In brief:A Bay-Area media executive claims to know the Taiwanese manufacturer that is currently making an iPod with a screen for video images.... Newer Technology today introduced a new 2200mAh iPod battery replacement kit for first- and second-generation iPods.... The iPod boom has propelled New Zealand-based Apple distributor Renaissance to records profit and a strong outlook.... Speakercraft today introduced the MZC iPod interface kit, "the first" multi-zone system which can display iPod song information in every room of the house on a high resolution color display.... Ultimate Ears today rolled out its Super.fi 3 studio earphones implementing a proprietary, vented, single-speaker design which has been engineered to deliver full-spectrum sound at low cost....
The iPod boom has propelled New Zealand-based Apple distributor Renaissance to records profit and a strong outlook. Shares of the computer distribution and services company jumped 6.6 per cent to a four-year high of $1.30, which is up 30 per cent this year and is just below its record high of $1.35 set in February 2001. Renaissance reported a 36 per cent jump in revenue to $69.5 million for the six months to June 30. Net profit more than doubled to $1.93 million and the company is confident of a strong result for the full year. "We believe that the second half of 2005 will show solid growth and produce another record profit for the group," Renaissance said.
Speakercraft today introduced the MZC iPod interface kit, "the first" multi-zone system which can display iPod song information in every room of the house on a high resolution color display. Designed to control all iPod models with a dock connector, the system can display song titles, artists, albums and music genres as well as a user-defined playlist while a scroll wheel and push button allow users to browse through iPod music information. The kit supports up to six iPods and each can be accessed individually as a separate source from any keypad. Users can also control and display information from hard drive music servers, XM/AM/FM radio tuners and other infra-red receiving devices. (Pricing and availability were unavailable.)
iPhoto2PBase 1.0 ($6) is a new iPhoto plugin allowing users to upload to PBase galleries directly from iPhoto 4/5. Users can create new galleries, upload unlimited photos, edit the title and description for individual photos and see the status of PBase accounts. [Download - 1.2MB] Site Soap 1.1 ($13) allows users to quickly and easily optimize their entire website including images, html pages and style-sheets with no reduction in quality. Benefits include less bandwidth usage, faster page loads and improved code readability/compliance. Additionally, a backup feature preserves original files in un-optimized form. [Download - 578KB] Accordance 6.7 ($40) is a Bible study solution for Macintosh, offering an easy-to-use interface to explore the text and background of the Bible. Included with this update, which is free for users of version 6.x, is the Accordance Widget which is used to look up and insert verses in a word processor for users with Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), streamlined keyboard shortcuts and more. [Download - 10MB] ABNavigator v1.0 (free) is an application to easily obtain driving directions from point A to point B using the information contained in Mac OS X Address Book, directions can be saved in a variety of formats or printed. Sources available are Expedia, Google Maps, MapQuest, Maps.com, MSN Maps and Directions or Yahoo Local Maps. [Download - 588KB] Cheetah3D 2.3 ($100) is a fast and elegant 3D modelling/rendering and animation tool for Mac OS X. Version 2.3 features a new polygon "triangulator" which is up to 100 times faster and offers unrivaled robustness. The new window layout manager allows users to customize the main window to their needs and makes extending Cheetah3D easier in the future. [Download - 13.6MB] ProjectForum 4.5 ($230) provides professional and easy-to-use workspaces for users' work and collaboration efforts. Version 4.5 brings richer support for RSS and email. RSS feeds are now available for every page in the forum allowing users to pinpoint exactly the work they are interested in. [Download - 1.2MB] FuzzMeasure 1.3 ($125) allows users to see and understand the acoustic properties of audio equipment and listening spaces. By accurately measuring the frequency response of a room or electrical component, FuzzMeasure reveals resonant frequencies, muddy bass, tinny treble and other elusive, qualitative sonic properties. Version 1.3 offers support for industry-standard calibration files for professional measurement microphones. [Download - 815KB]
Ultimate Ears today rolled out its Super.fi 3 studio earphones implementing a proprietary, vented, single-speaker design which has been engineered to deliver full-spectrum sound at low cost. The Super.fi 3 studio earphones utilize a special form factor that securely seals the ear against external noise (26 dB of noise isolation) while combining the deep, "feel-it-in-your-gut" bass of less expensive single-diaphragm devices with the clear midranges of higher-priced single-armature products. While the Super.fi 3 earphones are available for $100, the Super.fi line also offers two premium dual-speaker models with low- and high-frequency speakers in each ear. The $200 Super.fi 5 EB (extended bass) features big bass sound particularly suited for hard rock, hip-hop and rap, with 16dB of noise isolation. The $250 Super.fi 5 Pro has an audio signature that lends itself to all musical genres, greater resistance to outside noise at 26dB of noise isolation, and a smaller and sleeker exterior housing.
Maxon today announced Cinema 4D 9.5, BodyPaint 3D 2.5 and a new production bundle exclusively for studio visual effects. Cinema 4D v9.5 features improved workflow, lighting and rendering enhancements and "Sky", a tool which lets users easily create atmospherics. BodyPaint 3D v2.5 provides optimized workflow with new tools to assist users in creating high quality textures by painting directly on 3D models. The Maxon production bundle includes the latest versions of Cinema 4D, BodyPaint 3D plus other high-end production tools such as 16/32-bit 3D painting tools, Renderman Output, matte painting tools and a Linux version. CINEMA 4D R9.5 ($700) and BodyPaint 3D R2.5 ($750) will be available September as free upgrades to all purchases after July 1st, 2005.
A Bay-Area media executive claims to know the Taiwanese manufacturer that is currently making an iPod with a screen for video images, according to InsideBayArea. The executive was told by the unnamed company that the product should be out in at least six months. Further evidence surfaced today when Engadget reported that Apple altered its iPod trademark to include image and video files. According to the report, the trademark previously read "portable and handheld digital electronic devices for recording, organizing, transmitting, manipulating, and reviewing text, data, and audio files", but now reads "portable and handheld digital electronic devices for recording, organizing, transmitting, manipulating, and reviewing text, data, audio, image, and video files."
Developers are reporting that the new kernel included with Apple's Developer Kit DVD for the Intel transition uses TCPA DRM. It employs a "TCPA/Palladium implementation that uses a Infineon 1.1 chip which will prevent certain parts of the OS from working unless authorized." Mac enthusiasts and developers have speculated that Apple might use a DRM scheme to prevent consumers from installing Mac OS X for Intel on regular PCs. Apple is also reportedly interested in Intel's DRM technology for preventing piracy of audio (and possibly video) files purchased from its iTunes Music Store.
Data released by Apple names DJ Chris Moyles's Radio 1 breakfast show as the UK's most popular podcast. The top subscribed podcasts chart from Apple places speech from Moyle's show in the top spot despite the program launching in the format just days ago. An Apple spokesman said the podcast data is updated regularly. This is apparently seen within the music industry as a key indicator of podcast popularity in the absence of an official chart of the format. The BBC podcasts are part of a trial by the broadcaster in the emerging format and in April, this was extended to include around 20 programs including Radio 4's Reith Lectures and Radio Five Live's "Fighting Talk" weekly sports debate show. Moyle stated "I'm glad that even more people can enjoy the show and now even computer geeks from around the world can help feed my ego" according to Revolution Magazine. Moyles's show is available every Thursday in MP3 format to download from the Radio 1 website.
The effect on Apple from the HP-Apple iPod divorce will be neglible, but it may help HP solve its "identity crisis," which used hip marketing to emulate the "coolness" of Apple and augment its global brand identity, according to one BusinessWeek columnist. "Financially speaking, Mark Hurd's decision for Hewlett-Packard to stop selling Apple Computer's iPod music player is very nearly a non-event. With just 5 percent of all iPod sales, revenues from the 'Apple iPod from HP' have been a rounding error for HP since the deal commenced in early 2004." The column notes that HP began pouring big money into slick TV corporate image ads, which although were a huge improvement from the past, haven't had much impact, as HP's brand equity fell 10 percent in BusinessWeek's latest Global Brands Scorecard.
Eastman Kodak today announced its P880 digital camera (pictured at right) featuring 8.0 megapixel resolution with a 24 Ė 140 mm (35mm equiv.,) f/2.8-4.1, wide-angle lens; it also debuted the P850 digital camera featuring 5.1 megapixel resolution, a 36 Ė 432 mm (35mm equiv.), f/2.8-3.7, image-stabilized lens. Along with a host of accessories, both models are fully compliant with Kodak's Easyshare technology and are capable of capturing 30fps VGA video with single-frame still-extraction and trim/cut/splice/merge editing abilities; they can capture up to 80 continuous minutes of Motion JPEG videos with sound depending on media card capacity. Kodak also bundles Easyshare 5 software, which procides "effortless digital picture organization, editing, sharing and printing" and now includes advanced video editing features. The P880 ($600) is to be available in September while the P850 ($500) will be available early this month.
In brief: We've posted a review of the Musak iPod and Laptop Case.... Cobb Superior Court Judge Lark Ingram ordered a halt to the Cobb School Board's iBook program last Friday when she ruled in favor of a lawsuit brought by former Cobb Commissioner Butch Thompson against Redden and five members of the school board who voted in favor of his massive laptop initiative.... Apple's iPod has not only revolutionized the way we listen to music, but the way we think about it, according to a column in The Detroit News.... Newer Technology today introduced a new 2200mAh iPod battery replacement kit for first- and second-generation iPods.... Hewlett-Packard said on Tuesday it will stop selling digital cameras in Asia as it pursues business areas with greater potential in the region.
In addition to the second Tokyo store opening this weekend, Apple will hold the grand opening for two new US retail stores on Saturday, August 6, 2005: Apple Store Pentagon City in Arlington, VA is located at 1100 South Hayes Street, while Apple Store South Shore is located in Braintree, MA at 250 Granite Street, Space #1027. Both stores feature The Studio, a one-on-one area that focuses on using Mac to develop/create design/graphics project. Both stores will feature a Grand Opening Sweepstakes, which offers a Digital Lifestyle Collection, which includes a 17-inch flat-panel iMac G5 with Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW), an iPod mini, a Canon PowerShot SD400 digital camera, a Canon ZR100 digital camcorder, and an Epson Stylus R200 printer. Separately, Apple is also now advertising retail positions for a yet-unannounced store in Burlington, MA.
Other World Computing (OWC) today announced it has reduced prices on its OWC Mercury Extreme G4 processor upgrades. The company is offering a $40-$45 discount on all of its upgrades, including the 933MHz/1.0GHz (now $250), 1.0GHz/1.2GHz ($250), 1.3GHz/1.4GHz ($300) and 1.4GHz/1.5GHz ($400) models. Each Mercury Extreme G4 includes 256KB of 1:1 L2 cache on-chip and 2MB of high-speed L3 Cache, and is covered by OWCís three-year limited warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee. ll models are compatible with Apple's PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics (Sawtooth), Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio and Quicksilver models, and with Mac OS 9.2.1/Mac OS X.
Newer Technology today introduced a new 2200mAh iPod battery replacement kit for first- and second-generation iPods. According to the company, the new 2200mAh battery replacement offers 78 percent more runtime capacity than the original battery shipped by Apple. The $35 installation kit includes installation tools and instructions, while a video installation guide is also available online. With the introduction of the 2200mAh battery, NewerTech is discontinuing its 1800mAh and 2100mAh iPod battery replacements for first- and second-generation iPods. NewerTech is offering the 1800mAh battery upgrade kit for $20 and the 2100mAh battery upgrade kit for $30.
Apple today announced that Mac OS X's Dashboard now has over 1,000 widgets available at the Apple website, with dozens more being added every day and many more available from other websites. Widgets provide Mac user instant access to important information from weather forecasts and stock quotes to traffic conditions and the latest news stories. "Dashboard is a runaway hit," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "With over a thousand widgets to choose from, users can customize their Dashboards to do almost anything."
Metrowerks this week officially announced that it will cease development of its CodeWarrior IDE for the Mac. The announcement was made at AdHoc this week, according to a note posted to the Apple Carbon-dev mailing list. The posting said that Metrowerks will cease development af CodeWarrior development environment for the Mac after the release of version 10, which is expected this fall. CodeWarrior 10 will be likely be released as a "download-only" version for "low price" and that Metrowerks will provide email-only support through the end of the year, according to the note. The note also said the company expects to post another patch for CodeWarrior 9, the current release, to fix outstanding issues.
Apple today introduced Mighty Mouse, its next generation mouse with several innovative new features, including four independently programmable buttons, an Scroll Ball that lets users scroll in any direction-vertically, horizontally and even diagonally, and more. "With the Scroll Ball, users can scroll with natural, fluid movements, making Mighty Mouse perfect for applications from viewing web pages and photographs, to video editing and music creation." Apple says the Mighty Mouse is the first multi-button mouse that retains the simplicity of a single-button mouse, and can be used as a single- or multi-button mouse depending on the user's preference. It features a single seamless enclosure with programmable touch sensors that act as primary or secondary buttons. MIghty Mouse is available now for $50 from the Apple Store.
REAL Software today announced it is shipping REALbasic 2005 Release 2, which delivers reliability improvements in the code editor, window editor, menu editor, compiler and debugger. REALbasic 2005 Release 2 introduces a new type of property, the Computed Property, which automatically provides Get and Set methods as well as delivers several other new features, including a Window class now provides a Focus property that returns the currently active window control; an updated Array class that now supports sorting multiple arrays simultaneously using the same sort order; an improved ComboBox class that now exposes new properties that provide parity with the EditField; and the ability to assign default values to user-defined class properties. It is a free update for those on an update plan. Full licenses start at $100.
Information Appliance Associates (IAA) today announced free Tiger-compatibility updates to most of its Mac products as well as a new promo that offers an instant 30 percent discount on any product to owners of competing products. Bringing compatibility with Mac OS X Tiger, the company posted free updates for PocketMac for BlackBerry, PocketMac Lite/Pro (Mac-to-Pocket-PC sync), PocketMac Phone (Mac-to-Smartphone), PocketMac GoBetween (Entourage-to-iSync), PocketMac iCalPrinter (print calendars "Office-style"), and PocketMac for PSP (Mac-to-PSP sync).
Dr. Bott today announced it is now shipping Marware's Sportfolio carry case for Mac mini. Available in black with a blue accent pocket, Sportfolio for Mac mini features a neoprene outer casing with vulcanized rubber lining around the sides and bottom. This case features two large interior storage pockets - one for the mini, the other for the power supply and additional peripherals. The Sportfolio for Mac mini also features impact resistant plastic inserts, fully lined zippers, padded handle and a removable shock-absorbing shoulder strap. It is available now through Dr. Bott resellers for $45.
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