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May 13
Mergers shake up U.S. pay-TV market

AT&T is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire satellite TV provider DirecTV in a deal that could be worth US$50 billion. DirecTV would add roughly 20 million video subscribers to the 5.7 million that currently subscribe to AT&T's own U-Verse video service.

With a total of 26 million TV customers, the new entity would rival a Comcast and Time Warner Cable, whose planned merger is currently under investigation. Comcast and Time Warner Cable currently serve a combined total of 34 million customers, but Comcast has agreed to divest approximately 3.9 million video customers to Charter Communications in case the merger goes through.

Both deals would further consolidate the telecom and Pay-TV industry as more and more consumers are opting for so-called triple or quad play offers that combine telephone, broadband, TV and wireless services. The graphic is courtesy of Statistica.com.

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May 13
LinkOptimizer 4.9.10 for InDesign lets you share process settings

Zevrix Solutions has announced LinkOptimizer 4.9.10, a maintenance update to its workflow automation solution for Adobe InDesign. LinkOptimizer allows to reduce the size of InDesign links and speed up processing by eliminating excess image data.

It also performs image adjustments such as color conversion and sharpening, converts file formats and more. The new version lets you share processing settings between users by exporting and importing them directly from an application menu.

LinkOptimizer can be purchased from the Zevrix website (http://www.zevrix.com) for US$259.95, as well as from authorized resellers. A demo is available for download. The update is free for LinkOptimizer 4.x users and $130 to upgrade from previous versions. LinkOptimizer is available for Mac OS X 10.6-10.9 and works with Adobe InDesign and Photoshop CS3-CC.

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May 13
AppDelete for Mac OS X gets maintenance upgrade

Reggie Ashworth has released AppDelete 4.1.3, an update to his application deletion utility for Mac OS X 10.7 and later.

Via drag and drop, AppDelete will uninstall anything along with all of the associated items. Version 4.1.3 is a maintenance upgrade with some bug fixes. It's also optimized for Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

AppDelete 4.1.3 costs US$7.99 for a single user license. Upgrades from Version 2/AppDelete Lite are $3.99 (USD). A full-featured demo is available. Go to http://www.reggieashworth.com/appdelete for more info.

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May 12
Hybrid Crystal Film now available

Power Support International says their Hybrid Crystal Film (http://tinyurl.com/ktrosbn), a screen protector for the iPhone 5s/5c/5, is now available at a retail price of US$24.95.

It's as strong and as scratch resistant as tempered glass including a glass and resin mixture, but is 35% thinner, flexible, and bendable, according to Power Support International Director Racy Heims. The hybrid formula emulates the bulk of tempered glass while maintaining the 9H scratch resistance rating, the highest rating in the industry for hardness, he added.

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May 12
XO Digital launches new digital music distribution platform

XO (www.xodigital.com), a provider of digital asset management solutions — has announces a digital music distribution service for artists. It charges US$2 per track or ringtone.

Once uploaded, XO Digital places an artist's content in a number of digital retailers. Users can sell their content to the iTunes Store, Amazon and more. Other digital retailers include Gracenote, Boinc, Digital Tunes, Mix Radio, Google Play, Rhapsody, Shazam, Spotify, Xbox Music, and more.

Users get to keep 100% of the rights to their content. The folks at XO Digital says there are no hidden fees or failed payouts.

| Read more »
May 12
MOSO releases Xmplify XML Editor 1.5.0 for Mac OS X

MOSO has released version 1.5.0 of the Xmplify XML Editor (http://xmplifyapp.com) for Mac OS X. It's a XML editor built specifically for Mac OS X 10.6 and higher.


Xmplify XML Editor provides a fully XML-aware editing environment with DTD and XML Schema-based auto-completion, automatic document validation, XSLT and XPath support, live HTML preview and much more. Version 1.5.0 improves auto-completion and validation performance for documents with complex schemas, plus fixes and other improvements.

Xmplify costs US$59; volume and educational discounts are available. Version 1.5.0 is a free upgrade for Xmplify 1.x users.

| Read more »
May 09
Autodesk Mudbox 2015 available as $10 monthly desktop...

Autodesk has announced that its Mudbox 2015 digital painting and 3D sculpting software is now available as a Desktop Subscription license for US$10 a month.

Mudbox helps artists customize high-quality 3D models for use in mobile and indie games and other 3D projects. The tool integrates into existing creative workflows.

For example, an artist can easily sculpt and texture 3D characters, creatures and objects in Mudbox, import them into Autodesk Maya LT 2015 (a 3D animation tool tailored for indie gamer makers) for additional customization, and then export the assets to Unity or other compatible game engines to complete the project. Go to http://www.autodesk.com/products/mudbox/ for more info.

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May 09
Toasty Unlocks debuts iCloud Unlock service

Toasty Unlocks, a mobile phone unlocker and jailbreaking service, has launched the iCloud Unlock and Removal Service (http://tinyurl.com/mgcpqaj) for the iPhone 5S/5C/5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and all iPads.

The service is priced at US$95 and permanently removes the iCloud lock for iCloud-enabled devices via iTunes, with just a phone's IMEI number or the Serial Number of an iPad. Processing time is 10-15 business days to remove an iCloud lock on an iPhone or iPad, with batches submitted on Fridays. The iCloud unlock and removal service is currently in beta stage. The folks at Toasty Unlocks claims it has a 60-75% success rate for clean IMEIs (not blacklisted or barred.).

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May 09
Squirrels launches Slingshot, a 'share from anywhere'...

Squirrels has given us Slingshot (http://www.airsquirrels.com/slingshot/), an app that allows iOS screen sharing "anywhere in the world." It's a service-based application that allows users to share their iPad, iPhone, and iPod screens to anyone else in a Slingshot session. Mac and PC screens can also be shared and viewed by anyone in a session. 



While the service highlights mobile screen sharing, it includes online collaboration and meeting tools, too. Meeting Minutes allows anyone in a session to take collaborative notes in real time, and instant file sharing shares files with everyone in a session regardless of the device they're using. Video, audio and text chat are available across all devices, too.



Multiple monthly plan subscriptions are available; however, you can try Slingshot free for 30 days. The individual plan allows one-on-one collaboration and screen...

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May 09
Twitter suffers sell-off as lock-up expires

When a company goes public, early investors and company insiders are usually forbidden to sell their shares for a predetermined amount of time. When this so called lock-up period, usually 90 to 180 days long, expires and trading restrictions are removed, stocks typically fall as early investors are keen to cash in on their investments.

The latest company to suffer such a sell-off is Twitter. On Tuesday, the company's lock-up period expired and despite prior claims of major shareholders not to sell, the company's stock price dropped like a rock during Tuesday's trading. At the end of the day, the stock had slipped almost 18% to close at an all-time low of US$31.85.

No rule comes without exceptions though: In November 2012, when millions of Facebook shares became eligible for trading, many had expected the stock to take a nose dive after its rocky start to public trading. In the end the opposite happened: Facebook's shares climbed 12.6% marking the starting point of a...

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May 08
Desktop Subscription for Smoke 2015 available

Autodesk Smoke 2015 editing and effects software is now available. It adds new effects tools, 3D tracking, support for OS X Mavericks, support for the new Mac Pro and better interoperability with Final Cut Pro X. 

Desktop Subscription for Smoke 2015 comes in three flavors allowing editors and artists to pay by the month, the quarter or by the year. The price for monthly subscription is US$195; by committing to a one year subscription customers can save more than $500.

Smoke 2015 is now also available as a free 30-day trial. The Smoke Learning Channel has also been updated with more than 50 new free Getting Started tutorial videos. Go to http://autodesk.com/smoke for more info.

| Read more »
May 08
Belkin launches QODE Thin Type keyboard for the iPad Air

Belkin has released the US$99.99 QODE Thin Type for iPad Air (http://tinyurl.com/n7pb4k8). The keyboard features smart sensing technology that automatically turns it on when it's opened and off when it's closed.


The QODE Thin Type also sports iOS-specific keys. It's made of anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum in a solid unibody design.

The QODE Thin Type features Belkin’s TruType technology for a typing experience similar to that of a full-sized laptop. The keyboard offers up to 79 hours of active battery life and pairs with a one-touch Bluetooth key.

| Read more »
May 08
Appothecary introduces Stereo for Mac OS X

Appothecary has introduced Stereo, a "graphical iTunes" for Mac OS X. Designed for "music addicts, fanatics, mystics, junkies and the rest of us," it features an experience reminiscent of a vinyl record collection.

With Stereo, users can browse music nonlinearly to find what they want instantly and effortlessly. It requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later.

Stereo is offered at the special introductory price of US$3.99. It's available exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Music category. Go to http://appothecary.co/stereo/mac/ for more info.

| Read more »
May 08
Padcaster Air turns your iPad Air into a video production studio


Padcaster is now shipping the Padcaster Air case, which transforms an iPad Air into an on-the-go video production studio. It's designed for both professional and amateur videographers.

The Padcaster Air is an aluminum frame with an urethane insert that holds the Apple tablet in place. The frame can also be used as a standalone DSRL cage.

Threaded holes lining the edges of the frame allow filmmakers to attach external mics, lights and other accessories. A standard -20 screw thread and locking pin design centered on the bottom of the Padcaster Air lets users connect it to a tripod, monopod or shoulder mount.

The Padcaster comes in versions for the iPad 2, iPad third and fourth generations, and iPad Air. It is now available online (http://thepadcaster.com/) for US$149 (the original Padcaster) or $159 (the Padcaster Air). There's also a $99 version for an iPad mini.

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May 08
Rayovac introduces two portable power devices

Spectrum Brands Holdings has introduced Rayovac’s Phone Boost 800 portable charging device and Car and Wall USB Power Chargers, which will be available in stores and online later this month.

Rayovac’s Phone Boost 800 mobile device charger provides instant power for Micro USB, Apple 30-pin and Apple Lightning devices. The charger, which can be attached to a ring of keys, utilizes a lithium ion rechargeable battery that holds 800mAh of power to recharge a mobile phone for 150 minutes of additional talk time.

The Phone Boost 800 can be recharged and used over and over to power mobile phones, digital cameras, portable gaming devices, MP3 players, and other USB rechargeable devices. The Phone Boost 800 mobile charging device has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of US$24.99 (Micro USB and Apple 30-pin) and $29.99 (Apple Lightning). Both Apple versions are MFi Certified. Go to www.rayovac.com for more info...

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May 07
FileSalvage 8 adds support for OS X Mavericks

Here are some of the latest product updates for Mac OS X.
° SubRosaSoft (www.subrosasoft.com) has announced FileSalvage 8, an update of its data recovery tool. The upgrade sports a new user interface and support for OS X Mavericks.

FileSalvage 8 also has an improved integrated file preview. Whether you're searching for a PDF, or a Word document, the app will allow you to quickly inspect the initial scan result for the files you need back.

FileSalvage 8 has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of US$89.95. Owners of FileSalvage 7 can upgrade for $29.95.

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May 07
Apple has its own JavaScript accelerator in the works

Apple has its own JavaScript accelerator for JavaScriptCore in the works, reports "InfoWorld" (http://tinyurl.com/pjnupv9). It doesn't require asm.js for speed improvements.

These upgrades, codenamed "FTLJIT," use the LLVM compiler as the JIT (just-in-time) compilation system, the article adds. FTLJIT is still considered experimental, so although it's being made available in the OS X port of WebKit by default, it's not actually turned on yet, notes "InfoWorld." It has to be enabled through command-line flags.

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May 07
Facebook's reach among young adults is still unmatched

Harvard’s Institute of Politics conducted a national poll among more than 3,000 18- to 29-year-olds, covering topics that range from political views to the use of social media.


This Statistica chart shows the percentage of respondents who have an account on a number of social platforms. The chart makes it very clear that, despite claims that Facebook is losing its appeal with the youth, it is still the most-used social platform among young adults by a wide margin.

| Read more »
May 06
PaintCode 2 for Mac OS X introduces StyleKits, Variables,...

PixelCut has announced PaintCode 2, an update of the vector drawing app for Mac OS X that generates Objective-C drawing code in real time. The new version introduces StyleKits, Variables and Expressions, and also significantly improves the available drawing tools.

PaintCode 2 is available on the Mac App Store at an introductory price of US$79.99.. More information about PaintCode and a trial version can be found on the product website. (http://www.paintcodeapp.com/).

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May 06
Miln Movie Splitter is new Mac app for Canon Hybrid Auto and...

Miln has launched Movie Splitter (http://miln.eu/moviesplitter/) for Mac OS X. The US$4.99 app splits movie files into smaller pieces for easier editing and sharing.

Movie Splitter automatically detects chapter information embedded within a movie. It's designed for owners of Canon cameras with Hybrid Auto movie digest support .

Movie Splitter takes advantage of a Mac's multiple operating cores and queues up movies for splitting in the background. It requires Mac OS X 10.9 or higher and is available at the Mac App Store in the Video category.

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May 06
Cocktail 6.9 (Mountain Lion Edition) adds Retina display support

Maintain has released Cocktail 6.9 (Mountain Lion Edition), the latest maintenance update for users running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.This version adds Retina support and improves application launch time. It also contains improvements on the "Clear kernel caches" procedure.

Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets users clean, repair and optimize their Mac. It requires OS X Mountain Lion or OS X Mountain Lion Server (10.8). Cocktail (Lion Edition) for OS X 10.7, Cocktail (Snow Leopard Edition) for OS X 10.6 and Cocktail (Leopard Edition) for OS X 10.5 are available for download from the Maintain website.

Cocktail costs US$19 for a single user license and $39 for a family license that covers five computers. It's available for purchase from the Maintain website (http://maintain.se/cocktail).

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May 06
D-Link introduces new Wi-Fi Smart Plug

D-Link has announced the Wi-Fi Smart Plug (DSP-W215), its first product in a new line of Connected Home solutions designed to bring the convenience and flexibility of mydlink to everyday household electronic devices.

The compact Wi-Fi Smart Plug allows users to monitor and control their home’s electronic devices from anywhere. Using the free mydlink app for iOS and Android smartphones or tablets, users can set power on/off schedules, turn devices on and off remotely and monitor energy usage at home or on-the-go.  

With power scheduling features, the mydlink app can be used to create on/off schedules for home appliances and devices. The Wi-Fi Smart Plug (DSP-W215) is available for US$49.99 (EDLP).Go to www.dlink.com/dsp-w215 for more info.

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May 06
Seagate introduces new family of wireless solutions

Seagate has announced a new generation of its wireless storage category. Seagate Wireless Plus mobile device storage now consists of a family of capacities at 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB.

They're compatible with iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and Windows 8/RT devices. Used with the free Seagate Media app — available at the Apple App Store — you can sync your files on a Seagate Wireless Plus device with an existing cloud storage provider such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

Seagate Wireless Plus devices boast a battery life of up to 10 hours and provide their own Wi-Fi signal to enable access to the drive. The price is US$149.99 for the 500GB model, $179.99 for the 1TB version, and $199.99 for the 2GB system. Go to www.seagate.com for more info.

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May 06
Buy FileMaker Pro 13 Advanced, get a free copy

FileMaker has announced a Buy One FileMaker Pro 13 Advanced, Give One Free promotion, a limited-time offer that allows those who purchase FileMaker Pro 13 Advanced (US$549) to receive a second downloadable copy for free from FileMaker.

FileMaker Pro 13 Advanced, which includes everything in FileMaker Pro 13 plus a suite of advanced development and customization tools, lets you create and use custom business solutions that run on iPads, iPhones, Windows, Macs and the web. The offer applies only to FileMaker Pro 13 Advanced and is limited to one gift request per person, per household and per company between now and June 10, 2014.

The promotion is valid for the downloadable versions of this product purchased from the FileMaker Store. This free version is a fully working, not-for-resale version of FileMaker Pro 13 Advanced for Windows or Mac. The offer is not valid in connection with any other rebates, discounts or promotions. Go to...

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May 06
Coderage Software releases GTD tool for use with Evernote

Coderage Software has released Informant, a new GTD tool for use with Evernote on the Mac OS X and iOS platforms. It creates "next action" lists within Evernote.

All your tasks are sorted by priority and grouped by project. Informant also provides shortcuts. Since everything is stored in Evernote you can access it anywhere at any time.

For a limited time, Informant is being offered at a 25% discount. It can purchased using this discount for US$2.21 per month (it's normally $2.95) or $22.10 per year (normally $29.50). The coupon code to obtain this discount is: LIVE25. Go to http://tinyurl.com/k2lf2kz for more info

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