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Invisible, Combine PDFs
MonkeyBread Software today announced one new application and two upgrades to existing titles: Make Invisible 1.0, Combine PDFs 2.0, and Global Hotkey 1.1. Make Invisible 1.0 (free) is a utility that enables REALbasic developers to easily modify applications to run as invisible in the background. Combine PDFs 2.0 (free) merges PDF and image files into one PDF document. Changes to Combine PDFs include a progress dialog to display status while processing items, drag-and-drop support on the application as well as the main window, and the addition of rotate options. Global Hotkey 1.1 (free) monitors keystroke combinations in search of specific combinations that launch applications, run scripts, or copy data to the clipboard. Global Hotkey 1.1 is now a background application, and folders are watched for changes. All three software titles include source code, and are available from MonkeyBread Software's website.
AAPL Q4 conference call
Apple today held a conference call with investors to discuss the company's record-setting fourth quarter financial results. Apple said it shipped 634,000 laptops and 602,000 desktops, an overall increase of 58 percent in Mac sales. Apple is "very happy" with Mac sales, which do not seem to be affected by the impending Intel transition. Apple experienced a "fantastic overall back-to-school" season in terms of Mac and iPod sales.
Revolution 2.6.1 ($300) updates the multi-platform development tool with improvements to linking tables with databases and formatting, enhanced support for FTP access, support for Unicode printing on Mac OS X, improved cascading menu scrolling and clipping around the Dock, and numerous fixes for the file handling dialogs.
NetScrape 1.8 ($20) is a web spider and search agent. NetScrape spiders URLs or performs keyword-based searches via a clear, intuitive interface. Multitasking is supported, and slideshows can be created to display the results of searches. [Download - 917KB]
Seasonality 1.1 ($25) updates the weather monitoring software to include international support for over 34,000 locations in 202 countries. Seasonality provides weather forecasts, satellite images, sunrise/sunset times, and comparisons of weather conditions over time. [Download - 13.7MB]
Direct Mail 1.5.6 ($29) is mailing-list management and bulk email software for Mac OS X. Features include support for HTML and rich-text email, direct email delivery (bypass SMTP servers), international language support, and powerful address importing and organization tools. [Download - 1MB]
Live 5.0.2 ($300) is a free update to the music software that incorporates numerous bug fixes. Among the bugs fixed are a memory leak related to an overflow in an internal queue, a bug related to sample offset modulation, a browser bug dealing with recursive folders, and a bug related to the filter-curve view. [Download - 42.2MB]
AAPL down 10 percent
Apple's stock is down more than 10 percent, following the release of record quaterly profit and revenue. The stock, which was up nearly 2.5 percent during markethours, dropped over $5.48 to $46.11 afterhours, following the Apple announcement.
Apple posts $430M profit
Apple today reported the highest revenue and earnings in the company's history, posting a $430 million quaterly profit ($0.50 per diluted share) on increased revenues of $3.68 billion--a more than 50 percent increase from the year-ago revenues ($2.35 billion) and 400 percent increase over the year-ago quarterly profits of $106 million ($0.13 per diluted share). Apple shipped 1,236,000 Mac units and 6,451,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 48 percent growth in Macs and 220 percent growth in iPods over the year-ago quarter. "We're thrilled to have concluded the best year in Apple's history, with 68 percent year-over-year revenue growth and 384 percent net profit growth," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "This is the direct result of our focus on innovation and the immense talent and creativity at Apple. We could not be more excited about the new products we're working on for 2006." [updated]
globalSAN X-4 1.6TB SAN
Studio Network Solutions today expanded its globalSAN product line to include the X-4, its small SAN (storage area network) device created for multi-room audio studios that rely on Pro Tools. The X-4 includes 1.6TB of SATA storage capacity in a 1U rack-mount enclosure, and contains a single RAID controller with two client licenses for SAN software. Direct connections can be made to the X-4 over Gigabit Ethernet to share RAID-protected storage the same way connections are made to higher-priced Fibre Channel SANs. Designed to be "stackable", the X-4 is based on the iSCSI protocol as with all other models in the globalSAN family. The globalSAN X-4 is available for $7000.
Microsoft settles lawsuit
Microsoft today said it will pay $761 million to RealNetworks, one of Apple's major online music competitors, to settle an antitrust suit regarding Microsoft's use of its dominance to promote its own media software. RealNetworks said Microsoft's decision to bundle Windows Media Player for free within the Windows operating system slowed sales at RealNetworks, according to a report from Reuters. Microsoft will pay RealNetworks $460 million in cash up front to resolve all damage claims, and RealNetworks will get licenses and commitments that give it long-term access to Windows Media technologies to enhance the Real Player software, according to the report. Microsoft has also vowed to promote the music and game subscription services of RealNetworks through the MSN internet network, and will earn credit against the remaining $301 million for subscriptions to Real from MSN, according to the report.
The Associated Press has published its earnings preview for Apple, which reports earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter after the closing bell Tuesday. In July, Apple forecast earnings of 32 cents per share and revenue of about $3.5 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial are looking for a profit of 37 cents per share on $3.74 billion in sales, up sharply from income of 14 cents and sales of $2.35 billion in the year-ago period. "Lifted by the early September debut of its newest iPod, Apple is expected to top Wall Street estimates as it continues dominating the digital music market." But analysts say investors are already looking ahead to Apple's December quarter and question whether the company will be able to meet lofty targets. "While Apple is positioned to dramatically exceed its guidance ... given strong early success of its iPod nano launch and robust notebook demand in the education quarter, the key remains Apple's ability to deliver enough upside to its results against a rising tide of investor expectations," Bear Stearns analyst Andrew Neff wrote in a research note.
Cobb iBook investigation
Apple's now-canceled one-to-one iBook initiative with Cobb County is now facing a criminal investigation. A special grand jury has been impaneled to look into Cobb County's failed laptop program, according to The Associated Press. The $100 million Cobb County iBook program, which was to deliver 63,000 iBooks to students, was terminated because a Court order halted the iBook program for to all students in grades 6 through 12 based on concerns over the source of funding, which was a special sales tax approved in 2003. The report says a group of county judges decided Thursday to initiate the criminal investigation to determine whether the $100 millon iBook contract was manipulated in favor of Apple. The proposal was to provide laptops to teachers and eventually to all students in grades six through 12.
Salling Clicker 3.0
Salling Software today released Salling Clicker 3.0, a major update to its remote control software tool. The new version adds innovative new features and support for a large number of new mobile phones and other handheld devices. In addition to Bluetooth connectivity, Salling Clicker 3.0 now offers WiFi as an alternative when a greater range is desired. Also, through its innovative new network sharing feature, the Mac version of Salling Clicker 3.0 extends the reach of Salling Clicker to other computers on a home or office network. Salling Clicker 3.0 is available for $24.
PocketDish video player
EchoStar today introduced a handheld video player just one day before Apple is expected to release its video-capable iPod. The new players go on sale today, are offered in three screen sizes from two to seven inches across, and cost between $330 and $600. PocketDish users plug the gadgets into EchoStar satellite receivers, download video content into their digital video recorder, and transfer it to the handheld unit in five minutes, according to a report from Bloomberg News. Echostar's new video player can also record shows from other company's cable or satellite boxes, according to the report. The smallest video player stores up to 20 hours of high-resolution content, while the largest model holds up to 40 hours of video. Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein and Co. in New York said PocketDish is unlikely to lure customers away from purchasing a video iPod when that product is offered. "I don't think it's a transformational product," Moffett said, referring to the PocketDish. "It has the feeling of a solution in search of a problem," Moffett noted.
Epson photo printers
Epson today rolled out two new six-color photo printers, the Epson Stylus Photo R220 and R340 (shown at right). Both printers offer better color saturation for brighter reds and yellows, and automatic image enhancement for adjusting a photo that is too dark when a subject is backlit. Additionally, both printers can print directly onto the surface of ink jet printable CDs and DVDs, and can print from the center to the edge of a CD or DVD with no visible blank space. The Epson Stylus Photo R220 offers 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi (dots per inch) using ultra fine ink droplets as small as three picoliters. The R220 also provides "BorderFree" printing in frame-ready sizes such as 4 x 6-inch, 5 x 7-inch, 8 x 10-inch, and 8.5 x 11-inch, and can print a 4 x 6-inch lab quality borderless photo in as little as 57 seconds. The R220 uses individual ink cartridges, and is available for $100, while the R340 is priced at $200.
Crossword Forge 4.1
Sol Robots today released Crossword Forge 4.1, a significant update to the classroom crossword and word search puzzle generator. Crossword Forge offers new built-in access to Mac OS X's multi-lingual spell checker and a new alphabet palette for entering foreign characters as well as other language set enhancements, including minor improvements to the Spanish and the German language sets. Crossword Forge supports unlimited undo/redo, allowing users to easily experiment with new styles layouts; it can also can open multiple puzzles simultaneously, import/export puzzles, build puzzle previews, and more. Crossword Forge 4.1 is available for $50 ($10 more for a CD). Current customers can purchase a CD copy of version 4.1 for $10 or download the latest version for free. It requires Mac OS X 10.1 (and Mac OS X 10.2 for the spell-checking features).
Magic Bullet 2
Red Giant Software on Tuesday announced Magic Bullet Editors 2, a real-time "film look" plug-in for several professional video editing suites. Magic Bullet Editors now runs up to 12 times faster than the CPU alone -- allowing users to do real-time film look treatments in standard definition. Included are: Look Suite, a tool for mimicking various film processes and shooting styles providing both presets and customization controls; Compression Correction for cleaning up DV and HDV chroma problems; and Misfire for generating a wide variety of damaged film characteristics. These tools run inside popular video editing tools including Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Avid Xpress Pro and Sony Vegas. The new version also adds support for Apple Motion 2. Magic Bullet Editors 2 is available for $400 to new users, or $100 as an upgrade.
Apple financial webcast
In Brief: Apple today will announce its September quarter financial results where analysts expect that Apple will earn 37 cents per share on $3.72 billion in sales.... Apple will also offer a QuickTime audio broadcast of its quarterly conference call... Apple will open its ninth store in New York with the grand opening of its Apple Store Staten Island (at 2655 Richmond Ave., Space #2600) to be held this Saturday, October 15.... Heunox and OmniPilot today announced Lasso Summit 2006 scheduled for February 17-19, 2006 at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.... Marware today introduced a variety of cases for Apple's iPod nano, including the redesigned Sportsuit Convertible (pictured at right).
AudioExpress 1.0 Beta
Realmac today announced the release of AudioExpress 1.0 Public Beta. AudioExpress enables users to record sound from their Mac's built-in microphone or from an external source such as the Apple iSight. AudioExpress works with iTunes and iPod, so users can take their recordings with them. Possible uses include recording voice memos, interviews, vinyl records and transcribing audio. AusioExpress' includes extensive AppleScript support for automating tasks. AudioExpress provides support for the following actions, Record, Pause, Stop, Snip and Sync. AudioExpress is available worldwide today and can be purchased for $25. Users of AudioX can upgrade for $13.
Made for iPod licensing
Apple's Made for iPod licensing program may drive away some big-name manufacturers from producing iPod accessories. As noted earlier this year, Apple has notified companies that it will collect a 10 percent royalty fee for products that access the iPod port and may drive manufacturers such as Bose and Altec away from the iPod accessory market, as many believe the fee is much higher than comparable license fees, which are about 1-2 percent, according to Smarthouse: "The move will significantly impact iPod accessory manufacturers with some considering dropping accessories from their portfolio.... Dominique Water the head of Bose's Asia Pacific operations said "All Apple partners were told of the decision some weeks ago. This is a massive licence fee which will not sit comfortable with many partners. Bose is not happy as the proposed fee is excessive by any standards." The report also notes that Bose is calling for a single standard to connect accessories to any (Windows-based) MP3 portable player.
Sound Studio 3
Freeverse and Felt Tip Software today announced Sound Studio 3, a simple and powerful digital audio recording tool. Version 3 leverages new Mac OS X technologies such as Core Audio, Automator and Audio Units. Designed for high-quality audio recording the company says that can record voiceovers, podcasts, or create sound effects as well as lectures, podcasts, voice-notes, sermons, performances, etc. The software features 24-bit/96kHz stereo/mono sampling, low-latency monitoring, and automatic stat/stop based on timers or audio levels. Sound Studio also offers editing features, such as "markers" with text labels, copy/paste editing, AppleScript/Automator support, and more. Users can also generate effects, using Dynamics (Compressor, Expander, and Noise Gate), equalizers (graphic EQ and low-/high- pass filter), volume controls, pitch adjustment, repair functions, etc. Sound Studio 3, due by the end of the month, is $80 and will be available at the Apple Stores, and other Mac retailers.
Marware Nano lineup
Marware today introduced its new iPod nano lineup, which features new, unique cases that complement the Nano's unique styling as well as several other accessories. The Sportsuit Convertible (pictured at right), Marware's flagship sports case, has been completely redesigned: made of revolutionary orca-skin neoprene, the new Convertible offers maximum protection without adding bulk. It features a revolutionary side-opening lid, hand strap, and a redesigned armband that uses the patented Multidapt clip system. It is available in black, blue, or silver for $30. Other new cases include the Sportsuit Sleeve (black or blue, $20), a sporty neoprene case that features Orca-skin pocket that holds headphones as well as features a removable belt clip included. The company says that most of its new Nano products will be available by the end of October.
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