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Mar 18
PopCap discounts games, donates sales to Japan relief efforts

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

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

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Mar 18
HDRFactory creates HDR images from series of photos

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

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

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

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Mar 18
Regex is new Mac OS X app for testing regular expressions

MotionObj has released Regex (http://motionobj.com/regex/), a new app for testing regular expressions running on Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later. It's available for US$4.99 at the Mac App Store in the Developer Tools category.

Regex features an interface for testing and constructing regular expressions. It offers dynamic highlighting of matches while the regular expression or sample text is being modified. It also supports capture groups and matching options such as case-insensitive matches.

With Regex, you can paste in a regular expression and a piece of sample text to work against and the tool allows you to tweak the regular expression, as well as the sample text and the matches will be highlighted dynamically. It supports capture groups and more.

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Mar 18
Beat Tagger for Mac OS X lets you tag Beatport WAV music files

Silicon Studios has introduced Beat Tagger 1.0 for Mac OS X (http://www.beattaggerapp.com), a drag and drop app that automatically tags WAV files purchased from Beatport. It requires Mac OS X 10.6.6, costs US$2.99, and is available in the Mac App Store.

Unlike MP3 tracks downloaded from Beatport, uncompressed WAV files don't include ID3 metadata. Beat Tagger automatically adds these tags to WAV files so that when they're played back on players like iTunes, Serato, or Traktor the following info appears: Track Title, Album Name, Artist Name, Remixer Name, Genre, Label, Year of Release, and Album Artwork.

Beat Tagger also identifies corrupted WAV files, so that users may re-download within the limited time allowed by Beatport. The app is designed as an integrated solution for music lovers and DJs who purchase Beatport WAV files, and want their music labeled and organized without having to do...

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Mar 18
HEX unveils slim iPod watch band for women

HEX has released the newest member of the HEX product lineup: the Slim Watch Band for the sixth generation iPod nano. The watch band features a thin strap designed specifically for women and people with smaller wrist sizes (15-21cm), including children.

It's made of silicon that, according to the folks at HEX, meets all REACH and RoHS silicone safety and quality standards. The Slim Watch Band also features a “pop-in, pop-out” design for easy insertion of the iPod nano, integrated control buttons and an audio port cover with inline orientation to keep headphone cords out of the way. 

The HEX Slim Watch Band is available now in four colors -- pink, purple, black and white -- for US$29.95 at shopHEX.com .

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Mar 18
Ohanaware donating funds to the Red Cross

Ohanaware (http://www.ohanaware.com) has announced plans to help the people of Japan. From Mar 18 until Mar 25, the will be selling their software, including the new HDRtist Pro and Funtastic Photos, at half price.

All the profit that Ohanaware generates this week will then be donated to the Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org), to be used to provide medical care, shelter, food and water for those that need it after last weeks earth quake and tsunami. The death toll from the recent tsunami and earthquake is expected to exceed 15,000, and over half a million people are without homes, heat, food and water. "

HDRtist Pro is a Mac App thats been designed to create and edit HDR or Exposure Blended images. Funtastic Photos is a "non-permanent and easily reversible: photo editor, with over 60 one-click styles, an advanced effects...

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Mar 18
Color It By Numbers -- Animals prowls onto the Mac

ColorItByNumbers has released Color It By Numbers -- Animals (http://macte.ch/QbWpc), the first product in the company´s line of colorful infotainment products for children. This game features three coloring modes and a soundtrack that accompanies children as they paint animal-themed templates in different colors.

This edition of the software is dedicated to animals and features several species, including a dotted Alpine cow, a parrot, an ever-changing chameleon, a funny octopus, a crab, a pelican, a cute puppy, a huge elephant and an African lion. Each animal is represented by a multi-piece coloring template with numbers inscribed into each piece.

Children can pick a brush on the left-hand side and paint regions of the template with corresponding numbers. The other two coloring modes offered by the program include "Color to make it visible" and "Color it in your favorite colors." In the first case,...

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Mar 18
'Cult of Mac' looks at the iPhone 5/NFC/MobileMe...

With all the rumors about NFC (near field communications) being -- or not appearing, depending on what you read -- in the next iPhone "Cult of Mac" (http://macte.ch/nBmaz) says they have a few more details about Apple’s remote computing plans that revolve around the technology.

NFC is a short-range wireless connection technology that would turn the iPhone into an electronic wallet or security passkey, the article says. 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.

"Cult of Mac," quoting "a source close to the company," says Apple is busy testing several prototype iPhones with NFC. Unfortunately, the source has no knowledge of when Apple will actually introduce the technology in the iPhone, the article adds. It could be the next model, due this summer (the iPhone 5), or next year’s version (the iPhone 6).

...

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Mar 18
PADACS readies iPad 2 keyboard cases for April

PADACS readies iPad 2 keyboard cases for April
PADACS (http://www.padacs.com) says its first products for Apple’s new iPad 2 -- the improved Toccata and Rubata Bluetooth keyboard cases -- are planned for an April launch in the US and Canada.

The PADACS Toccata Bluetooth Keyboard Case (shown) contains a compact QWERTY keyboard that's purportedly large enough to type on comfortably without adding to the iPad 2 case size. Charged by an included USB cable, the Lithium battery-powered keyboard runs for as long as 45 hours. The PADACS Rubata iPad 2 keyboard case provides a cover with a built-in hard plastic shell Bluetooth keyboard with special iPad keys.

The Toccata 2 Bluetooth Keyboard Case has been redesigned to hold the 33% slimmer iPad 2, making the entire Toccata 2 case thinner and sleeker. Other enhancements include: keyboard controls to adjust the iPad screen brightness; addition of new keys...

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Mar 18
ExactScan Pro gets new Imprinter module

ExactCode has updated its ExactScan Pro (http://www.exactcode.de/site/products/exactscan/) scanning software for Mac OS X (10.4 and higher) to version 2.14. The upgrade features a new Imprinter module which makes it possible to print flexible text onto the scan result (e.g. scanned date) or watermarks.

ExactScan includes built-in drivers for over 230 document scanners, including devices from Avision, Kodak, Oki, Visioneer and Xerox. Together with the Spotlight indexing services built into Mac OS X since 10.5 ("Leopard") this features form a document management solution suitable for small-office and home-office (SOHO) environments. What's more it has image enhancement algorithms that can recognize automatically how the images and documents have to be cropped and de-skewed.

ExactScan comes with support for many languages (English, Dutch, German,...

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Mar 18
Pittsburg Apple store vandalized for third time

The Shadyside Apple store in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, burglarized at least twice in the past four months, was hit again on Thursday, reports the "Pittsburg Post-Gazette" (http://macte.ch/k1hHH). Police told the newspaper that thieves who stole thousands of dollars worth of laptops and iPods.

The same store was burglarized in November and January. Each case was similar in that bandits broke the glass and made off with merchandise in the early morning hours, says the "Post-Gazette."

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Mar 18
Chrome updated to address Flash player issue

Google (http://macte.ch/vlqmD) has updated its Chrome 10 browser for the third time this month with the release of Chrome 10.0.648.134 for Mac, Windows and Linux and Chrome Frame, reports "eSecurity Planet" (http://macte.ch/sYgkn).

Chrome 10.0.648.134 is being issued to fix a single issue. It provides an updated Adobe Flash player that fixes a zero day vulnerability that is already being exploited in the wild.

Google's Chrome browser includes an integrated Flash player, which is something that no other browser vendor provides. Additionally Chrome is getting the Adobe Flash fix before even Adobe issues a public fix for all users, says "eSecurity Planet." Adobe issued a security advisory earlier this week, warning of a critical vulnerability in Flash Player 10.2.152.33 and earlier versions.

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Mar 18
Class On Demand adds new Avid training

Class on Demand (http://www.classondemand.com) will exhibit at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention, held in Las Vegas from April 11-14. Stationed at booth SL11217, Class on Demand plans to display its full range of training titles, spanning recent software releases from Apple, Adobe and more, including the just-announced "Complete Training for Avid Studio" training course.

Class on Demand instructors and experts will be on site to discuss the benefits that post-production and broadcast professionals receive from staying up to speed on the latest industry trends and techniques with Class on Demand's affordable, self-paced products, says says Paul Holtz, CEO and founder, Class on Demand. The Class on Demand team will also demonstrate the pioneering Class on Demand Learning Platform, which includes a secure streaming video server employing Microsoft's Silverlight DRM...

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Mar 18
DiscLabel 6.3.1 adds support for Microboards disc printers

SmileOnMyMac (http://www.smileonmymac.com) has updated DiscLabel, its CD/DVD label design software, to version 6.3.1. The update adds support for Microboards' PF Pro, PF 3 and G3 disc printers.

DiscLabel costs US$35.95 for new users. The DiscLabel Family Pack, for up to five computers in one household, is $44.95 and an office pack is $99.95. DiscLabel 6.3.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. A fully-functional demo version is available at the SmileOnMyMac web site.

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Mar 18
DevonTechnologies updates products

DevonTechnologies says all editions of its information manager, DevonThink, and the note-taking application, DevonNote, are now available in version 2.0.9. DevonNote, EasyFind 4.7.1, and XMenu 1.9.2 are now also available on the Mac App Store, and DevonThinkTo Go 1.1 has been submitted to the iOS App Store for review.

Version 2.0.9 of all editions of DevonThinkand DevonNote brings, first of all, an updated conduit for DevonThinkTo Go, fixing a number of bugs. The older conduit e.g. transferred, accidentally, only the first 1KB of data of indexed text so that larger documents were not completely searchable, and could crash when sending very large files.

In addition DevonThinkPro Office 2.0.9 allows to properly archive mailboxes from any  supported email client skipping messages archived earlier. This makes it possible to regularly "sync" a mailbox with the archive in DevonThink to keep the archive up-to-date.

DevonThinkPro and up can rebuild the global inbox...

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Mar 18
Apple says Blaze's Android/iPhone speed test comparison is...

Blaze Software, released a report Thursday in which it said the Android was 52% faster than the iPhone loading Web pages. The company purportedlly did 45,000 tests with the mobile operating systems to get their results.

“Their testing is flawed because they didn’t actually test the Safari web browser on the iPhone,” Apple spokesperson, Natalie Kerris, told "The Loop" (http://macte.ch/1zZR4). “Instead they only tested their own proprietary app which uses an embedded web viewer that doesn’t take advantage of Safari’s web performance optimizations. Despite this fundamental testing flaw, they still only found an average of a second difference in loading web pages.”

The problem of course, is that the embedded browser used in the tests had no JavaScript speed improvements, says "The Loop." While it’s not mentioned in Blaze’s press release, they did the time difference between Android and iPhone page loading...

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Mar 18
Private Contact 2.4 for Mac OS X adds simplified interface, more

Tension Software (http://pomola.com/products_privatecontact/privatecontact.html) has updated Private Contact, a native Cocoa software to manage an address book in an encrypted form in Mac OS X (10.4 and higher), to version 2.4. The upgrade boasts an improved main window layout, a simplified interface, improved category dialog, embedded PDF user guide and more.

With Private Contact informations inside documents, relative to various persons, can be read only by the Mac owner. In case of unauthorized access or theft of the Mac, the data inside Private Contact documents can’t be read without the proper master password.

Private Contact uses the powerful Blowfish algorithm to encrypt data. It's Universal Binary so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

Private Contact can be purchased for US$25. Version 2.4 is a free...

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Mar 17
Switzerland is the country with the most Mac market share

Pingdom (http://www.royal.pingdom.com) -- a site that covers Internet and online technology -- has examined operating system market share from across the globe using StatCounter web metrics data to find out where Macs are the most popular. And the winner is .... Switzerland with 17.61%.

Pingdom says the top 10 countries in terms of Mac market share: Switzerland, Luxembourg (15.79%), the United States (15.36%), Iceland (15.18%), Canada (14.03%), Australia (13.94%), New Zealand (12.84%), Norway (12.14%), Denmark (11.71%) and Singapore (10.69%). Just outside the top 10 you find countries like Sweden, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Finland.

When it comes to market share in different world regions, North America comes in at number one (14.09%), closely followed by Oceania/Australia (13.71%), then Europe (6.23%) as a distant third. The Mac has less than 2% market share in Asia,...

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Mar 17
iPhone/iPod touch/iPad apps for March 17

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

Icon Games Entertainment has announced Family Games for the iPhone and iPad. The US$1.99 app offers different multiplayer modes and game variations to choose from. Gamers can challenge their friends and family members to a tournament of skill and luck in games ranging from Dots to Hangman.

CashMap App founder and inventor Dennis Williams has released his iPad personal budgeting app called CashMap. The $19.99 app shows consumers how managing their average daily balance enables them to pay off debt, lower their borrowing costs and visualize their financial picture over the coming years.

Digiarty has launched PetsWar 1.0 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The $2.99 game charges players with assigning and matching an army of combat-ready pets to...

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Mar 17
Real Software to donate 5% of sales to Japan relief efforts

Real Software will be donating 5% of the company’s total sales for the week of March 20-26 to the American Red Cross’ earthquake and tsunami relief fund for Japan. All of Real Software’s products including new licenses on its Desktop and Web Editions, renewals, upgrades and support plans will be applicable.  

“Allocating a portion of sales for our neighbors in Japan after this devastating disaster is one small way we can help,” says Geoff Perlman, founder and CEO of Real Software.  

Real Studio is a cross-platform software development tool suited to creating a wide range of applications, from utilities to enterprise-class applications. Real Studio Personal Edition for Mac, Windows or Linux is priced at US$99 and is geared for hobbyists and students. Real Studio Professional Edition, required for cross-platform (Mac OS X, Windows and Linux) compilation, is $299. Real Studio Web Edition is now available and priced at $599.

Real Studio Enterprise Edition, made...

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Mar 17
Mac App Store now home to over 4,200 apps

In just ten weeks, the Mac App Store has seen its inventory of apps rise from around 1,000 to over 4,200, reports "InformationWeek" (http://macte.ch/GKjZc). It launched on Jan. 7.

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% of the sales revenue, are not charged for free apps and don't have to pay hosting, marketing or credit card fees. To find out more about developing for the Mac App Store visit developer.apple.com/programs/mac .

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Mar 17
iPhone tops J.D. Power rankings in customer satisfaction

Overall satisfaction with smartphones and traditional mobile phones is considerably higher among owners who use their devices for social media activity, compared with satisfaction among owners who do not access social media platforms on their phones, according to new studies by J.D. Power and Associates (http://www.JDPower.com). And the iPhone is tops in customer satisfaction.

For a fifth consecutive time, Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones in customer satisfaction with a score of 795 and performs particularly well in ease of operation, operating system, features and physical design. Motorola (763) and HTC (762) follow Apple in the smartphone rankings.

Sanyo ranks highest in overall wireless customer satisfaction with traditional handsets with a score of 715. Sanyo performs well in three factors: physical design, battery functionality and operation. LG (711) and Samsung (703)...

| Read more »
Mar 17
Credit Suisse sets Apple price target of $500 a share

Credit Suisse on Thursday launched analyst coverage of Apple with an outperform rating and a price target of US$500 a share, reports "MarketWatch" (http://macte.ch/9XqCp).

"We conclude that Apple should be able to deliver outsized revenue/earnings growth of 50%/46% over the next two years, which is significantly ahead of consensus expectations, given a sustained competitive advantage in software, hardware and services/apps ecosystem," analyst Kulbinder Garcha said in a note to clients.

| Read more »
Mar 17
Some 2011 MacBook Pros not playing nice with iTunes Home Sharing

Some owners of Apple's 2011 MacBook Pros say they can't connect devices or maintain connections through iTunes Home Sharing.

A support thread (http://macte.ch/UGCse) in Apple's Discussion forums has received over 200 posts from owners of Apple's latest MacBook Pros reporting issues with iTunes Home Sharing. Several readers have also contacted "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) regarding the issue. According to forum user 'themacbear,' the new MacBook Pro was able to stream to a second-generation Apple TV at first, but then the Apple TV reported being unable to connect or would display the error message "There are no movies in this library."

Home Sharing in iTunes is designed to let you stream and transfer music, videos, and more with up to five other computers on your local network. Home Sharing is linked to a single...

| Read more »
Mar 17
Study: Android faster than the iPhone in loading web pages

The latest Android smartphone loaded Web pages 52% faster than iPhone 4 running iOS 4.3, according to thousands of independent field tests by Blaze Software -- as reported by "Computerworld" (http://macte.ch/OMA7d).

The web page load times were about a second apart for the two devices in a study that amassed 45,000 load tests in all. For Android 2.3 on the Google Nexus S smartphone using a version of Chrome, the median load time was 2.144 seconds, compared to 3.254 seconds for iPhone 4 on iOS 4.3 running a version of Safari, according to the study.

Blaze used Fortune 1,000 web sites for the tests, running the web page loading tests repeatedly over Wi-Fi and 3G wireless connections with nothing else running on the phones at the time, says "Computerworld." The Android phone was faster than the iPhone in loading 84% of the tested Web sites. "Android wasn't just faster overall, but rather provided a faster...

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