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Dec 09
Apple releases MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.0

Apple has released MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.0 (http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1337) for the MacBook Air. The 2.4.1 update is recommended for MacBookAir (11-inch and 13-inch, late 2010) models and requires Mac OS X 10.6.5.

According to Apple, this update resolves a rare issue where MacBook Air boots or wakes to a black screen or becomes unresponsive.  You can obtain it via the Software Updates component of Mac OS X's Systems Preferences app.

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Dec 09
SMEStorage supports Webdav for DropBox, Google Storage for iWork

SMEStorage (http://www.smestorage.com) says its CloudDav offering has been updated to support WebDav access to DropBox and Google Storage.

CloudDav adds a WebDav access layer to any cloud that SMEStorage supports though its Cloud Gateway, even if the underlying Storage Provider doesn't support WebDav. The service already supported over 10 other Clouds including Amazon S3, Google Docs, and Microsoft SkyDrive.

As well as iWork other iPhone/iPad WebDav-enabled applications can be used such as Readdle Docs, and Office2 HD. CloudDav is also designed for other mobile platforms such as the Nokia N8 Smartphone, which features a native WebDav client on the phone; this can be used with CloudDav to enable native access to many file clouds.

CloudDav is a onetime US$5 purchase for SMEStorage users. Users can register free for single file cloud support directly from the SMEStorage web site. Users who...

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Dec 09
Latexian is new LaTeX Editor for Mac OS X

Taco Software has released Latexian 1.0, a new LaTeX editor for Mac OS X. Latexian can be used with the LaTeX and XeTeX typesetters, and also includes support for working with BibTeX documents.

Latexian's signature feature is Live Preview, which allows you to see how your document typesets while you're editing it; the PDF preview updates automatically. Latexian features include Project files, Navigator, Code Folding, Error Tokens, Spell Checking and more.

Latexian costs US$24.95 per license, and can be downloaded from Taco Software's web site (http://tacosw.com/latexian/). It requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later. A free, 30-day trial is availab

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Dec 09
PhotoLooks 1.5 supports Aperture, Lightroom, Photoshop CS5

Red Giant Software (http://www.redgiantsoftware.com) has released Magic Bullet PhotoLooks 1.5, an update of the software that adds support for Photoshop CS 5, Apple's Aperture and Adobe Lightroom.

This new support provides more options to create color treatments for your photographs. Other 1.5 features include new color management support, support for 16-bit TIFF files and multi-image support.

PhotoLooks lets you manipulate and experiment with color while preserving photographic detail. Sophisticated Look presets and customizable tools let you control lighting conditions and create stylized effects. You can use the software as a standalone application or as a plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture.

Version 1.5 is a free update for registered users of version 1.x. For new users the cost is US$199.

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Dec 09
Sonnet introduces SDHC Memory Card to SxS Adapter

Sonnet Technologies has introduced its SDHC Adapter for SxS Camera Slot, designed expressly for use in Sony XDCAM camcorders, which use SxS memory cards for recording.

This Sonnet adapter enables the use of Class 10 and faster SDHC memory cards in place of SxS memory cards, supporting the performance required for HD recording modes while, according to the folks at Sonnet, allowing users to save hundreds of dollars on the purchase of memory cards in equivalent capacities.

Sonnet's SDHC Adapter for SxS Camera Slot offers Sony XDCAM camcorder users an alternative to using SxS memory cards for recording. Available at the price of a single SxS card, the Sonnet adapter and several high-quality SDHC memory cards are designed to empower users to shoot longer without having to offload footage, reformat, and reuse the same SxS card. 

Sonnet's SDHC Adapter for SxS Camera Slot is the same size as an SxS memory card and, unlike standard memory card adapters, allows the...

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Dec 09
'YML' looks at the Mac App Store, awards and more

The new "Your Mac Life" episode looks at the upcoming Mac App Store, a variety of tech-related awards and more.

You can listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30 to 8 pm (Pacific). Live video is on Your Mac Life! You can watch the show live at http://yml.macosg.com/ -- or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/QT/stream.mov .

You can join one of the two Chat Rooms that run during the live show -- on the live video site or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

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Dec 08
Study: Android users are more 'data hungry' than...

A series of studies, undertaken by Arieso (http://www.arieso.com) -- a provider of customer centric network management software solutions -- comparing subscriber demand for mobile data has shown that different users and different devices exhibit markedly different demands on mobile networks.

The findings of this analysis -- using Arieso’s edge location-aware and customer-centric network management solution, ariesoGEO -- uses the iPhone3G as a benchmark and shows that data call time on certain handsets can increase by as much as 250%. It also shows that the actual number of data “calls” can increase by more than 130%. In addition, uplink and downlink data volumes can increase by as much as 130% and 40% respectively.

“Smartphone subscriptions are rising and so too is subscriber appetite for mobile data," Arieso Chief Technical Officer Michael Flanagan says. "Since the launch of the iPhone3G, we’ve seen a...

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Dec 08
Absoft releases Pro Fortran Performance Pack

Absoft Corp. -- a developer of compilers and high performance computing tools for Mac OS, Windows and Linux -- has announced general availability of a new Performance Pack for Absoft Pro Fortran v11.1 customers on Mac OS X and Windows.

The performance pack is included with the new v11.1.1 service pack. Absoft says the performance pack is the result of improved tuning of algorithms used in the new Load Balancing (–05 ) optimizer.  In addition to the performance improvements, the service pack includes a variety of fixes.

The Service Pack can be downloaded at no charge by registered Absoft Pro Fortran v11.1 customers from: http://www.absoft.com/download/downloads.html .

| Read more »
Dec 08
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 8

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

Epson and Thinxtream Technologies has announced that the PrintJinni for Epson mobile printing app will be available for free through December (It's normally US$6.99) and offers native support for the iPad. rintJinni for Epson allows iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users (iOS 3. and 4.x) to print Microsoft Office, PDF, and JPEG attachments from MobileMe, Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, and AOL  e-mail accounts to any Epson wireless all-in-one, including WorkForce, Artisan and Epson Stylus NX models.

The first digital edition of "Salk International's Airport Transit Guide" is now available for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. This, the 25th Edition, covering ground transportation at 460 airports worldwide, has been completely revised for 2011, and replaces the...

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Dec 08
Analyst: Mac sales to surge 16% in December quarter

Barclays Capital Analyst Ben Reitzes wrote in a note to investors -- as reported by "Forbes" (http://blogs.forbes.com/briancaulfield/2010/12/08/subsidized-ipads-sizzl...) -- that he expects Mac unit sales to surge 16% for the quarter ending in December, compared to the same period a year-ago.

Apple, meanwhile, seems to be preparing for the launch of the iPad 2 by the end of the first quarter of 2011. This could limit how much iPad inventory Apple wants to have on hand going into next year, says Reitzes.

| Read more »
Dec 08
iPads, Beatles on iTunes among recommended gifts for those 50+

You might want to rethink that Christmas tie for Dad or that bottle of perfume for Mom. Just in time for the holidays, 50+ marketing specialist DMW Direct (http://www.dmwdirect.com) says consumers over the age of 50 are recasting our images of what growing older looks like. Consider putting an iPad in their stocking.

DMW Direct compiled a list of top holiday gifts for 50+ Moms and Dads:

° iPad. Unlike the stereotype of older consumers being averse to new things, Boomers are among the biggest buyers of new technology.

° Facebook 101. A Pew Internet and American Life study says almost half of adults 50–64 are now using social networking -- older adults are the fastest growing group signing on.

° E-reader. Forget about a book with oversize print. Sure, Dad may be having trouble with his eyesight -- but adults 50+ are 10 times more concerned about the environment than their parents were...

| Read more »
Dec 08
Stem Innovation releases new Mac, iOS products

Stem Innovation (http://www.steminnovation.com/) has released the Tandem USB Digital Desktop Speakers for Macs and the TimeCommand audio alarm clock for the iPhone, iPod touch and ipad.

Tandem features proprietary Stem:Sonic iQ technology, a DSP-enhanced amplifier and performance tuned bass-reflex ports. The speaker system features a sleek enclosure, cloth grille and black acrylic top to perfectly complement any Mac, according to Gary Bart, founder of Stem Innovation. In addition to the USB digital pathway that delivers ideal audio throughput, additional audio sources may be connected using the auxiliary audio port on the back, he adds.

Tandem's speakers enable the main unit to be placed on either the left or right of a Mac notebook or desktop by taking advantage of a simple left/right swap switch. There's a headphone port on the main unit for personal listening.

Tandem is...

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Dec 08
Jobs is "CEO of the Decade'

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been named CEO of the Decade in the MarketWatch 2010 CEO Awards (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apples-jobs-rock-star-of-corporate-amer...). "MarketWatch" calls him the "rock star of corporate America."

Here's what the publication has to say about Jobs: "Jobs’s tenure as the chief executive at Apple Inc. during the past 10 years is well-documented. After pulling his own company back from the brink of bankruptcy before the decade started, he almost single-handedly went on to save the recording industry with the iPod and iTunes.

"He revolutionized handheld devices and touch-screen technology with the iPhone. And he may well usher in a post-PC era of computing with his latest gadget, the iPad."

“The resurrection of Apple is just the most...

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Dec 08
Apple drops challenge against OPTi patent verdict

Apple dropped its challenge of an US$19 million patent verdict lost to OPTi Inc. a day before a court was to hear the appeal, reports "Bloomberg" (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-08/apple-tesla-moneygram-leisure-w...).

OPTi, which reported $3.25 million in sales for the three months ended Sept. 30, jumped 15 percent in over-the-counter trading after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington granted the companies’ joint motion to dismiss the appeal, the article adds. According to the case docket, the reason behind the request for dismissal wasn’t made public.

On Jan. 16, 2007, Opti announced that it had filed a complaint against Apple, in the Eastern District of Texas, for infringement of its U...

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Dec 08
Steve Jobs in IT Hall of Fame

Apple CEO Steve Jobs will among those honored as the "best the information technology (IT) industry has to offer" in a new IT Hall of Fame created by CompTIA (http://www.comptia.org), a non-profit trade association for the IT industry.

“Some of the iconic figures of the American business scene have emerged from the IT industry and the intent of the IT Hall of Fame is to recognize these game-changers,” says Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA.

The IT Hall of Fame consists of two wings: the IT Channel Wing for individuals who have made outstanding contributions or provided outstanding service to the IT channel; and the IT Innovators Wing, recognizing individuals responsible for outstanding technology innovations. Jobs is in the latter.

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Dec 08
Chinese housewives caught smuggling iPads

Customs officials in Shenzhen, a southern Chinese city just across the border from Hong Kong, recently caught 14 housewives trying to carry 88 iPads and 340 mobile phones into China, in a bust worth 950,000 yuan, or roughly $143,000, the Guangzhou Daily reports -- and as noted by "The Wall Street Journal" (http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2010/12/08/china-detains-ipad-smuggli...).

One woman had 65 mobile phones strapped around her waist and over 20 more in a handbag, according to the newspaper. Apple already sells the Wi-Fi version of the iPad in China, but the 3G version isn’t available yet on the mainland. Buyers who want 3G-capable iPads must get the device from overseas -- fueling demand for mules to carry the tablets from Hong Kong to China, says the...

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Dec 08
Phone companies want Apple, others to help with bandwidth costs

European phone operators want Apple, Google and Facebook to pitch in and help pay for the billions of dollars of network investments needed for their bandwidth-hogging services, reports "Bloomberg Businessweek" (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-12-08/apple-google-asked-to-pay-up...).

As mobile and Web companies add videos, music and games, operators including France Telecom SA, Telecom Italia SpA and Vodafone Group Plc want a new deal that would require content providers like Apple and Google to pay fees linked to usage.

“Service providers are flooding networks with no incentive” to cut costs, France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard said last month. “It’s necessary to put in place a system of payments by service providers as a function of their...

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Dec 08
O'Reilly Media releases 'Best iPads Apps'

O'Reilly Media has released "Best iPad Apps" by Peter Meyers. The 240-page book costs US$21.99 for the print edition and $17.99 for the ebook version.

"Best iPad Apps" rounds up apps for getting work done, manipulating photos, making movies, creating comics, browsing the web, taking notes, outlining ideas, tracking your health, exploring the world and more.

Meyers writes about and designs digital books. Formerly an editor at O'Reilly Media, he co-founded one of the first multimedia textbook publishers (Digital Learning Interactive). He's covered the intersection of writing and technology for the "New York Times," "The Wall Street Journal," and "Wired" and blogs at http://www.anewkindofbook.com .

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Dec 08
SubRosaSoft releases MacForensicsLab Web Agent

SubRosaSoft (http://www.macforensicslab.com/) has released MacForensicsLab Web Agent 1.0, an automated web site crawler designed to hunt child pornography, with a built-in skin tone analyzer to identify images of evidentiary value.

MacForensicsLab Web Agent can be utilized by anyone with any level of technical abilities, according to the folks at SubRosaSoft. Only a couple of clicks are required for setup; a fetching and analyzing engine takes care of the rest and locates images of interest.

Web Agent is a tri-platform product that works with Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux systems. SubRosaSoft.com's MacForensicsLab Field Agent, has also been updated to include the option to save images of interest and now includes hashing within reports which is becoming more and more essential in computer crime investigations.  It's a free upgrade for all Field Agent 2.9 users.

Pricing for...

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Dec 08
Countries and Capitals is new interactive atlas for young...

Geo4Kids (http://geo4kids.com), a developer of educational geographic software, has released Countries and Capitals, an interactive world atlas intended for learning the locations of the world countries and the names of their capital cities. It's compatible with Mac OS X, Windows and Linux systems.

The program features colorful maps of all six continents and also offers a challenging quiz mode where the user needs to guess either the location of a specific country or the name of the country by its capital. At the end of each quiz session, the user sees the quiz statistics and can identify his or her weak areas. If the task seems to be too hard, the user can click the compass in the lower left corner of the screen to see a tip.



Since the product is primarily intended for children, it´s extremely easy to use, says Andrew Steinberg, a project manager at Geo4Kids. The user can see the name of a country, its...

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Dec 08
Tools lets you transfer company catalogs, more onto the iPad

MaximumSoft (http://www.maximumsoft.com) has released tools that help to transfer company online catalogs, web sites, and presentations to Apple's iPad and view them at any time -- even when an Internet connection isn't available.

The tools allow users to download HTML-based materials either directly to iPad, or to their desktop computers and then upload downloaded files to their mobile devices. MaximumSoft Corp. tools include:

° iSaveWeb Pro and iSaveWeb apps that are available in the Apple App Store for US$4.99 each;

° WebCopier Pro ($40), an offline browser that runs on Mac and Windows desktops and whcih downloads web sites and transfers them to the iPad (or iPhone);

° iDreamPublisher ($40), a Dreamweaver extension that publishes sites directly to the iPad.

Customers can use iSaveWeb Pro app to download company online catalogs, web sites, presentations directly to the...

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Dec 08
Stem Innovation launched to develop iOS accessories

Product designer Gary Bart has launched his latest venture, Stem Innovation (http://www.steminnovation.com/). The Florida-based company will focus on the development of iOS accessory products.

"Exciting opportunities now exist for forward-thinking manufacturers to deliver compelling solutions driven by mobile devices," says Bart, founder and former CEO of XtremeMac. "Stem's mission is to enable users to connect their mobile products to their personal environment using the power of apps."  

Stem is introducing the first of its new products through Apple retail and online stores for the 2010 holiday shopping season.

| Read more »
Dec 08
Apple updates QuickTime, VoiceOver Kit

Apple has updated QuickTime and its VoiceOver Kit for iPod nanos (fifth generation) and iPod shuffles (third and fourth gen).

QuickTime 7.6.9 (for Mac and Windows) sports updated security measures and improvements to file handling for JP2, GIF, PICT and FlashPix images, along with several video formats including AVI, MPEG, Sorenson, and QTVR. You can obtain it via the Software Updates component of Mac OS X's Systems Preferences app.

VoiceOver Kit has been updated to version 1.4. Enabling VoiceOver for iPod allows you to hear the names of songs, artists, and playlists spoken when listening to content on your iPod. If you have the Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic or the In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic, you can also use VoiceOver to navigate playlists. Version 1.4: enhances pronunciations for artists and song names; improves voices in Korean, German and Russian, and adds Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak and Thai language support to the fourth-gen shuffle.

| Read more »
Dec 08
Tapeless workflows discussed in 'Class on Demand'...

Class on Demand, a provider of professional educational products for creative markets, has released the newest "Class on Demand Legends Series" weekly training webinar, featuring digital media instructor Larry Jordan, titled "Creating a Tapeless Video Workflow in Final Cut Pro."

Since Jordan's first Final Cut tutorial on tapeless media "Working with Tapeless and DSLR Media," he has received numerous requests for a second webinar catered specifically to new users. This week "Creating a Tapeless Video Workflow in Final Cut Pro" does just that. Tapeless newbies can now learn the entire media process: from set-up, ingest, and configuring scratch disks, to editing, rendering, and exporting for the web. Users do not need access to tapeless media to watch this tutorial.

An expansion of the current Class on Demand training lineup, "Class on Demand Legends Series" provides an exclusive "inside look" at the inner workings of influential industry experts and figureheads. "...

| Read more »
Dec 08
GEAR4 will offer Angry Birds iPhone, iPod touch cases

GEAR4 (http://www.GEAR4.com) has announced the first line of Angry Birds protective cases for the iPhone 4 and the fourth generation iPod touch. The cases are decorated with characters from the top-selling smart phone game and are available in three designs – Red Bird, Yellow Bird and Pig King.

The cases are US$24.99 each. Ranked as the top game for smart phones, Angry Birds is number one in Apple's app store in 69 countries and has ranked in the top three in the U.S since spring 2010.

| Read more »
 
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