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Allume Systems today shipped Creative Essentials, a powerful collection of creative and affordable tools for "everyone from the design professional to hobbyist looking to get their creative juices flowing." Creative Essentials is priced at $150 and the suite includes top-rated design, graphics, and animation software from Corel, Daz3D and Toon Boom. The suite also includes a bonus collection of fonts from Bitstream. It offers CorelDRAW, Corel PHOTO-PAINT, CorelTRACE, DAZ3D Bryce, and Toon Boom Studio Express.
Intelli Innovations today unveiled IntelliScanner Collector 1.5, the second generation of its Personal Barcode Reader, now shipping in one box for both Windows and Mac. IntelliScanner Collector "empowers home and small business users with barcode technology, offering easy collection management of books, DVDs, CDs, and games." Collection version 1.5 features AutoFill support for BMG Music Service barcodes, faster search options, a new database format, customizable genres, "Send To iPod" export options, a new USB scanning tutorial, support for IntelliScanner Asset Tags, and printing enhancements.
lynda.com today announced "Learning Adobe CS Integration and Version Cue" ($50) with Mordy Golding, a movie-based tutorial designed to help users of Adobe Creative Suite gain a basic understanding of the included applications and how they work together. This tutorial also focuses on using Adobe Version Cue to help keep track of your files. The training begins with a basic overview of the individual applications and quickly advances to cover a wide range of different design projects -- creating a corporate identity, an ad campaign, a brochure, a Web page, a Web banner, and a business presentation.
Afternoon tech news: With DualDisc, which has CD on one side and DVD on the other, record labels hope to counteract sliding sales; dozens of arrests of people charged with crimes related to junk e-mail, identity theft, and other online scams will be announced Thursday, according to a New York Times report; a U.K. advertising standards body has warned Microsoft that its 'Get the Facts' ad campaign claiming Linux isn't cheaper than Windows could be misleading.
Bare Bones Software has released Mailsmith 2.1.3, an update to its email client for Mac OS X. Version 2.1.3 fixes minor bugs and issues reported by users, adds support for ASSP spam headers, and adds minor interface refinements. Mailsmith costs $100 for new years; version 2.1.3 is a free update for all registered users.
The MathWorks has released its Video and Image Processing Blockset, a new product for designing embedded video and image processing systems. The Video and Image Processing Blockset allows imaging engineers to rapidly build models, simulate algorithms and system behavior, generate C-code for deployment on programmable processors, and verify their designs, all within the Simulink environment. It provides a customizable framework for rapidly designing, simulating, implementing, and verifying video and image processing algorithms and systems. Its library includes 2-D filters, conversions, geometric transformations, morphological operations, and transforms for rapid algorithm and system specification development. It is available now starting at $1,000.
Aurora Video this week launched its "ultimate" standard definition PCI video editing card: Aurora's PipeStudio is specifically designed to take advantage of the Final Cut Pro RT Extreme architecture while providing virtually every commonly available professional-level audio and 10-bit video input and output on an included industrial-quality rackmountable 2U breakout box. It supports selectable 2-channel 24-bit analog or 4-channel AES digital audio inputs and outputs on balanced XLR jacks or unbalanced RCA jacks and up to 8-channel SDI-embedded digital audio inputs/outputs as well as desktop/video sync, an RS422 deck control interface, True Color filtering for enhanced colorspace conversion, upper/lower field PAL, and more. It will be available later this month for $2000.
Paul R. La Monica of CNN/Money calls Apple "the Teflon tech stock" in his latest column, noting that no amount of bad news seems to damper the company's performance on Wall Street. "Here are just a few of the issues the Mac faithful have had to ponder: CEO Steve Jobs' cancer surgery, intensified online music competition from Real Networks and Roxio (which is renaming itself Napster), rumblings about an imminent online music entry by Microsoft, Sony's debut in the digital music player market, delays in the introduction of the new iMac, concerns about a shortage of the G5 processor and a recall of some PowerBook batteries. Whew! Despite all this, Apple's stock is up more than 45 percent this year. Since my last positive column about Apple in mid-May, the stock is up 16 percent. Meanwhile the Nasdaq lost 2 percent." La Monica remains bullish about Apple despite the recent gains and shaky news, noting that heavy demand continues to surround several Apple products and that Apple's music strategy seems very sound.
LivingTime 2.0 is an application for recording and charting the events of a person's life, combining diary, logbook, calendar, photo album, and graphical timeliner features. Designed to allow one to collect and review the significant events of their life or that of a parent or child's, LivingTime offers access to thousands of world events that can be imported to provide additional richness and perspective to the act of remembering one's experiences. LivingTime 2.0 sells for $50; a free trial for Mac OS 8/9 and Mac OS X is available.
MRWFormat 2.0 ($30) is a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop (and other compatible software) to open and pre-process raw images taken by Minolta DiMAGE digital still cameras. The plugin allows user to leverage the benefits of the RAW format and adds 15 new features, including support for color management, new preview sizes, logging, and a color histogram. [436KB] iClip 3.2 ($30) updates the system utility for Mac OS X, adding a new method for adding clippings to a clipping set via drag & drop to the icon at the top of the iClip window as well better preview control and better clipping management. iClip is a multiple clipboard/scrapbook/launcher application. [4.2MB] CNS Menu 1.0 ($65) is a new FileMaker Pro 7 plug-in that allows you to place hierarchal menus anywhere on a FileMaker layout. "When a menu item is chosen, the script of your choice in the database of your choice is performed. Menus can have any number of sub menus and can be displayed with a variety of styles and bullet marks." It includes an example database with 15 examples. [form] Navicat 5.2.1 ($95) adds support for importing csv, dbf, XML files to MySQL through an import/export wizard. The database manager offers an integrated GUI tool let you perform MySQL administration and database development, offering functions to import/export data, backup, transfer database from server to server, create query and manage local or remote MySQL server. [2.0MB] MacAT 6.7 ($50) brings FileMaker Pro 7 support to the automated task scheduling application for server administrators. It allows more than 42 of the most common Mac OS tasks to be run daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly or yearly without user intervention. Version 6.7 also updates the application for the latest release of Mac OS X, makes a few UI changes, and fixes a few bugs. [3.4MB] Barres II.0.0 ($30) is a simple barcode generation application that can generate a variety of symbologies, including UPC (12 digits), EAN13 (13 digits), and SCC14 (14 digits). It can export in many resolution-independent formats, in a standard epsf file or in a PICT image. This version is now Carbonized, offers scaling options, and displays the graphic size. Upgrades are $20. [648KB]
Sorenson Media has begun shipping Sorenson Squeeze 4, an update to its line of video compression applications for digital video professionals and enthusiasts. The Sorenson Squeeze 4 product line includes the Sorenson Squeeze 4 Compression Suite ($450), Sorenson Squeeze 4 for Macromedia Flash MX ($120), and Sorenson Squeeze 4 for MPEG-4 ($200). Version offers improved workflow and timesaving enhancements, including several innovative new features, including support for high-definition (HD) video and the Sorenson AVC Pro codec (also known as H.264) in the Sorenson Squeeze 4 Compression Suite and Sorenson Squeeze 4 for MPEG-4. Other new features include improved batch processing, a customizable interface, etc. Electronic versions are available now.
Recent job postings by Apple's iPod division searching for hardware engineers both with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi experience has prompted speculation that a future version of the handheld MP3 player may be equipped with wireless connectivity, according to a report by The Register: "The job applications [were] posted on behalf of Apple's iPod division and call for candidates with 'a consumer electronics background dealing with high volume, low power, high quality products'." The report speculates that the new wireless functions may be used for primarily for connectivity to Apple's AirPort Express device rather than for replacing the FireWire/USB connection currently used to sync songs.
Now AAPL Stock: 96.35 ( + 1.87 )
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram has formally announced that it will roll out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in it's iOS app with an update that will bring the program to version 7.1.5. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app, and some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
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 Power 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