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: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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