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Dec 31
'Tech Night Owl' looks at tech trends in 2011, more

On this week's "Tech Night Owl," Gene Steinberg, the Owl himself, and guests look at tech trends in 2011, Google TV, Android OS smartphones, and the hits and misses of 2010. Does 3D TV even have a chance of succeeding in the near future?

You can tune into the live broadcast stream Thursday nights from 6-8 Pacific, 9-11 Eastern from http://www.technightowl.com/radio ; an archive of the show will be available for downloading and listening at your convenience within four hours after the original broadcast. You can also access our show's podcast feed, now available at http://www.technightowl.com/nightowl.xml .

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Dec 31
MultiMode update fixes Weather Fax mode related bugs

Black Cat Systems has updated MultiMode (http://www.blackcatsystems.com/software/multimodeOSX.html), a Mac OS X application that lets you Mac decode several different modes of non-voice communication often heard on shortwave, to version 6.2.2. This version corrects some bugs related to Weather Fax mode.

MultiMode is an US$89 application that lets your Mac decode and transmit several different modes of non-voice communication often heard on shortwave and ham radio. It allows you to decode and display morse code, RTTY, FAX, SSTV, ACARS, PSK31 and many other modes on your Mac, without any extra hardware. MultiMode now also allows you to transmit in most of the modes of operation. A lite version is also available that decodes CW, RTTY, and weather fax modes, which is ideal for the sailor and boating enthusiast.

MultiMode Lite is also...

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Dec 30
Apple, others sued over 'double-clicking' patent

Another day, another lawsuit -- and this one sounds a little goofy, even by patent lawsuit standards. A company called Hopewell Culture & Design is suing Apple, Nokia, Samsung, Opera and Quickoffice for violating its patent (number 7171625) for clicking twice on an already-selected component to action a request for additional information or greater interactivity, reports "The Register" (http://macte.ch/PjSFA).

Yep, for double-clicking.

The patent was filed in 2002 and "enables a new type of interaction with content represented by an active visual display element in response to double-clicking a point-and-click user interface apparatus when the active visual display element is selected."

Here's the summary of the invention: "The invention enables a new type of interaction with content represented by an active visual display element in response to double-clicking a point-and-click user...

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Dec 30
Shades of Windows: an Android Trojan

By Greg Mills

It was only a matter of time; now an Android Trojan has been identified in the wild. The new Trojan has been named "Geinimi."

The trojan was first found in China and is very likely to spread. The trojan is specific to Android so iPhones and iPads are unaffected. The security firm Lookout posted a Security Alert that can be found at http://blog.mylookout.com/2010/12/geinimi_trojan/ .

The malware was detected in games found in third party Android app stores in China.  The worm is sophisticated and gets into Android phones hidden in games downloaded over the Internet. Such games as Monkey Jump2, a baseball game and a sex position app are known to have been infected. The malware takes over the phone and hooks up to any of 10 remove servers. The remote servers can pump the phone for private information and...

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Dec 30
NetShred X 4.5.2 adds support for Firefox 3.6

Mireth Technology Corp. has released version 4.5.2 of NetShred X, its Iinternet eraser that erases Internet cache, history and mail. The new version is compatible with Firefox 3.6.

NetShred X erases files web browsers and email programs leave behind. It's designed to run automatically, without user intervention. Since erasing temporary Internet files can take some time, NetShred X was designed to run in the background, so using the software doesn't interfere with the user's web browsing.

NetShred X is available for immediate download, or on CD-ROM, starting at US$24.95. Registered users of NetShred version 4 can take advantage of this free update. Educational pricing and volume discounts are available. NetShred X runs on Mac OS X. For more information about NetShred, visit http://www.mireth.com/pub/nxme.html .

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Dec 30
Updated iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 30

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

RiseSmart has announced Transition Concierge To-Go 1.0.1 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Previously available as an Apple-approved web app, Transition Concierge To-Go is a mobile application that delivers personalized job leads and other resources to laid-off workers. It is free to eligible employees of companies who use RiseSmart's Transition Concierge as their outplacement solution.

Tipirneni Software has released Sign-N-Send 1.0.1, an update of the US$0.99 app for iOS devices. It can open email attachments such as PDF files, Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. The user can then use the pen tool in Sign-N-Send to sign documents or use the text tool to fill out forms or annotate information such as corrections or comments. The...

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Dec 30
Apple onboard as move for 'harmonized' mobile phone...

Following a mandate from the European Commission, the European Standardisation Bodies CEN-CENELEC and ETSI have now made available the harmonized standards needed for the manufacture of data-enabled mobile phones compatible with a new common charger.

This is the most recent development in the process towards a global common mobile phone charger initiated by the European Commission. It follows the June 2009 agreement of fourteen leading mobile phone producers to harmonize chargers for data-enabled mobile phones (i.e. that can be connected to a computer) sold in the European Union.

"I am very happy that the European Standardisation Bodies have met our request to develop within a short space of time the technical standards necessary for a common mobile phone charger based on the work done by industry," says European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship. "Now it is time for industry to show its commitment to sell mobile...

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Dec 30
AT&T expanding Wi-Fi hot zones

AT&T, the second largest mobile service provider in the U.S., plans to expand Wi-Fi hot zones for its wireless network, including iPhones, to major markets. The company will expand its Wi-Fi access around Times Square in New York and introduce its first hotspot in San Francisco, reports Zach's Investment Research (http://at.zacks.com/).

Earlier this year, AT&T deployed Wi-Fi hot zones in New York City's Times Square, downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, and Chicago's Wrigleyville to support mobile broadband in urban areas. These zones provide fast data service to AT&T customers, says Zach's.

Wi-Fi is gaining popularity as more customers are adopting Wi-Fi enabled devices. It is a cost-effective to wireless broadband over AT&T's 3G network. In the third quarter of 2010, AT&T handled 106.9 million Wi-Fi connections on its network, more than the 85.5 million connections that were made...

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Dec 30
MacBook Pro makes' Amazon.com's 'Best of 2010...

Amazon.com has released its "Best of 2010" lists, which include the bestselling, most-wished-for and favorite gift products as determined by Amazon.com customers in 2010. The list includes data from Jan. 1 to Dec. 15.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro was the best-selling computer on the lists. It was also the "most-wished-for" computer on the Amazon.com list. Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 for the Mac and Windows was the most popular gift item in the software category.

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Dec 30
Remote Conductor for iPad lets you control your Mac

M3me (http://www.m3me.com ) has released Remote Conductor 1.0 for iPad, a productivity app for wirelessly controlling a Mac. It delivers three main features focused on streamlining everyday computing tasks: application and window switcher, remote program launcher and wireless trackpad. Remote Conductor communicates securely over Wi-Fi with a free server program that runs on the Mac.

Remote Conductor communicates over Wi-Fi with a free server program that runs on the Mac. The trackpad supports most modern multi-touch features such as left and right clicking, scrolling and dragging. It also has gestures for bringing up Expose, Spaces or the Dashboard.

The Launcher allows programs on the Mac to be started just like apps on the iPad. It also displays icons pinned to the Mac's dock as a scrollable row at the bottom of the screen. The Application/Window Switcher displays all the Mac's open windows as thumbnails...

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Dec 30
The iPhone will come to Verizon 'maybe by Valentine's...

Apple will release a Verizon iPhone "very soon, maybe by Valentine's Day," reports "Bloomberg Businessweek" (http://macte.ch/yKrsO). It will come sometime after the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January, the article adds, quoting " a person familiar with Apple's plans who is not authorized to discuss them publicly."

Estimates from industry analysts of the resulting number of defections to Verizon from AT&T range from 1-6 million. John Hodulik, an analyst at UBS Securities comes in somewhere in the middle, telling "Bloomberg" that he predicts that AT&T will sell 8.8 million iPhones in 2011, down from 15.6 million in 2010.

Of the 13.3 million Hodulik expects Verizon to sell in 2011, about 2.3 million will be to AT&T refugees, he predicts. An additional 10 million will be current Verizon subscribers who upgrade from other devices, and the rest will come from other carriers....

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Dec 30
Skype brings video calling to the iPhone

Skype has announced the new version of its iPhone application that brings video calling over both 3G and WiFi networks. Available to download from the Apple App Store, it allows iPhone , iPad and iPod touch owners to make and/or receive free Skype video calls for the first time.

Now, users can make and receive free Skype-to-Skype calls, call mobiles and landlines around the world at very low rates, and now share more moments together with video on Skype for iPhone, says Neil Stevens, general manager of Skype’s consumer business. With video calling representing approximately 40% of all Skype-to-Skype minutes for the first six months of 2010, Skype users have been eager to get Skype video calling on their mobile phone, he adds.

The new Skype for iPhone app is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 4th generation with i0S 4.0 or above. Video receiving capabilities are available on the iPod touch 3rd generation and iPad. Calls can be made between...

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Dec 30
Raidon launches new storage devices

After delivering a 2.5-inch portable series of USB3.0 external storage, Raidon (http://www.raidon.com.tw) is now releasing the new 3.5-inch USB 3.0 external storage family to the market.
 
The drives support functions including JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 5. The Raidon USB 3.0 family embeds with eSATA or Firewire interface from the series lineups, to offer the most suitable solution according to various demands and environments.

What's more, RAIDON has also released two types of USB3.0 PCI Express Cards to both desktop and notebook users for external storage expansions. Go to the Raidon web site for details on the various new products.

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Dec 30
Bodega for Mac OS X gets The Loop Picks feature

IDFusion Software has announced Bodega 1.3 (http://appbodega.com), an update of its "corner store" for Mac apps. The update addresses various bugs and other reported issues, as well as provides across-the-board feature and performance enhancements.

Bodega is designed as an one-stop shop for software needs. Users can browse the top- rated and most-downloaded applications. The storefront gives users links to press clippings and blog postings, so they can see what tech writers have to say about an app. Bodega lets customers buy directly from developers.

When Bodega finds outdated apps, downloading an update takes a single click. It requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.

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Dec 30
GraphicConverter update adds full screen previews

Lemke Software has updated Graphic Converter (http://www.lemkesoft.com/index.html), an image editing tool for Mac OS X, to version 7.0.3. The new version adds full screen previews for browser files and new preferences for handling selection handles and clipboard kind selection.

GraphicConverter converts pictures to different formats and has tools for picture manipulation. With it you can import about 200 graphic file formats and export approximately 80 graphic file formats. It's a Universal Binary product, so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

GraphicConverter costs US$39. Site licenses are also available. It requires Mac OS 10.5 or later. Version 7.0.1 is a free update for registered users of version 7.x.

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Dec 30
Danglet Strap System turns the iPod nano Into a pocketwatch

Collins America (http://www.collinsamerica.com/) has announced its US$14.99 Danglet wrist and neck strap system for the latest iPod nano, which turns it into a pocketwatch or stopwatch for sports.

"The iPod nano's unique clock and stopwatch features have inspired a growing number of wrist watch strap products," says Mike Collins, President of Collins America. "However, many people prefer keeping their watch in their pocket, or using the nano as a stopwatch for sports. These applications are better served with a wrist or neck strap.


Danglet orders include the Danglet adapter, which clips into the nano’s dock connector jack, and two black Nylon straps with metal clips. One is a seven-inch wrist strap, the other a 17-inch neck strap. Additional product information can be found on the Collins America web site. The company is seeking resellers for the Danglet located in the USA, Canada,...

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Dec 30
Man punches teen who won't turn off his iPhone

A 68-year-old Idaho man named Russell Miller was arrested Tuesday night for punching a teenager who refused to turn off his iPhone on an airplane, reports the "Daily Mail" (http://macte.ch/yO5IS).

Witnesses said a 15-year-old boy completely ignored the routine instructions for passengers to switch off cell phones and electronic items. Miller, was enraged by the teen’s rudeness and lashed out, says the "Daily Mail."

‘He punched him so hard there was a mark on the teen's arm. That gave us probable cause to believe the reports from the other passengers,’ said Lieutenant Kent Lipple, of Boise Police.

After the fight, the pilot radioed the air traffic control tower in Boise and requested police officers to meet the plane when it landed late Tuesday night. Miller was charged with one count of misdemeanor battery and was booked into Ada County jail.

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Dec 30
Touch screen industry growing ... and growing ... and growing

In its fourth quarter "Touch Panel Market Analysis," the DisPlaySearch research group (http://www.displaysearch.com) says the worldwide touch screen industry is on track for more than 30% year-over-year (Y/Y) growth in 2010. The report includes shipment and revenue data for the first half of 2010 and estimates for the second half of the year for 32 leading touch screen suppliers.

“Despite the worldwide economic downturn and sluggish recovery in 2010, total touch panel shipments had almost 30% growth in 2009, and this segment is on track for healthy growth again in 2010,” says Jennifer Colegrove, PhD, Vice President of Emerging Display Technologies for DisplaySearch. “Penetration of touch screens in medium and large-size electronic devices such as mini-note/slate personal computers and gaming is rapidly increasing in 2H’10.”

The mini-note/slate computercategory is the fastest growing...

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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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