Canon today launched a new compact 3.2 megapixel PowerShot A510 digital camera, which features 4x optical zoom, SD memory compatibility, 1.8-inch LCD, a nine-point AiAF "Smart" autofocus system, 13 shooting modes, improved functional layout, enhanced user features, and more. The next generation PowerShot A510 digital camera is 13 percent smaller and 10 percent lighter than its predecessor, yet it is equipped with a longer 4.0x 35-140mm (35mm format equivalent) optical zoom lens with Canon optics for sharp images. The PowerShot A510 digital camera kit includes a SD MultiMediaCard MMC-16M and two AA-size Alkaline batteries. It will ship at the end of the month for $200.
Apple on Thursday revealed a new feature, which it will incorporate into its professional audio application, Logic Pro. The upcoming feature, called Bus Latency Compensation, will be included in a future version of the company's professional audio application, according to a presenting at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) conference. The company, however, did not provide a release date: "Bus Latency Compensation can affect Logic in two ways. The first deals specifically with latency issues encountered when using an external DSP like PowerCore. The other happens when using plug-ins that 'look into the future.'"
FileMaker today announced that it plans to release a v3 updater for both FileMaker Server 7 and Server 7 Advanced in early March 2005. FileMaker says that the v3 updater will fix the known stability issues with FileMaker Server, which a small number of customers have reported. "All known cases occurred with complex and/or large applications, under heavy load (>50 concurrent clients). FileMaker does not believe these stability issues will affect the majority of our customer base," according to a statement released by the company. The updater will also address connectivity, or "deafness" issues in FileMaker Server 7 Advanced as well as include improvements in configuration and administration for both products.
GeoCenter has deployed a new 100 node Xserve G5 cluster that will be used for running distributed processing applications from GeoCenter's SeisUP seismic processing system.
Apple has posted a tutorial on configuring and running X11 applications on Mac OS X. "The X Window System (more commonly called X11) on Mac OS X provides significant opportunities for Mac OS X developers. Based on the open source XFree86 project, X11 for Mac OS X is compatible, fast, and fully integrated with Mac OS X.....Whether a Unix user or an X11 developer (or both), Mac OS X offers a platform where your applications can run without modification. On a Mac, any of the thousands of available X11 applications can run in a window running concurrently alongside iTunes, Microsoft Excel, and any other Cocoa, Carbon, or Java applications."
Apple says that the iPod shuffle music player may not play all AAC files. A document on Apple's support website says that users may not be able to play songs that are encoded by applications other than iTunes. "If you try to play a song on iPod shuffle that was encoded in AAC format (.M4A) by an application other than iTunes, iPod shuffle may not play it and skip to the next song. To prevent this from happening, always use iTunes to encode songs to AAC for iPod shuffle play. Songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store (.M4P and .M4B files) are not affected by this." Earlier today we noted that the iPod shuffle may not be compatible with all USB ports, including those used in iMac G3s, eMacs, the ADC-based 17-inch Studio Display and certain Xserve configurations.
In Brief: Apple's newly designed iPod shuffle digital music player is not directly compatible with the USB port on some computers, including the company's own line of iMac G3 and eMac computers.... The USA Today gives the iPod shuffle a positive reivew, awarding it three and a half starts out of four, and praising its "breakthrough price," form factor, ease of use, and "excellent battery life".... The Iconfactory has releases "Xponential: Multimedia Add-On," a collection of 52 icons that sells for $180.... A demo version of Battlefield 1942 Multiplayer -- the game that "puts players at the heart of World War II combat" -- is now available for Mac. Banc of America today raised its rating on Apple to "buy" from "neutral" and increased its price target to $85 from $75.
Apple and LSU's Center for Computation & Technology (CCT) are co-sponsoring the official launch of Nemeaux, the newest addition to CCT's collection of high performance computers. Unveiled today at a public reception, Nemeaux is a cluster of 24 Xserve G5s, which will be used for creative and research projects in the computational arts, as well as in scientific computing. Purchased with a $114,000 grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents, Nemeaux is the only cluster of its kind devoted to computational arts research. "Nemeaux provides a platform for scientists and artists to explore new possibilities," said Stephen David Beck, director of the Laboratory for Creative Arts & Technologies, a division of CCT, and professor of composition and computer music."
Giga Designs today announced a the "first VRM" (Voltage Regulation Module) and dual-processor upgrades available for the Power Mac Cube. The Cube VRM supports Giga Designs upgrades as well as other manufacturers' PowerPC 7455-based processor upgrades, and/or upgraded graphics & hard disc drives. The new G-celerator Cube 7A series dual-processor upgrade uses the latest PowerPC G4 (7447A) processors available from Freescale (formerly Motorola). Each processor has a 512KB on chip L2 cache running at the full processor speed. Both the 1.42GHz dual-processor Cube upgrade with VRM ($750, "guaranteed" to run at 1.6GHz) and Cube VRM upgrade ($100) come with a three-year limited warranty, are dual-boot compatible with Mac OS 9/10, and will ship in February.
Apple's retail stores are critical to the company's success in switching PC users, according to analyst firm Needham & Co. Apple's stores can leverage the people traffic, the iPod, and the new (affordable) Mac mini to help attract "Windows users to the Mac platform and growing the Mac's market share, according to a research note obtained by Macworld UK: "Since launch in May 2001 Apple Stores now deliver revenues of $2.2 billion per year - 16 per cent of Apple's worldwide sales, and 40 per cent of Apple's US retail sales. However, despite the fact that 13 per cent of Windows users will buy an iPod when they visit a store, just 1 per cent of visitors bought a Mac." Needham expects that "Apple will come close to selling a Mac to one in ten iPod-owning Windows users, simply by using those stores to show Mac minis and iLife to them."
Technology guru Walter Mossberg says that the low-cost Mac mini will help the migration of PC users to the Mac platform: "If my e-mail from readers is any indication, more Windows users are thinking of switching to Apple Computer's Macintosh models than at any time in a decade. A significant minority of Windows users are so fed up with battling viruses and spyware, or so impressed with Apple's iPod music players, that they are seriously tempted to jump to the Mac. But some are put off by Apple's prices. ... Overall, the Mac mini is a good choice for Windows users on a budget who are tempted to switch. It's not a technological breakthrough, but it may just be one of Apple's smartest business moves."
Aspyr today announced this morning Medal of Honor War Chest, the 3-title Medal of Honor bundle, will ship on January 31 and is now available for preorder for $50. The bundle offers Medal of Honor Allied Assault and two expansion packs - Spearhead and Breakthrough. "With Medal of Honor Allied Assault War Chest, your World War II tour of duty spans the European Theater and North Africa. From the D-Day invasion on Omaha Beach to the push toward Berlin, wage war in a massive variety of explosive single-player and multiplayer missions."
In Brief: Apple is now shipping the 1GB iPod shuffle from the Apple Store, after initial shipments of the 512MB shuffle started earlier this week.... One MacNN reader has posted photos of his new Mac mini.... REAL Software has been selected to present its newest product line at DEMO@15, an exclusive invitation-only event on investing in technology....iPodStyles is currently offering its ScreenShield iPod screen protectors for only 10 cents in a limited time offer.... Fork Networking is offering Mac mini colocation and Mac mini rentals at its high speed data center in Portland, OR.
Other World Computing (OWC) has begun shipping its first 100GB Mercury On-The-Go portable FireWire drive. Featuring a 5400RPM mechanism and 8MB of cache, it is available with either a FireWire-only interface ($320) or with both FireWire and USB 2.0 interfaces ($330). The IEEE1394/iLink-compliant FireWire interface supports both bus-power, allowing the drive to be powered without any external power adapters. Weighing 11 ounces and measuring only 3.5-inches x 5.5-inches x 1.0-inches, the new Mercury On-The-Go drives provide a convenient and portable solution. The drives feature a shock-protective design, a cool blue activity LED, and near-silent operation and are bundled with Dantz Retrospect backup and restore software and Intech HD Speedtools.
KW Media Group today announced that the third-annual Mac Design Conference will take place in Tampa (FL) from June 21-23. With an expanded digital photography educational track, the organizers have changed the name of the conference to "Mac Design Conference & Digital Photography Expo." The three-day conference offers training, including more than 50 workshops with in-depth, real-world training on Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, InDesign, After Effects, QuarkXPress, and Final Cut Pro. "Building on the overwhelming success of last year's conference and the digital photography boom, the conference has expanded to include multiple new learning tracks focused on digital photography, design and video."
Singapore's Creative Technology, who has its sights set on gaining marketshare from Apple, said its sales soared by 50 percent last quarter as it sold more than 2 million players. The company says it expects the momentum to continue with another 50 percent increase in sales this quarter, despite the introduction the iPod shuffle, a signficant competitive threat to its flash-based players. The EE Times, reports that while sales revenue increased 50 percent to $375 million, up from $250 million in the same period a year before, profit plunged to $11.8 (from $65.2 million in the year ago quarter) after one-time charges related to recent acquisitions. Without those charges, the company's profits only fell slightly from $28.3 in the year-ago quarter to $25.5 million.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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