AudioGoGo says Real Networks has done "some quality legal and lobbying work that will help Apple more than it helps Real." The European Union has ordered that Microsoft stop bundling its Media Player with Windows. The article points out that "when Real Networks started all this work, the media fight was between Microsoft and Real Networks... If anyone has been paying attention, it is now about Windows Media, vs. iTunes." Real Networks and Apple have recently been involved in a dispute over Real's Harmony technology: "Apple just kicked Real Networks hard by blocking its Harmony music service from offering higher quality 192 kbps music to new and updated iPod owners."
Airline Tycoon Deluxe, a game that puts players in charge of their own airline, is coming to the Mac platform in early 2005. Originally developed by Spellbound Entertainment for Windows, the game requires players to "plan your routes and fill your order books. You have the complete management control, you can hire and fire staff and so much more." "Your abilities are put to the test continuously playing Airline Tycoon Deluxe," the developer says, "Will you be able to use your aeroplanes to capacity and land some profitable charter flights? Can you establish routes for lucrative scheduled flights? Can you stand up for the construction of new aeroplanes in your role as an engineer?" Pricing has not been announced.
Llamasoft has released Gridrunner++ for Mac, a modern version of the legendary game by Jeff Minter. It brings "50 waves of the most intense psychedelic blasting for the discerning arcade addict and all-new Mac-only features, including an online high score table so you can play against the rest of the world and, for the truly hardcore, the frenzied [...] Turbo Nutter Mode." It can be purchased for £6 from Llamasoft.
Objective Decision today released the second generation of OD4Contact, its popular PIM and contact relation management software. OD4Contact 2 ($55) "goes beyond what other contact relation management software offer" by providing much more than "basic" PIM features. Along with dramatic speed increase, OD4Contact has been completly redesigned, for more efficient, ergonomic and productive operation. Version 2.0 offers a new module called "Communication Center" that gives the user full insight of all communications such as emails, phone calls, postal mails and faxes. Users can sort and filter them by date, person or type. OD4Contact Communication Center gathers all Mail.app's emails in real time and links them to your contacts.
Rogue Amoeba Software has announced Slipstream, a new application coming in early 2005 that allows any audio from any application to be heard through remote speakers. "AirTunes isn't just for iTunes anymore - now users longing to listen to audio from RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, and any other application over their remote speakers will be able to do so, with Slipstream." Slipstream will be available in early 2005 for an introductory price of just $20. In other news, Rogue Amoeba received its third award in as many months, when Nicecast received an Editor's Choice Award from Macworld magazine.
Web Crossing today announced new tools for its user-to-user support site customers. Companies using Web Crossing as their message board and online customer support site, now have an Easy FAQ Builder application and enhanced File Downloads Library capabilities. Web Crossing is the Internet message board and collaboration tools server used for providing online support, resources and 24/7 customer-to-customer support. Beta programs and other access-sensitive situations can also incorporate Web Crossing's robust access controls with the new Easy FAQ Builder application and enhanced File Download Library.
Canadian resellers will slightly reduce the price of all Apple iPods following a recent Federal Court of Appeal decision throwing out the levy on digital music players with embedded memory. The price will be reduced retail giants Future Shop and Best Buy by the amount of the previously imposed levy, which equates to $25 for Apple iPods, which come in 20GB and 40GB versions. For iPod Minis, which start at 4GB capacities, the savings will be $15.†The Canadian Apple Store has also lowered pricing, as have small local resellers.
KeynoteUser has released Candy Theme for Apple's Keynote presentation application. Built on a foundation of Aqua-inspired white and grey pinstripes, Candy adds extras with bright colored capsules, custom bullets, hundreds of shapes and objects, customizable OS elements, and bright gradient color sets. It packs 36 master slides and 12 alternates, with 27 extra customizable photo cutouts that can be used to create new slide layouts. Also included in the extras is an Advanced User area full of even more custom parts allowing for the ultimate in total customization, and also several ďideaĒ slides to get any user started. From now until January 1st customers can purchase the entire KeynoteUser.com collection for $80, a savings of over $40 off the regular purchase price.
Microsoft on Wednesday lost a European Union court appeal in which it sought to overturn sanctions imposed by EU regulators that will force it to change business practices and sell a stripped-down version of Windows. Reuters reports that that the "Court of First Instance upheld the penalties imposed by the executive European Commission in March when it found the U.S. software giant had abused the virtual monopoly of its computer operating system Windows and levied a record fine. His decision means the EU antitrust regulator's remedies take effect immediately. Microsoft said it would comply from next month with the order to sell to computer makers a version of Windows without its trademark Windows Media Player music and video software and share secret specifications with rival makers of servers."
IBM says it will add new technology to run multiple operating systems simultaneously to the next-generation PowerPC microprocessor. CNET News.com reports that the next version of IBM's PowerPC 970 processor, due next year and currently in the final stages of its design cycle, uses 'partitioning' technology that "relies on a concept called virtualization that breaks the hard link between an operating system and the underlying hardware." The technology is currently only available in IBM's higher-end Power4 and Power5 processors as well as in competing server designs from Sun, HP and Intel, but IBM confirmed that Apple has plans to incorporate the chip into its forthcoming servers. "Servers using Power4 and Power5 chips require additional hardware called a management console to manage partitions, Freund said. With the next-generation PowerPC 970, IBM plans to run that hardware management console instead as software in a separate partition, he said."
Neolithic Office for Java (NeoOffice/J) is billed as a "reasonably stable" version of the OpenOffice.org office suite that has been specifically engineered to run natively on Mac OS X. The open-source software is available under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and is available for free. The softwware, which doesn't require X11 to run, is a double-clickable Mac OS X application. It also features much tighter integration with Mac OS X, including full support for Mac OS X fonts, international input, etc. The NeoOffice/J team has released a new version 1.1 beta version, which, among other things, moves the menus to where they belong, in the Mac menu bar.
South Korean-based ReignCom has released a new music player that it hopes will challenge Apple's iPod mini. Agence France Presse reports that ReignCom's new iRiver H10 music player is "similar to Apple's in features and designs -- the rectangular shape with a one-inch hard-disc drive inside and almost the same size. However, the iRiver has extras the iPod does not, like a 1.5-inch colour display screen, higher capacity storage and a longer playing time. The H10 is capable of storing 5GB of music files, compared with the Mini's four-gigabyte hard disk. The iPod mini features a 1.67-inch gray screen above a circular control dial and a removable eight-hour battery, while the H10 offers a 12-hour battery, a built-in FM radio receiver and a voice recorder." The iRiver H10 costs about 10 percent more than Apple's mini, according to the report.
UK music retailer HMV has partnered with Microsoft to launch its own online music service in early 2005, leaving iPod users in the cold as well as bolstering support for Microsoft's WMA (Windows Media Audio) music file format. The Times Online reports that HMV will invest £10 million in the service "to exploit the growing market for buying music online legally," but that because the service is based on Microsoft WMA, iPod users will not be able to use the service. "iPods are not compatible with Windows Media at the moment.... However, while Apple has been incredibly successful, products based around Windows are going to push up their market share. It is going to be important that the service is compatible with Microsoft." The serivce will include a "jukebox" feature allowing customers easy management of music collections and would support 75 portable players currently on the market.
MOTU has released Digital Performer 4.5.1, an update to its professional digital audio and MIDI sequencer. The maintenance release adds numerous features and performance enhancements, including significantly reduced CPU usage for more processing power for real-time effects and virtual instruments. The company says the enhanced processing performance is a result of Dynamic CPU Management, which has been implemented in all of the bundled effects plug-ins, such as the MasterWorks EQ, MasterWorks Limiter, etc. The plug-ins now automatically disable their processing when idle. DP also provides Dynamic CPU Management for all third-party AU effects plug-ins via a software SDK available for developers. It allows users to save their bounce-to-disk settings by name and recall previous settings via its name or a user-assignable keystroke.
pdatrends has launched the SkinArt Winter '04 Collection for Apple's iPod 20GB, 40GB and iPod mini. The line feature its latest selection of stylish SkinArt cases for Winter 2004. SkinArt is a special silicone case that is designed to protect the iPod from minor dents and scratches while still maintaining the slim form factor and shape of the iPod. Each case features an open-top case design to accommodate accessories as well as to offer full access to the iPod's functions and also has a bottom opening for in-case dock access. The cases are available in a variety of styles for $20.
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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
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,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†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