Apple will hold the grand opening of its newest mini-store in St. Louis, MO, next week. The grand opening of the Apple Store Saint Louis Galleria will take place on Saturday December 18 at 8:00 a.m. The store located at 2401 Saint Louis Galleria at the junction of I-170 and Highway 40 (I-64); Clayton Road at Brentwood Blvd. The Apple Store is located across from the Disney Store on the second level. The first 500 people to visit the store receive a free Apple Commemorative T-shirt. Also, during the holidays, Apple says that regularly scheduled classes and presentations may occur at irregular times or be cancelled on certain days and that some US Apple Stores offer special holiday-themed classes through Dec 19. Apple will also use US Genius Bars for check-out during the days leading up to Christmas.
Apple has released a 30-day trial of Motion, its high-performance motion graphic and design production application that lets you explore new creative territory using self-propelled behavior animation. Apple says the application requires a "fast computer with ample memory" and is offering a Motion Compatability Checker (300KB) that allows users to determine if their Macs meet the minimum system requirements before downloading the 102MB file. To otbain a Registration Serial Number and download link, users must complete a short form. Apple says email with the download link and serial number will be sent to the valid email address within an hour.
In brief: MacJams.com announced that it will now provide all musicians using Macintosh computers with unlimited hosting of their original sound compositions.... Microsoft is nearing completion of its XboX 2 developer's kit, which will reportedly consist of a G5 Power Mac, equipped with a new ATI video card, running a variation of Windows.... Sudhian Media has published a detailed review of the iMac G5.
Using Pixar's Review Sketch tool, an animator can draw on an image, and then play the scene with the image moving underneath the drawing. Other features of the tool include a slider for choosing the width of the anti-aliased line, ghosting, and a raster eraser. The tool's drawings are stored on Pixar's intranet, which allows for immediate accessibility. "On the Mac, I can get a DV stream in realtime, coming in over [Apple's] FireWire. Alex Stahl in our AV group made a huge contribution when he did some magic with the switcher and routed everything that goes to the projector through this DV conversion stream. We run this tool on the Mac OS X server, which we rackmount with all the video equipment."
Apple and PayPal today announced that the iTunes Music Store in the US will now accept PayPal for purchases of music downloads, audiobooks and gift certificates. Starting today, iTunes Music Store purchases can be funded through PayPal's virtual wallet, allowing customers to pay in the way they prefer, using a credit card, bank account or stored account balance. In conjunction with the announcement, Apple said that the first 500,000 customers to open a new iTunes account in the US using PayPal as their form of payment before March 31, 2005, will receive five free songs.
Destineer's MacSoft has announced that Rise of Nations: Gold Edition has reached 'gold master' (GM) status and will begin shipping on December 10, 2004. The Gold Edition of Rise of Nations also includes the critically acclaimed Thrones and Patriots expansion pack. The historical real-time strategy (RTS) game combines the epic scope of traditional turn-based strategy (TBS) games with the fast-paced action of RTS games. It allows players to create new cities, improve their city infrastructure and expand national borders. Players have the option to win through military might or they can corner the market on key commodities as they wheel and deal with a wide variety of nations. The $50 title is expected to be available in most retail stores in North America the week of December 13th and in Europe the following week.
Zonic has released Chameleon 1.6, a major update to its innovative application for transforming digital photographs into works of art. Chameleon 1.6 has a new streamlined interface and grouped borders as well as includes 48 new seasonal and general borders. It also adds new print layouts, so images can now be printed as large or small greeting cards or as gift tags, all with a personalized message. Starting from a single photograph, Chameleon can generate a wide variety of images in a range of artistic styles such as Oil Painting or Chalk Drawing. Images can be moved or zoomed and the strength of each of the 17 image effects cam be customized. Chameleon is available for $20 and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Apple has added new refurbished iBooks, PowerBooks and Power Mac G5s to its online Apple store. Apple is offering a 27 percent discount on the 1GHz iBook G4 (256MB/30GB/CD), offering it for $700 with a estimated ship time of 1-2 days along with its 14-inch counterpart (with a 40GB drive) for $900. The company has also added three models of the 15-inch PowerBook for $1700 (1.33GHz/256MB/60GB/Combo), $1900 (1.25GHz/512MB/80GB/SuperDrive), and $2100 (1.5GHz/512MB/80GB/SuperDrive). A 17-inch PowerBook model with the same specs as the latter is also available for $2,400 or 17% off the original price. New refurbished Power Macs are available with SP1.6GHz ($1,200), SP1.8GHz ($1,400), dual-1.8GHz (starting at $1,700), dual-2GHz (starting at $2,000), and dual-2.5GHz ($2,800) configurations. Refurbished CRT-based eMacs for education and price-conscious consumers are also available starting at $550.
Running with Scissors is now shipping Postal 2: Share the Pain for Mac OS X. The FPS (first-person shooter) is powered by the Unreal engine and features an open-ended storyline, where players have the option to use as much, or as little violence as they wish to finish the game. The controversial game has been given a M-rating (Mature audiences) along with a first-ever "Intense Violence" sublabel from the ESRB. Apple (as well as CompUSA) has declined to carry the controversial Postal 2: Share the Pain title in its online and physical retail stores, according to the developer. Postal 2 offers both single and multi-player modes (Snath, Grap. Deathmatch, Team DeathMatch) as well as 25 characters, 14 multiplayer levels, a built-in server browser, and a level editor. It is available exclusively online for $20.
BOOQ today introduced Vyper, a line of semi-rigid laptop sleeves made from ballistic nylon-covered molded foam. Vyper extends the range of laptop sleeves for BOOQ; it targets iBook and PowerBook users who are looking for an extremely slim, well-designed laptop sleeve that will protect a laptop while inside another backpack or briefcase. Vyper features 'rugged elegance' with a refined exterior of tough 1682D cross-weave ballistic nylon, a softly lined non-scratch interior, as well as an closed-style zipper with dual zipper pulls. It is available for 12-inch iBook/PowerBook (Vyper XS, $35), 17-inch PowerBook (Vyper XL, $50), 15-inch PowerBook (Vyper M, $40), and 15-inch laptops/14-inch iBook (Vyper L, $45).
Pressure Drop today began shipping PaperHub, its stylish USB and FireWire combo hub. Fusing state-of-the-art technology within an elegant, artistic paper tray, Pressure Drop created the solution to organize, simplify, and enhance a user's desk space. Constructed entirely of aluminum, brushed for beauty, and anodized for protection, PaperHub combines four USB 2.0 hub and four FireWire 400 hub within an elegant aluminum paper tray, providing the most ports available of any hub on the market today. It is available now for $150.
Detroit Free Press columnist Mike Wendland has chosen the iPod mini as his gadget of the year: "The Apple iPod mini, at $249, is my choice as 2004's hottest high-tech gadget. All of the iPods are awesome. But this little package, weighing in at 3.6 ounces, a half-inch thick and the size of a business card, is so slick and so sleek that all I can say is: Sweet....And Apple now has plenty of competition from aggressive companies like Dell, Creative Labs and Rio Audio, whose knockoff pods can hold many more songs at comparable prices. But none of the rival players can match the mini's size and the aura of the iPod, not to mention the compatibility with the iTunes Music Store, Apple's standard-setting download site."
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R