Bloomberg notes that Steve Jobs decision to trade in his "under-water" stock options for an one-time stock grant cost him more than $370 million in unrealized profit: "Steve Jobs in January 2000 received the largest option grant in history: 20 million shares [along with a] second option [later] covering another 7.5 million shares, which was granted in October 2001. Jobs then took an offer in March 2003 to turn in all 27.5 million shares for five million free shares then worth about $75 million. As of the markets close on Nov. 22, those free shares had a value of $307 million. Had Jobs kept his 27.5 million option shares, they would have contained, again as of the close on Nov. 22, paper profits of $678 million. Bad move, Steve. Some people may perceive you as arrogant, but based on your decision, you really underestimated yourself."
Aurelon today announced the release of two new Photoshop compatible plug-ins: Aurelon nColor Converter (€295) and the Aurelon PhotoPro Tools (€195). The Aurelon PhotoPro Tools are a set of three separate plug-ins (Aurelon PhotoPro PhotoTools, Aurelon PhotoPro LensTools, Aurelon PhotoPro ColorTools) that combine almost all tools needed for coping with image distortions and digital photo artifacts. Included are: Unsharp Masking, Color Cast, Barrel Distortion, Perspective, Lens Filter, among others. The Aurelon nColor Converter is a Photoshop plug-in that enables color separation based on multi-color ICC profiles. It can convert an image to a multi-channel document that can be post-processed in Photoshop and saved as a Photoshop PSD, RAW or DCS file.
In Brief: On Monday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m., The Portland Mac Filmmakers’ User Group will discuss the difference between the various QuickTime formats and how to convert digital footage to analog (and vice versa).... A group of iTunes Music Store users have started a petition for Apple to provide PDF versions of album booklets with music downloads.... MacNN readers are beginning to report that "iPod Socks" from Apple are now shipping.... CSI announced at Macworld UK that its next major release of Concepts Unlimited will support Immersion Corporation's MicroScribe 3D input device.
Blizzard Entertainment yesterday released its eagerly awaited massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft. First announced in early November, World of Warcraft launched simultaneously in the US, Australia and New Zealand, and is planned for release in Korea, Europe, and other countries throughout Asia shortly. "In World of Warcraft, players assume the roles of legendary heroes and interact with thousands of other players online as they explore and adventure across a vast world. Whether journeying together or questing on their own, players will engage in heroic battles, develop friendships, forge alliances, and compete with enemies for power and glory." It is available for $50 with a free one-month subscription to the game.
The Apple Store is advertising special sale on Friday, November 26. A promo teaser at the online Apple Store says "Perfect Savings. Perfect Day." Apple has also updated the retail section of its website with information on the event, saying that it will offer its 10% price matching as well: " Don’t miss out. You’ll find all the best gift ideas at great prices, but if you've seen any Apple hardware or software at a better price elsewhere, we’ll match that price." Apple's $100 off $700 coupon, made available to select customers to celebrate the 7th anniversary of the Apple Store, ends today, while earlier today we noted special free iPod logo engraving--in addition to the free text engraving available for a limited time.
One Wall Street analyst expects 100 million Windows users to own iPods by 2008 and is forecasting iPod sales of 23.5 million units in 2006, according to a report obtained by Macworld UK. The analyst says that the rumored flash-based iPod, expected early next year, may "an opportunistic move to quickly capture an even higher share of the portable music player market," noting that Apple has already established the iPod as the "leading brand" in the portable music player market. In a 27-page research note issued to clients, Needham & Co. analyst Charles Wolf claims the iPod will achieve 'critical mass' that could lead to a surge in Mac sales if only a nominal fraction of iPod users make a Mac purchase and also calls Apple's online and brick-&-mortar retail stores as "the unsung heroes of the Apple story." He further predicts that by 2010, iTunes Music Store market share will have fallen to just 2 per cent, but equates this figure to sales worth $800 million per year by then.
Freeverse today announced that Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005 Edition is shipping. urning Monkey Solitaire is the hugely popular suite of solitaire card games for Mac OS and Windows featuring "joke-telling chimps, singing gorillas, flaming arrows, and flying pigs." The 2005 Edition includes more animations, more jokes and the following new Solitaire games: Up, Cruel, Black Hole and Pile On!. It is available for $25 and runs on Mac OS 9/X. Freeverse Software also announced that ranked games of Burning Monkey Solitaire passed the 5 million mark and says it has awarded a special personalized iPod Mini to a 3rd Grade Teacher in Los Angeles.
piDog Software today announced it has introduced PDFast and updated SimpleKeys. PDFast 1.02 is a fast simple PDF viewer that renders the entire file to ram at once rather than as it is viewed, offering a significant speed improvement over Preview when viewing graphically heavy PDFs. The company says that large files will consume large amounts of memory, recommending 1GB of installed RAM. The application is available for free, however, the developer is soliciting donations to support development. SimpleKeys 2.0.6 is an easy to use macro program, designed to provide the power of more complex programs. The latestupdate allows users to include shortcuts (macros) in a menu next to the system clock. SimpleKeys is $20 shareware.
Apple's iPod may be influencing PC users to switch to the Mac, according to one analyst's survey. News.com reports that the "popularity of the iPod could well be boosting Apple Computer's financials in unexpected ways. According to a survey of iPod users by financial analysis firm Piper Jaffray, Macs are now basking in the reflected glory of the iPod, with some who own the music player saying they have already or are intending to ditch their PCs for Macs. The research found that 6 percent of iPod users have made the switch. An additional 7 percent said they are planning to dump their old PC desktop for an Apple machine, according to the survey....Among the factors influencing the PC-dumping crowd were ease of use, the focus on entertainment and the perception of better security."
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today announced it is shipping the DLO iBoom - Boombox for the iPod. The DLO iBoom lets users connect their iPod and share their music anywhere. It fits all iPods and iPod minis (except for the iPod photo) and features a fully digital FM stereo with 4 station presets and a bright amber backlit display. Running on six D-size batteries or via any AC outlet. The DLO iBoom features a 20-watt per channel, four-speaker sound system. Users simply drop their iPod or iPod mini into the DLO iBoom dock, hit play and enjoy their music on the beach, at a party, or almost anywhere. The DLO iBoom provides. When plugged in the DLO iBoom also charges the docked iPod as well. It is available immediately for $150 from DLODirect.com and at CompUSA stores in the US.
Apple's iPod mini is still the best selling MP3 player in Japan--almost four months after its debut in July. Bloomberg says that Apple's success is frustrating Sony and predicts that 40 percent of the 1.5 million digital music players sold in Japan will come from Apple: "Apple's latest success is another setback for Sony, whose profit from consumer electronics has fallen in five of the past six years as Sharp and Matsushita Electric Industrial grabbed the digital initiative with flat-screen televisions and DVD players. 'Sony was the pioneer with the Walkman," said Alexander Shalash, who manages global technology stocks including Apple shares for Swissca Portfolio Management in Zurich. "This time they're late. There are no alternatives to the iPod right now.'"
The Apple Store for Business is offering free logo engraving on iPods to business that 10 or more iPods. "This year, give your customers and employees a gift they’ll never forget—a custom-engraved iPod. Sure to be one of the hottest gifts of the season, all iPod models are PC and Mac compatible and can be used as a digital music player, organizer, portable hard drive, and more. And best of all, when you order from the Apple Store for Business you can get free logo engraving on orders of 10 or more and free text personalization. This is an Apple Store exclusive service and will be free for a limited time."
GarageCUBE has published a preview of Modul8 v2.0, the first major update of its live video compositing application. The Mac OS X application is designed for realtime video mixing and compositing and offers a state-of-the-art user-interface. This new version includes improvements at every level of the application and several new components: 3D transformers (patch, matrix, particles), fully scriptability, an integrated interface-builder, new pixel filters, logical record, QuickTime movie exporter, and more. Modul8 v2.0 will be available as a free update for registered users and will cost $400. It is expected to be released during the first trimester of 2005.
TUNEWEAR today introduced its new ICEWEAR 3G cases for some of Apple's third-generation ("3G") iPods, including the new 30GB and 40GB models. The company says it developed the cases for the previous generation iPod in order to accommodate requests from owners, but said it had no plans to produce sizes for the 10GB/15GB/20GB models, which are slightly thinner. The ICEWEAR series uses the same silicone found in diving masks which allows for both scratch protection and a clear view of the iPod's original design as well as access to all ports including the headphone jack, dock connector, hold switch and with Dock Connector. It also features shock absorbing ribs on the sides that also function as a grip for the iPod. Icewear 3G will be shipping at the beginning of December in limited quantities for $25.
MacMice has announced that its GarageKey USB-MIDI keyboard for Apple's GarageBand is available for pre-order and says it is offering a "shipping guarantee" for Christmas delivery. The GarageKey has 37 full-size, professional quality, velocity sensitive keys as well as has octave up and down buttons discretely placed on the rear panel. It is "plug 'n play" compliant with Mac OS X USB-MIDI. The instrument features clear acrylic over bright white styling--designed to precisely match Apple's desktop styling. It includes clear acrylic riser legs that create space underneath to stow away an Apple keyboard. It will ship on December 12th for $120.
Mark/Space has released The Missing Sync for Palm OS v4.0.2, its application for syncing handhelds with Mac OS X. This release adds support for palmOne's Treo 650 and Tungsten T5, speeds up synchronization operations and better supports many conduits, including Now Up-to-Date, Photos/Media Conduit, NotePad and airline schedule conduits. Version 4.0.2 also improves iTunes integration and better detects conduit conflicts. The application allows users to sync data with iCal, Address Book, Microsoft Entourage as well as connect to a handheld using Wi-Fi (AirPort) or Bluetooth, mount memory cards on the desktop, import/export photos to/from iPhoto, and share a desktop internet connection. The full version is $40, while the update is free to registered users.
In a research note published yesterday, analysts at Needham & Co reiterated their "buy" rating on Apple stock and raised the target price to $62 from $43, according to Newratings.com. Apple stock is trading at $61.27 in pre-open trading, down slightly from yesterday's close. Earlier this week, Apple's stock surged to more than $60 after PiperJaffray increased its target price to $100 based on expected strong sales of the iPod.
iPresent It 1.0 ($18) allows users to convert PowerPoint, PDF and Keynote presentations into slideshows that are synced with an iPod Photo. "Never carry a laptop into a presentation again; it's all on your iPod!" [Download - 844KB] Concierge 1.0.4 ($10) is a bookmark assistant for Safari. Bookmarks are stored and managed in a drawer attached to either side of Safari's window. Concierge has the ability to "focus" the visible bookmark list to the Web site that is currently being viewed. [Download - 533KB] Guitar Rig 1.2 ($500) is the latest version of the "complete solution for the modern guitarist." The free update adds four more stomp boxes to the guitarists arsenal, all "painstakingly modelled after popular real world units." [Download - 17MB] Bookit 3.5 ($12) is a bookmark manager that supports the latest Web browsers for Mac OS X . Bookit 3.5 adds complete support for all of the latest web browsers available for Mac OS X. Including OmniWeb 5, Opera 7.5, Camino 0.8 and Firefox 1.0. [Download - 632KB] Bluecommand 1.1 (free) executes shell scripts and AppleScripts sent to a Mac from Bluetooth-enabled mobiles or handhelds. The application will watch the folder where accepted files are saved, looking for any incoming text file or vNote and execute it appropriately. It includes sample scripts and requires Mac OS X v10.3 or above. [191KB] Styles Collection 2 ($20) offers 4000 styles for use in Photoshop, including over 40 themed style sets. It features a wide range of exciting dynamic styles as well as layer effects for instant use. The set includes plastics, metals, glows, wood grains, buttons, shimmers, weird and wonderful and surreal as well as utility. It works with Photoshop CS (and older versions) as well as Photoshop Elements.
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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