Copyright © 2016
IcoNVader 1.0 (free) is a new screen saver for Mac OS X that animates Christmas icons. "They will bounce around, flip over and finally explode in a kind of soap bubble effect. It was initially released for Christmas 2004 and features an appropriate Christmas theme." [Download - 451KB] Blender 2.36 (free) is the latest version of the open source 3D suite for Mac. A few bugs have been corrected, and features such as improved bump mapping, texture warping and RGB normal map rendering were added. [Download - 5.9MB] Aki Mahjong Solitaire 1.1.0 is an easy to learn solitaire game for Mac. This free update introduces the ability to both play and create custom levels, and includes over 35 new levels. [Download - 20.2MB] DockFun! 4.6.2 ($20) is a tool that enables users to run an infinite number of Docks in Mac OS X. The latest version improves the software update system, enhances Mac OS X Server compatibility, and fixed a memory leak. [Download - 1.0MB] MBS plug-in 4.3 (80 Euros) comprises a collection of several plug-in parts which extend the REALbasic development environment with over 450 classes and 4 controls featuring over 9000 documented functions. This version improves Linux support, allows users to run Java code in RealBasic, and offers new classes for CoreGraphics and QuickTime. [Download - 17.3MB]
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is named among the 15 people to watch in 2005 as noted by the Wall Street Journal's Online Journal editors. The report, which highlights "men and women who are set to shape the course of business, politics and world affairs in the next year," cites both of Jobs' "hot streaks"--Pixar and Apple (both the iPod and Mac marketshare challenges). Others noted include Nick Denton (online publisher), James Dimon (J.P. Morgan Chase CEO), Robert Iger (Walt Disney CEO), Mel Karmazin (Sirius Satellite Radio CEO), Neelie Kroes (European Union competition commissioner), Edward S. Lampert (Kmart chairman), Michael Leavitt (appointed Health and Human Services secretary), Pervez Musharraf (Pakistan president), Martha Stewart, John Thain (NYSE CEO), Evan Wolfson (Freedom to Marry executive), and Viktor Yushchenko (Ukraine politician).
Sonic Solutions yesterday kicked off a 48-hour sale with of 50 percent off its line of Toast CD/DVD recording software. 'Toast Titanium' can be had for $50, while 'Toast with Jam' is $100. Meanwhile, Radical Breeze is offering a significant discount on its '10 Pack' of applications. The suite is being offered for $20, instead of the regular $50. If purchased individually, the ten apps would cost over $140. The offer is valid until December 27th.
Apple remains the category leader in attracting unique visitors to its Web site, despite a dramatic surge in visits to the Dell site in the last month, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Apple and Dell also lead in the amount of time visitors spend on the sites of computer brands. In the week ending Dec. 12, compared with a month earlier, the number of unique visitors to Apple’s site declined from 4.9 million to 4.6 million. Meanwhile, Dell climbed from 2.7 million unique visitors in November to 4.1 million in the most recent period.
Wall Street Journal columnists Tim Hanrahan and Jason Fry on Monday said that the combination of the iPod's popularity and the increasing worry over viruses, security holes and spyware in Windows PCs "will lead to the second coming of Apple Computer as a home-computing power." In response to that column, WSJ received countless emails with stories from new Mac users: iPod owners affected by the "halo effect," and non-iPod owners who switched for other reasons.
Technology guru David Pogue says that there are several iPod Mini rivals worth a look: "the Mini was an enormous hit, and back-ordered for months. Its appeal was never about logic; it's about emotion, style and status. It's so small, cool and comforting in the hand that to hold one is to want one. Inevitably, the Mini inspired other companies to send in the clones. This month you'll be able to choose from four impressive iPod Mini competitors, courtesy of Dell, Rio, Creative and Virgin Electronics....Four great players, each with some superpower that the iPod Mini lacks. It's curtains for Apple, right? Not so fast. On something that's as personal and frequently used as a music player, little things make a big difference, and it's in the Little Things department that the iPod Mini really shines."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.46 ( + 0.19 )
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc