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In Brief: Digital-Tutors today announced the availability of the "Fundamentals of Maya Dynamics: Soft and Rigid Bodies" ($63) training kit.... IconBase has released its newest collection named WaterWorld (80 icons), "inspired in Mac Style and folows the Apple guidelines".... widget has released a set of new icons called "If I Were A Thief In The 24th Century" - "the set celebrates the Star Trek canon, and comes as a Candy Bar set for a total system overhaul".... In conjunction with the recent shipment of Adobe Photoshop Elements 3, the editors of Photoshop Elements Techniques announced that users can get access to 11 online tutorial video tips that explain how to use the new features in Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.
Apple fiscal Q4 highlights
Apple today revealed some interesting notes about the company's financials in its quarterly conference call. Apple confirmed the opening of new "mini" Apple Stores, talked about an expanded marketing campaign with U2, noted strong education sales, increases in iPod revenue, continued G5 chip constraints during the September quarter, and more. We have detailed notes and highlights from the call.
Six \"mini\" Apple Stores
Apple today said it plans to open 6 new "mini" stores this Saturday. During the fourth fiscal quarter conference call, CFO Oppenheimer said that the new "mini"stores are expected to feature a completely new layout and design, allowing the company to place its products and services in "interesting" and "innovative" locations. Apple also said that it opened 6 new retail stores in the quarter ending in September for a total of 87 stores and expects to have 100 stores open by the end of the calendar year.
Impressario 2.0 ($440) is the upcoming update to the tool for integrating PDF content into Macromedia Director. "Probably the most anticipated new feature will be the support for multi-line form fields... Another big feature will be the ability to trap and handle Impressario events from Director." Version 2.0 will be available in the "next couple of weeks."
LyX 1.3.5 is a fully fuctional WYSIWYM ("what you see is what you mean") front-end for LaTeX, "which allows users with no programming knowledge to get the full benefits of LaTeX." The latest version contains a fix for problems with fonts in math environments. [Download - 7.3MB]
iPaste 1.1 ($13) is an unobtrusive clipboard enhancement utility. New in version 1.1 is support for multiple clip sets, a floating palette, and the ability to associate clips sets with specific applications. [Download - 706KB]
SurfShop 7.4 ($170) is a "rock-solid, Perl based e-commerce solution" for Mac OS X. New and updated features of this major update include: viewing of categories and sub-categories before products are shown, new and more powerful calculations, and custom product options. [Download - 298KB]
Media Rage 1.4 ($25) is a collection of tools for audio enthusiasts using Mac OS X. Improvements in version 1.4 include: a Find and Replace Data tool, BPM and Year values for the Media List windows, and the ability to specify what files Media Rage will open. [Download - 2.2MB]
CG Invoicer 1.83 ($70) "helps with your administrative needs so you can focus on driving the growth of your business." Version 1.83 includes several enhancements and minor bug fixes, including: product list can now be sorted by price, CapsLock no longer interferes with creating a new product in Line Items, and Purchase Orders can now be generated. [Download - 8.2MB]
iPod, Retail, laptops...
Apple saw an increase in revenue in all of its geographic operating segments as well as tremendous growth in its retail operation, according to data released by the company. Apple posted a 66% unit increase and 95% revenue increase in its retail segment over the year-ago quarter as well as sequential growth of 34% (units) and 39% (revenue) from the previous quarter. However, the retail growth was offset by significant year-over-year declines in Mac shipments in both its Japan (26%) and European (32%) segments. Overall, Apple shipped fewer Mac units from the previous quarter, but enjoyed a much higher selling price--driving sequential revenue of growth by 17% to $2.35 billion.
Apple profit of $106M
Apple today announced a net profit of $106 million, or $.26 per diluted share, compared with a net profit of $44 million, or $.12 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter and well-ahead of analyst estimates of $0.18 per share. Revenue for the quarter was $2.35 billion, up 37 percent from the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 27.0 percent, up from 26.6 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 37 percent of the quarter's revenue. The quarter's results include an after-tax restructuring charge of $4 million. Excluding this charge, the Company's net profit for the quarter would have been $110 million, or $.27 per diluted share. Apple said it shipped 836,000 Macs and 2,016,000 iPods during the quarter, representing a 6 percent increase in CPU units and a 500 percent increase in iPods over the year-ago quarter.
Apache, MySQL, PHP install
webEdition Software has released MAMP, an open-source tool enabling Mac OS X users to install Apache server, MySQL and PHP easily. The MAMP, a compilation of Apache, MySQL, PHP, Turck MMCache and PHPMyAdmin for Mac OS X, was specially designed for Mac enthusiasts to simplify the "cumbersome installation process--one that involved modifying the configuration files, terminal windows and other operations.... Now Mac users can download the MAMP, and with just a few clicks, install the software bundle in a folder...The MAMP will not interfere with a user's system configuration, nor will an existing installation of Apache/MySQL be affected by the MAMP: both systems can run in parallel. The MAMP can be conveniently uninstalled simply by deleting the MAMP folder."
Drum Foundations Vol 1
SessionLoops has announced Drum Foundations Vol 1 in Apple Loops format with hundreds of rock drum loops and grooves featuring drum legend Simon Phillips (Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani, Toto, etc.). It features over 450 loops organized by style and tempo in 34 'session' folders - each containing verse, chorus, fills etc. The set covers a range of rock styles from Aerosmith-style rock-ballads through to full-tilt power punk. Theh company says that all loops were optimized for GarageBand and Soundtrack using the Apple Loops SDK. Drum Foundations Vol 1 Apple Loops is available for $50.
Prosoft Data Rescue 10.4.3
Prosoft today announced an update to its data recovery utility: Data Rescue 10.4.3 ($90) adds support for the German language as well as improves performance and adds support for more file types. "We're excited to provide this new version of Data Rescue with support for German language machines. Prosoft and our partner in Germany (Brainworks) have been supporting the German market for some time now, so this is a natural progression for us.." It also brings greatly improved scanning speed for drives with hardware read problems, now supports Stuffit file types (.sit and .sitx) and Entourage mail database types in Content scan mode, offers improved TIFF file and AAC/M4A audio file recovery, and adds support for terabyte drives.
Iomega REV Autoloader 1000
Iomega has announced its new disk-to-disk autoloader, the Iomega REV Autoloader 1000. Designed to replace SCSI-based tape autoloaders and other backup devices in small- and medium-sized business networks, Iomega's REV Autoloader 1000 is a 2U single-drive desktop device featuring 10-slots for Iomega's REV disks for a native capacity of 350GB (700GB with 2:1 software compression). Dual-SCSI interfaces allow the drive to connect to a server and a NAS (network-attached storage) device, while Web-based configuration tools (via the optional remote management unit) and a front operator control panel offer simple access to key settings. It expected to ship during the fourth quarter for $2,200.
New MacWireless products
MacWireless has introduced new 11g Antenna Boosters, which extend the range of Apple's AirPort (Extreme) Base Stations. The powered amplifiers boost 802.11g/b signals to increase the wireless network's range and performance. The booster devices connect to a wireless device (e.g., AirPort Base Station) and an external RP-SMA type antenna and are available in three models: 100 mW ($100), 200 mW ($130), and 500 mW ($180). The company also launched new uni-directional corner antennas, which are designed to shape and extend the wireless signal from any AirPort Base Station, access point or wireless card. The Corner Antennas are designed for covering a building from a corner position and include a corner wall mount. They are available in 12dBi ($60) and 15dBi ($90) models with a variety of connector styles.
InfiniBand for Mac OS X
Small Tree Communications today announced the immediate availability of InfiniBand products available for the Mac. InfiniBand is a low-latency cluster interconnect technology that offers transfer speeds up to 10Gb/sec using copper cabling. InfiniBand technology from Mellanox, coupled with Small Tree's Mac OS X InfiniBand software, brings industry-leading InfiniBand network performance to users of the Power Mac G5 and Xserve G5. The company says that the clustering solution has been certified with Ohio State University's (OSU)'s MVAPICH MPI layer for Mac Enterprise and Supercomputing customer applications.
Darwin for InDesign, Quark
Creo is demonstrating a new version of Darwin VI authoring tool that supports Adobe InDesign CS software at Graph Expo in Chicago. Based on the Darwin VI authoring tool, the application enables InDesign users to design, author and manage personalized variable information documents. Darwin is used by designers, advertising agencies and marketing professionals to enhance the value of direct marketing through personalization. The InDesign plugin offers a new Apple Aqua-based user interface and improved workflow, including a robust, standalone database engine that improves performance and flexibility. It will ship in early 2005.
BF1942 expansion pack
Aspyr today announced that Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of World War II expansion pack has gone gold and will begin shipping Monday, October 18, arriving in stores nationwide by October 23. The expansion pack introduces all new weapons, vehicles and tough, new battle maps. Players can now defeat their enemies with a variety of experimental firepower and vehicles. "These powerful new weapons and vehicles are rooted in World War II history, but never saw actual combat - until now." It requires the full version of Battlefield 1942, Mac OS X 10.2.8, and a G4/G5-based Mac (867MHz or faster).
Apple FYQ4 earnings
In Brief: Apple is expected to announce its fiscal fourth quarter earnings after market close today and will hold its quarterly conference call--with analysts expecting earnings of 18 cents a share.... Apple is offering a several models of its refurbished dual-processor G5 machines and eMacs (starting at $550) at its online Apple Store as well as iBooks starting at $850.... Sharp Systems'new Actius MP30 ultraportable offers "a stylish white frame that calls the Apple iBook G4 to mind."... Verbatim today announced that it is now shipping certified 1-16x speed DVD+R media in both spindle ($30/25-pk) and jewel case packaging.
MSN Messenger, RDC updates
Microsoft today released MSN Messenger 4.0.1, an update to its free instant messaging software that will also notify users when new messages arrive in their MSN Hotmail Inbox. Microsoft says that "MSN Messenger version 4.0.1 for Mac is mandatory to ensure that all software accessing the service is using the most robust and current version available." Microsoft also released Remote Desktop Connection Client v1.0.3, which allows you to connect to a Windows-based computer and work with programs and files on that computer from your Mac. Version 1.03 offers improved stability when minimizing the client window, copying/pasting data into Mac applications, running under Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, and on G5-based Macs.
Microsoft Office updates
Following the release of Office 2004 SP1 earlier this week, Microsoft has released Office v. X for Mac Security Update (10.1.6), which it says addresses several stability issues with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Entourage, and Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications for Office v. X. The company also released Office 2001 for Mac Security Update (9.0.5), which it says addresses several security and stability issues with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Entourage for Office 2001. Separately, Microsoft also posted an extensive list of changes and updates in in Office 2004 SP1. [v.X, 2001]
Dell\'s iPod mini coming?
Dell is expected to expand its line of line of consumer electronics this week, possibly taking the wraps off of a challenger to Apple's iPod mini, according to CNET News.com: "While Dell continues to focus on business products such as servers, the company aims to carve out a niche in consumer electronics as well. A new Dell DJ may be afoot, as Engadget reported earlier this week that Dell will offer a diminutive music player named the Dell Pocket DJ 5 and will sell it for $199, alongside a new version of the 20GB Dell DJ 20, which will sell for $249. Right now Dell sells DJ 15 and DJ 20 models with 15GB and 20GB of storage capacity, for $199 and $279, respectively."
HP Printable Tattoos
HP today announced that is now shipping its HP Printable Tattoos, which allow users to personalize the look of their Apple iPod from HP. Users can visit HP's Music site to create their own printable tattoos--by importing their own personal digital photos or downloading exclusive tattoos designed by major music industry recording artists and award-winning designers. Consumers can also buy the ultra-thin HP Printable Tattoos nationwide in select retail stores or online at hpshopping.com. The tattoos ($15) are sold in 10-packs of printable glossy paper that are pre-cut in the shape of the iPod and are easy to apply and remove from the player's exterior. They are durable and water resistant, helping protect the Apple iPod from HP from scratches and scuffs.
The Urbz gets iTunes music
Electronic Arts, iTunes and A&M Records today announced a partnership that pairs The Urbz: Sims in the City video game with The Black Eyed Peas. "Not only will the band be characters in the game and provide nine tracks re-recorded completely in Simlish -- the game's quirky language -- but a special edition version of the game will include exclusive, never-released tracks from The Black Eyed Peas available via an iTunes download card." The band went back to the studio to completely re-record tracks specifically for the game. The first 700,000 units of The Urbz: Sims in the City will include a pre-paid, pre-loaded iTunes download card, which entitles consumers to receive three exclusive Black Eyed Peas songs, including a never-before released English song, an exclusive Simlish track, and two versions of their top hit, "Let's Get it Started" -- one in Simlish.
MSN Music store launches
Microsoft yesterday officially launched its MSN Music Store, offering both praise for Apple iTunes, while calling the system "closed": "iTunes has done a great job of helping to elevate the [digital music] market," said Christine Andrews, lead product manager of MSN. "We're different because Apple is a closed system. If you want Apple, you have to use the iPod. A lot of people want choice and we offer that." In response, Apple touted its 92-percent iPod marketshare for drive-based players and 65-percent marketshare for all portable players (including flash-based devices), saying that the "iTunes Music Store, with its catalog of over 1 million songs, works with 65 percent of all MP3 players and 92 percent of all hard-drive based music players being sold today. There is a lot of customer choice happening today, it's just that Microsoft doesn't like the choices customers are making." [updated]
iTunes at 70% marketshare
According to new data from the NPD Group, iTunes retained a 70 percent market share for digital downloads between December 2003 and July 2004, the last month for which data is available. According to CNET News.com, "Apple's 70 percent market share--a number often touted by Jobs in his speeches--appears to have remained relatively consistent despite the entrance of other companies. According to the NPD Group, the closest rival over the 8-month period leading to July 2004 was Napster, with an 11 percent share. RealNetworks, MusicMatch and Wal-Mart each had a 6 percent share. Even iTunes' growth may have leveled off, however. The number of people using any paid download service peaked at about 1.3 million individuals a month, and afterward fell to about 1 million a month by July, according to the NPD Group."
High-gain PB Whip antenna
QuickerTek today announced new high-gain versions of its PowerBook antennas as well as price reductions on its AirPort Base Station antennas. The company says that the new Whip Pro antenna ($100) more than doubles the signal strength of the previous design, offering a 5.5dbi gain signal strength for both the Titanium and Aluminum PowerBooks. QuickerTek says that users can expect both a gain the wireless range and in the signal-to-noise ratio and that the new design offers a new attach/removal method to keep the antenna in place (on the PowerBook case), allowing simultaneous use of the PC Card slot. Both the Apple Airport Base Station antenna upgrades as well as the (older) Whip antenna for Titanium PowerBooks are now $70.
EarthBrowser, App Presto
EarthBrowser 2.1 ($30) tracks the latest weather, tropical storms, earthquakes,
webcams and more in a live 3D model of the earth. The innovative earth simulation, which also features a screen saver module, combines an 3D globe with realtime weather conditions and 7 day forecasts for thousands of locations worldwide. It adds hurricane/tropical storm tracking, improved volcanos to include over 1,500 active and dormant volcanoes, and speed improvements. [3.9MB]
App Presto 1.1 is a multi-purpose system utility that automates several common tasks. It offers system-wide or per-application options for hiding applications that are no longer in the foreground, bringing all all windows for an application forward when it is active, a simple force-quit keyboard equivalent, and more. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [600KB]
Sticky Notes 1.2 (£10) is an update to the desktop organisation utility that offers Rendezvous-based sharing, window snapping, tiling & cascading, custom colors, and export to iPod functions. This version adds drag & drop links to local files, sorting by color, by title or by specified lists, importing form iCal, attaching notes to applications and improved network sharing. [444KB]
DVDxDV allows users to extract video from DVDs. The updated version adds enhanced audio quality using a 64-bit audio conversion process--by using a four times the bits used in an audio CD. The new engine is now available in version 1.094 of DVDxDV ($25) and version 1.041 of DVDxDV Pro ($80), which allows you to extract multi-channel audio into individual 24-bit AIFF files. [Std., Pro]
FontCard 1.2 ($17) adds corrupt font crash catching, new font type
icons, better compatibility and more. Unsanity's haxie modifies the Font menu in Carbon and Cocoa applications, adding an icon that displays the format of a font
next to the font menu item, displaying the font name in the font face,
grouping fonts into submenus, and including font collections to the font menu. [1.3MB]
A Better Finder Rename 6.6 ($20) adds support for renaming mp3 music files using its embedded mp3 tag information. The contextual menu plugin allows users to quickly rename multiple files, offering both interactive and batch-processing modes, the ability to process sub-folders, sequential file naming, advanced file renaming techniques, and much more. [2.6MB]
Photoshop Elements 3.0
Adobe today announced the immediate availability of Photoshop Elements 3.0, a major upgrade to its consumer photo editing software. Version 3 delivers new ways to share, organize and edit photos, allowing people to easily review, compare and enhance photos and create dynamic slideshows and personalized creations. It offers a new Smart Fix that analyzes a photo and with one-click applies sophisticated enhancements to automatically improve photo quality as well as improved red-eye removal, the Healing Brush and the new Spot Healing brush, which allows customers to fix blemishes and imperfections with one-click. Photoshop Elements 3.0 also supports Camera Raw functionality for the processing of raw data and 16-bit images and integrated photo/book purchases from Ofoto. It is available for $90 or as a $70 upgrade.
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