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Daystar Technology today announced the release MAChSpeed Control 3.4, an update to its CPU performance software. The new version of MAChSpeed Control incorporates a wide array of tools for CPU/Cache configuration, profiling, testing and compatibility. The update also includes compatibility with all Apple operating systems from Mac OS 9 though Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger). MAChSpeed Control is $17 for Mac OS X, or $10 for Mac OS 9. "This is not just another piece of 'Cache Switching' software", said Gary Dailey, president of Daystar. "MSC's ability to actually think, by profiling components and protecting users from getting themselves into non-boot situations, coupled with its exclusive features, makes it the 'Swiss-army Knife' of Mac CPU utilities - a valuable tool in any system."
Cheetah3D 2.2 ($70) adds animation tools, and F-Curve editor, a 40% faster OpenGL preview, polygontools with autohighlighting for easier editing of polygon meshes, blured reflections, and more to the fast, elegant 3D modelling, renderering and animation tool. [Download - 11MB]
Concierge 1.4 ($10) updaates the integrated Safari bookmark assistant that can store bookmarks, email links, Address Book cards and groups, and Finder file/folder links in a drawer attached to either side of Safari's browser window. Users can manage/search the bookmarks without switching windows as well as anotate links with additional comments. [Download - 1.0MB]
ChimeX 1.5 ($12) is a utility that brings back the hourly chimes missing in the new OS. " Choose between speaking the time, playing an alert sound, playing a sound file (QuickTime compatible), or having ChimeX randomly choose a file from a folder." Version 1.5 restores the dock icon, removes the menubar item, and brings Panther/Jaguar compatibility. [Download - 1.3MB]
Entourage Email Archive X 2.2 ($25) brings Tiger-compatibility to the utility for archiving emails and attachments you have received or sent using Microsoft Entourage X. It can archive your email by (1) creating a Finder-structured archive by date (archive, emails, and/or attachments in either text or native formats); (2) export/append to a text file; or (3) create a tab-delimited file for import into another database. [Download - 1.0MB]
ControlePus 2.0 (free) is a Mac OS X utility that allows you view running processes as well as check processor load and usage for process, quit/kill any process, change it's priority, and more. Version 2.0 can now choose a time to kill/stop any process, improves the interface, offers a new drawer with additional info, and more. [Download - 2.1MB]
FontAgent Pro 3.0.2 ($100) is a Tiger-compatible version of the native Mac OS X application that provides integrated font management, diagnostics, optimization and repair. It also now eliminates the need for auto-activation plug-ins for Adobe InDesign CS2 and Adobe Illustrator CS2. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 4.6MB]
i-Pocket iPod mini clone
The iPod shuffle is not the only Apple music player being copied by Chinese and Taiwanese electronics manufactures. This week, at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Aboss showed off its "i-Pocket." While the i-Pocket closely resembles the iPod mini, it does not offer the same functionality. It includes no internal storage, and instead relies on memory cards ranging from 64MB to 1GB. It plays MP3, WMA, and WAV files, and offers USB connectivity. It features an OLED display similar in size to the iPod mini's. The i-Pocket pulls off the iPod mini enclosure convincingly, featuring a 1-piece shell and fairly accurate proportions. The i-Pocket first surfaced online December, but its appearance at Computex is the first known public showing.
iPod battery lawsuit
A court has conditionally approved a settlement in a class action lawsuit brought against Apple by consumers who claim their iPod batteries did not live up to Apple's claims. Under the settlement, class members who purchased or obtained a new third-generation iPod will be eligible for a one-year limited warranty extension on that iPod to cover battery failures. If the iPod experiences or has experienced battery failure during the one-year extension period, consumers who submit a valid claim have the option of returning the iPod to Apple for a replacement or receiving a $50 Apple Store credit. Class members who purchased or obtained a new first- or second-generation iPod on or before May 31st, 2004 and experienced battery failure within two years of purchase will receive a $50 credit at the Apple Store or a $25 reimbursement check.
iPod in design survey
Mac Games and More has published a new free game for Mac OS X called, "Nervous Breakdown." Nervous Breakdown is a brick wall game where a player uses a ball to break down a wall that is progressively growing and moving downward. The ball begins slowly, and as the game continues, it increases in speed and the wall increases in size. "Nervous Breakdown breaks away from others of its kind such that during game play the gamer has only one life and has only one chance to play the level without dropping the ball."
Goldman on iPods
Goldman Sachs today maintained an "in-line" rating on Apple, saying it expects little sequential growth from the company's iPod line, but saw steady unit sales this quarter, according to Forbes.com. Goldman said that iPod shipments were tracking in-line with its 5.35 million unit shipment forecast for the June quarter. "Based on a series of checks throughout the supply chain, we expect sequential iPod growth to come in lower than what investors have become accustomed to," the research firm said. Goldman said that Apple's second-quarter upside should be less than it has been--with much of the upside driven by the company's Mac business.
The Spring 2005 Tour of Campus MovieFest -- "the world's largest student movie-making events" -- has concluded after 15 events throughout Atlanta, Boston, Florida, and Tennessee. Over 1,000 of these student-created movies are now available for viewing online. Campus MovieFest provided over 15,000 college and high school students with Apple laptops, digital camcorders, training, and a week to create amazing short movies. Huge campus-wide and community-wide celebrations showcased the top movies and awarded prizes including hundreds of Delta flights, iPods, Mac minis, Timbuk2 bags, and more.
ART VPS has released a new PURE ray-tracing card with twice the processing power for dedicated 3D final-frame rendering, 66MHz PCI-X compatibility, and 64-bit core rendering software. The PURE card is unique in its ability to support 3D image rendering larger than screen resolution. Using 16 AR350 ray-tracing processors, the PURE PCI-X produces images that are identical to a high-quality photograph, but with the added value of realistic 3D effects and animation. ART VPS's ray-tracing technology enables images to be generated up to 35 times faster than with conventional software rendering. The AR350 ray-tracing chips process 66 million ray-triangle intersections per second per core. Each AR350 has two cores. The PURE PCI-X card is bundled with RenderPipe plug-in interfaces for Maya on Mac OS X.
iPod in design poll
The iPod currently ranks second in the New Designers 2005 Iconic Design Poll. To commemorate 20 years of the New Designers exhibition, organizers asked a panel of leading designers and commentators to nominate their favourite piece of British design from 1986 to 2005. The iPod was designed by Jonathan Ive. In first place, is the The Alex Moulton bicycle, with 40 percent of the vote. The iPod trails with 27 percent, and the World Wide Web has 14 percent. Other interesting nominees in the poll include the Verdana font, the Millennium Dome, and The Rolling Bridge at Paddington Basin.
Goldman on June quarter
Goldman Sachs today maintained an "in-line" rating on Apple, saying it expects little sequential growth from the company's iPod line, but saw steady unit sales, according to Forbes.com. Goldman said that iPod shipments were tracking in-line with its 5.35 million unit shipment forecast for the June quarter. "Based on a series of checks throughout the supply chain, we expect sequential iPod growth to come in lower than what investors have become accustomed to," the research firm said. Goldman said that Apple's second-quarter upside should be less than it has been--with much of the upside driven by the company's Mac business. [updated headline]
GlobeTrotter 3G Quad
nova media today unveiled GlobeTrotter 3G Quad, a PC Data Card with support for 3G UMTS connections in Europe and GPRS connections worldwide. Globetrotter 3G Quad is a PowerBook travel companion that includes Mobile High Speed 3G software to set-up and use a mobile Internet connection in most places around world. "GlobeTrotter 3G Quad is compatible to all 850, 900, 1800, 1900 and 2100 MHz networks and can virtually be used anywhere in the world." With more than 200 connection settings already included, Mobile High Speed 3G provides automatic set-up, including entering INIT strings, APN numbers, user names/passwords, etc. GlobeTrotter 3G Quad (€390) is runs on any PowerBook with a PC Card slot type II and Mac OS X 10.3.x or 10.4.x.
ARTWIZZ iPod accessories
Disruptive Technology Channels, a UK-based distributor of consumer electronic products today announced that it is distributing a new brand of iPod accessories called ARTWIZZ. Disruptive Technology Channels owns the PodGear brand of iPod accessories. ARTWIZZ has several products in its initial lineup, including the HangPhones, which allow iPod owners to hang their iPod around their neck and also listen to their favourite music using the HangPhones integrated neck strap. Other products include the iSleeve, iSee mini, PowerPhones & Splittercable, and Screen Shield.
TaskCapture 2.0 is a precision time and activity tracking solution that offers automatic time-tracking features. TaskCapture creates a database client, job, task, application, time spent, etc. It eliminates the need for entering time estimates into conventional billing or time-tracking systems, according to the developer, which inevitably leads to "omissions or guesstimates due to the hurried nature of today's working environments. Version 2.0 improves accuracy and detail, tracks expenses, offers a better palette design to access Task Viewer, and lets users email HTML invoice tables and time sheets, or export as HTML. The update also adds customization capabilities on reports and invoices, including logo placement. TaskCapture is $80. The upgrade for existing owners of TaskCapture is $50.
Two new Canon scanners
Canon today debuted the CanoScan LiDE 25 and LiDE 60 (pictured at right) color image scanners. Both new scanners from Canon offer improved performance and ease-of-use in sleek, stylish designs--at entry-level price points. The new streamlined CanoScan LiDE 25 is only 1.3-inches high and uses a single cable to provide both power and a USB connection; it features three easy-to-use buttons on the scanner to automate common scanning tasks such as copying, scanning or e-mailing of images or documents. The LiDE 25 scanner also comes with Quality Automatic Retouching and Enhancement (QARE Level 3) technology, which reduces much of the dust and scratches from older originals. QARE technology even autocorrects scanned images to help with graininess, picture fading and improper backlighting.
Altec inMotion iM7 system
Altec Lansing today announced its new inMotion iM7 Portable Speaker System, which it says "brings the market's most impressive out-loud firepower to your iPod, iPod mini or iPod photo, along with the ability to run on batteries for use wherever you go. "Patent-pending digital amplification technology and other engineering extras pump out the biggest and fullest sound this side of your home stereo system -- all in a one-piece package compact enough to take on the road." The sleek, cylindrical, white and silver system features two 1-inch tweeters, two 3-inch mid-range drivers, a 4-inch side-firing subwoofer and a 4-inch passive radiator. It will ship in June for $250.
Natural Voices for OS X
Wizzard Software announced today that AT&T Natural Voices will soon be available for Mac. Named "Technology of the Year" by Frost & Sullivan, AT&T's Natural Voices product line is "widely considered to be one of the most human-sounding speech synthesis systems in the world." Wizzard says it will make this technology available to Apple application developers. Natural Voices has already "been licensed by Wizzard to a growing number of developers to be used in a variety of environments." Bruce Phifer said Natural Voices is currently "enjoying incredible popularity in the Windows and Linux environments." Wizzard did not specify when Natural Voices would become available to the public.
In brief: Apple has posted Submission Guidelines for its Mac OS X Downloads section and is encouraging submission of Dashboard widgets, Automator actions, Spotlight plug-ins.... Following up on its successful colocation services for the Macintosh mini, macminicolo.net has launched a Macintosh Xserve colocation service starting at $70 a month.... Luxpro is showing a new model of its Super Tangent iPod shuffle look-alike with an OLED display at Computex 2005.... PodStyles has announced the availability of the Shuffle Loop, a silicone case that designed to protect the iPod shuffle.... Microsoft seems to recognize the significance of the so-called Podcasting revolution, and is assembling its own podcasting team.... The success of the iPod proves that "technology can also be fashionable," according to New Scientist.
Firstgate Click \'N Buy
Apple today announced the addition of Firstgate's Click & Buy payment option for European iTunes Music Store customers, offering the ability to purchase music, audiobooks and gift certificates via debit card, direct debits, invoice or bank transfer. Apple today also launched its affiliate program across Europe, making it the first pan-European download music store to offer direct links to songs and albums to affiliate websites. "We think giving our iTunes customers the option to use the Click & Buy payment option is going to be a hit," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of Applications. "And, with over 15,000 iTunes affiliates in the US, the introduction of our affiliate program to Europe will drive even more customers to the world's best online music store, while providing affiliate websites a quick and easy way to generate commissions."
Mini PC at Computex
PC maker AOpen insists its "Mini PC," jointly demonstrated at Computex 2005 this week with Intel, is not intended to compete with the Mac mini. The Mini PC, which closely resembles the Mac mini, was first shown in February as a design concept, and earlier this week as a working prototype. It's powered by a Pentium M processor running alongside Intel's 915GM chipset. The Mini PC incorporates Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, both optional on the Mac Mini. The dimensions may of both machines are very close (16.5 x 16.5 x 5cm for the Mac Mini and 15 x 15 x 5cm for the Mini PC). The Register observes that the Mini PC "sports an unappealing on/off button on its front."
The success of the iPod proves that "technology can also be fashionable," according to New Scientist. "The iPod has given a real kick-start to the idea of wearable technology," Sandy Black, a fashion researcher at LCF said. "There are already skiing jackets with iPod control switches built into the sleeve material, for instance. So with BT and others we are investigating technologies the fashion industry can harness to meet consumers' heightened expectations." London College of Fashion and U.K. telecoms firm BT envision "putting your address book and photo album on in the morning along with your socks" and "clothes peppered with plastic LEDs that let you change the fabric's pattern at will."
Luxpro iPod shuffle clone
Although Apple managed to temporarily banish Luxpro's iPod shuffle knockoff at CeBIT this year, the company is again displaying the device to the public, this time at Computex 2005. The Taiwan-based manufacturer is displaying a new model, called the MX-585D. It features a 64X48-resolution OLED display and supports Digital Rights Management (DRM). It is compatible with three audio formats, including MP3, WMA and WAV. The model charges to 80 per cent of capacity in just two hours and offers continuous use for 10 hours on a full charge, according to the company. In addition, the model supports 10 different languages. Yesterday, we noted two reviews of the initial model of the Luxpro, which does not feature a screen.
Microsoft seems to recognize the significance of the so-called Podcasting revolution, and is assembling its own podcasting team. "Striking is how much Apple seems to get it," writes Alex Williams. "Podcasting fits into the DIY decade of self-expression, which increasingly seems to be the theme of Apple's product ecosystem. Now it looks as if Microsoft is getting into the podcasting game." Podcaster Adam Curry reportedly said, "It was like 15 minutes after it showed up in the Wall Street Journal when Microsoft called, saying, 'Hey, how do we get in this?' I don't know a lot about Microsoft. I do see they're a lot hungrier company than they used to be." Williams says Apple seems to be leading the way with culturally significant products. "Somehow, Apple has turned the iPod and iTunes ino mythic weapons that people see as hip. And in the process, they have aligned themselves with DIY youth culture, who live in the remix world."
In collaboration with Sumajin, iPodStyles has announced the availability of the Shuffle Loop. The Shuffle Loop is a silicone case that was designed to protect the iPod shuffle with thicker silicone materials at the corners, and is another high quality designer product by Sumajin, the creators of the award winning Smartwrap. The Shuffle Loop is available in a range of colours, and can be purchased with a matching Smartwrap and earphone sponge to "complete the look."
HP iPod mini
Hewlett-Packard today added the iPod mini to its line of rebranded digital music players. The Apple iPod mini from HP is available in both configurations: 4GB and 6GB. The company already already sells larger HP-branded 20GB, 30GB, and 60GB iPod models. HP also unveiled its new HP Printable Tattoos, which allow consumers to personalize their digital accessories with artwork, designs and photography. Consumers can print their mini Tattoos from an HP Photosmart 375 Compact Photo Printer. These ultra-thin HP Printable Tattoos provide protection form scratches and scuffs, and are easy to apply and remove from the iPod mini's exterior. In April, HP updated its iPod offerings to reflect recent changes to Apple's line. See other iPod News on iPodNN.
Ableton debuts Live 5
Ableton today announced Live 5, an update to the company's music software solution that offers new features for creation, production and performance. Version 5 brings 'Clip Freeze' functionality to conserve CPU power and help transfer projects between computers; new plugin delay compensation; new arrangement/song-position markers with MIDI mapping and quantized recall; and support for Mackie Control. Other new features include MP3 support, automatic tempo-matching, frequency-domain warping, improved clip export, more effects, etc. It will ship in late July for $500; upgrades are free to all purchases of Live 4 after June 1, 2005, $50 for Live 4 purchases in May 2005, and $120 for others. Owners of previous versions can upgrade for $170. Beta testing for Live 5 will begin in June.
Apple Store Genius Bars
Apple's Genius Bars are the new hip place to hang out, according to an article in The New York Post. Noting that the Apple Store SoHo has extended its Genius Bar hours until midnight (Monday thru Saturday), the report says that crowd at the store is more than reminscent of a singles bar: "So goes a typical tension-filled encounter at the Apple Store's Genius Bar, where the men of the help desk have become a draw for New York's damsels in hard-drive distress. Single women are having their rescue fantasies fueled by the suprisingly chatty, sociable Mac daddies, some of whom look more like members of the Strokes than the cast of 'Revenge of the Nerds.'"
Saddlebag for laptops
Dr. Bott today announced an exclusive distribution agreement and the availability of TechWiz Innovations MUSAK laptop bag for iPod users. The new MUSAK computer case is a saddlebag-style laptop carrying case with integrated amplified speakers and a built-in flip up case designed specifically for the iPod. The design of the "swing up" case allows the wearer to easily change tracks and volumes without having to remove their iPod from the case or take off the MUSAK bag. It is compatible with 12-inch, 14-inch, and 15-inch laptops and is available in two different models for iPod owners: one model fits all iPods from first generation through the most recent fourth generation iPod with Click Wheel, including iPod from HP, U2 Special Edition iPod, and iPod photo. Another model accommodates the iPod mini. Both cases are available immediately for $100.
iWire review, iMaginator
In Brief: We've posted a review of iWire! Broadcast 1.3, a utility to track/organize online radio and music streams.... Dr. Bott is now shipping the TechWiz MUSAK laptop bag for iPod users (pictured at right).... Digidesign today announced a new ICON exchange program, which offers registered owners of ProControl or Control|24 control surfaces the opportunity to exchange up to an ICON D-Control or D-Command worksurface.... Stone Design announced the iMaginator Contest 2005 Winners, which offered users prizes for creating effects using the company's iMaginator 1.1.1, a powerful new image processing application that leverages Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger's Core Image technology.... PowerSchool Premier has been named a winner in the 2005 Software and Information Industry Association's (SIIA) Codie Awards, in the category of Best Student Information System for K-12.
New MS XML file format
The Mac BU today announced it will support the new XML-based file format announced by Microsoft for its forthcoming Office 12 software package. The new open-standard-based XML fromat will replace Microsoft's traditional binary file, allowing users to more easily exchange data within the Office suite and with other applications. Microsoft said that the new Microsoft Office XML Open Format is based on an open-standard with a royalty-free license that is broadly accessible to any technology provider. The Mac BU said it would provide Office for Mac users with the ability to take advantage of benefits of the new file format and container technology, which will include easier recovery of corrupted documents, improved security and smaller file sizes. The Mac BU will support the new file formats and work to enable forward compatibility with future Office releases.
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