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Special Event video
Apple has posted a QuickTime video stream of today's Special Event at San Francisco's Moscone West. Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivered a one hour keynote address and unveiled several new products. During the presentation, Jobs chatted with Madonna via an iChat video conference. Madonna's music is now available via iTunes, including her new album. After showing off the all-new iTunes 5, Jobs unveiled Motorola's ROKR iTunes-based mobile phone. Ron Garriques, President of Mobile Devices at Motorola gave a brief speech, followed by Ralph de la Vega, COO of Cingular. During his presentation, de la Vega previewed several television ads for the ROKR, available exclusively on Cingular. Lastly, Jobs introduced the iPod nano, comparing it to several competitors' products. The special event ended with a two-song live presentation by Kanye West. West performed "All Falls Down" from his debut CD, and "Gold Digger" from his new album.
Forums roundup: Members discuss Apple's all-new iPod nano, which was released earlier today.... Another thread contains discussion of Motorola's ROKR mobile phone with built-in iTunes.... Users share their experiences with Apple's new iTunes 5 software.... Another discussion focuses on the iTunes 5 appearance, and the possible implications for the future of Mac OS X's "brushed metal" interface skin.... Apple fans react to news that the company has cancelled CEO Steve Jobs' keynote address at Apple Expo in Paris.
iPod Nano in-depth
Apple's recently announced iPod Nano features a 14-hour battery life for music playback; however, requires only three (3) to recharge to full-capacity, and 1.5 hours to attain 80 percent of its capacity. The device boasts a 1.5-inch color LCD display with LED backlighting, allowing users to view JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PSD (Mac only) and PNG files. The Nano measures 3.5 x 1.6 x 0.27 inches, and weighs in at 1.5 ounces. The device ships with electronic documentation provided and includes a "getting started" guide. Basic Nano repair/service coverage consists of single-incident telephone support for the first 90 days and a one-year limited warranty. The iPod Nano ships with earbud headphones, a USB cable, and a Dock adapter. (The device is listed with 1-3 business day availability from the Apple Store.)
iPod theft detection?
Apple has reportedly filed a patent for a theft prevention system to protect portable electronic devices. The patent application (#200501900059), which appeared on September 1st describes an acceleration sensor with a controller to analyze the acceleration to determine if a theft condition is present. Settings such as alarm sensitivity, audio alarm toggling, volume and more are customizable. To prevent false alarms, "the signal conditioning hardware and/or software will filter out those acceleration signals corresponding to shock or impact."
MacNN review, ezSkins
In brief: MacNN has reviewed Pzizz 1.6 Napping software, a non-invasive solution for those with sleep problems.... ezGear announced its new ezSkin cases for the new iPod Nano, Apple's latest digital music player.... DV Graphics announced a new "Iconize Me!" service, offering a complete turn-around from the previous version.... Gefen added a new line of format adapters and component cables, easily integrating component video with digital video devices using DVI and more.... Flashforward, which will be held in Seattle next year from Feb 27-Mar 2, will offer conferences on collaboration, design, interactivity, animation, video, and motion graphics.... Winter Wolves Studio announced that it has begun implementing 3D boxing characters in its popular game, Universal Boxing Manager.
Seamless iPod experience
Apple today announced it has teamed up with Acura, Audi, Honda and Volkswagen to deliver iPod integration with their car stereos for 2006 model lines. Seamless integration of iPods in cars allows music lovers to enjoy high-quality sound through their car's stereo system, easily access their entire music library and take their music with them everywhere they go. Apple said that there are now 15 car companies around the world offering iPod integration, and more than 5 million cars will ship with iPod support in the US in 2006.
ezSkins for iPod Nano
ezGear today announced its new ezSkin cases for the new iPod Nano, Apple's latest digital music player which was also announced today. Made of high quality silicon, ezSkins have openings on the top for access to the hold switch. An opening on the bottom provides access to the iPod dock connector and headphone jack. ezSkins ship with a neck strap, an integrated removable belt clip, and a clear ezShade screen protector. The latest product from ezGear is available in five stylish colors -- sky blue, princess pink, lime green, onyx black, and frost white. ezSkins for iPod Nanos will be available in two weeks for $25.
QuickTime 7.02 update
Apple today released QuickTime 7.02, an update to its multimedia component software for playback of digital files. According to Apple, QuickTime 7.0.2 delivers numerous important bug fixes and compatibility enhancements and "is highly recommended for all QuickTime 7 users." The 33MB update is available via the web and via the Mac OS X Software Update. (Apple notes that installation of QT 7 disables the Pro versions in previous QT5/6 and requires purchase of new QT Pro key for $30). Apple also released the final version of QuickTime 7 for Windows 2000/XP. The download includes iTunes 5 for Windows (also released today). A $30 Windows Pro key enables many advanced features, such as the ability to create video using H.264 codec, record audio for producing podcasts, offers full-screen controls, can convert media to more than a dozen formats, and can save movies from the Web.
Harry Potter on iTunes
Apple today announced that the entire Harry Potter audiobook series is now available exclusively on the iTunes Music Store. For the first time ever, every audiobook in the series, including the latest release, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," is available as a digital download from iTunes. Customers can either download individual audiobooks or the complete Harry Potter Digital Box Set which includes a full color digital booklet as well as previously unreleased readings from author J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter fans can also purchase the complete Harry Potter Digital Box Set together with a Collector's Edition 20GB iPod engraved with the Hogwarts crest (available at the Apple Store).
Apple iPod nano
Apple today introduced the iPod nano (available at the Apple Store), a new full-featured iPod that holds 1,000 songs yet is thinner than a standard pencil and "less than half the size of competitive players." The iPod nano features an ultra-portable, lightweight design with a color screen, Apple's patent pending Click Wheel and the ability to hold 1,000 songs or 25,000 photos. The iPod nano is available immediately in a 4GB model priced at $250 and a 2GB model priced at just $200, with both models available in white or black enclosures. iPod nano is the biggest revolution since the original iPod," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "iPod nano is a full-featured iPod in an impossibly small size, and it's going to change the rules for the entire portable music market."
Apple today introduced the iPod nano (now available at Apple Store), a new full-featured iPod that holds 1,000 songs yet is thinner than a standard pencil and "less than half the size of competitive players." The iPod nano features an ultra-portable, lightweight design with a color screen, Apple's patent pending Click Wheel and the ability to hold 1,000 songs or 25,000 photos. The iPod nano is available immediately in a 4GB model priced at $250 and a 2GB model priced at just $200, with both models available in white or black enclosures. iPod nano is the biggest revolution since the original iPod," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "iPod nano is a full-featured iPod in an impossibly small size, and it's going to change the rules for the entire portable music market." Continued on iPodNN. . .
Apple announces iTunes 5
Apple today announced iTunes 5, bringing new features and a refined look to the digital music jukebox and online music store. iTunes 5 includes a new Search Bar to make it easier for users to find what they're searching for; the ability to organize playlists into folders; Smart Shuffle, which lets the user change the "randomness" of shuffled songs; and the ability for Windows users to automatically sync contacts and calendars from Outlook onto their iPods. According to Apple, iTunes 5's new Search Bar helps users find "exactly what they are looking for" within the catalog of two million songs, 15,000 Podcasts and 10,000 audiobooks on the iTunes Music Store, plus everything in their own iTunes music library. The iTunes Music Store has also added parental controls and album reviews, and now features a catalog of over two million songs.
Rokr phone announced
Apple and Motorola today announced the availability of the world's first mobile phone with iTunes support, the Motorola ROKR. Capable of storing up to 100 songs, the ROKR features easy-to-use menus, simple navigation/playback, and the ability to simply switch from listening to music to talking on the phone and back again with the push of a dedicated music key. Features include a color display for viewing album art, dual built-in stereo speakers and stereo headphones that also serve as a mobile headset with microphone. Randomly autofilling or manually filling the ROKR with playlists of favorite music, audiobooks and Podcasts from the iTunes library via a USB connection is supported. The ROKR pauses music automatically when a call comes in and offers the ability to listen to music while checking messages or snapping a photo. The ROKR is currently available exclusively through Cingular Wireless. It is available for $250 with a 2-year contract.
Apple music event
Apple's special event at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco this morning debuted several new products, some of which are available now at the Apple Store US back online. Apple used the special music event to launch iTunes 5, the new iTunes-compatible Motorola ROKR phone, and the iPod nano, a smaller, thinner, flash-based version of the popular MP3 player line that replaces the iPod mini.
Logitech wireless speakers
Logitech today announced the world's first THX-certified 5.1 speaker system with digital wireless dual rear speakers. The new 315 watt Logitech Z-5450 digital system's two rear speakers each feature their own built-in wireless receiver and power amplifier, requiring only a power outlet for functionality. The new 2.1 Logitech Z-4 and Z-4i speakers feature a sleek new satellite design with three drivers and include Logitech's patented pressure driver subwoofer technology to deliver powerful, distortion-free bass. The Logitech Z-5450 digital system is set to be available this month for $500, while the Z-4 system is due in October for $100.
New Logitech remotes
Logitech today unveiled the Harmony 890 Pro and 895 advanced universal remote controls, the first in Logitech's family of Harmony remotes to use both radio frequency (RF) and infrared (IR) wireless signals. With the Logitech Harmony 890 Pro remote, no line of sight is needed, which allows it to have control of systems in multiple rooms or hidden behind closed doors. Users can easily connect the remote to the USB port of their Mac, logon to the Logitech website, and conveniently program all aspects of the remote by entering the model numbers on the web and selecting various custom options.
Little Snitch, HyperNext
Little Snitch 1.2 ($25) pops up an alert when a program tries to send information over the internet, offering the choice to allow or deny the outgoing connection. Features include prevention of applications from "phoning home", protection from trojan horses/worms, and more. Version 1.2 incorporates numerous bugfixes, improved permission checks for all installation files, and an improved installation routine.
[Download - 417KB]
Pronto Survey 1.0 ($50) creates multi-page web surveys in PHP and MySQL. Pronto Survey creates open, simple selection, matrix, and multiple selection questions with no programming knowledge necessary. Changing the dynamic flow of surveys based on answers received in sequence is also supported. [Download - 9MB]
Radio UserLand 8.2 ($40) updates the web publishing tool offering many upstreaming improvements, new features for the folder viewer, and additional bugfixes. Features include an integrated news aggregator, a multi-author weblog tool, and more. [Download - 3.7MB]
HyperNext 2.2 ($45) comprises three complementary applications that aid in the creation, development and distribution of home-made software. Features include a visually based design system, an English-like programming language, over 600 commands and functions, and more. Version 2.2 boasts improved graphics, and an updated language reference, and more. [Download - 10.9MB]
Xylescope 1.1 ($15) looks beneath the surface of web pages, downloading html source code and CSS style sheets for easy viewing. Features include an X-Ray view, automatic formatting of source files, the ability to modify pages without reloading them, and intelligent searching. The update supports exportation of source code, the formatting of box highlights and margin padding, integration with external text editors, and more. [Download - 1.1MB]
Swift Publisher 1.0.3 ($40) is a page layout application featuring roughly 100 professionally designed templates for various types of documents and over 23,000 images. Other features provide more than 100 unique masks, smart shapes with controllable behavior, iPhoto integration, and exportation of TIFF, JPEG, and PDF documents. New features include the option to show/hide clipart panel, spontaneous image cut solving when a mask or tint is applied, and more. [Download - 23.8MB]
CostView printing app
CostView is a tool for publishers that helps evaluate printing costs and margins. CostView offers the ability to adapt to any machine, taking into account the brand, model, and media. This function will allow users to define their own relations between the cost of ink, media and printers. CostView is based on an intuitive wizard, allowing a step by step setup. All printers driven by Caldera Graphics will be automatically recognized by the system and associated to compatible media. Users simply have to enter the financial data (fixed or variable expenses) into CostView and manage the amount of their services.
WiebeTech has announced Forensic FireWire DriveDock+ and Forensic NoteBook DriveDock+, which offer FireWire 400 write-bocked interfaces for data retrieval from 3.5" IDE or 2.5" notebook drives. Data can be read from drives without risk of writing data back to the drives. The 3.5" version even allows the user to snake the IDE cable connector inside the computer, making it unnecessary to remove the drive to attach the DriveDock. "These products make a forensic investigator's job easier by providing vastly improved FireWire and power status monitoring, and by allowing the use of different kinds of available power." Forensic FireWire DriveDock+ (FODDP) and Forensic Notebook DriveDock+ (FONBP) are both priced at $300. The products are expected to begin shipping Sept.19, 2005.
FEMA relief services
Hurricane survivors using Mac and Linux computers have been unable to use Federal disaster relief claim services online, reports Macworld UK. The service, created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), only works with Windows and Internet Explorer 6. It is unclear if there is a reason the FEMA site blocks non-Internet Explorer browsers. Some Mac users have managed to gain access to the site using Opera -- which can identify itself as Internet Explorer 6 -- without problems. Ars Technica claims many relief workers have been forced to spend precious aid money on Windows OS licenses as they set up terminals to help hurricane victims initiate the claims process. The controversy is the latest in an ongoing struggle with FEMA, which has been criticized for not doing enough following the disaster.
Screentime for Flash 3.0
ScreenTime Media today announced Screentime for Flash 3.0--available for both Mac OS X and Windows. Screentime for Flash converts Macromedia Flash MX swf files into powerful, full-featured screen savers and then packages it into a customized one-click installer for easy distribution. Version 3.0 adds support for more than 50 new custom "STF" functions. These new functions expand the possibilities for Flash based screen savers; adding the ability to download files, set custom wallpapers, read, write, copy and delete files, detect if a computer is connected to the internet and much more - all from within Flash, using ActionScript. Pricing starts at $200. Upgrades to version 3.0 are free for users who purchased version 2.5 or later, and $100 for all other registered users.
Bitrock InstallBuilder 3.0
Bitrock Incorporated has released BitRock InstallBuilder 3.0, an application designed to help develops package and distribute their applications."BitRock InstallBuilder allows users to create easy-to-use installers that can be run in graphical, text and unattended modes. The new version includes native support for Mac OS X, as well as Linux, Linux PPC, Windows, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris and FreeBSD. It can also now integrate with the RPM package management system, includes extensive customization capabilities, offers support for 16 languages, features an easy-to-use GUI interface, and delivers command line build-automation features such as a Quick Build mode and XML-based project files. Pricing starts at $200 for a single-developer license.
Dr. Germ puzzle game
Game Savant announced the release of a new game for the Mac platform: Dr. Germ is a puzzle game in which players must match germs under a microscope: "in order to cure diseases, earn science awards and become a world-famous researcher." Dr.Germ offers four different game modes: 'Research' is the classic collapsing puzzle game, while color matching puzzles are available in "Gene Splice" and 'Petri Dish' game modes. The fourth mode, 'Stranded DNA", offers a swap and match puzzle game. Designed for people of all ages, Dr.Germ can be played for as little as a few minutes at a time using the company's built-in autosave feature that tracks the progress of any player and enables them to resume a game at a later time. The game is available online for Mac OS X for $20.
iTunes No. 1 service in UK
Apple yesterday said that its iTunes Music Store has about 80 percent marketshare in the UK. The company cited figures from the Official Charts Company (OCC), calling iTunes the No. 1 digital music service in the UK with over 1.7 million songs in its UK catalog, according to Macworld UK. "We're thrilled that music fans in the UK have made the iTunes Music Store their number one choice for purchasing digital music," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. "We feature the largest catalogue in the UK with over 1.7 million songs and strive to bring iTunes customers the hottest new and exclusive content in the world."
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