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Keynote, Pages updates
Apple today released an update to its Keynote presentation software and Pages word processor. According to Apple, Keynote 2.0.1 (21.8MB) addresses "isolated issues that may have affected reliability for some customers." Meanwhile, Pages 1.0.1 (28.3MB) corrects "isolated issues that may have affected reliability for some customers and resolves an issue related to deleting complete pages." Both updates are available through the Mac OS X Software Update.
GM iPod connector
General Motors is offering iPod connectivity with some new vehicles this year, starting with the new Chevrolet HHR. The audio systems include an auxiliary channel and front mounted auxiliary input jack, so that an iPod or other audio source can be easily plugged in and played through the vehicle sound system. "The Chevy HHR will help launch a new family of radios that will bring iPod connectivity to a broad range of GM vehicles," said Paul Nadeau, director, infotainment displays and controls, for GM Engineering. "We think the ability to easily connect an iPod or other audio source directly into the vehicle audio system will be a big hit with customers." The input will be standard equipment on 2006 models of the Chevy HHR, Impala and Monte Carlo; Saturn VUE and ION; Pontiac Solstice; Buick Lucerne; and Cadillac DTS. The radios will be fitted to other new GM models over the next several years as the vehicles are updated.
iPod mini knockoff
A company in China is producing an imitation of Apple's 4GB iPod mini. Unlike the Super shuffle -- a nearly identical copy of the iPod shuffle -- this device does not resemble the authentic product as closely. It does, however, borrow the general appearance of the Mini. While it may not look exactly like Apple's iPod mini, the imitation is marketed using the iPod name in an obvious attempt to confuse consumers. The device lacks the iPod's trademark scroll wheel, but attempts to mimic the scroll wheel's appearance by arranging the navigation buttons in a ring around the center button. The device appears to be available in a two-piece silver enclosure only. It also adds features not found in the iPod mini.
FireWire iPod cables
Griffin today announced that it is shipping the Dock400 and Dock800 cables, for synchronizing and charging an iPod using a PC or Mac's FireWire ports. Apple's newest iPod photo and iPod mini come with only a USB 2.0 cable, "so customers with computers that lack USB 2.0 ports will need a FireWire 400 cable for fast music and file transfers," explains Griffin. Griffin's Dock400 cable is intended for computers equipped with standard FireWire 400 ports. Dock800 is a dock-to-FireWire 800 cable. "Since FireWire 400 ports are at a premium, by using the Dock800 cable, you're making efficient use of your FireWire ports." Both the Dock400 and Dock800 cables are 48" long, use Apple-approved connectors and can be used with Apple's iPod dock, or plugged directly into the iPod. The Dock400 is $15 and the Dock800 is $20.
iTunes prepaid cards
Apple has used Austin's South By Southwest music festival to unveil a new line of the customized iTunes prepaid cards that are sold at retail stores nationwide, reports Playlist. Unlike with Apple's original Prepaid Cards, the new iTunes Custom Cards are linked to specific songs, albums, or playlists. When you redeem the card, the item it's tied to is downloaded to your computer. Over 200 bands appearing at SXSW are distributing their own numbered, limited edition iTunes cards. Some bands and their representatives freely pass out the cards on the show floor while others distribute the cards at shows, listening parties, and press events.
IQue Server 4.0
IQue Server 4.0, the major update to the popular editorial product line, is now shipping. IQue Server 4.0 uses a MySQL database and a JBoss foundation for its application server. Its new three-tiered structure means that the database can be hosted on the same machine as the server or on a separate machine, giving both a boost of power. Also, multiple servers can connect to the same database, offering a solution that can scale from a dozen seats to hundreds. IQue Server 4.0 can also be administered remotely, from any machine, whether Mac or PC. Publishing functions revamped in IQue version 4.0 include "Publication Profiles," giving each publication its own set of metadata. Categories. EditionBuilder automatically generates page folios and breaks multipage documents into single documents for easier pagination.
Google X disappears
Google has apparently pulled its Google X front-end without explanation. Google X featured a Dock-like navigation bar that mimics the Mac OS X Dock's zooming feature. When Google Labs launched the site, Chikai Ohazama wrote: "Today is an amazing day ... It's fulfilling to have the opportunity to reach the audience we always dreamed of when we started Keyhole five years ago, and that by itself is absolute coolness ... I hope all of you enjoy it - especially Mac users, who I'm sure will appreciate its lineage." The tag line at the bottom of the site read, "Roses are red. Violets are blue. OS X rocks. Homage to you."
GS raises estimates
Goldman Sachs has doubled its sales estimate for the number of iPod shuffles sold in the March quarter to 1.8 million units, according CBSMarketWatch: "As a result, the broker said it is raising its estimates for the quarter to 24 cents from 22 cents a share and its fiscal year estimates to $1.12 from $1.08 a share. The broker told clients that 'with competition unlikely to come from 'me too' MP3 players, it will probably take something like Sony's (SNE) PlayStation portable to pose a challenge to iPod long term.'"
Napster vs. iTunes
New York Times columnist Wilson Rothman compares Napster to Go to Apple's iTunes in a report published today. "When used to its fullest extent, Napster to Go lays iTunes flat, financially speaking. For the $15 monthly fee, you're allowed unlimited downloads. You can put them on up to three compatible portable players, and log in and listen on up to three PC's, " Rothman says, "the magic of the subscription plan is that music you don't know is also covered. I got to see if I liked new cuts from the Killers (yep) and Gwen Stefani (nope). Sitting in judgment didn't mean sitting in front of a computer screen, either; I could do it in the driver's seat of my car." However, Rothman does point to one weakness: "The trouble is, that thing next to me wasn't my trusty iPod. A switch to Napster means kissing your iPod, or any prospect of getting one, goodbye."
iStopMotion 1.8 ($40) is the latest version of the stop motion and time lapse capture application. Version 1.8 adds a new pro level feature to help animators to synchronise their animation to a given soundtrack. It is now much easier to do lip syncing and time animation to music. [Download - form]
March Madness Keeper (free) is a simple program to help you visually track the NCAA Men's Division I tournament. It includes all 65 teams in their correct brackets and match ups. [Download - 8.5MB]
So Smart Software has released four new plugins for the Revolution family of software development tools. Backups Picker 1.0 is a project security plug-in, Stacks Picker 1.0 is a working environment plug-in, Thumbnails Picker 1.0 is an image processing utility, and ASCII Picker 1.0 is an ASCII guide utility. [Download - Backups Picker, Stacks Picker, Thumbnails Picker, ASCII Picker]
NetScrape 1.7 ($20) is an update to the image collector's Web spider and search agent for Mac OS X. Version 1.7 features Slide show support, allows use of the delete key in the Preview pane, and fixes bugs. [Download - 852KB]
iResize 2.3 ($20) allows users to batch resize and compress JPEG, TIFF, PSD and other images. Version 2.3 adds an Italian localization, and the capability to drag & drop files and folders to the batch list. [Download - form]
WindowDragon 1.0 allows a window's entire structure to be used for moving or resizing. This version is the first release official release following several betas. This update fixes several bugs since the last beta. [Download - 205KB]
AAPL a top pick
In brief: Good looks aside, the $500 Mac mini "delivers a software suite that by itself is worth the purchase price," the Boston herald says in a review.... Apple ranks as one of senior portfolio manager Vivienne Hse's top picks: "the maker of the iPod gets good marks on fundamentals, balance sheet and earnings performance".... USA Today says "If there are any credible rivals to the iPods, it's hard to see them. Seems like wherever you go, there are people with the telltale white ear buds and white wires dangling from their ears."
Free loops for GB users
Two websites are offering free loops for GarageBand, Logic, and Soundtrack. iCompositions, a community for sharing music made with GarageBand, has partnered with Drums on Demand to give away a package of free loops to its registered users. The collection includes 90 drum loops, 19 "single hit" sounds for applications such as sound effects, and 9 "loop layers" for building your own drum loops. The Drums on Demand free loops package joins the recent AMG+iC package of 200 loops from AMG as the second batch of free loops offered through iCompositions. In addition, MacJams.com and Tune Media are offering Tune-up Mini, an extension of Tune Media's Tune-up for GarageBand series of loops, contains over 100 high quality loops.
Ambrosia GooBall 1.0
Ambrosia today released GooBall 1.0, a 3D action game title for Mac OS X. "Roll, jump, and slime your GooBall through dozens of fanciful worlds of wonder as you control the cutest little alien around, the Goober. Being trapped in a gooey ball of protoplasm has never been this fun!... Welcome to GooBall! Roll, jump, and slime your GooBall through dozens of fanciful worlds of wonder as you control the cutest little alien around, the Goober. Being trapped in a gooey ball of protoplasm has never been this fun!" GooBall costs $25 and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Samsung eyes Apple
Taking aim at Apple's market leading position, Samsung Electronics is determined to become the world's largest portable music device supplier by 2007, saying that will ship over 5 million units this year alone--or nearly three times the number it shipped in 2004. The Korean Times: "The Korean electronics giant, currently the world's largest memory semiconductor and LCD maker, but eighth in the global MP3 player vendor market, said Thursday it would secure a 25-30 percent global market share and 50-55 percent of the domestic MP3 player market by 2007." The report says that Samsung will use aggressive marketing campaigns worldwide and launch dozens of new MP3 players to help it achieve its goals. Samsung believes the market will shift over the next 2-3 years to having 3-4 major players, including Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic as well as Apple.
\'Made for iPod\' redux
In Brief: Following a virtually identitical report from AppleInsider earlier this month, CNET News.com also details Apple's 'Made for iPod' logo program, which seeks up to 10 percent royalties from iPod peripheral manufacturers.... macProVideo.com has officially released DVD Studio Pro 3 video tutorials ($50) and is taking pre-orders for upcoming Logic 7 video training ($25).... Dreamteam events has announced a five-day "Cocoa for Mac OS X" training camp by Aaron Hillegass (Big Nerd Ranch), which is scheduled to be held in Germany from May 2-6, 2005.... e2Sync today introduced discounts of up to 40% for multi-user licenses of e2Sync PE for Entourage X ($40/single user), its conduit for making Entourage data compatible with Apple's iSync.
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