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AAPL down, Apple patent
In Brief: Apple has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a tablet-based Macintosh design, which was first reported in August of 2004, when the company applied for the patent in Europe.... On May 18, MacForce will host a free seminar on converting graphic-arts workflows to digital with Apple Cinema Displays..... An easy-to-exploit vulnerability in certain configurations of a widely used VPN protocol suite could allow malicious hackers to intercept network communications.... Microsoft's Xbox 360 private preview led to an early public release of photos on the internet.... Apple's stock was down 1.5 percent during trading and more than 2 percent in after-hours trading on news of Yahoo's upcoming digital music service.
Yahoo Music vs. iTunes
Yahoo on Tuesday said it would launch a new music subscription service, taking aim at Apple's iTunes and others in the digital music industry, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. "Yahoo's service, which underprices competitors such as L.A.-based Napster Inc., will debut on May 11 for as low as $4.99 a month with a one-year subscription (or $6.99 per month on a monthly basis). The service, Yahoo Music Unlimited, boasts a catalog of 1 million songs, along with a menu of add-on services including the ability to build personalized music libraries." Apple's stock was down more than 2 percent, while "the stock of smaller players perhaps more directly in Yahoo!'s line of fire fared worse" Napster fell more than 20 percent and RealNetworks dropped nearly 12 percent during Tuesday trading.
Adobe will likely divest itself of several products following the proposed acquisition of Macromedia announced earlier this year, according to NPD Techworld. Adobe Systems announced its intent to purchase Macromedia for $3.4 billion in stock, and if approved, will acquire Macromedia's leading Web development and multimedia products, as well as its solutions in the mobile software, Web conferencing, and application development space (see our previous report on the acquisition). Most importantly, NPD says, Adobe will gain control of the Macromedia Flash platform, the most widely available solution for delivering rich media on the Web. "Aside from the software titles, we believe the most important asset that Adobe will gain in the acquisition is control of the Flash platform itself."
MovieEdit3D 0.94 ($10) enables users to create 3D scenes showing multiple DV clips moving and rotating through 3D space. Version 0.94 lets the user select and open media inside iMovie HD packages. [Download - 502KB]
Photoleap 1.1.1 (free) is an update to the photo sharing service for Mac OS X. Users can now send hundreds of photos of any size to anyone with an email address. Photoleap supports iPhoto 4 and 5 with an optional plug-in that allows you to send photos directly from iPhoto and save photos you receive to iPhoto albums. [Download - 1.2MB]
Bee Docs' Timeline ($50) is the "first professional timeline charting software created to take advantage of Mac OS X technologies." It is easy to use, but "makes timelines that have a design standard worthy of an annual report or a legal trial exhibit." [Download - 1.9MB]
Bullseye 1.4 ($9) is a file launcher that places your most used items in a hot key-activated circle. Version 1.4 adds hierarchical menus, multi-button mouse support, and much faster user interface rendering. [Download - 1.1MB]
Dash Monitors 1.2 ($10) brings system monitoring to Dashboard with monitors for CPU, Memory, Network, and Disk I/O. Version 1.2 makes several interface improvements to the widget, improves speed, and resolves a number of bugs. [Download - 512KB]
Trans Lucy 1.0.2 ($15) is an update to the DVD player for Mac OS X that floats above all applications and with adjustable translucency. This maintenance update provides compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4. [Download - form]
SWF \'n Slide Pro for OS X
Vertical Moon has released SWF 'n Slide Pro, an application designed to take any digital images and music, and create a "stunning" slide show in minutes. It works with all popular file formats for images and audio and outputs slide shows as the Macromedia Flash file format (SWF), the most compatible animation and video file format for Internet applications. It can generate a webpage to display the slideshow, create QuickTime movies, supports most file formats, includes 150 transition effects (fireworks, falling snow, hearts, etc.), offers a number of image adjustment tools (resize, crop, rotate, flip, and more), can add captions with custom font/size/color, support image/video pre-loading, and more. It is available for $108 and includes Text-Osterone (animated text effects) and SWF, Lock & Load (Flash preloader creator).
Eovia ships Hexagon
Eovia has released its new innovative 3D modeling software: Hexagon, an 3D polygonal modeler for artists and illustrators, is dedicated to the creation of 3D models and realistic or imaginary characters (as well as producing technical objects). It offers free choice between many working techniques such as free polygonal modeling, subdivision surfaces, constructions and handling of surfaces and volumes. The company says the software is accessible for both beginners as well as seasoned professionals via an evolutionary interface that helps from first steps through more sophisticated numerical art creations. Hexagon is available for $250 before an introductory discount of $80 available through the end of May. During the same period, owners of Carrara or Amapi can purchase it for $100 ($70 off).
Peak, Deck for Tiger
BIAS has announced that the current shipping versions of its SoundSoap 2 and SoundSoap Pro audio restoration products are compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and said it would release free downloadable updates in May with full Tiger compatibility for Peak, its stereo editing, processing and mastering application and Deck, its multitrack surround-capable digital audio workstation software. SoundSoap 2, and SoundSoap Pro are available now, while Peak 4.14, and Deck 3.54 will be available as free updates (for full Tiger compatibility) in later this month.
Wirecast 2.0 adds features
Vara Software has released Wirecast 2.0, the next version of its powerful webcasting solution. The application has been updated to leverage Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger as well as offer multiple bit output, Chroma Key for live broadcasts, integration with Core Image transitions/filters, QuickTime 7 support, and support for other Tiger technologies such as Spotlight, Quartz Composer, and more.. "Wirecast 2.0 takes advantage of almost every new major features of Tiger and delivers it in a beautiful package." says Paul Carnine, President of Products of Vara Software. "A Core Image Ripple transition broadcast live in H.264 is a sight to see." It is available for Mac OS X 10.3 or later (requires a Quartz Extreme graphics card) and requires Tiger for some features. It is $450 (upgrades are $150).
Elgato Systems today officially released EyeConnect, a fully integrated media streaming software based on Universal Plug and Play Audio/Video (UPnP AV). EyeConnect enables digital music, video, or photo content, including EyeTV recordings, iPhotos and iTunes stored on a Macintosh, to be played on a broad variety of UPnP AV-certified devices throughout the home. EyeConnect supports all digital media formats and is capable of streaming slideshows, music and HDTV in full video quality with Dolby Digital sound. EyeConnect is available for $100 or as a free 30-day trial version.
SuperDrive for Mac mini
MCE Technologies today announced its 8X Double Layer SuperDrive Upgrade Service for the Mac mini. In addition to recording to both DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW media at up to 8X speed, the MCE SuperDrive Upgrade for Mac mini can also record up to 8.5GB of information on a single side of DVD+R Double Layer media. MCE offers two full-service installation options with total pricing starting at $150 (includes one-way shipping back to customer).
iTunes sales, GraphicCling
In brief: Apple today announced that over 400 million songs have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store, ... Graphic Collective today announced the availability of Graphic Cling, personalized protective skins for all sizes of 4th generation iPods, ... Aspyr today said Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 is now available for pre-order, ... Extensis today announced that it has been awarded a patent for a method that examines font files for corruption, ... The Zend Studio Mozilla/Firefox plug-in allows developers to easily debug and profile PHP applications directly from the browser, ... OWC has announced that its 8x DVD SuperDrive upgrade for PowerBook G4s is now certified by Dantz/EMC for its Retrospect backup and restore software.
Mini Drive Kit
ADS Tech has released its new Mini Drive Kit, a plug-and-play device that enables Mac and Windows users to increase their storage capacity by turning any hard drive into a portable USB 2.0 drive. ADS Tech's versatile USB 2.0 Mini Drive Kit is externally powered with a power supply that provides both 5 and 12 volts to the drive. A lighted rear power toggle switch and a hard drive activity light are included to help users quickly determine drive access. The ADS "Simple Touch" backup button on the front of the drive kit allows users to backup entire folders or selected files quickly. For physical security, the Mini Drive Kit offers micro-slot protection. The Mini Drive Kit will be available with estimated street price of $60.
Eminem settles with Apple
Eminem's music label has agreed to an undisclosed financial settlement with Apple in a lawsuit over copyright infringement claims. In February of 2004, Eight Mile Style, Eminem's music label, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Detroit against MTV, Apple, MTV's parent Viacom Inc. and advertising agency TBWA/Chiat/Day, claiming that Apple used one of his hit songs in an advertisement without permission, according to The Associated Press: "The parties were able to reach an amicable resolution," Howard Hertz, a lawyer for Eight Mile Style and Eminem, while Elizabeth McNamara, a lawyer for MTV and Viacom, said Monday that the case was "amicably resolved." However, all parties declined to provide any further comment.
RHEM 2 game title
Got Game Entertainment today announced "RHEM 2", an intricate pure-puzzle first-person adventure game. The sequel to the popular "RHEM" will ship on July 14, 2005 on both Mac and PC platforms. "RHEM 2 rejoins Zetais and Kales as they now explore a hidden city in underground caves far beneath the earth's surface. Having discovered entry to a hidden underground city, RHEM 2 players will venture ever deeper beneath the earth's surface, exploring a maze of clandestine caves, secret rooms, intricate walkways, tunnels and water systems.... RHEM 2 players search for an enigmatic artifact that must be found before returning to the surface." It features non-linear gameplay, non-violent story, and mind-bending puzzles. The game will retail for $30.
ExtremeZ-IP v4.04 released
Group Logic today released ExtremeZ-IP File and Print Server 4.0.4, a freeupdate that delivers compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. According to the company, ExtremeZ-IP is the only Windows-based Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) software on the market that supports the Tiger operating system as well as integrates Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 with Windows 2003/2000, Windows 2003 Storage Server and Windows XP Pro. "ExtremeZ-IP 4.0.4 has undergone extensive testing with Tiger. In addition to maintenance changes, ExtremeZ-IP 4.0.4 also incorporates a number of additional performance improvements, including gigabit networking for hi-speed networks." The company, however, notes that its Print Accounting add-on is not compatible with Tiger and that an update is due later this year.
Epson PictureMate Deluxe
Epson today introduced the PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition, which allows users to print lab-quality 4" x 6" photos without having to use a PC or Mac. This premium version of the personal photo lab has all the benefits of the original PictureMate, plus a color LCD screen and extra printing and editing features for computer-free printing. In addition, PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition prints photos as fast as 75 seconds per lab quality print, 40 percent faster than original PictureMate, The PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition's optional internal battery ($70) supports approximately two hours of continuous printing (about 60 to 80 photos) and automatically recharges when PictureMate Deluxe is plugged into an AC. The PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition will be available by June 2005 for a suggested retail price of $250.
Epson wide-format printers
Leveraging its newly announced UltraChrome K3 ink technology, Epson also launched three new professional-grade photo printers, including the Stylus Pro 4800, Stylus Pro 7800, and Stylus Pro 9800. All three printers utilize UltraChrome K3 inks, which uses eight individual colors to create exhibit-quality output on a wide selection of media. The Epson Stylus Pro 4800 replaces the Stylus Pro 4000 for printing images as wide as 17 inches, while the Stylus Pro 7800 and Epson Stylus Pro 9800 replace the Stylus Pro 7600 and 9600 (respectively) for printing up to 24 inches and 44 inches in width. The printers feature both USB/FireWire connectivity and optional expansion for network connectivity.
Epson Stylus Photo R2400
Epson today debuted the Stylus Photo R2400 and Epson UltraChrome K3 inks. This new printer, coupled with its innovative ink technology, offers "the most" advanced ink jet technology available, according to the company. The Epson UltraChrome K3 pigment ink set delivers both a wider color gamut and superior black and white output "with print permanence ratings that are perfect for gallery exhibits." The printer offers three levels of black and advanced driver controls for easily creating professional-quality prints on a wide variety of media. Replacing the Stylus Photo 2200, the Stylus Photo R2400 leverages the new UltraChrome K3 ink set, a unique eight-color system for exhibit-level photo quality. The Stylus Photo R2400 will be available this month for $850.
Other World Computing this morning confirmed that its PowerLogix processor upgrades are Tiger-friendly. "We don't want people to worry that if they are using a PowerLogix processor they can't upgrade to Tiger, because they can," said Larry O'Connor, president of OWC. "PowerLogix processors, whether already installed or being considered, will not only work with but enhance the performance of Apple's latest operating system." Cache enabling software for Tiger is required for ZIF, Pismo, Lombard, Wallstreet and PCI upgrades, and is available free of charge. PowerLogix's G4 upgrades are available in speeds of 1 GHz to Dual G4/1.8GHz and priced as low as $180. PowerLogix's G3 ZIF upgrades are available in speeds of 1GHz and 1.1GHz with 1MB 1:1 L2 Cache from $230.
AAPL at $52
Piper Jaffray maintained an "outperform" rating on AAPL with a $52 price target, according to Forbes. The report noted Apple's improved production efficiency and strong demand: "Apple is continuing to improve production efficiency as supported by the fact that most products are being shipped on the same business day as the day of the order placement." The firm cited Apple's placement on Amazon.com Top Seller lists, saying that IPods now hold eight of the top ten spots and 12 of the top 20 for MP3 players, up from four and six, respectively, on April 22. "We believe this exhibits Apple's dominance in the portable MP3 market and shows that the initial exploratory phase of other MP3 players has lightened.
Symantec NAV 10 for Mac
Symantec today announced Norton AntiVirus 10.0 for Macintosh. Due later this month, it will include a new Global Threat Assessment dashboard to provide users with an overview of current virus threats as well as a new Contextual Menu support feature and custom SafeZones for improved ease-of-use and efficiency. Norton AntiVirus 10.0 for Macintosh will also be fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. NAV10 runs on Mac OS X and is available for pre-order for $70. Current users of Symantec's Macintosh products, as well as users of select competitive products, can take advantage of an upgrade mail-in-rebate of $30. [upated compatibility]
iMovie plugins, Overflow
BKMS iMovie plugins ($32) are new Tiger-only plugins that include Catch a Tiger by the Tail: Introducing ExposureHelper, Fuzzifier, DistortoMatic, and Curl N' Copy. They offer "new levels of visual panache, including vortexes, page curls, and distortions that range from subtle to hallucinogenic." The four sets each contain between two and five plug-ins. Curl&Copy is availalble for $10; ExposureHelper and Fuzzifier are $12 each; and DistortoMatic is $14.
Overflow 1.4 ($15) updates the dock space-saving utility for Mac OS X. Users canquickly launch applications or access file/folders with two simple clicks. It offers fully customizable interface as well as new custom icon sizes and layouts, more color transparency options, improved window management, Tiger-compatibility, and more. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later. [Download - 133KB]
Typinator 1.0b ($20) is now in public beta. The utility allows users to rapidly insert text and images into any type of application. Users can simply define an abbreviation along with its replacement text or image and the application will automatically expand the abbreviation in any application. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3/10.4. A 25% discount is offered during the public beta. [Download - 500KB]
BurnoutMenu 2.5 ($6) updates to the to-domanager today with Tiger support, due dates, bug fixes, and more. The application combines a menu interface with a standard application to create and organize to-do lists by priority, category, and sync with Apple's iCal, iPods, and iDisks. In addition, the company cut prices by up to 60%: family licenses are $10 and company licenses are $25. [Download - 604KB]
iSMARTtrain 2.0.1 ($40) offers bug-fixes and several new features, including a summary of the weekly training, showing distance, calories burned and a summary of the HR zones. The software is designed to allow multi-sport and single sport endurance athletes to download training data from Polar heart rate monitors and analyse it in graph, table and list formats. [Download - 4.3MB]
Artlandia has released a free update to SymmetryWorks 3.1.2 for Adobe Illustrator CS2 and announced the compatibility with Mac OS 10.4 Tiger. Version 3.12 simplifies the process of creating repeating patterns for web and surface designers, textile artists, and other creative professionals. SymmetryWorks 3 supports both vector and raster motifs, allowing users to interactively edit and visualize changes in realtime. The updated plugin leverages new Illustrator CS2 features for improved workflow, including context-sensitive control palette, custom workspaces, and easy access to creative assets through Adobe Bridge. It also now includes a collection of interactive samples from the new Artlandia Glossary of Pattern Design, a free public resource on the Web. Upgrades start at $75, while the full version is $215 (electronic delivery).
Videos at iTMS
Apple has begun bundling videos with some of the music albums available via the iTunes Music Store, following the release of iTunes 4.8 yesterday morning (still only available via the web). As noted yesterday, Apple's iTunes 4.8 music jukebox software adds security fixes, improved iPod sync, and support for video, including fullscreen playback (as well as video window preferences). In most cases, the videos appear to be marketing incentives offered along with the albums; however, purchasing The Warning Shots video adds a $0.99 premium to the purchase of the song (total is $1.98), while the song alone is available for $0.99, as noted by MacRumors. Readers note that the videos do not contain DRM restrictions, as they were able to transfer them to non-authorized computers for playback; the videos do not transfer automatically to the iPod.
Apple expands iTunes
Apple today launched four new iTunes Music Stores in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland featuring songs from all four major music companies and over 1,000 independent record labels. The four new stores offer the same features, pricing and seamless integration with iPod. Apple says it has extended the iTunes Music Store to reach more than 70 percent of the global music market with stores in 19 countries and more than 400 million songs purchased and downloaded worldwide.
PocketDock Line Out USB
Dr. Bott today announced that SendStation's PocketDock Line Out USB is now available through authorized resellers worldwide. SendStation's thumb-sized iPod adapters, the PocketDock Line Out USB, features a standard USB 2.0 interface for instantly charging and syncing as well as a 3.5 mm (1/8") jack, offering stereo line out from the iPod. The company says that a Line Out jack provides superior audio quality, when compared to the iPod headphone jack. The PocketDock Line Out USB Pack includes two 6 ft. ultralight and ultra-compact white audio cables; it is available for $30.
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