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Sonnet Technologies has added two new models to the Encore/ST family—the Encore/ST G4 1.7 GHz processor upgrade for most "Sawtooth" G4 Power Mac systems, including AGP Graphics, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio and QuickSilver (2001 and 2002) machines, and the Encore/ST G4 1.7 GHz upgrade made specifically for the Power Mac G4 Cube. These cards are based on the latest and fastest PowerPC G4 processor (used in Apple’s current PowerBook line) from Freescale Semiconductor (formerly a division of Motorola), and feature 512K of on-chip L2 cache. Each new Encore/ST G4 1.7 GHz upgrade has a MSRP of $500. The rest of the Encore/ST G4 single processor upgrades have been reduced in price from $20 to $100.
Apple's rack-mounted storage system was endorsed by Oracle as part of an initiative to cut storage costs. Oracle has identified the Apple Xserve RAID as one of several storage systems that would make a good low-cost alternative to the types of high-end monolithic storage systems that have traditionally been used to store Oracle databases, according to CNET News.com: "Additionally, Oracle is using the Xserve RAID in its own technology department to store e-mail, voice mail and calendar information. Oracle is using the Xserve RAID for a task once reserved for pricier Fibre Channel-based disk arrays. The software giant noted in a white paper that the Apple approach was about three times lower on a cost-per-megabyte basis. 'Its performance is excellent,' Oracle said in the document. Apple said Oracle plans to use 50 to 100 terabytes of Apple storage."
The Helios Server Bundle ($5,000) is "an affordable, yet powerful and reliable", cross-platform file and print server platform that includes a 10-user license for EtherShare 3.1, a 10-user license for PCShare 3.1, and a 5-user license for WebShare, "the fastest and most secure server product for real-time remote file access via Web browsers." The HELIOS Server Bundle is intended for work groups, classrooms, and smaller prepress and remote user sites "seeking the same powerful, secure, and reliable server solutions that HELIOS is known for."
MacWireless has announced the release of WiFinder, a new WiFi accessory that allows you to easily find and zero-in on an access point with the click of a button. "Keep it on your keychain and easily locate hotspots without even booting up a laptop. Unlike many wireless network locators, the WiFinder is capable of distinguishing between a wireless network and other devices that produce the same frequency, such as a cordless phone or a microwave oven." The retail price is $35.
Kutztown Area High School has joined the handful of districts in Pennsylvania that have equipped students with laptops. In October, all 640 students received laptops loaded with the latest software, including Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, iMovie, iPhoto and Excel. In the Lehigh Valley, the Bethlehem Area School District has laptops for its sixth- and seventh-graders. In Kutztown, wireless technology allows students to switch on their laptops anywhere in the school. Students also take their laptops home for school work. ''Most of the kids will tell you that enhances their learning,'' says Brenda Winkler, Kutztown's superintendent. Other districts that have started laptop programs have seen an increase in school attendance as well as an increase in students' motivation to learn.
FireWire Depot today announced the FWB2ATA35D, an extremely compact FireWire800 (IEEE 1394b) to ATA Dual 3.5" bay external enclosure. "The FWB2ATA35D is ideally suited for tailgate interface applications for two /IDEATA HDDs without taking up a lot of space on your desk." It allows IDE drives (Master and Slave or Cable Select pair) to be connected to a FireWire (IEEE 1394) serial bus in a plug-and-play fashion. The FWB2ATA35D provides a compelling solution for data backup and transferring of data between computers using IDE (ATA/ATAPI) devices. The FWB2ATA35D is priced at $180 and is expected to ship Dec 13.
Telestream today released its Flip4Mac Windows Media Export Component for Mac OS X, which it says is the first product to provide encoding in Microsoft Windows Media 9 Series SD and HD on the Macintosh. Mac users can conveniently select Windows Media 9 Series from the list of available formats in the Export function of QuickTime-based applications, including Final Cut Pro HD, iMovie, QuickTime Player, Discreet Cleaner, and more. Flip4Mac also will be supported in an upcoming release of the Sorenson Media Squeeze 4 Compression Suite for Macintosh. Two versions of the Flip4Mac Windows Media WMV Export Component are now available: the Standard version ($100) supports standard-definition resolutions, single-pass encoding, and stereo audio, while the Pro/HD version ($180) adds support for high definition, two-pass encoding, and 5.1 channel audio.
Infinite Nexus Software has released dotMac Menu 2.0, a fully customizable menu extra that offers convenient functions for accessing and controlling your .Mac account from the menubar. dotMac Menu is organized into categories that make it easy to find a specific section in .Mac, check your iDisk usage, launch iDisk integrated applications, and view your .Mac expiration date. This version adds customizability and several new shortcuts in the .Mac Sections category. The $5 "donationware" requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later with MenuCracker or Menu Extra Enabler installed. Apple is currently offering a 60-day trial for its .Mac web services.
Apple is fighting for the rights to iTunes.co.uk domain name, accussing the owner of being a cybersquatter and demanding that the domain be returned to Apple by the UK registry Nominet, according to an article in The Register: "the owner happens to be one Benjamin Cohen, the "dotcom millionaire" of lore, whose father is a solicitor, and Apple doesn't have a leg to stand on. As a press release put out by Cohen makes clear, he registered the domain "itunes.co.uk" on 7 November 2000, and two days later made use of it by forwarding it to a music search engine service at his CyberBritain site. Apple, on the other hand, only had trademark for "iTunes" published in the Trade Marks Journal on 6 December 2000. It was granted a limited trademark that did not cover music products on 23 March 2001, and eventually went live with its iTunes offering in June this year - four years after Ben Cohen first registered iTunes.co.uk. Cohen claims he had no idea that Apple was planning to build an iTunes service, and that he has been using it legitimately all that time."
Microspot Ltd. today released Microspot DWG Viewer for Mac OS X. Microspot DWG Viewer, based on Microspot MacDraft, allows users to view and print DWG files in 2D on Mac OS X v10.2.8 or higher. Each layer of the drawing may be shown or grayed or hidden and displayed at various zoom levels. Drawings can be printed to scale and using the 'Save to PDF' option may be saved as a PDF file. Microspot DWG Viewer is aimed at Mac OS X users who need to see 2D AutoCAD DWG files and print the results. It is a low cost product that will give users an easy and convenient method of looking at these sometimes very complex drawings. As the first release, Microspot says "it is not always able to display everything in the AutoCAD drawing it has proved good enough for many Macintosh users and will be refined in future releases." Microspot DWG Viewer ($50) will not allow editing.
One language professor at Duke University, which spent more than one half million dollars this fall to supply each incoming freshman with an iPod, says that the iPod program has revolutionized her students' experience with language: "With the iPods, each student can listen at their own pace and they have the control to pause or replay certain parts… I find that the slower students have more confidence." However, other students say the program needs work: "They're really useful to listen to music on—while I go running or on the bus—but mostly I don't need them for my classes and I haven't heard of anyone needing them. I think the program has a lot of room for growth. If the professors get more involved and know more ways to use."
In Brief: Apple is offering refurbished iMac G5s starting at $1,200 as well as more Power Mac G5 models (starting at $1,200).... Mac enthusiasts are becoming very complacent, says one ZDnet columnist, following the release of Apple's mega security patch, which issued last week to address 17 flaws.... Econ Technologies has updated Portraits & Prints 2.01, its $30 utility for printing photos, with 50 free Holiday templates as well as several fixes..... On Monday, December 6, the Portland Mac Filmmakers’ User Group (PMFUG) will discuss the difference between the various QuickTime formats and how to convert digital footage to analog as well as will provide an overview of audio formats as they relate to video, along with a demo of Apple Final Cut Pro HD’s Cinema Tools.
Aspyr Media today began shipping CSI: Crime Scene Investigation for the Mac. Based on the popular primetime drama, the title introduces five new, complex crimes. "No longer just observers of the action, players must work with the CSI cast to discover the truth and pinpoint the killers. Players work in the field as a full-fledged Crime Scene Investigator with Grissom, Catherine and the entire CSI team to find clues, and use the latest forensic tools in the new and improved crime lab to uncover the truth. Investigators’ skills are tested with in-depth evidence examination and the matching of relevant evidence." The $30 title, available now at Amazon, is expected to arrive in stores by Friday, December 10th; it runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.
VoodooPad 2.0 ($25) the latest update to the award winning desktop wiki and note taking application. Version 2.0 offrs sketch, backlinks, saved work spaces, page encryption, and addressbook support. VoodooPad 2.0 also includes improvements to text editing such as auto-bullets, text shifting, word completion, an improved linking engine, and new AppleScript commands. Upgrades are $10. [1.2MB] Athenaeums v1.4.0 ($40) is a free update to the EIMS filter for archiving of standard EIMS log documents, specifically the error log, mail log, sending error log, and console log. This latest release of Athenaeums adds compression options for rolled logs and can also included rolled log documents in notification emails. [791KB] Calillona 2.0 is a desktop application for Mac OS X 10.3 that lets users browse Amazon catalog in a different way. "The experience we believe is closer to the one you have while using the Apple iTunes Music Store. You can browse Amazon's in different categories, like Books, DVD, Software, Camera, Computers, and more." It supports catalogs in USA, United Kingdom, and Germany. [3.1MB] 24U SimpleDialog Plug-In 2.7.1 ($50) adds a database of real-world examples of regular expressions, offers improved security by clearing dialog values, and more. 24U SimpleDialog Plug-In is a dialog-showing plug-in for FileMaker that allows you to display progress bars and almost arbitrary dialog boxes combining text, passwords, check boxes, radio buttons, pop-up menus, etc. [3.3MB] Vidi 0.4.4d9 (free) is an application for watching and recording video (as well as FM radio) on the Mac using any FireWire DV device. With the Formac Studio DV, Studio DV/TV and StudioTVR video converters, Vidi can be used to switch video inputs and change TV channels and picture settings. With Studio devices that have FM tuners, Vidi can be used to listen to FM radio stations. [540KB] PlayPod 0.2 (beta) is a new RSS podcast client that now includes improved iTunes integration, enhanced download management and a "check and download" button to quickly and easily download all new podcasts. PlayPod also features RSS news reading functions. [455KB]
OmniPilot Software today introduced Lasso Professional Developer 8, a fully functional, but IP-limited edition of its next-generation visual development/deployment environment for web-based applications. Lasso 8 supports multiple databases, including Oracle, MS SQL Server, MySQL, ODBC and JDBC-based databases, as well as Access, 4D and FileMaker Pro and also supports XML, SOAP, WSDL, J2EE and Java Beans, etc. as well as built-in security functions, file/image manipulation, Unicode support, and more. Lasso Professional Developer is limited to two IP addresses and is available for $100. One license of the Developer Edition is free for current Lasso Professional Alliance members.
KeynotePro has released Oslo, a new theme for Apple's Keynote presentation application. Described as "a study in bold European-styled minimalism," Oslo is the company's first theme to feature active motion elements via an included Animation Library. "Watch the snowflakes swirl, the leaves dance or the forest pass you by, wrapped in a modern, cool blue style.... Crisp blue expanses, bordered in a stark white framework that pay homage to the theme's print-inspired heritage provide a sharp, minimalist palette." It also includes 26 additional master slides - a mix of photo and alternate text layouts. It is available for $20 or bundled with two other themes for $50.
In Brief: Apple stock was up 1.8 percent before the bell on Monday after Bear Stearns raised its share price target on the company to $72 from $60.... FileMaker's "Buy One FileMaker, Give One Free" holiday promotion that offers a free copy of FileMaker with every purchase, ends Dec. 15....United Kingdom-based Microspot Limited, has introduced today Microspot DWG Viewer for Mac OS X, the first product on the Mac platform to specifically address the need for viewing native Autocad (.dwg) files.... A MacNN reader has created a Keynote-based QuickTime video presentation that gives a summary of Apple's financial performance based on its SEC statements... Registration has just opened for the next O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference (aka ETech), which takes place March 14-17, 2005 in San Diego, California.
QuickerTek today announced its new iBook carry handles for the 12-inch and 14-inch iBooks. The sturdy aluminum handles are easily installed on the iBook computer case, allowing consumers to carry the laptop computers without an additional external carrying case. The handles also act as an adjustable stand for the iBook when it is on a desktop, and feature an incline that allows for more comfortable keyboarding and better air circulation for the iBook. The iBook handles, which will be available beginning in January 2005, are $50 and available for either the 12-inch or 14-inch iBook.
J.P. Morgan Securities lifted its revenue and earnings per share estimates for Apple Computer, citing expectations for holiday sales, according to a CBSMarketWatch.com report. Alluding to last week's analyst downgrade, JP Morgan, however, said that the company's outlook remains positive for the company's financial estimates: "While we believe concerns over Apple's valuation are certainly understandable given the stock's rapid rise, we believe expectations for the company's revenue and profit growth may still prove conservative," J.P. Morgan told clients. In fiscal 2005, the broker now expects of $12.92 billion and earnings per share at $1.69, up from its prior forecast at $11.4 billion and earnings of $1.48 a share."
RE:Vision Effects today released Twixtor 4.0 ($330) of its After Effects-compatible plugin version for After Effects, Final Cut Pro, combustion and Premiere Pro. Twixtor enables users to speed-up and/or slow-down image sequences. Twixtor synthesizes unique new frames by warping and interpolating frames of the original sequence utilizing the next-generation of RE:Vision's proprietary tracking technology that calculates motion for each individual pixel. Version 4 now features an option to remove motion blur when slowing footage, adds support for marking material to protect across a video cut or other transition, includes better integration by using host application's settings for rendering fields, and offers new render-only pricing. The Pro ($600) version also adds motion vector import and export.
Apple is expected to purchase about $4 billion-worth of IT products from Taiwan this year and to increase the amount to $5 billion in 2005, according to the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN). "To cope with increasing business volume, Apple has expanded its procurement office in Taiwan to about 100 staff members, up from 20 three years ago. The company has also changed the name from Asia Procurement Office to Apple Procurement Office."
Pandromeda today announced a broad strategic agreement for incorporation of Curious Labs technology into Pandromeda's line of professional 3D products, including the recently released MojoWorld 3. "Pandromeda MojoWorld is a favorite tool of movie effects companies for planet based visualization and modeling, as you can see in the movie 'The Day After Tomorrow'. We are excited about the opportunity to work closely with Pandromeda," said Hiroshi Sato, president of Curious Labs. In a forthcoming release of MojoWorld, Pandromeda will provide native support for static Poser files, as well as native Shade files. Additional support of fully animated Poser content is also planned. The company is offering a discount ("over 50 percent) through December 20th on MojoWorld 3 Standard Edition ($200). The Pro edition is $480.
Automatic Duck is now shipping a major update to its popular Adobe After Effects import plug-in. Pro Import AE 3.0 can translate a sequence from Avid, Final Cut Pro, or Apple's Motion. The application quickly imports media and clips in a single step, including effects translations and timeline-to-composition conversion for support in After Effects. Version 3 features Motion import, FCP XML import, support for third-party filter translation, FCP time remapping, translation of Avid title or FCP text into an AE text layer, drag & drop support, new support for Avid DV 50 and FCP DVCPRO HD media as well as Avid multi-media and support for European file names. The full version is $500, while upgrades are $200.
Holocore has released PictureSync 1.0, a new utility that simplifies publishing of images online, including metadata (e.g.,JPEG files with IPTC). It supports Flickr, Buzznet, and Fotolog services--with support for additional services planned as well iPhoto and iView Media Pro . Designed for photoblogging and publishing galleries on the web, the $8 shareware also offers automatic addition of tags (with Flickr and Buzznet), resized uploads (faster, saving bandwidth), EXIF and ICC profile embedding (with iView MediaPro), and more. The company says that it plans to add generic FTP functions, image watermarking, and more features in future releases.
Puppy Games today announced the release of Super Dudester, its new action title for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. Super Dudester is the first-prize winning entry from Sun Microsystems Java Games Competition earlier this year (then called "Super Elvis”)". Super Dudester is a mixture of exploring, shooting, dodging, and puzzle solving combined in a "totally original game with intensely colorful psychedelic graphics. The aim of the game is to help the Dude escape Dr. Doooom's Bad Trip Machine as fast as possible. The Dude has to figure out how to defeat each room he encounters." It features 81 levels, an on-line hiscore table, and ever-changing map. A demo of the $20 game title is available online.
Troll Touch today announced the immediate availability of its TouchSTAR SlipCOVER 17, a custom designed, externally mounted touchscreen system designed to deliver touch input functions to Apple's 17-inch G4 PowerBook laptop. It features an all-metal construction with powder coat finish, a non-breakable analog resistive touchscreen overlay and Troll's proprietary high-resolution touchscreen controller. The SlipCOVER 17 complements the look of the laptop and connects to the computer via any available USB port. It ships with software for touchscreen calibration, and the analog resistive technology enables the screen via fingertip, gloved hand or stylus. The SlipCOVER 17 is the first external laptop solution to be announced and is expected to be followed by SlipCOVER models for the 12- and 15-inch PowerBook as well as the 12- and 14-inch iBook, according to Troll Touch.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.87 ( + 0.85 )
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
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