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Ubisoft has officially announced that Myst IV Revelation has gone "Gold." The company says that Myst IV Revelation will be available as a PC/Mac hybrid title in Europe beginning on the 30th of September for £35 and in the US on September 28 for $40. The first person sequel to the popular Myst series will ship on the DVD format and will be compatible with both Mac and Windows platforms: "Journey into a world full of secrets and betrayal that surrounds a families' shattered past. In the next chapter of the greatest adventure game series of all times Myst's two most sinister villains are under scrutiny to piece together this new adventure. You must delve into their minds to unravel the mystery that is Myst IV Revelation."
Apple today exhibited at IBC 2004 in Amsterdam, which is taking place at the Rai Exhibition and Congress Centre in Amsterdam (the Netherlands). The International Broadcasting Conference (IBC) exhibition, which runs through Sept. 14, brings together over 1,000 companies and 40,000 attendees in a showcase of the latest technology in broadcasting and media. Apple's spacious booth, not quite as large as the one at Apple Expo in Paris, focused on its line of professional audio/video editing applications as well as its Power Mac and Xserve products. In an unusual move, Apple also discussed forthcoming features of Final Cut Pro. We have an image gallery from Apple's Booth.
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: members' hopes for the next PowerBook revision.... complaints from some users about the video card offerings in Apple's new iMac models.... the cost of repairs to an iBook.... discussion of an online petition to Apple for "gapless play" with iTunes and the iPod.... ongoing discussion of problems with Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" locking up.... impressions of the latest version of Camino Mac, the alternative Web browser for OS X.
In Brief: Apple is offering .Mac members a $50 discount on a full version Macromedia's Contribute 3 web publishing software ($150 before discount).... The iMac G5 has replaced the iPod as the best selling item at the Apple Store... Microsoft is aiming to get its audio and video software into mobile phones before it is beaten to the 650-million-handsets-a-year market by rivals like Apple... Burger King has begun a music promo with AOL, offering a free song download with the purchase of a Whopper sandwich.... Apple fans at Cornell are expressing frustrating with the university's Napster trial, because of incompatibility with the Mac as well as the iPod.
The recent opening of Apple Store Osaka at end of last month came pretty close to matching the successful opening of the first store in Japan (Apple Store Ginza) with 5,000 visitors on the first day, according to JapanConsuming. According to the article, Apple VP Johnson noted that in the US, "Apple was opening stores at a rate of one every 13 days and 50% of all Americans live within 30 minutes of an Apple Store. ... The average store attracts 1,000 visitors a day, but Ginza outperforms the rest, averaging an impressive 4,000 visitors a day, buying around ¥100 million (approx. US$ 1 million) of product a week." The article also discusses Apple's retail strategy in Japan and suggests the likelihood of a "hub and spoke" strategy mixing large format flagships in key cities with the upcoming mini Apple Stores located in the region surrounding each flagship.
Piper Jaffray reiterated an "outperform" rating on Apple, saying the company's 2005 retail strategy will serve as a catalyst for revenue growth. "We believe the Street is underestimating the power of Apple's retail strategy," Piper Jaffray said. Apple hopes to attract new customers using by placing its retail outlets in high-traffic areas and plans to retain existing customers through "genius bars," according to the research firm. Citing better-than-expected results in the core Mac business from last quarter, Piper said that an ongoing rebound in the creative pro market and iPod-driven demand for Macs will help fuel the company's success. Piper Jaffray's target price for Apple is $40.
Apple at IBC this morning announced some of the new features that will appear in the next version of Final Cut Pro, its video editing software, according to Digit magazine. "The future version - Apple was loathe to say 'next' - will support MPEG-2 IMX, and Panasonic's P2. MPEG-2 IMX is a form of the MPEG codec used in camcorders such as Sony's MSW900 and PDW530, which produces higher quality footage than conventional MPEG-2. Currently, only high-end systems such Sony's XPRI and Pinnacle's Liquid Blue support the format. P2 is a camcorder media format designed to be more hard-wearing than tape. It's based around 2GB and 4GB PCMCIA media cards, which can record between 8/16 minutes of DVCPRO footage or 4/8 minutes of DVCPRO 50 footage respectively."
GridIron Software today announced X-Factor 1.5 for Adobe After Effects Professional 6.5. In addition to faster preview processing, X-Factor 1.5 now speeds rendering of the Adobe After Effects Render Queue, and enables the use of large, high-resolution digital video files on network drives and Storage Area Networks (SANs). The software extension uses grid computing technology to increase the speed of the preview and rendering capabilities of Adobe After Effects Professional 6.5 by distributing the processing load among several computers. Version 1.5 will be available in October in free, Plus (per CPU licensing), and unlimited editions.
Telestream today announced the industry's first support for Microsoft Windows Media format on Mac OS X, enabling users to create and/or import files in standard and high definition using Windows Media in either stereo or 5.1, directly on their Macs. The Telestream solution for Windows Media supports any QuickTime-based application, including Final Cut Pro, iMovie, and QuickTime Player. Telestream now enables users to conveniently select Windows Media 7, 8, or 9 Series from the list of available formats in the Export function of any QuickTime-based application.
Marathon today introduced the SideKick, which works with Marathon's G5 Vertical Rackmount to better utilize the 7-inch space alongside the G5. "What we did was we designed a set of adapter plates that attach to the front of the G5 Vertical deck, and to the rack rails above it," said Marathon spokesman, David Soch. "That gives the user 4U of standard 19" rackspace turned sideways alongside a G5, supported at top and bottom. They can install any combination of 4U rack equipment -- even a G-Rack-mounted G4 standing upright. You can even adjust it to mount 23" rack equipment in a 19" rack." The SideKick, featuring aluminum construction, will ship next week (pricing not available).
Blackmagic Design today made several announcements at IBC in Amsterdam, including its dual rate SD/HD-SDI capture card (DeckLink HD Plus), a new broadcast quality routing switcher (Workgroup Videohub), a new lower on its full HDTV 4:4:4 monitoring system (HDLink), a DeckLink HD Pro Software Update, a new all-in-one converter and breakout (DeckLink Multibridge), lower prices on DeckLink HD and DeckLink HD Pro, and a new single link 4:2:2 version of DeckLink HD Pro.
Canon today launched 11 new inkjet and laser products under the PIXMA and imageCLASS brands, which are designed for the home and SOHO markets. Canon introduced five (PIXMA iP4000R, iP5000, iP6000D, and iP8500) single function photo printers, and three All-In-One photo printers (MP130-pictured at right, MP750, and MP780) as well as new imageCLASS laser printer-based multi-function devices. The products are expected to ship later this fall with prices that range from $100 to $1000. [links, more details added]
Canon today launched its CanoScan 9950F scanner. The CanoScan 9950F includes Canon's Hyper CCD IV, a new optical system that enables super high resolutions of up to 4800 x 9600 dpi, providing improved scan depth and reduced noise. The CanoScan 9950F model also features a new ST Lens (Super Toric Lens) system, making it the first flatbed scanner in Canon's line of products to include an aspherical lens element. The new ST Lens System includes a large aperture allowing a greater amount of light to be transmitted through the lens to the sensor for higher quality and faster scans.
Evidence Eradicator ($40) protects your privacy by cleaning up all the tracks of your Internet and computer activities. "Unlike some other privacy protection tools which only delete the files and thus can be easily recovered by some data recovery tool, our Internet Eraser completely remove those files from your hard disk without the possibility to recover it by any practical software or hardware methods." [837KB] Collection 1.5 brings Address Book integration, autofill, "Send To iPod" functions, faster printing, XML export, and more to the automatic media management solution. Bundled with a corded ($200) or Bluetooth wireless ($300) IntelliScanner barcode reader, it automatically downloads detailed product info and artwork to help organize and share info on books, DVDs, CDs, and video games. Audiocorder 4.1 ($20) is a maintenance that allows your Mac to act as a sophisticated audio recorder. In one mode, it operates as a volume-triggered operated (VOX) audio recorder (with sophisticated trigger options) and in the other, users can create a recording schedule based on start/stop or timed schedules. [Classic, OSX] Jon's Phone Tool 2.1 ($12) is a phone dialer with integrated notebad and call time; it can dial a Bluetooth mobile phone or a regular land line through your Mac's modem or speakers. It can also make calls via Internet-based phone services (e.g. Vonage) and sports a search through Address Book, Microsoft Entourage, Now Contact, or Palm Desktop databases or other URL via the contextual menu. [2.0MB] HexEdit v1.90 fixes many bugs, adds a new Xcode project plus mach-o target (HexEdit.app), and adds "Replace and Find Again" feature. HexEdit is a hexadecimal file editor that handles both data and resource forks that can handle file sizes of up to 4GB in a very small memory footprint and can compare whole files for similarities or differences. [636KB] AlphaX 8.0b16 ($30) is a new beta of the text editor that has been designed for working with a variety of different source files, including LaTeX, HTML, C++, Tcl, and many other programming languages. It adds printing support, reorganized menus, better text wrap preferences, improved functions, more preferences (copy/paste, favorites, file compression, etc.), and more. [7.9MB]
Nisus Software today released Nisus Writer Express 2.0, an easy-to-use Microsoft Word alternative. The new release has over 30 new features including tables and styles, footnotes, smart quotes and more. "These new features, along with current features such as a flexible user interface, support for Microsoft Word (.doc) documents, industry standard RTF and Unicode file formats, non-contiguous selection, unparalleled language support, and unmatched find and replace promise to make Nisus Writer Express 2.0 the most exciting new release in our 20 year history!" It is available now as an electronic download ($60) with CDs expected to ship in 2-3 weeks for $70. Upgrades are free for current owners and $45 for registered owners of older versions.
QuickerTek today announced it is now shipping a new user-installable kit that boosts signal strength by up to 30% of Dr. Bott's wireless antenna upgrades for Apple's AirPort Base Stations (BS). The QuickerTek cable upgrade enhances the original design to allow the Dr. Bott ExtendAIR Direct Antenna and Omni Antennas to work with all Apple Airport Base Stations, including the Graphite, Snow as well as both Airport Extreme Base Stations. (Dr. Bott's antennas are not compatible with all models.) The user-installable kit requires a soldering iron; alternatively, users can send their antenna to QuickerTek for $25 installation (plus shipping) and receive 24 hour turnaround service. The upgrade kit itself is $35.
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