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Battle of 30-inch displays
Apple's 30-inch Cinema Display wins by a small margin over Dell 30-inch UltraSharp 3007WFP display, in a new report by CNET News.com. "The tale of the tape shows that each offers impressive resolution, contrast ratio, and connectivity. The Dell LCD owns the edge in price, costing $2,199 to the Apple's $2,500. To crown the true champion, we took a closer look at each LCD's features, devised a series of performance tests, and let the combatants go toe-to-toe." The Dell display wins in the 'Connectivity & Features' round with more adjustment features and more connectivity options and the 'Day-to-Day' category with better text display, while the Apple's offering wins the Gaming, Video playback, and DisplayMate-based performance tests. Despite taking three of five rounds, the review concludes: "That said, if adjustability is important to you, the Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP has a lot more going for it; in fact, Apple doesn't really compete in this category. Dell also delivers a better variety of input options and better text performance for everyday tasks. Finally, at $300 less than the Apple, the UltraSharp 3007WFP may be the better deal, dollar for dollar."
Jobs pays $300M in taxes
On heels of the vesting of his 10 million share grant, Apple CEO Jobs has sold nearly half of his gift to pay Uncle Sam. According to a new report, Jobs has sold nearly 4.5 million of his shares to pay almost $300 million in taxes. AppleInsider reports that Jobs sold the shares on the same day that the shares vested to meet tax obligations on the 10 million restricted shares given to him by Apple nearly three years ago. The "net-share settlment" is used by executives to use part of their stock shares as means to pay the often large sums due on the day that a stock grant vests. Jobs sold about 4,573,553 shares at $64.66 a share to pay nearly $295.7 million in state and federal income taxes. The remaining 5,426,451 shares are worth about $325.4 million, according to the report. Apple has chosen to repurchase and retire the 4,573,553 shares from the open market to minimize the number of outstanding shares. In 2003, Apple gave Jobs the 10 million share restricted stock grant in 2003 in exchange for then worthless options--about 55 million shares on a split-adjusted basis.
AAPL history, botnets
In brief: To celebrate the thirty-year history of Apple Computer, Nicholas Pyers will be giving a presentation remembering the history using Apple's own print and video advertisements.... A recent article about "botnets," or networks of compromised computers, notes that in recent times numerous Macs have been used as zombie systems.... Scosche Industries today announced its new FreestyleT line of RF remotes ($70) specifically designed for fifth-generation iPods and iPod nano.... Wait times for both the 1.83GHz and 2.0GHz MacBook Pro notebooks have decreased from 3-5 days on Wednesday to 1-3 days.... Audioengine is shipping its Audioengine 5 speakers ($350, shown at right) designed for portable media players such as Apple's iPod.
Audioengine 5 speakers
Audioengine is shipping its Audioengine 5 speakers designed for portable audio players, such as Apple's iPod. The system is powered by internal amps, and offers integrated subwoofer ports for low-end bass without the need for an external subwoofer. iPod owners can charge the device while listening using the built-in power port, and Apple Universal Docks or iPods can plug directly into the Audioengine "Combo Port." The Combo Port charger is compatible with the fifth-generation iPod, the iPod nano, and all other products that charge via USB. The Audioengine 5 provides the ability to stream music from a laptop directly to the speakers through Apple's Airport Express technology, as well as an AC outlet alongside a second auxiliary mini-jack for alternative audio input. The Audioengine 5 is available for $350, and ship with a three-year warranty.
biOpen 2 ($600) is new sequence analysis and structure visualization software based on dynamic integration of analysis tools. The demo includes an interactive multiple trace view, a Documentation window, DNA/RNA analysis tools (including Contig Assembly), Protein analysis tools (including Coils) and sequence alignment tools (including PROBCONS). BiOpen 2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
[Download - [form]]
Radmind 1.6.1 (free) enhances the suite of UNIX command-line tools that feature a server designed to remotely administer the file systems of multiple UNIX machines. Radmind operates as a tripwire at its core, which can detect changes to any managed filesystem object -- files, directories, links, and more. The application can reverse changes once they are detected, and each managed machine can have its own loadset composed of multiple, layered overloads. [Download - 252KB]
DigiTunnel 1.0 ($60) is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) client for Mac OS X. The application offers compatibility with Windows 2000, WatchGuard, Nortel, Mac OS X Server 1.2, and other VPN servers. DigiTunnel supports PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol), and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. The software also supports MSCHAP/MSCHAPv2 authentication, as well as 40-, 56-, and 128-bit-key MPPE encryption. [Download - 2.5MB]
SidPlay 3.4 (free) updates the Commodore 64 music player that emulates the sound chip and other internals of the personal computer to play back music that was originally written on it. Version 3.4 is a Universal Binary offering native compatibility with Intel-based Macs, and uses a new Spotlight plugin for search functionality. The update also adds a scrollbar for the info window, and includes anti-aliased oscilloscope rendering using Quartz 2D. [Download - 1.4MB]
PlainCalc 2 (free) is a buttonless, algebraic-entry mathematical calculator with variables. Users can type an expression or assignment and press Return or Enter to view the results. PlainCalc allows users to indicate multiplication by juxtaposition, or as 2pr instead of 2*p*r. Version 2 enables users to define custom functions and save worksheets that include values of variables and functions. The update is available as a Universal Binary, but it has not been tested on an Intel Mac. [Download - 143KB]
SoundSource 1.1 (free) updates the Mac OS X tool that enables users to easily switch audio input and output sources. A System setting can transfer system beeps to a secondary audio source. The software requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. Version 1.1 offers official Intel chip-based Mac support. [Download - 635KB]
iPod RF remotes debut
Scosche Industries today announced its new FreestyleT line of RF remotes specifically designed for fifth-generation iPods and iPod nano. Both RF remotes offer up to 150-feet of range, the signal capability to travel through walls as well as around corners, and can control key functions such as play/pause, on/off, volume, track, and rewind/fast forward. The NRF -- designed in black -- is specifically designed for the iPod nano to act as a case as well as an RF remote. The IPRF-Doc is designed for fifth-generation iPods, and is also offered in black. Both remotes plug into the dock connector of their respective players and feature a pass through for charging and syncing, Bluetooth integration, FM transmitters, or headphones. Both the NRF and the IPRF-Doc will be available for $70. Each remote will ship with the receiver and a 3.5-to-RCA adapter cable.
Adobe CS3 due in Q2 2007
Adobe today said that users can expect the release of Adobe Creative Suite 3 -- the first Intel-native version of the professional graphics suite -- in the second quarter of 2007. Minimizing the impact of the delay and defending its decision, Adobe's CEO Bruce Chizen earlier this week said that customers were looking for new features and that Apple's large customers would be slow to migrate to Intel-based Macs -- likening the transition from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. Chizen today told Forbes.com that the company expects to release the next major version of the suite next year, after it releases its flagship Acrobat software in December. "Creative Suite 3 will be introduced in the second quarter of 2007. Acrobat will take advantage of the Macromedia assets. And you'll see a lot of activity in the CS3 launch." Earlier this year, the company noted that the release could be up to one year away.
IOXperts request, Parliant
In brief: IOXperts is seeking beta testers for PowerPC and Intel support of the latest Logitech QuickCams, as well as any USB Video class-compliant cameras in the IOXWebcam driver.... Parliant today began offering a $30 rebate to owners of competing small business voice mail systems who purchase PhoneValet Message Center's base system within the next 30 days.... Ars Technica has posted a retrospective look at the past five years of Mac OS X, detailing the critical role that Apple's OS has played in the company's revitalization.... HandStands today announced that it is offering a new version of its iSnug case ($40, shown at right) for Apple's fifth-generation iPod.... Apple has begun holding "School nights at the Apple Store" in the U.K. and Ireland, offering students the chance to learn in the presence of technology.
iSnug for 5G iPod
HandStands today announced that it is offering a new version of its iSnug case for Apple's fifth-generation iPod. The hard-shell case features an EVA foam cutout, belt loop, and a mesh pocket for earphones or cables. The iSnug Video also includes a leather skin case, lanyard, micro-fiber cloth, and a "bullet-proof" shield for protecting the face of the iPod. The case also serves as a stand, and is priced at $40. The iSnug Video is slated for shipment in mid-April.
Imperial Glory hits beta
Feral Interactive today announced that its forthcoming historical strategy game, Imperial Glory, has reached the beta stage. "To mark this milestone, we are releasing a trailer displaying the game's battle scenes in all their military splendor." The company has created a standard QuickTime trailer as well as an iPod video version. Imperial Glory is a game of military tactics and political strategy in which players lead one of five great nations through the turbulent Napoleonic age of the late 18th and early 19th Century. Players make history by transforming a nation into Europe's dominant Empire. The game features a comprehensive turn-based management mode, as well as real-time 3D land and sea battles.
TurboCAD Pro .12 released
IMSI today released TurboCAD Pro .12, the latest iteration of its 3D modeling software that supports "industry" add-on packs or modules. Two modules are available, consisting of the "Mechanical Pack" and the "Architectural Pack," according to Architosh. The update includes a redesigned "part-tree" for improved parametric modeling/editing, an enhanced user interface, and the ability to create or drop doors/windows into walls in 3D drawing mode. Version .12 also features the LightWorks 7.5 rendering engine, as well as LightWorks Archive support. TurboCAD Professional .12 is available for $900, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
SnapTalk 4.1 released
Glass Bead Software today released SnapTalk 4.1, an update to the company's secure office communication software. Version 4.1 features password protection, keyboard shortcuts, and Bonjour support for Windows. The application runs cross-platform on networked Macs and PCs, running with or without a server with the ability to connect to remote offices. SnapTalk features drag-and-drop functionality, customizable sounds for system events, additional right click or control click support for cut/copy/paste, and keyboard shortcuts for all "Snapbacks." SnapTalk 4.1 requires Mac OS 8.6 or later, or alternatively Mac OS X 10.1 or later. The software is priced at $16 per user for up to nine users, or $9 per user for 50 or more licenses.
QuickBooks 2006 release 4
Intuit has launched QuickBooks 2006 for Mac, Release 4. The update complies with changed mandated by the U.S. Congress' Check 21 Act, offering a new wallet check layout and the image-compatible Check 21 layout. QuickBooks 2006 Release 4 repairs a bug related to unexpected behavior when opening a company file with the setting "Show Reminders List when QuickBooks starts," and fixes a memory leak when condensing a company file. Changes to online banking include improvements to the user interface, as well as a bug fix related to .qbo files containing a plus sign. The update properly displays account names in "Profit & Loss" reports, correctly handles applying a partial payment to multiple invoices, and fixes an issue when trying to save the "Edit State Tax Information" window from within PayCycle. QuickBooks 2006 for Mac, Release 4 is available via download to registered users, while the full QuickBooks 2006 for Mac application is available for $200. The software requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Adobe on Intel transition
Adobe this week minimized the impact of and defended its decision not to deliver Intel native versions of its applications before the next major releases of its software, saying that customers are looking for new features and that its customer bases will move slowly to the new Intel-architecture. Adobe, however, reaffirmed the strength of the platform and said that Creative Suite 3 would bring native Intel Mac support. "We continue to see real strength in Macintosh business. If you really look at sort of the percentage of revenue that we’ve had in Mac, it actually grew at little bit quarter over quarter, so with the Creative Suite clearly driving the significant amount of revenue on the Mac platforms," Adobe's COO Shantanu Narayen told analysts. "We’re working on the transition for Mactel with our next generation of products, but so far we continue to see customers wanting to buy the Creative Suite, the Studio, and the Bundles, because of the features that we have in the product. We’ve always found that when the features are present in our products, people will buy the products."
1,200 Universal apps
Developers have appeared to embrace the new Intel-architecture, as more and more applications are being made available to run natively on Intel Macs. Over 200 new Universal Binary applications --ones that run natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs -- have been released this month, yielding a total of 1,200 applications, according to Apple's weekly news letter. However, even Apple's own listing shows more than 1,300 that are available. Earlier this month, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer touted the 1,000 application milestone for Universal applications at the Morgan Stanley Semiconductor and Systems Conference.
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