The US Patent and Trademark Office today published six Apple patents, five of which revolve around the Apple + Nike initiative, and the sixth being related to optical media. Apple is looking to create an adapter to use with 8cm optical discs, so that they function inside of the 12cm-formatted drive slots that occupy most of the Cupertino-based company's computers. Two models appear in the patents, one that snaps together out of separate pieces, while another relies on a telescopic motion to close the adapter around the disk.
Turdhead.com has released an update to its Stacks-improving application, AutoStacks 0.2, allowing users to define whether or not they want to move the original file when creating a stack, or simply create an alias for it. Many users were under the impression that Leopard's Stacks would be able to take a group of random files and create a single dock icon from them, when in reality Stacks is just a different way for Leopard to produce the same effect that was present in prior versions of Mac OS X.
Vizio recently announced that it is running a sale on some of its HDTVs in North America on Black Friday, offering discounts of up to $300 on select models. Costco will be selling the VP50, a 50-inch plasma HDTV, for $999, while the
Boinx Software recently announced that all of its products Ė iStopMotion, Fotomagico, Mouseposť, and iVeZeen Ė†are all compatible with Leopard, while offering a new version of iStopMotion. The update to iStopMotion 2.1 introduces improved Leopard integration, and some new video input features. Users can now use Firewire HD cameras with iStopMotion, but it can be a costly process due to the requirement of Final Cut Studio, since the MPEG2 format carries several licensing issues. If the camera has an HDMI connection, it can be used without requiring Final Cut. iStopMotion can now use multiple video sources, allowing users to cover multiple camera angles without needing to re-film the scene. iStopMotion is available in three tiers: Home ($50), Express ($100), and Pro ($500), all of which are available now through Boinx' web site.
MacMall and onSale.com are currently having a 48-hour Thanksgiving sale, advertising discounts of up to 22-percent on Apple products. The online retailer is offering mail-in rebates and instant savings on product, along with several bundles specific to each item. MacMall is selling the low-end MacBook for $1019 after rebate, including free shipping, a copy of Parallels Desktop 3.0, a carrying case, an Epson or HP all-in-one printer, and Leopard. Apple's high-end 24-inch 2.8GHz iMac is available with a similar bundle (sans carrying case) for $2099 after rebate, while the 8GB iPod touch comes with a free FM transmitter, case and engraving, for $269.99.
Apple had a strong third quarter this year with the iPhone, shipping over 1.12 million iPhones in the US, while industry analysts are predicting the company will see an increase of one-percent in global laptop market share. According to Alley Insider, Apple seized 27-percent of the smartphone market in its third fiscal quarter, or 1.12 million out of 4.2 million units sold. Demand for smartphones has tripled since last year, with smartphones making up 11-percent of a total 38 million cell phones sold, with the previous year showing 1.5 million smartphones out of 36.5 million phones sold (4%).
Apple may extend the multi-touch technology found in its iPhone and iPod touch to larger displays by implementing new inventions which allow users to use different parts of their hand as well as use different presses to trigger certain actions, according to three patent filings published today. Comprising a patent for a sensor arrangement that addresses different parts of the hand as well as accompanying patents for conductors and sensors, the development relies on an array of improved capacitive sensors that can not only detect the proximity of hand contact but also determine which part of the hand is in use by the surface area. The system is also sensitive to pressure across multiple areas, Apple says.
The One Laptop Per Child project today extended its Give 1, Get 1 program until the end of the year, giving individual buyers in Canada and the US an extra month to participate in the program that would otherwise end on November 26th. The surprise move is based on strong initial results which show clear support for the deal, which for $400 provides one of the low-cost, rugged XO notebooks to its North American buyer and and a second to a developing-world country such as Afghanistan or Haiti. Adding the extension also gives groups interested in coordinating mass donations a chance to participate, says the OLPC teams's chairman, Nicholas Negroponte.
Apple and Burst.com on Wednesday settled their patent dispute for $10 million dollars. The agreement ends almost 2 years of litigation and offers Burst a one-time payment of $10 million cash in exchange for a non-exclusive license to its patent portfolio -- not including one issued U.S. patent and 3 pending U.S. patent applications related to new DVR technology. A similar claim -- over a technologies used in Windows Media Player's transmission of music and video -- was settled in 2005 with Microsoft for $60 million.
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