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Mar 21
Apple number eight on most valuable brands list

Google became the world's most valuable brand this year based on Brand Finance's (http://www.brandfinance.com) rankings of the most valuable 500 brands across the globe. Apple ranks eighth on the list.

Per Brand Finance, the top 10 most valuable brands and their value are: Google (US$44.29 billion), Microsoft ($42.80 billion), Wal-Mart ($36.22 billion), IBM ($36.15 billion), Vodafone ($30.67 billion), Bank of America ($30.61 billion), General Electric ($30.50 billion), Apple ($29.54 billion), Wells Fargo ($28.94 billion), and AT&T ($28.88 billion).

Apple’s success continues as it moves up 12 places, "supported by innovative design, a very loyal consumer base and well-executed marketing activities," says Brand Finance. However, Coca Cola has dropped out of the top 10for the first time. This is underpinned by the consumer trend in developed markets to move towards healthier, non-carbonated...

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Mar 21
Apple number two on most desired employees list

One in four young professionals wants to work at Google Inc., according to a survey by Universum, a consulting firm that helps companies improve their attractiveness to prospective employees. Nearly 25% of survey respondents picked Google, almost twice as many as chose Apple, which ranked second, reports the "Wall Street Journal" (http://macte.ch/AN08L).

Walt Disney Co., the U.S. State Department and Amazon.com rounded out the top five.
To conduct the survey, Universum asked 10,306 young professionals -- defined as college graduates with one to eight years of work experience -- to pick as many as five ideal employers out of a list of 150.

Respondents also could write in companies not on the list. The top write-in was Facebook, followed by the Department of Homeland Security and the United Nations.

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Mar 21
No kiddin'? A clown drove Jonny Ive from the UK?

"The Daily Mail" (http://macte.ch/aoWSD) says there's no truth to recent rumors that Apple design guru Jonathan Ive planned to leave Apple and return to his native Britain. And he moved to the States to work for Apple because of a clown, the article claims.

Per the "Daily Mail": " ‘We lost a great talent,’ saysClive Grinyer, who first hired Ive after he came to work with him on a placement from Newcastle Polytechnic ‘We virtually created our own consultancy, Tangerine, just so that we could employ Jony (as Ive prefers to be called). And if I had to put my finger on why and where we lost him it would have to have been one day at Ideal Standard in Hull.

" 'Tangerine had a consultancy contract with the bathroom-fittings company to design a toilet. I was there when Jony made an excellent presentation to this guy who was wearing a red nose because it was Comic Relief day. This clown then decided to throw his...

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Mar 21
No iPhone on T-Mobile for at least a year

With AT&T acquiring T-Mobile USA for US$39 billion, customers of T-Mobile are wondering whether T-Mobile is finally getting the iPhone. Not for at least a year, it seems.

In a FAQ section (http://macte.ch/oZG54), T-Mobile had this to say: "T-Mobile USA remains an independent company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone. We offer cutting edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and coming soon our new Sidekick 4G."

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Mar 21
Yay! is new music streaming, sharing app for Mac OS X

Snarbsoft has introduced Yay!, a new music streaming and sharing app for Mac OS X 10.5 and higher. With it, you can sream and share music, as well as extend your local music library with tracks from blogs, forums and websites all over the Internet.

From a single interface, you can catalogue secondary material like blogs, news and reviews, artist biographies, images, lyrics and music videos, all updated in real time. Yay! lets you do advanced searches by tags. Tags aren't limited to genres, but may describe a mood or gender, etc.

You can create and share playlists with your friends on Twitter and Facebook. Shared playlists are uploaded to Yay! Playlists, a public repository where other members of the Yay! community can check out, vote and comment on your compilations

Yay! is available from its dedicated website (http://getyay.com). A free trial version can be downloaded and run without any restrictions...

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Mar 21
TuneWear releases new cases protective film for the iPad 2

TuneWear (http://www.tunewear.com) has announced eggshell, CarbonLook, SoftShell, TuneFolio and TuneFolio Urban protective cases for the iPad 2. Also announced was the TuneFilm protective film for the second gen Apple tablet, which is available in clear and anti-flare types.

The US29.95 eggshell for iPad 2 is "as light and thin as an egg shell and adds a layer of protection to iPad 2 without adding additional weight or bulk," according to the folks at TuneWear. The $39.95 CarbonLook for iPad 2 is a protective case for iPad 2 with a carbon fiber pattern.


The $29.95 SoftShell is a transparent, flexible, protective case. The $49.95 TuneFolio is a synthetic leather case that folds closed like a notebook or opens to be positioned as a stand at any viewing angle.


The $59.95 TuneFolio Urban is a durable nylon case that folds closed like a notebook or opens to become a stand positioned at any...

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Mar 21
Energizer expands suite of Qi-enabled products

Energizer (http://www.energizer.com) is expanding its suite of Qi-enabled products (pronounced "chee"). The company says this new universal charging standard, developed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), will give consumers the freedom to charge any Qi device five watts or less on any Qi charging pad regardless of manufacturer.

Following the launch of the first suite of Qi-enabled products in fall 2010, which included the two-zone Energizer Inductive Charger, the company will be showing a new single-zone inductive charger, the recently introduced iPhone 4 sleeve, and the new Energizer Micro/Mini USB Adapter. This slim, compact Qi adapter adheres to the back of any phone.

Additionally, Energizer will soon demo the following products:

° Energizer Travel Adapter -- an all-in-one AC adapter that includes an iPhone/iPod dock, nightlight, three AC outlets and two USB outlets with numerous...

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Mar 21
Speck expands Burton Snowboards collaboration

Speck has expanded its “Fitted x Burton” partnership with Burton Snowboards to include all-new custom-designed hard-shell Fitted cases (http://www.speckproducts.com/burton-cases.html) for the iPad and iPhone 4.

These new cases feature Speck's protective, form-fit two-piece design, along with original fabric-wrapped styles from the Burton apparel collection. Patterns include two rad plaids, Lumber Lighter and Buffalo Plaid, plus the new Headache Dot.

“Fitted x Burton” for iPad (US$59.95) is a custom-edition Fitted iPad case designed for "a stylish, tailored look," while the form-fit two-piece hard-shell design protects it from scratches and scuffs. It maintains access to all buttons, controls, sensors and connections.


“Fitted x Burton” for iPhone 4 ($39.95) is a fabric-backed Fitted iPhone 4 case that "combines Speck’s functionality and protection...

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Mar 21
Will Smith donates Macs to West Philly high school

Will Smith is donating Mac replacements for 30 stolen computers to a high school in West Philadelphia, where he was born and raised, reports the "Associated Press" (http://macte.ch/3oIWk).

The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation and the Charlie Mack Cares philanthropic organizations are giving 29 Apple laptops and one desktop to West Philadelphia High School.
Local community activist Charlie Mack is a longtime assistant and friend of Smith, the music, TV and film superstar, says the "AP."

Mack says he plans to deliver the new computers to the school Friday. Smith is working elsewhere and can't make it. The "AP" says two students have been charged with stealing 60 computers from the school last month. Police recovered half of them, but the rest remain unaccounted for.

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Mar 21
Roulette, Craps 3D roll onto the Mac App Store

Viaden Mobile (http://mobile.viaden.com/) has debuted its first apps for the Mac: Roulette and Craps 3D.

Roulette 3D offers three roulette tables: European, American and French, with "professional dealers" who comment on every step of the game. Craps 3D is characterized by simple controls, flowing 3D animation, background music and "a friendly dealer who really knows from craps."

Roulette and Craps 3D are played for fun money only, no actual money involved. Both games are currently available on the Mac App Store for US$1.99 each.

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Mar 21
App releases 'bugs' all over your Mac's screen

JBMJBM has released Bugs 1.0 for the Mac (http://www.jbmjbm.com/bugs.html). Launch this app and small, realistic looking ants, spiders or lady bugs start "crawling" around your screen -- and you can squish 'em. Bugs costs US$2.99, works with Mac OS X 10.6 or higher and is available at the Mac App Store.

There's also a counter to count how many bugs have been smashed. You can also increase or decrease the number of ants, spiders, or lady bugs on the screen. There's an option to change the type of bug.

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Mar 21
Tutor for iDVD 1.0 available in the Mac App Store

Noteboom Productions has introduced Tutor for iDVD 1.0 (http://www.noteboomproductions.com/app/tutor-idvd), their latest video tutorial, now available on the Mac App Store. It costs US$4.99.

You can watch videos to learn how to use iDVD, part of iLife '11. The video tutorial consists of 21 video chapters on various subjects. This includes topics ranging from using Magic iDVD to using drop zones to adding photos and files to adding chapters.

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Mar 21
Cocktail 4.8.2 fixes issues with Safari extensions

Maintain has released Cocktail 4.8.2 (Snow Leopard Edition), the latest maintenance update of Cocktail (http://www.maintain.se/c) for users running Mac OS X 10.6 ("Snow Leopard"). The new version fixes compatibility issues with Safari extensions, adds the "Delete Localization Files" Automator action as well as compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6.7.


Cocktail 4.8.2 (Snow Leopard Edition) requires Mac OS X/Mac OS X Server 10.6 or later and is tested for compatibility with Mac OS X/Mac OS X Server 10.6.7. Cocktail (Leopard Edition) for Mac OS X 10.5 and Cocktail (Tiger Edition) for Mac OS X 10.4 are available for download from the Maintain website.

Cocktail is a general purpose utility for Mac OS X that offers a variety of practical features designed to simplify the use of advanced UNIX function. A single user license costs US$14.95.

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Mar 21
'MUG Event Calendar': MobileMe, Dropbox, more

March isn't over yet on "The MUG Event Calendar" with two notable presenters and a number of informative presentations.

One California group will have presentation by "Macworld" Senior Editor Christopher Breen, while a California Final Cut Pro group will hear from Academy Award-winning film editor Alan Heim. Other topics for the week include MobileMe, Dropbox, Adobe Premier Elements 9, Microsoft Office 2011, fixing and retouching photos, 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 Apple's MUG page (...

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Mar 21
New version of LogMeIn Ignition adds iPad 2 support

Apple iOS device owners can use their iPad 2, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to view, transfer and save files from their Macs and PCs with the newest update to LogMeIn Ignition.

The newest version from LogMeIn, Inc. (http://macte.ch/abkVl) adds file functions to Ignition's remote control capabilities. It's the first iOS app to combine remote control with file management, according to Andrew Burton, LogMeIn's vice president, Access & Management. The app is available now Apple App Store for US$29.99 and is a free update to current users.

With the introduction of file viewing and management, iOS device owners can choose to remotely control a computer desktop or directly access a computer's file systems -- or multiple computers' file systems -- using a single app. The new LogMeIn Ignition for iPhone/iPad also introduces the ability to wake a sleeping computer from an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch using
...

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Mar 21
Digital Heaven adds new features to Final Cut plug-ins

Digital Heaven has released free updates to eight of their plug-ins for Final Cut Pro and Express.

From freeware grid and guides generators to animating counters, subtitle creation and dead pixel correction, these 14 plug-ins provide a suite of tools for professional editors. The most popular plug-in, DH_Subtitle now features automatic line wrapping and metadata support. Other updates include automatic format detection in DH_LegalText and more.

The Digital Heaven products require Final Cut Express (version 2 and later) or Final Cut Pro (version 4 and later). Freeware plug-ins (DH_Fade, DH_FieldTrans, DH_Grid and DH_Guides) are available by registering on the Digital Heaven website (http://www.digital-heaven.co.uk).

Other plug-ins are available for individual purchase from the Digital Heaven online store at US$29 or $59. Existing customers are eligible for a free update...

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Mar 21
Tembo 1.4 for Mac OS X gets new options

Houdah Software has released Tembo 1.4, an update of the friendly" find utility for Mac OS X, available at the Mac App Store.

The upgrade adds: a result count in group headers; an option to use a larger font size; an option to quit on the close of the last window; an advanced option to exclude files by type; and an AppleScript application programming interface to open search to a given folder.

Tembo is for designed to make the searching (and finding) of files, mail messages, bookmarks and more as easy as possible. It's sold exclusively through the Mac App Store for US$14.99 and requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher.. A demo version is available from the product web site (http://www.houdah.com/tembo/).

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Mar 20
AT&T to buy T-Mobile for $39 billion

AT&T (http://www.att.com) and Deutsche Telekom AG have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at approximately US$39 billion. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies. 

With this transaction, AT&T commits to a "significant expansion" of robust 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) deployment to 95% of the U.S. population to reach an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans -- including rural communities and small towns, according to AT& Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson.  This helps achieve the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and President Obama’s goals to connect “every part of America to the digital age.” T-Mobile USA does not have a clear path to delivering LTE, he adds.

As part of the transaction, Deutsche Telekom will receive an...

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Mar 18
Forrester: iPad will dominate the tablet market as the iPod does...

Forrester Research (http://www.forrester.com) has released a study of the tablet plans from various vendors, concluding (not surprisingly) that Apple will dominate this market as it does the MP3 player market with the iPod.

The reason, as noted by "PC World" (http://macte.ch/8b0ED): Android tablets, along with the coming HP WebOS and RIM BlackBerry tablets, are overpriced, sold in cell phone stores that customers dislike visiting. And they're not compelling products in their own right.

However, the Forrester study says that most would-be tablet buyers really want a Windows tablet. Now THAT I do find hard to believe.

-- Dennis Sellers

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Mar 18
29% of apps in Mac App Store are games

The Mac App Store has 2,225 applications available in the store approximately two months post-launch, according to the Distimo research group (http://www.distimo.com). Comparatively, the Apple App Store for iPad had 8,099 applications two months post-launch.

Although on the Mac gaming has been less popular than on Windows, the Mac App Store promises a bright future for Mac gaming. There are already 646 games in this store (29%), and 39% of the most popular applications are games as well.

The proportion of free applications in the Mac App Store is lower than that of, say, the app store for iOS devices. Only 12% of the applications are free.

| Read more »
Mar 18
iPhone/iPod touch/iPad apps for March 18

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

Stefan Preuss has announced Hummingz EVO 1.0 for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch devices. It's an US$0.99 retro arcade shooter with extras and boss enemies. Shoot your way through many different levels filled with nasty bugs, spiders, frogs, bees and more. Hummingz EVO offers two game modes.

Big Blue Bubble has released Burn the Rope HD 1.0 for iPad. In the $4.99 game, players have to feed the fire and burn as much rope as they can in each level to progress.

Digiarty has introduced PetsWar 1.0, their new 2D tower defense game for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices. In the $2.99 game, you take on the role of the cowboy whose country has been destroyed by an evil wizard. Players get help from pets to build up sufficient forces to drive back the...

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Mar 18
Macgamestore.com offers 'Mac Games For Japan Relief Bundle...

Macgamestore.com has announced the "Mac Games For Japan Relief Bundle." This time-limited bundle of 15 games is aimed at helping the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Available now thru Monday, March 21, this exclusive collection combines hit games from some of the most popular names in independent Mac gaming today. Proceeds will be donated to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami disaster relief fund through the American Red Cross.

The Mac Games For Japan Relief Bundle contains US$200 worth of games for just $19.95, a savings of nearly $185. The games are: Destination: Treasure Island; Escape The Museum 2; LUXOR 5th Passage; Diamond Detective; Jewel Quest 4: Heritage; The Stroke of Midnight Collector's Edition; Mishap 2: An Intentional Haunting Collector's Edition; Cake Mania 3; Sally's Salon; Brain App; Mondo Solitaire; Twisted Lands: Shadow Town; The Treasures of Montezuma 2; Fishdom H20: Hidden Odyssey; and 4 Elements.

| Read more »
Mar 18
iSuppli: Japanese earthquake poses potential supply problems for...

The aftermath of the Japanese earthquake may cause logistical disruptions and supply shortages for the iPad 2, which employs several components manufactured in the disaster-stricken country—including a hard-to-replace electronic compass, the battery and possibly the advanced technology glass in the display, IHS iSuppli (http://www.isuppli.com) research indicates.

The IHS iSuppli teardown analysis of the iPad 2 so far has been able to identify five parts sourced from Japanese suppliers: NAND flash from Toshiba Corp., dynamic random access memory (DRAM) made by Elpida Memory Inc., an electronic compass from AKM Semiconductor, the touch screen overlay glass likely from Asahi Glass Co. and the system battery from Apple Japan Inc. There potentially are other components from Japan in the iPad 2; however, the teardown analysis process cannot always identify all components’ countries of origin.

iSuppli says...

| Read more »
Mar 18
PopCap discounts games, donates sales to Japan relief efforts

PopCap Games (http://www.popcap.com) is discounting the prices of the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad adaptations of all of its games including Bejeweled, Bookworm, Chuzzle, Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies for 48 hours to raise funds for earthquake-stricken Japan.

Partnering with the Red Cross, PopCap will donate all of its revenues from the sale, which begins Saturday, March 19, at 12:01 a.m. (Pacific) and ends at midnight on Sunday, March 20. The price of each iPhone and iPod touch title is reduced to US$0.99 cents during that time, while the iPad adaptations are reduced to 1.99. Consumers can purchase the games via the Apple App Store or by going to PopCap.com.

| Read more »
Mar 18
HDRFactory creates HDR images from series of photos

Akvis (http://www.Akvis.com) has released Akvis HDRFactory 1.0, which is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 and higher. The software creates HDR-images from a series of photographs taken at different exposures or from a single photograph.

You can create stylized images with colors and unique effects. HDRFactory also includes a deghosting tool for removing ghost artifacts that sometimes appear when combining photos with moving objects. The app can also be used for photo correction. You can adjust color saturation and brightness, and bring out the detail in dark and bright areas.

Advanced types of licenses (Deluxe, Business) offer additional features. They include a tool that helps to repair the so-called "ghosts" that sometimes appear when creating an HDR image. These "unwelcome guests" (semi-transparent doubled passersby, cars, tree leaves, etc) are a result of combining a series of source photos that...

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