A man who sent 850 million junk e-mails through accounts he opened with stolen identities was sentenced to up to seven years in prison on Thursday; Tammy Lafky, a sugar mill worker and single mother in Bird Island, became the first Minnesotan sued by the recording industry this week for allegedly downloading copyrighted music illegally; A bill under consideration by the California senate would place strict privacy restrictions on e-mail providers in the state, but it appears to fall short of barring Google's new service.
iSticky 1.2 ($23) is an application that makes it possible to stick notes on your desktop, or the desktops of others. The new version comes with many improvements, including the ability to send notes via Rendezvous, improved note customization, and note management. [Download - 2.8MB] FileWave X 1.6.1 is an automated software distribution tool for Mac OS X. This update includes a number of speed increases to the FileWave XServer and FileWave XAdmin, a new multithreaded FileWave Booster, and UNIX based daemon. [Download - form] Money 1.3 is a $25 application for Mac that offers an simple and uncluttered approach to basic accounting and personal financial management. Money version 1.3 features scheduled transactions, subcategories, transaction types, "action" tool, label rename, CSV format support, improved printing, search, QIF support, and more. [Download - 524KB] SQLiteManager 1.1 ($40) is a database manager for SQLite databases. With SQLiteManager users can create and browse tables, indexes, and views, insert, remove, and edit table records, and execute arbitrary SQL statements. [Download - OS X, Classic] Compost is a utility that enhances the Mac OS trash can. Using Compost, users can specify the length of time that files are allowed to remain in the trash or the maximum size to which the trash is allowed to grow. [Download - 44KB] Cheap Impostor 2.0 ($35) is a simple yet powerful alternative to expensive page imposition applications. Version 2.0 adds a completely new PDF parser, and support for incrementally-saved PDF files. [Download - 329KB]
Business Week Online columnist Alex Salkever notes that while Apple's iPod is a "bona fide hit," its 25% global marketshare number may be overblown: "Too bad their assumption is off base: The iPod's global market share may actually fall well below the 25% mark....Very little good data exists on international sales of consumer electronics -- digital-music players included. With the exception of Japan, information out of Asia is sketchy. According to one of [the MP3] chipmakers and to industry analysts, worldwide shipments of digital-music-player chips hit about 15 million last year. An April, 2004, report from investment bank CIBC on this market estimated global sales of flash and hard-drive music players at 17 million. If that's true, then the 1.5 million iPods sold in 2003 gives Apple 8% to 10% of the global market."
Apple won a Silver Award from the D&AD (Design and Art Direction) last night for its PowerBook G4, according to Macworld UK: "The product took a Silver (affectionately known as a 'Yellow Pencil') in the Products for Work or Industry sub-group of the Product Design category. ...D&AD is a UK-based educational charity that works on behalf of the international design and advertising communities."
Microsoft will begin selling portable music players for as much as 80 percent less than Apple's iPod, according to The Denver Post. "The Microsoft-branded devices will 'look and feel' as good as the iPod for as little as $50, said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of MSN at Microsoft Corp., at the Goldman Sachs fifth annual Internet Conference in Las Vegas. The iPod sells for $249 to $499. Microsoft will release a number of music players when it launches its online music service later this year, giving customers more choices than Apple, Mehdi said."
EI Technology Group has launched Electric Image Animation System 5.5, an update to the cross-platform professional 3D animation application. It includes dozens of new features, including caustics, a built-in scripting tool, new shaders, HRDI support, an array of new Animation capabilities, new deformation tools, and GrangerFX Plug-in support. The software also features Radiosity, multi-processor support, Match Move, Material Library System, Macromedia Shockwave support, unlimited network rendering, character animation tools, global illumination, and more. It runs on Mac OS 9/X. Upgrades from v5.0 are $300 and $500 for other versions.
IDG World Expo and the Berklee College of Music today announced "Dream Studios", an interactive exhibit at Macworld Expo in Boston (July 12-14) that "will simulate state-of-the-art music studios based on the Mac. Designed and developed by Berklee faculty and students, the Dream Studios will provide attendees with an opportunity to experience the most sophisticated and innovative tools for audio production. The Dream Studios will showcase the latest hardware and software available to build cutting-edge music production setups. Music students, hobbyists, songwriters, cover bands and professionals will be able to take self-guided tours of the Dream Studios, participate in demonstrations and listen to presentations by Berklee faculty."
MacSpeech today released an updated German version of its iListen speech recognition application, offering the ability to learn new words faster, improved transcription functions for Medical & Legal Professions, a special adaptation feature for poor pronunciation, new "Hands Free" correction functionality, larger font size support, new voice commands for Mac OS X, dictation and correction directly into virtually any application, and improved recognition and performance. It is a free update to all current users.
Independent record labels in the UK, France and Germany have signed a licensing deal with Sony ahead of the company's launch of its Sony Connect online music store in those countries next month, according to Reuters: "The deal comes as Sony races to launch in Europe ahead of Apple's leading iTunes Music Store, which may have the necessary licensing contracts to launch in Europe by the middle of next month, according to sources familiar with Apple's plans."
In brief: Wired has published a look at how Pixar became an animation superpower and "left Disney in the dust"; LimeWire was the top download for Mac on CNET Download.com this week, with 91,203 downloads; AMG will soon be releasing its ExpansionPack for GarageBand, a massive collection of software instruments for use with Apple's GarageBand software.
Now AAPL Stock: 92.04 ( 0 )
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
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu