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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.
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Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir