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Jun 04
'MacVoices' looks at taking control of the iPad

On the new "MacVoices" (, Tonya Engst tells how and why she stepped out of her usual editor's role to author her first Take Control book, "Take Control of iPad Basics."

This free book forms the cornerstone for a total of four Take Control titles that focus on different aspects of the iPad experience. You think you know the iPad basics? Engst talks about the fact that even though the basics are really basics, there are gestures you may not be familiar with that are so useful, she finds herself trying to use them on her MacBook.

This title also covers the many options for syncing your iPad, the interface, Apple's standards and what developers are doing within those guidelines. Some basic but less-than-obvious tips on using Safari and surfing on the iPad, how best to read all the Take Control books on the iPad, and why the final chapter teaches you how to give a demo of your...

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Jun 04
TextCrypt designed to keep your info safe ( has released TextCrypt, $29.95 software designed to keep your info safe and secure. It uses the industry standard Rijndael AES-128 encryption algorithm to protect your data, then utilizes Base64 encoding to make it easier for copying and pasting, according to Marko Kostyrko CEO of

All you have to do is enter your password and your message. TextCrypt will encrypt your message, making it safer for posting on Facebook, email, or instant messages, he says. Only the correct password will unlock your secret.

It's available at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of US$29.95 plus shipping for the CD version -- or $19.95 if you prefer to download. A demo is available for download. TextCrypt works on Mac OS X (10.4 and higher), Windows, and Linux systems.

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Jun 04
Apple now seven among global computer makers

The one U.S. computer OEM [original equipment manufacturer' that managed to outperform the personal computer market in the first quarter of 2010 was Apple, whose shipments rose by 32.4% from a year earlier, says a new report from iSuppli Market Research (

“Apple’s Macintosh line is benefitting from the halo effect of the enormous popularity of its iPhones and iPads,” Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at iSuppli, says.

Driven by booming sales among Asian OEMs, global computer shipments surged by 22.7% in the first quarter, marking the highest year-over-year growth ever recorded by iSuppli Corp. Shipments in the first quarter totaled 81.5 million units, up from 66.5 million during the same period in 2009.

Apple places number seven on iSuppli's global list of computer vendors. iSuppli says the company has 3.4% global market share. Ahead of Apple on...

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Jun 03
Apple drops to third in 2010 RescueCom Reliability Report

RescueCom's Computer Reliability Report starts out on a high note in 2010, with all five leading manufacturers putting up superior reliability scores to last year's averages. Apple, last year's overall leader, improved its reliability score, but that still wasn't good enough to maintain the top spot in the first quarter of 2010.

Instead Apple dropped to third place. IBM/Lenovo decidedly took first place improving their score over 200 points from their average last year. Asus also posted significant gains and took second place. Rounding out the top five were Toshiba and HP/Compaq, respectively.

The report looks measures computer reliability on two fundamentals. The first being the quality of the components and software used in manufacturing the computer. The second is the after-sale support the manufacturer provides to its customers.

How exactly does RescueCom measure these fundamentals to calculate an unbiased reliability score for each manufacturer? The...

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Jun 03
E-on seeking beta testers for upcoming Carbon Scatter plug-ins

E-on Software, maker of the Digital Nature solutions, has announced the upcoming availability of Carbon Scatter, a set of plug-ins that will allow the creation of complex populations using the native instancing technologies of leading DCC applications.

The Carbon Scatter plug-ins will integrate e-on's EcoSystem algorithms directly into the host applications, allowing users to populate native scenes with millions of instances, and render them with their renderer of choice. The actual release date of Carbon Scatter hasn't been determined.

E-on is looking for talented 3ds Max users willing to take part in the beta testing of Carbon Scatter for the mental ray and V-Ray renderers. No knowledge of Vue is required in order to become a qualified beta tester. However, candidates must possess the following qualities: persistence, imagination, and a desire to influence the final product, time, and of course testers should be proficient with 3ds Max and either the V-Ray or Mental...

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Jun 03
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for June 3

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

HomePipe Networks (, a company that let's you surf your home computer has rolled out a self-titled app that allows streaming of iTunes music to iPhones and Android phones and devices over 3G or WiFi. Users update their HomePipe iPhone or Android app and they stream audio content from their home network. There's no need to upload or copy your copyrighted material to the cloud.

VMIX (, an online video platform provider, has released an open-source video gallery demo application for the iPad. The company also announced plans to launch a video software-development kit...

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Jun 03
Nostradamus -- The Last Prophecy comes to the Mac

Coladia and Anuman Interactive have released Nostradamus -- The Last Prophecy (") for Mac OS X. Set in 16th century Provence, in a country ravaged by religious wars and devastated by the plague, it's an historical adventure game in which players have to solve a series of riddles and puzzles inspired by the works of Nostradamus, taking them through the worlds of astrology, medicine and medicinal plants.

Here's how the game is described: "It has been three years since Catherine de Medicis' rule as regent came to an end, but she still holds the reins of power, making her the target of repeated attacks from the French nobility. One day in March 1566, when she realises that she has fallen victim to a terrible curse, she turns to her doctor and astrologer, Michel de Nostre-Dame, better known as Nostradamus.

"Unfortunately, the famous prophet is too old and weak to take on such a mission alone. Refusing to...

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Jun 03
MakeMusic rolls out Finale 2011

MakeMusic ( is shipping Finale 2011, the latest version of its music notation software. It "adapts to the way musicians work,” says MakeMusic CEO Ron Raup. He says new features include:

° New staff layout capabilities that make it simple and intuitive to hide, move and edit staves, groups and brackets;

° Lyrics that are more easily entered and which instantly appear exactly as they’ll print out and are automatically spaced with even greater precision;

° Nearly 400 world-class instrument sounds from the makers of Garritan Personal Orchestra;

° An updated Garritan Aria player that offers control over these sounds with an integrated Ambiance reverb and a new Ensemble feature;

° New music that include a collection of percussion, mallet and handbell graphics, as well as enhanced percussion playback capabilities.

Features of special interest to music...

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Jun 03
New Mac minis imminent?

Supply of the Mac mini lineup is becoming increasingly constrained over the past two weeks as Apple prepares to introduce refreshed models "that may serve as a harbinger for some new I/O technology on the Mac," according to "AppleInsider" (

The publication says it has received numerous reports that suggest the constraints are due to new models instead of shortages due to the upcoming back-to-school buying season. "AppleInsider" says the revamped Mac mini could sport a HMDI port instead of a DVD port and Nvidia's MCP89 chipset.

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Jun 03
Apple tops 2010 Supply Chain Top 25 list for third time

AMR Research has released the findings from its sixth annual Supply Chain Top 25. The goal of the Supply Chain Top 25 research initiative is to raise awareness of the supply chain discipline and how it impacts the business.

Apple held onto the number one position for the third year in a row. This is the first time a company has been ranked number one for three consecutive years in the Supply Chain Top 25 research. Analysts attribute Apple's success to its ability to consistently bring both operational excellence and innovation excellence to bear in some of the most competitive markets in the world. Apple has broken new ground in transforming a supply chain into a value chain by starting with the consumer experience and designing its network to serve that master first and foremost, according to Kevin O’Marah, group vice president at AMR Research.

Analysts announced the findings from this year's research at the sold-out AMR Research Supply Chain Executive Conference,...

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Jun 03
Retrevo: can anything stop Apple and the iPad?

If the rumors are true and all goes according to plan, Apple CEO Steve Jobs will take the stage at the WWDC next week and present the latest version of the iPhone. The latest Retrevo Pulse study asked over 1,000 people (non-Retrevo users) what phone they planned to buy this year and over 20% of the respondents indicated an iPhone. If that number holds up it could be another good year for Apple and the iPhone.

Can Apple create that same iPhone momentum with the iPad? Are we looking at another Apple dominated product category like the iPod did with MP3 players? Microsoft tried unsuccessfully to generate interest in a tablet almost a decade ago. If timing is everything, is the timing right for Apple's iPad? The Retrevo Pulse study also looked at what, if anything, could possibly hinder Apple's runaway success in the tablet category.

When Retrevo asked consumers what would prevent them from buying an iPad, of those who don't already own one or plan on buying one, the most...

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Jun 03
BatchOutput adds support for InDesign CS5

Zevrix Solutions ( has released BatchOutput 3.8, a compatibility update to its professional solution to automate printing and exporting from Adobe InDesign. adds support for InDesign CS5 and introduces several new features, such as export to Flash CS5 Professional (FLA) and new advanced SWF and JPEG export options.

BatchOutput 3.8 includes a free license of File Courier to support automatic digital delivery. BatchOutput is also available in a server version which offloads printing and exporting to PDF and PostScript to a central system leaving InDesign workstations free from the output process.

BatchOutput is designed to automate and simplify InDesign production workflows of service providers, printers, ad agencies and publishers. With BatchOutput, users only need to select the files to output and adjust the settings, and the rest will be done automatically.

BatchOutput 3....

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Jun 03
TidBITS Publishing releases five-volume set of ebooks about the...

TidBITS Publishing has released a five-volume set of ebooks about the iPad, including the free "Take Control of iPad Basics." The set comprises over 500 pages of advice about the Apple tablet.

In contrast with traditional print books, these -- and all other -- Take Control ebooks can be read on the iPad or on any computer, and readers will receive free and discounted updates as the topics covered evolve. The first ebook in the set, the 109-page "Take Control of iPad Basics," by Tonya Engst, is available for free to help new users become comfortable with their iPads.

The remaining ebooks go beyond the basics to focus on subtle details and provide the expert advice that sets the Take Control series apart, according to the folks at TidBITS Publishing. They can be purchased individually or together for US$30 in an "Improve Your iPad IQ" bundle at http://www....

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Jun 03
Apple has 19 nominations in the 2010 T3 Gadget Awards

Apple has 19 nominations in the 2010 T3 Gadget Awards (, given by "T3" magazine. You can cast your vote for your choice of products.

The iPad is nominated for Innovation of the Year and Commuter Gadget of the year. The iPhone 3GS and iPhone nano are also nominated for Commuter Gadget of the Year. The iPhone 3GS is nominated for Phone of the Year.

The MacBook Pro, iPad and 21.5-inch iMac are all nominated for Computer of the Year. The 64GB iPod touch is nominated for Music Gadget of the Year. The touch is also nominated for Gaming Gadget of the Year. The Apple Store is nominated for Retailer of the Year.

iTunes is nominated for Media Service of the Year. The iPad is up for the T3 Design Award. Apple is nominated as Tech Brand of the Year. The iPhone 3GS and iPad 3G are in the running for Gadget of the Year. Nominated for Work Gadget of the Year are the iPad 3G, MacBook Pro...

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Jun 03
Verizon spokesperson: no iPhone plans in the immediate future

A Verizon iPhone is coming soon. No, it's not. Yes, it is. No, it's not. Well, the latest version is that it's not.

Verizon Wireless spokesman John Johnson said during an interview with Beet.TV at All Things Digital's D conference that the company has "no plans to carry the iPhone in the immediate future," reports the "Silicon Valley Business Journal" (

Last month "TheStreet" ( reported that Apple has bumped up its iPhone...

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Jun 03
Authorities examining evidence in missing iPhone prototype case

Authorities have begun examining the computers, server, and other electronic gear seized from a Gizmodo editor as part of the investigation into a missing iPhone prototype, reports "CNET" (

Stephen Wagstaffe, chief deputy district attorney for San Mateo County, told "CNET" on Wednesday that a court there had appointed a "special master" to search the items seized from the home of Jason Chen in late April. The court has asked the special master to collect only information that pertains to Gizmodo's dealings with an iPhone prototype that the blog purchased for IS$5,000.

In March, an Apple employee lost contact with a prototype of an upcoming iPhone. He either lost it or it was stolen while he was visiting a bar in Redwood City, California. The device was obtained by Brian Hogan who then sold the...

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Jun 03
Open Planet Software introduces Smoovie 1.0 for Mac OS X

Open Planet Software has introduced Smoovie 1.0 (, which offers a way for Mac OS X users to create stop motion movies on the Mac and share them. It's designed exclusively for Mac OS X 10.6 ("Snow Leopard") and has support for the Mac's iSight camera and Apple Remote.

With Smoovie, you can use the Mac's built-in iSight camera along with the Apple Remote to capture images straight into the app. Onion skinning overlays existing frames with the live video to help make decisions about getting the next frame just right. For users who prefer to capture the action with a digital camera away from the computer, Smoovie can also import images from disk, iPhoto and Aperture.

Smoovie's editing tools are modeled after a strip of film. Playback speed can be fine-tuned and both standard (4:3) and widescreen (16:9) aspect ratios are...

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Jun 03
iSkin releases enigma case for the iPhone

iSkin ( has released the iSkin enigma, a molded leather protector for iPhone 3G/3GS devices. It costs US$99.99 and is available in two styles: Platinum White and Onyx Black.
The enigma features a lightweight frame wrapped with Napa leather. Its inner surface is lined with the finest microfiber to ensure soft contact with the iPhone. The facade features a metallic finish adorned with a designer pattern.

A chrome accented rear camera opening and integrated home button protection completes the design. The enigma features a self-locking slip-in design that preserves full usability and functionality of the iPhone.

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Jun 03
Notebook USB Audio Station is Mac compatible

SMK-Link Electronics Corp. ( has released the US$59.99 Notebook USB Audio Station. Utilizing a minimal foot-print design, the new Notebook USB Audio Station elevates the MacBook or PC laptop screen, positioning it ergonomically at eye-level.

It also features an integrated stereo audio amplification system, plus a three-port powered USB hub. The NoteBook USB Audio Station delivers eight watts of stereo sound from its speakers.

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Jun 03
RadVision provides iPad, iPhone interoperability

RadVision (, a technology and end-to-end solution provider for unified visual communications, has announced advancements to its Scopia solution, including extending video conferencing data collaboration to the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, providing interoperability with video conferencing systems for data.

The new advanced data collaboration is also the first in the video conferencing industry to provide users with extended capabilities with H.239 interoperability, according to RadVision Chief Technology Officer Yair Wiener. RadVision’s new Scopia advanced data collaboration delivers interoperable H.239 based data collaboration with access from the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. With this capability, materials such as presentations, spreadsheets, documents and images shared in a video conference can be viewed on these Apple mobile devices.

This advanced data...

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Jun 03
Jumsoft revamps Pages Templates Expert line

Jumsoft has announced an addition to its range of business templates for Apple's Pages. Pages is the word processing/document creation component of the US$79 iWork suite.

The Pages Templates Expert line includes six packs of templates: Color Fest, Elementary, Enterprise, Living Space, Subtle Mind, and Sugar Hues. Each pack contains a complete kit of documents that reflect different attitudes and styles,.

Each pack of Pages Templates Expert includes 36 or more different templates in uniform style with matching type styles. Because most of the templates have multiple layouts, users will receive over 90 different layouts with each pack.

Single-page templates such as Letter, Memo, and Poster, were created for basic documents, while several multi-layout templates are designed for brochures and other publications. The latter group ranges from a two-layout quiz to a 12-layout horizontal or vertical brochure. Users can type or paste in their own text, add and remove...

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Jun 03
MacJury deliberates on AT&T iPhone, iPad data plan changes

The MacJury ( weighs in on the AT&T data plan changes for the iPhone and iPad.

One of the hottest cases on the docket is AT&T's revisions to their iPhone and iPad data plans, and the MacJury looks at the evidence from all sides of the story. The panel cover their initial, sometimes angry, reactions to the changes, then settle down to examine their own usage rates and how they compare to the new plans, the announcement (finally) of tethering, and whether the pricing is a deterrent, revealing AT&T's fears over network capacity.

Industry trends in relation to the announcements, the desirability of an unlimited plan, jailbreak options, how all this compares on an international basis, and more are all discussed by the distinguished group that includes Jeff Gamet, Pat Fauquet, Keith Lang, Chuck LaTournous, and Michael Johnston.

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Jun 03
Rucksack for Mac OS X updated to version 1.1

CreativeBe has released Rucksack 1.1 (, an update to its archive and file system tool for Mac OS X 10.6 and higher. Designed by Apple Design Award Winner Dietmar Kerschner, Rucksack lets users open, create and convert archives, as well as split and combine files.

The biggest change in version 1.1 is that users can now open more than one archive at once by dragging the archives onto Rucksack's main window. Also new is the option to remove archives after opening them, either by moving them to the Trash or deleting them immediately. Plus, there's now an option to automatically show output files in Finder when Rucksack has opened an archive.

Rucksack costs US$25, though version 1.1 is a free update for registered users. A 14-day demo is available for download.

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Jun 03
Topaz Labs announces complete 64-bit Photoshop CS5 compatibility

Photoshop plug-in developer Topaz Labs has announced full 64-bit Photoshop CS5 compatibility for its software in Mac and Windows. The Topaz Photoshop Bundle now works natively in 64-bit and takes advantage of Photoshop CS5’s 64-bit capabilities for greater speed and stability.

Eric Yang, marketing manager at Topaz Labs. "

The Topaz products that support 64-bit Photoshop CS5 include: Topaz Adjust, DeNoise, Detail, Simplify, Clean, ReMask, and DeJPEG. Existing users can download this upgrade for free by re-downloading and re-installing the software at .

The Topaz Photoshop Bundle retails at US$179.99 for new customers. For more information about Topaz software and Photoshop CS5 compatibility, go to .

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Jun 02
iFrogz announces line of protective iPad cases

iFrogz ( has expanded its collection of protective cases with a new line for the iPad. The line includes six designs with pricing ranging from US$24.99 to $39.99.

The six iPad cases offered by iFrogz include: Silicone Wrapz, SoftGloss, Luxe, Luxe Lean, Envoy and NeoFirm Burst. The company also offers two styles of screen protectors for the iPad: mirrored and anti-glare. Both retail for $19.99.

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