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Jul 22
EarthDesk for Mac OS X rotates to version 5.4.1

Xeric Design has released version 5.4.1 of EarthDesk (, the real-time dynamic desktop map for Mac OS X. The new version fixes some bugs.

EarthDesk replaces your static desktop with a photo-realistic image of the Earth showing current sun, moon and city illumination as well as real-time global cloud coverage (hurricanes, storms, and worldwide weather systems) on your desktop. It operates silently in the background, keeping your desktop updated while you work. Unlike a screen saver, which only appears when your system is idle, EarthDesk's dynamic desktop is continuously displayed as your desktop background (and optionally as a screen saver).

EarthDesk requires Mac OS X 10.5 or newer. Single user copies may be purchased online for US$24.95. Upgrades are available for $12.95 for licensed users of version 4 and $17.95 for licensed...

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Jul 22
BeaTunes for Mac OS X gets maintenance update

Tagtrum has released version 2.1.11 of beaTunes (, the iTunes add-on for Mac and Windows. The new release is a maintenance update that fixes some bugs.

BeaTunes can detect various types of metadata, such as beats-per-minute and musical key, as well as find and fix typos and inconsistencies such as misspelled artists and rarely used genres. It analyzes the color and tempo (BPM) of your songs, intelligently creates playlists of matching songs, corrects your iTunes Music Library (typos, wrong genres, etc.), lets you blog about your playlists and more.

A seven-day demo version is available at the product web site. Registration is US$31.95. Upgrades to version 2.1.11 from 1.x are $11.95 and free for registered 2.x users. beaTunes requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher.

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Jul 21
iPod.iTunes update ready for iTunes 9.2.1

CrispSofties ( has updated its iPod.iTunes music synchronization tool to version 4.5.3, which has been tweaked for iTunes 9.2.1.

iPod.iTunes does real add-synchronization, even in two directions if desired. The source can be either the iPod or the iTunes library. The software evaluates the source for songs, videos, podcasts and/or playlists that are not in the target and only adds these seamlessly, avoiding duplicates. Unlike iTunes' own synchronization iPod.iTunes generally does not delete content in the target. iPod.iTunes can also transfer song dependent data like "My Rating", "Last Played", "Play Count", album artwork, etc.

iPod.iTunes can be used for: keeping files and playlists on different Macs and iPods up to date; doing a full restore of songs, videos and playlists from iPod; reversing the accidental deletion of songs, videos and/or playlists in iTunes...

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Jul 21
Toon Boom announces Storyboard Pro 2

Toon Boom Animation has announced the upcoming release of Toon Boom Storyboard Pro 2 (, a new version that the company says infuses more power and flexibility into the idea creation, development and visualization process.

New feature highlights include:

° Content creation tools: an extended set of tools and tool properties; the creation and reuse of brushes with specific settings; creation of custom brushes using a stroke or a series of strokes; setting of separate colors for Brush, Pencil and Paint tools; selection of strokes based on the current color selection; extended rich text support for captions; and the addition of sketch captions on a panel-by-panel basis.

° Input/output capabilities: Final Draft 8 support; customization of the PDF export on a panel-by-panel basis; improved PDF Export...

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Jul 21
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for July 21

Here are the latest iPhone/iPod touch/iPod/iPad apps announced. You can find 'em at the Apple App Store (

Flipboard for the iPad is "the worlds's first social magazine." It lets you flip through news, photos and updates your friends are sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

Databright Management Systems has announced EcoCense 1.0 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users. The US$0.99 instantly calculates all the financial and ecological cost savings between two vehicles or for household efficiency upgrades.

HotelsCombined has released iFindHotels 1.0 for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users. The free app combines hotel rates from 50 hotel travel web sites and "assures users the lowest rates on the very best hotels." With integrated mapping and smart filter features for search criteria, users can now find hotels locally, by nearest airport, or at...

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Jul 21
iPad users stick with videos for five minutes

Despite the smaller screen, web video viewers stick around longer on mobile devices than they do on the desktop, according to data from MeFeedia (, media search website that features videos, TV shows, movies, and music among other material that target the male demographic of age ranging 18-35.

MeFeedia analyzed the habits of 125,000 unique mobile visitors to its site since July 1 and found on average, iPad users are sticking with videos for five minutes, Symbian users are sticking around for 4.1 minutes, Android users are lasting three minutes, and iPhone users last 2.4 minutes.

"While those numbers sound rather small, in the world of web video, they're pretty good," notes "Silicon Alley Insider" ( In March, TubeMogul reported the average video view time was below two minutes, which means...

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Jul 21
The iPhone coming to T-Mobile this year?

Verizon? Who needs Verizon? T-Mobile USA "is very close" to getting the iPhone in the fall, ending Apple’s exclusive relationship with AT&T, according to "Cult of Mac" (, quoting a "highly placed source at the wireless company."

Talks between Apple and T-Mobile are at an advanced stage, the source says. "Cult of Mac" says its "80% likely" that the iPhone will be coming to T-Mobile in the third quarter of 2010.

T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, which carries the iPhone in Germany, was able to influence, the source said. T-Mobile USA is the fourth-largest U.S. carrier with 33.7 million customers.

This is not the first time T-Mobile was rumored as a possible iPhone carrier. In November 2009 Thomas Weisel analyst Doug Reid predicted that T-Mobile and NOT Verizon will land the deal. Why?

Verizon and Google represent one side of the warring wireless camps...

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Jul 21
Compass is multitasking mobile stand for the iPad

Twelve South ( has introduced Compass, an US$39.99 compact folding stand made exclusively for the iPad. It's designed to hold the iPad in two different modes.

In the upright easel mode, Compass displays iPad in both portrait and landscape positions. The work mode positions iPad at an angle for typing. Adding to the convenience, Compass folds down to the size of a candy bar for easy portability. Silicone feet prevent it from slipping or scratching whatever surface it’s placed upon.

Made of heavy gauge steel, the stand is purportedly easy to set up. Simply unfold the three legs, flip open the iPad supports, and it’s ready for use. To switch to work mode, flip open the secondary leg and lean it on a work surface to use. The stand can be used even if iPad is in a case like the Apple iPad Case.

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Jul 21
Elan Form Chilewich case released for the iPod touch

Griffin Technology has unveiled an expansion in their partnership with Chilewich | Sultan with Elan Form Chilewich ( for the iPod touch. The new case, based on the case for iPhone 3GS, is now available in three colors, including new turquoise and aluminum, at Apple Retail Stores

Elan Form Chilewich (US$39.99) begins with an impact-resistant Griffin-engineered polycarbonate shell. Chilewich Mini Basketweave woven vinyl fabric is wrapped around the shell. The woven textile is purportedly asy to keep clean. The two-piece Griffin EasyDock design provides access to all controls and ports, and allows quick docking without removing the case.

The Griffin + Chilewich Co-Op Initiative today introduced two new colors: turquoise and aluminum. These colors are in addition to gravel.

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Jul 21
BodyGuardz redesigns its films to cover iPhone 4 antenna gap

NLU Products ( has redesigned its recently released BodyGuardz line of clear, scratch-proof films for the Apple iPhone 4 to bridge a gap in the phone’s innovative antenna that, when touched directly, has resulted in reception problems for some users.

BodyGuardz is created from the same film typically used to shield the fronts of automobiles from abrasive elements and environmental impact. They're made with a urethane film designed for clear surface protection and an antibacterial mold inhibitor and anti-corrosion compound mixed directly into the adhesive.

BodyGuardz for the Apple iPhone 4 is available for US$14.95 for screen, $24.95 for full-body protection; BodyGuardz for other mobile devices are available for $14.95 to $24.95.

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Jul 21
Samsung introduces new digital cameras

Samsung ( has announced the latest additions to its DualView camera portfolio, the 14.2 mega-pixel ST600 (pictured) and ST100. They're due in September for US$329.99 and $349.99, respectively.

The new flagship models of the Samsung DualView camera family each received an upgrade to their front LCD screens, activated by a simple tap, which now measure 1.8 inches compared to the 1.5-inch front LCD screens found on their DualView predecessors. The Samsung DualView ST600 and ST100 are encased in a slim compact frame with a metallic finish.

The cameras come equipped with Schneider Kreuznach lenses supported by Optical and Digital Image Stabilizations. The ST600 combines a 27mm wide-angle focal length with a 5x optical zoom, while the ST100 is the first Samsung DualView digital camera to feature an internal, 5x optical zoom.

The new ST600 and ST100 feature Samsung’s Smart Auto...

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Jul 21
All-formats digital systems war could be developing

A group of media and electronics companies have announced an agreement on an all-formats system called UltraViolet for digital downloads. The single standard will allow the consumer to purchase films to be viewed on any device -- a computer, smartphone, game console, Blu-ray player, and television.

Backed by 48 companies, including film studios such as Paramount, Warner Bros., Sony and Fox, and tech firms like Microsoft, Toshiba, Panasonic as well as Intel and Comcast, the consortium, called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) covers the spectrum of entertainment, software, hardware, and retail companies. The only holdouts are the Walt Disney Company, which has developed its own system called KeyChest, and Apple, according to "The Independent" ( Whether they will participate in the future is unknown.
UltraViolet, a universal file format, could launch by the end of...

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Jul 21
Kensington announces six iPhone 4 certified products

Kensington says six of its products have met the compatibility requirements to become Apple iPhone 4 certified.  All of the products are available now at: .

The US$24.99 Kensington PowerBolt Micro Car Charger lets you charge iPad, iPhone and iPod in your vehicle. The $19.99 PowerBolt Car Charger does the same for the iPhone or iPod; there’s even a detachable cable for charging and syncing from your home computer.

The Kensington 2-in-1 Car Charger and AUX Audio Cable ($39.99) charges your iPhone and connects directly to your car stereo´s AUX port. The 3.5-foot long charging and audio cable powers both iPhone or iPod with an input of 10V-24V DC and output of 5V-700mA DC.  

The Kensington Noise-Reducing AUX Audio Cable ($19.99) offers direct AUX (auxiliary) connection and noise reducing technology combine. The $14.99...

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Jul 21
Apple to be world's top chip buyer by 2012

Apple is poised to become the world's biggest buyer of semiconductors in 2012, as it rides the wave of strong demand for its iPad and iPhone, according to the iSuppli research group (

Apple s expected to steadily move up the rankings in chip spending, fueled by the success of the iPad and iPhone, which "have garnered tremendous sales on a scale unequaled by rival devices," according to a report by iSuppli. Apple, shares of which were up 3% in early trades, is expected to spend $12.4 billion this year, making it the third biggest chip buyer, behind HP and Samsung, notes "MarketWatch" (

However, the company is on track to surpass Samsung for the No. 2 spot in 2011, when Apple is projected to spend $16.2 billion. H-P is expected to be the top chip buyer with $17.1 billion.

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Jul 21
Apple, others sued for email patent infringement

Another day, another lawsuit. The Lanier Law Firm is announcing a patent infringement lawsuit filed on behalf of Longview, Texas-based InNova Patent Licensing LLC against a group of 36 corporate defendants -- including Apple -- accused of infringing an InNova patent that represents one of the cornerstones of email communications.

The lawsuit, filed July 20, 2010, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall, also names JCPenney, Google, AOL, Bank of America, HP, Frito Lay and others as defendants. If nothing else, it's an eclectic group of companies being sued.

The federal lawsuit focuses on a InNova patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,018,761, that covers technology used to differentiate between spam email messages and those that users actually want to receive. The InNova patent was purportedly awarded to inventor and mathematician Robert Uomini nearly 15 years ago when Internet email was still in its formative stages. Uomini is the founder of...

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Jul 21
Apple COO: the Mac has plenty of room for growth

During a conference with the press and analysts on Tuesday to discuss Apple's latest financial results, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said that the Mac is doing better than the industry average for computer sales -- and still has lots of room for growth.

Cook also said that the iPad market is "very big" and could cannibalize PC sales (though it doesn't seem to be hurting Mac sales at all). In fact, Apple hopes the iPad will, like the iPod, have a "halo effect" and actually increase Mac sales.

"Our guts tell us that the iPad market is very big, and if it turns out that iPad cannibalizes PCs, that's fantastic for us because there is a lot of PCs to cannibalize," Cook says. ""Historically, the iPod created a halo for the Mac and, in fact, as the iPod volumes took off we saw a dramatic change in Mac sales. So, could that happen on iPhone and iPad? We'll see."

He adds that the Mac has lots of room for growth. Though it's outgrown the market for the past...

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Jul 21
'MacVoices' looks at the upcoming MacTech Conference

On the new "MacVoices" (, Neil Ticktin, editor-in-chief/publisher of "MacTech Magazine" talks about the MacTech Conference, coming up in November in Los Angeles.

He explains that the MacTech Conference may be new as a stand-alone event, but it is also an
extension of their past conference presences. Geared to the programming and Mac IT Professional parts of the Mac community, the MacTech Conference plans to be an immersive kind of experience, with both formal and informal activities designed to facilitate sharing, education and interaction. Ticktin provides details, explains why Andy Ihnatko is the perfect keynote speaker for the event, and more.

"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...

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Jul 21
Shadow Era is upcoming trading card game for the Mac, iPhone,...

Wulven Game Studios is working on Shadow Era (, their upcoming collectible trading card game for the Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad and Android systems. It's due this fall and is inspired by the more strategic trading card games.

The initial download will be free while players will be able to earn new cards through gameplay or purchase additional booster packs. Packs of 15 cards will be able to buy for US$0.99, using in-game gold, or by completing special "trial offers" from SuperRewards.

Shadow Era is inspired by the more strategic trading card games, bringing the traditional printed cards into into the digital realm and adding a rich backstory and RPG elements, according to the folks at Wulven Game Studios. You'll build a deck from a total of 200 unique cards and complete missions against the Shadow Warriors, or battle against other players to gain experience, and win new card...

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Jul 21
YummySoup for Mac OS X heats up to version 2.0

HungrySeacow Software has updated YummySoup (, its recipe management software for Mac OS X, to version 2.0. The new version introduces brand new features such as Recipecasts, Keywords, Themes, and more. Also, Recipecast is a brand new feature in YummySoup! 2, allowing you to publish whole groups of recipes to your MobileMe account.

YummySoup! 2 sells for US$30, but version 1.x owners can upgrade for $10. A 15-day demo is available at the HungrySeacow Software web site.

YummySoup is a Universal Binary app, so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. It requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

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Jul 21
Cronette for Mac OS X gets maintenance update

Tension Software has updated Cronette (, a Cocoa task launcher for Macs and Mac servers, to version 1.3.1. It fixes a bug that in some situations can produce a wrong task execution order.

Cronette lets you specify tasks to be launched automatically by the Mac. It can be used on unattended Mac Servers or also on regular Mac workstations for tasks to execute during the night or for recurring tasks to be performed on a regular basis. It provides different type of launch tasks: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.

Any task can be specified to launch different type of execution: open applications or documents from disk; open different type of URL; execute different type of actions: restart, shutdown, sleep; sending a message to the log; execute a complex UNIX command.

Cronette costs US$30 for a...

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Jul 21
Ricoh introduces Aficio SP C430DN/SP C431DN color laser system

Ricoh ( has announced the new Aficio SP C430DN and SP C431DN color laser printers. It offers two printer engine options, allowing users to choose what print speed works best for their business needs.

The SP C430DN turns out full color and monochrome prints at 37 pages per minute (ppm), while the SP C431DN addresses busier workgroups with a color and black and white output speed of 42 ppm. Users can install up to three optional 550-sheet paper feed units for a maximum 2,300 sheet capacity that supports up to 120-pound index. The system also accepts up to 140-pound index through its 100-sheet bypass tray capable of handling special media, such as static cling, waterproof and coated papers.

The Aficio SP C430DN/SP C431DN sports 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution, three color cartridges that yield 21,000 prints each and one black cartridge that yields 24,000 prints, and network data...

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Jul 21
Panansonic announces LUMIX DMC-LX5 digital camera

Panasonic ( has announced the LUMIX DMC-LX5, a compact digital camera sporting an ultra-bright F2.0 ultra-wide-angle 24mm LEICA DC Vario-Summicron lens. Its 24mm wide angle lens offers extraordinarily large viewing space and now the optical zoom is extended to 3.8x(90mm) making the LX5 even more versatile, according to David Briganti, senior product manager, Imaging, Panasonic.

In addition to the newly-designed lens, the LUMIX LX5 features an image processing engine that combines technologies resulting in professional-quality photos, especially in low-light situations, he adds.Like its predecessor, the LUMIX LX5 features a 10.1-megapixel CCD, but it has an expanded dynamic range by increasing the sensitivity and the saturation.

In addition to capturing high-quality still photos, the LUMIX LX5 can record HD videos in AVCHD Lite, a format that allows almost doubling the...

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Jul 21
RadTech ships ClearCal protective film for the iPhone 4

RadTech ( has released the US$12.95 ClearCal anti-glare and clear protective films for the iPhone 4.

They're thin, Mylar protective films that protect and visually enhance your iPhone's display screen. The films can be removed and can be cleaned and reapplied multiple times. ClearCal's low surface tension adhesive features a blemish healing effect which effectively hides minor scratches, surface defects and abrasions, according to the folks at RadTech.

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Jul 21
US ranks 23rd in broadband development

The United States still trails much of the world in broadband development, ranking 23rd on the list of the top 57 countries, according to rankings released this week by analyst firm Strategy Analytics (

South Korea holds on to the title of the world’s most advanced broadband market. Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Japan round out the top five slots.

The rankings are the result of a new broadband measurement tool just launched by Strategy Analytics. The “Broadband Composite Index” (BCI) examines and scores the broadband development of 57 individual countries in five categories, including household penetration, speed, affordability, value for money, and urbanicity. The resulting score provides a more balanced and robust view of broadband development, according to the firm.

“The traditional single metric approach of looking at...

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Jul 21
2010 media tablet shipment forecast boosted to 11 million

When ABI Research ( first examined the media tablet market, neither Apple’s iPad nor any other multinational-branded tablet had been released.

Six months later, the firm has revisited its forecasts, almost tripling the original estimate to reach about 11 million tablets expected to ship by the end of 2010. Its long-term estimates, however, remain basically unchanged.

"Our forecast of 11 million media tablet shipments in 2010 is based both on the broader availability of the iPad and on the delayed introduction of competing products," says ABI Research principal analyst Jeff Orr. "Assuming that competing tablets from other vendors do arrive in the second half of the year as expected, we believe that the iPad will account for a significant portion -- but not all -- of the projected 11 million units. To capitalize on the usual fourth quarter sales boom, other tablets...

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