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Adobe bag, mobile iTunes
In Brief: Kensington has launched five new iPod accessories, including three accessories for the iPod nano..... Shares of Synaptics stock fell Thursday after a few analysts said Apple won't use Synaptics' touch-wheel technology on its new iPod nano digital music player..... Apple has created a (yet incomplete) page detailing the mobile version of iTunes, though the download is not currently available.... The limited edition Adobe Messenger Bag is the" innovate result of the collaboration" to create the ultimate design bag for the creative professional.... Kiwali has announced new corduroy cases for the iPod mini, which are available in five different colors (The iPod mini is now discontinued, but still available from the Apple Store)..... A Motley Fool analyst says that "there's not much surprise with the Nano -- it's really more of a mishmash of elements from the other iPod-branded music players (and in my opinion, not necessarily the right ones) than anything truly novel."
Kensington announced today that it has expanded its line of iPod accessories with the availability of five new products designed for iPod enthusiasts. Three of the products being announced, the SX 2000 Speakers for iPod, the Micro FM Transmitter for iPod and the Digital FM Radio and FM Transmitter for iPod will support the recently announced iPod nano. "The iPod defines what consumers expect out of their digital music experience, and we are committed to launching a line of accessories that further enhances that experience," said Oren Blonstein, Global Product Manager, for Kensington.
Corduroy iPod mini cases
Kiwali, a new manufacturer of accessories for Apple's iPod, rolled out its first product -- a line of stylish corduroy cases for 4GB and 6GB iPod minis, dubbed the Kiwali mineon. Mineons are made from natural corduroy and are available in black, blue, green, pink, and tan. Accompanying carabineer clips are available in blue, green, orange, pink, and silver. Mineons feature a magnetic clasp and an access cut-away in the cover for headphones. Kiwali mineons are priced at $15 and are available via Kiwali's website.
Deja Vu 3.2 released
Propaganda Productions today announced the release of Deja Vu 3.2, offering a new approach to file backups. Deja Vu is a preference pane designed to perform scheduled or manual backups of folders or create a bootable clone of an entire system. Version 3.2 offers the choice of a custom location for the "Safety Net" folder, tooltips showing the full path for items in the "what" and "where" columns, lower priority backups to improve system responsiveness, and numerous bugfixes. Deja Vu requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and is available for $25.
Apple at Forrester Forum
The Forrester Research's Consumer Forum of 2005 will be held on September 27-28 at the New York Marriott Marquis on 1535 Broadway in New York, and will include Apple's vice president of worldwide product marketing for iPod, Greg Joswiak. The waning of brand loyalty, the overwhelming effect of advertisements, and the falling of trust in traditional media set the stage for this year's conference. Questions to be asked include: what the value of consumer-driven innovation is; how broadband, mobile devices and networked homes will change the way consumers decide what to buy, what to watch, and how to communicate; which new marketing approaches hold the most promise; and how new technologies such as kiosks and self-checkout are changing the role of physical stores. [updated]
Universe Software today unveiled pdf-FieldMerge 4.0, an application to fill in PDF forms automatically from a database. Features include merging variable data with PDF forms, merging graphics, file usage from spreadsheets and PC databases, saving to single or multiple PDFs, exportation of PDF form field names, and more. pdf-FieldMerge connects to Excel, Access, FDF, CSV and other source files while processing GIF, PNG, JPEG, BMP, and TIF graphical formats. pdf-FieldMerge 4.0 requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and is available for €70.
iPod Updater, Pod2Go
iPod Updater 2005-09-06 (free) from Apple provides new iPod Software 1.0 for the iPod nano, but contains the same software versions as iPod Updater 2005-06-26. Listening to music, viewing album art, browsing photo collections, and other activities on iPod nanos requires iPod nano Software 1.0.
[Download - [unknown]]
Pod2Go 1.5 ($12) extends the capabilities of all iPods except Shuffles by adding a variety of textual content for later reading. Pod2Go 1.5 adds gas prices, is Tiger compatible, has a new icon, includes many internal rewritten code segments, fixes two bugs, and more. Pod2Go 1.5 requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later. [Download - 1.5MB]
KeyCue 1.1 ($15) examines the overall functionality of any application, displaying menu shortcuts as the command key is depressed. Version 1.1 includes built-in documentation, improved compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4, and some minor bugfixes. [Download - 705KB]
Genetic Code Widget 1.0 (free) displays the standard genetic code in a simple table, showing the 64 codons and the amino acids each codon codes for. Genetic Code Widget 1.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Aborygen also offers the Amino Acid Table 1.1 and the Nucleic Acid Nomenclature 1.0 Widgets. [Download - 90KB]
Mail2Cell 1.0 ($10) automatically forwards unread emails from Apple's Mail.app to a cell phone as text messages, or to any other email address. Mail2Cell also optionally forwards emails between specified hours of the day. The unregistered demo will run for one hour. [Download - 1.2MB]
SMS Mac 1.1 ($10/year) comes as an address book plug-in with a Dashboard widget for Mac OS X 10.4, or for Konfabulator (Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Mac OS X 10.2 or higher) to easily send an SMS message to a mobile device. Both local and international SMS cost €0.10 each, and no roaming charges are incurred. [Download - 1MB]
LANrev for IT unveiled
Pole Position Software today announced the release of LANrev, its comprehensive desktop management system. LANrev boasts software deployment, asset management, remote configuration, patch management, and software license monitoring. The application automates labor-intensive IT tasks such as software distribution and end point management, and offers templates designed and built for maximum efficiency. Key features include remote management tools that streamline operations, a customizable/scriptable architecture, broad search functionality, flexible reporting, and more. (System requirements and pricing unavailable.)
Sony Cyber-shot R1
The new Sony Cyber-shot R1 combines a large 10.3 effective megapixel CMOS sensor and a high quality 24mm - 120mm (35mm) ZEISS Zoom lens. The unique 'short back focus design' of the Cyber-shot R1 also allows the last lens to be positioned immediately in front of the CMOS sensor, contributing to a reduction in chromatic aberration. On the Cyber-shot R1 this distance has been reduced to an astonishing 2.1mm. The flexibility of the lens design also means there is no need to change lenses to capture a specific shot. The fixed-lens design of the Cyber-shot R1 provides enhanced durability, reducing the risk of dust or foreign bodies scratching or damaging the sensor as a result of multiple lens changes. The inclusion of a large 2.0-inch "Over Head" free-angle LCD screen, facilitates a new approach to shooting with the Cyber-shot R1: it "allows users to shoot from horizontal or vertical levels, high or low angles or waist height, to maximize creativity." The new camera will ship in November and is expected to cost around $1000.
Mossberg on Nano
In his latest column, Walter S. Mossberg shares his initial impressions of the iPod nano. "The nano has the best combination of beauty and functionality of any music player I've tested [...] And it sounds great."Mossberg concludes that "the iPod nano performed as advertised, or better. I found no significant flaws or downsides." Mossberg says he plans to buy a Nano. Meanwhile, Edward C. Baig has published a brief overview of Motorola's new ROKR cell phone, which features iTunes. Baig says the device works well, but he expresses some disappointment with the relatively low capacity of the phone. He also points out that users can't download music "over the air" directly to the phone, as people do when buying games or ring tones. Baig also criticized the USB-only connection, which he said was noticeably slower than FireWire.
AAPL at all-time high
Apple shares today reached an all-time high of $50.12 following the announcement of the iPod Nano and the Motorola ROKR iTunes mobile phone yesterday. UBS raised its price target Apple stock to $59 from $54, and Credit Suisse First Boston changes its target to $56 from $45, according to MarketWatch. Apple shares yesterday fell 12 cents to close at $48.68. CSFB expects the new iPod products to generate gross margins of about 23% (4GB) and 38% (2GB), stating "we believe that these new products and an upcoming marketing barrage from Apple, Motorola and Cingular will bolster Apple's momentum into the critical holiday season," according to Forbes.com.
Skype 1.3 released
The Mac team at Skype today announced the release of Skype 1.3 for Mac OS X, their free internet telephony software. Skype 1.3 adds multi-chat, drag and drop contacts, a new services and alert interface, a red badge on the Dock, API support, animated emoticons, support for selecting multiple contacts, better support for "Do-Not-Disturb" mode, Growl support (a simple, free addition to the Mac OS that provides a unified notification engine for all applications), improved keyboard commands, and tool-tips. Skype is available for free from the Skype website, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
FEMA, PowerLogix, MacBUS
In brief: Applying for disaster relief on the FEMA web site requires certain versions of IE on Windows, however this can be circumvented with the user agent plug-in for Firefox.... PowerLogix is lowering prices on its PowerForce 7447 Series of processor upgrades by as much as $50.... The Macintosh Business Users Society of Greater Philadelphia (MacBUS) announced that the September MacBUS meeting will feature a special presentation by Noha Edell, Senior Business Development Manager for Adobe Systems.... Ibeezzz.com has closed its doors because of "professional commitment," but will remain available for support until August 31st.... SpiderWorks announced the exclusive printed softcover release of "Danny Goodman's AppleScript Handbook (Mac OS X Edition)", one of the most recommended AppleScript references ever published.... One blogger has a strong opinion about the new Motorola ROKR iTunes mobile phone, stating that "instead of getting something with an unexpected cool factor, I got exactly what Apple hinted at [...] frankly, I was expecting more."
Apple yesterday confirmed it will exhibit at MacExpo 2005, and a spokesman for the U.K. event said it seems set to break all previous records. "The show's going really well. All the big names are confirmed - pre-registrations are flying in, [...] many are designing impressive theatres into their stands so it promises to be a really informative show with lots of presentations and the opportunity to see the latest hardware and software in action," the spokesman said. Promising this year will be the best yet, he noted that most exhibitors will be showing how their products can be used as part of overall solutions within the creative industry.
Motorola discusses ROKR
A Motorola representative today answered questions in an interview about the new ROKR iTunes mobile phone, pointing to the possibility of a 3G version and leaving the door open for future partnerships with firms such as Napster. Motorola general manager of regional operators retail and distribution for Western Europe, Carson Schmidt, stated in an interview with Pocket-lint.co.uk that "iPod users will also feel right at home as the interface is identical to the music player." The ROKR is not intended to replace the iPod, according to Schmidt, and like the iPod shuffle the device can be auto-filled from larger music collections. Schmidt, when asked if Motorola will likely create a phone that will support other download stores like Napster, said that "we are exploring other avenues with other partners but nothing is planned at the moment."
iPod moving target
Apple is continuing to make the iPod a moving target for competitors, according to Needham & Company. So far, no competitor has matched the iPod's "simplicity and elegance," writes Charles Wolf. "Yesterday, Apple raised the bar yet again with the introduction of the iPod nano [...] In our opinion, the nano should sell as well if not better than the mini, appealing to new users as well as owners of higher capacity Pods." Apple is also continuing its strategy of "locking in iPod owners with accessories." The company announced that there are now over 1,000 accessories for the iPod. Also, Apple announced that 15 automobile manufacturers now support the Pod. Around 30 percent of new automobiles sold in the U.S. in 2006 will feature built-in iPod support.
LISTSERV Maestro for OS X
L-Soft today released LISTSERV Maestro for Mac OS X, which allows businesses and organizations to manage as well as measure, track and report the results of their email communication initiatives using the software's web interface. LISTSERV Maestro for Mac OS X, which provides the same functionality available on Linux, creates custom messages and follow-up communication based on individual subscribers' preferences and clicks on links via its workflow- oriented graphical interface. LISTSERV Maestro supports four options for open-up and click-through tracking, including blind, anonymous, unique and personal, collecting a different degree of personally identifiable information about recipients. This data can then be easily converted into realtime tracking reports. Through October 31st, LISTSERV Maestro is available for free when purchased with LISTSERV with maintenance. Packages regularly start at $2,400.
iPod nano costs
S&P Equity Research points out that the iPod nano pricing is "within our expectations," but ZDNet notes that margins may be much tighter than with the outgoing iPod mini. The 2GB iPod Nano, which sells for $200, contains around $90 worth of volume market flash, while the $250 4GB version has about $180 worth of memory, said Semico's Jim Handy. By contrast, similarly-sized mini hard drives costs about half for the same amount of storage. While Apple likely received a significant discount from its suppliers, the same was probably true for hard drive orders as well. Moreover, Samsung's margins for flash in the second quarter came to around 45 percent. Thus, Samsung would have to sell the memory at a loss or close to break even to give Apple a price that would be equal to a price for hard drive storage.
Keyspan Easy Presenter
Keyspan today announced its new Easy Presenter, a feature-packed and easy-to-use remote control for presentation programs including Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple's Keynote The Keyspan Easy Presenter is RF-based with a receiver that connects to any USB port and includes a laser pointer as well as volume control. The "plug and play" device does not require any software installation or complicated setup, while a power switch protects battery life; an included pouch helps protect the remote when traveling. With a range of 60 feet or more, the Keyspan Easy Presenter functionality includes: Slide forward/back, laser pointer, volume up/down/mute, black screen, F5 (start presentation), and ESC (exit presentation). The remote is compatible with both Macs and PCs and will be available later this month for $40.
Nano success, Icewear case
In Brief: The Apple Store is offering 1-3 business day ship times on the new iPod nano (with free laster engraving) and immediate shipping on the Collector's Harry Potter 20GB iPod ($300) and The Complete Harry Potter digital box set ($250 for download from the iTunes Music Store)..... PC World ruminates about whether the increased price-per-megabyte for the iPod nano will deter potential buyers after Apple discontinued to the worlds' most popular MP3 player, the iPod mini.... Tunewear announced the new Icewear nano series of silicon cases for Apple's iPod nano digital music players.... Sony unveiled five new walkman players in Japan designed to challenge Apple's iPod.... In a move that could mark a big strategy shift for the online auction company, eBay is in talks to acquire Internet telephony company Skype for between $2 billion and $3 billion.... Much like the Apple's lanyard for the Nano, Pacific Rim Marketing offers a completely integrated iLanyard and leather case solution for the Apple iPod family and will shortly include solutions for the new iPod Nano--the company is also offering a $10 discount on its integrated Mini lanyard for the now-discontinued iPod mini.
iTunes for Australia
Apple may launch its iTunes Music Store for Australian customers as early as October 3, but the selection will be limited. Forbes.com reports that like iTunes for Japan, Apple is having trouble negotiating pricing with two of the major four labels. "Of the world's four major music labels, only two--EMI Group and Vivendi's Universal Music Group--have agreements to sell their music on the site so far. Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music have yet to sign on with Apple, which has been rumored since last spring to have plans to launch the site.... Those two companies are also the holdouts at Apple's iTunes Japan site, which opened for business last month. A Warner Music executive said the company was close to signing on with Apple for the Australian launch, but couldn't predict when a deal would get done. Industry speculation, though, is that Sony BMG will be harder to convince." As noted previously, some executives want to change the one-price structure offered by iTunes to include higher prices for more popular songs.
New Sony walkman players
Sony today launched a new series of five walkman digital music players as well as new music jukebox software designed to challenge the dominance of the iPod and iTunes. Only a day after the launch of the iPod nano, Sony debuted three flash-memory-based models with capacities of 512MB, 1GB and 2GB, and two hard-disk drive-based models with capacities of 6GB and 20GB--all of which are expected to be available in Japan in October (however, international launch plans have not yet been set), according to Digit Magazine. Taking a cue from Apple's Shuffle and it's revamped iTunes 5 software, "Sony is emphasizing the user interface of the new players rather than just the technical specifications. Among the functions on the hard-disk drive-based models is an "artist link." Clicking the link button while a song is playing highlights stored music from similar musicians and genres. There are also several shuffle modes in all the players, including a "time shuffle," which will play all the stored songs from a selected year, and a mode that randomly plays songs from the top-100 most listened-to tracks."
ICEWEAR nano cases
TUNEWEAR today announced the new ICEWEAR nano series for Apple's iPod nano digital music players, joining the popular ICEWEAR for iPod mini, 4G, 3G and shuffle. The line of high-density transparent silicone cases uses the same high density silicone found in diving masks which allows for both scratch protection and a clear view of the iPod nano's original color. The "washable" ICEWEAR series design allows access to all ports including the headphone jack, dock connector, hold switch and click wheel. Shock absorbing ribs on the sides not only serve to protect the iPod nano during falls, and also increase grip for the iPod nano when held in your hand or placed on almost any surface. "The ribs also make the iPod nano appear to glow when held in the light which adds even more beauty to the design," according to the company. ICEWEAR nano will be available in October 2005 for $20.
iList Data, FoxTrot
History 2.1 ($40) is an InDeisgn and InCopy plugin that claims to "shorten the time of undoing actions and simplifies orientation in work steps. Using History
2.1 also decreases the risk of loosing work, versions saved using History
plug-in remain in the document even after closing." Its new Export versions features facilitate creating previews of multiple versions for customers, offers improved internal compression, and delivers better version management. [2.5MB]
iList Data 3.0 ($50) is a low cost, single-user database for the Mac. The update adds dynamic reports, a dedicated thumbnail palette, and iLife integration. iList Data supports text, number, date, and time fields while integrating support for Boolean, path, URL, color, JPEG, and calculation values.
[Download - 6.9MB]
FoxTrot Personal Search 1.0b2 (€20) delivers a fast, focused and precise way to find data in files. FoxTrot utilizes the FoxTrot search engine to offer advanced categorization, flexible relevance ranking, wildcards, exclusions, and more. FoxTrot also indexes file contents and metadata (file name, author, title, etc. used by Spotlight) when running on Mac OS X 10.4. [Download - 1.4MB]
CPU Speed Menu 1.1 (€5) switches performance settings with a single mouse click, removing the need to open System Preferences and navigate to the Energy Saver pane. CPU Speed Menu doesn't require space in the Dock and doesn't consume power while it runs in the background. Additions in version 1.1 include an option to switch to new icons of reduced width, native support for Intel-based Macs, and more. [Download - 247KB]
disclabel 2.4 ($30) is a utility to create, print, and share CD labels, jewel case inserts, and DVD covers. disclabel imports the iTunes track list and iTunes track information into label design, and disclabel places chosen pictures from the iPhoto library into jewel case insert designs. Additional templates are available via the internet, and Applescript can be used to automate label creation. [Download - 4.9MB]
Protection Pack for PBs
Dr. Bott today announced Marware's Protection Pack for Apple's PowerBooks. The PowerBook Protection Pack consists of a wrist rest and a keyboard cover made from PVC leather to prevent scratches and provide a smooth, padded work surface. The non-permanent special adhesive allows for effortless complete and clean removal. The dual-purpose keyboard cover is made of microfiber, the same material used for lens cloths. The Protection Pack is available in three models: one for 12", 15", and 17" Apple PowerBooks. It is available now through Dr. Bott authorized resellers and retails for $20.
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