VideoPier 1.3 – Capture, organize, convert video clips from your MPEG2 camcorder.


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VideoPier is the missing link between MPEG2 camcorder (including HD and HDV camcorders) and your Mac. It lets you visualize the clips on your camera that Quicktime would otherwise refuse to open. VideoPier lets you copy them to disk in their native format and places them in its own video library using the familiar concept of events. It lets you view your clips individually or as sequences and export them to any format for viewing (iPod, AppleTV, iPhone) or editing (iMovie 06/08).

Canon intros new photo printers with wireless, more


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Canon this morning revealed a trio of photo printers that bring a handful of noteworthy new features. The PIXMA MP560 is Canon’s smallest all-in-one inkjet with both Wi-Fi and duplex printing in the same box. It also centers on a second-generation photo correction feature that can adjust for exposure in different areas of a shot as well as brightness and saturation. A new USB port supports prin…



How Apple’s Remote app ruined remote controls for me


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Way back in what we called “the 80s,” my father bought a VCR. Its magic let us record TV shows for later viewing, and we loved it. In fact, VCRs did 4 things:

  1. Record the show you were watching
  2. Record a show that was airing on a channel other than the one you were watching
  3. Watch videos previously recorded (your own or commercial movies)
  4. Record shows all on its own

Number 4 required a Tarot deck, eye of newt and a Harry Potter Time-Turner. The VCR had two “clocks” on its face. You set Clock A to your show’s starting time, and Clock B to its end. Next, a series of switches that were developed by 14 or 15 blind and drunken NASA rejects required precise manipulation. At last you finished only to realize that your show had begun 11 minutes earlier.

Eventually we upgraded to a model with a wired remote control that was the size of a baby manatee and had more buttons than a scientific calculator. Twenty-eight years later, the DVR has made recording easier but remotes (or “clickers” as we call them) are still stuck in the 80s. To the max.

Continue reading How Apple’s Remote app ruined remote controls for me

TUAWHow Apple’s Remote app ruined remote controls for me originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What’s Next for Apple’s Living Room Strategy?


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A Question: Where do consumers go to relax and consumer technology vendors go to die?

If you guessed the living room, you’d be right. While Apple is in no danger of extinction, they are no doubt aware of the struggles that a host of startups and big vendors have faced in the consumer electronics market. While Apple has largely bucked the trend in recent years with the amazing success of the iPod and iPhone, no one — including Apple — would claim the Apple TV to be a runaway hit at this point.

So with Apple TV sales growing but not jumping off the charts, it’s worth asking what Apple will do next in the living room. Some have speculated they will produce their own television, others might suspect a Blu-ray player could be on its way. No matter what Apple does, they will likely tie any new products to their leading positions in online storefronts for content and apps as well as to existing products (and potential future ones).

If you’re interested in reading my analysis on what Apple will do next in the living room, head on over to GigaOM Pro (no subscription required) to see my latest weekly update.



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Firefox stability to get a boost with multiprocess browsing


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companion photo for Firefox stability to get a boost with multiprocess browsing

Mozilla has launched a new project called Electrolysis that aims to bring multiprocess browsing to Firefox. According to Mozilla, splitting up the page rendering workload into multiple processes will improve the browser’s performance, security, and stability. The developers have already assembled a prototype that renders a page in a separate process from the interface shell in which it is displayed.

Mozilla has explored the possibility of adopting a multiprocessing approach for Firefox in the past, but the idea didn’t gain serious traction in the Firefox developer community until it was implemented by Google and Microsoft in their respective web browsers. Google’s Chrome browser uses a separate process for each page, an architectural approach that facilitates much more effective security sandboxing and prevents page-specific rendering glitches from crashing the entire browser. Chrome even includes a process manager tool that can be used to see the status and resource consumption of each page.

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White iPhone 3GS in low numbers across US


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The white 16GB iPhone 3GS is proving to be the most popular by far in the US, Apple stock tracking shows. As of Tuesday morning, the phone model is missing in 30 out of 41 states in which Apple Stores are located, along with the District of Columbia. Elsewhere shortages are so severe that in California, Apple’s home state, only one out of 45 retail outlets has white 16GB units….



Creative finally readying first touch device


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Creative’s first touchscreen media device has been revealed today through an FCC filing. Just called the Zii, the player is only shown in outline but already reveals some of its key selling points. The name suggests it will be based on the dual-core Zii processor, and an “HD camera” logo near an appropriate port suggests the device will have that level of video capture and playback support….



Dock Gone: Say Goodbye to Your Dock


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dock-gone-icon

When Apple introduced the Dock with OS X, people immediately either loved it or hated it. Over time, we all got used to it. Among some of the usability complaints about the Dock is the fact that, without hacking, you can’t simply get rid of it. Hiding the Dock will only get you so far — it still pops up at inopportune times. If you’re frustrated by the inability to completely hide the Dock, there is a simple solution.

I know what you’re going to say. “Just hide the Dock; it’s simple.” While that is true, it’s not a complete solution. Hiding the Dock doesn’t really get rid of it, rather it just moves it off the screen — barely. Moving your mouse, even slightly, to the edge of the screen brings the Dock back into full view, and launching a new app makes the icon bounce into view even when the Dock is hidden.

I love the convenience of the Dock, but there are times when I’m working in certain apps like iMovie, iPhoto, Photoshop and a few others in which application icons, windows and scroll bars go right to the edge of the screen. Trying to use certain elements in those apps which are close to the edge almost always invokes the Dock, causing a brief yet annoying interruption in my workflow. At the same time, I want access to the Dock without a trip to the Terminal or other convoluted method to bring it back on screen.

Dock Gone System Preference Pane

Dock Gone System Preference Pane

Enter Dock Gone, by Old Jewel Software. Dock Gone is an OS X System Preference Pane which allows you to turn off the Dock completely, not just hide it.

Like any great Mac application, Dock Gone offers more than one option to turn on and off your Dock: via the Preference Pane, a menubar icon, or a keyboard shortcut — which you can customize any way you like. You can even have it play a system sound when the Dock is turned on and off.

Dock Gone menubar options

Dock Gone menubar options

Turning off the Dock using any method available with Dock Gone results in the Dock gently sliding off the screen, and playing the system sound if you have that setting turned on. Beyond the menubar icon, which you can hide if you so choose, you’ll not even notice it’s there — a great usability trait.

Whether or not you feel that such an app is worth having, I can say that Dock Gone performs as advertised, with perhaps the only ill side effect of using 9.2MB of my RAM to do nothing 99.9 percent of the time. Still, if the default behavior of the Dock is disruptive enough to you, it’s probably worth putting up with.

Dock Gone works on any Mac that can run OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or higher, and a single-user license is $14.95. A 15-day demo is available for download from the Dock Gone site.



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NVIDIA prepping 40nm GPUs for September


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NVIDIA’s first graphics chipsets based on a new 40 nanometer manufacturing process could be available by the start of the fall, a newspaper claimed on Tuesday. Taiwan’s Commercial Times says the GeForce GT 220 and G210 are due to ship in late September. The story supports notions of a delay and says TSMC, which manufactures NVIDIA’s chipsets, had initially suffered from poor yields of the 40nm p…



The greenest iPod yet: made of real wood


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Well, mostly. It’s an iPod mini dressed up in wood, and the clickwheel happens to be wood as well — check out this gallery at the Sydney Morning Herald. Australian modder Josh Darrah whipped up this crazy wooden skin for his mini, and a wood dock to boot after calling the metal and plastic case materials normally coating iPods “crass.” The flannel carrying case he made is a nice touch, too.

Good news if you’d like one of these for yourself: Josh is considering a DIY kit to mod your own iPod.

Thanks to Leighton Johannesen for the tip!

TUAWThe greenest iPod yet: made of real wood originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Tue, 07 Jul 2009 07:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Demand for Apple’s 13″ MacBook Pro may be outpacing supply


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Apple's newly-coined 13-inch MacBook Pros appear to be off to a hot start, with the company reportedly having difficulty keeping some of the new models in stock as it enters the heart of the back-to-school buying season.

Palm Pre coming to Germany, Ireland, Spain, UK


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Palm today confirmed early European launch details for the Pre. The webOS smartphone’s initial launch will be a Telefonica exclusive and should see O2 have sole rights in Germany, Ireland and the UK; Movistar will have an exclusive in Spain. All four countries will have the phone “in time for the holidays,” though it’s not clear when the exclusivity period ends….



Want to bump up that iPhone camera quality? Factron has you covered


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For those who want to make their little iPhone camera zoom a bit better and don’t mind turning your iPhone into a Goth appendage, you may want to take a gander at this import from Japan:

via Engadget

There are a few lens sizes to choose from.  With some skillz, you could even make a music video.

 

 


Apple and AT&T in DOJ anti-trust crosshairs


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Look, we’re not in favor of getting the government involved in any of our gadgetry…but…well… they are already there (FCC allocates spectrum, etc.) so they might as well do something good.  John Kerry last month petitioned the FCC to look into wireless carrier/handset maker duopolies, with the Sprint/Pre and AT&T/iPhone specifically being named.  That petition looks to have some legs.

Now, the WSJ’s Amol Sharmais is reporting that the US department of Justice is also looking into the matter:

“Among the areas the Justice Department could explore is whether wireless carriers are hurting smaller competitors by locking up popular phones through exclusive agreements with handset makers, according to people familiar with the matter. In recent weeks lawmakers and regulators have raised questions about deals such as AT&T’s exclusive right to provide service for Apple Inc.’s popular iPhone in the U.S.”

We’re pretty sure Apple, in a purely capitalist market, would just love to let anyone on any carrier use the iPhone.  Just look at France where the iPhone is booming on all three major carriers after the Orange-iPhone excusivity was deemed unfair to competition.   

If the DOJ rules that carrier exclusivity is anti-competitive like France’s government did, Tmobile might get in on some of the iPhone McLovin…and we might get an iPhone that gets a signal in our neighborhood.

The DOJ is also reportedly looking into if Apple and Google sharing directors (Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Art Levinson) is a competitive advantage as well. 

You’re hard earned iPod money is going to be buying a lot of lawyer time over the next few years it appears.


App Store celebrates its 1st anniversary


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Apple is gearing up to celebrate the first anniversary of the wildly popular, much-copied App Store.  July 11th is the date it was released in the 2.0 iPhone software update. Apple has issued their favorite apps and games to commemorate the occasion.



First professional music video shot entirely on iPhone 3GS: Reyna Perez, “Love Love Love.”


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We’re sure there have been lots of low budget music videos made with the iPhone 3GS’s video recording feature, but here’s one we actually like:

 

Reyna Perez has embraced the concept of digital collaboration with her self-titled EP. She recorded each song in Brooklyn on acoustic guitar at a home studio and emailed the tracks to producer Michael Maurice (Curio Sound) in Denver. Over the course of 2 months, Maurice mastered her songs into full fledged productions using Logic software and his own instruments. "I’ve given them a warm analogue sound, without using any actual analogue equipment; it’s a testament to the times, and I’m very happy with the results," says Maruice.

The final mixes arrived via ftp on Friday, June 17th, the same day the iphone 3GS hit the streets. Video producer Ari Kuschnir, Reyna’s fiancee, purchased the iPhone after a two hour wait, made shorter by listening to the tracks. Hearing the new music and playing with 3GS, he had an idea. Why not debut Reyna with the first iPhone music video? "It became clear that the phone’s camera quality was good enough to shoot a music video. It seemed fitting for the project."

Over the next few days, the plan and the team came together. Within a week, through a series of collaborations much like the mastering of Reyna’s EP, the video was complete.

Here’s the video, and here’s Reyna on Facebook, and here she is on reverbnation.com.

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App Store Marks First Birthday


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appstorebirthday

A momentous day.

Exactly one year ago, Apple brought forth the iPhone App Store, which has gone on to become the greatest gift to Twitter’s growth imaginable. Among other things.

Let’s hope they have it really perfected by next year.

This article is copyright Cultomedia Corp.


Apple Celebrates First Anniversary of App Store


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Apple has started celebrating the first anniversary of the App Store with a special section on iTunes [link] highlighting their favorite applications and games. While the App Store officially launched on July 11th 2008, many MacRumors reade…

3GS Launch Has Apple Way Behind on App Store Approvals


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Hyperwall in WWDC 2009, Live from App Store from Imagebakery on Vimeo.

By all accounts, the iPhone 3GS launch has been a tremendous success for Apple. Despite launching in a down economy, the new model managed to sell as many units in its first weekend as its predecessor with little sign of slowdown. It’s also been an incredibly smooth launch. Though the iPhone 3G launch was marred by product shortages and buggy software, Apple’s kept a steady supply of hardware in the channel, and iPhone OS 3.0 is quite stable for such a new release.

But as effective as Apple has become in managing all of the aspects of the iPhone that it controls (hardware and first-party software), the launch also reveals the challenges the company faces in its efforts to take advantage of a larger network. AT&T’s signal strength continues to be a subject of much heated debate, and more crucially, Apple’s position as minder of a large software platform with thousands of developers looks increasingly untenable.

I don’t need to go into detail about the numerous cracks in the App Store facade of the last year: the baby shaking app, the unapproved porn, the copyright infringement, the excellent apps inexplicably rejected for arbitrary reasons and the apps that never made it out of the approval process one way or another. What I can say is this: the release of the 3GS has inspired a burst of app submissions the likes of which Apple has never seen before. When the App Store first opened a year ago, it had a flurry of submissions, but a smaller pool of developers. This is the first real “event” period since the iPhone dev community has grown, and the submission pool is not unlike the giant hyperwall of apps that dominated the conversation at this year’s WWDC.

A developer friend tells me that a pre-release version of his app was checked off and approved in a week in the period immediately before the 3GS announcement. The final release, submitted the day of the WWDC keynote on June 8, took nearly four weeks to get through the system, and I’m told that Apple has even notified its developer community that all apps are taking between three and four weeks to vet. That means it takes four times as long to get new products to consumers, four times as long to fix bugs, and four times as long to go from finished work to money-making.

If Apple wants to maintain the dominance of the iPhone and the success of the App Store, it needs to find a more effective way to manage the sheer volume of submissions it’s tackling. Too much crud is making it through, and too much brilliant code is sitting on the shelf. The iPhone is by far the best mobile platform today. Unless Apple learns to treat its developers better on the front end (I hear payment works brilliantly), they won’t be loyal when the next Next Big Thing comes around.

This article is copyright Cultomedia Corp.


Jammie Thomas challenges “monstrous” $1.92M P2P verdict


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companion photo for Jammie Thomas challenges "monstrous" $1.92M P2P verdict

It was only a matter of time: Jammie Thomas-Rasset has asked the federal judge overseeing her file-sharing lawsuit to toss the $1.92 million damage award, reduce it to the statutory minimum of $18,000, or grant her a new trial.

The motion, filed today in Minnesota federal court, is blunt. “The verdict in this case was shocking,” it begins. “For 24 songs, available for $1.29 on iTunes, the jury assessed statutory damages of $80,000 per song—a ratio of 1:62,015.
For 24 albums, available for no more than $15 at the store, the jury assessed statutory
damages of $80,000 per album—a ratio of 1:5,333. For a single mother’s
noncommercial use of KaZaA, and upon neither finding nor evidence of actual injury to
the plaintiffs, the judgment fines Jammie Thomas $1.92 million. Such a judgment is
grossly excessive and, therefore, subject to remittitur as a matter of federal common law.”

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