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Nike+ running revolution
This evening on CNBC's, who first broke the story on the Nike and Apple alliance in May, "On The Money" they had an exclusive look at the Nike+iPod system. As MacNN reported earlier today, the new Nike+iPod Kit will be shipping tomorrow. According to CNBC, over 30 million Americans have taken up running as a sport and it is continuing to grow; over forty million running shoes were sold in the United States last year. The new system allows users to compare their statistics to their records or the records of their friends. The host Darren Rovell is an avid runner, he claims that this product could revolutionize the industry as it removes the need for treadmills to track statistics. He says that one of the most useful features is a built in voice that reads vital statistics to you by hitting the center button. He stated that, "This could really change the way people run, and the way people think about running." Neither company has plans for media buy, but instead both will rely on buzz to generate interest and sales. Below is a clip from the segment.
Apple skips blogger appeal
Apple has decided not appeal a recent Court of Appeals decision that barred the company from issuing a subpoena to online journalists, bloggers, and their ISPs. In late May, a California Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's decision and protected Mac websites and magazines from Apple's subpoenas until Apple could show cause--an important case for Mac websites, online journalists, and bloggers alike. Frowned upon by news organizations, the subpoenas were an effort by the Cupertino-based company to uncover the person who leaked information about an unannounced product called Asteroid almost 18 months ago--the company was trying to compel the reporters to reveal their confidential sources. The negative publicity surrounding the lawsuits was noted by several publications as well as major newspapers in the US, although one publication says it was not doing any harm to the company.
Yahoo!, MSN to join via IM
Yahoo! and Microsoft today will begin limited public beta testing of interoperability between their instant messaging (IM) services that enable users of Windows Live Messenger, the next generation of MSN Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger with Voice to connect with each other. This interoperability -- the first of its kind between two distinct, global consumer IM providers -- will form the world's largest consumer IM community, approaching 350 million accounts, according to the companies. A new version of the Mac Yahoo! Messenger 3.0b was released last week, and includes the new MSN Messenger integration. [updated with Mac compatibility info]
Apple takes No. 10 brand
Sony today found itself on top of the Harris Poll of "best brands" for an impressive seventh consecutive year with leading PC vendor Dell taking the No. 2 spot, traditionally strong Coca-Cola brand moving up from No. 4 last year to No.3, and Apple--making the top 10 for the first time--ranked No. 10 in this year's list. While Apple's breakthrough appearance in the top 10 shows its (relative) growing strength, Microsoft and General Motors dropped out of the top 10 (and Google was notably absent). The tally is the result of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2,351 U.S. adults surveyed online by Harris Interactive conducted from June 7-13th in which Harris said that survey responses were unaided and a list of brand names was not presented to respondents. The results differ remarkably from BrandChannel.com unweighted fifth annual online survey of over 2500 readers in which Google regained its title as the most popular global brand in 2005, while Apple was named the top brand in the US. Both Google and Apple were also atop a recently released consumer loyalty survey.
Apple won't appeal
In brief: Apple has decided not to appeal a decision made by a California Court of Appeals in late May, which ruled against the company to protect Mac websites and magazines in a landmark case that would decide whether bloggers held the same rights as the press.... Apple has selected Intel's 64-bit "Woodcrest" dual-core Xeon processors to power its next generation of Mac Pro desktop systems.... Apple has re-designed its retail store Web page, depicting the experience of visiting an Apple Store while offering visitors an easy way to locate their nearest retail location.... EyeTV 2.2.2, which is bundled with the new EyeTV for DTT stick, introduces a Full Screen Menu that enables users to watch as well as record television or browse Front Row on a Mac.... PSC Info Group today announced a partnership with MacPractice to offer patient billing solutions designed to enhance productivity and reduce billing operation costs.
Troi File Plug-in 3.5
Troi Automatisering today released Troi File Plug-in 3.5 for FileMaker Pro 8.5, bringing native compatibility for Intel Macs to the cross-platform plug-in. Troi File Plug-in can manipulate files as well as folders directly from FileMaker databases, and can import data from the hard drive into FileMaker Pro. The update adds compatibility with FileMaker Pro 8.5, improves the TrFile_CopyFile function to support files larger than 2GB, and features automatic conversion to FileMaker line-breaks when importing text. Troi File Plug-in 3.5 also adds three functions to retrieve the last access date/time/timestamp of a file, enables users to create thumbnails of any size from image files, and adds a TrFile_SetMetaData function to set the IPTC metadata in JPEG files. The software is priced at $75 per seat, with upgrades for installations purchased on or after March 1st of 2005 available for free. Troi File Plug-in 3.5 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Nike+iPod lands Thursday
Nike and Apple will officially release the Nike+iPod Sports Kit on Thursday, July 13. The Nike+iPod Sports Kit was announced in late May and features a small transmitter which, when placed in a special compartment unique to Nike+ shoes, records and wireless transmits running information. This information transmitted by the shoe can be later reviewed with iTunes. So far, this kit only works with the flash-based iPod nano player, not the large iPod with video or smaller iPod shuffle. The Kit costs $30 while the new shoes will cost between $80-100 at retailers. To use the Nike+iPod Kit users require iTunes 6.0.5 or later is required on a Mac or PC.
Whining, Merom advice
Forums roundup: Members speculate about the appearance of the "Mac Pro" PowerMac replacement.... With Merom scheduled to release in September, one user looks for advice regarding whether to wait or to buy.... Owners of the new MacBooks are again sharing horror stories of heat, with one user reporting being burned by the device.... Members are debating which style looks better in Mac OS X, Brushed metal or "Platinum".... Meanwhile, users discuss Apple's policy on whining MacBook Pros.
AAPL shares, long-term
Credit Suisse analyst Robert Semple today said that Apple shares appear attractively valued for the long-term, despite his another earlier prediction that the company may not be able to hit Wall Street's estimates for its September quarter. Semple today predicted that Apple will report fiscal third-quarter revenue of $4.4 billion and earnings-per-share of 46 cents, above Wall Street's consensus estimate of 44 cents. The analyst also predicts that iPod shipments for the quarter will amount to 7.75 million, down from his previous estimate of 8.25 million, according to Forbes.com. Semple points to a prolonged product cycle to explain Apple's predicted soft iPod unit growth, adding that the company has not offered a major iPod update or price concession since the fall of 2005. Semple reiterated his "outperform" rating on Apple shares, predicting high volatility for the near-term.
Apple limits $899 edu iMac
Apple today quietly pulled its newly introduced $899 iMac from its online education store. The entry-level configuration released last week for the education market that features scaled-down specifications when compared to Apple's two retail configurations is no longer available to individuals, though institutions can still purchase the systems. The education iMac was nearly identical to its consumer counterpart with the exception of an Apple remote and dedicated GPU, featuring a smaller 80GB hard drive and a Combo optical drive. When contacted by MacNN, Apple sales representatives were unable to provide an explanation beyond saying that the company made the change on Wednesday and that it was no longer available to education individuals for purchase.
Rebellion fears addressed
Leander Kahney, a writer for Wired.com, posted a new column today asking the question "Are Apple's Customers Rebelling?" The question is raised by recent reports douting the quality control and over all value of buying Apple products such as the iPod media player. Recent reports from the BBC, Daily Telegraph, and The Scotsman all question the long term success of the iPod as problems with the device get the media spotlight. The Scotsman recently published article stating, "... two years after Britain fell in love with the iPod there are signs that the pocket-sized box that transformed the way millions listen to music is beginning to lose its shine." These comments are echoed around the media as the backlash of iPod faults grows.
Another Vista delay?
Microsoft's next-generation "Vista" operating system may see further delays even after a decision by MS execs to scrap the project, which was followed by numerous setbacks and criticism from industry watchers. Microsoft chairman and former CEO Bill Gates today said there is an 80 percent chance that the software giant's Windows Vista operating system will be ready in January, but noted that he would delay the launch if beta testing revealed issues, according to The Wall Street Journal. "We got to get this absolutely right," Gates said. "If the feedback from the beta tests shows it is not ready for prime time, I'd be glad to delay it."
Asset Trustee 7.6 ships
AAPL hit by outlook
Shares of Apple today slipped to their lowest levels since late last year, as one analyst predicts that the company may not be able to hit Wall Street's estimates for the company's September quarter (its fiscal fourth quarter) amid mounting pressure from soon-to-be competitors such as Microsoft. The company, expected to announce earnings for its July quarter on July 19, could face both revenue and profit shortfalls as it cuts back on shipments of iPod digital music players to transition to new/updated iPod models. Reuters reports that Apple shares slipped to a nine-month low after Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Robert Semple said he expects Apple to forecast revenue of $4.6 billion to $4.8 billion, shy of the $4.9 billion noted by Reuters Estimates. In addition, the analyst said that Apple could forecast a quarterly profit of 50 cents a share, short of analysts' view of 52 cents a share.
Curio 3.2 updated
Zengobi today released Curio 3.2, the latest version of its brainstorming and project management application for the Mac. Curio 3.2 features iPhoto exporting for easy photocasting of ideas and support for the new table and list features built into Tiger's text editor control. Curio 3.2 also includes a new idea space toolbar popup that allows users to choose from a variety of styles when creating new idea spaces, a new way to create an instant archive of projects, and a samples gallery. Curio promotes visual thinking for gathering and shaping of ideas, while managing all the notes and documents associated with each project. The software includes tools to help users define the goals as well as the scope of a project, collect research or take notes, outline ideas while creating to-do lists, construct conceptual diagrams or flowcharts, and sketch out designs with pressure-sensitive pens. The application is a free upgrade to existing customers and is available in Professional, K-12, Home, and Basic editions starting at $40.
Paid podcast sermons
Audible today is expected to add sermons by Bishop T.D. Jakes -- a pastor of one of the largest "megachurches" in the U.S. -- to its online library. Audible will offer a digital subscription service for sermons from the megachurch, charging subscribers $14.95 per month to join "The Potter's House Audible Listener Plan" for spiritual teachings as audio downloads, according to The Wall Street Journal. Reverend Jakes will reportedly hand out iPods to promote the service at the annual "MegaFest" which expects to accumulate over 200,000 people in Atlanta's Georgia Dome next week.
PsyncX, Condult, Rename
Transmit 3.5.4 ($30) is a FTP client which features support for .Mac, FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, and TLS/SSL. New in this update is stability fixes for WebDAV servers, SFTP compatibility increases, audio related bug fixes, and several small bug fixes. Transmit requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
[Download - 5.8MB]
Unison 1.7.6 ($25) is a multipurpose application capable of viewing pictures, listening to music, and browsing files. The update brings compatibility to both create and read .NZB files, fixes for PAR file support, other performance upgrades, better memory management, and several minor bug fixes. Mac OS X 10.2 or later is required. [Download - 3.1MB]
PsyncX 2.2 (donationware) allows users to easily make backups of valuable data to external drives, network shares, other folders, etc. Version 2.2 adds Universal Binary support, tweaks to the GUI, Dutch localization, and several bug fixes. PsyncX requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 1.0MB]
Condult 1.0 ($200) is a plug-in for Apple Motion 2 that adds visual effects compositing. This plug-in features full use of the Graphics Processing Unit giving Condult fast reaction time and quick rendering. Condult requires Mac OS X 10.2.5 or later and Apple Motion 2. [Download - 1.1MB]
A Better Finder Rename 7.3.5 ($20) allows users to rename files in large or small batches with drag and drop capabilities. The ability to use regular expressions to change files name has been improved in this version along side better drag and drop compatibility. A Better Finder Rename requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 1.8MB]
Merlin 2 Beta 3 (freeware) is a project management application that offers contained functions and complete risk asnd file management. This beta release features the ability to use timeline-based project activation, an option hide dependancy lines, new list sorting, the ability to revert documents, and auto-saving of projects. This public beta will expire when the full version of Merlin 2.0 is released. Mac OS X 10.4.5 or later is required. [Download - 18.2MB]
Get a Mac spoofs, petition
In brief: YouTube is showing a new series of spoofs on Apple's "Get a Mac" ad campaign.... A new blog-based petition has launched with the intent of acquiring as many signatures and donations as possible to convince Apple to publicly sell Mac OS X to generic hardware vendors.... Nova Media today introduced nova media phone plug-ins 3.1 featuring Motorola A1000, Nokia 6131 as well as Sony Ericsson K610, and K800 support for Apple's iSync software.... MacTech Magazine today announced the MacTech 25: The Mac technical community's most influential people.... MacTech Magazine today also announced the availability of the MacTech Sampler, a PDF document designed to give the MacTech community a wide selection of articles and an idea of what the publication is about.... Other World Computing (OWC) and hardware manufacturer Axiotron today announced a strategic partnership to bring Axiotron's upcoming digital lifestyle products to the North American market.
Apani VPN client updated
Apani Networks today announced VPN support for Intel-based Macs, allowing all Mac users to establish secure encrypted tunnels from a Mac to Contivity VPN Switches. This new release of the Apani VPN client software provides enhanced security and ease-of-use features to help users of Intel-based Macs running Mac OS X Tiger to securely and seamlessly connect to their Nortel Contivity VPN gateway. The IPsec security client enables you to encrypt and authenticate IP-based communications, supporting popular authentication technologies such as SecurID and RADIUS. Apani's Intel VPN client for Mac OS X, available today, is priced at $95 per client (with quantity discounts available). This purchase also includes one year of maintenance with access to support and free upgrades of the VPN Client software. It requires Mac OS X Tiger v10.4.
Music Accessory Pack
Proporta has launched its Music Accessory Pack, containing numerous accessories to keep a portable media player such as Apple's iPod protected, clean, and functional. The pack contains a Neoprene case, stereo Y splitter, neck strap, screen protector, and a cleaning cloth. The screen protector is made from thick plastic, is removable, and acts to reduce glare, according to Proporta. A screen cleaning cloth reduces the risk of trapping dust beneath the screen protector, and the portable case shields the player within a Velcro enclosure. The detachable armband and lanyard neck strap further carrying options. The Music Accessory Pack is priced at $26, and fits iPod nano as well as video iPod models.
Refurb Mac mini, PB
Apple is offering refurbished Mac mini systems featuring the 1.5GHz Intel Core Solo with 512MB of memory, a 60GB SATA hard drive, a combo drive, built-in AirPort Extreme/Bluetooth 2.0, and an Apple Remote for $519, an $80 discount; as well as the 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo with 512MB of memory, an 80GB SATA hard drive, a double-layer SuperDrive, built-in AirPort Extreme/Bluetooth 2.0, and an Apple Remote for $699, a $100 savings. Apple is also offering its 12-inch 1.5GHz G4 PowerBook with 512MB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, an NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 graphics card with 64MB of video memory, and AirPort Extreme/Bluetooth 2.0 for $1,199, a $500 savings; its 15-inch 1.67GHz G4 PowerBook with 512MB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, an ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics card with 128MB of video memory, AirPort Extreme/Bluetooth 2.0, a backlit keyboard with a scrolling trackpad, and dual-link DVI for $1,349, a discount of $650; its 17-inch 1.67GHz G4 PowerBook with 512MB of memory, a 100GB hard drive, an ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics card with 128MB of video memory, AirPort Extreme/Bluetooth 2.0, a backlit keyboard, and dual-link DVI for $1,849, $850 off; and its 17-inch 1.67GHz G4 PowerBook with 512MB of memory, a 120GB hard drive, an ATI Mobility Radeon graphics card with 128MB of video memory, AirPort Extreme/Bluetooth 2.0, a backlit keyboard with a scrolling trackpad, and dual-link DVI for $1,999, a savings of $1,000.
Boot Camp to boost share
Apple's Boot Camp software will likely have a positive impact on Mac market share, according to a new report that suggests that Apple will see an increase by the third quarter of this year. A recent survey conducted by Piper Jaffray found that 8.3 percent of respondents said they would buy Macs because of Apple's Boot Camp software, according to a report from Forbes.com. Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster wrote that the next twelve months will be the time to measure the impact of Boot Camp, during which Apple should complete its transition to Intel chips. Dubbed "The Boot Camp Effect," Apple is expected to complete its Intel transition by 2007 and have Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard shipping by or during the 2007 calendar year. American Technology Research analyst Shawn Wu believes that the next generation of iPod Nano will not be released until the third quarter; subsequently, he expects little focus on iPods at the WWDC.
SSPS 13.0 released for Mac
SPSS has released SPSS 13.0 for Mac OS X, updating its data management and analysis solution built to find trends, key facts, or patterns. The system is designed for medical and scientific researchers, academia, marketers, or those looking for trends to forecast the future. SPSS 13 adds classification trees as well as complex samples, incorporating improvements such as Regression models, tables, categories, and advanced models. The company is offering upgrades for both SPSS conjoin and missing value analysis. SPSS 13.0 will be available to Mac OS X in late spring of 2006 for $1500. SPSS 13.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later with Java 1.4.2.
iPod dock for RNET systems
Russound released a new add-on to its full-house in wall and ceiling sounds systems to make them fully iPod compatible. The iBridge dock makes the iPod accessible to any zone of the house without any new controllers needed. All the songs in the iPod library will be available through controls throughout the house, and a iPod-esque interface on Russound's touchscreen remote (UNO-TS2) as well as song information (across the UNO product line). The dock is capable of charging the iPod as it plays and working wherever sound input to the system exists. The new system supports multiple docking stations identified by name when accessing the system. Included with the dock are iPod adapters and support for existing universal dock adapters. Priced at $425, the Russound BGD1 iBridge is available now.
Apple stock defenseless
CNBC's "Mad Money" host and analyst Jim Cramer on Tuesday evening spoke about the tech stock trade and specifically targeted Apple. According to Cramer, tech stocks are defenseless against things that "hammer" their value -- they have no dividends, buybacks or takeover prospects. "Apple probably has the best prospects of any tech stock out there," Cramer explained, "They've got a new Nike initiative that's coming out Thursday. They've got digital cameras coming. They've got mobile phones coming. They have iMovies on they way; and because Microsoft's new operating system is delayed, Apple should dominate back to school." He believes that Apple could possibly double its marketshare in the PC business from 3.6% to 7% by the end of this holiday season thanks to strong mindshare and a growing 'halo' effect from the iPod. However, because its stock is defenselessm it all may very well mean nothing to investors, according to the TV/stock analyst.
Bootcamp 1.02, Sling beta
In Brief: Apple has posted a new beta of Boot Camp 1.02b, its software for allowing Intel-based Macs to run Windows (requires a copy of Windows XP SP2).... Sling Media is now accepting applications for its upcoming Mac private beta program, which will bring software to control the company's media device that can broadcast video over the internet--the beta is expected to start in a few weeks and last a few months, according to the blog post.... Ambrosia today released iSeek 1.1.1, a minor update to its $15 internet search utility that brings native support for Intel-based Macs as well as released EV Nova 1.0.10, bringing several bug fixes to the third game ($30) in the Escape Velocity series, "thrusting you into a sprawling universe dominated by a myriad of warring factions."... MacSpeech has released a new ScriptPak for iDVD 6 ($10), which adds over 75 commands to its flagship iListen (starting at $100) software recognition application, allowing users to do virtually anything in iDVD 6 that they would normally do using keyboard shortcuts or menus.
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