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Lasso Studio for Eclipse
OmniPilot Software has released Lasso Studio for Eclipse 1.5, an update to its environment that allows Web developers to quickly build and debug database-driven Web sites within the Eclipse IDE. The built-in editor provides syntax coloring, code folding, custom tag and custom data type templates, tag and variable name completion, and more. Lasso Studio automatically checks files for syntax errors, while the integrated debugger allows Lasso Script files to be run from within eclipse. Version 1.5 offers support for the latest Eclipse SDK v3.1, code reformatting based on user options, custom templates for code completion, new preferences/shortucts, and other enhancements. It is a free update to the $200 application.
Mac sales grow
In the third fiscal quarter, Apple sold 35 percent more Macs than the year-ago quarter. Apple saw the strongest regional increase in Europe with 48% unit growth, while the Americas saw a unit growth of 26%. Apple's retail segment saw a 106% increase in revenue and 97% unit sales increase from the year-ago quarter. Despite a small unit shipment decline of 7% in Japan, Apple saw its Mac revenue in the Japan region grow by 32% Apple saw significant growth of 230% from the year-ago quarter in its Music Products--which combines the revenues from the iTunes Music Store and iPod-related services and accessories. This compared to 616% growth in iPod shipments--on a much smaller iPod revenue increase of 343%. Apple saw an increase of 65% in its desktop line on increased revenue of 49%, while it saw only a modest increase of 8% in unit shipments of portables (and 3% in revenue), indicating that the average selling price for both desktops and portables decreased.
Apple Pro app updates
Apple today released updates to several of its Pro applications: Final Cut Pro 5.02 brings improved reliability; DVD Studio Pro 4.0.1 Update addresses isolated stability issues, including correcting issues where the font sizes changes when applying the same template multiple times in PAL menus and where the auto button assignment worked consistently. Soundtrack Pro 1.0.1 provides improved reliability and performance; Apple Pro Application Support 2005-1 for Apple's professional apps (only available via software update); SoundTrack Pro 1.01 provides improved reliability and performance; and Final Cut Studio Updates (Apple Cinema Tools 3.02 and Compressor 2.01).
Q3 conference call
Apple today held its first earnings conference call since it announced a transition to the Intel platform. Apple executives Peter Oppenheimer and Tim Cook said the company has yet to see a significant pause in sales in anticipation of forthcoming Intel Macs. Oppenheimer said Apple "expects to learn more" in the coming quarter about how the announcement will affect Mac sales. However, he assured analysts that Apple remains committed to bringing new PowerPC products to the market in the coming quarters, and was quick to point out that today's earnings were "driven by the highest Mac sales in over four years." Oppenheimer emphasized that Apple is "hard at work" -- and "very enthusiastic" about -- new products, both Macintosh and otherwise. In terms of the company's music business, Apple saw "very impressive" numbers, outstripping market growth significantly.
iPhoto 5.03 update
Apple's today released iPhoto 5.0.3, which addresses issues with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger compatibility, Book and Print ordering, and Smart Albums. Apple says it requires Mac OS X 10.3.4 through 10.3.9, or 10.4.2 or later. The update is available as a 41MB update via the Software Update.
In Brief: We've posted a second MWB Show Floor Gallery (in addition to the MWB Show Gallery I posted earlier) as well as brief look at RadTech's OmniCleanz for cleaning LCD screens and other surfaces.... The Iconfactory has released a new freeware icon set based on the War of the Worlds feature film released earlier this month.... Although podcasting has been heralded by some as the next big thing in telecommunications, Mark Cuban has dismissed its potential.
Although podcasting has been heralded by some as the next big thing in telecommunications, Mark Cuban has dismissed its potential. Cuban is the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team who made his fortune selling Broadcast.com to Yahoo! in 1999. In a posting on his blog, the tycoon wrote, "Creating your own podcast and trying to make a business out of it is a mistake." He explicated that, "Podcasting is right where streaming [content] was about ten years ago... Try to find any of the many that created original content for Pseudo.com, TSN, Eyada.com, Broadcast.com and others that I have long forgotten." Podcast backers include Viacom's Infinity Radio, Disney's ABC News and General Electric's NBC News.
Apple earns $320M
Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2005 third quarter ended June 25, reporting the highest revenue and earnings in the Company's history. Apple sold over six million iPods, beating analyst estimates by nearly one million units. Apple posted a net quarterly profit of $320 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, and revenue of $3.52 billion, compared to a net profit of $61 million, or $.08 per diluted share, and revenue of $2.01 billion in the year-ago quarter, and represent revenue growth of 75 percent and net profit growth of 425 percent. Gross margin was 29.7 percent, up from 27.8 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 39 percent of the quarter's revenue. Apple shipped 1,182,000 Macs and 6,155,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 35 percent growth in Macs and 616 percent growth in iPods over the year-ago quarter.
iPod Flea parody
"Big laughs come in small packages" in a 2-minute Apple advertising parody called "iPod Flea" by KW Media Group. The commercial was produced by Scott Kelby, last year's top-selling computer book author, and the creative team at KW for the opening ceremony of the Mac Design Conference in Tampa last month. "It's a wacky look at the newest plausible extension of the iPod product line - the smallest MP3 player in history." This "well-intentioned" spoof - the "iPod Flea: You'll Be Itching to Use It" - is now viewable by the public at the Layers magazine website.
Mac OS X 10.4.2 Server
In addition to the Mac OS X 10.4.2 client update released yesterday, Apple has also released Mac OS X 10.4.2 Server Update, which includes fixes for file permission inheritance when using AFP network file services; Open Directory password and single sign-on authentication services; authentication in Windows Server 2003 Active Directory environments; more reliable file system management operations; editing a user's home directory location using the Workgroup Manager application; and compatibility with third party applications and devices.
Pro Solutions v1.6 mouse
Razer (Booth No. 429) this week introduced its Pro Solutions suite of Mac-compatible peripherals. With its distinctive design and blue-white light, the Pro Solutions v1.6 mouse ($60, pictured at right) uses the same proprietary Razer Precision optical engine as the Razer Diamondback gaming mouse, offfering an optical resolution of 1600 dpi--or nearly double the precision of a standard mouse. At 6400 frames per second, the v1.6 is also twice as fast as a regular computer mouse, according to the company. The mouse features an "Always On" mode -- the optical sensor never powers down, providing the user instantaneous response at all times -- as well as seven independently programmable buttons with multiple macros for the ultimate in customization. The company also introduced ProPad ($30), a mousepad thatis made from anodized, abrasion resistant, anti-reflective aluminum for long life; it features two distinct mousing surfaces and an increased surface area compared to standard mouse pads.
Flip for Mac mini
Belkin Corporation today announced its Flip for Mac mini, a solution designed to share a single monitor, keyboard, and mouse between the Mac mini and a second computer. Designed to save money and desktop space, the Flip is described as being "ideal for using the Mac mini as a second computer, without the expense or desktop real estate requirements of a second monitor." It features touch-sensitive bunttons to easily switch computers, eject a CD, and adjust volume. Users can also connect speakers to the device and share them among the two computers. The Flip for Mac mini will be available in North America in early Fall of 2005 for $100.
Belkin today announced TuneCommand for iPod, a device that allows users to roam and play the songs from an iPod virtually anywhere. Using wireless radio frequency technology, the TuneCommand Remote works from up to 150 feet away, regardless of barriers such as walls, ceilings, or windows that limit traditional remotes. The company also announced TuneTalk for iPod, a device that allows users to record audio to an iPod. By simply plugging the TuneTalk into your iPod, you can record memos, lectures, interviews, or conversations.
Belkin iPod news
Belkin today announced TuneCommand for iPod, a device that allows users to roam and play the songs from an iPod virtually anywhere. Using wireless radio frequency technology, the TuneCommand Remote works from up to 150 feet away, regardless of barriers such as walls, ceilings, or windows that limit traditional remotes. The company also announced TuneTalk for iPod, a device that allows users to record audio to an iPod. By simply plugging the TuneTalk into your iPod, you can record memos, lectures, interviews, or conversations. Continued on iPodNN. . . .
iDental software promo
HealthWare, the developer of iDental and iMedical software for healthcare practices, has announced a new Free Mac mini Promotion and the Value-Add Hardware Program for purchasers of the company's practice management software. The promo offers a free Mac mini with every purchase of iDental Standard Edition Network through the end of August 2005. The Standard Edition of iDental, is a multi-tasking application that allows the user to have multiple accounts or functions open on the screen at one time and includes Scheduling and eClaims and will ship mid-summer. The company also announced that buyers of iDental or iMedical who bundle the purchase of Apple hardware with their software will receive a 10% credit for the cost of the hardware purchased, which will be applied to the cost of software and other services.
iListen MX bundle
MacSpeech today announced iListen MX, a new version of iListen exclusively available from participating Apple Specialist dealers and the MacSpeech web site. iListen MX includes the latest version of iListen, "the best" headset/microphone offered by MacSpeech, and an enhanced list of built-in commands for hands-free control of the mouse, GarageBand, iDVD, iMovie, iPhoto, and iTunes. "As independent Apple dealers, Apple Specialists are always looking for new ways to add value for their clients. IListen MX adds significant value to an already impressive application. MacSpeech has truly demonstrated its commitment to both the Specialists and the Macintosh User Community with this new release." iListen MX is available immediately for $220 ($20 discount) on the MacSpeech website or for $200 ($40 discount) from participating Apple Specialist dealers.
Arkeia Network Backup
Arkeia today announced that its Arkeia Network Backup solution now supports Mac OS X Tiger and that it is offering hot backup plug-ins to safeguard MySQL and LDAP data applications operating on Mac OS X. Arkeia's Mac client performs backup of all files, including documents and applications, as well as important system files such as the Netinfo database. In addition, users can preserve privileged information and special file system features, such as Mac OS resource forks and Finder attributes. The Arkeia backup solution is also compatible with previous Mac OS X versions and Mac OS X Server operating systems.
AT&T Natural Voices
Wizzard Software today announced that AT&T Natural Voices for Mac OS v10.3 Panther and v10.4 Tiger are now available for purchase in English, French, German and Spanish. The voices can be used by application developers to incorporate Text-To-Speech into a variety of Mac applications, including those for accessibility, business automation, security systems and education. Named "Technology of the Year" in 2002 by Frost & Sullivan, AT&T's Natural Voices product line is "widely considered to be one of the most human-sounding speech synthesis systems in the world," according to Wizzard. AT&T Natural Voices offers "plug-and-play" language support and doesn't require different engines for each language. The company says that the AT&T technology also provides "exceptionally" high channel density. SDKs are available for desktop ($300 per voice) and telephony ($1000 per voice) applications.
iPod sales cooling?
In an article published yesterday, The Financial Times asks, "just how long can the iPod keep playing that upbeat tune?" Investors and analysts are pondering just that question as Apple prepares to report fiscal third-quarter results after the market closes today. "There are a number of indicators that suggest the digital music player market is cooling.[...] Apple recently cut prices on two of its music player models, including the iPod, a move the company said would help it capture market share. Some observers believed the price cuts pointed to slowing demand." The report also notes that consumers can actually find iPods in stock at Apple retail stores -- "a far cry from the waits that customers faced just a few months ago."
e2Sync Tiger 2.0 released
e2Sync today released e2Sync Tiger 2.0, a Tiger-compatible version of its software utility that brings full Entourage integration with iSync and many mobile devices. e2Sync Tiger syncs Entourage Contacts, Events, and Tasks with iCal, Address Book and all iSync-compatible mobile devices including over 60 mobile phones, Palm PDAs, the SonyEricsson P900/910, the new Motorola Razr V3, and the iPod. Users can also Sync Contacts, Events and ToDos by category, or choose contacts individually. A 10-day trial is available is available online, while a full license is $40.
iPod sales down?
Apple's iPod shipments probably dropped in the third quarter from the second, Bloomberg.com says. It would be the first quarterly decline in more than two years and a sign that "the surge in demand for the music players may be waning." Apple's profit in the quarter more than quadrupled to $274.2 million, or 31 cents a share, from $61 million, or 8 cents, a year earlier, according to the average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Sales likely rose 66 percent to $3.34 billion. The results would exceed Apple's forecast for profit of 28 cents and sales of $3.25 billion. But the company will say today iPod shipments dropped to 5.29 million in the three months ended in June from 5.31 million in the second, according to a survey of eight analysts.
Beckware today released AcctVantage SOHO, a financial software solution designed for small businesses that have outgrown "off-the-shelf" accounting software. It provides enterprise level features, offering support for a variety of business types including distribution, manufacturing, service and boutique retail. The system features true double-entry accounting and uses a total business, integrated approach with modules for Sales, CRM, Purchasing, Inventory, Accounting, Reporting and Job Costing. AcctVantage SOHO is a cross-platform application that allows both Mac and Windows machines to access SOHO simultaneously. SOHO features a client/server architecture for maximum speed and stability. Pricing starts at $4,500, which includes all necessary setup services.
MWB Photo Gallery
In Brief: We've posted a photo gallery from the show floor at Macworld Boston.... The European Commission has raided offices of Intel Corp and computer makers and sellers across Europe as it is under investigation by the commission's competition department for alleged unfair trade practices.... Google Go Actions are a set of Mac OS X Address Book plug-ins that will allow you to get Google directions and/or a Google map to any entry in your Address Book instantly.... Digidesign has released the Pro Tools Method One training DVD to help users get familiar with its digital audio workstation.... In addition, Digidesign and Nine Inch Nails (NIN) have provided a download of the Pro Tools session for "Only" from the new NIN album 'With Teeth.'
DLO mini Fling
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced the DLO mini Fling fashion cases for iPod mini. The mini Flings, DLO's first iPod cases designed specifically for women, embrace today's fashion trends and styles. The mini flings' material and color choices are a perfect match for any mini. Styles range from metallic pink, psychedelic green and even a crocodile blue. The cases also feature a removable wristlet with charm, an elastic loop for headphone or lipstick storage and even a flip-up cosmetic mirror. The DLO mini fling cases are being previewed at Macworld Expo Boston (DLO Booth #329) this week, and will begin shipping in late July.
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