Saturday, August 28, 2010

Apple Severs Ties With Design Firm Over Tablet Prototype

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Apple has severed ties with SurfaceInk after the company showcased a prototype 12.1-inch tablet during an electronics trade show.

The firm had worked on several Apple products over nearly a decade according to the New York Times.

Eric Bauswell, chief executive of the engineering design company, confirmed on Thursday that SurfaceInk and Apple had “gone separate directions.”

Bauswell said that his company was let go because of “Apple’s growing awareness of our turnkey capabilities,” referring to their business of designing products for its clients. “I think they view our capabilities as an opportunity for competitors, “ he said.


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New iPod Touch 4G is Changing Shape?

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iLounge has learned from 'a source who would have reason to know' that the iPod touch 4G will be changing shape. The back of the device will no longer be a dome-like curved surface; neither will it be flat glass like the iPhone 4.

They've heard that the shape will be:

Familiar. Think of the top of a MacBook Pro, only smaller, which is to say flat rather than curved at the center—closer to the look of the first-generation iPod touch’s back, only with modifications. The rear camera is there, but there is still some question as to whether what’s next to it will be a LED flash like the one in the iPhone 4, or a microphone like the one next to the video camera of the iPod nano. We’ve been told to expect a microphone rather than a flash, with a continuation of the bottom-mounted headphone port and Dock Connector port.

Apple is expected to announce the new iPod touch on September 1st at a 'Special Event' for the media.




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Apple Preps Yerba Buena Center for 'Special Event'

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Apple has begun prepping the Yerba Buena Center for their upcoming 'Special Event' on September 1st.

The company is erecting a huge banner of the same guitar image that was found on the media invitation sent out earlier this week.

It's rumored that Apple will use this event to announce a new iPod touch with dual cameras, a new touchscreen iPod nano, a new $99 Apple TV with apps, $.99 iTunes rentals, and possibly an iTunes streaming service.

Take a look at the picture below...










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Push Hotmail Comes to the iPhone on Monday

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Microsoft will enable Exchange ActiveSync for Hotmail users on Monday, giving them the ability to receive push email on devices such as the iPhone.

Microsoft's Dharmesh Mehta told CNET that ActiveSync offers a more robust option than IMAP and, when combined with POP access, should give most Hotmail users the syncing capabilities they are looking for.




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MPEG LA Makes H.264 Video Permanently Royalty-Free

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MPEG LA announces that it will continue not to charge royalties for H.264 Internet Video that is free to end users during the entire life of this License.

--
MPEG LA announced today that its AVC Patent Portfolio License will continue not to charge royalties for Internet Video that is free to end users (known as “Internet Broadcast AVC Video”) during the entire life of this License. MPEG LA previously announced it would not charge royalties for such video through December 31, 2015, and today’s announcement makes clear that royalties will continue not to be charged for such video beyond that time. Products and services other than Internet Broadcast AVC Video continue to be royalty-bearing.

MPEG LA's AVC Patent Portfolio License provides access to essential patent rights for the AVC/H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10) digital video coding standard. In addition to Internet Broadcast AVC Video, MPEG LA’s AVC Patent Portfolio License provides coverage for devices that decode and encode AVC video, AVC video sold to end users for a fee on a title or subscription basis and free television video services. AVC video is used in set-top boxes, media player and other personal computer software, mobile devices including telephones and mobile television receivers, Blu-ray Disc™ players and recorders, Blu-ray video optical discs, game machines, personal media player devices and still and video cameras.
--

This is great news for web developers who are frustrated by Firefox's lack of support for H.264. Mozilla cited licensing reasons for its refusal to support the standard that has been adopted by all other browsers.




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Apple Updates iWork, Pages Gets ePub Export Option for iBooks

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Apple released iWork 9.0.4 which adds export compatibility to Pages for the standard ePub file format (for use with iBooks).

What's New in This Version:

Keynote 5.0.4
● Addresses an issue when printing handouts with rule lines.
● Fixes an issue with the slide switcher.
● Resolves an issue when automatically resizing some images while changing slide size.
● Fixes an issue with tables.

Pages 4.0.4
● Fixes an issue with tables.
● Includes compatibility with the standard ePub file format (for use with iBooks) when exporting.

Numbers 2.0.4
● Fixes an issue with tables.

You can update iWork by selecting Software Update from the Apple menu at the top left of your screen.


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Scott Gruber Releases ShapeEffects Lite 1.0

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Scott Gruber has announced the release of ShapeEffects Lite 1.0, a free version of their composite drawing app for iPad devices. ShapeEffects Lite offers a very different and exciting way in creating composite works of art from a list of 13 pre-defined shapes and a large variety of colors. You also have control over the translucency of the shapes fill color and border color, independently. When done, you can take a snapshot of your masterpiece that will put your art in the Photos app.

ShapeEffects Lite offers a wide range of colors and geometric shapes to make just about anything you can imagine. From abstract to cars or robots. Best of all is you have complete control over the shape. Below are all the things you can do with each geometric shape, individually:

* Rotate
* Change the size
* Fill the shape with a wide selection of colors or no color
* Change the Border color
* Adjust the Fill color's translucency
* Adjust the Border color's translucency
* Make shapes to be on top of other shapes or underneath them
* Combine the shapes to make a composite shape
* Change the Background Color
* Adjust the Background Color to a lighter shade
* Take a snapshot of your work (it is saved within the iPad Photos app)
* Delete the last shape selected
* Delete all shapes

This app was developed after I saw my kids playing with geometrics for hours. This app is so much fun that my kids beg me to stop developing it so they can play with it. My nephew, who is 6 yrs. old, couldn't get enough of it as he was waiting to play with it while I was in the middle of programming it.

I invited a friend over who would like to start iPhone development who is in his 20's and he said, "I know that I'm not targeted with this app but it is really fun. I'm really enjoying it." Take a look at the screenshots and see for yourself the many things you can do with this app.

Pricing and Availability:
ShapeEffects Lite 1.0 is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category.




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An Engaging PictureBook App

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Touchoo has announced the release and immediate availability of Thumbelina 1.0, their latest interactive picture-book for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Following the success of its previous Book-Apps, Thumbelina offers a fun and immersive reading experience for parents and children. The App will be available in 5 major languages, and at an introductory half price until August 31st.

Thumbelina, the classic Andersen fairytale, tells the tale of a tiny flower girl, who goes through many adventures and eventually reaches her "happily ever after." This adaptation to touchscreens sports a fresh design, age-appropriate interactivity and rhyming text. The story makes the readers an important part of the adventure, as they interact and help Thumbelina along her way through various interactions.

"Kids, same as adults, are reading fewer and fewer books. This has a major impact on literacy and on success later in life" says Touchoo's co-founder and CEO, Omer Ginor. "For the first time in many years, we now have a chance to reverse this process. Bringing a timeless fairy tale such as Thumbelina to young readers in a creative, charming and immersive form - is a great way to re-connect children to the joys of a good storybook and to encourage lasting reading habits."

The book has been carefully translated to offer equally rhyming and sing-song versions in Spanish, French, German and Japanese; an added bonus for multi-lingual families.

Thumbelina offers readers to:
* Hear the story read by a narrator or record themselves reading the story
* Participate in the story through age-appropriate interactivity
* Control sound effects
* Choose auto page flip to accommodate young readers

Thumbelina's developmental benefits
* Nurtures the capacity for empathy and for reference to the other
* Increases the ability to cope with difficulties and failures
* Encourages the capacity to seek help
* Nurtures the ability to follow a narrative

Supported Languages:
* US English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish

Pricing and Availability:
Thumbelina 1.0 is offered at a special introductory price of $1.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Books category. The special price expires August 31. For more information, see Thumbelina's webpage, or download the press kit. Review copies are available upon request.





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RapidWeaver Plugin Enables Native Firebug Function

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NimbleHost has announced Codafy 1.0, the first plugin for RapidWeaver to add native "Firebug" functionality to the popular Mac OS X website design application. The free Codafy RapidWeaver plugin enables web designers to easily see how the underlying HTML, CSS, and Javascript code of their website relates to the actual design, improving workflow and reducing development time.

Web designers everywhere have long relied on tools like the free Firebug plugin for Firefox, as it enables content creators to more easily understand how to make customizations and changes to their websites, as well as simplify the search for any bugs and errors in the underlying code.

For RapidWeaver users utilizing this Firebug/Firefox combination, the process of constantly switching between two applications quickly becomes a time consuming process. Codafy was specifically developed to enable the open source WebKit Web Inspector so that it can be accessed directly in RapidWeaver, thus removing the need to repeatedly refer to two separate applications.

Features:
* Enables the open source WebKit Web Inspector for direct access within RapidWeaver
* Split-panel view allows users to see the underlying code and preview their website at the same time
* Edit, enable, and disable CSS styles while previewing
* Error console helps pinpoint the source of any problems

Integrated with Codafy is the javascript-based XRAY Inspector, which can also be used with the RapidWeaver plugin Stacks via the included XRAY Inspector stack.

"Codafy helps simplify and streamline the process of creating great looking websites with RapidWeaver," stated company CEO Jonathan Head. "It has already become a critical part of our own workflow, and is a major addition to our product line of Plug-ins, Themes, and Mobile Themes."

NimbleHost provides extensive documentation and user support for Codafy and all their other products, including User Forums, FAQs, Knowledge Libraries, Guides to RapidWeaver, User Product Guides, and Technical Support.

Pricing and Availability:
Codafy 1.0 for Mac OS X is currently available for free from the NimbleHost RapidWeaver website. It requires the RapidWeaver application for Mac OS X, available for $79.00.





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