Apple's Q4 Conference Call highlighted the first profitable quarter for its retail segement, its highest iPod quarterly sales, its strongest PowerBook sales quarter, its highest revenue in 7 quarters, and its strongest higher education sales quarter ever. We have additional highlights and details...
MacOSXLabs.org will be presenting a KeyServer webcast next Tuesday, October 21. KeyServer is an integrated software auditing and software asset management solution, widely used in business and higher education. John Tomeny and Denis Devlin of Sassafras will be presenting. Ethan Benatan of Reed College will present a case study of their KeyServer environment.
Apple today posted a net profit of $44 million, or $.12 per diluted share for its fiscal 2003 fourth quarter ended September 27, 2003. These results compare to a net loss of $45 million, or $.13 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenues for the quarter were $1.715 billion, up 19 percent from the year-ago quarter, and gross margins were 26.6 percent, up from 26.4 percent in the year-ago quarter. Before one-time gains, Apple posted a profit of $29 million. Apple said it shipped 787,000 Macs and 336,000 iPods during the quarter.
MacNN reader Issac Dickinson writes about a new laser printer from HP announced last month: "HP just introduced the Laserjet 1012 Laser Printer that retails for just $199 (Staples has $50 off this week) I bought it at a local Staples using the staples.com coupon. It comes with Mac OS 9 and 10.1 , 10.2 drivers on the disk. It works great! and is fast and quite. This is a replacement for my Brother 1240 Laser printer that broke down. I am pleased with this printer!" The compact USB laser printer offers 600x600 dpi resolution, a 150-sheet input tray, and 15 ppm print speeds.
Kurzweil Educational Systems today announced Kurzweil 3000 v2, its reading, writing and learning software for struggling students. The newly designed Mac version of Kurzweil 3000 offers compatibility with both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. The software helps students read for critical information, implement study strategies, and compose or take tests with flexible writing assistance. The new products are expected to ship this month. The Kurzweil 3000 5-unit Learning Lab Pack (1 ScanRead and 4 Reads) is priced at $380 per seat.
MakeMusic has delayed the release of Finale 2004, its music notation software that brings compatibility with Mac OS X and other new features. It was originally announced in August and expected to ship October 20th: "We have determined that in order to deliver on this promise, the announced release date must be delayed. We now expect to ship Finale 2004 for Macintosh OS X no earlier than December 15, 2003."
Alias Systems today announced that Maya Personal Learning Edition 5 is now available for free download. It offers almost every feature found in the full commercial version of Maya Complete 5 including a set of modeling, animation, rendering and effects tools. The Maya Personal Learning Edition software program, first released in July 2003 on CD, brought the 3D tool widely used in feature films and the game development industry to the masses.
The Mercury News reports on another Apple one-on-one initiative--costing about the school a total of $6 million--that gave 1,100 high-school students an iBook in a San Jose, CA school district: "In education-speak, this is the first step of a 'vertical slice' program. The laptops cost the district about $1,360 each. The rest of the funds go to expenses like insurance, infrastructure, training and software -- and eventually, more computers. Next year, laptops will be issued to students at Steinbeck Middle School, which feeds students to Gunderson. The following year, fourth- and fifth-graders at nearby Allen Elementary will get computers." Meanwhile, Greene County (North Carolina) students received their first iBooks.
AvantGo USB sync allows users to sync their USB- or serial-based Palm with AvantGo under Mac OS using a single Mac OS X application. Based on the command line utility malsync and the osx-palm-tools project, users can quickly sync any Palm setup with an AvantGo account. (MacNN also has maintained an AvantGo channel.)
Apple's Power Mac G5 was slower than 64-bit AMD-based systems on many tasks (see Athlon 64 vs. Apple G5 systems chart) and are more expensive than comparable Athlon systems, according to an article in the November issue of PC World: "Apple touts its new 64-bit Power Mac G5 as the world's fastest personal computer, but our initial tests indicate bragging rights may belong to PCs using AMD's Athlon 64 FX-51 chip....The dual-G5 sparkled in one main area: our Photoshop test, which it completed in 18 seconds, or about 17 percent faster than the Aurora's 21 seconds. The 1.8-GHz single-chip G5 ($2999) [pricing incorrect; should be $2399] trailed at 27 seconds."
Marko Kostyrko, recently appointed CEO of FWB Software, today resigned his position citing continued legal issues with previous management, and the recent recall of RealPC (popular PC emulation product) as the reasons: "When Mark Hurlow and I took over FWB on July 7 2003, it was because of intense shareholder concern at the behaviour of the previous management, in particularly their promising of free upgrades to a product that did not exist."
Apple will report its biggest revenue increase in seven quarters, according to Bloomberg: "Fourth-quarter sales probably rose 15 percent, with net income of 7 cents a share compared with a loss a year earlier, according to the average forecasts of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial...Apple held 2.3 percent of the worldwide PC market in the second quarter, up slightly from the first quarter's 2.1 percent, according to IDC. Dell led with 17.5 percent. Apple has said it wants to reach 5 percent." Apple's earning are expected after market close today (Wednesday around 4:30 pm ET) and its FYQ4 Conference call will be Webcast in QuickTime at 5:30 pm ET today.
GlobalSCAPE today announced a Mac version of CuteFTP, the widely used file transfer application for Windows. The drag & drop application features a "two-pane interface shows local files on the left and remote files on the right. Users can also save addresses, user names and passwords for one-click connection to FTP sites. Auto-Resume detects broken transfers and automatically restarts them until complete. Also, CuteFTP Mac has support for more than a dozen different host types allowing users to connect to virtually every type of FTP server on the Web." A 30-day trial of the $30 application requires a valid email. It runs on Mac OS 8/9/X.
reliminary numbers show that the new G5 supercomputer at Virginia Tech could be the second most powerful supercomputer on the planet, according to Wired News: "The Big Mac's final score on the Linpack Benchmark won't be officially revealed until Nov. 17, when the rankings of the Top 500 supercomputer sites are made known at the International Supercomputer Conference. But Jack Dongarra, one of the compilers of a Top 500 list, said Tuesday that preliminary numbers submitted to him suggest Big Mac could be ranked as high as second place."
MacNN readers note that the iPod is now available at several of The May Department Stores, including Robinsons-May and Hecht's: "Today I saw a 3/4 page add on the back page of the A section of The Washington Post promoting the iPod's are now at Hecht's. Hecht's is a regional store like Macy's. The add featured a few cameras and the like below the iPod, but the iPod took up at least 1/2 of the ad. In some ways getting the iPod in to stores like that seems very good as they have HUGE adverting presence in every Washington Post and probably can get Apple immensely discounted co-promotion."
Mozilla 1.5 is a release version of the open-source browser project. It now includes a spellchecker for MailNews and Composer and improvements to the Mozilla composer, tabbed browsing, and improvements to ChatZilla, it's IRC client. It also improved performance, stability, standards support and web compatibility. [15.4MB] Pixadex 1.2 ($20) for Mac OS X updates the icon management tool which lets users collect, store, sort and search thousands of icons quickly and easily. Version 1.2 can optionally delete all instances of an icon, adds a new "Set as iChat Picture" feature, support for additional CandyBar icons, Panther compatibility, and other bug fixes. [1.0MB] Realmac's Overview 1.0b is a new $10 task manager for Mac OS X that allows you to manage all your tasks. Users can create categories, offers menubar access, and other advanced functions. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2. or later. [308KB] Publicspace.net has released A Better Finder Launcher 1.0, a final version of its shareware ($10) desktop launcher. It offers system-wide hot key access, the ability to select any application by matching applications to all or part of a type name, realtime filtering of matches, and other features. [1.4MB] Eric Blom has updated MacPSoC Programmer 1.1, his freeware PSoC microcontroller programmer for use with Cypress MicroSystemsIn System Serial Programmer (ISSP) and the new Mini Development Kit which is available free to participants in the $30,000 International PSoC Design contest. [197KB]
Apple will be offering a satellite broadcast of its "music event" on Thursday, at 10 am PT at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. The event is expected to introduce iTunes for Windows, a Windows-compatible version of its iTunes Music Store, and other announcements. Apple will also be broadcasting the event at select Apple Stores around the US.
Maxon today announced that its popular benchmark application Cinebench 2003 has been optimized for the Power Mac G5 and is now available as a beta version. Cinebench 2003 is based on the render- and display-engine of Cinema 4D and "will deliver reliable and accurate benchmarks by testing the computer's raw processing speed. With the support of Apple, Maxon has optimized crucial parts of the Cinema 4D render engine to achieve speed increases of approximately 20% on the new G5. Further improvements are expected once optimized compilers with G5-support are available...Maxon expects new compilers and tools to be released during the first quarter of 2004, allowing production quality G5-optimization for Cinema 4D and BodyPaint 3D."
Web Crossing today shipped Campus Crossing 3.0 with new faculty office, automatic payment capabilities, Neuron interactive multimedia databases, language localization, enhanced live event capabilities, and much more. Built on the new version 5.0 Web Crossing platform, Campus Crossing 3.0 takes advantage of the new easier customization and new plug-in architecture for extensibility without programming. Available immediately as a software license, license-upgrade or server hosted solution, Campus Crossing 3.0 is priced on a per-seat or traffic-based sliding scale model starting at $300.
DEVONtechnologies has released DEVONagent 1.0, its intelligent search agent and alternative browser that automatically queries multiple search engines as well as collects, analyzes, and summarized search results. The final version of DEVONagent comes with new Mac OS X services for starting queries and open a selected URL in the internal Safari-powered web browser, dock menu commands directly open new browser, query or crawler windows; users can also now now possible to drag multiple results to DEVONthink, DEVONtechnologies' knowledge database. A time-limited version of the $35 application is available.
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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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl