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Nov 03
PopChar 5.1 for Mac OS X adds Unicode support

Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 5.1 (, an update of the tool for finding and typing special characters. The upgrade supports the brand-new version 6.0 of the Unicode standard and can now identify more than 23,000 characters by their names.

It features a new command for cleaning up the table of recent characters and allows skipping the announcement of new versions. What's more, PopChar 5.1 improves overall performance and compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 ("Snow Leopard") and applications like Espresso and FileMaker Pro.

PopChar X costs US$46 for a single-user license; however, version 5.1 is a free update for for anyone who purchased PopChar in the last two years. For info about purchases, including enterprise licenses, volume discounts, and upgrade pricing offers, visit the Ergonis web site.

Instead of purchasing PopChar by itself (approximately US$30 for a...

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Nov 02
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for Nov. 2

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

Interactive Data Corporation, a provider of financial market data, analytics and related solutions, has announced Interactive Data Mobile, a companion offering to the Interactive Data suite of desktop and web-based solutions for financial professionals. The application, which uses the latest technology and delivers streaming financial data and powerful tools, is available free for the iPhone.

TeleNav, a global wireless location-based services providers, has released MyTies, a mobile-only, private social networking application for the iPhone. The free app allows users to leverage their personal address book and contacts to create multiple private networks by inviting contacts to join and form groups. Users can form separate groups based on whom...

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Nov 02
Trailrunner for Mac OS X runs to version 3.2

Trailrunner (, a Mac OS X solution for folks doing long distance sports, has been updated to version 3.2. The upgrade can import activity recordings from the new Nike+ GPS app for the iPhone.

With TrailRunner you can plan workout routes on a geographical map, export the route directions as small NanoMaps onto an iPod and import workout data from the Nike + iPod sports kit back into the workout diary. Other features are an exercise plan, .Mac weblog publishing, a GPS, GPX and KML import/export, an integrated map and elevation data download from global mapping services like USGS topo maps.

TrailRunner 3.2 is free but the author thankfully accepts a support fee of approximately US$35 for continued development.

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Nov 02
iOS 4.2 goes 'Golden Master'

Apple has released the Golden Master (GM) version of iOS 4.2 to developers. The GM build is usually the last one that will soon be released to end users.

Among the features in iOS 4.2 -- which Apple has said will be released this month -- is AirPlay and AirPrint. The former is a system that streams audio, either wirelessly or over Ethernet, to third-party speaker docks, A/V receivers, speakers and more.

AirPrint is wireless printing for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. It automatically finds printers on local networks and can print text, photos and graphics to them wirelessly over Wi-Fi without the need to install drivers or download software. HP’s existing and upcoming ePrint enabled printers will be the first to support printing direct from iOS devices.

AirPrint is designed to support a range of printers from entry level inkjet printers to office laser printers. Additionally, iOS 4.2 devices will be able to print to printers shared through a Mac or a PC. iOS...

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Nov 02
Apple interested in buying BOKU?

Both Apple and Google are engaged in conversations with mobile payments startup BOKU ( about a potential acquisition "or a wide-reaching partnership at the very least," reports "TechCrunch" (, quoting "people familiar with the talks, which are ongoing."

BOKU President and CEO Mark Britto and co-founder Ron Hirson have held multiple meetings with executives at the helm of Apple’s iPhone business in the course of the past three weeks, the article adds. Neither one would comment on the rumors.

BOKU is a mobile online payments company. The company is based in San Francisco with offices in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

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Nov 02
Mac mini gets price cut in Europe

The price of the Mac mini dropped by 100 Euro in average in most European Apple Store. It went from 799 Euro for the basic model to 699 Euro, "even though it remains much too high to really compete with other similar small box PC," says "HardMac" (

Apple's smallest desktop Mac was updated in June. It features up to twice the graphics performance, a new HDMI port and a new SD card slot, all in an aluminum enclosure. Pricing starts at US$699 in the United States.

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Nov 02
Massive Apple data center to be used for '21st-century...

Apple’s humongous new data center in Raleigh, North Carolina, "is a 21st-century broadcasting system to rival the TV networks of old, says a leading expert in cloud computing," Nick Carr, author of the “ The Big Switch” a bestseller about the cloud, tells "Cult of Mac" (

The new Apple data center in Maiden, North Carolina is expected to begin operations “any day now,” according to local officials. Even as Apple begins to ramp up production at the 500,000 square foot data center, there are rumors circulating that Apple may be planning to build a second 500,000 square foot facility on the site, the article adds. The facility -- not counting the rumored...

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Nov 02
Some investors want Apple to put its cash, investments 'to...

Apple's US$51 billion in cash and investments is earning a lower return than a typical U.S. savings account, and some investors say CEO Steve Jobs should put that money to better use, reports "Bloomberg Businessweek" (

Apple got a 0.75% return on the investments in the past fiscal year, according to a regulatory filing last week. The gain pales next to the roughly 10% investors would have earned from the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average over that time, says "Bloomberg Businessweek." Apple's stock itself also was a much better investment, rising 60%.

In a conference call with the press and financial analysts in October, Jobs said that the...

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Nov 02
Foremay says it will ship the world's fastest 1.8-inch SSD

Foremay ( has announced the shipment of slim SSDs with standard 1.8-inch micro SATA SSD interfaces. The 5mm SSD is small in size but has high speed and high capacity, according to Jason Hoover, vice president of marketing, Foremay.

With read/write speeds of 280 MB/second, random read/write IOPS at 4KB up to 30,000/15,000, and jumbo capacity up to 400GB, the thin SSD is the fastest SSD in a 1.8-inch form factor, and it is capable of being deployed not only in high end laptops, but also in industrial PC, HPC and enterprise servers, he adds.

In additional to the 5mm SSD offered with its SC199 and EC188 product families, Foremay also offers a similar design in an even thinner model with its OC177 product family that has a thickness of 3.3 mm.

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Nov 02
Box Shot 3D update includes Cinema Display, iPhone, iPad shapes

Applications for Life ( has announced Box Shot 3D 3.1, an update to their US$60 Mac OS X/Windows compatible utility that renders 3D shapes using provided images. The new release features a set of consumer electronic devices: the Apple Cinema Display, iPhone and iPad.

It also brings a hard cover book shape with flat spine and multi-folds booklets. Starting from version 3.1 Box Shot 3D automatically checks for updates, so you don't need to.

Box Shot 3D allows you to render software boxes, book covers, magazines, CD, DVD and Blu-Ray boxes, cans, bottles, mugs, bags and more. No 3D knowledge is required.

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Nov 02
Ten One Design shipping iPhone 4 Pogo Stylus

Ten One Design ( is shipping its  iPhone 4 compatible Pogo Stylus, which features a black Travel Clip that keeps the stylus securely in place and also doubles as an iPhone stand.

The notch on the back of the Clip allows users to wedge and prop up their mobile phones for both landscape and portrait viewing, perfect for watching movies, playing games and surfing the web. Plus, FaceTime chatting is facilitated with the new front facing camera.

The Pogo Stylus for iPhone 4 comes packaged with two Clip options: one to fit Apple’s Bumper case and most other cases, and another for those who prefer to rock a case-free iPhone 4. Available in black, hot pink, burnt orange and cactus, the Pogo Stylus for iPhone 4 can be purchased for US$14.95.

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Nov 02
iHome introduces new charging station, earphones for iOS devices

iHome ( has introduced the iB969 Charging Station (pictured) and iB24 Noise-Isolating Metal Earphones for iOS devices.

Providing a centralized charging solution for a wide variety of portable electronic devices, the US$59.99 iB969 Charging Station simultaneously charges iPods, iPhones, iPads, Blackberry smartphones, and eBook readers.  The station has dual universal iPhone/iPod docks -- one to charge and sync to iTunes, the other to utilize for a quick charge -- as well as an integrated stand for iPads.

The $29.99 earphones offer three sizes of detachable ear cushions. The in-line remote with microphone lets you answer and end calls, controls volume, play/pause, track selection, even voice commands for compatible iPod, iPhone and iPad models. A travel pouch is included.

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Nov 02
'MacVoices' looks at Word for Mac 2011

On the new "MacVoices" (, Maria Langer, the author of the new "Word for Mac 2011 Essential Training" for talks about the new version of the venerable word processing program, and whether you really need it.

Part of the new Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, Word 2011 has greatly reduced the number of available toolbars, eliminated the formatting palette, and added the much-talked about ribbon. Langer explains why those changes require some learning, but are for the best. The different kinds of tables in Word and which to use for what, the return of macros and why you need to understand privacy and security in Word documents are all part of the discussion.

"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...

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Nov 02
FileMaker launches ‘Buy One FileMaker Pro 11, Give One Free’...

FileMaker has announced a new "Buy One FileMaker, Give One Free" special holiday offer that allows those purchasing a downloadable version of FileMaker Pro 11 from the online FileMaker Web Store to receive a second downloadable copy for free -- an US$299 value.

Participants can use the second free copy within their organizations or give it away to a friend, colleague, client or charity. The limited-time offer is available until Dec. 22. For detailsg o to .

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Nov 02
Apple captures nearly 50% of the handset industry profits

According to a report by Canaccord Genuity technology analyst Michael Walkey, Apple captured nearly 50% of the handset industry profits in the third quarter of 2010 (Q3/10).

Handset OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] gaining smartphone market share continue to capture an even greater share of the handset industry’s overall operating profits, he says. Walkey sys Apple generated a remarkable 47% value share of estimated Q3/10 handset industry operating profits with only 3.9% global handset market share.

What's more, smartphone-centric OEMs Apple, RIM, and HTC captured an estimated 71% of industry profits in Q3/10, while traditional handset OEMs Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and LG continue to transition product portfolios toward a greater mix of smartphones. LG posted a large operating loss during Q3/10, as it struggles with the transition from feature phones to smartphones. However, Motorola’s Android smartphone strategy resulted in it returning to profitability in Q3...

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Nov 02
Study: increased tablet demand hurting netbook sales

The debate continues over the impact tablets are having on both the consumer computer market and netbook demand. But what is particularly unclear is which companies are going to emerge as the biggest winners and losers?

To find out the ChangeWave research group ( surveyed 3,108 consumers during October on the latest planned buying trends for computers, netbooks and tablets -- including the impact of the iPad. The percentage of respondents saying they plan on buying a desktop over the next 90 days (6%) has ticked up one point since ChangeWave's previous survey in August, while planned purchases of laptops (8%) remain unchanged.

But one area that’s come down drastically from a year ago is consumer interest in netbooks. Just 14% of those who plan on buying a laptop in the next 90 days say it will be a netbook. That's 10 points below ChangeWave's peak reading for netbooks...

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Nov 02
iPhone Credit Card Swiper adds retail transaction support

App Ninjas (, developer of Swipe for iPhone, is now shipping the Apple-approved Credit Card Swiper for iPhone. This hardware accessory adds support for retail transactions to the Swipe mobile credit card processing solution, which is available to merchants directly or through App Ninjas' network of value-added white-label partners.

The Swipe white-label solution enables Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), banks, and other merchant-focused companies to offer their customers a complete credit card processing solution for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Partners’ customers process cards through a custom-branded app, newly enhanced to support the Credit Card Swiper for full retail support.

Swiping cards offers merchants lower rates, when paired with a retail merchant account, and reduces the time required to process each transaction, says John Waldron, CEO of App Ninjas...

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Nov 02
Sorenson Squeeze Server now ready for 'the cloud'

Sorenson Media ( has announced the immediate availability of Sorenson Squeeze Server, a customizable and scalable video encoding solution that enables enterprises, post-production facilities, developers and video professionals to encode high-quality video in a secure, cloud-based environment.

Built on Amazon Web Services infrastructure it can be integrated into any third-party infrastructure provider. Squeeze Server relies on dedicated instances to provide efficient processing of video. It also comes with a 99.9% uptime guarantee as part of Sorenson’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) in addition to full customer support, says Sorenson CEO Peter Csathy,

Sorenson Squeeze Server users have access to all of the fundamental functionality of the g video encoding application Sorenson Squeeze, including advanced pre-processing filters and a broad selection of formats,...

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Nov 02
Belkin introduces FlipBlade, Grip 360 stand for the iPad

Belkin ( has announced the Grip 360° + Stand and FlipBlade for the iPad. With the new Belkin solutions, the Apple tablet can be manipulated into just about any position.

The US$69.99 Grip 360° + Stand is an all-in-one solution that transforms three ways: a carrying case, a handheld case, and a stand. A flexible hand strap provides a carrying case to hold your iPad while you're on the go. The hand strap allows for 360-degree rotation to view content at any angle, and when you are at home or work, just remove the hand strap and attach the stand to position the iPad on any flat surface for comfortable viewing. The adjustable stand provides multiple viewing angles for gaming, reading, surfing the Web, or typing. (You can get the 360 without the stand for $59.99.)

The $29.99 FlipBlade is compact and provides support while boasting a sleek design. Its versatility enables you to view your...

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Nov 02
Sophos releases free Mac anti-virus for home users

Sophos ( is offering a free Mac anti-virus product for consumers, available to download at no charge, with no time limit, and requiring no registration. Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition for Mac is available free to Mac home users worldwide.

Based on Sophos’s flagship security software, Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition for Mac has been released in response to growing concern about Mac malware, says Chris Kraft, product management vice president at Sophos. A recent Sophos investigation into attitudes about Mac security surveyed 640 people, which revealed that 95% expect Macs to be increasingly targeted by malware in the future, he says.

Although malware is more common on Windows than it is on Mac, Apple’s growing market share makes Mac an increasingly attractive platform for malware authors and hackers to target, according to Kraft. Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition for Mac provides...

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Nov 02
G-Technology introduces sleek portable USB drive

The G-Technology G-Drive slim ( from Hitachi GST is a new USB 2.0 external hard drive that works with any computer, but is designed with the MacBook Pro, MacBook and MacBook Air in mind.It offers 320GB of storage for US$99.99 in a "super slim" form factor.

The G-Drive slim leverages Hitachi GST’s 7mm Travelstar Z5K320 drive, purportedly making it the thinnest, 2.5-inch external hard drive in the world. It measures128.6 mm x 82 mm x 9.9 mm and weighs five ounces. Users can carry up to 80 hours of high-definition video, 320 hours of standard video, 114 movies, 80,000 songs or 160 games on it.

Formatted for Macs with plug n’ play connectivity, the G-Drive slim is Time Machine ready for added backup protection. It's USB-powered, so there's no need to carry around an extra power cord. It comes with a three-year limited warranty and is currently available online and at...

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Nov 02
Apple captures 95% share of global tablet shipments

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics (, global tablet shipments reached over four million units in the third quarter of 2010. Apple was the clear market leader, capturing 95% global share and beating Android into second place.

“Global tablet shipments grew 26% sequentially to reach 4.4 million units in Q3 2010," says Peter King, director at Strategy Analytics. " Apple was the clear market leader during the quarter, capturing an impressive 95 percent share with the iPad and beating Android into second place.”

Neil Mawston, Director at Strategy Analytics, adds, “The tablet wars are up and running. Apple has quickly leveraged its famous brand, an extensive retail presence and user-friendly design to develop the tablet segment into a multi-billion-dollar global business. Android, Microsoft, MeeGo, webOS, Blackberry and other...

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Nov 02
Orb Audio debuts 'Hammered Earth' speakers

Orb Audio ( has launched its new "Hammered Earth" premium speaker finish.  As the newest addition to Orb's customization choices, "Hammered Earth" joins existing finishes like Antique Copper, Antique Bronze and Hand Polished Steel.  

Each speaker measures 4 and 3/16 inches in diameter, yet has the output of a much larger speaker, due to a variety of design technologies, according to the folks at Orb Audio. The heart of the Orb speaker system is the spherical Mod1 satellite. Made in the USA from high carbon steel, each Orb speaker features earth magnets, custom voice coils and high performance Santoprene speaker surrounds.  

Orb Audio's Mod1 satellite speakers are available in Hammered Earth finish from US$269 per pair, and $873 for a 5.1 surround system with five speakers and Orb's custom Super Eight subwoofer.  

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Nov 02
Target to offer iPhone staring Nov. 7

Target ( says it will carry the iPhone in 846 stores that include Target Mobile centers beginning Nov. 7. Just in time for the holidays, Target guests can select from the iPhone3GS or iPhone4 and receive quick in-store activation on the purchase of a new iPhone. 
"At Target we continue to offer our guests the best in electronics so we’re happy to add  iPhone to our Target Mobile offerings," says Mark Schindele, senior vice president, merchandising, Target. "With expert support from Target Mobile specialists and in-store activation, our guests will be able to leave the store with a new, working iPhone3GS or iPhone4 in-hand."

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Nov 01
Some Monster headphones causing problems when used with iOS...

Apple is tracking an issue with defective Monster headphones in conjunction with the iPhone, iPad and iPod, reports "engadget" (

Purportedly, users may experience erratic behavior of their iOS device when using Monster headphones that use Apple's Remote and Mic technology. Symptoms are said to include pausing, playing and skipping forward or back through songs.

Apple is apparently blaming the "conductive flanges" used in many of Monster's earbuds, says "endgadget." The article says the problem seems to be limited to Monster headphones that include "ControlTalk" tech for controlling playback with a cable-mounted mic/volume/pause remote, modeled after Apple's own iPhone-bundled earbuds...

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