"Office 2004 for Mac: The Missing Manual" provides a detailed guide to Microsoft's Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage applications. The $30 book is published by O'Reilly, and written by authors Mark H. Walker and Franklin Tessler. "Office 2004 doesn't come with a single page of printed instructions," but this new book promises to "help readers use all four programs in Office 2004 to do their work and organize their lives more quickly and easily than ever before." Walker and Tessler deliver on their promise to use "very little jargon or nerd terminology" in this "funny and friendly" reference.
Apple's PowerBook 100 is ranked first in Mobile PC's list of the "Top 100 Gadgets of All Time." The article says, "until Apple unveiled this 5.1-pound machine, most 'portable' computers were curiosities for technophiles with superior upper-body strength ... the first PowerBooks captured an astounding 40 percent of the market, but more important, they turned notebook computers into mainstream products and ushered in the era of mobile computing that we're still living in today." Additionally, The PowerBook 500 ranked 22nd, the Newton MessagePad 120 ranked 39th, and the iPod ranked 12th: "the original iPod cracked the portable audio market wide open with its ease of use and to-die-for aesthetics. Some estimates peg Apple as now claiming an astounding 92 percent of the mobile audio market." Other popular products among the list include the original Pilot 1000 from U.S. Robotics, and the Rio 300 from Diamond.
In the coming months, Apple will change the name of its Rendezvous networking technology to "Bonjour," according to documents shown to AppleInsider. Last year, Tibco Software entered into a trademark dispute with Apple over its use of the Rendezvous name, alleging that the Apple technology, used in products such as Mac OS X and the iTunes Music Store, infringed on its exclusive rights to the Rendezvous name. In July 2004, the two companies agreed to end the dispute through a mutual out of court settlement. Sources close to the negotiations said that, as part of the deal, Apple agreed to phase out its use of the "Rendezvous" name in time.
Document Palette allows users to create new documents directly in open folders, using a keyboard shortcut. It holds document types that frequently created and allows users to create documents without launching an editor and without "fumbling around in awkward save panels." Users can add any type of document to the palette. Simply create a blank document using an editor, then use the add button in Document Palette's Preferences window. The trial is fully functional, but can only create 15 documents. The full version costs $15 to register. The current version is a beta release. It requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Apple has added more refurbished 12-inch iBook G4s ($800), previous-generation 12-inch PowerBook G4s ($1,100), and 1.2GHz 14-inch iBook G4s ($900) to the special deals section on its online Apple store, but no longer offers refurbished iMac G5 models. The 12-inch PowerBook is also available with a SuperDrive for $1,300, while Combo ($1,500) and SuperDrive ($1,800) versions of the 15-inch PowerBook are also available and faster 1.33GHz versions of the 14-inch iBook G4 are available in Combo ($1,100) and SuperDrive ($1,300) models. Apple has also added dual-processor versions of both its 2GHz ($2,100) and 1.8GHz ($1,700) Power Mac G5s. The configurations of the eMac are also available: CD-ROM ($550), Combo drive/modem ($650), and SuperDrive ($800).
In Brief: The online Apple Stores in the US, France and Germany have abruptly extended their estimated ship times for all iPod mini models--up to 8 days, suggesting that a refresh may be imminent; in addition, iMac availability suddenly has been extended to 3-5 days, after recent reports of 'same business day' delivery. The Chicago Sun-Time says that Apple's compact Mac Mini is sure to lure Mac-phobic buyers.... IconBase's iToolBar Stock Icons ($360) is a new Aqua-styled icon collection with over 153 icons available in all native Mac OS X, Windows and Linux formats an in all normal sizes up to 128x128.... iPod shuffles will be soon available Target retail stores and are now available in both 512MB shuffle and 1GB shuffle versions at Circuit City's online store.
Conference Recorder 1.0 ($15) allows users to easily record and save your iChat AV video and audio chats. Conference Recorder saves chats as QuickTime movies for future viewing. [Download - 616KB] Xj3D M10 (free) is an open source toolkit for X3D (the XML and network-savvy successor to VRML). The M10 release is the first version for Mac OS X, completely written in Java and using OpenGL for hardware acceleration. [Download - 10.1MB] InDesign Font Catalog 1.0 ($10) is an application for makimg compact grouped font samples using Adobe InDesign CS. Font Catalog is different from other font sample generators because it displays the "regular" version of the font family as the large primary sample in one line/sentence, and groups the remaining styles in a short, name-only listing (in the style's style) below the main sample of characters. [Download - buy] Sound Byte 2.4.0 ($24-$100) turns a Mac into a" cart machine" for playing sound recordings, aimed at DJs, radio stations and audio productions. The latest version of Sound Byte adds the ability to display fewer but larger carts, offers fade times for individual carts, and allows carts to be set to be disabled after being played. [Download - 529KB] FmPro Migrator Enterprise Edition 3.02 ($100) has been updated to add a new Microsoft Access 2003 to FileMaker 7 conversion feature, and offers a new drag and drop interface for Access to FileMaker 7 migrations. FmPro Migrator converts FileMaker Pro databases to MySQL, Oracle, and more. [Download - 240KB] Capture One 3.6 ($100-$500) allows users to open and edit RAW files from the most commonly used DSLR cameras and convert them into TIFF or JPEG. Version 3.6 supports Konica Minolta 7D, A1, A2, Olympus C8080, Fuji S3 Pro, and Canon 1Ds MKII, 20D, Pro 1, G5, G3, G2 cameras. [Download - 55MB]
Gary Allen of the ifoAppleStore, a site that closely follows Apple's retail efforts, says that Apple's mini-stores are not living up to expectations: "The stores seem to have been hastily rolled out, are expensive to build, have nearly-useless point-of-sale machines, and suffer from a sterile design. The stores were inspired by the Mini Cooper auto, Apple said. 'This design will help us carry our philosophy to even more people,' Steve Jobs said at the official unveiling at the Stanford Shopping Center (N. Calif.). The 'cool' and 'hip' design was intended to attract a younger and hipper visitor, the company said. But in reality, the stores don't live up to any of that."
A new class action lawsuit filed on Thursday against Apple alleges that the company has engaged in acts of unfair and unlawful business practices, breach of contract, and misappropriation of trade secrets. The lawsuit was filed by three firms and five defendants as a class action on behalf of both resellers and consumers in the San Francisco County Superior Court. The 26-page complaint includes allegations of violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Song Beverly Act, warranty abuse, unfair and unlawful competition related to delivery and pricing of goods to resellers, improper repair/warranty costing, unfair price competition, and more. The suit seeks injunctive and compensatory damages as well as legal fees and punitive and exemplary damages for some violations.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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
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
XCOM 2 ships on Steam for Mac, Windows
Feral Interactive today announced that the highly anticipated turn-based strategy game XCOM 2 is out now for OS X and Windows, and is available to buy through Steam and through the Mac App Store shortly. The sequel to the popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 is available as a standalone base game and as the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. The XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition comprises the base game, the Reinforcement Pack and the XCOM 2 digital soundtrack. Versions start at $60. http://bit.ly/1KuEFsX