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Apple extends promo
Apple has quietly extended its printer rebate promo through the middle of January 2006. The "Choose the perfect printer with your new Mac" promotion offers up to a $100 mail-in rebate when users purchase a qualifying printer along with any new Mac (defined as any shipping product during the promotion). The rebate is good for purchases (on the same receipt) between September 27, 2005, and January 16, 2006. It includes a variety of Canon, Epson, and HP printers, but it is unclear whether it is limited to Apple Stores. The mail-in coupon says that customers may purchase and claim up to five (5) qualifying Mac and printer combinations; however, only one redemption coupon per household will be honored.
iZotope Studio Bundle
M-Audio today announced the limited availability of the iZotope 64-bit Studio Processing Bundle incorporating iZotope's three 64-bit audio processors--Ozone 3, Spectron and Trash. "By integrating several effects into one processing system with pristine 64-bit fidelity, each iZotope plug-in replaces several competing tools, optimizes workflow, and maximizes signal quality. Most importantly, these incredible-sounding processors expand your creative palette with unique effects that simply aren't available anywhere else--especially when combined." M-Audio says that the limited-edition collection will only be available through the holidays. The iZotope 64-bit Studio Processing Bundle is available now through the holidays at a discounted price of $450 (a $578 value). The minimum system requirements 600MHz G4-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.2.
Read-Write Gold for Mac
Texthelp Systems is now shipping a Mac-compatible version of its line of software for schools: Read&Write Gold for Mac for students with low proficiency in reading and English. Read&Write is a literacy productivity tool that helps struggling students in grades 3 and up access curriculum content on a computer and complete reading, writing and research assignments independently. The program serves as a personal coach, leveling the playing field for all students with reading problems including English Language Learners and students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. Read&Write offers an easy-to-use companion window that floats on top of most applications to offer immediate access to the 13 literacy support features. It is available for Mac OS X 10.2 or later for $645 or $4,500 (network license).
LiveQuartz Image Editor 1.2 (free) is a simple image editor based on layers and CoreImage filters. Layers are presented on the left side of the workspace, while filters are presented on the right side. LiveQuartz includes image drag-and-drop support, and is available in English, Chinese, German, and French.
[Download - 2.8MB]
iSmartTrain 2.0 ($40) is designed for athletes and fitness enthusiasts to track training, monitor progress, and build a training history. iSmartTrain can download data from Polar S410, S510, S520, S610, S625x, S710, S720, S725, S810, XTrainer or Accurex II heart rate Monitors. Version 2.0 can download data from S410, S510, and S520 devices, and offers TRIMPs measurements. [Download - 4MB]
Macs Cue 1.1 ($20) is a sound effect player for live performance. The update plays .wav, .au, AIFF, MP3, and AAC files, and offers adjustable start/stop times for each cue. Additional features of version 1.1 include adjustable fade-in/fade-out times for each cue, and adjustable fade time when setting a cue to auto-fade the previous cue. [Download - 527KB]
Desktop Icon Manager 2.0 (free) saves and restores icon positions on the desktop, replacing them in their pre-determined locations when changing screen resolutions. The applescript counteracts the effects of Games and other applications that adjust the resolution and make a mess of desktop icons. [Download - 162KB]
SEEdit Maxi 3.2.0 ($30) generates XHTML and HTML 4.01 code, and offers editable tables as well as an advanced tag editor that handles classes. Version 3.2.0 is rewritten from scratch, features a new text engine, and adds new Cocoa features. [Download - 2.9MB]
VelaTerra 1.1 ($20) is an interactive almanac and world clock that displays and compares local times, daylight hours, and moon info for time zones and cities throughout the world. The update adds hundreds of cities, includes expanded coverage of U.S. cities, adds a UTC (Greenwich) item, corrects orientation of the moon image for infrequent special cases, automatically checks for software updates, and fixes a problem related to saving place sets and custom places. [Download - 3MB]
Video iPod supply
Some analysts are suggesting that Apple is having a hard time meeting demand for its latest video-capable iPod, based on the fact that it's taking the company between five and seven days to fill online orders, combined with other signs. "They can't seem to build them fast enough," said analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. Supplies of a specific component that Apple's CFO Peter Oppenheimer noted was causing a bottleneck for Nano production -- probably a light-emitting diode backlight used to brighten the display screen -- could have carried over to the video iPod, according to analyst Vinita Jakhanwal of iSuppli. Apple has also been looking for a second supplier for the LCD screens, as adding a second supplier would help meet demand, according to a report from BusinessWeek online. Analyst Shawn Slayton of SG Cowen, who covers PortalPlayer -- a company that supplies Apple with audio chips for the iPod -- expects Apple to sell between seven and eight million video-capable iPods in 2006, according to the report. Meanwhile, at least one analyst notes that iPod nano be more readily available.
Zoo Tycoon 2 due in Nov.
MacSoft, a division of Destineer, today announced it will release the Mac version of Microsoft's top-selling "Zoo Tycoon 2" later this month. Originally published for the Mac by Aspyr Media, "Zoo Tycoon 2" is described as "a wildly fun game in which you build and operate your very own zoo. The 3D first-person game offers "views that get you up close to the highly detailed giraffes, tigers, crocodiles, elephants, and more than 25 other types of animals in your zoo. And, you'll be crafting even more creative zoos with a dazzling array of new building tools and objects, photo mode options, easy terrain altering options, rivers, a new zoom mode and 3D graphics that let you keep an even closer eye on the action." It will be available later this month for $40.
Python XL for 17-in PB
Booq today introduced its its Python XL, a rugged, large-capacity backpack ideally suited for the 17-inch PowerBook. Booq's Python XL protects laptops inside a "bombproof," rigid-frame compartment, and features a weather-resistant ballistic nylon exterior, waterproof zippers, padded pockets and compartments for large and small items, as well as a dedicated, secure iPod pocket with non-scratch lining. The Python also comes with a compact clip-on shoulder bag called Ecto that can be used for an iPod, wallet, small digital camera, and cell phone; it can be used on its own or in combination with the Python XL. It will ship on November 15 for $200.
37M iPods this year?
Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster today maintained an "outperform" rating and a $60 price target on Apple Computer, and believes that the company will sell over 37 million iPods by the end of the calendar year. The firm says that Apple's domination in digital music is a "critical piece" to the overall potential of the company, but says it does not believe that the iPod is the only growth avenue. "Indirectly, we expect the iPod to continue to be a foundation for growth in other parts of Apple's business, and we expect that by the end of CY05 more than 37m iPods will have shipped, providing Apple with a greater scope of awareness for various products ("halo" effect). It appears that this phenomenon has begun to take effect, with a record 1.23m Macs shipped in the September quarter.
Napster goes to college
Cornell University yesterday held "Napster night" to promote Napster to Cornell students, a move that Napster hopes will lure them away from Apple's iTunes Music Store. Joseph Rudnick '08, the other Napster Campus Representative said "last year alone 10,000 Cornell students registered for Napster. This was the most successful first year for the Napster project out of any of the universities involved," according to a report from The Cornell Daily Sun. The problem facing Napster isn't the cost of the service, but rather enticing students to use the service, because Napster's music is incompatible with Apple's iPod digital music player. Recently, an NPD study found that iPods account for 92.1 percent of all MP3 players on the market.
OtterBox for iPod nano
Otter Products has unveiled the OtterBox for iPod nano, its waterproof case designed to protect the Nano from the elements. The interactive case design is waterproof up to three feet or one meter, fits iPod nano 2GB and 4GB models, and is offered with a lifetime unconditional guarantee. The Nano's clickwheel is protected by a thin membrane that remains fully functional through the case, and an included belt clip provides cable management for headphones. The external headphone jack is compatible with any standard mini stereo plug, and when combined with waterproof headphones the OtterBox for iPod nano allows the device to be worn while swimming. (Pricing and availability were unavailable.)
Intaglio 2.5 ($90) is a drawing and illustration application for Mac OS X that works with iWork and ClarisDraw. New features include the ability to open and export scalable vector graphics, CoreImage effects, Spotlight importer, and a suite of Automator actions.
[Download - 3.3MB]
browseback 1.0 beta ($30) views, searches, saves, and shares previously-visited web pages. browseback surfs through thumbnails of browser history, searches history with keywords, exports web pages as PDFs to save or share via email, and will be available in English, Japanese, German, French, and Italian (beta available in English only). [Download - 1.2MB]
RSSDreamFeeder 1.2 ($60) publishes RSS feeds directly from Macromedia Dreamweaver without requiring knowledge of RSS/XML code. RSSDreamFeeder supports RSS Meta Data titles, descriptions, images, authors, and rights. [Download - 565KB]
inXout .2b ($13/month) monitors a remote Macintosh, sending a report every few minutes to a master server. The master server watches the connection, notes the last restart, makes sure specified applications are running, and more. [Download - 3.6MB]
miXscope 2.0 ($15) enables the QX3/QX3-plus, QX5, and MiScope microscope users to take snapshots or create time-lapse movies. Users can also add time stamps, text comments, image overlays, make measurements and/or draw on live view images. [Download - 376KB]
Readerware 2.95 ($90) catalogs large collections of books, music, and videos. Version 2.95 offers iPod support, a new thumbnail view, drag-and-drop enhancements, and multiple-column sorting. The current and previous versions also support barcode scanning with ISBNs, LCCNs, or UPCs. [Download - 5MB]
Jobs lashes out at author
On Friday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs lashed out at an author who wrote an article about the untold story of Jobs' biological father, according to a report The New York Daily News. Biographer Fredric Alan Maxwell last week emailed Jobs a 4,000-word article he wrote for Fast Company magazine about Jobs' biological father, reportedly a Syrian immigrant and political science professor named Abdulfattah Jandali. The report says that Jobs simply replied with "Are you a nut case?" and signed the email with his traditional one-line closing "Steve." Maxwell, who says that Jobs doesn't enjoy close scrutiny, responded back "Are you?"
5G iPod invisibleSHIELD
The Think Different Store today began shipping invisibleSHIELD for the fifth-generation video-capable iPod, a transparent film that covers both the front and back of the iPod. invisibleSHIELD measures eight one-thousandth of an inch and is made from material that was originally designed to protect helicopter blades. The cover is easily removed, and doesn't leave behind sticky adhesive upon removal. invisibleSHIELD for the fifth-generation iPod is available for $25.
Home iPod solutions
Like the car-stereo makers before them, the companies that develop high-end audio gear are starting to jump on the iPod bandwagon. Their "whole-home" audio systems have long allowed you to listen to music in any room of a house and remotely control tunes using screens or keypads -- "now they're coming out with gadgets that let you pop your iPod into a dock when you walk in the front door and listen to your favorite music throughout the house," reports Business Week. These solutions are not cheap, and they're "far from perfect." The iPod adapters run $600 to $800. To make the adapters work, you need to plug them into systems that include amplifiers, speakers, touch-pad remotes, and distributed audio servers that let you play whatever music you want in whatever room you happen to be in. "Only one of the three systems I tested met that benchmark -- Crestron's $700 CEN-iPod. And it did so only because it was hooked up to a 15-inch touch-screen monitor, also made by Crestron, that costs $12,000."
OS X 10.4.3 problems
In Brief: One MacNN reader notes that the Mac OS X 10.4.3 update, released yesterday, creates problems accessing some (state-specific) Bank of America's onlinne banking website via Safari.... David P. Meyer & Associates today formally announced that it has filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit against Apple, claiming it knowingly manufactured, marketed and distributed defective iPod nanos.... Adobe today announced that InDesign and InCopy editorial software applications are being by used by several large newspaper publishing workflows, including The Post Gazette (Pittsburgh) and Star Tribune (Minneapolis/St. Paul) as well as The Guardian (UK), and The Tribune (Albuquerque, NM).... Sonnet is offering a $20 mail-in rebate through the end of the year on its PodFreq mini, an FM transmitter, integrated dock and protective case.... SKProducts today unveiled the CarClip for iPod Mini, its clear case designed to suspend the Mini from the rear view mirror.... RadTech is taking pre-orders for the Cocoon for Nano, its semi-rigid clamshell clip case with a secondary translucent skin that offers protection for the device. [problems with CA-BofA corrected]
Cocoon for iPod nano
RadTech today announced that it is taking pre-orders for the Cocoon for Nano, its semi-rigid clamshell clip case with a secondary translucent skin that offers protection for the device. Cocoon for Nano accommodates both two and four GB Nanos, and provides protection with full access to the clickwheel and all ports. A silicone skin is included with a transparent display cover, as well as a secure internal pocket for earbuds and miscellaneous items, such as bank cards and cash. The included lanyard secures the Nano, or the entire clamshell case around the neck, while a rugged, low-profile spring clip secures the Cocoon to your clothing. Cocoon for Nano is expected to ship in mid-November for $30.
FeedForAll v1.5 released
NotePage has released FeedForAll v1.5, a software application designed to help publishers create, edit and publish RSS feeds and podcasts. The new release of FeedForAll Mac fully supports Apple's iTunes extensions, giving publishers and easy way to create iTune compatible podcasts. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is the standard for internet content syndication. FeedForAll can manage and create RSS feeds and podcasts, offering an updated wizard that walks users through the creation of iTune compatible podcasts and an FTP upload feature makes the publishing of feeds quick and easy. FeedForAll Mac can be used to create and maintain an unlimited number of RSS feeds using the feature-rich WYSWIG HTML editor. It requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 and costs $40.
CarClip for iPod mini
SKProducts today unveiled the CarClip for iPod Mini, its clear case designed to suspend the Mini from the rear view mirror of a vehicle at eye level. The CarClip is compatible with most FM transmitters and audio cassette adapters, and ships with a set of rubber "Fishband" motion buffers in various colors. The motion buffers go through the CarClip and around the center knob of the rear view mirror to prevent swaying. CarClip is made from a single piece of laser-cut, hand-molded, clear acrylic plastic designed to fit the iPod mini. The CarClip also comes with a Universal Auto Attachment and a pair of 3M CommandStrips for older model vehicle compatibility or mounting in other locations. SKProducts is holding a two-day launch promotion starting November 1st -- offering every 7th customer a refund for the purchase price of the case. CarClip is expected to be available on November 8th for $25.
Dell fails to meet goals
While Apple continues to enjoy growth in both its computer and music sectors, rival Dell's "heady days of outpacing its rivals are ending," says BusinessWeek. "Look beyond the surface, and the long-term situation at the world's largest PC maker may be even worse." As the computer giant approaches $60 billion a year in sales, it has now missed expectations for two consecutive quarters. The shortfalls are a sign it may be struggling to manage costs while it tries to sell enough computers to maintain a lofty revenue-growth rate, and keep gaining market share. At the same time, many observers say Dell has been cutting costs so much in order to hit financial targets in recent quarters that it has compromised other measures of performance, including customer support and, possibly, product quality. (In 2001, Michael Dell promised to "shut down" Apple. Today, shares of Apple are at record levels, while Dell is on the decline)
3G UMTS PC-Data cards
nova media today announced it has added support for two new 3G UMTS PC-Data cards for Mac OS X. Globetrotter FUSION and Globetrotter FUSION QUAD allow 3G UMTS and GPRS connections around the globe. "These PC-Data cards are carried by many network providers and are sometimes the only 3G UMTS PC-Data card solution available," according to the company. Both cards require Mac OS X version 10.4.3 and Mobile High Speed 3G version 4.22 to operate with Mac OS X. Mobile High Speed 3G software is a mobile internet setup wizard that includes more than 250 connection settings for 3G UMTS-, EDGE- and GPRS-networks around the globe; it is available for €75 (plus VAT). [priced corrected]
Newer Battery Conditioners
Newer Technology has released a line of Intelligent Battery Charger/Conditioners for select Mac laptops. The Intelligent Battery Charger/Conditioners are designed to both charge and condition batteries, offering two bays that charge the batteries. The second bay also conditions new or 'abused' batteries--those that may have incomplete charging cycles that prevent full cell use--providing for full utilization of available run-time capacity. "NewerTech NuPowertm batteries offer the highest capacities and longest run-times available for Apple laptop models," O'Connor added. "And now NewerTech's intelligent battery charging stations allow users to maximize their use of stock or NewerTech high-capacity batteries." They are available immediately for $150 for all Apple PowerBook G4 and select Apple iBook G3/G4 models.
Call of Duty Deluxe
Aspyr Media today announced that it will release Call of Duty Deluxe, a bundle including Call of Duty and the Call of Duty: United Offensive expansion pack. "In war, no one fights alone. Looking through the eyes of American, British and Russian soldiers, Call of Duty Deluxe thrusts players alongside their squadmates into authentic action across Fortress Europe's most historic battlefields. Experience the cinematic intensity of World War II's epic battles including D-Day, the Russian Charge at Stalingrad and the Battle for Berlin." Due in December, Call of Duty Deluxe will soon be available for preorder through Aspyr's website.
Nkon D200 digital SLR
Nikon today introduced its new D200, a new high-performance digital SLR camera that combines new technologies with advanced features inherited from Nikon's venerable D2X professional digital SLR camera. The camera offers a newly developed 10.2 effective megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD image sensor as well as a sophisticated 1005-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II system. Nikon says the camera powers up in 0.15 seconds, features a 50 millisecond shutter release lag time and can shoot five frames per second with a "drastically shortened" viewfinder blackout time of just 105 milliseconds between shots. It features a bright viewfinder that offers 0.94x magnification and a 2.5 inch LCD screen with ultra-wide 170 degrees viewing angle. The D200 also offers new 11-area autofocus system, robust control of Nikon's i-TTL Creative Lighting System and advanced Wi-Fi image-transmission options. The D200 will be available in late December 2005 for $1,700.
Real SQL Server 2006
REAL Software today announced REAL SQL Server 2006, its multi-user relational database engine for use with REALbasic. "Our vision is to provide our customers with a complete solution for their application development needs," stated Geoff Perlman, president and CEO of REAL Software. "Because REAL SQL Server 2006 is based upon the same engine as the REAL SQL Database built into REALbasic, our customers have an easy path for moving from single user to multi- user deployments." Now in beta, the new database offers an easy installation, configuration and administration with a straightforward administration application, according to the developer. REAL SQL Server 2006 is based on technology acquired from SQLabs last year. REAL said it will announce pricing at a later date. REAL SQL Server 2006 is expected to ship first half of next year and is in beta now. The beta is open to all REALbasic customers with a current update plan.
Mac Recovery Bundles
WiebeTech today announced it has updated its line of Mac Recovery hardware and software bundles to include WiebeTech's updated DriveDock docking products and Prosoft Engineering's recently upgraded Data Rescue II software. The new DriveDock features allow users to identify that the host is attached and that power is operational, while the updated Data Rescue II has a new user interface, supports more file types and offers faster scanning and recovery. It's optimized for Mac OS X Tiger, Panther and Jaguar. Each product in the new Mac Recovery line from WiebeTech is composed of a DriveDock, a FireWire cable, and Data Rescue II software. It is available in FireWire-only configurations for both 3.5-inch desktop and 2.5-inch portable drives for $200 or in SATA/Combo (FW 400/800 and USB) for $280 or Combo-only ($200) configurations.
Intuos3 6x11 pent tablet
Wacom today introduced its new Intuos3 6x11 pen tablet, which it says is specifically designed for multiple monitors or a widescreen display, such as the 23-inch Apple Cinema HD display. The Intuos3 6x11 features an active area with an aspect ratio that matches the screen aspect ratio of either a widescreen display or two standard displays used together. The tablet supports Adobe Photoshop Corel Painter and over 100 other leading software applications as well as offers Programmable ExpressKeys and Touch Strips for modifier keys, keyboard shortcuts, scrolling, zooming, controlling brush size and more. The cordless, battery-free Grip Pen offers 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity. It is $390 and includes Photoshop Elements 3 for digital photo editing, Corel Painter Essentials 2 for creating natural media art, nik Color Efex Pro 2 IE for selectively applying photographic enhancements, and Wacom Brushes 2.
Markzware has announced Q2ID, an Adobe InDesign plugin that can quickly and easily convert Quark Xpress documents to the native InDesign document format. The conversion tool allows Adobe InDesign users to convert all elements of QuarkXPress 3/4/5/6 documents, including, page size, style sheets, fonts, text, images, layers, lines, tables, etc. provided Adobe InDesign supports the converted item. "This includes the intricate details of all objects of the document such as exact page positioning, color models, fonts and styles, images, as well as precise text attributes. Important items such as Tables, Layers, Blends, Runarounds, Linked Text boxes and Anchored boxes, Pantone colors and other color models are instantly re-created within InDesign. Conversion is enabled with a single click using InDesign's File->Open." It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later and is available for $200.
Norpath Elements 3.2
Norpath today released Norpath Elements 3.2, the latest version of its interactive authoring software for rapidly creating learning, multimedia, and information applications. Version 3.2 offers support for QuickTime 7 and Mac OS X Tiger as well as multiple master page support, the ability to convert text to vector shapes, a new search feature for quickly locating elements, and other enhancements and fixes. Norpath Elements can quickly create powerful, rich-media applications without having to write code or learn a scripting language. The interactive applications can be used for training applications, interactive multimedia for CD-ROM, courseware, etc. Norpaths Elements Studio ($500) is designed for both commercial and business developers, offering advanced features, multi-platform development and additional deployment options. Norpath Elements Designer is available for $250.
iMac G5 Transceiver
QuickerTek has released a new wireless transceiver for the iMac G5 that extends the computer's connectivity by up to 10 times. The company says that iMac G5 users can now connect to wireless networks that were previously out of range or simply improve the data rate of existing connections: "By adding ten times the normal RF power, the freedom to connect to longer distance wireless networks is a reality. Schools are delighted to be able to add iMacs at the far corners of buildings, without sacrificing signal strength or speed." The small QuickerTek iMac G5 Transceiver is not much larger than a antenna, clips temporarily onto the iMac case, and connects to the new AirPort card inside the iMac G5. It offers 500 milliwatts of RF power, more than 15 times the internal iMac transmitter of 30 milliwatts. The iMac G5 transceiver is available now for $200.
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