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Apple at Best Buy
Apple is looking to reach to out to more consumers with an expanded presence at the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy. The increased presence includes more prominent dsplay of Apple's latest Intel-based Macs, including MacBooks, MacBook Pro's, Mac mini's, and iMacs, according to CNET News.com. Current Analysis analyst Samir Bhavnani notes that while Best Buy has been selling Apple's popular iPod music players and Mac Minis for some time, the latest move represents a major expansion of Apple's retail efforts. The anlayst said that Apple is prepping for for the back-to-school shopping season, which is considered to be the second-busiest period of the year for the PC industry. Bhavnani also said that "the move also shows that Apple is very confident about the inventory situation regarding its new Intel-based products."
Gaffe costs Samsung
Apple's penchant for all things secretive may have cost Samsung some business. The EE Times reports that Apple's has "punished" the South Korean semiconductor giant for revealing details about the forthcoming iPod before they authorized it. The report says that an apparent "gaffe" by an executive from Samsung Electronics has cost the South Korean semiconductor giant some of Apple's iPod chip business. The company has since decided to stick with SigmaTel, according to an analyst. "Despite signs that Samsung was taking over the iPod chip business, struggling SigmaTel has managed to hold on to its key chip design within Apple's current -- and new -- iPod Shuffle MP3 line, said Craig Berger, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities Inc. (Los Angeles)."
Intel mobile CPU roadmap
Intel has revealed the roadmap for its future mobile processors, including a forthcoming update to its Core Duo series of processors. The company in August plans on releasing the Core 2 Duo -- codenamed Merom -- the successor to its current Yonah processors (a.k.a., Core Duo) in its first Intel-based Macs released this year. The initial batch of 65nm Merom processors, part of the Core 2 Duo family, will run on a 667MHz front side bus, according to the Daily Tech report, while the second batch will use an 800MHz front side bus and another new socket design, supporting an updated version of Intel's 965 chipset. Dubbed Crestline, the updated platform will offer specific support for notebooks and low power applications. Crestline will feature support for both integrated graphics -- like those used in the MacBook and Intel-based Mac mini -- and standalone graphics chips, like those used in the MacBook Pro.
Anthracite 1.5 mines data
Metafy today announced Anthracite Web Mining Desktop v1.5, which now includes prebuilt solutions and powerful new capabilities for conditional processing and enhanced URL exporting. The company said that the new included solutions allow users to accomplish valuable text processing tasks without requiring complicated scripting, including: converting daily SEC Filings into RSS Feeds; monitoring webpages and stock prices for changes; building maps of related keywords; filtering web server logs; capturing blog and podcast feed information into SQL; and ranking top keywords for search terms using the Google API. In addition, it features new built-in conditional processing, which gives users the ability to filter and categorize text. It requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and costs $100.
Apple offers refurb iPods
Apple is offering refurbished iPod nanos with 2GB capacities in black and white for $169, a $30 savings; 30GB video iPods in black and white for $259, a $40 discount; 512MB and 1GB iPod shuffles for $49 and $79, a 51 percent and 47 percent savings, respectively; iPod with color display in 20GB and 60GB capacities for $199 and $279, a $100 and $170 discount; and silver iPod minis in 4GB capacities with up to eight or 18 hours of battery life for $139 and $149, a $110 and $50 savings, respectively. The company is also offering its refurbished iPod with clickwheel with a 20GB storage capacity for $169, a $130 discount; the iPod U2 Special Edition for $179, a 49 percent discount; and the 40GB iPod with clickwheel and dock for $199, a $200 savings.
New HP printers, cameras
HP today announced a slew of new products for fall. The company has rolled out more than 100 imaging and printing products for the home/office that include six HP Photosmart printers and all-in-ones, its first printer with a touch-activated image display, a compact photo printer capable of storing up to 4,000 photos, and four compact digital cameras. HP also unveiled new versions of the HP 57 and HP 78 ink cartridges, named HP 57+ and HP 78+. The cartridges work with existing HP printers, but contain HP Vivera ink to produce text and photos that last up to 50 years longer than the original HP inks, according to the company.
QuickTime 7.1.1 fix out
Apple today released QuickTime 7.1.1 addresses an issue with third party start-up items on Intel Macs, including the much talked about Adobe Cue startup bug that caused problems with many users on its release--almost three weeks ago. This release also fixes an issue exporting Keynote presentations to iDVD. The update is 49.4MB and available via the Web or the Mac OS X Software Update. Earlier today, Apple released a SuperDrive firmware update to fix burning speeds when writing to certain recordable DVD media.
ShuttlePRO for Aperture
Contour Design has released of new ShuttlePRO, ShuttlePRO V2, and ShuttleXpress settings for Aperture, Apple's all-in-one post-production tool for photographers. The new ShuttlePRO settings enhance the user's experience and efficiency, assisting users' navigation through large numbers of photos and allowing for easy use of all of Aperture's tools. "Rating photos can be time consuming as users make decisions, but the ShuttlePRO makes the process more efficient. Assigning a five-star rating is as simple as pressing a single button and reducing that rating is done with the button next to it.... The other tools, including the Loupe, zoom, crop, rotate, and spot & patch tool are accessible with one button as well. Because the cursor doesn't need to be used to select a tool, it can stay on the location users want to work on, further increasing efficiency." The settings are freely available on the company's website (along with a Universal version the hardware driver).
Bare Bones posts fix
Top 100 products announced
Apple took home five 'World Class' awards in PC World's annual listing of the top 100 best products of 2006. Apple's iPod nano placed no. 4 on the list, tailing craigslist, AMD's Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core chip, and Intel's Core Duo microprocessor, which placed first. Intel's new processor "provides multitasking power never before possible on a portable PC ... The Core Duo processor is so good that it's the CPU of choice not only for Windows laptops but also for Apple's Windows-capable laptop and desktop Macs," according to PC World Apple also managed to claim Hardware Company of the Year, as its Mac mini and video iPod scored the no. 35 and 36 spots, respectively. Boot Camp ranked no. 10, and the iTunes Music Store was dubbed the 43rd best product over the past 12 months.
Vvidget Server 10.4.11
VVI has released Vvidget Server 10.4.11, updating the point-and-click graphing solution for Mac OS X. VVI's latest release brings native compatibility to Apple's Intel-based Macs, and adds caching indirection where graphs are referenced with an indirection. The update includes several automation attributes, improves the reference manual as well as example projects, and incorporates several bug fixes to the template builder used to lay out automation static attributes. The release of Vvidget Server 10.4.11 also signals the arrival of a Frequently Asked Quetsions (FAQ) for Vvidget users. Vvidget is priced at $200 (system requirements were unavailable).
Hendrickson Software Components today released Em@ilCRX, its e-mail filtering and spam source tracing/reporting software. The application performs technical validation of email to determine forgeries, and supports email filtration by country of origin. Em@ilCRX features a content-based filter that uses regular expressions, as well as a challenge response system to validate clean email that is not included as a member of the users' friends list. Em@ilCRX is available for Mac OS X, Linux, and Microsoft Windows for $30.
Parallels Desktop for Mac
Parallels today offered the second release candidate 2 (RC2) of Parallels Desktop for Mac, the first virtualization software that gives Apple users the ability to simultaneously run Windows, Linux or any other operating system and their applications in a stable, secure high-performing, virtual machine alongside Mac OS X on any Intel-based Mac. RC2, the final release in the product's multi-stage Beta program that has generated more than 100,000 testers, resolves technical issues and improves overall virtual machine performance as well as the functionality of a number of important features, including file sharing and cutting/pasting between operating systems, networking, USB device support and sound and video playback.
SuperDrive firmware update
Apple today released SuperDrive Firmware Update 2.0, fixing burning speeds when writing to certain recordable DVD media. The update requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is offered as a one-click installation. Users who meet the system requirements but who cannot update the firmware are encouraged to contact their local Apple Authorized Service Provider or an Apple Store retail location. Apple also warns users not to reset, shut down, or turn off power to a Mac while updating the firmware, as doing so may damage the SuperDrive. The update is available as a free download from Apple.
RSS Menu, Concierge
RSS Menu 1.7.2 (donationware) allows users to read RSS feeds, Atom feeds, and listen to audio podcasts via a system-wide menu. RSS Menu 1.7.2 fixes a bug that would crash the application when loading certain feeds, addresses a potential crash that could occur in Mac OS X 10.3, and improves text encodings.
[Download - 757KB]
Concierge 1.4.7 ($10) updates the integrated Safari bookmark assistant that can store bookmarks, email links, Address Book cards/groups, and Finder file/folder links in a drawer attached to the side of Safari's browser window. Users can manage/search the bookmarks without switching windows as well as annotate links with additional comments. The update brings native compatibility to Intel Macs as a Universal Binary. [Download - 431KB]
Photoshop Action Pack 2.2 (donationware) provides full support for Intel-based Macs to the collection of 73 actions that enable users to automate Photoshop CS or CS2 using Apple's Automator. The update includes two new actions, several bug fixes, and numerous feature additions. [Download - 11.3MB]
Lexicon 1.0.1 ($25) is a new language learning application allowing users to learn words in any foreign language. A LanguageSync feature helps automate entering words, and words can include audio recorded by users within Lexicon. Users can group and tag words to keep track of their grammatical roles, and a practice mode allows for easy studying. [Download - 3.3MB]
Kids GoGoGo 10.4 ($30) updates the parental control program that can block both blog content (RSS feeds) and websites. Major changes in Kids GoGoGo 10.4 include support to restrict sites by total use of time, an improved screen logging function, and better proxy throughput from the network. The latest version also includes KidsFilterShare 1.1.1, and offers improved filtering of Asian sites. [Download - 6.1MB]
Podcasting system debuts
Intelligent Assistance has released Intellicaster, a turnkey automated podcasting system that records TV or radio broadcasters' locally originated programming and publishes it to the Web. Intellicaster is a intelligent hardware/software combination that automatically records specific time intervals -- evening newscasts, morning, or afternoon programming -- that optionally deletes commercials, encodes for podcasting, and uploads/publishes the programming repeatedly on a daily basis. Hardware encoding to iPod format is also available as an option on some configurations. Complete systems, including installation, start at $4500, and all Intellicaster systems include a Mac.
uSport headband ships
HeadProng has begun shipping the uSport headband for iPod shuffle. The uSport is a combination of an elastic terry cloth headband and a neoprene iPod shuffle pouch that allows users to wear the music player on the back of the head, keeping the shuffle's earbud cables entirely out of the way during exercise or other physical activity. The uSport headband is available for $25, and ships in either black or white.
Dr. Bott, i-doll cases
Dr. Bott has announced an exclusive partnership with i-doll, and has already begun offering the company's iPod cases via its website. The i-doll cases are hand stitched by French leather craftsmen, resulting in a minimalist design that closely fits the iPod. Each i-doll case features a metallic spine with an attachment ring on the back, as well as a plexiglas stand to maintain the shape and form of the case. "Dress your iPod (fifth-generation, Nano, or Shuffle) with style, glamour or fun. Over 20 different designs are available from classic luxury leathers to the most modern and original materials (genuine and metallicized python skin, glossy cotton, or fluffy fur). Fashion victims can now protect their iPod in style!" The new i-doll cases are priced from $28-50.
Rep training, I, Woz
In brief: Apple will be holding training for Campus reps in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, May 31st and Thursday, June 1st for more than 80 representatives from the eastern U.S.... Guy Kawasaki has received a pre-release copy of I, Woz, and is offering a preview of the title by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.... Big Nerd Ranch has announced yet another Cocoa Bootcamp with instructor Aaron Hillegass, to be held August 21st to 25th.... UgmNetworks has launched MacShadows.com, the reincarnation of UndergroundMac.com designed to serve as a portal for everything security and underground for Macs.... Speck Products has introduced the Spectone Retro ($150, shown at right), a 1950's style speaker system for Apple's iPod.
RenderMan Pro Server 13.0
Pixar Animation Studios has released RenderMan Pro Server 13.0, the latest iteration of its CG feature animation and visual effects rendering software. RenderMan is central to today's CG film making process, according to Pixar, and was used in each of the last 30 movies nominated for a Visual Effects Oscar by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. RenderMan Pro Server 13.0 offers a three-fold speed-up in ray tracing shading calculations; higher quality fur and particles for less computation; improved statistics for shader profiling; and brick maps as geometry. RenderMan Pro Server 13.0 is priced at $3,500 per license, with upgrades available to RenderMan Pro Server 12.5 users for $1,050. Users of RenderMan Pro Server 12.0 or earlier can upgrade to the latest version for $1,750.
Mindjet MindManager 6 Mac
Mindjet today released Mindjet MindManager 6 Mac for Mac OS X, which iit says allows individuals and teams to visually connect and synthesize ideas. The new application brings visual "mapping" to Mac users, including marketing professionals, media content providers, students, faculty and administrators. Built using Apple's Xcode development environment and Cocoa frameworks, MindManager 6 Mac is a Universal Binary application that runs natively on Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs. Users can jumpstart new projects or plans by first capturing the interaction of brainstorming sessions as well as develop their thinking by attaching or linking to a wide range of information types, including web sites, email addresses, documents and audio, video or image files. The software also offers Spotlight integration. Pricing starts at $230 for a single-user license.
LANrev v3.0 released
LANrev today announced the release of LANrev v3.0, its network management software designed for heterogeneous networks and computer management. LANrev 3.0 adds over 50 new features, including Macintosh imaging, Windows Patch Management, additional systems management and many other new features and significant enhancements. "LANrev 3.0 Network Management offers a unique solution set built with LANrev's powerful, patent pending technology," said Peter Frankl, co-founder of LANrev LP, "IT organizations are able to standardize network management support for diverse platforms while having unprecedented control and functionality across the distributed enterprise." LANrev 3.0 Network Management Software now includes LANrev's ImageLive technology, allowing administrators to deploy complete disk images to remote Mac computers even while those computers are in use.
Freehand, GoLive dropped
Adobe said that it will discontinue Macromedia Freehand illustration and and its own GoLive web design product, as the company simplifies its product line following the recent purchase and aquisition of Macromedia. Speaking at Adobe Live Conference in London, MacGeneration reports [report in French] that Adobe representatives told attendess that it will phase out the popular Macromedia FreeHand package in favor of its own Illustrator application---although another report says otherwise; the company, however, said it will continue to support the products for an unspecified period of time, but that it would focus its development on Adobe Illustrator 13, which is expected to ship next year as part Adobe Creative Suite 3--the much anticipated first native version of the professional suite for graphic artists and designers.[updated]
Computer take-back program
Apple today announced the launch of its free computer take-back program, offering US customers environmentally friendly recycling of their old computer when they buy a new Mac. Beginning today, the Apple Store and Apple retail stores will give US customers the option of recycling their unwanted PCs, regardless of the manufacturer. "When a customer chooses to participate in the program, Apple will send an email with instructions and a label for free shipping and recycling. Customers simply package their recyclable equipment and attach the label provided," Apple said. "All equipment received by the program is recycled domestically and no hazardous material is shipped overseas."
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