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Jan 08
Audio Switcher for Mac OS X revved to version 2.0.5

Spike Software has announced Audio Switcher 2.0.5, an update to its menubar applet utility for Mac OS X.

Audio Switcher allows you to switch your audio input and output between different audio devices. It supports a range of devices, as well as the built-in audio hardware of your Mac desktop or laptop. Version 2.0.5 offers the ability to exclude devices from the menu and the Levels and Defaults preferences tabs.

Audio Switcher requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later. Version 2.0.5 costs US$4.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Utilities category. Current users can receive the free update via the Mac Store. Visit Spike Software online (http://www.spikesoft.net) for more information, support and to leave feedback.

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Jan 07
CES: Seagate floats out Personal Cloud devices

At this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Seagate has unveiled two new storage products for the home: the Seagate Personal Cloud and the Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay. They're designed to "provide the accessibility of cloud storage with the peace of mind that content is stored safely at home."

They can stream content to smartphones, set-top boxes, tablets, PCs or televisions via the Seagate Media application. Additionally, when used in conjunction with the acclaimed Seagate Mobile Backup app and Dashboard software, Seagate Personal Cloud also serves as a central backup device for PCs, Mac computers, USB drives, iOS devices, and Android gadgets.

The Seagate Personal Cloud is also designed to automatically and continuously back up every computer in the home. For Macs and Windows-based PCs, the Seagate Dashboard software provides a way to protect your content.  Personal Cloud devices also work with Apple Time Machine software.

The Personal Cloud...

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Jan 07
CES: Samson launches a Meteorite (sound capture solution)

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Samson (http://www.samsontech.com) has unveiled the US$39.99 Meteorite, an universal solution for capturing high-quality recordings on your computer.

It's designed for podcasting, creating audio for YouTube videos and recording music on your favorite software or apps. It's also build to improve your ability to communicate with friends, family and business associates on programs like Skype, FaceTime and other VoIP software.

According to the folks at Samson, Meteorite presents an immediate improvement over your computer’s internal microphone, bypassing the computers standard mic capsule and noisy sound card, in favor of the Meteorite’s 14mm capsule and dedicated audio conversion path.

It mounts to a magnetic base that lets you tilt and swivel the microphone to customize its positioning to your exact preferences. You can even take the...

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Jan 07
CES: Divoom rolls out 'weatherized' speaker

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Divooom has released the Voombox-Party speaker. It includes a built-in subwoofer with dual passive radiators and five drivers that feature two-inch, full-range drivers, one three-inch subwoofer and dual passive radiators.

The Voombox-Party delivers 20 watts of sounds. Created with the latest Near Field Communication (NFC), the speaker pairs with NFC-enabled devices by lightly tapping the devices together. Additionally, the speaker doubles as a speakerphone, allowing users to take make and take calls.

The Voombox-Party is also weather-resistant. The speaker’s rechargeable battery lasts up to 10 hours. The speaker delivers up to eight hours of battery life and charges via micro-USB. The Voombox-Party will available in black or silver toward the end of January at a manufacture's suggested retail price of US$119 at divoom.com.

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Jan 07
CES: LifeProof announces waterproof battery case for the iPhone 6

LifeProof (www.lifeproof.com) has announced a waterproof battery case for the iPhone 6 and the LifeActiv universal accessory line. The LifeProof fre is a "four-proof" case, designed for maximum protection against water, drops, dust and snow.

Itincludes a built-in screen protector and full access to all device features and functions. fre Power not only provides protection from the elements, but also adds an additional 2,600 mAh of battery power. The lithium ion battery purportedly doubles the iPhone 6 battery life, while smart charging technology automatically shuts the case off when the device is fully charged.

According to the folks at LifeProof, the fre Power is waterproof to 6.6 feet, for one hour, drop proof up to 6.6 feet and is totally enclosed from dirt and snow when the case and all ports are sealed. It meets military standards for shock and impact protection.

LifeProof also unveiled the...

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Jan 07
Reach79 unveils signal strength-boosting smartphone case

Reach79 has released a smartphone case that can improve a device’s signal strength up to 2X, optimizing performance and resulting in better communications.

CEO David Vigil says Reach79 cases have been tested at CETECOM, a CTIA accredited test facility, and verified to improve a phone’s signal strength by an average of 1.6X, with peak performance of over 2X. He adds that, while user experience may vary depending on device, carrier, and location, consumers can expect to see several benefits from Reach79, including: 

° Speed: A stronger signal enables faster data speeds for browsing the web, streaming music, making video calls, managing emails, and more.

° Expanded coverage: With a stronger signal, users can stay connected farther from a cell tower—and greater range can decrease dropped calls and increase connectivity.

° Increased battery life: With Reach79, smartphones don’t have to work as hard to reach the tower, which can reduce the strain on the...

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Jan 07
ChronoAgent for Mac OS X gets re-worked Advanced panel

Econ Technologies (econtechnologies.com) has updated ChronoAgent for Mac to version 1.5. The upgrade sports an re-worked Advanced panel. The improvements allow for faster syncs and a greater control over network settings,

ChronoSync is an application that runs on a Mac that can synchronize, backup, and create bootable backups. ChronoAgent is a utility that runs on a destination Mac and communicates directly with ChronoSync running on another Mac. 

ChronoAgent replaces Apple File Sharing providing a direct connection with full access to the destination Mac. ChronoSync costs US$40 and ChronoAgent is $10; all existing ChronoSync and ChronoAgent users update for free.

ChronoSync runs on the source Mac and ChronoAgent runs on the destination Mac giving you a direct connection between two Macs. With ChronoSync on your Mac, you can synchronize, backup, and create bootable backups to anything you can connect to your Mac. ChronoAgent runs on a Mac and provides a direct...

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Jan 07
Patriot launches new high capacity Ignite SSD

Patriot (www.patriotmem.com) has launched its latest addition to the solid-state drive (SSD) market: the Patriot Ignite SATA III SSD. Boasting the company’s largest capacity SSD yet, the Ignite will be available to consumers in capacities of 480GB and 960GB.

The Patriot Ignite utilizes the new Phison S10 controller to reach a maximum sequential read and write speeds of up to 560MB/s and 545MB/s respectively and backed by a SATA III 6.0 Gb/s interface, according to Les Henry, vice president of Engineering. "We were able to hit scores above 1000 using the AS SSD benchmark test with these drives, he adds.

The Ignite is backed by a three-year warranty. In addition, it comes with features such as end-to-end data protection, advanced wear-leveling, smartECC and Smart Refresh, designed with a standard 2.5 inch form factor. The Ignite SSD will be available for purchase later this month at online and in-store...

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Jan 06
CES: The Tiffen Company offers Zing collection for the iPad

At this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, The Tiffin Company (www.tiffen.com) unveiled its new Zing Designs imageTAKER product collection. The lineup features portable cases custom designed for the iPad, iPad Air,  and iPad mini, as well as portable Neoprene pouches and a Neoprene stretch utility and camera strap for carrying imaging accessories.

"We analyzed every aspect of the tablet photography process and came up with a patent-pending collection of cases that dramatically increase the protection, comfort and usability of iPads when capturing images on the go," says Steve Tiffen, President and CEO, The Tiffen Company. "Tiffen’s new Zing imageTAKER designs let iPad owners wear their devices much like they would a point and shoot camera or DSLR, providing easy access for capturing the world’s greatest images."

The Zing imageTAKER collection is a line of Neoprene iPad cases, accessory...

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Jan 06
CES: BRAVEN expands Design series

At this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, BRAVEN (www.braven.com) announced it was expanding its design series speaker collection with the launch of three super-premium Wireless Bluetooth speakers, the BRAVEN 1100, BRAVEN 2200b and BRAVEN 2300b. 

They're available in different colors and sprot BRAVEN Balance, a proprietary bass optimization system that pumps out deep rich sound even at lower volumes, according to BRAVEN CEO Andy Fathollahi. The 1100 is a HD Bluetooth speaker that supports aptX encoded audio and features hands-free phone calls with a built-in internal microphone and speakerphone.

It's also equipped with TrueWireless technology to pair with a second BRAVEN 800-series, 1100, or BRV-HD speaker for true left and right stereo channel sound. It will be available in the second quarter of 2015 in black, dark gray, light gray, red, orange and blue for US$249.99.
 
The...

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Jan 06
OGIO introduces Apollo, Ascent backpacks

OGIO has given us the Apollo and Ascent active backpacks. The Apollo (US$79.99) and the Ascent ($99.99) are now available at Ogio.com and retailers nationwide.

To solve the lack of protection that plagues most day packs, OGIO’s design team integrated padded spaces tailored to the active professional’s everyday gear including smartphones, tablets and laptops, says says Dan Jelinek, vice president of Lifestyle at OGIO. Additionally, the packs are crafted with convenience in mind, featuring an easy to access pocket located at the top of the bag and an organizational layout that allows users to carry a variety of daily tools. he adds.

OGIO designers injected the look and feel of an outdoor-friendly pack into the exterior design by tapering the shape of a traditional backpack and incorporating a slightly narrowed back panel to provide the wearer more freedom of movement. The team also used mountaineering-spec materials like high tensile-strength rip-stop nylon, to...

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Jan 06
CES: BodyGuardz announces Crown screen protection

At this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, BodyGuardz (www.bodyguardz.com) announced the Crown, which was created to protect the curved edges of today’s hottest mobile devices. It's patent-pending solution available exclusively from BodyGuardz, says President/CEO Kirk Feller.

The Crown is a custom-molded rim made of anodized aluminum, designed to fit around ScreenGuardz Pure and provide a protective solution. Distinct from traditional screen protectors, the it provides edge-to-edge screen protection for rounded edge devices such as the iPhone 6 and Galaxy Note 4, says Feller.

The Crown will be available in February for the iPhone 6 (US$39.95), 6 Plus ($44.95), and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ($44.95).

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Jan 06
CES: Scosche launches waterproof boomBOTTLE +

Scosche (www.scosche.com) has introduced a new member to the boomBOTTLE family: the boomBOTTLE + (plus), a portable Bluetooth speaker designed for streaming music while biking, hiking, camping and more.

The weatherproof, two 55mm driver equipped speaker features an IP67 rating (water and dust proof), dual pairing that produces true stereo sound when two boomBOTTLE + speakers are used and up to 11 hours of streaming. This speaker will be included in Scosche’s expanding Optimized for OUTDOORS series of rugged products designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments.

It features a shock absorbing TPU exterior designed to withstand drops or vibrations caused from rough terrain, plus non-slip side finger grip areas. The boomBOTTLE + is constructed with sealed dustproof speaker grills to keep the dirt out during backcountry rides. It also fits into most bicycle bottle cages, so you can take it with you while on...

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Jan 06
CES: Satechi announces BT Button Series

Satechi’s BT Button Series, announced at CES 2015, allows users to achieve wireless accessibility with a single press of a button. This trilogy series consists of a BT Shutter Button, BT Media Button and BT Home button, which users can tote on their key chains, steering wheel or dashboard to access several aspects of their smart devices including photos, music and GPS directions.

The BT Button Series boasts a slim aluminum metal design and is compatible with most iOS devices supporting Bluetooth and Android OS 4.4.4 or later. Each plug and play button is packaged with a mount, audio port keychain attachment, integrated 3M sticker for easy attachment, and CR2016 battery, which purportedly lasts for up to two years.

With Satechi’s BT Shutter Button, you can group photos and video recordings. Tap the Shutter Button and the paired smart device will begin recording or taking photos immediately.

The BT Media Button allows users to control the soundtrack of their...

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Jan 06
OWC announces 1TB Envoy Pro EX

Other World Computing (www.macsales.com) has announced a new 1TB model of theOWC EnvoyPro EX ultra-portable SSD.

Designed in anodized aluminum to match modern Macs and PCs, it fits into a coat pocket, backpack, or briefcase. The heart of the Envoy Pro EX is an OWC Aura Pro 6G SSD that reportedly offers real world sustained reads up to 436MB/s and writes up to 429MB/s. It's bus-powered for maximum portability.
 
The OWC Envoy Pro EX is available immediately in the following configurations: 240GB for US$249; 480GB for $399; and 1TB for $599.

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Jan 06
Dead Effect game available for Mac OS X

BadFly Interactive has released Dead Effect for Mac OS X and Windows systems. It's available for download via Steam (http://store.steampowered.com/app/286040/).

Here's how the game is described: "Dead Effect is a highly addictive single-player game, in which the ESS Meridian spacecraft is traveling through space with a new FTL technology, heading towards its destination, Tau Ceti f, the first planet outside of our solar system ever to be colonized.

"One of the crew members is awakened from cryogenic sleep, and quickly discovers that the nightmare has only begun. What happened to everyone aboard? Why are they all so aggressive, and why do they attack without any survival instincts?

"Dead Effect features not only a compelling story, but also incredibly immersive gameplay. You play the role of a character and member of Unit 13, an elite peace-keeping unit...

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Jan 06
PageMeUp for Mac OS X gets maintenance upgrade

Softobe has introduced PageMeUp 1.1 (http://tinyurl.com/ozgvtyr), an update to the layout editor for Mac OS X 10.8 or higher. It's a maintenance upgrade with some bug fixes and performance tweaks.

With PageMeUp, you create a document, choose its page format, size and background color, set the margins, bleed, custom guides, rows and columns and even apply RGB or CMYK ICC color profiles. Then you can drag, import or paste images and text onto the PageMeUp document and place/resize them on the page.

A snap assistant helps you align the boxes on the page. You can edit and format your text, scale the images (custom, fit, fill), apply shadow, fill or gradient background, border, mask, rotation, opacity, flip, web links, page HTML metadata. Finally, you can print or export your work in PDF, HTML, TIFF, PNG or JPG formats with custom resolution, compression and ICC profile.

PageMeUp is...

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Jan 06
Reezaa releases PDF Editor 3.0 for Mac OS X

Reezaa has announced PDF Editor Mac 3.0, an update to their free PDF application for Mac OS X.

The utility allows you to add text, erase content, and insert images into your PDF file. You can also rotate the PDF orientation, draw lines, change font size and color of text, and add a watermark to each page. Additionally, PDF Editor Mac provides a choice of exporting the PDF to other formats and can permanently save the modified PDF content changes.

PDF Editor Mac requires Mac OS X 10.8 or later. It's free and available at http://www.pdfeditormac.com/ .

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Jan 05
iDevices introduces HomeKit-enabled connected plug

iDevices has announced an Apple HomeKit-enabled product: the iDevices Switch (http://idevicesinc.com/switch/). This Bluetooth Smart and Wi-Fi compatible connected plug is set to start shipping during the first half of 2015.

Through a free iDevices Connected app, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can control, monitor and schedule products around the house with the iDevices Switch. Hundreds of appliances such as lamps, fans, humidifiers, Christmas lights and stereos can be intelligently managed through the device.

The iDevices Switch plugs directly into an electrical outlet, and connects to a home’s Wi-Fi network. Once you download the iDevices Connected app from the iTunes Store, you can instantly control any product you have plugged into the Switch through an iOS device.

The iDevices Switch doesn't require an external hub or subscription fee. Switch’s HomeKit integration...

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Jan 05
New Philips 34-inch curved display unveiled at CES

EPI (www.lcdmonitors.philips.com) has announced the 34-inch Philips Brilliance Curved UltraWide LCD Display, an UltraWide screen "with a gentle curve provides a pleasant yet subtle immersion effect, which focuses on you at the center of your desk."

The arc and UltraWide QHD 3440 x 1440 resolution and Panoramic 21:9 cinematic aspect ratio are designed to envelop users who seek a "natural" media viewing experience, according to EPI. The display also features built-in stereo speakers and MultiView technology.

The 34” Brilliance Curved UltraWide LCD Display has a 21:9 panoramic aspect ratio with over one billion color depth, as well as an UltraWide Quad HD 3440 x 1440 resolution. The super widescreen makes the display ideal for viewing spreadsheets, editing multiple documents and running several programs at once. Additionally, the monitor’s MultiView technology enables active dual connect...

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Jan 05
OWC releases Mercury Helios PCIe Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis

Other World Computing (OWC) says the OWC Mercury Helios PCIe Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis (http://tinyurl.com/9l6j2yv) has been updated with Thunderbolt 2 technology. The newly updated Helios handles throughputs of up to 20Gb/s, bringing Thunderbolt 2 technology to the original Mercury Helios' throughput of up to 10Gb/s.

OWC’s Mercury Helios PCIe Expansion Chassis is a solution for using half-length professional-level PCIe 2.0 cards with Apple’s entire line of Thunderbolt enabled Macs that do not have PCIe slots due to size or design limitations. It's bootable with AHCI-compliant cards and can daisy-chain up to five additional Thunderbolt devices. Types of PCIe cards Helios can use include: Fibre Channel, 10GB Ethernet, RAID controller, video capture, digital audio, solid state drives, SAS controllers such as the OWC Jupiter, as well as FireWire, USB 3.0, eSATA host adapter cards.
 
The...

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Jan 05
Levitating backpack floats onto the scene at CES 2015

STM (www.stmbags.com) is showcasing its The Drifter "levitating backpack" at this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It conceals two floating sleeves crafted for holding a laptop and tablet safely.

If the Drifter is dropped, the floating electronics pockets will remain safely suspended inches above the ground, says Adam Ziegelman, vice president of STM. It's constructed with water resistant fabric for the main body and reinforced bottom fabric.

The top loading design of the Drifter makes the bag easy to navigate through without dumping out all of the contents, says Ziegelman. The Drifter is 18 liters in volume and features an array of pockets, including a compression pocket on the side for quick water bottle storage and a zipped pocket on the opposite side.

At the bottom of the bag a pocket holds a form-fitted rainfly intended to go over the bag for additional water protection. The...

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Jan 05
Survival Skills Guide launched for Mac OS X Yosemite

A new Survival Skills Guide (http://www.macsupportstore.com) for Mac OS X Yosemite has been launched online in eBook format. It's written by Jeff Graber of The Mac Support Store.

Yosemite is the 11th major release of OS X and can be downloaded from Mac App Store for free. Although it has special features, "there are many potentially disastrous technical issues" in the new operating system, says Graber.

He adds this is why the Mac Support store has released an eBook guide that helps resolve Yosemite issues. In this book, users can learn, in depth, about common problems faced upon their installation, as well as usage of the new operating system, and ways on how to easily resolve these problems.

The ebook discusses the possible Wi-Fi and Bluetooth problems that may arise when the OS is used and ways on how to resolve them. Other OS problems discussed on the eBook include: email...

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Jan 05
Mad Catz' new headset is a F.R.E.Q

Mad Catz Interactive is shipping the F.R.E.Q. Wireless Surround Headset, a gaming headset compatible with practically any audio source including Macs, PCs, game consoles, mobile and smart devices. It allows gamers to enjoy expansive wireless surround sound via AM3D Audio technology. 

 
The F.R.E.Q. features a discrete integrated mic that allows gamers to communicate online, as well as use the headset with smart phones, tablets and more, all without the need of a boom mic obstructing their movement. With no need for a boom mic to be attached, gamers can stay connected with multiple devices and enjoy the headset in a variety of situations.
 
The F.R.E.Q. features Bluetooth technology and can connect to practically any audio source thanks to the adapter box that connects to a standard digital optical or analogue source, transmitting wireless audio directly to the headset.

The F.R.E.Q is available for pre-order for US$299.99 at...

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Jan 05
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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