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Apple's iPod nano today was among the top-selling electronic items on Amazon.com, and some models sold out on Best Buy's website--rocketing Apple's stock up 3.3 percent to almost $70 per share. The black 2GB Nano was the sixth best-selling electronic gadget on Amazon.com's list of most popular items; the white version of the same capacity was the tenth best-selling gadget, according to Reuters. Best Buy's website sold out of both white and black 4GB iPod nanos, careening its stock up 3.3 percent in turn. Apple has sold more than 28 million iPods to date since they were introduced in 2001, and has approximately 75 percent of the worldwide market for digital music players, according to market research firm NPD Group.
Forums roundup: Power Mac owners continue to discuss ATI's new X800 XT video card.... PowerBook owners and shoppers talk about the perceived high rate of problems with recent PowerBook models, and whether the issues are widespread or isolated.... One prospective iMac owner wants to know if the Intel-based iMacs will be worth the wait.... Mac OS X users share their performance tweaks for the operating system.... Video iPod owners continue to discuss their experiences with displaying iPod video content on a television.... MacNN Lounge members discuss the all-new Xbox 360 gaming console.
MacProVideo.com today released its entire software tutorial line on DVD as well as via direct download, while simultaneously unveiling a new Final Cut tutorial program--Capturing and Outputting in Final Cut. The tutorial "takes the guesswork out of getting video into and out of Final Cut by demonstrating important skills every video editor needs. Watch on screen as seasoned instructor and media deployment guru Francesco Schiavon demonstrates capturing and outputting video through real-time screen captures and clear voice-over instruction. It's like having an instructor in the room with you!" Capturing and Outputting in Final Cut Pro is available for $40, and the website is offering a "gift" feature to add a special message to gift purchases.
Lux 5.2 ($25) updates the strategy game, adding graphical enhancements and new visual effects. Version 5.2 offers additional network commands, improved translation of network messages, and a "booster shot" for autohosting. A new version of the AI software developer kit is also available. [Download - 8MB] Gamepedia 1.0 ($18) is a cataloging application for video and computer games that allows retrieval of game information from the internet via a search using keywords, an iSight camera, or a scanner. [Download - 3.1MB] Mini vMac 2.7.1 (unknown) updates the "miniature" Macintosh emulator, offering more advanced control of speed and superseding the previous "limit speed" option. Version 2.7.1 will no longer attempt to monopolize the processor. [Download - 36KB] Miyu 0.9.4 (unknown) is video subtitling and translation management software that provides the tools for scripting, timing, typesetting, and export. Features include playback with real-time preview, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) scripting/typesetting, and more. [Download - 2.2MB] SideTrack 1.3 ($15) updates the replacement driver for Apple PowerBook and iBook trackpads, offering support for the new USB trackpad hardware found in the 2005 PowerBooks and iBooks--including the latest October 2005 models. [Download - 760KB] SingleFramer 2.1 (free) is a frame-capture application designed to capture individual frames from a DV camera, either manually or automatically (time-lapse). Version 2.1 features "onion-skinning" to see an overlay of the previous frame as a shot is composed, as well as the ability to load an existing movie for matching a setup from a previous day. [Download - 2.7MB]
Apple executives this month sold more shares to reap the profits of Apple's late success. According to NASDAQ's insider trading list, company executives who sold shares this month include senior vice president Avie Tevanian, senior vice president Nancy Heinen, and senior vice president Ron Johnson. Tevanian has traded close to one million Apple shares, Heinen 225,000, and Johnson 400,000, according to a report from Macworld UK. In late October, Apple's chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer exercised 750,000 options--raking in $32 million, while at least four other senior company executives cashed in 100,000 or more options in recent months to gross millions of dollars as a result of Apple's booming success.
MAXON recently announced a free upgrade to CINEMA 4D 9.5 available for both 32 and 64-bit versions, its studio effects bundle for modelling, animation, and rendering. Version 9.5 offers changes to the "Content Browser" making it easier to use, expands drag-and-drop functionality, and provides an enhanced menu structure that improves efficiency. The update adds a new shader--the ChamLum shader--which illuminates the surface of objects with a soft, slightly fuzzy look. Additionally, a "Content Browser" library containing shaders, light setups and a bunch of useful "goodies" is available for free download. CINEMA 4D 9.5 requires Mac OS X 10.3, and is available for $700.
In Brief: Apple has posted jobs for a retail store in Rome, Italy.... iSkin today announced its first ever "Black Friday" sale, offering various products in all sizes and colors.... The demand for Apple's iPods has helped UK cyclists' and motorists' retailer Halfords achieve £40 million profit.... Leaving out iTunes customers, Hutchison 3G UK will debut the video for the new single from James Blunt, featuring Mischa Barton of the hit TV show "The OC".... The success of Apple's iPod has forced out BenQ from the Taiwan music player market.... Tunewear has announced the Poptune 5G, its removable, wearable wrapper for iPod 5G series digital music players.... Storynory.com is offering for free a growing library of classic and original children's stories for iPod owners.
Native Instruments yesterday announced that Traktor DJ Studio 3--its mixing software for DJs--is available in stores worldwide. Features include four playback decks, a suite of performance effects, an analog-modeled mixer section, a customizable user interface, and more. Traktor DJ Studio 3 allows DJs to browse and purchase the latest club music releases by offering access to the full catalog of Beatport, an online store for club music. Traktor DJ Studio 3 is available for $280, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9.
DEVONtechnologies yesterday updated its intelligent notebook application--DEVONnote--to version 1.8, and released maintenance updates for its freeware services CalcService and HotService. DEVONnote 1.8 offers a new option to float main windows above all other windows, easing the drag-and-drop process from other applications and allowing whole groups to be dragged to the Finder. The update allows sorting items by comment, and the contextual menus of text views provide a "See Selected Text" command that lists other notes in the database related to a selected text passage. Document packages such as Keynote or OmniOutliner files are correctly imported as a whole, and double-clicking opens them in the default application for their type. Version 1.8 improves the overall accuracy of "See Also" as well as "Classify," and the application is further optimized for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger providing greater speed and stability. DEVONnote requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is available for $20. The update is free for all registered users.
iSkin today announced its first ever "Black Friday" sale, offering various products in all sizes and colors with two for the price of one. Sale items include the EVO2 ($30), EVO ($25), EVO2 Wild Sides ($35, shown at right), Mini ($25), mini Wild Sides ($30), Shuffle Duo ($20), ProTouch XT keyboard protector ($20), and ProTouch PB Powerbook/iBook keyboard protector ($25).
Hutchison 3G UK--a company delivering media-rich audio and video to mobile handsets that competes with Apple's iTunes Music Store--today will debut the video for the new single from James Blunt, featuring Mischa Barton of the hit TV show "The OC". Since the 3G network began offering videos, it boasts more than 15 million video downloads with 3.2 million users in Britain, according to a report from The Evening Standard. Madonna, Charlotte Church, and the Pussycat Dolls have made online videos, while Hardfi are creating a download-only sequel to the video for their latest track--Cash Machine. Marketing director of Hutchison 3G UK Graeme Oxby hopes to challenge MTV, according to the report. "We're starting to see significant changes in the scheduling of releases, with channels such as 3 much higher up the pecking order, challenging traditional routes such as MTV for premieres," Oxby said.
The success of Apple's iPod has driven out yet another competitor from the Taiwan music player market. Digitimes reports that BenQ plans to withdraw its Joybee series MP3 player models from the Taiwan market due "mainly to strong competition from the Apple Computer iPod series." While Apple's iPod has driven out competitors such as Rio and Olympus from the music player market, the report notes that US-based ViewSonic will launch several own-brand MP3 player models for the first time in the local market sometime in December.
Tunewear has announced the Poptune 5G, its removable, wearable wrapper for iPod 5G series digital music players. The "clean removing" wrapper is available in a a variety of colors and patterns, including dreamy "Liquid Pink", solid "Technotic Green", tropical "Aloha", fierce "Dragon", pretty "Sakura" and more. "Poptune 5G provides protection for your iPod 5G against dirt and scratching. It is removable so you can remove it from your iPod 5G and replace it with another of your favorite POPTUNE patterns. You can also use it again so long as the sticky backing is kept in good condition. Poptune does not leave any marks or sticky remnants on the iPod 5G after it is removed." Each pack includes an extra clear patterned wrapper which covers and protects the iPod's sensitive mirror finished back side. The Poptune 5G is available in a pack of 12 stylish patterns and will ship in December for $20.
Storynory.com is offering a growing library of classic and original children's stories for iPod owners (or any other MP3 player). "It is a new concept in entertainment and education for children. We offerhours of classic children's literature, read by actresses, to educateand entertain children - there is no better way to introduce them tobooks and learning." Storynory features classic fairy tales, such as as LittleRed Riding Hood, The Snow Queen, and The Frog as well as The Christmas story. Each is available for free and draws upon classic children's literature. Storynory will feature at least one new story every week.
Apple has launched its annual "Black Friday" sale, offering offering $101 savings on its iMac G5 and iBook G4 as well as $30 savings on JBL On Stage iPod Speakers (now $120 or $140 with remote) and $20 savings on JBL Creature II Speakers (now $80), which are available in white, red, black, and aluminum. Apple has discounted the Shure Sound Isolating Earphones: the E5C is now $300 ($100 discount); the Shure E4C is $240 ($60 discount); the Shure E3C is $140 ($40 off) and the Shure E2C is $80 ($20 off). Apple's AirPort Express is now $100 and the iSight Camera is $120, a $30 discount on each.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Herm√©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir