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Apple fixes Shuffle\'s bugs
Apple today posted iPod Updater 2005-09-23, an update to its firmware for the iPod shuffle. Apple says the update offers bug fixes for iPod shuffle. The download, however, includes the latest firmware for all the iPods and is 32MB in size. "iPod Updater 2005-09-23 contains the same software versions as iPod Updater 2005-09-06 for all other iPod models." It supports all languages and requires Mac OS X.
Security Update 2005-008
Apple today released Security Update 2005-008 for both Mac OS X 10.3.9 Panther and Mac OS X 10.4.2 Tiger. The update delivers a number of security enhancements, including the following updated following components: ImageIO, LibSystem, Mail, QuickDraw, Ruby, SecurityAgent, and securityd as well as security fixes for Safari, Mail.app, QuickTime, QuickDraw, Mac OS X security, and more. Apple also released Backup 3.0, its backup application for Mac OS X. Users who don't have a valid .Mac account are limited to 100MB of backup, according to Apple's documentation. The security updates and Backup 3.0 are also available via the Mac OS X Software Update panel.
InDesign CS2 font plugins
Extensis today announced that it is now offering a free Suitcase plugin as well as a Font Reserve plugin for Adobe InDesign CS2 to automatically activate fonts used in InDesign documents. The plug-ins ensure that anytime an InDesign CS2 file is opened, the exact fonts used in the file are automatically activated. The free plug-ins are available now for download from the Extensis website and support Suitcase X1 Single User and Suitcase X1 Client, as well as Font Reserve 3.1.4 Single User and Font Reserve Client 1.7.4. The new plug-ins require the latest update of InDesign CS2 from Adobe (version 4.0.1). With this update from Adobe, global font auto-activation is no longer supported by InDesign CS2, so plugins for third-party font management products are a requirement in order to support font auto-activation.
Apple still shines
Banc of America analyst Keith Bachman today reiterated his "buy" rating on Apple Computer and raised the target price from $43 to $56, according to a report from newratings. Bachman also mentioned that unit growth in the MP3 player market in 2006 is likely to be higher than was previously estimated: "Channel checks indicate healthy sales of Apple Computer's iPod product lines," Bachman stated. In addition, Credit Suisse First Boston today said its top pick in the sector remains Apple Computer, according to a report from Forbes.com. "From a vendor perspective, Apple Computer was the clear winner, as overall units and revenue grew 93% and 66% year-over-year, respectively."
Docktopus 1.0 released
Startly Technologies today released Docktopus 1.0, its dock monitoring software for Tiger. Docktopus overlays custom badges on Dock icons, providing a convenient source of realtime information such as CPU or memory usage about each item--similar to the way Apple Mail uses a badge to display the number of unread messages. Doctopus adds access statistics such as available drive space, the number of files in a folder, or the size of a specific file or folder present. Docktopus also accesses commonly used files and nested folders from a pop-up menu. Other currently-available badges include iCal event peek, iTunes control, and Mail peek. Startly will also release a badge development kit to Mac OS X developers so they can create custom badges for specialized solutions and specific environments. It is available for Mac OS X Tiger and costs $20.
2ndSite invoicing service
2ndSite today announced version 2.10 of its secure online invoicing service, adding enhanced client contact capabilities and inventory management. The service provides 24-hour access to business accounts from any computer with an internet connection as well as customer request tracking. Additional features include swapping documents, running reports, and creating/delivering invoices. 2ndSite also supports accepting payments online from customers, and the service is upgraded regularly. 2ndSite's service is free to use for businesses with two or less employees and 10 or less customers; pricing starts at $10 (for 50 client contacts) to $160 (4,000 client contacts) per month.
LaserSoft imaging has released SilverFast 6.4.2r5, its advanced photo imaging software. SilverFast Ai Studio, SilverFast DCPro Studio and SilverFast HDR Studio now offer PrinTao, a new professional printing function for layout functionality for images and text. A new de-screening process detects and eliminates all artifacts introduced from printed dots, and support is included for Topaz, Topaz2, Topaz2+, and Topaz iX. Version 6.4.2r5 adds new file numbering and naming features to batch scan and job management, and all Ai Versions of SilverFast offer an automatic sharpness feature. Prices range from $50 to $600, depending on the scanner and functions desired.
Tekkeon today launched myTune FM, an FM transmitter and car charger for iPod built into a unique cradle that holds an iPod roughly at eye level for easy access. myTune FM includes a USB 2.0 port for downloading music on the go. myTune FM plays music stored on the iPod over the car stereo, and can simultaneously charge the iPod in the car. The device mounts on an air vent, so the iPod is at a good viewing level. Users simply tune to any of the seven pre-set channels on myTune FM to listen to music from iPod directly on the car stereo. LEDs on the front of myPower provide a visual indication of the selected channel. It is compatible with all 3G and 4G iPods, as well as the iPod mini.
CoverBuddy 1.3 ($20) is an add-on for iTunes that manages music collections by cover art. A new web interface server that browses music collections and controls playback is included with the new version, and Sony PSPs (Playstation Portables) can access a special version of the CoverBuddy web interface which is optimized soley for PSP owners.
[Download - 3.6MB]
MegaSeg 3.1.6 ($200) is a free upgrade to the DJ and radio automation software package, improving playback performance on certain affected systems and solving an intro-time countdown bug. The update also adds better support for importing music from non-Mac formatted drives and networks, fixes some ID3 tag importing bugs, and adds Simple Finder support for restricted user accounts, among other improvements. [Download - 6.1MB]
Tiler 1.0 (free) is utility for printing banners and posters, developed as a companion to MindCad's visual outliner Pyramid. The utility scales and prints any PDF file on multiple sheets of paper, and the image is automatically scaled and centered in the preview workspace as new rows and columns are added. [Download - 85KB]
Art Files 1.1b1 ($30) updates the collection utility for Adobe Illustrator ".ai" files, and supports Illustrator CS2. Art Files collects several documents at once, saving time and cutting down on disk space by collecting shared images and fonts between documents only once. [Download - 819KB]
Little Gods 1.2.0 is a two-player pong-like game with power-ups and dynamic brick levels. Version 1.2.0 simplifies the interface, provides a short tutorial to help new players, and introduces minor tweaks and bugfixes. Arenas are now unlocked in a sequence by winning three matches in each previous arena, and bought powers are invoked instantly upon purchase. [Download - 10.4MB]
Akoustik Piano from Native Instruments is a music program that delivers four classic pianos with "unprecedented authenticity, flexibility and ease of use." The software recreates each nuance and detail of the original instruments by combining elaborate multi-sampling with sophisticated emulation of soundboard resonance and pedal behaviour. "At the same time, it remains both efficient and convenient to use for a wide range of musical styles and applications." Akoustik Piano is available for $350 from the NI online store.
In brief: One third of all K4 sites now use MadeToPrint Auto K4, and are "thrilled" with the efficiency gained.... MacMonkies has released this week's Friday Icon Edition, featuring three New Icon Sets from DesignMood, Leslie Javorek, and Faneramx.... Qualifying owners of iPods who were charged a fee under the copyright protection program are entitled to a rebate, as the fee was ruled improper by the courts earlier this year.... Ars Technica has reviewed eight RSS readers (rich site summary) for Mac OS X, utilities used to syndicate information such as MacNN's headlines.... Sony announced its corporate strategy for 2005, mentioning significant moves to strengthen its competitiveness by focusing on its three core sectors: electronics, games and entertainment and cutting up to 10,000 jobs.
Steve Jobs aside, Apple's executive team is not well known to the general public. And while casual observers may not recognize his name, Tim Cook is "one of the most important players within Apple," explains blogger Edward Eigerman. With Jobs in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery, it was Cook, Apple's EVP of Operations, who stepped into the temporarily vacant CEO position. Tim came to Apple from Compaq, which was seen as a bit too "industry" at the time by a lot of insiders, but "he made his mark quickly and has had incredible influence in the company since." Cook has been responsible for operations and sales, "two things that Steve has not exactly excelled at in his career." By bringing new talent to the table, Cook now has "genuine authority and power within the company."
Image Portal X 4.0
NetXposure today announced the upcoming release of Image Portal X 4.0, its web-based digital asset management software for Mac OS X. The latest version increases performance and efficiency through enhanced integration with Apple advanced QuickTime video, Adobe Creative Suite, and Spotlight searching technology. Image Portal X is optimized for use with Apple Xserve and Xserve RAID technologies, and offers localization for six languages. Other features include web services, WebDAV, LDAP support, auto-tasking, batch tasking, versioning, multiple user levels, user group access restriction, and more. Image Portal X 4.0 will require Mac OS X 10.3 or later (price was unavailable).
Noreve leather Nano case
Noreve today unveiled a traditional leather case for the iPod nano, and announced a contest that will award one free Nano to the winner. Case features include a firm snap closure, headphone access, power access to charge the device, and a removable belt clip. A raffle will take place on September 30th, and the winner will be announced on the noreve website. Users can sign up signing up for a free account to enter the contest; current members are automatically entered into the drawing. The traditional leather case will be available September 30th in black, white, pink, and baby blue for $40.
DOOM 3 demo for Mac
Aspyr today released a free DOOM 3 Mac Demo, featuring a "dramatic storyline, pulse-pounding action, and incredible graphics, which combine to produce the most frightening and gripping gaming experience ever created. DOOM 3 utilizes id Software's revolutionary new 3D graphics engine to create disturbingly realistic graphics, with never before seen detail and real-time lighting. Players can fight the forces of evil as a lone marine or battle other marines in team or deathmatch-based multiplayer modes." The DOOM 3 demo lets a single-player explore the first chapter as they move through 3 levels from Mars City. The free download is 463MB in size and is available online. The full version is available for $50. More information is available the Doom 3 official website.
TEN iPod nano
TEN Technology, makers of the naviPro eX and naviPod remote, told iPodNN on Thursday that it will soon offer a line of accessories for the iPod nano that use its 30 pin dock connector. Currently, most FM transmitters and remotes use the 9-pin interface found on standard iPods and the outgoing iPod mini. The iPod nano does not feature a standard 9-pin connector. TEN's naviPlay (Bluetooth adaptor and remote) and flexDock (car dock and charger) are already compatible with the Nano, according to the company. "We had already been planning remotes that would work with the 30 pin dock so they would be compatible with all dock connector-equipped iPods, including the nano," said John Lin the company's CEO.
MathLink for AppleScript
uni software plus has released an updated version of MathLink for AppleScript, a Scripting Addition (OSAX) that makes it possible to use Mathematica as a computational engine in AppleScript programs. In addition, MathLink can also enable external functions written in AppleScript to be called from within the Mathematica environment. Version 1.3 adds compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4 and Mathematica 5.2. It also includes new sample code that demonstrates how to use MathLink for AppleScript in AppleScript Studio-based applications. MathLink for AppleScript requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and Mathematica 4.2. MathLink for AppleScript is available for free.
Five leather Nano cases
Amzer today released five new black leather cases for the iPod nano, hot on the heels of the 10 popular "Nanowraps" that rolled out last week. New leather models include: "Horizontal Encased", a side-loading Nano case with metal closures; "Bifold Leather Encased", a wallet-style case to provide complete cover protection; "Nano Thong", showing off the Nano in a black leather thong; "Nano Jacket", a fitted black leather jacket; "Nano Jacket with Trim", adding "pizzazz" to the Nano Jacket with trimmed hand stitching detail. All five cases are available for $35. Nano wraps come in a variety of colors and designs ranging from "solid state orange" to "flower power". "Wraps" are easily removable, washable, and will never fade, smudge, or smear. Nano wraps are available for $30 from ipodstreet.com.
Intelli Innovations has released IntelliMerge 4.6, an update to the popular e-mail merge software for Mac OS X. New features include a Send To Excel function for quick printing, reporting, and formatting. It also includes enhanced HTML image attachment support as well as offers Distributive Message Handling for evenly splitting mail load between up to three servers (improved speed by nearly 2x and even faster when using local mail servers). Version 4.6 also features CSV export, improved database and recipient list performance, new Bounce Checker functionality, and more. It is available for $100 (or as a free upgrade).
Student Union promo ends
Apple's Student Union promo, which offers a free iPod mini along with the purchase of any Mac, ends on September 24. Apple is offering qualified education customers can receive a free iPod mini or up to $179 off any other iPod model (except the iPod nano) via mail-in rebate. Students receive educational discounts on both the iPod and the Mac as well as the $180 rebate when the Mac is purchased along with any iPod on the same invoice. Apple's Choose the perfect printer with your new Mac promo also ends Sept. 26: it offers a $100 mail-in rebate with the purcahse of any HP printer when purchased along with a Mac. In addition, we noted lowered pricing on Apple's refurbished Macs, including Mac minis for $399, iBooks starting at $699, and iMac G5s for $899.
Apple at GITEX 2005
Arab Business Machine, which markets Apple's products in the Middle East, will have a major presence at GITEX 2005. Located at Hall 4, visitors to the Apple booth will have the opportunity to learn more about computing and entertainment technology from Apple. The company will be showcasing everything from the iPod range to iLife and XServe. The exhibit will also have the latest iMacs and iBooks on display, providing GITEX visitors with an opportunity to get a feel for Apple's products. "We will also be releasing the market's most powerful iPod Speaker/Dock, Altec Lansing's New inMotion iM7 Portable Speaker System at GITEX 2005. Following the success of the growing iPod range within the Middle East, the new Altec Lansing speaker dock will definitely catch the attention of iPod users and music fans across the region," said Elias Abou-Rustom of ABM.
MacEase has released MacMagic 2.0, its utility for helping users research, save, and print information from the internet and other applications. MacMagic enables users to automatically combine selections -- even if they are non-contiguous -- and MacMagic lets users instantly convert any selection from anywhere into a new file or append the selection to a pre-existing file. Version 2.0 adds a new Drawer Display mode, enhances windows and graphics throughout the applications, supports search-as-you-type for lists, the ability to print all custom shortcuts, new preferences (including those for the desktop printing functions), automatic redirection of URLs to the browser, and more. MacMagic 2.0 runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later and is available for $50 ($25 upgrade).
iPod nano margins
Market research firm iSuppli says that Apple's margins on the iPod nano could be as high as 50 percent, making the extremely thin player as profitable as earlier models of the iPod. The company broke down the 2GB version of the $200 iPod nano and found that it costs Apple just over $90 in materials to build the unit and $8 to assemble it. That leaves a profit margin--before marketing and distribution costs--of about 50 percent, according to a report quoted by BusinessWeek. The analysis also found that Portoal Player supplies the audio chips--much like all previous iPod generations except the Shuffle and that San Jose, Calif-based Cypress Semiconductor was the component supplier for clickwheel technology --at the expense of Synaptics, which powered most of the previous iPod generations.
Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs gave an exclusive interview to Bobbie Johnson of The Guardian about his drive to make technology simple. Jobs said Apple makes products for "people who don't want to read manuals, people who live very busy lives." He further explained that Apple's mission is "taking state-of-the-art technology and making it easy for people." When asked about the "luck" Apple experienced with the iPod, Jobs said Apple did get lucky, but it knew how to exploit those breaks to further its success. Regarding the recently-released Motorola ROKR, Jobs said Apple is merely "dipping [its] toes in the water." Jobs insists the company still has "a lot of new things in the pipeline." Jobs also reiterated his comments on the "greedy" music companies that are considering raising prices for downloaded music.
Prosoft Data Rescue II
Prosoft Engineering today released Data Rescue II v1.0 for Mac OS X, its popular data recovery utility for the Mac. The new version brings a new Cocoa-based interface, assistant and expert modes of operation, drag & drop recovery, easy-opening of files, more support for content-based scans (up to 10x more file types), improved scanning for deleted files with better recovery, better recovery algorithms, and improved user workflow. "DataRescue II v1.0 hosts a new interface, more robust file searching and an enhanced ability to recover deleted items." It is available for Mac OS X 10.1 or later, including Tiger. Pricing is $100 or $250 (universal license applicable for consultants, businesses, and universities) or $350 (cross-platform universal license). A demo is available online.
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