Apple said that continued reorganization of its sales and marketing efforts will result in an additional 148 job cuts over the course of the current fiscal year, which ends in September, according to a SEC filing. CNET News.com reports that "the cuts are in addition to 200 jobs that were eliminated when the company closed its Sacramento, Calif., plant in April. Apple took a $9.6 million restructuring charge last quarter, and the company said in the filing that it expects to take another $10 million charge in the current quarter, largely related to finalizing the plant closure. The company said the job cuts and the plant closing should save it $6 million per quarter in operating expenses. Shuttering the plant alone should save the company $3 million per quarter..."
National Instruments today announced LabVIEW 7.1, a significant upgrade to the family of LabVIEW graphical development products. LabVIEW 7.1 extends Express technology to automated instrumentation and real-time applications with new Express VIs for NI modular instruments and NI-DAQmx, advanced debugging and low-level execution timing for the Real-Time Module. NI has also released the latest version of its Compact Vision System series. The new NI CVS-1456 delivers 83 percent more processing power and eight times more memory than the original version of the Compact Vision System released in June 2003.
PropellerHead's new educational package "Teaching music with Reason" is now shipping. The product provides a "new way" of teaching music in the classroom and incorporates 21 ready made lesson plans with "all the necessary background reading the teacher needs." The package also includes Student booklets for the students with lesson plans and special "How toÖ" guides which step by step explains what to do. According to the developer, included "specially written music ensures that the students will work with music they are used to listening to and enjoy"
Dynamic Network Factory has announced the FireFly 4800 RAID tower, which integrates USB 2.0 and FireWire 400/800 connectivity in a ultra-compact unit with storage capacity ranging from 320GB to 1TB. The FireFly 4800 offers a small 9" footprint, four IDE drives for data storage, audible failure notifications, and support for hardware-based RAID 0, 1, 1+0, 5, and 5+hot spare. A second FireWire port allows users to daisy-chain up to 62 additional units. The unit features builtin 200 watt power supply, a hot-swappable fan, an LCD Panel for Operation Status Display, and driverless operation. Pricing starts at $1,800.
Epson today announced the PowerLite Home 10+, an enhanced version of its popular PowerLite Home 10 entry-level home theater projector, which was released last year. It offers a 16:9 full-screen display, newly modified contrast ratio (upgraded from 700:1 to 800:1) and increased brightness (by 200 ANSI lumens to 1,200) to provide an even better level of quality image. The PowerLite Home 10+ ($1300) is now shipping to select specialty stores.
Solutions Etcetera has announced SuperCard 4.5, a major upgrade to its authoring environment. Due in July, it will feature ruler-based paragraph-level formatting, embedded objects in text, alpha channel graphic masking, and non-destructive graphic filters/effects as welll as performance improvements of up to 800% in script execution and enhanced large text field handling. Version 4.5 will also bring a standalone modular help system, improved full text search, enhanced keyboard and mouse support, enhanced printing options, and automatic syntax completion. It is scheduled to ship in time for MacWorld Boston.
The Adobe Creative Suite Tour is a two-day seminar tour that visits eight U.S. cities in May and June, offering an opportunity to learn the new features of Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, InDesign CS and GoLive CS. All seminar attendees receive a copy of the Adobe Creative Suite for Dummies book. Day One of the seminar covers Photoshop CS and Illustrator CS, while Day Two presents InDesign CS and GoLive CS. Registration is available for individual days ($200) or the complete seminar ($360) in Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington DC and Baltimore.
HELIOS is previewing at drupa 2004 a native PDF-based OPI image replacement solution that replaces, within in a PDF file, the low-res bitmap images with the high-res originals. This preserves transparency and metadata and allows server based PDF workflows utilizing OPI low-res images, remote page-based composition with low-res images, color-transformation based on different printing needs, and faster InDesign PDF Export, using "Omit images for OPI". HELIOS also announced that its ImageServer will support XMP metadata and multiple clipping paths and recently released HELIOS File System Test, a free tool for testing AFP, NFS, SMB/CIFS, and WebDAV services.
Velan Software has released Fast Copy 2.0, an update to its one-click, disk-to-disk DVD video copy software for Mac OS X. Users can copy an entire double-sided DVD video to one single-sided DVD-R(W) disc. It supports any recent DVD plyer, multi-channel audio (Dolby Didital 5.1, DTS, THX), multiple processors, NTSC/PAL formats, widescreen and Pan & Scan sizes, and more. Version 2.0 features has options to copy all or specific items such as DVD Menus, trailers, audio streams, subtitles, etc. It also supports iDVD duplication, offers a duplication quality viewer, and creates region-free DVD copies. It is a free upgrade for v1.0 owners. The full version is $100.
The Iconfactory today released Isometric, the latest addition to the growing collection of ready-to-use icons at Stockicons.com: "Designed using an exacting perspective grid and a bright color palette, the Isometric collection has a unified appearance, and emphasizes the technical aspects of projects." It is available for $350. Iconfactory artist Dave Brasgalla also released his latest freeware icon collection, World of Aqua: Rev 2 Folders, a aset of smooth and elegant folder replacement icons. Rev 2 is available as Mac or Windows icons as well as a Pixadex iContainer.
KB roundup: Apple notes that iTunes 4.5 will not open large shared music libraries (the only solution is to create a shared playlist with a smaller subset of music); installing Final Cut Pro HD will disable iMovie's export to camera feature (removing two files is provided as a temporary solution); Apple says it welcomes suggestions for content at iTunes and feedback on the Music Store; QuickTime Help contains some incorrect information about the Advanced settings for 3G export via QuickTime Pro; and Apple discusses how to rebuild the Loop Index in GarageBand.
Digital Clock 2.5 ($6) provides user-requested updates for multiple digital clock sizes, AM/PM time displays and user-selectable LED colors. An 'extra-large' digital clock also turns Macs into expensive wallclocks that can be seen from across the room. An alarm-enabled version is nearing the end of its beta-testing and will available shortly. [2.4MB] Global Consciousness via Earth Simulation is a Mac OS X screen saver pulls from the Global Consciousness stream in realtime: "Instead of having pre-determined text, this displays the live text feed from our website. A view of the earth from outerspace is also rendered. If the message has a geo-location then the origin is displayed with the message." [820KB] Toucan 1.4 ($15) updates the fast and fullscreen slide show application, offering improved sorting of images, support for Finder comments, looping, four new slide show control skins, randomize the viewing order and more. It offers keyboard control, fullscreen viewing, support for multiple displays, and extra large mouse pointers. [890KB] DVDRemaster 1.4 ($40) is a utility for Mac OS X to recompress large DVDs so that they fit on standard DVD5. Itt recompresses the video stream and offers optional recompression of the menus using one of two modules: M2VRequantizer (requantizes the video leaving the motion vectors unchanged) and M2VDownsizer (recompresses the video stream completely). [818KB] AstroShare 1.2 (free) can share your desktop with other Mac OS 8/9/X users. The single-application solution offers security using two-way MD5 authentication and DES encryption, and connection statistics. Version 1.2 adds VoIP support for telephone-like sound quality. AstroView ($15) offers cross-platform support. [AS, OSX] iPod Browser 1.5 (free) allows users to easily browse songs on your iPod. Version 1.5 adds ID3 Tag editing, drawer re-programming to minimize copy errors, better feedback integration, and other cosmetic changes. [740KB]
Neuston has announced Mac OS X compatibility for its Virtuoso MC-500, a smart and compact wireless device that can stream digital media files from a PC directly to the television. It connects via Ethernet or wireless 802.11b networks and supports most popular video (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivXTM and 3ivxTM), photo (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and audio (MP3, AAC) formats. Users can choose from a list of Movies, Music and Pictures for easy access to their Mac's iPhoto slideshows, iTunes playlists, and .mov movies encoded with 3ivx. It also provides access to the Internet on the TV with support for Safari bookmarks. The MC-500 requires Mac OS X 10.2 (QT6) and is available for $250.
Sony's foray into music downloads this week unleashes the most potent rival yet to Apple's iTunes Music Store, setting the stage for a high-stakes battle between two technology titans known for stylish innovation, according to Silicon.com: "And if you squint just a little, Apple and Sony seem to look more alike by the day. Each company is looking closely at a long-predicted future, when digital "convergence" potentially allows traditionally separate hardware and software markets to merge into a single device.."
WAM! has released a beta of DOT-ADDRESSBOOK, its new server application that allows users to share Mac OS X Address Book across networks or the Internet. It provides an alternative to the limited sharing offered by .Mac, providing sorting by groups, group-based access, username/password protection for each group, and the ability to update or add new records. It is available as a 5-min limited beta. (Pricing has not been set.) WAM! also recently released several new sharing applications for the iPod, songs, and photos.
Aezra Records announced today that its first single "U-Lied" by its debut recording artist Crea, has been selected and will be featured as this week's free "Single of the Week" on Apple's iTunes Music Store. The song is from Crea's debut album MYSTORY, "a whirlwind trip through the psyche of a woman's experiences. Although most of the material rings autobiographical, Crea writes for everyone -- not just herself. MYSTORY will be released on June 1st by Aezra Records."
EFI today announced enhanced versions of its sophisticated proofing and color management software solutions. Both feature EFI's Best technology and bring support for both Mac OS X and Windows, HP's CMYKplus standard, JDF v1.2, the Epson Stylus Pro 4000, the HP Designjet 30/130, and more than 30 other inkjet printers. EFI Designer Edition 4.0 is a proofing solution that incorporates the PostScript 3 engine (Adobe CPSI), with PDF/X support, a nesting function and selectable RIP resolutions. EFI Photo Edition 4.0 is designed for digital photographers and photo labs and adds superior color management capabilities, input of RGB camera data, automatica conversion to CMYK, CMYK-TIFF file export, and proof creation. Both will ship in June.
Microsoft's demo of Longhorn, the next version of the Windows operating system, reminded PC Magazine of Mac OS X: "Microsoft's demonstrations were interesting and somehow familiar. After looking at some images and icons that grew bigger or flipped when chosen, I couldn't help but think of the dock on Apple's OS X. There's more to Longhorn, of course, than just that dock...Overall, though, Longhorn still had an Apple look to it. I suppose imitation is a form of flattery, after all. It'll be years before Longhorn launches, but it should be fun to watch it develop."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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,¬†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