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New Apple New Zealand exec
Steve Ford, New Zealand country manager for Toshiba, will join Renaissance on September 17 as general manager of the Apple Computer Division, according to the New Zealand Reseller News: "Ford takes over day-to-day running of the Apple division from Renaissance general manager Paul Johnston. 'Steve comes in to run the day-to-day running of the Apple business and allow me to concentrate on other aspects of the [Renaissance] business that could be developed,' says Johnston. The change does not affect Bronwyn Sinclair's role as Apple product and marketing manager.... Johnston sees further opportunities for Renaissance in the education sector."
Symantec NUM, NSW updates
Symantec has announced that it is now offering updated versions of Norton Utilities and Norton SystemWorks for compatibility with the latest Macs. The company notes that currently shipping versions of Norton Utilities for Macintosh (NUM) 8.0 and Norton SystemWorks (NSW) for Macintosh 3.0 CDs will not boot from Macs computers that were released between July 2003 and August 2004 and include with Mac OS X 10.2.7 or later. Symantec says it has completed the development of NUM 8.0.2 and NSW 3.0.1 CDs that will boot these computers, including those that ship with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther pre-installed. Customers can call Symantec support (800-441-7234) to receive 'Release 2' of either CD (if they have a valid serial number) for a nominal shipping charge.
Graphisoft ArchiCAD 9
Graphisoft today announced ArchiCAD 9, its Virtual Building solutions technology, will ship in mid-September. ArchiCAD 9 delivers new functions and a simpler interface designed to help design buildings--from initial design concept to realization, in a single model. The software's new features and capabilities include a new palette layout; docking palettes; a customizable Tool Box; intelligent area-based selection; an enhanced library search; improved context-sensitive editing tools; better support for Adobe PDF file output; drag & drop support for AutoCAD DWG files; and a new sophisticated NCS compliant grid-based drawing numbering system. The International, German and US editions will be available in mid-September, while most localized versions will be shipped by the end of the year.
RNC speeches at iTMS
In Brief: The iTunes Music Store is offering free audio downloads of the speeches at this year's Republican National Convention.... Ex-football star Joe Montana, in the Apple Store yesterday to pick up his repaired iBook, said he was intrigued by the new iMac's design.... Apple has been granted patents for an updated snake-like adjustable display device and the iPod music player docking station.... "So Far/The First Ten Years of a Vision", available via an eBay auction, is a visual record of the begining of Apple that was commissioned by the company on its 10th anniversary.
Tunewear iPod cases
Tunewear has announced its new Tunemax Universal iPod Case with Embedded Battery and its Icewear 4G protective case for the iPod. The company says that the case "looks and weighs about the same as a protective case for the iPod," but also includes up to 16 hours of additional power for the iPod. "The beauty of [TUNEMAX] is the design. The case actually IS the battery. Simple yet elegant, the case sandwiches the iPod inside the side covers which are filled with 850mAh Lithium Ion cells. Each cover holds 425mAh worth of power." The case weights 145 grams and features a battery embeded in the black leather portion of the case along with an external white controller.
Macs in Bahrain
A nearly US$7 million, 5-year contract was signed yesterday to take Bahrain's government schools into cyber space. The will initially offer internet access, training, Macs, and more to 11,000 students and 1,371 teachers at 11 different secondary schools, according the Gulf News Daily: "The agreement was co-signed by the Education Minister Dr Majid Al Nuaimi and Apple Centre chairman Farooq Almoayyed, at the ministry's premise in Isa Town. Apple Centre will be responsible for providing, installing and operating the electronic system at all government schools of all education stages, in addition to training teachers on its uses... The contract to make all this possible was signed between the Education Ministry, Apple Centre and the Integrated Technology Group (ITG)."
Open-source help Tiger
Apple is banking on the open-source heritage of Mac OS X Tiger to spare it from the security problems that have plagued Microsoft. Bertrand Serlet, senior vice president of software at Apple, told CNET News.com that having a greater number of people keeping an eye on source code leads to better software security. "A lot of security problems derive from the core," he said. With open-source code, "thousands of people look at the critical portions of source code and...check those portions are right. It's a major advantage to have open-source code."
Tech: Game sales...
Afternoon tech news: Sales of video games reach a record $18.2 billion, but strong growth is on pause as players wait for new consoles ... contradicting fears that the semiconductor industry's pace of development is slowing, Intel Corporation has announced it has achieved a milestone in shrinking the size of transistors that will power its next-generation chips ... Selling songs over the Internet in Western Europe will explode to a 3.5 billion euros a year market by 2009, a new survey found on Tuesday.
Electronic Instruments 2
Electronic Instruments 2 is a collection of eight new instruments for Reaktor 4 and Reaktor Session. It contains three unique synthesizers, two drum machines and three versatile effect units, "all of which offer an unprecedented level of sonic sophistication and visual polish." The collection offers a powerful toolkit for contemporary electronic music and sound design, and "showcases the amazing potential of NI's modular sound design software Reaktor at its best." The package costs $100.
Think Different Store is now shipping the ProTouch XT ($30), a protector for Apple keyboards and Apple wireless keyboards designed to offer complete surface protection while maintaining the natural typing feel of the keyboard. Crafted from durable high-grade silicone, the ProTouch XT offers a full-coverage transparent barrier to keep the keyboard free of dirt, food spills and other hazards. The ProTouch XT's form-fitting design ensures the protector stays in place, allowing key characters to show through clearly without compromising the functionality of the keyboard.
BMW and Apple have announced new iPod-compatible cars that will let drivers flick between songs without taking their hands from their steering wheels, according to CNET News.com: "The cars will connect to the iPod, with drivers able to charge up their music players or listen to songs on their iPod through the car stereo, with the iPods designed to sit in the BMW's glove box. For the BMW X3, X5, 3 Series and Z4, the steering wheel will come with an iPod control built in, based on the familiar interface from car CD players. Other BMW models will be able to recharge an iPod and connect it to the car's stereo, but won't come equipped with the steering wheel control."
In Brief: WiebeTech has announced availability of preformatted drives in a variety of capacities, including the new Hitachi 400GB IDE drives.... Firewheel Design and IconBuffet are offering special $100 pricing on their Redmond stock icon collection during the month of September....NewTek has released LightWave  v8.01, which provides dozens of stability enhancements to LightWave ... Native Instruments has announced Electronic Instruments 2, a collection of eight new instruments for Reaktor 4 and Reaktor Session due in September for $120... Architosh has posted more notes on Luxology's modo 3d modeling app shown during the Apple Expo keynote.
Convert Drop, FinKit, ...
Convert Drop 1.0 ($10) offers a set of digital media conversion tools for images, sounds, music and movies. It includes functions for converting and resizing video, resampling audio files, sound file conversion, filters/effects for QuickTime videos, limited AVI video/sound conversion, and MPEG-4/3GPP/3GP2 encoding. [Classic, OSX]
FinKit 2.4 ($25) is a flexible and intuitive financial calculator that lets you
calculate annuities, bonds, dates, depreciation, interest, loans,
leases, rates, and much more. This upgrade adds four new calculations that let users perform calculations based on life tables. [1.6MB]
EvoCam 3.5 Preview 1 ($20), now rewritten for Mac OS X, introduces support for Axis, D-Link and Panasonic network cameras, offers enhanced motion sensors which
can perform multiple actions when triggered, and features an entirely rewritten user interface with live resizing and scrolling. The advanced Webcam application runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [700KB]
iPodRip 3.5 is a iPod companion iPod application that allows you to transfer music from your iPod back to your iTunes Library, listen to music directly on your iPod, recover songs/playlists, automatically sync information, create HTML/XML files, easily browse iPod contents, and more. [125KB]
CrushFTP 3.5.1 is a full-scale Java-based FTP server with features such as bandwidth limiting, users & groups, plugins, virtual file system, load balancing, and on-the-fly zipping of files or directories. New in this version is a plugin architecture and bug fixes with email events and multiline messages. [Classic, OSX]
EyeTV 1.6, announced yesterday, is now available from Elgato's website. The update brings export to iMovie/iDVD/DVD Studio Pro, closed captioning support (EyeTV 200 only), support for Dolby 5.1 surround sound (PM G5 only), a Dolby-certified AC3 audio decoder, and reduced CPU usage on Quartz Extreme-enabled machines. [5.9MB]
PDFLab 1.0 (free) is a Java-based application for Mac OS X 10.3 that lets you split and join PDF documents as well as insert images and blank pages. Users can also easily create PDF documents out of several images. It features a drag & drop interface that allows users to order page and instantly create a PDF. [2.6MB]
Vara debuts Videocue
Vara Software has intorduced Videocue, a new application that combines a teleprompter with a webcam to deliver " unlimited possibilities for recording and publishing your message." The application is designed to help create striking movies and presentations, offering an ultra-smooth scrolling teleprompter, slick transitions and effects, border outlines, integeration with most popular blog systems, over 20 built-in professional broadcast quality titles themes, GPU/G4/G5-based acceleration, QuickTime compatibility, AppleScript support, and more. It provides a single-window, drag & drop interface for organizing media, storyboarding, scrolling, and realtime previews. It is expected to ship by the end of the month with a early beta preview available to qualified testers.
iTunes sells 125M songs
In Brief: Apple's iTunes FAQ boasts that it has now sold 125 million songs to-date (which likely includes the 5 million songs from EuroiTunes).... Apple CEO Steve Jobs is again atop the Forbes latest CEO job approval ratings with a 91% approval rating (as voted on by readers), ahead of Yahoo!'s Terry Semel and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett.... Green Hills Software, maker of embedded software development tools and royalty-free real-time operating systems, today announced the election of Avadis "Avie" Tevanian (currently senior VP and chief software technology officer at Apple) to its board of directors....Responding to PowerBook G5 development, Apple said the "challenges of cooling a G5 in a Powerbook design are significantly greater," noting that a Powerbook, less than half as thick as the new iMac, has far less room for cooling tricks.
Creative Technology today began selling an updated version of its MuVo2 hard drive-based music player in five alternative colors reminiscent of Apple's iPod Mini, according to The Register. Available in Japan only, the MuVo2 FM contains a 5GB hard drive, a removeable, rechargeable battery (with up to 14 hours of playback), and supports WMA, MP3 and WAV audio file formats as well as a four-band equalizer. The device offers a built-in FM radio as well as a voice recording feature that can also save radio programming. It is available in five colors (white, black, pink, blue and green) for ¥26,800 (£136/$245). (Rio yesterday began shipping its Rio Carbon 5GB MP3 player with iPod-like packaging and Kyocera also offers a new line of digital cameras in iPod mini colors.)
iMac: \'Skin-deep\' beauty
Apple's new iMac G5 desktop is "easy on the eyes, but if you want sweeping innovation, or even adequate memory, it falls short," according to BusinessWeek's Alex Salkever: "However, the new iMac will have to overcome both failings and history. NPD analyst Steven Baker cut to the chase by pointing out that it's a slick and well-executed compendium of existing design ideas. 'If you are a Mac person or are looking for some kind of cutting-edge product, you are not getting that,' says Baker. 'You are getting a basic product with elements that we have seen in lots of other products.' Baker believes the new iMacs are aimed at Windows users who have been wowed by iPods and are now contemplating entering the Mac kingdom."
iTunes Affiliate Program
Apple today launched the iTunes Affiliate Program, making it the first download music store to offer direct links to a la carte singles and albums that generate paid commissions of 5% to affiliate websites (with at least 1,000 unique visitors). The iTunes Affiliate Program complements other iTunes programs including iTunes on Campus, offering free site licenses to colleges and universities, and the iTunes Volume Discount Program, providing bulk song downloads at a discount. Affiliates that sign up for the iTunes Affiliate Program before September 15th will be automatically entered to win an iPod mini from Apple.
Logitech laser mouse
Logitech today announced the Logitech MX 1000 Laser Cordless Mouse, which it says is the world's first mouse to use laser illumination and tracking. Utilizing Fast RF wireless technology and a new "invisible" laser that replaces the traditional red light on optical mice, the new cordless mouse offers ability to track with much higher accuracy and on a larger variety of surfaces with more responsiveness. "The laser beam emanates through a polished silver ring on the base, illuminates the surface beneath the mouse, and then reflects back up through the same ring where the surface detail is captured by the sensor. The sensor has the ability to capture 5.8 megapixels of detail each second." It is expected to ship later this month for $80.
Primera Disc Shredder
Primera Technology today announced its DS360 Disc Shredder, compact and heavy-duty shredder that ensures business and personal security by completely destroying CDs and DVDs. "Identity theft and corporate espionage are on the rise. Products like the DS360 Disc Shredder protect businesses and consumers from theft of their confidential information." The DS360 has a 5-inch (127mm) top-fed slot to insert discs and shreds up to 12 CDs or DVDs per minute. It can also easily shred a variety of other media such as credit cards, financial and bank documents and up to seven sheets of folded paper in a single pass, creating 1/8" x 1 3/8" (3.2mm x 9.5mm) confetti shreds. It also features an integrated eight-liter wastebasket. It is available now for $130.
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