Copyright © 2016
A man who sent 850 million junk e-mails through accounts he opened with stolen identities was sentenced to up to seven years in prison on Thursday; Tammy Lafky, a sugar mill worker and single mother in Bird Island, became the first Minnesotan sued by the recording industry this week for allegedly downloading copyrighted music illegally; A bill under consideration by the California senate would place strict privacy restrictions on e-mail providers in the state, but it appears to fall short of barring Google's new service.
iSticky 1.2 ($23) is an application that makes it possible to stick notes on your desktop, or the desktops of others. The new version comes with many improvements, including the ability to send notes via Rendezvous, improved note customization, and note management. [Download - 2.8MB] FileWave X 1.6.1 is an automated software distribution tool for Mac OS X. This update includes a number of speed increases to the FileWave XServer and FileWave XAdmin, a new multithreaded FileWave Booster, and UNIX based daemon. [Download - form] Money 1.3 is a $25 application for Mac that offers an simple and uncluttered approach to basic accounting and personal financial management. Money version 1.3 features scheduled transactions, subcategories, transaction types, "action" tool, label rename, CSV format support, improved printing, search, QIF support, and more. [Download - 524KB] SQLiteManager 1.1 ($40) is a database manager for SQLite databases. With SQLiteManager users can create and browse tables, indexes, and views, insert, remove, and edit table records, and execute arbitrary SQL statements. [Download - OS X, Classic] Compost is a utility that enhances the Mac OS trash can. Using Compost, users can specify the length of time that files are allowed to remain in the trash or the maximum size to which the trash is allowed to grow. [Download - 44KB] Cheap Impostor 2.0 ($35) is a simple yet powerful alternative to expensive page imposition applications. Version 2.0 adds a completely new PDF parser, and support for incrementally-saved PDF files. [Download - 329KB]
Business Week Online columnist Alex Salkever notes that while Apple's iPod is a "bona fide hit," its 25% global marketshare number may be overblown: "Too bad their assumption is off base: The iPod's global market share may actually fall well below the 25% mark....Very little good data exists on international sales of consumer electronics -- digital-music players included. With the exception of Japan, information out of Asia is sketchy. According to one of [the MP3] chipmakers and to industry analysts, worldwide shipments of digital-music-player chips hit about 15 million last year. An April, 2004, report from investment bank CIBC on this market estimated global sales of flash and hard-drive music players at 17 million. If that's true, then the 1.5 million iPods sold in 2003 gives Apple 8% to 10% of the global market."
Apple won a Silver Award from the D&AD (Design and Art Direction) last night for its PowerBook G4, according to Macworld UK: "The product took a Silver (affectionately known as a 'Yellow Pencil') in the Products for Work or Industry sub-group of the Product Design category. ...D&AD is a UK-based educational charity that works on behalf of the international design and advertising communities."
Microsoft will begin selling portable music players for as much as 80 percent less than Apple's iPod, according to The Denver Post. "The Microsoft-branded devices will 'look and feel' as good as the iPod for as little as $50, said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of MSN at Microsoft Corp., at the Goldman Sachs fifth annual Internet Conference in Las Vegas. The iPod sells for $249 to $499. Microsoft will release a number of music players when it launches its online music service later this year, giving customers more choices than Apple, Mehdi said."
EI Technology Group has launched Electric Image Animation System 5.5, an update to the cross-platform professional 3D animation application. It includes dozens of new features, including caustics, a built-in scripting tool, new shaders, HRDI support, an array of new Animation capabilities, new deformation tools, and GrangerFX Plug-in support. The software also features Radiosity, multi-processor support, Match Move, Material Library System, Macromedia Shockwave support, unlimited network rendering, character animation tools, global illumination, and more. It runs on Mac OS 9/X. Upgrades from v5.0 are $300 and $500 for other versions.
IDG World Expo and the Berklee College of Music today announced "Dream Studios", an interactive exhibit at Macworld Expo in Boston (July 12-14) that "will simulate state-of-the-art music studios based on the Mac. Designed and developed by Berklee faculty and students, the Dream Studios will provide attendees with an opportunity to experience the most sophisticated and innovative tools for audio production. The Dream Studios will showcase the latest hardware and software available to build cutting-edge music production setups. Music students, hobbyists, songwriters, cover bands and professionals will be able to take self-guided tours of the Dream Studios, participate in demonstrations and listen to presentations by Berklee faculty."
MacSpeech today released an updated German version of its iListen speech recognition application, offering the ability to learn new words faster, improved transcription functions for Medical & Legal Professions, a special adaptation feature for poor pronunciation, new "Hands Free" correction functionality, larger font size support, new voice commands for Mac OS X, dictation and correction directly into virtually any application, and improved recognition and performance. It is a free update to all current users.
Independent record labels in the UK, France and Germany have signed a licensing deal with Sony ahead of the company's launch of its Sony Connect online music store in those countries next month, according to Reuters: "The deal comes as Sony races to launch in Europe ahead of Apple's leading iTunes Music Store, which may have the necessary licensing contracts to launch in Europe by the middle of next month, according to sources familiar with Apple's plans."
In brief: Wired has published a look at how Pixar became an animation superpower and "left Disney in the dust"; LimeWire was the top download for Mac on CNET Download.com this week, with 91,203 downloads; AMG will soon be releasing its ExpansionPack for GarageBand, a massive collection of software instruments for use with Apple's GarageBand software.
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