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Forum members explain the merit of a Mac over a PC laptop to a potential "switcher,"... A report indicates that ATI will offer its 9600 Pro 256MB video card (Mac Edition) for less than $200.... Apple enthusiasts speculate about a possible final revision of the PowerBook G4 amid recent rumors.... Discussion continues surrounding Apple's recent hiring of 19-year-old graphics guru and MacNN local Mike Matas.... Adventurous Mac users share their experiences with installing Mac OS X for Intel on regular Intel-based PCs.... Users share their initial reactions to today's Security Update for Mac OS X.... Discussion continues about Apple's new Mighty Mouse.
Wireless 2.4GHz headphones
Digital Age Product has introduced its new Walk-Free Wireless headphones, which transmit the audio up to 30 meters away at 2.4GHz using a pure, uncompressed digital audio signal for maximum sound quality, while the tapered headphone design includes an adjustable and comfortably padded set of earphones as well as a built-in volume control dial. The headset requires two "AA" batteries (included) and uses a compact, driverless USB-based wireless 2.4GHz transmitter with a blue LED signal status indicator and eight (8) built-in selectable channels to help accommodate other 2.4GHz devices that are being used in the same area. The company says its headset is up to 40-50 percent less than competing products; it is available immediately for $60.
DeBabelizer Pro 6 for OS X
Equilibrium today shipped DeBabelizer Pro 6 for Mac OS X and the new Equilibrium DeBabelizer Server for cross-platform server applications. Equilibrium's desktop and server-side imaging software leverages Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" to increase business productivity, accelerate time-to-market and reduce costs associated with digital media processing and multi-channel delivery, according to Equilibrium. Version 6 features integration with the new DeBabelizer Server, support for Tiger's Automator (with 50 prebundled Actions), the ability to create droplets for resuable workflows, anti-aliased text overlays, support for Adobe Photoshop CS layers, improved automation of repetitive tasks, hot folder monitoring and conditional workflow support, delivery to FTP sites or via email, remote batch processing management, and status completion updates via SMS or email.
Intaglio 2.4 for Tiger
Purgatory Design today released version 2.4 of Intaglio, an update to its traditional drawing and illustration software. Patterned after the original Macintosh drawing applications, Intaglio is intuitive to beginners and familiar to traditional Macintosh users. It builds on the 2D graphics, text, color, and scripting capabilities of Mac OS X to provide power and flexibility in an inexpensive drawing application. Intaglio takes advantage of AppleScript, Automator, Apple type services, ColorSync, CoreImage, Quartz, QuickDraw, Quicktime and Spotlight. Newly available features include CoreImage effects (for Tiger users), ClarisDraw file conversion, PDF conversion and more. Available for $90, Intaglio requires Mac OS X 10.2 for most of its features, or Tiger for full compatibility.
Security Update 2005-007
Apple today released Security Update 2005-007 for both client/server versions of Mac OS X 10.3 Panther (client/server) and Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger (client/server). Apple says the update delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. It includes updated components for Apache 2 (Server version only), AppKit (2), BlueTooth, CoreFoundation, cups printing service, Directory Services, HIToolBox, Kerberos authentication, Apple's loginwindow, several Mac OS X Server components, Mail.app email client, MySQL (Server-only), OpenSSL sysetm security layer, ping/traceroute networking tools, QuartzComposerScreenSaver, Security, Interface, Safari web browser, SquirrelMail mail server (Server only), X11 windowing system, WebKit (Tiger-only), Weblog Server (Tiger Server only) and zlib compression library.
Dave Matthews Band
The Dave Matthews Band has posted a guide to copying the group's latest album to iTunes. Many fans reported difficulty with importing the copy-protected "Stand Up" CD to their iPods. While the instructions provided will work, "an easier and more acceptable solution requires cooperation from Apple," according to the band's official Web site. "To help speed this effort, we ask that you use the following link to contact Apple and ask them to provide a solution that would easily allow you to move content from protected CDs into iTunes or onto your iPod rather than having to go through the additional steps."
Apple to fight for iPod UI
Apple could be forced to pay Microsoft royalties for using the interface on its iPod, although Apple said it would continue to fight to have its iPod patented recognized. Following AppleInsider's breaking report last week, The Independent says that Apple could be required to pay "hundreds of millions of dollars" in royalties to Microsoft, whose previously filed patent on an iPod-like interface prevented Apple from receiving its own iPod interface patent; however, the United States uses a "First to Invent" method rather than a "First to File" method, making unlikely that Microsoft would be able to retain the rights to its patent." A spokeswoman said Apple would continue to try to get its patent recognised. The company could take the case to the patent office's appeals board. 'Apple invented and publicly released the iPod interface before the Microsoft patent application was filed,' it said in a statement." (WizBangBlog offers a detailed look at the "poor" media coverage following AppleInsider's initial report.)
BellSouth Napster music
In a move that would leave out iPod owners and possibly alienate them, BellSouth today announced a marketing deal pairing high-speed internet service with a free membership to the "Napster To Go" portable subscription music service, a direct competitor to Apple's iTunes. The deal, which offers a growth opportunity for the subscription-based service, enables customers who sign up for BellSouth's FastAccess DSL to receive a free three-month subscription to Napster To Go; it will also offer a "compatible" MP3 player, which is presumably not the iPod: Apple has chosen not to support the WMA DRM used by Napster, despite (public) requests by popular artists, such as the Dave Matthews Band. A similar marketing effort by Napster was unsuccessful, according to report that found iTunes to be the most popular music service among students at University of Rochester, despite a partnership with Napster.
NetWare for Tiger
Prosoft Engineering today announced that the latest version of the NetWare for Mac OS X is now Tiger-compatible. "Prosoft is excited about continuing support for NetWare environments running Apple's newest Tiger operating system." Prosoft has been "hard at work" developing a new version of NetWare for Mac that adds this support, according to Gordon Bell, General Manager, Prosoft. Built completely from the ground up, the Mac OS X Native client allows any Mac to communicate on a Novell Network with Pure IP eliminating the need to propagate AppleTalk on the local area network. NetWare for Mac OS X is available for $150. A full 30-day demo is available for download.
Adobe, Microsoft ISO
In Brief: The International Standards Organization (ISO) accepted, for review, Adobe and Microsoft's proposal to use the OpenType font file format for handling text and graphics within the MPEG-4 format.... MSN announced Friday it would stream the television pilot for Showtime's new series, "Barbershop" in QuickTime.... A MacNN reader has posted an article on the possibility of Apple's offering User Deserved Bandwidth Upgrades on DotMac, after the company recently added an high-bandwidth/larger storage upgrade option for its .Mac webservices. .... IBM developerWorks has posted a tutorial on how to make direct use of the Linux framebuffer for a Mac media player, describing how to make efficient, direct use of the framebuffer to display JPEG files and discusses the issues involved in deciding between direct framebuffer access and using the X server as a graphics driver.
Wells Fargo iTunes
Following a slew of iPod incentives and promos, Wells Fargo has followed the lead of Gap's iTunes promo. by offering free iTunes songs as an incentive learn about its banking services. Wells Fargo is offering a iTunes promotion and iBook sweepstakes: anyone requesting information about the company's checking account services will be awarded one free iTunes download (while supplies last), and anyone who opens a Wells Fargo checking account until September 18th will automatically be entered to win one of 136 iBook G4 laptops with SuperDrives. The promo is offered at all Wells Fargo retail locations, participating college campus booth locations and online (and also by mail). Winners will be posted on the Wells Fargo sweepstakes winners web page on or after November 7.
Advenio SQLGrinder 2
Advenio today announced SQLGrinder 2, an all-new version of its popular database development environment for Mac OS X. Available now as a public beta, the company says that SQLGrinder 2 has been completely rewritten from the ground up and features many new and improved features. Version 2 offers SQL code completion including keywords, table and column names; a SQL editor result set history, multiple SQL editor edit buffers, BLOB and CLOB display, client-side result set searching and sorting, a new schema browser and SQL library, and new table management tools. The $60 utility is available with a $10 discount during the public beta. Upgrades are $20.
autodessys formZ 5.5
autodessys, Inc. has released formZ 5.5, an update to its general purpose solid and surface modeler. The software features an extensive set of 2D/3D form manipulating and sculpting capabilities. Version 5.5 utilizes the latest versions of the LightWorks and the ACIS libraries. It also features an update interface (a new scene palette, contextual menu, and direct view navigation); new modeling tools; and improved export/import with a new plugin for DXF/DWG along with support for the AutoCAD 2004/2006 files and layered import. In addition version 5.5 offers new surface styles, support for more predefined materials, and a new sketch style, called Lines And Strokes. formZ v5.5 w with RenderZone and RadioZity is $2,400.
Intel CPUs early
Intel today announced that it is accelerating the release of its dual-core, hyper-threaded Xeon and Xeon MP processors. The company says that development is ahead of schedule for the new processors, which will help improve server responsiveness, speed and multi-tasking by allowing software to manage information from up to four cores per processor. Codenamed "Paxville", the chips will provide more than 60 percent better performance over previous generations and will use the Intel E8500 chipset, which has been designed for dual-core performance and was introduced earlier this year. Both 64-bit Paxville and Paxville DP processors will utilize hyper-threading technology, allowing a single dual-core processor to run four threads simultaneously. Additionally, Intel has begun a broad evaluation program for thousands of dual-core platforms for software developers and enterprise customers. The announcement comes just days after Intel offered promises of details regarding the processors at the upcoming Next-Gen conference.
Alwaysstock free mini
Alwaysstock today announced its latest promotion: customers who purchase any eight images or two CD collections by November 30 will receive a free blue iPod Mini. Alwaysstock, home to dozens of photographers from around the world, features more than 10,000 unique photographs in a variety of categories. Images need not be purchased simultaneously to receive the iPod mini, but customers with business accounts must pay their invoices for the eight images or two CDs within 30 days to be awarded the iPod mini. One award is available per individual customer and late payments nullify the offer. Shipment time is estimated at four weeks (with the understanding that back-ordered iPod minis from Apple will ship as soon as they are received).
New iTatu design
Tatuz today announced the release of its third new iTatu design as part of the company's ongoing 5-5-5 promotion: Five weeks, Five new designs, Five free iTatu. The new design, called 'Wall', is the third of five new designs created by award winning graphics designer Andres Conde of Digital Assault. In addition to the new iTatu design, Tatuz International will also give away a free iTatu with every order placed via the company's online store. Each week a different iTatu design will be given away. This week's free iTatu design is 'Gilda Cow.' The third new iTatu, entitled 'Wall', is available immediately and orders placed online will be shipped within 24 hours. Pricing is $3.50 each. "Thus far, our new line of iTatu, created by Andres Conde of Digital Assault has been a real hit. Customers around the world have been dropping us positive emails about the designs, anxiously awaiting the next new design to be released."
iMac G5 Running Hot
An article in the September 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics asks, "Is the iMac G5 Running Hot?" The report shows V-Chip and Radial aluminum electrolytic capacitors failing due to excess heat on the motherboard. The thermal scan shown in the article suggests that excess heat is not necessarily the problem, but there may be a problem with the aluminum capacitors themselves. Passive Component Industry Magazine noted a similar faulty electrolyte problem in the November/December 2002 issue. At the same time, a press announcement from Intel also detailed failing aluminum capacitors.
Apple high hopes
Piper Jaffray today announced that Apple is its large-cap sector pick through the rest of the calendar year, citing new product launches, continued market-share gain expectations for the Macintosh platform and conservative guidance from the company as factors. According to a report from Forbes, Piper Jaffray said likely product releases this year include a higher capacity iPod shuffle or another form of flash-based iPod altogether and a color screen iPod mini. "We would see any of these products as catalysts for holiday sales." Assuming Apple can grow its market share to three percent in 2006, it would add 14 cents to the 2006 earnings-per-share estimate, according to Piper Jaffray.
iPod Shuffle Fan Book
The iPod Shuffle is a "very different kind of iPod," says iPod aficionado J. D. Biersdorfer, author of the "iPod Shuffle Fan Book" from O'Reilly ($10). "It has a lot in common with its older and bigger iPod siblings, but it also has a whole life of its own." This "ultimate resource for getting the most out of Apple Computer's lightest and least expensive iPod music player" covers all the basics of iPod Shuffle hardware and software; using iTunes with ease; filling the Shuffle with nothing but the best songs; and "playing them however, whenever, and wherever desired." Biersdorfer includes resource and website listings for troubleshooting and further research, and he even delivers sample playlists.
Alias ships Maya 7
Alias today reported that Maya 7, the newest version of the advanced visual effects software, is now shipping. Featuring the MotionBuilder full-body IK technology, this newest version of Maya makes animating characters faster, easier and more accurate. The software also delivers new polygonal modeling and UV tools that round out Maya's extensive modeling feature set. In addition, it gives artists illustration and specialized visual effects tools, including a new Toon Shader; advanced render layering technology; and faster, more seamless connections between Maya and other key production software. Maya Complete 7 is $2000, while Maya Unlimited 7 is $7000. Upgrades are $900 and $1250, respectively.
PSTextMerge 3.2 ($20) is list data manipulation software which allows dynamic content of a web page to be easily separated from its static format, and each portion can be easily maintained in a source program suited to the data type. This version is the latest update adding several new template commands. The INCLUDE command includes the contents of another file, while IFNEWLIST and IFENDLIST ease the process of generating HTML list tags.
[Download - 1.2MB]
SmarWrap 2.5 ($18) is a major re-engineering of SmartWrap for $10, combining all modules into a single icon and featuring a new one-click plug-in installer which works well with localized text. SmarWrap analyzes text, detects paragraphs and lists within text and rewraps text naturally within the document or message. [Download - 2.9MB]
Delicious Library 1.5.1 ($40) upgrades this application used to catalog or share home libraries of books, movies, music and video games. A free update, version 1.5.1 improves stability and reliability for users around the world and includes improved lookup, import, and export results. Owners of other commercial collection packages will receive an upgrade discount of $10 and can easily import existing collections into Delicious Library. [Download - 10.9MB]
xSort 1.1 ($50) provides card sorting capability for Mac OS X. xSort provides easy definition of new card sorting problems, performance of several sessions with multiple participants and analysis of the results (using multiple criteria) with the ability to generate printable reports. Version 1.1 imports from and exports to XML documents, exports the distance table to CSV and more. [Download - 3.6MB]
Constrictor 3.0 ($10) is a screen snapshot utility for Mac OS X 10.4 and later, providing a moveable and resizable frame which floats over all other windows allowing the capture of custom screenshots. Constrictor provides a variety of options for snapshot appearances, such as scaling, framing and feathering edges to blend into a background. [Download - 300KB]
Bluetooth iPod interface
Scosche Industries is now shipping a Bluetooth wireless iPod interface for aftermarket brand-name head units and home audio systems. The Scosche transmitter connects directly to the headphone output connector of the iPod or MP3 unit and transmits to a Bluetooth receiver connected to the auxiliary RCA input of a vehicle's head unit or home audio system. Scosche's Bluetooth wireless technology transmits "continuous streaming audio with digital sound CD quality" to a car or home receiver. Scosche's Bluetooth wireless technology features a wireless range of 30 feet and a fifteen hour transmitter lithium-ion battery life. It is Bluetooth 1.2 compliant for continuous streaming audio and can pair with an unlimited number of receivers. The universal Bluetooth kit will be available in September and will retail at $250.
iTunes-Google deal rumor
A rumored iTunes-Google deal may have helped push Apple's stock to an all-time high last Friday. According to TheStreet.com, shares of Apple "set an all-time high on Friday following a disappointing report from Dell and amid rumors about a major new partnership. According to market chatter, Apple is set to announce a deal with Google calling for Google to offer Apple's iTunes music store through its own site. The rumored deal would pair the nation's leading online music store with its leading search engine." The report quotes an options strategist at Theflyonthewall.com as saying that that "there's 'speculation of an iTunes launch. Google is going to offer iTunes somehow on their platform."
iBook program terminated
The Cobb County School Board has moved to terminate its contract with Apple, following an earlier Court order that halted the 63,000 iBook program for students based on funding concerns. The Board's decision, which also stops plans to provide Cobb's more that 7,100 teachers with the laptops, was "based on an investigation that found that the school system 'deceived' the public in choosing the company to supply it with thousands of laptops," according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Sunday's decision came after the board received the report from Kessler International, a company that specializeds in corpporate investigations." The report found that Apple got the contract even though it appears the company did not initially make the final cut of companies to be considered.
Constrictor 3.0 for OS X
Stick Software has released Constrictor 3.0, an update to the shareware utility for Mac OS X. Constrictor helps users take screenshots, using a positionable frame to grab "the right area every time." Snapshots can be scaled, framed and feathered as well as exported to five different file formats, copied to the clipboard, or e-mailed (via AppleScript). Version 3.0 fixes an incompatibility with Mac OS X 10.4, brings Spotlight support, configurable hot keys, improved copy to clipboard functions, and more. Constrictor 3.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and is available for $10.
Despite the potential to become big, Apple is not likely to add a music subscription service to iTunes. BusinessWeek reports that while Apple has briefed music industry executives about a subscription-style model for iTunes, the company will not likely launch such a service until one of its competitors begins to make inroads into its music empire. And that may not happen until the market sees a credible competitor to Apple's iPod: "Apple has the luxury of time. Until another portable music player arrives on the market and gives the iPod a run for its money, it's unlikely one of the music-subscription services will take off in a big way. After all, most people who want digital music prefer to access it via such a portable player. But the iPod, which is designed to work only with iTunes, won't work with the subscription services."
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