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In Brief: Phil Schiller will deliver the Apple Expo 2004 keynote on Tuesday from Paris, France at 10 am local time (4 am ET/1 am PT)--MacNN expects to have coverage of the event... In an effort to prevent illegal file sharing on campus, Florida State University is on the verge of finalizing a deal with Apple to bring free iTunes software to students and allow them to download music for 99 cents per song...An Austin songwriter needed just a guitar and an iPod as his backing band for his show in Reno, LV....Forbes says Sony's pricey Network Walkman falls short of the iPod despite a longer battery life (although the article curiously mentions freezes with with both iTunes and Sony software).
Speck Products today began shipping its SkinTight line of rubberized cases for Apple and HPs fourth generation iPods (i.e., 4G iPod or iPod with Click Wheel). Announced earlier this month, Speck's SkinTight iPod Skin provides protection against dust, knocks, and scratches. It is made from a superior shock-absorbing, tear-resistant KRATON plastic and features a flex-away flap, allowing it to work with the iPod dock. Speck's SkinTight rubberized skins are available in three colors (frosted clear, blue, and pink) and can be purchased individually for $20 or as a 3-Pack for $30. The rubberized 4G iPod Skin are available now on Speck's website and will be available soon at most major retailers, according to the company.
Kensington last week introduced the Kensington Laptop Desktop USB, the latest product in its line notebook accessories. It designed for notebooks 16" and smaller, it allows users to convert their mobile PC into a slim desktop computer, complete with a screen that is automatically raised for optimal viewing and ergonomic comfort. It features a 4-port USB 2.0 hub, an adjustable screen height, and both tilt and swivel features. A curved back and padded insert ensure constant ventilation and secure fit, while enclosure offers protection from spills; it also offers a built-in copyholder and a VESA mounting plate to attach to monitor arms, wall mounts and cubicle hangers. It will be available this week for $110 ($80 street price).
RadTech today announced its 4G PodSleevz, the latest version of its iPod protective sleeve cases and OmniCleanz, the ultimate cleaning solution for display screens and much more. RadTech's 4G PodSleevz are available in a full array of colors and feature the same play-through-case design. The form-fitting sleeve case is made with super-soft, ultra-tough Optex, RadTech's exclusive optical-grade material that's "thin and lightweight for durable, long-lasting protection without the bulk--allowing it to be used with the Apple iPod clip case."
LaCie today announced two dual-layer DVD burners, updating its DVD line with the latest technology to burn full-length DVDs or back up 8.5GB of data. Due in September, the ultra slim drive designed by FA Porsche is designed for portability, while the ultra fast drive in the distinct d2 design offers maximum performance. The 8x LaCie Slim DVD±RW Double Layer, available in both FireWire (bus-powered, $200) and USB 2.0 ($200) versions, includes DVD playback software and supports 8x4x8x DVD+/-RW speeds and 16x10x24x CD-RW speeds. The multi-format LaCie 16x d2 DVD±RW Double Layer supports a full 4.7GB DVD burning in about six minutes, combining 16x4x12x DVD+/-RW speeds with 32x24x40x CD-RW speeds. It is available in internal ($130), FireWire with CaptyDVD 2.0 ($230), FireWire with Toast Titanium ($230) or Dual-FireWire/USB ($200) models.
Business Card Composer 2.3 is a new version of the $40 do-it-yourself business card tool for Mac OS X. This update contains integration with iPhoto, improved Address Book support, enhanced calibration process, new professional designs and images. [Download - 12MB] iGetter 2.0 ($25) is a full featured download manager and accelerator. New in version 2.0 is a completely rewritten download engine, a completely rewritten application architecture, integration with the FileAvenue.net Web service, and more. [Download - 1.2MB] DiscBlaze 4.1 is a free update to the $25 CD/DVD burning software for Mac OS X. Version 4.1 brings a new user interface for burning disc images, a high quality custom icon library for burned discs and many other enhancements. [Download - 2.2MB] iEvents 2.1.0 ($20) is a client-side tool for quickly creating custom calendar Web sites that can then be easily uploaded to any server or iDisk. This update fixes an issue with the recent menu in the welcome window, enables copy & paste and drag & drop for the feedback window, fixes a potential issue with graphic files not having an extension and updates the calendar site build code. [Download - 1.07MB] Youpi Optimizer 1.7 (free) is an application which enables you to delete resources localized in unused languages. Users can gain more than 100MB of free space with a standard Mac OS X installation. Version 1.7 streamlines the deletion process, finds more resources, improves application stability, and more. [121KB] iTreo 1.3 ($12) is a Mac OS X companion application for your Treo 600, Zire 71, or other palmOne handheld. It allows you to retrieve the pictures taken with your handheld, and to copy them to iPhoto, the Finder, or any other application as well as easily e-mail your pictures by dragging them from iTreo to Apple's Mail application without saving them. [760KB]
Recordare has released a Mac OS X version of its Dolet for Finale plug-in 2.0; it allows users exchange files with any other programs that support the MusicXML format. Recordare's Dolet plug-ins serve as "universal translators" between music notation programs. Finale users on OS X can now read files produced by programs including Sibelius, PhotoScore Professional, and Virtual Composer. They can also write files that can be read by programs such as Igor Engraver, MuseBook Score, and capella playAlong. Recordare has also released a maintenance update its Dolet for Sibelius plug-in
In Brief: AppleInsider has some photos of Sean "P.Diddy" Combs' custom-made diamond iPod and cradle, encrusted with over 120 diamonds....More than 35 students are receiving a scholarship to PhotoshopWorld, which takes place later this week in Orlando, FL (free tickets are available to the public Tech Expo)....WorldSync today shipped its new SyncDeK Developer Kit for Windows and is offering hands-on demos at the FileMaker Developer Conference in Phoenix...lynda.com has posted "Power Hour, Russell Brown's Adobe Photoshop Tips and Techniques," a 5.25-hour tutorial can now be viewed online by both lynda.com Online Learning Library subscribers and non-subscribers....MacUsingEducators.com has posted an article titled How I Use my iBook to Teach Guitar Lessons.
Targus today unveiled its Rolling Notebook Backpack, a versatile carrying case which it says offers the same protection as Targus' standard cases while combining the flexibility of a backpack and rolling case into one portable package. It can be worn, rolled or carried by a co-molded ergonomic handle at the top. The Targus Rolling Notebook Backpack is currently available at Best Buy or on Targus' Web site; it has a suggested retail price of $70 and includes a limited lifetime warranty.
In Brief: Today is the last chance to sign up for a free VIP Pass for the South Beach iPod Garage Party, which takes place this Wednesday, September 1st, on Miami Beach; The University of the Philippines-Diliman is offering a tutorial on "Using Mac OS X" on September 3, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Diliman Interactive Learning Center Building; the Savannah Macintosh Users Group (SMUG) today announced a new design for their Web site, and September 9th as their next meeting date; Alien Sands announced that it is cutting the price of tesl8 from $12 to $6.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced new versions of its iPod cases for 4th generation iPods (4G iPods) with Click Wheel (as well as the new Apple iPods by HP). The DLO Jam Jacket and the DLO Jam Jacket Pro sport new, bright, fresh colors and feature new, improved designs. The new versions of the DLO Action Jacket workout case, leather Podfolio and Executive Podfolio, as well as the stylish DLO Podsling are also available for preorder. All of the new DLO cases will be available by the end of September, according to the company.
Microsoft this week will release Virtual PC 7 to manufacturing, after several months of delays, according to MacNN sources. The release of the Windows emulation software for Mac comes after the Mac BU decided to wait for the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2, which was made available earlier this month. Microsoft will also release Office 2004 Professional Edition to manufacturing, the premium version of the company's Office 2004 bundled with Virtual PC 7. Both the full version of Virtual PC 7 and Office 2004 Professional are expected to be available in retail stores by October, as anticipated earlier this summer, but will likely begin shipping directly to customers by end of September. The update versions are expected to be available shortly thereafter.
Kanguru Solutions today announced the release of the slim Kanguru FC-RW, a battery powered portable DVD player and flash card burner that allows digital camera users to burn flash card data onto a CD without a computer. In addition to copying flash card data onto a CD, the new Slim FC-RW can be connected to a TV and used as a DVD player or when connected to a computer it can be used as a DVD-ROM, CD-RW or Card Reader. Selling for $250, it works with eight different media types including Compact Flash (Type I/II), IBM Micro Drive, Smart Media, Sony Memory Stick, Sony Memory Stick PRO, Secure Digital and Multi-media cards.
Bare Bones Software today announced the release of BBEdit 8.0, a major update to its HTML and text editor. BBEdit 8.0 introduces over one hundred new features and improvements, including a new Documents Drawer and Navigation Bar interface, new Text Factories for automating text processing, improved previews through integration with Apache, numerous enhancements to the product's signature HTML markup tools, improved Unicode support, integrated support for Perforce, and more. It is available now for $180 with upgrade pricing starting at $50.
FileMaker today began shipping FileMaker Server 7 Advanced, an enhanced version of FileMaker Server 7 that provides advanced web publishing and connectivity options for efficiently managing shared solutions for desktop and web clients. FileMaker Server 7 Advanced provides simultaneous database hosting for up to 100 web-based clients and 250 desktop clients within one easy-to-use software application. It is available for $2,500. FileMaker also announced a FileMaker Server 7 Advanced Development License ($500), which is available to owners of FileMaker Developer 7 to allow development and testing without the purchase of a full deployment license. Finally, FileMaker announced that it has shipped over 10 million copies of FileMaker.
Epson's new PowerLite 821p is a new LCD projector that offers 2,600-ANSI lumens of brightness, XGA (1024 x 768) resolution, a 1.6x power zoom lens, and quiet fan (as low as 30 db) It features two computer and two video inputs to easily switch between video sources, as well as four dedicated audio inputs to manage different sound sources. The company also says that audio is enhanced through the projector's specially engineered, built-in five-watt speaker. The projector uses offers brightness modes, which can extend the life of its 2,000-hour replaceable bulb ($300) by up to 3,000 hours. It is available for $3,100. (Earlier this month, Epson introduced two pico-portable, XGA projectors.)
Xerox has announced its DP 1015 digital projector, which it says one of the "most compact, lightest, and easiest to use digital projectors in its price category." The project weights 3.5 lbs, offers 1500 lumens brightness, and features 1024x768 (XGA) resolution. The Xerox DP 1015's Digital Light Processor (DLP) technology produces a contrast ratio of 900:1 and offers an entirely digital connection between the video source and the screen. The DP 1015 includes an omni-directional infrared receiver for the standard accessory remote control (with laser pointer) as welll as supports multiple inputs (DVI, 15-pin RGB, composite video and S-video). The $2,000 projector, available immediately, ships with cables and a carrying case.
Roku Labs today announced that its Roku SoundBridge network music player now ships with free Wi-Fi (formerly a $50 option). SoundBridge is network music player that streams digital music and Internet radio from any computer to powered speakers or a stereo system. SoundBridge features a bright, vacuum florescent display and an ergonomic remote control. Roku is also customers current SoundBridge owners one of three options: (1) receive a Roku-tested Wi-Fi card, (2) take $100 off the purchase of another SoundBridge or a HD1000 high-definition digital media player (3) receive a $50 refund.
Scholastic Education today announced READ 180 v1.6 for Mac OS X, its research-based intervention program for struggling readers in grades 4 and above. According to the company, the application helps students who are reading below grade level learn fundamental reading skills by addressing individual needs through adaptive and instructional software, high-interest literature, and direct instruction in reading skills. Scholastic also announced native Mac OS X versions of Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI), a computer-adaptive reading assessment test for students in grades 1-12 that accurately matches readers to text, and Scholastic Reading Counts!, a technology-based reading practice program.
Lasso Professional 7.1 ($650) is a free update to the data-driven Web server application with FileMaker Pro 7 compatibility. Lasso offers allows data in FileMaker databases to be manipulated as an alternative to using the built-in script functionality and offers built-in session handling and caching. Version 7.1 also works with MySQL and JDBC data sources. [not yet available] Pod Secret 1.0 ($30) allows users to store encrypted notes, medical vaccinations, credit cards, bank numbers, traveler's check, serial numbers, passport, driver's licenses, or any other data that you wish on removable media such as an iPod or a thumb drive for convenient portable access. [2.9MB] Synergy 1.2 (5€) updates the iTunes accessory that puts buttons to control iTunes in your menu bar, provides global control over your music using system-wide hot keys, automatically handles cover art downloads, and displays a highly customizable semi-transparent floating window with iTunes info. It offers new button sets, more options, and other bug fixes. [912KB] Time Track 2.0 ($25) is a time tracking application designed for consultants and freelancers; it brings Palm OS support and cross-platform compatibility, custom (unlimited) text for each entry, undo/redo support, an improved HTML export, log file editing, and more. [Classic, OSX] iCamShare 2.0b2 ($15), now in beta, allows users to easily share video/photos using an iSight or other webcam. Version 2.0 brings .Mac HomePage support, drag & drop support to other applications, digital zoom (up to 300%), export to any QuickTime-supported format, access to camera and audio controls, trimming, interface improvements, and more. [744KB] Tidy Service 1.0 (free) can be used to clean up HTML markup in any application that supports Mac OS X "services", which allows maninpulation of text within any application using one of two commands: Tidy to XHTML instructs the Tidy engine to generate valid XHTML, while Tidy Markup simply cleans up HTML. [366KB]
Coinciding with the release of the Apple iPod by HP, rap star P. Diddy plans to attend his post MTV Video Music Awards party with his personalized Apple iPod encrusted with 120 diamonds. "HP is a major sponsor of the music awards, and all the guests at P. Diddy’s party, are to receive a gift of their own HP iPod, minus the diamonds," according to the report.
WiebeTech today announced that many of its storage enclosures are now available with Hitachi's new 400GB IDE drives, including its Fire800 enclosure ($650), DuoGB800 dual-drive enclosure (2 x 400GB for $1,200), and QuadBayDock800 quad drive (4 x 400GB for $3,000) as well as many others. WiebeTech has also reduced pricing on its G5Jam storage expansion system. Users can now purchase a basic G5Jam expansion system (without drives) for $400 or a fully configured G5Jam 1.6 Terabyte system using four Hitachi 400GB drives for $3,000 ($500 reduction).
Panic has released Unison 1.5, the latest build of the company's Mac OS X usenet newsreader. The application offers a simple Mac GUI to enable access to thousands of daily postings on wide variety of topics, such as music, files, movies, etc. Version 1.5 offers a significantly faster and less memory-intensive article storage system, the ability to mark anything as "read" (including files), a Mail-like Rules engine for automatically filtering posts, an improved Download manager, switchable personalities, .NZB file support, image groups, and more. A 15-day demo of the $25 application is available online.
Sony today introduced three new Cyber-shot digital cameras. The pocket-size 5.1-megapixel T3 camera is Sony's thinnest digital camera, measuring less than three-quarters of an inch. Using Sony's Real Imaging Processor circuit, this new model shoots bursts of up to four full-resolution images at three frames per second; incorporates a built-in, electrically operated lens cover; offers a startup time of under 1 seocond; features a large 2.5-inch LCD; offers an internal 3x/4x optical/digtal zoom Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens; can capture 640x480 MPEG-VX video at 30fps; and supports Memory Stick PRO Duo media cards. It will be available in October for about $500, including a USB cradle.
Microsoft will launch its online music store later this week along with release of a new version of Windows Media, according to The New York Times: "With Windows Media and the online music store, Microsoft hopes to further its efforts to make Windows a foundation for its reach beyond the desktop and into the living room...Given how fragmented the market is, MSN's eight million subscribers could quickly allow Microsoft to grab second place...In a broad marketing campaign in conjunction with the debut of the new version of Windows Media and the music service, Microsoft is using the slogan 'Plays for Sure,' a not-so-veiled dig at Apple's more proprietary approach."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir