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Sep 14
ComScore: iOS, Android platforms surge in the past year

ComScore (http://www.comscore.com), a company that specializes in measuring the digital world, has released a study of smartphone use showing that the Symbian platform holds 54.4% of the Western European market.

ComScore lists Apple in second place, as of July, with 10% share of smartphone UK subscribers. Symbian is in first place with 68.8%. When it comes to the top mobile OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) Apple is also in second with 10.2% while Nokia has 65.5%.

However, despite Symbian’s continued growth in number of smartphone subscribers, its market share has fallen as growth in the Apple iOS and Android (Google) platforms has surged in the past year. Smartphone adoption in the EU5 (U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy) has grown 41% in the past year to 60.8 million subscribers. Currently, more than one out of every two smartphones is a Nokia manufactured device, although Nokia accounted...

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Sep 14
Kingston Digital launches USB 3.0 flash drive

Kingston Digital (http://www.kingston.com) is shipping its first USB 3.0 Flash drive. The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Flash drive takes advantage of the faster USB 3.0 specification that has up to 10 times the data transfer rates of the current USB 2.0 specification.

The DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 has a read speed of 80MB/second and a write speed of 60MB/second. It's available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities.

To ensure backwards compatibility, Kingston is also including a Y cable as some USB 2.0 ports require it to initialize USB 3.0 drives. And you'll need it for Macs as they currently don't support USB 3.0.

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Sep 14
MarsEdit for Mac OS X now 64-bit compatible

Red Sweater Software has updated MarsEdit (http://www.red-sweater.com/marsedit), weblog publishing software, to version 3.1. The upgrade is 64-bit compatible and adds a new per-blog setting to constrain image media to pre-set size.


There's also support for Lightroom 3 media libraries and a new "Paste HTML Source" command for e.g. embedding YouTube easily in rich mode. MarsEdit 3.1 offers enabled plug-ins for the rich editor so you can, for example, see embedded movies.

The "Send To Weblog" command now works when preview window is front-most. Finallyl, version 3.1 offers optional support for Google Data API 2.0 with Blogger

MarsEdit costs US$39.95; upgrades from previous versions are $9.95 (though version 3.1 is a free update for registered users of version 3.x). A 30-day demo copy is available from Red Sweater Software. MarsEdit 2 requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher; it'...

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Sep 14
Best Buy expands iPad availability to all US stores Sept. 26

Best Buy (http://www.bestbuy.com), the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer, today says it will expand availability of the Apple iPad with Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi +3G models to all 1,093 U.S. stores beginning Sept. 26. Best Buy is a preferred channel partner for the Apple iPad, now selling the popular device online (for in-store pick-up) and through Apple Shop locations within 673 Best Buy stores.

“Technology is becoming more and more personal, and our customers say they really value visiting a Best Buy store to touch and try the iPad for themselves,” says Wendy Fritz, senior vice president of computing at Best Buy. “We’re delighted that we’ll soon make that opportunity available to everyone who’d like to come see us, and experience this device in any Best Buy store nationwide.”

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Sep 14
PropUp launches iPad companion

PropUp has launched a self-titled ergonomic holder for the iPad. Its designed to allow comfortable interaction with your Apple tablet in landscape or portrait view.

Its patent pending "flex" design accommodates "nude" iPads nude or those outfitted in one of the many cases on the market today. PropUp is sold through propupstore.com and will be shipping Oct. 1. For a limited time it's being offered for a discounted rate of US$24.95 with free shipping in the US and $27 shipping to select international markets. After the introductory period pricing is $28.95 with $6 shipping in the US and $27 shipping to select international markets.

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Sep 14
Speck Fitted cases come to the MacBook Pro

Speck (http://www.speckproducts.com) says their Fitted case line is expanding and bringing its brand of tailored hard shell protection and styling for the first time to the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros (the latest unibody models).

While crafting Fitted for the MacBook Pro, Speck's designers referenced the mastery they accomplished in the sleek SeeThru and SeeThru Satin hard shell cases for MacBook, says Speck CEO Irene Baran. The new Fitted cases feature authentic original fabrics over a protective hard shell top cover with comfortable soft-touch finished bottom shell cover, she adds.

The new cases also feature complete access to all ports and battery check button, are fully vented for optimum heat disbursement, and allow the screen to open all the way. They're available in patterns including: Brown Cookie Camo, geometry-inspired but presentable Purple SpexyHexy, pleasingly...

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Sep 14
Vectorworks 2011 product line released

Nemetschek Vectorworks has released 2011 versions of its Vectorworks line (http://www.vectorworks.net/2011) of design software, including Vectorworks Designer, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Fundamentals and Renderworks.

According to says Dr. Biplab Sarkar, chief technology officer of Nemetschek Vectorworks, the 2011 version of Vectorworks software delivers several major improvements, including:

°  2D/3D integration. Vectorworks software has now, more than ever, a true 3D modeling environment. 2D planar objects can be created and edited within a planar context, where they display with all their attributes. Users can work in Top/Plan view as usual, or switch to a 3D view and continue working in the same way, with the same tools and operations.

° Improved Building Information Modeling (BIM) capabilities. The Vectorworks Architect program is even easier to use, and its new tools...

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Sep 14
Raidon launches 8-bay SAS 6G RAID storage solution

Raidon (http://www.raidon.com.tw/) is releasing its new generation of SAS 6G storage solutions: the 2880 Series, which supports eight to 15mm height 2.5-inch HDD’s and is embedded with a dual SAS 6G host interface, delivering transfer rates of over 700MB/second.


The 2880 Series provides multiple RAID levels up to RAID 6 and RAID 60 and also offers a snapshot function for system configuration backup. If a failure occurs the system can be recovered providing additional data security.
 
The 2880 Series comes in two models:, the iR2880 for internal and the GR2880 for external use, both models are equipped with the Raidon SAS 6G module from Intel 80341 CPU and 1GB of DDR2 RAM with LCD system status display. Both products also provide a web GUI (graphical user interface) for system configuration and monitoring via LAN or RS232.

The GR2880 has a backplane design that allows the unit to be...

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Sep 14
Free iValentina for remote database management announced

Paradigma Software has announced iValentina (http://www.valentina-db.com/), a free, mobile database management tool for working with the columnar database system, Valentina, for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. It will arrive next month.

With it, users of iValentina are able to do many of same functions accessible to users of Valentina Studio, the desktop application for creating and managing Valentina databases. iValentina runs on the iPhone iOS and was built using xCode, Valentina for Cocoa and the free Valentina for iPhone Client library.

With iValentina features ; you can: log in remotely to any Valentina Database Server; ceate new and modify existing databases, database schema, tables and more; run complex queries on Valentina Server and see the results, including picture preview; monitor an unlimited number of Valentina Server installations; and store and save complex queries as...

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Sep 14
NewerTech announces 'quad interface' portable RAID...

Newer Technology (http://www.newertech.com) has expanded its storage solution line with the new Guardian MAXimus mini bus powered portable hardware RAID storage solution for “live activity” backup/data redundancy of critical data.

Featuring hardware RAID-1 redundancy for a MAXProtect “mirrored” copy of data or RAID-0 for MAXPerform speed and a “quad interface” of FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0 and eSATA connections, the Guardian MAXimus mini offers Mac and PC users Plug and Play storage capacity up to 1.5TB and data transfer speeds up to 300MB/second.

The Guardian MAXimus mini comes factory set as a RAID-1 Plug And Play “live activity” data redundant/backup solution for financial records, medical files, business projects. Its MAXProtect mode writes the same information in real-time to two separate 2.5" SATA drives, each offering up to 750GB of storage capacity, for a “mirrored” copy.

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Sep 14
LaCie introduces USB 3.0 RAID storage

LaCie (http://www.lacie.com) has released what it says is the first RAID storage solution to incorporate the new USB 3.0 technology: the LaCie 2big USB 3.0. In addition to the 2big USB 3.0, LaCie also announces the availability of its single-disk professional solution with a USB 3.0 port -- the LaCie d2 USB 3.0. Unfortunately, it will only run at USB 2.0 speeds on the Mac since there are no Macs with USB 3.0 support yet.

The LaCie 2big USB 3.0 is available in up to a 4TB capacity; pricing starts at US$349.99. According to Clement Barberis, product manager for LaCie’s Professional Desktop Solutions department. you can transfer a 50GB Blu-ray disk in less than five minutes, which is six times faster than USB 2.0. The 2big USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0.

The 2big USB 3.0 includes two 7200 rpm hot-swappable hard disks and features three RAID modes. You can choose the “Fast” mode (RAID 0) to enjoy...

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Sep 14
iFrogz releases new iPhone cases

iFrogz (http://www.ifrogz.com) has released its new line of protective cases for the iPhone 4. The line includes eight designs, including favorites such as the Luxe Original and the Luxe Lean.

Other styles include the Wrapz, Treadz, SoftGloss, Luxe Transition, Frosted Swerve and Fusion. These cases range from US$14.99 to $29.99.

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Sep 14
SWF for Mac OS X update supports CS5, Flash 10

DcomSoft has released SWF Protector 3.0 (http://www.dcomsoft.com/), an update of their SWF file protection utility for Mac OS X 10.4 and higher. The upgrade supports CS5 and Flash 10, as well as offering other fixes and enhancements.

SWF Protector helps you protect your SWF files via various protection algorithms. Plus, you can customize your protection in different ways.

SWF Protector costs US$39.95 for a single user license. A business license for one user is $59.95, and a company license is $299.95.

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Sep 14
CoreMelt releases Lock & Load Express for Final Cut Express

CoreMelt has announced Lock & Load Express (http://www.lockandloadx.com/lock-and-load-express.html), an addition to its line of video effects software tools. It harnesses much of the key functionality found in Lock & Load X, including rolling shutter reduction, but in a simplified version that caters primarily to videographers and prosumers using DSLR cameras and working on Apple's Final Cut Express editing suite. L

The gang at CoreMelt says that while Lock & Load X has gained considerable praise as a tool to improve video quality for users on higher end editing software applications, there are videographers utilizing DSLR and CMOS sensor based cameras running on Final Cut Express, which does not have a built-in image stabilizer (Lock & Load Express is currently the only stabilizer designed for Final Cut Express), who don't need...

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Sep 14
Microspot releases 25th Anniversary Edition of MacDraft 6

Microspot (http://www.microspot.com) has released the 25th anniversary editions of MacDraft Professional and MacDraft Personal Edition. These are major new versions of the program that was first sold in 1985 to compete with Apple's MacDraw. I

Version 6 offers a new drag and drop library palette/media browser that's the same as used in Microspot Interiors. It's designed to make access to multiple libraries easier and faster than before. It also works with iPhoto for image dropping and images can be dragged straight in from the desktop. The Layers Palette has also been redesigned to allow easier manipulation of multilayer documents because the palette stays in view it gives a continuous indication of what's showing in the document window. Merging of layers is now also undoable.

The handling of images in MacDraft 6 has been improved with the addition of an Image menu containing new controls for image...

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Sep 14
iWeb Themes Park unveils five new iWeb themes

iWeb Themes Park (http://www.iwebthemespark.com) has unveiled five new iWeb themes for iWeb, the web design component of Apple's iLife suite.

These themes -- Picture Frame, Strategic, Wood Wall, Sunny Clouds and Photo Lab -- are made specially for building web sites viewable on any traditional computer, iPad or any other touch screen device.

The iWeb Themes Box of 60 themes is priced at US$44.99. Ten iWeb Themes in a Combo Package can be purchased for $29.99. Each template is available for $11.99 or $10.99. Using the coupon code "iWebThemesTrio" three iWeb themes of your choice can be obtained with $10.99 discount. Two iWeb themes are free for everyone.

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Sep 14
NuKit for the Mac gets dictionary, more

Nulana LTD has released NuKit 1.1 (http://nulana.com/nukit), an update of the productivity and timesaving toolkit for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6. The upgrade includes a dictionary and abbreviation search in the Launcher, speed improvements, shortcuts to anything, and three new language versions.

NuKit combines different utilities such as a launcher, tweaker, shortcut editor, window mover and advanced calculator. It costs US$19.99, though version 1.1 is a free update for registered users.

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Sep 14
'MacVoices' looks at the Penny Arcade Expo

On the new "MacVoices" (http://www.macvoices.com), Omaha Sternberg of iGameRadio spent her Labor Day weekend at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), and explains what it is and where computer gaming in general, and Mac gaming in particular fit in.

With opportunities for all aspects of the gaming community, from tabletop to online games, she talks about her experiences, the social aspects of the show, and some of the more interesting developments that include a possible update to a game after a decade of waiting, and an upcoming game that involves three very unlikely ingredients and more. Sternberg also talks about mobile vs. online gaming, where the iPhone and iPad fit in at this point and in the future, and more.

"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...

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Sep 14
Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac ships

Parallels (http://www.parallels.com) has released Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac, the latest version of the software for running Windows and Mac applications side-by-side on a Mac without rebooting. The new version has more than 80 new and enhanced features, says Serguei Beloussov, chairman and CEO of Parallels.

He says 3D graphics run nearly 40% better than before. Boot time for Windows is 41% faster than before, and Parallels Desktop 6 also boosts speed for working with files on USB drives, networks and in shared folders, says Beloussov.

Parallels also announced the availability of Parallels Desktop 6 Switch to Mac Edition, which includes Parallels Desktop 6 plus new features specifically designed to make the move from PC to Mac smart and simple. The Switch to Mac Edition provides a set of switching tools and includes a Parallels High-Speed USB data transfer cable.  All of your programs, files,...

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Sep 14
'Consumer Reports' still doesn't recommend the...

"Consumer Reports" (http://www.consumerreports.org) says it still can't recommend the iPhone 4. The product testing company/mag says Apple still hasn't adequately addressed the issue of when your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone's lower left side if the phone is being used in an area with a weak signal.

Apple has discontinued its free-case program for the iPhone 4 effective Oct. 1, but says it will still provide a case to the "small percentage" of buyers who will need one due to the phone's "antenna attenuation issue." The company says "we now know" that the antenna issue is "even smaller than we originally thought."


That move is "less consumer-friendly in several respects," says "Consumer Reports." Here's the organization's take: "First, if you are 'experiencing antenna issues' with your iPhone 4, Apple says, you'll need to call the company to request a case. And where the...

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Sep 14
Third Apple store in Italy will open Saturday

The third Apple store in Italy will open this Saturday at the Le Gru shopping mall in Torino, a city of 1 million in the north of the country adjacent to the Alps, reports "ifoAppleStore" (http://www.ifoapplestore.com/db/2010/09/13/grand-opening-in-n-italy-sche...).

The huge ground-floor store is located in the center of the mall next to the McDonald’s restaurant. The store opens at 10 a.m. You can see a diagram of the mall at "ifoAppleStore."

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Sep 14
Apple launches Express Lane

Apple has launched a new online help system called Express Lane (https://expresslane.apple.com/GetproductgroupList.do;jsessionid=BKRfMQFfsNQLlJ9GDZy4nhQKmk7j9yV8BLSkMLSrXmppt2YdZHT5!1929009106) for diagnosing problems with Apple products. It's designed to streamline the customer service process and troubleshooting system.

It lists these categories: Mac & Software; iPod; iPhone; iPad; iTunes; More Products & Services. Once you begin using the service, it offers "My Products" and "Case Lookup" features.

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Sep 14
Ultrasone releases PRO 2900 headphones

Ultrasone (http://www.Ultrason.com) is releasing both a standard, single cable version and a balanced, double cable version of its PRO 2900 headphones.

While standard, single cable headphones are commonplace in most pro audio and audiophile applications, a balanced headphone coupled with a balanced amplifier offers unique advantages over the former such as increased audio performance due to a doubling the slew rate and voltage swing power, while reducing distortion components and eliminating crosstalk, according to the folks at Ultrasone. The end result is decreased distortion and ultimately superior audio performance, they add.

To achieve this paragon of headphone fidelity, balanced headphones must be paired with a balanced amplifier (4-channel amp with 2 inverted positive channels) that instead of using a common ground, uses two wires per side to deliver positive and negative audio signals to...

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Sep 14
Sorenson Squeeze 6.5 sports new video decoding capabilities

Sorenson Media (http://www.sorensonmedia.com) has released Sorenson Squeeze 6.5, which adds greater encoding, publishing, pre-processing and filtering functionality to theonline video encoding product. The Squeeze 6.5 update is free to current Sorenson Squeeze 6 users.

Among the new capabilities in Sorenson Squeeze 6.5, is the ability to decode the AVCHD (Advanced Video Coding High Definition) format. AVCHD records high-definition video to DVD, hard drives, or flash memory cards as .m2ts, .mts, or .m2t files and is the most common recording format for high definition video cameras at the prosumer and high-end consumer market.

Other benefits of Sorenson Squeeze 6.5 include three new filters: enhanced de-interlacing, image rotation and optimized color conversion. The new deinterlacing filter works automatically as a default setting to increase encoding quality and speed and is faster than...

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Sep 14
Eton announces solar-powered sound system for iPods, iPhones

Etón (http://www.etonsoulra.com/) has announced the US$229.99 Soulra, a portable, solar-powered sound system for iPod and iPhone. It features a large solar panel and a rubberized exterior, .

The Soulra sports a larage solar panel and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that delivers power to simultaneously charge and play your iPod or iPhone. The battery charge indicator alerts you when you need to recharge the Soulra in direct sunlight or via an AC outlet. On a full sunlight charge, it will purportedly play music for up to four hours, and an additional 3-4 hours of play when the solar panel remains open.

What's more, the Soulra is designed to withstand the elements and provide durability outdoors. It an aluminum and rubberized body. Its case is IPX-4 splash proof and the speakers are sealed on the inside.

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