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Feb 06
Backblaze Reliability data set for 41,000 hard drives now open...

Backblaze Online Backup has released raw data collected from the more than 41,000 disk drives in its data center to correlate drive failures with drive model numbers, with SMART statistics, and other variables.

The data that collected is in two files, one containing the 2013 data and one containing the 2014 data. Backblaze says they will add data for 2015 and so on in a similar fashion. You’ll find links to download the data files at http://tinyurl.com/nqffmvz. You’ll also find instructions on how to create your own sqlite database for the data, and other information related to the files you can download.

Every day, the software that runs the Backblaze data center takes a snapshot of the state of every drive in the data center, including the drive’s serial number, model number, and all of its SMART data. The SMART data includes the number of hours the drive has been running, the temperature of the drive, whether sectors have gone bad, and many more things.

...

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Feb 06
Maintain serves up Cocktail 7.7.1 Mavericks Edition

Maintain has served up Cocktail 7.7.1 (http://cocktail.maintain.se) Maverick Edition, a new version of its Mac OS X utility that's compatible with Yosemite. This version improvements on the "Clear System caches" procedure and fixes compatibility issues with Safari Cookies cookie manager.

Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. Its features are arranged into five categories that help you manage various aspects of your computer.

Cocktail 7.7.1 Mavericks Edition) requires OS X Mavericks to run. When unregistered, Cocktail runs in demo mode and will expire after the tenth launch. Registration is US$19 for a single user license or $39 for a family license that covers up to five computers.

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Feb 05
BECU, Fifth Third, First Niagra, Hungtington MasterCard can be...

MasterCard cardholders with a consumer credit or debit card from BECU, Fifth Third, First Niagara and Huntington National Bank now have access to payments through Apple Pay.

To help consumers use Apple Pay, MasterCard has developed the MasterCard Nearby app, available in the App Store. It helps you find merchants near your current location that accept contactless payments.

Apple announced Apple Pay in September 2014, 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,...

| Read more »
Feb 05
myNews lets you read newspapers from all over the world on your...

AppGeneration has released myNews for Mac OS X users. With the app you can browse more than 5,000 online newspapers from 80 countries.

myNews also allows you to read the news on your native language without having to leave the app. Since it auto translates newspaper websites, it enables you to read a Chinese newspaper in Russian, an English tech magazine in Spanish or a Thai economic newspaper in French.

myNews Pro 1.0 requires Mac OS X Yosemite or higher. It's available for US$3.99 (for a limited time) at the Mac App Store in the News category.

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Feb 05
3D Molecules Editor is new educational Mac app

Virtual Space OOO has announced 3D Molecules Editor for Mac OS X. The educational app lets you build and manipulate 3D molecular models of organic and inorganic compounds.

The key features of 3D Molecules Editor are 3D printing support and the "Test yourself" mode that allows learners to check their knowledge of the 3D structure of molecules. Important information about the molecule can be displayed. For example, it's possible to visualize the atomic orbitals, see electronic effects using arrows and identify bond lengths and element symbols.

3D Molecules Editor 1.0 costs US$2.99 (though it also offers in-app purchases). It's available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Education category and requires Mac OS X 10.7 or higher.

| Read more »
Feb 05
Data Extractor for Mac OS X revved to version 1.4

Tension Software has announced Data Extractor 1.4, an update of the Mac OS X tool that can parse files and collect all the raw data inside. Collected data can be exported in various formats (CSV, TSV, HTML, custom, etc).

Data Extractor provides an internal database table where you can create how many columns you like and where data can be collected. Data is always available for export. Names of custom fields can be used as the first record during exportation (for successive smart importing).

Version 1.4 offers a more resilient extraction algorithm, faster algorithm, improved multithreading capabilities, and fast adding of database fields during "Extraction Rules" editing and adding. Also, the extraction of data based on position is now supported.

Data Extractor requires Mac OS X 10.9 or higher. It costs US$45 and is available from Tension Software (www.tensionsoftware.com) and the...

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Feb 05
AppleDelete gets optimized for Mac OS X Yosemite

Reggie Ashworth has released AppDelete 4.2 (http://www.reggieashworth.com/appdelete), an update to his application deletion utility for Mac OS X.

Via drag and drop, the utility will uninstall anything along with all of the associated items. You can drag any item that can be uninstalled onto AppDelete: applications, widgets, preference panes, plugins, screensavers, etc.

Version 4.2 is optimized for Mac OS X Yosemite. It boasts a refreshed user interface, enhanced graphic, a new app icon for all OS versions, and a more efficient search algorithm. It's also now possible to copy/paste from log

AppDelete 4.2 requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later. It costs US$7.99 for a single user license. Upgrades from version 2/AppDelete Lite are $3.99. A demo is available for download.

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Feb 05
Kool Tools: Wrise for Mac OS X

AssistiveWare's (http://www.assistiveware.com) Wrise 1.0 for Mac OS X is a text-to-speech-powered word processor designed to make reading and writing accessible for everyone. Offering word highlighting, zoom and EasyReading mode, texts become more comprehensible and easier on the eyes. With Speak as you Type, Word Prediction and speech tags, writing effort is reduced.

Wrise is fully customizable and can be used to read selected text aloud in any Mac application. Users can personalize their reading experience by selecting their preferred voice, adjusting its speech rate and even fine-tuning the pronunciation of words. What's more, it allows import of a variety of document types including PDF, Word (doc/docx), plain texts and RTF and with the intuitive formatting features texts are easily edited and styled.

Designed to support reading comprehension and facilitate text composition, it can...

| Read more »
Feb 04
ControlAir for Mac brings touch-free control to media apps

eyeSight (www.eyesight-tech.com) has released Control Air, a free app (available at the Mac App Store) that provides touch-free control over your media and entertainment apps. It requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later.

With just your index finger, ControlAir lets you control apps like Spotify,  Netflix, iTunes and VLC. To use you just raise your index finger in front of the Mac's camera. ControlAir presents a banner at the top of the screen with play/pause, skip/rewind and volume functions. Move your finger side-to-side to navigate and select with an "air click."

You can even mute by placing your finger to your lips. The touch free control works up to five feet away from your Mac.

| Read more »
Feb 04
Spotlife 2 for Mac OS X puts the weather forecast on your desktop

Chronos has released Spotlife 2, a productivity utility for Mac OS X that puts your calendar directly on your desktop. According to Robert McCullough, vice president of Sales at Chronos, the update introduces "a class-leading first for a desktop calendar: the weather forecast is incorporated right into the desktop calendar so you can see the forecast at a glance.”

Spotlife 2 shows the weather forecast in the Day, Week, and Month views. A Menu bar icon shows the current date. Spotlife 2 sports blurred, translucent background styles for the Desktop Calendar. It automatically uses calendar accounts set up in OS X.


Spotlife 2 supports On My Mac, iCloud, Exchange, Yahoo, Google, CalDAV, and more. You can switch between Agenda, Day, Week, and Month views directly from the menu bar. You can view tasks as banners that stretch to the due date or just on the due date.

A fully functional 30 day trial version can be downloaded from Chronos' website (...

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Feb 04
New Allocator 1.0 for OS X lets you monitor, adjust investment...

Solbits Software has introduced Allocator 1.0 (http://allocatorapp.com/), a financial investment application designed for Mac OS X Yosemite.

It provides investors with a dashboard to organize and track important assets by portfolio performance, allocation, and total value based on current market value. You can also view current stock details, add transactions and compare target versus actual allocation.

Allocator supports foreign investments and will convert values to current portfolio currency. The application supports 165 different currencies.

Allocator 1.0 costs US$39.99. A 30-day, fully functional demo version is available for download.

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Feb 04
Records for Mac coming Feb. 17

Records for Mac 1.0 from PushPopCorn (www.pushpopcorn.com) will ship Tuesday, Feb. 17. It's a Mac OS X app that lets you collect and organize just about any kind of information, from your movie collection to the list of your customers and invoices, in a tab organized database.

Features include:

° A WYSIWYG editor, requiring no previous database knowledge;

° 14 fully-configurable form fields, including images, contacts and URLs;

° Pre-filled lists to reduce form creation time;

° Six "eye-candy" themes to tint forms and fields:

° Full text search help to find instantly your data;

° Scalable to databases with even tens of thousands of records;

° The ability to export and backup your databases;

° The ability to export and share templates with friends, family or colleagues.

Records will be available from the Mac App Store for US$49.99. It will...

| Read more »
Feb 04
SMTPit Pro gets a maintenance upgrade

SMTPit Pro 4.5.3 from Comm-Unity Networking Systems has been unveiled. It includes an important bug fix for the FileMaker email plug-in that lets you send simple text-based messages or complex HTML messages.

CNS is also reminding past SMTPit Pro license holders that the offer for a free SMTPit Pro Server license when renewing any license for 10 users and above will be expiring on March 2.

SMTPit Pro is available immediately at http://www.smtpitpro.com/ for both Mac OS X and Windows. Prices range from a Single User License for US$65 to a "World License" for $1095 (which includes a free Server License). A Server License of SMTPit Pro for use with FileMaker Pro Server/Server Advanced is $595. A Developer's License of SMTPit Pro is $1295.

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Feb 04
Apple iOS leads U.S. mobile marketshare for first time since Q4...

The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech (www.kantarworldpanel.com), for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2014, shows that Apple’s share of sales grew across the US, Europe, and China during the important Christmas period, driven by a strong portfolio of devices.

"In the US, Apple iOS overtook Android for the first time since this time in 2012, albeit by the slimmest 0.1% margin," says Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is unprecedented, this quarter’s performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever. With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market."

Throughout the holiday quarter, the iPhone 6 was the best-selling smartphone in the US and was...

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Feb 04
Audio Switcher for Mac revved to version 2.5.2

Spike Software (http://www.spikesoft.net) has announced Audio Switcher 2.5.2, 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 2.5.2 is a maintenance release that fixes a few bugs, including a bug where Audio Switcher would not correctly set the level on the default device on some computers.

Audio Switcher requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later. Version 2.5.2 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.

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Feb 03
ProjectWizards releases Merlin Project for OS X

ProjectWizards (http://projectwizards.net/en/) has announced Merlin Project for OS X. It's a tool for planning complex projects.

Many actions in Merlin Project are now animated to help customers get a better understanding of what happens in Merlin Project. In addition, there is integration in OS X (iCal, Contacts, and more), open interfaces to other Mac programs, and the possibility to import data from Microsoft software such as Excel and MS Project.

Another new feature is the "report" view. With customizable reports, Merlin Project allows any time an overview of the utilization of staff, budget and the state of the project progress.

Merlin Project requires Mac OS X 10.9.5 or later. It costs US$299; upgrades from Merlin 2 are $134. Merlin Project can be tested for free for 30 days and offers German, English, French and Spanish as languages. Other languages are in preparation.

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Feb 03
Apple's Luca Maestri is most admired Fortune 500 CFO

Model N (http://www.modeln.com), a revenue management solutions provider to the life science and technology industries, has announced the results of its CFO Revenue Management Study, which revealed that Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri is the most admired CFO from the Fortune 500.

Nearly one in four (24%) executives identified Luca Maestri, followed by Walmart CFO Charles Holley (15%) and Ford CFO Bob Shanks (8%). Over half of the respondents (55%) cited the company’s performance as the primary reason for nominating the CFO.

Model N surveyed sales and C-level executives from across the country to determine industry perspectives on revenue management and to uncover the role CFOs can play in driving sales and company growth. Nearly all (94%) executives surveyed said that the CFO is one of the most important positions for companies today, with more than half (54%) saying this is because managing...

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Feb 03
OWC adds the Mac mini to the OWC Turnkey Upgrade Program

Other World Computing (OWC) has announced the addition of the Apple Mac mini to the OWC Turnkey Upgrade Program, which also includes the iMac and Mac Pro. The program provides customers the option to upgrade their Mac with the latest technology solutions and takes advantage of the expertise of Apple Certified Technicians at OWC.

With the OWC Turnkey Upgrade Program, you can upgrade the memory or factory hard drive up to 2.0TB, or SSD up to 1.0TB for larger capacity and better performance. You can even add a second HDD or SSD and further expand your capacity up to a total of 4.0TB.

Place your order online and OWC will send you a specially designed protective shipping box complete with pre-paid postage for the transport of your computer. OWC will perform all of your requested upgrades, typically within one to three business days. Visit http://...

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Feb 03
Adelantado Trilogy: Book Two available on the Mac

Realore (http://realore.com/) has introduced Adelantado Trilogy. Book Two 1.0 for Mac OS X, the second part in the series of games that take place in the Age of Discovery.

Led by Don Diego de Leon, the game tells a story of a group of explorers traveling through the dangerous South American jungle. Their mission is to save the expedition lost in the deep forest. Every level requires the player to build a safe camp that allows production of food and other resources for the expedition.

Adelantado was developed by the team behind the Roads of Rome trilogy.
Adelantado Trilogy: Book Two requires OS X 10.7 or later. It costs US$3.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Games category.

| Read more »
Feb 03
Addonics announces Sapphire Combo storage products

Addonics Technologies (www.addonics.com) has announced the Sapphire Combo Blu-ray/HDD and Sapphire Combo DVD-RRW/HDD. These two new products will let users combine optical and hard drive storage into one small package.

The product is designed for anyone needing to add optical storage capability or external storage to their computing devices via a single eSATA or USB 3.0 connection. The Blu-ray model, which is equipped with a Blu-ray player/DVD burner adds Blu-ray movie playback capability to desktop, notebook and other computing products.

The DVD model is equipped with a DVD burner. Both models will allow you to play movies or access data stored on all popular optical media and allow you to burn video or data onto DVD or CD discs.

Both models have an integrated Snap-In Mobile Rack that allows any 3.5-inch SATA hard drive to be added or removed from the Sapphire drive, as you would a tape cassette....

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Feb 03
Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock coming to the Mac

Phoenix Online Publishing and Red Herring Labs, have announced that Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock, a sci-fi first-person point-and-click adventure, will make its debut for the Mac and PC on Feb. 17. It will be available for US$9.99 via Steam, the Humble Store, the Phoenix Online Store and other major online retailers.

Here's how the game is described: "Crash-landed on a desolate, alien planet, what should have been a routine work-for-hire job for Powell has become a deadly mission to save the merchant vessel Morningstar and her crew. With one man dead and the captain gravely injured, Powell is on his own to repair the ship and find a way to escape the strange gravity well of the empty planet they've landed on. If the situation weren't dire enough, the only signs of life on the planet are the remains of a much larger and better equipped ship and her crew, all dead, and not by natural means. What—or who—brought down these ships and is killing their crews? Why? And can...

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Feb 02
NewerTech expands line of MacBook batteries

NewerTech (www.newertech.com) has announced NewerTech NuPower high performance laptop batteries for the Apple MacBook Pro 17” Unibody and MacBook 13” Unibody, expanding its line-up of Apple laptop batteries of over 50 models. 

NewerTech says that NuPower batteries last up to 50% longer than factory models. They're now available for models made from 2001 to 2014. NuPower batteries match the exact size and fit of the original factory batteries and offer full compatibility with sleep and power saving modes. NuPower batteries include all the necessary tools, installation guides, and full battery recycling info.
  
The NuPower replacement batteries for MacBook Pro 17” Unibody and MacBook 13” Unibody models are available immediately at the following prices: 

° MacBook 13” Unibody for Late 2009-mid 2010 models: US$99;

° MacBook Pro 17” Unibody for 2011 models: $109.

| Read more »
Feb 02
Apple plans $5 billion debt offering

Apple has filed (http://tinyurl.com/q3euqjw) to sell $5 billion worth of floating rate and fixed-rate notes. The floating-rate notes are due 2020, and the fixed-rate notes due 2020, 2022, 2025, and 2045.

Pricing hasn't been set yet. Goldman and Deutsche are underwriting. Given Apple's huge cash balance, and its history with such offerings, buybacks are a likely use of the proceeds, notes Seeking Alpha (www.seekingalpha.com). Apple's cash/marketable securities balance totaled $178 billion at the end of fiscal quarter one of 2015 (much of it offshore), and its debt balance stood at $36.4 billion.

The company spent $5 billion. on buybacks during the quarter. Apple has spent $73 billion on them over the history of its $130 billion capital return program.

| Read more »
Feb 02
Tablet shipments experience year-over-year decline

Worldwide tablet shipments recorded a year-over-year decline for the first time since the market's inception in 2010. Overall shipments for tablets and 2-in-1 devices reached 76.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14) for -3.2% growth, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation research group. Although the fourth quarter witnessed a decline in the global market, shipments for the full year 2014 increased 4.4%, totaling 229.6 million units.

"The tablet market is still very top heavy in the sense that it relies mostly on Apple and Samsung to carry the market forward each year," says Jitetesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, IDC (www.idc.com). "Although Apple expanded its iPad lineup by keeping around older models and offering a lower entry price point of $249, it still wasn't enough to spur iPad sales given the excitement around the launch of the new...

| Read more »
Jan 30
WidgeTunes 1.0 released for OS X

Georgios Trigonakis has introduced WidgeTunes 1.0 (http://tinyurl.com/pznjnax), a new Notification Center widget for Mac OS X.

WidgeTunes lets you view all your iTunes playlists, create a list with your favorite playlists and choose a playlist to play. With control buttons directly on the widget itself, users can navigate through songs of the current playlist. The widget can also work as a menu bar popup app; just press the WidgeTunes icon on OS X's menu bar to view WidgeTunes in a popup window.

WidgeTunes requires Mac OS X 10.10 or later and costs US$0.99. It's available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Music category.

| Read more »
 
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Take a First Look at NaturalMotion’s Daw...
NaturalMotion has released a preview of their upcoming title, Dawn of Titans. Dawn of Titans immerses you in a world of fantasy as you build your kingdom, raise an army, and capture territories. The focus on this epic action strategy game was the graphics. The game uses proprietary engines called Echo and the Morpheme animation engine to render... | Read more »
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