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MCE 8X SuperDrive
MCE Technologies today announced it is shipping the 8X SuperDrive, a replacement for the optical drive in Apple's PowerBook G4 laptops. The drive offers true Double Layer support, letting users record up to 8.5GB of data on a single side of a Double Layer DVD, in addition to recording to both DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW media. It also reads and writes standard CD-R/RW media and is compatible with all of Apple's iApps including iTunes, iDVD, iPhoto, and Finder Burning. According to MCE, the drive is user installable and compatible with the 12", 15", and 17" Apple PowerBook G4. The drive costs $300 for PowerBooks that currently contain a Combo or SuperDrive, and $350 for those that include a standard DVD-ROM or CD-ROM drive.
Mac OS X 10.3.7 update
Apple has released Mac OS X 10.3.7 via the Software Update utility. Key enhancements include improved AFP support for saving documents with long file names, improved OpenGL technology and updated ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers, improved FireWire device compatibility, an updated Preview application, and improved compatibility for third party applications. The 10.3.7 update is recommended for all users of Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther." It also includes all previous standalone security updates.
Three new M-Audio apps
M-Audio, a leading provider of creative tools for computer-centric musicians, has announced the distribution of three new software titles--Spectron, Ozone 3 and Trash. All three titles were developed by partner iZotope, Inc. and are available exclusively through M-Audio. Spectron is a complete effects processing software package, packaging standard effects including delay, chorus, filter, flange, panning and morphing. Ozone 3 is a 64-bit integrated mastering system with analog modeling, and Trash is a complete 64-bit distortion processor. More information on all three applications is available from M-Audio's website.
\'iPod top holiday search
According to Hitwise, a leading online competitive intelligence service, the market share of all U.S. visits to Shopping and Classifieds sites reached their highest weekly levels last week, reaching 9.73 percent. The top brand-specific product searches were: "nintendo ds," "playstation 2," "barbie," "barbie.com" and "bowflex." Searches for the term 'ipod' ranked 7th, behind searches for the term 'tracfone' and ahead of searches for "american girl," "yugioh cards" and "xbox."
REALbasic dev tools
SlayFire Software today released SlayFire Reality, the first suite of tools for REALbasic commercial and corporate software developers. The company says that SlayFire Reality dramatically accelerates developer and team productivity while delivering increases in performance, quality and reliability of REALbasic applications and components. SlayFire Reality automatically pinpoints errors, detects performanceproblems and exposes testing inadequacies. "Developers often spend over 50% of their time manually debugging code and researching performance issues. SlayFire Reality automates these activities, releasing time back to the developer while dramatically improving software performance and quality. [It] rivals the best of the C++ tools and adds a unique flexibility with RBScript". The Professional version ($400) of the suite includes SlayFire Optimizer ($180), SlayFire Interceptor ($180) and SlayFire Analyzer ($180).
New games at Macworld Expo
IDG World Expo today announced that the Macintosh Games Pavilion at the upcoming Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco will provide the year's first look at the best new games coming to the Mac in 2005. Located on the Macworld exhibit floor, the Macintosh Games Pavilion will highlight new games showcased by top game publishers including Aspyr Media, MacSoft, Freeverse and Ambrosia Software. In addition to exhibits by top game publishers, the the Pavilion will feature a wide selection of games, including Doom 3, World of Warcraft, Myst IV, Call of Duty: United Offensive, Rise of Nations, Halo, Unreal Tournament 2004, and many more.
Apple copying Microsoft?
In an MSN Toolbar Suite Preview, Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows says that Apple is copying Microsoft Windows technology and has been since Steve Jobs returned to Apple: "Spotlight's biggest claims to fame, presumably, are its near-instant search results and support for document meta data, both of which are, again, planned features of Longhorn. But no matter. While Apple has been busy copping Windows features since Jobs returned to Apple in late 1996, the company's tiny market share ensures that very few people will benefit from Spotlight, despite Apple claims that it will deliver on desktop search a year before Microsoft ships Longhorn." Microsoft's MSN Toolbar Suite is available now as a public beta and will ship in the first quarter of 2005 as a free product, according to the report.
German translation tool
equinux has released iTranslate, a new "quick and easy" translation tool designed to replace the traditional dictionary. iTranslate supports German-to-English and German-to-French translations, leveraging the language information provided by the online dictionary LEO (provided by the TU Munich). It also provides links to the online encyclopedia and thesaurus wikipedia to offfer additional information on virtually any subject. The free tool runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Analyst sets $78 target
American Technology Research (ATR) analyst Shaw Wu on Tuesday initiated coverage of Apple Computer with a "buy" rating and a $78 a share price target, according ot CBSMarketWatch.com: In a report to clients, Wu said Apple has "arguably the industry's most complete and integrated stack of hardware, software, and service," and that the company could see better financial performance in its core PC business in 2005.
Copypaste, iClip updated
Inventive today released iClip 3.4. The free update to the $20 productivity software for Mac OS X enables users to quickly store, organize, and access snippets of information without having to save them as entire documents. iClip 3.4 features improved keyboard control, offering users the ability to copy & paste from clipping bins using only the keyboard. Users can now set Hot Keys that make transparent labels appear over the bins, enabling them to quickly choose one to copy or paste with the simple press of a key. Script Software this week also released Copypaste 2.5.1 with yType. The multiple clipboard editor/archival utility features "yType," a new feature that adds typing acceleration, instantaneous spell checking, word prediction, typing logger, and inline equation solving in any application.
iDive 1.2 manages media
Aquafadas Software today released iDive 1.2, an update to its digital video management application. "With new features and extensive improvements, iDive v1.2 succeeds in combining innovative indexing and visualisation of digital video tapes with powerful annotation and search capabilities." Version 1.2 adds new support for the capture of DV footage from the camera, includes new compression using any of the installed QuickTime codecs; offers new clip splitting functions; supports display of 16:9 aspect ratio media; includes seamless drag & drop integration with iMovie and Final Cut Express/Pro through the ability to drag and drop clips from the catalog into the editing, editing of clip dates and aspect ratio, and other UI enhancements. The on-screen digital video shoebox is priced at $70.
discWelder Bronze for OS X
Minnetonka Audio Software is now offering its first DVD-Audio authoring tool for the Mac OS X platform: discWelder Bronze allows users of Mac OS X 10.3 to easily author their own high-resolution DVD-A's. discWelder can import all Linear PCM formats supported in the DVD-Audio specification, including surround (up to 6 channels of 24-bit 48kHz audio) and high resolutions stereo (two channels of 24-bit 192kHz audio). The company says that urround and stereo may be used on the same disc in WAV or AIFF file format; DVD-Audio discs burned by discWelder will play on any DVD-Audio player that supports DVD±R/W. The software is available for both PC and Mac OS X for $100.
AUDF offers OS X grants
The Apple University Development Fund (AUDF), a joint venture set up by Apple Computer Australia and the Apple University Consortium (AUC) to support and encourage development using Apple technology in education, says it will provide over $150,000 to foster new developments to add to the base of more than 5,000 Mac OS X applications already available for the Macintosh and to provide new functionality. The AUDF was set up in recognition of the contribution and the creativity and skill of Macintosh developers on AUC campuses. "In 2004 the AUC will continue to focus on grants that extend the usefulness of Mac OS X to the higher-education community and in particular offer a new range of Challenge Grants for specific projects that the AUC would like to see."
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