Arkansas to Implement iPods and Wired School Bus in Technology Program

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Date: Wednesday, April 18th, 2007, 07:16
Category: News

Arkansas’ Sheridan school district will be trying something different in order to get the most out of the three hour daily commute some of its students have to endure in order to get to classes. The Aspirnaut Initiative, a three-year trial, will bring laptops, wireless Internet access and iPods aboard Sheridan’s Bus 46, wherein the students will use iPods to listen to educational podcasts and “high ability” students will be provided laptops to go online and use web-based learning tools according to ars technica.
During this time, students may be able to receive course credits for time spent learning on the bus and at the end of the trial period, students who complete the program would be allowed to keep the iPods and laptops.
The program, which is funded by donations from Vanderbilt University (the idea is the brainchild of biochemist Bill Hudson) and fund-raising, will limit its efforts to Bus 46 and may have greater success than efforts to raise funds entirely through taxes and public funding, wherein a recent Michigan effort came under fire for its attempts to allocate US$38 million for a technology program wherein the highlights included providing an iPod for every student in the state. The effort was defeated during legislative debate and three lawmakers who had received a compensated research trip to Apple’s headquarters came under fire to pay back the air fare.
Still, if it works, this could be something cool and at least that much more productive than the buses we rode to school on so many years ago.


Adobe Unveils Its Own Media Player

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Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2007, 12:25
Category: News

Amidst the product introductions of the National Association of Broadcasters Show being held in Las Vegas, Adobe announced yesterday that it will be releasing a media player for both the Mac OS X and Windows operating systems.
Designed as a standalone desktop version of the company’s Flash Player web browser plug-in, Adobe Media Player is based on the recently released Apollo platform and is expected to go into beta later this year with the final product arriving towards the end of the 2007 calendar year according to Wired.
Adobe’s Flash Player, which holds a strong market share, is expected to grow, the company gambling on this as major sites such as YouTube rely heavily on the Flash Player format. The desktop version will be compete against Windows Media Player and contain similar digital rights management protections as the ones found in Microsoft’s Media Player in order to appease what the company terms “content publishers”.
Adobe Media Player will incorporate featres such as RSS subscriptions, online and offline video playback, on-demand streaming, live streaming, progressive download and protected download-and-play.
Two features that may prove controversial with the upcoming software are a mechanism that will embed advertising in downloaded clips in a manner that can’t be separated from the content. The second, termed a “security” model, will tie downloaded content to specific machines or users. The company has also announced that it will boost video fidelity on its Flash video format, albeit specific details are sparse for the time being.


Apple Introduces Final Cut Studio 2 at NAB

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Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2007, 08:45
Category: News

On Sunday, Apple introduced Final Cut Pro, the newest edition of its video production suite as well as new version of its component programs; Final Cut Pro 6, Soundtrack 2, Compressor 3, Motion 3 and a new program called Color.
The suite, which is priced at US$1,299 for the full version and US$499 for the upgrade version from Final Cut Studio to Final Cut Studio 2. Upgrades from Final Cut Pro to Final Cut Studio 2 will run US$699 according to The Mac Observer.
The new version, which hits the shelves in May, offers the following new features and fixes:
-Final Cut Pro 6 has gained the ability to mix and match most video formats as well as their frame rates in a single timeline without transcording. The program now supports ProRes 422, 10-bit 4:2:2 post production format that can create HD quality files at SD file sizes, a SmoothCam feature that removes camera movement and the ability to edit Motion templates.
Click the jump for the full story…


Microsoft Introduces Silverlight Plug-In at NAB

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Date: Tuesday, April 17th, 2007, 07:28
Category: News

On Monday, Microsoft introduced video professionals attending the NAB conference Silverlight, a Mac and PC-compatible web browser plug-in similar to Adobe’s Flash paired with what the company considered video streaming superior to Apple’s QuickTime. The program, which is currently available as a public beta (or “technology preview”), is available for download with a general release planned later this month according to Macworld News.
Previously known as WPF/E, Silverlight is designed around vector-based graphics, text, animation, media and overlays while using existing back-end web and infrastructure tools such as Apache, PHP, JavaScript and XHTML. On the Mac end, Microsoft has stated that the plug-in works with both Firefox and Safari while on the Windows end the plug-in is designed around Internet Explorer 7.
Looking to charge out of the gate upon release, Microsoft has already contracted with several marquee names to distribute content such as Akamai Technologies, Brightcove, Eyeblaster, Major League Baseball and Netflix. The company has also created a Windows-only content development suite called Expression, which is being offered as an alternative to the recently-released Adobe Creative Suite 3.
Click the jump for the full story…


Intel Lays Out Penryn and Quad-Core Mobile Chip Details

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Date: Monday, April 16th, 2007, 12:33
Category: News

On Monday, Intel offered a preview of chips models expected to appear for its mobile markets and also described a quad-core mobile chip expected to appear next year.
The company stated that it would be expanding on its current mobile offerings with a chip based upon the Penryn processor, which functions as a 45 nanometer shrunken design of its current chip designs. The first Penryn chips are slated to go into production later this year and be introduced into devices in the second half of 2008 according to AppleInsider.
An Intel representative stated that the Penryn design could be plugged directly into the same architecture that will ship next May, thus enabling a fast ramp-up process.
The company also unveiled details about a quad-core Penryn mobile processor due for release during the 2008 calendar year. The processor will be targeted towards high-level gaming and mobile workstations, albeit won’t be seen in most notebook devices. Repersentatives commented that the chip’s architecture will differ considerably from the company’s current quad-core server and desktop processors, which are designed around two dual-cor units paired together. The company is considering placing all four cores on a single piece of silicon, thereby increasing speeds and using less energy.


Safari Speed-Up Guide Published

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Date: Monday, April 16th, 2007, 11:10
Category: How-To

The folks over at MacFixIt have published a full guide as to how to speed up Apple’s Safari web browser.
Topics included cover how to speed up the program’s launch by cleaning up the startup routines, clearing out .plist files, removing third-party add-ons, resetting the browser, checking the plug-in inventory and clearing out the AutoFill option.
The guide also recommends lower tech solutions such as power cycling a cable or DSL modem or router as well as reworking your bookmarks and even editing names to increase speed on this front.
If Safari remains your favorite browser for the Mac despite the allure of Firefox, take a gander and let us know what you think.


Adobe Ships CS3, Releases Premiere Pro and After Effects Public Betas

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Date: Monday, April 16th, 2007, 10:28
Category: News

It may be Monday and gloomy here on the east coast, but Adobe is chock-full of good news, even with a nor’easter making things difficult out here.
The long-awaited Creative Suite 3 is now shipping, Adobe announcing that its Design Premium and Standard as well as the Web Premium and Standard Editions are out the door.
For stand-alone applications, Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, Adobe InDesign CS3, Adobe Illustrator CS3, Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, Adobe Fireworks CS3 and Adobe Contribute CS3 also shipped today.
The company has stated that its Creative Suite 3 Production Premium and Creative Suite 3 Master Collection editions are expected to ship in the third quarter of this year according to Macworld News.
The currently shipping editions run at the following prices:
-Creative Suite 3 Design Premium Edition: US$1799
-Creative Suite 3 Design Standard Edition: US$1199
-Creative Suite 3 Web Premium Edition: US$1599
-Creative Suite 3 Web Standard Edition: US$999
Click the jump for the full story…


John Starmer Releases MightyMonitor Widget

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Date: Monday, April 16th, 2007, 09:11
Category: Software

Falling somewhere between the categories of “pretty neat idea” and “hey, that could be really useful”, developer John Starmer has released the MightyMonitor widget, a small widget application that displays the battery status of Apple’s wireless keyboard as well as its mighty mouse.
The readout displays remaining battery life as a percentage while the stop light-esque status readout warns the user that less than 25% of original battery life remains if the light is yellow and less than 10% remains if the light turns red.
MightyMonitor is available as a 412 kilobyte download through MacUpdate and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.


BriteMac Introduces VM2Go Utility

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Date: Monday, April 16th, 2007, 08:14
Category: Software

As virtual machines have become more popular, software for managing them begins to become necessary. Responding to this, BriteMac has released VM2Go, a shareware utility that allows users of the best-selling Parallels Desktop for Mac to easily load and maintain the individual virtual machine profiles they’ve created with the program. Virtual machines can then be transferred to an external drive such as an iPod, DVD or thumb drive.
VM2Go is available for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and is a 1.5 megabyte download for free, although will require registration after being run 20 times according to Macworld News.
If you’ve tried the program and had either a positive or negative experience with it, let us know.


Poll: What Do You Make of the Mac OS X 10.5 Delay?

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Date: Friday, April 13th, 2007, 13:19
Category: Poll

On Thursday, Apple announced that its upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 operating system would be delayed until October as a result of the need to finish final work on the company’s long-awaited iPhone. The news came as a disappointment to some who felt that the company should have been able to wrap up both projects at the same time. Let us know what you think and if this significantly changes anything for you:

How has the Mac OS X 10.5 delay affected you?
I’m irritated at Apple.
They should be able to complete the iPhone and Mac OS X 10.5 in time for June.
I’ll get by with Mac OS X 10.4 for the time being.
I’m glad they’re taking their time with development.
I’ll look for third party solutions to provide what I was looking for with Mac OS X 10.5.
I’m looking into a Windows-based PC as a result of this.
I’m having 20,000 pizzas sent to Steve Jobs’ house.