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Oct 18
Apple retail stores see record breaking quarter

Apple retail store revenue was $3.57 billion for the the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter. That compares to $2.04 billion in the previous quarter, an increase of 75%.

Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said that the retail stores sold 874,000 Macs in the quarter compared to 670,000 the previous quarter. That's up 30%. And -- you guessed it -- he said that half of these Macs were sold to new users. That's the stat mentioned during every quarterly report.

Apple opened 24 stores in the fourth fiscal quarter, including 16 international stores. There are now 317 stores worldwide and 84 outside the US. An average of 301 stores were opened during the September quarter with an average revenue of $11.8 million.


The stores saw a record 75 million visitors compared to 45 million in year-ago quarter. Apple will open 40-50 stores in fiscal 2011; half of those will be outside the US.

| Read more »
Oct 18
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Oct. 18

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/).

TeamLava has announced its free social diner game, Restaurant Story, for iOS devices. Users are given a persistent restaurant to design and style, with ever-increasing amounts of content to create their ideal theme restaurant.

Apps For Al has released Communication Apps 1.0, an US$0.99 health care app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Focused solely on identifying the best apps that assist and augment verbal communication, it provides recommendations for apps in a single category of health-related apps. Communication Apps provides a curated list, saving you time and money by identifying best-of-breed apps in this category.

Mobileapptopia has grown Veggie Bomb 1.0 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The $0.99, arcade-like tossing game...

| Read more »
Oct 18
Apple sees record Mac, iPhone and iPad sales

Apple has announced its financial results for its fiscal 2010 fourth quarter that ended Sept. 25. And the company reported record Mac, iPhone and iPad sales.

Apple posted record revenue of US$20.34 billion and a net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion, or $4.64 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $12.21 billion and net quarterly profit of $2.53 billion, or $2.77 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 36.9% compared to 41.8% in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 57 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Apple sold 3.89 million Macs during the quarter, a 27% unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The company sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 91% unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 9.05 million iPods during the quarter, representing an 11% unit decline from the year-ago quarter. The company also sold 4.19 million iPads during the quarter.

“We are blown away to report over $...

| Read more »
Oct 18
Steam gaming platform surpasses 30 million account mark

Valve (http://www.valvesoftware.com) has announced the latest growth data for Steam, a platform for Mac and PC games and digital entertainment, revealing new account growth of 178%, sales growth of over 200%, over 200 Steamworks games shipped to date, and more.

During the past 12 months the platform had year-over-year new user growth of 178%, pushing the total number of active accounts to over 30 million, with over 1,200 games now offered. Peak simultaneous player numbers were also up to over three million, with over six million unique gamers accessing Steam each day.

In addition to new user growth, Steam sales during the trailing 12 months increased by more than 200%, putting it on track for a sixth straight year of realizing over 100% year-over-year growth in unit sales. To meet this demand, the Steam infrastructure has been increased and now has ability to run at 400Gps, enough...

| Read more »
Oct 18
Apple not on 'Newsweek' list of 'green'...

"Newsweek" has released its list of "green" U.S. companies (http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/18/green-rankings-us-companies.html) and, strangely, Apple isn't in the top 20. The top five on the list are Dell, HP, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Intel and Sprint Nextel.

The environmental ranking of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in America is measured by revenue, market capitalization, and number of employees. "NewsWeek" ranked the biggest publicly traded companies in developed and emerging world markets.

The absence of Apple on the list seems a bit strange. The International Data Corporation (IDC), says Apple recycles in 95% of the countries where its products are sold. And last October Greenpeace praised Apple as the first PC maker to completely eliminate hazardous brominated flame retardants and polyvinyl...

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Oct 18
'MUG Event Calendar': Smile, Cocoatech, computer...

"The MUG Event Calendar" has a wide variety of topics coming up this week.

Greg Scown of Smile will show off their company’s Mac and iOS software to one California group, while another will host the Cocoatech team, who will demonstrate Path Finder. A Georgia group will enjoy a presentation from a computer historian, while groups in California and Arizona will discuss genealogy-related topics. Also on this week’s agenda are a COO’s perspective on the Mac, iPhoto, Photoshop Elements, social media and more.

"The MUG Event Calendar" can be found at "The MUG Center" (http://www.mugcenter.com), an online resource for Mac User Groups. MUGs are good places for making new friends in the Mac community, imProving your computing skills, finding solutions to technical Problems, and perhaps locating a good deal on used hardware. For more info on MUGs, and to find the location of the one nearest you, go to...

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Oct 18
BlizzCon 2010 gaming convention begins this week

BlizzCon 2010, Blizzard Entertainment’s (http://www.blizzard.com) two-day gaming festival celebrating the Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo game universes and their global player communities, begins on Friday, Oct. 22, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

Attendees of the sold-out show will be able to play the latest versions of Blizzard Entertainment games, as well as speak with developers in discussion panels, witness live top-tier tournament competition, participate in a wide range of activities, and meet with fellow gamers and friends.

Jay Mohr has returned to act as master of ceremonies for the community contests taking place on Friday, including the popular dance and costume competitions, and the show will close on Saturday evening with a concert byTenacious D -- otherwise known as Jack Black and Kyle Gass.

Anyone unable to attend BlizzCon can still purchase a...

| Read more »
Oct 18
Beauty Box skin retouching plug-in gets update

Digital Anarchy has announced a free update to their skin retouching plugin, Beauty Box Video. Version 1.2 gives Beauty Box Video a speed increase by taking advantage of the latest hardware and operating systems.

The update uses nVidia’s CUDA and other GPU optimizations to achieve rendering results that are 3–6x’s faster than version 1.0. The update also features user interface changes and bug fixes that provide a smoother, faster workflow in After Effects, Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, says Jim Tierney, president of Digital Anarchy.

Beauty Box Video gives an actor or model an incredible makeover in post-production by incorporating state-of-the-art face detection and smoothing algorithms, he adds. Beauty Box automatically identifies the skin tones and removes imperfections and blemishes.


For the version 1.2 update, users with an nVidia card that supports CUDA will see the most drastic speed increases, particularly when used with a 64-bit operating system and...

| Read more »
Oct 18
Count the iPad and Apple is #1 U.S. computer vendor

If you count the iPad as a personal computer -- as I've long claimed should be done -- Apple is now the number one computer maker in the US, notes Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore.

He told clients in a note Monday -- as reported by "Fortune" (http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/10/18/what-if-the-ipad-were-a-pc/?secti...) -- the Apple tablet is "driving a rapid, unprecedented shift in the structure of the computing industry."

To illustrate that point, Whitmore has taken a chart of domestic PC market shares over the past seven...

| Read more »
Oct 18
Sanho to quit selling MacBook charging cables following lawsuit

Sanho (http://www.hypershop.com/) says it will quit selling MacBook charging cables and car chargers as of Nov. 2, following a lawsuit by Apple.

Apple sued Sanho Corp. for patent infringement in September. Among the products named in the suit were Sanho's magnetic power connectors, as well as a MacBook car charger. The lawsuit claimed that Sanho's products used recycled official MagSafe products made by Apple. Apple's lawsuit also singled out charging and data cables that rely on the 30-pin dock connector compatible with the iPod, iPhone and iPad ecosystem of devices.

| Read more »
Oct 18
Qantas Airways to offer iPads to passengers

Qantas Airways will offer an iPad to passengers on its Jetstar flights as it competes for a growing share of the competitive market for low-cost travel in Australia and Asia, reports "MarketWatch" (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qantas-unit-to-offer-inflight-ipads-201...).

"We're in the final stages of putting in place what would be a broader roll out across the network," a Jetstar spokesman said. "We're in ongoing discussion with the manufacturer around a more integrated network proposition."

The iPad will be made available to passengers on domestic and long-haul Jetstar flights following a successful trial period at Qantas, says "MarketWatch."

| Read more »
Oct 18
Pantone introduces CapSure color device

Pantone (http://www.pantone.com) has introduced CapSure, an US$649, compact, handheld device that lets design professionals, contractors, paint retailers and do-it-yourselfers measure and match color inspiration instantly -- from small, patterned, multi-colored textures and textiles to walls and carpeting.

The device uses tri-directional image capture technology that eliminates the shadows and interference inherent to patterned and textured materials and surfaces. By illuminating the surface being measured from three different directions while simultaneously recording 27 color-accurate images in 1.6 seconds, CapSure can extract up to four dominant colors from an intricate pattern so the viewer can clearly identify the desired color, says Giovanni Marra, director of corporate marketing at Pantone.

The CapSure comes pre-loaded with all Pantone Color Libraries, allowing users to match more than 8,000...

| Read more »
Oct 18
Apple to open new Chicago retail store Oct. 23

Apple is set to open a new retail store in Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday, Oct. 23. Apple Store Lincoln Park is located at 801 W. North Avenue. The grand opening will be held at 10 am.

Apple Store Lincoln Park will be the company's 306th retail store. Apple plans to open another 15 or so during this fiscal year, with about half of those outside the U.S. Additional info about Apple’s retail stores is available at http://www.apple.com/retail .

| Read more »
Oct 18
PhotoStyler for Mac OS X gets tweaked interface

Corner-A has released PhotoStyler 4.5 for Mac OS X (http://corner-a.com/photostyler). This new version brings an improved user interface based on the customers feedback.

PhotoStyler offers a way to style digital photos with your Mac. It supports all image formats that are supported by Mac OS X, including RAW images, and uses your GPU to process the photos wherever possible.

PhotoStyler requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. It's Universal Binary so runs natively on PowerPC and Intel Macs. It costs US$30.

| Read more »
Oct 18
ExactScan Pro update offers option to smooth uniform colors

ExactCode has updated its ExactScan Pro (http://www.exactcode.de/site/products/exactscan/) scanning software for Mac OS X (10.4 and higher) to version 2.12. The upgrade features a new option to smooth uniform colors, as well as improving OCR recognition, accuracy, stability and device support.

ExactScan includes built-in drivers for over 180 document scanners, including devices from Avision, Kodak, Oki, Visioneer and Xerox. Together with the Spotlight indexing services built into Mac OS X since 10.5 ("Leopard") this features form a document management solution suitable for small-office and home-office (SOHO) environments. What's more it has image enhancement algorithms that can recognize automatically how the images and documents have to be cropped and de-skewed.

ExactScan comes with support for many languages (English, Dutch, German, Italian,...

| Read more »
Oct 18
HoudahSpot now supports legacy type, creator codes

Houdah Software (http://www.houdah.com/) has updated HoudahSpot, their Spotlight front end for Mac OS X, to version 3.1. It now supports the legacy type and creator codes

In version 3.1, the text preview of source code now bypasses the Spotlight engine. HoudahSpot may now reveal multiple items at once in Finder or PathFinder. And the app now highlights the selected criterion rows.

Tags are non-hierarchical keywords assigned to files. They serve a similar purpose than folders. The crucial difference being that a file may be assigned several tags and be located by any of them.

HoudahSpot's tagging feature is based upon the OpenMeta technology, so is compatible with a growing number of third party tagging applications. The HoudahSpot Tray lists favorite tags as well as tags recently used by HoudahSpot or another OpenMeta tagging solution. Drag a file to a tag to assign it that tag. Drag a file to...

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Oct 18
LinkOptimizer for InDesign gets maintenance update

Zevrix Solutions (http://www.zevrix.com) has released LinkOptimizer 4.4.8, an update of its workflow automation solution for Adobe InDesign. It's a maintenance update with some bug fixes.

LinkOptimizer lets you reduce InDesign job size and speed up processing by eliminating excess image data and performing essential image adjustments.

LinkOptimizer Light 4.4.8 can be purchased from the Zevrix Solutions web site for US$259.95 , as well as from authorized resellers. LinkOptimizer works with Mac OS X 10.4.2-10.5 and InDesign CS-CS4.

Version 4.4.8 is free for LinkOptimizer 4.x users and a $98.98 to upgrade from previous versions. A demo is available for download. For new users the costs is $259.95.

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Oct 18
MultiMode update adds TCP/IP server feature

Black Cat Systems has updated MultiMode (http://www.blackcatsystems.com/software/multimodeOSX.html), a Mac OS X application that lets you Mac decode several different modes of non-voice communication often heard on shortwave, to version 6.2.0. This version adds a TCP/IP server feature, which allows remote clients to connect to MultiMode and receive a stream of the decoded text.

MultiMode is an US$89 application that lets your Mac decode and transmit several different modes of non-voice communication often heard on shortwave and ham radio. It allows you to decode and display morse code, RTTY, FAX, SSTV, ACARS, PSK31 and many other modes on your Mac, without any extra hardware. MultiMode now also allows you to transmit in most of the modes of operation. A lite version is also available which decodes CW, RTTY, and weather fax modes, which is...

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Oct 18
Posterino update for Mac OS X gets new interface

Zykloid Software has updated Posterino (http://zykloid.com/posterino), its "life poster" composing application, to version 2.0. The new version sports an interface that allows for customization of templates, layouts and filters with a single click.

There are also new themed templates. You can integrate Posterino 2.0 with the latest versions of iPhoto, Aperture and Lightroom. Also, you can export to disk, as an e-mail, to iPhoto, to Flickr and as your desktop background.

Posterino lets you create life posters, postcards, greeting cards and contact sheets from your digital pictures. The software supports auto-placement of photos, export of posters or postcards, custom template creation, and various image manipulation routines such as cropping and rotation. You can import images from file system folders.

A life poster is a collection of dozens of images of your life onto one single...

| Read more »
Oct 18
Tablet sales grow, netbooks sales shrink

According to new forecasts from ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com), just over 11 million media tablets and  43 million netbooks will ship worldwide this year. That's somewhat lower than observers expected at the end of last year based on the diminutive computers’ remarkable showing in the period following their introduction, per the research group.

Nonetheless, says ABI Research principal analyst Jeff Orr, “43 million netbook shipments are good growth, just not the meteoric pace of the past couple of years.”

Part of the drop in demand for netbooks may be laid at the feet of the potentially-competitive media tablets. However, tablets are still a long way from the 40-50 million annual shipments that ABI Research considers the threshold for a “mass market” product -- a definition that netbooks still fit.
 
“Apple has sold a few million iPads in its first quarter, which is...

| Read more »
Oct 18
Analyst thinks Apple's financials may disappoint

Apple will announce its latest financial earnings today. And Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster thinks the results may disappoint investors.

Why? "Silicon Alley Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-earnings-2010-10?utm_source=feedbur...) says the analyst told clients that the iPad has a lower profit margin than investors think. Also, supply-constraints have prevented Apple from selling as many iPads as it could have.

"Don't expect typical EPS upside due to iPad," Munster says. "The Street is looking for EPS of $4.05. Assuming a typical beat over the...

| Read more »
Oct 16
MacBook, iPad sleeves made from Irish Tweed

Foof (http://foofshop.com) now has available 100% wool Irish tweed protective foofbag sleeves for the MacBook, MacBook Pro and iPad, as well as small foofpod pouches for the iPhone/iPod touch.

Two new designs are available: a classic blue herringbone called 'BlueBone' and a retro orange hocksack called Oraiste. The Irish tweed is woven in Ireland from 100% lambswool. The soft case sleeves are hand made ethically in Australia.

The foofbag design is a sleeve with an opening at one end for easy removal of your MacBook or iPad, without having to deal with zippers, velcro, snap-on latches or straps. The inner lining is made of a snug "sherpa fleece" fabric that purportedly doesn't scratch or pill and keeps your device protected from dust and scratches and minor bumps when inside a backpack or luggage case.

Pricing is: $38 AUD for MacBook sleeves; $28 AUD for iPad Sleeves; and $18 AUD for the iPhone/iPod...

| Read more »
Oct 16
Apple updates MobileMe Calendar Web app

Apple has launched a tweaked the MobileMe Calendar Web app. MobileMe is the company's US$99-per-year suite of Internet tools.

It sports a new web interface with calendar sharing and event invitations, as well as new features designed to make it easier to use. Features include the ability to: share calendars with family and friends (though they must be MobileMe members in the beta); publish calendars for groups or teams; and offer event invitations with RSVPs. The app works with the calendar applications on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac.

| Read more »
Oct 16
Iomega rolls out external SSD drives

Iomega has announced new host-powered Iomega External USB 3.0 SSD Flash Drives. The pocket-sized 1.8-inch external USB 3.0 SSD Flash drives will be available in early November in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities.

They're encased in a sleek metal enclosure that delivers added protection from drops up to 10 feet. Iomega's new SSD Flash Drives feature 256-bit hardware encryption for security, bundled anti-virus and backup software.

The new Iomega External SSD Flash Drive USB 3.0 will be available worldwide in early November in three capacities: 64GB for US$229, 128GB for $399, and 256GB for $749. Iomega's new External SSD Flash Drives will be available in the channel from distributors, systems integrators and others, as well as retailers and at www.iomega.com .

| Read more »
Oct 15
Apple’s iPad coming to AT&T stores on Oct. 28

AT&T and Apple say that all three iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models will be available at more than 2,200 AT&T Stores starting Thursday, Oct, 28. AT&T will offer customers 3G pre-paid data plans for iPad, complete with Apple’s easy on-device activation and management.

All iPad data plans are available without a term contract and include unlimited access to AT&T’s 23,000+ domestic Wi-Fi Hot Spots. All iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models will be available in AT&T Stores across the US for a suggested retail price of $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB and $829 for 64GB. Domestic data plans for iPad are priced at $14.99 per month for 250MB and $25 per month for 2GB with no term contract. Both plans include unlimited access to AT&T’s 23,000+ domestic Wi-Fi Hot Spots.

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