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May 26
iTunes accounts for 28% of music purchased by US consumers

According to The NPD Group (http://npd.com/corpServlet?nextpage=corp_welcome.html), a market research company, Apple’s iTunes store continued to lead all music retailers, with 28% of all music purchased by U.S. consumers -- a gain of four percentage points since the first quarter of 2009.

Amazon gained three percentage points to tie Walmart for second position at 12%t. Based on NPD’s latest music industry research, sales of digital tracks and albums accounted for 40% of overall music market share in the first quarter (Q1) of 2010, which is a five percentage point gain since Q1 2009. NPD’s data is based on a combined music-retailer ranking that reflects the combined sales of CDs and digital music downloads (i.e., 12 digital music track downloads are equivalent to one CD).

When reviewing sales of digital music separately from CDs, NPD’s...

| Read more »
May 26
Kindle to focus on reading, not taking on the iPad

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos says that his company won’t try to make the Kindle more like the iPad, but will focus on reading.

At the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Bezos said that the Kindle targets what he calls “serious readers,” while the iPad aims for a broader audience, reports the "Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870402620457526651173277018...). He also said that a color screen for the Amazon ebook reader was still a ways off.

| Read more »
May 26
Analyst expects new iPhone, no other big news, at WWDC

In a note to clients today -- as reported by "Fortune" (http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/05/26/what-steve-jobs-has-up-his-sleeve...) -- Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said the 2010 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference is shaping up to be a "non-event." He's anticipating a new iPhone, but little else.

Munster thinks the new iPhone will sporth video conferencing features, a thinner design, an improved rear camera, better battery life and higher capacity (32GB/64GB). He doesn't expect it to go on sale (at the current $199/$299 price points) until mid to late June. Like other analysts, he expects the iPhone 3G to go out of production and the price of the iPhone 3GS to drop to $99.

Munster doesn't think we'll see an iPhone introduced for Verizon. Nor does he expect...

| Read more »
May 26
Apple's actual business value now higher than Microsoft...

Apple's stock market capitalization hasn't quite surpassed Microsoft's, but the value of its actual business is now higher, according to "Silicon Alley Insider" (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Its-Official-Apple-Is-Now-siliconalley-306...).

Apple's business is now worth US$200 billion, while Microsoft's is only worth $197 billion -- at least by one simple calculation of enterprise value, the article says.

A company's stock market capitalization includes the net value of the cash and debt on the company's books. To figure out the imputed value of the company's actual business (or enterprise value), you have to adjust for the value of those other things.

| Read more »
May 26
Apple, HP to look into suicides at China supplier

Apple and HP said they’ll examine the working conditions of their Hon Hai Group supplier, a labor-rights group called for a boycott of iPhones assembled by the Taiwanese company, and a "China Daily" newspaper editorial questioned Hon Hai’s “humanitarian concern” following several workers' suicides, reports "Bloomberg Businessweek" (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-26/hon-hai-opens-plants-as-hp-a...).

Gou’s move to open the factories to the media highlights the scrutiny the company is facing because of the suicides, according to UBS AG analyst Arthur Hsieh.“This has never been seen before, it’s really unusual times," he told "Bloomberg."

There have been nine suicides and two attempts at the China operations this year, a Hon Hai...

| Read more »
May 26
Apple posts Boot Camp update for 13-inch MB Pro

Apple has posted a Boot Camp update (http://www.apple.com/support/bootcamp/) for the recently refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro. It's available for users running either 32- or 64-bit versions of Windows on their Macs.

Boot Camp is designed to simplify Windows installation on a Mactel by providing a simple graphical step-by-step assistant application to dynamically create a second partition on the hard drive for Windows, to burn a CD with all the necessary Windows drivers, and to install Windows from a Windows installation CD. After installation is complete, users can choose to run either Mac OS X or Windows when they restart their computer.

According to Apple, the Boot Camp update fixes an issue “that causes the Boot Camp Control Panel applet to display an error when the brightness tab is selected and an issue that results in no headphone sound.” The 32-bit update is 1.5 MB...

| Read more »
May 26
AdMob: iPhone OS leads Android OS 3.5-to-1 worldwide

AdMob (http://metrics.admob.com) -- one of the world's largest mobile advertising networks -- has compared unique devices running the Android and iPhone operating systems (OS) in its network in the April 2010 "AdMob Mobile Metrics Report."

The Android OS had its greatest concentration of unique devices in North America (75%) in April 2010, followed by Asia (12%) and Western Europe (11%). iPhone OS devices are more broadly distributed worldwide, but also had its greatest concentration in North America (49%), followed by Western Europe (28%) and Asia (14%).

In the US there was a 2-to-1 ratio of iPhone OS devices to Android OS devices; worldwide, that ratio expanded to 3.5-to-1. In AdMob’s network there were 8.7 million unique Android OS devices and 10.7 million unique iPhones in the U.S. in April 2010. But when non-phone devices running the iPhone OS -- the iPod touch and iPad --– are included, the...

| Read more »
May 26
Harman International releases JBL On Stage Micro II

Harman International has released the JBL On Stage Micro II, one of the smallest iPod and iPhone compatible docks on the market. The second iteration of the the sound system features the same technology as its older sibling -- but with broader iPhone compatibility.

The JBL On Stage Micro II is a portable iPod and iPhone docking sound system. It's equipped with two Odyssey transducers and a remote. It's powered by an AC adapter or four AAA batteries that will provide up to 24 hours of continuous play. The remote can adjust volume, change tracks and fast forward/reverse through songs from across the room. In Navigation mode, it features full iPod and iPhone functionality, and listeners can browse by song, artist or album, and select playlists and slideshows plus videos.

The newest JBL junior dock is compatible with most docking iPod and iPhone devices, and it incorporates the Apple iPod universal dock adapter. The unit also connects directly to iTunes via USB 2.0 with a...

| Read more »
May 26
Mercedes-Benz Financial equips dealers with iPads

Mercedes-Benz Financial (http://www.mercedesbenzfinancial.com/mbfsr/en/misc/index.do) says it's putting the iPad into the hands of its dealers, becoming the first automotive finance company to give dealers mobile access to its proprietary point-of-sale dealer system called MB Advantage. In doing so, Mercedes-Benz Financial is one of the first companies to adapt the consumer-oriented iPad as a mobile business tool.

MB Advantage on the iPad will give dealership sales personnel instant access to marketing programs for specific models, quicker turn time on the credit application process, and increase speed and efficiency on the return of lease vehicles, according to Andreas Hinrichs, vice president of marketing for Mercedes-Benz Financial.

“We see the iPad providing wireless mobility, information and flexibility on the showroom...

| Read more »
May 26
ExactScan Pro update for Mac OS X supports new scanners

ExactCode has updated its ExactScan Pro (http://www.exactcode.de/site/products/exactscan/) scanning software for Mac OS X (10.4 and higher) to version 2.10. The upgrade adds intelligent de-skew flatbed scans, as well as support for various new scanners models, improved scan speed and more OCR languages.

ExactScan includes built-in drivers for over 180 document scanners, including devices from Avision, Kodak, Oki, Visioneer and Xerox. Together with the Spotlight indexing services built into Mac OS X since 10.5 ("Leopard") this features form a document management solution suitable for small-office and home-office (SOHO) environments. What's more it has image enhancement algorithms that can recognize automatically how the images and documents have to be cropped and de-skewed.

ExactScan comes with support for many languages (English, Dutch, German,...

| Read more »
May 26
SERank for Mac OS X can now check multiple websites at once

Rage Software has released Rage SERank 2.1 (http://www.ragesw.com/products/search-engine-rank.html), an update of the US$79.95 Mac OS X search engine rank checker for web site owners to track and monitor their search engine rankings.

The upgrade adds the ability to check multiple web sites at a time, provides more options for safe search engine rank checks and adds new search engine scripts so you can check your rankings in even more search engines.

Rage SERank will monitor search engine rankings for any number of keywords and display changes in a website's search engine rankings over any point in time. It requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later. Version 2.1 is a free update for registered users of version 2.0.

| Read more »
May 26
Jedit X text editor update for Mac OS X improves Find Panel

Artman21 (http://www.artman21.com/en/jedit_x/) has updated Jedit X, the Cocoa-based text editor for Mac OS X, to version 2.21. The Find Panel has been improved to be resizable and its layout also has been revised.

There are also other changes. The input completion is now available also in the find and replace fields in the Find Panel. The title of the button "Find All" and "Replace All" vary with changes in the search modes. The specification of the checkbox "Search Backward" has been changed not to affect the behavior of the menu "Find > Find Next/Find Previous." And version 2.2.1 improves the find/replace field synchronization between the Find Panel and Find Result Replace Panel.

Jedit X is an Universal Binary app so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. It requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher. The cost is US$28 for a single-user license, though version 2.21 is a...

| Read more »
May 26
Poser 8 update offers performance improvements

Smith Micro has announced a new update to Poser 8, software for creating art and animation using 3D characters. Poser SR3 includes performance improvements based on Poser Pro 2010 development and integrated user feedback, as well as new functionality, such as:

° Improved rendering performance in several areas including strand based hair, 3D motion blur, raytraced refraction and texture caching.

° Version 2 of the new Poser Library and Content Management system. The Flash version of the new Poser Pro 2010 Library is included with Poser 8 SR3. It will replace the existing Poser 8 library and provide multiple column list views, improved search, improved drag and drop with auto-conforming and user customizable view settings.

° Auto-conforming with scaling feature debuted with Poser Pro 2010. This allows conformed clothing to match the underlying figure’s scaling factors. There are also new conforming settings for each figure found in the figure’s Properties.

... | Read more »
May 26
Justice Department examining Apple's digital music tactics

The Justice Department is examining Apple’s tactics in the digital music market for digital music, and its staff members have talked to major music labels and Internet music companies, reports "The New York Times" (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/technology/26apple.html), quoting "several people briefed on the conversations."

The antitrust inquiry is in the early stages, these people say, and the conversations have revolved broadly around the dynamics of selling music online. However, But thosebriefed on the inquiries also said investigators had asked in particular about recent allegations that Apple used its dominant market position to persuade music labels to refuse to give the online retailer Amazon.com exclusive access to music about to be released, adds the "Times."

Apple is the largest seller of online music in the U.S.,...

| Read more »
May 26
Hillcrest Labs releases new version of TV web browser

Hillcrest Labs has unveiled the latest version of the Kylo browser, the free web browser for TV, which the company introduced earlier this year.  It was developed for households that connect their Macs or Macs to the TV.

Kylo lets users visit sites across the web with a browser that was specifically designed to be viewed from a distance in the family room, living room, or dorm room. In addition, Hillcrest Labs announced that its companion product, the Loop pointer, is available at half price (US$49), from now through June 11 in celebration of the new Kylo release and in advance of Father's Day.  

The Loop (pictured) allows you to control Kylo. It also lets you take total control of your computer's digital media. Music, videos, photos.

The latest version of the Kylo browser (Kylo Beta 0.7) is available at http://www.kylo.tv and and lets you: hide Kylo's control bar and keyboard; configure Kylo's...

| Read more »
May 26
VMware Fusion 3.1 concentrates on speed, graphics improvements

VMware, which specializes in virtualization solutions, has released VMware Fusion 3.1 (http://www.vmware.com/fusion), an update of the solution for running Windows on the Mac. Pat Lee, director, personal desktop products VMware, says the focus of the update was to beef up graphics performance and speed while maintaining reliability.

With faster application launching, more seamless scrolling, quicker resume from suspend, and better overall disk performance, VMware Fusion 3.1 delivers 35% better end-to-end performance compared to its predecessor, VMware Fusion 3.0, Lee says. He adds that the update beefs up Windows Aero performance and OpenGL 2.1 support for Windows Vista and Windows 7. (Aero he graphical user interface and the default theme in most editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7.)

In fact, it delivers up to 5X better 3D graphics performance, according to Lee. VMware Fusion 3.1 is...

| Read more »
May 25
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for May 25

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/).

Nibi Software Group, a provider of next-generation collaborative learning solutions, has released an US $1.99 iPad and iPhone application, offering access to 200 authoritative YouTube channels on a wide variety of educational topics that are each linked to relevant Wikipedia entries on the same or related topics.

ChovanART has announced a new iPhone app, Whatizit? It's described as a family game that "game stimulates the brain while eliciting laughs as contestants ponder a sketch and attempt to guess its name in one or two words." The $0.99 full version consists of 25 pictures giving you a possible 100 points for a perfect score.

Accessing working capital, business loans, and equipment financing on the go is now possible thanks to a new,...

| Read more »
May 25
EditShare announces beta program for Lightworks Open Source

EditShare, which specializes in cross-platform collaborative editing and shared media storage, has announced the Lightworks Open Source beta program.

Lightworks Open Source is at open-source development initiative for a large-scale, non-linear editing (NLE) platform. It offers a gateway into the NLE's core engine, enabling the implementation of progressive features and workflows.

Limited to 80 highly-experienced participants, the exclusive beta program offering includes imminent new features of Lightworks Open Source, including: project sharing, advanced 3D stereoscopic editing, Universal Media File support, native RED support, native 2K support, and integration with Avid and FCP. Qualified editors can apply to participate in the beta program before June 21 by visiting: http://www.editshare.com/betaprogram .

| Read more »
May 25
UI Browser update for Mac OS X adds Accessibility features

PFiddlesoft has released UI Browser 2.1.0 (http://pfiddlesoft.com/uibrowser/), an update to the assistant for GUI scripting with AppleScript on Mac OS X. The new version adds support for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 Accessibility features.

Version 2.1.0 also:

° Allows users to make UI Browser a accessibility process without enabling global access for assistive devices;

° Allows users to enable global access for assistive devices, if desired, without opening System Preferences;

° Generates an AppleScript handler that allows any GUI Scripting script to enable global access for assistive devices on the fly without requiring users to open System Preferences;

° Adds a new Follow Focus mode that automatically tracks UI elements as keyboard focus changes.

Also, The PFAssistive and PFEventTaps Frameworks are now installed separately as shared frameworks in /Library/...

| Read more »
May 25
AviiQ releases Portable Laptop Stand

AViiQ (http://www.Aviiq.com) has released the US$79.95 AViiQ Portable Laptop Stand, which the company claims is the world's thinnest laptop stand. It folds down to 1/4 inch for portability.

The AViiQ Portable Laptop Stand provides an optimal ergonomic angle of 12 degrees and purportedly reduces strain on the wrist and increases comfort for the user. The angle is also designed to improve visibility, decrease screen glare and maximize productivity. The angle benefits the laptops as well by allowing air to flow underneath, thus dissipating heat from the laptop and improving battery life and computing efficiency, says AViiQ Director of Marketing Alan Yeung.

The body of the AViiQ Portable Laptop Stand is composed of German-made Hylite, a composite material comprised of aluminum sheets bonded to a polypropylene core. By milling off the aluminum and leaving the polypropylene, the material becomes flexible...

| Read more »
May 25
Griffin and Threadless release new iPod touch cases

Griffin Technology has unveiled a new collection of Griffin + Threadless cases for the iPod touch. The new additions include case designs based on Theadless T-shirt designs.

The designs include I Wanna Dance, The Gaming Revolution, Put the Needle on the Record, and Space Needs Color. They're $34.99 each and are now available at Best Buy and at http://www.griffintechnology.com .

| Read more »
May 25
Witch for Mac OS X conjures up version 3.2

Many Tricks has released version 3.2 of Witch (http://manytricks.com/witch), its window switching utility for Mac OS X. The new version adds support for Spaces in Mac OS X 10.6 ("Snow Leopard").

Spaces users can now work with windows in all Spaces using Witch 3.2. Users can optionally choose to see Space number badges on the window icons in Witch's switching panel.

Witch 3.2 is a free update for all Witch 3 users. Witch 3 is US$19 for new users and $8 for users of Witch 2.x.

| Read more »
May 25
Study: iPads putting the hurt on netbooks

With the Netbook Summit in San Francisco underway, and Apple's iPad shaking up the mobile computing market, Retrevo.com has released a new "Pulse" study about the mobile computing market. Following are some highlights of the study:

° After the iPad was announced in January, 40% of people surveyed held off on buying a netbook, and bought an iPad instead.

° Thirty percent of people surveyed held off buying a netbook after the iPad was announced in January. Then, they bought a netbook.

° Of people currently looking to buy an iPad or netbook, 78% of them are leaning toward an iPad and 22% are leaning toward a netbook.

° Of people who bought a laptop or netbook last year, 35% choose a netbook and 65% chose a laptop.

°Of people who are looking to buy either a laptop or a netbook this year, 35% are looking to buy a netbook, while 65% of them are looking to buy a laptop.

Retrevo.com says Apple may have grabbed 30% of those netbook buyers who held...

| Read more »
May 25
Analyst: iPad production could crank up to 2.5 million units a...

Sterne Agee analyst Vijay Rakesh is expecting Apple to really ramp up its iPad production. In a note to clients he says his checks with the company’s supply chain finds that the company has been been producing the tablet at a rate of 1-1.5 million units a month, higher than most estimates.

"Barron's" (http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2010/05/25/apple-ipad-productio...) reports that the analyst predicts production could crank up to 2.5 million units a month or more in the September quarter. He says that some previous manufacturing bottlenecks have been solved, though memory remains “a constraint.”

Rakesh also says that checks indicate that new iPhones are coming in the September...

| Read more »
May 25
Google releases non-beta version of Chrome for the Mac

Google has introduced the "stable channel release" of Google Chrome for Mac (http://www.google.com/chrome), providing their very first non-beta release of the web browser for the Mac. It comes with a host of new features.

You’ll be able to synchronize not only bookmarks across multiple computers, but also browser preferences -- including themes, homepage and startup settings, web content settings, preferred languages, and even page zoom settings. Meanwhile, for avid extensions users, you can enable each extension to work in incognito mode through the extensions manager. 

The Google for Mac release also incorporates HTML5 features such as Geolocation application programming interfaces, App Cache, web sockets, and file drag and drop. Google has also given Chrome’s bookmark manager a facelift with HTML5.

In recent weeks, Google has been beta-testing Adobe Flash Player integration into...

| Read more »
 
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