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FireWire Depot today announced the FireNEX POF Repeater 200, Repeater 400, and ForensicDeck enclosure. Utilizing an IEEE1394 PHY and optical transceiver, the FireNEX-POF ($600/$700) is capable of sending IEEE1394 signals across a optical fiber cable up to 50 meters in length. It is contained within a small box slightly larger than a deck of cards, which makes it "inobtrusive and compact, allowing you to place it on a desktop already crowded with other things." The ForensicDECK ($1000) is a Forensic hard drive examination station. The ForensicDECK allows users to access a wide range of Hard Drives with READ ONLY/WRITE PROTECT function using adjustable removable drive trays to prevent accidental alteration of HDD content.
Apple has released AirPort 4.2 for Mac OS X 10.4.2 via Software Update. This update fixes compatibility with Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA2) security software on AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme base stations. This update also resolves IPv6 link local configuration issues. "AirPort offers the perfect wireless solution for home, business or school. Software supports all models of Apple AirPort base stations including the AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express models."
iPod shuffle Database Builder 0.7 is small utility that allows iPod shuffle bypass the iTunes management of songs and simply playback all compatible songs that are placed on the Shuffle. Users can simply use the Shuffle as an USB-drive--i.e, simply mount the drive on the desktop, copy over song files, runt he Database Builder application, and then easily use the MP3 player to listen to the songs. The application includes applications/scripts to run Database builder on Linux (via Python), Windows (.exe file), and Mac (AppleScript) platforms.
Photoshop World Conference & Expo today announced that Nikon and Canon are both offering pre-conference workshops on Mon., Sept. 6, one-day prior to the conference's official kick-off on Sept. 7 in Boston. Nikon will offer its half-day Nikon Photo Safari session, which is limited to 50 participants because of "the distinctive hands-on teaching approach Versace and Peterson provide." Canon will sponsor its pre-conference session, which will allow participants to shoot side by side with commercial photographers Jack Reznicki and Eddie Tapp, learning how to set up a "live model" studio shoot and the latest in digital workflow techniques. Each of these pre-conference workshops requires a separate registration and charge, and are only open to Photoshop World Conference attendees. A $100 discount is also offered on the cost of admission to Photoshop World for all registrations before August 12: NAPP can register for $400, while non-NAPP members can register for $500 (after discount).
Iomega today launched its latest challenge to the iPod dominance: the new flash-based Mixx MP3 player, designed specifically for sports and fitness enthusiasts, is touted as a full-featured digital audio player with voice recording and FM broadcast recording as well as other tranditional features. Iomega Mixx says the MP3 player holds up to 19 hours of music (MP3, WMA, or WAV format) in its shock-resistant solid-state memory. The player is the size of a conventional USB key drive (2.96 x 1.5 x 0.92 inches) and provides more than 10 hours of continuous play from its AAA battery. It offers a USB interface, FM stereo with 30 presets, a built-in microphone for voice recording, and a backlit graphical display for viewing song titles, lyrics, and other information. The device features a durable alloy casing with a rubberized easy-grip surface; it ships with a neck strap. Three capacities are available 256MB ($60), 512MB ($90), and 1GB ($130).
GizMac Accessories today launches its new web site featuring the XRackPro2 and XtroVert rack mount enclosures for the Xserve server computer and Xserve RAID storage systems. XRackPro2 is a rack mount enclosure cabinet designed to reduce noise and add mobility to Apple's Xserve line of servers and RAID systems. The company said that noise from rack mount equipment mounted inside the XRackPro2 will be reduced up to 75 percent while the heavy duty caster wheels provide a method for easily moving the rolling rack enclosure cabinet when needed. The XtroVert is a rackmount chassis that allows the Xserve RAID to stand vertically to become a desktop or deskside unit.
PhotoshopCAFE.com today announces the availability of Photoshop Secrets: CS2 For Digital Photographers. This is new CS2 Training video by internationally known trainer and best selling Author Colin Smith. This 3.5 hour video will teach photographers how to process their images in a professional workflow. The video is broken into 4 sections; workflow, correction, repair and enhancment. "In this latest offering in his Photoshop Secrets series, Colin gleans from 12 years experience and shows not only the most tasty and powerful techniques, he also reveals the most efficient way to accomplish essential tasks using Photoshop CS2."
After a preview of the latest version of iSale at “eBay Live!” in San José, equinux today released version 2.0 of the auction manager software. equinux is offering this upgrade for free to all registered users of iSale. Now those using eBay Stores can post auctions directly to their store. In addition to .Mac image hosting, iSale also now supports FTP Servers. Using either of these image hosting options will alleviate the need for per-picture-charges allowing users more freedom and flexibility in the improvement and design of your auctions.
JS8 Media today released an updated version of the MiNews application, for both Tiger and Panther. MiNews 0.80 is an RSS application that allows users to have the latest news "at your fingertips." It provides tight integration with Safari -- the applications work "hand in glove." Today's update adds a new search feature. A search field in the application's toolbar allows a text search of the news items in your currently subscribed feeds. A sheet is displayed showing the news items matching the search query. Version 0.80 also fixes a bug that could cause the "go back" arrow button in the Web view to be incorrectly disabled in a certain condition. Additionally, it fixes a bug when handling non-compliant RSS XML elements (some feeds are sending HTML data instead of RSS XML data when their servers are overloaded.)
Newer Technology today introduced a high-capacity 900mAh replacement battery for all iPod Photo models and fourth-generation 40GB iPods. The company says the $30 battery is immediately available and ships with instructions and installation tools, although it "highly recommends" professional installation. NewerTech says the replacement battery provides 28 percent more run-time capacity for iPod photo models and 50 percent more run-time capacity for the fourth-generation 40GB iPod. Other replacement batteries offered include: 1800mAh ($30) and 2100mAh ($40) for first- and second-generation iPods; 850mAh ($26) for third-generation; 750mAh ($26) for fourth-generation; 600mAh ($25) for iPod mini; and 900mAh ($30) for iPod photo.
ArKaos today launched the latest version of its popular video jockey software: ArKaos VJ 3.5 adds FreeFrame plug-ins support, a popular open-source framework for video plug-in development; ArKaos now enables VJ users to access a vast library of third party effect plug-ins and ships with 42 FreeFrame effects. In addition, ArKaos VJ now supports real-time video output through FireWire connection for recording live performance and connection to digital mixers. It also features a new automation mode that takes advantage of the latest features of VJ to stack intelligently visuals and effects producing a smooth and natural automated performance. It is available for $360.
Apple is becoming a "mass market company" according to Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich. "The next perceptual change could be investor recognition that the company is building a sustainable consumer franchise." Although the current focus is music, "look for Apple to go after video in the home with an emphasis on high definition," Milunovich said. While Apple remains extremely conservative about its upcoming quarter, the firm projects $3.9 billion in revenue and $0.38 per share. "Company guidance for flat sequential F4Q revenue and down earnings of $0.32 seems too conservative even recognizing a software decline."
iPodNN roundup: Sony's new line of MP3 players have displaced Apple's Shuffle as the top-selling flash-based player in Japan.... Layers magazine has released an "iPod Flea" parody ad.... Microsoft said it will work with Creative and other partners to help challenge the dominance of the iPod.... A recent report offered photos of a subway train in Japan "dressed up" for an iPod campaign.
Microsoft said it is "working hard" to make it easier for Creative and other companies to use Microsoft software for its MP3 players and challenge the dominance of the iPod, according to Business Times report. "The iPod has done great marketing and great design," Bill Gates was quoted as saying. "We have to do something with our partners that’s just better." Shares of Creative jumped on speculation that Microsoft may partner directly with the MP3 device manufacturer, although the company recently said that demand for MP3 players was less than expected, and it would have an operating loss for the quarter ended June.
Despite rising marketshare and growing sales, Reuters reports Sony has a new line-up of digital music players that are "slicing into the popularity" of Apple's iPod shuffle in Japan. The report says that Sony's new line of flash-based players have displaced the Shuffle as the top-selling MP3 player in in its category, which may be in part due to absence of iTunes for Japan. "Apple is still squashing Sony in Europe and North America, where the iPod has achieved iconic status and a big selling point is the availability of iTunes, an easy-to-use music downloading service that has not yet been launched in Japan." Apple continues to lead the market with its hard-drive based iPods, according to the report; however, "there has been a decisive momentum swing in the Japanese market, with Sony securing the top position for memory-type players in both May and June, knocking Apple and its iPod shuffle device into second place."
Digital music sales have soared and may be the industry's largest opportunity for growth. Reuters reports that while U.S. album sales are off 7 percent year-to-date, songs sold over the Web through paid downloads have tripled in the first half of the year. According to data from Nielsen SoundScan, US internet users purchased 158 million songs in the first half of the year from online music services such as iTunes--compared with 55 million in the year-ago period. In the same period, overall U.S. album sales, including downloads, fell 2.5 percent to 301.2 million units in the first half from 309 million a year earlier, while sales of albums, excluding digital music sales, fell 7 percent. The report also said that single-song sales have increased to 6 percent of overall music sales, compared with less than 2 percent a year ago.
Softchaos today shipped Webstractor 1.5, an update to its web content capturing and processing application. Version 1.5 features new "Radar" capabilities for monitoring web site content automatically, allowing users to set up site locations and search terms to automatically capture web pages whose changes are of interest. Webstractor provides the ability to capture multiple web pages, remove unwanted content, annotate, organize, retrieve and assemble the found materials into effective documents. It features automatic capture of pages to a single document, thumbnail previews, editing tools (crop/highlight), annotation functions, and more. It requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later and is available for $80.
In Brief: Advanced Computer Innovations has expanded its unique internet-based "instant online conversion" service, and added support for Microsoft Office 2003 XML as well as several other new file formats (pricing starts at $9).... A new, non-Usenet newsgroup, emailman.software.wordproc.mac, has been formed for "Discussion of Mac OS X and Classic word processors.".... The FastIcon Studio has released a new stock icon collection for web designers and software developers: AquaLand MAX ($350) was developed in Aqua style, following all of Apple's specifications, with 165 icons for toolbars and navigational elements.... palmOne today announced it has officially changed its name to Palm, Inc., is now trading under the symbol PALM (formerly PLMO), and debuted a new company logo, which will begin appearing on products this fall.... Apple's early developer Mactel systems are garnering praise for their performance along with Apple's Rosetta technology.
AssistiveWare has updated KeyStrokes 3.6 ($300), which adds a new Tiger widget and a new game mode as well as improves performance; the on-screen keyboard provides virtually complete access to Mac OS X and all standard Mac applications for people who cannot use a keyboard and also provides advanced PolyPredix multilingual word prediction that can be used with the on-screen keyboard, with the hardware keyboard and with SwitchXS. The company's SwitchXS 2.1 ($300) also brings significant performance improvements, better compatibility with screen savers, and more. The switch access solution provides virtually complete access to Mac OS X and all standard Mac applications for people who cannot use a mouse or keyboard, offering emulation by means of a so-called scanning mode. A bundle of both applications is available for $480.
BOOQ today announced that it has begun shipping first orders for the all-new Boa.XM limited, a 15-inch ballistic nylon backpack with a limited production run of just 500 units world-wide. The Boa.XM limited features a slick beige exterior, blood orange interior, cool-grey hardware and back padding; it is designed for creative professionals and integrates a rugged, rigid-frame laptop compartment for superior protection for a 15-inch PowerBook or 14-inch iBook, ergonomic shoulder straps and a dedicated iPod pocket. "With the addition of its Boa.XM limited, BOOQ is bringing another well-designed backpack of the highest performance and design quality to the next generation of creative professionals." It is available now for $150.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.27 ( -0.72 )
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