In Brief: In a research note published today, analyst Henning Wagener of AC Research reiterates his "accumulate" rating on Apple stock... A new utility for the iPod shuffle allows users on Windows/Mac/Linux platforms to bypass iTunes for song management.... Iomega has launched its latest challenge to the iPod dominance: the new flash-based Mixx MP3 player is designed specifically for sports and fitness enthusiasts.... Apple may launch its iTunes Music Store for Japan in the middle of August, according to yet another report.... iSkin today announced the availability of its popular Wild Sides iPod protectors for Apple's iPod mini.... Apple will continue to continue to use IBM chips in its upcoming Macs and is working on a movie download service along with a video iPod, according to Robert Cringely's speculation.
iSkin today announced the availability of its popular Wild Sides iPod protectors for Apple's iPod mini. Wild Sides is described as a "fun and funky way to style, protect and enhance the look and feel of the iPod." iSkin Wild Sides silicone skins feature an ultra-clear colored screen protector and are available in three "funky" colors: Verve (bright green and white), Rebel (deep blue and white) and Diva (hot pink and white). In addition to fashionable colors, Wild Sides have photo-luminous glow-in-the-dark stripes using iSkin's own ultra-Glo silicone technology. For added convenience, an iSkin REVOClip and a swirl printed click wheel protector is included with each mini Wild Side.
macProVideo.com has announced the release of Logic 7 Complete Training on DVD ($100). Through real-time screen captures and voice-over instruction, Apple courseware designer and technical author Martin Sitter guides viewers through the "inner secrets" of editing audio in Logic 7. Regarding the new DVD, Sitter says, "macProVideo.com's direct-download Logic 7 tutorial videos have been well received by the Logic community (see the user testimonials link below). At the moment, we cater to users with high-speed internet connections only. Because music production machines are often disconnected from the internet altogether, offering our Logic tutorial programs on DVD allows us to reach a broader market. Additionally, having a DVD is beneficial to our viewers, because they now have a hard copy that's there when needed."
Unsanity today announced WindowShade X 4.0, an update to its system utiliity that features the ability to assign arbitrary keyboard shortcuts to invoke any of the WindowShade X actions and more. WindowShade X brings a wealth of window management capabilities to Mac OS X--from the popular windowshade functionality to Minimize-in-Place and custom shadow control. The free update allows users to assign any hotkey combination to any action WindowShade X provides and fixes problems with titles in minimized windows, floating windows, and more. It also adds a logging option to aid in debugging, offers various adjustments in the preference pane interface, and supports Spotlight search results (under Mac OS X Tiger). It is available for $10.
FastMac today announced what it calls the longest lasting battery upgrade for 4G iPods. The TruePower battery upgrade utilizes patented nanoparticle technology to dramatically extend battery life. The TruePower upgrades are accompanied by a 2-year guarantee. FastMacís TruePower upgrades replace the iPodís original internal Lithium-Ion battery with a larger capacity and longer lasting advanced power cell. The upgrade offers 20-70 percent more capacity than the original (depending on iPod model) and up to 7.5 times as many charge cycles. FastMac is now accepting preorders ($30) for the Gen 4 battery upgrade on its website and will be shipping the second week of August. All preorders will receive a free iPod travel charger or a free iPod car charger, at the customerís preference. Upgrades for Gen 1, 2, and 3 iPods are available now.
Doom 3 v1.3 ($45) is an update to the popular action game from Aspyr Media. Changes is the 1.3 update include: Preview of OpenAL audio support for 5.1 sound, Better handling of keypad keys, Fixed crashes with some mods, Fixed crash on vid_restart, Added PunkBuster anti-cheat support to multiplayer, Better support for mods, various PC bug fixes. [Download - 9.8MB X2: The Threat - Patch ($40) is an update to the space simulation game for Mac OS X. Multiple OpenAL issues have been identified and resolved with the patch. Additionally, an issue where OpenGL responding with bad lists lead to a crash has been addressed. Lastly, the update makes Input Setup text for Rockets clearer. span class="datetime" [Download - 4.6MB DragThing 5.6.1 ($30) is a small maintenance release of the alternative dock application to work round a problem introduced by the recent Mac OS X 10.4.2 update. Specifically, dock windows were not being brought to the front correctly when selecting DragThing from the Apple Dock. [Download - 4.6MB KidsServer 1.4.0 ($180+) from MAKI Enterprise is the latest version of the Web filtering Proxy server for Mac OS X. Version 1.4.0 adds support for Mac OS X 10.4, offers an improved installer, blocks RSS feeds and podcasts from restricted sites. [Download - 2.6MB VolumeWorks 1.3.3 ($50) is latest version of the software that gives user greater flexibility and control in setting up and managing drive partitions. The update incorporates an improved user-interface and bootable CD based on Tiger. Sound Byte 2.5.0 (free) turns a Mac into a "cart machine" for playing sound recordings, such as music and special effects. The latest version of Sound Byte adds the ability to navigate through carts using the spacebar and arrow keys. [Download - 615KB
Apple will launch its iTunes Music Store for Japan in the middle of August, according to a printed newsletter sent to some users. The newsletter, from Japanese record label Toshiba, said that Apple has plans to launch a Japanese version of its popular iTunes Music Store near August 14th. An earlier report said that major Japanese record companies, including Columbia Music Entertainment, Avex Group Holdings and Toshiba-EMI have already agreed to provide songs for the service launch this August, but that Sony Music Entertainment of Japan had yet to come to terms with Apple.
Charlie Boisseau today released Net Tool Box 3.1, an update to the popular Mac OS X multi-purpose networking utility. Net Tool Box is the 'swiss-army knife' of networking tools, according to the developer. It features over two dozen tools integrated in one application. It makes "previously laborious, complicated tasks" easier. It features mapper, ping, ping scan, IP terminals, traceroute, netstat, whois, traffic watcher, bonjour tools, and more. This update to version 3.1 adds many new features and fixes, including: ping, ping scan and traceroute; application-wide contextual menu; tool presets; and Tiger support. Net Tool Box version 3.1 is available now for download as a free demo. Single-user licenses are available to purchase online for £20.00 ($35.00).
The Gizmo Project from SIPphone uses an Internet connection to make calls to other computers. Touted as a "Skype killer," it is based on the open SIP standard which allows it to interact with many other VoIP providers like Free World Dialup. It also supports call recording: "because of this it is now the tool of choice for many podcasters." It features free voicemail and conference calls, clear call quality, and paid add-ons that let you make and receive calls from any mobile phone or landline. Gizmo Project recently became available for Mac OS X users. It is also available for Windows, with a Linux edition "coming soon."
Intel will renovate its complete desktop processor product line in 2006--with new 65 nm processors replacing current single and dual-core Pentiums and the introduction of Yonah as the official mobile and desktop processor for small form factor devices; however, Intel will not be able to increase speed levels dramatically until the arrival of its next-generation processor architecture, according to a report on Tom's Hardware Guide. A series of announcements and technical specs of the new processors are expected at the upcoming developer forum taking place in San Francisco from August 23-25. The report says that Intel's next-generation processor architecture "Conroe" will debut in the second half of 2006: it will consume less power than the current Pentium 4 architecture and offer up to 4MB of L2 cache and run at speeds comparable to a 3.6GHz dual-core Pentium D with Presler core at debut.
Taylor Design today released MenuPass 1.0, a new software utility to help users store, organize, and retrieve important account and password information. MenuPass provides a global menu from which users can select passwords and other data for MenuPass to type automatically. MenuPass can also log into many websites with a single click. The application encrypts user information for security, and helps users easily back up their passwords by storing them in a single file. It is available or Mac OS X 10.2 or later for $20.
Native Instruments today annnounced Kontakt Experience, a new instrument collection specifically designed for Kontakt 2. "By making full use of the advanced functionality of NIīs latest flagship sampler, Kontakt Experience goes far beyond the scope of a typical sample library and turns Kontakt 2 into a powerful music workstation that rivals any hardware synthesizer on the market." It includes 128 new instruments that cover a wide range of musical styles and include lead synths, bass, vocal sounds, drum kits, etc. It also includes 10 new KSP modules that are seamlessly integrated with the instruments and can also be used with any other Kontakt 2 instrument. It will on a single DVD in August for $120.
MaxUpgrades today announced MaxConnect, an internal hard disk drive mounting solution that allows seven additional hard disk drives to be installed in a G5 Power Mac system. The MaxConnect consists of two mounting assemblies: an Optical Drive Bay Disk Drive mounting assembly that enables four hard disk drives to be installed in the Optical Drive Bay of the G5 Power Mac and a CPU Bay Disk Drives Mounting Assembly that enables installing three hard disk drives in the CPU bay of the G5 Power Mac. With MaxConnect, a G5 Power Mac can house a total of nine disk drives internally. The company says that the system can achieve sustained data transfer rates of up to 500 MB/sec using Mac OS X's built-in RAID software utility on G5 Power Mac Systems with PCI-X Slots. MaxConnect is $320 for both assemblies or $200 for the optical bay and $120 for the CPU Bay drive assemblies.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN