Satirical film on Apple co-founder to debut online April 15
Online comedy site Funny or Die will become the first to have a full-length Steve Jobs movie hit the mainstream market, when they debut their own parody film of Jobs' life, called iSteve, on April 15. The Funny or Die film, intended to poke fun at the competing bioflicks of Jobs -- the completed-but-delayed Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher and the big-budget Sony Pictures effort being written by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) -- stars Justin Long, who played "the Mac" in Apple's "Mac vs. PC" ads.
Actors intended 'the utmost love, admiration and respect'
The stars of the independent theatrical movie jOBS took the stage on the first day of the MacWorld/iWorld conference today in San Francisco, discussing their roles in the film, which premieres nationally on April 19. During their talk, Ashton Kutcher (who played Steve Jobs) and Josh Gad (Steve Wozniak) discussed their involvement, their take on Apple and the men they were chosen to portray, the accuracy of the film in general and other issues surrounding the movie, which focuses on the formative years of Apple.
Seen in white shirt, black vest outfit from 1990s
The independent biopic "jOBS" appears to have wrapped principle photography, with reports of several of the stars of the movie attending the traditional wrap party. Separately, a papparazzi site has published photos (seen below) of headliner Aston Kutcher in costume as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as he would have been dressed just before and during the return to Apple in 1996, favoring a white dress shirt with a v-neck black sweater and jeans.
Joins Ashton Kutcher as Jobs in indie TV-movie
The independent Steve Jobs biopic jOBS has added another veteran actor to its case, gaining Matthew Modine (best known for his string of hit movies in the mid-80s, including Full Metal Jacket) to play the role of former Apple CEO John Sculley, the former Pepsi executive recruited by Jobs to run Apple who ended up forcing Jobs out of the company. He joins star Ashton Kutcher as Jobs and Broadway star Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak.
Modifies title to 'jOBS,' now a made-for-TV feature
The independent biopic of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher that begins filming next month has modified its title to simply jOBS with the "Get Inspired" portion that was previous thought to be part of the title now identified as just a tagline. The low-budget production from Five Star Feature Films says it will commence principle photography next month, including the actual Los Altos home of Jobs' parents, including the garage that started it all.
Production hopes to commence next month
While Apple fans debate how well lead actor Ashton Kutcher will (or won't) do portraying Steve Jobs in the upcoming independent bio-pic Jobs, Broadway star Josh Gad from The Book of Mormon is in talks to portray Steve Wozniak, Apple's other co-founder, says The Hollywood Reporter. The movie, which is planning to start shooting next month, will cover a section of Jobs' life from his student days up to the founding of -- and subsequent 1997 return to -- Apple.
Sony has acquired rights to Isaacson's bio
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who deeply profiled Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the 2010 film The Social Network is "strongly considering" writing a screenplay based on Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs for a future Sony-produced film, he told E online at an event in Santa Monica. Sony acquired the rights to the biography last month and were rumored to have picked Sorkin as the company's top choice to pen the film.
Nikon D90 unveiled
Nikon brought rumors to a head Wednesday with an official release of the D90, confirming the 12.3 megapixel camera, and its accompanying AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm lens with VR function. The camera also introduces an alleged world-first for DSLR cameras, offering users the ability to shoot D-Movie video footage in resolutions up to 720p, with an included HDMI-out port for simplified viewing. Nikon notes that the larger DX-format sensor will allow for lower-noise video than a conventional camcorder.
Apple updates iLife
Apple today released software updates for iLife 8.0, the software suite that ships with most Macs. The release is largely aimed at fixing bugs and compatibility issues, although iPhoto 7.14 (77.1MB) includes "new holiday greeting card and postcard themes for use with Apple print products." Also released: iLife Support 8.3 (5.5MB), iWeb 2.04 (36.3MB) and iMovie 7.14 (39.8MB).
Sequence screen capture
App4mac on Friday unveiled Sequence 1.0 for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, its screenshot and video capture tool designed to use multithreaded code and a 64-bit enabled compression system. Sequence allows users to capture screenshots and movies of the entire screen or segments within, and send the resulting media to either the clipboard or into a file. App4mac is selling Sequence 1.0 for $20, and is available for download from the company's website.
Front Row meets Twitter
For the past six years, a group of developers scattered across the globe has been quietly working to reinvent the way we watch movies and listen to music. The result is Boxee -- a media player based on the XBMC Open Source platform -- released in alpha form this month initially on the Mac. The developers says Boxee was born of frustration over what they saw as the somewhat clunky way computers gather and display content. Separate applications are needed to display photos or play music and movies, and content is often delivered in formats requiring proprietary media players. The ambitious end game for Boxee is to become the “one-size-fits-all” media center that works with any kind of content on any platform.
Universal Blu-ray details
Universal Studios, at one time backing only the discontinued HD DVD high-definition movie format, will announce on Thursday it will start releasing all of its new movies on Blu-ray starting this summer. The studio was quick to switch camps once HD DVD's demise was final, but has not released any Blu-ray titles or made any announcements until today. The first Blu-ray title from Universal will be Doomsday, which will be released sometime this summer and, like all its movies, on the same day as the standard DVD of the movie.
Flickr for video files
Flickr today launched a video hosting service to run alongside its image equivalent, which already boasts around 42 million monthly visitors. The move comes in response to findings that 40-percent of surveyed individuals use their digital cameras to capture short video clips, with 55-percent of those surveyed sharing movies with others directly on the camera, and an additional 20-percent who don't share them once they are captured.
JoeSoft has announces the availability of Hear, a sound enhancement program for the Mac. The developer says this add-on "greatly" improves audio quality in movies and music throughout all Mac OS X applications. It offers a wide array of settings, purportedly delivering intra-app sound that is richer and clearer with regard to dialog. "Hear is a great new program that makes everything sound better on your Mac. All your music will be vastly improved, your movies will surround you with rich sound and your games will now blow you away" says Greg Brewer, CEO of Prosoft. "Once you've listened to your music or movies with Hear, you will never want to be without Hear." Hear is priced at $50.
- ImageWell 3.5 ($20) image editor for everyday simple editing and quickly sending images, screenshots, and other files tother users over the Internet. The tool includes upload support for Flickr, SmugMug and ImageShack, and is free. This latest release is Version 3.5, Build 327 and includes a new sharpness filter, two new shapes, the ability to double-click History items and open them in a browser, and fixes for bugs associated with Leopard. This is a free update to registered users. [Download - 964KB]
- PostgreSQL 8.3.1 Open Source project that leverages the Open Source PostgreSQL server and works to integrate the popular database engine into the Mac platform in as native a fashion as possible. This not only includes the creation of tools that are native to the Mac platform, but also the integration of Mac specific technologies like Automator, and publishing platform native toolkits like the PGSQLKit framework for Cocoa. The project is hosted, administered and developed by Druware Software Designs. [Download - 1.8MB]
- Avernum 5 1.0.4 ($28) enormous, epic fantasy role-playing adventure. "Wander a gigantic world, full of multitudes of characters, hundreds of side quests, and traps, tricks, and treasure in every corner. Take the part of a soldier for the all-powerful Empire, hunting for the foul assassin that struck down your Empress." The new update fixes a few errors that caused rare but irritating problems. [Download - 25.9MB]
- Cyndicate 1.2 ($30) RSS/Atom aggregator and content management application for Mac OS X. Enhancements in this release include: Performance has been greatly improved for some scenarios; Twitter support for sharing articles; Video enclosures can now be set to download separately from other enclosures; Feeds can now be set to never be checked; Fixed parsing feeds with use the Latin1 encoding and contain accented characters; Various bug fixes. [Download - 7.9MB]
- RapidWeaver 3.6.4 ($50) website creation application for Mac OS X. This release sees numerous improvements to the application including a significantly enhanced exporting process, along with a number of other minor fixes designed to improve the handling of QuickTime movies and images. In addition to feature fixes, the new version also offers preliminary support for the new Simplified Chinese localization. [Download - 24.6MB]
MacBook Air contest
In brief: We have posted reviews of Meander and Alien Skin Exposure 2, a MacBook Air will be given away in the "My Mac Server" contest, a new site lets you find the 99 cent movies in iTunes, and a new London travel guide for iPods and iPhones has debuted ... We have posted a review of Meander, an inexpensive program created by Peacock Media that lets you to use your computer to what you would do normally with a highlighter and a ruler; draw routes on maps and measure distances. Computer route planning has several obvious advantages. For example, you can quickly and easily test different routes to find the best one, and you can measure distances more accurately with a mouse than with a ruler.
First Look: ScreenFlow
Every Mac comes with the Grab program, which can capture images of the screen that are helpful for showing others how a certain program should look or what users should see after choosing specific commands. Unfortunately still images cannot always show the complete story, just as viewing a photograph is less enthralling than watching a movie. To fill the void Vara Software offers ScreenFlow, which captures screen activity and stores it as a Quicktime movie file that users can copy and distribute to others. Such Quicktime movies, called screencasts, are useful for creating video tutorials for training or teaching.
Steps to ousting Apple
Two research firms -- Park Associates and Entertainment Technology Center at USC -- have released a document urging Hollywood to use Apple's own tactics of offering low-cost TV shows and feature films for mobile media devices in an effort to reap profits on their own, cutting the Cupertino-based company out of the equation. "Hollywood shouldn't let Apple make all the money, especially since they are the ones making the movies," said John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates. "Judicious use of free mobile content can help drive ticket and DVD sales." The white paper specifically details steps to achieve profitable distribution of mobile content on mobile platforms and devices, without Apple's help.
Cineon/DPX Pro for FC 3.0
Glue Tools today announced that it will release Cineon/DPX Pro for Final Cut 3.0 at NAB 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The latest release of Cineon/DPX for Final Cut Pro includes Cineon and DPX Sequence Presets along with a full Cineon or DPX Codec, completely eliminating the need to render sequences in Final Cut Pro's timeline. "No More Red Render Bar!" the company states. "Your imagery can be directly loaded into Final Cut Pro or Compressor, without needing to be compressed into an intermediate codec or movie format." The company is already accepting pre-orders for Cineon/DPX for Final Cut 3.0 at $400 per license. The update requires Final Cut Studio 2 and QuickTime 7.3.1. Upgrades for customers who purchasd Cineon/DPX Pro for Final Cut 2.5 after February 1st will receive a free upgraede to 3.0 when the software is made available at NAB.
Troi Dialog Plug-in 5
Troi Automatisering today unveiled Troi Dialog Plug-in 5 for FileMaker Pro 9, a plug-in designed to extend FileMaker's dialogue boxes in a number of different ways. The latest version adds compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and an improved InputDialog function, which provides access to upwards of 15 input items. PresentImage has also been revamped, allowing users to view full screen slideshows of pictures or movies. Troi Dialog Plug-in 5 is currently available for $60, with free upgrades available for those who purchased v4.x on or after February 1st, 2007.
Apple extends rental limit
Although Apple has said it is confident that users are enjoying iTunes rentals, widespread critique began to form regarding the 24-hour rental period. Users insisted that it was simply not enough time to finish a movie due to a busy lifestyle, while others were exploring methods that would circumvent the time limit. Macworld.com notes that Apple has quietly extended the duration of movie rentals to allow users the opportunity to finish watching a film
Morph Age 4.0 debuts
Creaceed today began shipping its Hydra 1.0 HDR photography software for Mac, and unveiled a major upgrade to its Morph Age application for morphing as well as warping images and movies. Hydra aims to give the human eye perception to photographs by creating high dynamic range (HDR) images from a series of standard photographs, either from DSLRs or traditional point-and-shoot cameras. Hydra is priced at $60, but is available for an introductory price of $40 until the end of January. Hydra requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to run.
Studios keen on iTunes
Major Hollywood content providers gave Apple and its iTunes Store a thumbs up during a panel discussion and Q&A session on Monday at the CES trade show in Las Vegas. The Cupertino-based company began offering hit TV shows and more than 2,000 music videos in October of 2005 after experiencing enormous success in the digital music industry. Deals with four Disney-owned studios -- Disney, Pixar, Miramax, and Touchstone Pictures -- were followed by a deal with Paramount Pictures and later Lionsgate films.
Macrovision, the company largely responsible for modern DVD copy-protection schemes, has officially integrated its technologies with CinemaNow to offer downloads of CinemaNow premium video directly to Macrovision-enabled consumer electronics devices. Users who have registered Macrovision-enabled hardware at CinemaNow.com can use those devices to watch movies, TV shows, and music videos from CinemaNow's online library of available programming, according to TWICE.
Netflix, LG set-top box
Online DVD rental service Netflix and Korean electronics-giant LG have announced that they are working on a set-top box designed to stream movie content directly over the internet to a television. Netflix has long said it wishes to branch out its internet movie delivery feature, which allows members to play content on their PC from a library of over 6000 movies and TV shows. Reuters reports that the device will function in a similar fashion to the PC internet streaming, where users that subscribe to Netflix’ DVD rental service would also get access to the TV streaming service. LG says that the Netflix set-top box will be available at some point during the second half of 2008.
PC users, Apple gadgets
Thousands of consumers hoping to enjoy music, photos, and movies with Apple gadgets they receive this holiday season may need to learn some basic skills before diving right into the devices. Dave Taylor, a SupportSpace Committee member specializing in Mac as well as handheld technologies says the jump is even more difficult for most PC users. "Apple's iPhone and the latest generation of iPods have delivered enormous power and simplicity to the average consumer, but the technology is still complicated and usability is not 100% intuitive, especially for Windows users," he said.
SimpleImage 5 released
Developer Chris Wood has released SimpleImage 5, a large update to his image and movie viewing application. Wood says that SimpleImage is completely rewritten in Cocoa – Mac OS X's default application type – from the ground up. The new version has full support for Leopard, and over a dozen new features. Users can perform live searches of their media, as well as save media in web-appropriate formats. The software can also generate print previews, as well as movie contact sheets. Wood is offering a Christmas discount on SimpleImage 5 until December 25th, selling the software for $20.