Xitel today introduced HiFi-Link for iPod nano, a unique docking station designed specifically to connect Apple's iPod nano to home stereo equipment in high fidelity while also offering full recharging and remote control capabilities. Extending Xitel's HiFi-Link for iPod family of products, HiFi-Link for iPod nano comes as a complete "Made for iPod" accessory, including a compact black dock and slim remote control and shielded audio cable with gold-plated connectors. "Particular care also has been given to the contoured design that supports, guides and protects iPod nano for superior durability," according to the company. The HiFi-Link for iPod nano is $70 and will be available starting mid-April 2006 through CompUSA, J&R, Frys and the company's website.
In brief: PC Magazine is offering a visual history of its relationship with Apple computers and products -- from the first Apple cover story in 1983 on "Surviving an Apple to PC Switchover" to the present.... SanDisk today announced that it plans to expand retail sales in Mexico, and introduced a variety of new products.... The producers of MacLive have issued a call for entries for the inaugural MacLive Film Festival.... Altec Lansing has unveiled the inMoion iM9 ($200, shown at right), which the company claims is "the SUV of portable iPod speakers...." HandStands today began shipping iGadget Grips ($6), the company's small pads that attach to an iPod or other device to hold it securely on a vehicle's dashboard.... Excerpts from BBC News stories are being used to lure Internet Explorer users to websites that launch downloads of bots, spyware, back doors and other means of downloading Trojan Horses.
Devon Technologies today released updates to its DEVONthink and DEVONagent applications, offering Universal Binary versions of both programs to natively support Intel-based Macs. DEVONthink Professional 1.1 is an information manager with built-in artificial intelligence, aiding users with organizational tasks. The update removes a number of unnecessary preferences, simplifies import options, and includes a redesigned search dialog window. Version 1.1 trims options down to importing and indexing, and cleans up the various import preferences for different file types. The application uses the system-wide proxy settings, as well as a more sophisticated download manager. Indexed documents are compatible to the phrase and wildcard search, and the upgrade improves reliability of synchronizing documents in the database with files in the file system. The full application is priced at $80, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Apple today officially announced that it is shipping the first Universal version of its Final Cut Studio video production suite, following our note yesterday. The new version, it says, delivers up to 2.5 times the performance when running on a MacBook Pro. The suite includes native versions of Soundtrack Pro, an audio editing and sound design application that makes video projects sound as good as they look; Motion 2, the world's first real-time motion graphics application with GPU accelerated 32-bit float rendering; and DVD Studio Pro 4 for professional DVD authoring. "Final Cut Studio continues to set the standard in the new era of HD production," said Rob Schoeben, Apple's vice president of Applications Marketing. "Now with the incredible performance of Final Cut Studio on a MacBook Pro, customers can work more efficiently wherever they are."
Apple announced that it has pushed back the release date of Aperture 1.1, a highly anticipated update to the post-production tool for photographers that will offer native compatibility for Intel Mac users, as well as increased computer and camera compatibility. Apple showcased Aperture 1.1 in late February at the PMA trade show in Orlando, FL as a significant update to the program, saying that the new version would be available in some time in March. The company's update page for Aperture, however, reveals that Apple is now planning to unveil the update during the month of April. Apple began shipping Final Cut Studio 5.1 yesterday, a Universal Binary version of its professional video application suite. Aperture 1.1 will deliver new feature enhancements and address issues related to overall reliability, performance, and compatibility, according to Apple. Documented changes include improved RAW image quality, RAW fine tuning, auto noise compensation, a new color meter, enhanced export controls, and "dozens of other improvements." The current version of Aperture is priced at $500, and the upgrade will be free to existing users.
HandStands today began shipping iGadget Grips, the company's small pads that attach to an iPod or other device to hold it securely to a vehicle's dashboard. Gadget Grips take advantage of HandStands' patented "Sticky Technology" and are available in nine cut-outs that fit all iPod and mobile phone sizes. The pads are washable, reusable, use no adhesives, and leave no residue when removed. Each measures 7 3/8 x 3 x 5/16-inches, and is priced at $6 from HandStands.com.
DragThing 5.6.4 ($30) updates the alternative Dock application that offers native support for both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs. The software is designed to make items on a Mac such as files, folders, applications, disks, URLs, clippings, and windows easily accessible, while taking up as little space on your screen as possible. Version 5 includes English, Japanese, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese language support. The update is free for registered users of DragThing 5. [Download - 5.5MB] SpamSieve 2.4.3 ($25) is a free update to the application that adds Bayesian spam filtering to many popular e-mail clients. Version 2.4.3 offers improved accuracy by counteracting various spammer tricks, removes the delay when using Apple Mail on Tiger between choosing "Train as Good" or "Train as Spam," and Entourage scripts now report progress partway through bulk trainings while allowing users to cancel the process. The update also includes Growl notifications, improved error messages, and a bug fix that caused part of SpamSieve's corpus to be written to disk incorrectly when running on Intel Macs. [Download - 3.6MB] EntourageABMenu 1.2 ($10) offers an intuitive way to utilize the Microsoft Entourage address book data through a system-wide menu. Version 1.2 adds an option to disable any of the contact submenus, and offers support for contacts stored in Exchange-based address books. The update includes Outlook Web access global address list lookup capability, an option to normalize company names, the ability to use icons that more closely resemble the Entourage interface, and an option to quit Entourage after loading data. [Download - 712KB] MenuCalendarClock 2.5 ($20) is a pair of integrated menu calendar and clock applications for Mac OS X. Version 2.5 of both applications brings native support for Intel-based Macs as Universal Binaries, and adds Polish localization to the existing list of 18 languages. The update is free to all registered and unregistered versions of the iCal and Entourage variants. [Download - 903KB (for iCal) and 911KB (for Entourage)] Music Man 1.7.6 ($20) is a Universal Binary version of the digital music software for Mac OS X. The application can rip, convert, burn and play MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, AIF, Audio CD and Ogg Vorbis file formats. Music Man provides burning capability to Audio CD, MP3 CD, DVD and USB Flash drives. The update adds various new features, as well as audio CD burning capability. [Download - 7.5MB] Isadora 1.1b39 ($350) is a graphic programming environment for Macintosh that provides interactive control over digital media, with special emphasis on the real-time manipulation of digital video. The update offers built-in LanBox actors for video to DMX and direct DMX support, using the LanBox UDP over Ethernet protocol. The LanBox RGB actor can convert and output thousands of pixels into LanBox UDP packets, and data can be transported over a standard TCP/IP connection to LanBoxes, which generates the actual DMX data. [Download - 2.4MB]
On the heels of Apple's CEO Steve Jobs turning in almost 4.6 million company shares to pay taxes on 10 million shares that had recently vested, several other Apple executives took similar actions on stock owed to them by the company, while Apple's chief operating officer (COO) elected to cash in on his shares, instead of net-share settling. The shares were part of 2.4 million restricted shares that Apple's board had previously approved as executive compensation. Like Jobs' 10 million shares, these shares also vested this month. Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Bertrand Serlet, and Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip W. Schiller each forfeited 114,375 of the quarter million shares owed to them to pay their tax obligations.
Marketcircle today released Daylite 3 Productivity Suite, bundling Daylite 3 with the company's Daylite Mail Integration Module (DMI 2.0) with native compatibility for Intel-based Macs. Daylite 3 is designed for Mac-based businesses from 1-50 people in size, usable as a resource for tracking and managing business activities and outcomes. Daylite features include shared calendars, meetings, project and activity delegation, and multiple pipelines for projects as well as opportunities. The update represents a bottom-up overhaul of the previous Daylite 1.9 user interface to make productivity concepts more accessible and reduce the number of clicks to get work done. The new version also offers a new report writer in addition to the command-and-control email functionality via DMI 2.0. The Daylite 3 Productivity Suite is priced at $200, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
In brief: MacNN has reviewed the Booq Vyper M PowerBook Sleeve ($50), a protective cover for Mac notebooks.... Apple today added both models of the MacBook Pro to its refurbished inventory, offering the 1.83GHz model for $1,699 and the 2.0GHz model for $2,199 (in addition to Intel-based iMacs).... MacNN has also posted a blog entry on "30 years of Apple or 20 years of Macintosh...." Miglia's TVMini HD ($250, shown at right) is now available at the Apple online store.... The Mac CAD group is set to hold a Boston VectorWorks meeting at Wentworth, with a focus of getting the most out of Viewports.... MacPokerOnline.com recently re-launched its site, offering Mac poker players the ability to take advantage of its grand re-opening promotions.
Aspyr Media today announced that Call of Duty 2 for Mac is available for pre-order, and is slated for shipment on May 15th. Originally developed by Infinity Ward, Call of Duty 2 attempts to re-define the cinematic intensity and chaos of battle as seen through the eyes of ordinary soldiers fighting together in epic World War II conflicts. As the sequel to Call of Duty, the 2003 Game of the Year and winner of more than 80 awards, Call of Duty 2 offers "more immense, more intense, more realistic battles than ever before, thanks to the stunning visuals of the new Call of Duty 2 engine." Call of Duty 2 includes enhancements such as realistic graphics, "seamless" gameplay, a new engine, "groundbreaking" AI, and choice-based innovations that enhance the reality of warfare. The game features rendered snow, rain, fog, and smoke, combined with dynamic lighting and shadows. Call of Duty 2 is priced at $50 (system requirements were unavailable).
Microspot today released Microspot DWG Viewer 1.6.5, an update to the program based on Microspot MacDraft Professional that opens AutoCAD DWG files created on Windows PCs. Microspot DWG Viewer can open layouts as well as models, mark-up points of interest in drawings using a red ellipses, add textual annotation, save as a PDF file, and print. Version 1.6.5 enables users to show, hide, or grey layers and zoom in or pan around documents. The update includes a Spotlight plug-in that allows users to search files saved in formats previous to AutoCAD 1015. The latest version also provides improved compatibility with DWG files while adding a tool palette to manage the annotation, zoom, and mark-up tools. Microspot DWG Viewer 1.6.5 is priced at $50, and requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.
Apple today argued that virtually any "moron" could distinguish between its iTunes music distribution service and Apple Corps, the Beatles' record label. Lawyers for Apple asserted the company's right to distribute music through its iTunes music store, rejecting claims by Apple Corps Ltd. that doing so violated a 1991 trademark agreement, according to The Associated Press. Apple Computer's lawyer Anthony Grabiner said the "distribution of digital entertainment content" was permitted under the agreement, in which the two companies promised not to tread on the other's sphere of business, saying that "even a moron in a hurry" could distinguish between the computer company's online music business and a record label like Apple Corps. "Data transmission is within our field of use. That's what [the agreement] says and it is inescapable," he said. Yesterday, Apple Corps' lawyer Geoffrey Vos had said Apple Computer's music distribution business "was flatly contradictory to the provisions of the agreement."
Sol Robots today unveiled The Quiz Press, a new test and quiz making application for Mac OS X. The Quiz Press is designed to make creating tests and quizzes painless, allowing users to distribute them over the Web and in print. Quizzes feature customizable titles and can include five different question types -- Multiple Choice, Fill in the blanks, Short Answer, True or False, and "Cloze." Web quizzes are delivered in Flash to offer cross-platform compatibility, and can be published as stand-alone pages or embedded within other Web content. Each quiz can be published on any website, including .Mac, or printed for conventional testing. The Quiz Press is priced at $40, and requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
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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, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, 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