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Let me get this straight: Apple made a ton of money last quarter, but investors dragged down the company's stock price by at least 10 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday night? Never makes a whole lot of sense to casual observers, but clearly something CEO Tim Cook and friends said during yesterday's earnings report got investors spooked. The good news is, the Apple freight train keeps on chugging, and you can bet 2013 will be another banner year for the company. With that in mind, here are a handful of items you might have missed while selling off your Apple stock last night…
For those of you who love their Roku streaming box, did you know you have Netflix to thank for it? According to Fast Company, the onetime DVD rental goliath originally planned to launch its streaming service with its own hardware, developed in-house as "Project Griffin" by a 20-person team led by Anthony Wood, the man who would eventually head up Roku. In December, 2007, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings killed the project, realizing that it wasn't in the company's best interest to become a hardware provider. "I want to be able to call Steve Jobs and talk to him about putting Netflix on Apple TV," Hastings reportedly explained. "But if I'm making my own hardware, Steve's not going to take my call." Instead, Wood debuted the Roku Netflix Player in mid-2008 and the rest is history.
The wildly popular Kickstarter project Pebble E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android has finally started shipping… slowly. According to an online ticker at the aptly-named ispebbleshipping.com, less than 500 units have left the warehouse as of this week, but a photo of a skid full of boxes on Kickstarter is a good indication that more will be going out soon. In the meantime, the free companion app for the iPhone finally hit the App Store on Wednesday night, and the Android app is expected to land on Google Play sometime today. Now the wait begins for the smart watch itself, which landed more than $10 million in financing last May -- 10 times what its makers were hoping for.
Ripple Training has teamed up with Noise Industries for Ripple Tools, a $29 set of 12 plugins for FxFactory and Final Cut Pro X. Among Ripple Tools' feats of strength are the ability to add split screens, use eight or 16-point mattes, add adjustment layers to control the look of multiple clips, color balance using traditional color wheels, apply vintage or black and white effects and even move images in 3D space with ease. Ripple Tools is a quite impressive collection for such a low price, but if you prefer to try before you buy, a free trial version is available or you can check out the video to see what it's capable of.
Xsanity reported this week that Mac-focused storage manufacturer Active Storage closed its doors over the weekend. While it's unclear what exactly is going on, the website has discovered that founder and former Apple Xserve chief Alex Grossman left Active over a month ago, and the shutdown happened rather quickly. Although there's no mention of the closure on the company's website at this writing, a member of the company's engineering team told Xsanity, "Most of us are actually okay and employed elsewhere already."
Mobile greeting cards are fast becoming a hot business, so it's no surprise that online photo service Shutterfly spiffed up their Treat Card app for iPhone this week with a new version 2.0. In addition to offering cards for Valentine's Day next month, the app now features even more cards (900 plus!) for even more occasions, including Congratulations, Thank You's and Anniversaries. Treat is also now faster than ever before with an improved interface and plenty of bug fixes. The free app is available on the App Store and is even optimized for the iPhone 5.
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