Outspring today released QuickMail 3.5, an update to its Mac-based email client/server. The company also announced Spamcaster, a new server-side spam prevention system as well as lowered pricing on the entire suite. The QuickMail software suite offers a Macintosh-based mail server/client architecture as well as a Windows client for maximum cross-platform functionality. Version 3.5 adds a the new Spamcaster Spam Filter, IMAP server support, Webmail support, DNSBL support, improved mail database, improved compatibility with the latest and many older operating systems, and other enhancemets, including a new database architecture, built-in database repair, improved compatibility with Norton Anti-Virus, etc. QuickMail Office ($350) includes a 10-client license and is available for Mac OS 9/X. The client is $35 (or a $25 upgrade).
Contour Design today announced the Showcase Photo. Based on the original best selling Showcase for Apple's generation 3G and 4G iPods, the Showcase Photo offers total protection, while maintaining the look and feel of the popular digital music player. It feature the latest in double-injection molding technology along with shock-absorbing rubber cushions to suspend the iPod inside the case. The clear, scratch-resistant plastic simultaneously protects the screen while expressing the soft, smooth feel of the iPod without exposing it to the environment. Designed to suit the active lifestyle, this case allows for easy access to all the controls and can be taken anywhere with its comfortable, horizontally mounted belt clip. It will be available in black (January 2005) and white (second week of December 2004) for $33.
TOKI LineTest 4.1.1 is the latest update to the utility to help with the design and creation of cartoon films. TOKI LineTest is quick and simple to use and is ideal for professionals in animation, students, or amateurs. It allows the digitizing of drawings taken with a DV camera, webcam or any video device. Users of TOKI LineTest can edit the xsheet in realtime and synchronise the drawings with the soundtrack, print out the xsheet and easily playback the linetest movie. A lite version is available free of charge and the full version is available for 190 Euros.
Giga Designs is now shipping what it claims to be the fastest G4 single- and dual-processor upgrades available for Apple's AGP-equipped G4 Power Macs, including the Power Mac Cube. The new G-celerator AGP 7A series upgrades use the latest G4 processors (7447A) available from Freescale (formerly Motorola) and feature 512KB on-chip L2 cache. The G-celerator AGP 7A series includes both single- and dual-processor upgrades for the "Gigabit Ethernet" thru "Quicksilver 2002" & dual-processor compatible "AGP Graphics (Sawtooth)" models and single-processor upgrades the Power Mac "Cube". The Cube upgrade supports fanless operation at 1.6GHz and 1.7GHz+ operation with the addition of a low-speed fan. They will begin shipping later this month for $450 (single-processor 1.42GHz tested at 1.7GHz), $500 (SP 1.6GHz tested at 1.73GHz), $700 (dual-processor 1.42GHz tested at 1.73GHz), and $800 (DP 1.6GHz tested at 1.73GHz).
Sony is mounting a new attack on the iPod's dominance from an unlikely direction: video games, according to Forbes report on the USB Media Week Conference taking place in New York this week: "Sony's forthcoming Playstation Portable (PSP)--a handheld gaming platform--will be primarily a gaming device. But, its use of a new Sony-created storage disc format--the Universal Media Disc, which stores nearly two gigabytes--can't help but become an easy method for selling music. The plan, says Andrew House, executive vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, is to get the device in consumers' hands primarily as a gaming device and then use it to market music and video."
Fred Showker has published a followup to his article on This Old Mouse about the PowerBook G4. The original article pointed out many strengths and weaknesses of the latest aluminum-case version of the computer. Mr. xx has responded to questions from readers regarding his criticisms: "Most of my complaints have to do more with OS X than with the computer ... but those problems are not insurmountable, and I'm slowly finding software fixes or work-arounds to solve those."
Harris & Baseview today said that the Liberty Suburban Group, publisher of more than 30 newspapers spread out over the greater Chicago area, has switched to its iQue Editorial System. iQue runs on Mac OS X, and provides the "continuity, connectivity and convenience" needed by large publishers. After a story is placed, it is immediately moved to the Web. "The process is basically the same as the archiving process ... using LiveIQue for the Web publishing and ArchiveIQue for the library." Also handy, according to Corey Oordt, vice president of IT and production for Liberty Suburban, is the convenience of being able to swap out a disabled computer and move a new one in. "When a machine goes down, we can send them a pre-configured machine and they literally can plug it in and use it. No worries about data being gone."
The Iconfactory has released Quick Pix 2004, a new freeware set consisting of all the Quick Pix icons released this year. Until now, site visitors who missed a certain week's QP release were unable to grab the icons. "As this year draws to a close, we are pleased to make these icons available to everyone in both Macintosh and PC format as well as a handy, searchable Pixadex iContainer. We hope you enjoy this grab bag of pixels with subject matter ranging from video games and Apple hardware, to just plain goofy."
In Brief: Apple is recruiting for its upcoming retail store in Toronto, Canada.... The Macintosh version of America's Army is facing a major delay that could ultimately seal its doom, as developers say that they no longer have a license to the GameSpy player matching service--which could affect other Mac games as well....uDevGames has announced its 2004 Contest Winners, including ShineBug by Charles Gowan in the Best Overall Game Award category.... GarageBand Mechanics offers educators 136 pages of tutorials, tips, and curriculum-centered projects for learning and implementing GarageBand in the classroom.... Hi-Voltage has announced its Christmas Promotion for 2004, offering all FileMaker users and developers a 30% discount on its FileMaker plugins and solutions.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) announced today that its TransPod All-In-One Car Solution for iPod works perfectly with the recently announced iPod photo. The DLO TransPod lets owners transmit, charge and secure their iPod in one compact device in their cars. After extensive testing, DLO now confirms the iPod photo fits the TransPod as well as the current lineup of 3G, 4G and mini iPods. The DLO TransPod retails for $100 and is available online.
SyBrowser 6.5 ($90) is a "point and click" application that can query Sybase, OpenBase, FrontBase, PostgreSQL, Oracle, ODBC and MS SQL databases hosted on OSX, UNIX, Linux, and Windows servers. It adds a Cartesian graphing panel, a 'Spotlight'-like search field that truncates the rows displayed on the SQL panel, context sensitive Auto-Fill to the SQL statement panel, shortcut menu items, and more. Upgades are $50. [Classic, OSX] MenuCalendarClock 1.5.0 ($19) updates the iCal integrated menu calendar and clock application for Mac OS X. Version 1.5 improves the event and 'to do' item overview by adding options to display "to do" items above or below the events of the selected day. In addition, users can now configure an event look-ahead in providing more context. [990KB] DropDMG 2.5 ($15) can create/convert Mac OS X disk images via drag and drop (".dmg", ".img", or ".smi"). It supports encryption, segmented images, and custom icons, and it can create images with rich-text license agreements in multiple languages. Version 2.5 adds Panther .Zip, StuffIt X, .cdr, file support as well as supports system services, custom mount points, more options and other enhancements. [1.0MB] FileWrangler 1.1 (free) is a batch file renaming utility for Mac OS X 10.3 with user-definable folder recursion, use of a file's "enclosing folder" as part of the file name, natural language date input, and more. New features include file list export with optional tags, tool tips, automatic filename truncation to 31 characters, and speed improvements. [490KB] AFDragHandler 1.1 is a REALbasic plug- that offers creation of applications with extended Mac OS X drag & drop support. Developers can implement translucent drag, drag tracking and Finder drop. Version 1.1 fixes drag to locations, deferred file content creation, determine drag origin. A demo with example and manual is available online. [1.1MB] My Money Minder 1.5 ($13) helps manage your personal finances, tracking expenses, income and bank account balances as well as forms of payment (credit card, checks, etc.) These can be organized into an unlimited number of user defined Categories. Version 1.5 is a smaller application, adds a new graphing system, a new toolbar under Mac OS X 10.2, live resizing, and more. [1.8MB]
IDG World Expo today announced topics for Tutorial sessions as well as the Hands-on MacLabs at Macworld San Francisco on January 10-14, 2005. The Tutorials are full-day sessions that provide in-depth training in a lecture format on key Mac products and technologies, and will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 11 and will include: Working Wireless Networks, Final Cut Pro, Mac OS X Helpline, and Mac OS X 10.3 Power User. The Hands-on MacLabs are half-day sessions that provide hands-on computer training in six different fields (Photoshop, Acrobat, DVD Studio Pro, Mac OS X for Admins, Motion, and Adobe Creative Suite) and will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Friday, January 14. Early Bird pricing ends on December 10th.
Freeverse Software and Virtual Programming today announced that Spartan, a game of ancient warfare, is now shipping. Spartan, the winner at the 2004 Independent Games Festival, combines empire building, turn-based strategy and 3-D battle graphics: "No soldiers of the ancient world were more renowned for their bravery or battle skills than the warriors of the Greek city of Sparta. Trained from boyhood, the citizens of Sparta had but only one vocation... war! Conquer Thebes, Corinth, Macedonia, the great hosts of Persia, or any one of a hundred different nations. Dozens of different units from Parthian archers to the feared Immortals will be yours to command as you build your empire with diplomacy, planning, and the sword." It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. The title is available for $30.
Aspyr today announced that True Crime: Streets of L.A. for Mac has hit beta status. Streets of L.A. has a "branching storyline" that allows players to determine their next move while maneuvering through 420 square miles of L.A. "Drive, fight and shoot your way through a massive array of unpredictable missions. With stealth techniques, vicious martial arts moves and impressive new weapons, as Nick Kang you experience the gritty, seedy underbelly of a vicious Los Angeles crime wave. Cruise the city taking down or harassing the scum of the streets. Bust drug dealers and prostitutes, shakedown informants and confront gang members to get the job done." The company says the $50 title, due in February 2005, is expected to run on Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later and will require a G4/G5 processor running at 867MHz.
Goldman Sachs today initiated coverage of Apple at "in-line," saying that Apple is "one of the few companies in tech with the ability to consistently innovate and then monetize that innovation." It also said that it expects unit shipments of Mac to rise 10% in calendar 2005, slightly higher than the industry average of 9%. Forbes reports that Goldman expects fiscal 2005 earnings of $1.51 per share and fiscal 2006 earnings of $1.85--with a bias to the upside on "multiple sources of growth coming together. Specifically, we see iPod and other music-related offerings as well as software, services, and peripherals contributing over 80% of Apple's top-line growth in fiscal 2005 and 90% in fiscal 2006." Goldman, however, said that the current stock run "has pushed its valuation. . . .leaving little room for appreciation based on multiple expansion alone."
The greatest threat to Apple's dominance in the portable music player business won't come from other consumer electronics manufacturers, but will come from a mobile phone carrier, according to a music executive from one of the big five record labels. On Monday, Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman said in a UBS Media Week Conference that it wouldn't be long before operators such as Vodafone become major distributors of music via third-generation networks and cell phones with memory comparable to that of current portable music players, according to the TheStreet.com: "Those network operators, said Bronfman, have advantages such as a secure, piracy-resistant network and distribution base of phone-carrying customers much larger than the 5.7 million iPod portable music players that Apple has sold.
Marketing research firm Ipsos-Insight today announced that Apple's iTunes and Napster 2.0 are the two most recognized in the digital music industry. The report said that despite the ongoing influx of new and refined online music offerings, both iTunes and Napster 2.0 continue to "capture the American fee-based digital music mind space." However, iTunes was second to the Napster brand. New findings from TEMPO, the company's quarterly study of digital music behaviors, reveal that in summer 2004, American downloaders aged 12 and older were equally as likely to be aware of Napster 2.0 and Apple's iTunes on a top-of-mind basis (20% each). However, when prompted with brand names, more than four out of five (79%) downloaders recognize the Napster 2.0 brand, while nearly half (46%) are aware of iTunes.
Check Point today released its VPN-1 SecureClient for Mac OS X, an integrated, endpoint security solution, which it says is "the industry's first, easy-to-deploy VPN client to incorporate a centrally-managed personal firewall for Mac OS X users. With VPN-1 SecureClient, Mac OS X system administrators can now easily manage security for both their remote Mac OS X and remote Windows users. Featuring centralized management and personal firewall capabilities, VPN-1 SecureClient for Mac OS X ensures that mobile Mac users will not compromise network security or open up a back door into the corporate network." It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
The Mozilla Foundation today released a final version of its Thunderbird 1.0 email client. Mozilla says that free Thunderbird application focuses on new features and settings to help stop spam and prevent viruses. Versions are available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux--localized in English, German, Greek, and Turkish (with more languages expected). It features adaptive junk mail controls, an integrated RSS news/blog reader, saved searches and a global search bar for easily locating relevant emails, message filters/grouping/labels and other organizational tools, customization through themes/add-ons, and import functions from Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, and Netscape Communicator.
Canto today announced a new digital watermark product for Cumulus, its digital asset management application. MediaSec's MediaSign Digital Plug-in provides Cumulus users with a secure and inexpensive method for watermarking digital assets—along with control over the management, use and publication of the assets. "Our patented digital security technology allows the linking of additional information—such as owner, validity or use—to the digital asset invisibly and permanently. This information can be accessed at any time. Even parts of images that have been pasted into other images can clearly be identified by the owner, making it easy to spot and prove any copyright infringements or manipulations." The plugin is available for $60 (Windows only), however, the company is evaluating customer demand for a Mac OS X version.
Lehman Bros. raised its stock price target for Apple to $64 from $46 and fourth-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts on expectations that busy retail traffic and strong demand for iPods will continue through the holiday season, according to CBSMarketWatch.com: "Analyst Harry Blount lifted his earnings estimate to 45 cents a share to 41 cents and his revenue forecast to $3.1 billion from $2.9 billion. He reiterated his 'equal weight' rating, however, on the belief that the stock already reflects strong results."
Native Instruments has announced NI Komplete Care, an all-inclusive update package for its NI Komplete 2 bundle. It enables owners of Komplete 2 to stay up-to-date for a full calendar year with "fewer costs and more convenience than ever before." Komplete Care 2005 contains all Komplete 2-related major product updates that will be released in 2005, including early product releases and free shipping on all major updates as well as exclusive discounts and special offers. Komplete Care 2005 will be available starting January 16th, 2005 for $280 from all authorized dealers and in the NI Online Shop. The company is also offering a special pre-launch bundle of Komplete Care 2005 and Battery 2/Absynth 3 for only $340, which includes updates for all three applications for an entire year.
Maniacal Extent has released Trade Strategist 1.0 for Mac OS X, a new stock market tool for the professional or home trader. Trade Strategist is a Technical Analysis package with facilities for charting and trading strategy design. It combines over 90 built-in financial indicators into rules for buying and selling stock, Trade Strategist users can build mechanical trading strategies, which can be used in simulations or to help with present-day trading decisions. A free demo (limited to fictional data) of the application is available. Both Standard ($30) and Pro ($50), with more advanced indicators, are available.
Silver Creek Entertainment has released Ruckus Buck's Dangerous Mines, a Mac OS X version of the popular minesweeper game title. "Dangerous Mines has all the fun elements of the classic game but has been rebuild from the ground up and has 3 different modes of play now," including Classic, Free Edge (open the board around the edge), and Gauntlet (play against the clock to clear the board). Dangerous mines also sports a Environment system that allows for engaging background audio. "From thunderstorms to Spooky forests, environment sounds are driven by a system that allows for non repeating audio so it sounds real, not just a looping sound. Players can also make their own environments to share with others. Each Environment can have custom sounds and images." It is available for $25.
Dell, HP, and Gateway are among the companies looking to displace Apple's iPod, according to a Business Week article: "Dell is often regarded as the least Apple-like. While it regularly advertises its PCs and servers, its new line of consumer devices has enjoyed little marketing. And unlike Apple, which built a chain of splashy stores to display its wares, Dell is committed to kiosks and direct sales online that have made it the computer industry's king of cost efficiency. That said, Dell has pulled one very Apple-ish move. According to Enderle, it now outspends Apple in product placement in movies and on TV, even reversing its icon on the front of its laptop so that it's displayed right side up when the device is open. While Dell and HP are undoubtedly powerhouses, Gateway can't be counted out."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl