May 2007 News Archive

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Copyright 2007 by Bill Fox All rights reserved.
Last Updated: May 31, 2007

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[5/31] Apple to add to Apple TV in Two Weeks

Apple will soon be bringing the Internet's most popular originally-created content from to the living room with Apple TV. Beginning in mid-June, Apple TV will wirelessly stream videos directly from YouTube and play them on a user’s widescreen TV. Using Apple TV's elegant interface and simple Apple Remote, viewers can easily browse, find and watch free videos from YouTube in the comfort of their living room.

"This is the first time users can easily browse, find and watch YouTube videos right from their living room couch, and it's really, really fun," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "YouTube is a worldwide sensation, and Apple TV is bringing it directly from the Internet onto the widescreen TV in your living room."

Thousands of the most current and popular YouTube videos will be available on Apple TV at launch in mid-June, with YouTube adding thousands more each week until the full YouTube catalog is available this fall. With Apple TV's stunning interface and simple Apple Remote, users can easily navigate through YouTube's familiar video browsing categories or search for specific videos. YouTube members can also log-in to their YouTube accounts on Apple TV to view and save their favorite videos. [Bill Fox]

[5/31] Apple released 19 Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' Coding Headstarts for Developers

Apple has now provided 19 Coding Headstarts designed to help developers get the most out of WWDC with Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard.' Coding Headstarts provide step-by-step guidance on creating new and compelling features using the development languages, APIs and frameworks of Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard.'

A developer can view the Coding Headstart Introductory Videos by logging in to ADC on iTunes with their Apple ID and password. To access the complete set of Coding Headstarts, including Lesson Guides and Sample Code, one should purchase a WWDC ticket today. [Bill Fox]

[5/31] Software Special Deal of the Day: ReceiptWallet 1.1.2 (Universal) for 37% Off--$18.95 Today Only

ReceiptWallet is a Mac OS X program that allows you to scan in and manage your receipts. When you scan in each receipt, you enter a few pieces of information about the receipt such as the merchant, the amount, and category and then you can quickly and easily locate your receipts. You can view the receipts right on the screen, print them, email them, or save them as PDFs.

In addition to the powerful search built into ReceiptWallet, you can organize your receipts into collections. These collections can contain whatever you want and even better than that is the ability to create smart collections that automatically create collections based on whatever criteria you like. For instance, you can create a smart collection that contains all of your grocery store receipts or one that contains receipts for a certain year.

The possibilities are endless....

Normally $29.95, ReceiptWallet 1.1.2 (Universal) is offered for $18.95 today only--that's 37% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

[5/31] Adobe released Photoshop CS3 Extended plug-in for the Google 3D Warehouse

Adobe released the Photoshop CS3 Extended plug-in for the Google 3D Warehouse. This new plug-in enables Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended users to take further advantage of the software's powerful compositing, painting and image-editing toolset for editing 3D content.

With the plug-in, users will be able to query and download free 3D content from the Google 3D Warehouse, Google's free online repository for 3D models and content, directly within Photoshop CS3 Extended. 3D Content then can be placed, manipulated and used in composites with the new 3D tools in Photoshop CS3 Extended.

The plug-in is available for free download from the Adobe Labs Web site.

[5/31] Hands-On Report--SeaMonkey 1.1.2, a Security Update for the Netscape-Based Internet Suite

According to the SeaMonkey Project Team, SeaMonkey 1.1.2 closes several security vulnerabilities and fixes several smaller problems found in previous versions. With that, SeaMonkey advances to the same level of security as its siblings, Firefox and Thunderbird, which are issuing updates for the same problems this week as well. The project team strongly urges users to upgrade to SeaMonkey 1.1.2, as the old 1.0 series will not be maintained further. The 1.1 series, on the other hand, is being actively maintained and also features some new functionality such as spell checking in web forms and mail tags.

In addition to users of older SeaMonkey versions, the SeaMonkey team strongly urges users of the old Mozilla Suite and Netscape 4, 6 or 7 to upgrade to SeaMonkey 1.1.2. Those software packages suffer from a large and rising number of security vulnerabilities because they are no longer being maintained. SeaMonkey 1.1.2 is a drop-in replacement, providing the same basic suite functionality plus additional features, without known security problems but with current updates.

The SeaMonkey Project Team took over development of the all-in-one internet application suite after Netscape and later the Mozilla Foundation ceased to work on it. Under the new name, users are provided with current versions of the established software package. SeaMonkey 1.1.2 is available for free download from the open source project's Web site.

One of Macs Only!'s staff, who uses SeaMonkey as their primary Web browser and email client, downloaded and installed v1.1.2 and encountered no probems.[Dana Baggett]

[5/31] Apple increased Apple TV Hard Disk Drive Size to 160GB for $100

Apple announced that it is offering a new Apple TV build-to-order option with a 160GB hard disk drive. The standard Apple TV hard disk drive is a mere 40GB. The new larger hard drive offers four times the storage for up to 200 hours of video, 36,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each. Apple TV is easy to connect to a broad range of widescreen TVs and home theater systems and comes standard with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports. Using high-speed AirPort 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking, Apple TV can auto-sync content from one computer or stream content from up to five additional computers right to a TV without any wires.

Apple TV with a 160GB hard drive is available today for a suggested retail price of $399, a bargain $100 over the standard Apple TV with 40GB hard drive. [Bill Fox]

[5/31] With iTunes 7.2, Apple launched iTunes Plus and iTunes U

Yesterday, Apple released iTunes 7.2 for DRM-free and higher-quality music. Apple calls this new section 'iTunes Plus' and one can select iTunes Plus as the default place on iTunes to find music. iTunes Plus offers music featuring high quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio quality virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings—for just $1.29 per song. iTunes Plus is launching with EMI's digital catalog of outstanding recordings, including singles and albums from Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra, Joss Stone, Pink Floyd, John Coltrane and more than a dozen of Paul McCartney’s classic albums available on iTunes for the first time.

Tunes U is a dedicated area within the iTunes Store featuring free content such as course lectures, language lessons, lab demonstrations, sports highlights and campus tours provided by top U.S. colleges and universities including Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Duke University and MIT. [Bill Fox]

[5/31] Delayed Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter 4.1 Update Now Available for Download

On Tuesday, we noted that the release of Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter v4.1 had been delayed until later in the week. They are now available from this Adobe Web page. [Bill Fox]

[5/31] Tonight on The Tech Night Owl LIVE--The Biedny Zone, Andy Ihnatko and the Geek with Laptop

Tonight, host Gene Steinberg enters "The David Biedny Zone," as David entertains you with cutting-edge commentaries about Apple's DRM-free music, the future of the music industry, the iPhone, and Microsoft's new computerized coffee table.

Author and raconteur Andy Ihnatko will be on hand to bring everyone up to date on the latest goings on in the Apple universe.

And if you ever wanted to set up your own Web site for business or personal uses, you'll want to hear the sage advice from long-time Web consultant Sean, affectionately known as the "Geek With Laptop."

You can tune into the Web broadcast tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern.

[5/30] Hands-On Report--iTunes 7.2--Some DRM-Free, Higher-Quality Music

Apple released iTunes 7.2 and it is available via Software Update or as a stand-alone updater for download from this Apple Web page. According to Apple,

With iTunes 7.2, preview and purchase iTunes Plus music—new higher-quality, DRM-free music downloads from participating music labels.

We downloaded and installed iTunes 7.2 via Software Update without a problem. In addition, we used iTunes with our library of music and encountered no problems. [Dana Baggett & Bill Fox]

[5/30] Hands-On Report--Security Update (QuickTime 7.1.6) 1.0 released by Apple

Apple released Security Update (QuickTime 7.1.6) 1.0. It is available via Software Update or as a stand-alone updater for download from this Apple Web page. According to Apple,

This update is recommended for all users and improves the security of QuickTime 7.1.6.

Here are the details:

QuickTime--CVE-2007-2388--An implementation issue exists in QuickTime for Java, which may allow instantiation or manipulation of objects outside the bounds of the allocated heap. By enticing a user to visit a web page containing a maliciously crafted Java applet, an attacker can trigger the issue which may lead to arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue by performing additional validation of Java applets. Credit to John McDonald, Paul Griswold, and Tom Cross of IBM Internet Security Systems X-Force, and Dyon Balding of Secunia Research for reporting this issue.

QuickTime--CVE-2007-2389--A design issue exists in QuickTime for Java, which may allow a web browser's memory to be read by a Java applet. By enticing a user to visit a web page containing a maliciously crafted Java applet, an attacker can trigger the issue which may lead to the disclosure of sensitive information. This update addresses the issue by clearing memory before allowing it to be used by untrusted Java applets.

We downloaded and installed Security Update (QuickTime 7.1.6) 1.0 via Software Update on our MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo and iMac Core Duo with no problems. We tried a number of Web pages with QuickTime content and played several movie clips with no problems.

[Bill Fox & Dana Baggett]

[5/30] Software Special Deal of the Day: SQLGrinder 2.0.5 (Universal) for 49% Off--$29.95 Today Only

SQLGrinder is a SQL editor and developer tool which allows database developers to easily create, edit and execute SQL queries as well as browse their database structures.

Using SQLGrinder and JDBC drivers, developers can connect to any databases that supports JDBC, including Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, FrontBase, Openbase SQL, Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise. Because SQLGrinder is built using Apple's Cocoa framework, it looks and feels like a Macintosh OS X application and adheres to Apple's Aqua Human Interface Guidelines.

Normally $59.00, SQLGrinder 2.0.5 (Universal) is offered for $29.95 today only--that's 49% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

[5/30] Me and My Computer--Episode 5 of Exploring Frontiers of Assistive Technology on a Mac is Out

AssistiveWare released Me and My Computer, a new HD video and video podcast, featuring Elina, who was born with athetoid cerebral palsy. About a year ago, when Elina was 9 years old, she got a computer and in this 4 minute video she demonstrates how it has revolutionized her life. The computer has given her independence as she can now draw and write by herself. She accesses her Apple iBook with an adapted joystick and uses AssistiveWare's KeyStrokes on-screen keyboard with word prediction for writing. She is also experimenting with Proloquo and the Infovox iVox voices for speech feedback while she types. At home and at school her computer means life to her!

This new video is available as episode 5 of the "Exploring the Frontiers of Assistive Technology" podcast series, which can be found in the iTunes store's podcasts section and at this AssistiveWare Web page. [Bill Fox]

[5/30] From the Dark Side--Some Mac Users will be screwed by Microsoft Office 2008

Some Mac users who need to have complete interoperability with Microsoft's Office 2007 face a serious problem when Office 2008 for the Mac arrives late this year.

We've already written about the problems with Mac Office versions reading and writing Office 2007 (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) documents in Microsoft's new format, the so-called Open XML format, that is the default format. Supposedly, this translation issue for Office 2004 and v.X will be resolved by Microsoft after Office 2008 is released, a huge delay from the previous Microsoft "promise." There are already Mac translators available for Word 2007 and Excel 2007 but they are beta or fairly limited in capability. We'll only believe Microsoft when we actually see the promised fully functional translators from Microsoft.

The big problem for some is that Microsoft is dropping Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in Office 2008. No longer will Window's Office documents with VBA macros and scripts work in Office 2008 as they do in previous Office for Mac versions. This is a huge problem for some whose workflow includes those cross-platform actions. Their choice is to stick with Office 2004 which does not run natively on Intel-based Macs, develop AppleScripts which accomplish the same thing as VBA macros/scripts if they do not need Windows/Mac OS X interoperability or run the Windows version of Office 2007 using Apple's Boot Camp or virtualization software like Parallels Desktop for Mac.

Microsoft has stated that it would delay Office 2008 too much to include VBA. But if that were true, why wouldn't Microsoft simply announce a delay in providing VBA capability? Something else must be cooking. More... [Dana Baggett & Bill Fox]

[5/29] Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to 'Duke It Out' at the D5 Tomorrow, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher to Moderate

Wow! Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, the seminal figures in the development of the personal computer and its software, will make a rare joint appearance at The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference this year. The two men will jointly discuss the history and future of the digital revolution in an unrehearsed, unscripted, on-stage conversation on Wednesday, May 30, with D coproducers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. Get it on!

Both executives have made multiple individual appearances at the conference, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary this year, and is known as D5. But this will be their first joint session at D, and a highly unusual event.

In addition to participating in the joint session, Steve Jobs will appear on his own in a separate segment at D5 to discuss the latest developments at Apple, including new ventures such as the iPhone and Apple TV.

The D5 conference will also feature an impressive roster of other leaders in technology and media. Confirmed speakers include Google CEO Eric Schmidt; CBS President Les Moonves; Cisco CEO John Chambers; film director George Lucas; online pioneer Steve Case; Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore; News Corp. President Peter Chernin; Palm founder Jeff Hawkins; Steve Chen and Chad Hurley of YouTube; Viacom CEO Phillippe Dauman; Senator John McCain and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

D5 will be an all-interview event, i.e. without canned speeches. The conference, which was sold out in February at $3,995 a seat plus hotel, will take place today through Thursday at the Four Seasons Resort Aviary in Carlsbad, California, near San Diego. [Reprinted and updated from our 2/21 notice.] [Bill Fox]

[5/29] Software Special Deal of the Day: BOOM 1.5.9 (Universal) for 40% Off--$8.95 Today Only

BOOM... Remember the classic arcade game Bomberman? If you do, or even if you don't, you won't be disappointed by Boom. BOOM is an arcade game in the grand tradition, bringing the playability and feel of the glorious 8-bit consoles on the Macintosh. As a space marine your mission is to penetrate 8 alien infested areas, each one divided in 10 sub-zones, eliminate all enemies using your bombs and finally kick the Big Alien Boss back to where he came from.

Normally $15.00, BOOM 1.5.9 (Universal) is offered for $8.95 today only--that's 47% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

[5/29] Follow-Up--Security Update 2007-005--Longer-term Report

On Friday we noted that we had a problem with our MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo after installing Security Update 2007-005. The problem was fixed by removing all of our external devices and then running Disk Utility to fix a minor disk error. We have now used our updated Macs, including the MacBook Pro, over the Memorial Day weekend with no further problems.

Reader Gerald Millward wrote us about his persistent problem with what he calls the "fans of death," the problem we had with our MacBook Pro:

I've got three Macs, a 17" iMac G4, a 20" iMac G5 and a 15" Power Book G4. All three units did the double restart you described, but only the iMac G5 presented me with the "fans of death". In fact the iMac G5 has gone through the "fans of death" routine during the past three upgrades. That always makes me nervous. Thanks for your report.

We are not sure what causes this problem. We have not had a persistent problem with any of our Macs after updates but the "fans of death" have happened to us before. Usually, just restarting fixes the problem.

Taking precautions like running Disk Utility's repair disk and repair permissions functions and disconnecting all external devices before installing updates may help. We do that frequently but obviously not always. [Bill Fox]

[5/29] [Updated Noon ET]Adobe released Camera Raw 4.1 and DIG Converter Updates

[Update: Adobe sent us a note that the release has been delayed until later in the week.]

Adobe released a free Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in now available for immediate download on Double-dome. The Camera Raw 4.1 update includes improved noise reduction and sharpening tools and raw file support for 13 additional camera models and camera backs. This update also builds on the raw file support integrated in the Photoshop family of products.

The camera raw functionality in the Adobe Photoshop software provides fast and easy access within the Photoshop line of products to the raw image formats produced by many leading professional and midrange digital cameras. Working with these digital negatives allows greater artistic control and flexibility while still maintaining the original raw files. Camera Raw 4.1 plug-in also supports the same functionality for TIFF and JPEG files. Now professional photographers can quickly and easily import and manipulate raw data, producing the highest quality results while saving time.

The new Camera Raw 4.1 plug-in supports 13 digital cameras including the Canon EOS-1D Mark III, Fuji FinePix S5 Pro, Nikon D40x, Olympus E-410, Olympus SP-550 UZ, Sigma SD14, Phase One H 20, Phase One H 25, Phase One P 20, Phase One P 21, Phase One P 25, Phase One P 30 and Phase One P 45. Additionally, Camera Raw 4.1 will add support for popular camera backs from Phase One, including the H20, H25, P20, P21, P25, P30 and P45 models.

The free Adobe DNG Converter, that is part of this update, translates all Photoshop-supported raw photo formats into the universal .DNG file format giving photographers a single unified file format for archiving raw files. Photoshop Lightroom, leveraging Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw technology, will add support for the above camera and camera back models in an update in the near future. Updates to Version Cue and Bridge will coincide with this Camera Raw plug-in update and will be available for free download on

The Adobe Camera Raw 4.1 plug-in is available as a free download for users of Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop Elements 4.01 (Macintosh) by going to the Adobe Web site. The updated Adobe DNG Converter is available today as a free download from this Adobe Web page. [Bill Fox]

[5/26] Apple Revised the Offerings from Three Hot Deals Retailers

Gadget Locker - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: Keynote Theme Park Superset 1 has 12-high quality professionally designed themes for Apple's Keynote application from Wow You Design for only $119.95!; iLuv portable iPod video/DVD player w/7-inch screen for only $179!; iLockr metal shell security case combo lock + iWRAPr shrink wrap protection for 30GB iPod video from i2Electronics for only $22.95; Sportfolio Deluxe Blue protective case for 13" MacBook from Marware for only $63.96; iJet iPod wireless remote w/button dock lets you control any iPod from up to 150-feet away, from ABT for only $29.95!; Aluminum Video Locker for 30GB 5G iPod from Gadget Locker for only $5.99!; and much more.

CDW Mac Warehouse - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: Nikon D40 6.1-megapixel Digital SLR Kit with 18-55mm Zoom-Nikkor lens for only $599!; buy any computer and printer over $69 and get the HP Photosmart D5160 for only $39.99 after $50 mail-in rebate!; VX1945WM 19" widescreen LCD display with built-in iPod Dock from ViewSonic for only $279.99!; Sennheiser OMX70 Sport stereo adjustable clip-on headphones for only $39.99!; and much more.

Small Dog Electronics - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: Relo Knox aluminum case/wallet for 2GB iPod nano - Hot Deals exclusive price of $29.99!; Reunion 9.0 genealogy software from Leister Hot Deals exclusive price of $84.99!; Hippod iPod speaker/case combo from Small Dog - Hot Deals exclusive price of $14.99!; Huey USB Color Calibrator for calibrating and profiling all types of monitors from Pantone -Hot Deals exclusive price of $62.99!; TVMicro USB TV Tuner and DVR with remote for you Mac from Miglia Tech - Hot Deals exclusive price of $74.99!; run Windows on your Intel-based Mac with Parallels Desktop on a 512MB USB flash drive w/free shipping - Hot Deals exclusive price of $69.99!; and much more.

[Bill Fox]

[5/25] Hands-On Report--Security Update 2007-005--We had some troubles

Apple released Security Update 2007-005 for Intel-based Macs and PowerPC-based Macs; Mac OS X 10.4.9 and 10.3.9; and client and server editions. It is available via Software Update or as stand-alone updaters from this Apple Web page. According to Apple,

Security Update 2007-005 is recommended for all users and improves the security of the following components:


Security Update 2007-004 has been incorporated into this security update.

Here are the security details:

Alias Manager--CVE-2007-0740--In certain circumstances, an implementation issue in Alias Manager will not show identically-named files contained in identically-named mounted disk images. By enticing a user to mount two identically-named disk images, an attacker could mislead the user into opening a malicious program. This update addresses the issue by performing additional validation of mountpaths. Credit to Greg Bolsinga of Blurb, Inc. for reporting
this issue.

BIND--CVE-2007-0493, CVE-2007-0494, CVE-2006-4095,CVE-2006-4096--BIND is updated to version 9.3.4. Further information is available via the ISC web site at

CoreGraphics--CVE-2007-0750--An integer overflow vulnerability exists in the handling of PDF files. By enticing a user to open a maliciously crafted PDF file, an attacker could trigger the overflow which may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue by performing additional validation of PDF files. This issue does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.4.

crontabs--CVE-2007-0751--Filesystems mounted in the /tmp directory may be deleted when the daily cleanup script is executed, which may lead to a denial of service. This update addresses the issues by updating the daily cleanup script to prevent find commands from descending into mounted filesystems.

fetchmail--CVE-2007-1558--fetchmail is updated to version 6.3.8 to address a cryptographic weakness that could lead to the disclosure of fetchmail passwords. Further information is available via the fetchmail web site at

file--CVE-2007-1536--A heap buffer overflow vulnerability exists in the
file command line tool, which may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses by performing additional validation of files that are passed to the file command.

iChat--CVE-2007-2390--A buffer overflow vulnerability exists in the UPnP IGD (Internet Gateway Device Standardized Device Control Protocol) code used to create Port Mappings on home NAT gateways in iChat. By sending a maliciously crafted packet, an attacker on the local network can trigger the overflow which may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue by performing additional validation when processing UPnP protocol packets in iChat.

mDNSResponder--CVE-2007-2386--A buffer overflow vulnerability exists in the UPnP IGD (Internet Gateway Device Standardized Device Control Protocol) code used to create Port Mappings on home NAT gateways in the OS X mDNSResponder implementation. By sending a maliciously crafted packet, an attacker on the local network can trigger the overflow which may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue by performing additional validation when processing UPnP protocol packets. This issue does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.4. Credit to Michael Lynn of Juniper Networks for reporting this issue.

PPP--CVE-2007-0752--An implementation issue exists in the PPP daemon when loading plugins via the command line, which allows a local user to obtain system privileges. This update addresses the issue by allowing only the superuser to load plugins. This issue does not affect systems prior to Mac OS X v10.4. Credit to an anonymous researcher working with the iDefense VCP for reporting this issue.

ruby--CVE-2006-5467, CVE-2006-6303--Multiple denial of service issues exist in the Ruby CGI library. By sending maliciously crafted HTTP requests to a web application using cgi.rb, an attacker could trigger an issue which may lead to a denial of service. This update addresses the issues by applying the Ruby patches.

screen--CVE-2006-4573--The screen command line tool is updated to address multiple denial of service vulnerabilities. Further information
is available via the GNU web site at

texinfo--CVE-2005-3011--A file handling issue exists in texinfo, which may allow a local user to create or overwrite files with the privileges of the user running texinfo. This update addresses the issue through improved handling of temporary files.

VPN--CVE-2007-0753--A format string vulnerability exists in vpnd. By running the vpnd command with maliciously crafted arguments, a local user can trigger the vulnerability which may lead to arbitrary code execution with system privileges. This update addresses the issue by performing additional validation of the arguments passed to vpnd. Credit to Chris Anley of NGSSoftware for reporting this issue.

We downloaded and installed Security Update 2007-005 on a number of Intel-based and PowerPC-based Macs: Mac mini Core Duo, iMac Core Duo, iMac Core 2 Duo, MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo, PowerMac G4 Cube and PowerBook G4. With one exception, all went well. For those that went well, each Mac double restarted and took longer than normal at the gray Apple gear turning screen and the blue screen before the login window appears. Subsequent reboots were normal.

Our lone problem was with a 15" 2.33GHz MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo. When we rebooted after the installation finished, we were met with a solid light gray screen and ultimately the fans running full blast. We forced a shutdown and booted again only to be met with no video. We rebooted twice more but got a light gray screen with dark gray Apple logo but no spinning gear both times. Then we disconnected everything that was attached: external monitor, iPod, USB mouse and a SATA ExpressCard 34 connected to two external hard disk drives and booted again. This time the MacBook Pro behaved as the other Macs had, double reboot and all. A check with Disk Utility showed a minor problem that it fixed when we booted off an external drive.

Other Macs had peripherals attached but encountered no problems. Still, it seems a good idea to remove all external devices when updating Mac OS X. [Bill Fox]

[5/25] Software Special Deal of the Day: BatchOutput 2.3 (Universal) for 47% Off--$39.95 Today Only

BatchOutput will automatically print and export to PDF multiple InDesign documents with variety of options. Just select the documents you need to output, adjust the settings, and BatchOutput will do the rest for you.
BatchOutput major features include:

  • Output using InDesign Print or Export to PDF presets
  • Output using current InDesign print/export settings
  • Export all PDFs to one folder or to the folder with original InDesign document
  • Output all files on the list automatically or showing Print/Export dialog for each file
  • Close each document after output or leave them open
  • Output all pages or a specific range
  • New InDesign presets are instantly available in BatchOutput
  • Interactive file list which will:
    • Open InDesign documents directly from the list
    • Reveal them in Finder (even multiple selections)
    • Show different icons for InDesign CS and CS2 files (even if they all look the same in Finder).

Normally $74.95, BatchOutput 2.3 (Universal) is offered for $39.95 today only--that's 47% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

[5/24] Adobe offers Online Live Seminars for Flash Lite--June 6 and 27

Adobe will hold two online live seminars on Flash Lite for registered Adobe Mobile Developers (join here):

Embedding Video and Sound in Adobe Flash Lite
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM US/Pacific

With the amazing capabilities of the Adobe Flash Lite Player, video may be used not only in Rich Internet applications but also in new emerging media applications for mobile devices. Sound is another media type that goes hand in hand with mobile devices and engaging mobile applications today. So during this eSeminar you will learn:

  • The basic concept of video and sound for a mobile application
  • What video and sound formats there are (3GP, Real, Flash Video, MP3, etc.)
  • What video and sound formats are and are not supported on mobile devices
  • How to embed video and sound into a Flash Lite 2.x application

Speaker: Giorgio Natili, Mobile and Web Developer.

Best Practices for Performance and Memory for Flash Lite
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM US/Pacific

Join us for a live, interactive, one-hour eSeminar and all the tips and tricks to overcome memory and CPU bottleneck issues of mobile devices with Flash Lite applications and content.

Prashant Panigrahi, tech support engineer for the Adobe Mobile and Devices business unit, will take you under the hood of different memory management schemes used by FlashLite 2.x and the mobile platform. He will demonstrate how you can best tune your application/content to maximum performance and efficient memory usage.

You will learn:

  • How memory management and garbage collection work in Flash Lite 2.x
  • How you can tune your Flash Lite 2.x application/content to make the most use of the limited memory and CPU cycles on your mobile device.
  • Key points to consider for better performance while developing your Flash
  • Lite 2.x applications/content for mobile devices

Online live seminars are scheduled events simulcast over the web via Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional. You'll need a computer with a browser, Adobe Flash player and Internet connection. Voice-Over IP will broadcast over your computer if you have audio. Alternatively, audio is available via telephone. Access details will be provided once you register. [Bill Fox]

[5/24] Software Special Deal of the Day: IPNetMonitorX 2.1.2 (Universal) for 50% Off--$29.95 Today Only

IPNetMonitorX is a powerful Internet tool kit featuring 15 integrated tools designed to help you quickly identify problems, locate where the problem is, and gather data which can be used to solve the problem either directly or through your Internet Service Provider. The tools included at this time are Lookup, Ping, Trace Route, Name Server Query, Who Is, Finger, Monitor, TCP Info, Connection List, Address Scan, Port Scan, DHCP Lease, Link Rate, TCP Dump, and Subnet Calculator.

Normally $59.95, IPNetMonitorX 2.1.2 (Universal) is offered for $29.95 today only--that's 50% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

[5/24] Intel gets the Lead Out

Intel has already reduced the amount of lead in its processors by 95 percent as of 2004, but Intel will eliminate lead completely in its product line starting with the new Penryn model of Core 2 Duo processors using a 45nm process later this year. Intel will reportedly use an alloy of tin, silver and copper in place of lead. Only about 0.02 grams of lead remain to be eliminated. More... [Dana Baggett]

[5/24] Tonight on The Tech Night Owl LIVE--Domain Registrar Scandal, Dr. Mac, Microsoft Word Translators and Cheap Airline Tickets

Tonight, host Gene Steinberg interviews Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer with the latest details on the scandal involving a failed Internet domain registrar.

In addition, Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus will bring you up to date on the attempt to force Internet broadcasters to pay sharply higher royalty fees. He'll also discuss the coolest gear for your iPod.

Microsoft's Amanda Lefebvre will be on hand to talk about the new translation software to allow Word for the Mac to read files created in Word 2007 for Windows, and Sam Sellers, author of "Take Control of of Booking a Cheap Airline Ticket," will tell you how to save money and enjoy your next flight.

You can tune into the Web broadcast tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern. [Bill Fox]

[5/23] Apple offers Education Free Recycling for All Computers--Sign Up by June 30

According to this Apple Web page,

For a limited time, Apple is offering free recycling of all CPUs (any manufacturer), displays and related peripherals to any accredited K-12 or Higher Education institution with at least 25 systems to be recycled. There is no purchase required to take advantage of the offer.

Simply fill out the form [...] by June 30th (the pick-up date may be scheduled out as late as July 31st). You will be contacted by an Apple Recycling representative within 3 business days to coordinate the logistics.

[Dana Baggett]

[5/23] Follow Up--Greaves vs Apple Computer, Inc. [sic] MacBook/Pro Display Suit

To make the record clear on yesterday's commentary on the Greaves vs Apple Computer, Inc. [sic] lawsuit, reader Gary Kostur pointed us to an Apple article that provides the pixel bit rate for Core Duo and Core 2 Duo models of the MacBook and MacBook Pro displays. The article confirms that they all have 6-bit pixels yielding 24-bit color depth, not 8-bit pixels with 32-bit color depth. It also states that each "... shows up to millions of colors..." but does not mention dithering.

17" iMac Core Duo and Core 2 Duos have 6-bit pixels like the 'Books and "The graphics card temporally dithers the 6 bits per component to show up to millions of colors."

20" and 24" iMac Core Duo and Core 2 Duos have 8-bit pixels " show up to millions of colors."

In summary, the only specific mention of dithering is for the 17" Intel-based iMacs. [Bill Fox]

[5/23] Software Special Deal of the Day: PhotoPresenter 2.8.2 (Universal) for 31% Off--$5.50 Today Only

PhotoPresenter allows you to present quickly and easily all your pictures and movies. Choose your preferred slideshow style among several amazing themes and view any image and movie - either from both your iPhoto and Aperture libraries or from anywhere else, such as from a CD.

Have you ever been upset by the fact that movies you capture with your digital camera just can't be viewed as easily as still pictures? Or just looking for a simple software with which you can view the pictures you stored on a CD - of course without having to first copy the content on your local drive?

PhotoPresenter is just what you need! It combines a real ease of use with gorgeous looking slideshows, and let you go straight to what you want: to amaze your friends with what you capture with your digital camera!

Normally $8.00, PhotoPresenter 2.8.2 (Universal) is offered for $5.50 today only--that's 31% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

[5/23] Apple Revised the Offerings from Three Hot Deals Retailers

B&H Photo Video - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: SyncMaster 941BW widescreen LCD display from Samsung for only $169.95!; X-240 2.1 speaker system w/cradle for MP3 player from Logitech for only$49.95!; iKey USB Slim Combo keyboard and optical mouse from Macally for only $29.95!; 3-port USB 2.0 T3Hub portable hub from Dr. Bott for only $19.95; EyeTV 250 USB TV Tuner from Elgato Systems for only $189.95!; 1TB (terabyte) MyBook Pro Edition II external hard drive triple interface RAID storage system from Western Digital for only $360.95!; high-definition Canon HV20 HDV Camcorder w/image stabilization, 24p frame rate and FireWire interface for only $1,049!; EOS Digital Rebel XTi Kit w/lens from Canon, includes 2GB memory card for only $784.95!; and much more.

MacZone - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: Stylus R380 6-ink photo printer from Epson for only $108.98!; VX2245wm 22" multimedia LCD display with built-in iPod Dock for only $349.98!; PL1700 Dual 17" monitors w/Ergotron DS-100 dual monitor stand for only $499.99!; Coolpix L5 7.2-megapixel compact camera with 5x zoom from Nikon for only $249.98!; DreamGEAR i.Sound tripod portable speakers for only $29.99!; Logitech's mm32 portable speakers works with iPod for only $77.99!; and much more.

Publishing Perfection - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: Mystical Bundle Photoshop plug-ins with Mystical Tint Tone and Mystical Lighting from AutoFX for only $298.95!; Stylus Photo R2400 8-color archival photo printer from Epson for only $849.95!; Textissimo 3.5 Photoshop plug-in with over 750 text effects from Human Software for only $99.95!; ScanMaker i900 flatbed scanner with inserts for film/transparencies from Microtek for only $479.95; and much more.

[Bill Fox]

[5/23] Pangea Software released the 3D Game Runic

Pangea Software released their latest, Runic, and it is available now. Runic is a Brickout-style game with lots of powerups, magic spells, and bosses. There are 100 levels to keep the player busy for a very long time.

Runic is the first game that Pangea Software has published which was not actually developed by Pangea Software. Runic was developed by CodeTurbine, originally for the PC, and now for the Mac.

Runic is suitable for all ages, and is priced at just $14.95. Visitors can download Runic and try out the free limited demo before buying a serial number to activate the full version. [Bill Fox]

[5/23] Extreme gaming on the Mac: new short video shows the impossible

AssistiveWare released One Thumb to Rule Them All, a new HD video and video podcast, featuring Michael Phillips, gamer and freelance technology writer. Mike was born with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and can only move his thumb. That has not stopped him from playing World of Warcraft and Unreal Tournament 2004, from becoming one of the key writers for Inside Mac Games, from contributing chapters to books such as Peachpit's Macintosh Bible and from being a presenter at major conferences. All of this would not have been possible if it was not for his Mac, a proximity switch, Origin Instrument's Swifty switch interface and AssistiveWare's SwitchXS software.

In the 3.5 minute video, Michael Phillips shows computer access and gaming at the extreme. With one thumb he rules them all! Mike Phillips lives in Tampa, Florida. This new video is available as episode 4 of the Exploring the Frontiers of Assistive Technology podcast series, which can be found in the iTunes store's podcasts section.

[5/23] Get 50% Off on all Take Control eBooks through May 29

To celebrate the geek anniversary of Samuel Morse's historic What hath God Wrought telegraph message over wires strung by Cornell University founder Ezra Cornell, Take Control Books is having 50%-off sale through May 29th, 2007. The sale is good on all of Take Control's electronic books (print books are not included). To take advantage of the sale, readers must follow this link; the discount appears once items have been added to the shopping cart.

Take Control publisher Adam Engst said, "Since we're located near Cornell University, the opportunity to participate in the recent celebration of the 200th birthday of Ezra Cornell caused us to think about the similarities between the telegraph boom of the mid-1800s and the rise of the Internet. Cornell played a key role in the creation of a practical telegraph system in the United States, and used his wealth to found first a free public library and then Cornell University. Were he alive today, he would likely be a great proponent of learning opportunities created by electronic books and other Internet-enabled technologies." [Bill Fox]

[5/22] Commentary: Displays Again--Class Action Suit to Sucker-Punch Apple?

Do you remember when 13" computer displays were 13" wide? Of course you don't because they never have been. The industry standard for measuring CRT displays has always been, at least as long as we remember, a diagonal measurement and it included up to the edge the CRT's internal mask. The display's case or bezel almost always extended a bit beyond the mask making the visible screen even a tad bit smaller than the naked CRT measurement.

Well, several purchasers of Apple displays became so incensed and claimed to be grossly injured because Apple never overtly stated that the measurement was diagonal rather than horizontal nor that the measurement was to the mask and not the case's/bezel's edge that they filed a class action suit against Apple. Like in almost all of these kind of suits against industry, Apple eventually settled.

We don't recall the exact terms of the settlement (a small discount on a purchase of another Apple product, maybe) but almost all such suits yield virtually nothing to the class members (except, perhaps, for the injured parties named in the suit and they usually don't get that much) and much to the lawyers. Subsequently, Apple (and everyone in the industry) always has to state that the display size is a diagonal measurement and the measurement is of the portion of the screen that is actually visible. Nothing actually changed except the display's description is now slightly more exacting and obvious.

Now, don't get us wrong. We certainly have nothing against lawyers per se and nothing against those who pursue really important consumer safety issues or major financial frauds. But some consumer-related actions seem to us to be of questionable value to consumers.

Fast-forward to May of 2007 and here comes another such lawsuit--or is it? Two individuals have filed a lawsuit against Apple (Greaves vs Apple Computer, Inc. [sic]) alleging:

  • Deceptive advertising
  • Unfair competition
  • Violation of CLRA (California Legal Remedies Act)
  • Misreprentation

and requesting summary judgement via a trial (see this PC World link for a PDF).

Both gentlemen purchased a MacBook and a MacBook Pro in 2006 and apparently dislike the screen quality of each product and, perhaps, dislike Apple's handling of their subsequent complaints about it although there is no mention of either in their complaint.

The crux of their lawsuit is that the notebook Macs are technically only able to display directly some hundreds of thousands of colors while Apple claims that they provide " for millions of colors...." The plaintiffs claim that Apple does so through an "illusion." The "illusion" is a so-called dithering technique that produces more colors to the eye. The plaintiffs claim that this has caused them monetary harm and are asking for a jury trial to find Apple guilty of their allegations, issue an injunction against Apple's advertising practices, award them and members of the class unspecified damages and award them costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees.

Our MacBook Pro (April 2006) and MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo (November 2006) have the very best screens of any notebook that we have ever used or have ever seen at the time of their purchase. They clearly have brighter screens with more vivid colors. They are not the more recent glossy variety. Does our observation lead us to believe that Greaves vs Apple Computer, Inc. [sic] is effectively frivolous and predatory? For the most part, we think the answer is yes but not completely yes.

Why do we say, "but not completely yes?" It hinges on how a jury might see a relatively technical issue, one that really only affects graphics professionals who might err or lose time in a color adjustment job by reasonably relying on Apple's representations and suffering damages as a consequence. As such, we see this as more of a case by case issue and less as a class action for all purchasers.

There is a claim circulating on the web (e.g. see that MacBook and MacBook Pro LCD panels have only 6-bit pixels yielding 262 thousand colors rather than 16.7 million. The claim is that Apple (and presumably all notebook manufacturers) use lower bit LCDs and then use software dithering to make the LCD display show millions of colors to the eye from the lower number of actual direct colors. We don't know this to be true [Correction: this Apple article confirms 6-bit pixels but only specifically mentions dithering for the 17" Intel-based iMac] because there is no simple way to tell and Apple does not post these specifications. Some claim to have looked up the manufacturers' specifications for their MacBook/MacBook Pro displays and found they produce 262 thousand colors, not millions. Still, 262 thousand colors is far more than the 65.5 thousand normally associated with "thousands of colors." To us, it's a fine line with regard to most people as to whether dithering that effectively displays millions of colors to the eye is really deceptive advertising, unfair competition a violation of CLRA or misrepresentation. To us, what we see is more important than the technology that produces it and, with regard to the screens of our MacBook Pros, we like what we see--a lot.

When we open System Profiler on our 15" MacBook Pro C2D and look under Hardware->Graphics/Display, we find that its color LCD display is listed as having a depth of 32-bit color. This is also the same for our older 12" PowerBook G4, our 24" iMac Core 2 Duo and several-year-old 30" Apple Cinema Display. 32-bit color is millions of colors. If we open the Displays panel of System Preferences for each Mac and the Cinema Display, there is a popup menu with separate selections of 256 colors, Thousands and Millions. Thus, it would seem that all are the same and that all display millions of colors.

But Apple does not use exactly the same words in the listed technical specifications of all three situations:

MacBook/MacBook Pro: "support for millions of colors"

iMac Core 2 Duo: "Millions of colors at all resolutions"

Cinema: "16.7 million colors"

So there is at least a hint that there may be a difference, if indeed there is.

Finally, to graphics professionals who must match colors exactly, LCD displays are known to be problematic, not to mention notebook LCDs, and they have always used CRT displays if color matching really counts for something. Shouldn't real professionals be expected know the tools of their field? Isn't that what makes them successful professionals?

This will be an interesting case to follow. [Bill Fox]

[5/22] Software Special Deal of the Day: KIT 1.3.5 (Universal) for 40% Off--$14.95 Today Only

KIT (Keep It Together) is like a magic scrapbook for everything you want to keep. Text, documents, images, movies, sounds, web pages and bookmarks can all be dragged to KIT for safe keeping, previewed, collected together in different ways and found again immediately.

Files can be tagged, color-coded with categories and sorted into groups; unlike folders, these work like iTunes playlists so that a file can exist in more than one group at a time. KIT's smart groups will do all the hard work of staying organized for you.

KIT shows previews for most popular file formats, meaning you don't have to open other applications to review files. KIT also creates and saves bookmarks and web archives. KIT will save web pages that preserve all the original links and content and work with popular web browsers such as Safari and OmniWeb. KIT indexes the contents of all kinds of files so they can be found again as quickly as you can type.

    Normally $24.95, KIT 1.3.5 (Universal) is offered for $14.95 today only--that's 40% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

    [5/22] Apple scores Six on PC World's List of 100 Best Products of 2007

    Apple's products on PC World's 100 Best Products of 2007 include:

    9. Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" -- Top OS

    11. Apple TV -- Top TV appliance

    26. 80Gb iPod with video -- Top MP3 player

    45. iPod nano -- Second highest MP3 player

    61. iTunes software

    82. MacBook Pro -- HP's dv9000t notebook is #14

    Apple's top winner at #9 was beaten by Intel's Core 2 Duo CPU (#2) and Parallels Desktop virtualization software (#6). The top pick (#1) is Google's Google Apps Premier Edition. Microsoft placed four on the list and it's top listing is #18 for the Xbox 360 followed by Office 2007 (#56), Process Explorer (#75) and Windows Media Player 11 (#91). More... [Bill Fox]

    [5/22] Maine iBook Program strongly supported as Effective--Scientific Evidence coming soon

    Five years ago Maine's Learning Technology Initiative provided every seventh and eighth grade student in the state and their teachers with a notebook computer, an Apple iBook, wireless networking and support. $37 million in state funds were spent to lease 30,000+ iBooks for four years. Last year Maine overwhelmingly approved $41 million to extend the program for another four years with 38,000 new iBooks.

    In addition, fourteen Maine school districts have extended the program to their high schools on their own funds. One school district has even extended the program to 5th through 12th grade.

    Some school districts outside of Maine have experimented with notebooks for students but have since dropped the programs citing expense, repair and misuse issues along with a lack of evidence that the program was doing any good. But Maine has experienced no significant issues--only a 2 percent repair rate over four years and the special software and school protocols prevent misuse.

    A study undertaken by researchers at the University of Southern Maine should provide scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of the iBooks in learning, something that standardized tests have failed to pick up. The study included 240 mathematics classes in 45 school districts should be out this summer.

    In other studies, polls and surveys support increased attendance and increased interest in learning caused by the iBooks and writing scores have improved. More... [Dana Baggett]

    [5/22] 250GB 5400RPM 2.5" 'Book Hard Drive shipping from Western Digital

    Western Digital's Scorpio 2.5" 250GB hard disk drive running at 5400RPM is now shipping for $199.99 SRP. This 2.5" notebook drive with a fast SATA interface has 8MB cache and will fit a MacBook and MacBook Pro because it is only 9.5mm high. The drive employs perpendicular magnetic recording technology to achieve the highest capacity available in a small form factor drive and have WD proprietary features that make the drive quiet, use less power and run at cool operating temperatures. Check it out. [Bill Fox]

    [5/21] Blizzard's StarCraft II coming on the Mac, unveiled Saturday

    Blizzard Entertainment unveiled StarCraft II, the sequel to its award-winning real-time strategy game StarCraft, on Saturday at the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitational event in Seoul, South Korea. The announcement took place inside the Olympic Gymnastics Arena, in front of thousands of attendees, who received a presentation that included a StarCraft II cinematic trailer and a gameplay demonstration by the development team.

    Designed to be the ultimate competitive real-time strategy game, StarCraft II will feature the return of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg races, overhauled and re-imagined with Blizzard's signature approach to game balance. Each race will be further distinguished from the others, with several new units and new gameplay mechanics, as well as new abilities for some of the classic StarCraft units that will be making a reappearance in the game. StarCraft II will also feature a custom 3D-graphics engine with realistic physics and the ability to render several large, highly detailed units and massive armies on-screen simultaneously.

    "With StarCraft II, we'll be able to do everything we wanted to do with the original StarCraft and more," stated Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We recognize that expectations are high following the long-running popularity of the original game, but we plan to meet those expectations and deliver an engaging, action-packed, competitive experience that StarCraft players and strategy gamers worldwide will enjoy."

    StarCraft II will include a unique single-player campaign, as well as fast-paced online play through an upgraded version of Blizzard’s renowned online gaming service, In addition, the game will come with a powerful, full-featured map editor that will put the same tools used by Blizzard’s designers into the hands of players.

    Blizzard is developing StarCraft II for simultaneous release on the Windows and Macintosh PC platforms. Further information about the game, including details on the single-player, multiplayer, and map-editor features, as well as system requirements, pricing, and availability, will be announced in the months ahead. [Bill Fox]

    [5/21] Software Special Deal of the Day: iTwist 'n Go 1.3.1 (Universal) for 45% Off--$10.95 Today Only

    iTwist 'n Go's key features are:

    • 'iTwist' your External iSight Camera to answer and hang-up video and audio calls
    • Assign 'Go!' keys, to call/answer/hang-up/decline calls via keyboard and external devices
    • Automatically view all iChat AV video calls fullscreen
    • Automatic Answering Option for all iChat AV video/audio calls
    • Screensaver cancellation on call-in, so you can see who's calling (for video, audio and Instant Messages)
    • Incoming video, audio and Instant Message panels shown directly onscreen (no need to click on every panel to read it)
    • 'Toggle button', to flip between fullscreen/small window, and back again.

    Normally $19.99, iTwist 'n Go 1.3.1 (Universal) is offered for $10.95 today only--that's 45% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

    [5/21] Power Manager 3.6.2 (Universal) is Out

    DssW released Power Manager 3.6.2 for Mac OS X. This release includes bug fixes for the uninstaller. Power Manager 3 helps schools, businesses, and homes save energy by automating their Macs.

    Power Manager 3.6.2 fixes bugs in the uninstaller script. These bug fixes help ensure that users with diverse set ups experience an easy and seamless uninstall process. [Bill Fox]

    [5/21] Collanos Workplace 1.1 is Out--Free Collaboration Software

    Collanos Software today released Collanos Workplace 1.1, a free p2p platform that enables team collaboration on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems without the need for a server. Version 1.1 lays the foundation for global team collaboration. In addition, several new features are rolling out, including the Central User Directory, User Sign In/Out, and also Vista OS support. Collanos delivers increased reliability, speed, and overall performance. Collanos Workplace offers small business teams, students, not-for-profits, and other knowledge-sharing professionals, an easy-to-use set of comprehensive collaboration tools. Collanos’ global collaborative network allows internet users to easily form teams and effectively collaborate together on a shared passion, goal, or project.

    With the introduction of the Collanos Central User Directory, users will be able to see and invite any other Collanos community member, even if they are offline. Collanos Workplace allows users to restore any previous version of team member contributions. The Auto-Start kicks off the replication process immediately after the computer goes online. With the new Sign In/Out step, on top of the existing data encryption and secure storage, Collanos adds an additional security measure to protect project and team data.

    Existing Workplace users will see an immediate improvement with the overall performance of the application, in the speed of content replication across each team member's workspaces. With this new release Collanos Software continues to execute on its vision of bringing free, easy-to-use, yet powerful team collaboration solutions to millions of internet users. Collanos' mission is connecting collaborating people and enabling professional teamwork on a global basis and beyond enterprise boundaries. Download Collanos Workplace from this Collanos Web page. [Bill Fox]

    [5/21] Review--Fujitsu ScanSnap Color Image Scanner Model fi-5110EOXM

    If you want to convert your stack of paper to PDF (or JPG) files, the Fujitsu ScanSnap Color Image Scanner may be what you are looking for. It scans paper, both sides automatically if double-sided, at a rate of 15 pages per minute and converts them to PDF or JPG files automatically. The Fujitsu ScanSnap Color Image Scanner (model fi-5110EOXM) ships with Acrobat Standard 7 for $360. There's a $100 rebate until June 30. More... [Dana Baggett]

    [5/21] From the Dark Side--Shopping for a Windows Vista Ultimate Laptop proves Problematic

    Joe Wilcox shopped for a new laptop PC to run Windows Vista Ultimate using the Windows Vista Experience Index as a guide. Wilcox suggested an index of at least 4.0 but he had a hard time finding a PC laptop that scored that high. Most had cheap graphics or too little dedicated graphics RAM to make the grade.

    Aren't you glad you use a Mac? More... [Dana Baggett]

    [5/19] Apple Revised the Offerings from Two Hot Deals Retailers

    PowerMax - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: BT600 full-size BlueTooth wireless mouse from RadTech for only $53.95!; iBook/PowerBook AC adapter APL-1110-G4 from Micro Accessories for only $48.88!; 18x internal DVD -/+ R/RW optical drive for PowerMac G4/G5 from MCE for only $63.88!; TrafficJamz FM Transmitter and charger for iPod from Monster Cable for only $25.88!; HL-2070N monochrome laser printer for home or office from Brother for only $149.88!; Full-resolution HD coverter for LCD computer monitors - HDL-DVI HDLink from BlackMagic for only $399!; 500GB LaCie d2 Quadra external eSATA hard drive with FireWire 800/400 & USB 2.0 for only $217.88!; and much more.

    O'Reilly Media, Inc. - has Hot Deals exclusive pricing on a variety of Mac publications including: iPod & iTunes Hacks, Tips & Tools for Ripping, Mixing and Burning by Hadley Stern for only $17.46!; Digital Photography Expert Techniques, 2nd Edition by Ken Milburn for only $31.49!; Photoshop CS2 RAW - Using Adobe Camera Raw, Bridge and Photoshop to Get the Most out of Your Digital Camera by Mikkel Aaland for only $24.49!; Adobe InDesign CS2 One-on-One by Deke McClelland is a unique hands-on book w/2-hrs. of video instruction on DVD for only $31.49!; Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland for only $24.46; and much more.

    [Bill Fox]

    [5/18] New ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series Graphics Cards--Will the Mac get one?

    The new ATI Radeon HD 2000 series (2300, 2400, 2600 and 2900) is a line of 10 discrete graphics processors (GPUs) for both desktop and mobile platforms. This family of GPUs delivers what ATI calls The Ultimate Visual Experience through immersive HD gaming with DirectX 10 (for Windows) and HD media playback.

    ATI claims that the series boasts many firsts for the graphics industry, including a powerful second-generation Unified Shader Architecture (USA), a 512-bit memory bus designed for full performance high dynamic range (HDR) rendering, and new Unified Video Decoder (UVD) technology for high-fidelity HD media playback. The mid-range and entry-level GPUs are the first graphics products in the industry to use an energy-efficient 65nm process technology to achieve silent, passive cooling and lower power consumption. The high-end GPU uses an 80nm process, still smaller than the previous 90nm process.

    The current top of the line ATI graphics card for the Mac is the X1900 for both the Mac Pro and PowerMac G5. Here is how the new HD 2900 compares on some features with the X1900:

    X1900 (Mac)
    HD 2900 (PC)
    Transistors (106)
    Fab. Process (nm)
    48 pix, 8 vertex
    320 stream
    Calculation Precision (bit)
    Memory Interface
    256-bit 8 channel
    512-bit 8 channel
    Anisotropic Filtering
    DirectX 9, OpenGL 2.0
    DirectX 10, OpenGL 2.0

    An AMD/ATI press release claims the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT for Windows is available now for an SRP of $399 but it is not offered on the ATI online store as yet.

    As for the Mac, we can only wait and see what Apple may offer as an OEM graphics card in future Mac Pros and MacBook Pros. One thing that we had really hoped for with Apple's conversion to Intel processors is that cutting-edge graphics cards would be more immediately available for the Mac but this has yet to materialize. [Bill Fox]

    [5/18] Software Special Deal of the Day: PhotoUpLink 1.1.2 (Universal) for 48% Off--$12.95 Today Only

    PhotoUpLink is an iPhoto export plugin that allows users to send images and video to any FTP or SFTP server. PhotoUpLink FTP also enables users of many major photo sharing web sites such as Fotki and Flickr to include their iPhoto keywords, using IPTC header information embedded in the uploaded copy of the file. Any site that supports FTP or SFTP can be uploaded to with one plugin or any ODBC datasource including MySQL, Oracle or SQL Server.

    PhotoUpLink is integrated with Microsoft Office on the Mac, enabling rapid creation of PowerPoint presentations and Word documents using selected images, as well as creating Excel spreadsheets of iPhoto library information. Selected images can be joined together into a panorama by PhotoUpLink, and QuickTime movies can be joined together. Email notification of FTP uploads can be automatically sent to recipients, with optional attachments that will import these files into a local iPhoto album, or Windows My Pictures folder with Windows PhotoUpLink installed. No longer are photos and videos being sent limited by attachment size restrictions, the PhotoUpLink generated email triggers downloads directly from the designated FTP site, eliminating any email server limits.

    Normally $24.99, PhotoUpLink 1.1.2 (Universal) is offered for $12.95 today only--that's 48% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

    [5/18] Adobe FreeHand Development bites the Dust but FreeHand MX lives on

    According to John Nack, Adobe's Senior Product Manager, Adobe has decided to pull the plug on further development of Freehand, Adobe's vector drawing application inherited in Adobe's acquisition of Macromedia. Adobe is still going to sell Freehand MX and support it but Adobe recommends that users migrate to Illustrator CS3.

    The migration to Illustrator CS3 is aided by special upgrade pricing for registered Freehand owners of $199. In addition, Adobe has produced a series of documents to assist in the migration: FreeHand to Illustrator Migration Guide; Migrating from FreeHand to Illustrator: A technical resource; and Migrating from FreeHand to Illustrator with Mordy Golding. All are available as PDFs from this Adobe Web page. [Bill Fox]

    [5/18] Lineform (Universal) alternative to FreeHand/Illustrator--$49.95 cross-upgrade Price until June 1

    Adobe is encouraging users of FreeHand MX to migrate to using Illustrator CS3 but there all alternatives. One alternative is Lineform from Freeverse.

    In fact, Freeverse is inviting all FreeHand MX Mac users to evaluate Lineform, the new Apple Design Award-winning vector drawing program. Fast, lean and Universal, Lineform offers powerful tools in an uncluttered interface that's designed to help you get work done. Created with the belief that serious tools shouldn't put a serious strain on your credit rating, Lineform's suggested retail price is only $79.95.

    From now until June 1st, Freeverse is also offering a special cross-upgrade price for all FreeHand users. Simply enter the coupon code "freehand" when purchasing via the online store, and get Lineform for just $49.95, a nearly 40% savings!

    More information on Lineform, including a trial version and sample works, is available on this Freeverse Web page. Lineform requires OS X 10.3.9 or later and runs natively on Intel or PPC Macs. [Bill Fox]

    [5/18] Firefox coming soon from Mozilla

    Mozilla has released the third release candidate (RC3) of Firefox for testing. Firefox is likely to be released simultaneously with Firefox, which will be the final release of the 1.5.0.x line before the Mozilla Corporation ends official support. As reported earlier, support for Firefox 1.5 has already been extended to make it possible for the remaining 1.5 users to upgrade to the latest Firefox 2 release via the built-in software update system. [Dana Baggett]

    [5/17] Mozilla's Firefox 3 to have OS X Native Form Controls

    Josh Aas, the main Mac developer at Mozilla, is addressing a long-running major complaint of many in the Mac community, i.e. the lack of native Aqua-styled widgets for Web page form controls in the OS X edition of Firefox. An experimental preview build of Firefox 3 incorporating OS X native form controls is out for Intel Macs (get it here) with a version of PowerPC-based Macs coming soon. Aas hopes to complete this feature for inclusion in the final version of Firefox 3. [Dana Baggett]

    [5/17] Macs in Schools--Kansas School District Approved Mac Upgrade Contract Extension

    The Basehor-Linwood School District Board in Bonner Springs, KS, approved, 5-0, extending for another year an agreement with Apple Computers to upgrade equipment in computer labs. Annual payments are $318,415. More... [Dana Baggett]

    [5/17] Software Special Deal of the Day: Xyle scope 1.1.8 (Universal) for 40% Off--$11.95 Today Only

    Xyle scope is an elegant analysis tool for everyone interested in web standards. It's like surfing the web with an X-ray view. Using Xyle scope you will deepen your understanding of XHTML and CSS, find out how your peers did it, and see your own work with fresh eyes.

    The synchronized views of Xyle scope let you easily focus on specific parts of the HTML or CSS sources, view the CSS Cascade and formatting box of HTML elements, and change CSS values in third party sites.

    Normally $19.95, Xyle scope 1.1.8 (Universal) is offered for $11.95 today only--that's 34% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

    [5/17] Turbo.264 speeds iPod and Apple TV Video Exports by 4X to 10X

    Elgato Systems released a hardware encoder, Turbo.264, in USB stick format that rapidly converts video files to the high quality H.264 (MP4) format for the iPod and Apple TV. It accelerates exports by a factor of 4 on an Intel Core 2 Duo up to a factor of 10 on a Power PC G4. There is no need to acquire additional software to convert videos, since Turbo.264 comes with video conversion software by Elgato. Simply drag-and-drop videos into the application and chose one of the formats: iPod Standard, iPod High or Apple TV. Turbo.264 also accelerates exports from the most important Macintosh video applications such as iMovie, QuickTime Pro, Final Cut Pro, and EyeTV.

    Turbo.264 is available immediately for US$99.95 in the Elgato Online Shop as well as through distribution. The package includes the USB 2.0 Hardware Encoder, the Turbo.264 software on CD-ROM, a user's guide on CD-ROM, a quick start guide as well as a USB extension cable. [Bill Fox]

    [5/17] Tonight on The Tech Night Owl LIVE--Domain Name Registration Failure, Macworld's Peter Cohen and PageSender

    Tonight, host Gene Steinberg brings you up to date on the massive failure of a major registrar of Internet domain names with Justin from In addition, Macworld Senior Editor Peter Cohen brings us up to date on the latest news and views from the Mac universe. You'll also about the latest version of the Night Owl's favorite fax application, PageSender, from Greg Scown, co-founder of SmileOnMyMac. You can tune into the Web broadcast tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Pacific, 9:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern. [Bill Fox]

    [5/17] From the Dark Side--Dell sued for Deceptive Sales Practices by NY Attorney General

    The lawsuit by NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo accused Dell, the number one PC maker, of offering no-interest financing of PC purchases but making it virtually impossible to qualify, then offering those who don't financing with interest rates up to 20 percent according to a Reuters article. Dell denied the allegations. Dell's stock rose 3 percent on the news. [Bill Fox]

    [5/16] Microsoft again delays Office 2007 XML File Converters for Mac

    Not really unexpectedly, Microsoft has delayed once again the release of complete Mac Office 2004 converters for it's Windows Office 2007 XML-formatted files. They had been delayed once already, i.e. from winter to the spring quarter, along with profuse explanations as to why it took several months after the January release of Windows Office 2007 to produce them when Windows Office 2003 to Windows Office 2007 converters had already been released in late 2006. Office 2004 for Mac and Windows Office 2003 use the same file format so we were still skeptical.

    This additional delay until AFTER Mac Office 2008 is released was announced in the blog of the Microsoft Mac Business Unit Office Team, Mac Mojo. The reason announced for the delay is that the development team is too busy keeping Mac Office 2008 on schedule for release sometime between in July through December to complete the converters. worked for Apple on Leopard's delay so why not....

    The blog entry also noted that a Word 2007 XML file format converter would be issued in beta and it has--see next article. The converter just converts Word 2007 XML-formatted files, not Excel or PowerPoint, and only to RTF format, not to the former standard Word .doc format and only as read-only, i.e. it will not convert Mac files to XML format. It also has plenty of limitations.

    This problem started when Microsoft created the so-called Open XML format and began pushing it as a standard format. This push led to Microsoft releasing Windows Office 2007 with Open XML format as the default format for Word, Excel and PowerPoint rather than the .doc, .xls and .ppt formats of previous Office applications. Of course, Microsoft released converters for its previous Office 2003 even before the official release of Office 2007 in January.

    There are other XML format converters out there for the Mac which work to various degrees, including the latest version of MacLinkPlus Deluxe which includes read-only converters from Word 2007 and Excel 2007 XML formats. [Bill Fox via John Grubb]

    [5/16] Word 2007 XML to RTF Converter for Mac released as v0.1 Beta by Microsoft

    The 0.1 beta converter is available from this Microsoft Web page. It works with Word 2004 v11.3.4 and later and Word v.X v10.1.9 and later. According to Microsoft,

    With the Office Open XML Converter, that you can convert Office Open XML files to a format that is compatible with Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac and Microsoft Office v. X for Mac. You can choose to convert and open one file, or convert a large number of files.

    This version of the Office Open XML Converter can convert the following Office Open XML file formats:

    • Word Document (*.docx)
    • Word Macro-Enabled Document (*.docm)

    These files are converted to Rich Text Format (RTF), which can be opened in Microsoft Word 2004 and Microsoft Word X.

    The converter is a Beta release, and might be unable to convert all the data in Office Open XML files. After you convert a file, you should review the file carefully to make sure that it contains all of the information that you expect.

    The following issues are known to exist in this Beta release:

    • Macros and Visual Basic content are not included in the converted file.
    • Charts and SmartArt graphics are converted to pictures.

    The following issues might occur in this Beta release:

    • Graphics and other objects in the document might appear with a different size.
    • Color fills and shading in tables might not be preserved.
    • Conversion might not succeed if the document contains a bibliography or citations.
    • Conversion might not succeed if the document contains WordArt.
    • Document layout and formatting might not be preserved.
    • Some Unicode characters might not be preserved.
    • Conversion might not succeed if the document contains very large pictures.
    • Conversion might not succeed if you use an SMB network volume as the preferred destination for converted files.
    • Picture bullets might not be preserved.
    • Fonts might be substituted.

    This Beta release expires on December 31, 2007.

    We have yet to use the converter but will report on it when we do. [Bill Fox]

    [5/16] Software Special Deal of the Day: Photo Desktop 2.0.1 (Universal) for 34% Off--$8.95 Today Only

    Photo Desktop allows you to put photos on your desktop, instead of having to choose one photo to use as your wallpaper, you can now add as many little pictures to your desktop as you want.

    Normally $13.50, Photo Desktop 2.0.1 (Universal) is offered for $8.95 today only--that's 34% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

    [5/16] Apple Revised the Offerings from Two Hot Deals Retailers

    Apple Store Special Deals - has exclusive prices on a variety of Apple Certified Refurbished products including: Apple Certified Refurbished 30GB iPod with video only $199!; Apple Certified Refurbished 1GB iPod shuffle for only $49!; Apple Certified Refurbished Airport Express for only $89!; Apple Certified Refurbished current generation 4GB iPod nano for only $149!; Apple Certified Refurbished current generation 8GB iPod nano for only $199!; Apple Certified Refurbished 3.0GHz MacPro Quad for only $3299!; and much more.

    CDW Mac Warehouse - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: HP PhotoSmart D5160 color photo printer that also prints on CD/DVD's from Hewlett Packard for only $89.99!; Work Big IN26 XGA 1700 Lumens projector from InFocus for only $799!; Lexmark X9350 Wireless Office All-In-One duplex color inkjet printer for only $279.99!; Olympus SP-510 UZ 7.1-megapixel compact digital camera w/image stabilization and 10X optical zoom for only $279.99!; and much more.

    [Bill Fox]

    [5/16] Beatle Paul McCartney's Memory Almost Full Album available for pre-order on iTunes--More of his Solo Albums coming

    Paul McCartney debuts on iTunes with his new album Memory Almost Full, an introspective and nostalgic look at his life filtered through some of his most thoughtful, eloquent songs. The new album, exclusive digitally on iTunes, isn't just a friendly reminder of McCartney's presence, it's an affirmation of his songwriting strength. iTunes has the album available now to pre-order and will be out June 5th The deluxe version includes three bonus tracks, a bonus video, a digital booklet, and an audio commentary track.

    "Memory Almost Full is a very personal album for me, and I'm thrilled to let fans experience it in a whole new way," said Paul McCartney. "There's no better time to make this music available through iTunes."

    All of Paul McCartney's 25 solo albums will appear on iTunes later this month according to an Apple press release. [Bill Fox]

    [5/16] Apple bumped its MacBooks' Speed, RAM and Hard Drive Capacity--MacBook Pros next?

    Apple's MacBooks now come with faster Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs at 2.0GHz and 2.16GHz, 1GB of RAM and hard disk drive capacities of 80, 120 and 160GB. The drives rotate at 5400RPM. The prices remain the same at $1099, $1299 and $1499.

    "The MacBook is a huge hit with customers, and is one of the reasons that Mac sales are growing three times faster than PC sales," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "The new MacBook is faster, has even more memory and storage, and is an ideal notebook for customers' growing library of digital music, photos and movies."

    Hopefully, the MacBook release portends that new MacBook Pros with LED backlit screens and Santa Rosa model Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs that address large amounts of flash RAM with speeds up to 2.4GHz will be coming out shortly. A rumored ultraportable MacBook Pro would also be nice! [Bill Fox]

    [5/15] New 'Forever' Stamp designed on a Mac

    Tom Engeman is the 73-year-old graphics designer of the U.S. Postal Service's so-called 'forever' stamp. The 41-cent 'forever' stamp can be used as postage for a 1-ounce first class letter regardless of the future cost of postage until...well, forever.

    Engeman, who hails from Brunswick MD, created the Liberty Bell image used on the 'forever' stamp on his Mac about three years ago and received the standard $5,000 fee for the design. He has designed 18 stamps altogether since 1989. [Dana Baggett via AP]

    [5/15] Software Special Deal of the Day: Android 1.6 (Universal) for 50% Off--$9.95 Today Only

    Android is an out-of-this-world kind of game: It's the biggest tiny game you'll ever play! Though it's set in a teeny tiny universe, it's worlds of humongous fun! 100 levels, 5 different worlds, hours of entertainment. There are gold bags amidst the playing fields of Android, so look very carefully because you'll need to collect all of them before you can leap to the next level! How do you do it, you ask? Like life, Android is full of ups and downs. Fortunately for you, you can use the ladders, trampolines and ropes to keep you in motion and out of trouble! Stay away from the other androids and spikes. Ouch! In order to help you out a bit, you're equipped with little bombs that can help you dig holes in the ground and bury the bad guys or your opponents....

    Normally $19.95, Android 1.6 (Universal) is offered for $9.95 today only--that's 50% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

    [5/15] Preview--Halo 3

    Yes, we know that Halo 2 has not yet come to the Mac and the original Halo, intended for the Mac by developer Bungie Software, took years to come out on the Mac after Bungie was bought by Microsoft and Halo was diverted to become the signature game for the original Xbox game machine. Halo 2 is the all-time successful game on Microsoft's Xbox and Halo 3 is due out this fall with this story line:

    The epic saga continues with Halo 3 in the year 2552, the hugely anticipated third chapter in the highly successful and critically acclaimed Halo franchise. Master Chief returns to finish the fight, bringing the epic conflict between the Covenant, the Flood, and the entire human race to a dramatic, pulse-pounding climax. has a hands-on preview of Halo 3 in it current state. According to GameSpy, Halo 3 represents "Unrivalled multiplayer gameplay; all sorts of new tricks and map strategies to learn." Despite this, GameSpy's reviewer and others have bashed Halo 3 as not only not being cutting edge in the visual department but not even being state of the art, looking like "...a very polished version of Halo 2...." Fortunately, several months remain before Halo 3 is due to be released so Bungie can work on the graphics and hopefully make them as cutting edge as the original was in its time. A public beta is due out Wednesday via Xbox LIVE (see this Web page).

    The original Halo for the Mac, now a Universal Application, remains one of our favorite first-person shooters and still requires serious graphics iron to play well. We hope that we will see Halo 2 (released 5/8/07 for Windows Vista) and Halo 3 on the Mac in the near future. In the mean time, all we can do short of buying an Xbox 360 is read the reviews. Here is GameSpy's preview. [Bill Fox]

    [5/15] Anzan 1.0 is Out with 20% Discount--Easily transfer Files on a Local Network

    Anzan makes the transfer of a file to a co-worker or family member as simple as dropping a file onto the recipient's name. With Anzan you can think in terms of who you wish to send a file to instead of how to send it. No more struggling to remember computer names and accounts or mounting and unmounting remote file systems; just drag, drop, and off your file goes! Need to send the same files to multiple people, or include a short message with the files you send? Anzan lets you do both with ease. And receiving files is just as simple. For example, if you find yourself receiving files from certain individuals frequently you can tell Anzan to automatically accept transfers from those people. What's more, Anzan provides a history of your transfers, both sent and received, and can quickly reveal these files in Finder.

    Since Anzan works equally well for groups of Mac users and for a single individual with multiple Macs, the application license pricing varies depending on the number of computers that will be used to transfer files on the local network. The license for two computers is $18.95, while the license for up to five computers is $36.95. A license for up to ten computers is $65.95. For significantly larger numbers of computers, perspective buyers are encouraged to contact Yellow Camp Software through the company Web site. Anzan licenses can be purchased at the company store and customers can save 20% through May 21st with coupon code ANZAN100G. [Bill Fox via prMac]

    [5/14] More Internet Addresses in the Making

    The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has invited public comment on procedures for creating new domain names for general use. Domain names, like those already in general use .com, .net, etc., are used to define web sites and to route email.

    Currently there are 120 million registered domain names (unique web addresses) in the world. Of these, 80 million are generic top-level domains (gTLD) as opposed to country code top-level domains like .de for Germany or .ca for Canada, the most common being .com, with 62 million domains.

    This will be the first expansion for general use since 2000 when .info and .biz were added. Names added since 2000 have been limited to specific regions or industries. In 2004, ICANN added .travel, .asia, .jobs, .mobi, .cat and .tel.

    "This is all about choice. We want the diversity of the world's people, geography and business to be able to be represented in the domain name system," said Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN. "That is why it's so important for people to participate in the development of a new gTLD process. We will get input from businesses, governments, and the public at large in the coming months and at the ICANN meeting in Puerto Rico on 25-29 June 2007."

    The ICANN committee, Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), is still reviewing the procedures for considering additional general use names. When GNSO sends a recommendation to the ICANN board, procedures could be adopted by the end of the year, applications for new names could be accepted early next year and new names could be reviewed and added into the system in the June-August 2008 time frame.

    ICANN posted a FAQ on the new process. [Dana Baggett]

    [5/14] Software Special Deal of the Day: Art Text 1.2.1 (Universal) for 38% Off--$24.95 Today Only

    Art Text is an application to create high quality textual graphics, headings, logos, icons, banners and buttons. The program implements the latest Mac OS X technologies which allow you to easily modify any texts and vector shapes into a fancy graphic.

    Pre-designed styles, shapes, icon art images, shading materials and other advanced visual effects make Art Text a powerful and intuitive program. Not only professionals, but anyone, who wants to make his text work look attractive, will find a use for the program.

    Use the result with iWork, Microsoft Office, BeLight applications and other programs. It will become an indispensable part of your presentations, brochures, flyers, postcards, business cards and even websites.

      Normally $39.95, Art Text 1.2.1 (Universal) is offered for $24.95 today only--that's 38% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

      [5/14] InPreflight 2.0 Public Beta (Universal) for Adobe InDesign released

      Zevrix Solutions announced the release of public beta of InPreflight 2, a new version of its comprehensive quality control solution for Adobe InDesign. InPreflight lets users quickly and easily locate potential problems and produce error-free InDesign documents.

      InPreflight provides a robust, fast, user-friendly and affordable preflight solution for service providers, printers, ad agencies, designers and publishing houses. It gives extensive information on all document's fonts, colors and links and allows to quickly spot potential problems according to user defined preflight settings. InPreflight saves users hours of checking their documents manually and dealing with consequences of costly mistakes.

      The new version introduces a powerful built-in packaging feature which lets users preflight and package multiple documents to a single folder or separately. Other improvements include updating of font status, information on color mode of Adobe Illustrator files, list of embedded fonts in vector EPS and the option to ignore master page links during preflighting.

      InPreflight 2.0 public beta is a Universal Binary, available for Mac OS X 10.4.2 and higher and works with Adobe InDesign CS, CS2 and CS3. InPreflight 2.0 public beta can be downloaded from the Zevrix web site. Beta-testers who provide feedback will receive a free copy of InPreflight (details included with the beta package). The final shipping release of InPreflight 2 is planned for June 2007. [Bill Fox]

      [5/14] Free Photo Walk with photographer Derrick Story at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference 2007

      SF Photo Walk is a free event for developers and photographers during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference 2007. The organizers of SF Photo Walk invite you to join Inside Mac Radio hosts, Scott Sheppard and Brad Wright, and Pro Photographer Derrick Story, on an epic walk through San Francisco, one of America's most scenic cities. The walk features opportunities to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 17, the Bay Bridge, and more.

      Those interested should gather in front of the main entrance to Moscone West, at 4:00 pm, June 11th, 2007. From there, you will hop the San Francisco Muni Railway to the Fisherman's Wharf area ($1.50 fare per person is not included as part of the event). Then you will walk to Aquatic Park to catch the sun setting on the Golden Gate Bridge. From Aquatic Park, you will walk along the Embarcadero to the Bay Bridge and then catch the Muni back from there. [Bill Fox via prMac]

      [5/12] Apple Revised the Offerings from Six Hot Deals Retailers

      B&H Photo Video - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: 1TB (one-terabyte!) My Book PRo Edition II external hard drive with FireWire/800/400/USB 2.0 for only $364.95!; Marware Protection Pack (wrist rest and microfiber keyboard cover) for the 15-inch MacBook Pro for only $19.95; FreeAgent Go 120GB 2.5" USB 2.0 portable hard drive from Seagate for only $124.95; PictureMate Snap photo-quality 4"x6" tote-able color inkjet printer from Epson for only $99.95!; QuickBooks Pro 2007 bookkeeping software from Intuit for only $189.95!; EyeTV 250 USB TV Tuner for your Mac from Elgato Systems for only $199.95; iRecord personal media recorder records movies/TV shows directly to your iPod from Streaming Networks for only $199!; and much more.

      J&R Computerworld - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: Logitech Cordless Desktop S-530 wireless keyboard and mouse in white for only $69.99!; 19" analog/digital widescreen display from Hannspree for only $189.99!; Hewlett Parkard HP2600n color laserjet print for only $299.99; Canoscan LiDE 70 flatbed color image scanner from Canon for only $79.99!; Dome 7-port USB 2.0 hub from Kensington for only $34.99!; LaCie Porsche Design 320GB external hard drive for only $124.99!; Perfection V100 flatbed photo scanner with built-in film/transparency holder from Epson for only $52.88 after $40 mail-in rebate!; Viewsonic ViewDock VX2245VM 22" LCD widescreen display with built-in iPod Dock for only $339 after $50 mail-in rebate!; and much more.

      ClubMac - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: Viewsonic VG730M 17" LCD display for only $188.99!; IN26 DLP XGA projector from Infocus for only $799!; extend the range of your remote controls with the wireless infrared remote extender from Startech for only $29.99!; ergonomic Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 from Microsoft for only $62.20!; get consistent power with the 8-outlet AVR (automatic voltage regulator) from Cyberpower for only $198.99!; Samsung Syncmaster 204BW black 20" LCD display for only $229.99 after $20 mail-in rebate!; Nikon Coolpix P5000 10-megapixel digital camera for only $399.95; Stylus Photo 1400 color inkjet photo printer from Epson for only $399.99!; ; and much more.

      MacGameStore - has deals on a variety of Mac games with an exclusive 5% discount off the posted price at checkout: Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy from Feral Interactive for only $39.95!; Mystery of Shark Island (a digital download) from PlayFirst for only $19.95!; Real Deal Slots Mystic Forest (digital download) from Virtual Programming for only $24.95!; Real Deal Casino High Roller (digital download) from Virtual Programming for only $24.95!; The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff from Aspyr Media for only $19.99!; Kudos (digital download) a new life-sim from Red Marble Games for only $19.95!; and much more.

      MacMall - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: LaCie 16x d2 DVD+/-RW FireWire drive with LightScribe and Toast 7 Titanium for only $169.99!; Pinnacle TV analog/digital HD TV for the mac for only $129.99!; Creative Suite 3 Design Premium from Adobe for only $1758.99!; X-540 5.1 Surround Sound speaker system from Logitech for only $69.99!; Sony DCR-SR42 30GB hard drive-based Handycam camcorder for only $527!; Travel Tunes Outdoor water resistant iPod speaker system from Bushnell for only $99.99!; Officejet Pro L7580 color all-in-one printer from Hewlett Packard for only $299!; Mask Pro 4 Photoshop plug-in from onOne Software $158.99!; and much more.

      Sweetwater Sound - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: Axiom 25-key USB MIDI controller from M-Audio for only $179.97!; Stylus RMX Groove-based virtual instrument plug-in from Spectrasonics for only $279.97!; MA-15D BK compact desktop monitors (speakers) from Edirol for only $179.97!; Steinberg Sequel easy-to-use music studio for only $99.99; Traktor Scratch Competitive Crossgrade from Native Instruments for only $399!; Tracktion 3 Project Bundle from Mackie for only $99.99!; Legacy Collection Analog Edition from Korg for only $199.97!; Reason 3 upgrade from Propellerheads with free DVD tutorial for only $299!; and much more.

      [Bill Fox]

      [5/11] Apple's Market Share for March 2007 is Excellent

      According to Bloomberg, Apple's market share for March 2007 in laptops reached nearly 10 percent, desktops 8 percent and MP3 players 69 percent. That placed Apple fourth, fifth and first respectively. [Bill Fox]

      [5/11] Software Special Deal of the Day: Meander 1.5 (Universal) for 75% Off--$5.00 Today Only

      Meander is a Mac application that plots points, plans routes and measures distances using any map, including maps you've scanned or those you've found on the web. Save your routes for later. Export or print and share them with others.

      Meander includes these key features:

      • Plot Anything: Plot on top of any map - be it from software, a website, or scanned.
      • Plot Routes, Measure Distances: Plot routes and then manipulate them - move points around to plan the best route. Meander tells you length of your route in real-time.
      • Save/Load/Export/Print Routes: Plan routes and save them for later, or print and share them with others. Export to JPEG or print as a PDF.

      Normally $19.99, Meander 1.5 (Universal) is offered for $5.00 today only--that's 75% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

      [5/11] Health Tracker 3.1.0 (Universal) is Out

      Black Cat Systems released version 3.1.0 of Health Tracker, a program to track and graph health related measurements. This new version of Health Tracker adds Universal Binary support, as well as several enhancements to the graphing display.

      Health Tracker is a simple yet powerful program which helps you keep track of and graph any health related measurement. For example, if you are diabetic you could track your blood glucose levels. For weight loss, you could track your weight, measurements for various body parts, or your % body fat. Or, if you keep track of your blood pressure, you could use Health Tracker for that. Health Tracker also keeps track of your rate of losses or gains for each measurement, and evaluates your time to goal (if a goal is entered) based on that rate, which is valuable if you are using it to track weight losses or gains. The more information entered, the more accurate the program becomes in it's estimates.

      Health Tracker 3.1.0 (Universal) is available for the Mac priced at $19.99. [Bill Fox]

      [5/10] Apple released Pro Application Support 4.0

      If you have Apple's Pro applications installed, Pro Application Support 4.0 may be available via Software Update. Otherwise, it is available for download from this Apple Web page. According to Apple,

      This update improves general user interface reliability for Apple's professional applications and is recommended for all users of Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Aperture, Final Cut Express HD, Soundtrack, Logic Pro and Logic Express.

      Unfortunately, we do not have any of the pro applications upon which to test this update for you. [Bill Fox & Dana Baggett]

      [5/10] Software Special Deal of the Day: HealthEngage Asthma 2.2 (Universal) for 50% Off--$19.95 Today Only

      HealthEngage Asthma allows asthma sufferers or investigators to collect, store, and chart peak flow, medications, personal diary, and other health information. It can be used in disease management or clinical trial settings on desktop computers, Palm, PocketPC, mobile phones, and on the web.

      Normally $39.99, HealthEngage Asthma 2.2 (Universal) is offered for $19.95 today only--that's 50% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

      [5/10] Apple Pro Tip of the Week--Make Smaller PDF Files

      Most people know that if they want to make a PDF (Portable Document Format) file from a document, say a Word document or a PowerPoint presentation, they merely "print" it by clicking the "PDF" button on the print dialog box and choosing "Save as PDF."

      Most people also know that this makes a PDF file that is larger than Adobe Acrobat makes from the same document. However, one can make a smaller PDF file in Mac OS X by choosing "Compress PDF" instead of "Save as PDF."

      There is also a more complicated way that is outlined in this week's Apple Pro Tip. [Dana Baggett]

      [5/9] Brief Hands-On Report--Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.5 Update

      Microsoft released 11.3.5 Update for Office 2004 for Mac. It is available via "Check for Updates" under the Help menu or as a stand-alone updater from this Microsoft Web page. According to Microsoft,

      This update contains several improvements to enhance security and stability, including fixes for vulnerabilities [four] that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code. In addition, this update includes all the improvements released in all previous Office 2004 updates.

      Applies to: Office 2004 Standard Edition, Office 2004 Student and Teacher Edition, Office 2004 Professional Edition, Word 2004, Excel 2004, PowerPoint 2004, Entourage 2004.

      We used "Check for Updates" under the Help menu in Word 2004 and also downloaded a copy of the stand-alone updater for updating Office 2004 on a PowerBook G4 and a MacBook Pro C2D. Then we used Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage over a several hour period--no problems were encountered. It seems to us that each application launches much faster than before the update, especially on the Intel-based MacBook Pro C2D. [Bill Fox]

      [5/9] Software Special Deal of the Day: SmartWrap 2.7.3 (Universal) for 45% Off--$9.95 Today Only

      SmartWrap is a Eudora plug-in that analyzes the text of your hard-to-read email messages and re-wraps them perfectly by removing all unnecessary line breaks, quote characters, and excess formatting with just one click.

      SmartWrap is not a blind search and replace tool. SmartWrap uses combinations of four proprietary algorithms to determine the best way to wrap your text naturally within the Eudora window, unhindered by excess formatting.

      Normally $18.00, Bin-it 1.2.1 (Universal) is offered for $9.95 today only--that's 45% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

      [5/9] Hands-On Review--Pzizz 2.2 (Universal), Nap/Sleep Software

      Pzizz 2.2 from Brainwave is audio software for your Mac or iPod that is designed to help you nap or sleep. We were curious enough to try it and we're glad we did.

      According to Brainwave,

      "pzizz software contains age-old proven ways for people to relax. It uses a combination of music, sound effects and voice. The music and sound effects are soothing and relaxing. The spoken suggestions employ language patterns that are designed to help you get into a deeply relaxed state as quickly as possible and then help your subconscious to achieve the maximum benefit from your time out."

      The Pzizz application has two modules, Energizer and Sleep, that may be purchased separately or together for a discount. The Energizer module is designed to produce so-called power naps and the sleep module is designed to help insomiacs go to sleep quickly.

      The Pzizz application is used to create sound tracks ("presets") from the modules designed especially for your needs. The presets can be run from your Mac or exported to your iPod, the way that we have used Pzizz since we have no problem with insomnia.

      Each preset starts at a random location, so each is different, and you can control whether the sound effects are stereo or Aurora 3D, whether there is a voice intro/wakeup or not, the relative mix of voice and music, whether there is some action at the end (e.g. shutdown the computer) and how long it lasts. Pzizz 2.2 has a simple video tutorial and the Pzizz Web site is full of useful information.

      To use Pzizz help produce a short power nap, you need to either be the boss, have permission from the boss to power nap or be in a situation where it doesn't matter like traveling on a plane. Sleeping on the job can be a quick firing offense in some jobs, worse than being late.

      We used the Pzizz and the Energizer Module to produce three power nap presets of 10, 20 and 60 minutes in length and exported all to iTunes and then loaded them on our iPod with video. We tried stereo and Aurora 3D sound but all had the intro and wakeup. The latter is really important if you are operating on a sleep deprivation schedule (i.e. less than 7-8 hours of sleep per night) and want only a short nap--believe us on this one.

      Pzizz really worked for us and we like the Aurora 3D sound best. We found the 10-minute nap to be too short and the 20-minute nap to be about right, producing maybe 15 minutes of light sleep. We tried the 60-minute nap on an airplane trip and it worked too, waking to the soothing voice and then fully awakening at the sharp sound after exactly one hour.

      We think Pzizz 2.2 is terrific--it's simple and effective. It really works for us to quickly induce a short power nap and to wake us up feeling refreshed. Pzizz 2.2 is $29.95 with one module and $49.95 with both. Brainwave also has a free demo of Pzizz to try out so you can't go wrong. [Bill Fox]

      [5/9] Cable Internet Speed of 25X Today's Standard is coming this Year

      If you think cable internet is fast, it's going to get faster, a lot faster, real soon according to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. He dazzled a cable industry audience yesterday at The Cable Show in Las Vegas, showing off for the first time in public new technology that enabled a data download speed of 150 megabits per second or roughly 25 times faster than today's standard cable modems.

      The cost of modems that would support the technology, called "channel bonding," is "not that dissimilar to modems today," he told The Associated Press. It could be available "within less than a couple years," he said.

      The new cable technology is crucial because the industry is competing with a speedy new offering called FiOS, a TV and Internet service that Verizon is selling over a new fiber-optic network. The top speed currently available through FiOS is 50 megabits per second, but the network is already capable of providing 100 Mbps and the fiber lines offer nearly unlimited potential.

      The super fast cable technology, called DOCSIS 3.0, was developed by the cable industry's research arm, Cable Television Laboratories. It bonds together four cable lines but is capable of allowing much more capacity. The laboratory said last month it expected manufacturers to begin submitting modems for certification under the standard by the end of the year.

      In the presentation, ARRIS Group Inc. chief executive Robert Stanzione downloaded a 30-second, 300-megabyte television commercial in a few seconds and watched it long before a standard modem worked through an estimated download time of 16 minutes. Stanzione also downloaded the 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica 2007 and Merriam-Webster's visual dictionary in under four minutes when it would have taken a standard modem three hours and 12 minutes. Downloading iTunes movies in HD will be a snap. [Dana Baggett]

      [5/8] Software Special Deal of the Day: Bin-it 1.2.1 (Universal) for 75% Off--$2.50 Today Only

      Bin-it is a desktop trash can providing quick and easy access to the OS X Trash. Its features include:

      • Desktop Trash: Keep a floating trash can on your desktop - not hidden in the Dock
      • Trash Level Display: Your trash icon changes depending on how much is in the trash (your trash isn't just empty or full, so why is your icon?)
      • Adjustable: Select from multiple trash styles and change size, opacity and other settings. Take control of your Trash!

      Normally $9.99, Bin-it 1.2.1 (Universal) is offered for $2.50 today only--that's 75% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

      [5/8] MailSteward 7.7.4 (Universal) is Out released MailSteward 7.7.4, an email archiving solution for the Mac. MailSteward archives email in a relational database for easy access and safe backup of all your email. Whether you manage a business, are an independent professional, or just a person with a lot of email, for legal reasons, business reasons, and personal reasons, it is essential to be able to safely archive and easily search your email.

      MailSteward provides an elegant solution to the growing problem of organizing, backing up, and accessing tens of thousands of emails. With MailSteward you can:

      * Safely archive your large volume of vital email information.

      * Easily access your email database with fast, sophisticated searching.

      * Protect your precious email data from data format obsolescence.

      * Search on the contents of email attachments.

      MailSteward is simple to use, but also has a wealth of features for managing your email:

      * Select email from archive by date range and keywords in the To, From, Subject, Mailbox, or Body fields.

      * Sort by date, To, From, Subject, Mailbox, or unique ID.

      * Add, View, & Search tags for category, keywords, notes, and priority.

      * Import MailTags©.

      * Schedule MailSteward to archive your email automatically.

      * Print or save email list, or individual email, or all email in a list.

      * Reply to or forward individual emails.

      * Export emails to a tab-delimited text file, a separate database file, an mbox file, or an SQL file.

      * Merge database files together.

      * All email mailboxes and folders are left undisturbed.

      * Options to store attachments, HTML, enriched text, and raw source, as well as plain text.

      * Works seamlessly with the Mac OS X Apple Mail application to archive all your email in a relational database.

      * Works with all locally stored POP, .Mac, and IMAP email accounts in the OS X Mail app.

      * Works with most mbox files exported from Microsoft Entourage, Eudora, and other email clients.

      * Native Cocoa application that supports OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and greater.

      * Universal binary runs on PowerPC and Intel Macs.

      MailSteward 7.7.4 ($49.95) has a demo version and a Lite version ($24.95). [Bill Fox via prMac]

      [5/7] Hands-On Review--Tom Bihn's Empire Builder Briefcase for MacBooks and MacBook Pros

      When we travel, we have used Tom Bihn's Empire Builder briefcase for our PowerBooks and MacBook Pros, 15" and 17", since 2003 when we highly favorably reviewed it along with two terrific accessories, the Brain Cell and Absolute Shoulder Strap. Around town, we have used just the Brain Cell which easily snaps out of the Empire Builder. We love the design of the handles which fold to center, making it always easy to pick up.

      In the mean time, Tom Bihn has improved the Empire Builder (shown at right) in a number of significant ways: the tendency for the briefcase to roll over when filled has been substantially reduced or eliminated, the zippers have been replaced with a moisture resistant type, the snaps that hold the Brain Cell inside have been replaced with clips and the back pocket has been made into two with the new one split into three sections, one serving as a "roll-aboard" attachment slot.

      All of our gear fits easily in the Empire Builder, along with meeting documents and reading material. The removable plastic dividers in the main pocket do a great job of separating and protecting documents from getting scrunched up. The many small pockets for pens, CDs, cell phone, iPod, etc. are extremely useful. When filled with our 15" MacBook Pro in the Brain Cell (shown at right) and all of our other gear, the Empire Builder now sits on the floor without tipping over so a minor nuisance has been eliminated to our satisfaction.

      Another small nuisance in the original Empire Builder is that the snaps that hold the Brain Cell in are kind of difficult to snap closed, especially at the bottom. The clips that hold the Brain Cell in the new Empire Builder are a significant improvement in ease of use and security.

      The additional pockets on the back to slip in plane tickets, boarding passes, car rental envelopes, etc., along with a magazine or newspaper are also a good improvement as are the moisture resistant zippers. The center back pocket has a zipper on the bottom so that it can serve as a "roll-aboard" slot to securely fasten the bag to a set of wheels.

      The Empire Builder is superbly functional and highly protective of your Mac. The front, back, bottom, and sides are padded and stiffened by 1/4" (6mm) closed-cell foam to protect contents and maintain sharp looks. At the top of the front pocket there's a small plastic ring that offers a place to attach either the key snap that will keep track of your keys for you or a Tom Bihn Organizer Pouch. We use the key snap to keep from "losing" our keys in the bag--we always know exactly where they are. The Organizer Pouch is great for emptying your pockets of metal objects, including your keys, before passing through airline security checkpoints.

      The Brain Cell remains the best and most protective slipcase that we know of. And the Absolute Shoulder Strap remains the best shoulder strap on the market.

      In a month's use, the only glitch we ran into is that the new Empire Builder is a tiny bit thicker than the original which created a problem getting it into the overhead carry-on compartment of a few commuter aircraft. This is probably the design change that eliminated the tipping tendency. More considered packing of our gear in the Empire Builder eliminated the problem.

      The Empire Builder is well-made from 1050 denier ballistic nylon and 500 denier Cordura. Our original Empire Builder is still going strong after logging zillions of miles around the globe for nearly four years. The stitching is excellent and not coming out anywhere. The Tom Bihn Empire Builder at $150 is so well made out of such great materials, that you may not need another briefcase--ever, the life of Tom Bihn's warranty to the initial purchaser. If it's mated with a Brain Cell ($50) and an Absolute Shoulder Strap ($25), in our experience and opinion you will have the best bag money can buy. [Bill Fox]

      [5/7] Software Special Deal of the Day: Digital Alarm Clock 2.7 (Universal) for 40% Off--$5.00 Today Only

      Digital Alarm Clock is a small desktop application that tells time the 1970s way. Its authentic-looking LED display illuminates your desktop in reassuring shades of Nixon red - just like you remember from your old bedside table.

      Normally $19.99, Digital Alarm Clock 2.7 (Universal) is offered for $5.00 today only--that's 75% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

      [5/7] Consumer Reports June Issue top-rates Macs and slight's M$ Vista

      Our June 2007 issue of Consumer Reports (CR) print edition just landed in our mail box. Once again, CR has rated laptops and desktop computers, including Apple. But, you wouldn't know it from the cover or the table of contents inside. Both tout the magazine's coverage of "the newest PCs and tell you how they work running the Windows Vista operating system." Right.

      In fact, the top-rated laptop among 11 CR reviewed in the 15.4-inch workhorse models category is Apple's MacBook Pro!

      CR flagged the 20" iMac as a "Quick Pick" among 8 desktop "workhorse models" tested based on "reliability and support" while ranking it third overall.

      Based on feedback from more than 77,700 reader responses on desktop brand repair history, Apple was tops with significantly fewer repairs reported than the closest PC brand. It was in the middle of the pack based on over 50,000 reader responses on laptop repair history.

      Apple tech support for both desktops and laptops was described by CR as "superior."

      And what about Vista? CR says "... we don't think there's reason enough to upgrade..." [Dana Baggett]

      [5/7] GlobeSurfer ICON 7.2 Ready, a USB Modem for HSDPA, 3G UMTS worldwide is coming soon for Macs

      The GlobeSurfer ICON 7.2 Ready, a USB modem for notebook and desktop Macintosh computers, is coming in late May from nova media for establishing fast mobile Internet connections worldwide. GlobeSurfer ICON 7.2 Ready features support for high speed HSDPA and 3G UMTS data connections with up to 7.2 Mbit/s in appropriate mobile networks as well as EDGE and GRPS connections in all other cases.

      "This nifty modem includes launch2net, a wizard to set up and establish mobile Internet connections." states jan Fuellemann, PR spokesperson at nova media. "launch2net already includes connection settings for most mobile network operators from Alaska to New Zealand and in between. In most cases it only takes seconds for the customer to be online."

      GlobeSurfer ICON 7.2 Ready includes nova media's launch2net software and it will be available at end of May for Euro 299 ($405). Check it out on nova media's Web site. [Bill Fox]

      [5/5] Apple Revised the Offerings from Two Hot Deals Retailers

      Publishing Perfection - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: Epson Stylus Photo R2400 8-color UltraChrome K3 pigment inkset for archival prints up to 13" wide for only $849.95!; PM2Q6 XTensions module for that imports Adobe PageMaker files into a QuarkXPress v6.0 document from Markzware for only $198.95!; digitize your 35mm film/slides with the Coolscan V ED 4000 dpi true optical resolution film scanner w/Digital ICE from Nikon for only $589.95!; Photographic Tools & Lens Effects from Andromeda for only $239.95!; Graphire4 Blue 4"x5" USB pen tablet and wireless mouse from Wacom for only $94.95!; 8.5"x14" FireWire/USB 2.0 ScanMaker i800 flatbed scanner from Mircrotek for only $319.95!; and much more.

      Ramjet - has Hot Deals exclusive pricing on a variety of Mac compatible memory upgrades including: 1GB memory module for MacBook Pro for only $67!; 2GB (2x1GB modules) kit for iMac G5 for only $224!; 2GB memory module for iMac G5 w/iSight for only $242!; 2GB (2x1GB modules) kit for Intel-based Mac mini for only $96!; 512MB memory module for PowerMac G4 (Mirror Drive Doors) for only $66!; 2GB (2x1GB modules) for the original G5 for only $224!; and much more.

      [Bill Fox]

      [5/4] Mozilla's Camino 1.5 due later in May

      The current version of Camino, the Mac OS X native web browser from Mozilla, is 1.0.4. The next version will be 1.5 and Mozilla hopes to get it out as a series of release candidates in a week or two and in final by the end of May.

      The features that have been added to Camino include:

      • spell checking with suggestions
      • single window mode
      • improved popup blocking
      • flash and plugin blocking
      • session saving
      • keychain interop with Safari
      • RSS feed detection
      • tab jumpback
      • resizable search field
      • custom profiles

      plus more. More... [Bill Fox]

      [5/4] Software Special Deal of the Day: TimeFlyer 1.4 (Universal) for 40% Off--$14.95 Today Only

      TimeFlyer can create beautiful timelines to convince and educate. TimeFlyer offers easy event entry, complete color customization, and an opposing-argument view. In addition, event research notes can be saved, and events are searchable & filterable. The only Mac timeline software with vertical timelines!

      Normally $24.95, TimeFlyer 1.4 (Universal) is offered for $14.95 today only--that's 40% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

      [5/3] A Greener Apple--Steve Jobs announced Apple's Commitment to Environmental Responsibility

      In an announcement on Apple's environmental responsibility, Steve Jobs stated,

      Apple has been criticized by some environmental organizations for not being a leader in removing toxic chemicals from its new products, and for not aggressively or properly recycling its old products. Upon investigating Apple's current practices and progress towards these goals, I was surprised to learn that in many cases Apple is ahead of, or will soon be ahead of, most of its competitors in these areas. Whatever other improvements we need to make, it is certainly clear that we have failed to communicate the things that we are doing well.

      Then, he presented Apple's plan to remove toxic chemicals from its products and to recycle its products with a goal of recycling 28 percent of previous sales by 2010. More... [Bill Fox]

      [5/3] Tom Bihn redesigned the "Buzz" a One-Shoulder Sling Bag for your Mac 'Book

      Tom Bihn designs and manufactures laptop sleeves and cases, backpacks, messenger bags, and briefcases in its own Seattle factory. Tom Bihn has introduced a redesigned version of the Buzz, a one-shoulder sling bag with a built-in padded sleeve for your laptop.

      The Buzz, one of Tom Bihn's most popular products (and the bag that Tom Bihn himself chooses to carry) was originally designed around the 12" PowerBook G4. Many customers requested that Tom redesign the Buzz to fit the 13" MacBook and 15.4" MacBook Pro, and Tom listened, designing a new and improved version of the Buzz that will fit laptops 14.9" x 9.6" x 1.3" or smaller.

      New features for the Buzz include a removable waist strap (for extra support or stability while cycling), a thicker built-in laptop compartment with padding on the bottom, a lighter interior lining fabric, a thicker shoulder strap designed to conform more naturally to your shoulder. Tom also made sure that the cell-phone pocket fits the new Apple iPhone.

      The Buzz is available from Tom Bihn for $120.00 and ships within one business day. The Buzz is available in 11 color combinations including Black/Steel/Sapphire, Black/Olive/Navy, and Black/Black/Steel.

      We use Tom Bihn bags exclusively. [Bill Fox]

      [5/3] AssistiveWare announced "Give our Mac a Voice" Promotion

      AssistiveWare announced that together with the Acapela Group it is introducing the "Give Your Mac a Voice Promotion" that will run until 31 October 2007 and will involve special pricing with discounts of 25 to 34%. The promotion gives more people a chance to enjoy the naturally sounding Infovox iVox voices on their Mac in their language(s) of choice.

      Infovox iVox, a product from Acapela Group created in collaboration with AssistiveWare allows the naturally sounding, high quality voices of the Acapela Group to be used by any Speech Manager compliant application on Mac OS X, including applications such as TextEdit, Preview, Acrobat Reader, Proloquo, TextParrot and AppleWorks, as well as many educational titles. Infovox iVox, which is distributed worldwide by AssistiveWare, can also be used with Tiger's built-in VoiceOver screen reader, and Dutch and French users now have the possibility to hear all the VoiceOver menus and messages in their own language by using Infovox iVox together with AssistiveWare's VisioVoice.

      Infovox iVox is a Universal Binary and can be used on PowerPC and Intel Macs. The products include all voices available for a language of choice. Available languages include: US English, UK English, French, Canadian French, German, Italian, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, American Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish. All non-American English languages include one American English female voice as a bonus.

      Check it out at AssistiveWare's Web site. [Bill Fox]

      [5/3] Software Special Deal of the Day: Yummy FTP 1.6 (Universal) for 48% Off--$12.95 Today Only

      Yummy FTP is an FTP, FTP SSL/TLS, and SFTP client that combines all the best features available in other file transfer solutions, makes them better, adds a wealth of its own uniquely powerful capabilities, and then powers them all with a highly tuned FTP engine.

      The result is a very fast, very flexible and completely reliable file transfer utility for Mac OS X, wrapped up in a gorgeous and highly intuitive user interface, sporting Finder-like FTP browsers, toolbars and drag and drop simplicity throughout. Yum!

      Normally $25.00, Yummy FTP 1.6 (Universal) is offered for $12.95 today only--that's 48% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

      [5/3] Apple Pro Tip of the Week--Find but don't open File with Spotlight

      The idea behind Spotlight is that it will find the file you want, and then open that file for you, so you can start working on it immediately. But what if you just want to know where the file is, and not necessarily open it? (For example, what if you just want to know where it is, so you can burn a backup copy to a CD?) To do that, once the results appear in the spotlight menu, just hold the Command key and then click on the file. This will close Spotlight and open the Finder window where your file is. Or if you want Spotlight open, just click on the file and press Command-R, which will open a Finder window with the file selected, leaving the spotlight dialog open. More... [Dana Baggett]

      [5/2] Apple CEO Steve Jobs to Keynote Worldwide Developers Conference 2007

      As expected, Apple announced that Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, will kick off its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 11, 2007 at San Francisco's Moscone West. At WWDC, Apple plans to show developers a feature complete version of Mac OS X Leopard and give them a beta copy to take home for final testing. Leopard is scheduled to ship in October.

      The five-day event, scheduled to run from June 11 to June 15, will deliver more than 150 sessions and labs aimed at getting the most out of Leopard. The conference will also include new content to serve a wide range of developers, including Mac OS X Immersion Monday, designed to quickly get developers who are new to the Mac up to speed; a content and media track that shows developers the best ways to integrate animation, motion graphics, video, rich-media and web-based content into their applications; and dozens of hands-on labs that offer a unique opportunity to work directly with Apple engineers.

      Other activities at Apple's WWDC 2007 include:

      • presentations from Apple engineers who will provide an in-depth look at Leopard, from its open source foundation to new technologies and innovations like Xcode 3.0, Dashcode, Core Animation, Time Machine, iChat Theater and more;
      • practical hands-on sessions where attendees can learn Apple's own coding strategies and techniques for creating Cocoa bindings, building Automator actions and integrating iCal events into an application;
      • technology labs where attendees can work one-on-one with Apple engineers on topics such as Cocoa, Open GL and AJAX; and
      • special events, including the Apple Design Awards and Stump the Experts.

      Check out the session details. [Bill Fox]

      [5/2] Brief Hands-On Report--Apple released QuickTime 7.1.6, a Security Update

      QuickTime 7.1.6 is available via Software Update or as a stand-alone file from this Apple Web page. According to Apple,

      QuickTime 7.1.6 delivers numerous bug fixes, addresses a critical security issue with QuickTime for Java and includes support for:

      - Final Cut Studio 2
      - Timecode and closed captioning display in QuickTime Player

      This update is recommended for all QuickTime 7 users.

      Here are the details:

      QuickTime (CVE-2007-2175)--An implementation issue exists in QuickTime for Java, which may allow reading or writing out of the bounds of the allocated heap. By enticing a user to visit a web page containing a maliciously-crafted Java applet, an attacker can trigger the issue which may lead to arbitrary code execution. This update addresses the issue by performing additional bounds checking when creating QTPointerRef objects. Credit to Dino Dai Zovi working with TippingPoint and the Zero Day Initiative for reporting this issue.

      We downloaded and installed QuickTime 7.1.6 on numerous Macs including: MacBook Pro C2D, iMac C2D, iMac CD, PowerMac G4 Cube and PowerBook G4. We encountered no problems with the download and installation nor with brief use of QuickTime to view movie trailers or streaming video.

      This update fixes the problem with QuickTime demonstrated at the recent Mac hacking contest. [Bill Fox & Dana Baggett]

      [5/2] Brief Hands-On Report--Apple released AirPort Extreme Update 2007-003 for Intel-based Macs

      AirPort Extreme Update 2007-003 for Intel-based Macs is available via Software Update or as a stand-alone file from this Apple Web page. According to Apple,

      This update is recommended for all Intel-based Macintosh computers and includes compatibility updates for certain third-party access points configured to use WPA or WPA2 security.

      We downloaded and installed the update on our MacBook Pro C2D, iMac C2D and iMac CD, mostly with no problems. On restart, our 15" 2.33GHz MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo hung at a gray screen with the fans revved up to high. After several reboots, the same thing happened so we disconnected our USB mouse, popped out our FirmTek eSata ExpressCard and disconnected our external Cinema Display. The next reboot was successful. We have noticed no problems connecting with our AirPort Base Stations (Express, Extreme "G" and Extreme "N"). [Bill Fox & Dana Baggett]

      [5/2] Brief Hands-On Report--Apple released Security Update 2007-004 v1.1 Only for Mac OS X 10.3.9 (Client) and 10.4.9 (Server)

      Security Update 2007-004 v1.1 for Mac OS X 10.3.9 (Client) and 10.4.9 (Server), Universal and PowerPC, is now available via Software Update or as stand-alone files from this Apple Web page. Note that this update is not needed for Mac OS X 10.4.9 (Client) nor 10.3.9 (Server).

      It includes the contents of the recent Security Update 2007-004, plus the following fixes:

      AirPort (Mac OS X v10.3.9)--This update corrects an issue where the AirPort connection may be lost after waking from sleep. This issue only affects Mac OS X v10.3.9 (client) with Security Update 2007-004.

      FTPServer (CVE-2007-0745 for Mac OS X Server v10.4.9)--Security Update 2007-004 applied an incorrect ftp configuration file for Mac OS X Server v10.4.9 systems. Users with ftp access, who would normally be restricted to certain directories, may be able to access directories outside the normal scope. This update addresses the issue by restoring the correct version of the ftp configuration file. This issue only affects Mac OS X Server v10.4.9 with Security Update 2007-004.

      We downloaded and installed Security Update 2007-004 v1.1 on our PowerMac G4 Cube running Mac OS X 10.4.9 Server. We had already installed SU 2007-004 on it. The installation went fine and we noticed no problems with our office server as a result of doing so. [Bill Fox]

      [5/2] Software Special Deal of the Day: Imagine Poker 1.5.2 (Universal) for 50% Off--$9.95 Today Only

      Imagine Poker is a breath of fresh air in the world of Mac card games. Goodbye, Solitaire.

      Sit back, relax, and play the most entertaining, addictive, and intelligent poker game ever created for the computer. Match wits with some of history and fantasy’s most colorful characters!

      Dracula, Robin Hood, Napoleon, Cleopatra, Neptune, and many more show you their poker faces! Even the Abominable Snowman traveled all the way from Kathmandu to participate in the Imagine Poker tournament!

      In Imagine Poker, you play in a light-hearted Texas Hold 'Em tournament against the stars of your imagination with great graphics and the solid, stable gameplay Candywriter is known for.

      The foundation of Imagine Poker is largely based on the Poker Ghost engine. For you that means a chance to play against some of the most challenging and advanced artificially intelligent card players ever coded onto a computer. How honest is "Honest" Abe Lincoln? How does Joseph Stalin's reign of terror or Julius Caesar's militaristic legacy transfer to the card table?

      Until now it was never easy to play a good game of computer poker when you had the urge. You either had to play for real money against a bunch of mysterious sharks online or play for free against people who may as well call on every hand. Oh, and lets not forget the computer poker games on the market prior to Imagine Poker. Weak gameplay, boring computer players, and graphics so dull they make your wallpaper look exciting.

      Candywriter teamed up with three independent graphic artists to make this application possible - in the best possible way. But that's enough reading – by now you could be bluffing Little Red Riding Hood out of her lunch money.

      Normally $19.95, Imagine Poker 1.5.2 (Universal) is offered for $9.95 today only--that's 50% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

      [5/2] Apple Revised the Offerings from Four Hot Deals Retailers

      O'Reilly - has Hot Deals exclusive prices on a variety of Mac related books including: Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger by Dave Taylor for only $13.96!; Mac OS X Tiger for Unix Geeks, 3rd Edition by Jepson and Rothman for only $24.46!; AppleScript: The Missing Manual by Adam Goldstein for only $17.46; Modding Mac OS X by Erica Sadun for only $17.46; Mac OS X Unwired by Negrino & Smith for ony $17.46!; Mac OS X for Java Geeks by Will Iverson for only $27.96!; and much more.

      PowerMax - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: 8GB Memory Stick PRO Duo media from Sony for only $228!; iPod FM transmitter & auto charger from Kensington for only $42.88!; Airplug G wireless USB adapter from D-Link for only $48.88!; iTV Link for MacBook from Monster Cable for only $26.88!; iPod Voice Recorder w/Dock from Belkin for only $$36.88!; Brenthaven Fusion Messenger Bag for laptop (up to 15") for only $39.88!; Inoi network hard drive enclosure for only $59.88!; G5 Skateboard puts your PowerMac/Mac Pro on wheels from Power Support for only $118.88; and much more.

      Small Dog Electronics - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including Hot Deals exclusive prices on the following: iControl for Garageband from M-Audio for only $129.99!; Pixma MP180 All-in-one - print, copy, scan - USB color printer from Canon $94.99!; PilotBoard wireless keyboard and mouse from Kensington $24.99!; Titan Gear iPod nano attachment pack for only $16.99; Jackpack Redline messenger bag from Ogio for only $39.99!; USB Traveldock for iPod Shuffle from Marware for only $13.99!; Proletariat Noise Canceling headphones from Skullcandy for only $54.99!; and much more.

      Sweetwater Sound - has deals on a variety of Mac compatible hardware and software products including: 003 Rack Factory Pro Tools LE with free video training from DidiDesign $1,549.97!; Monster Power Pro 900 power protection for only $99.95!; Softsynth classic 3-pack from Waldorf for only $79.99!; PCR-800 MIDI controller keyboard from Edirol from $349.97!; iDrum from iZotope for only $49.97!; Explore Pro Tool with this video tutorial from Brainwerks for only $39.99!; Three classic Korg synths in software form Legacy Collection Analog Edition from Korg for only $199.97!; and much more.

      [Bill Fox]

      [5/2] Apple posted Five New Online Seminars for May--They're Free

      Apple has a large number of excellent free online seminars. There are five new seminars for May:

      Audio Production with Logic Pro--See how Logic Pro and Apogee's Symphony PCI-E or ExpressCard products can open up a new world of possibilities.

      Logic Pro Instruments--Scott Wilkie, Apple's Technical Marketing Manager for Pro Audio, demonstrates the built-in instruments in Logic Pro.

      Remixing with Vincent di Pasquale--Join Vincent di Pasquale, producer and audio engineer, as he demonstrates the joys of remixing in Logic Pro.

      Aperture for iPhoto Users--If you use iPhoto and have considered using Aperture, this online seminar will answer many of your questions.

      Getting Started with OsiriX - Tutorial for Reviewing and Manipulating Diagnostic Medical Images--In this 32-minute, pre-recorded presentation, Dr. Joe Borelli takes you through the basic installation, set-up and use of OsiriX.

      Apple's online Seminars are available 24/7 on the following topics: Accounting, Audio, Design, Print & Graphic Design, Development Tools, Digital Media, Music, Photography, Sci/Tech, Servers/Networks, Small Business and Support. Most online seminars are free and require fast (i.e. DSL, cable, T1,...) internet access and QuickTime 7.x to view any video presentations. [Bill Fox]

      [5/2] Apple ProCare gives birth to One to One for Education Customers

      Apple ProCare costs $99 per year and it gets you premium technical care for your Mac, including being able to make reservations to see a Genius at an Apple Store well in advance. For educational customers, Apple has created the One to One program with a multi-sessional curriculum on 11 topics. The topics range from how to set up a Mac to video editing. One to One will also cost $99. More... [Dana Baggett]

      [5/1] Apple extended MacBook and MacBook Pro Battery Repair Coverage to Two Years

      This Apple support article related to Friday's release of Battery Update 1.2 states:

      "For MacBook and MacBook Pro systems with Intel Core Duo processors, this program extends repair coverage on the battery for up to two years from the date of purchase of the computer."

      The kinds of problems that may occur that are covered by the two-year special warranty program are:

      • Battery is not recognized causing an "X" to appear in the battery icon in the Finder menu bar.
      • Battery will not charge when computer is plugged into AC power.
      • Battery exhibits low charge capacity/runtime when using a fully charged battery with a battery cycle count (as shown in System Profiler) of less than 300.
      • Battery pack is visibly deformed.

      The special warranty is worldwide and if any of the above issues crop up within two years of purchase, Apple will replace the battery. [Bill Fox]

      [5/1] Software Special Deal of the Day: HealthEngage Diet+Fitness 3.9.2 (Universal) for 50% Off--$29.95 Today Only

      HealthEngage Diet & Fitness helps users reach their goals in weight loss, cardiovascular fitness and weight training. HealthEngage Diet & Fitness lets users plan your meals from over 6,700 foods in the USDA database. It also lets users choose daily activities and exercises, with pre-calculated calorie burn rates, from over 650 activities from the Sports Medicine Association of America.

      Users can set reminders about upcoming tests, supplies reorder or a doctor appointment by setting up an alert. HealthEngage Diet & Fitness will alert you as soon as you log into the application. Users can enter their complete laboratory test results, inoculations, and medications, which can be kept as their personal digital health record (common blood test and cholesterol templates are included).

      Users can also combine weight readings, meals, exercise, supplement or medication, test results, personal notes and generate over 20 different types of detailed one-step charts and graphs for grams of nutrients (separate for each nutrient), calories consumed and burned, exercises, any measurement or test, medications or supplements taken, and much more. In addition to"at-a-glance" reports, which lay out their meals, HealthEngage Diet & Fitness provides users with meal and nutrient summaries, lists exercises for any period of time, which they can use to track their own progress or can take to their nutritionist, fitness trainer, or physician.

      Users can also generate descriptive reports for any medication or supplement, measurement or test in multiple formats.

      Normally $59.99, HealthEngage Diet+Fitness 3.9.2 (Universal) is offered for $29.95 today only--that's 50% off as Today's MacUpdate Software Promo. [Bill Fox]

      [5/1] From the Dark Side--M$ CEO Steve Ballmer living in the past

      David DeJean's InformationWeek article provides an interesting analysis of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's iPhone-related comments given in this USA Today interview. Yes, M$ has a monopoly on PC operating systems which it has leveraged into a monopoly on office productivity software, web browsers and a few other things. That's history, a wrongful history that the federal anti-trust mechanism and the courts have failed miserably to right. Microsoft proved to be just too big of a fish.

      Flash forward to today and M$ has a miniscule market share of digital music players despite a major effort. On the eve of Apple delivering the iPhone running on Mac OS X, M$ has no cell phones. Ballmer talks as if M$ has a huge share of the 1.3 billion cell phone market but, like PCs, he really means operating systems. And that's not true either according to data in DeJean's article--M$'s cell phone market share is miniscule. So-called smart phone are on the order of 10 percent of the total cell phone market. Within that 10 percent, the top smart phone OS's are Symbian OS (73%), Linux (17%) Windows Mobile (6%), RIM (3%) and Palm OS (2%). That makes Windows less than 0.6 percent of the cell phone market share.

      You're living in the past, Mr. Ballmer. Get real. [Dana Baggett & Bill Fox]

      [Go to the April Archive]

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