M4VGear adds support for AppleScript, Automator
M4VGear has released DRM Media Converter 1.0.7, an update to their DRM remover for Mac OS X.
DRM Media Converter helps you remove DRM from iTunes purchases and rentals with subtitles preserved. Version 1.0.7 includes AppleScript and Automator support. It also enhances output video streaming on the Apple TV and Plex Media Server.
M4VGear DRM Media Converter requires Mac OS X 10.8 or higher and iTunes 11 or later and costs US $49.95. It's available at http://www.m4vgear.com/ .
WaterField introduces 13-inch MacBook Air case
WaterField Designs (http://www.sfbags.com) has unveiled the Outback Solo for the new 13-inch MacBook Air. The waxed canvas and premium leather case costs US$109 and will ship May 16.
The Outback Solo cradles the MacBook Air with two layers of protection: neoprene enveloped in water-resistant, tan-waxed canvas. The offset, brown leather flap secures contents with a magnetic enclosure.
Two front pockets hold a smartphone or iPad mini, items such as wallets and keys, and a charger for overnight trips. An optional strap ($19) transforms the Solo into an over-the-shoulder bag.
Twitter's user growth is tapering off quickly
Twitter's user growth is tapering off alarmingly quickly. With an active user base of now 255 million monthly active users, the apparent deceleration of Twitter’s growth suggests that the service will have a very hard time coming close to Facebook’s user base. Today's graph is courtesy of Statistica.com .
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. broadband households have at least one...
A 1Q 2014 consumer survey by Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds 64% of U.S. broadband households have at least one consumer electronics device connected to the Internet, which could include a smart TV, Blu-ray player, game console, set-top box, a digital media receiver, or Google Chromecast.
"The percentage of U.S. broadband households with multiple connected CE devices in use continues to increase, with game consoles still leading the way," says Barbara Kraus, director of Research, Parks Associates. "Nearly 50% of U.S. broadband households connect a game console to the Internet to access online content and applications, while 24% have a connected smart TV."
The research shows 21% of U.S. broadband households use a Blu-ray player to connect to the Internet, 16% connect via a streaming media player, and 5% use Google's Chromecast device.
"Every connected device category can connect to the Internet and stream content, but there is no one super device that will push the...
Red Giant creates a new Universe
Red Giant Universe is a new community with access to an expanding library of new tools and effects for filmmakers & motion graphic artists. Membership in Red Giant Universe is free and allows members to take control of the future of Universe development.
Available now are 50 free and premium visual effects plug-ins built on the Supernova platform. All the tools in Red Giant Universe exploit the power of modern GPU to render most effects in near real-time, according to Sean Safreed, co-founder and lead visionary behind Universe.
Free membership includes the use of 31 effects and transitions, including blurs, glows, distortion, generators and 3D transitions. Tools in the free membership include transitions such as Swish Pan and 3D Shutter, as well as the Glo-Fi that creates pulsating, multi-hued glows for titling. Premium membership includes access to 19 tools, such as Knoll Light Factory EZ, Holomatrix, ToonIt (powered by Toonamation), and Retrograde, from CrumplePop and Red...
FileMaker 13 Platform Certification testing available
FileMaker Inc. (www.filemaker.com) has announced availability of certification for the FileMaker 13 Platform, the official credential offered by FileMaker, Inc. FileMaker 13 Certification is the key qualification for developing professional FileMaker solutions for iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac and the web.
The English version of the FileMaker 13 Certification exam, "Developer Essentials for FileMaker 13," is available now at Prometric testing sites worldwide.
FileMaker 13 Certified Developers are certified to possess the knowledge and skills for developing and deploying custom mobile business or organizational solutions using the FileMaker 13 Platform.
Those who pass the exam receive a FileMaker 13 Certified Developer certificate and may display the FileMaker Certified Developer logo on their business cards, websites and marketing collateral. Although there are no prerequisites for the FileMaker 13 Certification exam, FileMaker recommends that test candidates explore the FileMaker...
Revel Systems launches iPad POS accessibility bundle for the...
Revel Systems, which specializes in iPad POS solutions, has introduced a new hardware and software product bundle aimed at providing technology features for the visually impaired. The inherent touchscreen nature of iPad POS terminals are without tactile qualities, making them not fully accessible and independently usable by the visually impaired. Revel's new accessibility bundle allows its merchants and customers of restaurants, grocery stores, retailers and quick-serve establishments, to use Revel's platform.
With the Revel Accessibility App, employees and customers have full access to the Revel back-end system as well as menu items, including the ability to add items to an order, add discounts to an order, pay with credit card or cash, delete items and even add modifiers to products. Through the tactile Bluetooth keyboard linked with the Revel Accessibility Mode, which makes commands audible, the new accessibility bundle allows all blind and visually impaired business owners,...
Mystery of the Opera comes to the Mac App Store
G5 Entertainment has introduced Mystery of the Opera. Available now on the Mac App Store as a free app (with an uS$6.99 in-app option to unlock the full version), this hidden object adventure features graphics, puzzles and an enigmatic plot.
Here's how the game is described: "Opera diva Christine has been kidnapped by a stranger in a dark cloak on the eve of her successful debut! Her desperate but nonetheless determined fiancé must leave no stone unturned to rescue her. An old props man at the theater has told him about the black magic involved and gave him a powerful amulet to help him locate Christine. Remove spells using the amulet and interrogate a dethroned diva, a cunning impresario and a photographer who witnessed the mysterious disappearance. Search the abandoned dungeon beneath the theater and help doomed ghosts find eternal rest so that this loving couple can be reunited!"
Mystery of the Opera requires Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later. Go to www.g5e.com for more info.
Pocket Mariner launches Mac version of SeaNav charting app
Pocket Mariner has launched a Mac OS X version of its SeaNav charting app. It allows Mac users to explore, plan, and navigate their trips in real time.
SeaNav shows ship positions via Pocket Mariner's Internet AIS feed. Sailors using SeaNav on their Macs will enjoy plotting their courses using full color high-resolution graphics of the latest NOAA ENC Digital Vector Marine charts covering the USA, including the Great Lakes.
SeaNav is available at the Mac App Store for US$19.99 and requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later. Go to http://www.pocketmariner.com for more info.
iWinSoft Barcode Maker for Mac gets Sequential Numbers feature,...
iWinSoft Barcode Maker for Mac version 3.2 is out. The software lets you generate and print sequential barcodes. Changes in version 3.2 include:
° A Sequential Numbers feature allows you to define the sequence in which barcodes are printed or exported.
° Support for custom label formats has been added.
° An Intelligent Mail Barcode has been added.
° The user interface has been tweaked.
The software requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. It's available for a limited-time price of US49.95. A demo is available for download. For more info visit http://tinyurl.com/m4c5n2u .
iwaxx announces Debookee 3.0.1 for OS X
iwaxx has announced Debookee 3.0.1 for OS X, an update to their packet-capture tool and network analyzer.
Debookee intercepts and reports traffic from any device currently on a network, including an iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, Mac, and others. Users are able to analyze the traffic of devices that cannot support packet-capture, such as mobile, tablets, etc. Debookee 3.0.1 features real-time packet capture analysis to extract requests details such as HTTP, DNS, TCP, DHCP and SIP.
Debookee 3.0.1 is free to download from the iwaxx website (http://www.iwaxx.com). The free version of Debookee includes the full evaluation with all features but hides some results of the analysis. The full version of Debookee that enables the viewing of all results is available for US$29.90
Default Folder X 4.6.5 adds features, improves compatibility
St. Clair Software has delivered Default Folder X 4.6.5, an update to their utility for Mac OS X.
Default Folder X enhances the file dialogs in all Mac OS X applications. Its custom keyboard shortcuts put your favorite and recent folders at your fingertips. It provides fast navigation to your files, convenient previews, integrated Spotlight tagging, and more.
Version 4.6.5 delivers several new features and improved compatibility with Mavericks and certain applications. It requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher.
Default Folder X 4.6.5 is a free update for existing version 4 users. It costs US$34.95 for new users. Go to http://tinyurl.com/l5wtxoj for more info.
The world's most valuable start-ups
Since many private startups decided to put off their IPOs and opt for larger rounds of financing, more than 30 companies are now valued at US$1 billion or more.
You'll find the top 10 in our chart of today. The chart is furnished by Statistica.com.
CS Odessa expands diagramming section of ConceptDraw Solution...
CS Odessa has announced the extension of the Diagramming Section of ConceptDraw Solution Park (www.conceptdraw.com).
The new diagramming section is for use with ConceptDraw PRO (9.5 or later). The diagramming additions comes complete with items to produce block diagrams, bubble diagrams, circle-spoke diagrams, circular arrow diagrams, concept maps, flowcharts, and Venn Diagrams.
ConceptDraw PRO 9 is compatible with OS X (10.7 or later) and Windows (Vista, 7, and 8). It retails for US$199 as a standalone application and is also available as part of ConceptDraw Office 2, which retails for $499.
Native Instruments introduces LUCID MISSION expansion for...
Native Instruments has released LUCID MISSION, the latest addition to the MASCHINE Expansion range. It contains elevating kits, presets, and projects ready for instant use with the entire MASCHINE family.
LUCID MISSION is available now at the NI Online Shop and runs in MASCHINE 2 software. A compact version for iMASCHINE is also available for purchase via the in-app store.
LUCID MISSION contains a selection of eight full projects, 40 drum kits, 32 Drum Synth presets, and 50 MASSIVE sounds. Exclusive to the expansion pack are 50 new MASSIVE presets that cover a spectrum of sounds from leads, plucks, and basses to solid bass drums and percussion. A special kit consisting only of MASSIVE lead sounds with a multitude of variations allows on-the-fly sound tweaking and quick-access workflow.
LUCID MISSION is available now at the NI Online Shop for US$49 and runs in MASCHINE 2.0. The iMASCHINE Expansion is available for download in-app through the Apple App Store for $0.99. Go to www.native...
Alien Skin Software announces Exposure 6
Alien Skin Software has announced the upcoming launch of Exposure 6, the latest version of its photograph effects software. It enables digital photographers to achieve analog film emulation and creative effects.
Exposure 6 can be used as a plug-in with popular host software or as a stand-alone program. In the new version, classic films like Kodachrome, Polaroid, and TRI-X have been simulated with their tonal ranges and grain structures. Over 450 preset effects can be applied.
Exposure 6 integrates both color and black-and-white processing, so there's no need to switch between tools. Alien Skin's creative focus and lens simulation program, Bokeh, has now been rolled into Exposure, so the latter now provides tools for manipulating focus, vignette, and depth of field.
Exposure 6 works with Apple Aperture, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Lightroom, as well as a stand-alone app. Mac users need Mac OS X 10.8 or higher to run it.
Exposure 6 will be available in June 2014 through www.alienskin....
Apple offers slight upgrade to MacBook Air line
Apple has updated its MacBook Air line. The laptop has been refreshed with 1.4GHz dual-core Haswell Intel Core i5 processors with Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz. That's up from the 1.3GHz processor with Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz. Also, there's an US$100 price drop across the line-up.
The 128GB and 256GB 11-inch models are now $899 and $1,099, respectively. The 13-inch models are $999 and $1,199 for 128 and 256GB of storage. Build-to-order options include a 1.7 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor with up to 8GB of RAM on both the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs.
LinkOptimizer 4.9.5 for Adobe InDesign improves image conversion
Zevrix Solutions (www.zevrix.com) has announced LinkOptimizer 4.9.5, a maintenance update to its workflow automation solution for Adobe InDesign.
LinkOptimizer lets you reduce the size of InDesign links and speed up processing by eliminating excess image data, performing essential image adjustments and converting file formats. The new version delivers processing improvements and addresses some issues that could affect the users of recently released version 4.9 which introduced a core engine upgrade.
LinkOptimizer can be purchased from the Zevrix website for US$259.95 (there's a "lite" version for $179.95) as well as from authorized resellers. A demo is available for download. The update is free for LinkOptimizer 4.x users and $130 to upgrade from previous versions. LinkOptimizer is available for Mac OS X 10.6-10.9 and works with Adobe InDesign and Photoshop CS3-CC.
SCSC releases high performance version of Scannerz for Mac OS X
Software and Computer System Company (SCSC) has released a new, high performance version (1.8) of Scannerz for Mac OS X. It will purportedly allow for much higher testing speeds, particularly for users of SSDs, RAID units, and other high performance devices, as well as those using the newly released Mac Pros.
All versions of Scannerz come bundled with FSE or FSE-Lite, Phoenix, and Performance Probe. FSE and FSE-Lite are file system event monitors that can track excessive file system activity and identify possibly rogue processes. Phoenix is an operating system extraction tool that can be used to create emergency boot volumes and perform basic cloning operations. Performance Probe monitors system activity, CPU usage, and memory usage, and may be of use isolating processes that are too resource intensive.
Current users of the product will be notified by the company in the next few days for update instructions. The update will be free for all current users of fully featured versions of...
Excel Software ships DocProtect 4 for Mac OS X
Excel Software has shopped Doc Protect 4 for Mac OS X (10.7 or later) and Windows. It's an update of the application that allows an author to protect popular file types to ensure the docs are only viewable on licensed computers.
Version 4 can protect an EPUB file by embedding a reader and licensing process in the protected document. Other enhancements include improved PDF protection that supports the latest versions of Adobe Reader.
In addition to delivering a protected document as a Mac or Windows application, DocProtect 4 supports a new delivery vehicle, the SafeWebApp viewer. DocProtect can generate a protected file that's activated for a specific device and viewed within SafeWebApp running on a variety of platforms.
SafeWebApp is free and runs on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android platforms. DocProtect 4 costs US$495 for a single user license on either Mac or Windows — or $795 for both platforms. It includes royalty-free runtime distribution rights for unlimited documents or...
Epson previews the WorkForce DS-40
Epson has announced the WorkForce DS-40, its first wireless, portable document scanner. Weighing just over a pound, it supports scanning directly to a Mac, PC or mobile devices, as well as offering scan-to-cloud capabilities.
Regarding the latter, the WorkForce DS-40 can scan to GoogleDrive, Evernote, OneNote, and more. Since it's powered by a battery or USB source, you can take the scanner on the road.
The WorkForce DS-40 allows you to scan documents up to 8.5 x 36 inches to receipts, business cards, or rigid ID cards. It boasts correction tools such as auto-sizing, enhancing text quality, correct image skew, and removing punch holes. Its TWAIN driver makes it compatible with most third-party software.
The WorkForce DS-40 will be available this summer at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of US$179.99 at major resellers, office retailers, and directly at Epson.com. Go to http://tinyurl.com/m5ozlhn for more info.
Security updates available for Adobe Flash Player
Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Flash Player 184.108.40.206 and earlier versions for Macintosh, Adobe Flash Flayer 220.127.116.11 and earlier versions for Windows, and Adobe Flash Player 18.104.22.1680 and earlier versions for Linux. These updates address vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.
Adobe is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2014-0515 exists in the wild, and is being used to target Flash Player users on the Windows platform. Adobe recommends users update their product installations to the latest versions. Read more at http://tinyurl.com/lgel9nq .
SyncMate 5 offers OS X Mavericks support and background sync
The SyncMate Team has announced SyncMate 5, a new version of their all-in-one sync tool for the Mac. It's now compatible with Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks.
In version 5, the SyncMate Team has added background syncing and device mounting, which are performed no matter if the app's main window is open or not. Quick access to connection settings was also added, including AutoSync and mounting devices as Mac storages.
SyncMate keeps data in sync between Macs and multiple devices (iOS gadgets, Android devices, other Macs, MTP devices, and more). Users can read and manage SMS and call history, as well as send a SMS directly from their Mac.
SyncMate 5 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.8 and higher. All registered users of previous versions of SyncMate can upgrade with a 50% discount. Other users can purchase SyncMate Expert 5 for US$39.95. Go to http://sync-mac.com/ for more info.
Facebook's impressive mobile line-up
When Facebook filed for its initial public offering in early 2012, the company named the ongoing transition to mobile as one of the biggest risks to its future success. If the transition to mobile was indeed the biggest challenge in Mark Zuckerberg's young career as CEO of a billion-dollar company, he managed it admirably well.
Not only does Facebook generate more than half of its revenue on mobile devices, the company also owns three of the hottest apps in the world. First there's Facebook, which passed one billion mobile users in the first quarter of 2014. Than there's Instagram, which has more than 200 million users and is immensely popular with tech-savvy Millennials. And finally, there's Facebook's most recent acquisition: WhatsApp, which just reported that it passed 500 million active users.
With a mobile line-up like this, Facebook appears to be in a position that all but guarantees sustained success in the mobile landscape. The accompanying chart is courtesy of Statistica.com.
Power App introduces RamDisk for Mac OS X
Power App has introduced RamDisk for Mac OS X. It's a new utility that can purportedly speed up a Mac by 40 times and increase the life of a Solid State Drive.
RamDisk creates a virtual drive using the Mac's RAM. This virtual drive can be treated like any drive for a Mac. Files and apps can be installed and run on that drive. An image of this drive is stored on the SSD or hard disk of the Mac when it's shut down. It's re-read at the next start-up.
RamDisk requires Mac OS X 10.6 or newer. It costs US$8.99 and is available at the Power App web site (http://www.powerapp.ch).
FlipBook Creator for Mac OS X converts PDF files into flip books
Flippagemaker Software has unveiled FlipBook Creator, a tool designed to enhance ebook creation on a Mac. It converts normal PDF files into HMTL 5 and Flash flip books.
According to the folks at Flippagemaker, FlipBook Creator is capable of rendering PDF publications into full, interactive 3D flipbooks. The books can be read on Mac and iOS devices.
Flippagemaker is offering FlipBook Creator at a 50% discount off its retail price of US$99 to students and educations for a limited time. Go to http://tinyurl.com/mm9mku5Y for more info.
Streamer Pro lets users use iPhones with hearing aids
Oticon, a manufacturer of hearing solutions, has launched an upgraded Streamer Pro that lets folks who use Oticom wireless hearing instruments connect to an iPhone via the company's ConnectLine app.
The Streamer Pro is worn around the neck and acts as an intermediary device to connect Bluetooth-enbled devices to Oticom hearing instruments. The upgraded Streamer Pro and ConnectLine app work with all the company's hearing acids purchased since 2007.
When the Streamer Pro is paired with the ConnectLine app — a free download at the Apple App Store — it provides functionality that lets users switch to a variety of input sources with just a few taps. Volume can be adjusted individually for each source.
Users can move from listening to music to making audio and FaceTime calls. They can also connect to the entire integrated ConnectLine system, which allows them to stream audio from TV, landline and office phones, personal microphones, and, more directly, to their hearing apps.
World Clock Deluxe for Mac OS X ticks to version 4.12
MaBaSoft (http://www.mabasoft.net) has released World Clock Deluxe 4.12, an update of its Mac OS X tool for companies and organizations regularly communicating with people across the world, for frequent travelers, and for home users having family or friends in other countries or time zones.
In version 4.12 software update has been extensively revised, displays release notes, and lets you automatically download and install updates of cities, time zones, and DST rules. - Several enhancements have been added to the report displayed by World Clock Deluxe after updating cities, time zones, and DST rules. The report now tags used cities and time zones and lets you list them first and sort cities by country.
With World Clock Deluxe you can display multiple clocks in a configurable horizontal or vertical palette, in the menu bar, and in the Dock, and show the time in over 1,600 cities and 200 time zones, including Greenwich Mean Time and Coordinated Universal Time. The app also lets you...
Password Repository for Mac OS X gets interface improvements
Tension Software (http://www.tensionsoftware.com) has updated Password Repository, a app for managing passwords on your Mac, to version 3.2. The upgrade adds interface and layout changes and improvements, improved lock and auto lock features, and more.
Password Repository lets manage an unlimited numbers of documents containing as many password records (records + related data) you like. Any document you create is protected by a "master password"with an AES-256 encryption algorithm.
Password Repository for OS X is compatible with the similar version for iOS on iTunes and any document created with Password Repository 3 on a Mac, can be transferred via iTunes and used on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad without any changes.
Password Repository requires Mac OS X 10.8 or higher. It costs US$20 and is available from Tension Software and at the Mac App Store.
Mobile accounts for more than half of Facebook's revenue
In the first quarter of 2014, mobile ads generated US$1.3 billion in revenue, accounting for 59% of Facebook's ad revenue and 53% of the company's total revenue. Even more impressively, mobile ads accounted for more than 90% of the company's revenue growth compared to last year's first quarter.
So apparently Facebook's mobile ad business has evolved to become the company's primary growth driver Growing a multi-billion dollar ad business out of thin air in less than two years is a pretty impressive achievement, one that Facebook's shareholders will surely appreciate.
Growing a multi-billion dollar ad business out of thin air in less than two years is a pretty impressive achievement, one that Facebook's shareholders will surely appreciate. Today's chart is furnished courtesy of Statista (http://tinyurl.com/ldt5ezu).
CuteDJ for the Mac adds an advanced searching option
CuteDJPro has rolled the latest version of CuteDJ, its DJ mixing software. The upgrade has an advanced searching option that allows user to search using spaces or filter by bpm, year, key.
The new version also comes with better harmonic mixing that supports the key in circle of Fifths or attuned formats. It also has re-implemented MIDI buffering system for key stability upgrading.
The software is available for Mac OS X and Windows for US$129. Go to http://www.cutedjpro.com/ for more info
Wx weather app updated for OS X, iOS devices
Hunter Research and Technology has rolled out a trio of updates its Wx weather app (http://www.hrtapps.com/wxmac/) that displays current conditions, forecasts, warnings, and radar for U.S. locations using XML data from the National Weather Service. It's available for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
Wx helps users set up locations on an embedded map, guiding them to choose nearby NWS observation sites, nearby NEXRAD radar, and nearby city- and county-based alert zones. The app sets up a seven-day summary "point" forecast customized for the specific latitude and longitude of the location, and a 7-day "pro" forecast that graphs temperature (actual and apparent), dew point, relative humidity, cloud cover, wind speed, wind direction, gust speed, 12-hour probability of precipitation, 6-hour liquid precipitation amount, and six-hour snow amount.
Wx also lets users set up weather maps for quick reference. Users can choose from over 40 default NWS maps and images, or provide the URL for any map of...
LinkOptimizer for Adobe InDesign gets 4.9 maintenance upgrade
Zevrix Solutions (www.zevrix.com) has released LinkOptimizer 4.9, a major maintenance update to its workflow automation solution for Adobe InDesign.
LinkOptimizer allows users to reduce the size of InDesign links and speed up processing by eliminating excess image data. It also performs image color conversion and sharpening, converts file formats and more. The new version introduces a major upgrade to the app's core engine, which allows LinkOptimizer to support latest advanced technologies and future system releases.
LinkOptimizer can be purchased from Zevrix for US$259.95 (there's a "lite" version for $179.95) as well as from authorized resellers. A demo isavailable for download. The 4.9 update is free for LinkOptimizer 4.x users.
AutoMailer for OS X revved to version 2.1
Tension Software (www.tensionsoftware.com) has updated AutoMailer, its app that lets you merge data from a database with email templates and send them to multiple addresses, to version 2.1.
The app lets you prepare and send an unlimited amount of emails with a single click. In version 2.1, the import function now has the ability to auto-detect the file encode format. There are new file encode formats for text file to import, nine accepted formats such as (UTF8, ASCII, UTF16, UTF32, OLD MAC OS 9) and others. There are also interface change and improvements.
AutoMailer requires Mac OS X 10.8 or higher. It costs US$25 and is available from the Tension Software web site and the Mac App Store.
TS Calc for Mac OS X gets improved layout, interface
Tension Software (http://www.tensionsoftware.com) has updated TS Calc, a Mac OS X document-based application for solving mathematical models, to version 1.4. The upgrade sports an improved layout and interface, enhanced import features, and more.
A TS Calc document contains a series of equations and a list of variables and constants used by the equations. When the document is set up, the user can insert the input value and see the output generated by the TS Calc document using the equations to solve the problem.
TS Calc requires Mac OS X 10.8 or higher. It costs US$15.
Mobile is the new media star
A recent report published by eMarketer finds that time spent on digital media use among US adults surpassed time spent with TV for the first time in the last year. This trend is driven by the increasing proliferation of mobile devices in the United States.
In 2014, time spent on smartphones and tablets in the US will jump to 23.2%. Startlingly, mobile has become so popular that classical online media usage is shrinking since 2012. Today's chart is furnished by Statistica.com.
TownCraft game comes to the Mac, iOS
Flat Earth Games has announced TownCraft, a crafting/building exploration game. It's available for the Mac at the Mac App Store, and for iDevices at the Apple App Store. The price is US$9.99 and $4.99, respectively.
Here's how the game is described: "TownCraft is a simple yet addictive building and crafting game that's easy to get into, non-violent, and engages one's desire to discover, create and explore. Set in medieval times, players are alone in the wilderness and must start a new town to become the toast of the kingdoms. Gamers begin by crafting the most basic of tools, tying a sharpened stone to a small piece of wood as a hatchet and, before long, their town will be teeming with travellers from all across the land. They'll buy wares at the local shops, come to check out the sights, have some food, and drink at the tavern players build. Fish, farm, forage, mine, mill, and explore the bizarre and distinctive world of TownCraft."
Go to http://www.flatearthgames.com.au for more...
Apple expands capital return program to over $130 billion
Apple says its Board of Directors has authorized another increase to the company’s program to return capital to shareholders. Apple expects to utilize a total of over US$130 billion of cash under the expanded program by the end of calendar 2015.
As part of the program, the Board has increased its share repurchase authorization to $90 billion from the $60 billion level announced last year. Apple expects to continue to utilize about $1 billion annually to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units.
Additionally, the Board has approved an increase to the company’s quarterly dividend of approximately 8% and has declared a dividend of $3.29 per common share, payable on May 15, 2014, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 12, 2014. The company also plans to increase its dividend on an annual basis. With annual payments of $11 billion, Apple is among the largest dividend payers in the world.
From August 2012 through March 2014, Apple has spent $66 billion in...
Apple reports second quarter fiscal results
Apple has announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 second quarter that ended March 29. The company posted quarterly revenue of US$45.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $10.2 billion, or $11.62 per diluted share.
These results compare to revenue of $43.6 billion and net profit of $9.5 billion, or $10.09 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.3% compared to 37.5 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 66 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
“We’re very proud of our quarterly results, especially our strong iPhone sales and record revenue from services,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a press statement. “We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more new products and services that only Apple could bring to market.”
“We generated $13.5 billion in cash flow from operations and returned almost $21 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the March quarter,” said Chief Financial Officer Peter...
VisionTek announces mSATA mini enclosure
VisionTek Products has announced the VisionTek mSATA mini Enclosure. The USB 3.0 bus-powered device is a plug and play solution for re-tasking an existing mSATA Solid State Drive after upgrading the SSD in a notebook or for adding a new mSATA SSD to create a portable external drive.
Smaller than a business card and weighing 0.30 ounces, the mSATA mini Enclosure sports a USB 3.0/2.0 interface and a bus-powered design. An AC adapter isn't needed. It comes in a scratch-resistant aluminum housing.
The mSATA mini Enclosure works with Mac OS X and higher. It has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of US$29.99. Go to www.visiontekproducts.com for more info.
Revi Charger is new battery, phone cable/charger
Revi Charger is a new, credit card-sized back-up battery and phone cable/charger. Its 2.5mm frame packs a 550 mAh battery.
About the thickness of two credit cards, the Revi Charger fits into a wallet. With its flexible, built-in cable design, there's no need to carry extra cables.
The Revi Charger can simultaneously charge its own battery and a smart phone when plugged into a USB port. It comes in micro USB and Lightning cable versions. It's available for pre-order at www.ReviCharger.com with pricing starting at US$25.
Prong delivers power solution/case for the iPhone
Prong has announced the PWR Case for the iPhone 5/5s. It's a combination case and power solution.
The PWR Case includes a detachable backup battery and integrated plugs for charging in any outlet. The battery can be removed and recharged without any additional accessories while you still use your Apple smartphone in the inner, protective bumper.
The Prong PWR Case — available in black, white, blue-grey and white-pink — will ship this summer. The presage price is US$60. Go to www.prong.com for more info.
Movavi introduces audio converter for OS X
Movavi has introduced Movavi Audio Converter for Mac OS X. It offers support for just about every type of music file, including Apple Audio and multi-channel tracks.
Movavi Audio Converter also provides encoding, editing, audio extraction from video, track merging, and more. It's designed specifically for music lovers and provides a toolkit for managing digital music collections.
A free seven-day trial version of Movavi Audio Converter is available at http://www.movavi.com/audioconvertermac. A non-activated version converts only a half of audio files. A lifetime license for personal use is US$39.99. The app is also available on the Mac App Store for a special price of $19.99.
eMedia Music expands their Guitar Lab DVD series
eMedia Music, a publisher of music tutorial CDs and DVDs, will release three new titles in its Guitar Lab line of guitar instruction DVDs this month.
The 50 Essential Bebop Licks, 50 Soul Jazz Licks, and 50 Right Hand Techniques You Must Know DVDs will be available April 30. They'll cost US$24.95 each.
The Guitar Lab DVD series includes over 30 titles from beginner to advanced guitar and bass instruction. All feature Picture-in-Picture videos, a manual, standard notation, tab, Guitar Pro 6 files, practice rhythm tracks, and addition bonus material. Go to eMediaMusic.com for more info.
CS Odessa announces baseball addition to ConceptDraw Solution...
CS Odessa (www.conceptdraw.com) has announced a new ConceptDraw Solution Park addition for ConceptDraw PRO v9.5 and greater. Introduced is a new set libraries that provide a complete baseball description solution.
The new addition to ConceptDraw Solution Park is a free item for current users of ConceptDraw PRO. The Baseball Solution includes a collection of templates, samples, and libraries of vector stencils, icons and clipart that support many professional ways to show and demonstrate baseball strategy.
ConceptDraw PRO is compatible with Mac OS X and Windows. It retails for US$199. It's also included in ConceptDraw Office v2, which retails for $499.
onOne announces Perfect Photo Suite 8.5
onOne Software has announced Perfect Photo Suite 8.5, an update of its photo editor. It works as a plug-in with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, and Apple Aperture, as well as a stand-alone app.
The app includes eight integrated applications, each one targeted to a specific phot-processing task. Version 8.5 includes speed and productivity enhancements to Perfect Photo Suite's Browse module, improved performance with the Perfect Eraser tool, and enhanced masking support in Perfect Effects and Perfect Layers.
Perfect Photo Suite 8.5 will be available in mid-May\. Existing owners of Perfect Photo Suite 8 are eligible for a free update. New users may purchase the Premium Edition for US$179.95 or the Lightroom & Aperture Edition for only $99.95. The Standard Edition, a standalone application, is available for $79.95.
Owners of earlier versions of the Perfect Photo Suite can upgrade to the Premium Edition for $99.95 or the Lightroom & Aperture Edition for $79.95. For more...
Briefly 1.5 for Mac adds Color Sorting for Photos
Matthias Gansrigler has released an upgrade to Briefly, his photo/video app for Mac. The software takes photos and optional sound files as input from the user and creates still motion videos from them.
Version 1.5 can sort photos by color, resulting in a nice gradient effect in the video as well as support for more than one soundtrack or soundtrack looping, among other improvements, Gansrigler says. Also, the reduction of black borders can be disabled to show photos in their entirety.
Briefly is available exclusively on the Mac App Store for US$14.99. A 15-day demo can be downloaded from the Eternal Storms Software website (http://eternalstorms.at/).
Barcode Basics for the Mac revved to version 2.0
Barcode Basics for Mac OS X has been revved to version 2. The app offers barcode creation features.
The later version adds additional codes (Code 39 and Code 128). The software supports pro features such as bar width reduction and truncation.
Barcode Basics 2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.8 or higher and costs US$9.99. It's available at the Mac App Store (http://tinyurl.com/n2eczys).
Apple posts Security Update for Mac OS X
Apple has rolled out Security Update 2014-002 for Mac OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks. Apple says it improves security.
Security Update 2014-002 also includes Safari 7.0.3. You can obtain it via the Updates section of the Mac App Store.
WaterField Design introduces 15-inch Rough Rider Leather...
WaterField Designs has added a 15-inch Rough Rider Leather Messenger bag to their line-up. After releasing the 13-inch version, the company says it had a "ton" of requests for a 15-inch model.
The Rough Rider is constructed of naturally tanned, full-grain leather. Its strap compresses bag contents to maintain a slim profile. The laptop bag rests against your body, helping ease back fatigue, says WaterField CEO Gary WaterField.
The main compartment can house a laptop, files, chargers and other necessities. There are two deep, waxed canvas pockets in the main compartment. Plus, there are two lined pockets under the flap for storing items like an iPhone or iPad mini.
The 15-inch Rough Rider Leather Messenger costs US$355; the 13-inched is $335. Go to www.sfbags.com for more info.