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Booq 2006 Boa Bag Series
Nearly two and a half years after releasing the first Boa backpack, Booq this week unveiled a completely new series of Boa bags that have been redesigned based on feedback from customers. The all-new 2006 Boa Backpacks feature dramatically improved laptop protection, substantially more room, more pockets and a slick new design. The 2006 Boa.XM fits 14" and 15" Apple laptops and is available in either black of beige for $140. For an extra $50, you can upgrade to a Boa.XM "system" package that includes FonePaq and PDApaq accessory cases and your choice of a PowerSleeve or Vyper laptop case. A similarly crafted 2006 Boa.XL backpack retails for $150 and fits Apple's high-end 17-inch PowerBook G4. The Boa.XL, available only in black, also comes in the complete "system" solution for an additional $50. Booq is currently taking pre-orders for the new bags, which it says will begin shipping on June 25th. Also this week, the company unveiled two new "Venom" luxury iPod cases crafted from nappa leather and suede.
Apple in new homes
Homebuilder Lennar’s new communities in Bressi Ranch will include the latest digital lifestyle technology from Apple. The new homes will feature Apple’s iBook G4 laptop computers, loaded with iLife ’05, Apple’s award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications, featuring the latest versions of iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, GarageBand and iTunes. Additionally, the homes are equipped with Apple’s Airport Express with AirTunes -- plus a three-year comprehensive support package. A video showcases the Apple hardware in the new homes.
Booq Venom iPod Cases
Booq this week offered members of its e-mail newsletter a sneak peak of two new nappa leather luxury iPod cases that are due to begin shipping this July. The $45 "Venom45" includes removable suede inserts that help provide a snug fit for the largest 40/60GB iPod photo as well as the slim 20GB 4G iPod. Meanwhile, a $30 "Venom mini" offers the same quality case for the iPod mini. Both cases feature cutouts for easy dock connector access and a sturdy metal belt clip wrapped entirely in genuine suede. The cases, available in either white or black, also leave room for top-mounted accessories like AirPlay. Booq is currently accepting pre-orders for both models through its website.
In brief: HipTunes is offering iPod and iPod mini cases to go along with Genre Collection's line of designer belts.... The Universite de Sherbrooke in Quebec has purchased a 2,024-processor supercomputing cluster from Dell for $7 million, the computer maker said Wednesday.... Strata today announced that Nevercenter’s Silo 1.4 has joined the Strata Connected Partner Program and will be available as part of a special bundle.... @Last Software will be unveiling SketchUp 5 during the Design Exposition in @Last Software booth (# 4427) on Friday, May 20th and Saturday, May 21st.
HipTunes iPod belts
HipTunes is offering iPod and iPod mini cases to go along with Genre Collection's line of designer belts. "The HipTunes case is the only mp3 accessory of it kind on the market allowing the consumer to fashionably hold their mp3 player along with a wallet that holds all of their necessities hands free." Fashion designer Shanna Israel of Genre Collection says, "technology is the new fashion – we are here to enhance the technology revolution by fusing fashion, technology and pop-culture."
Maxon has released a Windows-only 64-bit version of Cinema4D, its high-end solution for modeling, animation, and rendering, and said that a 64-bit computing is not fully supported with Mac OS X Tiger: "Even though the G5 processors of the Apple Power Mac series are 64-Bit CPUs, 64-Bit applications are not entirely supported by the OS X operating system. Only command line based programs can take advantage of the 64-Bit memory adressroom. Programs with a graphical user interface (GUI) can only run in 32-Bit mode. Therefore we can unfortunately not offer a 64-it version of Cinema 4D for Macintosh." Apple's own developer documentation confirms that 64-bit programming does not extend to all Mac OS X APIs. "Most notably, the Cocoa and Carbon GUI application frameworks are not ready for 64-bit programming. In practical terms, this means that the 'heavy lifting' of an application that needs 64-bit support can be done by a background process which communicates with a front-end 32-bit GUI process via a variety of mechanisms including IPC and shared memory."
Wireless patent fight
Apple along with four other compuer companies are fighting a US wireless networking patent held by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) that would require them to pay royalties. Dell, HP, Intel, Netgear, and Apple are trying to overturn a patent by the CSIRO, Austrlian Government's research arm, who initiated legal action earlier this year against a Japanese company for license fees. ABC News Online reports that the CSIRO developed "groundbreaking technology in 1996 that allows computers to network with each other without cables. The technology is now built in to most laptop computers and manufacturers pay the CSIRO a licence fee to use it. CSIRO chief executive Dr. Geoff Garrett said the system made it possible to increase the speed of Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) by a factor of five."
Metro 6.3 update
Metro is an application for creating and editing music. It features multi-track, sequencing, recording, and MIDI functionality. A pre-release of version 6.3 is now available to Metro users. The new version is a $30 update that improves compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4. Archive menu has been changed to 'Track Operations' which now includes Freeze, Group Freeze, Thaw, Group and Ungroup Tracks. The new Ultra Rhythm Explorer will automatically create "amazingly intelligent drum beats, bass lines and guitar rhythms." It also has the ability to insert notes, record multiple patterns to a track and even insert a random chord progression from your chord progression library. Also introduced with the update is the ability to manage Chord progressions with the library functions save, delete and insert. Additionally, Core Audio Device output names to are now written to Metro documents.
TEN updates naviPlay kit
TEN Technology announced today that it has updated its naviPlay Bluetooth stereo remote and adapter for theiPod to also connect wirelessly to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones. "With the updated naviPlay Kit, users will never have to sacrifice entertainment for fear of missing a call. When there is an incoming call, the user will hear ring tones in their headphones and can take the call with the built-in microphone in the naviPlay Handsfree Stereo Remote. When the call is ended, the music will resume playing,” said TEN chief executive John Lin. Starting May 23, the company said naviPlay units without hands-free can be updated with firmware downloadable at no cost for a limited time from the TEN website. naviPlay retails for $240 and is compatible with iPod Photo, iPod Mini, Click Wheel iPod, and iPod with Dock Connector.
Realbasic Plugins, WebranX
Realbasic Plugins 5.2 (€80) comprises a collection of several plug-ins that extend the REALbasic development environment with over 500 classes and 4 controls featuring around 10000 documented functions. Version 5.2 adds CoreImage classes, an improved DiscRecording class, better compatibility with the upcoming Realbasic 2005, and more. [Download - 18MB]
ClickScroll 1.3 ($6) from MGU Software offers scrolling without scrollbars. As soon as it is activated, the user can scroll web pages, documents, and virtually anything else by moving the cursor. The new version supports Mac OS X Tiger, scrolling inversion, and more. [Download - 1.2MB]
StreamWatcher 1.0.1 ($15) is a sophisticated network monitoring application which allows you to see all of the network traffic your computer can see at a glance. Version 1.0.1 adds a "Resolve service names" option, the ability to log captured information to a file, options to pause and resume display of capture information, and bug fixes. [Download - 519KB]
Xylescope 1.0 ($15) is a tool for "looking underneath the surface" of Web pages. Using Xylescope users can look analyze complex CSS designs with incredible ease. Users can also experiment with third-party sites, without having to download them first. The developer lists the application's current limitations. [Download - 1.0MB]
WebranX 1.0 (free) allows users to find the ranking of a website on major search engines results pages for a given keyword. WebranX visually indicates your site ranking among the first 100 results of top search engines like Google, Yahoo, Altavista, Alltheweb, MSN, Teoma. [Download - form]
Galerie 5.10 (free) generates media gallery web pages from iPhoto, GraphicConverter, iView MediaPro, Extensis Portfolio 7 or from any set of pictures and/or QuickTime media files. The new version adds Tiger compatibility, a new application icon, one-step generating of hierarchical multi-level main index pages, and more. [Download - 2.8MB]
Power adapter lawsuit
Conclusion nears for a class action lawsuit filed against Apple in California over faulty power adapters. The lawsuit claimed that certain power adapters sold with Macs were defective, and failed prematurely. Apple denies the allegations, and does not admit any wrongdoing or liability. A proposed settlement offers a "compromise of disputed claims and does not mean that Apple has any liability for the allegations made by plaintiff." If the Settlement is approved, Apple will pay a cash refund of $35 to Settlement Class Members who provide proof that they own or owned covered adapters that failed within the first or second year following purchase.
Piracy value growing
In brief: The value of pirated software worldwide increased in value to $32.7 billion from $28.8 billion in 2003, and is expected to climb as high as $200 billion in five years.... Shure today has begun shipping its E4c sound isolating earphones, which combine the "studio quality sound that listeners have come to expect from the E Series with a sleek, lightweight design to complement today's popular listening devices."... Yahoo plans to improve the PC-to-PC voice communications feature of its Yahoo Messenger instant messaging service, replacing the current walkie-talkie technology with a persistent voice connection.... iRiver has launched in Korea the T10, a new sports MP3 player expected to debut in the U.S. this summer.... TEN Technology has upgraded its naviPlay Bluetooth kit for iPod to connect wirelessly to a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone.
iRiver has launched in Korea the T10, a new sports MP3 player expected to debut in the U.S. this summer. The iRiver T10 comes in three colors each with a different storage configuration: 256MB Lime Green, 512MB Cherry Red and 1GB Orange Yellow. The T10 features a large metal clip to connect the player to bags, belts or hang it around the neck. The iRiver T10 features include 1.1 inch color LCD display, a 53 hours play-time, SRS, 10 equalizer settings, WMA, OGG and MP3 music format support, a clock function, and FM-Tuner. The player measures 85.8x40.8x29.4mm and weighs 49 grams. The iRiver T10 goes on sale in Korea on May 20th starting at 159,000 won (around $158).
CodeBlender Software today released its newest game for the Mac: DeepTrouble 2 is a sequel to its action game: "this time the underwater aliens are fiercer than ever. As the most experienced pilot of the Excalibur '7' series fighter and reconnaissance craft you are tasked with uncovering the dark secret of the underwater aliens and their colony-world. The many different types of enemies will put your combat and strategic skills to the test as you navigate deeper through dangerous underwater passages and enemy territory." DeepTrouble 2 features 11 levels, OpenGL-based graphics, and OpenAL-based sound effects. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later and is available for $30.
palmOne today introduced the LifeDrive Mobile Manager, the handheld maker's answer to PocketPC. LifeDrive features a 4GB hard drive and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless. It can edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents from Microsoft Office, store and play music, video, and photos, and record audio. It features a 65,000-color, 320x480 Transflective TFT display that can flip between portrait and landscape orientation. The LifeDrive is powered by a 416MHz Intel XScale processor, and costs $500. Unlike devices powered by Microsoft's PocketPC which require third-party software to work with Macs, the LifeDrive is compatible with Mac OS X out of the box.
BeLight Mail Factory 2
BeLight Software today released Mail Factory 2, a new version of its tool to design and print envelopes, address and shipping labels. The program now includes embedded address storage, advanced Merge Printing functionality, 15 address templates (corporate, personal), support for Canada Post barcodes, and is compatible with Tiger. Mail Factory also prints USPS POSTNET and Royal Mail barcodes on labels and envelopes to help expedite delivery; it correctly formats addresses for more than 50 countries and supports single or batch printing from Mac OS X Address Book, Entourage, Eudora, Now Contact, MS Excel, FileMaker, vCards or tab-delimited text files. Mail Factory 2 is available for $40.
Apple Digital Campus
Apple reports that the Apple Digital Campus is being adopted by a growing number of colleges and universities. Apple's Digital Campus program "helps drive innovation and leading-edge thinking that fundamentally make a difference at participating institutions." It provides a "blueprint for implementing innovative technology that transforms teaching and learning." Highlights of the program include: a strong focus on assessment and evaluation, support for collaboration and media rich learning, easy sharing of ideas, and security and interoperability.
US Modular Dragon Drive
US Modular today announced Dragon Drive - a bus-powered portable external storage drive system available in 20 to 100 gigabytes. Less than an inch high, these ultra-slim high-performance hard drives are the ideal for portable use. According to the manufacturer, the drives are about the size of a paperback. Internally, the device features a compact 2.5" drive. Because the drives are entirely bus-powered, there are no AC power cords or adapters. Dragon Drive comes standard with both Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and FireWire connections. Dragon Drives will be available in June in all configurations, and will be priced from $100 to $280.
CS Odessa today released LeadingProject 1.3, an update to its professional project management software for Mac OS X. Version 1.3 features advanced resource reporting system that lets users avoid mistakes in resource allocation and control the budget of multiple projects. It also features adjustable reports (for specific time periods), new report wizards, and better MS Project import. LeadingProject 1.3 is available for $250; previous version owners can download the update for free. The company is offering academic discounts, a special cross-grade price for ConceptDraw products users, and a bundle with other applications (for a savings of up to $250).
Swift 3D 4.5 for vector 3D
Electric Rain today released Swift 3D v4.5, a standalone application allowing designers to build and export vector and raster-based 3D animations for Macromedia Flash, as well as FLV (Flash Video), QuickTime, AVI and other formats. In addition to providing vector and raster style video export, Swift 3D 4.5 introduces a host of vector rendering enhancements including pen-style outlines for improved cartoon rendering, adjustable shadow density and color, realistic transparency, render speeds up to 50 times faster, control over outlines at intersections, support for Level 3 EPS and enhanced SVG output. It is available for $230 (electronic or CD); upgrades from v4.0 are $80 and $130 for other versions.
PowerSchool Pro 4.2
PowerSchool, a division of Apple and maker of student information systems (SIS), today announced the availability of PowerSchool Pro 4.2. The upgrade builds on PowerSchool's advanced offering for the management of Alternative Education Programs (AEPs), particularly Continuing Education programs. With this new version, PowerSchool also offers compatibility with Apple's new Mac OS X Tiger. PowerSchool's cross-platform, Web-based system offers a choice in database sophistication, including the ODBC-compliant, Structured Query Language (SQL) relational database option, PowerSchool Premier.
PremiumSoft Navicat 2005
PremiumSoft has released Navicat 2005, adding support for SSH Tunnel, a data synchronization feature, and a built-in SQL console. With SSH Tunnel, database users can easily connect to their remote MySQL server without the need for configuring user privileges. Synchronization Manager lets users synchronize data and data structures across databases. A view-builder and built-in SQL console facilitate the creation and editing of MySQL through the command line. Navicat is a powerful mysql frontend that provides extensive functionality for managing and developing a MySQL database. Navicat's interface lets users easily manage multiple databases. Users can copy data by dragging and dropping, connect to remote MySQL server and schedule a backup or restore, data sync and import or export -- all via a graphical interface. Navicat 2005 is $100.
While Apple's iTunes has attracted a 70 percent market share by selling individual downloads of songs and albums, changing market conditions will make subscription-based music services the dominant model for selling online music in the future, a research analyst claims. Strategy Analytics is the latest research and consulting firm to weigh in on the online music debate, stating, "The retail download model popularized by iTunes is costly and inefficient." Martin Olausson, Senior Analyst with the company's Broadband Media & Communications service, said, "As the online music market matures, most consumers will place greater value on having access to a wide range of music instead of purchasing a smaller number of songs." Merrill Lynch believes that Yahoo's entry into the increasingly crowded digital music space may push Apple to offer its own subscription service later this year.
Refurb Apple PowerBooks
Apple has added 12-inch PowerBooks to its list of refurbished items available from the Apple Store. The 1.33GHz 12-inch PowerBook, available for $1,300, features 256MB of RAM, a 60GB drive, a SuperDrive, and built-in AP Extreme. Apple is also offering other refurbished 15-inch models: $1,700 (1.5GHz/Combo) and $2,000 (1.67GHz/SuperDrive)--both of which feature a 512MB/80GB config (as well as Bluetooth 2.0 and a backlit keyboard). Two models of the 12-inch iBook are also available for $800 (1.2GHz/CD or 1.0GHz/Combo) as well as two models of the SuperDrive-enabled iMac G5 for $1,000 (1.8GHz/17-inch/80GB) and $1,400 (1.8GHz/20-inch/160GB). Apple is also offering new models of previous-generation Macs: iMac G5s (starting at $1000) and dual-processor G5 desktops (starting at $1,700). Update: Apple has added a previous-generation 15-inch PowerBook (1.33GHz/Combo) for $1,500 and a previous-generation 17-inch PowerBook (1.5GHz/SuperDrive) for $2000.
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