PGP Corporation today released the second public beta of its award-winning PGP Desktop encryption solution. The completely redesigned PGP Desktop 9.0b2 incorporates PGP Universal technology to provide automatic encryption, decryption, digital signatures, verification, and recipient key lookup, making it appropriate for both novice and power users. New features in PGP Desktop 9.0 include full disk encryption and AOL Instant Messenger traffic security, S/MIME interoperability, and expanded smart card support. The beta is available in English, German, and Japanese versions and is compatible with Mac OS X 10.3.
UBS Investment Research today previewed Apple's second quarter earnings while speculating about innovations it expects from Apple in the coming years. For the recently ended fiscal quarter, UBS estimates that Apple will earn 23 cents per share on revenue growth of 67 percent year-over-year to $3.2 billion. The firm said that these estimates are conservative, and Apple will likely post slightly higher figures when it issues its final report on April 13th. UBS also said it estimates that each point of PC market share gained by Apple will result in about $2 billion in incremental revenue. UBS maintained its "Buy" rating on Apple with a price objective of $50.
Avid today announced that its audio division, Digidesign, has unveiled Pro Tools M-Powered software. Scheduled to ship in early April 2005, Pro Tools M-Powered software will provide any musician or recording enthusiast using a range of compatible M-Audio peripherals with affordable access to the award-winning Pro Tools software toolset. Pro Tools M-Powered is an entry-level solution that brings the core Pro Tools LE software feature set to a range of M-Audio hardware peripherals, enabling them to take advantage of the popular audio/MIDI production software. The software is expected to ship later this month for $350.
Following the expected release of Apple's earnings March quarter earnings on April 13, Apple has scheduled its conference call webcast, in which it will discuss its second fiscal quarter 2005 earnings (5:00 p.m. ET). Additionally, Apple will hold its annual shareholder meeting on April 21st at its Cupertino, CA campus. The meeting is open to shareholders of record as of March 1st. Up for vote this year are several issues such as approving the company's performance plan, employee stock option plan, and the board members. Also up for discussion is a proposal that would allow shareholders to present their own proposals to other shareholders, without going through the board of directors (Apple's board is against this measure).
Macintosh Explorer 4.3 ($16) updates the tabbed file browser and file management tool, bringing thumbnail browsing, allowing users to preview pictures while they browse, and significantly improved file listing speed. Macintosh Explorer brings the hierarchical, tree-view navigation style of Windows Explorer to the Mac along with file management tools and filter-based file browsing. It is available for Mac OS 9/10.2. [Classic, OSX] Smultron 1.2 (free) brings better/faster syntax coloring, improved handling of large documents, broader file support with the command-line utility, support for standard wildcards, and new Czech localization. Smultron is an open-source text editor with support for line numbers, text encodings, code snippets, a toolbar, a status bar, HTML preview, multi-document find/replace with regular expressions, invisible characters, authenticated saves, etc. [1.5MB] TOKI Shot 1.1 (€100), a tool for creating shot lists, is designed for those creating television films and series, movies and documentaries. Users can create an automatic shot list starting from a cut film, modify the shot list to add scene names and shot descriptions, export the shot list to music software using MIDI or sampled sound files, and more. A free lite version is available. [4.4MB] ZeboPhoto 1.6 ($8) updates the versatile image utility that features various image editing effects and unique multiple image slide shows (with captions). It offers a print layout window to maximize paper usage, a basic word processor, and more. Version 1.6 features auto-rotation, margin reduction, background color, a preview button, customized "Cooler Colors Picker", a new Magnifier window with the ability to save its capture, and more. [1.6MB] Hsoi's Shop CMPlugins 2.0 (free) updates the suite of six contextual menu plugins for Mac OS X, including DeskPicChangeCMPlugin (change your desktop picture to it), FileHierToClipCMPlugin (place a text representation of a folder's complete contents on the Clipboard), FilePathToClipCMPlugin (copy file/folder path to the Clipboard), LockItCMPlugin, UnlockItCMPlugin, and MROItCMPlugin. [options] MiNews 0.4 (free) updates the Mac OS X RSS feed/news reader that sports an integrated web interface, an extended description of news items via an extra panel, and other features. It offers a new floating control panel window, a new startup mode, improved OPML import (to prevent duplicate feeds), and improved handling of different date formats used by RSS sources. [790KB]
Luxology today announced the availability of a free production evaluation version of modo, its powerful subdivision surface and polygonal modeling platform. Fully functional and unrestricted, the production evaluation version of modo is unique to the industry where software demos and "learning editions" often disable features or create other limitations. "A lot of people are surprised we are offering free and unrestricted access to modo. But we believe this is the way software should be evaluated. We think it demonstrates our confidence in modo's capabilities and trust in the user community." modo ships on a single disc supporting both Mac OS X and Windows, and sells for a suggested retail price of $900, with a limited-time introductory price of $700.
IDG has opened registration for this summer's Macworld Conference & Expo in Boston. The show takes place July 11th-14th at the Hynes Convention Center, rather than the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center that was used last year. "The BCEC is a beautiful venue, but the Hynes is a better fit for Macworld Boston," a spokesperson told MacNN in November. 2005 marks the second year in a row that the east coast Macworld Expo has been held in Boston. The East coast expo was traditionally a Boston show, but was moved to New York for 1998-2003.
Corel today introduced the Corel Painter IX Art Pen Brush Pack, a collection of new Corel Painter IX brushes that take advantage of the new Wacom 6D Art Pen. Corel is offering the Corel Painter IX Art Pen Brush Pack to customers as a free download. Built to take advantage of the new Wacom 6D Art Pen, the Corel Painter IX Art Pen Brush Pack gives artists a high level of control over their brush strokes. When used together with the Wacom 6D Art Pen, these brushes not only respond to the x- and y-axes, tilt, bearing, and pressure, but also add the extra dimension of barrel rotation, "making the digital painting experience more natural than ever before." The pack includes the Thin Smooth Calligraphy, Grainy Calligraphy, Soft Flat Oils, Square Grainy Pastel, and Tapered Gouache brushes. The Wacom 6D Art Pen can be purchased for $70.
With Apple's Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" expected almost a year ahead of Microsoft's "Longhorn" operating system, Apple execs have hinted they expect to be copycatted by their rival in Redmond. Cynthia Crossley, head of Windows at Microsoft U.K., said she expected technological crossovers but denied they would be deliberate. "We do a load of research into what people want and funnily enough so does Apple — it's not hard to work it out... Will I be surprised if there are similarities? No." And despite reports to the contrary, Crossley said Redmond has seen no halo effect from iPod users shunning PCs in favour of Macs. "We haven't seen it yet," she said. "We're not happy about losing any market share," Crossley said. "We worry less about 'losing share' and more about what else we can get into... we want to do it all."
Other World Computing has announced several price reductions on its popular Mercury Extreme G4 processor upgrades. Prices have been reduced by as much as $40 on the upgrades, with pricing starting at $195 for the 933MHz-1GHz model.
In brief: "The $100,000 television camera has become a $3,000 high-definition camera, and the $250,000 editing console has become a $1,000 Apple computer program," said Al Gore, who is launching a new TV channel with Internet-based contributions.... Aspyr will showcase the upcoming The Sims 2 ($50 pre-order), Friday, April 15th at 7:00 p.m. at the monthly Aspyr game night at Austin's Apple store.... Total Training today announced a new series of DVD-ROM videos for mastering Adobe Creative Suite 2.... KW Media, publishers of Mac Design Magazine, relaunched the magazine as Layers – The “How-To” Magazine for Everything Adobe.
We've posted a review of Apple's GarageBand 2 software. New features introduced with the second major version "bring it closer to the perfect every-man's music studio." Of course, there are still some limitations when compared to professional suites. Additionally, "there are issues that still need to be addressed," such as MIDI out and music printing. We also take a look at the PocketDock Combo, which allows iPod owners to connect the device via a regular USB Type B or 6-pin FireWire cable. "On the road and out of battery power? No problem, you can charge your iPod from another computer even if your docking cable is at home."
Although companies like Microsoft, Gateway, and Best Buy hold special licenses to offer extended warranties in Florida, Apple has neglected the issue, leaving many customers without extended coverage. AppleCare extended warranties, which range from $50 for an iPod up to $350 for a PowerBook, are not valid under Florida law, according to the St. Petersburg Times. To obtain a license, Apple has to apply under Chapter 634 of state statutes. "Boiled down, Apple would have to pay a $500 license fee and the state would make sure the company met financial requirements." One iPod owner had to pressure Apple to repair her iPod and refund the money she spent on the extended warranty. "I called too much. I cried," the high school senior said, "I was so mad."
The Internet audio broadcasts known as podcasts are catching on with owners of iPods and other digital-music players, a new survey finds. Twenty-nine percent of U.S. adults who own MP3 players like Apple's iPod say they have downloaded podcasts from the Internet, according to the study released Sunday. That means more than six million people are listening to a form of communication that emerged only last year, according to the research. Podcasters create radio-like programs of commentary, music or humor, which are saved in MP3 audio format and posted online. Listeners can be automatically notified when a new podcast is available by special software.
Red Rock today announced DeltaGraph 5.6, the latest update to its line of data analysis, charting and graphing applications for professional publishing, market, and scientific research. DeltaGraph 5.6 for Mac gains more than 30 enhancements ranging from improved interoperability between the Mac and Windows versions to more accurate rendering of drawing and TrueType fonts in EPS exports. Also improved are the copy-paste and drag-drop behaviors. Now, when users copy any drawn element from a drawing canvas and paste it back into any DeltaGraph drawing canvas, it remains a DeltaGraph drawn element. DeltaGraph costs $300 for commercial use, or $200 for educational users.
Apple is now accepting entries for the Tenth Annual Apple Design Awards, which recognize technical excellence and outstanding achievement in software products and solutions for Mac OS X. To celebrate the tenth anniversary, the Apple Design Awards 2005 will boast the biggest prize packages ever and winners will be announced -- and winning products showcased -- in a special ceremony at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2005 held this June in San Francisco. This year’s contest rewards outstanding software design on Mac OS X 10.3.x Panther, in the areas of platform innovation, user experience, technology adoption, performance optimization, and use of Open Source. Apple will also offer a "Best Use of Mac OS X Tiger Technologies" award for early adoption of technologies in Mac OS X 10.4.
Exabyte today announced the availability of the Magnum 1x7 LTO Autoloader for use with Mac OS X Server. The Magnum 1x7 is now available through the Apple Store, bundled with TOLIS BRU Basic backup and restore software to provide a comprehensive hardware-software solution for data backup requirements. The Magnum 1x7 LTO Autoloader is a 2U, rack-mountable, automated backup and restore product. The Exabyte Magnum 1x7 is the "first and only" LTO-2 tape autoloader available for less than $5000, even with robust features traditionally found only in more expensive tape automation products. The autoloader offers users 1.4 TB of native capacity and data transfer speed of up to 187 GB per hour with one Ultrium LTO-2 drive and seven tape cartridges, and it will soon be available with Ultrium LTO-3, which will double the Magnum 1x7's capacity and speed.
In Brief: Following speculation yesterday, some Best Buy stores are already carrying Mac minis, as noted by several MacNN readers who saw them on display this past weekend... LaCie has announced its new larger 2TB Bigger Disk Extreme FireWire 800/400 storage solution for $2300, featuring 7200 RPM drives, RAID 0 functionality, and data transfer speeds of up to 85MB/sec.... The FastIcon has released a free "Sweet System" set of icons, which contains 12 freeware icons inspired by the "sweet look and feel of baby rooms artwork."... Scott Kelby is teaching a new (free) Photoshop CS2 training session at the Apple Store SoHo on Tuesday, April 5.
Giga Designs last week announced that it is now shipping the fastest G4 processor upgrade available for Apple's AGP-equipped G4 Power Macs. The new 2GHz G-celerator AGP 7A series upgrade uses the latest G4 (7447A) processor available from Freescale (formerly Motorola). The new 7447A processors feature a 512KB on-chip L2 cache running at the same speed as the processor. The upgrade is $500 and is compatible with AGP Graphics ("Sawtooth"), Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio, QuickSilver, and QuickSilver 2002 Power Mac models. The upgrades carry a three year limited warranty, include Giga Designs 47A Firmware Updater, and the GigaMeter OSX speed & processor ID extension. They require Mac OS X 10.3.5 and are dual-boot compatible with Mac OS 9.2.2 as well.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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