Apple today revealed its new Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" retail packaging in a letter to customers. In Wednesday's edition of an Apple newsletter, Apple unveiled the retail packaging for its next-generation "Tiger" operating system. Differing from the previous tiger-like striped graphics it touted at WWDC 2004, the retail box is pitch black with a shiny platinum "X" that extends the full length of the packaging--complete with shadow effects that offer the illusion that it is extending off the box. The newsletter, again, reiterates that Apple expects to ship Mac OS X Tiger "during the first half of 2005."
Apple today agreed to stay subpoenas against two Mac sites that required the sites to divulge information about their sources. The subpoenas were granted to by a California Court in December, but have not been been served. Apple is seeking information about unnamed individuals who have allegedly leaked trade secrets in its "John Doe" civil complaint. eWEEK reports that Apple has agreed to hold off on serving subpoenas until after the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, California has held a hearing in early March on the EFF's request for a protective order for its clients. If the protective order is granted, Apple would be prevented from filing subpoenas against both PowerPage and AppleInsider to get information about the identity of their sources, as well as demanding any unpublished documents related to the resulting stories, according to the report.
Apple today released Common Criteria Tools 1.0, which it says is an "internationally approved set of security standards which provides a clear and reliable evaluation of the security capabilities of Information Technology products. By providing an independent assessment of a product's ability to meet security standards, Common Criteria gives customers more confidence in the security of Information Technology products and leads to more informed decisions." Apple says that security-conscious customers, such as the U.S. Federal Government, are requiring Common Criteria certification as a determining factor in purchasing decisions.
Microsoft's Bill Gates says that he is not an iPod user and doubts claims by a previous Wired News news article saying that 80 percent of Microsoft employees own an iPod. "Well, I doubt that's the case. Certainly, the iPod's a great success.... No, I'm not an iPod user. I use the Creative Zen which is a fantastic product. That's another space where, even what we have today, whether it's iPod or the other things are only the start of what we're gonna have in a few years. People are gonna want choices. These things are going to be smaller or better, cheaper. So, music has changed. The age of the CD is really coming to an end.
Apple has selected two new retail store locations--one in Japan and one in Southern California. Apple will open its next Japanese retail store in "the energetic Shibuya district of Tokyo, populated by the teen set, strobe lights, pachinko parlors, bright neon lights, and sometimes outrageous fashion," according to ifoAppleStore. The same report says that Apple is still considering two other high profile locations in Japan for future stores, including the Akihabara district, which is home to hundreds of electronics retailers and the Shinjuku district, home of Yodabashi Camera, previously the country's largest Apple reseller. The company is also planning a store near Hollywood and Beverly Hills in the Beverly Center Mall, which features 160 specialty boutiques and restaurants.
In brief: Photoshop World Conference & Expo will open to the public for one day only on Wed., March 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.... Users have found a way to bypass copy protection on Napster's portable music subscription service just days after its high-profile launch, potentially letting them make CDs with "rented" songs for free.... Alias announced today that worldwide shipping of Maya 6.5 is now underway.... The Portland Mac Filmmakers' User Group will hold a roundtable discussion on the topic of High-Definition Digital Video (HDV) at their February meeting on Wednesday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Panic today released Transmit 3, an update to its popular Mac OS X FTP client. Version 3 adds several of major new features, engine improvements, and other "nice little touches." It adds a new column view, convenient "tabs" for multiple connections, a Finder-like sidebar (with per-server folders), a redesigned Favorites area, search functions, a preview drawer with support for more image types and thumbnail zooming, dock status, spring-loaded folders and tabs, server-to-server transfers, linked folder navigation, improved synchronization, and full iDisk / WebDAV support. Transmit 3 is available for $30 or as an $18 upgrade for v2 owners.
Otter has announced the expansion of its iPod case line with the OtterBox for iPod Mini, engineered exclusively for Apple's iPod Mini. This fully waterproof, interactive case allows digital music enthusiasts to access controls through a durable, yet compact design. "In 2004, Otter Products, released iPod 3rd and 4th Generation cases and now with the introduction of the OtterBox for iPod Mini, customers can take their iPod Mini to the beach, gym, hiking, canoeing or other activities without fear of ruining their valuable device." Customers can also use the OtterBox with iPod Mini’s optional armband. The OtterBox for iPod Mini retails for $50.
OpenOSX today launched OpenOSX ReadyStream 1.0.0, an easy-to-use solution for configuring, installing and utilizing numerous proven multimedia open source tools and libraries. OpenOSX ReadyStream includes two combined previous OpenOSX products: "OpenOSX Gimp" and "OpenOSX FilmGimp" (now called "CinePaint"), along with the addition of a suite of ready-to-use multimedia applications, including audio/video editing and streaming software, encoding utilities, and a host of audio tools with dozens of filters and plug-ins.
A Motorola spokesperson confirmed today that the Motorola E1060 (announced Monday) is not the much-anticipated iTunes-enabled phone. "E1060 was used to demonstate iTunes client; however, it is not our iTunes product." A Reuters article on Monday said "the E1060 model which is aimed at music afficianados and which will feature iTunes Music Player," however this is not the case. "In an Apple-like fashion, Motorola is keeping the first iTunes enabled phone under very close wraps," reports MobileTracker, "while Motorola wanted to show off the software, it appears the company wanted to keep the device secret."
Big Nerd Ranch has announced April 18-22 as the next date for the popular PostgreSQL Bootcamp. PostgreSQL, a highly adaptable and scalable database solution is proving to be one of the most sought-after applications for database management. PostgreSQL provides a low-cost and portable alternative to Oracle and SQL Server. The five-day bootcamp offers the following topics: building and installing PostgreSQL, configuring, starting and stopping the server, creating a cluster with initdb, security with OpenSSL, backups, and more. Class price of $3500 includes lodging, all meals, original instruction materials, 24-hour lab access, and transportation to and from the Atlanta airport.
PhotoVu today launched its new PV1740, a 17" wall-mount LCD "picture frame" that allow users to display photo content. The $900 device is intended for home or corporate use, with a specific use in mind: to display thousands of digital photos or other digital content. It can operate via a wireless connection to a computer, or as a standalone device using a removable 40GB hard drive. PhotoVu digital picture frames require no additional image manipulation or software installation. A 19" model is also available. PhotoVu will be displaying its products at the Photo Marketing Association International Annual Convention (Booth 1762), February 20th-23rd.
Nikon also unveiled three easy-to-use new Coolpix digital cameras for everyday digital photographers, including the the 4-megapixel Coolpix 4600, the 5.1-megapixel Coolpix 5600, and the 7.1-megapixel Coolpix 7600. They feature Nikon's In-Camera Red-Eye Fix technology, its D-Lighting functions to compensate for insufficient flash or excessive back lighting, Blur Warning features, a redesigned graphic user interface that lets the user navigate functions by either menu item list or icon, and sixteen different scene modes (including a new underwater mode in the 4600 and 5600. In addition, the Coolpix5600 and 7600 have the ability to capture video with sound and can also be easily connected to a TV, using the included video cable. All three cameras will be available in March for $200, $280, and $380, respectively.
In brief: Campus MovieFest, a student movie-making event with over 10,000 participants in Atlanta (all using Apple laptops with iLife, digital camcorders), has ended, with awards coming Thursday, March 3... The first Macintosh Astronomy Workshop will be held in Chicago on Thursday, September 8th.... Writer, editor and user group advocate, Daniel East will be presenting with two Apple user groups (Bux-Mont MUG and NJMAUG) during the first week of March 2005.
Nikon today introduced the Coolpix 7900 (pictured at right) and Coolpix 5900 digital cameras. Both feature a large 2.0-inch TFT LCD monitors, a 3x Zoom-Nikkor ED lens with a focal range equivalent to that of a 38-114mm lens in 35mm format, and offer 7.1 and 5.1 effective megapixels resolution, respectively. Nikons new cameras offer continuous shooting at approximately 1.7fps and 2fps, respectively and also feature high-precision Multi AF with a choice of 99 manually selectable areas, 5 choices for Auto select AF and its new Face-priority AF function, which can be easily selected when using the Portrait Scene Mode. The Coolpix 5900 will be available in March for $350, while Coolpix 7900 will be available in April for $450.
Olympus today released a 1GB xD-Picture Card and a new Portable USB Reader/Writer for xD media. The new high-capacity flash memory media, which hold up to 800 images at 5 megapixel resolution, supports Olympus exclusive features such as Panorama photography. Olympus xD-Picture Cards are the only media to support Panorama function on Olympus digital cameras, whereby up to 10 images can be stitched together. It will ship in April (no pricing info available). The company also launched its MAUSB-300, an inexpensive device transforms any xD-Picture Card into a portable, USB 2.0-enabled storage device for transferring data to/from any PC. The device, due in March for $20, features an attractive, durable and sleek white plastic body with a removable clear plastic top cover.
The Plasticsmith has released the newest model in their line of Mac mini accessories. The mini Skirt: blue-glo raises the Mac mini 3/4" on a blue LED illuminated acrylic base, which plugs into any USB port with a convenient on-off switch. "The soft glow of the stand highlights the Mac mini, giving it the attention it deserves." It is made from light-reflecting flame-polished acrylic and sells for $30. A non-glow version is $20. The company also sells the mini Tower, another flame-polished acrylic enclosure that securely holds the mini on its side and the mini Grandstand, which gives the mini a protective covering while supporting an LCD or CRT monitor, is available in clear acrylic or finished steel.
Fast DVD Copy 3.5 ($100) allows users to back up their DVD and audio CD collections, Playstation 2 games, DVD-ROMs and CD-ROMs. It adds support for dual layer burning, ARccOS protected DVDs, RCE protection handling, a function to copy the movie itself (without bonuses or menus), improved compatibility with DVD players, and more. [Download - 4.6MB] e2Sync PE 1.2 ($40) allows iSync to sync with Entourage. Version 1.2 adds category support for Entourage contacts and a new sync engine that has fixed an issue with duplicate entries. It syncs Entourage Contacts, Tasks and Calendar items to over thirty cell phone models, as well as multiple Macs, your iPod, PDA, iCal, AddressBook and .Mac. [Download - form] 4W WebMerge 2.4 ($100) is an upgrade to the tool for Mac OS and Windows that generates static Web pages from database or spreadsheet data. The new version provides multiple IF conditions with AND and OR operators, wiki-like syntax options for rapid content publishing, even faster performance, and other new features. [Download - 4.4MB] GuitarPrompter 1.0 ($10) performs live scrolling through guitar tablature while playing the song's sound file at the same time. GuitarPrompter also has a Web Search feature, which allows users to download tablature files. [Download - 643KB] Transaction 1.0 is an easy multi-purpose interactive data analysis and reporting tool intended to help control online sales. It does not require any technical knowledge, offers unlimited product, customer, transaction and expense entries, can generate custom reports, and offers ten types of charts. [Download - 2.9MB] iPodBackup 1.4 (free) will backup your home folder as a folder or as a disk image on your iPod. Version 1.4 of the open-source tool allows drag-and-drop editing of exceptions, offers a Swedish localization, and offers a functioning cancel button. [Download - 403KB]
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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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl