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Mini-store in St. Louis
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.
30-day trial of Motion
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.
XboX 2, MacJams...
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.
Pixar uses Macs for film
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."
Paypal payments at US iTMS
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.
Rise of Nations: Gold Ed
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.
Chameleon 1.6 released
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 Store refurbs
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.
Postal 2 for Mac OS X ship
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 Vyper laptop sleeves
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).
PaperHub now shipping
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.
iPod mini: \'Gadget of year
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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