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Jan 17
'MacVoices' looks at science fiction interfaces

On the new "MacVoices" (http://www.macvoices.com), the "Road to Macworld" continues as Nathan Shedroff, program chair, MBA in Design Strategy at the California College of the Arts, discusses “Learning from Science Fiction Interfaces” as a feature presentation at the show.

He explains how to contemplate the workings of science fiction tech from a practical standpoint, and how to use them as problem-solving inspiration. While he admits he’s saving the best information for Macworld, Shedroff helps "MacVoices" listeners understand how everyone from the Department of Defense to Intel are using specific methodologies involving science fiction to solve problems today and tomorrow.

The Road to Macworld 2010 is a special MacVoices series produced in partnership with Macworld to preview some of the exhibitors and presentations at Macworld 2011 in San Francisco from Jan. 26-29 at the Moscone Convention...

| Read more »
Jan 17
'Tech Night Owl' looks at Verizon iPhone, CES

On this week's "Tech Night Owl," Gene Steinberg, the Owl himself, and guests look at the Verizon iPhone and the recent Consumer Electronics Show.

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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Jan 17
'MUG Event Calendar': MobileMe, the Mac App Store,...

The last week before the Macworld Conference & Expo 2011 is a busy one on "The MUG Event Calendar."

Philip Goward of Smile will visit a California group to demonstrate TextExpander, Joe Kissell will make a virtual visit to an Ohio Group to discuss Apple’s MobileMe, and John Yi of Facebook will make a personal appearance at another California group. Other topics in this week’s listings include Snow Leopard, the Mac App Store, passwords, social networking, genealogy, iMovie ‘11 and more.

"The MUG Event Calendar" can be found at The MUG Center (http://www.mugcenter.com), an online resource for Mac User Groups. MUGs are good places for making new friends in the Mac community, improving your computing skills, finding solutions to technical Problems, and perhaps locating a good deal on used hardware. For more info on MUGs, and to find the location of the one nearest you, go to Apple's MUG page (...

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Jan 15
Google to push WebM over H.264

Earlier this week we reported that Google is ending end support for H.264 on its Chrome browser. The company has reiterated its plans to push its own open WebM video codec via Flash-like plug-ins for Safari and Internet Explorer users so it can ship free platforms without incurring external licensing fees.

The H.264/AVC codec was jointly developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). H.264 is used in such applications as players for Blu-ray Discs, videos from YouTube and the iTunes Store, web software such as the Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight, broadcast services for DVB and SBTVD, direct-broadcast satellite television services, cable television services, and real-time videoconferencing.

In an online blog (http://macte.ch/AxBRZ), Google says: "This week’s announcement was solely related to the HTML tag, which is part of the...

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Jan 15
'Engadget' offers tidbits on next iPad, iPhone 5,...

The "engadget" web site (http://macte.ch/PiTD1), quoting "multiple sources," offers some tidbits on the next iPad, the iPhone 5 and the Apple TV.

"Engadget" says the iPad 2 won't arrive until April and will sport a dual GSM/CDMA chipset produced by Qualcomm and will signal Apple's move to that company and away from Infineon as the chipset maker for its iOS devices. The second gen iPad will purportedly be thinner, sleeker, sport a new screen technology akin to (though not the same as) the iPhone 4's Retina Display and will be "super high resolution." "Engadget" says the iPad 2 will stay at its current size, will feature both front and rear cameras and sport a dedicated SD slot built in -- but no traditional USB slot.

The Sellers Research Firm (that's me) is still a bit dubious that the iPad 2 will have two cameras. One for FaceTiming makes sense. The tablet still seems a bit big for doing videos and...

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Jan 14
ComScore: Verizon iPhone likely to be 'turning point'...

According to the comScore research group (http://www.comscore.com), Verizon currently leads the U.S. mobile market as the carrier for 31% of mobile subscribers, with AT&T accounting for 27% share. But when looking exclusively at the smartphone market, AT&T holds a commanding lead with 38% marketshare, compared to Verizon’s 27%.

However, as an increasing number of smartphone options have become available across carriers, AT&T has seen its smartphone share decline seven percentage points in the past year, says comScore. Meanwhile, Verizon has climbed four percentage points as Android devices using Verizon have penetrated the market at a rapid clip.

As Apple ends its exclusive deal with AT&T, it is facing an increasingly competitive smartphone environment as new devices flood the marketplace, highlighted by the rising number of Android devices hitting store shelves. In the past year,...

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Jan 14
Bowers & Wilkins integrates Apple AirPlay technology into...

Bowers & Wilkins has integrated AirPlay into its Zeppelin Air audio system so it can stream music wirelessly from iTunes, an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The latest model also boats updated drive units and advanced Digital Signal Processing .
 
The improved sonic performance is complemented by a collection of new features, foremost among which is the inclusion of new AirPlay technology, according to the folks at Bowers & Wilkins. AirPlay also lets users create a multi-room system with iTunes on Mac or PC, delivering music to multiple Zeppelin Airs around the house.
 
The folks at Bowers & Wilkins says this is the best sounding Zeppelin, featuring dramatic changes over previous models. It’s a fully active 2.1 design, which means that all five units are individually driven by dedicated audiophile amplifiers, which are specially designed by Bowers & Wilkins. The improved 4x25W + 1x50W output powers updated drive units.
 
Zeppelin Air...

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Jan 14
Epson announces double-sided Printing solutions

Epson America has introduced the Epson WorkForce 840 all-in-one and the Epson WorkForce 60 printer, the which it says is the world’s fastest automatic double-sided printing solutions for high print volume small offices and micro businesses.

The WorkForce 840 boasts single- and double-sided print speeds -- 15 ISO ppm [pages per minute] black and 9.3 ISO ppm color single-sided; 7.4 ISO ppm black and 5.4 ISO ppm color two-sided. It includes a 500-sheet input capacity to load a full ream of paper, and ships with Extra-High Capacity ink cartridges capable of printing up to 1,000 sheets.

The WorkForce 840 offers a 7.8-inch touch control panel with a 3.5-inch high resolution color LCD to access all printer functions, a built-in two-sided 30-page Automatic Document Feeder to copy, scan and fax two-sided documents, and built-in memory card slots and USB drive port.

The WorkForce 60 also delivers fast single- and double-sided print speeds: 15 ISO ppm black and 7.1 ISO...

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Jan 14
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Jan. 14

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

SnapTax, the first mobile application that allows people to prepare and file their taxes from start to finish, is now available nationwide for the iPhone from TurboTax maker, Intuit. It allows taxpayers with simple returns to snap a photo of their W-2 with their mobile phones and then automatically enters the information into their tax return. Taxpayers answer a few basic questions, review their return for accuracy and tap “File Now” to electronically file their federal and state tax returns in minutes. The introductory price of US$14.99 includes one federal 1040EZ and one state tax return plus e-filing.

NewSoft has announced FotoTap photo effects software for the iPhone and iPad. The $2.99 app enables novice and experienced photographers alike to give...

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Jan 14
Apple App Store nears 10 billionth download

The Apple App Store is nearing its 10 billionth download, and Apple has a promotion that will give the person who downloads the 10 billionth application an US$10,000 gift card.

A counter at http://www.apple.com/itunes/10-billion-app-countdown/ counts down the sales to the 10 billionth app. The site says: "As of today, nearly 10 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store worldwide. Which is almost as amazing as the apps themselves. So we want to say thanks. Download the 10 billionth app, and you could win an US$10,000 iTunes Gift Card. Just visit the App Store, and download what could be your best app yet."

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Jan 14
Students at four Singapore schools getting iPads

Four schools in Singapore have begun giving iPads to students, reports "Reuters" (http://macte.ch/gm5md).

Nanyang Girls High School has spent approximately $100,000) to buy 150 iPads for 140 students and 10 teachers in a pilot project, the article says. Users connect to the Internet using the tablet, and download books and course material.

Seah Hui Yong, dean of admissions at Nanyang Girls school, told "Reuters" that the iPad was chosen because it complemented a new method of teaching under which students are given more freedom to learn themselves, instead of relying solely on the teacher in traditional classrooms.

Nanyang Girls is a secondary school, which means the youngest students are 12. Other schools in Singapore using the tablet include Tampines Secondary School, Nanhua Primary School and Dunman Secondary School.

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Jan 14
NewerTech introduces Pad Protector Leather Folio for the iPad

Newer Technology (http://www.newertech.com) has announced the Pad Protector, an US$24.95, lightweight leather folio/carrying case for the iPad. It's available in choice of red or black leather.

The Pad Protector features a leather cover that discreetly fastens with the use of high-powered slimline magnets. Inside, smooth suede leather provides a scratch-free environment for an iPad. A top loading, full-framed holder keeps the iPad in place while allowing complete access to all ports and controls.

A magnetized flap acts like a "kickstand," so the iPad can be positioned for optimum viewing and typing comfort. The Pad Protector weighs 7.8 ounces and includes a bonus screen protector.

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Jan 14
WSJ: launch of 'The Daily' iPad mag delayed

News Corp and Apple Inc are delaying the launch of the media conglomerate's digital newspaper for the iPad, the "Wall Street Journal" (http://macte.ch/j3cIq) reports, citing "people familiar with the matter."

The tablet newspaper, dubbed "The Daily," was supposed to be unveiled next Wednesday. However, the two parties decided they need more time to test a subscription service, the "Journal" says.

News Corp confirmed the delay but declined to comment. And Apple had no comment.

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Jan 14
Apple releases Epson Printer Drivers 2.5.1

Apple has released Epson Printer Drivers 2.5.1 for Mac OS X 10.6 and higher. You can obtain the 837.73MB download by using the Software Updates component of Mac OS X's Systems Preferences app.

This update installs the latest software for your Epson printer or scanner. You can view a list of supported Epson models at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3669#epson .

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Jan 14
Intel reports record year, fourth quarter

Intel (http://www.intel.com) has reported full-year revenue of US$43.6 billion, operating income of $15.9 billion, net income of $11.7 billion, and EPS [earnings per share] of $2.05 -- all records.

The company generated approximately $16.7 billion in cash from operations, paid cash dividends of $3.5 billion, and used $1.5 billion to repurchase 70 million shares of common stock. For the fourth-quarter, Intel posted revenue of $11.5 billion.

The company reported fourth-quarter operating income of $4.3 billion, net income of $3.4 billion, and EPS of 59 cents. Fourth-quarter revenue, operating income, net income, and EPS were also all records.

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Jan 14
Two billion FireWire ports shipped worldwide

FireWire, the computer, consumer electronics and industrial systems interface, reached the two billion ports milestone in 2010 and will continue its steady growth worldwide throughout 2011, the 1394 Trade Association (http://www.1394ta.org), of which Apple is a member.

The two billion FireWire ports shipped provide more than 1.2 billion consumer and computer products with reliable, versatile high-speed connections available from developers of FireWire silicon including Texas Instruments, LSI, and PLX Technology, among others, according to Max Bassler, chairman of the 1394 Trade Association. FireWire continues to be applied in a wide range of PCs, storage systems, new generations of set top boxes, industrial and factory automation equipment, and professional audio system, he adds.

The 1394 Trade Association estimates the total of 1394-equipped devices will increase again in 2011. The group foresees...

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Jan 14
DigiPower unveils new iPad accessories

Mizco International’s (http://www.mizco.com) DigiPower division has unveiled a new line of accessories for the iPad that feature cases and stands in a variety of design solutions.  
 
The US$29.99 Coffee Clutch does away with the clutter, providing iPad stand and case functionality in a single package. It's designed to hold the iPad at the optimal angle for watching movies, viewing photos or surfing the web. When on the go, you can grab the built in handle or attach the included strap to carry it like a shoulder bag.
 
The $29.99 DigiPower E-Z Rest for iPad works in portrait or landscape mode for use on a desk, or just lounging on the couch. The fold-flat stand lets you transport the Apple tablet, and with its slide-in contoured design the iPad is cradled and protected whether at home or on the go.  
 
The $29.99 Universal Charging Dock will charge your iPad, iPhone or iPod.  Its...

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Jan 14
NAMM: Solid State Logic intros X-Rack Stereo Dynamics Module

Solid State Logic (http://www.solidstatelogic.com) has introduced the X-Rack Stereo Dynamics Module at this week's Winter NAMM show.

The new X-Rack Module delivers the same sonic signature as the channel strip processing of SSL’s large format Duality console and the mono X-Rack SuperAnalogue Dynamics Module in a stereo configuration. The module is intended for stereo tracking or stem mixing and further extends the availability of SSL’s sonic heritage to studios of all sizes, says Niall Feldman, director of new products for Solid State Logic.

The X-Rack Stereo Dynamics Module is a stereo version of the SuperAnalogue Dynamics Module. Featuring Compressor/Limiter and Expander/Gate circuits, the Stereo Dynamics Module provides the familiar SSL level control tools for both recording and mixing applications.

The Compressor section can switch between a gentle Soft Knee (Over Easy)...

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Jan 14
NAMM: Powersoft M Series power amplifiers shipping

Powersoft (http://www.powersoft-audio.com) -- a manufacturer of green design power amplifiers -- announced at this week's Winter NAMM 2011 that the M Series line of power amplifiers is now shipping to distributors.

The M Series consists of five new models that include two 4-channel and three 2-channel versions. M Series amplifiers come in a one-rack-unit chassis, 14.1-inch in depth and weighing just over 16 pounds.

The M50Q and M28Q are 4-channel models, delivering up to 1,250W/ch into 4 ohms. The M30D, M20D and M14D offer 2-channels each with a maximum output of 1,500W/ch at 4 ohms. The entire range reaches down to 360W/ch into 8 ohms, resulting in greater flexibility for a wide range of applications, according to Claudio Lastrucci, Powersoft’s managing director.

The M Series features Powersoft’s plug-in DSP module. When installed and preset to meet the needs of a particular...

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Jan 14
NAMM: Aviom introduces prepackaged digital snakes

Aviom (http://www.aviom.com), a developer of the A-Net audio transport protocol is introducing prepackaged Pro16 digital snakes in a variety of configurations that are tailored for a range of applications and ensemble sizes.

While Aviom -- displaying at this week's Winter NAMM show -- is best known for its industry standard personal mixing system, the company has also been a leader in distributing audio over Cat-5. Both its Pro16 Series of digital snake components. They're solutions for creating digital audio systems for houses of worship, schools, theaters, sound companies, studios, and broadcast companies. Contact the company for pricing options.

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Jan 14
NAMM: True1 Connector debuts

Neutrik USA (http://www.neutrik.com) -- a manufacturer of professional audio, video, data and industrial connectors -- has announced the U.S. debut of its powerCon True1 AC power connector at Winter NAMM.

The lockable, extremely robust system of single-phase connectors is among the first of its kind to feature IEC 60320 breaking capacity, designed for 16 A, 250 V. This makes it suitable for concerts and similarly staged productions where the electrical equipment is often confined to a small area, making safety a top priority.
 
A complete system, including inlet and outlet couplers for easy daisy chaining of equipment, the powerCon True1 also provides for high-density requirements with a duplex chassis connector combining an inlet and outlet coupler. Thanks to its high-breaking capacity, performance crew workers and other production professionals can connect large amounts of electrical equipment...

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Jan 14
NAMM: Auralex introduces new diffusor series

At this week's Winter NAMM show, Auralex Acoustics (http://www.auralex.com) has released its first line of acoustical products made from 100% eco-friendly bamboo, the Sustain Bamboo Sound Diffusor Series.

The new line -- which consists of the WavePrism, WaveLens, QuadraTec, Peak Pyramid Diffusor and KeyPacs, retains the longevity and acoustical qualities Auralex is known for with green and acoustical properties of natural bamboo -- says Eric Smith, founder and president of Auralex Acoustics. The Auralex WavePrism eliminates flutter echoes and other acoustical anomalies without removing acoustical energy from the space, he says.
 
Auralex WaveLens’ open-boxed design scatters and redirects acoustical energy. The WaveLens can be beneficial in numerous applications as it can create a “large sound” in a small room, as it can optimize existing absorption panels by redirecting the sound energy,...

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Jan 14
InvisiblelSHIELD available for the Verizon iPhone

ZAGG (http://www.ZAGG.com) says will continue its invisibleSHIELD and ZAGGskins protection for the iPhone 4 when the Apple smartphone is released to Verizon customers beginning on Feb. 10.


The invisibleSHIELD is ZAGG's patent-pending, "indestructible film" that protects evices all from bumps, scratches, and dings. ZAGGskins are customized images and designs fused with the invisibleSHIELD to provide personalized protection.

The invisibleSHIELD, ZAGGsparq, ZAGGsmartbuds and ZAGGskins for the iPhone are available online at the ZAGG web site. The company is shipping the invisibleSHIELD to its retail partners.

| Read more »
Jan 14
iHub update boasts Android/Mac syncing

Nova media (http://www.novamedia.de) has updated iHub Basic for Mac OS X to version 2.13, a free upgrade for registered users. The US$29.95 software syncs contacts and calendars automatically and wirelessly between Macs, iPhones, iPads and iPod touches in any local network.

The new version supports synchronizing contacts and calendars between Macs and Android devices. The necessary sync client for Android can be downloaded from the Android marketplace for free.

The software installs on a Mac and shares selected calendars, contacts and address book groups. Other Macs and iOS devices on the same network can access and edit any shared data. iHub Basic doesn't require any additional client software as it uses the open standards CalDAV and CardDAV which are supported by default by Mac OS X and iOS.

"Thanks to iHub Basic, there is no need to store sensitive on any far-away cloud service," says...

| Read more »
Jan 14
HoudahGeo 2.8 improves error handling during export, more

Houdah Software (http://www.houdah.com/) has updated HoudahGeo, a geocoding solution for the Mac, to version 2.8. The new version brings improved error handling to the publishing options of the software.

HoudahGeo costs US$30 for a single-user license for new users. Version 2.8 is a free update for registered users. HoudahGeo requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or higher.

| Read more »
 
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