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Intel CPUs inside Macs
Apple next week will announce a phased transition to Intel chips, according to CNET News.com. Apple will announce that it is ending its partnership with IBM and will begin using Intel processors in Macs as early as next year, the report said. The announcement, expected at Apple's annual WWDC developer conference where CEO Steve Jobs will deliver a keynote address, would follow weeks of speculation after The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was considering building Macs around Intel processors. UPDATE: A new Wall Street Journal article confirms the transition plan outlined in CNET's report. "An industry executive familiar with the matter, contacted Saturday, verified that schedule."
Marketcircle Billings 1.1
Marketcircle today released Billings 1.1, an update to its time tracking and billing application for Mac professionals. It manages the entire billing process from generating estimates, performing work, and creating invoices to applying payments and retainers. Version 1.1 includes 25 improvements, including international currency and western European character support, a new estimate and invoice style, improved keyboard access, 3-decimal (fractional) mileage rates, and user interface and stability improvements. It is available for Panther/Tiger for an introductory price of $40.
NTI Shadow backup for OS X
NewTech Infosystems this week debuted NTI Shadow, a convenient, always-on, data backup solution for PC and Mac users. "With NTI Shadow, users can set the program to automatically back up their important files in native format every time a change occurs. The backup data is always in sync with the original." The application operates transparently in the backgroun and includes a step-by-step wizard to simplify setup and scheduling, allowing users to maintain real-time, continuous backup of all changed files or just specific file types. Users can also archive multiple revisions of important files. NTI Shadow can also be used to synchronize digital content stored on USB pen drives or USB MP3 players. [site not updated; pricing not available]
PC Mag\'s 100 Best Products
Apple's Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger was the No. 3 product in PC World's listing of "The 100 Best Products of 2005". The Mac mini, iTunes, iPod photo, iTunes Music Store, and FileMaker Pro 7 were also selected the magazine editors. Tiger finished behind the Mozilla Firefox browser and Google's Gmail service, which were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Apple's Mac mini was named among the best products in the PCs and Peripherals category ("Tiny, elegant, quiet, and inexpensive, Apple's latest inventive machine could turn you into a Mac user."), while FileMaker Pro 7 was named in the Office Software category ("This version adds a relational capability that makes the app even more useful").
iPod mini clone
Headlines from iPodNN: Apple has announced a free recycling program for the iPod.... Jonathan Ive, designer of the iPod, won the coveted President's Medal for his contribution in "promoting engineering excellence" with the design of the iPod.... The PortalPlayer microchip that runs Apple's popular music player is made in India, Taiwan, China and Silicon Valley, explains Salon.com, in a recent article on outsourcing and the iPod.... This week, at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Aboss showed off its "i-Pocket" iPod mini clone. Track iPodNN headlines or add iPodNN to your site using our RSS feed.
Shares of Apple fell five percent today following a report published by AppleInsider that Apple is seemingly overstocked on most iPod models with about a month remaining in its third fiscal quarter. Most Mac models are also following a similar trend, the report said. Shares of Apple fell yesterday after it was reported that as many as 2 million people who purchased iPods before May 2004 may be able to file claims under a settlement preliminarily approved by a San Mateo, California, Superior Court judge. Goldman Sachs yesterday maintained an "in-line" rating on Apple, saying it expects little sequential growth from the company's iPod line.
iPod recycling program
Apple has announced a free recycling program for the iPod. Beginning today, customers can bring iPods they no longer want to any of Apple's 100 retail stores in the US for free environmentally friendly disposal, and those who drop off an iPod, iPod mini or iPod photo will receive a 10 percent discount on the purchase of a new iPod that day. iPods received for recycling in the US are processed domestically and no hazardous material is shipped overseas. In April, environmentalists lashed out at Apple for its environmental practices. Shortly thereafter, Apple CEO Steve Jobs shot down criticisms about the company's environmental practices.
Artlantis R is a tool for performing high resolution rendering in real time. The new FastRadiosity engine lets users compute images in radiosity -- even in preview. 3D objects and vegetation can be used directly in the preview window by simply dragging and dropping them. This enables users to work on different scenarios quickly and to simulate true virtual scenes in a real environment. Like its predecessor, Artlantis R is designed based on the original concept of constant preview window interactivity, with user defined modifications and settings. The preview image is calculated each time a change is made to the lighting, subject or environment settings, enabling the user to control all adjustments without losing time.
DiscBlaze 5.1 ($30) update the CD/DVD burning software. It now includes the ability to create bit-for-bit ISO images of removable media, an improved user interface and more. The utility offers faster than burning from the Finder, the ability to burn CDs or DVDs in a variety of formats (UDF, HFS+ and more), support for creating custom hybrid CDs with some files visible on a Mac, others on a PC, and more. It is a free upgrade. [2.2MB]
Easy Beat 2.2 ($50) brings compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and a new lower pricing. Version 2.2 also brings support for CoreMIDI and CoreAudio and also improves visualization of the score. easy beat is a music authoring program for composing, scoring, and playing songs and features a full-fledged MIDI sequencer. [5.0MB]
RadioLover 1.4 ($15) enables you to record MP3 radio streams as separate songs, with support for iTunes Radio Tuner, Shoutcast- compatible radio streams, and MP3/M3U/EXTM3U radio stream playlists. Users can schedule recordings and record multiple streams simultaneously. The update brings a
per stream download history, options to customize extraction of track
info, improved tagging, and more. [800KB]
EasyFind 3.5 (free) finds files, folders or contents in any file without the need for indexing andoffers case sensitive searches, Boolean operators, wildcards or searching for phrases. Version 3.5 circumvents Mac OS X bugs by implementing its own (and four times faster) wildcard interpreter, supports wildcards specifying or excluding a range or choice of characters ("[...]") and displays the full pathname. [186KB]
Jared: Butcher of Song (free) is now available as a widget for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Jared is a animated yellow smiley that sings. "Jared has long been an affront to the senses, an insult to the diatonic scale, an inappropriate yo-mama joke told over-loud at the elegant dinner party of internet culture, but never has Jared been as much of a waste of hard drive space as he is as a widget." [Download - 2.0MB]
WMV-9 Export component to 1.1 ($30) includes fixes for Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" and is recommended to use together with QuickTime 7 Pro or Quicktime 6.5.2 Pro. "With Popwire Windows Media 9 Export Component you can produce professional Windows Media content... Open any media format supported by QuickTime and use the professionally designed presets to produce windows media content of unsurpassed quality, at any given bitrate or connection in no time."
Apple asked to show cause
The Santa Clara Court of Appeals yesterday issued an "Order to Show Cause" asking Apple to tell the court why a petition filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in favor of several online journalists should not be granted. EFF represents AppleInsider and PowerPage, two Mac rumor sites whose records Apple sought to subpoena in order to determine the source of leaked information on forthcoming products. Yesterday's order allows EFF to seek oral argument. In March, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg ruled that Apple had the right to subpoena the electronic records of PowerPage. "An interested public is not the same as the public interest," Kleinberg wrote.
Livid Union 1.5
Livid has released Union 1.5, a major update to the its Mac VJ and performance software. Union features triggering, playback, sequencing, and effects for realtime performance and creation. It offers realtime multimedia control and manipulation for video artists. Union supports layers with separate realtime effects, more than 100 effects, integration with MIDI controllers, music- or file-based triggering of video, the ability to record video to disk, and more. Version 1.5 offers optimized playback performance, timeline sequencing, up to four layers of effects per source, and advanced modules. New interface features include, intuitive LFO's, a larger Clip Bank, autofade, and effects triggering. The software is available now for $300.
Aspyr Body Shop
In anticipation of the release of The Sims 2 later this month, Aspyr today made Body Shop, a standalone, character-creation tool, available as a free download. The Sims 2 Body Shop allows players to design unique Sims that can be used within the game and shared with other players. The Body Shop allows players to select a Sim's skin tone, eye color, hairstyle, facial hair, makeup, clothes and more. This tool gives players a detailed level of control over a Sim's look through a wide range of facial types and sliders that will fine tune each feature including nose length, eyebrow thickness, lip curl and chin shape. The Sims 2 will sell for $50.
WWDC iPods, iBooks
Banc of America Securities maintained a "buy" rating and $44 target price on Apple, saying the company will likely use its Worldwide Developer's Conference to introduce rumored 2-gigabyte and 4-gigabyte flash iPods. The event may also showcase the long-awaited iTunes-enabled cell phone from Motorola. "We do not see a video-enabled iPod at this event," Banc of America said. "Video content continues to be a challenge for Apple/iPod." The research firm said new flash products won't be enough to materially impact the stock. "While the iBook and eMac are due for a refresh, we don't think it will come at this event," Banc of America said. However, if new iBooks or eMacs debuted, the firm said they would have an impact on Apple's stock. "Comments on using x86 processors to materially lower systems cost" would also help boost Apple's stock, Banc of America said.
WWDC flash iPods
Banc of America Securities maintained a "buy" rating and $44 target price on Apple, saying the company will likely use its Worldwide Developer's Conference to introduce 2-gigabyte and 4-gigabyte flash iPods. The event may also showcase the long-awaited iTunes-enabled cell phone from Motorola. "We do not see a video-enabled iPod at this event," Banc of America said. "Video content continues to be a challenge for Apple/iPod." The research firm said new flash products won't be enough to materially impact the stock.
Shares of Apple fell $1.89 to $38.15 after it was reported that as many as 2 million people who purchased iPods before May 2004 may be able to file claims under a settlement preliminarily approved by a San Mateo, California, Superior Court judge. The lawsuits claimed that Apple misrepresented the iPod battery's playing life. Apple said it will issue $50 vouchers or warranties as part of a settlement with customers that had problems with the digital-music player.
Jonathan Ive, iPod designer and vice-president of industrial design at Apple, won the coveted President's Medal for his contribution in promoting engineering excellence with the design of the iPod. The award was handed out at a ceremony in London, which was attended by the U.K. government's minister for science, Lord Sainsbury. The U.K.'s engineering body also awarded CSR the prestigious MacRobert award for its single-chip BlueCore technology. The President's Medal is given on an to people or organizations who have made "significant contributions to the Academy's aims of promoting engineering excellence," but are not eligible for election to the Academy.
Xsan, Xserve article
"Starting with the Xserve, the company once labled as being for 'Artists Only' has become more than just an irritant to IT departments at all levels," writes columnist John Welch. The Datamation article looks at Xsan, which is, "if used correctly, a solid entry into the midrange SAN field, and a compelling product for SMBs, especially those doing multimedia work, or for any company with a multimedia department." Welch says Xsan may not be for everyone: "if you need to have a large amount of clients talking to the SAN front ends, you're going to need to plan your SAN setup carefully. Otherwise, you're going to find that while manageability has gone up, speed has dropped." Luckily, Apple has made Xsan "less painful than it could be, by charging a rather low per-machine price."
The PortalPlayer microchip that runs Apple's popular music player is made in India, Taiwan, China and Silicon Valley, explains Salon.com, in a recent article on outsourcing and the iPod. "Is this an example of how globalization works to everyone's benefit -- or a sign that the world economy is about to roll over America?" Headquartered in the U.S., PortalPlayer got its chip into the iPod "by outsourcing or subcontracting every possible step of design and manufacturing." PortalPlayer's software, however, was made at least partly in the U.S. "When we talk to our customers," says PortalPlayer's Michael Maia, "what I say is, we're a firmware development house but we also sell semiconductors." That software, according to Salon staff writer Andrew Leonard, is "PortalPlayer's competitive advantage, the intellectual property that makes songs on your iPod sound good and the device easy to use." The code is written by PortalPlayer's developers in Santa Clara and Kirkland, and at its fully owned subsidiary in Hyderabad, India. "Everything else that can be spun off, is."
IOXWebcam webcam driver
IOXperts today released IOXWebcam 1.1, a unified driver replacing the Mac OS X versions of their Universal USB and FireWire Webcam drivers. The driver can be used with a wide variety of webcams for advanced functions and broader support. The new release supports Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" and includes many new features and enhancements, including software-based pan/tilt/zoom, automatic face tracking, mechanical pan/tilt with Logitech Orbit/Sphere camera, simultaneous use of multiple cameras, a remote control application to adjust video while recording, localization in 14 languages, raw video recording from FireWire cameras, support for more compression formats and cameras, support for scalar and Motic microscopes supported, and better compatibility. It is a free update to registered owners and $20 for a new license.
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