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Merom MacBook Pros coming?
Briefly: MacBook Pro ship times on Monday slipped from 24 hours to 3 days at the Apple Store France (but not at the Apple Store US or other countries), lending a bit of evidence that Apple may finally release Core 2 Duo-based version of its laptop for professionals on Tuesday, October 24--slightly ahead of the rumored November launch, according to AppleInsider. ... MacNN has posted a review of Casio's Exilim EX-Z1000 digital camera (pictured at right).... Apple is warning users not to move, rename, or delete Backup 3 files, its free backup utility offered to .Mac users.... Apple notes that after installing the Mac OS X 10.4.8 update, some MacBook computers will have a new color profile that is more consistent with other MacBook and MacBook Pro computers but may appear to have a blue tint when compared to the previous profile.... iStrap.co.uk has recently launched three more colored iStraps--small velcro devices designed to fasten the Nike + iPod sensor to virtually any pair of running shoes--they are available in black, white, red and blue (as well as a multipack of all four) for GBP£2 (£6 for all four), including worldwide delivery.
WiFi-capable 604 debuts
Archos has unveiled a new version of its 604 portable media player with WiFi capability, which stands to compete against Apple's video iPod. The device boasts a 4.3-inch color touch screen capable of displaying 16 million colors that allows users to surf the Web and access email directly from a network. Web access is made possible via a built-in Opera browser, and the player allows users to transfer files to one another via the WiFi connection or stream content. The 30GB hard drive stores up to 130 hours of video or 15,000 songs, according to the company. Archos' 604 also supports TV viewing via a DSL modem, providing access to IPTV over wireless alongside SHOUTcast support built into the unit for internet radio streaming. The 604 is scheduled to ship in November (pricing was unavailable).
22Moo, new video glasses
22Moo has previewed its HMD800, a new set of video glasses that it hopes will break through psychological price barriers with an 800x225 widescreen image equivalent to a 30-inch TV viewed at a distance of 6.6-feet. The glasses display video from any standard RCA input in either NTCS or PAL formats, and are specifically designed for newer iPods with photo or video support, according to Electronista. Playback lasts up to eight hours on a lithium-ion battery, according to the company, and the frame adjusts to nearly any head size. The HMD800 is expected to ship in North America, Australia, and New Zealand by the end of this year for $200.
Asia-Pacific Mac Union
The Asia-Pacific Mac Union has announced its founding, which occurred at a meeting online hosted by BeiMac from Beijing. The union was founded by the BeiMac Union and MacZone.cn of mainland China, Headnix of Hong Kong, ApplePro of Taipei, and the Geraldton Macintosh User Group of Australia. Discussions by participants from Beijing, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Australia held during the online meeting spoke of news and information exchange, annual meetings, a common newsletter, technical support, Union software, Union-wide design exchange, and the exchange of user group activity info as components of the new Union. David Feng, Director-General of the Union and President of the Beijing Macintosh User Group, hoped that the new Union would raise awareness for Apple in Asia-Pacific, making Asia-Pacific an important regional market.
New eStarling LCD Frame
Shoppers at Think Geek can be put on a list for the WiFi Gmail/Flickr Enabled LCD Frame, due in stock December 10th. What distinguishes the eStarling product from its competitors is software support for e-mail and Flickr feeds. After inserting Flickr RSS addresses into the included application, the frame will automatically pull new images from the feeds as they become available. Likewise, the frame can be given its own POP address to accept photos by e-mail. Offline users can add photos via CF or SD card readers. The going price for the seven-inch frame is $250.
INM Impressario 3
Integration New Media has released INM Impressario 3 for Adobe Director, an application designed for multimedia publishing in Director. INM Impressario 3 prints formatted text and images from any type of project without requiring programming skills, and allows for on-the-fly creation of PDFs. "By combining INM Impressario with INM VizionDB, multimedia authors can index, search, retrieve and display relevant information from a large number of PDFs to create searchable libraries such as educational reference, technical documentation and e-learning materials with precise schematics and symbols." The software behaves identically across all supported platforms, according to Integration New Media, and is a completely self-contained Xtra. INM Impressario 3 full for Adobe Director is available for $450, or $300 for the Light edition. The application requires Mac OS X 10.2.2 or later.
Review, $30k Apple logo
In brief: MacNN has reviewed the Huckleberry Mirror for iSight ($30, shown at right), a small mirror accessory that hangs on Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks to reverse the direction of the built-in iSight.... One Microsoft employee has created a $30,000 Apple logo in his office in Redmond, WA with 64 Mac mini boxes taped to the wall in the shape of an Apple.... Apple is set to open its newest retail store in Chula Vista, CA on Friday, October 27th at 9:00 a.m. PDT.... Yahoo has cancelled its POP3 email service for Yahoo Webmail users, disallowing the use of external email clients such as Apple Mail and Eudora.... LG today debuted its L1900 fashion-oriented LCD with a glossy black finish that features a stand shaped as a partial eclipse, jar, or ring.... Reports are surfacing that Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system may have significant problems above and beyond typical first-release copies.
Proporta Solar GPS unit
Proporta is selling the Solar Bluetooth GPS Receiver, a somewhat unusual device in that it doesn't display data on its own screen; instead, it sends information to Bluetooth-enabled PDAs and smartphones. The screen has been replaced with a solar panel that "trickle-charges" the battery in both direct and ambient light. A drained receiver can be fully charged in about four hours using the included car adapter. If users have a TomTom GO, that can be used to provide planning and multilingual vocal directions. The Solar Bluetooth costs $110.
22Moo HMD800 Glasses
Australian company 22Moo has just previewed a new set of video glasses that it hopes will break through psychological price barriers. Users of the new HMD800 will see an 800x225 widescreen image equivalent to a 30-inch television viewed at a distance of 2 meters (6.6 feet). It can display video from any standard RCA input in either NTSC or PAL formats and is purposefully designed for newer iPods with photo or video capability. Playback lasts for up to 8 hours on a lithium-ion battery, claims 22Moo, and the frame can adjust to almost any head size. The HMD800 should be available to North America, Australia, and New Zealand by the end of this year for $199 US, a price considerably lower than for most portable video viewers.
Grantwood Shoe Pouch
Grantwood Technology has announced its Shoe Pouch that holds the sensor for Apple's Nike+iPod Sport Kit for the iPod nano. The case mounts securely through the runner's shoelaces, allowing the Sport Kit sensor to be used with most footwear beyond the intended Nike+ shoes, says Grantwood. The pouch also serves alternate uses such as holding the transmitter itself after exercise or a set of small keys, says the company. The Shoe Pouch will ship on November 1st for $6.
Turning the notion of digital music on its head, Axxen Korea has unveiled the Playdisc, an MP3 player designed to be treated like CD or MiniDisc album. The product was demonstrated at this week's Korean Electronics Show. Mobile Magazine reports that once songs are loaded into memory, users simply plug in headphones, an AAA battery, and go. Because the Playdisc's storage is limited to 128MB, the idea is that a listener keep several players to represent his album collection. Axxen has yet to say when, where and at what price the Playdisc will ship.
ViaMichelin X980T GPS
ViaMichelin has just released a new, higher-end GPS unit for those who need more advanced navigation in Europe. An update of the earlier X950 XT, the X980T has a comparatively large 4.3-inch touchscreen that the company says has enough room to display multiple real-time maps: while a 3D view shows upcoming traffic, a smaller 2D view shows the next turn so drivers can recognize its shape in advance. The X980T similarly expands on the typical point-of-interest feature by including 51,000 hotels and restaurants from the company's own Michelin Guides Europe 2006 so that travelers can make reservations at any point along the route. Built-in Bluetooth and a speaker ensure that the GPS device can double as a speakerphone. ViaMichelin says the X980T is available now for £449 ($840 US).
Firefox 2.0 released
Kanguru 32GB Flash stick
Users who value capacity and compactness over speed or price may be interested in the Kanguru Flash Drive Max, a stick that holds 16 to 64GB and measures a mere 3.6 inches long. The product also touts an aluminum frame and proprietary Windows security software, but the write speed is a miniscule 1MB/s, and the cost is a minimum of $750. At 1MB/s it should take a little less than nine hours to completely fill a 32GB Max. The drive is compatible with USB 1.1 and 2.0 ports on Windows, Mac and Linux systems. You can order straight from Kanguru, or else from third-party retailers like TigerDirect.
Archos 604 WiFi player
Archos has announced the 604 WiFi, a new version of the company's present flagship media player. Unlike Microsoft's forthcoming Zune, the 604 WiFi will make broad use of wireless technology to enable web browsing and direct file access from a WLAN. Browsing will be handled via Opera. Moreover, Archos is also pre-loading software support for SHOUTcast Internet radio, IPTV on DSL, and podcast aggregation through Podcatcher. The player will be controlled primarily via the 4.3-inch, 32-bit color touch screen, which will interact with a 30GB hard drive capable of holding music (AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA), photos (BMP, JPEG, PNG), or video (H.264, MPEG-2/4, WMV). An optional DVR station will allow TV recording. Pricing and availability information is currently unpublished.
iSoundCap Running Hat
iSoundCap on Monday announced a new model in its line of iPod-friendly headwear. The company's new Running Hat has a secure neoprene pouch mounted on the side that keeps an iPod nano safe while also removing loose cords that could tangle during brisk movement, according to Electronista. The hat itself is a mesh design that prevents overheating and ships in colors that match those of the new iPod nano, including the Product (RED) edition. iSoundCap says the headwear includes a space for the Nike+iPod Sport Kit's receiver. The company has not yet published a release date or pricing.
iPod speaker dock ships
Princeton has begun shipping a new speaker dock system in Japan which it believes is ideal for computers as well as iPods. The i-Tube has a cylindrical housing for two 8-watt satellites designed to fit directly underneath a computer screen, and the system itself is designed to fit perfectly beneath an Apple Cinema Display, according to Princeton. The i-Tube also has a 16-watt subwoofer for extra bass response even in small environments, according to Electronista. The externalized iPod dock included with the system can charge as well as synchronize directly with a Mac or PC via USB connectivity, and works as a stand-alone bookshelf stereo. Music from an attached iPod is controllable through either large control buttons on the dock itself or a wireless remote. Available in black or a silver and white combination, the i-Tube is shipping with open pricing in Japan.
Monster iPod Accessories
Monster Cable on Monday began shipping four new accessories made for connecting iPods to outside sources. The iCarPlay Wireless 200 is a combination car charger and FM transmitter that Monster says will automatically find the clearest radio signal available. The device also uses a three-button control that displays relevant settings on the iPod's own screen and has both international modes and multiple presets. It currently sells for $100. The company also began shipping its iTVLink ($50), an AV dock for connecting video-capable iPods to a TV through either RCA or S-video ports; the iSplitter 200 ($20), a headphone splitter cable with two distinct volume controls; and the iEZClick ($70), an RF wireless remote that can be worn on a belt clip or strap to control an iPod's basic music controls from up to 30 feet away. Its oversized buttons make it possible to carry an iPod safely while exercising, according to Monster. [Site not updated]
Altia releases PhotoProto
Altia has released PhotoProto, an Adobe Photoshop plug-in designed to automatically transform Photoshop artwork into working user interface prototypes. Artists can arrange and name layers in Photoshop artwork such that PhotoProto can determine their intent, after which the plug-in automatically turns the static images into a working interactive prototype. Users can push buttons, navigate screens, scroll through lists, and perform other interactive functions. The plug-in requires no scripting language or complex authoring environment knowledge, and the output is presentable engineers as well as programmers who can use it directly within the desired software. PhotoProto works with Mac OS X 10.4 or later as well as Microsoft Windows 2000/XP, and is priced at $500.
Sonic ships Tube Pod
Sonic Integrity has begun shipping the Tube Pod, a luxury iPod dock that features a tube-style amplifier. The dock's name stems from the vacuum tubes used in the amplifier, which some audiophiles say produce better sound than transistors, according to Electronista. Power output for the Tube Pod is rated at 13Wx2, and frequency response ranges from 20Hz to 20KHz. Other features include banana plug speaker cables, an auxiliary audio cable for connecting devices such as a CD player, and a video cable to display images on a TV. Sonic is offering the dock for $1,000.
iSoundCap Running Hat
Numerous companies are commemorating the fifth anniversay of the iPod with new accessories, including new running equipment announced today by iSoundCap. The company's new Running Hat has a secure neoprene pouch mounted on the side that keeps the iPod safe while also removing loose cords that could tangle during brisk movement. The hat itself is a mesh design that prevents overheating and ships in colors that match those of the new iPod nano, including the Product (RED) edition. iSoundCap says the headwear is compatible with the Nike+iPod Sport Kit's receiver. The company hasn't yet established a release date or pricing.
PowerMail goes Universal
CTM Development has released PowerMail 5.5, bringing native compatibility for Intel-based Macs to the anti-spam email software as a Universal Binary. PowerMail features enhanced filtering mechanisms which include a spam filter assistant and close integration of SpamSieve. The update includes the most recent Universal Binary version of SpamSieve, and Core searching includes the latest optimizations shared with FoxTrot 1.1 Personal Search. PowerMail 5.5 supports zip compression to replace the prior third-party solution, and can attach applications as well as other file packages to a message from the "add attachment" button or menu. The update is free for PowerMail 5 owners, e30 for PowerMail 3/4 owners or e45 with SpamSieve, and e50 for new users. PowerMail requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Sony LCD Pro projectors
Sony has announced the FE40 and the FX40, a pair of new video projectors in the LCD Pro line. The FE40 (pictured) will have HDMI support, SXGA+ resolution, 1.3x digital zoom, 4,000-lumen brightness, and a 3LCD panel. The FX40 will come with similar features, but will be restricted to XGA resolution. The former system should go on sale at an "open price" in January, while the latter will ship in February under the same scheme.
Inventor creates glass CD
Japananese recording engineer Suenori Fukui has developed a CD made out of glass, writes the Mainichi Daily News. Though it may sound like a novelty, the use of glass has several advantages, including durability. Plastic CDs can be subject to bending or warping in areas of high heat or humidity; glass CDs should have no such problems. Also, the transparency of glass allows lasers to better penetrate the surface, resulting in higher audio quality. The one drawback to the technology is the cost, currently fixed at 98,700 yen ($831) per handmade disc. One recording is on the market: an N&F Label release of Bach's "Air on a G String." The price is expected to drop substantially as more discs are produced.
Disco private beta
DiscoApp.com today released a private beta of Disco, a utility designed to accomplish real burning tasks with minimal effort. The software features disc spanning, full multi-session support, and compatibility with multiple filesystems. Disco also offers one-to-one copies, VIDEO_TS burning capability, and motion sensor support. Disco features "Discography," a technology designed to track all burning sessions with support for searches to discover which disc specific files reside on. While burning discs the window displays 3D smoke to illustrate the burn process on supported systems. Users who pre-ordered Disco can obtain the free private beta, but the software is expected to ship in the first half of November for $15 (system requirements were unavailable).
Mixed Vista Quality Report
While Windows Vista is only weeks from completion, reports are now surfacing that Microsoft's future OS may have significant problems above and beyond typical first-release copies, according to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. Citing premier developer Sandro Villinger, Foley notes that the user interfance consistency and speed fall short of what would be expected in a shipping copy.
"My computer has a 4.2 rating and a GeForce 7800 which should be enough to run some of those [visual] effects. [However,] even one of the fastest machines out there needs almost two seconds to open Control Panel and even one to two (seconds) to go to the Security section," Villinger says.
Other high-priority testers observe that even official Microsoft programs, such as Live Meeting 2005, still don't work properly with Vista while a lack of drivers persists in this late stage. Regardless, some of these same critics argue that the OS will be ready in time for manufacturing in November, pointing out that many companies withhold drivers and software updates for a new Windows version until it ships. "XP shippped with issues that they fixed later on," says tester Brandon LeBlanc. Vista will only be available to the public at large in January 2007.
Mac Expo to begin Oct. 26
The Mac Expo 2006 event in London is set to begin on October 26th with new products and demonstrations, with MacNN UK contributor Dave Cryer reporting from the show. Apple is expected to show a strong presence at the event with a very large stand, offering UK users their first look at the new 24-inch iMac. UK-based Capital Radio said it will provide live podcasting of the event, and Nike intends to demonstrate its "Tune your run" feature along with hourly competitions and prizes. Companies registered to attend Mac Expo include Adobe, Canon, Filemaker, Griffin, Logitech, Pinnacle, and Quark, among others. Quark has promised to launch a new and innovative product at the event, but has so far remained tight-lipped about the announcement. Mac Expo is set to begin on Thursday, October 26th in the National Hall of Olympia, London and will run for three days. Registration is still open for £12 including VAT.
PDFKey Pro 3.0 released
An avid Mac developer today released PDFKey Pro 3.0, a utility designed to unlock password-protected PDF documents. The latest revision adds the ability to lock PDF files by protecting them with passwords to control access and/or restrict usage permissions. The software removes editing and printing passwords by creating exact copies of PDF documents without the passwords, and removes viewing passwords if they are provided beforehand. The PDFKey Pro package includes batch processing tools for command line usage and Mac OS X Automator. PDFKey Pro is available for $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
ASUS 802.11n BitTorrent
As part of a larger initiative by BitTorrent to encourage the use of its distributed downloading technology in hardware, ASUS today released two new wireless routers with built-in BitTorrent clients. The highlight of these two models is the WL-500W, which ASUS says is the world's first 802.11n router that can download files from BitTorrent, FTP, or HTTP sites without requiring software on the computer. Users can either transfer files directly from the router to their computer at the 300Mbps theoretical maximum of the draft 802.11n standard or else store them on an external USB 2.0 hard drive. The latter option gives owners the choice of downloading files even when the systems attached to the router are turned off, states ASUS. An FTP server and remote management also give the choice of queuing or downloading files from outside the local network.
Also announced is the simpler WL-500g Premium, which has many of the same features but is limited only to 802.11b/g networks. The company notes that its single-antenna design still allows for up to three times greater wireless coverage than most other 802.11g devices. ASUS hasn't yet established official pricing for either wireless router, but both models will ship to North America soon.
Panasonic 103-inch plasma
Panasonic has put into production the TH-103PF9, reputedly the largest plasma TV set in the world, TrustedReviews says. Measuring in at 103 inches, the set supports native 1080p resolution with 16-bit image processing, which is four times as powerful as 14-bit processing. This gives the set up to 4,096 color gradation steps and a contrast ratio of 5,000:1. Availability will be extremely limited for the forseeable future, however. Panasonic is aiming the display primarily at businesses such as airports and trade shows, and the few home units on sale will be prohibitively expensive. The TH-103PF9 is a European model that will retail for £30,000-60,000; Panasonic says that an American model, the TH-103PZ600U (pictured), will be available in December for $70,000.
Lexmark color printers
Lexmark today unveiled its new Lexmark C530 color laser printer series, printing up to 22 pages per minute (ppm) in color and up to 24 pages per minute in black and white. The Lexmark C530dn and C532n offer the fastest rated color print speed, the best color price performance, and the fastest time to first color print from ready mode in their respective classes, according to the company. The Lexmark C530dn and Lexmark C532n are available for $500 each, while the Lexmark C532dn is priced at $700. The Lexmark C534n ($700), C534dn ($1,000) and C534dtn ($1,300) feature an extra-high yield 7,000 page color toner cartridge and a USB port that can print PDF as well as images directly from USB flash drives.
WiebeTech Combo Adapters
WiebeTech today introduced a series of v4 Combo Adapters to complement its new v4 ComboDock imager, completely redesigning the earlier series of adapters to make the new series sleeker and easier to use. Combo Adapters work with the WiebeTech ComboDock v4 or Forensic ComboDock, plugging into the IDE side of the device. Each adapter has a sled connector for attaching the required drive, and no driver software is needed for plug-and-play use on any recent operating system. Combo Adapters offer backup as well as forensic imaging software, and all data that transfers through a Combo Adapter is write-blocked when used with the Forensic ComboDock. A new shrouded IDE interface connector helps protect the IDE pins while connecting the adapter to the dock, which faces upward for better accessibility. Adapters share a smaller, more consistent size, and the SATA adapter is streamlined to 25 percent of its former size. Prices range from $50-750.
Treo 680 coming to Cingula
Palm's Treo 680 smartphone will be coming to the Cingular network, Engadget reports. Based on a PowerPoint document obtained by the website, it appears that the 680 will come with Palm OS 5.4.9, five-tabbed quick access (dial, favorites, home, contacts, call log), quad-band GSP/GPRS/EDGE, a 312MHz XScale processor, a 2.2-inch 320x320 screen, SDIO, Bluetooth 1.2, IR, PocketTunes, and a 1200mAh battery. One unusual aspect of the PowerPoint file is the list of compatible mail clients: it mentions Good, XpressMail, BlackBerry Connect, and something called "Microsoft Direct Push (Q1,'07)." This may be a means of getting "push" e-mail straight from an Exchange server for free, without a BES conduit.
LG L1900 LCD Displays
LG recently released a new line of fashion-oriented LCDs in its normally conservative lineup. Finished in a glossy black, the L1900 series focuses on the display stand as a style element rather than just a physical support. The inside of the stand -- which is either shaped as a partial eclipse, jar, or ring depending on the model -- emits an ambient red light whose brightness can be adjusted depending on a room's light level and the user's desired effect. The L1900's 19-inch display also features an unparalleled 2,000:1 contrast ratio, according to LG, and has a 4ms response time to do away with ghosting in fast-motion games and movies. No immediate launch details have been announced.
Princeton i-Tube Speakers
Princeton has released a new speaker dock system in Japan which it believes is ideal for not just iPods, but computers as well. Its i-Tube has a cylindrical housing for its two 8-watt satellites that can fit directly underneath a computer screen; the system was designed to fit perfectly underneath an Apple Cinema Display, according to Princeton. Importantly, says Princeton, the i-Tube also has a 16-watt subwoofer for extra bass response even in these small environments. The externalized iPod dock included with the system can either be charged and synchronized directly with a Mac or PC through a USB connection, and can also exist as a stand-alone bookshelf stereo. Music from an attached iPod can be controlled through either large control buttons on the dock itself or a wireless remote. Available in black or a silver and white combination, the i-Tube is currently shipping with open pricing in Japan. A gallery is available after the jump.
Small Tree PCIe GbE cards
Small Tree Communications today began shipping its PEG4, PEG6, and PEG6SFP PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) cards for Apple's G5 Power Mac, Mac Pro, and Intel-based Xserve systems. Small Tree boasts that all three cards offer the highest port density and extract the maximum network throughput from new high-end server motherboards. The cares are ideally suited for file servers that require high bandwidth connection to a Gigabit Ethernet switch using features such as Jumbo frames and 802.3ad link aggregation. The four-port copper PEG4 card, the six-port copper PEG6 card and the six-port copper or optical PEG6SFP card are available for $700, $810, and $1,000, respectively. Based on current Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers, the PEG4, PEG6, and PEG6SFP come with native driver support for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows.
Skype for Mac 2.0 Gold
Skype today announced a final version of its internet phone application for Mac users and a new Mac-compatible speaker phone system. Skype for Mac 2.0 Gold allows Mac users to make video and video calls over the internet--to both Mac and Windows users. Users can also call traditional mobile and land phones for reduced costs, according to the company. The free software supports group chats of up to 100 people. Users can also purchase optional services, such as a Skype phone number, voicemail, call-forwarding, and more. The software runs on Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later and requires a microphone. In support of today's Mac announcement, Skype partner IPEVO has announced the release of the IPEVO Xing, a soon-to-be Skype Certified, Mac-compatible Speakerphone. It features 16kHz a sampling rate with high voice fidelity, echo-cancellation technology, built-in DSP for realtime interactive multiparty conversations, private input/output jacks, and more. The IPEVO Xing is available in the U.S. and internationally for $130.
Nokia 6133 at T-Mobile
Nokia on Monday said it would provide T-Mobile's US branch with a uniquely enhanced flip-phone. The 6133 is an improvement upon the earlier 6126 already in use at some carriers that adds FM radio to the previous version's existing AAC and MP3 support. The keypad and navigation controls have also been adjusted, says Nokia. Features are otherwise the same but still impressive to many mid-range phones: the 6133 has a large 2.2-inch screen capable of displaying 16 million colors, a 1.3-megapixel camera that can take advantage of this increased color depth in photo previews, EDGE broadband support, and a microSD slot that can hold up to 1GB of music or other files. T-Mobile has said the phone will be available as of today, but hasn't formally announced pricing.
A photo of the open handset can be found after the jump.
Apple Europe sales grow
Apple's European business was up 27 percent in the September quarter and its yearly sales was more than the combined total for 2002, 2003, and 2004. The Times reports that Apple Europe's sales of $4.1 billion (£2.2 billion) in the 12 months to the end of September was more than the combined total for its 2002, 2003 and 2004 financial years. "It's an indication of the exponential growth of this business," Pascal Cagni, the head of Apple Europe, told the publication. Last week, the company posted a profit of $546 million with record Mac sales, on surging laptop sales, a growing retail business, and "very, very strong" educational sales. As the company's iconic iPod turns five on Monday, its stock has been up almost nine-fold and its US marketshare has surged. The report notes that the company has tripled its European business in the past three years--in part due to the "halo" effect of the popular iPod. Cagni said sales of Macs were growing three or four times faster than the overall market and that the company is continuing to gain marketshare.
SnapWeb 4 released
Brain Tickling Software has released SnapWeb 4, an update to the internet snapshot and archiving utility that brings Universal Binary support for native performance on Intel-based Macs as well as a host of other improvements. SnapWeb creates complete screenshots of web pages for archiving purposes. Version 4 adds support for three new image formats (GIF, Photoshop file and TIFF) in addition to support for JPEG, PDF and PNG. It also now supports new text formats (including the ability to store Web pages as the original HTML), direct clipboard support, new support for fixed parameters when snapping photos, support for Firefox (as well as Safari), command-line support (Pro version only) and 12 new AppleScript commands for easier automation. Snapshot 4.0 runs on Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later; it is a free update to all purchases within the last three months and $9 for other registered users. The Standard version is $18, while the Professional version is $40.
Samsung A707 for Cingular
While Samsung's recent phones have been aimed at Korea, the company today unveiled an advanced phone meant specifically for the American carrier Cingular. Called the A707, the new flip-phone design is unique in the US for its blend of next-generation Internet access and music support. The device supports Cingular's HSDPA mobile broadband network -- a rarity, as most Cingular phones and coverage areas support only the slower EDGE format. As a music phone, the A707 is equally advanced through its dedicated music controls on the outer shell and the ability to play not only AAC, MP3, and RealAudio, but also WMA in protected and unprotected formats as well. This leaves the A707 as one of the few music phones capable of playing music bought from online stores such as Napster or URGE. A 2-megapixel camera and Bluetooth complement these features in what Samsung says is a very thin (0.69 inches) handset. Cingular hasn't officially announced availability for the A707, but should do so within the next few weeks.
Click through for photos courtesy of Akihabara News.
Adobe/Apple tours in Nov
Briefly: A new email from Apple notes that it is actively soliciting feedback on the development of its QuickTime software for Windows Vista, Microsoft's next generation operating system expected to be released early next year.... Adobe has announced the five-city Adobe Creative Suite 2.3 Premium tour, a seminar series event that focuses on the new version of the design suite that now includes Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional software and Dreamweaver 8, the Web development tool.... Apple will be hosting a series of seminars for architects in early November at its Apple Stores across the country titled: Apple and Architecture: how does 'twice as fast' sound?"... Tricky Software has posted a promotional video for the game Armado, which is expected to go into private beta soon.... My Dream App, a Mac contest in search of the next "killer app," announced that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki, and Microsoft Xbox and Zune creator J. Allard will be guest judges for the final round of its contest.
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