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May 17
Taipei-based iPhone maker recruiting mental health pros

Hon Hai Group, the Taipei-based maker of products such as iPhones, is recruiting mental health professionals and building leisure facilities in its Chinese factories after at least seven employee suicides this year, reports "Bloomberg Businessweek" (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-17/hon-hai-turns-to-counselors-...).

The company has deployed 100 counselors and its health division plans to work more closely with local governments and academic institutions to support its 800,000 workers in China, Edmund Ding, a spokesman at the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics, also known as Foxconn Technology Group, told "Bloomberg" by phone. However, he didn't comment on why workers may be taking their own lives.

The...

| Read more »
May 17
Apple ships 8.8 million iPhones in first quarter

Apple moved ahead of Motorola in unit sales in the first quarter of 2010, with the iPhone taking a 3% share of the total cell phone market, according to the iSuppli research group (http://www.isuppli.com).

In fact, Research In Motion (RIM) and Apple rose to the fifth and sixth positions in the global market for all types of cell phones, while Motorola fell to eighth place. RIM, whose cell phone line consists entirely of Blackberry smart phone devices, achieved the best results of the Top 10 cell phone brands in the first quarter, with its shipments rising by 364,000 units or 3.6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. This defied the industrywide slowdown and caused the company’s rank to rise to No. 5 in the global cell phone market, up from eighth place in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Apple in the first quarter shipped 8.8 million iPhones giving it a 3.04 percent share of global shipments. Company...

| Read more »
May 17
Apple responds to Japanese iPad/SIM lock confusion

Softbank Mobile -- the exclusive iPhone carrier in Japan -- had said that the 3G version of the iPads sold in Japan could only be used on its mobile network. That’s because Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in January that the devices would be unlocked outside the U.S. and usable on any carrier willing to provide a micro-SIM card for it.

However, Apple tells "The Wall Street Journal" (http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/05/15/apple-clarifies-japanese-ipad-sim...) that, while Japanese 3G iPads will only work with Softbank’s 3G service in Japan, outside of Japan, those iPads are unlocked, so they can be used with SIMs for local carriers in their respective markets. Whether 3G iPads purchased outside of Japan will work in Japan will depend on the roaming agreement that the users’s home carrier...

| Read more »
May 17
DigiTimes: Foxconn to ship 24 million iPhone 4Gs this year

Foxconn will ship 24 million units of Apple's latest iPhone (the 4G) this year, according to Digitimes (http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20100517VL200.html) senior analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says, citing sources from Taiwan-based component makers. The research group thinks the iPhone 4G will be unveiled on June 7 at Apple's 2010 Worldwide Developer Conference.

Kuo says the iPhone 4G will adopt IPS (in-plane switching) panels with FFS (fringe-field switching) technology and a 960×640 resolution. By incorporating FFS technology, which enables a wider viewing angle and clearer visual quality under in sunlight, Apple is aiming to improve the handset's e-book reader features and promote its iBookstore, he adds.

According to DigiTimes, the iPhone 4G will run on the Arm Cortex A8 processor and a 512MB memory module from Samsung Electronics. It will double the...

| Read more »
May 17
Netbooks still hot, but tablets will cool their sales a bit

Starting in February 2009, ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com) forecast that approximately 35 million netbooks would ship into world markets in the course of the year.

That estimate was viewed in some quarters as unrealistically high. However the final 2009 shipment numbers -- 36.3 million netbooks shipped -- have confirmed that the forecast was perhaps a little conservative, according to the research group.

In 2010, netbook shipments are expected to reach 58 million while a new element has been added to the mobile consumer electronics market equation: the media tablet, initially personified by Apple’s iPad. How will mobile CE markets react to a “new kid on the block” so soon after the start of the netbook craze?

“We expect the netbook market to fragment according to different regional value propositions,” says principal analyst Jeff Orr. “Functionality will be added to...

| Read more »
May 17
App4mac announces Giddy Up for Mac OS X

App4mac has introduced Giddy Up (http://www.app4mac.com/giddyup.html), a web browser designed for kids. Mostly used by schools, it can also be used at home for all children of a family.

Giddy Up -- built with the Apple Safari Engine also named WebKit -- allows you to restrict access to some web sites, the operating system, system settings, the downloading of files and applications. It was developed with the intention to add maximum security and protection for kids, according to the folks at App4Mac.

Giddy Up has a wide range of additional functions that allow users to customize their web browser to suit their parental needs and requirements. No programming skills are necessary.

Giddy Up 1.0 requies Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. It costs around US$48.

is available today for 29 Euros only (around $48). Giddy Up requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or Mac OS X 10.6 Snow...

| Read more »
May 17
TrendyDigital Design unveils iPad accessories

TrendyDigital Design has unveiled three new accessories for the iPad: the PadShield  Elements Protection Case, the PadGear Folio Case and the PadRide In-Car Carry Case. The PadShield Elements Protection Case (http://trendydigital.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=18&produ...) combines the functionalities of a protective screen, a water resistance case and a padded protective pouch into a simple, elegant case.

It's most useful when people use their iPad in wet, dusty environments or other locations where the the Apple tablet should be protected from harmful environmental elements. The PadGear case features a four-point anchor system to secure the iPad and double zippers for closure when the iPad isn't being used.

The PadShield Elements Protection Case...

| Read more »
May 17
DDMX-S2 Digital I/O Controller automates stop-motion animation...

D-Zed Software (http://www.dragonstopmotion.com/about.php) has introduced their new DDMX-S2 Digital Lighting Controller, an I/O device for use with their Dragon Stop Motion 2.1 stop-frame animation software for Mac or Windows.

When used in conjunction with standard DMX protocol dimmer/switcher packs, the DDMX-S2 permits automated, software control of: up to 99 different lighting channels; work lights; front-light/back-light sequences; keyframe based lighting programs. The device also operates as a software controlled trigger for a: RED camera, film camera, or unsupported still camera; motion control system; computer running Dragon Stop Motion.

The DDMX-S2 is a USB powered device requiring no adapters or dongles for installation. It uses standard drivers that can be installed through the Help menu of Dragon Stop Motion. It employs a standard, 3-pin XLR socket as a...

| Read more »
May 17
Aquamacs 2.0 for the Mac now fully based on Cocoa

The Aquamacs Project (http://aquamacs.org) has released Aquamacs 2.0, an update of the Mac-friendly variant of the Emacs editor Emacs. It's a free editor for source code, web pages, typesetting documents and all other forms of text.

Aquamacs is optimized for Mac user interface conventions. Version 2.0 is now fully based on Cocoa, supports 64-bit computing on Macs and allows for better integration of applications with the operating system and other applications. It also offers improved dialogs for opening, saving, and printing files, configuring fonts and colors, and displaying user messages.

Text display is now fully based on Unicode. Aquamacs 2.0 also sports: more consistency and configurability in key bindings; improvements in the configurability of toolbars; updates in major included Emacs editing modes, including Python, Ruby, ESS, LaTeX/AucTeX, and more

Aquamacs is open source software. It's...

| Read more »
May 17
Vietnam tells companies to curb iPhone imports to trim deficit

Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications told companies not to import “too many” iPhones, as the government tries to cut purchases of luxury items to narrow the trade deficit, reports "Bloomberg" (http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20100507180250.aspx).

“Phone companies should carefully consider their import plans of iPhones as well as other related 3G equipment,” the article quotes Nguyen Thanh Hung, vice minister of information and communication, as saying. “We need to economize, and we shouldn’t waste our money on luxury items” as Vietnam struggles with a widening shortfall, Hung said in a telephone interview Wednesday from Hanoi.

For the four months through April, Vietnam posted a $4.65 billion trade shortfall, compared with a surplus reported at the same time a year ago. For the year to date, imports surged...

| Read more »
May 17
Akvis Artwork 3.5 lets you save guiding lines to a file

Akvis Software (http://www.Akvis.com) has released Akvis ArtWork 3.5. The upgrade introduces the ability to save guiding lines to a file (.direction extension), making it easier to continue editing a photo later. Also, the plug-in version is now 64-bit compatible.

Akvis ArtWork is available as a stand-alone application, as well as a plug-in to a photo editor. The plugin version of Akvis ArtWork is compatible with Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, Corel Painter, Corel Photo-Paint, and Paint Shop Pro, ACD FotoCanvas, and PhotoImpact. Akvis ArtWork runs on Mac OS X (10.4 or higher) and Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Win 7.

Akvis ArtWork Home License (plug-in or standalone) sells for US$72. Registered users can upgrade to version 3.5 for free. Just download the program and reinstall it. Use your license key to reactivate the program after reinstallation.

Home users can buy the full line of...

| Read more »
May 17
'MUG Event Calendar': two MacNotables, software...

This week's MUG "Event Calendar" includes two MacNotables, two software publishers and more.

Bryan Chaffin of "The Mac Observer" will address a California group, while Adam Engst of "TidBITS" and Take Control will be the featured guest at a group meeting in his home state of New York. Apple Systems Engineer Aaron Davis will visit a group in Maryland, James Lee of Tropical Software will present to a Florida group, and the folks from Wacom will show off their graphics pads to a California group. Other topics on this week’s schedule includes iTunes, GarageBand, digital cameras, Apple Store 101, iPhoto, and, of course, the iPad.

"The MUG Event Calendar" can be found at "The MUG Center" (http://www.mugcenter.com), an online resource for Mac User Groups, Mac User Groups are starting to officially celebrate the holiday season.

MUGs are good places for making new friends in the Mac community,...

| Read more »
May 17
MacA&D update adds UML 2.2 support, more

Excel Software (http://www.excelsoftware.com) has updated MacA&D -- a software solution for system analysis, requirements management, software design, code generation and custom reports -- to version 3.1. Enhancements include support for UML 2.2, data flow diagrams, class models and code generation for REALbasic and Objective-C 2.0.

MacA&D 3.1 enables a software designer to draw the 14 major diagram types specified by UML 2.2, including newly added support for Component, Component Structure and Timing diagrams. The Timing diagram can show object states with multiple state lines or shaded areas. Diagrams may contain component objects, classes with ports and required or provided interfaces using ball
and socket notation. Sequence diagrams can have interaction frames with conditional regions.

Data flow diagrams are enhanced to allow links to external child diagrams. A process on...

| Read more »
May 17
MacTranslator update adds PHP support, more

Excel Software (http://www.excelsoftware.com) has updated MacTranslator, software for system and software modeling, to version 2.1, which adds PHP support and namespaces for other languages to organize captured code design.

Class properties introduced in Objective-C 2.0 are now captured. Static imports and generics are now supported for Java. Design information and source code files can be extracted from a REALbasic project.

New features have been added to assist a developer when translating source code from one programming language to another. Language translation projects are increasing common as developers migrate code between computers (Mac, Windows, Linux) and devices (computer, phone, iPad).

MacTranslator extracts design information from source code files into text files. Those files are imported into the MacA&D or WinA&D modeling tools to generate data, class or...

| Read more »
May 17
Site claims to have obtained 'leaked' version of...

Someone is going to be in BIG trouble. A Vietnamese site, "Tinte" (http://www.tinhte.com/threads/408209-Ro-ri-MacBook-nhua-doi-moi), that recently got their hands on a (purported) next gen iPhone is claiming to now have obtained a leaked version of a fresh of the MacBook.

According to "Tinte", the MacBook model 7,1 sports a 2.4Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, and has a GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with the main memory. It has a 1280x800 pixel widescreen display, a 250GB 5400 RPM hard drive, and 2GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM.

If "Tinte" isn't pulling our legs, it's likely we'll see an official announcement of the tweaked MacBook next week. Along with a refreshed MacBook Air, perhaps?

| Read more »
May 17
Google's WiFi debacle 'shows lack of concern for...

An admission that Google's StreetView cars were gathering private information from WiFi networks shows the company's lack of concern for privacy and the need for government inspection of the data the company is collecting and storing, "Consumer Watchdog" (http://www.consumerwatchdog.org) says.

The scandal only came to light because the German government raised concerns prompting Google to audit its practices, the nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization claims. Consumer Watchdog said appropriate government agencies must now act to ensure that the ill-gotten information is completely deleted from the Internet giant's massive global network of servers.

"Once again Google has demonstrated a lack of concern for privacy," says John Simpson, consumer advocate with the nonprofit group. "Its computer engineers run amok, push the envelope and gather whatever data they can until their...

| Read more »
May 14
iPhone/iPod/iPad apps for May 14

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/).

ASK Video Interactive Media, a creator of software tutorials on DVD, has released the Tempo Delay Calculator for the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Also available in a free desktop version for Mac and PC, this US$0.99 app allows synchronization of digital delay devices to song tempo. Simply enter the song tempo, choose the note type, and the delay setting is calculated in milliseconds for entry into the delay unit.

Playtainment, the family games label of the publisher RTL interactive GmbH Games Publishing from Cologne, has announced Fire Panic, a $0.99 game for the iPhone and iPod touch. It pits would-be firefighters against a seemingly never-ending barrage of catastrophes needing immediate attention.

Pabusily has introduced PicSea 1.0 for...

| Read more »
May 14
Search warrants in iPhone prototype case to be unsealed

Search warrant documents in an investigation of the possible theft of an iPhone prototype will be made public, , reports "Bloomberg" (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aI8u4GQzoER0).

Judge Clifford V. Cretan in Redwood City has ruled against the San Mateo County District Attorney’s office, which argued that unsealing the documents will reveal identities of potential witnesses and compromise the investigation. Media organizations argued they should have access to the documents based on constitutionally protected free-speech rights.

The county’s argument relies only on its right to “maintain the security of an ongoing investigation,” Katherine Keating, a lawyer for the media organizations said in an e-mail to "Bloomberg." “What the District Attorney hasn’t done beyond making these...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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.

...

| Read more »
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.

| Read more »
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 $...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
 
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