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An Apple a Day

The San Jose Mercury News picked up on the sub-$500 iMac news in advance of the show, but offered scant details. The paper listed other expected Apple product announcements, including a DVD-creation software advance, and also noted that Macworld traffic is expected to be thick, with 30,000 people registered in advance of the show.
The San Jose Mercury News: What to Expect in Apple's Lineup (Registration required)
The San Francisco Chronicle: Midget iPod, Budget iMac?

Taking Stock in Apple

Apple can feel good going into its show, thanks to some bullish coverage from Wall Street (indeed, Munster isn't the only Apple fan). "Shares of Apple Computer Inc. rose more than 7 percent Friday after an analyst raised his earnings estimates for the company before its annual trade show next week when new product announcements could send the stock still higher," Reuters reported. "First Albany Capital analyst Joel Wagonfeld, citing higher shipments of Apple's iPod portable digital music players, raised his fiscal 2005 earnings per share estimate to $1.68 from $1.57, and his 2006 estimate to $1.95 from $1.87." More from Bloomberg: "Rumors that ... Jobs may announce lower-priced music players and a Macintosh computer that sells for about $500 are also buoying interest in the company, Wagonfeld said. The cheapest current Macintosh is $800."
Reuters via CNN Money: Apple Jumps on Macworld, Outlook
Bloomberg via The Los Angeles Times: Apple Shares Jump on Word of iPod Sales (Registration required)

_____About Filter_____
Filter looks at the day's top technology news through snapshots and analysis of what the world's media outlets are covering. Washingtonpost.com's new Mon.-Fri. feature is penned by technology reporter Cynthia L. Webb. If a technology story breaks, a company falters or triumphs, or there's a new trend in technology, Filter wants you to know about it.

_____Filter Archive_____
Big Blue Opens the Patent Vault (washingtonpost.com, Jan 11, 2005)
Microsoft Spies a Whole New Market (washingtonpost.com, Jan 7, 2005)
Tech Giants Double Down in Vegas (washingtonpost.com, Jan 6, 2005)
Vonage Phones in Hot WiFi Plans (washingtonpost.com, Jan 5, 2005)
CES 2005: Form, Function and Stylin' (washingtonpost.com, Jan 4, 2005)
More Past Issues
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2004's Top Tech Trends: Readers Weigh In

In the last Filter of 2004, I offered up my own list of the top technology trends for the year. But I also asked readers for what they thought were the most important tech events last year -- the kind of developments that are surely poised to influence the technology sector in 2005.

Here are a few of the comments I received:.

• "My top 2004 tech innovation: municipalities rolling out free WiFi. It's the future." –- Eric Sydow, Alexandria, Va.

• "In the last year, the careful work that had been done in the last decade to develop wireless networks both locally such as WiFi and more wide range such as GSM cell phones began to pay off. WiFi is now everywhere, even beginning to show up on passenger aircraft. GSM data services are gaining as well. I recently traveled by car from State College, where I live, to New York City and had relatively good data connection the whole way. I was also able to broadcast iChat video from a car on the Mass Pike to friends at MIT. That would not have been possible even a year or so ago. ... Security is also an increasing issue on the edge. This is going to take a few years to play out, but it is a paradigm shift of major importance. One hopes that standards and security issues are overcome." -- Russell S. Vaught, associate vice provost, The Pennsylvania State University.

• "Here are my picks for most important IT trends now and in the future: IPv6; RFID; WAP. I agree with you on VoIP and blogs." -– John Barrett, Carrollton, Va.

• "The biggest trend is the triumph of hope over experience in the continued use of a fatally flawed security model in all computers. Far and away the biggest trend is the sustained use of user-based perimeter security models that merely deal with symptoms instead of the actual root or underlying cause of exploits. This is a trend that has carried forward since the dawn of the computer age and no one has figured out that expecting user-based perimeter security by itself to succeed is totally inadequate for the Internet age. Until and unless a security model is adopted in operating systems that prevents the execution of arbitrary code, there is no reason to expect anything other than security treadmills and frustration no matter what operating system one cares to discuss. People don't delete files; processes do." -- Don Paxton, Amarillo, Tex.

• "I'd like to suggest other three technologies or technology trends ashaving risen in 2004 and will likely continue to rise in 2005: 1.) The Pay-as-You-Go model in enterprise software. The last year has seen the rise of this model of enterprise software, in which companies pay a monthly fee per employee for Web-based applications that manage the customer accounts. Salesforce.com, now a public company, is pushing ahead with this model, which seems to be starting to really threaten the big guys in enterprise software like Oracle, Siebel and SAP. 2.) Nanotechnology and its impact moving on computing and medication delivery applications. 3.) Game Planet: In 2004, the competition in the game industry waged on all fronts. And of course gaming is poised to gain more ground with the widespread [growth] of broadband." -- Waleed al-Shobakky, columnist for Cairo-based Business Today in Egypt.

• "You didn't mention XML in your list -- it's not as end-user oriented as most of the stuff in your list, but may have long-term consequences as large as any you mention. It is the basis for making all sorts of information exchange more straightforward (once the involved parties can come to an agreement on what their standard units of information are!)." -- Sigurd Andersen, St. Johnsbury, Vt.


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