Blackmagic Design has introduced its DeckLink Extreme, an uncompressed 10-bit broadcast video PCI card that combines both 10-bit SDI and analog component video and offers support for Mac OS X, Final Cut Pro, and RT Extreme. The card feature full analog component YUV video, six separate analog power supplies onboard, full 24-bit balanced analog audio using XLR connections, and full speed SPDIF/Unbalanced AES audio output. The $900 card includes Blackmagic Deck Control and LiveKey applications. The company also announced lower prices for its PCI broadcast video capture cards, with prices starting at $300.
Mediafour today announced MacDrive 5 CrossStripe for Avid Systems, software that enables users of Windows 2000- and Windows XP-based computers to transparently access Mac-formatted hard drive arrays. The product, based on Mediafour's award-winning MacDrive technology, enables Windows 2000 and Windows XP users to access Mac OS-formatted striped hard drive arrays created with AVIDdrive or ATTO ExpressStripe software. MacDrive CrossStripe ($250) provides high-speed, seamless read and write access to SCSI-, IDE-, FibreChannel-, USB- and FireWire-based drive arrays.
GradeWrite v2.0 is the latest release of the Math Learning Institute's $90 standards-based reporting and data analyis lab. Some of the new features included in version 2.0 are Lesson Planning, Attendance, Custom Reporting and Web-interface. [Download - form] SiteToolkit 2.0 ($25) is a complete set of webmaster tools to help achieve receiving more traffic to your Web site. Version 2.0 is a complete rewrite from previous bersions; offers an improved and updated interface; includes new search engines; and the built-in FTP client is now more compliant with more FTP servers. [Download - 1.4MB] Rating Writer 1.0 is a small utility for iTunes 4 and Mac OS X that allows the user to write their current song ratings to the song's ID3 tag (in the comments field) and then later restore the ratings to a different iTunes library. Version 1.0 is available for Mac OS X only. [Download - 156KB] LinkUp 1.0 from ALXsoftware is an application used to show the link status of the main Ethernet interface (en0) by installing red or green icon in the menu bar. It is $5 "donationware." [Download - 79KB] VISE X 1.2 builds upon the strengths of Installer VISE, but is a separate code base. The two products will be maintained and advanced separately. "Separating the code base allowed us to focus VISE X functionality on Mac OS X. VISE X includes a number of new items written specifically for Mac OS X, and a great deal of legacy code written to support [Classic] has been removed." [Download - options] Impressario 1.2 ($25) allows users to seamlessly integrate PDF documents, originating from virtually any source, within Director's rich-media environment. Version 1.2 now supports Director MX 2004 on Windows and Mac; adds two new methods; and offers a handful of bug fixes. [Download - form]
An undisclosed buffer overflow vulnerability has been reported in Apple's Mac OS X Server Administration service by Security Focus. This service has been reported to be exclusively associated with port 660. The reports indicate that when this service handles a request that is 2056 bytes long the service will crash and restart.
Apple today released a final version of iChat AV v2.1 (also available via the Software Update), which brings full support for video conferencing with the new AOL Instant Messenger 5.5 for Microsoft Windows. It requires Mac OS X 10.3 Panther and a G3 processor. Apple introduced the beta of iChat 2.1 in early February 2004.
Iconfactory has releases Smoothicons Vol. 9, a new volume in the popular icon series. The ninth collection in Corey Marion's Smoothicons adds Adobe Creative Suite app icons plus several other frequently requested items. "In honor of the renewed popularity of poker that seems to be sweeping the country, Corey has added a few fun items to help transform your desktop into Las Vegas, without all the neon."
RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser exhorted Apple to open up the iPod to additional file formats during a panel discussion Tuesday at PC Forum, according to CNET News.com. Glaser said "that Apple is creating problems for itself by using a file format that forces consumers to buy music from Apple's own iTunes site. Because Apple's iPod music player does not support other proprietary music formats and does not license its own format to rivals, Real's Rhapsody and other song sites are blocked from easily reaching iPod users. 'Apple's (market) share will go down if they continue to do this,' Glaser said. "The only way to presently put songs on an iPod is to (buy) them from iTunes.'[or burn them from a CD]"
As part of its 'New Music Tuesdays', Apple has posted a new exclusive four song album titled "Inspiration" from American Idol star William Hung, which includes songs such as "She Bangs!", "I Believe I Can Fly", "Rocket Man" and "Free". Apple also posted an exclusive sesssion with six acoustic sound tracks from the The Get Up Kids.
Apple today posted Wireless Keyboard/Mouse Firmware Update 1.1, which improve Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse performance and reliability. The download (1MB) requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later. Apple also posted iPhoto 4.01 on the Web, after making the update available via the Software Update in Mac OS X. The update offers many organizational and stability enhancements, better performance (including faster importing), smoother image viewing, easier Rendezvous photo sharing, and improved thumbnail images. [WKM 1.1, iPhoto 4.01]
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has anounced that its complete line of iPod mini cases and accessories is now shipping. The DLO Jam Jacket mini ($20) features a built-in, transparent screen protector (a very thin, clear layer of silicone that protects the LCD screen from scratching). The DLO Jam Jacket Pro mini ($25) features two reinforced slits in the back that accommodate the new DLO armband (included). The elegant Italian leather DLO Podfolio mini ($30) is also now available as is the Action Jacket mini ($30) with a new, improved armband that features a more secure Velcro strap that fits any bicep. DLO Colored Armbands ($10) and Colored Wristbands ($8) for iPod mini are also available separately. DLO has also introduced the leater DLO Mp3 Travel Case ($45).
Imation today launched a unique line of USB 2.0 Swivel Flash Drives, which "combine flash memory technology with the convenience of a USB connection and a unique 'never-lose' swivel cap design to deliver an easy, portable means of protecting, transferring and sharing digital information." Weighing less than one ounce, thehigh-speed USB swivel flash drive reads at 8MB/sec and writes at 7MB/sec. They are currently available in 128MB ($70), 256MB ($125) and 512MB ($250) capacities.
Appligent today announced Redax 3.6, an upgrade to the company's solution for redacting or removing sensitive text and images from PDF documents: "With Redax 3.6, Appligent has eliminated the need for all the users within a workflow to have the Redax plug-in installed in order to view marked-up content prior to redaction. Instead, users can simply open, view and print this marked-up content using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software already installed in their Windows or Macintosh PC." Redax 3.6 can mark-up documents and insert the codes used by government and legal professionals to indicate reasons for redaction. It will ship later this month for $350.
FileXaminer 2.0 ($10) updates the enhanced "Get Info" application for Mac OS X 10.2 or later. It allows you to modify file and folder attributes (type/creator info, UNIX permissions, etc) and now offers an "undo" (i.e., "revert") option, can directly resize/convert images, has an improved UI, and adds Mac OS X label support. [2.2MB] Kids GoGoGo 8.1 ($30) adds Firefox and Firebird browser support to the web-filtering software. Other new options include support for "Fast User Switching", improved site handling for European/Asian sites, and better support for blog/SSL sites as well as a new manual. [Classic, OSX] Mac the Scope 4X v4.2 updates Channel D's native audio signal analyzer and signal generator suite, which includes a versatile signal generator, vector FFT analyzer, sonogram, time domain RTA and more. It includes enhanced support for CoreAudio, compatibility with Mac OS X 10.2/10.3, AppleScript support, new documentation, and a third generation Precision Swept Sine Analyzer. Pricing starts at $50. [3.0MB] UPLOADit 1.0 ($75) is a FileMaker plug-in that allows you to upload files from your browser to a machine running FileMaker. It ships with several example solutions as well as a FileMaker 7 Preview version. UPLOADit offers multiple realm support, multi-threaded operation, IP-based access control, size and number limitations, and password protection for file uploads. [3.6MB] FileMaker Web Companion 6.0v3 is a free update that fixes a remotely exploitable vulnerability that could have allowed a malicious user to obtain unauthorized information and it also adds support for the Safari web browser: "Instant Web Publishing requires use of ISO Latin 1 or Shift-JIS encoding. File and field names containing upper-ASCII or Japanese are not supported with Safari 1.2." [772KB] Adobe has released InDesign CS 3.01 and InCopy CS 3.01 via its software update mechanism. Adobe says the update resolves several issues that were identified in InDesign CS. OnySync 1.4 ($10) syncs your contacts between a mobile phone and Mac OS X Address Book, Microsoft Entourage, Eudora and Now Contact. It offers a new visulaization mode for better contact organization (and better drag & drop support), improved phone support (Alcatel, Audiovox, Motorola, Samsung, Sanyo and Siemens), and more sync options. [1.2MB] Sticky Notes 1.1 (£10) is a desktop organization utility that offers Rendezvous-based sharing, window snapping, custom colors, and export to iPod functions. This version adds parsing of dropped text into links, automatic sorting, tiling and cascading of notes, importing from Apple's Stickies and built-in version checking. [900KB] Big Medium 1.3.3 is a browser-based content management system that features WYSIWYG text editing, templates for page design, RSS news feeds, W3C standards compliance and more. The update adds new sorting views in the article editor menu, enhanced control over link behaviors, new widgets for custom templates, etc. The suite of Perl scripts is $130. [demo]
Shrook 2.0 updates the news reader for Mac OS X, which allows Mac users to read RSS and Atom news using an easy-to-use interface. It can synchronize information between several computers as well as offers online access to all information (via Shrook's website). Version 2.0 offers flexible custom views and filters of incoming news, support for the new Atom syndication format, a new iTunes-influenced user interface, individual view options for each channel, inline previews, more UI options, and other enhancements. The $20 shareware, available as a 30-day demo, runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
OpenOSX today announced the availabilty of a new version of its WinTel x86/Pentium emulation package delivering increased performance on the PowerMac G4 and G5, updated software, additional features along with enhanced performance and stability. OpenOSX offers a "hand-built" Bochs package using IBM's advanced compiler, delivering about 25% increased performance over the official Bochs 2.1.1 binaries and executing about 30% faster than previous versions of the OpenOSX WinTel product. The product is $30 (CD-ROM) with a $5 discount for online delivery.
IOGEAR today introduced new ReelQuick retractable cables. The new cables provide five feet of retractable wire for connecting printers, modems, USB peripherals and other communication devices and retract with a gentle tug and feature a lightweight, elegant and compact design for easy deployment and storage. ReelQuick retractable cables are available immediately in phone / modem, FireWire, Ethernet or USB versions and sell for $20 each.
Apple has also introduced the Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics, which it calls "a turnkey, high-performance computing cluster that allows any scientist to configure, operate and maintain the system. The workgroup cluster solution offers outstanding price-performance with unrivaled ease of setup and includes iNquiry, a 3rd-party bioinformatics package from The BioTeam that provides 200 ready-to-use bioinformatics applications optimized for Apple's industry-leading Xserve G5. Installation and maintenance have also been greatly simplified so little or no IT support is required." Pricing starts at $28,000.
Apple has started shipping single-processor configurations of its Xserve G5, the company announced today. The dual-processor and dual-processor cluster node configurations will ship next month. Apple initially announced that it would ship the Xserve G5 in February, but earlier this month acknowledged delays with the system. New orders for Xserve G5s at the Apple Store carry with them a 5-7 week estimated ship time. Apple has also released Xserve Remote Diagnostics 1.0.
Roxio has started shipping Toast with Jam 6, its CD and DVD authoring solution geared for audio mastering. The suite combines Toast 6 Titanium with Jam 6 mixing and mastering software, BIAS Peak Express stereo editing software, and Dolby Digital sound encoding software. Toast with Jam 6 sells for $200; a $30 rebate is offered to owners of any previous version of Toast or Jam.
Viewsonic today announced two new LCD displays, the 15-inch VE510 and the 17-inch VE710. The VE510 features a 1024x768 resolution with 250 nits of brightness and a 400:1 contrast ratio, while the VE710 features a 1280x1024 resolution with 300 nits of brightness and a 450:1 contrast ratio. Both displays are available in silver and black (VE510s, VE710s) or all black (VE510b, VE710b) cases and feature a slim bezel design. The displays sell for $410 and $490, respectively.
The Wall Street Journal today takes a look at the pressure being placed on music download services as more and more companies join the fray. With heavyweights like Microsoft, Sony, and Yahoo! entering the market later this year, smaller players like MusicNow and Europe's OD2 have been left looking for potential suitors. Similarly, a music service initiative formed by Best Buy and Trans World Entertainment was shelved earlier this year as the companies try to figure out how to distinguish themselves. Most interestingly, the article notes that some Apple competitors have challenged the notion that profits are slim for download services, and say that margins tend to be much higher for subscriptions than for a-la-carte downloads. Apple does not offer a subscription service.
Iceberg 1.0 is a freeware developer tool (available under the BSD License) to create Packages or Metapackages, supporting project templates, and offering an installation simulator. It supports Mac OS X 10.1 and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later with Developer Tools installed. [Download - 2.3MB] Collaba VL and Collaba PRO offer a set of communication services for your local community. Collaba PRO goes beyond usual communication services by adding interconnection with a wide range of systems and technologies, by offering more flexibility in customizing your portal, by adding advanced options for the communication tools, by introducing mass migration tools, and by offering even more tools to enhance virtual collaboration. MacCVSClient 1.8.1 is a free CVS client for Mac OS X and Classic. This release offers simplified Import and Export Translator handling; Copy-and-paste and drag-and-drop of textual formats of Translators and Ignore Filters; tabbed Preferences interface; and updated documentation. [Download - OS X, Classic] Fire 0.32.m is an update to the open-source instant messenger software for the six most popular IM protocols. The update corrects MSN compatibility, following MSN's latest attempt to block access. [Download - 4.0MB] microSynth 1.1.0 is a $25 standalone software synthesizer with multi track sequencing capability. Version 1.1.0 adds MIDI In/Out support, AIFF export, GarageBand Track format file export, and Pitch & Modulation wheels. [Download - 1.37MB] simple canvas ($1.50) is an iMovie plug-in that allows users to paint annotations on a layer above a movie. It offers color adjustment, a pen tool, opacity control, and other basic drawing tools. [Download - 638KB] Tomato Torrent is a Mac OS X client for the BitTorrent file distribution protocol. "The main goal of this project was to separate the BitTorrent code from the Macintosh code, so that either can be updated without having to modify the other." [Download - 480KB] PodWorks ($8) allows iPod users to copy songs from their iPod to a computer. It offers iTunes integration, and full support of iTunes features and meta data. [Download - 356KB] eOrdering eCommerce 2.4.1 ($65) is the latest release of LAJ Design's suite of eCommerce Web site management tools. The update adds a minimum order feature, and offers reduced application size. [Download - OS X, Classic]
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl
XCOM 2 ships on Steam for Mac, Windows
Feral Interactive today announced that the highly anticipated turn-based strategy game XCOM 2 is out now for OS X and Windows, and is available to buy through Steam and through the Mac App Store shortly. The sequel to the popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 is available as a standalone base game and as the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. The XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition comprises the base game, the Reinforcement Pack and the XCOM 2 digital soundtrack. Versions start at $60. http://bit.ly/1KuEFsX