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Dec 21
Apple sued for violating digital video compression patents

Another day, another lawsuit. A lawsuit against Apple (as well as Canon, LG and TivO) was filed Monday by a patent holder named Multimedia Patent Trust in a U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California. It's aimed at, well, just about all of Apple's product line, notes "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com).

The complaint cites four U.S. patents granted to a number of different inventors between 1990 and 1996. All four inventions granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are related to digital video compression techniques. Apple is specifically accused of violating the first three with hardware it makes that plays video. In addition to hardware, the suit also names a number of Apple's software products, including Final Cut Studio, iTunes and iLife.

Multimedia Patent Trust states that it informed Apple of its alleged violations on March 15, 2007. "Appleinsider" say...

| Read more »
Dec 21
Analyst: Verizon 'excited' about carrying the iPhone...

In a note to clients -- as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) -- Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu says Verizon is "still excited" about launching Apple's iPhone early next year "to combat slowing Android momentum in the US."

He says the confirmation of Verizon's interest in launching the iPhone, "despite it already carrying a full roster of competing operating systems including Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows, and webOS," provides additional support for data reported earlier showing a sharp decline in Verizon's growth from Android following the launch of iPhone 4.

Last week, Apple Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told clients that he thinks Apple will sell nine million Verizon iPhones in 2011. What's more, he says that estimate may be conservation. Munster thinks that Apple could sell closer to 20 million iPhones at Verizon next year.

The analyst thinks...

| Read more »
Dec 21
FCC approves 'Net Neutrality' rules; Woz's take

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday approved a "high-level rules of the road" designed to ensure that internet providers grant everyone equal access to the web.

But the 3-2 vote immediately came under attack from both flanks, with Internet-freedom advocates saying the new rules don't go far enough and critics saying the government should stay out of online business altogether, notes "CNN" (http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/web/12/21/fcc.net.neutrality/index.html). In announcing the proposed rules this month, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said they would require high-speed internet providers to treat all types of web content equally.

Unfortunately, the FCC held most discussions behind closed doors, until this morning's debate and final approval of the regulations. If you care about this issue -- and...

| Read more »
Dec 21
Number of households with multiple iPads on the rise

The iPad is so popular there’s an increasing wave of two or more iPad households, according to the YouGov research firm (http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/Tablet_ownershi...), as noted by "9to5 Mac" (http://www.9to5mac.com/43762/yougov-survey-shows-rise-of-the-two-ipad-ho... ). According to the study of 1,674 Brits, 17% iPad owners say there's more than one of the Apple tablets in their household.

Thirty-seven percent of iPad owners said their household has multiple iPads because their partner uses theirs. Seventeen percent say yet another member of their household uses...

| Read more »
Dec 21
NPR: Ping one of the worst ideas of 2010

NPR has named Apple’s Ping -- a social network for music -- one of the worst ideas of 2010. The reason, says NPR, relates to Apple’s inherently closed nature, reports "Ericric" (http://erictric.com/2010/12/21/npr-names-apples-ping-one-of-the-worst-id...).

“Why Ping has floundered can be summed up in a sentence: Apple doesn’t like sharing, thus, it is difficult for them to build a social network,” says Latoya Peterson.

"Riddle me this: How did the Apple crew create a social networking site for music way back in September, but only introduce a way to swap playlists four months later?" she says. "Considering how important playlists are to the organization of a healthy music collection, one would imagine that type of functionality would have been ready at launch. But don’t let the...

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Dec 21
Mac OS X Downloads site will no longer offer apps as of Jan. 6

Apple has sent an e-mail message to registered developers, telling them that on Jan. 6 -- when the Mac App Store launches -- the Mac OS X Downloads site will no longer offer apps.

Apple tells developers to submit their software to the Mac App Store instead. Said store "will be the best destination for users to discover, purchase, and download apps," the company says.

Craig Federighi, vice president of engineering for OS X, demoed Lion at the Back to the Mac event in October. The Mac App Store brings the Apple App Store experience to Mac OS X, making discovering, installing and updating Mac apps easier than ever, he said. Like on the iPad, you purchase apps using your iTunes account and they download and install in just one step.

The Mac App Store will be available for Mac OS X 10.6 ("Snow Leopard") on Jan. 6. And it will be built into next year's Mac OS X Lion.

| Read more »
Dec 21
Israeli hospital equips its doctors with iPads

Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center (MYMC) is the first Israeli hospital to give iPad technology to its doctors, for use both on and off-site. Medical staff can now check patient records, test results, hi-resolution X-rays and CT scans, report on patient progress and plan ongoing treatment using the Apple tablet.

MYMC has embraced this latest and most desirable technology by investing in iOS 4.2, customized for use in Hebrew. This allows clinicians instant touch-screen access to patient records and medical information via secure password-protected internet. MYMC's IT team have programmed the iPad to interact with the Microsoft Chameleon program used by the hospital.

"The picture quality on the iPad screen enables our doctors to check high-resolution x-ray and scan images, either on the wards or from outside the hospital, and to diagnose and prescribe treatment immediately at any time," says Dr. Yoram Liwer, CEO of Mayanei Hayeshua. ."The iPad is recognized today as a...

| Read more »
Dec 21
New Apple TV sales to top one million this week

Apple says it expects sales of its new US$99 Apple TV to top one million units later this week. The new Apple TV offers a way to watch HD movies and TV shows, stream content from Netflix, YouTube, Flickr and MobileMe, all on your HD TV.

iTunes users are now renting and purchasing over 400,000 TV episodes and over 150,000 movies per day, Apple says. Now with AirPlay, recently available in iOS 4.2, users can wirelessly stream their music, video and photos from iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to their new Apple TV. Users can also control Apple TV with their iPad, iPhone or iPod touch using the Remote app, available as a free app on the Apple App Store.

| Read more »
Dec 21
Aluratek announces Bump wireless speaker line 


Aluratek (http://www.aluratek.com) has announced the Bump wireless/MP3 speaker line. The collection introduces four new products -- the AMS01F portable boombox, the AUWS01F USB transmitter with remote wireless speaker (pictured), the AWS01F boombox kit with separate remote wireless speaker, and the APS01F 3.5mm lithium ion portable speaker.
 


The Bump AMS01F portable boombox -- which has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of US$49.99 -- has a plug-n-play design that plays music by inserting an SD/SDHC card. The wireless speaker also features a built-in FM tuner and alarm clock function. 
 


For playing tunes from a computer anywhere in the house, the Bump AUWS01F ($79.99) provides a 2.4GHz wireless transmitter that ensures a high-quality connection up to 60 feet, according to John Wolikow, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Aluratek. Simply insert the USB dongle to get started; no...

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Dec 21
AccountEdge 2011 features iOS app, online time tracker

Acclivity has announced AccountEdge 2011 for Mac and Windows. The latest version of their small business accounting software marks a new era for the 20-year old desktop application, with a feature list including an app for iPad and iPhone, a new time-tracking web application, and advanced retainers and progress billing capabilities.

“We’re happy to announce our iPad and iPhone app will let people take their business on the road,” says Managing Partner Tom Nash. “You will be able to enter sales and expenses from anywhere and sync that data with your company’s Mac or Windows desktop version of AccountEdge.”

AccountEdge Mobile is currently available in the Apple App Store (iPad only, with the iPhone version soon to be released). The free app syncs cards, items, activities, and jobs, to create quotes and orders, and service and time billing sales, activity slips and expense transactions.

Time Tracker is a web application that lets employees and sub-contractors...

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Dec 21
TrendNet launches 450Mbps wireless access point

TrendNet (http://www.trendnet.com) has launched the US$199.99 450Mbps Wireless N Access Point, model TEW-690AP, which supports Access Point, Wireless Distribution System (WDS), and Repeater mode functionality.

Advanced Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna technology with three spatial streams per antenna, generates a maximum theoretical wireless throughput of 450Mbps and wireless coverage. Gigabit Ethernet port maintains high performance wired connections. Features include four SSIDs per wireless band, encryption for each SSID, WMM Quality of Service (QoS) data prioritization, WPA2-RADIUS encryption, and an on/off power switch.

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) integrates other WPS supported wireless adapters at the touch of a button. Press the WPS button on the TEW-690AP, and then press the WPS button on a compatible wireless adapter, and the devices automatically exchange information and...

| Read more »
Dec 21
WikiLeaks app pulled from Apple App Store

An unofficial iPhone and iPad app that let you view WikiLeaks site content and follow the WikiLeaks Twitter account on the go has been pulled from the Apple App Store, reports "TechCrunch" (http://techcrunch.com/2010/12/20/apple-removes-wikileaks-app-from-app-st...).

The Wikileaks app cost US$1.99 and promised "instant access to the world’s most documented leakage of top secret memos and other confidential government documents.”

"Its entry into the app store on December 17th was actually surprising, as Apple is usually quite strict and somewhat vague about its app approval standards," says "TechCrunch." "WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange are quite controversial, to put it lightly but I’m not sure if the app directly violated anything in Apple’s TOS."

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Dec 21
Wal-Mart offers $50 gift card with iPhone 4 purchase

Wal-mart is giving consumers a US$50 gift card when they purchased an iPhone 4, part of a "last-minute gifts" promotion, reports the "Wall Street Journal" (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870388690457603205232115476...). The world's biggest retailer sells the latest version of the iPhone for $197 -- two dollars less than Apple and AT&T do -- with a two-year contract.

Wal-Mart sn't alone: earlier this month, electronics retailer RadioShack Corp. sold the iPhone 4 for $149, notes the "Journal." A spokeswoman said the limited time promotion has since ended.

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Dec 21
Man accused in insider trading case makes bail

The former Flextronics International manager accused of leaking details about the iPad and iPhone 4 won release on US$150,000 bail in the insider-trading case, reports "Bloomberg" (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-20/ex-flextronics-manager-appears-...).

Walter Shimoon was granted bail Monday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal in San Diego on conditions that included securing his bail with $120,000 of the equity in his home. Shimoon, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Canada according to his lawyer, has owned the home since 2003 with his wife, Linda Awdishu, a professor at the University of California at San Diego, reports "Bloomberg."


On Dec. 16 it was reported that former employees at major tech...

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Dec 21
MixTape for Mac OS X updated to version 1.2

Atomic Droplet (http://atomicdroplet.com/) has released MixTape 1.2, an update for its mixing application for Mac OS X 10.4.11 and higher. This upgrade include "automix" buttons that produce a first draft mix, a "snap" control that sets the start of musical phrases quickly, fine adjust of beat matched timings and clearer video tutorials.

MixTape -- available in an US$39 "lite" version and a $69 "pro" version -- takes the music users already have (from iTunes) and gives them an environment where beat matched mixes can be created without the complexity associated with audio workstations or DJ apps. The resulting mixes can be published either back into iTunes or directly onto the web.

Music is drag and dropped from iTunes into MixTape's library where a beat detection algorithm finds the base tempo and strips of lockable beats called "timing tabs." The main user interface is a timeline where music...

| Read more »
Dec 20
Apple releases iAd Producer

Apple has released iAd Producer (http://developer.apple.com/iad/iadproducer/) for developers and designers who want to "design and assemble high-impact, interactive content for iAd."

iAd Producer automatically manages the HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript behind your iAd. For advanced developers, iAd Producer offers sophisticated JavaScript editing and debugging, along with a powerful extension mechanism that enables them to create and re-use their own page templates and components

iAd Producer is available for download on Apple’s developer web site. It requires Mac OS X 10.6.5, Safari 5 and iOS SDK 4.0.

iAds combine the emotion of TV advertising with the interactivity of Internet advertising, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Apple has iAd commitments for 2010 totaling over US$60 million, which represents almost 50 percent of the total forecasted US mobile...

| Read more »
Dec 20
SwitchEasy releases Vulcan case for the iPad

SwitchEasy (http://www.switcheasy.com) has launched the Vulcan for the iPad. It's an US$29.99 case made of scratch and tear resistant Hydro Polymer material. It offers 360 degree protection with bundled screen guards, headphone jack protectors and a 30-pin connector protector.


The Vulcan sports two portable fold-out stands, one anti-static screen guard, one microfiber wipe, two 30-pin connector protectors and two headphone jack protectors. It comes in "ultrablack" and "ultraclear" version.

| Read more »
Dec 20
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 20

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/).

Fans of classic gaming can now get their fix on their iPhone or iPod touch with TurboGrafx-16 Gamebox from Hudson Entertainment. The collection comes with a free game, “World Sports Competition.”  Once users have downloaded the app, they will be able to purchase 15 games which will be available for US$2.99 each. The list of games available right now in the TurboGrafx-16 Gamebox collection are: World Sports Competition, Bomberman '94, Bonk's Adventure, China Warrior, Dungeon Explorer, Gradius, Jaseiken Necromancer, Military Madness, New Adventure Island, Ninja Spirit, R-Type, Salamander, Soldier Blade, Victory Run, Vigilante and World Class Baseball. 

NTT Resonant, Japanese publisher of iOS games, and Berzerk Studio, a flash games developer,...

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Dec 20
Analyst: iPhone 4 a hot seller in China

Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities says in a note to clinets -- as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) -- that the iPhone 4 has been selling faster than its predecessor, the iPhone 3GS.

"We continue to believe that China remains in the early stages of catching 'Apple fever' and demand for iPhone 4 has been well above the ramp of the iPhone 3GS thus far," he said.

White recently toured China and met with officials from the nation's wireless carriers. They indicated they believe the total high-end smartphone market in China is between 100 million and 125 million, notes "AppleInsider." That huge addressable market could prove to be a "significant opportunity for growth" for Apple in the years ahead, White said.

| Read more »
Dec 20
Ottawa officials test driving the iPad

Ottawa is considering offers iPads to federal bureaucrats to cut down on paper and printing costs. In fact, about 20 treasury board workers are already using the high-tech device as part of a pilot project, reports "The Niagra Falls Review" (http://niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2897516).

The senior officials, including several deputy ministers, have been using the Apple tablet computer since the fall, with the cost of the project at $23,500, the article adds. The officials says the gadget could save hundreds of dollars a year in paper and printing costs for each staff member equipped with the device.

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Dec 20
Page Director ALS now compatible with InDesign CS5, QuarkXPress...

Managing Editor Inc. (MEI), an Adobe premier development partner and a provider of software solutions for the publishing industry, has announced that Page Director Ad Layout System 5.6.1, ALS for Magazines 5.6.1 and AdForce 5.6.1 are now available.

MEI’s flagship product and its related technologies have been upgraded for compatibility with the latest pagination software from Adobe and Quark.

ALS 5.6.1 works with enhanced versions of MEI’s Ad Import plug-in and ALS XT, which allow users to export issues to Adobe InDesign® CS5 and QuarkXPress® 8.5, the most recent releases of the industry’s leading page-layout programs. For customers still running older versions, compatibility is also available for InDesign CS4 and QuarkXPress versions 8.0-8.5.

MEI has also updated its FiFi, Fido and Split & Folio XTs and plug-ins for compatibility with QuarkXPress 8.5 and InDesign CS5. FiFi and Fido restore file-path information for ad files after ALS pages have been...

| Read more »
Dec 20
Steve Jobs number four on CEO Wealth Creation rankings

The top 50 CEOs delivered an average total shareholder return of 73.3% since June 2007, according to a new study published by "Chief Executive" magazine and calculated by Applied Finance Group. That performance handily beats the 14.9% average of the S&P 500 during the same period.

Priceline CEO Jeff Boyd took the spot as the #1 value creator based on the success he has had in taking his company's online travel services to international markets, expanding market share and growing the top line -- while keeping tight controls on costs. Apple CEO Steve Jobs ranks number four on the list.

Others in the top 10 are: Aflac's Daniel P. Amos (#2), Federated Investors' J. Christopher Donahue (#3), Amazon's Jeffrey P. Bezos (#5), Colgate-Palmolive's Ian M. Cook (#6), Ecolab's Douglas M. Baker Jr. (#7), DeVry's Daniel Hamburger (#8), Fastenal's William D. Oberton (#9) and C.H. Robinson Worldwides's John P. Wiehoff (#10).

"The past 12 months have not been an easy time...

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Dec 20
iPhone, iPad rank high in Ask.com list of hottest gifts

Ask.com, an online brand for questions and answers, has revealed the hottest gifts this holiday season, selected from the millions of questions asked throughout the last month at Ask.com. Not surprisingly, the iPhone and iPad ranked high on the list.

iPhone reigned with more than twice as many questions asked about Apple's big seller as compared to the next phone in line, the Droid, according to Ask.com. The BlackBerry was also a popular gift item, although Ask users were not nearly as inquisitive about the handheld as its iPhone and Droid peers.

Though the iPad was one of the year's hottest tech products, it still couldn't beat the Kindle for top reader in the gifts category. The iPad only received two-thirds the amount of questions as the Kindle. The Barnes & Noble Nook couldn't keep up, with less than half as many questions as the Kindle.

| Read more »
Dec 20
iPads, laptops help retail e-commerce sales

ComScore (http://www.comscore.com), a company that measures the digital world, says holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 47 days of the November-December 2010 holiday season is looking good, thanks, in part, to the iPad and laptops.

For the holiday season-to-date, US$27.46 billion has been spent online, marking a 12% increase versus the corresponding days last year. The most recent week (week ending Dec. 17) reached $5.15 billion in spending, an increase of 14%versus the corresponding week last year, with four individual days surpassing $900 million, led by Green Monday (Monday, Dec. 13) with $954 million and Free Shipping Day (Friday, Dec. 17) with $942 million. Free Shipping Day achieved a 61% increase versus the corresponding shopping day last year, highlighting the appeal and success of the promotion in which more than 1,500 merchants offered free shipping.

Computer hardware...

| Read more »
Dec 20
Back to the Future game speeding to the Mac this Wednesday

Telltale’s Back to the Future: The Game will debut this Wednesday, Dec. 22. The five-part season’s first episode “It’s About Time!” will be available for Mac and platforms.

Fans can still get the Puzzle Agent game free with their pre-order (US$24.95) from http://www.backtothefuturegame.com, and Telltale also donates $1 to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation with each purchase up through the launch. The series will debut on the PlayStation Network and iPad platforms in early 2011.\

Here's how the game is described: "Back to the Future: The Game brings the iconic ‘Marty McFly’, ‘Doc Brown’ and the DeLorean Time Machine together in a completely new cinematic adventure, which unfolds over five exciting episodes. Six months after the events of the third film, the DeLorean Time Machine mysteriously returns to Hill Valley. ‘Marty’ must go back in time and recruit aid from a...

| Read more »
 
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