SlimBatteryMonitor 1.2 (free) updates the laptop and UPS battery monitor for Mac OS X. Enhancements in this release include the addition of a new, more modern battery icon; improved support for 2 battery powerbooks and an improved display for recent powerbooks. SlimBatteryMonitor is a space-efficient replacement power gauge that offers different views. [330KB] Text Count 1.1 ($70) is a plug-?in for Adobe InDesign and InCopy for performing word counts and empty space word count estimates. Version 1.1 allows users to overset text display frames, overset preflight functions, and more. [Download - 4.4MB] BackTrack 1.3 ($15) allows Mac users to log all the text that is typed over a period of time. BackTrack can log the window name that was in the foreground while the text was being typed. Version 1.3 corrects a minor bug with encrypted files. [Download - 880KB] LimeWire Basic 4.2 is the latest version of the free file-sharing software for Mac. As noted yesterday, this version brings new firewall-to-firewall transfers, a completely new MP3 player, iTunes integration on Windows, faster downloads and network connections, new icons, new file views, and more. [Download - 880KB] ExhibitionX 2.6 is a tool to view picture folders and iPhoto albums in a 3D environment. It consists of 8 easy to navigate 3D environments: the walk-around gallery, octagonal carousel, book view, multi-cube, flat ,disc view, flyby and beach view. The update improves the OpenGL to QuickTime record function. [Download - 880KB] simple caption ($3.50) is a plug-in for iMovie that allows you to place any short text message onto a clip. It provides a host of important features, such as placing text anywhere, font selection, text size, and transparency. [Download - 985KB]
Afternoon tech: Major Hollywood movie studios today sued hundreds of people suspected of trading illegally copied movies on the Internet.... Walt Disney Studios is actively proceeding with a second sequel to Pixar's "Toy Story" franchise and is in the process of setting up a digital animation facility in Glendale that will be used for the production of "Toy Story 3.".... Sony BMG is in early talks with file-sharing network Grokster in what could lead to a legalized Internet music service.... SBC will introduce an Internet-based calling service for its local telephone customers early next year and will consider offering the service nationally later.
Apple has tweaked the name of its newest iPod, the iPod photo: the 'p' in photo a lower case to match that of the iPod mini. Apple says it is updating its electronic and web-based materials to accomodate the name change and has already made change on its own website. Apple began notifying its partners earlier today of the marketing change.
Freeverse Software is now shipping Big Bang Board Games, a suite of games that includes Chess, Backgammon, Checkers, Reversi, Tic-Tac-Toe, Mancala, and 4-In-A-Row. All of the games feature tight integration with Apple's iApps, including iTunes, Mail/Address Book, iChat, iSight, and Freeverse's GameSmith service for finding online opponents. Demos of the individual games are available for download from the Freeverse website. Big Bang Board Games is $25 and runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later. It will be available at the Apple Stores and other retailers "soon."
Formac Electronic today announced its next-generation FireWire DVD burner, the Devideon 16x DL. The new drive features the latest DVD/CD combination drive with speeds of up to 16X for DVD-R and DVD+R media. The Devideon 16x DL also takes advantage of a new dual-layer technology, allowing Macintosh users to store up to 8.5GB of data or video on one single media. Bundled with Formac's proprietary DVD authoring software, the drive provides a complete and easy-to-use solution to create professional looking DVDs. The drive offers 16x/4x/12x (Write/Rewrite/Read) for both DVD formats, and 4X for the second layer (DVD+R) as well as 32x/24x/40x (Write/Rewrite/Read) for CD-R/RW burning. It is available for $200.
In Brief: Apple's iTunes Music Store has signed an exclusive deal to distribute digital versions of Oasis' tracks.... Three dozen Maine high schools that opted to use local money to pay for laptops for ninth graders have received the computers.... The NBA has banned the iPod during pre-game warmups, saying it did not conform to the league guidelines on proper attire on the court.... MSN Music is teaming up with music site Garageband.com to distribute free music from artists that aren't signed to traditional music labels.
J.P. Morgan maintained an "overweight" rating on Apple, but raised earnings estimates, saying it has "increasing confidence" in Apple's digital music business. The research firm raised fiscal 2005 and 2006 per-share earnings estimates to $1.48 and $1.91, from $1.28 and $1.53, respectively. "The success of Apple's digital music initiatives has been established, but its sustainability is still a hotly debated topic," J.P. Morgan said. "We believe the potential profitability of Apple's music business is highly dependent on whether or not the company can maintain its dominance in the portable music player market and avoid profit compression from commoditization." The research firm said Apple can avoid profit compression by maintaining its "closed system" approach, as well as technical and legal barriers to entry.
IDG World Expo today announced that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will deliver the opening keynote address for Macworld Conference & Expo San Francisco 2005 on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. Macworld SF will be held at San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center January 10-14, 2005. "This is the biggest Macintosh community event of the year and we're looking forward to a great show," said David Korse, president & CEO of IDG World Expo. "We are thrilled that Steve is going to kick off another exciting Macworld with a keynote address." Additional event highlights and registration information are available at the Macworld SF Expo website.
Griffin Technology today announced it has begun shipping the iTrip Black FM Transmitter for the iPod. Like the original white iTrip, the new iTrip-Black offers unlimited station frequencies and battery-free iPod mating design. The new model features a jet-black exterior and red LED light to match the new iPod U2 Special Edition from Apple. It also works fine with all other dockable iPods for a unique 'Ebony-and-Ivory' look. The new iTrip-Black costs $35 and is available now.
Sony today introduced a new double-layer, dual-format DVD burner. The new DRX-710UL-T will begin shipping next month with Roxio's Toast 6 Lite for Mac compatibility. The drive will allow users to record up to four hours of high-quality MPEG-2 video or up to 8.5 GB of data, music and/or images on compatible DVD+R DL media. It supports 2.4X DVD+R DL, 16X DVD+R, 8X DVD-R, 4X DVD+/-RW, 48X CD-R and 24X CD-RW recording speeds and also features a unique vertical design for easy placement and portability, and offers connectivity with both FireWire and hi-speed USB (USB 2.0) interfaces. It will ship in December for $230.
REALVIZ today began shipping ImageModeler 4.0 for the Mac, its solution to measure and create 3D scenes using photographs. Using advanced algorithms, ImageModeler extracts 3D information from stills to help measure the 3D space created and construct accurate 3D models with highly realistic textures. Version 4.0 offers a new 3D/2D Integration Tool, a new UV Mapping Editor, the ability to apply textures obtained from other sources, new Calibration Constraints, Quicktime VR Object Movie export, and the ability to export an image of the 3D scene as a jpeg file. It is available for $1,400 with upgrades priced at $520 for registered v3.5 users and $700 for others.
PocketMac Lite 3.0 is a new "lite" version of the PocketMac technology that allows Mac users to sync their Pocket PCs to their Macs. The application can quickly sync information with the Mac OS X Address Book, iSync, and iCal, including calendar info from multiple calendars and to-do/tasks. PocketMac Lite offers complete support for wireless synching over Bluetooth or AirPort (802.11b) as well as USB connections. It has full support for the newer Pocket PC 2003 devices, can mount the Pocket PC's memory and/or any of the Pocket PC's storage cards on the desktop, offers one-click installation of Pocket PC themes, offers sync-on-connect functions, and supports Internet passthrough for sharing a desktop internet connection with a Pocket PC device. It is available for $15 and runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Apple today released AirPort 4.1 for Mac OS X 10.3, which supports all models of Apple AirPort base stations including the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express models. It now supports Keyspan Express Remote for use with AirTunes (AirPort Express only), adds support for WPA security on WDS networks, and offers the ability to rename a USB printer connected to a base station. Apple also released AirPort Express 6.1 firmware, which includes support for the Keyspan Express Remote, USB printer renaming, WPA security on WDS networks, improved reliability on WDS networks, the ability to disable either the wireless/Ethernet interfaces, better audio playback for AirTunes, performance improvements, and several fixes related to PPOE, DNS traffic, device freezes, a variety of IP protocols, and more. [AirPort 4.1, AE 6.1] [updated]
PhotoBooth 1.2 ($20) updates the digital photo printing software with more precise cropping through the use of the arrow keys. The update also fixes several bugs, improving print quality. PhotoBooth allows users to print full-size or cropped pictures directly from iPhoto without altering the original image. [Download - 192KB] Blender 2.3.5 (free) is an open-source application for 3D modelling, animation, rendering, visual effects, and interactive 3D. The latest release adds a new full undo system, completely rewritten and upgraded mesh modeling tools, Outliner tool, new deform features, and more. [Download - 4.4MB] GSFTP 1.2 ($20) is the latest version of the FTP/SFTP client from Gideon Softworks for Mac. Version 1.2 offers internal optimizations, new icons by The WackyPixel Company, better bookmark management code, and more. [Download - 2.1MB] SteamTRAIN ($25) from Nostalgic Software is a steam locomotive and train simulator. "Engineer a vintage train consisting of steam engine, tender and passenger coaches. Old fashioned 2D side scroller for all ages and most Macs up to 5 years old." [Download - 781KB] Magnolia 2.0 is a new generation of open-source content management software built for the enterprise strength J2EE platform. "All actions can be performed directly in the web-browser using the right mouse button. Content elements can be moved or sorted using drag & drop." [Download - 32.6MB] Game Server Configulator MoHaa for Aspyr's Medal of Honor: Allied Assault has been update. The update adds support for auto-kick and server messages. "The GSC is a handy aqua interface around Aspyr's recently released Mac OS X executable (mohaa_server) for running a dedicated Allied Assault game server." [Download - 1.0MB]
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN