Pariahware has released Podcast Tuner for Mac OS X, which it says provides a new approach to finding Podcasts. Podcast Tuner downloads a list of Podcasts to the users computer and displays them in similar fashion to the online guide format used in cable boxes and personal video recorders. "It has a simplistic interface so that even novice computer users can now take part in the Podcasting revolution. By simply moving the mouse over the guide the user can display the podcast description, the episode description, or the podcast art. If the user wishes to hear a particular 'episode', a simple click on that episode will begin the download and automarically play it when the download has finished." A free trial for its service is available with the free software download. After the trial, the service is available for $10 per month or $100 per year.
MacWireless today announced its 3-port Powerline Network Adapter. Powerline networking allows you to route your network through the already installed home/office power lines with speeds of up to 14Mbps. MacWireless says that Powerline devices can work over up to 600 feet of electrical wiring--enough range to cover most homes in the US. The 3-Port Powerline Network Adapter ($80) works in exactly the same way as MacWireless.com's single port adapter, but with the added flexibility of a built-in 3-port 10/100 ethernet switch; it also includes built-in surge protection up to 475VAC. The company also lowered the price on its single-port adapter to $50 ($10 reduction) as well as on its WiFinder Keychain hotspot finder to $20 ($5 reduction).
MacRetreats today announced the dates for the second annual Mac Networkers Retreat, its gathering of Mac Networking and IT professionals. The retreat will be held October 30 through November 1 at the Seascape Resort in Aptos, CA near Monterey. It will feature lectures and workshops as well as late night discussion groups that present in-depth technical details to help them best deploy Apple-related technology in their Enterprise. "We've designed this event to do two things: Bring people the essential information they need to deal with networked Macs, and, do it in a way that facilitates learning different than online information access can provide,' said Schoun Regan, Counselor-in-Chief for the Mac Networkers Retreat.
Wondertouch today announced that particleIllusion 3.0 for Mac OS X is now available. The Mac OS X version of particleIllusion 3.0 offers each of the features found in its Windows counterpart, including 'super emitters,' 'forces' that improve integration into existing production environments, and new color options. The online rendering engine improvements deliver higher-quality image output and additional effects creation benefits. New customers can purchase particleIllusion 3.0 for Mac OS X for an introductory price of $350 (online).
Apple today posted iPhoto 5.04, an update to its photo management application. Version 5.04 addresses an issue with browsing photos that have been auto-rotated by a camera, according to Apple's documentation. It is available as a free update via the Software Update for Mac OS X Preference Pane. The update is 41MB via the Software Update and 39.2MB via the web.
TrendyMac 0.9.8 (free) is turingart's client-side logfile analyzer. The new release evaluates logfiles between four to ten times faster than all previous releases. Furthermore, the analysis speed now correlated to he number of properties to be evaluated. [Download - 2.9MB] iSpeak It 2.1 ($15) lets users listen to documents on their iPod via OS X's built-in text-to-speech capabilities. This release adds the downloading of directions, many improvements to Web feed and RSS processing, and fixes a number of problems. [Download - 264KB] Barcode Producer 3.6 ($150) is a minor update to the award-winning barcode generation suite for Mac OS X. This update adds Spotlight integration, enhanced 13-digit ISBN support, POSTNET preview, enhanced printing, and other improvements. [Download - 2.6MB] PatternMaker and PatternPack 1.1 are both fully compatible with InDesign CS-2. The PatternMaker 1.1 update includes scripting support for increased creativity and time-saving capabilities. PatternMaker is now free with three PostScript patterns included, or for greater versatility, Pattern-Pack 1.1, a new plug-in with 13 extra original patterns, retails for $100. [Download - options] iCal2Web 1.2 ($8) exports calendars from iCal into an HTML formatted Web page. It can combine multiple calendars, automatically run and generate a calendar every few hours, and display calendars with alternate week beginning days. It handles most reoccurring event types, and every last detail of the resulting HTML page is customizable by the user via its template files. [Download - 36KB]
KeynotePro released three new themes dubbed Tokyo R, P and G (28.3 MB) for $20. Themes are 800 X 600 and 1024 X 768, in three colors. Also included are supplemental slides containing chart palettes, accent numbering and test objects, button elements for interactive presentations and a "Getting Started" guide. The three themes are described as "a crisp, minimalist style that balances classic type and layout with modern, modular design," according to KeynotePro.
Now available at the Apple store for $50, Star Wars Battlefront from Aspyr Media promises plenty of action. Each faction has five troop types complimented by different weapons, creating strengths and weaknesses. Computer-controlled players utilize non-scripted AI, according to Dan Pettit, LucasArts producer. "We wanted players to experience the most explosive action in the Star Wars universe from the front lines as an ordinary foot soldier."
LaCie today announced that it will offer 500GB drive storage solutions using Hitachi's new high-capacity Deskstar 7K500 hard drives. The new drives will be used in LaCie's 2TB Biggest F800, 500GB Ethernet Disk mini and 2TB Bigger Disk Extreme storage solutions. The Biggest F800 is a 4-bay RAID subsystem that supports RAID levels 0, 0+1, 5 and RAID 5+hot spare in a sturdy aluminum enclosure with both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 interfaces. The LaCie Ethernet Disk mini is an affordable network hard drive for use in homes or small offices with 500GB shared storage space. Anyone plugged into the dual-purpose Ethernet Disk mini can instantly share files via Ethernet or the drive can be attached to any Mac/PC via USB 2.0. LaCie's Bigger Disk Extreme is a compact and sturdy drive designed to support multi-stream audio/video editing in a variety of formats with burst transfer rates reaching up to 85MB/s and up to 2TB capacity; it offers built-in RAID 0 configuration.
In brief: We've posted a review of Stone Design's iMaginator 2.0 ($50).... PB FixIt today added the Mac Mini FixIt Guide to its collection, offering detailed disassembly instructions for accessing and upgrading parts.... Firewheel Design has launched Blinksale, a Web-based application that allows its subscribers to create, send, and manage invoices anywhere with an Internet connection.... DEVONtechnologies has released a second public beta of DEVONthink Professional, which features a new DEVONjot Pro Dashboard widget.... The Motorola iTunes phone did not make an appearance during Monday's MOTONOW event, but the company told the audiance that the phone would be announced and shipped before the end of its current quarter.
Other World Computing (OWC) has has introduced a 1 terabyte (TB) version of its Mercury Elite-AL Pro 800 RAID Dual Drive as well a new 500GB single-bay version of the Mercury Elite-AL Pro 800. The stylish drive, designed to complement the Power Mac G5, includes a two-year warranty; Dantz/EMC Retrospect Backup, Intech Hard Disk Speed Tools and all connecting cables; and utilizes a custom Oxford 912 FireWire 800 1394B-based chipset for high performance. Available today starting at $980, the dual RAID drive transfers up data up to 800Mbit/sec, according to OWC. The 500GB version of the Mercury Elite-AL Pro 800 increases the available store in the single-bay drive line by 25 percent. is available in FW400/USB2.0 ($500), FW800/FW400 ($520), and FW800/FW400/USB2.0 ($530) models.
In addition the revamped iBook line, Apple today announced enhancements to its Mac mini line. Apple made 512MB of memory standard in every model as well as added a new SuperDrive model to its line of entry-level Macs. The Mac mini product line now includes three models: the base model running at 1.25GHz with a 40GB hard drive and Combo optical drive ($500); a wireless-enabled model with a faster 1.42GHz processor, both Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme networking, and a larger 80GB drive ($600); and a SuperDrive drive model with a 1.42GHz processor and built-in networking ($700).
As widely anticipated, Apple today revamped its iBook G4 laptop line. The company is offering faster PowerPC G4 processors running up to 1.42 GHz, more standard memory (512MB), better performance graphics and built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Available at the Apple Store now, the new iBooks features also feature two patent-pending Apple technologies made popular in the PowerBook G4 line: the scrolling TrackPad and the Sudden Motion Sensor. Prices for the new iBook start at $999. Apple today also added more memory and a SuperDrive model to its Mac mini product line.
BeLight Software has released Swift Publisher 1.0, an addition to the BeLight's product line for small businesses. Swift Publisher is a new page layout application that is designed for quickly creating and printing high impact documents, including flyers, newsletters, brochures, etc. It features about 60 ready-made professional templates, 23,000 images, 100 unique masks and "all the tools" needed for customizing and editing documents. Swift Publisher offers iPhoto integration, can export to PDF/TIFF/JPG formats, runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later, and is available now for $40.
A group of independent music podcasters says that Apple is thwarting independent music podcasters. The group announced that Apple is not publishing some of the feeds of some of its members' podcasts at the iTunes Music Store. "Even though most podcasts only take 48 hours to appear, many music podcasters are finding themselves left out in the cold. Despite the widespread proliferation of podcasts through Apple"s new iTunes version 4.9, it appears music podcasters that legally distribute independent music are being left behind and effectively locked out of the iTunes podcast directory."
Though Out Co. today announced that it has reached an agreement to change the name of its "iPed" accessory line for iPods and other devices. The company says that it believes that changing the name to "Ped" will help create a separate brand that is distinct from the iPod. "The best interest of the long-term success of the now-named Ped product line is recognition away from the coincident relationship of iPed to the iPod. This new recognition of Ped branding will show the true value of our products. Our products work with many other devices on the market as the designs are intended to achieve greatest result with iPods but not limited to them only." The Ped product line design, described as an elegant "device Ped-estal", is available for both the standard iPod and iPod shuffle.
Apple is offering Indie labels a larger portion of each iTunes sale. A report by Digital Music News says that Apple has raised its wholesale payout on iTunes Music Store downloads to seventy cents per song, bringing more parity between independent and major labels. "The increase first came to light in a letter sent by Derek Sivers, CEO of independent retailer CD Baby. While different wholesale figures have been floating around since the beginning of the iTunes Music Store launch, one lawyer actively negotiating iTunes deals indicated to Digital Music News that the 70 cents rate falls in line with current major label payouts." The report says the move could attract more independent labels and could extend Apple's catalog even further and that the 70 cent payout includes publishing costs.
Apple plans to open a new research facility Carnegie Mellon University's campus in Oakland, joining Intel's existing labs at the same site, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The announcement comes only a few months after the companies announced that Apple will transition Macs to Intel chips over the next two years. "Apple plans to open a research facility at CMU's Collaborative Innovation Center.... The Apple facility combined with other tenants at the center is expected to create at least 200 new jobs. The Apple facility will share the top floor of the four-story building with Intel's existing Intel Research Pittsburgh unit, a research laboratory that employs 17 people.... Plans are for researchers from Apple and Intel in the new building to discuss the possibility of cooperating or working on joint projects."
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R