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Apple "may have a clunker" with the iPod nano, according to ZDNet's Dan Farber, who cites a recent report by John Paczkowski of Good Morning Silicon Valley. According to Paczkowski, the iPod nano is "fast becoming Apple's next Cube." Farber and Paczkowski cite a delicate display as the possible Achilles' Heel of the iPod nano. Many reports indicate the screen is, at best, easy to scratch. Other sources -- including a Web site dedicated to the "flawed" iPod nano -- claim the Nano's screen cracks easily. "Jobs, the perfectionist of product design and quality, must be apoplectic," writes Farber. "Replacing the screens or adding a protective shield would be more difficult than dealing with iPod battery issues."
Unsanity today released version 2.1.1 of SILK, its antialiasing product that enables Quartz text rendering and smoothing in Mac OS X 10.1.5, in all Carbon applications. SILK produces "silky smooth" text even when developers haven't updated their Carbon applications. SILK substitutes fonts on demand as well -- in applications, window titles, display menus, and other interface elements. An exclude list skips certain applications so that they work as intended by the developer, and a drop button in the SILK preference pane quickly detects if a particular application is Carbon. Version 2.1.1 addresses a crash bug related to Macromedia Dreamweaver 8, and includes Smart Crash Reports. A spurious message has been removed that appeared in the console log if the fallback font did not have a font family, as well. SILK 2.1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later and is priced at $10.
Motorola today responded to the earlier comments about the iPod nano made by CEO Ed Zander, claiming that IDG News Service, which first reported the outburst, is taking the comment completely out of context. Company officials say Zander was smiling and joking when he responded to the question, and he did praise Apple and its iPod, according to the report from Beta News. Motorola stated: "during the Q&A session one questioner repeatedly and insistently asked what Zander thought of the Nano. Jokingly, Zander said he wasn't there to talk about the Nano - but to talk about the next big thing happening in the industry - the fusion of the phone and music. ROKR with iTunes was a good beginning, he said, and there's more to come."
Olympus on Monday announced the 8 megapixel E-500 digital SLR camera. The "classic penta-prism design" is compact, lightweight and easy to handle. The E-500 features Olympus' unique Supersonic Wave Filter to eliminate problems with dust when changing lenses. A new shot preview function provides easy viewing of images before they are saved onto the memory card. A special filter is designed to minimize image noise at high ISO levels. Two memory card slots are available for Compact Flash and xD media cards. For fast burst rates, the processor uses the dedicated 64MB image buffer for up to 4 TIFF or RAW images at 2.5 frames-per-second. When using HQ JPEG images and extreme speed Compact Flash cards the number of frames a user is able to take is only lmited by the card size. The Olympus E-500 will be available by the end of October. Standard Kit is expected to sell for £600 while the "Double Zoom Kit" will cost around £650.
Paradigma Software has announced Technology Update 2.0.5 for all its Valentina 2 based products. The update includes 448-bit encryption which works on databases, tables and fields. The new dbClone() feature gives a simple, API based call to completely duplicate a database. All Valentina 2 products (including Office Server and versions for Director, REALbasic, Revolution) have been updated to version 2.0.5 to incorporate numerous performance and SQL improvements, including addition of SQL Load/Dump and SQL commands Get Property and Set Property. Valentina 2 ADKs start at $200, and Valentina Developer Network pricing begins at $500.
Apple shares today rallied two-percent to reach an all-time high after Citigroup raised its price target and earnings estimates, citing a better-than-expected outlook for iPod sales, according to a report from MarketWatch. Analyst Richard Gardner reiterated his hold rating on Apple's stock, lifted his price target to $55 from $40, raised his fourth-quarter earnings estimate to 41 cents a share from 36 cents, and raised his 2006 forecast to 59 cents a share from 46 cents, according to the report. Earlier today, Bear Stearns reiterating its outperform rating on Apple and raised its target from $50 to $58, while UBS Investment Research today also raised its price target on Apple based on its analysis of the 4-gigabyte iPod nano, stating that the 4G nano could be Apple's "key product" into 2006, with many stores struggling to keep the devices in stock.
Apple's iTunes Music Store was forced to withdraw War Child's new album "Help: A Life in the Day" for over a day to correct a pricing error, after it "racked" the album for two pounds less than the price demanded by the charity. Julian Carrera of War Child in a report from The Register said: "in terms of pure volume, iTunes has really come to the party - and will generate huge sales/profits, which will go straight into our projects in war zones." The charity's own website saw over 18,000 downloads of the album in the first two hours it was on sale, according to the report.
Widget Maker X 1.2 ($17) creates, modifies, and manages widgets in Mac OS X 10.4. Version 1.2 offers a new background maker, specific file-based syntax coloring as text is typed, a new main icon, some new toolbar icons, and other minor fixes. [Download - 1.5MB] iGroupCal 1.3 (free) is a Java platform servlet for iCal, offering a shared workgroup calendar information through a single calendar. New features include PostgreSQL support, "dbCharSet" web.xml parameter to specify database character set, and numerous bugfixes. [Download - 529KB] RapidoWrite 1.0 (free) inserts up to 100 frequently used phrases into any application. RapidoWrite works in the background and offers a keyboard shortcut. RapidoWrite requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 3.3MB] Missing Sync for Palm OS 4.0.6 ($40) is a free update improving connectivity with the Palm LifeDrive and providing better support for certain third-party conduits. The Missing Sync for Palm OS eases synchronization with Mac OS X applications like Address Book, iCal, and Microsoft Entourage. [Download - 11.4MB] TopXNotes 1.0 ($20), a modern note pad for Mac OS X, offers multiple views and an advanced table of contents with categories and groups. Color text, style, font, and font size are selectable and support drag-and-drop between note views. TopXNotes offers basic encryption, a set of 10 templates, and numerous additional features. [Download - 2.9MB] Impression 2.9b3 ($33) provides reliable digital archiving for Mac OS X, backing up assets to multiple optical discs (CD and DVD) or disk images on any mounted hard drive. Version 2.9b3 adds support for Apple's new dual-layer DVD drives, and adds a choice for DVD-RAM image size. [Download - 962KB]
Apple may not be able to roll out its Intel-based Macs on schedule as it had hoped, because Intel won't be releasing its Woodcrest and Merom processors until the third quarter of next year. A report from The Inquirer notes that "Apple is big, but not nearly big enough to bully Intel," and that the company is attempting to put pressure on Intel in the hopes that the chips will be delivered early. Intel is apparently not providing Apple with preferential treatment, despite the pressure, according to the report.
UBS Investment Research on Monday raised its price target on Apple based on its analysis of the 4-gigabyte iPod nano. UBS said the 4G nano could be Apple's "key product" into 2006, with many stores struggling to keep the devices in stock. "Counter to some accounts pointing to a hit to margins, we believe the iPod nano should support our gross-margin estimates, especially if the company receives favorable pricing for components like flash memory," said the firm. "While we acknowledge some risks as we move closer to the 'Intel switch' in Macs starting next year, we believe Apple remains one of the best stories in the technology spectrum (including digital media) in terms of earnings-per-share upside potential and relative growth versus alternative investments," said UBS. The firm raised its outlook for Apple to $64 from $59.
The creators of MacNN are proud to announce the launch of Left Lane News, a new Web site for the automotive enthusiast. While not a part of the MacNN network, Left Lane News will try to deliver the best in automotive industry news coverage, bringing a new level of professionalism not seen in other automotive "weblogs." Topics will include future vehicles, car reviews, political issues, investor news, auto safety, recalls, consumer concerns, and more. Reader feedback and discussion will be encouraged via a comment system. Much like MacNN, Left Lane News will be updated several times a day as required.
Creative Manager Pro 8.0 is the latest version of the software for creative and design firms, adding over 65 enhancements and a speed bump for Safari users. Version 8.0 adds a new view to the traffic management tool that shows task deadlines across multiple projects in an easy to read grid. Traffic Managers will be able to easily adjust schedules, reassign work, and stay on track with multiple projects. Creative Manager Pro's media module has been enhanced with a new and easier way to track and bill orders. Media orders no longer have to be tied to a job or task for billing. The invoice format options have also been modified to offer every conceivable way to group and report media bills to clients. Accounting functionality in Creative Manager Pro also continues to improve with the addition of reversing journal entries, credit card processing, and a new expended hierarchy of reporting. The update is free to all users of Creative Project Manager and Creative Manager Pro.
In brief: One MacNN reader has posted photographs of Florida's Apple store which opened this past weekend.... As Apple rolled out its new .Mac services, it also silently cancelled its 20-percent credit referral program, according to one reader who received a note from Apple.... The Kyocera KR1 Router ($200, shown at right) is near completion, offering wireless broadband over Verizon or Sprint service.... IconPeople released Aspen ($100), a set of icons specifically designed to meet the needs of cross platform application developers.... The Fast Icon Studio released a new stock icon collection for web designers and software developers, entitled UnderWater MAX ($350).
IntelliScanner Corp today released the second generation of the Daneizo Lending Management System, its all-in-one library tracking solution that is designed to be setup in less than 10 minutes and be easily configured to track books, electronics, media, or other items using asset tags or retail barcodes. The software provides 22 built-in reports for member and item information, and stores a permanent record of the lending history for each item and member. The 2005 edition includes 'Batch Add' functionality; support for standard barcodes found on university student ID cards, corporate badges, and driver's licenses; expanded reporting options; printable post-transaction reports; batch check-in, and XML-based data backups. Daneizo is available bundled with an IntelliScanner Pro (USB 2.0) for $2000 or IntelliScanner Scanabout (Bluetooth wireless) barcode reader for $2,500.
Motorola's CEO Ed Zander, who expects companies such as Apple and Dell to offer their own hybrid communication/computing devices, offered a few harsh words for Apple's iPod nano, which analysts believe took the spotlight from the company's launch of Motorola ROKR iTunes phone. "'Screw the nano. What the hell does the nano do? Who listens to 1,000 songs?' Zander said. People are going to want devices that do more than just play music, something that can be seen in many other countries with more advanced mobile phone networks and savvy users, he said."
Analyst Andrew J Neff of Bear Stearns has reiterated his "outperform" rating on Apple stock and raised his target on Apple's stock price from $50 to $58, according to NewRatings.com: "In a research note published on September 23, the analyst mentions that the company is witnessing robust demand for its iPod nano and iBook products. The sequential CPU unit growth estimates for 3Q and 4Q may prove conservative, since Apple Computer is gaining share in the PC market, the analyst says. According to Bear Stearns, the target price has been revised to reflect a shift in the base year from 2005 to 2006."
Apple's FileMaker division today began shipping FileMaker Server 8, its high-performance database server software for up to 250 users and 125 FileMaker Pro database files. The new server software features an improved database engine designed to make searching, adding, deleting and editing data significantly faster than the previous versions--up to 89 percent faster in benchmark tests reported by the company. FileMaker Server 8 also offers automatic consistency checking on all hosted files for increased data reliability; increased reliability, error capture, event logging and better diagnostics insuring the integrity of files, and support for both FileMaker 7/8 clients. FileMaker Server 8 is available for $1000 for a full version. Upgrades are $300 (from FMS 7) or $600 (FMS 5/6).
The BBC has been forced to edit an Apple logo out of an episode of its spy series 'Spooks', as the corporation launches an investigation into allegations of product placement in its programmes, according to BrandRepublic. "An investigation by the Sunday Times alleges that the practice of product placement is widespread, despite being in contravention of broadcasting guidelines. The BBC has launched its own investigation and has now admitted it was forced to edit last week's BBC One episode of 'Spooks'. In the episode the Fiona Carter character, played by Olga Sosnovska, is seen using an Apple computer, with the bright logo clearly seen in preview tapes and when aired on BBC Three two weeks ago. However, when shown last week on BBC One, the Apple logo was removed. Under BBC guidelines the corporation is forbidden from guaranteeing the appearance of a product. In addition, products can only be used to guarantee realism."
The iPod and iTunes were awarded top honors at design event INDEX:. "iPod together with Apple‚s iTunes software is truly changing the way people experience their music," the group explains. "With the introduction of iPod and iTunes, Apple offers a solution that pleases artists, media distributors and customers. It has been an instant and huge hit worldwide, a true cultural phenomenon An iPod is as essential a personal life accessory today as one’s cell phone. Wearing your iPod is globally symbolic of youth-culture lifestyle." INDEX: is a world event for design and innovation set to take place every four years in Copenhagen. The international INDEX: jury selected the five designs that they view to have improved life within the last five years in the following five categories: body, home, work, play and community. The iPod was honored as most innovative in the "Play" category.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k
Google prevails in UK street mapping case
Possibly setting the stage for other court battles in the UK, a High Court fight between Google and StreetMap.EU has concluded in Google's favor. StreetMap.EU claimed that Google's dominance in the field destroyed the 20-year-old firm's business, when Google started promoting its own service in search results over the older company's -- the judge disagreed. Commercial director Kate Sutton said after the judgment that "StreetMap has been frozen in time; because of what Google did, StreetMap has not been able to properly invest in the website since 2007." An appeal is planned. http://bloom.bg/1KKhECt