In Brief: Motorola has posted a video of the Motorola-iTunes announcement, which was made earlier this week at 'MOTOMEDIAMANIA' media night...TIME magazine has named the 4G iPod its 'Gadget of the Week,' offering positive comments about the longer battery life and "click wheel", but noting some issues with the new 'shuffle' feature...The Portland Mac Filmmakers' User Group will hold on August 25 an in-depth session on Apple's Motion with featured guest speaker Paul Pashibin, a senior systems engineer with Apple...Apple is on track to ship its liquid-cooled 2.5GHz G5 Power Macs by the end of the month to make good on its July shipment promise, according to AppleInsider.
Mobile operators could hinder Motorola's iTunes deal with Apple and stop other phone manufacturers from launching similar digital music transfer services and may be unwilling to subsidize handsets, according to analysts interview by Forbes: "analysts think mobile operators will obstruct the partnership unless revenue streams are offered to them. It could make it hard for Motorola to ship iTunes handsets when they launch at the start of 2005. 'The deal implies that fixed broadband connections are a better way to deliver high quality music downloads than mobile networks,' said Ian Fogg, broadband and personal technology analyst at Jupiter Research Europe. 'It suggests that operators hoping to profit from music downloads will be bypassed by PC transfer services like this.'"
DEVONtechnologies today posted new software updates to its shareware web cam and image viewer PhotoStickies and its free thumbnail generator ThumbsUp. PhotoStickies 5.1 ($12) displays images with full opacity when the user moves the mouse pointer over it, features "Copy/Paste Filters" commands and introduces handy shortcuts to switch between the four areas of the Inspector panel. It also adds a "Post Cam" command to the "Control" menu, is able to set the threshold of "Black & White" filters as well as features an overall improved performance and compatibility with more web cam servers. The freeware thumbnail generator ThumbsUp 4.0 now also generates thumbnails of QuickTime movies in addition to creating thumbnails for a bunch of pictures--with support for many image formats, including PDF documents. Both require Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Technology guru Walter Mossberg's latest review of the Sony Network Walkman NW-HD1 says "While the new Sony [music player] is smaller than the iPod and has much better battery life, it is markedly inferior overall," Walter Mossberg writes of Sony's purported "iPod-killer." His review, in The Wall Street Journal [paid subscription], says that Sony player is hampered by a poor user interface, an "oddball" music format, and a music store that's far inferior to iTunes, Mossberg notes. "If you love the Sony name, or the Walkman's size and design, or if you regularly take flights lasting more than 12 hours, you might be willing to pay $100 more for this new Walkman over an iPod. But, for everybody else, until Sony fixes the multitude of sins in this product, steer clear of it." [free link here]
pdf-Office 2.8 ($60) can create PDF forms and documents from scratch. It offers WSYIWIG editing, the ability to set the tab order for Acrobat Reader, exact positioning (x-y axis or snap to grid), calculating form fields, checkboxes, multiline textfields, pull-down fields, field validations, background images, 128-bit encryption, and more. NetMinder Ethernet 5.1 (free update) updates the network analyzer software that captures and decodes packet data. It adds Rendezvous support, fixes printing and dialog boxes for Jaguar compatibility, incorporates new and enhanced decodes (mDNS, ASIP, iChat, etc.), adds significantly faster protocol analysis windows, and includes Bandwidth Hogs and BugBear Packet Inference rules. [1.2MB] Sente 1.2 ($80) helps scientists, physicians and others search, and stay current with, the scientific and academic literature. Version 1.2 adds support for more data sources and for the library search protocol known as Z39.50, which enables Sente to search hundreds of on-line library catalogs and other literature databases--in addition to PubMed. [5.8MB] Kitchen 1.0 ($15) is a personal recipe organizer, allowing you to keep track of all your recipes as well as automatically generate shopping lists and email recipes to others. [Download - 12.3MB] CutX allows children or employees of a company to surf the Web without the risks of being exposed to harmful or pornographic websites. It allows parents or network administrators to manage a keyword list. When a keyword is found in a web page, all pictures are automatically hidden. [Download - 500KB] Belle Nuit HTMLBook 1.0 compiles multiple HTMLPages into one printable PDF Document with custom header, footer and table of contents. The developer says: "I like to write program documentation in HTML for its flexibility [...] I needed an automatic solution to give the users a printable PDF file." [Download - 940KB] SMARTReporter 1.0 is an application that can warn you of (ATA/IDE) hard-drive failures before they actually happen! It does so by periodically polling the S.M.A.R.T.-status of your hard-drives. S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) is a technology built into most modern hard-drives that acts as an "early warning system" for pending drive problems. [Download - 114KB] AudioFinder ($50) is a sample management system and 'music production hub.' "AudioFinder lets you look at what is already on your computer's hard disks in new ways so that you will find sounds that you never knew you had." [Download - 2.6MB] League Trac ($50) is a Filemaker Solution that was developed to help sports leagues track player registration and organize there teams, coaches and sponsors. Some Features include: Registration form, print phonebooks, print rosters and email on player or all at once. [Download - buy]
Fuji today announced five new consumer digital cameras, adding to its line of point-and-shoot A-series, "streamlined style" F-series, and the traditional 35mm-style body S-series models. Fuji has added three cameras in a new fourth category, the highly versatile E-series, as well as replacements for two popular S-series models. The Fujifilm FinePix E-series includes the E500 ($300), E510 ($350) and E550 ($500) models with options for telephoto and wide-angle lenses and an optional cradle system. The new FinePix S3100 ($350) will replace the FinePix S3000, while the new FinePix S5100 ($500) will replace the FinePix S5000. The FinePix E500, S3100 and S5100 offer 4.0 megapixel resolution, while the FinePix E510 offers a resolution of 5.2 megapixels. The FinePix E550 offers Fujifilm's proprietary Super CCD HR sensor to capture 6.3 million effective pixels. The cameras will ship in August (except the S100, which is due in October).
BusinessWeek Online's Peter Burrows says that RealNetworks' attempt to make its music downloads work on iPods--via its Harmony software--does both Apple and consumers a disservice and that the effort should be thwarted: "You might think Apple would welcome a product that encourages consumers to legally download music onto their player. But it's said to be more than a little unhappy, and with good reason. Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs should clearly and firmly squelch Real's attempt to infiltrate Apple's music empire. GartnerG2 analyst Mike McGuire sums it up: 'At some point, Apple may decide to license [its iPod technology] to others. But they should do it for good business reasons, not because a rival issues a press release or some beta software.'"
Other World Computing today announced a full line of CD-R/RW+DVD+/-R/RW SuperDrive upgrades for most Apple PowerMac G3s, G4s and G5s, the Apple G4 Cube and select Apple PowerBook computers. Internal 8x-speed SuperDrives for most PowerMac models start at $100, with many special software and media bundle options available to choose from. Internal 2x- and 4x-speed SuperDrive upgrades for PowerBook G4 15-inch "Titanium" 400MHz-1GHz models are available from $180, and internal 2x- and 4x-speed SuperDrive upgrades for the PowerMac G4 Cube start at $330.
Rogue Amoeba today announced Audio Hijack Pro 2, a system audio enhancement utility for Mac OS X with over 35 new features. "Audio Hijack Pro will drastically change the way you use audio on your computer by giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio." It can record internet streams, import records and cassettes, and grab DVD audio as well as now record to AAC and Apple Lossless (ALAC)--in addition to the original MP3 and AIFF formats. It features a new Recording Bin (for previews, post-processing, and burning), a new user interface, split on/remove silence functions, single event and recurring timers, ID3 tagging, parallel effects processing, and more. It is available for $32 or as a $10 upgrade for existing users.
Buena Software today released of Au Naturel, a new plugin for Adobe After Effects, Apple's Final Cut Pro, and discreet Combustion. The cross-platform plugin includes tools for producing realistic lens blurs, adjusting the exposure of your footage in f-stops, performing extremely high quality transformations, and compositing with multiple alpha channels. Au Naturel works in a 32-bit per channel floating point linear RGB color space and it also includes an extremely high quality transformation tool that allows users to scale, rotate, skew, and translate their footage with sub-pixel accuracy. It is available for $80 through August 12th.
Aspyr today announced MTX: Mototrax, a motocross game for Mac and PC. The game is currently at beta and is expected to ship late September 2004. The title, licensed by Activision, and under development at Beenox, "forces players to use skills and savvy to beat the pros in a quest to become the ultimate MX athlete." Users can compete in career mode through Motocross, Supercross, Freestyle and offroad events, backed by real-world racing teams and sponsors.
Allgood Solitaire 3.2 ($15) offers 70 different variations of Solitaire, from the well known Klondike, Pyramid, Gaps, and Canfield, to the more eclectic Will O Wisp, and Monte Carlo. It now offers more games, plus move hints, extra redeals, resizable game window and a game timer. [Download - 2.2MB] Meton ($3) is a Status Item Menu, which displays iCal events, making them easily accessable from anywhere in your system without the need to launch iCal. Meton can be configured to display events from today, yesterday, tomorrow, and this week in the main menu or as submenus. [Download - 1.3MB] MediaMaid FM 6b6 is a $200 customizable media asset management solution for use with FileMaker Pro. Beta 6 is the first public beta, and offers several bug fixes, tooltips for all toolbars, and more. [Download - 13.6MB] FlightCheck Workflow 3.5 ($1000) can process and analyze information about documents and jobs while they are automatically checked for potential problems. New features in version 3.5 include: support for Adobe Creative Suite, improved Adobe InDesign functionality, improved PowerPoint and MS Word management. [Download - 13.6MB] ScreenBroadcasting 1.1 ($10) makes it possible to set your Mac's screen as a video source instead of an iSight or other webcam. It can be used with any QuickTime-compatible software. Version 1.1 is based on OpenGL DMA video, eliminates artefacts when moving windows, and works on all video cards. [Download - 287KB] GURL Watcher 1.7.0 ($20) silently watches and logs the Web sites displayed in a browser. This release adds support for the Camino browser. Additionally, words that trigger the closing of a page (content checking) are now reported in the log file and/or email report. [Download - 2.7MB]
In Brief: Thousands of Japanese shoppers lined up outside Apple's Tokyo store on Saturday morning for a chance to buy a iPod mini -- but were delayed by a pair of camera-shy customers at the head of the line; Since last year, Andrew Ackloo of iSkin and Lajo Cymbalski of Xskin have been feuding over the sale and distribution of iPod cases; Apple said Wednesday it will start selling its new iPod digital music players in Korea at lower prices than its local competitors; AppleInsider reports that Apple has seeded developers with the third external build of of Mac OS X 10.3.5 and Apple last week completed a transition of its customer relationship management software to PeopleSoft.
Morning tech news: NASA has given Approval to a project that will build the largest ever supercomputer based on SGI's 512-processor Altix computers; PayPal has reached a preliminary settlement with some customers who accused the eBay unit of illegally freezing their funds; Microsoft said Tuesday that it has delayed an update to its Windows Server software as well as the first version of Windows to support 64-bit x86 chips.
Organizers of the PhotoshopWorld Conference & Expo have added three new bonus classes to the 60 comprehensive sessions already offered at the upcoming September 1-3 conference in Orlando. More than 80 percent of the classes offered at PhotoshopWorld are new or revised since the last 2003 conference. In addition, every attendee receives a detailed 700 page PhotoshopWorld Conference Workbook that includes instructor-provided materials from class sessions.
Students at four Broward County public schools will get iBooks this year in a pilot program, according to The Miami Herald: "Within a few months, 4,500 Broward students -- some as young as 9 -- will be on the front lines of a technological revolution in the county's classrooms...The School Board has spent $5 million from its capital budget for the iBooks -- the first step toward putting a personal computer in the hands of every child in grades 3 to 12."
MusicMatch has launched a new music sharing feature that allows its users to share music with other users. The Associated Press reports MusicMatch's revamped website--offering both permanent song downloads and subscription access to streaming music--features a service that allows users to send an email to friends with a special link that allows the purchased song to be played up to 3 times before it becomes "locked". The feature extends the music sharing paradigm of playlist-sharing found in other music services, such as Napster 2.0 and Apple's iTunes. One analyst says that it "will be an incremental feature that could lead them to be more competitive...You'll probably see other people follow MusicMatch's lead, particularly if it proves successful, and my guess is that it will be."
WiebeTech is now shipping a 100GB version of its ComboGB pocket drive. The high performance pocket drive features a brushed aluminum case with three interfaces--FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0/1.1--and ships with five different cables and adapters. It features an Oxford 922 chipset for maximum performance and high compatibility, a 4200 rpm mechanism, and an optional world-comaptible power adapter ($25). It is available now for $500 (100GB model) as well as in other capacities, including case-only ($120), 40GB ($200), and 80GB ($370). HIgher performance models with a 5200 rpm drive are available in 60GB ($280) and 80GB ($400) capacities, while a 7200 rpm 60GB model is $370.
The median pay for US CEOs increased by 15 percent last year and Apple CEO Steve Jobs was among the the CEOs of four companies -- Oracle., Apple, Yahoo and Colgate-Palmolive -- who watched their total compensation packages surge by more than 1,000 percent in 2003--largely through exercising stock options and receiving restricted stock, according to a report by The Associated Press: "The survey also examined the pay of 1,794 CEOs who held their posts for all of 2003, and found that median compensation was $1.85 million. IAC/InterActiveCorp's CEO, Barry Diller, had the highest total compensation, according to the survey. He received $156 million in 2003, including stock option profits of $151 million."
An Adweek.com report suggests that a second Pepsi-iTunes promotion may be scheduled for next year, as TBWA\Chiat\Day's Southern California office has landed a new assignment for SuperBowl 2005 advertising: "Five months after BBDO launched the Pepsi iTunes promotion on the Super Bowl, TBWA/Chiat/Day's Southern California office is getting a crack at the assignment, landing the estimated $15-20 million business without a review, sources said last week. The effort, slated to break during the game next year, will run through the spring. Sources said the reason for the switch was that Apple CEO Steve Jobs wanted the Apple agency to do the work so he could have more of a say in its creation."
In Brief: Product experts from 4D, Inc. will present a series of sessions on using the 4th Dimension (4D) development environment at the OpenBase Developers Conference, in Maui, September 2 - 6, 2004... Secunia reports on a new "less critical" Mac OS X 10.3.4 security vulnerability in which a local user can exploit "Internet Connect.app" to gain escalated privileges... Sydney-based STM, Ltd. announced that its laptop, iPod and camera bags are now available through selected campus stores, online resellers and outdoor retailers, including RadTech...Architosh reports that Nemetschek North America has released VectorWorks 11.0.1, an update to its CAD software that provides international market support via new localized versions as well as support for AutoCAD 2005 DXF/DWG.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl