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Servoy BV today released Servoy 2.0, its database interface development and deployment environment. Servoy 2.0 offers more than 100 new and improved feature and functions as well as includes the enterprise-scalable iAnywhere Adaptive Server Anywhere (ASA) database through a partnership with Sybase. Users purchasing Servoy Client licenses will also receive a license to use their Servoy applications with iAnywhere ASA at no additional charge. Version 2.0 supports native SSL connection, enhanced mail functions, XML, a new scheduling plugin, better documentation, and other enhancements. Servoy Developer is $390, while Servoy Clients begin at $220.
Among other additions made to its iTunes software, Apple has plugged a hole that allowed some users to download music from another computer. Apple's iTunes allows Macintosh and PC users to play music stored on other PCs on a network. File-swapping enthusiasts quickly created other programs, such as MyTunes, to capture the songs and allow them to be saved to the computer's hard drive. With the latest iteration--version 4.5--Apple appears to have plugged that hole, reports ZDNet. An Apple representative confirmed that with the new version of iTunes, the company has "strengthened" the music-sharing feature to make sure that song sharing is limited to personal use.
MacNN reader Dennis Callahan reports a number of problems with the iTunes Music Store that arose after Apple's recent updates. "Earlier today I was able to connect to the ITMS with the new iTunes, Quicktime but when songs were added to the cart, I was not able to connect to the shopping cart. Others on Apple Discussion Forums suggest the same issues. Earlier today the entire site was down with a note on the Discussion Forum pages letting all know the site was temporarily down." Multiple topics on Apple's support forums report problems with the update.
Altec Lansing has released the inMotion Adapter for iPod mini for its inMotion speakers, which "allows the iPod mini to securely dock in the inMotion portable speaker system." According to the iPodLounge, the adapter is free, but shipping and handling is $3 for US and Canadian residents and there is a limit of 5 per customer.
Evening tech news: The record industry focuses on students at 14 universities in lawsuits targeting 477 individuals; citizens could soon be able to access free wireless Internet on Washington's National Mall under a plan announced by a nonprofit group on Wednesday; voting activists from 16 states urged the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to require electronic voting terminals to print out ballots as a way to avoid the recount battles that marred the last presidential election.
Apple said that about 5 million free songs have been given away through its Pepsi-iTunes promotion, a small fraction of 100 million songs that were available under bottle caps, according to CNET News.com: "An Apple representative said the music giveaway was probably the biggest ever of its kind but admitted that the company gave away fewer songs than it had intended. 'We had hoped the redemptions would have been higher,' said [Apple VP] Katie Cotton [who] noted that the yellow-capped bottles with the Apple song codes were late in reaching some key markets. However, Cotton said the promotion did introduce a lot of people to iTunes. The 5 million free tracks Pepsi gave away were included as part of Apple's statement earlier Wednesday that it has sold 70 million songs in the first year of its music service."
Gefen has announced its new HDTV Extender, a new high definition video extension solution that transmits audio and video data up to 150-feet over CAT-5 cable. It supports multiple resolutions up to 1080i and multi-channel digital audio at distances up to 150-feet, making the HDTV Extender over CAT-5 cable an economical alternative to fiber optics or copper cables for medium length installations. The HDCP compliant system is available with either DVI or HDMI interfaces and includes sender and receiver units (powered by a single 5-volt external power supply). The HDTV Extender is $500 (cables extra) and will ship in 6-8 weeks.
In an effort to push for a new online music business model, Downhill Battle notes that "As of April 15, Apple had sold roughly 60 million iTunes and 3 million iPods (sources below). That's about 21 songs per iPod. For perspective, the smallest iPods hold 1,000 songs, and some hold 10,000 songs. So, when people fill up those iPods, where does all the music come from?...Since sharing music seems like it's here to stay, why not just legalize it in such a way that musicians and labels get paid? Voluntary Collective Licensing (VCL) is a proposal for a simple and practical system where you pay a flat fee for "all-you-can-eat" downloads and the money gets divided up to musicians and labels according to popularity."
In brief: Group Logic today announced it will bring JDF capabilities to its MassTransit file transfer and remote workflow software; Peninsula Group and Barcodereaders.com are providing a free copy of QuickTrack Pro Software for Schools with every Barcode Reader, which provides a complete library and asset tracking system (normally $466); and Mariner Software today announced a new Lifetime Upgrade Plan, entitling customers to a lifetime of free upgrades for a single purchase price of $50 per product.
CopyPaste X 2.0 ($30) updates the clipboard enhancement utility with dozens of new features, including new contextual menus, HTML export, automatic Mac-Windows character conversion, encryption, enhanced 'Paste' options, easier search and spell-checking options, better browsing, more advanced search functions, and other changes. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. Upgrades are $10. [5.9MB] Bare Bones Software has released BBEdit 7.1.4, a free update to v7.x of its HTML and text editor for the Macintosh. BBEdit 7.1.4 is a maintenance release to fix reported issues and add interface enhancements and refinements. The full version is $180, while upgrades start at $50 for owners of previous versions. [13MB] "Masterpiece" ($15) is a new Keynote theme that includes both 800x600 and 1024x768 sizes. "Masterpiece resembles an artist's canvas, including special photo cutout master slides that appear to be "painted" on the canvas." It includes a total of 21 different master slides, 14 photo master slides, two free paintbrush graphics, plus a collection of title bars, custom bullets and chart fill patterns. SizzlingKeys4iTunes 1.03 (freeware) lets you play, pause, rate songs and more with hotkeys you define, using an incredibly intuitive Preference Pane plug-in. Version 1.03 adds a floating status window. [180KB] Easy Barcode Creator 1.7 ($130) generates ready-to-print vector EPS graphics for use in industry-standard products like Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. It supports industry standards, such as EAN, ISBN (Bookland EAN), UPC, I2of5 (ITF), Code 39, Code 128, EAN-13, UPC-A, and more. It runs on Mac OS 9/X. [1.4MB] midiO 1.01 is an Audio Unit plugin for GarageBand. It adds a modicum of MIDI out support to GarageBand. Version 1.01 fixes a small bug with MIDI loop detection. [634KB] VPN Tracker 2.2.7 brings compatibility with Asanté FriendlyNET VR2004 series, allowing Mac users to establish a secure virtual private network (VPN) connection to Asanté routers. VPN Tracker provides secure networking, by encrypting all insecure Internet, company or AirPort connections for Mac OS X 10.2 and 10.3. It enables secure sharing of files, emails and databases. Pricing starts at $90. [3.3MB] Switch To ($5) is a shareware Contextual Menu item that allows you to switch to another running application simply by right-clicking your mouse (or control-clicking if you have a one-button mouse), and then picking a new application from a list of the currently running applications. It requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [185KB]
GarageCube today announced Modul8, a new application designed for realtime video mixing and compositing. Designed by and for professional VJs and live performers, and developed by real time imaging specialists coming from the video game industry, "Modul8 offers a state of the art user-interface combined with very high performances," supporting 10 simultaneous layers that can be mixed together to produced the final image composition. Modul8 will ship in June; pricing has yet to be announced.
LANDesk today launched a new version of its integrated solution for managing an organization's enterprise computing systems. LANDesk Management Suite 8.1 now offers improved inventory capabilities, license monitoring, device discovery, remote control and additional language support. Additionally, enhancements to its LANDesk Patch Manager product now support custom-developed and proprietary applications, as well as the Mac OS. The $90 LANDesk suite automates tasks such as asset management, patch management, software installation, OS migration and software license management in a single console. LANDesk Patch Manager is available today on a subscription basis ($12 per node per year).
Lemke Software today released GraphicConverter 5.1, an update to the popular graphics editing application. Version 5.1 brings support for multiple international languages, unicode filename editing, better download options from digital cameras, new glass blocks effect, better compatibility with Photoshop plugins, support for multipage HPGL files, expanded import options, and more. It is a free update to the $30 application ($35 on CD).
Pioneer today announced its forthcoming DVR-S706 external DVD/CD writer, which features 8x DVD recording in both +R and -R formats. It can also burn DVD-RW/+RW discs at 4x and CD-R/-RW at 24x. The external drive features both FireWire and USB 2.0 connectivity and employs new quiet drive technology that reduces the drive's operating noisy by up to 75 percent as well as various enhanced recording capabilities to ensure precise burns. The DVR-S706 will be available in early May for $260. (Site not updated.)
Glucose today released WeatherPop 2.0, a free upgrade to its utility that offers weather information directly from the Mac OS X menubar, providing a simple icon-based status of the weather as well as the temperature: "WeatherPop 2.0 displays all of this through a new dynamic icon we call Sky. The Sky icon is capable of displaying literally thousands of different combinations of weather conditions and times of day." It also offers watches and warnings from the National Weather Service for US cities and totally redesigned Location and Preference editing. WeatherPop Advance 2.0 ($8) adds a color icon, 3-5 day forecasts, and more.
In his iTunes 1-year Anniversary Conference Call, Apple CEO Steve Jobs highlighted the iTunes 4.5 release and the new Third-generation iTunes Music Store, which were first reported by MacNN early this morning. He also talked about expanded personal rights usage, subscription services, and highlighted the growing selection of music, featuring over 700,000 songs from all five major music labels and over 450 independent labels as well as noted that in last year, over 70 million songs have been purchased, with current sales averaging 2.7 million per week, or 140 million per year. (Click 'Continued' for more details from the Conference Call.)
Marathon Computer has cut the price of two of its products: MacSkate for G3 and G4, and the MacVU KVM switch. MacSkate provides a secure, elevated platform with wheels on the bottom that bolts to a G3 or G4 tower and sells for $60, reduced from $100. MacVU KVM Switch is a 1U KVM switch that allows four computers to be controlled from a single display and USB keyboard and mouse. It is available for $190, reduced from $225.
iTunes, MusicMatch, and Rhapsody customers buy about 10 times as many singles as they do albums, The Lost Angeles Times reports today in an article that analyzes what the implications of online music stores could be for the industry. Offline, consumers buy about 50 times more albums than singles. "There's no money to be made from singles," entertainment attorney Gary Stiffelman, whose clients include hit rapper Eminem, told the Times "Unless you can sell an album you can't really afford to launch the artists. The whole economics are driven by some sort of critical mass of product."
Engineered Audio has announced RemoteRemote 2, its latest RF wireless remote control for third-generation iPods. RemoteRemote 2 resembles Griffin's iTrip and similarly attaches to the top of the iPod, allowing users to control playback and volume of their iPod from a distance and through walls. RemoteRemote 2 will be available in black and white when it ships later this spring for $50; pre-orders are being taken now.
Kicking off its second year in business, Apple today launched the third generation of its iTunes Music Store, featuring over 700,000 songs from all five major music labels and over 450 independent labels. In the last year, over 70 million songs have been purchased, with current sales averaging 2.7 million per week, or 140 million per year. To thank customers for making the iTunes Music Store a success, Apple is giving away a free song each day for the next eight days from artists who have played a role in helping the store, including Foo Fighters, Avril Lavigne, Courtney Love, Annie Lennox, Jane’s Addiction, Counting Crows, Renee Fleming and Nelly Furtado. New iTunes Music Store features were also announced along with iTunes 4.5 (see below).
QuickerTek today announced an antenna/802.11g PC card bundle for PowerBook G3 and PowerBook G4 systems. The bundle includes a Buffalo Wireless 802.11g PC card and QuickerTek's omni-directional Whip antenna, providing older PowerBook users with a robust 802.11g wireless solution. The bundle requires Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later and an available CardBus PC slot; it costs $170, with a $35 mail-in rebate available to users who send in their old AirPort wireless card.
BusinessWeek Online's Byte of the Apple column this week discusses the manufacturing issues surrounding IBM's 90nm G5 processor, which held up shipments of the Xserve G5 last quarter and is responsible for the delay in Power Mac G5 updates. While the problems bring back memories of Motorola's inability to scale its G4 processor and the performance price Apple paid for that for about three years, ultimately the decision to go with IBM is a smart one, the column concludes, and one whose benefits in the long run should more than pay off for these current blips.
Freescale Semiconductor, Motorola's wholly-owned semiconductor subsidiary, today announced its new e600 and e700 PowerPC cores. The 32-bit e600 platform is intended as a replacement for the G4 and will scale beyond 2GHz. Like the G4, the e600 is designed to issue for instructions per clock cycle into eleven independent execution units and will feature Freescale's 128-bit AltiVec vector processing technology. The e700 is a next-generation 32/64-bit PowerPC platform that will be able to scale beyond 3GHz. No additional details regarding the e700 or timeframes for the e600 or e700 were disclosed, although an updated PowerPC roadmap is available (PDF). Curiously, the 1.5GHz PowerPC 7447A processor Apple is using in its latest PowerBooks is missing. It's also unknown whether Apple will seek to use e600/e700 processors in its future products.
PalmOne today started shipping the Zire 31 and Zire 72, its latest color handhelds. The blue Zire 31 builds on the features of the entry-level Zire 21 by adding a color screen, expansion slot, and MP3 playback capabilities. It also features 16MB of memory and a photo viewer and costs $150. The Zire 72 is Palm's top-of-the-line Zire offering, packing a 1.2-megapixel camera with photo and video capabilities, a high-resolution (320x320) screen, Bluetooth connectivity, and 32MB of memory with an expansion slot into its blue and silver case. The Zire 72 sells for $300. Seperately, palmOne released Palm Desktop 4.2.1 for Mac OS X today.
Apple's iTunes on Campus program includes an iTunes institutional site license that allows any university or college to provide students with the iTunes application at no cost via a download from within your campus network or through individual CDs that you create. "As a part of this program, Apple will also provide to you the creative artwork (for newspaper ads and flyers) about iTunes that you can use to tell students about iTunes."
Apple has posted QuickTime 6.5.1, which includes support the Apple Lossless Encoder, a new lossless audio codec that retains the full quality of uncompressed CD audio while requiring only about half the storage space. It also includes significant improvements to AAC encoding, resulting in high-quality sound over a full range of audio frequencies, and enhanced support for iTunes and other QuickTime-based applications. (Installation requires a restart.) Update: Apple has also posted QuickTime 6.3.1, which delivers enhanced support for iTunes and other QuickTime-based applications for Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later.
palmOne has posted Palm Desktop 4.2.1, an update to its Date Book, To Do List, Address Book, etc. Palm Desktop can be used as a stand-alone application, or to view, sort, find, edit, back up, and add applications to your palmOne handheld. It includes a Handheld droplet 1.3, which allows you to send image and audio files to your palmOne handheld or expansion card as well as improved compatibility with Mac OS X (through OS X 10.3.3). Palm, however, recommends that Zire 72 and Zire 31 owners use their CD version, as it contains additional conduits and applications. It is available in French, Spanish, German, Italian, and English.
Apple today posted iMovie 4.01, which provides increased performance when working with large projects, such as editing video clips and audio volume. Version 4.0.1 also provides increased reliability when the application opens, when titles are added to the timeline, and with 3rd party plug-ins that are removed or no longer available to an iMovie project (for example, when you open a project on a different computer). Other improvements include fixes for pixelated video, corrupted Ken Burns clips, and loss of audio, which could occur after editing video or audio and then emptying the trash.
Apple has posted iPod Update 2004-04-28, which supports all models of iPod and iPod mini introduced before April 28, 2004. This update is required to take advantage of new features in iTunes 4.5 and the iTunes Music Store. It also brings improved playback performance for all iPods and adds support for the Apple Lossless Encoder, to enable compressed music encoding at high quality to iPods with a dock connector.
PhotoSurface 2.0 ($50) is a Photoshop plugin that will add very natural and hyper realistic textures, including papers, canvases, woods, bricks, metal, sand, glass and an extensive collection of leathers. It includes over 200 super-realistic effects, can use any image as basic tile for a new surface, and can angle/adapt the surface to the overlay grain. RiddleMeThis 1.1.1 ($200) is a questionnaire development and deployment tool (developed on a Mac, of course) for creating and running questionnaire-based studies. Finished questionnaires can be deployed as standalone applications or via the web. Data gathered can easily be exported as a single text file ready for import into tools such as SPSS and Excel. [Classic, OSX] CheckBook 1.2 ($15) updates Splasm's solution for personal finance management. Features now include Scheduled Entries, Transfer Entries, Splits, the Interactive Balance, redesigned Preferences and Account Options, an updated interface, alternating row colors in Mac OS X 10.3,, several miscellaneous fixes, etc. [1.1MB] Welian NetDiagX 1.0 (free) is a network utility designed to detect problems within your network. It offers a IP searcher, which allows you to see who is online, connected to your router. The new update provides better stability, more features and an improved GUI, along with a 'Check for updates' feature. [908KB] QiPo, the QuickTime movie utility that creates image previews containing sequential frames of movies, has a new owner: Bebosoft, which which will continue the development of the application. A new version of QiPo is expected by the end of June 2004. Support request from current QiPo license owners should be directed to Bebosoft, Inc. VEENIX: Design & Type Tools 1.2 ($25) is a collection of 10 essential utility and tools for designers, illustrators, and other graphic professionals. It offers a WYSIWIG font list window, character set charts, font sampler sheets/slide shows, folding/imposition diagrams, pre-press checklist functions, ASCII chart, a color grabber tool, and more. PhotoExpress 1.1 ($5) shrinks digital photos from your camera as well includes functions for Effects (Sepia, Greyscale and Sharpen), brightnewss & contrast controls, the ability to rename multiple files quickly, PDF extraction functions for pulling images/pages from longer PDF files, other photo tools (rotate), and the ability to send coverted photos to the clipboard. [1.2MB] Cocktail 3.4.6 ($10) offers a significantly improved launch time (by about 50%), a new 'Log Out' option to Pilot (and halt all scheduled tasks), compatibility with Unsanity ShapeShifter, a new Commands (BSD General Commands Manual) reader, and other new features to Specifications. The general purpose utility for Mac OS X 10.2 or later offers dozens of maintenance tools and interface tweaks. [1.6MB]
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TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe