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MONEY Magazine's article titled "Why iPod can't save Apple" says the buzz on the digital music player and "swank" storefronts are masking an ebbing bottom line, noting reduced CPU sales (resulting a shrinking marketshare), decreased profits (in part due to the lower-margin iPod and little-to-no profit at the iTunes Music Store), failure of the iPod to drive CPU sales, failure of the retail stores to increase marketshare, hidden retail store costs, no operational income, and little value in the stock. [subscription required to view entire article; highlights posted below]
Instant Interactive Drills 3.0 ($20) is a part of the Instant Interactive Math Series product line. Instant Interactive Drills provides an interactive and graphically rich environment for students to learn basic mathematic operations: Addition; Subtraction; Multiplication; and Division. Version 3.0 includes support for multiple students, new settings, better fact viewing, and a "hall of fame."
Sony today announced the June opening of its European Connect Internet music store, where "consumer can buy songs from 0.99 euros apiece and download them on their computer before exporting them to Sony minisdisc players and walkmans. Connect will start in France, Britain and Germany with 300,000 songs from the five major labels, including Sony Music, plus independent publishers and national and regional artists. There is no longer a limit to the number of times a CD can be copied or to the songs that can be compressed and exported to other SonicStage devices. Rival software such as RealNetworks RealPlayer or Apple's iTunes do not have such restrictions." The company also announced first "personalised radio" service to mobile phones, which consumers can tailor to their own tastes.
The second annual Mac Design Conference returns to Chicago's Convention Center from June 2-4, 2004. Apple and other industry leaders--including Adobe, Wacom, Peachpit Press, and Hewlett Packard--will be exhibiting at the show. The Conference offers three days of Macintosh-based instruction with more than 50 sessions of in-depth training on Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, InDesign, After Effects, QuarkXPress, Final Cut Pro, and Mac OS X as well as a special training track for the iLife applications (iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD, iTunes) and the iPod.
eWEEK feature's on Sony vs. Apple says that Sony "is the closest thing the Windows world has to an Apple Computer. It is also the company that should be the natural winner when it comes to the upcoming convergence in the consumer electronics space. Unfortunately, Sony has had execution issues that have made me doubt it will ever step up to its potential.... Looking at the Apple vs. Sony dynamic, which is where the competition between the Wintel and Apple platforms should be the most dramatic, I don't see much in the way of excitement. The Apple Switcher campaign was actually well-done, but it failed miserably, and I don't see people moving from Apple machines that much anymore, either."
Upcoming workshops/seminars: The Atlanta Final Cut Pro User Group will be meeting at the Apple Store in Lenox Mall from 7:00-9:00 p.m, March 17th, featuring presenter Jim Kanter; the next meeting of The Macintosh Business Users Society of Greater Philadelphia (MacBUS) will be held on Tuesday, March 30, at 6:30 p.m. with presenter Jon Falk of The Pixel Place; 3DNY has partnered with Maine Workshops to launch their new 3D Animation department this summer.
CourseForum Technologies has released CourseForum 3.4 and ProjectForum 3.4, its web software for business and educational collaboration. The products provide a focus for group work and collaboration, including wiki-style forums. Version 3.4 provides a range of enhancements and fixes throughout both programs, making it easier to build complex pages and customize the contents of initial forums. Both can be hosted on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux and FreeBSD. CourseForum prices start at $90, while ProjectForum starts at $230. A free "lite" version of each is also available.
Inferiis has released KeepAnEye 1.5, an update to its multipurpose monitoring and notification utility that tracks various data sources by "providing visual representations which can be freely organized on the screen like stickies." It can monitor RSS feeds, pictures, eBay auctions, web pages, software updates, disk usage, IP addresses, etc using a flexible plug-in architecture to support various kinds of data sources. Version 1.5 updates the notification architecture and adds new notification options (emai, open documents, and execute AppleScripts) in addition to other standard options. It also includes a new "Google" observer plugin that surveys results. The $12 utility runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
WebObjects 5.2.3 Developer is an update to Apple's Web suite to develop and deploy Java server applications. This release addresses incompatibilities between WebObjects and the latest versions of Xcode, Java, an Mac OS X. The release also fixes minor bugs. [Download - available via SW Update utility] VoodooPad 1.1.3 is is a maintenance release that addresses numerous bugs. VoodooPad is an advanced notepad application that allows users to link together related notes. [Download - VP, VP Lite] PDFpen 1.2 is an update to SmileOnMyMac's $30 PDF editing utility for Mac OS X. Included is a new freehand drawing tool, library palette, editable PDF document info, page rotation, and more. [Download - 2.1MB] Safaricon 2.0 is an update to the utility that allows users to change Safari's user interface by installing icons as well as other application resources. Version 2.0 enables Aqua nib files for Safari 1.2.1, and complies with new ownership status of Safari. [Download - 1.4MB] Application Servers Update 1.0 upgrades various Java application server components shipped in Mac OS X Server 10.3. WebObjects 5.2.3 deployment, which contains many important fixes and is qualified on the Java 1.4.2 platform. JBoss is upgraded to version 3.2.3 and contains new security features and fixes. Tomcat has been updated to version 4.1.29 and is fully integrated with the JBoss distribution. [Download - 95MB] Metadata Hootenanny is a viewer/editor for "all the metadata you can put into Quicktime movies." Version 1.0 -- the first public release -- features many bug fixes, and "many, many" interface enhancements. [Download - 1.3MB] Summary 2.5b11 is a new beta release of the Web server log analyzer. This release adds 27 new report types, traffic spike detection, new columns, 12 hour or 24 hour time, and custom HTML reports. [Download - 4.6MB]
Boris FX announced that Continuum Complete AVX v3 is now shipping. Continuum Complete AVX 3 is a comprehensive suite of native plug-in filters and transitions for Avid systems. Version 3 offers built-in motion tracking, the ability to apply multiple filters to keyed elements or titles without affecting the background, and a new PixelChooser option that allows the user to define a masked region by drawing an animatable vector-based polygon onscreen. It also provides integrated drop shadows and geometrics to scale, rotate and reposition the effect without adding additional filters as well as acceleration controls to allow spatial parameters to ease in and out of keyframes for more natural animation.
Ample Technologies today has launched the first AppleCentre in India in Bangalore, according to TechTree.com: "Located at the Forum Mall, it is the largest Apple-authorized reseller store in India. Visitors are permitted to create a digital photo slideshow, compile a digital music library, edit a video, burn a custom DVD and play the latest video games. A facility for a kid station is provided where children get access to a variety of 'edutainment' and gaming software. Plus a 16-seater presentation area is allotted for customers who can watch demonstrations of Apple’s latest product innovations, take classes and attend 'Basic Mac Familiarisation Training' events."
Lexar today introduced JumpDrive Photo, a 40X speed-rated, large capacity USB 2.0 flash drive. The drive includes Image Rescue 2.0, the company's image recovery software that recovers deleted images and also permanently deletes data from the card. Designed in a durable plastic housing and rubberized cap to protect against rough use and the elements, JumpDrive Photo will be available in April for $90 (256MB) and $180 (512MB) with 1GB and 2GB versions due later this spring. Lexar also introduced JumpDrive 2.0 Pro 80X, which features a minimum sustained read and write speed capability of 12MB/sec. It is due in April for $90 (256MB), $190 (512MB) and $350 (1GB). Its recently introduced JumpDrive Sport and JumpDrive Elite are now widely available in Europe as well.
Prosoft has released Data Backup X 2.0, the newest version of its $60 data backup, synchronization, and cloning application for Mac OS X. Version 2.0 sports an improved user interface and faster backup performance. It also offers functions such as creation of bootable backups, schedules, file exceptions/filters, options for compression/synchronization, and several backup modes: clone (exact copy), versioned backup (saves older versions), and incremental backup (only copies modified files). Data Backup 2.0 also includes better compression technology as well as optional file encryption. It is a free upgrade to all Data Backup X owners.
You Software today introduced You Control 1.1, an update to its collection of 15 powerful menu utilities for Mac OS X for creating custom menus accessing commands via the keyboard. Version 1.1 includes three new menu modules and improved performance. It now offers functions to monitors the status of Apple's Mail.app, easily access any individual system preference setting, access the Mac OS X Fast User Switching feature from any You Control menu (as well as replace with an icon in the menubar), and global weather functions. It is a free update to the $70 application.
Opera today released Opera 7.5 preview 3 for the Mac, supporting Opera's new Presto rendering engine, which was rebuilt from scratch for blazing fast speed, improved standards support, and bidirectional text display. It also includes Opera Mail, Opera Chat (with experimental support for IRC) , and Mac OS X integration with Keychain and Address Book. Other features expected in the final release include support for Unicode keyboard layouts, synchronization with Adress Book, and support for LiveConnect Java technology. It runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ