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."
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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