Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hidden app snaps pics of alleged crook, Oakland PD slow to respond

Hidden app snaps pics of alleged crook, Oakland PD slow to respond -

Have you seen the man in the picture at right? If you live in the Bay Area and you've seen him with a MacBook in hand, you might want to consider calling the Oakland police.

Joshua Kaufman has images supplied by the Hidden app that show this man using a MacBook that was allegedly stolen from Kaufman's apartment. Through the use of Hidden, Kaufman was able to get some great pictures and the location of the computer, and posted those photos on his Tumblr. We picked this up after John Welch tweeted the link.

The Oakland PD is apparently understaffed, so Kaufman is pinging the Oakland Mayor's office for help in retrieving his MacBook. In the meanwhile, consider this a Amber MacBook Alert. We're reaching out to the Oakland PD for comment.

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)

Bluetooth Keypad WKP-1314 Review

Bluetooth Keypad WKP-1314 Review -

The missing piece

I can finally dust off my Apple Wireless Keyboard and use it -- and it’s all thanks to LMP’s ingeniously designed Bluetooth keypad. For me, numpads aren’t optional -- reaching to the right to bash numbers, symbols, and that big fat Enter key is permanently hardwired. This clever keypad un-amputates the Wireless Keyboard by snapping easily but sturdily onto the edge of the keyboard, gripping it firmly enough to make the pair feel like one device. Don’t worry about ripping them apart to power down your keyboard, either -- pressing a button on the keypad’s right side extends a bar from the left that switches off your keyboard without breaking the seal. It’s so cool and works so well that we wish LMP sold just the connector as a stand-alone way to attach a Magic Trackpad to a Wireless Keyboard.

We knew we’d left the other half of Apple’s Wireless Keyboard laying ‘round somewhere…

Once you power up the keypad, it connects to your Mac via Bluetooth, but it’s wise to turn on the keypad after the Mac has fully booted up. The keypad sleeps sooner than Apple’s peripherals, and booting up OS X takes just long enough that the keypad often snoozes before syncing, requiring another tap of its power button to connect. Also, because OS X views this duo as two separate keyboards, commands that require simultaneous presses on the keyboard and keypad (like Command-+) can’t be entered. Adjusting to both quirks was painless and worthwhile -- the keypad otherwise works beautifully, adding sorely missed keys like Forward Delete, Page Up/Down, and F13–F17 to the standard number pad. While the keypad is made of plastic, it looks and feels like Apple’s aluminum keyboard, including the smooth action of the keys.

The bottom line.
Peaches & Herb put it best: reunited and it feels so good!

(Via Mac|Life all.)

Security Update 2011-003 lifts barriers against Mac Defender

Security Update 2011-003 lifts barriers against Mac Defender - Apple has released Security Update 2011-003, a patch for Mac OS X Snow Leopard. The fix's main goal is protection against Mac Defender, a piece of malware that attempts to scam credit card numbers from people duped into installing it. A definition for Mac Defender has been added to File Quarantine, and when the code is detected Snow Leopard will try to remove it. The new safeguards cover both Mac Defender itself and unspecified variants ...

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network.)

WHO: Cell phones may cause cancer

WHO: Cell phones may cause cancer - World Health Organization issues new findings, classifying cell phones as a potential cancer risk, like exhaust from gasoline-powered vehicles and lead.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Monday, May 30, 2011

MobileMe subscription about to expire? Don't renew it just yet

MobileMe subscription about to expire? Don't renew it just yet -

If you've already paid the US$99 for Apple's MobileMe service, but your account is due for renewal within the next ten days or so, it might be a good idea to hold off on renewing it for now. Apple's rumored to be heavily revamping its MobileMe service this year, and we expect to hear announcements about the service upgrades at WWDC on June 6. Some rumors even suggest that parts of MobileMe may be available at no charge after the update.

It's been a perennial rumor that Apple will stop charging $99/year for much of its MobileMe service. The rumors have always suggested Apple will offer basic services (like email and over-the-air device syncing) for free, while paying subscribers will have access to things like website hosting, online photo galleries, storage options through iDisk, and now potentially wireless streaming of music via the rumored iCloud service. Year after year this rumor has failed to come to fruition, but many are hoping this is the year Apple will finally split MobileMe into two services: free/basic and subscription/full access. There's already precedent for making certain parts of MobileMe free. Find My iPhone/iPad used to be a service for MobileMe subscribers only, but last November Apple made it free to anyone with an iPad, iPhone 4 or current-gen iPod touch.

The bottom line is that if you're only making limited use of MobileMe's services right now and your account is set to expire within the next couple of weeks, wait to see what's in store at WWDC before you shell out another $99 for another year. You may or may not lose access to some MobileMe features as soon as your account expires; we've been hearing conflicting reports about this from some readers, suggesting the service is indeed due for an overhaul relatively soon. You'll still have access to email services for up to two weeks after your account expires, at which point Apple will supposedly throw the switch and delete all of your MobileMe data. That means if your account hasn't expired already, you're in good shape until WWDC.

Speaking only for myself, if MobileMe's email and device syncing services do indeed become free-to-all after WWDC, I'm not likely to pay for access anymore. I've made very limited use of iDisk -- it's absolutely terrible compared to Dropbox, especially the way iDisk behaves in the Mac OS X Finder -- and MobileMe's gallery service is cumbersome compared to other photo sharing services I've used. As for iCloud, I have pretty much zero interest in what I've heard of it thus far, because I don't believe the internet infrastructure where I live can handle the types of services iCloud will supposedly offer. On the other hand, if Apple knocks it out of the park with the MobileMe upgrade, I may still happily drop some cash on the service. It all depends on what we hear at WWDC.

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)

Look, Up In the Sky! It’s a Phone! It’s a Tablet! No, It’s the ASUS Padfone!

Look, Up In the Sky! It’s a Phone! It’s a Tablet! No, It’s the ASUS Padfone! -

ASUS PadfoneIf you can’t beat ‘em, get crazy with ‘em -- that seems to be the philosophy of ASUS, the maker of inexpensive netbooks and now iPad-challenging tablets such as the sold-out everywhere Eee Pad Transformer. On Monday, the company announced their craziest tablet product yet.

Engadget is reporting that Taiwanese consumer electronics maker ASUSTek wants to rock your world by offering the world’s first smartphone that’s also a tablet. The image you see above is not some mutant tablet run amok consuming smartphones, but rather the ASUS Padfone, a 4.3-inch smartphone that docks inside a 10.1-inch tablet (note that these specs have not been finalized yet by the company). Yes, you’re reading that correctly.

Introduced as Computex on Monday, the Padfone is an Android-based smartphone capable of docking inside a tablet that is otherwise just a lump of glass and plastic until the two are merged -- although the tablet does extend the battery life of the smartphone since it has its own cell, and of course it offers a super-sized display with speakers and even an I/O extender.

This crazy idea begs the question, what kind of Android software will the Padfone eventually ship with when it starts rolling out in time for the Christmas 2011 holiday season? Honeycomb 3.0 is a tablet-only affair and any prior version simply won’t do. ASUS isn’t saying, but the implication seems to be that the Padfone will come packing the next Android version code-named “Ice Cream Sandwich,” which was demoed at the recent Google I/O event and finally units the smartphone and tablet hardware.

ASUS has had some recent success with the Eee Pad Transformer, a tablet capable of docking into an optional keyboard case, with the tablet selling out everywhere at the bargain price of $399 -- although many retailers are happy to offer it to you for $50 or even $100 over retail, if you just gotta have one.

It’s much too early to start throwing around price and availability, but in the meantime you can check out the Engadget hands-on from Computex in the embedded video below and judge for yourself. Um… your move, Apple?

(Via Mac|Life all.)

E-Book prices fuel outrage -- and innovation

E-Book prices fuel outrage -- and innovation - E-Book prices fuel outrage -- and innovation An e-book that costs the same as a printed book doesn't feel right. No trees died to make it. No heavy machinery ran to print it. No planes flew to ship it. So why should you have to spend as much as you would for a heavy hardcover book to own it?

(Via Macworld.)

Endeavour undocks - Incredible live TV last night

Shuttle Endeavour undocks from space station -

Screen shot 2011 05 30 at 10 15 41 AM

Wrapping up 12 days of work at the International Space Station, the shuttle Endeavour's crew undocks from the lab and tests navigation sensors and software for use in future spacecraft.

CLINT: Incredible live TV shots last night ...

(Via CNET News.com.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

How to create an OS X flash drive installer

How to create an OS X flash drive installer - How to create an OS X flash drive installer Instead of using the system installer disc that came with your Mac, create a system installer flash drive, like the one that comes with the MacBook Air. It's smaller than an optical disc, more reliable, and runs faster.

(Via Macworld.)

Hands-on with Amazon's Mac software store

Hands-on with Amazon's Mac software store - Hands-on with Amazon's Mac software store Amazon announced on Thursday a new Mac Software Downloads store. Here's our hands-on look at using the new store, including how it compares to Apple's Mac App Store.

(Via Macworld.)

Five apps iPhone photographers love

Five apps iPhone photographers love - Five apps iPhone photographers love The camera in your mobile phone is not yet the equal of a digital SLR, but it's amazing how good the results can be. And you can do things with a smartphone that are difficult or impossible to do with a traditional camera. This week, we have five awesome apps designed for iPhone photographers.

(Via Macworld.)

Skype offers instructions to fix Mac connectivity issues

Skype offers instructions to fix Mac connectivity issues - Skype offers instructions to fix Mac connectivity issues Some Skype users found the service inaccessible early Thursday. Skype has published instructions for correcting the issue.

(Via Macworld.)

Google to resist PayPal lawsuit, leans on job rights claims

Google to resist PayPal lawsuit, leans on job rights claims - Google in a statement Friday afternoon planned to fight back against the eBay and PayPal lawsuit accusing it of stealing employees and trade secrets for Google Wallet. The company insisted that it would "respect trade secrets." It went on to argue that the staffers, Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius, had the right to leave for another company since experience was vital to moving up in the technology industry ...

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pioneer announces AppRadio iPhone in-car unit

Pioneer announces AppRadio iPhone in-car unit - Pioneer announces AppRadio iPhone in-car unit On Wednesday, Pioneer Electronics announced what it hopes will be the next stage of in-car connectivity--the AppRadio, an in-dash system that can display iOS apps on its screen.

(Via Macworld.)

Hasselblad announces 200-megapixel camera

Hasselblad announces 200-megapixel camera - Hasselblad announces 200-megapixel camera On Wednesday, Hasselblad announced its newest medium-format digital SLR camera, the 200-megapixel H4D-200MS, which costs $45,000.

(Via Macworld.)

B&N fires back at Amazon over Kindle battery life

B&N fires back at Amazon over Kindle battery life - A small controversy is brewing over which e-reader lays claim to the title of having the best battery life.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Copyfight: EFF Co-Founder Enters e-G8 'Lion's Den'

Copyfight: EFF Co-Founder Enters e-G8 'Lion's Den' - John Perry Barlow — EFF co-founder, Grateful Dead lyricist, and rancher — arrived in Paris and began tweeting up a storm from the e-G8 summit gathered there to discuss the future of the internet.

(Via Wired Top Stories.)

Square Hopes to Kill Cash Register With Square Register

Square Hopes to Kill Cash Register With Square Register -

Not two years after introducing the world to its little mobile credit card reader, Square is looking to write the obituary for the modern cash register–along with every location-based, daily deal and mobile payment app in existence.

From his open-plan, industrial office space within the San Francisco Chronicle building Monday morning, Square CEO and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey unveiled his newest creations– the Square Register for merchant and the Square Card Holder for consumers.

Availble for the iPad, the Square Register is a software platform designed to work with the Square Reader to manage payments and take the place of those “expensive, complicated, and impersonal commercial transaction system,” –also know as the cash register.  Working in tandem with the card reader, the platform gives merchants access to “Google-style analytics” to manage items, check daily transactions, update pricing, automate checkout, generate digital receipts and maintain virtual storefronts. With one swipe of an iPad, your local coffee shop can now easily answer how many cappuccinos sold today or how rain impacts the sale of biscotti’s, Dorsey said.

The register is currently being used by 50 merchants in New York City, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Mo., Washington D.C. and San Francisco. The company did not give a timeline for expansion, other than saying it plans to grow at a measured pace.

Consumers (at least those in the five cities where it has launched) can search for participating businesses by type or location on the new Card Holder application. The location-based service lets users browse menus, find daily specials and manage loyalty cards digitally and offers one-click payment “just like iTunes and Amazon.”

Then, when a customer opens his card reader and is ready to check out, he gives the cashier his name. His face and account will pop up on the merchant’s iPad screen. He tells the cashier to charge it to his account.  He will then receive a digital receipt for the purchase. The digital wallet app also allows consumers to see all past purchases online.

“You just pay with your name. It’s really easy, it’s really magical,” Dorsey said.

And don’t forget all the paper you’re saving.

“All that clutter, all that mess. Get rid of takeout menus, get rid of loyaty cards. reciepts. Replace it with one digital card,” he said.

Since its first little plastic reader went off the production line, Square says it has shipped out 500,000 readers. It says Square users have made one million purchases (that’s an average of just two per reader) that account for more than $1 billion in gross payment.

With the reader, register and card holder, Square thinks it has hit the trifecta of mobile payments. It not only wants to eliminate the register, it wants to eliminate every startup offering daily deals or loyalty card solutions. Dorsey says:

What we think is that there alot of people working are also working in this space are concerned with the parts of transactions … payments, coupons, receipts. Waving around your phone in the air next to a terminal hoping that you hear a beep. We don’t think that’s the right way to go.  We think In order to do this right you have to have one system. You have to build  for the buyer, the seller and everything in between.”

(Via TheAppleBlog.)

How Apple iBooks could compete with Amazon's Kindle in the ebook space [updated]

How Apple iBooks could compete with Amazon's Kindle in the ebook space [updated] -

Update: The original version of this post cited a $99 fee to set up publishing for books via the iBookstore, which was incorrect; while the developer program $99 fee applies to books-as-apps, it does not apply to iBooks themselves. TUAW was contacted by Apple's media team, and they told us that "anyone can submit books to sell on iBookstore easily, and for free at itunes.com/sellyourbooks." We apologize for the error.

Apple's iBooks app and the iBookstore have been available since March of last year, but don't appear to have made as much of an impact as the much older Kindle platform from Amazon. Just last week, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos announced that the company is now selling slightly more electronic books than the dead-tree versions. Last October, one of our bloggers noted that the iBookstore was "one big failure," citing the lack of titles as his main concern.

I feel the same way. Although it seems as if things are slowly getting better, I still find myself searching for electronic books in both the iBookstore and Kindle Store, and the majority of the time I buy them from Amazon. Personally, I do like the look of iBooks a lot more than I do Kindle books, and I find incredible numbers of typos in Kindle books. But I still go to the Kindle Store for most of my ebooks simply because I can find what I want to read.

During a discussion with several of my fellow bloggers yesterday, it occurred to me that there are a few things that the Kindle electronic publishing platform does much better than the iBookstore. Read more to see some suggestions on what Apple could do to better compete with Amazon's Kindle ebookstore and dominate the ebook market the way that the iPod and iTunes have come to rule the music business.

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)

Four tips for better iPhone battery life

Four tips for better iPhone battery life -

David Pogue from the New York Times recently got some tips on improving iPhone battery life from an Apple Store Genius. We've discussed how to get the most out of your iPhone's battery on TUAW before, but it's worth revisiting since both the iPhone itself and the software it runs have changed so much since the last time we discussed it.

Three out of Pogue's four suggestions for improving battery life come straight from Apple's official battery life tips. First, he suggests turning off push email and setting email to fetch manually. Depending on how many email accounts you have, this could dramatically improve your battery life, but it also means you won't receive new messages until or unless you open the Mail app.

Pogue's second suggestion was to turn off Location Services for apps that don't necessarily need to have an active GPS connection. This tip makes sense if you're making heavy use of a camera app or a Twitter client with GPS tagging, but since Location Services generally doesn't run in these apps when they're running in the background, it's only going to make a positive impact on your battery life if you're spending a lot of time using these apps.

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)

Hands on: Barnes & Nobles all-new Nook

Hands on: Barnes & Noble's 'all-new' Nook - As expected, Barnes & Noble has unveiled its third-generation e-book reader, the "All-New Nook," which was showcased at a special event in New York City. The new offering is smaller, lighter and cheaper than its Color counterpart. Electronista had a chance to take a closer look at the retailer's latest attempt to upstage Amazon's popular Kindle readers ...

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network.)

On anniversary of Kennedy moon speech, we should look skyward

On anniversary of Kennedy moon speech, we should look skyward - Fifty years after President Kennedy lit the candle that illuminated the way to Apollo 11, the fire is all but snuffed out. It will never return until we remember why we went to the moon in the first place.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Kindle battery life doubles overnight

Kindle battery life doubles overnight - With the arrival of the new Nook, Amazon appears to have taken issue with how its competitor presented its battery life numbers.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Hasselblad's 200-megapixel camera: $45,000

Hasselblad's 200-megapixel camera: $45,000 - The most serious pro photographers out there now have a new option, the H4D-200MS, which combines six frames into a single 600MB image.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Square vies with NFC for mobile payments

Square vies with NFC for mobile payments - Through its revamped mobile apps for iOS and Android, Square is looking to offer an alternative beyond NFC to pay for items via a mobile device without the need for cash or credit card.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Six Wi-Fi problems and how to fix them

Six Wi-Fi problems and how to fix them - Six Wi-Fi problems and how to fix them Does your wireless network seem slow? Here are six common causes to wireless network interference, and what you can do to fix them.

(Via Macworld.)

Amazon Hits iTunes Again With $0.99 Lady Gaga Album, Qualifies for Cloud Drive Storage Upgrade

Amazon Hits iTunes Again With $0.99 Lady Gaga Album, Qualifies for Cloud Drive Storage Upgrade - Last month, Amazon rolled out a promotion highlighting 69-cent new release tracks in its MP3 download store, an apparent effort to draw market share from Apple in the digital download market that has long been dominated by the iTunes Store. The pricing significantly undercuts Apple's own pricing, which typically comes in at $1.29 for popular new tracks.

Amazon has made another push today with a "Daily Deal" offering the new Lady Gaga album, "Born This Way", for only $0.99 through the Amazon MP3 Store. The special price is available for today only and compares to the $11.99 price point for the standard album in the iTunes Store, where an expanded edition is also available for $15.99.

(Via MacRumors : Mac News and Rumors.)

Square Card Case, Register iOS apps push mobile payments

Square Card Case, Register iOS apps push mobile payments - Square on Tuesday used its special event to unveil two entirely separate apps with the aim of making traditional cash registers obsolete. Square Register for the iPad is intended to go beyond just handling payments and will track inventory, add specials on-device, archive receipts in a more accessible way. Deep analytical data will also help track habits, such as when people often buy two items together ...

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network.)

Square iOS app gets new interface, product variations

Square iOS app gets new interface, product variations - Square has released a major update of its iOS transaction app, bringing the software to v2.0. On the surface the title has a more "refined" interface, more subdued than in earlier versions. The most important addition is that of product variations on the iPad, allowing to vendors to list slight differences for their goods such as sizes, colors or flavors ...

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network.)

Kobo unveils WiFi Touch Edition e-reader for $129.99

Screen shot 2011 05 23 at 12 20 06 PM

Kobo unveils WiFi Touch Edition e-reader for $129.99 - Fresh off raising $50 million, Kobo has announced a new touch-screen e-ink e-reader, the $129.99 Kobo WiFi Touch Edition.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

LunaTik and TikTok Hit the Big Time With Apple Store Availability

LunaTik and TikTok Hit the Big Time With Apple Store Availability -

The iPod nano wristband accessories Scott Wilson designed shortly after Apple introduced a new model of its smallest-screened iPod have gone from community-funded success to Apple Store shelves. The LunaTik and TikTok watchband kits go on sale in Apple Stores across North America this week.

Wilson, founder of Chicago-based design studio MINIMAL, and one of the driving forces behind the visual style of the redesigned Xbox and Microsoft Kinect, set out to create the LunaTik and TikTok as a project he would have complete control over. To avoid the influence of traditional investors, he turned to crowdsourced community fundraising site Kickstarter. We watched as the TikTok and LunaTik first broke Kickstarter funding records early on in its time on the site, and then later as it capped out at an unprecedented total of nearly $1 million raised through accumulated individual donations.

The wristbands were so well-designed that many early investors in the project actually bought iPod nanos only after securing either wristband as a reward for backing their production. I reviewed the TikTok, and indeed, no other similar accessory I’ve since come across comes close in terms of quality and design.

Wilson was distributing both the LunaTik and the TikTok via the official LunaTik.com website, where they will continue to be sold, but different retail channels have now come calling, including Apple itself. Apple initially wasn’t convinced buyers would be willing to pay for the more expensive $79.95 LunaTik. In fact, Wilson has sold twice as many of the more expensive model according to Co.Design. That’s 20,000 through his site, adding to the initial 21,120 orders made through Kickstarter. Those numbers have convinced Apple that buyers most definitely are interested.

The success of both accessories has also spawned new models recently, including a white version of the TikTok and both a red and black version of the LunaTik. Apple will be selling the LunaTik in silver (the original color) and red for $79.95, and the TikTok in white and black for $39.95.

(Via TheAppleBlog.)

In-flight iPhone snaps Space Shuttle launch

In-flight iPhone snaps Space Shuttle launch -

The picture at right isn't something you see every day, and it's something there'll only be one more chance to capture: a Space Shuttle launch photographed from an in-flight passenger jet. Stefanie Gordon shot this image of the Space Shuttle Endeavour's launch with her iPhone as her plane descended for a landing.

The shot itself is a rare enough event, but what happened next was an eye-opener for the photographer. According to Mashable, within a few hours of uploading the launch pics to Twitter from her iPhone, Stephanie was getting phone calls from ABC, CNBC and the BBC. Her follower count on Twitter went up by over 1000, and she was getting so many @mentions as a result of the pic that she had to shut them off so her iPhone's battery didn't get drained.

Other people on the plane took pics, but apparently none of them uploaded them to Twitter. The real draw of this story isn't that the photo was taken with an iPhone -- people use the device to take extraordinary pics all the time -- but the colossal and immediate response the photographer got after sharing it. This scenario shows just how interconnected everything has become today thanks to devices like the iPhone, and it's a trend that's only going to become more powerful as more people start sharing information this way.

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)

What is LTE?

What is LTE? -

LTE logo

Wireless carriers like to toss around technology-laden acronyms such as 3G, EV-DO, HSPA, 4G and LTE as if we all have a degree in rocket science. The reality is, the average person doesn’t have the slightest clue what most of those mean -- so we’ll attempt to cut through the mystery of what some of them mean, beginning with the former, LTE.

(Via Mac|Life all.)

5 System Preferences Features You Don't Know About

5 System Preferences Features You Don't Know About -

System Preferences window

If the various applications Apple built into Mac OS X are the spokes of the big wheel that makes up our computers, then the System Preferences window would have to be the hub that connects them. But how much do you really know about what goes on in that window?

While not every Mac OS X application takes advantage of it, an increasing number of software programs have started calling System Preferences their home. The most notable recent addition to the family is the much-maligned Adobe Flash Player 10.3, which now consolidates its settings into the same place as MobileMe, Time Machine and many others.

But what secrets might lie deep within the walls of the System Preferences window? As it turns out, there are a few -- and we’ll be happy to share them with you right now.

(Via Mac|Life all.)

LTE-Equipped iPhone Due Next Year, Apple Slows iPhone 4 Production

LTE-Equipped iPhone Due Next Year, Apple Slows iPhone 4 Production -

Verizon 4G LTENow that U.S. carriers have started rolling out their 4G LTE networks, all eyes are on Apple as we wait to see when the technology might come to the iPhone. A new report claims it’s unlikely to launch until 2012, while production of the current iPhone 4 is slowing down ahead of the next model expected in September.

MacRumors is reporting on some iPhone news out of Taiwan, with DigiTimes reporting that Apple won’t be jumping into the 4G LTE market with their iconic handset until sometime next year -- not a huge surprise, given that such smartphones currently require separate antennas for 3G and LTE, which consume both internal space as well as battery life.

“Apple is likely to delay the launch of its LTE-enabled iPhones to 2012, said the sources, noting that the industry had also long been skeptical about the launch of LTE iPhones in 2011 as the implementation of LTE networks has not yet matured,” the DigiTimes report reveals.

Verizon Wireless is aggressively rolling out its 4G LTE network across the United States, while rival AT&T has just started to dip their toes in the water. A big part of the carrier’s acquisition of fourth-place T-Mobile appears to be pinned on using its bandwidth spectrum for 4G LTE, which could give AT&T a jump on the competition.

And what of this year’s iPhone refresh? Alternately referred to as the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, the next handset is widely expected in September, with DigiTimes claiming that production of the current iPhone 4 is slowing down to prepare for the next entry.

“Production of iPhone 4S will begin in August and the earliest launch may be in September,” DigiTimes reports. “All the 3G and CDMA chips for iPhone 4S will be supplied by Qualcomm and the rear camera will be upgraded to a 8-megapixel resolution model with OmniVision Technologies and Taiwan-based Largan Precision to supply image sensors and lens kits respectively, the sources indicated.”

The next iPhone is expected to carry a similar form factor to last year’s model, with improved cameras and a new, faster A5 processor.

(Via Mac|Life all.)

6 Secret Features of iTunes 10

6 Secret Features of iTunes 10 -

iTunes 10 stacked

Over the course of 10 generations, Apple has turned the quaint music player software into a veritable media monolith -- complete with apps, video, books and even a virtual storefront where you can buy them all. But with each new version, subtle new features are often introduced and overlooked by the average user.

A click here, a pulldown menu there and you’re an expert in iTunes, right? Well, not quite -- Apple keeps so-called “experts” busy with each new version, tucking away functionality in virtually every nook and cranny of the media player. You may think you know them all until you have a look at our gallery below and find one or more that you can use to impress friends with your vast knowledge.

Without further ado, here’s a handful of secrets gleaned from iTunes 10, along with quick how-to tips to make them your own.

(Via Mac|Life all.)

10 Awesome Free Apps in the Mac App Store

10 Awesome Free Apps in the Mac App Store -

Sometimes the best things in life -- and on your Mac -- are free.

We think the apps in our June issue’s cover story, “20 Killer Mac Apps Under $20,” (coming soon to MacLife.com!) are all great deals. But there’s no better deal than zero. These 10 fun and useful apps are all free in the Mac App Store -- without big “for a limited time!” callouts in their descriptions -- but developers are free to raise the prices anytime they like. So get ‘em quick.

(Via Mac|Life all.)

Ad-supported Kindle helps Amazon sell more e-readers

Ad-supported Kindle helps Amazon sell more e-readers - Ad-supported Kindle helps Amazon sell more e-readers Amazon says the $114 ad-supported version of the Kindle e-reader is riding high as its best-selling item in electronics.

(Via Macworld.)

A script to find Dropbox conflicts

A script to find Dropbox conflicts - Dropbox has become my favorite method of syncing files. The one thing I don't really like about it is how it handles the times when multiple computers report new versions of a file. Dropbox decides to keep both, and adds the words Conflicted Copy and some other info to the filename of the one it's not sure about. I got tired of regularly having to manually hunt for such files, so I wrote a script to do it for me.

This AppleScript uses the find command to find the affected files. It opens Finder windows with each file selected so they're easy to find and deal with. I hope this script is as useful to you as it has been to me.

Paste this into AppleScript Editor and save it as an Application. Run it whenever you want to find conflicted copies.

(Via MacOSXHints.com.)

LunaTik and TikTok iPod Nano wristbands to hit Apple Stores

LunaTik and TikTok iPod Nano wristbands to hit Apple Stores - What began as a Kickstarter community project to design a top-quality watchband for the current-generation iPod Nano -- an idea that has spawned countless imitators -- has arrived in the big time, with the LunaTik and TikTok designs now becoming available at Apple Stores across North America, GigaOM reports. Designer Scott Wilson unintentionally set a record on Kickstarter when enthusiastic backers in 50 countries contributed almost $1 million in crowd-sourced funding, a record for the service and more than $945,000 over his original goal ...

Cint Note: I was one of those that donated ... and one of the high percentage of donators who DID NOT YET OWN the current iPad nano, but purchased one specifically for this watch band project. A great 'Net success story.

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network.)

Dan Frakes on TapeDeck 1.4

Dan Frakes on TapeDeck 1.4 -

Nice review of a great app.

(Via Daring Fireball.)

Dropbox Changes Description of How Files Are Encrypted

Dropbox Changes Description of How Files Are Encrypted -

Ryan Singel, reporting for Wired’s Threat Level on an FTC complaint against Dropbox by Christopher Soghoian (yes, him again):

Up until April 13, the site promised this:

Dropbox employees aren’t able to access user files, and when troubleshooting an account, they only have access to file metadata (filenames, file sizes, etc. not the file contents).

Now the site says:

Dropbox employees are prohibited from viewing the content of files you store in your Dropbox account, and are only permitted to view file metadata (e.g., file names and locations).

This won’t keep me from using Dropbox, but there’s a big difference between Dropbox’s original and current descriptions regarding how their encryption works.

(Via Daring Fireball.)

Cringely on Microsoft’s Purchase of Skype

Cringely on Microsoft’s Purchase of Skype -


Microsoft bought Skype to keep Google from buying Skype.

Notice I didn’t mention Apple. In terms of being the baddest MoFo in the market Apple has no peer, but Apple is following its own very different course. Apple isn’t the next Microsoft, you see. Apple is not the next anything because the role it aspires to transcends anything imaginable by Microsoft, ever. Google is the next Microsoft, so Google is seen by Ballmer as the immediate threat — the one he has a hope in hell of actually doing something about.

This is Cringely at his best. I think he’s nailed something true: Ballmer doesn’t now and never has understood Apple. He doesn’t understand what Apple does, what it aspires to, or what consumers see that’s so appealing about Apple’s products. But he understands Google, including the ways that Google’s products threaten Microsoft’s.

Remember when Ballmer made a fool of himself in 2007 by laughing about the iPhone’s prospects? That’s because he didn’t get it. It wasn’t just bluster or spin — I think he truly believed that “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” I don’t recall him ever exhibiting a similar blind spot regarding Google. That’s not to say he knows what to do about Google, just that he at least understands it.

(Via Daring Fireball.)

How to remove MacDefender fake antivirus program

How to remove MacDefender fake antivirus program - It's long been known that Macs aren't impervious to malware, and a recent fake antivirus program calling itself MacDefender appears to have affected more people than previously thought. Here's how to clean your Mac.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Amazon: Kindle books outselling all print books

Amazon: Kindle books outselling all print books - Since April 1, for every 100 print books Amazon.com has sold, the company says it has sold 105 Kindle books.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Next-to-Last Shuttle Mission Rockets Into Orbit

Next-to-Last Shuttle Mission Rockets Into Orbit - NASA’s space shuttle Endeavour punched through a veil of clouds this morning, making its 25th and final ascent into space after technicians quickly repaired damage to its heat shield.

(Via Wired Top Stories.)

GoFlex Satellite is your iPad's portable, wireless hard drive

GoFlex Satellite is your iPad's portable, wireless hard drive -

Seagate GoFlex Satellite

Seagate introduced the GoFlex Satellite, a portable, battery-powered hard drive targeted for iOS devices. The external hard drive includes an iOS app for the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch that lets you browse and view multimedia files stored on the drive. Different than most external drives, the GoFlex uses Wi-Fi to share its data with up to three Wi-Fi enabled devices at the same time. If you need faster transfers, an included cable lets you connect the drive to any USB 3.0 port. The battery-powered drive delivers 5 hours of continuous usage and 25 hours in standby mode. The drive ships in a single 500 GB capacity option (US$199) and is available for pre-order now from Seagate, Amazon and Best Buy. The drive should hit US retail shelves in July and international retailers later this summer.

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)

Rundown of new changes in Lion Developer Preview 3

Rundown of new changes in Lion Developer Preview 3 -

In addition to the discovery of Nuance voices in Lion Developer Preview 3, other new features found in the latest Lion release have begun to leak out. As compiled by It's All Tech, here is a list of all the other known changes Lion Developer Preview 3 offers over previous versions.

  • New options in Mission Control System Preferences
  • There is a new animation when logging into the computer and displaying the desktop
  • New Reminders menu in iCal
  • New "next desktop" button in Dashboard space
  • New options when right-clicking ("Show Inspector," "Clean up," and "Sort" commands)
  • Compatibility to external displays has been improved (especially in Mission Control)
  • There is now a Mission Control app
  • Finder's toolbar has been slightly updated
  • Desktop wallpapers have been updated (and new ones have been added -- the lion image above is one of them)
  • Reading List has been enabled in Safari
  • New changes in Mission Control: Users can add "desktops" right from Mission Control by clicking "+" button. Users can close spaces from Mission Control. Mission Control no longer displays text "Desktop 1,″ etc. When hovering over desktop thumbnails, magnification of thumbnails are seen
  • Scrollbars now change color depending on the background (black background=light scrollbar and vice versa)

In addition to the above changes, TUAW reader Koobi wrote to tell us of another change he found: "In Lion, on Safari, using the Magic Mouse, if you use one finger and flick left to right, it will reveal (underneath) your previously viewed page history. You can flick back and forth to browse your Safari history, without having to press the back/forward buttons at the tool bar."

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)

Opinion: Chromebooks are doomed to fail

Opinion: Chromebooks are doomed to fail - Opinion: Chromebooks are doomed to fail They're a month away from shipping still, but PCWorld's Tony Bradley thinks that the Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer will fizzle.

(Via Macworld.)

Get rid of .zip files once they're expanded

Get rid of .zip files once they're expanded - Get rid of .zip files once they're expanded It's one of those little irritations: You double-click on a .zip file to expand it, the expanded files appear, and the .zip file is still there. Here's a way to get rid of it.

(Via Macworld.)

Twitter followers help recover stolen MacBook

Twitter followers help recover stolen MacBook - A MacBook is apparently stolen, and the owner remembers it has a tracking program. He tweets about the location and alleged thief. Heroics or foolishness follow.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cord Cutters: The Peel + Your iPhone = Universal Remote

Cord Cutters: The Peel + Your iPhone = Universal Remote -

A remote control that comes with its own recommendation engine and that uses your iPhone to change the channels and control a whole bunch of other devices? It’s called the Peel Universal Remote Control, and we tested it to see how well it works for cord cutting. Check it out:

10 Coolest Keyboard Shortcuts You Never Knew About

10 Coolest Keyboard Shortcuts You Never Knew About -

Keyboard shortcuts are the lifeblood of many productive Mac users. Not only can keyboard shortcuts make for a nicer user experience and cut down on the time needed to do a task, they can also just be plain cool. Mac OS X has many shortcuts ready and willing to do your bidding, but also has many hidden and unknown shortcuts. That's why we've compiled a list of 10 of the coolest keyboard shortcuts you never knew about.

(Via Mac|Life all.)

Kobo updates iOS apps, adds Twitter to Reading Life

Kobo updates iOS apps, adds Twitter to Reading Life - Kobo today updated it's self-titled e-reader app for iOS devices to further extend its "social eReading" feature Reading Life, adding the ability for users to post quotes, notes, book covers and other aspects of their social reading to their Twitter feed. Readers can already use the Reading Life service to unlock achievements and discover new books, or post information about the book they are reading to Facebook. The company reports that Reading Life has helped its users dramatically increase their reading time since being implemented late last year ...

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network.)

Report: ViewSonic to win 7-inch Honeycomb tablet race

Report: ViewSonic to win 7-inch Honeycomb tablet race - Sources tell Pocket-Lint that ViewSonic will launch its 7-inch ViewPad 7x tablet complete with Android Honeycomb on May 31 at the Computex computer show.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ballmer adamant Microsoft keeping Skype alive for Mac, Linux

Ballmer adamant Microsoft keeping Skype alive for Mac, Linux - Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer in the media conference following the buyout of Skype repeatedly stressed that the VoIP app would still get support beyond Windows. Having mentioned support in the initial news, he added that it was "fundamental to the proposition of communications" that other platforms like Linux, the Mac, and non-Windows Phone mobile hardware got support. He pointed to the company's "track record" of Office for Mac as well as mobile apps for Android and iOS as examples ...

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network.)

Visa to launch digital wallet system

Visa to launch digital wallet system - The credit card vendor is forging ahead in mobile payments, readying a new service that supports NFC technology and that allows for quick transactions via mobile phone or other device.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What does the Skype sale mean for Apple customers?

What does the Skype sale mean for Apple customers? -

By now everyone knows that Skype has been sold to Microsoft for a huge 8.5 billion dollars. The question on all our minds is what will the sale mean to Mac and iOS users?

There aren't any ready answers. Microsoft often treats the Mac as a least-favored nation. Most versions of Office have lagged behind the Windows counterparts, including some dramatic functional lapses like when Microsoft killed the ability to use Visual Basic macros in Office 2008, and then later restored that functionality in Office 2011.

Microsoft bought Bungie, the creator of Halo in 2000, just as it was going to release the game for the Mac. In 2007 Bungie and Microsoft split, but Microsoft retains a minority stake in the company. On the iOS side, things look a little brighter. Microsoft, so far behind with its own phone OS, has released some noteworthy apps for iOS, including Bing, Microsoft One Note and Photosynth.

On the desktop and laptop side, Skype for Mac has always been a bit behind the feature curve when compared to the Windows version, and recently it suffered some security problems (not to mention widespread complaining about the new UI introduced in version 5). I don't expect Skype on the Mac to be a high priority for Ballmer and friends.

Microsoft will put a lot of attention into integrating Skype into the Xbox, Windows 7, and the new Windows Phone 7 OS (which doesn't run Skype at all right now). Meanwhile, Apple should step up the game for FaceTime which was announced with great fanfare but seems a bit moribund. It's an embarrassment that FaceTime can't make calls over 3G, while Tango and Skype and some others do it quite well.

Lex Friedman at Macworld weighs in with more thoughts on the implications for Mac users as Skype joins the MS fold. What's your take? Will all the financial muscle at Microsoft improve Skype on Mac OS X and iOS? Or will Skype wilt from neglect?

Update: Right after this post went live, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer stated that the company would not be giving up on Mac support for Skype. It's true, Microsoft has shown a long history of Office for Mac support and so whatever your feelings on the Ballmer and his company, it seems like Skype for Mac will be just fine for the foreseeable future.

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)

5 Alternatives to Skype on iOS and Mac

5 Alternatives to Skype on iOS and Mac -

No Skype

As you’ve no doubt heard, Microsoft has snapped up popular VoIP developer Skype for a whopping $8.5 billion. If you’re not too fond of your favorite video chat software now being in the hands of the Borg, you’ll be happy to know there are other choices available.

It’s hard to believe that Skype has been around less than a decade, with most of that time being spent as under the ownership of another company -- first eBay in 2005, then Silver Lake in 2009. Tuesday marked a new era for the little VoIP company that could, with Microsoft acquiring the company outright for $8.5 billion and big plans to set up its own Skype division in Redmond.

As with any such acquisition, there’s a bit of anxiety brewing among longtime users of the Skype service, particularly after the company’s Mac client got an unwelcome, Windows-style update recently. Could worse updates be in store? Here’s a look at a handful of Skype-esque services you might consider if Microsoft doesn’t improve things.

(Via Mac|Life all.)

Analysis: What Skype purchase means for Mac, iOS users

Analysis: What Skype purchase means for Mac, iOS users - Analysis: What Skype purchase means for Mac, iOS users Now that Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5 billion, what should Mac and iOS Skype users expect? Lex Friedman digs into the details of the deal to figure out what the future holds.

(Via Macworld.)

Microsoft betting Skype keeps it ahead of Google, Apple

Microsoft betting Skype keeps it ahead of Google, Apple - For the $8.5 billion acquisition to work, Microsoft doesn't need to make more money off Skype. It just needs to make sure that its existing products are better than offerings from rivals.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Microsoft to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion

Microsoft to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion - The software giant says that Skype's video-chatting platform will bolster its Kinect and Windows Phone platforms. It will also "connect" Skype users with Xbox Live.

(Via CNET News.com.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Juicies: A colorful Kickstarter project with the Earth in mind

Juicies: A colorful Kickstarter project with the Earth in mind -

Kickstarter has been a wonderful way for entrepreneurs to get the money they need to fund a project, and we've seen our share of successful -- that is, fully funded -- projects here at TUAW as well as some that have been flops.

A few weeks ago on Earth Day, we received notice of a rather plain product with a different twist. Hawaii-based designer Laurens Laudowicz wasn't happy with the poor quality of some third-party iPhone and iPad charge/sync cables, and he found himself using a pen to mark cables to figure out which were usable with his iPad and which were not.

The result? Laurens started obsessing about cables, and decided to create something different. His Juicies cables all work with the higher wattage iPad, they're made of sustainable materials, and they come in ten different colors instead of the usual white or black. Want red, green, orange, or blue cables? You've got 'em, and four more colorful options in addition to black and white.

The project was fully-funded in just three days on Kickstarter. The funding period ends on May 23, and Laurens is hoping to use any extra funding that may accrue for some other ideas he has up his sleeve.

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)

Opinion: Magic Mouse vs. Magic Trackpad

Opinion: Magic Mouse vs. Magic Trackpad - Opinion: Magic Mouse vs. Magic Trackpad Apple's new iMacs give you the choice of ordering a Magic Mouse or a Magic Trackpad, but which should you choose? Dan Moren and Lex Friedman pit the two input devices against each other in a battle to the death.

(Via Macworld.)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Love Those Old Mac vs. PC Commercials? Watch Them All Again!

Love Those Old Mac vs. PC Commercials? Watch Them All Again! -

Mac vs. PC adRemember not so long ago when Apple’s television commercials focused on actual people to sell their products, rather than letting the products pretty much sell themselves? Now you can revisit those glorious Mac vs. PC days with a collection of all 66 commercials in one place.

9to5Mac is reporting that all 66 of Apple’s iconic “Mac vs. PC” commercials featuring actor Justin Long as “Mac” and John Hodgman as “PC” are now available in one easy to find place. AdWeek, a website dedicated to the advertising business, has assembled all of the videos in one place, complete with a short description for each embedded YouTube video.

All of the Mac vs. PC commercials were created by Apple’s ad agency, TBWA Media Arts Lab, and directed by Phil Morrison of Epoch Films. Actors Justin Long and John Hodgman have both gone on to a bit of fame since the commercials first started airing, so the friendly rivalry they portrayed in the spots certainly helped them as well as Apple.

(Via Mac|Life all.)

Skype for Mac vulnerability found, fix coming next week

Skype for Mac vulnerability found, fix coming next week - Gordon Maddern, a security researcher in Australia, has reported a serious hole in the current Mac version of Skype that could be exploited by an attacker to remotely take control of the computer, CNet says. Skype has since responded saying they had already issued a "hotfix" for the vulnerability but will release a formal update to address it next week, over a month after Maddern reported it to the company. Maddern is not releasing details of the "extremely dangerous" problem until Skype has fixed it, he said ...

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network.)

ASUS confirms Eee Pad Transformer shortage, cites demand

ASUS confirms Eee Pad Transformer shortage, cites demand - ASUS partly confirmed rumors of Eee Pad Transformer shortages on Friday through a statement from spokesman David Chang. He didn't acknowledge talk of just 10,000 of the Android 3.0 tablets shipping in April but anticipated that it would take at least a month to get back on track, with 100,000 in May and 200,000 in June. There would be a "significant alleviation" of shortages by June, Chang told NetbookNews, two months after it went on sale ...

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How to Clean Your Mac

How to Clean Your Mac -

Whether you're selling your Mac or just doing a little spring cleaning, keeping your Mac clean not only ensures that your machine works well, but that it also looks good. From cleaning your screen, to dusting your trackpad and magic mouse, we've got you covered in this guide. Learn all of the tips for cleaning and reconditioning your Mac desktops and notebooks.

(Via Mac|Life all.)

Eye-Fi connects to iPhone, gets more useful

Eye-Fi connects to iPhone, gets more useful - Eye-Fi connects to iPhone, gets more useful The new Direct Mode feature of the Wi-Fi connected Eye-Fi memory cards makes your digital camera and your iOS devices best buddies, Jason Snell says.

(Via Macworld.)

Acer believes netbooks can still have market despite iPad

Acer believes netbooks can still have market despite iPad - Netbooks should still find a significant audience in spite of the success of the iPad and other tablets, Acer said in a group interview Wednesday. The PC builder accepted that tablets were cutting into netbook sales, but there was "still opportunity" to sell netbooks, even in the tablet-friendly US. The mini notebooks were getting closer to desktops, had hardware keyboards some needed for work, and still had a huge price advantage, company managers told Forbes ...

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network.)