Forbes has published the transcript from an online questions and answers session with Forbes technology correspondent Arik Hesseldahl on the "past, present and future of Apple's Macintosh computer." Hesseldahl says, " I think Apple has long recognized that it's never going to beat Microsoft and the Wintel combination, but there are still people who want a high-quality computing alternative [...] It does a lot of the things that a Wintel box can do, it just does them with a certain flair that a certain kind of person appreciates and is willing to pay for and use to the exclusion of more conventional computing products."
Marci O'Kelly, a former employee of Apple, was indicted this week by a federal grand jury on charges that she defrauded her former employer, and engaged in interstate shipment of stolen property, as reported by The San Jose Business Journal. According to grand jury, when Ms. O'Kelly was a graphics design budget coordinator for Apple in 2002 and 2003, During that time, she ordered approximately $120,000 of digital photography equipment from vendors on Apple's account without authorization, then resold the equipment for her personal benefit on eBay.
A new Apple Web site that showcases the company's involvement in science and education went live today, according to the company. The site features Virginia Tech's Power Mac G5 cluster supercomputer very prominently, which is ranked third most powerful in the world. "For 25 years, Apple has provided powerful tools to enable scientific discovery," the company boasts, "With the worldís first 64-bit desktop computer, robust cluster, and storage solutions, and thousands of scientific applications, scientists everywhere are moving to Mac ó and with good reason."
A MacNN reader notes that Wal-Mart's recently launched 88-cent music service is compatible with Macs, despite warnings to the contrary on the company's website: "As an Apple user for many years I've learned to ignore (especially on the internet) any download that says "For Windows only; will not work on Apple Macintosh Computers.' Wal-Mart's new music service states the same. So I did what I always do if I'm interested, I downloaded the test song onto my old Mac and low and behold it played perfectly. Not that I would buy from Walmart-just tired of seeing that quote."
Cyon Research today announced a white paper that examines the AEC CAD market for Macintosh users based on the results of a survey conducted to determine the demand for AutoCAD on the Mac. Prepared in association with Architosh, the paper can be purchased for $200 (with a $100 discount for subscribers to A-E-C Automation Newsletter): "It addresses not only the need for and prospect of an OS X AutoCAD, but also the question of what CAD is available for Mac-using architectural professionals. Recommended for AEC practitioners who are committed to, or considering, the Macintosh for use in their practice."
REAL Software today announced REAL World 2004, its new REALbasic User Conference, which will be held March 24-26, 2004 in Austin, Texas. The conference agenda is geared toward the large and growing community of REALbasic experts and novices and will include a keynote by REAL founder Geoff Perlman, two full days of sessions, presentations by REAL Software experts, and announcement of the winners of the REALbasic Design Awards (formerly known as the "Cubies"). Accommodations are $100 per night, while the conference pass is $400.
Native Instruments has released an update to Kompakt, which brings the powerful sampler to Mac OS X. It now fully supports the modern technologies and interfaces of OS X, including AudioUnits, RTAS, VST and standalone operation with CoreMIDI and CoreAudio. Kompakt ships with a comprehensive library and can import the most common sample formats. It is immediately available to all registered users as a free download.
Artly There Software has released Compositor 2.6, an update to its full featured image editing and image to art application, offering 165 filters and channel effects, complete painting and editing tools, the ability to save/replay filter actions, slide show functions, a 'Quick Palette' for storing commonly used actions, and other advanced functions. Version 2.6 adds Motion Blur, Twirl, Ripple Waves, Spheroid, and Spherize Distort Filters as well as two new painting tools, Motion Brush and Media Brush. The $35 application runs on Mac OS X only.
Smiley Happy Software's QuickMix 1.1 is a $20 video-editing application that specializes in multi-track movies. Tracks can be viewed and edited independently of each other and can be temporarily combined to be previewed or exported as a movie file. It can edit any QuickTime file, allows users to specify track offsets, can speed up/slow down video clips, can combine and split tracks, and offers unlimited undo/redo. Version 1.1 adds full Panther compatibility, full-screen playback, looping options, and trim and playback rate options. It requires Mac OS X 10.2 and QuickTime 6.
Early morning tech: RealNetworks Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft Corp., alleging that MIcrosoft has illegally used its power as a monopoly to control the digital media market; Wal-Mart Stores Inc. launched a bare-bones Web site Thursday to test its new 88-cents-per-song online music service; Microsoft and New York's attorney general filed several lawsuits against a New York-based spamming ring allegedly responsible for sending billions of illegal and deceptive e-mail messages.
In the last few days, Team MacNN has surpassed the 1 million point barrier in the Folding@Home distributed computing project: "Now that we have passed this important milestone, our sights are set on loftier targets. Join us in our quest, and make it your own goal to reach the elusive top 10 ranking on the team. To join, simply download the Folding@Home client and install it with the team ID of 16. If you have any questions, visit our forum."
The Austin American-Statesman reports that Dell Inc. stopped reselling Apple's iPods in mid-November, about two weeks after the company launched its own competing MP3 player and says it has no plans to resume sales of the No. 1 MP3 player. The article notes that both Apple and Dell declined to explain why the two companies scrapped their reselling agreement, however, it speculates that Apple's pricing policies may have conflicted with Dell aggressive discounting and promotions.
NewsFactor's The Hidden Costs of Mac Ownership talk about Apple's annual OS licensing policy, the need for Microsoft Office, lack of professional support, availability of Mac-compatible products, and other considerations when looking at the cost of owning a Mac vs. a PC: "Apple's tiny market share is not a reflection on the quality of its OS, , experts agree. But its niche market share -- currently about three percent -- means that Mac users exist in a small minority group. This itself causes extra burdens."
Steve Jobs is among CBS MarketWatch's Winners of 2003: "At a time when legit music downloads were catching on about as quickly as, well, Apple computers, Steve Jobs came along and did it right with ITunes. Still, the most successful online music-seller isn't profitable, but its intent has always been to drive sales of IPod music players. With nearly 20 million songs sold since its April launch, not only has the cult of Apple concept has also sent competitors like Dell and Microsoft scurrying to get their own music services up and running."
Panic has released Transmit 2.6.2, an update to its $25 FTP/SFTP client for Mac OS X. It fixes a bug under Panther, adds PageSpinner support as an external editor, and addresses other minor issues. [1.2MB] DisplayConfigX 0.87 is a tool to configure resolutions matching the monitor. It adds new resolutions to the system configuration and tunes the refresh rates to the monitors abilities. The $12 shareware can be used for free with limited resolutions. [option-click] John MacDonnell has updated his DockFun! 4.1 ($20) application. It now includes a restyled Dockpit, few bug fixes and a Xmas promotion, offering a free version of Cunning Fox ($10 system process viewer) with every purchase of DockFun!, which allows users to have multiple dock configurations. [DF, CF] MegaSeg 2.7.1 updates the $200 professional DJ mixing and radio automation software, fixing Unicode compatibility issues, adding better support fo the Contour ShuttlePro controller, and allowing Playlist Event lists to be edited and reordered by drag-n-drop. [Classic, OSX] Symantec has released Norton AntiVirus X 9.01 via the Live Update function of the application. The latest version brings full Panther compatibility and other (uknown) enhancements. The company has also released the latest December Norton Anti-Virus definitions. mpc2aiff 1.1 is a front-end interface for the command-line utility mppdec, which will decode mpc files (musepack's mpeg plus; other supported extensions are "mpp" or "mp+") to aif format. [120KB]
Glucose has released WeatherPop 2.0 Preview, an update to its desktop weather utility. It now includes a new screensaver, called WeatherPop Sky, which will "create a virtual reality-like landscape of what it looks like to be outside. Depending on the time of day, cloud cover, and current precipitation, WeatherPop Sky can portray a beautiful sunrise or the most treacherous winter snowstorm." The final version of the $8 shareware is due in February 2004 with new weather alerts and other enhancements.
MyKeynoteThemes has released the Nativity theme Set. Part of The Twelve Themes of Christmas, it provides unique backgrounds, frames and photos to help tell the story behind the real meaning of Christmas. Three regal themes of the Three Kings, with velvet presented in red, green and blue bordered by silk cords, a simpler theme representing the Shepherds with plainer cloth and simpler borders, and the Oxen theme of animal hide and rope. It also includes many specially made semi-transparent photos of the three wise men, shepherds, Mary and Joseph and the Baby jesus. It is available for $25.
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