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Oracle 10g for Mac OS X has much improved management over previous versions, but the optimal performance is still achieved by a trained DBA and the installer needs a lot of manual intervention, according to a Techworld review: "The Mac version of Oracle is, in reality, little different from the other versions – or, at least, the other non-Windows versions.... The company's been thrown a bit of a bouncer now that Apple has proclaimed its desire to start using Intel processors instead of the PowerPC, but according to Oracle's product chaps it's no big deal because Mac OS on Intel is that much closer to the core Linux build structure than Mac OS on PowerPC. Although there's a bit of a hiatus in Oracle's Mac OS development department at present, the company insists that as well as producing Intel-based applications, the PowerPC version will be supported for as long as Apple supports it.
Apple has published an article on Keane, the musical artists who lost their lead guitarist in 2001 only to fill the void with Apple's Logic Pro software. Since Keane's album "Hopes and Fears" hit the shelves in May 2004, the band has sold over four million copies. The band has been headlining major festivals all summer and supported U2 during their sold-out European tour.
In a report published today, CNET News.com confirmed the existence of the TPM module (trusted platform module) in Mactels, Apple's Intel-based Power Macs. Members of Apple's Developer Connection were seeded with Intel-based Power Macs, following the Intel-shift announcement at Apple's WWDC conference in June. The report confirms that Intel-based Macs systems contain a digital signature necessary to install Mac OS X, following earlier speculation and first-hand reports that TCPA-DRM was being incorporated into Intel-based Macs. The article notes that users are able to install other operating systems such as Windows and Linux on Intel-based Macs, but that it was not possible to install from the DVD containing the Intel-based Mac OS X on similar x86-based PCs (i.e., systems that lacked a TPM). The new chip would prevent users from purchasing generic PCs and installing copies of Mac OS X for x86, preserving Apple's control over the total hardware/software "Mac" solution.
RealNetworks, which runs the Rhapsody music service, is reportedly disputing Apple's claim that iTunes is the first digital music service to offer the Rolling Stones' complete back catalog. Apple yesterday said that the iTunes Music Store is "the only online music service in the world to feature the complete digital music catalogue of the Rolling Stones." According to Macworld UK, Real yesterday contacted the publication to dispute Apple's claims; however, the publication found that only Rolling Stones' EMI Virgin release--18 albums in total--were available for purchase and download. The remaining portion of the Stones' catalogue was only available to streaming Rhapsody customers.
Aspyr Media today announced the upcoming release of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 for Macintosh. Featuring 3D graphics and a new "CoasterCam", players can build, operate and ride the attractions. RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 is the first in the highly successful Rollercoaster Tycoon series to come to Mac users, and includes crowd scenes with enhanced park guests and characters as well as over 170 rides. Other new features include realistic day and night cycles, still-picture/movie-making capability and the new Fireworks MixMaster enabling the creation of pyrotechnic shows synchronized to music. Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 is expected to be available in November for $50.
Tekserve today announced the availability of its eight-hour Mac OS X Tiger training DVD, Inside Mac OS X. It offers the tools required to get up and running quickly utilizing all of Tiger's new features, applications and system preferences. Aimed at both novice and experienced Mac users, Inside Mac OS X ($35) provides dozens of professional tips and tricks to tap the power of Tiger and integrate these into daily workflow.
LAJ Design today announced the immediate availability of Widget Maker X 1.0, an application to create, modify and manage Widgets in Mac OS X Tiger. The first public release, version 1.0 incorporates a "Widget Wizard," which is based off some of the example projects provided by Apple and gives users a starting widget that has all the base features (saving preferences, flipping front to back, etc.). Widget maker is a full version that will run for five days; registered users ($17) receive access to product support.
iPodNN roundup: UK-based iPod accessory maker PodGear today launched of HouseParty (pictured at right) for Apple's iPod... Earth VideoWorks has released its iCandy visual collection for Apple's iPod photo.... Speck yesterday introduced the SkinTight Armband for the iPod shuffle.... The latest copy-protected CDs from major music lables continue leave iPod users without a solution.... A new unique iPod case was launched to promote awareness and raise funds for the FTBC.... Thought Out today announced the new FlexPed, a flexible pedestal for the iPod.... Yahoo has begun testing a new search feature that will sort through millions of songs offered by online music services such as iTunes, Rhapsody and Napster.
UK-based iPod accessory maker PodGear today announced the launch of HouseParty, a mini stereo speaker system designed to work with Apple's iPod. It features synchronization and charging functions for the entire iPod range. “The HouseParty is compact and beautifully designed with feather touch volume controls and funky blue LED lights to make any iPod look at home when docked. The HouseParty is equally at home in the living room, kitchen, bedroom or by the computer where anybody can simply dock their iPod to charge and share their music collection.” The HouseParty speakersystem can turn "any recent iPod" into a mini stereo system, delivering out 2x6W of stereo sound. The HouseParty will charge any iPod with a dock connector (3G, 4G, Photo and mini) or iPod Shuffle, and also enables synchronisation with a computer over USB. It will ship on September 1 for £$50.
Apple has added another interesting profile on Nouchine Hadjikhani, a radiologist at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital who seeks to understand migraines and how peoples process body language. Using a dual-processor Power Mac G5 and NeuroLens, she views all her MRI scans before conducting extensive data analysis on her Linux systems. NeuroLens is a program that can deliver brain images many times faster than her Linux system and allows her to pinpoint problems with her scans almost instantly. "The first time I saw NeuroLens on the Mac I was so shocked, normally it would take several days before I could look at the results. Now I come back from the scanner with a CD loaded with files and put it in the Power Mac computer and click on NeuroLens and in less than 10 minutes I have the results."
Apple may be forced to raise song prices at the iTunes Music Store next year, according to a report from Japan. "Japan's Nikkei recently reported that record labels have been 'abuzz with talk about Apple's 2006 problem'. That refers to label licensing renegotiations scheduled for next year... Specifically, labels have been pushing Apple to increase its current fixed a-la-carte pricing structure in the US, Canada and Europe." Apple's two-tiered approach used in Japan may foreshadow possible increases, while at the same time bolstering the labels' case for higher pricing; however, for now, Apple's lower pricing in Japan has forced some of its main competitors in the region--Sony's Label Gate, Yahoo Japan and Excite--to lower pricing. The report says that Apple's licensing of its FairPlay DRM will also be an issue, as labels have recently begun shipping copy-protected CDs that are not compatible with the popular iPod.
Internet retailer Amazon.com may be preparing to launch its own digital-music service by the end of the year, according to a report in The Wallstreet Journal. The new service would bring yet another player to an already crowded that includes Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Napster, and RealNetworks. "Amazon has held talks with record-label executives in the past two weeks about licensing music, according to people familiar with the discussions. Amazon of Seattle has discussed a music offering that would include options such as song-by-song downloads and a monthly subscription service, those people say. Amazon has discussed tapping MusicNet, a New York distributor of digital music, to support the service, people familiar with the talks say. Amazon indicated that it is interested in launching a digital-music service in the fourth quarter of this year." [subscription required]
In Brief: An Austrian hacker has written the first known virus for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, which take advantage of a new command shell, code-named Monad, that is included in the Windows Vista beta code.... Apple is reportedly opening yet another Dallas-area Apple Store in the Northpark Mall in December, just a few miles away from the Knox Street store in Highland Park.... Mark Szymczyk's book "Xcode Tools Sensei," now available in print for $35, is a guide to the developer tools that ship with Mac OS X, covering 25 graphical and command-line tools.... "The Designers 5 Pack" ($30) offers five new themes for Realmac's Rapidweaver web publishing tool: Business Clean, College, Visionary, Photography and WoodLand themes.
RadTech today announced the immediate availability of the CableYoYo, a compact cable management system that’s mountable and stackable. "CableYoYo brings order to the computer-user’s world by cleaning up workspaces, desktops and travel bags. The CableYoYo stores cables neatly and cleanly, requiring much less space and affording much greater organization. Makes traveling with the typical plethora of cables a hassle-free delight. CableYoYo also provides elegant storage and operation when attached to a wall, behind a computer monitor, under a desk, or anywhere." Each CableYoYo includes a small adhesive-backed mounting post which attaches to walls or desks. It is available in three colors: White, Silver or Black for $5 each.
Diskology today announced a new version of its Disk Jockey portable hard disk duplicator. The new model includes a write blocking feature, which can be used for computer forensic examinations. The new unit is available as part of a "Forensic Kit," which also includes a serial-ATA (SATA) adapter as well as longer cables for connecting to drives. The Disk Jockey mounts IDE hard disk drives via USB 2.0 or FireWire as well as mirrors, spans, copies, compares, tests and erases hard disk drives using either a 1-pass or a 3-pass erase per the National Security Administration (NSA) guidelines. The Disk Jockey "Forensic Kit" retails for $430 and includes the write-blocking Disk Jockey, SATA adapter and extended 2.5-inch and 3.5inch cables. The standard Disk Jockey (without write blocking) is available for $350.
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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
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko