More Options Charges Likely

From The Mercury News

Since the stock-option scandal hit national headlines a year ago this month, there has been no end to the queries: How widespread was the backdating? How did this happen? Who was responsible? What motivated executives to do it? Has it stopped?

But in the wake of guilty pleas from two East Coast executives and last week's criminal and civil charges against a third in Silicon Valley, two questions are taking on special importance as more companies complete internal reviews:

Who's the next target for federal prosecutors, and how soon?

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Hello, I'm a Mac and Bill's a PC

From The Huffington Post

By now you've seen, no doubt many times, Apple's most recent Get a Mac commercial, in which poor PC can not get a word in (or out) without first clearing it (Cancel or allow?) through his grim, Secret-Service-style security agent. If for some reason you haven't seen it -- your television and your computer have been broken for the past month, perhaps, or you've just returned from keeping vigil at the morgue where Anna Nicole Smith has been slowly decomposing -- you can see it here.

And you should see it, because it's the best of the series so far.

Much has been made of the notion that, at first glance, Mac and PC bear a more than passing resemblance to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. And maybe that's what really bugs Mr. Gates about the commercials. Maybe he's not bothered by how they may hurt the feelings of 90 percent of computer users; maybe he's bothered by how they hurt his own.

Click here to read more "Hello, I'm a Mac and Bill's a PC"

Uncensored South Park on iTMS

From iLounge

Comedy Central has announced that uncensored versions of episodes from South Park this season will be available for purchase from the iTunes Store. The network said the uncensored episodes will be available on iTunes the Tuesday after they premiere beginning on Tuesday, March 13th. The 11th season of South Park launches on Wednesday, March 7th at 10:00 p.m. ET.

“Coming up in the 11th season, viewers can expect a parody of the popular Fox hit series, 24, and Hilary Clinton pays a visit to South Park. There will be plenty of shocking surprises from the legendary fourth-graders,” says Comedy Central.

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Is Apple’s iPhone Still Exciting? Our Views and Yours

From iLounge

Announced to rapturous applause in January, Apple’s “revolutionary” iPhone has since been the subject of endless discussions, with everyone from average users to analysts and critics weighing in on its potential for success or failure. With roughly three months remaining before the device’s launch, iLounge’s editors were given a set of several questions: how do you feel today about iPhone? Have your feelings changed, positively or negatively, since the announcement? Will you buy one?

Click here to read more "Is Apple’s iPhone Still Exciting? Our Views and Yours"

UK Apple Resellers Report Steady Sales

From Macworld UK

Apple continues to experience strong demand for all its products in the UK, with strong iPod sales across all models and some products are in short supply. Resellers here report short availability of the entry-level 1.66Mhz Mac mini and iLife '06.

iPod sales remain strong, with an astonishing 120,000+ sales of full-size iPods (combining 30GB and 60GB black and white models) reported across the UK so far during the current quarter, it has been claimed. iPod nano sales are even stronger, with close to 200,000 units sold so far this quarter, Macworld has learned. iPod shuffle sales also appear very strong, with an estimated 140,000 units sold so far in the UK.

This demanding market means that in the UK it appears demand for Apple's music players currently exceeds supply, a trend which denies claims in some quarters that the market is becoming saturated.

Click here to read more "UK Apple Resellers Report Steady Sales"

What to Do with Apple's Cash

From BusinessWeek

What would you do with $12 billion?

You might have two ideas in mind, neither of which is necessarily exclusive of the other: First, do some good; and second, make sure that money keeps growing.

It's the kind of question that the financial minds over at Apple have to consider, for that is about the amount of cash the company had on its balance sheet the last time it reported earnings on Jan 17.

If the last year is any judge, Apple's cash position - the combination of its cash on hand and short-term investments that can quickly be converted to cash - is growing at a rate of about a billion and change per quarter. It's high time Apple spread some of that cash around, and I think one good way to start would be to launch a venture capital fund.

Click here to read more "What to Do with Apple's Cash"

Speed Up Mail.app

From Hawk Wings

As everyone knows, it is possible to get quite a speed boost out of Mail.app by stripping all the bloat out of its Envelope index, an SQLite database Mail uses to store senders, recipients, subjects and so on.

Here is a faster way to get the same result.

Click here to read more "Speed Up Mail.app"

Morgan Stanley Sees Demand for Apple's iPhone Underestimated

From MarketWatch

Morgan Stanley analyst Kathryn Huberty reiterated her buy rating on Apple Inc. shares saying she believed the market is underestimating the likely success of the iPhone. She raised her 2007 iPhone sales forecast by 33% to 8 million units from 6 million, following a survey of 2,500 U.S. consumers.

Huberty also believes Apple's ability to leverage strong iPhone demand is being underestimated. "While we see positive leverage drivers across Apple's product segment, the iPhone alone increases scale, strengthens retail store leverage and takes advantage of lower memory pricing in the market," Huberty said in a research note.

Click here to read more "Morgan Stanley Sees Demand for Apple's iPhone Underestimated"

Apple Sets Wi-Fi on Fire

From InfoWorld

At $179, Apple's AirPort Extreme 802.11 draft-n wireless base station is priced like brand X, but Cisco couldn't have done it any better. Apple's claim of 5X performance and 2X coverage relative to 802.11g is no mere boast; it was proven for this review.

Click here to read more "Apple Sets Wi-Fi on Fire"

The Truth about Switching

Poke around the net for a while searching for information on what it’s like to switch to a Mac, and you’ll quickly get a face full of hyperbole, zealots, platform bigots, feature weenies, and naysayers - from both the Windows and Mac camps.

But there are precious few places to get an honest word about what it’s like to switch, other than some deeply technical face-offs. So, I’ve been taking notes for the past few years, and thought I’d write them down.

So, here’s what it’s like to switch to a Mac, without all the whining and hysterics.

Click here to read more "The Truth about Switching"

Apple to Hold Special Event at NAB

From Macworld

Apple will hold a special event at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show on Sunday, April 15. While no details were available on what, if anything, will be announced at the event, Apple has used such events in the past to launch significant product releases.

In 2005, the company used an event at NAB to launch Final Cut Studio and Soundtrack Pro. A similar event was used to launch Motion in Las Vegas.

Apple will also have a large booth at the show.

(Shawn's Comment: What do you think Apple will announce? New Final Cut Pro? New hardware?)

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The Graphic Reporter's Tip of the Week

On last night's show, I talked about how to wrangle web graphics, which includes tips and tricks for not only picking the right file type for the image, but also how to squeeze out a few more K in size. Hope you enjoy the tutorial, and thanks to Jerimy Carrol for the idea!

Until next week, may the creative force be with you!

Archives for February 28th, 2007

Streamed Audio Only Archive - http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/QT/YML070228s.mov (Open QuickTime, type Command-U and type in the address)
Streamed Video Archive - THERE WAS NO VIDEO OF THIS WEEK'S SHOW

Our guests on Wednesday's show were:

- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Product Manager Tom Hogarty

- Lesa King, GraphicReporter.com

- Peter Cohen with The Big Story

Listener of the Week!

<-- thats him.

"He's a dork in the 10th grade (sophomore). loves Macs and writes about 'em here. hates microsoft,with.a.passion.! he tries to get stuff posted on here daily but with the school world, it's hard to do. so .. be patient. :)"

Click here to read more about our Listener of the Week - Ian Nixon

CompUSA Closes more than Half of Stores

From Macworld

CompUSA will close more than half of its retail computer and electronics stores in the next two to three months.

In a statement, CompUSA said it would shutter 126 stores — it currently operates 225 — within 90 days as part of a massive restructuring first unveiled last Friday. The restructuring will rely on the store closings, as well as a $400 million cash infusion and other expense reductions. CompUSA did not specify the source of the cash investment.

“Based on changing conditions in the consumer retail electronics market, the company identified the need to close and sell stores with low performance or nonstrategic, old store layouts and locations faced with market saturation,” Roman Ross, CompUSA’s CEO, said in a statement. Earlier this month, rival Circuit City Stores Inc. announced that it also would close stores.

Of the consumer electronics retail chains, one that seems to be weathering the storm is Best Buy. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006, Richfield, Minn.-based Best Buy posted a 7 percent increase in comparable store revenue and a 15 percent boost in sales overall.

Click here to read more "CompUSA Closes more than Half of Stores"

iTunes is All "That" to Indie Producers

From Variety

Apple's digital content store is selling "That," a snowboarding pic made for DVD. Apple's digital content store on Tuesday started selling "That," a snowboarding action pic made for DVD by Forum Snowboards. The move represents the first time iTunes has sold video content that didn't come from an established network, studio or distributor.

Though the Mac maker wouldn't comment on future plans, the deal with Forum indicates iTunes will selectively sell video outside of its high-profile deals with companies like Disney, NBC and Lionsgate. Given iTunes' dominance in the nascent digital download market, that's sure to generate hordes of interest among independent film producers in all genres who don't have a distributor.

The deal comes as Apple also started selling content from Wasserman Media Group's Studio411, a financier and distributor of skateboarding, motocross, ski and snowboard vids.

Click here to read more "iTunes is All "That" to Indie Producers"

Apple's Best Buy Pilot: Still Evaluating

From ifoAppleStore

Apple is still evaluating the results of a sales trial with electronics retailer Best Buy, and is considering a pilot with Circuit City to sell Apple products, according to chief operating officer Tim Cook, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology Symposium in Las Vegas. “We are thrilled with the retail stores. We could not be happier,” Cook told the crowd. He said Apple would open 35 to 40 stores this fiscal year, and confirmed for the first time future stores in Rome (Italy) and Sydney (Australia).

Cook said the pilot program with Best Buy was a success, and it was expanded from a handful of stores to 50. Apple is now evaluating that trial to decided how to proceed. Cook would only say that Apple is evaluating the possibility of a sales agreement with Circuit City.

In response to a question about the slower sales growth at the retail stores in the latest quarter, Cook said the Apple was focusing its energy on the “broader channel” by working with resellers more closely, and keeping them stocked. That process shifted revenue from the Apple stores to the channel, he explained.

Click here to read more "Apple's Best Buy Pilot: Still Evaluating"

Apple says iPhone to Sell - Free Phones Worthless

From Bloomberg

Apple Inc. predicted that 10 million customers will pay at least $499 to buy an iPhone next year because they realize most free mobile phones are worthless.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cell phone. Guess why? That's what it's worth,'' Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook said yesterday at a conference in Las Vegas. Some wireless providers win customers by offering phones that lack the latest features free with service contracts.

"This will be a big piece of the Apple story for years to come,'' Cook told attendees at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. technology conference. "If we offer something that has tremendous value, that is sort of this thing people didn't have in their consciousness -- it was not imaginable -- then I think there's a whole bunch of people that will pay $499, $599.''

Click here to read more "Apple says iPhone to Sell - Free Phones Worthless"

Aperture 1.5.2

From Macworld

Pros: Many bug fixes; more-flexible approach to supporting new Raw formats.

Cons: Inadequate printed documentation; needs more zoom options and keyboard shortcuts for adjustments; adjusting large Raw-format images requires a fast Mac and a high-end video card.

Click here to read more "Aperture 1.5.2"

Photoshop Lightroom 1.0

From Macworld

Pros: Excellent photo-management and -importing capabilities; strong editing functionality, including innovative Targeted Adjustment tool and intuitive Spot Removal brush; good printing and Web creation features; performs well across wide range of Macs.

Cons: Interface has a few minor inconsistencies; skimpy Slideshow module; needs more-comprehensive documentation; no secure FTP; image backup options are only during import.

Click here to read more "Photoshop Lightroom 1.0"

Stop Entourage Background Churning

From Macworld

I’m routinely impressed by how helpful and knowledgeable our forum visitors are. Today I offer the example of one Larryw, who — out of the pure goodness of his heart — offered up this tip that has made my computing more enjoyable.

Click here to read more "Stop Entourage Background Churning"

Would Apple Mix DRM and Non-DRM Music at the iTunes Store?

From Daring Fireball

I’ve seen others arguing that Apple would need all of the major record labels to agree to abandon DRM before Apple would sell non-DRM music at the iTunes Store, to keep the experience consistent. It’s true that one of the best things about iTunes compared to other download stores is that all of the music — every song from every label — is sold under the same terms. (Compare to Microsoft’s Zune Marketplace, where some of the songs are restricted such that they can’t even be squirted between Zunes.)

However, there’s a difference here.

Click here to read more "Would Apple Mix DRM and Non-DRM Music at the iTunes Store?"

Sluggish Safari? Mac Fans Hustle for Answers

From CNET

That's the question posed at Macenstein, which ran tests comparing the Apple browser to the popular Firefox software.

The article's author tested his Mac by conducting a series of tasks using both browsers. He claims that the computer performed the tasks significantly slower when Safari was open, compared to when Firefox was open.

The news quickly spread among the Mac faithful, who are trying to replicate the results and figure out what is going on.

Click here to read more "Sluggish Safari? Mac Fans Hustle for Answers"

TypeIt4Me 3.1

From Macworld

Pros: Saves time; powerful special characters allows complex abbreviations; supports application-specific abbreviations.

Cons: Interface is a bit complex; price may seem high to some users.

Click here to read more "TypeIt4Me 3.1"

Adobe to take Photoshop Online

From CNET

Hoping to get a jump on Google and other competitors, Adobe Systems plans to release a hosted version of its popular Photoshop image-editing application within six months, the company's chief executive said. The online service is part of a larger move to introduce ad-supported online services to complement its existing products and broaden the company reach into the consumer market, Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen told CNET News.com.

Chizen said Adobe laid the foundation for a hosted Photoshop product with Adobe Remix, a Web-based video-editing tool it offers through the PhotoBucket media-sharing site.

Like Adobe Remix, the hosted Photoshop service is set to be free and marketed as an entry-level version of Adobe's more sophisticated image-editing tools, including Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Chizen envisions revenue from the Photoshop service coming from online advertising.

Click here to read more "Adobe to take Photoshop Online"

Conde Nast Backs Up Fake Steve Jobs in Fight with Real Steve Jobs

From Macworld

When Fake Steve Jobs, the anonymous blogger who parodied the real man, was asked to cease and desist, he asked for a sugar daddy to keep the site going. After only a few weeks, Wired News emerged as the lucky sponsor. I wonder how much he sold his soul for -- fighting those lawyers can't be cheap.

(Shawn's Comment: What do you think the odds are of "Fake Steve Jobs" having *fake* lawyers "chasing" after him?)

Click here to read more "Conde Nast Backs Up Fake Steve Jobs in Fight with Real Steve Jobs"

Good Books on Digital Photography

From Macworld

There are many good digital photography books available in the market today. Not only are there updated versions of traditional classics (like Bryan Peterson’s Learning to See Creatively), but there are a mountain of books from people who grew up with Adobe Photoshop and waited, sometimes impatiently, for digital cameras to come of age. Two books that I have found to be especially good are Scott Kelby’s The Digital Photography Book ($20, Peachpit Press), and Complete Digital Photography, from Ben Long ($40, Charles River Media).

If you’re looking for a different type of book on the topic, however, it’s worth seeking out Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography ($40, O’Reilly), which recently made it to the top of my reading pile. The book is part history, part photographic philosophy, and part tutorial, all delivered in Stephen’s inimitable style. At first glance, it might appear to be more like a fine-art book than a tutorial/reference work, but it really is worth digging into.

Click here to read more "Good Books on Digital Photography"

Sony Intros New Cyber-Shot Digital Cameras

From Macworld

Sony has introduced new Cyber-Shot digital point-and-shoot cameras. The new cameras are expected to hit store shelves in March, April and May for prices between $300 to $500 depending on features.

The new DSC-T100 camera features a 5x optical zoom lens and 2.5 inch LCD display, and comes in pink, white, black and silver colors. The DSC-T20 sports a 3x optical zoom and 2.5-inch LCD. Both cameras are 8 megapixel models. The T100 will be released in March and the T20 in April for $400 and $330 respectively.

Both cameras feature high-definition video output; they’re compatible with Sony’s VMC-MHC1 HD component video cable, and they can also be connected via a Cyber-Shot Station dock. HD video output is standard across the new cameras Sony unveiled on Tuesday.

Click here to read more "Sony Intros New Cyber-Shot Digital Cameras"

Missing Sync for BlackBerry Public Preview Released

From Macworld

Mark/Space has released a “public preview” version of its forthcoming The Missing Sync for BlackBerry. The software makes it possible to synchronize data on your Mac with a BlackBerry smartphone.

Like other Missing Sync products for Palm and Windows Mobile devices, The Missing Sync for BlackBerry enables you to synchronize contacts, calendar info, notes and other data with a RIM BlackBerry smartphone, tethered using a USB cable. Owners of the BlackBerry Pearl model or the new 8800 series handsets can also sync iPhoto albums and iTunes playlists (of unprotected audio).

Mark/Space estimates that the release version of the Missing Sync for BlackBerry will be released at the end of the quarter.

Click here to read more "Missing Sync for BlackBerry ublic Preview Released"

iPod Games: Boon, Bust, or Test?

From iLounge

In September, 2006, Apple surprised the world by introducing “iPod Games,” a collection of nine titles that could each be downloaded for $4.99 from the iTunes Store. Nearly six months later, Apple’s library has increased by three to 12 total games and user comments have been varied. Some have praised Apple’s decisions to keep iPod games simple, relatively inexpensive, and appealing to casual players. Others have complained about the size and quality of the game library, problems with the iPod’s controls, and the inability of “iPod Games” to play on iPod nanos or within iTunes.

We wanted to get a picture of what our editors and readers thought about the current state of iPod gaming, so we asked for each of our editors to provide their honest views and experiences - positive or negative - on the topic.

Click here to read more "iPod Games: Boon, Bust, or Test?"