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Griffin FireWave audio
Griffin Technology (Booth 1917) today announced FireWave, a unique FireWire accessory that brings 5.1 Surround Sound to any FireWire-enabled Mac. Griffin is offering a demonstration of this FireWire audio device this week at Macworld Expo. "With the multitude of 5.1 surround sound speakers for PCs readily available, FireWave gives Mac users the ability to affordably upgrade their sound systems.... FireWave's small size makes it easy to incorporate into any computer setup, and portable enough to use on laptops. For the ultimate in mobile convenience, FireWave gets its power through its FireWire connection to the computer - no separate cables or power supplies to tote. And FireWave features an extra FireWire port so you can chain other devices through it." It will ship in the second quarter of 2005 for $100.
Griffin debuts BlueTrip
Griffin Technology (Booth 1917) today announced its BlueTrip, a wireless transmitter/receiver for broadcasting CD-quality audio from an iPod to a home stereo. BlueTrip delivers the pristine CD-quality sound that iPod users desire in a high-quality home stereo environment. Using Bluetooth technology, BlueTrip can transmit up to 30 feet away from a home stereo--without the traditional barriers of line of sight, walls, ceilings or windows. It features RCA plugs as well as optical and mini-jack output. It will ship in the first quarter of 2005 for $150.
AAPL soars after earnings
Apple stock surged more than 10 percent to over $72 per share in after hours trading, after posting record revenue and quarterly profit. The stock closed Wednesday at $65.46, but was up more than $7 per share after it announced earnings today. Apple's earnings were driven by a huge surge in Mac sales--fueled by the release of the iMac G5 and strong iBook sales as well as a a strong retail sales its stores.
Earnings conference report
Apple this afternoon held a Q1 earnings conference call with industry analysts. Apple executives Peter Oppenheimer, Tim Cook, and Gary Whipler discussed the company's results for the first quarter of fiscal 2005, as well as the company's latest products-- namely the Mac mini and iPod shuffle.
Increased Mac sales
In its December quarter, Apple said it shipped more than 456,000 iMac G5s, representing a sequential increase in unit sales of nearly 100 percent and a year-over-year increase of 101 percent. The company also saw a large year-over-year increase in its iBook sales, selling more than 270,000 units or 35 percent more units than the year-ago quarter. Apple's PowerBook line, however, saw a drastic decrease in sales with only 152,000 units shipped. Apple shipped 167,000 Power Mac and Xserve units, a 19% decrease from the year-ago quarter. Overall, Apple saw a 26 percent increase from the year-ago quarter in Mac sales. Apple also saw a large 525 percent increase from the year-ago quarter its Music-related products, which includes iTunes Music Store sales and iPod related services and accessories.
Apple posts $295M profit
Apple today posted a net profit of $295 million, or $.70 per diluted share for its first financial quarter, the highest quarterly profit and revenue in Apple's history. These results compare to a net profit of $63 million, or $.17 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter was $3.49 billion, up 74 percent from the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 28.5 percent, up from 26.7 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 41 percent of the quarter's revenue. Apple shipped 1,046,000 Macs units and 4,580,000 iPods during the quarter, representing a 26 percent increase in CPU units and a 525 percent increase in iPods over the year-ago quarter.
bruApp Backup and Restore
TOLIS Group today announced the availability of its bruAPP line of data backup and restore appliances, which eliminates issues most often experienced when implementing a working backup and restore strategy. The tightly integrated hardware and software solution are available in both tower and 1U rackmount with combinations of up to 1TB (terabyte) of storage. All bruAPP units provide dual gigabit Ethernet ports and either 10- or 25-client system licenses. The bruAPP is available now, starting at $3000 for a complete 250GB D2D tower configuration. It supports Mac OS X 10.2 and Windows, and UNIX variants.
Brother products at MWSF
Brother showed several new products at Macworld Expo San Francisco this week. New items included the low-profile color inkjet flatbed Multi-Function Center models, a new personal fax machine for personal home use, the ultra-compact HL-2040 and HL-2070N laser printers, and the new business-class color inkjet Multi-Function Center.
ToySight Gold expansion
Freeverse today released the ToySight Gold, a $10 expansion pack to its Toysight package of 12 games that can be played using an iSight. The pack features three new games, including "FlySight," which it says is the "first ever" camera-controlled, eight-player Rendezvous networked 3D fighter combat game. FlySight, available as a separate demo is playable as a single player game against the computer. ToySight Gold also adds extra features and effects when used on a G5-based Mac, allows you to play most ToySight games using mouse/keyboard, and offers a new PAL mode. Other games in the expansion package include AirHeads ("Inflate your opponent's head and pop him before he bursts you") and Mars Lander ("Carefully control the Mars Mission craft to fly between bases on Mars, perform rescue missions, and rendezvous").
RadTech today released its G5 iMac ScreensavRz ($28-$38), the next in the series of form-fitting protective covers for LCD panel iMacs. The G5 iMac ScreensavRz, with Optex protects, cleans and polishes iMac LCD panels for total display care. The company today also announced its $55 Silver Edition BT500 mini Bluetooth Mouse and Tekstyl soft-case for laptops. The Bluetooth mouse includes the same feature-rich design as other BT500 models, but in a smaller form factor. RadTech's Tekstyl use-in soft cases are easy to use and comfortable protectors for Mac laptops. The lightweight and ultra slim cases, which full access to ports and drives, offer a unique construction reinforced with high-impact plastic inserts for extra protection.
FileMaker Pro solutions
Beezwax datatools (Booth 749) is now shipping HiveContacts 3.0, an update to its FileMaker Pro-based group meeting, project, and location scheduling solution designed for small groups of 2-20 users. The Hive enables all date-sensitive and project information to be displayed within one shared, fully-featured Calendar interface. Version 3.0, rewritten for FileMaker Pro 7, features a new eMerge Broadcast Module for email and letters, its own Contact Info Updater, and more. It includes a public beta demo of Hive Organizer 3.0 as well and will also "shortly" integrate Hive Calendar 3.0. Beezwax also showcasing Account Manager 1.0, which provides a robust infrastructure for sophisticated security management, including managing access to multiple databases.
iChat billing system
FaceBridge Research has introduced a beta version of its FaceBridge AVIM Commerce Server for Apple's iChat instant-messaging system. The FaceBridge Server allows Apple instant-messaging users to bill for their time while communicating via iChat audio and video IM ("AVIM"). The system allows Mac users to easily bill for their time online: it proxies conversations between IM users and allows users to present themselves under any number of aliases by automatically making each available when a user signs in. "This presents a huge opportunity for instant messaging to become a platform for instant commerce. Many professionals bill for time, but billing is cumbersome and often does not cover quick conversations via email or telephone."
Jobs on Apple\'s future
In an interview on CNBC following his keynote address on Tuesday, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs talked up the company's latest products, while commenting on Apple's direction for the future. "If there is one word that categorizes the culture at Apple concerning products, its 'excellence,' Jobs said. "We didn't want to make one more flash player, we wanted to make one of the smallest and lightest and best ones in the world. And that's where iPod shuffle comes from." During the interview, Jobs also previewed the new Mac mini, saying it was named after smaller-sized iPod mini, which has proven to be so successful. "We think [the Mac mini is] going to remove even one more barrier for people switching, you know so they can try out a Mac for the most affordable price point ever."
ML report on MWSF
Following Apple's new product introductions at this week's Macworld Expo, Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Milunovich said he believes Apple is building a sustainable consumer electronics franchise and is showing off its strategic flexibility with its lowest price Mac ever and iPod shuffle, which boasts more capacity than expected for $99. "We believe the Mac mini will sell well to both PC switchers and Mac lovers wanting to put iTunes, iPhoto, and iVideo into entertainment room," the analyst said. "The lower price point could entice PC owners to consider the Mac, particularly those with iPods." Milunovich believes the Mac mini's S-video output could be an overlooked feature that many a Mac lover will use to drive their TVs.
Prudential raises AAPL
Ahead of Apple's December quarter expected later today, analyst Steven Fortuna of Prudential Financial reiterated his "neutral weight" rating on Apple, while raising his estimates for the company and his target price to $75 (from $45), according to research report quoted by NewRatings.com: "In a research note published yesterday, the analyst mentions that the company is expected to have witnessed robust iPod sales and healthy systems sales during F1Q. The launch of a new flash-based iPod, iPod mini, with enhanced features and a 'headless iMac' would boost Apple earnings in the near future." Fortuna raised his EPS estimates for FY05 and FY06 from $1.10 to $1.65 and from $1.30 to $2.20, respectively. Credit Suisse First Boston has also said that it expects that Apple will "deliver a very positive earnings".
WSJ reviews iPod shuffle
"I've been testing the new iPod Shuffle for a couple of days, and, in my tests, it fulfilled -- and even exceeded -- Apple's claims for convenience, battery life and song capacity, writes renowned Wall Street Journal columnist, Walt Mossberg. "Sound quality is so good you can barely believe the music is coming from something so small." Mossberg praises the iPod shuffle's battery life, which in his tests faired much better than Apple's 12 hour estimate, lasting nearly 16 hours. He also found that the new iPod actually holds more songs than Apple claims because Apple's calculation is based on four-minute songs, while many pop and rock tunes are actually much shorter than that. Mossberg does, however, lists a few downsides to the iPod shuffle, including a lack of display to view playlists, contact info and calendars. He also found the three-way mode button on the back difficult to move. Still, he believes iPod shuffle is "a good product that will enlarge the iPod's appeal, especially with kids, people on low budgets, or people who work out."
Lending management system
Intelli Innovations today announced its Daneizo Lending Management System for any library, lending counter, or business operation engaged in equipment or item lending. The Daneizo system consists of an USB-based IntelliScanner Pro or Bluetooth wireless IntelliScanner Scanabout 800 handheld barcode scanner, software application, asset tags, and member cards for borrowers. The software quickly establishes member accounts, maintains up-to-the-minute lending status, offers report creation, includes keyboard-less check-in/check-out, generates overdue notices for unreturned items, and more. A 40 customer package is available for $1000 (software-only) or $1,400 (USB barcode reader bundle).
Doctor Mac Direct
Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus today announced Doctor Mac Direct, a new service for troubleshooting, technical support and training on any Mac software issue. Any Mac user can request a expert's help and receive phone support or use an interactive Web-based control method that allows the Mac expert to see and work on the problem remotely. Doctor Mac Direct also offers online interactive training, assistance with system migration, pre-purchase buying advice, and more. Mr. LeVitus and troubleshooting guru, Ted Landau, also demonstrated the service for the first time to select press attending Macworld Conference & Expo San Francisco 2005. Problem resolution prices start at $30 for a quarter-hour resolution. Doctor Mac Direct guarantees resolution in the time estimated or will continue working toward resolution at no additional cost.
BHD: Team Sabre
Aspyr today announced that it will publish Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre, an expansion pack to Delta Force: Black Hawk Down that "re-deploys the Delta Force to take out targets in the treacherous South American jungle terrain and the most remote islands in the Persian Gulf. Players must work with their team to get the job done. In the game players assume the role of Delta Force, a U.S. Ranger and, for the first time, can play as a member of the British SAS." It adds new weapons, new vehicles, new terrains, 2 new single player campaigns, and 30 new multiplayer maps as well as features Mod support for building unique multiplayer battlefields. It will be available for $20 and requires a 1GHz G4/G5.
Sample Manager 2.0
Audiofile Engineering has announced Sample Manager 2.0, an update to its full-featured batch audio file processor for Mac OS X. Version 2.0 adds comprehensive AppleScript support, support for multiple "browser" windows and the ability to save windows as Sample Manager documents. Other new features include full support of ACID files, "crop" around an audio selection, "snip" to remove audio in a selection, and support for common metadata fields with all audio files. Sample Manager offers full support for AIFF, WAVE, Sound Designer, ACID and Apple Loop audio files as well as partial support for Recycle (REX, RX2 and RCY) files; it supports any sample rate or bit depth and an unlimited number of channels. It is available for $70; upgrades are priced at $20.
ScriptPak for MS Word 2004
MacSpeech today announced its new ScriptPak for Microsoft Word 2004. The new ScriptPak installs almost 400 commands into iListen, its flagship command/dictation package for Mac OS X. The included commands allow the user to do virtually anything in Word 2004 that they would normally do using keyboard shortcuts or menus. The ScriptPak for Microsoft Word 2004 is available immediately for $30 and requires iListen 1.6.5, which is available starting at $100. The company is also offering a the $10 off any ScriptPak purchase of $20 or more as a Macworld Expo Internet Special.
G4 upgrades, Cube cases
PowerLogix today announced two new CPU cards for Power Mac G4s: the PowerForce G4 '47 utilizes a PowerPC "G4" 7447A processor, features speeds up to 1.7GHz, and offers unique design features that provide stability and improved compatibility. The second-generation PowerForce G4 '57 uses the latest version of the PowerPC "G4" 7457, which offers slightly slower clock speed, but includes 2MB of L3 cache per CPU. PowerLogix says that both draw significantly less power than previous G4 microprocessors for cooler, more reliable, high-performance operation. PowerLogix and OWC also announced that they have begun shipping new white and black versions of the acrylic PowerCube enclosures for $140.
Positive AAPL financials
With Apple's earning expected to be released after market close today, Credit Suisse First Boston says that Apple will "deliver a very positive earnings", according to a report by Forbes. The analyst affirmed its December quarter estimates $3.3 billion in revenue and $0.55 EPS, despite lower-than-expected iPod shipments: "While first-quarter iPod shipments were at 4.5 million units, below CSFB's 4.8 million estimate, the firm said Apple is well-positioned 'to deliver another strong performance in the March [fiscal second] quarter.'" The report said that new Mac mini would enable Apple to--at a minimum--hold market share in the future and "on a longer-term basis the Mac mini will drive future hardware and software upgrades."
VPN Tracker 3.5 released
Equinux today released a new version of its popular VPN client software: VPN Tracker 3.5 adds support for NAT Traversal, brings compatibility with Cisco PIX firewall devices, features improved XAUTH capabilities, includes a built-in automatic update option, and more. VPN Tracker also supports SecurID, a two-factor authentification system. The Professional Edition ($200) can be used to connect two or more networks through a secure Internet tunnel as well as features connection export, certificate enrollment and scripting. VPN Tracker Personal Edition ($90) is the simplified version for securing a single network connection. Version 3.5 is available as a free upgrade.
Kerio MailServer 6.1
Kerio (Booth 1744) will offer a technology preview of Kerio MailServer 6.1 at Macworld Expo. The updated server will offer additional features for Mac OS X, including iCal support, enhanced Kerio WebMail for PDAs and small display devices and improvements to its collaboration tools in Entourage and MS Outlook. Kerio MailServer 6.1 will allow iCal users to subscribe to events in the Kerio MailServer calendar, offer faster page loads in WebMail, incorporate free/busy scheduling, and offer rich text editing when composing new messages. Kerio MailServer, billed as an alternative to Microsoft Exchange, offers full support for Mac, Windows and Linux. It will ship at the end of January as a free update. Pricing starts at $450.
e2Sync today introduced e2Sync Personal, which delivers the ability to sync Microsoft Entourage information through Apple's iSync. The application allows users to sync their Entourage data such as contacts, calendar, and tasks data with any iSync compatible device, such as cell phones, Palm-powered PDAs, iPods, etc. The company says that e2sync Personal is a "genuine" iSync conduit that enables synchronization with iCal, AddressBook, and .Mac. Users can also easily keep multiple copies of Entourage in sync with each other using e2Sync Personal (requires .Mac account), copy Entourage appointments directly to an iPod, and more. It is available for $40.
DeBabelizer Pro/Server 6
Equilibrium today announced DeBabelizer Pro/Server 6 for Mac OS X and is now shipping its new dynamic Equilibrium MediaRich Server 3.5 for Apple's Xserve. Delivering stand-alone automated media processing, Equilibrium DeBabelizer Pro 6 enables desktop designers to automatically import, edit, optimize and convert an unlimited number of images, animations and digital video files for optimal delivery in any format, including the Web, print, presentations, mobile devices, etc.
Elgato EyeTV 1.7
Elgato has released an update to its software for owners of EyeTV hardware and third party TV tuners: EyeTV 1.7 offers MPEG-4 support for EyeTV 200, comprehensive search/sort for EyeTV recordings, enhanced DivX export support, and support for the reception of Clear QAM digital cable with EyeTV 500, its high-definition digital TV recorder for the Mac. It requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.
Time Navigator for OS X
Atempo has shipped Time Navigator Enterprise Edition for Mac OS X Server, a high-performance, highly-scalable enterprise data protection solution for integrating Mac OS X into heterogeneous network storage environments. Time Navigator offers both backup and restore functionality as well as centralized management of data protection; it also allows customers to rapidly and securely recover files from any given point in time. The software offers compliance, archiving, reporting, backup to tape, security, disaster recovery, and rapid data growth modules. It supports any G4/G5-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.3.
NI DAQ and GPIB drivers
National Instruments is shipping new DAQ and GPIB drivers for Mac OS X, offering engineers and scientists more options for data acquisition (DAQ) and instrument control on Mac OS X. The NI-DAQmx Base driver for Mac OS X supports popular NI data acquisition hardware, including the PCI and PXI E Series DAQ devices, the DIO-96 digital I/O device and the new low-cost NI USB DAQ devices. The NI-488.2 driver, which provides Mac OS X GPIB support, works with the NI PCI-GPIB and the GPIB-ENET/100. Both the DAQ and GPIB drivers use programming interfaces that are standard in development environments such as NI LabVIEW.
Elgato has announced EyeConnect, a media streaming application based on Universal Plug and Play Audio/Video standard (UPnP AV). EyeConnect enables digital music, video, or photo content to be played on a wide variety of UPnP AV certified devices. Due as a public beta in February 2005, EyeConnect software can manage both wired or wireless streaming of stored multimedia content to multiple devices. It automatically determines the digital media formats supported by the UPnP AV device, supports device authentication, and offers an advanced plug-in architecture that enables third-party developers to provide additional streaming content. It requires a 500MHz G4/G5 processor and Mac OS X 10.3.
FontAgent Pro 3
Insider Software today released FontAgent Pro 3, "the only" Mac OS X native application that provides integrated font management, diagnostics, optimization and repair. Version 3 adds live searching and fast filtering of font metadata, user-configurable startup sets, a new setup wizard, a new interface design with drag & drop support for library and font set creation, multiple WYSIWYG font views, font and set locking, improved performance, better font-checking, and more. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later and is available for $90 (upgrades are $50). The workgroup edition with server-less font sharing is $130 (upgrades are $65).
The new IntelliScanner Express bundle helps users organize and track valuable items; it combines an IntelliScanner Express USB or Bluetooth wireless barcode reader and four Intelli Innovations (Booth 2242) software applications to organize everything from books and movies to wines, furniture, equipment, rare collectibles, etc. Also included with IntelliScanner Express are 50 asset tags, each with unique barcode, for permanent identification of items. The bundles, offering a savings of $130 over the total cost of buying each component separately, are $250 (USB) and $350 (Bluetooth).
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