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: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R