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Jan 05
WD to demo world's fastest 4 TB Hybrid Drive at Storage...

WD (www.wd.com) is demonstrating what it says is "the world's fastest 4 TB hybrid drive" at the SATA-IO booth at Storage Visions 2015.

WD's prototype drive utilizes the SATA Express PCI-e interface, 4 TB 3.5-inch hybrid hard drive, and up to 128 GB solid state drive. The two WD SATA Express interface demonstrations at Storage Visions 2015 will include commercially available motherboards from WD partners ASRock and Gigabyte. These systems will demonstrate cabled SATA Express PCI-e interconnect flexibility and configuration options for single-volume caching and RAID.

Heavy desktop usage scenarios will benefit from larger cache sizes (64 GB will be demonstrated) by enabling retention of key hot data across multiple applications, which improves overall performance, says Matt Rutledge, senior vice president, Storage Technology, WD. In WD's labs, WD's SATA Express 4 TB drive with 64 GB cache achieved a PCMark8 benchmark...

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Jan 04
LaCie announces Rugged RAID drive

LaCie (www.lacie.com) has announced the US$449.99 Rugged RAID, the latest product to join its line of Rugged mobile hard drives. It features twice the speed and capacity of a standard mobile hard drive.

According to the folks at LaCie, the Rugged RAID is also the only product in its class to feature hardware RAID 0 and 1, which lets professionals optimize the product for speed or data security according to their workflow – and use it on any Mac or PC. It features Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 along with two internal hard drives that are preconfigured in hardware RAID 0 for sustained performance of up to 240 MB/s.

The LaCie Rugged addresses sports 4TB in a compact footprint. It features RAID 1 (mirrored mode), which is where the data is duplicated across the two drives.

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Jan 02
New hacking tool evades Apple's iCloud password protection

A new tool submitted to GitHub (www.github.com), a a web-based Git repository hosting service, claims to be able to perform password dictionary attacks on any iCloud account, seemingly able to evade detection from Apple’s rate-limiting security that is supposed to prevent such dictionary attacks from happening, reports "9to5Mac" (http://tinyurl.com/pqj3qkf).

The source code for the tool has been released onto GitHub. It tries every possible word in its 500-long word-list as the password for a given iCloud account email. This means while it will succeed "100%" at trying 500 times over, the tool is by no means guaranteed to succeed at cracking your password, notes "9to5Mac."

According to Apple: "iCloud secures your data by encrypting it when it's sent over the Internet, storing it in an encrypted format when kept on server (review the...

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Jan 02
Microspot releases Limited Edition MacDraft package

Microspot is celebrating their 50th anniversary by announcing the 50th anniversary limited edition package of MacDraft Professional, their 2D drafting, design and illustration software.

This limited edition pack brings together the power of MacDraft Pro 6.1.1, seven vector symbol libraries plus lots of exclusive merchandise all in one limited edition pack that's Mac OS X Yosemite compatible.

The Microspot MacDraft Limited Edition Package is available only from the Microspot web store (http://www.microspot.com). It has a retail price of US$499. There are also various upgrade options available from the website.

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Jan 01
Happy New Year

Happy NewYear greetings to all our readers and advertisers. MacTech will be "closed" today and will reopen for business as usual on Friday, Jan. 2.

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Dec 31
The Big Apple may use Apple Pay for parking tickets

The city of New York’s finance department is looking into alternative payment methods like Apple Pay, PayPal and Bitcoin for the US$600 million in parking ticket revenue it collects annually by issuing up to 10 million tickets, reports "MarketWatch" (http://tinyurl.com/mvtlo34).

Drivers currently pay for tickets online, via mail or in person at the courthouse. However, the online system is not mobile friendly and credit and debit card payments are subject to a 2.5% convenience fee. The city told "MarketWatcH" that offering mobile options might help cut down on the fines it racks up each year from base fines and penalties on unpaid violations.

Apple announced Apple Pay in September, describing it as “a new category of service designed to transform mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay.” It works with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus through a NFC antenna design, a dedicated...

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Dec 31
Bankrupt GT Advanced Tech wants to give key employees bonuses

Former Apple supplier, GT Advanced Technologies, is asking a bankruptcy court for permission to give "executive bonuses" of up to $2 million to help motivate and retain "key" employees, according to AppleInsider (www.appleinsider.com).

In October GT Advanced Tech, Apple’s partner in a sapphire production facility in Arizona, together with certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries (collectively, GT), commenced voluntary cases under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Hampshire.

That same month it was announced that GT Advanced and Apple had reached a settlement agreement under which GT will wind down its sapphire materials production in the company’s Mesa, AZ and Salem, MA locations. The company indicated that it will exit from the market as a producer of sapphire materials and will refocus its business as an equipment supplier,...

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Dec 31
Judge dismisses proposed employee lawsuits against Apple

Citing a recent Supreme Court ruling, a federal court judge has dismissed a pair of proposed class action lawsuits against Apple by some retail employees, who argued the company's anti-theft policies incurred lost wages, reports AppleInsider (www.appleinsider.com). Alsop's ruling hinges on a unanimous Supreme Court decision (PDF link) regarding a similar situation involving employee security checks and overtime pay.

In 2013, former employees at Apple stores in New York and Los Angelesfiled a class action suit, claiming the iPhone maker required them to stand in line for up to 30 minutes every shift and wait for a manager to search their bags. According to the complaint filed in San Francisco federal court, the searches result in Apple workers being deprived of around US$1,500 a year in unpaid wages.

The lawsuit was filed by Amanda Frlekin who worked at Apple’s Century City store in Los Angeles...

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Dec 30
'Thunderstrike' hack can affect Mac firmware

A security researcher speaking at the Chaos Computer Congress in Hamburg demonstrated a hack that rewrites an Intel Mac's firmware using a Thunderbolt device with attack code in an option ROM, reports 9to5Mac (www.9to5Mac.com).

Known as "Thunderstrike," the proof of concept (http://tinyurl.com/nla6jqt), infects the Apple Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) in a way he claims can't be detected, nor removed by reinstalling Mac OS X. According to researcher Trammel Hudson, it's a "a vulnerability that allows the installation of persistent firmware modifications into the EFI boot ROM of Apple's popular MacBooks. The bootkit can be easily installed by an evil-maid via the externally accessible Thunderbolt ports and can survive reinstallation of OSX as well as hard drive replacements. Once installed, it can prevent software attempts to remove it...

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Dec 30
Apple to save historic barn on 'spaceship campus' site

Apple has set aside a place on its "spaceship" campus for the Glendenning Barn, named for a pioneer family whose land "became a magnet for tech companies after the blooms faded from their orchards," reports the Mercury News (mercurynews.com).

In the years before his death in 2011, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs decided that he wanted to tear up the husk of Hewlett-Packard and bring the land back to its roots, when it was known as the Valley of Heart's Delight for all its orchards and flowering trees, the article adds. When finished, the 175-acre site off Wolfe and Homestead roads in Cupertino will be transformed from 80% asphalt and concrete to 80% greenery and open space.

The upcoming campus, which will supplement and not replace Apple’s current headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop, was a pet project of the late Jobs. It’s a four-story, 2.8 million square foot building to be built on land formerly occupied by Hewlett Packard’s campus. Originally slated to accommodate 6,000...

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Dec 30
Chevron to roll out Apple Pay support next year

Chevron Oil has plans to expand its use of Apple Pay to gas pumps in the new year, according to a tweet the company sent out to a customer Monday — as noted by MacRumors (www.macrumors.com).

In the message, Chevron says that it is working with Apple to bring Apple Pay payment solutions to pumps by early 2015. Apple announced Apple Pay in September, describing it as “a new category of service designed to transform mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay.” It works with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus through a NFC antenna design, a dedicated chip called the Secure Element, and Touch ID.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, says Apple Pay is easy to set up, so hundreds of millions of users can simply add their credit or debit card on file from their iTunes Store account. Apple Pay will also work with the newly announced Apple Watch, extending Apple...

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Dec 29
The latest iOS apps for Dec. 29

Here are some of the latest apps available at the Apple App Store for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Bad Games has announced Selknam Defense. It's a free (though sponsored by ads) Tower Defense game variant.

MBG UG has released Mr. Noble. The app is designed to be the "digital Swiss Army knife" for iSO devices. Mr. Noble a a free download and offers full access to "Toolbox" and "Looks," as well as the chapters "Suits" and "Shirts." Additional content can be unlocked via in-app-purchases: US$0.99 for individual chapters or $4.99 for the entire suite of chapters.

Abdullah Karimi has introduced Gold Coins Billionaire. It's a free game in which the player has to push coins by tapping at the right place. The player also needs to be cautious of not pushing the coins and prizes on side walls.

RV AppStudios has cooked up Christmas Cookie. It's a free, match 3 puzzle game.

| Read more »
Dec 29
Apple expected to reverse iPad misfortunes in 2015

According to the latest forecasts from market intelligence firm, ABI Research, tablet growth is expected to resume and continue over the next five years with a forecast of nearly 290 million tablet shipments in 2019.

As the calendar year comes to a close, many of the world’s tablet vendors are looking forward to opportunities in 2015 and are hoping to avoid a repeat of lackluster 2014 results. Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google are expected to show year-over-year declines in branded tablet unit volume, while Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, and Samsung should end higher in calendar year 2014.

"Historically, Apple has counted approximately 35% of its iPad sales in the last calendar quarter of the year," says Senior Practice Director Jeff Orr.  :Unless Apple can pull off a 32+ million unit quarter, sales for CY2014 [calendar year 2014] will be down for the first year since the iPad launched."

ABI Research predicts iPad sales to reach...

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Dec 29
Amped Wireless unveils new Wi-Fi range extenders

Amped Wireless (www.ampedwireless.com) has launched two new range extenders that are reportedly the first to provide up to 12,000 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage and up to 1750Mbps of combined Wi-Fi speed.

The REA20v2 and the RE1750A are high power range extenders designed for large homes and offices with multiple users and a need for more Wi-Fi coverage. The REA20v2 is an update to the originalREA20 range extender with more output power, new and improved components and better technology for improved signal reliability and more overall coverage, according to Lacey Limbrick, brand/marketing manager at Amped Wireless.

A high power AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender with dual band capabilities, the REA20v2 features eight high power amplifiers, two high gain dual band antennas for up to 800mW of total Wi-Fi output power. The REA20v2 can be directly connected to up to five devices via the built in gigabit...

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Dec 26
MegaSeg optimized for Mac OS X Yosemite

Fidelity Media has updated MegaSeg (www.megaseg.com/), the DJ mixing app and broadcast automation system made especially for Mac, to version 5.9.4. The upgrade boasts over 60 improvements, including OS X Yosemite optimizations, new Denon controller presets, and an updated sound engine with superior quality pitch-lock and seamless looping.

MegaSeg Pro provides features for pro DJs and VJs, radio and TV stations, and hospitality businesses such as restaurants and hotels. The Pro edition incorporates video playback for ambient visuals, hot keys for instant sound effects, automated music scheduling, ad messaging events, track separation rules, request lists, and more. The DJ edition offers features including visual beat syncing, headphone outputs for preview, MIDI support, automatic volume control, fast category searching, track logging, integrated iTunes playlists and protected audio playback.

MegaSeg 5.9.4...

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Dec 26
Subtitle Studio for Mac OS X adds full chapter markers

TheKeptPromise has released Subtitle Studio 1.1 (http://tinyurl.com/q5jrxlw), an update of its subtitle adding app for Mac OS X.

To use Subtitle Studio, you drop your movie onto Subtitle Studio. The app will auto-search for missing subtitles. You can sync subtitle with a single button, hit save, and you're done.

Version 1.1 adds a full chapter mark solution and Tap2Sync. To use Tap2Sync, you enter the Tap2Sync mode from the menu. The movie autoplays and presents you the first subtitle. When you hear it, tap space and the subtitle is fixed to this location after being reduced to a preset reaction time. Tap2Sync auto selects the next subtitle and even adjusts all future subtitles, so there's no over lapping. All you need to do is listen and tap space.

Subtitle Studio supports M4V, MOV, AVI, MKV and other files. You can embed your subtitles into a M4V file for the Apple TV, iPhone, iPad...

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Dec 23
The latest iOS apps for Dec. 23

Here are some of the latest apps available at the Apple App Store for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Ultralab has announced Iceberg Tower. In the free game, players must build a high column by carefully placing sliding ice blocks. In order to get points in Iceberg Tower, one needs to accurately stack ice blocks upon each other in a way that the edges of a new block match the edges of the previous one.

MehtaiPhoneApps has released G-Zone. In the free game, your goal is to control a moon to avoid asteroids and stay alive for as long as you can. Tap and adjust the orbit of a moon to control it and dodge asteroids that are flying across the screen.

Eilean Design has introduced Tic Tacular. It's a free puzzle/strategy game. At the end of each turn a mark disappears. After the marks have finished counting down, the piece disappears allowing a new piece to be placed on that space. You can play against the computer or play against your friend.

ViPrak Web...

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Dec 23
Happy Holidays from MacTech

Happy holiday wishes to all our readers from the MacTech and MacNews gang. We'll be closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 for the holidays. News updates will recommence on Friday, Dec. 26.

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Dec 23
FoldersSynchronizer for Mac OS X revved to version 4.2

Softobe (http://www.softobe.com/) has released FoldersSynchronizer 4.2, an upgrade of their tool to sync and backup on Mac OS X.

FoldersSynchronizer lets you sync and backup files, folders, disks and boot disks. It provides options like Timers, Multiple Folders, Filters, Exclude Items, Auto-Mount local and remote volumes, the ability to launch your own AppleScripts, the ability to set how to resolve conflicts, the ability to execute an incremental or an exact copy, the ability to include locked files, a preview panel, log files, and more.

FoldersSynchronizer 4.2 adds a File Versus Folder" option to the Conflict panel (Tab E). You can now set how FS should behave in case of replacing a whole folder by a most recent file with the same filename.

You can set "Replace the folder" (default) or "Skip," and "Ask the user for what to do at running time." Previous versions of FS always skipped and...

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Dec 23
WALTR lets you upload Mac videos, audios to iOS devices

Softorino has released WALTR, a Mac OS X app that uploads any video or audio format from your Mac onto an iPhone or iPad.

The app lets you import and watch MKV, AVI, MP4 videos, or any audio format, on your iDevice without having to convert the files first. Launch WALTR, connect your device, drag a movie or audio onto it, and the app automatically starts uploading into your iPad or iPhone. You can then access the files from your native iOS Music and Videos apps.

WALTR requires Mac OS X 10.9 or higher and any device with iOS 5 and above. You can download (http://www.softorino.com/waltr) a free, 14-day demo. A lifetime single user license is normally US$29.95, but WALTR is available for $14.95 for seven days.

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Dec 23
RPX Corp. purchases Rockstar patents

RPX Corp. (www.rpxcorp.com) says its subsidiary, RPX Clearinghouse LLC, has executed an agreement to purchase the patent assets controlled by Rockstar Consortium LLC. Rockstar is the entity formed in 2011 by Apple, Blackberry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony to purchase approximately 6,000 patent assets from the Nortel bankruptcy estate.

Approximately 2,000 of these patent assets were previously distributed to various Rockstar owners and aren't part of this transaction. RPX Clearinghouse will receive license payments from a syndicate of over 30 companies, including Cisco and Google.

Upon closing, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions, syndicate participants will receive non-exclusive licenses to the Rockstar patents, and RPX Clearinghouse will make the patents available for license to all other interested companies under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms...

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Dec 23
XILS-lab launches plug-in inspired by EMS flagship

XILS-lab has announced the XILS Vocoder 5000, which was inspired by the company's EMS Vocoder 5000 hardware (partial) namesake. It's a vocoder plug-in for Mac OS X (10.6 or higher) and PC (32- and 64-bit, AAX, RTAS, and VST for Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8).

A vocoder is an analysis and synthesis system used to reproduce human speech.  XILS-labs says its software-based vocoder virtually emulates the filtering techniques and circuitry of its analogue predecessor to achieve the same organic sound, precision, and clarity. Just like the EMS Vocoder 5000 before it, XILS Vocoder 5000 can be made to "speak" clearly in English and German.

XILS Vocoder 5000 is available to purchase and download directly from XILS-lab (www.xils-lab.com) as an eLicenser or iLok copy-protected virtual instrument and effects plug-in for an introductory discounted price of approximately US$121 until Jan. 17. After this, the cost will be...

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Dec 23
AppleXsoft File Recovery for Mac now supports e-mail recovery

AppleXsoft Software (www.applexsoft.com) has released a new version (5.5.5.1) of AppleXsoft File Recovery, a do-it-yourself recovery software tool for Mac OS X. The upgrade adds e-mail recovery and more.

Users can now scan and recover deleted or lost emails. AppleXsoft File Recovery supports such e-mail clients as Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Outlook Express, Mozilla, Becky, and Eudora.

File Recovery has been developed to help Mac users to recover accidentally deleted photos from memory cards, CompactFlash, and other storage media. It uses individual scan algorithms for each supported file type and also supports the raw photos of cameras made by Nikon, Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Samsung,  Olympus, Kodak, Fuji and others.

AppleXsoft Photo Recovery for Mac 5.5.5.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher. It costs US$99.95. A demo may be downloaded from the AppleXsoft website.

| Read more »
Dec 22
The latest iOS apps for Dec. 22

Here are some of the latest apps available at the Apple App Store for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Silen Games has announced Slice Ballz. It's a free slicing game with three game modes.

Zen is a new, US$1.99 minimalistic puzzle game about cubes and numbers. In the game, you swipe right, left, up or down to rotate the cube.

Bob Schlund Studios has released Quizzly for the iPad. The app — available in free and $2.99 versions — offers you the ability to create special quizzes with personalized questions to send as a present to friends and family.

mTouchLabs has introduced Quick Backup Contacts. The $3.99 utility lets you backup and restore your contacts all from your iOS device without needing a computer or synchronization. You can backup all your contacts with a single touch and send them to yourself as a .vcf or .xls attachment via email. And also you can upload to Dropbox directly from within the app.

| Read more »
Dec 22
Apple releases OS X NTP Security Update

Apple has released security updates for the NTP (network time protocol) service on the the Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and Yosemite versions of Mac OS X. It's available via the Mac App Store.

According to Apple, "This update addresses a critical security issue with the software that provides the Network Time Protocol service on OS X, and is recommended for all users."

| Read more »
 
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Dungeon Hunter 5 Coming on March 12
Gameloft has excitedly announced that Dungeon Hunter 5 is on its way! Once again, you will adventure across the land of Valenthia exploring dungeons and fighting monsters. The game will have a new asynchronous multiplayer mode called Strongholds which lets you create a customizable base that you can defend and raid your opponents bases. | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Jurojin: Immortal N...
At this point it’s pretty safe to say that no MOBA is going to dethrone Dota 2 and League of Legends anytime soon. After all, if Batman can’t do it, nobody can. However, with a genre as popular and profitable as this one, there’s still room for smaller games to carve out unique identities. Jurojin: Immortal Ninja opts for this path with its... | Read more »
Tiny Farm – Animals, Tractors and Advent...
Tiny Farm – Animals, Tractors and Adventures! Review By Amy Solomon on March 3rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: LIVELY LANDSCAPESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Tiny Farm – Animals, Tractors and Adventures! includes farm-related scenes rich with details and interactive moments for toddlers to explore. | Read more »
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Size DOES Matter Review
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On the other hand, you probably haven’t played an action 3D card battler – until now. Step forward, All Star Legion. All Star Legion is a 3D QTE-based action RPG card battler, but fear not – the game itself isn’t as convoluted as its description. You collect over thirty heroes to train and summon into battle with you, first deciding on the timing... | Read more »
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