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8GB flash thumbdrive
EDGE Tech today announced a mega-sized 8GB flash-based thumbdrive. As the latest USB flash drive addition to the company's DiskGO! line, the 8GB DiskGO! USB 2.0 Flash Drive features a sleek silver design: the device is approximately the size of a thumb and can hold thousands of pictures, music files, data files, or documents from a user's computer -- all with one “plug-and-go” step. The drive is 3.37” (L) x 1.05” (W) x .59” (H) in size and weighs about half an ounce, making it ideal for on-the-go storage in an extremely compact form factor. The flash-drive is “hot-swappable" and features USB 2.0 transfers; it includes a keychain grommet, EasyBoot software, built-in clip, and removable cap. It is available for $600, while other capacities are $265 (4GB), $120 (2GB), $60 (1GB), $35 (512MB), $20 (256MB), and $10 (128MB).
Capsule Accessory System
SwitchEasy today launched the Capsule Accessory System for Apple's iPod nano. The Capsule Accessory System for iPod Nano is a full line of accessories designed for the protection. The base product offering features a duo-toned, custom fitted polycarbonate carrying case made from the ultra-tough GE LEXAN plastic resin with a easily replaceable color lens cap "for everyday fashion needs." The case also features two insert holes which is compatible with third party lanyards and the ever popular telephone handstraps; it is also designed to be a perfect match for third-party necklace headphones. The Capsule product also includes a custom printed reusable touch wheel protector (Stickies) made from static cling plastic and a color-coordinated lanyard. It is available in five colors, Black Amber (Black), Shaved Ice (White/Clear), Red Mama (Red), Tangy Orange (Orange), and Citrus Apple (Green/Yellow) for $20 (€20).
Video distribution hurdles
Although speculation abounds about a forthcoming "storage" locker service from Apple, the company may face a few technology and patent hurdles, according to technology pundit Robert X. Cringely: "Apple will be in the business of streaming movies rather than downloading them. Downloading is easy, streaming is hard.... To make streaming of high-bandwidth content as painless as possible, Apple would need the kind of distributed architecture I've been describing at Google.... Maybe Apple is using the Akamai network or its equivalent. Maybe the distribution system leverages peer-to-peer in the same manner as BitTorrent." Apple could also face a few patent hurdles, according to the column. Cringley notes that Burst.com holds nearly 40 video distribution patents, which have already been licensed by Microsoft in 2004 for nearly $60 million dollars.
Five rules of cool
There are five "rules of cool" that must be followed in order to imitate Apple's enormous success, according to one columnist. They include a collective of well-known loyal customers that avidly defend the company on a whim, as well as the company's seemingly impervious reputation, according to a column from The Age. The first rule is that excellence trumps everything; "your products had better be as good as Apple's," the columnist says. Second, decide on your story, then stick to it; "say what you are. Stick to it, again and again." The third rule is to choose your friends well; "what's unusual to the point of singularity is Apple's chutzpah in claiming the imprimatur of notables who died before the PC existed."
First Macs to Intel
One analyst says Apple is making "great progress" on the Intel version of Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger," and predicts the first Intel Mac systems will include PowerBooks, iBooks and Mac minis. American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said checks with sources indicate that the upcoming release of Mac OS X 10.4.4 for Intel runs well, with noticeable enhancements to the Rosetta PowerPC emulation environment that improve backward compatibility with AltiVec support. "We believe this will alleviate concerns that older software that hasn't been ported to Intel will run well without a recompile," Wu wrote.
Some topics included in MacNN's most recent podcasts include speculation regarding the use of iDisk for video distribution, a widget for calculating hard drive space to DV elapsed time, bringing Front Row to machines other than the iMac, an interview with developer Chris Forsythe on open-source projects, More video deals announced for the iTMS, and more. The next podcast will include an interview with Leander Kahney, author of Cult of iPod.
PopXpress iPod store
PopXpress--the UK's first chain of Apple iPod and accessory stores--today announced the full list of vendors available in its London store. The store features products from Disruptive Technology, Better Energy Systems, NUMark, Griffin Technology, Koss, and more. "Griffin Technology and their UK distributor A M Micro are proud to have been chosen to supply key iPod products for the new PodExpress stores. We have a long standing relationship with Computer Warehouse and believe PodExpress will offer a fresh and exciting approach to the iPod culture," say Paul Griffin, CEO Griffin Technology and Steve Hawkins, MD of A M Micro. PopXpress is planning to open 12 stores by 2006 in key cities and retail centers across the UK. The popXpress store concept takes a minimalist approach displaying all iPod related accessories in glass cabinets, so customers can understand the look and feel of the products before making a purchase.
QXP Images Book, Ashalii
QXP Images Book 1.3 ($20) creates image catalog files using Quark XPress 6.x with images and clipart, and can generate picture captions. Picture captions can include information such as file name and size, while picture boxes can be created with or without frame. The software generates sophisticated catalogs with background images, a header, footer, and more.
[Download - 415KB]
24U Simple Bridge 1.0 ($10) reduces the risk of relying on third-party FileMaker plug-ins by simplifying a switch from one plug-in to its competitive alternative. The software lets developers use their old scripts with new plug-ins without having to rewrite any calculations. The bridge offers increased flexibility and compatibility, while allowing users to more easily switch to better plug-ins.
Ashalii 1.1 ($15) updates the Mac arcade puzzle game, correcting the background image in the menu screens. The game features a trapped-in-space theme, as players fit shapes into the board connecting matching pieces to remove them. To escape from the Ashalii Trap, players must advance through increasingly difficult levels, each requiring more adjacent matching pieces than the last. [Download - 2.8MB]
Heredis Mac X.2 ($70) updates the genealogy program, offering simplified fusion of individuals for improved handling of data as well as iApps integration for optimizing work. Features include intelligent management of duplicates, a navigation record, new designed family trees, and more.
Xupport 3.1.5 ($20) is a multipurpose system utility for Mac OS X that can configure hidden Mac OS X and Unix options, to increase system security and performance, to maintain and backup Mac OS X, and to dig deeper into the world of Unix. Changes include improved security technology, multiple bug fixes, and multiple selection in the browser. [Download - 4.1MB]
iPod searches top 6.6M
Apple's iPod digital music player, predicted by numerous analysts to be one of this holiday's hottest selling gadgets, appears to be winning the hearts of shoppers and those looking for online products and information. A recent survey conducted by comScore found that more than 6.6 million iPod-related searches were conducted during the month of November, more than Microsoft's Xbox 360 console gaming and media center, which saw roughly five million searches in the same time period. Apple has successfully dominated the digital music industry with its portable music players, and that trend shows now signs of slowing as the holidays approach. Recently Apple saw iPod sales skyrocket when online retailer Best Buy reported selling out of both white and black 4GB Nanos, even as the Nano was named Amazon's sixth biggest-selling item. The survey results suggest that Apple's dominance could continue through the end of year, as the company strives to fill demand for its intensely popular portable players through the end of its quarter.
ConceptDraw V v5.5
Computer Systems Odessa today released an upgrade to ConceptDraw V, its professional business and technical diagramming package for Windows and Macintosh. Version 5.5 includes new export to XML for MS Visio, support for alpha-channel, and the ability to choose a type - color in object’s custom properties as well as print current ConceptDraw document page. The update also features enlarged units of measurement, an improved ConceptDrawBasic editor, expanded Task-specific libraries of shapes, and better performance, including increased speed of data processing and improved text operations. The Standard version is available for $150 (upgrades $80), while the Professional version. designed specifically for IT, technical users and developers, is $300 (upgrades $100).
Aspyr today announced that the Mac version of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie game is now available in retail stores. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie game, based on the hit movie from Nickelodeon Movies Paramount Pictures, brings underwater antics from the big screen to your Mac with a collection of mini games, including Bubble Popping, Driving Games and an Ice Cream Eating Contest. These action games feature characters from the movie, Plankton and King Neptune, along with the fan-favorite duo SpongeBob and Patrick, as they explore three modes of gameplay including Travel Mode, Challenge Mode and Versus Mode. SpongeBob SquarePants is available for $30 and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
DoorStop X Security Suite
Open Door Networks today announced an expanded line of Internet security products, including its new DoorStop X Security Suite as well as updates to its DoorStop and Who's There? software applications. The DoorStop X Security Suite, now available, represents a comprehensive, integrated approach to protecting Macs on the Internet. The Suite consists of major new releases of Open Door's DoorStop X Firewall and Who's There? Firewall Advisor, along with an electronic second edition of the book "Internet Security for Your Macintosh: A Guide for the Rest of Us". The DoorStop X Security Suite ($70) includes DoorStop X Firewall 1.1, Who's There? Firewall Advisor 2.0 and both standalone and integrated copies of the security guide.
Bluetooth 2.0 USB adapters
IOGEAR today launched Bluetooth 2.0 USB Class 1 and Class 2 adapters, designed to add Bluetooth wireless technology to any desktop or notebook PC or Mac and wirelessly share documents, music and video at up to three times the speed of the current Bluetooth standard. The adapters can share data with Bluetooth-enabled cell phones, PDAs, stereo headphones, and printers. Both adapters offer lower power consumption for longer battery life with use on notebook computers. The Class 1 adapter boasts a wireless range of 330 feet, while the Class 2 adapter offers a range of 66 feet. The Bluetooth 2.0 USB adapters are priced at $50 for the Class 1 version, and $40 for the Class 2 version. Both models are backward compatible with Bluetooth 1.2 and 1.1 standard, and are USB 1.1 compliant.
Digital photos at MWSF
IDG World Expo today announced a major focus on digital photography at Macworld Expo, which takes place January 9-13, 2006 at San Francisco's Moscone Center. Several new features will provide attendees with more education, services and product insight about digital photography. The Expo will offer the first in-depth public training on Apple’s newly launched Aperture: taught by best-selling digital photography author Derrick Story, this conference session is part of the Power Tools Conference and provides two full days of in-depth training on this powerful tool. IDG also said that the floor will include exhibits from Adobe, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Quark, FileMaker, Lowel-Light, HP, Epson, Filmloop, Light Crafts and B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio, while a special Digital Photography Day will be sponsored by Olympus, FileMaker and Lowel-Light.
MacPractice 1.8 due in Dec
MacPractice today announced a new release of a new version of its MacPractice MD, DDS and DC software for medical practices. The new release, due later this month, adds new features to MacPractice MD, DDS and DC to advance user productivity and efficiency. It will offer new scheduling features, including the ability to associate as many as four colors with an appointment to indicate status, type, alert, etc. In additiion, users can overlay transparencies on the schedule to indicate block time for certain procedures, or doctor and staff availability. Version 1.8 facilitates the posting of bulk insurance payments, a new Claim Generator to print batches of paper claims, and SuperCodes, which generate a predetermined set of procedures and diagnosis simultaneously.
iPod accessory market
While Apple's iPod continues to be the best selling MP3 player, the iPod accessory market is growing at a faster pace. The $300 million iPod accessory market includes over 1,000 accessores that extend the reach and versatility of the device well beyond its native form as an already impressive mobile music and video player," according to The Boston Globe: "The iPod accessories market has become a powerhouse in its own right, to the tune of more than $300 million annually, and sales of such products are growing faster, on a percentage basis, than the device itself, said Gavin Downey, a director of product management at accessory maker Belkin Corp., in Compton, Calif. In the early days of the iPod, he noted, there was a relatively low ''attach rate" from the unit. For every 15 to 20 iPods sold, one unit of accessories moved. Today, it's almost a one-to-one ratio."
\'Slick\' iMovie plugins
Gee Three today released new plugins for iMovie. Slick Volumes 9 and 10 are the latest additions to the of iMovie plug-ins. Slick 9 adds a broad collection of new transitions, including over seventy 3D transitions based on OpenGL, a new family of Object Wipes, and Fusion Factory. Fusion Factory creates soft and organic flows and wipes. Each transition is based on a customizable Fusion Atom and over 150 Atoms are included--for a total of 750 are available with the Fusion Factory Plus Pack. Slick Volume 9 also includes some powerful effects and titles, including set the alignment, spacing and placement of text with Place Text II. Slick 9 is available for $50, while an add-on pack to expand the Fusion Factory to a total 750 Atoms is $25.
inMotion iM7 review
In Brief: MacNN has reviewed the inMotion iM7 Portable Audio speaker system (pictured at right), one of the most popular iPod accessories... SystemSendStation is giving away 1,000 free PocketDocks FW, its thumb-sized iPod FireWire adapter--the offer is available while supplies last or until December 24th and is limited to one PocketDock per person..... e2Sync, an Entourage conduit for iSync, is available for 30 percent discount ($27) through Dec 26th (use discount code 'TASIB05').... MacNN readers have posted photos from the weekend grand opening of the Apple Stores in Sendai, Japan and at Meadowhall Shopping Center in Sheffield, UK.
Jobs, Nano honored
Once again landing on the BusinessWeek cover, Apple's Steve Jobs has been named among the Best Business Leaders of 2005 by BusinessWeek, while Apple's "impossibly thin" iPod nano was named one of the Best Products of 2005 by the magazine as well. BusinessWeek, which noted that the world "watched in awe as Apple blew apart entire distribution networks of established broadcasting and movie empires," says that "no one in techland had a better year—or a broader impact—than Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs," recognizing his contributions at both Apple and Pixar.
Green Array workflow app
Green Array today announced that Green Array now supports the Mac OS X platform. Green Array's workplace software solution combines high-performance methodology, business intelligence, portfolio and project management, and business process/collaboration into a single integrated solution. Mac users can now collaborate in real-time with Windows users without any IT involvement, according to the company. Through February 2006, hosted versions of the Green Array Individual annual licenses are priced at $240 with 1GB of storage, while Shared annual licenses, including 10 user IDs and 1GB of storage, are also available for $240 (enterprise pricing not available). All annual licenses include a 90-day money back guarantee.
nGenuity supports Macs
nGenuity has announced that it has added support for FireFox and Apple's Safari browsers to its website building tools. The company said that its flagship product Easy Website Builder is now FireFox and Safari compliant. “We cannot continue to ignore all of these users who have switched for security reasons. If they do not want to be forced into using Internet Explorer, we should help set them free”, says nGenuity Solutions’ President. "Indeed we are seeing a larger push toward writing FireFox and Safari compatible software from software shops and design firms. All it took was FireFox to scare the bean counters just a little bit." The Easy Website Builder solution offers an easy way to build a website using one of the company's templates and a WYSIWYG web editor to quickly build websites.
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