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MacEdition Pro News : October 31, 2002: Nasty tricks and sweet treats the order of the day

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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Counting Canucks bit a second time

Intuit Canada has sent a “drop dead Fred” letter to users of MYOB products in the great white North telling them that the branch-plant office – hunkered down in some village called Edmonton – will not be updating any MYOB products for 2003.

In case you’ve tuned in late, Intuit bought the Canadian assets of MYOB and looks to be in the process of rubbing out the competition on the bean counter front in that country.

While their American cousins might point to an upcoming release of QuickBooks Pro for Mac, the Canadian arm of the multinational corporation has not issued a similar statement. Meaning that, come January, it appears there will be no mainstream Mac-based accounting package in Canada which will handle payroll. And there are few governments on this planet more fond of payroll taxes than Canada’s federal government.

Canadian Mac users who initially bought QuickBooks some four years ago found themselves abandoned by Intuit when the company first dumped its Mac QuickBooks line. So if you’re counting, this is the second time Intuit Canada has told Mac users to take a hike.

AccountEdge users in Canada are now being directed to a third-party service provider to handle all their payroll needs come the new year and a sweetheart deal exists for Mac users of AccountEdge, provided they sign on before the end of November. Not to seem totally mean spirited toward Mac users of accounting products, Intuit Canada is also offering steep discounts on QuickBooks products to Mac users who wish to switch platforms in order to run their accounting software.

You’d better check twice

It’s a jungle out there in the lawless land of the Internet, and nobody knows that better than the folks who have been ripped off by unscrupulous individuals who pony up for a cheap Web site using a nonexistent address and dead a telephone number.

People who wheel and deal over the Net just might want to take advantage of Fraudit, a new service which compares Web registration information from WHOIS servers against other information databases to determine the legitimacy of the site’s registration data.

“Fraudit ensures the accuracy of registrant information, stopping fraud before it starts,” explained Rick Wesson, president of Alice’s Registry. “Fraudit is an important step to improving the accuracy of WHOIS data. ICANN-accredited registrars can quickly, accurately and cost-effectively verify data in advance of a challenge. Fraudit is a key tool for battling fraud and protecting consumer confidence in e-commerce and the Internet.”

Anticipated and eagerly desired by the ICANN Whois Task Force, the FTC and law enforcement agencies worldwide, Fraudit was demonstrated for the first time by Rick Wesson at the ICANN Registrar’s Constituency Meeting in Shanghai, China earlier today.

The service carries a US$49.95 monthly fee, plus a US$0.25 per transaction charge. A quick demonstration of the accuracy of Fraudit is available online.

Driving the long arm of the law

Tech-savvy Joe Fridays and others whose job it is to catch computing criminals now have a weapon its developer hopes will become as commonplace as the gun and badge.

WiebeTech has produced a little gizmo called Forensic DriveDock, a write-blocked version of its tiny Super DriveDock.

“Customers were asking for a very small, very portable device which could be used for laboratory and field analysis of hard drives,” said James Wiebe, CEO of WiebeTech. “Forensic DriveDock exactly fits the requirements because it carries the rare attribute of being a write blocked FireWire bridge, combined with extremely small size and extremely high performance. As a result, it will be a standard piece of equipment for police departments who are engaged in the forensic analysis of computer equipment.”

Wiebe points to Forensic DriveDock’s driverless mounting method for all platforms and tiny snap-on size as key elements to allow the law to peer into any IDE drive. The write-protection removes any risk of law enforcement officials accidentally overwriting evidence, he explained.

And now for all you gumshoes, a little Law & Order music before you hit the streets.

When taking the path less traveled....

Shareware developer Steve Gehrman just may turn out to be one of those unintended consequences Apple gets when they bundle developer tools with OS X.

Gehrman, through his company CocoaTech, used those tools to create Path Finder 2, a GUI add-on for Aqua that puts all those powerful Unix tools within the grasp of those who wouldn’t know command-line syntax from the “Sin Tax” they pay on tobacco, alcohol or any of the other legal fun stuff.

The following, from his press release, is a laundry list of the things this handy Finder enhancement can do for you:

  1. Labels
  2. Custom Font and text color and background colors
  3. View invisible files
  4. Spring loaded folders
  5. Flexible sorting options
  6. List view, Column view, icon view
  7. Desktop trash can
  8. Convert graphic files
  9. Create and convert disk image files
  10. Compress and decompress
  11. Preview drawer
  12. Built in bug reporter
  13. Contextual menus
  14. Customizable toolbar
  15. Open with menu to open a file with any application
  16. View as Hex command
  17. Path navigator
  18. Copy paths
  19. Globally accessible application launcher for easy access to all installed applications
  20. Fully multi-threaded
  21. Menu key editor for customizing menu key short cuts
  22. Create aliases and symbolic links
  23. Show info window allows changing or permissions, type, creator, etc.
  24. View packages as folders
  25. Copy, move, duplicate files and folders
  26. Enhanced column view
  27. Copy paths
  28. Secure delete and delete as root
  29. Launch applications with root privileges
  30. Open in terminal
  31. Scroll wheel and two-button mouse support
  32. Find files
  33. Connect to server dialog
  34. Contextual menu for switching from the Finder
  35. Inline file renaming
  36. Fast .dmg file mounting
  37. Empty trash on a per volume basis

The program carries a US$32 shareware fee and can be downloaded from the CocoaTech site. System requirements, simply put, are: no Jaguar, no joy.

The old gray mare ain’t what it used to be

Those interested in sprucing up the icons on their Internet Explorer browser might want to peruse the collection of 150 toolbar icons created by Alexander Wilson Studios in their newly released third version of the icon package.

The freeware icon collection consists of logos of various Web sites, with an embedded link, and are inserted into the user’s toolbar via a simple drag and drop installation.

A news site even CodeBitch might like

Not to curry favor with the dominatrix of this domain, but there’s a new Mac-specific news site going up today that takes some of her harping on standards to heart.

MacNewz – built around HTML 4 and CSS2 standards – which uses customized server-sided software to poll various Mac Web sites every 15 minutes for updates and changes.

MacNewz offers not just headlines, but in many cases, summaries of the featured articles so you can get a better idea of the content of the article, then just click the headline and you’ll be taken directly to the full article on our partners’ servers, opened in a new window so your place will not be lost on MacNewz.

Among the 50 Web sites indexed on MacNewz, you’ll find our site listed under the Tech/Development category.

Looking for old ProNews segments? Check out our index at Do you have news releases or tidbits of interest to the Macintosh professional? Send them to

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