Apple says the latest version of the Mac OS X operating system could easily run on Intel chips, but CEO Steve Jobs said today that the company has little interest in changing processors. "It's perfectly technically feasible to port Panther to any processor," Jobs said at a meeting with financial analysts. "Right now we don't see a compelling need to switch processor families," Jobs said. "We have all the options in the world, but the PowerPC road map looks very strong."
Tech news: Pixar's "Finding Nemo," sold 8 million units on DVD and video in its first day, becoming the fastest selling DVD and video ever. Pixar is headed by CEO Steve Jobs, also CEO and cofounder of Apple.
Apple said today that it is experimenting with new efforts to boost sales of Macs to business and government customers. Apple sales chief Tim Cook told financial analysts that the company last month launched a direct effort that's aimed at the creative market and government entities, with 70 Apple employees working in either field sales or telephone sales. Cook said the company has also established employee purchase programs at about 100 companies in recent weeks, an effort Cook said will build advocates for bringing the Mac into the workplace.
Apple posted a final version of Backup 2.0, its backup utility for .Mac users. Version 2 lets you select any folder on a hard drive as a backup destination, including FireWire hard drives, network servers, iPods, and other mounted volumes. It also offers support for support for third-party CD and DVD Drives and lets you schedule backups to iDisk and hard drives--with support for incremental backups (i.e., copying changed files only). It requires Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later and requires a full .Mac account; however, DVD-RAM disks are not supported.
Roxio today announced Toast Titanium 6.03, a free update to its application CD/DVD authoring suite that provides language support for French, German, Italian and Japanese; USB 2.0 support under Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later; more accurate status display, a summary of number of items and playback duration in Video format; a new menu item to Duplicate videos or slideshows in Video format, and Audio Master Quality Recording support for Yamaha recorders. The updater also includes CD Spin Doctor 2.0.2 and Motion Pictures 1.0.3. (Not yet available; website information no longer available as of 11/6/03 2:oo pm ET)
Evening tech news: Toshiba has officially unveiled two new 1.8-inch hard drives -- one capable of storing 20GB of data and the other, 40GB -- which are believed to be those used in Apple's iPod since September; Microsoft said today it would offer cash bounties for information on the authors of the crippling MSBlast and Sobig computer bugs; Sony yesterday detailed plans for a much-anticipated all-in-one handheld gaming device that includes a digital music and video player and could even act as mobile telephone.
NewTek and Apple Computer invite graphic designers to attend a free seminar, "Using 3D for Illustration and Print Design", to be presented twice in New York City on November 11th, 2003, hosted by New Jersey City University and The Society for Illustrators. Presenters at the seminar include graphic artists Henk Dawson, Joe Zeff and William Vaughan. The seminar will be presented first from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Visual Arts Building at the New Jersey City University; second at The Society Of Illustrators. Door prizes including three copies of LightWave 3D will be given away at each event.
A CNET News.com editorial talks about Apple's security efforts, in the wake of several recent Panther security patches and its slow response to release security fixes for Jaguar: "If recent events have shown anything, it's that Apple needs to get more serious about handling security issues in Mac OS X. The facts should have Mac OS X users worried: Apple doesn't have a security-policy or support-lifecycle statement on its Web site, unlike operating-system rivals such as Red Hat and Microsoft." The article notes that some of the blame may be on Apple's PR department, which is usually non-responsive to press concerns, including user issues, product information, and other requests.
CNN notes that yesterday Democratic presidential debate "provided light moments when the audience learned that most of the presidential candidates prefer PCs over Macintosh computers. The 90-minute forum aired live on Tuesday night and was sponsored by CNN and Rock the Vote at historic Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. A full transcript is available from The Washington Post.
Apple has updated its FireWire 800 data loss statement saying that it has confirmed that the latest firmware update resolves the data loss issue. The page also offers links to various firmware updates for FireWire 800 drives. Additionally, LaCie has also posted a new Mac OS X tool that will update its drives with the latest FireWire firmware: LaCie Update Tool for Mac OS X--after releasing the Mac OS 9 version last week. Yesterday we noted that Oxford Semiconductor posted details on the FireWire 800 data loss issue and noted updated firmware from Addlogix and EZQuest. Update: FireWire Depot has posted both the Oxford 922 and Initio 2430 flash utilities on their home page: "While all of the problem reports have focused on the Oxford 922 chip, some users are experiencing some problems with other chips sets as well and the Initio 2430 utility can be used on the new Initio 2430 1394b chip."
A MacNN reader notes that Apple canceled its exhibits at the 53rd Annual Meeting of The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) in Los Angeles: "There is an empty gap in exhibitor row at the ASHG. The program addenum notes that Apple has canceled its exhibits in booths 703 and 705. As the doors opened, people were seen wandering to the empty area. Especially disheartened were a series of Spanish researchers who asked neighboring exhibitors where Apple had been moved. As nearly all genetics/molecular labs have Macs and interest in the G5 as a workstation has increased within the field, this seems like a [bad] move."
The Bucks and Montgomery Counties' Macintosh Users Group will host a presentation by Randy Philips on Extensis Tools for Mac OS X 10.3. Portfolio -- a tool for professional photographers, photography hobbyists, and graphic arts professional -- is among the scheduled topics of discussion. Mr. Philips will also demo Mask Pro, pxl Smartscale, and PhotoFrame, all Mac OS X-native Photoshop filters, also compatible with Photoshop Elements.
Corel today released Corel Painter 8.1, an updated version to its suite of digital tools that mimic the traditional sketching and painting. Version 8.1 reintroduces the Custom Palettes from Painter 7: "While there are some minor differences between the Custom Palettes in version 7 and 8, they are fundamentally the same." The update, available as a free download, also fixes several bugs and system crashes. It requires that users uninstall or remove Painter 8 before installation and includes an updated User Guide.
A Stillwater area school district decision to provide iBooks to junior high students apparently fueled a record number of write-in votes for the school board Tuesday and led to the defeat of three incumbents that had approved the $1.75 million deal with Apple, while another who didn't vote for the deal were re-elected, according Pioneer Press: ""When the deal was announced, many district residents were angry that they had not been consulted about the deal, which will cost the district about $2 million. School board officials said Apple demanded an immediate decision or else they would go to another school."
Acme Made today introduced its iCover II, the newest addition to its successful iCover line of screen protectors for PowerBooks and iBooks for protecting the display from dirt and oils that build up on the keyboard. Designed for the updated Aluminum PowerBooks, it features "two mesh side panels that allow the product to fit better, slide on easier, and improve the cover's overall durability. The iCover II is made from a very soft micro suede fabric that does not scratch and is gentle enough to be used as a cleaning cloth for the display. Additionally, because of the unique, micro-thin fabric, the iCover II does not place undue pressure on the computers hinges or latch." Pricing is $25 for the 12- and 15-inch versions and $26 for the 17-inch slate gray versions.
Sony has expanded its Micro Vault USB storage media product lineup with the introduction of its new Micro Vault with Fingerprint Access, a portable storage device that uses fingerprints to replace passwords or IDs for web site access. Due later this month for $140, it also features a 128MB embedded storage capacity and a docking station with USB 2.0 connectivity. Sony also debuted a Micro Vault with an incorporated Memory Stick media reader/writer, which will be available later this month for $90. Sony also reduced the form factor of its Micro Vault product line ("almost half the size") with new "MINI" versions available in 128MB ($80z) and 256MB ($110) and added a new 512MB model ($200) in the original product design.
Business Week reports that despite some disappointing Apple education sales numbers in its fiscal fourth quarter, reviving strength in laptops could signal a broader recovery: "While its overall education sales were down in the quarter, Apple reported that sales to colleges and universities were the best in seven years.. an October survey by education technology tracker QED predicted that over the next 12 months Macs should account for 30% of PCs purchased by K-12 school districts across the country vs. Dell's 37%, as administrators opt to buy more laptops. That would be up nine points from fiscal 2003 and would be the highest figure for Apple in four years."
Canto today announced Cumulus 6 Single User, the first version of Canto's Single User for Mac OS X. Cumulus 6 Single User Edition offers management through a single-window interface, a new toolbar, a simplified menu structure, the ability to easily switch between different views with preconfigured View Sets, and configurable pre-made Asset Handling Sets for optimized handling of different formats. Othe features include multi-threading for multiple processor support, multiple simultaneous background catalog processes, better integration with Classic, and new field types. It will ship next month. (Pricing not available.)
The Englewood School District in New Jersey has distributed 120 iBooks to teachers from kindergarten through fifth grade and will "deliver about 600 more computers - all paid for with federal grants totaling nearly $1 million - to classrooms for student use. Students from the D.A. Quarles Early Childhood Center, Cleveland School, and Lincoln Elementary School will be able to check out the computers - like library books - to use for class projects or homework. The laptops will be stowed in classrooms on rolling racks." [sign-up required]
Sony on Tuesday detailed plans for a much-anticipated all-in-one handheld gaming device--"Walkman of the future"--that includes a digital music and video player and could even act as mobile telephone, according to Reuters. "Officials of the world's largest consumer electronics maker also said Sony would launch a rival to Apple Computer Inc's iPod digital music player next year for as little as $60. Sony described a prototype for its PSP gaming device. 'We are taking on iPod with our new device," another Sony official said. "We are coming at him (Steve Jobs) on that front.'"
Cladonia has released Exchanger XML Editor 1.1, a Java-based XML Editor that facilitates easy browsing, editing, managing and conversion of XML Documents. This release features improved intregration for Mac OSX and built-in support for editing XHTML, XSLT, XML Schema, RelaxNG, SVG, etc. Other features include schema-based editing; tag prompting; validation against DTD, XML schema, RelaxNG; tree view and outliner for tag free editing; and others. Pricing starts at $100.
Smith Micro has launched FAXstf X Pro 10.5, an update to the popular fax managment application, featuring support for Mac OS X "Panther", including Fast User Switching feature, enabling users who share the same machine to receive incoming faxes to their own FAXstf inbox. Other new features include automatic printing of received faxes, full AppleScript support, Address Book support, a cover page/page header editor, email integration, fax previews, and automatic updates. Upgrades start at $20, while the full version is $90.
DivXNetworks has released DivX 5.1 for Mac, which offers significant improvements in speed, performance, and visual quality. Version 5.1 features re-architecture of the decoder for performance improvements of up to 100%; a new Feedback Mode and Psychovisual Modeling for better compression; two new high-quality modes with improved B-frame support and improved motion estimation; and a new GUI. DivX for Mac OS is a QuickTime component that runs on Mac OS 8.6/9/X; it is available with an optional MP3 encoder and can create, distribute and watch full screen DVD quality video. The standard version of the Mac codec is free, while the Pro version is $20.
Now AAPL Stock: 144.53 ( + 0.89 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE