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The Art of Maya
Alias today announced that on June 17 it will officially launch the third edition of The Art of Maya. This book offers a look inside the world of the 3D computer graphics used in many well-known animation and special effects projects made with Maya software. The work of various companies referenced in the book include: Turner Studios; The Mill; Weta Digital and its work on the The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; and Oddworld Inhabitants and its latest game Stranger's Wrath. "Maya Master" Derald Hunt of Turner Studios will be on hand to speak at the launch, taking place in Vancouver at Chapters' Broadway and Granville location, Friday, June 17 from 5-7 p.m.
iPod leads PC World
The iPod dominates PC World's list of the best large-capacity audio players. In first place is the 30GB iPod photo, which offers a "terrific color LCD screen that enables you to look at images synced from your PC's photo library." The review also credits the new model for improved battery life over previous versions, plus "quick operations, intuitive menus, and easy-to-create playlists." In second place is the 20GB iPod, which "shares the same impressive features except that it lacks a color screen and image-playback support." The iPod mini placed second the "midcapacity" category, trailing behind Rio's Carbon.
Roxio offers The Boom Box
Roxio is working to launch the first software bundle designed to personalize iPod content. The Boom Box is a collection of applications for iPod owners that will help users customize and personalize iPod content--from music to podcasts. The bundle will include four applications: MusicMagic Mixer, CD Spin Doctor, Audio Hijack, iSpeak It, and iPodderX. The Boom Box package will sell for $50 and will include special offers for iPod owners, including those from Audible.com and other iPod accessory manufacturers. The Boom Box features two applications for podcasting, two applications for converting various audio sources to iPod-friendly formats, and an automated DJ application for playlist generation, according to various sources.
HPC SDK for Tiger
Absoft today announced a new High Performance Computing Software Developers Kit (HPC SDK) for Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger." The HPC SDK is optimized for Power Mac G5 clusters running Apple's 64-bit Tiger OS. Developers can compile, run, debug, and optimize high-performance applications. The Basic Edition for Tiger includes Fortran 95 and C/C++ compilers from Absoft, the Fx2 Fortran/C/C++ debugger, numerical libraries, and other supporting development tools. A Technology Preview of FxP, Absoft's new parallel debugger for MPI environments is also included with the SDKs for Mac OS X. The HPC SDK Basic Edition will ship by the end of the month.
Small Tree at WWDC
During this week's Worldwide Developers Conference, Small Tree Communications announced that its entire product line of high performance Intel 10 GB optical and multi-port gigabit Ethernet cards are compatible with Tiger 10.4 and are available for immediate delivery. In addition, Small Tree is previewing Blaze at the WWDC Show. A new remote file sharing system designed specifically for Macs, Blaze offers users the ability to store large data files, such as uncompressed HD Video, on a fileserver rather than local to each client. Beneficial to all users sharing data, Blaze will specially be useful in those industries where significantly large data files need to be transferred between users.
Apple user profile
More than half of households with Macs are planning to buy Mac or have previously owned one, according to recently released survey research from MetaFacts. "The Apple-faithful make up more than half of Apple's customers for the first time in more than a decade and up slightly from last year. This is good news for Apple. Even more good news is the percent of Apple households planning to buy another Apple home computer also increased." However, the survey revealed that most Mac households also have a Windows computer, that Macs are no longer the primary computer, and the number of households with multiple Macs is dropping.
LANDesk Management suite
LANDesk Software today announced administrative console support for Mac OS X Tiger. Using Mac OS X and LANDesk Management suite, administrators can now use a Mac and Apple's Safari Web browser to centrally manage their enterprise networks. Networked Macintosh systems appear in a network view and can be included in software distribution, inventory support and patch management tasks and schedules, according to the company. LANDesk also offers a unified database, configurable inventory scanning, notification of changes in hardware/software configurations, software license monitoring, application policy monagement, and remote control.
Power Tools, MacLabs
The popular Power Tools Conferences and Hands-on MacLabs will return to Macworld Conference & Expo Boston on July 11-14, 2005. Mac users can choose from nine separate Power Tools Conferences and four Hands-on MacLabs. The Power Tools Conferences each provide two full days of intensive training on a specific application or tool and will take place on Monday, July 11 and Tuesday, July 12. Power Tools Conference attendees will learn from consultants, authors, product engineers and power users who have proven expertise in the recently updated applications and tools under discussion. The Hands-on MacLabs are half-day sessions that provide hands-on computer training in four different fields and will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 14.
Real Software Intel
Real Software announced today that RealBasic will add support for Mac OS X on Intel processors. "Since REALbasic is cross-platform by design," stated Geoff Perlman, CEO of Real Software, "RealBasic users will have the fastest, easiest transition to Mac OS X on Intel." Most applications will require nothing but a simple re-compile, "with no code changes at all," Perlman said. "REALbasic is cross-platform that really works." RealBasic's cross-platform compiler has supported the Intel processor since 1999. "This mature and robust Intel compiler will soon support the creation of Mac OS X applications, and will be included in both REALbasic Standard and Professional Editions. REALbasic will continue to support the creation of Macintosh applications for the PowerPC processor."
Long term benefits
Apple's transition to Intel chips will allow it to provide improved performance, better heat and power management, and lower price points, especially for mobile platforms, according to Banc of America Securities. The research firm, who rates Apple at a 'Buy' with a $44 price target, said that the announcement was a "net positive for the company for the next five years: "Further, we have always believed that Apple's value has rested with its software development (for its OS and applications), rather than the hardware," according to the Forbes report. In a research note, research firm Piper Jaffray said that despite the possibility of pushback from its current developer community, Apple has three major benefits from Intel transition: better consistency in processor supply, improved CPU pricing, and a larger potential developer community.
Siracusa on Intel
In brief: Ars Technica Apple Technology Specialist John Siracusa reflects on the switch to Intel and what it means for Apple and Mac users.... Apple is requesting that Thought Out, a maker of iPod accessories, cease and desist the use of the word "iPed" in its product names.... Sonnet Technologies today announced that PodFreq, PodFreq black, and PodFreq photo now include a custom-designed car cradle at no additional cost.... ExtremeTech's Jim Lynch talks about "what it's been like for me after the initial adjustment period and how my experimentation with a Power Mac led to my purchase of a Power Book and the installation of the latest version of Mac OS X (Tiger) on both of my Macs."
MySQL tools for OS X
MySQL AB today announced a new pair of visual database tools for Mac OS X. The new beta versions of the MySQL Query Browser and MySQL Administrator tools for Mac OS X are available under the GPL open-source license. MySQL Query Browser is a visual toolset for creating, executing and optimizing MySQL database queries. It features an integrated set of drag-and-drop tools within a familiar, Web browser-like environment, allowing users to access and analyze information stored within MySQL database servers. The MySQL Administrator is a powerful visual console that enables DBAs to easily manage and monitor their MySQL applications, including server configuration, user administration, replication status monitoring, backup/restore, and log views.
ActiveState for Tiger
ActiveState has released its ActivePerl, ActivePython, and ActiveTcl open-source language distributions for Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger". Touted as "the most complete, best maintained, and easiest to use cross-platform language solutions," the three new distributions for Tiger offer the same features, quality assurances and seamless integration as on other platforms. ActiveState's language distributions enable Mac programmers to keep their Perl, Python & Tcl packages seamlessly up-to-date. It includes core Perl, the Perl Package Manager (PPM) for installing CPAN packages, popular modules, and complete online help as well as Tcl, Tk and the essential modules for Tcl programming. ActivePerl, ActivePython & ActiveTcl are provided free to the community.
BakBone NetVault upgrade
BakBone Software today announced a new suite of solutions customized for Mac OS X Server 10.4 "Tiger." Built on NetVault for Mac OS X, the product family offers server-level Mac OS X support along with a new native interface. The product suite also integrates three comprehensive backup and recovery solutions. The NetVault product suite is optimized for Apple's Xserve G5, Xserve RAID, and Xsan product lines. The new interface streamlines the "look and feel" of NetVault to resemble Mac OS X. The solution backs up heterogeneous NetVault clients to Mac OS X Tiger Server and supports Virtual Disk Library (VDL) disk-to-disk backup capabilities, dynamic addition of clients, Oracle RMAN 10g on Mac OS X Server, and more. It will ship in "late summer."
Digital music research
Although radio, television, and portable devices dominate overall music listening, the computer is an increasingly significant medium. According to the latest MusicLab report from The NPD Group, more than a doubling of consumers are ripping music onto computers and transferring music to MP3 players. Listening to music stored on a computer rose by 22 percent (63.2 million to 77.2 million), online radio listening increased 18 percent (45.3 million to 53.5 million) and free streaming of online music increased 37 percent (33.7 million to 46.1 million). NPD also noted a decline in those listening to the radio.
In his opening keynote yesterday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs outlined the company's 2-year transition plan to the Intel architecture, announced a preview of QuickTime 7 for Windows, said that Apple had delivered 2 million copies of Mac OS X Tiger, hinted at the next "Leopard" release of Mac OS X due at the end of 2006, described the Rosetta technology that will ship with Intel-based Macs, offered a new version of its Xcode developer tools (with WebObjects), announced new developer transition kits with Pentium-based Macs to help with the transition to Mac OS X/x86, increased iTunes marketshare, and more. The Intel move could cause confusion for Mac users, hurt the open-source Linux movement, could create some short-term risk with AAPL stock, and may harm the Mac market in the short-term, according to developers and analysts. The WWDC keynote is available in QuickTime.
Apple on iPed
Apple is requesting that Thought Out, a maker of iPod accessories, cease and desist the use of the word "iPed" in its product names. A letter from Apple Legal was sent to the company yesterday regarding the use of the word in the names of three iPod accessories made by Thought Out. According to Apple, the term "iPed" likely confuses the consumer and it also weakens Apple's brand strength, so that consumers will no longer be able to rely on the "marks" to identify authorized Apple products and services. Thought Out's position on this matter is currently neutral with "no wishes to construe Apple or any consumer of either product brand."
Mail Factory Home Edition
BeLight Software today released Mail Factory Home Edition, a special version of its tool to design and print envelopes, address and shipping labels. The program allows users to create mailing labels and envelopes at a savings of 50 percent off the regular price. ail Factory Home Edition supports Apple Address Book, iPhoto, vCards and text files and features than 700 clipart images, 100 unique masks as well as includes a variety of ready-made designs. Additionally, it offers several editing tools, including the ability to control transparency, crop, tile and rotate images, etc. It is available now for $20.
Intel could confuse users
The news that Apple is switching from PowerPC to Intel chips could confuse consumers, some analysts are warning. "Apple has sent a strong signal that it would be sensible to wait a year if you want to buy a new Powerbook," Gary Barnett, research director at Ovum, told BBC News. Mr. Barnett said he would have been more impressed if Apple had decided to switch to AMD processors. AMD had "out-innovated" Intel in terms of its 64 processor technology, he said. "Everything around PowerPC seems to interesting and optimistic - AMD can be classified as that too. Intel is just the current leader, albeit it by a big margin."
DataPilot for Macintosh
Susteen today unveiled the all-new upgraded version of its DataPilot for Macintosh ($45). This upgraded DataPilot version allows Macintosh users to manage their cell phone calendars and personalize their mobile devices with MIDI or MP3 ring tones, pictures and movies--in addition to the previous Phone Book Manager and Internet Data Connect functions. Users can back up their contact information and stay in sync with their Address Book contacts and iCal appointments. DataPilot supports Panther and Tiger as well as more than 120 mobile phone models. The Macintosh Universal kit ($100) has been expanded from seven phone connectors to nine connectors to enable data connectivity with most handsets from Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, LG, Sanyo and Sony Ericsson.
Merrill Lynch AAPL-Intel
Merrill Lynch today maintained a Buy rating on Apple, with a price objective of $51 per share. Although the stock didn't react favorably after the Intel announcement, that could be due to "hang over left from last week's battery failure lawsuit and higher inventory reports." Analyst Steven Milunovich said some may insist that Apple is "giving up its competitive advantage using IA's." However, Apple's Steve Jobs said, "more than even hardware innovations, the core of the Mac is (still) the operating system." Milunovich also commented on an Intel-based media center, the transition to Intel, and Mac OS X sales.
Rosetta for legacy apps
Apple yesterday announced that its Intel-based Macs will include Rosetta, a technology that will allow them to run PowerPC applications. The technology allows the thousands of applications already available for PowerPC-based Macs to run on the new Intel architecture. In his WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs yesterday demonstrated both Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop running on an Intel-based Mac using the Rosetta technology, claiming that the experience would be transparent to the end user--unlike the Classic, Apple's emulation layer for running Mac OS 9 applications on Mac OS X. According to PC Pro, not all applications will be compatible with Rosetta, including those that have "intense computing needs" such as 3D modelling or ray tracing applications.
Linux the big loser?
Industry pundit John Dvorak says that Linux could be the big loser, following Apple's announcement of its 2-year transition plan to the Intel architecture. "It's quite possible that this new Apple strategy while obviously harmful to the computer makers in general and to Microsoft somewhat could actually be most dangerous to the emerging Linux OS environment. In fact it could kill Linux and in some ways actually benefit Microsoft in the long term.... Linux has other problems too. It's likely that developer interest will wane when Apple is fully engaged on the X86 platform. While Apple ran on the PowerPC chip the amount of developer effort in the Open Source camps was nil. But now that Apple is using the same processor as everyone else, targeting the Macs will now be an easy decision to make. This will be at the expense of Linux."
iTunes coming to Japan
Apple will launch its iTunes online music service in Japan in August and will undercut existing players by charging about 150 yen ($1.40) per song, according to the Nihon Keizai. The report says that record companies including Avex Group, Columbia Music Entertainment and Toshiba-EMI will provide songs via iTunes Japan, but that Apple has yet to come to terms with Sony Music Entertainment. However, UFJ Tsubasa Securities analyst Motoharu Sone expects that mobile phones will be music device of choice rather than the PC, according to Reuters: "In Japan, there has been virtually no market for music downloading via PCs, while mobile phone users spend an estimated $190 million a year to download music via the Internet to their phones."
Intel transition effect
Apple's move to Intel-based Macs may hurt the Mac platform in the short term. Developers say that both Mac hardware sales as well as developer software sales could suffer in the short term, according to those interviewed by eWEEK: "Either way, there's a lot of work to do. Applications might not be as easy to port to the new hardware as Jobs promised, some developers warned. Others said that although the move would serve Apple well in the long run, the action could hurt the company's sales, and by extension their own, in the interim. 'It's certainly the right decision in the long run. In the short term, there's the worry that hardware sales will drop off,' said Leonard Rosenthal, Chief Innovation Officer of Apago Inc., in Alpharetta, Ga."
Podfreq gets car cradle
Sonnet Technologies today announced that PodFreq, PodFreq black, and PodFreq photo now include a custom-designed car cradle at no additional cost. The holder is designed for a secure, rattle-free fit and attaches to a vehicle mount (sold separately) with included hardware to create a "holder" for PodFreq while you drive. The cradle features a soft liner that protects the back of PodFreq, and uses the standard AMPS/NEC mounting hole pattern (commonly used for cell phone mounts) that makes it compatible with a wide variety of vehicle mounts. Current PodFreq owners may also purchase a car cradle $15.
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