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Apple has added a few refurbished high-end Power Mac G5 systems as well as the 1GB iPod shuffle to its online store. Touting free overnight shipping on select systems through the end of the month, the company a refurbished version of its dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5 with a 160GB hard drive and 8x SuperDrive for $2,050. It offers PCI-X architecture and an ATI Radeon 9600XT graphics card. The company is alo offering a refurbished dual-2.7GHz Power Mac G5 with 250GB drive, 16x double-layer SuperDrive, and ATI Radeon 9650 graphics card for $100 more at $2,150. Apple is also offering the hard-to-find (refurb) 1GB model of the iPod shuffle for $100. In addition, store is offering a number of 12-, 15-, and 17-inch PowerBooks starting at $1,150 and Mac mini's starting at $430 as well as 20, 23-, and 30-inch Apple Cinema Displays for $700, $1,100, and $2,100, respectively. Apple's refurbished products carry a full 1-year warranty. Apple is also offering its 50 percent off Microsoft Office promo through the end of the year and free shipping on select iPod/Mac accesories. [reposted from 12/27]
iKnow and Manage 1.0 ($20) stores and organizes all types of data with "build-in data types," designed to ease the process of storing and organizing information. The application uses an SQL database, and imposes no limit on data storage other than users' available hard disk space. iKnow and Manage implements referencing of items and item-values, and includes drag-and-drop support for re-organizing, importing, and exporting. [Download - 3.6MB] MovieWorks Deluxe 6.1 ($100) combines easy-to-use video, sound, animation, paint and photo editing tools with a time-based, object-oriented sequencing and authoring program. The update offers major improvements to the text engine, adds spell checkers to the "Scene" menu, improves export capabilities, enhances DVD quality, and more. [Download - 600KB] iTattle 3.0 (donationware) places network information for AirPort Extreme, built-in Ethernet, and System data on your desktop. The utility is designed for system administrators to gather system information, and is built exclusively for Mac OS X 10.4 or later. Version 3.0 offers a faster loading time on the initial launch, an improved graphical interface, enhanced network and system information, and more. [Download - 530KB] BuddyPop 2.5 (€10) provides quick access to Apple's Address Book application via a customizable shortcut. The small, lightweight application has no Dock icon, but is constantly accessible. BuddyPop allows users to quickly locate a contact and then email that contact, or copy the address to the clipboard. [Download - 1.41MB] Lingon 1.0.1 (freeware) is a graphical interface for creating launchd configuration files and controlling them through launchctl for Mac OS X Tiger. Launchd is a system daemon that is used to run scripts/programs automatically, repeatedly or at scheduled times. The update handles malformed plists more gracefully, and honors the system settings for automatic deauthorization. Version 1.0.1 also offers improved handling of volumes that don't support privilaged helper tools. [Download - 600KB]
In brief: MacNN has reviewed the Altec Lansing inMotion iM5 Portable Audio System ($150), as well as "Mac OS X Tiger Simplified" ($25) from John Wiley and Sons.... LoadPod today launched its DVD movie loading service for video iPod users.... Laserline today introduced Silicone Skins ($15, shown at right), protective covers for Apple's iPod nano.... "What I Want Podcasting" today announced a promotional concert for the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2006, hoping to drive a new industry of online music entertainment.... Church leaders in the U.K. say internet downloads and podcasts have encouraged more people to attend church services.... iPodResQ today announced that it has lowered the price of its full-service iPod nano screen repair.
Kiplinger's today published a guide to the digital music revolution, and Apple's iPod is the MP3 player of choice due to desirable features, the seamless experience offered by iTunes, and because it has the "coolest" look. The guide describes the process and convenience of purchasing music online, as well as the availability of audio books to accompany music collections. Touching on wireless transfer of songs, Sprint Nextel's wireless service--which allows mobile phone users to purchase songs over-the-air directly to their handsets--is cited as a possible future avenue for digital music, and if this occurs Apple is expected to follow suit. Finally, the guide touches on each of Apple's currently available iPod models with respect to features, capacity, and price.
Apple has reportedly contracted the design duties for its next-generation Power Mac motherboard to industry giant Intel. Intel's Oregon facilities apparently picked up the project in late-October after Apple asked the chip maker for help to meet deadlines associated with its accelerated transition from PowerPC processors to Intel chips. Intel simultaneously and quietly formed an "Apple Group" consisting of engineers and sales staff, several of whom are rumored to have been assigned to the Power Mac project. Apple is racing to introduce four Intel-based Macs in the first quarter of 2006.
Imation today unveiled its Micro Hard Drive, a 4GB portable storage device that features a unique padlock-style design with a flexible USB connector. The device contains the world's smallest hard disk, less than one-inch in diameter, and securely stores files using 128-bit encryption. Imation Security Manager file synchronization software for Mac OS and Microsoft Windows creates a backup copy of data and automatically synchronizes the copies to provide easier access to previous versions. A software upgrade expected in early January for both 2GB and 4GB versions will feature a streamlined user interface, as well as modifications to make the devices compatible with Mac OS X Tiger. The Imation Micro Hard Drive is available for $200, and requires Mac OS 9.x or Mac OS X 10.2 and above.
Macs have been at the center of Bryanston’s ICT strategy for more than 15 years in Ireland, even as Apple technology continues to play a role in maintaining the traditions of innovation in teaching and learning at The Isle of Man's history. Macintosh computers support independent, customized learning at Bryanston School, where students are held to extremely high academic, athletic, and personal standards. The Isle of Man in 1998 equipped a "computer bus" with Macs to tour the island's schools to provide teachers with new ideas and children with an unusual form of mobile classroom. Apple technology is helping Ireland's students to better understand traditional, and new curriculum inside, and outside the classroom.
iPodResQ today announced that it has lowered the price of its full-service iPod nano screen repair, allowing all iPod nano owners that have damaged screens same-day turn around and nationwide convenience. "We have received a large supply of brand new iPod nano LCDs and we are happy to be able to drop our flat rate repair price by a whopping $30 per repair. This represents more than a 20 percent savings for this service moving into 2006" said Ryan Arter, president of iPodResQ. "Since the first delivery of the iPod nano, we have been repairing broken or otherwise damaged screens on a daily basis. At this point we are proud to be the number one source for all out-of-warranty iPod repairs and are excited to be able to procure these new parts."
Church leaders say internet downloads, as well as podcasts have encouraged more people to attend church services. Online sermons from the Bridge Chapel Christian church in Liverpool have led to a surge in worshippers attending in person, according to a report from the Daily Post. The progressive church focuses on traditional teachings of the Bible for all cultures, and has had close to 600 people tuning into weekly updates. "Large numbers of new people are coming down to the church and joining our congregation simply because of the internet downloads and podcasts," said Steve Evans, who runs the podcast service for the church.
"What I Want Podcasting"--a company specializing in the development of podcasts for commercial application--today announced a promotional concert series for the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival 2006 featuring John Legend, Al Green, Shaggy and Patti Labelle. "Concert podcasting is the next step in internet television marketing and promotion," said Martin Elmore, president of What I Want Podcasting. "With the development of our concert podcasting series, we will help drive a whole new industry of online music entertainment, by riding the current sea change towards high quality audio and video internet delivery," says Ryan Hoback, chairman of the company. The Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Podcast can be found on iTunes, Yahoo Podcasts, Google Video, and AirJamaicaJazzandBlues.com.
FoneGear today announced tuneGEAR--its line of iPod and audio accessories--and introduced its "podBLING" accessories. TuneGEAR products will initially include headphones, charging solutions, carrying solutions, FM-radio transmitters, and "Music Experience Enhancements." All tuneGEAR headsets include basic ear buds, “audio-foam” cushioned headsets with volume control, ear-clip sport ear buds with volume control, and ear buds with volume control in a lightweight aluminum housing, offering high fidelity stereo sound. FoneGear's "podBLING" is a diverse array of sparkly accessories to "dress up" Apple's iPod, as well as other MP3 players. PodBLING consists of full rhinestone covers in a variety of colors and patterns for the video iPod, iPod mini, iPod shuffle, and iPod nano.
Apple's iTunes Music Store and other music sites saw a sharp rise in traffic on Christmas Day as hundreds of thousands of people began loading songs on to the iPods they received as presents and redeeming iTunes gift certificates, according to the Financial Times. The report also found that Apple's iTunes Music Store increased its dominance over last year, receiving twice as much traffic as its next closest rival, Sony Connect. Last year, iTunes was only 10 percent ahead of its then closest competitor, Napster, according to the report. Citing figures from an online intelligence company, visits to music download sites saw a 50 percent increase between December 24 and 25. The firm also found that visits to download sites were 15 percent higher than last Christmas.
ChronoPhoto 1.3 ($20) is a digital photograph viewer for Mac OS X that allows users to quickly view and print digital photographs. Version 1.3 adds new batch renaming options for photos, improves display performance, and has other bug fixes. The application features fast photo import, large thumbnails, instant full-screen slideshows, support for EXIF information, panoramo photo support, and more. [Download - 1.9MB] Athenaeums v1.5 ($40) is a Mac OS 9/X EIMS filter for archiving standard EIMS log documents, specifically the error log, mail log, sending error log, and console log. This latest release of Athenaeums adds support for dynamically reloading preferences, document permissions under Mac OS X, automatic update notifications, notification manager control preferences, and a fully capable demo mode. [Download - 857KB] Blender 2.4 (free) updates the open-source application for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, etc. TIt brings a complete Character Animation rewrite, a new Fluid Dynamics system, improved editing and rendering of Particle-Based Hair, improved rigging, a reworked inverse kinematics system, support for physics-based animation, improved Softbody dynamics and Rigid body dynamics baking using the game engine. [Download - 4.8MB] MoosePad X 10.3 ($18) is a replacement NotePad application that offers spell checking, multiple fonts, embedded objects, rulers, colored pages, table-of-contents support, search/replace, and support for multiple windows/documents. Its brings several Tiger-only options, support for Intel-based Macs, import of both CardFiler and QuickFile databases, and improved find functions. [Download - 1.9MB] No Frills DVD2iPod 2.3 (free) alows users to easily convert unencrypted .VOB or .mpg files and/or folders--such as a VIDEO_TS folder on a DVD made with iDVD. It offers options to convert the video to an iPod video-compatible format, including setting the proportion for converted movies, customizing the data rate, specifying the destination folder, and more. It runs on Mac OS X 10.4.3. [Download - 3.4MB] IPNetTunerX 1.4 ($30) is can optimize TCP/IP network performance under Mac OS X by tuning internal TCP/IP parameters, including over 50 adjustable parameters including the TCP Window Size, Time Out intervals, Maximum Segment Size, and MTU. It also provides tools for measuring the effect the thec changes changes and a Location Helper to make dynamic configuration easier. It adds support for tuning SmallTree Gigabit Ethernet cards. [Download - 1.2MB]
Laserline today introduced Silicone Skins, protective covers for Apple's iPod nano that guard against dust and scratching. The skins are are translucent membranes that fit snugly around the Nano, and are constructed from light-weight, waterproof silicone elastomer that won't rip or tear. The skins have an anti-static property which repels dust, while the waterproof nature insulates the delicate Nano against moisture from rain, snow, and sweat. LaserLine Silicone Skins are available for $15 in "pale baby pink," "icy blue," "pearly white," and "not-so-basic black." The skins ship with a neck lanyard and a wrist strap, with two- and five-packs available in various color combinations.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN