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In brief: The Apple Store has extended the ship times on the 4GB iPod nano--both the black- and white-colored models--to 5-7 business days, while keeping the 2GB model at "within 24 hours", indicating the popularity of the 4GB model and limited availability. Luma Pictures has turned to Small Tree Communications, designers and manufacturers of high-performance networking equipment for the Mac OS X, to increase system performance in light of increasing bandwidth requirements.... The Associated Press published an iPod nano review, entitled "Apple iPod nano packs big punch".... Readers note that Apple is not offering the iPod nano as part of the free iPod offer for education customers (along with the purchase of a Mac).... The first preview of Camino 1.0 alpha 1 has been released, adding numerous features over previous versions.
Canon has debuted the XL H1 Camcorder, its latest 1080i HD lightweight camera with Cine controls and the ability to capture at 24 frame shooting mode. The Canon XL H1 offers a newly developed high definition lens, three 1.67 megapixel 16:9 native CCDs, and a new Digic DV II image processor. Other features include professional external camera control (CCU), six image custom presets, still image capture capability to SD cards, a PAL compatibility upgrade option, HDV recording capability, and much more. The Canon XL H1 is expected to be available in December.
Linotype has released a pre-release version of FontExplorer X, its font management software designed to simplify font sorting, font shopping, and font discovery. The easy-to-use setup assistant provides guidance through the installation process and performs necessary steps to adapt FontExplorer X as desired. Features include simple font additions, a freely configurable preview for font discovery, additional information about fonts, activation of missing fonts, and more. FontExplorer X is available free of charge from the Linotype website and requires Mac OS 10.3.9 or later.
Samsung today announced the SyncMaster 204t, its new 20-inch LCD designed for business and home users. The SyncMaster 204t features Samsung's proprietary MagicTune technology and MagicRotation software, and provides a 20.1-inch viewing area. Other features include a height adjustable stand, a built-in power supply, analog inputs, digital inputs, and a sleek narrow bezel design. The SyncMaster 204t is available for $600 through Samsung distributors.
Blue Nomad on Wednesday released BackupBuddy 2, a tool for Mac users to backup their Palm Powered handhelds and smartphones. BackupBuddy 2 uses a unique process for maintaining a complete history of any given device's files and settings so that users can restore individual files or their entire device to any previous point in time. BackupBuddy 2 for Mac OS X contains all the features present in its Windows counterpart and works both with the MissingSync from MarkSpace, as well as with the standard HotSync software as supplied by PalmOne. "We are very excited to bring our advanced backup and restore technology to the Mac platform. Mac users can now benefit from the features previously only available on the Windows platform."
DEVON technologies has released DEVONthink Personal 1.9.5 and DEVONnote 1.7.2. DEVONthink, "the real paperless office" keeps track of text files, RTF files, scanned documents, notes, emails, images, chat logs, bookmarks, and multimedia files. DEVONnote uses artificial intelligence to organize ideas, documents, bookmarks, and other important information in one accessible place. DEVONthink Personal 1.9.5 ($40) features iPod and website exportation, a full screen mode, and support for more QuickTime file types. DEVONnote 1.7.2 ($20) supports "smart quotes", offers further optimizations for Tiger and provides enhanced performance.
Toast 7 Titanium 7.0.1 ($80) is a free update to the DVD burning software that includes French, German, and Japanese versions. Toast 7 Titanium 7.0.1 resolves several issues with audio input selection, movie exportation, and FLAC audio file usage in CDs and DVDs. [Download - 66.6MB] Seagull 3.0 pb1 ($30) minimizes time spent looking for and playing videos, with support for "vidcasts" (the video equivalent of podcasts). Seagull offers a "rack view" of videos, manages video downloads, and scans web pages to download all of the videos it finds. [Download - 634KB] MacA&D 1.1.4 ($2000) is a free update to the software engineering tool, providing support for Objective C. MacAandD integrates system analysis, requirements management, software design, code generation, reengineering and flexible report generation into one powerful tool. Biferno 1.2 (free) is an open-source, cross platform scripting language providing rapid implementation of dynamic web applications. An interpreted server-side language, Biferno 1.2 provides bugfixes and many enhancements, such as modified SMTP code. [Download - 4MB] A Better Finder Rename 7.0 ($40) upgrades the multiple-file renaming tool to provide a new user interface, an easy drag-and-drop install, a detachable preview drawer, full Unicode support for all international scripts, and more. [Download - 2.4MB] GarageSale 1.8 ($25) is a client application for the eBay online auction system that creates auctions quickly using an intuitive interface, integrates with iPhoto, and offers what you see is what you get text editing. Version 1.8 supports the "immediate payment" option, adds WebDAV support, and more. [Download - 4.2MB]
Allume on Wednesday released StuffIt Standard Edition 10, the latest version of its data compression, access, and management tool for Mac OS X. This release includes new JPEG compression technology, allowing users to compress JPEG images and photos up to 30 percent without loss in image quality. Also included is a new restore mode that will allow users to automatically expand the contents of an archive, created with Archive Assistant, back to the location on the hard drive from which they were backed up. The addition of a new compression algorithm allows StuffIt to compress up to 20 percent faster than prior versions. Interface and usability improvements have also been introduced. The software is $50 for new users or $15 to upgrade.
Coldplay has released on iTunes Fix You, a digital EP that includes two songs previously unreleased in the U.S. The $3 collection includes the two new songs, as well as two versions of “Fix You,” the band’s new single from the double Platinum album "X&Y." Include are both the album version, and a live rendition recorded this summer in Arnhem, Holland. Coldplay, BMG Publishing, Capitol Records/EMI and Apple will donate 100 percent of their share of the proceeds of all US sales of this digital EP to the American Red Cross Hurricane 2005 Relief and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences’ MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund. The Fix You EP was planned for digital release in the US next week and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Coldplay, Capitol and Apple moved up the release date.
The Iconfactory today released "Spark", the latest addition to its growing collection of ready-to-use icons. With its "energetic and casual charm," the company says that Spark brings life to any project or website with simple and bold icons. Iconfactory recently released its "Plateau" stock icon collection as well, offering fun and playful quirky lines to produce a retro feel. The Spark collection is available from Stockicons.com for $350. The icon collection is also available in scalable EPS format for larger print/web applications, priced at $250.
In brief: ISMI has released TurboCAD 3D Mac ($495), featuring an Aqua interface, a clean layout, and more.... T-Splines Maya plug-in 1.0 for Mac OS X has been released, simplifying NURBS surfaces by eliminating superfluous vertices.... The free FileMaker Custom Function Dashboard Widget is now available, providing immediate access to the newest in the largest public library of free custom functions.... Speck products announced nine new iPod cases for the Nano in a wide variety of styles, ranging from "Cloudy" to "Tough" (shown at right).... The Think Different Store announced the opening of it's first 1-800-ipod.com retail location in Long Island, New York. [updated]
The Omni Group today announced the final release of OmniGraffle 4, a major update to the diagramming and drawing application that offers a streamlined user interface as well as many new features for brainstorming, drafting, import and export, and document management. Highlights from OmniGraffle 4 include a new dynamic outline view, diagram styles, a Bezier curve drawing tool, and greatly improved import and export options. OmniGraffle Professional 4 adds master canvases, notes, tables, document scale, improved Visio XML import and export, and SVG export, and more. OmniGraffle 4 is available now for $80, while the Pro version is $150. Upgrades from OmniGraffle (Pro) are $30 and $50 (respectively).
The Think Different Store has announced the opening of its first 1-800-ipod.com retail location. Scheduled to open Saturday, Sept 24 at 10 a.m, the store is located in Long Island, New York at 280 Middle Country Road in Selden. The company will giveaway over $1000 in iPod- and Mac- related merchandise (including an iPod nano) during the celebration, and local radio station WBLI will be appearing live from the grand opening. The store covers 3000 square feet of prime retail space along a major thoroughfare in Suffolk County, featuring a wide range of accessories and enhancements for Macs and iPods.
Quark for the first time publicly demonstrated QuarkXPress 7, the newest version of its flagship software, during a keynote presentation by Jürgen Kurz, the company's Senior Vice President of product development, at the Seybold Chicago conference, reports Publish. Kurz said that the latest version of the software-the first significant revision of the program in two years-is designed to make collaboration on the desktop easier, more efficient, and more consistent. The software includes a number of new features, including "composition zones" and "job jackets," said Kurz. The new composition zones in the software enable editors, artists and other creative professionals to work on the same page, at the same time. The new job jackets enable workgroups to "share specifications across workstations."
Speck Products today announced nine new cases for the iPod nano in a wide variety of styles. The SkinTight Deluxe skins ($25) in clear or black, rubberized SkinTight skins ($20), "Cloudy" FunSkins ($35), "Grass" green FunSkins ($35), ToughSkins (shown at right) with "rugged good looks" ($35) in clear or black, iGuy poseable skins ($35) in white only, Nano Armband ($30) in clear only, Connect and Protect ($35) with accessories in clear only, and the See-Thru 3-pack ($30) including pink/blue/clear cases will be available in October.
Aspyr Media today announced that SimCity 4 Deluxe (Mac), a bundle including SimCity 4 and the SimCity 4 Rush Hour expansion pack is now available for preorder and that it has posted information on the new bundle on its website. "Create the most massive region of cities ever, with a farming town, bedroom community, high-tech commercial center, and industrial backbone. Take complete control of your city's transportation system and solve U-Drive-It missions from fighting crime to tackling disasters. Watch your population skyrocket as you get your Sims on the go. Create the ultimate living, breathing megalopolis -- the most expansive compilation ever." It is expected to ship in October for $60 (and requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later).
Bloggers have discovered an image resource within iTunes 5 that suggests Apple has future plans for a video store, according to BetaNews. Three buttons with the terms "Gift Video," "Buy Video," and "Add Video" were found along with references to a "protected MPEG-4 video file" within text strings in the code of iTunes 5. There has been wide speculation about the possibility of an Apple video store, as well as an iPod with video capabilities. Although a video iPod seems unlikely in the timeframe previously rumored, many still expect that Apple will eventually announce such an offering.
Olive Media Products today announced its Musica, the latest addition to its line of wireless music centers. Designed to eliminate the PC as the center of digital music at home, Musica offers an easy-to-use multimedia device that allows users to record, tag and archive their music CDs. The ultra-quiet 160GB hard drive holds up to 40,000 songs. In addition, Musica allows users to burn and copy music CDs, record music from analog sources such as turntables or tape decks, access music stored on a networked Mac or PC, listen to internet radio, and update their Apple iPod. To deliver multi-room sound, Olive offers the Sonata, a wireless music receiver that provides remote access to the Musica's library.
Excel Software today began shipping MacTranslator OSX 1.0, a reengineering tool for generating graphic models of programming source code on Mac OS X computers. MacTranslator scans source code to extract design information that it outputs to a text file, which is then imported into the MacA&D modeling tool to automatically generate UML class models, structure charts and rich data models. MacTranslator enables developers to generate accurate models of unfamiliar code in minutes, according to the company. Through a mix of options and translation commands, MacTranslator can process over a hundred programming language dialects of C, Pascal, Basic, Fortran, C++, Java, Object Pascal, Delphi, Objective-C and SQL. It is priced at $500 (single-user license) and runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
WiebeTech today announced three new "fly away" drive imaging kits, which it says give investigators "even more of what they need to image hard drives in the field." Each kit contains a set of WiebeTech's Combo Adapters, which provide access to several different hard drive types, including 1.8-inch Toshiba drives (such as found in Apple's iPod), MicroDrives, Compact Flash modules, conventional 2.5-inch notebook drives and 1.8-inch Hitachi drives. The Combo Adapters allow easy imaging of unusual drive types when used in conjunction with WiebeTech's ComboDock, which offers access (either write-blocked or read/write) to drives through FireWire 800 (400 compatible).
Analyst Charles Needham has raised his price target on Apple based on better-than-expected profits from the iPod and software and a strong cash position. In a report released to clients, Needham & Company said it was raising its price target on Apple from $52 to $57 because of a more profitable iPod financial model following the introduction of the iPod nano, a more profitable software revenue stream than was previously assumed, and a larger free cash position. Apple has generated over $1 billion in additional free cash since our last valuation exercise. Earnings per share estimates remain at $1.40 and $1.65 for 2005 and 2006.
Piper Jaffray said that Apple's iPod nano is "selling well", despite comments from other analysts to the contrary. Reiterating an "outperform" rating and a $60 price target, the firm conducted a survey of 20 retail stores and found that black 4GB iPod nano was the most popular model, noting that none of the stores had stock of that MP3 player model (as noted by AppleInsider yesterday). The firm also noted that traffic has spiked to Apple's website, according to Alexa.com, indicating growing interest in Apple and its iPod products--driven by the Nano and, to a lesser extent, the iTunes ROKR phone. The firm believes that Apple has learned from the production mistakes of the pasts and has a highly focused product ramp that will enable it to deliver enough quanitity for the holiday season. Apple's manufacturing partner has dedicated a facility solely to iPod nano production, according to Piper's report quoted by Forbes.com.
Apple has launched an online resource for developers working to transition their applications to Mac OS X for Intel. The new Developer Transition Resource Center is a central hub for resources and guides relevant to the transition. Apple links to several key downloads, quotes, documents, and videos relevant to developers. The QuickTime videos are available to Apple Developer Connection members only. Areas on interest include Porting from CodeWarrior, Optimization, Xcode, Universal Binaries, Altivec/SSE Migration, and more. The first Intel-based Macs are expected to ship in the first half of 2006. The transition will conclude some time before the end of 2007.
In Brief: Apple said that its Java updates for Panther and Tiger systems (released/noted yesterday) fixed several security holes.... By continuously upgrading its production equipment to the latest technology, Intel manufactures chips for about $40 each, according to industry researcher In-Stat.... In a setback for Microsoft, a defector and high-ranking Google executive will be able to help set up a R&D facility in China while the legal case over his hiring goes to trial in January 2006.... Hard drives are "living on borrowed time" and will be replaced with solid-state Flash memory, according to Samsung's semi-conductor CEO.
Jason Linhart has released Summary 2.6, an update to the powerful log analysis tool for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux x86. The web server log analyzer features over 200 reports: "Summary generates more reports, more quickly, than any other log analysis software. You can view, configure and customize your reports from any Web browser, so your data is easy to access and to share." Version 2.6 adds a new native Mac OS X version (Mac OS 9 no longer supported) offers 23 new reports, adds columns to many other reports, supports log files of any size, and improves the overall application with a better database layout and reduced RAM requirements. Summary is available is three editions: Basic ($60) for up to 3 domains, Plus ($250) for up to 50 domains), SP/SP Lite ($700 or $500) for ISPs.
Bill Gates yesterday acknowledged that Microsoft was being outclassed by some of its competitors such as Google and Apple, but said that the situation was not different from any other time in history and Microsoft remains the overall industry leader. Answering questions on Microsoft's growth potential at developer conference, Gates also touted the new Aqua-like look of Office 12, the next version of its popular business productivity suite, according to The Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "He compared the current rivalries to legendary ones with Lotus, Novell and WordPerfect -- situations in which the Redmond company ultimately overcame steep odds to prevail. 'At any point in our history, we've had competitors who were better at doing something,' Gates said, ...underscoring the fact that it wouldn't be unprecedented to come from behind now."
Sonnet Technologies today annnounced its new PowerBook G4 processor upgrade service for PowerBook G4 550 MHz and 667 MHz (VGA) models. The upgrade features a Freescale 7447A G4 processor running at 1.2GHz, and is equipped with full speed 512K L2 onboard cache--twice the original processor's. "Until now, all of Sonnet's processor upgrades have been standalone products created for DIY installation, and offer users a simply fast way to accelerate their Macs. Due to the complexity of replacing these PowerBook CPUs, Sonnet opted to start the PowerBook G4 TiBook upgrade service and take over the installation task."
recorder.xhead 4.0 ($10) is an easy-to-use voice recorder and audio conversation tool that creates podcasts in three clicks. New 4.0 features include automatic monitoring of the input source to activate recording when a specific volume is reached, FTP support, and more. [Download - 700KB] dotMac Menu 2.6 (free) monitors .Mac account and iDisk usage without opening System Preferences. The update adds support for short names and displaying alternates directly in the menu, via the Show menu. [Download - 1.2MB] BarKeep 2.1 ($16) provides an ultra-fast, secure way to store and access key day-to-day information within seconds. Version 2.1 offers temporary zoom in/out of record views, record printing, expanded menus, and support for universal binaries. [Download - 4.5MB] celtx 0.9.3 (free) is a comprehensive software package designed for the Film, TV, Theatre and New Media industries. celtx combines full-feature scriptwriting with media rich pre-production support and supports online collaboration. [Download - 15.4MB] Ukelele 1.6.3 (free) updates the Unicode keyboard layout editor for Mac OS X 10.2 to include numerous bugfixes and some minor additions. Ukelele provides a graphical interface to .keylayout files, where the desired characters are simply dragged onto keys as needed. Ukelele also supports an XML format for keyboard layouts. [Download - 2MB] SimpleMovieX 2.8.1 ($24) is a QuickTime authoring tool that imports and exports files from many types according to QuickTime 6 specifications. Editing capabilities include basic cut, copy, paste, add, add scaled, and trip operations. SimpleMovieX also offers multi-level undo, support for still image insertion, and more. [Download - 1.8MB]
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