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Jan 03
Handbrake update is for Intel-only Macs

Handbrake (http://handbrake.fr/downloads.php), a DVD "ripping" app for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 0.9.5. It's free, requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher and, as of this version, is compatible only with Intel-based Macs.

Handbrake 0.9.5 also has a new Audio Panel supporting >4 audio tracks, VLC detection in /Applications and ~/Applications and multiple instance support.

Handbrake can encode directly from DVDs (even encrypted ones) or from VIDEO_TS folders. It supports: AC3, LPCM and MPEG audio tracks; two-pass encoding; encoding of two audio tracks; and picture deinterlacing, cropping and scaling. It outputs MP4, AVI, OGM, AAC, MP3 and Vorbis audio files. It also includes a bitrate calculator.

However, Handbrake doesn't handle DTS audio tracks or single VOB files. If you have a DVD-ROM with random video files saved on it (AVI, MPG, WMV, MOV, etc), Handbrake won'...

| Read more »
Jan 03
New iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Jan. 3

Here are the latest iPhone/iPod touch/iPod/iPad apps. You can find 'em at the Apple App Store (http://www.itunes.com/appstore/).

Hindsight Labs has announced Paprika Recipe Manager 1.0 for the iPhone and iPod touch. The US$4.99 app lets you create your own recipes, save recipes from any web site, and organize them the way you want. Paprika Recipe Manager has support for Paprika Cloud Sync, an online sync solution that allows users to keep their recipes, grocery lists, and meals automatically synchronized across multiple devices.

Fullpower-MotionX has released MotionX-GPS Drive for the iPhone and iPad tablet, with HD Speech Synthesis for spoken street names. It offers users a choice between the natural voice for turn-by-turn driving instructions or synthesized voice. The new version is built specifically for the iPad. MotionX-GPS Drive is immediately available for the iPhone at $0.99...

| Read more »
Jan 03
CyWee introduces wireless streaming accessory for Apple products

CyWee Group (http://www.cywee.com) -- a provider of wireless solutions for mobile devices, personal computers, and home entertainment -- has launched the company’s Air Shuttle mobile accessory.

The Air Shuttle is the first and only MFi-certified accessory that enables real-time audio and video transmission from an iPod, iPhone, or iPad without using a cable, and provides users with a convenient and portable solution for how their mobile content may be shared on-the-go and at home to a TV, according to CyWee CEO Joe Ye.

The Air Shuttle product consists of a transmitter and a receiver unit that attaches to a TV’s composite audio and video ports. The streaming resolution projects at standard DVD-quality (480p) and transmits audio and video data at 5.8GHz. A plug-and-play solution, the next generation device doesn't require any additional software.

Native apps such as YouTube, iPod, Photos, or any...

| Read more »
Jan 03
NetMarketShare: Safari, iOS gain market share, Mac OS X is flat

Safari and iOS market share for Internet usage rose from November to December, while the Mac OS X percentage dipped slightly, according to the latest market share survey from NetMarketShare (http://www.netmarketshare.com).

According to the report, among operating systems, Mac OS X had 5.02% of the global market share in December compared to 5.03% in November (that's global market share; in the US it's almost 10%). Windows remains dominant with 90.29% as of December. That's down from 91.81% in November. Apple's highest percentage previously was 5.27% in October 2009.

When it comes to browsers, Safari had 5.98% in December compared to 5.55% in November, while Internet Explorer had 57.08% Firefox had 22.81% and Chrome had 9.98%. That compares to, respectively, November percentages of 58.44%, 22.76% and 9.26%, for the browsers.

The iOS's market share also rose, according to...

| Read more »
Jan 03
Analyst: Verizon iPhone will earn Apple 'respect' on...

Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner said in a note to investors -- as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) -- that the anticipated arrival of the iPhone on Verizon in the U.S. will not only increase sales of Apple's smartphone, but will also earn the company more respect on Wall Street.

He thinks the market dislikes Apple because Google's Android mobile operating system is gaining momentum and investors are probably worried about the sustainability of the price premium of Apple's iPhone as handsets running Android become more prevalent. "If so, the more lasting consequence of an Apple-Verizon deal won't be the number of incremental iPhones sold, but the scale of competition between iPhone and Android could tip sharply in Apple's favor," Reiner told clients. "If so, Apple's earnings won't just rise from the additional Verizon units -- they'll finally get some respect."

| Read more »
Jan 03
Next Final Cut Studio to come in two versions?


Apple should probably roll out the next version of Final Cut Studio in March or early April. And it will come in two versions, according to "HardMac" (http://www.hardmac.com).

The upgrade may not feature all the new features some users are clamoring for. However, two versions are already running at beta level, one for Mac OS X 10.6 ("Snow Leopard") and one for Mac OS X Lion, says "HardMac." Some new features will only be available on Lion’s version, due to the changes made on QuickTime layer, the article adds.

| Read more »
Jan 03
Apple looking to hire CPU engineer, microarchitect

Two new job postings at Apple show the company is beefing up its CPU creation/enhancement abilities. The jobs are probably for taking the A4 chip in the iPhone 4 and iPad to the next level, but you have to think that Apple may at least be considering developing its own Mac processors down the line.

One job posting (http://macte.ch/zf8LR) is for a CPU implementation engineer. Here's what Apple says about the position: "Looking for an experienced and well rounded CPU design professional to work on the definition, design, and implementation of a CPU core. The candidate will be responsible for taking a design from specification or RTL through physical design using both custom and semi-custom implementation techniques. Will be expected to work closely with architects in product definition and feasibility analysis. May also be involved in definition and/or implementation of design methodology. The he ideal candidate...

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Jan 03
Intel officially unveils Sandy Bridge processors

Intel has officially unveiled its "Sandy Bridge" processors. chips will in actuality carry the same Core i3/i5/i7 naming as the 2010 generation of Intel processors.

According to Intel, highlights of the Sandy Bridge processors, built around a new 32nm microarchitecture, include more energy efficient performance and improved 3D and graphics performance. The latest version of Intel's Turbo Boost technology, called Turbo Boost 2.0, lets each core boost performance past its base clock speed as needed for dynamic workloads, while balancing the thermal headroom to avoid overheating. Intel claims that with this new generation of CPUs, "content creation is up to 42% faster and gaming up to 50% faster," than previous generations.

You'll definitely see Sandy Bridge processors in Macs this year. Intel sahs its next-generation laptop chips based on the Sandy Bridge architecture will be able to play Blu-ray 3D movies while preserving battery life. Could this mean Blu-ray playback...

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Jan 03
Analyst raises Apple target share to $400

In a note to clients -- as reported by "Barron's" (http://macte.ch/io80W) -- international Strategy and Investment Group analyst Abhey Lamba raised his price target on shares of Apple to US$400 from $370, while reiterating a Buy rating.

He says results of a recent survey the firm conducted lead him to believe Apple will hold onto 60% of the tablet market in 2011, despite incursions by Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows, and the Palm WebOS platform. Lamba is modeling 27 million iPads to be sold by Apple in the fiscal year ending in September, which is higher by 1.5 million units than Lamba’s previous estimate. His figure for the quarter just ended is 6.7 million units. Lamba is projecting 50 million units for the entire tablet industry this calendar year.

The analyst also raised his estimate for the current quarter’s Mac shipments to 4.5 million. That's higher by half a million units, as Apple has...

| Read more »
Jan 03
Apple's market cap tops $300 billion

In a "broad 2011 rally that pushed the Dow up nearly a point in mid-morning trading Monday, Apple popped more than $7 (2.25%) to hit new record intraday highs -- and to cross a major psychological barrier," reports "Fortune" (http://macte.ch/Jelq1).

The company's market capitalization -- its stock price times the number of shares outstanding -- is now more than $300 billion. Apple has been the most valuable tech stock and the world's second most valuable company -- after ExxonMobil -- since it passed Microsoft last May.

| Read more »
Jan 03
Analyst Gene Munster offers his 2011 predictions for Apple

In a note to clients -- as reported by "Yahoo! Finance" (http://macte.ch/ctWwT), following are the major announcements for Apple in 2011 with their probabilities and time tables:

° Verizon launch of the iPhone: Probability 95% (Munster expects this in the March quarter)

° Mac App Store: Probability 100% (well, we know he's got this one right as Apple has announced a Jan. 6 launch)

° iTunes cloud services: Probability 90%

° iPad geographic expansion: Probability 100%

° iPad subsidies from carriers: Probability 80%

° Mac OS X Lion: Probability 100% (summer 2011)

Munster also expects a fifth generation iPhone to ship this summer with NFC capability. NFC is a short-range wireless connection technology that would turn the iPhone into an electronic wallet or security passkey, the article says. NFC is already in use in Asia and is expected to explode here in the next three to...

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Jan 03
Nielsen: iPhone leads smartphone race

The race for the lead in U.S. smartphone operating system (OS) consumer market share is tighter than it has ever been. According to November data from The Nielsen Company (http://www.nielsen.com), the popularity of the Android OS among those who purchased a smartphone in the last six months (40%) makes it the leading OS among recent acquirers.

But despite its surge among recent acquirers, when it comes to overall consumer market share, Android OS (25.8%) is still behind Apple iOS (28.6%). RIM Blackberry’s position is less clear: Its share (26.1%) puts it within the margin of error of both Apple iOS and Android. In other words, RIM remains statistically tied with both Apple for first and Android for third, says The Nielsen Company. Apple’s clear lead over Android notwithstanding, this race might still be too close to call.

Nielsen Company says this much is clear, however: all three smartphone OS...

| Read more »
Jan 03
iHome introduces new iPad audio solutions

iHome (http://www.ihomeaudio.com/) has introduced a new line of iPad audio solutions. They're due later this year; pricing hasn't been announced. The solutions include the:

° iDM12 Rechargeable Portable Bluetooth Speaker System for iPad/iPhone/iPod: a micro sound bar for the media watcher on the go, the iDM12’s protective magnetic casing detaches to serve as a stand for either portrait or landscape orientation. Need to leave the room but don’t want the music to stop? Bring it with you and stream the tunes via the Bluetooth connection.

° iDM15 Rechargeable Portable Stereo Bluetooth Speakers with Speakerphone (pictured): a package that sports two small speakers wrapped up in a protective travel case that transforms into an iPad, iPhone, or netbook stand when speakers are in use. These mini-speakers are equipped with the latest in Bluetooth technology.

° iDM70 Protective "Sound Sleeve"...

| Read more »
Jan 03
Swann Security unleashes SportsCam Waterproof Mini Video Camera

Swann Security (http://www.swannsecurity.com) has debuted the SportsCam Waterproof Mini Video Camera. The US$99 mini camera/DVR combo is housed in a waterproof case and comes with a myriad of mounting options.

At the core of SportsCam is a color camera that can record 640 x 480 high resolution video or still images. The device stores recordings on a removable MicroSD card (up to 16GB), so users can swap out cards while on the go.

A 16GB MicroSD card will capture approximately five hours of video. SportsCam is powered by a Lithium-ion battery that recharges via USB and gives the user 2.5 hours of life per charge.

Not only is the SportsCam’s case shockproof, but it’s also waterproof up to 65 feet, according to the folks at Swann Security. With no dials, gauges knobs or any preferences to configure, users simply turn it on, strap it on and hit record, they add. Swann’s SportsCam will...

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Jan 03
News Anchor coming to the Mac App Store

Basil Salad Software has announced the upcoming availability of News Anchor 2.0 (http://newsanchormac.com/wp/) for Mac OS X. It's a hands-free RSS/ATOM feed reader, allowing you to enjoy news feeds along with your breakfast.

News Anchor packages news feeds into a television-like news broadcast using text-to-speech technology. With its one-click hands-free operation, you can listen to your news feeds while having meals or doing other tasks.

News Anchor will be available to download from the Mac App Store when it launches on Jan. 6. It requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher. Pricing hasn't been announced.

| Read more »
Jan 03
FmPro Migrator update enhances Visual FoxPro to FileMaker...

.com Solutions has released FmPro Migrator Developer Edition 5.97 ( http://www.fmpromigrator.com/products/fmpro_migrator/index.html). The new version enhances automated Visual FoxPro Form & Report Conversions to FileMaker Pro.

The Visual FoxPro Conversion Service built into in FmPro Migrator Developer Edition enables FileMaker Pro developers to automate the conversion of Windows-only FoxPro solutions into cross-platform compatible FileMaker Pro database files. Converted solutions can be run on MacOS X, Windows and iPhone/iPad mobile devices using FileMaker Go.

This feature converts DBF file tables, data, relationships, forms, reports/labels, scripts, and static ComboBox/ListBox value lists into FileMaker Pro database files.

FmPro Migrator Developer Edition is priced at US$200 per developer and includes a copy...

| Read more »
Jan 03
Oregon school district gives iPod touches to all third graders

The Canby School District in Oregon has issued an iPod touch to every third-grader, reports "The Oregonian" (http://macte.ch/1EEpa). Since first implementing a pilot project at Philander Lee Elementary three years ago, the district has used about $250,000 in state and federal grant and rebate money to purchase the Apple gadgets.

In addition, the parent-teacher association at Lee Elementary raised about USS$12,000 to buy 60 iPod touches for the school's fourth- and fifth-graders, and another parent organization pitched in about $15,000 for 30 iPads at Eccles Elementary School, says "The Oregonian."

The choice of equipping third-graders first was intentional, according to Joseph Morelock, the district's technology coordinator. The third grade is the first to take state tests, and administrators are eager to help students pass math achievement standards that have recently been raised, he told "The...

| Read more »
Jan 03
'MUG Event Calendar': iLife '11, Mac as media...

"The MUG Event Calendar" comes back to life this week, even though quite a few groups have decided to extend their vacation until February.

Apple Senior Systems Engineer Dave Marra is first out of the gate with a visit to a Pennsylvania group, while Microsoft representatives will visit a California group. Other topics on the agenda for the first week of the year include Google Reader and RSS, several meetings focused on iLife ‘11, the Mac as media center, DropBox and more.

"The MUG Event Calendar" can be found at The MUG Center (http://www.mugcenter.com), an online resource for Mac User Groups. MUGs are good places for making new friends in the Mac community, improving your computing skills, finding solutions to technical Problems, and perhaps locating a good deal on used hardware. For more info on MUGs, and to find the location of the one nearest you, go to Apple's MUG page (...

| Read more »
Jan 03
Currency Assistant for Mac OS X rings up version

MaBaSoft has released version 3.1.4 of Currency Assistant for Mac OS X. In the new version of the conversion calculator (http://www.mabasoft.net/products/currencyAssistant.htm), the irrevocably fixed Estonian kroon (EEK) euro conversion rate (1 EUR = 15.6466 EEK) has been introduced after the euro replaced the kroon and became legal tender in Estonia on Jan. 1, 2011.

Also, additional exchange rates can now be updated from the International Monetary Fund (Algerian dinar, Peruvian nuevo sol, Philippine peso, Tunisian dinar, Uruguayan peso) and European Central Bank (Israeli new shekel) web sites.

Currency Assistant lets you convert between 174 world currencies (all major circulating currencies plus the 16 Eurozone legacy currencies) and automatically updates exchange rates over the Internet using the rates published by the European Central...

| Read more »
Jan 03
CasaTunes Music Server integrates with Channel Vision controller

CasaTunes (http://www.casatunes.com), which specializes in multi-room music solutions, and Channel Vision (http://www.channelvision.com), a provider of technology for the connected home, have announced compatibility between the CasaTunes Music Server and the Channel Vision ARIA A4623 Amplified A/V Controller and ARIA A4603 Matrix A/V Controller.

Through integration with CasaTunes, Channel Vision owners and buyers have the ability to listen to iTunes and Windows Media music as well as RadioTime and SHOUTcast stations through Channel Vision Controllers. The CasaTunes Music Server provides four simultaneous audio streams, which are treated as four independent source devices by the Channel Vision controller.

The CasaTunes Music Server integrates with the Channel Vision ARIA A/V controllers providing control over the...

| Read more »
Jan 02
Verizon/iPhone domains being scooped up

PocketNow (http://macte.ch/nxxe2) reports that that Verizon Trademark Services LLC, the company that owns verizon.com and verizonwireless.com, now also owns iphoneonverizon.com and iphoneforverizon.com.

The site's Evan Blass says the sites were once owned by Jim Benton of HolyShnikes.com. Other domains that Verizon and/or Apple would probably want, including "verizoniphone.com," seem to have already been snatched up by squatters with thousands of other registrations. Presumably they'll either be sold or populated with paid content once the handset is announced, Blass says.

| Read more »
Jan 02
iPhone alarm clock fails to go off at midnight 2011

Midnight 2011 set off another iPhone "alarm fail" for those using the smartphone as an alarm clock. The problem -- when the iPhone's alarm clock app was set to a one time wake-up -- was reported by dozens of unhappy Twitterers.

Reports of the issue continued into the afternoon on New Years Day. "We're aware of an issue related to non repeating alarms set for January 1 or 2. Customers can set recurring alarms for those dates and all alarms will work properly beginning January 3," Apple told "engadget" (http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/31/psa-iphone-alarms-not-working-come-ne...).

| Read more »
Dec 31
Happy New Year

Happy New Year and wishes for a great 2011 from the gang at "MacTech," "MacNews" and "AppleCentral." Thanks to our readers and advertisers for making 2010 a great year -- and 2011 will be even better for all those who love Apple and Apple-related products.

| Read more »
Dec 31
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 31

Here are the latest iPhone/iPod touch/iPod/iPad apps. You can find 'em at the Apple App Store (http://www.itunes.com/appstore/).

Navigation Solutions hits the road this fall with a new mobile application brand, My Explore. My Explore debuts with My Explore Hawaii, an U$4.99 iOS app that provides multi-media content on hundreds of attractions, beaches, excursions, and activities on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and Big Island.

TimeStream Software has released Walt Disney World Guide 3.0, an update to its $3.99 Notescast app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new version showcases all of Walt Disney World Resort with over 300 pages of in-depth information and more than 750 high-quality original photos.

| Read more »
Dec 31
Some Apple execs, directors make generous charitable donations

Some Apple executives and officers recently combined to donate more than US$3 million worth of company shares to charitable causes, reports "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com).

According regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission , two members of Apple's executive team, as well as two of its directors, teamed up to donate nearly 10,000 shares of Apple stock between Dec. 10 and 17 the article adds. At their current valuation, those shares are valued at roughly $3.2 million.

The most generous was Apple board member and J. Crew chief executive Millard Drexler, who gave away 6,800 worth $2.17 million, notes "AppleInsider." Apple's Senior Vice President of Mac Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield had four days earlier gifted 1,562 of his shares, worth just over half a million.

Also making donations were Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer and Apple...

| Read more »
 
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