ThePlaceforitAll.com has posted instructions for installing Linux onto Apple's iPod nano, providing video-playback capability in full-color with new movie support in iPod Linux. Detailed instructions denote each step of the process, providing graphic illustrations where necessary to complete the installation process. Earlier this month, iPodNN noted that iDoom offers support for the Nano in full color, providing the Nano has iPod Linux installed.
In brief: Apple has posted a trailer for Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, an action game by Aspyr Media that began shipping yesterday.... Subscribers to Apple's .Mac service reportedly received 100 free loops for GarageBand last night.... Purchasers of new seats of Runtime Revolution Studio, or customers who renew or upgrade to Studio through December 2nd will also receive licenses for Valentina XCMD 1.12 for MacOS and Windows.... Apple has posted a review of "The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer" in the games section of its website.... eEye Digital Security noted that a remotely exploitable flaw exists in various versions of QuickTime on all Windows operating systems that allows arbitrary code to be executed.... The copy-protection software used by Sony BMG appears to harbor code from an open source project, raising questions about copyrights.... Miglia has updated the software for Evolution TV, a device that allows users to watch, pause, and record TV on a Mac.
MacNN Forums roundup: Members discuss the possibility of Apple offering entry-level Power Mac towers.... PowerMac users talk about the new ATI Radeon X800 XT video card.... PowerBook owners continue to discuss the issue of horizontal lines appearing on the machine's display.... One iPod user shares his experience with his new 5G iPod, which had a dead pixel already.... iMac fans speculate about when the Intel-based version of the machine will be announced.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today began shipping the PodFolio Deluxe Leather Case for fifth-generation iPods. The case is crafted from hand-stitched supple leather, features a padded protective flip cover, a leather-covered sewn-in belt clip, and play-through access that exposes the controls of the video iPod without removing it from the case. PodFolio for video iPod is specifically designed to protect the glass finish surface of the new iPods from scratches or dings, and the padded flip cover has a pocket inside that is perfect for storing an ID or business cards. The PodFolio Deluxe for fifth-generation iPods is available for $30.
Digital Foci today introduced Media Buddy, its portable digital photo storage solution featuring a hard drive and media card reader in a brushed anodized aluminum casing. Media Buddy functions as an external hard drive when connected to any computer, and acts as a portable MP3 player on-the-go. The built-in memory card slot copies and stores photos directly from any digital camera card, without the need of cumbersome cabling. Media Buddy is available in Powder Blue, Arctic Silver, and Pearl Gray colors with 30GB ($230), 40GB ($250), 60GB ($290), 80GB ($350) capacities. Media Buddy ships with Ulead Photo Explorer image management software, a USB cable, earphones, an AC adapter, a Lithium-Ion battery, a carrying case, a resource disk, and the user's guide.
Apple may introduce a new iPod shuffle--smaller than a pack of gum--and possibly in multiple colors as early as January. American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said Apple's preparation for the product refresh was probably behind its recent move to add Hynix as a third supplier of NAND flash memory chips, according to a report from AppleInsider. Wu believes storage capacities and price points will remain similar to current offerings, according to the report. American Technology Research maintained its "Buy" rating for Apple with a price target of $66 for the company.
Splasm Software today released Podner 1.1, a free update to its iPod video formatting tool. Version 1.1 features a batch processing mode, enabling users to drag files to the Podner window, tweak the settings for each file, start the batch, and proceed to another task. Additional enhancements include support for non-square pixel aspect ratios--such as 720x480 DV source material--support for MPEG muxed audio in QuickTime reference movies, automatic software update checking, some bug fixes, and more. The processed movie files show up in iTunes, ready for the next iPod sync. Podner 1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4, and is available for $10.
In brief: MacNN has reviewed the invisibleSHIELD for iPod ($25, shown at right), Protective Solutions' protective case manufactured from a material developed to protect helicopter blades.... MacNN also reviewed ConceptDraw MINDMAP 4 ($200), CS Odessa's mind mapping software.... Tunewear today announced jewel clip ($50), a "charming" heart-style cable winder for the iPod and other portable audio players.... zCover today announced its gloveOne series ($35) of fashionable silicone protective cases for the Motorola ROKR iTunes phone.... Thought Equity today released iPod demo reels for free download.... Fondantfancies.com has unveiled Thrupp 1.2 ($15), an update to its application that lets iTunes users sync their library to any kind of MP3 player.... Diversified Multimedia has released the Video Vault ($40) for Microsoft Windows users, its new software that transfers video and DVD files from a computer to an iPod.
ComputerWorld has posted a glowing review of Apple's new Power Mac G5 Quad. "For anyone in the broadcast, sciences, music, print and photography industries, I have some advice: Place your orders now," writes reviewer Yuval Kossovsky. The pricing is "a bargain when considering the additional processor cores -- and the fact that a comparable Wintel configuration is almost double the cost." Meanwhile, BusinessWeek has reviewed the new iMac G5. "The updated desktop boosts its already impressive credentials with some nifty tricks, user-friendly features, and the odd gimmick." Columnist Stephen Wildstrom has one key criticism, however: "The only serious flaw in the new iMac is that the Power PC-based G5 processor is showing its age," he writes. Wildstrom also points out that TV connectivity is a bit lacking at this point due to technical limitations in the cable industry.
Apple has added more refurb Power Mac G5s to its Apple Store. The single-processor 1.8GHz G5 is $1,100, while a refurbished dual-2GHz is $1,550, and the refurb dual-2.3GHz is $2,000. Both the 23- and 30-inch models of refurbished Apple Cinema Displays are available for $1,100 and $2,100, respectively. Apple's AirPort Express for streaming music from your Mac to a stereo system or speakers, is also available again for $100 (along with refurb AirPort Extreme cards for $70). Apple-certified iPod minis are available in silver, pink, blue, and green for $200, while a 40GB Refurbished iPod with Dock Connector is $270 (with FireWire cable) and a 30GB color iPod is $250.
Front Row 1.0.1 (free with new iMacs) updates the software that controls iTunes, iMovie, DVD playback, iPhoto, and QuickTime movie trailers. The update delivers overall improved reliability and compatibility for browsing music, photos, and videos. [Download - 4MB] B4 II 2.0.1.003 ($230), from Native Instruments, reproduces the sound of the B3 Organ and its rotary speaker cabinet. Features include a tube amplifier modeled after the original rotary speaker amp, a selection of classic speaker cabinets, an expanded user interface, and more. A demo is now available. [Download - 53MB] Platypus 3.2 (free) creates application wrappers around scripts that can be run from the graphical window environment. Version 3.2 allows editing environmental variables via an interface pane, Python syntax checking, bug fixes, and more. [Download - 1.3MB] SpotMeta 53 beta extends Apple's Spotlight search facility by adding Spotlight-searchable meta tags to any file or folder. SpotMeta does not modify the contents of any files, and the extra metadata added to files is network-accessible. [Download - 285KB] EdGCM 2.5 (free) incorporates a major new visualization package (EVA 1.1beta), which provides line plotting, 2D array mapping, and access to climate variable data from within one application. EVA is a user-friendly interface, built on top of the widely used scientific visualization software, that allows EdGCM users to create images of all EdGCM climate model output. [Download - 44.9MB]
A security research company has reported on a new security flaw in various versions of iTunes, following disclosure earlier this week that iTunes 6 had fixed a flaw in the Windows version (the actual update had been released in September). The "critical vulnerability" could allow a malicious user to remotely take over a user's computer, according to a warning issued Thursday by eEye Digital Security. The firm said that a remotely exploitable flaw exists that allows arbitrary code to be executed in the context of the logged in user. The company said that severity was "high" due to the possibility of remote code execution, but did not provide details on which versions were affected, although both Mac OS X and Windows versions are affected, according to the report.
Daystar Technology today announced it is completing development of the first XLR8 PowerBook G4 (Aluminum) CPU Upgrade. The PowerBook G4 upgrade dubbed, "XLR8 MAChSpeed PowerBook G4," is scheduled to ship next month. "Like the XLR8 MAChSpeed G4 Pismo, Lombard, Titainum and iMac Flat Panel CPU upgrades, the PowerBook G4 upgrade will be a full system upgrade, requiring the user to send their PowerBook to Daystar for installation." While pricing and final specifications are expected to be announced closer to the actual product release date, the company says that xBench 1.2 benchmarking scores jump from high 20's to nearly 50, surpassing the fastest PowerBook G4 to-date. The upgrade will feature factory installation via Apple Certified Technicians, shipping with Daystar's custom boxes and prepaid FedEx shipping options, and compatibility with Classic and Mac OS 10.3.5/10.4.3.
The market for purchasing digital video online is heating up. Following Apple's ground-breaking deal to offer ABC television content via iTunes and AOL's deal to distribute Time Warner content online, NBC Universal said it plans to distribute full-length movies through the peer-to-peer file-sharing service Peer Impact. Due in the Spring of 2006, the service will offer 24-hour access to new and archived films for an as yet undecided price, according to the report. The service would offer Universal's movides 30-45 days after they became available on DVD, by which time they would already be available via cable-on-demand services. While the deal will include some NBC television specials, Peer Impact will not distribute primetime television content, leaving some to speculate that NBC may be looking to more mainstream services, such as iTunes.
A new lawsuit against Apple claims that the company's iTunes software and iPod music device violate two patents issued to Premier in 2001 and 2004. The Illinois firm Premier has sued Apple in a Texas District Court for violating two patents (6,243,725 and 6,763,345) it received and is seeking a jury trial as well as undisclosed damages from Apple: "These patents, claimed Premier, have been incorporated into iPod, iTunes and PC product lines. The first of the patents is a list building system granted in June 2001 for building an inventory of audio, musical, and audio visual works. The second is also for a list building system, granted on July 13th 2004. The PC product lines include the iBook, the Power Book, the Mac Mini, the iMac and the Power Mac, when packaged or pre-installed with iTunes software."
Two new books were released today, "Take Control of Switching to a Mac"--written to guide switchers through the process of making the decision to swap from a Microsoft Windows system to a Mac, as well as which Mac to choose--and "Making Music on the Apple Mac"--depicting the decision-making process of choosing the right Mac for the home studio. Topics of Take Control of Switching to a Mac include choosing the right Mac model, setting up the Mac, choosing the appropriate Macintosh applications to replace common Windows programs, and moving data--documents, email, address books, and Web bookmarks--to the Mac. Making Music on the Apple Mac contains a section about setting up a studio and configuring the audio and MIDI interfaces for optimum performance, as step-by-step detail how to record with GarageBand. Take Control of Switching to a Mac (93 pages, Scott Knaster) is available for $10 as a PDF document online. Making Music on the Apple Mac (113 pages, Keith Gemmel) is available for $15.
Nike today announced the appointment of Timothy D. Cook, Apple's chief operating officer (COO), to the company's board of directors. Cook is the board's 11th director, nine of which are independent, and is expected to serve on the compensation committee of the board, according to Nike. "Tim's diverse professional background spans from global manufacturing to general management," said Philip H. Knight, Nike, Inc. founder and chairman. "His global technology knowledge combined with his experience at one of the world's most recognized brands will make Tim a great asset to our board. We look forward to his contributions to Nike."
One company claims to have reverse-engineered Apple's FairPlay DRM and will begin offering consumers the option of purchasing songs that can be played on the iPod, a PC, or other digital devices. The service, which would bypass Apple and iTunes' copy-protection, would store the rights in a cental place, allowing users to easily re-download their songs or even share songs depending on the purchased rights: "The key is getting around Apple. Come December, Navio will launch a new version of its service that will finally allow music companies to sell songs that will play on iPods without going through Appleís iTunes store. How will Apple react to this news? 'I think they will go ballistic,' Roever predicts, before adding, 'There is nothing Apple can do to prevent this.' (Like RealNetworks before it, Navio has reverse-engineered the iPodís Fairplay software so that Navio can deliver copy-protected songs in a format that will play on the device.)"
Numbers show that Apple's iTunes music service is growing as the most popular destination to purchase music. The Register reports that Apple's iTunes Music Store has a larger share of the UK digital music download market than the rest of its competitors combined. Citing September figures from London-based researcher Xtn Data, the reports says that iTunes' marketshare in in the UK is 54 percent, while the next closest competitor, Napster, has only 10 percent of the market. The survey found that long-time UK music provider Wippit is No. 3 with 8 percent with MyCokeMusic (six percent), MSN (five percent), and CD Wow (four percent), rounding out the top music providers (respectively), according to the survey of more than 1,000 British consumers who buy music online and offline. Virigin Digital and HMV, retailers who recently revamped their online offerigs, have 3 percent and 1 percent of the UK market, respectively, while Tesco and Woolworths, both of whom entered the UK download market in the autumn of 2004, have each managed to take only two percent of the market.
Tunewear today announced jewel clip, a "charming" heart-style cable winder for the iPod and other portable audio players. jewel clip is a new cable winder finished with beautiful rhinestones; it allows you to wind up excess cable to the length you like. "Clip it to your collar or lapel and use jewel clip as a broach or clip it to the pocket of your jeans or a belt for a more casual style. jewel clip is more that just a great fashion item. It is also very useful. There are two different sized stopper holes at the top and bottom of the clip to hold your cable so that it doesn't come unwound." jewel lip is available in white and pink and will ship in December for $50.
zCover today announced its gloveOne series of fashionable silicone protective cases for the Motorola ROKR iTunes phone. zCover bundles a protective case and a newly designed removable rotary one-button-release cell phone belt clip. "The gloveOne stylish and contoured design allows you to show off your unique personality and provides serious protection from scratching the surface of your ROKR. Along with being shock-absorbing and tear-resistant, zCover gloveOne cases, paired with the zCover unique Flipper-Lens-Cover and 0.6mm ultra-thin keypad skin protector will protect all around of your ROKR and leaves full access to the screen." The Tech Series includes four translucent tech-color silicone cases: Tech Gray, Tech Blue, Tech Pink, and ice-Clear. The gloveOne case for Motorola ROKR E1 and Motorola E398 is available for $35.
Chwang Yi Company today announced The Ball, which it says is "the world's first" Bluetooth wireless trackball. "The Ball is the result of a two-year design effort, and represents an entirely new approach to the concept of a 'trackball.' With a robust wireless system based on leading Bluetooth v1.2 standards, an elegantly small physical size and design, and a basic two-button plus scroll wheel control layout, The Ball sets a new standard for simplicity and ease of use for trackballs." The Ball easily pairs with any Bluetooth wireless enabled Mac running Mac OS X 10.2.3 or higher and includes rechargeable AAA batteries, a USB-powered mini docking/ charging cradle, and an on-off switch for power conservation. It will ship on December 5th for $70.
The EMI Group record label said music from its copy-protected CDs will soon play on Apple's iPod digital music players, but Apple is already disputing this claim, reports TMCnet. For more than a year, the anti-copying technology loaded on some major label compact discs has been compatible only with Windows-based computers, with no support for Macs or iPods. This is about to change, according to EMI: "Apple is nearly finished with the technical work necessary to enable consumers to transfer music from content-protected discs to their iPods," the label said in a statement detailing its copy-protection plans. But Apple disputes EMI's claims: "The information EMI provided regarding iTunes and iPod compatibility with Macrovision's technology is not true and we have no idea why EMI made this statement," Apple said in a statement.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl
XCOM 2 ships on Steam for Mac, Windows
Feral Interactive today announced that the highly anticipated turn-based strategy game XCOM 2 is out now for OS X and Windows, and is available to buy through Steam and through the Mac App Store shortly. The sequel to the popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 is available as a standalone base game and as the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. The XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition comprises the base game, the Reinforcement Pack and the XCOM 2 digital soundtrack. Versions start at $60. http://bit.ly/1KuEFsX