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Apple is offering refurbished iMac G5s starting at $900 as well as refurbished current generation 15-inch PowerBooks for $1,700 (Combo) and $2,000 (SuperDrive). Two different 17-inch models are available: 1.6HGz/Combo for $900 and 1.8GHz/SuperDrive for $1000. A refurb current-generation 12-inch PowerBook (1.5GHz/SuperDrive) is $1,500. A low-end 1.2GHz 12-inch iBook is also available for $800 (30GB/CD). Apple is also offering a variety of iPods (Shuffle, MIni, color, etc.) as well as Power Mac G5 desktops for $1,200 (1.6GHz), $1,300 (1.8GHz), $1,500 (dual 1.8GHz), $1,650 (dual-2GHz/PCI-X), and $2,300 (dual 2.5GHz).
In Brief: Toyota today introduced iPod-compatible stereo upgrades for its 2006 Scions.... Apple has posted a feature on using DVD Studio Pro (and a Mac setup) to produce "Billie Holiday: The Ultimate Collection," a CD/DVD set, honors the 90th anniversary of the legendary singerís birth with a rich gathering of music and video.... Me and Mark Publishing has released an electronic version of Mark Szymczyk's new book "Xcode Tools Sensei," a $20 guide to the developer tools that ship with Mac OS X, covering 25 graphical and command-line tools in Xcode 2.1.... Apple has been developing a wireless touch-screen remote control that can automatically discover and communicate with consumer electronics devices as well as a home computer.... The Freeway One Word Invitational is a novel multi-prize Mac Web design competition that offers prizes for the top four-page web site built using either Softpress' Freeway Express or Freeway Pro.
Toyota's Scion division today announced that an iPod-compatible Pioneer audio system is now available as an accessory upgrade for both the 2006 Scion xA and xB. The company says that it is the first brand to offer iPod connectivity and control across its entire lineup. The xA and xB, which will begin arriving at Scion dealerships next week, offers a new standard audio system that features a centrally-located volume control knob and a mini-jack port located in the center console. The port offers connectivity to most portable music players. The iPod-comaptible upgrade features a Pioneer AM/FM/CD head unit with iPod control.
Apple has reduced pricing on its iPod Out-of-warranty Battery Replacement Program, as first noted by AppleInsider. The price has been reduced by $40, from its original price of $99: "If your iPod requires service only because the batteryís ability to hold an electrical charge has diminished, Apple will replace your iPod for a service fee of $59, plus $6.95 shipping." The company offers a series of battery troubleshooting steps, which it recommends users perform before submitting an iPod for battery replacement. As noted by AppleInsider the service is also available at Apple retail stores.
RE:Vision Effects has released FieldsKit 1.5, an update to its plugin for After Effects-compatible applications, including Adobe After Effects, discreet Combustion, Adobe Premiere Pro, Digital Fusion and Apple Final Cut Pro, and others). FieldsKit deinterlaces video imagery with superior results. "Using proprietary field reconstruction and adaptive motion techniques, FieldsKit Deinterlacer can build full frames from fields that are of much higher quality than the standard approaches available in most effects and video editing applications." Version 1.5 is a free update to existing users, fixing a few bugs and offering other enhancements. FieldsKit is priced at $90.
In Brief: Merrill Lynch said that Macintosh sales "appear robust" and expects to see further evidence of the halo effect when Apple reports fiscal third-quarter earnings: "Our checks suggest that iMac sales improved following a refresh and that PowerBooks have been popular with recent graduates."... Mark/Space today announced upcoming developer sessions at the Advanced Developer Hands On Conference (ADHOC), which will take place July 27-31.... Big Nerd Ranch today announced its forthcoming 2005 Cocoa Bootcamp, which will take place August 22-26 and feature new Core Data coverage.... One Forbes.com columnist says that Steve Jobs may be planning a move for Apple that will leave even his biggest fans surprised--becoming a phone company.
Apple's DVD Playback Update 4.6.1 addresses a disc validation issue some users may encounter when attempting to play a disc for the first time with DVD Player 4.6. This update is recommended for all users of DVD Player 4.6 and is available via the Web as a 1.2MB download or via the Software Update for some users.
Gefen has introduced its ex-tend-it DVI/RS-232 Extender, which offers an easy, "plug and play" method of sending high definition video up to 150 feet over CAT-5 cables. Equipped with both DVI and RS-232 ports, it supports both high definition video displays and touch screen applications and enables local remote control. When used with a Gefen DVI to HDMI Adapter, HDMI displays may be used as well, according to the company. "The DVI/RS-232 Extender is ideal for varied applications ranging from all-digital signage to remote computer operation and touch screen controls for total home automation," said Hagai Gefen, president and CEO. It supports extension of multiple high definition video resolutions up to 1080p or 1920x1200 beyond its specified 5 meter distance limitation. The $600 package includes both a send and receive units and a 5-volt power supply that can be connected at either end.
Sonny Software today announced Bookends 8.1, an update to its Mac-only full-featured bibliography/reference and information management application for students and professionals. Version 8.1 includes an enhanced interface, automatic optional substitution of dashes for repeated authors in bibliographies, name standardization, configurable name display in the list view, direct e-mail of selected references, and more. Bookends 8.1 is available for $100 ($70 for students). It is free for anyone who bought Bookends on or after November 1, 2004.
MultimediaPhoto today released Photomatix Pro 2.1, the latest version of its application that allows users to increase the dynamic range of photos. Designed for professional photographers and advanced amateurs, Photomatix Pro creates and processes High Dynamic Range images generated from differently exposed photographs of a high contrast scene. Version 2.1 adds Mac OS X Tiger compatibility, an automatic alignment tool, batch conversion of single files and histogram information for High Dynamic Range (HDR) images. The batch conversion option converts HDR images into 8-bit JPEGs or 16-bit TIFFs while preserving local contrast and the full range of details of the source HDR images. Photomatix Pro, a stand-alone application that runs on Mac OS X, enables users to blend exposures hassle-free, create 32-bit HDR images and convert them using a powerful tone mapping tool. It is available for $100.
SubRosaSoft.com has released the latest versions its entire salvage range of software. Following the release of FileSalvage, the company has released four more applications, which feature a faster and more accurate data scan and recovery engine, more file format support, and a free trial version with a preview mode. SubRosaSoft Salvage software requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later and includes FileSalvage ($80), PodSalvage ($40), CameraSalvage ($40), MovieSalvage ($40), and OfficeSalvage ($40).
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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
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