U.S. Mac sales up 16% year-over-year in early March quarter
U.S. Mac sales were up 16% year-over-year in the first two months of the March quarter, ahead of Apple's release of the new MacBook Pro lineup, according to the latest domestic retail tracking data from the NPD Group (http://www.npd.com) -- as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com).
The research group says U.S. Mac sales were up 16% year-over-year in January and February of 2011. As noted by analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray, the consensus view on Wall Street is that Apple will report Mac sales up 22% year-over-year for its March fiscal quarter.
While the number is low, it also represents two months before Apple released its new line of MacBook Pros, which arrived in late February, says "AppleInsider." This suggests that sales may have dipped before the anticipated refresh. Supporting this theory, U.S. Mac sales were up slightly more -- 20%-- in January, the article adds.
Since international Mac sales tend to have stronger year-over-year growth than Apple's U...
Microsoft's Zune bites the dust?
Microsoft is pulling the plug on its "iPod killer," the Zune, "because of tepid demand, letting the company shift its focus to other devices, says "Bloomberg Businessweek" (http://macte.ch/em7PX), citing "a person familiar with the decision."
Microsoft will concentrate on putting Zune software onto mobile phones, such as those running its Windows operating system, the article says. Zune software lets customers buy songs and movies, as well as pay a monthly fee to stream unlimited music.
The Zune, introduced in 2006, never managed to offer any serious competition to the iPod. Apple's media device led the market with 77% of unit sales last year, while the Zune failed to crack the top five, according to the NPD Group (http://www.npd.com). By adding the Zune features to the Windows Phone software, Microsoft aims to gain ground in another challenging area -- mobile phones -- where it’s lost market share to Google and Apple, says "Bloomberg Businessweek."
'Consumer Reports' looks at the iPad 2
Many stores reportedly sold out of the Apple iPad 2 during its first weekend of availability, but given the demand, more of Apple's new tablets are sure to be available soon. Based on Consumer Reports' preliminary tests (http://macte.ch/E9jRr) with the iPad 2 samples in their labs, the consumer testing organization/publication found the new version to be an improvement over the original iPad -- without any increase in price.
One major difference in tech specs is that the iPad 2 has a new processor that's supposed to make it far speedier than the original. While performing routine tasks such as Web browsing and e-mail in their tests, Consumer Reports didn't notice any significant speed improvement, as CR Senior Program Leader Dean Gallea notes in a video. The biggest speed boost, a 9x improvement in graphics processing, should be apparent when you run demanding 3D games, but it's not clear whether any games that take advantage of that higher speed are yet available, he says. Surely...
Analysts: Apple may have sold one million iPads so far
Some analysts think Apple sold close to a million units of the iPad 2 during its debut weekend, reports "Reuters" (http://macte.ch/3XQb5). By comparison, the original version of the iPad, which launched in April of 2010, crossed the one-million mark 28 days after its launch.
Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White told "Reuters" it was difficult to find an iPad 2 over the weekend. "Our field checks over the weekend indicate that the iPad 2 sold out at every Apple and non-Apple store we contacted," White wrote in a research note. "In fact, all the stores had worked through iPad 2 inventory by Saturday afternoon, and there were no new iPad 2 deliveries on Sunday."
Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland thinks Apple sold close to one million iPad 2's in the opening weekend. Best Buy on Friday said some of its outlets ran out of the tablet and its accessories within 10 minutes.
Apple shares rose 0.6% to US$354.20 in morning trade on the Nasdaq, even as shares of many other...
Protemac Netmine gets new interface, new rules, more
ProteMac has updated NetMine (http://www.protemac.com/NetMine/), software designed to control and monitor all the Internet and network activity on your computer, to version 2.0. The upgrade has a new interface, new rules, a new network engine and a new notification center.
NetMine offers identification of an application's address and port and indication of timeframes for NetMine's activity. The software controls network traffic by specifying software's default behavior and setting concrete access rules for the selected applications, as well. This firewall enables you to grant or deny permission to access the Internet for the selected application. The special Notification window warns you about unknown connection offering to allow or deny it once, till the end of Internet/network connection or forever.
Designed as a two-way firewall, NetMine establishes control over incoming and outgoing information flows managing network traffic. Visualizing network activity in real time, it...
Sweeter Rhythm releases Harmony 2.0 for worship presentation
Sweeter Rhythm has released Harmony 2.0. It's an update of the worship presentation application for Mac OS X 10.6.5 and higher; version 2.0 has over 20 new features and improvements.
Harmony 2.0's Themes feature addresses the number one feature requested by customers: more control over text. In addition to Harmony 1.0's LyricDance motion-lyric and Quartz Composition features, Harmony 2.0 supports Concord.
Concord is an app that runs on a Mac or iOS device. It's a text display driven by Harmony. When Harmony projects lyrics, Concord gets those lyrics over a WiFi network and displays them. It can be used, for example, as a confidence monitor for a band member or to provide large and close-up lyrics to a partially-sighted person.
Harmony 2.0 also offers new language support for French and German readers. Upgrades for existing customers are free. Harmony is normally priced at US$149. Until Easter, it's on sale for $99, available directly from Sweeter Rhythm (http://sweeterrhythm.com) or...
Analyst: iPad 2 totally sold out
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says in a note to clients -- as reported by "Fortune" (http://macte.ch/dgHHO) -- that the iPad 2 is apparently totally sold out -- and that 70% of the units were sold to new buyers.
The analysts estimates that 400,000 to 500,000 iPad 2s have been sold, compared with 300,000 of the original iPads in its first weekend on sale last year. The difference is that nearly all those iPad 2s were sold in one day; stocks were essentially depleted by Saturday and not replenished.
Munster says 70% of iPad 2 buyers were new to the iPad, compared with 23% of iPhone 4 buyers who were new to the iPhone at launch. His studies show that buyers were split almost evenly between Mac and PC users (51%/49%). By contrast, the split for the original iPad was 74%/26%.
iTunes offers way to help victims of Japan's tsunami,...
Apple has added a page to the iTunes Store, allowing you to donate money to the Red Cross to aid the victims of Japan’s tsunami and earthquake. Youo can donate amounts ranging from US$5 to $200.
A note on the page says: "Your gift to the American Red Cross will support our disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific. Your support will enable the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a certain disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters."
-- Dennis Sellers
Print Window available at the Mac App Store
Searchware Solutions has released Print Window 4.1.3 (http://www.searchwaresolutions.com) on the Mac App Store. It's an update of the utility for generating printed file listings from the Finder. It requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher.
With Print Window, you can generate and print file/directory listings of the currently selected window or folder with complete control over the way file listings. You can generate and print file/directory listings of the currently selected window or folder with complete control over the way file listings work, what folders are listed and the final printed format.
To celebrate the launch on the Mac App Store, the company is offering special pricing of US$10, 50% off the normal price on the Mac App Store and for single-user licenses from their website. This pricing is available on the Mac App Store and is also available on full, single-user licenses available from the Searchware Solutions website.
ScreenFloat is new screenshot utility for Mac OS X
Eternal Storms Software has introduced ScreenFloat 1.0 for Mac OS X (10.6.6 and higher). It's available at the Mac App Store for US$7.99.
The app is designed to simplify the users' workflow by letting them create screenshots that float above all other windows, eliminating the need to resize or move windows around just to keep it visible on the display. ScreenFloat includes customizable keyboard shortcuts, as well as a Shots Browser to categorize and organize screenshots taken with the application.
In the Shots Browser, closed shots are collected, tagged, titled, and organized in collections or smart collections. Collections are basically folders that users manually add created shots to. Smart Collections contain shots based on criteria the user specifies.
To make creation of floating shots for text easier, ScreenFloat implements a system service that works with all Cocoa applications' selected text. For the user's convenience, there is a screencast available on the website, says...
Sources say Apple won't include NFC in the iPhone 5
Apple won't include "wave and pay" chips in the new iPhone to be released later this year, "dashing industry hopes that a universal standard for the technology would be adopted in 2011," according to "The Independent" (http://macte.ch/rNUSA
Quoting "sources at several of the largest mobile operators in the UK," the article says Apple has disclosed in meetings that it wouldn't be including Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in the upcoming iPhone 5.
NFC is a short-range wireless connection technology that would turn the iPhone into an electronic wallet or security passkey. NFC is already in use in Asia and is expected to explode here in the next three to five years, especially if Apple adopts the technology.
"The Independent" says that one source close to the discussions said: "The new iPhone will not have NFC, Apple told the operators it was concerned by the lack of a clear standard across the industry." Yet Apple is understood to be working on its own NFC proposition, which...
'iFixIt' tears down the iPad 2
"iFixIt' has torn down the iPad 2. You can read all about it at http://macte.ch/hPbb3 and http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/mH4QIwCSrxTHGNFk.huge or see a video at http://macte.ch/SXaIb ; however, here is the summary from "iFixIt":
"Prior to starting the teardown, we guessed that the glass front panel was no longer held in place by tabs. We were correct. The new tapered edge on the iPad 2 prevents any kind of tabs from being used; instead, Apple engineers used generous helpings of adhesive to keep the front glass in place. Consequently, the front panel is very difficult to remove -- it's nearly impossible to open the iPad 2 without shattering the glass. We'll be working hard in the forthcoming weeks to provide a solution to this problem, but for now: please don't open your iPad 2.
"The iPad 2 received a 4 out of 10 repairability score, mainly for the extreme difficulty of accessing anything inside. But if you do manage to get in, you'll find that all screws are of the Phillips...
QuickerTek's Little Black Box works on the iPad 2
QuickerTek says their "Little Black Box" (http://www.quickertek.com/products/ipad_charge_monitor_usb.php) works for Apple's newly released iPad 2 as well as the first generation. It's an universal USB battery pack that allows you to use any AA battery to charge or power your idevice family or virtually any USB powered device.
The unit is compact os you can take it on a airplane, camping or on road trips. With the Little Black Box, you can use 1.2v or 1.5v Alkaline, Carbon or Ni Metal Hydride throwaways or 1.6v NiZinc rechargeable AA batteries, as long as all four AA batteries are the same kind and brand. The internal circuitry compensates for different battery voltages to supply the correct voltage for USB compatibility. Using 1.6v NiZinc rechargeable batteries work the best because they have the highest capacity (mAhr).
If you order by March 18, you'll receive free "green" ground shipping for St. Patty's Day. The Little Black Box must be ordered from the QuickerTek website to...
Store News for Mac OS X speeds up best deals update times
Independent software developer Christian Kienle has released Store News 1.1 (http://store-news-app.com/), an update of his free application for Mac OS X that's available in the Mac App Store. The best deals are updated every 30 minutes instead of every 24 hours.
Store News 1.1 fetches the latest deals every 15 minutes in the background automatically. Also, you can now sort by price, discount, application name and category.
Store News offers a way of finding out the best deals in the Mac App Store. It shows categories of apps that are totally free and apps that still cost a little bit of money.
Users may share what they've found via Twitter. Store News requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later and can be found in the Productivity category.
VidConvert for Mac OS X gets contextual menu
Independent software developer Reggie Ashworth has updated VidConvert, his video converter for Mac OS X, to version 1.0.5. The upgrade adds a contextual menu and addresses compatibility issues.
VidConvert It will convert just about any type of video into one of the a varityof formats, allowing you to create videos for your iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV. To use you add a file, select a format and a quality, and click convert. Optionally you can change your save folder from the main window.
For advanced users you can select the Advanced quality if you choose to allow such options as custom Frame Rate, Bit Rate, etc. But for most users simply choosing Normal or High quality should be sufficient. After your conversion is finished simply add more files or quit VidConvert and the job is done.
Supported formats include iPhone, iPod, iPad, QuickTime, .mp4, MPEG-1 and 2, DivX, Xvid, and audio only formats such as .mp4 and .m4a. VidConvert can add iTunes compatible videos directly to your...
App Tamer for Mac OS X updated to version 1.0.5
St. Clair Software has released App Tamer 1.0.5 (http://www.stclairsoft.com/AppTamer/), an update of the app for Mac OS X 10.5 and higher that gives you control over your applications so you can save battery and CPU power. In the new version right-clicking on a stopped application reveals a contextual menu that allows you to turn AutoStop off and quit, force quit, or relaunch the application.
This version works around an issue that caused Parallels Desktop to freeze your keyboard and mouse for a few seconds when it was autostopped. Also, App Tamer 1.0.5 works with the developer seed of Mac OS X Lion.
Some Mac applications, especially web browsers, continue running tasks or animations even when they're supposed to be idle in the background. This can consume valuable processing power and reduce battery life. App Tamer's AutoStop capability automatically pauses these applications when you switch away from them, and then restarts them when you click back to them. This frees your CPU and...
Counchbase announces general availability of Counchbase Server
Couchbase (http://www.counchbase.com) a NoSQL database company created by the merger of CouchOne and Membase, has released Couchbase Server, which is powered by the world's most widely deployed NoSQL database technology, Apache CouchDB.
Couchbase Server leverages the standard http protocol, allowing it to be integrated with a wvariety of languages and applications. Couchbase Server also incorporates geospatial indexing via GeoCouch, an open source component developed by a Couchbase engineer, enabling developers to create location-aware applications.
Couchbase Server binary packages are available for Mac OS X, Red Hat...
Inspector Pro 3.0.v2 supports FileMaker Server
Beezwax Datatools and FM::Nexus have released Inspector Pro 3.0v2 (http://www.beezwax.net/solutions/inspectorPro), an update to the tool for analyzing & debugging FileMaker database systems. It now now supports FileMaker Server, allowing a team of developers to easily collaborate on database optimization.
Files can now be opened on an iPad using FileMaker Go. In addition, Inspector Pro 3.0v2 itself can check other FileMaker Pro databases for compatibility when deployed on iPad or iPhone with FileMaker Go. Also, version 3.0v2 gathers a summary of unreferenced objects in a FileMaker database solution, and the update includes various fixes to address known issues.
Inspector Pro 3.0v2's new support for FileMaker Server allows multiple developers to collaborate more easily on database optimization. This is useful for multiple developers working together on a project, says Vincenzo Menanno, founder of FM:Nexus and Director of FileMaker Development for Beezwax Datatools. They can take...
Monotype Imaging adds Bradley Type fonts
Monotype Imaging Holdings has released the six-font Bradley Type family of handwriting fonts into the company's ITC typeface collection. The newest additions can be licensed and downloaded from Monotype Imaging's Fonts.com, ITCFonts.com and Linotype.com stores. Bradley Type is also available for website design from Fonts.com Web Fonts.
Designed by calligrapher, lettering artist and type designer Richard Bradley, the latest design is intended to be a versatile counterpart to his ITC Bradley Hand fonts, released in 1995. Bradley Type is available in weights of regular, bold and heavy. A complementary italic design is also available in all three weights. In addition, Bradley Type includes a suite of ligatures for each font, which extends the value and versatility of the family.
Analyst: most iPad 2 buyers are new to the platform
Analyst Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets told clients -- as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) that of the 15 million iPads sold by Apple in 2010, between 15 and 20% of those early adopters will upgrade to the iPad 2.
He sees up to a fifth of original iPad buyers switching to the iPad 2 over the next 12 months. However, Abramsky says that most who buy an iPad 2 this year will be new to the platform.
He expects Apple will sell 28 million tablets this calendar year. Abramsky forecasts that Apple will sell over 500,000 iPad 2s this weekend.
Dell increases PC market lead over Acer -- thanks to the iPad
Dell’s competitive position is improving in the global computer market, thanks to strong corporate sales as well as an unlikely helper: the iPad, according to the iHS iSuppli research group (http://www.isuppli.com).
U.S.-based Dell in the fourth quarter solidified its hold on second place in the global computer business as No. 3 player Acer saw challenging conditions continue in the consumer markets, new IHS iSuppli research indicates. Acer’s decline was spurred by rising competition for its consumer-focused netbook and notebook computers from the iPad and other media tablets.
U.S.-based Dell in the fourth quarter saw its market share lead in unit shipments expand over Taiwan’s Acer to 1.9 percentage points, up from a 0.4 point gap in the third quarter. With Dell’s fourth-quarter shipments remaining flat compared with the third quarter, its market share lead was entirely due to a precipitous 12.9% drop for Acer.
Global computer shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010 amounted to 93.1...
NewerTech announces NuShelf mounts for the Mac Mini
Newer Technology (http://www.newertech.com) has announced the NewerTech NuShelf Mount (http://www.newertech.com/products/macmini_acc.php) for installing one or more 2010 Mac mini computers and/or Apple Time Capsule wireless hard drives under a desk, shelf, or cabinet.
Designed and made in the USA and priced starting from US$39.95, the precision manufactured acrylic NuShelf Mount is designed to save desktop space by relocating a 2010 Mac mini and/or Time Capsule to a more protected, unused mounting location. Two models are available.
The $39.95 NuShelf Mount holds one 2010 Mac mini or one Time Capsule. The $44.95 NuShelf Dual Mount holds two 2010 Apple Mac minis, two Apple Time Capsules, or one mini and one Time Capsule $44.95.
iPad 2 may usher in mainstream video calls
The iPad 2 may jumpstart the video call era, says "Investor's Business Daily" (http://macte.ch/08vBs). The second-gen Apple tablet sports front- and rear-facing cameras along with FaceTime software.
Apple introduced FaceTime video chat in June with the launch of its iPhone 4 smart phone. Since then, it has made the feature available in the iPod touch media players and for Macs. It's available for Mac OS X at the Mac App Store for US$0.99.
FaceTime for Mac makes it possible to communicate with anyone on an iPhone 4, iPod touch, or Mac from your Mac. If you use one of the new MacBook Pros you get 720p clarity.
All you need is an Apple ID and an email address and you’re ready to roll. To start a video call with someone, find her entry in the contacts list. FaceTime works with Address Book so you don’t have to enter your contacts from scratch.
"Apple's marketing machine will do a lot to educate consumers" about video calls, Ben Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, told "Investor'...
Apple may sell 600,000 iPads in weekend debut
Apple may sell 600,000 of the the iPad 2 when it debuts this weekend, extending the device’s lead in a crowding market, according to "Bloomberg Businessweek" (http://macte.ch/p2luf). The iPad 1 sold 300,000 in 24 hours.
The iPad 2 went on sale on Apple’s website at 4 a.m., then appears in U.S. stores at 5 p.m. Brian Marshall, an analyst at Gleacher & Co. who predicted more than a half- million in unit sales, is one of several who expect the iPad 2 to outpace its predecessor, notes "Bloomberg Businessweek."
Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies, projects sales of 500,000 iPad 2s in two days. He -- along with analysts from Rodman & Renshaw LLC and Piper Jaffray & Co. -- also predicts the device will outsell the first iPad.
82% of future tablet buyers want an iPad
Since its initial release, the Apple iPad has been the de facto standard by which competing tablets are measured. But with the release of the iPad 2 just around the corner, can new tablets from Motorola, Research in Motion and a host of others successfully launch and compete?
During February, the ChangeWave (http://www.changewave.com)research group surveyed 3,091 consumers on tablet demand and future buying trends -- including customer satisfaction, tablet cannibalization of other electronic devices, and consumer preference for wireless tablet services. The survey was completed just before Apple’s iPad 2 announcement.
Future tablet demand remains extraordinarily high among consumers – with better than one-in-four respondents (27%) saying they plan on buying a tablet device in the future. That’s two points higher than in a previous ChangeWave survey in November.
Focusing on just the next 90 days, 5% of respondents say they’ll be purchasing a tablet within this time frame. Once again...
Stock Calculator Release 2 available for Mac OS X
System Support Products has announced Stock Calculator 2.0, an update to their profit/loss and share price calculator app for Mac OS X 10.4 or later. With the upgrade, the application re-written as a Universal Binary for native execution on both Intel and PowerPC processors.
Multiple calculation windows can now be open simultaneously in Stock Calculator. There are also user interface updates and improvements.
Stock Calculator is designed for performing "what if'" analyses, such as determining what share price a stock needs to attain in order to return a specified profit. It can determine the total cash outlay, per share buying price, or number of shares, as well as the net profit amount and total return percentage, or the per share selling price.
Stock Calculator for Mac OS X is currently available for a one-time charge of US$14.95 from the System Support Products website (http://www.sspi-software.com). Registered users of Stock Calculator who have purchased within six months prior to...
Verbatim releases new wireless computer accessories
Verbatim (http://www.verbatim.com) has announced the retail availability of its latest computer accessories -- the Mini Wireless Slim Keyboard & Mouse, the Wireless Optical Touch Mouse and the Wireless Mini Travel Mouse (pictured). These accessories offer 2.4GHz performance and "leave-in" USB Nano receivers for portability.
Designed with a piano black finish, Verbatim's US$44.99 Mini Wireless Slim Keyboard & Mouse sports a laptop-style keyboard, while its accompanying wireless mouse helps to eliminate cord clutter. The receiver can also be stored inside the mouse when not in use.
The $39.99 Verbatim Wireless Optical Touch Mouse lets users navigate the mouse pointer with the swipe of a finger and is designed for both right- and left-handed users. Verbatim’s $19.99 Wireless Mini Travel Mice are designed for notebook users and features a Nano receiver small enough to plug in and leave connected to a USB port, or stored inside the mouse when not in use.
CompanionLink announces PC Sync support for the iPad 2
CompanionLink Software has announced two-way synchronization of contacts, calendar, tasks and notes between popular PC software and the iPad 2.
CompanionLink offers multiple ways to sync the iPad 2, including local Wi-Fi sync, a secure hosted wireless sync service, and automatic wireless sync via Google. The sync works in tandem with a business-focused iPad app called DejaOffice.
CompanionLink will sync the iPad 2 with CRM suites like IBM Lotus Notes, Sage ACT!, Palm Desktop, Novell GroupWise, Salesforce CRM, and Highrise. CompanionLink also synchronizes with Microsoft Outlook add-ins like Franklin Covey PlanPlus for Microsoft Outlook, Getting Things Done (GTD), Take Back Your Life, Respond, Avidian Prophet, and Outlook Business Contact Manager.
CompanionLink's sync solutions for iPad are available for a one-time cost starting at US$39.95. CompanionLink Secure Hosted Wireless is available for $9.95 per month. Free telephone support is included. More details and a 14-day evaluation...
Spirit is Calling is daily spiritual journal for Mac OS X
BKeeney Software has introduced Spirit is Calling, a daily spiritual journal for Mac OS X (10.4 and higher) co-authored by Rev. Chris Michaels and Dr. Edward Viljoen. The US$21 app encourages daily journal entries that allow the user to track their spiritual growth over the course of a year.
The journal tracks thoughts and reflections on a daily basis and allows the user to return to previous entries at any time. The program can be scheduled to automatically open every day at a scheduled time.
Michaels is a national speaker, author and ordained minister. Viljoen is a national speaker, author and is the senior minister at the Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Rosa, California. A 14-day demo of Spirit is Calling can be downloaded at the BKeeney Software's website (http://www.bkeeney.com).
iBank for Mac OS X rings up version 4.2
IGC Software (http://www.iggsoftware.com) has released released iBank 4.2, a new version of its financial management application for Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher. The version delivers multiple enhancements including in-line editor calculations, improved transaction entry and split editing, and enhanced rules for complex imports.
iBank costs USS$59.99; licensed users of previous versions of iBank can upgrade for $29.99 (though version 4.2 is a free update for registered users of version 4.x). iBank for iPhone requires a MobileMe account. The Mac version requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher. A demo is available for download.
Transitioning to Xcode 4 screencasts available
The Pragmatic Studio (http://pragmaticstudio.com/) has released six free screencasts to help developers transition from Xcode 3 to Xcode 4 and learn new time-saving keyboard shortcuts.
This initial round of screencasts is geared toward developers familiar with Xcode 3 who want to make the jump over to Xcode 4. Many of the concepts will be familiar to iOS developers, but the screencasts will help guide you around the new user interface. There is also a handy Xcode 4 Shortcuts Cheat Sheet available for download.
In their upcoming hands-on iPhone/iPad Programming courses the Pragmatic Studio will be teaching Xcode 4. It will be held April 18-21 in Denver, Colorado, and July 18-21 in Reston, Virginia.
Desktop search engine supports Adobe, Quark, Microsoft
Markzware (http://www.markzware.com) has announced PageZephyr 2.11, a free update of the desktop search and content extraction engine for InDesign and other formats on the Mac.
PageZephyr desktop search converts InDesign, QuarkXPress and Publisher documents to the Internet. Version 2.11 supports InDesign CS5 plus extracts and exports text to your WordPress Blog, Scribd, Google Docs, and Box.net accounts.
PageZephyr searches documents within InDesign, Publisher and QuarkXPress and extracts and finds content within specific areas across file types. It's a semi-automatic content creator, providing ability to merge, edit and combine content.
This search engine finds content in multiple documents in different formats and highlights search criteria. You can customize discovered text by editing font styles, size, colors, etc., to optimize for output options.
PageZephyr costs US$99. It runs on Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher.
BaseElements FileMaker plug-in is free, open source
Goya (http://www.goya.com.au/) has announced BaseElements, a free and open source plug-in for FileMaker. It's a cross platform developer tool for analyzing, documenting and completely cross-referencing every element in FileMaker Pro database systems.
This plug-in is not only available for unlimited free use to end users and workgroups, but also available under an open source license. FileMaker developers can extend their FileMaker solutions without extra cost or licensing issues.
The BaseElements plug-in allows users to add to and enhance their FileMaker solutions via the plugin interface. By adding options to perform File, XSLT, Dialog, Clipboard and more functions, FileMaker developers can work on extending and improving their FileMaker solutions without extra cost or licensing issues, says Nicholas Orr, owner of Goya. The source code for the plug-in is available from github (https://github.com/nickorr/BaseElements-Plugin) and the downloads are linked directly from the plug-in...
Adobe updates Lightroom, Camera Raw
Adobe has announced the Lightroom 3.4 and Camera Raw 6.4 Release Candidates are available for immediate download on Adobe Labs.
The Release Candidates bring raw file support to seven popular camera models including Canon EOS Rebel T3i and Olympus E-PL1s, improve on lens correction profiles introduced in the Lightroom 3.3 and Camera Raw 6.3 releases, and add over 10 new lens profiles to help photographers automatically correct unwanted distortion and chromatic aberration.
In addition, the Lightroom 3.4 and Camera Raw 6.4 Release Candidates address a number of issues reported by customers on the previous releases. Lightroom is a digital photography workflow solution designed to help serious amateur and professional photographers import, manage, enhance and showcase all their images within one application. The Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in provides access to raw image formats produced by many leading digital cameras.
The Lightroom 3.4 Release Candidate is available as a free download...
BatchOutput for InDesign adds Deliver Express support
Zevrix Solutions (http://www.zevrix.com) has released BatchOutput 3.11, an update to its professional solution to automate printing and exporting from Adobe InDesign. The upgrade adds support of Deliver Express for automated delivery of output files.
BatchOutput is designed to automate and simplify InDesign production workflows of service providers, printers, ad agencies and publishers. With BatchOutput, users only need to select the files to output and adjust the settings, and the rest will be done automatically.
BatchOutput 3.11 can be purchased for US$129.95. A demo is available for download. Upgrades to BatchOutput 3.11 are free for licensed users of version 3.x, and $47.98 for the users of earlier versions. Every order includes a free license of File Courier (a $19.95 value). BatchOutput is available for Mac OS X 10.4.2 and higher, a Universal Binary, and works with Adobe InDesign CS-CS5.
Jobs ties for 110th ranking on world's billionaires list
"Forbes" has released its list of the world's billionaires (http://www.forbes.com/wealth/billionaires). Apple CEO Steve Jobs ties for 110th place with a net worth of US$5.5 billion. He ranked 136 last year (though he comes in at 34th among US billionaires)>
Here's what "Forbes" has to say about Jobs:
"In March the Apple founder made a surprise appearance at the unveiling of his iPad 2, after taking medical leave in January. Insanely creative Apple chief transforms a multibillion-dollar industry every few years. First, personal computers with Apple II, Macintosh; then film with Pixar; music (iTunes), mobile (iPhone). Now iPad is treated as messiah tablet, savior for publishing industry. Apple still sells computers, but twice as much revenue now comes from music distribution and hand-held devices. Shot past long-time rival Microsoft as world's most valuable tech company in May. Shares of Apple surged more than 80% over the last year. Still, the majority of Job's fortune comes from...
Xcode available at the Mac App Store
Apple's Xcode is now available on the Mac App Store for US$4.99 (and still free for Apple developers who pay the annual membership fee).
Xcode is a toolset for building Mac OS X and iOS applications. According to Apple, with Xcode 4, the tools have been redesigned to be faster, easier to use, and more helpful. The Xcode IDE purportedly understands your project’s details, identifies mistakes in both syntax and logic, and will even fix your code for you.
Xcode 4 also has a brand new user interface, built upon technologies that Apple itself uses to build Mac OS X and iOS, and that have produced over a quarter million Mac OS X and iOS apps.
Mobile app downloads approached eight billion in 2010
2010 saw considerable growth in the mobile applications market, and more competition is expected in 2011. Despite more proactive involvement in app store development from other platform providers, Apple’s iTunes is still the market leader after having such a successful head start, according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).
The research group says the iPhone interface had notched up more than 5.6 billion accumulated downloads by the end of 2010, compared to nearly 7.9 billion total downloads from all stores during that year. However, Apple is set to face more intensive competition in 2011.
“The iTunes App Store only targets iOS users; that leaves more room for other platform application stores to step up and focus on ‘non-Apple’ clientele,” says research associate Fei Feng Seet. “Android smartphone quarterly shipments now exceed Apple’s. There is still a long way to go, but accumulated downloads from both Android Market and third-party platforms surpassed 1.9 billion by...
iPad 2 hits the stores Friday
Just in case you somehow missed it, the iPad 2 be available tomorrow at 5 p.m. local time at all 236 Apple retail stores in the US and through the Apple Store (http://www.apple.com) beginning at 1 a.m. (Pacific).
Every customer who buys an iPad 2 at an Apple retail store will be offered free Personal Setup service, helping them customize their iPad 2 by setting up email, loading new apps from the App Store and more. The iPad 2 will also be available beginning at 5 p.m. local time at AT&T, Best Buy, Target, Verizon Wireless, Walmart and select Apple Authorized Resellers.
The iPad 2 has a suggested retail price of US$499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 for the 64GB model. The iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model. iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G -- compatible with the Verizon network -- will be available in the US only for a suggested retail price of $629 for the...
Apple to open up 'popup store' for SXSW
Apple will open a temporary store Friday in Austin, Texas, in the Scarbrough Building on Congress Avenue downtown, timed to the start of South by Southwest Interactive Conference and the release of the iPad 2 , reports the "American-Statesman" (http://macte.ch/al3hn).
Popup stores are a trend for retailers that want to unveil products or test a new location without committing to a permanent space. SXSW (http://sxsw.com/) features five days of presentations from experts in emerging technology, networking events hosted by industry leaders, the SXSW Trade Show and a line-up of special programs "showcasing the best new digital works, video games and innovative ideas the international community has to offer."
On Wednesday, construction workers were busy retrofitting the 5,000-square-foot space in the building, at Congress and West Sixth Street, that Apple will lease for two weeks, says the "American-Statesman." Black vinyl sheeting covered the windows fronting Congress. Apple has full-...
New Apple shop opening at Virgin Megastore Mall of the Emirates
Virgin Megastore is opening the first Apple shop in the United Arab Emirates at the Virgin Megastore, Mall of The Emirates, Dubai. The Apple shop will open on Wednesday, March 16 at 5 p.m.
The new Apple shop carry the full range of Apple desktops and notebooks, including the award-winning MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac, along with a range of Mac-compatible software and accessories with the support of Mac Solutions Consultants.
"Since 2005, the Virgin Megastore has been one of the best places to test drive and explore Apple products in Dubai," says Nisreen Shocair, president of Virgin Megastore in the Middle East. "With the opening of the first Apple shop in the United Arab Emirates at the Virgin Megastore, we're really excited to build on this and offer our customers a first class shopping experience for everything Mac. Customers who want to learn more will be able to watch the various daily product demos showing the different types of projects you can create with a Mac...
Apple had 83% of tablet market in 2010
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) "Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker" (http://www.idc.com), 10.1 million media tablets were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010 (4Q10) -- more than double the 4.5 million shipped in the third quarter.
Apple's share came down from 93% in 3Q10 to 73% in 4Q10, but still reflected Apple's strong leadership position. Samsung's Galaxy Tab was the primary competitor in the holiday season, beating other players to market and capturing more than 17% share, while a number of smaller regional players also participated.
"Strong holiday sales of media tablets were in line with IDC projections and strong consumer interest in the category while device vendors scrambled to offer products competitive with Apple's iPad and now iPad 2," says Loren Loverde, vice president, Consumer Device Trackers. "Media Tablets are on pace to reach shipments of roughly 50 million units in 2011."
According to IDC, media tablets are tablet form...
Safari, IE go down first at hacking contest
Safari and Internet Explorer were successfully hacked on the first day at the annual Pwn2Own hacking contest in Vancouver, BC, reports "The Inquirer" (http://macte.ch/qu5pb).
"Safari goes down first at Pwn2Own!" tweeted Aaron Portnoy, manager of the security research team at Pwn2Own sponsor Tipping Point. Insecurity research company Vupen broke into the Safari browser, running on a fully patched version of Mac OS X, by successfully exploiting a zero-day flaw, says "The Inquirer."
The hack happened even though Apple issued a last-minute security patch for Safari. Apple is supposedly adding more focus on security for the upcoming Mac OS X Lion.
Six iPad 2 cases available from WaterField Designs
WaterField Designs (http://www.sfbags.com) has announced new custom-sized iPad 2 cases: the Smart Case (pictured) Slip Case, Ultimate SleeveCase and Suede Jacket.
For carrying the iPad 2 with the Apple Cover or another slim case, WaterField offers the EXO SleeveCase. For toting the iPad along with the wireless keyboard and accessories, WaterField Designs recommends the iPad Wallet.
"We have re-designed our iPad line creating new custom sizes for the lighter, thinner iPad 2," says WaterField Designs owner, Gary Waterfield. "The EXO and iPad Wallet remain great choices for carrying the iPad 2 within another case and the iPad 2 with its mobile accessories."
The Smart Case (US$59) has an Ultrasued, scratch-free liner with an impact-resistant, screen-protecting insert and is enveloped by a water-resistant exterior. The Slip Case ($29) has a water-resistant fabric exterior that surrounds a plush interior and includes an impact-resistant, screen-protecting insert.
The Suede Jacket ($19...
FileMaker launches new podcast series
FileMaker Inc. has announced “Business and Database Solutions for iPhone and iPad,” a new podcast and Facebook Fan Page.
Aimed at iPad and iPhone users interested in database solutions for business, both the podcast series and fan page feature real companies and business owners who are managing their data on-the-go using Apple’s iOS devices. Hosted by Molly Connolly of Thorsen Consulting and Matt Navarre of MSN Media, the first three podcasts are available today on iTunes.
FileMaker plans to add new episodes, so stay tuned to the Business and Database Solutions for iPhone and iPad on iTunes. You can go to FileMaker’s new “Business and Database Solutions for iPhone and iPad” Facebook Fan page for more info.
The site offers customer stories, YouTube videos offering how-to advice and more. Visitors can also see screens with examples of how to mobilize inventory management, contacts, and events.
Wrapsol introduces screen protection for the iPad 2
Wrapsol has announced the availability of Wrapsol ultra and fingerprint-fighting Wrapsol clean screen protector lines for the Apple iPad 2.
Using the company’s patent-pending adhesive films, they're designed to protect the screen of the Apple tablet. Wrapsol for iPad 2 is fully compatible with Apple’s SmartCovers and is available for pre-order at http://www.wrapsol.com for US$29.95. Shipping is expected to begin next week.
Wrapsol ultra and clean screen protectors for the iPad 2 are applied with three steps: align the film, tack it down, smooth it on. Purportedly, the proprietary adhesive formula actively releases air bubbles over time for the smoothest application possible, and delivers a high level of protection against impact damage, scratches, cracks, dents, dings and scuffs from foreign objects, abrasive grit or damaging surfaces.
iWeb Themes Park releases new templates
iWeb Themes Park (http://www.iwebthemespark.com) has introduced new iWeb themes for iWeb, the web creation component of the iLife suite. The new themes are Break Dance, Hunting Club, Lighted, Perspective and Writing.
To use iWeb themes from iWeb Themes Park you'll need a Mac with iWeb from iLife '08 or later. The iWeb Themes Box of 105 themes is priced at US$47.77. Ten iWeb themes in a Combo Package can be purchased for $29.99.
Each template is available for $11.99 or $12.99. Using the coupon code “iWebThemesTrio” 3 iWeb Themes of Your choice can be obtained with $12.99 discount. Four iWeb Themes are free for everyone.
iPresentee expands iWeb templates for Business collection
iPresentee (http://www.ipresentee.com) has released iWeb Themes for Business 8.0 to be used with Apple's website building application.
iWeb Themes for Business includes five new themes: Bakery, Herbs, Hair Stylist, Movie and Clothes. Designed for casual and business use, the new release extends iPresentee's iWeb themes collection up to 115 themes. All themes incorporate a series of layered images that are customizable, replaceable, or removable.
The themes require Mac OS X 10.4.3 or higher and iWeb 2.0 (iLife '08) or later. Each iWeb Theme for Business is available for US$10. The set of five new iWeb Themes for Business 8.0 may be purchased for $30. The iWeb Suite Bundle may be purchased for $70.
Bundle includes 75 iWeb Themes, 40 iWeb Themes for Business, 15 iWeb Intros, 75 iWeb Animations and 181 Keynote 3D Stuff objects. Samples and more information about iWeb Themes for Business 7.0 are available at the iPresentee website.
Flashcards for Mac updated, gets price reduction
Independent software developer Christian Kienle has released Flashcards 3.4 (http://christian-kienle.de/Flashcards/) for Mac OS X (10.6 and higher). The new version boasts some refinements and performance improvements.
Flashcards is a flash card application with an iTunes-like user interface. You can organize your cards in decks, folders and smart decks. Decks can be exported and saved in any place on your hard disk. Each card has a progress indicator so that you see your overall performance at a glance.
Smart decks allow you to specify a set of rules that determine which cards the deck will contain. For example, you could have a smart deck that always contains cards you recently studied and answered wrong.
Flashcards comes with a formula editor. The formula editor lets you create graphical formulas by typing in a LaTeX style text. For example, you can then drop the formula on any card.
What's more, Flashcards lets you export decks as a series of images directly to iPhoto. You can...
Lagente releases PinPoint 3.6 for Mac
Lagente Software has releases PinPoint 3.6.1 (http://www.lagentesoft.com), an update of their mouse enhancement tool for Mac OS X. It's available at the Mac App Store for US$2.99.
Used by screencast professionals and presenters to help their audience locate the mouse on screen, PinPoint provides the user with a series of animated graphics that are displayed around the mouse pointer. It's designed to help audiences follow along with presentations and demos and also serves to help the visually disabled use their computers more effectively.
PinPoint provides the user with a series of animated graphics that are displayed around the mouse pointer. Many shapes, behaviors and animations are available, including a Full Screen Crosshair mode, and pointers with visual click indicators.