Adobe today reported record earnings and revenues for its first quarter ended March 5th. Adobe achieved record revenue of $423.3 million, compared to $296.9 million reported for the first quarter of fiscal 2003. Net income was a record $123.0 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2004, compared to $54.2 million reported in the first quarter of fiscal 2003. "Our outstanding quarter was driven by strong global revenue from the new Adobe Creative Suite and record revenue from our Intelligent Documents business."
Virtual Programming today launched a new Web site, and made a number of announcements related to its latest games. "Virtual Grand Prix 2" has reached gold master and is moving into production. Pre-orders are being taken for shipping in April.
Web Dumper 2.0 is a $17 Internet tool† that† allows† users to download Web sites for offline browsing. The latest includes a standard toolbar with most used functions; offers a new Pause/Resume function; features minimum cookie handling; is available in an Italian localized version; and features a redesigned interface with significant performance enhancements. [Download - OS X, Classic] Barcode Producer 2.6 ($130) is a new functionality update to the barcode generation suite for Mac OS X. This update adds support for, and fixes several issues related to Mac OS X 10.3.3. Also included is a new PostScript name reference sheet, an Asset Tag Maker; and an Inventory Printer. [Download - 2.0MB] MacMemoriesManager 0.4 ($67) is a radio memory manager that "wrestles unruly rig memories to the ground, saves multiple memory files for different situations, and switches easily from profile to profile." It must be registered to work beyond the 5 minute time limit for some features to work. [Download - 2.5MB] iCan 3.0 is a $10 multi-featured trash utility with a desktop trashcan and a new system-wide trash menu. Version 3.0 adds many new features, including full compatibility for OS X 10.3, a new system-wide menu, and a much improved trashcan appearance - Quartz graphics is now used for drawing iCan themes. [Download - 2.0MB] AE Monitor 1.5 ($30) helps developers understand Apple Events and integrate Apple Event functionality into their applications. This major update delivers many new features, including automatic code generation to replicate Apple Events; the ability to monitor applications one at a time; event rules; enhanced performance and customization; and more. [Download - 2.5MB] Audiocorder 4.0.1 ($20) is a program that allows a Mac to act as a sophisticated audio recorder. The latest version includes some bug fixes to recording in the WAVE file format. [Download - OS X, Classic]
Tech News: The European Union said that last-ditch settlement talks with Microsoft had failed and would propose a "precedent-setting ruling against the U.S. software giant be adopted next week;" new "mesh system" technology allowing hotspots to talk to eachother could extend the range of Wi-Fi networks; Nearly three of four people in the US have Internet access at home, Internet audience measurement service Nielsen/NetRatings said on Thursday; and Google Zeitgeist reports that 4% of Google users used the Mac in February.
Apple has released Xserve RAID Admin Tools 1.3, an update to Xserve RAID's remote management software. The Java-based application provides an interface for creating protected storage volumes, logging events, managing preferences, and monitoring storage hardware from virtually any networked computer over TCP/IP. MacNN readers also note that Apple has released a Xserve firmware upgrade via the Software Update function in Mac OS X.
Aspyr today announced that The Lord of the Rings; The Return of the King has gone "gold", finishing development on the third-person action/adventure title; Due early next month, it "puts the fate of Middle-earth in the hands of the gamer... players must destroy the One Ring by casting it into the Crack of Doom, freeing Middle-earth from the clutches of the Dark Lord Sauron." It offers eight playable and secret characters including Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Sam and Frodo with exclusive voice-over provided by the actual actors from the films as well as an all-new co-op multiplayer mode, 12 interactive environments, and seamless movie-to-game transitions. The $50 title will be available on April 2.
Konica Minolta today introduced the new DiMAGE G600, a new 6 megapixel digital camera that features a 3x optical (along with a 3x digital) zoom, a Rapid Response with a 1.3-second start-up time in "an ergonomic and easy-to-use design." The camera features a GT HEXANON lens, a newly developed Signal Processing Engine, magnification of photos up to 12x on the camera's LCD panel, a redesigned exterior ("stainless steel and aluminum design elements combine to create a modern, yet timeless design"), dual card slots (Memory Sticks and SD Memory Cards), and a macro mode that allows photographing objects just 2.4 inches away. (Pricing not available.)
CompuCable/Addlogix has updated the product page for the firePod, its adapter that will simultaneously charge all iPod models (original, 3G and mini) as well as various USB devices (cell phone, PDA, etc). The site now includes application diagrams for 3G iPod and iPod mini, and comparison diagram between firePod against other car adapters. It also introduced two new firePod accessories, USB charger for Gameboy Advance SP ($20 bundle) and USB Beverage Warmer ($15).
EMI today launched Play, Singapore's largest online music store. As reported by The Straits Times, the store uses Windows Media 9 technology and sells its 50,000 tracks for US$1.17 each, or US$9.70 per album. The service is not Mac-compatible.
Olympus today unveiled two new digital cameras: the C-60 Zoom, an ultra-compact 6.1-megapixel model; and the D-395, an affordable 3.2-megapixel model. The C-60 Zoom packs a 3x optical and 4x digital zoom into its seven ounce (without battery) package while the D-395 features just a 2.5x digital zoom. Both cameras utilize xD-Picture Cards and will ship in April for $450 and $150, respectively. Additionally, Olympus announced the DS-2200 digital voice recorder, which also uses an xD-Picture Card (for up to 17 hours of Stereo High Quality recording to a 512MB card) and includes a Mac-compatible USB dock for downloading recordings. The DS-2200 sells for $290.
On the heels of Apple's Spoken Interface technology announcement, O'Reilly's MacDevCenter has published a detailed article on speech and Mac OS X. The article traces the history of speech synthesis and speech recognition, how the two work, and offers advice for people looking to use the technology.
Impression 2.1 ($25 shareware) is a substantial update to the backup software. The burn engine has been rewritten and now supports multiple drives as well the saving of disc images. A $10 discount is also being offered for a limited time to those willing to participate in a rather unique promotional idea. dincTYPE Six New LE Fonts (free) consist of the following new fonts: Little Black Book, Seventy-Three, Liars A To E, Magic, Lipstick Killers, and Murder 101. BugOff 1.0 ($30) is a graphical debugger for Palm OS and Mac OS applications. The software essentially provides a Mac OS X graphical front-end to the open source PRC-Tools development package, which normally runs from the command line. Aki Mahjong 1.0.1 ($20) is a maintenance update to Ambrosia's solitaire game. The new version provides bug and compatibility fixes and allows for system-wide registration.
Sony today announced two new LCD displays that feature dual-inputs so that users can connect them to two systems. The 17-inch SDM-S74 and 19-inch SDM-S94 have one digital and one analog input, feature Sony's adjustable ErgoStand, and will be available in black and silver bezels. The S74 and S94 will ship in April for $520 and $750, respectively. Sony yesterday announced two new dual-layer DVD-R drives, which can store up to 8.5GB of data. While not specifically Mac-compatible at the moment, they mark the company's first dual-layer offerings.
Microsoft Thursday is expected to introduce its own music/video handheld device to compete with the iPod as well as a link it to several online music services. The International Herald Tribune reports the announcements will include "a series of partnerships linked to the planned introduction of its new hand-held combination music and video players in Europe, a development that the company hopes will give it an edge against Apple and others in the market for portable media devices. Microsoft is expected to announce that the British units of EMI Music and the online music and video service Napster are set to unveil content-sharing agreements that would support the Microsoft devices by the end of the summer.
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include:
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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
CarPlay comes to Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche has revealed that its new 718 Cayman series will be the latest vehicles in its range equipped with support for Apple CarPlay. The new Porsche models joins the recently announced 718 Boxster, the 2017 Macans and the 2016 model of the 911 in offering support for Apple's iOS in the car interface. Both are fitted standard with an eight speaker sound system and the Porsche Communications Management (PCM) system. The entry-level Cayman starts at $53,9000, while the faster S variant starts from $66,300. Although already on sale, the won't reach US dealers until late November. http://prn.to/1Tj1EW7
Macphun offers free Photos filters
Image editing software maker Macphun are offering a free set of up to 30 photo filter effects to extend the range of filter options available to users of Apple's Photos app for OS X, which replaced the previous iPhoto program. The first 15 filters are available after installing the software, and includes filters such as "Ancient Canvas" and "Twilight," while users who sign up for the Macphun newsletter will unlock the other 15 effects. The extension integrates directly into Photos, and include sliders for finer control of the effects and a masking brush. http://bit.ly/1VEgQD6
Snapchat sued over speed filter photo overlay
Accident victims in Spalding County, GA are suing Snapchat, as well as the driver responsible for the accident. The suit alleges that the app's "speed filter," which can post the speed that which a picture was taken, encouraged driver Christal McGee to attempt to reach 100 miles per hour in her car, leading to the accident that caused both Wentworth and Karen Maynard serious injuries. The suit alleges Wentworth Maynard suffered brain damage in the incident. McGee posted a photo of herself in a cervical collar on the way to the hospital, saying that she was "lucky to be alive." Snapchat has not commented on the lawsuit. http://abcn.ws/24nhR49
Pandora bleeding slows, posts $28.9M Q1 loss
Streaming music service Pandora today announced financial results for the first quarter of 2016, posting a loss of $28.9 million, an improvement from the $48.3 million loss it showed in the year-ago-quarter. Total consolidated revenue was $297.3 million, growing 29 percent year-over-year. Total listener hours grew 4 percent to 5.52 billion for the first quarter of 2016, compared to 5.30 billion for the same period of the prior year. Active listeners were 79.4 million at the end of the first quarter of 2016, up compared to 79.2 million for the same period of the prior year. http://pdora.co/1WtxdkW
Carl Icahn dumps Apple stock on China worries
Carl Icahn has sold all of his stock in Apple, citing concerns over sales in China. While he called Apple a "great company" and praised Tim Cook for "doing a great job," Icahn sold his shares after the Apple investor results, garnering a profit of $2 billion over three years. Icahn said of business in China that the Chinese government could "come in and make it very difficult for Apple to sell there." Should the market steady in China, Icahn said that he will re-invest in the company, regardless of the market price. http://cnb.cx/1SCfEdI
August Home HomeKit compatible Smart Lock ships
Smart lock developer August Home today began shipping its second generation Smart Lock, with HomeKit support. In addition to full Siri support, the Smart Lock is also compatible with third-party HomeKit apps like Insteon+, Lutron, and iDevices, allowing for multi-step actuations, like turning on a light when the door is locked or unlocked. The August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled retails for $229. http://bit.ly/1SvADlG