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In Brief: The "Cry Baby" and "Piece Of My Heart" tribute to Janis Joplin, performed by Joss Stone and Melissa Etheridge, is now available on iTunes--with the proceeds from the sale benefiting the cancer research organizations.... America Online plans to make three small but significant modifications to the terms of service, for its AIM instant messaging product to head off a firestorm of privacy-related criticisms.... The Wocoa Pow Wow is a WebObjects and Cocoa developer meeting and networking event in Europe scheduled for March 19th, 2005 in Bonn, Germany.... MacSpeech today has released a ScriptPak for MacJournal ($10) from Mariner Software, which includes over 125 commands that allows users to access the features of MacJournal with their voice when using MacSpeech's popular iListen program.
Informatix Software today announced Piranesi 4 for Mac OS X. Version 4 of the "3D painting" software is now shipping, according to the company. With Piranesi, designers can start with simple models and renderings, and quickly fill in details and create hand-drawn effects. Piranesi 4 supports Archvision Rich Photorealistic Content (RPC) on Mac--cutouts that are built as multiple images or 3D models and can be viewed from any angle. Version 4 also includes the ability to use 3D models in 3DS, Sketchup, and DXF formats as well as RPC; and a whole range of user-requested improvements to the painting effects. The company has added over 300 new cutout and texture images to the Piranesi library. A 30-day free trial is available online.
Digigami today announced it is now shipping its "Master your Moving Picture Pro Bundle," a software collection which combines Digigami's three most popular MPEG compression tools for Macintosh. All three professional products are native Mac OS X applications and have been optimized for use with the Velocity Engine (i.e., AltiVec). Digigami MegaPEG.X Pro replaces 30 bottlenecks with routines optimized for Velocity Engine(tm), resulting in unparalleled performance on modern G5 systems. The software product bundle includes full license keys for Digigami MegaPEG.X Pro Batch, MegaPEG.X Pro QuickTime plug-in, and Digigami MPressionist.X Pro--over $800.00 worth of software. It is available for $420 or $200 (upgrade for existing customers).
Propellerhead Software last week released version 3.0 of its music software system: Reason 3.0, announced in January, now incorporates a powerful live instrument as well as a brand new sound bank, the Combinator device, a new sound browser and new Remote technology. Reason is a complete studio package with synths, samplers, drum machines, loop players, a sequencer, mixing, effects and more. The company says that the expanded sound bank in Reason 3.0 is "more than comprehensive, with sounds spanning from the expected to the obscure and abstract, offering enough material for any style of music." It is available now for $500. A demo for Mac OS X is available online.
Apple executives cashed in on nearly $50 million in profit from exercising nearly 6.5 million options in 2004, according to its annual proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Apple said that Jonathan Rubinstein, senior vice president of its iPod division, realized over $26.3 million in profit from exercising 3 million stock options. Rubinstein also received $485,000 in salary and nearly $6.4 million as a stock grant. Timothy D. Cook, executive vice president of worldwide sales, made just over $14.7 million from exercising 2.7 million stock options in addition to receiving nearly $7.7 million in stock grants and a salary of $602,000; slightly lower than his $618,000 salary in 2003.
Other World Computing today announced that its line of Apple-compatible internal and external SuperDrive solutions now allow users to read and write CDs up to 40X and DVDs up to 16X. OWC offers an internal 'SuperDrive' DVD and CD burner for the PowerMac G3/G4/G5, eMac G4, iMac G4/G5, Mac mini, G4 Cube and PowerBook G4. The improved "SuperDrive" feature up to 16X DVD (4.7 GB) burn speeds, up to 6X DVD Dual Layer burn speeds, and up to 40X CD burn speeds. Both its drive-only (for internal installation) and complete external solutions feature software and media. OWC says the drives are compatible with both Apple-branded and third-party software. Internal solutions start at $75, while external solutions with FireWire and/or USB 2.0 ports start at $130.
A small British business involved in a legal battle with Apple is considering taking its case to the High Court after being ordered to give up the internet address itunes.co.uk, according to The Times Online: "Benjamin Cohen, the chief executive of CyberBritain Holdings, denies he is a 'cyber squatter' and claims he properly registered the domain name a month before Apple's application for a British trademark for iTunes was made public. However, Nominet, the UK internet registry, today found that Mr Cohen had made an 'abusive registration' and ruled that the domain name should be transferred to Apple."
Tangelo 1.1 ($40) adds podcasting support to the weblog creation application that can be installed as a standalone application. Version 1.1 also features a number of performance improvements and full Unicode support. It now supports RSS enclosure tags with file uploading, making it compatible with podcasting audio files and other enclosure types. [7.1MB] photoprinto 1.1 ($30) updates SmileOnMyMac's software to create and print designer photo albums and scrapbooks. It brings dramatically improved import performance, PDF export, more mask shapes, enhanced ease of use, and more. It is available as a 30-day demo and requires Mac OS X 10.2.5 or later. [6.2MB] AB Transfer 1.2 (10€) reads, converts and imports contact data from files into the Mac OS X address book. It offers a preview window, automatically trims entries, and supports a number of fields. Release 1.2 adds support for DBF files created by 'Act!' (99€). [1.4MB] 2ndSite 2.7 updates the Web-based billing service with new features for recurring billing. It is free for businesses with less than 10 clients--with additional fees for a larger client base. 2ndSite offers a range of customization features (corporate colors, logos, URLs, etc.) as well as delivers a listing of past invoices and detailed payment history. NI Komplete Sound ($340) is an affordable collection of outstanding ensembles, sounds and samples for NI's range of software instruments, combining all eight products from the NI SoundLine into a single package. It expands the sonic arsenal of Reaktor, Kontakt, Battery, FM7, Absynth and B4. Owners of NI Komplete Care 2005 can purchase it for $230. multiple movies 2.0 ($4) is an iMovie plug-in that lets you place as many pictures, animations, or movies into your clip, and then animates their position and size dynamically. Users can define a transparency, frame color, frame thickness, lead-in time, exit time, and pre-view the result in realtime. The plugin will also automatically adjust the imported movie's play-back speed. [1.5MB]
Aspyr Media today announced True Crime: Streets of L.A. has begun shipping and is expected to be available on retail shelves by March 19. "You are Nick Kang, an ex-cop with a brutal reputation and lethal skills. Rejected by the police force and feared by criminals, you have been given a nearly impossible task – head an undercover task force to stop the Chinese and Russian gangs from turning the city of Los Angeles into hell on earth. Drive, fight and shoot your way through a massive array of unpredictable missions." Streets of L.A. has a branching storyline that allows users to determine your next move while maneuvering through 240 square miles of L.A. Players can also go into "Dogg Patrol" mode and unlock Snoop Dogg to fight against crime. It is available for $50 and requires a 1GHz G4/G5 processor and Mac OS X 10.2.8.
Freeverse today announced its new Kill Monty game title. "In the tradition of such extinction-level events as Asteroid Impacts, Super-Novas, and Ashlee Simpson Christmas Albums.... With multiple levels of non-stop shooting and bucket after bucket of red food-coloring, (we have our family-friendly image to maintain after all), Kill Monty is the perfect quick gaming fix." The $13 title features a simple story line "exactly two words, so it won't over-tax your higher brain function, or be an impediment to our literacy-challenged customers. After you've tried the demo and purchase the game, you'll get access to the Flamethrower which throws flames and the Railgun which guns rails... or something."
AudioOutfitters has announced its ezGear ezArmor Protective Case for the iPod, which is made of 100% anodized aircraft grade aluminum. The case is designed to perfectly fit the profile of the iPod and features a clear protective screen and clickwheel cutout, offering full access to the digital music player while it is in the case. The interior is lined with neoprene to cushion the iPod from impact shocks and scratches. The form-fitting metal case weighs a mere 1.76 ounces and includes a removable sturdy belt clip and post. The ezArmor comes in two sizes--for the 4th Generation iPods, iPod Photos, and HP iPods (fits 20GB, 30GB, 40GB, and 60GB iPods) and for the iPod Mini. The cases are now shipping for $35.
Credit Suisse First Boston raised estimates on Apple, noting that Apple's March quarter Mac shipment growth could outpace the industry by more than three times, but maintained a 'neutral' rating on the stock. After a trip to Taiwan and after completing checks with key component suppliers, Credit Suisse said that "both iPod and Mac demand are tracking above normal seasonal calendar first-quarter patterns." Forbes reports that CSFB's checks showed sales of the iPod shuffle device are "trending above its initial expectation of 500,000 units, and CSFB now expect shipments of 1.5 million units in the quarter. CSFB also expects Apple to ship 4.2 million hard-disk-drive-based iPods 'as the company has secured capacity to meet growing international demand.'"
Apple UK has launched a major advertising push for the iPod shuffle in London's subway system. MediaWeek reports that the launch of the new iPod shuffle has been backed by a major branding "takeover" of a Central London tube station: "The campaign to support the launch of the latest piece of hardware in the iPod range will run throughout the capital's Leicester Square station on poster sites, ticket gateways and station arches, creating what Apple has touted as an 'exclusive iPod zone.'" The report says the launch will also be supported by a television campaign, targetted at the Shuffle's "key, younger target audience on shows such as T4 and Hollyoaks." The "iPod zone" campaign is the first time a company has carried out a "blanket campaign at the station since Capital Radio seven years ago," according to the report.
QuickerTek today announced the third product in a series of super-high output transceivers for AirPort wireless networking users. The company has released a new G4/G5 desktop 27dBm Transceiver, which is designed to plug into a G4- or G5-based Power Mac. it is designed to maximize the wireless power by adding 500Mw of power to the desktops. The transceiver supports both 802.11g and 802.11b wireless networks. The $160 Transceiver for the Power Mac G4/G5 does not require any installation software. A version is also available for all AirPort Base Stations (requires disassembly), including Graphite, Snow, and Extreme models. A "plug n' play" model ($180) is available for the Airport Base Station Extreme with the antenna port as well.
Sonnet has announced Tempo-X eSATA 8 ($300), the first Serial ATA (SATA) host controller with eight external ports for Power Mac computers. This high-performance adapter utilizes the PCI-X interface to take advantage of the enhanced performance offered by Power Mac G5 computers while retaining compatibility in standard PCI slots. Each port is independently capable of data transfer rates of up to 150MB/s. While attached drives can be formatted for individual use, "the benefit of using Mac OS X Disk Utility to group them in RAID 0 (Stripe) arrays is clear" -- 8-drive arrays can sustain read/write speeds in excess of 545MB/s, useful for capturing and processing uncompressed 10-bit High Definition video without dropping frames. This card’s eight external ports make it easier than ever for users to add storage capacity simply by plugging in cables between their computer and SATA drive enclosures.
The Missing Sync 4.0.4 for Palm OS is the latest version of the Palm synchronization software. This release boosts synchronization speed, improves iPhoto integration with better photo scaling capability and image quality on the handheld, introduces the Mark/Space Conduit for AvantGo, and more. [Download - 11.2MB] fScanX 1.0.5 ($150) adds support for the Fuji fi-4120C2 scanner, which uses USB 2 for higher throughput of duplex, grayscale, and color scanning. fScanX provides Mac OS X native support for this sheet-fed document scanner, with throughput of up to 25 ppm (200dpi monochrome) and resolutions up to 600dpi RGB. [Download - buy] Cocktail 3.5 Jaguar Edition ($15) offers a graphical interface to numerous maintenance tools and interface tweaks. Version 3.5 includes a built-in uninstaller, support for localizations, support for special characters, a new icon, and the ability to save the information from the Specifications window. [Download - 1.2MB] PangeaVR is a Web browser plug-in that brings OpenGL acceleration to Quicktime VR movies (see our report from Friday). The full Xcode source code project has now been posted to the Pangea Software website. [Download - 386KB] Booxter 1.6.4 ($15) for Mac OS X is an easy to use application that helps manage a book collection. It gathers book information from various sources on the internet to allow you to view, edit, sort, categorize, export and print books in your collection. Version 1.6.4 adds the ability to export to XML and BibTeX formats, and also allows exporting of cover art. [Download - 1.1MB]
Now AAPL Stock: 94.12 ( + 0.42 )
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k
Google prevails in UK street mapping case
Possibly setting the stage for other court battles in the UK, a High Court fight between Google and StreetMap.EU has concluded in Google's favor. StreetMap.EU claimed that Google's dominance in the field destroyed the 20-year-old firm's business, when Google started promoting its own service in search results over the older company's -- the judge disagreed. Commercial director Kate Sutton said after the judgment that "StreetMap has been frozen in time; because of what Google did, StreetMap has not been able to properly invest in the website since 2007." An appeal is planned. http://bloom.bg/1KKhECt
TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS