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iPod shuffle in Japan
Apple hopes to boost its share of Japan's portable digital music player market to 80 percent from around 50 percent now, according to the Jiji Press English News Service. Apple says it will achieve that goal with the launch of flash memory-based iPod shuffle digital music player in Japan, which is scheduled for January 15. "In Japan, it is expected to retail at around 10,000 yen (US$98), about half the price of similar products sold by other manufacturers....[Apple] has received more prerelease orders for it in Japan than those placed for the iPod mini player.... Sakito also unveiled a plan to launch the iTunes Music Store online music distribution service in Japan within the next 12 months.
AppleScript Pro Sessions
In Brief: Scripting Matters has announced its upcoming AppleScript Pro Sessions, which offer five days of classes and tutorials on learning AppleScript, from an introduction to mastering InDesign, QuarkXPress, Photoshop, FileMaker, AppleScript Studio, and more.... Apple is apparently seeking employees for what seems to be a new Apple Store in Tualatin, OR.... Peachpit today announced the results of research based on Nielsen Bookscan data for the calendar year 2004 indicating Scott Kelby is the top-selling computer book author in the U.S. exceeding Microsoft Press, Andy Rathbone, and David Pogue in Bookscan units and dollars sold in 2004.
iSale tool for eBay
equinux has released iSale, a new application that makes auctioning on eBay easier. Catagorized and color coded files and auctions make keeping an overview simple. Auctions can be prepared offline and edited until you are ready to submit them to eBay. iSight functionas as your camera and can be used to photograph articles. You can save layouts and even email them on to others. iSale takes the hassle and confusion out of online auctioning.
Apple\'s margins falling?
Apple new Mac mini and iPod shuffle may not suffer from razor thin margins, although they may be lower than the profit on each Mac, according to one analyst. The Motley Fool says notes that Apple has chosen to deliver less than competing products: Dell is able to delivery a monitor, keyboard/mouse, and speakers for roughly the same price as the Mac mini and most flash-based players have an additional LCD screen that adds to the manufacturing and development costs: "the financial press has been aflutter with reports that the rollouts would cause trouble with margins. I find this concern peculiar, given that, over the past year, most of the analysts have ignored the three-year downward trend in gross margins while at the same time screaming, 'Buy!'"
JobOrder 12 at MWSF
JobOrder 12 offers a comprehensive, cross-platform solution to integrate the business operations of project-oriented organizations such as advertising agencies, architects, consulting companies, design firms, engineering firms, and job shops. JobOrder’s scheduling tools include SmartScheduler, TimeTravel, ActivityTravel, and MindReader. JobOrder 12 with offers major enhancements, including: benchmark reports, capacity reports, digital asset management, and more.
Creative snubs Apple
With its sights set on gaining marketshare, Creative Technology says it is not worried about Apple's new flash-based iPod shuffle player. The company, who ramped up production of its MP3 players in its December quarter by about five times to keep up with demand, says that is sold more than 2 million MP3 players in the December quarter , according to Channel NewsAsia. Creative's CEO Sim Wong Hoo says Creative is not worried about the new flash player from Apple eating into its market share: "Actually, to me it's a big let-down: we're expecting a good fight but they're coming out with something that's five generations older. It's our first generation MuVo One product feature, without display, just have a (shuffle feature). We had that -- that's a four-year-old product."
Vanguard Elite Series
FirewireDirect has announced the Vanguard Elite PRO RAID Series, delivering reliable data protection combined with the high performance of (Dual Host & Channel) SCSI-320U or 2Gb Fibre to support compressed and uncompressed digital video, digital audio, graphic professionals as well as mission critical business applications. Engineered to meet the most stringent demands, The Vanguard Elite PRO SCSI 320U RAID Series features powerful 400MHz 64-bit RISC processor for fast I/O operations, parity-assist ASIC, completely cable less backplane-based design, and storage capacities reaching 6.4 Terabytes (6400GB) utilizing SATA I & II hard drives.
istyle wraps for iPod
CreativeMind today announced a new line of accessories called "istyle", which includes protective and colorful personalization options for the iPod and other Mac products. "istyle for iPod" is a full body wrap that protects the screen, scroll wheel, top, bottom, sides and corners; it is available in over 50 different eye catching designs, including clear, solid colors, quotes of wisdom, eye catching graphics, and specialty plastics. The company also announced a version for the iBook. The istyle vinyl plastic can withstand the heat of the iPod and will not melt, or change color for at least 6 months; it also provides basic moisture and water protection. Application of istyle accessories requires no adhesive and will not leave any sticky residue on the product once removed.
New JPG compression
In Brief: maciraf has posted a series of quotes, both past and present, from iPod nay-sayers.... Portland native Linda Rae Stockton will screen her documentary, My Heroes and Their Ladies in Waiting, at the Portland Mac Filmmakers’ User Group meeting on Wednesday, January 26th.... Bare Bones has published a FAQ list for TextWrangler 2, its new free general purpose text editor.... The makers of Stuffit have developed a lossless compression that can be applied to JPG files to make them 30% smaller.... Digital-Tutors announced the availability of "Principles of Photoshop CS" - the latest release in a series of industry leading training resources for digital artists.
Griffin Lapel Mic
Griffin Technology has announced the Griffin Lapel Mic, a multipurpose lapel microphone offers quality stereo audio input for recording interviews, lectures and other events. The company says that an iPod equipped with the Griffin iTalk voice recorder instantly becomes a mobile recording unit, while the Lapel Mic adds flexibility and ease of use. "The Lapel Mic is a great new accessory for iPod owners everywhere, including reporters, broadcasters, presenters, and even students," said Paul Griffin, president of Griffin Technology. It features a standard 3.5mm stereo mini-jack and a swivel clip for comfort and flexibility. It is priced at $15 and available immediately from Griffin and other retailers.
iPod shuffle carry case
Speck Products today announced the first third-party case for Apple's new iPod Shuffle. Designed with shock-absorbing, tear-resistant plastic skin, the SkinTight for iPod Shuffle case adds protection without adding bulk. The iPod Shuffle Skin features a unique two part design which allows for easy synching and charging of the Apple's flash based iPod. SkinTight for iPod Shuffle will be shipping in second half of February. The company says that singles in multiple (unannounced) colors will be priced at $20 and 3-Packs will be priced at $30. Pre-orders will be available beginning February 1st. Earlier this week, it announced that the ToughSkin for iPod mini ($35) will begin shipping mid-February.
Macromedia Studio promo
Macromedia this week introduced a new promotion on its products for professionals. The companies are offering a $600 discount on its Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional bundle when purchased with any PowerBook or Power Mac. Macromedia's bundle includes Dreamweaver MX 2004, Flash MX Professional 2004, Fireworks MX 200, and FreeHand MX. The promo, which runs from January 11th, 2005 to March 31, 2005, offers Macromedia's web development solution for $400 when purchased along with a Mac from MacZone, MacMall, CDW, and MacConnection.
Apple after iPod
With all of the attention on Apple's success, Forbes' Arik Hesseldahl wonders what happens "When IPod Sales Run Out Of Steam." While the MP3 player market penetration is still relatively low--near 15% of US households--Apple may be too heavily relying on the consumer electronic device, according to the author: "Sure Apple can innovate by adding features like video and maybe wireless connectivity. But even for a company as innovative as Apple, that well can run dry, leaving it to compete on price alone. That's a scary thought when you consider that 34% of Apple's revenue last quarter was derived from iPod sales. A sudden, unexpected shift in consumer tastes--they are a fickle bunch after all--could feel like a nasty punch in the nose."
PrintDevizor ships in US
Stonecube has launched PrintDevizor, its realtime print visualization application. The unique and revolutionary design tool, first launched in the UK in November, illustrates the visual impact of both standard and decorative print effects, including varnish, lamination and embossing in an interactive 3D environment--without the need for a an expensive mock up and before anything goes to print. Professionals can rotate a print model through 360-degrees in any direction into light and shade to view the reflections and see examples of its appearance when the item is printed. PrintDevizor is now available in the US for $700.
X2-The Threat for OS X
Freeverse today announced that it is bringing 'X2-The Threat' space simulation game to Mac OS X. Featuring combat, tactical, navigational and entrepreneurial skills, the game is expected to ship in March 2005: "The player takes on the role of a pilot indigenous to the X-Universe. The story begins with our soon-to-be hero and his companion attempting to steal a ship and after a failed, action packed escape attempt in a dense nebulae, he soon finds himself aboard a security ship, destined to live out his days on the cold, prison-mining world of Artur. Trade your way through the space lanes and achieve mogul status. .... Build your empire of stations and ships across the Universe." It will be available outside of North America by Virtual Programming.
TikiMac launches Mahana II
TikiMac today announced the Mahana II series of external FireWire 800/400 storage devices. Leveraging the Oxford Semiconductor 912 chipset's built-in RAID functions, the Mahana II offers up to a 25 percent speed boost over the original Mahana drive. The Mahana II is available in 500GB ($400), 600GB ($600), 800GB ($800) and 1.2TB ($1150) capacities and comes with FireWire 400 and 800 connector cables and a 3-year limited warranty. TikiMac also announced its best-selling Kuna External FireWire Drives are now available in 300GB, and 400GB capacities, with prices starting at just $160.
WP on Apple lawsuit
An in-depth article by The Washington Post looks at Apple's lawsuit against Mac rumor site Think Secret saying that "Ciarelli, now a 19-year-old Harvard University freshman, is part of a legion of Internet news gatherers whose influence is expanding as concern grows in some quarters about their accountability and journalistic standards. With the easy anonymity offered by online posting of tips and digital photographs, Web sites run by product buffs have caused headaches, and generated valuable buzz, for companies in many industries -- including automobile and cell phone manufacturers -- by leaking product information."
Image Portal X 3.5
NetXposure is now shipping the latest version of Image Portal X 3.5, a Web-based Digital Asset Management solution built specifically for Mac OS X. The solution offers a centralized repository to store, organize, repurpose and distribute large libraries of digital files. Version 3.5 adds support for QuickTime, powerful ACL-based permissions, preset searches, and expanded support of PDF and CMYK. The company says that it is also developing a Digital Asset Management application that leverages Mac OS X Tiger's Core Image and Core Video technology to accelerate filtering and processing as well as Tiger's Spotlight search technology.
Carry case for Mac mini
TOM BIHN, a designer, manufacturer and retailer of laptop bags, has created a new design specifically for the Mac mini. The eM2 case protects the Mac mini from scrapes, scratches, drops and dings with a .25" thick enclosure of closed-cell foam that cushions all sides of the computer. It features a splash-proof zipper and a handle for easy carrying and fits the Mac mini "like a glove," and does not add significant bulk. The company says the bag is in production now and is available for pre-order; it is expected to ship in mid-February 2005. The eM2 retails for $40 and is available in six color combinations: Black/Steel, Black/Wasabi, Crimson/Steel, Steel/Crimson, Deep Blue/Wasabi, and Wasabi/Black.
Apple uses Taiwan makers
Foxconn Electronics (aka, Hon Hai Precision Industry) is the contract manufacturer for Apple's Mac mini computers, while Asustek Computer is making the iPod shuffle, according to a report in the Digitimes.com. The report says that Foxconn is expected to ship at least 100,000 Mac mini computers per month to Apple and that "shipments of the iPod shuffle from Asustek, which currently also produces iBook notebooks for Apple, are expected to reach 400,000 to 500,000 units a month, due to the aggressive pricing for the new products and brand recognition for Apple's iPod music players."
iPod shuffle ships in UK
Apple has begun shipping its iPod shuffle to customers in UK, according one reader who has received shipment confirmation from the Apple Store UK. "I just wanted to let you guys know that I ordered my iPod Shuffle on Apple's Store here in the UK on Tuesday 11th, after watching the keynote stream. The Apple Store gave an estimate of two weeks for the 512MB iPod and three weeks for the 1GB. Today, at around 11AM GMT, I received a dispatch notification from Apple to say that my iPod mini was on its way! Three to five days, and it shall be mine!" (The Apple Store San Francisco had limited quantities available on the day of its launch, while the Apple Store US lists 2-3 weeks ship times on each model.) Separately, several readers note that Apple's iPod shuffle website specifically offers the "Do not eat the iPod shuffle" disclaimer, when comparing the size of the player to pack of game.
FW 800 cable for iPod
Griffin Technology today announced its Dock800, a FireWire 800 cable to attach your iPod to a Mac or PC. Dock800 is a dock-to-FireWire 800 cable for communicating with and charging iPods, which the company says allows maximum flexibility in managing the usage of FireWire ports. "Since FireWire 400 ports are at a premium, by using the Dock800 cable, you're making efficient use of your FireWire ports," said Paul Griffin, President of Griffin Technology. The cable is being previewed at Macworld Expo in Booth 1917. It will ship in the first quarter of 2005 for $15.
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