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Aspyr Media today announced it has signed an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement with Wideload Games to publish its premiere title. Wideload is the new game development studio founded by Alexander Seropian, the founder of Bungie Studios who left after the company's acquisition by Microsoft. The upcoming action game, based on an original intellectual property and powered by the Halo game engine, will be published worldwide in 2005.
Runtime Revolution today announced major updates to its professional developer tools packages, Revolution Studio (£200) and Revolution Enterprise (£600). Version 2.5 brings new data security features (including SSL support), support for XML-RPC, Linux native theme (GTK) support, an improved user interface, overhauled documentation, a new externals SDK for running code written in other languages, and over 700 other enhancements. The company says that Revolution's "point and click" user interface builder along with its "very high" level programming language, can reduce development time and costs by upto 90%, when compared with traditional languages.
Apple today released its AirPort Card Update 2004-08-31, which it says "improves reliability in mixed 802.11b and 802.11g environments and is recommended for all customers with AirPort-capable computers running AirPort 3.4 and later, including AirPort 4.0. After this update, the AirPort Driver and AirPort Extreme Driver will each be upgraded to version 3.4.3." Apple also released a Fibre Channel Utility Update, which it says addresses issues with the display of WWPN and WWNN, a cosmetic issue with regards to multi-byte text, and an incorrect port status being reported on the Brocade SilkWorm 3800 switch. Update: Apple has apparently pulled the link to download; however, it is still available via the Software Update Control Panel.
Griffin Technology today announced the Griffin PodPod, a soft foam auto cradle that slips into any auto cup holder to provide a safe secure ride for any iPod or iPod mini. "It also places the iPod in comfortable reach for easy adjustment and perfect placement for the iPod or iPod mini with an iTrip on top" or an iPod auto charger under the iPod. The PodPod will ship in October for $10 and is being shown this week at Apple Expo Paris.
Forrester Research's senior analyst Paul Jackson says that Apple's has missed the opportunity to stay way ahead of its PC manufacturing competitors by not including Wi-Fi as standard and by failing to catch the early-adopter personal video recorder wave by including a TV tuner card. Jackson says that the iMac G5 has several points in its favor, including its minimalist design, a considerable increase in CPU speed/power, and relatively aggressive point (compared to previous pricing), but says that the iMac "is not as genre-defining as previous iterations have been--in fact, it misses a couple of the tricks Media Center PCs can already do."
In Brief: Apple has posted an MPEG-4 QuickTime stream of Phil Schiller's keynote from Apple Expo in Paris as well as the iMac G5 introduction video shown during the keynote (and photos from the keynote).... ProductionManagerPro, the ad-tracking and asset-management solution from Harris & Baseview, now features compatibility with InDesign CS.... Adobe today announced that BBC Magazines has adopted Adobe InDesign, the company's layout and design software, to produce its portfolio of consumer magazines.
Revolution Dreamcard is a new easy-to-use development environment from Runtime Revolution. Created for a wide variety of users (educators, students, hobbyists, user interface professionals), both beginning and intermediate developers can quickly create software. Dreamcard includes a step-by-step video learning center and printable PDF library to help users create multimedia, games, or applications. The company said that Dreamcard replaces Revolution Express which has now been discontinued. A free trial of the $100 application is available now.
Digidesign today announced Smack!, a new $600 professional compressor/limiter plug-in designed specifically for music applications. It features three compression modes, unique compression ratios, and harmonic distortion ideally for creating a wide range of sonic variations and colorations. Smack! supports both Digidesign and Avid software, side-chain processing, multi-channel track types, the full range of Pro Tools sample rates and AudioSuite, RTAS, and TDM plug-in formats. "Smack! LE" ($400) includes AudioSuite and RTAS versions, and supports Pro Tools LE and Avid software at a reduced price.
Intelli Innovations today released Barcode Automator 3.0, a major upgrade to its batch barcode generation suite. It offers a streamlined interface for creating barcodes in bulk from a text file, spreadsheet, manually entry, or via automation from a FileMaker Pro database (or other AppleScript function). Barcode Automator can be used for inventory control, book publishing, and many other functions. The software supports every major barcode symbology, includes vectorized EPS, JPEG, and TIFF export capabilities, and comes bundled with OCR fonts.
As anticipated yesterday, Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit today officially announced the release to manufacturer (RTM) of Microsoft Virtual PC 7 and Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition. Virtual PC 7, software that allows Mac users to simultaneously run other operating systems such as Windows, brings important improvements in support, speed and reliability, including support for Apple's G5 processor. Version 7 will allow users to run Virtual PC on a Mac equipped with a G3, G4 or 64-bit G5 processor, including the new iMac G5. Full retail versions of Virtual PC 7 ($250) and Office 2004 for Mac Professional Edition ($500) with Windows XP Professional are expected to be available in stores in October.
Research analysis firm Credit Suisse First Boston says the price point for the iMac G5 was high, but the value was compelling. In a note to its clients, "We believe the release of the new iMac gives Apple a much-needed boost in its underperforming consumer desktop product line" as the previous flat-panel "swivel base" iMac had reached the end of its product life. CSFB said, "We expect strong demand out of the gates for what appears to be a compelling product that addresses a specific hole in Apple's product line." However, CSFB was concerned that the price of the new iMac (starting at $1,199) and possible difficulties IBM may have in meeting demand for the G5 processor could hinder results. "With the majority of growth in the desktop PC market for PCs costing below $1,000, only time will tell if Apple can entice users to abandon their comfort zones."
Quark today announced the release of Quark Publishing System 3 Classic Edition (QPS Classic 3), a new version of the software for professional publishing and editorial workflows. QPS Classic 3 provides full support for QuarkXPress 6 and Mac OS X, along with other performance enhancements. The complete solution provides a cross-platform, collaborative tool with simple, status-based workflow and routing capabilities that can be easily adapted to different publishing environments and also allows ultiple users to simultaneously work on different elements of a QuarkXPress print or Web layout, including content and page design elements.
Verbatim today announced an all-new Store 'n' Go Pro line of USB flash drives. Offering higher performance, higher capacities, the ultra-sleek Pro devices support up to 23MB/sec read and 14MB/sec write speeds and are available in capacities ranging from 256MB to 2GB. The drives also feature V-Safe Security Software with a user-adjustable security partition, anti-tamper password entry, and secure data encryption, while customization features let the user personalize the device (custom volume name, device icon, or preferred audio sounds). They will be available in September starting at $75.
Intego [site not updated] today announced Personal Antispam X3 ($60), which works with Apple's Mail application to filter junk email. It works to identify patterns in spam, as well as filter out known junk mailers. Monthly updates to the software keep it as effective as possible. Intego also announced DiskGuard X3, a program to prevent unauthorized access to connected disks (internal or removable). It will be available later this year, according to Intego.
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: member reaction to the new iMac G5, released by Apple today; a member-made poll of potential iMac/Mac buyers on their reaction to Apple's latest offering; the likelihood of a PowerBook G5 following the release of the highly compact iMac G5; member feedback on the .Mac service and its value; ongoing discussion of Power Mac G5 2.5GHz order status.
Jiggler 1.1 is the latest version of the freeware utility to prevent a Mac from going to Sleep mode while performing lengthy tasks. With version 1.1, users can now keep the machine running for a preset period of time and then stop. [Download - 129KB] PhoneAgent 1.2 ($30) for Mac OS X is a tool for Phonebook, SMS, MMS, Themes and Wap management for Sony Ericsson T610, T616, T630, Z600, K700i mobile phones. This version introduces Sony Ericsson K700i support. [Download - 5.8MB] You Control:itunes is a free utility that gives you complete control over iTunes from the Mac OS X menu bar. You can set hot keys to control any or all of the iTunes controls including Next or Previous Track, Play, Pause and even the Volume. [Download - form] PDF Browser Plugin ($70) turns your Web browser into the a full-featured PDF viewer. With the help of PDF Browser Plugin users can view PDF documents directly in a Web browser, print them, and save them to disk. [Download - 266KB] Tex-Edit Plus 4.8 ($15) is a scriptable, styled text editor that fills the gap between Apple's TextEdit and a full-featured word processor. This version adds a new floating Script Tools palette, a background color submenu, and bug fixes. [Download - 257KB] Net Stakeout is an Internet Utility that notifies users when there are changes to watched Web links. Net Stakeout uses a simple interface window that displays the status of each Web link. [Download - 257KB]
mono[b]logue has a short article on how function is the leading influence in Apple's stylish form factors. "The shape of the iMac was anything but whim – it was a cold, calculated solution to the given design problem: make a compact mac." The same can be said about the PowerMac G5, and the most recent iMac iterations. "More recently, other wants and constraints have shaped Apple’s design. CPU heat has been on the rise for a while [...] fans are noisy , so Apple used large fans moving as slowly [...] they divided the machine into separate thermal compartments [...] they used perforated aluminum at front and back."
In Brief: Apple says it has sold five million songs in the first 10 weeks after opening three European iTunes Music Stores on the Internet in Germany, France and Britain; hours after Apple announced the new iMac G5 line of computers, DV Graphics has released icons based on the new machines; Daniel East, president and founder of The Mid-Atlantic Apple/Macintosh User Groups Team (MaMUGs), will attend the next meeting of the Maryland Apple Corps to present an introduction to Tiger, Mac OS X 10.4.
Eovia Corporation today introduced Carrara 4, an update to its 3D solution. The new release, which replaces Carrara Studio 3, will now be available in Pro and Standard versions. New features in Carrara 4 Standard include a terrain editor and scene manipulators, and improved IK, motion paths, timeline support, while the Pro version adds multi-node distributed rendering, vector and 3D motion blur, extended file import, and more. Eovia expects to ship the new release in October. Carrara 4 Pro is $600, while Carrara 4 Standard is $300. Customers who purchase Carrara Studio 3 between August 31 and November 30, 2004 will be eligible for a free upgrade to Carrara 4 Pro. Upgrades from Carrara Studio 2/3 to the Carrara 4 Pro ($200) and Carrara 4 Standard ($130) are available as well.
Rio has announced a limited edition version of its new "business card-sized" Rio MP3 player. The company said it has created 500 numbered-versions of the drive-based Rio Carbon 5GB to mark its availability. The limited edition version features 20 free song downloads and three free months from Napster, a customized laser-engraved stainless-steel back, and with a collectors' edition external package, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Apple's iPod packaging, which received a design distinction from I.D. Magazine.
Skype Technologies today released a beta version of Skype 0.8 for Mac OS X, an internet-based telephony solution. Skype allows users to make free phone calls--to anywhere in the world--to other Skype using their internet connection. The software includes contact management (via a familiar "buddy list" that shows online users), call/message tracking, encrypted file transfers, instant messaging, and more. Users can also optionally pay for calls made to traditional landlines (see rate chart) using the company's SkypeOut service. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3.
Apple today unveiled the new iMac G5, in a new design that integrates the entire computer right into the flat panel display. The iMac G5 packs a complete computer system into two inches of depth in what Apple says is "the world's thinnest desktop computer." The new line offers 17- or 20-inch active matrix widescreen LCDs and G5 processors running up to 1.8GHz starting at $1,299. "Just like the iPod redefined portable digital music players, the new iMac G5 redefines what users expect from a consumer desktop," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing. "With the entire system, including a gorgeous 17- or 20-inch display, just two inches thin, a lot of people will be wondering 'where did the computer go?'" It is available for pre-order via the Apple Store.
XtremeMac has announced the release of Freefall, a $40 satellite simulator and screen saver for Mac OS X. Freefall "puts the wonders of satellite exploration at the user's fingertips", accurately simulating the flight path of more than 650 actual satellites, in real- or accelerated- time. "It is two applications in one. First, it is a feature-rich exploration application with a very powerful, yet user-friendly 3D interface. Second, it is the best screen saver since After Dark." XtremeMac also announced the release of Talking Panda iLingo, a Language Translator for iPod.
Elgato Systems today announced major software updates for the EyeTV digital video recorder and EyeHome digital media player. The new version of EyeTV 1.6 allows users to export in iMovie, iDVD and DVD Studio Pro formats, supports closed captioning in North America (EyeTV 200 only), adds support for Dolby 5.1 surround sound on the Power Mac G5, includes a Dolby-certified AC3 audio decoder, and offers reduced CPU usage during playback on machines that support Apple's Quartz Extreme. EyeHome 1.5 brings improved useability and navigation with a new graphical interface as well as improved DivX support, support for Ogg Vorbis audio format, a slideshow photo transition and more. Elgato also announced new pricing for its EyeHome (now $200) and EyeTV (now $300). (The updates are not yet available online.)
Phil Schiller has taken the stage at Apple Expo 2004 in Paris, where Apple is expected unveil its new G5-based iMac in a new form factor. Schiller begins by saying that Steve Jobs is recovering well and expected resume his CEO duties at Apple in September. Schiller then reviewed the success of the iPod, last week's HP-iPod annoucement, the iPod mini, the new 4G iPod (and its new features), and its market leading position in the US. Also highlighted was the ad campaign during the MTV Video Music Awards and the growing number of iPod accessories.
4D, Inc. is now shipping 4th Dimension 2004, an update to its application development and deployment environment. Version 2004 features a new streamlined design environment, new deployment features for lower cost of ownership, enhanced Web serving capabilities, new XML and Web services technologies, and a a completely redesigned interface. Pricing begins at $350 for 4th Dimension 2004 (includes unlimited runtime). Upgrade pricing is also available, according to the company.
Digidesign has released Pro Tools TDM 6.4.1 for its Pro Tools|24 MIX system. The update brings new features, session compatibility with current Pro Tools|HD-series systems, and Panther support as well as a subset of the new features found in Pro Tools TDM 6.4 software (now shipping with Pro Tools|HD) and Pro Tools|24 MIX-specific bug fixes. New features include a +12 dB Fader Gain, support for the new Command|8 control surface, track position numbering, hierarchical plug-in menus, support for 23.976 fps, new clip meter features, and more. It is available for free for v6.x owners and available for $35 to pre-6.0 owners.
e-on software has announced Vue 5 Esprit, its scenery rendering and animation software for digital artists. Due at the end of September, the new version of Vue 5 Esprit features global illumination and Radiosity with EasyGI single slider quality setting; HDRI and Image Based Lighting (IBL); procedural Terrains with sub-pixel detail; an advanced atmospheric engine; improved ultra-realistic 3D tree/plant technology; a SmartGraph Function and Material editor; integrated post-processing and camera switching; pre-animated Mesh support; advanced OpenGL previews; and more. The company says a full feature will be available when the product ships at the end of the month for $250.
Customer feedback and technical issues have forced Apple to temporarily suspend distribution of Virex 7.5 to .Mac users. Initially announced in July and released for free to .Mac members earlier in August, McAfee's Virex 7.5 was expected to bring realtime "on access" scanning, automatic eUpdate functionality, scheduling options for On Demand Scans and updating, and the latest McAfee anti-virus scan engine. Warning of possible problems with the software, an official note posted to the .Mac support forums recommends that uses with Virex 7.5 installed remove the software via a provided script and points users to Virex 7.2.1 (available via members' iDisks).
Apple's transition period for its updated Mac Logo Licensing program ends September 30, 2004. The new program only allows the Mac logo to be used in products that operate natively in Mac OS X--not Classic, Mac OS 9, or any previous version of the Mac OS. The program had previously allowed developers to use the Mac logo with products that operated in the Classic environment of Mac OS X. Apple's Developer website also notes that the company has phased out use of the 'Built for Mac OS X' moniker.
Ovolab today released Ovolab Phlink 1.5, an update to its innovative telephony software for the Mac. Ovolab Phlink turns your Mac into a powerful answering machine and telephone information center, offering personalized greetings, caller-specific ringtones, voice message delivery by email and more. Version 1.5 adds support for network caller ID (dubbed "Appelezvous"), which builds on Apple's Rendezvous technology to allow automatic broadcasting of caller information over the local network - without requiring any configuration. Version 1.5 is a free update to the $150 application. Ovolab Phlink includes the software and the USB telephone adapter, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Web UK, Ltd. today announced several new innovative TouchSTAR touchscreen products by Troll Touch, which will be on display at this week's Apple Expo 2004 (Booth 18): the new TouchSTAR iSeries 12 & 14 for iBooks and the new TouchSTAR pSeries 12, 15 & 17 for Powerbooks. Both products allow any user of an Apple portable computer to easily add or remove touchscreen functionality to their laptop without system modification. Using a patent-pending slipcover design, the TouchSTAR frame is made of durable aluminum that elegantly matches each portable. (Pricing not available.)
Matias today released its new Clear iPod Armor mini case at Apple Expo Paris. The case features a clear ABS plastic front and rugged aluminum back as well as docking port access and iTrip compatibility. "We wanted to offer iPod mini owners a less expensive option that still provided great protection and convenience. Voilà: the Clear iPod Armor mini case," said Vesna Vojnic, Marketing Manager for Matias. "It is the same design as our high-end, all-aluminum iPod Armor mini case, but with a plastic front, so now you can see how great your iPod mini looks." The Clear iPod Armor mini case is available for $35.
The latest versions of Mozilla 1.7.2, Netscape 7.2, and Firefox 0.93 browsers exhibit a flaw when used on Mac OS X that could allow users to fall victim to "phishing" attacks performed by malicious website operators to gain trick users into entering private passwords or other confidential information. The security risk specifically applies to users who take advantage of the "tabbed browsing" feature. Secunia reports that the problem is with Apple's implementation of Java, which confines the problem to specific browsers on Mac OS X only.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k