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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: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k