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Thought Equity today released iPod demo reels for free download. Designed for Apple's iPod and iTunes users, the reels are about one to two minutes in length and are composed of clips from Thought Equitys stock footage library. The current m4v video reel themes include Extreme Ski footage, Animals, Travel, and more. "Production professionals can create their own reels using Thought Equitys online stock footage library, which includes all genres of footage including lifestyles, culture, travel, aerials, sports, and wildlife. Thoughtequity.com offers the largest selection of HD and film clips in the industry." The company offers a library of premium film and HD stock footage for users to create their own videos or add to any video project.
Fondantfancies.com has unveiled Thrupp 1.2, an update to its application that lets iTunes users sync their library to any kind of MP3 player. The company says the software supports any device that plays MP3s and mounts in the Finder is supported, and that if a library isn't in MP3 format Thrupp automatically transcodes as it copies. Version 1.2 adds profiles for popular phone models to ease the setup process. The new profiles support Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola, Palm, Treo and Windows Mobile devices. The update also adds interface refinements, bug fixes, and offers the ability to create album subfolders. Thrupp 1.2 is available for $15, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.
Apple is still the top pick in the PC industry. While Credit Suisse First Boston research analyst Robert Semple maintained a "marketweight" rating on the PC hardware sector, but maintained an 'outperform' rating on Apple, saying that Apple's product cycles make the company preferable amid a slowing growth industry. Forbes notes that October results from market researcher NPD revealed "elastic" consumer demand driven by aggressive pricing. "Within the PC market, we continue to prefer the profitable share gainers with compelling product cycles, with Apple as our top pick," said Semple. During the month, Apple saw its unit growth slow to 23 percent, but it has still delivered over 50% unit growth year to date.
Diversified Multimedia has released the Video Vault for Microsoft Windows users, its new software that transfers video and DVD files from a computer to an iPod. Video Vault can import DVDs, VCDs, SVCDs and analog/digital camcorder tapes, as well as AVI, Mpeg1, Mpeg2, Mpeg4, ASF, WMV, and DVR-MS files. The software exports directly to the video iPod, and can organize collections of videos. Subtitles can be overlaid on top of video with complete audio and subtitle language selection, and the iPod can connect directly to the PC to download and manage files from within the application. Video Vault is available for $40.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) has officially declared Apple's iPod one of the hot toys this holiday season, for the first time. The iPod ranked as the sixth hottest toy for girls, but was nowhere to be found on the list of hot toys for boys. Boys are more pre-occupied with traditional gifts, as well as the Xbox 360, according to the report. Boys are going to be more focused on the new video games that are coming out this year, according to a report from MarketWatch. A supposed stigma has previously been attached to electronics, resulting in hesitation to call them toys. The news "is probably very good for Apple", considering its digital music player is such a high priced-item." Other toys that made the list were Barbie, Star Wars, Legos, and Hot Wheels.
Pqdvd.com today launched PQ DVD to iPod Video Converter for Windows users, its simple-to-use application that can turn DVDs into files that will play on Apple's new iPod with video capability. "You no longer have to pay twice for the same video, once for showing it on TV and another for enjoying it on iPod. With PQ DVD to iPod Video Converter, you can record favorite TV shows in Tivo, and convert and watch them later on your iPod. And you can virtually convert all kinds of other video formats to iPod as well, with one simple click." PQ DVD to iPod Video Converter is available for $35, and requires Microsoft Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP.
Toon Boom Animation today announced the release of Toon Boom Studio Express V3, an update to its animation tool for beginners, hobbyists and kids. It can create Flash banner ads, interactive projects and games, and videos for the Web, PDAs and phones. A new Text tool lets users type and animate text easily, enabling the creation of greeting cards, web banners, storyboards an comic strips. Version 3 also features a new unified mode and many interface improvements as well as a new transform tool that allows users to scale, rotate, move and skew any object over time with a simple click. Toon Boom Studio Express V3 is available online for $70 ($30 discount) for a limited time. Upgrades from previous versions are $30. In addition to getting free support for installation and download, customers receive additional free goodies, including Christmas templates, tutorials and clip art, a total value of $200 US.
Apple's small rise in marketshare over the past few years may be more about ratios and numbers than due to the "halo effect." A new study questions the effect of the iPod on Apple's Mac marketshare, saying that the often-touted halo effect may be a "misguided" theory at best, according to a report by Roger L. Kay, founder and president of Endpoint Technologies Associates. The report, issued late late Wednesday, contends that Apples recent rise from 1.8 percent market share worldwide to 2.5 percent in the second quarter had more to do with how far Apple had fallen rather than any "belated halo cast by the iPod." The report notes that Apples market share has fallen slightly in the third quarter to 2.4 percent, which bolsters arguments by those who question the iPod halo effect.
One month after Apple began offering downloads of video content from ABC, "Lost" has sold the most episodes according to Stephen McPherson, president of ABC entertainment. Apple said it has already sold over a million copies of ABC shows, though no sales figures were presented, according to a report from StarTribune.com. The November TV ratings "sweeps" for the week of November 7-13th showed CBS on top with 14.5 million viewers, while ABC was the second most popular pleasing 11.4 million on average. NBC serves 8.9 million, Fox 7.5 million, and UPN 3.7 million. With ABC providing content on both television and iTunes, the network could see a jump in ratings should more iPod owners become avid viewers of its television shows, augmenting the value of the digital mobile video market pioneered by Apple.
OmniPilot is offering a free Blog solution for its Lasso customers, which is designed to allow developers to quickly add a blog to any website. Once authenticated a user is permitted to create new entries for their personal blog, with each entry consisting of a time-stamp, a title, and a message. The blog solution is built using CSS and XHTML, requires Lasso 8 Professional, and utilizes the built-in SQLite database for storage. Lasso 8 Professional is available for $650, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Realmac Software today announced the release of RapidWeaver 3.2.0, its web design application to create professional looking websites quickly that requires no knowledge of complex code. Flash slideshows can be created with no knowledge of Flash, and Smart Publishing tracks files that have already been published to reduce repetitive uploading. All templates are XHTML and CSS based, and over 20 themes can be mixed and matched. Podcasts can be imported into a blog via drag-and-drop, automatically adding it to the blogs RSS feed. Primary features include iPhoto integration; FTP and Mac publishing; over 30 themes; Flash-based slideshows; blogging and RSS feeds; podcasting; photo and movie albums; multiple themes per-site; and the ability to scale and rotate images. RapidWeaver 3.2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9, and is available for $35.
GroupSmarts has released MemoryMiner Beta, its application designed to create the an extensive network of first-person accounts of modern society and culture. MemoryMiner can automatically synchronize the contents of an iPhoto library when the application launches, and can import photos using the Open Panel or via drag-and-drop. After drawing selection areas over photos, the standard Address Book is used to select an existing person--or create a new one--after which a new Person object is created in MemoryMiner that is linked to the Address Book entry. Files and URLs can be attached via drag-and-drop, with support for QuickTime movies. MemoryMiner uses web services to automatically fetch maps as well as latitude/longitude values, and graphically displays locations for people on a high-quality global map projection. Pricing and system requirements were unavailable.
In brief: Apple announced that the fourth UK store in Manchester--The Trafford Store--will officially open this Saturday, as noted earlier this week.... Sonnet today announced that its PodFreq is now compatible with the fifth-generation iPods.... Linotype today began offering its Xmas font family ($30 each), a set of character sets depicting a wide range of symbols from nativity scenes to snowboarding.... Advanced Computer Innovations today expanded its internet-based "instant online conversion" service, adding support for Microsoft Office 2003 XML as well as several other file formats.... The 2006 CES Best of Innovations honorees have been chosen, with two iPod accessories selected to receive recognition.
The 2006 CES Best of Innovations honorees have been chosen, with two iPod accessories selected to receive recognition. The Belkin TuneStage (shown at right) for iPod, and Harman Kardon's Drive + Play were named in the list. The Belkin TuneStage allows users to play the songs from an iPod through any home theater wirelessly via Bluetooth technology, while the Harman Kardon Drive + Play is an integrated iPod docking system specifically designed for automotive use. The prestigious Innovations Design and Engineering Awards have given consumer technology manufacturers and developers an opportunity to have their newest products judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade press since 1989.
Aspyr today announced that RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 has begun shipping for Macintosh. The game allows users to build, operate and experience the amusement park of their dreams as well as as ride the rides. As the first title in the series to come to the Mac, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 features "stunning" 3D graphics, and the all-new CoasterCam, which allows players to see their park from the eyes of a guest and ride all the rides. Using the new Fireworks MixMaster, players can also create pyrotechnic masterpieces and synchronize them to music. In addition, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 also includes the ability to assign music to rides in the park, new realistic day and night cycles, a park lighting system and various weather effects. RollerCoaster Tycoon is avialable now for $50.
Data Protection Solutions (DPS) today unveiled EzBackup-sa, its USB-based standalone device providing instantaneous, complete system and data recovery. The device--which has been specifically designed for Mac users--can restore the operating system, preferences, settings, applications, and data. Three routines (backup, restore, and schedule) ease the process of maintaining data integrity at speeds of roughly 1GB per minute on a USB 2.0 connection. The EzBackup-sa creates a fully bootable mirror-image copy of a user's system, and instantly restores the entire system as well as its data. Features include flexible and automatic new/modified backup, flexible backup schedule options, and file/directory/full image restore in a single step. The EzBackup-sa is available in 80GB ($140), 160GB ($200), 250GB ($280), 320GB ($350), and 400GB ($450) capacities.
Ilexsoft today released HighDesign 1.6.0, a free update to its 2D computer aided drafting application for architects, engineers, designers and homeowners. Version 1.6.0 focuses on productivity and reliability enhancements, offering improvements to existing features such as copy and paste, layers, PDF and printing, as well as speed improvements. The update provides continuous intersections of dashed lines and bilinear image scaling, as well as a simplified workflow for designers. HighDesign imports and exports DXF drawings from version 12 up to version 2004; PDF documents with CMYK or RGB colors; HP-GL (plt) files; vector PICT; JPEG, PNG, Tiff, Tga, PSD, BMP, and more. HighDesign standard edition is available for $150, while the professional version is priced at $350. The software requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later, and comes with the user's guide as well as a 14-page "getting started" tutorial.
Griffin Technology today released radio Shark 2.0, an application designed to simplify time-shift recording of AM or FM radio. Radio Shark can start and stop recording at any time while listening, and can schedule or create presets of favorite radio stations. New features include a redesigned interface, improved scheduling, and an enhanced 10-band equalizer. Version 2.0 also provides expanded record/playback, tuning and appearance preferences; a spectrum visualizer; selectable display color; station and record status via the Dock icon; and AppleScript support. Radio Shark includes a Dashboard Widget as well, to control the application from the Dock. The FM section offers a tuning range of 87.5 to 108.0 MHz, frequency steps of 100kHz, and a frequency response of 50Hz-15kHz. The AM section offers a tuning range of 530-1710kHz, and frequency steps of 10kHz or 9kHz. The device is available for $70, and requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.
Popular Science has honored Apple's Mac OS X Spotlight search technology in its 'Best of What's New' roundup for 2005. "Most desktop search tools are perpetually a step behind, periodically snooping your machine to find new and changed files. But Spotlight, the search function in Apple's new Tiger operating system, updates the instant anything changes because it's built into the core of the OS. That integration also means that the search function is available in the Save and Open dialog boxes of other applications. And Spotlight searches more metadatathe information about a file, such as who created it or what camera it was taken withthan ever before, so as long as you sort of know what you're looking for, you'll probably find it."
Sonnet Technologies today announced that its PodFreq is now compatible with the fifth-generation iPods. PodFreq supports all iPod models with a dock connector (except for the iPod nano; the PodFreq mini is compatible with iPod mini). Users can use the FM transmitter to play iPod tunes, audiobooks and podcasts wirelessly through any nearby FM radio. The device offers an integrates a dock with a car charger and car cradle, thus requiring no cables to plug in and no software to install: "it is easy to quickly tune and broadcast to any empty station frequency using up and down tuning buttons and the built-in display. Because PodFreq charges your music players battery while in the car, you can love your iPod even longer." PodFreq is available for $100.
QuickerTek has extended its long distance wireless network products for Apple's desktops. Designed for Power Mac users without built-in AirPort, the Transceiver and PCI card Bundle includes the Buffalo 54g PCI Card and the QuickerTek 27dBm Transceiver for maximum wireless performance. The QuickerTek tranceiver operates like a "super antenna," pulling in signals that are up to a mile away as well as providing full speed connections, according to the company. The Buffalo PCI Card provides the means to connect the Transceiver to PCI Power Macs without AirPort, while the transceiver can be powered from the USB port or the AC power adapter supplied in the kit. The QuickerTek Transceiver is shipped with a 2dBi omni-directional antenna. The bundle is available for $240, a savings of $40.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k