Waterfall Software today released iVideo 2.0, a revision to its advanced video organizer for Mac OS X. iVideo 2.0 features a revamped user interface, video exporting, a new "Gallery" view which displays both a thumbnail and information about the video, a rating system, a "Quick Search" feature, and many bug fixes. Version 2.0 also features a new database format for improved stability. It is a free upgrade to the $17 application. iVideo runs on Mac OS X and requires QuickTime 6.
Apple today released AirPort 3.4.1, an update to its wireless networking software that update "provides improved AirPort wireless networking software, and is recommended for all users with an AirPort Extreme and AirPort enabled computer or an AirPort Extreme base station," including improved antenna output control, enhanced logging from your base station which is compatible with syslog, and performance improvements for WPA security implementations.
Evening tech news: A Web site meant to promote upcoming film drama "Godsend" is stirring controversy among people who oppose human cloning and want the site shut down because they think the site is real, the film's makers say; a controversial anti-Semitic site has disappeared from Google, but the search site says it had nothing to do with disappearance, and does not attempt to remove offensive content; A growing number of federal and state legislators are expressing doubts about the integrity of the ATM-like electronic voting machines; David Bowie has invited fans to remix his music -- and he's offering prizes for the most creative "mash-up."
Apple Senior Engineer Dave Marra will offer his third annual Apple Product Overview on May 4th at 7:30 p.m. in Hogdon IRC Lecture Hall on the SUNY Oneonta campus. The overview is organized by MUG ONE (Oneonta, NY) and will explore recent product announcements from Apple and "have fun with iLife '04 [...] as well as Final Cut Express 2.0 for professional-quality digital video editing.
The organizers of ADHOC (the conference formerly known as MacHack) have announced two featured speakers for this year's Macintosh developer's conference (July 21-24). One of our featured speakers is Jordan Hubbard, Apple's manager of the Darwin (UNIX-based) core of Macintosh OS X. The official keynote speaker will be David Pogue, an author of many Mac-related books, guides, and articles. For attendees, discounted registration is available for early action. Full attendees can register for $500 online (before 05/30/04), a savings of $50 off the regular registration rate.
GRBand Assistant 2.0 ($15) is a collection of three utilities designed to enhance the funcionality of Apple's GarageBand. GB DrumLoops can be used to create drum loops in the Apple loops format, GB Import imports standard exs files (as used by Apple's eMagic Logic package) into GarageBand as new Software Instruments, and MidiMaster uses information from a Midi file to play music through a sample based synthesizer. [458KB] dincTYPE has released five new free fonts: Skyway, Ladybug, Shoelace, Truth, and Jump. A new Mac OS X retro icon collection has also been posted. Tasks Pro 1.1 is a web-based hierarchical task manager with multi-user functionality, hierarchical organization, e-mail notifications and reminders, Version 1.1 adds time-tracking, file attachment support, user permissions, and mobile/PDA access, RSS feeds and iCalendars, and more. Pricing starts at $125 for 5-users. DragThing 5.1.1 ($30) updates the popular dock application for Mac OS. The release works round a reported problem with the recent McAfee Virex 7.5 beta and adds new features including enhanced contextual menus and AppleScript support, greatly improves saving and loading of docks and other files, and improves startup performance. [3.2MB] BitWise Chat 1.0.1 (free) is a cross-platform, interoperable and secure instant messaging service. Features include file sharing, a tabbed interface, automatic encryption, whiteboards, logging, offline messaging, invisibility, and more. New in 1.0.1 are XML logging, log viewer with text, user and date search, improved whiteboards and tree-based shared file viewing. [2.9MB] Stock Investment Guide 1.5 ($40) is a new stock club analysis software for OS X. Version 1.5 adds online integration with the Online Premium Service database of more than 10,000 companies; new Company Performance Analysis for both quarterly and trailing 12-month periods; and automatic links to a company's SEC filings and earnings estimates; and new automatic alerts for earnings announcements. [1.2MB] FileWIZ 1.1 (free) is an application for editting the File Type and Creator for Mac OS files. Users can work with two files simultaneously, set the type/creator for the first file based on the second or vice versa, drag & drop files onto the window, and either manually edit the type/creator or select one from a custom listing. [Classic, OSX]
Native Instruments has announced a special limited-time upgrade offer for the NI Komplete 2 bundle, which will be officially launched on June 1st. NI Komplete 2 is an extensive collection of sound generators and effects with eleven critically acclaimed software synthesizers, samplers and effects: Absynth 2, Reaktor 4, B4 Organ, Fm7, Pro-53, Kontakt 1.5, Kompakt, Intakt, Battery, Vokator and Ni-Spektral Delay. Registered owners of any single product can upgrade to NI Komplete 2 for $580, while owners of four or more products can upgrade for $340. The offer is good through May 31st, when NI Komplete will be available for $1150; upgrades will start at $800.
Web Crossing today announced a new Brainstorm Plug-in, which facilitates team problem solving using a three-stage brainstorm process: "Now, teams can solve problems with an efficient online tool to guide them through the fundamental process, including distinct modes for brainstorming, discussing and rating the options. Free for a limited time, Web Crossing installations incorporate the new Brainstorm plug-in through the sysop control panel in just a few clicks." Web Crossing is available as a hosted service, or as licensed software. A free license is available for low-volume sites.
Apple today announced that it hold a special iTunes Anniversary conference call on Wednesday, April 28, 2004. Apple CEO Steve Jobs will offer an update on the iTunes Music Store one year after its launch.
Sonnet Technologies today announced PodFreq, a portable FM transmitter for Apple's iPod (with dock connectors). PodFreq broadcasts iPod music on any available FM frequency (via digital turning in 0.1MHz increments), utilizing the line-out signal. "The attractive and integrated design of the PodFreq encases the iPod in a durable, translucent shell, providing added protection to the iPod, while maintaining convenient access to the iPod controls and the headphone jack." Integrated FireWire and mini USB ports allow the user to synch with iTunes and/or charge the iPod using industry-standard cables without removing it from the PodFreq. It will ship in May for $100.
Apple's strong iPod sales is not helping grow the company's computer business, as the PC market share has dropped from 4 percent last year to 2.8 percent (IDC numbers). Bears Stearns analyst Andrew Neff writes: "Our concerns are that the G5 cycle has disappointed, Apple is still ceding PC share, and at some point iPod mini supply will catch up with demand, which could derail the stock's momentum and temper further earnings per share [growth]," Neff wrote in a note to investors released Monday. Supplies of the original iPod, the one in the white case, have already caught up with demand, he said."
Autonomic Software today announced launched its Autonomic Network & Security Administration (ANSA) system, offering a transparent "system managing systems" technology to augment patch and asset management. The cross-platform, agent-based system can scale to support thousands of Windows, Linux, UNIX-variant and Mac OS X computers from a single ANSA Inoculation Server. It features an Asset Discovery Engine, an automatically updated Global Update Repository, and Inoculation Server (running on Windows), Inoculation Clients for managed computers (including Mac OS X), and a System Administration Management Console. Pricing starts at $35 per agent.
Aspyr today announced that it will publish Homeworld 2 for the Mac with Beenox handling the conversion: "Homeworld 2 continues the epic struggle of the Hiigarans and their leader Karan S'jet. Join the valiant journey of the Mothership and its crew into the oldest regions of the galaxy to confront their new foe and discover the truth behind their exile." The title will run on Mac OS X 10.2 and is available for pre-order for $50. Homeworld 2 is expected to ship this summer.
Digital Mind Corp. today announced that it will be bringing MultiChannel Labs' DMC-Xclef 500 MP3 player to the U.S. Currently available in Europe, the DMC-Xclef 500 comes in 40GB and 80GB models and includes features such as an FM tuner, FM recording, line recording, up to 20 hours of battery life, and a USB 2.0 interface. The device measures 129x81x22mm (the 40GB iPod measures 104x61x18.5mm) and weighs 255 grams, about 80 grams more than the iPod. The DMC-Xclef 500 also features an upgradeable hard drive interface that accepts any 2.5" laptop drive. The 40GB model will cost $350, while the 80GB model will sell for $450.
Between April 19 and April 22, six Apple executives sold 2,378,400 shares of the company, valued at about $102 million, according to SEC filings. With shares of Apple flirting at three-year highs, Tim Cook (Executive VP) sold about $33 million, Fred Anderson (CFO) sold about $22 million, Sina Tamaddon (Senior VP) sold about $19 million, Jon Rubinstein (Senior VP) sold about $14.5 million, Phil Schiller (Senior VP) sold about $7 million, and Nancy Heinen (Senior VP) sold $5.6 million worth of stock. Most of the sales came from exercised options.
With the iTunes Music Store celebrating its first birthday on Wednesday, CNET takes a look at the online music business and the giant transformation it has undergone since Apple's launch. Of note: some labels have started charging more for both singles and albums, although to date services have only passed on the higher charges to consumers who purchase albums; Walmart.com's 88-cent music store has come the closet to duplicating Apple's success, with the store garnering about half as many customers as iTunes had in March; and Apple's competitors continue to believe that Apple's closed approach to the iPod/iTunes will be what unseats both from their dominant positions, while the music industry itself would like to see more interoperability between all services and devices.
CNET, which last year acquired MP3.com, today launched Download.com Music, a free music service that takes a page from the former service. Download.com Music features free tracks from numerous independent bands and allows new artists to contribute their works to the site.
FairTunes is a new application that strips the digital rights management (DRM) protection from songs purchased at the iTunes Music Store. Unlike PlayFair, a similar utility that Apple has twice had removed from the Web, FairTunes does not require an iPod and is packaged as a simple Cocoa application that converts the song into an uncompressed WAV of AIFF file, which can then be encoded or burned as the user desires. FairTunes is free.
CNET has published a short editorial on Apple's transition to services and gadgets, from the strict computer sales business of the past. "Gone are the posters and graphics accenting the company's sleek personal computers [at Apple's corporate HQ]. In their place, in the main lobby, is a striking, three-story-high billboard celebrating Steve Jobs's new billion-dollar consumer electronics business--the iPod digital MP3 music player." Meanwhile, a New York Times story on the development of the iPod reports that the device was developed in just six months by a 35-member team. The team was headed by Tony Fadell, an engineer who had worked at RealNetworks on a similar (but failed) project.
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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