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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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HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc