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Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: comparing the 12" iBook to the 12" PowerBook G4; a poll regarding eMac monitor/video problems; recurring iBook logic board problems; suggested non-Apple 15- to 17-inch LCD displays; coloring the Apple logo on a PowerBook G4; a potential security flaw involving Apple's Safari browser.
Vaja has released the new iVod mini for the iPod mini, according to the iPodLounge: "The mini case features padded, genuine Argentine leather, screen protector and access to the 'HOLD' switch, headphone/remote port, dock connector and click wheel. The standard iVod mini ($49.99) comes in black and will be available soon. The customized iVod starts at $69.90 and is available now for ordering. Custom iVod mini cases come in twenty-six colors, with or without belt clip, and can be personalized with your name or company logo."
Afternoon tech news: Apple has posted the QuickTime trailer for Pixar's next feature animation film due in November, The Incredibles; Dell's first-quarter earnings met analyst estimates largely because of improved international sales, while its first-quarter revenue was up 21 percent; Taking on Yahoo in yet another field, Google is testing a service that lets people create e-mail discussion groups.
Apple's iPod helped it jump from No. 34 to No. 23 on TWICE Top 100 Consumer Electronics (CE) Retailers--all of whom generated $106.6 billion in sales during 2003 (a 5.9 percent increase over 2002). Apple generated $747 million in direct sales during 2003, an increase of almost 95% from its $383 million in 2002. Best Buy took the top spot Wal-Mart, Circuit City, Dell, Target, Radio Shack, Staples, CompUSA, Sam's Club, and Office Depot rounding out the Top 10.
Canto has released Cumulus WebAlbum, a free add-on tool for its Cumulus digital assent manager to create Web-based albums that are built on static HTML pages. The tools allows users to display images or selected parts of Cumulus catalogs on the Internet in a personalized album, which can be customized using different skins. It will convert records to a Web-ready JPEG image file format with options for thumbnails, image scaling and links to the original assets. Users can also create slideshows, produce content for local use (CD-ROM or hard disk), and upload directly using an integrated FTP client.
Sony is looking to expand the Vaio brand beyond the PC with new networked audio and video products, according to The EE Times, after it recently announced its 20GB iPod rival: "Significantly, Vaio operating systems will no longer be limited to Microsoft's Windows XP. Vaio Pocket, Sony's new portable audio player will use Sony's proprietary operating system. The same is apparently true of the video version of a prototype pocket device Sony demonstrated here...Kiumra said Sony has no plans to switch its Vaio platform from Windows XP to Linux any time soon. But he added that Linux is a candidate for a number of small but powerful Vaio-based devices."
Aspyr today announced that Medal of Honor Allied Assault Breakthrough has hit gold and will begin shipping on May 24 (and in stores nationwide by May 28): "you take the role of Sergeant John Baker, a tough-as-nails infantryman in the 34th 'Red Bull' Division. As Baker, you’ll join the American push across the deserts of Northern Africa and through the central mountains of Italy toward Rome." It is available for Mac OS 9/X for $30. Aspyr also said that Call of Duty, its $50 first person shooter game title, is available in stores. It features 24 single-player missions on four interconnected campaigns as well as online gameplay for team-based multiplayer action.
Yahoo! yesterday announced it will boost its free email account storage to 100MB and offer "virtually unlimited" storage to its paying email customers, according to CNET News.com: "The upgrade is part of an overall enhancement for Yahoo Mail that will launch this summer. Besides additional storage, the service will get a face-lift and tie in more Yahoo-branded services, such as Photos and Messenger. The announcement comes a month after search rival Google said it would launch a free e-mail service called Gmail that offers 1GB of storage, considerably more space than free versions of Yahoo Mail and Microsoft's Hotmail. Yahoo currently offers 4MB of storage to free users of its e-mail service."
SoftRAID 3.0.3 updates the RAID software product with performance enhancements as well as minor bug fixes. The company says that upcoming releases with major feature additions are planned for midsummer. It is a free update to the $130 application. [3.4MB] FirstPage is a layout application that uses Mac OS X's advanced interface technologies to generate high-quality pages. It is currently available as a public beta. [Download - 37KB] DBoost 1.4 ($10) is a Mac OS X utility that redistributes CPU time to give the frontmost application 20% to 30% more processor time than it normally gets. It uses the UNIX command "renice" to change the priority of the frontmost application. [Download - 1.5MB] iPoker is a poker simulation game for Mac OS X. It offers 100 poker games, 11 QuickTime 'shills', synthesized dealer's speech calls, and a dynamic tutorial feature. [Download - form] Unity Session 3.3.3 ($500) updates the suite of audio applications that combines the functionality of hardware samplers(Unity DS-1), analog synthesizers(Unity AS-1) and physically modeled instruments. It adds a "Precise Playback" engine for Finale and Sibelius, EXS24/HALion/Rex 1 support, and encryption of samples in .uty files. [Classic, OSX] iOrganize 5.4 ($20) is a new version of the organization tool for Mac OS X that lets you quickly and easily store different types of information and use an advanced search to quickly retrieve information. This new version introduces automatic backup features (daily, weekly, monthly...). It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [1.4MB] Madena 3.0 (free) is a medical image viewer and image processing program that can open all QuickTime-compatible image files as well as import most DICOM and ACR/NEMA file formats. It adds support for Carbon event APIs, scrollwheel and multiple button mice, new display controls, expanded image processing functions, and more. [14.4MB] DockTimer 2.0 (donationware) is a simple egg timer program that displays the remaining time in the Dock. Users can start custom countdown alarms with a single click. Version 2.0 add sound control, selectable alert sounds from your system, a new 'Last Timer' menu, menu shortcuts, and a separate window that displays the remaining time. [549KB]
The next meeting of the Macintosh Business Users Society of Greater Philadelphia (MacBUS) will be held on Tuesday, May 25, 2004, at 6:30 p.m. It will feature Daniel East whose "Public Notice: (and they do!) Small business stand-out promotion methods" presentation will discuss some cost-effective (and even free) tips and tricks to get the word out about you and your product, company, services, music, art, writing or even Mac consulting. Update: The next meeting of the South Jersey Apple Users Group (SJAUG), which will take place on Friday, May 21th at 7:30 p.m. ET, will host Apple Senior Systems Engineer Dave Marra.
Apple UK has partnered with Research Machines, the UK's leading educational supplier of software, services and systems, to help sell its products to the education market, according to Macworld UK: "Founded in 1973, Research Machines specializes exclusively in the UK market, with 1,400 employees devoted to its various operations within the sector. The company also supplies one-in-four of the Windows-based systems used in schools under its own brand. [Apple] took 7.9 per cent of the UK's education market for notebooks in Q2 2003 (IDC). At the end of 2003 research firm Gartner described the company's UK education market share (notebooks and desktops) as at 8.5 per cent – up from 6.4 per cent in 2002."
Miglia Technology today announced AlchemyTV DVR 2.1, which integrates the live TV window into AlchemyTV DVR, adds 48KHz audio support when running on Power Mac G5s, and offers a new de-interlacing option for improved display quality. It also adds a new Setup Assistant, a new Picture cropping function (with presets), always-on-top TV window function, TV transparency, a redesigned 'Scheduled Recordings' window, a new remote control design, movie playback, version checking, a French localization, and other features. The $160 PCI card/software package offers a Philips tuner and full QuickTime support as well as TV/Antenna input, composite, S-Video inputs and stereo audio connector.
Tech news: Sion Power has developed the first-ever lithium sulfur (Li-S) battery and has a demo running at the 2004 Windows Hardware Engineering Conference; Yahoo and Google have disabled links to controversial adware maker WhenU after the company is accused of engaging in unauthorized practices aimed at boosting its search rankings; advanced search features that Gates has termed the "Holy Grail" of Longhorn, the next major version of Windows, won't be fully in place until 2009, Bob Muglia, the senior vice president in charge of Windows server development, told CNET News.com.
Dr. Bott has released VGAtor, a $300 device that lets you use any PowerBooks with a built-in VGA port as well as PC notebooks with Apple's family of ADC flat-panel displays. It converts VGA, USB and power signals into a single digital ADC signal, preserving the original color and resolution. "Since the release of DVIator, we have had a steady stream of customers asking for a product like VGAtor," said Eric Prentice, CEO of Dr. Bott.
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