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NZ reseller partnership
The Apple Division of Renaissance, the exclusive distributor of Apple in New Zealand, and Sounds Music Stores have partnered to deliver a "store-within-a-store" concept in Sounds digital music stores, New Zealand's largest music chain: "A section of Sounds stores will be set aside solely as an area to showcase the iPod, where customers can experience its functionality first hand on demo units....'Sounds are a great partner as they reach a wide range of people that we don't usually attract through the traditional IT channel.'"
Kazaa raid, P4 Extreme
Evening tech news: Dell, HP, and other PC manufacturers are planning to offer notebooks with Intel's gaming-oriented Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor over the next two weeks; investigators from the Australian recording industry "raided" the Sydney offices of Kazaa on Friday in search of evidence to support allegations of copyright infringements; Internet "spammers" who secretly billed victims $3.99 per minute after luring them with promises of a free video-game console have agreed to settle deceptive-business charges.
Stone Studio updated
Stone Design today announced immediate availability of new versions of Stone Studio specifically to take advantage of new features in Mac OS X 10.3. This release features the following updated components: Create 11.3.2, PStill 3.3.1, and TimeEqualsMoney 2.4.2. Create is a illustration, page layout and web authoring application; PStill converts PS to PDF, combines files, shrinks PDF and more; and TimeEqualsMoney is the lowcost time and expense tracking and billing application. Stone Studio also includes five other applications, and costs $150.
SGI to sell Alias
Alias today announced it is involved in exclusive discussions with a "leading private equity investment firm" for the acquisition of Alias from SGI. Meanwhile, SGI also announced that it would bring Mac OS X support in March to its SGI Infinite Storage Shared Filesystem CXFS, which provides heterogeneous shared file access over a storage area network and allows broadcast material to be shared at 25x real-time rates and real-time transfers of film resolution material.
\"Republic: The Revolution\"
Feral Interactive's "Republic: The Revolution" has now entered beta and should be available at the beginning of next quarter, the company said today. "The mighty Soviet Union has fallen, and the fledging republic of Novistrana teeters on the verge of collapse. Starting with nothing more than a small base of local support, you must build a nationwide faction powerful enough to start a revolution, and oust the President... by any means necessary. "
UT 2004 demo
Destineer's Macintosh unit, MacSoft, announced today that a playable demo of Epic Games' highly-anticipated Unreal Tournament 2004 for the Macintosh will be available for download today at 6:00 p.m. CST. The sequel to last year's popular Unreal Tournament 2003, UT04 "takes gladiator combat to a new level" with the addition of land and air vehicles, an arsenal of new weaponry, daunting new arenas, epic battlefields and the challenge of the "Assault" and "Onslaught" game types.
FWB resells Disk Jockey
FWB today announced it has become Diskology reseller and will sell Diskology's Disk Jockey hardware. The $350 hard disk copy and diagnostic tool allows users to clone ATA hard drives at speeds of up to 10 times faster than PC-based copies. In addition, it can be used to mirror data between two hard drives, span two drives as one logical volume, test hard drives at the block level, and verify that data that has been copied between drives remains intact. It also mounts hard drives to the desktop of a Windows or Macintosh computer, and erases hard drives quickly and securely.
VistaPro 5 for Mac OS X
VendorNation today announced that it will develop VistaPro 5, an update to the original 3D terrain tool (currently only available for Windows) In partnership with Monkey Byte Development, it has signed a worldwide exclusive contract to bring a new version of VistaPro to Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux: "VistaPro has the ability to add oceans, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, clouds, snow, haze, trees, shrubs and buildings. You have full control over the colors used for all landscape features, making the landscapes impressively real or indescribably alien." It is expected to be released for Mac OS X early next year.
Mac OS X Panther book
Peachpit today announced Mac OS X Panther Hands-On Training ($35): "Get up to speed with Mac OS X Panther and its i-apps through hands-on exercises and demo movies! By following along with the tutorials, you'll gain practical experience using Panther and it's built-in applications, including the entire iLife suite. Complete with insiders tips, illustrated with detailed graphics, and accompanied by a CD loaded with classroom-proven exercises and QuickTime movies." It is available for 15% off via the Website.
Quark Xpress 6.1 update
Quark has released Quark Xpress 6.1, an update to its pouplar desktop publishing application. Version 6.1 includes support for Mac OS X v10.3 Panther; improved integration with Microsoft Excel (e.g., direct photo/spreadsheett import with colors, borders, patterns, hyperlinks, etc.); a new Edit Original XTensions module that gives Mac OS users the ability to select a picture then open and edit it in a preferred image editing application; and a new font mapping utility that lets QuarkXPress 6.1 users create and manage rules to govern automatic font substitution. Separate downloads are available for Classic, Jaguar, and Panther.
Creative Manager 6.1
Creative Manager 6.1 updates the web-based project management software with enhancements for Apple's Safari 1.2. It offers job costing as well as full Project Management, CRM, Digital Asset Management, billing and accounting, and Extranet functions. Using the new Safari features, it leverages full keyboard-based navigation as well as extended Java support for better local editing and verification. Meanwhile, the company is in the final stages of development of its new sync and sharing tools allowing users to take their web-based calendars and contacts on the road, using iCal and AddressBook.
Women\'s leather laptop bag
jzmo is shipping a new line of women's leather laptop bags that are "fun, unique, and fashionable." The bags feature an organic design on the outside with a soft faux suede lining colored in steel blue." The bags fit Apple's (white) iBooks and the 12- and 15-inch PowerBooks. There are four styles to choose from: Knockout Red, Espresso, Midnight Mocha, and Double Mocha. The bags retail for $200, but are available for $175 through Valentine's Day (February 14) with free shipping. (Also, for each bag sold in February, the company is donating $25 to the American Heart Association on behalf of women.)
University uses Macs, OS X
Computerworld reports that support costs and demands fell as Edith Cowan University's communications school migrated 280 seats to Mac OS X Panther (as well as recently purchased 60 G5 machines--with more Xserve G5s and an Xserve RAID on the way): "Our teaching machines are a mixture of iMacs, G4s, and the new G5s which isn't a bad thing as OS X will boot of all machines regardless of type. The desktops support roaming profiles and directory access which works well. OS X stores everything on the servers and only writes locally when it needs to so there is no local caching. Also, each client allows secure logins via SSL which addresses one of the concerns universities face."
Epson printer, AIO device
Epson today began shipping its Stylus Photo R200, which offers direct CD/DVD printing and its Stylus Photo RX600 Scan-Print-Copy Device. The $100 Stylus Photo R200 features six individual ink cartridges, resolutions of up to 5760 x 1440 using 3-picoliter ink droplets, print speeds of up to 15 ppm, BorderFree photo printing technology, and USB 1.1 connectivity (via front and rear ports). The $350 Stylus Photo RX600 photographic all-in-one offers six-color photo inks at resolutions as high as 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi as well as memory card slots, a 2.5-inch high-quality color LCD viewer, a built-in transparency adapter, 2,400x4,800 dpi, 48-bit color scanning, standalone copy functions, and USB 2.0 connectivity (included cable).
New Sony CLIE handhelds
Sony this week introduced its new CLIE T-series devices (PEG-TH55, -TJ37 and -TJ27 models) with a host of multimedia features and connectivity options, including built-in cameras with 2x zoom, MP3 players, video playback, integrated 802.11b connectivity, and an internal lithium-ion Polymer rechargeable battery that last up to 10 days. The devices, which will run the Palm 5 OS, will be available in March at retailers nationwide for $200, $300 and $400, respectively. They are available for pre-order from the Sony Website (the TJ37 and TJ27 are offered with free carrying cases).
DF :Black Hawk Down
Aspyr has posted details its forthoming conversion of Novalogic's first-person shooter Delta Force:Black Hawk Down: "In late 1993, the United States launched dual military operations in Mogadishu Somalia. Delta Force Operatives and Army Rangers were sent in to capture Somali warlords and restore order. As a Delta Force operative participate in a number of daring and intense raids against the oppressive Somali warlords in and around Mogadishu." It is currently in Alpha and expected to ship in mid-May. The $50 title is available for pre-order now.
Stealth Serial Port G5
GeeThree is now shipping the Stealth Serial Port G5, which provides fully compatible serial port: "Unlike USB-to-serial adapters, the Stealth Serial Port works with Localtalk, MIDI, any serial printer and virtually any other Mac serial peripheral." It installs into the modem slot, requires no drivers, supports externally clocked serial peripherals such as serial printers and MIDI devices, and uses a standard mini-DIN8 connector. The $50 device includes a 30-day money back guarantee.
PowerPC wins award
IBM's PowerPC 970FX has won In-Stat/MDR's best desktop processor award for 2003, beating out the Pentium 4 and Athlon 64 FX-51. The 5th Annual Analysts' Choice Awards were awarded last week in San Jose, CA: "The analysts have announced their picks for 2003, recognizing excellence in technology innovation, design, and implementation. This event is the most prestigious celebration of the companies and products that shaped the electronics industry in 2003." AMD's Opteron won in the Server Processor category, while Intel's Pentium M took first place in the Mobile PC processor category.
Palm OS Mac sync support
PalmSource yesterday announced that it will no longer develop synchronization software for its next generation OS, Palm OS Cobalt (formerly known as Palm OS 6), requiring users to turn to the third-party mark/space solution noted yesterday: "As the way the PIM apps work has changed significantly, this means Mac users won't be able to HotSync without third-party software. Fortunately, a third party has already stepped forward.... This will allow existing Mac conduits for other third-party applications to still work. [...] Mark/Space indicated this application will probably cost about what the current one does now, about $40."
SanDisk\'s new flash cards
SanDisk made a number of product announcements today at the Photo Marketing Associating trade show. Among them: the Shoot & Store line of inexpensive media cards for digital cameras, which will be available in drug stores and supermarkets; Extreme and Ultra II versions of Memory Stick Pro cards available in 256MB ($130/$120), 512MB ($330/$300), and 1GB ($680/$600) capacities; and a 2GB CompactFlash card in Extreme ($850) and Ultra II ($800) versions, which it bills as "the world's fastest." SanDisk's site has not yet been updated with information on the new products.
LAKS debuts MP3 watch
Watch maker LAKS has unveiled the Memory Music, a stylish watch that features a built-in MP3 player. The watch comes bundled with headphones and includes an integrated USB port (bus-powered) and a lithium-ion battery that supports up to five hours of playback. Memory Music will ship in March in five capacities starting at Euro 89 for 32MB and going up to Euro 198 for 256MB.
Apps: CipherDisk, more...
- CipherDisk 1.5 ($60) is a driver level encryptor for Mac OS X volumes. The software automatically encrypts all data written to a disk and prevents the disk from being mounted without a password, making the entire volume secure. The new version includes support for AES 128 bit and 256 bit encryption.
- Eyeballs 3.0 ($10) is a fun addition to Mac OS X that places a pair of eyeballs in the menu bar that watch your cursor travel around the screen. The new version includes support for skins, allowing users to customize the appearance of the eyes. Nine skins are included with the software.
- recorder.xhead 3.0 ($20) is a a voice recorder/audio player and conversion application. The new version contains an updated user interface and a variety of new features and bug fixes.
HBS proffesor talks Apple
Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge has published a very in-depth and interesting interview with David Yoffie, the Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration at Harvard Business School, who has followed Apple closely for more than a decade. Yoffie offers many detailed insights into Apple's current position in the market, the company's strengths and weaknesses, and its prospects for the future. Yoffie notes that if one had invested $1.00 in Apple in 1992, it would be worth $0.72 today, versuses the $2.75 S&P 500 average, and suggests that Apple may have a difficult time competing Microsoft when it comes to developing the next generation of operating systems -- what replaces OS X and XP/Longhorn -- due to the sheer economics of the company.
Comcast makes Disney bid
The Walt Disney Company continues to grab headlines, with Comcast Corporation this morning proposing a $66 billion bid to acquire Disney. The offer comes on the heels of Pixar's announcement that it will be severing ties with Disney and Microsoft's partnership with Disney and its digital media initiatives. Apple CEO Steve Jobs also reportedly ripped into Disney CEO Michael Eisner recently, while former Disney board members Stanley Gold and Roy Disney -- who left the company last year amidst disputes with Eisner -- have casually said Jobs would make a great Disney CEO.
Mossberg reviews iPod Mini
The Wall Street Journal's Walter Mossberg takes a hands-on look at the iPod Mini in his column today, applauding the device's design and execution but lamenting its price. "Apple's iPod Mini is a winner, but would be a true home run at $50 less," Mossberg concludes. Mossberg also finds some fault in the headphone jack being on the edge of the device, and the lack of bundled accessories. Also interesting is that "the latest version of iTunes even senses if you have a Mini, and if your song collection exceeds its capacity, the software can optionally auto-choose a selection of songs that will fit. It builds this selection, in part, based on which songs you've played most often or most recently, and which you've rated highest in iTunes."
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