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Mapwing Creator Pro 1.5 ($300) updates the software designed for building, sharing, and exploring virtual reality (VR) tours. Mapwing Creator Pro 1.5 adds several new features including improved export to Flash options, high resolution map backgrounds of 10,240 by 10,240 pixels, and a thumbnail view for media assets. [Download - 10.8MB (Pro)] DiscLabel 3.2 ($30) adds new options for viewing and printing multiple elements of a design project to the label creation software. The update also adds an "Import PDF Booklet" command to import a digital booklet, and improves speed when importing photos from iPhoto. [Download - 8.3MB] YakaMoov 1.2 ($10) is a major update to the video-to-iPod conversion software for Mac OS X. Key YakaMoov features include maintaining a list of movies to be converted, three standard compression settings, a non-blocking interface even when conversion is running, and optimization of the final resolution of movies to ensure the best quality on TV while preserving the original aspect ratio. [Download - 2.2MB] Clockwork 1.1 ($10) is a desktop timer that allows multiple timers to run simultaneously. Version 1.1 adds a fade effect when entering full screen mode, and repairs a bug that caused full screen mode to block access to other windows when switching applications. [Download - 922KB] RadioLover 1.5 ($15) brings the MP3 radio song recorder "wake from sleep" support, enabling users to wake a sleeping computer to perform a scheduled recording. The update includes internal fixes, and updates Libcurl to version 7.15.3. [Download - 2.1MB] SQLiteManager 2.0.2 ($40) is a GUI database manager for SQLite databases. The latest iteration correctly disables the alter table menu item when an SQLite2 table is selected, adds key equivalents to most of the menu items, and includes a new preference to enable/disable the "vacuum" warning after an alter table command. [Download - 5.5MB]
FireWire Depot today launched the latest SeriTek Serial ATA (SATA) bundles using the new SeriTek/2EN2 two-bay Serial ATA external hard drive enclosure as the core of each bundle. The SeriTek/2EN2 enclosure provides versatile hot-swap capabilities in a small enclosure, and includes the latest eSATA shielded connectors as well as a quiet fan with three user-selectable speeds. The company is offering three options which include the SeriTek/1SM2 PC Card ($280), SeriTek/1eVE4 Host Adapter ($330), and the SeriTek/1SE2 Host Adapter ($290).
FirewireDirect.com today announced the HSB-12RMS 12-Bay SATA I/II RAID/storage cluster Rackmount solution with four eSATA host interfaces connectors. The first in an upcoming line of SATA/eSATA products, the new 12-Bay SATA I/II solution can support up to 9TB of storage. The HSB-12RMS is available as an enclosure kit, or completely configured, tested, and verified with either six or twelve SATA drives. The device supports standard partitions, mirroring, and striping, or any combination of the three. The HSB12-RMS's configuration can also utilize some hardware and software RAID solutions to optimize performance and scalability. Pricing for the hot-swappable hard drive storage system starts at $1,000.
Ad-supported television content seems to have a future. ABC today reported that over 3 million viewers haved watched its television shows since it launched the television service just two weeks ago. Reuters reports the numbers provide early sign of demand for television content on the Web and challenge the "ad-free", but paid content available via Apple's iTunes. The Walt Disney Co. is looking into a variety of different business models and may also charge for its own programming, which may bring it into direct competition with Apple. Already the company has begun luring viewers, or potential iTunes customers, and while the details of its iTunes contract is uknown, the ad-supported model may continue to draw large audience, and indirectly hurt Apple's iTunes.
In brief: MacNN has reviewed Business Card Composer ($35) from BeLight Software.... Apple is planning to open a new store in Omaha Nebraska, according to one MacNN reader who saw a link on careerbuilder.com (which has apparently expired), in Village Point on 160th and Dodge road.... MacSpeech has released a new ScriptPak for iPhoto 6, adding nearly 120 commands to iListen.... Carrie Scott has introduced JamBand for iPod nano ($17), a sport wristband for iPod users with active lifestyles.... MacroEnter has announced complete Mac compatibility for Seiko's Teriostar LP-1010 and LP-101 MF printers using Microspot's X-RIP software.
Apple this week filed a lawsuit against its smaller rival Creative Technologies, after it publicized its lawsuit and government complaint against the Cupertino-based iPod maker earlier this week. According to Bloomberg News, Apple has sued Creative in federal court in Wisconsin on Monday, the same day Creative filed its patent suit against Apple, alleging that Creative has infringed on four of Apple's patents. Earlier this week, Creative announced it had filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) as well as filed a lawsuit for in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit seeks an injunction and increased damages for Apple's willful infringement of U.S. Patent 6,928,433 (the "Zen Patent"), while the USITC complaint requests that the Commission begin an investigation of whether Apple has violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 through its importation and sale after importation into the United States of iPods and iPod Nanos that infringe the Zen Patent.
An accessory designer today introduced the Archetype, a new laptop case designed as a blend of engineering and art. Cases are made from one of three unique fabrics which include "genuine cork" (shown at right), "galvanized majilite," and "snow leopard ultrasuede." Entirely encasing the laptop in .25-inch thick closed cell foam, the padding on all sides protects the notebook from bumps and scrapes. The interior is lined with a soft tricot knit that further shields the device from scratches, and the case includes plastic handles molded over strong webbing to carry the notebook. The Archetype comes in four sizes to fit the 13-inch MacBook, 17-inch MacBook Pro, 15.4-inch MacBook Pro, and 12-inch Powerbook. The 13-inch MacBook model will ship in late July, and is available for pre-order for $100.
In the city that never sleeps, neither will Apple's flagship store. That's the tagline that Apple used at its press event this morning hosted by Apple retail exec Ron Johnson. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told clients that while the company has no plans to roll-out the 24-7 format to other stores, the Fifth Avenue location will be the first Apple store to be open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, including Genius Bar and The Studio: "The reasoning behind the concept is this: People come to New York and want to visit the Apple store, but sometimes run out of time," Munster wrote. "The store has 100 Macs, twice as many as the SoHo store, and 200 iPods. The store will be staffed with 300 employees and there will be 96 people to support the Genius Bar alone. As a side note, the store had 5,000 applicants for these jobs." The analyst also touched on Apple's signature design elements, including the 32-foot glass cube at the entrance, the elevator, and the staircase. The firm maintains an 'outperform' rating on Apple stock with a price target of $99.
Apple's firmware update, which the company issued this Tuesday, appears to remedy MacBook Pro heat issues reported by numerous frustrated users. Apple said the SMC Firmware Update addressed intermittent boot issues at the time of its release. Users began reporting an increase in the usage of the fans in their MacBook Pros within hours of the update, and with the help of diagnostic tools said that their machines were running up to eight degrees cooler, according to InformationWeek. "The fans are now working like they should," wrote one user of Apple's support forums after installing the update. "Although the computer is much louder when being taxed, it's much much cooler. In fact, the area above the f-keys is just warm to the touch because the fans are actually forcing the air all the way out of the machine."
FirmTek today announced it is shipping its SeriTek/1SM2 PC card adapter and SeriTek/2EN2 dual-bay enclosure for Apple's PowerBook. The SeriTek/1SM2 PC card adapter, which lets PowerBook users add external Serial ATA (SATA) storage to their notebook, supports up to two 3.5-inch SATA hard disk drives, supports software-based RAID or JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) functions, and features disk activity LEDs. The SeriTek/2EN2 storage device is a dual-bay external SATA enclosure, featuring hot-swappable, lockable drive bays along with drive activity LEDs and removeable trays, while a built-in fan cools the drives and features three user-selectable speeds. The drive uses an external power adapter and includes mounting screws to attach the drive to the tray. It also offers two trays, rubber feet, a shielded external SATA cable, keys and software. Both are available as a bundle for $280, while the SeriTek/2EN2 enclosure is also available separately for $200 (the SeriTek/1SM2 will be available separately in early June for $90).
Apple's newly launched MacBook Pro line is expected to boost its June quarter sales, according to one analyst who calls the product an "iPod companion." American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu told clients that he expects the new product to help bolster Apple sales during the current June quarter, as it hit the market a few months before the analyst expected and well ahead of the educational buying season. "We have a higher degree of confidence that Apple is on track to hit the upper end, if not exceed its guidance of $4.2-4.4 billion in revenue and $0.39-0.42 in EPS." The company cited timing of the product release as a critical factor, widespread availability, and the product's competitive specs compared to similar offerings from other PC vendors: the MacBook "screams iPod companion and portable digital media center."
SnapMeasure 1.5 ($24) is a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator that implements an improved measuring tool. SnapMeasure snaps with visual feedback to elements on the page, allows scrolling or zooming during a measure operation, offers an alternate measure line color for better visibility, and can optionally change the constrain angle or cursor key distance without the need to open the preferences window. [Download - 749KB] SuperDuper! 2.1.1 ($30) updates the system recovery and backup tool, adding the ability to unmount backup volumes during scheduled operations. Version 2.1.1 also improves existing disk copying capabilities, and supports both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary. [Download - 2.6MB] iSale 3.1 ($40) is an eBay auction solution for Mac users that features an iTunes-like design and intuitive interface. The latest version features complete compatibility with eBay's new communication standards, the ability to relist unsold auctions, a watch count that enables users to see how many people are following an auction, and more. [Download - [form]] WebnoteHappy 1.0 ($25) is a new Web page bookmarking application that helps users organize and remember important sites. Each Web page can be personalized with notes and tags as it is bookmarked to create a "webnote," while integrated search functionality enables users to locate webnotes in the future. [Download - 440KB] KaiJin ($20) updates the shooter game to run natively on Intel Macs as a Universal Binary. KaiJin features 126 levels, three styles of game play, 3D rendered graphics/animation, and an original soundtrack. The game requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. [Download - 20.9MB] Album Cover Finder 4.0.0 ($9) locates artwork, album reviews, track listings, artist info, videos, concert listings and more. The update features a new user interface, improves speed when adding artwork to audio files, and returns results of high quality artwork up to 500 x 500 pixels. [Download - 4MB]
Carrie Scott has introduced JamBand for iPod nano, a sport wristband for people with active lifestyles. Designed as a comfortable, easy way to wear the Nano about the wrist on-the-go, the JamBand wristband is made in the U.S. from washable terry cloth. A unique pocket specifically designed to securely hold the player has a transparent window to view the screen and scroll the clickwheel. JamBand is available in black for $17, and works with iPod nano as well as iPod shuffle.
Apple will open its newest retail store, which the company has said will be open for business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on New York's Fifth Avenue on Friday, May 19th at 6:00 p.m. EDT. The Apple Store Fifth Avenue is the company's "most architecturally innovative store," featuring a distinctive 32-foot glass cube on Fifth Avenue, one of the world's most popular shopping areas. "We opened our first New York store in SoHo in 2002, and it has been successful beyond our dreams. Now we're thrilled to open our second New York store on Fifth Avenue," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "With outstanding service and an amazing location open 24 hours a day, we think the Apple Store Fifth Avenue is going to be a favorite destination for New Yorkers and people around the world."
In brief: Numerous users are reporting via Apple's discussion forum that their new 13-inch MacBooks are whining in a similar fasion to the MacBook Pros when plugged in.... The Fifth Avenue Apple Store's giant back-lit Apple logo flickered on for the first time at around 3:30 a.m. this morning, as workers prepared the giant glass cube for the scheduled press event at 10:00 a.m.... DYMO is making its recently-launched program that allows users to print postage with a DYMO LabelWriter 400 Turbo, Duo, or Twin Turbo printer available to the masses.... Inventive is looking for beta testers for its upcoming iClip 4, a major upgrade that will feature a new user interface and improved performance.... BBC News 24 earlier this week announced that it had accidentally interviewed a cab driver about the Apple Computer versus Apple Corps court case, when in fact the man was at the studio for a job interview.
WaterField Designs today unveiled a sleeve made specifically for Apple's new 13-inch MacBook. The MacBook SleeveCase is a slim, durable covering made from a sturdy ballistic nylon shell and a high-grade neoprene interior that surrounds the MacBook for a snug fit. The sleeve is usable as a stand-alone case, or can be inserted into briefcases, messenger bags, or backpacks. The WaterField SleeveCase comes in either a vertical or horizontal orientation, and customers can create their own style by choosing to add either a front flap for added protection, or a strap for carrying the SleeveCase by itself when not inserted into another bag. A detachable gear holder, called the "Piggyback," is also available, which carries accessories such as a power adapter and mouse. The new MacBook SleeveCase will ship May 25th for $40, while the optional flap is priced at $15. The shoulder strap is available for $12-18, while the "PiggyBack" costs $22 and requires a shoulder strap.
nova media today unveiled launch2net 1.1.9, adding support for new mobile phones from Nokia, Samsung and Siemens-BenQ and the new MacBook from Apple. launch2net is a "wizard" that helps users set up cellular connections via HSDPA, 3G UMTS, EDGE or GPRS through their Mac and a compatible mobile phone or PC Data card. The software supports many mobile phones and most PC Data cards and already includes more than 300 connection settings for HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE and GPRS networks around the globe, eliminating the need for complicated manual setup procedures of mobile Internet connections. Version 1.1.9 adds support for BenQ-Siemens EF81, Nokia N91, N71, E60 as well as Samsung SGH-D730, D600E, D800 mobile phones and includes compatibility with the new MacBook from Apple. Other features allow the use of custom connection settings, display of connection time and -speed, a connect button for instant connections and more.
CS Odessa today announced that the new version of ConceptDraw MINDMAP 4.4 becomes the first application that brings mind maps to iPods. With ConceptDraw MINDMAP users of iPod will be able to view their maps, outlines and text notes, present thoughts and explain concepts to other people while listening to favourite music. Version 4.4 saves outline and text notes directly to iPod, without using iTunes, allowing iPods owners to carry out plans and tasks outlines or other valuable information usually stored in the notes. "Converting mind maps into slideshows that are synchronized with iPod makes it possible to view maps on the move and make presentations for friends and colleagues," the company said. In addition, the update features printing all of the text notes without printing the map or outline. ConceptDraw MINDMAP 4.4, available in both Pro ($200) and Personal ($100) editions, is a free updadte to all registered users of version 4.0 and higher.
Document Sciences today announced expanded support on both the client and server platforms of its xPression product suite. xPresso for Adobe InDesign, the latest design component of xPression, now provides added client support for Mac OS X, as well as the ability to install server components with JBoss on both Windows and Linux platforms. The xPression product suite utilizes a server architecture built upon open standards to work with open design tools, including the highly popular Adobe InDesign Creative Suite 2. According to the company, the solution's ease-of-use features, combined with its open server technology, are especially suitable for the creation and delivery of targeted marketing applications such as personalized direct mail, collateral, and catalogs, as well as relationship statements and billings.
Apple today released Final Cut Express HD 3.5, a significant upgrade to its enry-level video-editing software solution for DV and HDV. The Universal version now runs natively on Intel-based Macs as well as offers Dynamic RT for real-time playback of multi-stream effects, Soundtrack 1.5 with a complete suite of professional level audio production tools and LiveType 2.1 with even additional animated text and titles. "Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is the total movie making package with many of the same tools the pros use at a price designed to appeal to aspiring pros," said Rob Schoeben, Apple's vice president of Applications Product Marketing. "Whether it's multiple streams of video, professional audio tools or animated text and titles, Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is ideal for anyone who is passionate about the movies they make and delivers incredible performance on Apple's new Intel-based Macs." Final Cut Express HD 3.5 is available now through the Apple Store for $300 (upgrades are $100).
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been recognized by Wired Magazine yet again. The publication announced the seventh annual Wired Rave Awards, which recognize leading innovators in 16 categories, including a completely a new award named after Steve Jobs himself. "Finally, faced with the prospect of handing out yet another well-deserved Rave Award to Steve Jobs, Wired's editors took the unprecedented step of creating a separate award in his honor. The inaugural Steve Jobs Award, recognizing sustained excellence and creative genius, goes to ... Steve Jobs." The top award, for Wired Renegade, went to dot-com billionaires Mark Cuban and Jeff Skoll, Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh, and actor George Clooney.
A small group of independent music publishers have filed a class action lawsuit against iTunes and other major online music services for failing to secure licenses to sell song downloads. The lawsuit alleges that these services have not followed proper procedures for obtaining copyrights to certain songs available for purchase via the internet. "Even though copyright law provides for compulsory licenses -- so that publishers cannot refuse to license previously recorded and released songs if proper procedures are followed -- the online services failed to follow those procedures," according to the complaint obtained by Billboard Radio Monitor.
In Brief: Photos of Apple's Fifth Avenue store Cube, which was "unpeeled on Wednesday night, show a large white Apple logo suspended in the upper-middle of the cube.... While trying to get a new MacBook yesterday, a reporter witnessed a "take down" (and posted pictures) of a thief who tried to steal a variety of iPod accessories from the Apple retail store in San Francisco.... Following the launch of Apple’s Intel Core Duo-based MacBook, Asustek Computer has camped out its design team specializing in Apple products at the company’s manufacturing facilities in Suzhou in preparation for volume production.... Rumor has it that a major band--the report speculates it may be U2--will make an appearance at the grand opening of the Apple Store Fifth Avenue retail store in Manhattan this Friday, according to a tipser who said that Apple has asked for part of the street to be closed off.... Trans International has released 1GB and 512MB MacBook memory modules (667MHz DDR2 SDRAM/PC2-5300 SO-DIMM) for the Apple's new MacBook laptops..... Apple's execs continue to cash in on Apple's success, as newly appointed iPod chief Tony Fadell exercised 45,437 stock options -- including 3500 owned by his wife -- to cash in on $3.2 million, while Apple retail exec Ron Johnson exercised a total of 150,000 company stock options, making nearly $11 million.
Dauger Research today announced Pooch 1.7, an update to its cross platform clustering software as well as Universal versions of seven other applications. Updated for native operation on Intel-based Macs, Pooch 1.7 (Parallel OperatiOn and Control Heuristic application) is "the first and only" clustering solution to launch Universal Applications in parallel. While still retaining full backwards compatibility, Pooch also introduces new features, including a new Job file format, new head-node and job retrieval features to take advantage of clusters configured Linux-style, more flexible multiprocessing support, and enhancements to its AppleScript interface. The solution merges a modern graphical user interface with supercomputer-compatible parallel computing. Pooch v1.7, which runs on Mac OS 9/10.2, is available for $175 for the first compute node (and $125 for each node thereafter). Pooch Pro v1.7 is available for $200 ($150 for each additional node).
Group Logic today announced a new, more flexible pricing strategy for ExtremeZ-IP, which allows K-12 market users to select the pricing plan that best aligns with their financial and educational requirements. Offered as a file sharing solution between Mac desktops and Windows servers, ExtremeZ-IP can be used to address cross-platform compatibility requirements throughout school districts nationwide. Adding to the the previous one-rate plan, the company now offers a new option to license ExtremeZ-IP on an annual per-Mac (per seat) basis, which can significantly reduce the cost to acquire and deploy ExtremeZ-IP within a school or school district. This new model can accommodate an unlimited number of users and servers within the district and includes ongoing support and upgrades throughout a multi-year contract.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k