Apple today release Java Update for Mac OS X 10.3.9 via its website and the Mac OS X Software Update mechanism accessible from the Software Update system preference pane. The update corrects issues affecting some Java users following the installation of Mac OS X v10.3.9 Software Update. ďAfter updating to Mac OS X 10.3.9, some systems may have issues with Java applications and Java-enabled websites when using Safari. Safari may unexpectedly quit, and standalone Java applications may unexpectedly quit or not launch. This update resolves that issue,Ē Apple said." More detailed information on this update is available in an appended tech note which was first published on Apple's support website earlier this week.
"If the pricey and stylish full-sized Apple iPods are the Lexuses of digital-music players, the new $99 iPod shuffle is more like the Toyota Echo--a decent performer of the same pedigree that's smaller, cheaper, and a lot less luxurious," wrote Consumer Reports in a recent review of Apple's new flash-based player. The non-for-profit consumer rating magazine found the shuffle's battery life to be "relatively short for a flash-memory player" at just 10 hours. "Many of those we've recently tested deliver 18 hours or more of continuous music before batteries must be replaced or recharged."
In brief: A BBC article looks at the "phenomenon," the "followers," and the "faithful" surrounding the wildly successful iPod.... Consumer Reports has deemed the Mac mini "adequate", and the iPod shuffle "appealing".... Peachpit today announced its lineup of Apple Pro Training Series books, designed to guide readers through the latest Final Cut Studio.... FastIcon.com recently released AquaLand ($250), its new collection of icons for Web designers and software developers.... Building on the success of the "Carbon" series, Stockicons.com has released Carbon: Database Add-On ($180), an extension of the original stock icon set.... AOL announced it will begin to work internally and with partners to identify and block member access to 'phishing' sites.
"Speed of Sound," the first single from Coldplay's forthcoming "X&Y," made it to the No 1 position on all of Apple's iTunes Music Stores worldwide only one day after its release. The single trumped all other tunes, achieving the No 1 position on all 15 iTunes stores. "Coldplay's 'Speed of Sound' has been a hit with music fans topping iTunes charts today in every country, only a day after its release," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of Applications. "With iTunes' extensive reach, there's no faster way to bring a pre-release track like this to fans around the world."
Econ Technologies today updated ChronoSync, the automated synchronization and backup application. The update contains features, fixes and improved compatibility with Mac OS X Tiger and Panther version 10.3.9. ChronoSync 3.0.1 fixes several bugs including problems associated with Tiger and the recently released 10.3.9. This version also adds the ability to expand and collapse all folders from within the Analyze Panel and improved synchronization performance of analyzing and deleting package files. ChronoSync lets users synchronize between folders on your Mac, other Macs, PCs, external drives or iPods. Users can set up a sync document to schedule and automatically mount volumes. ChronoSync costs $30 for new users.
Apple today held its annual shareholders meeting, in which the company re-elected its current board of directors, and addressed a number of hot topics. Apple CEO Steve Jobs was aggressive with his answers, and largely calmed concerns raised about the company. Although much time was spent rebutting claims from environmentalists about Apple's policies, Jobs got a chance to take some shots of his own. When asked about similarities between Microsoft's new Longhorn operating system and Apple's Tiger, Yahoo! News quoted Jobs as saying, "They are shamelessly trying to copy us ... Longhorn is still two years out. They canít even copy fast."
Though talented at creating products that "strike an emotional chord with consumers," Apple sometimes projects a "corporate personality as chilly and arrogant as an oil company," a Los Angeles Times article says. Comparisons aside, the article looks at the definition of a "journalist," which has been a key point of argument throughout Apple's struggle with rumor sites AppleInsider and Power Page. Columnist Michael Hiltzik says the only way to define a journalist is functionally -- "as anyone who hunts down suppressed, overlooked or misunderstood information of public interest (even trivial interest) and presents or explains it to an audience. The medium of publication is irrelevant. Newspapers, magazines and TV and radio services aren't invariably exemplars of serious news gathering; many are brainless, irresponsible or purveyors of propaganda. Conversely, although many weblogs and websites are outlets for wingnuts and noodniks, many others provide trenchant and incisive news and analysis."
Video professionals cite Apple as third most likely recipient of increased spending this year, trailing Sony and Avid slightly. Of the 25 post-production and broadcast professionals surveyed by research firm Piper Jaffray at the National Association of Broadcasters trade show, 11 said they expect to buy Apple products in 2005, compared to 14 votes for Sony and 13 for Avid. Of those surveyed, 56 percent said they expected spending to increase in 2005. In its latest research note, Piper Jaffray says, "Apple continues to enjoy success at the low-end of the market, which is where the strongest growth is occurring, with Avid maintaining its strength at the high-end." The firm also noted that "Apple is effectively a one product solution, while Avid is a product family."
In Brief: EVDOinfo.com has posted more details on getting both Verizon and Sprint data cards (Novatel v620, Kyocera KPC 650, Sierra AirCard 580) to work with PowerBook for connectivity via the mobile carriers' high-speed EVDO data networks.... Iconbuffet's Deep Ellum ($290) is a new stock icon collection that is inspired by Dallas' multicultural jazz-district and includes 64 icons in three color variations.... One reader reports that Apple has redesigned its order status page at the Apple Store, now allowing users to sort current/previous orders more efficiently.... Macworld Boston will feature training sessions on Mac OS X Tiger as well as a music festival, featuring select Berklee College of Music artists who use Mac computers to compose and produce music.... Intego has released Mac OS X Tiger-compatible versions of all its products, including NetBarrier, VirusBarrier, Personal Backup, ContentBarrier, and more.
PodBrix, makers of modified minifigs inspired by Apple's popular iPod ad campaign for portable music players, says it will release its next product on April 25th at 9:00pm EST. PodBrix isn't saying much about the product other than hinting that it will be a minifig which is significantly different from its previous offerings. "The product is intended to function as an iPod accessory. It will be a limited run of 300 units. All will be hand signed and numbered as with our previous products." The company's two previous mini figures -- 1K Brix and Keynote -- sold out in a matter of minutes and are currently fetching double the original price on eBay. PodBrix also announced that Greg K. from San Francisco California is the lucky winner of the "Woz Prototype," a minifig inspired by Steve Wozniak that will soon be released for sale.
CourseForum has released ProjectForum 4.3, the latest release of its professional Web-based software for online team collaboration. Inspired by the new generation of wikis, weblogs, bulletin boards and other grassroots online collaboration tools, ProjectForum is easy to setup, use, and secure. Version 4.3 makes custom branding and other look and feel changes easier with a new Web-based theme editor. Help pages have been reworked to make getting started even easier for new users, and all administration pages have been restructured for greater consistency. ProjectForum can be hosted on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux and FreeBSD, while users need only a standard Web browser. Standard licenses are available starting from $230, and a free "lite" version is also available. Fully managed hosting options are also available, starting from $20/month.
Apple's iPod may be winning shelf space at retailers like Best Buy, but Apple's firm pricing policy may leave the music player out of Wal-Mart's stores. While Apple likes tight control over how and at what prices Apple products are sold, Wal-Mart largely dictates terms to its suppliers, according to IDC analyst Roger Kay. Apple, in years past, pulled out of a number of retailers because it wasn't getting enough support in selling Apple products. "I'd be very surprised if Apple went to Wal-Mart, because they're a true discounter," said analyst Tim Bajarin. "Apple won't go in without an agreement that the reseller won't change the suggested retail price" Bajarin said.
The Apple Store has added many more refurbished Macs, including more 12-inch iBook models, a new Combo-drive version of the 12-inch PowerBook, a 23-inch Aluminum Cinema Display as well as the flat-panel iMac G4. The 12-inch 1.33GHz PowerBook (256MB/60GB) with AirPort wireless networking is only $1,100 (while the SuperDrive-enabled version is $1,300). Refurbished iBooks now start at $700 for the 1GHz/CD model (256MB/30GB), $800 for the 1.2GHz/CD or the 1GHz/Combo models, and $850 1.2GHz/Combo with AirPort Extreme. Apple is also offering the 14-inch model iBook for $900 (1GHz/40GB/Combo) or $1,050 (1.2GHz/60Gb/Combo/AE). The flat-panel iMac G4 is also available for $800, while both refurbished iMac G5 and eMac models are available as well, starting at $1,100 and $550, respectively.
In brief: An Australian artists confirms that Apple will launch its iTunes Music Store in Australia within a month--perhaps as soon as April 28th, the second anniversary of the store.... Xeric has opened a mirror host for downloads of its EarthDesk 3.0, due to strong demand for the application.... Google is experimenting with a new feature that enables the users of its online search engine to track and view all of their past search requests and results.... A new bill that would imprison pre-release file pirates for up to three years is just a few steps away from becoming law.... A revised version of BrianDunning.com's free FileMaker Custom Functions library is now available.
OWC and Newer Technology have announced "the longest lasting batteries" available for Apple's 12-inch Aluminum PowerBooks. The replacement batteries provide more than 13 percent additional capacity over original Apple batteries and as much as 32.5 percent more capacity than other non-Apple aftermarket batteries. The NewerTech NuPower PowerBook batteries are designed, engineered, and assembled in the U.S.A., which the companies say help the product "consistently outlast the competition in terms of both operational runtime and useful longevity. The NewerTech NuPower design goes beyond just adding extra capacity. The extra runtime is great, and that along with the long useful lifespan of NuPower batteries is what sets them apart from any other." NuPower's new 53.3 Watt Hour battery model is immediately available for $140.
Mobility Electronics today announced Apple will begin selling the iGo EverywherePower 3500 Series power adapter with an interchangeable tip for use on the iPod portable music player. Beginning in the second quarter of 2005, the EverywherePower 3500 Series is expected to be available from the Apple Store Online and in its retail stores. The EverywherePower 3500 Series will be bundled with the iGo DualPower accessory and an iPod "itip," which allows the adapter to power/charge an iPod plus a second low-power mobile electronic device simultaneously. Additional separately sold itips will enable iPod users to utilize the power adapter to power/charge thousands of other models of low-power ME devices. It features combination AC/DC functionality to power low-power ME devices from any power source--either a standard wall outlet or outlets in motor vehicles.
iPodStyles today announced the availability of a special limited edition Black silicone case specially designed for the iPod U2 and iPod 4G 20GB. The case protects your iPod from minor dents and scratches, while still maintaining the slim form factor and shape of the iPod. It also features an open top to accommodate accessories, allows full access to the iPod's controls, and has a bottom opening for music synchronization and charging, without taking the iPod out of the case. Each case includes a free optional belt clip, hand strap and neck strap; it is available for $10.
Speck Products today announced its newest accessory for Apple's iPod shuffle. The Speck Shuffle Dock allows users to dock their iPod shuffle "in Style." The dock enables computer users to conveniently store and sync their iPod shuffle on their desktop. "For the 4G and Mini iPods, the dock is really an optional accessory", said General Manager Tim Hickman. "For the Shuffle Dock its a necessity unless you want to constantly be crawling under your desk to plug it in." The dock works with both Shuffle models, comes in white, and will be available for $25. The docks ship on May 6th and are available for pre-order today; the will be available soon at most major retailers.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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