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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) last week won the right to unseal court documents related to Apple's efforts to subpoena the sources of online journalists. The documents, previously sealed by the Court and unavailable to the journalists and their attorneys, show that Apple moved to subpoena the reporters' sources before conducting a thorough investigation within the company. The ruling is the latest in a series of Court battles in the Apple vs. Does over protecting the confidential sources of journalists and bloggers. Last December, Apple moved to subpoena sources from AppleInsider and The PowerPage, following the sites' publication of an unannounced audio interface, code named "Asteroid." The product never surfaced, however, Apple still claimed protection under trade secret law.
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma have built a robot around a Mac mini and iSight camera. The tests were preformed at the Stephenson Research and Technology Center. The group, part of the Artificial Intelligence Research laboratory in Computer Science, was interested in evaluating the Mac Mini because of its small size, built-in wireless and FireWire capabilities. Power is supplied by a 12 Volt 7.2 AH Battery. Tele-operation is achieved using the Mac Mini's built-in wireless capability. After experimenting with the with the robot, the group hopes to write software that will allow it to operate autonomously.
Thomaz Edison today released a public beta of Onlife 1.0, his information management software designed to observe user interactions with software applications and create a searchable, personalized "shoebox" of collected data. Onlife supports Safari, Firefox, iTunes, iChat, TextEdit, and Mail while saving web pages visited, emails read, documents written, and more. Special search features such as tags and graphical visualizations characterize the application "more like an information man" rather than a traditional desktop search application. nlife also indexes the contents of the shoebox, making it searchable and displaying all of the interactions with supported applications over time. It is available as a beta and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Apple has cut the price of its refurbished iPod minis, following the recent introduction of the iPod nano. The The 4GB refurbished iPod mini now available for $159 and the 6GB refurbished iPod mini is available for $199 at the Apple Store. Both models are available in silver, blue, or pink and come with a one-year Apple warranty. Separately, Apple's special deal for education customers also ends next week, offering a free iPod mini or up to $179 off (via a mail-in rebate) off the purchase of an iPod mini (at education pricing) when purchased along with a Mac. The promo ends on September 24, 2005 and offers a savings of up to $479 (including standard education discounts on both the iPod and Mac).
Apple will open its sixth retail store in state of Texas this Saturday. The store is offering a free T-shirt giveaway and sweepstakes for its grand opening, which takes place on September 16th. Apple Store La Cantera is located at 15900 La Cantera Parkway in San Antonio, Texas. It will feature the "Genius bar reservation system" where customers get hands-on help on an appointment basis as well as the company's "Studio", where Apple offers personalized one-on-one attention for virtually design or computer task. As usual, the first 1000 people to visit the Apple store will receive a free Apple T-shirt. The winner of the grand opening sweepstakes will receive a 17-inch flat-panel iMac G5 along with an iPod mini, Canon digital camera, camcorder, and inkjet printer.
Apple Tuesday released four important software updates for Mac OS X users. Java Update 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 Release 2 delivers improved reliability and compatibility for Java under Mac OS X 10.4. This release includes Java 2 Platform Standard Edition versions 1.3.1_16 and 1.4.2_09. Apple also released Xsan Tuner, a tool to test the data and video transfer capabilities of a storage area network and its Xsan volumes. Also available for download is WaveBurner 1.1.1, which addresses reliability and performance issues that may have occurred with the previous version. Lastly, Apple released QuickTime 7.0.1 Reinstaller, which removes QuickTime 7.0.2 -- for users having problems with the release -- and restores version 7.0.1.
Aspyr Media today released an update (1.2 Rev A) for Star Wars Battlefront, its multiplayer action/shooter game providing first- and third- person gameplay. The patch fixes a bug in multiplayer that forced people to have late-join GameRanger games. Hosting GameRanger games will now automatically join everyone in the waiting room to enter the game when it is launched. Star Wars Battlefront ($45) requires a G4/G5 processor, an ATI Radeon 8500 or better video card and Mac OS X 10.3.6 or later.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today rolled out its AutoPod car charger for iPod, iPod mini and the new iPod nano. The device is completely redesigned with stylish new curves, a transparent status light lens, and a glass finish. The color-coded three-stage charging status indicator provides visual feedback with red signifying that the power is on, amber to signal that the iPod is charging, and green to indicate a full charge. AutoPod car chargers are available in black as well as white for $25.
In brief: Intelli Innovations has created IntelliScanner, a division to take over engineering, distribution, and marketing duties for the line of IntelliScanner barcode-related software, hardware, and accessories.... Delicious Monster today released Delicious Library 1.5.3 ($40), a free upgrade to its application used to catalog and share home libraries of books, movies, music, and video games.... Canto will provide a new integrated solution of Canto Cumulus and Kodak's RealTimeProof Partner product.... Macintosh guru Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus will speak at Washington Apple Pi's general meeting on September 24 in Northern Virginia.... NewerTech rolled out a new power adapter for use with 12-volt powered devices via standard home outlets that supplies power to many auto accessories, such as the NewerTech RoadTrip! in the home.... The first week's sales of Apple's iPod nano have fallen short of expectations, most Apple retail stores sold only one quarter of their initial inventory, according to analysts cited by AppleInsider.
Lismore Software today announced the release of Guest PC 1.6, its Mac OS X application to create and manage a virtual x86 computer on the Mac. Guest PC hosts Linux/UNIX as well as Microsoft Windows while supporting G3, G4, G5 processors and upgrade cards. New features include copying/pasting text and dragging/dropping files between Mac OS X and Windows. Other enhancements offer numerous bugfixes, improved shared mouse support in Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP, localized Spanish/Dutch languages, and better stability/compatibility. Guest PC 1.6 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later and is available for $35.
Screenshots have surfaced from what appears to be the forthcoming Microsoft Office 12 for Windows. Many Mac and Windows users point out that several interface elements shown in the screenshots bear resemblance to Apple's Aqua interface. There are several instances of blue Aqua-like "capsules" in the new interface. Additionally, toolbars and window backgrounds sport a color scheme similar to Apple's Brushed Metal appearance. Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista and Office 12 make heavy use of transparency. Apple first unveiled the Aqua interface in 2000, and it has been the foundation of all Apple interfaces since.
Planar Systems today announced the SD1710 StereoMirror, its stereoscopic 3D LCD monitor delivering stereo imaging. The monitor is designed for geospatial image analysis and photogrammetry. The StereoMirror functions as a 2D monitor as well, offering high resolution, flicker-free viewing, and a wide viewing angle. The SD1710 StereoMirror monitor and accessories are available through Planar and direct resellers for $4,000, and comes with standard one-year advance replacement service with two-day business shipping.
Avocent today announced its new line of SwitchView multimedia keyboard, video and mouse (KVM) switches. SwitchView KVMs share peripherals such as keyboards, monitor, mouse, scanners, speakers, microphones, printers, cameras, PDAs and other USB peripherals with up to four PC and/or Mac computers. The devices also include a built-in USB hub to switch KVM audio and USB hub ports independently or jointly. The SwitchView PC ($80 2-port, $100 4-port), SwitchView MM1 ($145 2-port, $175 4-port), SwitchView MM2 ($250 2-port, $350 4-port), and SwitchView DVI ($250 2-port, $350 4-port shown at right) are available and backed by Avocent's two-year warranty and technical support.
Macromedia Flash Player 8 for Mac OS X is now available for download. Yesterday, the company began shipping its Studio 8 suite of creative applications. Flash Player allows users to view integrated Flash content in Web sites. Flash Player 8 includes a higher quality video codec, an advanced text-rendering engine, and an improved security model and privacy controls to offer better performance in a lightweight runtime player. Flash Player is currently installed on over 600 million desktops and mobile devices globally.
Inteum 3.5 is an update to its Re-Wire-enabled music sequencer for the Mac. The new release features synchronization with other applications such as Apple's Logic Express and Soundtrack Pro, bringing Intuem's ease-of-use and sophisticated tempo management to any sequencer that responds to MIDI Machine Control (MMC), MIDI Clock or MIDI Time Code (MTC). Intuem's the note refitters has been enhanced to make transforming a free-flowing performance into a readable one. Other improvements include an event list editor, support for directing MIDI tracks to AudioUnit music effects, much faster updating of the mixer window, and better support for AudioUnit panels. Version 3.5 also includes a new mixer mode allows you to set the control levels for any control over the entire duration of a composition or a part of a composition. Inteum runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later (including Tiger); it is available for $80 or as a $50 upgrade.
NewerTech today announced a new power adapter for use with 12-volt powered devices via standard home outlets. The NewerTech 120-volt to 12-volt power adapter is a compact device supplying power to many auto accessories, such as the NewerTech RoadTrip! in the home. The adapter plugs into electrical outlets and converts to a car adapter style plug (cigarette lighter), offering an output of 12 volts at 450mA. The device will also power other car accessories, such as cell phone chargers, and is available for $10 from NewerTech's website.
Iomega won a key contract to build its REV portable storage drive into Grass Valley's next generation broadcast and professional video equipment. Grass Valley, which competes with Sony and Panasonic in the broadcast video equipment market, said its new Infinity series of camcorders, recording, and storage products will use Iomegaís REV technology as the recording medium. The Grass Valley products are the first such products to use off-the-shelf Iomega REV removable disks as recording and playback media. REV Pro 35GB disks record more than two hours of standard definition (SD) or 45 minutes of high definition (HD) video.
Allume Systems, a division of Smith Micro, today released StuffIt Deluxe 10, the latest version of its innovative data compression, access, and management tool for Mac OS X. This release includes the company's patent-pending JPEG compression technology, allowing users to compress JPEG images and photos up to 30 percent with no loss in image quality. "The only previous solution available for those looking to reduce the size of JPEG images was to further reduce the quality of the image. StuffIt's JPEG compression technology provides a new solution that offers smaller files without any penalty of reduced picture clarity. The product also allows users to view thumbnails for archived JPEG images without requiring them to decompress the archive." StuffIt Deluxe ($80) has also been updated for Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger," but requires Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. Upgrades are priced at $30.
Although Apple's competitors have failed to produce anything to successfully challenge the iPod, other challenges may affect Apple's growth, according to Troy Wolverton of TheStreet.com. "Any slowdown -- even a slight one -- could have major implications for a stock trading at more than 30 times next year's earnings, a considerable premium to rivals such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard." That danger was illustrated in April when Apple's stock fell despite blowout quarterly results. Analysts blamed the selloff on a disappointing drop in the average selling price of the devices. "Despite their similar design and ease-of-use advantages, the iPod line has had one thing going for it that Apple's computers did not: price competitiveness." With the introduction of the iPod nano, Apple has sacrificed some of that price competitiveness, Wolverton says.
MP3.com founder Michael Robertson has his sights on Apple with his latest project, BadApple. In midsummer, the software beat Apple CEO Steve Jobs to putting links to podcasts into iTunes. The latest version of the BadApple software available on that site now allows people to use Apple's iTunes software to sync their music collections with non-Apple MP3 players. Robertson believes in an open-standards approach: "Why shouldn't you be able to use any player, and shop at any store, and get your content in any format? Those are features, those are capabilities that consumers should have." Robertson said he asked Apple CEO Steve Jobs to bring FairPlay to Linux and he refused. " I mean, flat-out no," explained Robertson. "What we were trying to do with BadApple is pull the world more towards an open direction."
REAL Software today announced that REALbasic 2005 for Macintosh Release 3 is now shipping. REALbasic 2005 is a rapid application development (RAD) environment that enables professional (and non-professional programmers) to quickly create software for the Macintosh as well as Windows and Linux. Release 3 incorporates new features and functionality for improving developer productivity and product reliability, including new 3D graphics capabilities for creating graphics, charts, images and models (without the use of third-party software). The release also resolves over 100 reliability issues indentified since the release of REALbasic for Macintosh less than 90 days ago. The Standard edition for building Mac-only application is $100, while the Professional Edition ($500) is available with a $100 discount for a limited-time. (In addition, REAL has now begun shippping REALbasic 2005 for Linux and REALbasic 2005 Release 3 for Windows.)
Romain Piveteau today released LiveQuartz Image Editor 1.1, an update to the free CoreImage editor. The update brings new drawing tools, adds some shortcuts, and improves the behavior of painting tools. "This software is aimed at all people that need a powerful basic image editor to easy manipulate layers, transparency and filters. LiveQuartz is built around layers and filters. Each photo dropped to its window is converted into a new layer, which could have several filters applied in realtime. It used a one window interface without palette like iLife applications." It offers common editing tools (brush, duplication, eraser, etc.), support for text layers, and realtime previews of effects. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, is available as "donationware", and is localized in English, Chinese, German and French.
Realviz will begin shipping version 5 of its Stitcher panorama software later this month. The professional-level application is used by thousands of professional photographers, architects, multimedia and 3D artists for creating superb wide-angle panoramas for the Web, film, print, and 3D. The software offers integration with Adobe Photoshop and allows users to create spherical, cubic, cylindrical and planar panoramas--with unlimited resolution. It also enables manage high distortion for perfect stitching regardless of lens type and allows the creation of interactive panoramas with the QuickTime VR hotspots. The software supports templates to stitch photos almost automatically for fast turnaround of panoramas, delivers 16-bit/channel color support, and can deliver media to the web, 3D, and print with multiple export formats. Stitcher 5 will be available in English and French for $580. Upgrades will be $250 for v4 owners (and $290 for others).
Apple today updated its Xserve RAID storage system, a 3U rack-mounted storage system designed to deliver 7 terabytes (TB) of storage capacity. The company claims the storage system offers "the industry's most aggressive price of just $1.86 per GB." Apple also upgraded its Xserve 1U rack optimized server with up to three 500GB drives, achieving up to 1.5TB of storage. Designed with 14 independent 500GB Ultra ATA drive channels, Xserve RAID provides up to 7TB of storage capacity using dual-independent RAID controllers with 512 MB cache per controller. The sustained throughput of over 385MBps is high enough to support the most demanding media production environments using protected RAID level 5 in virtually any environment--Mac OS X, Windows, NetWare, SUSE and Red Hat Linux--according to Apple. Prices for Xserve still start at $3,000, while prices for Xserve RAID start at $6,000.
Wacom's new Graphire4 pen tablets feature a patented, cordless, battery-free pen and mouse. The comfortable Graphire4 pen offers 512 levels of pressure sensitivity for control, two programmable side-buttons for convenience and a pressure- sensitive eraser for easy fixes. Pressure sensitivity makes it possible to control the amount of a software tool's effect simply by varying how firmly the pen tip is pressed to the tablet. The Graphire4 mouse is ball-free, offering smooth and accurate tracking with up to four times the resolution of an optical mouse. It features a rubberized grip for comfort and the scrolling fingerwheel also serves as a third programmable button for convenience. The Graphire4 tablet uses a USB connection for quick installation on both PCs and Macs. The Graphire4 pen is compatible with Apple's Inkwell technology.
Speakables, a voice recognition software company with offerings tailored to entertainment applications for the digital home, announced the release of Speakables for iTunes for Mac OS X. Developed by speech recognition experts (including a key developer of Apple's Speech Recognition technology), Speakables for iTunes enables users to launch iTunes playlists by simply speaking the name the playlist. It works with Speakable Items, Apple's voice recognition application, already included in the Mac OS X platform. Previously, users were only able to launch individual songs but not entire playlists, podcasts or radio stations by voice. It is available immediately for $10. (The company's website offers instructions on how to activate the built-in Mac OS X Speakable Items technology and mentions Speakables for iPhoto, due "very soon," which will allow control of iPhoto.)
Aquatic has released "the world's first" open-source software licensing system with AquaticPrime, a toolkit that helps shareware developers to protect their applications against software piracy. The AquaticPrime framework is a secure registration method for shareware applications, providing developers with flexibility and security, while remaining free from fees and copyright restrictions. AquaticPrime provides an application for license management along with source code and libraries suitable for use in both Cocoa and Carbon applications, and also provides a PHP-based implementation that can be used to generate license files on a webserver. AquaticPrime 1.0 is available immediately for download and is provided free of charge for users of Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
CS Odessa today released ConceptDraw PROJECT v2.0, a new version of its professional project planning software. Version 2 adds advanced resource scheduling using Multi-Project Workspace, which allows allocation of a single resource to several simultaneous projects: "It is most useful when users have to share limited resources among many projects." ConceptDraw PROJECT also offers Resource Calendar and Man per Hour Calculation to avoid over-allocation and better enable team workflow. In addition, changes are automatically synchronized with its Gantt Charts and advanced reporting system. The update also allows users to save reports in a variety of formats, including RTF and Excel. ConceptDraw PROJECT v2.0 is available for $180, while upgrades are free for previous owners.
Macromedia today announced the immediate availability of Macromedia Studio 8, its web design suite for web designers, developers, video professionals, and graphic artists. Offering the latest releases of Dreamweaver 8, Flash Professional 8, and Fireworks 8 as well as Contribute 3 and FlashPaper 2, Studio 8 offers improved efficiency and simplified workflow to create websites, interactive media, and mobile content. The suite also debuts the release of Flash Player 8, an update to the popular web-based environment for interactive graphics. Studio 8 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or Mac OS X 10.4 and is available for $1000 (with upgrades priced at $400 from any previous version). Trial versions of each individual application are also available online.
AssistiveWare has chosen the Acapela text-to-speech solution to voice-enable its new software Proloquo, the first complete solution for multilingual pronunciation for Mac OS X. Proloquo is a multi-purpose and multilingual speech solution for Mac OS X that provides several functions: a complete communication system (AAC) for people who cannot speak, an improvement of accessibility to Mac OS X for people with visual impairments, speech feedback in any application while typing, talking word processor, the conversion of text-to-speech, a tool to learn the pronunciation of foreign languages and an advanced, multilingual speech engine for both AssitiveWare's KeyStrokes on-screen keyboard and SwitchXS switch access solutions.
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