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May 20
Google vs. Apple: it's on, big time

Make no mistake: the battle between Apple and Google has just heated up. Immensely, due to a plethora of initiatives unveiled at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco Thursday.

Google has purchased Simplify Media, which makes software that lets you stream music from your home computer to mobile devices. If you think that sounds similar to Apple's acquisition of LaLa, which lets you stream your own music from its central servers, well, you're right.

In a keynote demo, Google showed off the ability to purchase a song (or an app) online using a personal computer, and have it automatically added to an Android device. Currently, users have to buy apps using their phone, and transferring music requires physically connecting an Android device to the phone, just as is required with the iPhone, notes "Wired" (...

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May 20
Gefen offers new USB to DVI HD

Tapped out of video ports but want to add a new display? Gefen makes it easier with the new USB to DVI HD (http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=8863). This tiny, US$149 adapter comes equipped with one USB input and one DVI output. Any USB port on the computer can be used to connect a digital display using the DVI, VGA or HDMI format.

This enables laptops and computers with limited display ports to handle multiple displays without a dedicated DVI port. For professionals wanting an extended desktop environment, the USB to DVI HD offers plug and play connectivity with support for resolutions up to 1920 x 1200, 1080p and 2k.

Users have the option to select an extended desktop or have the USB-connected display mirror the main display’s content. Multiple adapters can also be connected to the same computer system, including six USB to DVI HDs...

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May 20
Flash 10.1 to support touch screens, converse battery life

Adobe says Flash 10.1 will support touch screens, conserve battery life and take advantage of faster mobile processors. It's designed "to make video run more smoothly on mobile phones -- and quash criticism by Steve Jobs," according to "Bloomberg" (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601204&sid=afLN8vkNx9u4).

The next iteration, Flash 10.1, will be unveiled today at a conference sponsored by Google, David Wadhwani, an Adobe vice president, said in an interview with "Bloomberg" last week.

“Given everything that’s going on between Apple and Adobe, it’s critical for Adobe to get Flash up and running on other handset manufacturers’ devices in the next six to 12 months,” he said. “If they can show traction on other devices -- which will use Flash to compete against Apple -- it should take some of the...

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May 20
ProteMac KeyBag for Mac OS X gets a database fix

roteMac has updated ProteMac KeyBag (http://www.protemac.com/KeyBag/), a keystroke recorder utility for Mac OS X, to version 2.1. The upgrade sports a database fix and more.

KeyBag lets you control all keyboard activity for each application on your Mac, showing you exactly what was typed and to where. s intended for the interception and recording of everything that is entered from the keyboard on your Mac. It works in a "hidden mode" and is designed for hidden monitoring of the computer activities. Its key logger invisibly logs and is capable of recording keystrokes of every user activity performed on your Mac.

ProteMac KeyBag is designed to allow you to find out what other users do on your computer in your absence. You will find out, what was going on your computer in your absence: what was typed and the windows visited web sites, etc. This invisible employee spy surveillance tool...

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May 20
Package Central ready for InDesign CS5

Zevrix Solutions has released Package Central 1.1 (http://zevrix.com/PackageCentral.php/), an update of the document packaging workflow automation solution for Adobe InDesign. The upgrade offers supports for InDesign CS5.

The software offloads packaging to a central system leaving operator workstations free from the output process. Under Package Central workflow, production artists, prepress operators and designers simply submit files to hotfolders that reside on the network. Package Central automatically collects the files from its station using hotfolder settings, and will auto-activate document fonts as well.

Package Central runs on a dedicated machine and watches hotfolders linked to its workflow settings. The software performs all its tasks automatically and can run unattended. Files can be submitted from both Mac and PC computers.

Package Central can be...

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May 20
Update of CosmoPod Safari extension adds support for HTML5

Cocoamug Software has released CosmoPod 4.4.1 (http://www.cocoamug.com/cosmopod/index.html), an update of the Safari extension that lets you download Flash videos from web sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, etc.

The upgrade adds support for HTML5 audio tag and now automatically clears successful conversions. Video picture cropping can be toggled on/off. Version 4.4.1 also improves the file recognition/extension assignment mechanism and real media stream analysis.

CosmoPod can automatically convert downloaded files to an Apple device friendly format, tag them and add them to iTunes. Additionally, you can convert most video already on your hard drive via drag and drop so can be used as a tool to import your DVD collection to your Mac, iTunes, AppleTV, and iPhone.

CosmoPod costs US$12. Version 4.4.1 is a free update for registered users of version...

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May 20
Astaro Solutions offer remote access to iPad users

Astaro Corp. (http://www.astaro.com), a unified threat management provider, says iPad users can securely connect to their business or home networks using the VPN functionality of the Astaro Security Gateway. This feature is included in the professional edition as well as in the Essential Firewall and Home Use edition that are both available for free.

The Astaro Security Gateway supports PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec VPN connections, allowing to establish secure tunnels with the iPad. Employees at companies using the Astaro Security Gateway can connect their iPad to their company’s network without having to purchase any new applications or networking equipment, says Gert Hansen, vice president, Product Management, Astaro.

Additionally, private users can connect their iPad to their home networks using Home Use edition of the Astaro Security Gateway which is a full version of the Astaro Security Gateway available...

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May 20
USB Fever releases new iPhone products

USB Fever has released two new products for the iPhone. 
The Tri-image mirage/Sparkle/Starburst Lens (http://www.usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?products_id=1849) is a $2.99 lens for the iPhone and iPhone 3GS. It comes with a back cover. You can detach the lens from the back cover if it's not needed.

The Red/Green/Yellow Color Filter Lens for iPhone 3G/3Gs (http://www.usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?products_id=1850) is a $23.99 lens and lens filter. It also comes with a back cover.

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May 20
Motama releases NMM 2.2.0 and TVCaster-SDK

Motama has released the next version of its Network-Integrated Multimedia Middleware (NMM) for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows systems. NMM 2.2.0 is available at http://www.motama.com/nmm.html

Together with this release, the first version of the new TVCaster Software Developer Kit (TVCaster-SDK) is made available at http://www.motama.com/tvcastersdk.html . According to the folks at Motama, the free TVCaster-SDK provides following benefits for all IPTV servers
from their company:

° It enables full programmability and remote control of TVCaster appliances using C++ API or XML-RPC;

° If offers a client-side sample application, including channel switching;

° It provides full integration into distributed stream processing.

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May 20
iPresentee unveils Keynote themes for the iPad

iPresentee (http://www.ipresentee.com), a developer of add-ons for Apple’s iWork and iLife applications, has released Keynote Themes for iPad. You use 'em, of course, with the iPad version of the Keynote presentation application.

Keynote Themes for iPad includes 33 themes tailored specifically for the Apple tablet. Every iPad user can transfer pre-made Keynote templates to iPad without creating or opening a presentation on a computer and build Keynote presentation on iPad. Also, this package includes the same themes compatible with Keynote '09 therefore users may create presentation on a Mac and then transfer it to iPad.

Each Keynote Theme is available in 1024 x 768 and 800 x 600 sizes in pixels. According to the folks at iPresentee, creating a presentation using new Keynote themes is exactly the same as creating a presentation using the usual themes. You can: add, edit, and format text; add...

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May 20
'iFixIt' offers MacBook Unibody mid-2010 teardown

Apple updated the MacBook with much milder official changes this year -- most notably a better graphics processor and more battery life -- but the gang at 'iFixIt" wanted to see for themselves exactly how the laptop evolved. So they did.

They ventured inside the MacBook to find out how Apple achieved the claimed 10-hour battery life and more. There are some of the highlights of their teardown:

° The battery is identical in size and shape to the old one, but is rated for 63.5 Wh (compared to 60Wh) and weighs 355 g (compared to 347.5 g).

° The battery also works in the previous MacBook, You can get an extra 350 mAh of electric charge if you're willing to add 7.5 grams to your older machine.

° Apple continues to use tri-wing screws for the battery, as well as the "Do not remove the battery" warning sticker. Why is it such a big deal to have users replace it themselves?

° The layout is so similar to the earlier version of the MacBook that users can...

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May 20
'MacVoices' looks at new Drobo products

On the new "MacVoices" (http://www.macvoices.com), Mark Fuccio, senior director for Data Robotics talks about the latest Drobo line of products and features of the Drobo Dashboard for their Drobo FS, a file server that now supports Apple's Time Machine backup utility.

Fuccio explains how the new feature allows you to decide how much of the Drobo FS' capacity is used for Time Machine, the ease of set up, and how the company is giving back to the open source community as part of this update. He also covers the benefits and tradeoffs of using "green" drives in any of the Drobo models.

"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 global Apple community," according to host Chuck Joiner.

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May 20
Audiofile Engineering launches MIDI Surface for iPhone OS

Musicians and music lovers who use MIDI technology have a new way to create, control and connect with their instruments. Audiofile Engineering (http://www.audiofile-engineering.com), a developer of audio software for Mac platforms, has released MIDI Surface for iPhone OS.

Designed for use with Line 6's MIDI Mobilizer hardware accessory, MIDI Surface gives iPhone and iPod touch owners the ability to build their own fully customized MIDI control surfaces. Suitable for use on stage, at home or in studio settings, MIDI Surface offers four interface styles, each with its own set of changeable parameters.

The Keyboard interface features Channel and Velocity controls. The Sliders interface includes Channel, Controller (Mod Wheel, Expression, etc.), Low Value and High Value controls. The Drum Pads interface includes Channel, Category (Note On, Controller, Program Change), Note,...

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May 20
ChangeWave: consumer demand is high for the iPad

The ChangeWave research group (http://www.changewave.com) has completed two surveys on the Apple iPad -- including a May consumer survey measuring future iPad demand, and a second survey of new iPad owners on their actual reactions to the new tablet device.

Back in their February iPad survey report ChangeWave found that the pre-launch demand for the new iPad was greater than the pre-launch demand for the original iPhone. It wasn’t surprising, therefore, when in early May Apple announced one million iPads sold in the first month -- and reported that sales had outpaced those of the original iPhone.

But now that that the iDevice has been on the market for several weeks, ChangeWave has just completed two new surveys: a May survey of 3,174 consumers to measure future demand for the iPad, and a second survey of 153 new iPad owners to discover their actual impressions of the new tablet device.

...

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May 20
Study: mobile broadband modem sales to reach 200 million in 2014

The sales of new devices with integrated mobile broadband connectivity, together with external USB modems, will top 100 million in 2010, as mobile broadband makes major inroads into the mass market, stimulated by new devices such as the Amazon Kindle and Apple iPad and more aggressive tariffs from mobile operators, according to Strategy Analytics (http://www.strategyanalytics.com).

According to a new study by the research group, the installed base of mobile broadband modems will have grown to 415 million devices by 2014, highlighting the need for true, ubiquitous mobility, that enables users to engage with their contacts and content whatever their location.

"Decreasing module costs and greater variety of pre and post-pay tariff plans are making mobile broadband more accessible, allowing more people to access their content wherever and whenever they desire," says Andrew Brown,...

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May 20
Analyst: 'HD' iPhone should be a hit

Apple's upcoming iPhone could be a blockbuster hit, according to RBC analyst Mike Abramsky. (One caveat: Apple hasn't officially announced such a device yet.)

Still, citing a survey of 1,000 people, Abramsky says 20% of the respondents intend to buy the fourth version of the iPhone, which is expected to debut at next month's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference. This is more than twice the number of eager buyers surveyed prior to the original iPhone three years ago, notes "TheStreet" (http://www.thestreet.com/story/10762460/1/apples-hd-iphone-reloads-deman...).

Abramsky estimates Apple will sell 23 million of the redesigned "HD" iPhone -- which is expected to have higher resolution and an improved camera -- this year, which is more than half of the 40 million iPhone sales estimate he has for...

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May 20
Ex-employee says Apple ruined his life

An ex-Apple employee, Kenyon Zahner, who filed a class action lawsuit against the company in August 2009, says Apple "ruined his life." The lawsuit complained that Apple forces its staffers to work long hours without overtime pay.

In the lawsuit, Zahner said he routinely worked more than 40 hours per week at an Apple location in Florida but didn't receive extra compensation required by state law for non-managerial employees. The lawsuit sought damages on behalf of Zahner and other Apple employees in Florida who were allegedly cheated out of overtime pay. The lawsuit settled last December for US$3,500, of which $2,300 went to Zahner's attorney.

In the lawsuit, Apple’s attorneys denied there was any pressure to work unpaid overtime, and said Zahner had not presented any proof he was owed money. Yet, in the settlement agreement revealed at "ifoAppleStore" web site (...

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May 20
iPhone's performance in China is lackluster so far

A recent survey of 2,000 mobile users in China between the ages of 22 and 32 by China Market Research Group, or CMR, suggests that the cause of the iPhone's performance in China may stem from the relative unpopularity of Apple's partner, China Unicom, among its target users, as well as a lack of desire among those users to sign up for two-year contracts and subscribe to 3G services, reports the "Wall Street Journal" (http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2010/05/20/why-iphone-hasn’t-sold-well-in-china/?mod=rss_whats_news_technology).

CMR found that while users really wanted the iPhone, less than 10% of respondents use China Unicom, and of those respondents, a majority said they were unhappy with the company’s service. In comparison, 95% of respondents said they felt competitor China Mobile was more stable and had better coverage when traveling around the country. CMR also found that 80% of respondents used prepaid mobile services rather than monthly subscription-based services...

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May 20
iTunes grows its share of the US music market to 26.7%

Apple's iTunes store, which emerged in 2008 as the top U.S. music account for the first time, widened its lead last year over former market leader Walmart, according to a new report by "Billboard" (http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/magazine/upfront/e3i12fe2...).

Acording to the music industry publication's analysis of 2009 sales and market share, the top 20 U.S. music accounts accounted for 85% of the total account base. That's down from 88% in 2008 and runs counter to an almost decade-long consolidation trend under which the top 20 accounts continued to capture an ever larger share of the total market. "Brick-and-mortar" accounts dipped, while digital accounts made up a combined 35.5% of the total account base, up from 31.6% in 2008, says "...

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May 20
Case dismissed in 'spying' MacBook lawsuit

A federal judge has dismissed a plaintiff's lawsuit against Apple that accused company employees of waiting like "vultures" to spy on her every time she used an Apple laptop to access the Internet, reports "Reuters" (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64I76D20100519).

In the lawsuit, Leslie Carr claimed every time time she used the laptop to go online, "there would be a mass number of Apple employees waiting greedily like vultures to survey and monitor my life." She was asking for US$60 million for trauma.

However, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman said the complaint "fails to state a plausible claim for relief. Where, as here, a complaint is asserting unrealistic and unsupportable claims, a court may dismiss it." The case was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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May 20
MediaEdit for Mac OS X updated to version 3.1.9

Mien Software (http://www.miensoftware.com) has released MediaEdit 3.1.9 for the Mac, an update of the consumer-level video editing tool that can edit most QuickTime readable formats. The upgrade fixes some issues with long file names and fixes an issue where clips can become corrupted after a join and a split.

MediaEdit's features include: the ability to add video, audio and text instantly; non-destructive editing; multiple levels of undo; live previews and background rendering; the ability to capture video and audio; and the ability to resize and position the clip display region. MediaEdit comes with standard effects, filters and transitions. You can create slideshows, add chapter markers and export to QuickTime, DV, MPEG-4 and to the web.

A 30-day demo is available for download. The suggested retail price for MediaEdit is US$59.95. Version 3.1.9 is a free update for registered users of...

| Read more »
May 20
Cablejive releases dockXtender for iPhone, iPod, iPad

CableJive has released the US$25.95 dockXtender (http://www.cablejive.com/products/dockXtender.html) for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. It's a dock extender cable offers a 30-pin male-to-female extension and is available in two or six foot versions.

DockXtender passes all functionality through to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod. Anything your iPod can do when directly attached to your accessory, can also be done when connected with the dockXtender, according to the folks at Cablejive. And it purportedly works with all cases.

| Read more »
May 20
Gaussian 09 Software ported to 64-bit Mac OS X systems

The Portland Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of STMicroelectronics and supplier of compilers for high-performance computing (HPC), has announced that Gaussian, an ongoing collaboration of scientists and academic research groups throughout the world, used PGI compilers to port a version of its flagship Gaussian 09 product to Intel processor-based Macintosh computers running 64-bit versions of Mac OS X.

PGI develops and markets C/C++ and Fortran compilers and development tools that are used by engineers and scientists. PGI Workstation compilers and tools enable building, debugging and profiling of 64-bit multi-core applications on the latest generation of Macs based on processors from Intel and running the Mac OS X operating system.

"A large percentage of academic and government HPC users rely on MacBooks as their mobile computing solution," says Douglas Miles, director, The Portland Group. "Now that Gaussian 09 is available on Mac OS X as well as on Linux- and Windows...

| Read more »
May 20
IDC forecasts 7.6 million media tablets to ship this year

The nascent market for media tablets, fostered by the launch of Apple’s iPad, will be driven by the device's attributes as a content consumption platform and the compelling applications and services that will be created to take advantage of them, according to a new study by International Data Corp. (http://www.idc.com).

According to a the IDC research group, worldwide media tablet shipments will grow from 7.6 million units in 2010 to more than 46 million units in 2014, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57.4%. In comparison, IDC expects 398 million portable computers will be shipped in 2014.

"These are early days for media tablets, an altogether new device category that takes its place between smartphones and portable personal computers," says Susan Kevorkian, program director, Digital Marketplace: Mobile Media & Entertainment. "IDC expects consumer demand for media tablets to be...

| Read more »
May 19
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for May 19

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/).

Xiotech Corp., which specializes in Intelligent Application Storage, says its just-launched ISEview application has become the first enterprise storage application available in the Apple App Store. ISEview allows administrators to monitor multiple Intelligent Storage Element (ISE) storage blades and receive real-time performance data, component status and other system information. ISEview is available immediately for free download on the iPhone, and Xiotech expects to deliver an iPad-compatible version soon.

MultiEducator has announced Battleships of the US Navy 1.0 for the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Third in their "History on the Go" series of iPhone apps, the US$1.99 features more than 260 high resolution photos that can be viewed in minute...

| Read more »
 
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