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The man behind "Bring Back Steve Jobs" flyers at last week's Macworld Expo says the stunt was not meant as a slam against Apple. Gleb Budman and his colleagues were told by Apple representatives to stop handing out flyers to Expo attendees lined up for Apple's keynote on Tuesday morning. Budman says the message was meant as a "compliment" to Steve Jobs -- and a plea for Apple to reverse its decision to abandon the Expo after this year.
Apple has announced a discount upgrade program for iLife '09 that is available to certain Mac purchasers. The promotion is designed to satisfy owners that receive computers bundled with the older version of iLife. The company will allow any customer that purchases a Mac between January 6th, 2009 to March 28 to upgrade to the latest software for $10. The systems must have been obtained from an Apple Store or an authorized reseller, and the program is still valid with certified refurbished products.
REAL Software, the producer of the REALbasic development platform, has announced plans to release updated server software in February. REAL Server 2009 is said to have been overhauled with an event-based asynchronous architecture, and now uses Multi-Version Concurrency Control, which is said to improve both concurrency and scalability. The latter aspect has been improved throughout the program, in theory allowing over 10,000 concurrent connections.
Only one real story came out of yesterday's keynote speech by Phil Schiller, write analysts with Needham & Co. Despite the announcement of new versions of iLife and iWork, as well as a 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro, the most important revelation is said to be the switch to DRM-free music and variable pricing at iTunes. Even this may have minimal impact, Needham suggests.
Using Macworld as a jumping point, Microsoft has announced two new pieces of Mac software. The first is the Document Collaboration Companion, a Cocoa-based tool which should simplify uploading and downloading to Office Live Workspaces as well as SharePoint-based collaboration utilities. Users will be able to check documents in and out, cache them offline, and access services such as a Document Library plus the SharePoint and Office Live Workspaces. A private beta is expected to become available in February, followed by a final release later this year.
In concluding its Macworld 2009 keynote, Apple has confirmed a switch to a variable pricing model for iTunes music, where previously the company charged a flat 99 cents per track. Beginning in April the company will offer three tiers of pricing: 69 cents, 99 cents and finally $1.29, with a greater proportion of tracks falling under the bottom tier than the top; all tracks aged less than six years should remain at 99 cents. The scheme is said to be attributable to flexibility demands from record companies.
Complementing its iLife '09 debut, Apple has announced iWork '09, an upgraded productivity suite. The suite's presentation app, Keynote '09, has been enhanced with a new Magic Move feature, which lets users pick the start- and endpoints of objects, and in turn generate transitions automatically; some new transitions include text types such as swings and shimmering, and chart types like slides and rotations. New themes have been added, and users can now manage Keynote presentations from an iPhone or iPod touch. The Keynote Remote app is selling for 99 cents at the App Store.
In opening up its Macworld 2009 keynote, Apple today revealed iLife '09, an update to its core application package for Macs. Changes to the suite begin with iPhoto '09, whose new Faces feature lets users sort images by the people. After running face detection, the app lets users assign names to each of the people involved, and sort photo collections accordingly. Places, meanwhile, now lets users filter photos through geotagging, and can pull information directly from cameras such as Nikon's Coolpix series or that of the iPhone. Smart albums can be generated to include particular people and locations.
Western Digital has launched two new external hard drives, oriented specifically at Mac users: the My Passport for Mac and My Book Mac Edition. Though only supporting USB 2.0 and not FireWire, the drives are pre-formatted for Macs and advertised as supporting Time Machine as well as other Mac backup software. The My Passport is a general-purpose portable drive, set inside a shock-resistant enclosure; 320 and 500GB versions are available.
A software developer has, intentionally or not, fueled speculation that Tuesday's Apple keynote speech will see the announcement of an updated Mac mini. In promoting v4.6 of its namesake digital asset management (DAM) system, it describes "new Mac mini hardware" as being supported, with the option of bundling the two products together in a server bundle. In operating as a server, the otherwise unidentified Mini would be equipped with 1TB of storage.
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CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6