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: 104.21 ( -0.13 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE