Topics on the MacNN Forums today include: Members' opinions on the buying current Power Mac G5 models as updates approach.... Delays with new PowerBook G4 shipments affecting some customers.... Discussion of Mac mini and iPod "pyramid schemes" that claim to offer free iPods and Mac minis.... Speculation about the next iBook revision.... Apple's iPod software update, which was released yesterday.
Gefen today released its DVI Booster, a small unit that corrects video signal degradation that occurs over stretches of DVI copper cables (when used to extend a display away from its high definition source). The company sas that HD video transmitted through DVI cables can break down beyond 15 feet in distance, with all DVI copper cables experiencing this problem when used at resolutions of 1080i or higher. "With advance cabling and enhancement techniques using higher gauge copper cables, an additional distance of 30 to 50 feet may be achieved, but not always with 100 percent success. The DVI Booster guarantees a 100 percent accurate reproduction of the image at any resolution." The DVI Booster ($250) works with HDCP compliant content and DVI displays and cables.
Paradigma Software today announced Valentina 2, an update to its robust database technology. Version 2 includes new Abstraction Links, speed improvements, Unicode support, Valentina XML, SQL'92 compliance as well as native API calls in all products, simultaneous data exchange, and a transparent cross-platform file format. Others new features include new reference integrity, record level locks and 448-bit encryption. Valentina 2 Office Server is a robust, business ready database server that includes interface plugins for REALbasic, Runtime Revolution, Visual Studio, Delphi and more. Versions support from five to unlimited numbers of users, with pricing starting at $300. It is extendable and has no IP address limitations or "user CALs" pricing.
MC Hot Software has released WoW Status 1.3, a new version of the tool that displays Warcraft servers in your menubar. Users can select one server to be the preferred server and always know it's status, and set other servers as favorites for quick information under the menu. Users simply choose a server from a realm to add it to the favorite section in the menu. Selecting a server in the favorites will set it as the preferred server. Version 1.3 adds many new features including European support, server alerts, a built in crash reporter, launching of World of Warcraft via the menubar, and queued server support. WoW Status has changed from freeware to $6 shareware.
SpeakTunes 1.0 uses the voice capabilities of Mac OS X with a familiar "iPod-like interface" to allow users to navigate and play songs from the iTunes music library without looking at the display. With full support for the Keyspan Digital Media Remote, SpeakTunes was designed for home and auto installations where looking at a display is impractical. SpeakTunes supports MP3, AIFF, and protected AAC files from the iTunes Music Store. SpeakTunes registration is $15.
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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