As Apple prepares to unveil the first look at its next-generation Mac OS X Leopard later this summer, a new report says that Microsoft will likely delay, yet again, the release of the much anticipated Windows Vista by another three months. Industry research firm Gartner today said that Microsoft will likely be forced to delay its Vista release because of its current development cycle, previous release cycles, code complexity and lofty feature targets. "Microsoft's track record is clear; it consistently misses target dates for major operating system releases," Gartner told clients. The next major Windows overhaul will be the first since Windows XP was released nearly five years ago. The report said that Windows is too complex and feature burdened to meet the projected release target of November for corporate customers and January for consumers.
Firefox 1.5.03 (free) is a new release of Mozilla.org's open-source browser. The update, anticipated earlier this week, fixes a recently reported denial of service vulnerability; it is available as Universal Binary for both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 16MB] Pages 2.01v2 and Keynote 3.01v2 ($80) are new (free) updates offered by Apple for its iWork '06 applications. Apple did not provide any details on the revised updates, which were released late last night and replace updates issued last week. Both iWork '06 updates are available via the Software Update in Mac OS X and via the Web. iChatUSBCam v2.1 ($10) lets USB camera owners to take advantage of iChat AV's video conferencing features. Previously compatible only with FireWire cameras, Apple's iChat AV can be used with USB cameras or any other QuickTime video source. The program also adds the ability to broadcast your screen in lieu of a camera. Version 2.1 is now available as a Universal Binary for native operation on Intel-based Macs and includes various fixes and enhancements for existing users. [Download - 500] Apeiron X 1.0.2 ($15) updates Ambrosia's classic, "Apeiron" game, delivering a number of fixes and enhancements, including native Intel support. Apeiron X features updated 16 bit graphics, OS X compatability, and the same fast paced, frantic gameplay, according to the developer. It also fixes a number of Mac OS 9 bugs. Apeiron X is $5 for previous owners of the original Apeiron. [Download - 9.3MB] eNotes 1.3 ($15) is an easy-to-use and complete tool to manage electronic notes in your Mac; users can synchronize notes with an iPod or with other computers. Version 1.3 brings more stability, an improved interface, better performance, and more. eNotes adds its own menu to the Finder menubar, showing each note with due date listed by priority. It requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later. [Download - 5MB] SQLite3ProfessionalPlugin 1.2 ($170) is a REALbasic plugin that offers low level access to the SQLite 3 database engine within REALbasic (included since RBv2005); however, many of its advanced features not available. The plugin has been designed to take advantage of all the "real speed and real power" that the new sqlite3 engine can offer. The update fixes several bug, offers a few improvements, and updates the included examples. A $40 discount is offered to registered users of SQLitePluginPro. [Download - 1.4MB]
Bains Software has released SpamSweep v1.3, a powerful spam filter for Mac OS X that users advanced bayesian spam filter along with many other filtering technologies, including domain and relay blacklists, sender whitelisting, etc. The application can automatically delete spam messages before they're downloaded by your email client. In addition, it can notify you when you have new good mail by playing a sound, displaying an alert, or triggering your email client. The update features a more decisive bayesian filter, automatically imports account settings from the user's email client, and fixes several bugs. SpamSweep is $25 shareware, and will only filter one account in trial mode. It requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Rake in Grass has released Jets'n'Guns, an action shooter game that boasts 21 levels of demolition. Each level brings new scenarios such as deep space, jungle, frozen ocean, and a lava planet. The game features more than 200 original enemies, 57 different weapons, and 19 special ship upgrade devices. The Jets'n'Guns soundtrack includes one hour of original metal music, and graphical effects make use of the RakeX 2.0 engine. Jets'n'Guns is available for $20 from Macgamestore.com, and requires Mac OS X (specific system requirements were unavailable).
The highly-debated French draft law that has continuously threatened to open Apple's FairPlay Digital Rights Management (DRM) or render the iTunes Music Store an illegal entity has been rewritten in committee. The legislation originally contained provisions that would force companies to make their DRM schemes interoperable, but has since seen the removal or rewriting of most of those provisions, according to Ars Technica. Voting is to take place on the changes in the near future, and some French consumer groups are already up in arms. Apple recently said the law would support "state-sponsored piracy," and the U.S. government stood behind Apple in support of the company's move to maintain its closed iTunes ecosystem. Meanwhile, the French Minister of culture yesterday backed the law, saying all music videos purchased from iTunes that currently play exclusively on Apple's iTunes software must be playable by other devices and software programs. Stopdrm.info is calling for a strike in the Place de la Bastille on May 7th, according to the report.
Kent Place Software today released BeerAlchemy 1.2, a major update to its beer recipe creation and archiving tool for Mac users. The latest version allows brewers to take recipes with them on their iPods, and offers ingredient inventory management as well as a revamped method of handling batches. The software supports all iPods with a dock connector, and users can manage ingredients using the inventory facility. The update improves the brew day process by introducing a new "Brew Days" feature that allows brewers to better document their batches. BeerAlchemy is priced at $30, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 on PowerPC Macs or Mac OS X 10.4.4 for Intel-based Macs.
Daylite 3.0.2 ($150) updates the business productivity manager, adding enhanced Heads Up Display (HUD) functionality. Daylite 3.0.2 features a bouncing dock icon when notifications are discovered when Daylite is not active, as well as numerous bug fixes. [Download - 24MB] Terminator (free) is a GPL terminal emulator that features a tabbed interface which will run on any POSIX system with Java 5 or later and a C++ compiler. The software is designed as a suitable replacement for xterm, rxvt, xwsh and friends on X11 systems, Terminal.app on Mac OS X, and PuTTY on Microsoft Windows. [Download - 1.3MB] Wx 3.31 ($10) displays weather information from the U.S. National Weather Service in a transparent main window, as well as the dock. Version 3.31 offers support for the National Weather Service's RIDGE (Radar Integrated Display with Geospatial Elements), and runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary. The update requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. [Download - 668KB] QuickVerse Mac ($50) is Bible study software featuring 12 Bibles and 56 reference titles. The application can save and apply up to four Bible segments in any daily reading plan. QuickVerse displays more than 100 passage similarities in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The application also includes 2,000 high-resolution color photos. VelaClock 1.6 ($7) is a free update to the world clock widget, adding the ability to display the change in minutes of daylight from the previous day. VelaClock can display the time of sunrise, sunset, or twilight, duration of daylight, current phase of moon, time zone information, and more. [Download - 1.3MB] Track Destroyer 1.2.2 ($20) is designed to carefully and precisely scan and incinerate incriminating data. The update includes numerous interface enhancements, as well as improved error handling. Track Destroyer 1.2.2 also introduces numerous features to the user-interface and bug fixes. [Download - 2.3MB]
PimpMyLaptop.com today launched its new service, offering customized stickers designed to perfectly fit Apple laptop covers. The stickers are made from high-quality laminated vinyl used for campaign advertisements on luxury cars, and can be removed without harming the notebook. Users can upload any high resolution image for printing, or alternatively select from a growing collection of designs. PimpMyLaptop.com stickers fit Apple's 12- (€18) and 14-inch (€20) iBooks, 12- (€19), 15- (€21), and 17-inch (€22) PowerBooks, and both the 15- (€21) and 17-inch (€22) MacBook Pro models.
Tabasoft today released Biferno 1.3.0, an update to the cross platform, object oriented Web scripting language. Biferno is an open-source project that allows developers to rapidly create dynamic Web applications with a high degree of user interactivity. The update offers 64-bit Linux and IPv6 compatibility, includes an Apache 2.2 module, and provides a new class to obtain a stack description. Biferno 1.3.0 also features a Mac OS X Cocoa system preference panel, a new customizable debug error page, multiple email notifications on error, and improved formatting of log files. The software introduces numerous bug fixes, some of which are related to script timing and timeouts. Biferno is available for free, and requires Mac OS X (specific system requirements were unavailable).
Newer Technology today began shipping a 750GB version of its miniStack v2 FireWire and USB 2.0 combo storage solution with integrated port expansion hubs. Measuring 6.5 x 6.5 x 1.5-inches, the device is designed to match Apple's Mac mini system but works with any computer as an external storage option. The miniStack v2 is the industry's first ever external FireWire 400/USB 2.0 single-drive solution that also integrates port expanding USB 2.0 and FireWire-powered hubs, according to the company. All models feature the Oxford 911-Plus based custom bridge, and come packaged with FireWire and USB cabling, Intech HD Speedtools utility suite, EMC Retrospect backup software, and a two-year NewerTech warranty. The 750GB miniStack v2 is priced at $600.
QuickerTek has launched its new MacBook Pro Transceiver, offering users of the latest Apple notebooks an improvement in wireless performance of up to 100 percent. The new transceiver works with all common 802.11b/g networking hardware, including Apple AirPort and AirPort Express Base Stations. The device offers 500 miiliwatts of RF power, compared to less than 50 milliwatts of RF power found in most laptops, and the antenna end of the transceiver easily clips on the top of the case without Velcro, which won't mar the finish or alter the case in any way. The MacBook Pro Transceiver attaches internally with a fine cable that extends out of the case through the AirPort Express port to the external antenna. The MacBook Pro Transceiver is available for $200 from QuickerTek, and is backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor.
Two Pilots has released Spool Pilot for Mac, an application allowing users to save printouts from arbitrary applications in several popular graphic formats, as easily as in a PDF file. The software offers users the ability to choose among several different types of virtual paper as additional ways to store output, such as JPEG, JPEG-2000, TIFF, or PNG. Spool Pilot is priced at $45 for a single-user license, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Dr. Bott has begun shipping Marware's Sidewinder case in white for iPod video and iPod nano. The hard case features a retractable kickstand, headphone cord wrap, and flip-open Dock connector cover. Sidewinder includes a spacer to accommodate the 30GB or 60GB iPod with video, and users can store the case with the headphones neatly wrapped to the side via the "slide-and-hide" headphone cord wrap. The protective cover includes Marware's Multidapt system belt clip, and is compatible with all Multiadapt interchangeable clip system options. Marware's Sidewinder for iPod video is priced at $30 (shown at right), while the Sidewinder for iPod nano ships for $25.
In Brief: Apple today announced that it will open its third retail store, Apple Store FlatIron Crossing, in Broomfield, Colorado on May 6th (along with its second Canada location in Toronto).... Apple's 136 retail stores are now making more than $1 billion in sales per quarter, accounting for about 17 percent of its total revenue.... Apple is offering refurbished Core Duo Mac minis at its online store, starting at $700.... Pangea Software has announced the Enigmo 2 Custom Game File Contest winner and posted his game level file along with 12 other Enigmo 2 game files that can be freely downloaded and played for a total of 275 new levels.... Apple's Steve Jobs says he has no interest in becoming an executive at Disney, after it acquires Jobs' other company Pixar and said he plans to spend more time at Apple after the studio's merger with Disney closes in two weeks.... Apple's rival Creative is expected to post a quarterly loss of nearly $90 million for its March quarter due to cut-throat competition and falling flash prices, while the iPod continues to dominate a growing MP3 player market that could double by the end of the decade.
As noted at last week's shareholders meeting, Apple has launched its new "Get A Mac" ad campaign focused on the Mac platform. Apple has posted its new series of Mac TV ads, which began airing during primetime on Monday and showcase two actors outlining the differences between the Mac and Windows platforms and (of course) the advantages of the Mac platform, but emphasizing compatibility, ease-of-use, the bundled iLife applications, and more. The six different spots, available in four different sizes, are titled Viruses, Restarting, Better, iLife, Network, and WSJ and tout the beneifts the Mac over Windows computers. Apple also posted a list of 14 reasons Why you'll love a Mac and the seven untrue reasons that prevented users from buying a Mac, beginning with "It just works: Your toaster doesn’t crash. Your kitchen sink doesn’t crash. Why should your computer? Think of the countless hours you would save if your PC worked on your time — not the other way around. Then think about a Mac."
Apple's rival Creative is expected to post a quarterly loss of nearly $90 million for its March quarter due to cut-throat competition and falling flash prices. After warning investors earlier this month, the company faces a tough road ahead as analysts see a bleak future for a market dominated by Apple and its iPod: "We expect the business environment for Creative to remain tough at least for the next two quarters. Demand is only expected to pick up for the year-end Christmas sales," said CIMB-GK Securities analyst Jonathan Ng told Reuters. "We remain negative on its prospects given the harsh competition in the market and a lack of new winning products in the foreseeable future," he added. The Singapore-based company offers Nomad and Zen MP3 players that compete with Apple's iPod as well as Samsung's Yepp and Reigncom's iRiver.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN