Apple today aired a new Power Mac G5 commercial during the Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star game today and on other cable channels such as MTV, as noted by several readers. The commercial is not yet available on the Web, but readers say that the television ad shows a guy being "blown way" through the house walls. The commercial ends with Jeff Goldblum, featured in previous Apple commercials, introducing the new Power Mac G5, the "world's fastest computer." MacNN reader Paul Worthington writes: "I spotted the new TV commercial for the PowerMac G5 tonight on Animal Planet. It shows a man blown all the way out through the walls of his house by the power of the new G5 tower, and features Jeff Goldblum on the voiceover. So I captured it and put it on my web site." (Also available here.) Readers also note that Volkswagen showed its "Pods Unite" commercial showing off the newly announced Apple-Volkswagen promotion, offering a free iPod and mounting kit with the purchase of 2003 New Beetle sedan buyers with a complimentary Apple iPod.
Eovia today announced Carrara Studio 3, an update to its flagship 3D application. Carrara Studio 3 offers a complete solution for 3D modeling, animation and rendering. Version 3.0 features a "revolutionary" non-photorealistic rendering, a multi-hybrid photorealistic engine, improved productivity and user interface and numerous new modeling tools and enhancements. It is expected ship in September for $400.
Lynx Studio this week will debut its AES16 192kHz Multichannel AES/EBU Interface at the Summer NAMM show in Nashville. The AES16 is a half-size PCI card that provides 16 channels of 24-bit AES/EBU digital audio at a 192kHz sample rate in both single-wire and dual-wire AES modes. It ships with a powerful hardware-based 32-channel digital mixer, which is controlled by its own feature-rich software application. The AES16 incorporates SynchroLock to output very low jitter digital audio from severely degraded signals. The AES16-XLR ($800) ships with two six-foot cables with professional XLR and BNC connectors to interface with any standard AES/EBU equipment and the AES16 ($700), which ships without cables.
Microsoft will announce the release of two new editions of Office for Mac OS X on August 12th as well as lower prices on current versions, according to MacNN sources: Office v. X Student and Teacher Edition, and Office v. X Professional Edition. The educational "S&T" version will be available for $150 and will provide Students and Educators a full version of the Office v. X suite at an "affordable price." It will also include the rights to install the product on up to three Macs in a household; however, Microsoft will not offer upgrades for this version. The new "Pro" version includes the standard suite of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage, plus Virtual PC for Mac version 6.1 with Windows XP Professional. There will be no academic licensing available for Pro.
Investor's Business Daily talks about the importance of Apple's retail strategy to its overall growth, given the lack of publicity at more popular consumer electronics outlets (Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.) and the higher price tags on Macs. The report talks about a declining overall marketshare, despite improvement in the consumer segment: "Apple's slice of the overall U.S. PC market shrank to 2.9% in the first quarter, down from 3.2% two years earlier, says market tracker International Data Corp. But Apple has gained in consumer PC sales, especially with notebook computers. Apple's share of U.S. consumer PC unit sales rose to 3.4% in the first quarter, up from 1.9% two years earlier. Its share of dollars spent on consumer PCs rose from 2.3% to 5.2%." Meanwhile, Computerworld reports that Apple has signalled its intent to play hardball in courting the Australian government and military space, while Wireless Supersite talks about the iPod as the key to maintain the Mac as the digital hub, but says that the iPod could be improved with BlueTooth technologies: "It's the little white lynchpin in Apple's strategy to capitalize on digital media and the first non-Macintosh product that Apple has bet big on since the Newton."
Asanté yesterday announced the release of the FriendlyNET GX5-500 Gigabit Ethernet workgroup switch, offering 5 ports of 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet: "With prices as low as $40 per Gigabit port, the FriendlyNET GX5 family is making Gigabit more affordable to small- and medium-sized businesses." The $200 switch offers Auto-Uplink on every port to allow user to connect legacy 10/100 computers with newer Gigabit-equipped computers. The fanless design features an external modular power supply. The company also reduced prices on its family of plug-and-go GX5 Gigabit switches by up to $500.
XtremeMac has reduced the price of its U.F.O. a USB, Firewire, Organizer Hub for iMac. The illuminated digital pedestal hub sits directly under the iMac and features a cool-blue glowing base and an integrated cable management system that routes the iMac's keyboard and speaker cables under the computer. The hub offers 4 USB hubs and 2 FireWire ports on the front of the computer for easy access. The UFO sports thin rubber feet that keep it firmly in place and prevent scratching of computer furniture. The device has a low profile, measuring just over an inch tall. XtremeMac has reduced the price by $30 to $100.
Alsoft today released MasterJuggler 3.0, its new font utility for Mac OS X. The new Cocoa-based application adds drag & drop addition and organization of fonts as well as access to system fonts in any location. MasterJuggler 3.0 also supports all Mac OS X compatible font formats, as well as having full Unicode support, integration with both Mac OS X and the Classic environment, the ability to preview multiple fonts and sizes from within the MasterJuggler interface, and AppleScript support. Upgrades are $50, while full versions are $90.
Avril Lavigne is offering a five-track live EP for paid download exclusively through Apple's iTunes Music Store, according to a report by MTV News: " Avril Lavigne is sending a subtle message to Metallica, Linkin Park and other groups who have pulled their music off Apple's iTunes recently — Let Go. While several artists have distanced themselves from the online music store because it makes tracks available individually, the Canadian singer is supporting the new service by giving iTunes an exclusive live EP."
Contour Design will launch the ShuttlePRO V.2, an enhanced version its ShuttlePRO at Macworld CreativePro Expo. The USB device features a new alloy jog wheel for fluid and precise control of the audio/video timeline, fifteen programmable buttons to quickly access frequently used commands, and a sleek new black color. It is pre-programmed for applications such as Final Cut Pro, Avid Express DV, Adobe Premiere, Digidesign ProTools, Emagic Logic Audio, MOTU Digital Performer, Sonic Foundry ACID and Sound Forge, and many more. The ShuttlePRO V.2 can also easily be programmed to work with virtually any application. It will ship in August for $130.
HELIOS Software today announced that its ImageServer 2.5 server software now creates preview files of QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign documents. Utilizing these previews, local and remote users can preview and control InDesign and QuarkXPress documents from creation to final output, without needing access to the applications, documents, fonts, or images. The company created new ImageServer Plug-ins for Adobe InDesign 2.0.2 (for Mac OS 9/X), and new ImageServer XTensions (for Mac OS 9). The server automatically creates document previews with custom properties and resolutions during file save as well as custom actions for each save, web server CGIs for publishing the preview folder via the Web, and other conversion options.
Evening tech news: The iTunes Music Store (ITMS) may trigger the end of music albums as it popularizes the commerical downloading of individual songs; Bono, passing his interview with fellow residents, has finalized the purchase of his Ł10 million new apartment in New York, which was previously owned by Steve Jobs; and Linux has forced Microsoft into changing its software sales policies to undercut the open-source competition, but still unable to best a $35.7 million bid from German Linux distributor SuSE and IBM, a big Linux backer.
Loud this week will showcase Stop-Motion Studio 1.5, its $40 stop-frame animation software for the Macintosh for creating claymation, stop-motion, paper or hand-drawn animation. It will also debut three new products, including Stop-Motion Junior, which "brings the creative and fun world of stop-frame animation to your children;" Loud Animation Studio with support for advanced features to create stop-motion or other animations, including onion-skinning and "flicker" camera previews, timeline with audio waveforms to sync animations, moveable markers and more; and Loud Pencil Studio, which is designed so professional cel animators can time their drawings more quickly than ever and allows users to capture drawings live from a digital camera, retime them in real-time, edit multiple transparent lavels in X-Sheets and display audio waveforms for audio synching. Stop-Motion Studio ($45), Stop-Motion Junior ($35), Loud Animation Studio ($130) and Loud Pencil Studio ($160) will be available for purchase and download on July 16, 2003.
Last week, we reported that ESPN.com was not working for many users of Apple's Safari Web browser. MacNN reader Rick Lyon let us know that ESPN has seemingly corrected the conflict, and Safari now loads the site properly.
Native Instruments is shipping Absynth 2.0, its synthesizer and a sampler that features an intuitive patch window for mix sampling, granular sampling, subtractive, wavetable, FM, AM, ring modulation, and wave shaping synthesis. Each voice has six synth oscillators (or three sampling oscillators), four filters, three ring modulators, and a wave shaping distortion function. The application also allows users to create waveforms by hand or by sketching harmonics. Version 2.0 features a revised DSP, new filter models, better plugin support, and other features. It is $300, while upgrades are $100.
Native Instruments has released B4 1.1, an update to the application that simulates a tonewheel organ. Version 1.1 fully supports Mac OS X's modern technologies and interfaces, including AudioUnits, RTAS, VST, and standalone operation with CoreMIDI and CoreAudio. The B4 1.1 update is immediately available to all registered users as a $30 direct download. [Download - 14.7MB] ArcaneWare today released an update to Library, its application for cataloging books. Library is an application that enables you to catalog all of your books in a database. Version 1.1.2 adds support for the new IntelliScanner 5000XL, and offers significant optimizations. Library is shareware; the full version can be purchased for $10. [Download - 215KB] FlashMath 1.2 is an update to St. Clair Software's $15 flash card program that teaches basic math. This new version delivers a much-requested countdown timer, limiting the time students have to answer each question. The user interface has also been improved significantly, offering greater ease of use for parents, teachers and students. Other new features include password encryption and automatic student login. [Download - 2.6MB] Isadora is a graphic programming environment for Mac OS 9/X that provides interactive control over digital media, with special emphasis on the real-time manipulation of digital video. The latest version supports an improved Media Window, a sound frequency analysis feature, import/export of user actors, video preloading, contextual menus, and auto-fade actor. It is $225 (25% during the beta period). [Download - 7.1MB] TroikaTronix has also released XMidi MX, an Xtra for Macromedia Director that allows you to send and receive MIDI Information on Macs: "By combining XMidi, Director and some simple Lingo programming, you you can create a powerful interactive media tool that can be controlled from the outside world." [Download - Classic, OSX] MySQL Studio 4.2.3 for Mac OS X contains several minor enhancements and bug fixes including MySQL Connection settings and backup feature enhanced, and improvement on the data transfer for MySQL. The $80 solution lets users manage/create databases, edit data, manage user privileges, perform data backups, and other functions. even-t 1.2 is a calendar program that lets users manage multiple calendars and use it as a standard viewer for internet shared calendars. The $50 Mac OS X-only appilcation offers iCal compatibility, supports multiple simultaneous views, has integrated search functions, offers to-do list management, and BlueTooth functions via iSync. [Download - 1.0MB]
Mozilla.org today announced the launch of a new foundation that will continue to promote the development, distribution and adoption of the Mozilla standards-based Web applications and core technologies, including the Gecko browser layout engine. The Mozilla Foundation will continue and expand on the efforts of Mozilla.org, the group managing the daily operations of the Mozilla project. To help launch the new organization, America Online has pledged $2 million in cash to the Mozilla Foundation over the next two years. Other industry leaders also offered their support to the new organization.
Apple's iTunes Music Store may soon have competition from Buy.com, according to Mercury News. The company will reportedly unveil a new online music service similar to Apple's service: users pay for each song they download, but do not pay subscription fees. Buy.com will launch also $40 million promotional campaign, and hold a celebration in New York's Times Square. The company has yet to secure
Rage Software today released WebDesign 2.2, an update to the $30 fully-featured Web-authoring package for the Mac OS and Mac OS X. WebDesign combines a drag and drop interface allowing for visual creation of HTML elements with a feature rich text editor. Version 2.2 improves the built in Site Manager and FTP Client, improves the page preview features and extends the plug-in API. It now provides the ability to upload multiple files or folders at once to your FTP server.
SimpleTech today announced the availability of a complete line of portable 7200RPM notebook hard drives and external drive upgrades. The a 60GB/7200RPM 2.5" system-specific hard drive is available for $500; the SimpleDrive D7200 FireWire/USB 2.0 60GB/7200RPM external drive is priced at $400.
Apple yesterday released iDVD 3.0.1, a maintenance update to its popular DVD authoring software for Mac OS X. Version 3.0.1 provides improved performance and stability for encoding, burning and managing DVD projects. [Download - form] Derman Enterprises has released a free feature update to FolderControl, its $22 utility that automatically sizes and arranges the Finder's windows. FolderControl now includes preference sets so you can easily use different preference configurations, each of which gives you control over: which folders participate in the processing, folder windows are sized, how sub-folder windows are arranged, how various folder-window attributes, and setting the permissions on the files that control these capabilities. [Download - 3.1MB] Tree Size 2.0 from Monkeybread Software is a simple utility to count folder and subfolder sizes. Version 2.0 offers significant performance enhancements. According to the developer, this release is as much as six times faster than previous versions. [Download - Classic, OS X] launchTunes 1.0 is an iTunes 4.0 companion that ensures your music is available when you run iTunes. Although iTunes 4.0 introduced Rendezvous-based music library and playlist sharing, it "came with one significant caveat," according to the developer: if iTunes isn't running, your music isn't accessible. LaunchTunes enables users to launch iTunes on remote servers they have access to. [Download - 3.8MB] netTunes 2.0 is "the ultimate iTunes remote control" solution for networked users. It lets you control iTunes running on one Macintosh from another, using iTunes' native interface. It is controlled through a standard Preference Pane, and makes extensive use of Rendezvous. [Download - 2.1MB] New York City Screen Saver 1.0 is a collection of 25 color and black & white photographs. It offers you the opportunity to "reminisce about one of the greatest cities on Earth." All photos are of Manhattan and include the New York Public Library at 5th Avenue, Grand Central Terminal, various skyline views, and a large dose of Central Park. [Download - 6.5MB]
Digital Peripheral Solutions today announced that it is shipping its new Que! DVD 2i dual-format, dual-interface drive with direct-to-disk recording (DDR). The $300 external DVD burner offers FireWire and USB 2.0 interfaces and supports DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R, CD-R and CD-RW formats for PC and Mac. It delivers write speeds of 4x for DVD+R and -R, 2x for DVD-RW, 2.4x for DVD+RW, 16x for CD-R and 10x for CD-RW. In addition, the drive comes bundled with software for PC and Mac, all cables and a universal power supply. It weighs 3.6 lbs.
MacSpeech today announced the "Be There or Not" Macworld Show Specials at the Macworld CreativePro Expo in New York City. The company is offering special pricing on a number of its products at booth 353 and online all this week. iListen with a USB microphone/headset is available for $130; iListen Transcription Solution for $290; refurbished Olympus DS-2000 Digital Voice Recorder for $190; and the Telex H 851 USB Stereo microphone/headset for $50. Red Rock Software said yesterday that it will showcase DeltaGraph 5 -- its graphing, charting and data analysis application for Mac OS X -- this week at the Macworld CreativePro Expo in New York. The company will offer visitors to its booth $50 off any purchase of DeltaGraph.
Intelli Innovations today announced the IntelliScanner 5000XL USB Barcode Reader Kit. The device offers manual and automatic triggering, audible scan notification, a hands-free stand with weighted base, the ProInventory 1.1 desktop collection software, and the 'Library' personal book management software. The 5000XL Kit is $700. Pre-orders are now being accepted, with shipments beginning July 25th in limited quantites.
Peachpit has launched a new Apple-certified, the Apple Pro Training Series. Each of the books ($45) in the new series focuses on one of Apple’s powerhouse digital audio or video apps: Final Cut Express, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Logic, and Shake. Apple is introducing a new certification program centered around these programs that uses the Apple Pro Training Series titles as the curriculum. Each chapter of these guides represents a complete lesson in some aspect of the software covered: with a project to complete, a review section, and exercises to reinforce the lessons. An accompanying DVD includes lesson files and, for select titles, free trial versions of the software under discussion.
Morning tech news: As Wi-Fi networking technology continues to gain ground, My AvantGo has created a convenient Hot Spot Locator channel for personal digital assistants (PDAs) and smartphones; America Online and digital video recorder (DVR) maker TiVo detailed a new partnership under which TiVo users can program their machines remotely via AOL's online network; facing the threat of lawsuits from a music industry trade group, fewer people are using online file-sharing applications to swap songs.
Volkswagen and Apple have partnered to provide 2003 New Beetle sedan buyers with a complimentary Apple iPod. Volkswagen and Apple have dubbed the new initiative "Pods Unite." The pairing begins today and will be featured prominently in a TV, local radio and newspaper, nationwide print, broadcast media and e-commerce campaign, through the end of September. Sleek iPod displays will also adorn Volkswagen dealer showrooms. Volkswagen's iPod connectivity kit completes the pairing, with the ability to create and remotely access a road-ready digital music library. Together, the estimated retail value of the iPod (15GB) and VW connectivity kit is about $600.
Bloomberg reports that Apple may start to sell movies online after the success of its iTunes Music Store technology. This report -- which includes no further details -- is according to Berliner Zeitung, citing Pascal Cagni, the company's Vice President, Europe.
Apple today announced that the iPod, its popular portable digital music player, will be available in August at Bose and Circuit City retail locations nationwide, as well as CircuitCity.com. Bose retail stores will carry the 15GB and 30GB iPod models, and Circuit City will offer all three iPod configurations -- 10GB, 15GB and 30GB. "Bose and Circuit City are great additions to a lineup of retailers that have helped get over one million iPods into customers' hands," said Tim Cook, Apple's executive vice president of Worldwide Sales and Operations.
Dantz today announced the availability of Retrospect 5.1, an update to its backup software for Mac OS X. Highlights of the upgrade include bootable Mac OS X disaster recovery, support for the latest CD/DVD backup devices, and support for Red Hat Linux clients. Dantz also announced a 60-day limited-time offer for existing Retrospect customers. Through September 15, 2003, customers who purchase Annual Support and Maintenance will receive an upgrade to Retrospect 5.1 at no additional cost. Licenses start at $500; upgrades at $100.
Formac Electronic today unveiled the Gallery 1900 OX, a new 19-inch flat-panel SXGA display with a 1,280 by 1,024 resolution. The latest member of Formac’s award-winning LCD line of displays offers the identical digital information of a standard 17” SXGA LCD on a 25 percent larger screen area, which is beneficial for text-intensive applications. According to Formac, the ultra-slim bezel design makes the Gallery 1900 OX ideal for dual-monitor environments often used in financial, medical, call center, or other office applications. The Formac Gallery™ 1900 OX is available immediately for $800.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe