Apple paid out over $3 billion to small businesses last year through SupplierPay program

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Apple’s operations chief said today that the company paid out over $3 billion to small businesses that supplied Apple with parts for its products in 2013. That money was split up between around 7,000 different suppliers as part of the SupplierPay program started by the White House.

SupplierPay is an extension of a federal program called QuickPay that required the government to issue payments to small business partners within 15 days of billing in an attempt to promote economic growth. With SupplierPay, the program is extended (optionally) to private businesses like Apple.

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Apple releases new cheaper iMac with low-end processor, priced at $1099

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As rumored last week, Apple has today released a new model of iMac. These machines are considerably cheaper than their predecessors, priced at $1099. Previously, the cheapest iMac SKU was priced at $1299 (which is now the mid-range model).

The cheaper iMac features a 1.4 GHz dual-core i5 CPU, which represents a significant worsening in performance over the previous base model of iMac, which featured a processor clocked at 2.7 GHz.  The CPU does Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz however, which does make up some of the difference.

Aside from the CPU, the hard drive has also been cut to 500 GB. The new model also features a lower-end integrated graphics chip. All other iMac models continue to use either Iris Pro integrated graphics or dedicated Nvidia cards. Otherwise, the internals of the new machine are unchanged.

Apple’s Press release below…

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A year after being announced, you can now get a Mac Pro within 24 hours

Mac Pro 24 hours

While you still may not be able to walk in to an Apple Store and expect to walk out with a 2013 Mac Pro, the $3,000 and $4,000 base models of Apple’s professional desktop are shipping within 24 hours of ordering for the first time since its launch in late December last year. This includes shipping to Apple Retail Store locations for pickup. Apple, of course, previewed the latest Mac Pro model at WWDC 2013, exactly one year from yesterday, but it only promised then that it would begin shipping later that year. Availability has since proven to be a challenge for the ‘assembled-in-USA’ Mac line… Read more

Opinion: It’s time to bring back the mobile professional’s workhorse, the MacBook Pro 17

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Many of us were deeply disappointed when Apple discontinued the MacBook Pro 17. While the Retina MacBook Pro 15 introduced at the same time offered higher resolution, sometimes there’s just no substitute for physical screen size. Photographers and videographers in particular loved the combination of the sheer size and the option of a matte screen.

I loved mine enough to immediately sell the three-year-old one I owned at the time in order to replace it with the last model made, to maximize its useful life. I still love it enough that I’ve just laid out a thousand bucks on a 2.5-year-old machine to fit 2TB of SSDs, giving it the best of both worlds: lightning-fast performance combined with huge storage that allows me to have all my files with me when I travel.

There may not be too many others who’ll follow my admittedly extravagant example, but I do think it’s time for Apple to revisit its decision and bring back the mobile professional’s workhorse …  Read more

Apple seeds first beta of OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 to developers

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Just a couple of weeks after releasing OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 to users, Apple has seeded the first beta of the upcoming OS X 10.9.4 to developers. We first reported that Apple was nearing a release of OS X 10.9.4 in beta to developers. It’s unclear what changes are in store with the new system, but hopefully it fixes the many headaches that Mac Pro users have been facing since 10.9.3’s release earlier this month. No word on when 10.9.4 will go public, but it is interesting that this Mavericks release will be in beta in tandem with OS X 10.10‘s beta release next week at WWDC. Thanks, D!

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Pixelmator 3.2 revamps the Repair Tool, adds locked layers, 16-bit support for all Macs and more

Pixelmator 3.2 Quick Overview

The Pixelmator team is relentless, releasing significant updates to the application every few months. Version 3.2 (codenamed ‘Sandstone’) is no exception and can be downloaded from the Mac App Store now. Codenamed Sandstone, this iteration adds a majorly-revamped Repair Tool, 16-bit channel editing for all Macs (not just the Mac Pro) alongside a whole bucket of other improvements.

The Repair Tool now uses color-correction to match repaired areas seamlessly. It also has clever smarts that mean you don’t have to precisely select an object anymore, the software will remove the whole object automatically. Pixelmator will also try its best to infer the structure of the background area, for a more natural final edit.

The Repair Tool now has three different options, Quick, Standard and Advanced. Quick is meant for small blemishes, whereas Standard and Advanced tackle the removal of larger objects from a scene. It’s not exactly clear under what circumstances you are supposed to change mode, so I chose ‘Advanced’ every time in my testing and the results were fantastic. It’s sort of like magic. You can see an example of what this is capable of after the break …

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OS X 10.9.3 breaking Mac Pro graphics card compatibility with critical video editing apps

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Apple’s new expensive line of Mac Pro computers seem to be causing a headache for a tiny fraction of the Mac userbase. According to several professional video editors who have contacted us or posted information to various online forums, the recent OS X 10.9.3 update is breaking compatibility between some Mac Pro graphics cards and video editing applications such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve…

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OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 release nears with bolstered 4K display support

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Nearly two months after providing developers with the first beta, Apple is closing in on releasing OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 to the public. OS X 10.9.3 will mark the third point-release update to OS X Mavericks, which arrived on the Mac App Store last October. Earlier this week, Apple provided build 13D55 of 10.9.3 to developers, and Apple, today, provided employees with a newer 13D57 build. In addition to the increase in seed frequency, today’s internal seed includes a set of release notes. The inclusion of release notes in beta OS X releases typically indicates that a public release is close…

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Mac Pro shipping improves to 3-5 weeks after four months

 

Mac Pro 3-5 weeks

While it is still not readily available for purchase, 2013 Mac Pro shipping dates are gradually starting to improve since it debuted in late December last year. You still can’t walk in to an Apple Store or similar retailer and walk out with a new Mac Pro, but you might just get it in less than a month from the time you order it. Shipping estimates from Apple.com have dropped down to three to five weeks for the first time since the new machine debuted at the end of last year; previous shipping estimates pegged shipping at five to six weeks… Read more

Apple’s updated environmental report card by the numbers

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Ahead of Earth Day celebrations planned for tomorrow, Apple today has completely revamped its environmental site with new stats alongside announcements for initiatives planned for the year to come. It also gave an interview with its new head of environmental issues Lisa Jackson. If you don’t want to dig through and read the multiple pages in Apple’s updated report, below we’ve put together a roundup of all the numbers and initiatives Apple announced today: Read more

OWC processor/memory upgrades available for the Mac Pro you’re still waiting to receive

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You may still be waiting for your Mac Pro to arrive, but OWC is ready to sell you a CPU upgrade once it does. The company offers a choice of four E5 2600-series processors, ranging from an 8-core 2.6GHz chip with 20MB cache for $950, to a 12-core 2.7GHz processor for $1480.

We first confirmed that CPU upgrades were possible last December. The company says the upgraded processors offer speed gains ranging from 25 percent to 46 percent over Apple’s base model 4-core 1600-series processor. You can get rebates of between $100 and $750 for trading in the processor supplied with your Mac Pro, and also have the option of boosting the RAM from Apple’s maximum of 64GB to 128GB …  Read more

Apple building support for driving 4K displays at ‘Retina’ resolution, 60Hz output from 2013 MacBook Pros

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4K display running at “Retina” resolution on 10.9.3

Earlier today, Apple provided developers with the first beta for the upcoming release of OS X Mavericks version 10.9.3. Apple did not disclose any new features coming in 10.9.3, but we have discovered that the update includes notable enhancements for users with Macs connected to 4K-resolution monitors. With 10.9.3, Mac users can now natively set their 4K monitors to run the Mac operating system at a pixel-doubled “Retina” resolution.

The new settings, which appear nearly identical to the settings on a standard Retina MacBook Pro display, can be seen here on a 10.9.3 Mac connected to a 4K monitor:

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