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Logic Pro, Express updates
Apple today released Logic Express Update 7.1.1 and Logic Pro Update 7.1.1 to address "isolated reliability issues" also improve compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The updates, available via the web and via the Mac OS X Software Update, resolve problems with MP3 and AAC import in Mac OS X Tiger, use of Scandinavian keyboard layout in Mac OS X Tiger, adds support for S curve modes to the Automation tool, enhances the “Enhance Pitch” plug-in, and addresses issues with realtime sample rate conversion. A full list of Logic Express 7.1.1 and Logic Pro 7.1.1 enhancements is available online from Apple's support site.
iEmulator, MaxBulk Mailer
iEmulator 1.7.7 ($24) is a low-cost, high-performance PC emulator for Macs running OS X 10.3.0 or later. iEmulator has been tested with Microsoft Windows 98, 2000, XP and various flavors of Linux. iEmulator includes a DOS operating system and boot disk for Windows 9X installation, as well as unlimited free updates.
MaxBulk Mailer 4.3 ($60) is an email-merge solution for Macintosh and Microsoft Windows systems that supports plain text, HTML and rich text formats including optional plain text alternative and attachments. MaxBulk supplies document and contact management, support for multiple lists and multiple accounts with POP, and APOP/ESMTP authentication. [Download - 12MB]
PDFpen Pro 2.3.1 ($95) updates the PDF-editing and form-filling utility, improving quality of printed imprints. Features include creation of cross-platform fillable PDF forms, re-ordering pages by drag-and-drop, insertion of pages from one PDF to another via drag-and-drop or copy and paste, and more. [Download - 3.1MB]
Troi Text Plug-in 2.8 ($39) deals efficiently with text in FileMaker Pro databases. The update combines sets from two text fields, gets unique lines, sorts words and lines, makes a text sum from a related file that updates without a script, and parses XML text into fields. [Download - 908KB]
XML Nanny 1.1 (free) checks XHTML and XML documents for well-formedness and validity, either locally or across the network with an Aqua interface. Version 1.1 offers improved error reporting, support for validation against W3C XML Schema and DTDs, and more. [Download - 1.3MB]
GPSNavX 3.70 ($60) provides a real-time display of a boaters current position on full color marine raster BSB and Softcharts. Features include a real-time display of SOG (speed over ground), COG (course over ground), BTW (bearing to waypoint), DTW (distance to waypoint), VMG (velocity made good), and more. [Download - 761KB]
X4 Infiniband connectivity
HighPoint Technologies rolled out its X4 external four-bay drive enclosure. The X4 delivers scalability and flexibility to the midrange storage market by utilizing the connectivity of external Infiniband with the cost advantages of SATA hard drives. X4 features include hot-swappable drive trays, key locks, hard drive LED indicators, enhanced EMI shielding in trays and enclosure, and more. Support for up to four SATA I or SATA II type drives is incorporated. The Infiniband connection provides a high communication bandwidth capability, and level migration can be utilized with the X4 to ensure continuous data accessibility and expansion. (pricing was unavailable).
Autodesk acquires Alias
Autodesk today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alias, a privately held developer of 3D graphics technology for $182 million in cash. "This acquisition will grow Autodesk's expertise and offerings for the design of consumer products and automotive as well as in the media and entertainment markets." Alias' product lines include sketching, animation, visual effects, design, modeling, rendering and reviewing solutions: Alias MotionBuilder is Alias' 3D character animation product, Alias FBX is widely used in the exchange and use of 3D content, and Maya is the company's award-winning 3D application. AutoDesk says these products will augment its offering in the film and video and interactive games segments and that StudioTools, software for design tasks from 2D sketches to production models, will add industrial design and high-end visualization capabilities to Autodesk's manufacturing solutions. Autodesk will continue to develop the Alias product lines in conjunction with Autodesk's complementary products and technologies.
Apple special media event
Apple is planning a special media event on October 12, which may see the introduction of the video-enabled iPod. The event, planned for Wednesday, October 12, is one day after the company announces its financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter. The invite-only event is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. October 12 at the California Theater in San Jose and follows another special event by Apple where it introduced the iPod nano, iTunes 5, and the Motorola ROKR iTunes phone in early September. According to one report, the invitation shows closed theater curtains with the words "One more thing…" written on top.
Apple continues its crackdown on small businesses that use its trademarks to sell products, this time targeting companies using Google AdWords containing Apple product names. One AdWords user received an email from Apple stating that the company "disapproved" of the advertiser's use of several Apple trademarks. When questioned on the reason behind this complaint, Google responded to the user that "The trademark owner of 'Mac' notified us that your AdWords ads were running with the trademarked term without the trademark owner's permission or other legal authority for doing so." The crackdown appears to be part of a larger strategy on Apple's part, which has also included legal pressure against iPod accessory makers to stop using the "iPod" mark.
Maya 7 training
Digital-Tutors, today began shipping "Introduction to Maya: 2nd Edition" and "Introduction to Paint Effects" training kits, the newest releases in a growing library and first release of training material for Maya. Designed for students and professionals, both titles provide a unique approach to learning the most critical concepts of Maya 7, including the latest Maya 7 version. "Introduction to Maya: 2nd Edition" ($46) provides over 9 hours of project-driven training and guides you through the entire process of modeling, texturing, lighting, animation, and rendering within Maya, while "Introduction to Paint Effects" ($46) provides over 4 hours of project-driven training and guides users step-by-step through Maya's powerful brushed-based technology, Paint Effects.
New Alias learning tool
In brief: Alias unveiled its latest addition to its collection of Learning Tools, "Discover the Game with Alias" ($60), providing the intermediate 3D professional with an overview of the techniques and workflows.... LoadPod announced the immediate nationwide support for the new iPod nano, along with flat-rate pricing for any customer with fewer than fifty CDs.... Migration Assistant can take the place of Synchronizer Pro or Folder Synchronizer, if one can give up some of the comfort and ease-of-use of these applications.... Lake District Desktops released its latest screensaver, complete with 30 photographs of the beautiful English Lake District.... Iconfactory has released "Vintage Halloween", a free icon set based on the Halloween designs of the early 1900s.
Mac Networkers Retreat
Mac Retreats today announced that wireless networking expert Dr. Bill Wiecking will be presenting his new course on advanced wireless design and deployment at the Mac Networkers Retreat, October 30th through November 1st at the Seascape Hotel in Aptos, CA. Dr. Wiecking will present a unique and practical perspective to the engineering, troubleshooting and maintenance of complex wireless networks. Sections include: wireless fundamentals, wireless setups, wireless survey work, fundamental wireless security, and advanced security. The Mac Networkers Retreat features a series of lectures, discussion groups and workshops covering topics of interest to Mac network and IT managers. Pricing for the Retreat is $800, which covers retreat tuition and meals.
Samsung deal may backfire
Samsung's aggressive move to offer large price breaks to Apple for flash memory may cut into own profits. Samsung's move to offer volume discounts on NAND flash memory for Apple's iPod nano may cut into sales of its own branded MP3 players, according to The Korea Times. "The latest case in point is the decision by the semiconductor division of Samsung Electronics to give big volume discounts on NAND flash memory to Apple Computer of the U.S. at the expense of sales by the electronics firm’s MP3 player business unit.... The agreement is forecast to deal a direct blow to the sales and profitability of smaller MP3 player makers worldwide and Samsung Electronics’ MP3 player unit is no exception. Earlier this year, the company announced its bold vision to beef up its MP3 player business."
UpBeat Audio’s new Boostaroo Revolution lets users listen to digital music or movies in 3-D surround sound on-the-go. At six ounces, and the size of a disposable lighter, the UpBeat says the Revolution is the market's smallest portable amplifier and two-way splitter. It can be plugged into any flavor of iPod, including the Nano, plus iBooks, PowerBooks or other portable players. It drives up to two sets of high-end headphones (greater than 60 ohms), or mini-speakers, to share tunes or movies. It also quadruples the volume and demultiplexes compressed digital music files and images stereo into high-definition 3-channel surround sound. The $80 Boostaroo Revolution is available immediately for online purchase, and begins hitting the shelves later this month at Dr. Bott, ThinkGeek.com, effiliate.com, Airport Wireless, In Motion, AltiTunes, and Hedonics in Canada.
EMI rebuffs Apple\'s claim
EMI Group Chairman Eric Nicoli Tuesday rebuffed Apple's assertion that a single price and/or a lower price for songs sold over the internet helps prevent piracy in the music industry. "I'm not persuaded by the argument that a single price deters piracy," Nicoli said at a news conference in response to comments from Apple's CEO Steve Jobs, who last month called music companies greedy for seeking variable prices for song downloads. "I'm not persuaded of the fact that a lower price deters piracy. What I am persuaded of is that making music more convenient and better value is a deterrent to piracy." According to the Dow Jones Newswire report, Apple's iTunes Music Store website accounts for around 82-percent of all legally downloaded music in the U.S., where Apple charges $1 per track. Variable pricing would allow record labels to levy more for the most recent hits and less for the older tracks in their back catalogues.
Apple's Sillohettes ad campaign, which was awarded two "Gold" awards for its effectiveness, is apparently causing an uproar in Toronto (Canada), where the ads are the focus of a group trying to get the city to adhere to local legislation governing the placement of ads in public spaces and transit shelters. Advertising the iPod and iTunes Music Store, the "Sillohettes" are placed throughout Toronto on glass panels of the transit shelters, a public safety concern and violating the city's contract with Viacom Outdoor, according to the website. "Viacom Outdoor seems to be breaking the rules of [its] contract with the city for providing transit shelters. We don't know what's worse; an outdoor ad company treating our streets like their playground, or city staff turning a blind eye. We call on City Councillors to raise our concerns at Community Council, Planning & Transportation Committee and City Council."
MacGPS Pro 6
James Associates has released MacGPS Pro 6.0, the latest version of its software that works with Garmin and Magellan GPS receivers for transferring Waypoints, Routes, Tracklogs, and GPS satellite Almanacs. It also supports many brands of GPS receivers for a real-time display of GPS information on a moving map or chart on the Mac screen. Version 6.0 adds USB connectivity for Garmin receivers. A new Toolbar and Tool menu speeds operations and makes MacGPS Pro easier to use. Help tags and an expanded help menu with quick look-up directions are also included. Users can view their current position on Google Maps. MacGPS Pro is $50 by download or $60 on CD.
invisibleSHIELD for Nano
The Think Different Store is now shipping invisibleSHIELD, a "super-strong," full-body wrap that protects the iPod nano without masking its distinctive look and feel. Covering both front and back of the nano, invisibleSHIELD is built from the same film originally designed to protect helicopter blades; the clear wrap is designed to stay on under the roughest circumstances and "will not come off unless you take it off," according to the company. "Thinner than a blade of grass yet possessing unimaginable strength, invisibleSHIELD is easily removed and it won't damage your screen. Nor will it leave behind any sticky adhesive. It even has a self-healing property, ensuring that many of the bangs and bumps the film takes will simply disappear." It is available now for $20.
Seagull 3 public beta 7
Trinfinity Software released Seagull 3 public beta 7 for MacOS X, its internet-based "vidcasting" software designed to deliver a viewing experience superior to television. Seagull 3 Public Beta 7 includes over one hundred vidcasts to date that cover such topics as gaming, technology, food, travel, comedy, video diaries, among others. Additional vidcasts are added to the library by entering URLs, and produced vidcasts are submitted via the Seagull website. The professional edition outputs video to an external device using a QuickTime output component, and will be priced at $90 for a site license. Seagull 3 Standard Edition will cost $30 for a single user license, while 2.x users can upgrade for $16. Requirements include Mac OS X 10.4 and QuickTime 7.
Account Executive 1.5
Redlien Account Executive 1.5 is the latest version of the contact and sales relationship management (CRM / SCM) application for Mac OS X. Made specifically for business, sales and account professionals, the software now incorporates the powerful OpenBase SQL database system. Version 1.5 has full multi-user support, includes the ability to import Apple Mail, and features a newly redesigned and customizable contact window. In addition, Redlien Account Executive’s back-end OpenBase database is open and accessible to developers, allowing them to integrate Redlien Account Executive data into their existing business application workflow. Redlien Account Executive can track, time and set follow-up dates for phone calls, schedule events, record meeting notes and more using its powerful activity tracking capabilities. The software is $130 for new users, or $30 as an upgrade.
Maki Enterprise today released PodSmith 1.2.0, its utility synchronization application that uses an iPod as a key for security. Version 1.2.0 encrypts sync data to the iPod, increasing security of data. PodSmith auto-syncs between Mac and iPod, and provides options such as temporarily replacing Safari's bookmarks on a Mac system with the iPods bookmarks until the iPod is unmounted. Screen and file locking are accomplished by mounting and unmounting the iPod, while PodSmith optionally disables all applications except those specified. Macs are unlocked by typing a password should the iPod be stolen or misplaced. PodSmith 1.2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later, and is available for $20.
Tickershock 1.3 released
Mesa Dynamics today released Tickershock 1.3, an update to its animated, interactive RSS and Atom news headline reader for Mac OS X. Featuring scrolling crawl and billboard displays that can be placed anywhere on the desktop, Tickershock pushes news headlines to the screen until a story worth reading appears -- where a double-click on a news headline brings up a web-enabled "News Inspector" that explores stories in greater depth. Tickershock includes a simplified process for creating new Channels (RSS feed groups) and Schedules (time-based programs to switch RSS feeds on the fly), as well as a number of bug fixes and improvements to performance under Tiger. Tickershock 1.3 requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later, and is available for $20.
Mercury On-The-Go drives
Other World Computing today announced it has enhanced its Mercury On-The-Go FireWire/USB2 line by adding 80GB and 100GB 7200RPM drives that read and write 10-percent faster than previous models. The portable measure 3.5x5.5x1.0 inches and weigh less than 12 ounces. The new models feature 8MB of cache and are constructed using shock isolation technology. New On-The-Go hard drives are available in 80GB ($290 for FireWire only, $300 for FireWire and USB 2.0) and 100GB ($350 for FireWire only, $360 for FireWire and USB 2.0) capacities, and ship with a carrying case, FireWire cable, USB cable, EMC/Dantz Retrospect, and Intech Speed Tools. All models are backed by a one-year warranty.
Apple will announce its fourth-quarter financial results on Tuesday, October 11th. The company will make a live audio webcast of its financial conference call available to the public. Apple executives will be on-hand to speak about the company's results, and take questions from the financial press. The conference call will take place at 5:00 p.m. ET, after the Apple's Q4 financial details are published and the U.S. markets close.( Apple usually holds its quarterly call on Wednesdays, but has moved the call up one day to Tuesday.)
MS ends music talks
Microsoft has broken off licensing talks with the four global music companies, placing the company's plans to start a subscription-based music service on hold. The labels were reportedly seeking royalties of $6-$8 per user per month, similar to what other services currently pay for licensing fees. The Wall Street Journal reported that negotiations broke down Friday "over what Microsoft considered high royalty rates sought by EMI Group, Warner Music Group, Vivendi's Universal Music Group and Sony BMG. "Microsoft has not announced a subscription music service, but it was widely expected to make such an announcement soon," according to Reuters. The break in talks would indefinitely postpone a launch, according to the WSJ report; however, other reports have indicated that Microsoft has also been in talks to acquire a stake in Time Warner's AOL service, which has a music subscription plan.
\"Silhouettes\" win Gold
Apple's "Silhouettes" campaign has been recognized yet again for its innovative style and effectiveness. The campaign designed to promote both the iPod and the iTunes Music store was produced by TBWA/London and took home two Gold awards at the 2005 European Effie awards, which seek to recognize those campaigns that achieved proven success in two or more European markets--purely on the basis of effectiveness. Sponsored by TIME Magazine, Apple was award a Gold Euro Effie in the ‘Business Challenge’ award category--for which only winners of product & service category awards are eligible. Sponsored by TIME Magazine, the Effie was given to Apple's campaign for best brand integration, while Peugeot, SEAT, and Synoptik were given Silver Awards. Apple's campaign was awarded a "Gold" in the IT/Telco category. The awards were announced at the end of September in Brussels.
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