Griffin Technology today announced TuneJuice, a unique battery backup for iPod and iPod mini. Using a single 9-volt battery, TuneJuice provides up to 8 hours of additional power to any dockable iPod. "TuneJuice is the perfect carry-on for airplanes and road trips." It will ship in the first quarter of 2005 with an expected retail price of $20. It is being demoed at Macworld Expo in Booth 1917.
Zengobi today announced Curio 2.1, the latest version of its environment for brainstorming and idea management. Curio 2.1 features new support for flowcharting and mind mapping shapes for more flexible creative explorations. In addition to the rectangle and rounded rectangle shapes offered previously, Curio's group, text, and asset figures can now be framed with octagons, hexagons, trapezoids, brackets, vertical brackets, triangles, diamonds, semicircles, ovals, and clouds. Curio 2.1 also allows figure adornments to be embedded within the shape border; features better Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" support; and offers additional keyboard shortcuts and printing options. A single-user license key sells for $130.
K-werkx today released Front End Digital Media Workshop 2.0. Priced at $25, front End Digital Media Workshop combines multimedia presentation and authoring tools in one application. Version 2.0 features major improvements to the user interface. The batch/play list based architecture allows you to work with 1 to 99 files. Dozens of popular digital image, movie, and sound file formats can be imported. Playback and presentation features include full screen video, play list looping, variable speed shuttle control, bass treble volume and balance controls.
GarageGames announced today at MacWorld SF 2005 that its new Torque 2D Game Engine will support Apple's upcoming Mac OS X 10.4, "Tiger." Torque 2D is intended to help with the rapid development for games. "It takes care of the technology, and the developer can focus on gameplay and art. By extending the current Torque Game Engine platform, indie developers will have a powerful tool to compete in the exciting and growing arena of 2D gaming." In addition to Torque 2D's support of Tiger, other GarageGames products including the Torque Game Engine 1.4, Dark Horizons: Lore Gold, Torque ShowTool Pro, Zap! and many more will also support the OS update.
Edirol announced today that its R-1 Portable Wave/MP3 Recorder is now shipping. The R-1 is a mobile recording device offering direct storage to Compact Flash (CF) memory, 24-bit effect processing, and operation from 2 AA batteries. At 4"x5.5" and weighing in at 10 oz (including batteries and CF), the R-1 is equipped with two hi-grade electret mics, external line and mic inputs for quick and clean stereo capture. In addition, the R-1 contains a 24-bit internal effects processor which includes Mic Simulation through Roland's COSM technology, Noise Reducer, Hum Cut, 10-band EQ, Reverb, Center Cancel and more. For music education applications it also includes a Metronome, Tuner, half-speed playback, and A-B repeat to loop one section of an audio file. Suggested retail price is $550 with immediate availability.
Canada's National Post has published a column by Paul Kedrosky on the Mac mini and iPod shuffle, in which Mr. Kedrosky complains about Apple's foray into the low-cost computer market. "You have to love Apple Computer. Not, however, for its products. Those are over-glossy fashion plates designed for the people who like to overpay for products and then brag about it ... No, you have to love Apple for its ability to manipulate the press. Here is a tiny company with 3% market share in the personal computer, and yet Steve Jobs' new product announcements at Macworld earlier this week were treated as if they were auguries of the future of computing from a descending deity ... Hence the company's announcements this week. Far from being forward-thinking and strategic, Jobs was busily shoring up a currently foundering product line -- Apple's over-priced Macintosh -- by leveraging a soon-to-be foundering product line -- Apple's iPod."
BBC correspondent Stephen Evans says that Steve Jobs could be looked as a religious leader offering an object of devotion, Apple's Macintosh: " It's tempting to think that Steve Jobs is some sort of religious leader rather than the chief executive of a rather successful computer company....Lots of companies make good products but they don't attract the kind of religious zeal that Mac inspires....I get stalked, though, by colleagues who insist on telling me how much better their iPod is than my Dell Jukebox, even as the reviews say the battery life of an iPod isn't the best around. Or how I should throw my PC away and get a Mac. They may be right. It's just that some of the message is in the marketing."
Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich has upgraded Apple's price target to $85 and his estimates for Apple earnings, based on the record profit and earnings posted by the company yesterday. Milunovich has increased his fiscal year 2005 estimates from $1.45 to $2.00 and its fiscal year 2006 estimates from $1.80 to $2.50. He also said that he expects the company to earn $0.43 in the March quarter, slightly ahead of the company's $0.40 guidance. He said that he only expects overall iPod shipments to decrease to 4 million units, driven in part to the new iPod Shuffle. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer yesterday said that some financial models expect a 50% fall off in the consumer electronics industry after the holiday (December) quarter, which may decrease shipments of Apple's disk-based iPod, those available before the iPod Shuffle, to 2.3 million. The Merrill analyst also noted that Apple's net cash per share is one-quarter of the market cap and said the new price target is based an EV/S ratio of 2.1X future sales, a 14% premium to Dell's ratio due to Apple's faster earnings growth.
Griffin Technology today announced RocketFM, a unique wireless solution for broadcasting Mac or PC audio applications to any FM radio. RocketFM uses any available FM frequency to transmit music or audio through your home or office stereo system. Applications such as iTunes, GarageBand, video soundtracks and even streaming audio can be broadcast with RocketFM. RocketFM includes software for Mac and PC that presents a familiar and easy-to-use interface for tuning to any desired station.It is set to begin shipping during the first quarter of 2005 with a retail price of $40. Pre-orders are being accepted at Griffin's website.
An editorial in today's edition of the NY Times offers
Aspyr Media announced today it will publish Star Wars Battlefront for Mac OS X, with an anticipated release in June 2005. "Battlefront is an action/shooter game that gives fans and gamers the opportunity to re-live and participate in all of the classic Star Wars battles like never before. Players can select one of a number of different soldier types, jump into any vehicle, man any turret on the battlefront and conquer the galaxy planet-by-planet online with their friends or offline in a variety of single player modes. Single player modes include "Instant Action," "Galactic Conquest" and the story-based "Historical Campaigns" mode that lets gamers experience all of the epic battles from Episodes I-VI, fighting from the perspective of each of the four factions within the game." Star Wars Battlefront will soon be available for preorder through Aspyr's website for $50.
MaxUpgrades today announced availability of its new and improved iMove, a positioning table that enables the user to change the position of their Apple Cinema Display or iMac for optimum viewing angle and position. The iMove is available for Apple Cinema Displays (30 inch, 23 inch, and 20 inch models) and Apple iMac G5 (20 inch and 17 inch Models). In response to customer requests, the new iMove sports a white color scheme to match the iMac G5, as well as an improved design that adds a locking mechanism so that the user can securely grip the iMove to the table surface. The iMove is priced at $120 for all models, with the exception of the 30-inch Cinema Display model, which costs $150.
Subband Technologies announced today in partnership with 4Front Technologies, the release of OSS 3D for iTunes. OSS 3D utilizes state of the art DSP technology allowing for the addition of Bass/ Spatialization, 3D Surround, and various other real-time enhancements of the sound played in iTunes. OSS 3D includes the capabilities of QSound and Spatializer and provides additional functionality like Speaker Resonance Correction, Virtual Subwoofer, Brainwave Inductance, High Frequency Restoration, Center Channel Control, and more. Also included is a Studio Quality H-Fi 10-Band Equalizer with Built-in Peak Limiter to replace the one built into iTunes. The software is priced at $25.
Analysts lifted their estimates for earnings and revenue growth at Apple overnight after the iPod maker's fiscal first quarter came in well ahead of the estimates, reports CBS MarketWatch "J.P. Morgan is projecting March quarter earnings of 47 cents a share, up from its prior estimate at 34 cents a share. The broker now sees revenue at $3.035 billion, up from a view earlier at $3.007 billion. UBS also raised its fiscal second quarter earnings per share estimate to 41 cents from an earlier 29 cents 'to factor in higher sales of Macs & iPods.... We continue to believe that the iPod phenomenon is driving upside in Apple retail stores, sales of peripherals/accessories and now-Macs,' the broker told clients. Apple shares were up 11 percent in European trade of U.S. stocks - in line with the surge late Wednesday after the PC maker's quarterly report."
NetStores today announced MacCommerce Designer and MacCommerce Server version 1.03. The upgraded features add Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC), International Merchant Account acceptance, and additional international Gateway Support. Related features include Plug n' Pay Gateway, which supports DCC by locking in point-of-purchase currency conversion for international customers, PSiGate, offering online payment solutions for Canadian merchants, and Optimal Payments, a cost-effective credit card processor that works with European and Canadian currencies. MacCommerce is built to deliver Ecommerce Applications on Apple's OSX and OSX Server, built in Apache Webserver. The MacCommerce products give any Mac user, from small businesses to large enterprises and ISPs, the capacity to host an unlimited number of e-commerce websites.
REAL Software today released Office Power Pack Volume 1 version 1.1, an update to the suite of five applications that add power to Microsoft Office. The update to version 1.1 adds support for all of the default phone and address fields in Mac OS X Address Book and includes more invoice and fax cover sheet templates. This update also introduces a demo version of Office Power Pack Volume 1, which is available for direct download. Office Power Pack is available now through Jan. 21 with special Macworld pricing of $30, a $20 saving off the list price.
Actual Technologies today released Actual ODBC Driver for Oracle, an ODBC driver that lets OS X users access Oracle databases from applications such as Excel and FileMaker Pro. It features a setup assistant, on-line help and diagnostic tools that due away with the hassle associated with getting connected. The driver is available for immediate downloaded.
@Last Software today announced the availability of SketchUp Component Libraries for use in the film and stage, interior design, landscape architecture, and architectural and mechanical design industries. The libraries contain hundreds of great-looking, commonplace 3-dimensional images that SketchUp users can employ to enhance their designs. SketchUp's pre-designed components are created for ease of use. Users simply click, drag and drop each component wherever it needs to go in their SketchUp model. The SketchUp Component Libraries are available, free of charge, online. @Last Software will also be handing out CDs containing the libraries at two tradeshows this week: Macworld in San Francisco and at the International Builder's Show in Orlando.
Geren today announced two new dual link DVI products that work with high definition video transmitted through dual link DVI, which uses all 24 pins of the connector to send video at resolutions up to 3840 x 2400 at 60Hz. The DVI-DL Switcher ($700) allows you to connect two sources to a display equipped with just one input. Meanwhile, the DVI-2000 HD ($1400) uses a sender and receiver system to send dual link DVI video up to 1640 feet over fiber optic cables. Both products will be available online at Geren's website or through a Gefen reseller.
Now AAPL Stock: 96.43 ( + 1.21 )
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ
Spotify deploys new $15 family plan
Spotify has today launched a new family program. Up to six family members can have individual accounts for $15 per month for the group. All current "Premium for Family" members will be migrated to the new program. The new plan is available today globally, minus Canada. http://spoti.fi/1OSJrCK
Speck CandyShell Clear with Glitter case
Speck today announced CandyShell Clear with Glitter. Thousands of tiny pieces of glitter are embedded within the case, with what the company calls "military-grade drop protection in a slim profile." CandyShell Clear with Glitter is available now on Speck's website for $40 and up. http://bit.ly/1OSHIgM
Three UK nudges MMS users toward apps
British carrier Three has suggested its users take advantage of messaging apps, as part of an announcement regarding multimedia messaging (MMS) price rises. While the price of a message will increase on June 13 from 17.4p ($0.25) to 40p ($0.58) per MMS, Three notes that customers can avoid the hefty fees by using Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other services. http://bit.ly/1Rk0TKM
Belight Soft launches Art Text 3
Belight Soft has launched the latest version of its graphic design software, Art Text 3. The new version sticks with the goals of the previous iterations in developing a creative art text tool that is easy to use for beginners, but produces powerful results that will also appeal to pros. Among its key features are over 70 customizable templates to assist with logo design, word art, web elements and picture captions. Users can customize 3D materials using over 200 textures, over 140 bump map surfaces and over 80 environment map textures. Users of either of the two previous versions can upgrade to the new version for $30, a $20 savings. New users can also enjoy the $30 price as an introductory offer through the Mac App Store until May 31. http://bit.ly/1U6jFqu
KnowRoaming network now extends to 86 countries
KnowRoaming customers can now use its global SIM sticker to take advantage of its unlimited data plans when travelling in 86 countries. The SIM sticker is, as its name suggests, a special sticker that is applied to the back of an existing SIM card for use outside the US in supported countries. It works in conjunction with the KnowRoaming smartphone app. The latest expansion of its network came with the addition of 12 Latin American countries where travelers can now also enjoy its unlimited data plans, which are available for $8 per day. http://bit.ly/27KkXli
BMW to start supporting CarPlay this fall
BMW will add CarPlay support as one of the entertainment add-on for its X5M and X6M models, the first BWM models to do so, starting from this summer. A German-language catalog for the manufacturer spotted by Bimmerpost advises the option will arrive in August. It is unclear if the support will only be included in European versions of the car, or for further afield. The display in the vehicles will be among the largest thus far seen for CarPlay, at 10.25 inches, and hinted at possible wireless CarPlay support. The X5M currently sells for ‚ā¨96,470 (US$108, 275), while the X6M retails for ‚ā¨99,327 ($111, 453). http://bit.ly/1XnZ4DJ