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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 (, 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" (

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 ( 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, ( 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.

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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 .

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Jan 27
2010 CES iLounge sells out in record time

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) says the 2012 International CES iLounge Pavilion, sponsored by, 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

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Jan 27
iKit releases AutoCharge + USB

iKit ( has launched the AutoCharge + USB, which features a 2.1 AMP USB port for giving a rapid charge to your iPad, iPhone, iPod and USB devices while on the go. 

The AutoCharge + USB works with standard 12v accessory outlets, and includes a charge sync USB cable. The car charger also sports a rubberized coated finish. The AutoCharge + USB is available in either black or white for US$24.95.

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Jan 27
NameFind now for Intel Macs only

Code by Kevin has released NameFind 5.0, an update to its Mac file-search tool. It's a tool that provides file-searching capabilities on Mac OS X.

You can find files by name. Enter a search term, specify your search directory, and run the search query. NameFind will present a list of all files that match the search name.
NameFind is designed to be an alternative to the Mac's built-in Spotlight search technology. It uses a different file search algorithm to find files, either on your entire hard drive or in a specific directory.

Version 5.0 of NameFind now runs Mac OS X 10.6 or higher to run. It's for Intel Macs only (32-bit or 64-bit); PowerPC processors need not apply. The new version sports a completely different file search algorithm that no longer depends on external Unix tools.

NameFile is now written as a multi-threaded program for speed and responsiveness. You can now access system functions (sound alerts, AppleScripts) via Cocoa API's...

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Jan 27
Cronette for Mac OS X gets maintenance update

Tension Software has updated Cronette (, a Cocoa task launcher for Macs and Mac servers, to version 1.4.3. The "now task already at max runs per day" are showed as runnable in the table to avoid confusion with tasks not runnable for incomplete setting specifications.

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 types 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...

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Jan 27
PixelMags launches 2.0 Digital Publishing Platform

Digital publishing company PixelMags ( has launched its 2.0 tools portal, technology that allows publishers to take full control of their digital content from pricing to delivery as well as integration with Apple’s approval system.

PixelMags’ new 2.0 tools portal offers publishers range of customizable tools that allow for real-time interactivity. Tools include drag and drop web, e-mail, phone and address hotlinks, videos directly from YouTube with additional options for customization through HTML5, all in real-time.

PixelMags built the “Ads by PixelMags” advertising network to allow publishers to take full advantage of their extended reach created by the PixelMags 2.0 publishing platform, says PixelMags founder and COO Ryan Marquis. This new advertising network was built specifically for the magazine industry, he adds.

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Jan 27
ShareTool 2.2 delivers iTunes 10 Home Sharing

YazSoft ( has announced ShareTool 2.2, an update to their utility for Mac OS X. At a click of a button, ShareTool lets you connect to most Bonjour services running on your home/office networks from anywhere in the world.

This includes Screen Sharing, File Sharing, Remote Printing, Secure Browsing, and more. ShareTool 2.2 delivers iTunes 10 Home Sharing across the Internet, the ability to run ShareTool as a background service, and more.

ShareTools 2.2 requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later. Pricing starts at US$25 for a new user license.

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Jan 27
Better Rename 8 hits the Mac App Store ( says Better Rename 8, its music and photo renaming utility, is available on the Mac App Store. It's a tool that caters for the full range of file renaming tasks.

Better Rename is the Mac App Store version of A Better Finder Rename, a file renaming solution available for the Mac. Its interface includes a instant preview feature. The tool features capture time and date extraction (EXIF JPEG and most RAW formats) for digital photographers, ID3 tag extraction for music lovers, regular expression support, plain-text file import for renaming from databases and many other advanced features.

The new renaming engine introduced in version 8 is capable of handling large renaming jobs, such as file name conflicts, swaps and dependency cycles, according to the folks at The renaming engine leverages all the latest Mac OS X technologies by...

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Jan 27
App Tamer update tweaks user interface

St. Clair Software has released App Tamer 1.0.3 (, an update to their Mac utility that automatically pauses applications to improve battery life and reduce CPU usage. The new version improves the app's user interface, adds user-requested features, and refines the operation of its AutoStop capabilities.

Some Mac applications, especially web browsers, continue running tasks or animations even when they're supposed to be idle in the background. This can consume valuable processing power and reduce battery life. App Tamer's AutoStop capability automatically pauses these applications when you switch away from them, and then restarts them when you click back to them. This frees your CPU and reduces power consumption.

App Tamer requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. Version 1.0.3 is a free update for registered users. For new users the cost is US$14...

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Jan 27
360Works announces update for all plug-ins

FileMaker product developer and innovator, 360Works has announced an update affecting all of their FileMaker plug-ins.

SafetyNet, ScriptMaster, Scribe, SuperContainer, 360Works Email, FTPeek and WebAssistant were all updated, and logging is now consolidated to a single log file for all 360Works plug-ins. For more info go to .

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Jan 26
Apple TV streaming more Netflix video than the iPad

In reporting its latest financials (, Netflix ( says that Apple TV's support for its Watch Instantly video streaming has already passed the iPad in viewing hours.

"The devices with large installed bases -- meaning Windows and Mac laptops, Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo Wii -- are the most popular devices for watching instantly from Netflix," says Netflix. "AppleTV has done very well for us, and in just four months has passed the also-growing iPad in Netflix viewing hours. The Roku player remains a strong performer. Our iPhone and Windows phone applications are very popular, and we’ll have support for several Android phones this year. While Google TV has not yet gone mainstream, the concept of Android and Chrome built into televisions and Blu-ray players is powerful; we’re confident that...

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Jan 26
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Jan. 26

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

3Dgrafix has announced Stoned 3D, a new game for the iPhone, iPod touch and It's an US$0.99 casual game with 3D graphics. Your task is to catch as many falling blocks as possible and to hit the appearing dinosaurs for extra points. You can also upload your scores to OpenFeint to see your position in a worldwide ranking.

Kiboomu has released ABC Song Piano for the iPhone and iPod touch. With the $0.99 app, users can discover the alphabet from Ant to Zebra with the ABC Song in a fun, easy way. Press the start button and sing along. Children can also learn the song on the piano by following the lighted keys or matching colorful music notes to the piano keys. You can hear the song played on a banjo, xylophone, harp, and more.

Compelling Software has...

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Jan 26
Canalys: Apple climbs to third place among global computer...

The Canalys research group ( has announced strong computer industry growth of 19% in the fourth quarter of 2010, with Apple climbing to third place in the market, thanks to iPad and Mac sales, as well as fast growth in Asia Pacific.

The analyst company attributes the majority of Q4 market growth to the rising demand for pads, a new product category. Some research groups don't count tablets among personal computer sales, but I've long argued they should be included. Canalys thinks like I do.

"Pads gave consumers increased product choice over the holiday season," says Canalys Analyst Tim Coulling. "While they do not appeal to first-time buyers or low-income households, they are proving extremely popular as additional computing devices."

Canalys urges vendors to accept new market realities, by recognizing pads as an integral new component of the overall PC landscape....

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Jan 26
MiniTool announces free Mac data recovery tool

MiniTool Solution has announced a free data recovery application –-- MiniTool Mac Data Recovery 2.0. It's designed to allow home users to restore Mac data up to 1GB.

MiniTool Mac Data Recovery can recover deleted files and folders, restore lost data -- even if the partition is formatted or deleted -- and restore data from a corrupted hard drive, virus infection, and other unexpected system shutdown or software failure. It supports IDE, SATA, SCSI, USB hard disk, memory card, USB flash drive and the iPod.

MiniTool Mac Data Recovery includes four data recovery modules: Undelete Recovery, Damaged Partition Recovery, Lost Partition Recovery and Digital Media Recovery. Each data recovery module focuses on different data loss cases.

It requires Mac OS X 10.5 and above. You can download it at .

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Jan 26
Pricing for Verizon iPhone voice plans announced

According to the Apple web site, individual voice plans for the Verizon iPhone will be US$39.99 per month for 450 minutes, with 900 minutes available for $59.99 and Nationwide Unlimited checking in at $69.99. Family SharePlans begin at $69.99 for 700 minutes, with 1400 minutes ($89.99), 2000 minutes ($99.99) and unlimited ($119.99) also available.

What's more, the "Associated Press" ( has learned that some AT&T iPhone users on limited plans won't need to move to Verizon for "all-you-can-eat" data. "In an unadvertised loophole, AT&T has allowed subscribers who have had an unlimited data plan in the past to switch back," the article adds. That includes anyone who had an iPhone before June, when the limited plans took effect.

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Jan 26
Ubiquisys announces personal femtocell for the iPhone

Ubiquisys (, a developer of 3G and LTE intelligent cells, has announced what it says the world’s first attocell -- a personal femtocell.  Designed primarily for people traveling abroad, it enables mobile calls to be made and received as though in their home country.

Although developed specifically for the iPhone, the attocell works out of the box with any 3G phone, and has also been tested with Blackberry, Nokia and Android Smartphones. Ubiquisys is already in discussions with several mobile operators about the product.

The attocell connects to a user’s laptop via USB, which provides power and an Internet connection. It then analyses the IP address and radio environment to determine which country it is in, and sets its 3G radio power accordingly to below the licensed level. In some countries its range will be just 5mm, in other countries; it could cover a whole room,...

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Jan 26
Macworld: iFusion SmartStation released for the iPhone

AltiGen Communications, a provider of software-based Unified Communications solutions, has introduced the iFusion SmartStation, a new docking station for the iPhone, at this week's Macworld Conference & Expo.

Using Bluetooth technology, the iFusion extends a traditional telephone handset and hands-free speakerphone with amazing voice clarity to the iPhone, Niel Levonius, AltiGen’s director of Corporate Strategy. With the iFusion, you have access to a dock connector port for syncing or charging, and an audio line out port for connecting to powered speakers via an optional audio cable, eliminating the need for a separate dock. With support for A2DP Bluetooth streaming, users are able to enjoy their favorite iPhone music over the internal speakerphone, Levonius says.

iFusion will be available in the US in April. Two models, in glossy white and glossy black finishes, will be priced at US$169. Pre-orders will be accepted, beginning Jan. 27, at...

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Jan 26
Singular Software releases DualEyes for the Mac

Singular Software, a developer of workflow automation applications for digital media, says DualEyes is now available for Mac OS X. It's designed as a standalone application for the automatic synchronization of video and audio clips for dual-system audio production.

Built to work alongside any video editing application, DualEyes is streamlined for the task of replacing in-camera scratch audio with separately recorded high-quality audio, says Bruce Sharpe, CEO, Singular Software. It synchronizes and cuts the audio to automatically match each video clip in both start time and duration.

Users record audio on a separate recorder and use DualEyes to replace the camera audio with that high-quality separate audio. With DualEyes' technology, all original media files are kept intact, while new media files are created for advanced flexibility.

DualEyes for Mac OS X 10.5 and later is available to purchase via the Singular Software web site (...

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