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Seiko Instruments USA has released Software Development Kit (SDK) for Mac developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) who want to create applications for the company's line of Smart Label Printers. Seiko Instruments' new SDK, now availalbe in beta form, is the first designed for Mac label printing applications; it simplifies the development process to just a few lines of code, according to the company: "We've realized there is a huge untapped market of Mac users who could use a handy small footprint printer on their desktop. Releasing this SDK is the first of many steps we plan to take in the coming months to give both consumer and office users a tool to make single label printing easy and efficient."
With the update to iTunes 4.7.1, Apple has quietly introduced a limit to the number of users who can access your iTunes shared music per day, according to several posts on websites and Apple's own support area. The limit applies to the number of unique machines that can access the iTunes library via the built-in sharing feature and is separate from its iTunes music license agreement, which allows playback of purchased songs on five different computers. The sharing limitation prevents more than five different machines from accessing a users' shared playlist, regardless of whether the song is purchased from iTunes (protected by Apple's FairPlay DRM software) or whether it is a standard (unprotected) MP3 file. "This applies merely to the Rendezvous sharing feature of your music library and playlist... even if they are non-protected AAC's or MP3's and/or CD's you've ripped yourself."
In Brief: Disney's new incoming CEO Robert Iger has one top priority his to-do list: to determine if he really wants Steve Jobs to go away, according to a CNN/Money report on the the future of the Disney/Pixar relationship.... Motorola's abrupt pullback on the debut of the iTunes mobile phone last week offers hints at the power struggle between the telcos and mobile phone manufacturers, leaving the future of an iTunes phone on the Rocks.... Apple's MONster utility, included with its CHUD developer kit, contains a direct reference to a "YPPC 970MP" buried within its binary code, hinting that the company may introduce Macs with a dual-core PowerPC chip.... KarmaDownload is a new UK-based Indie music service that offers a pay-per-song model--starting at $0.99 per song and $9.99 per album--on all of its MP3 files, which are compatible with playback on a variety of devices, including the iPod.
Analyst Keith Bachman of Banc of America Securities today reiterated his "buy" rating on Apple stock with a new target of $48. NewRatings.com reports that "in a research note published this morning, the analyst [said] that Apple's Mac Mini product portfolio is likely to significantly strengthen the company's market share and distribution channels in the long term. Apple would witness substantial opportunities for market share gains in the forthcoming quarters through third-party channels, without employing much capital."
Napster CEO Chris Gorog, touting the "Windows Media Audio world", says that Steve Jobs must "pretty frightened of the Napster To Go technology," following Jobs' "petty" email to top record industry executives, alerting them of a security gap in Napster’s service: "Frankly, that’s what I think the impetus was for him to fire that off. It was really pretty silly. He was claiming we had some sort of security gap, and of course we didn’t. That technology — like recording something off of a radio broadcast — had been out there for 10 years. Certainly his service is susceptible to it as well. We saw it as a sign of weakness, that he’s very concerned about a technology that makes his hardware and his software irrelevant in our view." The interview notes that Napter's Gorog countered with an email defending Napster's security and pointed out "how trivial it was to unlock 'a large collection of iTunes music in seconds.'"
Apple has hired ex-Microsoft XBox Live executive Julia Miller, suggesting that the company may be planning to introduce a subscription-based iTunes music download service, according to an AppleInsider report. Miller, formerly the Director of Marketing at XBox Live, was responsible for worldwide marketing and sales for XBox Live, the world's first broadband-only online gaming service. The online gaming service based on a monthly subscription model. "She brings to Apple more than fifteen years of consumer sales and marketing background, including extensive experience with SegaNet, the first online console gaming service." Phone calls to Apple confirmed her employment, but in a brief phone conversation with MacNN, Miller declined to provide her title or job description at Apple as well as refused to confirm her former employment.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) announced today that it is now offering the TransPod all-in-one car solution for iPod in Black and Silver. The DLO TransPod lets owners transmit, charge and secure their iPod in their cars using one compact device. The DLO TransPod works on any frequency and is "consistently rated one of the best sounding transmitters available for the iPod." The new Black and Silver TransPods now match most car interiors and work equally well with the 20G iPod, U2 iPod, iPod photo as well as the new iPod minis. The DLO TransPod also charges the iPod while cradling it in an adjustable, easy to position dock that attaches to any standard 12V cigarette lighter. Both colors are available immediately for $100.
Feral recently released the Commandos Battle Pack demo. The demo is taken from Commandos 3 and includes a tutorial and one full mission. Feral says the action takes place in wartime Central Europe, "somewhere on the Franco-German border." Players must "stop a Berlin-bound train full of stolen art treasures. For this mission there are just three Commandos available, the Green Beret, the Thief and the Spy. Use them well to prise the Nazis from their plunder. Good Luck and don't hesitate to kill."
Media 100 has announced the release of Media 100 HD 10.1. Version 10.1 now includes a new Media 100 software codec and other key enhancements that make the 10-bit-uncompressed Macintosh-based system "even more powerful and unique" for projects that use HD, SD, or require real-time mixing of different codecs in the same timeline. Key New Features of version 10.1 include a new Media 100 software codec, QuickTime V out support, and real-time HD playback for flip, flop and color effects using a draft mode. Media 100 HD is available now, with the Version 10.1 software expected to be available this week. Pricing for complete Media 100 HD system configurations is available from Media 100's resellers and depends upon SD and HD editing requirements and the amount of high-speed media storage required.
Microsoft’s Mac BU today announced that its .PST Import Tool for Entourage 2004 is now available. "Microsoft Entourage 2004 users who want to import PST files from Microsoft Outlook 2001 for Mac can use the instructions in this document to install the PST Import Tool." Announced earlier this year at Macworld, the .PST Import Tool helps customers more easily migrate data from Outlook 2001 for Mac to Entourage 2004. Microsoft began a public beta program immediately after the announcement to solicit customer feedback that would further shape and perfect the tool before its release.
In brief: Apple's .Mac service is offering $50 off Intuit's QuickBooks 2005, its financial software that integrates with .Mac for instant backups to a user's iDisk.... Big Nerd Ranch has announced its latest Core Bootcamp for Mac OS X for June 13-17 that offers "richer and more intensive study of Unix programming by examining the underpinnings of the OS X operating system".... The iPod may now have some "tougher competition" from $250 Sony's PlayStation Portable, The Motley Fool says.... America Online has quietly updated the terms of service for its AIM instant messaging application, making several changes that concern Internet privacy advocates.
id Software’s DOOM 3 ($50) for Macintosh began shipping today and will be on retail shelves everywhere by March 19, publisher Aspyr said. DOOM 3 is the much-anticipated 3D action game that utilizes id's revolutionary new 3D graphics engine to create "disturbingly realistic graphics," with "never before seen detail and real-time lighting." The Associated Press has called DOOM 3, “one of the scariest games ever made,” and TIME magazine says DOOM 3 is “too lifelike for comfort.” The game quickly became the fastest selling action shooter in the U.S. when it was released for the PC. Players can "fight the forces of evil" as a lone marine or battle other marines in team or deathmatch-based multiplayer modes.
Absynth 3 ($340) is now avialable as a demo. Native Instrument's application is a capable synthesizer and sampling application that now sports full surround functions, multi-channel support, new oscillator functions and additional integrated effects, and a live input function for realtime sound management. [Download - 37MB] 24U FM Template 2.1 is a template for building FileMaker 7 native plug-ins. It adds new support for CodeWarrior 9.4, Xcode 1.5/1.1, MS Visual Studio .NET 2003, and more. It is a template project for developing FileMaker Pro external function plug-ins using popular development environments. [Download - 123KB] PlayPod 1.0 beta 4 ($17) is the latest version of the podcast (audio broacast) client and RSS news viewer. Beta 4 adds the last major feature for the 1.0 release: the ability to convert downloaded files to a bookmark-able AAC format. [Download - 1.0MB] J2SEditor 2.0 is an IPTC editor with file management capabilities designed for professional photographers and photo agencies. Version 2.0 adds the ability to export IPTC captions to xml files, improves processing speed, folder generation, and more. [Download - form] TextSoap 4.1 ($25) is the latest version of the text processing utility. Version 4.1 is a maintenance release that includes better Eudora integration with contextual menus, a custom cleaner editor with simpler find and replace action, new documentation and several new cleaners. [Download - 3.4MB] Creative Manager Pro 7.6 ($175 per month) is the latest version of the full-featured system that helps with project and ad agency management. Version 7.6 adds enhanced security, improvements to core features, and tighter integration with Mac OS X 10.3.8. [Download - form]
Chronos today released SOHO Art Pack, a commercial-grade collection of 40,000+ photos, photo objects, and vector clip art images. The SOHO Art Pack is a collection of searchable clip art that works with the Chronos clip art browser. Each graphic in the collection is assigned a name, a category, and a list of keywords. The collection includes 40,000+ commercial-grade photos (300 dpi), 10,000 photo objects (300 dpi), and 25,000 vector clip art graphics in EPS format. The collection is designed specifically for the Chronos SOHO Series of products as well as StickyBrain 3.4 or higher. SOHO Art Pack will ship on a single DVD starting March 25, 2005. It is available now for $30.
J.P. Morgan raised its March quarter and fiscal year estimates for Apple, saying concerns over increasingly aggressive moves by competitives in the portable music player and digital music store markets are overdone. Its checks show Apple's March quarter momentum is exceeding typical consumer seasonality; the broker now sees a March quarter EPS of 24 cents on revenue of $3.23 billion, compared to its earlier view of 23 cents on revenue of $3.17 billion.
MacPractice this morning announced the April release of three Software Development Kits (SDK) for its Cocoa practice management software, MacPractice MD SDK, MacPractice DDS SDK, and MacPractice DC SDK. Each SDK will cost $1000 and requires an annual support contract. Pre-release orders are being accepted for $750. MacPractice MD for physicians, MacPractice DDS for dentists, and MacPractice DC for chiropractors have been in beta testing since December and will debut this March, on schedule. The March release has integrated accounting, patient and insurance billing, and management and database report “Abilities.” Scheduling and EClaims are being developed for release in May or June.
Several Power Book G4 owners on Apple's online support forum discuss an issue where whites lines appear on the display after extensive and prolonged use. The issue seems to affect a wide range of Power Book G4 (Titanium generation) models. However, a large number of users with the 667Mhz model report the issue. Most users are running Mac OS X 10.3.8, and the issue does not appear to be software related, as it occurs on system versions, and does not appear on a screen capture. Apple has yet to respond to the issue publicly.
IOGEAR today launched its hi-speed, bi-directional Pocket Card Reader. The Plug-n-Play device features MultiMedia Card (MMC) and Secure Digital Card (SD) readers as well as USB 2.0 connectivity. The PC- and Mac-compatible drive is specifically designed for digital cameras, but is also ideal for using with Palmtop PCs, Handheld PCs, PDAs and Voice Recorders. The Pocket Card Reader is priced at $15 and is available immediately from all major catalog resellers, online resellers and selected retail outlets. It ships with IOGEAR's 3-year warranty and is backwards compatible with USB 1.1.
Burton has introduced a new Bluetooth-enabled snowboard jacket designed for both iPod and cell phone users. The snowboard jacket, developed in conjunction with Motorola, offers a control panel at the wrist, caller ID and headphones in the hood. Boarders can carry their iPod in the wired top pocket as well as a cell phone in the Bluetooth pocket for complete control of both through the jacket controls. Burton, however, doesn't recommend snowboarding with music, saying that "Kids are doing it with or without us, so we've made it easier. But we don't recommend that people ride with music on the slopes." The jacket is due in November 2005 for $500.
Apple has released a free 30-day trial of Logic Express 7, its virtual studio application that integrates both music and audio production. According to one reader the trial version appears to be a full version without any software instruments or loops. Logic Express 7, released last September, features multi-channel recording, support for Apple Loops, GarageBand/iTunes integration, Apple Loops, automation functions, a comprehensive notation editor, track mixer, MIDI editing, high-quality effect plug-ins, more than a dozen instruments, and more. The full, unrestricted version is available for $300 from the Apple Store.
Chronos has announced StickyBrain 3.4, a free update to its note manager for Mac OS X. Version 3.4 introduces iPhoto and SOHO Series clip art integration. It features a new iPhoto image browser for browsing iPhoto albums. Users can quickly scroll through thousands of photos and drag the photo to any note in StickyBrain. It also offers better integration wtih SOHO Business Cards and SOHO Labels & Envelopes with a new clip art browser that displays images by category and offers a keyword search functionality. StickyBrain is designed to help users organize digital notes, reminders, alarms, pictures, URLs, etc. It is available for Mac OS X 10.3 for $40.
RE:Vision Effects has released a major update to Twixtor, its popular retiming solution for After Effects, Final Cut Pro, combustion and Premiere Pro. Twixtor 4.5 introduces a complete rewrite of its tracking. Twixtor is much more accurate, tracks objects farther, and exhibits fewer artifacts when there are objects crossing in the scene. This means less tearing and stretching of objects as they cross or go out of the frame. Twixtor now includes a smart blending option for pans and zooms to prevent inappropriate streaking or weird artifacts at frame borders. Twixtor also adds an option to automatically enhance dark imagery or imagery with poorly defined edges. "With the new features, many pieces of footage that were previously difficult to track become well behaved." The plug-in is $330 or $66 for the reader only.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN