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In Brief: We've posted a review of iFill, Griffin' utility for filling music with the iPod with music from internet radio stations..... M-Audio has reduced the pricing on its Fast Track Pro audio interface by $50 to $250.... Brookside Baptist Church is producing a two minute weekly video feature optimized for the upcoming Apple video iPod.... Econ Technologies has updated ChronoSync 3.1.1, its automated synchronization and backup application with improved file archiving process and other enhancements.... Thought Equity has releaesd its new Stock Footage Search widget, which can search, view results, and download from its library of broadcast quality footage.... OmniWeb 5.1.2 is a minor update to the Mac OS X web browser, offering an interface localized in English, French, German, and Swedish as well as several bug fixes including support for the recently released Flash 8 browser plug-in.
Apple today released Backup 3.01, updating the data protection application to address file restoration issues. The update is recommended for all users, according to Apple. Apple said the update specifically addressed restoring files to an alternate location and accuracy of the iDisk progress bar when uploading files. Apple's free Backup application helps identify the most important files for backing up, grouping them together for easy classification as well as automates the process with a scheduler, backing up files to iDisk, CDs, DVDs, FireWire hard drives, network servers, or an iPod. Backup is included with .Mac membership, and is not yet available via the Web.
Craig McHugh, president of Creative Labs today warned that MP3 players may be hard to find during the holiday season due to a shortage of flash memory chips, and blamed Apple by citing the special deal that the company made with Samsung. "Industry demand for high-capacity flash memory currently outstrips supply and this will impact availability of our 1GB flash MP3 players for the holiday quarter. [...] The shortage of flash memory, according to industry analyst speculation, is primarily a result of a special deal that Apple has secured from a key supplier for the holiday season," McHugh said. Creative posted a bigger loss than expected, partially because Apple has squeezed prices, according to a report from PC Pro.
BenQ today unveiled its 20-inch wide-screen LCD monitor, featuring an 8ms response time. The BenQ FP202W offers up to 1680 x 1050 resolution, a 600-to-one contrast ratio, and includes a hotkey that allows instant switching between analog and digital signal input. The 43cm in-screen width preserves the content of DVD movies and games in their original format without cropping or compression. Other features include a key for quick image auto adjustment, dual inputs for both D-Sub and DVI-D single, and VESA wall mounting compatibility. The FP202W is expected to be available by the end of the year (pricing was unavailable).
ABC early next year is planning to increase the number of television shows for iTunes, which are available for viewing on wireless and mobile devices -- such as Apple's fifth-generation iPod. Albert Chang, executive vice president of digital media for the Disney ABC Television Group indicated that efforts are underway to negotiate rights clearances from musicians, actors, writers, and others for shows that Disney does not produce itself, according to a report from imdb.com. "Now when we know a show will be good, we negotiate ahead of time to clear distribution on all platforms. We expect our mobile video subscriber business to reach 14 million in 2009, up from about 200,000 today," Chang said. Disney said it plans to re-launch its Movies.com site with additional editorial content, but without the feature films it originally planned to deliver online, according to the report.
Panic and The Iconfactory today released Pixadex 2.0, designed to collect, organize, sort, and search thousands of icons. Pixadex 2.0 offers Spotlight-based search features, smart collections, a list view, and nested collections. Other features include a streamlined interface; a search bar; unlimited nested folders in the Collections list; and the ability to import a variety of image formats and instantly convert to desktop icons. Pixadex creates collections that are based on specific search terms such as author, keywords, URLs, and others. Collection icons in the list pane can be customized via copy and paste, and the application identifier can be set in the info window for use with CandyBar. Pixadex is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Apple has reduced pricing on some its refurb Macs, including its 12-inch iBook; the 12-inch 1.2GHz/Combo iBook (with AirPort Extreme) for $720 and the 12-inch 1.33GHz/Combo iBook (with 512MB RAM) for $800. The larger, refurb 14-inch iBooks are available for $1000 (1.33GHz/Combo) and $1050 (1.42GHz/SuperDrive). Apple has also reduced the price on its low-end, previous-generation Mac mini to $380 (1.2GHz/Combo) and $440 (1.42GHz/Combo). Apple is also offering its refurb 17-inch iMac G5 (1.8GHz/Combo) for $850 as well as its 23- and 30- Cinema Display for $1,100 and $2,100, respectively. All prices include free shipping and Apple's one-year warranty.
Group Logic today released version 4.1 of its ExtremeZ-IP v4.1 file server software, designed to provide organizations operating in dual-platform environments with stable and compatible Windows-based file and print server solutions for Mac OS X as well as Mac OS 9. ExtremeZ-IP 4.1 includes major performance improvements, boasting file name searches up to 150 times faster than Services for Macintosh (SFM), and up to 600 times faster than the Mac OS X SMB client. ExtremeZ-IP 4.1 also offers a simplified cluster license scheme, and a new administrator help file format that is easier to maintain. ExtremeZ-IP supports the latest version of the Apple File Protocol (AFP), and the update is free for registered users of version 4.0 with an active maintenance support contract. ExtremeZ-IP 4.1 is priced at $1,350 for a 10-client server pack, and is compatible with Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X 10.2.3 or later.
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) today introduced daily video podcasting of its film festival activities on iTunes. Podcasts will feature festival updates with the latest news and events, two to three interviews with special guests, "man-on-the-street" style interviews from festival attendees, film reviews by SCAD professors, and a calendar of events. The eighth annual Savannah Film Festival, hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design October 29th through November 5th, presents films by studio independent and student filmmakers, as well as workshops and special guests from all areas of the film industry. Daily video podcasts will begin October 31st and run through November 4th. Guests include directors Sidney Lumet and Terry Zwigoff, actors Ellen Burstyn, Jeff Daniels, Natasha Richardson and James Franco, producer Alan Ladd Jr., film editor and sound designer Walter Murch and animators Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. Tickets and passes to the Savannah Film Festival will be available from the Trustees Theater box office in October for $5 per film.
Soldius today rolled out the Soldius1 universal solar charger for iPod. Soldius1 charges iPod mini, the new iPod Nano, the iPod Shuffle, and over 250 mobile phone models, including Nokia, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson, Siemens and Motorola, and the new Motorola ROKR iTunes phone. The Soldius1 is the first device of its kind to fully charge iPods and mobile phones, without the need for an intermediary battery or an out-of-the-box charge. The Soldius1 is available with an iPod kit for $100, or for $110 with an iPod and mobile phone kit.
Macworld Conference & Expo today announced the Feature Presentations lineup for the January event. Mac Industry favorites Michael Rubin, David Pogue, Chris Pirillo and Russell Brown will be featured, and topics include: George Lucas revolutionizing filmmaking; David Pogue’s Macworld talk show; the rise of Podcasting; and new features in Photoshop CS. It was also announced today that the Feature Presentations will now be open to all Macworld attendees – those with conference passes as well as those with exhibit hall passes. In previous years, a conference pass was required to attend the Feature Presentations.
Vertus recently announced that it has lowered the price of its masking and cut-out Adobe Photoshop plug-in, Fluid Mask, to $249. The plug-in cuts out hair, fur, and lattices, and leaves a feathered edge. Features include workflow tabs, opacity control, image information layer control, and a region editor. The image information layer (IIL) can be adjusted to select hard-to-hit edges, or to loose image noise (e.g. high resolution transparency scans). Colors can be assigned to one of three mask types, and selected colors are indicated on the image. Work-in-progress can be previewed, and workspace resolution can be adjusted for larger images. Fluid Mask requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later, and Adobe Photoshop 7.0 or higher.
In Brief: Adobe Photoshop TV a new weekly video podcast--with the first episode now available--from the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), featuring "The Photoshop Guys:" Scott Kelby, Dave Cross and Matt Kloskowski.... Total Training today announced the availability of Total Training for Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 ($200), which provides an in-depth overview of the company's award-winning web development tool.... BeLight Software, developer of Mac OS X productivity software, launches New Academic Program Pricing with up to 70 percent off its award-winning software: Business Card Composer, Mail Factory and Swift Publisher..... Digital Vision Graphics has posted a series of desktop pictures--in the style of Apple's recent Eminem iPod+iTunes ad--which feature a bright color palette mixed with urban imagery and graffiti.
Miglia Technology today announced that it has released version 2.5 of its Evolution TV software. Version 2.5 has a redesigned interface and includes user feature requests such as 'Timeshift', enabling users to pause, rewind and forward live TV. Version 2.5 also allows users to access and synchronise with the online TV guide TVTV.com in several European countries. EvolutionTV is a USB 2.0 digital video recorder that offers MPEG-2/4 and DivX hardware compression; the software allows users to record TV, schedule recordings, access Online TV guides and more. The device can leverage compression technology to store hours of television programs on a single DVD. It is available for $250 (€210) and requires 1GHz PowerPC G4 and Mac OS X 10.3 or later. The Evolution TV v2.5 software is a free update for current owners of the device.
nova media today introduced Globetrotter COMBO EDGE, a universal PC-Data Card for EDGE- and GPRS-connections around the globe with support of 850-, 900-, 1800- and 1900 MHz networks. EDGE allows download speeds with up to 236 kbit/s and upload speeds up to 118 kbit/s and will replace the slower GPRS technique within many mobile networks, according to nova media. The card automatically defaults to the GPRS-connection, if no EDGE-compatible network is available. The card bundles Mobile High Speed 3G software along with more than 250 connection settings for automatic setup for many EDGE- and GPRS-networks around the world. Globetrotter COMBO EDGE features a retractable internal antenna and can be left in the PowerBook when not in use (only 4 mm sticking out of the Data Card slot). It is available for €340 and requires a PC-Card slot running Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
IBM says it will continue to focus on both the server and embedded markets, despite Apple's planned transition to Intel-based processors, according to an eWEEK article that provides some interesting details on the new dual-core PowerPC 970MP chips used in Apple's new Power Mac G5s. The report says the 970MP, compared with its 970FX predecessor, will have twice the cache, a wider range of frequency tuning and voltage scaling, as well as the ability to run one or two cores. "...Initial tests showed a 2.5GHz 970MP reaching a score of 1,438 in the SPECint test, with a 2,076 score in the SPECfp test."
Apple yesterday added a large collection of Chinese music to the US version of the iTunes Music Store. Through a deal with The Orchard, the leading distributor and marketer of independent music in the world, iTunes now features the exclusive western launch of China's No. 1 paid download, "Mouse Loves Rice", along with thousands of other tracks from 20 of China's largest music labels. The Chinese music catalog includes an exclusive digital-only Jackie Chan charity track as well as a diverse selection of music that showcases the latest Chinese hip-hop, rap, rock, traditional and cultural music.
Xantrex Technology has introduced the XPower Pocket Inverter 100 and 175, which allow people on the go to conveniently operate or charge a wide range of mobile devices such as a laptop, cell phone, iPod or Blackberry. The XPower Pocket Inverters convert 12-volt DC battery power from a vehicle or airplane into usable household alternating current (AC) electricity, to run laptops, portable DVD players and other mobile devices on the go. In addition to a standard wall outlet, these inverters include an integrated USB power outlet, which is perfect for recharging a cell phone, iPod, Blackberry and other mobile electronic devices. Weighing only 0.5 pounds, the XPower Pocket Inverter 100 is the lightest on the market, and with its slim design, it can easily fit inside a briefcase, vehicle glove box or laptop bag.
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TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe