RealPlayer 10, now available as a final version, allows you to view RealNetwork's streaming media over the Internet on Mac OS X. First announced in June 2004, It includes new "TurboPlay", which the company says "practically eliminates buffering over high- speed connections so your clips start faster and play smoother as well as support for RealVideo 9, its new codec that offers dramatically improved compression for high quality at every bandwidth and includes 5-channel RealAudio Surround. Version 10 also offers near DVD-quality video, full-screen theater mode for viewing video clips, a grpahic equalizer, and QuickTime file playback. This version fixes the security flaws noted ealier today. [form]
Brother today introduced four new sub-$200 business-class color inkjet Multi-Function Center (MFC) products targeting home office and small business users. The new USB 2.0-based MFC line includes two traditional sheet-fed based models: the MFC-3240c and MFC-3340cn, and two flatbed models: the MFC-5440cn and MFC-5840cn--each of which is expected to ship later this month. The new MFCs utlize a 4-cartridge ink system, offer 33.6K bps color faxing, up to 6000x1200 dpi color printing, color copying, color scanning and PC Faxing. The MFC-3340cn and MFC-5840cn also include Brother's PhotoCapture Center feature which offers media card slots for CompactFlash, xD-Picture Card, Secure Digital, Memory Stick and SmartMedia cards.
Citing "numerous sources in Asia," Thomas Weisel analyst Jason Pflaum said Apple will use SigmaTel's controller chips for a player it's planning to launch this Christmas, according to The Miami Herald: "SigmaTel stock rose Friday after a Wall Street firm said the semiconductor company will supply chips for a music player from Apple Computer Inc. Unlike Apple's hugely popular iPod and iPod Mini players, the new player would use solid-state flash memory, which has less capacity but can make for a lighter, cheaper player."
RPGMapMaker 4.0.0 is a tool for drawing maps with polygonal grids. These maps are generally used in Role Playing games, and can be designed for any other purposes. In this version, terrain tile size can range from 12 to 40 pixels, you can create maps based on a model, and more. [Downoad - 6.1MB] Bugged Out Rally ($20) is a racing game "where you take control of bugs instead of cars." There are total of eight bugs in the game. Player starts with a beetle, the weakest bug, but can be upgraded to a faster and a higher performance bugs. [Downoad - 20.3MB] MrClean is simple utility that finds and trashes duplicated files, empty folders and aliases. It is available in English or Italian. It can remove aliases, unwanted folders, duplicates, and more. [Downoad - 905KB] MacSQL 3.0.2 ($250) is the latest version of the powerful SQL database tool for Mac. There are now "no JDBC drivers to download," increased export and import capabilities, and Tools that make such tasks as managing users and table creation easier. [Downoad - 8.0MB] Footlights 1.1 ($15) is "the best way to play, organize, and export your movies." It offers three different modes : Inside the main Footlights window, the small compact view, or full screen. You can export movies to any file type that QuickTime can write. [Downoad - 1.8MB] Mac Cleaner ($15) allows users to do everything from moving a couple of files to syncing documents between a home and office computer. "Using Mac Cleaner is very easy because the only thing you need to do is creating a new item - Mac Cleaner will do the rest, perform your file actions at any time you wish." [Downoad - 1.5MB]
eEye has uncovered new security holes affecting a wide range of RealNetworks' media players, including the Mac version, according Techworld. "The flaws could be exploited via a malicious Web page or a RealMedia file run from a local drive to take over a user's system or delete files, according to RealNetworks. The most serious of the three new bugs involves malformed calls, and could be exploited via a player embedded in a malicious site to execute arbitrary code. This bug affects RealPlayer 10, 10.5.... A second bug could also allow malicious code execution, but only via a local RM file, RealNetworks said. The bug affects several versions of RealPlayer and RealOne Player on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux." Update: These security problems are fixed in the final version of RealPlayer 10 (and were only present in the beta).
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: possible sources of heat generation in the new Power Mac G5.... choosing where to purchase a Mac (Apple retail, reseller, etc).... one member's impressions of their new iMac G5.... speculation about the next iBook update.... Canon's latest Elph compact camera offerings.... impressions of Virtual PC 7 for Mac OS X.
Apple has launched a new iMac G5 Troubleshooting Assistant, its self-service web-based support solution that covers the most common questions iMac owners ask Apple. After entering their serial number, users are guided through a "series of time-tested instructions" and in case of problems are offered live tech support via a web-based chat with tech support agents between 6am and 6pm (PST). "If our steps determine that your iMac G5 needs to be repaired, we'll send you a Do-It-Yourself repair kit, complete with any necessary parts and easy instructions. Installing parts is easy. Most parts can be installed in less than 30 minutes. No special tools are required." Other support options include info about the iMac G5 diagnostic LEDs and a listing of user-installable parts.
Native Instruments today announced Battery 2, the next generation of the drum sampler. Version 2 adds a new sampling engine, enhanced sound shaping and modulation capabilities, sophisticated sample control and a revised user interface. It also includes a massive new sample library with more than 3.5GB of high-quality drum and percussion samples. Optimized for today's complex drum kits and large sample sizes, the new sampling engine offers features like 256 voice polyphony and support for hard disk streaming. The user interface is now customizable and can accommodate anything between 9 and 72 cells to adapt for drum kits of different sizes. Battery 2 supports Kontakt, Gigasampler and Rex 1/2 files and offers a dedicated import browser for convenient file import. It will ship in November for $240. Upgrades are $120.
In Brief: Apple CEO Steve Job was at the top of Forbes' September's Top Ranked CEOs with a 91% approval rating.... WorldSync has launched its new SyncDeK Developer Alliance (SDA) and has begun accepting Subscriber and Associate members.... Ars Technica has posted a review of Apple's dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5.... IconBase.com's Tupperware Icon Package ($250) is a new royalty-free icon kit for developers that includes 96 icons.... InterfaceLIFT has launched a new stock icons collection area for programmers to find high-quality, royalty-free interface icons designed specifically for use in software and web site projects.
Boinx FotoMagico 1.0 ($80) is a final release of the tool for building dynamic presentations from still photos, offering integration with iTunes and iPhoto. It is designed for high-quality, live slideshow presentations with an optional pan and zoom effect, smooth transitions and audio. It can also createa QuickTime movie for burning to DVD via Apple's iDVD or Roxio Toast. [form] VideoWeb 2.1 (free) is an utility that allows you to publish your webcam or DV camera on a web folder with only three steps, allowing users to view the remote webcam with any browser. Users can apply effects to the image or add time, title, or graphic as well as use the integrated HTML editor to edit the generated videoweb page and customize the refresh intervals. [2.9MB] DVDManager v1.2 (free) is a simple DVD manager that helps manage, update, and automatically download info on DVDs. It now offers more control of HTML export features and a new source "Amazon (AT)" for retrieving data. Version 1.2 also delivers an enhanced method of rating DVDs and also adds complete French documentation. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [553KB] The next major release of QPict Media Asset Management Software will bring support for the new Digital Negative format (DNG) from Adobe, according to a release from RL Development. The new file format, geared towards creative professionals, will make it easier when working with and preserving RAW images. Registered users of QPict can apply for a test version available now. Puzzle Word 1.0 ($20) is a new word search game title where "players make words by clicking the colorful letters on a grid, which then disappear and other letter tiles collapse into their places, forming new combinations. Players can either play the game casually, finding whichever words they see immediately, or can maximize their score by playing strategically, finding one word so that the tiles will collapse to bring a longer word into place." [5.3MB] MultiMode 5.0 ($90) brings improvements to the user interface as well as several bug fixes. The application can decode and transmit several different modes of non-voice communication often heard on shortwave and ham radio. It can decode and display morse code, RTTY, FAX, SSTV, ACARS, PSK31, and many other modes on your Mac, without any extra hardware. [946KB]
Apple's future looks bright with the introduction of the iMac G5, the success of the iPod, surging laptop sales, its successful retail initiative, and delays in Microsoft's delivery of Longhorn, according to BusinessWeek: "A $1,300 Cadillac in a world dominated by $700 Chevys, the iMac G5 appeals to just 5% of PC buyers, says NPD Group Inc. But the new iMac, along with Apple's popular notebook computers, could help the company find modest market share gains that could have an outsize impact on sales and earnings. If Apple can boost its global market share in PCs by just a half-percentage point, to 2.5% by 2006, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, it could boost revenues over current estimates by 24%, to $12 billion, and earnings by 23%, to $491 million."
SubRosaSoft.com today released DesktopEarth 3D v3.0, delivering a 3D screensaver, a new streamlined user-interface, an improved help file and a comprehensive manual. Designed to visualize the Earth, it uses a combination of satellite imagery and calculated data to provide realtime views of the entire globe. It offers realtime cloud maps, simulated horizons, and live pictures of the moon and sun, superimposed on different earth maps, which can then be set as the desktop picture. The 3D screen saver allows you to display a spinning earth, overlaid with real cloud layering and the pattern of night and day. It is available for $15 and runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. Upgrades are free.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-Élysées. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel
Verizon gives last offer, issues workers ultimatum
Verizon has offered striking workers its "last, best and final offer" following 10 months of protracted negotiations with union leaders. The latest offer comes on the back of 36,000 Verizon employees taking strike action two weeks ago. The proposal includes a 7.5 percent wage rise, better benefits and voluntary retirement incentive offers. The striking workers, mainly on from its fixed line operations, have claimed that Verizon has outsourced 5,000 jobs to workers overseas and that it has been deliberately hiring low-wage, non-union contractors. Verizon recently posted revenue of $32.2 billion for the March quarter. http://cnnmon.ie/26AmwSv
CarPlay comes to Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche has revealed that its new 718 Cayman series will be the latest vehicles in its range equipped with support for Apple CarPlay. The new Porsche models joins the recently announced 718 Boxster, the 2017 Macans and the 2016 model of the 911 in offering support for Apple's iOS in the car interface. Both are fitted standard with an eight speaker sound system and the Porsche Communications Management (PCM) system. The entry-level Cayman starts at $53,9000, while the faster S variant starts from $66,300. Although already on sale, the won't reach US dealers until late November. http://prn.to/1Tj1EW7
Macphun offers free Photos filters
Image editing software maker Macphun are offering a free set of up to 30 photo filter effects to extend the range of filter options available to users of Apple's Photos app for OS X, which replaced the previous iPhoto program. The first 15 filters are available after installing the software, and includes filters such as "Ancient Canvas" and "Twilight," while users who sign up for the Macphun newsletter will unlock the other 15 effects. The extension integrates directly into Photos, and include sliders for finer control of the effects and a masking brush. http://bit.ly/1VEgQD6