News

iPhone Earns FCC Approval

From MacNN
Despite its imminent release in June, the iPhone has only just received the seal of approval, according to a document published by the FCC. The Apple device was tested as of March for the safety of its wireless elements, such as its GSM and Wi-Fi transmitters. Most notable may not be what is in the report, but rather what has been left out, the details show.

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Fake Memo Roils Apple Stock; Investors Call for SEC Probe

From Macworld
Investors buffeted by the wild ride Apple stock took today are calling for the SEC to investigate the fake internal memo that set it off --- and the suspicious stock trading that ensued.

Around noon, Apple fell more than 3 points -- roughly 2.2% -- in the space of a few minutes after Ryan Block, a reporter for Engadget, posted a report that Apple's iPhone would be delayed by four months and its new Leopard operating system by three.

Block's post was based on what appeared at first glance to be a real internal memo -- marked "Bullet News" -- sent to an unknown number of Apple employees and forwarded to Engadget.

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Apple UK Cuts Price of iPod shuffle

From World of Apple
Apple UK has quietly cut the price of the iPod shuffle by £6. The iPod shuffle which used to cost £55 now costs £49.

Back in April Apple UK reduced prices of its larger video iPods. The 30GB iPod now costs £179 down from £189. The 80GB version saw a £20 price cut down from £239.

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FreeHand No Longer Updated; Moving to Illustrator

From John Nack of Adobe
After a long and storied career, Adobe (neé Altsys, Aldus, and Macromedia) FreeHand has reached the end of its development road. The application has not been revised since Macromedia released MX nearly four years ago, after which the company removed FreeHand from the Studio product line. Adobe has created an FAQ that explains the details of the decision not to rev FreeHand, talks about Illustrator CS3 features added to make FreeHand users more comfortable, and more.

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Skype for Mac 2.6 Offers Mac Only Feature

From MacMinute

Skype has released Skype for Mac 2.6, the latest version of its communication software for Mac users. In addition to improved quality, stability and more features, the company has done something entirely new: for the first time, Mac users will be able to enjoy a new Skype feature before it's available to Windows users. Skype has introduced a new call-transfer feature that is exclusive to the Mac platform. Users can now select "More > Call Transfer" to transfer an ongoing call to another Skype user on their contact list.

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Amazon to Launch DRM Free Music Service

From iLounge

Amazon has announced that it will launch a DRM-free digital music store later this year. The store will offer “millions of songs,” from more than 12,000 record labels, all in DRM-free MP3 format. The store will include EMI Music’s catalog. Further details such as launch date and pricing were not available.

(Shawn's Comment: No launch date? No pricing? So...there's not much news here other than "We're going to do what Apple's been doing...")

Amazon to Launch DRM Free Music Service

Apple Airs New iPod+iTunes TV Ad

From iLounge
Apple has begun airing yet another new iPod+iTunes television commercial. Like previous ads, the new 30-second spot continues the company’s silhouetted dancers theme. The new ad features the song “Mi Swing Es Tropical” by Nickodemus & Quantic featuring Tempo.

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Coke to Give Away 2 billion Free iTunes

From CNET UK
In what is claimed to be the biggest music promotion in Europe's history, Coca-Cola has teamed up with iTunes to give away two billion music downloads to lucky European Coke drinkers. The promotion will run between May and August of this year and with Coke covering the vast cost of the downloads, Apple is set to see its total sales through iTunes rocket beyond the stratosphere.

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''It's All Geek to Me'' Debuts Friday

From the Discovery Channel

This Friday, The Science Channel debuts "It’s All Geek to Me," a new 6 week series that brings Pogue's expertise on the world of technology to television.

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Connect360 Shares H.264, iTunes Podcasts on Xbox 360

From Macworld

Nullriver Software has released Connect360 v3.0, an update to its communication software that enables Mac users to share media with their Microsoft Xbox 360 video game consoles. A free update for registered users, Connect360 v3.0 costs $20 to register.

Connect360 enables you to play back music and view digital photos on your Xbox 360. It will automatically index your iTunes and iPhoto libraries and share them on the Xbox 360; you then use the Xbox 360 Dashboard to browse and play your Mac-based media.

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iTunes-Like Video Services have No Future - Study

From Reuters

Online video sites that sell shows and movies such as Apple's iTunes will likely peak this year as more programming is made available on free outlets supported by advertising, according to a study released on Monday.

Sales of movies and television shows are expected to almost triple to $279 million in 2007 from an estimated $98 million last year. But unless the average consumer begins paying for their online video en masse, growth in sales will likely peter out next year, according to Forrester Research.

"In the video space, iTunes is just a temporary flash while consumers wait for better ways to get video. They're already coming," said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey, the author of the study, who also called the paid download video market a "dead end."

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Apple Updates MacBook with Faster Processors

From Macworld

Apple has updated its consumer MacBook computers adding faster processors, 1GB RAM and larger hard drives in all models.

The new MacBooks come in three models — a white 2.0GHz and 2.16GHz, and a black 2.16 GHz model. All of the MacBooks include a built-in iSight video camera and the latest generation of 802.11n wireless networking. The notebooks also come with iLife ‘06 and Mac OS X 10.4.9 Tiger.

The MacBook, which turns one year old tomorrow, has seen a significant speed boost since its introduction. The new models run between 24 percent and 37 percent faster than the original models. As Benjamin points out a lot of that performance boost has to do with the move to Intel Core 2 Duo chips.

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iTunes Offers Paul McCartney Exclusive

From iLounge
Apple today announced that Paul McCartney’s new album, “Memory Almost Full,” is available for pre-order beginning today exclusively on the iTunes Store. Those who pre-order the former Beatle’s 13-track album will receive the “Dance Tonight” music video when the album is delivered as well as the single “Ever Present Past”, immediately upon pre-ordering the new album. Apple also announced that McCartney’s full catalog of 25 solo albums will be available for the first time digitally on iTunes later this month.

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Analysts don't see Beatles as Big Cash Cow for iTunes

From the Seattle Times
Despite signs that Apple may land a historic deal with The Beatles to make the band's entire catalog of music available on its iTunes store, analysts say such a move would be a "nonevent" in terms of the company's profits.

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Jobs and Shareholders

From CNBC
Apple's annual shareholder meeting was short on news, but long on drama with several investors grilling the Apple directors who did show up with questions about the stock options backdating scandal. Apple's entire directors' slate was re-elected, as expected. None of the shareholder resolutions passed, as expected.

The fireworks and interesting nuggets came during the shareholder question-and-answer session.

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McCartney goes Digital, Beatles "Virtually Settled"

From Billboard
Paul McCartney's new album, "Memory Almost Full," will be his first solo release available for download and streaming on PCs and mobile phones. As previously reported, the set is due June 5 via Starbucks' new Hear Music label. In addition, McCartney tells Billboard in an exclusive interview to be published tomorrow (May 11) that a deal to finally make the Beatles catalog available for sale online is "virtually settled."

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iPods can cause Pacemaker Malfunction

From Reuters

iPods can cause cardiac implantable pacemakers to malfunction by interfering with the electromagnetic equipment monitoring the heart, according to a study presented by a 17-year-old high school student to a meeting of heart specialists on Thursday.

The study tested the effect of the portable music devices on 100 patients, whose mean age was 77, outfitted with pacemakers. Electrical interference was detected half of the time when the iPod was held just 2 inches from the patient's chest for 5 to 10 seconds.

In some cases, the iPods caused interference when held 18 inches from the chest. Interfering with the telemetry equipment caused the device to misread the heart's pacing and in one case caused the pacemaker to stop functioning altogether.

(Shawn's Comment: As an aside, if you had a pacemaker, would your participate in this study!?)

Stock Options an Issue at Apple's Annual Meeting

From Marketwatch
As Apple Inc. convenes its annual shareholders' meeting Thursday, a brewing scandal over the backdating of stock options could mar what otherwise should be a celebration of the best year ever for the maker of PCs and consumer electronic devices.

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Distributor Sells Macs with Parallels, XP Pro

From Macworld
Tech Data is offering Apple retailers that use the Mac hardware and software distributor the option of Intel-based Mac desktop and laptop systems pre-configured with Parallels Desktop for Mac and Windows XP.

The configuration service is available at no additional cost through June 30, 2007 (although the Parallels Desktop for Mac and Windows XP licenses add a fee, obviously).

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Mac Shipments Expected to Soar

From ZDNet
Wall Street analysts are making the rounds with Apple's management and gushing in research notes. Here's what's interesting about this love-in: While analysts can't shut up about the iPhone or Apple TV they also have big expectations for that old stalwart - the Mac.

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Disney Sells 23.7 Million TV Shows, 2 Million Movies via iTunes

From iLounge
During a conference call discussing second quarter earnings, Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger revealed that the company has sold around 23.7 million TV episodes and 2 million movies through Apple’s iTunes Store. The company’s offerings include hit TV programs such as “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives,” as well as films such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series and the entire Disney/Pixar library.

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Microsoft Releases Office 2004 for Mac Update

From Macworld
Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit released an update for Office 2004 for Mac. According to Microsoft, this update enhances security and stability, including fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.

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Best Buy Bundles iPod nano, Candy for Mother's Day

From PlayList
National electronics retailer Best Buy has announced an exclusive promotion for Mother’s Day — a special set that combines a 4GB iPod nano with a variety of gourmet chocolates, together in a single box. It costs $214.99.

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Apple Offers Ms. Pac-Man Demo from iTunes Store

From PlayList
Apple released a downloadable demo version of Ms. Pac-Man for the fifth-generation iPod. The iPod version was originally released in February, 2007, and if you like what you see, you can buy it for $4.99. As with all of Apple’s premium games for the iPod, Ms. Pac-Man is designed specifically to run on fifth-generation or “video” iPods.

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Ticketmaster to Give Away Music with Purchases

From iLounge
Ticketmaster has announced that it will give customers complimentary digital music with every concert ticket purchased online. With every concert ticket purchased at Ticketmaster.com, the company is providing a 10-song digital music sampler, which showcases “a variety of emerging and established artists.” In addition, with the purchase of every ticket to any summer concert scheduled to take place between Memorial Day (May 28) and Labor Day (Sept 3), Ticketmaster customers will receive a free download of their choice from the iTunes Store.

(Shawn's Comment: Will that be before or after they take you to the cleaners on all their additional charges?)

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Apple Seeking End to Music Restrictions in iTunes Talks

From San Jose Mercury News
The last time Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs took on major recording companies, he refused to budge on his 99-cent price for a song on iTunes.

As a new round of talks ramp up this month, however, Jobs has opened the door to higher prices—as long as music companies let Apple Inc. sell their songs without technology designed to stop unauthorized copying.

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Apple again Tops "50 Most Innovative Companies" List

From iLounge
BusinessWeek has once again named Apple the most innovative company in the world. “For the third year in a row, the design-driven masters in Cupertino, Calif., lead the pack of creative firms on our list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies,” says the magazine. “Apple manages to dominate any would-be contenders, beating out two-time runner-up Google with more than twice as many votes.” Rounding out the top ten are Google, Toyota, General Electric, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, 3M, Walt Disney Co., IBM, and Sony.

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.Mac is Down for Maintenance

From Apple

If you've had trouble accessing your iDisk or any other .Mac features today, it's because the service is down. Apple has posted a "temporarily unavailable" message on the .Mac site saying "the service is undergoing scheduled maintenance".

(Shawn's Comment: If the maintenance was "scheduled", did they tell their customers about it? And who schedules "maintenance" *during* a work day?)

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iTunes Exclusive Single Breaks Billboard Top 10

From Macworld

Carrie Underwood’s performance of The Pretenders “I’ll Stand By You” debuted at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on Thursday. This is the first time that an iTunes Exclusive single — not available on CD or from any other provider — has debuted in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100.

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