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Mac OS X 10.3.9 update
Apple today released Mac OS X 10.3.9, as anticipated yesterday in an Apple Knowledge Base document. According to Apple, the 10.3.9 Update, recommended for all users, delivers overall improved compatibility and reliability for Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther", including improvements to file sharing and directory services reliability for mixed Mac and PC networks; Mail, Safari and Stickies application reliability; compatibility for third-party applications and devices; and previous standalone security updates. It is available via the Software Update Control Panel.
Mini ToughSkin for iPod
Speck Products today announced its newest case for Apple's iPod Mini. The Mini ToughSkin features "ruggedized good looks" and protection for the iPod mini. "The Mini ToughSkin looks really cool and feels great in your hand", said General Manager Tim Hickman. "We've added protection all the way around the Mini including the scroll wheel and screen." The company says that its "one-of-a-kind design customizes the popular rubberized skin for extreme lifestyles. It's the only skin to feature ruggedized bumpers, screen protection, scroll wheel protection, and a detachable belt clip." The Mini ToughSkins will be available in 5 colors: Frosted Clear ($40) and black ($35) will be available in April, while pink, blue, and green will be available in May for $35. Available for pre-order now. they will be available soon at most major retailers.
More Mac mini skins
iPodStyles has launched a new collection of stylish skins that completely wrap around the iPod mini, giving the device a new feel and style, while also offering protection. Each ready-to-apply full-color skin comes with an ultra-high resolution full-color design that is printed on premium grade adhesive-backed cast vinyl. The skin is then covered with a clear protective layer for durability. All skins use a patented repositionable, removable and reusable adhesive backing for fast, easy and accurate installation, and goo-free removal. The company says it will offer free replacement if the skin "ever smudges, wears, fades or blurs." Pricing starts at $7.
Apple sees growth in Q1\'05
Apple saw near 40 percent unit shipment growth in the first quarter of 2005 with the Mac mini and the halo effect helping driving its success, according to IDC. Meanwhile, Apple moved up into the fifth position in Gartner's U.S. rankings, between fourth-ranked IBM and sixth-ranked Toshiba, according to the
More .Mac discount info
As announced previously, Apple is running a $30 discount off the full price of its .Mac membership. The promo is only available via a purchase of a retail .Mac subscription (via the online store, Apple retail stores, Amazon.com [$78 before rebate], or other authorized retailers). The $30 rebate is available as an instant rebate from Apple or as a mail-in rebate from other outlets (purchases through www.mac.com do not qualify for the rebate). Current members wanting to renew their accounts with the rebate should purchase a .Mac box and use the activation code inside to renew at a discount. The promo ends May 23rd.
Jobs vs. record execs
Music industry executives are turning toward non-Apple partners, including mobile phone networks/manufacturers, to help balance the power in the music industry, according to a CNET News.com report. Apple's flat $0.99 per song/$9.99 per album pricing policy has frustrated the music labels along with its refusal to license FairPlay antipiracy technology to other MP3 player manufacturers: "Frustrated at what they see as Jobs' intransigence on song pricing and other issues, some record executives are now turning their hopes toward other partners, particularly mobile phone carriers eager to get into the business of selling music. They see this new focus as a way to broaden the digital music business, and lessen Apple's dominance over their market in the process.
Tiger review by Thurrott
Self-confessed Mac fan Paul Thurrott (of WinSuperSite fame) says that Apple's Mac OS X Tiger operating system is a worthy competitor to XP, but is really a minor release, highlighting Spotlight and Dashboard as "the only" two significant features in the OS upgrade (despite the over 200 that Apple's website touts). "Apple Mac OS X 10.4 'Tiger' is the strongest OS X release yet and a worthy competitor to Windows XP. Though it is marketed by Apple as a major release, Tiger is in fact a minor upgrade with few major new features, more akin to what we'd call a service pack in the Windows world. However, that won't stop Apple fans from flocking to Apple Stores on April 29 and standing in line to buy it, even at its inflated $129 price. That's fine, I guess: Tiger performs well, looks great, and offers many modern OS features."
Forums roundup Apr 15
Topics on the MacNN forums today include: Speculation surrounding the specs of Apple's next Power Mac G5 update.... Concerns about the liquid cooling system used in some Power Mac G5 models.... The recent announcement by Apple that Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" would ship at the end of April.... Reaction to Apple's quarterly earnings report, issued Wednesday.... Adobe's use of anti-piracy technology in its Creative Suite 2.
RadTech tekmod carry case
RadTech today began shipping tekmod, a new line of computer notebook cases designed for versatility. The top-loading case offers a unique stay-on feature to "work right out of the case with unrestricted port, slot, drive and storage pocket access! A convenient flip-out riser-stand provides the perfect incline for ergonomic keyboarding. An internal suspension system cradles and lifts the rear of the notebook allowing ample ventilation and air circulation to ensure cool running. tekmõd's pockets and pouches completely flatten when empty, yet expand to accommodate a variety of items." tekmõd is constructed with an outer layer of top-grade 1680D ballistic waterproof Nylon and is reinforced throughout with an internal layer of impact-absorbing 1.6mm high-density Polyethylene armor plating and closed-cell foam. It is now available for for $80 for 14-17 inch notebooks in a number of color combinations. Versions for sub-14" notebooks are due in May.
Bluetooth pen tablet
Wacom Technology today announced the first Wacom pen tablet to incorporate Bluetooth wireless technology. The new Graphire Bluetooth offers a 6" x 8" active area, Wacom's patented cordless, battery-free pen technology, 512 levels of pressure sensitivity, and more. The Wacom Graphire pen provides a natural and controlled way to retouch and edit digital photos and create original art and a built-in eraser makes it easy to quickly fix mistakes. The Graphire Bluetooth tablet features a rechargeable lithium polymer battery that provides up to 25 hours of wireless freedom between charges. An included 12-foot universal power adapter makes it convenient to use the tablet while the battery is charging. It is available now for $250.
UPS Package Tool Kit
NRG Software has announced its Package Tool Kit solution for Mac OS X, offering integrated UPS OnLine Tools for tracking and managing UPS shipments within FileMaker. Customers can easily access critical shipping information from within FileMaker Pro 7 to provide a wide range of UPS functionality for a seamless package management workflow. It supports virtually all UPS services, including shipping status, rates/services quotes, estimated shipment times, address validation, a consolidated view for multiple-location businesses, and more. It supports Mac OS X 10.2 or higher. A single-user version is $300, while a site-license is $900.
iGet 2.0 to support Tiger
Five Speed Software today announced iGet 2.0, the second major release of its next-generation file transfer software for Mac OS X. Version 2.0 features a new remote search feature that takes full advantage of Apple's new Spotlight technology as well as features Automator integration, a Dash Board quick-connect widget, URL support, the ability to save connection shortcuts, support for Finder labels, connecting to custom port numbers, realtime throughput reporting, and much more. iGet offers resumable file/folder transfers, full support for Mac-only features (e.g., resources forks, type/creator, etc.), Rendezvous/Keychain support, and "always-on" SSH encryption. It will be a free upgrade for existing users. A beta is due on April 29. iGet 1.1.1 is now available for $25.
mini Shack for Mac mini
The Plasticsmith today announced its latest Mac mini accessory, the mini Shack (pictured at right). Designed exclusively for Apple's Mac mini, the company says it is the first stand to incorporate a hub. The mini Shack:glo sports a blue LED-illuminated base crowned with a white acrylic housing that incorporates a built-in 7-port high-speed USB 2.0 hub; it also provides space under the hub for cord management. The USB-powered blue LED features a convenient on-off switch. It sells for $100. The mini Shack:clear ($90) provides a white-LED alternative to the look of the blue-glo (with a light-reflecting acrylic base). A "BYOH" ("Bring Your Own Hub") model, available for $70, shelters a user's own USB/FireWire hub. The products will ship at the end of month.
iSight 1.03 updater
Apple has posted iSight 1.03, an update to its FireWire-based video camera. The camera works with iChat AV and other video conferencing applications. The free update brings improved audio performance and requires "Mac OS X v10.3.7-10.3.9," hinting that Apple release yet another (minor) update to Mac OS X Panther in the near future. Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, the next major version of the operating system, is set to be released on April 29.
UBS, ATR on AAPL
Financial firms ATR and UBS both held a $50 price target for shares of Apple just days ago, but the firms expressed very different views Thursday following Apple's announcement of financial results for the Mach quarter. American Technology Research on Thursday downgraded shares of Apple to "Hold" with a price target of $46. The firm cited concerns with slowing revenue growth and high investor expectations in its report. Meanwhile, UBS remained bullish on Apple, suggesting Mac sales could see a boost over the next several quarters. UBS increased its price target to $54, and maintained a "Buy" rating.
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