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Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: Apple's recent announcement of the upcoming Mac OS X 10.4 'Tiger'; a new upgrade for PowerMac G5s that enables users to install up to five ATA hard drives; speculation about gaming performance on the recently introduced new PowerBook G4s; the future of the iMac in light of powerful consumer laptops; Apple policy on 'dead pixels' in LCD screens on new computers.
In conjunction with Apple's announcement of Motion, its new motion graphics editing software, Peachpit Press has announced the upcoming release of 'Apple Pro Training Series: Motion' ($46), the only Apple-authorized guide to the software. As both a self-paced learning tool and the official curriculum of the Apple Pro Training and Certification the $46 guide by Damien Allen, is scheduled to release early this summer.
Evening tech news: The National Retail Federation has weighed in against the SCO Group's assertions that Linux users are violating its Unix copyrights, calling the claims baseless; Microsoft said Wednesday it has adopted an e-mail program by IronPort Systems that will allow paying 'legitimate marketers' to bypass its Hotmail spam filters; Security experts began the daunting task on Wednesday of trying to track down the authors of "Sasser," a computer worm expected to infect millions of machines before it runs its course.
Cocoa Dev Central has published "Introduction to Cocoa Bindings," a new tutorial to the Cocoa Bindings system available to developers. Using bindings in Cocoa projects results in less code, faster development time and more functionality. Cocoa Dev Central takes complex technical reference material and breaks it down into individual pieces that apply to real world situations. "This new tutorial represents the first step in a new direction for the site, with a new writing style and more visual descriptions."
A new proposal from Apple to rent laptops and defer payments for a year may help finally expand Maine's laptop computer program from middle schools to high schools. A day after several lawmakers declared it dead, The Portland Press Herald reports that Apple's proposal would give high schools the ability to have laptops for ninth-graders this fall and "could put pressure on the next Legislature, which will be seated in January, to fund the expansion into high schools" and a plan to spend $8 million in capital improvement funds to install wireless networks and related equipment in high schools could also help build momentum - or political pressure - for the laptop program.
Music labels are dragging their feet in licensing their songs to Apple because they fear its long-promised European music download site will dominate the online business, according to a report by UK-based The Independent: "The five main record labels are understood to be scared that Apple, which makes the iPod digital music player, will become as successful in Europe as it has in the US, where it has 70 per cent of the legal download business. That could let it dictate which stars or records succeed or fail by deciding which to promote on its site. 'The big fear is that Apple will become like an online MTV - where the record labels gave away their content, in the form of videos, without getting control of it.'"
Apple today announced that it has sold 3.3 million songs from its third-generation iTunes Music Store since its launch one week ago and also said iTunes users have already published more than 20,000 iMixes--which have been rated over 50,000 times. In addition to the sold songs, iTunes users have also downloaded more than 500,000 free songs during Apple's week-long “Free Song of the Day” anniversary promotion. "Our third generation iTunes Music Store just blows away any other online music service," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "With over 700,000 songs and innovative features like iMix, it's the easiest to use and most fun to use online music store in the world."
Motown Records today released the 45 singles ever issued by Motown ("45 Motown 45s") and 45 hard-to-find albums from the Motown archive on the iTunes Music Store to celebrate Motown's 45th Anniversary. Premiering on the Apple iTunes Music Store is an exclusive "store within a store" marking the 45th anniversary of Motown Records. The promotion comes on the heels of the release of MOTOWN #1's on April 20, which has already hit #1 on iTunes. The 45 Motown 45s campaign, which runs through May 25th, precedes the forthcoming launch of MotownSelect.com and the May 17th airing of the "Motown 45" TV special on ABC.
Atempo today announced the support for Mac OS X Server 10.3 "Panther". Atempo's Time Navigator provides a scalable data protection solution for enterprise IT environments. Time Navigator supports multiple topologies including virtual library systems (VLS) and disk-to-disk-to-tape. It supports backup and recovery as well as disaster recovery and archiving. Other features include synthetic full backup, centralized management and web interface for remote management as well as a single-port for backups through security firewalls.
KeepAnEye 1.6 ($12) is a multipurpose monitoring and notification utility that can track data sources (windows, menubar, or Dock). It supports RSS feeds, eBay auctions, web pages, software updates, disk usage, IP addresses, etc. using a plugin architecture. Version 1.6 offers improved visual rendering and a new Apple Store refurb plugin. [3.5MB] Tasks 2.0 ($30) is a web-based personal task manager featuring support for creating iCalendars, a PDA/mobile interface, daily e-mail reminders, blog posting, etc. Version 2.0 adds better security, file uploads, time tracking, better performance, a custom preferences interface, RSS feeds, themes, improved documentation, and more. [form] ActiveDeveloper 2.17 updates the runtime Objective-C & C IDE, JIT Compiler and debugger that supports Cocoa, WebKit and QuickTime. It offers a new (live) Workspace Editor, Class Editor and Object Browser and object-level operations and also improves integration with Apple's Xcode. Pricing starts at $50. [Jaguar, Panther] Poirot 1.5 adds multiple undo, preview for batch file renaming, improved results export and an improved UI. Users can search thousands of documents for "types" of items, such as phone numbers or email addresses; users can then replace parts of the data (or the entire string). [Classic, OSX] LiveDictionary 1.1 ($25) is a Safari extension that adds fast, convenient dictionary lookups to the web: "Once installed, it becomes a transparent part of Safari; point to a word with the mouse cursor, and its definition or translation appears in a popup window." Version 1.1 adds an English thesaurus, more Japanese dictionaries, and UI improvements. [11MB] A Better Finder Launcher 1.3 ($10) is a keyboard-based application launcher for Mac OS X that provides instant access to documents and applications. It offers a search-as-you-type interface that filters a list of matching applications after a simple hotkey invokes the filter box. Version 1.3 improves the customization of the indexing engines. [1.4MB] dincTYPE has made available five of its most requested commercial typefaces: "We are no longer a commerciala type foundry, so these fonts are unavailable anywhere. Except for today. There are five fonts, all with international character sets archived together..They include: Bachelorette, Boxboy, Funtime, Lady Luck, and Spotlight."
An iPod/Tunes spinout/IPO will allow Apple to cash in on the success and hype surrounding Apple's portable music player and iTunes Music Store, according to BusinessWeek Online: "If Apple were to spin out a minority stake of its iPod business, it could rake in big bucks in an initial public offering. With the iPod on track to become a $1 billion business in the next year or so, Apple could expect to pull in at least that amount by selling a 40% stake. Then, Jobs could let someone else run the daily operations and the music side of things, including iTMS. This would be great because Apple more than ever needs to focus not just on the Mac platform but on Microsoft's Windows, too."
MYOB today announced the release of AccountEdge 2004 Network Edition, its complete accounting and small business management solution for networked small businesses on the Macintosh platform. The Network Edition is designed for small business owners who want to use AccountEdge across a Macintosh network. The update also brings support for instant networking using Apple's Rendezvous and significant performance improvements for functions such as recording of transactions as well as creating new contact cards. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8 (or later) only and is priced at $400 for a 3-user license.
Bandmateloops.com earlier this week introduced five new loop products designed specifically for Apple's GarageBand platform. Bandmates for GarageBand are "the ideal companion for all GarageBand users interested in creating their own unique musical compositions. Bandmateloops.com offers four versions of Bandmates Drummer: Rock Drums, Electro Beats, Funk Drums, and House Beats as well as Bandmates DJ - Scratches. All five products are available at the introductory price of $18 including free domestic shipping to customers in the Continental U.S.
Whereabouts 1.0 ($20) helps you share address cards on the Internet, allowing friends and colleagues to automatically keep up-to-date with changes to information in your Mac OS X Address Book by subscribing to each contact. It requires Mac OS X 10.2.6 and a .Mac membership (or access to a WebDAV server). [823KB] SofTrack Software Metering v6.5 is a cross-platform IT asset and license compliance solution that can be used to audit and control software usage for all software used throughout educational and corporate networks. SofTrack now includes native support for software metering of Mac OS9 and Mac OS X workstations. A free 30-day evaluation is available online. Ipanema 1.4 (donationware) will keep track of the IP addresses for any network interface (Ethernet, Airport, PPP, IP over FireWire) and report it automatically via Mac OS X Mail once a day (or when it changes). It can also manually send a report of the addresses anytime. It now supports FireWire over IP and improved graphics. [982KB] SockhoEasyFind 1.5 ($10) us a powerfull application only for Mac OS X to search on the web easily. It now integrates with Safari, allowing users to set the search engine that's used by Safari and the language in which resuls are displayed. It supports Yahoo, Google, Google Groups, Alta Vista, Lycos, All The Web, or any other custom site. [628KB] Flash AV Players 3.1 (30€ per site) is a Flash application that broadcasts MP3, SWF (Audio and Video), FLV, JPEG and MID files by loading playlists in XML format. It also offers database-ready features, e-commerce options, a playlist search engine, navigation and sound controls, preloading according to connection speed, crossfade of movies, adding of backgrounds and comments, etc. [476KB] PictureDeamon 2.2 ($15) displays the all the photos on your hard disk: "It will go through your disks and find all of your lost pictures! PD also creates previews of all pictures for better navigation. PD now supports print, albums, export, stored preview for faster pictures loading and more new enhancements." [1.4MB] Ollie's iTMS Extractor (freeware) is a utility to effortlessly save music videos and movie trailers from the iTunes Music Store to the user's Hard Drive. [1.0MB]
ZDNet's Dan Farber says while Microsoft struggles to play catch up with Apple's user interface, the Windows user experience has been "good enough" for 90 percent of computer users (for now): "For the last 20 years Apple has been leading the charge in making computing easier for mere mortals. Microsoft has always strived to attain the kind of elevated status Apple has for its user experience and emotional attachment, but has consistently fallen short. Some of the compelling user interface features found in Mac OS X, such as the underlying graphics foundation, won't be available in Windows until Longhorn ships in the second half of this decade. Nonetheless, Microsoft's lagging behind Apple in some areas of user interface design and experience hasn't adversely impacted Windows dominance."
Dr. Bott today announced an exclusive distribution agreement for the LiliPod For 3G iPod, which will only be available through Dr. Bott authorized resellers worldwide. "LiliPod is a water-resistant hard shell casing that fits snugly around the iPod. It allows you to safely listen to your iPod during activities never previously possible. From skiing to sailing, mountain biking to fishing, and everywhere in between, LiliPod is a must have for any iPod user." It works with the 3G iPod with dock connector and is available for $40.
The third annual O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference has been announced for October 25-28 in Santa Clara, CA. The conference committee is seeking conference proposals from those involved in the OS X industry. In particular, they're seeking presentations delving into technologies, methodologies, techniques relevant to: system administrators, developers, and digital musicians. Proposals are encouraged in two categories: tutorials (three or six hours) and conference sessions (45 or 90 minutes). Proposals are due no later than June 11, 2004.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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