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The Apple Division of Renaissance, the exclusive distributor of Apple in New Zealand, and Sounds Music Stores have partnered to deliver a "store-within-a-store" concept in Sounds digital music stores, New Zealand's largest music chain: "A section of Sounds stores will be set aside solely as an area to showcase the iPod, where customers can experience its functionality first hand on demo units....'Sounds are a great partner as they reach a wide range of people that we don't usually attract through the traditional IT channel.'"
Evening tech news: Dell, HP, and other PC manufacturers are planning to offer notebooks with Intel's gaming-oriented Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor over the next two weeks; investigators from the Australian recording industry "raided" the Sydney offices of Kazaa on Friday in search of evidence to support allegations of copyright infringements; Internet "spammers" who secretly billed victims $3.99 per minute after luring them with promises of a free video-game console have agreed to settle deceptive-business charges.
Stone Design today announced immediate availability of new versions of Stone Studio specifically to take advantage of new features in Mac OS X 10.3. This release features the following updated components: Create 11.3.2, PStill 3.3.1, and TimeEqualsMoney 2.4.2. Create is a illustration, page layout and web authoring application; PStill converts PS to PDF, combines files, shrinks PDF and more; and TimeEqualsMoney is the lowcost time and expense tracking and billing application. Stone Studio also includes five other applications, and costs $150.
Alias today announced it is involved in exclusive discussions with a "leading private equity investment firm" for the acquisition of Alias from SGI. Meanwhile, SGI also announced that it would bring Mac OS X support in March to its SGI Infinite Storage Shared Filesystem CXFS, which provides heterogeneous shared file access over a storage area network and allows broadcast material to be shared at 25x real-time rates and real-time transfers of film resolution material.
Feral Interactive's “Republic: The Revolution” has now entered beta and should be available at the beginning of next quarter, the company said today. "The mighty Soviet Union has fallen, and the fledging republic of Novistrana teeters on the verge of collapse. Starting with nothing more than a small base of local support, you must build a nationwide faction powerful enough to start a revolution, and oust the President… by any means necessary. "
Destineer’s Macintosh unit, MacSoft, announced today that a playable demo of Epic Games’ highly-anticipated Unreal Tournament 2004 for the Macintosh will be available for download today at 6:00 p.m. CST. The sequel to last year's popular Unreal Tournament 2003, UT04 "takes gladiator combat to a new level" with the addition of land and air vehicles, an arsenal of new weaponry, daunting new arenas, epic battlefields and the challenge of the "Assault" and "Onslaught" game types.
FWB today announced it has become Diskology reseller and will sell Diskology's Disk Jockey hardware. The $350 hard disk copy and diagnostic tool allows users to clone ATA hard drives at speeds of up to 10 times faster than PC-based copies. In addition, it can be used to mirror data between two hard drives, span two drives as one logical volume, test hard drives at the block level, and verify that data that has been copied between drives remains intact. It also mounts hard drives to the desktop of a Windows or Macintosh computer, and erases hard drives quickly and securely.
VendorNation today announced that it will develop VistaPro 5, an update to the original 3D terrain tool (currently only available for Windows) In partnership with Monkey Byte Development, it has signed a worldwide exclusive contract to bring a new version of VistaPro to Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux: "VistaPro has the ability to add oceans, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, clouds, snow, haze, trees, shrubs and buildings. You have full control over the colors used for all landscape features, making the landscapes impressively real or indescribably alien." It is expected to be released for Mac OS X early next year.
Peachpit today announced Mac OS X Panther Hands-On Training ($35): "Get up to speed with Mac OS X Panther and its i-apps through hands-on exercises and demo movies! By following along with the tutorials, you'll gain practical experience using Panther and it's built-in applications, including the entire iLife suite. Complete with insiders tips, illustrated with detailed graphics, and accompanied by a CD loaded with classroom-proven exercises and QuickTime movies." It is available for 15% off via the Website.
Quark has released Quark Xpress 6.1, an update to its pouplar desktop publishing application. Version 6.1 includes support for Mac OS X v10.3 Panther; improved integration with Microsoft Excel (e.g., direct photo/spreadsheett import with colors, borders, patterns, hyperlinks, etc.); a new Edit Original XTensions module that gives Mac OS users the ability to select a picture then open and edit it in a preferred image editing application; and a new font mapping utility that lets QuarkXPress 6.1 users create and manage rules to govern automatic font substitution. Separate downloads are available for Classic, Jaguar, and Panther.
Creative Manager 6.1 updates the web-based project management software with enhancements for Apple's Safari 1.2. It offers job costing as well as full Project Management, CRM, Digital Asset Management, billing and accounting, and Extranet functions. Using the new Safari features, it leverages full keyboard-based navigation as well as extended Java support for better local editing and verification. Meanwhile, the company is in the final stages of development of its new sync and sharing tools allowing users to take their web-based calendars and contacts on the road, using iCal and AddressBook.
jzmo is shipping a new line of women's leather laptop bags that are "fun, unique, and fashionable." The bags feature an organic design on the outside with a soft faux suede lining colored in steel blue." The bags fit Apple's (white) iBooks and the 12- and 15-inch PowerBooks. There are four styles to choose from: Knockout Red, Espresso, Midnight Mocha, and Double Mocha. The bags retail for $200, but are available for $175 through Valentine's Day (February 14) with free shipping. (Also, for each bag sold in February, the company is donating $25 to the American Heart Association on behalf of women.)
Computerworld reports that support costs and demands fell as Edith Cowan University's communications school migrated 280 seats to Mac OS X Panther (as well as recently purchased 60 G5 machines--with more Xserve G5s and an Xserve RAID on the way): "Our teaching machines are a mixture of iMacs, G4s, and the new G5s which isn’t a bad thing as OS X will boot of all machines regardless of type. The desktops support roaming profiles and directory access which works well. OS X stores everything on the servers and only writes locally when it needs to so there is no local caching. Also, each client allows secure logins via SSL which addresses one of the concerns universities face."
Epson today began shipping its Stylus Photo R200, which offers direct CD/DVD printing and its Stylus Photo RX600 Scan-Print-Copy Device. The $100 Stylus Photo R200 features six individual ink cartridges, resolutions of up to 5760 x 1440 using 3-picoliter ink droplets, print speeds of up to 15 ppm, BorderFree photo printing technology, and USB 1.1 connectivity (via front and rear ports). The $350 Stylus Photo RX600 photographic all-in-one offers six-color photo inks at resolutions as high as 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi as well as memory card slots, a 2.5-inch high-quality color LCD viewer, a built-in transparency adapter, 2,400x4,800 dpi, 48-bit color scanning, standalone copy functions, and USB 2.0 connectivity (included cable).
Sony this week introduced its new CLIE T-series devices (PEG-TH55, -TJ37 and -TJ27 models) with a host of multimedia features and connectivity options, including built-in cameras with 2x zoom, MP3 players, video playback, integrated 802.11b connectivity, and an internal lithium-ion Polymer rechargeable battery that last up to 10 days. The devices, which will run the Palm 5 OS, will be available in March at retailers nationwide for $200, $300 and $400, respectively. They are available for pre-order from the Sony Website (the TJ37 and TJ27 are offered with free carrying cases).
Aspyr has posted details its forthoming conversion of Novalogic's first-person shooter Delta Force:Black Hawk Down: "In late 1993, the United States launched dual military operations in Mogadishu Somalia. Delta Force Operatives and Army Rangers were sent in to capture Somali warlords and restore order. As a Delta Force operative participate in a number of daring and intense raids against the oppressive Somali warlords in and around Mogadishu." It is currently in Alpha and expected to ship in mid-May. The $50 title is available for pre-order now.
GeeThree is now shipping the Stealth Serial Port G5, which provides fully compatible serial port: "Unlike USB-to-serial adapters, the Stealth Serial Port works with Localtalk, MIDI, any serial printer and virtually any other Mac serial peripheral." It installs into the modem slot, requires no drivers, supports externally clocked serial peripherals such as serial printers and MIDI devices, and uses a standard mini-DIN8 connector. The $50 device includes a 30-day money back guarantee.
IBM's PowerPC 970FX has won In-Stat/MDR's best desktop processor award for 2003, beating out the Pentium 4 and Athlon 64 FX-51. The 5th Annual Analysts’ Choice Awards were awarded last week in San Jose, CA: "The analysts have announced their picks for 2003, recognizing excellence in technology innovation, design, and implementation. This event is the most prestigious celebration of the companies and products that shaped the electronics industry in 2003." AMD's Opteron won in the Server Processor category, while Intel's Pentium M took first place in the Mobile PC processor category.
PalmSource yesterday announced that it will no longer develop synchronization software for its next generation OS, Palm OS Cobalt (formerly known as Palm OS 6), requiring users to turn to the third-party mark/space solution noted yesterday: "As the way the PIM apps work has changed significantly, this means Mac users won't be able to HotSync without third-party software. Fortunately, a third party has already stepped forward.... This will allow existing Mac conduits for other third-party applications to still work. [...] Mark/Space indicated this application will probably cost about what the current one does now, about $40."
SanDisk made a number of product announcements today at the Photo Marketing Associating trade show. Among them: the Shoot & Store line of inexpensive media cards for digital cameras, which will be available in drug stores and supermarkets; Extreme and Ultra II versions of Memory Stick Pro cards available in 256MB ($130/$120), 512MB ($330/$300), and 1GB ($680/$600) capacities; and a 2GB CompactFlash card in Extreme ($850) and Ultra II ($800) versions, which it bills as "the world's fastest." SanDisk's site has not yet been updated with information on the new products.
Watch maker LAKS has unveiled the Memory Music, a stylish watch that features a built-in MP3 player. The watch comes bundled with headphones and includes an integrated USB port (bus-powered) and a lithium-ion battery that supports up to five hours of playback. Memory Music will ship in March in five capacities starting at Euro 89 for 32MB and going up to Euro 198 for 256MB.
Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge has published a very in-depth and interesting interview with David Yoffie, the Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration at Harvard Business School, who has followed Apple closely for more than a decade. Yoffie offers many detailed insights into Apple's current position in the market, the company's strengths and weaknesses, and its prospects for the future. Yoffie notes that if one had invested $1.00 in Apple in 1992, it would be worth $0.72 today, versuses the $2.75 S&P 500 average, and suggests that Apple may have a difficult time competing Microsoft when it comes to developing the next generation of operating systems -- what replaces OS X and XP/Longhorn -- due to the sheer economics of the company.
The Walt Disney Company continues to grab headlines, with Comcast Corporation this morning proposing a $66 billion bid to acquire Disney. The offer comes on the heels of Pixar's announcement that it will be severing ties with Disney and Microsoft's partnership with Disney and its digital media initiatives. Apple CEO Steve Jobs also reportedly ripped into Disney CEO Michael Eisner recently, while former Disney board members Stanley Gold and Roy Disney -- who left the company last year amidst disputes with Eisner -- have casually said Jobs would make a great Disney CEO.
The Wall Street Journal's Walter Mossberg takes a hands-on look at the iPod Mini in his column today, applauding the device's design and execution but lamenting its price. "Apple's iPod Mini is a winner, but would be a true home run at $50 less," Mossberg concludes. Mossberg also finds some fault in the headphone jack being on the edge of the device, and the lack of bundled accessories. Also interesting is that "the latest version of iTunes even senses if you have a Mini, and if your song collection exceeds its capacity, the software can optionally auto-choose a selection of songs that will fit. It builds this selection, in part, based on which songs you've played most often or most recently, and which you've rated highest in iTunes."
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k