Canon today announced its professional series XL2 camcorder, which offers an evolutionary design and new professional features, including a choice of 60i, 24p or 30p frame rates, 4:3 or high resolution 16:9 aspect ratio, new 680,000 pixel progressive scan CCDs, and a full line of customizable controls for cine-looking results. Along with its new 20x interchangeable lens, the new Mini-DV camcorder offers completely customizable broadcast and feature film quality acquisition tool. It also offers many adjustable settings, interchangeable lenses, image stabilization, 4-channel audio, and a built-in BNC connector. It will ship in August for $5,000.
In Brief: Architosh has a detailed report on @Last Software's SketchUp 4.0, which the company is showcasing at the Expo as well as a report on NewTek's Macworld Expo announcements related to Character Animation; Democratic candidate John Kerry was photographed using a PowerBook in TIME magazine; Berkleemusic.com, the online extension school of Berklee College of Music, announced today that it will present a new online course on Apple's audio editing program, GarageBand, for its Fall 2004 semester; Verbatim today announced that it is now shipping 8x-speed DataLifePlus White Inkjet Hub-printable DVD+R and DVD-R media in 50-disc spindles for $120.
O'Reilly has released "Mac OS X Panther in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition" ($40), the latest edition of the of the thorough guide to Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. Authors Chuck Toporek, Chris Stone, and Jason McIntosh "encourage power users and system administrators to roll up their sleeves and get dirty" as the authors show them "what happens under Mac OS X's hood (and how you might tinker with it)." The $40 book includes information on how to configure your Mac OS X system, hundreds of tips, tricks, and clever ways to do tasks, ways to keep your Mac secure, and more.
Maplesoft today announced its Database Integration Toolbox, which allows engineers and scientists to quickly develop and deploy applications that combine large enterprise datasets with the state-of-the-art analysis and visualization of Maple 9.5. Users can easily query, create and update JDBC-compliant databases within the interactive, Maple environment using task assistants that allow you to compose complex queries without any detailed SQL knowledge. The Database Integration Toolbox will be available in August 2004. It is part of the Maple Professional Toolbox Series from Maplesoft. The commercial list price will be $1000.
MicroNet today announced it is now shipping its next-generation SANcube800, "the industry's first" FireWire 800 SAN (Storage Area Network). The SANcube800 serverless storage network delivers up to 70MB/sec transfer rates and up to 2 terabytes (TB) online with the speed and fault tolerance of a hardware RAID controller. Offering RAID 5 and hot-swappable drives for data integrity, the SANcube800 is the only SAN that allows users of audio and video applications to share resources on multiple different editing workstations simultaneously without the need for expensive Fibre Channel cards/cables, according to the company.
Digital Voodoo today introduced its SD | Flex video card, which offers compatibility with Mac OS X Panther, Final Cut Pro HD and Power Mac G5s.. SD | Flex has 10-bit uncompressed single-link SD SDI, component (YUV), S-Video and composite input and dual-link SD SDI, component (YUV/RGB), S-Video and composite output. SD | Flex provides a 10-bit conversion from either YUV component, S-Video or composite analog inputs to SD SDI video, and a 10-bit conversion from SD SDI video to various other combinations of ouptput. It also supports 6 channels of AES/EBU digital audio input and output with in built sample rate converters as well as Final Cut Pro HD's RT Extreme architecture, enabling seamless realtime playback of effects such as 3-way color correction, additive dissolves and cross dissolves. It is available for $2,500.
After being away from the Macintosh platform for over a year, Dracosoft has returned with a number of game updates. The developer plans to "dedicate itself to the development of high quality games for the Macintosh," following the recent collapse of a partnership with Arcade Monkey, which is closing its doors. The following games have been updated to version 1.1: Amazed, Avalanche, Burst, Cube It!, and Wordsmith. All these games have been repackaged for a better, smaller distribution. Although new titles are in the works, no announcements will be made until the products are released.
Britain's Ministry of Defense has become the latest organization to add the iPod to its list of high-tech security risks, accoding to Reuters: "The pocket-sized digital music player, which can store thousands of songs, is one of a series of banned gadgets that the military will no longer allow into most sections of its headquarters in the UK and abroad. Devices with large storage capabilities -- most notably those with a Universal Serial Bus (USB) plug used to connect to a computer -- have been treated with greater suspicion of late by government agencies and corporations alike." Update: A BBC report says that "The Ministry of Defence has denied reports that it has banned Apple's iPod due to fears it could be used to steal sensitive files."
Epson has released a new value-focused scan-print-copy device: the Stylus CX4600. This all-in-one features Epson's water/fade/smudge-resistant DURABrite inks and offers a balance of image quality and speed to satisfy the imaging needs of households, personal offices and intermediate-level digital photographers. The new $150 device features a space-saving design that is only 6.7 inches tall and 13.5 inches wide. It can produce up to 13 black/color copies per minute, print up to 15 pages per minute in black, and can scan images up to 600 x 1200 dpi.
At Macworld Expo Boston today, Harman Multimedia introduced the On Stage, a sound system for iPods. The circular On Stage features four speakers that produce six watts per channel, an integrated dock connector for third generation iPods and iPod minis, and a stereo mini jack connection for compatibility with iPods and other audio devices. The On Stage will sell for $200 when it ships later this year.
Afternoon tech news: Internet users download twice as many films, games and music as they did a year ago, despite a big crackdown on the activity, according to a study; the latest mass-mailing worm, Atak, hides by going into a sleep mode when it suspects that antivirus software is trying to detect it; despite an electronic voting fiasco in 2000 and the furor over e-voting in the United States, Venezuela is using untested touchscreen computers for its recall referendum on Hugo Chavez's presidency; Toshiba plans to begin selling a new line of notebook computers with visual and audio capabilities to match that of televisions.
Prosoft Engineering has announced Picture Rescue for Mac OS X. Picture Rescue is a utility to help recover deleted pictures from digital camera media cards. The company will demonstrate Picture Rescue, along with Data Rescue, Data Recycler and Data Backup, at MacWorld Boston, July 13-15, 2004 at booth #444. Picture Rescue will begin shipping on Tuesday at MacWorld Boston for $60.
Marathon Computer has announced a new $250 rackmount solution for the Power Mac G5 that fits the computer in a 19" rack horizontally, in only 6U. "Now, the G5 can fit in the same amount of rack space as a G4," said Marathon spokesman David Soch. "We just turned it sideways. The Superdrives that come preinstalled in G5s have clips factory-built into the disc trays for sideways operation." In the new G5 Horizontal Rackmount, Apple's aluminum-finish G5 case rides on ball-bearing sliderails for easy access to the interior of the case and to the rear panel connections.
As first noted by MacNN earlier this month, AppleInsider offers a few more details on Office Depot's recent Apple authorization, saying that Apple products would begin appearing at its retail stores in the coming months. Earlier this month, we noted that both TechDepot, the online technology division of Office Depot, and Computers4SURE became authorized Apple resellers.
In Brief: The Big Nerd Ranch has announced its latest Cocoa Bootcamp, August 23-27, based on the text of "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X" by Aaron Hillegass; PhotoshopWorld Conference attendees can purchase Walt Disney World admission tickets at a special price not available at theme park front gates; dincType has released another commercial font package for one day only; to assist Internet Explorer users in the transition to Opera, the developer has released a series of modifications that change Opera's interface to emulates an IE-like look and feel.
Apple today began shipping its AirPort Express Base Stations. First introduced in early June 2004, the portable device offers 802.11g wireless networking functions as well as both digital and analog outputs for connection to a stereo, allowing users to wirelessly stream music from a Mac or PC to a home stereo. AirPort Express uses Apple's new AirTunes software along with iTunes. Readers today forwarded shipment confirmations of the new device, which were expected in mid-July. The device requires iTunes 4.6, which was released last month. (Apple also notes that the AirPort Express Assistant can't set up a WDS when network address translation is turned off.) Earlier today, we also noted that Apple began shipping its new Apple Cinema Displays.
Harman Multimedia today introducted JBL On Tour, a new portable audio system described as "slightly larger than an eyeglass case and roughly the size of two iPods." The portable audio system utilizes a stereo pair of Odyssey transducers and features six watts of total power. On Tour comes equipped with touch volume controls, an integrated protective cover and stand, and white-chrome accents. Four standard AAA batteries provide more than 24 hours of operation at normal listening levels. JBL On Tour is compatible with all digital music players and personal CD/DVD players as well as laptop and desktop computers. It will ship in early August for $100.
Avail today announced that it would ship its Integrity backup and recovery software solution for Mac OS X in August. The solution enables Macintosh servers to manage the data protection requirements of a complete Macintosh environment as well as a heterogeneous network. It supports hard disk-based storage, single tape drives, autoloaders, and larger tape libraries with multiple tape drives as well as any combination of hardware, including integrated disk-to-disk-to-tape solutions (D2D2T) as well as either SCSI-, IDE-, and/or FireWire-based devices. Integrity includes the client modules that manage backup and restore functions, the server module, which enables a Mac to provide storage management services, and the managed replication and protected data migration utilities.
Now Software and Parliant today introduced a complete, business telephone management solution based on the integration of Now Up-to-Date & Contact for Mac and the PhoneValet Message Center. The solution provides automated call logging in Now Up-to-Date & Contact, dialing, and reading of calendar and to-do lists over the phone via a free AppleScript. The new integration features are provided free of charge to existing Now Up-to-Date & Contact users; however, integrated dialing through PhoneValet will not be available until Now Software releases an update to Now Up-to-Date this fall. A $20 discount is being offered on PhoneValet to registered users of Now Up-to-Date as well as a bundle of both applications for $270 ($80 savings).
On-Target Reports 4.0 Professional is a powerful report generator that can create reports from most popular databases, including , FrontBase, mySQL, OpenBase, Oracle, postgreSQL, PrimeBase, REALDatabase, REALDatabase - 5.5, SQLite, Sybase ASE and Valentina. It also offers support for any ODBC-compliant data source, a Report Assistant, data grouping, graphics/watermark support, graphing functions, PDF export, support for inline expressions and variables, and REALbasic 5.5 runtime classes for developers. It is a free upgrade for purchases after April 15 and $80 for others. The full version for Mac OS X is $200.
XtremeMac has announced its Xtremity Accessory Kit for iPod mini. The kit includes the Xtremity mini Snap-on Clip, which features an innovative Secure-Slide accessory mounting slot. The Secure-Slide system allows users to utilize other accessories such as the included swivel belt clip, dash mount (2) for flat surfaces, neck strap, etc. The white Snap-on Clip securely attaches to the back of the iPod mini without interfering with the face of the mini. The Clip is made out of high-strength Lexan, a durable, scratch-resistant material, and features gray rubber accent strips both inside and outside, to cushion and protect the iPod. It will be available by mid-July for $30.
Epson has introduced a new compact, four megapixel digital camera that incorporates high-speed continuous shooting, records video clips and offers a new creative feature called Print Image Framer, which adds fun frames to any photo with a touch of a button. The Epson PhotoPC L-410 offers a 3x optical and 3x digital zoom, a 1.5 inch high-quality LCD screen and PRINT Image Matching II technology. Its new high-speed continuous shooting mode can capture up to three photos per second. It includes 16MB of internal memory, supports SD cards, ships with CR_V3 battery, and accepts two AA-size batteries. It will ship in late July for $400.
Macs still remain the majority source of Apple's revenue and its aging iMac line needs to be revamped to continue to bolster CPU sales and win back its educational marketshare, according to BusinessWeek: "Apple won't have a home PC to sell for the most crucial part of the back-to-school buying season....Apple needs it to help regain share in the education market, where the company has staged a modest comeback in recent months, grabbing a 14.1% share in the past quarter, up from 12% in the fall, says IDC. While more students are opting for laptops such as the PowerBook, Apple needs a strong iMac to prevent further share gains by now-dominant Dell Inc."
Apple has begun shipping its newly designed Apple Cinema Displays, which were introduced late last month at Apple's World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC). The new flat-panel displays feature an ultra-thin bezel aluminum frame as well as new single-cable-based connector that features two FireWire 400 ports and two USB 2.0 ports, and a DVDI connection. They also offer a magnetic mount for attaching an iSight video camera. A MacNN reader said that he received shipment confirmation of his 20-inch Apple Cinema Display and expects delivery this week. At WWDC, Apple had said it expected to ship the 20- and 23-inch displays in July and that the larger 30-inch display was expected in August.
Electric Rain today announced it would soon ship Swift 3D 4.0 for Mac OS X, a standalone application allowing designers to build and export vector and raster-based 3D animations to the Macromedia Flash (SWF) file format, as well as other popular formats. It features powerful 3D tools, automatically converts imported 2D vector artwork (AI or EPS) into 3D objects, imports existing 3D models in the 3DS & DXF formats, and offers tight integration with Macromedia Flash through proprietary Swift 3D Importer. Version 4 offers an avanced modeling environment with a powerful polygon modeling toolset and enhanced bitmap texturing controls as well as precise animation controls, drag & drop galleries, and workflow enhancements. It is available now for Windows for $190 with a Mac OS X version due in September.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R