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In Brief: One MacNN reader reports on shipment confirmation of his BTO dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5 with Nvidia's GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL graphics card, after months of delays.... The Wolfram Education Group has launched new online mini-courses for Mathematica users offered in specific areas such as statistical analysis, numerical computation, technical publishing, and applied programming....The United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple with a patent for its 'Genie' dock effect.... Piper Jaffray said that based on a survey of high-school students, Apple's iPod is dominating mindshare and market share with 16% of those surveyed currently owning iPods and 24% planning to buy an iPod within the next year.
The Government of Thailand has launched a new initiative to sell Macs below market price, as part of its People's Computer project. According to a report in Bankok's The Nation, the "ICT Ministry has tied up with Apple Computer (Thailand) to launch a cheap Macintosh computer project. Information and Communications Technology Minister Surapong Suebwonglee said yesterday that the computer would be a Macintosh G4 and it would be sold under the market price. An IT source said the model would probably be the eMac G4, which goes for about Bt40,000 in stores. A briefing on the Mac Up Your Life project is set for tomorrow, but Surapong said it would start in the middle of this month."
Honeywell today announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Apple and 33 other electronics companies claiming infringement of a Honeywell patent for technology that increases the brightness of images and reduces the appearance of certain interference effects on LCDs. The lawsuit claims the company's patented technology is being used in a variety of consumer electronics products, including notebook computers, cell phones, personal digital assistants, portable DVD players, portable LCD TVs, video game systems, and digital still cameras. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the district of Delaware, asks for monetary damages and an injunction to prohibit selling products that infringe its patent.
The Core is a Contact Management System for FileMaker Pro 7 from Productive Computing. It "manages all your contacts, individuals, letters, faxes, email, tasks, notes, calendar events and associated documents." Pricing starts $350. [Download - buy] Cheap-o-Scope is a small utility that will convert Quicktime movies into Adobe Filmstrip files and also convert Adobe Filmstrip files back into Quicktime movies. Adobe Filmstrip files are recognized by Photoshop and Premiere. [Download - 48KB] Jedit X 1.0.0is a "powerful text editor" written in Cocoa for Mac OS X. It was originally created for the Japanese language, and is now available for English also. [Download - 3.8MB] OmniWeb 5.1 beta 1 is the latest version of the alternative Web browser for Mac OS X. This version adds full form navigation using the keyboard, better Java compatibility and performance, and the latest version of the Apple WebCore layout engine. [Download - 5.9MB] TextMate ($40) is a text editor designed for use by programmers and developers. "It's time to turn envy into pride and end your desire for Windows- and UNIX-based editors once and for all." [Download - 1.2MB] SignalScope 1.6 is the latest version of the $40 "award-winning 2-channel real-time audio signal analyzer, built for Mac OS X." This version adds support for audio devices with multiple, non-interleaved audio data streams, enhanced audio device input format controls, the option to turn off guardbanding, and more. [Download - 1.0MB]
Shares of Apple rose today, as one analyst raised his price target on the stock and others weighed in on the company's outlook ahead of its fourth-quarter report next week. Apple closed today at $40.64, after peaking as high as $40.76. The company's shares have more than doubled since their 52-week low of $19.25 on Dec. 22 and are trading at levels not seen in four years. First Albany analyst Joel Wagonfeld on Wednesday raised his price target on Apple's stock to $44 a share, saying that Apple's "momentum hasn't peaked, so valuation probably hasn't either." Wagonfeld said, in a research note, he believes Apple has room to grow due to several different product drivers. Shares closed at xxx today.
TASCAM today released a major upgrade for its FW-1884 Audio/MIDI Interface and Control Surface. Version 1.30 allows the control surface to send commands to soft synths, plug-ins, and MIDI sequencers directly through its high-speed FireWire interface. It also brings GSIF-2 compatibility (to act as a low-latency audio and MIDI interface for GigaStudio 3) and brings improved compatibility with Power Mac G5 computers. The company also announced that Nomad Factory Blue Tubes Bundle and Rock Amp Legends have been updated with Audio Unit support, now offering plug-and-play support for Emagic Logic, MOTU Digital Performer and a list of other Mac OS X DAW applications.
Sound Grinder 2.0 ($40) updates the audio file conversion tool that provides direct audio file conversion within Contextual Menus, Finder Services, and the Dock. In addition to Rapid Convert, it now supports new file formats (OGG Vorbis, AMR Narrowband, Apple Lossless, MP3 LAME codecs), pull-up/pull-down sample rates, folder hierarchy recreation, and 31 character naming compatibility. [4.0MB] Rax 1.2 ($30) turns your Mac into a virtual rig for live performance, slaving instruments and effects from another app or offloading DSP to a second computer. "With its streamlined UI, this is the easiest way to play AudioUnit instruments and process live audio through your AudioUnit effects." Version 1.2 allows modules to respond to an individual MIDI port and supports VirSyn Synths and impOSCar. [1.5MB] iMap 3 ($200) updates the mapping application that can import georeferenced data from databases or spreadsheets and maps it onto image or vector maps. It can query the map against information in the database, offers a new file format that encapsulates both the map and the data, adds support for shadows/transparency, offers supports for vector maps (Arc/Info .e00 files and boundary files), can map records based on US Zip codes, and more. Upgrades are $100. [2.1MB] MenuControl 2.0 ($90) allows developers to design custom menus for any FileMaker solution. Version 2 provides enhanced ability to create custom menus including submenus based on scripts, modify default FileMaker menus, create custom pop-up menus, create custom contextual menus (or disable them), improved keyboard shortcuts, etc. Upgrade pricing is $45 through October 30th. [form] Backdrop Folders 1.3 ($19) is an addition to the Finder, that was designed to take advantage of Mac OS X 10.3 "Exposť" feature. It allows users to open "views" of your folders at the desktop level and interact with them: "These views remain visible when you reveal the desktop with Exposť, which allows you to pick a file or to do a drag and drop operation...without the hassle of having to switch to the Finder and navigate through your disk hierarchy." [demo] iChat2Cell 1.1 ($10) is a Mac OS X 10.3 utility that will simplify sending SMS messages through iChat. It allows users to quickly/easily send messages, allowing up to 5 free evaluation launches. Version 1.1 now integrates with the built-in Mac OS X address book for easier contact management. [140KB]
Xinet announced it will release its WebNative application plug-in for Adobe InDesign CS as well as a Versioning plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, designed to help companies manage image-naming conventions. The WebNative digital asset management solution that gives immediate, secure 24/7 access to files, print hot folders and archives on the server via any Web browser. The WebNative Versioning plug-in for Photoshop (for Mac OS 9/X) assists in the enforcement of a company's current versioning policies by automatically creating new versions of files following a naming convention specified by the administrator.
In Brief: MacNN Reviews has posted a review of Virtual PC 7, giving the emulation software four stars (and notes an incompatibility with some G5 Power Macs).... Oscar-winning editor Walter Murch will use Final Cut Pro to edit Universal Pictures' upcoming "Jarhead," a drama based on Anthony Swofford's Gulf War memoir.... Verbatim is now shipping Verbatim 8.5GB DVD+R DL-certified discs in 3-packs for $35.... RealOpen.org is holding an open REALbasic programming contest.... TECSoft announced its new Workflow Automation with AppleScript for Mac OS X Training, an interactive HTML-based training available for $50 (upgrades are $25).
Infoworld says that Apple's server and storage offerings are helping the company overcome its reputation as the high-priced computing option, while one quoted analyst says that Apple "remains relevant" because of its ability to continue to innovate: "But Apple's success in the high-performance-computing market is indicative of a more significant change in the company's overall product engineering and marketing, especially for business users. The company is fielding competitive offerings in the server and storage markets, both in terms of price and performance. That's helping it chip away at its old reputation for costliness."
REAL Software today announced pricing for REAL World 2005, the REALbasic User Conference, which is scheduled to take place at the Austin Convention Center on March 23-25, 2005. The company also announced that applications are being accepted for speakers and exhibitors. The conference is the ideal venue for software developers to gain an in-depth view of REALbasic, including how to easily create cross-platform software for Windows, Mac or Linux. Pricing is $400 ("super early-bird" through Oct 30), $450 ("early-bird" through Jan 31), and $600 ("regular pricing" through Mar 23).
RealNetworks has released RealPlayer 10 for Mac OS X in four new language versions, including French, German, Japanese and Spanish.... A tutorial gives details about installing Mac OS X on Microsoft's Xbox.... Apple vice president of applications, Eddie Cue discussed a number of topics related to iTunes for Europe, including Apple's relationship with Europe's independent labels.... A review of speakers for the iPod has been posted by the Associated Press, including JBL On Stage and Bose SoundDock.
Analysts at First Albany have issued a "buy" rating on Apple, raising its target on AAPL from $35 to $44, according to NewRatings.com: "In a research note published this morning, the analysts mention that the company is likely to report its 4Q04 EPS and iPod unit results ahead of the estimates of $0.18 and 1.25 billion, respectively. The performance of Apple Computer's PowerMac/Book was robust during the quarter and the company witnessed substantial demand for its new G-5 iMacs, the analysts say."
ATT is evaluating different operating systems, including Linux and Mac OS X, as alternatives to Windows for internal use, according to CNET News.com: "The company's chief information officer, Hossein Eslambolchi, has set up a team in AT&T's research labs to assess the appropriateness of desktop operating systems for the company, AT&T spokesman Michael Dickman said Thursday. The company currently uses Windows on its desktop PCs, which number in the tens of thousands. The engineers are testing and measuring how Windows, Linux and Mac OS X stack up on security, reliability and total cost of ownership."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.27 ( -0.72 )
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko