MONEY Magazine's article titled "Why iPod can't save Apple" says the buzz on the digital music player and "swank" storefronts are masking an ebbing bottom line, noting reduced CPU sales (resulting a shrinking marketshare), decreased profits (in part due to the lower-margin iPod and little-to-no profit at the iTunes Music Store), failure of the iPod to drive CPU sales, failure of the retail stores to increase marketshare, hidden retail store costs, no operational income, and little value in the stock. [subscription required to view entire article; highlights posted below]
Instant Interactive Drills 3.0 ($20) is a part of the Instant Interactive Math Series product line. Instant Interactive Drills provides an interactive and graphically rich environment for students to learn basic mathematic operations: Addition; Subtraction; Multiplication; and Division. Version 3.0 includes support for multiple students, new settings, better fact viewing, and a "hall of fame."
Sony today announced the June opening of its European Connect Internet music store, where "consumer can buy songs from 0.99 euros apiece and download them on their computer before exporting them to Sony minisdisc players and walkmans. Connect will start in France, Britain and Germany with 300,000 songs from the five major labels, including Sony Music, plus independent publishers and national and regional artists. There is no longer a limit to the number of times a CD can be copied or to the songs that can be compressed and exported to other SonicStage devices. Rival software such as RealNetworks RealPlayer or Apple's iTunes do not have such restrictions." The company also announced first "personalised radio" service to mobile phones, which consumers can tailor to their own tastes.
The second annual Mac Design Conference returns to Chicago's Convention Center from June 2-4, 2004. Apple and other industry leaders--including Adobe, Wacom, Peachpit Press, and Hewlett Packard--will be exhibiting at the show. The Conference offers three days of Macintosh-based instruction with more than 50 sessions of in-depth training on Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, InDesign, After Effects, QuarkXPress, Final Cut Pro, and Mac OS X as well as a special training track for the iLife applications (iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD, iTunes) and the iPod.
eWEEK feature's on Sony vs. Apple says that Sony "is the closest thing the Windows world has to an Apple Computer. It is also the company that should be the natural winner when it comes to the upcoming convergence in the consumer electronics space. Unfortunately, Sony has had execution issues that have made me doubt it will ever step up to its potential.... Looking at the Apple vs. Sony dynamic, which is where the competition between the Wintel and Apple platforms should be the most dramatic, I don't see much in the way of excitement. The Apple Switcher campaign was actually well-done, but it failed miserably, and I don't see people moving from Apple machines that much anymore, either."
Upcoming workshops/seminars: The Atlanta Final Cut Pro User Group will be meeting at the Apple Store in Lenox Mall from 7:00-9:00 p.m, March 17th, featuring presenter Jim Kanter; the next meeting of The Macintosh Business Users Society of Greater Philadelphia (MacBUS) will be held on Tuesday, March 30, at 6:30 p.m. with presenter Jon Falk of The Pixel Place; 3DNY has partnered with Maine Workshops to launch their new 3D Animation department this summer.
CourseForum Technologies has released CourseForum 3.4 and ProjectForum 3.4, its web software for business and educational collaboration. The products provide a focus for group work and collaboration, including wiki-style forums. Version 3.4 provides a range of enhancements and fixes throughout both programs, making it easier to build complex pages and customize the contents of initial forums. Both can be hosted on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux and FreeBSD. CourseForum prices start at $90, while ProjectForum starts at $230. A free "lite" version of each is also available.
Inferiis has released KeepAnEye 1.5, an update to its multipurpose monitoring and notification utility that tracks various data sources by "providing visual representations which can be freely organized on the screen like stickies." It can monitor RSS feeds, pictures, eBay auctions, web pages, software updates, disk usage, IP addresses, etc using a flexible plug-in architecture to support various kinds of data sources. Version 1.5 updates the notification architecture and adds new notification options (emai, open documents, and execute AppleScripts) in addition to other standard options. It also includes a new "Google" observer plugin that surveys results. The $12 utility runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
WebObjects 5.2.3 Developer is an update to Apple's Web suite to develop and deploy Java server applications. This release addresses incompatibilities between WebObjects and the latest versions of Xcode, Java, an Mac OS X. The release also fixes minor bugs. [Download - available via SW Update utility] VoodooPad 1.1.3 is is a maintenance release that addresses numerous bugs. VoodooPad is an advanced notepad application that allows users to link together related notes. [Download - VP, VP Lite] PDFpen 1.2 is an update to SmileOnMyMac's $30 PDF editing utility for Mac OS X. Included is a new freehand drawing tool, library palette, editable PDF document info, page rotation, and more. [Download - 2.1MB] Safaricon 2.0 is an update to the utility that allows users to change Safari's user interface by installing icons as well as other application resources. Version 2.0 enables Aqua nib files for Safari 1.2.1, and complies with new ownership status of Safari. [Download - 1.4MB] Application Servers Update 1.0 upgrades various Java application server components shipped in Mac OS X Server 10.3. WebObjects 5.2.3 deployment, which contains many important fixes and is qualified on the Java 1.4.2 platform. JBoss is upgraded to version 3.2.3 and contains new security features and fixes. Tomcat has been updated to version 4.1.29 and is fully integrated with the JBoss distribution. [Download - 95MB] Metadata Hootenanny is a viewer/editor for "all the metadata you can put into Quicktime movies." Version 1.0 -- the first public release -- features many bug fixes, and "many, many" interface enhancements. [Download - 1.3MB] Summary 2.5b11 is a new beta release of the Web server log analyzer. This release adds 27 new report types, traffic spike detection, new columns, 12 hour or 24 hour time, and custom HTML reports. [Download - 4.6MB]
Boris FX announced that Continuum Complete AVX v3 is now shipping. Continuum Complete AVX 3 is a comprehensive suite of native plug-in filters and transitions for Avid systems. Version 3 offers built-in motion tracking, the ability to apply multiple filters to keyed elements or titles without affecting the background, and a new PixelChooser option that allows the user to define a masked region by drawing an animatable vector-based polygon onscreen. It also provides integrated drop shadows and geometrics to scale, rotate and reposition the effect without adding additional filters as well as acceleration controls to allow spatial parameters to ease in and out of keyframes for more natural animation.
Ample Technologies today has launched the first AppleCentre in India in Bangalore, according to TechTree.com: "Located at the Forum Mall, it is the largest Apple-authorized reseller store in India. Visitors are permitted to create a digital photo slideshow, compile a digital music library, edit a video, burn a custom DVD and play the latest video games. A facility for a kid station is provided where children get access to a variety of 'edutainment' and gaming software. Plus a 16-seater presentation area is allotted for customers who can watch demonstrations of Appleís latest product innovations, take classes and attend 'Basic Mac Familiarisation Training' events."
Lexar today introduced JumpDrive Photo, a 40X speed-rated, large capacity USB 2.0 flash drive. The drive includes Image Rescue 2.0, the company's image recovery software that recovers deleted images and also permanently deletes data from the card. Designed in a durable plastic housing and rubberized cap to protect against rough use and the elements, JumpDrive Photo will be available in April for $90 (256MB) and $180 (512MB) with 1GB and 2GB versions due later this spring. Lexar also introduced JumpDrive 2.0 Pro 80X, which features a minimum sustained read and write speed capability of 12MB/sec. It is due in April for $90 (256MB), $190 (512MB) and $350 (1GB). Its recently introduced JumpDrive Sport and JumpDrive Elite are now widely available in Europe as well.
Prosoft has released Data Backup X 2.0, the newest version of its $60 data backup, synchronization, and cloning application for Mac OS X. Version 2.0 sports an improved user interface and faster backup performance. It also offers functions such as creation of bootable backups, schedules, file exceptions/filters, options for compression/synchronization, and several backup modes: clone (exact copy), versioned backup (saves older versions), and incremental backup (only copies modified files). Data Backup 2.0 also includes better compression technology as well as optional file encryption. It is a free upgrade to all Data Backup X owners.
You Software today introduced You Control 1.1, an update to its collection of 15 powerful menu utilities for Mac OS X for creating custom menus accessing commands via the keyboard. Version 1.1 includes three new menu modules and improved performance. It now offers functions to monitors the status of Apple's Mail.app, easily access any individual system preference setting, access the Mac OS X Fast User Switching feature from any You Control menu (as well as replace with an icon in the menubar), and global weather functions. It is a free update to the $70 application.
Opera today released Opera 7.5 preview 3 for the Mac, supporting Opera's new Presto rendering engine, which was rebuilt from scratch for blazing fast speed, improved standards support, and bidirectional text display. It also includes Opera Mail, Opera Chat (with experimental support for IRC) , and Mac OS X integration with Keychain and Address Book. Other features expected in the final release include support for Unicode keyboard layouts, synchronization with Adress Book, and support for LiveConnect Java technology. It runs on Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl