Internal document with possible typo points to November 12
[Update: now confirmed, Retina iPad mini now available] Earlier on Monday, an internal memo on Apple's own GSX website for repair providers advised that the Retina iPad mini was to launch in seven countries on Tuesday, November 12. Shortly afterwards, online Apple Stores around the world went down for unspecified maintenance, leading many to think that the date may be correct.
Exchange ActiveSync issue flooded servers, system changes made
Microsoft has issued an apology for the three-day outage of Outlook.com and other online services, at the same time as explaining what caused the issue in the first place. A caching service that works with devices using Exchange ActiveSync caused the outage, with its failure and subsequent flood of traffic stopping access to Outlook, SkyDrive, and contacts list for some users.
Global outage affecting limited number of Outlook, SkyDrive users
A number of online services operated by Microsoft are not currently operating normally, according to reports. The company's Outlook, People, and the SkyDrive cloud storage service are suffering from an outage, preventing users from being able to see e-mails, make changes to contacts, nor to access their files stored online.
Black Friday Apple deals
A variety of great Black Friday deals on Apple products are currently being offered by a range of online merchants. Until 11/30/08 Newegg.com is offering the 4GB iPod nano -silver (model no. MA978LL/A) for $99.99, that's $49.01 off the original price of $149. Save an extra 10% on Apple computers at Gainsaver.com, prices start at $260. MacMall.com has reduced the price on the new 13.3-inch MacBook from $1229.99 to $1179.99. Until 11/30/08 Newegg.com is offering the 2.4GHz MacBook Pro (model no. MB133LL/A) for $1489. BestBuy.com is offering the first generation 32GB iPod touch for $349.99 which is $30 off the regular price of $379.99. Visit DealNN for more Black Friday deals.
Mac accounting coming
QuickBooks Online will soon be available for the Mac community and both Safari and Firefox support is expected, according to its development leader. In QuickBooks's community forum, Thai Bui, QuickBooks Online Product Development Leader, explains that development is progressing, as they work to port the small business online accounting service from Internet Explorer. "We are actively working on making our product compatible with other browsers (including Safari)." Internet Explorer's underpinnings differ from Safari and Firefox, Bui explained.
In brief: We have published a review of OmniFocus, Snapshot has been acquired by LateNiteSoft, Blizzard is giving away World of Warcraft expansion pack keys, a REALbasic survey is now online and Mission Repair offers flat-rate MacBook LCD replacement ... We have posted a review of OmniFocus, a task manager from The Omni Group in Seattle, WA. It is loosely based on the vaunted Getting Things Done (GTD) philosophy of David Allen, who holds the term's copyright. OmniFocus is not rigidly tied to the Getting Things Done approach, but strict GTD adherents can use it. This Tiger and Leopard compatible program has a simple and single purpose: To allow your computer to do the work of managing tasks -- from feeding the cat to making your first million.
O2 sells out online
After confirming last week that it would host early hours on July 11th as the iPhone 3G launches, O2 on Monday confirmed seeing "unprecedented" demand for the device, citing sales numbers for pre-orders through its website. Pocket-lint reveals that the UK wireless carrier offered customers who pre-registered through its website the chance to purchase the iPhone on its online store, and noted that, within hours, it had completely sold out of the stock set aside for those orders.
High-priced upgrades have long been a collective burden of shopping at the online Apple Store. A new article from CNET UK has a run-down of pricing comparisons, noting that Apple's direct upgrade prices are, on average, about 200% that of Dell's. For instance: Going from a 120GB 5,400rpm drive to a 250GB 5,400rpm drive for a MacBook will set you back £90.01 from the Apple configurator. Doing the same upgrade with a Dell XPS M1330 costs just £30.01 on the Dell site. Likewise, buying a MacBook and switching from 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 to 4GB will cost an extra £120 from Apple. Doing that same swap with the Dell XPS M1330 costs just £40.01.
Swing Academy comes to Mac
Swing Academy has brought its free online swing analysis software to the Mac. The Academy site allows users to upload video of their golf swing and get pointers from a variety of different sources. The Self-Analysis function allows users to evaluate their own swing, while Side-By Side Analysis compares a user’s swing against a library of others.
Apple deals on iMacs, nano
Apple's online store is currently offering refurbished iMac 20-inchdesktops with 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive for $949 as well as 24-inch models with 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of RAM and 350GB hard drive for $1,399. Both models have widescreen displays and a 8x SuperDrive. 8GB reconditionediPod nanosin silver, pink, blue, green and black are available for $149. They hold up to 2,000 songs and come with earphones and a USB cable. Also available are 2.4GHz MacBooks in black for $1,299 and white for $1,099. The black model has a 250GB hard drive while the white model has a 160GB hard drive and both have 2GB of RAM, built in iSite webcam, 8x SuperDrive, and Airport Extreme. Other items include the wireless Mighty Mouse for $59 and wireless keyboard for $69.
Google tops Web audience
Nielsen Online has reported May 2008 data for the Top Sites by Parent Company and Top Brands. Google tops the list with 127 million unique visitors. Microsoft is close behind with 123 million, while Yahoo! comes in third at 115 million. Time Warner pulled 107 million visitors, News Corp. Online 79 million, eBay 66 million and InterActiveCorp 64 million. Wikimedia Foundation, Amazon and New York Times round out the list with between 50 and 60 million unique visitors. The data indicate that, for example, that 51.1 million home and work Internet users visited at least one of the New York Times Company-owned sites or launched a New York Times Company-owned application during the month, and each person spent, on average, a total of 17 minutes and 27 seconds at one or more of their sites or applications.
Transgaming game portal
TransGaming has announced the launch of an online download portal for Mac games, bringing the same kind of service PC and console owners have known for years. Game Tree Online will complement the firm's Cider Portability Engine, which has allowed publishers to port a number of successful games to the Mac Platform since its introduction in 2006. In addition to providing online purchase, Game Tree Online will provide news and game promotions, and will allow users to post reviews.
- ProjectForum 6.1 ($80) a wiki-based software application that supports collaboration within and between professional workgroups. Version 6.1 introduces a new "mail to wiki" feature, and improves support for outgoing email notifications. This version also includes many smaller enhancements and bug fixes. CourseForum 6.1, a version of the ProjectForum application targeted for online learning applications, was also released. [Download - 2.4MB]
- MacBreakZ 4.8 ($30) Personal Ergonomic Assistant designed tpromote healthy and productive computer use by reminding the user ttake a break. Based on your actual keyboard and mouse use and the time you have spent in front of the screen, MacBreakZ suggests rest and microbreaks at appropriate intervals. The new release adds Apple Help Book format documentation for mobile users. Previous versions relied exclusively on online documentation. [Download - 5.2MB]
- Agenda 4.0.2 ($40) an application that keeps track of your events and tasks, lets you enter your thoughts, and easily create calendar or journal websites. This update makes further improvements and fixes to the iCal import feature based on user feedback. [Download - 4.4MB]
- Today 1.0.1 ($15) a event and task management application for Mac OS X. Today shows you all the events and tasks that are stored in Apple's iCal in a small, easily navigable window. Today 1.0.1 is a maintenance release that addresses several minor issues reported users who downloaded the application since launch last week. Today 1.0.1 also adds the ability to create new tasks without a due date. [Download - 1.2MB]
- Vox 1.2 ($40) provides natural-sounding voices for multiple languages that work with virtually any Speech Manager compliant Mac OS X application. This release adds a pronunciation editor that allows users to add abbreviations or change the pronunciation of words. It also introduces a number of new voices and languages: Eliska and Sabrine for Czech, Ania for Polish, Snorri for Icelandic, Sanna for Finnish, Elin for Swedish, and Baris and Ceren for Turkish. The Czech, Polish, Icelandic and Turkish voices require Mac OS X 10.5. The other voices require 10.3.9 or later. [Download - form]
Stan Flack passes
Stan Flack, a pioneer of the Mac journalism industry and the founder of MacCentral, has passd away at his home in Prince Edward Island, Canada, reports Macworld. Flack founded MacCentral in the mid-90s, and his site was later acquired by Mac Publishing LLC. Jim Dalrymple, who worked with Flack in the early day of MacCentral wrote: "Stan has been in the Mac industry since 1994 when MacCentral first went online as a weekly publication. Things were a lot different back then—the Internet as we know it was in its infancy—but Stan saw a way to make a successful business. We both worked at a local newspaper back then and often chatted about having our own business, being our own boss and ruling the world. To a large degree a lot of those goals were accomplished."
iSale 5.1 released
Equinux today released iSale 5.1, the latest revision of its online auction software for Mac OS X. iSale 5.1 allows users to integrate video clips into auctions from all leading video websites, according to Equinux, including Apple's .Mac service. The update also increases security by supporting the PayPal Security Key for 2-factor-authentication. The Template Editor in iSale 5.1 includes a new item for integrating video clips in all of the 222 templates that ship with the software. iSale 5.1 is available for $60, and requires Mac OS X 10.5.
Spore to ship in September
Electronic Arts and Maxis today announced that Spore, the massive online multiplayer game from the makers of The Sims, will hit store shelves on the weekend of September 7th. "The wait is almost over," said Maxis Chief Designer Will Wright. "We're in our final stages of testing and polish with Spore, and the team at Maxis can't wait to see the cosmos of content created by the community later this year." Spore gives players their own personal universe in a box, according to the developers. Players create and evolve life, establish tribes, build civilizations, sculpt entire worlds, and explore a universe created by other gamers.
Macrovision, the company largely responsible for modern DVD copy-protection schemes, has officially integrated its technologies with CinemaNow to offer downloads of CinemaNow premium video directly to Macrovision-enabled consumer electronics devices. Users who have registered Macrovision-enabled hardware at CinemaNow.com can use those devices to watch movies, TV shows, and music videos from CinemaNow's online library of available programming, according to TWICE.
Apple high on satisfaction
Apple's holiday customer satisfaction through its online and brick-and-mortar stores remains high this year, leading both sales categories, while experiencing a slight dip since last year. According to a recent study by ForeSee Results, Apple received a 79-percent overall satisfaction rating out of the top 40 companies in the report, showing no loss or gain from last year's numbers. In terms of of satisfaction by sales channel, Apple netted 75-percent satisfaction in the "Manufacturer Direct" sales and 73-percent with its physical retail locations. These numbers are down 1.3-percent and 1.4-percent from last year, respectively, but were still high enough to earn Apple the top spot on the ForeSee study.
16-drive iSCSI storage
Enhance Technology has unveiled its next generation UltraStor RS16 IP-4, a rack-mount 3U 16-drive Quad Gigabit iSCSI independent RAID storage system. The new RS16 IP-4 is the latest addition to Enhance's UltraStor RS series family with a built-in 64-bit RAID controller for mission critical applications. Key UltraStor RS16 IP-4 features include Snapshot, N-way Mirror, RAID-6 data protection, automatic background data regeneration, dynamic online volume expansion, and Multi-Path I/O support for Windows workstations & servers (pricing was unavailable).
First Look at EVE Online
Massively Multiplayer Online games – commonly referred to as MMOs – are quickly becoming one of the most played genres in the world, with millions of users worldwide subscribing to games like Everquest, World of Warcraft, Star Wars: Galaxies. With the Intel Macs saturating the market, Mac gamers have a lot of games to look forward to, with the help of Boot Camp, but some users prefer to stay in the Mac environment for their daily activities. Sadly, very few major MMO games make their way to the Mac, but with the help of Cider and wider Mac awareness, users can expect to see more hot titles gracing the Mac platform.
Apple shipping times
With Christmas fast approaching, Apple has provided many specials for its wide variety of products, with details posted in the Apple online store. In order to make sure that customers receive product by Christmas, a minimum purchase date last is available through the online store portal. Dates range from December 13th to the 19th for standard orders, and December 20th to the 21st for overnight shipped goods. Some computer configurations could add some delay, and may not result in a Christmas delivery.