Speck Products today introduced the Spectone Retro, a 1950's style speaker system for Apple's iPod. "SpeckTone Retro looks like nothing you've seen for the iPod. The clean lines and nostalgic elegance of 1950's style makes a statement without replicating or competing with the modern, sleek look of the iPod itself. The all wood, sonically tuned speaker cabinet is finished with a high-gloss lacquered 'piano finish,' a gorgeous high-end feature previously available only on speaker sets five times the price of SpeckTone Retro," said Speck. The SpeckTone Retro offers 28 watts of output, a 4-inch subwoofer for producing bass, and two 3-inch drivers for mid to high tones. The three high-gloss lacquered finishes include the signature green/brown, black-on-black (shown at right), and the "classic" iPod white-and-silver look. SpeckTone will begin shipping on June 12th for $150.
In brief: 99 Cents Only Stores is set to celebrate the grand opening of its newest retail location in Vista, California by offering nine iPod nanos for 99 cents each, as well as 99 digital cameras for 99 cents each.... Rumors are flying that Apple is developing an iPod that can play games as well as music and digital video.... The Iconfactory has released Talos Tsui's latest freeware icon collection, ClearBlack (shown at right), that offers transparent as well as black icons for both dark and light desktops.... Arogo.net has upgraded its Mac mini dedicated hosting packages to include Intel-based Mac minis.... Chipmaker SigmaTel will likely remain the supplier for Apple's iPod shuffle, although cash balances may still drop to zero by the end of the year.
Thursby has released updates to Mac network software, DAVE 6.2 and ADmitMac 3.2, bringing native Intel compatibility to both applications as Universal Binaries. The upgrade is available for free from Thursby's website for customers running the most recent releases of the software, and the company spoke about the new changes: "These releases contain much more than Intel compatibility; it includes numerous PowerPC performance and stability enhancements that have been developed through an extended beta test and is a recommended update for all of our customers." The updates are designed to continue Thursby's commitment to network security, and include the required interfaces for future support of industry standard smart cards, as well as the U.S. Department of Defense Common Access Cards (CAC). DAVE 6.2 requires Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X 10.3 or later, while ADmitMac 3.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Strata today began shipping Strata 3D CX 5.0, Strata Live 3D, and Strata Foto 3D. Strata 3D CX 5.0 updates the 3D design application with the ability to render layers, as well as the capability to render Strata Live 3D content. Strata Live 3D is a new application that works with 3D modeling software such as Strata 3D CX, Strata Foto 3D, 3D Studio Max, Maya, and others to create real-time 3D models. Those models can contain animation, full textures, reflective surfaces, and interactivity. Strata Foto 3D is an efficient photo-based system for modeling real world objects that allows users to create 3D models with no technical skill or expensive hardware. Strata 3D CX 5.0 ($700) and Strata Live 3D ($500) require Mac OS X 10.3 or Microsoft Windows 2000/XP, while Strata Foto 3D ($500) requires Windows 2000/XP.
Aatrix has released a demo of Top Pay v16, its payroll solution for Mac that links directly with QuickBooks Pro for Mac. QuickBooks Pro for Mac customers can access a free 90-day trial of the software from a link within QuickBooks, while others looking for a payroll solution that will run on the Mac platform can download a free trial from the Web. Aatrix Top Pay is powerful payroll software designed by Mac users for Mac users. It combines an easy-to-use interface with features perfect for small businesses as well as more advanced features for larger companies. Top Pay v16 features a update function that automatically updates each time it is launched, new eFiling features for more than 250 approved state and federal payroll reports, an updated set of over 80 small business management forms available for human resources, and a simplified interface tool bar.
Square Box Systems today began shipping CatDV 5.0, a major update to its CatDV media asset database and video logging tool that runs natively on Intel Macs as a Universal Binary. The update adds support for editing sequences directly within CatDV, as well as the ability to catalog arbitrary types of files. CatDV 5 also improves existing online help, enhances integration with Final Cut Pro by supporting nested sequences, and allows users to import as well as export Final Cut Pro XML files. CatDV 5.0 Professional is priced at $275, with upgrades available from $100. CatDV 5.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later with QuickTime 6.0 or newer, as well as Java 1.4.2 or later.
Code Sorcery Workshop has released Pukka 1.2, a minimalist posting client for del.icio.us. Pukka can handle multiple accounts, auto-completes tags, and uses Bonjour for auto-discovery of local Pukka users. The software provides efficient keyboard navigation, Growl integration, the ability to drag URLs to the window or Dock, and self-updating capability with Sparkle. The update brings usage of the new SSL del.icio.us API, as well as revamped keychain handling. Pukka 1.2 incorporates a new tags field that auto-resizes based on the space required, and offers a new preference item for enabling or disabling the warning messages when users attempt to reset or otherwise close when there is unposted data. Pukka 1.2 is available for both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs for $5, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
The elevator at Apple's new Fifth Avenue Store in New York last week malfunctioned, trapping five passengers inside beneath the large glass cube. Visitors on a school trip boarded the elevator to ascend to street level after visiting the store, only to find themselves stranded after one passenger exited the lift. "When we got to the street level I got out of the elevator, and the door closed behind me," wrote the passenger who managed to exit the elevator. "The exterior [door] wouldn't open but the inner door kept on opening and closing." Some of the passengers were reportedly dancing as Apple employees searched for a means to free them. Water bottles were handed down from the roof of the tube through the malfunctioning doors to the occupants, and after a brief period the New York Police Department showed up to help free the visitors.
QuickerTek has launched its AirPort Base Station Upgrade, offering wireless range up to five times greater than Apple's standard Base Station model. Customers send in the Apple AirPort Base Station to QuickerTek, which adds the upgrade technology and sends it back. Users can also purchase pre-upgraded Base Stations, and the upgrade does not require any configuration steps or extra software. The upgrade adds 500 milliwatts of RF (Radio Frequency) wireless power to the Base Station, and is available for $200. Pre-upgraded Base Stations (refurbished) are priced at $350. [updated to reflect 'refurb' condition of Base Stations]
Quark and onOne Software today announced the forthcoming release of QX-Tools Pro 7, one of the most popular collections of XTensions software for QuarkXPress. QX-Tools Pro 7 will be compatible with QuarkXPress 7 and will include several new features in addition to enhancements to existing features. The latest version of the collection includes an advanced selection tool, a new WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) font palette, and a new tips/tricks feature. "QX-Tools users have long relied on our XTensions software to enhance the high-quality feature set of previous versions of QuarkXPress," said Craig Keudell, president of onOne Software. "This new version of QX-Tools Pro 7 will continue in that tradition. QuarkXPress users will get tremendous value out of the new features and enhancements to existing features." QX-Tools Pro 7 is slated for shipment in July of 2006, and will be priced at $160. Upgrades will be available to existing QX-Tools Pro users for $70.
Rumors are flying that Apple is developing an iPod that can play games as well as music and digital video. GameSpot reports that a tech-sector recruiter made an offer to a software engineer, who turned it down saying he was being "heavily recruited by Apple." The engineer apparently said an Apple hiring manager named Mike Lampell is leading a group within Apple's iTunes division, and that the group is hiring C and C++ programmers with a "gaming background." The engineer also reportedly said that the project was described as "super secret," and that he would not be told details until he had been hired and signed a non-disclosure agreement.
Gefen has begun shipping its DVI Audio Extender which extends DVI and digital/analog audio up to 150 feet away from an HDTV DVI or HDMI source using CAT-5 cables. The DVI Audio Extender sender unit sits next to a video source, while the cables supplied with the DVI Audio Extender connect the video source/audio source to the sender. The display/audio receiver plugs into the back of the DVI Audio Extender receiver, and two CAT-5 cables connect the sender and the receiver units to each other. The system supports VESA Standard as well as HDTV resolutions, and works with the DDWG standard for DVI compliant monitors. Multichannel digital audio (DTS, Dolby Digital, and more) is supported alongside Digital 7.1. The device transfers at 12.8Mb/sec, and ships for $650.
99 Cents Only stores is set to celebrate the grand opening of its newest retail location in Vista, California by offering nine iPod nanos for 99 cents each, as well as 99 digital cameras for 99 cents each. The first nine customers will be able to purchase a 2GB iPod nano -- which Apple sells for $199 -- for 99 cents, while the next 99 customers will be able to purchase a digital camera for 99 cents starting at 8:00 a.m. PST on June 1st, 2006. The new store is 16,300 square feet and located at 705 East Vista Way, between Escondido Avenue and East Bobier Drive, in Vista, California.
IntellaSys today released its Regen data backup software for both PowerPC and Intel-based Mac systems. OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) that incorporate OnSpec interface controller chip solutions into their products have the option to furnish Regen software as an added feature. Following installation, the Regen application allows users to backup an entire drive or choose the folders and types of files to backup and sync. A Push Button Backup (PBB) feature is designed to streamline backup, restore, or sync operations. Regen software supports multiple USB drives while allowing users to assign unique PBB tasks to each drive. The application also allows backup as many times as desired and offers a scheduler to queue jobs. The Regen backup software requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
In brief: Apple is set to open another retail store in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, June 3rd.... Amazon.co.uk has halted shipments of electronics, PCs, video games, and other goods to customers in the Republic of Ireland, listing those items as available for delivery only in the UK.... IronGate Server Management & Consulting, in association with Digital Transitions, is hosting the inaugural Toronto Birds of a Feather gathering on the evening of June 13th at the MaRS Discovery District on College St at University Ave.... A new report suggests that many engaged couples are turning to iPods and other portable music players rather than hiring disc jockeys or bands at their wedding receptions.... ScotteVest has unveiled the SeV Performance T-Shirt, its new line of shirts that combine Technology Enabled Clothing with performance fabric.... Podstar has begun shipping the Podstar Diablo series ($30-33, shown at right) for iPod video, a range of "devilish" body castings for the portable media player.
Microsoft today announced the availability of the Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac, its first Mac-specific desktop complete with a wireless Comfort Curve Keyboard and a wireless High Definition laser mouse. The Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac features Microsoft's first keyboard designed specifically for the Mac, offering "Hot Keys" that map to Mac programs such as iTunes and iPhoto. In addition, it offers a Zoom Slider, allowing users to zoom in for a closer look at digital pictures, maps and more; customizable "My Favorites" keys; an "Eject" key; Mac modifier keys (Option, Control, and Command keys) and more. The Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac will be available this summer for $100.
Now AAPL Stock: 120 ( + 0.22 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE