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Apple has found yet another retail store location in Manhattan, after it was unable to obtain approval for a location in Flatiron district earlier this year. Apple has reportedly "net-leased the entire, 30,000-foot five-story building from Jeff Sutton of Wharton Realty and his partner, SL Green Realty Trust," according to a report in the New York Post. The upcoming retail location on West 34th street will be the third retail location in the lucrative Manhattan market, as the company finalized a second location earlier this year. Apple next spring will open a second 20,000-square-foot retail store in the underground concourse of the General Motors building near Midtown. That lease was finally signed after Jobs negotiated to keep the giant $9 million 32-foot hollow glass cube that he designed, following the expiration of the 20-year store lease.
Passowrd Repository 1.2 ($25) manages passwords in "true Mac style," written in Objective-C using the last Cocoa framework. The software saves all passwords in protected documents on the disk using Blowfish encryption. Document content is searchable, and Password Repository supports import/export of passwords from various sources. [Download - 1MB] shadowBurn 1.0 ($20) is CD/DVD authoring software with full Finder integration, custom hybrid content customization features, and overburning support. Hybrid support includes Mac only, PC, ISO9660, UDF, MP3 and Mac/PC formats. The application also supports CD-R/CD-RW, DVD+/-R, DVD+/-RW and DVD DL burners. ShadowBurn also includes a Finder plug-in, as well as drag-and-drop support. [Download - 993KB] iShell 4.0r9 ($500) updates the cross-platform media authoring software with full compatibility with QuickTime 7, as well as several speed improvements and bug fixes. iShell features a visual programming environment, XML support, timeline and animation editors, and more. A new "burn" feature allows developers to create and deploy a project in the iShell interface. Jon's Phone Tool 3.0 ($14) is a phone dialer that supports Bluetooth mobile phones and land lines via a Mac's modem port. The software can make calls via Vonage, CallVantage, Skype, Ovolab Phlink, Parliant's PhoneValet, an Asterisk PBX server, Cisco IP Phones and other IP-based telephony devices by way of an URL, or by any of the SIP softphones by Xten Networks (eyeBeam, X-PRO, X-Lite) for use with many VoIP services. Jon's Phone Tool also offers AppleScript support, a call log, a notepad, and call timers. [Download - 2.7MB] BeerAlchemy 1.0 ($30) is designed to help homebrewers create great beer. The software includes support for extract and full mash brewing, instant updates as recipes are built, and a built-in database of brewing ingredients. BeerAlchemy exports to PDF and HTML, includes a "quick calculator," and works with international units such as Metric, U.S., and U.K. Imperial units. [Download - 2.4MB] myNotes 1.1 ($13) creates, manages, and retrieves notes of all types. MyNotes features printable notes with the help of customizable themes, full Unicode support, searching with filtered results, and more. The application integrates with Address Book, and can auto-name notes for frequent note-takers. [Download - 968KB]
Autodesk today announced it has begun shipping Combustion 4 for Macintosh. Combustion 4, Autodesk's desktop visual effects software consists of a powerful feature set including vector paint, particles, effects, animation and 3D compositing. Version 4 streamlines the creative process for visual graphics creation by providing enhanced interoperability with third-party desktop applications, improved paint tools and workflow efficiency. "Autodesk Combustion software can be used in the creation process to realize compelling visual effects sequences for motion pictures, television episodics and cutting edge commercials," including Fantastic Four feature film and the Sci Fi Channel's Battlestar Galactica television series., etc. It is available now for $1000, while upgrades from v4 are $250.
Autodesk today released Cleaner 6.5 for Macintosh, the newest update to its professional desktop media mastering and encoding software. Version 6.5 adds encoding support for Apple's QuickTime 7 player, DivX 6.0, and Kinoma Producer, to encode wide screen MPEG-4 playback on Palm-powered handhelds and the Sony PSP video player. In addition, the company also added the Flix exporter from On2 Technologies, which allows users to publish video in .FLV and .SWF formats—the Internet video formats supported by Macromedia Flash. It also offers H.264 encoding through QuickTime 7 and support for Real 10. Cleaner 6.5 is $600, while upgrades are $125 (from v6) and $180 (v4 or v5).
Apple UK today announced that it will attend BETT 2006, a leading educational ICT event that attracts over 600 educational suppliers and 27,000 visitors, and bringing "together the global teaching and learning community for four days of innovations and inspirations." Apple said it will have a "large" stand at BETT 2006, which takes place at Olympia in London from January 11-14th: "BETT is Europe’s largest annual education technology exhibition, with around 25,000 visitors. Visit stand E34 on the ground floor of the Grand Hall and meet Apple’s education team, discuss your needs with Apple Distinguished Educators and test drive the latest Apple solutions for education." Apple UK also launched a new IT Pro site is aimed at IT Managers, technology professionals and system administrators; the site features profiles, how-to articles, useful links and resources.
Kerio Technologies has released a new version of Kerio MailServer that allows Mac users to unlock the new groupware features found in Microsoft’s Entourage 2004 Service Pack 2 (SP2) and more effectively collaborate with their colleagues using Outlook on a PC. Entourage 2004 SP2 adds better support for multiple calendars, Global Address List (GAL) and folder delegation. Kerio MailServer acts as an email and groupware server, supporting Outlook and Entourage as its email and groupware clients. Kerio MailServer is a secure, high-performance, multi-domain, mail server working with all POP3 and IMAP desktop mail clients; it offers features for anti-virus and anti-spam protection, web-based mail access, support for directory services, and more. Pricing starts at $500 for 20 users.
MCE Technologies today announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Noreve to distribute the company's leather iPod cases in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. Previously available only in Europe and carried by Apple Store Europe, Noreve cases are constructed from fine-grain leather for both style and protection. Currently available and shipping in the U.S. are the Noreve Tradition cases for Apple's video iPod (both 30GB and 60GB models), as well as the iPod nano. The Noreve Tradition is a flip type case featuring multiple openings that allow full access to the iPod, with openings for the headphone port, dock-connector, clickwheel, and hold switch. The case features a "self standing" design for watching videos hands-free, and ships with a removable swivel-type belt-clip. Noreve Tradition leather cases for fifth-generation video-capable iPod are available in black and white for $35, while the Nano case is available in black, white, and pink for $30.
Steve Jobs has been selected as one of the "People who mattered" in 2005 by TIME Magazine. "If you could read this man's mind, you would see the future. He has sold more than 18 million iPods this year, more than doubled Apple's stock price (to an all-time high) and put Desperate Housewives in your pocket. Jobs' thoughts tend to become our reality. What will he think of next?" Jobs was selected a nominee for Person of Year for 2005, but the distinction went to Bono and Bill/Melinda Gates: "The Good Smaritans. For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow."
SecureMac today released MacScan 2.0, its software designed to shield computers running Mac OS X in regular and classic environments from spyware infections. MacScan identifies and isolates potential threats, such as keystroke logging programs used by malicious users to record passwords and bank account information, or applications that are capable of taking over computer systems. MacScan scans files received as e-mail attachments or downloaded from the Web, and can proactively protect computers from inadvertently accepting new spyware. MacScan's spyware definitions are constantly being updated to keep pace with the latest malware threats. The application also allows users to thoroughly cleanse web browsers of all personal information, ensuring that sensitive information protected in public environments such as schools or libraries. The software can perform a full system scan, or customize the scan to target specific folders or volumes. MacScan requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later (pricing was unavailable).
Econ Technologies today released ChronoSync 3.1.2, its automated synchronization and backup application for Mac OS X. The update is a maintenance release that features several optimizations and bug fixes, and greatly improves the archiving process by moving files to the archive approximately five times faster than the previous version. Version 3.1.2 offers optimizations to the process of asserting file count limits when maintaining folders in an archive, resulting in execution which is 10 times faster than version 3.1.1. Additional changes include a modified main message field, reworked core file copying functions, enhanced data validation logic, and more. ChronoSync 3.1.2 is available for $30, and requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.
In brief: Bare Bones Software today accepted an Editor's Choice Award (Eddy Award) from MacWorld for its TextWrangler 2 general purpose text editor.... Bare Bones Software also announced a new $100 crossgrade price for BBEdit, its high-performance text editor.... FastMac has announced its "Last Minute Shopper" sale, offering all products manufactured by FastMac at a 10 percent discount until midnight, December 19th.... Digigami yesterday announced a competitive upgrade program for current owners of BitVice MPEG-2 Encoder for Macintosh, offering MegaPEG Pro SD for $60 and MegaPEG HDTV for $300.... O'Reilly has released "Zero Configuration Networking: The Definitive Guide" ($40), its latest book that covers Zeroconf technology (also known as Bonjour).
iPodNN roundup: Guardian Unlimited's podcast of the Ricky Gervais Show recently saw 180,000 downloads during its first week online, soaring to number one in the Apple iTunes podcast chart both in the U.S. and the U.K.... Forbes.com's Executive Toy Box interviewed ETrade's vice president and CIO, Greg Framke, about his single favorite gadget: Apple's fifth-generation iPod.... HandStands recently launched Gadget Grips ($6)--small pads that attach to an iPod or other device to hold it securely to a car dashboard.... XtremeMac has unveiled a new version of its popular SportWrap case ($30, shown at right) that supports all third, fourth, and fifth generation iPods.... Yamipod.com has released YamiPod 0.89, a freeware application designed to efficiently manage Apple's iPod that requires no installation.... Trendy Geek's has announced its film sleeves for the iPod dubbed Trendy Shields ($13), available for the iPod video (both 30GB and 60GB models), as well as the iPod nano.
Bubblomania X 2.0 ($15) updates the bubble popping arcade game featuring eight different game modes, online top scores, and improved graphics. Game modes include easy, normal, hard, evil, original, action, shaky, and speedy. [Download - 12.2MB] CatDV 4.1 ($80) is a major update to the media asset database and video logging tools. Version 4.1 adds support for importing and exporting Final Cut Pro XML files, which permits seamless exchange of clip logging information and sequences between the CatDV database and Final Cut Pro browser window (complete with links to the media files). The update also adds support for importing and exporting Avid ALE log files, simplifying the exchange of clip data in mixed editing environments. [Download - 4.1MB] Check Off 3.5 (free) is an open-source task-organizing application for Mac OS X. The update adds global keyboard access that allows users to set a hotkey which triggers the Check Off menu regardless of which application is being used, and allows viewing and editing of the list without touching the mouse. The update also adds access in the Check Off window itself, allowing list editing using standard keyboard shortcuts. [Download - 352KB] FeedPopper 1.7 (donationware) retrieves RSS feeds, popping up small windows when news is available with links to open stories in the default Web browser. FeedPopper is designed to offer an alternative to the classical aggregate-style RSS application, avoiding the email-like box containing thousands of headlines. [Download - 558KB] Game Server Configulator tools 1.9 (donationware) for the Medal of Honor series allows Mac OS X users to set up and run a dedicated multiplayer game server on a Mac that can submit itself to online gaming services, such as GameSpy and P-Edge media's GSC serverlist. The GSCs for Allied Assault, Breakthrough and Spearhead are now updated to version 1.9, all of which contain several bugfixes. Catalog 1.3.5 ($20), PHP Studio 1.1.1 ($25) are major updates to Catalog, a disk indexing and browsing application, and PHP Studio, a lightweight PHP editor. Catalog 1.3.5 introduces improved stability when batch indexing and importing, as well as numerous performance enhancements. PHP Studio 1.1.1 offers a redesigned interface, Panther support, and an optimized parsing engine for interacting with PHP documents. [Download - 816KB, 2.2MB]
Trans Intl. today announced its SwiftData200R, an updated version of its storage expansion system that brings up to 2 terabyte (2TB) of SATA storage to dual and quad-core Power Mac G5s. "Through innovative engineering the SwiftData200R neatly fits an additional three drives inside a Macintosh G5 Dual and Quad-core computer. Combined with the two drives already in the Macintosh G5's SATA internal drive bay -- that's a total of 5 internal hard disk drives." The drives can used in for RAID mirroring and/or striping or as a JBOD. A free PCI express slot is required for the SATA PCI express RAID card, which is used to control the additional drives. The assembly alone is $80, while the Kit (cables, RocketRAID 2320 card) is $355. SATA Drives are available separately from the company starting at $95 for 160GB of storage capacity.
Waves in Motion has released eAuthorize Advanced for FileMaker Server (FMS) 7 Advanced, a plug-in that extends the capabilities of FileMaker Server Advanced by providing a method for securely processing credit cards and electronic checks directly from a FileMaker-powered website. While the current release is available for Microsoft Windows only, a Mac version is expected later in the year. The latest release connects to an online payment gateway via the internet and processes payments instantly, while included PHP and XSLT examples demonstrate the process of integrating payment processing directly into a website. eAuthorize Advanced can authorize and capture funds, authorize only to capture funds at a later time, and credit or void transactions. The plug-in offers the ability to process transactions using address verification (AVS), as well as card code verification (CVV2). eAuthorize Advanced can handle credit cards or electronic checks, and can send any additional parameters accepted by the gateway for further functionality. eAuthorize Advanced is available for $3,500, and requires Windows XP Pro, 2003 Server, or 2000 Server.
While many analysts expect record sales of the iPod to help drive Apple's growth and Mac market, the company should make the bold move of buying Palm, maker of the popular Palm-based handhelds and Treo mobile phones. The move would ensure the company's continuing success, help invigorate the currently second class iPod technology platform, and open many growth avenues, according to one Boston Herald finance columnist: "I know Apple doesn’t do takeovers, but buying Palm would be a terrific deal. It would instantly give it a huge presence in organizers and multi-function devices, with its own huge network of third-party software.... The cultures would fit well: Palm is an entrepreneurial, creative, design-led company that hates Microsoft. Palm organizers already work with Macs. And it’s cheap. Palm’s net value today is just $1.1 billion."
Apple may dramatically increase its laptop market share in 2006, as it introduces new lightweight models and enjoys the surging iPod halo effect. One analyst predicts Apple will ship 3.27 million notebook computers worldwide next year, an increase of 42 percent compared to 2.29 million units this year. The study results, released by the Topology Research Institute, translate to a rise in Apple's worldwide market share of notebook computers: from 3.9 percent this year to 4.7 percent next year. Yang said that Apple will "grab consumers' attention next year as the company will unveil light-weight models with a stylish design aimed at luring female users, including 12-inch notebooks weighing in at 1.5kg (3.3lbs) as well as 14-inch models below 2kg (4.4lbs).
Apple's executives have sold company shares worth more than $322 million this year, including the company's chief software technology officer, Avadis Tevanian who made just over $33 million by exercising options this year, including two recent sales in November. Tevanian has sold more than 300,000 shares of Apple stock since November 1st, according to San Jose Mercury News: "Tevanian acquired 300,000 shares through option exercises Nov. 1 that allowed him to buy Apple stock at $8.41 a share, or about $2.5 million... That same day he sold those shares for $17.2 million at prices ranging from $57.14 to $57.74 each. On Dec. 1, he acquired 300,000 more shares through option exercises," which netted him nearly $21 million. The option exercises and stock sales were made according to a plan Tevanian set up in January that pre-sets the amounts, prices and dates for such sales, or establishes a formula for determining them.
Apple has set a maximum bonus pool of $6 million for virtually all of its eligible execs and other managers. In a new SEC filing on Monday, the company said its compensation committee has designated all of Apple's executive officers, other than its chief executive, as bonus plan participants in the approved fiscal 2006 bonus plan, according to Dow Jones Newswire. The committee also designated other key Apple employees who aren't executive officers as bonus plan participants, however, the filing didn't name those employees, according to the report. "For the year ending Sept. 24, 2006, the committee approved two equally-weighted performance measures for the bonus pool. These goals relate to the company achieving certain levels of annual revenue and operating margin, the filing said. Apple said that the target bonus payable under the plan for fiscal 2006 to executive officers, other than its CEO, is equal to 50% of their annual base salary."
SOHO Organizer is the next-generation version of the Personal Organizer and Group Organizer from Chronos. Designed for both individual and workgroup use, the suite of four tightly integrated applications--all rewritten in Cocoa to take advantage of Mac OS X Tiger. SOHO Contacts allows users to manage and share contacts as well as attach unlimited call logs, follow-up appointments, tasks, notes and documents to each contact. Universal synchronization lets users transfer contacts, calendars and notes to their Palm handheld, iPod, cell phone, etc. SOHO Calendars offer integration with Apple's iCal and instant synchronization among workgroups.
Chronos today released StickyBrain 4, its fourth-generation note manager for Mac OS X. This new version adds significant features including seven new types of notes, support for Spotlight, a built-in web browser--based on the Safari browser--for viewing bookmarks, performance imrovements, an improved dock menu, improved Palm sync, and a new streamlined interface. The update brings several new notes, including pdf, image, movie, audio, web archive, bookmark, and files. In addition, it features special controls to zoom images, pause playing movies, and search for words or phrases in pdf documents. The contents of these new types of notes are fully searchable. This means users can search their pdf's and web archives alongside their traditional rich text content. The full version is $40, while upgrades are $25.
Apple and other retailer have sold out of the 1GB iPod shuffle. The company's online store says it has sold out of its 1GB iPod shuffles. While continuing to ship the 512MB iPod--with an estimated delivery time of 1-2 days, the company said that it has sold out of the 1GB model, posting a "Sold out for holiday," note at the Apple Store and saying that itd doesn't expect to replenish stock until mid-January, shortly after the Macworld Expo tradeshow--where the company usually makes product announcements. The 1GB Shuffles are still available at some retail stores and through third-party vendors; however, many internet retailers such as MacConnection, MacMall, and Amazon also show no availability of the 1GB model. Last week we noted that limited availability of the 4GB iPod nano has pushed eBay auctions of the device higher than the retail selling price.
Microsoft last week quietly announced that will officially discontinue support for Internet Explorer (IE) at the end of this year, as noted by Macworld UK. The company updated its website, saying that the IE browser was support for 30 months following the announcement in 2003 that the company would discontinue development of IE: "In June 2003, the Microsoft Macintosh Business Unit announced that Internet Explorer for Mac would undergo no further development, and support would cease in 2005. In accordance with published support lifecycle policies, Microsoft will end support for Internet Explorer for Mac on December 31st, 2005, and will provide no further security or performance updates." The company also said that the browser would no longer be available for download from the Mactopia website after January 31, 2006.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k