M-Audio today released Ozonic, its new integrated FireWire audio/MIDI production and performance tool that "turns a computer and standard music software into a complete compact studio." Ozonic includes audio and MIDI interfaces with a full-featured MIDI controller. It features a 37-note, velocity-sensitive, synth-action keyboard with three zones and assignable aftertouch. The device offers 40 assignable MIDI controllers, a 4 x 4 24-bit/96kHz analog audio interface, and XLR mic as well as instrument and stereo TRS line-in inputs. Ozonic also features direct hardware monitoring with level control and software mixing allows flexible routing of any input pair to any output pair. It will be available in December for $600.
In Brief: Creative Manager today announced Creative Project Manager and Creative Manager Pro 7.4, adding a new Excel Financial Interface, Client Profit & Loss reporting and upgraded support for the security enhancements in Safari 1.2.4 and iCal 1.5.4.... Allume Systems today announced StuffIt Deluxe 9.0 J, the latest Japanese version of its file compression, access, and organization software for Mac OS X.... BeLight Software today began shipping a free set of Christmas-oriented images and designs for Mail Factory, a Mac OS X software to design and print envelopes, shipping and address labels.... Crucial Ballistix Tracer is a high-performance memory featuring two rows of activity-indicating LEDs and blue ground effects LEDs - all custom integrated directly into the PCB and stylishly cooled with a jet-black heat spreader.
FirmTek has announced the shipment of its new external SeriTek/1SE2 Serial ATA PCI host adapter, with the bonus addition of Windows support on the same card. The $100 SeriTek/1SE2 extends Serial ATA's 1.5Gbits/sec performance to the outside of the computer, enabling users to take advantage of external Serial ATA drives and enclosures. FirmTek also announced the shipment of its new external SeriTek/1EN2 Serial ATA drive enclosure, "providing the ultimate in storage flexibility when combined with the new SeriTek/1SE2 host adapter on a Macintosh or PC."
@Last Software has announced the ability to exchange files between SketchUp and ArcGIS, offering GIS users the ability to rapidly create 3D models in SketchUp, incorporate the models in to their GIS database, and then display them in ArcScene and ArcGlobe, ESRI's 3D viewing environments. This allows users to visually explore the model in 3D, fly over the landscape, fly around buildings, go inside the buildings and look around, and then look out the windows of those buildings and see the landscape, all in the context of their GIS information. The SketchUp-ArcGIS plug-in enables the user to exploit SketchUp's modeling speed and ease-of-use to create geo-referenced 3D models, allowing users to extract geo-referenced coordinates directly from ArcGIS. The plugin is available for free.
Trendy Geek today announced that its high static, film sleeve Pod Shield product protection outerwear is now available for Apple's iPod mini. The Pod Shield Kit protects the back and front, helping to "keep the player's screen clean and scratch-free without concealing its coolness." For a limited time, the company is also offering a Pod Shield Screen Only protector kit for $0.01. The Pod Shield Screen Only kit contains three iPod screen protectors for regular size iPods. The transparent screens fit all generations and every full-sized iPod model and are made of a thin material that clings to the iPod using static (no glue). The Mini Pod Shields Kit ($13) contains twelve screen protectors, while the Pod Shields Screen Only kit with 3 protectors is $0.01. A Pod Shields Kit for full-sized iPod is $13 and has 6 front and 6 back protectors.
Propellerhead Software has announced version 3.0 of its music software system Reason. Version 3, focused on live playing, takes Reason "from the studio realm to the stage." Reason 3 introduces a new module, the Combinator, which allows users to build elaborate chains of Reason devices-instruments, effects, pattern sequencer etc and save as a Combi patch. It also supports complex instruments routed through effect units and dynamic processors; offers "out-of-the-box" integration with most major control surfaces including support for motorized faders and controller displays; includes an expanded soundbank with a wider palette of multi-sampled instruments and huge sounding Combi patches; a new browser for sound clips/files, and a high-end mastering suite with four band parametric + shelving EQ, a stereo processor, a fantastic sounding compressor and a maximizer with look ahead limiter. It is due in early 2005. (Pricing has not been announced.)
Kano Technologies has introduced its HardBox 800, a compact, fast external portable hard drive unit with storage capacities up to 400GB. The desktop unit measures 5.75" by 8.75" by 1.5" and features an internal universal AC switching power supply, whisper quiet cooling fan, and high-speed interface. Combined with high-performance hard disk drives and its FireWire 800/400, the HardBox 800 achieves data transfer rates up to 800Mb per second. The device also features a USB 2.0 port. It ships with cables and a portable travel case and is available in multiple capacities, including 40GB ($210), 80GB ($225), 120GB ($250), 200GB ($300), 250GB ($365), 400GB ($685) as well as a case-only ($150) configuration.
Sharper Image today announced the launch of its proprietary Sound Soother Fifty Aluminum-Cone MP3 Speaker System with LCD Remote Control. The three-in-one tabletop speaker system includes a cable for playing iPod, iPod mini and other MP3 devices, tranforming the "private-listening devices" into high-fidelity stereo systems with superior aluminum-cone driver technology. Built into Sharper Image Design's new product is a Sound Soother with a 50 environmental soundscapes, including Tropics, Desert Wind, Buggy Ride, Sailboat, Heartbeat, etc. The system measures 12.5" x 3.5 x 5.5 inches and weighs 2.25 lbs. It plugs into any standard outlet and can be controlled from anywhere in the room by a remote that features large toggle buttons and switches for both hands and a big, easy-to-read LCD screen with scrolling text. It is available for $200. Sharper Image is also selling the 20GB iPod and iPod mini as well as well as the iMotion Portable Audio System.
The iMac G5 has been named the "Computer of the Year" by The Washington Times: "It will cost close to $2,100 to get the supersized 20-inch model with extra RAM and a wireless keyboard and mouse. That's a relatively high price in this age of far-less-expensive Windows-based machines. But Apple Computers IMac G5 is a very impressive machine.....But even if Apple fell into the sea tomorrow, and if not another line of code were written for the Mac platform, the IMac G5 would still be a great achievement that should deliver sterling performance for years. Its compactness, and Apple's emphasis on wireless computing are two very positive factors. I believe this is a computer that will deliver several years of good use and thus is a good value for the money."
Lemke Software has released GraphicConverter 5.4, an update to the popular graphics utility. Users can now modify the file type/create via a contextual menu in the application and Finder (optional), the ability to display more photo information, ICC support in PICT import/export, more transparency options, a new shadow effect, support for digital camera display of settings, better multipage TIFF compression settings, and several other enhancements. It offers many different file conversions, graphic effects, web gallery generation, batch conversion, and much more. It is available for Mac OS 9/X for $30.
Thomson ResearchSoft today began shipping EndNote 8 for Mac OS X, an upgrade to its popular bibliographic management software. EndNote 8 offers Unicode support for any language, unlimited library size, new reference types and fields, and Microsoft Word 2004 compatibility. It also offers the ability to preview a formatted reference list, a new compact Search interface, and support for transfers to handhelds running Palm OS 4.1 - 5.x. The software offers the ability to search multiple internet databases using one of 430 different connection files through a single interface, direct export of references from third-party sources to Endnote, drag & drop support for references, and more. The application worsk with Microsoft Word X and RTF files created by OpenOffice, FrameMaker, AppleWorks, and more. Endnote is available for $240 (electronic download) or $300 (CD and manual).
Sony today unveiled its first MP3-compatible, hard disk Walkman music player in an attempt to recover ground lost to Apple's iPod, according to Reuters: "The product will be available in Britain before Christmas at 249 pounds ($462.70) and elsewhere in Europe in early 2005 at 369 euros ($489). The new hard disk player is the successor of Sony's first hard disk Walkman, which it introduced this summer but which can play back only music compressed with Sony's proprietary Atrac software. Atrac is the format Sony uses on its Internet music shop Connect, which opened in Europe this summer.... Sony's new 20GB Walkman is 30 pounds more expensive than Apple's 20GB product selling for 219 pounds. But Sony says the device comes in five colours, plays 2.5 times longer on one battery charge than iPod's 12 hours and can contain 10,000 to 13,000 songs, at least twice as many as an iPod because of Atrac's better compression technology."
Downsize 2.0 ($20) offers an easy way to prepare images for the web or email. Version 2.0 introduces the ability to add watermarks, as well as simple frames, to the processed images. Offering full iPhoto integration, users need only organize their images once, and can then process entire iPhoto libraries with the click of a button. [267KB] Apple Ethernet Driver for Mac OS X 10.3.3 for Mac OS X provides improved connection stability. This updater is recommended for all Xserve systems and PowerMac systems with the Apple PCI or PCI-X Ethernet card installed. [236KB] CDFinder 4.3 ($25) is designed to organize your disk and data archive and to track digital media assets. It offers multi-computer access (with a business license), powerful search functions, an offline browser (with support for ZIP, TAR, StuffIt, and Apple Installer files), and more. The new version has a new and improved UI, enhanced export and cataloging features, and other improvements. [2.0MB] DeskDoodle 1.1 ($10) adds new hot keys added for all tools and modes, new pen widths, more color presets, the ability to save the doodle file only, and more. The application allows you to draw directly onto the screen, including creating notes, stamp pictures, use it for presentations, etc. It offers several drawing omdes and simple drawing tools, such as an pencil, eraser, stamper, and type tool. [1.5MB] QuickAccessCM 1.6 (free) is a plug-in for easy access to frequently used folders, documents and applications. It offers functions for "Quick Access" (launch items/docs direclty), "Move To" and "Copy To" preset (custom) folders, and more. Version 1.6 adds the Finder's "Recent Applications" and "Recent Documents" submenus and the ability to copy across volumes. [325KB] JIVA (free) is the Java a new Mac OS X-friendly Java-based volunteer supercomputing system (much like SETI@home). The JIVA client can run as a screen saver under Windows, Mac OS X or UNIX as an idle service. The company is soliciting offers for "a partner with a suitable large-scale application to be run on the JIVA public grid network and are requesting proposal applications."
Informatix Software today announced that a Macintosh version of Piranesi 4, its "3D painting" technology, will be available early in 2005. "With Piranesi, designers can start with simple models and renderings, and quickly fill in details and create hand-drawn effects." As previously announced, Piranesi 4 adds many new capabilities such as the ability to use 3D models in 3DS, Sketchup, DXF, and Archvision RPC format; a substantially improved user interface layout; and a range of user-requested improvements to the painting effects. In addition, over 300 new cutout and texture images have been added to the Piranesi library. Customers who purchase the current version of Piranesi for Mac (Piranesi 3.1) after 1st December 2004 will be entitled to a free upgrade to Piranesi 4.
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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