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In Brief: Apple is at the top of BusinessWeek's Top 50 / S&P 500 Scoreboard with total one- and three-year returns of 52.7% and 812.6%, respectively.... CreativeMac has published benchmarks of the MacBook running Final Cut Pro 5.1, showing that "the MacBook can indeed run Final Cut Pro, and it can run it quite well...[it] beat the dual G5 in two of four tests, tied it in one and lost out by one second in another."... A number of readers are complaining about defective iPod shuffles that flash greeen and amber lights are not recognized by any computer.... Thinck.com announces the launch of its ICC Colour Profiling Service, which offers both scanner (€30) and RGB or CMYK printer profiles (€45), by allowing users to download a test color charts and send them via postal mail to receive a custom printer profile via email.... One reader notes that Apple's new black MacBook ships with non-matching white-colored cables, headphones and other trimmings.... A judge approved a settlement of lawsuits against Sony BMG that gives millions of consumers free song downloads to compensate them for flawed anti-piracy software on compact discs.
BusinessWeek has published an interview with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who later this fall plans on releasing his memoir I Woz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way, written along with a tech journalist. "I also describe how we'd work on projects for days at a time, going without sleep. But I found that I could come up with the clearest ideas in that sleepless state. For instance, I realized that color, if you could think of a way of doing it for no cost, might be good for computer games....The exact date and time when the world changed is in the book. That took place back when I was working on the Apple I. Every previous computer had a panel that looked like an airplane cockpit. Every computer afterwards had a keyboard. That was the change."
As noted this morning, Nike's Air Zoom Moire is the first footwear designed to talk to Apple's iPod nano, and the company has plans to make many of its leading footwear styles Nike+ ready. The Air Zoom Moire connects to the iPod through the wireless Nike+iPod Sport Kit, which includes an in-shoe sensor and a receiver that attaches to iPod. After a workout, users can connect the Nano to a Mac or PC to automatically sync and store workout data in a customized workout log on nikeplus.com with the help of iTunes. Nikeplus.com allows users to log workout data, view and evaluate personal training goals, and review distance, time, pace, and calories burned through a dynamic interface. The Air Zoom Moire is priced at $100, while the Nike+iPod Sport Kit is priced at $30.
Analyst firm Credit Suisse today maintained its "outperform" rating on Apple shares, despite growing concerns about future iPod growth. "We believe Apple is still in the early stages of its product expansion and that the company can grow its iPod units at least 20 percent for the foreseeable future," analyst Robert Semple wrote. Semple's prediction is based on the low penetration rate of Apple's digital media player, which is estimated to be at roughly 10 percent of PC users, or an "active installed base" of approximately 40 million iPods worldwide, according to Forbes.com.
Intelli Innovations today released Barcode Producer 3.8, updating the barcode generation software suite to include QuarkXPress 7.0 support. The latest iteration of the application offers optimized vector EPS output for QuarkXPress 7 for Mac OS X, revised integration information for QuarkXPress 7, and integrated vector output with no non-standard fonts. Barcode Producer 3.8 also produces seamless output in one optimized file, according to Intelli, and includes comments indicating the setting used to create the barcode for future reference. Barcode Producer is not currently a Universal Binary, though an Intel-native version is in the works. Barcode Producer 3.8 is priced at $150, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Apple today released Xcode 2.3, an update to its development environment for both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs. Version 2.3, which includes Apple's GCC 4 based on version 4.0.1 of the Free Software Foundation's GNU Compiler Collection.,adds support for DWARF Debugging Format, improved support for Nasm (Netwide Assembler) for Intel directly as a separate compiler, improvements to sharing precompiled headers, better linking support, "Clean" improvements, improved support for processing Info.plist files, and Dedicated Network Builds targeted at developers of large projects with dedicated build farms for compilation. The debugger also features better tracking of breakpoints across projects, support for template breakpoints, and new DWARF debugging format and .dSYM files. Specfic changes are noted on Apple's website. Update: Apple also said the release fixes a security issue where remote attackers may be able to obtain or modify WebObjects projects while Xcode is running.
Dobry Backuper 1.5 ($30) updates the backup software, dramatically reducing cache size for CD/DVD backups and requires only as much free hard drive space as the size of the CD or DVD being backed up. Version 1.5 also includes more detailed logging for CD/DVD backups, and a message box is now displayed if the burn to CDs or DVDs was unsuccessful. [Download - 892KB] TextExpander 1.3 ($30) updates the customizable typing timesaver tool that lets users define abbreviations for frequently-used text strings and images. Version 1.3 offers direct creation of snippets from selections, as well as snippet nesting. [Download - 2.4MB] Merlin 1.3.10 (€145) adds the ability to import OmniOutliner 3 (OO3) files and brings native compatibility for Intel Macs to the project management application. Merlin 1.3.10 gives the netplan a new layout concept that offers the user a better overview of the project. [Download - 7.5MB] RAID Monitor 1.0.1 (free) is a utility to monitor the state of a software RAID setup. When the software detects a problem with the RAID setup it will email the user a notification that there is an issue which needs to be resolved. RAID Monitor is a Universal Binary, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.5 or later. [Download - 305KB] MovieLogger 1.1 ($200) is a text-based logging application for QuickTime movies that features cross-platform support. Version 1.1 offers higher DV playback quality, as well as improved compatibility with Final Cut Pro 5. The update also provides a streamlined solution for integrating logging of footage on Windows systems into a Final Cut Pro workflow. [Download - 5.1MB] iComment 4.1 ($10) adds comments, "TrackBacks," and detailed Web stats to iWeb sites. The software allows users to search in all subdirectories, offers a "StatCounter" feature, and runs natively on Intel Macs as a Universal Binary. Version 4.1 repairs a bug that caused .Mac-hosted comments to be deleted. [Download - 285KB]
TheCodingMonkeys today released SubEthaEdit 2.5, a major update to the collaborative text editor for developers and Web designers. The latest iteration of the application delivers more than 30 new features and improvements that focus on automation and customization. Double-click mode installation, broad AppleScript support, automated text manipulation, and numerous mode-specific features (close tags, execute scripts, and more) add further functionality. Modes can be extended with features written in AppleScript, and the toolbar is customizable for each mode. Users can open and save hidden files, modes can be triggered by specific file names or content, and the Dock icon badge indicates invitations. SubEthaEdit 2.5 is priced at $35, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Nike and Apple today announced a partnership to bring "the worlds of sports and music together like never before with the launch of innovative Nike+iPod products. "The first product developed through this partnership is the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, a wireless system that allows Nike+ footwear to talk with your iPod nano to connect users to the "ultimate personal running and workout experience," allowing atheletes to record valuable workout information. Nike CEO Mark Parker and Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled Nike+iPod at an event in New York attended by seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe. "We're working with Nike to take music and sport to a new level," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "The result is like having a personal coach or training partner motivating you every step of your workout." [corrected]
Winter Wolves Games Studio today released Supernova: Galactic Wars 1.1.3, an update to its space-strategy game that introduces a new survival battle mode where players must survive as long as possible against a horde of unlimited enemies. Taking control of the chosen faction powerful Mothership, players must defeat enemies that will respawn every 10 seconds, and collect a new repair bonus to restore lost hit points. The update includes several bug fixes which include correct generation of statistics in the result screen, the possibility to quit the game pressing "Q" key while paused, and reduced effectiveness of the Phantom Shield that now absorbs only half-damage to better balance the game. Supernova: Galactic Wars 1.1.3 requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later, and is priced at $20.
Coinciding with the launch of QuarkXpress 7, Quark and Canto have announced a strategic alliance to tightly integrate QuarkXPress 7 with Canto's Cumulus digital-asset management (DAM) system, while Pantone announced updated color reproduction solutions for the industry-standard desktop publishing solution. In addition, Canto has announced two new products that provide integrated support for QuarkXPress 7 and Quark Dynamic Document Server (QuarkDDS) in the Canto Cumulus product line. By leveraging Canto's DAM tools within two of the unique, new features in QuarkXPress 7 - Composition Zones and Job Jackets technology - the companies said QuarkXPress users can manage assets and produce projects more efficiently while avoiding costly errors.
In brief: Apple is set to open a new retail store in Freehold, New Jersey on Saturday, May 27th.... Digimage Arts has reportedly completed a Mac OS X version of Color It! 4.5, and will ship the software on June 1st.... Apple has announced two free seminars for medical imaging professionals on June 20th, and attendees will be offered a demonstration of the Mac-based medical imaging application OsiriX.... ShuffleArt has launched new skins for fifth-generation iPods that feature two special guest designers.... Gateway has been awarded a $1.7 million contract to provide dual-core notebook and desktop PC products to the St. Johns County School District in Florida.... 22Moo has launched its USB Host Media Player (site not updated), allowing users to connect USB flash drives, external hard drives, and iPods to a television.
Stone Design today announced Videator 1.0, a powerful movie-making and video processing application that lets you instantly make movies with many different effects from live video or existing movies. Created to run natively on Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs, Videator provides an intuitive and easy-to-use interface for Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)’s Core Image and Core Video technologies, offering instant access to over 108 effects, transitions, and filters. With Videator, users can layer movies, images, paint, music and text over video, as well as apply, modify, and re-order multiple effects to achieve subtle enhancements or astounding artistic results. Crop, scale, rotate, flip, skew, change exposure and brighten movies in real time, and then save processed movies as QuickTime or iPod, and images as industry-standard TIFF or JPEG files. It is available now for $50 (with free upgrades "for life").
Miglia Technology today began shipping TVMax, a digital video recorder that matches Apple's Mac mini. The recorder lets users watch TV in window mode or full screen, convert VHS tapes to DVD in a few easy steps, and records in MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and DivX formats. Bundled with EyeTV 2.0, TVMax is also supports iPod Video owners via an exclusive one-click iPod export function. EyeTV 2 enables users to watch, pause, rewind and skip forward live TV, schedule recordings, access online TV guides, edit recorded TV shows to cut out commercials, and more. TVMax ships with an infrared remote control, supports both PAL/NTSC and Pal/SECAM connections, offers USB 2.0 connectivity, and comes with a one year warranty. The recorder requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and is priced at $250.
22Moo has launched its USB Host Media Player (site not updated), allowing users to connect USB flash drives, external hard drives, and iPods to a television. The device supports PAL as well as NTSC standards, and can play back media files via an IR remote. The USB Host Media Player supports playback of MPEG1, MPEG4, WMA, MP3 and JPEG files. A standard red, white and yellow RCA cable offers connectivity to audio/video equipment such as TVs or the iPod Hi-Fi accessory, and the device incorporates two USB ports. The USB Host Media Player works with all iPods except the 40GB and 60GB models, and is priced at $A150.
EMI Group today backed Apple in its stance against a new French law that could force the Cupertino-based company to open up its FairPlay DRM to competitors. EMI Chairman and CEO Alain Levy said he was concerned about Apple's hold over the digital music market, but regarded the French bill with "amazement," according to MarketWatch. "We believe market forces work better than legislation in this case," Levy said. The hotly-debated law was recently softened, but industry watchers say Apple might still pull out of France because the remaining regulations may be too strong. The bill could also create large amounts of paperwork for companies like EMI, forcing them to retrieve specific authorizations to sell music through iTunes. Digital sales currently account for 5.4 percent of EMI's revenue, though such sales are expected to account for one-quarter of the business by 2010. "The growth rate is hard to predict because expansion of digital is dramatic, explosive I would say," EMI Chairman Eric Nicoli said.
Extensis today announced that Extensis is now offering QuarkXPress 7 XTensions modules for all Extensis font-management products, including advanced font activation and deactivation, but said that Universal versions of the software were not yet available. The XTensions software ensures that any time users open a QuarkXPress 7 project, fonts are automatically and accurately activated or deactivated. The modules extend support to the Suitcase Fusion Single User, Suitcase Server X1, and Font Reserve Server 1.7.4 font-management products. "The ability to automatically activate and deactivate fonts is possible through the power of the Extensis Font Sense technology," the company said. "Font Sense ensures a smooth workflow by identifying, locating, and activating the exact fonts used in a document." The technology enables Extensis to manage multiple fonts with the same name.
Quark today announced the release of QuarkXPress 7, the newest upgrade to its flagship product for publishing. Debuting worldwide, it offers features that promote better design, faster production, and more efficient collaboration. Although the company had begun testing a native version for Intel Macs earlier this year, the current shipping version runs under the Rosetta emulations environment--with a Universal Binary patch expected later this year. "This powerful upgrade combines new and enhanced design features with multi-channel publishing, collaboration, and job-driven workflow capabilities to deliver simply faster creative development for print and Web publishing. Through Composition Zones, Job Jackets, transparency, OpenType, Unicode, and many other new features, QuarkXPress 7 makes it easier for creative professionals to work together, optimize design, and minimize production errors. QuarkXPress 7 enables efficient and consistent desktop design, collaboration, and production." The full version is $750. [updated: Intel-native Universal Binaries are expected later this year and pricing added]
Other World Computing (OWC) today expanded its Mercury Elite storage line with new OWC Mercury Elite-AL 800 Pro RAID-1 Mirror FireWire 800/400 solution. "The Mercury Elite-AL Pro RAID-1 Mirror Solution provides for high performance data needs while offering the security of a real-time, 'mirrored' backup," said Larry O'Connor, president of OWC. "For situations where you just can't be too careful with mission-critical data, this solution provides the peace of mind you've been looking for." The Mirror RAID design provides a seamless internal backup of all data. All OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro 800 RAID-1 Mirror models are covered by a two-year warranty and come with EMC Retrospect Backup, Intech Hard Disk SpeedTools, SoftRAID and all required connecting cables. OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro 800 RAID-1 Mirror Solutions are preconfigured specifically for use with any Mac running Mac OS X 10.2.x or later. The 750GB model is $1,220, while other models are $400 (250GBx2), $450 (320GBx2), $620 (400GBx2), and $830 (500GBx2).
Lexmark today introduced the Lexmark X340 monochrome laser all-in-one (AIO) printer series, offering high speeds and powerful performance to improve productivity for small workgroups as well as the Lexmark X642e monochrome laser multifunction product for businesses. The Lexmark X340 series ofers the convenience of printing, copying, faxing and scanning through one networked device that can be easily shared by multiple users. The small-footprint Lexmark X340 series offers print speeds up to 27 pages per minute and includes two models. The Lexmark X340n is supported by a 2,500-page toner cartridge and is available for $350, while the Lexmark X342n, designed for high-volume prining, can also accommodate a high-yield 6,000-page toner cartridge for a lower cost of printing and is available for $400.
In Brief: MacNN has posted a review of Altec Lansing's AHP712i, its Active Digital Noise Cancellation Headphones.... Apple's newer 17-inch MacBook Pro apparently ships with a newer mouse driver that enables a right-mouse-click using a second finger on the trackpad--one user has posted an unofficial installer (and uninstaller) to enable the new feature via the preference pane.... Ars has a look at eMusic, the number two online music service (not including streaming music) with 12 percent (compared with Apple's 61 percent) that sells DRM-free music in an open-format.... Dell will break its long boycott against retail sales by opening two stores at shopping malls later this year in Dallas and West Nyack (NY), but will have shoppers order products online for delivery.... One reader has posted a list (along with details) of background processes in Mac OS X that take care of various "business behind the scenes."... Architecture students are being offered a free copy of the state-of-the-art industry standard architectural design application, ArchiCAD.
SubRosaSoft.com today began shipping MacForensicsLab 1.0, its software developed for law enforcement and forensic professionals. "From acquiring the image of a suspect’s drive, to analyzing the suspect’s data, to the final reporting, MacForensicsLab will do it all," the company said. The company said that the analyze function enables users to examine files in Hex and text mode; an "acquire" function uses an intelligent algorithm to image mechanically unsound drives; and a salvage function retrieves files that have been deleted and recovers potentially lost files from hard drives (Mac, Windows, and Linux), CD-ROMs, external storage devices, digital camera memory cards, iPods, and more. The software searches through the directory structure to catalog all files as well as to zero in on suspect material; it can create a list of all files within a directory structure including all catalog information, MD5, SHA-1, and SHA-256 checksums, and basic file information. The $1000 CD-ROM, which runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later, boots from machines ranging from first-generation iMacs to the latest Intel-based machines.
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