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Mark Morford, a SF Gate columnist, asks "why isn't everyone on a Mac?" Further, he asks "why does Windows still suck?" Moford is highly critical of Microsoft's user interface, and also points to the ongoing struggle with viruses, spyware, and worms. "Why is there not some massive revolt, some huge insurrection against Microsoft? Why is there not a huge contingent of furious users stomping up to Seattle with torches and scythes and crowbars, demanding the Windows Frankenstein monster be sacrificed at the altar of decent functionality and an elegant user interface?"
Discussion topics on the MacNN Forums today include: deciding which Power Mac G5 model to purchase.... some speculation regarding the scrolling trackpad feature available on the new PowerBook G4 models.... Complaints of iMac G5 fan noise from one user.... One member's problem with receiving the $150 rebate promised by Amazon on an iBook purchase.... Ongoing discussion of the iPod shuffle with feedback from owners.
Pepsi has completed production of its second iTunes Super Bowl television commercial, which will air in addition to the 45-second spot previewed Wednesday. The new 30-second spot features Gwen Stefani.
In an article on WebProNews, Neville Hobson describes his "first true iPod experience." He writes, "I had my first true iPod experience today. You know, the feeling of coolness as you're out and about in public with those little white buds sticking in your ears with the white cables dangling down that disappear under your jacket. Yes, I did succumb to strong temptation when I was in the US last week and I bought an iPod Mini ... You get looks from people. Knowing looks, especially from those with dangly bits in their ears. Might even exchange a smile or two. Even a wink if your cable is white... Wow, this is a great social tool."
In his latest article for BusinessWeek Stephen Wildstrom praises the Mac mini, and says it was "worth the wait" for Apple to debut such a product. Wildstrom cites the Mac mini's tiny form-factor and low price point: "the real importance of the Mini is that it overcomes the twin barriers that have kept Apple out of many homes: cost and lack of design flexibility." Mr. Wildstrom says "it is utterly unlike anything else on the market" and while bargain-basement PCs may cost even less, "you'll get a box that's big, ugly, and a lot noisier." Wildstrom also observes that the lack of an Apple keyboard or mouse is "mostly as a packaging gimmick," but the PC equivalents work fine with the Mac mini.
"Creating Photomontages with Photoshop: A Designer's Notebook" ($25) is the third release in O'Reilly's new Designer's Notebook series--a series designed to inspire and instruct professionals who work with digital images. Photomontages are multiple images artfully combined. In the book, well-known French artists reveal the techniques used in creating many projects.
KeynotePro has announced PitchBoards 2 themes ($40), including a fully-updated PitchBoards Classic and Pro with new master slide options and Zoom Overlay Objects, as well as the new PitchBoards Motion Pack, which includes 20 alpha-enabled Quicktime motion-arrows. The Motion pack is available as a stand-alone download, or as part of the new PitchBoards Producer Edition, which also includes the updated PitchBoards Pro and the new PitchBoards White, which allows users to convert PitchBoards presentations to a print-friendly format.
Dog Park Software released MacDopplerPRO X/Lite 2.8.3 this afternoon. MacDoppler is a popular satellite tracking software solution for Mac, available in PRO and Lite configurations, for $50 and $100, respectively. Version 2.8.3 updates both editions of MacDoppler, changing city lights to 3D points, offering Ports Dialog Support for Kenwood TS-2000 1.04 Firmware, and correcting an Icom IC-910 Driver bug. This release is a free update.
Harris & Baseview has released IQue Server 4.0, the latest version of its print publication management software for Mac OS X. Using a MySQL database, a JBoss application server and the cross-platform NewsEditPro IQue client, IQue Server 4.0 offers a solution that can scale from a dozen seats to hundreds. Version 4.0 implements remote administration, publication profiles so each publication can have its own set of metadata, EditionBuilder, which automatically generates page folios and breaks multipage documents into single documents, and much more. In December, MacNN reported that Liberty Suburban Group (over 30 newspapers) switched to iQue on Mac OS X.
Call of Duty: United Offensive 1.5.1 ($20) is a maintenance update to the game that thrusts players into authentic action across Fortress Europe's most historic battlefields. This release brings the game up to the current PC version. [Download - 319MB] shadowClipboard 2.0.1 ($10) is a multi-clipboard manager for Mac OS X. Version 2.0.1 fixes memory leaks in both Simple and Advanced mode which were introduced with version 2, and also adds a 'None' option to disable selected hotkey combinations. [Download - 1.1MB] CourseWizard 5.2 (no pricing) is the latest version of the online registration system. Version 5.2 lets administrators enroll and/or drop participants to or from courses, authenticate a participant at the time of enrollment, manage waiting lists for courses, and more. [Download - online demo] DVD Database X 1.5.2 ($20) is a full-featured database program designed to help keep track of any size DVD collection. Version 1.5.2 adds user-defined merging when Amazon and IMDB return different info for the same DVD, and support for HTML templates. [Download - 2.4MB] MimMac 1.3.1 ($10) is a utility that enables users to perform backups, full system clones, and data migration. This release fixes bugs that: caused MimMac to include items that the user had chosen to exclude, allowed access to root level files, and caused cosmetic issues. [Download - 540KB] Virex Virus Definitions 2/3/05 (free) provides the latest data to the Virex antivirus suite for Mac in order to defend against the latest viruses, trojans, worms, and other malicious software. [Download - see options]
PodBuddy, a division of DVForge, today announced The Clips mounting accessory set for the iPod shuffle. The Clips is a set of three alternative carrying gadgets for the iPod shuffle music player. The set includes a belt clip, a gripper clip, and, a push pin clip. The new clips snap securely onto the USB plug end of the shuffle. All three clips are packaged together, and are made of durable white ABS plastic, stainless steel and galvanized steel to match the appearance of the iPod shuffle. The set will be available in March for $30.
Aspyr Media will be showcasing id Software’s Doom 3 at the Austin, TX Apple Store. The demo will take place at the monthly Aspyr game night at the Austin store, Friday, February 18th at 7:00 p.m. The Apple Store at Barton Creek Mall hosts this free community event each month to demonstrate the quality of Mac gaming with the latest Macintosh games and the newest Macintosh equipment. Scheduled to ship in March, Domo 3 is available for pre-order for $50.
Car customization service Classic Restorations has installed a Mac mini in an original 1969 Nova SS. The car features a 450 HP engine, the classic M22 transmission, and a Mac mini in the dash. To control the computer, this client has chosen both a 7-inch touchscreen, and an assignable aluminum USB knob on the center console for easy volume control and power functions. The car's owner is a musician who specified that they wanted to plug USB-powered keybords directly into the dashboard to record ideas into the Mac.
The lawyer representing Nick Ciarelli of Think Secret said he will seek to dismiss the case on First Amendment free-speech grounds within two weeks. Attorney Terry Gross, a lawyer prominent in free-speech and Internet issues, said he decided to represent 19-year-old Ciarelli on a pro bono basis after the Harvard student said he didn't have the funds to defend himself against Apple. "Supreme Court law is pretty clear," said Gross in an interview. "Journalists can't be prohibited from publishing material if it's lawfully obtained. Apple is just trying to intimidate this college kid."
BusinessWeek columnist Robert Barker considers the future of Apple's stock following massive growth in recent months. The article suggests it "may be too late to take a bite" of AAPL. "Lately hitting a new high above 77, stock in Apple is not just high-priced -- 37 times this year's estimated profit -- but high-fashion. Which got me wondering: Besides a reflected glow as part-owner of today's most glamorous gadgeteer, what does 77 a share get an Apple buyer? ... It's worth recalling what happened to eBay, another great company whose shares went in weeks from 118 to 80 on hints of slower growth."
Blaze 2.5 ($10) is a text editor that allows users to convert document to HTML from text, send files as an email, convert line endings between platforms, toggle curly/straight quotes, and more. Version 2.5 is a complete re-write and overhaul. [Download - 1.3MB] GPSPhotoLinker 1.1 (free) allows users to directly embed latitude and longitude from a GPS receiver into the metadata of digital photos. Version 1.1 now supports a batch mode for automatically processing multiple photos and the ability to manually link waypoints and track points to photos. [Download - 611KB] iSnip 1.2.0 (free) is the latest version of the popular text clipping organization utility. The latest version introduces "Clipboard History," which keeps track of changes to the system clipboard. [Download - 240KB] NewsFan 1.7.0 ($25) is an RSS/Blog reader for Mac OS X. Major changes in version 1.7.0 include: smart descriptions, importing Firefox's LiveBookmark, smart subscribe by key words, and more. [Download - 1.8MB] SmallImage 2.0 (free) is a simple and efficient tool to batch process JPEG files, resize them, recompress them, remove embedded profiles and make them ready for the Web. Version 2 was completely rewritten from scratch" all options are now available on the main window, making them much easier to access. [Download - 564KB] Home Tidying 1.0 (free) Up is an application that allows users to clean up their Home folder by finding duplicates, old files, and the largest files. Users can specify the possible folders and/or files to be excluded from analysing, the minimum age in days and the minimum size listed. [Download - 684KB]
In Brief: Apple says that February 7 is the last date customers can order personalized iPod or mini units to get them in time for Valentine's Day.... The Apple Store quickly sold of out of the refurbished flat-panel iMac G4s, but still has sale-priced 12-inch PowerBooks available, refurb iMac G5s, and more.... Apple has posted two videos designed to demonstrate why Mac OS X is the "best platform for scientific research".... Infinisys today announced it is holding a special spring sale, offering 50% off all its products for a limited one week period.... O'Reilly has released "Internet Annoyances" ($25), a guide that shows users how to fix the "most annoying things" about going online.... Load tests performed by Tenon and Macminicolo.net show that the Mac mini is a suitable Web server platform for 80% of the Web sites on the market.
SpiderWorks today announced the e-book release of "Danny Goodman's AppleScript Handbook (Mac OS X Edition)." The guide has been completely rewritten for Mac OS X by scripting guru Danny Goodman. The Third Edition includes all new Mac OS X-specific examples "with the hope of inspiring a new generation of beginning and intermediate AppleScript users with contemporary commentary and examples that actually [work] in today's environment." The book is available for download for $15.
Big Nerd Ranch has announced its first Cocoa Bootcamp of 2005, slated for March 21-25th. The five day intensive class, revised in the summer of 2004 to include more comprehensive sections on bindings, is one of the most popular Big Nerd Ranch offerings. Cocoa Bootcamp is ideal for any skill level of Cocoa programmer. The flexible nature of the Bootcamp allows the flow of the class to be dictated by the participants. The $3500 price includes lodging, all meals, original instruction materials, 24-hour lab access, and transportation to and from the airport.
Gefen today announced the addition of two high definition audio/video switchers and an upgraded splitter to its line-up of home theater solutions. The new 2x2 Switcher ($350) and 6x2 Swticher ($900) provides greater integration options for high definition systems, and a 1:2 HDMI Splitter ($300) conforms to the latest HDMI standard 1.1 specifications. Gefen's 2x2 HDMI Switcher is a small unit equipped with two HDMI inputs, two HDMI outputs and one RS-232. The 6x2 HDMI Switcher connects up to six sources to one or two two displays. The 1:2 HDMI Splitter splits high definition audio/video and distributes it to two outputs.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
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