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Apple chooses Cupertino
Apple this week revealed that it has new plans to build a near 50-acre campus in its hometown of Cupertino, California, despite having to pay much more to do so. Apple CEO Steve Jobs told Cupertino City Council members that the company had searched for other Bay Area-locations due to lack of commercial space in Cupertino, but finally found a solution that would allow the company to stay in its hometown of nearly 30 years. Despite other less expensive options, the company was able to locate and purchase several different properties, which when combined would give them nearly 50-acres to build a new campus. Jobs said that Apple had already acquired the properties; however, it had not started any plans, but hoped to do so in the next few months. Apple hopes to have the campus constructed within 3-4 years, according to Jobs' presentation.
Galactica Anno Dominari 3
Monkey Byte Development today released Galactica Anno Dominari 3: "Fog of War," a game of galactic colonization and warfare. Players use superior technology and great fleets of starships to re-unite the surviving factions of the once great human empire. Version 3 includes the new "Fog of War" feature, as well as a new and improved "Matchmaker." The update also offers user interface enhancements, new Scout artificial intelligence, an autosave feature for multiplayer games, and improved Web integration. Game play in Galactica entails building starships to colonize the galaxy, protect your territory, and defeat the other players in combat. Galactica Anno Dominari 3: "Fog of War" is available for $30, and requires Mac OS X 10.0 or later.
\"Baby Boomer\" unveiled
Altec Lansing today unveiled its BB2001 powered subwoofer, designed to deliver bass when connected to select Altec Lansing digital home audio and on-the-go/versatile lifestyle speakers. The BB2001, which Altec Lansing calls the "Baby Boomer," is a stand-alone AC-powered subwoofer that works with the company's inMotion and XT-series speakers that have a subwoofer out connection. The BB2001 has a 4-inch front-firing driver and a ported cabinet. The BB2001's white and grey streamline cabinet offers a compact design that requires minimal space, and ships with a silver grille; Altec Lansing's signature, blue-power indicator light; power switch; and volume controls. The BB2001 is priced at $50.
Kimono iPod cases
MacWay today began offering Kimono cases by Miyavix, enclosures for various iPod models that are hand made in Kyoto, Japan. The cases are made from kimono fabric, and are available in a variety of colors. Areas of the case surrounding the screen, clickwheel (when applicable), and ports are finished in leather and offer unhindered functional access. Kimono cases come in various styles and fit fifth- (€45, "violet" style shown at right) and fourth-generation (€40) iPods, iPod nano (€40), iPod mini (€40), and iPod shuffle (€40) models. Each case is unique in design, and ships with a metal ring that can be attached to a bag, belt, keychain, or lanyard.
Symantec has issued a bulletin regarding a local privilege escalation vulnerability in LiveUpdate for Macintosh. The company has released a patch to address the vulnerability, which is available via LiveUpdate. Risk impact is rated at "medium," with no known exploits publicly available. "Some components of Symantec's LiveUpdate for Macintosh do not set their execution path environment. A non-privileged user can change their execution path environment. If the user then executes one of these components, it will inherit the changed environment and use it to locate system commands. These components are configured to run with System Administrative privileges (SUID) and are vulnerable to a potential Trojan horse attack," Symantec wrote.
Apple posts $410m profit
Apple today announced revenue of $4.36 billion and a net quarterly profit of $410 million, or $.47 per diluted share, beating analyst estimates for net profit ($0.42) but falling short of the Street's revenue estimates ($4.52 billion). The March quarter results compare to revenue of $3.24 billion and a net profit of $290 million, or $.34 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 29.8 percent, equivalent to the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 43 percent of the quarter's revenue. Apple shipped 1,112,000 Macs and 8,526,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 4 percent growth in Macs and 61 percent growth in iPods over the year-ago quarter.
OSU to offer podcasts
Oregon State University is close to inking a deal with Apple that would allow the university to use podcasts to disperse lectures and other material. The OSU website is already home to numerous audio and video files posted by varying departments, but the system is confusing and all of the pieces are spread throughout the site, according to The Daily Barometer online. "Our biggest [problem] is finding a way to manage all of that information," said John Greydanus, director of Outreach and media services. "We have been doing this for years, we now have a different method of dispersing information," the director added. Using Apple's iTunes service, all OSU podcasts will be comprehensively listed on the same Apple-hosted website, accessible through iTunes. In a similar move, Stanford University late last year began offering podcasts of faculty lectures, music recorded by Stanford students, and school football games via iTunes U.
Apple plans new campus
Apple is planning to build a new 50-acre campus near its present headquarters in Cupertino, California, according to Reuters report. "What's happened at Apple is that our business has basically tripled in the last five or six years," Jobs said on Tuesday evening at a Cupertino city council meeting. "[Apple] has gone from $6 billion in sales to $20 billion in sales, basically." The new campus, which will take 3-4 years to design and build, will accommodate between 3,000 to 3,500 employees. The company plans on razing the buildings now on the property which is located about one mile away. Jobs addressed the Cupertino City Council members on Tuesday, April 18: "We're pretty thrilled," Jobs told the city council members. "Since we're your largest taxpayer, I thought you might be happy for us."
ARD 3 reviewed
ComputerWorld has reviewed Apple Remote Desktop 3, an update to the desktop management software that natively supports Intel Macs. ARD 3 leverages improvements in Mac OS X 10.4 to offer various features, such as remote Spotlight searching. The new version also includes a Remote Desktop Widget, allowing administrators to monitor the standard view of machines via the Dashboard, rather than launching the entire application. The latest revision significantly enhances the software distribution system, according to ComputerWorld, and requires users to spend less time completing tasks or performing network copy operations. The new "Task Server" enables scheduled tasks and load to be distributed as needed, and is said to be the most significant improvement over the previous version of ARD. Updates are automatically delivered to remote users' machines as they log into the system, following the order scheduled by the administrator and conforming to bandwidth restrictions.
MacPractice today began offering enhanced data migration services for its MacPractice MD, MacPractice DDS, and MacPractice DC software. The new services offer MediMac, DentalMac, and ChiroMac users several new choices regarding what data can be migrated by MacPractice off site. MacPractice is a practice management solution for medical doctors (MD), dentists (DDS), and chiropractors (DC). A Basic demographic data migration to MacPractice is available for $500, while MacPractice account numbers can be made to match the MacHealth numbers for a total migration fee of $800. MacHealth users may also choose to migrate their scheduling column resources and patient appointments or transactions (viewable not editable) for an additional $300. A full migration including both appointments and transactions is priced at $1400.
New Detroit Apple store
The Mall at Partridge Creek on Hall Road in Clinton Township today announced a lineup of tenants, revealing that Apple is planning to open another retail location amongst Nordstrom and other outlets. The mall, which is scheduled to open in October of 2007, will boast 90 stores and restaurants, according to the Detroit Free Press. Apple in early April opened its eighth store in Southlake, Texas, following the opening of its Summit Sierra store at 13925 S. Virginia St. Space #220 in Reno, Nevada in mid-March. The company also recently began hosting School nights at its retail locations, offering students an opportunity to view the projects their peers have created with Apple technology.
Apple warns of fake iPods
Apple last month began notifying service partners that some companies are illegally manufacturing digital music players which appear remarkably similar to its own various iPod models, and are attempting to sell them to unsuspecting buyers. The iPod nano and iPod shuffle seem to be the most commonly counterfeited iPods, both of which lack a dock connector and utilize nonstandard headphone jacks. Some of the fake products are even stamped with a valid Apple serial number, with several counterfeit models using the specific serial number "6U545TK2TJT." Apple said fake iPod nanos ship without the standard USB cable, and feature a slightly longer screen than the real Nanos. The imposter players run a different operating system, and have been known to include a Play/Pause symbol on the center select button, according to AppleInsider.
Strong second half
Piper Jaffray today maintained an "outperform" rating and a $103 price target on Apple shares, with benefits to arise from new Mac releases and new iPods heading into the second half of 2006. "Following the March quarter results report, we believe the Street will start to place more focus on the back half of calendar 2006," Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster wrote. The firm expects a new video iPod with a larger screen and a higher capacity Nano, coupled with tailwind from seasonality. Munster expects Apple to report in-line or slightly below Wall Street estimates -- which expect earnings of 43 cents per share on revenue of $4.54 billion, according to a report from Forbes.com. Apple is set to hold a conference call today to discuss the financial results of its second quarter, and is offering live coverage via its website.
Balloonist 1.0 ($30) is a word balloon editor and panel layout application for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows. Balloonist is designed to instantly fit panels to a page, negating the need for rulers and lettering guides. Users can add balloons, starbursts, narrations, and images which can be dynamically moved or resized while maintaining text alignment.
[Download - [user agreement]]
Zimbra Collaboration Suite 3.1 (pricing varies) updates the collaboration and messaging software, adding a new module in the administrator interface for improved management of message queues and storage. The latest version offers advanced Resource scheduling capabilities, the first public beta of "Zimbra Mobile," and general availability of the ZCS Connector for Outlook. ZCS 3.1 also provides a new "Mailbox Quota" view of users that can be sorted by total mailbox size or percentage of quota consumed. [Download - [form]]
SignalSuite 2.0.5 ($40) brings native support for Intel Macs to the real-time audio test signal generator. SignalSuite takes advantage of Mac OS X compatible audio output to turn a Mac into a dual-channel signal generator. The application generates numerous test signals, including white noise, pink noise, periodic signals, frequency sweeps, and others. The update is free for registered users of SignalSuite 2.0 or later.
EasyWMA 2.5 ($10) is a free upgrade for existing users of the audio conversion application. Version 2.5 allows users to convert wma, asf, and wmv audio files to mp3, m3a, or wave to be used in iTunes. The software offers a simple user interface, full drag-and-drop support, and can perform batch processing. The update also offers iTunes integration as well as preferences to choose the location where files are saved. [Download - 2.5MB]
iStopMotion 1.9.2 (DV version $40, HR version $350) updates the stop motion animation and time lapse solution. Version 1.9.2 can import of numerous image formats, including RAW images. The software can print flipbooks from animations, and is available natively for Intel Macs. [Download - 5.3MB]
NIB snubs Mac business
The National Irish Bank (NIB) upgraded its online banking service over the Easter weekend, leaving Mac business users to fend for themselves. A report from Mac Information notes that individual Mac users cannot access the new system without an "ActivCard" -- which the bank has not yet issued to customers -- even as the firm halted support for Mac business users. Small businesses and individuals in Ireland who relied on business banking via Macs as well as non-Internet Explorer Web browsers such as FireFox can no longer access their accounts through the old system, which has been shut down in favor of the new eBanking website. NIB technical requirements for eBanking list only Windows 98/2000/ME/XP or Windows NT, with Mac support nowhere to be found. The bank's online ordering service is currently non-operational and customers are being told to phone their local branch. Agents at the NIB customer service center in Denmark offered no information on how long it will be before bankers will receive their ActivCards, according to the report.
MacNN review, MacLive
In brief: MacNN has reviewed the Griffin EarThumps ($20, shown at right), a set of headphones designed for portable music players.... MacLive today announced two special events for attendees of the three-day conference to be held May 11-13th in New York.... MacDeveloper.net has launched a subscription service for software developers coupled with a free service for businesses or individuals looking to outsource projects to a pool of Mac developers.... Following the massive success of the Discreet Inferno visual effects system on Linux in Japan, Autodesk is planning to offer Discreet on Linux worldwide.... Some avid Mac users have discovered that Apple reportedly underclocks the MacBook Pro Radeon X1600 card to conserve battery life, running with 34 percent less core clock speed and 41 percent less memory clock speed.
Maxon debuts MoGraph
Maxon has introduced MoGraph, a new module for its flagship 3D animation tool Cinema 4D. Offering endless possibilities for creating spectacular effects using simple primitives, logos and text, MoGraph is described by the company as "the ideal solution for motion graphics artists ready to step into the third dimension." MoGraph adds another dimension to Cinema 4D's creative palette, by offering combinations and variations for creating broadcast graphics, bumpers, movie titles and trailers, or logo animations. Multipass layers and 3D elements can then be rendered and imported directly into Adobe After Effects, Autodesk Combustion, Apple Motion, Final Cut Pro, Shake and eyeon Fusion.
Personal Antispam X4
Intego today released Intego Personal Antispam X4, an update to its acclaimed intelligent antispam software. This powerful program works in conjunction with Apple's Mail and Microsoft's Entourage email clients to filter spam. Intego Personal Antispam X4, a Universal application, is "billed" as the first intelligent program for fighting spam and phishing e-mails. The company says the software learns from the e-mail users receive, and regular monthly updates to the program help keep their inbox as spam-free as possible. The program filters spam and phishing e-mails, protecting users from spam glut and scams using white lists (user contacts), Bayesian analysis, blacklists (spammer's addresses), and more. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later and is available now for $50.
ProVideoPlayer 1.0 release
Renewed Vision has released ProVideoPlayer, a multi-resolution dynamic video mixing system written exclusively for for Apple's Mac OS X. The software is designed for corporate event and tradeshow staging, concert events, or church and ministry environments; it manages entire video and audio clip libraries in a simple interface and plays back media with high-quality cross-dissolves, cross-fading audio, and customizable effects. The program is linkable across multiple computers, making multi-screen presentations easy, enabling one PC to act as a master computer for other slave computers. It features powerful realtime video playback effects that can be implemented globally, or on a per-clip basis as well as both Grid Mapping and Tiling features for multi-screen projection solutions. The application runs on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs and pricing starts at $500.
Color Finesse 2.1 plugin
Synthetic Aperture (booth SL5138G) today announced Color Finesse 2.1 plugin, an upgrade to its color correction software. This new version updates the Adobe After Effects-, Premiere Pro- and Apple Final Cut Pro-compatible plug-in with an enhanced interface and improved performance. In addition to the standard Color Finesse color correction user interface,the new version includes a simplified interface which is directlyaccessible in the host application. Other new features include the scrubbing of clips within the Color Finesse interface, realtime preview playback, import and export of color correction settings via the ASC CDL, the ability to store up to eight QuickGrades which can be recalled with a single keystroke, and over 500 color presets, including film looks and emulation of lighting gels. It features a reduced memory footprint and adds direct support for video previewing. Color Finesse 2.1 is $600 with upgrades from v1.x priced at $170.
Intel Mac firmware update
Apple yesterday released Intel Mac firmware updates as well as Bonjour 1.03 for Windows, In addition to the Java security update for Tiger. The v.101 Intel Mac firmware updates are available for the Mac mini, iMac Core Duo, and MacBook Pro. Apple says the new Intel-based Macs now run localized systems that use languages that read right to left. Apple also updated the Windows version of Bonjour 1.03, its zero-configuration networking protocol that enables automatic discovery of computers, devices, and services on IP networks. Bonjour uses industry standard IP protocols to allow devices to automatically discover each other without the need to enter IP addresses or configure DNS servers. Version 1.03 is recommended for all Bonjour users to improve usability and compatibility and also improves start up performance of Bonjour on Windows platforms, according to Apple.
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