Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: some minor issues with the latest Power Mac G5 models; speculation about the next PowerBook update from Apple; member reaction to the new HP-branded iPod; speculation about new features in the upcoming Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger"; the next version of Safari, Apple's Web browser for Mac OS X.
Duke University's incoming freshman received a goodie bags that included a free iPod engraved with the school's crest and the words "Class of 2008" (as well as Belkin's Voice Recorder) according to a News-Record.com report that has a few undisclosed details: "The project is being funded with money the school set aside for a one-time innovative technology purpose, and it's not known whether the program will continue after this academic year. The $500,000 price tag includes the iPods themselves, salary for an academic computing specialist and grants to faculty members who participate."
Afternoon tech news: Gateway has unveiled a PC that uses Intel's BTX "wind tunnel" technology to stay cool; top federal law enforcement officials Thursday announced the conclusion of an operation that brought 53 convictions involving a series of cyber crimes that targeted 150,000 victims; nearly half of video game players watched less television last year or plan to cut their viewing time this year, according to a report issued on Thursday that lends credence to industry fears that young men are switching off the TV.
In Brief: Apple is planning on opening a retail store in Danbury, Connecticut on October 15...lynda.com has released "Audio and Video Integration in Macromedia Flash MX 2004", a movie-based tutorial designed to help more experienced Flash users learn a variety of methods for integrating audio and video into Flash MX 2004 projects...Apple and Kyocera's Yashica are currently in talks to bring its line of iPod-matching digital cameras to the UK store, following an exclusive agreement with Apple's two retail stores in Japan and on the Japanese Apple website...The New York Times says that "it would be better for consumers if Apple began licensing its digital rights management software, only because the iTunes Music Store will not be able to lock up access to all the copyrighted music in the world."
HP introduced a number of new products today along with its branded iPods. Three new printers, a new digital camera, and new printer ink and premium paper top the list of digital photography-oriented products. Printable HP Tattoos for iPods allow users to personalize their iPod by printing and wrapping their iPod in a durable cover that gives the iPod a unique look while protecting it from scratches.
HP today announced that it will debut a new advertising campaign to launch the Apple iPod by HP at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Aug. 29. Music video producer Paul Hunter has directed the suite of music ads, according to the company. HP also said Apple iPod by HP would be available at Circuit City, CompUSA, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, Radio Shack, Fry's, Amazon.com and Costco. HP also debuted new HP Printable Tattoos, which allow consumers to personalize the look of their iPod with album cover art from top bands and recording artists, as well as to create their own personalized artwork and photos printed on Tattoo media via an HP color printer.
Edirol has begun shipping its new UA-25 USB Audio/MIDI Interface. Announced in July, the UA-25 is the latest addition to Edirol's legacy of high-quality USB Audio technology. The UA-25 ($300), packaged in a durable metal casing, is bus-powered and transports both audio and MIDI signals to and from the computer through a single USB connection. It offers phantom power mic preamps; a Hi-Z switch to bring a guitar or bass in without the need for a direct box; Digital In/Out; balanced +4 dBu inputs/outputs; a Direct Monitoring switch that allows the user to hear the recording in realtime; a "MONO" setting; and a unique "Limiter" function which adds mild compression to the analog inputs, reducing the likelihood of clipping.
Stone Studio August 2004 ($300, free updates for life) includes Create 12.2, PhotoToWeb 2.1, and PStill 3.4.3. Create, a Web site design application, includes 25 new features including updated and searchable help, while PhotoToWeb features a new look and customizable toolbars and PStill, used for converting PostScript files to PDF, can now create CMYK and Spot Color separation plates. [28.7MB] AudioTools Pro 5.0 ($15) is a collection of calculators and utilities that are often needed during audio production. Among its 40 functions is setup help with effect processors, complex calculations for loop and tempo matching, a host of utilities, and a reference section. [Standalone, FMPro Data Files] iJames Away Message 0.2 (free) is an application that allows one to specify multiple iChat away messages for different users, enabling your friend to receive one away message while your boss receives a different, for example. [90KB] GimpPrint 5.0.0b2 (free) is a suite of drivers that support over 600 printers and are compatible with most common UNIX print spooling systems, including CUPS, lpr, LPRng, or others. The drivers provide high quality printing for UNIX (including Mac OS X 10.2 and later) and Linux systems that in many cases equal or exceed proprietary vendor-supplied drivers in quality and functionality.[7.1MB] 3D: Electronics ($120), 3D: Shop Design ($120), and Textures: Carpets ($80) are the latest collections of 3D models and textures from Dosch Design. Each 3D package includes 50 models, while the Texture package includes 121 rug textures, 22 multicolor rugs, and more.
Digital Age Products has announced three new audio products with its new iSoundz line of iPod accessories and peripherals. The iSoundz product line includes the iSoundz Portable Desktop Mini Speakers, the iSoundz Sound Wallet Mini Speakers and the iSoundz CarCast FM Transmitter; the company says it will announce more products for the iPod and other digital devices over the next few quarters. The iSoundz Portable Desktop Mini Speakers ($40) deliver a clear, crisp sound powered by a built-in, rechargeable Ni-MH battery--all in a compact form factor. The speakers cradle the iPod and can optionally foldaway for easy portability. It includes an AC adapter and an optional USB power cable, which also lets you power the speakers by connecting them to your desktop or notebook computer.
Apple will open its Shinsaibashi retail store in Osaka, Japan Saturday. Apple says it expects between 3,000 and 7,000 people to visit the store on its opening day, notes Bloomberg. Apple declined to give sales targets for the Osaka store but has said its Tokyo location was making nearly $1 million in sales each week in July, prior to the iPod mini launch. Gary Allen of ifoAppleStore has posted his first video report and photos from the Shinsaibashi store and will cover its opening as well.
EyeSee360 today announced PhotoWarp 2.5, an upgrade its tool for processing panoramic images. PhotoWarp, the software component of 360 One VR one-shot panoramic photography system from Kaidan, is now available as a standalone solution. PhotoWarp delivers panoramas using QuickTime VR , iSeeMedia's Zoom Viewer or Helmut Dersh's PTViewer applets for Java-enabled browsers. Version 2.5 adds support for the new FlashVR, a Macromedia Flash panorama viewer that offers a rich panoramic viewing experience with a perspective-corrected display. Other new features include a live preview window for easier setup of source images, auto-rotating panoramas, 16-bit per channel image processing for improved color depth with Digital SLRs, and AppleScript support for Mac OS X. It is available for $250; upgrades are $80.
hpshopping.com has started taking pre-orders for the Apple iPod from HP, which is slated to ship September 5. Both 20GB (part no. PE435A#ABA) and 40GB (part no. PE436A#ABA) are available for $300 and $400, respectively. The devices appear to mirror the specifications of Apple's iPod, minus HP's support for the devices. The iPods include free shipping and can also be ordered by calling 888-570-6420.
Micromat has posted TechTool Pro 4.0.3, an update to its versatile disk utility. As noted by MacUpdate, the update corrects a number of known issues, enhances support for G4 7447 and G5 970FX testing, updates the video memory test to support the Radeon 9800 XT, improves optimization routines, and more. [Servers may be overloaded.] [29.8MB]
In Brief: One analyst believes that the HP-branded iPod will quickly outsell Apple's iPod, due to HP's broad distribution at electronics retailers... a New York Times editorial discusses the Apple-Real feud, concluding that while it would be better for consumers if Apple licensed FairPlay, Real's intentions are self-serving... lafcpug has posted the final results of this years Top Ten Final Cut Pro Feature Requests on its web site... Sonnet Technologies will be offering Apple Expo specials on its products in Paris through resellers Platinium, Softline, and CLG.
Piper Jaffray thinks the iTunes music store could emerge as a driver for Apple's shares in fiscal 2005 and 2006, CBS Marketwatch is reporting this morning. "We believe that the Street is underestimating the impact of iTunes on two levels: hype factor and financials," the firm told clients. "Based on Apple itself downplaying the potential growth and profitability of the iTunes Music Store, we believe expectations related to this segment are minimal." Piper theorized that the hype factor around iTunes will grow in tandem with the installed base of iPods, Apple's digital music player. As the iPod installed base grows and the overall demand for digitally distributed content increases, we expect the Street to begin to view iTunes as more than just the cog in a wheel that drives hardware sales."
Merrill Lynch has reiterated its "Buy" rating for Apple, even after shares have climbed $3.50 in the last three days, notes CBS Marketwatch. The research firm said it has heard that Apple is doing well in the higher education market due to "the iPod halo effect" (noted earlier this week) and believes the company's earnings could have an upside, due to European music store sales and international iPod sales.
Hewlett-Packard's iPod, which will debut later today, will reportedly have different external packaging to make it stand out but will be white-and-silver in color, and not blue as originally demonstrated earlier this year. According to The Wall Street Journal. HP's iPod is also said to have "different hardware features" to further distinguish it, although no details are provided.
MachineWorks has announced that it has developed further enhancements to its latest V6.1 release, using realtime OpenGL rendering, allowing it to render a realistic metallic effect within its animations. MachineWorks is an industry-standard CNC simulation/verification technology. Recent enhancements in version 6.1 include analytical functions to improve the detection of collisions, gouges and undercuts within the different MachineWorks engines. Version 6.1, not only supports OpenGL rendering with wire-frame, hidden line removal, colour shading and transparency but also advanced features such as texture mapping and shadows to enhance the realistic effect.
Griffin today announced the Griffin EarJams, which snap onto your iPodís existing earbud-style headphones and significantly increase the bass output, volume level and comfort. The EarJams turn your existing earbuds into in-ear style headphones, according to the company. "A sonic-enhancing cone extends the sound directly into the ear and is protected and made comfortable by slip-on soft ear pads." The package includes three sizes of removable pads and also includes a small canvas carrying case. The new Griffin EarJams will be shown Tuesday at Apple Expo Paris and will ship in September for $20.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe