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: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
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