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In Brief: Apple's countdown to 1 billions songs is a little more than 5 million short of the music industry milestone (free entry form).... One reader points to grand opening photos of Apple's newest retail store in Hingham, MA (Apple Store Derby Street), which opened over the weekend and features the same stone-based facade as its San Francisco and Burlingame retail stores.... One website has posted details on what it believes will be the future location of a second store in Manchester, UK: the Arndale Centre, which is 7 miles from the current store at the Trafford Centre.... ifoapplestore points to an ongoing switch campaign in South Africa, where Windows PC users can trade-in their PC for a credit towards the purchase of a new Mac from an authorized reseller--with credits ranging from $125 for a Mac mini to $500 for a Power Mac.
UniSudoku ($15) is a new program that allows the user to play the pencil-and-paper puzzle Sudoku with Mac OS X Tiger. UniSudoku allows unlimited puzzle generation and full undo-redo support. The intuitive interface allows the user to make "pencil marks" and fill in guesses while staying in the flow of the game, and users may enter puzzles from the newspaper, books, and the Internet. [Download - 145KB] Quicken for Mac 2006 R4 Update (free) is an overall improved reliability update for Quicken for Mac 2006, updating releases 1, 2, and 3. New features include stability improvements, fixed speed issues, fixed bugs and errors, the ability to delete multiple transactions at the same time from within the Calendar, updated tax rates in the Tax Planner, new help links, and more. [Download - 5.78MB] skEdit 3.6 ($25) is a text editor for the Web featuring integrated SFTP/FTP/WebDAV, code completion and hinting, line numbering, search, HTML Tidy integration, syntax highlighting, snippets, code navigation, user scripts, a site manager, a preview in a browser, localization, and more. New features include tabbed windows, integrated previewing, major bug fixes, added character entities, interface tweaks, expanded search fields, an integrated crash and bug reporter, improved drag-and-drop to/from the Site View, a redesign of HTML Tidy integration, and more. [Download - [options]] Mobile High Speed 4.25 ($55) now supports Nokia 6021, 6280, and 8800; Motorola PEBL, SLVR L7, and V360; Siemens SL75 and S75; and Sony Ericsson K608i and w900i; as well as the Sony Ericsson GC89 PC Data Card and many new networks across the globe. Mobele High Speed allows the user's Mac to utilize their mobile phone or PC Data Card for a high speed online connection to the Internet. Mobile High Speed includes more than 200 connection settings for most 3G UMTS/EDGE/GPRS and HSCSD network providers worldwide and supports connections via Bluetooth, Infrared, USB Cable, or PC Data Card. [Download - 11MB] Objective Decision 4 Contact 2.6.4 ($55) is now a Universal binary. OD4Contact is a contact relationship management program giving users full insight into all communications such as email, phone calls, postal mail and faxes. OD4Contact will automatically match received communications such as email or phone calls to a contact so that messages may be linked to contact records. Version 2.6.4 includes many new bug and crash fixes as well as a change from the vCal format to iCal. [Download - 13MB] RadScheduleTimer 1.0 for REALbasic ($30) is a class that allows the easy configuring of events to be fired at specified times or at specified intervals, written in REALbasic. Part of the Radical Breeze Developer Pack, RadScheduleTimer allows the user to set a date/time and fire an event, with repeating options including how often to repeat and how many times. [Download - 16KB
Steve Jobs' celebrity status may be increasing in the near future, says Bob Keefe of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Newly dubbed the "king of entertainment" by Keefe, Jobs is set to change the entertainment world with a possible new Apple media center and the merge of Pixar with Disney, the two top animation studios. With the ability to combine Apple technology with the content of Disney, Pixar, ESPN, ABC, and others, Jobs may be able to "seamlessly move entertainment across home televisions and computers, iPods, cellphones and other devices" in the near future, says Keefe. "Sometime in the immediate run, maybe two or three years out, I think he'll be able to create one big experiment ... one big new thing ... that if successful will forever change the [entertainment] business."
SIIG, a maker of I/O connectivity products, announced four new ExpressCard products are now certified compliant with the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association's ExpressCard specifications, the new standard expansion slot on the MacBook Pro. Newly available cards are the FireWire 2-Port Express Card ($80); the FireWire 2-Port ExpressCard DV-Kit bundled with Ulead VideoStudio 9.0; eSATA II ExpressCard with two-port host adapter, two eSATA ports, data transfer rates up to 3GB/sec, and NCQ; and the eSATA II ExpressCard RAID with two-port host adapters, two eSATA ports, RAID O (striping) and I (mirroring), data transfer rates up to 3GB/sec, and NCQ. Other SIIG products based on the ExpressCard format will include assorted FireWire (400 and 800), SATA II, and other adapter solutions for hot-pluggable internal I/O expansion for desktop and mobile computers.
M-Audio announced the release of its ProKeys 88sx digital stage piano for computer-centric musicians. The stage piano features an 88-note keyboard with high-quality semi-weighted action, allowing the unit to weigh only 17 pounds. The piano dedicates all of its memory to seven sounds that players rely on constantly—- devoting extra attention to the multi-layer stereo samples of a Yamaha C7 concert grand as well as a Fender Rhodes, a vintage Wurlitzer, a Yamaha DX7, a Hammond B3, and a Clavinet. The piano also doubles as a USB MIDI interface and controller for recording and playback with PC or Mac, and incorporates MIDI performance controls including pitch wheel, modulation wheel, two footswitch inputs (both sustain and sostenuto) and expression pedal input. A standard MIDI Out jack allows control of outboard MIDI gear as well. The ProKeys 88sx includes two 1/4-inch stereo headphone jacks and costs $450.
Lightsoft announced its Home Weather Center (HWC) 1.6 for OS X. HWC is a weather graphing, monitoring, and analysis application designed as a virtual weather station that utilizes Internet-based weather sources rather than hardware-based sensors. As data is gathered and stored in its database HWC allows the user to view weather statistics such as the lowest temperature or the highest wind speed over any time period stored in the database. In addition HWC contains a journal for weather notes and can generate web pages containing current conditions. The Universal binary version now features new preferences, a re-write of the Wunderground Personal Weather Station decoder, fixed bugs and crashes, a fixed memory leak, updated documentation, the ability to view the source data for a location from a button in the "Advanced" preference pane, and more. Home Weather Center requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and costs $35.
The OSx86 project has restored its forums after legal pressure from Apple forced the website to take them down last week. Confirming that Apple had served the site with a cease and desist letter that cited the DMCA (Digital Nillenium Copyright Act), the site took its forum offline as it debated its next move. A new note on the website said it has take down any offending links to the software patches that allowed users to run Mac OS X on generic Intel-based PCs, bypassing Apple's safeguards that tried to lock the operating system to its own hardware. "Apple is certainly well within their rights to protect their OS and we have always supported them in this effort. Our first-class moderating staff has helped ensure that direct links to any patches are not allowed. We have in the past linked to the homepage of Maxxuss - but not to the offending 10.4.4 patches - in the interest of news, but we've removed those links just in case."
Decimus Software has released Synk 5.2, an update to its synchronization and backup software for Macintosh. Now available as a Universal Binary for native execution on both PowerPC and Intel based Macs, Synk 5.2 also adds AES encryption support for backups, a clearer and more compact interface, and a variety of other improvements and bug fixes. Synk can be used to make bootable backups of both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs, as well as synchronizing and backing up files and folders from your Mac with other networked Macs and PCs, or external hard drives (including iPods). It can automatically execute operations on a schedule, and provides extensive rule-based exclusion support and flexible configurability. Synk 5.2 is a free update to any paid user of Synk 5.x, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. The shareware features an unrestricted 30-day trial period, and costs $20 to register for non-commercial use or $40 for commercial use.
Tunewear today introduced the Icewear nano Ultra Clear case for Apple's iPod nano player. Improving upon the previous generation case, it now features the protective Tunefilm to keep the iPod safe from scratches and is now available in ultra clear. The case utilizes the same high density silicone as found in diving masks and our patent pending Rib-Technology to protect the iPod nano. "Icewear nano and Icewear nano Ultra Clear do not cover the wheel or the screen, rather it is intentionally left open for complete control and view. That is the way Apple designed the iPod nano and that is the way we leave it. Instead we have added embossed edges around the screen to help prevent scratching." The case offers access to all ports. The case is washable with soap and water and is available for now $13.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.7 ( 0 )
Google prevails in UK street mapping case
Possibly setting the stage for other court battles in the UK, a High Court fight between Google and StreetMap.EU has concluded in Google's favor. StreetMap.EU claimed that Google's dominance in the field destroyed the 20-year-old firm's business, when Google started promoting its own service in search results over the older company's -- the judge disagreed. Commercial director Kate Sutton said after the judgment that "StreetMap has been frozen in time; because of what Google did, StreetMap has not been able to properly invest in the website since 2007." An appeal is planned. http://bloom.bg/1KKhECt
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