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Mar 14
'Consumer Reports' looks at the iPad 2

Many stores reportedly sold out of the Apple iPad 2 during its first weekend of availability, but given the demand, more of Apple's new tablets are sure to be available soon. Based on Consumer Reports' preliminary tests (http://macte.ch/E9jRr) with the iPad 2 samples in their labs, the consumer testing organization/publication found the new version to be an improvement over the original iPad -- without any increase in price.

One major difference in tech specs is that the iPad 2 has a new processor that's supposed to make it far speedier than the original. While performing routine tasks such as Web browsing and e-mail in their tests, Consumer Reports didn't notice any significant speed improvement, as CR Senior Program Leader Dean Gallea notes in a video. The biggest speed boost, a 9x improvement in graphics processing, should be apparent when you run demanding 3D games, but it's not clear whether any games...

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Mar 14
Analysts: Apple may have sold one million iPads so far

Some analysts think Apple sold close to a million units of the iPad 2 during its debut weekend, reports "Reuters" (http://macte.ch/3XQb5). By comparison, the original version of the iPad, which launched in April of 2010, crossed the one-million mark 28 days after its launch.

Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White told "Reuters" it was difficult to find an iPad 2 over the weekend. "Our field checks over the weekend indicate that the iPad 2 sold out at every Apple and non-Apple store we contacted," White wrote in a research note. "In fact, all the stores had worked through iPad 2 inventory by Saturday afternoon, and there were no new iPad 2 deliveries on Sunday."

Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland thinks Apple sold close to one million iPad 2's in the opening weekend. Best Buy on Friday said some of its outlets ran out of the tablet and its accessories within 10 minutes.

Apple shares...

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Mar 14
Protemac Netmine gets new interface, new rules, more

ProteMac has updated NetMine (http://www.protemac.com/NetMine/), software designed to control and monitor all the Internet and network activity on your computer, to version 2.0. The upgrade has a new interface, new rules, a new network engine and a new notification center.

NetMine offers identification of an application's address and port and indication of timeframes for NetMine's activity. The software controls network traffic by specifying software's default behavior and setting concrete access rules for the selected applications, as well. This firewall enables you to grant or deny permission to access the Internet for the selected application. The special Notification window warns you about unknown connection offering to allow or deny it once, till the end of Internet/network connection or forever.

Designed as a two-way firewall, NetMine establishes control over incoming and...

| Read more »
Mar 14
Sweeter Rhythm releases Harmony 2.0 for worship presentation

Sweeter Rhythm has released Harmony 2.0. It's an update of the worship presentation application for Mac OS X 10.6.5 and higher; version 2.0 has over 20 new features and improvements.

Harmony 2.0's Themes feature addresses the number one feature requested by customers: more control over text. In addition to Harmony 1.0's LyricDance motion-lyric and Quartz Composition features, Harmony 2.0 supports Concord.

Concord is an app that runs on a Mac or iOS device. It's a text display driven by Harmony. When Harmony projects lyrics, Concord gets those lyrics over a WiFi network and displays them. It can be used, for example, as a confidence monitor for a band member or to provide large and close-up lyrics to a partially-sighted person.

Harmony 2.0 also offers new language support for French and German readers. Upgrades for existing customers are free. Harmony is normally priced at US$149. Until Easter, it's on sale for $99, available directly from Sweeter Rhythm (...

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Mar 14
Analyst: iPad 2 totally sold out

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says in a note to clients -- as reported by "Fortune" (http://macte.ch/dgHHO) -- that the iPad 2 is apparently totally sold out -- and that 70% of the units were sold to new buyers.

The analysts estimates that 400,000 to 500,000 iPad 2s have been sold, compared with 300,000 of the original iPads in its first weekend on sale last year. The difference is that nearly all those iPad 2s were sold in one day; stocks were essentially depleted by Saturday and not replenished.

Munster says 70% of iPad 2 buyers were new to the iPad, compared with 23% of iPhone 4 buyers who were new to the iPhone at launch. His studies show that buyers were split almost evenly between Mac and PC users (51%/49%). By contrast, the split for the original iPad was 74%/26%.

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Mar 14
iTunes offers way to help victims of Japan's tsunami,...

Apple has added a page to the iTunes Store, allowing you to donate money to the Red Cross to aid the victims of Japan’s tsunami and earthquake. Youo can donate amounts ranging from US$5 to $200.

A note on the page says: "Your gift to the American Red Cross will support our disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific. Your support will enable the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a certain disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters."

-- Dennis Sellers

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Mar 14
ScreenFloat is new screenshot utility for Mac OS X

Eternal Storms Software has introduced ScreenFloat 1.0 for Mac OS X (10.6.6 and higher). It's available at the Mac App Store for US$7.99.

The app is designed to simplify the users' workflow by letting them create screenshots that float above all other windows, eliminating the need to resize or move windows around just to keep it visible on the display. ScreenFloat includes customizable keyboard shortcuts, as well as a Shots Browser to categorize and organize screenshots taken with the application.

In the Shots Browser, closed shots are collected, tagged, titled, and organized in collections or smart collections. Collections are basically folders that users manually add created shots to. Smart Collections contain shots based on criteria the user specifies.

To make creation of floating shots for text easier, ScreenFloat implements a system service that works with all Cocoa applications' selected text. For the user's convenience, there is a screencast available...

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Mar 14
Sources say Apple won't include NFC in the iPhone 5

Apple won't include "wave and pay" chips in the new iPhone to be released later this year, "dashing industry hopes that a universal standard for the technology would be adopted in 2011," according to "The Independent" (http://macte.ch/rNUSA

Quoting "sources at several of the largest mobile operators in the UK," the article says Apple has disclosed in meetings that it wouldn't be including Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in the upcoming iPhone 5.

NFC is a short-range wireless connection technology that would turn the iPhone into an electronic wallet or security passkey. NFC is already in use in Asia and is expected to explode here in the next three to five years, especially if Apple adopts the technology.

"The Independent" says that one source close to the discussions said: "The new iPhone will not have NFC, Apple told the operators it was concerned by the lack of a clear standard across...

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Mar 14
'iFixIt' tears down the iPad 2

"iFixIt' has torn down the iPad 2. You can read all about it at http://macte.ch/hPbb3 and http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/mH4QIwCSrxTHGNFk.huge or see a video at http://macte.ch/SXaIb ; however, here is the summary from "iFixIt":

"Prior to starting the teardown, we guessed that the glass front panel was no longer held in place by tabs. We were correct. The new tapered edge on the iPad 2 prevents any kind of tabs from being used; instead, Apple engineers used generous helpings of adhesive to keep the front glass in place. Consequently, the front panel is very difficult to remove -- it's nearly impossible to open the iPad 2 without shattering the glass. We'll be working hard in the forthcoming weeks to provide...

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Mar 14
QuickerTek's Little Black Box works on the iPad 2

QuickerTek says their "Little Black Box" (http://www.quickertek.com/products/ipad_charge_monitor_usb.php) works for Apple's newly released iPad 2 as well as the first generation. It's an universal USB battery pack that allows you to use any AA battery to charge or power your idevice family or virtually any USB powered device.

The unit is compact os you can take it on a airplane, camping or on road trips. With the Little Black Box, you can use 1.2v or 1.5v Alkaline, Carbon or Ni Metal Hydride throwaways or 1.6v NiZinc rechargeable AA batteries, as long as all four AA batteries are the same kind and brand. The internal circuitry compensates for different battery voltages to supply the correct voltage for USB compatibility. Using 1.6v NiZinc rechargeable batteries work the best because they have the highest capacity (mAhr).

...

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Mar 14
Store News for Mac OS X speeds up best deals update times

Independent software developer Christian Kienle has released Store News 1.1 (http://store-news-app.com/), an update of his free application for Mac OS X that's available in the Mac App Store. The best deals are updated every 30 minutes instead of every 24 hours.

Store News 1.1 fetches the latest deals every 15 minutes in the background automatically. Also, you can now sort by price, discount, application name and category.

Store News offers a way of finding out the best deals in the Mac App Store. It shows categories of apps that are totally free and apps that still cost a little bit of money.

Users may share what they've found via Twitter. Store News requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later and can be found in the Productivity category.

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Mar 14
VidConvert for Mac OS X gets contextual menu

Independent software developer Reggie Ashworth has updated VidConvert, his video converter for Mac OS X, to version 1.0.5. The upgrade adds a contextual menu and addresses compatibility issues.

VidConvert 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...

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Mar 14
App Tamer for Mac OS X updated to version 1.0.5

St. Clair Software has released App Tamer 1.0.5 (http://www.stclairsoft.com/AppTamer/), an update of the app for Mac OS X 10.5 and higher that gives you control over your applications so you can save battery and CPU power. In the new version right-clicking on a stopped application reveals a contextual menu that allows you to turn AutoStop off and quit, force quit, or relaunch the application.

This version works around an issue that caused Parallels Desktop to freeze your keyboard and mouse for a few seconds when it was autostopped. Also, App Tamer 1.0.5 works with the developer seed of Mac OS X Lion.

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...

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Mar 14
Counchbase announces general availability of Counchbase Server

Couchbase (http://www.counchbase.com) a NoSQL database company created by the merger of CouchOne and Membase, has released Couchbase Server, which is powered by the world's most widely deployed NoSQL database technology, Apache CouchDB.

With CouchDB at its core, Couchbase Server's schema-free document model is perfect for web applications, according to the folks at Counbase. Its built-in JavaScript-based map/reduce-indexing engine provide a way to analyze and query data. It has peer-based replication capabilities, allowing full queries, updates and additions, even while disconnected from the network. 

Couchbase Server leverages the standard http protocol, allowing it to be integrated with a wvariety of languages and applications. Couchbase Server also incorporates geospatial indexing via GeoCouch, an open source component developed by a Couchbase engineer, enabling developers to create...

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Mar 14
Inspector Pro 3.0.v2 supports FileMaker Server

Beezwax Datatools and FM::Nexus have released Inspector Pro 3.0v2 (http://www.beezwax.net/solutions/inspectorPro), an update to the tool for analyzing & debugging FileMaker database systems. It now now supports FileMaker Server, allowing a team of developers to easily collaborate on database optimization.

Files can now be opened on an iPad using FileMaker Go. In addition, Inspector Pro 3.0v2 itself can check other FileMaker Pro databases for compatibility when deployed on iPad or iPhone with FileMaker Go. Also, version 3.0v2 gathers a summary of unreferenced objects in a FileMaker database solution, and the update includes various fixes to address known issues.

Inspector Pro 3.0v2's new support for FileMaker Server allows multiple developers to collaborate more easily on database optimization. This is useful for multiple developers working together on...

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Mar 14
Monotype Imaging adds Bradley Type fonts

Monotype Imaging Holdings has released the six-font Bradley Type family of handwriting fonts into the company's ITC typeface collection. The newest additions can be licensed and downloaded from Monotype Imaging's Fonts.com, ITCFonts.com and Linotype.com stores. Bradley Type is also available for website design from Fonts.com Web Fonts.

Designed by calligrapher, lettering artist and type designer Richard Bradley, the latest design is intended to be a versatile counterpart to his ITC Bradley Hand fonts, released in 1995. Bradley Type is available in weights of regular, bold and heavy. A complementary italic design is also available in all three weights. In addition, Bradley Type includes a suite of ligatures for each font, which extends the value and versatility of the family.

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Mar 14
'MUG Event Calendar': BusyCal, iPhoto '11, iPad 2

This week's "MUG Event Calendar" features two special speakers, and anniversary celebration for a FCP group, and lots of interesting topics.

Adam Engst of "TidBITS" and Take Control will visit a group in his home state of New York, while digital photography expert Derrick Story will take the stage at a California group. SF Cutters, the San Francisco Final Cut Pro User Group, will celebrate 11 years in business, with several special guests, including Bonfire Labs, Adobe and Aja.

Other topics on this week’s agenda include SuperSync, creating a home entertainment network, BusyCal, iPhoto ‘11, going paperless, home networking … oh yeah, and a little something called the iPad 2.

"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...

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Mar 11
Analyst: most iPad 2 buyers are new to the platform

Analyst Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets told clients -- as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) that of the 15 million iPads sold by Apple in 2010, between 15 and 20% of those early adopters will upgrade to the iPad 2.

He sees up to a fifth of original iPad buyers switching to the iPad 2 over the next 12 months. However, Abramsky says that most who buy an iPad 2 this year will be new to the platform.

He expects Apple will sell 28 million tablets this calendar year. Abramsky forecasts that Apple will sell over 500,000 iPad 2s this weekend.

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Mar 11
iPhone/iPod touch/iPad apps for March 11

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

Sinusoid has announced AKLite 1.0 for the iPhone and iPad, a real time spectrum analyzer for audio. The free app is used to calculate the frequencies in the Spectrum Analyser and displayed in real time. The frequency is displayed in either logarithmic or linear scale and this is selectable. The FFT length used in AKLite is 2048; interpolation gives resolution to within 1Hz.

Mac Dev Studio has released Scales HD 1.0 for iPhone, and iPod touch devices. This US$2.99 virtual measuring application offers on-the-go professionals a flexible scaling resource. Scales HD includes all of the most widely used industry standard architectural and engineering scales, as well as practical field tools with multi-use options.

CobbySoft Media has introduced Thermal...

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Mar 11
Dell increases PC market lead over Acer -- thanks to the iPad

Dell’s competitive position is improving in the global computer market, thanks to strong corporate sales as well as an unlikely helper: the iPad, according to the iHS iSuppli research group (http://www.isuppli.com).

U.S.-based Dell in the fourth quarter solidified its hold on second place in the global computer business as No. 3 player Acer saw challenging conditions continue in the consumer markets, new IHS iSuppli research indicates. Acer’s decline was spurred by rising competition for its consumer-focused netbook and notebook computers from the iPad and other media tablets.

U.S.-based Dell in the fourth quarter saw its market share lead in unit shipments expand over Taiwan’s Acer to 1.9 percentage points, up from a 0.4 point gap in the third quarter. With Dell’s fourth-quarter shipments remaining flat compared with the third quarter, its market share lead was entirely due to a precipitous 12.9%...

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Mar 11
NewerTech announces NuShelf mounts for the Mac Mini

Newer Technology (http://www.newertech.com) has announced the NewerTech NuShelf Mount (http://www.newertech.com/products/macmini_acc.php) for installing one or more 2010 Mac mini computers and/or Apple Time Capsule wireless hard drives under a desk, shelf, or cabinet.

Designed and made in the USA and priced starting from US$39.95, the precision manufactured acrylic NuShelf Mount is designed to save desktop space by relocating a 2010 Mac mini and/or Time Capsule to a more protected, unused mounting location. Two models are available.

The $39.95 NuShelf Mount holds one 2010 Mac mini or one Time Capsule. The $44.95 NuShelf Dual Mount holds two 2010 Apple Mac minis, two Apple Time Capsules, or one mini and one Time Capsule $44.95.

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Mar 11
iPad 2 may usher in mainstream video calls

The iPad 2 may jumpstart the video call era, says "Investor's Business Daily" (http://macte.ch/08vBs). The second-gen Apple tablet sports front- and rear-facing cameras along with FaceTime software.

Apple introduced FaceTime video chat in June with the launch of its iPhone 4 smart phone. Since then, it has made the feature available in the iPod touch media players and for Macs. It's available for Mac OS X at the Mac App Store for US$0.99.

FaceTime for Mac makes it possible to communicate with anyone on an iPhone 4, iPod touch, or Mac from your Mac. If you use one of the new MacBook Pros you get 720p clarity.

All you need is an Apple ID and an email address and you’re ready to roll. To start a video call with someone, find her entry in the contacts list. FaceTime works with Address Book so you don’t have to enter your contacts from scratch.

"Apple's marketing machine will do a lot to...

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Mar 11
Apple may sell 600,000 iPads in weekend debut

Apple may sell 600,000 of the the iPad 2 when it debuts this weekend, extending the device’s lead in a crowding market, according to "Bloomberg Businessweek" (http://macte.ch/p2luf). The iPad 1 sold 300,000 in 24 hours.

The iPad 2 went on sale on Apple’s website at 4 a.m., then appears in U.S. stores at 5 p.m. Brian Marshall, an analyst at Gleacher & Co. who predicted more than a half- million in unit sales, is one of several who expect the iPad 2 to outpace its predecessor, notes "Bloomberg Businessweek."

Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies, projects sales of 500,000 iPad 2s in two days. He -- along with analysts from Rodman & Renshaw LLC and Piper Jaffray & Co. -- also predicts the device will outsell the first iPad.

| Read more »
Mar 11
82% of future tablet buyers want an iPad

Since its initial release, the Apple iPad has been the de facto standard by which competing tablets are measured. But with the release of the iPad 2 just around the corner, can new tablets from Motorola, Research in Motion and a host of others successfully launch and compete?

During February, the ChangeWave (http://www.changewave.com)research group surveyed 3,091 consumers on tablet demand and future buying trends -- including customer satisfaction, tablet cannibalization of other electronic devices, and consumer preference for wireless tablet services. The survey was completed just before Apple’s iPad 2 announcement.

Future tablet demand remains extraordinarily high among consumers – with better than one-in-four respondents (27%) saying they plan on buying a tablet device in the future. That’s two points higher than in a previous ChangeWave survey in November.

Focusing on just the next...

| Read more »
Mar 11
Stock Calculator Release 2 available for Mac OS X

System Support Products has announced Stock Calculator 2.0, an update to their profit/loss and share price calculator app for Mac OS X 10.4 or later. With the upgrade, the application re-written as a Universal Binary for native execution on both Intel and PowerPC processors.

Multiple calculation windows can now be open simultaneously in Stock Calculator. There are also user interface updates and improvements.

Stock Calculator is designed for performing "what if'" analyses, such as determining what share price a stock needs to attain in order to return a specified profit. It can determine the total cash outlay, per share buying price, or number of shares, as well as the net profit amount and total return percentage, or the per share selling price.

Stock Calculator for Mac OS X is currently available for a one-time charge of US$14.95 from the System Support Products website (http://www....

| Read more »
 
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