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Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today confirmed that its TransPod All-in-one Car Solution is fully compatible with the iPod nano. The DLO TransPod, because it was designed to take full advantage of the line-out and power charging capabilities of the bottom connector, works fine with the Nano. Many other iPod car solutions were out of luck when the iPod nano was announced, because the device lacks a top 9-pin connector. DLOs included fit pads "create a snug fit" for the music player. TransPods comes in white or black to match the Nano. TransPod for iPod, iPod mini and now iPod nano is available nationwide for $100.
Miglia Technology today announced the availability of a new software plug-in for its Mac TV tuner EvolutionTV. The MovieGate plug-in enables users to create Video DVDs from TV footage recorded with EvolutionTV, without the need to purchase any additional software. The plug-in also enables the creation of chapters on Video DVDs. MovieGate for EvolutionTV is based on MovieGate, a free DVD mastering utility developed by macetvideo.com. Miglia has made the SDK for the post-processing plug-ins available to third party developers and welcomes any person or organization that wishes to enhance EvolutionTV via a plug-in.
Disney today unveiled the Mickey Digital Mix Stick, its portable music player designed for children, which will compete with Apple's smaller flash-based iPod models, such as the Nano and Shuffle. The player measures 4 1/5 x 1 1/2 x 3/5 inches and is made of a metal/plastic combination. The player supports MP3 and WMA audio formats and offers 128MB of built-in memory, expandable up to 1GB via SD/MMC slot. The built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 10 hours of playback time, with an average of 8-10 hours. Features include Disney Music samples, lanyard and ear-bud headphones. The Mickey Digital Mix Stick is priced at $50 and is expected to be available in five weeks.
Bradford Networks today announced that it has expanded its Bradford Campus Manager Security Management Application, an Endpoint Compliance tool that helps ensure all devices connecting to a network meet minimum security policies, to include Macintosh and Linux platforms. The application detects and isolates security risks within a network, providing new functionality that verifies core operating system versions of Linux running on 32-bit Intel hardware, and Macintosh platforms running Mac OS X. The software is non-persistent; it is automatically downloaded, executed, and then removed upon successful completion. The three-step process ensures that each Mac is checked before being allowed to connect to the production network, non-compliant "at risk" devices are isolated in a quarantine VLAN for remediation, and remediation provides "self-help" to resolve issues without help desk intervention. Mac support in the security management application will be available within 30 days (pricing and system requirements were unavailable).
Samsung today announced a $33 billion investment plan to add new production lines, in the largest single investment project since Samsung entered the semiconductor business. The firm hopes to more than triple its chip sales to $61 billion by 2012 to extend its lead on smaller companies, and is considering building new production facilities in the United States, according to a report from Reuters. The holiday season will likely see higher demand for flash memory, most of which Apple has seized, and analysts expect solid demand for memory chips over the coming years as a result of growing PC markets in emerging countries, and massive sales of digital cameras and music players such as Apple's iPod nano, which use flash memory chips.
Alien Skin Software today announced its Eye Candy 5 bundle, a suite of 30 Adobe Photoshop-compatible filters combining "Impact", "Nature", and "Textures" to render a wide range of special effects on digital images. Alien Skin also released free updates to "Nature", "Textures", Eye Candy 4000, Xenofex 2, Image Doctor, and "Splat!" that address Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger compatibility, as well as a few minor bugs. Eye Candy 5: Impact creates chrome, bevels, glass buttons, perspective shadows, and more. Eye Candy 5: Nature simulates a variety of natural phenomena, including fire, smoke, rust, snow and ice. Eye Candy 5: Textures collects 10 seamless texture generators and produces surfaces such as snake and lizard skin, fur, brick, stone and wood. The Eye Candy 5 bundle require Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later, and is available for $200.
Apple's iPod market advantage may enable the company to constrain the supply for flash chips this holiday season--thereby controlling the MP3 player market even more--making it an even stronger powerhouse when it has to negotiate with the music labels, according to BusinessWeek. A research report by WR Hambrecht says manufacturers of flash memory will be experiencing "an uncomfortably tight supply environment" this quarter and into the first quarter of 2006 [and] smaller firms will be told to wait for their flash chips, according to the column. Apple could get an even bigger price break on flash chips from Samsung, and Toshiba may give it favorable pricing as well, making it harder for others to compete on price and amid constrained supplies, according to the column. "That makes the path for record companies clear: Jobs will get what Jobs wants. In the end, that means download prices will stay right where they are."
Mireth Technology released Music Man 1.7, its easy-to-use digital music software that rips from CD, converts between formats, burns to CD, DVD or to USB Flash Drive Memory and plays music files, CDs and directly from USB Flash. Developed for Macintosh users with MP3 devices other than Apple's iPod, version 1.7 adds support for unprotected MPEG-4 Audio (.m4a), iTunes playlists, burning to DVD, ID3 tag updates using FreeDB, and automatic creation of winamp (.m3u) playlists. Music Man rips, converts, burns and plays MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, AIF, Audio CD and Ogg Vorbis files on Mac OS X. Music Man 1.7 requires Mac OS X 10.2.3 or later and is available for $20.
Maxon today released version R9.5 of Cinema 4D, its 3D package for high end modeling, animation and rendering that now offers a full screen mode. The new content browser displays scenes, models, shaders and various presets for rendering, thinking particles, SKY, and more in clearly arranged directory listings. SKY is a powerful tool for the creation of any atmospheric effect as a 2D background or as 3D volumetric clouds, offering 50 atmospherics presets. The reworked lighting system offers improved operation, many new settings, and rendering speeds for area lights and area shadows of up to four times faster than before. Cinema 4D R9.5 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later and is available for $700.
Author Leander Kahney has published "The Cult of iPod" and follow-up book to "The Cult of Mac." The book examines the phenomenon behind the wild success of the iPod. "Cult of iPod" looks at the many ways iPod users pay homage to their devices, and investigates the "quirkier aspects" of iPod culture. This new title also chronicles the "exclusive back story" of the iPod's development. "The iPod gives both Mac and Windows users a common object for their adoration. Even people who don't own an iPod have heard about podcasting, and they certainly have those 'dancing silhouette' ads tattooed on their brains," said Bill Pollock, founder of No Starch Press.
MCE Technologies today began shipping its ultra-fast 7,200rpm 100GB hard drive for laptops. Designed for the iBook, PowerBook, and Mac mini, the new MobileStor drives offer the best performance with an 8MB cache buffer, offering sustained data transfer rates of over to 75MB per second with burst transfer rates of up to 100MB per second. “Our new MobileStor 100GB/7200RPM drive is the ideal pairing of speed with capacity and makes light work out of any data intensive task the PowerBook G4 might give it during video editing, dvd creation, image retouching or otherwise,” stated Arnold Ramirez, president of MCE. The MCE MobileStor 100GB/7200RPM PowerBook hard drive upgrade is available for $400 and includes an illustrated installation guide and an installation kit containing the tools needed to install the drive.
New Jersey-based online photo and video sharing service Phanfare has announced support for Mac OS X, with public beta testing of the new Mac version of Phanfare beginning today. Phanfare offers consumers a permanent, advertising-free home for their photos and video clips. Phanfare also provides secure archival storage so if a user's computer crashes, full resolution image and video files will remain safe and accessible via the Internet. In addition, users can print their favorite pictures through any number of online printing services including Kodak EasyShare, Snapfish and Shutterfly, or download full-size images for home printing. Phanfare is available for $55 per year or $7 per month. A 30-day free trial is available via download.
Kutoka Interactive today released Creatures: Village, an game title that introduces the notions of genetics, biology and ecosystems that includes 15 themed played areas; it is described as "an experiment in artificial life where you hatch, play with and breed your own adorable virtual life forms called Norns. Just like pets, Norns are there to amuse and be cared for. Each one is unique and has its own Creatures Digital DNA™, brain and biochemistry. They need to be fed and to be given medicine when they get sick. They need someone to play with them. If children take good care of them, they will see their Creatures grow, fall in love and have babies." It will be available in early October on a hybrid CD-ROM for $20.
NETGEAR today announced the ProSafe 802.11g Wireless VPN Firewall 8, its network security solution for small to medium sized offices that delivers wireless speeds up to 108 Mbps. Offering remote management and monitoring via SNMP, the ProSafe VPN Firewall 8 includes Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall, Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2 Enterprise), and support for up to eight VPN end-point tunnels to connect "virtually" to local resources. Connectivity for up to 253 LAN and 64 wireless LAN users is provided through an integrated 802.11g wireless access point and an 8-port 10/100 switch. The ProSafe VPN Firewall 8 is backed by a three-year warranty and 24/7 technical support, is compatible with Macintosh, Windows, UNIX, and Linux; it is available for $180.
Apple has posted a support document detailing an issue where some 1.8 GHz models of Power Mac G5 (Late 2004) may freeze when performing certain video-intensive tasks. Other symptoms include an optical drive that may not eject after using the computer for about two hours, and attached displays may not wake up properly after the computer has been sleeping for an extended period of time. Internet Connect may also become unresponsive when you've been using the computer for about two hours. Apple Engineering has "identified the cause of these symptoms and is developing an update to address the issue." In the interim, Apple suggests disabling automatic computer-sleep and display-sleep options in Energy Saver, as well as setting processor performance to "Highest" setting instead of "Automatic." [link updated]
Apple is offering refurbished versions of its iBook starting at $700. The 12-inch 1.2GHz/CD iBook is available for $700, while the 14-inch 60GB model with a combo CD/DVD drive and built-in wireless is $900 and $1000 (with SuperDrive). In addition, refurbished current-generation 14-inch iBooks are available for $1,100, a $200 discount. Apple also has a limited number of 23-inch and 30-inch Cinema Displays for $1,300 and $2,500, respectively as well as Mac minis for $400 (1.25GHz/40GB) and $450 (1.42GHz/80GB). Several models of iPods are also available as well as the AirPort Express ($100) for streaming music to speakers and a refurbished Apple Airport Extreme card ($70). Refurbished iMac G5 models are also available starting at $900. [links updated]
In Brief: Adobe this week began shippiing a Windows-only version of Photoshop Elements 4, saying that a Mac version would be available soon.... Big Nerd Ranch Europe will begin offering retreat-style classes in Bonn, Germany, including PostgresSQL Bootcamp (Dec. 12-16) and Cocoa Bootcamp (Jan. 16-20) for €2800 (five-day class with room/board).... Ars Technica looks at the reasoning behind Microsoft's decision to back HD DVD... Difusitoday introduced a new carry/protective case for the iPod: the iPod nanoValet (pictured at right).... Tunewear also announced a pack of 12 stylish wrappers for the Nano.... Adobe and Extensis have partnered together to offer users the ability to auto-activate fonts in Adobe InDesign CS2 v4.0.1 by applying both the Adobe InDesign CS2 fix and the free Extensis plug-in update for Suitcase/Font Reserve.
XtremeMac on Thursday said it had entered into licensing agreements with entertainment companies to create iPod accessories featuring popular movie and cartoon characters as well as team artwork. The organizations include Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Twentieth Century Fox, Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products, Lucasfilm Ltd., and Major League Baseball Properties. The new line of iPod cases, covers and armbands will be rolled out over the next several months, coinciding with the start of the holiday shopping season. Although specific details were not yet announced, XtremeMac noted that the products will be available through mass retailers and specialty electronics outlets as well as through the XtremeMac directly.
Difusi Corporation today introduced a new high quality, ultra stylish, iPod nano protective case: the iPod nanoValet is a series of fashionable and affordable carrying cases for the iPod nano--"without sacrifice to its sophistication, useability or quality." Made from soft black Napa leather, the nanoValet also features reinforced exterior stitching and provides the user with a snug yet easily removable protective carrying case offering quick, easy access to all ports and buttons. It includes a belt loop; key clip; removable hard plastic holder with spring clip; and an 8-inch carrying strap. The nanoValet is available in black, red, and green and comes with a lifetime replacement warranty; it is expected to ship in the first week of October for $25; pre-orders are available from the website for only $15.
Tunewear today announced Poptune for nano, a clean removing, wearable wrapper for Apple's iPod nano. The wrapper offers full access to headphone jacks and controls and comes in a pack of 12 stylish patterns including: tropical "New Aloha", fierce "Dragon", pretty "Cyber Sakura" and more. The company says the wrapper protects the device from dirt and scratches and is reusable: "The Poptune wrapper is removable so you can remove it from your iPod nano and replace it with another of your favorite Poptune patterns. You can also use it again so long as the sticky backing is kept in good condition." It will ship on October 4th for $20 for a pack of 12 stylish cases.
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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