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In Brief: Seagate today announced a new one-inch 8GB drive, which may end up in the next iPod mini (as well as a new 500GB drive for video recording devices).... Apple advertising a new position for a Finance manager for a "new online commerce business," according the company's jobs website.... A group of 125 independent record labels initiated a new trade group called American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) aimed at giving them more parity with the four major music labels.... TiVo has extended its TiVoToGo portable video service to Microsoft's Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Centers--paperback-size devices that can play digital music and videos--as well as certain Windows Mobile-based Smartphones and PocketPCs handheld computers.... America Online this week announced the launch of its free AIM Mail service with spam- and virus-filtering and 2GB of storage, along with unique upgrades, features, and incentives for AIM members.
Apple may begin using the Pentium M chip in its first small desktops and portable Macs, which could lead to smaller, lighter-weight portables, according to analysts and industry sources quoted by eWEEK: "The chip, which currently tops out at 2.13GHz, typically performs as well or better than all but the fastest Pentium 4 chips, which clock in at 3.6GHz and 3.8GHz, even for applications such as computer-aided design, Intel and analysts say, while consuming roughly a quarter of the amount of power those chips use." The report notes that a higher-performance version of the Pentium M is expected at the same time that Apple plans to begin shipping Intel-based Macs: Intel's Yonah is a new, dual-core version of the chip that will be available in systems in early 2006, just before Apple said it would deliver its first Intel-Macs (by June 2006).
Seagate today announced the first 8 gigabyte 1-inch drive for portable media players. The new drives could end up in the next iPod Mini revision, expected later this year. Apple moved the Mini to the same Seagate ST1 drive in its 6GB form in February, introducing new colors and an improved battery life of 18 hours. Apple is expected to upgrade the iPod mini to a color screen later this year, according to BetaNews. In the first quarter of 2005, Apple reported shipping 5.3 million iPods. "Manufacturers such as Seagate have endeavored to boost capacity of shrinking hard drives to take advantage of the growing popularity of digital media players," the report said.
Apple today released Security Update 2005-006 for Tiger (also available for Panther), which it says "delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users," including updated components for Bluetooth and PHP. Apple's Mac OS X security update is available for Panther and Jaguar users as well as updates for AFP Server (Tiger-only), Bluetooh (Panther and Tiger), CoreGraphics (Tiger-only), Folder Permissions (Tiger only), launchd (Tiger only), VPN (Tiger), PHP (Panther/Tiger), NFS (Tiger), MCX Client (Tiger), and LaunchServices (Tiger only). More details are available on the Web.
Mac OS X for Intel will not boot on machines sold by other PC manufactures, according to Apple vice president Phil Schiller. "We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac," he said. Schiller calmed concerns that Apple might lose sales to manufacturers of cheaper PCs if Mac OS X could run on such machines. It is unclear how Apple will restrict OS X to Macs. Intel-based Macs might feature a motherboard chip that Mac OS X must detect on startup. Although hackers might find ways to run Mac OS X on regular PCs, Apple's restriction measures should keep average consumers from ever running OS X on a competitor's PC.
Advenio today announced its Transition Service for developers, which it says is designed to help ease the transition and reduce the cost to migrate software applications to new the Intel architecture (IA) for Macs. "While ADC Premier and Select developers have access to Apple's Transition Kit, the majority of the 500,000 registered developers do not. In addition qualifying ADC members may not want to deal with the expense of the kit for work that may not take a great deal of time. Advenio is offering to perform the transition for as low as $100, just 10% of the cost of the kit from Apple." The company says it will provide a provide a working Xcode build, perform the port for Intel-based Macs, and offer full details of the changes as well as provide a Universal Binary of the application, which can run on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs.
Apani Networks today released its Nortel Contivity VPN Client for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The new Apani software allows Tiger users to connect to Nortel VPNs, addressng compatibility concerns raised by early adopters of Apple's Tiger operating system. "We continue to work closely with engineers at Apple to ensure functionality and interoperability for Nortel VPN users seeking to upgrade to Tiger," said David Lynch, VP of marketing. "We are able to provide support for these users within a few weeks of the release of the new OS." It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. Apani's Nortel Contivity VPN Gateway for Mac is priced at $95 per client (which includes first year of maintenance).
Kensington this week announced its Stereo Dock for iPod, which allows users to "plug in" to their home stereo systems. The device integrates a line-out audio, a slim wireless remote control, and a stylish charging dock. It plays iPod tunes through any stereo system with line-in capability (using the dock connector) and charges the iPod at the same time. The infrared remote control operates from up to 30 feet away with five buttons to control Play/Pause, Skip Forward, Skip Back, Volume Up and Volume Down. The Stereo Dock supports all iPods with a dock connector, including 15GB, 20GB, 30GB, 40GB, 60GB, iPod mini and iPod photo. It will ship in July with a 5-year warranty for $90.
piStabilize ($40) is a video stabilizer plug-in for Apple's iMovie. piStabilize removes unwanted shaky motion from movies as typically being introduced by hand-held cameras. piStabilize compensates for shaky motion in horizontal and vertical direction as well as for rotational shaking and abrupt zooming. [Download - 1.5MB] MacXword 1.3.0 ($15) is an update to the popular crossword puzzle client. Version 1.3.0 brings multi-letter cell values, direct word navigation, and Spotlight integration among other new features. Also announced the MacXword Puzzle Collection: 50 Fun and Challenging Crossword Puzzles, available as a print-optimized eBook and as MacXword-readable puzzle files. [Download - 564KB] MacSword (free) is an open-source application for research and study of God and the Bible. Version 1.2 brings with it many new features including parallel bibles, personal commentary editing, and instant searching. [Download - 4.0MB] Mactracker 4.0b1 (free) provides detailed information on every Apple, Motorola, PowerComputing, and UMAX Mac OS computer ever made. In addition to all the latest Apple hardware, the major new features include: a rewritten search engine, Smart Categories (similar to Smart Playlists in iTunes), color labels, independent database updating, spell check and Unicode support for notes, a new category called "This Mac" which shows the current Mac, and the addition of Apple Hardware Test versions. [Download - 10.8MB] HistoryHound 1.8 ($20) is the latest version of the utility for indexing and searching Web pages that you've bookmarked or visited recently. Version 1.8 offers a more refined user interface for tracking down pages you've viewed in Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, OmniWeb, Camino, Mozilla/Netscape, Opera, and Shiira web browsers or the built-in browsers of the NetNewsWire 2 and PulpFiction RSS readers. [Download - 2.6MB] iSale 1.7 ($40) is a new version of the leading eBay selling manager tool. Version 1.7 supports Apple's fast, new, system-wide search function, Spotlight. Additionally, a new Dashboard widget provides users key information about running auctions. [Download - form]
OverTheEdge today announced the release of its Unity game development suite, which "combines a user-friendly GUI application with serious under the hood enhancements that take advantage of the graphics capabilities in Tiger. Anyone will be able to easily develop games using a realistic and fast Ageia physics engine and a powerful new proprietary graphics engine to make games that work on both Mac and PC." Unity-created games can run in Apple's Safari web browser, or other select Internet browsers, and can also be exported as Dashboard widgets. Unity is available in Indie ($250) and Pro ($1000) versions.
Sci-Tech Today speculates that mobile computing was the primary motivation for Apple to switch to Intel processors. As reported Monday, notebooks have for the first time outsold desktops in the United States in a calendar month. "Apple saw little need to change its third-party chip vendor until mobile wireless computing started to catch on.[...] Apple's laptops have about 3 hours of battery life. Intel's Pentium M, as part of the Centrino platform, exceeds Apple's performance and has registered as much as 7 hours worth of battery power."
PlayFirst has launched the Mac version of Diner Dash, which follows former stock broker Flo as she quits her day job and grows a fledgling roadside diner into a five star restaurant. "Diner Dash represents a new generation of popular downloadable games and is a perfect fit for the creative and inventive community of Mac owners," said Edelman. "Mac users can now experience the original animation, fast-paced gameplay and compelling storyline that have made Diner Dash a number one hit." It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later is available now for $20. A free trial is available.
In brief: Apple Japan has denied rumors that it will launch iTunes in the country in August.... TECSoft has announced Workflow Automation with AppleScript, a three-day training class that teaches AppleScript fundamentals and how to create powerful workflow automation solutions by controlling applications with AppleScript (available in Chicago, London, New York, and San Francisco).... A Blizzard representative has said the company will work to bring World of Warcraft to Mac OS X for Intel for 2006.... Runtime Revolution has announced a free online typing test which is fun based on its Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor.
Reports that Apple Japan will launch a local version of the iTunes Music Store in two months' time are "completely untrue", according to Apple Japan spokesman cited by local website Internet Watch. Apple Japan did confirm that it is still talking to the labels, but it would not comment further. Yesterday, Japanese newspaper the Nihon Keizai Shimbun claimed ITMS Japan will launch in August following digital distribution deals reached between Apple Japan and a number of major Japanese record labels, specifically Avex and Toshiba-EMI. In April, Apple Japan president Yoshiaki Sakito said ITMS Japan would open by the end of the year.
Transitive Technologies is providing Apple with software translation technology that allows old Macintosh software programs to run on Intel-based Macs, according to The Mecury News. The technology, announced as Rosetta at Steve Jobs' WWDC Keynote, will allow Mac OS X applications created for the PowerPC to run on Intel-based Macs, which will be "important for Apple to hang onto its loyal Macintosh customers at a time when it is making a major switch to new hardware." Rosetta consists of three parts: a decoder, which takes the code of the older software and converts it into an intermediate format; the core processing engine, which takes the intermediate format and figures out how fast it can run the older software in its new form; and conversion to a custom-tailored version that runs on the target computer. The article says that translation consumes about 25 percent more memory and runs at roughly 70-80 percent of the speed at which it ran on the original computer.
An online column looks at the various methods Apple may use to prevent users from installing Mac OS X for Intel on generic PCs. Hardware-based security of some type is seen as the most likely form of protection. Apple could also block workable drivers for anything but Apple hardware. "Can you imagine a flood of pirated Mac OS X copies, re-compilers or cracks on P2P networks waiting for curiosity seekers to download and install, [...] It’s only a matter of time before Apple’s OS becomes just one of many software titles listed on pirating networks for everyone to distribute at will." According to the article, Apple must make its Mac OS X compatible with non-proprietary PC hardware. "If Apple remains loyal to its hardware business, it will never know the potential revenue to be had from "OS X for PC" sales.
Stamps.com today launched PhotoStamps for Mac, which lets consumers turn their digital photos, designs or images into valid U.S. postage; it is now available as a stand alone application that integrates the design and order process with images in the users' iPhoto libraries. Due later this month, PhotoStamps for Mac will offer unlimited color options for borders as well as additional image effects under Mac OS X Tiger. PhotoStamps can create customized postage with virtually any picture, which can be used as regular postage to send letters, postcards or packages; PhotoStamps are currently available for the most common mail rates in denominations ranging from $0.23 to $3.85. Each sheet includes 20 individual PhotoStamps.
TBWAChiatDay was awarded the Grand prize at the Effie Awards for its global 'Silhouettes' campaign for Apple's iPod and iTunes Music Store, according to Brand Republic: "As well as winning the Grand Effie for Most Effective Campaign for its iconic iPod work, TBWA took home a Gold Effie in the Consumer Electronics category and a Gold Global Effie, which recognises campaigns that have proven effective in six or more countries across two or more regions." The report said that the Grand Effie winner honors a product at "the forefront of popular culture complemented by a creative, breakthrough marketing campaign that has proven to skyrocket sales."
It's the operating system, not the hardware, that has made Windows computers vulnerable to attacks, experts say. "Mac OS has generally a better track record and reputation than Windows for security. I don't think taking Mac OS to Intel silicon would change the robustness of the operating system," Dana Gardner, a senior analyst at the Yankee Group, said. Theoretically, it is possible that security flaws in lower-level system software could be used to attack both Windows and Mac computers. However attacks, such attacks such as those on the BIOS, are rare. Moreover, experts say it is not known if Apple will use the same low-level software common in PCs. Software makers will have to watch out for sloppy coding, according to Charles Kolodgy, an analyst at IDC. "With many developers making changes to their programs en masse, there is much more opportunity for vulnerabilities to be created - not intentionally but accidentally," he said.
MAXON Computer today announced support for Apple's upcoming Intel-based architecture (IA). "Apple's announcement is good news for a cross-platform developer like MAXON. Since our products' source code is over 95% platform-independent, it can be ported very quickly. In addition, Intel has always proven to be a very flexible and dedicated partner," said MAXON CTO Harald Schneider. "CINEMA 4D has been leading a "secret double life" as an Xcode version for a while. To that end, the first internal Universal Binaries for Intel- and PowerPC-based Apple machines are already compiled in our labs."
Miglia Technology today released AlchemyTV DVR 2.4 and EvolutionTV 2.4, software updates for its video peripherals for the Mac. The latest release of the AlchemyTV DVR and EvolutionTV software allows a Mac to start up at a predetermined time, perform a TV recording and shut down again post recording. Miglia says the update is "a major step towards turning your Mac into a VCR/DVR replacement for all your favorite shows." AlchemyTV DVR ($160) is a PCI-based TV tuner and Digital Video Recorder for the Power Mac G4/G5 that allows users to watch TV (In a window or full-screen video), capture video from TV or an external source using composite or S-Video inputs, schedule recordings via TitanTV, and control the software using an included infrared remote. EvolutionTV ($280) is a USB 2.0 TV tuner that features MPEG-2/4 and DivX compression and provides similar functions.
Dassault Systemes today announced Cosmic Blobs 1.1, its powerful 3D graphics creativity software designed for kids. Available for the first time on the Mac platform, Cosmic Blobs now includes a movie file capture feature, improved content graphics, and an expanded user interface. "Cosmic Blobs acts like modeling clay on the computer, enabling users to design and animate creations in the style of today's coolest computer-generated cartoons and movies." Dassault has bundled a new themed expansion pack: "Critter Chaos" includes animal-themed models, textures, decals, animations, and background options. Cosmic Blobs also features integration with iLife and iWork and Tiger's Dashboard. It is available for Mac OS X 10.3 or later and costs $45 (and is due in Apple Stores in July).
In Brief: ZDNet's David Berlin talks about Who broke the Apple-Intel story? and how the WSJ has (wrongfully) usurped most of the credit, while Dan Gillmor wonders whether Apple will sue CNET News.com, who confirmed story last Friday (and legitimately 'broke the story').... Iconkits.com has released Office Base Kit ($200), which includes 160 high-quality royality-free icons that have "a crisp, natural look with smooth colors and a 'floor shadow' effect."... So Smart Software has released three new plugins for the Revolution family of software development tools--including smart projects reports, windows management and real time access to sixteen tutorials stacks.... iPodNN reports on new iPod Shuffle cases from ezGear, the iPod's dominance in PC Mag's review of audio players, and Roxio's forthcoming Boom Box suite of software for iPod owners.
Apple's iTunes Music Store is more popular than most "peer-to-peer" (P2P) download services that offer free music-swapping. According to an NPD Group survey of US Internet users, iTunes was tied with Limewire for the No. 2 spot in March behind WinMX. iTunes and Limewire were each used by 1.7 million households, while, WinMX was used by 2.1 million households. AFP reports that millions are still downloading unauthorized songs and both Napster and RealNetworks also placed in the top 10 alongside P2P services like iMesh and Kazaa. NPD also said that four percent of Internet-enabled US households used a paid music download store in March 2005.
Evological has released EvoBarcode 1.1, an application that allows you to use your iSight camera as a barcode scanner. It recognizes barcodes from the iSight and instantly sends them to the frontmost application; it can also send scanned barcodes to the Clipboard or can integrate the input with any AppleScript. Version 1.1 adds support for Code 39, Code 128, Codabar and Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode symbologies, and also support for 2- or 5-digit UPC-A and EAN-13 extensions. Other enhancements include the ability to adjust iSight manual focus while scanning, take snapshots, and choose whether to append a tab, enter or return character when sending barcodes to applications. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later and is available as $25 shareware.
ezGear today introduced new Bodysuit (right) and Tankini (below) cases for the iPod shuffle. The ezSkin Tankini is a two piece case that includes a skin for the iPod shuffle and another skin for the USB cap. The ezSkin Tankini can be used with the standard USB cap, the neck strap (only the iPod shuffle is covered), or with the ezClip Shuffle. It is available in five colors: Sky, Princess, Onyx, Lime, and Frost and is sold in a two-pack with one color and a Frost ezSkin Tankini. The two-pack bundle is $20. The ezSkin Bodysuit is a single-piece case that fits over the iPod shuffle and the USB cap simultaneously. The ezSkin Bodysuit can be used with the standard USB cap, the neck strap, or the ezClip Shuffle. It is available in the same five colors and is sold in a two-pack with one color and a Frost ezSkin Bodysuit for $20.
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Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL