In Brief: Apple CEO Steve Jobs is facing opposition in his plan to tear down a historically significant 17,000 square foot home in Woodside, California; TechGoesBoom has published a detailed look at Apple's new System Migration feature; macXwareT today announced the expansion pack for the best selling LogoCreator is now available in Apple retailers for $30.
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: Comparing the new dual-1.8GHz Power Mac G5 model to the previous one; reactions to Apple's new high-end Power Mac G5 offering, and speculation about future models; one member's experience with a Dr. Bott protective PowerBook case and its performance in an accident; the prospect of a G5 iMac given Apple's recent statements regarding a G5 PowerBook; performance of Virtual PC on a new iBook; member discussion of the new "System Migration" feature in Mac OS X.
EasyDraw 1.6.2 ($95) updates the drawing and vector tool for Mac OS X. Version 1.6.2 offers MacDrawPro Import, Walls-Doors-Windows, elliptical arcs, more colors with an updated 'Gradient Fill' command, interactive scaling, support for very thin line widths. The easy-to-use application can be used for creative projects including technical drawings, illustrations, icons, logos, and stylized text. [7.9MB] Xupport 2.1 ($20) is a graphical user interface to configure many hidden Mac OS X and Unix options, offering functions to maintain, optimize, backup, clean, hack, enhance and secure Mac OS X. It now allow maintenance jobs to be run sequentially, offers background operations for maintenance, and offers a shutdown option (after performing operations). [390KB] Math Flash Card Master 2.2 ($10) is a shareware program that aids practice and testing of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Math Flash Card Master can be adjusted to different knowledge levels, and includes optional sounds and timer features. [Classic, OSX] iTunes Library Manager 4.0 ($5) is an AppleScript application that makes backup copies of the iTunes Library and Preferences, allowing users to easily save multiple iTunes Libraries and Preferences configurations that can be retrieved and loaded at any time. Version 4.0 now saves preferences with each backed up library. [248KB] webRemote 2.5 ($10) allows you can control iTunes through any web browser on any platform--either from another Mac or from hand-held PDA. Version 2.5 adds support for playback of shared libraries and iPods on the host computer as well as support for WAP/WML files. It also includes bug fixes and new default skins. [1.4MB] iPasteboard 1.1 ($15) can maintain an unlimited number of clipboards (through a restart). It offers a keyboard shortcut for instant access, extensive preferences, a built-in clipboard preview, Services- or dock- or toolbar- control, and more. It better supports Mac OS X 10.3 and improves copy & paste. [558KB]
TVTechnology reports that plasma displays and Apple products were the most popular products and technologies on the NAB2004 show floor. Apple's Motion and Xsan products were top two products (respectively) as noted by a survey of 1,000 NAB attendees on the exhibition floor. Other products included Panasonic P2 Camptuer (SD-based camcorder), Avid's open-source DNxHD codec, Sony HDV camcorder, Adobe's Video Collection 2.5, and AJA Video Systems' Kona 2 multiformat capture card. Large-screen plasma displays and HD gaining market acceptance were among the top 10 technologies at NAB 2004, according to the report.
Apple is currently testing new video compression software that it will incorporate into future versions of QuickTime and hopes will become the successor to MPEG-2, according to Internet.com: "MPEG-4 part 10 or H.264/AVC, is the next-generation video compression technology in the MPEG-4 standard. Already ratified by both the ITU and ISO MPEG." Apple said it hopes the technology will become the standard for video encoding for 'everything from 3G to High Definition (HD) broadcast' and is now testing it internally on its Cupertino campus, after it demonstrated HD-based MPEG-4 part 10 content playback between 6.8- and 8-Mbps on a dual-processor Power Mac. The article also notes that Apple moved into the No. 2 spot in the media player market with 36.8 percent of the market, behind Microsoft's 38.2 percent and ahead of Real's 24.9 percent share.
BUG.tv today announced ListPlayer Express video server software for CCTV. Designed for closed-circuit television systems (CCTV), such as those in department stores, education institutions and other businesses, its includes the base features of ListPlayer Pro of the CLASS product line. Using a FireWire DV-to-Analog converter (not included), users can broadcast over a CCTV using the easy-to-use playlist software that accepts all video files supported by QuickTime, such as .mov and DV as well as native Final Cut Pro files. ListPlayer Express allows both realtime and sequential triggering of events as well as manual triggering using the mouse. It is available for G4/G5 machines for $400.
In Brief: Renowned computer scientist and Silicon Valley legend Alan Kay will be awarded one of technology's highest honors, the Kyoto Prize for his work on ARPAnet and at PARC, where he invented Smalltalk, which pioneered the now-popular object-oriented programming model. Notebook retail sales surpassed desktops for the first time in May, but are expected to stay even with desktops after current promos, with desktop sales ending the year topping notebook sales 60 percent to 40 percent. Local officials are threatening to block Steve Jobs' demolition of his home in Woodside, CA saying it was designed by George Washington Smith and has historic value; and Best Buy will begin selling a limited amount of Gateway-brand consumer electronics gear later this year, after closing its retail operations in April.
Tech News: AOL has launched AIM Business Services--partnering with Lightbridge (voice conferencing) and WebEx (web conferencing)--that are built on AOL Instant Messenger and can be launched from the AIM Buddy List; Korean trade regulators on Thursday searched the offices of Microsoft's Korean subsidiary as part of a years-long probe into the company's business practices; Microsoft has filed eight lawsuits against spammers, saying that they deceived consumers and used false information to hide their tracks, OLEDs is one of the next-generation display technologies that promises sharper and brighter colors than LCDs and CRT, but is currently only used in cell phones, car radions, and one Kodak digital camera.
Bruno Blondeau's iOrganize 5.5 ($20)is a new version of his organization tool for Mac OS X. It can store and organize notes, ideas, text extracts and web links using a clean and familiar user interface. This new version adds support for embedded files, can extract pictures by opening them in Preview, supports embedded hyperlinks links to web sites or disk files, offers a contextual menu for sorting notes and ideas more quickly, and more. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Zonic has released Chameleon 1.0, its innovative "new application for transforming ordinary digital photographs into works of art. Starting from a single photograph, Chameleon can generate a wide variety of images in a range of artistic styles." Chameleon includes 18 effects including Oil Painting, Chalk Drawing, Halftone, Mosaic, and Stubble Brush. "By combining effects, truly unique and stunning images can be created. With a single click, Chameleon allows everyone to quickly and easily achieve effects that previously required complex applications costing hundreds of dollars." It is available now for Mac OS X 10.2 or later for $20.
Crescendo Software has released Picture Play 1.9, a major update to its $15 shareware image composition tool for Mac OS 8/9/X. Picture Play lets you combine digital photos, scanned images, or any other graphics to create rich and diverse compositions with editable text content, backgrounds, and stylish effects. It can also be used to resize and trim images, as well as modify image brightness, contast, hue and saturation. Version 1.9 features a new color tool that allows the modification of image contrast, brightness, hue and saturation, support for multiple selections, a frequently-used objects library, better printing, smaller file generation, and more.
The Magazine Publishers of America awarded TBWA/Chiat/Day the $100,000 Grand Prize Kelly Award for its Apple iPod "Silhouette" campaign that shows people dancing with iPods against brightly colored backgrounds. "It demonstrated to people that you don't have to spend a lot of time talking about features to get people to make a human connection with your product," said Mike Hughes, president of The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and a Kelly judge. "Also, one of the core values for Apple is design. To reinforce that without ever talking about it, just by art direction, is an incredibly smart and effective device."
In brief: 'Fix a troubled Mac' v1.4.0 is the latest edition of the Macintosh troubleshooting PDF book ($15); Architosh reports that architects are responding favorably to Apple's new dual processor Power Mac G5 workstations; Apple is seeking five of America's "most important, innovative and visionary scientific research projects" that would benefit from a turnkey, high-performance Apple Workgroup Cluster--with applications due by June 13 and awards expected at WWDC; PC Magazine columnist Lance Ulanoff comments on the iPod Mini, with much praise: "it's sexier than the originalósmaller and sleeker."
Runtime Revolution 2.2 updates the development environment with a new standalone application builder, improvements to the database linked controls, additions to the Transcript programming language, enhanced performance and stability for the engine and development environment, and more. Pricing is $150 (Express), $300 (Studio), and $900 (Enterprise). [13MB] oXygen XML Editor 4.1 ($96) adds an XSLT Debugger in the Eclipse plugin and support for file system folders in projects as well as matching tag highlight and navigation, import of remote folders, and more. The editor offers a tree-based outliner, bookmarks, remote file access, smart editing/indenting, and search/replace functions. [14MB] Xpress Keyboards is a new series of software instruments fron NI combining the sound of three famous vintage keyboards, including the B4 XPRESS vintage organ, the PRO-53 XPRESS virtual analog synthesizer and the FM7 XPRESS digital FM synthesizer--derived from from NI's professional software instruments. Each is available for $50 or in a $90 bundle ($120 on CD). FastScripts 2.0 ($15) updates Red Sweater's utility for executing scripts on the Mac. Bill as a "supercharged" replacement for the AppleScript menu, it offers its own menubar item for executing scripts. Version 2.0 adds keyboard shortcuts, keyboard navigation, an improved interface, and a new preferences dialog. [415KB] Blades of Avernum 1.1 ($25) fixes a variety of minor bugs and enables play of scenarios made with the latest version of the editor in the fantasy role-playing adventure: "Play through four big, exciting adventures in the treacherous world of Avernum. Then download new, free scenarios on our web site, or get the power editor and make adventures of your own. [14MB] dataComet X 10.0.2 ($60) provides emulation of DEC VT100/220/320, IBM 3279/5250, and PC-ANSI/SCO-ANSI terminals, and features key mapping, macro support, scripting, customizable color maps, ZMODEM and IBM$FILE file transfers, and support for multinational character sets. It handles modem/serial port connections, telnet, tn3270, and local shell sessions. [form] Compost 1.1 ($5) is a shareware utility that enhances the Mac OS trash can, allowing users to specify the length of time that files are allowed to remain in the trash or the maximum size to which the trash is allowed to grow. Version 1.1 adds support for specifying the size limit as a percentage of volume size, support for per-volume preferences, and optional deletion of locked files. [76KB] Entourage Email Archive X 1.9 ($25) offers a new option to archive by email address, improves the deletion of processed (i.e., archived) emails, is built with Xcode 1.2, fixes a few bugs, and has been tested with the version of Mac OS X (10.3.4) with Office X. [784KB]
Griffin today it is shipping its iTrip mini FM Transmitter for the iPod mini, almost one month earlier than originally announced. It offers exclusive features, such as unlimited station frequencies tuned directly from the iPod and battery-free operation. "The iTrip mini brings the entire list of award winning iTrip features to the iPod mini in a new, beautifully form-fitting mini design. Weighing less than an ounce, it connects directly to the top of the iPod mini, blending seamlessly with the mini's sleek lines." It is available now for $40. The original iTrip FM Transmitter for 3G dockable iPods is $35.
Arbor Bits today introduced Easy VMail 1.0, which allows users with a web cam to send "video e-mails". Easy VMail has a step-by-step interface to guide you through recording, previewing, compressing, and sending your videos. And it can also send snapshots from your web cam. It works with Apple's iSight, and most other webcams and FireWire-based camcorders, supporting Apple's Mail application, Microsoft Entourage, Qualcomm's Eudora, and others. A demo of the $20 application is available now.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.23 ( -0.18 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for ‚ā¨30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives