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In Brief: The MacEnterprise.org (formerly MacOSXLabs.org) group will be presenting a "FileWave" WebCast on Tuesday, August 17 covering "FileWave" (software deployment and management) and "Asset Trustee" (hardware/software collection/management)...Readers have posted a humorous dissection of The Apple Product Cycle as well as a homemade Switch video, showing off their interpretation and implementation of Apple's Digital Lifestyle... Lehman Brothers has initiated coverage on Apple Computer stock with an "equal weight" rating, the firm's equivalent of "neutral"... Mac OS X Tiger will add OpenGL enhancements, support for OpenAL sound processing, an updated PDF Kit, and SQLite support as well as "Fast Logout and Autosave" technology and Access Control Lists file-based permission.
Small Tree Communications today announced its Optical Gigabit Ethernet PCI cards. The new fiber optic-based gigabit Ethernet adapters are designed for the latest Macs running Mac OS X 10.2.7 or later. The solution includes an Intel- PRO/1000 MF Server adapter along with Small Tree's Mac OS X driver technology to bring either 1-, 2- or 4-independent ports to Power Mac and Xserve computers. It is the "first and only" Mac-compatible multiport fiber optic Ethernet adapter, according to the company. Orders for the single ($600) and dual port cards ($900) are now being taken; they are expected to ship in mid-August, while the quad-port adapter will be available later this year.
Jon Lech Johnasen, author of DeCSS, has discovered the public key that the AirPort Express uses to allow software to play audio through it. Johnasen says that the audio stream is encrypted with AES and that the AES key is encrypted with RSA. The public key is available on his blog as well as a software application (for Windows command-line) that streams Apple Lossless MPEG-4 audio to an AirPort Express. "Though JustePort is Windows-only software at the moment, it should be only days before graphical software exists for the Mac now that the public key is out in the open. Apple could choose to change it via an AirPort Express firmware update, but it should still be possible to retrieve the new key. This is a huge step forward in giving standard applications the ability to use an Express for audio output," according to one developer.
The Omni Group today began shipping the final version of OmniWeb 5.0, a major update to the alternative web browser. Version 5 leverages Apple's WebCore, the same engine found in Apple's Safari; it brings an innovative "visual" tab drawer, saved browsing sessions, enhanced bookmarks, page marking, improved search shortcuts, site-specific preferences, and more. The new version is available immediately online for $30 ($10 upgrade) and soon will be available in most retail software outlets. A free 30-day trial is available now.
CandyBar 1.6.5 ($13) brings Mac OS X 10.3.5 compatibility to the system icon customization utility that allows users to change the icons in the Finder toolbars, folders, clipping icons, locations and the OS X Trash icon. [3.7MB] Tigger 1.3 ($10) displays a scrolling ticker in the menubar, offering content through plug-ins, third party applications, or through its built-in AppleScript interface. Plugins include a Mail Ticker (separate download), an improved Time Ticker, iTunes Ticker, RSS feeds, Webcam Ticker, Autosizer, Battery ticker, and more. [1.7MB] Mactracker 3.0b sports a new interface along with some highly requested additions such as database searches, addition of Metric (SI) values, ability to attach relevant files and Internet addresses to new Resources tab, 64x64 icons, and information on the latest hardware releases from Apple. Mactracker provides detailed information on all Macs. [Classic, OSX] miXscope 1.4 (freeware) enables the QX3/QX3+ USB Computer Microscope from Intel Play and Digital Blue. The software for Mac OS X 10.2 allows you to capture images as JPEG or TIFF, create time-lapse QuickTime movies, and add a text comment and/or time stamp to the image or movie. [324KB] iTube! 1.2 ($24) is the largest resource available for viewing Internet Television--with over 1500 channels of TV, Live Video Channels and Webcams, plus an Internet Video Search, with over 2 million videos. Users can watch news, music videos, education and entertainment channels from around the world. iChat2Cell 1.0 allows users to "send SMS messages right through iChat with very little effort–no more remembering long or specially formatted phone numbers." A donation unlocks the integrated address book feature. It works with Mac OS X 10.3 only. [145KB]
Absoft Corporation has released Pro Fortran 9.0 for Mac OS X. The Fortran tool kit includes Fortran 95 and C/C++ compilers, a powerful IDE, the market-leading Fx2 Debugger, and free graphics libraries. Absoft says Pro Fortran is fully compatible with all Apple tools and libraries and is specially optimized for the G5 processor. The Absoft IDE is a stand-alone tool suite that provides graphical interfaces for multiple compilers for OS X (Pro Fortran, IBM XL Fortran, IBM XL C/C++, and gcc) and select third-party tools and libraries (VAST, IMSL, 2D/3D graphics, LAPACK90). Version 9 supports Fortran 2003 features in the compiler, generates up to 25% faster code, and offers suppor tfor IBM XL compilers in the Fx2 debugger. It is available for $900.
In Brief: PortalPlayer, called the 'iPod's Intel' as it produces the main chips for the popular MP3 device, quietly filed for an IPO earlier this month...Radical Breeze is offering special 2004 Olympic pricing on all of its applications (now $10 each) as well as offering a bundle of all six of its applications for $20.04...Peter Mitchell has provided an explanation suggesting steps necessary to get KDE and GNOME both running on Mac OS X with XDarwin... Following the recent announcement that Duke freshman will receive iPods this year, Apple is rumored to be in negotiations with other universities to make similar deals.
Afternoon tech news: A number of Chinese software companies have joined forces with overseas vendors such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Novell to form the China Open Source Software Promotion Alliance; Microsoft announced today it will offer a low-cost starter edition of its Windows XP operating system in Asia starting in October, as it strives to hold onto market share facing erosion from the open-source Linux system and software piracy; Microsoft is testing a new version of its MSN Messenger that can be used over the Web without having to install software, it said Friday; Napster announced a deal today to bring its music service to active, retired and reserve military personnel via the Army and Air Force Exchange Service's Exchange Online Store.
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: retail availability of the dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5; ongoing discussion of Power Mac G5 2.5GHz ship dates from the online Apple Store; comparing the 15-inch PowerBook G4 to the 17-inch model; members' practices regarding 'sleeping' their computers; the possible impact of Steve Jobs' surgery recovery on his ability to attend the upcoming expos and shows; a problem with the iPod's case, causing the metal back to separate from the plastic front.
HistoryHound 1.5 ($20) is a utility for indexing and searching Web pages that you've bookmarked or visited recently. Version 1.5 offers improved indexing, support for OmniWeb 5 and URL Manager Pro, filters for protecting URLs from indexing, a Recent Searches menu, and more search options. [Download - 1.9MB] Wine XT 2.0b1 is a $50 tool to manage the contents of your wine cellar with your Mac. Version 2 introduces support for "Unique Bottle Identifiers," barcode support for reports, and a "RSS News Reader" for wine news. [Download - 13.4MB] A Better Finder Launcher 1.6 ($10) is a keyboard-based application and document launcher for Mac OS X. Version 1.6 shows all matching items including applications, folders, documents and preference panes in a single view. [Download - 1.6MB] Elmer 5.5.0 ($25) creates sample tests to help you prepare for your ham radio written examination. The latest version updates the General Exam to the latest question pool. [Download - 2.1MB] Site Studio 1.1 ($30) allows users to create good looking Web sites in a matter of minutes, with no HTML knowledge required. Version 1.1 exports sites in UTF-8; offers major interface improvements; fixes FTP upload; offers new icons; and more. [Download - 3.1MB] Picture Wrangler (part of Xinet’s FullPress) for Adobe InDesign CS is an automatic image re-linking and updating tool that makes working with complicated layouts faster and more efficient. The latest version of Picture Wrangler includes transparency support so when an image is to be flattened, it automatically links to a high resolution version of the image.
Apple's retail stores in Massachusetts will open for 24 hours on Saturday, August 14th to allow customers to take advantage of the state's recently enacted single-day sales tax amnesty. The Massachusetts "sales tax holiday" allows consumers to make purchases, for non-business use, of up to $2,500 of 'tangible personal property' without paying any sales and use taxes. Apple confirmed that its three retail locations, CambridgeSide (Cambridge, MA), Chestnut Hill (Chestnut Hill, MA), and Northshore (Peabody, MA) will open at 12:01 am Saturday and remain open until 11:59 pm, allowing customers to take advantage of the savings for the entire day.
Altec Lansing today announced its AHS602 Headset, a premium headset designed for gamers. Featuring patented SRS 3D Audio Technology, it "repositions sound from inside the listener's head to outside the listener's ears, creating a natural, yet awesomely intense audio effect." It also features a noise-rejecting wraparound microphone for hands-free operation as well as a closed ear-cup design, which offers improved comfort during extended wear and also provides passive reduction of ambient noise. An all-in-one controller built into the cable offers functions for regulating volume (microphone and headset), SRS 3D technology (on/off), and the amount of 3D expansion. It will ship later this summer for $100.
Seapine today released Surround SCM 3.0 for software change management, which brings changelists and atomic transactions, support for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and Active Directory, and integration with Metrowerk's CodeWarrior. Changelists allow users to group changes to multiple files for later operations and historical reporting purposes, while atomic transactions ensure actions performed on changelists either succeed or fail as a group. Other new features include integration with CruiseControl to automate the software build process, the ability to change usernames in the license server, and improved file transfer speed for remote users. Pricing begins at $600.
Freeverse and Strange Flavour announced today that Airburst Extreme, the multi-player game of balloon bursting at 30,000 ft. has gone 'Gold Master' and will soon be available on store across the US. The full Airburst Extreme game has 32 different game types, introduced by an interactive Story game in which "you meet the different characters in the Airburst universe and fly around the solar system playing Airburst games, using your new Extreme powers and foiling the plans of the somewhat dodgy Mars Media Mega Corporation." Airburst Extreme ($30) features OpenGL graphics and runs on Mac OS X 10.1.5 and later. A demo is available now.
iDevGames has announced the start of the "uDevGames 2004 - Macintosh Game Development Contest". Serving as a showcase for creative and fun games that are created within a three-month development period, the uDevGames Contest is the "premiere annual event in the Mac game development scene." uDevGames 2004 provides entrants with three months to design, develop, and finish a game — including all coding, graphics, and sound — which will be subject to a voting in the categories of Gameplay, Graphics, Audio, Originality, Story, and Polish. Prizes will be distributed to the developers or teams for the top three entries in each category.
Maxon today launched CINEMA 4D v9, the next release of its award-winning modeling, and animation tool. In addition to new modeling tools, performance improvements, and enhanced workflow, it includes more than 100 new functions and features, including cloth simulation, sub-polygon displacement...A completely re-engineered modeling core now includes full N-Gon support, improved polygon knitting and stitching, a new brush tool that allows users to paint point deformations on a model, a HeadsUpDisplay and direct export of multipass rendering data to discreet's Combustion compositing application and Final Cut Pro editing system. It is expected to ship in September.
Sharp has introduced its first stand-alone display that features Sharp's 3D LCD Technology. The 15-inch Sharp LL-151-3D display delivers "eye-popping 3D images to the naked eye, and can be easily switched between 2D and 3D viewing for standard applications," according to the company. The display offers a realistic sense of depth and presence without the use of special glasses. It features a 370-nit brightness and 500:1 contrast ratio as well as color management functions compatible with the "sRGB" international standard, a slide system for height adjustment and a 90-degree swivel stand. It is available for $1,500.
PayGo SP is a new version of the point-of-sale (POS) product designed for retailers. Built using FileMaker Pro 7, it gives businesses the ability to track inventory as well as the tools to manage vendor purchases and buying history, customer information, integrated credit card processing, sales/discounts, consignment/repairs, classes/class scheduling, and much more. It offers remote connectivity for all business functions and complete customization as well as allows customers to accurately view inventory and perform complex, multi-level sorts. The solution also offers extensive reporting functions, support for foreign currency, and multiple taxe rates. PayGo is $1,200 (single-user) or $1,700 (multi-user).
Red Marble Games has released Puzzle Express, a colorful and fun new puzzle game: "From the makers of the smash hit Flip Words, and with all the color, beautiful graphics and snappy look of that title, this new game invites players to tour around the country, fitting puzzle pieces into train cargo cars to reveal photos from the cities they visit." The game includes both a relaxing "scenic" mode, in which players can take their time filling the train cars, and "express" mode, which challenges players to grab pieces off the conveyor belt before it fills up. The title can automatically download new pictures from its dedicated servers or players can add their own pictures. It is available for Mac OS X for $20.
Kano Technologies has introduced its DiscEdge 16X DVD+/-RW/R duplicators, a series of duplicators that include 4x dual-layer DVD+ disc-copy support and provide bit-by-bit copies to multiple DVD+R and DVD-R at 16x and to new dual-layer DVD+R media at 4x and CD-R media at 32x speeds. Available in configurations of one ($525), four ($1375), seven ($2000), and nine ($2500) high-performance drives, DiscEdge includes an internal 80GB hard drive that stores up to 14 master DVD disc images, 6 dual-layer DVD+R or 88 master CD images. DiscEdge systems without dual-layer media support are available now--with a downloadable upgrade, due on September 1, that will add dual-layer support.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k