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Onkyo dock updated
Onkyo USA has announced that its current DS-A1 Remote Interactive (RI) dock is compatible with Apple's newest iPod models, including the iPod with video and the iPod nano (as well as previous iPod models). The DS-A1 Remote Interactive Dock acts as an audio and video interface between the iPod and Onkyo receivers and also acts as a battery charger for the device as well as enables users to operate key iPod control functions using the receiver's remote control. Onkyo says it has developed a new adapter insert to accommodate the smaller dimension of the iPod Nano. This adapter will ship with all new DS-A1 units, and individual adapters will be made available to all current owners of the DS-A1 at a nominal cost to cover shipping and handling charges.
Nano lawsuit expands
Consumers today from the United Kingdom and Mexico filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple Computer in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, claiming the new iPod nano is defectively designed allowing the screen to quickly become scratched with normal use. Much like the class-action lawsuit filed in late October on behalf of users in the US, the complaint alleges that Apple knew about the design flaw, but chose to ignore them in order to speed the product to market. The defect is a result of a much thinner layer of resin used in designing the Nano that does not provide adequate protection from scratching, according to the suit.
Tunecup iPod cradle
Tunewear todyay introduced the TUNECUP, its accessory designed to play iPod music/video inside a vehicle on-the-go. TuneCup connects directly to your stereo via audio-out, or utilizes a cassette adapter (not included) to route iPod tunes through your tape deck. An S-video port offers connectivity to your in-car AV system to view photos or watch video on any photo or video-capable iPod. The TUNECUP cradle has an adjustable slider on each side that fits all current iPods including the Mini, 3G, 4G, photo, and 5G models (14.5 - 19mm). The ball joint offers adjustable positioning for easy access. TUNECUP is available for $40 from Tunewear's website.
Zinc 2.5 released
Multidmedia today released Zinc 2.5, the latest version of its Macromedia Flash application development software. Version 2.5 offers 100 percent Flash compatibility, mdmScript 2.0, and synchronous execution using SWF2EXE to provide a Sync API for Mac OS X. Additional features include form based development; 100 percent standalone projectors; customizable projector window properties; AppleScript integration; single SWF export to both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows; and the ability to create organic-shaped Mac OS X projectors. Zinc 2.5 requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and Macromedia Flash 6, 7, or 8. Zinc 2.5 is priced at $300 per platform, or $500 for both the Mac and Windows platforms.
Thousands of video clips
showfootage.com announced it is now offering a selection of thousands of video clips for portable video players, such as Apple's fifth-generation iPod. Offerings range from live clips featuring flickering candles, tropical beaches or fireworks, to computer animated scenes with hundreds of different motifs and colors. Clips can be downloaded directly from the vendor's website, and the service can be used without a subscription. showfootage.com also features a free "clip of the week" that users can subscribe to as a podcast via the media service at Apple's iTunes Music Store. Video clips are priced from $1.25 each.
The Big Nerd Ranch (BNR) today announced its Objective-C Mini-Bootcamp, designed for Mac OS X users who wish to write their own applications. "Stay for two days, and go home an Objective-C programmer. Stay for five more days, and go home ready to write full-featured Cocoa applications." Students attending the class between February 11-12th will learn about: understanding classes, objects, and methods; understanding data types and expressions; defining classes and writing instance and class methods; using inheritance; polymorphism and dynamic typing; working with the preprocessor; and more. The Objective C Mini-Bootcamp can be taken on its own for $1000 or can be taken in conjunction with the Cocoa Bootcamp that runs February 13-17th. The $3,500 price includes lodging, all meals, original instruction materials, 24-hour lab access, and transportation to and from the Atlanta airport.
Preview of nanoDeco
Kiwali today unveiled the Kiwali nanoDeco for iPod nano, a set of two rigid "faceplates" that cover the face and back of the device through the use of a removable adhesive. "The nanoDeco is a natural follow-up to our exciting ShuffleDeco collection. We have a totally new set of very hip and sophisticated designs that will allow users to personalize the look of their iPod nanos." The nanoDeco is designed to provide limited protection from scratches and everyday hazards, is easily removable, and is expected to be available in December (pricing was unavailable).
Special reprint from MacTech: There has been a lot of excitement in the developer community around the release of Mac OS X 10.4. Unique technologies like Automator, Dashboard, and Spotlight are providing new opportunities for Mac developers to build unique tools that appeal to users everywhere. Today, we are going to walk through the process of developing for one of these great new technologies, Automator.
NBC, more content via net
NBC Universal's chairman and chief executive today announced that the company is prepared to offer more programming in new media outlets, but is unsure of the protections against piracy in some venues. Bob Wright, the NBC Universal chairman said "we can't provide them with content unless they can adequately protect it. [...] We have to protect it and we need to price it appropriately," according to a report from Reuters. Wright saw reporters today, issuing a study on the economic contribution of U.S. industries that rely on intellectual property to generate revenues, hoping to spur industry leaders--as well as legislators--in the fight against piracy.
iOrganize 6.0 ($20) stores notes, ideas, text clippings, web links, and more. New features include a fast SQL-based file format, a modern mail-like user interface, the ability to search the entire notepad, a category hierarchy, and the ability to export to an iPod.
[Download - 267KB]
Wings 4.1.0 ($25/year subscription) is a cross-platform relational database that manages bird records. Wings stores sightings data as well as the supporting taxonomic, location, observer, and source data. Version 4.1.0 adds a "Nest module", and simplifies data entry. [Download - 16.8MB]
MPEG Streamclip 1.5 (free) converts MPEG files and transport streams, as well as QuickTime, DV, AVI, DivX, and MPEG-4 files. Files can be edited with cut, copy, paste, and trim; users can set in/out points and convert them to muxed or demuxed files, or export them to QuickTime, AVI, DV and MPEG-4 files. [Download - 959KB]
BurnX Free 1.5 (free) burns CDs in multiple sessions -- as well as a hybrid format -- for compatibility with other platforms. BurnX Free supports drag-and-drop CD and DVD burning, as well as multiple sessions (for CDs only) and the ability to erase a CD or DVD. BurnX Free is localized in English, French, and Spanish. [Download - 1MB]
TivoTool 0.5.0 (free) is a cross-platform program to get recordings from your TiVo and convert them to a standard MPEG2 muxed format. The update offers an "Add to iTunes" option to produce iPod compatible video, fixes Audio sync issues with iTunes video, improves iTunes video quality, controls bitrate of iTunes videos in "Video" section of preferences, and more. [Download - 9.5MB]
Juice 1.0 (free) adds a real-life looking battery to your dashboard, indicating the current state of your laptop battery. Juice also displays the estimated remaining time until your battery is full or empty. [Download - 46.3KB]
Safari, Mac OS usage gains
Apple's Safari Web browser and the open-source Firefox browser are continuing to show gains in monthly browser usage stats, while the Mac OS maybe gaining ground in the overall usage market, according to a new report. October 2005 browser usage numbers indicated that Mozilla's Firefox browser, the No. 2 browser behind Microsoft's Internet Explorer, is regaining the momentum that had stalled for the last three months, while Safari continued to show modest, but steady growth, according to the report from Net Applications, a provider of Web-based applications that measure, monitor and market Web sites for Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SME). The firm said that over the last 12 months, Apple's Safari browser is now the No. 3 browser in the market, showing steady growth in browser usage and made gains each and every month. One year ago, Safari held 1.46 percent of the market, while October 2005 numbers showed that it grew by over 70 pecent to 2.5 percent marketshare.
VoiceStick for Mac OS X
i2Telecom today launched the Mac version of its VoiceStick portable VoIP softphone. The software provides a desktop application that enables users to leverage the company's low-cost, long-distance VOIP telephone service. The service, which requires an internet connection and compatible Mac, enables users to make calls from anywhere to anywhere. The Mac version of VoiceStick will run on Mac OS X Panther or Tiger and includes all the features packaged with the Windows version. In addition, the service allows users to extend the cost savings associated with VOIP to any cell phone. Plans for calling within US and Canada start at $1 per month, while unlimited US/Canada and global callings plans are $20 and $25, respectively. The software is available for free from the company's website.
In brief: Yahoo and TiVo today plan to announce an agreement to let users remotely program their TiVo digital video recorders from within Yahoo's Web site, according to the New York Times Online.... Virtual Programming today announced £10 discounts on its X2: The Threat, KnightShift, Gangland, and Massive Assault... Apple may be planning a new Apple Store in the southern part of Reno, Nevada as one reader noted that it has advertised positions on Craigslist for a location in the new "Summit Sierra" shopping complex--which is expected to open some time during March of next year.... TechRestore announced that it has begun offering a new overnight iPod battery upgrade service for all full-sized iPod models.... Apple has begun iPod-ready versions of its QuickTime trailer content, delivering previews and teasers for the video iPod, such as the recent King Kong trailer.
Avid for Intel-based Macs
Avid today announced plans to offer HD versions of its software for both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs. The company said it has begun synchronizing development for its Mac product line in preparation for Apple's introduction of Intel-based Macs next year using Apple's Xcode development environment. Avid's initial Mac HD release is targeted for the PowerPC platform in mid-2006 and that it plans on delivering the same HD capabilities to Intel-based Macs after they become available. Avid says both Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer Adrenaline systems will offer HD editing support, allowing users to edit major HD formats, including HDCAM, HDV and DVCPRO HD. The company also plans to offer Avid DNxHD support and encoding, which it says enables high-definition workflows at standard-definition data rates, but with the image quality of working at uncompressed HD resolutions. In addition, Avid software will support simultaneous playback of all multicam views for on-the-fly editing.
Podner 1.0.1 released
Splasm Software Friday released Podner 1.0.1, a significant update to its QuickTime-based iPod video formatting utility. Version 1.0.1 supports MPEG muxed audio, preserving MPEG audio in iPod-friendly MPEG-4 or H.264 formats. The update fixes frame rate calculations for MPEG movie files, and is capped at 30 frames-per-second. Podner will no longer accept movie files that have been protected by the creator, and aspect ratios below 4:3 are correctly preserved. Podner 1.0.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4, iTunes 6, and QuickTime 7.0.3. Podner is priced at $10.
AAPL downgraded to \'hold\'
Needham Company today downgraded Apple's stock, saying that the stock price had hit the analyst firm's target of $61. Having doubled its target over the past year, analyst Charles Needham downgraded Apple stock from a 'buy' to a 'hold': "During the past year, in response to the introduction of breakthrough new iPods and Macs and outstanding financial results, we've doubled our price target. Increases in the share price followed closely behind. The risk in our downgrade is that the frenetic pace of innovation at Apple could present new opportunities, which could trigger an upgrade at a price that's much higher than it is today." The company said that a higher-than-estimated Windows migration rate could also lead to continued strength in the stock and continued increases in the stock price. In addition, Needham noted the continued success of Apple's retail stores, with over 50 million people visiting the 124 retails stores.
Inquisitor 2.1 released
David Watanabe today released the latest version of his instant search utility for Safari, Inquisitor 2.1. The update provides as-you-type instant search, search term prediction, and multiple-engine searching in a refined interface. New features include a search site preset library; reordering of search sites; the ability to configure the number of suggestions provided; the ability to invert the order of search suggestions and instant results; automatic download of custom favorites icons for search sites; and a proper graphite theme. Inquisitor 2.1 is donationware, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Mactel Mini at Macworld?
A new report by UBS Research suggest that Apple could release an Intel-based Mac Mini as soon as January 2006 at the upcoming Macworld Expo and that more video content and digital entertainment offerings for the fifth-generation iPod will be available at the conference. UBS analyst Benjamin A. Reitzes raised his "price target" to $74 (from $65) and earnings estimates, citing strong sales of video iPods and the iMac G5; the analyst also said that sales of new iPods are "picking up steam" into calendar year-end, with video iPod sales already stronger than expected. Forbes.com notes that Reitzes raised his first-quarter 2006 earnings per share estimate to 53 cents (from 50 cents) and raised fiscal 2006 and 2007 EPS estimates to $1.85 and $2.18, respectively, from $1.78 and $2.08.
ComChart EMR v9
ComChart Medical Software has released ComChart EMR v9, an update to its electronic medical record software. ComChart v9 includes a host of new features, including the ability to: build one-click progress notes, create patient specific charts of lab/flowsheet data and to analyze the quality of your practice. ComChart EMR, which has been in use since 1991 and distributed since 1999, features integrates fax functions (fornotes, prescriptions, orders), an integrated patient scheduler, graphing for lab results and patient vital signs, custom charts for patient data, and more. The company says that ComChart is "one of the most established and feature rich electronic medical record" software applications. ComChart EMR is available starting at $3,500 and is compatible with both Mac OS X and PC computers.
SoftRAID v3.3 released
SoftRAID today began shipping SoftRAIDv3.3, an update to its advanced disc utility. Offering full Mac OS 10.4.3 compatibility, version 3.3 also improves its Mirror rebuild technology, moves towards Intel compatibility, and fixes several minor bugs including a conflict with Disk Warrior. The company says that volume optimization algorithms have been changed to make Mirror rebuilds faster and more transparent and that volumes optimized for Workstation and Server now get higher rebuilding priority from the OS. In addition, SoftRAID 3.3 fixes a conflict with DiskWarrior 3 under Mac OS 10.4. SoftRAID 3.3 also improves compatibility with third-party SATA cards, enclosures, and drives. The company also said that an Mac-Intel version of SoftRAID is nearing completion and will be ready when Apple releases the first Intel-based hardware for Mac OS X. SoftRAID 3.3 is $130, while the retail version is $150.
iPod battery upgrades
TechRestore announced that it has begun offering a new overnight iPod battery upgrade service for all full-sized iPod models. The service includes the replacement of the standard iPod battery with a TechRestore high-capacity battery with up to 20-hours of playback time. The TechRestore Overnight iPod Battery Upgrade is available starting today for $50 iPod owners located in the continental United States. The service includes overnight pickup of the users' iPod at their location, installation of a replacement high-capacity iPod battery and return overnight shipping. The old iPod battery is then recycled in conjunction with the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation. "With our new lower pricing and higher capacity batteries, iPod owners can now get the fastest full-service battery upgrade at the best price on the planet ," said Shannon Jean, Founder and President of TechRestore.
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