Microsoft today released Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.2.1 Update, which fixes a synchronization issue in versions of Microsoft Entourage that have been updated with Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Service Pack 2 (11.2.0). The issue might cause data loss when Entourage attempts to synchronize with an Exchange mailbox that was moved to a different server running Microsoft Exchange Server. This update also resolves issues with setting Exchange server permissions and printing calendars. We strongly recommend that all Entourage users who have installed Office 2004 Service Pack 2 (11.2.0) install this update."
Apple has posted Pro Application Update 2005-002 updates for both Tiger and Panther users, saying that it improves general user interface reliability for Apple’s professional applications and is recommended for all users of Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Soundtrack, Logic Pro and Logic Express. Apple has also posted WaveBurner 1.1.2, which it says addresses isolated reliability issues. The update is highly recommended for all users of WaveBurner 1.1.
Microsoft has backed off its exclusive music deal agreements it had required of MP3 player manufacturers. Already under government scrutiny over its behavior toward competitors, Microsoft had told manufacturers of iPod-like portable audio devices that they were not allowed to distribute rivals' music player software, but then pulled back after one company protested, according to Associated press. "The Justice Department said the incident was 'unfortunate,' but that government lawyers decided to drop the issue because Microsoft agreed 10 days later to change the contracts. The government disclosed details of the dispute in a federal court document made available Thursday. The disputed contracts would have affected portable music players that compete with Apple Computer Inc.'s wildly popular iPod. Legal and industry experts said Microsoft's demands probably would have violated the landmark 2002 antitrust settlement between the company and the Bush administration."
Apple today updated iTunes 6.01, its music software that integrates with the company's wildly popular iPod digital music player, as well as its online music store. The update provides several stability improvements over version 6, which was released on October 12th alongside the latest fifth-generation iPod with video capability. Version 6.0.1 enables iTunes users to preview, buy, and download over 2,000 video files from the iTunes music store. iTunes 6.0.1 is free via the Mac OS X software update feature, and purchasing video content requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Jefferies and Company has torn down the video iPod, revealing the various component manufacturers, and estimating a gross margin for Apple Computer on the device at 52 percent. Board layout of the video IPod is similar to that of the Nano, with essentially all of the same silicon suppliers. The teardown reveals a Toshiba 30GB 1.8-inch hard drive; a PortalPlayer Decoder/SoC; a Broadcom video decoder/processor; 256Mbit of Samsung SDRAM; a Wolfson Microelectronics audio codec; a Linear USB power manager/Li-Ion battery charger; a National step down switching regulator; Phillips DC/DC converter; Silicon Storage Technology 8Mbit parallel flash; a Phillips power management unit; and a Cypress PSoC mixed signal controller touch pad. The total BOM is estimated to be $143.50 for Apple.
MCE Technologies today began shipping its new Auto/Air Combo Adapter, compatible with all PowerBook G4, iBook G4, and white iBook G3 systems. The adapter weighs five ounces, measures 0.8 x 1.7 x 3.7 inches, and provides up to 72 watts of power. Total cord length measures 4.5 feet, and the automobile cigarette lighter can be removed as needed to expose an EmPower plug beneath which is compatible with EmPower sockets on many major airlines. A built-in LED indicates the presence of a live power source, and the device is fuse protected. The Auto/Air Combo Adapter is available for $50, and ships with a one-year warranty.
Standord University today announced that school-related audio programs are now available via the iTunes music store. The audio content will give alumni -- as well as the general public -- free access to faculty lectures, campus events, performances, book readings, music recorded by Standard students, and podcasts of Stanford football games, according to a report from bizjournals.com. Stanford said that the service will contain approximately 400 individual audio programs, and the school will continue to add new content as it is released, according to the report. The project will also include audio content related to academic courses for Stanford faculty and students only.
muzikwear.com unveiled its muzikwear wire management system, integrating a digital audio player -- such as Apple's iPod -- into a short sleeve moisture wicking crew T-shirt. The wire management system consists of a grip, slack pocket, and a digital player pocket. The grip holds the wire of your ear buds firmly in place, while the slack pocket stores excess wire slack. The digital player pocket measures 2 x 4 inches, will fit most "mini" digital music players, and is high enough to prevent the player from falling out. Shirts will be available in black (shown at right), navy, and white as well as Small through XXL sizes. The muzikwear shirts are expected to go on sale October 25th for $30 each.
Simpl Acoustics has lowered the price of its A1 Headphone Amp for iPod, from $150 to $100. "Increased demand has allowed production costs to drop dramatically, and Simpl Acoustics would like to pass these savings onto the consumer." The Simpl A1 allows the use of high-end headphones with the iPod, while providing improved sound quality and iPod battery life. "The Simpl A1 is the perfect product for people who want the best sound quality from their iPods, and we are thrilled to provide this product to music lovers," said Simpl Acoustics' President, Preston Graham.
ClickNoMo 1.0 ($30) senses mouse movements as the cursor moves around the screen. When the cursor is positioned where you would like to click and the mouse stops for a short amount of time, ClickNoMo generates a click. ClickNoMo single clicks, double clicks, right clicks, and drags the mouse. TypeNoMo 1.0 ($60) rapidly types text anywhere text would normally be typed using a keyboard. The TypeNoMo window floats above other open windows and text documents, presenting a view of text strings such as words or paragraphs which are inserted into working text with a mouse click. [Download - 1.5MB] iVeZeen 2.1 ($15) turns a webcam into a digital camcorder to easily record high quality video clips in various formats. Version 2.1 records movies in a format that can instantly be synced onto video iPods, and includes two bug fixes. [Download - 500KB] Montage Librarian Pro 1.0 ($70) combines text indexing and searching together with quick document viewing in one easy-to-use package. Montage Librarian finds files in plain text, RTF, HTML, Adobe PDF, and Microsoft Word (.doc) formats. [Download - 1.4MB] Desktility ($13) "locks" icon and window positions, preventing unwanted re-arrangement. Certain actions cause icons to "pile up", such as resolution changes. Desktility detects when the resolution changes, and place your icons and windows back to their home positions. [Download - 443KB] CDW Search Widget 1.0 (free) searches the entire CDW website by keyword, CDW part number, or Manufacturer part number. The widget recalls the past five searches, and offers product promotions. [Download - 140KB]
Iomega today announced the expansion its small hard drive product lineup with a 120GB model of the Iomega Portable Hard Drive. The ultra-slim USB 2.0 device has a sleek and compact form factor that is smaller than most PDAs and weighs a only 5.76 ounces (163 grams), according to the company. Based on 2.5-inch hard disk technology, the new 120GB drive features a standard 4200-rpm mechanism in a rugged aluminum enclosure. A blue drive light signals disk activity, and an on/off switch allows laptop users to power down the device without disconnecting it. Each drive comes with a USB cable, supplementary power cord, and software suite CD that includes Iomega Automatic Backup and MusicMatch Jukebox music management software. The 120GB version is $280, while other capacities are also available: 40GB ($120), 60GB ($150), 80GB ($180), and 100GB ($250).
iView Multimedia today announced iView MediaPro 3.0, its cross-platform digital asset management application. MediaPro 3.0 helps users organize and manage a high volume and wide variety of digital files by creating customized, centralized and searchable catalogs. New features include a Pro Lightbox, an update to the digitized version of the photographer's lightbox that gives more powerful viewing options; streamlined annotation workflow; improved file import (batch rename, apply multiple annotations, copy media to folders); more file format support (WMV, WMA, Microsoft Word, RTF and Web pages); an enhanced interface; new visual search features; advanced web gallery options; and XML import/export. It is compatible with Mac OS X 10.2.8 and will ship on November 1 for $200.
Apple's introduction of Aperture, its new digital image editing software designed for professional photographers, will complement Adobe's Photoshop software, not replace it, according to some professional photographers. Despite this, some believe that the new software from Apple has the potential to cut into Adobe's profits. Software analyst Chris Swenson said "Apple is Adobe's most serious competitor in the creative space. They create amazing software." Kevin Connor, director of product management for Adobe's digital imaging products said "it's clear Apple is positioning this as complementary to Photoshop," according to a report from Ziff Davis Internet. Apple touts Aperture's "seamless Photoshop integration," which will include one-click file export to Photoshop, native support for flattened or single-layer .PSD files, and management of Photoshop-generated image versions.
AJA Video today announced the KONA LHe, a new PCI Express version of the popular KONA LH. Identical in feature set to the KONA LH released one month ago, the KONA LHe is a 10-bit uncompressed video capture card that supports editing on the new PCI Express Power Macs with Final Cut Studio. The card provides a single-card HD/SD analog and digital I/O solution, offering CD/HD/Analogy connections, HDV/DVCProHD/RT Extreme hardware acceleration, 10-bit hardware HD to SD down-conversion, 2-channel AES and 8-channel Embedded Audio, and 2-channel Balanced XLR analog audio. KONA LHe will ship worldwide on October 31st for $1,800. KONA LHe, which ships with a three-year warranty, has the same feature set as the KONA LH, but with the new high-performance PCI Express bus interface for use in Apple's new line of Power Macs.
Blackmagic Design today DeckLink Extreme with PCI Express (PCIe) compatibility with the new Power Macintosh G5s. DeckLink Extreme PCIe is a PCI Express version of Blackmagic Design's famous DeckLink Extreme capture card that features a new high speed PCI Express 1 lane interface running at 2.5 Gbps, which is more than 6 times faster than FireWire-based solutions. DeckLink Extreme PCIe connects to any standard definition deck in broadcast video, combining both 10-bit SDI digital video and analog YUV component video into a single compact low cost PCI Express card. DeckLink Extreme PCIe includes full support for all QuickTime based Mac OS X applications including Final Cut Pro HD, Apple Shake, Adobe Photoshop, DVD Studio Pro, Adobe After Effects, Apple Motion, iDVD, and many more. The $900 board offers full component analog or NTSC/PAL video, with HDTV playback to SD and realtime effects.
In Brief: Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today began shipping DLO HomeDock, its Home Entertainment Center for iPod.... RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 for Mac has hit beta status, and is scheduled to ship in November.... At PhotoPlus Expo in New York City, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) announced a “Call for Entries” for its 2006 Digital Canvas Awards, the first worldwide competition exclusively for Adobe Photoshop users.... Tunewear today announced its Waterwear shuffle, a new water-resistant case for Apple’s iPod shuffle.... Wrappers launched a customized, protective Nano cover (shown at right) for organizations offering iPod nanos as incentives or promotional gifts.... podtee introduced two new iPod-theme t-shirt designs ($15), "i love iPod" and "One Bad Afro".... Ars Technica has posted a review of the iPod video, complete with dissection.
Wrappers today launched a customized, protective Nano cover for organizations offering iPod nanos as incentives or promotional gifts. Covers are personalized with corporate colors, featuring the company name on one side and "nano" on the other. Covers are made from ultra soft faux suede (the same fabric used to line Italian leather gloves), fire retardant, and can be machine washed. The slim, stay-on tube provides access to the iPod nano hold switch, dock connector and headphone jack. Wrappers are £1 per cover when adding a company name with a maximum of 12 letters, and the cost of customizing in addition to the price of the cover is £17, with up to a 33% discount for multiple orders.
Light Crafts today released LightZone, its photo editing software tool designed for professional photographers. LightZone views, manages, edits, and corrects digital photographs while working with light values and shapes to imitate the way that photographers think about photographs. StudioZone, a key feature of LightZone, is an image viewer and file browser to print and publish photographs using a true digital negative format. StudioZone also includes a search function with metadata search, and an integrated RAW converter. ZoneFinder, another key feature, analyzes and displays images in shapes and tonal values. LightZone requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is available for $250.
Extensis today announced Portfolio 8, a major advance in its digital asset management (DAM) solution. The new version of Portfolio provides workflow features to organize and route digital files utilizing visual catalogs and embedded metadata, making it fast and easy to find and share collateral within the asset creation workgroups and externally with global partners. The Portfolio 8 product family includes a standalone version, Client/Server solution as well as NetPublish and SQL Connect Modules. Version 8 brings new workflow tracking, new sample catalogs, full custom sorting of catalogs via drag & drop, Scratchpad galleries, and public/private galleries. It is expected to ship in December for $200 (individual) or $5000 (client/server).
onOne Software has updated its Photoshop plug-in Genuine Fractals, which uses a patented technique to increase the size and resolution of digital images. The digital image scaling solution offers several new usability improvements, according to the company. The new versions of Genuine Fractals ($160) and Genuine Fractals Print Pro ($300) provide users with several new usability improvements including batch Processing for automated scaling of multiple images, presets for quick selection from 14 image sizes, improved unit information display shows the original image size and the new image size after the image is scaled, better usability for the Zoom and Crop tools, and new Keyboard shortcuts for all of the tools in Genuine Fractals. They will be available on October 25; both are available as $70 upgrades for owners of previous versions.
Five Speed Software today released iGet 2.0, the second major release of the Mac file transfer tool. The new version introduces a powerful new remote search feature, which can search any Mac remotely using Apple’s new Spotlight technology. Dozens of other major new features include embedded Automator actions, new AppleScript capabilities, URL support, connection shortcuts, improved file listings featuring Finder labels and true Mac icons, networking enhancements, faster SSH encryption of connections, realtime throughput reporting, and much more. Billed as the modern and Mac-specific replacement for older file transfer tools, it also supports resource forks, HFS metadata, custom Mac icons, packages, aliases, Unicode file names, etc. It is available for $40 ($10 off) through the end of the month.
Adobe today announced an update to its DNG Converter and to its Camera Raw 3.2 plugin. The DNG Converter, which easily translates raw files from many of today's popular camera, now gives users additional preference settings for JPEG preview size and the option to run DNG using a command line interface as well as supports 14 new cameras, stores larger previews and expands options for storing the original proprietary files within the translated DNG. In addition, Adobe introduced the Camera Raw 3.2 plug-in, which extends long-term archiving capabilities to 14 new camera models from leading manufacturers, bringing total support to over 80 cameras. With the new plug-in, users can preserve more metadata when saving files in the DNG format. The update also adds support for GPS metadata tags and "As Shot" white balance support for Nikon D2X, D2Hs and D50 camera users.
Tunewear today announced its Waterwear shuffle, a new water-resistant case for Apple’s iPod shuffle. The Waterwear shuffle is made of solid toughened plastic with a waterproof seal to prevent liquids from entering the case, making it useful for situations such as sunbathing on a sandy beach or poolside, skiing in winter and fishing or rafting. The controls are accessible through the company's patent pending silicone wheel window. The case offers almost no moving parts and also adds a headphone isolator plug "so that you get to use your own headphones." It is due in November for $25.
The Plasticsmith today released Lapvantage Loft, a laptop stand designed to improve computing ergonomics while offering a sleek minimalist design. The Loft is a full-featured desktop enhancement unit that swivels 360-degrees and sports an extra-thick polished acrylic platform. The steel pedestal is available in black or metallic, designed to complement Apple's Powerbook line. "The Loft lets you show off your laptop while at the same time providing you the ergonomic benefits of optimal viewing height, improved posture and enhanced functionality. Its small footprint saves valuable desk space and allows you to tuck an external keyboard under the platform. This keeps you close enough to your laptop's screen for comfortable viewing while preventing neck, shoulder and back strain." The Lapvantage Loft is available in 6 combinations and is available for an introductory price of $80.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today began shipping DLO HomeDock, its Home Entertainment Center for iPod. Compatible with the new video iPod, the HomeDock "creates a home for the iPod" in the living room and provides a permanent, simple connection to existing home stereo systems and televisions. The HomeDock charges the iPod and includes a 14-function remote control for full control of the iPod, featuring pause, resume, rewind and advance videos or pictures while also controlling volume. While playing video, the HomeDock displays function status when the remote is pressed and shows a timeline for the progress of a particular video or episode when used to advance, resume, rewind or change volume. The device also features a USB 2.0 port for full connectivity to a Mac or PC. HomeDock is available for $100 and includes everything necessary to connect the iPod to any home entertainment system and computer.
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Atari, Sigfox partner for IoT development
Atari and Internet of Things pioneer Sigfox today announced a global partnership to develop a line of new connected devices based on Atari's brand. The collaboration will cover a wide range of new Atari products, with launch products covering "categories such as home, pets, lifestyle and safety" according to the pair. Development of the new product line will begin this year. http://bit.ly/1WvklfB
Samsung still not recommending Windows 10
Nearly a year after release, Samsung support is recommending that owners of its PCs not upgrade to Windows 10. In an email exchange with UK Samsung technical support and an individual in need of help getting Wi-Fi to work, the support representative wrote that "honestly speaking, we don't suggest installation of Windows 10 to any Samsung laptop or PC and we are still coordinating with Microsoft regarding to this matter" and "the Drivers that we have on our website are not yet compatible to the latest version of Windows." Samsung will update users when there are no more compatibility issues with Samsung hardware and Windows 10. Microsoft has no meaningful comment on the matter. http://bit.ly/1PgrJcx
T-Mobile offers 'tourist' plan
A new plan from T-Mobile is launching on June 12, and will offer visitors to the US a flat-rate $30 plan that offers a free US SIM, 2GB of high-speed data, and 1,000 minutes of calls good for a three-week period. The plan will work with any unlocked GSM-compatible smartphone, and is advertised as "unlimited" data (but speed will slow down after the first 2GB). The plan does not automatically renew, but can be manually renewed for those staying longer. It also comes with unlimited international texting to some 40 countries, but does not offer any international talk minutes at all. http://t-mo.co/1TI1Pe9
First hardware RAID 10Gbps USB 3.1 controllers
Marvell today announced the Marvell 88RC13xx family of high-performance RAID storage controllers with a full set of features that include eight 6Gbps SATA ports, four lanes of PCI Express 3.0, and a 10Gbps USB 3.1 device port with Type-C connector support. The move paves the way for high-performance USB-C UASP hardware RAID multi-drive arrays, utilizing the full bandwidth of USB 3.1. http://bit.ly/1P0JBmb
Tama debuts adapters for Lightning-only iPhone
Predicting an iPhone without a standard 3.5mm headphone, a Chinese accessory maker has released three Lightning-to-headphone-adapters ready should Apple pull the trigger on what would be a controversial decision. The three adapters, picked up by Macotakara, includes two models that simultaneously support charging an iPhone over microUSB while the user also continues to listen to music. Rumors have suggested that Apple will eventually drop the 3.5mm jack on one of its next-generation iPhones, although it is not clear whether it will be in the 'iPhone 7,' due this year, or a future model. In the interim, the Tama Electric Lightning-to-headphone adapters offer little particular utility. http://bit.ly/1P0sYXM
French Google tax raid evaluation could take years
The data retrieved from the Paris raid on Google's headquarters by French police could take months or even years to analyze, according to a prosecutor assigned to the case. Authorities seized dozens of files and related data that recorded Google's financial transactions in the country with a view to lodging a claim for unpaid taxes by the Internet search giant. Although Google has denied any wrongdoing, it must complete all of its sales contracts in Ireland, where it is incorporated. If French authorities sifting through the documents seized in the raids discover that any of its French sales transactions were completed locally, it could be subject to further action, including fines. http://reut.rs/1P0n8G2
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD