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Jan 10
Apple to scrap restocking fee?

Apple will scrap a 10% restocking fees for customers returning products to its retail stores, according to Internet reports, reports "NetworkWorld" (http://macte.ch/HbElU). The policy, expected to take effect Tuesday, coincides with an event from Verizon, where it's expected it will be announced that the company will begin carrying the iPhone.

Currently Apple's store policy is to automatically charge 10% of a product's retail price, known as a restocking fee, when you choses to return a previously opened product. The amount is charged as a fee for Apple to refund the customer and restock the merchandise.

"9 To 5 Mac" (http://macte.ch/oGfxQ) reports that from Tuesday, Apple will cease the restocking fee practice from its retail chain. The 14-day return period will still apply, but if you want to upgrade one of the products you bought...

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Jan 10
Zevrix releases Deliver Express

Zevrix Solutions (http://www.zevrix.com) has announced Deliver Express, an automated solution to send and share files across the Internet and local networks.

The app 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 email confirmation issued upon delivery. Recipients can download the file using a link inserted automatically into notification e-mail.

The license prices are based on the maximum...

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Jan 10
Unblunder 1.0 offers protection against accidental data loss

Yazsoft has released Unblunder 1.0 (http://yazsoft.com/products/unblunder/), their new recovery solution for Mac OS X. It was developed specifically to help protect against accidental data loss by offering Mac OS X a "Recently Deleted" feature, giving you time to recover files before they're gone forever.

Unblunder uses Mac OS X's UNIX underpinnings to hang on to files after the Trash has been emptied. When started, it runs quietly in the background and stays out of your way, according to the folks at Yazsoft. For optimal file recovery and peace of mind, Unblunder needs to be running before an accident happens.

By default, trashed files over 250 MB in size linger for five minutes and smaller files are kept for a day. Of course, you can tweak all these settings to match your work style.

Unblunder requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later. It costs US$10 for a single-user...

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Jan 10
PocketLabworks announces iRiffPort, PocketGK for iOS devices

PocketLabworks (http://www.pocketlabsworks.com) has announced two new products. iRiffPort is the a 24-bit USB digital audio guitar interface adapter cable connector for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. PocketGK is an iOS bass guitar amp app designed in partnership with Gallien-Krueger specifically for electric bass guitar amp simulation.

The iRiffPort 24-bit USB digital audio guitar interface adapter cable connector in combination with PocketGK and PocketAmp turns your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad into a practice guitar amplifier and effects processor, according to Kevin Robertson, PocketLabworks' president and lead developer.

The iRiffPort 24 bit USB digital audio guitar interface adapter cable connector and PocketGK iOS bass guitar amp app will be demonstrated Jan. 13-16, n Anaheim, California at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2011 trade show in PocketLabworks’...

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Jan 10
Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ customer service using FaceTime

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide says Starwood Preferred Guest members can now connect with the company's customer service agents using FaceTime, Apple's video calling feature on iPhone 4, the new iPod touch and Macs.

To launch a video call, SPG members call 1-866-500-0369 from their iPhone 4, new iPod touch or Mac. A SPG customer service representative will answer ready to handle any customer service inquiry, such as making or changing reservations, booking award stays, checking account balances, or providing more information about Starwood’s 1000 hotels and resorts across the globe.

“Starwood Hotels is proud to offer face-to-face video calling for SPG members with FaceTime,” says David Godsman, vice president Global Web Services. "Apple's innovative technology allows us to provide a meaningful, personalized experience that will resonate with our most loyal customers.”

FaceTime works over Wi-Fi on the iPhone 4, the new iPod touch and Macs running Mac OS...

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Jan 10
Electroacoustics Toolbox 3.0 available at the Mac App Store

Faber Acoustical (http://www.faberacoustical.com) has introduced version 3 of its flagship product, Electroacoustics Toolbox. The new version features an enhanced user interface, better control over audio device configurations, and more comprehensive user preferences.

Electroacoustics Toolbox brings tools to the Mac (OS 10.6 and higher) for multi-channel, audio-band data acquisition and real-time analysis of electrical and acoustical signals and systems. It's available at the Mac App Store in the Utilities category.

Electroacoustics Toolbox 2 costs US$599. A 30-day demo is available for download at the Faber Acoustical web site.

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Jan 10
URL Union manages your unified bookmarks

PowerSurge Publishing has just released URL Union 1.00 for Mac OS X, Windows and virtually all versions of Unix. The app manages a user's collection of URLs with the ability to import, merge and publish them in a variety formats.

URL Union can import from Delicious.com and Yojimbo, as well as other more common sources. The app can also publish a bookmarks collection in a series of HTML files that can be read by any Web browser.  

URL Union is written in Java. A demo version of the program can be downloaded from the PowerSurge Publishing web site (http://www.powersurgepub.com). Registration is US$12 for a single-user license.

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Jan 10
Codeminion releases Phantasmat Collector's Edition

Codeminion has announced Phantasmat Collector's Edition, its newest adventure game for Mac OS X and Windows.

Here's how the game is described: "Phantasmat marks the evolution of the adventure-horror genre in casual games. Combining compelling plot with hidden-object and match-3 mechanics, this game follows up with beautifully hand drawn art and AAA production values. The player can pick from three vastly different difficulty modes, and is able to switch the gameplay from Hidden Object to Match-3 at any moment.

"The game immerses the player in the dark story of a sunken city and mysterious hotel still inhabited by its former citizens. The suspense is heightened by an impressive soundtrack by Rob Westwood.

"While Phantasmat operates in the realm of modern casual adventure using hidden object and match-3 mechanic, it also features a deep story and setting more akin to the classic adventure games of the past. Each of the complex characters the player meets is...

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Jan 10
Wolverton Apps releases SkyWriting 1.0 on the Mac App Store

Wolverton Apps has announced SkyWriting 1.0 (http://www.skywritingapp.com/) on the new Mac App Store. The app, which requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 and higher, lets users simulate writing with smoke in the sky over various backgrounds, such as well known city skylines, palm tree lined beaches, and famous landmarks.

The smoke then realistically drifts away in real time, in some cases staying behind the foreground features of the image so as to appear as real-life skywriting. SkyWriting has been popular on the iPad platform, at one time holding the #11 spot in entertainment iPad apps in the United States. Recent updates have added features allowing users to use their own pictures as backgrounds, to slow or speed up the wafting of the smoke, or save a snapshot to send to friends via email.

In addition to the features of the iPad and iPhone versions, such as colored smoke, the Mac version brings...

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Jan 10
Online marketing course for app developers offered

Rewire Media Group has unveiled an online marketing course for app developers on a budget.

Smarter App Marketing (http://www.smarterappmarketing.com) is an US$47 webinar-driven course designed to help app developers gain the skills necessary to increase app sales, grow their business, and get noticed. The course, a series of four live webinars with Q&A, begins Jan. 20 and ends on Feb. 10.

By using live Webinars with personal Q&A sessions, Smarter App Marketing differentiates itself by focusing on the needs of the new app developer and providing valuable content in a timely fashion to help them gain skills for life, according to Shane Ketterman, creator of the course. The webinars are one hour long with 30 minutes allotted for questions.

| Read more »
Jan 10
'Maclean's' launches 'Newsmakers' issue...

Interactive agency Built by the Factory has partnered with Rogers Communications to bring "Maclean’s," Canada’s leading weekly print magazine, into a new medium with the launch of their “Newsmakers” issue iPad edition, now available on iTunes.

The magazine’s more than 20 million readers will find familiar favorites and then some, with the ability to flip through pages like a print magazine, access to bonus image galleries, embedded video, an interactive table of contents, an “At a Glance” view of the magazine, as well as bookmarking and saving of articles for future reference. The app is fully integrated with social networks and encourages article sharing with Facebook friends and linking to Twitter feeds, and the interactive “Live Letters” page and “Feedback” feature provide up-to-the minute feedback on the stories and allow users to send feedback directly to the magazine.

You can check out a preview of the app at...

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Jan 10
New Class on Demand webinar looks at mastering Motion

Class on Demand, a provider of professional educational products for creative markets, has announced the latest "Class on Demand Legends Series" weekly training webinar featuring digital media instructor Larry Jordan.

The new webinar, "Master Motion -- Even If Motion Graphics Scare You" can be accessed in streaming video delivery format through the Class on Demand Learning Platform (http://www.classondemand.com/legends/). An expansion of the current Class on Demand training lineup, "Class on Demand Legends Series" provides an exclusive "inside look" at the inner workings of influential industry experts and figureheads.

"Master Motion -- Even If Motion Graphics Scare You" is designed to help apprehensive Final Cut Pro editors let go of their fear of learning Motion. The webinar will help users conquer the Motion interface, discover the power of Motion templates, create...

| Read more »
Jan 10
iOS Developer training scheduled for March, April

About Objects has announced additional dates for public classes on iPhone and iPad development in March and April.

The courses cover ANSI C, Objective-C, and iOS SDK programming, and will be held at the company's Reston, Virginia, headquarters, as well as near the Apple campus in Cupertino, California. The courses are taught by Objective-C developers, and feature a mix of lecture and hands-on exercises covering the fundamentals of iOS development, including ANSI C, Objective-C, and iOS SDK programming.

Pricing begins at US$1,295 for the two-day "Objective-C for Beginners" class, on up to $2,595 for the five-day "Introduction to iPhone and iPad Development." Students who wish to attend both Objective-C for Beginners and Introduction to iPhone and iPad Development, or who wish to attend all three classes can sign up for a bundled offering at a substantial discount. Early registration discounts are also available. For more info, including dates, go to the About Objects...

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Jan 10
'MUG Event Calendar': Internet safety, the Mac App...

"The MUG Event Calendar" is back at full throttle this week, with lots of homegrown presentations and demos, as well as some high-profile guests.

Steve Sande of "The Unofficial Apple Weblog" (TUAW) will talk about Internet safety with a Colorado group, and author Jeff Carlson of "TidBITS" will discuss the latest version of iMovie via iChat with a Portland group.

The Mac App Store is sure be both an official and unofficial topic of discussion at many meetings, along with iLife’ 11 and its component applications. A few of the many other topics being talked about this week include geotagging digital photos, the Apple TV, Reunion, backups, 3D video production, presentations, going paperless 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,...

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Jan 07
Jan. 11 event fuels talk of Verizon iPhone

Verizon has invited members of the media to an event next Tuesday, Jan. 11, in New York City, fueling rumors of an impending iPhone announcement, reports "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com).

On Friday, Verizon sent out formal invitations to members of the press for an event to be held at the Lincoln Center. The invitation says event will feature Verizon Wireless president Lowell McAdam, but no other details were provided.

Of course, as the gang at "AppleInsider" notes, Apple normally holds events to introduce new products at its own corporate headquarters in Cupertino, CA. If next week's event is for the much-anticipated Verizon-compatible CDMA iPhone, it would be unique for Verizon to make the announcement instead of Apple CEO Executive Steve Jobs, they note.

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Jan 07
CES: 4i Concepts debuts new iOS device accessories

4i Concepts (http://4iconcepts.com/) is debuting three products for the iPhone, iPad and iPod at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. One is the second generation 4iThumbs (US$24.95), an overlay screen with ridges to guide iPhone users’ thumbs for accurate text input.

Providing tactile feedback similar to a QWERTY keypad, the invisible design allows for blind typing on touchscreen interfaces while protecting the face of the phone, without blocking any portion of the screen. Improved from the first generation design, which launched in November 2009, 4iThumbs2 can be removed and stored on the back of the phone when not in use and requires no installation.

Designed for iPhones 3G/S and 4 and the iPod touch, it comes in both landscape and portrait versions. It's available with just the keypad (4iThumbs2, $12.95) or with a bumper compatible with the iPhone 4 to securely hold the keypad in...

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Jan 07
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Jan. 7

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

The Gamma Project has announced my Travel Assistant 1.0 for iOS devices. It's an US$2.99 app for global travelers that integrates into a singlepackage a 36-language translator, a 71-currency converter, and a smart expense tracker with automatic currency conversion. In addition to expense management at home and abroad, the app features: auto-refresh of exchange rates, the ability to email expenses as a formatted table and/or CSV file; the ability to edit or delete trips and entries; and a built-in calculator.

Nuclear Nova Software has introduced Liquid Defense Lite and Hydrothermal Lite, free versions of their recent games, Liquid Defense and Hydrothermal. Liquid Defense is a puzzle game where you must eliminate all of the incoming water, gas and oil....

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Jan 07
iPhone tops the Virtue 100 list for third straight year

Apple’s iPhone continued its reign earning the top spot again for the third-straight year on the Vitrue 100 list, which annually ranks the most social brands. Rounding out the top five are Blackberry, Disney, Android and iPad. Apple ranked number seven on the list, the iPod number 15 and the Mac number 75.

The Vitrue 100 measures a brand’s “social mentions” by analyzing online conversations on a daily basis across social networks, blogs, micro-blogs, photo and video sharing sites. The rankings represent the sheer volume of social mentions, not sentiment. This is the third annual Vitrue 100. Go here for current and past rankings: http://www.vitrue.com/smi .

“Our third annual Vitrue 100 rankings revealed some surprising and interesting things about some of the world’s most iconic brands, as well as newer brands, and their effective use of social media,” says Vitrue CEO Reggie Bradford. “iPhone...

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Jan 07
Mac App Store hacked

A number of security loopholes in the applications listed on the Mac App Store allow users to download paid applications for free and repackage bootleg programs with malicious code, according to "eWeek" report (http://macte.ch/HEftd).

Less than 24 hours after Apple unveiled the Mac App Store for the Mac OS X, reports emerged on various user forums, including "Pastebin" and "Daring Fireball" (http://www.daringfireball.net), that some paid apps don't properly validate App Store receipts, making it easy to obtain those programs for free, the article adds. Users can copy the App Store receipt from any legitimate Mac App Store download -- free or paid -- and paste it to validate other paid applications, according to the posted instruction.

"This isn't true for all paid Mac App Store apps," wrote John Gruber of Daring Fireball,...

| Read more »
Jan 07
Chinese web site selling fraudulent iTunes accounts

"Tens of thousands" of fraudulent iTunes accounts are for sale on a major Chinese web site, according to the "BBC" (http://macte.ch/XoeTu). About 50,000 accounts linked to stolen credit cards are listed on auction site TaoBao, the country's equivalent of eBay, the article adds.

Buyers are promised temporary access to unlimited downloads from the service for as little as 1 yuan (10p) a time. Apple, which recently stepped up iTunes' security after a series of break-ins, declined to comment on the matter to the "BBC."

| Read more »
Jan 07
CES: WeSC debuts headphone collection

At this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, WeSC, a Stockholm-based street-fashion brand short for “We Are the Superlative Conspiracy,” is unveiling its fall 2011 premium headphone, expanding the brand’s line of seasonal and non-seasonal headphones and earbuds.

WeSC seasonal collections are inspired by the brand’s collaborations with visionaries across the different genres of culture, art, sports, music and creativity, according to CEO and co-founder Greger Hagelin. The new line will include such models as The Standad, Jason Lee and Bing Bang.

| Read more »
Jan 07
IK Multimedia offers handheld microphone for iOS devices

IK Multimedia (http://www.ikmultimedia.com) has announced the iRig Mic, a handheld quality condenser microphone for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, designed for all vocal and mobile sound needs. You can pre-order it now for US$59.99.

iRig Mic is designed especially for the singer, vocalist and songwriter on the move, as well as for recording speeches, instruments, performances or any other sound sources in the studio, on stage or in the field. Its sports an unidirectional electret-condenser microphone capsule that provides quality recording, in both close mic and long distance mic conditions, and real-time monitoring with its dual mini-jack connector.

A three-level gain switch makes it adjustable for any sound pressure condition from soft speaking to loud playing. The iRig Mic can be mounted on any mic stand, leaving the iOS device free for app operation.

iRig Mic also comes with...

| Read more »
Jan 07
O'Reilly Media releases 'Office 2011 for Mac Missing...

O'Reilly Media has released "Office 2011 for Macintosh: The Missing Manual," an 816-page book by Christopher Grover. It costs US$27.99 for the ebook version and $34.99 for the print version.

Topics covered include: taking advantage of new tools; creating professional looking documents; crunching numbers with ease; staying organized; making presentations; and using the programs together. Grover has worked as a technical writer, advertising copywriter and product publicist for more than 25 years.

| Read more »
Jan 07
CES: ThermaPak introduces new laptop, iPad cooling products

ThermaPak is introducing new products at this week's 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The new products are:

° IcePad (US$34.99) – ThermaPAK’s new icePad sleeve brings environmentally-friendly cooling to the iPad using patented HeatShift Technology. The polyurethane cover provides access to all iPad buttons and connections, while keeping the Apple tablet cool. The icePad fits snuggly around the iPad, with openings to plug in a charger, cable or headset. It's available in translucent clear and black.

° LapSaver ($25.99-$29.99) --The LapSaver features the HeatShift Technology for cooling in addition to offering a sleeve for storage of the user’s laptop. While the laptop is on, it can be rested on the back of the LapSaver to ensure it stays at a safe temperature. When the user is ready to go, the laptop can be slipped into the built-in smooth neoprene sleeve for transport. The LapSaver is available in 14-inch and 16-inch models, both in...

| Read more »
Jan 07
Mac App Store downloads top one million in first day

Apple says that over one million apps have been downloaded from the new Mac App Store in the first day. The store launched on Thursday with more than 1,000 free and paid apps.

“We’re amazed at the incredible response the Mac App Store is getting,” says Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “Developers have done a great job bringing apps to the store and users are loving how easy and fun the Mac App Store is.”

The Mac App Store offers apps in Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity, Utilities and other categories. Users can browse new and noteworthy apps, find out what’s hot, see staff favorites, search categories and look up top charts for paid and free apps, as well as user ratings and reviews. The Mac App Store is available for Snow Leopard users through the Software Update as part of Mac OS X 10.6.6.

Mac developers set the price for their apps, keep 70 percent of the sales revenue, are not charged for free apps and do not have to pay hosting,...

| Read more »
 
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