In Brief: Intelligent Assistance has started shipping Mastering Clips and Media in Final Cut Pro ($60), a unique tutorial on managing media in Final Cut Pro.... Bare Bones Software today announced new academic program pricing for BBEdit ($50 for education) advanced HTML/text editor and Mailsmith ($50) emai client.... Another Redmond, WA compay says it may challenge the new name of the next version of Microsoft's operating system: Windows Vista.... Intel today debuted three new mobile chips, including the Pentium M 780 (2.26GHz/533MHz bus/2MB of cache), the Pentium M Low Voltage 778 (1.6GH/400MHz bus/2MB cache), which consumes 10 watts of power (vs 27 watts by the 780), and the Celeron M, a cache-limited (only 1MB) of the Pentium M Low Voltage chip.
Faber Acoustical has released SignalSuite 2, a major upgrade to its realtime signal generator. Version 2 offers a completely rewritten user interface, AppleScript support, new test signals such as MLS, support for saving test signals directly to a sound file, and numerous other improvements. SignalSuite takes advantage of your Mac OS X compatible audio hardware to turn your Mac into a dual-channel signal generator. Generate numerous test signals, including white noise, pink noise, periodic signals, frequency sweeps and others, with ease and precision! SignalSuite 2, which requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later, is available for $40 (with upgrades priced at $15).
Apple has released GarageBand 2.0.2 via Software Update and its support Web site. The update addresses issues with time signature handling, Apple Loops authoring, locking tracks, and improves compatibility with Mac OS X Tiger. GarageBand ($80) lets users easily perform, record and create their own music.
Apple's new Recording Deal promo offers a $500 rebate on purchase of Logic Pro 7 when purchased along with a PowerBook, Power Mac, or Xserve. The new promo runs between July 25, 2005, and October 25, 2005. The purchases must be made at Apple-authorized retailer and both the computer and the software must be purchased on the same store receipt. Additionally, users must postmark the mail-in rebate within 30-days of the Mac/software purchase.
Bungie Studios released a demo of Halo (122 MB) Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later. The included single player campaign level is titled "The Silent Cartographer" and the multiplayer map available is "Blood Gulch". While the demo is Mac to Mac only, multiplayer support is included for up to 16 human opponents. You can't save your progress and vehicle combat is limited.
OpenMFG announced today the certification of its Enterprise Resource Planning suite for Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger". Available modules include inventory management, part definition and costing, work order management, master scheduling, capacity planning, purchase order management, sales order management, shipping and receiving, sales analysis, accounts payable, accounts receivable, bank reconciliation, and a full general ledger. Shipping standard with the OpenMFG ERP suite is OpenRPT, the free open source graphical report writer and renderer. Ned Lilly, OpenMFG's president and CEO stated "We've seen an enormous amount of interest from customers and partners in running OpenMFG on Tiger, [...] It's clearly the best Mac operating system yet, and a powerful and stable environment for mission-critical applications like OpenMFG."
The August first edition of BusinessWeek contains a report from Boston Consulting Group stating that of 940 senior executives in 68 countries Apple earned almost 25% of the votes as the most innovative company in the world. This is because Apple "Delivers great consumer experiences with outstanding design; steady flow of new ideas that refine old categories, such as music players; continual evolution of business model and brand." according to the study.
A survey by the non-profit SANS Institute found new security holes in widely used software and the Cybersecurity research organization mentioned that over 422 significant new Internet security vulnerabilities emerged in the second quarter of 2005, an increase of eleven percent over the first quarter according to this report from Reuters. While backup software and other desktop applications seem to be the latest targets, flaws in media players like Apple's iTunes and RealNetworks RealPlayer could allow malicious persons to access a user's computer via a corrupted MP3 file.
Data collected by IDC indicates that the Mac has gained market share in worldwide PC shipments.†Specifically, Apple's market share of worldwide PC shipments grew to 2.5% in Q2, up from 2.3% in Q1, notes research and investment firm PiperJaffray. "Apple's worldwide PC shipment market share over the last 2 years has been hovering in the 1.8%-2.3% range. We expect continued market-share gains through the back-half of CY05, as Apple benefits from carryover from the massive installed base of iPods during the back-to-school and holiday seasons." Mac market share increased 0.2% in each of the last 3 quarters. A continuation of 0.2% market share gains through the end of CY06 would lead to average CY06 Mac market share of 3.4%.
Today New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced that Sony has agreed to pay $10 million and halt its "pay-to-play" service in order to resolve a state investigation of payola in the music industry. Spitzer stated, "our investigation shows that, contrary to listener expectations that songs are selected for airplay based on artistic merit and popularity, air time is often determined by undisclosed payoffs to radio stations and their employees." according to the report. Sony acknowledged it engaged in "improper conduct" according to a statement issued today by Spitzer's office. Radio station advertising is expected to drop less than one percent this year due to satellite-radio and iPods hurting prices for traditional advertisements, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
In brief: WiebeTech has announced the G505 Video Contest to recognize video editing work done on Macintosh G5 systems.... ToMarket, the class that teaches how to become a successful vendor of commercial software built with FileMaker Pro, is being offered again alongside the FileMaker Developer Conference in August.... Microsoft Earth removed Apple's Cupertino headquarters from their map service.... Rumors are circulating of a video download service from Apple and Intel.
Rogue Amoeba Software has released Nicecast 1.8 for ($40 - free demo available). This live music broadcasting tool for Mac OS X 10.3 features stream password protection, listener kicking, UPnP (Universal Plug and Play), NAT-PMP router support to ease the configuration process and free updates for registered users. More recent hardware models from Apple, Netgear and LinkSys support UPnP and NAT-PMP (Network Address Translation Port Mapping Protocol). The developers claim this version automatically stops search engine bots from tuning in, too.
Apple will inevitably lose its hold on the digital music player market, as competitors slowly bring their features up to par with the iPod, and leverage their "economic ecosystem," says FastCompany. While the iPod, like most Apple products, is a "closed" platform, Apple's competitors are "a set of companies, cooperating and competing at once, that together deliver a product or service by providing different components that share some critical capabilities." The iPod "has not changed much since its debut four years ago," and "no one can improve on an iPod except Apple." A so-called ecosystem is better than a single product "because its collective of competitors can explore and invest in many more ideas than any single company can muster," the article explains.
FunPause Games has released Atlantis, an arcade/puzzle game "in which players must match colored balls along 81 different paths, helped by many different bonuses, in order to progress through the game and open a gateway to a secret chamber, the Heart of Atlantis. In addition, Atlantis introduces a strategic side to the puzzle genre by letting the players collect credits and buy bonuses that can be activated at will. Atlantis, created for users of all ages, showcases full-screen OpenGL graphics. It is available for $20 via the internet.
Canto today released Internet Client Pro 3.0 and Web Publisher Pro 3.0, updated modules that extend its Cumulus 6.6 Server for web-based media management and collaboration. Adding new functions for more efficient system administration, both products publish media on dynamic web pages enabling remote teams and users to easily search for images and other documents using standard Web browsers. New features include support for Cumulus Actions to automate several tasks into a single step, creation of a specific URL link to an assett for easy reference, email notification of changes, RSA-encryption of passwords, support for Metadata Templates (Internet Client Pro only), and more. Internet Client Pro 3.0 (standard part of Business server) and Web Publisher Pro 3.0 (Publishing Sever package) require a Cumulus 6.6 (also announced today).
Although many Apple fans and analysts worry that the company's switch to Intel processors will put sales of current hardware on hold until updates, the evidence at the moment indicates no such stall. According to an it-analysis report, Apple still occupies five of the top six slots in Amazon's list of top selling computers, which is updated hourly. "This indicator showed no drop in demand following the Intel announcement. Of course, demand may diminish in the coming months, but I suspect that most buyers don't care too much about it either way." Regarding the so-called "halo" effect, "the prediction by Forbes that Apple will grow its PC market share from 3 percent to 5 percent this year, looks like it will be fulfilled." Moreover, "we can think of Apple as heading towards a 10 percent share of the home market."
Canto today announced Cumulus 6.6, an update to its digital asset management solution that brings security enhancements, enhancements to its existing workgroup-level Cumulus Server Solutions, an a new enterprise-level Cumulus Server Solution. Cumulus 6.6 Server offers version control features including the ability to save all versions of an asset. Featuring check-in/check-out functionality, Cumulus 6.6 allows only one person at a time work on a file, but offers others read-only access to previously saved work for transparent and efficient workflow. Version 6.6 also allows specific security settings for specific users and specific catalogs, enables the use of FTP servers, offers the ability to automatically read metadata from RAW files, and can render any number of images to the same user-defined size without any distortions.
Oranged.net has released a revamped version of Studiometry, the organizational tool for studios and freelancers. Studiometry 3 ($30 update) adds a host of new features. A new GANTT-like planning feature allows users to easily create tasks, set dependencies, and specify milestones. The dependency options allow great control over details of a project, such as not allowing milestones to be completed until other specified tasks have been completed. Based on over two years of feedback and input, Studiometry 3 features a new streamlined main window with increased customization. Studiometry can now track a company's inventory with amounts and unit prices. A history is kept of when and where the items are going, and the total value of the inventory. Other features include a Weekly Calendar view with event planning, Project Templates, Project Summaries, enhanced Export options, editable To Do and Project Spec suites, speed improvements, many new settings, and over 100 changes updates and enhancements.
Henrico County Public Schools is preparing to sell some of its used iBook computers that were used as the part its groundbreaking one-on-one educational initiatve that provided 23,000 iBooks to every middle- and high-school student and teacher in the Richmond, Virginia-area school district. As noted in early June, the iBooks will be available for $50 each (with a one-per-person limit.) during a one-day sale on Tuesday, Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET. They will be sold at the school warehouse (361 Dabbs House Road) on a first-come, first-serve basis. The G3-based iBooks feature 320MB of memory and Mac OS X 10.2.8. Following the county's decision to turn down an offer by Apple to renew and extend a lease on the iBooks, it exercised an option to buy the 22,000 laptops for $1 each from Apple at the end of the lease, after choosing a Dell-based PC solution for all of its high-school seniors in April 2005.
DVDthemePAK.com today released a new Family ThemePAK collection of ten menu themes for Apple's iDVD authoring software for Mac OS X. The new ThemePAK includes Mitzva, Awards, Home Improvement, Paradise, and Playroom themes, while each theme includes completely custom button designs and composite graphic backgrounds. Featuring eight animated themes and two still background themes, the company says that the "new family theme designs offer a much needed boost of creativity to the variety of choices for any family DVD project. The themes that come with iDVD are limited so we developed some really fantastic choices to increase the options available to professionals and hobbyists." iDVD ThemePAK 10 Family, which supports iDVD 4/5, is available for $40.
AssistiveWare today released Proloquo 1.0, a multi-purpose and multilingual speech solution for Mac OS X. It provides a number of functions, including a delivering a full-fledged communication system (AAC) for people who cannot speak; improved accessibility of Mac OS X for people with visual impairments; providing speech feedback in any application while typing; a talking word processor; text-to-speech functions; and an advanced, multilingual speech engine for its KeyStrokes on-screen keyboard and its SwitchXS switch access solutions. Proloquo is $300 and includes High Quality and/or High Density Acapela voices for a single language. The software also works with all built-in Mac OS X voices. Acapela voices for additional languages can be purchased as a language pack for $120.
QuickerTek has announced new PowerBook antennas for 15- and 17-inch "Aluminum" PowerBooks. Designed to offer improved signal and range for AirPort and AirPort Extreme wireless networking, the two new antennas offer 7dbi of RF power and are an omni-directional design. "This antenna design will work best in most wireless environments. The signal-grabbing power of this new antenna is impressive and the omni design also provides the best performance when using a variety of wireless networks with varying spatial layouts." Two different models are available for 1.33GHz 15-inch "Aluminum" PowerBooks and earlier and all 17-inch PowerBooks as well as for 1.5GHz/1.67GHz 15-inch "Aluminum" PowerBooks. Each is available for $110 and is backed by a one-year parts/labor warranty.
Yahoo! today announced that it has acquired Konfabulator, a software maker that provides a computer platform for monitoring the weather, stock prices and a wealth of other customized information without opening a web browser. The AP reports that the deal was finalized late last week for an undisclosed price and offers Yahoo! access to a toolbox of mini-applications--called widgets--which were introduced in 2002 for the Mac, later created for Windows, and were used by Apple to build Tiger's Dashboard concept. Yahoo! will offer the $20 software for free to all users as a means to drive traffic to its website and introduce users to its plethora of web services.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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