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Dec 29
New iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 29

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/).

Egozoo has announced Egozoo Cards for iOS devices. It's a free entertainment app that allows users to record and mix animated, talking greeting cards. It includes four cards featuring one or more animated, talking animals, with 11 more cards available as an in-app purchase. Users may choose which animal speaks, whether the voice is normal or high-pitched, and if the animals are playing music. There are six different cartoon animals, and special cards for Birthdays, I'm Sorry, I Miss You, etc.

Based in Vitebsk, Belarus, the Macsoftex Company has released their reference, fine art app, Russian Painting 1.0 for iOS. Optimized for iPad, the Retina Display, and standard iPhone, the $0.99 app includes high-resolution photographs of 750 famous oil...

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Dec 29
Grantwood Technology Ships MacVelope for new MacBook Airs

Grantwood Technology (http://www.grantwoodtechnology.com) has released the new MacVelope, a laptop sleeve designed specifically for the new MacBook Air computers, one version for the 11-inch model and one for the 13-inch model.

Both can also be combined with the MacVelope Companion Bag. Designed to mimic a standard interoffice mail envelope, the MacVelope has manila-colored vinyl on the outside and black ballstic nylon on the inside, along with a Velcro closure and red string for added effect.

Customers can place the MacVelope into the lightweight Companion Bag, along with such accessories as the External MacBook Air SuperDrive, MagSafe Power Adapter, Ethernet cables, etc. When traveling, they can slide the Companion Bag over the handle of wheeled suitcases, or simply over their shoulder using the included shoulder strap. Three zippered compartments provide plenty of...

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Dec 29
GamersFirst: Gaming will become a thing of the mobile device

With iPads and smartphones (getting smarter), gaming will become a thing of the mobile device, according to the trend predictions of GamersFirst, a Free2Play destination.

Now with mobile Internet users' approaching 80% of all Internet users there has been significant growth in the U.S., Europe and Russia. Despite the fizzle of the mobile games hype, gaming has already showed tremendous promise through its drastic growth of social network usage over the past year, says GamersFirst. Mobile applications will reflect a distinct rise in gaming, using it as an additional tool of communication and collaboration between social networks, through a mobile device.

GamersFirst also says that, with new publisher startups and small independent development studios popping up all over the globe, gamers will have more choices (or more confusion) than ever. Niche games will become popular. Blockbuster online games will become a dime a dozen, making it critical for game publishers to...

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Dec 29
Ex-Apple Store worker claims discrimination for a nervous...

According to a suit filed in a U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, Nicole Sullivan, 22, began work at the SoHo Apple Store in 2008. In April of 2009, she took a leave of absence due to a nervous disorder, and sought the services of a psychiatrist.

Sullivan was given disability leave through an independent company, and was reportedly assured by the third party that the details of her medical condition would not be released to Apple. However, when Sullivan returned to work in August of 2009 after she was cleared by a psychiatrist, she said it was "obvious" to her that the store's employees, and "especially" its human resources director, were aware of her medical condition, notes "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com).

In her four month leave, Sullivan's job was replaced, and she was reportedly told that she would remain in a "holding pattern" until proper work was...

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Dec 29
France eyeing tablet tax for iPads, Slates

French legislators are considering imposing a tablet-tax that would affect all models with at least 40GB of internal storage, though Windows-based slates would be exempt.

The proposal, reported by "Numerama" -- and translated by "SlashGear" (http://macte.ch/gJYKG) -- is part of French “private copy” taxation which imposes extra fees on digital media like blank CDs, DVDs and thumb-drives; it’s estimated it would add up to €12 ($16) to the cost of Apple’s top-spec iPad or Android tablets. However, because Windows is classed as a “full” OS rather than a mobile one like iOS or Android, it escapes the taxation.

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Dec 29
Intel introduces new solid state drives

Intel has announced the Intel Solid-State Drive 310 Series, an ultra-small solid-state drive (SSD) that delivers Intel X25-class SSD performance, but in one-eighth the size. It measures 51mm-by-30mm and is 5mm thick.

When paired with a high-capacity hard disk drive (HDD) in a dual-drive system, the Intel SSD 310 can improve overall computer system performance by up to 60 %, according toTom Rampone, Intel vice president and general manager of Intel’s NAND Solutions Group. The Intel SSD 310 Series contains 34 nanometer Intel NAND flash memory and is available in an m-SATA form factor in 40GB and 80GB capacities at US$99 and $179, respectively.

The Intel SSD 310 supports SATA signals over a PCI Express (PCIe) mini-connector for on-board, compact storage in single-drive netbooks, tablets or handheld devices. Weighing just 10 grams, the compact size also enables dual drive all-in-ones, notebooks or small-form-factor (SFF) desktops to help accelerate boot time and access...

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Dec 29
Analyst: iTunes 10% the size of Netflix

Though it is half as old as Netflix, Apple's iTunes rental service is believed to be about one-tenth the size of the competing rental service, analyst Brian Marshall with Gleacher & Company has told clients in a note, as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com). He thinks Apple sells about 475,000 rentals daily through iTunes, compared to the 5.1 million daily rentals seen by Netflix.

Marshall estimates that the iTunes rental business for TV shows and movies is larger than sales of purchases. He estimates that rentals generate more than US$60 million in revenue per quarter, while purchases account for about $50 million. Netflix reported revenue of about $550 million in September.

Apple says iTunes users are renting and purchasing over 400,000 TV episodes and more than 150,000 movies per day. Marshall thinks that about 90% of iTunes TV viewings are 99-cent rentals, while...

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Dec 29
Microsoft co-founder refiles lawsuit against Apple, others

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has re-filed his patent suit against Apple, Google and several other major tech companies, adding specific examples of the alleged infringement, reports "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com).

In August it was announced that Interval Licensing, a tech licensing company controlled by Allen was suing 11 companies, including Apple, for violating patents on “fundamental web technologies” developed by Interval Research, the now-defunct Silicon Valley lab that Allen created with Xerox PARC veteran David Liddle in the 1990s.

In addition to Apple, Facebook, Office Depot, Yahoo, YouTube, Netflix and eBay were targeted. Not surprisingly, Microsoft wasn't on the list.

A total of four Interval Research patents were cited in the complaint, which seeks unspecified monetary damages for alleged patent infringement. Allen’s firm called the patents at issue in...

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Dec 29
'Antennagate,' Ping make biggest 'tech fails...

"Antennagate" and Apple's Ping are among CNN's biggest "tech fails of 2010" (http://macte.ch/e82Fv), a list of the low points in the tech world.

"Antennagate" was the popular term used for reported glitches with iPhone 4 call reception. Ping, introduced with iTunes 10, is a new social network for music designed to let users follow their favorite artists and friends to discover what music they’re talking about, listening to and downloading. You can check out photos and videos your favorite artists have posted, see their tour dates and read comments about other artists and albums they’re listening to. In addition, you can post your thoughts and opinions, your favorite albums and songs, the music you’ve downloaded from iTunes and the concerts you plan to attend.

Here's what "CNN" had to say about Antennagate: "Apple drama -- nothing brings out the diehard fans and Cupertino haters quite like this one. The...

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Dec 29
Apple could ship 65 million iPads next year

Shipments of 9.7-inch iPad panels from LG Display reached 1.5 million units in November 2010, and fellow supplier Samsung Electronics' shipments reached 1.2 million units for the month, according to "DigiTimes" (http://macte.ch/e0SNe).

LG Display is estimated to land orders for 35 million iPad panels in 2011, and Samsung and Chimei Innolux (CMI), who is scheduled to join iPad supply chain in the first quarter of 2011; each will each receive orders for 15 million units, says "DigiTimes."

Based on these estimates, iPad panel shipments (including first and second generation models) will reach 65 million units in 2011, which is significantly higher than market estimates of 45-48 million units for the year, the article adds. "Market players noted that the 65 million unit shipment goal indicates that Apple is very optimistic about the tablet computer market in 2011, and it may also mean that Apple is...

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Dec 29
Keynote Themes Plus offers free themes

Keynote Themes Plus (http://www.keynotethemesplus.com) is offering two free Keynote themes for winter festivals: Snowflakes and Cheers theme. Keynote is the presentation component of Apple's US$79 iWork suite.

Two free Keynote Themes designed with winter festival attributes will allow everyone to compose a presentation with the winter spirit in it. Intense and eye-catching colors, remarkable backgrounds with snowflakes or wineglasses enable to create an impressive presentation with the mood of winter and celebration.

In addition to the two free themes, for the year-ending holiday's period Keynote Themes Package, which includes 20 different Keynote themes, can be purchased at 50% discount -- US14.99 instead of $29.99 (USD).

All keynote themes are made in different sizes for widescreen or traditional displays and all of them are HD. To use Keynote Themes from Keynote Themes...

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Dec 29
Empire Brands to unleash new headphones at CES

Empire Brands (http://www.empirebrandsinc.com) will be releasing its new 3D series line of headphones, at CES 20111. They include earbuds (Empires, Little Buds, Jaw Breakers and Metallics) and headphones (Reverb, Tour and Chill).

The soon-to-be-released 3D series is the flagship line of headphones in the Wicked Audio line-up. These headphones sport raised, colorful artwork, offering a visually striking 3D appeal, according to Paul Marshall, vice president of sales, Empire Brands. They also feature maximum noise isolation, which inhibits ambient noise, ensuring pure sound quality., while the adjustable headband and padded earcups offer the utmost in comfort, guaranteeing the most enjoyable listening experience, he adds.

The 3D series will be available next month for US$29.99 at FYE, and a number of select international retailers. 

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Dec 29
HEX Watch Band for iPod nano available

HEX has released the new HEX Watch Band for the sixth generation iPod nano. Available in nine colors, the US$29.95 watch band allows users to protect the nano while sporting it as an accessory.

The HEX Watch Band features a “pop-in, pop-out” design that purportedly allows for easy placement of the iPod nano. With silicone and integrated control buttons, the Watch Band provides protection and full access to all controls on the Apple device.

Additionally, the inline orientation of the Watch Band allows headphone cords to run straight up the user’s arm or discretely through a sleeve keeping the cords from tangling or getting in the way while on the go. The HEX Watch Band is available in red, pink, orange, green, blue, clear, black, grey and white at http://www.shopHEX.com .

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Dec 29
'MacVoices' continues down the Road to Macworld

The new "MacVoices" (http://www.macvoices.com) continues down the "Road to Macworld."

Paul Kent, vice president and general nanager at IDG for Macworld, is back to give an introduction to the new Industry Forum at Macworld 2011. Boasting a series of focused presentations by some of the Apple industry’s most influential names, the Industry Forum is for anyone and everyone with a serious interest in the direction and future of the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and more.

Kent also updates us on the feature presentations that are open to all attendees, the focus of the show and how it has evolved with the times, and how Macworld addresses all aspects of the Apple experience.

"MacVoices" is an Internet show and podcast that delivers in-depth discussions with the most influential people in the Mac industry, as well as "the individuals who are out there making it happen on the front lines of the...

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Dec 29
OWC expands Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 line

Other World Computing (OWC) has expanded the OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 desktop hardware RAID storage line storage capacity to 12TB by utilizing four 3TB high performance hard drives in the Qx2’s four hot swappable drive bays.

The Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 features a “quad interface” of FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA ports and four selectable hardware RAID settings -- 0, 1, 5, 10 -- for high speed, plug and play use with Macs and PCs There are four prosumer models starting at US$479.99:

° 2TB OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 (500GB x 4 w/64MB cache) and three-year warranty, $479.99;

° 4TB OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 (1TB x 4 w/128MB cache) and three-year warranty,  $579.99 (currently on year-end special for $529);

° 8TB OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 (2TB x 4 w/128MB cache) and three-year warranty, $929.99 (currently on year end special for $879);

° 12TB OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 (3TB x 4 w/256MB cache) and three-year warranty, $...

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Dec 28
New iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 28

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/).

MultiEducator has announced JFK Historymaker 1.0 for iOS devices. It's an US$3.99 encyclopedic, multimedia biography of President John F. Kennedy. Featuring 36 chronologically ordered chapters, there are 250 high resolution photographs, the full text of over 200 speeches, more than 60 pages of biographical information, and over 35 video clips. The reference app is fully searchable.

iHanWel has released BackDoctor 1.0 for iOS, a video instruction and exercise course to alleviate and prevent back pain. Developed by physicians and physiotherapists, the app includes a Beginner Program, Advanced Program, Speed Program, Cervical Spine Program, and Lumbar Column Program. It features a video demonstration of each exercise with optional timer function,...

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Dec 28
Apple sued (again) over user tracking

The suit, filed in federal court in Northern California, seeks both monetary damages and a court order to stop the profiling. It's similar to another lawsuit (http://macte.ch/yTIvy) filed Dec. 23 in federal court in San Jose, California, on behalf of Jonathan Lalo of Los Angeles County, and seeks class-action status. Both lawsuits claim iPhones and iPads are encoded with identifying devices that allow advertising networks to track what applications users download, how frequently they’re used and for how long. The transmission of such data violates computer-fraud and privacy laws.

The tracking is possible because Apple assigns a UDID (Unique Device Identifier) to each iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, and apps can access that number. Advertising companies figured out this number can be used for tracking, much like a cookie in a browser, says "Wired."

If an app passes that number along to an advertiser, the...

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Dec 28
'Death of Spider-Man' issues to go online same day as...

Marvel Comics has announced that starting in February issues of their Ultimate Comics line key to the "Death of Spider-Man" event storyline will be available as a digital download the same day as they go on sale in comic shops, reports "CBR" (http://macte.ch/NAu1b).

Sold through Marvel's comiXology-powered app for devices like the iPad and iPhones, the issues mark the first time "event comics" will be offered day-and-date online, though Marvel has been experimenting with high profile releases in this format including the recent "Invincible Iron Man" Annual and the "Ultimate Thor" mini series, the article adds. The issues of "Death of Spider-Man" will be sold online at the same price point the in store issues have: US$3.99.

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Dec 28
Apple looking for two more iOS software engineers

Apple has posted two new job listings for the title of "iOS Software Engineer." While the two full-time positions discovered by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) have different job descriptions, both describe an emphasis on remote storage for data access.

Here are the two job descriptions: "Apple is hiring outstanding operations engineers to deliver and manage the next generation of hosted infrastructure serving Apple products and devices. Seize this ground floor opportunity to help us build the world's best hosted platforms at massive scale.

"Apple is hiring experienced software engineers to work on distributed computing for data with non-trivial properties, and efficient online services for data access. This is an opportunity to contribute to the backend foundation for Apple products, devices and overall experience delivered to millions of Apple customers."

Some may view...

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Dec 28
iPhone 4 makes eBay's 'Top Shopped' List

eBay has announced its annual “Top Shopped” report, revealing the top pop culture moments and fashion trends that captivated shoppers’ curiosity -- and cash -- in 2010. Apple's iPhone 4 topped the list.

eBay analyzed sales and search data across categories in the marketplace to identify the year’s major moments and movements, says Karen Bard Sayah, eBay’s trend expert. From tech and toys to sports memorabilia and fashion, eBay tracked trends that turned the ordinary into prized possessions, she adds.

eBay's picks for America's "Top Shopped" and pop culture obsessions for 2010 are: the iPhone 4, Barbie, military jackets, Hot Wheels, the iPad, World Cup, The Beatles, Silly Bandz, Alice in Wonderland, New Orleans Saints, Marc Jacobs and LeBron James.

One company produced two of the year’s most coveted new devices: Apple’s iPhone 4 (1,634,674 related items sold) and iPad (621,399 related items sold). Apple’s flagship products conquered the tech scene as well as...

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Dec 28
Analyst: iPad, other Apple goodies in hot demand for the...

Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair said recent retail checks point to significant end demand for the iPad (and other Apple products) reports "All Things D" (http://macte.ch/APDJ1).

“Even with a handful of tablet competitors hitting the market, the iPad remained the only game in town in our holiday checks largely because many of the tablets hitting the market are junk for lack of a better word,” he told clients. “They are underpowered, poorly constructed and largely not ready for prime time.”

The holiday season is always particularly kind to Apple, but this year it may have been even kinder than usual, notes "All Things D." In addition to the iPad’s continued momentum at market, Blair observed stronger than expected holiday sales of iMacs, MacBook Pros and the new 11-inch MacBook Air.

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Dec 28
Apple sued for transmitting personal data to ad networks

Another day, another lawsuit. A lawsuit accuses Apple of enabling some of its products to transmit users' personal data to advertising networks without the users' permission, "Bloomberg News" (http://macte.ch/7twJw) reports.

The lawsuit was filed Dec. 23 in federal court in San Jose, California, on behalf of Jonathan Lalo of Los Angeles County, and seeks class-action status. The suit says iPhones and iPads are encoded with identifying devices that allow advertising networks to track what applications users download, how frequently they’re used and for how long. The transmission of such data violates computer-fraud and privacy laws.

iPhones and iPads are set with a Unique Device Identifier, or UDID, which can’t be blocked by users, according to the complaint. "Bloomberg News" notes that Apple says it reviews all applications on its App Store and doesn’t allow them to transmit user data without customer...

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Dec 28
Analyst: next iPad will be dual-core

The next iPad will adopt a dual-core chip, which would be a first for the company's consumer line of handheld products, Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, told clients in a note -- as reported by "CNET" (http://macte.ch/eczVy).

"Apple is on track to refresh the iPad by March and iPhone by late summer," he says. "A key component upgrade across these platforms will be a dual-core processor featuring a pair of 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores."

Using a dual-core processor can result in computer-like multitasking, if the operating system is designed to fully take advantage of both cores, notes "CNET." Kumar also expects the iPhone to get a dual-core upgrade.

| Read more »
Dec 28
Updated iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 28

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

Scott Singer has announced Golf Fix 1.24 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. Golf Fix features over 100 game improvement drills that demonstrate proper full swing and short-game techniques, as well as on course process and coaching. Drills in the US$1.99 app are demonstrated by Nick Paez and Jimmy Hanlin, two of the nation's leading PGA instructors and promoters of golf.

SKnote has released HandSynth 1.0.4 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users. It's a $5.99 synthesizer that gives users access to tools for creating sounds. HandSynth offers a variety of deep algorithms and filters, special sound techniques, iPod play along, lots of sound slots and a multitouch keyboard.

Vegas Media Group has introduced Vegas Mate 3.0, an update to their $4.99...

| Read more »
Dec 28
'DigiTimes': Three versions of the iPad 2 are in the...

Apple will release three versions of the "iPad 2," supporting either or a combination of Wi-Fi, UMTS and CDMA, for 2011 with mass production to start as early as the later half of January, according to a "DigiTimes" report (http://macte.ch/fzX2z).

Apple will ship about 500,000-530,000 units to channels in January with shipment ratio of Wi-Fi, UMTS and CDMA models at 3:4:3, the article says, quoting "industry sources" and "upstream component makers." Apparently, Apple plans to work more closely with telecom carriers by offering more wireless solutions for iPad 2 to satisfy market demand.

In addition to wireless functions, Apple is also working on strengthening the iPad 2's anti-smudge and anti-reflective treatments in order to compete against Kindle and attract more consumers, the sources noted. As for iPad 2, "DigiTimes" estimates that the device's shipments in 2011 will reach 40 million units,...

| Read more »
 
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