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In Brief: Jobs today said Apple had developed a PDA, but that the company decided not to release the product and also said that WMA support would not be an option on the iPod until Microsoft reached 50% marketshare; rumors are that Apple will introduce new Power Mac G5s as early as tomorrow; Ars Technica has an overview of the Apple's new AirPort Express, including a look at the technical side of the device; O'Reily has released "Google: The Missing Manual" (O'Reilly, $20), which offers search tricks and efficiency tools to little-known corners of Google. [updated]
Lasso Settings Migrator (free) is a new tool to migrate settings from one Lasso setup to another. It supports Lasso Professional 5, 6, or 7 by creating an export file of all of Lasso's preferences and security settings for import into a new Lasso Professional 7 installation. [264KB] DVD Database X 1.1 ($20) is a full-featured database program designed to help you keep track of any size DVD collection. It offers an intuitive interface, movie lookup from IMDB, DVD label and jacket printing, and automatic playback of unecrypted files on your drive. Version 1.1 allows users to add their own cover art. [1.3MB] CGIScripter 2.08EE ($50) has been updated to generate Perl CGI scripts for PostgreSQL databases. CGIScripter 2.08 fully supports inserting, updating, deleting and replacing images within the PostgreSQL database via a web-based interface. It is a free upgrade for existing users and a free demo is available. [1.6MB] HyperNext 1.2.1 ($50) is a visual software development system for quickly creating standalone applications, custom plugins, and stacks which run on the free HyperNext Player. It adds a new interface, network communications with remote applications, 30 new file commands, more flexible parameters for commands, updated documentation, and more. [Classic, OSX] CubeMovie 1.5 ($8) can create movies by allowing users to rotate/zoom on six different photos placed on separate faces of a single cube. Users can record and export the results as a QuickTime movie. Version 1.5 offers a new Crop tool, a headline tools with transparent background and textured text, background pictures, and picture overlay with transparency support. [454KB] DriveGauge 3.1 (free) will automatically build and then update a Drive List containing a list of all your currently mounted drives and display relevant information; it allows you to choose from any of the 4 built-in defaults (Hard Drive, FireWire, iPod or iDisk), to use the current or backup icons, or to select a custom icon. It now supports custom styles via a GaugeStyle Manager. [1.6MB] Text to PDF Converter 1.0 (free) will create searchable PDF files from text documents: "Simply drag and drop any kind of text document on the application icon to quickly convert it to PDF. You may also drag multiple documents at one or even an entire folder." [32KB] StatusMonitors 1.2 ($15) displays plugin-based status monitors in your desktop or in a window. Current status monitors included with the product are current weather, disk space, net load, CPU usage, memory usage and a clock. It adds the ability to monitor digital video record times for the available space left at a given path and a new face lift for the Memory, CPUUsage, and NetLoad monitors. [1.1MB]
Creative Manager announced today that it is rolling out it's new version 7.0 of its flagship product, incorporating interface enhancemetns, and over 400 feature requests from current users, including improvements to the iCal and AddressBook synchronization. Creative Manager Pro offers full Project Management, CRM, Digital Asset Management, billing and accounting, Extranet capabilities, and more. Beginning today, users will be able to Test Drive the new version 7.0 "so that when the new interface is rolled out on July 1 users will be fully prepared." No installation or conversion will be necessary, and the upgrade is free to all users.
A new version of Jazbox, the enterprise-class editorial system from Harris & Baseview, will debut at the NEXPO show in Washington in June (booth 3005). Jaxbox 3.0 now features full support for InDesign CS and inCopy CS from Adobe. With version 3.0, the Jazbox page design client is available for Mac OS X. Also new in version 3.0 is OnePlan, a budgeting and resource system. Event calendars and contact management are complemented by the ability to make assignments linked to specific events and contacts. Jazbox, and its newsroom component Newsjaz, are designed around workflows that fit a newsroom. Main features include: a Related Objects feature that lets users group stories, headlines, captions and more, and a pagination process that features an elegant drag-and-drop interface with shape-based design tools.
Apple Monday posted its best close in almost four years as the company unveiled AirPort Express, a new wireless base station that, in addition to providing portable connections to the Internet, can also stream music from anywhere in a home. Apple stock jumped $1.03, or almost 4 percent, to end the day at $29.81 after CEO Steve Jobs demonstrated the company's new AirPort Express at an industry conference in San Diego, according to CBS.MarketWatch.com. Apple also said that Apple (AAPL) rose 3.7 percent after the company's top executive said that the company does not plan any mergers, though it has $5 billion cash in the bank and that new products will help the company grow. "Our business is healthy," he told CNBC in an interview.
MacRetreats today posted the evening discussion group agenda for the Mac Networkers Retreat to take place July 7-9 on the campus of the University of California at Santa Barbara. "We've got a wonderful lineup of timely topics and excellent guest facilitators who are flying in just to take part in these," said Paul Kent, president of Retreat organizer, Mactivity. The Mac Networkers Retreat features a series of lectures, discussion groups and workshops covering topics of interest to Mac Network and IT Managers.
Apple today released Security Update 2004-06-07, which fixes the 'critical' URI security exploits noted over the past several weeks: "[It] delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following components: DiskImages, LaunchServices, Safari, and Terminal, Mac OS X will now present an approval alert when an application is to be run for the first time either by opening a document or clicking on a URL related to the application."
Sony has paid several million euros to a German inventor who patented the idea of a Walkman in 1977. After more than 20 years of court battles, 59-year-old Andreas Pavel agreed to a settlement that, in return for the payment, suspends all legal procedures he had set in motion against the company. avel, extremely proud of his victory, said he now plans to approach other manufacturers of Walkman-like products, including Apple. Apple's iPod is to viewed some extent as the digital successor of the Walkman.
Apple today unveiled AirPort Express, which it says is "the world's first 802.11g mobile base station that can be plugged directly into the wall for wireless Internet connections and USB printing, or thrown into a laptop bag to bring wireless freedom to hotel rooms with broadband connections." Airport Express also features analog and digital audio outputs that can be connected to a stereo and AirTunes music networking software which works seamlessly with iTunes, giving users a simple and inexpensive way to wirelessly stream iTunes music on their Mac or PC to any room in the house." AirPort Express features a single piece ultra- compact design weighing just 6.7 ounces, and will be available to Mac and PC users starting in July for $130.
Aspyr today announced it is now shipping Harry Potter Deluxe Edition, which includes Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets game titles in a single bundle. Both titles run on Mac OS X 10.1 or later and are available for $40. Aspyr also announced that it has posted a demo of Space Colony, its $30 life simulation for Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.
NEC Solutions today launched 10 next-generation portable and installed projectors and plasmas displays that build adds new features that enhance performance, usability, security, power consumption and cosmetic design. NEC says it expects to ship the new products later this summer. Four new models (VT47, VT470, VT570 and VT670) were added to its VT series of affordable, high-performance portable projectors starting at $1000. The new projectors offer faster projector set-up and display, lower cost of operation, near-silent operation, a new design, and color and clarity enhancements.
The Sonos Digital Music System is being previewed this week at the "D2: All Things Digital" conference in Carlsbad, Calif and will ship this Fall. The multi-zone digital music system offers a wireless, full-color LCD screen controller to controll playback of digital music on the Sonos ZonePlayer, a networked audio player that distributes, plays and amplifies music in any "zone" in the home. With both wired and wireless connectivity, the ZonePlayer offers a 50 Watts/channel amplifier with component-quality audio specifications and support for MP3, WMA, AAC (MPEG4) and WAV files stored on a PC, Mac or Network Attached Storage as well as customizable Internet Radio stations. The ZonePlayer is $500, while Controller is $400. An introductory bundle ($1,200) features two ZonePlayers and a single Controller.
Aspyr announced that James Bond 007: NightFire for the Macintosh has gone 'gold' and will begin shipping June 21 and be available in stores nationwide on June 25th. "Featuring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, players operate in the snow capped Austrian Alps and outer space as well as underwater in the depths of the South Pacific to defeat the evil criminal mastermind Rafael Drake who is secretly bent on world domination. NightFire™ features an original single player storyline borrowing from the 007 legacy that spans 40 years." It supports up to 9 single player missions and up to 32 players online in more than 15 locations. The $30 title runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later (on a 1GHz G4 processor or faster). [Aspyr corrected ship date]
In Brief: Adobe this week will introduce a new Java-based server platform designed to automate and accelerate the flow of information between organizations using PDF documents; Online audiobook project Telltale Weekly now offers AAC downloads of its entire catalog, each of which it sells for little as 25 cents; Cisco has issued a patch for a security flaw in one of its Linksys routers that could give hackers access to the Web-based configuration page of the router when the firewall function is turned off. Both free and paid Wi-Fi hotspots continue to expand around the US with as many as 15,000 in operation in public locations.
Native Instruments (NI) today announced that FM7 Sounds Vol. 2 is now available in stores worldwide. FM7 Sounds Vol. 2 is a new collection of sounds for NI's FM7 software synthesizer. "Produced by renowned sound designers, this outstanding sound library delivers 256 new and eminently usable presets which effectively showcase the supreme sonic potential of the FM7. The presets are designed to take full advantage of the flexible FM7 synthesis architecture and make use of velocity, mod wheel, aftertouch, and tempo sync for extremely dynamic and flexible sounds. " It is available for a suggested retail price of $60 from authorized retailers and from the NI Online Shop.
Sony Electronics has announced a new Dual RW DVD burner that can write to DVD+R discs at speeds up to 12X on certified 8X DVD+R media, allowing for a full write-once disc to be recorded in approximately six minutes. The new internal DRU-540A dual-format DVD burner also supports 8X DVD-R and 4X DVD+/-RW burning, as well as 40X CD-R and 24X CD-RW recording speeds. It sports an ATAPI interface and a Windows-only software package. It will ship next month for $180.
Apple will announce the European version of the iTunes online music store on June 15th at a special invitation-only event in London, according to Reuters. Apple issued a statement on Monday that it would host a press conference. "The biggest story in music is about to get even bigger." The event is scheduled to take place at Old Billingsgate Market at 11:00 am. (A copy of the invitation can be seen on MacBidouille's Website.) Meanwhile, Napster UK today announced that it has increased the number of songs available from its online music service from 500,000 to 700,000. [updated]
Sorenson Media today announced Sorenson Squeeze 4, its new line of video compression applications that includes the Sorenson Squeeze 4 Compression Suite ($450), Sorenson Squeeze 4 for Macromedia Flash MX ($120), and Sorenson Squeeze 4 for MPEG-4 ($200). Sorenson says the suite is "the first" compression application to incorporate High Definition (HD) encoding for a variety of video formats including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, QuickTime, and RealMedia. Sorenson has added the Sorenson AVC Pro codec (also known as H.264), which it says offers the highest-quality video at roughly 70 percent the data rate of MPEG-4. The suite also includes a redesigned interface including a fully customizable batch window that allows settings to be applied at the job, source, and output levels. It will ship in the third quarter of 2004.
PhotoToTypePad 1.0 ($7) is an iPhoto plugin for use with the TypePad hosted weblogging service. It allows the creation of new TypePad photo albums and posting of photos using the iPhoto export function. It requires Mac OS X 10.3 and iPhoto 4 and is available as a 10-day demo. [102KB] Advanced Web Ranking 2.6 ($50) is a tool that helps check your web site position on all major search engines. This version features a new and improved report generator, two new Rank Evolution charts for Keywords and Search Engines, and major speed improvements while generating the reports. The Professional edition is $100. [6.5MB] TarMac is an application by Web Information Solutions designed for users who either want a reliable alternative to Stuffit or zip formats yet the ease of use of Stuffit Deluxe to browse, create or modify tar archives. The company is searching for beta testers to help develop the product. Interested users can email email@example.com. CrystalFire Wormhole 1.1.4 ($15) updates the cross-platform (Mac/Windows) file transfer program. This version fixes some small bugs; speeds up the "automatic connect"; handles corrupted preference files better; limits the number of "automatic" bookmarks created; and adds a long-distance probe mechanism. [2.2MB] DX Toolbox 1.9.0 ($20) is a radio propagation / conditions analysis and forecasting tool for amateur radio operators, shortwave listeners, and other radio enthusiasts. It adds a window to show the estimated signal strengths over a range of frequencies on a specific radio path, for a given day, time, and solar conditions. [Classic, OSX] Diet Sleuth 4.3 ($35) is a nutritional database that allows you to track of food intake and its nutritional value. It utilizes a catalog of 5000 different foods in 21 categories and also offers a built-in Recipe Editor to enter a custom recipes, with the nutritional information automatically calculated, based on the ingredients. [Classic, OSX] Automatize 6 ($80) is a scheduler and task automation application that can automate multiple file ftp transfers, ftp daemon and monitor, web downloads, check or send email, and other tasks. Tasks can be scheduled on a repeating basis and it also offers optional email-based notification. [2.5MB] Tune-Up Pack 1 for Garageband ($35), now available, includes over 500 professional loops created in Apple Loop format. The full CD will ship worldwide on June 12th. The company has posted a new 10-loop downloadable demo as well as a downloadable mp3 track created using loops from Pack 1.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t