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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Comixology fires up $6 all-you-can-read service
Amazon-owned Comixology has launched an all-you-can-read comic subscription service. After a 30-day free trial, for $6 a month, subscribers can draw from a large selection of the Comixology library, minus Marvel and DC comics. For now, the service is US-only. http://bit.ly/1WMAOft
QuarkXPress 2016 now shipping
Quark is now shipping QuarkXPress 2016, the newest version of Quark's graphic design and desktop publishing software that now features near-WYSIWYG fixe HTML5 publishing as well as improved operability with InDesign and Illustrator and support for multi-Color Gradient Blends, OpenType Stylistic Sets, a Color Picker (Eyedropper tool), Touchpads for Pinch and Zoom (Mac only) and more. Users on any previous version of QuarkXPress (versions 3-10) can upgrade to version 2016 for $350, while QuarkXPress 2015 users can upgrade to 2016 for $180; new licenses are available for $850 (education licenses are available for $90). http://bit.ly/1OL23Pu
Kanex debuts GoPower USB-C for MacBooks
Kanex today introduced its GoPower USB-C, a portable power solution designed to charge a USB-C MacBook on the go along with an iPhone or iPad simultaneously. Featuring 15,000 mAh of power--capable of charging an iPhone 6s seven times or the USB-C MacBook one full time--the GoPower USB-C Portable Battery features one 3A USB-C port and one 2.4A port for other devices, priority charging detection technology and a pass-thru charging to your devices when the battery is plugged into a power source. http://bit.ly/1TKaf8z
i.am+ EPs earphones are Apple Store exclusive
Musician turned consumer electronics entrepreneur Will.i.am has launched a new pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones, dubbed the i.am+ EPs. The new earphones are an Apple Store exclusive, and feature large 14mm drivers and aptX support for high-quality wireless streaming. The i.am+ EPs support A2DP controls, have a 30-foot range and can last up to six hours on a charge. The design is said to be inspired by the "iconic shape of vinyl records," and are made from spun metal and paired with a woven fabric cord. When not in use, the EPs magnetically click into place around the neck. The iam+ EPs are available now at select Apple Store and Apple.com for $230, are available in gold-on-black or black-on-black. http://bit.ly/1OKVlt2
Ultimate Ears debuts UE Roll 2 speaker
On Tuesday, audio accessory maker Ultimate Ears unveiled a new version of the UE Roll Bluetooth speaker. The new UE Roll 2, which sells for $100, looks identical to the previous version, but gets about 15 percent louder. In addition, the unit now supports a Bluetooth source signal up to 100 feet away, an improvement on the original's 65-foot limit. While both the old and new versions of the UE Roll offer an IPX7 waterproof rating, the company now includes a blow-up "floaty" with the speaker to avoid the risk of prolonged exposure. The new unit will begin general shipping next month. http://bit.ly/1TJWE0Z
Philips launches Hue White Ambiance bulbs
Philips latest HomeKit-compatible Hue light bulbs have hit the market. The new Hue White Ambiance bulbs are designed to allow users to control their color temperature to enhance either focus, or create a more relaxing tone. Combined with the latest update to the Philips Hue app, the new bulbs can be set according to user "routines." The "wake-up" mode gently turns up the brightness of the bulb, while conversely, the "go to sleep" mode gradually reduces the color temperature and brightness. The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit retails for $130, while single bulbs sell for $30. http://bit.ly/1TJT3Qn
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ