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With Henrico's schools shifting to Dells, iBooks are becoming available for a low price. The schools are getting a new fleet of Dell laptops for high school students and teachers next year, so the county is looking to unload iBooks used by students during the past four years. As plans stand, this year's seniors will get first dibs on scooping up one of the machines for $50 each. School officials now are polling high schools to estimate how many seniors would be interested in buying an iBook. The county will buy about 22,000 machines for $1 a piece at the end of its lease with Apple this summer. The school system had the option to return them to Apple. "I hope they found them to be good pieces of equipment, and they are going to get some good use out of them going forward," said Dave Myers, assistant superintendent for finance.
MacNN Forums roundup: Mac OS X users discuss the usefulness of Dashboard widgets, and Apple's heavy promotion of the Tiger feature.... The music industry's latest anti-piracy measures are scrutinized by MacNN members.... Members discuss Apple CEO Steve Jobs' speech to Stanford graduates.... iPod shuffle users discuss how the device's shuffle feature works.... Members discuss Michael Dell's recent comments that he would like to sell machines with Apple's Mac OS X.... Discussion continues about Apple's planned switch to Intel processors.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs was the Bay Area's most underpaid CEO in 2004, according to the San Francisco Business Times. In 2003, Jobs was one of the most overpaid, according to the report. This time, the most overpaid Bay Area CEO in 2004 was Howard Pien of Chiron Corp., followed by John Chen of Sybase. Business Times research compared CEO pay with company performance for the 100 largest publicly held companies in the region. Jobs took home $1 in total compensation from Apple for 2004. The previous year, he took home $74.8 million. Terry Semel, the CEO of Yahoo, was deemed fairly compensated despite compensation above $109 million. SFBT research showed he was the most underpaid CEO the previous year. The entire list of underpaid, fairly paid and overpaid CEOs at the Bay Area's top 100 public companies is in Friday's Business Times print edition. To view single-copy location sites, click here.
KeynotePro, which makes "Keynote Themes for Professionals," has announced the release of Warp Series: Elevation for Keynote 2 - a subdued modernist theme with "decidedly high-tech appeal." Built with a Platform-style framework, which allows for theme-wide customization via simple background changes, the Elevation theme floats a range of slide-spanning, staccato layout regions against a range of subtly detailed, understated backgrounds - "brought together into a design that constantly shifts the balance of foreground and background to create a sense of implied motion." Warp Series: Elevation is available for immediate download for $20 or in a Bundle with two other themes for $49.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has bought an iPod, according to a report published by The Sun. Britain's biggest-selling daily said the 79-year-old sovereign had bought a six-gigabyte silver model for 169 pounds (255 euros, 310 dollars). Queen Elizabeth's second son Prince Andrew, fourth in line to the throne, was reported to be behind the move, having bought his mother a mobile phone and taught her how to use it in 2001. "The Queen loves music and was impressed by how small and handy the iPod is," a royal insider told The Sun. "Obviously it is quite complicated to download songs, but I'm sure one of the courtiers will do it for her."
The Sims 2, the sequel to the best selling game for Mac and PC, has arrived in retail stores. It is also available for online purchase at Amazon for $50. The Sims 2 was developed for the Mac by Aspyr Studios, Aspyr’s internal development team, under license from Electronic Arts. On Monday, Aspyr announced that the game had arrived early at some stores. "In The Sims 2, players pick one of five aspirations that will take them through an entire lifetime, from the cradle to the grave." The Sims 2 is rated “T” for “Teen” by the ESRB.
Pressure Drop today announced a limited edition red, white and blue DecoDock to celebrate July 4th, the US independence day. The special edition DecoDock has a white base with bright red and blue LEDs, and provides users with a simple, artistic way to connect an iPod shuffle to their computer. The stylish dock designed to complement and enhance the iPod shuffle and also allows users to store the iPod's plastic cap in the back of the DecoDock. DecoDock sells for $32 and will ship June 24th in limited quantities. DecoDock is also offered in cobalt blue, obsidian black, silver, pink, green, and white. All colors are currently shipping and available for $29.
Panic & The Iconfactory have released Pixadex 1.5.4, an update to the popular icon organizational tool. Pixadex lets users import, organize and search huge numbers of icons easily. Pixadex lets you store all of your icons in a single place, organized into collections that you create. "Pixadex is to icons, what Apple's iPhoto is to images." This update is designed to help Pixadex users with large icon libraries. Version 1.5.4 boasts a significant speed increase when loading large collections and also uses greatly reduced memory. In addition, Pixadex now features Japanese localization as well as bug fixes and interface tweaks. Pixadex 1.5.4 is a free upgrade for registered users and is available today for $19.
MacinMind Software has released Master Key 4.0, the latest version of its typing tutor application. This release adds a drill editor with key vocabulary filtering, class reports, a new main window with operating tips, a new subtle sound set, speed improvements and other minor interface improvements. Master Key is made with REALbasic. It includes drills for U.S., Dvorak, French, and German keyboard layouts, the ability to type eBooks, and a game where users must save paratroopers by "typing open their parachutes in the ParaTyper." Several network configurations are possible, with the ability to support mixed platform networks. MasterKey costs $20.
X2max Software has released xmCHART 3.0, an update to its FileMaker Pro charting plugin; version 3.0 is completely redesigned and expanded version of the charting plug-in for FileMaker Pro that supports all basic chart types such as bars, lines, areas, scatters, pies, bubbles, high-Lows or Gantt charts. A comprehensive set of over 150 functions allows users to customize the entire chart, including scalings, axes or grids. Users can also add a title, legend, labels or a background picture. Other new features include support for the new FileMaker Pro 7 Plug-in API, drawing directly in a container fields, 3D charts (pie, bar, Gantt), 2D area charts, antialiasing and transparency, variable line and border smoothing, Unicode support, and more. It is available for $100 ($30 off) through the end of June. Upgrades are $50.
App4mac Software today released wKiosk Browser 4, its secure and fullscreen web browser designed for internet kiosks and its compansion wKiosk Remote Supervision 2 application. wKiosk Browser, powered by Apple's Safari web engine, offers built-in email support, favorites management, automatic return to a home page after a custom time out period, and other security functins, including secure preferences, disabling keyboard functions and the Apple menu, file/folder protection, automatic restart on crash, and cookie/cache management. Version 4 offers new preferences/tab/popup management functions, new URL controls, improved reliability/performance, and support for wKiosk Remote Supervision 2.0, which offers the abiility to take full control to a kiosk from any computer and now supports Mac OS X Tiger. wKiosk Browser 4.0 is $70, while wKiosk Remote Supervision 2.0 is $38 for 10 kiosks.
According to new forecasts from The Diffusion Group, a consumer technology research consultancy, demand for podcasts is expected to grow from less than 15 percent of portable digital music player owners in 2004 to 75 percent by 2010. TDG's new report, Podcasting: Fact, Fiction and Opportunity, suggests that between 2004 and 2010, the use of podcasting among U.S. consumers will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 101 percent. "Today the term 'podcast' refers to almost any online mobile content distribution service," said Marc Freedman, contributing analyst with The Diffusion Group. "It has taken on very general precepts, thus indicative of its status as a service category as opposed to a branded activity."
According to new forecasts from The Diffusion Group, a consumer technology research consultancy, demand for podcasts is expected to grow from less than 15 percent of portable digital music player owners in 2004 to 75 percent by 2010. TDG's new report, Podcasting: Fact, Fiction and Opportunity, suggests that between 2004 and 2010, the use of podcasting among U.S. consumers will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 101 percent. "Today the term 'podcast' refers to almost any online mobile content distribution service," said Marc Freedman, contributing analyst with The Diffusion Group. "It has taken on very general precepts, thus indicative of its status as a service category as opposed to a branded activity." Continued on iPodNN . . .
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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
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir
Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.