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Jan 05
Amped Wireless debuts HD Wi-Fi cameras

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Amped Wireless announced the latest solutions for consumer and business security, the APOLLO and APOLLO PRO Long Range HD Wi-Fi Cameras. According to Lacey Limbrick, Amped Wireless’ Brand and Marketing manager, they provide three times the Wi-Fi range of any other cameras of their kind.

Accompanied by a mobile app and cloud recording, these Long Range HD Wi-Fi Cameras combine high powered amplifiers and a high gain antenna. This High Power technology enables the cameras to be installed in the outer corners of a home or office, outside of the garage, near the pool or in other areas that standard cameras can’t reach. The APOLLO and APOLLO PRO can be installed anywhere without the need to be close to a Wi-Fi source.

The APOLLO PRO is equipped with a wide viewing angle for optimal viewing dimensions. Advanced Night Vision provides clear viewing in dark conditions. The APOLLO PRO is also equipped with two-way...

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Jan 05
Buy one copy of QuarkXPress 2015 and get one free

Everyone who purchases a copy of QuarkXPress 2015, or upgrades to it from previous versions, between now and Feb. 15, will receive a second license of QuarkXPress 2015 free. Go to http://content.quark.com/bogof-us.html for more info.

QuarkXPress 2015 is the current version of Quark’s design and page layout software for creative professionals. It features the top 10 most user-requested enhancements as well as 64-bit performance, certified PDF/X-4 output, and functionality for creating fixed layout eBooks. QuarkXPress is sold as a perpetual license for Mac OS X and Windows, which means no subscriptions are required.

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Jan 05
CES: Griffin rolls out USB-C peripherals

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Griffin Technology (www.GriffinTechnology.com) announced new accessories for USB-C connection ports (Apple’s 12-inch MacBook only has one port — and it’s USB-C).

With the introduction of USB-C on the MacBook, Apple removed the MagSafe connector. Enter Griffin’s BreakSafe Magnetic USB-C Power Cable ($39.99), which brings back a magnetic breakaway power cable to USB-C compatible laptops, keeping them safe from drops and damage. The patented quick-release magnetic connector plugs into a laptop’s USB-C port and safely disconnects from the rest of the cable when put under stress or strain from incidents like tripping over the power cord.

The magnetic connector is only 12.8 mm deep so it can stay plugged into a laptop’s USB-C port when not in use. The BreakSafe’s included six-foot cable with the USB-C charger that comes with laptops such as the...

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Jan 04
CES: Brydge launches new keyboards for the iPad Pro, iPad mini 4

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Brydge (www.brydge.com) launched its keyboard lineup for the Apple iPad Pro and iPad mini 4.

Brydge has engineered its keyboards to maximize the functionality of the iPad while providing the productivity of a MacBook, says CEO Nicholas Smith. Following the same award-winning design as previous Brydge models, the BrydgePro and BrydgeMini are equipped with Brydge's patented 180-degree hinge system, 100% aluminum build, backlit keys, and haptic key feel.

Both the BrydgePro and BrydgeMini boast a minimalistic design that includes Brydge's patented U-shaped silicon clamping mechanism for premium viewing angles and adjustments, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rechargeable battery that lasts up to three months.

The BrydgePro for iPad Pro is $189 and is available for preorder at www....

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Jan 04
Elevan announces Apple Pay support

Elavon (www.elavon.ca), a payments solution provider in Canada and subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, now offers its customers access to Apple Pay. Following the recent launch of Apple Pay in Canada for American Express cardholders, Elavon is among the first payment processing companies to offer Apple Pay to Canadian businesses.

Apple Pay works with current Elavon EMV-contactless point of sale terminals in Canada. To pay, consumers simply hold their mobile device near the contactless reader, exactly as they would a contactless card today. The payment information is then passed to the POS system once the consumer confirms the transaction using Touch ID on their device.

“Elavon has been an early supporter of mobile payments, and Canadians continue to demonstrate their interest in adopting new payment technologies,” says Mia Huntington, Vice President of Elavon in Canada. “Along with the increasing consumer demand for...

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Jan 04
Griffin expands its Apple Watch accessories

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Griffin Technology (www.GriffinTechnology.com) unveiled additions to its Apple Watch accessories line.

Griffin’s Travel Power Bank ($69.99) is a compact battery with a Apple Watch charger. With 800 mAh of power, the portable battery purportedly delivers up to four four full charges for Apple’s smartwatch before it needs recharging via the included micro-USB cable. The Travel Power Bank (pictured) will be available in the second quarter of the year and will come with an attached keyring to clip it to a set of keys, a hook or carabiner.

The Uptown Leather Band ($59.99) is a double-wrap band that complements all 38mm Apple Watch versions. It combines colored genuine leather bands with coordinating metal buckle detailing in gold, silver or rose gold. A metal buckle and floating keeper loops adjust to fit wrists measuring 5.1 to 7 inches, while...

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Jan 04
CES: Griffin expands its Survivor line of bags

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Griffin Technology announced a new collection of bags to its best-selling Survivor line. Survivor Backpack and Survivor Briefcase are TSA-compliant and offer crush-and-weather-proof protection for laptops, tablets and other tech, no matter how far off the beaten path life takes you.

Both Survivor Backpack and Survivor Briefcase boast enough room for a 15-inch laptop, full-size tablet and smartphone in padded, weatherproof compartments. The main compartments are surrounded by an internal shatter-proof plastic shell and honeycombed sidewalls that provide impact protection and are sealed from rain, snow and sleet with weatherproof zippers.

Wide, padded shoulder straps are lined with breathable mesh for comfort. Combined with a water-resistant ballistic nylon construction and a molded, high-density foam and padded pocket, Survivor Backpack is designed to protect gear from 6-foot drops while Survivor Briefcase...

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Jan 04
CES: BoomCloud 360 announces the BoomStick

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, BoomCloud 360 (BoomCloud360.com) previewed the BoomStick, which is designed to enhance the sound of any pair of headphones. Customers can pre-order the BoomStick for $99; it will ship in the spring.

“While TV has made huge strides in terms of quality, from black and white to 4k, audio has been going backward. In fact, our research shows that only 4 percent of consumers believe they are achieving great audio experience with their headphones,” said George Appling, co-founder of BoomCloud 360. “Consumers shouldn’t have to settle for mediocre audio. With the BoomStick, you can make your free earphones outperform expensive headphones or you can take your expensive headphones to a whole new level of enveloping sound.”

The BoomStick comes in black and silver. It’s compatible with any pair of headphones or earphones with a standard 3.5 mm connection.

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Jan 04
CES: Samsung announces Samsung Portable SSD T3

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Samsung announced the Portable SSD T3 (www.samsung.com/T3), a palm-sized, external solid state drive (SSD) that offers multi-terabyte (TB) storage capacity. It’s equipped with Samsung’s proprietary Vertical NAND (V-NAND) and SSD TurboWrite technology.

Samsung is offering a new 2TB T3 SSD, along with a wide range of capacity options including 250 GB, 500GB, and 1TB. With the rise of rich 4K content, consumers are increasingly relying on external storage solutions, while seeking faster data transfer speeds and large capacity on multiple devices, according to Un-Soo Kim, senior vice president of Brand Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. He says the T3 solves these concerns by enabling fast file transfers based on sequential read and write speeds of up to 450MB/s with a USB 3.1 interface, which is up to four times faster than...

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Jan 04
Acer, Lenovo displays suitable for Apple’s MacBook

Since Apple’s 12-inch MacBook only comes with an USB-C port, it’s a little tricky to connect a monitor. Or, at least it was. Acer and Lenovo have announced two displays with UBS-C connectivity, which should make them nice MacBook accessories.

Acer says its H7 series monitors (pictured) are the world’s first to support USB Type-C, so users can transfer data and display content from notebooks or smartphones, while charging them at the same time through just one cable. With a ZeroFrame design, diamond-cut and brushed-metal stand, the Acer H7 series models are offered in 25-inch and 27-inch options.

They also boast WQHD (2560 x 1440) display resolution, audio with Acer TrueHarmony and DTS Sound and come outfitted with USB Type-C and HDMI 2.0 ports. Acer says the H7 series supports 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut. The displays will be available in February with prices starting at $499.99.

According to AnandTech (...

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Jan 04
Ford’s SYNC connectivity system will add support for CarPlay

Ford is expanding its SYNC connectivity system, adding Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G LTE and several new AppLink apps.

“SYNC allows customers to bring the smartphone technology they’re comfortable with into a vehicle and use it without hassle,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “With SYNC, we move at our customers’ pace – making it easy for them to maintain a connected lifestyle no matter their choice of smartphone, apps or services inside and outside their vehicle.”

With more than 15 million SYNC-equipped vehicles on roads around the world today and 43 million expected by 2020, Ford’s industry-leading communications and entertainment technology is offering customers even more connectivity. Connectivity is one part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.

Starting this year, owners of SYNC 3-...

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Jan 01
Happy New Year!

MacTech and MacNews will be closed today for New Year's Day. We wish all our readers a great 2016. We’ll be back up and running on Monday, Jan. 4.

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Dec 30
Apple settles Italy tax fraud case

Apple's Italian subsidiary has agreed to pay €318m (about US$348m million) following an investigation into tax fraud allegations, Italy's tax office says. Italy's tax authorities say the company failed to pay €880m in tax between 2008 and 2013, according to “La Repubblica” — as noted by “BBC News (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35197547)

The settlement follows an investigation by prosecutors in Milan. Apple hasn’t commented on the settlement, but has previously denied any attempts to escape paying tax owed on profits made around the world.

The investigation, which dates to 2013, examined whether Apple had moved around $1.1 billion in revenues from its Italian operations through an Irish subsidiary to lower the taxes that the company was to to pay in Italy.

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Dec 30
Waves Audio shipping the Greg Wells PianoCentric plugin

Waves Audio is shipping the Waves Greg Wells PianoCentric plugin (http://tinyurl.com/gvz9cvg), part of the Waves Signature Series.  

Created in collaboration with multiple GRAMMY®-nominated producer, songwriter, musician and mixing engineer Greg Wells (Adele, Katy Perry, Mika, One Republic, Twenty One Pilots), it’s a an user friendly one-knob plugin that gives users direct access to the customized tools, signal flow and piano processing techniques perfected by Wells. Waves Greg Wells PianoCentric is a solution for shaping your piano or keyboard recordings, with options varying from full-range piano to lo-fi filtered sounds.  

A demo is available for download. PianoCentric normally costs US$149, but it’s on sale for $99 for a limited time.

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Dec 30
Apple accused of planned planned obsolescence regarding the...

A class action lawsuit (http://tinyurl.com/pss99mc) filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern Division of New York, claims Apple engages in planned obsolescence and knew of potential compatibility issues iPhone 4s owners upgraded to iOS 9.

“The update significantly slowed down their iPhones and interfered with the normal usage of the device, leaving Plaintiff with a difficult choice: use a slow and buggy device that disrupts everyday life or spend hundreds of dollars to buy a new phone,” the lawsuit reads. “Apple explicitly represented to the public that iOS 9 is compatible with and supports the iPhone 4S. And Apple failed to warn iPhone 4S owners that the update may or will significantly interfere with the device’s performance.”

Those filing the class action lawsuit want: the “maximum amount” of award or damages the law allows, an order enjoining Apple’s unlawful practices and corrected...

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Dec 30
Answers for Mac OS X is now a 64-bit app

Tim Parnell has announced Answers 1.1.6 (http://nswrs.com), an update to his FAQ and Help documentation tool for Mac OS X. It’s designed to help users write help documents.

Using a content-based approach you can make a help book or FAQ. You can create your text, then select a sleek theme to stylize your work. Version 1.1.6 is now a 64-bit app.

Answers 1.1.6 is available now. There’s a free version and a more fully featured, $29 pro version.

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Dec 29
SIGNUL Beacon System is now commercially available

The IoT Design Shop at Finger Food Studios has announced the commercial availability of the SIGNUL Beacon System. Geared specifically for personal use, SIGNUL enables a unique smartphone-as-presence system that enables you to automate your digital life.

SIGNUL beacon zones are established by placing a SIGNUL beacon at a physical point of interest. You can send text messages, launch apps, and control home automation systems simply by being present with your smartphone. Beacons are in stock and shipping now.

SIGNUL retails for US$50, and is available for order now on the IoT Design Shop Store (http://fingerfoodstudios.com). iOS and Android are supported, and beta access to the SIGNUL IFTTT channel is available.

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Dec 29
New version of DJ Mixer Express for Mac OS X released

DJMixerSoft has announced the next generation of DJ Mixer Express for Mac OS X. New features in the DJ software include advanced loop features.

You can create and recall loops and set up cue-points. DJ Mixer Express now offers automatic/manual mixing, a mixer with crossfading between two tracks, automatic beat detection, iTunes library integration, the ability to apply multiple audio effects, support for mixing video and karaoke, and more,

DJ Mixer Express Version 5.6.2 costs $29.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.10 or newer.  It may be downloaded as a free 30-day demo from the macdjmixer.com website. The demo version is full-featured and may be used for 30 days for evaluation purposes only.

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Dec 28
Flexihub for OS X allows UBS, serial port sharing

Eltima Software has released FlexiHub (http://www.flexihub.com), a file sharing solution for Mac OS X. It was specifically developed for sharing of USB and serial (COM) ports over network.

According to the folks at Eltima, iIt doesn't matter where shared ports with devices are; they can be across the road, in the same room, or across the globe. FlexiHub allows management of remote devices, connection and disconnection are held without user's physical presence at the USB or serial port.

Paid subscriptions allow sharing multiple devices among multiple nodes (computers) for unlimited periods of time. Users can use FlexiHub's own redirection server and automatic reconnection in case connection with a shared device is interrupted. Pricing starts at $6.59 a month.

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Dec 28
Corona Labs brings app, game development to tvOS

Perk.com, a cloud-based mobile rewards platform provider, has announced that Corona Labs, the leader in 2D mobile game and app development, has released a new version of the Corona SDK [software development kit] for their community of 300,000-plus developers.

Developers can now publish apps to iTunes Connect for tvOS, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV supported through the Corona SDK. Also included in this release is support for OS X allowing developers to build apps for Apple desktop computers. New features will continue to be added but the release marks a stable point in OS X platform support.

“We’re proud that Corona Labs developers will be able to publish apps to exciting new channels, including Apple TV, Android TV, and desktop computers, using the same fast, easy platform they are already using to build great games and apps for mobile,” says Roj Niyogi, President and founder of Perk and newly appointed CEO of Corona Labs. “These updates prove that Corona Labs’...

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Dec 24
Happy holidays from ‘MacTech/MacNews’

Today and tomorrow MacTech and MacNews will be closed for the holidays. We wish all our readers a great holiday season. We’ll be back up and running on Monday, Dec. 28.

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Dec 23
OWC announces the OWC Mercury Pro

Other World Computing has released the OWC Mercury Pro, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 optical drive for plug and play support of CD, DVD, M-DISC and/or Blu-ray disc reading and writing with Macs and PCs. It brings optical media back to your workflow with USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectivity for playback of optical media, data transfer and archiving with bandwidth to spare.

The OWC Mercury Pro sports an aluminum chassis and is s available in two configurations:

° 24x DVD burner, for rapid backup, sharing and creating, and playback of any DVD media up to 4.7GB capacity and full read, write and playback of CD media as well;

°16x Blu-ray disc burner, for recordings and large project storage up to 100GB. It allows you to play back retail and personally-created Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and CDs.

The folks at OWC say that, when backing up audio, video, archives or other data for the long term, M-DISC makes the perfect partner for the Mercury Pro. The M-DISC is an archival-quality storage...

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Dec 23
Just Mobile shipping AluCable USB-C cables

Just Mobile (www.just-mobile.com) is now shipping two AluCable USB-C cables: the US$19.95 USB-C 3.1 to UB adapter and the $29.95 USB-C to UBC-C cable.

"USB-C is a new hot industry standard equipped in the 12-inch MacBook launched this April, and we believe in the near future it will be accepted by all majority of PC manufacturers and become the standard to replace all existing USB connectors. In order to connect a USB-C device to existing USB-A peripherals, we created the AluCable USB-C 3.1 to USB adapter to connect to a myriad of possibilities." says Nils Gustafsson, co-founder of Just Mobile.

The Just Mobile AluCable USB-C to A is an USB adapter to  connect USB-C enabled devices – such as the new Apple MacBook to USB-A peripherals. Running the USB 3.1 standard, this 15cm-long adapter can transfer data at up to 5Gbps while charging devices with a powerful 3A current.  

The AluCable USB-C...

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Dec 22
PhotoFast launches iOS microSD Card Reader

PhotoFast (www.photofast.com) has announced global availability of the PhotoFast iOS Card Reader. Built with a Lightning connector, it offers the power to store, transfer, stream and back-up data from a microSD card so you can access your photos, videos and songs anytime, anywhere.

It can be plugged directly into an iOS iPhone or iPad, enabling people on-the-go to access, transfer and store up to 128GB of extra storage on their Apple device.
 
The iOS Card Reader is supported by PhotoFast’s i-FlashDrive ONE app, which includes a variety of online and offline capabilities. Users can store and back-up data from cloud-based services such as iCloud, Google Drive and DropBox, as well as social media accounts, Facebook and Instagram. The i-FlashDrive ONE app also offers enhanced security and file management features, including a USB accessory lock and app lock supported by Touch ID, says Warren Wang, CEO...

| Read more »
Dec 22
DxO announces Photos extensions for OS X El Capitan

DxO (www.dxo.com) has released two new extensions for OS X El Capitan:, DxO OpticsPro for OS X Photos and DxO OpticsPro for OS X Photos - DxO ONE Camera Only. They provide DxO's image processing within the Photos app on OS X.

DxO OpticsPro for OS X Photos adds access to “tens of thousands” of DxO Optics Modules that enable DxO's automatic optical corrections for distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberration and lens softness for most popular cameras and lenses. It’s a paid download ($9.99) from the Mac App Store. When installed, it automatically appears as an extension that can be accessed via the editing tools in Photos. The DxO Optics Modules automatically identify the camera and lens used to capture each photo, then use this information to correct for a variety of optical flaws, such as distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting, and lens softness.

DxO ONE owners can download DxO OpticsPro for OS X Photos for...

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Check out the new Pirate Attack update i...
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