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Dec 01
Java Word to PDF doc conversion engine in beta testing

Qoppa Software (http://www.qoppa.com) has announced beta testing of their Word to PDF document conversion engine. The company has released a Java library version for integration into third party systems, and will integrate this conversion functionality into their existing applications, PDF Studio and PDF Automation Server.

Tthe engine is slated to support converting Word to images as well as directly printing Word documents in the upcoming version, says Gerald Holmann, president of Qoppa Software. Qoppa solutions include: Java class libraries to incorporate PDF manipulation capabilities; Java components to integrate PDF viewing and annotating into applications; Command Line tools to convert, print, or secure PDF documents; and two commercial stand-alone applications: PDF Automation Server to automate workflows and document handling, and PDF Studio Desktop Tool to edit and manipulate PDF documents.

| Read more »
Dec 01
Dress-Up Pups Puts Dogs on the Catwalk

Anawiki Games and Retrostyle Games have teamed up for Dress-Up Pups (http://www.anawiki.com/game/dress-up-pups), an US$9.99 game for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and higher.

Here's how the game is described: "It offers several variations on the ever-popular Match-3 style of gameplay. Dress-Up Pups provides the player with a varied challenge, by mixing standard 'swap' Match-3 mechanics with alternative 'chains' and 'groups' modes. The player is also provided with two forms of power-ups and each chapter of the story ends with a jigsaw puzzle mini game.

"The game follows the story of Pattie, who's been working as office help at the Dress-Up Pups fashion agency for dogs. When her boss has to fly overseas on important business, she's left in charge of the agency, and has to come up with creative outfits for a variety of eccentric clients. The dogs, their owners, their exchanges...

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Dec 01
Raidon rolls out 2.5-inch, internal RAID module

Raidon (http://www.raidon.com.tw) has unveiled the MR-2020, a 2.5-inch, internal RAID module. It accepts two 2.5-inch hard drives and supports RAID 1.

Its small form factor matches with 5.25-inch CD-ROM device and saves half the space a 3.5-inch product needs, according to the folks at Raidon. A 2.5-inch hard drive also consumes one half less power than a 3.5-inch does, they add.

The MR2020 is also an embedded RAID controller to provide RAID function for preventing data failed. Accepting two hard drives and coming with RAID 1 (Mirroring), as either hard drive is failed, the system will keep running with the backup one and alert the user to replace the failed hard drive. The failed hard drive can be substituted without turning off the system.

The MR2020 comes with tray modules that can accept a 15mm height 2.5-inch hard drive. The hard drives can be replaced because of its hot swappable...

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Dec 01
H2O Audio announces Flex All Sport Buds

H2O Audio (http://www.h2oaudio.com/) has launched a new line of "waterproof, sweatproof" headphones, the US$29.99 Flex All Sport Buds. They're waterproof up to three feet.

Users can choose from such colors as Envy Green, Power Pink, Onyx Black and Super Hero Blue. Three different sizes of earplugs provide a personalized fit.

| Read more »
Dec 01
Mahjong In Poculis 3.5 adds mode for children

In Poculis (http://www.in-poculis.com/) has released Mahjong In Poculis 3.5, an update to their free solitaire game for Mac OS X (10.4 and higher) and Windows. The new version sports a mode designed for children.

Here's how the game is described: "Perfect for mahjong lovers or those who simply enjoy challenging memorization, Mahjong In Poculis is a memory game where players have to select identical tiles to make them disappear. The game features 120 levels and six scenarios, including Christmas, Halloween, Asian and Easter. Each one has its own levels, graphics and music."

To get users started, a five-step, in-game tutorial can be displayed on demand. Players may also post their scores and photo on the game's web site.

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Dec 01
SubRosaSoft introduces MacForensicsLab Social Agent

SubRosaSoft has released MacForensicsLab Social Agent 1.0 (http://www.macforensicslab.com/ProductsAndServices/index.php?main_page=p...), an US$79.95 app designed to get evidence from chats, private messages, and blog activity on Facebook and other social networking web sites.

Social Agent can scan Macs running the Safari web browser for evidence of social network activity and can identify social networking web pages visited by the suspect.

The initial support includes social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Friendster, Meetup, and others. This information can be very valuable in cases of crimes against children, says SubRosaSoft CEO Marko Kostyrko.

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Dec 01
Swarovski Frame Case released for the iPhone 4

CAZE (http://www.iphonecaze.com) has announced the US$99.99 BlingFrame for the iPhone 4, which the company says is the world's first Swarovski frame case.

CAZE is combining Swarovski crystals and an slim frame in a case with four flashed colors. CAZE used ThinEdge -- purportedly the world's slimmest frame case for crystal embellishment -- so the BlingFrame has the thinnest possible wall-thickness and can fully protect the chrome edges and corners of an iPhone.

It offers access to all phone functions without having to remove the case. To ensure all-around protection, the BlingFrame comes with a free screen protection kit (front and back film).

| Read more »
Dec 01
MenuEverywhere ready for large, multi-monitor Mac users

Binary Bakery Software (http://www.binarybakery.com) has released MenuEverywhere 1.4.3, an update to their US$14.95 Mac OS X 10.6.x utility. Designed for large monitor or multi-monitor users, it makes the menubar's menu accessible from any window on any screen.

MenuEverywhere works with almost any Mac OS X application. With the app, you can access menus in the following ways: screen-top menu on (non-primary) secondary screens; window-attached menubar; window-attached menu button; and hotkey pop-up menu at mouse location

In MenuEverywhere, menu access methods are all optional; those not used may be switched off. The app has configurable button/menubar styles, multiple font sizes for menu labels and menu items, the ability to show the Apple menu in addition to application's menu, an exclude list facility to prevent usage on apps of your choosing, and more.

| Read more »
Dec 01
Prepare for mind games in Winter Voices, Episode One

You can now plunge into the mind's eye of a tragic heroine in the first episode of Winter Voices, the narrative-driven, episodic, single player role-playing game from independent game developer Beyondthepillars. Players can download the first episode, "Those who have no name," now for the Mac and PC at the Winter Voices web site for US$4.99.

Gamers who embark on the wondrous, psychological adventure of Winter Voices must embrace a new form of role-playing, leading the heroine past her own personal demons come to life, says Guy Levi-Bochi, CEO of Beyondthepillars. Players will confront= terrors by choosing one of three female character classes and helping their heroine persevere her difficult journey.

Levi-Bochi says the game offers "a challenging and snowy ordeal, bringing her face-to-face with strangers and travelers as she leaves behind the familiar faces of her home village." To progress, players need to guide her beyond the fears plaguing her journey, including...

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Dec 01
DxO Optics updated to version 6.5.1

DxO Labs (http://www.dxo.com) has released the latest version of its image enhancement software for photographers: DxO Optics Pro 6.5.1. The upgrade adds RAW support in both its Standard and Elite editions for the Nikon D7000 and Sony Alpha DSLR-A390.

DxO Optics Pro and upgrades for both Mac OS X (10.5 and higher) and Windows will be offered at a 30% holiday season discount through Dec. 25. They're available from both DxO Labs’ e-store and selected resellers at the holiday season discount of:

° DxO Optics Pro Standard edition: US$99, reduced from $169;

° DxO Optics Pro Elite edition: $199, reduced from $299.
 
All customers who purchased DxO Optics Pro since June 1, 2009 are entitled to a free upgrade to version 6.5. All other users benefit from the 30% discounts:

° DxO Optics Pro Standard (any version) to DxO Optics Pro 6 Standard: $49, reduced from $79;

° DxO Optics Pro...

| Read more »
Dec 01
Epic Games releases November 2010 Unreal development kit beta

Epic Games (http://www.epicgames.com) has released the November 2010 UDK Beta, the latest version of the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of Unreal Engine 3 that provides access to the toolset used in blockbuster video games, 3D visualizations, digital films and more.

Epic says it's committed to providing the UDK community with regular software releases at no charge, and the latest beta is available now at http://www.udk.com/download .

| Read more »
Dec 01
iPad, iPhone in the Enterprise to be Addressed in MaaS360...

MaaS360, the provider of cloud-based Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) solutions, has announced a free webinar titled “Enabling iPhones and iPads in the Enterprise” on Thursday, Dec. 2, at 2 pm (Eastern).

Donna Lima, Fiberlink’s customer engineer, will provide best practices for enabling employees to securely access corporate resources and collaboration applications from their iPhones and iPads. You can register for the free webinar at...

| Read more »
Dec 01
Lightworks 2010 Public Beta available

EditShare has announced the first step in the roll out of Lightworks Open Source. The free Lightworks 2010 public beta download is available to all interested participants.

Now anyone can familiarize themselves with the Lightworks editing system and view the new features and enhancements on the professional editing solution. It was introduced in 1989 with real-time synchronization and a variety of editing features.

The next version will include improvements in capture/playback, editing, effects, tools, film, third party support, collaboration, I/O support and more. For more info on the Lightworks Open Source project and the public beta, go to http://www.editshare.com/lightworks .

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Nov 30
It's iPad verses Kindle in the eReader market

The eReader market has essentially become a two horse race between the Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPad, according to the latest survey of more than 2,800 consumers by the ChangeWave research group (http://www.changewave.com).

The Amazon Kindle (47% of the market and down 15 points) is hanging on to a rapidly diminishing lead over the iPad (32%; up 16 points) among current eReader owners. However, the iPad’s share of the overall market has doubled since the last time ChangeWave surveyed e-Reader owners in August. The rest of the market includes the Sony Reader (5%) and the Barnes and Noble Nook (4%).

In terms of owner satisfaction ratings, ChangeWave's survey shows that 75% of iPad owners are "very satisfied" with its eReader capabilities compared to 54% for the Kindle. The research group also asked eReader owners about the types of content they’re reading on their devices -- and found major...

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Nov 30
Retrevo report: iPhone owners love their accessories

By Andrew Eisner

Not everyone is lucky enough to own an iPhone, Droid or some other cool smartphone, but we'd wager that most of you know someone who does and there's also a good chance you'll be buying a gift for that person this holiday season.

If you want to make sure your gift is well received we suggest you heed this advice based on a recent Retrevo Gadgetology study that looked at smartphone owners under the age of 35, the gadgets accessories they own, and the ones they want to buy.

Smartphone owners prefer accessories

Although most non-smartphone owners would still prefer a sweater or scarf this year, smartphone owners under 35 are a different breed. The study found a large number of those smartphone owners say they would like to receive accessories for their phones and other gadgets more than more traditional items like clothing, books, perfume, and sweets. When we asked what they plan to buy for themselves...

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Nov 30
Apple sued over 'unsafe' MagSafe

Another day, another lawsuit. A lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in Connecticut by Great Northern Insurance Company claims that Apple's MagSafe charger, attached to a 2007 MacBook Pro, caused a major fire at a Connecticut home, reports "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com).

According to the lawsuit, the fire marshal of the town of Glastonbury concluded that the blaze, which occurred on May 23, 2008, was caused by the "external system components" of the laptop found in the home. Great Northern has made payments in excess of $75,000 to a client after an accidental fire occurred at their family's home, notes "AppleInsider."

Great Northern's lawsuit attempts to prove that the MagSafe adapter was "in a defective and unreasonably dangerous condition" due to Apple. The complaint argues that Apple "manufactured and sold the MagSafe adapter in a condition that it knew, or should have...

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Nov 30
Apple updates Game Center terms of service

Apple has updated its Game Center terms of service so that gaming invites sent to friends will include the "real" name users have associated with their Apple ID, notes "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com).

iOS games that support Game Center connect to your account automatically at launch and enable features such as multiplayer support, high score leaderboards, and the ability to invite friends to play with you. However, yesterday Apple issued an update that prompts users to first agree to the new ToS, which includes the comment, "we have changed the Game Center terms and conditions to provide you notice that if you send a friend invitation, the full name associated with your Apple ID will be shared with the recipient. If you accept a friend invitation, the full name associated with your Apple ID will be shared with the sender."

| Read more »
Nov 30
Apple's 'data center guru' dies from heart attack

According to "9to5Mac" (http://www.9to5mac.com/38912/apples-top-data-center-executive-olivier-sa...), Oliver Sanche (center), the man in charge of all things related to data centers for Apple, passed away last Thursday from a heart attack.

Sanche was heading Apple’s soon-launching North Carolina data center, the article adds. He joined Apple from eBay in late 2009 where he used to lead data center projects as well.

| Read more »
Nov 30
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Nov. 30

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/).

Deep Prose Software has announced FastTalker 1.0 for the iPhone and iPad. The US$1.99 app is for making quick audio notes on-the-go without having to look at the screen or tap a lot of buttons. It is designed to capture quick audio recordings of 5, 10, 15, or 20 seconds at a time. FastTalker starts and ends recording automatically; just start the app and record your thoughts.

Hot Chili Apps is expanding their Christmas Card Edition. Christmas C@rds HD 1.0 are e-cards. The $3.99 app allows anyone to design on the iPad in HD quality and in a complete new look, with a choice of various graphic elements for designing his/her own Christmas card to his individual taste. It has 36 C@rd templates that can be decorated on the iPad with personal photos or...

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Nov 30
OWC Expands Mercury Rack Pro Rackmount RAID Line

Other World Computing (http://www.macsales.com) has expanded the storage capacity of its OWC Mercury Rack Pro rackmount storage solutions to 12TB.

It touts four hard drive bays each capable of holding up to 3TB each in a 1U rackmount design. The Mercury Rack Pro is available in two RAID and interface models: the “Quad Interface” model with FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2, and eSATA ports and Hardware RAID 0/1/5/10/Span modes; and the eSATA port multiplier RAID ready model.

The Mercury Rack Pro is immediately available in 17 pre-configured solutions, from 2TB to 12TB with manufacturer's retail pricing starting at US$529.99. The Mercury Rack Pro is compatible with Mac OS X 10.2 and higher, and Windows Windows XP and later operating systems and comes complete with all interface connecting cables, a $200 retail value disk utility software bundle, and up to a five-year solution warranty.

| Read more »
Nov 30
TRTL Bot unveils eco-functional iPhone 4 case

TRTL Bot (http://www.trtlbot.com) has announced the Minimalist 4, an "eco-functional" case for the iPhone 4 that is only being offered during the holiday season. It combines the protection of a case and the capability of a money holder, allowing you to carry up to three ID/credit cards with your phone.

Designed and manufactured in the Los Angeles area using recycled plastic, the white Minimalist 4 is similar to its predecessor, the Minimalist 4 and TRTL Stand 4, containing at least one plastic water bottle per case. TRTL Bot blends minimalistic design with simple practicality, both represented in the white color of the case, says President Peter Gloria.

Both the white and black Minimalist 4 and the TRTL Stand 4 are currently available for US$34.99 at the TRTL Bot web site.  For iPhone 3G/3GS users, a Minimalist 3G/3GS is also available in black or white for $24.99.

| Read more »
Nov 30
AG Findings releases new iPhone 4 case

AG Findings has announced the Vent Shell for the iPhone 4. It's available in a variety of vibrant colors and is engineered with polycarbonate to keep your phone guarded from everyday dings.

The Vent is a one-piece shell, which snaps onto your mobile device and leaves the charging port, camera and controls fully accessible. The Vent Shell is available at AT&T retail stores for US$29.99 in a two-pack that includes red and black, both with a soft-touch coating.  An additional two-pack (clear and purple) is available at http://www.att.com/wirelessaccessories . Other combinations and colors are available at http://www.agfindings.com .

| Read more »
Nov 30
Griffin Technology releases LightBoard case/app combo

Griffin Technology (http://www.griffintechnology.com) has released LightBoard, an interactive children's experience for the iPad. The combination case and app creates a kid-safe arts activity center while simultaneously protecting the Apple tablet, says Mark McGlon, creative director at Griffin.

The LightBoard is an US$39.99 protective case and art table in one. Your iPad is surrounded in a shatter-resistant polycarbonate shell with openings for the speakers and headphone jack. A built-in polycarbonate screen shield protects the Multi-Touch display against scratches and impacts. A clipboard frame holds a piece of drawing paper firmly in place.

The LightBoard case is custom-built to work with the included LightBoard Trace app, a free download from the Apple App Store. With the app, your iPad serves up more than 35 different coloring activities and figures for your child. Slide a...

| Read more »
Nov 30
Star Shipping game comes to the Mac, iOS devices

Corbomite Games has released Star Shipping (http://starshipping.corbomitegames.com/), a new commerce strategy game, for the Mac, Windows, iPad and iPhone/iPod touch.

Here's how the game is described: "The goal of Star Shipping is to become the richest captain in the galaxy by trading commodities between new and exciting planets, while working for the intergalactic space trading company 'Star Shipping Inc.' Since space is unpredictable while traveling to different planets, you’ll encounter multiple types of enemies like space pirates, monsters and other alien lifeforms. You can choose between flying solo or protecting your cargo by hiring defense drones. In-game news at the end of each turn dramatically affects the next turn’s outcome as well as random events that occur during travel will make players think twice before taking chances and increases the fun as the game...

| Read more »
Nov 30
Study: use of tablets such as the iPad to grow in the workforce

The Gartner research group (http://www.gartner.com) says that by 2013, 80% of businesses will support a workforce using tablets. The Apple iPad is the first of what promises to be a huge wave of media tablets focused largely on content consumption, and to some extent communications, rather than content creation, with fewer features and less processing power than traditional computers and notebooks or pen-centric tablet computers.



"Support requirements for media tablets will vary across and within enterprises depending on usage scenario," says Gartner. " At minimum, in cases where employees are bringing their own devices for convenience, enterprises will have to offer appliance-level support with a limited level of network connectivity (which will likely include access to enterprise mail and calendaring) and help desk support for connectivity issues."

The nugget of info was part of the report "...

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