Sunland is shipping its new Digistor 8X Dual DVD Burner, an enhanced DVD+/-RW drive capable of writing to both DVD-R and DVD+R media at 8x speed. Equipped with a combination USB 2.0/FireWire interface, it integrates 8x4x12x DVD-/+RW functions with a 32x24x40x CD-RW mechanism. The $275 drive comes with both USB 2.0 and FireWire cables, blank DVD-R and CD-R discs and a user's manual.
At the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina unveiled the HP-branded version of Apple's iPod, which is simply named Digital Music Player, which is scheduled for release in June. Fiorina during her keynote declared "open season on digital piracy at the Consumer Electronics Show while also announcing new entertainment products that HP hopes will help make its digital entertainment strategy a reality," according to CNET News.com.
Noting that it has only has a fraction of the IT help per employee as other corporations, Apple yesterday revealed that about 75 percent of its online Internet services, including the iTunes Music Store, is powered by Apple-branded hardware, including the XServe and the Xserve RAID ("with a few Sun boxes mixed in"). According to CNET News.com, Apple said it hopes to have more than half of its data on Xserve RAIDs by the end of the fiscal year (supplemend with EMC and IBM storage). Apple said it used MS Office on the desktop as well as PeopleSoft 8 for customer relationship management and runs software from i2 for forecasting.
HP says it will work on bridging the gap between the Apple and Microsoft worlds, following yesterday's HP-Apple agreement, which "points to a major realignment of forces within the computer industry....The agreement - which was completed only after an extensive bargaining session that ran long into Wednesday night between HP's Fiorina and Jobs - represents a significant departure for both companies. For the first time, Mr. Jobs has stepped away from the self-enclosed Apple-only strategy he has pursued since he returned to run the company in 1997," according to the NYT.
Noble Enterprises is showcasing its Custom Noble G5 Anti Theft Security Kit, which protects the entire G5 system including peripherals (memory, monitor, mouse & keyboard against theft). The stainless steel device protects peripherals by encasing the peripheral wire in the lock and preventing access to the built-in lock. It also includes an extra peripheral clip to secure extra peripherals. Locks can be keyed alike or keyed differently with a master key option. It is $40 and expected to ship in beginining of February. The company has security solutions available for the iMac, eMac, Power Mac G3/G4, and Apple's laptops.
Computers In Motion has released Foam, which it describes as "an easy-to-use Java GUI development system, featuring simplified GUI screen building without traditional layout headaches. Screen definitions are separated from your Java code, simplifying screen development and maintenance." It offers a WSYWIG editor, accepts custom and third-party Beans and Swing components, works with popular IDEs (JBuilder, Eclipse, etc.) or as a stand-alone GUI builder, and runs on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. A 15-day demo of the $200 application is available online.
Feral Interactive has announced XIII for the Mac, an fps (first-person-shooter) with style, strong storyline, groundbreaking gameplay and innovative graphics: "He sets off in search of his past. His only clues are the number 13 tattooed on his collarbone and the key to a safety-deposit box in one of New York's most prestigious banks." XIII uses Unreal II technology and offers online multiplayer modes with Mac/PC opponents and classic modes such as Capture the Flag and Deathmatch. It will be released in the second quarter.
Concord is now shipping its EYE-Q 3341z, featuring a 3.1 Megapixel CCD sensor, 3X optical/4X digital zoom, 16MB internal memory, and the ability to capture AVI video clips (320x240 at 30 fps). The $180 camera offers a SD card slot, a continous shooting mode, and multiple preset exposure settings and includes rechargeable NiMH AA batteries, a battery charger, a Mini-USB cable, a TV cable, a wrist strap, and a pouch.
MacSpeech has released its FileMaker Pro ScriptPak for its flaship iListen product. The ScriptPak adds almost 200 voice commands for controlling virtually every aspect of FileMaker Pro 6, including commands unique to Browse, Find, Preview, and Layout modes. The FileMaker Pro 6 ScriptPak is priced at $30 and is available immediately. MacSpeeh offers the iListen Transcription Solution ($370) which includes iListen 1.6, Griffin Technologies iMic USB Adapter, VXi Parrot Translator Microphone/Headset and an Olympus DS-2000 Digital Voice Recorder.
DiscBlaze 2.2 is a free update to the $20 CD/DVD burning burning utility for Mac OS X; it adds the ability to select which CD/DVD burner to use as well as control the recording speed. Users can burn multiple sessions to the same CD, save/load "burn lists" and erase CD-RW discs for re-use. [1.2MB] VesperWorks has released QiPo 1.6.2, an update to the utility that generates previews from QuickTime movies. It offers better compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther; a $10 registration unlocks advanced features. [1.6MB] Burnz 1.1 ($13) is a drag-and-drop disc-burning application that claims to burn data discs "at least twice as fast as the Finder on most Macs." Version 1.1 adds an Icon Browser and novel Instant Icons feature that lets the user instantly create a fully masked photorealistic icon by simply dragging a picture onto the Burnz Icon Browser (optimized for Google image search). Olivier Delécluse has released iBeeZz 2.2.1, a shareware (€10) scheduling application for your Mac. It offers functions for wake up, sleep, startup, shutdown, restart, open files, and iTunes. Version 2.2.1 brings Mac OS X Panther compatibility and multi-scheduling. It is available in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. The RSS/Blog reader NewsFan 1.2 for Mac OS X integrates Apple's WebKit, supports Web navigation, offers bookmarking/history, includes filtering, and supports blog search. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later and is $25. [1.3MB] iTunes interuser-Remote 1.5 ($1 shareware) offers the ability to control a running version of iTunes from another user account on the same machine: "When Fast User Switching is used, if one of the users has iTunes open, then the music is paused when that user is not the active user, and the other users can not launch their own copies of iTunes." [629KB] OraCal2iCal 2.5 copies your personal "Oracle Calendar" (AKA "Corporate Time") calendar into iCal, so you can synch your calendar to any device that will synch with iCal or just look at it in the iCal interface. [877KB]
SanDisk has introduced a 2GB SanDisk Memory Stick PRO, the highest capacity available in this card format as well as its first branded Memory Stick PRO Duo cards: "The new SanDisk MS PRO and MS PRO Duo cards are now distinguished by their outer blue plastic shells that represent the standard look across all of SanDisk’s mainstream memory cards. MS PRO Duo cards are roughly half the size of MS PRO and are intended for use in smaller sized digital devices. An adapter is included with every MS PRO Duo and can be used in MS PRO compatible devices."
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial estimate Apple will earn 14 cents a share on sales of $1.92 billion when it posts first-quarter results on Wednesday, January 14, according to CBS MarketWatch: "Apple CEO Steve Jobs gave a peek into how the company did in the most recent quarter when, at the MacWorld Conference in San Francisco, he said the company sold 730,000 iPod digital music players between October and December." Apple's FYQ12004 conference call will be webcast (in QuickTime audio) at 5:00pm ET on Wednesday, January 14, 2004.
Brother this week announced its HL-8050N, a 35 ppm laser monochrome printer and new 5-in-one laser and injket multifunction centers (MFC). The laser MFCs offer plain-paper faxing, laser printing, digital copying, color scanning, and PC faxing, while the new color inkjet MFC series offers two sheet-fed models and two flatbed models with options for networking and a built-in digial media slots. Finally, Brother debuted a second generation color laser printer with single-pass imaging technology. Earlier this week, we noted Brother's sub-$1000 color laser printer and new HL-5100 laser printer series.
HP (Expo booth 1607) this week announced the latest additions to its small- and medium-sized business (SMB) product liine. The HP Color LaserJet 3500 ($800) features 12 ppm print speeds for both color and black & white, 600 dpi printing, a high-yield 4,000-page print cartridge, 350 page paper input capacity, 64MB of RAM, USB 2.0 connectivity, and an option for an external USB attached print server (LaserJet 3500n for $1000). The HP Color LaserJet 3700 ($1,300) offers USB 1.1 connectivity, 16 ppm print speeds, an internal EIO print server with Ethernet (LaserJet 3700n; $1,600), duplex printing (LaserJet 3700dn; $2,000), a high-yield 6,000-page print cartridge, and support for up to 850 sheets of paper input (LaserJet 3700dtn; $2,200). Both series of laser printers are available now.
Apple has posted Playlist to DVD, a free AppleScript studio application that automatically creates an interactive music DVD with navigation controls from your iTunes playlists. It creates a QuickTime movie containing the audio tracks and album art from a chosen iTunes playlist and automatically creaties a DVD (using iDVD) for DVD playback of the music using on-screen navigation controls. Several different navigation interfaces are available, including an iTunes-like single-window interface. It requires Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, QuickTime Pro, iTunes 4, and iDVD 4. Users can also download the editable Xcode project files.
SanDisk has introduced Cruzer Micro, which it dubs as "one of the world's smallest USB 2.0 hi-speed flash memory storage drives" and its Cruzer Micro MP3 Companion which provides MP3 player functionality when connected with the Cruzer Micro USB flash drive. SanDisk also launched Cruzer Titanium, an extremely durable USB flash storage drive, and expanded its Cruzer Mini family by introducing 512MB and 1GB versions of the product.
A Windows software maker has released a utility called WinExposé, which brings features similar to those offered by Apple's Exposé to the Microsoft operating system. "A keyboard shortcut or moving the mouse to a screen hot-spot shows all windows, whether open or minimised, in a tiled display of scaled images." WinExposé closely mimics the animations used in Exposé. It costs $10, and is available for Windows ME through XP.
PowerLogix today announced the ClearCube, an updated acrylic enclosure for the PowerMac G4 Cube. The ClearCube is a follow-up to the PowerCube, which was a limited quantity run of aluminum alloy enclosures (no longer in production). PowerLogix says the ClearCube (8.5"x8.5") offers several improvements over the original cube enclosure that address the heat issues sometimes associated with CPU and GPU upgrades in both the PowerCube (9"x9") and the original Power Mac G4 Cube enclosure (8"x8"). It will ship next week for $130 and includes the acrylic enclosure, aluminum anodized grille, the DC/DC card relocation bracket and cable, and all mounting hardware.
Apple will manufacture an iPod-based MP3 player as part of the HP-Apple deal announced yesterday, but will not brand the device an iPod--though it will have the same design and features as current 3G iPods, according to a CNET News.com interview with Phil Schiller. The HP music player will reportedly come in "HP Blue" color: "The way we look at it, HP will be reselling an iPod device," said Schiller, who noted that the device will display the Apple logo at start-up and will work with all of the accessories made for the white-hued Apple varieties."
Ground Zero Softwware has released a Mac OS X version of Temple Tantrum 1.1 ($18), an exploration, arcade-type shareware game: "Your ultimate goal is to complete all levels in the game, gathering as many gems, treasures and other goodies as you go, eventually retrieving the Phoenix Eye. 'Temple' contains over 100 different levels, consisting of several different divisions. It also adds high resolution graphics for both the splash screens and sprites, a new full-screen mode, and other tweaks to improve the game, including level modification and player controllability.
@Last Software today announced the availability of a software plug-in that allows the import of SketchUp's native 3D geometry directly into Graphisoft's ArchiCAD 8. ArchiCAD plug-in (Beta) offers automatic translation of data from SketchUp to ArchiCAD 8 or can specify the exact method of translation for specific surfaces by using the layer assignments within SketchUp. A public beta of the ArchiCAD plug–in is available for a limited time as a free download. A demo version of SketchUp ($500), the company's 3D design too, is also available.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for â‚¬30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives