. And there are a dozen or more sites like them..."
FJZone.org has published a free iTunes 4.5 guide (119KB PDF) that provides answers and suggestions for 15 problems users have reported with iTunes 4.5, QuickTime, and updating their iPod.
Forbes' Arik Hesseldahl offers some suggestions for improving iTunes in his Ten O'Clock Tech column today. Hesseldahl would like to see Apple include more than just cover art with the music he buys from the iTunes Music Store, something more akin to liner notes that have traditionally accompanied albums, and he feels Apple should use an album's original release date and not its re-issue date in the music's information tags. Also, rather than the weekly new music emails that Apple sends out to customers, Hesseldahl suggests Apple create custom emails based on a customer's prior purchases. "Overall, iTunes is off to a great start, and as yet the competition isn't even close. But the online music game is just getting started," he concludes.
American Power Conversion, best known for it USP products, recently announced three ergonomic stands for laptops. Deigned to improve comfort and posture with varying levels of adjustability for a laptop's screen, each stand elevates the laptop and improves cooling and can be rotated 360-degrees. One stand features a minimal 5-degree tilt, while another features a 4-port USB 2.0 hub. Prices range from $20-$100.
Nova Media today released Mobile High Speed 3G, the first Mac OS X software to support online connections using the UMTS protocol. Currently available in Europe, UTMS supports download/upload speeds of up to 384/64kbps. The software features support for Vodafone's Mobile Connect Card 3G/GPRS datacard for UMTS connections on all Vodafone UMTS networks, a well as Novatel Merlin UMTS card and Siemens U15, and Motorola A385, Samsung SGH-Z100, SGH-Z105 mobile phones. The 3G edition of the software also supports 200 network settings for most mobile network carriers worldwide and supports more than 87 phones and PC Card modems. Mobile High Speed 3G sells for €75 (US$91.50).
Brokerage house Piper Jaffray has initiated coverage on Apple with a "market perform" (hold) rating, notes CBS Marketwatch. No further notes regarding the coverage were released.
Robert X. Cringely, one of Apple's first employees back in 1977 and author of Accidental Empires, a history of the personal computer industry, says Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs "is proud of being an a**hole." The remark came in an interview published in today's Sydney Morning Herald. It's unclear whether Cringely was referring to Jobs 25 years ago, today, or both. He also explains that Microsoft founder Bill Gates "doesn't mind his actions being described but he doesn't like people to characterize him (say why he does what he does)." Cringely also says that innovation has been stunted since the development of the World Wide Web and that growth will remain confined largely to processors and system software, since that's where the money is.
CPC has introduced MacCaption 2.0, a new version of its closed captioning software that can now automatically break and accurately time closed captions at the click of button. MacCaption (with subtitle option) subtitles a multitude of video formats without the need for a hardware character generator; it can import text, automatically format the text into basic captions, and can perform (manual) caption formatting, positioning and timing. Other features include multi-language capability, border around characters, translucent backgrounds, proportionally spaced fonts, kerning, and line spacing. Pricing starts at $4,000.
Jiiva today announced SuperScrubber 1.5, an update to its powerful disk erasing solution. Version 1.5 now includes three distinct editions: SuperScrubber G3, SuperScrubber G4, and SuperScrubber G5. The separation offers support for legacy machines such as beige PowerMac G3s. Version 1.5 also includes improved support for Unix file systems, enhanced support for USB and FireWire hubs, as well as an updated list of built-in configurations. Each edition is $30, while the three bundled editions are $50. A limited non-functional demo is available.
Creo has released Six Degrees 2.0, the latest version of its $100 desktop search engine designed to quickly find e-mail messages, file attachments, and people. Version 2.0 boasts a new, browser-based user interface that delivers ranked search results. The new full text and advanced search features aid users in quickly finding desired information. It also includes a powerful dynamic Projects feature, in addition to the new search functions, to-do lists, and QuickFilters that capture information in categories.
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