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Jan 06
Apple 'quietly prohibiting' vacation days for three...

Apple is "quietly prohibiting" vacation days for some retail employees for three weeks beginning later this month, "a move that could foreshadow a significant product introduction in the coming weeks," "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) has learned.

People familiar with the company's retail plans say Apple has issued a "blackout" period spanning three weeks, during which retail employees without seniority will not be allowed vacation time, the article adds. That blackout period is said to begin the last week of January and continue into the first half of February.

"AppleInsider" says that prohibiting vacations during such a large span of time is typically indicative of a major product launch, such as a new iPhone, though their sources have no specific knowledge of what Apple could be planning this time around.

A Verizon iPhone, perhaps?

| Read more »
Jan 06
CES: Cirago launches new network storage product

At this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Cirago International (http://www.cirago.com/) -- a manufacturer of multimedia centers, storage and wireless solutions --unveiled its new Cirago Link+ (NUS2000) USB Network Storage Link that delivers performance to access up to four USB-networked devices quickly and easily from anywhere -- even while on the go.

The Link+ is designed for users who want to tap into their document and media library while on the go, with smartphone access that makes it easy to view and share files from anywhere, according to Tenny Sin, executive vice president at Cirago. The compact device, set to debut in second quarter 2011 and retail for under $100, includes all the functionality of the company’s NUS1000, with added NTFS write support, remote access capability and gigabit Ethernet connectivity, delivering the highest speed available on the market for Ethernet devices....

| Read more »
Jan 06
CES: Parrot introduces Red Dragon speakers

Parrot, which specializes in wireless peripherals for mobile phones, unveiled the newest addition of its Hi-Fi wireless stereo speakers, Zikmu Parrot by Starck: Red Dragon (http://www.parrot.com/zikmu), at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. They'll set you back a cool US$1,600.

The Red Dragon has an iPhone/iPod docking station. You can also listen to web radio via an iOS app you can download at the Apple App Store.

Other features of the 17-pound speaker system are: an RCA line-in input; Wi-Fi and Bluetooth audio streaming; and Wi-Fi b/g with SES/WPS (browsing and control). The Red Dragon supports software update via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

| Read more »
Jan 06
Apple 'quietly prohibiting' vacation days for three...

Apple is "quietly prohibiting" vacation days for some retail employees for three weeks beginning later this month, "a move that could foreshadow a significant product introduction in the coming weeks," "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) has learned.

People familiar with the company's retail plans say Apple has issued a "blackout" period spanning three weeks, during which retail employees without seniority will not be allowed vacation time, the article adds. That blackout period is said to begin the last week of January and continue into the first half of February.

"AppleInsider" says that prohibiting vacations during such a large span of time is typically indicative of a major product launch, such as a new iPhone, though their sources have no specific knowledge of what Apple could be planning this time around.

A Verizon iPhone, perhaps?

| Read more »
Jan 06
CES: Kodak introduces new Mac compatible webcams

Sakar International (http://www.sakar.com) has expanded its family of Kodak Webcams with new US$19.99 and $29.99 models that facilitate video calling on both Macs (Mac OS X 10.5 and higher) and PCs.

Features range from full-motion live images and still image capture at up to 1.3 megapixels to built-in parental controls, drag-and-drop image uploads to social networking and image sharing sites, and a mini-tripod included with the $29.99 model. Designed to simplify video chatting over services such as Skype and Yahoo! AOL and MSN Instant Messenger as well as Google Talk and iChat AV for Macs, the new Kodak Webcams purportedly require no technical expertise to install, use or share captured images.

The Kodak S101 Webcam ($19.99) features:

° A parental control lock-out capability that optionally blocks webcam use without a password to help keep children safe online;

° Bundled control center...

| Read more »
Jan 06
JoyStick-It is bionic upgrade for screen-swiping gamers

ThinkGeek (http://www.thinkgeek.com) has released he JoyStick-It Arcade Stick, a solid aluminum joystick that attaches to any tablet gaming device -- including the iPad -- to provide precision control of touch screen games.

“Out of the box, the JoyStick-It works with thousands of different game apps,” says Ty Liotta, head of ThinkGeek product development.  “We chose to use solid-milled aluminum because it was lightweight but also provided the most realistic arcade gaming feel.”

Invented at ThinkGeek, the patent-pending JoyStick-It requires no batteries to operate. Priced at US$24.95, it will be available in limited quantities by the end of January.  Consumers can sign up for product updates and read more about the JoyStick-It on ThinkGeek’s web site.

| Read more »
Jan 06
Pioneer releases SmartCradle for the iPhone

Pioneer Electronics (http://www.pioneer-usa.com) has announced new solutions for safer integration of smartphones into the car environment. It has introduced the Aha Radio Mobile App, which turns social media and traffic apps into audio broadcasts.

Pioneer has also released the first SmartCradle for use with the iPhoneto enhance in-car performance of GPS enabled apps such as MotionX-GPS Drive, a navigation app. Also new is the App Mode feature that's available in nine new audio/video and navigation models and enables viewing of a connected iPhone’s video content from Safari, YouTube and other select apps directly through Pioneer’s larger, high resolution in-dash screens.

Pioneer’s two new in-dash navigation models are the first to connect drivers to the world around them with on-demand, interactive, personalized radio, according to Ted Cardenas, director of marketing for the car electronics...

| Read more »
Jan 06
Chinon launches AVi Alpha iPod/iPhone docking station

Chinon USA (http://www.chinonusa.com) is introducing the AVi Alpha, an advanced generation of the original Chinon AVi multimedia iPod/iPhone docking station. It's available immediately at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of US$149.99.

Retro-fashioned after the 1970's American "boom box", the AVi Alpha features a 7-inch LCD that delivers high-resolution playback of videos stored on an iPod or iPhone, expanding both their picture size and sound quality, says Jensen Fong, president of Chinon USA. In addition, when docked to an iPod touch or iPhone connected by Wi-Fi, the AVi Alpha will stream web videos from sites such as YouTube or Netflix onto the LCD. A full suite of AV in/out functions connect you to TV receiver boxes, DVD players and media devices, offering greater flexibility for viewing options.
 
The AVi Alpha operates as simply as other iPod or iPhone docking stations. Just...

| Read more »
Jan 06
Acoustic Research Unveils Docking Stations for Apple and Android

Audiovox Accessories Corp. (http://www.acoustic-research.com/) has introduced a complete line of docking stations from Acoustic Research for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. A model for Android-based products is also included as well.

Leading the new line of Acoustic Docking Stations is the ARS45i, which produces 30 watts of power and deep bass, according to David Geise, president of Audiovox Accessories Corp.. This docking speaker system offers component and composite video-output for video playback on the consumer's TV, and a remote control for operating across a room. The ARS45i will be available this spring with a suggested retail price of US$129.99.

The ARS35i offers functionality for an iPad dock. This model has a motorized rotating arm that turns the iPad to landscape or portrait mode. This dock also includes video-output, FM radio, and audio input for MP3 player connection....

| Read more »
Jan 06
Garage Inc. released for the Mac, iOS devices, more

TransGaming (http://www.transgaming.com) has released Garage Inc., an original, cross-platform game made by TransGaming’s in-house game development studio. The title is available on the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows and TransGaming’s GameTree TV platform.

Here's how the game is described: "Garage Inc. is a dynamic, multi-platform time-management game featuring a visually vibrant and imaginative style that will take players into 1920’s prohibition-era Chicago.The game revolves around the life of Angelo Marito, a car mechanic and recent Italian immigrant who is trying to make a life for himself by opening his very own car garage. Garage Inc. will deliver to players the excitement and challenges of managing a busy repair shop through core time-management gameplay as well as through minigames. The game also features colorful characters and an immersive story, revealed in part through an innovative online...

| Read more »
Jan 06
Speakal introduces Top Gear, Doctor Who speaker solutions

Speakal (http://www.speakal.com) is offering Top Gear and Doctor Who fans unique speaker systems. Top Gear enthusiasts can rev up their favorite tunes with a helmet that docks and rocks your audio device with a built-in digital amplifier, 25W of total output, and a built in subwoofer.

Doctor Who fanatics will rejoice in the T.A.R.D.I.S replica speaker featuring bass and premium speakers with Bluetooth playback. The systems are debuting at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Pricing hasn't been announced.

| Read more »
Jan 06
Backdrop Designer Plugin is Now Available for 64-bit Photoshop...

Digital Anarchy (http://www.digitalanarchy.com) has released their Backdrop Designer plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS5. The software creates resolution-independent digital backdrops, very similar to expensive muslin drapes used in a photography studio.

Backdrop Designer 1.5 is fully compatible with Photoshop CS5, Photoshop CS4 and 64-bit systems. With Backdrop Designer, photographers are no longer limited to just the backgrounds they have in the studio, according to Digital Anarchy President Jim Tierney. There are 900 presets to choose from all of which can be mixed and modified to create thousands of variations. Backdrop Designer is used by photographers of all types to move beyond traditional portraiture, and give their clients more flexibility in results after the photoshoot.
 


Backdrop Designer 1.5 is regularly priced at US$199; however, it's on sale for $149 through Jan. 31. On the...

| Read more »
Jan 06
XtremeMac unveils new iOS charging solutions

XtremeMac (http://www.xtrememac.com) is announcing four new additions to its InCharge series at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The InCharge series are designed to keep your iPod, iPhone and iPad charged and playing at home and on the go.

The new introductions are the InCharge Mobile (US$79.99), Auto USB, Auto Plus and Auto AUX. InCharge Mobile is a low profile, sleek rechargeable battery pack and protective case. According to the folks at XtremeMac it boasts one of the largest battery capacities for iPhone 4 chargers on the market at 2300 mAh, the equivalent of one full charge. Features include an integrated stand for landscape viewing and FaceTime chatting, LED battery status indicator, on/off switch for battery conservation and a micro USB cable for charging and syncing. 

The three new InCharge Auto solutions for the car each offer a compact design and deliver 10 watts of...

| Read more »
Jan 06
All-in-one mobile payment solution available for the iPhone 4

An all-in-one mobile payment solution has been released for the iPhone 4. The solution combines Intuit’s GoPayment app and merchant account and mophie’s credit card reader.

With GoPayment and the mophie credit card reader, payments are processed after a business owner swipes a credit card through the form-fitting mophie card reader. To get up and running quickly, there's a merchant account that purportedly lets business owners start processing credit cards in as few as 15 minutes. GoPayment also provides 24 x 7 live customer support for help if needed.

GoPayment's features let merchants create and sell from a list of frequently sold items, apply sales tax, and send customized receipts via text and e-mail with a map of where the transaction occurred. GoPayment is also compatible with QuickBooks -- both Mac and PC versions.

The solution protects customer data throughout the payment process. Credit card data is never stored on the phone. In addition, card data is...

| Read more »
Jan 06
Innovelis launches workout accessory for six gen iPod nano

The new iPod nano’s small size and clip make it perfect for active lifestyles, but extra headphone cord length gets in the way. Innovelis’s Cord Shrink (http://www.CordShrink.com) stores the extra cord length so you can focus on your workout, says Eric Wengreen, CEO of Innovelis.

Constructed of a rubber material, Cord Shrink attaches to the new iPod nano’s clip and allows a person to store unwanted headphone cord length. Cord captures prevent the cord from inadvertently unwinding.

Storing the extra cord length prevents the cord from snagging on runners’ swinging arms and becoming tangled. The US$14.99 Cord Shrink is only compatible with the sixth gen iPod nano.

| Read more »
Jan 06
FreeOneHand for the iPad debuts at CE

The FreeOneHand iPad Holder and Stand (http://www.freeonehand.com/) -- a multi-function iPad accessory that provides a one-handed grip, ergonomic design, and works as a stand in portrait and landscape orientations, left or right handed -- is debuting at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The FreeOneHand lets you hold your iPad in one hand, freeing the other for making presentations, data entry, sending emails, reading to kids, experiencing magazines, surfing the web and more. The secure grip is designed to eliminate he worry of dropping your iPad, and “raised feet” protect the display when set screen side down.

The FreeOneHand comes in six colors: Ebony, Ivory, Silver, Lime Green, Sky Blue and Rose Pink. It costs US$39.94.

| Read more »
Jan 06
10 New Keynote themes available

In collaboration with iPresentee, KeynoteStage (http://www.keynotestage.com/) has announced Keynote Themes 7.0, to be used with the presentation component of Apple's iWorks suite.

Keynote Themes 7.0 includes 10 new themes: Black Diamond, Cooking, Medicine, Solid Grey, Windmill, Wave, Triangle, Relax, Notebook and Blue Style. The collection offers a variety of presentation styles with coordinated fonts, colors, backgrounds, bullets and picture frames.

Keynote Themes 7.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later and iWork '08 or iWork '09. Each individual Keynote theme is priced from US$5.

| Read more »
Jan 06
Netgear introduces new wireless routers

At this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Netgear (http://www.netgear.com) announced four new wireless products at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).  

These new products are: The N600 (WNDR3800) and N750 (WNDR4000) Dual-Band Gigabit routers, the N600 all-in-one home gateway (DGND3700), and a wireless router with integrated powerline AV (WNXR2000). They'll be available in the second quarter of the year with pricing starting at US$179.99.

Netgear is also introducing its free Netgear Genie application. Launching with the N600 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Router (WNDR3800), it's a home network dashboard that enables consumers to monitor, connect, and control their home network and also diagnose and automatically fix network connectivity issues.

| Read more »
Jan 06
Griffin announces handsfree, in-car solutions

Griffin Technology (http://www.griffintechnology.com) has unveiled DriveSafe, a new initiative in automotive accessory design and usage. It's a range of in-car products designed to limit driver distractions from smartphones and mobile devices.

The DriveSafe family includes a number of Griffin devices, including the new RoadTrip HandsFree and BlueTrip DualConnect, both featured products for the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

RoadTrip HandsFree -- due later this month for US$99.99 -- is Griffin's complete in-car solution for iPhone, iPod, and all Bluetooth-enabled smartphones. It holds your iPhone or iPod securely in place on a flexible steel neck in a cradle that accommodates most cases. The FM transmitter sends music wirelessly to your car's FM radio and features SmartScan, user-defined presets, SmartSound signal adjustment, and tactile remote control buttons.

... | Read more »
Jan 06
Joy Factory unveils suite of iPad, iPhone products

At this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, The Joy Factory (http://www.thejoyfactory.com) is unveiling a line of accessories for the iPad and iPhone. The products, which range from 360-degree rotating stands and portfolios to waterproof cases and versatile mounting systems, are lifestyle driven and designed to enhance overall usability.

A line of cases and stands range in price from US$59.95 to $99.95. Mounting surfaces range from $49.95 to $199.95. The Joy Factory's iOS charging solutions range from $49.95 to $99.95. And there are a line of protection and care solutions starting at $14.95.

The Joy Factory’s initial product suite is available in the first quarter of 2011. Orders are currently being taken with slated delivery in January and are available through distribution to online stores and retailers.

| Read more »
Jan 06
Beacon, app turns your iOS device into a universal remote...

Griffin Technology (http://www.griffintechnology.com) has partnered with software developer Dijit to turn your iOS or smartphone device into an universal remote control. Beacon allows fingertip control of your entire entertainment system, thanks to hardware and app integration from Griffin and Dijit.

It does this by converting Bluetooth signals from your device to the infrared commands your components are expecting. Beacon (US$79.99) pairs your iOS device with Dijit's Universal Remote App, available for free at the Apple App Store. Your Multi-Touch or touch screen display is the remote. You can change channels, volume, input, program your DVR, and more.

The Dijit app uses a constantly updated device code library to make setting up controls for your TV, set-top box, sound system, media players and more simple and intuitive, according to Maksim Ioffe, Founder and CEO of Dijit. For...

| Read more »
Jan 06
OWC introduces SandForce-based SATA solid state drive

Other World Computing (http://www.macsales.com) has announced the new Mercury Aura Pro 1.8-inch solid state drive (SSD) line as the first and fastest SandForce processor based SSD available for netbooks, subnotebook, and other computers that utilize an internal 1.8-inch SATA drive.

There are five models to choose from -- 40GB, 60GB, 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB -- with prices starting at US$179.99. The OWC Mercury Aura Pro 1.8-inch provides up to 16X the storage capacity compared to factory installed hard drives, according to the folks at OWC.

| Read more »
Jan 06
Feral Interactive announces digital delivery through game...

Feral Interactive (http://www.feralinteractive.com) is now offering a selection of titles from its family of Mac games for immediate purchase and download online.

The two launch titles are tBorderlands: Game of the Year Edition and Rome: Total War Gold Edition. Additional titles including LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and BioShock will be made available for digital download later this week with more titles to follow shortly.

Feral Interactive games are now available for purchase online through these online digital download partners: Direct2Drive (http://www.direct2drive.com), GamersGate (http://www.gamersgate.com) and MacGameStore (http://www.macgamestore.com...

| Read more »
Jan 06
CandyShell cases released for the iPhone 4

Speck’s CandyShell case (http://www.speckproducts.com) for the iPhone 4 arrives at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. Actually, make that cases as there are two versions.

With the new, US$39.95 CandyShell View, you can watch movies, videos, or use FaceTime on your iPhone 4 more -- all without adding bulk, or using add-ons, says Bryan Hynecek, director of Design at Speck. Built into the back of the case is a patented spring-loaded retractable kickstand that pops out for easy viewing. When you're done using it, flip the stand back and it disappears within the case. The CandyShell View is available in a black/grey design.

The $39.95 CandyShell Card lets you keep your essential cards with you in your iPhone 4, allowing you to leave your wallet at home. This case holds up to three credit cards (or your driver's license/identification) neatly and securely behind the iPhone. The CandyShell...

| Read more »
Jan 06
YML looks at CES, Macworld Expo expectations

The new "Your Mac Life" episode looks at expectations for this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the upcoming Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

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.

| Read more »
 
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