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biakfennel DVDManager 2.0
BiaK Tech, Escais Solutions and Fennel Software today announced a new DVD manager called biakfennel DVDManager v2.0. This 'donationware' application offers dozens of enhancements, and three major new features: it retrieves DVD details from the Internet; manages your box sets intuitively; and integrates with Address Book to help "keep an eye on the DVDs you've lent to friends." It features English and French localizations, is small, and follows Aqua Guidelines.
Tech: Gateway stores
Gateway announced late Thursday that it will close its retail stores next week and lay off about 2,500 employees associated with the shops, or nearly 40 percent of its work force; the European Union ordered eight countries Thursday to enact privacy legislation governing "spam" e-mail and Internet "cookies;" a New York state man who sent out millions of "spam" e-mails faces up to seven years in prison after he was found guilty of identity theft and forgery charges, the state attorney general's office said on Thursday.
Apple Q2 results
Apple will announce its 2004 second quarter financial results on Wednesday, April 14. As usual, a conference cal will be held at 5:00 p.m. ET, and will be streamed live over the Internet. MacNN will provide coverage of the event.
AppleCenter in Singapore
A new 11,000-square foot AppleCenter may open in Singapore's Pacific Plaza, according to a report in The Straits Times: "Bigger than the three existing Apple Centres here, it will be a 'complete concept' store, modelled along the chain of Apple stores in the United States and Japan, sources told The Straits Times yesterday. The store will be run by a third-party reseller because Apple Computer does not operate retail outlets on its own outside the US. Other offerings in the works are a Web cafe and a training school."
Pro Tools 6.4, Command|8
Digidesign has released Pro Tools 6.4, an update to the company's audio production software that includes enhancements for post-production workflows as well as improved device support. Version 6.4 includes improvements for Pro Tools|HD and Pro Tools LE systems, including support for Digidesign's Icon with D-Control tactile controller, the AVoption|V10 and Command|8 as well as 23.976 FPS support for HD video; +12 dB fader gain; track position numbers; hierarchal plugin menus; enhancements to Feet+Frames; and additional features for HD customers. It is a free upgrade for Pro Tools LE 6.0 or higher and $150 for Pro Tools|HD 6.0 customers.
Bio-IT World, a publication addressing technology for the life sciences, and IDG World Expo yesterday announced the finalists of their Bio-IT World Conference 'Best of Show Awards.' Apple won under the "information technology infrastructure" category for its Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony at the show, which takes place at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center, March 30 to April 1. “The Best of Show Awards recognize the advances being made by today’s worldwide leaders in bio- and health-IT, and the contributions their products make to biomedical research and drug discovery."
Apple market share
Kelly McNeill of osViews comments on the difference between "market share" and "install base" as it relates to the computer industry. "When a research company reports that Apple's market share has declined and is at 2%, they may very well be correct, but this is not an indicator that Mac users are defecting to Windows. Instead, it indicates that the number of Macs sold during that time period didn't grow as fast as Windows did. The market share statistic doesn't indicate that the vast majority of Windows users are simply replacing their old systems or that Mac users don't typically upgrade their computers as often."
Tassman 4 for Mac OS X
Applied Acoustic Systems has announced Tassman 4, a modular sound synthesis studio for Mac OS X 10.2 (or later) that offers a wide collection of synths ranging from highly realistic emulation of acoustic instruments, analog and FM synthesizers, loop processors to entirely unique hybrid creations. Version 4 features a new Performance mode that provides instant access to sounds by combining a synth, a preset, effects and MIDI maps; a new Output Stage with sync-to-host capability, tempo synced ping-pong delay, reverb and audio recorder functions; an expanded Library; real time audio effect processing; and improved acoustic objects and generators. It will ship later this month for $450; upgrades from v3.0 will be $100 (free for all purchases this year).
Symbiot intelligent SIMS
Symbiot today announced the general availability of its Intelligent Security Infrastructure Management Systems platform, which it says is the "next evolution in information security." Based on Apple's Xserve G5 platform, Symbiot's iSIMS (intelligent SIMS) platform is designed to interoperate with existing network infrastructure, such as VPNs, firewalls, intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems. It builds a framework of risk over time that can be used to model the threats associated with maintaining your network operations. A subscription to Symbiot's iSIMS includes hardware (Xserve G5), software, service and support for the term of the agreement.
The IconFactory has released "Radiant", the latest addition to the growing collection of ready-to-use icons at Stockicons.com, which provides royalty-free collections of icons: "Created specifically to work across the widest possible group of application environments, Radiant is both technical and approachable. Skillful use of color and shading, combined with professional detailing gives this collection the edge that will help web or software applications stand out from the rest. Radiant is as an electronic download for $350. Earlier this week, it posted its "Take a Hike" freeware icon collection "for those who enjoy camping and hiking in the great outdoors."
RealPlayer Music Store
Walter Mossberg concludes that "RealPlayer Music Store is a winner. It's not as good as Apple's iTunes store, but it's a worthy competitor," in his review of both MusicMatch and RealPlayer download services. The article notes that the RealPlayer store offers better organization (with sub-categories), higher-quality downloads (192kbps vs. 128kps for iTunes and 160kbps for MusicMatch), and support for playback of multiple copy-protected formats (as long as you the computer is authorized); however, the store doesn't offer Billboard charts, has 50% larger files sizes, and other disadvantages.
Pepsi-iTunes song codes
Apple has extended the deadline for redeeming winning codes found on Pepsi bottles in its Pepsi-iTunes giveaway--past the "Official Rules" deadline of March 31, 2004. MacNN readers have noted that users have been successfully able to enter codes today--one day past the official 3/31/04 deadline, while others say that Apple will allow users to redeem free song codes until the official promo ends on April 30th, according to a separate Pepsi-iTunes FAQ: "You must enter your code and download your song selection by April 30, 2004. All unused song credits will be void after April 30, 2004."
Apple launches ProCare
Apple has launched ProCare, a new membership program that offers additional benefits at Apple's retail stores--much as the now defunct Apple Store Pro Card. The $100 membership offers rapid repairs (next-day turnaround on in-store repairs), up to seven-day advance reservations with a Genius at any Apple store's Genius Bar, "complete setup" (transfer of old files with a new CPU purchase), free one-hour workshops, exclusive discounts, price guarantee ("will match the price at any other store"), and free help setting up a Mac and connecting peripherals. Current Pro Card customers can bring in their Pro Card to a local Apple Retail Store by July 31, 2004 and receive a free ProCare card with one-year of membership.
The Apple Design Awards
Apple recently announced The Apple Design Awards, which the company says recognizes "outstanding achievement in the Apple technical community...In addition to a new Performance Demo category, both the QuickTime Content and Application Software categories have been expanded. Closing date for entries is Monday May 17th, 2004." Winners in all categories, except the Student category, are able to choose their own prize: either the 17-inch PowerBook G4 or the 64-bit Power Mac G5.
Strata3D CX coming
Strata today announced Strata3D CX, an upgrade to the Strata product line. Strata 3D CX provides links to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator by reading in their native file formats. In addition, Strata 3D CX adds support for Kaydara FBX as well as OBJ file formats. It also adds new tools such as the Polyspline SDS modeler, high dynamic range image support (HDRI), and image based lighting. Strata 3D can be used to create advanced 3D web sites, print illustrations, adventure games, video, CD's and DVD's. Strata 3D CX is planned for a June release with a free upgrade offered to all new purchases of Strata 3Dpro 3.9 during April and May.
Close Combat for Mac
Gathering, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software and Destineer today announced the next two titles in the Close Combat series: Close Combat: First to Fight, anticipated to be released in late 2004, is a team-based first-person shooter created under the direction of active-duty United States Marines. Close Combat: Red Phoenix is a real-time strategy game loosely based on the best-selling novel Red Phoenix by Larry Bond, and is anticipated for worldwide release in early 2005. Both games are being developed by Destineer and Atomic Games. Gathering says it will distribute all Destineer products in North America and publish them in Europe.
EazyDraw 1.6 updates the vector drawing application for Mac OS X. It adds new DTP functions, including several single-click text stylization actions, support for Unicode symbol fonts, interactive kerning, and precision sizing/stretching of text. It also provides significant performance improvements especially for dimensioned technical drawings. It is $95 (full license) or $20 (9-month trial). [8MB]
EvoCam 3.3 ($20) is a webcam application that provides true WYSIWYG editing of text captions, picture badges, clocks and effect items, etc. Version 3.3 supports Secure FTP support (Mac OS X), sound recording, a built-in web server connections list, and automatic thumbnails. [938KB]
HyperEngine-AV 1.3 ($60) updates Aboretum's full scale video, audio and text editor for Mac OS X. It brings bringing a greatly improved stability and a better performance. The application can capture FireWire video and includes a selection of fully editable transitions, compositors, and wipes. [11MB]
WinSwitch 1.1 (freeware) replaces Apple's Fast User Switching menu in Mac OS X with an icon-sized Menu Bar icon. Version 1.1 offers four different display modes (Generic icon, User image, Full username or Short username display) and adds a shortcut to the Accounts system preference. [291MB]
netOctopus 5.1 brings a new Software Delivery System (SDS) to Netopia's system management application with both asset management and remote configuration functions. SDS allows users to perform software installations on client computers as well as offload this task to external staging servers.
F-Script 1.2.6 (free) is a lightweight object-oriented interactive and scripting
layer specifically designed for Cocoa under Mac OS X 10.2. It offers a thread safe runtime, a greatly improved graphical object browser, a new collection inspector, generalized support for undo/redo, and many other improvements. [8.6MB]
iTreo 1.1 ($12) is a Mac OS X companion application for users with a Treo 600 handheld that allows you to retrieve the pictures taken with your Treo, and to copy them to iPhoto, the Finder, or any other application. Users can now export photos to various formats and view pictures by category (for all HotSync users synchronizing their Treo). [1MB]
gauss blur 1.0 ($2.50) is an iMovie plug-in that can blur your clip using the 'gaussian' method of blurring. It can also selectively blur portions of a video clip, offers independent values for horizontal and vertical blur, and supports sizes from 5x5 to 50x50 pixels. [463KB]
Digilink is expected to launch MediaBase PuMa (Publication Manager) at Seybold Seminars in Amsterdam. The new application is designed for the publication process and "streamlines the complex communication and proofing processes between different departments and it automates the workflow from copywriting to full pages." It features functions for status/overview, editors, photographers, copy writers, graphical designers, and plate printing. PuMa is fully web-based, is integradd with MediaBase asset management system, and includes an optional AdBooking system for advertising management, which supports planning and management of ads and supplied materials.
Acute Systems today announced TransMac 6.1, an update to its $64 software that allows Windows users to read files from Mac format disks. The application serves as a bridge between Mac and Windows file systems, mapping known extensionsfile types between platforms. It includes a built-in file browser, which offers convenient tools for searching data and viewing files on both HFS and HFS+ volumes. TransMac also can create a file based image of a Mac volume which can then be written to a CD using an external CD recording application, allowing Windows users to create Macintosh disks on Windows system. It runs on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP.
Elite Computers & Software, MACadam Computers and MacTech Systems have launched TellOnApple.org. The group of former Apple Authorized Resellers launched the website as a means to "document and share any information concerning unethical or illegal business practices of Apple Computer, Inc." The three parties have previously filed lawsuits against Apple for fraud, breach of contract, unfair competition and false advertising. "It’s time that Apple’s conduct is made known," said Thomas Armes, President and CEO of Elite Computers & Software.
Brother later MFCs
Brother today introduces three new 5-in-1 flatbed laser Multi-Function Center (MFC) models with legal size flatbad scanning, faster print speeds, expanded base memory (32MB), and a 5-line status LCD. Each has a high-speed SuperG3 33.6K bps plain paper fax, an HQ1200 (up to 2400x600 dpi) laser printer with up to 21ppm print speeds, a flatbed digital copier (up to 21cpm), PC Fax capability, and color scanner with up to 9600x9600dpi resolution. The MFC-8840D and MFC-8840DN models also include paper-saving duplex (two-sided) printing, while the latter also offers built-in Ethernet networking. The MFC-8440 ($450) and MFC-8840D ($550) are expected to ship in late April 2004, and MFC-8840DN ($650) is expected to be available in May 2004. [site not updated]
Sonnet Technologies has lowered pricing by $30 on the Encore/ST 1.0 GHz upgrade for the Power Mac G4, and by as much as $30 on the entire line of the Piccolo USB flash drives. "Sonnet continues to offer price reductions to provide customers with the best value for leading-edge products." The 128MB, 256MB, and 512MB Piccolo drives are now $70, $100, and $180, respectively. The Encore/ST G4 1.0GHz is now $300.
Wacom today announced major price reductions on its Cintiq interactive pen displays. Record sales have made it possible for Wacom to "pass on significant savings to its Cintiq customers." Effective immediately, the Cintiq 18SX will be reduced $1000 to $2500 and the Cintiq 15X will be reduced $400 to $1500. The Cintiq 18SX has an 18.1" SXGA display (1280 x 1024) and the Cintiq 15X has a 15" XGA display (1024 x 768). Both products ship with a custom ICC profile to ensure a high level of color accuracy.
MW exhibitor pricing
XPlain, which manages all of the pavilions for Macworld Conference & Expo Boston 2004, has released pricing information for prospective exhibitors. Those who register before May 31st save $1000 off a pavilion package.The deadline for Official Buyer's Guide listing is Monday, May 15. The Macworld Conference & Expo will run July 12-15 and is being held at the Boston Exposition & Convention Center.
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