Apple has created a new division within the company to sell, promote, and develop its popular iPod, the market leading digital music player, the company said on Wednesday. Jon Rubenstein, who has led the company's hardware engineering efforts, will run the new division, an Apple spokesman said. Timothy Cook, head of Apple's worldwide sales and operations, will lead a newly organized Macintosh division, Apple said. Tim Bucher, now in charge of Macintosh system development, will head up the Mac's hardware engineering. The moves were announced in a company-wide internal e-mail sent by Steve Jobs, Apple's chairman, chief executive and co-founder.
RCDefaultApp 1.1 (free) a preference pane that allows a user to set the default application used for various URL schemes, file extensions, file types, and MIME types, which are used by Mac OS X to choose the application when opening a files in the Finder, downloading files, and viewing other Internet documents. It can now disable entries to prevent security issues. [50KB] iAddressX 3.2 ($8) puts your Address Book info in a menu in the menu bar for quick/easy access. It adds support for dialing using modem, Bluetooth cellular phone and Vonage broadband, the ability to search the Address Book directly, automatic phone number formatting, and more. [Download - 1.7MB] Splendid City Lite 3.3 is the latest version of the free sports scheduling software. New program features include: support for balancing of teams' early & late time slots, an interactive information table for reports, and bug fixes. [Download - 3.1MB] Eudora 6.1.1 is the latest release of the popular alternate email client for Mac OS X ($40). This update fixes bugs in SpamHeaders, SpamWatch, and Mail.app Importer. [Download - 6.1MB] Kid Create 1.0 ($24) is a protected environment that enables children to learn and be creative. It offers an "interactive learn and create environment" and a completely secure, isolated interface. [Download - 2.8MB] PhotoStickies 5.0 ($12) is a webcam and picture viewer with new central server support for finding/adding new cams and saving images. It is also offers an improved UI, new filters and namable states, new preferences, user-defined filters and a "TV" command to display cams fullscreen. [771KB] FinderIconCM 2.0 (free) is a contextual menu plugin for Mac OS X that lets you copy/paste/clear icon from (multiple)selected items (volumes/folders/files) without opening Finder's Get Info dialog. It adds a 'Create Folder Icon' function, an improved stock icon list handling, and other improvements. [485KB] Dossier 1.0 ($15) is a personal and workgroup information management solution in the style of a journal or diary. It offers Rendezvous networking for instant sharing on a local area network, advanced live-search capabilities, "smart" folders to organize entries based on user-defined rules, and more. [3.3MB] Navicat 5.1 is the latest version of the $100 MySQL database administration tool for Mac. The update includes support for MySQL 5.0, support for editing text in Blob field, bug fixes, and more. [1.4MB] Name those Files! 2.0 ($13) allows you to quickly and easily get a handle on your ever increasing file collections. Version 2.0 adds support for renaming folders and files, support for recursively searching subfolders, file filtering, bug fixes, and interface tweaks. [396KB]
MEI has released TruEdit 3.0, a plugin designed to work with the new Adobe InDesign CS and InCopy CS. The cross-platform, folder-based solution organizes content in a convenient palette in one or both applications. It now supports drag & drop, check in/out from InDesign layouts, custom palette UI options, layout preview, InCopy export, and more. It will ship on May 24 for $250 per application. SoftCare also recently announced Overset Manager 3.0 for InDesign/InCopy CS, offering the ability to count fitting text and overset with advanced features and flexibility. It can also show, edit and print overset text. It is available now for $100.
In brief: OpenBase and REAL Software will provide sessions on developing database applications using REALbasic as one of the offerings at the 2004 OpenBase Developers Conference, which will be held in Maui, Hawaii (Sept 2Ė6); DCIT will unveil the latest version of its BusinessMind for Jewelers software suite with new customer management functions at the JCK Show in Las Vegas (June 4-8); and Avie Tevanian pitched Mac OS X as an enterprise platform, promising developers would get more enterprise sessions at WWDC next month and that "Apple is serious about building more enterprise functionality into the OS."
Aspyr today announced Harry Potter Deluxe Edition for Mac OS X, which bundles the previously released Sorcererís Stone and the Chamber of Secrets in a single package. "The adventure begins a at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Be Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, learning to master all things magical in a world filled with wizardry, fun, and danger...Harry is back in The Chamber of Secrets! Be Harry Potter and unlock the mystery at the heart of the Chamber of Secrets. With dire warnings from strange quarters and dark schemes afoot." It is available for pre-order ($40) and expected to ship in early June.
Independent software programmers are using new iTunes developer tools provided by Apple to write add-on applications for iTunes, according to CNET News.com: "Early in the month, the company quietly released a Windows-based software development kit for its media player. The tools provide instructions on how to let other programs talk to iTunes. A similar set of instructions for Macintosh computers had long been available. The tools do not go so far as to allow other media players to play songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store, but they do allow a variety of applications to extend iTunes use. For instance, using the tools, a developer could write new software that launches and controls iTunes remotely."
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: one member's story of a positive experience with the AppleCare program; the validity of Apple's eMac offerings in its desktop product lineup; comparing cell phones and cell phone standards; ongoing discussion of Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger"; the recent release and availability of Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac; the World of Warcraft beta testing program.
Though there's long been relatively stable applications for running Windows-based software on Apple hardware, using Mac-centric programs on IBM-compatible machines has rarely been possible. A duo of enthusiasts is attempting change that by launching an open-source program called PearPC that lets PCs built around chips from Intel and AMD emulate a machine running the PowerPC chip. The software can also run various flavors of Linux, though most of the interest has focused on its ability to run the Mac OS X on a PC. Early testers say the software works but that it runs very slowly. Sebastian Biallas, who created PearPC with help from Stefan Weyergraf, acknowledged the software's limits, warning that it's prone to crashing and runs at only a tiny fraction of the speed of the host PC.
Afternoon tech news: Microsoft is the latest tech giant to seek industry approval of a technique to prevent spammers from hiding unwanted e-mail behind legitimate addresses; a "bug" in Google's test e-mail system, Gmail, temporarily gave some users a terabyte of storage, 1000 times the one gigabyte the Web search company is currently offering; a Dutch man pleaded guilty on Monday to duping investors into committing nearly $3 million for nonexistent shares of the Internet search engine company Google through a bogus pre-initial public offering.
An article on HFS+ fragmentation introduces hfsdebug, a tool for exploring internals of HFS+ volumes and also describes a procedure for quantifying fragmentation in HFS+ volumes, and list the results of applying this procedure to a few volumes: "As we have seen, an HFS+ volume seems to resist fragmentation rather well on Mac OS X 10.3.x, and I don't envision fragmentation to be a problem bad enough to require proactive remedies (such as a defragmenting tool)....Defragmentation on HFS+ volumes should not be necessary at all, or worthwhile, in most cases, because the system seems to do a very good job of avoiding/countering fragmentation."
Stone Design today released Create 11.4.2, a three-in-one illustration, page layout and web authoring application that now embedds the native format invisibly within a PDF document for convenient editing, drag & drop of .doc files, paragraph spacing, text completion, and other preference enhancements. PStill 3.4 updates the PDF tool that converts PS to PDF, combines files, and shrinks PDF; it brings CMYK PDF separator, faster operation, support for Adobe 6.01 EPS files, and more. Stone also updated StampInStone 2.6, the quick and easy PDF watermarking app and TrueBlue 2.2, a free TrueType/OpenType to PS Type 1 Font convertor.
Lindows today the commercial support of the Dell Digital Jukebox (Dell DJ), a portable MP3 music player for desktop Linux, offering an iTunes-like "Lsongs" application to manage their music portfolio; the company, however, said that similar support for the iPod was not a possibility: "We talked with Apple Computer about supporting the iPod but they want to keep that a closed system," said Michael Robertson, chief executive officer of Lindows, Inc. "Linux users should seriously consider the Dell DJ if they're looking for an affordable MP3 Player." Apple has also recently been under fire from other companies such as Real Networks because it has refused to license its FairPlay DRM and open up the iPod.
iSpeak It 1.6 ($13) adds the ability download RSS/XML news feeds, control of the iTunes encoder from within iSpeak It, splitting paragraphs separated by a single return (as is common with Word documents), and a number of minor enhancements and bug fixes. The application allows users to load documents or HTML documents, conver them to audio, and transfer them to your iPod. [436KB] REALbasic 5.5.2 (starts at $100) updates the cross-platform development ennvironment with improved SQL database (updating mis-formed date and time values, support for SQL RecordSet.Delete, etc.), native non-QuickTime support for JPEG/PNG images, improved development for console applications, and assignment of network interfaces to specific Server Sockets. [Classic, OSX] Combustion 3.0.2 ($1000) is a free update to the motion graphics, vector paint, visual effects, and 3D compositing software. The updater addresses player issues, AE Plug-ins support, custom brush issues in the Paint module, and minor issues in various modules as well as brings improved stability. [1.9MB] Canvas 9.0.4 updates ACD's graphics, image editing, and drawing program for Mac OS X. The update fixes allignment issues, the annotation tools, auto update, interface glitches, EPS export, PDF Export, locked objects, image transparency issues, opening DWG files, spell-checking, and more. Pricing for the full version starts at $350. [form] A Better Finder Rename 6.3.5 ($20) is a versatile utility for quickly renaming a batch of folders or files. The new version allows the name of the enclosing folder to be added to the file name. [2.5MB] Konfabulator 1.6.1 ($25) corrects a handful of bugs with the popular application that displays Widgets on your desktop. More than 600 widgets are currently available, ranging from system monitoring tools to mini games. [4.2MB] fxStabilizer, a video stabilization plug-in for iMovie, is being offered for half-price in honor of "National Video Tape Your Pet Week." Through June 1 the software can be purchased for $10 instead of $20. [589KB] RollCall Directory 1.1 provides new labeling options, support for Mac OS 10.3, new templates, custom printing options, and more features for International customers (including address formats, label templates and localization). It allows easy printing of any address book or pictorial directory. [1.3MB] Taco HTML Edit 1.6 (free) is an HTML editor that offers support for image transparency (in the image map wizard), toolbars, Webkit (for live previewing), etc. It adds improvements to syntax coloring and support for PHP (live preview of executed code, PHP syntax checking, and checking HTML syntax) as well as other improvements. [1.2MB]
Arab Business Machines (ABM), a regional distributor for Apple, is looking to set up the first chain of "Apple Centres" in the Middle East, which will allow the distributor to diversify its revenue stream and reduce its dependence on sales to corporations and organizations, acording to Gulf News. Both the UAE and Lebanon are being mentioned as possible launch markets, however, the final decision has not been reached, but the present plans call for a co-sponsored plan in collaboration with the ABM's reseller partners.
Aspyr today announced that Battlefield 1942 (Deluxe Edition) is now in beta and will ship in late June. "Battlefield 1942 puts players at the heart of World War II combat, allowing them to choose from 16 famous battle sites, including Omaha Beach, Stalingrad and Wake Island, from the four main theaters of World War II including the Pacific, Eastern and Western Europe and Northern Africa. With the ability to control more than 35 authentic Axis and Allied vehicles and select from five distinct character classes, players are faced with incredible choices in their plan of action." It is available for pre-order for $50.
Rogue Amoeba today announced Audio Hijack Pro 2, which will allow users to record and enhance any audio played by their Mac, including recording internet radio streams, burning DVD audio to CD, and saving old vinyl and cassettes into iTunes for digital playback. Version 2 will feature the ability to record to the AAC and Apple Lossless audio formats, in addition to MP3 and AIFF. It will also feature an all-new Output Bin for improved organization, previews, burning, and export; parallel effects processing; support for VSTi and AudioUnit synths; integrated line input recording; improved timers, audio file tagging, and more. It will ship in July for $32 (upgrades will be $10).
WiebeTech today announced the DuoGB800, which allows users to easily mount two drives (as separate volumes) from within a single external FireWire 800 enclosure.It features the Oxford 922 chipset, USB 2.0 connector, dual FireWire 800 interfaces (with support for FireWire 400 devices), and a fully self-contained unit that features a power supply. Additionally, DuoGB800 takes advantage of the built-in RAID capability of Mac OS X, allowing users to effortlessly stripe or mirror the drives. Pricing starts at $180 (case-only) and it supports capacities up to 2x400GB (800GB total). It will ship on May 27th.
Apple ranks seventh among 27 companies in the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition's Fifth Annual Computer Report Card, which grades the environmental practices and recycling operations of companies in the electronics industry. HP, Dell, and NEC were the only companies to meet the coalition's minimums. Apple's supply chain audits, which ensure that no suppliers are using chemicals Apple has banned, represent the company's high points, but it has no recovery data for recycling and aggressively opposed Maine's producer takeback bill, which requires manufactures to take responsibility for discarded video display devices. IBM, Sony, and Toshiba also ranked higher than Apple.
iRiver has started shipping the H140 digital music player, which features a 40GB hard drive, integrated FM tuner, line-in/line-out and optical input/output, and real-time MP3 encoding. In addition, the magnesium-encased player features a backlit remote control, up to 16 hours of battery life, and support for MP3, WMA, WAV, and Ogg Vorbis files. The H140 also doubles as a USB 2.0 hard drive and sells for $430.
DVDxDV is a new application that allows users to extract video footage from a DVD into editable DV files for use in iDVD, iMovie, Final Cut Express, and other QuickTime-supported video editing applications. DVDxDV allows users to extract an entire DVD or specific clips. Consumer ($25) and Professional ($80) versions of the software are available; the Pro version allows users to extract high quality multi-channel audio from DVDs, for use with Final Cut Pro or DVD Studio Pro.
The University of Aarhus in Denmark is now home to a historical Apple display, featuring various computers and peripherals the company has developed during the past 25 years. Everything from an Apple Lisa to a Duo Dock is on display. An English translation of the page can be found here.
Web SE is a Flash-based replica of Apple's original Mac SE running System 7, allowing users to tinker with the Mac as it was about 15 years ago. Virtually all the original System 7 elements are included, as well as extras like After Dark 2.0 and various games like Pong and Tetris. "I'm a little bit afraid they'll say, 'No, you can't do this,'" Oliver Soehlke, one of the developers, told Wired, which is running a story on the Web SE, "But I don't think they will. It's a homage."
Sony Online Entertainment has reportedly axed further development of EverQuest: Macintosh Edition, its popular massively-multiplayer online role playing game. The news came in a post to the EQMac forums, which stated that the "decision was a business decision made some time ago by our Executive staff and still stands today. Even if we wanted to we could not do the changes as we have no programmers on staff that can accommodate the needs of the Mac." Sony originally announced the Mac version of EverQuest back in July of 2002 and delivered the game about a year later.
Take Control of Spam with Apple Mail, by Joe Kissell, is the latest eBook from TidBITS Electronic Publishing. The $5 book spans 59 pages and discusses how Mail's junk mail filter works, how it interacts with other Mail features, and how users can optimize it to catch spam more accurately.
Microsoft today officially announced that Office 2004 for Mac is now available, after it began shipping last week. Microsoft also announced the availability of a 30-day "Test Drive" version, which is available as an electronic download from the Mactopia website along a complete flash demo of the new features. Office 2004 for Mac Standard ($400 full; $240 upgrade) and Student/Teacher ($150) editions are available now in English and Japanese, while French, Italian, Swedish and German localizations will be available in the coming weeks. Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition, which includes Virtual PC 7, is expected to ship this Fall.
Apple says it is taking the Mac OS X security vulnerability "very seriously" and is "actively investigating this potential security issue," after further information was disclosed on the flaw in recent days and security information service Secunia rated the issue "extremely critical". Secunia recommends that "Mac users avoid visiting untrusted Web sites and said Mac administrators and others avoid surfing the Internet while signed on to their networks as privileged users" according to CNET News.com, who also notes that "Apple has twice been criticized for its downplaying of security issues and its lack of response to the concerns of the security industry."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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