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Dec 17
Akvis Refocus improves sharpness of out-of-focus images

Akvis (http://www.akvis.com) has released Akvis Refocus 1.0 for Mac OS X and Windows systems. The US$39 app improves the sharpness of out-ofocus images. The program can process the entire photo or bring into focus only the selected part to make the subject stand out against the background.

To achieve a more realistic selective focus effect, you can sharp one part of the photo and blur the rest. Akvis Refocus is also helpful with landscape photos. When shooting an object or a landscape at a distance, you may notice that the picture looks hazy. Akvis Refocus will make the photo more distinct.

The program is available in plu-gin and standalone versions. The plugin version is compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS5 (64-bit.). The software runs on Mac OS X 10.4 and higher. Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/Win7 and on Macintosh Mac OS X 10.4-10.6.

Registered users of Akvis Enhancer can get this program for free....

| Read more »
Dec 17
Booq expands Cobra line of laptops cases

Booq (http://www.booqbags.com) has s two new additions to their high-end Cobra line. The slim work-in Cobra hardcase and the custom-tailored Cobra courier M messenger are the latest editions to the line.

Cobra cases have a hard molded ballistic nylon exterior and a quilted interior. Slide the top of your laptop screen under the case’s contour lip and the screen opens each time the case is unzipped. Non-slip bumpers elevate the laptop to maximize airflow and provide access to all ports, allowing you to keep your laptop in the case while working on-the-go.

Nappa leather handles are sewn into an infinity-loop strap that runs all-around the case. The Cobra line also has a seatbelt nylon shoulder strap.

The Cobra hardware is an US$125 slim case with gunmetal hardware trim; it fits up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro. The $195 Cobra courier M designed to protect both a 15-inch or 17-inch MacBook Pro, you...

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Dec 17
iSkin introduces Folio + Media Display Stand for the iPad

iSkin (http://www.iskin.com) has released the Aura, an US$119.99 multi-purpose folio that allows iPad owners to carry, display and work on their Apple tablet.

Covered in brushed metallic nylon outside and microfiber lining inside, the aura features a slim-fit jacket with the traditional iSkin designer pattern that fully encapsulates the iPad snug. Buttons release a hidden stand that folds out to enable ergonomic typing, with the hardcover flap keeping glare -- and unwanted eyes -- away. Another quick fold out allows media or presentations to be displayed, with three stable stoppers varying optimal viewing.

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Dec 17
Apple releases Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.5

Apple has released Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.5 for Aperture 3 and iPhoto ‘11, adding raw image support for certain Canon, Leica, Nikon, and Panasonic cameras.

The 6.3MB download requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher. You can obtain it via the Software Updates component of Mac OS X's Systems Preferences app.

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Dec 17
Airfoil for Snow Leopard updated to version 4

Rogue Amoeba has rolled out Airfoil 4 (http://www.rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/mac), an upgrade to the tool for streaming audio around the house.

Originally designed to send any audio to Apple's Airport Express router (which supports only iTunes by default), Airfoil has grown to support streaming to the Apple TV, as well as other
computers running Airfoil Speakers (on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux), and even to iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

The Airfoil 4 update starts with an update to Airfoil Speakers, which enables you to receive audio on other computers in your house. Just run Airfoil Speakers, and Airfoil will send audio from your Mac to any machine on your network.

With version 4, Airfoil Speakers can initiate a connection back to Airfoil, so you can tune in to audio without dashing back to the Mac running Airfoil. What's more,...

| Read more »
Dec 17
Minco for Snow Leopard gets customizable output adapters

Celmaro has updated Minco (http://www.celmaro.com/minco), its time tracking solution for Mac OS X 10.6 ("Snow Leopard"), to version 1.2. The upgrade adds two new customizable output adapters.

The URL connection adapter allows to publish work times to a web server via GET and POST requests. The task note adapter add the functionality to log the work times in the note of the task itself.

Minco integrates with iCal and allows to write time logs in self specified formats to the file system. It can also visualize the daily spend time in iCal and hereby allows sharing with others. The software runs in the system menu to give access via shortcuts. The iuser interface is consequently optimized and focused on tracking, adding, and editing tasks. Minco shows the elapsed time or the acquired revenue in a display that can focus on a task, day, week, month or year.

Revenues for tasks can be...

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Dec 17
Black Cat Systems releases Health Tracker 3.5.1

Black Cat Systems (http://www.blackcatsystems.com) has released version 3.5.1 of Health Tracker, an update of the US$19.99 program to track and graph health related measurements. This new version of Health Tracker includes several bug fixes.

Health Tracker is a program designed to help you  keep track of and graph any health related measurement. For example, if you are diabetic you could track your blood glucose levels. For weight loss, you could track your weight, measurements for various body parts, or your % body fat. Or, if you keep track of your blood pressure, you could use Health Tracker for that.

Health Tracker also keeps track of your rate of losses or gains for each  measurement, and evaluates your time to goal (if a goal is entered)  based on that rate, which is valuable if you are using it to track weight losses or gains. The more information entered, the more accurate the...

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Dec 17
iGo unveils new wall, car chargers

iGo (http://www.igo.com) has unveiled Apple-certified wall and car chargers for US$24.99 each. While iGo’s new chargers can power iPads, iPhones and most iPods, they can also charge almost any other low power device through their USB power ports.

With the included certified charge/sync cable, both iGo chargers feature a 2.1A output to charge all iPads, iPhones and most iPods. Adding charging flexibility, the USB port featured on the iGo iPad wall and car chargers works with either the included sync cable or any other USB cable to charge other mobile electronic devices, such as mobile phones, MP3 players, portable game consoles and more.

The small and compact iGo iPad wall charger accepts all international input voltages without a voltage converter and is available with replaceable AC blades for international travel. The iGo iPad car charger is small enough to sit flush with most car charging port.

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Dec 17
LightFrame gets batch processing, more

Corner-A today has released LightFrame 2.2 (http://corner-a.com/lightframe), an update of the app for Mac OS X 10.6 and higher. The new version offers batch processing, new built-in resources and user interface improvements.

LightFrame is a solution for framing digital photos with your Mac. It supports all image formats that are supported by Mac OS X, including RAW images.

LightFrame costs US$30. Version 2.2 is a free update for registered users of version 2.x.

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Dec 17
Raskin update adds new features, tweaked interface

Raskin Software (http://raskinformac.com/) has updated its self-titled Raskin application – a zoomable single surface Finder alternative for Mac to version 1.2. The upgrade he update builds in new features, a friendlier look and feel, and a range of usability enhancements that make the user experience feel more honed, says Raskin’s Chief Usability Expert and Co-Founder Michael Rosewich.

Raskin is designed to simplify interaction with your computer files. It normally costs US$49.95 for a single-user license and requires Mac OS X 10.6.3 or higher. However, from now until Jan. 15 you can buy two licenses for $55. A 30-day demo is available for download.

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Dec 17
iKit releases chrome case with integrated stand for the iPhone 4

iKit (http:///www.kit.com) has released the Chrome Flip Case for iPhone 4. The US$34.95 case features a kick stand for landscape viewing.    

It comes equipped with a polycarbonate body and soft rubber interior to provide comfort and scratch protection. The Chrome Flip Case -- which has a chrome finish -- allows full access to all controls and provides the ability to sync and charge your device while it’s still protected inside the case.

The bottom of the case can also be removed for docking. The iPhone 4 Chrome Flip Case is available in a variety of finishes including blue, silver and pink.

| Read more »
Dec 17
Scosche announces kickBACK P1 for iPad, new Bluetooth...

Scosche Industries (http://www.schosche.com) has released the kickBACK P1, a shatterproof polycarbonate and shock resistant rubber hybrid case with integrated kickstand for iPad, and the solVUE solar powered Bluetooth speakerphone.

Available in white with gray molding and black on black styles, the patent pending kickBACK P1 offers protection while providing landscape and vertical viewing options. The kickBACK also offers users a low angel setting optimal for typing and integrated traction nubs to grip flat surfaces, says Kas Alves, executive vice president of Scosche Industries.  

The new Scosche solVUE provides users with a "green" way to make and receive handsfree calls while driving. It announces and displays the name of up to 1000 contacts, while its integrated solar panel continuously re-charges the lithium ion battery.  The solVUE also features an internal accelerometer that automatically...

| Read more »
Dec 17
Razer releases Scarab gaming mouse mat

Razer has released the Razer Scarab (http://www.razerzone.com/scarab), an US$39.99, next generation hard gaming mouse mat.  It features a Razer Fractal 2.0 surface coated in light grey,.

The Fractal 2.0 surface coating establishes a highly responsive and uniform tracking system perfect for optical and laser mice sensors, says Robert “Razerguy” Krakoff.  It’s been finely-tuned to balance between speed and control to help acquire targets more accurately, he adds.
Razer includes a lightweight carrying case that protects the Scarab.

| Read more »
Dec 16
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 16

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/).

Aquafadas has announced Xmas Alphabet for the iPad. The US$1.99 app lets children "discover the amazing world of words and letters in a Christmasy spirt." It comes with backgrounds with Christmas characters, letting kids to learn to spell words from a Christmas themed choice of vocabulary.

Amazing Books has released My First Trip to Washington DC 3D 1.0, an interactive 3D travel book that showcases Washington DC. In the $4.99, you join the Lil' Travelers, Hanna, Tommy and Arthur as they take a vacation in Washington DC over the Fourth of July holiday. The first in Amazing Books new Lil' Traveler series, "My First Trip to Washington DC 3D" is designed for children three-plus, is 43 pages in length and packed with fun facts and animation.

AX...

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Dec 16
'MacTech' previews latest benchmarks for...

MacTech has posted a preview of its latest benchmarks for virtualization, comparing Parallels Desktop to VMware Fusion. You can see the findings at http://www.mactech.com/2010/12/16/preview-virtualization-benchmarks .

This project isn't a product review; it's a benchmarking analysis. You should use it as part of your decision in choosing virtualization software combined with other factors such as product features, interface preferences, and support to make your product choice.

"MacTech" will soon be releasing comprehensive results on the tests of VMware Fusion 3.1 vs. Parallels Desktop 6 and the January issue of "MacTech Magazine" in print will be talking more about virtualization. If you want to get that issue delivered to your door, you can subscribe at...

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Dec 16
Apple, Microsoft, others teaming up to buy Novell patents?


According to the "FOSS Patents" site (http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2010/12/cptn-holdings-llc-acquirer-of-88...), Apple has teamed up with Microsoft, Oracle and EMC in a joint venture to purchase 882 patents from a company called Novell.

"I don't know much about EMC other than that it's a very significant company," Florian Mueller writes for "FOSS Patents." "I do know that Apple and Oracle are clearly companies who have different approaches to some important issues than Microsoft. Within the consortium, the four players will have to agree on a common denominator concerning the patents to be acquired. They've apparently been able to agree that those patents are valuable assets to own. I still don't know the list of those patents, but it's important progress that we now have the names of the...

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Dec 16
Ex-Apple employee, others accused of selling inside info

Former employees at major tech companies like Apple, Dell, Advanced Micro Devices, Flextronics International and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, sold inside information about their companies to hedge funds through an expert-networking firm, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. One of the accused tech company employees allegedly sold secrets about Apple’s iPhone and iPad, reports "Forbes" (http://blogs.forbes.com/nathanvardi/2010/12/16/tech-employees-allegedly-...).

Walter Shimoon, 39, who worked for Apple-parts supplier Flextronics, is accused of selling highly confidential sales forecast information and new product...

| Read more »
Dec 16
Chitika ad network: Windows Phone 7 is struggling

The mobile operating system designed to save Microsoft’s mobile business is struggling.  A month and a half after its launch, Windows Phone 7 is outnumbered over 100 to 1 by both Android and iPhone, based on traffic through the Chitika ad network (http://chitika.com/).

Over the past three weeks, for every one Windows Phone 7 impression Chitika saw, there were 110 Android impressions and 172 iPhone impressions.  That number is remaining relatively stable, with very little significant market share growth in WP7, according to Chitika.

"Given that both Android and iPhone see their biggest spikes in usage during weekends, Microsoft may do well to position Windows Phone 7 as a BlackBerry nemesis rather than an iPhone/Android killer – the corporate worker’s smartphone of 2011," says Daniel Ruby, research director, Online Insights, Chitika.

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Dec 16
DrScore: Physicians should tap into iPads, smart phones,...

Doctors will definitely appreciate an iPad -- or any other state-of-the-art handheld mobile device -- in their Christmas stockings this year. With sleek styles and a wide range of medical apps, the devices allow physicians to easily interact with patient medical records, explain diseases and medical procedures -- and encourage their patients to rate them at the online doctor rating website DrScore.com, an interactive online survey site where patients can rate their physicians, as well as search for a physician by specialty.

“These days, you are just as likely to find doctors carrying iPads in their white coat pockets along with their stethoscopes,” says patient satisfaction expert Steve Feldman, M.D., founder of DrScore.com. “After using the device to explain a patient’s condition or make notes in the medical record, the physician can click on the I Need a Doctor app or log on to http://www.drscore.com and...

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Dec 16
OWC rolls out Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual

Other World Computing (http://www.macsales.com) has expanded its storage solution line with the new Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual mini bus powered portable hardware RAID storage solution.

It features 14 pre-configured models with hardware RAID-1 “mirrored” redundancy for “live activity” data protection -- or RAID-0 “stripe” for maximum data transfer speed. The Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual mini contains two 2.5-inch hard drives or OWC Mercury SSDs for up to 2TB of capacity, a “quad interface” of FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0 and eSATA connections for plug and play data transfer speeds up to 300MB/second with Mac and PC computers.

Measuring the approximate size of a portable CD player -- 5.6 x 6.1 x 1.1 -- the bus powered (no AC adapter is needed) Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual mini’s flat side by side two drive design enables it to fit into laptop, photography, and other gear carrying bags. It's an under...

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Dec 16
Mac App Store to open Jan. 6

Apple's Mac App Store will open for business on Thursday, January 6. It will be for Mac OS X 10.6 ("Snow Leopard") and will be built into next summer's Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

By bringing the Apple App Store experience to Mac OS X, the Mac App Store makes discovering, installing and updating Mac apps easier than ever, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.. The Mac App Store will be available in 90 countries at launch and will feature paid and free apps in categories like Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity and Utilities.

“The App Store revolutionized mobile apps,” says Jobs. “We hope to do the same for PC apps with the Mac App Store by making finding and buying PC apps easy and fun"

The Mac App Store lets you browse new and noteworthy apps (noteworthy, as determined by Apple), find out what’s hot, view staff favorites, search categories and read customer ratings and reviews. Like on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, you can purchase, download...

| Read more »
Dec 16
'DigiTimes': new MacBook Pros, iMacs coming in first...

Apple is set to launch upgraded MacBook Pro and iMac models in the first half of 2011, according to a "DigiTimes" report (http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20101215PD223.html), quoting "sources from upstream component makers." But don't look for a 7-inch iPad.

The sources told "DigiTimes" that Apple plans to launch at least four upgraded MacBook Pros, as well as an iMac that features a new panel size and a price point for the mainstream market. No details are given on the latter, but, per "DigiTimes," the upgraded MacBook Pro notebooks will feature a slight change in chassis design and an upgrade to the new Mac OS X Lion operating system, which should help Apple's notebook shipments grow 30-40% on year in 2011. (Note that Lion isn't expected to ship before summer.)

Additionally, "Digitimes" reports (...

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Dec 16
ChangeWave: iPad will continue to dominate the tablet market

The number of corporations arming workers with tablets will double early next year with the iPad dominating the market, the ChangeWave (http://www.changewave.com) research firm says, citing its recent survey of more than 1,600 IT buyers.

In terms of current usage, 7% of corporate respondents now say their company provides employees with tablet devices, up one point since ChangeWave's previous survey in August. The research group says the iPad (82%) remains by far the most popular tablet for business purposes. H-P (e.g., Slate; 11%) and Dell (e.g., Streak; 7%) are also showing some traction among corporate users -- but both remain far behind Apple’s overwhelming share of the market.

Similar to what ChangeWave has seen in other Apple product areas, the iPad’s satisfaction ratings are outstanding -- with 69% of corporate users saying their company is very satisfied and another 28% somewhat...

| Read more »
Dec 16
Nokia files suit against Apple in the UK, Germany, Netherlands

Nokia has filed suit in the U.K., in Germany, and in the Netherlands, alleging Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod infringe on 13 patents held by Nokia relating to numerous functions, including touch user interfaces, on-device app stores, signal noise suppression, antenna structures, message functionality and chipsets, caller ID, and the integration of multiple radios.

"Nokia inventions protected by these patents include several which enable compelling user experiences," Paul Melin, Nokia's vice president of intellectual property, says. "For example, using a wiping gesture on a touch screen to navigate content, or enabling access to constantly changing services with an on-device app store, both filed more than ten years before the launch of the iPhone."

The whole legal brouhaha has a convoluted background. In September, Apple sued Nokia in Britain, reiterating the claims it had already made in a lawsuit in the US.

In May Nokia announced the filing of another lawsuit...

| Read more »
Dec 16
Digital Heaven releases DH_Reincarnation 2.0 plug-in for Final...

Digital Heaven has announced DH_Reincarnation 2.0 (http://www.digital-heaven.co.uk/dh_reincarnation), an upgrade to the plug-in for Final Cut that restores dead pixels on footage. This new version gives the choice of horizontal, vertical or horizontal & vertical interpolation modes and makes it possible to fix larger dead pixel areas.

The interpolation can be changed depending on the shot and there is even a mix control to blend between horizontal and vertical modes. A trial version of DH_Reincarnation is also available for the first time.

DH_Reincarnation 2.0 enables up to two dead pixel areas to be intelligently replaced with a single application of the plug-in. The width and height of each area can be independently set and a preview mode ensures only the dead pixels are affected. In addition the area range has been increased to a maximum of...

| Read more »
 
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.Decluster Zero: Bullet Nocturne (Games...
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