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Jan 16
Buildbox software allows for easy game creation

Buildbox (www.buildbox.com), drag and drop game creation software that allows someone to easily create a game, has been updated to version 1.1. Instead of scripting or coding, a user drags and drops image files directly into the software, builds out their levels and moves sliders to adjust gameplay settings.

According to Trey Smith, the founder of Secret Headquarters, the company behind Buildbox., the software can create nearly every major arcade game type from classic top-down shooters like 1942 to platformers similar to the original Super Mario Brothers. It's also easy to invent new gameplay like he did with his hit game Phases (which reached #28 in the Apple App Store), he adds.

Buildbox works with both Mac and PC. It exports games to iPhone, iPod, iPad, Amazon Fire Phone, Amazon Fire HD, Amazon TV, OUYA, Mac, Mac App Store, PC, Steam, Desura and more. It's available for US$2,675; a subscription plan...

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Jan 15
Thousands ask the FCC to prevent hotels from blocking Wi-Fi...

In response to Marriott International and the American Hospitality and Lodging Association—a hotel lobby group, petitioning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow hotels to remotely disable guests’ personal Wi-Fi devices, forcing guests to pay for the hotels’ own Wi-Fi service—a new Care2 petition (http://www.care2.com/go/z/hotelwifi ) asks the FCC not to cave to these demands has gathered more than 13,000 signatures.

In October, Marriott paid US$600,000 to settle a complaint that the hotel had blocked customers’ personal wireless modems and hot spots at least once, but the hotel chain is continuing the fight. Marriott is asking the FCC for an exception to a rule prohibiting  "willful and malicious interference" of wireless signals.
Marriott has said it doesn’t want to interfere with guests’ ability to access the Internet in private rooms or lobby spaces, but...

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Jan 15
Lucky, Save Mart, FoodMaxx now accept Apple Pay

Lucky, Save Mart and FoodMaxx stores now accept Apple Pay, Apple's mobile payment service, in all of their 217 stores throughout Northern California and Nevada.

"Expect new things in our stores this year—the first of which is Apple Pay. We are working diligently to transform the shopping experience for our customers and this cutting-edge technology will help to speed them through checkout," says Nicole Piccinini Pesco, co-president and chief strategy and branding officer. "Accepting Apple Pay provides shoppers a secure and private way to pay for their groceries and we’ve added support for this new mobile payment method solely for their benefit and convenience."

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Jan 15
Avernum 2: Crystal Souls game now available

Avernum 2: Crystal Souls (http://tinyurl.com/kds5cj5) for Mac OS X is now available at a variety of sources, such as the Mac App Store and Steam. It requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher and costs US$19.99.

Here's how the game is described: "Avernum 2: Crystal Souls is an epic, indie, fantasy role-playing adventure in a unique, massive world. The subterranean land of Avernum is full of strange caves, cunning dungeons, and the alien inhabitants of the underworld. Explore a massive, underground nation of tunnels and caverns, packed with over 100 towns and dungeons. Fight to complete up to three distinct game-winning quests."

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Jan 15
Typinator 6.4 adds support for nested expansions

Ergonis Software (http://www.ergonis.com) has released Typinator 6.4, the latest version of its tool for auto-typing text and auto-correcting typos systemwide across all Mac OS X applications.

The new version comes comes with a new feature that lets you nest existing abbreviations inside other expansions. You can use this feature to insert previously defined expansions in new ones, for example to insert a completely assembled date in another expansion, or to add a formatted signature at the end of a boilerplate mail template.

With an inclusion mechanism, text expansions can execute external scripts and include their results in the expansion. Typinator supports scripts written in in many different languages like AppleScript, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and arbitrary shell scripting languages.

Typinator requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later. It can be purchased on the Ergonis Software web site for...

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Jan 15
Parallels Access 2.5 features Universal File Manager, more

Parallels has introduced Parallels Access 2.5 (www.parallels.com/access), available immediately on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
 
New features of the award-winning app include a universal file manager, computer-to-computer remote access and Samsung S Pen integration. Now all Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge customers get a free six month subscription to Parallels Access in their Galaxy Gifts. The new release also supports the recently released OS X Yosemite and Windows 10 Technical Preview.
 
Parallels Access 2.5 is available on the App Store, Google Play, Samsung Galaxy Apps and the Amazon Appstore for Android with a two-week free trial. Individual subscriptions are available for approximately US$16 for one year; they include the ability to access up to five remote computers from an unlimited number of iOS and Android tablets and phones, and an unlimited number...

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Jan 15
Worldwide IT spending on pace to grow 2.4% in 2015

Worldwide IT spending is on pace to total US$3.8 trillion in 2015, a 2.4%increase from 2014; however, this growth rate is down from earlier projections of 3.9%, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).

The slower outlook for 2015 is largely attributed to the rising U.S. dollar as well as a modest reduction in growth expectations for devices, IT services and telecom services, according to the research group.

"The change in forecast is less dramatic than it might at first seem. The rising U.S. dollar is chiefly responsible for the change — in constant currency terms the downward revision is only 0.1," says John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. "Stripping out the impact of exchange rate movements, the corresponding constant-currency growth figure is 3.7%, which compares with 3.8 percent in the previous quarter's forecast."

The U.S. dollar spending growth...

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Jan 15
New frame pack available for AKVIS ArtSuite AKVIS (www.akvis.com...

AKVIS (www.akvis.com) has announced a new frame pack, Communion and Confirmation, for AKVIS ArtSuite. The program allows users to decorate their photos with frames and effects.

Extra frame packs can be installed to the program to increase its functionality. The new Communion & Confirmation Pack includes 50 hand painted frame designs.

AKVIS ArtSuite lets you apply effects to decorate pictures. The software lets you frame your photographs. Just place a photo into a frame and run image processing; the edges will be smoothed and hidden to fit the frame.

AKVIS ArtSuite, with all its frame packs, runs on Mac OS X 10.6 and higher. A 10-day demo version is available for download. AKVIS ArtSuite (the Home Standalone version) sells for US$69; the price of the new pack is $15.

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Jan 14
Bushel offers Apple device management features

Bushel (http://bushel.com), a device management solution powered by JAMF Software, has announced general availability. It's a cloud-based solution designed to make it easy for "regular people" to set up, manage and protect their Apple devices anytime from anywhere.

Bushel brings enterprise Apple management features to workgroups and small and medium sized businesses without the need of an IT guru. It's designed to make complex tasks including Apple device setup, security and management, simple and quick. Bushel features hands-free device configuration through the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP), as well as comprehensive device inventory features.

Bushel is free to use for up to three devices, forever. Paid accounts begin at two dollars a month for four devices, and two dollars per device per month for each additional device. Bushel features a pay as you go pricing model, with no long-term contracts.

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Jan 14
2TB Mac mini returns to Apple's online store

A 2TB version of the Mac mini has popped up again at the Apple online store. After the most recent revision of Apple's smallest desktop, the option had vanished.

The new 2TB model is limited to the high-end, $999 configuration. It uses an Apple Fusion Drive instead of a conventional hard drive. It also packs a 2.8GHz dual Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of memory.

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Jan 14
Kinsa thermometer to integrate with Apple's HealthKit

Kinsa (www.kinsahealth.com), the company behind a FDA-cleared smartphone-connected thermometer, has announced the integration of its app with Apple's HealthKit for iOS 8.

Through the free Kinsa app, users can create individual profiles for each member of the family and track fever, symptoms and illness history within the app itself.  Kinsa's integration with HealthKit further allows for individual users to track temperature as part of their broader personal health and fitness context, says Inder Singh, founder and CEO of Kinsa.

The Kinsa Smart Thermometer, designed specifically with parents and children in mind, leverages smartphones to make temperature taking a more engaging, informative and useful process, he adds. The thermometer plugs in to the headphone jack and uses the display, power and processing of the smartphone to determine a temperature reading in less than 10 seconds. 

Like...

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Jan 14
Apple sues Ericsson for LTE wireless tech patents

Apple is suing Ericsson for charging excessive royalty rates on certain wireless Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, arguing that the company's patents aren't essential to overarching industry standards, reports Reuters (http://tinyurl.com/lqjqcty).

Currently, the two companies have a license agreement that covers many of Ericsson's allegedly standard-essential patents. The agreement was signed in 2008 soon after Apple launched the iPhone, according to the court filing.

In the in the lawsuit filed in a federal court in California, Apple says the royalties should be based on the value of the processor chip that includes the technology, The company adds that it hasn't infringed on the patents and doesn't owe royalties for them, notes "Reuters."

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Jan 14
MoneyWiz for Mac OS X adds worldwide online banking integration

SilverWiz has announced MoneyWiz 2.0 for Mac OS X. The update to this personal finance software introduces more than 130 improvements and worldwide online banking integration.

MoneyWiz can now connect to more than 2,200 financial institutions in 41 countries. It's personal finance software that allows people to manage accounts, budgets and bills, generate reports and more.

It requires Mac OS X 10.8 or later and normally costs US$49.99. However, you can buy it for 50% off until mid-February. It's available at the M

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Jan 14
Data Creator for Mac OS X gets faster algorithm for records...

Tension Software (www.tensionsoftware.com) has updated Data Creator, a Mac OS X tool that can create sample tables (rows and columns) fill them with pseudo-random proper content (rows of content) with a single click, to version 1.4. The upgrade provides a faster algorithm for records creation.

It also offers: better handling of creation of a higher number of records in a single command; improved more informative progress toolbar for longer operations; and more commands to add, delete and set number of records.

With Data Creator, you can select which kind of fields (columns) you like (name of animals, colors, fruits, etc.) and have all the contents filled for how many rows you like in a click. The app can export to comma separated value, tab separated values, HTML tables, even web pages.

Data Creator requires Mac OS X 10.9 or higher and costs US$9.99. It's available at the Tension...

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Jan 14
CS Odessa announces Education Infographics Solution for...

CS Odessa (www.conceptdraw.com) has announced its Education Infographics Solution for ConceptDraw Pro. The solution contains 11 libraries of vector stencils for design elements of diagrams, charts, maps, pictures, and typography.

You can use the solution to create infographics that can be used to communicate education and statics-derived messages at a glance. These new additions to the ConceptDraw Solution Park are for current users of ConceptDraw Pro 10.

The ConceptDraw Education Infographics Solution is an add-on to ConceptDraw Pro 10 and costs US$25. It contains 11 libraries of vector stencils for design elements of diagrams, charts, maps, pictures, and typography.

ConceptDraw Pro is compatible with Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. It retails for $249, and will open and save files that are in Visio 2013 format. ConceptDraw Pro 10 is now included in ConceptDraw Office 3, which retails for $...

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Jan 13
PDFpen Pro 7 supports Yosemite, iCloud Drive sharing

Smile (www.smilesoftware.com) has released PDFpenPro 7, the latest version of its all-purpose PDF editing tool for Mac OS X.

The upgrade features the ability to proofread and edit the OCR text layer and export to Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF Archive (PDF/A) formats, all with an interface updated for OS X Yosemite.What's more, PDFpenPro and PDFpen 7 support document sharing via iCloud Drive.

With the apps, users can sign PDF forms containing interactive signature fields, though this isn't cryptographic "digital" signing. PDFpenPro allows users to create PDF forms which include interactive signature fields.

PDFpen pricing starts at US$74.95 for a single user license. A single user license for the pro version is $124.95.

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Jan 13
Steve Wozniak among Apps World Germany keynote speakers

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, will be keynoting the inaugural Apps World Germany event (https://www.apps-world.net) in Berlin this April. He will be joined by founder of Lionhead Studios; Peter Molyneux OBE and co-founder of Games Workshop; Ian Livingstone. The event taking place at CityCube, Berlin on April 22-23 is set to attract over 6,000 attendees over the two days.

Wozniak will be discussing the story of Apple, entrepreneurship, innovation and sharing his industry insight with developers in the free-to-attend Developer World conference stream. Both Molyneux and Livingstone will be sharing their insight on the Gaming World stage (part of International Games Week Berlin) this April with their individual keynotes discussing the evolution of mobile games production; the challenges, lessons and their future predictions.

Other speakers include; Jimmy Maymann, CEO, Huffington Post, Ulrik...

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Jan 13
SEO PowerSuite tools updated with Moz’s PA/DA metrics

Link-Assistant.Com says Moz’s Page and Domain Authority stats (PA/DA) have been integrated into SEO PowerSuite tools. From now on, SEO PowerSuite users will be able to use PA/DA to analyze SEO authority of any domain or page.

What's more, users will be able to choose between PA/DA and Google PageRank to calculate Domain Strength, Keyword Difficulty, Link Penalty Risk, and Link Value in SEO PowerSuite. In October 2014, Google announced that it wouldn't be updating Toolbar PageRank, so it has become a top priority for SEO data providers like SEO PowerSuite to find an alternative to PageRank to keep providing accurate SEO data, says Erin Madison, User Experience Manager, Link-Assistant.Com.

Moz's Page and Domain Authority are popular metrics to estimate the SEO "strength" of any website and compare one site to another. Based on numerous link metrics — linking root domains, number of total links, link popularity, link trust, etc. — PA/DA scores can be a good substitute...

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Jan 13
Apple up 2.4% following Credit Suisse upgrade

Credit Suisse's Kulbinder Garcha has upgraded (http://tinyurl.com/p2bdljb) Apple to Outperform two weeks before its fiscal first quarter (FY 15) financial report, and hiked his target by US$20 to $130.

He's calling for 215 million FY15 iPhone sales, and a similar amount for FY16. The FY15 forecast assumes the acquisition of 76 million users for rival platforms, and a pickup the global iPhone replacement rate to 21 months. A 31.8% FY15 increase in purchase obligation guidance is seen as an indicator of strong demand.

Garcha also expects Apple to "announce a sizable increase in its cash return program for the next three years through the end of 2017 to over $200 billion." That's $165 billion or buybacks and $37 billion for dividends. He forecasts 20 million 2015 Apple Watch sales at an average price of US$400 and 50% gross margin.

Want more? Sign up for the Apple Daily Report newsletter...

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Jan 13
Cinematica for Mac OS X adds better Finder integration

Xeric Design www.xericdesign.com has launched Cinematica 2.4, an upgrade to its video management app for Mac OS X. It lets you manage your video library in detail, keeping track of dozens of properties for each and every file.

With Cinematica, you can sort and search by multiple criteria as well as by technical properties. Version 2.4 adds better Finder integration. Filenames are now directly represented in the "Name" field so that changing a filename in the Finder will be reflected in Cinematica and vice versa.

Cinematica 2.4 requires Mac OS X 10.8 or higher. Single user copies may be purchased online for US$24.95. Five user copies are available for $39.95. Upgrades from version 1.x start at $12.95.

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Jan 12
IDC: PC leaders continue growth and gain shares

Worldwide PC (personal computer) shipments totaled 80.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14), a year-on-year decline of -2.4%, according to the IDC (www.idc.com) research group.

Total shipments were slightly above expectations of -4.8% growth, but the market still contracted both year on year and in comparison to the third quarter. Although the holiday quarter saw shipment volume inch above 80 million for the first time in 2014, the final quarter nonetheless marked the end of yet another difficult year – the third consecutive year with overall volumes declining. On an annual basis, 2014 shipments totaled 308.6 million units, down -2.1% from the prior year.

Although the U.S. and Europe remained stronger than other markets, growth in these mature regions slowed from earlier in the year. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) continued to strengthen, seeing only a very slight increase in volume as a number of...

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Jan 12
Gartner: global PC shipments grew 1% in Q4 2014

Worldwide personal computer (PC) shipments totaled 83.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014, a 1% increase from the fourth quarter of 2013, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). These results indicate a slow, but consistent improvement following more than two years of decline.

"The PC market is quietly stabilizing after the installed base reduction driven by users diversifying their device portfolios. Installed base PC displacement by tablets peaked in 2013 and the first half of 2014. Now that tablets have mostly penetrated some key markets, consumer spending is slowly shifting back to PCs," says Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

However, there are regional variations. Mostly, mature regions show an ongoing trend of positive growth, but emerging markets remain weak, Kitagawa said.

"The U.S. showed the highest growth in the fourth quarter of 2014. In...

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Jan 12
XwaveSoft releases Chrono Plus 1.0 for the Mac

Xwavesofht (www.xwavesoft.com)has introduced Chrono Plus 1.0 for Mac OS X 10.7 and higher. It costs US$4.99 and is available at the Mac App Store in the Productivity section.

Features include the ability to track time and earnings, project visualization reports, and auto-generated invoices that can be immediately e-mailed to a client, saved to a cloud storage, or shared to DropBox. Also available for iOS devices, Chrono Plus can be synched across all devices.

With a click, users can set up tasks and sub-tasks in a multi-level task manager.
The reporting feature of Chrono Plus for Mac provides a visual representation of users' time and tasks. Reports can be created for the specific tasks/projects or for all tasks/projects according to a specific date range or cost value. Reports are furnished in the form of graphs and pie charts to provide a clear picture of the time and cost involved in the task/...

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Jan 12
Cinematica 2.4 for Mac OS X adds better Finder integration

Xeric Design (www.xericdesign.com) has launched Cinematica 2.4, an upgrade to its video management app for Mac OS X. It lets you manage your video library in detail, keeping track of dozens of properties for each and every file.

With Cinematica, you can sort and search by multiple criteria as well as by technical properties. Version 2.4 adds better Finder integration. Filenames are now directly represented in the "Name" field so that changing a filename in the Finder will be reflected in Cinematica and vice versa.

Cinematica 2.4 requires Mac OS X 10.8 or higher. Single user copies may be purchased online for US$24.95. Five user copies are available for $39.95. Upgrades from version 1.x start at $12.95.

| Read more »
Jan 09
Lawsuit over 'faulty' Mac laptop logic boards dismissed

Apple has seen a lawsuit dismissed accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBooks with "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years, reports Reuters (http://yhoo.it/1I1NzIW).

U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market.

"Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup said. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."

| Read more »
 
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