Horizon DataSys today announced Drive Vaccine, a cross-platform security solution that will automatically rollback any Mac or Window machine to its original configuration upon restart. The company says the software solution "tackles the real world IT challenges faced by organizations offering public computer access including schools, libraries, government agencies, Internet cafes and others. Drive Vaccine is designed for institutions requiring optimal availability and functionality of their public access computers. Regardless of what a user does, including erasing files, installing software, downloading viruses, or tampering with desktop settings..." Pricing starts at $40 per machine with volume discounts available. It supports Mac OS 8/9/X, including Mac OS X 10.3 Panther.
RealNetworks' Freedom of Choice website, launched this morning as part of its effort to increase music sales and promote its new RealPlayer Harmony technology, took direct aim at Apple with its "Hey Apple, Don't Break My iPod!" online petition that rallied support the company's Harmony technology, which enables customers to playback non-iTunes files on their iPod (and other music players), however, RealNetworks' has modified the original text and replaced it with a revised petition, removing the ability post comments after dozens of pro-Apple supporters offered anti-RealNetworks opinions on the petition.
Allume Systems (formerly Aladdin) today announced Spring Cleaning 7.0, a new version of its Mac "clean-up"system tool that claims to improve computer performance and enables users to take control and protect their privacy. The latest edition graphically displays the size of files that are taking up unnecessary space and enables users to scan their Macs and display a "snapshot" of what has changed on the system since the last scan. Other new features swiftly clean out temporary and log files, while conveniently saving custom searches for use at a later time as well as an improved interface. IT is available for $50.
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: comparing Mac and PC pricing using spec lists and more; discussion of 12" iBook screen quality; opinions on replacement headphones for iPods and other devices; impressions of OmniWeb 5.0 final for Mac OS X; ongoing discussion of new PowerMac G5 order status.
Added: Netscape 7.2 is an update to the alternative Internet suite for Mac that offers a browser, email client, and IM service. The latest version offers improved email filters, security, rendering, and pop-up blocking. [Download - 17.1MB] Rax 1.1 ($30) turns a Mac into a "virtual rig" for live performance, offloading DSP to a second computer, or "just jamming for fun." Version 1.1 adds MIDI Mixer control, 24 bit recording, and native sample rate recording. [Download - 1.5MB] TakeCharge 1.0 can handle all forms of transactions from simple credit cards to recurring billing charges and ACH check transactions. It offers strong security features including AVS Address Verification Service, an encrypted database, and CVV2 Fraud Protection. ViewIt 2.5 ($20) is a shareware image viewer that supports most popular image formats: JPEG, TIFF, PNG, PSD and so on. The latest version adds an 'email images' plug-in, the option to save file lists, and bug fixes. [Download - 479KB] BackTrack is a background application that silently logs everything the user types. The log file contains the application name, the window name, the date & time, and what was typed. It costs $15. [Download - 646KB] SimpleHelp Plug-In 3.0 ($48) is a FileMaker plug-in that enables independent and in-house developers to implement interactive help such as tool tips (help tags), coachmarks, or roll-over effects in their own solutions. Version 3.0 adds support for FileMaker 7, a printable PDF user's guide, unicode tool tips, and more. [Download - 3.0MB] CGIScripter 2.19 is a multi-platform development application that is available for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux and Solaris. Version 2.19 adds support for FrontBase database servers in addition to the seven databases which were already supported with previous CGIScripter versions. [Download - 1.63MB]
Macromedia has introduced the Flash Video Kit, which allows Macromedia Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional users to add streaming or progressive download video to their websites without any special technical knowledge through a Dreamweaver MX 2004 plug-in. For a limited time, the Flash Video Kit is available free with new Studio MX with Flash Professional purchases or upgrades registered by September 30; current Studio MX with Flash Professional users can upgrade for $50. Other upgrade options are listed here.
FileMaker today announced the FileMaker Education Starter Kit, a free bundle of five pre-designed, ready-to-use database solutions for educators and administrators. The Kit comes with a 30-day free trial of FileMaker Pro 7, which the company says is currently used by more than 10,000 schools worldwide. Databases included with the Education Starter Kit include HumanResources, CourseTracker, Math Art, CourseWizard Lite, and Curricula.
Advenio has released MacGourmet 1.0, an application for organizing recipes and saving wine and cooking note. The company has also launched the companion MacGourmet.com website, featuring weekly recipes, kitchen gadget reviews, wine suggestions, news, recipes, recipe site reviews from around the web, and more. MacGourmet 1.0 sells for $25; a trial version is available.
The story behind Pixo's involvement in developing the iPod, is detailed in a San Francisco Chronicle interview with former Pixo founder Paul Mercer. In late spring of 2001, about six months prior to the iPod's debut, Apple approached Pixo, Inc. for help in designing the iPod's user interface. "We were able to get something running and demonstrate it in a couple of weeks," Mercer says, crediting the quick turn around to his company's experience designing cell phone interfaces. Mercer, as well as many of his employees were previously employed by Apple. Pixo's involvement suggests "that they tried [to design] it inside and failed." Pixo was sold to Sun Microsystems late last year and Mercer now heads Iventor, a company developing operating systems for feature-rich handheld devices and cell phones.
One day after Prudential Equity Group warned that the availability of G5 processors could be "worse than anticipated," UBS overnight said the "key risk" on Apple in the near-term "remains IBM's ability to produce enough G5 chips." While UBS believes yields of the G5 have been improving on a weekly basis, problems persist and "Power Mac shipments should face yield issues into fiscal first quarter 2005 and a new iMac to be launched later this month to strong demand, should be met with shortages," notes CBS Marketwatch. UBS adds that "Apple could still deliver significant sequential improvement into calendar fourth quarter 2004, with its own product cycles (iPod, iMac, etc.) that should be able to insulate it somewhat from macro-economic issues."
RealNetworks today announced its new music sale to kick off the Freedom of Choice campaign. For a limited time only, every song in the RealPlayer Music Store will be available for $0.50 cents--with most albums available for $5. "This limited time sale celebrates the Freedom of Choice made possible by the release of the free RealPlayer 10.5, the first product that integrates Real's revolutionary new Harmony Technology. RealPlayer with Harmony enables consumers to buy and download music that plays on more than 100 portable devices, including the Apple iPod." RealNetworks will also rolling out an extensive US national print, radio, and online advertising campaign and a new web-based community, which it says will "provide a forum where consumers can learn about compatibility issues and discuss the issues with other digital music fans."
Now AAPL Stock: 113.95 ( + 0.86 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE