Zimbra today made available an early-access release of its Zimbra open-source email/collaboration suite for Mac OS X servers, adding RSS/ATOM feed folders to the binary mail client. The Web client boasts a zero-client end user interface to enable access using only a Web browser, while an AJAX-based end user interface provides rich desktop-like functions such as dynamic content updates without requiring the page to be reloaded. The Web client also offers drag-and-drop support, as well as the ability to recognize--and highlight--objects such as phone numbers and dates in text or HTML message content based on regular expression matching. Dynamic hover-over displays and action menus complement the online end-user help. Specific system requirements were unavailable for Mac OS X.
Tvmypod.com today introduced TVMyPod, dealing in brand-new iPods pre-loaded with personally-selected DVDs of choice. TVMyPod offers a selection of nearly 100 television shows from ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and HBO, as well as over 100 movies, sporting events and concerts. TVMyPod locates a title if it isn't already in stock, then converts the DVDs to iPod format and loads them onto the iPod at no extra charge. iPods are received in their original packaging, along with each of the DVDs purchased. In the future, TVMyPod plans to offer the service of loading existing iPods with DVD collections, and may also offer a subscription service to periodically reload iPods with new DVDs.
Apple's iTunes online store was ranked the seventh-largest music retailer in the U.S. in the third quarter, breaking into the top 10 for the first time, according to researcher NPD Group. Bloomberg News reports that iTunes moved up from the 14th spot a year ago, while Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and Amazon.com remained the top-four music retailers in the U.S. based on the number of songs sold. Trans World Entertainment's FYE and Circuit City also ranked ahead of Apple, according to the report.
Apple Computer outscored competitors by a wide margin in a recent Consumer Reports survey, which rated computer makers who sell directly to consumers on the Internet. The survey--which polled 78,000 Consumer Reports subscribers about their experiences buying desktops and laptops both online and in walk-in retail chains--found that retailers who sell through websites and print catalogs typically gave consumers significantly higher overall satisfaction than walk-in stores did. The survey also showed that Web retailers offered better service than the sales help at walk-in retailers. "Of the manufacturers' sites, Apple.com and IBM.com led our Ratings, with the best selection and service," said Consumer Reports, according to a report by AppleInsider. "Dell.com, a pioneer of customization and the source of most customized computers that survey respondents bought, rated no higher in overall satisfaction than most other manufacturer Web sites."
iTunes 6.0.1 appears to disable some iPod shuffles--both the 512MB and 1GB models--seemingly after performing the update. Apple's forum currently harbors many posts from angry Shuffle owners reporting green and orange blinking lights--in many cases with no response from the music player. Apple's System Profiler utility reportedly detects the Shuffle when connected, but numerous customers discovered that iTunes cannot see the player, and in one case five different versions of iPod Updater failed to recognize the device. Users report that that iPod shuffle charges normally, but that they receive messages suggesting that that there isn't enough room on the iPod to store more songs when using the "Autofill" feature--despite the fact that this feature is designed to replace songs outright. Many Shuffle owners are being told by representatives at various stores to send the devices back to Apple, and upon contacting Apple they are told that they must pay the shipping charges.
Linux columnist Tom Adelstein says if Apple made Mac OS X for Intel available to consumers to install on their PCs, it would "change the PC landscape like no other operating system has or could." Adelstein believes Apple should "open-source their operating system, port Openoffice.org to Aqua and bundle it for Intel PC's [...] and the world will say goodbye to Windows for good." If Mac OS X took over from Linux as the alternative operating system of choice to Windows, all would not be lost for Linux fans: "all the starving Linux developers would have a chance to make some money porting 17,000 packages to OS X, servicing them and selling them. Because, enterprises would move to Apple within a moment's notice and without hesitation. Apple's eco-system would grow and Steve would prosper like never before."
Lectures of a Harvard extension class, Computer Science (CS) E-1: "Understanding Computers and the Internet" are now freely available as audio and video podcasts via iTunes. Since lectures have begun podcasting, "Understanding Computers and the Internet" has been featured in iTunes' top 100 podcasts and "New-and-Notable" list. Executive director Donna M. Liu said that she is noticing more and more schools capitalizing on the podcasting trend, with both individual and collective podcasts.
ezGear today introduced the ezTrip FM TransCharger for Apple's iPod. The ezTrip TransCharger combines an FM Transmitter and car charger. The TransCharger offers an LCD display, access to all FM frequencies between 87.7 to 107.9 in a small and compact device. It also includes a coiled cable to keep wires neat, and charges your iPod during use. The ezTrip draws its power from the DC socket, which it says provides a stronger signal than other FM transmitters that powered from your iPod as well as reduces interference from local radio stations. The ezTrip FM TransCharger works with all iPods that have a dock connector, including the Nano, video iPod, iPod photo, Mini's etc. It is available now for $50.
The Mac Media Center Project today released CenterStage 0.5, its open-source project designed to build a powerful and intuitive media center application that offers both customizability and extensibility for skin and module developers. New features include a photo module with an inline slideshow, a music module, module transitions with a Quartz-based Composer, on-screen display, zoom capability in full screen playback, and the ability to switch screen resolution in preferences. The update includes an improved skin optimized for 1280 x 720, and offers faster browsing of media. Additional features include an auto-hiding cursor, the ability to sync a movie between normal and full screen modes, as well as more keyboard control during full screen playback. CenterStage 0.5 is free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.
Mean Tangerine today released a new theme for Apple's Keynote software, called Tabs. "Tabs brings a more conservative attitude to MT's otherwise playful catalog, and is designed for interactive kiosk presentations. It's modular design also facilitates side-by-side data comparison and analysis." Tabs includes theme usage instructions, custom bullets, custom buttons, and Photoshop masters with respective instructions for proper export from Photoshop. The theme is available in four different color schemes, individually ($20 for 27 templates) and in a variety of theme packs ($60 for the "Tabs Complete Pack" offering four templates, or $30 for the "Tabs Primary Pack" offering two templates).
Dekorra today released EazyDraw 1.9.0, an update to its easy-to-use vector drawing application for Mac OS X. The new tape measuring tool is designed to measure drawing distances in free form, or snap to graphic positions to provide exact relative distances. The Interactive Cursor displays canvas position or precise graphic metrics, such as intersections or point and tangent of a curve. Intelligent guidelines position columns, rows, seek intersections or vertices, and orient to extended lines, parallels or perpendiculars. New scaling options provide improved support for imported MacDraw and ClarisDraw scaled drawings, while a new submenu on the Format main menu can "Cloak" the guideline aspects of a graphic or layer. EazyDraw 1.9.0 is available for $100, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Samsung Electronics today signed off on plans to invest $615.4 million to build a new memory-chip production facility to meet rising demand for NAND flash memory--the same memory used in Apple's iPod nano and iPod shuffle digital music players--as well as DRAM. Earlier this month, top executives vowed to more than double sales and obtain top global market share in 20 products by 2010, according to a report from the Associated Press. In mid October Apple dropped a joint investment plan with Samsung worth $3.8 billion that covered flash memory chips used in Apple's music player devices, however Apple backed out of the deal in favor of another chip maker. This month, news surfaced that Samsung was expected to sign a long-term contract with Apple worth several hundred million dollars, and today Apple announced long-term agreements with Hynix, Intel, Micron, Samsung Electronics and Toshiba to secure the supply of NAND flash memory through 2010. [updated]
Twentieth Century Fox today will begin offering movies online--which could compete with Apple's iTunes Music Store--as part of a deal signed between the network and Movielink, a joint venture of five Hollywood studios. "I think you're going to see us be a lot more aggressive in the next few months," said Peter Levinsohn, president of Worldwide Pay Television and Digital Media at Fox. "This marketplace is really going to start to grow." Jim Ramo, chief executive at Movielink said "the end of 2005 and into 2006 is really a watershed year; I think you're beginning to see a snowball effect," according to a report from KFMB News 8.
Casper Suite 3.1 (unknown) updates the computer maintenance suit adding the ability to centrally manage scheduled tasks, authenticate users on the system from an LDAP server, and build comprehensive change reports from inventory. The update also includes simplified printer support for remotely mapping printers, as well as the ability to make policies available offline. WorldTimes 1.0 (free) is a clear, compact world clock for Mac OS X that displays up to 12 different time zones from a database of over 420 worldwide locations. WorldTimes handles each location's daylight savings changes automatically, offers customizable location names, and incorporates the system settings for the default time zone and format. [Download - 204KB] Seagull 3 Public Beta 8 ($30) updates the video organization and presentation application, providing the ability to output video playlists to a device such as a digital video bridge, or a FireWire-ready DVD recorder. Version 3 Public Beta 8 also includes a "Take Snapshot" feature, which can save an image to the desktop that contains the current frame of the movie being watched. [Download - 834KB] iEmulator 1.7.8 ($24) adds audio support to the PC emulator for Mac OS X, improving physical CDrom handling. The update adds the ability to assign up to 1GB of RAM to each emulated PC, fast PC state saving and loading, full-screen and windowed modes, printing support, support for international keyboards, CD image and physical CD-ROM support, the ability to access Mac files and folders from Windows, and support for running multiple instances of iEmulator simultaneously. Wx 3.1 ($10) updates the weather information application, adding interface themes to enhance the wall-mounted weather station look, a "pop" mode to temporarily fade weather updates on-screen, and various small improvements. [Download - 588KB] Find A Word 2.0 (free) is a word game with five turns that can be set for 30, 60 or 90 second durations with the goal of entering as many valid words as possible before time runs out. The update adds an additional bonus for unused seconds in the turn, as well as numerous other minor enhancements. [Download - 1.7MB]
The Telegraph sat down with Apple chief designer Jonathan Ive for a rare interview with the man credited for the groundbreaking industrial designs of the iMac and iPod. "Our goals are simple. We genuinely try to make the very best product that we can. [...] It's a simple goal to articulate, but a difficult one to achieve," Ive said. He is "fiercely protective of his privacy and details of his lifestyle are scarce," says interviewer David Derbyshire. He lives in a two bedroom house in Twin Peaks with his wife Heather - a writer and historian he met in England. His one concession to luxury appears to be his Aston Martin. Ive complains that many products lack proper design: "It's sad and frustrating that we are surrounded by products that seem to testify to a complete lack of care." Ive enjoys following the latest British music, and says that, "At the end of the day, it's all about the music."
The Apple Store is expected launch its Black Friday Event on the Friday following Thanksgiving, offering special deals on select Apple merchandise. The "Feast beyond a Feast" will be a one-day only event in both Apple retail stores and online. Apple also launched an Apple Store Microsoft Promotion, offering up to 50 percent off on Microsoft. Users can save up to $250 via mail-in rebate on any qualifying version of Microsoft Office--including Standard ($200 rebate), Professional($250), and Student/Teacher ($50) versions--when purchased along with a new Mac. The offer expires on January 31, 2006 and is available at any authorized Apple reseller. [updated; first posted 11/21]
Ford Motor Company is targeting the iPod generation with a new TV spot for the midsize Fusion sedan. The automaker recently launched an aggressive marketing campaign for the new car dubbed "Life in Drive," part of which includes a series of television commercials advocating the car's hip appeal and innovative features, according to Left Lane News. One particular TV spot, called "Particles," caught the attention of several iPod fans because it opens with a young man selecting music on his iPod on a subway train, and later shows him driving a Fusion.
In brief: Intel and Micron Technology today announced that they would form a new company to manufacture NAND flash memory for consumer electronics, removable data storage and handheld communications devices.... Shares of Marvell Technology Group today--a company that manufactures chips that control hard disks in Apple's video iPod--rose 13 percent to an all-time high after the company reported earnings that bested analysts estimates.... Apple UK is offering mail-in rebates worth up to 50 percent on Microsoft Office.... Xitel today unveiled HiFi-Link for iPod, a docking station that connects iPods to home stereos or televisions while charging the device.... A new security flaw has surfaced in one of Sony's DRM components--SunnComm's uninstaller that was supplied for CD buyers who were unhappy with the DRM technology.... Ford Motor Company is targeting the iPod generation with a new TV spot for the midsize Fusion sedan, airing an ad depicting a young man selecting music on his iPod on a subway train, and later shows him driving a Fusion.
An aspiring individual has apparently managed to crack Mac OS X 10.4.3 for the x86 architecture--allowing it to run on non-Apple hardware and even some older hardware--circumventing the TPM (Trusted Platform Module) by fooling the operating system into thinking it doesn't need the chip. The latest version of Mac OS X for Intel features tougher security to prevent the system from running on non-Apple hardware, and while the TPM itself is virtually uncrackable, a hacker by the name of "Maxxuss, the hacking God" has managed to remove the dependency for the chip, according to hack in the box.
Standard & Poor's Equity Research analyst Megan Graham-Hackett reiterated a "hold" rating on Apple stock, but raised the firm's 12-month price target from $56 to $66, following news that TiVo would release software to link its DVR to the iPod, according to Forbes. "In a research report Graham-Hackett said, 'In our view, the video iPod needs expanded content to be a more attractive device.' However, Graham-Hackett noted that the process for converting the TV programming onto the video iPod 'is still a bit complex and may limit demand.' The analyst noted that while Apple trades at a price/sales multiple of 3.9 times, well above peers, 'we believe it can continue to do so with its new product momentum.'"
Easy Barcode Creator 2.0 is a "major" update to the easy-to-use barcode software for Windows PCs and Mac OS X. Version 2.0 brings support for 13-digit ISBN barcode creation and Adobe Bridge integration as well as an ISBN Price Assistant that automatically add price barcode additions with standard worldwide currencies, directing printing support, quick save functionality, a new Postnet Barcode Creator for United States Postal Service envelopes and packages, custom barcode sizing, a new ISBN Check digit verifier, higher resolution images using the TIFF image file format, spotlight integration, and more. It is available for $128, while owners of previous versions can upgrade for $40.
Xitel today unveiled HiFi-Link for iPod, a docking station that connects iPods to home stereos or televisions while charging the device. HiFi-Link for iPod provides gold-plated line-level RCA outputs with matching studio-grade audio cable, and offers SRS TruBass to enhance the lower frequencies of music. The dock uses composite video output to view videos and photos through any TV, while advanced buffering ensures sharp, crisp pictures without interference. Utilizing the Apple Universal Dock, HiFi-Link for iPod ensures complete compatibility with the fifth-generation video-capable iPod, iPod nano, iPod photo, iPod color, iPod mini, and all future iPod models with Dock Adapter clips. The smart-charging dock ships with a full-sized remote control; batteries for the remote control; a power adapter; a shielded audio cable; an audio adapter cable; a user manual; and five Dock adapter inserts. HiFi-Link for iPod is expected to be available in the U.S. starting in mid-November for $100.
Apple today announced that it has reached long-term supply agreements with Hynix, Intel, Micron, Samsung Electronics and Toshiba to secure the supply of NAND flash memory through 2010. As part of these agreements, Apple intends to prepay a total of $1.25 billion for flash memory components during the next three months. "We want to be able to produce as many of our wildly popular iPods as the market demands," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. Earlier this month, reports had emerged indicating that Apple had turned to Hynix to help supply flash-memory for the low-end iPod shuffles, following expected constraints on flash-memory for the holiday season and last week there were reports that Apple may sign a mega-memory deal with Samsung.
In Brief: MacNN readers have posted photos of the grand openings of the new Apple Store in Salt Lake City (Utah) and Apple's fourth retail store in the UK: The Apple Store Manchester (along with a report here).... Several readers pointed us to a paraody of the iPod introductions, featuring a Steve Jobs impersonation during a Saturday Night Live Skit on the iPod's "obsolescence".... During a limited-time promo, Runtime is offering free licenses of Valentina XCMD 1.12 along with the purchase of new or upgrade versions of Runtime Revolution Studio.... Speck is now shipping its SkinTight 3-packs, new rubberized cases for Apple's video iPods, while DLO has begun shipping its PodFolio Deluxe.... One user has posted instructions on installling Linux on an iPod nano.
Parliant has announced that it will include BIAS Peak Express 5 as part of its PhoneValet Podcast bundle ($250), a product extension of PhoneValet Message Center 3.0. The upgrade to BIAS Peak Express 5 audio filtering and editing software offers PhoneValet customers the abiilty to leverage optimizations for Mac OS X Tiger and also adds audio recording capabilities, support for opening 3GPP files, auto-latency compensation, support for Unicode and file names longer than 32 characters, multi-document recording, improved sample rate conversion, and Load/Save/Bypass buttons for AU plug-ins, etc.. The PhoneValet Podcast bundle also includes VST edition of the highly acclaimed BIAS SoundSoap 2, a high-quality audio noise reduction and restoration software available for Mac OS X.
Apple's iPod, iTunes and other successes may be helping it achieve respect from the worldwide community. Apple jumped from No. 42 to No. 9 on this year's World's Most Respected Companies list from Price Waterhouse Cooper. Apple is among the four IT vendors on the list, which is lead by Microsoft and also incluides IBM (No. 5), Google (No. 39th) and HP (No. 46), which suffered the greatest drop from the No. 10 last year. Microsoft's Bill Gates "remains the number one most respected business leader and in a new listing of 'most influential business writer or management guru' comes in at second just behind management guru Peter Drucker. Microsoft is also rated top in the 'best for shareholder value' category and perhaps controversially in the 'best for innovation' category. IBM and Apple were also placed in the 'best turnaround' category." The eight year-old survey is based on 1,000 chief executive interviews. Results are weighted according to the GDP in each country, according to Vnunet.com.
Speck Products is now shipping its SkinTight 3-packs, new rubberized cases for Apple's video iPods. SkinTight 3-Packs are available in two sizes (for 30GB and 60GB iPods) and are available now from both online and to major retailers nationwide "We've got SkinTights in two sizes, which is a 'first' for Speck," said General Manager Tim Hickman. "They've got the 'docking flap' so you can dock your iPod without removing the case. The back and sides of the case have also got a great grippy feel and texture." Each package ships with one clear, black and blue skin cases and three color-coodinated rubber backed (around the edge) screen protectors. The back and sides of the case feature a great looking 'hump' pattern for a solid grip and a cool texture, according to the company, while Speck's 'docking flap' feature lets you dock your iPod without removing the case. The three-pack is available for $30.
Maxtor announced today that demonstrations of its OneTouch II FireWire 800 Edition are now being featured at 115 Apple retail stores across the U.S. The storage solution features the choice of FireWire 800, FireWire 400 or USB 2.0 interfaces. The storage solution also features a sleek, slim design and cool operation. Using the FireWire interface, the Maxtor OneTouch II drive is fully bootable on a Mac computer running OS X system software. With every Maxtor OneTouch II, consumers receive the company's DriveLock feature for added security and an exclusive version of Dantz Retrospect Express HD for simple backup and restore. The OneTouch II carries a retail price of $230 for the 200GB version, and $300 for the 300GB model.
An appeal in the iPod battery lawsuit settlement may delay the disbursement of benefits by up to a year or more. In August 2005, a judge had approved a settlement in the case alleging that Apple misrepresented the iPod's battery life, offering vouchers, store credits, partial reimbursement of paid services, and more to select owners of first-, second-, and third-generation iPods. Apple, who said it had not filed the appeal, was A new statement on the iPod settlement website reads: "On October 24, 2005, a notice of appeal was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo, challenging the approved iPod Settlement. As a result, Settlement benefits will not be provided unless and until the appeal is resolved. This could take an extended period of time (up to a year or more). Until that time, Apple's normal policies are in effect. [However], the appeal does not alter the Important Dates deadlines in any way."
TiVo users will soon be able to transfer their recorded television content to their video iPods and Sony mobile handhelds. The company today is expected to announce a plan later today, which will let users of its popular digital video recorders download any TV show stored on their TiVo boxes onto iPods. The move will greatly expand the TiVo said it will begin testing the feature over the coming weeks and will make it available in the first quarter of next year to its TiVo Series2 subscribers as part of its TivoToGo feature, which is used by about 300,000 of its total 3.6 million subscribers. TiVo also said it plans to modify its software to let its users download shows to Sony PlayStation Portable mobile game device.