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."
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE