The success of the iPod are forcing copy-protection companies such as Macrovision and SunnComm to rethink their copy-protection schemes, possibly undermining Microsoft's position in the music industry, as the WMA format is the default digitally encoded format found on most copy-protected CDs: "....they're both making substantial changes in the way CDs are digitally locked, changes that could ultimately be a setback to recent Microsoft strides into the music business.... the subsequent meteoric rise of the iPod--which does not play Microsoft-formatted music--has forced a change in plans: no more reliance on Microsoft's technology, no more second session and an appeal to Apple for compatibility." The article notes that Apple has not yet licensed its iPod-compatible FairPlay digital rights management technology to anyone, although the companies appear to be optimistic about that possibility.
Speck Products today introduced the new Mini FlipStand for the iPod Mini. The see-through case provides easy-access to the scroll wheel, headphone jack, hold button, and FireWire sync port. Users can also flip open the scroll wheel door to transform the case into a desktop stand. "Consumers love the color and beauty of their Minis and want to protect them", said Tim Hickman, General Manager of Speck Products. "The Mini FlipStand case is almost invisible and lets the beauty of the Mini shine through. The case provides the most protection available from a case thanks to it's durable ABS plastic design." It includes a built-in belt-clip and is available for $30. [site not responding]
Silex technology today announced it has officially launched its full line of print connectivity products in the US. The low-cost SX-300U ($100) print server allows multiple computer users to share a USB networkable printer; it offers faster printing speeds through spooling, features automatic e-mail printing, incorporates enhanced security IP filtering, and offers access control security. The 4-port version, SX-5000U2, with USB 2.0 connectivity and support for up to 9 USB devices (via an optional hub) is $230. The H-260U ($300) is an internal print server for EIO hp printers that includes a convenient USB port to connect an additional printer. Silex also debuted its SX-3700WB, a $180 single-port wireless device-to-device server connecting networkable USB peripherals to the network. It will ship on August 15.
Afternoon tech news: Google and others are under scrutiny as advertisers fret about phony ad clicks; Microsoft has paid $20 million to Linux upstart 'Lindows' to give up its name and end a court battle; NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile operator, on Saturday became the first operator to launch a wallet phone, equipped with Sony's FeliCa smart chip, which can be quickly read by passing it over a scanner.
Adobe Designer 6.0 has been optimized with the WebSphere Studio open standards environment, which embraces ebXML, XML, J2EE, and Web Services. [Download - form] Flash Player X 126.96.36.199 is the latest version of the free Web browser plug-in. There's no mention of the changes with this version. [Download - 1.5MB] Booxter 1.5 is an update to the book management application that gathers book information from various sources on the internet to allow you to view, edit, sort, categorize, export, and print books in your collection. Version 1.5 adds the ability to scan in barcodes using an iSight or any other FireWire video camera and also allows multiple layouts to be set and switched from among them quickly and easily. [Download - 856KB] Cylinder Distort is a $9 plug-in for both Photoshop and Illustrator that shows a front view of artwork (such as a label) wrapped around a cylinder. The Illustrator plugin does a true vector distortion and the Photoshop plugin does the equivalent high quality image warp. [Download - form/buy] SonicMood 1.1.0 ($10) is the first major update to the background "mood enhancing program" for Mac. The update adds the ability to edit Moods and create new Moods. The help system is also greatly improved. [Download - 1.1MB] Galactica Anno Dominari 2.2 ($20) is an update to the "game of galactic colonization and warfare." This release adds native packaging for OS X installers, a splash screen with storyline, improved in-game chat, and bug fixes. [Download - 3.7MB] pixel-pull 1.0 ($2.50) is a set of transitions for iMovie that give the appearance of the clip being pulled in or out of the frame on a very elastic surface. The plug-ins support four different pull directions each. [Download - 1.2MB] Imagine BootX 2.3 is a utility to change the boot image shown at the beginning of the Mac OS X startup by a custom color image. The update improves compatibility and fixes bugs. [Download - 524KB] BayAreaFreeFi.com has announced wiPod 1.0, an iPod-based field guide for free wi-fi hotspots in the San Francisco Bay Area. Version 1.0 has nearly 200 listings. [Download - 116KB]
Following the announcement of new iPod models, Greg Joswiak, vice president of hardware product marketing at Apple shot down market rumors of 60-gigabyte iPod models in the pipeline. "We have no plans in regard to announcing 60-gigabyte models," Joswiak said. "We are trying to create a much more compelling lineup with two models for 20 and 40 gigabytes at extremely compelling prices." A report in June said Toshiba had received orders from Apple for the upcoming 60GB version of the hard drive used in the iPod.
In brief: For a limited time, MaBaSoft is offering 33 percent off Application Wizard, its utility that makes working with multiple applications easier (a single user license is $10, site license is $134, and world-wide license is $536); Agilent Technologies, which supplies the optical mice sensors used in Apple's mouse as well as countless others, announced today that shipped its 300 millionth sensor since the product's debut in 1999; Verbatim today announced plans to release 1-16X speed DVD+R media; DV Graphics has released a "4G iPods" set of icons, with six color options.
Apple today announced that this fall Duke University will give iPods to all incoming freshman, according to CBS.MarketWatch.com: "Duke will hand out approximately 1,800 iPods that will be pre-loaded with Duke-related content and will allow students to download supplementary university material in addition to being able to play music."
Aspyr has started shipping the Adrenaline Sports Pack, which includes Wakeboarding Unleashed, Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer, and Tony Hawk's Pro Saker 4. The bundle can be ordered from Amazon for $20; it will appear in stores July 23.
Salling Clicker 2.2 is the latest version of the robust Bluetooth remote control software. Salling Clicker allows users to control various aspects of their Mac, from media playback to cursor control, from their Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone or PDA. Version 2.2 adds new digital controllers for the Squeezebox, EyeTV, and VLC; improved PowerPoint control; Italian, French, German, and Russian localizations; and support for more devices. Salling Clicker sells for $20; the update is free for current users.
Apple has released iPod Updater 2004-07-15, which includes iPod Software 3.0 for Click Wheel iPods, iPod Software 1.1 for iPod minis, iPod Software 2.2 for 3G iPods, and iPod Software 1.4 for original iPods. No new features have been added with this update, which appears to simply combine the various iPod software updates available, including the new Click Wheel, into one.
Sony has reduced pricing on its Memory Stick Pro and Memory Stick Pro Duo lines of flash media. Beginning today, 256MB and 512MB Memory Stick Pro media will be available for around $90 and $180, respectively, while 256MB and 512MB versions of the smaller Memory Stick Pro Duo will sell for $95 and $250.
Apple today introduced its fourth-generation ("4G") iPod, boasting 12 hours of battery life, improved playlist functionality, and capacities of 20GB and 40GB. The new iPod borrows the iPod mini's click wheel design, doing away with the third-generation's four touch buttons, and is a millimeter thinner than its predecessor. Pricing starts at $300 for the bare 20GB model and $400 for the 40GB model (with a dock). Update: Neither model includes a carry case ($40 option) or wired remote ($40).
Macromedia today launched Contribute 3.0 for Mac OS X and Windows. The new version of the company's web content management tool, due in August, helps non-technical users manage and update the content on websites without knowledge of page design, HTML, or other web programming. The update will include a free access license ot Macromedia's new server-based Contribute Publishing Services management system as well as features integration with Dreamweaver MX 2004, new "send for review" options offering email notifications to selected reveiwers, an updated FlashPaper 2 application, and more. Pricing is expected to be $150 with upgrades priced at $80. A free preview is available online. [updated]
Oranged.net Software today released an update to its organizational tool for studios and freelancers: Studiometry 2.0. Designed as a solution to securely store client data, project data, to-dos, timers, invoices, and payment data, version 2.0 offers support for networking, multiple employees, Mac OS X Status Item, and in-program invoice/report viewing, editing, printing, and emailing. Studiometry also now supports multiple contacts per client, debt specific taxes, multiple currencies, project archiving, and much more. The new multiple employee feature allows projects to be assigned to specific employees, while hidden from others and allows each to maintain their own private list of to-do's. It is available for $70 with additional 1-CPU/3-employee licenses priced at $25.
Market research firm IDC says that Apple's G5 iMac delay, due primarily to IBM's inability to produce and deliver significant quanities of the G5 CPU, will have a small financial impact on the company's bottom line, according to a Reuters report: "The new iMac will miss out on the crucial back-to-school season. Education sales account for about 25 percent of Apple's total revenue...Using 2003 shipments figures as a proxy, Kay said that one month of lost iMac production amounted to about 32,000 units, or about $32 million in sales, Kay said, which IDC translated to a bottom-line hit of about $260,000, after production costs, taxes and other costs. 'We looked at that figure and said it's not that big a deal,' Kay said. 'We think that kind of math is what led the company to make the decision they did (to delay the new iMac launch).'"
Small Tree Communications has posted a free 30-day trial of its IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation product for Mac OS X. Link aggregation offers bonding or trunking multiple Ethernet ports on a single computer into one virtual interface. This virtual interface provides higher bandwidth, higher availability, and more efficient utilization of the physical links than is otherwise possible, according to the company. It requires either a G4 or G5 system running Mac OS 10.2.7 or later, at least two ethernet ports, and an IEEE 802.3ad compatible ethernet switch. The free trial is fully functional for 30 days.
In Brief: The New York Times says that Apple is focusing on making its music service as much an experience as a store, and is enhancing features to turn casual browsers into repeat customers. One reader has posted an article on how to control you Mac from another Mac using virtual network computing (VNC) over a SSH connection. Make Your Own iTunes Web Remote describes how to use the Apache webserver to control iTunes from a remote computer; dincTYPE has posted five high-quality professional typefaces: the Paris fontset includes Champs Elysees, Sexy Eiffel Tower, Tour de Lance, City of Lights, and Rimbaud.
QuickerTek is now shipping the Whip Antenna for the 12-inch aluminum PowerBook. "The exclusive wireless signal technology of the Whip Antenna typically increases signal strength up to 50%, and increases line-of-sight distance by an average of 250 yards. Getting the antenna outside the confines of the small metal PowerBook case greatly improves the wireless signal strength and range." The $90 antenna kit includes a 5Dbi omni-directional whip antenna including all of the necessary connections as well as illustrated installation instructions.
Apple will open a new retail store in Roseville, MN next week. Apple's retail website indicates that the Apple Store Rosedale Center will open on Saturday July 24 at 10:00 a.m. It is located in the Rosedale Center Lower Level, Center Court near Marshall Fields. Another MacNN reader took a few photos of the previously noted Apple retail store under construction at the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, CA.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.18 ( + 1.54 )
Micromat MacCheck released for free
Micromat, the developers of TechTool Pro, today announced a new troubleshooting utility called MacCheck. The new product can perform a series of critical tests on Macintosh systems, helping to isolate what might be wrong with a particular computer. The program quickly tests many of the critical systems in a Macintosh computer, including RAM, I/O, Volume Structures, Partition Maps, Batteries, and RAID systems. MacCheck is being offered free of charge and is available for download immediately from the Micromat website. http://bit.ly/1SKFwaV
Hyundai Sonata 2016 gains CarPlay
The 2016 Hyundai Sonata can now be upgraded to incorporate Apple's CarPlay mobile technology, which augments the built-in infotainment system in the car to incorporate many iPhone features, such as Apple Maps and Siri voice control of navigation and other smartphone functions. The upgrade is accomplished through an SD card owners can obtain from their local Hyundai dealer. Although not disclosed, the upgrade was said to cost "a small fee" when it was initially announced in December of last year. http://bit.ly/1TJzK8f
TimePorter carry tote for Apple Watch
Twelvesouth today began shipping TimePorter, a new travel tote and portable charging stand for Apple Watch that that carries a 6m Apple Watch charging cable, extra Watch bands, USB chargers and more. The case also incorporates the Apple Watch Charging Disc, converting your case into a charging and display stand. It is available for $50 in white or black. http://bit.ly/1SCQM4T
WaterField cycling ride pouches
WaterField's new cycling ride pouches are custom-fit to carry both in one compact kit and are ready for the summer cycling season. The Cycling Ride Pouch includes a clear window that allows basic phone access with the phone still safely within the case, and the Cycling Club Pouch incorporates a padded phone pocket to separate up to an iPhone 6 Plus-sized phone from the tool compartment. Both handsome pouches fit neatly in a back jersey pocket, with optimized surface area for comfort. The Cycling Ride Pouch sells for $80, with the Club Pouch retailing for $50. http://bit.ly/1rRqN4e
Dish providing on-site iPhone repair services
Dish has expanded into the iPhone repair industry. Available today, the satellite television company's "Smart Phone Repair" routes a technician directly to a customer's door. DISH's network of technicians in all 50 states will repair cracked screens and replace batteries on Apple's iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus. In the coming months, the company intends to expand its service to include additional devices and smartphone accessories. http://bit.ly/1SLaDiW
India rejects Apple's refurb request
Apple's request to the Indian government to be allowed to sell refurbished iPhones has been rejected, a move that will hurt the company's efforts to attract budget-oriented consumers. Opposition to the importation of refurbished iPhones is said to have been led by local smartphone makers (and, it should be noted, Samsung), who feared that lower-cost iPhones would undermine the government's own mandates on manufacturing phones in India, and trigger a flood of used electronics into the marketplace, driving prices generally downward. Currently, Apple has just two percent of the smartphone market there, and is also applying to the government for permission to open directly-controlled Apple Stores. That decision is still pending. http://bloom.bg/1rRgi0I
Amazon Prime Now available via website
Amazon's Prime Now rapid delivery service is now available to use from the web, giving users an alternative to using the normal mobile app. Available as a free option for Prime subscribers in certain areas, the web-based service continues to offer the same selection of goods as the mobile version, and is still free for deliveries within two hours, $8 for within one hour. http://amzn.to/1UvqYgi