Apple today posted a security update to resolve issues with loading corrupted or malicious PNG-format graphics as well as documented Safari and networking issues. Apple says the Security Update 2004-08-09, available via the Software Update--as a standalone update to those who have yet to apply the Mac OS X 10.3.5 update and Mac OS X 10.2.8 users and included with Mac OS X 10.3.5. (documented on its security website), delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users and includes the following (updated) components: libpng (Portable Network Graphics). The PNG graphics issue was noted earlier today on MacNN. [updated with more security fix details]
Salling Software today released Salling's Remote Basics v.1.0, a supplemental set of remote controls for popular Mac applications that work with Sony Ericsson's K700 and upcoming S700 models, which offer built-in functions for controlling PCs, but lack Mac support. The free software offers the ability to control iTunes, DVD Player, EyeTV, VLC, PowerPoint, and Keynote with simple commands, such as stop, next track, volume up/down, etc. Salling's more powerful Bluetooh software, Salling Clicker ($20), offers more powerful functions, including searching/browsing for music, viewing PowerPoint slide notes, automatic pause of iTunes when answering a phone call, background application control, and more.
Sonic today announced it will acquire the consumer software division of Roxio for a total purchase price of $80 million ($70 million in cash and $10 million in Sonic shares). Sonic says it believes the acquisition will provide Sonic with "a well-recognized set of consumer software brands; access to long-standing distribution channels; strong product marketing expertise; and key relationships with top-tier retail outlets." Roxio says it plans to focus its business on the digital music market and will change its corporate name to Napster and trade under the ticker "NAPS" on NASDAQ.
Apple today released Mac OS X 10.3.5, a free update to its desktop operating system. Apple says the 23MB update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther" and is recommended for all users. It offers improved support for NTFS formatted volumes; better reliability for user logins and mounting of home directories in a networked environment; updated ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers; improved Bluetooth compatibility for Apple Wireless Keyboard/Mouse and Bluetooth phones; additional FireWire and USB device compatibility; improved font management; updated Mail and Image Capture applications; and better compatibility for third-party applications as well incorporates previous standalone security updates.
SimpleChord 2.2 ($7) is the latest version of the popular chord dictionary application. The new version, 2.2, makes interface improvements, many new keyboard shortcuts, and addresses several bugs. [Download - 1.8MB] MyTime 1.0.1 is an easy-to-use time management application designed to help keep track of the time you spend working on different projects. Version 1.0.1 automatically opens the main window on launch, keeps tracks of time while sleeping, offers bug fixes, and more. [Download - 1.3MB] MacGPS Pro 5.1.0 ($40) works with Garmin and Magellan GPS receivers for transferring Waypoints, Routes, Tracklogs, and GPS satellite Almanacs. Version 5.1.0 adds support for Maptech, Digital Ocean, Maptrax, and many other BSB 4 charts in OSX and Classic. [Download - buy] RollingCredits 1.0 ($10) can create attractive, rolling credit lists in a word processing envionment and output them as high-quality QuickTime movies for import into iMovie or other video editing applications. It features advanced typographic control such as kerning and letter spacing, flexible line spacing, tabs and indents, find/replace, and spellcheck. [Download - 2.4MB] Audio Hijack 2.14 ($32) is a tool for recording audio on your computer. With Audio Hijack, users can quickly and easily save audio from almost any application to an AIFF file. Version 2.1.4 adds bulletproof AIFF recording and brings important bug fixes for Mac OS X 10.3.4 and 10.3.5. [Download - 1.4MB] Steam 2.2 reads and stores the schedules for the U.K. user's choice of BBC Radio and TV stations and displays a list of what's on now in a small window. "It will remind you when a favorite program is about to start and allow you to quickly start that program playing through RealNetworks' RealPlayer." [Download - 1.1MB] Proteus 4.0.6 is the latest version of the multi-service instant messaging client for Mac. Version 4.0.6 introduces Rendezvous discovery, bug fixes, WebKit debugging support, and more. [Download - 5.8MB] textSOAP 4.0.3 ($25) is a text cleaning and formatting utility. Version 4.0.3 is a maintenance release to fix reported issues, improve integration with Office applications and add enhancements. [Download - 4.3MB]
Afternoon tech news: Six vulnerabilities in the open-source PNG image format could allow intruders to compromise computers running Linux and may allow attacks against Windows as well as Mac OS X...Computer security companies are warning users of a security hole in AOL's AIM software could allow remote attackers to execute malicious code...SBC has boosted upload speeds for its DSL broadband Internet customers to speeds of 256kbps and 416kbps for its Express and Pro customers...Yahoo will drop a patent lawsuit against Google in return for 1.1 million shares of Google stock as part of a technology license agreement.
John Mayer today announced that four concerts from his current tour will be available for download from the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) this month. Mayer said he "wanted to document these shows for his fans while the music and the memories are still fresh. And wouldn't it be cool, he reasoned, if he could team up with Apple's groundbreaking iTMS in bringing these in-concert documents to the people? Mayer is delighted that his brainstorm is now a virtual reality." On each "New Music Tuesday" between Aug. 10 and Aug. 31, iTunes will make a 10-song edited show available for downloading in a month-long exclusive window.
Optibase today announced the latest release of its line of MPEG Encoders and a new compact carrier-grade TV streaming platform. The company said it would use IBC, the annual conference for broadcasting technology which takes place in early September, to unveil its MPEG MovieMaker 200S for Macintosh, a new high-end MPEG 1 and MPEG 2 encoder that supports the Power Mac G5 and Mac OS X. "Designed for the creation of DVD, SVCD and VCD content, MPEG MovieMaker 200S for Macintosh complements DVD Studio Pro, Apple's DVD authoring software, as well as the other main SVCD/VCD authoring tools on the market." The company will also launch the MGW 1100, which enables small to medium-sized TV over IP or ATM broadcast services.
In Brief: Countering the recent Motorola-iTunes partership, Nokia is partnering with digital music distributor Loudeye to develop a music download platform for mobile phones; with the release of HP's first Linux laptop last week, Linux may unseat the Mac as the No. 2 desktop OS behind Windows, but many of those Linux systems are later used to install pirated Windows copies; Apple's iPod Mini player has sold out after its Taiwan debut (only 100 were initially available); Alien Apparatus has announced reduced pricing on it Solo Performer Show Controller system (now $400).
LapWorks today announced a thinner, lighter addition to its Laptop Desk family. The Laptop Desk UltraLite features a reduced weight of 14.6 ounces--compared with its 22 oz. heftier sibling product--and a 50% reduction in thickness to 5/16". It can be used as a lap tray to create a larger spacious 22" x 11" workspace to prevent "hot lap" or as desktop stand that offers 5 typing angles along with better screen placement and improved ventilation and cooling for the laptop. LapWorks' Laptop Desk UltraLite will sell for $30 under the Targus brand later this year, but is now available direct for $20 after a $10 instant rebate.
Alias has signed an agreement to acquire Kaydara, a leading developer of realtime 3D character animation and motion editing solutions in the entertainment industry, including MotionBuilder and Kaydara FBX. Alias provides 3D graphics technology and services for the film, video games, web, interactive media markets. Operating under the Alias name, Kaydara will remain in Montreal and current President Michel Besner will stay with the company and join Alias' Executive Management Team. The purchase is expected to close within 60 days.
Open Text today released FirstClass 8.0, an update to the company's suite for integrated communication and messaging. The release includes both the FirstClass Business Edition and the FirstClass Education Edition, which is tailored to meet the requirements of FirstClass' large education customer base around the world. FirstClass 8.0 offers new IM capabilities for secure real-time communication via text, images, voice and attachments; new FirstClass Directory Services for integration with LDAP and Microsoft Active Directory; CAST-128 encryption; S/MIME support for secure server-to-server e-mail transmission; expanded spam management; and more. Pricing was not available.
Apple plans to unveil a Danish version of the iTunes Music Store in October, a few days ahead of Microsoft's expected launch of its own music download site, MSN Music. "Representatives for Apple Computers say that while they're aware of their arch competitor's plans, the brewing battle for online music fans in Denmark isn't intimidating to them. 'Our product is incredibly user-friendly, and our success on the online music market will be aided along by our music playback technology iPod,' said Apple Denmark product director Henrik Ryle."
Aspyr today announced that it will publish a Mac version of True Crime: Streets of L.A. later this year. "A vicious crime wave forces players to drive, fight and shoot their way through 240 square miles of Los Angeles. †Cruise the city taking down or harassing the scum of the streets. †With stealth techniques, vicious martial arts moves and impressive new weapons, bust drug dealers and prostitutes, shakedown informants and confront gang members to get the job done." †True Crime: Street of L.A. is expected to ship in November.
Phelios has announced the release of Bud Redhead, its new game for Mac. Bud Redhead features a retro-style, side-scrolling gameplay that "takes the real spirit of Platformers and mixes it with adventure and time travel." Bud Redhead, a multi-award winning game, was originally created for PC by game developer Space Ewe, and was rewritten with Phelios' multi-platform game engine, PTK, so that it could easily be ported to the Mac. The game costs $20 to register.
EazyDraw 1.6.3 is an affordable drawing application for Mac OS X. It is useful for creative projects, including technical drawings, illustrations, icons, logos, and stylized text. Version 1.6.3 introduces palette management menu commands, binary file format, conic blend gradient fill, improved copy-paste speed for large numbers of graphics, and improved Stability. A $20 trial use license provides access for 9 months. A full license is $100.
FileMaker today announced that its FileMaker Pro 7 upgrade "amnesty" program -- available for versions of FileMaker Pro dating as far back as 1993 -- will end on September 17, 2004. The amnesty program allows licensed owners of FileMaker Pro 2.1, 3.0, 4.x and 5.x to upgrade to FileMaker Pro 7 for $150, a 50 percent savings off the regular purchase price and the same upgrade price offered to FileMaker 6 users. After September 17, 2004, only licensed owners of FileMaker Pro 6 will be eligible for the FileMaker Pro 7 $150 upgrade price. The company also announced it will no longer sell FileMaker Pro 6, FileMaker Developer 6, FileMaker Mobile 2.1, FileMaker Server 5.5 and FileMaker Pro 6 Unlimited as of September 18, 2004.
End If Software has updated MediaMaid FM, its professional media asset management solution for FileMaker Pro. "The Filemaker Pro data format guarantees extensive commutability," the developer says, "Exchange of data with other local or remote FileMaker Pro databases, exchange with FileMaker web databases, XML import and export, SQL import and export, as well as import from digital camera devices." Beta 7 of version 6.0 provides full access to FileMaker Pro's powerful 'replace' functions. MediaMaid FM costs $200.
Automatic Duck has begun shipping XML-PRO, an application for translating FCP XML files into ProTools session files: "Using XML-PRO, you can turn a Final Cut XML export into Pro Tools Sessions, or AES-31-3 ADLs (which can be imported into Nuendo), referencing source media, and including clip volume level automation." XML-Pro leverages Final Cut's XML export and preserves FCP Clip and keyframes, but not fades, which revert to splice edits, according to the company. It is available with a dongle; pricing is $900.
An editorial from the August issue of JapanConsuming looks at how Apple is redefining consumer technology marketing as a fashion market and why this redefinition is ideally suited to the Japanese market, the world's largest market for design. "In effect, Apple is becoming, for the Japanese consumer, 'the Louis Vuitton of consumer technology'. Given that Louis Vuitton makes more than 50% of its sales from Japanese consumers, this is something to bear in mind when reviewing the future of Apple sales in Japan."
Now AAPL Stock: 93.64 ( -0.1 )
Maps adds transit for Rio Olympics
On Monday, Apple added public transit directions for Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to its Apple Maps program in advance of the 2016 Summer Olympics, which begin on August 5. The addition marks the first time a Brazilian city has gotten the upgraded public transit maps, which include station maps as well as transit schedules and tracking. The transit directions cover ferries as well as bus, subway, and light rail lines. The company has recently expanded transit directions to Montreal in Canada, and Seattle, Portand (Oregon), and other US cities.
Ive opens Met Gala fundraiser in NYC
On Monday, Apple SVP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive opened the press preview of the annual Met Gala fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. Ive is serving as co-chair with Vogue editor Anna Wintour, and Apple is helping sponsor the event, which is themed "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology." He said the company is "thrilled" to participate in the Gala, and tied the company to the theme by saying that Apple's goal "has always been to try to create objects as beautiful as they are functional," adding that the company is "only starting" on its path of making products "more personal." http://bit.ly/1Y3EHKg
Tim Cook on CNBC Mad Money tonight
Apple CEO Tim Cook will be making an hour-long appearance on CNBC's investment show Mad Money this evening at 6PM ET. Slated for discussion, according to CNBC, are "Apple's future in China, Cook's outlook on innovation, what's next for iPhone, the Apple Watch, growth of Apple services and whether there are any potential acquisitions coming, among others."
Dev hacks Windows 95 onto Apple Watch
A developer has created a YouTube video that shows off a working version of Windows 95 running (very slowly) on an Apple Watch. Creator Nick Lee says that the OS takes about an hour to boot on the Watch because it is running in emulation rather than natively. While the project has no practical value, it does demonstrate how powerful mobile devices are in comparison to computers from the beginning of this century, as well as illustrating how far computing has come in the last 15 years -- long before smartphones, tablets, the cloud, and many more innovations that have come about since. http://bit.ly/1Y3AS85
WhatsApp working on Mac desktop app?
Allegedly-leaked information from a WhatsApp beta enthusiast account on Twitter appears to suggest that the messaging service and app maker may be developing native Mac and Windows versions, allowing users who sign up with the service to text each other all over the world using either Wi-Fi or cellular data. The source of the documents is in question, but it would not be unusual for the service to expand onto Mac and Windows desktops. WhatsApp is currently available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, Symbian, and Windows Phone. http://bit.ly/1Ura0zN
Drake's Views an iTunes, Music exclusive
Drake's new album Views (formerly known as Views from the 6) has debuted on iTunes and Apple Music as an exclusive in the first week of its release. The singles Once Dance and Pop Style, however, are available elsewhere in the interim. Securing exclusives from leading artists has been a key strategy that Apple has adopted in trying to attract users to its services. Most notably, Taylor Swift's hugely popular 1989remains unavailable to users of competing services like Spotify or Tidal. http://apple.co/1NLwsSH
TSMC chip sales to Apple jump $2B in 2015
Apple A9 and A9X chip supplier TSMC saw sales to Apple jump $2 billion in 2015. TSMC's fabrication partnership with Apple on the A-series processor helped drive its revenue to $26.4 billion, up six percent over the previous year, although its dependence on Apple's chip orders meant that without its business, TSMC's revenue would have actually declined by two percent. The Taiwan-based chip maker is currently sharing Apple's A9-series chip supplies with Samsung, although is rumored to be gaining all Apple's orders for the next-generation Apple A10 chips. http://bit.ly/24tCE6e