Microsoft has released Windows Media Player 9 for Mac OS X: "Sporting a new brushed steel skin for Apple's newest operating system, this new version of our player opens the world of Windows Media 9 content to Macintosh users, enabling them to access the best audio and video on the Web. New plug-in support added for Internet Explorer, Netscape and Safari enables playback of Windows Media files right from the browser."
Evening tech news: Gateway plans to hold a grand reopening for its remodeled retail stores next week; one year after the launch of the first Windows-based tablet PCs, the market is taking a dive, with analysts and manufacturers blaming Microsoft; U.S. senators today abandoned an attempt to vote on a bill to permanently ban Internet access taxes, but said they hoped to agree by next week on a controversial definition of Internet access.
Microsoft is readying the release of Virtual PC 2004, an update to its recently acquired emulation product that allows users to run multiple operating systems on the same computer simultaneously, according to IDG News Service: "On Monday, the vendor plans to release Virtual PC 2004 to manufacturing, the product's final phase before becoming commercially available... Virtual PC 2004 should be on store shelves before the end of the year, Microsoft has said. Virtual Server is being finalized and is scheduled to ship in the first quarter of next year, a slight delay from the original plan to release the product in the final quarter of 2003."
c|net columnist Eliot Van Buskirk has published an article on the "five reasons not to buy an iPod." "With about 1.5 million units sold, the iPod is the most popular MP3 player in the world, and it still makes other players look and feel inelegant in comparison. Don't get me wrong; it's still our favorite overall MP3 player. Although everyone can think of reasons why they want an iPod, I've decided to use this column to list a few reasons why not to buy one."
We've published highlights from Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Ron Johnson's presentation to analysts at a meeting this week. Yesterday we published notes from Apple Executive VP of Worldwide Sales and Operations Tim Cook's presentation.
The Iconfactory has released a free update to its $70 icon creation tool, IconBuilder Pro 4.1 for Adobe Photoshop CS. It has been updated to work with Adobe Photoshop CS as well as Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. Version 4.1 adds the ability to support Photoshop Actions and also now supports Command-F to re-run processes, greatly improved adaptive 8-bit palette handling for Windows icon creation and other bug fixes. IconFactory also launched its a new "Developer Zone", new, free FAQ page that contains answers to our most frequently asked technical questions regarding anything icon related.
Native Instruments has released Battery 1.3, bringing Mac OS X suport as well as Pro Tools support to the drum-sampler application. The company says the update fully supports OS X's modern technologies and interfaces, including AudioUnits, RTAS, VST, and standalone operation with CoreMIDI and CoreAudio. Battery offers sample-accurate timing, internal 32-bit resolution, up to 128 velocity layers per instrument and can play samples at any pitch. The Battery 1.3 update is immediately available to all registered users for $30 and available on CD for $50.
Sonnet Technologies is now shipping its Tempo Serial ATA PCI host adapter, a new addition to its Sonnet Tempo line of PCI host adapter products. It allows Macintosh owners to take advantage of the market's latest offerings in Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) storage technologies offering data transfer rates of up to 150MBytes/sec or 1.5Gbits/sec. The Tempo Serial ATA host adapters feature fully self-contained Macintosh booting functionality, and supports Mac OS 8.6/9/X (Mac OS X 10.2 and later). The are compatible with PCI-based Power Macs and Clones. It is now shipping for $100.
Apple will open its Apple Store Washinton Square in Tigard, Oregon on November 15. It is located in the Washington Square shopping center on the lower level near Meier and Frank: "o celebrate our Grand Opening, were featuring a week of exciting events. In our store, well have a variety of unique and educational presentations, demonstrations and workshops all free of charge. The first 1000 people to visit the Apple store receive a free Apple T-shirt."
Robust Digital Solutions today introduced its L-Series RAID system, which combines a 2Gbps fibre channel interface with the new Serial ATA technology. The high-performance RAID solution offers options for Instant Copy, Remote Mirroring and Path Cruise (path failover) and is available in three versions--with two ports per controller: a Standard Performance model using a single RAID controller, a High Performance single RAID controller model and a High Performance dual active/active RAID controller model. All L Series disk arrays can be used in a Storage Area Network (SAN) or as Direct Attached Storage (DAS) / Server Attached Storage (SAS) solutions. Storage capacities of up to 3.75 Terabytes per RAID unit are available with pricing start at $11,000.
Ground Zero Software's Pop the Wheezil is a new tetris-like arcade game: "It is an energetic and stimulating game that is sure to be loved by the entire family. The object of the game is to rack up as many points and complete as many levels as you can. It will require lightning-fast reflexes and quick thinking to achieve your goal! You must align different colored balloons in rows and columns as they float to the top. Your balloons will pop and disappear when four of the same color are together." The $16 shareware runs on Mac OS 8/9/X.
Circus Ponies Software has updated NoteBook 1.2, its Mac OS X application for organizing, accessing, and sharing notes. Version 1.2 adds 1-step HTML export, a security framework, multidimensional sorting, enhanced searching, color-coded action items, and a fully illustrated online help guide. Other features include annotation with keywords, stickers, and highlighting; text clip management; dynamic indexing; and support for Rich media. The application is available for $50 per user (a $20 discount is offered to education). It runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
Cyclops 1.1 is a Max object for analyzing and tracking live video, allowing users to track performers and users with a video camera and analyze greyscale and color information from the live image. The resulting Cyclops data can be used to control MIDI, audio, video and other Max functions. Version 1.1 offers an easy-to-use GUI for specifying zones, analysis modes and tracking colors, eight analysis modes (four grayscale and four color modes), QuickTime input hardware support (video capture cards, USB and FireWire), and compatibility with Mac OS X. Upgrades to the $100 application are $30.
The Babel Company has put together a primer for approaching the issue of running backups under Mac OS X: "Since the introduction of Panther folks have been reporting issues of data loss from many separate issues, and after seeing these reports I decided to assemble a practical primer to help folks make good choices when backing up their data under OS X. This document is not focused around supporting any particular backup scheme or product, rather it addresses the topics of: media choices, backup types, common pitfalls and data recovery."
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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