MacNN readers have posted photos from the Grand Opening of the Chicago Store. "AKMA" has also posted "photos of the line around the Chicago Apple Store and a few interior shots at my dot-Mac site" (as well as a few comments in his blog). The Chicago Sun-Times, also covering the opening, talks about the detrimental effect of the Apple Store on Apple dealers in the area and other retailers, noting that "an announcement may made soon about an Apple store that will have a direct impact on his Evanston business." [updated]
MacProf has published Face to face with the new G5: "We have published another interesting picture gallery with comments of the new G5 with many interesting news and details received from an official presentation at Apple Italy. Wireless antennas, locking mechanism, how to unmount fans, design and material details...."
Apple's new 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks (as well as Palm's Zire Handheld) received the "Gold" Awards in the 2003 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) competition (see Computer Equipment Gallery), co-sponsored by BusinessWeek and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Apple's Xserve received a Silver Award in the competition. Judging criteria for each entry fulfilled five areas of industrial design excellence: design innovation, benefit to the user, benefit to the client/business, ecological responsibility, and appropriate aesthetics and appeal. This year internationally, 25 designs from 13 countries were awarded from over 172 entries. Photos of other winners are available in the IDEA Showcase.
Several readers note that Fleet Bank has no plans to support Apple's new Safari browser for its online banking services: "At this time, there are no immediate plans to support Safari for HomeLink use. However, we are continually updating and expanding our products and customer suggestions are reviewed on an ongoing basis." Customer servicer responses suggest the use of Netscape 6.2 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 and higher (except 5.1.1 - 5.1.4 and 5.2.1 on Macintosh).
Greene County (North Carolina) leaders on Thursday approved a lease agreement that will provide laptop computers for every middle and high school student this school year, according to The Free Press: "Supporters say the program will allow the rural county to teach students important skills they'll need in the digital age. It's the first countywide initiative of its kind in North Carolina, they say. The program, which will provide more than 1,715 Apple iBook computers for students and 136 of the devices for teachers, will cost the county about $3.23 million over four years. The deal includes software, servers and other related equipment."
Dantz yesterday evening confirmed to MacNN that it is investigating the potential security flaw we noted yesterday: "Dantz Development treats security concerns like this as our highest priority and we are now investigating this report so that the best course of action can be taken quickly. Data integrity and security is at the core of all of our products and we want to make sure our customers always have the most secure data on any platform."
KB roundup: Apple continues to post information about its latest Safari 1.0 release, including noting that Safari doesn't resolve certain aliases (e.g., IE bookmarks), users can drag only one bookmark at a time from IE, and that Safari may only print the visible portion of a webpage, cutting off the portion you must scroll to see. Finally, the iSight camera, designed for video conferencing, does not output the DV format necessary for capturing video with iMovie, iSight's microphone can be used to capture audio in the Audio pane of iMovie. MacNN readers also note that Apple has pulled Backup 1.2.2 and replaced it with Backup 1.2.1. Although Apple did not offer any details, a MacNN reader offers a possible explanation: "Apple probably pulled the 1.2.2 version because it didn't work with external CD burners even if you have a paid .Mac account, as I do. You must remove the com.apple.backup.plist file from the system before re-installing Backup 1.2.1 - you will get a warning if you try to install 1.2.1 over 1.2.2. Going back to 1.2.1 resolves the external burning issue."
Catchy Software has released MaxiMice 1.01, which brings clickless scrolling and window dragging to Cocoa applications. Users can automatically scroll when the mouse pointer comes close to an edge and windows can be both moved and scrolled by holding down a modifier key. It can provide an alternative to a scroll wheel or provide relief for people suffering from RSI or carpal tunnel syndrome." The $10 shareware runs on Mac OS X. [362KB] Addressix 1.3.3 allows users to print evelopes quickly. The $13 shareware can access common addresses in the Address Book, can print bar codes, supports custom envelope sizes, and other features. Version 1.3.3 fixes formatting for a number of non-US countries, properly formats the country name in all caps, and removes blank lines from Address Book info. [448KB] The freeware BCViewer 1.1 is designed to help store, retrieve, and organize business card images: "This software is intended for only storing and referencing business cards, it is not designed to scan the cards into the computer. BCViewer, Business Card Viewer, is a small, free, program that is so simple there are no manuals needed for it's use." [7.9MB] Jeremy Wood's Flipbook 1.0 is a $20 application designed to combine still frames into animations. It supports transitions (Fade, Push, Wide, Slide), titles (for introductions, credits, etc.), cropping, rotating, and adding layers. The software can be used for stop-motion animation, or tweaking home-made movies made with a digital camera. [2.5MB] Segue 1.0 is a $10 shareware movie file converter that can "can interchange your .avi, .mov and .dvc movie files. Just drag and drop movie files over the main window to begin converting them.Not only is it useful to convert files, but you can adjust compression settings and add QuickTime filters to existing movies." [499KB] AGDesign's Laze E 1.01 uses the Mac OS X DiskRecording Framework to perform basic CD-R and CD-RW functions such as 'Erase' and also author simple CD-R(W)s with the easy to use interface. Version 1.01 includes a dock app that you can launch at start up and use to erase CD-RWs from the desktop. [972KB]
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN