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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).

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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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Jan 05
Seagate launches 'world's slimmest portable hard drive...

Seagate (www.seagate.com) has launched what it says is the "world's slimmest" portable hard drive: the Seagate Seven. It's a 500GB drive with a 7mm depth.

According to Mark Whitby, senior vice president of Seagate Branded Group, the company leveraged the latest of the company’s drive technologies and manufacturing processes to create the drive.  The deep draw process allows for the all steel enclosure to be shaped in a method that the material could not be any thinner and still hold the structural integrity needed to perform as an external portable storage device, he says.

The steel encasing also provides a rigidity, which allows for the incredibly thin design to be functional. The low profile motor technologies used in the bare drive are designed to include extreme Gyro handling capabilities with tablets and thin computing in mind.  This is a true benefit when considering that Seagate Seven is a storage...

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Jan 05
LaCie rolls out Mirror drive

LaCie (www.lacie.com) has released the US$280 Mirror, a portable hard drive wholly encased in scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. It's designed to be both a functional 1TB hard drive with an USB 3.0 interface and a striking piece of decor.

The LaCie Mirror hard drive sits in its base made of a single piece of ebony wood from Makassar. It's been designed in collaboration with the acclaimed French designer, Pauline Deltour.

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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.

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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,...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
 
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