A California Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's decision and protected Mac websites and magazines from Apple's subpoenas until it showed cause. The subpoenas, which were an effort by the Cupertino-based company to uncover the person who leaked information about an unannounced product called Asteroid, were the center of much media attention, as the company tried to compel the bloggers and journalists to unveil their confidential sources. Ruling against Apple, the Court sided with the EFF, along with several other traditional publications, saying that bloggers and online journalists should be afforded the same Constitutional and state law protections as traditional journalists as well as ruled that Apple could not subpoena information from a journalist's internet service provider (ISP).
Apple is offering refurbished Power Mac G5 Dual/Quad systems, as well as refurbished Intel Mac minis. Power Mac G5 systems include the Dual 2.3GHz with a 16X SuperDrive, 250GB SATA hard drive, and an ATI Radeon 9600 graphics card for $1,999, a 21 percent savings off the original retail price; the Dual 2.5GHz with an 8X SuperDrive, 160GB SATA hard drive, and an ATI Radeon 9600 XT graphics card for $2,049, a 32 percent discount; the Dual 2.3GHz with a 16X SuperDrive, 250GB SATA hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce 6600 graphics card for $2,149, 15 percent off; and the Quad 2.5GHz with a 16X SuperDrive, 250GB SATA hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce 6600 graphics card for $2,799, a 16 percent savings. Apple's refurb Intel Mac minis include the 1.5GHz Intel Core Solo with an 80GB SATA hard drive for $519, 14 percent off the original price; the 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo with an 80GB SATA hard drive and 512MB of DDR2 memory for $699, a 13 percent savings; and the 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo with a 100GB SATA hard drive and 1GB of DDR2 memory for $849, an 11 percent savings off Apple's original retail price.
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have constructed the "HIPerWall," a grid-based display built using 50 30-inch Apple Cinema Displays and 25 Power Mac G5 computers. A team at the University of California, Irvine's Center of Graphics, Visualization, and Imaging Technology (GRAVITY) constructed the display system to allow researches to view and manipulate data sets at extremely high resolutions, and to collaborate with other scientists in new ways. The 30-inch Apple Cinema Display's resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels (4 megapixels), narrow bezel relative to the viewable screen area, and built-in color calibration made it the optimal display for the needs of the team. Combining 50 displays yielded a total display resolution of 200 megapixels, breaking the previous world record of 100-megapixels by doubling it.
ScotteVest (SeV) today unveiled the SeV Performance T-Shirt, its new line of shirts that combine the company's patented system of Technology Enabled Clothing with performance fabric. The shirts allow users to carry and use an iPod while guarding against moisture. The SeV Performance T-Shirt incorporates a patented "Personal Area Network" and "Weight Management System," allowing a specially designed pocket to hold most commonly used devices without affecting the neckline. The pocket is lined with special fabric that helps hold its shape and prevent chafing, while a hidden loop manages earbud wires. The long and short sleeve shirts -- currently available in black with more colors planned -- are made from 3M Quick Dry, a material designed to draw moisture away from the body. The short sleeve SeV Performance T-Shirt is priced at $30, while the long sleeve version retails for $35. The new shirts are scheduled to ship June 1st.
Apple today released iWeb 1.1.1 to resolve issues related to publishing sites its .Mac service. iWeb, Apple's new application to easily create Web pages, was introduced in January and released as part of its iLife suite, which is bundled on all new Macs and available separately for $79. The free update, 95.2MB, is available via the Software Update.
Business 2.0 has listed the 100 fastest-growing tech companies for 2006, with Apple scoring third just behind Red Hat and Celgene. Apple saw 35.4 percent revenue growth (three-year annualized) and returned 123 percent to investors. The state of California is home to the most companies on this year's list, such as SanDisk, which ranked no. 4 following just behind Apple. Last year Apple ranked no. 16 in the top 100, with 14.1 percent growth revenue and a 208.2 percent stock return. Motorola seized the no. 84 spot, while Adobe was found to be the 91st fastest growing tech company. Synaptics, which provided Apple with the "clickwheel" for its popular iPod digital media player, placed no. 95 on the list.
In brief: MacNN has reviewed the Thirsty and the Winkler cushioned bags ($12-15) from Crumpler Bags.... DivX has made DivX for Mac 6.5 available for download via its website.... Graphicxras.com has released an update to "Zoomlines," a plug-in for dynamic focus lines, manga comic illustration, and designs that serves as a packaging tool.... Big Nerd Ranch Europe has announced PHP 5 Bootcamp, a five-day intensive class at Kloster Eberbach near Frankfurt, Germany, August 14-18th.... Coderus has released MacDX, a software development kit allowing developers to create Universal binary applications.... Feast of Fools, a gay and lesbian-themed podcast, is set to kick off Gay Pride Month with a live recording of its program at the Chicago Apple Store, 679 N. Michigan Ave., Saturday, May 27th from 7-8 p.m.... Allsop is offering a new waterproof case for Apple's iPod called "The Splash Pack," enabling users to submerge the device up to three meters underwater.
FastMac today began shipping its TruePower laptop batteries for all models of Apple's PowerBook G4 Aluminum. The new TruePower batteries offer up to 21 percent more capacity than Apple's original, and are engineered using high capacity Lithium cells. FastMac utilizes custom form factors and materials to match the original battery while increasing capacity, and each battery is individually tested. TruePower batteries include safety features to protect against overcharge, short circuit, and power surges. All TruePower batteries come with a one-year warranty, and are priced from $100.
MaxUpgrades today began shipping its iProtect Micro Screen Protector for Apple's 13-inch MacBook, as well as MaxProtect II for the 17-inch MacBook Pro (shown at right with PowerBook), its impact-resistant rigid case. The iProtect Micro Screen Protector provides protection against dust, scratches, grease, and oil that gradually get deposited on the laptop keyboard and the palm rest area by every day use. MaxProtect II is an impact resistant rigid case designed to offer maximum protection against shock and impact by restricting the movement of the laptop via a fit cushioned interior space. The velvet interior prevents scratching, and the case allows usage of the notebook without removing it. The iProtect Micro Screen Protector is priced at $9, while the MaxProtect II for 17-inch MacBook Pro costs $40.
Many engaged couples are turning to iPods and other portable music players as an alternative to hiring disc jockeys or bands at their wedding receptions, according to a new report. "Many of our brides and grooms are catching on to this trend," Kathleen Murray said, senior editor for online wedding publisher TheKnot.com. "A lot of it has to do [with] the costs of weddings are increasing these days... For some, music may not be as important to spend the huge budget on as flowers or food." Weddings in the U.S. on average cost $25,000, but the total tab can be triple that amount in urban areas, according to MarketWatch. "It also gives them the chance to put their own personal spin on it," Murray said. "They can have so much fun putting together the ultimate play list, getting suggestions from friends and family members."
Aspyr Media today released the final system requirements for Sid Meier's Civilization IV for Mac. The game features multiplayer support over LAN, the internet, and "Play-By-Email" for competing or cooperating with live players. A 3D world brings dozens of fully animated units and customizable armies, as well as cities and wonders. Key features of Civilization IV include fast-paced game play for a more streamlined experience, greater accessibility via an easy-to-use interface, a flexible tech tree allowing players more strategic choices for developing civilizations through unique paths, and more. Designed from the ground up for "modability," the game includes a powerful map editor with XML and Python support. Civilization IV is slated for shipment in June for $50, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later with a PowerPC G5/Intel 1.8GHz or faster system and a Radeon 9600 or GeForce FX 5200 video card.
Aspyr Media today announced that Call of Duty 2 has arrived in stores in North America for Mac. 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 features snow, rain, fog, and smoke, combined with dynamic lighting and shadows to create realistic effects. Call of Duty 2 is available for $50, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
PC Magazine has reviewed the 17-inch MacBook Pro, bestowing a "very good" rating on Apple's professional laptop offering. "Apple's new MacBook Pro is ideal for creative professionals looking for a feature-rich system with plenty of screen real estate." The reviewer notes that Apple's notebook is the lightest 17-inch laptop currently available, and points to very good performance running Windows as well as Mac OS. Other pros include an "excellent software suite," the extra USB port, and the iSight camera. Cons consist of the notebook running "a bit hot," coupled with a high price tag. For creative professionals the move to the MacBook Pro 17-inch is "a no-brainer, even at $3,099."
Apple CEO Steve Jobs, inventor of the great glass cube resting atop the company's latest retail store on Fifth Avenue in New York, recently spoke about innovation in an interview. MSNBC's Brian Williams asked Jobs if the glass cube is his "Model T" or his space program. "This is the best store we've ever built, and I think that it's the state-of-the-art that we know how to do," Jobs said. "Like, the cube is [an] extremely state-of-the-art use of glass. You know, there's hardly any metal holding it up. It's glass fins holding up glass." When asked where he fits in the American family of thinkers and inventors, Jobs said he doesn't really think that way. Prompted again, the CEO revealed his outlook on innovation. "Well, I'm a private person. I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what's next."
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R