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Bravo XR Disc Publisher
Primera Technology today announced its Bravo XR Disc Publisher, which automates the process of recording and direct-to-disc printing of up to 50 CDs or DVDs: a robotic arm transports the discs to the drive for burning and then into the integrated 4800 dpi color printer. Bravo XR offers a compact and convenient form factor as well as full accessibility to all the supplies and the finished discs via the front of the unit, allowing it to be placed on shelves, on or under counters or even mounted in a standard 19-inch 4U rack (with an optional rack mount kit). Bravo XR features a steel case and frame and a lockable front panel for ruggedness and security. It features a Plextor mechanism that supports CD-R, DVD-R, DVD+R and DVD R Dual-Layer media. It ships with CharisMac's Discribe Software along with templates for Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are included. It is available for $3000, while the Rack Mount Kit is $100 and the Kiosk Adapter Kit is $60.
SQL4X Manager J 3.4
dbSuite today released SQL4X Manager J 3.4 for Mac OS X, its professional database tool for Web developers, database developers, administrators, and power users. The upgrade introduces Entity Relationship Modelling (ERM) with support for database reverse engineering, and several bug fixes. Version 3.4 also provides more control over the graphical appearance of database design models, and enhances overall usability of the Entity Relationship Modeller. Features include navigation through the database; monitoring and administration of system settings; access to databases, tables, and data; management of users and access privileges; graphical creation and alteration of table designs; importation and exportation of data; execution of SQL queries, stored procedures, and commands; a PHP/JSP code generator; creation and printing of reports; transfer of data between any JDBC compliant server; graphically managed stored procedures, functions and triggers; graphical design of database layout; and a query assistant to graphically create SQL queries. The upgrade is free for existing users of SQL4X Manager J 3.x. SQL4X Manager J 3.4 is priced at $60 for the Basic edition, $130 for the Professional edition, and $250 for the Enterprise edition.
New SmartDeck Adapter
Griffin Technology today unveiled its latest SmartDeck Intelligent Cassette Adapter with a Dock Connector, providing control of an iPod using the built-in controls of a vehicle cassette player. The SmartDeck uses sensing technology to determine which commands the cassette player sends to the iPod, differentiating between forward, rewind, pause, and stop buttons. Upon hitting "eject", or switching from cassette to radio, the SmartPlay automatically pauses the iPod. Features include a high-quality cassette tape head, seamless integration between iPod and car stereo, and selectable Scan or Skip modes. The SmartDeck Intelligent Cassette Adapter with Dock Connector is expected to be available in late October for 5th generation video-capable iPods, iPod nanos, 4th generation iPods (with clickwheel), iPod minis, and iPod photos. The device is priced at $30.
Apple event photos
We've posted a few photos from Apple's special music event yesterday where CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new iPod, iMac, and iTunes. The "One More Thing" event took place in San Jose at the California Theater. We've assembled an extensive photo gallery of Jobs' presentation, as well as the exhibit surrounding the presentation, which allowed invited guests to touch, feel, and use the new hardware, following the live performance by renown jazz musician Winston Marseilles
DEVON updates products
DEVONtechnologies today released maintenance updates for DEVONthink Professional and Personal, and its freeware find-file utility EasyFind. The update for DEVONthink Professional 1.0.2 brings many detail enhancements: rich text cross-links to other documents; groups or files/folders can be created via drag-and-drop; a new Finder contextual menu plug-in; and import of unsupported file packages such as Apple Pages or Keynote files. In addition, Applescript and Automator support has been further extended, with new scripts and workflows. DEVONthink Professional requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is available for $75.
Speck ships Nano products
Speck Products yesterday sent off its first shipment SkinTight singles and 3 packs, SkinTight DELUXE 2-packs, ToughSkins in clear and black, and the FunSkin CLOUD for iPod nano. "We've got our whole team pulling together to get out several thousand pre-orders and fill new orders as they come in," said Tim Hickman, general manager of Speck Products. Speck will be shipping the remainder of its new SKU's for iPod nano well before its estimated October 30th date. iPodNN covered the initial announcement in September, when Speck debuted the cases for the first time.
Compression Master 3.2
Popwire today released a free update to its media desktop coding software, Compression Master 3.2. The application delivers the ability to produce content for DVD, Internet, mobile phones, music services, television, etc., support all common formats such as MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Quicktime, DV, H.264, H.264 Main Profile, 3GPP, Flash, Windows, Real Media and High Efficiency AAC. Version 3.2 offers a refined user interface and extended format support for High Efficiency AAC, HDV and H.264 Main Profile with B-frames and CABAC. "The support for H.264 in Compression Master enables media professionals to leverage the headway Apple is making in the area of high quality content for download and streaming" says Kay Johansson, CTO at Popwire. It also fully supports multi-threading operation on dual processor Macs for improved performance and allows users to choose which drive to use for scratch disk. Compression Master 3.2 is $500 and requires Mac OS X 10.3 Panther.
DIY Nano case, new ezSkins
In brief: One MacNN reader noted that the "TV Shows" category is missing from Canada's iTunes Music Store, and that Canadian residents cannot purchase TV shows from the U.S. iTunes Music Store.... Adobe announced four new royalty-free image collections are available through Adobe Stock Photos, bringing the total number of images to over 450,000.... One MacNN reader has posted directions for making a convenient, cheap, protective, do-it-yourself (DIY) Nano cover (shown at right).... Protective Solutions and Applesauce Polish announced they have signed a joint marketing agreement to provide scratch removal and protection products for the Apple's iPod nano.... ezGear announced its ezSkin 5th Generation cases for Apple's new video-capable iPod, made from high quality silicon with an anti-dust coating.... Belkin announced the Belkin TuneFM, which lets users listen to the music from their iPod through any FM stereo receiver as well as the new Belkin TuneCast Auto, which lets users listen to the music from their iPod through any car's FM radio and can simultaneously charge the iPod.
iPod Screen size
"Sometimes size really does matter," says Shannon Zimmerman of the Motley Fool. Zimmerman questions the "measly 2.5 inches of screen real estate" offered by the new iPod. "My current hunch is that watching that content will involve lots of squinting." Meanwhile, David Gardner looks at the implications of Apple's new deal with Disney to offer video content on iTunes. "For those who want to see Pixar and Disney stay together after their current contract expires with May's release of Cars, this is as good a sign as any that Jobs is staging productive conversations with Disney's top brass."
Microsoft faces a rough road if it wants to take a sizable chunk of Apple's market dominance. Along with the news that Microsoft settled with RealNetworks, a potential partnership could form from the settlement that will strengthen Microsoft's position as well as RealNetworks' offering, according to a report from eWEEK.com. Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg said that despite having more power through the partnership to compete against close competitors, Microsoft will find it difficult to gain even a portion of Apple's market share, according to the report. "Microsoft has been in a position where they've been licensing the technology, but it hasn't taken off. They have the steak but not the sizzle," Gartenberg said. Microsoft will have to deal with new challenges when facing Apple, because it will have to balance the needs of multiple partners, according to the report.
TuneCast Auto for iPod
Belkin today launched the new Belkin TuneCast Auto, which lets users listen to the music from their iPod through any car's FM radio. In addiition, the TuneCast Auto powers and charges through any car's cigarette lighter -- eliminating the need to drain power from the iPod itself. "The new design and ample features make for an easy, convenient solution to listen to your iPod on the road." The TuneCast Auto features two programmable memory slots as well as a blue, backlit LCD provides for easy viewing day or night. It displays both the FM frequency and the battery status. A VELCRO tie that reduces cable clutter. The included dock connector attaches securely to the iPod, while surface-mount clip holds your TuneCast Auto in place. The TuneCast Auto will ship in North America in late November 2005 for $60.
Belkin today announced the Belkin TuneFM, which lets users listen to the music from your iPod through any FM stereo receiver. The new Belkin TuneFM is offered in a new, sleek design and plugs into the remote/headphone jack on the iPod. "Just tune your stereo to any clear FM frequency, and you can enjoy your iPod music anywhere with full sound and fewer wires." The device features a numeric LED display to display the FM frequency and memory presets, channel up/down button to scan frequencies, two programmable memory slots between which users can easily toggle, and has a rear hold switch that can lock the buttons to prevent unintentional changes to the current frequency. Belkin's TuneFM is powered by the iPod; it will ship in North America in November 2005 for $40.
Samsung to pay $300M
Federal officials today announced that Samsung and its U.S. subsidiary Samsung Semiconductor will plead guilty to price fixing that harmed Apple Computer and other companies, and pay a $300 million fine, the second-largest criminal antitrust fine in history. The three-year investigation finishes with two competitors of Samsung pleading guilty, Hynix and Infineon Technologies, both agreeing to pay fines of $185 million and $160 million respectively, according to a report from the Associated Press. Samsung received grand jury subpoenas in connection with the investigation during 2002, and put aside $100 million late last year to pay potential criminal penalties, according to the report. Victims of the alleged price-fixing were Apple Computer, Dell, Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard, International Business Machines, and Gateway. Earlier this month of Samsung and Apple may be facing an anti-trust probe by South Korea's government regarding Flash memory pricing, following reports of prefential pricing for flash memory for Apple's iPod nano.
Audacity sets Apple apart
Apple CEO Steve Jobs' bold decision to nix the iPod mini in favor of the Nano has been dubbed "audacious" by some, but others looking to the future believe that this kind of move is exactly what sets Apple apart. Apple introduced iPod mini just 19 months before revealing the Nano, and sales showed no signs of slowing down when the new product made its debut on September 7th, according to a report from BusinessWeek online. The 10-percent drop in Apple's stock following the announcement of its fourth-quarter results, despite the fact that iPod sales were up 220-percent from the previous year, seemed to suggest that Jobs' move to discontinue the Mini was the wrong one. Despite this, however, Jobs' decision to bet big in research and development -- creating products designed to keep customers excited -- as well as focusing Apple's marketing on a few carefully-designed products rather than creating dozens of forgettable ones as most large tech companies do, is the right choice for Apple, according to the report.
Refurb iMac G5 prices drop
Apple has dropped the price on its refurbished iMac G5s, following the introduction of the new iMacs at yesterday's Special Event. First-generation iMacs are available in a 1.6GHz/Combo drive version for $750, while the 1.8GHz/SuperDrive version is $800; the 20-inch mode is available for $1,150 (1.8GHz/SuperDrive). Second-generation 17-inch models with extra RAM (512MB) and larger drives (160GB) are $850 (1.8GHz/Combo) and $950 (2.0GHz/SuperDrive). Readers note that while the eMac has disappeared from consumer stores, it is still available at the Apple Store Education (refurbished eMacs are available starting at $530). Apple has also a limited supply of refurb 12-inch iBooks for $700 (12"/1.2GHz/CD) and $850 (14"/1GHz/Combo) and some Mac Mini's starting at $400. Apple's refurb Cinema displays are available for a significant discount: $1,250 (23"), $1,300 (23"/aluminum), and $2,500 (30"/aluminum).
Cyrusoft yesterday announced that the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. "This situation is the culmination of a series of events that has taken place over the last few months," wrote owner Cyrus Daboo. "Sadly this situation pretty much means the end of Mulberry. Its now almost ten years since I wrote the first code of the Macintosh IMAP email client that would become Mulberry. It has been a labor of love and much personal sacrifice, and despite this disheartening outcome, I do maintain a certain amount of pride of what was achieved with limited resources."
FoxTrot Personal Search
FoxTrot Personal Search 1.0.1 ($35) is a full-featured find-by-content application for Mac OS X that offers dynamic categorization, context-sensitive display of found items, flexible relevance-ranking and five different approaches to searches (exact words, wildcards, literal, single term and complex patterns).
[Download - 4.4MB]
MacGourmet 1.1.5 ($25) updates the recipe organization software for Mac OS X, adding support for Backup 3 and beverage measurements to the web clipping assistant list. Fixes include drag-and-drop support for files and URLs into the items list, shopping list autocomplete, and more. [Download - 2.3MB]
MyStrands (free) publishes and promotes music freely. Songs are recommended based on previously played tracks as well as the current track being played, and are tagged with interests in realtime. Users can listen to clips and find music based on interest. [Download - 513KB]
CrushFTP 3.9.3 ($25) is a free update to the cross-platform, Java-based file serving application. Version 3.9.3 fixes the upload event on HTTP uploads, the http upload bug with Safari 2.0, the bug with random disconnects when the server is loaded at 100-percent CPU, and many more. [Download - 2.4MB]
URL Manager Pro 3.4.4 ($25) fixes Tiger compatibility problems and adds support for the Camino 1.0a1 web browser. URL Manager Pro stores, manages, and organizes bookmarks independently of the web browser. New features include notes of up to 64KB, integration with iDisk, and more. [Download - 5.4MB]
Easy Barcode Creator 1.9 ($128) updates the barcode creation software, enhancing support for transferring barcodes from Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 applications, as well as two-character additions to EAN-13 barcodes. Version 1.9 also improves initial support for barcodes representing 13-digit ISBN barcodes. [Download - 1.5MB]
PCalc 3, Widget released
TLA Systems today released PCalc 3, a major update to its scientific calculator application. PCalc 3 supports hexadecimal, octal and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit conversions. PCalc 3, completely rewritten, includes a companion PCalc Dashboard Widget (shown at right), a more accurate math engine, a new unit conversion mechanism including many new supported units, editable keyboard shortcuts for all actions, new calculator styles including "Metal" and a smaller "Basic" look, support for adding third-party calculator styles/functions/unit conversions, an enhanced RPN mode, multiple undo/redo support, a built-in update mechanism, and universal binary support for both Intel and PowerPC processors. The upgrade is free for existing registered users of version 2; PCalc 3 is available for $20 and requires Mac OS X 10.4.2 or later.
Comic Life Deluxe
Freeverse and Plasq today announced the release of Comic Life Deluxe Edition, an enhanced version of the software that lets users make comics, greeting cards, and more from your own iPhotos. Comic Life Deluxe Edition provides dozens more fonts, over a hundred new styles, and over two hundred new templates. A winner at this year's Apple Design Awards, Comic Life "has been universally hailed as one of the coolest programs for the Mac in a very long time," said Ian Lynch Smith, President of Freeverse. "The guys at plasq really hit this one out of the park and Freeverse is thrilled to be publishing the Deluxe Edition of such a killer app." Comic Life Deluxe Edition is priced at $30 and will be available from the Apple Stores and Mac retailers within weeks.
iPod nano scratches
Protective Solutions and Applesauce Polish today announced they have signed a joint marketing agreement to provide scratch removal and protection products for the Apple's iPod nano. Under the agreement, Applesauce Polish ($20) will be used to remove existing scratches and clean iPod nano devices, while future scratches and damages will be prevented by using the invisibleSHIELD from Protective Solutions. Applesauce Polish cleans, restores the shine and removes scratches from the plastic front and display, and the metal backing of all iPod models, using a newly developed microfinishing formula. The invisibleSHIELD, available starting at $20, is a protective covering that is virtually indestructible, designed to fit electronic handheld devices, including iPods, PDAs, cell phones, watch faces and more, prolonging the life span of such devices.
Boomtune mini for iPod
Tunewear today announced Boomtune mini, a unique tripod speaker for MP3 players including Apple's iPod. The palm-sized BoomTune mini, now available for $40, offers a unique tripod design and an 1W x 2 output, which it says "is surprising for such a compact size. Just one AAA battery is all you will need to enjoy up to 10 hours of playback. With a style like you have never seen before, the tripod design can be used with almost any MP3 player from the small iPod shuffle to the iPod 4G/photo. It is also suitable for more than just table top use." The company says the speakers are powerful enough to use in large open spaces such as a park or at the beach. The white-styled Boomtune mini weighs 60g and approx and offers an extremely compact footprint (32mm x115mm).
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