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Roxio Toast 7 Titanium for Mac is expected to hit store shelves at the end of the month, adding many new features to the popular CD and DVD burning software. Among the new features is extensive DivX support, including the DivX 6 encoder supporting HD. The application can now convert DivX to DVD and create DivX discs. The new iLife Browser makes recording content from any of Apple's creative "iApps" easy. New Data Spanning speeds the file sharing process, while new Compression Technology lets users optimize and copy DVD-Video discs, disc images and VIDEO_TS folders. Toast 7 features the ability to convert video between many formats, including DV (and DV 16:9), HDV (720p, 1080i), MPEG 4, H.264, and others. Dolby Digital, OGG, and FLAC encoding and decoding are supported with the release. Toast 7 will cost $100. A $20 rebate will be available to license holders of previous versions.
iPodNN roundup: Marketing incentive programs everywhere are incorporating iPods to attract business, and iPod minis are the number one "motivational" electronics product according to the trade publication Incentive.... In an attempt to wrestle market dominance from Apple, Sony released its palm-sized Walkman Bean portable music player which directly competes with Apple's iPod.... Walter Mossberg, in his latest column, cites three key reasons why iTunes has seen so much success while others have not: tight integration with the iPod, ease of use on both PC and Mac, and "comparatively liberal" restrictions on downloaded files.... The highly anticipated "Rokr" mobile phone from Motorola, which will incorporate Apple's iTunes music software, will not debut at Virgin Mobile's V Festival concert in the U.K. this weekend as previously announced.
Demand for Apple's iPod is greater than ever before, and Apple reportedly has plans to buy as much as 40 percent of the NAND flash output of Samsung Electronics during the second half of this year, according to market research firm iSuppi. As Apple moves from hard disk-based iPod production to a flash-based mini model of 4GB capacity, other NAND customers could be left out in the cold to search for other suppliers of flash memory, according to EE Times. Memory analyst Nam Hyung Kim of iSuppi in a report issued today said sources told him that Samsung has offered Apple "extremely low prices on its NAND parts" in the hopes of convincing Apple to switch from hard-disk storage to NAND memory for the 4GB iPod.
This week, Apple released a security patch which repairs 34 vulnerabilities in Mac OS X Tiger and other titles. Unfortunately, the update effectively "broke" 64-bit application support after it was applied. Apple quickly responded with a new patch the following day which corrected the problem. After multiple videos of Mac OS X running on x86 systems were released earlier this month and again last week, Apple got serious and took action to prevent the spread of further footage. Numerous videos and photos sprang up after it was discovered that Apple is incorporating Trusted Platform Computing (TPM) in its new line of Intel-based Macintosh computers. Today, a columnist suggested that TPM won't be easily circumvented when the final release of Mac OS X makes its appearance. A mad rush for $50 iBooks in Henrico County on Tuesday left a handful of people with scrapes and bruises, the next day video and photographs of the event surfaced.
The highly anticipated "Rokr" mobile phone from Motorola, which will incorporate Apple's iTunes music software, will not debut at Virgin Mobile's V Festival concert in the U.K. this weekend as previously announced, according to Engadget and the UK's Inquirer newspaper. The two-day concert sponsored by Virgin Mobile will feature 57 bands, and was thought to make a good venue for the unveiling of the music phone by some analysts. A representative from Virgin Mobile UK, however, said at the time that there was no plan to launch the phone at V fest, according to TheStreet.com. A Motorola representative said that when the phone gets its formal kickoff, it won't be sharing the stage with any other acts.
Iconfactory today unveiled its latest stock icon collection, "Plateau." Fun and playful, Plateau's bold colors and quirky lines can bring a retro feel to any application or website. Plateau is also available in scalable EPS format for use in large format, print and Web applications. The Plateau icon collection is designed to expand the graphical options of developers looking to provide a clean, simple yet elegant experience for users. The Plateau stock icon collection is available for $250 and, as with all Iconfactory bundles, can be used royalty-free.
Companies as formidable as Microsoft, Sony and Wal-Mart have been unable to gain any traction in the music download market, despite closely imitating iTunes, explains Walter Mossberg in his latest column. Mossberg cites three key reasons why iTunes has seen so much success, while others have not: tight integration with the iPod, ease of use on both PC and Mac, and "comparatively liberal" restrictions on downloaded files. Unable to find success with the 99-cents-per-song model pioneered by iTunes, competitors have turned to subscription-based programs. The problem, Mossberg says, is the rental model is "far more complicated and restrictive than iTunes, and has several big downsides." These downsides include a loss of music files the user stops paying his or her subscription. [See all the latest iPod-related news on iPodNN.]
Apple comes out on top in a comparison of iMovie HD to Windows XP Movie Maker 2. In his extensive review -- which largely focuses on iMovie -- Jeff Carlson of Peachpit Press concludes that, "iMovie HD is as easy to use as ever, and is the first consumer-level editing program to support the nascent field of editing HD footage." Carlson praises iMovie's easy of use and professional feature set. "I sat down at my PowerBook G4 and fired up a little application that I'd previously launched only once: iMovie. In less than two hours—without any instruction—I'd imported some footage, edited it, added titles and music, and uploaded a one-minute short to a web page for family and friends to view.[...] Whether you're shooting vacation highlights, sporting events, or the school play, iMovie gives you the capability to turn that footage into something your friends and family will want to watch."
Apple may still have the last word following recent reports showing pirated betas of Mac OS X for Intel running on standard PC hardware, according to one columnist. Circumventing the TPM (Trusted Platform Module) to allow Mac OS X to run on generic Intel platforms involves modifying the system code to ignore any calls to the TPM. Larry Loeb says that the fact that applications themselves will almost certainly make use of the TPM means would-be users of the application will be required to disassemble and crack each and every TPM call to get a functioning application.
Ubisoft has posted a demo of Myst V: End of Ages, the final chapter in the popular adventure game series. "Decide the fate of a civilization in this triumphant final chapter to the Myst saga. Embark on an epic journey into the heart of a shattered empire as the only explorer who can still save it – or destroy it with the wrong choices." Myst V introduces a new "Innovative Slate System" that allows players to readily manipulate the surrounding environment. The retail version of the game is expected to ship in September for Mac OS X and Windows. Myst V was developed by Cyan Worlds, which has been responsible for the entire series.
Line 6 today announced TonePort, its new line of USB recording and modeling USB interfaces, bringing Line 6 guitar, bass, and vocal tone to the world of desktop recording. TonePort UX1 and UX2 hardware interfaces are USB-powered devices that include Line 6 GearBox modeling software, which provides a must-have collection of guitar and bass amp/cab models, stompbox and studio effects, and models of high-end studio microphone preamps. TonePort UX1 features a high-quality microphone input with preamp, a guitar/bass instrument input, stereo line inputs and outputs, stereo headphone jack, and an analog merge monitoring input.
Apple and two overseas executives have parted ways, according to the Register. According to a report on Chinese-language news service Sina, Apple China General Manager Li Bin and Asia-Pacific VP He Zhongqiang left the firm yesterday, along with the head of Apple's channel team and a number of regional managers. Bin was only appointed to the General Manager's post in May this year, joining the company after stints with Nokia and, most recently, IBM. Zhongqiang joined Apple from IBM, too, in November 2002. Apple hasn't formally commented on the restructure.
In Brief: Avid Xpress Pro on Mac OS 10.4 Tiger will make its Los Angeles debut at the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group, (lafcpug) on Wednesday August 24 at the Gallery Theater in E. Hollywood CA.... MacJams.com has posted another 20MB+ collection of free Apple loops, as part of its "Five Weeks of Free Loops" promotion, where a new collection of loops is given away for each of five weeks.... Terry White has announced the release of Mac OS X Training For Windows Users on DVD ($35), which is designed to get Windows "Switchers" and first time Mac users up to speed quickly on their new Mac.... Miglia has expanded the national distribution of its product line in the United States with the addition of WYNIT, a national distributor of computer peripheral and digital imaging equipment.... Runtime Revolution's ninth free online programming conference will be presented by xTalk expert Jeanne DeVoto of Jaedworks and will take place on August 20th.
Pressure Drop today debuted a new version of its USB/FireWire hub for the desktop: the Black Diamond PaperHub integrates a combination USB/FireWire hub into a standard desktop paper tray. The new model features a lustrous black chrome finish and high-quality aluminum construction as well as offers four USB and four FireWire ports. Combining an elegant paper tray and eight ports for connectivity, the Black Diamond PaperHub is "the emobidment of the utility and artistry you've come to expect from Pressure Drop. While most hubs clutter and take up unnecessary desk space, Black Diamond PaperHub fulfills its technological responsibilities accurately and quickly while elegantly organizing a person's desk at the same time." The Black Diamond PaperHub and the original anodized aluminum PaperHub are both available now for $150.
ATI Technologies today introduced the Radeon 9600 Pro, a new graphics card that supports both Mac and PC platforms. The Radeon 9600 Pro offers dual-link capabilities to support ultra high-resolution flat panel monitors such as Apple's 30-inch Cinema Display. The new card features ATI's most popular graphics processors for AGP-based systems -- the Radeon 9600 Pro -- and includes 256MB of dedicated high-speed memory. It offers a 128-bit memory interface and advanced DirectX 9.0 shader support with floating point precision as well as support for resolutions up to 2560x1600 (via the card's dual-link DVI display support). The AGP based Radeon 9600 Pro PC and Mac Edition is available for $200.
Apple has announced a new iMac G5 Repair Extension Program for Video and Power Issues. The worldwide program, which applies to first-generation iMac G5 machines experiencing specific problems, extends the original warranty for up to two years and offers free repair of specific video and power issues, such as distorted or scrambled video and loss of video and/or power. The program is available for iMac G5 models that were sold between approximately September 2004 and June 2005. These included iMac G5s with both 17- and 20-inch displays and with processors running at 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz. Apple has listed four different serial number ranges that were affected. The program does not extend the entire warranty, but offers free service and repair of the video/power problems on affected machines for up to two years after the original date of purchase.
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