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Iomega Combo drives
Iomega today announced two new CD-RW/DVD-ROM combination drives: the Iomega CD-RW/DVD-ROM Plus 7-in-1 Card Reader and the Iomega CD-RW/DVD-ROM External USB 2.0 Drive. Both feature 52x24x52x CD-RW technology along with an integrated 16x DVD reader. In addition, the integrated 7-in-1 card USB 1.1 reader supports most flash media types. Both include buffer under-run protection, offer 48x DAE (digital audio extraction), and have a 2MB hardware buffer. They include Charismac Discribe and Iomega's HotBurn Pro software and will ship in February for $130 each.
FontAgent Pro 2 released
Insider Software today released FontAgent Pro 2 and FontAgent Pro 2.0 Workgroup Edition, new versions of its font management and repair utilities. FontAgent Pro repairs or eliminates corrupt fonts, partial and unmatched fonts, duplicate fonts, unnecessary point sizes as well as builds optimized, organized font libraries. Version 2 enables users to build multiple font libraries and cascading font sets, automatically activate fonts, preview fonts in various typefaces, and save system resources and time by opening only the fonts required for current projects.
The Big Mix collection
Aladdin Systems today announced The Big Mix, a collection of nine title for Mac OS X 10.1 or later, including Audio Hijack (record audio from any application); Disco Spin ("live" mixing application emulates standard DJ hardware); Doggiebox (create and manipulate percussion-based songs); GrooveMaker 2.5 LE (create electronic dance tracks); iPodRip (publish playlists, play songs from iPod); iTunes Publisher (sort, format, & export playlists from iTunes); Making More Music (compose music); MP3 Rage (edit ID3 tags); and Spark LE (realtime Master Section and audio plugins). The collection is $100.
FireWire Depot Disk Jockey
FireWire Depot today introduced Disk Jockey, a hard disk copy and diagnostic device that allows users to copy data between IDE hard disk drives at high speeds, while maintaining all of the attributes of the original hard disk-- including hidden folders, multiple partitions and operating system files. The Disk Jockey works either as a stand alone duplicator and diagnostic product or attached to a computer connected via either FireWire or USB 2.0. It is $350.
JBL Creature II speakers
Harman Multimedia today announced JBL Creature II, the successor to its popular three-piece speaker system: "Featuring a proprietary industrial design, the Creature audio system boasts a small footprint and soft-touch tactile controls. The Creature audio system can also recall the volume setting in use when the computer was last shut down... This product is available in white and gray, and both models' satellite speakers 'glow' from the bottom." It is available online for $100.
Pixion updates PictureTalk
Pixion today announced the release of new versions of PictureTalk Enterprise Conference Server (ECS) and PictureTalk Hosted Services for Mac OS 10.3.2. In addition to full support for Apple's newest operating system, this latest PictureTalk release offers Macintosh users with key capabilities "previously unavailable in any Web conferencing solution," including optimization for the G5, Safari and iCal compatibility and more. Customers are asked to contact Pixion for pricing details.
SoundSticks II updated
Harman Multimedia today announced Harman Kardon SoundSticks II, a new version of the high-powered three-piece speaker system introduced in 2000. SoundSticks II is now outfitted and improved with updated audio technology, touch volume control and analog connectivity. The system includes two 10-watt satellite speakers as well as a 20-watt subwoofer, which produces bass response down to 44Hz. It is available online for $200.
15-key Bluetooth keyboard
FrogPad's new keyboard incorporates FrogPad's patented ergonomic layout designed around the 15 most-used letters with the latest short-range wireless Bluetooth technology. The compact FrogPad keyboard (3"x5") offers a logical key layout (using full-size keys) and design that encourages correct ergonomic posture. "After an average of 8 hours of training and practice, most FrogPad users can achieve input rates of up to 40 words per minute." The built-in battery that can be recharged either through a wall adapter plug or through a standard USB port. It will ship in Q2 of 2004. A USB version is on sale now for $150.
KnowledgeBox for Xserve
Pearson Digital Learning has announced that it is now shipping the KnowledgeBox digital learning system on Apple's Xserve. KnowledgeBox is the first K-6 Digital Learning System for reading/language arts, math, science and social studies. Using digital media that engages and challenges students, KnowledgeBox supports a wide range of teaching and learning styles in the classroom, from direct instruction to small-group activities and independent work.
FW800 Exabyte VXA-2
Exabyte Corp. (booth 2612) today announced its VXA-2 PacketLoader 1x10 1U with FireWire 800, "the first and only tape autoloader" in a 1U form factor with FireWire 800 connectivity. The autoloader provides two weeks of unattended backup (up to 1.6TB of capacity using ten 160GB cartridges) and includes a rack mount kit, cables, backup software and a cleaning tape. It will be available later this quarter for under $3,000 and will available for preview on the Expo floor.
CRYPTOCard (booth 1747) today announced the launch of CRYPTO-Server X, an authentication solution designed specifically for Mac OS X 10.3. It can positively identify all Mac users attempting to access a VPN or Web-based system by coupling something in the user's possession (a multi-function smart card, hardware token, or software token), with something the user knows (e.g. a PIN). CRYPTO-Server X generates a one-time password for every log-on attempt. The suite includes a VPN plugin, an admin module, an Apache-plugin for Web integration, and Web-based deployment. Introductory pricing starts at $300 (5-users).
MYOB AccountEdge 2004
MYOB US today announced MYOB AccountEdge 2004 Network Edition, which uses Rendezvous technology to allow multiple users to simultaneously work over a network. It also includes payroll, time billing, contact management, and an integrated suite of online business services (e.g., credit card processing, direct deposit). MYOB AccountEdge 2004 Network Edition is $600 (5-user license) and will be released in the Spring.. The company also recently released a January 2004 Payroll and Product updates.
PDFmerge 1.0 released
PDFmerge 1.0 can combine multiple documents in PDF, PostScript, TIFF, JPEG and other common image file formats into a single fully compliant PDF document. A simple but powerful interface allows users to build documents and preview documents; it also features the unique ability to set the final page size equal to the trim as well as AppleScript support and the ability to save and reload document settings (for automated assembly of documents). PDFmerge is $90 and available now for Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Apple, MS announcements
Apple today debuted its new iPod mini as well as its G5 XServe and XServe RAID. Apple also released Final Cut Express 2.0 and debuted its new iLife '04 suite due to next week. It includes updated iPhoto 4, iDVD 4, and iMovie 4 applications as well as a fifth new application called GarageBand, which offers studio-quality audio tools on any Mac. Microsoft also announced Office 2004 for Macintosh and Virtual PC 7. We also have poste full coverage of the Macworld Expo SF Keynote.
FCE 2 gains FCP 4 features
Apple today introduced Final Cut Express 2 (FCE 2), the next major release of its digital video editing software. Based on Final Cut Pro 4 professional video editing software, FCE 2 delivers RT Extreme for real-time compositing and effects, an enhanced user interface, real-time color correction tools and enhanced audio editing capabilities. It is available now for $300; upgrades are $100.
naviPlay for 3G iPods
TEN Technology is demoing naviPlay, a Bluetooth wireless stereo adapter for 3G iPods. It includes a Bluetooth adapter that attaches to the iPod's dock connector, and a BT headphone adapter that allows use of any stereo headphones or speakers with a standard 3.5mm stereo plug. The headphone adapter also has an LCD display and buttons for basic remote audio functions as well as playlist and menu navigation. Each adapter is powered by rechargeable lithium ion battery that provides approximately 8 hours of airtime. It will ship in the first quarter. (Pricing not finalized.)
Alpine integrates iPods
Alpine Electronics will demo at CES the world's first solution that enables consumers to connect and control their iPod from their in-vehicle sound system. With a simple one-cable connection, iPod users will be able to operate key playback features from the Alpine receiver's buttons and have display of playlists, album, artist and songs on the head unit. It will be available later this summer (email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info).
Xgrid for clustering
Apple today previewed Xgrid, a computational clustering technology from Apple's Advanced Computation Group (ACG). Xgrid creates a grid-enabled "virtual" IT environment that takes advantage of unused computing capacity to run batch and workload processing: "Xgrid makes it easy to turn your Mac cluster into a supercomputer. The new Xgrid software agents use Apple's Rendezvous networking technology to automatically discover, connect and manage tasks across available systems in a Mac cluster." A free beta is available now.
Nearly 10M OS X users
Apple announced that it estimates that there are now over 9 million active users of Mac OS X and the company expects to cross the 10 million user mark later this quarter. Additionally, Apple said there are now over 10,000 Mac OS X applications that run natively on the platform. "Panther is the fourth major release of Mac OS X in three years and we plan to reach 10 million active Mac OS X users this quarter, which is 40 percent of our entire installed base. This is a major milestone in the successful adoption of the world's most advanced operating system."
Xserve RAID offers 3.5TB
Apple today unveiled its new Xserve RAID storage system, a 3U high-availability, rack storage system that now delivers up to 3.5 terabytes (TB) of storage, performance of up to 210MBps throughput and what it says is the industry's "most aggressive price for storage of just over $3 per gigabyte." The new Xserve RAID, also includes support for Windows and Linux-based computing environments, industry standard Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) connectors and support from 11 companies including Microsoft, VERITAS, Red Hat, Brocade and QLogic.
Elgato Systems today unveiled EyeHome, allowing users to easily access the digital content they have stored on their Mac -- digital photos, video or music -- on their television and home entertainment system. EyeHome will be available at Elgato's online store (www.elgato.com) and in selected U.S. retail outlets in January for $250. Elgato has also introduced the EyeTV 200 FireWire digital video recorder, making it possible to watch, record, edit and archive high-quality, MPEG-2 encoded television on the Mac. Pricing starts at $350 with the EyeTV 200 model.
G5 Xserve arrives
Apple today introduced Xserve G5, which offers up to 30 gigaflops of processing power per system--about 60 percent more than the PowerPC G4-based Xserve. The 1U system includes a new system controller with up to 8GB of PC3200 ECC memory; three hot-plug Serial ATA drive modules that deliver up to 750GB of storage; optional internal hardware RAID; dual PCI-X slots, supporting 133 MHz PCI-X cards with over 1GBps of throughput; and dual on-board Gigabit Ethernet. It is expected to ship in February, starting at $3,000.
Sitecraft releases apps
Sitecraft has announced Archive Toolbox 2.0, an update to its $30 plug-in, which enables programmers to create and expand archives using FileMaker. The upgraded Archive Toolbox 2.0 plug-in now supports cross-platform password encryption for StuffIt (.sit) and Zip (.zip) files. Archive Toolbox 2.0 also provides support for BinHex (.hqx) and MacBinary (.bin) encoding and decoding. Sitecraft also announced SmartLog, a $130 log analysis tool that enables FileMaker Server administrators to help make sense of FileMaker Server event logs. SmartLog provides log analysis for FileMaker Server event log files.
\"1984\" with an iPod
Apple today posted a slightly modified version of the original "1984" commerical, according to one MacNN reader: "In honor of 20 years of Macintosh, Apple has posted the "1984" ad on its website. The woman embodying the spirit of the nonconformist Macintosh however has been altered to include an iPod placed on her hip and the trademark white earbuds in her ears. It's a nice touch to illustrate that the 21st century Apple continues to innovate and break down barriers."
iDVD 4 gains new themes
Apple's today announced an upgrade to iDVD 4, which is only available as part of iLife '04. It includes 20 new Hollywood-style themes--many of which include intro movies and sub-menus that can be personalized with music, photos and movies. It allows users to create photo slideshows with cinematic transitions and iTunes playlists. It also features a DVD Map, which provides an overview of entire DVD projects; finally, new professional-quality encoding extends the amount of video that can fit on a single DVD to over two hours.
iLife includes iMovie 4
Apple also showcased iMovie 4, which features editing directly in the timeline to make movie creation easier and faster. Users can select and edit multiple clips simultaneously to modify and render clips faster and more efficiently. iMovie also offers graphical audio waveforms and live audio scrubbing, allowing users to find specific edit points in audio tracks; new alignment guides make it easy to precisely sync video and audio. iMovie 4 also supports import of live video can be imported directly from an iSight camera to the clips panel and simplifies the sharing of movies over the Internet via email or web with a .Mac HomePage. iMovie 4 is only available with iLife '04.
iPhoto 4 released
Apple today showcased iPhoto 4, which only available as part of iLife '04. It lets users scroll through and resize up to 25,000 photos in seconds and also features new time-based photo organization and Smart Albums to automatically organizes photos based on date, keyword or the user's own rating. iPhoto also includes new slideshows, with cinematic transitions and controls for rotating, rating and deleting photos on-the-fly. It also offers simple Rendezvous photo sharing for sharing albums between computers across home networks. It will ship on January 16 as part of iLife '04.
Mailsmith 2.1 released
Bare Bones Software today announced its Macworld Expo Show Special with discounted pricing for BBEdit 7.1 ($120) and Mailsmith 2.1 ($80). A free Bare Bones "Crafting Fine Software" t-shirt is included with direct orders and upgrades. It also released Mailsmith 2.1, an update to the $100 email client for Mac OS X. It now offers automatic attachment encoding, a new command for quick message movement, enhanced SMTP support, and new preferences and interface enhancements.
Apple today introduced GarageBand as part of its iLife '04 suite. The application offers a complete recording studio for both novice and seasoned musicians, allowing users to record live performances as well as edit digital audio and looping tracks like building blocks to create a song. GarageBand comes with more than 50 software instruments, including a premium-quality grand piano, that can be played and recorded with any USB or MIDI music keyboard. GarageBand will be available as part of iLife '04 on January 16th.
COMPUneering has released Exterior3D, its new program for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. With Exterior3D, a design professional can take raw topographic data, create and manipulate, in real time, a digital terrain model (DTM), and export it for use in a 3D modeling or CAD program. Exterior3D can take topo shots (random or grid), contour lines, and breaklines, and create a surface and contour map. The introductory price is $100.
iLife shipping next week
Apple today announced iLife '04, the next generation suite of digital lifestyle applications. iLife '04 features new versions of iPhoto 4, iMovie 4 and iDVD 4 and introduces GarageBand, a new music application that turns a Mac into a professional-quality musical instrument and recording studio. It also includes iTunes 4.2. iLife '04 will be available on January 16 for $50 and will also be included with all new Macs for free. A $20 iLife Up-To-Date upgrade package is available to all customers who purchase a new Mac on or after January 6 that does not include iLife '04.
2M iPods, 30M songs
Apple announced today that over two million iPods have been sold since its introduction about two years ago. Apple also announced the immediate availability of a new 15GB model offering customers 50 percent more storage for $299--the same price as the previous 10GB model. Apple also said that it has sold over 30 million songs through the iTunes Music Store and says it is approaching a song sales rate of 1.9 million per week, bringing it close to its goal of 100 millions per year.
Apple introduces iPod mini
Apple today introduced iPod mini, which it says is "the smallest portable music player ever to hold up to 1,000 CD-quality songs." The iPod mini is encased in an ultra-portable, lightweight anodized aluminum body available in five stylish colors--silver, gold, pink, blue or green---and features a touch-sensitive Click Wheel. iPod mini features the same UI; is smaller than most cell phones; and weighs only 3.6 ounces. It can be charged with either of the included FireWire or USB 2.0 cables. It will be available in the US in February for $250 with earbud headphones, an Apple iPod mini power adapter, and a CD with iTunes 4.2 for Mac OS and Windows.
Volume Logic audio plug-in
Octiv today released a final version of its Volume Logic audio plug-in for Apple's iTunes. It provides real-time digital remastering for improved sound quality for iTunes: "Any iTunes audio, including MP3s, AACs, Internet radio, or CDs, will automatically be digitally remastered for consistent volume level and spectral balance. Low levels are intelligently raised and loud signals are kept under control, all in real-time." Volume Logic sells for $20, runs on Mac OS X, and is available as a free two-week trial.
MicroNet Technology today announced SANcube800, the industry's first FireWire 800 SAN (Storage Area Network). The SANcube800 serverless storage network delivers "extremely fast connectivity and up to 1.5 terabytes online with the speed and fault tolerance of a hardware RAID controller." It offers RAID 5 support, hot swappable drives for data integrity, and up to 70MB/sec of transfer rates. It is scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2004.
eZediaQTI 2.0 released
eZedia (booth 2329) announced today the release of a native Mac OS X version of eZediaQTI 2.0, an interactive QuickTime authoring application. Users can quickly combine and enhance video, graphics, animation, sound, VRs, and text to create web sites, Internet banners, online presentations, and interactive videos. eZediaQTI 2.0 is entirely re-written in Cocoa and is the "first of its kind to give users a quick-and-easy way to create rich media web deliverable content as an interactive QuickTime movie." It is available for $100.
VPC7 adds G5 support
Microsoft today announced Virtual PC 7 for Mac OS X, an update to the emulation software for Mac OS X that provides access to Windows-only software, networks and devices. Virtual PC for Mac Version 7 with Windows XP Professional will ship for the first time as part of Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition and as a stand-alone product in the first half of 2004. Virtual PC 7 will be available with other "guest" operating systems a few months after this debut. VP7 will include performance and usability improvements, as well as compatibility with the Power Mac G5.
Office 2004 for Macintosh
Microsoft today previewed Office 2004, the next version of at Expo keynote and announced it will release the product in the "first half of this year". Office 2004 for the Mac includes many Mac-first features, including Project Center and other features such as Scrapbook, a new Excel page layout view, new Word note-taking features, compatibility reports, voice recording functions, and other new features. Office 2004 will be available in same three versions a the same prices. Microsoft also free upgrades to Office 2004 for all new purchases of Office v.X in its "technology guarantee."
@Last Software (booth 1543) today announced SketchUp 3.1, an update to its conceptual 3D design tool. Version 3.1 adds thumbnail images to the component browser; offers 2D vector export (PDF, EPS, DWG and DXF); features direct export of SketchUp models to Piranesi EPIX format; improves Export to 3DS; updates SketchUp's shadow feature to allow custom geographic locations for sun angle calculation. It is a free upgrade to owners of SketchUp 3.0 and $95 for owners of 2.2 and earlier versions. The full version is $475.
Missing Sync for hiptop
Mark/Space has announced Missing Sync for hiptop, which enables Mac users to connect and synchronize information between a Danger hiptop (e.g. T-Mobile SideKick, SunCom hiptop, Fido hiptop) and Mac OS X. It synchronizes iCal calendar events, to-do items, and the Mac OS X Address Book with the hiptop online Desktop Interface, which is wirelessly passed to the hiptop device. Because Missing Sync for hiptop uses Apple's iSync, your hiptop, Mac and any other connected iSync devices are all kept updated with the same information." It is due by the end of February 2004 for $30.
Expo keynote details
Apple's Steve Jobs this morning delivered his Macworld Expo keynote at the Moscone Center in San Francisco (we have full coverage), which he introduced the iPod Mini ($250, 4GB) and updated the entry-level iPod with a 15GB drive ($300). Apple also introduced GarageBand (Pro-level sound studio), iPhoto 4, iMovie 4 and iDVD 4 as part of iLife 04 ($50) as well as Final Cut Express 2.0.
A replay will also be available via QuickTime 6 Webcast and via satellite. (It was available at Apple Store locations (and other universities). Jobs is scheduled to appear on CNBC's "Street Signs" (2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET) and "Bullseye" (6:00 PM - 7:00 PM ET).
Sofa 0.6 updates the application that controls iTunes and manage artwork anywhere on the desktop, plays slideshow inside the covers with transition effects and many more. The new version ca display the artwork as an object (CD box, vinyl cover...), includes a completely rewritten preferences window, and fixes several bugs. The freeware runs on Mac OS X. [3.4MB]
ImageIP's Distort and Morph v2.4 iMovie plugin pack adds a new 3D "Tumble" transition which spin your clip away or back in 3D space. The $20 iMovie plugin pack features the powerful 'morph' effect as well as other plugins such as "Wash Away," which turns you video clip to water and makes it flow away. [393KB]
Jiiva today released AutoScrubber ($60), a personal file security assistant that will automatically detect and permanently erase the file/document copies created and deleted behind-the-scenes by software applications and the OS. A demo version ("DeleteWatch") detects and displays the names of all the files being deleted from your computer. [DeleteWatch]
FmPro Migrator 1.62EE from .com Solutions Inc. ($50) migrates FileMaker to a wide variety of databases. Version 1.62 adds the generation of Perl CGI scripts for Access and SQL Server databases, improvements to SQL Server migration scripts and documentation. It is a free update and runs on Mac OS X only. [1.5MB]
Luma Code's Mac Minder 2.0 is an update to its $30 system utility for regulating computer usage in Mac OS X. Version 2.0 can log use of and manage background applications, offers custom alert sounds, features a new UI, and supports logging/managing of overall computer time (in addition to application- and group-based management). [1.1MB]
ScreenMenu 1.0 ($12) allows you to quickly take screenshots from within the Mac OS X menu bar: "Whenever you need to take a screenshot of anything you can save a lot of time with ScreenMenu. Just select 'Instant', 'Timed', 'Window Selection', or 'Mouse Selection' Screenshot from the ScreenMenu and your screenshot is taken." [1.1MB]
fxStabilizer 1.1 is a 2-pass video stabilizer plugin for iMovie that eliminates camera shakiness and makes panning, rotation and zooming smoother. It stabilizes horizontal/vertical motion; offers sub-pixel rendering (for "infinite smoothness"), supports interlace PAL or NTSC video, and offers Edge compensation options. [524KB]
IPNetMonitorX 1.3 is a final version of the $40 suite of Internet tools for Mac OS X. It includes: Ping, Trace Route, Who is, Finger, Lookup, Name Server Query, Subnet Calculator, DHCP Lease, Address Scan, Port Scan, Connection List, Interface Info, Monitor, Link Rate, TCP Info, and TCP Dump (including TCP Flow). [734KB]
iWatermark is a new $20 utility for watermarking artwork, digital photos and other images; it can create thumbnails and can use either simple text or TIFF or PNG images with masks. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2.3 or later. [918KB]
Call of Duty for the Mac
Aspyr today announced will be publishing Activision's Call of Duty for the Mac. The first-person shooter set amidst the chaos and turmoil of World War II where players begin the game as an infantryman armed with a pistol and grenades, with additional weapons in the form of rifles, machine guns, and bazookas earned during their tour of duty. Development is being handled by Aspyr and it is currently at "first playable." Call of Duty is scheduled to be available in early April.
Netgear wireless router
Netgear today unveiled its WGT634U Super Wireless Media Router, a "third-generation" 802.11g wireless home networking solution that supports network-attached storage (NAS) via a USB 2.0 interface. The device offers transfer speeds of 108Mbps--twice as fast as other 802.11g routers--using its 108 Mbps wireless networking technology and integrates a four-port 10/100 Mbps switch. It features a double firewall (both NAT and SPI), 64-bit and 128-bit WEP encryption, WPA PSK support, multiple VPN pass-through support, URL content filtering, and security logging with e-mail alerts. It is due in the first quarter for under $200.
netOctopus SDS previewed
Netopia will preview its new netOctopus Software Delivery System (SDS) at Macworld Expo. Netopia's new software distribution tool will be offered as part of the netOctopus Enterprise Systems Manager, a suite of network management tools that enables administrators to inventory computers and hardware, remotely manage workstations and servers, and install software, upgrades and patches throughout a network. netOctopus supports both Windows and Macintosh computers. It is expected to ship in March 2004.
Trans Lucy 1.0 DVD player
CE Software today announced the release of Trans Lucy 1.0, a DVD player for Mac OS X 10.3 which "lets users view movies on their computer in a way never seen before. With Trans Lucy movies float above all other applications and can even be displayed translucently letting users see and work with their documents 'behind the scenes.' Trans Lucy allows users to click and type right through the video as if it were not even there." It is available for $15 and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Boa 8x dual-format DVD
EZQuest (booth 939) today introduced its fast Boa 8x dual-format DVD-RW/+RW external drives. It writes to DVD+R and DVD-R at 8x; DVD+RW and DVD-RW at 4x; CD-R at 24x; and CD-RW at 10x speeds and they read DVDs at 12x and CDs at 40x speeds. The Boa 8x FireWire model is available in two versions: One bundles Toast Lite and Dantz Retrospect Express software for $250, while the other features Toast Titanium and Dantz Retrospect Express for $300. A USB 2.0 model is also available for $250 (bundled with Sonic My DVD and Dantz Retrospect Express).
WD Media Center
Western Digital today introduced its Media Center storage peripheral. The Media Center combines a 250GB WD Caviar SE hard drive, an 8-in-1 memory card reader, USB 2.0 hub and the company's exclusive Dual-option Backup feature in a single convenient external storage device. Western Digital also introduced its new external USB 2.0/FireWire hard drives with Dual-option Backup, which gives consumers the option to back up data either automatically or on-demand with the simple touch of a button. The new drives are available in storage capacities up to 250GB.
Brother laser printers
Brother International today introduced its new HL-5100 Series Laser Printers: HL-5140, HL-5150D, HL-5150DLT and HL-5170DN. The new line replaces the existing HL-5000 Series printers. The new series offers several key enhancements over previous models including faster print speeds, more standard memory, standard duplex printing on three of the four models, and optional wireless printing. The HL-5140, HL-5150D, HL-5150DLT, and HL-5170DN will have estimated street prices of $230, $300, $350 and $450, respectively. First customer shipments are slated for February 2004.
You Control 1.0
You Software (booth 2323) today introduced You Control, a $50 utility for Mac OS X designed to create custom menus that provide fast access to your files and folders and "put useful information at your fingertips. You Control menus can be located in the Macintosh Menu Bar or any corner of your display. You Control menus can also be accessed anywhere on the Mac desktop by using customized key commands." It includes 11 customizable modules for the file system, iTunes, AddressBook, calendar, clock, stocks, US weather, news reader, pasteboard, and process control.
AEC FastTrack Schedule
AEC Software today launched an updated version of its online service that converts Microsoft Project files into FastTrack Schedule files. The new optimized Project Converter website offers faster, more enhanced data transfer through XML--enabling FastTrack Schedule users to quickly and easily acquire project data from Microsoft Project 2003, 2002, 2000, and 98 files. AEC Software also offers easy data exchange with Microsoft Project through XML and MPX in the Mac version of FastTrack Schedule 8. The company also began shipping an Italian language version of FastTrack Schedule, its project scheduling software.
Pooch 1.4 updated
Dauger Research, Inc has released Pooch 1.4, an update to its the Parallel OperatiOn and Control Heuristic application. This version debuts a new graphically-based, dynamic job queue and scheduling system taking advantage of Pooch's built-in heuristic functions and cluster diagnostics. It also sports an updated graphical user interface taking advantage of features introduced in Panther.
Salling Clicker preview
Salling Software will offer a sneak-peek of an upcoming version of its popular Salling Clicker product--compatible with Symbian-based smartphones from Sony Ericsson. The application allows users to remotely control a wide range of applications. "Users have been telling us they want support for these smartphones," said Jonas Salling, president of Salling Software. "We expect to start shipping Salling Clicker for Sony Ericsson's Symbian-based phones in February, and want to give Expo attendees a preview." The company will demo the software at OWC's booth (2233) on Wednesday and Thursday, between 11 am and 12 pm PT.
4GB Nitrus MP3 player
Rio today introduced the Rio Nitrus 4GB MP3 player, a new disk-based MP3 player built on the Rio Nitrus 1.5GB MP3 player platform. Keeping the same sleek, stylish and pocket-sized design along with more than double the memory, the Rio Nitrus 4GB, weighs less than two ounces and is smaller in overall size than a deck of playing cards; it can playback over 2000 WMA songs (132 hours of music) on a built-in 16-hour Lithium-ion rechargeable battery, and includes a five-band parametric equalizer. The Rio Nitrus 4GB supports USB 2.0 interface. It will begin shipping in January and will be available for $250.
Urchin web analysis app
Urchin Software has released a G5-optimized version of its "fastest and most scalable" web analytics software product, Urchin 5.5. This G5-optimized update is up to 50% faster than previous OS X builds of Urchin 5. Additionally, it contains an update to Urchin's SVG-powered Business Ready Graphics, so now anyone viewing an Urchin report with Safari on a Macintosh can experience the full interactivity of Urchin 5's pie charts, bar graphs and line graphs. Urchin 5.5 works on OS X 10.1 and above. This latest Urchin release is a free update for existing Urchin 5 customers; new licenses start at $900.
Intelli Innovations (booth 3932) today debuted its IntelliScanner Collector, a personal BarcodeReader built for Mac OS X. Designed as an integrated hardware software solution designed to automatically input and organize books, DVDs,CDs, tapes, and other media collections. "The new IntelliScanner Collector utilizes the barcode found on media items, along with Internet data sources, for fast retrieval of title information, details, and artwork. It bundles an IntelliScanner barcode reader, locking USB cable, and companion software kit.
Griffin iTalk for 3G iPods
Griffin Technology today announced the iTalk Voice Recorder for the iPod. The stylish matching accessory snaps directly on top of any "3G" (third-generation) iPod and turns it into a fully functional voice recorder and playback device. In addition to its built-in microphone and internal speaker; the iTalk has a connector that supports both headphone monitoring and the use of an external microphone. The device retails for $40, but is available for a pre-order special price of $35 until it begins shipping in April. [updated]
Making Apple better
BusinessWeek's Three Steps to a Stronger Apple says that better governance, increased quality control, and more product upgrades will make 2004 even better. Meanwhile, a USA Today column titled Getting to the core of Apple's shortcomings also notes quality issues with Apple's recent products, including both hardware and software issues.
RealNeworks DRM format
RealNetworks will launch a download service based in part on AAC technology, according to CNET News.com. "Sources said the new store will be based on the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format--as are the songs in Apple's rival service--but wrapped in RealNetworks' own Helix digital rights management technology. That will limit the number of digital devices the songs can be played on, because most portable music device makers support only MP3 and Microsoft technology. Analysts, however, said the market is potentially still young enough to support the addition of RealNetworks' offering.... Apple's iPod will not be able to play Helix-wrapped songs unless Apple licenses that technology."
Retrospect 6.0 backup
Dantz Development Corp. today announced Retrospect 6.0, the latest version of its backup and restore software. Version 6.0 is now compatible with Power Mac G4 and G5 computers running Mac OS X "Panther," backs up Xserve RAIDs hosting multiple terabytes of data, and supports SCSI and Fibre Channel tape libraries. It is expected to be available as an electronic download on January 26. Pricing starts are $130 for the full Desktop version.
Disk-based MP3 players
Philips Electronics yesterday announced two new disk-based audio/MP3 jukeboxes, including what it calls "the smallest micro audio jukebox and the world's lightest recording audio jukebox. The new products utilize Philips miniaturized storage technology and offer consumers an immense hard disk capacity in a super compact form for ultimate portability." (The company currently sells the hdd100, a 15GB disk-based MP3 player.)
Unreal Tournament 2004
Destineer's MacSoft will preview an early version of Epic Games' Unreal Tournament 2004 on the floor of Macworld Expo: "This is among the first times players anywhere have been able to get a hands-on look at this highly anticipated 3D shooter. 'Once again, Epic is showing their fantastic commitment to the Mac platform by giving the Mac community one of the first chances to fly a Manta, drive a Scorpion, or experience the gorgeous outdoor worlds of Unreal Tournament 2004,' according to Destineer President Peter Tamte."
SyncDeK 5.0 for FileMaker
WorldSync today debuted SyncDeK 5.0, its bi-directional asynchronous data replication technology for FileMaker databases. SyncDeK 5.0 automatically tracks changes and synchronizes specified fields between distributed databases based on configurable rules (and using commonly available Internet protocols). It is being demonstrated throughout the show in both the SyncDeK booth (SIP3) and in the FileMaker booth (817).
CMS Products today shipped its new BounceBack Professional software for Mac OS X. The company's backup and restore software can be used to make a bootable backup from most modern external FireWire drives: "The easy to use BounceBack Professional is a simple way to quickly recover from a disaster. BounceBack Professional only takes a few steps to select a FireWire drive as the designated backup drive. Once identified as the BounceBack Professional device, CMS' patent-pending "Automatic Launcher" technology makes backing up a breeze by automatically sensing when the drive is connected and backing up the system."
Low-cost $200 iPod?
Apple is expected to roll out a signficantly cheaper version of the iPod later today, according Tuesday's Wall Street Journal: "Apple is expected today to introduce a new iPod that costs much less than its current $299 entry-level model, according to people familiar with the matter. (The top-of-the line 40-gigabyte iPod holds 10,000 songs and costs an eye-popping $499.) Analysts believe Apple could price the new iPod as low as $200. While that's more than the $100 figure that has circulated on Apple rumor Web sites in recent weeks, it's still a sharp enough markdown that Apple hopes will attract a much larger audience of music and gadget lovers."
USB 2.0 Thumb Hub
Belkin last month introduced its High-speed USB 2.0 Thumb Hub, which "provides the convenience of being able to connect up to four high-speed devices without the need for a power supply. If additional power is required, the Hub includes a universal switching power supply, which is ideal for worldwide travel. With the versatility for you to connect up to four high- or low-speed devices, you can use your existing low- and full-speed devices in addition to your new high-speed devices." It is available in North America for $25.
Poser Transporter plugin
Eovia today announced it will preview new technology code-named Poser Transporter, a plug-in for Carrara Studio 3 and Poser 5. The Poser Transporter is a plug-in that dynamically imports animated Poser 5 figures as well as import/manipulate Poser 5 scenes in Carrara Studio 3, including textures, transparency maps, clothes and animations. Eovia says it plans to release a final version for both the Macintosh and Windows by the end of the first quarter of 2004.
ScriptPaks for Adobe CS
MacSpeech today announced it is developing a series of ScriptPaks for the Adobe Creative Suite. The new ScriptPaks add hundreds of voice commands for controlling virtually every aspect of Adobe Acrobat Professional, GoLive, Illustrator, InDesign, and PhotoShop. The new ScriptPaks will be demonstrated at Macworld Expo and will be released as soon as testing is complete. Pricing will be announced later; the ScriptPaks will be sold both separately and as a bundle.
iTunes DRM cracked
The Register reports that Apple's iTunes DRM has been cracked wide open for GNU/Linux: "Johansen cracked iTunes DRM scheme in November by releasing code for a small Windows program that dumps the stream to disk in raw AAC format. This raw format required some trivial additions to convert it to an MP4 file that could be played on any capable computer. But in the best Apple ease-of-use tradition, Johansen has now made this completely seamless, integrating it with the VideoLAN streaming free software project."
Tenon Intersystems today announced iTools 7.2, its web server package for Apple's Mac OS X. The new version now supports a version of WEBmail and a WEBcalendar. WEBmail 5.2 is fully customizable, for rebranding and localization. Tenon's iTools WEBmail was developed by EMUmail, Inc. and lets users choose between several "skins" to change the look and feel of the product.
4-Sight FAX 5.1 released
Soft Solutions today released 4-Sight FAX 5.1, an update to its fax server for Mac OS X. Version 5.1 provides Panther compatibility, adds new SMTP Authentication System on the fax server, improves network messaging and improves file transfer speeds. Other features include an enhanced Fax Composer, and interface enhancements to view and manage fax-line activity and information for connected users. It is a paid upgrade. Pricing starts at $500 for a one-line, five-user license. Localized French and German versions are currently in development.
SportWrap iPod Armband
XtremeMac today announced its SportWrap iPod Armband ($30), allow users to conveniently strap their iPod their arm during physical activity: "the SportWrap is made from a durable, water resistant, washable material that breathes and flexes with you. The comfortable armband is adjustable (using velcro) and comes with an extension for larger arms. It is able to hold the iPod in either vertical or horizontal orientations for maximum flexibility. The playthrough cover protects the iPod while allowing complete operation of all the iPod functions."
DAVE 5 improves security
Thursby Software today announced DAVE v5, a new update that brings additional security enhancements to its solution for connecting Macs into existing Microsoft networks. "Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 enhanced the default network security by using what is referred to as NTLMv2 and SMB signing. Thursby has the only SMB product offerings for the Macintosh that will work with these machines without degrading the security level," says Colley. DAVE v5 includes Windows Server 2003 support for Mac OS 10.3 as well as Mac OS 9.x systems. Pricing starts at $120 with upgrades priced at $70. [updated]
Griffin debuts SightLight
Griffin has debuted the SightLight, its add-on light for Apple's iSight that helps produce a better video image in poor lighting conditions. The SightLight slips over the iSight, shares it's FireWire cable connection and adds a "warm glow of light" that "improves your onscreen iChat appearance." SightLight's custom designed Fresnel based lens carefully ads a direct but diffused light to the subject directly in front of the camera. It is available now for $30.
AstroAge LLC, a new accessory company founded by former Apple Product Evangelists, today announced its first products, which it says are expected to "change the way Macintosh users interact with their tower computers. AstroAge's new Gboard4 and Gboard5 platforms add a major ergonomic benefit to all Macintosh G5 and G4 towers: mobility. Once the Gboard is attached, users can effortlessly move their 40+ lb. tower computer around their workspace to access the rear I/O connectors, the DVD/CD drive tray, or to relocate the system. The Gboards also add an aesthetic quality to the G5 and G4 towers." They are expected to ship at the end of the month for $100 and $130, respectively; it costs $10 extra for locking front casters.
NoteTaker update coming
AquaMinds has announced an update to NoteTaker, its personal note and idea organizer. The new version is due in February and will feature bug fixes and improved Panther compatibility as well as the first part of the company's SilverStar technology plan to make NoteTaker user data completely application and platform independent. Its SilverStar technology plan will extend NoteTaker's programmability, adding to the current AppleScript support. The release will also include German and French localized versions.
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