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Apple has recruited ex-IBM employee Tony King to be the new managing director for Australia. ARN reports that Apple chose the Sydney media launch of its Power Mac G5 computer to announce the new appointment: "King was recruited from IBM, where he ran the company’s PC division for Asia-Pacific. He replaces Ben Bowley, who left Apple at the end of March. King had previously worked for Dell as that company’s CFO and GM for its small business, government and education division."
Apple's BlueTooth 1.2.1 is now available via the Web. It "provides enhanced stability and support for the following Symbian OS based mobile phones: Nokia 3650, Nokia 7650, and Sony Ericsson P800. Bluetooth 1.2.1 is recommended for use with iSync 1.1." It requires Mac OS X 10.2.5. It was released in early June via the Software Update. [updated] [3.6MB]
MacNN readers note that Target is, once again, selling Apple's iPod. The 10GB iPod is available at retail stores across the US as well as on its Website for $300, while the more expensive 15GB ($400) and 30GB ($500) models are only available via its online store (as noted by the 'web only' designation). Target began selling the iPod in October, but later stopped due to issues with Apple's new reseller agreement.
TC Electronic has announced its new Restoration Suite for the PowerCore Platform. It includes three real-time Plug-ins for critical applications in audio restoration: Denoising, Declicking and Descratching. The DeScratcher includes patented new technology from Noveltech to eliminate disturbing impulsive-type errors in audio material; DeNoise is optimized for broadband noise removal, from tape hiss to static environmental noise; and DeClick repairs crackle and clicks via a streamlined and fast user interface with only two key parameters. It is due in August for $1,500 with a $500 introductory offer discount.
SoftRAID today announced that it would extend its SoftRAID 3.0 beta program. The company announced that it would extend through August its beta period to include testing for Apple's new G5 architecture. SoftRAID 3, originally expected to ship at the end of this month, is now expected to ship at the end of August. The beta program currently has nearly 100 beta sites testing SoftRAID 3.0. Version 3.0 will support PCI-X, FW-800 and USB 2.0. SoftRAID 3.0 will be $150 with upgrades starting at $100. Registered purchases after August 1, 2002 will be entitled to a free upgrade.
Disc Makers has unveiled its new line of Mac OS X-compatible CD and DVD duplication and printing systems. The Disc Makers MacElite Series is the "industry's first" large capacity, high-throughput, unattended disc duplication and printing systems available for the Mac OS. It allows users to design disc label artwork, copy CDs and DVDs, and archive images of frequently copied titles to their hard drive. The FireWire-based systems include a 2400 dpi inkjet disc printer and are available with up to four CD-R or DVD-R drives (and offer either 125 or 200 disc input capacity). Prices for the single CD-R drive model start at $4,000, while DVD-R systems start at $4,300.
CandyBar 1.5.3, the popular Mac OS X utility for customizing system level icons, includes several important additions to the software. The most important of these updates improves interoperability with Pixadex, the soon-to-be released icon organization tool. CandyBar 1.5.3 is a free upgrade to registered ($13) users. [Download - 3.7MB] RadioLover 1.17 ($15) can record Internet radio streams and save them as separate tracks, with support for iTunes Radio Tuner, Shoutcast, MP3, M3U, and EXTM3U radio stream playlists. The update brings a new scheduler, new recording options, improved file management and a new interface, along with minor enhancements and fixes. [Download - 3.9MB] The Omni Group released version 2.2.2 of OmniOutliner, its outlining and organizational tool today. The new version, which addresses some localization issues, is strongly recommended for French and Japanese customers. OmniOutliner costs $30. [Download - 1.6MB] Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes has posted a number of new scripts in the past two weeks, all available for free. The latest additions include: Import and Eject, Album Ranking, Total Play Count, Add Selected Tracks, and Equally-Timed iPod Playlists. [Download - see developer site] Softchaos has released WorkStrip 3.0, its multifaceted file management/launcher tool (£23). Version 3.0 provides access to all document windows in each application, menu items (listed as submenu of document windows), multiple workspaces, recent documents listing, and system-wide shortcuts. [2.5MB] Cookie Muncher 1.0.4 is a $8 cookie manager that deletes all the useless "cookie" files on your computer, while preserving the ones you need. "Cookies can be a privacy issue and Cookie Muncher allows you to deal with this privacy issue quickly and easily." The latest version is a free maintenance update. [Download - 1.2MB]
Software Architects has announced the release of GreatVideo! DVD Video File Converter 2.0 for Mac OS X. It provides everything you need to download, convert and use video files recorded from consumer DVD video recorders and camcorders" " It can input recorded DVD video, covert from the VR format to other QuickTime fomats, and output video/audio to create DVD video discs that are playable on consumer DVD video players. Advanced features include selecting the compression rate, number of key frames per second, bit rate, and color as allowed by specific video formats. It will be available later this month for $100.
Kevein Unangst of Microsoft says that Microsoft is "definitely planning to support WMA 9 Voice in the upcoming release of Windows Media Player 9 Series for Mac OS X. We showed the new player running with Apple's Safari browser at their WWWDC a few weeks back. We're shooting for fall release to web right now and we'll keep the list posted, according to an ActiveNetwork report: "In addition to the Windows Media 9 Series Voice codec, it appears that Windows Media Player 9 Series for Mac OS X will support all of the 9 Series codecs."
Ricoh today introduced a new version of its DeskTopBinder V2 Professional, a document handling program that "helps companies collaborate more effectively" via electronic and paper files. Version 3.0 includes many enhancements, and most noteably adds the 'Function Palette.' By dragging files to the Function Palette, users have input, output, and file conversion capabilities without actually opening the DeskTopBinder application. The suggested retail price of the DeskTopBinder Professional is $150.
Other World Computing (OWC) today announced it has begun shipping its first 7200RPM, 60GB Mercury On-The-Go portable storage drive. The drive features 8MB of cache and is available with a FireWire-only interface ($420) or with both FireWire and USB 2.0 interfaces ($430). The FireWire interface supports both a powered (6-pin) and an unpowered (4-pin) port. Weighing 11 ounces and measuring only 3.5" x 5.5" x 1.0", the portable drives are fitted in shock absorption casing and feature a cool blue activity indicator light, near-silent drive operation, two FireWire ports and bus-power support. Cables and drive formatting software are also included.
The new SwitchView KVM switch and integrated USB hub from Avocent Corporation gives home and small business users the ability to use a single keyboard, monitor and mouse to access up to four computers and share access to multiple USB devices. The 4-port audio model can also share one set of speakers and a microphone. The SwitchView USB devices, available in 2-port and 4-port models, are scheduled to begin shipping this month. Pricing starts at $100.
Yesterday, Apple began offering a new version of its backup software for .Mac members. The new version includes support for DVD-RAM drives that shipped with some Power Macs. One MacNN reader writes: "this is the first time that I have been able to successfully backup to a DVD-RAM disk. Although it would not recognize the disc if it was inserted prior to starting the backup operation." The update is still missing the 3rd party CD-RW support that was in 1.2.1. Version 1.2.2, which also lacked this support, was pulled by Apple.
Carracho Communications GbR has released the first preview release of the new Cocoa version of Carracho Client 1.0PR1 for Mac OS X. The client offers access to Carracho servers where users can chat with friends, post to newsgroups, download software, send private messages, and other server/groupware functions. [1.2MB] BuddyPop 1.0 offers quick and convenient access to Mac OS X's AddressBook via a customizeable shortcut. It provides a search and display-as-you-type interface offering a filter of all available contacts and instant access to their personal information. It is €5 shareware and runs on Mac OS X. [706KB] Mireth Technology has released NetShred 3.2, an update to its $20 privacy utility that automatically shreds web browser cache, browser history files, download cache, email trash and Apple junk mail. Version 3.2 adds support for Netscape, Mozilla and Opera 6.x and also adds options to shred to NSA standard or Gutmann standard. [1.2MB] Term's Little Helper 1.0 is a $10 shareware utility that offers access to many of the Terminals features without the typing, including information/access to about disks, network, processes, logs, system and translations of obscure BSD error messages. [152KB] The Ringtone Converter is an application that allows you to add new ringtones to your mobile phone without the need for cables or expensive premium rate SMS services. The $20 shareware supports most makes/models of mobile phone, includes over 100 tones, and offers a fully featured ringtone composer. [2.1MB] MaBaSoft's Euro Assistant Pro 2.6b1 is a $15 shareware currency converter that updates exchange rates over the Internet, logs all conversions, imports/converts and converts the result of algebraic expressions. It fixes a compatibility issue with Mac OS X 10.2 and now uses a different online source for updating Euro exchange rates. [Classic, OSX] DivX Tool 2.0b5 is a program for Macintosh (OSX) that allows you to check and repair common problems with AVI files, specifically DivX. It can now save headers for non-MP3 audio (no longer warns of exotic audio), offers audio extraction for most non-MP3 formats, and has other fixes and tweaks. [67KB]
Extensis today launched pxl SmartScale 1.0, a new Photoshop plug-in for increasing the resolution of digital images without compromising quality. Leveraging Celartem's advanced scaling technology (PixelLive), it offers easy, intuitive image scaling up to 1600% with "no discernable loss in printed quality," according to the company. SmartScale increases image resolution while preserving the original color brightness and edge geometry. It features control over sharpness, edge contrast, and edge detail as well as a crop tool. The English version is available immediately for $200, while competitive upgrades are $170.
Brew Moon Restaurant & Microbrewery and Mac Made Easy announced today the launch of a collaborative effort offering Brew Moon customers in Honolulu Wi–Fi wireless Internet access. The network makes Brew Moon one of Hawaii’s newest wireless “hot spots,” according to the company. The project has been dubbed “Communicate Anywhere on Earth from Anywhere on the Moon.” The hardware utilized is a combination of Apple Computer's Airport Extreme Base Stations and Dr. Bott's ExtendAir Antenna technologies. The network offers wireless Internet connectivity to Brew Moon customers throughout the 10,000-square-foot restaurant and brewery at Ward Centre.
BusinessWeek Online says that Apple's iChat maybe the first product challenges the phone companies, offering voice communication with a single click: "The net effect on the telecoms would be nothing short of catastrophic. The rise of IM as a viable mechanism for voice communication would undermine the pricing power of flat-rate voice plans by virtue of being even cheaper than Vonage, which mails out phones that it sells below cost. A desktop microphone suitable for iChat costs $15." Meanwhile, Popular Mechanics says that "Apple's new iSight video camera and iChat AV software opens up personal communication in whole new ways, finally making high-quality videoconferencing over the Internet available."
CTX International today announced a computer monitor with a built-in camera and microphone to facilitate easy video conferencing. The M730V 17-inch LCD monitor also includes built-in surround-sound speakers and a picture-in-picture (PIP) function to provide a fully integrated solution for video conferencing. It also includes both analog and DVI inputs, a three-port USB 2.0 hub, and S-VHS and composite-video inputs. The integrated LCD features a 16ms response time, a 160-degree viewing angle, a 450:1 contrast ratio, and 1280x1024 resolution. It is expected to ship in September for $1000. [site not updated]
PowerFile today announced the immediate availability of its value series of FireWire optical storage libraries available for Mac OS X: the C200 MFX and R200 MFX. PowerFile's read-only solution, the C200 MFX, lets users access, index and catalog 200 CD's or DVD's over the network. The read-write PowerFile R200 MFX libraries additionally allow users to archive data. The bundled MediaFinder X (MFX) software allows users to store and catalog almost any type of DVD/CD easily while providing fast access to those files on the host computer or over a LAN/WAN. The new MFX products are priced between $2,800 - $4,800 and will make their debut at the MacWorld CreativePro Expo next week (Booth 560).
Waverly Edwards has released Statement Profiler 2.1, a freeware debugging and performance tuning aid: "Designed as a tool to identify which code has been executed, which has not, how many times your lines of code have been executed. [It] also lets you know where you crashed and allows you to trace how you arrived at your crash point." YazSoft's Speed Download 2.0.2 updates the company's $20 download manager. SD2 now downloads all files incling ".dmg" from Safari and other browsers. It also offers faster performance, better FTP support, an option to logout after download completion, a new floating window UI, and custom post-processing based on file extension. [1.1MB] Fireflies 10.0.2 (FF) and CircleText 1.3 (CT) are OpenGL screen saver modules for Mac OS X. Both are free software (along with the source); FireFlies includes a new German (as well as Italian) localization, while CircleText offers a new German localization. [FF, CT] Export Artwork 2.3 is designed to extract artwork from the selected track's ID3 tag. It adds options for overwriting image files, an option to fetch album cover images for all tracks, better handling of filenames containing special characters, better logging, and other enhancements. The "donationware" requires iTunes 4 and Mac OS X. [129KB] Rogue Amoeba Software has updated three utilities: Detour 1.0.1 ($10), for rerouting audio signals, adds a Japanese Localization and improves compatibility with iChat AV and MS Office. The freeware audio selecting tool, SoundSource 1.01, solves problems with Apple's iSight; Audio Hijack Pro 1.2.4 ($30) fixes bugs in the comprehensive audio recording and enhancing application. [DT, SS, AHP] Weird Kid Software's Emailchemy 1.5.2 ($25) reads/converts email files from the proprietary formats of the most popular email applications under Mac OS X. It supports most major email programs and formats and now includes support for Netscape 3/4/5, fixes a "too many open files" error, fixes plain text export, and improves registration. [380KB] iOrganize 4.4.7 is designed to store and organize notes, ideas, text extracts and web links. It fixes bugs involving the undo command and the favorites drawer, remembers again the last selected note when quitting, and displays a confirmation dialog by default when deleting a note. The $20 shareware runs on Mac OS X. [986KB]
Westciv today announced Style Master 3, a major upgrade to its CSS editor for the Mac OS. The new Style Master is Mac OS X native, and has been "completely overhauled," integrating hand coding tools with its easy-to-use editors. The application includes editors for every aspect of CSS: selectors, properties and @rules as well as tools for hand coding and browser support alerts and advice inside the application. The application is $50 or available in a bundle with Layout Master for $80. It requires Mac OS X.
Apple earned top honors in both notebook and desktop categories in PC Magazine's 16th annual Service & Reliability reader survey. Apple received an "A+" along with Dell in the Desktop PC category, while earning an A for overall satisfaction after the first year (along with Gateway and Dell). Apple also earned the top ranking (along with IBM and Toshiba) for the notebook category for both overall and home use. Apple and Dell were also tops in the Server category.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k