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Apple Stores across the U.S. and around the world have seen an unprecedented increase Mac and iPod sales, but many Apple resellers are feeling left out. Apple's authorized resellers are continuing to lose sales to Apple's online store and retail locations. Apple and its resellers have had a "love-hate relationship for a long time," says Van Baker, an analyst at industry research firm Gartner. Apple's stores have helped to antagonize that relationship in some cases, because sales through them are "clearly business that didn't take place in the distribution channels," he says. Mac Made Easy, an Apple reseller in Honolulu, has lost half its sales since Apple opened a retail store in the city about 18 months ago, says owner Betty Markowski. Although Apple promised not to go after her customers, that's precisely what the company has done, Markowski says.
Square Box Systems today announced CatDV Workgroup Server 3.5, its server application designed to complement its CatDV Pro application and provide a cost effective multi-user video logging and archiving system. Every clip stored in the database is described and annotated by a rich selection of metadata which includes clip name, notes, tape or reel identifier, in and out timecode values, recording date, and technical metadata describing the file format. Each clip also has a thumbnail poster image, and can refer to a low-resolution video preview. The CatDV Workgroup Server is compatible with both MySQL 4.0 and Oracle 10g relational databases, and is available starting at $700.
SimpleMovieX 2.8 ($25) is a movie editor for Mac OS X. The update brings improved MPEG authoring through enhanced editing support, export and audio transcoding as well as compatibility with Tiger, improved MPEG saving reliability, and French localization. [Download - 1.5MB] Watch It 1.2 ($6) is a versatile stopwatch and timer that features a transparent, movable, and resizable main window. It includes the time and basic controls for operating the application. Version 1.2 is a free update that adds an info panel which make is easy to change modes and set the timer. [Download - 567KB] XPert Tools Pro 2.1.3 ($180) is a free update to the intuitive set of palette-driven XTensions, which brings both new and enhanced functionality to QuarkXPress. XPert Tools Pro includes XTensions for typography, scaling, layering, aligning, navigation and printing. The update adds support for multiple users and non-administrative users. [Download - 31.4MB] FolderGlance 1.0 (free) is a contextual menu items plugin for the Finder that allows hierarchical browsing of folders. FolderGlance comes with a preference panel allowing customization of folder depth and hidden file display, and works with Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 168KB] ObjectiveCLIPS 1.1 (free) is an open-source application which allows the creation of intelligent Cocoa applications with persistent object models and complex business rules. ObjectiveCLIPS provides the ability to write rules about objects and execute actions when rules match. [Download - 2.3MB] One Finger Snap ($7) is a preference pane which brings up the contextual menu whenever the mouse button is clicked and held, providing two-button mouse functionality. One Finger Snap is designed to work with any mouse, including Mighty Mouse, so the contextual menu can still be brought up by clicking and holding which essentially provides one more button. [Download - 480KB]
Infomosaic today announced the release of a Mac OS X version of SecureXML Digital Signature. SecureXML makes it easy for software developers and system integrators to add industry standard digital signature to their Web and standalone applications. SecureXML provides functionality to sign Web pages, forms, XML data and documents in Word, PDF and other formats. US Health of Human Services, a lead customer of Infomosaic SecureXML Digital Signature, has licensed the SecureXML Java Applet for Mac OS X for use on 17 different PKI enabled Web applications which require digital signatures.
Intel will take a new marketing approach when it introduces new line of processors next week. eWEEK reports that the company will begin touting performance per watt (i.e., power efficiency) as well as overall performance rather than its traditional megahertz marketing--similar to Steve Jobs' presentation at WWDC where he unveiled the Mac switch to the Intel-based architecture. "Intel is expected to detail next week at its IDF (Intel Developer Forum) a plan to begin building multicore chips with the architecture, a modified version of the circuitry behind its Pentium M notebook processor, during 2006. Intel's announcement will publicly signal an internal shift that's already taken place. After years of promoting clock speed, it's now emphasizing overall performance and power-efficiency. Intel's shift to processor numbers and its wholesale move to multicore processors sealed the deal for the architectural change, as power can be a limiting factor in fitting two or more processor cores together into a single chip."
Students this year at Empire High School in Arizona each received an iBook instead of a textbook, making the public School one of the first ever to shun printed textbooks. School officials believe the electronic materials will get all 340 students more engaged in learning, according to the report from The Associated Press. Two years ago roughly 600 school districts across the nation had pilot projects to provide laptops to each student, a figure that has probably doubled since that time according to Mark Schneiderman, director of federal education policy for the Software and Information Industry Association in Washington.
Marketing incentive programs everywhere are incorporating iPods to attract business. iPod minis are the number one "motivational" electronics product according to the trade publication Incentive, as reported by The New York Times. Century Tower, a residential high rise in the Loop in Chicago offered an iPod mini to anyone who previewed an apartment and signed a lease within 24 hours. Sharon Campbell, the Century Tower's leasing director recalled that "one of the first things they'd say to me after signing the lease was, 'Do I get the iPod now?'". The iPod mini approach proved to be more successful than offering one or two free months of rent for Century Tower, despite the fact that rent costs range from $755 to roughly $3000.
Sony today unveiled its new "Walkman Bean" MP3 players which compete directly with the iPod shuffle. In an attempt to wrestle market dominance from Apple, the palm-sized Walkman Bean is available in storage capacities of 512MB and 1GB--the same as the Shuffle--but boasts a 50 hours of battery life. Sony offers the players in four colors: Tropical Ice (blue), Cotton Candy (pink), Licorice (black), and Coconut (white). Hoping to upstage the shuffle, claiming that the Bean is less complicated than "other players", Sony hopes to portray the image of cool and hip as it markets this player to existing and potential shuffle owners. Sony is already accepting pre-orders of the devices which will ship in the middle of September; the 512MB model is priced at £80 while the 1GB model goes for £100.
Xmultiple has announced its new FlashPoint "ShareDrive", a USB flash drive capable of transferring files between flash drives without USB bridges or an intermediary computer. "Sharing-On-The-GO" (SOTG) technology is embedded into Xmultiple's ShareDrive line of pen drives to easily download and upload files between the ShareDrive and any other USB memory peripheral, such as Apple's iPod. Powered by a rechargeable lithiom-ion battery, ShareDrives are available now in 128MB ($70), 256MB ($90), 512MB ($116), 1GB ($170), and 2GB ($230) capacities and feature automatic USB battery pack power management with a low-battery power indicator.
Kachikian Consulting has released Serene Saver, an animated desktop application that blends the traditional screen saver with an all-new animated desktop "where static desktop images are replaced by motion imagery of beautiful nature scenes, artistic impressions, and spiritual awakenings." "Serene Saver brings a bit of serenity to your daily computer life and is kind of like a window into the world right on your own desktop", says designer Kevin Kachikian. Serene Saver presents various tranquil nature scenes, captured entirely with high-quality and HD cameras, on your desktop. Serene Saver, which offers users the ability to submit their own homegrown desktops, bundles over two-dozen unique scenes. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later and is available for $30.
Fastmac today lowered prices on its G4 AGP processor upgrades by as much as 25 percent. The company says its upgrades include Level 3 cache to help boost performance in certain graphic-intensive actions within Photoshop, and in games such as Quake & Halo--even "when compared to CPU’s that use higher clock frequencies but forego inclusion of Level 3 cache." The models are now available for $230 (1.1GHz), $250 (1.2GHz), $290 (1.4GHz), and $350 (1.5GHz). The G4 AGP processor upgrades carry a 3 year warranty and includes 256KB of 1:1 L2 cache on chip and 2MB of high speed L3 cache, along with an integrated heat sink "that stays cool-to-the-touch even under extreme operating conditions." Fastmac’s G4 AGP upgrades are designed to work inside Apple PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics (Sawtooth), Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio and Quicksilver models.
Aspyr Media has released GameAgent 1.5, an update that brings a completely redesigned interface. GameAgent is a free utility that allows you to easily match your computer hardware with the system requirements of Aspyr's game titles. Game Agent will automatically identify which games will run on your current system, or allow you to create a customized Apple configuration. It will also determine necessary system upgrades for any other Aspyr games if needed. In addition to new features, a new exclusive offer has been added: Users can now receive a five-title bundle for only $20 The Leave the Lights On Compilation (featuring American McGee's Alice, Clive Barker's Undying and Bloodrayne), Spyhunter and Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation are available, only through GameAgent for the reduced price of $20 for all five titles.
iPodNN roundup: The Plasticsmith released tux for iPods (pictured at right), an elegant and protective pedestal available for the iPod and iPod mini.... Apple will reportedly launch 4GB and 6GB versions of the iPod shuffle later this year.... Research firm PiperJaffray said it believes the iPod is continuing to gain traction in the September quarter, as evidenced by the number of iPods included on the Amazon Top Seller List for portable MP3 players and all electronics.... Samsung, in an attempt to lure more sales away from Apple's iPod, will introduce 12 new MP3 players this year (and even more in 2006).... Results of research by the National Acoustic Laboratories offer evidence that up to 25 percent of people will have hearing problems caused by listening to their iPods at "excessive and damaging" levels.
Apple's Mighty Mouse yesterday was chosen as "mediocre" by TIME.com's "Gadget of the Week". Reviewer Wilson Rothman touches on the capabilities of the Mighty Mouse to launch Exposé, Dashboard, the Application Switcher, Spotlight, and other applications while complementing the overdue incorporation of two buttons and a scroll-wheel feature. Rothman's two major complaints stem from the fact that the side buttons cannot be assigned to something as basic as a "back" feature and that the new mouse isn't wireless. Noting that Apple didn't try to give him "a half-baked excuse", Rothman gives credit to the scroll wheel which is more of a track ball, capable of wiggling a page both up and down and side to side in "a fairly fluid motion". Rothman concludes by saying that he won't be disconnecting his Logitech MX1000 10-button wireless laser mouse with a lithium-ion battery anytime soon.
Elemental Audio Systems today released InspectorXL, the newest addition to its professional line of audio plug-ins. InspectorXL is a complete audio analysis suite featuring six (6) individual, comprehensive, and customizable plug-ins addressing common audio analysis needs. Designed to be an integral part of the day-to-day workflow of audio professionals in fields from music production and sound engineering to broadcast production, InspectorXL is built on the company's free Inspector audio analysis plug-in. InspectorXL's six (6) audio plug-ins integrate spectrum analyzers, phase scopes, balance meter, correlation meter, stereo image mid-side meters, and peak and RMS level meters.
In its latest research note on Apple, investment firm PiperJaffray said it believes the iPod is continuing to gain traction in the September quarter, as evidenced by the number of iPods included on the Amazon Top Seller List for portable MP3 players and All Electronics. "The number of iPods in the Top 10 increased 1 spot, from 9 to 10 since our last update on July 18."
Investment firm PiperJaffray believes Apple may be "winding down" production of its current Power Mac G5 and PowerBook G4 models, citing an increase in the estimated days to ship for the Power Mac G5 2.7 Dual and the Power Book G4 15" Combo. The Power Mac G5 Dual 2.7GHz currently has an estimated days to ship time of 7 to 10 days, an increase from same business day (SBD) shipping on July 18th. The estimated number of days to ship the Power Book G4 15" Combo increased from SBD to 1-2 days. So-called lead times generally increase ahead of a product update. Apple's next major event takes place in Paris, September 20th-24th. PiperJaffray also noted an increase in the number of iPods and Macs in Amazon's Top 10 and Top 20 lists.
Apple will reportedly launch new iPod shuffle models in 4GB and 6GB versions later this year, according to the Chinese Commercial Times. The report also says that Taiwan Green Point (TGP), a Taiwan-based consumer electronics chassis maker, recently landed iPod case orders from Apple, adding yet another company to the growing list of Tiawanese manufacturers producing components and related items for the iPod. Foxlink (Cheng Uei Precision Industry), Advanced-Connectek (Acon), Mustang Industrial and Ji-Haw Industrial all aid with the manufacturing process of iPods and are expected to see significant revenue increases following the introduction of the new Shuffle models, according to DigiTimes.
In Brief: Apple is climbing in top 50 online website charts, drawing nearly 17.5 million visitors in July and placing it 32nd place in the top 50 online properties charts, while iTunes traffic was also up 13 percent in July (compared with June) with 5.4 million visitors.... motion|VFX today announced the release of Volumes 1 and 2 of motion|VFX DVD, featuring professional, ready-to-use templates for Motion software in HD resolution (1920x1080 at 24fps).... Iscentia has released second edition of its Iscentia Enterprise Report is available in both a print edition and a new complimentary podcast edition.... According to a recent survey, "users don't want MP3 mobile phones" with more than 70 percent of 4200 users responding that they wouldn't bother with MP3-capable phones.... A clerk at the "We Fix Macs" computer sales and repair shop in south Palo Alto received a head wound when he attempted to wrest a gun from a holdup man trying to steal computers.
Samsung Electronics, in an attempt to lure more sales away from Apple's iPod, will introduce 12 new MP3 players this year and plans to introduce 5-7 flash-based models along with two hard-disk based devices in 2006. In the first six months of 2005, Samsung introduced six new models to its range of Yepp players in the first six months of this year, hoping to triple its annual sales to more than five million units. Currently Samsung's target is still one-sixth of the expected 2005 sales of Apple's iPod player.
PowerLogix this morning began offering a new 1.5GHz dual-processor PowerForceG4 7447A upgrade card for the Power Mac G4 Cube. The card is available from Other World Computing for $480. The cards utilize the latest FreeScale PowerPC 7447A and include 512K of on-board L2 cache. As with all PowerForce G4 7447A cards, this new model features an on-board thermal sensor and real-time thermal monitoring, and supports Dynamic Frequency Switching (DFS). “While there was a relatively small number of PowerMac G4 Cubes made, the demand for Cube enhancements remains strong,” said Larry O’Connor, president of OWC. “We’re glad to meet that demand with these great upgrades, which keep this four-plus-year-old machine running faster than even the G4 Mac models available today.”
Apple is moving aggressively to limit the spread of the videos showing Intel-based versions of Mac OS X running on standard PCs. The company has reportedly sent "cease and desist" orders to news websites as well as other parties, demanding that the sites remove links to the videos showing "hacked" versions of Mac OS X running on non-Apple certified systems. Mac website MacBidouille reports that it received an "amazingly aggressive email asking for the immediate removal of all links to the videos." The site, along with other sites on the Internet, had used the videos to support news reports that hackers were able to successfully workaround Apple's a special TPM chip (Trusted Platform Module), which was designed to prevent Mac OS X from running on third-party computers.
The Plasticsmith today the release of tux for iPod, an elegant stand for Apple's popular music player. Tux is a protective pedestal that is designed to be placed on the desk, next to the stereo, on the nightstand or any place where users regularly listen to their iPod with headphones or connected to speakers. Available for iPod and iPod mini, it comes in two versions, upright and tilt. Its side supports are built from extra-thick, flame-polished acrylic, slotted for a perfect fit and easy loading and unloading. Tux suspends iPod above the base, supporting charging and syncing with iPod's cable while secured. It is available in two color themes: black-based or white-based, with clear sides on all models and 3M non-skid pads for stability and protection of table tops. All eight models will be sold exclusively through Plasticsmith’s online store for $35 each.
Apple late Wednesday night fixed a glitch in its recent security update that prevented Tiger users from running 64-bit applications. As reported yesterday, the initial version of the Security Update 2005-007 1.0 accidently disabled 64-bit computing under Mac OS X 10.4.2, while addressing nearly three dozen other security exploits. Security Update 2005-007 v1.1, now available for both Client and Server editions of Tiger (via the web and Software Update), replaces Security Update 2005-007 v1.0 for Tiger systems Mac OS X v10.4.2. Apple recommends that users who have already installed v1.0 on Tiger systems to install v1.1. Version 1.1 of the update "provides a combined 32- and 64-bit version of LibSystem to replace the 32-bit version that was delivered in v1.0. No other changes have been made in version 1.1," according to Apple's documentation.
Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia said it had no formal agreement to offer iTunes with its upcoming N91 multimedia phone, despite an earlier report by Finnish daily Taloussanomat that indicated Nokia would bring iTunes to the N91 model, according to Reuters. The report also indicated that Nokia had already seen iTunes-like applications in research labs: "There is no commercial agreement between Nokia and Apple to integrate iTunes into the N-series devices," said Kari Tuutti, spokesman for Nokia's multimedia division. "But since this is based on a computer platform, anybody -- including Apple if they so wish -- can very easily develop this kind of application and offer it to consumers, via the Internet for example."
Gefen has introduced its new Gefen 2x1 DVI KVM Switcher, which easily connects two cross-platform computers to a single keyboard, video display and mouse (KVM) workstation. "It is especially useful for users of Apple Mac mini low-cost computers when combined with another PC or Macintosh computer at the same workstation." It supports stereo audio, high speed USB 2.0 and DVI video-in resolutions up to 1920x1200. It measures 7" (W) x 2.5" (H), and 4" (D), provides a switch button on the front of the unit that gives access to computer data in just seconds, and includes one five-volt power supply as well as an optional RMT remote that can access computers from a distance. The Gefen 2x1 DVI KVM Switcher is available for $200.
Redbug Technologies has released Mapwing Creator Pro 1.0, an application designed to turn digital photos into virtual reality tours. Mapwing tours can be explored using Macromedia Flash Player and the freeware, cross-platform Mapwing Viewer. Mapwing technology allows users to build, share, and explore virtual reality tours, enabling anyone with a digital camera and a computer to create tours quickly and easily using the Mapwing Creator Pro application: users can build VR tours from digital photos by creating VR locations or "points" out of images, connecting them together to form tours. Each tour can be enhanced with an interactive map, text comments, website links, and detail image hotspots. Mapwing Creator Pro can save tour projects (.flyp) and streaming tours (.flys). The $300 suite runs on Mac OS 10.2.8 or later and includes the free viewer as well as Mapwing Flash Viewer, a server-side Flash/PHP application used to embed Mapwing tours into web pages.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k