Copyright © 2015
Apple has begun blocking users of outdated versions of iTunes from accessing the company's Music Store. Users must have version 4.5 or later of iTunes to access the store and purchase songs. iTunes 4.7, the latest version, is a free download, and users of blocked versions are asked to update their software.
Parliant today announced a new release of PhoneValet Message Center (PVMC). Version 2.1 significantly enhances PVMC's voice mail system by letting users listen in live as callers leave messages. It also enhances PVMC's ability to host informational services (like theater listings and club info lines). "Through a new real-time call screening capability, PVMC 2.1 gives you the flexibility to take important calls immediately while ensuring that callers left in voicemail continue to be treated to a professional telephone experience." PhoneValet costs $200.
Elemental Audio Systems today announced the availability of the newest versions of its two flagship audio equalizer plug-ins, Firium and Eqium. In addition to new features and improvements, these new versions include improved Audio Unit support for better compatibility with Apple Logic 7 and other up-to-date Audio Unit applications. Firium and Eqium support a range of common plug-in formats and are compatible with popular host applications including Digidesign Pro Tools, Steinberg Cubase, and BIAS Peak. Both plug-ins are available individually for $129 each or bundled for $169. The updated versions are free to registered customers.
After comparing Apple's new iPod Photo to the 20GB iRiver H320, renowned Wall Street Journal columnist, Walt Mossberg, writes: "The iPod Photo was just as easy, and satisfying, to use with photos as it is with music. It's a winner, if a little pricey. But the iRiver player is complicated and clumsy, designed by techies for techies." In conclusion, Mossberg says he cannot recommend the iRiver for average, nontechnical users. "But the new iPod Photo is a great choice for storing and sharing digital photos. We just hope it comes down in price."
Aspyr announced today that it is bringing id Software’s blockbuster hit, DOOM 3, to Macintosh. The game is under development for Macintosh by id Software, and will be published by Aspyr. "The ruins of an ancient Martian civilization have unlocked the secrets to teleportation and the Union Aerospace Corporation will stop at nothing to harness this world-altering technology. As part of a Marine detachment sent to protect the facility, your duty seemed simple enough – until the invasion. Now, in an epic clash against pure evil you must fight to understand who is with you, who is against you, and what must be done to stop this nightmare from reaching earth." The game, which requires a PowerPC G5 1.5 GHz or faster microprocessor, is available for pre-order for $50.
A BusinessWeek column looks at the future of Apple's dominance in the digital music player sector. "Apple has to continue to out-innovate a growing crowd of contenders ... Although they haven't much dented the iPod's appeal so far, a horde of rivals, including Dell, Sony, Virgin Electronics, and Samsung, will offer north of 100 iPod wannabes this holiday season." The article warns Apple's dominance could be short lived as other companies move in "Just look at Palm in PDAs, Nintendo in game consoles, and Apple itself in PCs. Already, rival music players offer more features at lower prices."
Propel Software Corporation announced today it has developed Propel Accelerator for Macintosh, a fast Internet accelerator for the Mac OS X platform. The software improves the Internet experience by accelerating the delivery of web pages to the user's browser. Using proprietary, patent-pending technology, Propel Accelerator downloads the highest quality Internet content (both graphical and text-based) with minimum latency and maximum speeds over low-speed connections. "Instead of simply converting its Windows application version to the Macintosh, Propel has designed its Macintosh accelerator as a system-level utility that is simple and intuitive to use." Propel Accelerator is designed to work with OS X 10.2 and higher. The software will be distributed through ISPs in December 2004 for an additional service cost of $8 a month.
The VideoLAN team has released VLC Media Player 0.80, an update to the very useful utility for playback of various video and audio files. The new version adds an audio equalizer, Vobsub support, multichannel audio downmixing, a new plugins cache system to speed up launch time, Windows Media Server RTSP support, support for iTunes Music Store previews, and improvements to the subtitles/OSD subsystem. The new version also includes vastly improved DVD support, a new screen capture input plugin, multipart JPEG webcam and muxing support, and complete re-writes of the input and transcoding layers. The player is a free download.
Several media outlets this morning are quoting Merrill Lynch & Co. analyst Steven Milunovich, who claims that Apple may sell as many as 2.68 million iPods in the December period, almost four times the year-earlier total. "Demand for the music players, which let users download, store and play thousands of songs, made Apple the second-best performing stock in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index this year." The computer company said last month that sales will rise to as much as $2.9 billion in the period that ends Christmas Day, as gift buying fuels a "marked increase" in iPod shipments and customers snap up a new version of the iMac computer released in September.
Lemke Software has released GraphicConverter 5.3, which boasts nearly 20 new features including xmp metadata support, extended AppleScript support, new hand as caliper rule tools, an improved browser toolbar, and more. The new version of the shareware image editor also updates a dozen existing features and corrects several known and potential bugs. GraphicConverter costs $35 and is available for both Mac OS X and Classic. [Classic -7.3MB] [Mac OS X -11.1MB]
Now AAPL Stock: 95.7 ( + 0.69 )
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir
Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.