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Graphic Collective has announced Graphic Cling for the iPod, a personalized protective skin for all sizes of 4th generation iPods (with click wheel). Graphic Cling features printed graphics on quality vinyl that provides a thin, long lasting, removable and re-usable protective skin that resists scuffs and scratches. Unlike paper type "tattoo" products that use adhesive, Graphic Clingu uses "static cling" to grip the iPod (and thus no leaves residue). It wraps around the iPod to protect the front, back and sides- including the screen, but provides dock access and works with most cases and holders. Graphic Cling is sold in packs of two for $10.
In Brief: Leo Bodnar has posted evidence corroborating a report by AppleInsider that Apple may have intended to include a builtin iPod dock in the Mac mini.... Hitachi plans to kick production of its hard drives for consumer electronics into high gear, saying it will double its shipments this year, focusing on MP3 players, digital video recorders and mobile phones.... Creative on Tuesday reduced the prices of its Zen Micro digital-music players--up to $50 less than those the company had announced earlier--following the recent debut of new iPod players.... Digital-Tutors has released "Fundamentals of Maya: UV Layout" ($66) training kit, which includes three hours of training methods amd concentrates on the essential techniques needed to define and apply flawless textures to Polygon and Sub-D models.
FileMaker today opened registration for its upcoming 10th annual FileMaker Developer Conference, which is scheduled to take place August 28 through September 1 in Phoenix, Arizona. The agenda will include a wide range of information management-related issues as well as offer an exclusive opportunity to get the latest information on FileMaker products. It will include technical sessions on building dynamic web sites with PHP and FileMaker, security issues related to FM Pro, integrating FileMaker with Windows Office Applications, database integrity, performance optimization publishing XML-based documents, custom web applications, creating a reusable solution, and more. Early registration (before June 30) will receive a $200 discount.
Macs are still going strong in the graphics and digital media markets, and now the Xserve may help Apple make inroads in the data center as well, according to ComputerWorld: "Yet despite significant efforts by Windows suppliers, Apple still remains a dominant player in vertical market segments such as publishing and digital media. And with the growing popularity of its low-cost Xserve Unix servers, Apple has an opportunity to compete head-to-head with industry leaders like Dell Inc. inside the data center for general-purpose applications such as e-mail and Web serving....Not surprisingly, according to research from New York-based TrendWatch, 83% of graphic designers, 77% of corporate design departments and 65% of advertising agencies rely on Macintosh computers. And publishers also continue to depend on Apple's machines."
Former Apple executive Tim Bucher, who headed Macintosh Hardware Engineering until last fall, is now suing Apple for wrongful termination. CNET.com reports that the lawsuit, filed last month in Santa Clara County, alleges that Apple terminated him without cause and failed to pay all due compensation, including restricted stock grants and a bonus. The report says that Bucher, who was hired in March of 2003 as president of Macintosh system development, was promoted to Vice President of Macintosh Hardware engineering when Jon Rubenstein was appointed the head of the newly created iPod division. Although he was asked to leave in November 2004, he says that he didn't receive a letter of termination from Apple until January 2005.
Fujitsu has begun initial production of a 120GB mobile 2.5-inch hard-disk drive for notebooks, according to PC World: "The new drive offered 20 per cent more storage capacity and several other improvements over Fujitsu's nearest 2.5-inch rival...Samples of the drives were already with notebook vendors for testing and Fujitsu planned to begin shipping commercial versions of the drive during the second quarter." The report says that the increased storage capacity was achieved by packing data more closely together on the disk's surface, resulting in an areal density of 104Gbits per square inch. Other improvements include a doubling of the number of times the drive head can be loaded and unloaded from the disk to 600,000, a cut in power consumption and an increase in the drive's ability to handle mechanical shocks.
Apple has recently added the refurbished Bluetooth-enabled Apple Wireless Keyboard ($50) and Apple Wireless Mouse ($50) to the Special Deals section of the Apple Store. In addition, Apple continues to offer refurbished versions of the 1.8GHz iMac G5 for $1,300 (17-inch with 80GB drive and SuperDrive) and $1,650 (20-inch with 160GB and SuperDrive). Several refurb models of the Power Mac G5 are also available single-processor 1.8GHz ($1,300), dual-processor 1.8GHz ($1,700), dual-2GHz ($2,100), and dual-2.5GHz ($2,600). Apple is also offering refurbished versions of its Apple Cinema Displays. The legacy 23-inch model is $1,400, while the newer aluminum bezel models are $1,500 (23-inch) and $2,600 (30-inch). Apple is also offering refurb 1.2GHz 12-inch iBooks (256MB/30GB/CD) for $800 and new versions of the previous-generation iPod photos for $380 (40GB with Dock/carry case) and $480 (60GB with Dock/carry case). Update: Dell has begun taking orders for a new 24-inch Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW wide-aspect flat-panel LCD monitor with a height adjustable stand for $1080.
Netopia today released Timbuktu Pro 8.0 with significant improvements in security and ease-of-use. The software provides remote control and support over any LAN, WAN, Internet or directdial connection. Version 8 now boosts security by including data stream encryption and compression through a standards-based, integrated Secure Shell (SSH) client in addition to Timbuktu's own proprietary protocols. The Mac version features system authenticated asers, integration with Apple's Rendezvous zero-configuration networking protocol, and a Push Installer to deploy Timbuktu to remote computers. It is $95 or $180 (twin-pack). For customers who purchased one of the previous two full version releases of Timbuktu Pro, Netopia is offering a 50% discount on the new version.
Hamrick Software today released VueScan 8.1.36, an update to its application that enables users to produce better looking digital images from color snapshots, negatives, slides, and documents. VueScan now supports the creation of PDF files, offers improved display responsiveness, and improved scanner calibration for Microtek and UMAX scanners. VuesScan also automatically adjusts images to optimum color balance with its built-in color calibration. It offers options for scanning faded slides and prints; batch scanning; IT8 color calibration; and more. Version 8.1.36 also now offers an enhanced, user-friendly interface with support for raw files for 142 digital cameras, and support for 414 scanners. It is available in Standard ($50) and Professional Editions ($90).
NewTek has announced a limited time "best-ever" competitive upgrade offer for LightWave 3D. Users of select 3D graphics/design applications will be able to purchase a competitive upgrade to LightWave 3D for $500 and current users will also be able to add an additional seat for $500. LightWave 3D includes a wide variety of tools often sold separately, including hard- and soft-body dynamics, Cloth dynamics, particles, hair and fur, and unlimited render nodes. LightWave 3D Electronic Full Competitive Upgrade ($500) is available to registered owners of Maya, Softimage XSI, 3ds max, Electric Image, Strata Studio Pro, Cinema 4D, Truespace, Hash Animation Master, Autocad, Pro/Engineer and SolidWorks. The promo runs through April 30, 2005.
Photoshop World today announced that Deborah Whitman, vice president of product management for Digital Imaging at Adobe, will be the opening keynote speaker. The keynote is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8 at 9:00 a.m. where the Adobe executive will offer attendees a sneak peek at some of the company's new and emerging technologies. “Photoshop World, Vegas is breaking records left and right,” said Scott Kelby, president of NAPP, technical chair of Photoshop World, and the world’s top-selling computer book author. “This year’s conference has broken all pre-registration records, we’ve expanded classes to 65, added 8 bonus classes in the Tech Expo, now have 30 world-class instructors, and a sold out Tech Expo."
The PandaWare Company has released a major upgrade to TimeCache 6.0, its flagship product for time and expense tracking application. Version 6.0 integrates with Mac OS X's iCal and Address Book application; offers an easier, more direct interface for data entry; has a powerful new invoice feature for creating and managing invoices; offers much improved (customizable) reports, and has more options for tracking/displaying data. A trial version is available for download. New licenses are $50, while upgrades are $25 through the end of March (and free to purchases after December 1, 2004). TimeCache Data Merger works with TimeCache 6.0, allowing users to consolidate project billing data exported from any number of TimeCache users.
IOGEAR today launched its USB 2.0 Hub and Card Reader device for simple and convenient computer connections to external USB devices as well as reading various types of flash memory media. It features six USB 2.0 ports and a 12-in-4 card reader for fast connectivity and file transfer capabilities. "By simply inserting a memory card into the card reader, digital images and data can be transferred at high rates of up to 480Mbps." It supports CF I/II/USB/Ultra, Micro Drives, Memory Stick (Switch/Pro/Magic Gate/Duo), SD/MMC, and Smart Media memory cards. It is available immediately for $60 (with a one-year warranty).
Mimer Information Technology today released Mimer SQL for Mac OS X. The high performance database has a "long and successful track record both in large mission critical systems and as an embedded black box DBMS in many software products," according to the developer. Mimer SQL installs in a few minutes and does not require a database administrator. It offers "zero maintenance features", such as non-locking transaction control, automatic database reorganization, automated online backup, self tuning database kernel, tight OS integration, and small footprint. Mimer SQL implements full support for ISO SQL:1999, ODBC, JDBC and Unicode and has built-in multilingual support for more than 150 languages. A beta of Mimer SQL 9.2 Mac OS X is available now.
Aspyr today announced that The Sims 2 for Mac has hit beta status and is expected to ship in June 2005. "In The Sims 2, players for the first time ever control their Sims over an entire lifetime taking them through life's greatest moments. Every choice that is made has a relevant and dramatic effect on the life of a Sim. Players can now fulfill their Sims' life dreams as they take them from the cradle to the grave. More life-like Sims, all-new aspirations gameplay and the ground-breaking addition of genetics, with the DNA of Sims passed down through generations, gives players a more vivid, realistic, and in-depth Sims experience. All of this takes place in a new amazingly realistic 3-D world." Players can choose one of five different aspirations: Popularity, Fortune, Family, Knowledge, and Romance. It is available for pre-order for $50.
Rogue Amoeba Software today released Airfoil 1.0 (originally announced as Slipstream), which it says is "the first and best way" to send audio from any application directly to the AirPort Express. It enables users to send audio from applications like RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, QuickTime, and Safari right to their remote speakers. Airfoil also enables optional local playback of audio being transmitted to the remote speakers. "Due to latency inherent in the AirPort Express this option is off by default, but with a quick Preferences adjustment users can play audio locally as well as remotely." Airfoil can also be used to transmit iTunes audio which has been enhanced by audio plugins such as Octiv's Volume Logic. It is available for $20 ($5 off) during March.
Impression 2.7 ($25) updates the backup application for Mac OS X with a new "Aluminum" interface, the ability to disable file segmentation, auto-burn for unattended backups, and more. The company will increase the price to $50 on April 1st. [897KB] Media Rage 1.8 ($25) is a collection of tools that can edit information stored in several different audio files as well as assist in cataloging, organizing, sorting, and updating audio files. It adds support reading/writing FLAC files with either Vorbis-style metadata or ID3 tags, allows the reordering of items in all file lists, includes an enhanced FreeDB Tagger, and more. [2.4MB] CubeMovie HD 3.0 ($12) is an application that can create a Mac OS X "rolling cube" slideshow. The new release features support for new 16:9 and HD formats (in iMovie 5.0) as well as Keynote export. CubeMovie HD leverages any iPhoto collection to create a custom slideshow and also includes a picture cropping utility and an headline design tool. [781KB] ProjectForum 4.2 ($230) and CourseForum 4.2 ($90) update the web software for collaboration. "Inspired by the new generation of wikis, weblogs, bulletin boards and other grassroots online tools, [they] bring together just the right mix of power, flexibility and ease of use to help busy people work together more effectively." [CF, PF] xTime Project 3.1 ($130) is a professional project management application that can import documents from Microsoft Project. Version 3.1 offers new floating windows, a new calendar design, an improved UI/interface feedback, new localized versions (English, German, French, Spanish), integrated documentation, and support for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. [Panther, Jaguar] PhoneDirector 1.04 ($30) is billed as a complete solution for Nokia 6230 and Nokia 7280 mobile phone that allows to manipulate/backup their Phonebook, SMS, Gallery, Calendar and Wap bookmarks. It supports Bluetooth connectivity, seting phone controls from the computer, more. Version 1.04 adds export/import of calendar events from iCal, vCal file support, and improved drag & drop support. [3.3MB]
Elite Computers & Software filed its third amended complaint against Apple on February 14, 2005. Available for download for download from TellOnApple.org, co-founder Thomas Armes said that Elite has added three new causes of action. "These are very interesting times as we have come from being Apple Specialists to Legal Specialists! I spend a lot of my time working on the case and I look forward to our day in court." The five current and former Apple Dealers in litigation against Apple Computer recently changed legal teams in December, 2004. "I look forward to our day in court with our new legal team", said Armes. "I believe that in the end, the case against Apple will be overwhelming!"
In Brief: Apple is planning a new retail store in Eastview Mall, located in Victor, New York (a suburb of Rochester, New York), as indicated by a job posting for a Mac genius on Monster.com....A full report detailing the Duke iPod project will be available within two weeks, and administrators will decide the future of the project in a few months.... Research firm Gartner says that Apple is not resting on its past success and is defending its market dominance with last week's iPod introductions: "it already owns 65% of the MP3 market and will strengthen this position with a new broad range of price points and portability features."... All buyers of e2Sync PE, the iSync conduit that syncs Entourage with all iSync devices, will receive free updates for life if they purchase by the end of today.
Apple is testing a new live chat support feature. The new service is offered as an alternative method of receiving support within the complimentary 90-day support period or as part of AppleCare protection. The new web chat support service is currently available 24 hours a day/7 days a week to iMac customers: "It's fast, it's easy, it's convenient, and you'll get proactive, comprehensive help from a real live person right here in your browser. If you can't find what you're looking for on Apple' ;s iMac Support pages, give chat support a try. A support agent can even send you helpful web pages while you're chatting." The service requires an iMac serial number to get started. Update One reader says that Apple has been providing a Web Chat service for iMac G5 owners since September 2004, despite a Macworld UK article that touts its debut.
A new accessory is now available for Apple's iPod shuffle. Touted as an alternative to the lanyard included with the flash-based MP3 player, the ShuffleClip is made of PETG polymer: the ShuffleClip "compliments the design of your iPod while keeping it safe and secure. PETG is an extremely strong, yet flexible material that in many ways behaves more like aluminum than plastic. And unlike products made from other materials, the ShuffleClip will never scratch your iPod." It can be attached to a pocket, shirt, or briefcase. The ShuffleClip is available for $15.
Apple today is expected to expand its Grateful Dead offerings, offering several new live performances at the iTunes Music Store. According to a posting on jambands.com, the entire collection available via the Dicks Picks and Vaultseries will be available for sale at iTunes: "The ITunes Music Store will offer these for sale as it currently offers the band's studio releases. Of additional interest to many Dead Heads is the fact that while the release of archival performance CDs will continue, some additional shows will also be made available exclusively via ITunes (with no specifics confirmed as yet)."
Tenon today released updated versions of its Mac OS X mail packages, Post.Office 3.6.3, a mail server and list server for Mac OS X, and WEBmail 6.0.2, EMUmail's web-based mail client & calendar. The company has updated Post.Office's mail filtering plug-ins, including SpamAssassin (a powerful spam detector) and ClamAV (a multi-threaded virus scanner). Both SpamAssassin and ClamAV are delivered in pre-configured clickable installer packages, distributed with Post.Office and configurable via the Post.Office web-based GUI. The ClamAV virus scanning database is automatically updated biweekly. Tenon says i is also making key Post.Office plug-in module sources available, so that in the future customers can update these open-source filtering add-ons on their own.
Norpath today released Norpath Elements Studio 3.0, a new version of its multiplatform authoring software for rapidly creating professional interactive multimedia, learning, and information applications. Version 3.0 adds more than 100 new features and enhancements to quickly create interactive applications without having to write code or learn a scripting language. It also includes a suite of design tools for creating interactive graphics, animation, and multimedia; a set of knowledge elements for creating learning, testing, survey, and other information exchange solutions; and a several pre-built GUI elements to allow non-technical users to incorporate sophisticated features into their application. It is available fro $500 or as a $200 upgrade.
Miglia Technology today announced evolution TV, a fully featured digital video recorder for Mac users. The USB 2.0-enabled device can record TV programs and VHS videos to create digital files in industry standard formats. It offers full support for MPEG-2/4 and DivX encoding, allowing customers to store several full length high quality movies on a single DVD. EvolutionTV ships with a fully featured software application that enables users to watch and record live TV, schedule recordings, access online TV guides and much more. It will ship in mid-March for $280 and requires Mac OS X 10.3 and a 800MHz G4 processor.
Gefen today released its new FireWire Extender 800, a solution that extends computer generated video for remote powered performance. It works through a sender and receiver system that connects the local computer to the remote device with multimode fiber optics cables. The FireWire Extender 800 sends large amounts of data speedily at rates up to 800MB per second, enabling equipment to operate as if connected locally when anywhere within a 300 foot (100 meter) distance from the source. Designed for professional studio application and the prosumer market, Gefen's FireWire Extender 800 is currently available for $800.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ