Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: one user's Power Mac G5 case modification; discussion of the new PowerBook G4's durability after a member significantly dented his 17" PowerBook's case; the iMac "green light of death" problem, experienced by a small group of owners; GNOME 2.6's transition to ' spatial mode' file navigation from browser-like navigation.
Roxio is conducting a survey of Toast users to gauge satisfaction with the product, and assess interest in new features. Respondents are entered into a sweepstakes drawing to win a $500 Amazon.com gift certificate.
ExtremeTech's Video Codec Shootout evaluates four different video codecs for home use, including DivX, Windows Media Video 9, QuickTime 6.5/Sorenson 3, and QuickTime 6.5/MPEG-4: "We give the nod to both DivX 5.1.1 and WMV9 -- it all depends on your priorities. If you're going to stick to computers as playback devices, the faster speed of DivX is welcome. If you want to play your stuff on the PDAs, portable video players, and DVD players coming out later this year and beyond, WMV9 has broader industry support and is worth the extra encoding time. Both codecs delivered quite impressive image quality."
The opening montage in the 76th Academy Awards was cut and comped on the set with Macs running Final Cut Pro, according to Apple Hot News: "Director Troy Miller of LA-based Dakota Pictures shot much of the film against green screen backgrounds, using clever composites to convince the audience that Crystal was really 'there.' And to convince themselves that the illusions were working, the Dakota crew used PowerBooks and a Power Mac G5 editing station running Final Cut Pro to create and view the shots on the fly, on set, as the footage was captured."
HP yesterday launched a website for HP Music, its forthcoming music download service based on iTunes (part of the HP-Apple alliance). Apple also began offering an HP-specific version of iTunes for download for both HP and Compaq customers, according to The Register: "The 'special' HP/Compaq version of iTunes is version 4.2 of the software, as per the Mac and non-specific Windows versions of the software. The chief difference is believed to be code to allow Apple to track downloads made by HP customers rather than those of its own."
MacResponder 1.5 scans email accounts periodically and automatically sends replies as well as features rule-based settings to trigger actions based on the sender or the subject. The new version features an improved email engine, speed improvements, new options for POP3 and SMTP authentification, and a new option to avoid sending replies to messages which were already on the server at application launch. [362KB] Suck It Down 1.7 ($20) will download any type of data from a Website. Users can specify file extensions to easily download images, movies, mp3s, pdfs and more. It also provides preview for downloaded images and QuickTime compatible files, like movies and mp3s. [2MB] Speed Download 2.3.2 ($20) brings several minor new features and bug fixes to the powerful download manager. Speed Download 2 both manages and optimizes Web downloads as well as monitoring your software for updates. [Download - 2.1MB]Ridge 2.1.1 ($10) can meter and restrict the amount of data that can be uploaded and downloaded from the Internet, offering a feature to alert users when that limit has been reached. Version 2.1.1 improves performance and adds a German localization. [Download - 577KB]Conversion 1.1.1 (free) is a unit converter that features 373 units and 9,811 different conversion tables. [Download - 2.3MB]AE Monitor 1.5 ($30) helps developers understand Apple Events and integrate Apple Event functionality into their applications. It now includes automatic code generation to replicate Apple Events; the ability to monitor applications one at a time; event rules; enhanced performance, customization, etc. [Download - form]
Macromedia has released Dreamweaver MX 2004 7.0.1, a free update that significantly improves performance (up to 70 percent on Mac OS X), improves stability, restores the Timeline feature from the original Dreamweaver MX, and more. Dreamweaver MX 2004 sells for $400.
Hitatchi has started shipping in limited quantities its new 400GB Deskstar 7K400 hard drive. The drive, noted earlier this week, is the highest capacity on the market, spins at 7,200 RPM, and features both Serial and Parallel ATA connectivity. It also features new Rotational Vibration Safeguard technology "used to ensure drive performance in high rotational vibration environments, where there are multiple drives in a single enclosure" as well as Hitatchi's enterprise-class spindle motor. Pricing is currently unavailable.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
Views from the 6 iTunes, Apple Music exclusive
Drake's new album "Views From the 6" has debuted on iTunes and Apple Music as an exclusive in the first week of its release. The singles Once Dance and Pop Style, however, are available elsewhere in the interim. Securing exclusives from leading artists has been a key strategy Apple has adopted in trying to attract users to its services. Most notably, Taylor Swift's hugely popular 1989"remains unavailable to users of competing services like Spotify or Tidal. http://apple.co/1NLwsSH
TSMC chip sales to Apple jump $2B in 2015
Apple A9 and A9X chip supplier TSMC saw sales to Apple jump $2 billion in 2015. TSMC's fabrication partnership with Apple on the A-series processor helped drive its revenue to $26.4 billion, up 6 percent over the previous year, although its dependence on Apple's chip orders meant that without its business, TSMC's revenue would have actually declined by 2 percent. The Taiwan-based chip maker is currently sharing Apple's A9-series chip supplies with Samsung, although is rumored to be gaining all Apple's orders for the next-generation Apple A10 chips. http://bit.ly/24tCE6e
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-Élysées. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel
Verizon gives last offer, issues workers ultimatum
Verizon has offered striking workers its "last, best and final offer" following 10 months of protracted negotiations with union leaders. The latest offer comes on the back of 36,000 Verizon employees taking strike action two weeks ago. The proposal includes a 7.5 percent wage rise, better benefits and voluntary retirement incentive offers. The striking workers, mainly on from its fixed line operations, have claimed that Verizon has outsourced 5,000 jobs to workers overseas and that it has been deliberately hiring low-wage, non-union contractors. Verizon recently posted revenue of $32.2 billion for the March quarter. http://cnnmon.ie/26AmwSv