Apple, others scale down chipset orders for fourth quarter
Some handset solution suppliers have indicated that a number of handset vendors, including Apple and HTC, have scaled down their chipset orders for the fourth quarter as compared with the third on concerns of the global economy, reports "DigiTimes" (http://macte.ch/MQEtW).
Quoting unnamed "sources at Taiwan-based chipset makers," the article says that while most smartphone vendors are likely to reach their shipment targets for the third quarter, they have begun to reduce orders for parts and components for the fourth quarter in preparation for a "possible impact from changing economic conditions." Apple has also scaled down its orders for handset parts and components to be shipped at the end of third quarter, according to "DigiTimes."
'WSJ': iPad 3 due in early 2012
The latest rumored release date for the iPad 3: early spring, according to "The Wall Street Journal" (http://macte.ch/pQqJE).
Quoting unnamed "people familiar with the situation," the article says has ordered key components such as display panels and chips for a new iPad it is aiming to launch early next year. The iPad 3 is expected to feature a high resolution display - 2048 by 1536 compared with 1024 by 768 in the iPad 2. Apple's suppliers have already shipped small quantities of components for the sampling of the iPad 3. Suppliers said Apple has placed orders for a 9.7-inch screen device, says "The Journal."
iFixit announces Dozuki for making user manuals
iFixit has announced Dozuki (http://www.dozuki.com/), the software behind iFixit’s manuals. Dozuki has two products, Guidebook and Answers.
"User manuals are stuck in the 20th century," says iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens. "Even the best manuals are still distributed as static PDFs. Service technicians are often stuck with documentation that is months, if not years, out of date. Users hate IKEA-style manuals with vague instructions, confusing graphics, and no photos. We started iFixit with the idea that there was a better way -- that useful documentation could help people do amazing things."
Guidebook is a modern procedural documentation platform designed to make easy for anyone to create how-to instructions or publish service documentation for complex devices. Every manual is available online, as downloadable PDFs, through dedicated mobile apps like iFixit’s iOS app -- or through custom API (application programming interface) applications. It’s simple for technicians to suggest changes, so...
Freed-Hardeman University to introduce iPads as part of iKnow 2....
“For the first time since kindergarten, I will have to learn how to go to class again.”
That is what Freed-Hardeman University prospective student Katie Scott said when she was told about iKnow 2.0, the initiative created by the university to shift the paradigm of traditional instruction at FHU.
Beginning in the fall of 2012, iKnow 2.0 will provide an iPad to every student who enrolls as a freshman at Freed-Hardeman University as well as every faculty member at the institution.
“We want our faculty, our staff, our university, to be at the forefront of technology,” says Mark Scott, vice president of technology and innovation “This program will continue to allow for that, while creating an atmosphere of shared knowledge and a higher education experience unlike any other.”
iKnow 2.0 will provide an iPad to all freshmen beginning with the fall 2012 cohort. In addition, FHU will establish minimum MacBook requirements for incoming freshmen. It is anticipated that continuing and transfer...
Atomos announces integration with Final Cut Pro X
Atomos (http://www.atomos.com), a maker of portable devices for recording to the Apple ProRes codec, has announced integration of its Ninja and soon-to-be-released Samurai field recorders with Final Cut Pro X.
Both the HDMI-equipped Ninja and the HD-SDI Samurai can record up to eight hours of ProRes video onto a single HDD. These compact recorders also work with SSDs, and both devices offer support for ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, and ProRes 422 LT. Priced at US$995 and $1595, respectively, the Ninja and Samurai include all accessories required to start shooting and editing.
Atomos recorders come with touchscreens, video monitors, a “continuous-power” battery-looping system and more. After recording, simply place your Atomos media drive into the supplied docking station and start editing immediately.
Music Man revved for Lion
Mireth Technology has updated Music Man (http://www.mireth.com/) -- the Mac OS X ripper, converter, burner, player digital music software -- to version 4.0. The upgrade adds support for Mac OS X 10.7 ("Lion").
Music Man can rip, convert, burn and play MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, AIF, Audio CD, MIDI and Ogg Vorbis on Mac OS X. It also has burning features, such as variable burn quality that allows for burning up to four times as much music on a USB Flash Drive as when using standard burn technology, according to the folks at Mireth. Another feature is the mono mixdown feature, which burns all the music to both the right and left track, so one-ear listening lets you hear both tracks.
Music Man is available for download, or on CD-ROM, starting at $24.95. Registered users of Music Man version 3.x can take advantage of this free update. Registered users of previous versions of Music Man can take advantage of an upgrade discount. Educational pricing and volume discounts are available.
CourseNotes 2.0 for Mac gets Lion support
Dear Panda has released version 2.0 of their CourseNotes (http://www.coursenotesapp.com) note-taking app for the Mac, adding support for Mac OS X 10.7 ("Lion"). It also adds support for rich text editing
Students can add underlined, bold and italicized text throughout their notes as well as change font sizes to emphasize sections of the text. Along with CourseNotes' bullet summary mode, students now have a set of tools with which to structure their notes.
Dear Panda today also announced an update to CourseNotes for the iPad, as well as a special offer for educators. Version 3.0 of the iPad app adds the same rich text formatting features found in the Mac app. This not only allows for students on the iPad to take advantage of the same organizational tools found in the Mac version, but also provides syncing of notes between the Mac and the iPad while maintaining all of their formatting.
CourseNotes 2.0 -- requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher -- and sells for US$7.99. It's available...
Crossword Forge revved for Lion
Sol Robots (http://www.solrobots.com) has released Crossword Forge 7.0, an upgrade to the classroom crossword and word search puzzle generator. It's compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 ("Lion") and sports speed enhancements.
It also touts refined features including: new user controlled softwaresettings that allow for better and more complete solutions to cryptic crosswords; Quick Look support for the Mac; and a newly refined "Word Ideas" window. Word Ideas helps you find new words to add to your puzzle. With version 7, Crossword Forge allows you to do this in five major languages (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish) and four varieties of English (American, Australian, British, Canadian).
Crossword Forge 7 is now available at the Sol Robots web site and will soon be available at the Mac App Store. It costs US$49.95 for new users. Upgrdes from version 6.x are $14.95 and upgrades from version 5.x are $34.95. Licenses bought between September 2008 and May 2011 will continue to work...
IPsec VPN Client now compatible with Lion
NCP engineering has updated its entry IPsec VPN client and centrally managed enterprise VPN client suite, adding support for Mac OS X 10.7 ("Lion"). A free 30-day demo is available at the NCP website (http://www.ncp-e.com/); contact the company for pricing info.
The NCP Secure Mac clients enable remote workers to connect to their corporate gateways via any VPN gateway with a single click. The clients support authentication and include a personal firewall.
iPhone/iPod touch/iPad apps for Aug. 18
Here are the latest iPhone/iPod touch/iPod/iPad apps. You can find 'em at the Apple App Store (http://www.itunes.com/appstore/).
drchrono (http://www.drchrono.com) has announced a free Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform on the iPad and a patient check-in app that replaces the traditional paper check-in process in the physician waiting room. OnPatient is an app that can be downloaded to the iPad and integrated into a medical practice as a stand-alone onboard app. The patient check-in app also seamlessly integrates with drchrono’s Meaningful Use-certified iPad EHR.
Screenlife has released Scene It? Pixel Flix, an 8-bit movie puzzle and trivia app. It's free and compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Manna Soft has introduced Dr Kids Phonics Singalong for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Geared specifically towards young children, it gives kids the power to master the fundamentals of proper phonetic pronunciation on the go anywhere anytime. The full version of Dr Kids...
HP's moves not surprising
By Greg Mills
HP is getting out of the tablet business, canning its mobile computing business including cellular handsets and is spinning of the HP computer business. All of this seems dramatic, but the Apple surge in taking over the mobile computing market is shaking even seasoned competitors.
I posted a story about unsold HP TouchPads yesterday and the problems at HP runs even deeper. The razor thin margins on PC has also made HP consider getting out of that business as they announced earlier to day that they were spinning off the computer business to concentrate on software. (See http://www.cultofmac.com/hp-kills-off-webos-after-atrocious-touchpad-sal... .)
HP to drop its webOS devices, may spin off PC divison
HP (http://www.hp.com) has confirmed reports that it's in discussions with Autonomy regarding a possible offer for the company and that its board of directors has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Personal Systems Group (PSG), the division that makes the company's personal computers.
HP will consider a range of options that may include, among others, a full or partial separation of PSG from HP through a spin-off or other transaction. In addition, HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.
These moves would leave HP free to concentrate on its printer business and enterprise operations. This would explain the company's interest in Autonomy (http://www.autonomy.com), a company that specializes in infrastructure software for the enterprise and which has a market cap of US$7...
Apple may bid on Turkish school tablet project
Apple, Microsoft and Intel may participate in the Turkish government’s project to supply as much as 15 million tablet computers for school children over four years, state-owned Anatolia news agency said, citing Turkish Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan -- as reported by "Bloomberg" (http://macte.ch/zGDxO).
Apple officials told Caglayan during his visit to the U.S. that the company may also decide to use some Turkish manufacturers to make some peripheral equipment such as covers, earphones for its iPad and iPhone models, Caglayan said at a news conference with Turkish reporters in Seattle, according to the Ankara-based agency. The winner of the government-funded project will have to produce the tablets in Turkey, says "Bloomberg."
Apple overtakes HP in top mobile computer market share
Apple shipped over 13.5 million mobile computers in the second quarter of 2011 (Q2’11) for 136% year-over-year shipment growth, overtaking HP for the top spot, according to preliminary results from the latest DisplaySearch data (http://www.displaysearch.com).
Nearly 80% of Apple’s mobile computer shipments were iPads, which reached over 10.7 million units, for 107% year-over-year growth. Apple’s total mobile computer shipments (notebook and tablets) were 3.9 million units more than HP’s nearly 9.7 million units for the quarter.
From a category perspective, tablets continue to be the engine of growth for the mobile computer industry, notes DisplaySearch. Tablet shipments were up nearly 70% quarter-over-quarter and over 400% year-over-year with nearly 16.4 million units shipped in Q2’11.
Notebook shipments were down 2% quarter-over-quarter but up 2% year-over-year with nearly 48 million units shipped in Q2’11. A consumer notebook adoption slowdown continues to hold back the industry...
Who's suing Apple today? Samsung, China customers, SRS
And so the legal battles continue. In what has turned into a legal brouhaha of global proportions, Apple has filed a patent lawsuit against Samsung in South Korea, claiming that Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones and tablet computers copies its iPhone and iPad devices, reports "The New York Times" (http://macte.ch/8DWIY).
Apple filed a similar suit in the United States in April. Samsung has filed countersuits, accusing Apple of patent violations.
Meanwhile, in China, Apple stores in Beijing are being sued for selling used iPhones as new ones, reports the "People's Daily Online" (http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90882/7572675.html). Six Beijing consumers who bought iPhones in Apple stores at Xicheng district's Xidan Joy City and Chaoyang district's Sanlitun, and some other authorized dealers have filed lawsuits against Apple.
They say they bought what they thought were new phones, only to find they had a shorter warranty than the normal one-year one, says the "People's Daily Online...
Apple overtakes Lenova in sales in greater China
Apple’s sales in greater China have for the first time overtaken those of Lenovo, the world’s third-biggest personal computer maker by shipment volume, according to the "Financial Times" (http://macte.ch/pWtyk).
Demand for iPhones, iPads and Macs pushed Apple’s second-quarter sales in greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, up sixfold from a year ago to $3.8 billion. Apple's global growth is accelerating overall, it seems. Yesterday it was reported (http://macte.ch/6r6Yz) that the Mac's sales are growing significantly in western Europe and France.
Panel to look at Final Cut Pro X
A panel of Hollywood Final Cut Pro experts will gather to "answer the tough questions" on their interpretation the new -- and controversial -- Final Cut Pro X.
Key Code Media will host the event in Burbank, California. The event will also be streamed live at http://www.keycodemedia.com today (Aug. 18) from 7-8pm (Pacific).
Michael Kammes, MPSE, post workflow consultant at Key Code Media, will serve as moderator. The panelists' team includes the following professionals: Michael Cioni, CEO, Light Iron Digital; Michael Gossen, editor, Tosh.O; Norman Hollyn, associate professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts; Larry Jordon, Apple Certified trainer, Digital Production Buzz; and Jeremy Weinstein, assistant editor.
The streaming audience can participate in the discussion directly via Twitter: http://twitter.com/keycodemedia - use (hashtag) #thefinalcutevent.
Logitech introduces solar keyboard for Mac users
Logitech (http://www.logitech.com) brings the power of light to Mac users with the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac.
With the same design and feature set as the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750, this newest version --available in multiple colors -- makes battery hassles a thing of the past thanks to its onboard solar cells that power the keyboard using ambient light, says Rory Dooley, Logitech senior vice president and general manager of the Control Devices business unit.
Available in four colors, the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac is powered by light -- even indoors. It powers itself with ambient light in the room -- there’s no need for direct sunlight -- so you’ll never have to hassle with changing batteries. On a full charge it can purportedly work for up to three months in total darkness. Plus, you can download the solar power app that gives you at-a-glance information about battery levels, and even alerts you when you need more light.
Twelve South presents Compass in a new hue
Twelve South (http://www.twelvesouth.com) has announced colorful new versions of Compass, the compact folding stand for the iPad and iPad 2.
Compass is now available in three colors: iPad Silver, Tactical Black and Candy Apple Red. This versatile stand holds iPad upright as an easel or an angle for typing. All three colors are now available for US$39.99 each.
The small, mobile stand lets you decide how to use and view your iPad. Use Compass upright like an easel to view iPad in both portrait and landscape positions. Position iPad in landscape mode to flip through an iBook, watch the movie you shot on iPad 2, stream iTunes shows or scan Mail. Switch to portrait view for chatting with a friend on FaceTime, playing with PhotoBooth or showing an iPhoto slideshow.
Compass has a hidden flip-down secondary leg that transforms it into a mini typing stand. Work mode is also handy for Facebook updates or sending out some Tweets, says Andrew Green, creative director of Twelve South. Compass is...
ScreenFloat revved for Lion
Eternal Storms Software has released ScreenFloat 1.2, an update of the productivity tool that creates "floating" screenshots. It requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later, costs US$7.99 and can be found in the Productivity category at the Mac App Store.
Version 1.2 brings OS X 10.7 ("Lion") features such as fullscreen mode, sandbox support and more. ScreenFloat lets users create screenshots that float above all windows so they don't have to move or resize windows around just to keep a piece of information visible on screen.
When shots are closed, they're stored in ScreenFloat's Shots Browser. There they can be organized with titles and tags and categorized with categories and smart categories, based on different criteria, like smart folders in Finder. A 15-day free trial is available for download from the application's website (http://www.screenfloatapp.com).
Exosyphen studios releases Hacker Evolution Duality for OS X
Exosyphen studios has announced Hacker Evolution Duality, the latest in the hacking simulation series for Mac OS X.
Hacker Evolution Duality presents a variety of puzzles and challenges. It features a single player mode where you follow the game's story and an open world mode, where you play a death match against other hackers.
Here's how it's described: "You are Brian Spencer, a programmer with unmatched technical prowess. Your expertise has yielded an all-powerful Artificial Intelligence, capable of performing the tasks of an entire army of human hackers. But when an evil corporation threatens to take complete control of the Internet with this technology, you will have to go against the powers of your very own creation."
Hacker Evolution Duality is now available for purchase on Steam and various other digital distribution platforms for US$24.95. For more info visit Hacker Evolution Duality online (http://www.hackerevolutionduality.com/) or visit the Hacker Evolution Duality...
AirBeam provides video streaming from iOS to your Mac
Appologics has announced AirBeam for Mac (http://appologics.com/airbeam), the desktop counterpart to their iOS video surveillance solution. It requires Mac OS X 10.6.6. or higher. It's free and available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Photography category.
AirBeam streams live camera video in high resolution with up to 30 frames per second between iPhones, iPods and iPads, and now also towards any Mac. AirBeam for Mac supports all the features from the iOS app such as video recording, motion detection and more.
The software is designed to turn your desktop into a video monitoring center. AirBeam for Mac supports viewing multiple cameras in parallel and makes use of OS X 10.7 ("Lion") technologies such as the ability to flick through fullscreen views of multiple cameras.
Allegorithmic launches Substance Designer 2 for Mac OS X
Allegorithmic has released a new version of its non-linear texture and material processing software, Substance Designer 2, and the first scaled-down version of the software, Substance Designer 2 Lite.
Available for the first time on Mac OS X, Substance Designer 2’s new vector paint, layering and cache systems improves both creative and performance capabilities so 3D artists can instantaneously create millions of dynamic textures in an interactive and collaborative process, says Dr. Sébastien Deguy, founder and CEO of Allegorithmic.
Substance Designer 2 is a material processing solution that brings smart texturing to the heart of 3D creation pipelines. It's designed to help any artist transform all kinds of image resources, from classic bitmaps to exclusive procedural elements, into real-time dynamic and highly flexible textures and filters, says Deguy. New features in Substance Designer 2 include:
° Vector Paint allows users to paint dynamic masks on all channels (diffuse, spec,...
Product hunting app released for Mac OS X
Piotr Byzia has announced Goodies 1.1 (http://goodiesapp.com/), an update of the comparison shopping application for Mac OS X 10.6.6 and higher. It's available for US$24.99 at the Mac App Store in the Lifestyle category.
Goodies is designed to help users organize their online shopping. In one step users can query various online retailers, see tabbed results, compare all deals, and assign their goodies to groups, based on their budget, deadline, tags or projects. If they're not sure when to make the purchase, they can store items in the Wish list.
With Goodies, you can search across many online retailers in just one step. You can review results from each shop using tabbed browsing. You can add interesting deals to the Compare tab, and, once you're ready select the best product from there. What's more, Goodies has direct support for Amazon.com's API (application programming interface).
Griffin launches iOS-controlled HELO TC helicopter
Griffin Technology has launched its newest iOS app-powered accessory: HELO TC, a remote-controlled helicopter. The HELO TC app transforms the multi-touch display of any iOS device into a remote control for the helicopter.
The HELO TC is a twin-rotored, indoor helicopter built on a lightweight metal frame with a black polycarbonate body. It comes with a Flight Deck infrared module, which plugs into an iOS device to transmit control signals to the helicopter.
Two modes of flight are available: Touch Control, using the Multi-Touch display to control HELO TC’s throttle and joystick; and Tilt to Steer mode, which uses the iOS device’s accelerometers. Tilting the iOS device moves the helicopter forward, back and side to side. The app can record and store up to three flight plans so you, or another pilot, can repeat a favorite flight pattern.
The HELO TC’s built-in battery recharges from any USB power source, including your computer’s USB port. The Flight Deck module, powered by four AAA...
About Objects to offer iPhone developer training in Boulder,...
About Objects (http://www.aboutobjects.com) is set to begin offering its series of courses for iPhone and iPad developers in Boulder, Colorado.
Classes will be held at the Millennium Harvest House hotel near the University of Colorado campus, beginning with Objective C for Beginners Nov. 5-6, and iOS Development for the iPhone and iPad, Nov.7-11. Pricing for the November classes is as follows:
° Objective-C for Beginners (two days, Nov. 5, 6): US$1,295;
° iOS Development for the iPhone and iPad (five days, Nov. 11-14): $2,595;
° iOS Development Bundle (seven days, Nov. 5-11): $3,295.
Discounts will be available for early registrants and groups of three or more.
Infinite Skills offers Microsoft Powerpoint 2011 tutorial
Training developer Infinite Skills has announced a new 4.5-hour tutorial video course (http://macte.ch/0Xi6d) designed to help home and business users gain a full understanding of Powerpoint for professional level use.
Narrated by professional software consultant, Guy Vacarro, Learning Microsoft Powerpoint 2011 covers everything from template design to advanced graphics, effects and interactivity options. The course spans 55 video lessons and includes usable sample files.
The Learning Powerpoint 2011 tutorials begin with a run-through of a simple presentation from start to finish, included to give viewers an instant familiarity with basic Powerpoint functionality and offer a frame of reference for the more detailed lessons that follow. Building on the techniques shown in the initial lessons, the next section teaches how to create effective sales presentations.
The tutorials go from template selection and customization to using to adding charts, notes and enhanced graphics. Further...
Caboodle ready for Lion
Dejal (http://www.dejal.com) has updated Dejal Caboodle -- a Mac OS X tool for collecting text, images, and other content -- to version 1.4. The upgrade adds full screen support and other OS X 10.7 ("Lion") compatibility, default font preferences, encryption improvements, and a number of other fixes and improvements.
Caboodle is a tool to help store and organize such varied bits of information. You can arrange the items in an outline-like hierarchy, and include both structured fields and free-form text and pictures in each entry, along with web links, lists, tables, PDFs, and any other kind of file as attachments. When you create a new entry within an existing one, the custom fields are inherited, allowing quickly creating content in an organized fashion. You can also add or remove custom fields independently for each entry.
Three license levels are available for Caboodle: "Individual," for a single user, priced at US$14.95; "Household," for all people in a household, at $19.95; and "...
Graphic Node adds 50 designs to Pages Templates set
Graphic Node (http://graphicnode.com/) has updated its selection of products for Apple's iWork with 50 new templates for Pages. Now its Pages Templates set includes a total of 100 templates for brochures, posters, business cards, and other documents.
The set includes templates for books, brochures, business cards, invitations and posters. Most of the templates are available in both A4 and U.S. Letter paper sizes. Some templates are available in DL Envelope format.
The templates include up to six different layouts; in all, the set presents a collection of approximately 200 layouts. All photo layouts feature media placeholders allowing users to crop a placed image into a custom shape.
The templates require Mac OS X 10.5 or higher and iWork 08 or later. Pages Templates costs US$12.99. Users can view and purchase Pages Templates from Graphic Node online. The set is also available on the Mac App Store.
Better Finder Rename adds support for additional music formats
Publicspace.net (http://www.publicspace.net/) has released A Better Finder Rename 8.8.6, an update of the renaming solution for the Mac. The new release adds support for reading music meta information in FLAC, AIFF, M4V, OGG and APE files.
A Better Finder Rename is Universal Binary so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. It requires Mac OS X 10.6 or higher.
A Better Finder Rename costs US$19.95. Business, family and enterprise licensing is also available. Customers may chose to include a "forever upgrade" with their purchase.
RAIDON launches new single bay external enclosure
RAIDON (http://www.RAIDON.com.tw) has launched a single bay, external enclosure with USB 3.0, eSATA and FireWire interface. (Since the Mac doesn't yet support USB 3.0, attached USB 3.0 devices will run at USB 2.0 speeds).
The GT1650 series comes in two models, GT1650-SB3 and GT1650-WSB3. These models accommodate 3.5-inch hard drives over 3TB each. The series is also designed with removable trays.
The portable compact design of GT1650 enhances the mobility of 3.5-inch HDD and furnishes a spacious desktop, according to the folks at RAIDON. The artistic aluminum casing provides heat reduction without the need of a cooling fan to keep the device in low temperature, they add.
Encoding.com announces 'universal video playback'
Encoding.com, a video encoding service provider, has launched Vid.ly Pro, the professional version of its industry-leading Universal Video URL platform.
Vid.ly Pro provides content publishers a scalable platform for serving video to every user on any browser or mobile device. Publishers upload source videos that Vid.ly converts into a variety of different formats and bitrates appropriate for popular desktop browsers and mobile devices.
Vid.ly gives back a short URL (http://vid.ly/5u4h3e) and embed code for publishing; when visitors click on the URL, Vid.ly delivers the format appropriate for their browser and device. Vid.ly Pro offers: an XML-based application programming interface to build Vid.ly into any desktop/mobile application and video workflow; custom output formats with adjustable bitrates; adaptive bitrate streaming for all iOS devices; and unlimited source video file size.
Avadon: The Black Fortress available on Steam
Spiderweb Software (http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com) has brought Avadon: The Black Fortress to Steam at a new low price of US$9.99. As an additional incentive the Mac OS X compatible game will have a 10% discount during the and launch week.
Here's how the game is described: "Five great nations have banded together to form The Pact. The Pact is defended by Avadon, a secretive sect of spies and assassins. Its agents are everywhere, and its word is law. You have been recruited as a Hand of Avadon, charged with missions that require swift action and a heavy fist. However, the enemies of the Pact have plans of their own, and Hands of Avadon are being picked off one by one. It will fall to you to struggle to survive and to reveal that plot that could shatter the safety of The Pact and plunge your homeland into chaos.
"Embark on a whole new adventure full of danger, mystery, and intrigue. Visit the lands of the Pact and the wild, hostile lands beyond. Select one of four playable classes...
Apple considering a purchase of InterDigital?
Apple, Nokia and Qualcomm are considering bids to buy InterDigital (http://www.interdigital.com), a wireelss telecommunications specialist, reports "Reuters" (http://macte.ch/ggCJz), quoting unnamed sources. The auction of the company will apparently be postponed from next week until after Labor Day.
InterDigital, which has a market value of about US$3 billion, develops fundamental wireless technologies that are at the core of mobile devices, networks, and services worldwide. The company says its solutions "support more efficient wireless networks, a richer multimedia experience, and new mobile broadband capabilities."
For its fiscal second quarter of 2011, InterDigital reports revenue of $69.9 million. The company has net income of $17.2 million, or $0.37 per diluted share and ending cash and short-term investments totaling $702.1 million.
"Our second quarter 2011 results reflect a number of factors," says William Merritt, InterDigital's president and CEO. "On the revenue side, we...
Apple sees Mac sales grow in western Europe, France
Apple is now the number five computer vendor in western Europe and France with sales growing in both areas, according to a new report from Gartner (http://www.gartner.com).
The research group reports that Apple moved 879 million Macs in western Europe in the second quarter of 2011 for 7% market share. That compares to year-ago figures of 875 million Macs sold and 5.6% market share. Apple was the only computer vendor in the top five to see growth.
HP is in first place in western Europe with 25.1% market share; that's down 6.1% from the year-ago quarter. Second place Acer, with 16.2% market share, has seen sales dip 44.6%. Dell's sales are down 12.75% from the second quarter of 2010; the company now ranks third among western Europe computer vendors with 10.8% market share. Fifth place Asus, with 8.1% market share, has seen sales dip 22.9% year-over-year.
Personal computer shipments in Western Europe totaled 12.7 million units in the second quarter of 2011, a decline of 18.9% from the...
Apple's VP of mobile advertising to depart
Andy Miller, the former founder and CEO of Quattro Wireless who became Apple's vice president of mobile advertising and head of the iAd program when Apple bought Quattro in January 2010, reports "AllThingsD" (http://macte.ch/ZmwYk).
The article, quoting unnamed sources, says Miller will beome a general partner at Highland Capital, a Boston-based venture firm that had funded Quattro. Apple will search for a replacement for Miller, whose staff was told of the impending departure today, says "AllThingsD."
Quattro was a global mobile advertising company designed to "empower advertisers and publishers to reach and engage their target audiences across mobile web, application and video platforms with unrivaled precision, transparency and ROI." Apple began shutting it down when the coming of its iAds platform.
-- Dennis Sellers
27,000 South Koreans suing Apple over iPhone privacy issues
Another day, another lawsuit. A group of nearly 27,000 South Koreans is suing Apple for £15.8million over what they claim are privacy violations from the collection of iPhone user location information, reports "Mail Online" (http://macte.ch/LXQfW).
Each person in the suit is seeking one million won (£568) in damages, according to Kim Hyeong-seok, one of their attorneys. He took Apple to court earlier this year over iPhone privacy and was awarded one million won.
Hyeong-seok told "Mail Online" that he expects the first hearing in the new case to take place in October or November. If the court in the southern city of Changwon rules in favor of the plaintiffs, the total award would come to about 27.6 billion won (approximately US$23 million).
Apple may invest $1billion in Sharp plant
Apple plans to invest US$1 billion in a Sharp plant to secure a supply of LCD screens for iPhones and iPads, reports "Reuters" (http://macte.ch/Icw7L), quoting unnamed sources at Japanese parts makers.
The proposed move, along with an investment in a new LCD factory of Toshiba comes as Apple and key supplier Samsung Electronics do battle in courts over patent disputes, spurring talk that Apple may diversify suppliers, the article adds. Japanese chipmakers in particular, such as Elpida Memory Inc and Toshiba hope to get more orders from Apple if the U.S. company's relationship with Samsung goes south.
Southern Stars releases SkySafari for Mac OS X
Southern Stars, whose top-rated SkySafari astronomy app won MacWorld's 2010 best-of-show award, has now brought the best of that app to the Mac OS X
However, according to the folks at Southern Stars, SkySafari for Mac OS X isn't just a straight port of an iPhone app -- it's a complete rewrite of the program. It uses 100% native Cocoa OS X controls and supports OS X 10.7 ("Lion") features, including full-screen mode, and a redesigned toolbar that fits in with Lion's new look. What's more, SkySafari supports multitouch gestures on Macs with multitouch trackpads.
SkySafari's high-performance OpenGL astronomy engine was designed to run in the embedded environment of the iPhone. SkySafari for Mac OS X launches in two seconds, and renders celestial animations with frame rates approaching 100 FPS. It can find any object in its database of 15 million stars, 750,000 galaxies, and 550,000 galaxies in milliseconds, according to Southern Stars.
But SkySafari isn't just a star chart. It...
Kayak Explore is vacation planning app for the Mac
Kayak has launched Kayak Explore for Mac (http://on.Kayak.com/MacExplore), the first interactive travel planning app in the Mac App Store. It requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later and is free.
“Kayak Explore for Mac, takes the popular 'Explore' feature from our web site, gives it a personal trainer, pumps it full of steroids, reads it a number of self-help books, bites it with a radioactive spider, exposes it to an accidental overdose of gamma radiation (intentionally), and makes it way more fun and useful -- basically by adding hotel prices, pretty pictures, and lots of cool animations," says Kayak Chief Architect and GM of Mobile Bill O’Donnell.
Kayak Explore is a vacation planning app. Don’t know where or when you want to take your next vacation? Or have $500 and don't know where that will take you? Just tell Kayak Explore where you are and what you like, and it will suggest a wide range of trips, including estimated airfare and hotel stays. It will even tell you the best travel dates...
Feature phone collapse, Android hurt Nokia in Q2
Whether you subscribe to sell-in statistics (shipments) or sell-through (sold in-store) statistics, there simply aren't enough of them to bury the fact that Nokia had a devastating second quarter (Q2), according to Strategy Analytics (http://www.abiresearch.com).
Falling from first to third place in smartphones doesn't do justice to the level of damage Nokia suffered, according to the research group. While the overall handset market was essentially flat from Q1 to Q2 (0.5% growth), Nokia watched China-based ZTE and Huawei eat its lunch at both the high and low ends of the market, growing 28.9% and 26.3% QoQ, respectively, in overall handsets sales.
“Despite being the number one OEM for more than a decade, this quarter shows Nokia’s position in the top five is the one most at risk,” says Kevin Burden, vice president and practice director, mobile devices, ABI Research.
Nokia’s 88.5 million handsets "sold-in" during Q2 are 20 million units less than it sold in its previous quarter. It...
Plugin Site releases NoiseControl for Mac OS X
The Plugin Site (http://www.ThePluginSite.com) has released a Mac OS X version of NoiseControl, a Photoshop plug-in that removes image noise while preserving details and the photographic quality of the image.
It offers sharpening, saturation and grain features for enhancing the image after denoising. You can also apply denoising with extreme settings to create painting-like effects.
According to the folks at The Plugin Site, NoiseControl distinguishes details from noise by performing thousands of clever calculation per pixel. For the best results it internally operates with 16-bit and 32-bit precision, even when processing 8-bit images.
NoiseControl offers two methods for automatically choosing effective denoising parameters. The Auto Sample feature finds and evaluates a noise sample (a uniform image area without any details), whereas the Auto Preset feature chooses an existing preset according to the embedded EXIF data (mainly the camera model and ISO value, of the photo). There are...
Kanex offers Dual-link DVI to HD for Cinema Displays
Kanex (http://www.KanexLive.com) has released the US$149 C24DL, a full resolution dual-link digital video inverter (DVI) to 27-inch Apple LED Cinema Display (ACD).
It's a dual-link DVI with USB to Mini DisplayPort converter designed for users with legacy Macs (2006-early 2008 MacBook Pro, 2005-mid 2007 Mac Mini) or PCs with high-end graphics cards to connect specifically to a 27-inch ACD. The Kanex C247DL supports the native HD resolution (2560x1440) of the ACD not available with other standard DVI adapters.
The converter actively converts the video signal from the dual-link DVI. The included USB cable powers the C247DL, allows for audio transfer to the ACD speakers, and supports all USB 2.0 functions including use of the iSight camera. The C247DL is available now for $149 at KanexLive.com/C247DL .
Future Media concepts launches Adobe Premiere Pro user group
Future Media Concepts (FMC), an authorized digital media training organization, today has teamed up with Adobe to offer training and discussion events for users of Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium software.
The free Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 user group events will take place in six U.S. locations, and include presentations and Q&A sessions with an Adobe-certified instructor. FMC will also raffle off one free copy of the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium software at each of the events, compliments of Adobe.
The Adobe Premiere Pro user groups will be held throughout the U.S. in Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando, Fla., Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., each month for the remainder of the year. For more info, to register for the Premiere Pro user groups, and to view the current roster of the user group events to be held at FMC, please go to http://www.fmctraining.com .
Epson introduces new projectors for small businesses
Epson has introduced the VS410 and VS350W -- the newest versions of its high-brightness projector series for small businesses.
The VS410 (US$899) offers 4,000 lumens of color and white light output with XGA resolution, and the VS350W ($949) delivers 3,500 lumens color and white light output with WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution for users looking to leverage widescreen notebooks and high-definition content, says Jason Meyer, product manager, Epson America.
He adds that the VS410 and VS350W offer easy-to-use connectivity and control features, including USB Plug 'n Play for instantly projecting video and audio from a Mac or PC via a USB connection, as well as direct power on and off for wall switch power control and instant on/off that instantly powers the projector on and off with no cool down time. In addition, the A/V mute slide turns off the sound and images to create a quick pause in the presentation, conserving lamp life and energy, and helping to save costs.
The Epson VS410 and...
Dolly Drive brings online backup for Time Machine to Europe
Dolly Drive (http://www.dollydrive.com), online backup for Apple’s Time Machine, has announced the opening of its first European data center, giving Mac users throughout Europe faster initial uploads by eliminating Transatlantic data travel during online Time Machine backup and recovery.
The Rome, Italy-based facility is the first Dolly Drive data center outside North America, part of the planned international Dolly grid. Dolly Drive is an all-in-one online backup and local disaster recovery solution for Mac users from cloud-services provider Cirrus Thinking.
"We had such an enormous response from Mac users throughout Europe that one of our top priorities immediately became the creation of a data center on that side of the Atlantic” says Anthony Palermo, CEO of Dolly Drive.
Current Dolly Drive customers in Europe will be contacted individually to have their data migrated to the European data center. New customers are given an option to select their primary data center during the...
Brother launches new inkjets
Brother (http://www.brother.com) has launched a new series of small office / home office ALL-IN-ONE color inkjets priced from US$99-$149. The company says this new SOHO inkjet line is the first to offer an AiO unit for under $149 that features both easy-to-set-up wireless capabilities and built-in two-sided printing.
All models have a compact design with a decorative top panel, in abstract patterns, which makes these products an inviting addition to any work space where image is as important as performance, says Marie Le, Brother's director of marketing for color Inkjet Products.
She says the new SOHO inkjets offer a variety of features including: user-friendly set-up software, Innobella quick front-loading four-cartridge ink system, toll-free technical support for the life of the machine, competitive ink pricing, and mobile device printing capabilities. The new Brother SOHO Inkjet Series MFC-J825DW will be available at national office superstores, retailers, dealers and online...
Apple-related business expo coming to San Jose
The Loop Business Expo (http://www.loopbusinessexpo.com) is continuing its national road tour across the US, targeting the Apple-based business community.
Loop USA says it will be hosting a Loop Business Expo on Oct. 4 at the San Marriott (California) Downtown San Jose located at 301 South Market St. Loop. There will be a half day of networking, prizes, and industry insight for businesses through Apple technology.
Registration for the event costs US$9.95. The fee entitles you to a $50-value gift that includes a one-year subscription to "i.Business" magazine (an Apple-related business magazine) and a gift from one of the expo vendors. Registration also gives you the opportunity to win over $5,000 in door prizes and raffles.
FCPUG Network announces fourth annual Amsterdam SuperMeet
The FCPUG Network has announced the Fourth Annual FCPUG Amsterdam SuperMeet, which will take place Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Hotel Krasnapolsky in the heart of Amsterdam.
The Amsterdam SuperMeet will further celebrate the tenth anniversary of SuperMeets and promises to be the single largest gathering of Final Cut, Adobe, Avid and Autodesk editors, gurus and digital filmmakers during IBC2011. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the SuperMeet web site (http://supermeet.com/).
Doors will open at 16:00 with the "SuperMeet Digital Showcase" featuring over 23 software and hardware developers. SuperMeet presentations will begin at 19:00 and continue until 23:00. Tickets are on sale online for the early bird price of Euro 10.00 each, plus ticket fee, and $10.00 for students and teachers with a valid ID. Early bird pricing ends Aug. 18.
The Photo Cookbook for Mac cooks up version 2.0
Ditter.projektagentur has announced The Photo Cookbook 2.0 (http://www.thephotocookbook.com/), an update to its US$15.99 cookbook for Mac OS X. The upgrade -- which is OS X 10.7 ("Lion") compatible -- includes all the recipes that had to be purchased "in-app" in the iOS version. Users who already have the previous version will get the new recipes for free.
The Photo Cookbook provides a high-resolution photo at each step of the recipe to make it easy to see how the meal should develop at different stages on the stove or in the oven. It packs a total of 240 recipes with over 2,000 photos, a search function for ingredients and recipes, background information on the ingredients and 180 new recipes.
If an interesting recipe is found, the user can get a summarized list of the ingredients and use it as a shopping list or email it to someone else. Every recipe begins with a photograph of all the ingredients. By clicking on individual ingredients in this photo, you can get consumer information...