8800 GT for 1st Mac Pros; iTunes/Starbucks giveaway; Wall St. store?

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Apple has released a GeForce 8800 GT card compatible with first-generation Mac Pro workstations. Also, Apple and Starbucks are giving away free songs, voice-over-Internet calling has come to iPhone through a third-party app, and Apple is reportedly setting up shop on Wall Street.

GeForce 8800 GT available for early Mac Pro

Apple on Tuesday gave users an anticipated upgrade through a new NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT upgrade card for first-generation Mac Pro systems.

The $279 add-in fulfills a promise made in January after some owners of pre-2008 Mac Pro systems complained that the originally released upgrade card is only compatible with systems from its own generation, owing to chipsets programmed only to support the 64-bit EFI firmware on the newer towers.

While Apple has never publicly commented on the delay, one report earlier this month has suggested company chief Steve Jobs' personal awareness of the issue and the company taking on its own production of a backwards-compatible version.

Apple, Starbucks team up for iTunes giveaway

Continuing their close business ties, Apple and Starbucks have begun a promo campaign dubbed Pick of the Week.

The approach stocks roughly 7,000 of Starbucks' coffee houses with iTunes cards good for a free song or music video selected by the two West coast companies. Visitors to the stores will have 60 days to redeem the code.

Having begun today, the promo has no set end date and is marketed as the "next phase" in the partnership between the two companies, which started with the launch of the iTunes Wi-Fi Music store and an accompanying 50 million song giveaway to promote the wireless service.

Fring delivers unsanctioned VoIP app for iPhone

A voice-over-Internet software developer known as Fring said on Tuesday that it doesn't want to wait for users to try a new version of its online calling app for the iPhone — and so has developed a version for jailbroken iPhones.

The beta requires that users the third-party Installer app and load the software through the unofficial utility. This is to collect feedback from a small group of users ahead of an official (and presumed App Store) release later this year, according to the company.

Regardless of its delivery method, the software represents the first professionally developed VoIP app for the iPhone and honors Apple's third-party app limits, which allow Internet telephony on Wi-Fi but not on cellular networks.

Apple seizing chance at NYC financial district store?

Hesitation by grocer Whole Foods is giving Apple a chance at a coveted retail space in New York City's financial district, a tip handed to Racked says.

The shopping blog's alleged source claims that Whole Foods and Barney's have both been jockeying for spaces at 23 Wall Street and 15 Broad Street respectively, but that the former has withdrawn after considering the resources involved, leaving Apple an opportunity to buy a property for a future store.

The tipster reportedly adds that either location could be occupied by the Mac maker, but that 15 Broad Street has been purchased for more than $18.6 million by a buyer which, unusually, prefers to remain anonymous.

A store at 15 Broad would position Apple's shop next to the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street, and would make for the electronics giant's fifth Manhattan store. The fourth is believed to be in development for West 34th Street, opposite the Empire State Building.

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