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Mac mini bulk order denied
In brief: One blogger was recently told by an Apple representative that the company is "not able to take large orders of Mac minis right now," amidst speculation that Apple will unveil an Intel-based Mac mini during its special event on February 28th.... Micro Heaven today announced that it changed its domain name from www.easyipod.co.uk, following threats of legal action from Apple.... SlipperySoft recently announced version 1.0 of iTunes2web ($13), software designed to export an iTunes music library to a Web page.... IDC's server numbers show that Microsoft Windows has finally overtaken Unix in the server market, and that Linux is still accelerating at double-digit growth rates.... Logisys Computer this week unveiled a new PC shell dubbed the ePod Soho case, featuring an unusual design similar to Apple's iPod.
Apple Store School night
Apple is again promoting to its education audience, encouraging students to learn about Macs, Apple, and other technologies. School Night at the Apple Store, directed by students, offers children a chance to partake in a presentation filled with various projects. "Invite parents, students, friends, and teachers to join us at the Apple Store for an evening presentation. Then watch the place spring to life with projects like historical documentaries, poetry books, digital science reports, original music recordings, and so much more." Apple will be giving away an iPod shuffle to every individual "School champion" who first registers his or her K-12 school for participation in School Night at an Apple Store in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. The sessions will be held at local Apple stores from February 28 unti April 25.
Thomas Pink iPod tie
The Thomas Pink tailoring company has added to their iPod compatible shirt with a tie that conceals the iPod nano. The Commuter tie has a pocket on the reverse side of the tie to hold the nano, according to PCPro, with an extra loop to keep it in place and headphone wires out of view. The tie is available in red silk and costs £50. The Commuter shirt from Thomas Pink features a hidden breast pocket which fits a full-sized iPod, as well as a pocket in the cuff to hold a London Transport Oyster card, according to the article. The shirt will be available next month in blue or white for £69 (availability of the Commuter tie was unavailable).
ePod iPod look-alike
Logisys Computer debuted a new PC shell this week, the ePod Soho case. The company, which according to a CNET News.com report is known for its unusual designs, resembles an iPod, with several buttons on the front panel in the shape of the iPod's clickwheel, as well as a blue LED that backlights the case in a blue glow. The ePod can be found on Logisys's site, but is not yet available for purchase. The article notes that Apple has sued other companies for releasing products that it claims are too similar in appearance to its own, but has not yet contacted Logisys with complaints. The case provides four open 5.25-inch, two open 3.5-inch, and four hidden 3.5-inch drive bays, PCI card ventilation on the side of the case, with front USB and audio outputs located below the power button with a protection cover. The case is coated in a glossy white finish with acrylic trim around the front panel, which illuminates from the inside (availability and pricing were unavailable).
Dvorak on Mac OS X virus
Musing on the recent reports on new Mac OS X-specific worms, tech pundit John Dvorak says that the threats are good news for Mac users. "Counterintuitive as this may sound, I see it as good news for Mac users, since any vulnerability will mean that the operating system, and its users, can grow more hardened to the reality of these threats." Dvorak cited the fact that Panda Software registered more than 46,000 new viruses and other threats in 2005, and that only one-tenth of these new threats are fully understood, according to MarketWatch. "The sudden appearance of malicious code for computers made by Apple is likely to spark the resumption of a strange competition within the malware-coding community to get attention in the newspaper," Dvorak added. "Make no mistake; that's what all this is really about: bragging rights in an underworld of introverted hobbyists out to amaze their strange community of nebulous friends." Dvorak believes that Mac OS X is better off being hardened early in its life, rather than later, and mentioned his thoughts on the future. "It's also good for the computer-using community at large, since it will take some pressure off of the PC platform, at least until the new Vista operating system from Microsoft arrives and provides fresh meat for the malware coders."
Photogenic for Keynote
Divine Fiat has announced Photogenic, its latest theme for Apple's Keynote presentation software. Photogenic features a "clean" white text on a black background with a custom-designed icon of a 35-mm lens, intended to aid photographers in displaying their work. The theme has 93 text and photo cutout slides in seven different aspect ratios, with the ability to set up an interactive portfolio of the photographs. Users can shape frames with the proportions constrained in each of the seven apsect ratios, as well as set up kiosk navigation or link to their website, and external Keynote presentation, or their email address. Photogenic may be purcased individually for $20, or as part of the Creative Collection for $45, which includes Take Two and Classical.
Sims 2 requirements
Aspyr Media today released the final system requirements for The Sims 2 Nightlife game for Macs. The new Sims game expansion requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or better on a PowerPC G4/G5 with 1.2GHz or faster. The game also requires 2GB of free disk space, Radeon 9000/GeForce FX5200 NVidia video card or better, 32MB of video RAM (64MB recommended), and a DVD drive to install and play the game. "Your Sims are on the town hitting all the swanky hot spots. Whether they're dancing until dawn, romancing that special someone, or striking out at the bowling alley, it'll be an unforgettable night! Let your Sims loose to enjoy their favorite after-dark activities as they pursue a life of pleasure. Determine their love lives as you discover the chemistry between Sims. Will their life aspirations and personalities click or clash?" The expansion pack, which requires a full version of The Sims 2, is available for pre-order $30.
Woz on iPod, Mactels
Although it ha been 21 years since he officially worked for Apple, Steve Wozniak still maintains a keen interest in the goings-on of the company. In a recent interview from New Zealand with globeandmail, Woz--who is still on the Apple payroll "just out of loyalty" (and health insurance)--is quoted as being somewhat apprehensive about the iPod and Apple's recent switch to Intel processors. "It's like consorting with the enemy. We've had this long history of saying the enemy is the big black-hatted guys, and they kind of represent evil. We are different, and by being different we're better," says Wozniak. "All of a sudden we're the same in this hardware regard, so it's a little hard to swallow your words from the past."
NI begins KORE countdown
Native Instruments (NI) today began its KORE countdown, an information campaign for the upcoming Universal Sound Platform that it says will change the way that performers and producers work with software instruments and effects. The KORE countdown consists of weekly website updates, each detailing one of the major aspects of KORE and its benefits for various musical applications. Each week will bring a new chapter of information, leading up to the full disclosure of the system at Musikmesse Frankfurt 2006 on March 29th. The first chapter of the KORE countdown offers a look at the unified interface that KORE provides for software instruments and effects. Upcoming chapters will detail the preset management features, controller integration, live performance capabilities, and cross-platform functionality of the system.
SpamSieve 2.4.2 released
Developer Michael Tsai has updated SpamSieve 2.4.2, his Universal application that brings Bayesian spam filtering to Mac email clients; it allows users to control SpamSieve from within the email client in order to customize how the program intereacts with the message sorting rules. SpamSieve works with Apple Mail, Emailer, Entourage, Eudora, GyazMail, Mailsmith, Outlook Express, and PowerMail. The new version features better catching of specific types of spam improved message attachment analyzing, improved phish detection, improved performance with Apple Mail training commands on Tiger and Jaguar, changes to the coloration of spam messages in Apple Mail, the Show Window command in Apple Mail can now open the Spam Sieve help, improved troubleshooting documentation, updated Japanese localization, and more. SpamSieve costs $25.
Billionth iTunes song
Apple today announced the winner of the Billion Song Countdown promo, which started started earlier this month and ended early Thursday morning. The billionth iTunes song was "Speed of Sound," which was purchased as part of Coldplay's "X&Y" album by Alex Ostrovsky from West Bloomfield, Michigan. As the grand prize winner he will receive a 20-inch Intel iMac, 10 fifth-generation iPods and a $10,000 gift card good for any item on the iTunes Music Store. In addition, Apple will establish a scholarship to the world-renowned Juilliard School in his name. "I hope that every customer, artist and music company executive takes a moment today to reflect on what we've achieved together during the past three years," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO.
BOC retains \"neutral\" AAPL
Banc of America (BOC) Securities analyst Keith Bachman today maintained a "neutral" rating and an $82 price target on Apple, following the release of low January sales results. "While we have concerns about CPU growth in the March quarter, we believe that the month of January will be worse than the quarter," the analyst wrote. "We think the January NPD data exaggerates CPU slowdown." Apple's revenue and units for the month of January grew only one percent and six percent year-over-year, respectively, compared to 25 percent and 20 percent revenue and unit growth in the December quarter, according to Forbes.com. The analyst noted that the new iMacs did not ship until January 10th, and that the MacBook Pros only began shipping February 13-14th.
Apple pressures retailer
Micro Heaven today announced that it has changed the domain name of its primary site from www.easyipod.co.uk to www.easyishop.co.uk, following threats of legal action from Apple. Micro Heaven's managing director James Nicholson elaborates: "there are a number of reasons for the change the first being the threat of Legal action by Apple against Micro Heaven using the term iPod in our URL. We totally understand that Apple need to protect their brand names and would not ever attempt to fight this in court. Secondly we are now seeing even more competition in the MP3 market and various companies who are bringing out strong products that may someday compete with Apple's dominant player. We also feel the domain name www.easyishop.co.uk allows us to expand into various other mobility sectors as and when we feel the market dictates." The company will make the move gradually so as not to confuse existing customers, and plans to bring on more accessories for other players that may compete with Apple's iPod.
SlipperySoft announced version 1.0 of iTunes2web. iTunes2web exports an iTunes music library into a web page. The software features the ability to export album art, can link albums to Google, Amazon, or the iTMS, and offers an efficient AJAX backend that minimizes the bandwidth needed to view created libraries. The developer says the stylesheets are easily modifiable, allowing experienced users to customize the appearance of web pages. The program also allows users to restrict the export of files--users can select the entire library, or individually select playlists, albums, and songs to export onto the web page. iTunes2web is shareware and costs $12.50.
K4 Publishing System
SoftCare today announced that K4 Publishing System version 5.6 has been released. The editorial system for Adobe InDesign and Adobe InCopy has become even faster with the integration of Adobe InDesign Server. K4 version 5.6 increases production security and speeds up correction cycles by allowing administrators to selectively disable text-editing features in InDesign and InCopy by type of user. In addition, K4 can now be connected to almost any asset management system. Ready-made connections to FotoWare FotoStation, Visono MAM, and picturesafe myCONTENT are already available. Text frames for captions and credits can be logically linked to the image on the InDesign page, and are automatically adjusted when the image frame is moved or resized, making page design easier and reducing room for errors (pricing was unavailable).
iCal2Web 2.2 ($8)
exports calendars from iCal into an HTML formatted Web page. It can combine multiple calendars, automatically run and generate a calendar every few hours, and display calendars with alternate week beginning days. It handles most reoccurring event types, and every last detail of the resulting HTML page is customizable by the user via its template files. Version 2.2 features a bug fix with handling empty values in the settings file, and if no calendars can be found.
[Download - 40KB]
MacDoppler 1.6.2 ($95) is used around the world by Amateur Radio operators, satellite spotters, educators and commercial customers. MacDoppler will provide any level of station automation users need from assisted Doppler Tuning and Antenna Pointing right on up to fully automated Satellite Gateway operation. New features include added PrimeSat rotator controller support, added Path Loss Calculations, a virtual time slider, squint calculations, 3D "Behind Sat" camera point of view, city lights display added to 3D view, added AO-54 (SuitSat) to the modes file, and more. [Download - 15MB]
Spamphibian 1.1 ($650) turns any Mac OS X computer into a reliable and efficient SMTP proxy that protects a company or organization from unwanted spam, viruses, phishing scams, and more. The OS X native Spamphibian Admin application allows the user to remotely administer and maintain Spamphibian Gateway, as well as manage the messages that have been quarantined. New features include Universal binary, many fixed bugs, improved handling of special charcters in URL files, DNSBL lookups, and more. [Download - 1.7MB]
X Folders 1.1 (free) is a file manager for Mac OS X Tiger. X Folders supplements Finder, with drag-and-drop, intelligent path navigators, navigation of the keyboard with Norton Commander compatibility, and more. New features include Universal binary, integrated, detailed Spotlight search, versatile search and compare possibilities, zip archive support, and more. [Download - 1MB]
ComicBookLover 1.0rc ($25) enables users to easily view, collect and organize digital comics. Find comics by browsing cover art, edit information, and view comics in full-screen mode, on laptops and external displays. The Universal binary application supports CBZ, CBR, and PDF comic archives. New features include smart lists, support for PDF comics, improved speed, and more. [Download - 2.1MB]
ChordPhobia, InversionPhobia, ScalePhobia, and IntervalPhobia ($20) are all now Universal Binary applications. The programs are designed to aid aspiring musicians and music major students in developing essential listening skills on common musical subjects such as chords, chord inversions, intervals, and scales. ChordPhobia allows students to see/hear most of the chords from the major triads to 13th chords in their root position; InversionPhobia allows students to see/hear most of the inversions from major triads to minor major sevenths; IntervalPhobia provides audio/visual for most of the intervals from perfect unison to perfect fifteenth; and ScalePhobia shows/plays most of the scales/modes from the major scale to the Locrian mode. [Download - [options]]
Angel Network denies Macs
In brief: The Angel Network registry on Oprah.com, which allows visitors to sponsor household items for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, is turning away Mac users with an "unsupported" message, forcing them to donate by mail rather than online.... New MacBook Pro orders have slipped to a ship time of eight weeks from third-party resellers such as Amazon.com, but remain at 3-4 weeks from Apple's own online store.... Apple has begun integrating aspects of its online store directly into iTunes, offering the ability to purchase new custom-engraved iPods directly from within the iTunes application.... Eight highly-acclaimed photographers will be providing personal, one-on-one instructive feedback to digital photographers at Photoshop World Conference and Expo March 22-24th.... Apple has will exhibit at IPEX 2006, one of the biggest printing and graphics exhibitions in the world, where it will "host a large stand at the show, where attendees will be able to test-drive the latest Mac-based solutions" running on the MacBook Pro.
SmartDisk debuts PhotoBank
SmartDisk today debuted PhotoBank, a USB photo storage device designed to increase photo storage capacity on-the-go. The company is demonstrating the new device in booth no. 4927 at PMA2006 in Orlando, FL from February 23rd through March 1st. The PhotoBank offers a quick, convenient way to directly transfer digital photos from a camera. The device offers 40GB of storage capacity that can hold over 40,000 800KB photos, and can be connected directly to a PC to offload images. An LCD status indicator and single key enable one-step quick transfers. PhotoBank will to be available in March for $180, according to SmartDisk.
WinTel 2.1.1 released
OpenOSX today released WinTel 2.1.1, resolving potential issues with CDROMs and featuring zero-configuration network support for Windows XP. WinTel is an easy-to-use stand-alone application for configuring and utilizing the included open source "Qemu" and "Bochs" software, allowing users to install and use x86/Pentium-based operating systems on computers running Mac OS X. Version 2.1.1 adds an option for imaging CD-ROMs to an ISO-9660 disk image usable by WinTel, and includes updated tutorials and documentation. The update offers two modes of operation, one using "Qemu" for maximum performance and another using "Bochs" for complete compatibility. WinTel also emulates PowerPC, Sparc, MIPS, and ARM processors. WinTel 2..1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is available as a Universal Binary providing support for Intel-based Macs as well as G4 and G5 Macs for $25.
Non-Apple apps on Mac
Lack of software compatibility and performance continues to plague the Intel iMac and its functionality, according to a new review by PC World. The review notes that while Apple applications run much faster on the new iMac in comparison to its predecessor, third-party software is disappointingly slow. The Intel iMac boots more quickly and program response is "much snappier" versus the PowerPC versions, but programs such as Mozilla Firefox and Adobe Photoshop now take about twice as long to respond as previous versions, says Rebbapragada. PowerPC software does run on the new iMacs, but programs not written in Universal Binary--a format that contains native versions for both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs--must be translated real-time through Apple's Rosetta software. Rebbapragada lowered the rating for the new iMac in comparison to the PowerPC iMac due to these speed issues.
BWF2XML, audio to FCP
Spherico today released a new version of BWF2XML, updating the application designed to bring professional audio support to Apple's Final Cut Pro (FCP) software. "BWF2XML is the reliable, fast and simple way to convert Broadcast Wave Files into a format that allows FCP to work reliable with those BWF audio files." BWF2XML leverages the FCP XML format, allowing Final Cut Pro users to import the complete metadata and timecode information. The new version matches the timecode settings of all major audio HDRs, allowing a smooth match between HDR settings and the FCP timecode options. The update also adds a "Target Project" option, allowing users to streamline workflow. The new features extends extend BWF2XML's current feature set, which includes "Metadata Mapping" and "Non Destructive Premix," among others. BWF2XML is available for $100, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Proteus now free
Defaultware today announced its multi-client chat program, Proteus 4.12, is now free. Currently users must go through the purchase steps to get the free price, but Deafultware plans to release a version soon that will remove the process completely, as well as offer Universal Binary version of the application. Proteus supports most IM accounts, including AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ, Jabber, Google Talk, iChat Bonjour, Gadu Gadu, Sametime, and more. "Extras" allow the user to customize the appearance of Proteus, which also supports drag-and-drop file transfers for MSN, Yahoo!, AIM, and Jabber. Proteus joins the ranks of free chat client programs along with AdiumX-- a messaging application that allows Mac OS X users to connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, Google, and more.
Logitech and Adobe today announced a collaboration to provide creative professionals and design enthusiasts new levels of control when using Adobe Creative Suite 2 (CS2) and standalone CS2 applications: the NuLOOQ Professional Series. The new Logitech product line comprises the NuLOOQ navigator, a device used in conjunction with a mouse and a keyboard to manipulate images and documents, and the NuLOOQ tooldial, customizable on-demand interface software that provides quick access to design tools. Both are designed for use with the Mac versions of Adobe Creative Suite 2, Adobe Illustrator CS2, Adobe InDesign CS2, and Adobe Photoshop CS2.
Bravo coming to iTunes
In Brief: Following the receipt of the first batch of MacBook Pros, both OWC and iFixit have posted the first MacBook Pro disassembly instructions and photos.... A new Cheetah3D-to-Piranesi interface allows the recently released Cheetah3D 3.0 to leverage Piranesi's award-winning "3D Painting" technology.... Celebrating its one-year anniversary, macProVideo.com is offering a 25 percent discount on all of its tutorial video programs (requires completion of a 3-question survey).... MyMac Podcast 70 features an interview with former Apple CEO Gil Amelio, which talks about his time at Apple, what he is doing today, and more.... Bravo is set to join iTunes, adding to the digital store's video offerings.
Bravo to join iTunes
Bravo is set to join iTunes, adding to the digital store's already swelling assortment of content. The cable network will make season-to-date episodes of "Project Runway," as well as current and past episodes of "Inside the Actors Studio" available for download via Apple's iTunes Music Store starting February 28th, according to TheHollywoodReporter.com. iTunes added NHL and NASCAR content in mid-January, hot on the heels of offerings from Disney, Pixar, ABC, NBC, ESPN, and others. Earlier this week, NBC announced that its new drama "Conviction" will debut on Apple's iTunes, 10 days before the series actually airs on television, while earlier this year Apple partnered with MTV Networks to bring programming from MTV, MTV2, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and The N to iTunes.
NewerTech battery for PB
Other World Computing (OWC) and Newer Technology today introduced the newest edition to its NuPower high capacity battery: the new 55 Watt Hour rated replacement battery for the 12-inch PowerBook G4 provides up to 17 percent more run time capacity than Apple factory-shipped batteries. The extreme high capacity is achieved using revolutionary cells only just released on the market and not available through any other manufacturer in units of comparable capacity and quality, according to the release. "PowerBook owners want the highest capacity run times imaginable that they can only get from NewerTech NuPower batteries," said Larry O'Connor, President of NewerTech. "The longer lifespan of the new NewerTech NuPower G4 12" Aluminum PowerBook batteries translate into both long term economical and environmental savings. It's a guaranteed win-win." It is available for $150 and ships with a one-year NewerTech warranty. A 53.3 Watt Hour model is available for $140.
Apple among most admired
Apple is the second most admired computer company behind IBM, ranking ahead of Canon, HP, Dell, Sun, and Gateway, according to a new survey by Fortune magazine. However, Apple ranked No. 11 overall in the 20 most admired companies, behind GE, FedEx, Southwest Airlines, Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Berkshire Hathaway, Dell, Toyota, and Microsoft. Globally, Apple moved up to No. 9 on the list of The World's Most Admired Companies.
HOBO Waterproof Shuttle
Onset Computer has introduced the HOBO Waterproof Shuttle, a new data retrieval device for use with HOBO water level, water temperature, and rainfall data loggers. The new Shuttle allows users to conveniently offload data loggers in the field and safely transport the data back to a Windows- or Mac-based computer for analysis. It features a rugged housing that is waterproof up to 66 feet, and is ideal for retrieving data from loggers deployed in or near rivers, estuaries, oceans, and wells. The device features one-button operation for easy logger offload and re-launch; a USB-based optical interface for high-speed, reliable data offload in wet or underwater environments; a large memory capable of storing data from 63 loggers; and bright LEDs for displaying offload, re-launch, and battery status. It is priced at $200 and will be available in April 2006 from Onset.
iTunes hits 1 billion
Apple's iTunes today reached the 1 billion song mark, setting an industry milestone for sales of digital music from its popular online store. The industry-leading iTunes Music Store sold its billionth song at just after 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 22nd--less than three years after its launch in April of 2003. Although the company did not provide any details on the winner, it celebrated with a note on its homepage: "To every iTunes Music Store customer, thanks a billion. 1 billion songs have been downloaded from the iTunes Music Store." The company launched its billion song promo earlier this month and offered a 20-inch iMac, 10 60GB iPods, and a $10,000 iTunes Music Card as well as a full-ride scholarship in the winner's name to a world-renowned music school.
MacSpeech has released new ScriptPaks for Pages 2.0 and iWork '06. The Pages 2.0 ScriptPak adds almost 150 commands to iListen that allows the user to do virtually anything in Pages they would normally do using keyboard shortcuts or menus. The iWork '06 ScriptPak combines the Pages 2.0 ScriptPak with the recently released Keynote 3.0 ScriptPak and includes almost 300 commands. "iWork has been a frequently requested ScriptPak ever since iWork '05 came out last year," said MacSpeech Chief Evangelist Chuck Rogers. "The Pages 2.0 ScriptPak, combined with our earlier released Keynote ScriptPak give iListen users unprecedented control over these applications with their voice." The ScriptPak for Pages 2.0 is available immediately for $20. The iWork '06 ScriptPak bundle is also available immediately for $30. iListen 1.6.8 or later is required to use the new ScriptPaks.
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