Good morning. As the US rises to a new week following its public holiday yesterday, and the UK wakes to yet more discussion on the MP’s expenses scandal, no surprise Apple news is a little thin on the ground – though you may have missed the company confirming it’s aware of the Snow Leopard data-munching bug we revealed last week; also Google has lost another Apple board member.

So what have we got for you this morning? So far: Apple denounces claims it taxes labels $10,000 to carry their content in the album-saving iTunes LP format; Apple’s updated Logic, improving stability with its new patch; Windows 7 won’t hurt Mac sales any, an analyst says; iPhone is reader’s choice champion in a recent PC Mag survey; another carrier signs-up to shift iPhones in Singapore; Microsoft promises Mac compatibility in its forthcoming Office Web Apps solution; and the first Australian schools have signed-up for iTunes U. Also a couple of decent hard drive bargains in view of the ongoing Snow Leopard data-munching hullabaloo…Read on…


Apple denies $10k iTunes LP tax
Reports last week based on one indie label source claimed Apple charges labels $10,000 in order to carry their releases in the multimedia-enhanced iTunes LP format. This is not the case, Apple iTunes sources today claimed.

“There is no production fee charged by Apple,” the spokesman said. “We’re releasing the open specs for iTunes LP soon, allowing both major and indie labels to create their own.”

Read it here

Apple releases Logic Pro 9.0.2 update
Apple has shipped an update to its professional audio production solution, Logic Pro, raising the software to version 9.0.2.  The update improves overall stability, the I/O plug-in adds an option for latency measurement and TDM plug-ins  have been improved. The update also delivers several bug fixes and enhancements.

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Windows 7 hurts Mac – nah!!
Windows 7 won’t cost Apple any Mac sales, an analyst said yesterday – in fact, they may even boost them…
Analyst Brian Marshall of Broadpoint AmTech has looked at the impact of the not one not two or three but four Windows launches and “found no negative correlation between them and Mac sales”…

Mac sales jumped most after Vista’s introduction, incidentally. Better still, the analyst reckons Apple will take 10 percent of the OS market within five years.

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iPhone is the champ
From PC Mag: “Like the dude, our readers’ love affair with the Apple iPhone abides, as it was the only phone brand they rated significantly better than average, making it the clear Readers’ Choice with a SBA 9.0 out of 10. Amusingly, the iPhone’s overall score went up between 2008 and 2009 even though individual ratings for coverage, call quality, and sound quality all went down! The iPhone didn’t rate spectacularly as a phone, but it received great scores as a messaging device, music player, video player, and gaming device.”

Read it here

Singapore iPhone sales get competitive
Yet more signs of Apple abandoning its exclusive carrier strategy as telco MobileOne (M1) has reached a deal to offer iPhones in Singapore.

"M1 looks forward to offering iPhone and a range of tailored service plans to customers in Singapore. More information on pricing, tariffs and availability dates will be released in due course," the company said in a brief statement.

The Apple mobile is presently only offered by Singapore’s SingTel, which began selling the handsets last year. With exclusive deals falling like flies worldwide, just how long will the entente cordiale last between Apple and AT&T?

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Microsoft Web Apps will be ‘Mac-compatible’
We can’t say we’re certain Microsoft means ‘will work with Mac’ or “will work a little with Mac” in the statement that the Office Web Apps will be “Mac compatible” with Macs running Safari or Firefox.

As reported by ITWire (sadly accompanied by some of the most annoying ads in the whole wide world), Microsoft’s Kurt Schmucker said "I’ve been using the Office Web Apps from both a Mac and a Windows PC for about a month now,” he adds, “I can work on them from almost anywhere on any Mac or PC with an Internet connection."

A public beta of Microsoft’s ‘in the cloud’ service (which we really, really hope works better than the Sidekick) is expected this year.

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Australia shifts to iTunes U
We saw the UK begin its move to iTunes U in earnest late last year, now Australia is joining the charge to offer deep educational content to students, faculty and – well – and us – with primary and secondary schools there publishing content on iTunes U.

The first Australian content comes from the WA Department of Education and Training (DET), CEnet (Catholic Education Network), Presbyterian Ladies’ College WA (PLC), and Scotch College WA.
We think this is interesting, as we fully anticipate availability of iTunes U content to be noted as part of the push for the mythical Apple tablet, should that device ever see the light of day…

Read it here

Deals of the day
In view of the recent alarums over the Snow Leopard data-crunching bug, we’ve dug out a couple of good deals on rock-solid back-up drives for users who really, really care about their data….(hint: Use Time Machine and a connected drive, you’ll feel so much better).

US deal
So you want your data to be Leopard-proof, right? Well, how’s about making it flame and waterproof too? Yes you can, with the ioSafe Solo 1 TB Fireproof and Waterproof External Hard Drive with 1 Year Data Recovery Service SL1000GBUSB20 (Silver). Sure, it is more expensive than ordinary drives, but if you think about the value of your work, memories and iTunes collection, perhaps it begins to make a little more sense?? Take a look all the same, there’s  $14 discount and this machine will set you back $215.99.

UK deal
OK, so another option for safe storage is a RAID drive, but if you’re anything like us you’ll be looking for a RAID system that looks pretty. Good news – there’s a 10 per cent discount on the Neil Poulton (he’s Scottish and has won a string of awards) designed LaCie Hard Disk MAX, Design by Neil Poulton 2TB, USB 2.0. This contains two platters and can be set-up to provide you with 1TB or rock-solid data protection. It’ll cost you £157.02, rather than the £174.53 list price. Take a look…

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