Apple on Tuesday released Shake 4.1 with a lower price tag, but also cancelled support contracts for current Shake customers. The company is offering Shake license holders three options in place of previous support contracts, according to FxShare. The first option allows customers to continue with end-user email support, as well as SDK support for the duration of their Maintenance contract. A second option allows customers to cancel their Maintenance and receive a pro-rated refund for the unused portion. Existing software licenses will continue to function according to the Software License Agreement. Maintenance customers that wish to cancel their contract must do so by July 23rd, 2006.
TaskTime4 4.1.8 ($20) is a free update to the time tracking software that fixes a problem with saving preference settings. TaskTime4 4.1.8 removes excess length from invoices, fixes a status icon bug that occurred in Project Manager if the status menu text was edited, allows any length of message in the Personal section of the Preference window, and adds a field for client Web addresses in the Product Manager window. [Download - 3.9MB] RSS Menu 1.8.2 (donationware) improves the system wide menu RSS/Atom feed reader that also supports podcasts. RSS Menu 1.8.2 fixes a crash when using the iTunes integration, repairs a bug when enabling iTunes or Safari integration, adds a tooltip when hovering over an episode that shows comments of a podcast, and modifies preferences which are set when the software is launched for the first time. [Download - 886KB] kTunes 1.0d43 (Lite $40, Pro $110) brings native compatibility for Intel Macs as a Universal Binary to the Karaoke application designed to run shows. kTunes allows users to rip, mix, and play CD+G media. The pro version supports management of multiple venues, singers, and rotation, while a new burning plug-in allows users to make backups as well as mix discs. [Download - 2.6MB (Lite), 2.6MB (Pro)] FlickrExport 2.0 (£12) is a plug-in for iPhoto that provides a direct export interface to the Flickr.com online image service. Version 2.0 supports uploading to existing Flickr photosets, displays a list of tags used on Flickr that users can add to photos before uploading, and offers the ability to copy the title/description back to iPhoto if it has changed inside FlickrExport. [Download - 1.4MB] SQLiteManager 2.0.8 ($40) updates the SQLite database management tool, adding a new "InstantQuery" technology for faster queries, full SQLite2 as well as SQLite3 support, and full REALSQL Server support. The update also offers browse tables/views/indexes, the ability to rename tables or add columns to existing tables, and a built-in virtual machine analyzer. [Download - 5.5MB]
FirmTek today began shipping the SeriTek/2SE2-E, a Serial ATA host adapter fully compatible with the new PCI Express bus architecture found in Apple's Dual-Core G5 Macs. The adapter offers two external SATA II ports at up to 3Gbps, enabling users to incorporate individual drives or RAID arrays as high-performance storage on Dual-Core systems. The card includes hot-swap compatibility that allows users to easily move drives or volumes from one system to another, and is solely intended for use with Apple's Dual-Core G5 systems. The new card design is incompatible with older PCI-X and PCI slots, and is priced at $100.
BusinessWeek (BW) today unveiled the results of its Information Technology 100 list, declaring Apple no. 4 among the top contenders and the only U.S. company to place in the top 10. In choosing the 100 participating companies, BusinessWeek begins with financial data from Standard & Poor's, trimming the contestants to information-technology companies and adding non-U.S. companies suggested by a network of foreign bureaus. Further filtering results in the remaining group of companies which are ranked on four criteria: return on equity, revenue growth, shareholder return (given equal weight), and total revenues (which was weighted). Hon Hai Precision, the parent company of Foxconn which manufactures iPods for Apple, claimed the no. 2 spot above Apple, while Google placed 13th ahead of Quanta Computer, which came in 31st. Microsoft earned the 37th spot, trailing Sprint Nextel and Asustek Computer. [updated]
Macgamestore.com (MGS) has launched a new page where gamers can play free Web-based games. The page currently offers 15 Web games that consist of newer titles along with clones of classic games, separated into categories of arcade, card & board, and puzzle games. Visitors need only a Java-capable browser such as Apple's Safari or Mozilla Firefox to play, and Macgamestore will add more free games on a daily basis over the coming months. Currently available arcade games include "Thing Thing 3," "Alex In Danger," "Astroys," "Turbo Spirit XT," "Fish Tycoon," "Jump," "Table Hockey Tournament," and "Space Vaders." Card & board games thus far consist of "Mah-Jomino," and "Mahjong Towers Eternity." Puzzle games include "Flip Words," "Gem Shop," "Quatrix," "Magic Vines," and "Mystery Case Files: Huntsville."
Disc Makers today announced that its entire line of automated duplication systems are now compatible with Mac systems. The Elite2 (shown at right), Elite4, Elite Micro, and Pico systems allow users to create master disc content to duplicate as many discs as desired. The Mac version of the Pico 25-disc unit is the lowest priced automated DVD/CD duplicator for Mac users, and the Elite4 system is the only Mac-compatible four-drive CD/DVD duplication/printing system on the market, according to Disc Makers. The company offers a 30-day guarantee, 50 free Disc Makers Ultra 16x DVDs, discounted pricing on future blank media purchases, and free technical support for the duration of the product warranty. The automated duplication systems all require Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later, with pricing ranging from $700-4,800.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today unveiled the FlipFolio Leather Case for iPod nano. The protective case allows Nano owners to carry the player with the headphone port on the top or bottom, while a transparent front offers full access to the clickwheel in either configuration without removing the device from the case. FlipFolios come in black, white, and pink with contrasting stitching. The soft leather enclosure includes openings for the hold switch, and features a sewn-in belt clip allowing users to secure the device on a belt, purse, or clothing. DLO's FlipFolio Leather Case for iPod nano is available for $25.
Apple is halting the sale of several products overseas to comply with a European Union directive that prohibits the sale of electronics which contain hazardous materials. While most of Apple's products comply with the directive on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (the RoHS directive), a number of items will be pulled for lack of compliance. Apple's iSight, AirPort Base Station With Modem, AirPort Base Station Power Over Ethernet & Antenna, iPod shuffle External Battery Pack, and all versions of the company's eMac will be withdrawn, according to AppleInsider. "Because of our precautionary approach to substances, Apple was able to meet many of the RoHS restrictions long before the deadline of July 1, 2006," the company wrote on its environmental materials website.
Tribar Software has released Lineform 1.1, a new graphical editor designed for creating posters, diagrams, and drawings. The software features an easy-to-use interface, Bťzier editing tools, Boolean operations, typesetting, and artistic strokes. Lineform 1.1 includes Core Image filters that combine the power of Quartz as well as Core Image, and the update features SVG import/export. The graphical editor includes AppleScript support, Spotlight support, a new media browser, and a status bar that provides contextual help as well as information. Lineform 1.1 also features group editing, effects, blend modes, opacity control for groups/graphics, and group clipping. Lineform 1.1 is priced at $80, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Jumsoft has released Keynote Photos 2.0, a set of photographs designed to add texture to Keynote presentations. "When youíre reaching deep within and you want more than any theme can offer, Photos 2.0 gives you that added edge. Simply select the Jumsoft photo right for you, adjust opacity to suit your purposes, and add the headlines, text and graphics necessary to convey your ideas." Jumsoft photographers utilize a wide array of texture families, from feathers to metal, offering numerous choices suitable for a broad range of subjects and situations. Keynote Photos 2.0 is compatible with both versions of Keynote, Pages, and Microsoft PowerPoint. The collection is priced at $40. [corrected]
Terathon Software recently released an update to the C4 Engine, enhancing the ability of developers to create 3D game titles on both Mac and Windows systems. C4 Engine Build 123 offers settings for texcoord scale as well as offset under the Texcoord pane for the material editor, and includes separate settings for the "s" and "t" directions. The update supports dual diffuse texture maps, and the material editor has a new popup menu at the bottom of the General pane that allows users to select how the two textures are combined. Additional changes to Build 123 include a list of scene export tools maintained in the Tool Manager, the ability to register a scene export tool, and changes to the handling of right mouse button events. The C4 Engine is priced at $100, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later with a GeForce FX or Radeon 9500 or better graphics card. [updated]
A 17-year-old boy has been convicted of second-degree murder and robbery in a July stabbing of a 15-year-old boy in an attempt to commandeer the teen's iPod. Darren Samuel was convicted after a three hour deliberation and faces up to 25 years in prison, according to a report from the Associated Press. Christopher Rose, 15, was stabbed in the chest after he and his friends refused to hand over an iPod to another group of youths who demanded the digital player. Samuel admitted during trial that he was with the group who robbed Rose and his friends, but said he "froze" when the attack began and did not participate. Samuel laid blame on his cousin Aaron Farrell, 20, who will be tried on murder charges in July.
SoonR today announced Mac support of the SoonR service with SoonR 0.1.1840. SoonR now allows Mac users to securely search their computers with Spotlight, access as well as share files on Macs, and make Skype calls globally using a standard cell phone. "We are excited to extend the power of the Mac to mobile phones." said Martin Frid-Nielsen, CEO of SoonR. "Users have been asking for this capability, and we fully understand the necessity and importance for any Web-based services company to be Mac compatible." The service enables users to convert Microsoft Office documents into an interactive thumbnail view on any cell phone, requiring no installation on the phone itself. SoonR for Mac includes SoonR Desktop and SoonR Talk, with SoonR Organizer due in August. The Mac version is currently in beta, requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and is available for free via download.
Daystar Technology has launched the XLR8 ProView USB, a full-screen USB 2.0 video capture device for Mac systems. The XLR8 ProView USB delivers 29.97 FPS (frames per second) video via QuickTime, and accepts audio/video from any standard device through S-Video or standard RCA connectors. The device can capture in raw video format, or from any QuickTime-compressed format. ProView USB captures 640 x 480 resolution boasting 29.97 FPS with no dropped frames, and digitization of video from any standard analog device allows users to capture video from VHS, BetaMax, DVDs, or CDs directly onto a Mac. The XLR8 ProView USB package includes the USB 2.0-to-S-Video/Composite device and an RCA Stereo to Mini-jack for audio, while QuickTime handles the audio/video. The XLR8 ProView USB is priced at $99, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.5 or later.
Snerdware today released Groupcal 3.40, updating the software that allows users to access and manage Microsoft Exchange calendars from Apple's iCal. Groupcal 3 supports synchronization of events as well as tasks, reservation of people or resources for meetings, and enables users to view free or busy time. Groupcal 3.40 allows multiple capabilities to better integrate invitations, features the ability to support customized Exchange-server logins, and includes numerous bug fixes. Groupcal 3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and is priced at $60.
Intel today announced that it is manufacturing more than half of its PC and server processors with 65-nanometer (nm) technology during the opening of a chip fabrication plant in Ireland. Apple utilizes the same technology in its Intel-based Macs, and is expected to unveil a new Intel-driven Power Mac before the end of 2006. The facility is one of three Intel factories globally using the 65nm technology, which allows the company to produce smaller, faster chips that consume less power when compared to older technology, according to Macworld. Intel is leading the movement toward 65nm processes on a large scale, with its $2 billion plant located outside Dublin now operating at high volume. An Intel executive said the company will continue to invest heavily in the latest technologies, as well as in building new plants.
French lawmakers today agreed on the softened draft law that threatened Apple's iPod/iTunes ecosystem. The original bill was dubbed "state-sponsored piracy" by Apple, and the latest version of the law includes a loophole for digital music vendors that offers record labels more leverage. Under the new bill, a regulatory authority will hold the power to resolve disputes by forcing companies to license their exclusive file formats -- such as Apple's FairPlay and Sony's ATRAC3 -- to competitors, but only if the restrictions they impose are "additional to, or independent of, those explicitly decided by the copyright holders," according to the Associated Press. The U.S. government backed Apple in its fight against the new law in late March, saying that companies need to protect their intellectual property.
Intelli Innovations has released Barcode Producer 3.9, an update to its barcode generation software suite for Mac OS X. The software supports Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, or QuarkXPress, allowing users to print barcodes using an integrated Symbology Guide. Version 3.0 adds new Barcode Document Icons, support for OpenType fonts with a window that provides font names and PostScript name equivalents for reference purposes; and the ability to save Margins and Control Characters between project launches. In addition, it offers 8 pixel-wide borders and can automatically provide barcode value verification. Barcode Producer 3.9 now provides a quicker test response, and includes updated IntelliScanner product information. Barcode Producer is $150 for Mac OS X 10.2 or later. This release is a free upgrade for all Barcode Producer 3.x license holders.
Smith Micro Software today announced Internet Cleanup 4.0 for Macintosh, a new version of its software that protects users' privacy and enhances their Internet experience. Internet Cleanup's comprehensive solution blocks users private information from being transmitted over the Internet without their approval, helps manage Instant Messenger (IM) chat logs, selectively blocks Flash ads, and gives users greater control over their Internet experience. The Universal Binary runs natively on Intel-based Macs; protects personal information (account numbers, passwords and any other sensitive information); scans any Mac for evidence of surveillance Spyware and safely removes it; allows users to create search criteria that can filter out or find email attachments based upon file name, sender, file size, date, time and more; offers selective history editing/cleaning; deletes instant messaging chat logs and form auto-fill elements; offers schedules to delete unwanted files periodically; and more. It is available for $30 or as a $15 upgrade.
Eleven Wireless today launched the new version of its business center computer solution, called ElevenBC. This software update is optimized to take advantage of Apple's new Intel-based Macs. ElevenBC enables hotel properties to deploy a fully functional, managed computer for guests to use for business or personal use. ElevenBCís software manages key aspects of the computer system, allowing hotels to customize the look and feel of the guest experience. Additionally, after a guest ends their session, ElevenBC electronically shreds that guestís private documents, files and other settings. "With the click of a mouse, guests can switch between Mac OS X and Windows XP. Both Windows Office and Mac Office are available for use by guests, allowing them to create and edit documents, presentations and spreadsheets in whichever environment they prefer. A color laser printer allows guests to easily print their documents and available USB ports let guests take their data with them," according to the company.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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