Copyright © 2015
Forums roundup: Members discuss Apple's all-new iPod nano, released this week.... Another thread contains discussion of Motorola's ROKR mobile phone with built-in iTunes.... A Mac OS forum discussion focuses in detail on the iTunes 5 user interface, 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.... Comparing the Creative Zen Micro to the iPod nano.... Debate continues over Apple's Mighty Mouse and its unique design.
Feral Interactive is already well into development on Fable: The Lost Chapters for the Macintosh. A role-playing game based on the 2004 Xbox hit release by Lionhead Studios, The Lost Chapters is expected to be released for both Mac and Windows later this year. Fable is set in a third-person perspective offering features and unique aspects, such as the main character aging as game play progresses. Feral also released an an add-on pack for Enemy Engaged, which includes includes several completely new maps and a selection of new skirmish games." You now have the opportunity to wage full-blown campaigns in the skies above Alaska and the Golan Heights among others, as well as battling in Canadian and Yemenite air-space."
Group Logic today released ExtremeZ-IP 4.1, providing organizations operating in dual-platform environments with stable and compatible Windows-based file and print server solutions for the Mac. ExtremeZ-IP 4.1 includes major performance improvements boasting file name search functionality up to 150 times faster than Services for Macintosh (SFM) and up to 600 times faster than the Mac OS X SMB client. The update improves overall productivity by providing quicker access to files, and will be free to owners of version 4.0 in October that have an active maintenance and support contract. The file and print server bundle for 10 client Workstations is priced at $1,115.
Apple has applied for a patent on a device that would enable drivers to easily equip their cars with an iPod. U.S. patent number "20050147951," titled "Electronic device holder," describes a gadget that can be inserted into a standard cup holder to house an iPod. "One embodiment of the invention includes a spool about which connecting cable can be wound. Adapting sleeves that fit around the base of the apparatus can be used to adapt electronic device holder to cup holders of different sizes and shapes," Apple said in its filing. Nine sketches of the device are posted on the U.S. PTO website.
iThemez today released its first volume featuring 20 family oriented themes for iDVD. Theme categories include Baseball, Classroom, Cruise, Fractal, Old Glory, Home, 'Mitzvah, Slideshow, and Wedding. Matching submenus for the free themes (Independence Day and Slot Machine) which are still available on the iThemez website are also included. Eight themes offer clips that play before the main menu when a disc is inserted into the player, and animated backgrounds with multiple drop zones. Custom designed buttons are included with all submenus, and iThemez Volume One has been optimized to work with iDVD 5 as well as Mac OS X 10.4. iThemez Volume One is available for $30 from the iThemez website.
In brief: MacNN has reviewed the Vaja iVodDJ custom-made leather iPod cases, dubbed "easily the most fashionable of the lot" when compared to other iPod cases on the market.... Intel reportedly stated that "Intel's chip-set factories are running flat out," unable to keep up with high demand.... Pioneer Electronics introduced new Pioneer Elite A/V receivers featuring both iPod and XM Satellite radio integration.... PodShop announced its September sale, a 20 percent savings event starting today that is to last one week, ending September 16.... SanDisk announced that its 512MB "microSD" card is bundled with the new Motorola ROKR phone with iTunes, introduced earlier this week.
Pioneer Electronics today introduced new Pioneer Elite A/V receivers featuring both iPod and XM Satellite radio integration. The VSX-74TXVi and VSX-72TXV introduced today by Pioneer are designed to be the "brains" behind a great home theater, bringng "data from all types of sources and processing the data to enhance the audio and video experience." Both feature an automatic room-tuning feature that processes the sound quality so that every seat in the room feels like the "sweet spot," according to the company. The remote control on the receiver can be used to navigate through playlists, songs, artists and genres, while the information can be viewed from a scrolling 14-character display on the receiver or from a full display on the TV.
Users are reporting shipment confirmation of the iPod nano (from the Apple Store) as well as sporadic reports of stock at local Apple stores. Apple is still reporting similar 1-3 business day ship times on the product (and offering free laser engraving). The Apple Store also reports 1-3 business day ship times on the special 20GB Harry Potter iPod. Apple is no longer selling the iPod mini at the online Apple Store, but is offering refurbished iPods (silver, blue, and pink) for $180 (4GB) and $220 (6GB). Refurbished versions of the 1GB iPod shuffle is available for as little as $100, while the 512MB version is $80. Other special deals include the previous-generation 1.2GHz, 12-inch iBook for $800 (CD-only) or $850 (Combo/AE). The 14-inch iBook is $900 (1GHz/Combo) or $1000 (1.33GHz/Combo/AE) or $1,100 (1.33GHz/SuperDrive/AE). Users can also purchase a color-enabled 30GB iPod for only $300.
GFF today unveiled groupcut, its new server-based modular logging and editing solution for video-workgroups running on Mac OS X. groupcut captures and stores large amounts of video footage, integrating with FinalCut Pro and AVID. Material can be logged, categorized, and edited quickly and easily by non-technical staff. groupcut works with preview and broadcast resolutions simultaneously and supports tape-based or tape-less workflows. Live or prerecorded footage is captured with the recorder, and a central database located at the server stores preview and broadcast files. Essential information inside the logger is extracted according to parameters unique to a specific production. groupcut requires Mac OS 10.4 and is available for €750.
At the University of Otago in New Zealand, where around 40 percent of the computers are Macintosh systems, IT security manager Mark Borrie says Mac users need to wake up to the potential of attack. Borrie told ZDNet Australia that although the Mac is generally a more secure platform, it will inevitably be exploited by malware."On the security side of things I reckon the Mac community has yet to wake up to security. They think they are immune and typically have this idea that they can do whatever they want on their Macintosh and run what they like," said Borrie. "We want to be ready for the first big Macintosh virus -- because it will come. Some day, somebody will say 'I am going to create a headline and write a virus for Mac'," said Borrie.
Rumpus 4.2 ($250) turns any Mac into a file transfer server. Changes in version 4.2 include administration notices that can be triggered for various server events, simplified private LAN setup auto-help and configuration, quick access to Maxum tech support and information website resources, numerous new administration options, various bugfixes, minor feature improvements, and more. [Download - 4.2MB] OpenOSX Grass 6.0.1 (free) is a Geographical Information System (GIS) with raster, topological vector, image processing, and graphics production functionality that operates on various platforms through a graphical user interface and/or command line. A state-of-the-art NVIZ 3-D visualization program is also included. Features include Ortho-rectification, 3D/4D visualization, digital elevation model creation and editing, and much more. [Download - 57.5MB] News Reader 1.1 (free) updates the Dashboard widget that views RSS news from any number of sources, displaying an unlimited number of feeds. The update adds RDF support, German localization, support for links within article summaries, numerous bugfixes, and more. [Download - 172KB] Kids GoGoGo 9.6 ($30) prohibits the browsing of adult-only content on the Internet. Major chances in version 9.6 include turning an iPod into a key for filtering, extending "Compulsory Safe Searches", and support for filtering sites that use "deflate" compression. The update is free for version 9.x users. [Download - 4.4MB] App Stop 1.0 (free) is a status bar that resides in the menu bar that pauses and continues running applications. Freezing an application retains all memory associated with it and halts all CPU usage for that application. New features include an added right-click menu to the table view, a bugfix relating to sleep mode, an added option to use a black menu icon set, and required authorization for security purposes. [Download - 111KB]
In brief: iPod accessory maker Tunewear announced Poptune for Nano, a removable wrapper for the new digital music player that will be available in October..... ACCESS and PalmSource announced they have signed a definitive agreement for ACCESS to acquire PalmSource in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $324.3 million.... Blackmagic Design announced the availability of a an updated HDLink for HDTV monitoring on LCD computer displays and new lower prices for its DeckLink HD range of PCI capture cards.
Blackmagic Design today released DeckLink 5.1 software for Mac OS X, which enables new software driver HD down conversion in 720p mode on all DeckLink models, and a new cross-conversion allowing 720p mastering to 1080i broadcast decks in realtime. The new software driven down converter allows all DeckLink cards to play back High Definition video while down converting in realtime to standard definition (in both letterbox and anamorphic modes): all DeckLink SD and HD cards now support 720p and 1080i down-conversion on playback, while all DeckLink HD models support down conversion on the capture input. DeckLink 5.1 also updates the Blackmagic Deck Control application for automated timecode accurate capture and mastering to broadcast decks, including new brushed metal UI improvements, a new timecode and frame count display, gamma corrected output from After Effects, and updated Apple Uncompressed 422 v1.2 codecs.
AJA Video today announced its new KONA LH ($1,800), a 10-bit uncompressed video capture card for editing on the Power Mac G5 with Final Cut Studio. KONA LH is described as "the only PCI card available for Mac OS X and Final Cut Studio that offers both HD and SD analog and digital I/O -- in one convenient card, at a low price, and with the same excellent broadcast quality for which AJA is known." KONA LH provides optimum quality for SD and HD and supports various codecs such as DVCProHD, HDV playback, DV50, and many more, with hardware acceleration on-board for the playback of DVCProHD, HDV, and Apple’s Dynamic RT Extreme. The card offers analog video connectivity, including 12-bit HD Component Analog I/O, which can also be configured as 12-bit SD Component/YC/Composite all via three professional BNC connectors for SD work. The KONA LH also offers SDI/HD-SDI input, two SDI/HD-SDI outputs for HD I/O, a built-in 10-bit hardware down-converter, native Mac OS X multi-channel audio, 8-channel SDI embedded audio, dual-monitor desktop viewing, and more.
FontPilot 2.0 is an update to Koingo Software's popular font management utility. Font Pilot allows you to browse and inspect each font on your computer--including ones hidden by default! The latest version includes complete Apple Type Services support, allowing users to view the copyright, trademark, description, license information, manufacturer, designer, designer's URL, and more. Font Pilot also offers font management features, allowing users to activate fonts (without installation), preview fonts, recursively active/preview font folders, and rename fonts. Users can also print font lists, createa PDF catalog of fonts, or compile a database of the entire font collection for quick reference. A 15-day free trial is available. A full version is $16.
GamesGrid today said it released the "first and only" poker software specifically written for Mac users. Developed by CyberArts in California, Game Grid Poker has been exclusively licensed to Malta-based Skill Games ltd who operate the GamesGrid brand. "We are thrilled to be able to offer the first true online poker service for Mac users. The Mac market has been waiting for this application and this underlines our commitment to offering the best possible experience for online poker. I look forward to welcoming the Mac community to GamesGrid. Until now the only option for Mac users wanting to play poker on their computers has been to run a virtual PC emulator or to play the game in an inferior browser-based version."
Nisus Software today released Nisus Writer Express 2.5, an update to its word processor. Version 2.5 adds significant new features such as right-to-left input (for languages such as Arabic and Hebrew), bullets and numbering, support for LinkBack, and many bug fixes and enhancements. Other new features include support for hyperlinks, soft return (under Mac OS X 10.4 only), easier switching between document views, and improved line spacing. The application also supports Unicode, RTF, RTFD, plain text format and Microsoft Word (.doc); a customizable interface; AppleScript and Perl macros; noncontiguous selection; keyboard shortcuts; an exclusive Document Manager; powerful, three-level Find/Replace including Regular Expressions (GREP); multiple editable Clipboards; and more. Nisus Writer Express 2.5 is available now for $70. Current owners can upgrade for free.
iPod accessory maker Tunewear today announced Poptune for nano, a removable wrapper for the new digital music player. It will be available in October in a pack of 12 stylish patterns. It provides protection for the iPod nano against dirt and scratching. The Poptune wrapper is easily removable without residue. The wrappers are also reusable. Patterns include: tropical "Aloha", fierce "Dragon", and pretty "Sakura."
Korean MP3 player makers are miffed by the low price of the iPod nano, according to Chosun. Yesterday, we noted that some analysts believe margins are very tight on the iPod nano. Apple presumably bought the flash memory chips at a 50 percent discount from Samsung, according to today's report. “I can’t tell you the discount rate, but it stands to reason that we expand the range of discount rates for a big buyer like Apple,” said Samsung Electronics executive Joo Woo-sik. "Samsung didn’t mean to do any harm to domestic MP3 manufacturers.” Spokesman Kim Dong-hwan for Competitor Reincom said, “we can hardly declare a price war with Apple. We’ll counter Apple’s challenge by releasing new concept products.”
Now AAPL Stock: 94.27 ( -0.72 )
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko