Apple today posted a security update to fix a flaw in iChat, Apple's free instant messaging application that is bundled with Mac OS X and offers compatiblity with Americal Online's AIM software. Apple said Security Update 2004-09-16, released via the Mac OS X Software Update, "delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following component: iChat." Apple days that remote iChat participants can send "links" that can start local programs if clicked. The company has modified it so that "links" of this type will open a Finder window that displays the program instead of running it. The update is available for Jaguar iChat 1.0 or Jaguar iChat AV 2.0 users as well as Panther (iChat AV 2.1) users. [updated]
Apple has forced a small developer to remove his free iTunes plugin that allowed users to easily copy music from an iPod. Sylvain Demongeot, who recently released the program, says that his ISP shutdown his website in response to an Apple note indicating "unauthorized use of iTunes software code." A message on the website from Apple to Demongeot's web hosting company (ISP) reads: "Specifically, we have learned that unauthorized Apple iTunes software code is being used in a computer program called 'iPodDownload 1.0'. The material is currently available for download on the wildbits.com web site, hosted by your company, at the following URL." The developer says he removed the free software plugin to restore access to his website, which was shutdown by the ISP for more than an hour. Demongeot says that Apple never contacted him and that he is still waiting for an explanation of the violation.
Evening tech: America Online says it will not support a Microsoft-backed antispam technology called Sender ID, days after the Internet Engineering Task Force standards body voted down the Sender ID proposal.... BusinessWeek says that Yahoo! music offering will be bolstered by its acquisition of Musicmatch, the most-trafficked online music site in the U.S., according to Nielsen NetRatings.... A simple Google search can turn up dozens of credit card numbers and along with relevant information.... University of Texas (Dallas) is curtailing the regulation of private hot spots in campus housing, including lifting a previous ban of 802.11b/g equipment.
iDive 1.1 ($70) updates the digital video management application with new features and extensive improvements, iDive combines indexing and visualisation of digital video tapes with annotation and search capabilities. Version 1.1 offers clip lists, Final Cut Pro export via XML interchange, and improved control over compression options. [1.5MB] 4D Macro Pack is a free 4D component that offers a collection of seventeen time-saving macros designed to increase developer productivity, including Doc 4D (generates API documentation), Modularize (break down large methods), DeclareSoap (transform 4D methods into Web services), and CreateObject (generates scripts that can access COM objects), and more. [291KB] Browse Volumes 1.4 ($8) is a contextual menu plug-in that allows users to browse through the mounted disks (hard disks, CD-ROMs, or network disks), folders and files. It provides an easy way to open files and folders. The menu will be appear on most applications that support Mac OS X contextual menus, e.g. Finder, TextEdit, Preview and Internet Explorer. [370KB] Splendid City 4.1 (free), formally known as 'Advanced Team Scheduler', is available as a free, easy-to-use, full-featured team sports scheduler and sports scheduling software system. It can manage sports schedules of any size and complexity, automating the season, tournament, league, match, round-robin and practice schedules. The Pro version is $40. [3.0MB] netTunes 2.1.1 ($20) lets you control iTunes running on one Macintosh from another, using iTunes' native interface. It offers improved performance, fixes various problems, improved the UI, and improves the demo experience. It offers a clickable, scalable native iTunes interface, transparency support, and more. A single license allows any number of client Macs to connect. [845KB] Color Schemer Studio 1.0 ($50) is a professional color-matching application for Mac OS X 10.2 that will help build beautiful color schemes quickly and easily. Users can explore color using a dynamic visual color wheel, visualize harmony relationships, mix colors, create gradient blends, and even analyze contrast and readability. [1.7MB]
DataViz today announced MacLinkPlus 15, an update to its file conversion utility for the Mac. The sytem utility offers Mac-to-PC file translation, the ability to open unreadable email attachments, and easily move notes and info to Apple's iPod. Version 15 offers the ability to extract text from PDF files, a new graphic translator Photoshop folders, improvements to other graphic translators (BMP, JPG, PICT, TIFF), iPod support, StuffIt X decompression, updated translators (Word 2004, Excel 2004, WordPerfect 12 for Windows), and more. It is a $40 upgrade from any previous version and $80 for new purchases.
OmniPilot Software today released Lasso Professional 7.1, an update to the Lasso web serving and development engine for multiple operating systems and databases. Version 7 brings FileMaker Pro 7 compatibility as well as support for MySQL and JDBC data sources. It is offered as free upgrade to Lasso Professional 7 users, while the full version is $650. The company is also extending its Lasso Upgrade Amnesty Program through September 24th. The program allows existing Lasso users to upgrade from any previous version of the Lasso Professional product line to Lasso Professional 7.1 for only $300. Customers will also receive 60 days of free support.
Bose has introduced the SoundDock digital music system designed for Apple's iPod and iPod mini. The new speaker system lets iPod owners access, control and listen to their stored music. The SoundDock system includes a proprietary acoustic design that delivers clear, full sound across the entire musical spectrum using an integrated system approach to match the amplifiers, equalizers and speakers, foregoing any complex adjustments and ensuring superb acoustic performance. It also leverages patented integrated signal processing that automatically adjusts tonal balance. The SoundDock is expected to sell for $300 and will be available directly from Bose and Apple retail stores. (Dates not given.) UpdateNow available for order from the Apple Store.
DxO Labs today announced version 2.0 of its flagship product DxO Optics Pro as well as its new DxO Raw Engine, a new module for DxO Optics Pro that allows RAW files to benefit directly from the image enhancement capabilities of DxO Optics Pro. Touted as a "breakthrough raw converter in terms of image quality," the engine features new demosaicing1 technology that produces sharper and more detailed images using 16-bit processing. Both DxO Optics Pro 2.0 and DxO Raw Engine will be showcased at Photokina in Cologne, Germany on Sept. 28-Oct. 3 in Hall 10.1, Stand E18.
Nikon today announced its Nikon D2X 12.4 megapixel professional digital SLR camera as well as three new Coolpix cameras. The D2X leverages new innovations in sensor design and image processing to combine both high resolution and high speed, offering the ability to shoot full resolution images at 5 frames per second. Nikon also unveiled three new Coolpix digital cameras, including the flagship Nikon Coolpix 8800, the wide-angle Nikon Coolpix 8400 and the 4-megapixel, 8.3x zoom Nikon Coolpix 4800. The Coolpix line now offers the longest zoom range (35-350mm) available in the 8-megapixel category, the widest angle of coverage (24mm) of any compact digital camera on the market, and the first 8-megapixel 10X zoom digital camera with Vibration Reduction (VR).
EditiX 2.0 (starting at $25) is an XML editor with an XSLT debugger and XML differencing support. It provides users with an extensive range of XML functionality within a refined IDE that guides you with intelligent entry helpers as well as offers XML validation, syntax formatting, realtime tag delimiters, default templates and more. New features include DocBook support, remote access via FTP or WebDAV, and more. [12MB] The iPod ActionPak ($10) combines three utilities: "Pod2Pod" which exactly duplicates the entire contents of one iPod to another; "Note2Pod," a full-featured note manager, and "iPod Battery Monitor," which allows you to chart and track the progress of an iPod battery. iPod Battery Monitor will also change the battery indicator to a numerical value for more accuracy during testing. Gooeynix 1.0 ($5) is designed to simplify the ability to create and manage compressed files and archives in Mac OS X. Using a graphical interface, users can perform many Unix-style compression commands, including the ability to create archives ("tarballs"), extract files/folders from archives, add files to existing archives, and more. It requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and G4-based Mac. [211KB] F-Script 1.2.7 (open-source) brings a new search/sort functions as well as "Core Data Explorer" that can graphically explore and interact with live Core Data objects (part of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger). The lightweight object-oriented interactive and scripting layer provides scripting and interactive access to Cocoa frameworks and custom Objective-C objects. [8.5MB] LipSync 2.5.2 ($45) helps synchronize Contacts, Calendars, and ToDo's between Lotus Notes, iCal, the Mac OS X Address Book, iPod, Palm OS PDAs, cell phones, and more. It includes Excursion which allows Safari (and other browsers) to be used as the default browser in Lotus Notes R5.x and 6.x. as well as simplifies the text magnification, and more. [2.1MB] Multi Wipe Transitions 1.0 ($6) is a set of iMovie transition that facilitate "wipes" with a soft border from one clip to another, offering 100 different levels of 'softness' (from 'hard line' to 'very soft'), and 14 different directions. It adds the ability to repeat the same wipe multiple times--up to 6 times--with increasing opacity. [1.3MB]
Olympus today announced its 3.2-megapixel D-535 Zoom digital camera. Designed for beginners, it features a "One Touch" design with separate buttons for shooting, playing back and erasing digital images. The stylish, compact D-535 Zoom offers a new help function that displays a brief description of each function and mode's purpose as well as a new GUI, which it says "eliminates complicated tabbed interfaces on the menu architecture, allowing entry-level users to make their selections quickly." Other features include a 3x Optical Zoom lens, a 4x digital zoom, super macro mode, 12MB of internal memory, support for xD-Picture Card media, 6 preset shooting modes, QuickTime Movie Mode, USB connectivity, and 1.5-inch LCD.
In a review of the recently released Skype for Mac OS X internet telephoney software, BusinessWeek's Alex Salkever says that "Skype blows away iChat in terms of voice quality. My recent test drive of Skype for OS X led me to conclude that it's time for Apple to start a phone network -- Macphone, if you like." Salkever also says that Skype is the only company that "rivals Apple in making hard tasks really, really easy," but think that has a larger chance of success: "Apple already has the pieces in place to do what Skype is doing -- and it actually has a better chance of success. For starters, it has a paying customer base. It sells around 3 million computers a year, and it also enjoys an installed base of close to 20 million users, most of whom continue to pay money to Apple to purchase periodic software upgrades."
Aspyr Media will publish Call of Duty: United Offensive for Macintosh later this year. The expansion pack allows gamers to experience more of WWII's most legendary conflicts through the eyes of Allied soldiers fighting for the liberation of Europe through 13 new single player missions. "Once again looking through the eyes of American, British and Russian soldiers, Call of Duty: United Offensive thrusts players alongside their squadmates into more authentic action across Fortress Europe's most historic battlefields." It also features an enhanced multiplayer experience with new maps and new modes of play. It is expected to ship in November
Olypus today introduced the Olympus C-7000 Zoom, which it calls the "world's smallest and lightest" 7.1-megapixel, 5x optical zoom digital camera. The C-7000 includes a newly developed 5x optical zoom lens (f2.8/f4.8 - f8.0, 38mm - 190mm equivalent) that leverages the camera's TruePic TURBO Image Processor to suppress noise and boost image definition. The compact camera measures just 4"(W) x 2.3"(H) x 1.7"(D) and weighs only 7.7 ounces. The camera's metal body is finished in a sophisticated Premium Titanium color. The C-7000 Zoom will be available in October for $600 with a 32MB xD-Picture Card, Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (and charger), a USB 2.0 cable, wrist strap, and Olympus Master Software.
Aspyr today announced that Mac version of SimCity 4 Rush Hour has gone gold and will begin shipping September 27. In SimCity 4 Rush Hour, players take control of their cityís transportation with a wide variety of new options. They can create the elevated train networks of Chicago, the wide-avenues of New York, or the one-way streets of San Francisco. Players can develop a seamless mass-transit system including monorail, subway, or even a scenic ferry service that connects to a greater regional travel network. The expansion pack requires the full version of SimCity 4 ($50), Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later and a PowerPC G4/G5-based Mac (700 MHz or faster). It is available for $25 and will be in stores nationwide by October 1.
David Pogue has a look at Microsoft's iTunes Store in the latest edition of The New York Times, noting that Microsoft looked to Apple's implementation for guidance: "The Microsoft music store (in beta at music.msn.com) couldn't look more like Apple's iTunes music store (itunes.com) if you ran it through a copying machine. 'Apple set the bar very high,' a Microsoft manger admitted. 'We're trying to match that. We told our developers, 'Look at how Apple does it.'" [free registration required]
Connected Home's Paul Thurrott says that if Apple doesn't make some changes in its iTunes/iPod system, the company has "already lost the game." The editorial says that Apple's biggest mistake is ignoring the portable-video market, while also noting that other portable devices "are catching up" to the iPod and the lack of a subscription offering for iTunes as well as the company's closed system will ultimately lead to its downfall: "Today, Apple is repeating its Mac mistake by going it alone with iTunes and the iPod, and Microsoft's somewhat obvious response is to license its digital media technologies cheaply or freely, depending on the situation, to anyone who asks."
Granted Software today released Still Life 2.3 for Mac OS X, a free update to its stand-alone application that enables users to pan and zoom over digital images and thereby produce a video for use in iMovie, iDVD or any other multimedia project. The program significantly extends the built-in Ken Burns Effect of iMovie 3 by allowing users to take multiple "shots" of an image, pan along a curve and rotate the "camera" if needed. Still Life is also compatible with iMovies 2, 3 and 4. Version 2.3 features a re-implemented export engine for reliable export especially on dual processor machines and offers various other bug fixes. Until registered ($25), a watermark is placed on any exported video.
In Brief: Analysts at UBS reiterated their "buy" rating on Apple, raising the target price from $37 to $42 in a research note published yesterday.... Keaka today that is offering $5 licenses to students for its iTunes alarm clock and sleep/wake scheduler for Mac OS X..... One Apple reseller in Australia has posted a review of the 17-inch iMac G5.... Technology guru Walt Mossberg says that "The single most effective way to avoid viruses and spyware is to simply chuck Windows altogether and buy an Apple Macintosh."... Color and Imaging Product Marketing Manager John J. Zimmerer has left Apple to join X-Rite as its New Market Development Manager.
Symantec today announced plans for a Web-based console to centrally administer Macintosh clients licensed for Symantec's Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh 9.0. The Symantec administration console is designed to provide centralized antivirus management for OS X clients, ensuring up-to-date protection across multiple platform network environments. It will offer functions for distributing and updating clients protected with Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh 9.0 and auditing the machine name, location, software version installed and latest virus definitions update of each networked Mac without relying on user action. In addition, the console is being designed to provide a view of the most recent viruses found on each Macintosh within the network along with the ten most prevalent viruses.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl