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Jan 28
Macworld: customizable ThinSkins for iPhone 4 available

Unveiled at this week's MacWorld Expo, ThinSkin, a film that adds a splash of color and protection to the iPhone 4, can be customized online to meet the personalities of individual and corporate consumers.
With the ThinSkin Customizer, the iPhone 4 can feature an unlimited selection of interesting sayings, colors, pictures, logos and more with the click of a button, making it ideal for an individual or for use in corporate branding promotions like trade show giveaways, gifts and fundraisers, says Troy Rutt inventor of ThinSkin.

Precision-cut ThinSkins come in a variety of colors including, the new carbon fiber as well as matte black, white, neon green or raspberry glitter. In addition to the variety of colors and protection from bumps and scratches, ThinSkin doesn’t impede the performance of the phone’s antenna, says Rutt.

Application is simple and doesn’t leave a sticky residue upon removal, he adds. ThinSkin is y priced at US$19.95 for two. The new ThinSkin...

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Jan 28
Skype for Mac adds group video calling

The latest Skype for Mac version (http://www.skype.com) has gone "Gold," meaning users can now take advantage of the improved interface and other features like group video calling. 

Group video calling is available as part of a premium package, that also includes live chat customer support.

You can try it out for free for seven days, and then purchase either a day pass starting at US$4.99 or as a monthly subscription for $8.99 per month. New users receive a 7-day free trial.

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Jan 28
Screentime for Flash 4 released for Mac OS X, Windows

Screentime Media (http://www.screentime.com) has announced Screentime for Flash 4 for Mac OS X and Windows. The app is used by creative professionals at Apple, Microsoft, Disney, Tribal DDB, Warner Brothers and thousands of other companies to deliver content to desktops worldwide.

Screentime for Flash 4 adds multiple-language support, improves performance on Mac OS X 10.6 and adds support for Flash Player 10.1 on both Mac and PC.

The initial release of Screentime for Flash 4 supports English, German, French, Dutch, and Japanese. Additional languages can be added upon request.

Screentime's ActionScript 2.0 and ActionScript 3.0 class libraries and documentation have been re-engineered for Screentime 4, making it easier to extend Flash. With the Screentime 4 ActionScript class, developers are able to read/write files, check for an active net connection, download files, and more. Screentime...

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Jan 28
Key Holder 2 available for Mac OS X

System Support Products has announced Key Holder 2.0 (http://www.sspi-software.com/keyholder_macx.html), an update to their password account storage application for Mac OS X. Each account, the account name, user, password, Internet URL, and a memo field for miscellaneous notes can be kept in the app.

The Key Holder account window is compact and can be shown in a vertical or horizontal orientation. In version 2.0, the application is re-written as a Universal Binary for native execution on both Intel and PowerPC processors. Multiple account files can now be open simultaneously

The account window now has an optional user-customizable tool bar. Key Holder 2.0 replaces the find command with a tool bar search field that filters the account list. The Memo field size has been increased to three lines and now includes a scroll bar as necessary. Also, the...

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Jan 28
Tembo 1.2 for Mac OS X beefs up hot keys, swipe gestures

Houdah Software has released Tembo 1.2, an update of the friendly" find utility for Mac OS X, available at the Mac App Store. You can now assign Tembo a hot key from the Keyboard pane in System Preferences.

Tembo 1.2 also adds swipe gestures to drill down and back out. "Reveal in Finder" now uses PathFinder where it's the default viewer, and there are wider date columns 

Tembo is for designed to make the searching (and finding) of files, mail messages, bookmarks and more as easy as possible. It's sold exclusively through the Mac App Store for US$14.99 and requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher.. A demo version is available from the product web site (http://www.houdah.com/tembo/).

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Jan 28
Vinotekasoft serves up Vinoteka 2.5, Vinoteka Touch 1.5

Vinotekasoft (http://www.vinotekasoft.com) has unveiled a new version (2.5) of Vinoteka, wine cellar management software for Mac. It features complete synchronization with the iPhone/iPod touch application Vinoteka Touch 1.5.

You can now synchronize both applications and transfer data to your iPhone/iPod touch in few clicks. Vinoteka Touch 1.5 is available on the Apple App Store for $5.99; a "lite" version is available for $1.99.

Vinoteka for the Mac requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. It costs US$49.90 for a single user license.. Family and business packs are also available.

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Jan 28
Invoices for Mac OS X updated to version 2.8.2

Tension Software has updated Invoices (http://www.pomola.com/products_invoices/invoices.html), a native Cocoa application to create and manage invoices in Mac OS X, to version 2.8.2. It's a maintenance update that fixes some bugs.

Invoices (US$40) allows you to create a new invoices with all data without using the keyboard, only with the mouse and all from a single panel view. You can make two different type of invoices, Plain and Table, where description of sold goods and services can be managed in a different way.

Invoices automatically calculates totals and taxes, in accordance with the set-up the user specified using his own country's rules. Invoices requires Mac OS X 10.4. It's Universal Binary so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

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Jan 27
Microsoft offers 30-day trial of Office for Mac 2011

Microsoft has announced a free, 30-day trial of Microsoft Office For Mac 2011. It includes Mac OS X versions of Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and Outlook

A full 900MB trial of Microsoft Office for Mac can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/trial . After 30 days you'll be prompted to purchase the software, which costs US$119.99 for the student version, $149.99 for the family pack, and $199.99 for the business version.

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Jan 27
Man sues Apple over iPhone breakage during 'normal'...

Another day, another lawsuit. California resident Donald LeBuhn has filed a class action lawsuit in L.A. County against Apple, claiming the company knows about a design flaw in the iPhone 4 and refuses to warn consumers that "normal" use leads essentially to a broken phone, reports "LA Weekly" (http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2011/01/iphone_4_class_action.php).

According to his lawsuit, first reported by the Courthouse News Service (http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/01/26/New_Complaints.htm#33628), LeBuhn bought an iPhone that broke when his daughter accidentally dropped it approximately three feet to the ground while sending a text message. LeBuh previously...

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Jan 27
Analyst: Apple could ship 23.8 million Verizon iPhones in first...

R.W. Baird & Co. analyst William Power says in a note to clients -- as reported by "All Things D" (http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20110127/verizon-iphone-sales-potenti...) -- that 23.8 million Verizon iPhones may be sold during their first year of availability.

Power says this is a “directional number” and not a forecast, adding that a recent Baird survey of 1,000 smartphone users support his prediction. According to the survey:

° Twenty-nine percent of current Verizon feature phone owners said they will “probably” or “definitely” upgrade to the Verizon iPhone in the next three months. The carrier has roughly 64 million postpaid feature phone users, so that’s 19 million potential iPhone upgrades, assuming eligibility.

° Twenty-five percent of...

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Jan 27
Apple, News Corp. teaming up for Feb. 2 announcement

Apple and News Corp. have sent out invitations (http://twitpic.com/3tx7qk) to a Feb. 2 event at the Guggenheim Museum in New York on Feb. 2. News Corp. Chairman & CEO Rupert Murdock and Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of Internet Services, will oversee the event.

The event will see the launch of "The Daily," an iPad-only digital newspaper that will purportedly cost US$1 per week. Apple's Cue will probably be on hand to announce a new iTunes subscription purchasing model that will allow publishers to bill customers on a recurring basis rather than requiring per-issue in-app purchases.

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Jan 27
Apple releases iTunes 10.1.2

Apple has released iTunes 10.1.2 with performance and stability improvements. It also adds support for the upcoming Verizon iPhone.

You can obtain the download via the Software Updates component of Mac OS X's Systems Preferences app.

| Read more »
Jan 27
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Jan. 27

Here are the latest iPhone/iPod touch/iPod/iPad apps. You can find 'em at the Apple App Store (http://www.itunes.com/appstore/).

NerdsGeeksGurus has announced Orchid Notebook 1.0 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. With this US$1.99 app, orchid hobbyists and growers are able to track their orchid collections and wish lists. The app also offers a basic reference section aimed toward new orchid enthusiasts, and includes descriptions, care, and propagation of orchids.

AppGeneration Software has released NPolls 1.0 for iOS, their free polling app that enables users to express their opinions and win cash. Polls are short, only 5-15 questions, and cover topics such as: products and brands; habits and lifestyles; politics; sports; and social trends.

Mention Mobile has introduced Super Friends! 1.0, its first social iPhone application. It's a $0.99 casual game that allows users to...

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Jan 27
Macworld: Keydex launches new of iPad accessories

iMate (http://www.imateweb.com/shopping/index.php) has introduced new Keydex products designed specifically for iPad at this week's Macworld Expo. While 90% of docking stands only allow users to place their iPad vertically, the Keydex Speaker Stand offers three ways to position the the Apple tablet.

Aside from the typical portrait orientation, users can also place their iPad in the landscape configuration on UG-H1018 to fit the original video screen. The cylindrical 6W duo speakers purportedly deliver surround sound-like entertainment/ The universal AUX cable can be applied to any other audio device.

The Keydex Speaker Stander sports dtachable speakers. For ergonomic typing, the UG-H1018 is designed for users to lay the iPad against the speakers at a 30 degree angle. The bonus silicone case provides a cushion protection and its rubbery texture prevents iPad from...

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Jan 27
Macworld: Splashtop Desktop Remote adds support for Macs

At this week's Macworld Expo, Splashtop, which specializes in instant-access computing, says it has extended its Splashtop Remote Desktop software product to support Macs. Now users of

The iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro and Air, and Mac Mini can now access and control their home or office Mac remotely using a tablet, such as an iPad, or a smartphone, such as an iPhone, says Mark Lee, CEO and co-founder of Splashtop.

Mac support for Splashtop Remote is the newest update to the Splashtop product family, which also includes support for Windows, iOS clients, and Android devices. It allows users to access and control their computer remotely through a mobile device, such as an iPad, an iPhone, or an Android-based Dell Streak, Samsung Galaxy Tab or Lenovo LePad, bridging the computing experience across devices.

Lee says users can enjoy a rich and interactive remote Mac and PC experience that includes full real-time video and audio. With Splashtop Remote, users can watch...

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Jan 27
Macworld: the future of Apple in digital learning

Mike Lawrence, executive director, Computer-Using Educators (CUE) offered a "Macworld Presentation" session on Wednesday about "Apple's Role in Ubiquitous Learning." Among other tidbits he says he thinks Apple will monetize the iTunes University in the future to bring an a la flavor to education.

In a nutshell, he predicts iTunes University -- a distribution system for everything from lectures to language lessons, films to labs, audiobooks to tours -- will evolve into something like the iTunes Store for education. You'll be able to choose one course at one school and one course at another (perhaps even at the high school level) and combine them all into one education package using digital courses and digital textbooks.

Lawrence says the age of the computer lab and classroom computer has passed, as students are increasingly carrying their computing devices in their hands, pockets and backpacks. The freedom, flexibility and power that these developments usher in are...

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Jan 27
VocalLabs: Apple continues to lead in call satisfaction

Apple leads Dell and HP in customer satisfaction with technical support, but saw a decline in problem resolution rates and IVR satisfaction in the second half of 2010, according to the latest study on phone-based customer service quality conducted by Vocal Laboratories (Vocalabs).

In telephone interviews conducted immediately following a tech support call, 60% of Apple customers said their problem was resolved on the call, down seven percentage points from the first half of the year. Satisfaction with the automated portion of the tech support call also declined among Apple customers, as measured by the “nuisance factor,” the percentage of customers who experienced any of three common service problems.

Thirty-five percent of Apple customers interviewed in the second half of 2010 reported they experienced IVR problems, irrelevant or repetitive steps, or difficulty reaching an agent, up from 21% in the second half of 2009. During the same period, Dell improved IVR...

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Jan 27
Apple continues slim lead over RIM in smartphone market

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics (http://www.strategyanalytics.com), global smartphone shipments grew an impressive 75% annually to reach a record 94 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010. Apple maintained its small lead over RIM, while Nokia continued to underperform.

“Global smartphone shipments grew a healthy 75% annually to reach a record 94 million units in Q4 2010," says Tom Kang, director at Strategy Analytics. "Apple was once again the fastest growing brand among the big three smartphone players, as it almost doubled volumes on an annual basis, maintained a small quarterly lead over RIM, and captured 17% global marketshare.”

Neil Mawston, Director at Strategy Analytics, adds: “Global smartphone shipments reached 293 million units during full-year 2010, almost doubling from 151 million in 2008 and 175 million in 2009, highlighting the rapid...

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Jan 27
Last Xserve orders won't ship for two months

Apple will officially discontinue its Xserve line of rack-mount servers at the end of the month, but indicates that all orders for the systems taken today and through Monday won't ship for at least another two months, reports "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com).

Apple updated its online store early Thursday by noting that orders for both the "Quad-Core" and "8-Core" will ship in "April." No explanation was provided for the delay, which comes just four days before the company will stop accepting orders for the servers on Jan. 31.

In November 2010 Apple announced it would discontinue its Xserve rack-mount server this month. Why? “Since its introduction in the fall of 2009, Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server has become Apple’s most popular server system," the company says.

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Jan 27
Macworld: OWC announces Mac mini media center solution

Other World Computing (http://www.macsales.com) has announced at this week's Macworld Expo the OWC Media Center Solution for the 2010 Mac mini to address the growing need of consumers wanting to search, navigate, consume, store/backup, and sync digital content from multiple content sources and devices with one easy to use solution.

The OWC Media Center Solution includes installing the Plex digital media management platform onto a customer’s 2010 Mac mini, upgrading the mini with 4GB of OWC RAM, and bundling all the necessary hardware -- including an OWC Mercury Pro Qx2 storage solution, OWC Slim portable CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc burner, Elgato EyeTV Hybrid tuner or HD DVR, and Apple Remote -- to deliver a plug and play Mac mini based home theatre/entertainment solution.

The OWC Media Center Solution for 2010 Mac mini will be demonstrated live at the Macworld Expo in OWC’s booth #513. Pricing and...

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Jan 27
Macworld: NewerTech eSATA To USB 3.0 adapter announced

Newer Technology, (http://www.newertech.com) announced at this week's Macworld Expo the NewerTech eSATA to USB 3.0 Adapter for using an eSATA interfaced equipped external hard drive with computers offering the "SuperSpeed" USB 3.0 interface.

The US$29.95 adapter offers benchmark proven performance of up to 247MB/s reads and 206.4MB/s writes for the fastest data transfer rates available with external data storage/backup, according to the folks at NewerTech.

The NewerTech eSATA to USB 3.0 Adapter is compatible with Mac OS X 10.2.8. It comes with a one-year warranty.

| Read more »
Jan 27
Reggie Ashworth releases VidConvert 1.0 for Mac OS X

Independent software developer Reggie Ashworth has announces VidConvert 1.0, a new video converter for Mac OS X. It will convert just about any type of video into one of the a varityof formats, allowing you to create videos for your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV.

To use you add a file, select a format and a quality, and click convert. Optionally you can change your save folder from the main window. For advanced users you can select the Advanced quality if you choose to allow such options as custom Frame Rate, Bit Rate, etc. But for most users simply choosing Normal or High quality should be sufficient. After your conversion is finished simply add more files or quit VidConvert and the job is done.

Supported formats include iPhone, iPod, iPad, QuickTime, .mp4, MPEG-1 and 2, DivX, Xvid, and audio only formats such as .mp4 and .m4a. VidConvert can add iTunes compatible videos directly to your iTunes library for convenience and for syncing with your iPhone, iPod, or other...

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Jan 27
Macworld: Boom is new volume booster app for the Mac

Global Delight has released Boom, a volume booster application for the Mac at this week's Macworld Conference & Expo.

Users are often confronted with the issue of low audio output on their Mac (both desktop and laptops). Sometimes the content itself comes with poor audio quality, as is the case with online videos. At other times, being outdoors doesn't help. The experience could be frustrating too like in the case of bad volume during voice chats in spite of maxing the volume of your Mac.

Boom is designed to make life easier by boosting the audio output of the entire system rather than focusing on a few applications. This means you can now enhance the volume of media-playing applications like iTunes and QuickTime. You can also boost the volume of online videos like YouTube and Hulu playing on a web browser. Voice applications like iChat and Skype can also use Boom to enhance their audio experience. Additionally, Boom provides a simplified equalizer with custom...

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Jan 27
Macworld: Green Onions grows iPad hybrid keyboard/protector

Green Onions Supply has expanded its lineup with a new keyboard skin: the iVeil Hybrid Keyboard
Protector for Apple iPad Keyboard Dock. It's on display at this week's Macworld Conference & Expo.

iVeil Hybrid Keyboard Protectors combine custom-molded silicone with an enhanced surfacing material. The upper side's smooth surface coating allows for a more comfortable typing experience that losely matches the feel of an uncovered iPad Keyboard Dock, while underneath, it retains the excellent anchoring and durability of silicone, say the folks at Green Onions.

This model of the iVeil Hybrid Keyboard Protector will soon be available from different e-tailers. You can find more info at http://www.greenonionssupply.com/kbhbipad.html .

| Read more »
Jan 27
2010 CES iLounge sells out in record time

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) says the 2012 International CES iLounge Pavilion, sponsored by iLounge.com, sold out in less than two hours during CES exhibitor space selection.

The 2012 iLounge Pavilion, already featuring 50,000 net square feet of exhibit space (similar to the pavilion’s space at the 2011 CES), will showcase a record-setting display of accessories and software for Apple’s iPad, iPhone, iPod and Mac platforms. Owned and produced by CEA, the 2012 International CES will run Jan.10-13 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The 2011 iLounge Pavilion featured more than 200 exhibitors across 50,000 net square feet and launched thousands of new products, including Griffin’s CarTrip and Crayola Stylus application-aided accessories, Mophie’s iPad charging and mounting accessory PowerStand and the app-controlled Sphero robotic ball from Orbotix. For more info on the International CES, visit CESweb.org.

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