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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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HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko