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TechRestore drive upgrade
TechRestore has begun offering two new upgrades as part of its overnight hard drive upgrade service for PowerBooks, iBooks and PC Laptops. The new upgrade options feature high-speed, 7200 RPM hard drives in 80GB and 100GB capacities. Both upgrade services include overnight pickup of the customers laptop from any location in the continental US, installation of the new drive and data transfer within 24-hours and return overnight shipping. In addition, the old drive is returned with a backup of their data (with optional installation into another case for $20). The 80GB 7200 RPM overnight upgrade is $320, while the 100GB 7200 RPM overnight upgrade is $460--both include the drive, all shipping costs and installation). TechRestore's standard, 5400 RPM drive upgrades are available starting at $230 with capacities up to 120GB.
TIBCO offers SOA
TIBCO Software today announced released its infrastructure software, including integrated enterprise backbone, business integration and business optimization software, for Apple's Mac OS X Server 10.4 "Tiger." The software allows customers in the financial services, media, government and education sectors to protect their IT investments with increased flexibility and choice for deploying a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). "Extending our infrastructure software to support Tiger Server further cements our position as the leading platform-agnostic vendor supporting SOA and is a great example of how we continue to provide flexibility and choice."
Stitcher 5 released
RealViz today introduced Stitcher 5, its panoramic image generation software with full automatic stitching capability. Highly anticipated since its initial pre-announcement, Stitcher 5 inter-operates smoothly and easily with Adobe Photoshop to create and personalize panoramas. Stitcher creates spherical, cubic, cylindrical, and planar panoramas as well as 16-bit/channel color support. High distortion management is applied to stitches regardless of lens type, and templates are included to stitch photos almost automatically for fast turn around of panoramas. Stitcher also creates interactive panoramas that link to web pages or other panoramas with the QuickTime VR Hotspot feature. Stitcher 5 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later and is available for $580.
Flexped for iPod ships
Thought Out today began shipping the FlexPed, its iPod device cradle designed specifically for vehicles. Previously announced in August with an expected price of $50, Thought Out has lowered the product's cost to $40. Featuring a nine-inch flexible neck and an included PEDHead pivoting cradle system, the FlexPed works with all iPod models except Shuffles. Features include cable management, 3M padding protection, solid steel construction, and an LED charging indicator. FlexPed provides a line level audio output 3.5mm stereo jack, a 12-volt auto socket, diode protection charging, and a replaceable fuse.
NOXON 2 audio
TerraTec Electronic today unveiled the NOXON 2 audio, its WLAN audio player that provides wireless music from the hard drive of a computer and from internet radio stations throughout the house. The NOXON 2 audio includes EyeConnect software from Elgato and uses USB 2.0 to connect hard drives as well as digital music players, such as Apple's iPod. An IR remote control and buttons on the unit itself provide easy operation, while a large lit display shows song title information. The NOXON 2 audio connects to stereo systems or active speaker systems, and provides wireless access at up to 54Mbps (802.11g) with WPA and WEP encryption (64/128 bit). The NOXON 2 audio will be available in October for €200.
Mozilla Firefox 1.07
Mozilla.org has released Firefox 1.07, an update to the popular alternative web browser. The udpate delivers fixes for a few bugs and two critical security vulnerabilities, including processing of IDN (International Domain Name) used to access web pages that do not use the Latin alphabet, according to IDG News Service: "Links pointing to a host with a long name composed entirely of dashes can be crafted so that earlier versions of Firefox will execute arbitrary code of an attacker's choosing. This means that an attacker theoretically could use the flaw to take control of a user's machine, by launching what is called a buffer overflow attack." Version 1.0.7 also fixes a critical flaw in the way the Mozilla software handles Unix and Linux shell commands that could allow attackers to run unauthorized software on some systems, according to the report.
iPort music systems
iPort today introduced five new free standing music systems for iPod owners, streaming audio and photos to home entertainment systems and syncing with iTunes. The FS-1 ($150) and FS-2 ($200) ship with a simple mini-breakout box that provides audio outputs for standard RCA cable connections to stereo and video outputs for both composite video and S-Video cables for connection to any TV. The FS-3 ($600) features a balanced audio path that supports wiring runs up to 500 feet, while the FS-4 ($800) is enabled for two-way communication. The FS-5 ($1,100) builds on the FS-4, adding balanced video sender and receiver wall plates. All models are scheduled for release by the end of the year.
Steinberg Cubase SE3
Steinberg Media today unveiled the latest version of its Cubase SE entry-level music production software. Cubase SE3 offers professional music technologies tailored to musicians, producers, students and educators. Cubase SE3 offers easy-to-use features designed to support users taking their first steps in recording, editing and mixing music, including beginners and newcomers to computer-based music production as well as students and educators. The intuitive user interface supports easy orientation while the VST Connections window allows simple, quick connection to music hardware such as mixers, audio interfaces and monitors. It will ship in October for €150.
Altec Lansing iM5
Altec Lansing on Wednesday launched the iM5, a travel-friendly mobile audio dock that provides speakers for listening on the go. "You get big sound with special bass enhancement in a package small enough to tuck in a backpack or suitcase, plus a variety of updates to the original inMotion product that ranks as one of the best-selling accessories of the iPod economy." The speakers contain four full-range micro drivers powered by a highly efficient Class D amplifier, plus patented MaxxBass technology that enhances the low frequencies without the need for a subwoofer. It also provides a composite output for viewing photos on a TV. A subwoofer output connection on the back of the unit enables the addition of a subwoofer. When no electrical outlet is available, the device can run on battery power for 24 hours. The inMotion iM5 Mobile Audio Dock will be available in consumer electronic stores in late September for €150.
Altec Lansing inMotion
Altec Lansing on Wednesday announced its entry into the earphone market with the inMotion iM616 and iM716, two high-performance in-ear systems. Both models combine high-definition sound based on Altec Lansing's reproduction technology with Etymotic Research technology that provides a market-leading 35db of noise isolation. The inMotion iM616 ($150) features enhanced bass, an 84 percent sound accuracy rating, and a black earplug and cord with a shirt clip. The inMotion iM716 ($200, shown at right) features both enhanced bass and high-definition audio modes, enabling users to choose one or the other with an in-line controller located on the cable. The iM716 boasts a sound accuracy rating of 90 percent. Also see: Altec Lansing unveils travel-friendly iPod speakers. . .
Smart Crash Reports 1.0.1
Unsanity today released Smart Crash Reports 1.0.1, its enhancement for Apple's CrashReporter application introduced in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Third-party developers can register their products, which will then send a crash log to the developer, as well as Apple, when an eligible application crashes. The software is designed to enhance the experience of Mac OS X by speeding the delivery of fixes produced by developers of software containing bugs. Smart Crash Reports requires no application enhancer or similar "patching" frameworks that must be installed, the reports instead operate on the InputManager mechanism of Mac OS X. Smart Crash Reports requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and is available for free as a beneficial service to the community. Unsanity also released FruitMenu 3.4.2 ($10) today, a handy tool to customize the Apple and Contextual menus via one handy preference pane.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) on Wednesday announced the HomeDock, a "Home Entertainment Center for iPod." The HomeDock is a new kind of iPod accessory that creates a "home" for the iPod in the living room and provides a permanent simple connection to existing home stereo systems and televisions. With the HomeDock, owners can simply dock their iPod to enjoy their music and photos without the hassle of additional cables, adapters or multiple other accessories. While docked and charging, the iPod is controlled with the included 14-function Remote Control. The HomeDock includes everything necessary to connect an iPod to a typical Home Stereo or a pair of Powered Speakers. The DLO HomeDock costs $100 and is being demonstrated this week at Macworld Expo-Paris, booth C2. [updated]
Veoh virtual television
Veoh Networks today announced the public availability and testing of its Veoh 1.0 Beta, publishing full-screen video to the network and making it easy to find specific video content. Veoh software creates a virtual television network that distributes TV-quality, full-screen broadcast video to hundreds of millions of users with broadband Internet connections. Motion picture studios, television networks, organizations and individuals can publish unlimited amounts of broadcast video content to the network, providing choice in television programming and control over the viewing experience. Unlike rogue P2P networks that utilize unmanaged BitTorrent to share mostly pirated video, Veoh is a community of publishers and consumers, where published content is approved by editors. The system also integrates tightly with Google Video and RSS, providing content producers with easy publishing to multiple video systems.
DM tickets with iTunes EP
UK superstars Depeche Mode gave announced that fans can purchase advance tickets for its upcoming US tour when they purchase their new album, 'Playing The Angel', from the iTunes online music store. Depeche Mode fans who visit iTunes Music Store in the US and pre-order the band's new album will receive a password for the chance to purchase up to four tickets from ticketmaster.com for select dates on the band's 2005 North American tour. The pre-sale offers Depeche Mode fans the chance to access priority concert seating before tickets go on sale to the general public beginning Sept. 24. Fans who pre-order Playing the Angel from iTunes will receive the album via digital download when it is released on Oct. 18 on Sire / Reprise Records.
CueType 1.1 released
Day Late and Dollar Short Software today released CueType 1.1, an update to its keyboarding driller that computes words-per-minute and counts errors while improving speed and accuracy with helpful visual cues. Finger cues apply color to each character according to the finger used to type it, and characters typed with the right hand appear with tinted backgrounds. A typing tracker follows along as words are entered, flashing red when a mistake is made. Error marks remain where mistakes are made for later review, which then carry over to the next session to warn of upcoming trouble areas. CueType 1.1 is available for $10 and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Fortune on ROKR phone
Fortune columnist Peter Lewis says Motorola's new ROKR iTunes cellphone is "much less than the sum of its parts." Rather than design a new phone, Motorola "recycled the E398 design and made only minor modifications, including built-in stereo speakers and a dedicated iTunes music-software key that, when tickled, causes the ROKR to burp out as many as 100 songs from the user's music library." Lewis speculates that Apple intentionally "crippled" the ROKR: "Apple has a good thing going with the iPod, and perhaps it didn't care to see the ROKR get good enough to kill that action." Lewis later writes that "the most inexcusable failing of the ROKR is that for all the anticipation, many of its features do not work as advertised. Doesn't anybody test these things before selling them to the public?"
CR reviews Nano, ROKR
Calling the Nano "the top choice among MP3 players", Consumer Reports cites such features as the small size, color screen, increased durability, and scaled-down clickwheel in its review of the device. Negative aspects are the low maximum capacity, lack of additional functionality such as FM radio, and the short battery life compared to other flash-based players. The Motorola ROKR phone fared less well, however. The "hefty price and other drawbacks" mentioned suggest keeping a separate iPod and cell phone, "at least for now." Consumer Reports references the Sony Ericsson W800 as a more costly, but better-equipped "combination option" than the ROKR.
Nano ship times increase
In Brief: Apple has once again increased ship times of both the black and white models of the 4B iPod nano to 1-2 weeks at the Apple Store, while ship times for the 2GB model remain at 24 hours.... Big Nerd Ranch is offering Ruby on Rails Bootcamp (Dec. 5-9) for bringing users up to speed on building robust database-driven web applications.... Protective Solutions today announced it has introduced the invisibleSHIELD full body protector, the first invisible scratch protector and case for Apple's iPod nano.... Total Training today announced three new DVD-ROM series for mastering Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 ($200), Apple's Final Cut Pro 5 ($300), and Macromedia Flash 8 Professional ($300), which are due at the end of December.... Excel Software is shipping a new Standard edition of MacA&D OSX, a low cost, highly scaleable tool for drawing multi-level data flow diagrams, logical and physical data models and UML class diagrams.
Omneta today revealed plans to build a distributed supercomputer cluster which could harbor several thousand Apple Xserve systems and several hundred RAID arrays over Interoute's network, capable of carrying over a petabit of traffic. Livo Technologies will provide a multi-factor, resilient and non-breakable authentication process. The initial test will involve 10 Xserves and two Xserve RAIDs, and will be expanded should it succeed. Apple also said it could supply up to 500 servers per day, according to the report from eWEEK. When asked why Omneta chose Apple as a hardware provider, Tony Clark, Chief Technical Officer of Omneta referenced a quote from Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, who claimed that the PowerPC G5 was the most cost-efficient, highest-bandwidth processor in the data center, according to the report.
Elgato launches EyeTV EZ
Elgato Systems today unveiled EyeTV EZ, its new USB-based TV receiver for the Mac. The company also released EyeTV 1.8.3, which adds support Miglia's EvolutionTV digital video recorder as well as offers a new "Burn with Toast" command for seamless Toast 7 integration, and enhanced MPEG-2 picture quality. EyeTV EZ is a bus-powered USB 2.0 device that combines Elgato's EyeTV software with TerraTec's "best of breed" TV receiver product. The stylish EyeTV EZ can accept antenna or cable connections and has a built-in 125-channel analog TV tuner transferring raw, uncompressed video directly to the Mac. EyeTV EZ also connects to external devices, such as camcorders, VCRs, satellite and cable boxes and gaming consoles. EyeTV EZ includes with an online TV guide (for US only) that shows you what's on and when. EyeTV EZ is available worldwide for $150.
Deutsche Bank on AAPL
Deutsche Bank has initiated coverage of Apple with a "buy" rating and $60 price target, according to Forbes.com. The analyst firm believes that Appe will continue to grow and gain share in both the digital music and PC markets and expects the company to drive strong earnings and cash-flow growth as it capitalizes on the growth of the MP3 market over the next three to five years: "Due its strong product portfolio, market-share leadership, and the stickiness of iTunes, we believe Apple will continue to dominate this product category," the firm said, forecasting 31 million iPod units in calendar 2005 and 43 million units in calendar 2006. The report says that the firm also believes Apple will continue to drive share gains in the PC market leveraging a combination of a resurgence in Apple's brand, innovative computer designs, and a better user experience delivered by Mac OS X.
invisibleSHIELD for iPod
Protective Solutions today announced it has introduced the invisibleSHIELD full body protector, the first invisible scratch protector and case for Apple's iPod nano. The invisibleSHIELD is a protective clear film that is virtually indestructible, protecting most handheld electronic devices against scratches. It protects iPods, PDAs, cell phones, GPS receivers and even watches. Protective offers a lifetime replacement guarantee and a 30-day, money-back policy on invisibleSHIELD. "The iPod nano is a beautiful device, and for all the purists who want true protection for their iPods and not take away from its stylish design, the invisibleSHIELD is the perfect answer. No other product on the market can boast the same strength for protection, and yet appear invisible!" Pricing starts at $20.
Brave Kid releases Kubi
Brave Kid Games has announced the release of its first software title, a new children's software title for the Mac called, Kubi. Created with the PTK game engine, Kubi includes 5 inventive activities that encourage kids to explore their creative sides and to challenge their spatial skills. "With the first activity of Kubi, the child is equipped with a palette of colorful paint that can be placed on an on-screen board. With this board as his canvas, the little artist can create pictures, patterns, words and anything a child can imagine." Kubi costs $20. A free demo is available online.
UK iPod battery issue
iPod battery problems recently became the focus of "Watchdog," the BBC's consumer advocacy TV show, according to Macworld UK. "If you bought your iPod before May last year, the in-built battery was supposed to last for up to 12 hours without the need for recharging. But for the owners of many of these older models, the music has been fading a lot more quickly," Watchdog writes. The report puts forward multiple cases where iPod batteries have failed, leaving UK music lovers disappointed and frustrated. Watchdog also observed that Apple UK has failed to acknowledge that a problem exists with its iPod batteries. "Apple say they've sold over 21 million iPods and the battery issues have affected very few", the report states.
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