Digital Voodoo this week introduced the SD | Spark video card, which is compatible with Mac OS X Panther, Final Cut Pro HD and the G5 series of workstations. SD | Spark is a multipurpose uncompressed SD SDI / analog QuickTime video card that offers a unique number of SD SDI and analog video and audio I/O connections and options. Digital Voodoo also announced that it intendeds to support the forthcoming H.264 codec, QuickTime 7, Mac OS X Tiger operating system, and the future releases of Final Cut Pro beyond Final Cut Pro HD 4.5 for its entire line of uncompressed SD SDI / Analog and HD SDI video cards.
Topics on the MacNN Forums today include: Speculation about an imminent Power Mac G5 update.... A poll of members' favorite iPod colors.... Reports that Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger is already shipping to customers.... discussion of blogging software for Mac OS X.... Using existing Mac OS X "Panther" themes with "Tiger".... Adobe's surprising acquisition of arch-rival Macromedia.
AstroVision, which will launch an Earth Observation Satellite (EOS) in 2008, will be using Apple technology for processing data when received on Earth. "In teaming with Apple AstroVision intends not only to set up the fastest supercomputer in Australia but to deliver a vital service to a whole range of organizations and consumer markets across the Government, Education and Private sectors. Apple Australia will provide AstroVision with construction of a state of the art High Performance Computing (HPC) environment using Apple's Unix-based Xserves and Xgrid computing software. Additionally, Apple will employ QuickTime technology and an architecture for online distribution of multimedia content. AstroVision will consist of a geostationary imaging satellite orbiting at 36,000km above the equator. The orbit speed matches the speed of the Earth's rotation so the satellite is able to continuously image the same areas. A ground system that controls the satellite and receives, processes and archives the imagery.
Mac game developer Funmangames has announced the release of The Cursed Wheel, its first game for Mac OS X. The Cursed Wheel was created using 2D game engine PTK. "Discover the ancient secret hidden by the Mayan pyramid! Use your skill and dexterity to spin the cursed wheel, beat the Stone Guardian and loot the treasure!" The game features refined 3D animations and graphics within a Mayan theme. The Cursed Wheel is controlled entirely via the mouse. It offers unlimited gameplay in Arcade mode, with random levels "that never end." There are four different difficulty levels to increase longevity of the game for skilled players. Online high score rankings are available for Arcade mode. The Cursed Wheel is $20.
Netflix Freak 2.1 ($15) is a full-featured Mac OS X application for managing your Netflix rental queue. Version 2.1 adds: support for multiple Netflix accounts, the ability to Cut/Copy and Paste movies from one Netflix Profile to another, the option to switch between Netflix Profiles without being prompted for a password. [Download - 1.0MB] Picture Arena 1.2 ($25) is the latest version of the picture management software from Isoprint. Highlights of the new version include: RAW and DNG support, email composition, reworked digital camera import and more. [Download - 4.2MB] RbApp 1.0 ($200) is a platform-neutral collection of reusable REALbasic classes that help programmers create industrial strength applications on Macintosh and Windows. The main components of RbApp are: RbEdit, RbView, RbCommand, RbPalette, RbStringList, RbXML, RbHelp, and RbLibrary. [Download - 2.8MB] Text Cleaner 3 ($90) can be to significantly reduce text cleanup time in Mac OS X 10.2 or later via a context sensitive engine to set or remove em/en dashes, smart quotes, ligatures and ellipses, while removing unwanted spaces, tabs, returns, and more. It adds direct cleaning in InDesign/Quark 6.5, 10 custom operations, and more. Upgrades are $50. [Download - 3.0MB] Grammarian PRO X 1.6 ($40) is a major update to the Grammar, Spelling, Dictionary, Thesaurus, AutoCorrect, and AutoType universal writing tool. This version adds smart spell checking with in-context spell suggestions that match the context of the sentence; styled-text Autotype to expand text with different fonts/styles; interactive checking grammar; and spelling popup menu, and more. [Download - 14MB] GBMidiXtractor (demo) provides a way of accessing all of the MIDI loops contained in GarageBand. It instantly creates a MIDI file by dragging a GarageBand MIDI AppleLoop onto the GBMidiXtractor application window. A non-registered version is limited to a single extraction each launch. It is free with DOT-POD or DOT-TUNES applications, which can publish your iPod or iTunes music on the web. [Download - 960KB]
Steve Jobs jumped to No. 18 from No. 81 on Forbes' list of "Bosses That Delivered." In the magazine's survey of compensation of the CEOs of the 500 large U.S. companies, it analyzed the performance versus pay of the 189 bosses who have been in power at least six years: "in essence, we looked at six years of stock performance and juxtaposed that against six years of executive compensation--including bonuses, perks and stock options. These efforts gave us a measure of which chief executives delivered the best return to shareholders relative to their total compensation. ....In one year Apple's earnings rose 295%. More importantly, Apple shareholders were rewarded with a six-year annualized total return of 29%, compared to -1% for the S&P 500. Over the past six years, Jobs has been paid an average of $14.6 million per year in total compensation."
Miglia Technology today announced the availability of a new version of MediaBank HS-R, its high security FireWire 800 storage solution. MediaBank HS-R now sports a high-speed Oxford 912-based FireWire 800 interface to increase the data transfer rates. The power supply unit has also been upgraded to cope with the larger, more power-hungry drives appearing on the market. The Miglia MediaBank HS-R Features two easily removable hard drive trays and hardware support for Raid 1 (mirroring). Data is written to two hard drives simultaneously, preventing total data loss if a drive were to fail. Hardware support for mirroring removes potential software conflicts. The device sells for $450.
In brief: MacNN readers report receiving shipments of Adobe Creative Suite 2 ahead of the anticipated May timeframe.... The Apple Store has extended ship dates for Power Mac G5 orders to 3-5 business days, indicating a possible update to Power Mac line in the coming days.... Shares of Google soared past $215 as the company said its first-quarter profit increased more than 500 percent on revenue that doubled, as more businesses placed ads with Google and its distribution partners.... For the second year in a row, Ableton Live 4 has won the Musikmesse International Press Award (m.i.p.a.) for the best DJ software.
CNET News.com has posted additional details from yesterday's Apple shareholders conference. Jobs pointed out that Apple took back 1,500 tons of material in 2004 through its recycling program, with 90 percent of the material able to be recycled. Jobs said that Apple takes its environmental responsibilities seriously and added that the company is leading the industry on environmental issues. "They have an image of being proactive, but they are being really reactive," said Sheila Davis of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. Jobs expressed frustration at Apple being singled out for criticism over its peers, calling it "bullshit." As to the lack of women in senior positions, "It is a deficiency we have," Jobs said said. "We recognize it and we are trying to solve it."
"If security concerns are your most important driver for desktop change, and Microsoft Office compatibility is your most significant barrier, then switching to Macs actually offers you the best of all possible worlds," writes columnist Paul Murphy. He says Office on the Mac even features a "better GUI, longer product life, some cash savings and a performance bonus thrown in." Although software vulnerabilities are half the problem, Murphy points out that many "don't see the hardware side of their security problems." In contrast, "attacks on Unix generally require some form of initial legal access to the machine."
Apple has begun shipping Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, the next version of its Mac OS X operating system. Expected to be officially launched on April 29th, one MacNN reader forwarded shipment confirmation from the Apple Store. The documents showed a delivery date of April 25 via Fedex Ground--well ahead of the official release date next week (orders with expedited shipping may have earlier delivery dates). Several Apple retailers planning Tiger launch parties and Apple will open its second UK store on the same day. Tiger features over 200 new features, including its Spotlight search technology.
FunPause Games today released its new game for Mac: Garden Golf is a Mini Golf game where players can play through two complete 18-hole golf courses (36 holes). "Taking the true spirit of Miniature Golf, Garden Golf features many of the entertaining obstacles and challenges a real 'Putt Putt' game of golf can offer: moving windmills, tricky angles, ponds, hills, valleys and sand pits. To further enhance game play, FunPause offers additional aspects in the game play that only a digital version of golf can introduce." The $20 game title features a colorful game board that uses 3D graphics and an upbeat, stress-free music track.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives