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Mac mini ship times jump
In Brief: The online Apple Store has suddenly increased ship times for the Mac mini (for both models)--from 'Same day' to '6-8 business days', possibly hinting at the introduction of new models.... The same day that Steve Jobs announced Apple's plans to adopt Intel chips, the company filed a trademark application for the term Mactel, according to CNET News.com.... The next Portland Mac Filmmakers' User Group meeting, which will take place on Tuesday, June 28, will explore the newest features of Final Cut Studio.... The Fast Icon Studio has released a new icon set for use in desktops of Batman fans: "Batman Begins" contains 6 freeware icons.... Managing Editor Inc. today announced that the K4 Publishing System customer base has surpassed 2,450 users in the U.S., with 44 systems in production at 28 publishing companies, accompanied by more than 1,750 licenses of Adobe InCopy.
AirPort Radar, Google Maps
AirPort Radar 1.0 (free) is a new Widget for Tiger users that offers the ability to quickly scan an area for wireless networks. It will work with AirPort cards, MacWireless 11g PC Cards, and 11g PCI cards. It displays signal strength, offers a sortable network list, can connect to any network with a simple click, can remember lost networks, and automatically resizes to fit the number of networks listed. [Download - 106KB]
Google Maps 1.2 (free) enables you lookup your Apple Address Book addresses using Google Maps. Users can quickly use the Address Book pull down menu to directly access a stored address via Google Maps. It supports addresses in the United States, the UK, and Canada and runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 100KB]
Rolling Credits 1.2 ($10) has been released for Mac OS X Tiger. The application creates scrolling credits for iMovie and Final Cut, offering support for typographical controls and inline images. This version renders DV files much faster and brings Tiger compatibility. It is a free upgrade, while version 1.1 is available for Panther. [Download - Panther, Tiger]
Calq 1.3 (free) is an easy to use, on demand calculator for Mac OS X 10.2 or later: "The idea behind Calq is to have a calculator handy when you need it do some basic calculations quickly." It adds support for exponenets, brackets, browsable history of calculations, Mac OS X Services, memory functionality, and more flexible key assignments. [Download - 1.4MB]
Launchd Editor 1.01 ($5) provides a graphical interface to modify the values of 'launchd', a Tiger system utility that replaces Unix system utilities such as cron, at, watchdog, init, startup items, etc. The application creates property list files for 'launchd'. [Download - 87KB]
Widget Creator (free) is designed for both beginning and advanced widget designers and will help "users create widgets faster than ever with a maximum of ease." It includes Aqua effects templates, a "skeleton" widget to get started, the AppleScript to "flip" your widget, scripts/graphics for a personalized scroll bar, a "virgin" Dashboard icon, and more. [Download - 377KB]
WidgetOrganizer (free) is a program to preview, inspect, modify and remove installed Widgets. The software displays all installed widgets (including duplicates) in a table-view, while offering detailed information on any selected Widget (as well as the ability to modify info). In addition, users can choose whether to display the widget in the Dashboard or on screen. [Download - 680KB]
ADHOC today announced new sessions for its Dearborn, Michigan developer conference. Apple's transition to Intel processors will be a major focus of the gathering. "ADHOC has always been focused on giving developers the edge when it comes to using the latest & greatest technologies to navigate your code from start to finish. Now that Mac OS developers have yet another transition to deal with, the conference also known as MacHack is here as always to help the navigation go smoothly."
iPod not a fad
Columnist Andy Serwer says the iPod is more than a fad. "It's hard to recall any branded recreational product that ever carried the cultural oomph that the iPod now has," Serwer says. "The iPod has also spawned a major peripherals boom for companies like Bose, which makes the SoundDock, and Altec Lansing, which makes portable audio units for the iPod [...] as well as tiny players like Griffin, which makes iTrip radio transmitters. As for accessories, there are iPod cases by Burberry, Gucci, Coach, and even a Crystalmini, covered in Swarovski crystals for $999. Never mind the hundreds of other shells, furry bags, socks, and water- and snow-proof Pod holders out there."
Apple may use Intel's Trusted Platform Module or "LaGrande" technology to restrict Mac OS X for Intel to Macs, according to Gartner. "Apple clearly does not plan to try to compete against Windows, which -- though it will run on Intel-based Macintoshes -- will not be supported by Apple, the firm said in a report last week. "Nonetheless, many design-conscious Windows users may be willing to pay premium prices for Apple hardware. Apple/Intel compatibility also raises the possibility of virtualization technologies that enable a machine to run both OS X and Windows." The firm said that in the longer term, Apple could change its strategy, provided it "sees a market opportunity for its OS on the broader x86 platform." Ars Technica provides some analysis of the situation: "So, will Apple use LaGrande to tie OS X to the Macintosh? That depends on one whether or not Apple is really serious about locking OS X to Apple machines alone. And the answer to that question depends on how Apple envisions 'the Macintosh' as a platform in the post-PC, post-PowerPC era."
Music will be a major focus at Macworld Conference & Expo Boston, taking place July 11-14, 2005 at the Hynes Convention Center. Macworld will showcase several music-related Mac features including Mac music education, a music festival, music-related exhibitors and the Dream Studio. 13 Mac/music-related educational sessions will take place during Macworld. A Power Tools Conference track titled, "Advanced Mac Music Production," will provide two full days of intensive training for musicians who want to learn to better record and produce their music using Mac-based systems, and to more fully develop their audio engineering skills. This track is presented by David Mash, VP for information technology at Berklee College of Music, and takes place July 11 and July 12.
J2S has released version 1.2 of J2SCatalog, a plug-in for InDesign CS designed to automatically tag and generate documents starting from an XML data source. J2SCatalog can be used to lay out catalogues, property listings for estate agents, directories, and other types of records. The user first creates a "model" by laying out the items of a typical information unit (record). J2SCatalog then duplicates this model throughout the document, adding new pages as necessary prior to importing the data from the XML files. The new version adds a layout template creation module and more.
Softmagic today announced MLayout 2.1, an update to the desktop publishing application built for Mac OS X. MLayout takes advantage of Quartz PDF rendering, Unicode-based multilingual support, and the automated pagination based on XML and tagged RTF. It supports math equations, tables, Japanese rubi, and direct publishing to Web. Version 2.1 adds a French localization, improved composition rule for Roman-based European languages, and improved spot color support. The update also allows Unicode-based multiple character styles in single paragraph style. Legacy data support is also improved.
ART VPS has released a new 64-bit version of its RenderDrive network system that can accommodate up to 48 of the company's AR350 dedicated ray-tracing processors. The new RenderDrive RD6400 provides off-line, final-frame rendering for an unlimited number of users. It can address model sizes of 30-million polygons and provides faster I/O speeds with new gigabit networking. is bundled with RenderPipe plug-in interfaces for 3ds max, Maya, Autodesk VIZ and CATIA, offering support for both Windows and Mac OS. It contains a library of advanced materials, lighting tools, ray tracing, radiosity, HDRI support, motion blur, and depth of field. RenderPipe will support global illumination in its next release, slated for early fall.
ezGear has announced the clearCase 60, the latest version of its case the iPod. The clearCase is, as its name suggests, a "crystal clear case" that provides both wraparound protection and visibility for an iPod. The case is made of acrylic, has openings on the top and bottom for access to all ports, and an opening for the clickwheel. The top of the clearCase flips open for easy installation and removal of your iPod. The clearCase comes with a detachable clearClip and a lanyard. The clearCase 60 works with the iPod photo 30GB, iPod 4th generation 40GB, iPod photo 40GB, and iPod photo 60GB.
OS X for PCs
In his latest column for PC Magazine, John Dvorak envisions a scenario where spyware and viruses emerge on the Mac platform. Dvorak believes PC users will inevitably find a way of installing Mac OS X for Intel on their generic machines. As a result, Apple will likely release a version of Mac OS X for PC users, rather than lose sales to piracy. "To many Mac aficionados the uniqueness of the platform will be lost forever [...] The big problem that Mac users will have to face is the emergence of virus code and spyware aimed at them." eWEEK columnist Jason Brooks shares Dvorak's view on Mac OS X for PCs. He believes Apple will eventually release "OS X Unbound" -- a version of its operating system for PCs. Apple will then face several issues, such as cannibalization of Apple's hardware sales.
HealthWare has made a number of announcements following the conclusion of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference. HealthWare said its Smart Scheduling application for iDental will ship in early July. Smart Scheduling is designed to adhere to vCalendar open standards, which makes appointments or personal schedules truly portable. Smart Scheduling will interface with iCal, and allow users to sync their schedules and transfer their appointments to their iPod, Palm PDA, cell phone, or PowerBook or iBook. Schedules can also be "published" to the Internet or a .Mac account.
REALbasic 2005 for Mac
REAL Software today began shipping REALbasic 2005 for Macintosh, an update to its cross-platform object-oriented language and development environment; it includes a new user interface for improved productivity and integrated support for Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger" Spotlight technology. The update to the rapid application development (RAD) environment brings a single-user database based on the public-domain SQLite, a new HTML viewer control, custom UI controls (Pro), more compatibility with Visual Basic, support for multiple simultaneous open projects, a Spotlight QueryClass for building Spotlight-ready applications, and more. REALbasic 2005 Professional Edition, which runs on a single-platform and creates applications for Windows/Linux/Mac, is available at a special introductory price of $400 ($100 off), while the Standard Edition starts at $100; it runs on a single platform and creates applications for that platform only. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.
Centurion recently announced the release of MacShield Enhanced Edition ($60), a hard drive protection suite for Macs. MacShield Enhanced Edition provides enterprise-strength protection to computers, returning the hard drive to the pre-defined configuration upon restart and removing all temporary changes. MacShield Enhanced Edition is designed to clear Mac computers of unwanted changes such as downloads or deletions, system settings changes and installed programs. Upon reboot, all changes disappear, and the computer is restored to its original configuration. Additionally, although viruses are not a major concern on the Macintosh platform, users have an extra layer of certainty that no future malware will penetrate the system hard drive.
iPod for coporate thefts
In Brief: Apple said it is not considering any compensation for South Korean owners of earlier versions of iPod MP3 players that were falsely advertised for their battery charge capacity and lifetime, after a conditional settlement with US customers earlier this month.... Security firms warn that the iPod and similar devices can easily be used for corporate theft... The recently released ConceptDraw V, professional software design documentation tool features Graphical User Interface (GUI) Prototyping.... Several users have noted that Glucose Development, makers of WeatherPop menubar tool for Mac OS X, are no longer available via their previous www.glu.com website... "Digital Video Hacks" (Joshua Paul, O'Reilly, US $30) is a collection of 100 unique tips, techniques, and tools for every aspect of digital video production.... Econ Technologies has released 18 new Father's Day templates for use with Portraits & Prints ($30).
Planar PX LCD
Planar Systems has unveiled the latest in its PX line of LCD monitors. The company is now offering new 17-, 19-, 21- and 23-inch models. The PX 19-, 21- and 23-inch monitors feature Planar's new RapidVideo accelerator for improved full-motion video performance. With RapidVideo technology, the Planar PX2320MW is "up to five times faster than other 23-inch LCD monitors on the market." In addition, all of the PX monitors have a QuadStand base for resistance-free height, tilt, swivel and pivot adjustments. Bezel size is minimized by integrating stereo speakers into the stand. A thin bezel also users to place multiple LCD monitors side by side in either portrait or landscape configuration for uninterrupted viewing. Pricing for the 17-, 19-, 21- and 23-inch models is $385, $470, $1150, and $1600, respectively. Resolutions are 1280 x 1024, 1280 x 1024, 1600x1200, and 1920 x 1200.
Apple is top growth brand
Apple is the fastest growing brand in the world, according to marketing consultants Vivaldi Partners and Forbes. The company has increased its brand value by 38 percent in the last four years -- in large part due to the ubiquity of its iPod portable music device, according to Brand Republic. The report said that the Top 10 Growth brands "outperformed their peers in their respective markets during the past four years and are likely to continue to do so into the future". Internet brands Google, Amazon, Yahoo! and eBay follow close behind, pushing traditionally powerful brands such as Coca-Cola and McDonalds off the list, according to the report. Pixar was No. 9 on the list with 23 percent brand increase. Earlier this year, Apple was awarded BrandChannel's Brandcameo Lifetime Achievement Award for Product Placement and Apple edged Google for the top spot in BrandChannel's 2004 survey for brand recognition.
Free HPC on Tiger webcast
Apple has announced its free webcast for High Performance Computing with Tiger (HPC on Tiger). Scheduled for June 16 at 10 am PDT, the session will focus on Mac OS X Tiger (both client and Server versions) and improving the performance of computationally intensive research applications using the 64-bit "Tiger" operating system--by leveraging distributed grid/cluster computing, effortless management tools, and more. The seminar will also discuss how to port existing scientific code to Mac OS X more easily with an improved UNIX environment and Linux compatibility. The one-hour webcast will be hosted by Matt MacInnis, Apple's Market Manager for Science and Technology Markets and will feature a Q&A session as well. Users must download and install CAST:STREAM player 2.0.
Zero G Software acquired
Macrovision today announced that it has acquired privately-held Zero G Software, a leading provider of software deployment and delivery solutions for multi-platform operating system environments. "The combined expertise of Zero G and Macrovision will provide software publishers and their customers with a seamless software installation experience across all platforms," stated Dan Stickel, EVP/GM, Software Technologies Group, Macrovision. Zero G Software will become part of Macrovision's Software Technologies Group and expand Macrovision's product portfolio in the Software Value Management category. Macrovision said it will continue to provide support for all Zero G products.
iPod used for theft
iPods have been used by disgruntled employees to steal information from companies, according to The Guardian: "Anti-fraud experts warned yesterday that the [device], along with other music players, that boast hard drives with up to 20GB of memory, could become widely used by employees to fool security officials and breach data security rules. In one case a recruitment agency found much of its client database had been copied to an iPods's memory and used to defraud the firm." The report says that the iPod's portability and ability to store large amounts of information provides an easy cover for connecting the device to a company company computer.
PictureItPostage for Tiger
Endicia today released PictureItPostage for Mac, a Mac OS X Tiger-only customized postage solution that gives Mac customers a unique tool to personalize their postage with 46% more space for their images. Customers can turn their letters and packages into "personalized works of art"; the software can directly import iPhoto images and offers editing tools such as zoom, cropy, and image filters (using Tiger's Core Image technology) as well as support Tiger's Spotlight search. "Unlike competing services, PictureItPostage allows the customer to choose between portrait and landscape orientations for their stamps, and provides 46% more area for the customer's image." PictureItPostage offers an elegant serration design on all four sides of the stamp and alows customers to pick any color from their image as the background color." Customized stamps are shipped in sheets of 20 within 10 business days.
Weak iPod shuffle sales
Apple's iPod shuffle sales are not doing well, according a report from Asia. Digitimes reports that "weaker-than-expected sales of Apple's iPod shuffle" may drive down by flash memory prices down by up to 40 percent due to excess manufacturing capacity by Samsung: "Although the iPod Shuffle was a hit when it was first introduced on the market, sales of the MP3 player are not justifying the supply forecasts for NAND flash that Apple has secured from Samsung, the sources stated. If Apple cancels the orders, Samsung may release even more NAND flash into a market already being affected by the influx of a number of new NAND flash producers, Shu indicated."
Ilexsoft today released HighDesign 1.5, an update to its powerful CAD application that offers advanced vector tools and now introduces over 80 new items and improvements. It supports Tiger's Spotlight search technology, offers improved redraw speed of up to 86 percent, offers automatic DXF symbol conversion, improves the Undo/Redo functions, incorporates a new 'Offset' tool, features new Align Objects commands and automatic alignment guides, and more. Version 1.5 also offers an improved UI, improved zoom and panning via the middle mouse button, a redesigned Quick Reference with keyword search and improved French localization. Both Standard ($150) and Pro ($350) versions are available; upgrades are free for registered users.
Extensis, Voodoo, Wallet
Extensis today released free updates for all of its Photoshop Tools products, including Mask Pro, PhotoFrame, Intellihance Pro and pxl SmartScale. The free updates for registered users will provide Adobe Creative Suite 2 compatibility. The company is currently still developing auto-activation plug-ins for Illustrator CS 2 and InDesign CS 2 for Suitcase and Tiger updates are forthcoming for Font Reserve Stand-Alone and its Portfolio v7.0.4
VoodooPad 2.1 ($25) brings support for Spotlight, new categories/tags to assign keywords, improved HTML export (with CSS styles), hyperlinks between documents, more AppleScript commands, and a new UI. The Wiki-type notepad for Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later is described as a "digital junk drawer, where you can jot down notes, web addresses, to-do lists," etc. [Download - 1.2MB]
Wallet 2.0 ($15) updates the secure utility for storing passwords, serial numbers, contacts, and more. Version 2.0 has been completely re-written for increased performance and security, offers a new UI, sports AutoFill for browser forms, and offers a Quick Lock feature. Upgrades are $5. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 1.2MB]
Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor 3.1 ($26) is a utility that allows users to improve their typing skills. Users can now set their level based on the results from the free online typing test. It also offers a streamlined quiz and other small improvements. A free trial edition and additional materials including a free teachers guide and free online typing test are available. Upgrades are $9.
PC-Mac-Net FileShare v4.6 ($25) allows users to transfer files and folders easily and securely. Version 4.6 supports transfers of files with Mac OS resource forks to/from Windows and Linux computers; it also free disk space available for incoming files and offers faster, more reliable connections, an automatic firewall test, and expanded help, etc. A free "lite" edition has a 10MB file limit, while the Pro version ($40) offers VPN-based encryption. [Download - 1.8MB]
pearLyrics 0.2 (freeware) uses the internet to quickly look up song lyrics--either manually or via iTunes. The update offers an enhanced Widget for Tiger users (easier search, less screen space used, resizable, minimizable), the ability to save lyrics, and more. It is also available for Mac OS X 10.3. [Download - 142KB]
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