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Apple today released its Quarterly Form 10-Q, which offers detailed information on the company's financial operations and assessment of its future operations. The company said that it had already invested nearly $20 million on R&D (Research & Development) on its generation operating system Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, which is set for release in the first half of 2004. The company offered details on trends away from from higher-end, higher-margin Pro products, details about the company's retail accounting standards, and revealed that its fiscal first quarter earnings would have been reduced by $20 million had it used a more widely accepted method accounting for stock-compensation expenses.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says that Apple's retail stores are struggling to keep up with demand for its new Mac mini and iPod shuffle products and said tht the staff is pointing people to its online store, despite significantly delays in shipping at the Apple Store. In a research note to client, the analyst said that a survey of all 98 of Apple's U.S.-based retail stores found virtually 'no supply' of either product. "We believe initial demand for the Mac mini and the iPod shuffle has exceeded what Apple had been expecting," Munster said. In his report, he noted that the average waiting list for the Mac mini was approximately 18 people per store, while the iPod shuffle wait list extended to 120 customers per store.
The University of Illinois is building another Mac supercomputer, as noted by AppleInsider earlier today (and subsequently by other web publications). The 640-node Turing Cluster will use dual-processor Xserve G5s running at 2GHz and a high-bandwidth, low-latency Myrinet network to reach a theoretical peak of nearly 10 teraflops. The system, in the final stages of testing, is replaces an Intel-based system using systems from Dell and HP, and is almost fully function, pending another month of stability testing. Funding for the project was provided by Apple under a combination purchase/donation agreement along with financial contributions from various university departments. It will be used a limited basis for use in research or class projects by UIUC students, faculty, and staff affiliated with the Computational Science and Engineering Program or one of the other sponsoring units. UIC is also considering doubling the current cluster size, according to the report.
4D, Inc., today released 4th Dimension 2004.1, bringing numerous bug fixes and some significant new enhancements, including new commands and an updated interface to help developers developer more attractive and easier-to-use applications. "This product release delivers out our promise of delivering high-quality database solutions to those businesses that demand such excellence," said Brendan Coveney, president and CEO of 4D, Inc. The full 4D 2004 product line is available online; Pricing begins at $350 for 4th Dimension 2004 (includes unlimited runtime). It is a free upgrade for current users.
Other World Computing (OWC) today expanded its line of Mercury Elite external storage solutions with the introduction of 300GB external FireWire drive .. The drive features a 7,200 rpm drive with an 8MB cache and an high-speed Oxford bridge solution--delivering up to 60MB/sec in data transfer (FireWire 800) and 40MB/sec for the Combo version. The drives measure 1.5 x 9.0 x 5.5 inches, weigh less than 3 pounds, and ship with Intech HD SpeedTools, Dantz Retrospect, necessary cables and an external power adaptor. It is available in Combo (FireWire/USB 2.0 for $300) and FireWire-only (FW800/FW400 for $320) and triple interface (FW800/FW400/USB2.0 for $340). Additionally, OWC has reduced prices on all of the company's Mercury Elite 400GB external storage solutions, which now start at $430.
Newer Technology and OWC today also announced a new 87.9 FM model of the NewerTech RoadTrip! FM transmitter. The RoadTrip! allows iPod users (as well as other digital music players) to listen to their audio files through a car stereo. "87.9 FM is a limited-use frequency reserved for educational institutions, which broadcast at a very low output wattage, and our 87.9 Megahertz (MHz) RoadTrip! model easily provides crystal clear sound within a vehicle tuned to 87.9 FM no matter where in the U.S. your road trips may take you," The 87.9 FM RoadTrip! is immediately now (along with the original 107.7 FM model) for a reduced price of $15.
Aspyr Media has begun shipping two new Mac game bundles: Medal of Honor Allied Assault War Chest and The Sims Party Pack. Medal of Honor War Chest ($50) features Medal of Honor Allied Assault, Spearhead and Breakthrough. "...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." The Sims Party Pack ($50) bundles The Sims along with Hot Date, House Party and Livin' Large expansion packs to offer over 600 items and a wide variety of choices for your Sims. Both The Sims Party Pack and Medal of Honor War Chest are available now from Amazon.com.
Lismore Software today released Guest PC 1.0, its new x86 emulation software for Mac OS X. "Guest PC is a Mac OS X application that allows you to easily create and manage virtual x86 computer on your Mac. You can install Windows operating system and access applications available only for Windows compatible computers. The Guest PC has a built-in Windows Setup Assistant that allows to create your virtual computer promptly and easily and install Windows on it. Windows Setup Assistant will install all the required hardware, setup modem, printer and will prepare a network connection." it is available for $70 for a "Family License," with DOS installed and free tech support. Upgrades are $35 for registered users of any Blue Label PowerEmulator version. It requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Brad Rhine Software has released Tangelo 1.0, a new weblog creation application. Tangelo departs from most traditional weblog publishing tools by hosting the weblog directly on a user's computer. "Instead of installing or using weblog software on an Internet webserver, Tangelo is installed on the userís computer as a standalone application, providing much easier installation, greater weblog control, and ease of use." Tangelo manages and organizes weblog text and images, and publishes the weblog to both an Internet web server and to the user's own computer for better control and backup. In addition, Tangelo features integration with NetNewsWire 2.0, full support for sections, html shortcuts, and weblog page templates as well as full RSS and Atom support. The $40 application is available with a $10 discount through the end of February.
Apple on Tuesday launched its new Mac mini and iPod shuffle products in the world's second most populous country. Apple debuted the 'Mac Mini' in India at a price point of Rs 32,200 to address the entry-level market. "With an attractive price point we want to attract more PC users to Mac Mini," he said. Apart from low priced Mac, Apple also launched a new iPod -- iPod Shuffle. The two models of iPod Shuffle are priced at Rs 8,500 and Rs 12,400, almost half of what the existing models of iPod cost. After bringing the prices of Mac and iPod down, Apple has drawn up a strategy to increase its reach in the market." The head of hardware products at Apple Asia Pacific says that the new low-cost products will help promote distribution in a greater variety of shops and more channels to make Apple's products more accessible to users in India.
In Brief: Apple will be showcasing FileMaker Pro 7 in selected U.S. Apple retail stores every Wednesday during Apple Store Business Days during the month of February.... Panorama Technologies, a solution provider for creation of 360-by-360 degree panoramas and immersive virtual tours, today announced that it has changed the company name into Easypano, Inc... iPodderX, the Mac application for downloading and managing podcasts, has been updated to include the ability to automatically convert files into AAC format, as well allowing users to "bookmark" files.... Peachpit Press is offering free passes to the upcoming PhotoshopWorld Expo in Las Vegas (March 8-10): users can request exhibit-only by sending an email with their name and postal address.... For the 19th straight month, Steve Jobs remains in No. 1 place in Forbes.com monthly CEO Approval Tracker with an approval rating of 94 percent.
Skype today released Skype 1.0 for Mac OS X, its software-based internet calling application that offers high-quality voice calls to other internet and landline users via the any broadband or dialup connection. With more than 23 million worldwide registered users, Skype now includes free Skype-to-Skype calling and conference calling for up to 5 participants, cross-platform communications, rich presence and personalization features, and the pre-pay SkypeOut service, allowing users to call any landline or mobile worldwide for the price of a local call. The software also includes built-in instant messaging, conference calling, logging, contact/personal status options, customization of photo/call alerts, file transfers, support for multiple Skype accounts per computer, and end-to-end encryption. Skype requires Mac OS X 10.3 and a microphone and internet connection.
Alias has announced a number of limited-time productivity packs and bundles in conjunction with the recent launch of Maya 6.5, the latest release of its 3D software. Alias' "Get Current Program" offers an upgrade Maya 6.5 for 4600 from v6 are $900 and for $1,400 for all other registered customers (Maya v1-v5). Alias is also offering its Maya 6.5 Productivity Pack, which combines Maya with a selection of top-selling Maya learning tools and a one-year subscription to the Silver Membership Program for $2,200 (Maya Complete) or $7,200 (Maya Unlimited). The Maya Platinum Bundle offers the full version of Maya with a one-year Platinum Membership, a Maya Learning Tool and free shippingl. The Platinum Bundle for Maya Complete is $3,000/$4,000 (node-locked/floating) and $7,600/$9,000 for Maya Unilimited.
Canon today announced its new PowerShot A520 compact digital camera with a four megapixel image sensor and a 4x optical zoom. Built to use standard AA batteries, Canon's A-series digital cameras offer comfortably placed controls in a compact form-factor: the new PowerShot A520 model is 13 percent smaller and 10 percent lighter than previous models, while utilizing a new all-glass lens. It now accepts accept SD/MMC media, features a large 1.8-inch LCD screen, and takes up to 300 shots on 2 AA batteries (included). The PowerShot A520 digital camera is equipped with a nine-point AiAF "Smart" autofocus system and 13 shooting modes, is also capable of recording movies with sound for up to three minutes per clip, and features an improved self-timer and review mode. It will ship in March for $300 with a 16MB MMC card.
Key Curriculum Press has released Fathom Dynamic Data v2, an update to its education tool to help students visualize and explore data. Designed for students in grades 8 through college, Fathom can gather, explore, graph, analyze, and animate data sets. Version 2 adds over 30 one-minute movies to demo basic skills, new stat functions (five-number summaries, correlation matrices, simple/multiple regression models, etc.), access to U.S. census microdata for exploration/modeling, support for conversion/display in over 90 units, and improved graphicing with more one attribute per axis. Pricing is $40 (student/instructor), $120 (standard), or $500 (10-user pack).
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k