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Apple VP Ive profiled
The Guardian Unlimited has in-depth look at Jonathan Ive, Apple's Vice-president of industrial design: "Friends say the roots of his success lie in his lateral thinking - finding the true appeal of an object, often ignoring the traditional approach to design. Inspiration comes from almost anywhere. The original candy-coloured iMac had its roots in gumdrops. The popular transparent Apple mouse came from thinking about how drops of water sit on a flat surface. An angle-poise desk lamp helped inspire the new iMac."
Symantec NUM 8.0.1 bug
Symantec has published a support document detailing a bug whereby no disks appear in Norton Disk Doctor, UnErase or Speed Disk window after updating to Norton Utilities 8.0.1. A simple seven-step procedure is outlined to correct the conflict.
Apps: Photologist, iStill
Photologist 1.5 is an update to the $20 image management, manipulation, and presentation solution. Version 1.5 fixes a bug that could cause image files to loose their icons; adds individual and batch file type conversion; the "Open Folder in Finder" menu item now works in Panther; and there is now an option to remove images from digital camera after downloading. [Download - 3.5MB]
FastScripts 1.1.4 patches a few troublesome problems that could affect any user, especially those with a large number of scripts. FastScripts is a utility for quickly and elegantly running scripts (AppleScript or shell scripts) from any application. [Download - 1.2MB]
iStill 1.0 is a $25 still image capture application for Mac OS X. Using an iSight camera and iStill, users can capture sketches, signatures, business cards, photos, and other media that are "inconvenient or difficult to get quite right, with a traditional scanner or camera." Using a proprietary image enhancement engine, iStill can build a single sharp image from the iSight's video stream. [Download - 580KB]
Copernican Technologies today released Boswell 3.1.2, am update to the $100 application that is required for use with Mac OS X 10.3. Boswell archives, organizes, manipulates, and retrieves "any text you give it": original writings, e-mail, instant messages, web clippings, research, or class notes, for example. [Download - demo form; update form]
Xover 1.1 is a tool that allows users to remotely control a Mac that is running Mac OS X. Version 1.1 corrects bugs, and introduces an updated interface appearance. Xover is a free download. [Download - 1.2MB]
IdleWeb 1.2 (freeware) is a screen saver module for Mac OS X 10.2 that allows you to load websites while your computer sleeps. Version 1.2 is complete rewrite offering custom refresh intervals for certain websites, a new, configurable autoscroll feature, and other enhancements. [29KB]
The $40 shareware iPod.iTunes 2.4 provides "real" synchronization of MP3/AAC tracks and even playlists from your iPod(s) to your Mac(s). It automatically only copies those tracks which are missing in the iTunes library, excluding duplicates and can copy only desired tracks from a given list. [472KB]
IC-Switch 1.4 is a freeware helper utility for Internet Config for Mac OS X only. It allows you to change quickly and easily your default emailer, Web browser, news reader and FTP client, simply by choosing an item from a menu displayed in all applications. [134KB]
DataDesigner for Freeway
Softpress today launched DataDesigner, a suite of Actions for the creation of dynamic FileMaker 6 sites with Freeway Pro. "With DataDesigner and its intuitive Mac interface, it's easy to generate and deploy all the necessary CDML code and construct beautifully designed and presented FM-driven Web sites. Using the Actions Palette in Freeway Pro, you can add the dynamic fields to your page design...DataDesigner manages the connections for you, automatically building lists of fields based on the current data design" It is available for $100 until the end of January.
iPods in short supply
BBC News reports that Apple's digital jukebox, the iPod, is flying off shop shelves in the run-up to Christmas: "'The demand is certainly outstripping supply,' said Mike Khalfey, department store John Lewis' electronics buyer. Apple says it is working flat out to keep up with sales, but some shops are having to take post-Christmas orders. An Apple spokesperson said it was doing all it could to increase production, but the demand meant some people may be disappointed on Christmas Day. The iPod comes in three guises, but Mr Khalfey said the most popular model had been the mid-range one with 20GB of memory."
MacNN reader Ted Benson writes Fast Company has an intriguing article (by Carleen Hawn, January 2004) about Apple, Steve Jobs, and why the most consistently innovative company in the world is consistently marginalized in the markets it creates. Not every salient point is raised (intellectual property is not discussed), nor is every statement inarguable (Napster and Dell/Musicmatch "offer consumers more choice" apparently because they provide streaming music, while iPod 'works only with the iTunes service', a partial truth at best). But the article is very thought-provoking, and implies that Apple's business model generally dooms it to never be more than a high-end-niche player, forced to innovate simply to stay out of the red. Example: 'the iPod contributed substantially all of Apple's 2003 estimated operating income of $24.8 million.'"
Apple to expand retail
Apple will continue its retail expansion by allocating $160 million to capital expenditures in fiscal 2004, roughly $85 million of the total for retail expansion, according to the Sacremento Business Journal: "In fiscal 2003, Apple had $164 million in capital expenditures, including $92 million for retail stores and equipment. The 2003 investment added 25 retail stores during 2003 for a total of 65 as of Sept. 27, up from 40 in Sept. 2002 and 8 in Sept. 2001. Apple added 9 more stores in the first quarter of fiscal 2004, including its first international store, in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district."
DayLite 1.5.4 released
Marketcircle has released DayLite 1.5.4, the latest version of its contact and sales manager for Mac OS X. This release includes a new quick start template database, improved call management, an improved win/loss graph, significantly improved Address Book syncing performance, better list management, and other changes. DayLite helps manage customer relationships, sales opportunities, and company projects using a built-in SQL database. A 30-day demo of the $150 (single-user) application is available.
Smaller, cheaper iPods?
Following reports on rumor sites such as AppleInsider, Reuters reports that analysts now expect Apple to unveil smaller, cheaper iPods at Macworld Expo San Francisco as well as revamped version of its iLife Software: "In addition to the lower-cost iPods, Cupertino, California-based Apple is also expected to unveil them with different colors and even in stripes, as well as variously colored cases for Apple's traditional iPod."
Aki Mahjong Solitaire
Ambrosia Software has released Aki Mahjong Solitaire, an "elegant blend of the ancient Chinese game of Mahjong with an enchanting journey across Japan. It's a modern fusion of two ancient Asian cultures, and is as much an experience as it is a game. The principle is simple: you have a number of ivory tiles arranged on a beautiful Japanese backdrop. Your goal is to make all of the tiles disappear by matching them to similar tiles." The $20 game title runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
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