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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: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ