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Dec 27
Apple tops Amazon Christmas lists

As of Dec. 25, Apple's products topped the most-gifted items in all the categories on Amazon in which it competed except television and video products (where Roku reigned supreme). However, there were some discrepancies, however, between what people wished for and what was purchased for them, reports "Fortune" (

Apple TV, for example, was the No. 1 "Most Wished For" product in TV and video and Roku No. 2. Although Macs were the top four most-wished for desktop computers, they took only the top two spots in the Most Gifted and Bestseller lists.

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Dec 24
Happy holidays from all of us

"MacTech," "MacNews" and "AppleCentral" will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday to celebrate the holiday weekend with our families and friends. We wish all our readers and advertisers the very best of the season. May you have a safe, and warm, weekend.

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Dec 23
New iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 23

Here are the latest iPhone/iPod touch/iPod/iPad apps announced. You can find 'em at the Apple App Store (

Mobatia Technology has announced DewDrops 1.0 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users. Just in time for the Christmas season, the US$0.99 enables users to create self-made greeting cards then email them to recipients or post on Facebook. With DewDrops, users can use stock graphics and text. Via tapping, dragging and dropping, a user can add elements then scale, rotate, move them around and more.

PJS-Coding has released Further Beyond Fighting 1.0 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users. The $1.99 game pits players against 3D characters. The app offers four different venues, 3D graphics, three difficulty levels, four modes, iPhone rumble and eigth-hit combos. Players have the autosave feature for ongoing games and can see their scores posted online....

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Dec 23
Apple spends relatively little on lobbying efforts

Apple, easily the most influential company in consumer technology today, spent relatively little on lobbying efforts in Washington -- only US$340,000 -- this year, reports "All Things D" (

A list of lobbying funds from other companies include Verizon ($3.83 million); AT&T ($3.47 million); HP ($1.63 million); Microsoft ($1.63 million); Oracle ($1.6 million); Google ($1.2 million); IBM ($1 million): Yahoo ($540,000); Facebook ($120,000).

"As you can see, the CRP shows that, among computer and Internet companies, Microsoft was the leading lobbying spender for the first nine months of the year," notes "All Things D." "The wireless industry’s trade association, the CTIA, led the pack in the telephone equipment and services category, spending more than $6 million.

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Dec 23
Jobs named 'Person of the Year' (and gets praise from...

The "Financial Times" ( has named Apple CEO Steve Jobs as "Person of the Year." And he also got a shout-out from the President of the United States.

Jobs is described by the "Financial Times" as "a stern taskmaster who understands the art of the possible, rather than a long-range visionary. That means pushing relentlessly forward rather than milking old successes – even ones as significant as the iPod.”

Jobs’ perfectionism during Apple product launch events, his mastery of the “Reality distortion field” -- "is ability to convince onlookers that technologies that would seem unformed in other hands have reached a peak of perfection at Apple" -- and the way he has successfully bounced back from last year’s liver transplant are other qualities praised by the "Financial Times."

And if the "Financial Times" naming him as "Person of the Year wasn't enough for Jobs, President Obama...

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Dec 23
Cherokee, Apple partner to put language on iPhones

The Cherokee Tribe has worked with Apple to develop Cherokee language software for the iPhone, iPod and -- soon -- the iPad, reports the "Associated Press" ( Computers used by students at the tribe's language immersion school already allow them to type using Cherokee characters.

The goal, Cherokee Chief Chad Smith told the AP, is to spread the use of the language among tech-savvy children in the digital age. Tribal officials first contacted Apple about getting Cherokee on the iPhone three years ago. It seemed like a long shot, as the devices support only 50 of the thousands of languages worldwide, and none were American Indian tongues, "but Apple's reputation for innovation gave the tribe hope," says the AP.

After many discussions and a visit from Smith, Apple surprised the tribe by coming through this fall. "There are countries vying to get on these devices for languages, so we...

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Dec 23
Apple files trademark for Express Lane

Apple has filed a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for "VoicePass" in the "Construction and Repair Services" category, reports "Patently Apple" ( The serial number of the patent is 85200810.

Express Lane ( is a support site from Apple that helps customers nail down issues by selecting a product category, a particular product from that category, and the problematic part comprising that product. Customers can then enter the product’s serial number, even describe the issue, while Apple will do its best to provide recommended support documents.

If this doesn't work, there's a “Contact Options” page is presented to the user. Several customer service options are available, depending on the nature of the problem.

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Dec 23
Apple shares hit all-time high

Apple stock finished Wednesday up 0.29% at US$325.16 with an average volume of 17.71 million shares. In the pre-market hours Thursday, Apple shares were trading down 0.05 percent to $325.00 on the NASDAQ stock market.

Apple's market cap hit $298.27 billion on Wednesday, leaving it ahead of rival Microsoft, which has a market cap of $241.16 billion. This makes it the the largest technology company in the world and second largest company in market capitalization, reports the "International Business Times" (

In September, Apple overtook PetroChina to become the world's second largest company by market value. However, it still has a long way to go to pass Exxon Mobil Corp. in the market capitalization, where the oil giant retains the top spot with a whooping $367.10 billion, notes the "Times."

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Dec 23
Apple files trademark for 'VoicePass'

Apple has filed a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for "VoicePass" in the "Construction and Repair Services" category, reports "Trademarkia" ( The serial number of the patent is 85200930.

It's for "Installation, repair, maintenance and servicing of computers and of electronic, electromechanical, optical, magnetic and electrical equipment for use with computers; technical services and support; web based support and diagnostic services by using resources and tools for computer software and computer hardware provided on-line and over telecommunications networks; support services available computer network or the Internet, or over a telecommunications network; multimedia technical services and support; information relating to installation, maintenance, repair, servicing and updating of computers transmitted through mail shots, e-mail updates, e-mail support notices, and over...

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Dec 23
MacTVision HD lets you watch over 2,600 TV channels on your Mac

MacTVision Technologies today announces MacTVision HD for Mac OS X, an update to their app that allows users to watch over 2,600 free, popular TV, news, sports, and specialty channels on their Mac, instantly, on demand.

The app features searchable, updating, interactive TV listings, including over 13,000 programs with thumbnails and descriptions. Displayed in full screen mode, MacTVision's scrollable database of listings appear in a window that occupies the top one third of the Main window.

The Listings window contains nine columns, and listings may be ordered according to any of the nine columns: Name (of TV show), Type (TV, Streams, Videos, Radio, or Media Apps), Category (Movies, Action, Comedy, etc.) Language (English, Spanish, German, etc.), Favorites, Rating, My Rating, Details (short summary), and Featured. Selecting a popular show from the Name column -- such as "Desperate Housewives" -- brings up three new windows that occupy the bottom two thirds of the...

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Dec 23
Flickery update for Mac OS X automatically converts RAW files

Eternal Storms ( has updated their flickr client, flickery, for Mac OS X 10.5 or higher to version 1.9.2. The update automatically converts RAW files and offers converting options for video files so they can be uploaded.

With flickry, you can browse flickr's photos, view and comment on pictures of your friends, or upload and manage your own photos and favorites. flickery offers three ways of viewing photos: the miniature-overview of the photos where you can see multiple pictures at a time; the full-window-view, which lets you view one photo at a time in detail; and the full-screen view.

As a special offering through the holidays, flickery is 25% off (approximately US$13.45) until Jan. 3. Also, users who purchase (or have purchased) flickery in December have the chance of winning one of seven flickr pro accounts.

Flickery is available in a 15-day fully...

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Dec 23
iWeb Themes Park releases two free holiday themes

Just in time for Christmas, iWeb Themes Park is offering a discount for all combo packages. In addition, the company is offering two free iWeb themes for December-ending festivals,

The themes require a Mac with iWeb from iLife '08, iLife '09 or iLife '11. Two iWeb themes dedicated for Christmas and New Year events are free for everyone. In addition, and only for the Christmas holiday, each combo package, which includes 10 different iWeb Themes, can be purchased with a 50% discount for $14.99 instead of $29.99.

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Dec 23
Elegant Chaos releases Neu 1.0.2 for Mac OS X

Elegant Chaos has announced Neu 1.0.2 (, a minor update to their file making utility for Mac OS X.

Neu is designed to make it easier to create new documents in the Finder without you having to open an application first. It does this by adding menus and global keyboard shortcuts that can be triggered from the Finder, or any other application. Neu lets you choose what to make from a list of templates. You can also trigger Neu from any application using a special key combination.

Changes in the 1.0.2 release include:

° Double-clicking on a license file will now launch Neu and register the license.

° Symbolic links are now handled in the path to templates.

° A Quit button has been added to the "Presence" preference when in "Stealth" mode.

° Template windows are now resizeable, and have a number of visual improvements.

° ...

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Dec 23
MathMagic Pro 7.2 adds support for Math Speech

InfoLogic has announced MathMagic Pro Editions 7.2 ( for Mac OS X. for Mac OS X, an update of the math equation editor for students and publishers. The upgrade adds a new Math Speech format.

Mathematical expressions can be saved in a standard English text as we normally read math equations by mathematical notation. For example, "b + c = d" is converted to "b plus c equals d". This works for long or complex equations as well. The English text can also be imported into equations. Math Speech text can be read out using the Speech Synthesis by Mac OS X or any 3rd party Text-To-Speech service over the internet.

MathMagic can also speak any math expression using a Text-To-Speech service. Plus, it reads various math formats including LaTeX and MathML and saves in high quality formats.

MathMagic 7.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4...

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Dec 23
Updated iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 23

Here are the latest iPhone/iPod touch/iPod/iPad updates announced. You can find 'em at the Apple App Store (

Apple has updated its free universal Remote application for iOS devices, bringing support for several new features including controlling AirPlay content pushed from iTunes on a user's computer to an Apple TV, as well as controlling Internet radio in iTunes.

One Man Left Studios has announced a paid expansion for its Tilt to Live for iOS devices, called Viva la Turret. Available as an in-app purchase, users can access a new weapon, the Perforator turret, and a new game type called Viva la Turret. Tilt to Live is an arcade shooter with a combat system. While this expansion only applies to the iPhone version of the game, an iPad adaptation is also in the works. Viva la Turret is available as an in-app purchase for US$0.99. Tilt to Live 1.6 is $2....

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Dec 23
Cronette adds new data column

Tension Software has updated Cronette (, a Cocoa task launcher for Macs and Mac servers, to version 1.4.1. The upgrade adds a new data column in the table to identify a task by type.

Cronette lets you specify tasks to be launched automatically by the Mac. It can be used on unattended Mac Servers or also on regular Mac workstations for tasks to execute during the night or for recurring tasks to be performed on a regular basis. It provides different type of launch tasks: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.

Any task can be specified to launch different type of execution: open applications or documents from disk; open different type of URL; execute different type of actions: restart, shutdown, sleep; sending a message to the log; execute a complex UNIX command.

Cronette costs US$30 for a single...

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Dec 23
Page Director ALS now compatible with InDesign CS5, QuarkXPress...

Managing Editor says Page Director Ad Layout System 5.6.1, ALS for Magazines 5.6.1 and AdForce 5.6.1 are now available.

MEI's flagship product and its related technologies have been upgraded for compatibility with the latest pagination software from Adobe and Quark. ALS 5.6.1 works with enhanced versions of MEI's Ad Import plug-in and ALS XT, which allow users to export issues to Adobe InDesign CS5 and QuarkXPress 8.5.

MEI has also updated its FiFi, Fido and Split & Folio XTs and plug-ins for compatibility with QuarkXPress 8.5 and InDesign CS5. FiFi and Fido restore file-path information for ad files after ALS pages have been imported so lost file links can be updated; Split & Folio lets users split up an InDesign or QuarkXPress document to deal out as single pages or page ranges while preserving the original file's information.

New versions of ALS for Magazines, MEI's automated ad-layout solution built specifically with magazines in mind, and AdForce...

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Dec 23
'MacVoices' looks at taking control of iPad basics

On the new "MacVoices" (, Tonya Engst -- who has updated her book, "Take Control of iPad Basics," to version 1.2, talks about, well, taking control of iPad basics.

Why a .1 upgrade and what does it mean? Engst explains before digging into some iPad basic tips for every level of user.The iPad is #1 on many holiday gift lists for giving or getting, and Engst's book assures the new iPad owner they will be enjoying the full capabilities of the device with minimal effort or learning curve. She discusses some of the less intuitive aspects of iPad use, why security is especially important for this mobile device, reveals her favorite use for her iPad, 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 happen on the front lines of the...

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Dec 23
YML looks at the best of 2010

The new "Your Mac Life" episode looks at the best tech products of 2010.

You can listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30 to 8 pm (Pacific). Live video is on Your Mac Life! You can watch the show live at -- or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at .

You can join one of the two Chat Rooms that run during the live show -- on the live video site or on the dedicated IRC Server at in the #yourmaclife Channel.

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Dec 22
New iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Dec. 22

Here are the latest iPhone/iPod touch/iPod/iPad apps announced. You can find 'em at the Apple App Store (

Fandango, provider of the nation's most widely-used mobile moviegoing applications, today announced its new, and free, Fandango app for the iPad. It refines features of Fandango's previous apps, and adds new ones, including: "The Pulse," a visual representation of the company's hottest ticket sellers, viewable in both list and map formats; movie reviews from professional critics and film fans alike, plus movie-related tweets, all on one large Multi Touch screen; map integration that knows a moviegoer's location and helps her find titles, theaters, showtimes and tickets; expanded video, photos, trailers, clips and exclusive interview features that take advantage of the large, high-resolution HD display.

Aquafadas has released myComics for the...

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Dec 22
Apple, others sued over ... you guessed it ... patent...

Another day, another lawsuit. A company called Hybrid Audio is suing Apple, Dell, HTC and other companies of infringing a MP3-related patent for "Signal Processing Utilizing a Tree-Structured Array," reports "AppleInsider" (

The application references "audio signals," but makes no mention of MP3 files or the MPEG-1 Layer III standard. However, the lawsuit targets Apple, HTC and Dell for creating devices that allow playback of MP3 files, notes "AppleInsider."

The iPod nano, iPhone 4, iPad, MacBook Pro, and iTunes software are specifically mentioned in the lawsuit. The suit targets products "that contain or use hardware and/or software for processing audio information in accordance with the MPEG-1 Layer III (MP3) standard," according to "AppleInsider."

As part of their compensation, Hybrid Audio is seeking a judgment and order requiring each Defendant named...

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Dec 22
Calpers wants Apple to change how board members are re-elected

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers) -- the largest public pension in the U.S. -- is seeking to change the policies of Apple and 57 other large companies that make up a portion of its nearly US$200 billion U.S. portfolio. It wants Apple to change it he way it handles board of director elections, according to "The Wall Street Journal" (

Members of the board can currently be re-elected by a single "yes" vote in uncontested elections. Calpsers wants Apple and other U.S. companies it invests in to adopt rules requiring directors to win a majority of the vote, saying that will make board members more accountable to shareholders, says the "Journal."

Calpers said Apple resisted its request, so the pension fund submitted an advisory shareholder resolution to force the issue. The measure is set to come up for a vote at the iPhone maker's annual meeting in February...

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Dec 22
GEAR4 offers UnityRemote for iOS devices

GEAR4 ( has announced the U.S. availability of UnityRemote. Now available through Amazon for US$99, the UnityRemote device turns any iPhone, iPod touch or iPad into a universal remote control.

It enables users to control everything from TVs to Hi-Fis, Blu-Ray players to digital TV boxes -- anything that has an infrared receiver -- using one single device, according to GEAR4 CEO Tom Dudderidge. UnityRemote works with two parts -- an app, which is downloaded for free from the Apple App Store, and a small device that can be placed anywhere in the room.

The UnityRemote device receives a Bluetooth signal from the Apple device, and then sends an infrared command in 360 degrees via five infrared transmitters to the device to be controlled.
After launching the app, users select the device to be controlled from a long list of manufacturers. If the device to control isn't listed,...

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Dec 22
Fake (and dangerous) iTunes e-mail making the rounds

E-mails purportedly coming from iTunes and bearing "iTunes account may be suspended" in the subject line have been hitting inboxes in the last few days, according to "Help Net Security" (

The message reads: "Dear iTunes Customer, it is possible that your account password has been stolen. 4 different IP addresses have been used to login to your account within the last 24 hours. Please visit the bellow link and read what to do and how to contact support department."

If you click the link in the message, you're taken to fake Apple support page. Although it doesn't ask for any confidential info, "the site silently serves a malicious script that tries to exploit vulnerabilities in older versions of Java and Windows Help to gain access to the system and download and install malware," says "Help...

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Dec 22
NewerTech announces NuStands for the iPad, Mac mini

NewerTech has announced NuStand alloy stands for the iPad and Mac mini.

The iPad version is designed to eliminate hard-to-view flat and unstable/unsafe "prop" viewing of an iPad. Featuring an, aircraft grade aluminum body and silicone center, the NewerTech NuStand Alloy for iPad gently yet securely holds an iPad up to a 15 degree angle in either portrait or landscape positions for personal viewing preferences. The open design provides full access to all ports for using, viewing and charging an iPad.

By orienting the 2010 Mac mini into an upright vertical position, the NewerTech NuStand Alloy for Mac mini (pictured) provides a secure way to display a 2010 Mac mini. Besides creating a custom appearance and easier access to all ports and connections, the NuStand Alloy for Mac mini main benefit is greater placement flexibility of a 2010 Mac mini on a crowded desktop or in a space limited home theater cabinet, according to the folks at NewerTech. Non-skid rubber feet...

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