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Jobs on design
In a recent Time interview, Apple CEO Steve Jobs talks about how the product design process can go wrong. He uses the car industry as an example. "Here's what you find at a lot of companies," he says, "You know how you see a show car, and it's really cool, and then four years later you see the production car, and it sucks? And you go, What happened? They had it! They had it in the palm of their hands! They grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory! What happened was, the designers came up with this really great idea. Then they take it to the engineers, and the engineers go, 'Nah, we can't do that. That's impossible.' And so it gets a lot worse. Then they take it to the manufacturing people, and they go, 'We can't build that!' And it gets a lot worse."
Apple at PhotoExpo Plus
Ahead of tomorrow's planned special event in New York City, sources tell MacNN that Apple has quietly planned a major presence at PhotoPlus Expo 2005, a major conference and expo geared towards photography professionals. Taking place in the same city and venue as Apple's planned special event, PhotoPlus Expo 2005 features a wide variety of exhibitors, including Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, and other major camera manufacturers, such as Olympus, Fuji, Nikon, Pentax, Kodak, and others. Apple is also planning a presence, according to sources, although it is not officially listed on on the exhibtors page. The three day conference is scheduled to run from Oct 20-22 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, the same location as Apple's special event, which is scheduled for October 19th at noon EST. Apple has reserved the largest exhibition space on the floor, although it has made no public announcement and gone through great lengths to keep its participation from the public, according to AppleInsider.
Apple ships iPod video
Apple yesterday began shipping its newly introduced iPod video. Several Apple Stores report getting limited stock of the white 30GB version, while others said they didn't know when to expect to it. Each retail store is offering a contact list to put names of people interested in either model. The online store is quoting a ship time of 5-7 business days for both colors of both models. MacNN received the white version of the 30GB iPod video and we've posted an initial set of photos of the player. Like the iPod nano, the iPod photo does not offer FireWire support, however, it does ship with a special case to help protect the device from the same scratches that plagued the iPod nano and also includes a new dock adapter for using the iPod video with standard dock-based accessories.
CBS offers podcasts
CBS announced Monday that it is making some of its content available as audio podcasts for free via iTunes. Content will include CBS radio news, entertainment, and sports programming. Specific content will include "60 minutes", "Face the Nation", "Guiding Light", "Survivor Live", "NFL Hot Topic", "Soap Box", and more. The important question of when CBS will begin offering video remains to be answered, and word of audio podcasts comes shortly after Disney teamed up with Apple to offer video content through the iTunes Music Store. [updated]
Freeway 4 Pro released
Softpress today released Freeway 4 Pro, a new version of its no-need-to-code Web design application. Features include full Unicode support for the creation of multi-lingual sites, output options for XHTML (both Transitional and Strict), and advanced CSS layout -- with support for absolute, relative and fixed positioning, and fully hierarchical page layouts. Freeway 4 Pro also includes many new built-in graphic and type effects to speed site creation, transparency options, an internal preview using Apple's WebKit engine, and support for Spotlight technology in Mac OS X 10.4. Freeway 4 Pro is available for $250, and requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later. The release comes after Softpress released a preview version in early September.
The Washington Post provides some speculation and analysis regarding Apple's recent "Vingle" trademark filing. Frank Ahrens speculates that Apple may be readying "an uber-portal that combines the search functions of Google and the content scope of AOL's 'walled garden,' the television networks and the music labels." Another possibility is that "Vingle" is a placeholder. "Apple may never try any of the things it lists in its filings but reserves the right to do so under the Vingle name. Speculation is that the name is a contraction of 'video' and 'single,' which would coincide with the new video iPod. The filings have an 'everything we can think of' feel to them, along the lines of Hollywood contracts that ensure studio rights for distributing movies here or anywhere in the known universe."
Nano flip cases
Pacific Design today announced that its iPod nano flip case collection will be going on sale at Circuit City, Radio Shack, and Ultimate Electronics on October 22nd. The three cases are designed to provide dependable protection in sharp, contrasting color designs without sacrificing use and accessibility to audio accessories and sync/power adapters. Color combinations include "carbon black" with red and white detail; "precious pink" with white and dove grey detail; and "big sky blue" with cobalt blue and white detail. Features include full access to headphone and sync/power port without removing the Nano; a clear vinyl window for screen protection; complete access to the clickwheel; a "Slim-StitchtT" design to reduce bulk; and a low-profile rear strap that clips to a belt or integrates with an armband. iPod nano flip cases will be available for $30.
C4 Shuffle Clip
Swedish Clips 4 today rolled out the C4 Shuffle Clip for iPod shuffle. The C4 Shuffle Clips consist of two merging parts that slide and click together, providing a clip on the back to securely attach the device to clothing. C4 Shuffle Clips are made from strong, durable plastic and are available for $13 in "piano black" (shown at right), "lime translucent", "pink translucent", and "non-colored translucent". The two-part construction allows mixing and matching of colors, and two Nano cases -- Nano non colored -- and Nano piano black -- are available for pre-order at $15, expected to be available in December.
With the release of Apple's new video capable iPod, the pornography industry is already eyeing a potentially lucrative new market: "PodPorn". The next challenge to publishers of internet content filtering software will be to screen that content to prevent underage youths from viewing inappropriate content. Brian Milburn, president of Solid Oak Software and original developer of CYBERsitter, has already begun research on the mechanics of filtering the coming onslaught of adult oriented video content for the iPod. "Gone are the days when little Johnny would steal his dads' Playboy and share it with the other kids behind the dumpster during recess. Now they will be showing full color, stereo, high definition porn clips," Milburn said.
Single-slot card reader
Lexar Media today announced that it has enhanced its line of memory card readers from the new Professional CompactFlash Reader and high-speed multi-card readers to the single slot unit, ideal for the mobile photographer. Lexar's Single Slot Portable Card Reader (shown at right) is both a card reader (and writer), and a USB flash drive. The device can be expanded and upgraded simply by inserting SD, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MMC and xD-Picture cards and is fully compatible with USB ports.
Video iPod photos
In brief: AppleInsider has posted the first batch of photos of the video iPod, which was introduced last week and began shipping to select customers yesterday..... The Fast Icon Studio recently released a new stock icon collection for web designers and software developers, dubbed UnderWater EPS ($450), offering 165 icons for toolbars and navigational elements.... Prosoft Engineering announced that Drive Genius is available at Apple retail locations, and will be featured for 2 weeks at the Genius Bar.... Shure announced that its E series sound isolating headphones will be available in black -- as well as white -- to complement Apple's iPod nano digital music player. [updated]
Dartware InterMapper 4.4
Dartware today released InterMapper 4.4, its network monitoring and alerting software designed to give a visual, realtime view of traffic flows through and between critical network devices and links. New features include a device list to show all devices on a particular server; SNMP version 3 queries using MD5, SHA, or no authentication method as well as DES, or no privacy method; new probes for a number of different kinds of equipment including UPS (uninterruptible power source) monitoring probes, wireless probes, an SSH probe to test SSH servers directly, and an updated Barracuda probe; and more. InterMapper uses SNMP to provide utilization statistics which optimize performance as well as display traffic, error, and outage information to help monitor trouble spots. InterMapper 4.4 requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later, and is available for $500 with support for 25 devices.
Filemaker appoints new VP
Apple's FileMaker division today announced the appointment of the former Microsoft exectuvie Jon Sigler as vice president of FileMaker product management, leading the teams responsible for defining and executing product strategy. The 13-year veteran of Microsoft, Sigler was most recently Group Manager for Microsoft Access and Excel. While at Microsoft, Sigler had responsibilities for managing large-scale marketing, product design and development efforts for the company's database related products, and has led the successful shipment of more than seven versions of Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel and FoxPro. Separately, another report indicates that Apple will replace Frank Steinhoff with former Elgato CEO Freddie Geier to act as the new managing director of its Germany division, according to a report from AppleInsider.
Core Image for InDesign
RogueSheep today announced the open beta of RogueSheep Magma, a plug-in for Adobe InDesign CS2 on Mac OS X 10.4. Magma makes available the rich functionality of Apple's Core Image technology directly within the InDesign CS2 application. Users can apply a variety of image-enhancement and stylizing effects directly to any bitmap image placed in InDesign CS2. "Enhance photos with brightness and contrast adjustments, color shifting, or sharpening. Apply special effects such as star-shines and zoom-blurs or glass distortion. Make your images stand out with style by applying spotlight, bloom or shaded material effects." The plugin includes are over 100 image effect filters. The beta is available for download immediately for free during the open beta. (Pricing and availability of the GM version of Magma has not yet been determined.)
More phones from Apple
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs says he's not done with the mobile phone business, although he is happy with the first Motorola iTunes ROKR phone, unveiled in early September. According to an interview in Fortune after the "One More Thing" event, Jobs said that Apple was pleased with its relationship with Cingular, but left out Motorola, hinting that Apple may turn another mobile phone manufacturer such as Nokia or even manufacture the phone itself for its second generation iTunes phone. According to the interview, he said that Apple "isn’t done with the mobile-phone business, despite the disappointing reaction to the iTunes phone he launched recently with Motorola and Cingular. Jobs says he’s happy with Apple’s part of its first telephony experiment. 'There are more phones yet to roll out,' he says with a sly smile, adding, 'Cingular has been great to work with.'"
Market Symposiums at MWSF
IDG World Expo today announced a new Macworld SF conference feature: Market Symposiums are five unique day-long conferences that will help small business owners; educators (K-12); art directors; new media artists; and Podcasters get the most out of their Mac computing experience. “The new Market Symposiums at Macworld San Francisco will provide valuable business direction and technical insights to key customer segments that rely on Mac technology,” said Paul Kent, Macworld conference chairperson. “Attendees will benefit from spending a complete day at Macworld focused exclusively on issues they face putting Macs to work in their environment.” The Market Symposiums will take place on the last day of Macworld, Friday, January 13, 2006 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The price for the Symposiums is $300 if purchased before December, 10, 2005. Macworld SF takes places place January 9-13, 2006 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.
Hollywood on new iPod
Apple faces a far tougher task wooing film and television producers to create shows for the new video iPod than it did in the music industry, Reuters UK reports. In the week since Jobs unveiled the handheld iPod, which plays video clips on a 2.5-inch diagonal screen, media and technology executives have been trying to figure out whether people will watch shows on a small screen, what types of programs will work and whether money can be made at the $1.99 price Apple set. "There is no doubt people are going to access content in more flexible ways going forward," said Rick Feldman, who heads the National Association of Television Program Executives. "What we don't know, for independent producers, is what kind of content is going to be wanted and needed, what it will cost and what it can be made for," he added. Sources familiar with the thinking at rivals NBC and CBS said those networks have talked to Apple about providing content, but that the $1.99 price tag was too low.
EasyEnvelopes 1.0.1 (free) revises the free envelope printing widget, adding the ability to minimize the widget by clicking on the postmark, and fixes a number of bugs where EasyEnvelopes would not properly recognize/use addresses from Address Book that were entered using older versions of Address Book. Version 1.0.1 is now a Universal Binary, adding support for Intel Macs.
[Download - 612KB]
pagesender 3.5.3 ($30) and disclabel 2.4.1 ($30) updates pagesender, the Automator-friendly fax software with updated drag & drop addressing from Now Contact and a fix for faxes dropped from the print queue. disclabel 2.4.1 adds AppleScript enhancements and support for EPSON R1800 and RX700 direct-to-disc printers. [Download - 4.2MB] and [Download - 5.3MB]
WorkStrip 3.2.2 (£23) is a multifaceted file management tool that floats above the desktop; handling mundane tasks of filing requirements, and offers a preview feature to provide quick and easy access to files. WorkStrip organizes files into "Workspaces" to represent projects, clients, and more. [Download - 2MB]
Typinator 1.1 ($20) automates entry of repetitive text and graphics for any type of application. Version 1.1 offers improved compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4, as well as various minor improvements and bug fixes. [Download - 450KB]
Strider 1.1 ($12) updates the RSS aggregator for Mac OS X, supporting ATOM feeds and the Growl notification system. Additional improvements include universal support for eBay feed providers, and a new set of toolbar icons. [Download - 1.3MB]
Caffeine Browser 1.0 ($15) automatically optimizes the size of images according to preference, and displays images at speed using an intelligent cashing engine. Features include drag-and-drop support, displays image data as well as Mac-specific information, and compatibility with iTunes supporting full screen view. [Download - 1.4MB]
Apple pressures businesses
Apple's aggressive moves to protect its iPod trademark and collect royalties from some iPod accessory makers has put at least one business out of business. Macworld UK reports that Everything iPod, which has been distributing iPod peripherals since 2002, will close down because of Apple's pressure, following recent Apple activity in which the company has been demanding that company's selling peripherals for its music playing products should cease using the 'iPod' trademark in their trading names and URLs." Apple also confirmed that it has begun enforcing an iPod tax on some iPod accessory manufacturers who produce accessories that plug into the "dock connector" at the bottom of the music player. CNET News.com quotes Phill Schiller as saying that the "electrical connection has specifications around that and licensing around that, and the way you get that assistance and information and licensing is through the 'Made for iPod' program."
LaCie includes Toast
Roxio today announced that LaCie has selected Toast 7 for inclusion with it newest FireWire DVD double layer burners. Toast 7, which became available earlier this month, allows Mac and iLife users to create DVDs or CDs. LaCie’s 16x d2 DVD±RW Double Layer burns single layer (4.7GB) DVDs in five minutes and double layer (8.5GB) DVDs in 15 minutes. The external drive features a rugged aluminum case for portable use. New features in Toast 7 include multi-image high-definition slideshows with pan and zoom effects, transitions and background audio, rich audio DVDs with over 50 hours of Dolby Digital music and advanced navigation, and data spanning, which allows users to backup large files, folders and applications across multiple CDs and DVDs.
iMac upgrade price drop
Citing new lower shipping and CPU costs, Daystar Technology today announced that it has reduced pricing on its iMac Flat Panel Upgrade. The upgrades utilize powerful G4 CPUs that are nearly double speed and double the high-performance L2 cache size from 256KB to 512KB, delivering more than 2x real-world performance for all iMac Flat Panel owners. The upgrade is available in two speeds: 1.92GHz (for 1.0/1.25GHz machines) for $500 and 1.35GHz (for 700MHz/800MHz iMacs) for $450. The service includes 3-way shipping from FedEx. It is compatibile with Mac OS 9.2 through Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, supports dual-boot systems and includes XLR8 MAChSpeed Control for maximizing G4 performance and compatibility. All upgrades include Daystar's exclusive 90/728 warranty program and 30 days of Daystar's New ProTech support.
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