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: 160.09 ( + 0.21 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
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