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Apple today won two awards at the 2005 National Association of Broadcasters Convention. Apple's Final Cut Pro 5 was honored in the Content Creation Category and QuickTime Broadcaster was honored in the Content Management category. The products were recognized in the third-annual Awards for Innovation in Media (AIMs), which recognized technological innovations that "best addressed current and upcoming issues in the electronic media industry by boosting efficiency, increasing user flexibility and creativity, and lowering cost." The top five products within each of the Content Creation, Content Management, and Content Delivery categories received recognition during NAB's Technology Luncheon, held on Wednesday, April 20.
Motorola on Wednesday night confirmed plans to launch the much-anticipated iTunes phone that will play digital music downloaded from Apple's iTunes Music Store, according to The Financial Times. During the company's quarterly conference call, Motorola's CEO said that the iTunes product would be coming out in the next few months, despite ongoing speculation that Motorola might delay the launch of its iTunes phone "because of lack of enthusiasm among US network operators." Hoping to continue in the footsteps of its popular Razr phone, Motorola said it hopes to boost marketshare and profit margins by introducing new phones, such as the Pebl, a curved flip phone, and the Slivr, a thin handset with a face that slides to a keypad a screen.
Apple today said it would open its second Apple Store in the UK later this month. The grand opening of its Birmingham store will coincide with the launch of Mac OS X Tiger: the Apple Store Bullring will open on April 29th at 6 pm to help celebrate the launch of its next-generation operating system. The store will be open until midnight, allowing users to get a hands-on introduction to Tiger. Apple is offering a PowerBook G4, an iPod or other prizes, including a Grand Opening Sweepstake to win a Digital Lifestyle Collection valued at £2145 (20-inch flat-panel iMac with SuperDrive, an iPod mini, a Canon lxus 40 digital camera, a Canon MV800 digital camcorder and a Canon iP6000D printer). As usual, the first 1400 people through the doors will receive a free Apple commemorative T-shirt.
Nikon today launched its D50 and D70 digital SLR cameras. The D50 (pictured at right) is the smallest, lightest Nikon digital SLR camera and features 6.1 megapixel resolution; the new entry-level D50 will be available in June for $900 bundled with the company's AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED lens. The D50 features a new "Child" mode that automatically adjusts several of the camera's settings, including ISO, shutter speeds, and white balance, to produce optimized images when taking pictures of children as well as includes a full range of manual controls and custom settings. It also features Nikon's new 3D Color Matrix Metering II for accurate exposure control in all types of lighting situations and a wide range of shutter settings--from 30 seconds to 1/4,000 second.
Apple is offering a number of refurbished items through its online store, including sub-$800 iBooks, legacy 23-inch Cinema Displays (non-Aluminum versions), the 12-inch PowerBook, and several models of the Power Mac G5. In addition to the refurb 23-inch legacy Cinema Display ($1,400) and the 17-inch display ($600), Apple is offering a refurbished version of the 30-inch Aluminum Cinema Display for $2,600. Apple is offering several models of the 14-inch iBook with built-in AirPort Extreme networking, 256MB of RAM, and a 60GB drive: 1.2GHz/Combo ($1,050), 1.3GHz/Combo ($1,100), and 1.33GHz/SuperDrive ($1,300). A refurb 12-inch iBook (1.2GHz/30GB) is only $800. Dual-processor Power Mac G5s are available starting at $1,700 (1.8GHz/256MB/80GB). PCI-X systems with 512MB of RAM and 160GB drive are available for $2,100 (dual-2GHz) and $2,600 (dual-2.5GHz with 8x SuperDrive).
Novell today announced the availability of SUSE LINUX Professional 9.3, the new version of its Linux operating system, which features Apple iPod support. Calling it the "richest Linux distribution ever," Novell said the OS will allow users to manage their iPod files with both KDE 3.4 and GNOME 2.10. An article in the Mad Penguin last month described the iPod support in SUSE 9.3 as "rudimentary," saying the software recognizes iPods, mounts an icon on the desktop, and allows copying and browsing of songs and playlists. SUSE 9.3, which retails for $100, also delivers several new technology previews to the open source community, including Xen technology for virtualization, Beagle desktop search and Linphone for voice over IP.
In Brief: TechRestore has begun a new reseller program for consultants, retail stores and computer resellers, which allows them to sell TechRestore's 24-hour repair and upgrade services to their customers.... MacSpeech has certified the Voice Tracker array microphone--a unique device that locates and automatically steers itself (electronically) toward a user's voice--for use with its iListen speech recognition product.... IBM has posted an article that provides an overview of AltiVec performance considerations that will help developers get started making the best possible use of its multiple components.... MBS is celebrating its 15th anniversary with the "Tiger Unleashed Party" on Friday, April 29, 2005 at 3:00 pm, while Tekserve will hold a similar event on April 29th at 6 pm in NYC.... The latest Mac OS X Panther update brought several new Safari features/improvements, including WYSIWYG / RichText editing.
iStumbler R93 is a free, open source tool for finding AirPort networks, Bluetooth devices, Bonjour services, and now GPS locations with your Mac. The GPS Plugin adds the ability to put down virtual pins and record the location of Notes and AirPort Networks it also fixes a hanging bug for people with Bluetooth phones, Infared Ports and other serial devices. It works on Mac OS X Panther. [393KB] VirtualKeyboard X 2.4 ($12) is an on-screen keyboard that offers point-and-click typing using pointing devices such as a head mouse, mouse, trackball, etc. It is designed primarily for disabled persons but it can be used also to teach the children to write, to prepare kiosk environments, and more. It introduces a self-minimizing keyboard that reduces the keyboard size after a period of time. [1.2MB] Creative Manager Pro 7.7 adds client presentation tools, budget notifications, and improved support for Mac OS X 10.3.8. The new update to the flagship Ad Agency Management system offers a dramatic improvement in the way images can be presented to clients. In addition to costing, Creative Manager Pro offers full Project Management, CRM, Digital Asset Management, billing and accounting, and extranet capabilities. miXscope QX5 1.01 ($12) is a shareware application for the Digital Blue QX5 Computer Microscope. The software allows you to capture images, create time-lapse movies, add a text comment, add a time stamp, add an image overlay, make a measurement, apply realtime frame averaging, or add a special effects. [360KB] Mariner Calc 5.4 and Mariner Write 3.6.5 are the latest versions of Mariner Software's MarinerPack ($80) applications. The latest versions bring support for several international formats, AppleScript enhancements, Japanese support, Find dialog improvements, as well as several bug fixes in both products. The updates are available free of charge. Both require Mac OS 10.2 or higher. [Calc, Write] AB for Web 1.1 (100€) publishes the Mac OS X Address Book on the Internet using a fast embedded web server. In addition to the standard information included in Mac OS X's Address Book, 'AB for Web' adds additional views, such as 'Members of company' and 'Birthdays'. It also features a nice Aqua-like interface for browser clients. The demo is fully functional, but only displays six records per view. [1.8MB]
Kensington has rolled out a new all-in-one Digital FM Transmitter/Auto Charger that lets you play your iPod through your car's FM radio while simultaneously charging the player through the cigarette lighter outlet. The $80 device can transmit through any available FM radio frequency and offers convenient push button operation and three programmable buttons to lock in station presets. The device also packs Aerielle wireless technology for improved audio fidelity, a digital display, and a safety fuse that protects against power spikes. The transmitter is compatible with any iPod or iPod mini with a dock connector.
EditShare this week announced support for Macintosh-based Avid systems, including Avid Xpress DV, Avid Xpress Pro and Avid Media Composer Adrenaline on the Macintosh platform. The company also announced that its network-based central storage system offers new project sharing functionality, improved 10 gigabit Ethernet networking, integration of instant messaging within EditShare, and improved support for third-party play-out servers. EditShare now supports uncompressed SD on the Macintosh as well as allows Mac and PC-based Avid editing systems to share media files. It also features customized networking client technology to ensure cross platform collaborative editing.
The MathWorks has begun shipping SimPowerSystems 4, which enables engineers to use Model-Based Design to model and simulate electrical circuits and power systems within Simulink. SimPowerSystems 4 includes extensive new application libraries, including electric drives, flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS), and distributed resources. These new libraries offer mechanical and electrical engineers advanced tools for building more comprehensive models and simulations. The new SimPowerSystems libraries contain more than 150 blocks distributed in eight sub-libraries, including electric sources, electric machinery, and three-phase components. Pricing starts at $3,000.
Apple and other companies paid NBC Today show tech editor Corey Greenberg up to $15,000 to talk about their products on news shows, according to The Washington Post. Greenberg talked up Apple's iPod last July, calling it "a great portable musical player... the coolest-looking one;" however, while NBC officials denied any knowledge of the financial relationship, Greenberg confirmed that he accepted payments from Apple, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Seiko Epson, Creative Technology and Energizer Holdings. He, however, said that he didn't accept payments for placements on NBC News, but on affiliate news shows, the manufacturers hired him as "a spokesperson who could talk credibly and understandably about consumer products," rather than to speak positively about their products. Ironically, during last July's Today appearance, Greenberg was cut off by a co-host Matt Lauer who said "Let's cut the Apple commercial here right now, okay?"
Boris FX has begun shipping FX 8.0, the "industry standard" for integrated effects creation, providing broadcast-quality effects and compositing features directly inside nonlinear editing systems. It features a new template mode as well as new Motion Tracking, Stabilizing and Corner Pin Tracker filters and performance improvements of up to 20 percent in rendering speeds. The company improved the Library browser, offering additional customizable presets to streamline effects creation and also added new hardware support, including Canopus Edius Pro 3, Media 100 HD and Pinnacle Liquid Edition. The FX package features realistic lighting, advanced keying and color correction, compositing, DVE, vectorpaint and support for third-party After Effects filters. It includes the KeyFramer, a (free) standalone application that creates effects offline using any computer. it is available for $600 or as a $200 upgrade.
Wolfram Research today released webMathematica 2.2, which leverages Mathematica 5.1 to provide expanded web development options. Version 2.2 builds on Mathematica 5.1's many new functions, including those for working with large-scale, diverse types of data, expanding the all-in-one solution for creating interactive websites for research, business, and education. Wolfram says that there are more than 50 new functions, toolkits, and performance improvements in Mathematica 5.1. Major new features include: built-in universal database connectivity, industrial-strength string manipulation, integrated web services support, a new authoring system preview, more optimized binary data I/O, support for new 64-bit architectures, and additional graphic, web, and matrix import-export formats.
Boris FX today launched Graffiti 4.0, its plug-in that provides integrated broadcast-quality 2D and 3D titling features directly inside nonlinear editing systems, allowing editors to animate 2D and 3D titles over their timeline video without importing or exporting as well as easily create sophisticated extruded text and shapes with bump maps, reflections and textures as well as animatable 2Dand 3D charts. Advanced options in Graffiti include jitter, randomization, text on a path and type-on animation. Graffiti is now available for $600, with upgrades priced at $150.
Digidesign today announced its Producer Factory and Producer Factory Pro plug-in bundles for Mac OS X–based Pro Tools and Pro Tools M-Powered systems. The Producer Factory and Producer Factory Pro bundles include a wide range of professional-quality Digidesign and Bomb Factory plug-ins a significantly discounted prices. Digidesign also introduced SoundFuel SOLID, a high-quality synthesizer plug-in for Pro Tools|HD systems. Developed by SoundFuel in collaboration with Digidesign, the SoundFuel plug-in recreates the warm, analog sounds of '70s and '80s synthesizers, while also offering modern patches designed for dance or electronica.
ATTO Technology (booth SL2265) is demonstrating its Macintosh iSCSI initiator software, Xtend SAN, at this week's NAB tradeshow. Shipping in May, Xtend SAN enables Mac users to build Ethernet-based storage networks while relying on ATTO's "industry-leading" price, performance, scalability, and ease-of-use features. The company says that Xtend SAN is the first widely-distributed, stand-alone application that allows Mac users to attach existing storage to an IP-based network. When used with ATTO's iPBridge product, Xtend SAN provides a complete solution for Macs accessing both native Fibre Channel and SCSI storage, allowing enabling Mac connectivity in any SAN deployment, while leveraging the current Ethernet network, thereby maximizing return on investment. ATTO also introduced its latest product releases featuring 4-Gb Fibre Channel technology.
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HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko