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: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for â‚¬30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives