Apple's iPod rival SanDisk taking Apple head-on with the launch of a new anti-iPod campaign this past weekend. The No. 2 maker of digital music players in the U.S has launched a new guerilla marketing "iDon't" campaign that promotes SanDiskís own Sansa e200 music player by calling iPod users "unoriginal" and declaring them to be followers--without actually mentioning the iPod, but alluding to the industry-leading music player by its signature white earbud earphones. The website offers links ("propoganda") to other anti-iPod sites, which it calls "fellow media player freedom fighters" as well as the ability to purchase various "iDon't" t-shirts and free posters and desktop pictures, such as iSheep, iChimp, iFollow, iHerd, iShackle, iDroid, iPuppet, and more. The site touts SanDisk's Sansa e200 as "the alternative," urging users to "think for themselves."
Tenable Network Security today released Nessus 3, its comprehensive security solution that includes modules for role-based security management, vulnerability assessment for hosts and networks via its scanning software, and analysis. Version 3 brings increased performance, creation and management of multiple Scan Policies, access to over 10,000+ quality vulnerability checks with vulnerability update subscription options from Tenable Network Security, support for CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System), and the ability to audit Windows, Unix, Linux hosts and more. The Tenable Security Center provides unified, Web-based security management to distribute security and compliance information, while its Nessus Vulnerability Scanner offers high-speed discovery, asset profiling and vulnerability analysis, as well a host-based compliance checking; the Log Correlation Engine aggregates, normalizes, correlates and analyzes event log data.
CNET.com has reviewed each facet of the new digital music trio that hopes to lure consumers away from Apple's iPod/iTunes ecosystem. Microsoft, MTV, and iRiver recently teamed up to offer an integrated music service to compete with Apple in the digital music market, combining the software giant's Windows Media Player (WMP) 11 with MTV's Urge music service and iRiver's $200 digital media player. All three portions of the new service received "excellent" scores, with iRiver's Clix player also holding the CNET Editors' Choice award., according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
IK Multimedia today announced it is shipping its complete recording plug-in solution for bass: Ampeg SVX includes over 20 bass gear emulations, including classic Ampeg signature bass amp models and stomps powered by AmpliTubeís unique DSM (Dynamic Saturation Modeling) technology. Users can mix and match between amps and cabinets to produce 24 amazing bass amp combinations. "Ampeg SVX is a complete bass-rig plug-in with multiple amps, cabinets, stomps and a tuner. Plus, youíll have a complete bass pedal board with 6 fully configurable stomp effects. Also, you have 5 controls of the midrange allowing you to place the midrange frequency from 220kHz to 3kHz." It supports all major plug-in platforms on Mac and PC and is available for $400/Ä329. Customers of AmpliTube 2 full or upgrade, AmpliTube 1 full, LIVE and LE are eligible for the cross-grade to Ampeg SVX for $250/Ä200.
In brief: Digital Heaven today made two of its Final Cut (FC) plug-ins available for free via download.... The founder and chief of Delicious Monster today was revealed to have leaked information about the company's forthcoming software, Delicious Library 2, on its Web forums (hosted by MacNN).... Marathon Computer appears to have gone out of business, and has posted a message on its website thanking everyone who has been a member of its extended family over the years.... Sony Ericsson and mobile carrier KDDI today announced plans to offer a Walkman mobile phone in Japan that will allow users to download music onto the handset.... Griffin today announced that its TuneFlex dock and charger for iPod nano is now bundled with a cassette tape adapter.... AVA Showcase has introduced its new range of Lava World Cup Cases for Apple's iPod nano ($15), which are available for 12 different teams in the colors of England, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Argentina, Germany and the USA.
Lunar Software has released EarthBrowser 2.1, a software package displaying the earth with live satellite images, weather, clouds, earthquakes, webcams and more. Version 1.5 adds a massive new 1.5 Terrabyte earth dataset (15 meters per pixel), improved screen capture capability, and other inor bug fixes EarthBrowser is an innovative earth simulation that combines an easy-to-navigate 3D globe with real-time weather conditions and 7-day forecasts for thousands of locations worldwide. Live earthquakes, webcams, volcanoes and current cloud formations are also featured. A screen saver module lets it take over any desktop. It offers three high resolution 500 meter base maps of the earth, satellite overlays at 250 meters updated daily, global weather forecasts for over 17,000 locations, live hurricane and tropical storm tracking, a full year of weekly sea surface temperature animations, satellite cloud animations that are updated every 3 hours, and more. It is available now for $24.
A new startup company based in Apple's home town of Cupertino, California has developed a new system that could open the iPod/iTunes ecosystem which currently dominates the digital music industry. Apple's competition has repeatedly tried and failed to take a significant share of the market, but the seamless iTunes experience coupled with an easy-to-use and intuitive iPod digital media player has kept competitors at bay. Further, Apple's has thus far refused to license its FairPlay DRM (Digital Rights Management) to other companies, which would allow them to release tracks that will play on iPods. Navio Systems is hoping to finally open the iPod to other formats with a system that stores the rights associated with a musical piece, game, or movie in the file itself, according to Business Magazine.
LittleHJ has released iStage 1.0, an application designed to make video podcasting and movie Web page creation easy. The software is integrated with .Mac and iLife, creating H.264- and MPEG4-encoded movies for Web pages and iPods that are supported by QuickTime 7. iStage also creates podcast XML files that comply with RSS 2.0 standards, as well as Apple's iTunes Music Store. A built-in media browser -- integrated with iLife '06 -- is designed for convenience in working on movie Web pages, and the software provides intelligent movie searching capability using Apple's Spotlight technology. The new application is a Universal Binary, offering native compatibility to both PowerPC as well as Intel-based Macs, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later with QuickTime 7.0.3 or later. iStage 1.0 is available for $25.
MacNN is currently seeking full- and part-time writers/bloggers for a variety of different subject areas, including: Mac/Apple news, Deals and promotions on the web, Video Games, Sports (e.g., football, basketball, hockey, and baseball), Popular Music,Movies/TV, Tech/Gadgets. Interested parties should be highly motivated, self-starters, who have comprehensive knowledge of the particular subject area, better-than-average writing skills, the ability to work without direct supervision, and are at least 15 years of age. Some positions are available as contractor, while others will be interviewed for joint investment into a new internet venue/blog/news magazine (and compensation will be based on performance and success).
GPSNavX 4.20 ($60) offers a real-time display of a boat's current position on full color marine raster format BSB and Softcharts. Users plug GPS into a Mac to watch the boat in real-time while the software plots a track behind the craft and logs the historic position on a digital chart. [Download - 1.1MB] WindowWatcher ($10) records to an SQLite database which window/application is in front of all others. Users can export data in tab-delimited or Property List (PLIST) formats. WindowWatcher requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 177KB] WebnoteHappy 1.0 ($25) is a bookmarking application for Mac OS X designed to help users organize and remember Web pages of interest. Users can personalize each Web page with notes and tags as they are bookmarked, creating "webnotes" with integrated search capability. [Download - 437KB] Aperture2iLife ($15) allows Aperture projects and images to be used with iLife, iWork, FrontRow, and other software. Users can choose to use Master files directly or convert images to JPEGS automatically. The update brings full compatibility to Apple's Intel-based systems, as well as a price reduction from $20 to $15. [Download - 192KB] Headdress 1.0 ($15) is designed to help users manage virtual hosting on Mac systems. Headdress speeds the process of editing the Apache configuration file, and makes enabling PHP as easy as one click. The software makes each website accessible via its own URL on a Mac system, rather than relying on nested folders. [Download - 776KB] vSlideshow 1.0 ($17) creates video slideshows of images using watermarking for photo protection. The software allows users to add in music and quickly create movies in .mov format that will display a custom watermark while allowing viewers to watch slideshows safely. [Download - 2MB]
Digital Heaven today released BigTime, a standalone application that offers a resizable floating display of Final Cut Pro's current timecode. Working in a similar way to the timecode window found on Logic Pro and Avid software, the display is designed to prominently display relevant timecodes from across the room. BigTime's size, position, text color, background color and frames display are all customizable. BigTime is priced at $50, and requires Mac OS X with Final Cut Pro (FCP) 5 or later.
Recent NPD data collected for the month of April suggests that Apple may see a slight downside in June quarter iPod results, according to one analyst. PiperJaffray senior analyst Gene Munster has analyzed the first month of NPD data for the June quarter, noting that it suggests iPod units of around 8 million. "When the second month of data is released, our analysis will likely lead to a slightly different iPod unit figure than what our analysis suggests based on the first month of data," Munster wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN. Wall Street is currently expecting 8.6 million iPods in the June quarter, up from PiperJaffray's estimate of 8.25 million. PiperJaffray maintained its "outperform" rating on Apple shares with a price target of $99.
AVA Showcase has introduced its new range of Lava World Cup Cases for Apple's iPod nano. The new cases are available for 12 different teams in the colors of England, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Argentina, Germany and the USA. The accessories are made from anti-dust coated silicon featuring a rigid screen protector, covered clickwheel, and easy access to the headphone port as well as the Dock connector. Lava World Cup Cases are priced at $15 and work with iPod nano as well as first-, second-, and fourth-generation iPods.
In brief: iFixit has released free MacBook disassembly instructions and high resolution photos.... The G5 Drive Bracket Team today announced a G5 Drive Bracket price reduction, lowering the cost to $49.... O'Reilly has posted instructions on running Google Web Toolkit on Mac OS X, though Mac users cannot run the software in "hosted mode...." A new website has launched allowing Intel Mac users to submit temperature information in the hopes of discovering any trends in serial number and manufacturer dates.... One MacNN reader reported seeing an iPod vending machine at the Macy's store on Union Square in San Francisco, noting that the refrigerator-sized device contains iPods and iPod accessories of all types.
Script Software has announced the first release of ChatFX 1.03, which brings a number of visual effects to iChat using QuickTime, Quartz and Quartz Composer. Users can apply effects, such as bluescreen (which is capable of showing any movie, TV, video, animation in the background of a video chat), twirl, comic book, alien, interrogation, pencil, vortex, dent, bump, bodyart, facepaint, fisheye, gloom, mercury, on fire, ogre, sepia, sorbel, xray, thermal. In addition, an infinite number of additional special video effects can be created by anyone using Quartz Composer. Users can also create tickertape on video: " Change the entire landscape of your room or office to looking clean, or mars, the moon, a forest, underwater, or any location real or fantasy. Keep it interesting. Create virtual sets like those on TV news and weather reports. Its fun but also has many practical uses in the same way movie special effects have practical uses." It is available now for $20.
Nemesys Software has released File Synchronization 1.4, an update to the software that allows users to synchronize files and folders. File Synchronization has been designed to be easy to use and quick to do the job. Version 1.4 is now an Universal Binary and features mounting of remote volumes in background, freeing the app for the user. It now displays the path of files or folders residing on remote volumes even if they haven't been mounted yet. Allows managing conflicting files in the preview window. It also adds a button to create folders in the open dialog to select files or folders to synchronize. In addition, it fixes a bug with the filters that prevented them from working properly. The $15 shareware runs on Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar or later.
Griffin today announced that its TuneFlex dock and charger for iPod nano is now bundled with a cassette tape adapter. The TuneFlex package now provides a complete solution for charging, mounting and playing iPod nano in an automobile, offering a 1/8-inch stereo line-out jack to connect the iPod along with a cassette for the auto's tape deck. TuneFlex holds the nano in a snug cradle on a flexible steel neck that adjusts to any angle or elevation. The cradle grips the nano and rotates to stay upright and easily readable in any position, and always at the operator's fingertips. In addition, TuneFlex plugs into any standard 12 Volt accessory outlet to power and charge the iPod even during use and feaures fuse-protection. A light at the base of TuneFlex's neck shows power status at a glance, while a pass-through dock connector accommodates digital iPod accessories such as Griffin's iTrip FM transmitter, AirClick remote and SmartDeck cassette adapter. It is available for $50.
Sony Ericsson and mobile carrier KDDI today announced plans to offer a Walkman mobile phone in Japan that will allow users to download music onto the handset, which will increase competition with Apple's iTunes service. While Sony Ericsson already touts a portable Walkman phone that plays music in the U.S., the forthcoming device will be the first of its kind to debut in the Japanese market, according to a report from the Associated Press. Japan lays claim to one of the world's most sophisticated mobile phone markets, and more than 90 percent of music downloads in the country are performed directly onto mobile phones. Officials from Sony Ericsson said the new handsets will ship with 1GB of built-in memory, and will offer up to 30 hours of continuous playback.
Apple is reported to have been in talks with PA Semi, a low-power Power processor maker, prior to its partnership with Intel. PA Semi formed a close relationship with Apple, according to The Register, and both companies shared software engineering work in an attempt to discover how Apple's applications could be ported onto PA Semi's silicon. The PA Semi staff was shocked when it learned of Apple's deal with Intel. "PA Semi was counting on that deal," one source said. "They had lots of guys walking around in a daze when Apple went to Intel. They had no idea that would actually happen." PA Semi's PA6T-1682M -- its first processor -- is set to debut in the third quarter of 2006 as a 2GHz, dual-core chip with 2MB of level 2 cache, two DDR2 memory controllers, and support for eight PCI Express, according to the report.
AppZapper has released AppZapper 1.5, an update to the software that allows users to uninstall virtually any application, widget, preference pane and plugin as easily as it was installed--using standard drag and drop functionality. AppZapper "intelligently" finds leftover support files and allows users to put them in the trash with a single click. "Mac OS X lets you install most applications with a simple drag to the applications folder. Many people decide they don't want an application and drag it to the trash. However, this does not remove the extra preferences, caches, and other support files generated during launch -- files that can sometimes be many times larger than the applications themselves. AppZapper helps clean up these leftover files, files that 99% of Mac users don't even know exist." Version 1.5 of the $13 shareware application features a new ZapGenie, which allows you to browse your collection of apps, search them, and sort them by the last time you used them--to effortlessly remove unwanted applications. It runs on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger or later.
In Brief: Apple says that recent reports indicating Apple may not release complete Darwin for Intel source-code are just speculation, after one columnist speculated that may be trying to lock down Mac OS X for Intel.... Apple reseller Wise IT has been placed in receivership (a.k.a., bankruptcy) after defaulting on payments to its secured creditor, Apple Computer Australia.... A new report claims Apple may be prepping a retail expansion in Europe--including new stores in France--following a letter from Apple to its resellers that explained contractual changes that will go into effect later this summer.... Users have posted interviews with Steve Jobs on NBC and CNBC, in which he says Apple's retail stores have succeeded beyond the company's "wildest dreams," talks about how Apple ended up in the new Fifth Avenue location, and how while AMD "has some interesting products in the high-end server space," Intel has the best chips for Apple's product line.... One user has posted a full-screen QVTR from the new Fifth Avenue retail location in Manhattan.
Western Digital today announced that its WD NetCenter network storage system is now available in a half-terabyte capacity and with backup and system recovery software. The 500GB backup solution offers a convenient way to store, share and back up data. WD's EasyLink, an exclusive WD setup wizard, "cuts installation time to less than five minutes. EasyLink establishes the WD NetCenter as if it were a local drive on any computer connected to the network. Individuals with network access then can store, share and back up their digital content." WD offers a user-friendly interface for EMC Retrospect Express 7.5 backup and recovery software, offering a three-step installation wizard and extensive data protection features, such as complete or progressive backups, automatic or scheduled backups, data encryption features, and disaster recovery. The $400 solution features a 7,200 rpm drive, a 10/100 Ethernet connection, two USB ports (for additional storage), and cross-platform software.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl