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A MacNN reader photographed an upcoming Apple Store in the Town Center at Boca Raton, after our initial note about an upcoming store in the Boca Raton, FL, in early February.
MicroNet today announced the addition of the 4x DVD Dual RW drive to its 'Advantage' product family. The MicroNet advantage products feature "handsome yet rugged enclosures" with both FireWire and USB 2.0 ports for maximum flexibility. An internal IDE Kit for PCs is also available. "The MicroNet Advantage Dual RW Drive ends any confusion that stems from multiple competing DVD rewriteable standards," supporting both DVD-RW and DVD+RW standards, while boasting "highest in class" performance with 4X DVD-R, 4X DVD+R, 2X DVD-RW, 2X DVD+RW, 16X CD-R and 10X CD-RW capabilities.
Evening tech news: Hewlett-Packard shipped more notebooks worldwide during the first quarter of 2003 than any other manufacturer; Microsoft Corp. MSFT.O Chief Executive Steve Ballmer sold more shares in the world's largest software maker last week, bringing his total sales over the last two weeks to $1.45 billion; the Southern Methodist University has launched a school of video gaming, for students who are "serious about making a career out of fun and games."
MacNN reader Marc James-Robbins notes that a British news channel reported today that Apple designer Jonathan Ive has been nominated for the 'Designer of the Year' awards at the London Design Museum. We will publish further information as it becomes public. Update: Mr. Ive has been honored as the 'Designer of the Year.' This is the first year of the Design Museum's new national award with a £25,000 prize for the UK-born or based designer who made the "biggest contribution to design in the past year." A documentary on the Designer of the Year award will be broadcast on BBC2 on Wednesday, June 11.
The New York Post reports that Apple and Amazon.com are working on a deal that will make Apple's new iTunes music store available on Amazon: "The parties are in advanced talks and a deal is expected, though sources warn that negotiations might still unravel....Apple would gain a significant new distribution outlet for its fledgling but fast-growing music service. Amazon would be able to expand its offerings to digital music - something it has wanted to do for some time."
iSynCal 1.0 is built to synchronize iCal calendars located on two or more Mac computers using the standard Apple File Sharing shipped with Mac OS X (without using an external server). It can synchronize events and todo items from two separate calendars and can also add events/to-dos to each calendar if not present. A 15-day limited demo of the $17 shareware is available. [330KB] HairerSoft has released Amadeus II 3.6, its $25 shareware visual waveform audio file editing and analyzing application for the Mac OS and Mac OS X. It lets you use your Mac for many sound-related applications, such as live audio recording, digitizing tapes and records, sampling from any external source and for editing and analyzing Mp3, Ogg Vorbis, AIFF, SoundDesigner II, QuickTime or WAVE files. It adds AAC file support, recording timers, and Mach-O VST plugin support. [2.1MB] Authoxy 1.1.2 runs locally as a proxy server to intercept HTTP requests, forwarding them on to your regular proxy with authentication details you define in a System Preference Pane. It has improved error messages printed to the syslog by the daemon and other small improvements. It is $10 ($5 for students) and runs on Mac OS X. [144KB] BetterConsole 4.0 is an application that you can use to display messages written to the console, or any sort of log file. It offers views of multiple files (including rotating log files), supports filter rules for ignoring unwanted output, and has advanced control of window hide/show, transparency, and control hiding options as well as a user-selectable font. There is a $10 suggested payment. [353KB] FinKit 1.5 is a flexible financial calculator that calculates annuities, bonds, credit cards, dates, equipment leases, funds, and more. It does on-the-fly currency conversions between 182 currencies, using rates that are updated via the Internet. Version 1.5 adds results and details for all of the 24 calculations, auto-formatting for input fields, and other bug fixes. A demo of the $25 shareware for Mac OS X is available. [1.6MB] Boris FX today officially announced Boris Title Toolkit, a set of dynamic new plug-ins developed for Adobe After Effects (after unveiling the product a few weeks ago) The Title Toolkit plug-ins create broadcast-quality, animatable titles directly in the native After Effects user interface, including Boris Vector Text, Text Scrambler, Title Crawl and Vector Shape plug-ins. It is available for $200 through the end of the month ($250 thereafter). XShelf 1.1, a clipboard utility for Mac OS X 10.2, provides a shelf where drag & drop items (such as files, text, or URLs) can be stored for later use: "Thus, not only can Drag and Drop operations be "paused", multiple operations can be in flight at once. Version 1.1 adds support for Services, a command-line utility, and clipboard integration." The donation ware only runs on Mac OS X. [102KB]
Formac Electronic today announced the Studio TVR, its second-generation FireWire TV recording solution. It features improved TV and video quality and a new release of its TVR software with a redesigned interface and and new features, such as pausing of live TV. Studio TVR incorporates two new hardware components, including the latest Philips TV-Tuner for improved reception, performance, and TV quality and a new DV CODEC, which features adaptive bitrate allocation to deliver improved encoding quality. The updated software also includes a cropping feature for commercials, a favorite channel list, and a library for recordings and schedules as well as integration with the free online program guide from TitanTV. It is due early this month for $400.
MacNN reader Frank Rezny notes that Apple Canada Online Store has dropped the prices on the 17" PowerBook as well as the other laptop products, including the iBook line. In some cases, the price drops are larger than the up to $300 price drops noted at the Apple Store US this morning The largest prices drops are on the 15" Titanium PowerBooks followed by a significant price cut on the 17" PowerBook.
Gefen today released a new distribution amplifier, which takes a single Apple flat panel display signal (ADC) and splits it into two, allowing the creation of a dual display workstation in which the same video information is distributed to both displays. The ex-tend-it ADC Splitter weighs two pounds and is housed in a slim metal box that measures about five-inch square. It features an ADC input and two ADC outputs, supporting resolutions as high as 1920x1200 on both displays. it is $300. The company also introduced the ADC Extender ($250), which combines an active-circuit with a built-in DVI and USB Repeater to extend any Apple flat panel display plus one USB peripheral up to 16-feet from the computer using a single cable. It can also be cascaded to accommodate distances up to 32 feet.
Distributed Experts today unveiled the NetBuild distributed compilation system for Mac OS X. NetBuild reduces compilation time substantially by spreading compilation tasks to the Mac OS X machines available on your network. It features integration with Project Builder, gcc 2.95.2 and 3.1 support, Rendezvous integration, and dual-processor support. Pricing begins at $450 per seat, with a 3-seat minimum (volume discounts and site licenses available). [497KB] EarthDesk 2.0 is a "major" update to Trygve Inda dynamic desktop map application. It replaces your static desktop picture with an animated, real-time rendered image of the Earth, continuously updating in the background while you work. The software supports eleven different map projections, political and satellite views, and renders accurate sun, moon and city lighting. It offers improved performance, full multi-display support, and other features. Upgrades to the $20 application are $10. [3.6MB] Teng Chou Ming's X Overload 1.02 is an application that allows user to manage items in Classic system folder and library folders in Mac OS X. The $20 shareware update, which fixes a few bugs, can manage Contextual Menu Items, Fonts, Preference files, Preference Panes, Services, Screen Savers located in the library folders in Mac OS X as well the Classic counterparts. [1.8MB] J2SPrint 1.0 automatically prints picture files along with their associated IPTC information. It features both drag & drop as well as scheduled operations for batch processing: it scans a source folder at regular intervals and prints the documents that are dropped inside the source folder. J2SPrint fits the image into the print layout and extracts IPTC info, and can move/delete the image or change it's modification date. It runs on Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [930KB] Global Moxie has released Big Medium 1.1, an update to the company's $130 web content-management software. Big Medium is a suite of Perl scripts designed to be an "intuitive, browser-based interface [that] makes it easy for non-technical staff to add, edit and publish Web content to multiple websites without learning HTML." It now includes quick configuration of new sites based on either pre-formatted "skins" or the settings of another site managed by Big Medium. A demo is available. Script Software has posted the final release of Bluetooth Print Bridge 1.0, its $20 shareware utility. It enables you to print from a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone or PDA to a non-bluetooth enabled printer via a Bluetooth-enabled Mac. Users can also print a single contact, or the entire phone book. It requires Mac OS X. [1.4MB] Unsanity has released Silk 2.0, an update to its $10 (now shareware) haxie that enables the Quartz text rendering and smoothing in all Carbon applications: "This means antialiased text in Netscape, Mozilla, and many others....it can substitute one font with another in your applications, change the theme font (the font used to display menus, window titles, and other interface elements)." It offers application-specific settings and requires the freeware Application Enhancer. [1.9MB]
Canon today launched its new five megapixel PowerShot G5 digital camera. Housed in a rugged black enclosure, the PowerShot G5 digital camera features a 1/1.8" five megapixel CCD sensor that captures 2592 x 1944 pixel images. It features a 4x all-glass optical zoom lens, a 4x digital zoom, a maximum aperture of f/2.0-3.0 and macro focusing down to 2 inches. Other features include enhanced movie mode and photo effects, a 12 EOS System-based shooting modes for customizing the camera to each individual users' shooting style, a Wide-Area FlexiZone AF/AE system, three metering systems, and up to 10X zoom playback. The Canon PowerShot G5 kit includes a 32MB CompactFlash Card, a BP-511 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, ArcSoft Camera Suite CD-ROM, updated Canon ImageBrowser software, cables, and a wireless remote control. It is due later this month for $900.
Apple today lowered the price on its 12" Aluminum and 15" Titanium PowerBooks by up to $300, offering the models starting at $1,599 and $1,999, respectively. The price drop is advertised on the home page of Apple's online store. The $12" Combo drive PowerBook is now $1,599 ($200 drop), the 12" SuperDrive PowerBook is now $1,799 ($200 drop), the 15" Combo drive PowerBook is $1,999 ($300 drop), and the 15" SuperDrive is $2,599 ($200 drop). [updated]
Sibelius today began shipping its new guitar tab and songwriting software, G7. Users can create, playback and post guitar tab: "Designed by guitarists for guitarists, G7 enables musicians of any level to create tab faster and easier, add lyrics and chord symbols and instantly create lead sheets or Piano-Vocal-Guitar scores. With the purchase of the G7 tab authoring software, musicians receive a free Web page, where they can place their photo, bio, and music making it simple to market to a worldwide audience. Musicians can also share tab through e-mails sent in G7/Scorch format, where the receiver can see it, print it and play it using their browser." It is $150. DEVONtechnologies today updated it freeware tools: CalcService 3.1 (CS) includes new functions such as ceil(), floor(), round(), acosh(), asinh(), atanh(), cosh(), sinh() and tanh(); WordService 2.4.2 (WS) features a new "Speak Text/Stop" command, while the "Insert Date/Time/Date & Time" now uses the system-wide formatting preferences. AntiWordService 2.0 (AWS) enables Cocoa applications to open Microsoft Word documents and BlueService 1.21 (BS) send selected text to compliant Bluetooth devices. [CS, WS, AWS, BS] Collaborate 2.1 is a "combination chat and whiteboard program through which individuals in disparate locations can interact to work out ideas. Collaborate functions as a distributed network allowing an arbitrary number of individuals to be involved." Version 2. adds the ability to drag-and-drop graphic files onto the whiteboard and support for multiple whiteboards. The $10 shareware is free to students, faculty and staff of educational institutions as well as to staff of non-profit and charitable organizations. [415KB] Pangea Software today announced it is shipping the CD version of Enigmo game title. "Our original plan was to release a CD version of Enigmo in the fall, closer to Chiristmas, but the response to the game has been absolutely tremendous." The CD version of Enigmo will be in stores soon, or it can currently be ordered directly from Pangea Software’s web site for $25. The Enigmo CD also contains unregistered copies of virtually all other Pangea game titles as well. Crescendo Software has updated Picture Play 1.8, its image composition tool for OS X. Picture Play combines photos and other graphics to create compositions with editable text content, backgrounds, and stylish effects including translucency, transparency, rotation and more. It adds resolutions for each document, abitrary zoom functions, more background effects, and other changes. It is a free update to the $15 shareware. [1.1MB]
SubRosaSoft today began shipping its FireWire 800 peripherals: The IceCube 800 FireWire800/USB2 combo enclosure ($175) is compatible with ATA-6 large capacity drives and can also be used with legacy FireWire systems using specially designed adapter cables available from SubRosaSoft. The enclosure comes with one FireWire 400 port, two FireWire 800 ports, and one USB2 port. The company's new 1394b FireWire 800 PCI adapter ($83) features three FireWire 800 ports and backwards compatible with FireWire 400. SubRosaSoft also added FireWire 800 cables to its online store and also updated to two of its software products, DiskGuardian 2.01 ($70 suite of disk tools) and SMARTPanel 1.01 ($25 utility monitors for signs of disk drive failure). The latter now features a time-limited demo, allowing users to "get the full experience of how the software functions."
MacSpeech today released a "major" update to its flagship speech recognition product, iListen 1.6. It now adapts to a user's voice faster and more accurately, learns new words faster, improved transcription abilities for medical and legal professions, includesa pecial adaptation feature for poor pronunciation, offers new "Hands Free" Correction, adds new voice commands for Mac OS X, and support dictation and correction directly into virtually any application. Through the end of July, buyers of iListen 1.6 will receive the iListen iLife Voice Solution for free. It is a free upgrade to v1.5 owners and $40 for owners of previous versions. The full version is $150 with a USB microphone and $100 for the application.
Apple will host a series of in-store demo days around Glasgow and Edinburgh the UK on the weekends of June 14th and 15th, and 21st and 22nd. Fully-trained Apple representatives will be on-hand at John Lewis, PC World, and Scotsys stores to demonstrate the new iPods, the 1GHz eMac and iLife as well as other Mac products. Meanwhile, to celebrate the relaunch of AppleCentre Brighton & Hove, Solutions Inc. will host a week of free workshops and seminars at its Brighton showroom, beginning on June 9th. Each day of the week will showcase a different aspect of the Mac platform, with themes including Architecture (Monday 9th), Servers (Thursday 12th) and Music (Friday 13th).
Now AAPL Stock: 94.27 ( -0.72 )
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko