The Missing Sync for BlackBerry

From TidBITS

Mark/Space is currently offering a fully functional public preview of The Missing Sync for BlackBerry as a 9.2 MB download.

Like other versions of The Missing Sync, this one uses Mac OS X's Sync Services to synchronize data between the BlackBerry and Address Book, iCal, or other programs that also use Sync Services. It also features photo and music transfers from iPhoto and iTunes on the BlackBerry Pearl. Remember that this is still beta software; Mark/Space has posted a list of known issues. It requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later, and a BlackBerry device running version 4.0 or later of the operating system. The completed version of the program is expected to ship by the end of this quarter; pricing has not been announced.

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See Creative Suite 3 Announced Live

From Adobe

Since Adobe can’t invite everyone to New York for their launch event on March 27, they've come up with a way to see Creative Suite live from wherever you live.

Adobe will be webcasting live from New York City an event to celebrate the launch of Adobe Creative Suite 3 on March 27, 2007 at 3:30 p.m. EDT at

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QuickTime gains 720P Apple TV High-Def Export Mode

From iLounge

In an undisclosed and largely unnoticed update to its QuickTime video playback and conversion software, Apple has quietly added an “Export to Apple TV” feature capable of creating high-definition videos viewable on the Apple TV accessory. Unlike Export to iPod, which currently creates sub-DVD-quality 640 by 480 videos, Export to Apple TV creates not only full DVD-quality 720 by 404 videos, but also 1280 by 720 videos. These videos are viewable in iTunes, but cannot be transferred directly via iTunes to an fifth-generation iPod.

The 1280 by 720 pixel resolution, also known as 720P, is one of several high-definition video formats supported by current televisions.

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Software Update Tips and Voodoo

From Daring Fireball

Last week, Jeffrey Zeldman shared the procedure used at his design studio for updating Mac OS X system software. I hesitate to call his tips “advice”, because he doesn’t use that term — rather, it’s simply a statement of fact. Here’s what we did, and we avoided any problems.

Some of his steps are quite sound, and I highly recommend them. Others, I suspect, are entirely superfluous, hinging mostly on superstition. I think it’s a list worth examining.

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Mac OS X 10.4.9--How Fast is It?

From Macs Only

Last week, Apple released Mac OS X 10.4.9 update (see our 3/14 edition) and we have now had a chance to test it extensively. The update, the first in five months, has many fixes and improvements, including new ATI and Nvidia graphics drivers.

Have the changes improved Mac OS X's performance? To find out we ran our standard set of speed tests to test the performance of Mac OS X 10.4.9 relative to that of Mac OS X 10.4.8 using our two Intel-based Macs.

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SpamSieve "brings powerful Bayesian spam filtering to Mac e-mail clients". I've been using it for a few months (after trying several other apps, including SpamAssassin and SpamArrest). It’s easy to control SpamSieve from within Entourage, and I have customized it to work with the rest of my (hundreds) of Rules.

Painter X

From Macworld

Long the favourite of amateur painters, Corel Painter has nonetheless established itself as a significant tool for illustrators, and this latest edition strengthens that position.

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Podcasting in GarageBand Tutorial Videos Released

From MacMinute today announced the release of "GarageBand 103: Podcasting In GarageBand." This tutorial teaches valuable podcasting skills including recording and editing podcasts, using GarageBand’s built-in DSP effects to compress and EQ your voice to give it that big podcast sound, making enhanced podcasts with images and URL links listeners can click, and publishing your podcast on iTunes or through iWeb. Of particular note, there’s also a detailed section on recording remote interviews with people over the web, via Skype.

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Apple Releases iTunes 7.1.1

From PlayList

Apple has released an update for iTunes, bringing the most current version to 7.1.1. According to notes provided with the update, iTunes 7.1.1 addresses a stability issue and minor compatibility problems in iTunes 7.1.

The update is available via the software update mechanism in Mac OS X.

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Disney Finds Backdated Pixar Stocks; Clears Jobs

From Macworld

Walt Disney has confirmed that it has found backdated stock options at Pixar prior to its acquisition in January 2006. Disney also said that it has cleared Steve Jobs — CEO of Pixar at the time — of any wrongdoing.

“The Committee and Board have concluded that while options were backdated at Pixar prior to the acquisition, no one currently associated with the Company engaged in any intentional or deliberate acts of misconduct,” said Disney in a prepared statement.

Disney said that it should also address the additional income tax liability issues facing Pixar employees who hold the options. The company doesn’t expect the tax issues to affect its financial statements.

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Eliminate Color Casts

From Macworld

Accurate exposure, faithful color, and sharp focus are the technical cornerstones of good photography. Of the three, color is the most often overlooked—many indoor shots end up with a dark reddish tint, while many outdoor snapshots end up blue and lifeless. But there’s plenty you can do to avoid these problems—even if you’re using a basic point-and-shoot digital camera. The key is understanding your camera’s white-balance settings.

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SlingShot 200 AW

I *love* this new camera bag from LowePro.

Easy to carry, compact, holds the camera snugly and has room in the main body for lenses, hoods, batteries, etc. Outer pockets for miscellaneous stuff. It has an interesting carrying position too. It "slings" across your body like a messenger bag and, due to the design of the camera opening, allows you to quickly get at your camera and even use the bag as a "platform" for shooting.

Apple Offers to Amend Past Options

From Yahoo! Finance

In the wake of its backdated stock options troubles, Apple Inc. is offering affected employees the chance to amend their past options and receive cash payments to avoid related tax penalties, according a regulatory filing. Apple said it sent an e-mail to affected employees, offering them the chance modify the exercise price in accordance with the company's designated schedule.

In the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple said some of the misdated stock options exercised after 2005 are subject to additional taxes. The Cupertino-based maker of iPod players and Macintosh computers said the value of the affected stock options under the offer was $67,142, as of Tuesday.

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Installing Apple's Updates can Render Your Mac Unbootable and how to Prevent it

From Unsanity

When you see the "Optimizing System Performance" phase of a software update, Mac OS X is really updating prebinding. Updating prebinding has a very, very nasty bug in it (look at _dyld_update_prebinding). If multiple processes are updating prebinding at the same time, then it is possible for a system file to be completely zero'd out. Basically, all data in the file is deleted and it is replaced with nothing. This bug is usually triggered when updating Mac OS X and every update to Mac OS X has the potential to render your system unbootable depending on if the "right" file is deleted or not. It's triggered during the "Optimizing System Performance" phase of installing an update. This phase is actually just running update_prebinding. If you launch an application that links to libraries that are not yet prebound, there is a chance one of those files will be zero'd out as dyld automatically redoes the prebinding on that file.

I've been tracking this particular bug for about 18 months now.

Click here to read more "Installing Apple's Updates can Render Your Mac Unbootable and how to Prevent it"

Sound Studio 3.5 Supports Additional Audio Formats

From MacObserver

Freeverse introduced Sound Studio 3.5 on Thursday with support for several more audio file formats. The updated version adds support for Apple Lossless, ADTS AAC, NeXT/Sun Audio, and Ogg Vorbis audio formats, adds 8, 16 and 24 kbps bit rates for MP3 files, improves AppleScript support, enhances the Split by Markers feature, fixes several bugs, and more. Sound Studio 3.5 is priced at US$79.95.

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TuneFlex Aux Features Auxiliary Line In

From PlayList

Griffin Technology has upgraded its TuneFlex — a flexible auto charging cradle for the iPod — with an auxiliary-in cable. The cable is designed to connect to new cars that feature an auxiliary in connection to accommodate iPods and other devices. It costs $49.99.

TuneFlex plugs into your car’s 12V accessory jack or cigarette lighter and mounts the iPod or iPod nano on the end of a flexible gooseneck stalk. A light at the base of the TuneFlex’s neck shows power status. A built-in 1/8th-inch stereo line-out audio jack connects the TuneFlex Aux directly to the car stereo’s auxiliary input.

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University Pulls PCs, goes All Mac

From Computerworld

Wilkes University announced it has pulled the plug on PCs in favor of Macs, saying the move — which actually began last year — will save the Pennsylvania liberal arts college more than US$150,000 while still letting students and faculty continue to run Windows applications.

Touted by Apple as one of the first colleges to mandate a campus-wide shift from Windows PCs to Macs, the Wilkes-Barre, Pa. school wasn’t a bastion of all things Apple before the decision, said Scott Byers, vice president for finance and the head of campus IT. Macs, in fact, were a minority.

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Getting Your Music on the iTMS

From PlayList

If you remember walking into music stores as a kid and thinking how cool it would be to one day see your album sitting on the shelf, the digital age may help your childhood daydream come true. With the help of a company called TuneCore, any musician or band can get their music in the most popular online stores.

TuneCore is the brainchild of Spin Art record label owner Jeff Price. When the industry shifted from physical retail stores to the online world, Price saw the ways of the traditional music label model trying to fit into the digital landscape that just weren’t working in this new environment.

The best part for the artist is that they keep all of the money from the sale—TuneCore does not take any money on the backend. Instead, the company charges one-time fees of 99 cents per song and 99 cents per store for each album and an annual $9.98 charge per album.

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StuffIt Deluxe 11

From Macworld
Pros: Improved, faster compression; optimized performance on Intel Macs; good JPEG compression; new utility for organizing archive collections.

Cons: None significant.

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Bob Garfield vs. Bill Gates

From Advertising Age

At last week's Corbis Creativity 2.0 panel in Manhattan, Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield sat down for a private one-on-one with Corbis and Microsoft chief Bill Gates. The two discussed the likely impact of IPTV on advertising and the distribution of TV content by the major networks' local affiliate stations. Garfield also asked Mr. Gates about the Apple ads, in which actor John Hodgman plays a character modeled on Mr. Gates. Mr. Gates was not amused.

GARFIELD: I want to ask you one more thing: Those Mac ads -- how do you feel about the John Hodgman character?

GATES: I can't comment on someone else's ad.

(Shawn's Comment: Mr Gates, you mean you can't comment *again* on someone else's ads, right? Cause the last time you did, you sounded foolish)

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Apple Keeps its Shine

From The Street

Even as world markets renewed their high-volatility rout this week, real business went on as usual. And for tens of thousands of companies without exposure to subprime lenders or low-end consumers, business is still very good.

A genuine leader in this regard at the moment is Apple (AAPL - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr), which is on track to emerge later this year as the single most influential, life-changing and powerful company in the technology and consumer electronics universe. In a few years, it could even become the most valuable.

The latest step in Apple's amazing transformation from industry doormat to kingpin will come in the next 30 days, as investors and consumers come to recognize a set of powerful catalysts that have the potential to kick Apple's sales and earnings to levels that will shock skeptics and possibly even surprise optimists.

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Polk Audio Announces 2 New iPod Audio Systems

From iLounge

Polk Audio has announced two new portable iPod audio systems—the MiDock10 and MiDock Studio. The MiDock10 ($180; shown) features two 3.25-inch full-range drivers in a black ported enclosure. It offers USB connectivity for syncing with iTunes, side-mounted handles, auxiliary input, and headphone jack. The MiDock10 can be operated on AC or battery power, comes with a credit-card sized remote, and fits all dockable iPods. The MiDock Studio ($TBA) is a slightly larger and differently styled iPod audio system being released in April. It features dual 3.25-inch high excursion drivers that are vented via a side-firing flared port. The MiDock Studio features a two-tone black grille/white body color scheme and also has handles, USB connectivity, and auxiliary input.

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JBL Reference 210 Earphones

From iLounge

We're not accustomed to using the words "disappointing" and JBL in the same sentence: the company's reputation for excellent speakers precedes its every release, its Austrian-developed AKG earphones are fairly consistent crowd-pleasers, and its earlier Reference-series earphones have been pretty good, too. So it's with a heavy heart that we report that its Reference 210 Earphones ($40) fail to live up to the family's reputation: these standard earbuds look nice, but don't sound as good as Apple's less expensive iPod Earphones.

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Free Photoshop World Tech Expo Pass

The Photoshop World Tech Expo is open to the public one day only on Thursday, April 5 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Hynes Convention Center, Hall D in Boston. If you are interested in mingling with the biggest names in the industry and seeing the latest in Photoshop-related technology, sign up here for a free Tech Expo pass (valued at $20 per person) today.

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Archives for March 14th, 2007

Streamed Audio Only Archive - (Open QuickTime, type Command-U and type in the address)

Our guests on Wednesday's show were:

- TrueDisc Founder, Erich Ocean

- Top Mac OS X Cool and Useful Tools, John Welch

- Lesa King,

- Peter Cohen with The Big Story

You can subscribe to Your Mac Life on the iTunes Music Store - just click here!

What's Cooking?

From O'Reilly

I am getting a little jittery here. I’ve just checked the Apple PR archives and it’s true: The last significant Mac news dates August 7th, 2006 when Apple announced Leopard and the MacPros. (The Apple TV is not Mac news, it’s iTunes news.)

That’s 7 months!

Since then: iPod, iPhone, iTunes. Ah, and, before we forget, iMac, MacBook and MacBook Pro each got a slight update.
The MacBook Pro shipped over a year ago in February 2006. The MacBook has been introduced in May 2006, 10 months ago. Each received a small revision, swapping out a pin compatible processor, hardly a major engineering feat. Certainly not worth a special event to introduce.
So where are the great new Mac products Steve keeps talking about?

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Apple is 5th Biggest US Laptop Vendor

From Macworld UK

Apple laptops were in among the top five biggest selling computer brands in the US this past January, new NPD research shows.

Apple is number five for its US laptop sales — a position unthinkable just a few years ago. The company took 10.1 per cent of the US laptop market.

(Shawn's Comment: Macworld conveniently ignores a crucial part of the Bloomberg story - "Note: figures are for retail channel sales only and do not include direct sales, sales from Wal-Mart or warehouse clubs" - so they ignore numbers from Dell. Apple is, at best, the 6th largest.)

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Most Interesting Rumor I’ve Heard Lately

From The Apple Blog

Apparently Leopard is going to be released this year. In fact, Rumor mongers have it nailed down - sometime between like next week and June. So rest easy knowing it’ll be here at some point….

(Shawn's Comment: Considering that's exactly when Apple says they will release Leopard...that's not much of a rumor stretch, is it?)

CrunchGear serves it up hot with the idea that Apple could possibly maybe in a million years license the iPhone OS to other manufacturers. Is this Apple’s style? No way. But I (being not even a fraction of the business mind of Steve Jobs) think the potential could be there for Apple on this one. Who couldn’t benefit from a better operating system on their cell phone?

(Shawn's Comment: Everyone can - which is why Apple will want you to buy the *iPhone*)

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Griffin iKaraoke and DoPi Karaoke System

From PlayList

Long before countless Americans aspired to be the next American Idol, karaoke let music lovers be the stars of their own musical performances. A pair of new accessories for your iPod offer to bring the karaoke experience home for you to enjoy—instead of just passively listening to your music, you can participate in an interactive karaoke experience. Griffin Technology’s $50 iKaraoke and DoPi’s $60 DoPi Karaoke System take slightly different approaches to delivering karaoke, but with each, your iPod provides the songs and you provide the vocals.

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Nike+iPod Only for Fitness Runners

From TidBITS

I've been putting off this review, because it doesn't thrill me to warn even a subset of people away from a popular product. But that's exactly what I have to do - in short, although the Nike+iPod Sport Kit can be a fun addition for anyone who runs with an iPod or wants a bit more encouragement to run, competitive runners shouldn't bother with it. It simply isn't worthwhile as a training aid for anyone who values ease-of-use, lap counter features, and distance and pace accuracy.

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