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In Brief: An Apple patent filing reveals that the Nike+iPod products may be able to choose the song playing the iPod based on how fast you are running: "One aspect of the patent is to use your running speed to set the music tempo--if you're running slowly it'll play slower music--running faster--faster tempo music.".... MacNN has reviewed the Imation Micro Hard Drive, which "fits in the palm of your hand with room to spare."... Google and Dell have agreed to a first in a series of deals to preinstall Web and desktop search software--including the Google toolbar for Web and PC search, along with a co-branded home page--on Dell's computers, including those sold to consumers as well as some corporate customers.... Upgrading to QuickTime 7.1 and/or Mac OS X 10.4.5 may solve problems where streaming QuickTime video may fail on Intel-based Macs.... The latest update to iWeb 1.1 handles apostrophes differently from previous versions and may cause problems with bookmarks: Apple recommends avoiding using them.... One reader believes that a blocked vent (with laminate) during assembly of his MacBook was the cause for his heat problems, while Apple offers tips on notebooks' operating temperature.
Allsop is offering a new waterproof case for the iPod: "The Splash Pack is an air-tight soft-cloth case for Apple's iPod. "Protect it from water, sand, Jell-o or anything else nature can throw at you. And unlike those hard cases, the Splash Pack lets you adjust the volume, jump to the next song or browse your music catalog while keeping your iPod sealed and protected." It features a triple seal, and a heat-sealed headphone jack; is fully submersible to three meters; and offers control of the iPod without removing it from the case. Splash Pack DriPod is available in both large (for large size for 3rd, 4th or 5th Generation iPods) and small (for the iPod Nano or other small device) varieties for $20 each. It includes a lanyard and headphones.
RE:Vision Effects announced today major updates for Mac versions of its plugins, including Universal Binary support and performance improvements for After Effects 7.0. All of the company's plugins that work within Final Cut Pro (except RE:Flex) now run in FCP 5.1 on Intel Macs and also run significantly faster within Adobe After Effects 7.0 on G5 CPU Macintoshes running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Updated plugins include: ReelSmart Motion Blur Pro ($90) automatically tracks every pixel in a sequence and blurs based on calculated motion; Twixtor ($330/$600) intelligently slows down, speeds up and frame rate converts image sequences; RE:Flex ($600 for AE) creates morphs and warps with an interface; FieldsKit ($90) provides smarter deinterlacing and more workflow options; SmoothKit ($90) provides smoothing tools; Shade/Shape ($90) turns 2D elements into 3D rendered artwork; RE:Fill ($100) fills user-specified regions; RE:Map ($150) provides mapping and distortion tools; and Video Gogh ($90) turns pictures and videos into painted works of art. All the upgrades are free to registered users.
In brief: NBC News today began offering a collection of video news and documentary programming for purchase and download from Apple's iTunes Music Store.... The National Hockey League (NHL) is offering hockey fans the ability to purchase and download 2006 Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final game recaps from the iTunes Music Store.... Contour Design is giving away 200 more iSee nano cases, and is extending its 15 percent-off sale until May 30th.... MacroEnter has announced full Mac compatibility for Seiko's Teriostar LP-1010 and LP-101 MF printers using Microspot's X-RIP software.... Mac Business Solutions is holding a post-NAB event on Wednesday, June 7th that will focus on the news, announcements, and products from NAB 2006.... Major film and internet players at the Cannes Film Festival this week signed up to a European scheme, bringing Europe one step closer to online video and movie downloads.
NBC News today began offering a collection of video news and documentary programming for purchase and download from Apple's iTunes Music Store. The new offerings will also include new programs produced especially for iTunes. Programming from NBC News is priced at $1.99 per download, and includes a wide selection of current and historical programming from NBC News, CNBC and MSNBC. "Partnering with iTunes on the news side - in addition to what we've already done on the entertainment side - makes perfect sense," said Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBC Universal Television Group. "Partnering the leading brand in video downloads with the undisputed leader of news and information is a winning combination, and we are thrilled to be further extending our relationship with iTunes in this unique way." [updated]
The National Hockey League (NHL) has announced on online initiative offering hockey fans in the U.S. the ability to purchase and download 2006 Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final game recaps from Apple's iTunes Music Store. iTunes is offering a "Season Pass" for each Stanley Cup Playoff series for $4.99, and each package includes 15-20 minutes of expanded highlights of each game in the Eastern or the Western Conference Finals or the Stanley Cup Final. For $1.99, fans can download expanded highlights of individual games, which users can view on Apple's fifth-generation iPod with video on-the-go. "In addition to being the most passionate fans in sports, hockey fans love using the newest technology to connect with their NHL," Doug Perlman said, NHL executive vice president, Media. "Our deal with Apple will enable our fans to download and re-live the most exciting action in professional sports -- the Stanley Cup Playoffs."
Lucasfilm today anounced that its epic adventure of the Star Wars galaxy is now available at the iTunes Music Store. The Cartoon Network's Emmy Award-winning animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars has released 20 chapters of the first volume, while Volume 2 is due later in June. Each chapter, or episode, will be available for $1.99 with the full season of Volume 1 available for $10.99; it can be viewed, after download, on a computer or on an iPod. "As animated shorts, Clone Wars is the perfect content to watch on an iPod," said Tom Warner, Senior Director of Marketing for Lucasfilm Ltd. "iTunes is a convenient new way to explore these rich, exciting stories that expand the Star Wars universe."
A Mac developer has released iPodulator Pro, a Web-based application that converts Web pages to text suitable for iPods. The software uses algorithms to convert conventional websites into text-only documents and transfers them to an iPod for later viewing. Websites on the iPod are automatically updated as long as iPodulator Pro is installed on the system and the iPod is connected. Additionally, the application removes the size limit on text that ordinarily prevents large files from residing on the iPod. iPodulator Pro is a test version that will expire on June 10th, though a final version is planned for release in June to be priced at $10.
Adobe has released some early information about InDesign CS3, which is scheduled to ship in the second quarter of 2007. The media company unveiled only a small sampling of the software's feature set, but that was enough to convince InDesignSecrets.com that Adobe is committed to helping design professionals to impress their audiences. The demo was run on a MacBook Pro, proving that Adobe is working to release its applications for Apple's latest hardware. InDesign CS3 will feature object events, with object effects allowing users to apply Photoshop-like effects such as emboss and bevel to any InDesign object, including text. Transparency effects can be applied to an object's fill, stroke, or contents individually, and users can select multiple files in the "Place" dialog box. With a year before the company ships InDesign CS3, the features already presented bode well for designers.
Battery Acid Games has unveiled its first shareware title, Mountain Tanks. The game is currently undergoing final testing, and is slated for release within the next two weeks. Mountain Tanks puts players in the gunner's seat of a powerful tank, the lone defender of an embattled city, with a selection of destructive and defensive weapons. Taking turns with human or computer-controlled opponents, players must aim to maximize damage and finish off enemies. The game features ballistic rockets, bouncing grenades, and barrel makers to deploy deadly high-explosive containers into the hearts of enemy cities (pricing and system requirements were unavailable). The company also announced that following the release of Mountain Tanks, it will work to convert all of its previous titles to Universal Binaries.
Wrappers today introduced customizable white sleeve covers for the new Apple MacBook. Users can personalize their notebooks with the slim-fitting protective sleeve that features a customizable logo. Wrappers sleeves are machine washable, and customers can choose personalized lettering in combinations of green, orange, and blue colors up to a maximum length of 15 characters. The custom white sleeves fit 13-inch MacBook systems, are water-resistant, and feature a rubberized outer microfibre lining that helps keep the notebook fingerprint-free. Wrappers MacBook white sleeves are made to order for £18.
DivX today announced the release of DivX for Mac 6.5, which includes the first release of an official DivX for Mac player. It provides Mac users with free full-screen playback of high-quality DivX videos on a desktop or through a browser and offers a number of easy-to use features that improve the viewing experience, including a desktop dimmer, mouse gesture controls, window fade-out and more. Unlike other Mac video solutions, DivX for Mac 6.5 can also easily convert movies into DivX format for playback on over 35 million DivX Certified DVD players, portable media players and other devices available from global retailers. The DivX Converter also outputs video files and the necessary html code to embed those movies into websites for use with the DivX Web Player.
Luxology has released Modo 201, the latest version of its 3D modeling software that enhances the application's modeling and painting tools. Modo 201 includes an entirely new rendering engine, and offers click-and-drag mesh simplification. The UV Unwrap and Solid Sketch tools are designed to speed up UV map creation, while a Mesh Paint tool allows users to paint geometric details on existing mesh surfaces. Additional new tools include hot swappable brushes, inks, nozzles, and fallogs, along with Parametric ink and real-time bump map painting support. Modo's rendering engine includes support for optimized global illumination, physically-based shading options for energy conservation, fresnel effect, anisotropy and subsurface scattering, true micropolygon displacements, and gigapoly rendering. Modo 201 is priced at $900, and upgrades are priced at $400. The software requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Koyono today announced that it is taking a new approach to fashion for Spring and Summer in 2006 with new additions to its BlackCoat technology-enabled line of outerwear for men. The new outerwear forms, named Work, Sport, and Surf carry the Made for iPod label. Along with the "high-performance" materials, each garment includes ElekTex, a smart fabric technology from Eleksen Group that is integrated into the lapels as iPod control pads. The ElekTex allows users to leave an iPod tucked away safely inside a specially-designed pocket while providing full control over all aspects of the iPod, including volume, track changes, and the power switch. Each of the four new jackets includes water protection and pocketing for commuting or travel. BlackCoat Surf is priced at $200, BlackCoat Sport ships for $300, BlackCoat Work (shown at right) is available for $250, and BlackCoat Work Premiere retails for $275.
Daedale today released MacReporter 2.5, an update that refines the user interface and brings native Intel compatibility to the news reader application. The interface is designed to maintain a balance between power and ease of use, while offering an intuitive experience. "Smart News Feeds" display articles matching users' habits and expectations, while recent articles are kept close for later retrieval. Users can locate articles using a new search function, and a news feed search feature discovers sites matching specified keywords. The application includes the ability to share articles, and incorporates "hot news" that outlines important articles to either share or keep on hand. Further MacReporter features include one-click subscription to feeds directly from a Web browser, and Dock control to read all news using the Dock in Mac OS X Tiger. MacReporter 2.5 is priced at $25, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. The upgrade is free for all MacReporter 2 owners.
In brief: CS Odessa has begun its "ConceptDraw Winner" program, dedicated to the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006.... MacProVideo.com has announced iDVD 101: Mastering iDVD ($30), a video tutorial program designed to take users through all aspects of creating DVD-video in Apple's iDVD software.... Western Washington University junior Shawn Deutchman has designed an iPod case that will be sold nationwide by the carrying case manufacturer Brenthaven.... Koingo Software today announced an online scavenger hunt for the original Mystery Island, and is offering a prize of $100 to the first person who locates and sends the company a copy of the title.... The man who was named as the lead plaintiff in the iPod nano "Scratch" class action lawsuit filed against Apple has written an open letter to the Mac community in an attempt to clarify his lack of involvement with the lawsuit.
On2 Technologies has released On2 Flix Pro 8.5, an update to its flash video production software. New chroma color keying tools enable users of any skill level to create Hollywood-style "green screen" visual effects. The software provides advanced control of On2 video encoder settings such as buffer control, quantizer control, encoder speed, and sharpness. The update also adds support for video cue point insertion to facilitate bookmarking or chaptering within videos, closed captioning, and event triggers. "On2 Flix Pro paved the way for high quality video for Flash Player 8 and has become an influential force behind the online shift from text and pictures to internet video," Eric Ameres said, chief technical officer at On2. On2 Flix Pro 8.5 is available for $250, and upgrades for users with version 8.0 are free (system requirements were unavailable).
Adobe has revealed more details on Apollo, one of the first products of the Adobe-Macromedia merger that will be integrated into Flash Player and Acrobat Reader. The technology will provide developers with the tools to create run-time applications available offline without a browser, and will incur the lower costs associated with Web development tools that require Web browsers, according to PDFzone. "This is the natural evolution of what [Adobe and Macromedia] have been promoting for a long time," Todd Hay said, director of platform marketing and developer relations for Adobe. "A lot of our core community really sees PDF not as a portable document format but rather a portable application container." Hay said the idea behind Apollo is to enable applications currently made from flash and PDF to "move beyond the browser" by assigning flash-based applications a desktop icon that is launched the same way traditional applications are.
PremiumSoft today released Navicat 6.3.0 for MySQL, the latest iteration of its database management tool. The software features enhanced support for foreign key data selection as well as HTTP Tunneling, and is available as a Universal Binary to run natively on Intel Macs. The update allows users to spend less time acquiring values by referencing the existing foreign key reference table, according to the company. Navicat for MySQL features an intuitive interface, the ability to synchronize databases, and supports easy connections to remote MySQL servers. Navicat for MySQL 6.3.0 is available for $100, and requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
Apple has won two new awards for its industrial design. The Cupertino-based company took home two "Yellow Pencil" awards at the D&AD Global Awards 2006, which were held on May 24, 2006, according to Digit. The annual awards, the creative industry's 'Oscars,' are the "biggest and the best," rewarding "outstanding creativity, mould-breaking thinking and the highest standard of design and innovation," according to the organization. As part of this year's awards 54 Yellow Pencils and 2 Black Pencils have been awarded from an original 24,000 entries. Apple received recognition for the product design of its iPod video and iPod nano. The rarely bestowed Black Pencil Awards were given to the redesign of The Guardian, and to Leo Burnett Canada for outstanding creative design, according to the report.
Apple today announced it has sold its PowerSchool division to Pearson, an international media company dedicated to education, business information, and publishing. Billed as an "expanded relationship" between the two companies, the two announced that Pearson develop educational content for teachers and students compatible with iPod. Apple purchased PowerSchool, its student information systems (SIS) division, in 2001 for $62 million. "Apple's commitment to education has never been stronger, which is why we're excited to broaden our relationship with Pearson," said John Couch, Apple's vice president of Education. "Our customers will love having Pearson's education content on their iPods, and we're confident that PowerSchool will continue to flourish and grow with Pearson." Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
OakTree Software today announced the availability of Accordance 7.0, a major upgrade to its industry-leading Bible Study Software. Developed exclusively for Macs, version 7 extends that lead with a unique combination of power and ease of use, according to the company. New features include the ability to search for punctuation, innovative new ways to graph the results of a search, automatic highlighting of text differences, a Slide Show view for presenting information to a classroom or congregation, improved highlighting capabilities, and new features for managing and accessing a growing library of Accordance-compatible Bible texts, study aids, and original language texts. It also includes added support for Services and multi-user environments. Pricing is $40 for a starter kit, while upgrades are $30.
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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