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Edward Mintz reports that Apple has removed the option to lower RAM and Hard Disk allotments with new BTO (Built-to-Order) Power Mac G4 configurations. This means users can no longer reduce the stock RAM or Hard Drive configuration and purchase products from a third party. Additionally, purchasers of 933MHz and Dual-1GHz models cannot opt to remove the DVD-R drive in favor of a CD-RW or Combo Drive. Prior to the introduction of new Power Mac models last month, Apple users were offered more flexibility through Apple\'s online store.
MacNN Reader Alvin Mok suggests Apple may be phasing out -- or at least reducing the prominence of -- the \"Think Different\" advertising slogan: \"I\'ve just pick up the product brochures for the latest iMac, iBook and PowerBook here in Hong Kong. While I was comparing those specs with the previous one (iBook/PowerBook last Oct), I discovered the \"Think Different\" signs are gone, even in the trademark fineprints. Yes, no traces at all on these three brochures.\"
Dean Saxe writes: \"I just returned from Lenox Mall in Atlanta where I happily found that Eddie Bauer is no longer in business. In its place is a sign indicating that Apple will be opening an Apple Store \'soon.\'\" Apple continues to open retail stores in an effort to expand its market share.
Pariahware has released a \"long-awaited\" update to Contact This!, its $15 \"nag-free\" shareware Entourage, Outlook and Outlook Express Address Book importer. Contact This! v2.0 contains every requested feature from users, according to the developer, including importing address books from Outlook and Outlook Express for Windows, tool tips, find & find next, resizable columns, sorting by last or first name and customizable categories.
Neterate Software has announced the release of BusyCalc v1.0, a simple calculator application for the Mac OS. The $8 utility can perform trigonometric functions and has memory features. A Mac OS X version will ship soon.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.46 ( + 0.19 )
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc