BusyMac introduces BusyContacts for Mac OS X
BusyMac (www.busymac.com) has introduced BusyContacts for Mac OS X (10.9 or higher). The app brings to contact management the same power, flexibility, and sharing capabilities that BusyCal users have enjoyed with their calendars.
What's more, BusyContacts integrates with BusyCal. Features include:
° Customizable views — you can view contacts in a single-column Card View or multi-column List View;
° Tags that can be used for grouping, filtering and coloring contacts;
° Smart Filters for filtering contacts, creating saved searches, and even applying custom view settings in the List View;
° An Activity List that displays activities associated with the selected contact including calendar events, emails, messages, and recent social network posts;
° Syncing with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, combining contact information from each of these sources into a unified contact view;
° Syncing with the built-in Contacts app on OS X and iOS through cloud services including iCloud, Google,...
StarTech releases Travel A/V Adapter
StarTech.com has released the new 2-in-1 Mini DisplayPort to HDMI or VGA adapter, which enables mobile users to connect their Mini DisplayPort-equipped laptop to either an HDMI or VGA display.
Combining two of the most common display interfaces into a single adapter, StarTech.com’s A/V Travel Adapter eliminates having to carry multiple Mini DisplayPort adapters, which provides a portable solution for users to connect their laptop as needed in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environments or while traveling, says Karishma Punwani, senior product manager at StarTech.com..
The 2-in-1 Mini DisplayPort to HDMI or VGA adapter supports resolutions up to 1920x1200 or 1080p. It's compatible with Thunderbolt, and is host-powered performance so no additional power adapters are required.
The manufacturer's suggested retail price for StarTech.com’s 2-in-1 Mini DisplayPort to HDMI or VGA adapter is US$49.99. The adapter will be available at CDW, Amazon.com, Newegg.com, PC Connection, and Insight and...
Flexiglass update is out with OS X 10.10.2 compatibility
Nulana has released Flexiglass 1.6. an update that brings compatibility with Mac OS X 10.10.2 and fixes for such features as Real Zoom and Quick Layouts in multi-monitor configurations.
Flexiglass offers a new way to move, resize, maximize, close and arrange windows on the screen with a mouse, keyboard, trackpad, and graphics tablet. It allows a Mac user to move and resize windows by clicking anywhere on them and arrange multiple windows on the screen.
Move & Resize features add a Linux style Alt-Dragging to manage windows. Quick Layouts option is similar to Aero Snap in Windows and is a solution for working with multiple windows that can be resized to take up halves or quarters of the screen or go full screen. Quick Layout Shortcuts allow users to do the same things using only a keyboard.
Real Zoom improves default behavior of the green Zoom button and expands a window to full screen. Real Close makes the red system button to quit the application.
Flexiglass is compatible with...
Time Logger for Mac OS X upgraded to version 1.0.1
Imre Katai has released Time Logger 1.0.1 (http://timelogger.metapps.eu), a maintenance update to the productivity application for OS X.
Developed specifically to optimize how users spend time on workflow projects, Time Logger manages tasks, organizes projects by client, records pay rates, notes, and time allocated to each assignment. Also, Time Logger generates reports for additional support. Users can easily start and end timers with an overview panel linked to the upper right hand of screen.
Time Logger 1.0.1 costs US$4.99 and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.
Parallels Desktop offers 'experimental support' for...
Parallels says Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac (parallels.com/desktop) now provides experimental support for Windows 10 Technical Preview and Office Preview for Windows 10, which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Now users who wish to try the newest OS from Microsoft can do so without the inconvenience of deleting an existing OS or the uncertainty of installing a new and non-final version of Windows 10 directly on their machines. The Parallels Wizard lets you download the Windows 10 Technical Preview directly from within Parallels Desktop, creating a virtual machine to try out everything Windows 10 has to offer, including such features as the new Start menu, Photos, Maps app, Cortana and Windows Store beta which offers Office Preview for Windows 10.
"Parallels Desktop enjoys very strong support among software developers and IT pros. We are happy to deliver all the tools they need to quickly and safely test or run the latest OS and applications, now including the Windows 10...
24U Software releases 24U Phone Companion 2.0
24U Software has rolled out 24U Phone Companion 2.0, a new version of their FileMaker plug-in solution for Mac OS X and Windows.
4U Phone Companion allows FileMaker solutions to interact directly with supported PBX (telephone switches). Version 2.0 adds support for call centers by providing called trunk line identification and improving support for complex phone handling workflows thanks to the ability to process unknown messages from and send raw commands back to the connected phone system.
24U Phone Companion requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later and FileMaker Pro 10 or higher. It's available for download (http://www.24usoftware.com/) as a free fully functional 14-days trial version, which can be activated after purchasing a license. The trial version of the ilink TeamCall Lite middleware is limited to three telephone lines.
To implement this product into a working solution, at least one PBX license and one user license is necessary. 24U Phone Companion comes with a middleware ilink...
Apple is planning a $850 million solar farm
First Solar (www.firstsolar.com), a provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, says Apple has committed $848 million for clean energy from First Solar's California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County, California.
Apple will receive electricity from 130 megawatts (MW) of the solar project under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA), the largest agreement in the industry to provide clean energy to a commercial end user.
"Apple is leading the way in addressing climate change by showing how large companies can serve their operations with 100 percent clean, renewable energy," says Joe Kishkill, chief commercial officer for First Solar. "Apple's commitment was instrumental in making this project possible and will significantly increase the supply of solar power in California. Over time, the renewable energy from California Flats will provide cost savings over alternative sources of energy as well as substantially lower environmental impact."
The 2,900-acre California...
BBVA Compass cardholders can enroll now in Apple Pay
BBVA Compass cardholders can now put away their plastic and use Apple Pay, the mobile payments solution introduced by Apple.
Those with BBVA Compass Visa consumer credit and BBVA Compass Visa consumer and business check cards are now eligible to add their cards to Apple Pay. Apple Pay lets customers make mobile payments in participating stores from their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and, after it debuts, the Apple Watch. It also allows customers to make purchases within apps using an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.
"Mobile banking is a must-have for so many of our customers, and innovative new offerings — like this one — are changing what they expect to do with their devices," says BBVA Compass Chief Digital Banking Officer Jeff Dennes. "Our aim, always, is to meet and exceed those expectations and offering Apple Pay to our customers helps us do just that."
Users will continue to receive all of the rewards and beneﬁts offered by their BBVA Compass credit and debit...
Kinesis introduces Bluetooth Freestyle2 fully-splittable...
Kinesis Corp. (www.kinesis.com) has introduced the Freestyle2 Blue, Bluetooth keyboards for Macs and PCs. It includes a Multichannel feature that allows switching between the keyboard and up to three Bluetooth-enabled devices.
The Freestyle2 Blue is the first fully-adjustable, fully-splittable ergonomic keyboard to incorporate a Multichannel Bluetooth capability, according to Jon Biggs, Kinesis’ director of Sales and Marketing points out. It features simple, sturdy adjustment mechanisms and is intuitive to configure and use, he adds.
The keyboard itself offers adjustable front splay and complete separation, and the interchangeable accessories provide adjustable tenting with or without integrated palm supports. The optional Freestyle2 accessory packages include the VIP3, V3, and Ascent Multi-Tent. This range of optional accessories allow organizations to precisely meet the needs of each employee while standardizing on a single keyboard, says Biggs.
The Mac version is compatible with...
Datamate Numeric Data Processor released for Mac OS X
Procypher Corp. (http://www.procypher.com/) has introduced Datamate Numeric Processor 1.0 for Mac OS X 10.8 and higher. It's a data processor for "number crunching."
Datamate Numeric Processor comes complete with descriptive statistics, reporting, and configurable data output formatting. It's designed to help normalize, standardize, scale, and manage missing data and data outliers.
Datamate Numeric Processor 1.0 costs US$29.99. It's available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.
Revision Buddies launch GCSE Science Suite
Revision Buddies has now completed its GCSE Science Suite of revision apps. In addition to the Maths, History, French, RS & Geography apps, students can test their knowledge, further their understanding and monitor their progress in the lead up to their Biology, Physics & Chemistry GCSE exams using this personalized learning apparatus.
Featuring 1000s of original, syllabus specific questions, students may repeat difficult questions or select new questions at random. As with all Revision Buddies apps, these are written in accordance with the OCR, Edexcel and AQA GCSE exam boards.
Given the nature of the Science syllabus, Revision Buddies say they've ensured that each student can mould their app specifically to their exam board requirements; they can pick and choose their board, whether they are studying the Additional or Core topics, and then differentiate between higher and foundation tiers within that.
Revision Buddies has a provision for direct links to past papers and...
Altium announces new PCB design tool for SolidWorks integration
Altium Limited has announced PCBWorks, a new PCB design tool created to enhance workflow collaboration between electrical and mechanical designers. Created in direct response to the divide between electrical and mechanical workflows, PCBWorks provides a set of collaboration tools to integrate design data with the industry-leading mechanical design software, SolidWorks.
At the core of PCBWorks is a set of schematic capture and PCB layout tools along with an easy-to-use interface that works in tandem with existing mechanical workflows in SolidWorks, according to Jason Hingston, chief technical officer at Altium. Design data between components and mechanical enclosures are linked between electrical and mechanical workflows, with the world’s first-ever managed Engineering Change Orders (ECO) process delivering changes in design data from SolidWorks to PCBWorks using native SolidWorks files.
Hingston says PCBWorks empowers mechanical designers with the ability to manage design changes in...
Backblaze Reliability data set for 41,000 hard drives now open...
Backblaze Online Backup has released raw data collected from the more than 41,000 disk drives in its data center to correlate drive failures with drive model numbers, with SMART statistics, and other variables.
The data that collected is in two files, one containing the 2013 data and one containing the 2014 data. Backblaze says they will add data for 2015 and so on in a similar fashion. You’ll find links to download the data files at http://tinyurl.com/nqffmvz. You’ll also find instructions on how to create your own sqlite database for the data, and other information related to the files you can download.
Every day, the software that runs the Backblaze data center takes a snapshot of the state of every drive in the data center, including the drive’s serial number, model number, and all of its SMART data. The SMART data includes the number of hours the drive has been running, the temperature of the drive, whether sectors have gone bad, and many more things.
Each day, all of the drive...
Maintain serves up Cocktail 7.7.1 Mavericks Edition
Maintain has served up Cocktail 7.7.1 (http://cocktail.maintain.se) Maverick Edition, a new version of its Mac OS X utility that's compatible with Yosemite. This version improvements on the "Clear System caches" procedure and fixes compatibility issues with Safari Cookies cookie manager.
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. Its features are arranged into five categories that help you manage various aspects of your computer.
Cocktail 7.7.1 Mavericks Edition) requires OS X Mavericks to run. When unregistered, Cocktail runs in demo mode and will expire after the tenth launch. Registration is US$19 for a single user license or $39 for a family license that covers up to five computers.
BECU, Fifth Third, First Niagra, Hungtington MasterCard can be...
MasterCard cardholders with a consumer credit or debit card from BECU, Fifth Third, First Niagara and Huntington National Bank now have access to payments through Apple Pay.
To help consumers use Apple Pay, MasterCard has developed the MasterCard Nearby app, available in the App Store. It helps you find merchants near your current location that accept contactless payments.
Apple announced Apple Pay in September 2014, describing it as “a new category of service designed to transform mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay.” It works with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus through a NFC antenna design, a dedicated chip called the Secure Element, and Touch ID.
Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, says Apple Pay is easy to set up, so hundreds of millions of users can simply add their credit or debit card on file from their iTunes Store account. Apple Pay will also work with the newly announced Apple Watch, extending Apple Pay to over...
myNews lets you read newspapers from all over the world on your...
AppGeneration has released myNews for Mac OS X users. With the app you can browse more than 5,000 online newspapers from 80 countries.
myNews also allows you to read the news on your native language without having to leave the app. Since it auto translates newspaper websites, it enables you to read a Chinese newspaper in Russian, an English tech magazine in Spanish or a Thai economic newspaper in French.
myNews Pro 1.0 requires Mac OS X Yosemite or higher. It's available for US$3.99 (for a limited time) at the Mac App Store in the News category.
3D Molecules Editor is new educational Mac app
Virtual Space OOO has announced 3D Molecules Editor for Mac OS X. The educational app lets you build and manipulate 3D molecular models of organic and inorganic compounds.
The key features of 3D Molecules Editor are 3D printing support and the "Test yourself" mode that allows learners to check their knowledge of the 3D structure of molecules. Important information about the molecule can be displayed. For example, it's possible to visualize the atomic orbitals, see electronic effects using arrows and identify bond lengths and element symbols.
3D Molecules Editor 1.0 costs US$2.99 (though it also offers in-app purchases). It's available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Education category and requires Mac OS X 10.7 or higher.
Data Extractor for Mac OS X revved to version 1.4
Tension Software has announced Data Extractor 1.4, an update of the Mac OS X tool that can parse files and collect all the raw data inside. Collected data can be exported in various formats (CSV, TSV, HTML, custom, etc).
Data Extractor provides an internal database table where you can create how many columns you like and where data can be collected. Data is always available for export. Names of custom fields can be used as the first record during exportation (for successive smart importing).
Version 1.4 offers a more resilient extraction algorithm, faster algorithm, improved multithreading capabilities, and fast adding of database fields during "Extraction Rules" editing and adding. Also, the extraction of data based on position is now supported.
Data Extractor requires Mac OS X 10.9 or higher. It costs US$45 and is available from Tension Software (www.tensionsoftware.com) and the Mac App Store.
AppleDelete gets optimized for Mac OS X Yosemite
Reggie Ashworth has released AppDelete 4.2 (http://www.reggieashworth.com/appdelete), an update to his application deletion utility for Mac OS X.
Via drag and drop, the utility will uninstall anything along with all of the associated items. You can drag any item that can be uninstalled onto AppDelete: applications, widgets, preference panes, plugins, screensavers, etc.
Version 4.2 is optimized for Mac OS X Yosemite. It boasts a refreshed user interface, enhanced graphic, a new app icon for all OS versions, and a more efficient search algorithm. It's also now possible to copy/paste from log
AppDelete 4.2 requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later. It costs US$7.99 for a single user license. Upgrades from version 2/AppDelete Lite are $3.99. A demo is available for download.
ControlAir for Mac brings touch-free control to media apps
eyeSight (www.eyesight-tech.com) has released Control Air, a free app (available at the Mac App Store) that provides touch-free control over your media and entertainment apps. It requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later.
With just your index finger, ControlAir lets you control apps like Spotify, Netflix, iTunes and VLC. To use you just raise your index finger in front of the Mac's camera. ControlAir presents a banner at the top of the screen with play/pause, skip/rewind and volume functions. Move your finger side-to-side to navigate and select with an "air click."
You can even mute by placing your finger to your lips. The touch free control works up to five feet away from your Mac.
Spotlife 2 for Mac OS X puts the weather forecast on your desktop
Chronos has released Spotlife 2, a productivity utility for Mac OS X that puts your calendar directly on your desktop. According to Robert McCullough, vice president of Sales at Chronos, the update introduces "a class-leading first for a desktop calendar: the weather forecast is incorporated right into the desktop calendar so you can see the forecast at a glance.”
Spotlife 2 shows the weather forecast in the Day, Week, and Month views. A Menu bar icon shows the current date. Spotlife 2 sports blurred, translucent background styles for the Desktop Calendar. It automatically uses calendar accounts set up in OS X.
Spotlife 2 supports On My Mac, iCloud, Exchange, Yahoo, Google, CalDAV, and more. You can switch between Agenda, Day, Week, and Month views directly from the menu bar. You can view tasks as banners that stretch to the due date or just on the due date.
A fully functional 30 day trial version can be downloaded from Chronos' website (www.chronosnet.com). Spotlife costs US$14.99...
New Allocator 1.0 for OS X lets you monitor, adjust investment...
Solbits Software has introduced Allocator 1.0 (http://allocatorapp.com/), a financial investment application designed for Mac OS X Yosemite.
It provides investors with a dashboard to organize and track important assets by portfolio performance, allocation, and total value based on current market value. You can also view current stock details, add transactions and compare target versus actual allocation.
Allocator supports foreign investments and will convert values to current portfolio currency. The application supports 165 different currencies.
Allocator 1.0 costs US$39.99. A 30-day, fully functional demo version is available for download.
Records for Mac coming Feb. 17
Records for Mac 1.0 from PushPopCorn (www.pushpopcorn.com) will ship Tuesday, Feb. 17. It's a Mac OS X app that lets you collect and organize just about any kind of information, from your movie collection to the list of your customers and invoices, in a tab organized database.
° A WYSIWYG editor, requiring no previous database knowledge;
° 14 fully-configurable form fields, including images, contacts and URLs;
° Pre-filled lists to reduce form creation time;
° Six "eye-candy" themes to tint forms and fields:
° Full text search help to find instantly your data;
° Scalable to databases with even tens of thousands of records;
° The ability to export and backup your databases;
° The ability to export and share templates with friends, family or colleagues.
Records will be available from the Mac App Store for US$49.99. It will require Mac OS X Yosemite or newer.
SMTPit Pro gets a maintenance upgrade
SMTPit Pro 4.5.3 from Comm-Unity Networking Systems has been unveiled. It includes an important bug fix for the FileMaker email plug-in that lets you send simple text-based messages or complex HTML messages.
CNS is also reminding past SMTPit Pro license holders that the offer for a free SMTPit Pro Server license when renewing any license for 10 users and above will be expiring on March 2.
SMTPit Pro is available immediately at http://www.smtpitpro.com/ for both Mac OS X and Windows. Prices range from a Single User License for US$65 to a "World License" for $1095 (which includes a free Server License). A Server License of SMTPit Pro for use with FileMaker Pro Server/Server Advanced is $595. A Developer's License of SMTPit Pro is $1295.
Apple iOS leads U.S. mobile marketshare for first time since Q4...
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech (www.kantarworldpanel.com), for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2014, shows that Apple’s share of sales grew across the US, Europe, and China during the important Christmas period, driven by a strong portfolio of devices.
"In the US, Apple iOS overtook Android for the first time since this time in 2012, albeit by the slimmest 0.1% margin," says Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is unprecedented, this quarter’s performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever. With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market."
Throughout the holiday quarter, the iPhone 6 was the best-selling smartphone in the US and was also the most popular smartphone to give as a gift. Samsung retained its number two spot in the...
Audio Switcher for Mac revved to version 2.5.2
Spike Software (http://www.spikesoft.net) has announced Audio Switcher 2.5.2, an update to its menubar applet utility for Mac OS X.
Audio Switcher allows you to switch your audio input and output between different audio devices. It supports a range of devices, as well as the built-in audio hardware of your Mac desktop or laptop. Version 2.5.2 is a maintenance release that fixes a few bugs, including a bug where Audio Switcher would not correctly set the level on the default device on some computers.
Audio Switcher requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later. Version 2.5.2 costs US$4.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Utilities category. Current users can receive the free update via the Mac Store.
Outline adds support for OS X Services
Gorillized Corporation has announced Outline 3.2 (http://outline.ws/mac), an update to the smart digital notebook for Mac OS X.
The utility includes such features as formatting tools, synchronization options and Microsoft OneNote compatibility for various types of content, including text, images, inks, tags, web content, and more. Version 3.2 introduces support for OS X Services. This feature lets you share content from one app to another without launching additional apps.
Share Extensions were recently added into Outline as well. This feature allows you to share content in HTML, image or rich text formats from other apps supporting the transfer of these formats.
Outline requires Mac OS X 10.8 or later. It costs US$9.99 and is available through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.
ProjectWizards releases Merlin Project for OS X
ProjectWizards (http://projectwizards.net/en/) has announced Merlin Project for OS X. It's a tool for planning complex projects.
Many actions in Merlin Project are now animated to help customers get a better understanding of what happens in Merlin Project. In addition, there is integration in OS X (iCal, Contacts, and more), open interfaces to other Mac programs, and the possibility to import data from Microsoft software such as Excel and MS Project.
Another new feature is the "report" view. With customizable reports, Merlin Project allows any time an overview of the utilization of staff, budget and the state of the project progress.
Merlin Project requires Mac OS X 10.9.5 or later. It costs US$299; upgrades from Merlin 2 are $134. Merlin Project can be tested for free for 30 days and offers German, English, French and Spanish as languages. Other languages are in preparation.
Apple's Luca Maestri is most admired Fortune 500 CFO
Model N (http://www.modeln.com), a revenue management solutions provider to the life science and technology industries, has announced the results of its CFO Revenue Management Study, which revealed that Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri is the most admired CFO from the Fortune 500.
Nearly one in four (24%) executives identified Luca Maestri, followed by Walmart CFO Charles Holley (15%) and Ford CFO Bob Shanks (8%). Over half of the respondents (55%) cited the company’s performance as the primary reason for nominating the CFO.
Model N surveyed sales and C-level executives from across the country to determine industry perspectives on revenue management and to uncover the role CFOs can play in driving sales and company growth. Nearly all (94%) executives surveyed said that the CFO is one of the most important positions for companies today, with more than half (54%) saying this is because managing financial risks of the corporation is more important than ever before and more...
OWC adds the Mac mini to the OWC Turnkey Upgrade Program
Other World Computing (OWC) has announced the addition of the Apple Mac mini to the OWC Turnkey Upgrade Program, which also includes the iMac and Mac Pro. The program provides customers the option to upgrade their Mac with the latest technology solutions and takes advantage of the expertise of Apple Certified Technicians at OWC.
With the OWC Turnkey Upgrade Program, you can upgrade the memory or factory hard drive up to 2.0TB, or SSD up to 1.0TB for larger capacity and better performance. You can even add a second HDD or SSD and further expand your capacity up to a total of 4.0TB.
Place your order online and OWC will send you a specially designed protective shipping box complete with pre-paid postage for the transport of your computer. OWC will perform all of your requested upgrades, typically within one to three business days. Visit http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/turnkey/Apple/Mac-mini and select the model of Mac mini you would like to upgrade.
Adelantado Trilogy: Book Two available on the Mac
Realore (http://realore.com/) has introduced Adelantado Trilogy. Book Two 1.0 for Mac OS X, the second part in the series of games that take place in the Age of Discovery.
Led by Don Diego de Leon, the game tells a story of a group of explorers traveling through the dangerous South American jungle. Their mission is to save the expedition lost in the deep forest. Every level requires the player to build a safe camp that allows production of food and other resources for the expedition.
Adelantado was developed by the team behind the Roads of Rome trilogy.
Adelantado Trilogy: Book Two requires OS X 10.7 or later. It costs US$3.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Games category.
Addonics announces Sapphire Combo storage products
Addonics Technologies (www.addonics.com) has announced the Sapphire Combo Blu-ray/HDD and Sapphire Combo DVD-RRW/HDD. These two new products will let users combine optical and hard drive storage into one small package.
The product is designed for anyone needing to add optical storage capability or external storage to their computing devices via a single eSATA or USB 3.0 connection. The Blu-ray model, which is equipped with a Blu-ray player/DVD burner adds Blu-ray movie playback capability to desktop, notebook and other computing products.
The DVD model is equipped with a DVD burner. Both models will allow you to play movies or access data stored on all popular optical media and allow you to burn video or data onto DVD or CD discs.
Both models have an integrated Snap-In Mobile Rack that allows any 3.5-inch SATA hard drive to be added or removed from the Sapphire drive, as you would a tape cassette. They have a built-in eSATA and USB 3.0 interface.
The devices support Mac OS X, Windows...
Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock coming to the Mac
Phoenix Online Publishing and Red Herring Labs, have announced that Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock, a sci-fi first-person point-and-click adventure, will make its debut for the Mac and PC on Feb. 17. It will be available for US$9.99 via Steam, the Humble Store, the Phoenix Online Store and other major online retailers.
Here's how the game is described: "Crash-landed on a desolate, alien planet, what should have been a routine work-for-hire job for Powell has become a deadly mission to save the merchant vessel Morningstar and her crew. With one man dead and the captain gravely injured, Powell is on his own to repair the ship and find a way to escape the strange gravity well of the empty planet they've landed on. If the situation weren't dire enough, the only signs of life on the planet are the remains of a much larger and better equipped ship and her crew, all dead, and not by natural means. What—or who—brought down these ships and is killing their crews? Why? And can Powell find a...
NewerTech expands line of MacBook batteries
NewerTech (www.newertech.com) has announced NewerTech NuPower high performance laptop batteries for the Apple MacBook Pro 17” Unibody and MacBook 13” Unibody, expanding its line-up of Apple laptop batteries of over 50 models.
NewerTech says that NuPower batteries last up to 50% longer than factory models. They're now available for models made from 2001 to 2014. NuPower batteries match the exact size and fit of the original factory batteries and offer full compatibility with sleep and power saving modes. NuPower batteries include all the necessary tools, installation guides, and full battery recycling info.
The NuPower replacement batteries for MacBook Pro 17” Unibody and MacBook 13” Unibody models are available immediately at the following prices:
° MacBook 13” Unibody for Late 2009-mid 2010 models: US$99;
° MacBook Pro 17” Unibody for 2011 models: $109.
Apple plans $5 billion debt offering
Apple has filed (http://tinyurl.com/q3euqjw) to sell $5 billion worth of floating rate and fixed-rate notes. The floating-rate notes are due 2020, and the fixed-rate notes due 2020, 2022, 2025, and 2045.
Pricing hasn't been set yet. Goldman and Deutsche are underwriting. Given Apple's huge cash balance, and its history with such offerings, buybacks are a likely use of the proceeds, notes Seeking Alpha (www.seekingalpha.com). Apple's cash/marketable securities balance totaled $178 billion at the end of fiscal quarter one of 2015 (much of it offshore), and its debt balance stood at $36.4 billion.
The company spent $5 billion. on buybacks during the quarter. Apple has spent $73 billion on them over the history of its $130 billion capital return program.
Tablet shipments experience year-over-year decline
Worldwide tablet shipments recorded a year-over-year decline for the first time since the market's inception in 2010. Overall shipments for tablets and 2-in-1 devices reached 76.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14) for -3.2% growth, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation research group. Although the fourth quarter witnessed a decline in the global market, shipments for the full year 2014 increased 4.4%, totaling 229.6 million units.
"The tablet market is still very top heavy in the sense that it relies mostly on Apple and Samsung to carry the market forward each year," says Jitetesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, IDC (www.idc.com). "Although Apple expanded its iPad lineup by keeping around older models and offering a lower entry price point of $249, it still wasn't enough to spur iPad sales given the excitement around the launch of the new iPhones. Meanwhile, Samsung's struggles continued as low-cost...
WidgeTunes 1.0 released for OS X
Georgios Trigonakis has introduced WidgeTunes 1.0 (http://tinyurl.com/pznjnax), a new Notification Center widget for Mac OS X.
WidgeTunes lets you view all your iTunes playlists, create a list with your favorite playlists and choose a playlist to play. With control buttons directly on the widget itself, users can navigate through songs of the current playlist. The widget can also work as a menu bar popup app; just press the WidgeTunes icon on OS X's menu bar to view WidgeTunes in a popup window.
WidgeTunes requires Mac OS X 10.10 or later and costs US$0.99. It's available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Music category.
Apple releases iTunes 12.1 for Mac OS X Yosemite
Apple has released iTunes 12.1 for Mac OS X Yosemite. It introduces a new iTunes widget for the Notification Center that lets you see what song is playing, skip ahead, and favorite.
Also, when listening to iTunes Radio, you can purchase the song that's being played within the widget. Additionally, iTunes 12.1 promises performance improvements when syncing an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
iTunes 12.1 can be downloaded via the Software Update Mechanism in the Mac App Store.
Easy Markdown for Mac OS X revved to version 1.5
Tension Software (www.tensionsoftware.com) has released Easy Markdown 1.5, an update of the Mac OS X tool that lets you create web pages by writing plain text. It's optimized for Mac OS X Yosemite.
Version 1.5 let you copy HTML in a click of the body, full page or full page with CSS embedded. It also has improved internal functionalities and various bug fixes.
Easy Markdown costs US$4.99. It's available at the MacApp Store only.
All editions of DEVONthink, DEVONnote for Mac OS X get upgrades
DEVONtechnologies has updated all editions of its intelligent information and document manager DEVONthink as well as the smart notebook DEVONnote.
DEVONthink and DEVONnote are designed to help users classify and organize documents effortlessly with unique artificial intelligence. Free and recommended for all users, version 2.8.3 now allows users to select and copy text from Quick-Look-based views, and brings even better artificial intelligence accuracy as well as further improvements and bug fixes.
DEVONthink 2.8.3 now allows users to select and copy text from Quick-Look-based views. This includes Microsoft Office or OpenOffice documents. OpenOffice documents also open no longer internally but in their default application when being double-clicked. The update adds support for images when converting Markdown to RTF, and improves Wiki-linking, e.g. for Japanese Katakana.
Finally, version 2.8.3 fixes synchronization bugs and other more minor issues. The updates bring more optimizations...
InfoLogic releases MathMagic Lite 9.0 for the Mac
InfoLogic has announces MathMagic Lite 9.0, an update to their free equation editor for Mac OS X.
MathMagic Lite was developed specifically to help both mobile, and desktop users write and share mathematical expressions and technical information more easily and quickly. Version 9.0 supports user configurable Vertical Fences, Horizontal Fences, Over and Under Bars, more Frame types, adjustable fence height and width, and more.
MathMagic Lite 9.0 requires Mac OS X 10.6. It's available for download from the MathMagic website (www.mathmagic.com).
FoldersSynchronizer for Mac OS X kicked up to version 4.2.1
Softobe (http://www.softobe.com/) has released FoldersSynchronizer 4.2.1, an upgrade of their tool to sync and backup on Mac OS X.
FoldersSynchronizer lets you sync and backup files, folders, disks and boot disks. It provides options like Timers, Multiple Folders, Filters, Exclude Items, Auto-Mount local and remote volumes, the ability to launch your own AppleScripts, the ability to set how to resolve conflicts, the ability to execute an incremental or an exact copy, the ability to include locked files, a preview panel, log files, and more.
On the Exclude panel in FoldersSynchronizer 4.2.1 you can now click on a row of the list and choose an hidden file or an hidden folder. This will let you exclude folders.
FoldersSynchronizer 4.2.1 is compatible with OS X 10.9 or higher, including Yosemite. It costs US$40 for new users.
Maintain has served up Cocktail 8.1.2 (Yosemite Edition)
Maintain has served up Cocktail 8.1.2 (http://cocktail.maintain.se) Yosemite Edition, a new version of its Mac OS X utility that's compatible with Yosemite. This version contains major improvements on the "Clear System caches" procedure, fixes compatibility issues with Safari Cookies cookie manager and adds OS X 10.10.2 Yosemite compatibility.
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. Its features are arranged into five categories that help you manage various aspects of your computer.
Cocktail 8.1.2 (Yosemite Edition) requires OS X Yosemite to run. Cocktail (Mavericks Edition) for OS X 10.9, Cocktail (Mountain Lion Edition) for OS X 10.8 and Cocktail (Lion Edition) for OS X 10.7 are available for download from the Maintain website.
When unregistered, Cocktail runs in demo mode and will expire after the tenth launch. Registration is US$19 for a single user license or $39 for a family license that covers up to five computers.
Graphic Inspector 2 for Mac OS X gets a revamped interface
Zevrix Solutions (www.zevrix.com) has launched Graphic Inspector 2, an upgrade to its quality control solution for images and vector graphic files for Mac OS X 10.7 or higher.
Graphic Inspector checks multiple files for potential problems according to user's workflow requirements. The software provides graphic professionals of any trade with the compete info on images and vector graphics, saving the time and hassle of checking them manually. Version 2 introduces revamped user interface, improved previews, faster processing and more.
Graphic Inspector 2 can be purchased from the Zevrix website for $39.95, as well as from authorized resellers. The upgrade is $20 for licensed users of version 1 (free if purchased after Sept. 1, 2014). Graphic Inspector 2 is free with purchase of PDF Checkpoint or InPreflight Pro for Adobe InDesign. A demo is available for download. Graphic Inspector requires Mac OS X 10.7-10.10.
Apple refreshes Remote Desktop for Mac OS X
Apple has rolled out Remote Desktop 3.8, an upgrade of the remote Mac administration app. Available for US$79.99 for new users at the Mac App Store the upgrade boasts improved Mac OS X Yosemite compatiblity.
It also offers an enhanced user interface, better viewing for multiple clients, sending copies by a "Copy Items" feature, and fixed viewing remote clients in full screen mode. Remote Desktop lets system administrators manage multiple Macs over a network or the Internet, includes remote monitoring and screen viewing, handles activity auditing, and more. Version 3.8 is a free upgrade for registered users.
DiRT 3 Complete Edition powers onto the Mac
Feral Interactive says DiRT 3 Complete Edition, a off-road and rally racing game, is out now on the Mac App Store. A Steam version for the Mac, which includes online multiplayer, will follow shortly.
Originally developed and published for PC and consoles, DiRT 3 Complete Edition is the latest of Codemasters’ racing games to be brought to the Mac by Feral.
Here's how the game is described: "DiRT 3 Complete Edition draws on the greatest cars from over 50 years of rallying to capture the intense thrill of off-road racing. Players can test their speed, skill and nerve in a globe-trotting series of electrifying events as they race to mud-spattered glory in the hazardous world of all-terrain motorsport.
"Featuring six high-octane disciplines including Rally, Rallycross and Gymkhana, a freestyle event hosted by rally star and YouTube phenomenon Ken Block, DiRT 3 Complete Edition comes with all the available add-on content, including 18 additional cars and 12 new routes at two locations set...
Brooklyn Effects releases six new lighting effects for Final...
Brooklyn Effects has released six new lighting plug-ins exclusively for Apple's Final Cut Pro X users. Each product is designed to help users create a distinct lighting effect in their project.
These effects include: lens flares, light leaks, stage lights, volumetric lighting, shutter streaks, and anamorphic streaks. You can create a custom lens flare for any scene in Final Cut Pro X with the Skyline Lights plugin. Users can drag and drop the lens flare layer above their footage and use the control point to match the position and angle of the light source in the scene.
Editors can create beams of light in their scene with the Times Lights plugin. Users can drag and drop the filter onto their footage in FCPX. Then, use the control points to customize the source and direction of the beams.
FCPX editors can also create contemporary-looking flashback scenes that don't rely on aged footage. The Flashback Effect gives film the shutter streaks, color, and glow of flashbacks found in many...
Apple has highest growth of laptop makers
The TrendForce research group (www.trendforce.com) says laptop shipments totaled 175.5 million in 2014, representing a year-on-year growth of 3.6%. HP was the top vendor, but Apple saw the most growth.
Apple had the biggest gain in 2014 owing to its price-lowering strategy that made its takeover of the midrange and premium market complete. Apple posted a spectacular year-on-year growth of 46.4% and increased its market share to 9.3%. It shot past Toshiba to become number six worldwide and closing in on Acer in terms of shipments.
HP experienced an improvement in its first quarter notebook shipments, and in the subsequent quarters it posted positive growth, according to TrendForce. Overall, the company increased its shipments by 19.5% compared with 2013 and put itself in the first place with 20.1% of the market share.
Lenovo (excluding its acquired brands) occupied the second place in the 2014 notebook market with a year-on-year growth of 14% and a market share of 17.5%. Dell...
Apple tied with Samsung as world's largest smartphone vendor
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com), global smartphone shipments grew 31% annually to reach a record 380 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014 [Q4 2014].
Apple tied with Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor.
Global smartphone shipments grew 31% annually from 290.2 million units in Q4 2013 to a record 380.1 million in Q4 2014. An impressive 1.3 billion smartphones were shipped worldwide in 2014, with very strong growth seen last year in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa, says ABI Research.
Apple shipped 74.5 million smartphones worldwide and captured a record 20% marketshare in Q4 2014, increasing from 18% a year earlier, notes the research group. Apple’s new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models are proving wildly popular in China, United States and Europe. Apple tied with Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor for the first time since Q4 2011.
Samsung shipped 74.5 million smartphones...
AKVIS Draw for Mac OS X revved to version 2.0
AKVIS (www.akvis.com) has unveiled AKVIS Draw 2.0, the latest version of its standalone application and Photoshop plugin for Mac OS X (10.6 and higher) and Windows.
The software creates hand drawn pencil sketches and line art pictures from photos. The program makes both B&W and color drawings. The new version adds the presets quick preview and other features.
A demo is available at the AKVIS website. Registered users of AKVIS Draw can upgrade to the new version for free. A home license costs US$49.