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May 14
USITC to investigate Apple's complaints against Kodak

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to to institute an investigation of certain digital imaging devices and related software regarding Apple's claims against Kodak over patent infringement. The products at issue in this investigation are digital still cameras, digital video cameras, and related software.

In an online note (http://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2010/er0513hh2.htm) the USITC says that by instituting this investigation (337-TA-717), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC's Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC's six administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination...

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May 14
The iPhone prototype case just gets weirder and weirder

Apple CEO Steve Jobs asked technology blog "Gizmodo.com" to return a secret iPhone prototype that Apple says was stolen after a company engineer lost it in a bar, reports "Bloomberg News" (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?sid=axWv500b2PpE&pid=20601087).

According to court documents released May 14, the lost iPhone is being investigated as a possible trade secret theft, according to California state court documents made public after media organizations including "Bloomberg News" asked they be unsealed. Apple reported the device stolen last month. Apple that called police to report the phone was stolen, which set the investigation in motion.

An Apple lawyer said publicity about the “invaluable” prototype was “immensely damaging to Apple” because it would hinder iPhone sales, according to an April 23...

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May 14
Chinese workers to sue iPhone contractor

Forty-four workers in Suzhou, China, are planning to sue Taiwan-based Wintek alleging they were poisoned while cleaning iPhone screens with a chemical called n-hexane, according to Stratfor Global Intelligence (http://www.stratfor.com/).

At least 62 Wintek workers have been hospitalized since August 2009 due to n-hexane poisoning, a chemical “which can cause nerve damage and sometimes paralysis, the article adds. The US Department of Labor describes n-hexane this way:

"n-Hexane is a narcotic agent; an irritant to the eyes, upper respiratory tract, and skin; and a neurotoxin. Exposure of humans to 5,000 ppm n-hexane for 10 minutes causes marked vertigo; exposure to 1,500 ppm results in headache and slight nausea [Hathaway et al. 1991; Clayton and Clayton 1982]. In industrial settings, exposure to levels exceeding 1,000 ppm have been reported to cause mild symptoms of narcosis [Hathaway et al. 1991...

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May 14
Apple to debut online music streaming service at WWDC?

Apple is allegedly set to announce plans to launch an online music streaming service similar to Spotify soon. How soon? As in next month's Worldwide Developer Conference, according to several online rumors.

Speculated to debut on June 7, the service -- if it is coming -- would likely be based on Apple's purchase of Lala six months ago. A note at the Lala web site (http://www.lala.com) says "The Lala service will be shutting down on May 31" and "unfortunately, we are no longer accepting new users."

Lala -- which offered "the first and only free fully licensed service to instantly provide anywhere web access to an existing music library such as iTunes" -- was purchased by Apple earlier this year. The goal is probably to allow Apple to implement a new iTunes feature that would allow users to stream their purchased media content remotely. In fact, rumors of such a service surfaced earlier this year.

...

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May 14
'MacNotables' looks at Facebook and privacy issues

The latest edition of MacNotables (http://www.macnotables.com/wordpress/), a podcast that serves as home to Mac personalities who will comment on the latest news and opinions in the Mac community, is available.

"Macworld" Senior Editor Christopher Breen recently completed an article on his concerns about the privacy issues generated by the latest revisions to Facebook, and proclaiming that he has left the service. He explains exactly why he left, his decision to deactivate his account vs. deleting it, and why he feels this situation represents a disturbing trend for Facebook.

"MacNotables" panelists include Christopher Breen, Bryan Chaffin, Jim Dalrymple, Adam Engst, Tonya Engst, Andy Ihnatko, Joiner, Ted Landau, Jason Snell, Bob LeVitus, Dan Frakes and Yours Truly. Not all panelists can make all shows due to scheduling conflicts.

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May 14
Mini Ninjas scampering onto the Mac next month

Feral Interactive has announced the release of Mini Ninjas for the Mac on Friday, June 11 -- as reported by "Inside Mac Games" (http://www.insidemacgames.com). Developed by Io Interactive, Mini Ninjas follows the young ninja, Hiro and his friends as they travel through spellbound lands to do battle with a magical army of animals-turned-samurai.

Mini Ninjas sports six playable ninja characters, an open-ended level design, and the ability to control the animals of the forest. "Mini Ninjas evokes a magical Japan with a simple, but charming visual style and authentic music -- the overall design comes across as a labour of love that has produced an approachable and enjoyable game," according to Feral Interactive.

"Inside Mac Games" says that, in the coming weeks, Feral Interactive will release a Mini Ninjas demo and an additional preview trailer. The game will retail in North America for US $...

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May 14
Apple could become the largest company in the US

Apple is now America's third-largest company by stock market value. Over the past three years, its shares have more than doubled in price, while those ofnumber one, Exxon Mobile, and number two, Microsoft, have fallen slightly. If that trend continues, Apple will be America's largest company by year's end, according to a "SmartMoney" report (http://www.smartmoney.com/Investing/Stocks/apple-may-soon-be-americas-la...).

Of course, just where Apple ranks by size depends on how you define size. If sales are a better measure of economic weight than stock market value, then Apple is No. 42 -- four spots below Dell. However, "SmartMoney" says that may not be a fair comparison as Apple turns 29 cents of each sales dollar into operating profit...

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May 14
Overture, HPL1 Engine and OALWrapper released as open source

Frictional Games has released the source code (http://github.com/FrictionalGames) for their first game Penumbra: Overture, together with the source code for the engine and tools used in its creation.

This comes as a reply to the great success of the Humble Indie Bundle, in which over US$1 million dollars has been donated to the participating developers and charities, says Thomas Grip, programmer and co-founder of Frictional Games. Apart from Penumbra, the source codes for the indie games Aquaria, Gish and Lugaru (all available in the Humble Indie Bundle) are also released.

Penumbra: Overture contains a unique physics interaction system for first person games, a system that has been exclusive to the series and not found in any other game, Grip says. The source code is currently running on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

The source code has been uploaded to GitHub where it...

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May 14
Axure releases Mac version of prototyping tool

Axure (http://www.axure.com) has nnounced the availability of Axure RP 5.6 for Mac. Previously, the web site and application prototyping tool was available only for Windows.

This release brings Axure RP natively to the Mac with all of the key features of its PC counterpart, including wireframing tools, HTML prototype and Word specification generation, and collaboration. It also includes enhancements that improve the usability and make the look and feel consistent for Mac users, says Victor Hsu, president of Axure.

Axure is making the licenses cross platform while keeping the price for a single user license at US$589. Each license can be used on two computers so a customer can choose to use Axure RP on a PC and a Mac without an additional cost. In addition, the Mac version is a free upgrade for customers who purchased Axure RP after Feb. 1, 2008. Other customers can purchase a maintenance renewal for $149...

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May 14
Sport Competitions comes to Mac, Windows systems

SAGOIS SLU has released Sport Competitions (http://www.sagois.com/en/SportCompetitions/index.html) for Mac and Windows systems. The US$120 app provides the creation and management of league and cup championships in the following sports: soccer, indoor soccer, basketball, handball, badminton, darts, tennis, paddle tennis, squash and volleyball.

With Sports Competition you can create and manage cup and league championships. It generates team and player classifications. There are various "sanction" and Internet features.

Sports Competition sports a New Users Data base, with the possibility of importing them to teams. You can store teams and players to import them to later championships. The game also creates registration forms. A demo is available for download.

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May 14
Library Monkey climbs to version 4.0

Monkey Tools has released Library Monkey 4.0 for Mac OS X (http://www.monkey-tools.com/librarymonkey/) , an update of the app for organizing your iTunes library according to your criteria.

Users can now import their iTunes Database -- including all tracks, metadata, and playlists -- directly into Library Monkey. This feature provides the ability to retain important information created in iTunes, while delivering the management tools that are available only in Library Monkey, says Drayson Nowlan, general manager at Monkey Tools. "Library Monkey goes beyond iTunes and features the powerful and efficient tools our customers have valued for many years."

Also new to version 4.0 is the ability to prune missing files and remove any asset from any library. This solves the problem of managing information when working with continually changing libraries. What's more,...

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May 14
Europe’s first iPad 3G SIM Card launched by Cubic Telecom

Irish headquartered Mobile Network Operator, Cubic Telecom (http://www.cubictelecom.com)has launched what it says is Europe’s first SIM card for the new iPad 3G. This means that iPad 3G users will be able to travel and access the web anywhere in Europe without racking up expensive roaming charges.

The first Cubic Telecom iPad 3G SIM cards, sold under the brand name MaxRoam, are available from http://www.maxroam.com . The SIM card costs €75 and comes pre loaded with 50MB of data. Customers can avail of this single low cost transparent rate across all European borders. Apple announced last week that the iPad would be available in nine countries outside the US from May 28.

Cubic Telecom is a licensed mobile network operator that provides a "smart" platform. Customers include multinational corporations, mobile network operators...

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May 14
Active Storage announces Innerpool for Xsan Metadata

Active Storage (http://www.activestorage.com) has introduced Innerpool, a new class of RAID storage solution designed to store metadata volumes that are so critical to Media focused SANs (storage area networks).

Featuring a "zero U" design, Innerpool resides inside a SAN's Metadata Controller, yet provides on-board RAID storage via 2.5-inch rotating media drives or performance-tuned Intel SSD drives. Innerpool is installed in pairs, one in each Xsan Metadata Controller and hosts the critical Metadata LUN, rather than tasking the storage systems that host data volumes, according to Active Storage CEO Alex Grossman.

Innerpool is a patent-pending design self-contained RAID system, based on a pair of PCI Express cards, each that hosts a RAID processor, two ports of 4 Gigabit Fibre Channel and two drives that can be either 7200 RPM 2.5-inch drives, or Intel SSD drives tuned to deliver up to...

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May 14
MONKEYmedia sues Apple for patent infringement

Another day, another lawsuit. A company called MONKEYmedia has filed a lawsuit against Apple for infringing claims in three of MONKEYmedia's "Seamless Contraction" patents. The company says Apple’s infringement involves its user interfaces for document summarization, RSS readers and video players that can display multiple versions of text and/or audiovisual content.

"We can sit by and watch Apple continue to use our patented inventions without paying, or we can do something about it," said Eric Bear, MONKEYmedia's CEO. "Synergy between inventors and manufacturers is healthy, and we love that Apple believes in our technology. We simply prefer open communications and fair compensation."

The lawsuit was filed in the Western District of Texas -- Austin Division. Austin-based MONKEYmedia is a privately held user interface design studio turned intellectual property licensing boutique, founded in 1994 by Janna Buckmaster Bear and Eric Gould Bear, a Microsoft and Yahoo!...

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May 14
What’s the next game-changing consumer device?

What do connected cars, e-book readers, smartphones and HDTVs have in common? They have all been radically transformed by connectivity. And in the next decade, driven by both consumer demand and market opportunities, many more connected devices will emerge, according to a new report by the Yankee Group (http://www.yankeegroup.com).

Data from Yankee Group’s Anywhere Consumer: 2009 U.S. Survey indicates that 55% of consumers highly value connectivity in e-book readers, 50% in MP3 players and 40% in HDTVs. But how can device makers distinguish the next big thing from the also-rans? Yankee Group’s new model evaluates 16 CE devices against 10 business and connectivity attributes, and groups the devices into three segments:

° Anywhere Target Devices, like e-book readers and HDTVs, have the most untapped potential.

° Anywhere Impaired Devices, like game consoles, digital cameras and portable...

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May 13
BatchOut Server adds support for InDesign CS5

Zevrix Solutions has updated BatchOutput Server (http://zevrix.com/BatchOutputServer.php), an output workflow automation solution for Adobe InDesign, to version 4.3. The new version adds support for InDesign CS5.

Under BatchOutput Server workflow, production artists and prepress operators simply submit files to hotfolders that reside on the network. BatchOutput Server automatically outputs the files from its dedicated station using hotfolder settings, and will auto-activate document fonts as well.

BatchOutput 4.3 can be purchased from the Zevrix Solutions web site for US$699.95, as well as from authorized resellers. A demo is available for download. BatchOutput 43 is available for

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May 13
CEA announces portable media connection standard

The Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) Portable, Handheld and In-Vehicle Electronics Committee has announced the publication of ANSI/CEA-2017-A, Common Interconnection for Portable Media Devices.

The standard adds capability to the Portable Media Device Connector (PDMI) for USB 3.0 and VESA’s DisplayPort. Utilizing this new standard will purportedly allow consumers to download HD movies in just over one minute, versus 10 minutes with the previous USB 2.0 technology.

“CEA’s Portable, Handheld and In-Vehicle Electronics Committee brought together companies across all sectors of the portable device market to establish this standard that will support future advancements in portable media,” says Brian Markwalter, vice president of research and standards for CEA. “As our industry continues to innovate, bringing new products and services to consumers around the world, it is essential that we create standards that support the new technologies coming to market.”

...

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May 13
Discrete Drums products re-released on DVD with more formats

Sonoma Wire Works has added Kickin' Country to the Discrete Drums (http://www.discretedrums.com) multitrack drum recording library. Kickin' Country features drummer Tony Morra recorded at Downtown Batterie in Nashville, and is produced by Rick DiFonzo, Discrete Drums' founder.

The Kickin' Country Pro Set (9GB) includes multitrack WAV files with Pro Tools sessions, stereo REX and WAV files, and one shot samples for US$199. The Kickin' Country Stereo Set (3GB) includes stereo REX and WAV files for $99. Styles included are brushes, ballads, waltz, train, pop and more.

The 19 sessions included in Kickin' Country are organized into song parts including verse, chorus, bridge, intros, outros, fills, solos, breaks, and more, making it easy to build great sounding arrangements. Portions of the Kickin' Country drum content are also available as InstantDrummer Sessions for RiffWorks recording...

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May 13
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for May 13

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/).

Virgin Atlantic has released Jet Lag, an US$1.99 iPhone/iPod touch app designed to help air travelers fight jet lag. It offers a personalized daily activity calendar providing advanced based on the selected therapy type, the user's personal profile and trip details. In addition, the app contains a graph showing the real-time predicted adjustment, an alertness meter indicating the body's peak levels of performance, in-flight tips based on trip length and a multimedia guide to jet lag.

Vroom has announced "The Complete Edgar Allan Poe 1.0, " a new, $0.99 eBook reader for the iPhone and iPod touch. It includes all of Poe great tales and poems, plus selected essays, his only completed novel, and some of his unfinished writing, totaling over 150 works...

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May 13
Hulu not ready to move to HTML5 yet

>Hulu, an online site for watching television shows, says HTML 5, the standard for online video Apple is promoting over Flash, isn't ready for prime time, reports "All Things D" (http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20100513/hulu-still-not-coming-to-your-i...).

The article says that Hulu product head Eugene Wei has this to say: "We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers’ needs. Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that...

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May 13
Apple updates iPad versions of iWork apps

Apple has updated its iWork components -- Pages, Numbers, and Keynote -- for the iPad to version 1.1. All three apps are now designated version 1.1, and add a couple of minor improvements and support for several languages.

Pages 1.1 (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pages/id361309726?mt=8) changes include:

° Support for French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish;

° Toolbar and ruler are now available in wide-screen landscape view;

° Documents automatically fit to page width in landscape view;

° Enhanced Back/Front slider in the Arrange panel.

Numbers 1.1. (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/numbers/id361304891?mt=8)changes include:

° Support...

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May 13
Apple iPad UK shipping date pushed back

Those pre-ordering an iPad in the UK may now have to wait until next month for delivery, according to "Macworld UK" (http://www.macworld.co.uk/mac/news/index.cfm?newsid=3223366&pagtype=allc...).

Currently the UK Apple Store has 'Ships: By June 7th' for the iPad, over a week later than the official launch date. Faced with "surprisingly strong" US demand Apple delayed the iPad launch internationally in nine countries - Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK - until the end of May.

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May 13
Adobe releases Camera Raw 6.1 Release Candidate

Adobe has released Camera Raw 6.1 Release Candidate (http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Camera_Raw_6.1). It adds support for new cameras.

Camera Raw 6.1 also includes new lens correction functionality that can apply profile-based corrections to accommodate geometric distortions, chromatic aberration and lens vignette effects. Manual corrections for geometric distortion as well as vertical and horizontal perspective transforms are also available. A handful of lens profiles are included for automatic correction and more can be created by the community with the Adobe Lens Profile Creator.

This release addresses a bug on the Mac platform that could cause Photoshop CS5 to quit unexpectedly when opening a file in the Camera Raw 6.0 plug-in. Version 6.1 also contains performance enhancements designed to improve the responsiveness of the controls...

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May 13
Apple airs new iPad commercial

Apple has aired a new iPad commercial with the tag line: "It's already a resolution, and it's only just begun" and says "you already know how to use it."

It's a 30-second spot. You can download it in QuickTime format at the Apple web site (http://www.apple.com/ipad/gallery/#ad).

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May 13
Private Contact for Mac OS X updated to version 2.3.1

Tension Software (http://pomola.com/products_privatecontact/privatecontact.html) has updated Private Contact, a native Cocoa software to manage an address book in an encrypted form in Mac OS X (10.4 and higher), to version 2.3.1. It's a maintenance release with some bug fixes.

With Private Contact informations inside documents, relative to various persons, can be read only by the Mac owner. In case of unauthorized access or theft of the Mac, the data inside Private Contact documents can’t be read without the proper master password.

Private Contact uses the powerful Blowfish algorithm to encrypt data. It's Universal Binary so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

Private Contact can be purchased for US$25. Version 2.3.1 is a free update to registered users of version 2.x.

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