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: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel
Verizon gives last offer, issues workers ultimatum
Verizon has offered striking workers its "last, best and final offer" following 10 months of protracted negotiations with union leaders. The latest offer comes on the back of 36,000 Verizon employees taking strike action two weeks ago. The proposal includes a 7.5 percent wage rise, better benefits and voluntary retirement incentive offers. The striking workers, mainly on from its fixed line operations, have claimed that Verizon has outsourced 5,000 jobs to workers overseas and that it has been deliberately hiring low-wage, non-union contractors. Verizon recently posted revenue of $32.2 billion for the March quarter. http://cnnmon.ie/26AmwSv
CarPlay comes to Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche has revealed that its new 718 Cayman series will be the latest vehicles in its range equipped with support for Apple CarPlay. The new Porsche models joins the recently announced 718 Boxster, the 2017 Macans and the 2016 model of the 911 in offering support for Apple's iOS in the car interface. Both are fitted standard with an eight speaker sound system and the Porsche Communications Management (PCM) system. The entry-level Cayman starts at $53,9000, while the faster S variant starts from $66,300. Although already on sale, the won't reach US dealers until late November. http://prn.to/1Tj1EW7
Macphun offers free Photos filters
Image editing software maker Macphun are offering a free set of up to 30 photo filter effects to extend the range of filter options available to users of Apple's Photos app for OS X, which replaced the previous iPhoto program. The first 15 filters are available after installing the software, and includes filters such as "Ancient Canvas" and "Twilight," while users who sign up for the Macphun newsletter will unlock the other 15 effects. The extension integrates directly into Photos, and include sliders for finer control of the effects and a masking brush. http://bit.ly/1VEgQD6
Snapchat sued over speed filter photo overlay
Accident victims in Spalding County, GA are suing Snapchat, as well as the driver responsible for the accident. The suit alleges that the app's "speed filter," which can post the speed that which a picture was taken, encouraged driver Christal McGee to attempt to reach 100 miles per hour in her car, leading to the accident that caused both Wentworth and Karen Maynard serious injuries. The suit alleges Wentworth Maynard suffered brain damage in the incident. McGee posted a photo of herself in a cervical collar on the way to the hospital, saying that she was "lucky to be alive." Snapchat has not commented on the lawsuit. http://abcn.ws/24nhR49
Pandora bleeding slows, posts $28.9M Q1 loss
Streaming music service Pandora today announced financial results for the first quarter of 2016, posting a loss of $28.9 million, an improvement from the $48.3 million loss it showed in the year-ago-quarter. Total consolidated revenue was $297.3 million, growing 29 percent year-over-year. Total listener hours grew 4 percent to 5.52 billion for the first quarter of 2016, compared to 5.30 billion for the same period of the prior year. Active listeners were 79.4 million at the end of the first quarter of 2016, up compared to 79.2 million for the same period of the prior year. http://pdora.co/1WtxdkW