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: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, 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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl