Apple is offering its refurbished 14-inch G4 1.42GHz SuperDrive iBook for $1,049, a 20 percent savings, as well as the 17-inch eMac 1.42GHz Combo Drive for $639, 21 percent off the original price. The company is selling a wide array of refurbished iMacs that includes the 17-inch G5 1.6GHz 256MB 80GB Combo for $749, 43 percent off the new $1,299 price tag, the 17-inch G5 1.8GHz 256MB 80GB SuperDrive for $799, 47 percent less than the original $1,499, the 17-inch G5 1.9GHz SuperDrive for $999, a $300 savings, the 17-inch Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz for $1,099, $200 less than the list price, the 20-inch G5 1.8GHz 256MB 160GB SuperDrive for $1,099, a 43 percent savings on the original $1,899, the 20-inch G5 2GHz SuperDrive for $1,249, $550 less than retail, and the 20-inch 2GHz Intel Core Duo for $1,399, 18 percent less than the original $1,699. All refurbished items come with free shipping, and are backed by Apple's one-year limited warranty.
In brief: One company appears to be selling iPod accessory clones that resemble name brand products, such as Apple's own iPod Hi-Fi.... Some teachers in Scotland say children should be banned from bringing iPods and hand-held computer games to school because they cause too much disruption.... ABC today reported that over 3 million viewers have watched its television shows since it launched the service just two weeks ago.... Two hip-hop radio stations, Power 106 KPWR-FM, Los Angeles, and HOT 97 WQHT-FM, New York, have integrated the iTunes Music Store into their websites.... Bare Bones Software today confirmed the engagement of CEO Rich Siegel and Kerri Hicks.... Take Control today unveiled "Take Control of Fonts in Mac OS X," as well as its 120-page companion volume, "Take Control of Font Problems in Mac OS X."
Goldfish 1.2 ($35) is software designed to create websites in a few simple steps. Users can drag items for a website onto a freshly created Goldfish template, and the application includes numerous pre-made templates. Designers choose properties for items on the page and add content using text, links, and pictures. [Download - 6.7MB] Knox 1.1 ($30) updates the universal data security solution for the Mac, adding a new Spotlight Control feature that allows users to control the search criteria for encrypted files. Knox 1.1 includes integration with Path Finder, and extends the 30 day trial. [Download - 1.9MB] HoudahSpot 1.1 ($15) adds French localization to the file search tool based on Apple's Spotlight technology. The update allows users to copy, move, or open files from the result list via drag-and-drop. Version 1.1 also supports finding content by type, as well as various bug fixes. [Download - 1MB] DiskTester 2.0 ($22) is designed to test disk performance, and is specifically geared toward RAID setups. The utility performs internal testing on hardware by several manufacturers of RAID and SATA cards to view performance statistics. DiskTester can also test digital camera storage cards and network drives. OnyX 1.7.0 (free) allows users to run miscellaneous system maintenance tasks. The application supports configuration of various hidden parameters of the Finder, Dock, Safari, Dashboard, Expose, Disk Utility, and others. OnyX 1.7.0 natively supports Intel Macs as a Universal Binary. [Download - 6.6MB] PreMaster CD ($800, on sale for $500) is a hostĖbased premastering application that opens AIFF, WAV, BWF and SD2 stereo files. The software edits, sequences, and provides essential PQ support. PreMaster CD features Sonic Studio's NGC user interface, allowing any Mac OS X 10.4.3 system to open, play back, edit, and adjust gain of audio files. [Download - [form]]
James Associates today released MacGPS Pro 6.4, a new Universal version of its software that connects GPS receivers and Macs. It works with Garmin and Magellan GPS receivers for transferring Waypoints, Routes, Tracklogs, and GPS satellite Almanacs. It works with many brands of GPS receivers for a realtime display of GPS information on a moving map. As a Universal Binary, Version 6.4 gives Intel-Mac users full native performance. It also adds several geodetic datums to complete Universal coverage for any spot on the globe. The software, which requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later, is available for $50 ($10 extra on CDROM).
Phelios today released its latest game entitled "Kickin' Soccer" developed for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary. Kickin' Soccer is a fast-paced arcade soccer game set in an athletic backdrop of a soccer stadium filled with enthusiastic fans. Players can dribble the opponent players, slide into their defenses with quick and accurate passing, score with shots from a distance, or use crosses and try to head the ball in the back of the net. The game features one-player arcade mode, one-player cup mode, and two-player friendly match mode. Kickin' Soccer is priced at $10, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Maki Enterprise today released Kids GoGoGo 10.3, an update to the parental control application that can block both RSS feeds and websites. KidsGoGoGo 10.3 introduces monitoring and archiving of instant messengers such as iChat, AIM, and MSN. The update offers the ability to disable filtration for the administrator while adding support for Camino, Sea Monkey, and Flock browsers. The software improves restrictions on applications, enhances the "check history" feature, offers better network throughput, and includes filtering options for multilingual sites in addition to unwanted Blog sites. Kids GoGoGo 10.3 is priced at $30, and requires Mac OS 8.6 or Mac OS X 10.2.8.
Aspyr Media today declared Call of Duty 2 for Mac gold master. Developed by Infinity Ward, Call of Duty 2 attempts to re-define the cinematic intensity and chaos of battle as seen through the eyes of ordinary soldiers fighting together in epic WWII conflicts. The first person action game features enhanced graphics, a new engine, improved artificial intelligence, and choice-based innovations that simulate real warfare. The game feature snow, rain, fog, and smoke, combined with dynamic lighting and shadows to create realistic effects. Call of Duty 2 is priced at $50, requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is scheduled to begin shipping over the next few days.
Some teachers in Scotland say children should be banned from bringing iPods and hand-held computer games to school because they cause too much disruption. The NASUWT annual conference in Peebles heard that children using gadgets in the classroom created a persistent problem of low-level indiscipline, according to The Herald. "No-one needs games or musical gadgets," said Bill Cook, president in Scotland. "Rather than spending money on an iPod or a make-up bag for their children, parents would do better to give them a pencil case." The union wants local authorities to back headteachers who ban students from carrying iPods, mobile phones, and other devices, and wants the Scottish Executive to mount an advertising campaign warning parents not to send their children to school with electronic gadgets.
Foof has announced its fabric sleeves for 13-inch MacBooks as well as 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros. The sleeves are hand-made in Australia and use unique fabrics designed to offer style, as well as "in bag" protection to guard the laptop from dust and scratching. Sleeve fabrics include Acrylic tuft, Corduroy, Faux Fur, and in late June 100 percent Wool Irish Tweed. Foof styles include "blue split," "hot pink," "red fire engine," "kind of blue," "I ate the giraffe," "purple people eater," "inverted urchin," "flaming madness," "I've been fleeced," "bluebone," and "blueherring." The foof sleeves are priced from $36-42, with "bluebone" and "blueherring" slated for shipment in mid-June.
Boinx FotoMagico 1.6 is the latest version of the company's presentation tool for photographers. The slideshow creation tool for Mac OS X adds ColorSync, which ensures that the photos stay the color they were meant to be" as well as adds new transitions and improves export. The new transitions "Shuffle" and "Topple" complement the 12 other transitions that work at the full resolution (including pan, zoom and rotation). "I've always considered ColorSync to be one of the great things on the Mac platform," says Peter Baumgartner, lead developer of FotoMagico. "The Apple technology makes sure that colors look the same across a wide range of output devices. To achieve this, pictures have a profile of the color properties of the camera or scanner embedded with which the picture was taken." A five day demo of the $80 Universal application is available online.
In brief: Ars Technica has reviewed the new 13-inch MacBook, comparing the notebook to other Power Mac and Intel-based Apple systems.... Dell announced that it will begin using AMD processors in its computer systems, veering away from its long-time exclusive relationship with Intel.... MacBUS today announced the 2006 winners of the "MacBUS Student Award" scholarship program.... Advanced Computer Innovations has expanded its "instant online conversion" service, adding support for Microsoft Office 2003 XML as well as several other new file formats.... iProng will be showing off a new black MacBook this Friday and Saturday at the MacGathering in Southern California.
Parallels has released a final candidate of its virtualization solution specifically designed to work with Intel-powered Macs. Parallels Workstation for Mac RC allows users the ability to use Windows, Linux and any other operating system at the same time as Mac OS X--either in a separate Window or full-screen. It supports any version of Windows (3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, Me, 2000, NT, XP, 2003), any Linux distribution, FreeBSD, Solaris, OS/2, eComStation, or MS-DOS in secure virtual machines running alongside Mac OS X. The company says the latest release candidate offers a new look and feel, improved performance and stability, better and broader USB support, an improved Shared Folder tool, better networking in virtual machines, better sound support, improved fullscreen mode, resolved Suspend/Resume issues, a new uninstaller introduced, and more. The $50 application, which requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.4.4, is available for $40 during the beta period.
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,¬†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
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