BakBone Software said recently it will offer a variety of Beta releases of its upcoming product releases. NetVault users are encouraged to take advantage of the Beta programs and be the first to receive access to new products and provide feedback for enhancements to future product releases. BakBone's Beta Program allows approved applicants to download any products in the Beta program without the need to re-apply for each new release.
Afternoon tech news: Gmail, based on massive storage and search, represents a radical new approach to free e-mail, but the service raises privacy concerns; Microsoft will pay Sun Microsystems a total of $1.6 billion to settle a long-standing set of legal disputes, the companies announced Friday; for years, video game companies have envied Hollywood moviemakers for their stars, special effects and mass-market appeal -- but now they are learning that these things can come at a high price.
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: overclocking a Power Mac G4 dual-1.25GHz "MDD"; Apple's very quick turnaround time for a PowerBook repair; speculation about the possibility for a 10" iBook; discussion and speculation about future revisions of the iPod; opinions on the best public relations approach to Mac security; shipping status of Unreal Tournament 2004 for Mac.
Web Information Solutions today released MindFortress 1.1, a multimedia knowledge base app for the Mac OS X platform that can be used as a Digital Wallet, a Notebook, a Serial Number storage, and Password storage. It offers28 built-in cards and an unlimited number of custom cards to create your own storage items. It adds an AddressBook and Stickies import plugins, improved text import, more keyboard shortcuts, URL support, QuickTime movie/info support, and other changes. It also includes features for categorization of your cards; a favorites bar for quick access; Icon, List, or Column views; startup password, and an advanced search. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Mark/Space today announced The Missing Sync for Tapwave ($40), enabling users to connect and synchronize information between a Zodiac console and a Mac computer running Mac OS X v102.8 or later via USB or Bluetooth. Users of the Tapwave Zodiac, an entertainment-focused device based on Palm OS, "will be able to benefit from a specially-designed Game Installer developed for games sold through the Tapwave store. While many games designed for the Zodiac only include installers for Windows PC users wrapped in a .zip file, the Missing Sync Game Installer allows Mac users to drag-and-drop these or any .zip file for installation on the Zodiac. It also offers a High Score conduit that enables users to share high scores over the Internet."
Apple today launched a new promotion that offers a $100 rebate when a Mac and HP printer (priced higher than $100) are purchased at the same time between April 2 and June 26. The "Impress For Less" promo is available from the Apple Store online and participating authorized resellers.
Mark/Space today announced The Missing Sync for Tapwave, which allows Mac OS X users to connect and synchronize data with the entertainment oriented Palm OS-based Tapwave Zodiac. It also offers a High Score conduit that enables users to share high scores over the Internet. Both the Tapwave Zodiac 1 and Zodiac 2 are supported by the software, which requires the devices to be running the Zodiac 1.1 Software Update. The Missing Sync for Tapwave sells for $40. [Site not updated.]
iSpeak It 1.5 ($13) adds the ability to split large documents into multiple tracks, make AAC tracks bookmarkable so they remember where you left off, and a number of minor enhancements and bug fixes. It can convert any web page or document into an MP3/AAC track in iTunes using the built-in text-to-speech capabilities. [415KB] Translation Service 1.2 ($5) adds a "Translate" menu to the Services menu to translate text between a dozen languages. It supports English, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, Greek, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian. Version 1.2 allows you to customize keyboard shortcuts and choose which languages appear in the menu. [660KB] Galerie 3.3 (free_ updates the application that quickly builds web-based photo/thumbnail galeries from iPhoto albums. It adds support for only transferring modified files via FTP, creating index pages without thumbnails, deleting unused files via FTP, custom font faces for text warkmarks, anti-aliased font support, and other features. [950KB] Curio 1.1 ($100) updates the brainstorming tool that offers "an environment with customizable project dossiers to help clarify goals and strengthen client communication, an unlimited number of flexible idea spaces, a built-in asset library, easy organization and searching, and an assistant called Sleuth to help break through creative roadblocks." [1.6MB] Forty-Two DVD-VX Plus 2.0 ($15) transcodes video, including DVD video, to multiple formats on Mac OS X. Version 2.0 offers a new interface, a setup assistant, portable player support, support for more input formats (VOB, MPEG 1/2, SVCD, WMP, etc.), four motion vectors, 2-pass encoding, custom volume settings, custom bitrates/sizes, audo crop size correction, and other features. ATI Dispaly Utilities 4.2 are available for the Radeon 9800, 9000, 8500, 7000, and Mac Edition (AGP & PCI). It now includes a new 3D/OpenGL Overrides panel (a list of caveats can be found in the ReadMe. It is available for Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later. [5.4MB] Sample Manager 1.0 ($50) is a full-featured batch audio processor for Mac OS X, offering full support of AIFF, WAVE and Sound Designer II audio files and partial support for ACID, Recycle, and Apple Loop files. It also supports any sample rate or bit depth, file sorting, waveform viewing, file/audio/MIDI info, change gain and fade functions, custom extraction, G4/G5/AltiVec optimizations, etc. [685KB] TaskTime 1.4 ($10) adds the ability to add clients from Address Book data to the application designed to track time spent on jobs one does for your clients. The new version also adds the ability to included personal information on invoices and send a message with invoices. [1.8MB] On-Target Reports 4.0b, now in beta, is an easy to use reporting tool for popular databases including FrontBase, mySQL, ODBC, OpenBase, Oracle, postgreSQL, PrimeBase, REALDatabase, Sybase ASE and Valentina (Valentina 1.x and forthcoming 2.x), allowing rapid and easy visual report building and printing. [form] Ukelele 1.0b3 (free) is a Unicode Keyboard Layout Editor that simplifies keyboard layout editing by providing a graphical, drag & drop interface to ".keylayout" files. In addition, it can assign multiple-character strings and can create "dead keys", where a keystroke sets a new state that modifies the output of the following keystroke. [522KB]
MacBurn is an affordable new CD/DVD authoring application from macXware. The application encompasses a core suite of features, including the ability to burn audio CDs and multi-session discs, save and load Burn Lists, create a compilation audio CD from multiple CDs, burn existing disc image files, erase re-writable media, and more. MacBurn sells for $30.
NeoTron has released three new KeyGuides, unique laminated "professional placemats" that feature a full-size keyboard layout labeled with the entire default set of hundreds of keyboard shortcuts. The new KeyGuides are available for Final Cut Express 2 ($12), After Effects 6 ($25), and Boris Red 3GL ($13).
Re:Vision Effects has released Effections, a bundle of RE:Vision Effects' products for use within Adobe After Effects-compatible applications such as discreet Combustion, Boris Red, Final Cut Pro, and Pinnacle's Commotion. Effections ($850) includes the Pro versions of Twixtor (slows down/speeds up footage and frame conversion) and ReelSmart Motion Blur (pixel tracking and motion blurring) as well as FieldsKit (3 plugins for deinterlacing), SmoothKit (smoothing imagery), Shade/Shape (converts 2D elements into rendered artwork), and RE:Fill (fixes holes in images). Effections Plus ($1,200) adds RE:Flex which creates visually stunning morphs and warps with an easy-to-use interface.
Apple is looking to ride the wave of technology growth in India and China, The Hindu Business Line reports. In 2003, the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) accounted for $100 million in revenue. In its effort to expand that, the company has started launching products simultaneously in all markets and has tried to keep pricing reasonable to those markets. Apple's also setting its eyes on high performance including, and hopes to have the same success with India's film business, which is the largest in the world, as it enjoys in North America. Yesterday we noted a report regarding Apple's plans to potentially open a large retail store in a Singapore mall.
Apple is among a list of tech companies set to be hardest hit by a decision by the Federal Accounting Standards Board to require companies to treat stock options as expenses, Reuters reports. According to Credit Suisse First Boston, had the rule been in place in 2003, Apple would have reported a loss of 27 cents per share instead of a profit of 16 cents per share, a reduction of 242 percent. Technology companies, which often dole out hefty options packages to executives, stand to be among the most affected by the new accounting standard.
Now AAPL Stock: 96.17 ( + 0.57 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE