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News Archive for 05/01/31

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San Francisco-based Apple reseller closes its doors

01/31, 11:15pm

MACadam closes its doors

San Francisco-based Mac reseller MACadam today said it was closing its doors after 16 years of selling Macs. Owner Tom Santos said MACadam was forced to close because of the company's ongoing problems with Apple and in part due to Apple's recent aggressive retail expansion. In a letter to customers, Santos said that "the consistent bad behavior of our number one supplier, Apple Computer" has made it "so difficult to both get product in a timely fashion and treat our customers with the respect that they currently treat their Apple Direct customers. We have tried everything to resolve these problems over the last 4 plus years, yet our requests for help have simply gone unanswered." MACadam first began selling Macs in 1989 and became an authorized Apple reseller in 1991, but later lost that designation after it filed a lawsuit against Apple in 2003 along with five other resellers.

Wal-Mart selling iPod mini at retail, shuffle next?

01/31, 10:45pm

Wal-Mart selling iPod mini

A select number of Wal-Mart Stores have quietly begun selling Apple's iPod mini, but declined to elaborate on how many of the company's nearly 5,000 stores are carrying the device, according to CNET News.com. AppleInsider, on Friday, reported that Wal-Mart and Apple are working on a agreement for Wal-Mart to begin selling the flash-based iPod shuffle and speculated that Wal-Mart may order as many 250,000 iPod Shuffles." Apple has expanded the iPod to several retailers, including Target, Best Buy, and Circuit City as well as Costco. The report also notes that HP also sells the HP-branded version at Radio Shack, Staples, and Wal-Mart.com, a separate divison of Wal-Mart; at least one report confirms that some Circuit City locations received a few iPod shuffles over the past weekend as well.

MCE debuts Lucid M8X portable FireWire DL-SuperDrive

01/31, 5:00pm

Portable FW DL-SuperDrive

MCE Technologies today announced the Lucid M8X portable FireWire DVD+/-RW Double-Layer Drive. The compact, slot-loading FireWire drive is bus-powered and capable of writing to seven different types of recordable media, including DVD+R Double Layer (DL) media for up to 8.5GB of data on a single side, standard 4.7GB DVD-/+R (8x speed), to 4.7GB DVD-/+RW (8x speed) and Double-Layer DVD+R DL media (2.4x speed). In addition, it writes to CD-R media at up to 24x speed, writes to standard CD-RW media at up to 24x speed, reads DVD-ROM discs at up to 8x speed, and reads standard CD-ROM discs at up to 24x speed. The drive, which weighs less than a pound, is $280 and is expected to be available this week.

Small Tree offers Ultimate Mac Package Systems

01/31, 4:55pm

Ultimate Mac Packages

Small Tree Communications recently introduced its built-to-order Ultimate Mac Package Systems to help meet the demands of many power users. An Apple Value Added Reseller, Small Tree has taken high performance components and integrated them into enhanced Macs, to provide customers with a high performance Mac solution, without the concerns of having to assemble it on their own. One example of Small Tree's built-to-order package systems is the "1 TB Server System," which includes: a dual 2GHz Power Mac G5; 2GB RAM; 1 TB internal disk, dual port gigabit Ethernet NIC, and the 802.3ad Link Aggregation software for high speed networking.

Apps: CopyPaste, Tofu, Syncmp3, iMagine Photo...

01/31, 3:20pm

CopyPaste, Tofu...

    CopyPaste ($30) is a multiple clipboard utility that holds up to 100 items at once and features yType for spell checking, logging, and more. The new version allows auto-corrections to be easily toggled, adds a new icon button in the floating toolbar, and implements new hotkeys. [Download - 5.6MB]
    Tofu 1.3 (free) is an on-screen text reader that reflows text into columns. Version 1.3 adds smooth scrolling, line rewrapping and other small improvements. It also adds Italian and Traditional Chinese localizations. [Download - 694KB]
    Syncmp3 1.0 ($12) is an application for synchronizing the contents of iTunes with memory-based MP3 players. It selectively synchronizes the contents of iTunes using criteria such as artist and album. [Download - 100KB]
    iMagine Photo 2.1 (free) is an AppleScript image and video processing tool for Mac OS X that enables users to automate their image processing and movie creation workflow. Version 2.1 adds several new features, including the ability to remove hot pixels in digital photograph using a pixel map. [Download - 1.0MB]
    StickyBrain 3.2 ($40) is a free update to the note manager application for Mac OS X. Version 3.2 lets users backup and access their notes via .Mac. [Download - 19MB]
    iSnip 1.1 (free) allows users to manage and edit a collection of text clippings that can be easily accessed from a system wide menu. The update adds features such as text clipping drag and drop support, the ability to create a snippet from the selected text, and various other bug fixes and minor additions. [Download - 187KB]

Casio\'s 5MP Exilim Pro EX-P505 takes stills, video

01/31, 2:40pm

Casio Exilim Pro EX-P505

Casio today launched its newest model in its EXILIM digital camera series. The new EXILIM PRO EX-P505 is a stylish digital camera equipped with a 5.0 megapixel imaging element and a 5X optical zoom as well as can shoot extended video scenes with high-image quality. The camera features Casio's "EXILIM engine" and a large 2-inch TFT color rotating screen along with the same manual operation made as its EX-P600 and high-quality MPEG-4 video at up to 30 fps at VGA resolution (640 x 480). The camera is more compact than other cameras in the line as well as offers USB 2.0 connectivity, video out for display on external sources, and a multilingual menu system. The EXILIM PRO EX-P505 will be available at retail the end of February for $500.

FileMaker Pro 7 wins over 25 awards in 2004

01/31, 2:20pm

FM7 wins 25 awards in \'04

FileMaker today announced that its FileMaker Pro 7 software, launched in March 2004, was the most acclaimed database for individuals and workgroup database in 2004, garnering more than 25 awards and top-rated reviews. The number of awards won by FileMaker Pro 7 in 2004 was more than the combined total of 2004 awards won by seven other workgroup databases, according to the company. The company cited awards and reviews from US (PC Magazine, PC World, eWEEK, The New York Times, CNET Reviews), UK (PC Pro, Digit, Macworld UK), Germany (Macwelt), InfoWeek), Japan (Nikkie Personal Computing, Mac Fan), Australia (APC, Desktop) and more.

Briefly: Pepsi-iTunes site, Mac mini in cars, ...

01/31, 1:25pm

Pepsi-iTunes site

In Brief: Apple has officially launched its Pepsi-iTunes promo Web site, offering the ability for users to redeem song codes found under officially marked Pespi products and enter the Pespi iPod mini sweepstakes.... Blackmagic Design today announced that its Decklink HD Pro and HDLink were used in the creation of "The Aviator" feature film.... In a review of the Mac mini, Rob Pegoraro of The Washington Post writes: " The Mac Mini is Apple's first desktop computer to sell for under $500. It's also the first desktop from Apple -- or any other source -- that comfortably fits in my car's glove compartment.".... Melvin Benzaquen of Classic Restorations is convinced the new Mac Mini could be one of the hottest innovations the car enthusiast market has seen in years.... Apple is offering two new .Mac exclusives, including a Freefall screen saver (winner of the 2004 Apple Design Award for Most Innovative Apple Technology) and a 30 percent off XtremeMac's $30 Freefall Satellite Simulator & Screen Saver package.

The Plasticsmith unveils several Mac mini add-ons

01/31, 12:30pm

Mac mini add-ons

The Plasticsmith has announced a line of products designed to enhance Apple's new Mac mini. The mini Grandstand ($35) gives the mini a protective covering while supporting an LCD or CRT monitor (available in clear acrylic or steel finished to complement the mini.). The mini Tower ($40) is a custom made flame-polished acrylic enclosure that turns the mini on its side for a more dramatic presentation. The mini Skirt ($20) is a 3/4" thick flame-polished acrylic pedestal the size of the mini that gives it an even classier look.

Doctor Mac Direct offers phone, internet-based help

01/31, 11:35am

Doctor Mac Direct launches

Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus today announced the grand opening of Doctor Mac Direct, a new service for troubleshooting, technical support and training on virtually any Macintosh software issue. Users can receive help from a Macintosh expert via phone support (1-877-DrMac4U) or via the Internet. Doctor Mac Direct also offers online interactive training, assistance with system migration, pre-purchase buying advice, and more. The pay-for-support service ($30 per 15 minutes) offers a combination of telephone, email and a web-enabled control software (requires a broadband connection and automatic installation of a Safari plug-in) for remote troubleshooting/problem resolution. Doctor Mac Direct guarantees resolution in the time estimated or will continue working toward resolution at no additional cost.

Mac mini trickle down effect: good for corporate IT

01/31, 11:25am

Mac mini good for IT

Apple's Mac mini will probably not be used by corporate IT, but it will have a positive impact on the industry that will be fed by the trickle down effect and may even provide another option for corporate IT according to a ComputerWorld editorial: "But notice: Even at just 3%, there are still only seven companies in the world that sell more computers than Apple does. And most of those seven companies are sweating, because there's not much they can do to innovate or differentiate in the lock-step, beige-box game.....PCs don't change because corporate IT won't let them. We don't buy Macs, so that's where the interesting things happen -- things that sometimes trickle down to us. This time, the interesting things will probably be price and form factor."

Web Crossing offers Podcasting support

01/31, 11:15am

Podcasting support

Web Crossing today announced new standards-based support for Podcasting, allowing users to publish podcasts for distribution from a Weblog or over a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed. Podcasting is a new audio file distribution technique for recording select audio broadcasts for later playback and using XML to publish descriptive data and metadata associated with the audio file. The XML files used in podcasting from Web Crossing sites are compatible with RSS 2.0 and can include dates, titles, descriptions and links to the audio files themselves.

Apps: Pyramid, shadowClipboard, KaraTunes, ...

01/31, 11:00am

Pyramid, shadowClipboard

    Pyramid 1.4 ($50) updates the visual outlining and brainstorming tool with a significantly improved topic and connector layout mechanisms, global search/replace, snap-to alignment guides, and better web proxy compatibility. Designed to help understand ideas and their relationships, Pyramid allows text and images to be placed and organized on multiple worksheets that can grow dynamically in any direction. [479KB]
    shadowClipboard 2 ($8) is a free update the shareware multi clipboard manager; it adds a redesigned interface with both Simple/Advanced modes, full keyboard navigation, fully customizable hotkeys, plain text paste, drag & drop storing, one-click clipboard name editing, and clipboard sharing between Macs on a local network using ZeroConf (and even between logged in users of the same machine). [1.1MB]
    KaraTunes 2.3 ($11) is an add-on for iTunes that puts all your lyrics data in one single database, letting you save, modify, and search lyrics with a single interface. It also lets users search the Lyrictracker database and upload lyrics to iPod. Version 2.3 can import the whole iTunes library as well as a single playlist, automatically check for updates, and can display album artwork in the "Now Playing" window. [2.5MB]
    McFilters 1.0 (56) is a set of nine Photoshop compatible plug-in filters, including McBackLightGlow, McBlur, McCells, McGel, McLens, McMotionBlur, McScatter, McSharpen, and McTwirl. "What this package differs from others, is that it intensively uses information from the selection mask in a cool and unique ways to modulate filter parameters. Using the selection mask for adjusting filter parameters opens infinite possibilities." [2.4MB]
    Cyberduck 2.4b (beta) is a new version of the open-source FTP and SFTP Browser; it features minor enhancements and bug fixes the synchronization of files, a full AppleScript dictionary and Growl notifications. It features a transfer log, supports resume for uploads/downlaods, file sync, Keychain, Rendezvous and AppleScript, and integration with external editors such as SubEthaEdit, BBEdit, TextMate and others. [3.6MB]

Alias Maya 6.5 improves performance, adds features

01/31, 10:05am

Alias ships Maya 6.5

Alias today announced the latest version of its Maya software package: Maya 6.5 is a performance-driven release optimized to meet the needs of games, film, broadcast and digital publishing professionals seeking performance enhancements while working with massive datasets. Other new features include new Scene segmentation tools, direct import from most major CAD packages, and a new form of network rendering that allows use of additional CPUs in a mental ray for Maya render. Alias says that customers on the Maya Platinum Membership Program can download the software today, while the full version of Maya 6.5 will begin shipping worldwide in February 2005. Maya Complete is $2000 and Maya Unlimited is $7000, while upgrades start at $900.

Apple debuts faster PowerBooks with new technologies

01/31, 8:35am

New G4 PowerBooks

Apple today introduced faster G4 PowerBooks with processors running up to 1.67GHz, faster 5,400 rpm hard drives, faster Bluetooth 2.0 networking, AirPort Extreme (802.11g) in all models, more standard memory (512MB) and a faster 8X SuperDrive as well as two new Apple patent-pending technologies, the scrolling TrackPad for quickly scrolling through web pages and the Sudden Motion Sensor to help protect a spinning hard drive. They are expected to be available at the Apple Store later this week starting at $1,500 (12-inch), $2000 (15-inch), and $2,700 (17-inch).

ThemePAK, ButtonPAK collections updated for iDVD 5.0

01/31, 7:05am

ThemePAK, ButtonPAK update

DVDthemePAK.com today released updated versions of its ThemePAK and ButtonPAK collections for Apple's iDVD 5.0 software (part of iLife '05). Designed also to maintain compatibility with iDVD 4.0, the new ThemePAKs include collections such as Holidays, Weddings and Photography. Each theme, compatible with both NTSC and PAL, includes completely custom button designs and animated or composite graphic backgrounds. Free updaters are available for current customers to bring iDVD 5.0 compatibility. The company is also offering six free downloadable themes, which include custom buttons, layouts and completely unique graphic backgrounds. iDVD ThemePAK (1 thru 8) are priced at $30, while ThemePAK 5 ($50) and ThemePAK 9 ($40) are priced differently.

Apple capitalizing on fashion, value-style evolution

01/31, 6:55am

Capitalizing on fashion

Apple is capitalizing on the evolution of the PC market past commoditization to value style and special features, despite the recent verbal attack by Dell's CEO against the iPod and Mac mini. BusinessWeek says that "Rollins' comments are more than uncharacteristic. They're troubling -- and not just for their snippiness. They raise real questions about how well Dell understands the home market.... Popular consumer products [...] tend to evolve through three phases. They start out as luxury goods, expensive to produce and pitched to a small, elite market. Then, as maturing technologies and economies of scale drive down manufacturing costs, they become mass-market commodities. Finally, once they're established as affordable necessities, consumers start looking beyond the price tag for distinctive designs and features. Form begins to trump function."

Beyond iPod , Apple grows healthy software business

01/31, 3:05am

Apple software biz growing

Apple's software business has been growing steadily, but while it may help sell Macs, the expanding number of Apple-branded software applications is affecting some third-party developers, according to The San Francisco Chronicle: "Last fiscal year, the Cupertino firm's software sales came in at $503 million, a 39 percent improvement from the previous year. Beyond Apple's hugely successful iPod and online music store, software -- which includes its iLife set of multimedia programs, tools for professional musicians and filmmakers and the Mac operating system -- has become the fastest-growing part of its business....But as Apple continues to improve and expand its own software offerings, it faces the challenge of not discouraging those third-party developers, who may be selling or working on similar programs."

iBook program helps students, wins supporters

01/31, 3:00am

Kudos for iBook program

A Minnesota community is find that an iBook student laptop intiative has helped student achievement and won over many more supporters, after the initial rollout was met with a lot of resistance. Pioneer Press reports that the iBooks are well integrated into the curricula, student engagement has improved, behavioral issues have decreased, and students' attitude toward school has generally improved. "One year after Oak-Land administrators handed out about 1,200 laptops, students and teachers are still giddy about having a computer they can use in class and at home. Many residents were angry when the Stillwater school district entered into a five-year, $1.75 million deal with Apple in September 2003, saying they felt the plan was poorly communicated and pushed through too quickly.

Matrox debuts 256MB dual-link PCI card for large LCDs

01/31, 2:45am

Matrox Parhelia DL256 PCI

Matrox has announced the Parhelia DL256 PCI, a PCI graphics card with 256MB of RAM that's designed to be used with high-resolution LCD displays that use dual links, such as Apple's 30-inch Cinema HD Display. The Parhelia DL256 PCI is a 64-bit, 66MHz card that supports any 32/64-bit PCI or PCI-X slot. It features dual 400MHz RAMDACs and supports dual DVI resolutions up to 2,560x1,600, as well as VGA displays up to 2,048x1,536. Matrox also says that the card can also run a separate S-video or composite video output for full screen video playback to an NTSC or PAL video monitor. The Parhelia DL256 PCI costs $700.

Apple edges Google for top brand of 2004

01/31, 12:05am

Apple edges Google

Apple has edged Google for the top spot in BrandChannel's annual survey for brand recognition and according to Brandchannel's Editor Apple's iPod helped it displace Google, who took the top spot in booth 2002 and 2003: "Apple, whose iPod has replaced Sony's Walkman as the personal media player to be seen with, topped both the global and North American rankings in the poll, displacing Google despite the splash caused by the search engine's $1.7 billion auction-style initial public offering last year." Online magazine BrandChannel surveyed more than 2,000 ad executives, brand managers and academics, asking respondents to rate the impact of a particular brand on people's lives; howeer, it did not not attempt to quantify its financial value. Google, Ikea, Starbucks and the Arab-focused, 24-hour news source Al Jazeera rounded out the top 5 brands, respectively.

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