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Mar 17
Study: Android faster than the iPhone in loading web pages

The latest Android smartphone loaded Web pages 52% faster than iPhone 4 running iOS 4.3, according to thousands of independent field tests by Blaze Software -- as reported by "Computerworld" (http://macte.ch/OMA7d).

The web page load times were about a second apart for the two devices in a study that amassed 45,000 load tests in all. For Android 2.3 on the Google Nexus S smartphone using a version of Chrome, the median load time was 2.144 seconds, compared to 3.254 seconds for iPhone 4 on iOS 4.3 running a version of Safari, according to the study.

Blaze used Fortune 1,000 web sites for the tests, running the web page loading tests repeatedly over Wi-Fi and 3G wireless connections with nothing else running on the phones at the time, says "Computerworld." The Android phone was faster than the iPhone in loading 84% of the tested Web sites. "Android wasn't just faster overall, but rather provided a faster...

| Read more »
Mar 17
Steve Jobs emails Apple staff in Japan

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is reported to have sent a message to Apple staff regarding the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The contents of the email were posted to Chihouban.com (via Macotakara), and "MacRumors" (http://www.macrumors.com) also received a copy of it independently. The email was said to have been sent to all Apple employees and reads:

"To Our Team in Japan,

"We have all been following the unfolding disaster in Japan. Our hearts go out to you and your families, as well as all of your countrymen who have been touched by this tragedy.

"If you need time or resources to visit or care for your families, please see HR and we will help you. If you are aware of any supplies that are needed, please also tell HR and we will do what we can to arrange delivery.

"Again, our hearts go out to you during this unimaginable crisis.


"Please stay safe.


"Steve and the entire Executive Team...

| Read more »
Mar 17
Western Digital introduces 6TB storage system

Western Digital has introduced its My Book Studio Edition II dual-drive storage system with 6TB of storage. The new capacity provides users 33% more storage than the previous capacity, while maintaining the same footprint.

Combining its extended 6TB storage capacity and compatibility with Apple's Time Machine, the new My Book Studio Edition II drive becomes an instant storage solution for a variety of professions including art and design, photography, legal and medical, and a host of other small businesses, according to the folks at WD. The system offers a quad interface: eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0.

The My Studio Edition II sports WD GreenPower Technology that consumes approximately one-third less power than standard dual-drive external storage systems and convection cooling architecture and power-saving mode and designed without a fan to run quietly. It's user serviceability, enabling you to open the enclosure and replace the drive inside.

...

| Read more »
Mar 17
'New York Times' launches digital subscriptions

"The New York Times" is launching digital subscriptions, which will affect some users of its award-winning website, NYTimes.com, and its applications for smartphones and tablets.

The subscription plan allows for free access to a set amount of content across digital platforms. When the monthly reading limit is reached, users who aren't already home delivery subscribers will be asked to become digital subscribers.

Digital subscriptions will be available in the United States and globally on March 28. "The Times" is launching digital subscriptions in the Canadian market beginning today in order to fine-tune the customer experience prior to the global launch.

For non-home delivery subscribers, the basic package -- NYTimes.com plus Smartphone App -- will start at $15 every four weeks. The NYTimes.com plus Smartphone App package is currently available for purchase by users in Canada. On March 28, the global launch, "The Times" will offer three digital subscription...

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Mar 17
Divine Wind expansion pack blows onto the Mac

Virtual Programming (http://www.vpltd.com) has released Divine Wind for Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. It's the fourth expansion pack for the strategy game Europa Unversalis III and costs US$14.95.

Here's how Divine Wind is described: "Players travel to medieval Japan and assume the role of one of four major daimyos vying for influence with the Emperor and control over the Shogunate. A new graphical style brings the action to life on a detailed map packed with many new provinces, including internal Chinese factions that must be managed to keep the Mandate of Heaven.

"Divine Wind also features dozens of new culture-specific building types, giving players greater control over province development, along with enhanced diplomacy functions offering more options for alliances and peace negotiations. In addition, trade development is more realistic and allows players to control strategic resources that grant bonuses....

| Read more »
Mar 17
AssistiveWare, LVI join forces on Mac OS X

AssistiveWare (http://www.assistiveware.com) has partnered with LVI Low Vision International to deliver enhanced access to Mac OS X for people with vision impairments.

The result of this collaboration is MagniLink iMax, a magnification and screen reader for Mac OS X, which serves as a companion to LVI's MagniLink Student portable video magnifier. The software provides magnification, image enhancement and pointer settings as well as screen reading with high-quality speech output.

With the inclusion of the Infovox iVox Text-To-Speech voices by Acapela Group, MagniLink iMax comes with automatic language identification in the screen reader mode and also includes ConvenienceWare GhostReader, an application for reading selected text and documents, which extends the built-in text-to-speech features of Mac OS X.

GhostReader contains shortcut keys for access to the text, and the user can...

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Mar 17
Power Utility for Mac OS X updated to version 1.0.1

Tension Software has updated Power Utility (http://macte.ch/n7oLK) for Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher to version 1.0.1. It's a maintenance update of the US$5.99 app that's only available at the Mac App Store.

Power Utility is an application that lets your Mac, when unattended, to restart, shut down, sleep or log out. It bases all functions on specific conditions or on time schedules you establish.

For example, you can start a download of a big file via Safari in the evening, and Power Utility will watch the download and will shutdown your Mac in the night when the download via Safari (or other browsers) is finished. Or you could have your Mac shutdown an Friday at 10 p.m.

If it's running in the background, Power Utility jumps in the Mac OS X dock to alert you of the upcoming action. After a fast setup, the window shows you the action to be performed, when and how much time remaining to the event,...

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Mar 17
Date Time Calc is date calculating utility for Mac OS X

Date Time Calc (http://www.pomola.com/products_datetimecalc/datetimecalc.html) is a new Mac OS X utility for calculating future and past dates using a given time interval from an assigned date. It requires Mac OS X 10.6.6, costs US$2.99 and is only available at the Mac App Store.

This app is intended for users needing to calculate expected dates after a specific number of days as in a typical business use. An example of periods often used in business: 15, 30, 60, 90, 120 or 150 days.

The dates can be selected using standard calendar controls. The time interval is expressed in days or in a more precise way also using hours, minutes and seconds. A PDf user guide is embedded in the app.

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Mar 17
Scott Kelby is top-selling US photography book author for 2010

Scott Kelby has been recognized as the top-selling photography book author in the U.S. for 2010, according to research based on Nielsen BookScan data.

Kelby’s best-selling photography books include The Digital Photography Book (volumes 1, 2, and 3), which feature hundreds of photographic tips for aspiring photographers, and Photo Recipes Live: Behind the Scenes: Your Guide to Today's Most Popular Lighting Techniques. In addition to Photo Recipes Live: Behind the Scenes, Part 2: Your Guide to Today’s Most Popular Lighting Techniques, Peachpit/New Riders published four other Kelby titles last year: The Adobe Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers; The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers; The iPhone Book (Covers iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS), 4th Edition; and The Photoshop Elements 9 Book for Digital Photographers.

In 2010, Peachpit and Kelby released the first app based on one of his books: Scott Kelby’s Photo Recipes Live iApp: Behind the...

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Mar 17
'YML' looks at the iPad 2 -- and Bon Jovi

The new "Your Mac Life" episode looks at the iPad 2, Jon Bon Jovi's iTunes comments and more.

You can listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30 to 8 pm (Pacific). Live video is on Your Mac Life! You can watch the show live at http://yml.macosg.com/ -- or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/QT/stream.mov .

You can join one of the two Chat Rooms that run during the live show -- on the live video site or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

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Mar 16
iPhone/iPod touch/iPad apps for March 16

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

Adobe has announced Adobe Photoshop Express 2.0 software for iOS devices. Available as a free download, Photoshop Express 2.0 introduces a new Adobe Camera Pack for in-app purchase (US$3.99). This Camera Pack includes Reduce Noise, Self Timer and Auto Review features.

Ivanovich Games has released Operation Wow 1.0, their new multi-touch shooter for iPhone and iPad. In the app -- $1.99 for the iPhone and $2.99 for the iPad -- you fight in order to complete the missions and be congratulated by the President. Operation Wow features a story mode with six different stages, including Base Camp, Jungle, Warehouse, Village, Rescue and Airport, as well as three difficulty levels and Game Center support.

iLifeTouch has introduced Finger Alarm 1.0 for the Mac...

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Mar 16
Apple stock down after JMP Securities downgrade

Apple's stock is off by US$10, or 3%, thanks in part to this morning's downgrade from JMP. That's more than twice what the NASDAQ is off.

Apple was downgraded by JMP Securities this morning from "market outperform to market perform." The research group says, "a notable deceleration in its primary manufacturing partner Hon Hai." Hon Hai sales growth is decelerating, suggesting Apple's business could follow.
(Hon Hai is the parent of Foxconn, Apple's notorious manufacturer.)

What's more, JMP thinks iPhone sales could just be in line with expectations this year. It also sees iPad sales eating into Mac sales (though I've seen no evidence that this is happening.).

In fact, as noted by "Business Insider" (http://macte.ch/zkC2E), most analysts on Wall Street think Apple is buy. Also, the theory that slow growth at manufacturer Foxconn could be a bad sign for Apple has been called out by...

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Mar 16
Mariner Introduces StoryMill 4 writing software

Mariner Software has released StoryMill 4 for Mac OS X, an update of the software for writing a story or novel. Mariner President Michael Wray says there are several new features in StoryMill 4 that every writer will appreciate, including:

° Snapshots -- the writer can capture a snapshot of any scene or chapter in order to make changes and refer back to that snapshot at any time, comparing new and old versions;

° Novel View -- a story can be viewed and printed in its entirety;

° Redesigned Timeline View -- supporting timelines ranging from minutes to centuries, the new timeline view also offers navigation tools for developing the flow of your story.

StoryMill 4 also now offers a trash feature just like the Mac OS X Finder. The software requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher.

StoryMill costs US$49.95 and is available for trial as a download only from the Mariner Software website (...

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Mar 16
Zediva introduces Mac compatible online movie rental service

Zediva (http://www.zediva.com/splash/) is providing a new way for people to watch the latest popular movies online. And it's Mac compatible.

For about the price of a cup of coffee, Zediva users have the ability to instantly watch movies as soon as they become available on DVD. Now movie aficionados can watch many movies as much as 90-180 days (or more) before they could with some other movie rental services, and at prices as much as 60-80% lower than many satellite and cable providers, Venky Srinivasan, founder and CEO of Zediva.

As a special promotion, Zediva is offering all new users two free movies just for signing up before March 31(one offer per household, restrictions apply). Using technology two years in the making, Zediva enables customers to remotely rent a DVD and a DVD player located at Zediva's Silicon Valley data center.

The rental DVD can be watched instantly on a...

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Mar 16
FileMaker updates entire Bento product line

FileMaker Inc. (http://www.filemaker.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple, has shipped Bento 4 for Mac, now available on the Mac App Store, and Bento 1.1 for iPhone, and Bento 1.1 for iPad.

New features include the ability to print labels, export libraries with data, automatically add geographical locations to records and lock down forms, says Ryan Rosenberg, vice president of marketing and services for FileMaker, Inc. For the first time with version 4, you can export Bento libraries populated with data and share these with other users.

Sending a complete library to another Bento user is as easy as emailing a file. You can also share your ideas with the world by sending your custom Bento templates directly to the Bento Template Exchange from within Bento 4. The Bento Template Exchange features over 800 free downloadable templates.

Rosenberg says Bento 4 is faster and easier to use....

| Read more »
Mar 16
Gumdrop announces new iPad 2 cases

Gumdrop (http://www.gumdrop.com) has announced the Drop Series for the iPad 2, which cradle the Apple tablet with reinforced rubber corners and a grippy rubber exterior, with fully covered port cutouts, says CEO Tim Hickman.

The highlight of the design is the snap-on, replaceable screen protector, which allows users to enjoy the touch screen and replace the cover if it gets worn, he adds. Available in four colors, the Drop Series iPad 2 case retails for US$59.95 and is set for release in May.

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Mar 16
FrameLoader released on the Mac App Store

Nova media has released FrameLoader for Mac OS X 10.6.6 (or higher) in the Mac App Store. The US$11.99 app synchronizes photos, music and movie files on a Mac with digital picture frames, SD cards and USB memory sticks.  

FrameLoader will convert pictures, music and videos automatically into a format that can be displayed by the selected digital picture frame. To display media files on a TV or other devices, the app can synchronize media files with an SD card and USB memory stick.

To select the media contents, FrameLoader displays a list of iPhoto albums and iTunes playlists. They can be checked or unchecked to be synced. Custom media files can be dragged and dropped into FrameLoader and selected accordingly.

A click of the sync button starts the synchronization process and an activity monitor displays the details of the process. A demo version of FrameLoader is available at nova media's website (...

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Mar 16
Analyst raises Apple target to $450

In a note to clients, as reported by "Barron's" (http://macte.ch/Rch6o), BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk has raised his price target on Apple shares from US$375 to $450 from $375, saying the iPad will probably generate US$24 billion in revenue this calendar year.

That's $4 billion more than he’d originally expected. Piecyk writes that the introduction of the iPhone 4 at Verizon in February had “tempered” his expectations, as "the CDMA iPhone 4 initially generated a disappointing response which not only surprised us but apparently also surprised Apple."

However, the iPad 2 "appears to be putting our doubts to rest." The analyst predicts that 40 million iPads will be sold this year, up from 33 million in his previous estimate.

| Read more »
Mar 16
Griffin debuts iPad 2 accessories

Griffin Technology (http://www.griffintechnology.com) has debuted their initial offering of accessories for the iPad 2. The announcement features a collection of new and updated accessories.

The US$39.99 Elan Folio Slim for iPad 2 (pictured) has a textured black polyurethane outer cover that offers protection on the outside. Inside, a soft microsuede lining coddles your iPad 2, with a narrow frame surrounding the multi-touch display.

The CinemaSeat ($29.99) turns your iPad 2 into an in-car entertainment system. The case wraps around your iPad 2 while giving you access to the headphone jack, controls, speaker, cameras, and dock connector.

The Stylus is a $19.99 balanced pointer with a soft rubber tip designed to mimic the way your finger interacts with the multi-touch display. It's available in a variety of colors.


The GuitarConnect cable ($29.99) offers a way to...

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Mar 16
Vidyo platform enables HD multi-party video conferencing on an...

Vidyo (http://www.vidyo.com) says its Vidyo platform now supports Apple’s iPad 2, Motorola’s XOOM tablet and the Atrix 4G smart phone utilizing the VidyoTechnology Software Development Kit (SDK) that's available to partners to create applications.

Vidyo’s communication and collaboration platform provides a 720p High- Definition (HD) multipoint video conferencing solution on the Apple tablet. Using Vidyo’s platform, customers can join video conferences from anywhere using the device of their choice: smart phones, tablets, desktops, room systems or telepresence endpoints -- on client applications built by Vidyo or partners with the Vidyo SDK.

“The faster CPU of the Apple iPad 2 and its front and rear-facing cameras, make it an exciting platform that begs for HD multipoint video communication and collaboration,” says Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo’s CEO and co-founder. “Vidyo was able to use its SDK to enable the...

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Mar 16
Tablet sales booming alongside 3G, 4G network subscriber growth

Parks Associates (http://www.parkassociates.com) says 3G subscribers will double over next five years, with global 3G+ tablet sales to exceed 68 million by 2015.

The research group forecasts more than 68 million of the 126 million tablets sold worldwide in 2015 will have 3G or greater technology. The research firm's latest report shows 29% of the 16.5 million tablets sold in 2010 featured embedded 3G technology, while tablets with 3G/4G technology will account for over one-half of all tablets sold in 2015.

"We are seeing strong consumer engagement in data-intensive services and activities, such as social networking, uploading photos to the Internet, and watching online video, on mobile phones," says Jennifer Kent, a Parks Associates' mobile research analyst. "By offering the same mobile Internet capabilities as a smartphone, but with better visual and computing experiences, tablets will...

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Mar 16
MicroShell iPad 2 case available for pre-order

Marware says its MicroShell case for the iPad 2 is available for pre-order. It's an US$39.99 polycarbonate shell with a rubberized finish that snaps on to protect the back and side of the Apple tablet against scratches and impact.

Its design works alone or in conjunction with the Apple Smart Cover and offers access to all buttons, ports and cameras. The MicroShell also comes with Marware's lifetime warranty.

| Read more »
Mar 16
Harman releases new gaming headset

Harman has launched the US$79.95 AKG GHS-1 portable gaming headset (http://macte.ch/ZwhnX). It's designed specifically for the gamer and features "innovative audio engineering built into a distinctive, long-lasting and intuitive design for the ideal gaming experience," says David Slump, president, Harman Consumer Division.


Lightweight and designed for long-wearing comfort, the headset features a boom microphone that filters out background noise. Passive noise reduction effectively seals out most ambient sounds, according to Slump. The headset also features a cardioid (directional) boom microphone that filters out background noises.
 
The in-line microphone is designed so that the volume can be adjusted right on the cable, which reduces the need for players to interact with the game console or other source throughout the game. The AKG GHS-1 portable headset is available in three color combinations...

| Read more »
Mar 16
Speck rolls out cases for the iPad 2

Speck (http://www.speckproducts.com) has updated and redesigned some of their iPad cases as iPad 2 accessories. Among them are the two-layer hard-shell CandyShell Wrap with a flip-close cover that converts to a stand, and FitFolio, a lightweight, custom-fit folio case.

The company is also releasing all-new cases for iPad 2. The PixelSkin HD Wrap case for iPad 2 ramps up Speck's pixel-pattern design to iPad size. The iGuy (pictured) is a freestanding foam for the original and second gen Apple tablet.

In the meantime, Speck's current iPad bags and sleeves fit the iPad. Go to the Speck website for details.

| Read more »
Mar 16
Deliver Express updated to version 2.1.1

Zevrix Solutions (http://www.zevrix.com) has updated Deliver Express, an automated solution to send and share files across the Internet and local networks, to version 2.1.1. The new version improves the reliability of file transfer to certain FTP sites, and addresses some issues related to email communication on international systems.

Deliver Express processes files automatically from watched hot folders and offers variable e-mail notifications, delivery to multiple destinations, encryption and more. It supports FTP, Amazon S3, MobileMe and other major services. Deliver Express can run unattended and is suitable as a company-wide server solution as well as for single users.

As a company-wide server solution, Deliver Express can be installed on a dedicated station and run unattended. Users only need to copy files to network based hot folders, and the files will be sent automatically with customizable...

| Read more »
 
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