Peachpit has released the first Apple-certified training 'courseware' for the popular new GarageBand music creation and recording software. Apple Training Series: GarageBand ($35) will take readers through everything they need to know within the book and DVD combo in GarageBand. "You'll even find virtual recording engineers in the mix to help you out [...] You'll be spinning the music of the spheres in no time."
Thinkertons released Burnerz 1.0, a Panther-oriented free information utility that provides easy access to the supported-burners list built into Panther, as well as providing extensive technical information about any installed burners detected (whether supported or not) by the Apple DiscRecording framework. It provides a readable display supported-burners list, including manufacturer name and model information. It also provides extensive technical information about any attached burners.
Prudential Equity Group said Apple continues to execute well, but the research firm questions "the sustainability of recent performance, given that most of the upside has been driven outside the core business." The firm said that it was impressed by Apple's product pipeline and "ability to continually reinvent itself," the computer maker "still needs to make structural changes on the cost side in order to compete more profitably against Dell and others over the longer term." Additionally, Prudential said "we would like to see more spillover from iPod sales into the core CPU business before we would become more positive on the shares."
Charla is an open-source Yahoo! chat client clone. It has been forked to fix connection problems with Yahoo!. Unofficial releases are now available by users updating the source code. [524KB] CharView 3.03 ($15) by ALXsoftware is a Mac OS X utility used to show, insert and print symbols from installed fonts. It can install menu icon and/or a contextual menu, and uses floating window to display character's within a specific font. Users can insert symbol, its HTML entity, decimal or hexadecimal code. [407KB] BookLightning 1.3 is a lightweight imposition program for booklets and simple magazines. Version 1.3 adds support for non-duplex printers, both when creating PDF files for later output and when printing directly. It also improves compatibility with some PDF files and improves performance. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 only. [1.1MB] SQLiteManager 1.0 ($40) is a database manager for SQLite databases that can create and browse tables, indexes, and views, insert, remove, and edit table records, and execute arbitrary SQL statements. Users can also save commonly used SQL scripts directly in any database as well as generate reports for export into HTML, CSV, and XML. [Classic, OSX] Movie Montage 1.0 ($10) is a video management application that "does for movies what iPhoto does for photos," offering easy access movies all in one window. It can hold up to 100 movies on one page, play movies by just rolling the mouse over thumbnails, and automatically resizes thumbnails to the maxium size possible. [1.3MB] PowerCADD 6.1 is an update to the professional design/drafting application for Mac OS X. Version 6.1 offers significant improvements to the Paint Bucket tool operation; fixes crashing related to window activations via Apple Events; offers calculation of highlight and caret position for fonts with automatic kerning capability; and much more. [Classic, OSX] Lingo ($10) is a simple game for Mac that challenges the player to guess a word in up to five attempts. Users first suggest any word, then Lingo indicates which (if any) letters that occur in the target word. With this information, you can guess again with a different word. [98KB]
Apple today released Final Cut Express 2.0.3, which it says fixes an issue with some cameras caused by conflicts between timecode breaks and dropped frames, resulting in incomplete capture. It also improves QuickTime movie export when there is blank video in a sequence. It is "strongly recommended for all users of Final Cut Express 2," according to Apple.
Apple's stock hit another 52-week high today, closing at $29.30. The stock was up nearly 10% (up $2.66) after the company announced earnings and revised guidance upward for the June quarter. The previous high was $28.37 and Apple's intraday high for today was $29.58.
Tech news: Sony today announced a 25GB paper disc based on Blu-ray Disc technology, which has a total weight that is 51% paper; The MIT scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has been awarded the first Millennium Technology Prize and a cash prize of $1.2 million; Yahoo CEO Terry Semel has added roughly $60 million to his wealth after selling his greatest number of stock options since taking the helm.
Apple Computer's apparent cold shoulder to RealNetworks this week has once again put the company's "go it alone" strategy in the spotlight, reports CNET News.com. RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser and some others see the potential for history to repeat itself in the digital music world if Apple persists in keeping its software and hardware closed. Glaser recently quipped that Apple might "go the way of the Soviet Union" unless it takes a more liberal stance toward licensing its software, specifically the FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) controls that prevent songs purchased through iTunes from being illegally copied. Analysts don't expect Apple to partner with Real or to license out its core technology anytime soon.
REAL Software today announced that it is accepting software entries for the Made with REALbasic Showcase, which is designed to demonstrate the variety and quality of software that can be produced with REALbasic. Although entries can be submitted at any time, the deadline for entry for the initial Made with REALbasic program launch is April 26, 2004. The company plans on using the Showcase for its online, print, and other marketing materials and promises promotion and distribution of news releases to any accepted entry.
Calpers, the largest U.S. pension fund, said on Thursday it would withhold votes for Apple's entire board of directors after it failed to implement a shareholder-approved proposal to treat stock options as an expense, according to The Washington Post: "[It] also criticized Apple's board for authorizing Apple's auditor, KPMG LLP, to perform nonauditing, or consulting services, for the maker of Macintosh computers and the iPod digital music players. Calpers said it would withhold voting its 1.48 million shares from the entire board, vote them against ratifying Apple's auditor, and against a shareholder proposal limiting executive compensation, saying the 'proposal is too restrictive.'"
Dennison USA today announced its new generation ICE-Link v1.1 will use Apple's iPod dock connection for charging, control and audio signals. It features interchangeable connection options to support all current iPod models, including classic, 3G and mini. ICE-Link allows users to seamless use their iPod from within their car radio system, offering steering controls, automatic pause on different source selection, and other features. It is available for pre-order now and is scheduled availability is from the week of 4/19/04; however, the Mini cradle module for ICELink v1.1 is estimated to be available late May.
SF Chronicle columnist John King says "Apple prides itself on innovation. Creativity. Right. So what's with the heavy steel box downtown?" as he writes about Apple's flagship store in San Francisco: "Apple computers defy expectations. The Cupertino company's innovations keep slow-moving rivals like Microsoft on edge with products that come in a mind-bending array of colors and shapes. So why has this bastion of creativity dropped a windowless box two blocks from Union Square?"
Computer Systems Odessa has released ConceptDraw MINDMAP v3.0, a major upgrade to its brainstorming and mind mapping tool, ConceptDraw MINDMAP enables users to brainstorm and visually organize ideas in a form of trees or mind maps, providing for effective thinking, problem solving and project planning. Users can now brainstorm the ideas as a text outline and immediately view their development on the graphic map. Version 3 also increases collaboration results of project teams, including business consulting; marketing; software development and research. Standard ($100) and Professional ($150) editions are available, while upgrades start at $40.
MumboJumbo today announced Super Collapse! II: "The objective is to collapse blocks before they rise to the top of the screen, with game play accelerating as players progress to new levels. The game features bonus levels that are not available on previous versions, in addition to a host of other features such as the ability to play in full screen or in a window, a high score board for each game mode, two skill levels, and the option to start new games on any of the first ten levels." The $20 game title for Mac OS X offers Traditional, Puzzle, Relapse, and Strategy gaming modes.
The Iconfactory has updated its professional icon construction filter, IconBuilder Pro 5 for use with Adobe Photoshop. Version 5 adds several important features, including support for building 24x24 pixel Windows toolbar icons as well as custom 128x128 Windows icons. Other enhancements include a new stand-alone application, IconExaminer, for examining Mac & Win icons in the Finder, moveable grid positions, increased compatibility when opening certain .ico and .icns files, and new command-keys for common functions. Upgrades are $20 for v3.x or v4.x owners. The full version is $70.
Digital Heaven today announced eight plug-ins for Apple's Final Cut Pro v4 and Final Cut Express v2, including "DH_Dropout", which it says is the first dropout corrector forFinal Cut; "DH_Reincarnation", which brings dead pixels on footage back to life; and "DH_Subtitle" to create subtitles. Other plugins include "DH_FieldTrans" (for applying effects to clips), "DH_Grid" (displays a grid with up to ten divisions), "DH_Guides" (left, right, top and bottom guides), "DH_LegalText" (for legal disclaimers), "DH_WideSafe" (4:3, 14:9 and 16:9 action and title safe areas). The plugins are enabled for YUV rendering where appropriate. Each is available for $10.
Apple is offering free standard shipping on iPhoto books ordered between April 15th and June 15th, 2004: "Only iPhoto 2 or greater users are eligible for this promotion. This offer is only available to users in the United States and Canada. Free shipping is to locations within the United States and Canada only. Qualifying persons will receive free standard shipping on all iPhoto books ordered until June 15, 2004 (11:59pm, PDT)."
Technology-focused private equity firm Accel-KKR will acquire Alias from SGI for $57.5 million as part of a definitive agreement with SGI. Alias is a leading provider of 3D graphics technology and services for the film, video games, web, interactive media, including its flagship Maya animation product. "Our plan is to accelerate investment in the product and service areas that provide the greatest payback for our entertainment and design customers. Our new partnership with Accel-KKR will facilitate this activity, providing long-term patient capital and other strategic resources to help us thrive as an independent enterprise." The sale is expected to close this quarter.
Apple yesterday posted a $46 million profit on strong iPod sales and garnered positive reaction from analysts. Apple CFO Fred Anderson said he was "exceptionally" pleased with Apple's strongest March quarter in four years, which he said was driven by diverse product portfolio of hardware, software and service products as well as expanded distribution channels and strong online, retail, and channel sales. The conference call offered details on the opening date of the flagship London store, IBM chip production delays, the HP-Apple alliance, details on the retail segment, iTunes song/album pricing, iPod mini problems, and guidance for the June quarter.
This year's FileMaker Developer Conference will take place August 29 to September 1 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. The conference will include several new FileMaker Pro 7 sessions as well as a product showcase and a hands-on workshop. FileMaker President Dominique Goupil will be one of the opening keynote speakers. Registration for the conference is $1,000 before June 30, or $1,200 afterwards. In addition, four seperate pre-conference seminars are being offered for $100 a piece.
Apple will open its first Experience Center in Malaysia at the Ikano PowerCentre in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, April 20, The Star reports. The 3,500-square foot Center will be the largest in the Asia Pacific region. Earlier this month a report surfaced that indicated Apple may be planning to open an 11,000-square foot Center in Singapore.
Proteus 4.0 Beta (free) is the first public release of the upcoming revision to the multiple-protocol chat client. Proteus supports ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, Gadu-Gadu, MSN Messenger, iChat, Rendezvous, AIM, and Yahoo Messeneger Japan. Features include seamless address book integration, skinnable message views, server side groups and buddy lists, SMS forwarding, AIM buddy icon support, and more. PrintWindow 3.0 (Standard: Free; Advanced: $15) is a file-listing generation utility that brings back and expands the functionality of the original Finder's Print Window command. New features include the ability to sort file listings according to a variety of criteria, change font and size of text in file listings, and a completely new print engine. The Advanced version adds the ability to print file listings for use as CD or DVD covers, manually select folders to expand when generating file, and select exactly what information to include in file listings. dincTYPE has released six more free fonts: Boy Crazy, Desperado, Astro, Pulp Fiction, Empire State, and Deceit. All were inspired by vintage pulp fiction novels. dincTYPE fonts are only available for download for a limited time. DiscBlaze 3.0.9 ($19) is a minor update to the CD/DVD authoring software. Also, between now and April 18, DiscBlaze is being offered for $9.50, or 50 percent off. apTrigga ($30) is a VST Effect plugin that generates a trigger signal from an audio source. The software features an extensive filter section to extract specific frequencies from the source material and can be used to replace recorded drum instruments with sampled drums, to extract rhythm elements from drumloops, or to spice up drum mixes with short attack-samples.
RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser has appealed to Apple CEO Steve Jobs to license its Fairplay DRM technology so as to allow music purchased through RealNetworks's Rhapsody music store to work with the iPod. In an email sent to Jobs last week, and obtained by The New York Times, Glaser proposes that in return RealNetworks would make the iPod its primary device for the store and its RealPlayer software. Glaser cited a need for his company to find a partner in the increasingly competitive business, and suggested that should Apple rebuff the offer, as industry analysts expect, it would likely turn to Microsoft and migrate its music store from the AAC format to WMA. "Why is Steve afraid of opening up the iPod?" Glaser asked the Times, after word of the deal leaked out. "Steve is showing a high level of fear that I don't understand."
Now AAPL Stock: 120.08 ( + 0.08 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE