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BitJazz has released SheerVideo 2.0, an update to its realtime lossless software video codec. The company says that SheerVideo doubles both the speed and the capacity of transmission and storage while encoding and decoding on-the-fly "with perfect fidelity." The new version adds 10-bit channels, an optional alpha channel in all formats, gamma tracking, and interconversion between all standard pixel formats. It also introduces Synchromy, which it says is "the world's most accurate" color converter. It interconverts between spectral RGB colors and video Y'CbCr colors absolutely without any information loss. The SheerVideo Reader v2.0 is free, while SheerVideo Pro v2.0, available as a set of QuickTime components, is $150. A G5-optimized version will be available as a free upgrade.
Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are among MSNBC's History's 10 greatest entrepreneurs: "Apple Computer’s two Steves weren’t the first Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to launch a billion-dollar business from a Palo Alto garage -- Hewlett and Packard were there before them -- but they were the first to democratize computing by creating a machine whose use was so wonderfully intuitive that even technophobes embraced it. Combine the elegance of Wozniak’s operating system design with Jobs’ marketing savvy (remember Apple’s “1984” ad?) and the result was a true phenomenon."
Speck Products has begun shipping its SkinTight Armband for Apple and HP's newest "4G" iPod (iPod with Click Wheel). The new armband that works with a rubberized skin, allowing users to safely exercise with their iPods. The 4G Armband comes with a free frosted SkinTight rubberized skin and features easy snap-in-snap-out design; a Velcro-adjustable armband, and cable clips to keep cord out of the way. A 3G version of the SkinTight armband is also available with a free rubberized skin. Each version is $35. Speck Products also is also shipping SkinTigh iPod Skins, See-Thru FlipStand, and leather iStyle case for the newest Apple and HP iPods.
Merrill Lynch says that Apple will likely introduce two new versions of the iPod by the first half of 2005, according to Forbes: "We believe Apple could introduce a flash memory-based iPod in the first quarter of 2005. The new iPod would signal a departure from the thinking that an iPod should hold all a person's songs. We estimate that Apple might be able to charge $149 for a 256MB (60 song) unit. We think Apple could quickly become a significant player in the fragmented $2.6 billion flash MP3 market." Merrill also said a photo iPod may be released in the near future: "Since iPods are already being used as portable hard drives (HDDs) for files, we believe a Photo iPod is likely to be announced, perhaps in the first half of next year." The firm maintained a 'Buy' rating on the company with a target price of $49 based on a 1.6 times enterprise value-to-sales ratio, which it noted was a 20% discount to Dell.
Velan Software today released Fast DVD Copy 3, software built for Mac OS X that allows users to copy their DVD video collections, Audio CD collections, PlayStation 2 games, DVD-ROMs or CD-ROMs without losing any quality from the original. It features a one-click interface and allows you to copy virtually all DVD videos, PlayStation 2 games, and Audio CDs. It supports multiple processor machines for faster performance, a "privacy guarantee" (with no digital mark written), the ability to copy an entire dual-layer DVD video to one single-layer DVD-RW disc, custom copies/backup, and compatibility with multi-channel audio (Dolby Didital 5.1, DTS, THX), region-free DVD copying, Apple's iDVD, both NTSC and PAL formats, and widescreen and full-screen sizes. It is available for $100.
Marketcircle today announced DayLite 1.7, a free update to its powerful business relationship management software as well as debuted its Developer Alliance Program. Version 1.7 includes a new Quick Status window, a revised toolbar, improved auto-linking, improved performance in multi-user environments and more. DayLite also ships with a free license of MailDrop 1.3.4 ($60 value), an application that allows users to generate personalized emails. It is available now for $150 per seat. The new developer program, with the three new integration methods--two no-fee licenses (plugins and Distributed Object interface and Direct Database Access--is designed to help the third party and in-house developer build very cost effective business solutions around DayLite.
Native Instruments has begun shipping Battery 2, a new version of its drum sampler that offers a powerful new sampling engine, enhanced sound shaping and modulation capabilities, sophisticated sample control and a revised user interface. It offers a larger, customizable matrix along with a powerful compressor and multi-mode filter, an LFO, freely assignable envelope, mapping editor managing 128 sample-layers per cell, re-sampling effect and an extended Loop section. Battery 2 also includes a sample library with over 3.5 GB worth of drum and percussion samples as well as compatibilty to with sample formats and simplified file management. It is available for $230. Upgrades are $120.
Intuit today announced a new version of its application for small businesses: QuickBooks Pro 2005. The update incorporates customer-driven enhancements, including easier data sharing with Windows users, more customizable forms and new tools to help boost efficiency and accuracy. Business users can now add a custom PDF background to any of the built-in forms, allowing them to customize and enhance invoices, statements, sales receipts, etc. In addition, options are provided to customize the form fonts, select printed fields or to add status stamps. Mac users also can open QuickBooks for Windows files. In addition, this version also features a menu structure that matches QuickBooks for Windows, automatic offsite file backups to Apple's .Mac service, and integration with iCal. It is available for pre-order today for $300 (full) or $200 (upgrade).
KidzLog 1.2 ($20) is a weblog publishing tool for children. It provides a canvas and painting tools so that children can paint their pictures directly in KidzLog as well as allows drag & drop of photos. Weblogs can be previewed locally and published on a remote web server using FTP. Version 1.2 offers borders for backgrounds, new style buttons for text, and more. [2.7MB] RailModeller 2.2 ($30) is a solution for designing layouts for model railroads and slot car systems. It includes more than 130 libraries of tracks and accessories from various vendors and offers the ability to create a 3D trackplan, the ability to export the plan as a picture in various file-formats and the automatic creation of partlists for the current plan. [4.7MB] PhotoLight 2.0 ($70) is a Photoshop plugin to cast lights/shadows on any of your Images. It includes more than 200 super-realistic effects, including glows, fog and many light or shadows cast through many kind of shapes such as windows, grids, etc. Photo-Light handles displacement of the light according to the background. Users can work with a combination of 20 Channels to be used as Mattes. Barcode Producer 3.1 ($150) updates the barcode generation suite for Mac OS X. This update adds Settings Recall, which automatically restores each barcode symbology editor to its last state, faster PDF generation, better control of PDF stamping (location, page-per-page, sequential/indentical barcodes), and pstopdf integration. [2.5MB] NetGlance 1.02 ($8) allows you to view live pictures from the web outside of the context of a web page and the constraints of a web browser. Any graphic -- weather maps, stock charts, webcams -- can be presented as versatile, simple, pictures on your desktop. It offers control of the size and location of the images and how often they automatically update. [464KB] ImportServer beta 1 ($10) bypasses standard import procedures by automatically hosting your old email on a local, secure email server. Users can then "import" your old email by telling any email program to download mail from the ImportServer, allowing old email to appear in your new email program, with all the correct formatting, dates, and attachments. [4MB]
In Brief: One user is using PearPC emulation to run Mac OS X Panther on a 25MHz Centris.... Understanding 64-bit PowerPC architecture talks about the critical issues in IBM's 64-bit POWER designs, covering 32-bit compatibility, power management, and processor bus design for the PowerPC "G5" 970 family.... For a limited time, FileMaker users can purchase REALbasic Professional Edition for $200 (a 50% discount) or REALbasic Standard Edition for $80 (a 20% discount).... Omenti Research is exploring how people use their iSight audio and video capabilities to communicate with others.... Good Housekeeping chose the iPod mini among several MP3 players, saying "it had the best sound and an easy-to-navigate menu."
The iPod took home yet another award after being nominated along with eight other design products in the "Danish People's Design Award" held by Danish newspaper Politiken. Following online voting, the iPod received almost 50% of all the votes [link in Danish]. Apple Denmark recieved its award at the Danish Design Centre last Friday in Copenhagen. Voting was driven in part by Danish Mac news site Macnyt which mentioned the award as news a few times before the voting was over. A member of the award's jury commented on the Apple grassroots' influence on the voting: "I think this goes for most of that kind of votings on the net. The sympathic thing about this case is that it is not Apple as a company but the users that gang up."
The Apple Store has announced that will begin selling a scaled down version of the high-end of Nvidia 6800 Ultra DDL graphics card in order to better meet demand for the product. The high-end Nvidia GPUs are required when using Apple's flagship 30-inch Apple Cinema Display HD and have delayed orders for the display (and card) by as much as three months--some since the debut of the products in July 2004. Both products feature 256MB of GDDR3 memory and 16-pipe superscalar architecture; however, the Nvidia 6800 GT features a slightly lower bandwidth of 32GB/sec for delivery of 525 million verticies and 5.6 billion textured pixels per second. The Ultra version features 35.2GB/sec throughput for 600 million verticies and 6.4 billion textured pixels per second. Both high-end graphics cards block the adjacent PCI slot. The Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT DDL graphics card will be available for order as a BTO option for Power Macs in early November.
Eovia today announced that it has shipped the international English edition of Carrara 4, its, complete 3D solution for illustrators, animators and modelers, multimedia producers, and CAD designers. Available in two versions, Standard ($300) and Pro ($600), Carrara 4 is a major upgrade to the 3D animation and design tool. In addition to the new Carrara 4 features already announced, the shipping version includes an updated Scene Wizard, faster OpenGL, raytraced depth of field, shader transforms, the ability to apply shaders to a group, and more accurate physics on the Mac. Eovia Carrara 4 software supports design for motion media, print, and the web. Version 4 also offers improved interchange with industry-leading design applications, web tools, and video editing and effects software. It is offered a free upgrade to all new purchases of Carrara Studio 3 through November 30th.
Adobe and Yahoo! today announced a strategic relationship designed to integrate Adobe and Yahoo! services, significantly increase the reach of Yahoo! Search and expand the online utility of Adobe Reader. This week Adobe will introduce a co-branded Yahoo! Toolbar that will provide users with access to Yahoo! products including AntiSpy, Pop-Up Blocker and Yahoo! Search, as well as Adobe products such as Create Adobe PDF Online, a web-based service for creating documents in PDF. The co-branded toolbar will continue to evolve over time, adding functionality such as the ability to quickly and easily convert web-based content into Adobe PDF files. In addition, a future release of Adobe Reader will feature Yahoo! Search as the default Internet search.
The Omni Group's founder Wil Shipley and interface designer Mike Matas have launched Delicious Monster Software, a software company designed to create Mac OS X applications. Delicious Library, the company's first release, creates an electronic card-catalog of books, movies, music, and video games. It offers 30fps iSight barcode scanning to import your stuff, photorealistic digital shelves full of hi-resolution 3D renderings of your covers, Address Book and iCal integration, and "smart recommendations" to help you find new things to add to your library. It also boasts automatic syncing with iPods, two-click purchases from Amazon.com, and a native XML file format to give advanced users direct accesses to all their library data. It will be available on November 8th for $40 with an optional wireless Bluetooth Laser barcode scanner ($175).
In Brief: Apple's iPod turned three on October 23, after it introduced the iPod in 2001.... Angry U2 fans have accused U2 of "selling out" after the veteran band signed a deal with Apple to pre-load their new album onto new iPod MP3 players bought the week after the disc's release next month.... Sony has launched its first MP3-compatible flash-based digital music players under the Walkman name.... HP Tunes allows users to play songs and playlists from iTunes within the Windows Media Center interface, the special Microsoft software designed to be controlled using a remote while sitting back in a chair or couch in the living room.... Nearly 3,000 students at Miramar High School will receive iBooks as part of yet another one-on-one initiative inked by Apple.
ZDNet reports on a newly discovered script-based virus for Mac OS X that spies on Mac users. Dubbed 'Opener' by Mac user-groups, it disables Mac OS X’s built-in firewall, steals personal information and can destroy data: "the virus, which Sophos calls Renepo, is designed to infect any Mac OS X drives connected to the infected system and it leaves affected computers vulnerable to further hacker attack. Ducklin said Opener disables Mac OS X's built in firewall, creates a back door so the malware author can control the computer remotely, locates any passwords stored on the hard drive and downloads a password cracker called JohnTheRipper."
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram has formally announced that it will roll out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in it's iOS app with an update that will bring the program to version 7.1.5. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app, and some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y