Speck Products today announced Metal iPod Protection, its first hard case for the iPod shuffle. Described as "sleek, ultramodern, ultra hip," the Metal iPod Protection offers full access to the iPod shuffle while "keeping it out of harm's way." Machined from lightweight aluminum and finished with the eye-catching shine of nickel plating, the two-part design with included Metal USB cap make it easy to sync and update your iPod. "The Metal Shuffle case offers consumers hip 'bling style' for their iPod Shuffle." said Tim Hickman, general manager of Speck Products. "Speck's Metal Shuffle case is the only the nickel-plated case and the only case to feature a metal USB cap so you can easily charge it without removing the case." It is available now for $25.
4D, Inc. today announced the release of the 4D Office Object Library, which gives developers a code-free way of integrating popular Mac applications to 4D 2004 applications. The Object Libraries provide code-free, drag-and-drop capabilities to bind 4D Objects to Office Objects. "End Users want an integrated computing experience where all applications share the same data whether it be on their smartphone, in their Address Book contacts, iCal events or their custom applications," said Brendan Coveney, president and CEO of 4D Inc. "The new Objects allow 4D developers to add this functionality to their own applications in a few simple code-free steps." The new Objects support integration with popular Mac applications, such as iCal, Address Book and Excel 2004. Objects can dynamically bound at runtime for maximum flexibility.
Virtual Programming today released two new games, which are now available for digital download and will be available shortly as boxed versions. Gangland is a fast pace arcade style action game that "combines the RTT, RPG & SIM genres into a whole new breed," according to the company. The second title, Crusader Kings, is a strategy game that focuses on the feudal kingdoms of medieval Europe in the time period of 1066 to 1453 A.D.: "Europe is in turmoil. The Viking raids have ended but the lands have been fragmented into petty fiefs. The Emperor is struggling with the Pope and rumour has it that another Scourge of God is rolling in over the Steppes of what would become Russia. Meanwhile the Pope has declared that those who go to the Holy Land to liberate it will be freed of all sins…"
FireWire Depot today announces the U2FWEIDE02, a USB 2.0 and FireWire (1394a) to IDE (ATA/ATAPI) bridge board. It offers a unique mounting system allowing users to install an additional drive internally and convert it to FireWire 1394a or USB2. The bridgeboard is mounted on a standard profile PCI bracket allowing users to install the bracket into any open PCI slot, and then install internal ATA/ATAPI devices in the computer. Users simply connect the board IDE cable to the device, and then make a connection from the computer's FireWire or USB port to the bridgeboard. Alternatively, an external user can connect to the bridgeboard to access the connected device. The U2FWEIDE02 is priced at $100.
Sony expects digital music to grow to as much as 20 percent of the market by 2008, according to Thomas Hesse, president of Sony BMG's Global Digital Business. Hesse delivered a keynote speech at the Music 2.0 conference in Foster City, CA. This is a "fundamental transformation," Hesse said. Not only are music fans buying songs and albums online, they are also embracing new music formats. Ringtones offer the biggest example, with artist Cassidy selling over one million jingles prior to his album reaching store shelves. Hesse said he also favors a transformation in the ways that labels do business, including a simplification of artist royalties based on total revenue rather than units sold.
The iPod has made Apple hardware a "nearly ubiquitous presence" on campuses across the U.S., reports MacNewsWorld. Although Apple has seen discount computer makers eat into its PC market share in the education market, the company is finding "new footholds in the collegiate universe." Needham & Co. analyst Charles Wolf said, "my sense is that the success that Apple has had with digital music in general and the iPod in particular are influencing other purchasing decisions." Apple has also benefited from the trend toward laptops replacing desktops, with its iBook and PowerBook increasing in popularity among students. "If there is a halo effect, they are positioned and ready to capitalize on it," Wolf said.
BBEdit 8.2.3 now runs natively as a Universal Binary for the Apple Developer Transition Kit hardware. It also introduces syntax coloring and function navigation for Objective-C++, fixes reported issues and adds minor interface refinements and enhancements. In addition, Apple Developer Transition Kit owners can purchase BBEdit 8 for $130 (regularly $200). IT requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. [Download - 15MB] HelpLogic 1.0pr5 ($100) is the fifth public pre-release of the cross-platform help authoring solution. PR5 now includes a powerful new "Find and Replace" engine, built-in code editor, more command keys/functions in menus and contextual menus, improved support for Tiger, and Aqua-style sheet windows. A introductory 50% discount is being offered. [Download - 4.5MB] General Edit Lite 2.0 (free) is a Java-based tool for Mac OS 10.3 or later that can edit data files. Based on the commercial version, it allows programmers to open/edit disk files as hexadecimal bytes, ASCII characters, UTF-16 (Unicode), or 16- and 32-bit decimal integers. It also allows them to view and edit the Finder information (FInfo record) for disk files. [Download - 963KB] JunkMatcher 1.5.9 (free) now adds SpamBayes, a powerful Bayesian spam filter, to its comprehensive arsenal of spam-fighting tools. JunkMatcher filters spam via blacklist lookup and pattern matching using regular expressions. It integrates with Mail.app and Address Book. Other changes include improved stability, better error handling, and several bug fixes. [Download - 2.4MB] MacCVSClient 1.10 (free) is a CVS client running on Mac OS 7/8/9/X with features such as easy viewing of diffs, logs and annotations as well as a mechanism to ensure developers resolve conflicts before committing changes and a convenient scrapbook window to reuse text bits. The update offers bug fixes, comaptibility with CVS server v1.12, direct Googe-search of the online docs, and more. [Download - Classic, OSX] Snakey Math 2.1 ($10) is an educational game combining arithmetic practice with classic arcade action for 1-4 players. Each snake can be controlled by players or the computer. It offers support for practicing negative numbers, mixed reviews, and various ranges for operands. Version 2.1 corrects an issue affecting some Macs and other minor improvements. [Download - 4.8MB]
TechRestore today began offering a free overnight pickup service for PowerBook and iBook repairs.The service, part of TechRestore's PowerBookRestore overnight repair and upgrade program, offers PowerBook and iBook owners in the contiguous United States a quick, simple and "no cost" method to have their systems brought to TechRestore for repair."Our PowerBookRestore program was designed to eliminate the typical long delays and high costs associated with laptop repairs." said Shannon Jean, Founder and President of TechRestore. Customers can choose from our Priority 24-hour turnaround service for $80 or 48-hour turnaround service for $50.
In Brief: Apple is lagging far behind South Korean rivals in the local digital music player market, capturing only 1.8 percent of the South Korean MP3 player market in terms of revenue in the first half of this year, compared with ReignCom's 35 percent and Samsung's 14 percent.... More than 100 Mac users were apparently unaware of the date change and venue changes as they showed up for the Henrico iBook firesale, which is now scheduled for next Tuesday at the Richmond International Raceway (and is first open to county residents).... Microsoft has settled a lawsuit that it filed two years ago against the self-proclaimed "King of Spam," who at one time helped distribute more than 38 billion unsolicited e-mails per year.... Google has blacklisted CNET for one year after it ran a story on web privacy that revealed (public) details about Google's CEO.
Real Networks says its Harmony technology, which allows consumers to securely transfer music purchased at its Rhapsody music service to digital music devices such as the iPod, puts the company at risk of a lawsuit by Apple. Macworld UK reports that in its latest SEC filing, Real warned investors that possible litigation by Apple could cost the company millions in legal fees and affect its future operating results and that its Harmony technology may be undermined. ""Apple will continue to modify its technology to 'break' the interoperability that Harmony provides to consumers, which Apple has done in connection with the release of certain new products. If Apple chooses to continue this course of action, Harmony may no longer work with Apple's products, which could harm our business and reputation, or we may be forced to incur additional development costs to refine Harmony to make it interoperate again."
Some Japanese musicians say that they working to get their music on iTunes, despite being under contract with Sony and other labels, who have failed to reach a deal with Apple. The Associated Press reports that "at least one artist has already gone against his label to offer his songs on iTunes," while another major agency that manages Japanese musicians said it was interested in a possible deal with Apple, regardless of the recording companies' positions. The move by musicians to place their music on iTunes may escalate the online music battle on Sony's home turf. Rock musician Motoharu Sano, who has a recording contract with Sony--although no longer considered a 'Sony artist' by the company--is making some of his songs available on iTunes, according to his official Web page. 'It is an individual's freedom where that person chooses to listen to music. I want to deliver my music wherever my listeners are," Sano told The Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
RadTech today announced Ice Creme v.2, a comprehensive solution for restoring scuffed and damaged Acrylic and bright (plated) metal surfaces, including Apple'd iPod and iPod shuffle. "Ice Creme enables most anyone to quickly and easily remove the scuffing, scratching and abrasion that tends to occur on highly polished acrylic panels, like those used in several consumer devices and popular computers. Products like Apple's popular iPod and iBook notebook computers, hand-held PDA's and cell phones can all benefit from Ice Creme's power and ease of use. Ice Creme is available in two versions: Regular ($21) for Acrylic and minor metal damage, and "Ice Creme M" ($26) for Acrylic and severe metal damage.
Now AAPL Stock: 97.99 ( + 1.56 )
Comixology fires up $6 all-you-can-read service
Amazon-owned Comixology has launched an all-you-can-read comic subscription service. After a 30-day free trial, for $6 a month, subscribers can draw from a large selection of the Comixology library, minus Marvel and DC comics. For now, the service is US-only. http://bit.ly/1WMAOft
QuarkXPress 2016 now shipping
Quark is now shipping QuarkXPress 2016, the newest version of Quark's graphic design and desktop publishing software that now features near-WYSIWYG fixe HTML5 publishing as well as improved operability with InDesign and Illustrator and support for multi-Color Gradient Blends, OpenType Stylistic Sets, a Color Picker (Eyedropper tool), Touchpads for Pinch and Zoom (Mac only) and more. Users on any previous version of QuarkXPress (versions 3-10) can upgrade to version 2016 for $350, while QuarkXPress 2015 users can upgrade to 2016 for $180; new licenses are available for $850 (education licenses are available for $90). http://bit.ly/1OL23Pu
Kanex debuts GoPower USB-C for MacBooks
Kanex today introduced its GoPower USB-C, a portable power solution designed to charge a USB-C MacBook on the go along with an iPhone or iPad simultaneously. Featuring 15,000 mAh of power--capable of charging an iPhone 6s seven times or the USB-C MacBook one full time--the GoPower USB-C Portable Battery features one 3A USB-C port and one 2.4A port for other devices, priority charging detection technology and a pass-thru charging to your devices when the battery is plugged into a power source. http://bit.ly/1TKaf8z
i.am+ EPs earphones are Apple Store exclusive
Musician turned consumer electronics entrepreneur Will.i.am has launched a new pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones, dubbed the i.am+ EPs. The new earphones are an Apple Store exclusive, and feature large 14mm drivers and aptX support for high-quality wireless streaming. The i.am+ EPs support A2DP controls, have a 30-foot range and can last up to six hours on a charge. The design is said to be inspired by the "iconic shape of vinyl records," and are made from spun metal and paired with a woven fabric cord. When not in use, the EPs magnetically click into place around the neck. The iam+ EPs are available now at select Apple Store and Apple.com for $230, are available in gold-on-black or black-on-black. http://bit.ly/1OKVlt2
Ultimate Ears debuts UE Roll 2 speaker
On Tuesday, audio accessory maker Ultimate Ears unveiled a new version of the UE Roll Bluetooth speaker. The new UE Roll 2, which sells for $100, looks identical to the previous version, but gets about 15 percent louder. In addition, the unit now supports a Bluetooth source signal up to 100 feet away, an improvement on the original's 65-foot limit. While both the old and new versions of the UE Roll offer an IPX7 waterproof rating, the company now includes a blow-up "floaty" with the speaker to avoid the risk of prolonged exposure. The new unit will begin general shipping next month. http://bit.ly/1TJWE0Z
Philips launches Hue White Ambiance bulbs
Philips latest HomeKit-compatible Hue light bulbs have hit the market. The new Hue White Ambiance bulbs are designed to allow users to control their color temperature to enhance either focus, or create a more relaxing tone. Combined with the latest update to the Philips Hue app, the new bulbs can be set according to user "routines." The "wake-up" mode gently turns up the brightness of the bulb, while conversely, the "go to sleep" mode gradually reduces the color temperature and brightness. The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit retails for $130, while single bulbs sell for $30. http://bit.ly/1TJT3Qn
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ