Apple buys Pennsylvania tax credits
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's (DCED) annual report on the Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) tax credit program lists Apple as having acquired 32 approved tax credits worth US$2.33 million in 2012, reports "Philly.com" (http://tinyurl.com/akj8bk3).
The KIZ program is designed to support companies with ties to Pennsylvania colleges. Firms in operation for less than eight years and situated in one of the 29 zones statewide can apply for a tax credit of up to $100,000. Last year, the DCED approved a total of $13.73 million in tax credits to 179 companies across the state. Of those totals, 43 Philadelphia-area companies were awarded a total of $3.33 million in credits, says "Philly.com."
Apple among companies appearing before Australian parliament
Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and other IT companies will become the first companies to be forced to appear before a federal parliamentary inquiry after they allegedly frustrated efforts to get to the bottom of high prices paid by Australians for tech products, reports the "Sydney Morning Herald" (http://tinyurl.com/ardxwmj).
The House Committee on Infrastructure and Communications has summonsed the three companies for a public hearing on March 22, which means they will be compelled to appear. Nick Champion, chair of the IT pricing inquiry, has previously told parliament that the companies had "stonewalled" the inquiry, either hiding behind their industry association, which failed to answer key questions, or in the case of Apple only agreeing to give evidence confidentially, notes the "Herald."
BuQu introduces new Magnetyze smartphone charging accessories
Smartphone users who appreciate the "grab and go" convenience of the Magnetyze by BuQu Tech Magnetic Charging System now have two new ways to connect and charge.
With the pre-sale availability of the Magnetyze AC Wall Charger and Magnetyze Car Charging Stand beginning today at www.BuquTech/Magnetyze.com, iPhone 4/4S and Samsung Galaxy S III users alike can share a charge from the road or any AC outlet. All that’s needed is a phone equipped with a Magnetyze protective case or back plate.
Magnetyze by BuQu Tech applies patent-pending magnetics technology to keep iPhone and Android smartphones charged, synchronized and ready to "grab and go." The high- performance Magnetyze platform eliminates multiple cords, clumsy cradles and the need for new charging accessories with every smartphone upgrade.
When it is time to upgrade to a new smartphone, only the Magnetyze protective sleeve needs to be replaced. All Magnetyze-branded products and accessories will continue to work with any available...
Apple rumors for Feb. 10
Here are the latest Apple-related rumors from the blog-o-sphere:
"A source told Chinese mobile phone information site Laoyaoba.com that he has seen the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 at Apple's suppliers. Both models may be released in 2013, according to the website's microblog on Thursday evening." -- "BrightWire" (www.brightwire.com)
"News that Samsung’s Galaxy S4 smarthphone (expected to launch this month) may support 802.11ac, also known as ’5G Wi-Fi’, has lead to speculation that Apple’s next iPhone could support standard as well." -- "Macworld Australia" (www.macworld.com.au)
Pubblog mails out MailSteward 10.0
Pubblog has announced MailSteward, MailSteward Lite, and MailSteward Pro, version 10.0. MailSteward is an email archiving solution for the Mac.
It archives email in a relational database for access and safe backup of all your email. MailSteward can now search for multiple strings in the same field. Version 10.0 also includes a number of other enhancements and new features.
MailStewart Lite costs US$24.95, MailStewart is $49.95 and MailStewart Pro is $99.95. For more info go to http://mailsteward.com .
Origin now available for the Mac
Electronic Arts has launched Origin for the Mac, a new, built-for-platform version of EA’s direct download application for Mac users worldwide. Just as it has for tens of millions of PC users, Origin for Mac will offer fast and safe game downloads for many of the industry’s most popular titles from EA and publishing partners.
Origin for Mac delivers such features as cloud storage to save and continue games, social connectivity via friends lists, and more. However, Micheal Blank, vice president of Original at EA, says it will offer additional value to gamers who play on both PC and Mac devices: dual-platform play for select EA titles.
With dual-platform play, gamers will buy a game once and be able to download it for both PC and Mac (if the game is available for both platforms). After purchasing the game via Origin on one platform, as soon as a player logs into their other device, the game will appear ready for download in the Origin "My Games" tab.
Origin for Mac launches with a...
iPhone 5 doesn't boost Apple's smartphone share in...
The iPhone 5 debuted in China in December, but it hasn't boosted Apple's smartphone share in the country, according to the Canalys research group -- as noted by "Macworld UK" (http://tinyurl.com/a9fnutn).
Apple remained the sixth largest smartphone vendor for the most recent fiscal quarter -- a position it held in the third quarter. Its market share increased to 8.5% in China in the fourth quarter; that up 0.5% from the previous quarter.
Canalys says Samsung took the top spot with 16% market share. It was followed by Chinese vendors, Lenovo, Yulong Computer Telecommunication Scientific, Huawei and ZTE.
Digitimes: iPad shipments to see almost 5% sequential growth
Worldwide tablet shipments are estimated to reach 33.8 million units in the first quarter of 2013, down 21.8% sequentially, but up 75.8% on year, according to Digitimes Research Senior Analyst James Wang.
Apple's iPad shipments will see almost 5% sequential growth to reach 22 million units in the first quarter, accounting for 65.1% of the total volume as changes in iPad series' life-cycle (launch schedule) in 2012 will help the iPad devices to suffer less impact from seasonal factors, reports DigiTimes (www.digitimes.com).
However, seasonality will significantly impact demand for non-iPad tablets, causing their combined shipments to drop 46.9% sequentially to 11.8 million units with a market share of only 34.9%, the research group says.
Adobe issues patch to update Flash
Adobe has issued a patch to update Flash on Mac OS X and Windows platform to deal with two new vulnerabilities already being exploited by hackers "in the wild" to spread malware.
The patch is a 16.09MB download. You can obtain it at http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ .
World Clock Deluxe for Mac OS X ticks to version 4.9.1
MaBaSoft (http://www.mabasoft.net) has updated its World Clock Deluxe time tool to version 4.9.1 The upgrade adds 106 cities belonging to 12 different countries.
Also, Daylight-Saving information for Morocco and Western Sahara has been updated. Both countries will observe daylight-saving time from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday in September with the exception of Ramadan (estimated start and end dates for Ramadan in 2013 are July 9 and August 7).
With World Clock Deluxe you can display multiple clocks in a horizontal or vertical palette, in the menu bar and in the Dock, show Coordinated Universal Time and Internet Time, assign labels and colors to clocks, calculate date and time conversions across different time zones and show the current weather all over the world.
World Clock Deluxe requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and runs natively on both PowerPC-based and Intel-based Macs. It costs US$19.
Apple revs AirPort Utility to version 6.2
Apple has updated AirPort Utility, the Mac OS X tool for configuring AirPort Wi-Fi networks, to version 6.2. According to Apple, the upgrade -- which requires Mac OS X 10.7.5 or higher -- contains improvements and bug fixes, including:
° The ability to extend the Guest Wi-Fi network on a network that is configured with multiple AirPort Base Stations;
° The ability to add a WPS-capable Wi-Fi printer;
° Improved international support.
For the latest information on AirPort software, check Software Update in System Preferences or the following Apple Support Downloads website (http://support.apple.com/downloads/).
Apple responds to Greenlight Capital shareholder proposal
Greenlight Capital ("Greenlight") -- a value oriented, research-driven investment management firm -- is urging (http://tinyurl.com/ba2aytc) fellow shareholders of Apple to oppose the company’s attempt to amend its corporate charter. Apple has responded with the following statement:
"By early last year, Apple’s cash balance had built to a point beyond what we needed to run our business and maintain flexibility to take advantage of strategic opportunities, so we announced a plan to return $45 billion to shareholders over three years. As of next week we will have executed $10 billion of that plan.
"We find ourselves in the fortunate position of continuing to generate large amounts of cash, including $23 billion in cash flow from operations in the last quarter alone.
"Apple’s management team and Board of Directors have been in active discussions about returning additional cash to shareholders. As part of our review, we will thoroughly evaluate Greenlight Capital’s current proposal to...
Closed beta of Rabbit video chat/content sharing available for...
Rabbit's video chat and content sharing application is now available for download for Mac OS X (10.7 and higher) as part of its closed beta. The app allows you to watch videos, listen to music and share any type of content together with your friends.
Rabbit has rebuilt video chat from the ground up to complement natural human behavior, with thoughtful design decisions that make Rabbit a more fun, immersive and inherently social experience, according to Stephanie Morgan, co-founder of Rabbit. She says that Rabbit is the only video chat application that lets you:
° Share any kind of content with friends: Use Rabbit to share and enjoy any kind of content together with your friends in real-time -- from videos, movies and TV shows to music, documents and photos. You can take advantage of Rabbit’s one-click sharing through SharePad, a central hub of best-in-class content providers that integrate for in-app sharing.
° Create rooms: You can create or join rooms (public or private) where you...
Greenlight Capital urges Apple shareholders to oppose company’s...
Greenlight Capital ("Greenlight") -- a value oriented, research-driven investment management firm -- is urging fellow shareholders of Apple to oppose the company’s attempt to amend its corporate charter.
Greenlight is voting against Proposal 2 in Apple’s proxy, which would eliminate preferred stock from Apple’s charter and restrict the Board’s ability to unlock the value on Apple’s balance sheet. Greenlight is asking all shareholders to also vote against Proposal 2 at the upcoming Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on Feb. 27.
"We believe Apple must examine all of its options to unlock the growing value of its balance sheet for all shareholders," says David Einhorn, president of Greenlight. "Over the past several months, we have had an ongoing dialogue with Apple regarding one option to do so, namely the creation of a new security, a perpetual preferred stock that would be distributed at no cost to Apple’s existing shareholders, and would provide an attractive, sustainable...
Stalin Kay releases Sounds 1.0 for Mac OS X, iOS
Stalin Kay has released Sounds 1.0, its music app for Mac OS X (10.7 and higher) and iOS. Designed for professionals and hobbyists alike, it's a collection of music samples and effects for music production, including a library of loops, sounds beds, drum loops and more.
All samples are audio samples rendered to 24bit/96 kHZ. Sounds allows you to preview sounds and to download sounds straight to your system for use in your favorite Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), where you can continue to tinker with the sounds even further to match your needs.
Sounds 1.0 for Mac OS X costs US$0.99 and is available exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Music category (http://tinyurl.com/b3lbbsm). An iOS version called Sounds SD and Sounds HD+ is also available from the Apple App Store. Lite versions for both Mac OS X and iOS have already been posted to the App Store and should be available soon.
iTwin releases iTwin Connect
iTwin has released the iTwin Connect, which offers protected and unrestricted access to the Internet, as well as to home/corporate networks (virtual private network or VPN).
"With iTwin Connect users no longer have to worry about their online privacy when traveling, or worry about which online services are allowed in the places they travel to," says Lux Anantharaman, CEO of iTwin. "Now frequent travelers, businesspeople and exchange students can browse privately and without restrictions from anywhere in the world."
With iTwin Connect, you can browse privately and securely from untrusted networks and access blocked or geo-restricted sites and services from anywhere in the world. It offers personal, zero-configuration VPN for full bi-directional network access, as well as hardware-grade security and two-factor authentication. There are no monthly subscription fees.
The iTwin Connect device consists of two identical halves. To install, plug the device into a USB port on the home/...
Gefen releases DisplayPort Extender
Professionals working with high resolution video graphics up to 2560x1600 have a way to extend their display from the computer using two CAT-7 cables. Gefen’s new DisplayPort Extender over CAT-7 sends audio/video up to 100 feet (30m) in distance from computer to display.
Those working with resolutions up to 1920x1200 can use the same extender with only one CAT-7 cable. Wall mountable sender and receiver units deliver audio and video from the DisplayPort source over the CAT-7 cabling to the display. Power is required at the sender unit only; the receiver unit receives its power using the CAT-7 cable.
Additional features include 16 different EQ adjustments using a rotating switch on the receiver unit. The receiver’s HPD Auto Calibration switch allows a full calibration of the connected display with no training needed in video technology. A locking power supply on the sender unit improves system stability.
The Gefen DisplayPort Extender over CAT-7 is currently shipping and includes...
DEVONtechnologies adds two new bundles
DEVONtechnologies (www.devontechnologies.com) has added two new bundles targeted at home office users to its online shop.
The US$57.95 Home Office Bundle consists of DEVONthink Personal, DEVONagent Express, and DEVONsphere Express. The $11.95 Express Bundle includes DEVONagent Express and DEVONsphere Express.
DEVONthink Personal stores your data, DEVONagent Express finds you new information on the web with just one click, and DEVONsphere Express keeps your data available whenever and wherever you need it. The apps require OS X 10.6.8 or later.
'Think Beyond Ink' tour sheds light on tablet...
To help designers get started creating layouts for iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, and Android devices, App Studio presents the "Think Beyond Ink" tour. The tour, which features free live events in San Francisco, New York, Hamburg, Paris, and London, will shed light on digital publishing by addressing:
° Why digital is the future of publishing;
° The difference between apps and eBooks;
° The costs involved in creating and publishing apps;
° Why designers need to go beyond static, boring PDFs;
° How to create HTML5-based apps from QuarkXPress and InDesign.
The Think Beyond Ink Tour, hosted by App Studio, is a series of free, half-day events that will feature an overview of digital publishing, an introduction to App Studio, and information on how to get started quickly. Designers of all levels who are just getting started or who are looking for alternative solutions to digital publishing can register now for the event in their area.
March 13, 2013: San Francisco, CA
Stretch Break ergonomic software stretches to version 6.6
A new release of Stretch Break, the ergonomic software from Para Technologies, has a new component that teaches the principles of healthy computing. Users of the program will find a knowledge base of detailed instructions on how to avoid computer based injuries.
By reminding computer users to stretch and then showing them how, Stretch Break helps prevent Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs). With animations, it illustrates stretches designed to relieve the stress that comes from working at the computer for long periods of time.
Stretch Break allows users to select gentle or more insistent reminders when it's time to stretch. Version 6.6 includes 42 animated stretches and background musical selections.
Stretch Break is network compatible. Mac and Windows versions are available. Single copies are US$44.95. For more info go to www.stretchbreak.com .
Australian Labor MP questions Apple's high expenses claims
Australian Labor MP Ed Husic has questioned how Apple can have such high expenses cutting profits in Australia when none of its manufacturing occurs locally, reports "ZDNet" (http://tinyurl.com/ay9tmoc). The US-based company reported a drop in profits in Australia and New Zealand for the last financial year, yet increased its revenues to AU$6 billion.
Last month it was revealed that Apple raked in AU$5.9 billion in revenues in Australia and New Zealand, but after increases in expenses, the company reported a drop in net profit to AU$58.4 million, meaning the company only paid AU$40 million in taxes in Australia in 2012, compared to AU$94.7 million in 2011, notes "ZDNet."
In parliament today, Husic, who has long targeted tech giants such as Apple over IT pricing in Australia, questioned how Apple could have AU$5.5 billion in costs, the article adds.
"How? They don't manufacture here, there are no factories here. I don't know what their R&D effort is here," he said. "They've got a...
Over 25 billion songs have been sold at iTunes
Apple says music fans have purchased and downloaded more than 25 billion songs from the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com).
The 25 billionth song, “Monkey Drums” (Goksel Vancin Remix) by Chase Buch, was purchased by Phillip Lüpke from Germany. As the downloader of the 25 billionth song, Phillip will receive a €10,000 iTunes Gift Card.
AnyPresence tool offers auto-generation of iOS Storyboard
AnyPresence, an enterprise mobile development platform, has released what it describes as the industry’s first auto-generation of iOS Storyboard and Android XML Layout. It's designed to reduce the time to bring mobile apps to market and allow developers to leverage official native tools for advanced customization.
AnyPresence now enables users to assemble a mobile app using common user interface patterns and widgets, driven by data from backend services, and generates pure native iOS and Android code from a single app definition, according to Rakesh Rao, chief technical officer and co-founder of AnyPresence Unlike most mobile app development platforms, the code produced by AnyPresence is human-readable and editable in the development toolkits provided by Apple and Google, he adds.
Rao says that, coupled with existing support for HTML5 and a rich set of backend capabilities, AnyPresence provides a powerful accelerant to organizations looking to build enterprise mobile apps. A free, no-...
Southpaw releases open source version of Tactic Team on the Mac
Southpaw Technology, a developer of production asset management (PAM) technology for content creators, has created an open source version of its production asset management system Tactic Team (www.southpawtech.com/solutions), for Mac users.
Now individuals and small Teams working on Macs and producing 2D/3D files, visual effects, video and more can download Tactic Team for free and start using it instantly to manage files, tasks, projects and workflows. Every feature available on the most recent Windows version of Tactic Team (3.9) is now also supported on iOS. Since Tactic Team is open source, individuals and Teams can download the software and start using it for free.
Available to companies under the Eclipse Public License, Tactic is a web-based production asset management system that deals with the problms of complex digital content creation. By combining digital asset management with project and workflow management, Tactic keeps files secure, Teams on track and projects on...
D-Link releases 10-Gigabit Ethernet switch series
D-Link has released the DXS-3600 series -- a family of 10-Gigabit Ethernet Layer 2 and Layer 3 managed aggregation switches.
The D-Link DXS-3600-16S and DXS-3600-32S are compact, high-performance switches with very low latency, making them ideal, cost effective solutions for enterprise and education network environments, as well as top-of-rack (ToR) deployment in data centers, says Steven Olen, director of product marketing, D-Link Systems.
The DXS-3600-16S and DXS-3600-32S support eight and 24 fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ ports respectively, with the option to add more ports using an expansion module. The expansion modules provide extra 1000BASE-T ports, 10-Gigabit SFP+ ports, 40-Gigabit QSFP+ uplinks, or low cost 10GBASE-T interfaces for a range of applications.
The DXS-3600 switches support Data Center Bridging protocols to help prevent data loss during network congestion, and feature selectable store-and-forward, or cut-through switching modes to reduce network latency. The...
ITC ruling on Apple-Samsung brouhaha due Aug. 1
An International Trade Commission judge has scheduled a final ruling on Apple's complaint against Samsung for August 1, reports "FOSS Patents" (http://tinyurl.com/ayqqr3e).
"This results in a delay of the U.S. import ban Apple will win if the final ruling finds at least one violation (which is very likely in light of the preliminary finding of four). Without the remand, the final decision would have come down on January 23," Florian Mueller writes for "FOSS Patents." "Late on Tuesday, Administrative Law Judge Thomas B. Pender entered a scheduling order. The new target date for the final decision is August 1, 2013, requiring the judge to make his remand initial determination (RID) no later than April 1, 2013."
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.
New Mac Pro coming this spring?
Apple may rolled out a long-awaited, new Mac Pro this spring, according to information reportedly given by the company to an Authorized Reseller in France Wednesday, according to French site "MacGeneration" (http://tinyurl.com/b5o23ak) -- as reported by "The MacObserver."
Apple's pro desktop is long overdue for an update. Last year CEO Tim Cook said in an email that: "Our pro customers are really important to us…don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for later next year."
Read more at http://tinyurl.com/asf787w .
Addonics releases new RAID rack, RAID tower
Addonics Technologies has announced the Addonics Cipher RAID Rack and the Cipher RAID Tower, two RAID Storage solutions with AES 256-bit hardware encryption for high capacity storage. Both products are designed for securing large volume of sensitive information, data achieving or video recording.
The Addonics 1U Cipher RAID Rack is designed to accommodate up to four 3.5-inch SATA hard drives in a 1U Rack mount chassis. The Cipher RAID Tower accommodates up to five 3.5-inch SATA hard drives in a 4-bay lightweight sturdy aluminum chassis for easy transportation.
Both units, which are operating system independent, connect to systems via a single eSATA or USB cable to a USB 3.0 or 2.0 port. Both Cipher RAID storage solutions come integrated with "bullet proof, highly secure" AES 256-bit full disk hardware encryption that is simple to use.
There is no software to install or special training required. The encryption and description are activated by an insertion of a cipher key, similar to...
Stellar Data Recovery releases Stellar Drive Monitor
Stellar Data Recovery has released Stellar Drive Monitor, a scanning, monitoring and backup utility for the Mac that constantly runs in the background.
Stellar Drive Monitor scans and monitors your drive to identify possible problems and issue warnings. The software also performs a surface scan to identify bad sectors and can read SMART attributes for an overall health assessment of your drive.
The utility is available in a try-before-you-buy version with almost all its features available for 30 days. Stellar Drive Monitor's single user license is available for US$29. For more info go to http://tinyurl.com/by8a535 .
Apple rumors for Feb. 6
Here are the latest Apple-related rumors from the blog-o-sphere:
"Image files hidden in the iPad's iOS 6.1 firmware add support to the longstanding rumors that Apple may soon launch a Pandora-like "iRadio" service. The images show a radio tower icon, a plus button, the word "buy" in the filename, and may apply to an online internet service or even a future FM tuner in Apple's tablet." -- "The MacObserver" (www.macobserver.com)
"The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple a patent for an invention that integrates a touch sensor array with a solar panel, allowing for portable device to be both power-efficient and compact." -- "AppleInsider" (www.appleinsider.com)
"Apple appears to be inching closer to opening an online store in Russia to manage direct sales to customers, adding one more store to its growing portfolio of localized operations: the company has posted a job ad for a Russian Chat Team Manager, specifically for an Apple Online Store in Russia." -- "...
There'll be more than one 'iPhone' in Brazil
The Brazilian Institute for Industrial Property (INPI) has nixed Apple's request to retain exclusive legal rights to the word "iPhone," reports "Forbes" (www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml).
Gradiente, a Brazilian electronics company, had first requested to trademark "iPhone" as their brand back in 2000 before Apple’s smartphone was unveiled. INPI gave Gradiente that exclusivity in 2008 for their G-Gradiente iPhone, which runs the Android operating system.
Makslane Rodrigues releases Game Editor creation app
Makslane Rodrigues (http://game-editor.com) has released Game Editor, a free, open source game creation application that lets you design and create interactive games for the Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Windows Mobile, Pocket PC, and Android markets.
Game Editor requires no investment or royalty fees. It lets you design and develop 2D arcade, puzzle, board, role-playing, shoot-em-up, jump and run, and side-scroller games. A power scripting language is included. Because Game Editor is distributed under the GPL v3 license, advanced programmers can modify the game creation source code and create games with unique features.
Makslane Rodrigues' online forums include a range of game design information to get you started. Game Editor lets you see and change the source code of the game creation software, giving you insights into C/C++ programming. It also lets you prototype your new game.
In addition to moving objects, you can play sounds and run animations. After you've created your game,...
IGG Software revs iBank to version 4.7
IGG Software (www.iggsoftware.com) has rung up version 4.7 of iBank, its Quicken alternative. The new version offers:
° Fast transaction entry and dynamic editing options in a two-line register and more;
° Instant reports;
° Investment tracking;
° Enhanced envelope budgeting;
° A set-up assistant for transferring data from Mac and PC versions of Quicken, MS Money, or other finance programs.
In addition to its new set-up assistant for importing Quicken Essentials account data, iBank 4.7 adds Direct Connect support for holders of Vanguard investment accounts. While this data could previously be imported via Web Downloads from iBank’s built-in browser, Vanguard customers can now import their transactions directly.
iBank 4.7 is available immediately via the IGG website and has been submitted to the Mac App Store. IGG offers 30-day free trial downloads of iBank, unlimited free support (including Live Chat) and a 90-day guarantee on direct purchases from the IGG web store.
Logitech rolls out Ultrathin Keyboard for the iPad mini
Logitech (www.logitech.com) has announced the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini, a slim protective keyboard cover for the iPad mini. It's due later this month and will have a suggested retail price of US$79.99.
Attaching with the click of integrated magnets, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini has a slim aluminum cover designed to match the iPad mini and bring protection to it with minimal weight. When you’re ready to use it, flip the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini around to reveal its built-in Bluetooth EasyType keyboard, which offers a traditional typing layout in a small seven-inch form factor.
The keyboard also sports iPad mini function shortcut keys for commonly used commands. Plus, it doubles as a hands-free view stand so you can use your iPad mini without having to hold it.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard mini has an instant On/Off feature. The keyboard itself has a three-month battery life (based on usage of two hours per day).
Apple updates OS X Server app to version 2.21
Apple has updated its OS X Server app for Mountain Lion to version 2.21. It improves the speed of downloading Mac App Store software, adds Time Machine service monitoring, brings Retina display support for the Wiki Server, adds the ability to use Active Directory groups in Profile Manager and more.
OS X Server lets Mountain Lion users turn the OS into a server OS utilizing a suite of utilities included in the application. The US$20 app is available at the Mac App Store. The 2.21 update is available via the Software Update component of the Mac OS X Systems Preferences app.
Sauce Labs launches service for testing iOS apps in the Cloud
Sauce Labs (https://saucelabs.com), a leading provider of cloud-based web application testing solutions for software developers, has announced a new service, based on the open source project Appium, for automating the testing of applications for iOS devices.
The new service provides a cloud-based, automated testing platform for both native iOS apps and mobile web hybrid apps. In building its Appium on Sauce, the company has contributed to the open source Appium project, based on the Node.js platform. Appium currently features support for native and mobile web automation on iOS, and Android support is planned.
The Appium on Sauce service is available immediately for select Sauce Labs customers with new users being added by invite only. Full general availability is expected in the coming weeks as the company scales its infrastructure. For more info go to www.saucelabs.com/appium .
Reggie Ashworth releases VidConvert 1.4.1
Reggie Ashworth has announced VidConvert 1.4.1, an update to his video converter for Mac OS X. The upgrade fixes some localization bugs along with other miscellaneous bug fixes.
VidConvert is a video converter designed to make converting your videos simple and easy. The software will convert just about any type of video into one of the many popular formats of today.
VidConvert requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. It costs US$7.99 for a single user license. A demo is available for download at the product web site (http://www.reggieashworth.com/vidconvert).
Apple rumors for Feb. 5
Here are the latest Apple-related rumors from the blog-o-sphere:
"Apple is recruiting for two Senior Software Engineers for the iLife development team and is looking for individuals who will be able to help “re-imagine how user interfaces should be built and work”. The positions, posted today and yesterday, are based in in the California Campus and seem to be focused upon reinvigorating the UI for the iLife suite, which incorporates iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand." -- "AppleBitch" (www.applebitch.com)
"With construction of Apple's $304 million Austin, Tex. complex underway, one website has reportedly come across new build plans for the site, revealing additional details about the campus' layout." -- "AppleInsider" (www.appleinsider.com)
"iPad mini shipping times have today been reduced to just 1-3 business days at the Apple online store, which is the shortest wait the device has seen since it made its debut back in November. The new timescale currently applies only to the U.S. and...
Court: Apple, others didn't break California law
Apple and other online retailers didn't break California law by requiring consumers to provide their address and phone numbers as a condition of accepting credit card payments, the state's high court has ruled, reports "Reuters" (http://tinyurl.com/ajge3xd)
The California Supreme Court, in a split decision, said state privacy protections for credit cards don't apply to online purchases that are downloaded electronically. The ruling comes after the same court in 2011 said that those privacy protections do apply to brick and mortar retailers, finding that they could not request a customer's ZIP code during a credit card transaction, notes "Reuters."
Appeals court denies Apple's 'fast-track' appeal...
A U.S. appeals court has rejected Apple's request to fast-track its bid for a sales ban on several Samsung phones, ruling the iPhone maker could not argue its case to the full appeals court right away," reports "Reuters" (http://tinyurl.com/agx3kec)
A lower court judge had rejected Apple's bid for a permanent injunction following a jury trial last year. In its ruling on Monday, the Federal U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., said a three-judge panel will first consider Apple's appeal, and the full appeals court would not decide whether to hear the case until after that, notes "Reuters."
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.
evasiOn jailbreak released for iOS 6.x
A group of iOS hackers who call themselves the Evad3rs team has released a usable jailbreak for the iPhone 5, as well as any other iOS device capable of running iOS 6.0 or 6.1, with the exception of the Apple TV (third generation), reports "TechCrunch" (http://tinyurl.com/agkc7se).
The evasiOn jailbreak works on Mac, Windows and Linux systems. You can find it at http://www.evasi0n.com .
Cricket Coach is new cricket simulation game for the Mac
Rockingham Software has released Cricket Coach, a cricket simulation game fr the Mac.
Cricket Coach lets cricket fans manage their favorite teams through their favorite competitions. The game sports a detailed player database and strategic options. Both international cricket and domestic cricket are included.
A fully featured trial version is available from the game's website (/www.cricketcoachgame.com). Registration is US$32.99.
SchwanSongs announces Whirlwind WordSearch for OS X
SchwanSongs Software has announced WhirlWind WordSearch 1.0, a word-search puzzle maker for Mac OS X 10.6 or higher. It costs US$9.99 and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Education category (http://tinyurl.com/bj4hls7).
WhirlWind WordSearch is tailored to create professional-looking word-search puzzles aimed at beginners or advanced puzzle solvers. Using the software, the user can generate many puzzles from their own word sets, choose the difficulty and the size of the puzzle, and choose from a wide variety of built-in shapes.
Flying Pig updates Edouard for OS X to version 1.2
Flying Pig has released Edouard 1.2, an update to its business management system for Mac OS X. The upgrade introduces new accounting features, new export schemes, a new template picker, new statistics reports and more.
Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, Edouard supports classic business needs such as inventory management, contacts, purchases, sales, production, accountancy and more. Version 1.2 also adds support for Retina displays.
Edouard 1.2 is available for existing customers who purchased it outside the Mac App Store as an automatic and free update. It's been submitted to Apple reviewing staff and will be available soon exclusively on the Mac App Store for US$799.
Due to legal entity changes in the Mac App Store administration and technical reasons directly related to Apple policies on the Mac App Store for such situations, the free update, existing customers are entitled to won't work, according to the folks at Flying Pig. Existing Mac App Store customers should...
Apple allows Java back on the Mac
Apple has issued an update to Java, returning it to the Mac, reports "Macworld UK" (http://tinyurl.com/au2maq7). Apple had barred Java from running on Macs due to security issues.
On Jan. 31, Apple blocked Java 7 Update 11 by adding it to the banned list in XProtect. Java quickly released an update -- which Apple promptly banned, again for security reasons. On Feb. 1 Oracle released yet another updated version of Java 7, which Apple seems to have okayed.
You can download it for the Mac at http://tinyurl.com/ahf6mjk . It requires Mac OS X 10.7.3 or later and a 64-bit browser.
Foxconn to allow union elections for the first time
Foxconn, the manufacturer of iPhone and iPad, among other products, will allow workers to elect union representatives for the first time, reports "The Telegraph" (http://tinyurl.com/aqop3qp).
The firm said it would hold elections for a chairman and 20 members of its Federation of Labour Unions Committee every five years. Taiwan-based Foxconn employs around 1.2 million workers across China. The move comes in response to pressure on Foxconn from Apple and its own workers over pay and conditions, notes "The Telegraph."
Wedding Planner for OS X revved to version 1.0.5
Rbcafe (www.rbcafe.com) has announced Wedding Planner 1.0.5 for Mac OS X, an update to its lifestyle app that allows users to plan and budget all aspects of their upcoming wedding.
It has separate categories for the Bride, Groom, Administration, Decoration, Miscellaneous, Invitations, Flowers, Honeymoon, Music, Photography, Venue, Theme, and Caterer. Wedding Planner includes separate tools for Budget, Ideas, and Notes, and Preferences.
The app employs custom 3D graphics as icons and buttons. From the Preparations window, users can choose any of the above categories by clicking its icon. From the Tool window, users can select any tool by its icon.
Each of the 13 Preparations Categories has its own page, where planners can add appropriate items and each item's budget. There are also check boxes for completed tasks and the date, plus a a section for notes. Automatically, the multi-colored bar graph in the Budget window includes the total expenditures in each Category. Also in the Budget...
Cineversity introduces tutorials on 3D animation filmmaking
MAXON (www.maxon.com) -- a developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions -- has announced the availability of the new 3D filmmaking tutorial series for users of Cineversity, MAXON USA’s online education and training resource.
Created by Dr.-Ing.V.Sassmannshausen, JET Production Notes is a collection of instructional videos and tutorials documenting the entire 3D animation filmmaking process from conception to execution. The series is aimed at motion graphics artists, independent filmmakers and those collaborating in large film studio production teams and use MAXON CINEMA 4D.
JET Production Notes is comprised of four sections with a focus on topics ranging from cinematography, integration, speed modeling and more. In addition, there are three additional series focused on animation techniques, lighting and industrial modeling. The entire collection will be released over the next few weeks, one new section each week, starting today.
Semiconductor industry posts near-record sales tota
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, announced that worldwide semiconductor sales for 2012 reached US$291.6 billion, the industry’s third-highest yearly total ever -- but a decrease of 2.7% from the record total of $299.5 billion set in 2011.
Total sales for the year narrowly beat expectations from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization’s industry forecast. Global sales for the month of December 2012 hit $24.7 billion, a decline of 3% from the previous month when sales were $25.5 billion. Fourth quarter sales of $74.2 billion were 3.8% higher than the total of $71.5 billion from the fourth quarter of 2011. All monthly sales numbers represent a three-month moving average.
"Despite substantial macroeconomic challenges, the global semiconductor industry outperformed forecasts and posted one of its highest yearly sales totals in 2012," says Brian Toohey, president and CEO, Semiconductor...
Wacom announces DTH-2242 pen, touch display
Wacom has announced the DTH-2242, a 21.5-inch, interactive pen and touch display for the healthcare and presentation marketks.
The DTH-2242's direct pen-on-screen input is designed to allow users to interact and communicate more effectively with their patients as well as other medical personnel. For example, during discussions with patients or medical colleagues, healthcare professionals can add notes or draw pictures.
The 21.5-inch IPS LCD panel sports 1920x1080 and has five user-customizable ExpressKeys, located on the display's bezel. They provide access to commonly used shortcuts and functions. Additionally, there are USB ports on either side of the DTH-2242.
The pen can be tethered to the unit and stored in the dedicated pen compartment. A security slot has been designed into the product to prevent theft. The LCD panel of the DTH-2242 features anti-glare properties and is scratch resistant. The integrated stand can be adjusted to support inclination angles from 15 to 72 degrees...