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Daystar today announced new lower prices on its line of desktop PowerPC upgrades. Citing new streamlined manufacturing savings, Daystar cut costs by as much as 25%, reducing the price of the 500MHz MAChSpeed G4/ZIF to $190. Reduced pricing for other products includes 366MHz MAChSpeed G4/ZIF ($80), 550MHz MAChSpeed G4/ZIF ($230), 350MHz MAChCarrier G4 ($120), 450MHz MAChCarrier G4 ($170), and 500MHz MAChCarrier G3 ($150).
Apple has added more .Mac member benefits to its paid suite of online services. It is offering .Mac members 25% off Nanosaur II: Hatchling from Pangea Soft through May 12 (as well as an exclusive demo, as noted yesterday). Apple is also offering exclusive Apple training "Getting Started with Mac OS X Panther" with more than 100 QuickTime movies covering Panther and other applications.
As SCO's legal battle over Linux becomes even more expensive, Microsoft suggests that a hedge fund invest in the outfit. For months, rumors have swirled around the Web alleging that Microsoft helped finance a small Utah software company's suit against IBM and two corporations that use Linux software. BusinessWeek reports that Microsoft did not put up the money, but did play matchmaker for SCO Group and BayStar Capital, a San Francisco hedge fund which made a $50 million investment in SCO last October.
iChat Status Script enables users to post their iChat (AIM) status to a Web site. "It grabs your status from iChat every 60 seconds and writes it to a text file to your Web server via FTP." [Download - 7KB] AquaChat AV is a new program from ScifienceStudios that replaces iChat AV's brushed metal interface with an Aqua one. AquaChat AV is built on the same technology as "Safari Aquafier." [Download - 44KB] iStopMotion 1.3 adds localization for German and minor new features to better support animators. iStopMotion is a $40 application to create stop-motion animation and time-lapse sequences. [Download - 572KB] GRBand Assistant is a $15 collection of software utilities designed to enhance the funcionality of Apple's GarageBand. Currently there are two software titles in the suite (more to come): GB Import, a utility which imports standard exs files as new Software Instruments; and Midi Master, a utility which uses information from a Midi file to play music through a sample based synthesizer. [Download - 304KB] StatusMonitors allows users to monitor a variety of things, including current weather conditions, network traffic, CPU status, and more. Users can add new monitors as they come available from SuavéWare or third party developers. [Download - 1.7MB] SpamStopper is a free Web developer's utility that helps keep email address-harvesting 'bots' from grabbing email addresses from your Web site. SpamStopper works by encoding the text of email address so that it no longer looks like an email address in the HTML. [Download - 1.3MB] Enhancement Pack for Appleworks adds a number of new features, including database support, drawing features, and extra word processing commands. Version 1.5 brings Mac OS X compatibility to all features of the Enhancement Pack for AppleWorks, which required updates to most scripts. [Download - 1.6MB] Automize 6.0 is a utility that enables users to automate tasks on both Mac OS X and Windows with relative ease. This release adds synchronize, un-ZIP, echo, and delay tasks, as well as SSH2 and SFtp support, and engine upgrades. An email notification module and other new features were also added. [Download - 2.0MB] Age of Mythology 1.01 incorporates several performance enhancements and fixes and also adds support for GameRanger Premium. Age of Mythology for Macintosh is MacSoft's version of Microsoft Game Studios; best-selling real-time strategy game. [Download - 3.6MB]
Apple hopes to open its online Apple Store for New Zealand later this month, according to Computerworld, although it will not use the same technology and will not be run by Apple itself: "Because Apple computers are distributed in New Zealand by Renaissance, rather than an Apple branch office, the New Zealand store won’t use the same software as other Apple stores. Sinclair says the local store is being developed by another Renaissance subsidiary, Conduit International....the store will offer the entire Apple range but won’t initially include built-to-order options or third party products."
FireWire Depot today introduced its FireWire 800 dual-channel bridgeboard and two new RAID 1 enclosures. The FWB-IDE02 bridgeboard has two IDE channels--each of which supports two ATA drives (Master and Slave) connected to its FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b) serial bus. The FWB-IDE02 offers a RAID (Span) function for higher-speed multimedia file storage applications and "provides the perfect solution for video or image file storage and transferring of data between computers using ATA devices." It will ship on March 17 for $140. Due later this month, the new FireWire/USB2 combo RAID enclsoure ($330) with drive mirroring (RAID 1) functions and automatic failover to the other drive in case of drive failure. The FireWire 800 version of the same drive is $400.
In-short: Security Tracker reports on a minor Safari vulnerability that allows remote servers to obtain cookies from the target user's browser for the same domain but regardless of the path restrictions; Apple has posted documentation on its HFS+ Volume format in Developer Note TN 1150; Three new independent Mac stores are expected to open in Amsterdam--two of which will be similar to Apple's retail stores in the US.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs took a $1 salary in 2003, as he has since 1998, and received $74.75 million in restricted stock in exchange for his outstanding stock options in March 2003, according to Reuters: "[Apple] did not pay Jobs, who is also a co-founder of the company, any new stock options or cash bonus in 2003. No other executive received stock options in 2003, Apple said. Jobs began taking a $1 salary one year after he returned to Apple in 1997, aiming to turn around the company he helped found. But over the years, other compensation for Jobs has been criticized, such as stock options and a $90 million jet...Employees received merit increases, the company said, but executives have not received increases in three years, other than through promotions, Apple said."
Apple Senior Vice President Ron Johnson will deliver a keynote address at the seventh annual Success by Design Conference on Thursday, April 22, at the Rhode Island Convention Center: "Ron Johnson, a senior vice president, is credited with pushing Apple to open 70 retail stores in the United States and the company's first store in Japan -- a move that brought in more than $1 billion. Johnson will speak about design and how it influences branding, merchandising and marketing," according to The Providence Journal.
DiskWrangler 2.0 ($30) is a file launching and browsing utility for Mac OS X. It enables users to launch specific applications, files and web and mail URLs, all from the keyboard. Version 2.0 introduces launcher sets, allowing users to open any number of files and applications at once. It also features a disk browser which lets users view and manipulate files under keyboard control. [2.4MB] ScreenRecord provides a screen capture environment for creating visual tutorials, product demos, etc. The $25 utility is optimized for Panther, offers QuickTime movie creation, can add voice-overs, can capture dialog boxes and drop down menus, can import movies, and offers fixed-, smooth-, and auto-panning cameras. Multi-board 1.0 is a text/picture clipboard switching application that provides 11 clipboards. It offers keyboard control (via the function keys) as well as control via the dock under Mac OS X and using floating window under Mac OS 9. The freeware runs on Mac OS 8.5/9 and Mac OS X. [598KB] DesktopBrowser places a full-screen internet browser in the background of your screen. It uses Apple's Safari Web Engine, offers menubar access, and can refresh/switch sites at custom intervals. It is available for $12 and runs on Mac OS X. [977KB] NetShred 3.3 ($20) adds Mailsmith support to the privacy utility that automatically shreds web browser cache, browser history files, download cache, etc. It can be set to automatically run upon application quit, supports most Mac browsers, and offers compliance with US DoD, NSA and Gutmann electronic shredding standards. [2.9MB] OfficePool 2004 v1.2 is a program that completely automates your 2004 NCAA March Madness Basketball Pool. You can print and view detailed standings and brackets or build an entire web site with a click of the mouse. Version 1.2 offers import of Mail.app's mbox file for automatically entering bracket information. [1.5MB]
Apple's Annual Shareholder Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 22, 2004 at 10:00 a.m PST in Cupertino. The company is expected to elect the Company's Board of Directors, ratify the appointment of KPMG LLP as independent auditors of the Company for fiscal year 2004 as well as "consider a shareholder proposal if properly presented at the meeting." The six directors nominated for re-election are William Campbell, Millard Drexler, Albert Gore, Jr., Steve Jobs, Arthur Levinson, and Jerome York. Apple is expected to hold its Q2 2004 Earnings Conference Call on April 14, 2004, the same day it is expected to release its earnings for the quarter.
Game developer Beenox today announced two new labels for the company: Beenox Score and Beenox Shift, representing respectively its original gaming division and its game porting division responsible for such titles as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 and the upcoming Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The company also launched a new website, which notes that Beenox Shift is working on 5 unannounced titles (codenamed "Machoman", "Deadly Jacket"", "High Hopes", "LightPunk", "FatMustard,"). The company says that Beenox Score is currently working at its first 3D title based on an original IP. Codenamed "ShapeShifter", it has reached Beta status.
Starbucks is planning on entering the digital music download business, offering customers the ability to purchase songs and burn them instantly to CDs, according to BusinessWeek: "With 30 million weekly customers who trust Starbucks not just for its many beverages but also for its ability to create an attractive lifestyle brand around upscale coffee culture, execs think they see a huge market for selling music...The company thinks the service will significantly add to its $4.1 billion in annual revenue while enhancing its brand. Prices will be comparable to Apple's iTunes service: $6.99 for five songs, the minimum purchase. Albums will cost $12.95. To appeal to a younger set, Starbucks will ultimately offer wireless downloads to laptops or portable players." Yesterday we noted that Virgin may provide signficant competition for Apple when it enters the market.
ergonis software today released an update to its MIDI sequencer software: easy beat 2.0 features support for up to 16 tracks plus a metronome track, 100+ instruments and drum kits with the software synthesizer, multiple views (score, drum, keyboard, TAB, chords, controllers), import/export of MIDI files, QuickTime export, background music, single-track real-time recording (requires a MIDI adapter and a MIDI instrument), stylistic variations (shuffle, emphasis, arpeggio, delay, ...), score printing, and templates. It runs on Mac OS X only and is available for $90. Upgrades are $50.
DVDthemePAK.com today unveiled two collections of Buttons for Apple's iDVD 4.0: "This is the first Button set add-on product for iDVD. Each ButtonPAK contains 21 different styled Buttons in a wide range of styles and designs. When combined together into the ButtonPAK+ you get all 42 Buttons and 5 Free backgrounds for a Theme building 'kit' of sorts." Each iDVDButtonPAK is priced at $50 (with a $10 discount for electronic downloads). Both PAK 1 and 2 for $74 (download) and $90 (CD).
Apple will be attending the BioIT World expo -- which deals with technology in healthcare and research -- in Boston, March 30 to April 1. Additionally, it will attend the MySQL Users Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida -- "the largest gathering of MySQL developers, administrators, and open source experts -- on April 14 to 16. Finally, Apple will attend the NAB2004 expo -- a gathering of electronic media professionals -- April 19-24, in Las Vegas. As part of its NAB 2004 presence, Apple is also sponsoring the "ProMax 9th Annual Digital Cafe," covering the latest in DV, SD, HD video editing as well as a special invitation-only NAB event on Sunday, April 18, 2004.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL