AutoCrypt for Mac OS X offers batch process encryption of...
AutoCrypt is a new multipurpose encryption tool for Mac OS X (10.5 or later) from Pomola Software (http://www.pomola.com) that, using a document-based application, lets you save in a document all the settings used to create encrypted archives. Using these documents, AutoCrypt can be used for crypto batch processing of files.
Using the blowfish algorithm, all the encrypted files will be unreadable by anyone except who knows the correct password. Documents are at the basis of the way AutoCrypt operates. These documents don't contain encrypted data, but they're used to encrypt the files the user likes to protect .
In case the files to encrypt or to decrypt are updated with frequencies, an AutoCrypt document listing this files provides a one-click method to encrypt them, storing the updated files in a user specified place. The user can launch AutoCrypt as example in the night using the Autorunoption turned on in the document to execute.
AutoCrypt is Universal Binary so runs natively on...
Clip-on task lamp comes to Quirky store
This week marks the official release of Mantis -- a socially-developed task lamp and monitor light -- at the Quirky online store (http://macte.ch/ktYsB) for US$29.99. It's a clip-on light that brightens your workspace, with minimal interference to your surroundings.
Mantis is portable and battery operated so you can take it with you and use it to illuminate your keyboard, bookshelf, worktable, or any other low-lit spot. It's designed to function either as a clip-on or free standing.
Mantis comes fully equipped with 11 bright LED's and two light settings. Its replaceable batteries provide 30 hours of light and automatically shut off after two hours of use. The unit itself is nine inches wide, with a removable clip designed to clamp onto any monitor, laptop, or shelf.
iBiz 4 available at the Mac App Store
IGG Software says iBiz 4.1.3, the latest version of its time-tracking and billing app, is now available at the Mac App Store. It requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later, costs US$39.99 and can be found in the Business category.
iBiz is a solution for the management of billable hours and invoicing. With it you can bill according to hourly rates, one-time fees, quantities, mileage, or any combination. Version 4.1.3 sports an all-new library of invoice templates .
iBiz Professional, IGG's networkable client/server edition of the software with many additional, admin-level features, remains exclusively available from IGG (http://www.iggsoftware.com). iBiz Pro and iBiz 4 are both available as free trial downloads from IGG's website as well.
ToughTech Duo offers storage for snapshots
CRU-DataPort has introduced the ToughTech Duo, an US$499 portable, RAID storage systems that works with two 2.5-inch notebook drives or solid state drives that to back-up or store data.
Designed for professional photographers and digital media users while on location or in the studio, ToughTech Duo maximizes storage in a mini footprint (3.5 x 6.26 x 1.34) to ensure data integrity and protect digital assets. It guards against data loss by writing the same information in real-time to both drives. It also saves from costly system downtime as the system can continue to run while the ToughTech Duo restores data on the hard drive, according to the folks at CRU-DataPort.
Connecting to any host computer via FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0 and eSATA provides flexibility, while the eSATA interface option offers the fastest transfer rates, they add. ToughTech Duo also supports bus power with an included FireWire cable. The ToughTech Duo sports a multi-country compatible AC power supply. A Kensington...
NewerTech announces seven-piece toolkit for iPhone 4 DIY...
Newer Technology (http://www.newertech.com) has announced the NewerTech Seven Piece Toolkit for iPhone 4 to provide Do It Yourself servicing of the iPhone 4.
The US$9.99 toolkit contains varying sized, non-marring case opening pry tools, a suction cup display puller, and a magnetized driver set to either access Apple’s proprietary TS1 "Pentalobe" screws or the included replacement Phillips screw. For more information, visit: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer%20Technology/TOOLKITIPH4/ .
Mariner Software releases Paperless 2.0
Mariner Software (http://www.marinersoftware.com) has released Paperless 2.0, providing a digital document solution for the home and business. The new version lets you create, manage and store any type of paper and digital document.
Paperless 2.0 has multiple new features, including the ability to create expense reports, pie-charts and contact reports. In addition, the user can create custom field types such as text, currency and checkboxes. Data entry is eased with automatic matching of thousands of popular U.S. merchants, says Michael Wray, president of Mariner Software.
This version of Paperless includes an expanded use of Fujitsu's ScanSnap scanners with support for the Fujitsu S1500M, S1300 and now the S1100, Fujitsu's mobile scanner. In addition, more scanners are supported through Apple's Image Capture, providing users of Paperless 2.0 multiple scanner option.
The new version of Paperless is available for sale and for trial as a download only from the Mariner Software website...
Vitamin-R 1.51 adds Dropbox compatibility
Publicspace.net has announced Vitamin-R 1.51 (http://www.publicspace.net/Vitamin-R/index.html), an update of its Mac OS X compatible productivity tool for creative professionals. The new version adds adds the ability to synch the Vitamin-R log book across multiple Macs using the Dropbox cloud service.
Vitamin-R is a collection of tools and techniques for managing attention and maintaining motivation. According to the folks at publicspace.net, it complements the task capturing and organizing features of modern to-do list managers by forcing you to concentrate fully on one task a time and keeping distractions at bay. It breaks down large, vaguely defined tasks into a series of short "time slices" of between 10 and 30 minutes, each with specific and actionable objectives.
Vitamin-R provides you with the "Now & Later Board," complete with FastType magic, to give you a place to quickly dump all those things that go through your head and allows to get back to the task at hand. It...
Cocktails for Mac is now served
Containing nearly 500 cocktails and wines of the world, Cocktails for Mac 1.0 (http://www.jonesapr.com/newsite/?page_id=785) contains a cornucopia of cocktail content. The app features a variety of popular drinks with pictures, step-by-step preparation and interesting cocktail trivia.
Featured cocktails are organized by topic, organized in two-page spreads tailored to take advantage of wide screen displays. Not just an encyclopedia of cocktails, it contains a complete integrated mixologist guide.
Cocktials requires Mac OS X 10.6. It costs US$4.99 and is available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Lifestyle category.
Password Repository update improves the data export utility
Tension Software has updated Password Repository (http://www.pomola.com/products_passwordrepository/passwordrepository.html), a Mac OS X password storage utility, to version 18.104.22.168. The upgrade improves the data export utility.
Now tab, newline and return are converted in conventional chars to fit in tabular text data export. Version 22.214.171.124 also see small interface changes to increase the ease of use.
Password Repository lets you save all your passwords in documents protecting them on disk using a single password. Data is encrypted using strong and bullet proof algorithms, and the password protecting a document isn't saved in any place.
Password Repository costs US$30, though version 2.1.2..5 is a free update for registered users of version 2.x. The software is Universal Binary so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. It requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.
Shareholders nix public CEO succession plan, get data center...
Apple shareholders have rejected a plan requiring the company to disclose a succession plan for its chief executive officer, reports the "Associated Press" (http://macte.ch/pByVa).
That's according to preliminary voting results announced today at Apple's annual shareholders meeting. Apple didn't provide the voting breakdown.
Also, at the meeting, as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com), the company said its North Carolina data center is expected to open this spring, and will support the iTunes and MobileMe services. The facility will also support Apple's corporate systems. "But it's the uses for iTunes and MobileMe that will undoubtedly fuel speculation about Apple's long-rumored plans for a cloud-based iTunes streaming service," says "AppleInsider."
MobileMe to transition to new Calendar service on May 5
On May 5, MobileMe -- Apple's US$99-per-year suite of Internet services -- will transition completely to the new Calendar service that Apple launched in October. The new MobileMe Calendar includes calendar sharing, invitations, and a new Calendar web application.
To maintain calendar syncing between your devices and to continue accessing your calendar at me.com, MobileMe users must upgrade to the new Calendar by May 5. To do so:
1) Make sure you are using the most recent software on your devices and computers:
iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch: iOS 4.2.1 or later
Mac: Mac OS X 10.6.6 Snow Leopard or Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (requires manual setup)
PC: MobileMe Control Panel version 1.6.5
2) Sign in to www.me.com/calendar and follow the dialog that appears or click "Upgrade now" in the sidebar.
Survey: Jobs' departure wouldn't have major impact on...
If CEO Steve Jobs -- now on a medical leave -- were to step down from Apple, it wouldn't have a material impact on customers' buying intentions, according to a new survey from RBC Capital Markets and ChangeWave, as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com).
The companies recently conducted a survey of 3,091 respondents between Jan. 31 and Feb. 9, asking them about a hypothetical scenario in which Jobs might depart Apple. Of those surveyed, 93% said they would likely continue buying Apple's products or wouldn't actively change their purchasing decisions if the company's co-founder weren't running the show.
The latest results are a change from June 2008, when a previous survey found that 18% of respondents said they would be less likely to buy Apple products if Jobs weren't with the company. Analyst Mike Abramsky said the results show that Apple may be bigger than its CEO, notes "AppleInsider." Consumers may now have a higher comfort about the company without Jobs at...
Apple announces special event on March 2
Apple has sent out media invitations to a special event scheduled for next Wednesday, March 2. The tagline on the invitation: "Come see what 2011 will be the year of."
With the corner of an iPad peeking out from behind the date on the invite, it's pretty safe to assume the iPad 2 will be revealed. The event will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco at 10 am (Pacific).
Study: by 2014 Apple's iPad business will be worth over $17...
By 2014 Apple's iPad business will be worth over US$17 billion, according to a new study by Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com).
By way of comparison, the worldwide smartphone market will be worth $ 65 billion by 2014 while the portable market will be worth $195 billion, according to the research group. Worldwide shipments of dedicated eReaders -- products like Sony's eReader and the Amazon Kindle -- will reach 7.2 million units in 2014, down from a high of 10.4 million units in 2012.
Meanwhile, worldwide shipments of media tablets will soar from 7.1 million units in 2010 to over 64 million units in 2014, according to Research and Markets.
Quark announces QuarkXPress 9
Quark has announced QuarkXPress 9, the newest version of QuarkXPress, which will allow designers to publish directly to digital devices and increase their productivity with new features for design automation.
The new version gives designers the power to design for and publish to digital devices in a variety of formats, while also offering them even more control over the execution of their creative visions, according to the folks at Quark. QuarkXPress 9 sets a precedent for digital publishing by offering designers a flexible and cost-effective array of options for creating content that can be published to digital devices -- e-readers, smartphones, and tablets -- with one tool, and without programming code, they add.
With App Studio for QuarkXPress, designers will have a dedicated design environment within QuarkXPress 9 for creating content for the iPad. Designers will be able to create customized apps for the iPad, distribute their apps through the Apple App Store, and then publish...
Apple tops product placement chart for 2010
Apple sat atop the product placement charts for 2010 after getting Macs, iPads, iPods and other items featured in 30% of the top movies at the U.S. box office in 2010, reports Brandchannel (http://www.brandchannel.com).
Nike, Chevrolet and Ford tied for second place, each appearing in 24% of the top films. Sony, Dell, Land Rover, and Glock appeared in at least 15% of the #1 films.
Apple-branded products appeared in more than one-third of all number one films at the US box office between 2001 to 2010 (making 112 of the 334 #1 films in America since 2001). That is second only to Ford (144 of 334) and well ahead of third place Coca-Cola (96 of 334).
In fact, Apple products appeared in more top films in the last decade than McDonald's and Nike combined (92). Pretty impressive, considering that fewer than 15% of American computer-owning households have an Apple. (That figure, by the way, is up from 9% in 2008 — an indication that Apple product placement may be paying off.)
Apple slices minimum buy-in for iAd in half
When Apple debuted its iAd service it required a minimum investment of US$1 million from advertisers. Now with the first run of iAd campaigns ended, Apple is lowering its minimum spend to appeal to smaller-scale advertisers that originally couldn’t afford the platform, according to "All Things D" (http://macte.ch/ILBgW).
The new entry point is $500,000. “This new minimum buy is a great step forward and a necessary one, I think,” Mark Read, CEO of WPP Digital, the digital arm of global ad giant WPP, told John Paczkowski of "All Things D." “Lowering the minimum buy to $500,000 from $1 million will certainly make the platform more appealing.”
iAds combine the emotion of TV advertising with the interactivity of Internet advertising, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. He says that iAds, which are built into iOS 4, allow users to stay within their app while engaging with the ad, even while watching a video, playing a game or using in-ad purchase to download an app or buy iTunes content.
Elan will continue its lawsuit against Apple
Another day, another lawsuit. Or at least a continuation of one. Elan Microelectronics plans to continue its patent lawsuit against Apple over multitouch technology and says a reported US$100 million settlement proposal from Apple was untrue, reports the IDG News Service (http://macte.ch/8Gpfa).
In March 2010 the Taiwanese maker of chips and touch-screens asked the U.S. trade agency to ban the import and sale of some Apple products, including the iPad, because of alleged patent infringement. The company claims Apple “knowingly and deliberately” used Elan’s technology, while continuing to introduce infringing products The petition also seeks to ban imports of the iPhone and iPod touch products, Elan said in the complaint.
Elan sued Apple in April 2009 , alleging infringement of two of its touch screen patents, The lawsuit alleges that Apple products -- including its MacBook, iPhone and iPod touch -- use technology that infringes on two of Elan’s patents.
-- Dennis Sellers
Analyst: Apple earnings will grow 25-30% per year
Apple's earnings will grow 25-30% per year through 2015 thanks mainly to the iPhone's addressable subscriber base, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told clients in a note today -- as reported by "Fortune" (http://macte.ch/KnfI8).
He thinks most folks are underestimating the company's opportunity to grow its mobile business over the next five years. Munster expects the iPhone, which represents 39% of Apple's revenues today, to at least keep pace with the smartphone's current growth rate of 35% per year and sell 200 million units in 2015. That implies that more than 40% of Apple's revenue stream will grow at the rate of 35% per year from 2013 to 2015.
The analyst expects the iPad to grow faster than the iPhone, and the Mac and iPod to grow more slowly. "The net is we believe a sustainable 25-30% growth rate in earnings could be achievable through 2015," he told clients.
Major overhaul of Final Cut Pro coming this spring?
A group of video editors were on the Apple campus in Cupertino, California, recently in order to preview the new version of Final Cut Pro, reports "TechCrunch" (http://macte.ch/L99tT), quoting unnamed sources.
Purportedly, the next version of the professional video editing software will be “the biggest overhaul to Final Cut Pro since the original version was created over 10 years ago." One of the "TechCrunch" sources described the new release as encompassing everything from low level architectural changes to a complete redesign of the user interface.
Early reports from people who have demo’d the new Final Cut Pro say that the changes are “dramatic and ambitious” and should alleviate concerns that Apple has shifted its video editing focus from the professional to the consumer space, shutting down work on FCP, adds "TechCrunch."
Apple plans on releasing the new product this spring, perhaps in a launch coinciding with the National Association of Broadcasters conference, the article...
Apple planning Joint Venture retail service?
The "Boy Genius Report" site is reporting (http://macte.ch/VObNm) that Apple is planning a new, retail-based service being called Joint Venture. First rumored back in March of last year, Joint Venture is an extension of Apple’s current Genius Bar services aimed at small businesses and prosumers, says "BGR."
Subscribers of the new service will be able to speak with a store-based Apple technician over the phone for one-on-one consultation and troubleshooting, or they can request an on-site visit, the article addsd. Currently, Apple’s Geniuses are not allowed to provide support remotely via the phone or in-person outside of Apple’s retail locations.
"BGR" says an unnamed source has confirmed that Apple will reveal these plans to retail employees this Sunday, explaining how to properly position, explain, and sell the new offering.
FileMaker Developer Conference 2011 features over 60 sessions
FileMaker, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple, has announced schedule highlights for the FileMaker Developer Conference 2011, the largest annual gathering of worldwide FileMaker independent and corporate database developers, trainers and users. It will be held Aug. 2-5, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, San Diego.
Attendees will save up to US$300 off the full conference registration price, paying $1,295 (or US$1,949 for the Gold Conference registration package, which includes pre-conference and FileMaker Training Series sessions, as well as the FileMaker Developer Conference), by taking advantage of the limited-time “early bird” discount, available until June 17. Attendees will receive complimentary copies of FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced and FileMaker Go for iPhone and iPad.
Conference goers will learn how to build more professional databases, extend solutions to the web and deploy custom solutions for the iPhone and iPad. In addition to increasing their technical expertise,...
New desktop audio player delivers hi-res playback
Audiofile Engineering has launched Fidelia (http://audiofile-engineering.com/fidelia/), an US$19.99 "premium desktop music player" created exclusively for Mac OS X and designed to offer "rich high-fidelity playback for music lovers of any taste or technical background."
It has support for numerous high-resolution file formats and an interface that honors the classic stereo amplifiers of decades past. Also, Fidelia integrates with users' existing iTunes libraries, says Matthew Foust, founding partner of Audiofile Engineering.
"Just as high-definition video technology has changed the way people experience movies and television, high-resolution audio formats like FLAC and Apple Lossless give consumers access to superior levels of sound quality," he adds. "Fidelia is designed as an elegant, approachable way for casual and studious listeners alike to embrace these higher sonic standards. The MP3 format may have revolutionized the music industry, but there are higher-quality formats that...
Southwest Airlines teaming up with iTunes (sorta)
Southwest Airlines has launched InAirtainment as a website that sells music, TV shows and movies through Apple's iTunes Store, reports "Variety" (http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118032639).
Southwest said it receives a small percentage of the sales generated by each download. Apple's iTunes Affiliates program typically pays a 5% commission for revenue generated by links to the iTunes store from websites and emails. Southwest's site launched by offering a playlist of 20 free songs from artists "about to fly" in their music careers, says "Variety."
"We want our customers to be able to find all their travel needs at Southwest.com and a big part of traveling is loading up on songs, movies, and all the television you've missed during the week," Southwest spokesperson Whitney Eichinger told "Variety." "Our new InAirtainment page allows customers an easy in to iTunes and we offer special deals to customers booking through our site like the 20 free songs we are offering with the...
Freshcode releases Bodega 1.4 with enhanced app updating
Freshcode, a Macintosh publisher and developer, has released Bodega 1.4, an update to its Mac software discovery and download application.
Bodega provides "corner store" access to the latest apps for the Macintosh directly from the Mac desktop. Version 1.4 includes an enhanced app updater feature, along with across-the-board feature and performance enhancements.
The Bodega app updater actually looks for and provides updates for all apps installed on the user's hard drive. It doesn't matter whether applications were downloaded from, or purchased through, Bodega; so long as the applications on the user's hard drive are Sparkle-enhanced, Bodega will keep on eye out for updates issued by the developer. When found, Bodega lets the user know an update exists, and will even download and install it for them.
Bodega requires Mac OS X 10.5 or greater. The Bodega 1.4 update is free to all Bodega users and available via Bodega's "Check for Updates" feature. For complete information on Bodega and...
ForeUI for Mac OS X updated to version 2.67
Easynth has released version 2.67 of its ForeUI prototyping tool (http://www.foreui.com/). The upgrade allows you to add a comment on any entity in the action editor.
ForeUI is a tool to create static or interactive prototypes for websites/software in your mind. Your prototype will be skinnable, and you can change its style from "hand drawing" to "wire frame,"
and to native OS styles. The behavior of prototypes can be defined with flow charts to handle specific events.
The prototype can be exported to wireframe images, PDF documents or DHTML simulation. The created prototypes will be useful for idea sharing, design review, feedback collection or usability testing etc.
ForeUI requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. It's Universal Binary so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. The cost is US$99 per user for a lifetime usage license.
File Multi-Tool 5 hits the Mac App Store
Publicspace.net has announced that File Multi Tool 5, a Mac App Store exclusive version of its A Better Finder Attributes product, is now available.
File Multi Tool 5 is a file tweaking tool for Mac OS X. It combines the features of "Photo Date Changer" and "File Date Changer 5" and adds a few tricks of its own.
Just like Photo Date Changer, File Multi Tool 5 allows you to manipulate JPEG EXIF timestamps at will by setting them to specific times or batch adjusting them by adding and removing time. It also allows you to synchronize the file creation and modification dates with the shooting dates of JPEG EXIF, as well as a wide variety of RAW formats, so that files sort properly in the Finder and other systems.
Just like File Date Changer 5, File Multi Tool 5 gives you total control over file creation and modification dates, setting them to specific times and dates, adding or removing time or simply removing them altogether. File Multi Tool 5 is available exclusively on the Mac App...
TextExpander update adds new HTML/CSS snippet group
SmileOnMyMac (http://www.smileonmymac.com) has updated TextExpander, a Mac OS X utility that lets users define abbreviations for frequently-used text strings and images, to version 3.2.4. The update adds a new HTML/CSS predefined snippet group that takes advantage of the fill-in snippet format, which handles input of multiple variables.
When one of the new HTML/CSS fill-in snippets is triggered, the user can manually enter the attributes of HTML tags and CSS definitions, such as width, height, and URL. Fill-in snippets were first introduced in TextExpander 3.
The regular cost of TextExpander is US$34.95 for a single user license or $44.95 for a five-pack family license. A 30-day fully-functioning demo of TextExpander can be downloaded at the SmileOnMyMac web site. Upgrades to TextExpander 3.x from earlier versions costs $15.
Version 3.2.4 is a free update for registered users of version 3.x. It requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later.
Sick Chinese workers ask Apple for help
Chinese workers injured while making touchscreens for mobile devices, including iPhones, have written to Apple asking it to do more to help them, reports the BBC (http://macte.ch/Ka0io).
Some 137 workers suffered adverse health effects following exposure to a chemical, known as n-hexane. They claim that the Taiwanese factory owner has not given them enough compensation. Apple has commented on the matter.
Intel to debut Light Peak on Thursday?
Intel plans to roll out Light Peak, a high-speed connection technology that Apple is also likely to adopt, says "CNET" (http://macte.ch/iP2Uy), quoting an unnamed "industry source familiar with the details of the event."
Intel released a statement to the media today saying that on Thursday in San Francisco it will "host a...press briefing to discuss a new technology that is about to appear on the market." "Maybe not coincidentally, Apple is expected to roll out new MacBook Pros -- and possibly other products -- on Thursday, notes "CNET."
Intel has said in the past that the first products using Light Peak should appear in the first half of 2011. When Intel initially demonstrated Light Peak at its developer conference in 2009 it used a machine running Apple's Mac OS X.
Light Peak paves the way for a new generation of extreme computer input and output (I/O) performance, delivering 10Gb/s of bandwidth, with the potential ability to scale to 100Gbs over the next decade, according to David...
MacTech Labs releases study of top games under virtualization
MacTech Labs, part of "MacTech Magazine" (http://www.mactech.com), has released its latest testing results of its study of gaming under virtualization.
MacTech's goal was to see how well Windows games played under Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac, and give customers advance information on what the experience they can expect. MacTech has released the results including video captures of each game, playability scores, and frames per second.
Testing specifically focused on how well the game performed and playability, rather than an evaluation of each game itself. Games were selected based on whether they were Windows-only, their popularity, and rankings from top gaming sites, and are a good representation of the questions MacTech receives about Windows gaming on the Mac. The tests were performed on MacBook Pros running Windows 7.
"MacTech Labs has been doing product evaluations and testing for more than 20 years," says said Neil Ticktin, publisher/editor-in-chief, "MacTech Magazine." "Our...
Apple makes list of world's most innovative companies
"Technology Review" has announced the 2011 TR50, the second annual list of the world’s most innovative technology companies. Not surprisingly, Apple is on the list.
In selecting the TR50, the editors of "Technology Review" look for companies that are setting the agenda in an increasingly important market, on the verge of disrupting an established market, or creating an entirely new market. Spanning energy, computing, the Web, biomedicine, and materials, the companies on the list are using their inventions to reshape their industries and to transform how we live.
“The TR50 companies are leaders,” says Jason Pontin, editor-in-chief and publisher of "Technology Review." “They are setting the agenda in their markets and prompting other companies to follow them.”
"Technology Review" says the rest of the consumer electronics industry is scrambling to catch up to the iPad and that the iPhone still sets the standard for smart phones, even if its market share slips. The mag ads that the...
'All Things D': iPad 2 to debut March 2
According to a plethora of online reports, the iPad 2 is due in March, or else it's delayed until June. Now, in an exclusive "All Things D" (http://macte.ch/Sqe60), quoting "several sources close to the situation," Apple will announce the second gen tablet on March 2.
Analysts expect the iPad 2 to be thinner than its predecessor and feature an improved display, as well as front-facing camera and Facetime video chat support, the article adds. And some reports suggest it will be powered by one of Qualcomm’s multimode chips and will run on both GSM and CDMA-based networks around the world.
Apple planning special media event this week?
Apple has asked its retail employees to sign non-disclosure agreements ahead of an all-hands meeting likely to be held later this week, and potentially foreshadowing a forthcoming media event, "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) reports, quoting "people familiar with the company's retail plans."
Employees on Monday were asked to sign non-disclosure forms. Those who did not sign are said to be excluded from the next employee meeting, expected to be held in the next week, says "AppleInsider."
So what would the media event entail? Most likely new MacBook Pros.
Another possibility is the iPad 2, though I don't think that's going to be announced until March with an April or May ship date. Also, "Bloomberg Businessweek" says sources tell them the iPad 2 may not ship until June.
Pundit Robert X. Cringely thinks it could see the unveiling of Macs with Light Peak technology. I'm dubious, but if it does, the event would see both MacBook Pros and iMacs with Light Peak released.
Analyst: Macs to see 22% sales increase for March quarter
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, eyeing info from research firm NPD, thinks January sales of Apple’s Macs will be roughly in line with his 22% increase for the entire March quarter. He tells clients in a note -- as reported by "Barron's (http://macte.ch/3Y19X) -- that he thinks NPD will report a 5% to 10% decline in January iPod sales, in line with his 6% decline for the quarter.
Munster says that Apple retail store staff are directing customers more and more to the MacBook Air, and that the device holds the "pride of place" (the “front left table") on the retail store floor. The analyst thinks the the Air has been a strong seller and likely the driver of January results, though he’s not sure if the sales level is sufficient for Air to actually show up in the data as a percentage of total Mac sales.
Additionally, Munster cautions that reports of Apple introducing refreshed MacBook laptops, perhaps in March, could make the quarter “backend-loaded." That would mean a slight bump up...
iTunes may get higher quality song files
Apple and other digital music retailers are in discussions with record labels to improve the quality of the song files they sell, reports "CNN" (http://macte.ch/yHNoQ), quoting "executives involved in the talks." This means that online music stores could offer songs that sound truer to their original recordings, though perhaps at a premium price.
Professional music producers generally capture studio recordings in a 24-bit, high-fidelity audio format. Before the originals, or "masters," are pressed onto CDs or distributed to digital sellers like iTunes, they're downgraded to 16-bit files. From there, the audio can be compressed further in order to minimize the time the music will take to download or to allow it to be streamed on-the-fly over the Internet.
Most Macs can play 24-bit sound, and the iTunes program is capable of handling such files. But most portable electronics, and many computers, don't support 24-bit audio. "CNN" notes that Apple would have to revamp future versions of...
Analyst: iPad crimping notebook sales growth
Global notebook shipment growth probably won't top 15% year-on-year and is, in fact, expected to reach only 12% since buyers from the enterprise market are increasingly fond of tablets such as the iPad and are considering replacing their existing notebooks with such a device instead of a new notebook, according to Joanne Chie, senior analyst at Digitimes Research (http://www.digitimes.com).
As more tablet computers begin showing up in the second half of 2011, their sales impact on the notebook industry will only expand further. This will most likely cause global netbook shipments in 2011 to reach only 24.23 million units, while forcing the notebook industry to enter the initial phase of maturity, Chien adds.
iPad 2, iPhone 5 both delayed?
The iPad 2 may be pushed back to June and the iPhone 5 to September, according to sources such as "Fortune" (http://macte.ch/qmBMQ), "Bloomberg" (http://macte.ch/AvenW), "Reuters" (http://macte.ch/VLJdD) and "Business Insider" (http://macte.ch/Q8HMF).
The new version of the iPad that was widely expected to be unveiled in April may be delayed until June, per analysts from Taipei-based Yuanta Securities. Why? "Production bottlenecks" at Hon Hai's Foxconn factories.
FBR Capital's Craig Berger to the effect that the launch of the next iPhone may be pushed back from June or July to September. According to Berger, various casing and touchscreen suppliers are still ramping up, some chip vendors have not yet received their orders, and plans for "other sockets like the image sensor" are still in flux.
In other iPhone news, "DigiTImes" (http://macte.ch/zHNkj) is reporting that Wintek looks to be the sole touch panel supply for the white iPhone s. In fact, the company may replace TPK Touch...
Jobs purportedly weighs in on digital subscription controversy
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reportedly weighed in on the iOS in-app subscriptions controversy with one of his terse e-mails. Responding to an iOS developer's inquiry, Jobs purportedly said apps such as Dropbox, Evernote, Salesforce and other similar software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps would not be required to use Apple's new in-app subscription service, according to "MacRumors" (http://www.macrumors.com).
"We created subscriptions for publishing apps, not SaaS apps," Jobs reportedly said in the e-mail.
Jobs' note comes soon after Readability -- an online service that allows you to save the text of articles for later reading offline -- complained in a blog post that Apple rejected its iOS app for failing to use the new in-app subscription service. Readability charges a recurring membership fee for its service and then distributes 70 percent of its profits to writers.
"PC World" (http://macte.ch/YKLFD) says Apple appears to be drawing a distinct line between apps that deliver content to iOS...
Apple plans new Los Angeles retail store
Apple will push its Los Angeles region retail presence further north later this year, into the Santa Clarita valley’s Valencia Town Center shopping mall, reports "ifo AppleStore" (http://macte.ch/COqXM). The store will probably open in mid-September, the article adds.
The mall is along Interstate 5 about 35 miles north of LA, and about 20 miles from the nearest existing store in Northridge. As part of the Westfield group of malls, it underwent a $140 million renovation last year, resulting in 40 new open-air spaces, notes "ifo AppleStore."
Twelve South ships BookArc for MacBook Air
Twelve South is shipping the US$39.99 BookArc for MacBook Air. Designed exclusively for MacBook Air (late 2010 models), the latest BookArc firmly grips the thin MacBook Air and includes built-in cable management to keep desktop and power cables in place.
Like previous versions of the BookArc, the MacBook Air model is fashioned from heavy gauge steel. One addition is built-in cable management. Since MacBook Air has inputs on both sides, the BookArc cable housing routes power, external display, USB and other cables behind the MacBook for a clean workspace.
For those who use MacBook Air with an external display, a key benefit for BookArc is the performance boost it gives your Mac, according to the folks at TwelveSouth. If you connect MacBook Air to an external monitor and leave the MacBook open, video memory is split between the two displays. When working with MacBook Air in the closed position, resting in BookArc, 100% of the video memory is dedicated to powering the external monitor...
OWC announces 12TB RAID storage drive
Other World Computing (http://www.macsales.com) has announced the Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 hardware RAID storage drive with 12TB of storage/backup in a desktop-sized brushed aluminum enclosure.
Featuring four 3TB hard drives in four hot swappable drive bays, the Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 12TB RAID storage drive offers the flexibility of a “quad interface” of FireWire® 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA; four selectable Hardware RAID settings of 0, 1, 5, 10; and 300MB/s data transfer rates for high speed, plug and play storage and redundancy for Macs and PCs.
Designed for 24/7 enterprise-class capacity-optimized applications, the Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 offers two million MTBF, nearly double the MTBF of consumer class drives. It's pre-configured in Hardware RAID 5 mode to provide data redundancy for uninterrupted access and protection against data loss.
The drive can also be automatically configured to use the other hardware RAID settings: 0, 1, or 10, as well as a Span (NRAID...
Monotype Imaging introduces Camphor typeface family
Monotype Imaging Holdings has added the 12-font Camphor typeface family to the company's Monotype collection. The new additions are now available from Monotype Imaging's Fonts.com, Linotype.com and ITCFonts.com stores. In addition, Camphor Web fonts are available from Fonts.com Web Fonts for website design.
"Camphor is a sturdy, hard-working yet elegant design," says Allan Haley, director of words and letters at Monotype Imaging. "It's space economical and suitable for a wide range of applications, from branding and advertising to signage and content. Camphor is a perfect addition to our Monotype collection, home to ageless classics such as the Gill Sans® face, a design Nick Job researched when he created Camphor."
The complete Camphor family features 12 typefaces. Each of the six weights, which range from thin to heavy, have a companion italic. The family is available as a suite of OpenType Pro fonts, which allow for the automatic insertion of small caps, ligatures and alternate...
Clever & Son ship WiFi2HiFi 1.0
Clever & Son AG have announced WiFi2HiFi 1.0 for iOS devices (http://www.wifi2hifi.com/). You can use WiFi2HiFi to turn your iPhone into a wireless audio receiver for your stereo system or sound-dock.
Combined with the free desktop app WiFi2HiFi Station you can listen to whatever audio program is playing on your computer. WiFi2HiFi Station acts like an additional audio output on the computer, allowing it to provide streaming support for audio programs on the Mac and PC.
Stumbling prone cables connecting the computer and the hi-fi will be superfluous, says Cliever & Son CEO Tobias Gemperli. Any web radio or song on the hard disc can be enjoyed from the comfort of the couch, he adds. WiFi2HiFi Station acts like an additional audio output on the computer, allowing it to provide streaming support for all popular audio programs on the Mac and PC.
Any audio program from music players to streaming media can be played. WiFi2HiFi Station automatically detects when an iPhone is in the...
Woz: Fusion-io to go public
Privately-owned server flash card vendor Fusion-io is planning to go public, according to its chief scientist, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, as reported by "The Register" (http://macte.ch/f2xv6).
Fusion-io's ioMemory technology adds flash chips to a PCIe card that becomes an intermediate tier of memory between a server's DRAM and its hard drives, accelerating server applications through changing disk I/Os into much faster flash I/Os. The company's products are used by server vendors Dell, HP and IBM, and customers such as Facebook, MySpace and Zappos.
Analysts: two million AT&T subscribers will switch to...
According to a "Fortune" report, analysts predict that at least two million AT&T subscribers over the next year will switch carriers now that the iPhone is available on Verizon.
In fact, "Fortune" is offering a guide to how phone companies transfer a customer's cell phone number from one carrier to another. You can find it at http://macte.ch/4Pwp7 .
Pragmatic Studio planning more iOS programming courses
The Pragmatic Studio has announced their spring and summer schedule for their iPhone/iPad Programming courses: April 18-21 in Denver, Colorado, and July 18-21 in Reston, Virginia.
In this four-day, hands-on training course you'll learn how to use the latest version of the iOS software development kit. Reserve your seat by March 17 to save $400 on early registration. For more info go to http://pragmaticstudio.com/ .
Report: personal computer market mounting a strong comeback
The personal computer market is mounting a strong comeback this year, according to the latest data (http://macte.ch/EIjAf) from The Bedford Report (http://www.bedfordreport.com).
While high unemployment has harmed consumer spending in North America, demand for computers in emerging markets is growing at a rapid rate. In India for example, desktops reported 14% increase year-on-year, while the sales of notebook computers grew at 49% in the fourth quarter.
The Bedford Report says Apple leads the mobile computer market at the moment with 10.2 million units shipped, giving it a 17.2% market share. The company is also gaining market share in Mac unit sales. In the company's fourth quarter Apple sold more than four million Macs.
Also "shares of Apple have recovered nicely after being smashed following the news of CEO Steve Jobs’ leave of absence," says The Beford Report. "Steve Jobs is an industry legend. His brush with liver disease in 2008-2009, which required a sabbatical from the...
MacBook Pro refresh coming this week? (updated)
Apple is getting ready to debut five upgraded versions of its MacBook Pro notebook line, according to various reports around the Web. And some of the rumors say the updated laptops will use Light Peak technology (http://macte.ch/lAfKn).
"PC World" (http://macte.ch/pxkeT) says the new MacBook Pros are thinner, lighter, have zippy new Intel processors (Core i5s and i7s) and better screens. Those "zippy" processors are expected to be Sandy Bridge chips.
"DigiTimes" (http://macte.ch/uhQ9B) says the revamped MacBook Pros will feature a slight change in chassis design and an upgrade to the new Lion operating system, which should help Apple's notebook shipments grow 30-40% on year in 2011. I beg to differ, but there's no way the new laptops will ship any time this spring with Mac OS X Lion, as that upgrade of the operating system isn't due to prowl until summer.
"AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) says placeholder SKUs [stock keeping units] for new Apple-branded computers...
Mac's 'Secure Empty Trash' function ineffective...
SSDs, Mac OS X and data security don’t mix. Not only does the standard file delete not delete files, but even the Mac’s “Secure Erase Trash” function leaves two-thirds of a file recoverable, according to "ZDNet" (http://macte.ch/k97Rw).
Hard drives associate a physical location with each logical block address (LBA). SSDs don’t, and therein lies the rub. If the LBA is written to, the existing data at that LBA can be presumed to have been overwritten.
But on flash-based SSDs, the firmware that makes flash look like a disk -- the flash translation layer (FTL) -- is constantly changing the physical address of the data," says "ZDNet." When the OS issues an overwrite, the FTL overwrites only the most recent location the data -- leaving older locations untouched.
This is a problem for all file systems, but according to a paper presented at FAST ‘11 last week, Mac OS 10.6 Secure Erase Trash command did an especially poor job, the article adds.