Markzware today announced an upgrade to FlightCheck Studio for QuarkXPress, examines and repairs documents as they are being created. FlightCheck Studio v1.3 for QuarkXPress now supports Mac OS X Tiger as well as now displays policy filenames on palette for easy identification. In addition, users are able to output policies as reports. It also fixes problems with Text Policies not being updated, mismatched scale values, approved Colors/Fonts lists, Locked rules, calculating Ink Density on certain images, and effective resolution. FlightCheck Studio for QuarkXPress is available for $200 (before a $50 discount offered during July).
Apple is readying a new iTunes promo. The company will reportedly offer free iTunes songs to customers who try on a pair of Gap jeans, according to AppleInsider. The promotion will run from August 8th through the end of the month, providing each customer who tries on a pair of Gap blue jeans with a small green iTunes card which can be redeemed for one free song from Apple's iTunes Music Store. All Gap US retail stores are expected to participate, while some "early back-to-school" locations may begin the promo early. Update: The iTunes promo will introduce three new denim fits for womenCurvy, Straight and Originaland one for men called Straight, according to BrandWeek. The "Find Your Favorite Fit" events is designed to get people to try on the new styles
RE:Vision Effects today releasd RE:Flex 3 for After Effects, Shake, and combustion 4. RE:Flex offers intuitive morphing and warping directly from within each application using its proprietary technology, while using the host program's own drawing and masking tools. The company says that RE:Flex is the first morphing program that combines hand feature-matching with automatic image registration. After aligning the hand matched shapes, RE:Flex 3 now uses the new tracking found in RE:Vision's Twixtor 4.5 product to automatically align the non-handmatched parts of the image. Version 3 also offers a new anti-aliasing setting to preserve memory, improved filtering results, and new render-only pricing ($120 per node) for AE 6.0 (as well as Shake). It is available now for $600 (AE) or $800 (Shake), with upgrades priced at $90 and $120. The RE:Flex 3.0.2 for combustion is free.
The University of Washington was offered a signficant discount as part of the details revealed in its online music deal with Dell and Napster, which would "force-feed" students the Napster music service and leave owners of the most popular MP3 player, the iPod, to buy their music elsewhere, according to The Register. Supported by public funds, the university was forced to release the financial details of the agreement, which revealed that UW will pay Napster $24,000 for 8 months of service, about $2 per student for 1,500 students--much less than the typical charge of $10-$15 per month. In addition, Dell will contribute $24,000 for another 1,500 kids as well as offer $53,000 worth of servers, as part of the agreement.
Henrico County is preparing for large onslaught of customers when its holds iBook firesale on August 9th. The county is liquidating its G3 iBooks for $50, following the completion of a one-on-one initiative that gave 23,000 iBooks to every middle- and high-school student and teacher in the Richmond, Virginia-area school district. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that one man is "flying from California to buy a $50 laptop, and a story about a group of Germans hopping the pond has circulated for days. In fact, response to Henrico County's $50 Apple iBook sale has been so overwhelming that school officials are moving the Aug. 9 sale to the Richmond International Raceway, which offers more space, parking and security than an earlier-announced site."
Markzware today announced the immediate availability of FlightCheck Studio for Adobe InDesign CS and CS2. FlightCheck Studio v1.3 is described as a "new concept in quality control," offering realtime examination and repair of documents as they are created. FlightCheck Studio provides content creators with an "in-flight" preflighting tool. It is capable of detecting virtually any problem within a digital document--based on user-defined specifications--to catch mistakes in a document while it is being created. It also allows production managers to set up a common specification to share with other designers. The InDesign plugin supports InDesign CS and CS2 running on Mac OS X 10.2 up to Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger). It is available for $150 (after a $50 discount for July).
Canadian legal residents who will be enrolled in a Canadian post-secondary institution in fall 2005 or are currently enrolled in a Canadian post-secondary institution can register to win up to $5000 worth of gear at the Apple store via the Win What You Want contest. Participants start with a $2500 total which can be boosted to $5000 by signing up ten friends. Choosing your "prize pack" allows you to customize your potential winnings, should you turn out to be the grand prize winner. The contest began July 25th and ends August 28th. Additionally there will be ten secondary prizes (iPod Shuffles) awarded, two per week.
Russound today revealed its iPod friendly solutions for listening to music via a distributed audio system. Russound multiroom audio-video products enable entire playlists to be shared and accessible throughout the home. For homes with existing Russound components, an iPod can be connected in a number of ways -- whether the system contains Russound's RNET products, such as the CAV6.6, CAM6.6, SMS3 Smart Media Server, ST2 family of Smart Tuners and UNO keypads, or an A-BUS amplified volume control system. "We've become used to having choices for how we listen to music, and iPods are the latest popular trend," said Russound Vice President of Strategic Development Jeff Kussard.
Aspyr today updated its website with information on Zoo Tycoon Complete Collection and said the title is now available for preorder. Zoo Tycoon Complete Collection contains the original Zoo Tycoon game, along with the Dinosaur Digs and Marine Mania expansion packs. In Zoo Tycoon, "you'll be challenged to build the most healthy and vibrant zoo possible. With an easy to learn interface, you can begin planning your strategy and building your ultimate zoo the moment you start the game. Which is a good thing since you'll need to build, manage, and maintain a zoo with over 200 animals, exhibits, and zoo materials. Plan wisely, because your success depends on your ability to keep the animals happy!" The $50 bundle is scheduled to be available in August.
e2Sync today announced Mac support for the popular Plaxo online contact and calendar service as well as a minor update to its popular conduit for Microsoft Entourage that syncs with AddressBook and iCal, enabling users to sync Entourage contact/task/calendar info to their mobile devices. Plaxo is a free Address Book service that stores contacts, calendar, tasks and notes, which can be accessed online through any standard web browser. The Plaxo service automatically updates your information once any contact updates his information. e2Sync's new e2xo application automatically syncs changes, allowing seamless (background) synchronization of the built-in Mac OS X Address Book and iCal with Plaxo--without any need for user interaction.
Screenmates: Flying Earth ($5) is a semi-transparent rotating Earth moving on your screen. Features include variable rotation speed, image size and transparency. Users can drag-and-drop to change the speed and direction, too. [Download - 2.7MB] MaxPod 1.1 ($17) lets users get daily news, weather and email. Also allows automatic synchronization between you local hard drives and enables backup of your music. Add/modify/backup notes, maps and lyrics on your iPod. [Download - 1.48 MB] iCash 2.4 ($25) is personal finance software able to keep track of income, credits, debts and bank transactions. Quantity discounts are also available. [Download - 8MB] Downsize 2.4 Update ($20) is a companion for your digital camera. You can resize, watermark and frame images. Easily create thumbnails or copyright-stamped images. Bug fixes in this version include dragging and dropping images and folders into the image well, resizing images won't cut off frame in some cases, and several others. [Download - 253KB] iStill 1.1 ($) is still image capture software which enhances the functionality of your iSight. Capture sketches, signatures, business cards, photos and other media quickly and easily. You can even tweak focus, brightness, and saturation as you shoot pictures. [Download - 580KB]
Harley-Davidson recently unveiled its 2006 line-- including a record seven new models. Harley's FL touring lineup features a standard auxiliary jack where riders can plug in an iPod. In addition, there are add-on modules that offer XM satellite radio, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and a GPS receiver. "Nearly all of those options were available to try, and worked seamlessly through the in-dash display." The FL line starts at $17,800 with the Street Glide model.
In brief: Iconfactory released Somatic Xtras 2, a set of over 20 freeware icons expanding the Somatic genre of system icons and adding new replacement icons for applications and extras.... Paraglyph Press announced "Degunking Your Mac, Tiger Edition" for $25 to aid seasoned pros and new mac users cleanse/accelerate their Macs.... The Mac version of FeedForAll is available, empowering users to create, edit and publish RSS feeds with ease.... Harley Davidson unleashed seven new 2006 models which include a standard auxiliary jack for iPod-style portable players.
While many Apple enthusiasts, and even some industry analysts, are predicting the release of a portable video player from Apple, CEO Steve Jobs "seems to have other plans." According to a BusinessWeek report, Apple may offer video playback as a feature on forthcoming iPods, but the company is unlikely to market a new device specifically for viewing video. "I'm betting Apple learned from [the iPod photo] experience and will use video to fortify its current iPod empire -- not build a new one. That means no bigger, business-card-size color screen or the clunky battery that would be necessary to drive one, and no reworked interface. It means a device that, true to Jobs's oft-stated belief, isn't designed for watching full-length movies."
RealViz today said it would launch its first applications from its new line of "Powered by SMART" tracking products at the Siggraph exhibition in Los Angeles, USA next month. The new product collection includes version 4 of the RealViz tracking software, MatchMover Pro 4, MatchMover Pro 4 Motion Capture and 2 new automatic 3D tracking plug-ins, MMTrack for Autodesk 3ds Max and MMTrack for Maya. The products are expected to ship in August 2005. RealViz will demo the SMART-enabled products, as well as version 2 of their 3D previz and storyboarding software, StoryViz, at Booth No. 1161 at Siggraph at the Los Angeles Convention Center (Aug. 2-4, 2005).
Dekorra has released EazyDraw 1.8, an update to its easy-to-use vector drawing application for Mac OS X. Version 1.8 offers over 50 new customizable toolbar tools, Keynote export, expanded capability for scaled drawings, improved EPS export with LaTex and PSFRAG support. This version has been optimized for Tiger, providing significant performace improvements for large complex drawings. Numerous other new features and improvements include integrated gZip file compression for emailing drawings, and improved ICO support, which allows users to create favicon website badges. A $20 trial license is valid for nine months, while a full, unrestricted license is $95.
Apple today announced that it will supply 30,000 new iBook G4s to Broward County Public Schools for use by all of its K-12 students in the Ft. Lauderdale, FL area. "We're excited to work with Broward County to provide students with the best learning tools available," said Tim Cook, Apple's executive vice president of Worldwide Sales and Operations. "Thousands of schools across the country have improved academic achievement with the help of Apple's education solutions, and the addition of 30,000 iBooks will do much to help provide students with necessary 21st century skills."
Samsung and Napster have partnered with XM Satellite Radio to create new MP3 players that leverage satellite radio technology as well as are integrated with Napster's online music service. The new partnership will take on Apple's dominance of the online music market and challenge the market-leading iTunes/iPod ecosystem. Samsung said it would introduce its first MP3 players with XM Satellite Radio capability, including two miniature flash memory-based players that will utilize XM's Connect-and-Play technology. The players will also allow users to easily mark songs for future purchase through Napster, offering an integrated listening and purchasing experience.
Apple Japan has invited journalists to a special music event in Tokyo. The event, which is scheduled for August 4 at 10am at the Tokyo International Forum, may bring the official debut of the iTunes Music Store, according to the report. Macworld UK say that Japan is the world's third-biggest music sales market and that Apple has been negotiating with labels since 2003 to offer the local equivalent of a 99c per track tariff, while the labels have been pushing a price equivalent of $1.50. "Japanese CDs cost in the region of £20 each. With CD prices set so high it's no wonder that Japanese CD rental services are highly popular, leading cash-strapped local music lovers to illegally rip music from rented albums."
Bold Games, a division of Destineer Publishing, is partnering with Gabriel Interactive to offer two new John Deere games. Bold Games' new Welcome to Merriweather Farm game shows Johnny Tractor and his friends plowing, harvesting, and taking care of the animals on the farm, while Busy Days in Deerfield Valley features Danny Dozer, Barney Backhoe and friends hard at work digging, lifting, and helping out around town. The games are based on the Welcome to Merriweather Farm and Busy Days in Deerfield Valley books created and produced by Parachute Publishing. Both games are scheduled for release in September for $20 each.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl