A research firm said that Apple and HP are planning to sell a million iPods a month this holiday season, according to a Susquehanna Financial Group (SFG) report released this week. AppleInsider reports that the companies will ship 1 million iPods per month starting in October: "The reported figure would represent a more than three-fold increase in iPod shipments from the Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple. Last quarter the company shipped a total of 860,000 iPods as it battled a shortage of hard drives for its flavorful iPod mini. For Apple's fourth fiscal quarter, which ends this month, analysts expect the company to have shipped anywhere from 900,000 to 1.4 million iPods. Still, these numbers pale in comparison to SFG's estimate of 3 million iPods during the company's fiscal Q1 of 2005."
Apple today released Java 1.4.2 Update 2, which it says provides improved behavior for applets in Safari and increased stability for desktop Java applications. Java 1.4.2 Update 2 also includes all the improvements from Java 1.4.2 Update 1. "The system will be updated to Java 1.4.2 Update 2. If the system currently has Java 1.4.1, it will be removed. Any previous Java 1.4.2 installation will be completely replaced." It requires Mac OS X 10.3.3 or later.
In Brief: The Iconfactory has released its "Porcelain" stock icon collection ($350), which features an "angular design and color palette help give it a style and a feel all its own," while IconBase.com has released Aquaria Icon Set for $250... TiVo is offering a limited edition 20GB iPod with its logo etched on the back as part of its newly launched TiVo Rewards program.... The Linux on POWER Open Source Developer Contest hopes to showcase innovative new open-source applications designed specifically for Linux running on the PPC architecture.... California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a new law establishing fines and potential jail time for anonymous file swappers.
Servoy BV today announced the availability of Servoy 2.1, the latest version of its database interface development and deployment environment. Servoy 2.1 delivers higher performance, availability and scalability than its predecessors; and offers more than 50 new and improved features and functions. It adds the ability to localize solutions easily. "Because of Servoy's strict separation of design and data; and with the new database-based internationalization tools offered in Servoy 2.1, Servoy now provides an easy-to-use environment to create, deploy and maintain solutions in multiple languages simultaneously." Servoy Developer is available now for $650; Servoy Clients begin at $240 per concurrent user.
Recent recent rumors of a settlement between Apple Computer and Apple Corps, the company founded by the Beatles, may be unfounded and reports of the 'biggest settlement in legal history' reports may be overblown, according to a CNET News.com report. Noting that current discussions for digital distribution rights to Beatles' music are running between $15-25 million for 6 months of exclusivity, the report says that Apple may be the only company willing to pay that much, while at the same time delivering a specialized area within iTunes for Beatles' music, interviews, and more--especially if it is part of a legal settlement between the companies over the use of 'Apple'. Apple was given the right to use the brand as part of a $26 million settlement in 1991 for "goods or services...used to reproduce, run, play or otherwise deliver such content," as long as it was not on physical media such as a CD."
Luxology is now shipping modo, its advanced subdivision surface and polygonal modeling platform. modo combines a highly advanced real-time subdivision surface engine along with fast, flexible and extensible modeling tools and an innovative and flexible user interface. The application can be used to create models of any type--from organics to hard surfaces and from high-resolution film models to low-resolution real-time meshes. modo delivers this toolset in an architecture that is designed for expansion, allowing artists to create more detailed models, in an interactive environment more quickly using modo's customizable interface. It is available for $900 with a $200 introductory discount being offered for a limited time. LightWave users are eligible for additional friends and family discount by using the 'modo4LW' coupon code.
Asiva JPEG Deblocker 1.0 ($50) is a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop that uses a special JPEG algorithm to achieve maximum quality while meeting size requirements. "This is accomplished by finding regions in the image that have a low amount of detail and lumping those pixels into 16 x 16 square pixel blocks that will have the same color information." [Downoad - buy] CDpedia ($18) is a CD library manager application for Mac OS X that features a familiar iTunes style interface. CDpedia integrates with iTunes and lets users know what CDs in their collection you have imported. [Downoad - 2.5MB] A Better Finder Launcher provides instant access to all your applications, documents and folders. Version 1.7 adds a new "contains characters" filter mode and improves display performance on long lists. [Downoad - 3.4MB] Media Rage 1.3 ($25) is a collection of tools for audio enthusiasts. Media Rage can edit information stored in MP3, AAC, and Ogg Vorbis audio files via a simple interface.Version 1.3 adds a Finder tool for searching, support for mp4 audio books, and more. [Downoad - 2.1MB] Cumulus 6.0.3 Service Pack 1 enhances performance and stability of the application with various bug fixes. Additionally, it includes new filters in Photo Suite and also offers support for new camera models. [Downoad - form] Drop Drawers 1.6.5 provides floating pull-out, snap-shut drawers on the sides of your screen to store text, URLs, aliases, scripts, pictures, sounds, movies and more. Version 1.6.5 improves decoding of URL names dragged from modern browsers, adds support for using Finder icons as thumbnails and backgrounds, and allows drawers with no tabs to be used with drag and drop. [Downoad - 532KB]
Afternoon tech: Wireless vendor Symbol Technologies will seek a big license fee--up to 6%--from all Wi-Fi equipment vendors for an infringed patent, after a jury awarded the company $23 million in a lawsuit against wireless equipment manufacturer Proxim.... In what may be an encouragement to upgrade, MIcrosoft said it would only provide security fixes for Microsoft's IE Web browser running under Windows XP SP2.... An online marketing company offering free iPods in exchange for marketing information and customer sign-ups for free trial offers is unable to keep up with demand because Apple has been unable to deliver iPods (but has also stopped selling email addresses as part of the free iPod offer).
eBay today is expected to announce a deal with startup PassAlong Networks, in which PassAlong will sell digital song downloads via its own Web site and through an online storefront on eBay. PassAlong says it will be the first major download service to allow its customers to use eBay's PayPal payment service and will initially offer a download catalog of about 200,000 songs--with the number expected to grow to 500,000 by the end of the month. That catalog will include the complete catalogs of Warner Music Group, BMG and Universal Music Group, according to Forbes.com.
Lawyers for Eminem's music label, Apple and MTV have asked a federal judge to delay the trial schedule following settlement talks in the rapper's copyright infringement suit, according to a report in The Detroit News. The lawsuit, which alleges that Apple used the song "Lose Yourself" in an iTunes commercial without permission, may require both Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Eminem to be part of the proceedings. Both sides have been in settlement negotiations and are interested in continuing, but have not yet reached an agreement, according to the report. Apple disputes the claim that the TV ad ran for three months--saying that it appeared just twice on MTV2 in October and was briefly posted on its website. "Among Apple's defenses is that at the time Eminem hadn't yet registered the song."
Footlights 1.0 ($15) is a video viewing application for Mac OS X 10.3 that offers playlist organization, full screen or window-based play back and extensive export options, including QuickTime file formats such as MPEG4, AVI, DV, Mov and more. A $5 discount is available through September 24. [1.5MB] GraphicConverter X 5.2.3 ($30) updates the popular graphics utility from Lemke Software, bringing dozens of improvements and bug fixes. It offers a completely redesigned dialog for renaming files, new dds/fits/lossless JP2 export options, more AppleScript commands, user-defined crop ratios, improved JPEG import, an improved photo browser, and more. [8MB] MP3 Trimmer 2.0 ($9) allows users to edit MP3s without re-encoding the files. Users can select an in-point and out-point, add a smooth fade-in/fade-out (with six different options), adjust volume gain, repair/analyze troublesome MP3 files, and now join MP3 files in a single file. [2MB] EarthLink TotalAccess 2005 offers several Mac tools for Earthlink members, including ScamBlocker for protecting against fraudulent websites, NewsAccess for for reading RSS feeds, spamBlocker for Mac, Mac OS X AddressBook sync with EarthLink Web Mail, a new virus protection module, and EarthLink Accelerator for Mac for surfing up to 5X faster on dial-up connection. [9.1MB] Symbolic Composer 5.1 3D is a music composition language that offers over 1000 music algorithms, suitable for many different music styles. It covers 300 microtonal world-music/theoretical scales, standard scales and complete chord system. Version 5.1 brings complete VRML2 support and documentation, alowing users to apply VRML for fusing music and virtual architecture. [11MB]
A CNET News.com reports looks at the evolution of the iPod scroll wheel, which it notes was custom designed by touchpad-manufacturer Synaptics, who "wasn't offering its technology to any other MP3 player companies until recently, and it still doesn't offer the round version found on the iPod to anyone but Apple. However, as mentioned above, the company created a vertical version of it for Creative's Zen Touch, which evidently doesn't violate whatever agreement Synaptics has with Apple."
In Brief: Sony says it plans to add support for MP3 music files to some of its portable music players sold in Europe later this year, ending the company's long-standing insistence on its proprietary Atrac format.... Apple's head of industrial design Jonathan Ive will make an appearance in the UK on Thursday October 28, offering a talk at London's Design Museum.... In his iMac G5 review, technology guru Walter Mossberg says "I am writing these words on the most elegant desktop computer I've ever used, a computer that is not only uncommonly beautiful but fast and powerful, virus-free and surprisingly affordable."... Ars Technica has posted an interview with Camino lead developer Mike Pinkerton in which he talks about the pace of development, his thoughts on Safari, and how Camino got its start in the first place.
Apple may not be able to meet the surging iPod demand in Australia this holiday shopping season, according to company representatives. ZDNet Australia says that "Australian shoppers intent on putting an iPod under the Christmas tree should be prepared to lay down a deposit to guarantee a machine will be available, according to Apple Australia's marketing director Arno Lenior... Lenior said the orders placed by Apple Australia anticipate a market for 'hundreds of thousands' of iPods this holiday season, but that demand could reach 'millions.' The admission comes after at least one retailer, Bing Lee, recently said it will not advertise iPods for fear of disappointing shoppers."
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
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
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R