iStopMotion for Mac OS X gets screen capture feature
Boinx Software has updated iStopMotion, its stop motion animation tool for Mac OS X (10.7.4), to version 3.1. The new version includes a screen capture feature that provides animators with a new medium for animating.
iStopMotion 3.1 is localized in English, German, French, Japanese and Russian. It's available for US$49.99 both from the Mac App Store and the Boinx Website (www.boinx.com/).
Apple to suggest changes to U.S. corporate tax laws
Apple, which holds US$102 billion in cash and investments outside the U.S., will suggest changes to corporate tax laws to encourage companies to bring more cash into the country, reports "Bloomberg" (http://tinyurl.com/an63hjh).
In interviews with "The Washington Post" and "Politico," Apple CEO Tim Cook previewed testimony he will give on May 21 before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which has been examining companies that use various maneuvers to reduce their tax bills. The current 35% corporate-tax rate is too high for companies to pay when bringing money back from overseas, Cook was quoted as saying by "The Washington Post." Cook defended Apple’s practices and said the company doesn’t funnel domestic profits overseas, according to his "Politico."
microLARGE Software Taskdesk for the Mac
microLARGE Software has introduced Taskdeck, a task and to-do list app for Mac OS X (10.7.4 or higher). It costs US$7.99.
Taskdeck promises a minimalist, keyboard-driven user interface with features like tags, attachments, drag 'n drop prioritization, searching and filtering. Related tasks are grouped into lists, with each list showing a badge that indicates the number of open, due, or overdue tasks.
The menu bar application sports an iOS-inspired drill-down user interface that can be activated on any virtual desktop through a system-wide hotkey without having to switch between application windows or desktops. The app employs a simple structural model of lists and tasks, says Karl Traunmuller, the developer of Taskdeck.
Within a list, tasks can be created by the press of a shortcut. For prioritization, tasks can be dragged to the appropriate slot. Four filter buttons can be used to show all tasks, or only open, due, or overdue tasks. A tagging system allows for tasks to be categorized...
Paddle launches demo/trial framework for Mac developers
Paddle has announced Paddle for Developers. It's a simple framework allowing Mac software developers to create trial and demo versions of their Mac applications.
The Paddle framework, in its basic installation, allows users to offer a trial/demo version and take payments in-app. The framework can purportedly be added to an existing Mac application in as little as five minutes.
Additional services are also provided for developers who decide to implement the framework, such as marketing and promotion services to Paddle's 150,000-plus active users, and a dedicated account manager to assist the developer with querie. Also, all order-related customer support for sales via the framework is managed by Paddle.
The framework, and functionality provided cost nothing for a developer to implement. There are no signup fees, or setup fees, and no monthly account maintenance fees. The only fee charged is at the point of sale within the app, Paddle takes a small commission on each sale generated...
PDFpen for Mac OS X upgraded to version 6.0.3
Smile (www.smilesoftware.com) has announced PDFpen 6.0.3, the latest version of its all-purpose PDF editing tool. The upgrade adds support for the Polish language OCR, and includes numerous fixes.
The changes in PDFpen 6.0.3 have also been made in PDFpenPro 6.0.3, the pro version that can also convert websites into PDFs, create fillable PDF forms, automatically create form fields in non-interactive PDF forms, construct document table of contents, and set document permission settings that restrict saving, printing, and copying.
PDFpen 6.x works with PDFpen for iPad and PDFpen for iPhone, allowing editing across devices when used with iCloud or Dropbox storage. Users who wish to use iCloud must purchase PDFpen 6 from the Mac App Store. (Apple restricts iCloud access to applications purchased via the Mac App Store.)
PDFpen retails for US$59.95, and PDFpenPro for $99.95. Family Pack licenses, which cover up to five computers in one household, are $74.95 for PDFpen and $119.95 for...
MacA&D 4.1 adds business process models
Excel Software (www.excelsoftware.com) has announced enhancements to its MacA&D application for requirements management, system and software design, code generation and report generation.
The newly added Business Process Model Notation supports Collaboration, Process, Choreography and Conversation diagrams. The new release includes color and editing features in the Table editor, improved integration between diagram and definition entries for requirements and use cases, plus usability enhancements to menu commands, toolbars, tool palettes, cursors and diagram drawing.
MacA&D 4.1 runs on all Mac OS X computers with an Intel processor. The Standard edition is US$495, the Desktop edition is $1,195 and a Developer edition costs $1995; site licenses are available. The product includes printed and PDF user guides, a help system and a growing library of free demonstration and training videos on the vendor website.
PhotoBulk image editor for Mac OS X upgraded to version 1.5
Eltima Software (http://mac.eltima.com) has updated PhotoBulk, a bulk image editor for Mac OS X (10.7 and higher), to version 1.5. The new version allows for faster changing of the watermark position int he preview window and the ability to choose the most precise position for your watermark per-pixel.
PhotoBulk lets you add text/image watermark, resize, and optimize hundreds and thousands of images or photos in just one click. You can check how your files will look like before they're processed. PhotoBulk remembers the settings you used last time, so you won't have to set all the same options again to redo customizations for another pack of images.
What's more, you can optimize file size of your JPEG or PNG images while keeping their original resolution, quality, and format. (Note that PNG optimization is time-consuming and works slower than JPEG compression.). Supported formats include JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and TIFF
PhotoBulk is available on the Mac App Store (http://tinyurl.com/...
PKard for Mac includes support for CAD dual persona Mac users
Thursby Software Systems has released a free update of its PKard for Mac software, including support for CAC dual persona Mac users.
With an ever-increasing number of citizens working as contractors within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the government needed a way to represent both roles on one common identification card. Instead of the standard DoD identification smart card (called a CAC or Common Access Card by the U.S. government), the DoD developed a card that could represent the individual in both roles. Thus, a CAC card supporting a "dual persona" was developed.
More challenging to implement and support than the standard U.S. government CAC or Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards, PKard for Mac is the first supported solution of its kind for Mac users, according to the folks at Thursby Software.
PKard for Mac together with its sister app for iPhone and iPad mobile devices, PKard Reader, supports tens of thousands of users across the DoD and Federal Government, the...
Apple releases MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.0
Apple has rolled out MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.0. It addresses a storage firmware issue that, in rare cases, may cause a system to fail to recover from a crash.
Apple says it's recommended for MacBook Air (mid 2012) models. MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.0 is available via the Software Updates component of the Mac OS X Systems Preferences app.
Apple posts iTunes 11.0.3
Apple has revved iTunes to 11.0.3. According to Apple, it includes a dramatically simplified player, a completely redesigned Store, and "iCloud features you'll love." Per Apple's release notes, this is what you get with iTunes 11.0.3:
° Completely Redesigned. iTunes makes it more fun to explore and enjoy your music, movies, and TV shows. You'll love the beautiful edge-to-edge design, custom designs for each album, movie, or TV show in your library, and getting personal recommendations any time you click In the Store.
° A New Store. The iTunes Store has been completely redesigned and now features a clean look that makes it simpler than ever to see what's hot and discover new favorites.
° Play purchases from iCloud. Your music, movie, and TV show purchases in iCloud now appear inside your library. Just sign-in with your Apple ID to see them. Double-click to play them directly from iCloud or download a copy you can sync to a device or play while offline.
° Up Next. It's now simple to see...
iLuv now shipping Aud 5 Lightning connector dock
iLuv Creative Technology is shipping its first audio dock designed specifically for Apple Lightning devices: the Aud 5 Lightning speaker dock. Originally unveiled at the 2013 International CES in January, it allows users to enjoy their music from their iPhone 5 or iPod while simultaneously charging their device.
The Aud 5 joins the iLuv line of Lightning connecter accessories that give users the opportunity to utilize their new Lightning device the same way they would their 30-pin device, says Jason Park, marketing Manager at iLuv. It features a swiveling Lightning connector for docking and undocking. The Lightning connector allows the dock to feature full digital sound.
The Aud 5 features a 3.5mm auxiliary input for a direct connection to other devices outside of Apple’s Lightning line. Other features include top-mounted touch controls and a streamlined silhouette design. The Aud 5 is currently available for $149.99 at iLuv.com and select retailers.
Fair Labor Association: long hours of work still a Foxconn issue
The Foxconn Technology Group faces a “challenging” task in trying to meet a July deadline for cutting work hours to comply with Chinese law, according to the labor monitor appointed by Apple, its largest customer, according to "Bloomberg" (http://tinyurl.com/bfxg4kt).
On the bright side, Apple has resolved 98% of the 360 issues raised by the Washington-based Fair Labor Association, the group said in a new report. The company has improved safety conditions, including testing sprinklers and maintaining equipment, and increased membership in worker unions.
However, "the most challenging action item -- compliance with Chinese labor law regarding hours of work -- is still in process,” the group said. “The FLA will continue
Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 gets USB 3.0 support -- with an adapter
Other World Computing (OWC) says its OWC Mercury Elite Pro Qx2, a hardware RAID data storage/solution, now supports USB 3.0 performance when paired with the Newer Technology eSATA to USB adapter.
The adapter, which utilizes an available eSATA drive port, offers a plug and play connection to USB 3.0-equipped Macs or PCs for sustained data transfer rates of more than 200MB/s from the Qx2.
Through July 1, customers will receive an US$10 instant rebate from Other World Computing on the adapter ($14.99 after rebate from OWC) when purchased with any model Mercury Elite Pro Qx2. For more info go to http://tinyurl.com/de5awr .
MCE announces internal Blu-ray player
MCE Technologies has announced what it says is the first ever internal drive for the iMac, and Mac mini that plays Blu-ray movies with the included Mac Blu-ray Player software.
The drive also reads and records to DVD and CD-recordable media like the original Apple SuperDrive it's designed to replace -- so it only works with Macs that have a built-in SuperDrive. The drive is compatible with Apple's DVD Player application for the playback of DVD movies, as well as with Finder Burning for burning DVDs and CDs at the Finder level.
The MCE Internal Blu-ray Player for iMac and Mac mini costs US$79.99 USD and includes Mac Blu-ray Player software installation instructions for the iMac and Mac mini. More info may be found at http://tinyurl.com/avysh8x .
Kinvio rolls out new BTH240 Bluetooth headphones
Kinivo has released the BTH240 Bluetooth-connected headphones. The on-ear wireless headphones provide hands-free calling via a built-in noise canceling microphone.
Kinivo’s BTH240, which boasts a foldable design, operates using an integrated rechargeable battery, which provides up to 10 hours of continuous active audio or 200 hours when on standby mode. In addition to extended battery life, it automatically pauses music when a user receives an incoming call. To recharge the BTH240, simply plug the headphones into the included micro-USB charging cable and connect to your computer or wall outlet.
Kinivo’s BTH240 headphones are available for US$29.99 on Amazon.com and Kinivo.com.
Apimac releases HTML Stripper for the Mac
HTML Stripper is a new Apimac application for capturing and cleaning up from HTML code tags the text of any web page. To use you just drag and drop an .html file, portion of code or, even a web address from Safari on the application's window, and the app will serve up text without formatting and code tags.
Thanks to the Strip Clipboard function, text can be copied and automatically cleaned up and be ready to be pasted into your favorite application. HTML Stripper requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher.
It costs US$15.99 for a single user license. You can purchase it, or download a demo, at the Apimac web site (www.apimac.com)
Apple’s App Store marks 50 billionth download
Apple has announced that customers have downloaded over 50 billion apps from the AppleApp Store (excluding re-downloads and updates). Customers are downloading more than 800 apps per second at a rate of over two billion apps per month, the company says.
The 50 billionth app was Say the Same Thing by Space Inch, which was downloaded by Brandon Ashmore from Mentor, Ohio. He received a $10,000 App Store Gift Card to commemorate this historic milestone.
"Apple would like to thank our incredible customers and developers for topping 50 billion apps downloaded," says Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "The App Store completely transformed how people use their mobile devices and created a thriving app ecosystem that has paid out over nine billion dollars to developers. We’re absolutely floored to cross this milestone in less than five years."
The App Store opened in July 2008 with 500 apps. Since its introduction, Apple’s incredible developer community...
Final Cut Pro X Title Pop effects released on FxFactory
Noise Industries has introduced Title Pop to plug-in platform, FxFactory. Developers Stupid Raisins and CineFlare have teamed up to create a title pack that gives editors the ability to create titles for footage.
Title Pop, designed exclusively for use in Final Cut Pro X, includes 50 customizable titles. Titles -- which come in a variety of categories including basic, continuous, energetic, glow, highlight and subtle -- can be dragged and dropped in. For editors seeking a specific look, Title Pop offers a set of parameters for fine-tuning, so users can adjust anything from text and color to tweaking how letters animate in and out.
Title Pop is now available in FxFactory for US$49. For more info go to http://tinyurl.com/agqcow7 .
Does the Pentagon raise its security risks by approving Apple,...
"Bloomberg" (http://tinyurl.com/bzodlrd) reports that the Pentagon risks exposing itself to hackers by opening its communications networks to Apple and Samsung smartphones and tablets, according to cybersecurity officials.
The Pentagon plans to give employees the flexibility of connecting devices such as Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphones and Apple iPads to unclassified networks -- a market long dominated by BlackBerry. However, this will create more vulnerabilities to cybersecurity breaches, Pat McGarry, principal systems engineer at Ixia, a network security company, told "Bloomberg."
"It is a debacle, a disaster waiting to happen," he said. There is no technology that would make Apple and Samsung smartphones and tablets immune to new malicious software known as malware, McGarry added.
However, Mark Orndorff, a program executive officer at the Defense Information Systems Agency, told "Bloomberg" that Apple, Samsung, and newly approved BlackBerry devices “pose an acceptable risk for...
Apple, Lenova only computer makers to see growth in western...
Computer shipments in Western Europe declined by 20.5% during the first quarter of 2013, with the only vendors to see shipments grow were Lenovo and Apple, according to the Gartner research group. The latter returned to the top five for the first time since 2011.
"The first quarter of 2013 brought the worst quarterly decline in Western Europe since Gartner started tracking PC shipments in this region," says Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Wide availability of Windows 8-based PCs could not boost consumer PC purchases during the quarter. Although the new Metro-style user interface suits new form factors, users wonder about its suitability for traditional PCs -- non-touchscreen desktops and notebooks."
All computer segments in Western Europe exhibited year-on-year declines in the first quarter of 2013. Mobile and desktop shipments fell by 24.6% and 13.8%, respectively. Shipments to the professional computer market declined by 17.2%, while those to the consumer...
Apple releases iMovie 9.0.9 on OS X
Apple has released iMovie 9.0.9 for Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later. It addresses issues where iMovie does not recognize video cameras connected to your Mac.
iMovie 9.0.9 also improves compatibility with projects imported from iMovie for iOS and includes stability improvements. It's available at the Mac App Store or at http://tinyurl.com/aohgjqf .
Freshcode releases DropClip for Dropbox
Freshcode has introduced DropClip for Mac OS X. It's a Dropbox add-on that lets you direct people to Dropbox files you've shared with them.
To use you right click on a file or folder in a shared Dropbox folder and choose the Copy DropClip link. Users can then paste the URL link it creates in Mail, Gmail, Skype or any other type of communication tool to send it to a co-worker, a friend or family.
DropClip costs US$1.99 and is available at the Freshcode web site (http://madefresh.ca/dropclip/). A demo is available for download. DropClip is a Mac-only app that requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher.
WD announces My Passport Ultra line of portable hard drives
WD has released its My Passport Ultra line of portable hard drives, which combine additional layers of data protection with USB 3.0 connectivity in a slim, compact design and four color choices.
Available in 500 GB, 1TB and new 2TB capacities, My Passport Ultra portable hard drives have built-in WD SmartWare Pro backup software with Dropbox integration, hardware encryption and password protection. A protective pouch is included with the My Passport Ultra to help shield it.
My Passport Ultra portable hard drives are protected by a three-year limited warranty and are available from the WD store at wdstore.com and at select retailers and distributors. The My Passport Ultra 500GB has a manufacturers suggested retail price of $99.99 USD, and the My Passport Ultra 1TB is $129.99. (The 2TB version is due later this year.)
Sandvox 2.8 for Mac OS X adds Retina display support, more
Karelia Software (www.karelia.com) has updated Sandvox, their web creation software for Mac OS X, to version 2.8. The upgrade can optimize website image content for viewing on Retina displays.
Sandvox 2.8 also introduces two new designs, new LinkedIn and Pinterest sharing buttons, a new social media sharing bar and more. The app also includes two new modern design options, offering left or right sidebars suited for showcasing photographs and galleries.
Sandvox 2.8 requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher and costs US$79.99. It's available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category (http://tinyurl.com/chgts4l). It is also available from The Karelia Store (https://secure.karelia.com/buy_now/).
The Sandvox 2.8 update is available today free of charge for any registered owner of Sandvox 2. Registered owners of Sandvox 1.x can upgrade to Sandvox 2.x for $49.99 directly from Karelia Software. New licenses, upgrades, household licenses and site licenses are all available...
MEI Portico updated to version 2.5
Managing Editor (www.maned.com) has released MEI Portico 2.5, the latest in the Adobe development partner's lineup of solutions for publishers.
MEI Portico lets publishers create custom branded user interfaces for their mobile and tablet apps. The new version of MEI's custom storefront software lets app publishers present content items other than traditional folios in their apps.
The Portico experience management platform can support a wide range of non-folio content, like FaceTime sessions and Google Maps to cross-promotional items like referral URLs to iTunes Store downloads and rich media ads, making apps powered by Portico more than just a collection of folios, according to Brett Kizner, MEI's director of new product marketing. For more info go to http://tinyurl.com/d9hqzxc .
Apple sued over defective iPhone power buttons
A Florida woman is seeking more than US$5 million from Apple on behalf of thousands of iPhone owners who allegedly bought phones with defective power buttons that would not lock or turn off, reports "GigaOm" (http://tinyurl.com/cweh8dv).
In a class action suit filed in San Jose, California, Debra Hilton claims that Apple knew about a defect in a flex cable that controls the on-off button, but chose to stay quiet about it to sell more phones. As evidence, she points to Apple discussion forums, a fix-it video on YouTube and comments by a self-described iPhone repairman who says the power button defect is prevalent on the iPhone 4 which went on sale in 2010, notes "GigaOm."
D-Link shipping new 802.11AC routers
D-Link is shipping a new line of AC Routers with the availability of the Wireless AC1750 Router (DIR-868L), Wireless AC1200 Router (DIR-860L), Wireless AC1000 Router (DIR-820L) and Wireless AC750 Router (DIR-810L). They have street prices of US$169.99, $149.99, $119.99 and $79.99, respectively.
Offering next-generation Wi-Fi speeds, D-Link’s latest 802.11ac Routers deliver a range of wireless speeds and price points for creating a reliable and strong Wi-Fi home network ideal for HD video streaming, online gaming, and multiple user activities, says Daniel Kelley, vice president of marketing, D-Link Systems.
The Wireless AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router and Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router deliver speeds of up to 1750Mbps (N450Mbps+AC1300Mbps) and 1200Mbps (N300 + AC867Mbps) respectively. In addition, the Wireless AC1000 Dual Band Cloud Router offers speeds of up to 1000Mbps (N300Mbps + AC650Mbps) and the Wireless AC750 Dual Band Cloud Router offers speeds of up to...
Apple wants to add Galaxy S4 to a second patent case
Apple wants to add Galaxy S4 to a second patent case against Samsung, reports "FOSS Patents" (http://tinyurl.com/dyavkwk).
Narrowing will occur in several steps until the spring 2014 trial, the article adds. Ultimately, by February 6, 2014, the parties will have to limit their asserted patents claims to five (per side) and their accused products to ten (per side). The purpose of the responses Apple and Samsung submitted yesterday was to identify 22 accused products per side, notes "FOSS Patents."
This is all part of the ongoing, global legal battle. Apple and Samsung have filed more than 30 lawsuits against each other across four continents. For example, Apple alleges that Samsung copied the slide-to-unlock technology of its iPhone and iPad devices.
Expeditions: Conquistador coming to the Mac
Expeditions: Conquistador, a tactical role-playing game, will be available for Mac, PC, Mac and Linux systems on Steam on May 30. It will also be available on GOG.com, Gamersgate and several other platforms.
Here's how Expeditions: Conquistador is described: "Playing as a Spanish Conquistador, the player has to lead his or her party through the untamed wilderness of the New World, making hefty decisions along the way. Decisions that could significantly alter the course of history. The game project was financed through Kickstarter, and developed by the Danish development studio Logic Artists ApS. bitComposer will market Expeditions: Conquistador worldwide.
"Expeditions: Conquistador offers the player in single or multiplayer mode the opportunity to conquer an unknown continent, or to fight on the side of the indigenous people as they defend their homeland from the invaders. This will require not only tactical skills in battle, but also diplomatic finesse. In Expeditions:...
Penclic releases the Bluetooth B2 Mouse
Penclic has released the Bluetooth B2 Mouse, it's available at Amazon.com for US$89.95. It's Mac and PC compatible.
The Bluetooth B2 Mouse wirelessly connects to your computer. It sports five click buttons with a scroll wheel and laser pointer. The mouse operates without the use of a mouse pad.
According to the folks at Penclic, the Bluetooth B2 Mouse -- available only in white -- will run two months on one charge with its rechargeable battery. It has a wireless reach of up to 16 feet.
EditShare ships Field 2 portable shared storage
EditShare has released the Field 2, its next-generation portable shared storage solution with integrated asset management.
The turnkey platform includes file ingest, advanced project sharing/bin locking, and archiving capabilities in an all-in-one, high-performance and rugged chassis. Designed for on-location shoots, ENG trucks and remote offices, the new Field 2 is durable, light and compact and meets airline carry-on regulations.
With an optional integrated Flow SDI ingest card, users can record up to two channels of HD in industry-standard codecs such as XDCAM-EX35, Avid DNxHD and DVCProHD. Flow’s edit-while-capture capability lets users start editing the moment they begin recording.
With an optional lightweight expansion unit, a single Field 2 configuration can scale to 32 terabytes. And using the integrated EditShare Sync Tool, users can send data from a remote location back to home base over a simple Internet VPN connection. For more info go to http://tinyurl.com/bpj3j7b .
Bits&Coffee brews BatchPhoto 3.7 for the Mac, PC
Bits&Coffee has released BatchPhoto 3.7, an update of its all-in-one photo manipulation program for Mac and PC that lets photographers, web designers, business people, and families enhance photos. To use you select a group of photographs, and, with a single operation edit, resize, convert, watermark, and rename every image in the group.
BatchPhoto Enterprise takes batch photo editing one step further by completely automating the process. All the user needs to do is to create a "hot folder" for the program to monitor. BatchPhoto can monitor several folders at once, either on the computer, network or FTP sites, and apply custom edits for the newly added or modified images in each one of them.
For example, with BatchPhoto Enterprise the user can transfer hundreds of RAW images from a DSLR digital camera to a "hot folder" and have all the images automatically resized, rotated, watermarked with a logo, renamed, converted to TIFF and uploaded to a site via FTP or to Facebook. All of...
AppDelete optimized for Mac OS X Lion
Reggie Ashworth (www.reggieashworth.com) has announced AppDelete 3.2.9, a new version of his application deletion utility. The upgrade has been optimized for Mac OS X 10.7, supports new languages and more.
You can drag any item that can be uninstalled onto AppDelete: spplications, widgets, preference panes, plugins, screensavers, etc. You can also activate AppDelete in many ways: dragging items onto main window, onto dock icon, selecting in menu, right-clicking using AppDelete workflow, dragging from Launchpad, and throwing items in the trash. When the preview screen appears you can uncheck any items you would like to exclude.
You also have several choices: delete the items, log only the items, or archive (copy) the items to a .zip file for safekeeping or reinstall at a later date. The items you delete will be moved to the trash and arranged in a folder so that you can see exactly what was deleted and you know exactly where it came from. The items will not be removed from your...
Petition launched to keep Adobe Creative Suite perpetual license...
Adobe's announcement that it will drop its traditional, perpetual license model for Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and its other professional creative apps in favor of a Creative Cloud software subscription model rubbed lots of folks the wrong way. Now there's a petition to keep the Creative Suite perpetual license model alive, notes "The MacObserver" (http://tinyurl.com/bpox6gd).
The petition, started by Berek Schoffstall at Change.org, can be found at http://tinyurl.com/d7kzz4f . Schoffstall has this to say: "You should support this petition because Adobe is making their already expensive products even more expensive in the long run. Adobe is robbing small business, freelancers, and the average consumer. They do not seem to understand that every company is a not multi-national, multi-billion dollar corporation that has an infinite amount of resources."
Big changes reportedly coming to AppleCare
Last week Apple informed its tech staff that major changes to the AppleCare and AppleCare+ service programs will be enacted starting this fall, "with a broadening of current policies likely to cut costs and make the service more attractive to consumers," according to "AppleInsider."
The article says there will be changes to the way repairs for iPhones will be handled. In addition, employees will have access to advanced diagnostics tools that can remotely assess hardware issues and relay the data directly to technicians, according to "AppleInsider." Finally, Apple will reportedly reconfigure its paid AppleCare service as a subscription model, or introduce a new tier, which will be attached to a customer rather than a specific product.
The new in-house repairs are to be rolled out across the U.S., with international support coming online soon thereafter. Apple expects to save nearly $1 billion per year with the change in policy. Read more at http://tinyurl.com/d6n7h8l .
oneSafe, the password manager app, is now on the Mac
Lunabee Pte has released the Mac version of their password manager app, oneSafe. Along with the iOS version, it allows users to sync their sensitive information across all their devices using iCloud.
oneSafe for Mac also boasts features such as automatic backup, the ability to drag and drop files into the app, a high encryption level (AES 256), over 100 card templates for entry and retrieval of information, double protection categories and more. It requires Mac OS X 10.8 or higher.
oneSafe 1.0 for Mac OS X costs US$12.99. It's available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category (http://tinyurl.com/ccubhrz).
Foundry376 releases Spark Inspector for iOS developers
Foundry376 has announced Spark Inspector, a tool that brings realtime introspection to the world of iOS development. It's available for download immediately (www.sparkinspector.com/).
Here's how the folks at Foundry376 described Spark Inspector: "Apple provides great developer tools, but interface bugs can be tricky to uncover. The Spark Inspector changes the game with an entirely new debugging perspective: a stunning, three-dimensional view of an app's interface that updates in real-time as it runs. Pan and zoom around your interface to reveal how layouts are structured, and unearth bugs quickly using Spark's powerful display options. Fine-tuning views?
"The Spark Inspector mimics Interface Builder, and allows you to preview adjustments to your app's views in real-time. Make runtime modifications to everything from button frames to CALayer shadows and transforms, right from the Inspector's sidebar! We spent more than a year developing the Spark Inspector for our internal use, and it...
Remoter for Mac OS X upgraded to version 1.4
Remoter Labs has announced Remoter 1.4 for Mac OS X (10.6 and higher), an update of the productivity app that allows users to remotely control Macs via Screen Sharing, and Windows or Linux PCs using the VNC or RDP standards. The new version sports an updated icon, font smoothing support, a session editor option and more.
Remoter offers one of the fastest implementations of the VNC and RDP protocols on the Mac platform, according to the folks at Remote Labs. It uses Bonjour for set-up. Features include sound redirection, RDP, Telnet and SSH, which also allows for secure VNC/RDP over SSH.
Port-forwarding and/or dynamic DNS is no longer needed in order to establish connections from outside the computer's network. Servers can be sorted by name, type or usage, and a search box allows to easily find the desired server.
Wake-on-LAN support is also built-in. When the server session is setup using Bonjour or NetBIOS, the MAC address is automatically populated. Otherwise the field is provided...
Judge upholds Apple's request for a peak at Google's...
Judge Paul S. Grewal has upheld Apple’s request that Google reveal its search methodology for collecting Android documentation for the iPhone maker’s upcoming patent infringement trial against Samsung, reports the "Wall Street Cheat Sheet" (http://tinyurl.com/c6qhjvg)
The judge dismissed Google’s claims that Apple was overreaching, by compelling the Internet search giant to reveal the search terms and methods it is using to compile the requested Android documentation, the article adds. Google argued that Apple’s pretrial information request was unduly burdening the company, but the judge disagreed with this perspective.
Apple posts Thunderbolt Firmware Update 1.2
Apple has released Thunderbolt Firmware Update 1.2 (http://tinyurl.com/ctyjsoe). It provides stability fixes for Thunderbolt and Target Disk Mode.
It's a 1.22MB download and requires Mac OS X 10.8.3 or higher. When your computer restarts a gray screen will appear with a status bar to indicate the progress of the update. Don't disturb or shut off the power on your computer during this update. Note: Your computer must be plugged into AC power for the update to install.
QuickerTek releases new Quicky Jr 3 WiFi adapter
QuickerTek has released the Quicky Junior 3 USB wireless network adaptor designed for the MacBook user that needs a "little extra boost in power, but doesn't need a full blown system enhancement."
It's the third generation in Quicky Junior line. The company says it's improved in both the physical and electronic arenas.
Redesigned with the antenna actually folding into the body, the Quicky Junior 3 adds capability to use the 802.11 a 5.8Ghz band wireless specification. After the initial installation simply plug it in to any available USB port and start using your network.
Priced at US$79.95, the Quicky Junior 3 comes with a small USB a/b/g/n remote stand adaptor. For more info go to http://tinyurl.com/br7z7ts .
HoudahGeo for the Mac revved to version 3.4
Houdah Software (http://www.houdah.com/) has updated HoudahGeo, a geocoding solution for the Mac, to version 3.4. The new version can load track logs from QR codes created by the gps4cam iPhone application, can now infer camera clock settings when given the exact time a photo was taken and more.
HoudahGeo costs US$29 for a single-user license for new users. Version 2.8 is a free update for registered users. HoudahGeo requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher.
TopXNotes for Mac OS X updated to version 1.7.5
Tropical Software's TopXNotes (http://www.tropic4.com/) note manager for the Mac has been updated to version 1.7.5. The upgrade offers performance enhancements and bug fixes.
TopXNotes will now keep your notes synchronized between TopXNotes for Mac and TopXNotes Touch for the iPhone and iPod touch. Version 1.7.2 includes a new Preference for setting vertical and horizontal text margins and a new Preference to choose manual or automatic note delete.
TopXNotes 1.7.5 requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later. It costs US$39.99 and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category and at the Tropical Software (http://www.tropic4.com).
Together 3.0 for Mac OS X adds thumbnails, tax expose, more
Reinvented Software (http://reinventedsoftware.com/) has announced Together 3.0 for Mac OS X. The new version adds thumbnails, tab expose, stationery, history, autosave and versions, along with improved favorites, previews and Shelf, all wrapped up in a smart new design. Also, exclusive to the Mac App Store version, Together 3 can now sync libraries with iCloud.
Together 3 requires Mac OS X 10.8 or later and is available with iCloud support from the Mac App Store, or without iCloud as a 15-day trial from the Reinvented Software web site. Version 3.0 is a paid upgrade for all previous versions of Together.
A full license will cost US$39.99 and an upgrade (not available from the Mac App Store) is $19.99, with free upgrades for anyone for purchased Together 2.x from the Reinvented Software web site within three months of version 3.0's release. For 15 days after Together 3's launch, the Mac App Store version will be available for just $19.99.
Sonnet releases enhanced xMac mini Server
Sonnet has introduced an upgrade of its xMac mini Server, a Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express (PCIe) expansion system and 1U rackmount enclosure for a Mac mini with a Thunderbolt port.
The xMac mini Server accommodates one full-length, full-height PCIe card and one half-length, half-height (low-profile) card. The updated xMac mini Server now supports a double-width PCIe card's daughter card and includes BNC connector mounting holes on the enclosure's rear panel. In addition, the length of the xMac mini Server is now just 15.8 inches.
The enhanced xMac mini Server (part number XMAC-MS) is now available at a suggested retail price of US$1,295. The xMac mini Server 2H (part number XMAC-MS-2H) is also available now for $1,295. The xMac mini Server Quiet Fan Module (part number XMFAN-Q) is available for $79.95. More information on these products and compatible PCIe expansion cards is available at http://tinyurl.com/chunw6u .
Apple I computer to be auctioned on May 25
Last November Auction Team Breker of Cologne, Germany, made international news for selling an original 1976 Apple I computer for the world record price of US$640,000
On May 25, collectors and Apple-aficionados will have the chance to buy another of the six surviving Apple I computers still in working order. You can find more details at http://www.breker.com/ReadMore/ .
Goal Zero rolls out solar recharger for laptops
Goal Zero has released the US$399.95 Sherpa 50 Solar Recharging Kit for tablets and laptops. It can purportedly extend the life of a laptop by two hours or a tablet by 15 hours.
The Sherpa 50 weighs less than a bottle of water, fits in a backpack or briefcase, and refuels from the sun in five hours with the Nomad 13 Solar Panel, or a wall outlet or car adapter in two hours.
The Sherpa 50 Recharger features a variety of outputs, including USB and DC ports with an option for AC power (110V or 220V) through the Sherpa Inverter (sold separately.) One of the most unique aspects of the Sherpa 50 is its “Power Port” that enables you to power laptops directly from the recharger, eliminating the need for an AC inverter as well as the computer’s bulky AC powering cable, says Joe Atkin, president and CEO of Goal Zero.
Instead, directly plug your laptop into the Power Port on the Sherpa 50 with one of Goal Zero’s Laptop Charging Kits. For more info go to says Joe Atkin, President and CEO of...
ArcSoft releases Photo+ for Mac OS X
ArcSoft has released Photo+, a new photo viewer for Mac OS X that pulls directly from any folder or drive. It's normally US$9.99, but it's being offered at a limited time for $1.99.
By dragging or selecting a single image, Photo+ automatically displays every image from the same folder. You can browse and display thousands of photos . You can rotate portrait oriented photos when importing.
Photo+ provides fundamental editing tools such as crop, rotate and zoom are built in. It allows you to set up a full screen photo slideshow with music and 10-plus transitions
With Photo+, you can use a track-pad with multi-touch and finger gestures, or a standard mouse. The software is compatible with over 35 formats, including RAW files and animated GIF.
Photo+ is available at http://www.arcsoft.com/photoplus/ or the Mac App Store (http://tinyurl.com/cbx5xzh). It requires Mac OS X 10.7.3 or higher.
DYMO introduces label maker with wireless networking
DYMO has launched the USS$95 LabelManager Wireless PnP, the first DYMO label maker with wireless networking that enables multiple users to share printing capabilities.
It has built-in wireless networking to enable easy sharing and on-demand printing for an entire office of users, says Julie Hibbard, marketing director at DYMO. It also sports customized labels with any fonts and graphics through Mac or PC connections, and labels with clear graphics, bar codes and logos at 300-dpi resolution.
The LabelManager Wireless PnP is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 or higher and Microsoft Windows Vista/7/8.XP. The multi-label printing capability comes with an automatic label cutter that creates a variety of DYMO D1 labels. For more info go to http://tinyurl.com/c6hxa2g .
iPhone shipments soar in China
Apple retook its spot as China's fifth largest smartphone vendor in the first quarter, as the country's market grew to triple the size of the U.S.'s, reports "PCWorld" (http://tinyurl.com/cjj9xhj)
Apple had an 8% share of the smartphone market, while Samsung continued to lead all vendors with a 20%share, according to research firm Canalys. Trailing behind Samsung were Yulong Computer Telecommunication Scientific, Huawei, and Lenovo.
In last year's third and fourth quarter, Apple fell to the sixth spot. But iPhone 5 sales, along with price cuts to older iPhone models, propelled the company's smartphone shipments in China's intensely competitive market, Nicole Peng, an analyst with Canalys, told "PC World."