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: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
French Google tax raid evaluation could take years
The data retrieved from the Paris raid on Google's headquarters by French police could take months or even years to analyze, according to a prosecutor assigned to the case. Authorities seized dozens of files and related data that recorded Google's financial transactions in the country with a view to lodging a claim for unpaid taxes by the Internet search giant. Although Google has denied any wrongdoing, it must complete all of its sales contracts in Ireland, where it is incorporated. If French authorities sifting through the documents seized in the raids discover that any of its French sales transactions were completed locally, it could be subject to further action, including fines. http://reut.rs/1P0n8G2
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]