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iPodNN roundup: Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced the DLO nano fling fashion cases ($30, shown at right) for iPod nano, its colorful cases that feature a wristlet strap and a flip-up cover with a cosmetic mirror.... Designmobel has unveiled "Pause", its iPod-compatible bed with shelves that can accommodate a Bose speaker system, as well as an iPod.... HandStands today announced that its iSnug Set ($40)--a case designed to protect an iPod or iPod mini and its accessories--is compatible with Apple's fifth-generation iPod models.... Street Chic today announced the availability of its leather Shuffle and Nano bags ($20-25) that are designed to be fashionable, functional, tough, and affordable.... PDAsia has rolled out its Crystal and Silicon cases ($1.55-3.50) for iPod nanos and fifth-generation iPods.
In brief: Fast Company likens BMW's "Cult of M" to Apple's "cult of Mac".... PhotoshopCAFE.com today announced a new website, after five years of growth a new framework was needed to accommodate swelling content.... The Take Control Series has been expanded with two new eBooks: "Take Control of Apple Mail in Tiger" ($10) and an updated-for-Tiger version of the 66-page "Take Control of Spam with Apple Mail" ($5).... MacForce today announced three Mac OS X Tiger seminars: Mac OS X and Aperture for Photographers, Mac OS X for Creative Professionals, and Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server for Creative Workgroups.... iPodNN today noted that Pacific Design launched its iPod 5G Video Flip Cases ($30, shown at right), made from soft and durable polyurethane.
Street Chic today announced the availability of its leather Shuffle and Nano bags that are designed to be fashionable, functional, tough, and affordable. Each bag is hand crafted, and room is provided to "tuck" the cord to avoid complications. Street Chic Fashions iPod bags are available in a variety of colors with optional jewelry in numerous styles. The Shuffle bag comes with an adjustable silken rubber cord, while the Nano bag comes with a leather cord and sterling clasp. Styles include the "Grand Prix," "Doc," "Basic Black," and "Bomber" (shown at right). Additional styles include "Distressed Brown," "White," "Paris Chic," and "Pearlized Pink." Shuffle cases are priced at $20, while Nano cases cost $25.
Pacific Design today launched its iPod 5G Video Flip Cases, made from soft and durable polyurethane. The ultra-slim construction is designed to fit the iPod snugly, while offering full access to all buttons and ports. A top flap protects the players screen, and the soft clip attached to the back of the case snaps onto a belt or an armband. The new flip cases fit both 30GB and 60GB fifth-generation iPods and are available in "carbon black," "precious pink," "big sky blue," or "rally red" for $30.
HandStands today announced that its iSnug Set--a case designed to protect, store, and organize an iPod or iPod mini and its accessories--is compatible with Apple's fifth-generation iPod models. The two-piece design offers versatility, while protecting the iPod on-the-go; jogging, skiing, traveling, and hiking. The inner space provides a precision tooled nest for the iPod and its accessories, while the tough outer shell delivers an abrasion and moisture resistant seal that protects the device from scratches, breaks, and shock damage due to accidental drops or bumps. iSnug is available for $40 from various retailers.
Extensis is now shipping Portfolio 8 for digital asset management, centralizing key digital assets for easier sharing across workgroups. The new version of Portfolio provides industrial-strength workflow features to organize and share digital files with visual catalogs and embedded metadata, making it easy to quickly find, route and distribute valuable branding collateral like images, brochures, layouts and logos within asset creation workgroups and externally with global partners. The Portfolio 8 product family includes a standalone version, Client/Server solution, as well as NetPublish and SQL Connect Modules. Portfolio 8 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later, with Client/Server Solutions starting at $6,000. This can be extended to include SQL database options with SQL Connect Modules for $6,000-10,600. Portfolio NetPublish for Server is priced at $6,000. All Portfolio Client/Server products come with a 12-month annual service agreement providing free updates and priority support.
iPod shuffle and 2GB iPod nano sales ballooned recently with the start of the holiday shopping season, which may surprise some iPod followers because the 4GB Nanos were outselling the 2GB models by a wide margin immediately following their introduction. American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said "It appears that holiday shoppers (particularly first-time iPod buyers) are more concerned with the price point as opposed to the storage capacity." The analyst believes this is a sign that Apple's bet on a $200 price point for the 2GB Nano has begun to pay off, the same way it did with the $200 4GB iPod mini, according to AppleInsider. Wu also reported evidence of strong sales of Apple's sub-$130 iPod shuffles and $500 Aperture post-production photography software. "While this is favorable for revenue, we believe it is also favorable for margins as we believe 2GB Nanos and iPod shuffles are amongst the higher margin iPods given their lower NAND flash content," Wu said.
Designmobel has unveiled "Pause", its iPod-compatible bed which harbors shelves that can accommodate a Bose speaker system, as well as an iPod. Exploring the notion of "rest," the designer aims to challenge the conventional definition of the bedroom environment. "The resulting design incorporates functionality that lets your mood guide the pace; quiet time or play time." Pause is crafted from solid New Zealand Rimu with aluminum detailing, and optional accessories include a minimalist side lamp as well as an aluminum tray (pricing was unavailable.)
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today announced the DLO nano fling fashion cases for iPod nano, designed for fashion-conscious Nano owners who want to add style and personality to their black or white iPod nano. The nano flings are colorful cases that feature a wristlet strap and a padded, protective flip-up cover with a cosmetic mirror. An elastic loop on the back eases storage, and the cases feature a clear plastic cover that shields the entire front surface of the iPod, while still allowing complete access to the player controls. DLO nano flings are available at Apple retail stores in metallic silver and pink colors for $30.
IDG World Expo today announced the schedule for the Users Conference, as well as the Hands-on MacLabs at Macworld Conference and Expo, taking place January 9-13th, 2006 at San Francisco's Moscone Center. The Users Conference is designed for Mac users of all skill levels; attendees can improve their mastery of Mac OS X, learn to utilize the new features of their favorite productivity tools, and expand their creative horizons in the fields of digital photography and digital video production. Early bird registration is available for the Users Conference on or before December 9th for $215, while Hands-on MacLabs early bird registration is priced at $350.
Stone Design today released iMaginator 2.2, a free upgrade to its powerful image processing and painting application. iMaginator provides an intuitive and easy to use interface for Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)’s Core Image technology. It ofers instant access to over 108 effects, transitions, and filters, allowing users to layer images, paint and text, and apply, modify, and re-order multiple effects as well as crop, scale, rotate, flip, skew, change exposure and brighten images in realtime. It can also create QuickTime movies showing the effects changing over time, according to Stone. Version 2.2 adds 12 online tutorials, 30 new effect chainss, 11 "Blank Paint" canvases, support for RAW image formats (Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Minolta, Sony, OpenEXR), Intel-based Mac support, German localization, and more. iMaginator is $50 with "free upgrades for life."
Small Tree Communications has provided a 128-node InfiniBand (IB) cluster--consisting of Apple G5 Xserves--to Florida A-and-M University to be used on a project awarded by the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command. The project--Laser Interactions with Materials for Identification Technology (LIMIT)--focuses on developing tools and techniques to remotely detect hazardous materials, and will be located in the University's new Center of Plasma Science and Technology. InfiniBand is scalable, high bandwidth, low latency networking technology that is designed to create multi-node clusters of smaller systems that form one massive supercomputer. In recent years, Cluster computing has revolutionized the field of supercomputing. Apple has repeatedly teamed up with Small Tree to offer some of the worlds fastest supercomputing solutions in the world, in one case producing the world's third-fastest system in October of 2004.
Analyst Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank Securities has reiterated his "buy" rating on Apple stock, while raising his estimates. Whitmore raised his target price from $60 to $78 and said--in a research note published yesterday--that the company’s earnings for F1Q06 are expected to be driven by high video iPod shipments, according to NewRatings.com. The firm raised its estimates for video iPod shipments for the December quarter from 9.5 million units to 11.0 million units, noting that recent channel and supply chain checks indicate that Apple’s product mix is "significantly shifting towards more expensive video iPods." The report notes that the EPS estimates for Apple for FY06 and FY07 have been raised from $1.70 to $1.85 and from $2.00 to $2.20, respectively.
PDAsia has rolled out its Crystal and Silicon cases for iPod nanos and fifth-generation iPods. The cases feature a standard neck strap and lightweight construction that are designed to provide durable protection, while its silicon cases are available in 12 colors. The Crystal cases provide transparent protection for the digital music players. Silicon cases for fifth-generation iPods are available for $1.55 each, while Nano silicon cases are priced at $1.20 each. Crystal cases for iPod nano are priced at $3.50, and pricing for fifth-generation iPod crystal cases was unavailable.
In brief: O'Reilly has released its latest Tiger guide, "Mac OS X Tiger in a Nutshell" ($40).... Marcel Molina, Jr. is returning to the Big Nerd Ranch with the second offering of Ruby On Rails Bootcamp, slated for March 6-10, 2006.... Newer Technology has reduced the prices on many of its miniStack hard drive solutions by up to 11 percent in preparation for the holidays.... Microsoft recently released the results of a study the company commissioned in an effort to show that Windows is more reliable than Linux.... Adobe Photoshop users can test their skills by taking the "Ultimate Photoshop Quiz" created by NAPP.
Addonics today announced its 5x1 eSATA Port Multiplier (PM), which allows multiple drives to be connected to a SATA controller via a single eSATA port for expanded storage and high-speed 3GB/sec transfers. The Addonics PM fits inside the Addonics Storage Tower, its compact aluminum drive enclosure that allows users to mix and match multiple drive interfaces as well as hard drive or optical storage devices. The Adonnics PM is also designed to fit any standard SCSI enclosure that has 2 bays or larger and has a 50-pin Centronic SCSI connector on the back plane. The Port Multiplier can be set up to support each drive individually or as a RAID or JBOD (just a bunch of disks). Using multiple PMs, the Addonics 4-Port eSATA controllers can support as many as 20 SATA hard drives via a single controller. It is available for $90.
Bubble Gym 0.6.0 (donationware) is a tilt-sensitive game for notebook computers that utilizes the Sudden Motion Sensor (SMS) installed in newer PowerBooks (released this year). Players tilt the notebook back and fourth to roll a ball, while holding the command key speeds up ball movement. [Download - 2.1MB] PopChar X 2.3 ($30) makes "typing" of unusual characters easy by removing the need to remember keyboard combinations. Version 2.3 offers customization of the number of fonts and recently used special characters to display, optimized positioning of PopChar dialog windows, and more. [Download - 901KB] RapidoWrite 1.1 (free) updates the utility to insert frequently used phrases into any application, adding the option to keep the old content of the clipboard and improving compatibility with Mac OS X. [Download - 3MB] HappyHolidays! 1.1 ($10) helps create do-it-yourself personalized photo cards. The update offers the ability to create e-cards to send as emails, as well as a new 2 x 2 photo layout. [Download - 1.3MB] iPresent It 1.3 ($18) is a free update to the application that converts PowerPoint, PDF, and Keynote presentations into slideshows that are synced with an iPod. Version 1.3 improves image quality, adds a menu item to the print dialog's "Save as PDF" button, and adds full drag-and-drop functionality. [Download - 852KB] Vvidget Server 10.3.1 (free) drives graphs on Mac OS X for desktop, dashboard, and web applications. Improvements include caching requests to dynamic queries, communication capability between Web applications and Vvidget Server using standard HTTP, and more.
Dot-Tunes has launched a dedicated file sharing network specifically for iTunes users. The software enables users to share music from their iTunes library with others. Dot-Tunes Client users can connect to the Tracker and retrieve a list of available servers and click on a server to connect and begin downloading or playing tracks -- straight out of iTunes. Dot-Tunes was apparently "conceived by a group of professional musicians who use iTunes for storing their own copyright music and recordings." The software is available for both Mac OS X and Windows.
Newer Technology today launched the NewerTech battery recycling program, designed to reward customers who choose to recycle their batteries. The new program allows customers to send in their old Apple or third-party PowerBook or iBook batteries and receive a $20 rebate for each NewerTech replacement battery purchased. Newer says that the battery type sent in for rebate must be the same type as the battery purchased (and that only a single rebate would apply for each purchase; however, NewerTech will properly of all batteries sent in). NewerTech’s laptop batteries, available for most Apple iBook and PowerBook models including all current iBook/PowerBook models, start at $120 and offer as much as 50 percent more capacity than Apple’s stock batteries, according to the company.
In Brief: Apple is testing an iPod bar--similiar to the Genius Bar, but designed for helping iPod owners--at its retail store in Tokyo (Japan).... Opera said that online security concerns have prompted record downloads of Opera 8.51 web browser--over 1 million in less than a week.... Mozilla is expected to release Firefox 1.5 later today.... PureStatic announced its support for original Mac games, and the developers who produce them by offering on-demand High Volume File Hosting for the OMG Cup 2005.... Sony has released a new firmware upgrade (version 2.60) that adds WMA support, improvements to the web browser, a new RSS Channel menu item along with support for streaming audio and video.... Total Training for Final Cut Pro 5: The Essentials ($230) is a new tutorial by visual effects guru Brian Maffitt, featuring 12 hours of comprehensive videos.
Lismore Software has released Guest PC 1.7, an update to its Mac OS X application that allows you to easily create and manage virtual x86 computer on your Mac. Users can install the Windows operating system and access applications available only for Windows compatible computers. Version 1.7 fixes many incompatibility issues, CPU/FPU core emulation modules and also offers a performance increase of 10 percent. Other enhancements includes improved printer management, improved video output, a more stable DOS virtual machine, and better network functionality for better and more reliable networking, offering Virtual Hardware and Shared Networking. These modes allow to flexibly manage the virtual computer networking. The update is free, while the full version is available for $70 (family license).
Q-Phrase today released ConceptQ, a personal research and discovery tool that automatically identifies main topics of interest in electronic documents – including online web pages. The company says the solution "allows a user to gain an understanding of the content in minutes without spending the time it would take to read through each and every page." ConceptQ distills the text from one or more documents, including HTML, PDF, Word and RTF files into an indexed format where a user can explore significant keywords and phrases, review sources referenced by each topic, zero in on topics of interest, and generate citation- based reports that can be used to study these topics in-depth. It requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later and is available for $40 (or as a 14-day demo). ConceptQ Pro ($150) offers expanded capabilities includes the ability to crawl a web site for content, compare and contrast saved indexes, flag important information and export reports directly to HTML or RTF.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.7 ( -0.57 )
TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe