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iTunes access restored
In Brief: Users of earlier versions of iTunes v4.7.3 are now able to access the iTunes Music Store, after the company had blocked access following the introduction of iTunes 6.0.... A medium level security risk in PHP iCalendar 2.0 (all releases) along with a workable exploit can be resolved by updating the package or manually applying a patch.... Osirix enables medical professionals to view medical images on their iPods, saving them and the hospitals they work for thousands of dollars in expensive equipment.... A new section of the iTunes Music Store allows users to access s Stanford-related content, including faculty lectures, interviews, music and sports..... The late Rosa Parks, who was featured in Apple's Think Different campaign, was honored by Apple on Thursday with a tribute on its homepage.... Archos today launched the Gmini 402 Pocket Multimedia Center, its portable digital entertainment device that will compete with Apple's fifth-generation video-capable iPod.
Hotmail bug affects Mail
Mac users using Apple's bundled Mac OS X email client may not be able to send email to Hotmail and MSN users. Users on Apple's support forums are reporting a problem with Microsoft's Hotmail and MSN email service that is preventing users from multiple providers from sending messages to the Microsoft email services, according to vnunet.com. The report says that "email messages addressed at Hotmail and MSN addresses weren't being delivered. The problem doesn't occur if a copy of the message is sent to the user's own account. Changing the priority setting from 'normal' to either high or low also provides a workaround... Microsoft was made aware of the issues with the Apple users on Tuesday. The company acknowledged the problem and said it has been working on a solution. As of Thursday afternoon there was still no fix and Microsoft couldn't provide any background information on what was causing the problems." The same issue affected Comcast customers last week and is currently affecting users of the Canadian broadband providers Rogers and Cogeco.
Mac users take back seat
Mac users are second-class citizens again with at least one employer shutting out them out from its Web employment application. The American Express website shuns Mac users when they attempt to apply online for employment with the following message: "at this time, the system does not support Mac environments. If you don't have access to a PC at home or work, please check out a local public library for internet access, local internet cafes, or the nearest government Work Force Center." "I am amazed that a Fortune 100 company would effectively shut out a good portion of possible candidates," the individual stated. Some people reported being able to file an application online using Safari or Internet Explorer for the Mac, while others encountered glitches, according to a report from News.com. American Express uses a company called BrassRing to manage its online job applications; however the firms' software doesn't support Macs at this time. BrassRing claims to be releasing a newer version in December, however, that will be Firefox-compatible to support Mac users, according to the report.
United Virtualities Group has released HotRecorder for Media, media recorder and converter tool designed to record and convert iTunes and Yahoo music files into universal formats, removing copyright protection while maintaining sound file quality. Both Apple and Yahoo have service terms that forbid circumvention of copy-protection, and the software carries a disclaimer stating that it isn't for converting audio files you don't own. Mookie Tenembaum, founder of United Virtualities, stated that his company merely provides the software and cannot police its usage, adding that it's no different from a knife manufacturer that can't control whether its product is used for murder, according to a report from Associated Press. HotRecorder for Media is currently only available for Microsoft Windows systems, and is priced at $20.
ABC \"vidcasts\" news
ABC News stations have begun "vidcasting" some of their TV news bulletins on the iTunes Music Store. The term "vidcasting", derived from "podcasting", describes video content made available over the internet, specifically for iPod owners, and usually through the iTunes. ABC's affiliates WABC-TV of New York and WLS-TV of Chicago are producing programs designed for the fifth-generation iPod, and WLS-TV is releasing its weekly NewsViews analysis program while taking advantage of the new features in iTunes, according to a report from journalism.co.uk. WLS-TV's online operations manager Kevin Carpenter stated that "it can currently be viewed in iTunes 4.9 and above, with quality suitable for full screen computer playback, [...] in iTunes 6.0, the WLS-TV video podcast also shows up in the new "Videos" section, the same place as ABC videos purchased from the iTunes music store." WABC-TV is vidcasting its weekly Eyewitness News Up Close show, hosted by Diana Williams, for free according to the report.
Gmini 402 Pocket device
Archos today launched the Gmini 402 Pocket Multimedia Center, its portable digital entertainment device that will compete with Apple's fifth-generation video-capable iPod. The device plays DVD-quality video, displays photos, plays protected Windows Media audio/video files, and acts a a USB host for direct file transfer from digital cameras to other devices. Features include a 20GB hard drive, Microsoft PlaysForSure compatibility, support for both protected download and subscription music services, a 2.2-inch color LCD, and a sleek metallic casing. The Gmini 402 measures 4.17 x 2.37 x 0.69 inches, weighs 5.64 ounces, and offers capacity for up to 80 hours of video, 200,000 photos or 10,000 songs. The device autosyncs with Windows Media Player 10 on both Macs and PCs to ease media transfers, and supports MPEG-4, MP3 and WMA audio files. The Archos Gmini 402 is shipping for $300 with a USB cable, USB host adapter, AC power charger, quick start guide, and a protective pouch.
PHP 5 Bootcamp
Big Nerd Ranch today announced the next iteration of PHP 5 Bootcamp, set for January 30th through February 3rd, 2006 in a retreat setting outside Atlanta, GA. The class instructor is Mark Fenoglio and offers five days of intensive class covering the ins and outs of PHP 5 development; it takes place at the Historic Banning Mills; Specific topics include developing mastery in using PHP to build modular websites and applications, understanding how PHP complements other web technologies such as CSS, XML and PDF, managing users and implementing rights hierarchies, and creating web services. The class price of $3500 includes lodging, all meals, original instruction materials, 24-hour lab access, and transportation to and from the Atlanta airport.
BW on iPod lawsuit
The only real beneficiaries of a class action lawsuit over scratched screens on Apple's tiny iPod nano music player may be the attorneys, BusinessWeek said in a report today. The latest legal controversy surrounding Apple began this week as a customer who bought ann iPod nano took it upon himself to file a class action in a U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif. His complaint: The display on the device tends to scratch easily. Jason Tomczak, the lead plaintiff in the nano case, is alleging that Apple knew about defects to the screen yet didn't recall the affected units, passing on the "expense, hassle, and frustration" of getting a replacement on to consumers. He's represented by Steven Berman, who said, "I'm surprised they don't just own up to it. It seems pretty obvious there's a problem."
In brief: Mercedes-Benz announced the first 2,300 CLK350 and CLK500 coupes produced for the 2006 model year will be equipped with an iPod integration kit and a 4GB silver iPod Mini at no additional charge, according to Leftlane News.... Newer Technology announced that its RoadTrip! plus works with iPod nano, as well as fifth-generation iPods.... MacSpeech announced that it appointed Softline UK as a new distributor for its speech recognition products for Mac OS X.... Alias announced that its Maya software has been chosen as the chief 3D animation technology at Lucasfilm Animation Singapore.... iPodNN noted that Hutchings Software unveiled Bosco's Pod Pouch, its lanyard case for Apple's fifth-generation iPod ($40) and iPod nano ($35) inspired by the female kangaroo.... iPodNN also noted that iSkin rolled out the iPod Duo ($30, shown at right), providing double-layer protection for the Nano with shock-resistant silicone.
iPod Duo skins for Nano
iSkin today rolled out the iPod Duo, providing protection for the iPod Nano. A dual-layer shock-resistant silicone skin guards against bumps, scratches, and dirt. iPod Duo's ship with a clear screen protector that sits between the two layers of silicone, and a transparent wheel protector provides smooth scrolling action while protecting the Nano's clickwheel. The RevoClip 2, a removable rotary belt clip, increases portability on-the-go. Additional features include an anti-slip grip surface with side "goose bumps", and an inner layer with eight point shock absorbers to reduce or prevent damage caused by sudden impacts. The iPod Duo is available in a variety of two-tone color combinations that include "Ultra Glo" glow-in-the-dark color schemes for $30.
Civilization III, IV
Aspyr announced today that it will publish Sid Meier's Civilization III: Complete for Macintosh, with an anticipated release in December. In addition, Aspyr also announced plans to publish Sid Meier's Civilization IV for the Mac in early 2006. Mac users will be able to "take advantage of the entire Civilization III experience" in anticipation of next year's Civilization IV. Civilization III: Complete includes the original game, Civilization III, plus both expansion packs, Conquests and Play the World. This bundle introduces Civilization III multiplayer capabilities to the Macintosh platform for the first time. Civilization III: Complete is rated "E" for "Everyone" and will soon be available for preorder through Aspyr's website.
AAPL called a top pick
Apple Computer was cited as a top pick for investors despite the "difficult" fourth-quarter looming ahead. A report from the Department of Commerce showed that order growth for computers and related products slowed significantly in September, according to a report from Forbes.com. Robert Semple, a Credit Suisse First Boston analyst, said in a research report that new orders of $8.2 billion for PCs, storage devices, terminals, and peripherals, increased six percent from September 2004. Semple said: "while industry-wide double-digit unit growth is usually nothing to scoff at, it is clear that the PC market's unit progress is being almost completely offset by price declines, particularly in notebooks, and a secular shift to the low end of the market owing to the robust growth in emerging markets including China, India, and Latin America."
Yahoo doubles pricing
Starting November 1st, Yahoo will double the price of its online music subscription service, ending the promotion that the company hoped would encourage consumers to use Yahoo's service instead of Apple's iTunes music store. Yahoo will charge approximately $120 per year for access to over one million songs which can be transferred to portable music players, up from $60 per year during the promotional period, according to a report from the Associated Press. While Yahoo offers song "rentals", these songs are incompatible with Apple's wildly popular iPod digital music player. Additionally, many consumers have expressed a desire to own the music that they buy, something that the iTunes music store accommodates. Yahoo's service, on the other hand, renders songs unplayable if subscriptions aren't continuously paid. The new pricing is still just below that of Napster and RealNetworks, which both charge just under $15 per month.
FileMaker at Apple stores
FileMaker today announced that FileMaker Pro 8 will be featured in selected Apple U.S. retail stores every Wednesday during the month of November. During "business days," to be held on November 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th, a free workshop will be offered to learn how FileMaker Pro 8 can easily manage people, projects, assets and other business information. Attendees will also get a live demo of FileMaker Business Productivity Kit. A list of participating Apple store locations and workshop times is available from the retail section of Apple's website.
Cheetah3D 2.5 released
Hutchings Pod Pouch
Hutchings Software today unveiled Bosco's Pod Pouch, its lanyard case for Apple's fifth-generation iPod and iPod nano. Inspired by the female kangaroo, Bosco's Pod Pouch stores the iPod and earbud headphones in two separate pouches. The front of the case depicts an image of the iPod itself, and the embroidered clickwheel is positioned to allow playing, pausing, and jumping to the previous or next song without removing the iPod from the pouch. The pouch lining matches the embroidery and earbuds, protecting the iPod from surface scratches. A smooth, adjustable lanyard cord protects the neck from surface scratches and irritation. The earbud pouch's position is adjustable by sliding it up and down the lanyard cord, and displays an embroidered speaker on its front. Bosco's Pod Pouch for iPod nano will be available November 8th for $35, with pre-order discounted pricing of $30 through November 7th. The Pod Pouch for fifth-generation iPod will be available November 22nd for $40, with pre-order discounted pricing of $35 through November 21st.
PowerBoost for iChat AV
Ecamm Network has released PowerBoost, a new shareware add-on for iChat AV 3 that makes multi-party conferences possible from any Mac. Apple's website says that iChat AV 3 by default requires a dual 1GHz G4 machine or any G5-based Mac to initiate a 4-person video conference and either a 1GHz G4-, dual 800GHz G4-, or G5-based Mac to participate in a multi-party video conference. PowerBoost allows users to use any G4-based Mac to both participate in and initiate multi-party video conferences. "Harness and focus the power of your G4 processor to bring your family and friends together. Invite up to 10 iChat users to an audio conference. Host a 3-way or 4-way video chat." The software features a visual display monitor of the available processing power on each Mac. PowerBoost is available as a seven-day demo. Registration is $8.
Intego NetBarrier X4
Intego today announced the latest version of its flagship product, NetBarrier X4. The new version of the personal firewall software is optimized for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, offering both antivandal and internet filters. Version 4 features an updated interface, improved firewall protection and optimization, better UDP port restrictions, support for different security policies for each type of attack, new stop-lists and trusted groups, per-port filtering for each application (anti-spyware), new monitoring options for a range of ports, and more. It also includes both Intego and NetBarrier widgets for Tiger's Dashboard. It requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later with some features only available under Tiger. The software is expected to ship in early January 2006 for $70 with upgrades priced at $45.
Replacement iPod batteries
Sonnet today unveiled a new line of high-capacity replacement batteries for first through fourth-generation iPods, as well as iPod minis. Replacement batteries offer up to 78 percent greater capacity over original batteries, allowing play-times to exceed 20 hours. All supplies and required tools are included, as well as an instructional video that can be played in English, French, German, and Japanese. Replacement batteries for first and second-generation iPods are priced at $40, while all other replacement batteries are priced at $30. The batteries are expected to be available in November.
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