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In Brief: After years or waiting and anticipation earlier this week, Apple today closed with marketcap of $72.13 billion, surpassing Dell's $71.97 billion and making it one of the most valuable PC vendors in the world (behind HP).... Apple closed today at $85.58, up almost $1.30 (1.54%)--another all time high-- following several analyst upgrades.... While Apple has chosen not to participate in the "Intel Inside" program, which gives the vendors marketing dollars co-branding on the box and in marketing materials (including TV ads), Apple will includ Intel's dual-core Duo processor logo on its new iMac box--in part to distinguish it from the existing PowerPC-based iMac.... A newly filed Apple patent suggest that Apple may be looking to integrate a FM transmitter into its iPod as patent application No. 20050286481 describes "a method, apparatus, and system" that wirelessly plays iPod audio files over an FM radio receiver, such as a car radio... The recently released iPod Software Update 1.1 is causing a headache for many iPod users and many problems, including problems with sound after 20 seconds of playback.... Seattle software company Delicious Monster continues to be successful with its software for cataloging books, CDs and other items on a Mac, despite losing two employees to Apple. [updated]
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: The all-new Intel-based MacBook Pro released by Apple this week.... The new Intel-based iMacs released by Apple this week.... The possibility of dual-booting Intel Macs with Windows.... The new Mac OS X 10.4.4 update released by Apple this week.... The possibility of running the new Mac OS X on Intel PCs.... Whether users will be able to run Windows XP on the new Intel-Macs, despite use of the new EFI instead of a BIOS.... Levi's so-called iPod-compatible jeans.
Scosche Industries recently showcased its entire line of accessories for Apple's iPod digital music players at the Expo in San Francisco. Cases for iPod offer a quick-release nylon belt clip, as well as a neoprene armband featuring an adjustable Velcro strap. Custom window ports offer access to the dock connector. Scosche cases include the IPH Leather Holster with belt clip; five-packs of INSDK5 and INSLT5 iPod nano skins; three-packs of IPSDK and IPSLT iPod skins; three-packs of IPSMDK and IPSMLT iPod mini skins; SKIPOD black or titanium iPod case with belt clip and armband; SKIPODM titanium MINI iPod case with belt clip and arm band; and the SKIPOD05T 2005 black or titanium iPod case with belt clip and arm band.
Red Rock Software this week showcased new tools for DeltaGraph 5.6 Mac--its data analysis, charting and graphing software--at the Expo in San Francisco. The new tools take advantage of technologies found in Mac OS X v.10.4 Tiger, such as Spotlight and Automator features. The company showcased "DGPlot," an Automator action used to create multiple, repetitive charts such as those used in reports, experiments and analysis. A demonstration displayed how using the Spotlight plug-in for DeltaGraph can help users manage a large collection of charts. The plug-in provides searches using key words in charts, including a specified chart's title, legend, X or Y Axis labels, and more (system requirements and pricing were unavailable).
Circus Ponies Software has announced that NoteBook 2.1 for Mac OS X Tiger is slated for shipment in March. The updated version adds "Action Item" syncing with iCal and Microsoft Entourage, new Cornell note-taking pages, enhanced .Mac integration, and direct FTP uploading. Version 2.1 also offers LinkBack support, enhanced PDF publishing capability, and Spotlight search functionality. The improved Action Item framework in NoteBook 2.1 allows users to sync NoteBook to-do items either with iCal or with Microsoft Entourage. The new sync mechanism is bidirectional, keeping to-do lists in sync regardless of which application applies changes. NoteBook 2.1 is priced at $50, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Microsoft this week announced plans to ship its "Wireless Laser Desktop" bundle--a wireless keyboard and mouse specifically for Macs--marking the first that the software giant has shipped a product specifically for Macs. The RF-based bundle offers keyboard with a comfort curve for ergonomic support, an eject key for the optical CD/DVD drive, customizable one-launch keys for specific tasks, customizable keys using new Microsoft driver/softoware, and a "clover" shaped key to mimic the Apple/command key functionality. The wireless laser mouse features a tilt-wheel and offers magnifying options. The Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac owners is expected to ship in the summer of 2006 for $100.
Mariner Software announced at the Expo that its journaling and blogging application--MacJournal 4.0--has reached the late development stage and is expected to ship in March. The update will be available in beta form from the Mariner Software website in January, and introduces several feature additions as well as numerous bug fixes. Features include ATOM blogging and podcasting support, audio recording capability, and Inspector support. The upgrade will also offer pre-journal customization, and advanced search functionality. MacJournal 4.0 will be available for $40, with upgrades for version 3.x customers priced at $25. MacJournal requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
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The new iMacs are shipping with 802.11a WiFi standard, despite previous statements by Apple execs that there was no need to use that particular specification, and a lack of mention on Apple.com's iMac features page. Devices based on the 802.11a standard operate in the 5GHz frequency range, creating a wireless zone about 300 feet in radius in which users can exchange files and data at 55mbps -- about five times faster than 802.11b Wi-Fi networks. The 802.11a specification differs from others in that it provides 12 non-overlapping channels-- 8 for indoor use- that enable more access points to cover the same physical location without interfering with one another. Owners of new iMacs and MacBook Pros will be able to connect to and browse third party access points using 802.11a as well as 802.11b and 802.11g. The new Mac Book Pros with 802.11a WiFi will not ship until later next month.
In brief: MacNN has posted two new podcasts, a live broadcast from Macworld and an interview with OmniGroup.... The Big Nerd Ranch today announced the Mixed Networks Bootcamp, offering hands-on instruction on the ins and outs of managing a multi-platform network.... Freeverse today announced that Escort Wing, by William Hogben and Stephen Johnson has won the first OMG Cup contest.... Apple has posted its new advertisement on the company website, which debuted at the Expo on Tuesday and took Intel by surprise.... GizMac Accessories is showcasing an XRackPro Rack Mount Enclosure Cabinet and a colorful aluminum case for the iPod Nano at this week's Expo.... Harman Multimedia announced the JBL On Time iPod docking stereo system at the Expo.... Rebe--a mother and daughter team--showed a line of pocketed bags with hand carry handles, as opposed to shoulder straps, that fit all PowerBooks and accessories at the Expo.
info.xhead 1.1 ($15) updates the personal database application, adding hidden fields, sorting options, application lock, adjustable field spacing, a password generator, and sync support for USB iPods. Info.xhead organizes personal data, stores it securely, and locates it quickly with Spotlight search functionality. The application securely stores all types of data, and offers .Mac integration. [Download - 662KB] Crossword Forge 4.5 ($50) updates the classroom crossword and word search puzzle generator, allowing users to create interactive crossword puzzles for use on the Web. Puzzles can be exported as PDF, image, or text, and can be printed out. The software features picture backdrops, a spell checker, and offers over a dozen built-in language sets. [Download - 3.8MB] SyncupX 1.5 ($20) is an easy-to-use backup application featuring an iSync-like interface, dynamic backup configuration using spotlight smart folders, and automation using iCal, Automator or shell scripts. The update includes an improved interface, extended logging, and an option to ignore files without read permissions. SyncupX 1.5 is available as a Universal Binary to provide compatibility with Apple's new Intel-basec Macs. [Download - 251KB] OnMyCommand 1.7 (free) is a UNIX CLI and AppleScript executor that allows users to build their own contextual menu items or GUI applications. Version 1.7 offers a complete GUI development environment for shell scripts and AppleScripts, as well as multi-level submenus in the contextual menu. Additional new features include support for adding or removing popup menu items at runtime, a configurable default filename for "Save as" dialog, and more. [Download - 4.4MB] High Priority 1.0 ($6) allows users to create, modify, remove, and view iCal To-Do items directly from the menu bar. The software offers the ability to use graphite or blue images, while labels can separate To-Do items. Selecting any item brings up a window allowing users to view and edit information, while a selected item with user-specified modifiers can be toggled or removed. [Download - 221KB] Pedia programs update ($39) for DVDpedia 2.3, Bookpedia 2.3, CDpedia 2.3, and Gamepedia 1.1. The Pedia programs are media inventory applications for Mac OS X, with internet search and iSight scanning abilities. The updates include improvements to the preference settings, the Web view, and the drag-and-drop feature to start a search. Additionally, Bookpedia and Gamepedia contain minor bug fixes.
Apple's new iMac Core Duo uses ATI's Radeon X1600 for the iMac, introducing an "impressive consumer platform with discrete PCI Express graphics. The Radeon X1600 enables users to get the most out of not only the extensive feature set of the iMac, but to leverage all the capabilities of the Mac OS X Tiger, including Core Image and ATI's Avivo technology." The iMac features the Radeon X1600, designed with 128MB GDDR3 of high speed memory, resulting in a graphics experience to match the capabilities of the iMac. The 20-inch iMac is upgradeable to 256MB GDDR3 memory for $75.
GizMac Accessories (booth 2211), designer and manufacturer of products for the Apple platform, today officially announced the 4U XRackPro Noise Reduction Enclosure at the Expo. The GizMac 4U XRackPro solves several issues of customers with Apple's Xserve and Xserve RAID systems. The 4U rack mounts a few pieces of equipment, and with locking doors, the 4U protects the equipment from unauthorized tampering. Also, the small size of the XRackPro 4U facilitates travel within or outside of the office (availability and pricing were unavailable).
MacWireless.com announced the release of a new antenna line, offering range extension solutions for Apple AirPort base stations, PowerMacs, iMacs, PowerBooks, and iBooks. The whip antenna ($50) is designed to help a laptop or desktop computer reach a far away access point, and can help to overcome obstacles such as the metal frame on Titanium and Aluminum PowerBooks. MacWireless whip antennas also work on an iBook with an AirPort or AirPort Extreme Card. The new MacWireless omni-directional antennas ($20-50) feature a waterproof exterior, making them useful for boats and RVs, and the antennas can be used with an AirPort base station and Power over Ethernet to create a solution for schools, homes, and offices. A MacWireless booster yields signals up to fifteen times more powerful than an AirPort card or base station. Featured in the lineup is a new ceiling antenna, which enables a wireless base station to broadcast downward through multiple floors, useful for cafes, study rooms, and multi-level office buildings. In addition to offering full support for Apple AirPort products, the new MacWireless antennas can also be used with most other wireless base stations and cards.
New products have been introduced at the Apple Specialist Pavlion at Macworld Expo by Actoris Software, EZQuest, and Xsilva Systems. Actoris' Xpress Schedule 1.1 allows users to create work schedules for employees. New features include the ability to print graphical views of schedules, interactive calculations for scheduled hours during the scheduling process, support for international date formats, improvements to printed schedules, a new two-week schedule report, an integrated software update function, and the ability to email schedules. Xpress Schedule provides versions for both Mac and PC (availability and pricing unavailable).
Freeverse today announced that it will be bringing Slitherine Software's Legion Arena to the Mac this Spring. Legion arena is a historicalally based online role-playing game in which players can connect with and play against friends and other players around the world. Players can play as either the Romans or the Gauls in over 100 scenarios and with over 20 unique units including Praetorians, Elephants, and Naked Fanatics. In Legion Arena, players can buy equipment and choose from over 100 skills, personalize the appearance of their squads, and earn experience and denari for victories (pricing was unavailable).
In brief: Gremdan has announced "Gremdan's Catholic Clip Art Collection Feb-Sep 2006" in response to the demand for Catholic clip art.... Apple's recent security update to QuickTime is coming under fire, with claims that it is causing problems for both Mac and Windows users.... Photoshop World Conference and Expo is offering a $100 advance registration discount now through February 17th.... XtremeMac has debuted its HomeShow and RoadShow cable kits, designed to turn Apple's iPod players into home or auto entertainment centers.... Neuros unveiled its new MPEG4 Recorder ($150), a digital VCR allowing users to create open digital files to use on all MPEG-4 compatible devices--such as Apple's iPod.... XtremeMac has announced its MicroPack ($100) for all dock connecting iPods, providing 80 extra hours of play time to iPod users.... The Iconfactory has released scalable EPS versions of its Contour Finance stock icon add-on collection. [updated]
While Apple fans cheer the release of the new Intel-based Macs, corporate buyers of notebooks from Dell and Hewlett-Packard are unhappy that consumers may purchase Duo Core machines from Apple now, while they will have to wait for weeks for Intel's "Yonah"-based notebooks. Intel CEO Paul Otellini received an endorsement at CES from Dell's Micheal Dell for the new microprocessors, but non-Mac PC consumers will have to wait for new notebooks and laptops with Yonah. Many buyers complain that corporate policy, buying cycles, and necessity are forcing them to choose either current Dell and HP models or wait longer than expected for the new Intel processors. Many corporate notebook buyers frequently purchase tens of thousands of machines, and since most companies are unlikely to allow mass purchases of Macs instead of PCs, Intel now risks antagonising corporate buyers with the delayed availability of Yonah PCs.
Light Crafts is showcasing LightZone at the Expo in San Francisco, its photo editing software designed to significantly reduce the time photographers spend after a shoot. LightZone views, manages, edits, and corrects digital photographs while working with light values and shapes to imitate the way that photographers think about photographs. StudioZone, a key feature of LightZone, is an image viewer and file browser designed to print and publish photographs using a true digital negative format. StudioZone also includes a search function with metadata search, and an integrated RAW converter. ZoneFinder, another key feature, analyzes and displays images in shapes and tonal values. LightZone requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is available for $250.
Onlife has announced the Public Beta 3 release, available for download immediately. Onlife is the new information manager for Mac OS X that allows users to search, visualize and organize all the content that they create and consume from one single place. The Public Beta 3 release introduces several new features such as support for more applications, an open plug-in architecture, improved tagging, and activity grouping. Other new features and upgrades include tooltips for items in day and web history views, contextual menus added to views, the option to disable check for software updates, tagging architecture modified to support del.icio.us-style tags, and the option to create web item thumbnails for web history view. Public Beta 3 now supports OmniWeb, Camino, RealPlayer, QuickTime Player, Vienna, NetNewsWire, Xcode, TextWrangler, Microsoft Word, and OmniOutliner. Onlife Public Beta 4 will be released within the next 6 weeks, and will be the last beta version before the 1.0 release candidate. The free Beta 3 version requires Mac OS X Tiger.
Mozilla has released Thunderbird 1.5, the latest version of its full-featured free email client. Thunderbird offers intelligent spam filters and customizable views, as well as RSS (really simple syndication) integration. A new software update mechanism offers streamlined, automatic updates which are handled in the background and notify users when they are ready for installation. A built-in "phishing" detector helps protect users against email scams by flagging suspicious messages, and Thunderbird's support for RSS allows users to receive feed updates as email messages, filtering and organizing these updates as ordinary email. Version 1.5 also allows users to access podcasts via a dialog box that provides access to a "helper" application, such as a Web browser or audio player. Thunderbird 1.5 is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Small Dog Electronics has introduced its CarTune FM transmitter and charger for Apple's iPod, allowing users to both listen to music in the car and charge an iPod simultaneously. The CarTune works with all dock-connecting iPod models and offers an LCD display, as well as multi-FM channel support with memory functions. Small Dog's CarTune measures 205 x 150 x 50-mm, weighs 102 grams. An adjustable tuner control unit matches up to any auto DC port, and the fuse-protected DC adapter provides power to the device negating the need for batteries. The CarTune is available for $33 from Small Dog Electronics, and ships with a one-year warranty.
XtremeMac has added two new protectors for iPod within their Iconz Sport line. Iconz Sport for iPod with video ($30) and Iconz Sport NBA for iPod nano ($25) feature images of players and licensed logos from NBA teams. Iconz protectors provide play-through Click Wheel protection and full access to controls and headphone jack as well as a built-in screen protector. The back of Iconz are translucent for viewing of custom iPod engravings. The protectors are available for a limited time and are expected to ship January 31, 2006.
Actual Technologies today released the Actual ODBC Pack 2.0, a suite of ODBC (open database connectivity) drivers designed to connect to popular databases. The new drivers are distributed as Universal Binaries for compatibility with both PowerPC Macs as well as Intel-based Macs, and are designed specifically for Mac OS X. Each member of the ODBC pack connects Excel X to a database back-end, without the need for programming knowledge while allowing users to import from FileMaker Pro. Supported databases include SQL Server/Sybase, Oracle, MySQL/PostgreSQL, Microsoft Access, and OpenBase. Each database driver is available for $30, and requires Mac OS X 10.2.4 or later.
Midstates, a rock band from Chicago touring in support of their upcoming release Boxing Twilight, recently found themselves in a bind as they were about to go on tour and three-fifths of their band could not make it. They needed drums, keyboards, and guitar to be replaced, as well as the fan-popular live performances from their drummer, Angel Ledezma. Using a digital video camera and their studio, Spectra Kakarot, the band put together a video of Ledezma playing drums in time with the rest of the band. Using Videora, a free converter application, the band converted the video and music to video iPod-compatible backing tracks. They ran the iPod through the board and a video projector and played along with the tracks and Angel's video all while controlling the order and volume of the tracks from the stage. "I bought the new iPod right when it came out to keep me entertained on the road. Then I found out that Angel, Sasha and Dahlman couldn’t make it," explains band member Paul Heintz. "We spent a lot of time working up to this record and live show. Touring with Wheatus was a great opportunity. I hated to see it lost."
Concentrate Software released SiteTagger v2.0, a replacement for web browser bookmarking functions. It features tag-based bookmark management, importing from most major browsers as well as sfeatures integration with several online bookmarking services. SiteTagger v2.0 improves upon previous versions by adding a validator that checks for duplicates and broken bookmarks, improved tag browsing, bookmark importing, Split-view tags view filters for available tags, "Post to Furl" action to bookmark editing panel, a new feedback function in the Help menu, and added import links from the web page feature. SiteTagger v2.0, a free update, is available for $10.
eSellerate today announced the public beta release of their in-application sales solution, the Embedded Web Store for Macintosh. This release is a universal binary sales solution for Macintosh software and will run on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Mac computers. The Embedded Web Store allows developers to add all of the features of eSellerate's Custom Web Store into their applications. A call from within the software launches a web-based interface taking customers through an online sales process that is more recognizable to them. Upon completion of the purchase, serial number information can then be passed directly back into the application, automatically making it a fully registered product. The Custom Web Store for Macintosh is immediately available for download from the eSellerate website.
Piper Jaffray is the latest analyst to raise its price target and estimates for Apple stock, following the announcements at the Expo. Much like UBS and Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, and Merill Lynch, the firm raised its price target and earnings estimates based future iPod and Mac growh. Piper raised its target price on Apple to $103 (from $80) based on its expectations for continued market share gains for both Mac and iPod. In his research note to clients, analyst Gene Munster said that "while 2005 was the year of iPod growth," he believes that 2006 "is poised to be the year of both iPod growth and, more importantly, Mac market share gains." The firm also expects conservative guidance by Apple for its March quarter, a 2-for-1 stock split announcement, and the analyst also believes that Apple will deliver new categories of products by end of 2006. Apple is expected to report earnings on January 18, 2006.
MacSpeech (booth 738) today released its Essentials for Mac OS X ScriptPak bundle, which features over 750 commands that give users complete control over 13 applications that are included with Mac OS X 10.4 (“Tiger”). The new ScriptPak, designed for its iListen application (starts at $100), adds command sets for Address Book, Calculator, DVD Player, Font Book, Grab, iCal, iChat, Image Capture, Keychain Access, Preview, QuickTime Player, Sherlock and Stickies. “This is a great bundle for those who want more control of the applications they use every day — the ones that come with Mac OS X,” said MacSpeech Chief Evangelist Chuck Rogers. “We have been wanting to do these for a long time, but it was only recently we felt comfortable loading this many commands into a user’s profile.” The Essentials for Mac OS X ScriptPak sells for $40.
Griffin Technology today announced iClear for iPod nano, a unique and stylish enclosure. iClear protects Apple's Nano with a tough, transparent polycarbonate two-piece shell that "is strong enough to take the daily abuse of any lifestyle, yet attractive enough to be worthy of iPod nano." iClear offers full screen protection without adding bulk or weight. Simply place iPod nano into the casing and slide the rear section securely in place. The Griffin iClear for iPod nano is priced at $20 and it is scheduled to begin shipping in February.
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