Software to see large price drop, unrestricted version for non-commercial uses
Pixar has announced that it will be releasing a new version of its RenderMan 3D software, in additional to doing an overhaul of its pricing restructure for those that wish to license the software. This includes a free license for uses under non-commercial reasons. The new software comes with improved lighting features and two different rendering modes in one environment.
Apple TV users see movies disappear completely
(Updated with Amazon disappearance) Some Disney and Pixar movies have been pulled without warning from the US and UK iTunes Stores, accounts say. These include titles like The Lion King and Mater's Tall Tales. The situation is worse in the case of Apple TV owners, who are no longer seeing the titles in their libraries. No refunds have been offered.
Decision may be reversed later on
US District Court Judge Lucy Koh has denied class action status for workers wanting to sue several major technology and film companies over anti-job poaching practices, Reuters reports. The plaintiffs have accused Adobe, Apple, Google, Lucasfilm, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar of conspiring not to poach workers from each other. While such practices might help stabilize corporate environments, they also reduce the need for employers to compete with each other on wages and benefits.
Building designed by Jobs bears his name
Pixar is renaming its main studio after Steve Jobs as a permanent tribute to the former Apple and Pixar CEO. An image of the entrance for what is now known as "The Steve Jobs Building" has appeared on Twitter, posted by Pixar employee Junn Lee, and follows the end credits of Brave in being the second public tribute to Jobs by the company, which he bought from Lucasfilm and helped turn into the world's foremost animation studio.
Lost Steve Jobs interview dock on iTunes as $4 rental
Following its limited theatrical release in May, the documentary feature Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview has now been made available on iTunes for a $4 rental. The option to purchase it has not been enabled. The film focuses on Jobs talking about his life and career in 1995 and just months ahead of Apple acquiring NeXT and returning Jobs to the helm of the company.
Apple, Google, Intel, more to face trial
Judge Lucy Koh late Wednesday denied once more a motion to dismiss a lawsuit over anti-poaching deals. The group, which includes Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar, was told it still had to face allegations of violating federal and state antitrust laws. They may ultimately pay millions of dollars in claimed damages.
Ouster from Apple forced Jobs to adapt
A journalist writing for Fast Company, Rob Schlender, says he has discovered hours of unreleased audio interviews with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In all the interviews span a period of 25 years. "Many [tapes] I had never replayed -- a couple hadn't even been transcribed before now," says Schlender. "Some were interrupted by his kids bolting into the kitchen as we talked. During others, he would hit the pause button himself before saying something he feared might come back to bite him."
Also had top secret clearance in Pixar era
The US Commerce Department has confirmed that Steve Jobs did in fact serve on the President's Export Council during the George Bush Sr. administration, according to the Associated Press. This week the FBI published a 191-page file on Jobs from 1991, dealing mainly with a background investigation for an appointment to the Council. The AP remarks that Export Council members are unpaid, and meet a minimum of twice a year.
Apple, Google must face job poaching claims
Northern California district court judge Lucy Koh ruled late Thursday that multiple technologies can't dismiss a lawsuit over anti-poaching deals. Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar will have to face the allegations that they unfairly hurt compensation and job chances by making informal pacts to avoid recruiting each other's staff. Judge Koh's view echoed those of the raw evidence, which confirmed individual deals but didn't show that the industry at large was colluding against recruiting attempts.
Jobs family to keep stake but not board seat
The Walt Disney Company in its 2012 proxy statement (below) indirectly confirmed that the late Steve Jobs' family or his trust won't be seeking a board position at the Disney shareholder meeting on March 13. Although the family is the largest individual shareholder with a 7.7 percent stake, no mention is made of them in the filing beyond their investment. It also shows that Jobs' option holdings were gone at the end of Disney's fiscal year.
DOJ shows no hiring conspiracy, but small deals
Newly publicized evidence in the wake of an agreement to stop no-poaching deals among Silicon Valley technology companies has shown that several firms did ultimately have deals but stopped short of colluding on a larger level. Although short on details of the supposed Apple-Google agreement, an e-mail message from Adobe Senior VP of human resources Theresa Townsley confirmed that Adobe and Apple had an informal rule against hiring each other's staff. At least in 2005, Adobe chief Bruce Chizen and Apple's Steve Jobs had blocked attempts to get each other's staff.
YouTube rentals get Disney and Pixar
Google's YouTube rentals saw the slightly unexpected addition of Disney movies on Wednesday. Both its live and animated movies, as well as Pixar's CG movies, are now available on the web- and Android-based store. Key rival DreamWorks is also making the leap.
Pixar and Bono reminisce on Jobs' passing
Later but more elaborate tributes to Steve Jobs have emerged from Pixar and U2's Bono. Pixar after some silence replaced its whole front page with a classic photo of a 1990s-era Jobs framed by Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter and President Ed Catmull. The two credit Jobs with getting Pixar to where it is now, having taken the Graphics Group out from Lucasfilm and fostered it until it shifted from short projects to full-length movies.
Cars 2 Appmates iPad game coming in October
Disney Mobile will soon launch a series of apps called Appmates that will turn Apple's iPad into a game board. The first is a rolling road that can be used in conjunction with toy cars from Disney/Pixar's Cars 2 blockbuster movie. The app requires special toys the iPad will recognize rolling across the screen, but the interface is touch-based, and there is no Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or cables needed to play.
Design-driven visionary sees iPad as the future
In a lengthy profile, coffee-table book publisher Nicholas Callaway detailed a newfound passion for apps over books, proclaiming them the successor to traditional books and making a full-fledged switch. A viewing of Pixar's original Toy Story and the encouragement of Steve Jobs gave Callaway the "eureka" moments that convinced him that apps are a new form of story-telling and caused him to reinvent his already-successful company.
Apple CEO named decade's best over Amazon, Google
A year-end wrap-up has named Apple chief Steve Jobs the CEO of the decade. The nod from MarketWatch put him ahead of other well-known tech executives that defined the period, including Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Google's Eric Schmidt. He also trumped those outside of the field, such as Starbucks' Howard Schultz and engine maker Cummins' Tim Solso.
DOJ reaches poaching settlement with Apple, Google
The Department of Justice today reached a settlement with several technology firms to end anti-poaching job deals between each other. Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit and Pixar have agreed to end reportedly anti-competitive deals that prevented them from recruiting each other's staff. Companies will be required to allow "cold calls" and other active hiring attempts for at least five years and will have to institute "compliance measures" to make sure the ruling is enforced.
DOJ talks to Apple, Google, Intel in poaching deal
Several technology companies are near the end of talks with the Department of Justice to settle and avoid an investigation into claims of anti-competitive hiring deals, insiders said tonight [sub. required]. Apple, Adobe, Google, Intel, Intuit and Pixar are all hoping to avoid an antitrust case and will potentially halt any pacts they have to avoid poaching each other's employees. The WSJ noted that some of the firms are more willing to settle than others, but didn't say which.
Starz negotiations with Disney to affect Netflix
Walt Disney is engaged in private negotiations with cable channel Starz, which is owned by Liberty Media Corp, say sources close to the talks who wish to remain anonymous. The conditions of the deal may mean Netflix is no longer able to offer Disney's movies online. According to the Bloomberg tip, Starz wants five years of access to Disney films on its cable channel and digital rights.
Ballmer Shows Zune HD
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today surprised those at the D7 technology show with a brief demo of the just-confirmed Zune HD. The prototype shown to Engadget has the interface shown in early imagery and was found to have "gorgeous" video -- ironically demonstrated with pro-Apple firm Pixar's For the Birds -- on its OLED screen. Few unknown features were shown, though the video interface and the ability to use custom wallpapers remain intact.
Apple Hires ATI CTO
Apple has quietly signaled a new emphasis on graphics by hiring an influential graphics chipset designer from AMD. The former CTO for the company's ATI graphics product group, Bob Drebin, has indicated on his LinkedIn profile that he is now a Senior Director for an unnamed group within Apple. What products he covers are unknown, though in addition to leading GPU engineering at ATI since 2000, he also spent significant time developing products at Silicon Graphics and, during a 2-year span at ArtX, helped create the "Flipper" GPU that formed the heart of the Nintendo GameCube.
WALL-E wins Oscar
Pixar's WALL-E won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature at Sunday night's Academy Awards ceremony, defeating competition from Bolt and Kung Fu Panda. The movie -- about a robot left on Earth after an environmental apocalypse -- was also nominated for Original Screenplay, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Song awards, but lost to movies such as Milk and The Dark Knight. The dominant title at the Oscars was Slumdog Millionaire, which took home Best Picture and Best Director trophies among others.
Jobs renominated at Disney
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been renominated to serve on Disney's board of directors, in spite of medical problems, according to the company's 2009 proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Jobs is the largest individual shareholder in Disney, with 7.4 percent of stock, which came as a result of his former role in charge of Pixar. The Toy Story studio has since been absorbed by Disney.
Apple rankings at Amazon
Two Apple-related products performed extremely well at Amazon during the holiday season, the latter company has announced. Tracking orders from November 15th through to December 19th, the online retailer notes that one of the bestselling electronics items was the second-generation iPod touch, specifically in its 8GB capacity rather than 16 or 32GB. Apple's chief competition was split between a 52-inch red Samsung TV, and Acer's Aspire One netbook.
Apple inspires Wall-E
As IBM mainframes were the inspiration for one of the most famous digital villains – HAL 9000, of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame – so is Apple an influence upon the upcoming Disney Pixar release, Wall-E. CNN Money writes that when designing the movie's heroine, Eve, director Andrew Stanton described her as "high-end technology – no expense spared" and wanted it "to be seamless and for the technology to be sort of hidden and subcutaneous."
Inside Steve's Brain book
Author Leander Kahney recently wrote a book entitled "Inside Steve's Brain", an in-depth look into the mind of Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his contradictive cult of personality. Kahney, who has covered Steve Jobs since the early 1990s, writes about how Jobs' notorious personality hasn't impeded forging partnerships with industry greats, such as Steve Wozniak, Jonathan Ive, and John Lasseter. "Inside Steve's Brain is available for $25.