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Aug 23
Beta demo of Vera Blanc: Ghost in the Castle available

Winter Wolves has released a beta demo for its upcoming, Mac OS X compatible game Vera Blanc: Ghost in the Castle (http://www.verablanc.com/), the second title in the mystery adventure series. It can be ordered for US$19.99.

Here's how Vera Blanc is described: "This time, Vera and Brandon are investigating a mysterious ghost that is haunting a castle in a town in the middle of the Italian countryside. A local famous businessman, Roberto Anastasi, wants Vera to solve the ghost problem, because he doesn’t want the town filled by tourists. The first day seems to be rather quiet and relaxing, but as soon as the night comes, Vera will have a short encounter with the ghost! A short chase in the woods that ends up in an opening and a man hanged on a tree!"

| Read more »
Aug 23
Analyst: multiple US carriers could be signed for the iPhone

Apple needs another carrier to maintain the iPhone's current rate of growth in the U.S., says Kaufman Bros.'s Shaw Wu in a note to clients Monday -- as reported by "Fortune" (http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/08/23/verizon-and-apple-at-loggerheads/...) -- but it doesn't necessarily have to be Verizon -- though that's the company that most folks expect to become the second US carrier.

According to Wu, Apple's share of AT&T's 90-million subscriber base is approaching saturation. Verizon, with 93 million subscribers, would be...

| Read more »
Aug 23
Mac government, enterprise, home sales surge in June

In June Apple scored its biggest gains in government, big business and the European home market, according to Needham analyst Charles Wolf, using using the second quarter number from the IDC research group. In a note to clients -- as reported by "Fortune" (http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/08/23/mac-enterprise-sales-surged-in-june/) -- Wolf says:

° At 35%, Mac shipment growth in June easily exceeded the market's growth rate of 20.9%.

° Mac shipments grew 31.4% in the home market, topping the market's growth rate of 25.2%.

° At 49.8%, the Mac's growth in business was three times higher than the market's 15.7%.

° Mac shipments in government grew 200%, sixteen times faster than the market's 12.1%.

° In the European home market, Apple's unit share more than doubled between quarter...

| Read more »
Aug 23
Acer chairman: iPad share will drop to 20%

Take this one with a grain of sale: In a Chinese-language interview with the Economic Daily News -- as reported by "DigiTimes" (http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20100823PB200.html), JT Wang, chairman of Acer, said that he expects Apple's iPad market share to drop from close to 100% currently to only 20%-30% after the tablet PC market stabilizes.

He also cited a research report indicating that the market share for Android smartphones has already surpassed that of iOS models. According to "DigiTimes," Wang said that, according to past experience, a closed platform will eventually lose to an open one, and that he believes Android simply needs a little more time before it begins to dominate.

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Aug 23
90% of iPad buyers will be existing Apple owners

Only 2% of US homes which do not currently own an Apple device intend to buy an iPad during the next 12 months, compared to 18% of Apple-owning households, according to a new survey of 2000 US consumers by Strategy Analytics (http://www.strategyanalytics.com).

The report, “Apple's iPad: Identifying Early Adopters and Intentions to Buy,” finds that ownership of another Apple product -- such as an iPod, MacBook or iPhone -- is the strongest indicator of intention to buy an iPad. For example, nearly a third of iPhone users in the US plan to buy an iPad during the coming year. In total 90% of iPad sales are expected to come from existing Apple device owners.

“Apple’s iPad is preaching to the converted,” says the report’s author, David Mercer, principal Analyst at Strategy Analytics. “Many iPhone, Apple computer and iPod owners have snapped up their first iPad in the first few months...

| Read more »
Aug 23
'MUG Event Calendar': Dr. Mac, 'free and cheap,...

August starts to wind down on "The MUG Event Calendar." Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus will make a virtual visit to an Ohio group, while a California group will focus on Apple’s Mail program, and a Florida group will consider what is “free and cheap.”

Other topics up for discussion this week include Android, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad apps, web browsers, digital photography, and a film project using the Red digital camera.

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

| Read more »
Aug 23
ABI Research: almost 280 million combo chipsets to ship this...

Shipments of “combo” chipsets for mobile devices that gather a variety of connectivity types in one small package are expected to approach 280 million worldwide by the end of 2010.

Integrating different radio technologies such as FM, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS on a single chip may sometimes involve performance compromises, but saves money, space and power. ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com) forecasts that more than 979 million such chipsets will ship in 2015.

“The market for combo chipsets is taking off, but somewhat more slowly than was originally expected,” says research analyst Xavier Ortiz. “Mobile phones are the main market for these combinations today, although ABI Research believes that for true mass adoption, combos will have to penetrate other product types that require short-range wireless: laptops and consumer electronics devices.”

The combination most commonly found in...

| Read more »
Aug 23
Snard launcher for Mac OS X updated to version 2.6.4

Gideon Softworks has updated Snard (http://www.gideonsoftworks.com/snard.html), the "the Swiss Army Knife of launcher programs" for Mac OS X, to version 2.6.4. It's a maintenance update that fixes a problem with orphaned files/folders.

Snard can be used as a system menu or as a hot key activated pop-up menu. It also supports the use of hot keys. Snard provides many of the functionalities of the old Apple and Application menus, yet it can be customized.

Snard 2.6.4requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. It costs US$10 for new users.

| Read more »
Aug 23
PortAuthority for Mac OS X adds Keychain support

Code by Kevin has updated PortAuthority (http://www.codebykevin.com/portauthority.html), an open-source application that provides a graphical user interface for the DarwinPorts package management system for Mac OS X, to version 3.1. It now uses the Mac OS X Keychain to store password.


PortAuthority 3.1 also now supports clickable links in data display and native printing. You can now access the Services menu. Version 3.1 provides port searches as a service. Finally, the Satus icon in menubar show operations in progress.


PortAuthority a command-line tool for installing and updating a variety of Unix-based applications for the Mac. The goal of the software, according to its developers, is to bring the power of DarwinPorts to the traditional Mac user by providing a user-friendly graphical interface to the DarwinPorts system.

PortAuthority costs US$24...

| Read more »
Aug 23
Facebook iPhone app boats over 100 million active monthly users

The Facebook application for iPhone now has over 100 million active monthly users, reports "Macworld UK" (http://www.macworld.co.uk/ipod-itunes/news/index.cfm?newsid=3236541).

A recent post on the Facebook Developer Blog reveals more than 150 million people actively using Facebook from mobile devices. Of those, 100 million active users per month use the Facebook for iPhone application.

| Read more »
Aug 23
iPad art contest announced

Ten One Design has announced its second annual competitive art challenge -- this year for iPad and Pogo Sketch users worldwide.

Starting at 12 a.m. (Eastern) on Aug. 23 and running through 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 29, Pogo Sketch/iPad users -- novice, expert and in between -- can submit their best artwork, sketches and doodles for a chance to win up to US$1,000 worth of cash and prizes. The winners will be selected based on artistic skill, creativity/originality, realism and judges’ choice.

One grand prize winner will receive: a booq Boa squeeze laptop backpack ($99.95), booq Boa skin XS  ($29.95), $300 cash, Twelvesouth Compass Mobile Stand for iPad ($39.99), DODOCASE iPad Case ($59.95), XGear Folio iPad Case ($69.99), Hard Graft Tilt iPad Case ($100), and assorted gadgets and art supplies. Four secondary winners will receive various Ten One Design products, an iTunes Gift Card and one of the following: Twelvesouth Compass Mobile Stand for iPad, DODOCASE iPad Case, XGear...

| Read more »
Aug 20
OWC announces Mercury Extreme Pro 40GB SSD for $99.99

Other World Computing (http://www.macsales.com) has announced a new 40GB model to its OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD line. Designed and made in the U.S. from imported parts, the new OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 40GB SSD’s special introductory pricing of US$99.99 makes it the lowest priced SSD on the market, according to the gang at OWC.

The 40GB has sustained read and write speeds over 260MB/second -- with peak speeds up to 285MB/second. It also touts best in class error correction (ECC) and SandForce RAISE™ redundancy with 7% over provisioning and SandForce DuraClass technology with block management and wear leveling for long term durability.

The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD line is available for immediate ordering in nine configurations from 40GB to 480GB starting at $99.99. All models are Mac and PC compatible and install into notebooks, as well as into desktops/towers with an OWC Multi-Mount adapter kit...

| Read more »
Aug 20
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Aug. 20

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/).

Olson Applications has announced 5 Minute Fat Loss 1.0, an $1.99 health and fitness app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It was specifically designed to help users lose weight and get into shape using five-minute daily exercise routines. 5 Minute Fat Loss consists of over 200 exercise routines that can be completed in a home environment.

Developica has introduced ComicBookPad 1.0 for the iPad. It's a $8.99 comic book reader allowing simultaneous reader functionality and iTunes playback in iOS 3.2 or later. The app operates so as to permit this multitasking despite the present lack of an iPad compatible version of iOS 4. The iPad optimized reader includes: real-time display and zoom, thumbnails of every page, file library with stacks, no-lag...

| Read more »
Aug 20
MediaBeacon, Aysling team up for 'author once, repurpose...

MediaBeacon (http://www.MediaBeacon.com), a provider of digital asset management and rich media solutions, has announced a relationship with Aysling Digital Media Solutions for an "author once, repurpose many" solution.

WoodWing's Digital Magazine Tools coupled with Adobe's InDesign technology enable publishers to create content for the web, mobile and Apple iPad in almost the same way they produce content for print. Because these tools present themselves simply as new panels in InDesign, the layout staff is easily able to use them without special training, according to Patrick Becker, CEO of Asyling Digital Media Solutions. The Digital Magazine Tools are an extension to WoodWing's Enterprise publishing system, which is already being used by numerous publishers around the world for their print publications.

With this initiative, MediaBeacon’s digital asset management platform is now integrated...

| Read more »
Aug 20
New 'MacVoices' looks at Drobo options

On the new MacVoices (http://www.macvoices.com), Mark Fuccio, the senior director of Products & Markets for Data Robotics points out that, even if your Mac doesn't have eSATA, it probably is iSCSI capable, and compatible with one of Drobo's fastest interface options.

He describes how fast and easy it is to implement this capability, why Drobo has opted to become a sponsor of the MacVoices Group of Internet shows, and announces a contest to celebrate, where you can win a Drobo simply by describing your frustrations with mass storage
solutions.

"MacVoices" is an Internet show and podcast that delivers in-depth discussions with the most influential people in the Mac industry, as well as "the individuals who are out there making it happen on the front lines of the global Apple community," according to host Chuck Joiner.

| Read more »
Aug 20
USB Fever releases WaterWear, windshield mount for idevices

USB Fever has released the WaterWear for the iPhone and iPod, and the Custom-Made Card Windshield Mount for the iPad. The former (pictured) is an US$26.99 case that's water resistant (which is, you should note, not the same as waterproof).


The WaterWear (http://www.usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?products_id=1992) is made of durable transparent material designed to prevent the intrusion of dust and water inside the special double chuck. The product comes with waterproof earphones.

The $25.99 Custom-Made Car Windshield Mount for iPad (http://www.usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?products_id=1991) lets you attach the Apple table to a windshield. You can bend the...

| Read more »
Aug 20
REAL Software has 'back to school' sale for new REAL...

REAL Software, creator of REAL Studio, a cross-platform development environment for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux developers, says REAL Studio and REAL Server will be on sale for a "back to school" weekend (Aug. 20-22). All new licenses will be discounted to 30% off of their original price.

REAL Studio is available in three editions: Personal, Professional and Enterprise. REAL Studio Personal Edition, priced at US$99, is ideal for students and hobbyists, and those making software for themselves. REAL Studio Professional Edition is geared for the more advanced user and includes the ability to compile for all three platforms (Mac, Windows and Linux). REAL Studio Enterprise Edition is fully-charged for the professional, full-time software developer and allows developers to develop and deploy on all three platforms. Enterprise Edition is priced at $995.

REAL Server is a multi-user database server that has a small footprint, is highly reliable and runs on all three...

| Read more »
Aug 20
Akai Professional announces AkaiConnect SDK

Akai Professional has released the the AkaiConnect SDK (software development kit), which allows third-party developers access to put all the professional controls and capabilities of Akai Pro’s SynthStation25 keyboard controller to work in conjunction with their music apps for the iPhone and iPod touch.

To coincide with the availability of the new SDK, Akai Pro also launched a special web site at http://www.synthstationapp.com with the latest information about the SynthStation25 keyboard, SynthStation app, and the new AkaiConnect SDK. App developers can also apply to become an Akai Pro developer free of charge.

Akai Pro’s SynthStation25 is a 25-key MIDI keyboard, featuring a built-in dock for the iPhone or iPod touch. It gives users two octaves of velocity-sensitive, synth-action keys, pitch and modulation wheels, and physical buttons for the most commonly used controls, including...

| Read more »
Aug 20
Apple online store now lets you Compare Macs

There's a new addition to the online Apple store called Compare Macs, which offers a three panel juxtaposition of the hardware, software, storage, environmental impact, communications and display of any Mac OS X machine sold by Apple. The option becomes available in the top menu bar once you select a Mac.

"Although there’s nothing particularly revolutionary about the feature, as usual, Apple has managed to execute the new option with such perfection that the HTML5 seems to shiver," says "Cult of Mac" (http://macosg.me/2/r6) in reviewing the Compare Macs feature. "Each genre of juxtaposition -- Hardware, Software, Technical Specifications, And Configuration Summary -- is delineated into specific sections that collapse as you scroll down the page, with each point of comparison flushly horizontal with its comparable brethren. The pie charts under the Environmental Status Report section are particularly well...

| Read more »
Aug 20
Optimus to release the iPhone in Portugal -- at a price

Optimus, Orange’s Portuguese brand, is getting set to release iPhone 4 but the price they want for a network-locked device will make it one of the most expensive places in the world to buy one, reports "TiPb" (http://macosg.me/2/r5).

The iPhone 4 16Gb Black will cost 679,90€, and the iPhone 4 32Gb Black is 769,90€. That’s a 70€ price bump, notes "TiPb."

| Read more »
Aug 20
Logitech unveils new wireless headset

So you can make Internet calls and listen to music without the hassle of cords Logitech (http://www.logitech.com) has announced the Logitech Wireless Headset H760 for voice, video calls, music, movies and computer games.

The headset purportedly lets you chat, roam, move and groove up to 40 feet away from your Mac, with up to six hours of battery life. The H760 also features a built-in equalizer, one-touch controls for volume, and noise-canceling technology.

Itboasts quick-access audio controls -- compatible with iTunes and any audio -- that allow you to adjust volume, pause and navigate your playlist directly from your headset. The H760 also features a noise-canceling microphone that reduces background noise and automatically mutes when you move the mic out of the way. The Logitech Wireless Headset H760 is expected to be available in the U.S. and Asia in August and in Europe in September for US$99....

| Read more »
Aug 20
Will $1 per gigabyte NAND resuscitate solid state drives?

After two years of inflated prices, NAND flash memory at the end of 2010 is set to return to the key US$1 per gigabyte level considered a key threshold to drive adoption of Solid State Drives (SSD), but the cost reduction may come too late to help the struggling SSD market, according to the market research firm iSuppli Corp. (http://www.isuppli.com).

Pricing for 1GB of 3-bit per cell (TLC) NAND flash memory will average $1.20 for the entire fourth quarter and then decline to $1.00 at the end of the year. This represents a precipitous drop from the first quarter of 2010, when pricing for TLC averaged $1.80 per gigabyte and 2-bit per cell (MLC) flash was at $2.05, iSuppli memory pricing and forecasts indicate. It also marks the first time NAND flash pricing fell below the $1 threshold since the fourth quarter of 2008, when MLC pricing averaged 90 cents per gigabyte.

“When NAND pricing first fell below...

| Read more »
Aug 20
Inkling launches digital textbook platform

Inkling (http://www.inkling.com) has launched its platform for learning content with immediate availability of its iPad app. It delivers interactive textbooks that feature powerful social collaboration, integrated multimedia, and instant learner feedback.

Inkling is available in the Apple App Store for free, and users can buy individual chapters or entire books at a discount to the print price. Free previews are available for all titles, and prices start at US$2.99 per chapter and $69.99 per book. Rather than replicating a book on a screen, Inkling puts 3-D objects, video, quizzes, and even social interaction right at a student's fingertips inside the textbook, says Inkling founder and CEO, Matt MacInnis.

Inkling's sync technology lets students collaborate in real time by sharing their notes and highlights with one another. Students can see comments from their friends and professors right alongside...

| Read more »
Aug 20
Toon Boom Studio 6 to include a Bone Rigging System, more

Toon Boom Animation (http://www.toonboom.com) has announced the upcoming release of Toon Boom Studio 6, which offers, among other features, a Bone Rigging System for new bone rigging animation capabilities.

Features in Toon Boom Studio 6 include: a Skeleton Effect Layer in the timeline; a Bone Level for segmenting an animating a character; setting of rotation, length and position of the bones; manipulation of the bones in the timeline; transformation of vector shapes; transformation of pixmap textures; more accurate region of influence to move objects; real-time preview of Bone Effect; full QuickTime Export of Bone Effect; SWF export of Bone Effect (vector shapes only); and software improvements and bug fixes.

You can buy Toon Boom Studio 6 now at the special pre-launch price of US$299.99, instead of $329.99; this is valid until Sept. 1. The first 100 customers who place an order for a new Studio 6...

| Read more »
Aug 20
Sanyo introduces pocket-sized dual camera

Sanyo (http://www.us.sanyo.com) has introduced a new Full HD (1920 x 1080 30p) Pocket-Size Dual Camera, model VPC-PD2BK, with embedded software for easy use and sharing on social networks. It will be available next month with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of US$169.99.

The camera offers 10 MP photo shooting and 3x optical zoom in a form factor about the size of a deck of cards. With the VPC-PD2BK, shoot, you can connect, view and share both photos and videos on social networks like YouTube, Facebook, and Picasa. Two microphones on the sides of the camera record stereo sound.

The VPC-PD2BK has a High Speed Sequential Shooting Mode. You can connect it using USB with either a built-in USB connector or with the included USB connection cable. Files can be saved to SD, SDHC or ultra-high capacity SDXC (up to 64GB) memory cards.

| Read more »
 
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