Topics of discussion on the MacNN forums today include: Speculation about the next major PowerBook update.... at least two topics in our iMac forum discuss new iMac G5 noises issues.... discussion of the Mac OS X 10.3.6 update, which was released earlier this evening.... comparing the Camino and Firefox Web browsers for Mac OS X.
ASC has announced the release of Astro IIDC ($50), a Mac OS X Astronomy and Microscopy oriented image acquisition software. "Astro IIDC" works with a variety of inexpensive FireWire cameras, has a simple intuitive interface, does real time Flat Frame or Dark Frame subtraction and provides real CCD exposure times of up to 1 second with cameras that normally only provide exposures of 1/30th of a second."
Apple has released Mac OS X 10.3.6 via the Software Update utility in Mac OS X. Apple also released the DVD Studio Pro 3.0.2 Update, which adds compatibility for double-layer media on supported systems, and offers improved general stability. "The 10.3.6 Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X v10.3 Panther and is recommended for all users." Update: Apple has updated its online support document with further details on the 10.3.6 update.
IDG World Expo announced today that Macworld Boston will be moving from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) to the Hynes Convention Center for this summer's event. The date has also been moved up one week, and will now take place from July 11-14, 2005. "Feedback from attendees and exhibitors prompted us to make this move," an IDG spokesman told MacNN. "Most of them requested a more intimate setting for this event. The BCEC is a beautiful venue, but the Hynes is a better fit for Macworld Boston." Despite the move, IDG claims that Macworld Boston is robust and that IDG is absolutely committed to its continued growth.
Pixar has release the first trailer from its next animated feature film "Cars," which likely will be the final Disney/Pixar computer-animated comedy, notes USA Today. Scheduled to open in theaters on November 5th, 2005, "The movie centers on speed-obsessed race car Lightning McQueen, who gets lost on his way to the track. He lands in Radiator Springs, a downtrodden town off fabled Route 66 that has been bypassed by the interstate. There, he learns about what really matters from the cars of the 1950s and '60s." The film will feature the voices of Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Owen Wilson, Dan Whitney and NASCAR vet Richard Petty.
In an effort to show Apple its appreciation 'for creating such a fantastic platform,' Freeverse has begun a promotion that offers Apple employees a discount on its software titles. "From now until the end of the year, any Apple employee who places an order for any of our titles, including the latest Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005 edition, AirBurst Extreme, Big Bang Board Games, Robin Hood and Massive Assault on our web store will receive 25% off their order total." In order to take advantage of this offer, employees must place orders at the Freeverse Store using their @apple.com email address and enter the coupon code: "moof".
Apple has announced a new promotion that offers customers a free Epson Stylus C86 printer if they purchase a new Macintosh computer between now and January 10, 2005. The computer must be purchased from Apple or a participating Apple Authorized Reseller and requires the completion of a mail-in rebate. Apple is also offering up to $100 cash back via mail-in rebate to customers who purchase a qualifying Mac and an Epson Stylus CX4600, Stylus CX5400, Stylus CX6400, Stylus CX6600, Stylus Photo R300, PictureMate, Stylus RX500, Stylus Photo R800, or Stylus RX600. The computer and Epson printer purchases must appear on the same invoice or sales receipt. A full list of terms and conditions are listed in the mail-in coupon.
First Albany today raised its earnings estimate and stock price target for Apple Computer, citing higher expectations for iPod products, as well as for iMac, retail stores and iTunes. Analyst Joel Wagonfeld increased his fiscal 2005 earnings estimate to $1.35 a share from $1.17 and revenue forecast to $10.8 billion from $10.2 billion. Wagonfeld lifted his price target to $61 from $53, and reiterated his "buy" rating. "We believe Apple will continue to benefit from a confluence of numerous 'halo effects' based on iPod popularity, iMac uptake, retail store productivity and higher visibility among customers and investors," Wagonfeld said in a note to clients. Apple stock closed Thursday down 86 cents at $54.45.
LinuxInsider columnist Paul Murphy has written a detailed article comparing the pricing, power, and software availability for the Mac and PC platforms. "Compare Apple's dual G5 to the top of the line Dell dual Xeon Precision workstation and the PC has most of the features but costs a thousand bucks more than the Mac." He also says, "[I] discovered that not only are Macs cheaper than PCs once you upgrade the PCs to rough comparability, but the PC line is narrower than Apple's." However, he cautions: "developers selling a PC product into the Macintosh market generally seem to put little or no effort into understanding the Macintosh hardware. In fact, an easy majority apparently opts for little more than use of a Macintosh cross compiler on code that's been extensively optimized for Windows on x86."
Now AAPL Stock: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
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-Élysées. 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