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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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE