Coke is taking a page from Apple's lesson book. The world's largest soft drink company has taken time to study the message and advertising behind Apple's "Silhouettes" campaign before launching its own "Welcome to the Coke side of life" advertising blitz this weekend, according to Reuters. Coke representatives said that the company studied Apple's print and outdoor communication and also said that the message had a lot of "clarity," serving as a reminder about the product to consumers on the move, according to the report. "It is important with big brands that we evoke the feeling of what we are trying to say to people as opposed to telling people. You feel what the benefit of iPod is in the creative," said Esther Lee, Coke's chief creative officer.
Audition Products is planning to unveil a headphone kit based on "Liberty Link" technology developed by Aura Communication for iPod nano users. The headset is expected to cost less than similar Bluetooth wireless technology, using magnetic induction to establish a digital radio link between the iPod nano base transmitter and the headphone, according to AppleInsider. Similar to RFID (Radio Frequency ID), the technology is capable of creating a communications bubble with a range of 4-5 feet that entirely surrounds the user. The limited transition range may result in longer battery life and lower accessory costs, and like Bluetooth, privacy is maintained via an automatically generated code with each headphone and base. The headphone kit is expected to cost $80-100, and will offer roughly 10 hours of uninterrupted playback, according to the report.
FinLease 1.5.1 ($45) and FinFlow 1.6.2 ($15) updates both the advanced lease calculator application and the general purpose financial application. FinLease 1.5.1 adds the ability to omit the nominal annual rate and compounding frequency in printouts, as well as the option to save a lease as an editable FinFlow file. The update also supports date entry with the Command-hyphen key combination, and results can be saved as Microsoft Word or Excel documents. FinFlow 1.6.2 fixes various bugs that occurred when resizing the FinFlow window. [Download - 1.8MB (FinLease) and 1.7MB (FinFlow)] TimeCache 6.1 ($50) is a free upgrade to the time and expense billing application for TimeCache 6.x users. Version 6.1 adds an option to archive projects within the TimeCache data file, enables users to spell check notes and descriptions, offers a new category report that allows viewing activity by billing category, includes an option to automatically check for updated versions of TimeCache, and features improvements to data exporting functionality. The update also includes a variety of bug fixes. [Download - 4.8MB] Brain Tease 1.0.1 (free) lets users explore how the mind uses clues other than a word itself to recognize the word and how the mind reacts to confusing clues, while a second part of the software helps users practice short term memory skills. Brain Tease was developed to help users explore an interesting reading phenomenon and to help practice short-term memory, focus and concentration skills. [Download - 1.1MB] OsiriX 2.3.1 (free) is an image processing application dedicated to DICOM images produced by medical equipment (MRI, CT, PET, PET-CT, and others) as well as confocal microscopy (LSM and BioRAD-PIC format). The software is fully compliant with the DICOM standard for image communication and image file formats. OsiriX is able to receive images transferred by DICOM communication protocol from any PACS or medical imaging modality (STORE Service Class Provider, STORE Service Class User, and Query/Retrieve). [Download - 29.3MB] MacGPS Pro 6.3 ($50) updates the software designed to connect GPS receivers and Mac systems, allowing users to look up Waypoints or create a Route on Google Earth and transfer that into a GPS. The application works with Garmin and Magellan GPS receivers for transferring Waypoints, Routes, Tracklogs, and GPS satellite Almanacs. The update also transfers Waypoints, Routes, and Tracklogs from the GPS, displaying them on Google Earth.
XtraLean Software today released ShutterBug 2.0, a major update to the website publishing tool for beginners and advanced users. The application offers a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) design environment, coupled with a drag-and-drop interface. Version 2 adds over new 30 features, as well as 26 new themes. The software enables users to add QuickTime, flash movies and audio content to Web pages. "Xtra" text and image boxes, contact forms, page counters, HTML snippets, thumbnail rollovers, layered graphics, and the ability to embed other Web pages into sites enhances users' ability to construct custom pages. Additional new features include password protection; iPhoto integration; the ability to add external files for uploading; an archive option for project collaboration and backup; navigation submenus; easy email encryption; the ability to create graphical buttons for navigation; and more. ShutterBug 2.0 is priced at $50, is available as a free upgrade to registered users, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Feral Interactive today announced that all future titles will be released as Universal Binaries, offering native compatibility on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. The company also said it will update many of its existing titles over the coming months to provide Intel Mac support. "For those of you who have already made the switch to a shiny new Intel iMac, MacBook Pro or Mac Mini, the updates to our older titles will enable them to run with greater performance than is possible under Rosetta." Feral adds that game fans should check for updates toward the end of April. Feral Interactive has released Chessmaster 9000, Bionicle, Ford Racing 2, Enemy Engaged, Republic, Worms 3D, and others.
In brief: SendStation Systems is offering users of its earBuddy earphone storage device ($15) a chance to win credit for the iTunes Music Store when they submit a short review noting which earphones -- other than Apple's earbuds -- are stored in their earBuddy, coupled with 2-3 photos.... Array Publications today announced the winners of the Development Tools 2006 competition, naming Rapid Application Development (RAD) software company Servoy the winner.... Take Control Books has released the "Macworld Digital Photography Superguide" ($13), a 102-page collection of Macworld's digital photography coverage.... IT-Enquirer has posted a review of PitStop Professional 7, EnFocus' certified PDF preflight and PDF editing software for Adobe Acrobat PDF workflows.... Xitel has introduced HiFi-Link for iPod nano ($70, shown at right), a docking station designed specifically to connect an iPod nano to home stereo equipment in high fidelity.
Marratech today released a Universal Binary version of its real time collaboration client, Marratech 6.0.1, enabling audio and visual conferencing on Intel-based Macs. Marratech plays H.264 video, and features full screen video as well as moderator functionality. The application includes quicker application sharing and supports hot swapping of USB audio devices. The update fixes a bug that could cause video to stop sending during a change in moderation role. The client/server application requires a licensed copy of Marratech Manager to set up meeting rooms. Marratech 6.0.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and Java 1.5 (pricing was unavailable). An unsupported version of Marratech 6.0.1 for Mac OS X 10.3.9 is available as a separate download via marratech.com.
Numark has launched the NuVJ Video Controller, a hardware/software solution designed for DJs who want to synchronize video with their musical performance. The NuVJ allows DJs to incorporate images and video clips in much the same way as mixing music. With the NuVJ, the VJ can trigger images and video clips, add effects to them, mix them through an onboard DJ style crossfader and tweak them to create advanced audio/visual experiences. The hardware controller works seamlessly with existing DJ gear and the software is compatible with most computers and laptops. The NuVJ Video Controller offers a wealth information, feedback, and visual effects, including video sample playback and effects from a wide range of sources, internal generation of patterns and backgrounds, real-time effects, crossover patterns, and numerous additional features. (Pricing and availability not noted.)
Mek & Tosj have released EnzymeX v3, an update to its application for molecular biologists that helps determine which restriction enzymes to use to cut DNA. In addition, it offers information on all the specific properties of these enzymes. The software now allow users to load any DNA of interest and analyze where exactly the different enzymes cut. Other features include support of many DNA sequence formats through the BioCocoa core, direct download of sequences from NCBI's Entrez DNA database, a new EnzymeX plugin architecture for custom extensions, and improved import and search functions. The free software runs natively on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
NetTeam today announced a new promotion to help celebrate Apple's 30th birthday. The Apple developer is offering a specially discounted bundle on its NetTeam Server product. The first 30 companies to order will receive a 30-user license for 1 year for just $1000. NetTeam Server is a web application that offers businesses of any size a Business Operating System for their web presence; it combines business process, content and collaboration tools to power a wide variety of business functions. NetTeam Server, which the company says is normally priced at $35 per user per month, offers the ability to setup a project extranet for sharing documents/tasks/thoughts, project- and author-based blogs to help streamline project management and knowledge management, build a document library with role-based permissions, and manage a contact database, virtual sales force, and members/volunteer management. It can also setup and manage a company website using Page Editor or uploaded HTML pages.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R