MacForce, in Portland, Oregon is holding a special event this Friday, May 2nd from 6:00-9:00 p.m. to celebrate the announcement of Apple's new iPods and Music service. There will be new iPods both on display and available for purchase. A new 15GB iPod will also be given away to a lucky attendee.
Time has posted an interview with Apple CEO Steve Jobs that includes discussion of Apple's previous 'Rip.Mix.Burn' slogan, the influence of Apple's new music service on the industry, and the future of digital music. Jobs says the user experience of the iTunes Music Store is better than that of any other pay or swapping service. Jobs also says the ability to download and own music is far more appealing to users than some services' limited rental schemes. Mr. Jobs also said that Listen.com's downloading "sucks," and Apple has a far superior infrastructure than any other service.
SnapFonts today introduced a number of new low-price font-sets. Each 100 set has ten fonts. "Besides our complete font library, we are offering [...] 7 Supersaver Font Packs. They are all limited editions and will be available for a short time unless popular demand forces us to keep them running longer." They all include international character sets and are "among the highest quality fonts you can license." They are: Supersaver, Britsaver, Autosaver, Big Easy, Money Honey, Popsaver, and Lovesaver. Similarly, Fonts.com has released Chank Fonts, a collection of 70 fonts and packages. Most fonts in the collection cost $22 each.
Collaborate 2.0 is a combination chat and whiteboard program through which individuals in disparate locations can interact to work out ideas. It functions as a distributed network allowing an arbitrary number of individuals to be involved. The $10 shareware is free to students, faculty and staff of educational institutions as well as to staff of non-profit and charitable organizations. [563KB] Everyday Software's Bookit 3.2 is a bookmark managing solution for Mac OS X. It now includes complete support for Safari 1.0b2, support for the keywords feature in Mozilla & Camino, German and French localization, and a few bug fixes as well as a new Bookit Dock Menu for easy access to bookmarks. [522KB] LightWork Design has created the new LightWorks AEC Pack to provide application developers with a complete solution for integrating its rendering and visualization technology into their AEC CAD applications. The LightWorks AEC Pack has been designed to meet the needs of developers of all types of AEC application, including those used by architects, builders and re-modellers, civil and structural engineers. Retrospect has released a Driver Update 3.5.104 for Retrospect 5., which includes new drive support, including drives from EZQuest, Philips, Panasonic, Mitsumi, OWC, Quantum, Sony, Toshiba, and others. [502KB] Daryl Hawes has released LogOutAE 0.2.2, a freeware screen saver designed to log the current user out of their Mac OS X session. You can configure two timeout periods for both "gentle" and "forced" logouts. It is based on the Matthew Swann's open-source LogOut.saver. [option-click] Bruno Blondeau has released the first public beta of MacResponder 1.0b1, an "automated email responder for when you're unavailable. MacResponder scans email accounts periodically and automatically sends replies to tell people you're away or in vacation. For advanced users, MacResponder features rule-based settings to trigger actions based on the sender or the subject." [424KB]
Several readers note an Apple job posting at Monster.com: "Apple Computer is looking for a Senior Software Engineer to design and build one of our newest Consumer Applications, iTunes for Windows." Apple said that it would offer a Windows-compatible version of its iTunes Music Software (presumably through an iTunes interface) by the end of the year.
Terra Soft is now shipping Yellow Dog Linux 3.0, a new generation of Linux for the PowerPC architecture. Version 3.0 features a friendly and powerful graphical installer built from Red Hat's 'Anaconda', an integrated KDE 3.1 and Gnome 2.2 desktop environment, the gcc 3.2.2 compiler, improved support for ATI and NVidia graphics cards, 3 Install and 3 Source CDs. The complete box set ($85) with 6 CDs also includes printed Companion to Installation, a completely revised "Getting Started with Yellow Dog Linux, Second Edition" book, 60-day installation support, and a t-shirt; while the Geek Edition ($25) offers all 6 CDs without printed guide, book, or support at a reduced cost.
Griffin Technology today announced its PowerPod iPod Auto Charger is fully compatible with the new generation of iPods in addition to the original iPod models with FireWire ports on top: "Priced at $20, the Griffin PowerPod is nearly half the cost of the only other compatible charger available today. It comes with a stand-alone charger module and a separate high quality FireWire cable for use with the original iPods."
MacNN reader Jason Fried has posted some ideas for improving Apple's iTunes Music Store, including a method for marking already-purchased songs, purchasing multiple songs at once, bookmarking/saving album references, and email an album reference to a friend, drag & drop buying, and alerts for new songs by a specific artist. Meanwhile, several readers have uncovered the hyperlink structure for the iTunes Music Store.
Automated Workflows today released Folder Manager X, a $15 AppleScript-based application that can be used to batch process folders, performing common repetitive tasks. It allows users to automatically build folders using a specified naming convention, including the ability to build nested sub-folders in each folder that it creates. In addition it can also be used to rename folder items by adding or removing prefixes and suffixes. Oxalyn Software has released Virtual Volume Manager 1.04, an update to its utility for REALbasic developers that streamlines the process of creating, maintaining, and optimizing a Virtual Volume, providing a Finder-like interface for browsing and an optimize function to eliminate wasted space. Virtual Volume Manager is $15. [Classic, OSX] Ricci Adams today released version 2.1 of his $5 shareware Check Off, a to-do list that resides in your menu bar. The list can now shrink and expand automatically so that all items are displayed and users can select display info as well as toggle between brushed metal and Aqua. Version 2.1 also adds export options. [370KB] Bluestream has released a major upgrade to its native XML database. XStreamDB 3.0 adds shared resource management with URIs, resource checkout to disk, faster full-text search and indexing, built-in WebDAV server, event triggers, automated backup, and the new XStreamDB 3.0 Server Console application for easier server administration. Pricing for the Java-based application startss at $500 for the developer version. PowerEasy has introduced PowerEasy ERP, a suite of enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications powered by Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE): "The PowerEasy ERP suite leverages the scalability, availability, and reliability of the Sybase ASE data management system, bringing the same high performance that Wall Street depends upon to the Mac community. It also embeds Apple's WebObjects frameworks, and was designed to fully compliment the Xserve platform."
Willow Design has released two new backpacks specifically designed for the 17" PowerBook, rounding out its line of five other cases for the 17" PowerBook. The "short" Edgewater ($162) will comfortably fit customers from 5'3" to 5'7", while the second larger Garibaldi ($165) fits those with longer backs, or those who want to carry more extras. Both feature extra padded internal dividers to isolate the Powerbook on all sides within the computer compartment and now incorporate a new corrugated plastic stiffener within the the pack body to provide even more stability. The new packs feature two main laptop and paperwork compartments with a host of organizer pockets scattered through the packs as well as a removable accessory pouch to maximize space utilization in the paperwork compartment.
Dr. Bott today announced the AMP Interface for the new iPod., which allows owners of the Burton Amp Jacket to use their new third generation iPod (with dock connector) with the integrated SOFTswitch technology. AMP Interface relpaces the interface of the jacket with one that incorporates the remote connector and headphone jack of the new iPod. The $25 interface is expected to ship in May and is compatible with both the new 10GB, 15GB, and 20GB iPods.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN