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Dec 03
'PC World': MacBook Air performs worse than similarly...

Lab tests prove that many Windows 7 laptops having a similar price offer better performance than the 2010 MacBook Air models, reports "PC World."

"The numbers show that many Windows notebooks that carry a similar price tag outperform the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models we tested," the article says. "Other differences show up, too. Many of the better-performing Windows laptops are bigger and heavier than the Air, and some have poorer battery life. But if you’re interested in getting the most pop possible for your buck, it’s clear that the MacBook Air isn’t the best way to go."

You can read the details of their test at http://www.pcworld.com/article/211930/macair_tested2.html?tk=rss_news .

| Read more »
Dec 03
Apple, publishers still disagree on mag app subscription details

Apple and the publishing industry haven’t been able to come to terms over magazine app subscriptions for the iPad. According to "All Things D" (http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20101203/apple-publishers-still-miles-ap...), publishers want the ability to sell the subscriptions themselves, or at least the opportunity to hang on to subscribers’ personal data, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs is opposed to that.

The article -- quoting "publishing sources" -- says here’s what Apple is offering publishers, according to publishing sources:

° The ability to sell app subscriptions through iTunes.

° Seventy percent of the revenue from each sale.

° The ability to offer an opt-in form for subscribers that would ask them for a limited amount of information...

| Read more »
Dec 03
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 3

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/).

Namco Networks has unleashed Buccaneer Blitz, the latest addition to their suite of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad games. Available now on Apple’s App Store, the game can be purchased for $2.99. An additional 12 levels can be downloaded for an extra $0.99. In Buccaneer Blitz, players find their inner pirate and set sail to conquer 15 enemy levels in campaign mode.

Cameron Davidson has announced Arlington Cemetery 1.0 for iPad users. The $1.99 app offers a quiet reflection and tour of the scenes, rituals, ceremonies and monuments that are so important in commemorating the fallen heroes resting in Arlington National Cemetery. Users get to view some of the aerial, landscape and portrait photos taken by Davidson for his Smithsonian book, "A Moment of...

| Read more »
Dec 03
comScore: Apple has 24.6% of US smartphone market

Approximately 60.7 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in October, up 14% from the preceding three-month period, representing one out of mobile subscribers, accodring to a new report by the comScore research group (http://www.comscore.com).

RIM was the leading mobile smartphone platform in the U.S. with 35.8% hare of U.S. smartphone subscribers, followed by Apple with 24.6% share (up 0.8 percentage points). Google Android saw another month of strong growth, rising 6.5 percentage points to capture 23.5% of smartphone subscribers.

Microsoft accounted for 9.7% of smartphone subscribers, while Palm rounded out the top five with 3.9%. Despite losing share to Android, most smartphone platforms continue to gain subscribers as the smartphone market overall continues to grow, according to comScore.

| Read more »
Dec 03
XILS Lab releases PolyKB II

XILS Lab (http://www.xils-lab.com/) has launched the PolyKB mk II, the recreation of a very polyphonic synthesizer released in the 80's.

The PolyKB II is a polyphonic subtractive synthesizer based on two waveform morphing, aliasing free oscillators and a self oscillating four poles low pass filter. The oscillators take a large part of the sound of this synthesizer while the filter recreating a standard analog chip of the 80's (with the help of very complete modulation sections), allows the PolyKB II to create "incredibly warm sounds from gorgeous basses to slowly evolving pads, through aggressive leads and thin crystal keyboards as well as a huge range of incredible special effects that all sound designers will love to use," according to the folks at XILS Lab.

Through Dec. 19, the new PolyKB II Synthesizer will be sold at introductory price of US$89 (it's normally $199) or as part of the "...

| Read more »
Dec 03
Analyst: Apple will sell 32 million iPads in fiscal 2011

The iPad will cause nearly 50% of all growth for Apple in fiscal year 2011, according to Caris & Company analyst Robert Cihra. In a note to clients -- as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) -- he calls Apple's growth "stunning."

In the December quarter, Cihra expects Apple to sell 6.7 million iPads. He has also projected the sale of 32 million iPads in fiscal year 2011, accounting for more growth in Apple's bottom line than the iPhone.

| Read more »
Dec 03
OWC iMac upgrade program now offers 3TB hard drive

Other World Computing (http://www.macsales.com) says its OWC Turnkey Upgrade Installation Program for the mid-2010, 27-inch now offers iMac owners the option to upgrade the hard drive to a 3.0TB model. That's a 50% storage capacity increase over the 2.0TB factory option.

This new storage capacity option joins existing upgrade program choices:

° Adding up to three OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSDs for up to a total of 1.44TB capacity; up to 5.5X higher than the factory SSD option;

° Adding the first offered eSATA port option for an iMac, and/or adding up to 16GB RAM with savings up to 81% versus factory options.

The turnkey professional installation service program offers multiple configuration options starting at US$169 with a 48-business hours or less installation turnaround and includes complete shipping options along with OWC’s warranty coverage.

| Read more »
Dec 03
Apple-Motorola legal battle now involves 42 patents

There are now 42 patents involves in the ongoing legal brouhaha between Apple and Motorola.

Apple now alleges that Motorola infringes 24 of its patents (21 of them with Android-based phones, the remaining 3 with set-top boxes and DVRs), while Motorola previously asserted 18 patents against a variety of Apple products (mostly but not exclusively iPhone, iPad and iPod), reports "Foss Patents" (http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2010/12/apple-vs-motorola-now-42-patents...).

Litigation between the two companies takes place in several different federal courts -- primarily the Western District of Wisconsin and the Southern District of Florida -- as well as before the US International Trade Commission (ITC), the article adds. Last week it was announced that Apple's patent claims against Motorola...

| Read more »
Dec 03
No demos, betas on the Mac App Store

Following Thursday night’s seeding of a new build of Mac OS X 10.6.6, Apple updated its Developer News site (http://developer.apple.com/news/) with a few tips for developers to consider before trying to submit their Mac apps for approval.

"MacStories" (http://www.macstories.net/mac/apple-confirms-no-demos-in-the-mac-app-store/) notes that, among these tips Apple has confirmed that demos, trial versions and beta software is off limits for the Mac App Store . The company says: "Your website is the best place to provide demos, trial versions, or betas of your software for customers to explore. The apps you submit to be reviewed for the Mac App Store should be fully functional, retail versions of your apps."

Craig...

| Read more »
Dec 03
EA VP: Apple has 'good chance to succeed' with a game...

Apple would have a "relatively good chance to succeed" if it tried to take on Sony and Microsoft in the video game console market, according to Electronic Arts Vice President Patrick Soderlund, who fielded questions from "CVG" (http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=278837) about the future of the games industry and those competing in it.

He said that anyone else but Apple would find it very hard to compete with PlayStation and Xbox. "CVG" asked Soderlund what would happen if Apple were to make a move into mainstream gaming and tried challenge the big two with a console of its own.

"If it was anyone but Apple, I'd say that's going to be very hard," he replied. "I still think it's going to be extremely hard for them but they've surprised many people before. Look at what they did with the iPhone, right? They are a...

| Read more »
Dec 03
TrendNet releases 300Mbps Wireless N Media Bridge

TrendNet (http://www.trendnet.com) has released the US$69.99 300Mbps Wireless N Media Bridge, model TEW-640MB, which is designed to provide a high performance wireless connection for all networked media center devices.

The 300Mbps Wireless N Media Bridge connects a Ethernet-ready gaming console, network television, receiver, media controller, and DVR to a lag-free high-speed wireless n network, says Sonny Su, technology director of Trendnet. There's no need to place your media center near a hardwired Internet connection-cut the cables and experience the high definition connection quality of the Wireless N Media Bridge, he adds.

Users who have a router with a WPS button require practically no setup. Power up the TEW-640MB, press the WPS button on your router, then the WPS button on the TEW-640MB, and it's connected to your router and the Internet. Finally, network media center devices to the four...

| Read more »
Dec 03
Black Cat Systems releases Graph Paper Maker 2.3.0

Black Cat Systems (http://www.blackcatsystems.com/) has released Graph Paper Maker version 2.3.0.  Graph Paper Maker is available for Mac OS X and Windows, and is priced at US$19.99.

The new version adds an option to generate sheets of gridded paper. Graph Paper Maker lets you create your own custom sheets of graph paper. It's designed for students, teachers, engineers, scientists, researchers, businessmen, and others who need to create specialized sheets of graph paper.

The sheets of graph paper are saved as PDF file. The templates can also be saved, so that they can later be edited and re-used if minor modifications to the graph paper sheets are necessary.

| Read more »
Dec 03
DVDxDV Pro 3.0 features new timeline view

DVDxDV Pro (http://www.dvdxdv.com/) has been updated to version 3.0.4. The new version provides instant access to any part of a DVD movie with its new expandable timeline view.

Version 3.0.4 provides instant access to any part of a DVD movie with its new expandable timeline view. With a resolution expandable to a single second, this timeline can pin point scenes on a DVD for extraction. Use the timeline to mark the beginning and ending of an important scene such as a the blowing out of the candles at child's birthday party and extract this scene to a Quicktime movie.

DVDxDV Pro rips unencrypted standard definition DVDs into QuickTime video files. It can convert DVDs into High Definition 1080i video for use in Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere and iMovie HD. In addition to editing systems, DVDxDV Pro supports conversion to the MP4 format for use in the iPhone,...

| Read more »
Dec 03
Info needed on gaming accessories for the Mac

Our next Category Review will cover gaming accessories (joysticks, trackballs, speakers, headsets, etc.) for the Mac. If you use or know of such goodies, drop me a line (dsellers@applecentral.com) no later than Wednesday, Dec. 15.

Category Reviews appear on Friday and round-up Mac solutions for specific industries and areas as dentistry, engineering, sales, etc. Also, if you have a particular pic you'd like us to cover, drop me a line, as well.

| Read more »
Dec 03
PowerProduction Software updates StoryBoard Quick

PowerProduction Software has updated StoryBoard Quick -- software for visually planning media projects -- to version 6, adding new screenwriting software imports including support for Final Draft fdx format.

"This version offers new and more artwork, simplicity and speed to every task," says Jeff Walsh, vice president of Product Management at PowerProduction Software. "By streamlining the digital workflow for the professionals, and enabling beginning videographers to plan projects, StoryBoard Quick 6 brings new vitality to the essential process of storyboarding for pre-production.”

StoryBoard Quick integrates with screenwriting applications such as Final Draft, Screenwriter , Montage, Storyist, etc. and batched image imports. It's designed for pre-production planning for projects and lets you compose your shots using the ready-made art as well as enabling the layering and compositing of integrated artwork with imported photos.

Other new features in version 6...

| Read more »
Dec 03
Mophie announces juice pack plus for the iPhone 4

Mophie (http://www.mophie.com) has announced the the juice pack plus, an US$99.95 enhanced capacity iPhone 4 battery case that will purportedly more than double the time iPhone users have to rock, talk and surf.

The plus is mophie’s second rechargeable external battery case designed for the iPhone 4, and has a 2,000 mAh battery capacity, the largest of any juice pack case produced to date. In keeping with mophie’s award-winning juice pack design, the juice pack plus is ultra-thin and light-weight, providing protection and now even more power for the iPhone 4 while adding only 1mm of thickness when compared to the original juice pack air design, says Susan Schedel, vice president of sales and marketing for mophie.

The juice pack plus boasts a 2,000 mAh charging capacity, offering iPhone 4 power users with more than double the battery life on-the-go. It features enhanced design elements including a dual...

| Read more »
Dec 03
Info needed on gaming accessories for the Mac

Our next Category Review will cover gaming accessories (joysticks, trackballs, speakers, headsets, etc.) for the Mac. If you use or know of such goodies, drop me a line (dsellers@applecentral.com) no later than Wednesday, Dec. 15.

Category Reviews appear on Friday and round-up Mac solutions for specific industries and areas as dentistry, engineering, sales, etc. Also, if you have a particular pic you'd like us to cover, drop me a line, as well.

| Read more »
Dec 03
Black Cat Systems releases Graph Paper Maker 2.3.0

Black Cat Systems (http://www.blackcatsystems.com/) has released Graph Paper Maker version 2.3.0.  Graph Paper Maker is available for Mac OS X and Windows, and is priced at US$19.99.

The new version adds an option to generate sheets of gridded paper. Graph Paper Maker lets you create your own custom sheets of graph paper. It's designed for students, teachers, engineers, scientists, researchers, businessmen, and others who need to create specialized sheets of graph paper.

The sheets of graph paper are saved as PDF file. The templates can also be saved, so that they can later be edited and re-used if minor modifications to the graph paper sheets are necessary.

| Read more »
Dec 03
DVDxDV Pro 3.0 features new timeline view

DVDxDV Pro (http://www.dvdxdv.com/) has been updated to version 3.0.4. The new version provides instant access to any part of a DVD movie with its new expandable timeline view.

Version 3.0.4 provides instant access to any part of a DVD movie with its new expandable timeline view. With a resolution expandable to a single second, this timeline can pin point scenes on a DVD for extraction. Use the timeline to mark the beginning and ending of an important scene such as a the blowing out of the candles at child's birthday party and extract this scene to a Quicktime movie.

DVDxDV Pro rips unencrypted standard definition DVDs into QuickTime video files. It can convert DVDs into High Definition 1080i video for use in Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere and iMovie HD. In addition to editing systems, DVDxDV Pro supports conversion to the MP4 format for use in the iPhone,...

| Read more »
Dec 02
Analyst: Apple to continue mobile market domination

Based on continued strong sell-through trends for Apple's iPad and iPhone, Canaccord Genuity technology analyst Michael Walkley told clients -- as reported by "CIO Insight" (http://www.cioinsight.com/c/a/Latest-News/Apple-Mobile-Market-Domination...) -- that he thinks Apple will maintain both market and value share leadership in the mobile device market.

Walkley's report maintained the firm's "buy" rating for the company, and noted strong sell-through indication trends for iPads with growing distribution and improved supply. As a result, Walkley increased his iPad unit estimates from 5 million to 6.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2010.

| Read more »
Dec 02
Apple discontinues wired version of its compact keyboard

Apple has "quietly discontinued" its compact wired keyboard, and only offers the full-size wired option on its store, reports "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com). You can still get the wireless version of the compact keyboard.

Apple still sells its full-size wired keyboard with numeric keypad for US$49. It also sells the wireless keyboard, without a numeric keypad, for $69.

While the wired compact keyboard is no longer available from Apple's store, it can still be purchased through Amazon for $46.99, notes "AppleInsider."

| Read more »
Dec 02
Europe's telecoms reducing iPhone subsidies?

Sanford Bernstein’s European telecoms analyst Robin Bienenstock told clients in a note -- as reported by "Barron's (http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2010/12/02/apple-europes-teleco...) -- that although the fear of Apple creating an easily unlocked SIM card has faded Europe’s wireless operators have moved ahead with reductions in the subsidy they provide to the iPhone.

Bienenstock has observed a €40 to €150 reduction in iPhone subsidies “in the largest iPhone markets." In essence, the carriers sensed Apple was seeking to play them against one another even more, in a “prisoner’s dilemma,” and they have been spooked, says Bienenstock. She also notes promotions for the iPhone have disappeared from the carriers’ home pages...

| Read more »
Dec 02
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 2

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/).

Reports say the BBC will launch the long-awaited global version of its iPlayer TV catch-up service on a subscription-only basis, and initially only on iPad.

EA Mobile has unleashed Rock Band Reloaded. The iPad-exclusive HD version ($9,99) and the version for iPhone and iPod touch ($4.99) offers players an initial setlist of songs from artists including Nirvana, Billy Idol, No Doubt, Nine Inch Nails and Vampire Weekend. More than 20 songs will be available today with new tracks launching throughout the holidays. Plus, for the first time, ROCK BAND Reloaded players now have a “5th Way to Play” by singing directly into their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad utilizing new vocal recognition features.

Mindwarm has announced AddTo Athens 1.0 for the...

| Read more »
Dec 02
No Starch Press releases 'My New iPad, Second Edition'

No Starch Press has released "My New iPad, Second Edition" by Wallace Wang. The 384-page, US$24.95 book is for "new iPad owners in need of guidance."

The book shows readers how to do useful and entertaining things with their iPad, like surf the Internet, send email, listen to music, take notes, read ebooks, and play with photos. This second edition has been updated with a chapter on troubleshooting and revised to cover the new features introduced in iOS 4.x, including multitasking, folders, printing, and much more.

Wang s the author of several computer books, including "My New Mac," "My New iPhone" and "Steal This Computer Book" (all No Starch Press). He's also a successful stand-up comic who has appeared on A&E's "Evening at the Improv" and performs regularly at the Riviera Comedy Club in Las Vegas, Nevada.

| Read more »
Dec 02
Survey: iPad not quite worth the sticker price

A new consumer survey says the iPad isn't quite worth what Apple charges, notes "Fortune" (http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/12/02/how-much-is-an-ipad-worth/).

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster and his associates recently ran a small survey of 65 consumers who don't presently own tablet computers, the story adds. They were shown a pair of  competing devices -- an US$629 Apple's iPad 3G and a $599 Samsung Galaxy Tab running Google's Android OS -- and asked not just which one they preferred (the iPad won that bake-off 85% to 15%) but what they thought a reasonable price for each would be.

Munster reports that his sample group thought the iPad was worth about $417 -- $212 (34%) less than its suggested retail price. The Galaxy Tab, by comparison, was worth about $283 -- $316 (53%) below its retail price.

| Read more »
 
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