Driven by iPod sales, Apple Australia showed a 42 percent increase in revenue and a nearly 36 percent increase in profit from previous year, according newly released information. The company's Securities and Investment Commission filings with the Australian agency show that Apple earned more than $362 million in revenue for the year ending September 2004--up from $255 the previous year, despite evidence of declining marketshare. Australian IT reports that Apple's profits were also up to $7 million for the year, up nearly 36 percent from $4.5 million in the prior year. The article notes that recent IDC figures show Apple's unit marketshare slipped from 3.3 percent in 2003 to 3.1 per cent in 2004.
Terra Soft Solutions today announced support for bootable iPods and FireWire drives--both of which are immediately available from Terra Soft with Yellow Dog Linux pre-installed. The company is offering a bootable iPod or FireWire drive, which contains a full installation of Yellow Dog Linux, including all applications, data, and /home directory information. User can boot both G4 and G5 Macs from the iPod or FireWire drive--without any modifications to the internal drives. Terra Soft is selling iPods and LaCie-branded external FireWire drives with Yellow Dog Linux pre-installed for a premium over standard pricing.
Music companies need to get used to the idea of selling more music to more people more often, but for less money, according to one recording executive. The Globe and Mail reports that at least one music veteran says that lowering price of online music--to as low as five cents per song--will stop the plague of unauthorized music downloads and also generate hundreds of millions of dollars for musicians and the industry. Sandy Pearlman, a former producer of the Clash and now a visiting scholar at McGill, described the 5-cents-per-song idea at the Music Week conference in Toronto last week.
Maui X-Stream has released CherryOS 1.0, the first release of its G4 processor emulator for Windows. The company says the emulator will allow Windows users to install Mac OS X 10.3 Panther to run applications such as Safari, Apple's Mail email client, aand more. The application currently suppors network access, AltiVec emulation, drag & drop support, CD/DVD drive access, and a "growable" drive. The company says that the application is designed for application development, those considering the purchase of a Mac, environment training, and website testing. The current release, however, does not provide support for sound or network bridging, but support for both is expected in a future release. The $50 application requires a 1.6GHz Intel/AMD processor, 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) and Windows XP (Home/Pro) as well as a licensed copy of Panther.
Apple, Etnus and other partners will visit five cities across US to promote its high-performance computing solutions for science. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Srinidhi Varadarajan, the creator of Virginia Tech's high-performance G5-cluster ("System X"). Varadarajan will discuss "the changing face of high performance computing in scientific research." Other topics will include local success stories, product profiles, and demos of forthcoming technologies.
IDG World Expo today announced that Macworld San Francisco 2005 attendance figures were up about 11 percent from last year. "We're very pleased with the increase in attendance from the previous year." The company said its new "audit system," first implemented in 2004, measures the number of badge-holders distributed onsite. The numbers revealed a total attendance of 35,989 for the 2005 show in SF compared to 32,409 in 2004. As with the 2004 survey, the 2005 numbers include both registered press (1,150) and total number of exhibitor staff (2,485).
Logitech today unveiled new speakers for the iPod and other MP3 players. The Logitech mm22 portable speakers complement the sleek design of the iPod, and also work with any portable music player or notebook PC that features a 3.5 mm jack. The system, which supports any iPod, includes a total of four neodymium micro drivers -- two on each side -- that produce rich, smooth sound. "When it's time to hit the road, the Logitech mm22 portable speakers, which weigh only 12 ounces including batteries, fold neatly into a deluxe traveling case that's about the size of a hard cover book (9.8-by-5.9-by-2.0 inches)." It will ship by end of March for $80.
FileMaker today announced that it has shipped more than one million units of FileMaker Pro 7. The company said that it is the No. 1-selling easy-to-use database, FileMaker Pro 7, has also achieved a number of significant milestones, including a record number of customers upgrading from previous versions; over 25 industry and editorial awards (more than the combined total of 7 other workgroup databases); approximately 250 newly Certified FileMaker Developers in less than 12 months; a 15% increase in the number of database developers joining the FileMaker Solutions Alliance; over 25 new independently published books and interactive learning tools for FileMaker Pro 7 users; and more than 500 custom third-party solutions running on FileMaker Pro 7.
Aspyr today announced that it will publish LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (Mac). Expected to be released in August 2005, LEGO Star Wars is licensed by Lucas Arts and will be developed for Mac by i5works. "In LEGO Star Wars, compete in action packed lightsaber duels against Darth Maul. Experience mind-blowing space battles in your starfighter. Use the Force - accessing secret areas and overcoming obstacles - to construct and play as more than 30 of your favorite characters such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Yoda and more!" Preliminary system requirements include Mac OS X 10.3 and a G4/G5 processor.
Redlien Systems has updated its flagship CRM and sales contact management tool, Account Executive 1.3. The free update can now create and manage multiple invoices per contact opportunity and export invoice data for use in applications, such as Microsoft Excel. In addition, it allows users to keep track of monthly sales and profit quotas and their earned commission and also offers 16 available charts to help track the sales process, a more streamlined interface, and the ability to view their opportunities using different parameters. Version 1.3 also dramatically improves system performance, offers color-coding, and improves stability. A 20-day trial of the $90 application is available online.
Alias announced today that its software developers kit (SDK) for FBX is now available for free via the Internet. The FBX SDK, previously priced at $3,500, is a platform-independent 3D authoring and interchange format that provides access to 3D content from most 3D vendors and platforms. The FBX SDK is an easy-to-use C++ software development toolkit that allows developers to quickly add FBX support in their applications, such as games development, film, video, broadcast, product and automotive design, architecture, visual simulation and medical visualization. The FBX file format supports all major 3D data elements, as well as 2D, audio, and video media elements. In addition, it is supported by over 30 industry vendors, including Alias, Discreet, Maxon, Softimage and Strata.
Alias today launched MotionBuilder Personal Learning Edition (PLE), a free, non-commercial version of MotionBuilder 6 character animation software. Based on the MotionBuilder Standard feature set, the software offers the ability to learn one of the most advanced animation systems in the world for free. Alias MotionBuilder is a specialized animation tool designed to quickly generate high-quality character performances and animation. It is based on unique realtime architecture, intelligent character animation technology (HumanIK) and a Story Timeline performance environment.
In Brief: Linux creator Linus Torvalds is using a dual-2GHz Power Mac G5 (running Linux) as his main desktop--mainly for work reasons, although partly simply because he's a self-described "technology whore".... David Sklar will return to the Big Nerd Ranch to teach the next installment of PHP5 Bootcamp, an intensive 5-day course scheduled from May 16-20, 2005.... The Gracenote, the internet music database company, provides song titles and other information to users for free and also and quietly tracks digital music listener habits.... Virgin Electronics is withdrawing from the digital music player market after the iPod's success has drawn the attention of Sony, Creative, Dell, HP, etc.--squeezing out many of the smaller players.... Kernelthread.com offers details on Apple's new Sudden Motion Sensor, which is shipped in the new generation PowerBooks.
OD4Contact 2.1 ($55) is a free update to the contact relation management application. Version 2.1 offers a powerful HTML/RTF email system and French/UK yellow pages as well as brings overall stability and performance improvements. Features include Rendezvous/Bonjour support, Bluetooth phone management, linked tasks with reminders, and more. [4.8MB] WinSwitch 3.0 (free) is a major upgrade to the popular replacement for Apple's Fast User Switching menu. It adds hot key support and a host of new preferences, as well as numerous other enhancements and bug fixes. It offers multiple display options for the menubar (short name, user picture, etc.). [740KB] Email Merge 2.3 ($40) combines a database and a message template to create personalized email messages in the user's outbox. It supports virtually every email application, including Apple's Mail client. It can also import data directly from FileMaker Pro. The update also adds a reference guide for sending HTML emails with Entourage or Outlook Express. [Classic, OSX] SMS Mac 0.9.5 (Ä10/yr) adds support for caller ID/sender ID to each SMS sent from SMS Mac (except for mobile numbers in the US). The caller ID of an SMS allows the recipient to directly reply to the SMS and immediately identifies the incoming SMS. The Address Book plug-in can quickly send an SMS (Ä0.15 per message) to any mobile number in the world via the Internet. [742KB] World of Where 2 ($10) offers an easy way to learn the capital cities and countries of the world. Version 2 introduces five new maps featuring the provinces of France, Germany, Italy, Australia and Canada and much much more. It is available in French, German, Italian as well as English. [5.4MB] NoLimits Rollercoaster 1.55 ($30) updates the rroller coaster design and simulation program that allows users to design, build, and ride "most wild coaster dreams." NoLimits allows you to build roller coasters with 18 different track styles and offers 75 different present-day roller coaster layouts. Users can add drops, cork-screws, dark tunnels, loops, and more. [17MB]
Slim Devices today debuted Squeezebox2, the next-generation of its Squeezebox network music player. The company says hardware has been completely redesigned and also includes a major update to SlimServer, the included open-source software. Squeezebox2 features a Burr-Brown digital-to-analog converter as well as both optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs and full support for PCM and FLAC lossless audio compression. It also supports 802.11g wireless networking for improved data throughput and network range; audio-cross fading; a higher-resolution, larger 320x32 vacuum fluorescent display; and new colors (Basic Black and Triple Platinum). Squeezebox2 Wired ($250) and Squeezebox2 Wireless ($300) will ship on March 31st.
WiebeTech today announced its Forensic Field Kit 7, a rolling Pelican case that holds up to two of WiebeTech's field transportable RT5 RAID systems that feature up to 5 hot-swappable drives. In addition, it also has a space for a notebook computer and miscellaneous items. The included RT5 system handles large data acquisitions and has a capacity of up to 2.5TB (terabytes)--with a user-configurable RAID (0, 1, 3, 5) from the front panel and support for SATA, FireWire 800/400, or USB 2.0. It will ship in 5 weeks for $2,400, including the Pelican case, custom cut foam, and a single RT-5 RAID system (also available separately starting at $1,700).
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
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,¬†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