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Westshore Craftworks has announced the introduction of its exotic, hardwood iDockCovers?. The iDockCovers? slips over the Apple Dock, adding color and style. The iDockCovers are available in a variety of woods and finishes. Prices start at $35. "We have iDockCover models to fit the Mini, 3G (third-generation), and 4G (fourth-generation) iPods, as well as the new U2 edition. We will need to alter our design slightly and get some units in production to accomodate the new iPod Photo model (it's thicker and the dock has an S-video port on the back which we need to figure out how to accomodate). That will be happening soon."
Apple today released iCal 1.5.4, which it says includes security enhancements to help protect your computer when importing events with alarms that open files or applications. The 7.7MB download is only available via the Mac OS X Software Update Preference Pane and not yet available via the Web.
Macintosh Explorer 4.2 ($16) is a major update to the integrated file browser and file management tool, which offers tabbed file browsing. Version 4.2 adds spring loading tabs, the ability to calculate folder size while browsing, a snap back feature, an auto-complete path field, speed improvements, and more. Macintosh Explorer 4.2 is a free upgrade to registered 4.x users. [Download - 1.8 MB] ABDialer 2 ($12) is a software-based phone dialer for Address Book as well for other applications. Version 2.0 delivers better dial rules support, multiple locations, a recent calls group, a redesigned phone book, iTunes and iCal integration, and more. By using AppleScript, ABDialer can easily be adopted as an external phone dialer for every application . [Download - 2.4 MB] MTX: Mototrax ($20) is now available as a demo: "Beat the pros and become the ultimate MX athlete in the fastest, most complete motocross game offering a thrilling career mode to boost your fame, fortune and adrenaline! Earn more cold hard cash from contest wins and sponsorships. Use the money to modify your rider's attributes, purchase equipment upgrades or buy access to freeride environments complete with new goals and objectives." [Demo - 129 MB] Panorama V (5.0) ($300) is a new RAM-based database program for Mac OS X. It is more than 100,000 times faster than traditional disk-based systems for many critical operations. The new version sports live clairvoyance searching, a refined user interface, drag-and-drop, phone dialing, and more. Panorama works with both Mac OS 9.0/Mac OS X 10.2. [Download - 64.2 MB] Disctop 1.0 helps alert users that a disc is present in their optical drive and also delivers some eye candy for iMac G5 users. "After installing Disctop, your inserted CD or DVD slides in from the side and neatly fades back into your desktop picture. Now you always know if there's a disc inside, and what type it is." The software appears to be freeware. [Download - 1.2 MB] Intaglio 2.1 ($90) updates Quartz drawing application Intaglio with a new freehand drawing tool and the ability to convert most ClarisDraw files to native Quartz graphics for editing. Users with collections of ClarisDraw files finally have the ability to edit those drawings natively on Mac OS X and take advantage of Quartz graphics. It is a free update and includes localizations for English, French, and Italian. [2.3MB] TrendyMac 0.91 is a web server logfile analyzer for Mac OS X. It evaluates logfiles and presents an interactive view of analysis results, allowing users to apply filters, sort options and 'Focus on' features. Version 0.9.1 adds more report types, reads input files faster, prints reports or creates PDF reports, supports more logfile formats and is Windows/Linux/Mac input file compliant. [1.8MB]
XM Satellite Radio has added two new XM music channels available only on the Internet and has announced Mac compatibility. XM Radio Online is now compatible with Apple's Safari browser, Mozilla Firefox, and Netscape Navigator browsers on Mac computers with Windows Media Player 9.0 installed. The subscription service offers 72 commercial-free music channels as well as several of XM Satellite Radio's exclusive talk and entertainment programs. The two new channels include The Eye (XM Radio Online Channel 26--Rhythmic Top 40), which features mix of contemporary hip hop tracks by artists such as Snoop Dogg, Nelly, Usher, Mario, Destiny's Child, and Chingy as well as enLIGHTen! (XM Radio Online Channel 34, Southern gospel music), which offers tunes from artists of today and yesterday. It is available for $8 per month or $4 per month for XM Satellite Radio subscribers.
Microsoft's Jeff Raikes offered some fundamental insights into Microsoft's business approach as well as told his story about leaving Apple for Microsoft in 1981 at an event held by Seattle University's Albers School of Business: "It was fascinating to see what Microsoft was at that point in time. At Apple, the whole world revolved around Apple. That was it. But when I walked down the halls at Microsoft, I saw different computers. Computers from Japan, from Radio Shack, from Wang, from Digital Equipment Corp. Literally dozens and dozens of manufacturers. I really didn't know much about those manufacturers, but the thing that occurred to me when I was interviewing at Microsoft was that I wasn't sure who was going to win in the hardware business, but it sure looked like Microsoft was doing the software for all of them. And so, although Steve Jobs yelled at me for a while and told me what a risky bet it would be to move to Seattle, and how Microsoft was going to go out of business -- that is no joke, that is an exact quote from Mr. Jobs -- I decided to take the plunge."
Roxio over the weekend quietly introduced Popcorn, a Mac OS X native application that helps you easily make high quality copies of your DVD movies. Powerful compression technology offers the flexibility to copy even the largest movies to a single DVD disc. The application allows users to copy non-encrypted DVD-Video discs, disc image files, and valid VIDEO_TS folders from hard disk as well as incorporates Toast burning technology and powerful compression technology for up storing an entire 9GB dual-layer DVD onto a single 4.7GB DVD disc. It supports flexible extraction, offering options to the select only the main movie, audio and language as well as support for multi-channel audio, such as Dolby Digital 5.1, multi-language content, NTSC and PAL video, and widescreen or pan/scan aspect ratios. It also includes a built-in disc labeler, allowing users to personalize a finished DVD with a label and jewel case cover. [site not responding]
Adobe today announced a call for entries in its Fifth Annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards, which this year expands to ten countries and nine competition categories. The awards honor the most talented and promising student graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, digital filmmakers and computer artists from the world’s top design, film and broadcast institutions. For the first time students from Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and Switzerland are invited to participate along with entrants from the US, Canada and the UK. Users can submit projects in nine categories including environmental graphics, digital illustration, digital photography/imaging, interactive design, print design, self-expression and time-based media as well as two categories: animation and broadcast design.
Two Apple Computer executives have quietly left the company in recent weeks, including the Macintosh unit's head of engineering, according to a CNET News.com that partially confirms an earlier report by AppleInsider: "Tim Bucher, who became head of Mac product engineering earlier this year, left the company on Nov. 15. An Apple representative confirmed the departure Monday but did not give a reason. Also departing in recent weeks was Mark Wilhelm, the vice president in charge of the company's AppleCare support unit. Apple has not named a successor for Bucher but said a team of workers is overseeing engineering efforts and reporting to executive vice president Tim Cook, the leader of Apple's Mac unit and also the head of the company's overall sales and operations."
Shares of Apple Computer jumped as much as 16 percent on Monday, to their highest level in more than 4 years, after a Wall Street analyst nearly doubled his price target on the stock, Reuters is reporting. "Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster raised his 12-month price target to $100 from $52, citing a survey conducted by his firm showing that Apple's popular iPod digital music players are helping boost sales of its signature Macintosh computers." In a research note, Munster said that a survey of 200 iPod users in the US found that 6 percent were formerly PC users who had bought a Mac after purchasing their iPod, while another 7 percent said they planned to buy a Mac in the future. A second analyst, Robert Cihra, of Fulcrum Global Partners, also boosted his target price on Monday to $65, up from $53.
Ovolab today released Ovolab Phlink 1.6, a free update to its innovative and award-winning telephony software for the Mac. Ovolab Phlink turns your Mac into a powerful answering machine and telephone information center, greeting callers with personalized greetings, plays caller-specific ringtones and offering other functions such as voice message relay by email, incoming notification via Rendezvous, and custom phone tree creation. Version 1.6 extends support for caller ID in many countries, including Sweden, The Netherlands, Denmark, Iceland and more. Ovolab Phlink is available for $150 and includes the software and the USB telephone adapter. It requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Examing Apple's retail strategy, Jefferson Graham of The USA TODAY notes that Genius Bar is a central part of the Apple Store experience with free support offered to nearly 100,000 people every week. "The stores represent nearly 50% of Apple's retail sales....Thanks to brilliant marketing, savvy neighborhood locations and a revival of the company's fortunes sparked by the hip iPod digital music player, Apple stores are hot. Walk into one in Los Angeles' outdoor mall The Grove, in New York's Soho district, on Chicago's North Michigan Avenue or in Austin's Barton Creek Mall, and it is likely to be jammed with customers. Saturday, Apple opened its first European store, in London's West End district. Next month, the 100th store will open, in Bethesda, Md. Not bad for a company that serves just 3% of the computing public."
Apple has extended its price matching policy to many of its international online stores, angering and alienating many of its resellers who expect that it will be more difficult to attract customers and say that Apple is making itself the enemy. IT News Australia reports that Apple has sent a note to the Apple channel, saying that it would it will match that price up to 10 percent off the current Apple Store regular price. Apple began its price matching policy for the US Apple Store in early October. Last week we also noted a special $100 off coupon at the Apple Store and new refurb Macs, including Power Mac G5, iMac G5, and iBook G4 models.
PodStyle has announced a new anodized aluminum stand for Apple's iPod music player. The PodStyle is available for the iPod mini as well as the 15GB, 20GB, 40GB or 60GB models. The stylish stand is available in a red, blue, silver or black finish to match any room décor and features access to all ports and buttons, allowing you to charge and use your iPod while mounted in PodStyle. It is available for $30. Models for the 4G and 3G iPods (20GB and 40GB versions) as well as the iPod photo are available now, while the The iPod mini version is "expected soon."
MCE Technologies has entered into an exclusive agreement with TUNEWEAR to sell and distribute its products in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. The initial product line-up will consist of ICEWEAR, a transparent case made from high quality silicone, and PRIE, an upscale and fashionable case that is available in 4 different colors (Key Lime, Ruby Pink, Canvas Gray, and Jet Black). TUNEWEAR cases are designed in Japan by hfo:design. ICEWEAR ($25) uses the same silicone found in diving masks, offering access to all ports, shock absorbing ribs, and a belt loop feature. PRIE ($40) featured two-toned coloring (except the Jet Black version) with an eye-catching white accent on the front panel and offers a top flap for complete iPod protection. The TUNEWEAR product line is available immediately from The MCE Store and will be available from MCE resellers within the next 30 days.
Some visitors at the London Apple Store grand opening waited 25 hours or more in bitterly cold temperatures and police estimated that 5000 had turned up by 11 am to visit the first Apple Store outside of the US and Japan, according to to the BBC: "for the first 300 in the door, the chance to spend £249 on a mystery lucky bag promised to contain more than £700 worth of kit. The seemingly never-ending line of people snaked around corners and crossed several roads. Apple had been buying coffees for its loyal fans early in the morning, but many looked as if the only thing that could warm their hearts would be the sight of an iPod in their lucky bag." Macworld UK has posted photos of the grand opening of the London Apple Store (as has Macitynet). Apple offered free t-shirts to the first 2,500 visitors.
Alera Technologies has announced a new generation of its DVD-R solution: the new new DVD Cruiser 16 is an external DVD recorder that records DVDs at 16x speed. The new DVD Cruiser 16 bundles NTI Dragonburn for DVD authoring, writing, and editing software and also supports Double Layer for up to 8.5GB of data recording capacity using Double Layer media. The DVD Cruiser 16 records DVD+R at 16x, DVD-R at 8x and DVD+R Double Layer at 2.4x as well as records CD-R at 48x and CD-RW at 24x. The unit can read DVDs at 16x and CDs at 48x. It has an estimated street price of $200 and ships with its A-Connect USB 2.0 Connection Kit, which extend portability between systems with different connection ports and buses.
PiperJaffray has increased its target price on AAPL stock from $52 to $100, nearly double the current stock. The analyst firm cited findings from its own survey of iPod users, according to CBSMarketWatch: "The $100 price target means the stock would trade at 37 times the broker's calendar 2006 earnings and cash estimate per share. 'While this multiple is a premium to the comp group, we believe it is warranted given the growth potential of the iPod and its carryover to the core Mac business,'" AAPL is more than percent, trading near $57 in pre-open Monday trading. Merrill Lynch, however, more guarded on the PC market, saying it expects 2005 PC unit growth to slow to 9 percent from growth of 12 percent in 2004.
Recent topics on the MacNN Forums include: Titanium PowerBook G4 painting and refinishing.... Expectations for the next PowerBook revision from Apple.... reviews and feedback on the iMac G4 from experience owners.... A member's review of the new iPod Photo from Apple.... Discussion of the the latest GUI customizations for Mac OS X.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.28 ( -0.73 )
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir
Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. 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; additionally, 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