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UK game publisher Feral today announced that Republic: The Revolution, its political revolution simulation title, is now available in the US. The $55 title focuses on ousting the President of the mythical republic of Novistrana after the Soviet Union has fallen: "Players may follow different strands of play, allowing them to play as politicians, businessmen, criminals, religious leaders or generals. Behave as ruthlessly or as compassionately as you want! The choice is yours – but beware as every decision has its consequences and repercussions." Feral also said that Bionicle has reached beta status--with screen shots expected to be posted next week. Based on on LEGO's best-selling range of toys, the game is aimed at younger players in the 6-12 age group.
Fortune magazine's Dorm-Room Computers 101 recommends that parents that college-bound students purchase a Mac: "Windows vs. Mac? These days I'd definitely vote for the Mac OS, which is less susceptible to crashes and viruses. Windows is more popular, but seems perpetually to be on orange alert. You don't want to hear, 'A virus ate my term paper.'" The article offers other buying advice as well, including purchasing a notebook, computer theft insurance, extended care plans, etc.
In Brief: One day after telling many customers that their dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5 orders were delayed, AppleInsder reports that Apple has made good on its July ship date promise and begun shipping some orders--including to those customers who were notified of delays of up to three weeks--as originally projected by publication...Documents and other information stored on an iPod helped catch a car crime gang known as the "iPod Crew"... A free interactive guide to public restrooms in London for iPod users, appropriately called pPod, offers audio and text information on their whereabouts, opening hours, facilities and cleanliness...Apple Japan is offering a trade in program for Macs when users purchase a new Mac and iPod, although the details are not clear.
Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: deciding which Power Mac G5 model to purchase; comparing the performance difference between closely-matched iBook models; the ongoing dispute between Real and Apple over digital music licensing technology; hairline cracks in the Airport Express case; members' opinions on the best browser for Mac OS X.
SonicMood 1.2 ($10) is a background 'mood enhancing' program for Mac that plays 'gentle tones' using selected instruments. The update, version 1.2.0, fixes a major bug and adds the ability to save and load different "Moods Files." [Download - OS X, Classic] The Window Maker 1.4.7 ($30) allows the FutureBasic programmer to graphically create windows and controls, generating build window functions in a working shell in fully editable, FB carbon code. Version 1.4.6 allows users to import PGPro projects, import FB source, merge TWM projects, and more. [Download - 360KB] Tunes Menu is a Mac OS X program which provides a simple and easy way to search online music stores via a system-wide menu. The latest update has added support for Mac OS X 10.2/10.3 and the CD WOW! music store in the UK. [Download - 180KB] ShredIt X 5.5 is the latest version of the computer privacy software that "shreds" instead of deletes data so it can't be recovered. Version 5.5 adds the ability to "shred" CD-RW data. It costs $20. [Download - 2.7MB] Multimedia Tiler 1.6 ($10) is a simple applicaion that allows user to fill the screen with many types of media files, such as mpegs, still pictures, PDFs, and so on. Version 1.6 has the following enhancements: file listing supports drag and drop of folders/recursion, users can now individually remove files from the file, and more. [Download - 343KB] Design Room ($500) allows users to create photo layouts from within Photoshop. The automated template software allows users to import images, select a design from over 450 templates, and arrange photos via drag & drop. Users can resize album layouts and save each finished layout to any high-resolution format, including PSD files. [Download - form]
Apple was the No. 2 brand among PC buyers for the first time, according to Investor's Business Daily. It was the choice of 8% of likely buyers, ahead of Sony, who at No. 3 with 6% of likely buyers, a new high for the company. Dell, however, led all companies by a wide margin, as it was the preferred brand of over 50% of PC buyers: "Apple is riding a huge wave of publicity and media attention surrounding strong sales of its iPod portable music players. That success might be rubbing off on its PC business, says Roger Kay, an analyst with International Data Corp. Consumers might be looking to extend their iPod experience to Apple's Macintosh computers."
Aspyr today announced that the Mac version of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has hit beta status and is expected to ship in September for $50. Set over 4,000 years before the first Star Wars film, Knights of the Old Republic "throws players into a galactic war between the Jedi and the Sith. Taking the action to a time period not seen in the LucasArts films, Knights of the Old Republic introduces new stories, new characters, new species and news areas of the universe."
Morning tech news: Microsoft's first beta of Longhorn, the next major Windows client release, has been delayed until the second half of next year and could delay the expected 2006 release date even more; Intel's high-end 3.6GHz Pentium 4 560 is in very short supply and has pushed back the launch date for its 4GHz Pentium 4 desktop processor to the first quarter of 2005; Young, smart Russian hackers are posing an increasing threat to global business, police said on Wednesday following last week's arrest of an online extortion ring that cost British companies up to $70 million; online advertising spending is expected to nearly double by 2009 to $16.1 billion.
Apple has announced the winners of the “Present Your Passion” contest. In June 2004, Apple invited Keynote users to submit presentations on the things they love most. From a pool of hundreds of entries, Apple has chosen the top three, as well as six Honorable Mentions. Grand prize went to Meg Spoto's “Making Meg’s Cards,” followed by “This Is Holy land” by Cathy Carter and “Pennies” by David Joyce. Honorable mentions went to “Illustrations” by Scott D.S. Young, “Moment’s Child” by Jude Rousslin, “Spacebloom” by Martin Naroznik, "My First Year” by Brett Tomczak, “Little Rock: A Stepping Stone to Equality” by Courtney and Richard Shea, and “The New York Story” by Judy Liametz.
During the summer NAMM show in Nashville, Guitar Player magazine announced that it has awarded Apple's GarageBand the magazine’s reader’s choice for Best Software of 2004, according to Apple Hotnews. Available as part of iLife '04, GarageBand allows users to create, perform and record their own music in a personal studio environment.
StudioEase 5.0 is an all-in-one administration package for recording studios and musicians. Its key features include comprehensive project logging with complete integration of related tasks, such as invoicing, archiving, booking, contacts, track sheets, and lyrics. Version 5.0 implements improved xplatform appearance, support for dual tax systems, structural changes and improvements, built-in support form, support for Roxio Jam playlists, and more. Pricing starts at $60.
Adobe today announced the winners of the fourth annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards, a program designed to reward student graphic designers, photographers, illustrators and digital filmmakers. Using the latest Adobe products, more than 1,400 students from the US, Canada and the UK competed in the annual competition. As part of this year's awards program, Adobe organized a day of tours through San Francisco's top design studios. Twelve studios opened their doors to allow students to meet with the principles and see, first hand, how a professional studio operates.
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