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AAPL up 7 percent
Apple rose $4.70 to close at $69.25 ahead of anticipated announcements at Macworld Expo next week and after First Albany Securities analyst Joel Wagonfeld raised his first-quarter earnings estimate for the company to 50 cents a share from 47 cents based on an more upbeat view of iPod sales. CBSMarketWatch.com says that analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expect Apple to earn 48 cents a share on $3.17 billion in revenue for its recently completed first quarter of 2005. Apple will release its earnings next Wednesday and will offer a QuickTime stream of the event.
HP offer iPod photo
Hewlett-Packard's CEO Carly Fiorina today said that the company would soon ship a branded version of the iPod photo. CNET News.com reports that HP expects to ship its own version later this year in a preview of its forthcoming products. The company also gave the first public demo of a media hub, due later this fall, that comes with high-definition television capabilities, a digital video recorder and in-house screen technology that improves the resolution. HP later this spring will also introduce a new version of its digital camera that will feature a shell designed by singer Gwen Stefani (who joined Fiorina on stage), according to the report.
FWD 1394b/USB2 card
FireWire Depot today announced its new FWBU2-PCI01 FireWire 800 & USB 2 combo PCI Host adapter card. Priced at $120, the adapter card makes it simple for computer users to upgrade their systems to the latest standards and only take one slot. Both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 are backwards compatible, so 1394a FireWire 400 and USB1.1 devices will still work. The card enables users to take advantage of new hard drives, RAID systems, DVD and CD removable media, scanners, cameras, printers, digital video, DV editing equipment, and digital audio devices based on the USB 2 and FireWire 800 standards.
Outspring today announced Spamcaster Gateway, a new softwarwe solution designed to work with an administrator's existing email server to eliminate spam and other unwanted email with virtually no false-positives. Spamcaster Gateway can be configured to filter email prior to delivery to their ISP and either to quarantine, flag, delete or bounce unwanted email. Outspring says it is compatible with virtually every email server and ISP. Spamcaster Gateway utilizes a database of spam identifiers, which is continuously updated by Outspring. Outspring says it processes thousands of emails every day to find new spam identifiers. The company will preview the product at Macworld Expo.
MacMice at MWSF
MacMice, a divison of DVForge today announced that it will be showing several new products at its booth #1017 at Macworld Conference & Expo, January 11-14. New products include the JamPod, ZeroSticks, the PortBuddy, GuitarPlug and MicPlug, ProSticks, The Ball, and PodBuddy. MacMice also announced that it will be giving away a new Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata at its booth at Macworld Expo in San Francisco next week.
In Brief: Verbatim announced today that it will begin shipping 16x speed DVD-R media later this month.... One analyst believes that Apple's recent lawsuit maybe a smokescreen for other product introductions at Macworld Expo.... Miglia Technology today announced that it has teamed up with Aquafadas Software, creators of iDive, to provide a discounts of 10% on the Miglia Director's Cut range and a 20% on iDive.... Delicious Monster Software announced today that every time a user buys an item from Amazon.com through Delicious Library, Delicious Monster will donate 100% of the revenue sharing that it gets from Amazon.com to charities, starting with tsunami relief efforts.
Opera 8 for Mac preview
Opera today released a preview version of its next-generation Opera 8.0pre1 browser for Mac. The version includes dozens of new fixes, including huge performance performance gains, improved stability, an improved user interface, integration with the system spell-checker, better drag & drop support, improved printing, and more. The release also implements Opera's Extensible Rendering Architecture (ERA), better support for newsfeeds with automatic RSS news feed detection and reliability, and better security.
VISE X, Adium, Media Rage
VISE X 1.5 (see yearly pricing) is an upgrade to the software for creating Mac OS X installers. Version 1.5 adds the ability to create single-file updaters--compact installers that contain just enough information to update Mac OS X applications quickly and safely based on the differences between the old and new versions. [Download - 22.6MB]
Xserve Remote Diagnostics 1.0.1 is a minor update to the utility for Apple's Xserve server. Only Xserve G5 computers can NetBoot the installed software. [Download - 888KB]
Adium 0.74 is the latest version of the alternative IM client, with support for MSN, AIM, Yahoo!, and more. The new version fixes a number of bugs with MSN and Jabber, and also improves emoticon display in preferences and menus. [Download - 4.9MB]
Memory Usage Getter 2.5 ($10) displays the memory and CPU usage of each individual process and application as well as a visual representation of the relative relative usage of processes to one another. Version 2.5 offers process history windows, allowing you to track the memory and CPU usage of a certain process through time, new extensive logging features, Finder integration ('Reveal'), new toolbar icons, and bug fixes. [808KB] Media Rage 1.6 ($25) is a collection of tools that can edit information stored in MP3, AAC, and Ogg Vorbis audio files as well as assist in cataloging, organizing, sorting, and updating thousands of audio files. It adds an internet Artwork Search tool (now searches Amazon), includes a new file Inspector panel to the Media Scrubber list window, offers drag & drop support to other applications, and more. [2.4MB] xSkyDesk 1.0 offers a custom sky simulation (based on your location) on your desktop. The simulation accurately portrays the sky during the day and the stars at night: "The main goal is the synchronicity between what you see outside on a clear day and the simulation." [350KB]
5GB flash MP3 player
Audiovox today introduced a Mac-compatible MP3 player. The MP3/WMA/WAV player features 5GB of embedded memory as well as a FM radio, voice recorder, built-in EQ, and 16-hour playback on its rechargeable Li battery. Other features include song search while playing music and data on an 8-line graphic LCD display for Song, Artist, and Track Information. The $250 player includes an ear bud, USB cable, software CD and power adapter. Audiovox also introduced its Advent MP3 player/digital camera combo ($300) that offers up to 1.3 mega pixel resolution, a 2.5-inch TFT LCD screen, 256MB embedded memory, an FM radio, voice recorder, photo album/game/alarm clock functions, external SD/MMC memory card slot, 3-hour video playback, and 20-hour audio playback. It also introduced a 7-in-1 digital camera that combines a still camera, voice recorder, MP3 player, PC cam, SD/MMC card reader and video camera and features a swivel 2.5-inch TFT-LCD display, built-in flash and digital effects, and auto- focus technology.
Apple is offering a slew of refurbished Macs from its online store, including PowerBooks and dual-processor Power Mac G5s at more than 30% off (from its original list price). The dual-processor 2.0GHz Power Mac G5 (512MB/ 160GB/ SuperDrive) is available for $2,000 (with the upgraded Nvidia GPU model available for $100 more). The similar model dual-1.8HGz Power Mac G5 is $1,799 (the 80GB model is $1,700). Apple is also offering refurbished 12-inch PowerBooks starting at $1,100 as well as 15-inch PowerBook G4s starting at $1,699. Apple has also discounted the refurbished iMac G5 models by $200, with models available for $1,100 (1.6GHz), $1,300 (1.8GHz), and $1,700 (SuperDrive). A refurbished Apple 30-inch Cinema Display is also available for $2,600.
SanDisk flash MP3 player
SanDisk has introduced a new iPod-like MP3 player: the SanDisk Sansa e100 series utilizes embedded flash memory and features high-fidelity sound, a sophisticated song navigation and sorting system and a "unique" design. The SanDisk Sansa player can store hundreds of songs and play up to 15 continuous hours on a single AAA battery. It features an SD card slot to conveniently add more storage capacity and works with both MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA). It includes stereo headphones, a carrying case with armband, a USB 2.0 cable, and AAA Battery and an install CD. For added flexibility, they can be used as a USB storage device. The player also features a digital FM radio with 20-presets and a multi-line Indiglo Backlit LCD that displays album, artist and song title information. It will ship in March for $150 (512MB) and $200 (1GB).
More positive news on AAPL
Yet another analyst has increased its December-quarter estimates on Apple, according CBSMarketWatch.com: "First Albany overnight raised its earnings estimate for Apple's fiscal first December quarter to 50 cents a share from its prior projection for earnings at 47 cents a share. Apple is expected to update on its quarter next Wednesday and has guided for earnings from 39 cents to 42 cents a share. 'Expectations are running high, as we think investors may be anticipating 4.5-5.0 million iPods and at least 50 cents earnings per share. Nevertheless, we expect consensus estimates for FY05 to take another step function upward, which should enable further appreciation.'"
Redux on Apple lawsuit
Forbes.com says that Apple's lawsuit against a Mac rumor site for publishing industry rumors is one step too far: "this sort of stuff happens all the time in the tech industry. Sources leak details of forthcoming products to reporters whose motivation is to get credit for an exclusive story. Here's the difference with Apple: most of its secret product news is not published first by national, mainstream media, but by Apple advocates. These people are customers, fans and Apple-lovers. This community gives Apple untold free--and mostly positive--publicity and buzz about upcoming products and strategies. They salivate over every upgrade."
No keynote broadcast?
In Brief:For the first time in several years, Apple may not provide a live feed of its opening keynote presentation at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco.... Microsoft and Bill Gates suffered an embarrassing software failure during Gates' "digital lifestyle" presentation at CES, when the Microsoft PowerPoint software used for the presentation crashed, followed by a systemwide "Blue Screen of Death" crash.... 'Gadgets are no longer just for geeks... they're also for nerds and dweebs,' joked Conan O'Brien, the presenter of the mock talk show that opened Wednesday's CES keynote speech.... Next week's quarterly results announcement from Apple will cover the Christmas shopping period which analysts say should show that sales of iPods, burst through the 4 million barrier in the October-December quarter alone.
Motorola iTunes phone
A Motorola executive on Thursday previewed an upcoming iTunes-compatible mobile phone. The phone can play music from Apple's iTunes Music Store, according to eWEEK: "the executive demonstrated the phone, which in many ways mimics the iPod. It syncs with a computer and the iTunes Music Store like an iPod does, and incorporates the iPod interface for navigating and playing digital music, said Ron Garriques, a Motorola executive vice president." The report says that the phone is the first of many Motorola devices that will support iTunes this year, but Motorola did not provide product details for the phone or say when it would be available. Last July, Motorola and Apple announced a deal would integrate Motorola phones with iTunes.
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