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: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for â‚¬30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives