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AuIT: Mac security
AustralianIT has published a look at several important endorsements of Macs from security-conscious professionals. The article looks at Richard Clarke's use of a PowerBook, Windows software developer Daryl Forrest's use of a Power Mac, and Walt Mossberg endorsement of Macs for users concerned about security. "The roaring success of the Apple iPod music player and – in the US, the iTunes online music service – explains part of that, but many analysts say the share price is also being driven by indications that a growing number of Windows users are moving to the Mac platform."
4D for MySQL, PostgreSQL
4D, Inc today announced it is shipping 4D for MySQL and 4D for PostgreSQL, new plug-ins for 4D 2004 that allow 4D developers to communicate with MySQL or PostgreSQL Servers from a 4D front end to perform data manipulations such as inserting, deleting and updating data within the respective databases as well as creating new MySQL or PostgreSQL databases. The plug-ins are implemented with native MySQL and PostgreSQL APIs. 4D for MySQL and 4D for PostgreSQL can be used with 4D 2004 on both Windows and Macintosh platforms. Pricing starts at $230.
Apple security update
Apple today released a security update to fix issues in file sharing, printing, QuickTime, and its bundled email server (postfix in Mac OS X 10 Server). Apple's Security Update 2004-09-30 "includes the following components: AFP Server, CUPS, NetInfoManager, postfix, and QuickTime." Specifically, the update fixes two Panther-related separate issues with Apple's file sharing protocol used by AFP Server, while recently discovered flaws in CUPS, affecting both Jaguar and Panther users, could allow local disclosure of passwords and a denial of service. Apple's also fixed a bug similar to the one that bit Microsoft last month, allowing attackers to execute arbitrary code when decoding the BMP image type (Microsoft's flaw was related to decoding of JPEG graphics.)
Calq 1.1 is a simple, easy to use calculator. "The idea behind Calq is to have a calculator handy when you need it do some basic calculations." Version 1.1 allows the entering of negative numbers, follows the correct order of calculations, and allows activation via a function yet instead of a combo. [Downoad - 406KB]
WebLight 4.0.1 ($25) offers an easy way to check websites for HTML, URL, and accessibility problems. The latest version adds revamped Problem reporting, improved debug window appearance, and bug fixes. [Downoad - trial]
StatusMonitors 1.4 ($15) is for monitoring any type of statistic, including the weather, hard drive space, CPU usage, and so on. Monitors are added using a plug-in based system. Version 1.4 allows users to set a preference for the text color that the monitor plug-ins use, and more. [Downoad - 1.3MB]
TaskTime 2.5 ($10) is a significant update to the time management and tracking software for Mac. New in this version is a new Project Manager, color coding of project status, and improved keyboard shortcuts. [Downoad - 2.0MB]
iStabilize is a software video stabilizer for Mac OS X that stabilizes movies by removing unwanted shaky motion and smoothing the image path. "Shaking often originates from lightweight handheld cameras, particularly when driven at high magnification. Built-in stabilizers mostly do a good job, but can get overcharged in various conditions. Then, iStabilize can be a helpful utility." [Downoad - 1.5MB]
iGlasses 1.0 ($8) "gives you total control" over your iSight video settings from within iChat AV. iGlasses also activates the iSight on G3 computers which fall below Apple's minimum requirement of 600 MHz. Also included are useful preset settings such as "Enhanced", "Extra Bright" and "Night Vision". [Downoad - 313KB]
Rocbox MP3 player
Roc-A-Fella Records founder Damon Dash, who turned his hip-hop music company into a platform to sell more profitable products, will introduce an iPod-like MP3 player, according to The New York Times: "Now Dash is applying his celebrity and music-infused marketing approach to a product line closer to the source of his troubles: MP3 files. In November, he will introduce a line of MP3 players under the name Rocbox, including one aimed squarely at competing with Apple's iPod....With a chrome-colored front, glowing blue buttons and a black, rubberized back, the hard-drive Rocbox is shinier and a bit bigger than an iPod, while matching its $299 price tag for a player with enough memory for 600 hours of music. A smaller white and aluminum flash drive player is $159 and has enough memory for about eight hours of music."
iPod loaner at Asian hotel
In Brief: Some luxury Asian hotels are now offering iPod loaners to overnight guests.... Caris & Company has upgraded AAPL from 'Above Average' to a 'Buy'.... Earthlink announced that a nearly 3 million scans on users' PC computers found more than 83 million instances of spyware--an average of 26 traces per SpyAudit scan.... Macromedia's second annual MAX conference will be held this year in New Orleans (Nov 1-4) to discuss the business forces for developing "great experiences" on the internet.... Florida-area Apple specialist The Mac Store has closed its doors, citing the recent hurricane season, limited Apple product availability, the economy, and looting as contributing factors.
iPod driving marketshare
Piper Jaffray today reinterated its "outperform" rating and $40 target price on Apple stock, saying a 0.5% increase in market share "is not unrealistic" for the computer company if the current acceleration in interest and demand for its products continue. "Apple currently holds a 2% share in the personal-computer market, the research firm said. 'We believe a 0.5% increase in market share, to 2.5%, would have a significant impact on numbers,' increasing calendar 2005 and 2006 Mac sales by 16% and 24%, respectively, Piper Jaffray said. 'Despite potential supply issues in the September quarter, demand remains strong, and we believe that over the next two years Apple has the ability to grow its market share ahead of expectations," the research firm said. 'This will be driven by greater-than-expected adoption of iPod/HP iPod, translating to acceleration in sales of Macs.'"
Pepsi offers iPod promo
Over the weekend, Pepsi Canada launched a new iPod promotion that will givewaway a "truckload of iPods." The company said that it would offer a free iPod an hour, every hour, of every day, for 84 straight days for a total of 2,016 20GB iPods. The promotion runs from October 3rd through December 25 and is open to Canadian residents only. The company will offer PIN codes under the labels on specially-marked 591 mL Pepsi products, including Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Caffeine-free Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Vanilla, 7UP, 7UP Citrus Splash, Diet 7UP, Mountain Dew, MUG Root Beer, and Lipton Brisk. Users can either enter the PIN online or text message the PIN to PEPSI (73774). Users can alternatively fill a "no-purchase required" online survey" each hour to enter the promotion. (Non-compatible browsers can go here.)
Men of Valor for Macintosh
Aspyr today announced that it would publish Men of Valor for Macintosh. The title, licensed by Vivendi Universal Games, is a historical first-person shooter set in the Vietnam War. "Using a combination of detailed environments, dynamic scripted events, and emotionally engaging AI, gamers are immersed in jungle firefights, desperate defenses and tense search and destroy operations the Marines engaged in from 1965-1968." (Pricing and release date not noted.) More information the game is available from the Men Of Valor official website.
PhotoWiz Contest, ODBC,...
In Brief: Apple has will no longer offer its docking station for its 3G iPod.... Despite the anti-Apple comments by Microsoft CEO Ballmer, Microsoft can't out-cool Apple according to one industry publication.... The PhotoWiz Contest 2004, which runs through December 31, 2004, offers monthly prizes for "Best Photo" (October), "Best Photo Composition" (November), and "Best Photo Correction" (December).... August Software has cut prices on its Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) router, reducing a single user license by more than 60% from $400 to $150 and an unlimited user license by 50% from $1000 to $500.... MacJams.com has published an interview with independent musician Steve Sobek, who is the first artist to release an entire album of songs created with Apple's GarageBand software.
Review of iPod competitors
The Dallas Morning News has a roundup of a few iPod alternatives and how they stack up against the "luxury car of hard-drive music players": the Philips HDD120 Recording Audio Jukebox ("not even close"), Dell Digital Jukebox ("if you prefer function over form"), Creative Zen Touch ("Maybe"), and Rio Karma ("Yes, if you're more of an on-the-go listener than a docking-station listener." The article says that "Apple's recent redesign of the iPod helped it catch up in some areas where rivals were pulling ahead, especially in battery life," also highlighting the innovative click-wheel iPod. (Note only the Rio Karma is compatible with Mac OS X.) [free reqistration required to view article]
ToDo X, DiscBlaze, ...
ToDo X 1.7 ($15) updates the dedicated to-do list application for Mac OS X with clickable URLs. It app supports multiple to-do lists and allows a to-do item to appear in more than one list. Each item can have unlimited attached notes, and items can be copied, linked or moved among lists via drag-and-drop. [236KB]
DiscBlaze 4.2 ($25) is a free update to the CD/DVD burning software for Mac OS
X. Version 4.2 brings the ability to preview audio tracks, enable or
disable the burning of a given file by simply checking or un-checking
it, and other enhancements. [2.4MB]
PreFab UI Browser 1.3 ($55) is described as the "ultimate assistant" for Apple's GUI Scripting and accessibility technologies. It helps you to explore, manipulate and monitor the user interface of most Mac OS X applications running on your computer. It also quickly generates AppleScript statements to
control even non-scriptable applications using GUI Scripting. It adds new options for the display of accessibility names, generates Mac OS X 10.3-only compaitlble scripts, and more. [744KB]
PreFab UI Actions 1.0 ($25) implements "universal attachability" for AppleScript. With UIActions, you attach an AppleScript script to a native Mac OS X application, allowing it to be triggered automatically every time the user
performs the actions you specify in the target application. A UI Action
script can respond to all manner of user actions, such as opening or closing
a window, selecting a menu item, editing a text field and many others. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 Panther or later. [1.3MB]
MenuCalendarClock 1.1 (free) is an update to the iCal integrated menu calendar and clock application for Mac OS X. The update improves the event an 'to do' item overview by providing a calendar drawer that adapts to the user's screen size and can also simultaneously display iCal's 'to do' items and events. It also improves keyboard shortcuts and display customization. Registration ($15) unlocks advanced features. [604KB]
iPodBackup 1.1.3 (free) is a small application that backs up your home folder to your iPod using the open source backup utility called rsync. Users can customize a list of items to be excluded (By default, the Music folder, as well as certain cache folders are skipped). It is designed for Mac OS X 10.2 or later and requires that the iPod be enabled as a data source (via iTunes). [940KB]
MS takes shots at Apple
In a London press briefing over the weekend, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said that that consumer adoption of digital technology in the home is at a 'tipping point', which could lead to a dramatic increase in sales for converged devices that integrate video, audio and computer technology, but said that "there is no way that you can get there with Apple. The critical mass has to come from the PC, or a next-generation video device." Ballmer also took the opportunity to take yet another dig at Apple, calling iPod users music thieves "Billing Microsoft as the good guys and Apple the villains of the piece - at least as far as corporate America, rather than users, is concerned, Ballmer said: 'We’ve had DRM in Windows for years. The most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'.'"
Merrill raises AAPL target
Merrill Lynch overnight raised its price target on Apple shares to $44 from $39, citing the stock's 20 percent discount to Dell based on an enterprise value/sales basis, according to CBSMarketWatch.com: "Dell's valuation may be a more relevant comparable as the two companies' growth rates and margins converge," Merrill told clients. "We are raising our September quarter estimate a penny to 19 cents on stronger iPod and iMac sales."
2004 debate at iTMS
Apple is offering the first 2004 Presidential debate via the iTunes Music Store in its AudioBooks section. Available for free, the first debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry, which took place last week was 90 minutes in length and focused on foreign policy and the war in Iraq. It was moderated by PBS' Jim Lehrer. Meanwhile, one reader notes that PowerBooks were instrumental in some of the post-debate polling: "one hundred students at Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pa., participate in an online post-presidential-debate poll, immediately after a live telecast on the campus."
palmOne Tungsten T5
palmOne today introduced the Tungsten T5 handheld with new high-capacity flash memory that allows users to store data, photos, videos, and other information. The Tungsten T5 includes 256MB of memory--160MB of flash memory and 55MB for applications. palmOne says that the Tungsten T5 handheld's flash memory protects information even if the device loses its charge, and doubles as a portable flash memory drive as well. The new handheld also features a 320x480 color screen, Bluetooth wireless technology, and an all-new sleek and slim design as well as an Intel 416MHz XScale processor. It is expected to ship November 3rd for $400.
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