Copyright © 2015
Apple today agreed to a revised deal that will offer iBooks to about one-third of Maine's public high schools this fall, according to the Associated Press. The report indicates that Apple reduced the participation level from a minimum 8,400 laptops to 6,000 laptops without changing its annual rental price of $300--which is the same low price it charged for laptops in Maine's 242 middle schools. "The price includes servers and repairs, and Apple also will provide training and assist in installing the wireless networks that link the computers. About 35 to 40 of the state's 119 high schools will take part [and] are scattered throughout the state and offer a diverse economic mix."
The Apple Store SoHo in New York City celebrated its two millionth customer, according to Apple: "Around 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 6th, our two millionth customer, Christine Quiqless, came through the front door of the Apple Store in SoHo. She was awarded a 12-inch iBook G4, Silver iPod mini, Airport Express and other gifts....While shopping elsewhere, Christine begged her friend to stop by the Apple Store to look at 12-inch iBooks. Her PC laptop had recently died and was ready to make the 'switch' to Mac. After winning, she decided to spend some time shopping for a printer and other accessories for her new computer."
PC Magazine has reviewed Apple's DVD Studio Pro 3, with much praise for its value. "No other DVD authoring program in the $500 price class is capable of creating such stunning, highly creative DVDs as Apple's DVD Studio Pro 3. For video pros looking to take their productions to the next level, it's worth a serious look." However, the article does offer some criticism as well: "DVD Studio still needs work in several key areasónamely its preview and error-checking capabilities."
Big Nerd Ranch has announced PHP 5 Bootcamp, the newest addition to its lineup of training courses. The class is scheduled for October 18-22.PHP is an increasingly popular open-source, cross-platform, server-side scripting language to create fast-loading, robust and flexible Web pages. Class price of $3500 includes lodging, all meals, original instruction materials, 24-hour lab access, and transportation to and from the Atlanta airport.
Charles Cooper of ZDNet has written an article on the history of digital music online, paralleling the struggles during the days of Napster and illegal music downloads, and the modern world of online music sales. Cooper says: "Apple deserves the kudos it's gotten--but will squander a lot of that good will if it goes ahead with an ill-considered jihad against RealNetworks ... Apple would like nothing better than to exert Microsoft-like domination of the music business ... Too bad. In the struggle over Napster, the music companies turned out to be their own worst enemies. So intent on kneecapping Napster, they ignored the best interests of their customers--which would have been to find a way to coexist with the new Internet technology. Is Apple going to go down a similar path?"
In Brief: MacNN Reviews has posted an iPod FM transmitter round-up, offering a look at Griffin's iTrip and Sonnet's PodFreq... Disney unveiled a Mickey Mouse-style PC for kids, featuring a monitor with ears and a program to block adult material...Octiv along with Heavy Moon today announced the Japanese availability of Volume Logic for iTunes Mac and Windows...PC World offers a look at Creative's Zen Touch and Apple's new iPods, saying that "At least Apple's player keeps getting better. I'm not sure I can say the same for Creative's offering."
KaraTunes 1.0 ($9) can create and manage personal lyrics collections using an easy-to-use interface and offering integration with iTunes. Users can easily view and edit the lyrics of the song being played by iTunes by choosing a iTunes menu item. It provides Google lyrics search and supports the Unicode standard. [3.4MB] Elections and Government 1.0 is a tool for anyone studying U.S. elections, offering up-to-date information for the 2004 presidential and congressional elections, including built-in quizzes, details of every presidential election in U.S. history, Information on the electoral college, past voting behavior in each state, links to hundreds of campaign and political websites, etc. [Classic, OSX] Blender 2.3.4 is an open-source, cross-platform suite for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post production and interactive 3D content creation. Version 2.34 includes a number of updates, including particle physics and interaction, advanced UV texture mapping, ramp shading, and more. [Jaguar, Panthe] HelpLogic 1.0a3 ($50) is a pre-release of the help authoring solution for cross-platform developers. It can create help systems for software and web sites from a single source. It integrates with Workshop, Visual TOC Builder, HTML Editor, Link Manager and Page Templates to quickly generate Web-based Help, Apple Help, UniHelp, and more...[2.7MB] CheckBook 1.3 ($15) adds Quicken Interchange Format (QIF) Import, allowing users to quickly enter information from third-party applications and online financial institutions. The import feature offers support for categories and multiple accounts, allows the user to swap several of QIF's fields, presents a pre-Import summary with entry editing, offers filters for duplicate Entries, etc. [1.2MB] Studiometry 2.0.4 ($70) adds time-sheet abilities as well as category totaling functions for invoices, additional sorting options for invoices, and other enhancements. Studiometry is a business solution for storing/managing client data, project data, to-dos, timers, invoices, payment data, etc. [5.4MB] XRay 1.1 ($10) is a file/folder information utility for Mac OS X, offering much more detailed view than Mac OS X's "Get Info" window does. Type, creator and extension can be examined and changed by selecting from pop-up menus built from the system's own databases. The effect on the application is shown immediately. [1.6MB]
Runtime Labs has released MacSQL 3.0, its database management solution that provides a simple, graphical way to interact with SQL databases. MacSQL 3.0 features a streamlined interface as well as a new graphical Query Editor (with JOIN support), access to frequently used queries, an improved spreadsheet view of data, syntax highlighting, and a User Manager for managing users and their access permissions. MacSQL supports native connections to MySQL, Oracle, Sybase, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, OpenBase and FrontBase. The full version is $250, while a lite version is $100; upgrades are $150. The company is offering a $50 discount through August 12.
Apple today released Xcode 1.5, an update to its development environment for Mac OS X. It adds dead-code stripping, remote debugging, gcc 3.3 improvements for performance, code completion for Java and AppleScript, subversion source-code control system support, native build system support for AppleScript, an enhanced debugger with memory and globals browsers, faster editor performance, Ant templates, documentation bookmarks, and other speed improvements. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. It is available for download directly from the Apple Developer Connection Member Site.
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Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Herm√©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir