O'Reilly has released "iPod: The Missing Manual" ($25), a book that "not only covers all iPod models for both Mac and Windows," but also iTunes, MusicMatch Jukebox Plus, and even the new iTunes Music Store. New York Times technology writer J.D.†Ms. Biersdorfer "opens the secret doors of this gleaming beauty" with an "astonishing collection" of useful tips, tricks, and shortcuts.
iTunes Music Store user Declan McCullagh writes about his difficulties playing music purchased with the Apple's online music service, after moving to Canada. "Having purchased a number of songs from the Apple Music Store while in the US and using a US funds credit card, I regrettably didn't read the fine print ... I've now discovered that if you leave the country, your songs may just disappear." Apple has said it will launch its online music store in Canada and the rest of the world later this year, but the company has not commented on the specific issue described by McCullagh.
MacNN reader Bob Yaworski observes that Apple has posted job openings for an Apple store in Marlton, NJ. "The location is The Promenade at Sagemore," notes Mr. Yaworski, "it's about 30-45 minutes from Philadelphia."
BuyMusic.com is now redirecting Mac users to a page that indicates users must be running Windows and Internet Explorer to access the site. MacNN reader Adam Little notes that changing the user agent for Safari to Windows MSIE 6 makes the site load. Mr. Little also notes that Toast Titanium (a Mac-only product) is listed as a top CD-recording software package on the BuyMusic.com front page.
Apple has updated its Script Editor 2.0b2 application for reading, writing, recording, and saving AppleScript scripts. Version 2.0 introduces a simpler interface, auto-wrapping of long script statements, multiple undos, and a Find and Replace feature. The new version also supports Application Services and removes the script size limit. [Download - 1.3MB] Human Software's PhotoFixLens 1.4 is a Photoshop plug-in for correcting correct wide-angle and telephonoto distortions, including barrel or pincushion distortion. It allows users to save/recall lense parameters, pan/zoom at any level, supports layers in RGB/CMYK/LAB, and also works also with 16-bit images in Grayscale or RGB. The freeware MacDICT 2.9 now allows you to choose from a selection of public DICT servers. The Mac OS X client for the DICT protocol connects to dict.org to provide access to a number of databases, including Webster's Dictionary and the World FactBook. It also accesses translation services on the web. [Download - Classic, OSX] Blue Line Studios has released JewelCaseIllustrator 2.0, which adds image manipulation filters (RGB balance, HSL balance, brightness and contrast, etc.) to the $30 drawing program for creating labels, tray liners, and booklets for CDs and DVDs. [2.1MB] Alco Blom's Web Confidential 3.6.1 is a bug fix release to this $20 shareware utility for securely storing personal information such as passwords, PINs, and other confidential information. Web Confidential 3.6 added support for printing and added an iTunes-like list view. [Download - 2.6MB] Kompakt is a streamlined sampler that includes a comprehensive library and can import the most common sample formats. The factory library includes a wide range of detailed and convincing instruments. The $200 application also sports a simple drag-and-drop interface for managing large numbers of samples. Unsanity has released Silk 2.0.2, an updated to its 'haxie' that enables Quartz text rendering and smoothing introduced in all Carbon applications. This minor update provides bug fixes and is recommended for Safari users. [Download - 1.8MB]
Canon today debuted its CanoScan LiDE 80 Color Image Scanner (CiS), which it says is the first CIS scanner with up to 2400x4800 dpi. It features single-pass scanning technology and 48-bit color (both input and output). The bus-powered LiDE 80 ships with a film adapter unit (FAU), which allows users to scan a 35 mm un-mounted frame (positive or negative) at up to 2400x4800 dpi. The scanner uses Canon's exclusive Film Automatic Retouching and Enhancement technology, which offers dust and scratch removal as well as grain and fading correction. The USB 2.0 scanner also features the Z-Lid expansion top, four one-touch buttons and the Multi-Scan Mode as well as Photoshop Elements (and other Mac-compatible applications). It is due in August for $180.
Oregon Scientific today released "the world's thinnest" 1.3-megapixel digital camera with an 8mm super-slim design. The new flash thincam (Model DS6628) is pocket-sized at 3.3"x2.2"x0.2" and weighs 2.3 ounces; it includes a 48mAH lithium polymer battery to capture approximately 500 shots. The $150 camera offers an integrated 16MB memory for storage of up to 21 1.3-megapixel resolution pictures or 91 VGA-resolution pictures. The camera also features an SD memory card slot for expanded memory. The $150 flash thincam is sold with an accessory strobe flash attachment, a protective leather carrying sleeve, a hand-strap, and ArcSoft Photo-Impression CD-ROM bundled software.
ArcaneWare today released its ArcaneReader USB Barcode Scanner, designed for Library, the company's personal book cataloging utility. The handheld reader is an easy-to-use solution for scanning Bookland EAN ("ISBN") barcodes into Library 1.1, which will import a book and automatically fill in the book's title, price, page count, publication year, publisher, and color cover art using Amazon.com. Library offers batch scanning functions, and web export. ArcaneReader offers an easy-to-use trigger to start a new scan; CCD technology, which requires no cleaning or maintainence, auditory and visual feedback, an integrated error-checking barcode value decoder, and a 7-ft USB cable. It is available now for $200
MacResQ today announced a new PowerBook G4 "SuperDrive" upgrade as part of its PowerBookResQ repair program. The slot-loading "SuperDrive" DVD-R/CD-RW is bootable and compatible with iDVD, iTunes, Disc Burner, and Apple DVD Player, as well as other third-party applications. The 1x DVD-R/RW drive offers 16x8x24x CD-RW speeds. The $400 upgrade ships with a 1-year warranty, includes pick-up at the customer's location, overnight delivery to the PowerBookResQ service center, expert installation within 24 hours, and return overnight shipping to the customer.
Griffin Technology today announced the iTrip Station Finder, a free application that assists iTrip owners in finding clear frequencies in over 200 cities and towns in the United States. The $35 iTrip FM Transmitter allows iPod owners to play their iPod's music in their cars or over their stereo through the FM radio--on any FM frequency on the dial. The new iTrip Station Finder application makes this process much easier and faster by suggesting the frequencies that have the least interference near them. [577KB]
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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
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
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl