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Centurion Technologies has introduced MacShield, based on its DriveShield for Windows product. The software offers hard drive protection by allowing a simple reset of any Mac to its original configuration with a simple reboot. Offering support for Mac OS 8/9/X (including Panther), MacShield offers administrative flexibility, including the ability to work in protected or non-protected modes, per-partition protection settings, instant status notification via a hotkey, and persistent storage to network locations and/or local data partitions. It also offers optional remote administration with functions for remote enable/disable, reboot/shutdown, password management, etc.
Dension USA is showcasing ICELink, its iPod car connection kit that uses the radio's CD changer to integrate the iPod with your car's radio system. It offers track control from the radio and steering wheel controls, a custom-designed symmetric amplifier and support for both Classic and "3G" (third-generation) iPods; a FireWire port supplies 12V DC, but requires the factory FireWire charging cable). Supported car units include BMW, Mini, Audi, VW, Ford, Honda, Toyota, and other OEM and aftermarket head units. Pricing ranges from $150-$250, while the specific car mounts are extra.
NetXposure has launched an enhanced edition of Image Portal X for Mac OS X, a Web-based digital asset management (DAM) solution smartly centralizes, processes and leverages companies' digital assets. It adds major functionality additions from InCaddy, the Adobe InDesign software plug-in and other enterprise-wide integration capabilities. NetXposure also launched Hexafoo for Mac OS X, an entry-level DAM that offers customizable categories, access control, modular expansion, easy integration, and InDesign integration.
Brother today introduced a sub-$1000 color laser printer for small businesses: the new HL-2700CN offers print speeds of up to 31ppm in monochrome and up to 8ppm in color in a 27% smaller footprint than its predecessor. Brother also introduced its new USB-based HL-5100 Series Laser Printers, which replace, offering faster print speeds, more standard memory, standard duplex printing on three of the four models, and optional wireless printing. Prices start $230 for the new printers, which are expected next month.
Nikon recently announced development of the D70, its new interchangeable-lens digital SLR camera designed to deliver SLR image quality and performance at a consumer price point (estimated at $1000). A new DX Zoom-Nikkor lens is being developed concurrently to match the D70, and both products are scheduled to go on sale in the spring of 2004. Nikon says the D70 is suitable to a wide range of customers, from novices to photo enthusiasts.
Nikon is showing its new D2H professional digital SLR camera. It features the "fastest full system performance" in a digital SLR camera. The D2H is capable of continuously shooting 8fps and buffers up to 40 JPEG images. It incorporates an all-new 11-sensor autofocus system with 9 cross type sensors, a new DX format 4.1 effective megapixel JFET imaging sensor, and Wi-Fi (802.11b) capabilities. The D2H is available for $4000. [updated]
CoolShield.com (Expo booth 2048) is showcasing its Briefpaks at Macworld Expo. The laptop carry case is constructed of high quality leather and designed specifically for G4 Powerbooks and iBooks, giving "your 'life on the go' a chic, urban flair." The bag features weather-proof protection flaps; a custom fit, shock-absorbent inner liner with padding; an exterior front pocket conveniently sized for an extra battery and power adaptor, and removeable straps to transform it from a backpack to a shoulder bag. It is available for $125 in both brown and black.
eMedia today updated Guitar Method Vol. 1 CD-ROM v3.0. It now includes a completely new chapter on modern rock guitar, new higher-quality split-screen videos and more. The original eMedia Guitar Method Vol. 1 was named a top 50 CD-ROM of the year by Newsweek and ranks as the best-selling music education CD-ROM for the past three years. Version 3 is Mac OS X compatible and includes new lessons, etc. It also features more than 20 new videos demonstrating techniques, full-screen mode for larger text and easier-to-read anti-aliased fonts. It is due at the end of February for $60.
Rob Galbraith has published a report comparing Apple's new dual-2.0 GHz Power Mac G5 and its single-1.8GHz Power Mac G5 to a Dual-Xeon 3.06GHz PC, and a single-3.2GHz PC. The tests compare the machines using countless digital photography operations, with performance numbers for each. Ultimately, the Mac tied or led the PC in 19 of the 77 tests that comprise the report. "Put another way, the PC was faster in 58 of 77 benchmarks."
In an upcoming article in Cygnus Business Media's Print & Graphics magazine, the Printing Industries of Virginia announces its goal to "become more of a business consultant to its membership." In keeping with this vision, PIVA has "completely reconfigured its computer system, changing from a Mac platform to PC." PIVA says "while Mac is the preferred platform with graphic designers, the PC format will allow PIVA to focus on business related issues and have a compatible system in order to be more effective."
Due to continued unauthorized use of its icons by commercial software makers, MixThePix has decided to close is Web site indefinitely. "I want to thank everybody for their support, but unfortunately it didn't help," a notice on the site reads. The site proprietor blames ADNX Software for illegally using MixThePix's icons, and refusing to remove them from their products.
Apple's new GarageBand application could drive Mac sales, according to analysts: "'You look at an application like GarageBand -- you can't get that on another platform at any price,' said Michael Gartenberg, analyst with Jupiter Media. 'People will buy Macs on the basis of GarageBand.'" Tim Bajarin also says many are underestimating the value of the fifth new application to the iLife suite: " 'Garage Band might even have more long-term effect on Apple's sales,' Bajarin said. 'Steve has taken the consumer application (software) layer to its next level from playing music to allowing you to be part of making music.'"
The Washington Post notes some disappointing reactions to the iPod mini's pricing, with some analysts remarking on the (too) high price tag on the iPod mini: "'With only $50 difference with the bigger one, why wouldn't I buy the bigger one?' Bob O'Donnell, director of personal technology at market research firm IDC, told the Los Angeles Times. 'You get four times the amount of music. The iPod Mini should have been more like $170.' O'Donnell said other MP3 player manufacturers will unveil players that cost less that $200 and hold more memory at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas."
RealPlayer 10, released today but not available for OS X, delivers an improvement of 30% in efficiency over RealVideo 9, enabling DVD quality video at approximately 1Mps, and HiDefinition quality video at approximately 5Mbps. RealAudio 10 offers support for the AAC codec for use in CD ripping and music downloads, RealAudio Multichannel for home theatre experiences, and RealAudio Lossless for audiophiles and professional archiving. the new player also support the iPod and playback of QuickTime files. Like iTunes, it features an integrated digital music download store for $0.99 per song with a special $0.10 promotion for the next ten days.
Feral (Expo booth 4036) today announced it will be publishing the Lego game Bionicle: "[It] features will let the player enter the legend of Bionicle, Lego's best selling game ever. Bionicle features all 6 Toa’s each of them playing a stunning game environment such as swimming in the see, snowboarding in the mountains, gliding from tree to tree and much more fun. Use Toa’s elemental powers to defeat Makuta, reveal the 7th Toa and return the island of Mata Nui to light. Be the Toa – Live out the legend." The Mac version of Bionicle is under development by Zonic and will be released for Mac OS X.
Apple has quietly lowered the price on DVD-R media purchased from the Apple Store. The 5-pack of 2x speed is $7.99 ($1.6/disk) while the 4x speed 5-pk is $9.99 ($2/disk), according to a MacNN reader.
Smart Scroll X 1.1 brings new scrolling options and enhancements to Mac OS X, including Live Scrolling and Proportional thumbs for AppleWorks 6, faster scroll wheel feedback with Panther's Smooth Scrolling, and Scroll Keys to scroll without having to reach for the mouse. The $15 shareware runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [790KB] GraphicConverter 4.9.3 updates the $35 shareware utility for manipulating graphics. It improves photoraw import, supports opening of Postscript (.ps and .epsf) files in Panther, adds SIGMA SD10 import, improves TIFF alpha channel input, etc. [5.3MB] adnX software has improved performance under Panther and the G5 with the release of VideoWeb 1.6 (VW), its $20 application for sharing a webcam or DV Camera on the internet. It also updated GoWeb 1.1, its free utility for managing favorite URLs among different browsers. [VW, GW] X Overload 2.1 lets you manage and maintain your Mac OS X and classic system folder as well as delete unnecessary localization language files and (now) browser cache files. Updates are $10; the full version is $20 per year. [3.4MB] Mellel 1.7 updates the $30 multi-lingual word processor for Mac OS X. This release offers a new and innovative auto-numbering, table of contents, number flow editing, unlimited captions, and improved support for RTF as well as several new/updated localizations. [4.2MB] RadicalPhoto is a new photo enhancer and converter for MacOS X. The $15 shareware offers standard brightness/contrast/levels adjustment as well as many other simple effects. It supports a wide variety of file formats. [1.1MB] piDog has updated Telnet Launcher 2.7, a $20 utility that launches Telnet and SSH sessions under OSX via Terminal.app. Version 2.7 correct Panther emulation issues, support antialiased text, and fixes a few bugs. [1.4MB]
Apple has released Xserve RAID Admin Tools 1.2, which adds new features and improves the reliability for monitoring and management of your Xserve RAID, including slicing of RAID arrays, expansion of existing RAID arrays by adding drives, rebuilding/verification of RAID array parity data, Java 1.4.1 support, and more. Many of the new features in RAID Admin require the new firmware on Xserve RAID, according to the release notes.
Aspyr today announced it will be publishing Black Hawk Down by Novalogic: "the game mixes tactical squad combat and close-quarters battles with high-octane action and sprawling outdoor firefights, an interesting mix of controlled chaos that hasn't been seen in many titles to date." The title will also be developed internally at Aspyr and is currently at alpha. Completion of this title is projected for early May.
BakBone today announced the availability of NetVault's data protection solutions for Mac OS X Server 10.3 "Panther." The company will offer its enterprise-class software, including data backup, restore, and disaster recovery software: "BakBone's rapid disk-to-disk backup and recovery capability is perfectly suited for data intensive environments, such as rich media and digital video editing," said Keith Rickard, president and CEO of BakBone Software. "NetVault runs natively on Mac OS X and offers the advanced data protection that Panther Server users need."
Prosoft Engineering (Expo booth 834) has introduced new versions of its drive backup/sychronization and file recovery software. Data Backup 2.0 features a new look and feel, streamlined functionality and faster transfers, while the Data Rescue X 10.4 update also offers a new user interface as well as faster recovery and new Content Based Recovery. It also supports recovery of flash media cards. The drive utility updates are expected later in mid-January. Data Backup 2.0 sells for $50, while Data Rescue X v10.4 sells for $90.
You Synchronize (previously ExecutiveSync) is a new application that allows users to quickly, easily, accurately and safely synchronize files and folders across notebooks, desktops and servers. It offers performance improvements of up to 8x, includes an improved user interface, and adds numerous new features that let users accurately and safely keep files and folders on different computers and networks up-to-date. You Synchronize supports synchronizing files to Microsoft Windows (NT/2000/.NET) servers running Microsoft Services for Macintosh.
Sybase has released Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise 12.5.1 (ASE), a new release of the company’s enterprise-class relational database management system (RDBMS) on Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" Server: "ASE 12.5.1 under Mac OS X 10.3 beat the others on price/performance by a factor of three." ASE 12.5.1 supports large data sets and improved operational scalability, including scalable logging, parallel recovery, index sampling, temporary databases per application or login and improved database reorganization.
DeltaGraph 5.5 is a free update to Red Rock's data analysis, charting and graphing software. Version 5.5 offers Mac OS X 10.3 Panther compatibility and the ability to drag and drop data files. It also supports transparency for drawing elements; the ability to add soft drop shadows under Panther; support for additional image export types (including JPEG 2000) with quality settings that allow resolutions up to 1200 dpi; PDF import/export, and Quartz-based text rendering.
Garageband.com announced it has signed an agreement to share the name "GarageBand." The press release notes that deal was signed in April 2003 but was kept confidential by both parties; Apple has paid Garageband.com an undisclosed one-time fee in order to use the name "GarageBand" for its music-creation software, part of Apple's iLife '04 suite launched this week. Garageband.com says it will otherwise retain its original rights to use the name for a vast range of products and services.
REALVIZ (booth 2623) today released Stitcher 4.0 for Mac OS X, its professional-level application for creating high-quality panoramas. Version 4.0 supports Adobe's PSD file format, enabling panoramas to be exported into separate layers for maximum editing control. Stitcher 4.0 also offers user-selectable compression, a 'Best Rendering' option, interactive QuickTime VR previews, and an improved interface with workflow enhancements. It is available now for $500 with upgrades priced at $180.
SubRosaSoft.com today released FileUtilities 3.0 ($25), which features speed improvements, new encryption methods, and a streamlined user interface. "The latest version of the software improves on the previous version by integrating the five main applications into a single one, adding Twofish encryption, and we kicked it up a notch with improved speed." It is now available for $25; current owners of version 2.X are eligible for free upgrade, while others can upgrade for $13. It requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
The updated SMART Board 8.1.1 software for Mac OS X is designed for use with all SMART Board interactive whiteboards and Sympodium interactive lecterns, the free upgrade supports Mac OS X Panther and features the Gallery, a unique, image-management system that groups templates to be used as screen backgrounds with associated images. Other features include capture of all events to a .MOV file, new screen shade/spotlight functions to highlight specific portions of the screen, and cross-platform compatibility.
EZQuest has introduced its Boa Slim dual-format DVD-RW/+RW external drive. The compact drive features both a FireWire and a USB 2.0 port; it weighs less than a pound and measures 6"x5.5"x .75" inch. It offers 2x2x8x DVD-/+RW speeds along with 16x8x24x CD-RW speeds. EZQuest's drive includes a carrying case and a cable as well as Pixela IMX for encoding iMovies to MPEG 2 and burning DVDs, Charismac for burning CDs and DVDs, and Retrospect Express for scheduling automatic backups. The new Boa drive is $320, while a USB-only version is $300.
While RealNetworks will use a new AAC-based DRM format for its own music store, CNET News.com reports that "[Real] has created a jukebox that will play all the media formats used by its own and other song stores--including secure downloads from the iTunes store....RealNetworks essentially triggers the QuickTime and iTunes content-authorization process in the background, instead of breaking through it. That means that a computer must already have iTunes installed, and be authorized to play a given song, in order for the iTunes song to play in RealNetworks' software."
Thomson ISI ResearchSoft will showcase RefViz for Mac OS X, a new data visualization tool for the researcher's desktop (announced last September). It provides "users with a powerful way to explore reference libraries visually for major themes and topics. Researchers can evaluate large results sets from online searches quickly, and find the most relevant citations for their papers." It is also showcasing EndNote--its bibliographic software as well as its Web-based research tool WriteNote 1.6, which is designed to help students conduct research and write papers.
LiveTime announced its WebObjects-based technical support and Help Desk product: LiveTime Support 2.5 will ship later this month with a new "dashboard" for technicians, which provides instant access to key metrics about cases and performance for each user. The J2EE web-based technical support and Help Desk solution offers a comprehensive scalable support infrastructure for organizations. A new LiveTime ACN program offers dedicated, customized evaluation versions for periods up to a month to qualified prospects.
QuickerTek today announced an adapter that allows third -arty wireless products to work with and at the Apple Airport Extreme rates. This adapter allows all third party wireless vendors to work with Airport Extreme Base Stations, enabling the Airport Extreme Base Station to recognize previously incompatible non-Apple external antennas; the adaptors are available in two connectors, SMA and MCX, for $50 each. QuickerTek also posted a "do-it-yourself 'tune-up'" designed to improve the antenna performance of Dr. Bott's ExtendAIR Omni Antenna for the Apple Extreme Base Station.
Epson has launched new Perfection 4870 film scanners, which feature Kodak's Digital ICE technology for advanced image restoration, Epson exclusive Easy Photo Fix technology for color restoration and dust removal, and a built-in 6" x 9" transparency unit (TPU) that utilizes a moving light source for faster scanning and better image quality. Both offer a maximum hardware resolution of 4800x9600 dpi and offers 48-bit color and 3.8 Dmax. Each includes USB 2.0 and FireWire connectivity . Both will ship in early February for $450 (Photo) and $600 (Pro).
Equinux has announced that APC Tracker 4, an application for Mac OS X Server, now supports USB-equipped UPS devices. APC Tracker ($130) enables administrators to manage downtime risk and prevent information loss. Equinux has also launched VPN Tracker Server, which will configure encrypted remote access connections for Mac OS X workgroups over standard Internet lines. The $130 software runs as a VPN gateway for smaller companies and provides rapid deployment capabilities to any home or branch office through VPN Tracker Client.
Wiebetech next week will ship its ComboDock, a FireWire 800/USB 2.0 IDE bridge for desktop drives; It will ship on January 14 for $170 and $150 (without AC adapter and cables). WiebeTech also introduced its QuadFire, which provides four hot swappable FireWire 800 bays in a 1U rack mount enclosure. It features daisy-chainable FireWire 800 or USB 2.0 access to each bay, access and power indicators for each bay, and a world compatible power supply. It will ship on January 26 in 1TB ($3,200) and 640GB ($2,200) configurations.
WiebeTech today announced the G5Jam, which gives users the ability to increase internal storage in a G5 computer to a total of four drives using an internal SATA card and special replacement air baffle. It will begin shipping on January 19 in 1TB (terabyte) and 640GB capacities for $2,500 and $1,500, respectively.
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