Elgato Releases Elgato Video Capture for Mac, iPhone and iPod

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 8th, 2009, 14:26
Category: Accessory, Software

Accessory provider Elgato Systems announced the release of Elgato Video Capture, a hardware/software combination device for transferring analog video, including footage on VHS video tape, to a Mac, iPhone and iPod.
According to Macworld UK, the device connects VCRs, set top boxes, camcorders, DVD players, and other analog video sources, anything that uses composite RCA or S-Video outputs, to the Mac via a USB 2.0 interface.
The unit also ships with a SCART video adapter to allow RCA or S-Video devices to be connected.


x535.jpg

Elgato’s included software offers a simple tool to trim the beginning and end of the captured video as well as export tools to send the video to iTunes, QuickTime, YouTube or iMovie for final editing.
Generated files can then be synced with video capable iPods, iPhones and Apple TV and can be edited in iMovie ’09 without re-encoding.
The Video Capture unit automatically detects NTSC, SECAM, PAL, and PAL/60 video formats for universal compatibility.
Elgato Video Capture requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later, QuickTime 7.6 or later and iTunes 8.1 or later. The unit retails for £89.95 (US$136.45) and will be available from Apple retail stores and other Mac resellers.

Apple Revises “Wet iPhone” Policy Terms

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 8th, 2009, 08:07
Category: iPhone

3giphone.jpg
Over the past couple of years, some of my clients have inadvertently soaked their iPhones (the rocket scientist who routinely works for NASA managed to marinate his in a gym bag filled with Gatorade and the other stories are even more obscure).
Given this situation, the result from Apple was fairly punitive: time to shell out for a new iPhone as well as a new AT&T contract.
According to PC World, Apple has revised its “wet iPhone” policy. Now, if you’ve soaked the handset, just walk into an Apple Store location, belly on up to the Genius Bar and they’ll replace it out for you for US$199 without needing to renew the standard two-year contract.
Otherwise, do what you can to keep it not-moist and you should be in business.

BBEdit Updated to 9.2

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 8th, 2009, 08:51
Category: Software

bbedit.jpg
Late Thursday, Bare Bones Software released version 9.2 of BBEdit, its popular text and HTML editor. The software retails for US$125 for new users. The new version, a 15.4 megabyte download, features the following fixes and improvements:

  • Introduces an array of noteworthy features and refinements, including an innovative new Sleep command, which captures the state of the application and restores it at next launch. By sleeping BBEdit instead of quitting, customers can continue working after a system restart or software update with minimal disruption. The version 9.2 update also adds built-in support for editing LassoScript source code, including syntax coloring, function navigation and text folding.
  • The BBEdit 9.2 update also includes major enhancements to Projects with added commands for convenience, shortcuts for searching, and a new file format which better fits with source code management systems such as Subversion and Perforce. Version 9.2 includes an overhaul to BBEdit’s management of recently used items.
  • BBEdit 9.2 also signals enhancements to the Scratchpad feature, syntax coloring for all languages, with specific improvements to the Java and Python language support, and new support for the ability to browse Unix “tar” files in disk browsers.
  • BBEdit 9.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

    Apple Releases iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 5

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, May 7th, 2009, 08:27
    Category: iPhone, Software

    3giphone.jpg
    Late Thursday and only a little over one week since its last revision, Apple released iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5. While details regarding the new version are thin on the ground, The iPhone Blog is reporting that the new version appears to require iTunes 8.2 to install and run.
    Other noted changes include MMS support no longer being able to be turned on in the Settings menu and Apple appears to have patched a loophole that allowed tethering to be enabled.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve gotten your mitts on the new build and have something to offer, please let us know.

    Opinion: iPhone Applications Not Worth Your US$0.99

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, May 7th, 2009, 08:33
    Category: Opinion

    3giphone.jpg
    By Rachel Hoyer
    Who can explain the popularity of goofy iPhone applications? Here’s some of my favorite iPhone applications not worth your US$0.99:
    The Moron Test – This quiz features increasingly difficult puzzles which eventually become tricky for even Mensa members to solve. I’m guessing that the point is that it waits for you to get a wrong answer so it can tell you that you’re a moron. Why not save yourself a dollar and go talk to your boss? Furthermore, do you really need validation from your phone that you’re not a moron?
    Larry the Scary Cockroach – Now you can make an animated cockroach run across a friend’s iPhone. How scary. Instead, you could get a free real cockroach off the sidewalk and place it on your friend’s phone, now that would be icky!
    iHunt 3D – Target virtual deer and shoot them by clicking. You can hunt without actually being outdoors or actually killing animals. Anyone remember Duck Hunt? It’s like that, but less fun and without the cool plastic gun.
    iBeer Special – An application that turns the screen of your iPhone into a glass of beer. You can select from a variety of types of beer and then “pour” them by rotating your phone. This is an a highly popular application. Kinda reminds me of those trick plastic mugs with attached plastic beer pouring out.
    Zip Codes – Reference guide to U.S. zip codes. Type in the name of a city and find out its zip code and county name. The U.S. Post Office offers this service for free on their website, or you could just type the city name into any web browser. This application can not be used for its only logical purpose: Determining the zip code of a letter or parcel you’d like to mail. The application’s database doesn’t include street names, you can only search by city or county name. This application would be an ideal gift for people who enjoy memorizing phone books and train schedules.
    Animalizer – You know those pieces of plywood with clowns or silly characters painted on them, but face holes cut out so you can place your own face in them and take a picture? Now you can take pictures of friends and then paste their face onto an image of an animal.
    Smacktalk – If you like Animalizer, you’ll love Smacktalk. Speak a phrase into your iPhone microphone and the audio clip is modified to a squeaky voice and repeated back to you by a dog, cat, or other cute animal. The best part of this game is the glowing testimonials on its App Store page.
    iFart – Ever wished you could embarass yourself in public more often? This is the application for you. Choose from a variety of fart noises to play on your phone, from wet ones to staccato ones to really, really loud ones. As a gag, it would make more sense for the application to send audio clips of farts to other people’s phones. Then your unsuspecting friend would receive an iPhone whoopie cushion. Oddly enough, it’s not only extremely popular, but has also received excellent reviews.
    Name Analyzer – Type your name into your iPhone and it randomly assigns words to describe you based on the acronym. For example: If you type in “Jen” it could respond with “Joyous, Esoteric, Nerdy.” Its database includes both positive and negative words … I suppose if people want to fart in public more often, perhaps they also like to be insulted by their phone.

    SlingPlayer 1.0.8 Released

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, May 7th, 2009, 08:01
    Category: Software

    slingicons.jpg
    Late Wednesday, Sling Media announced the release of SlingPlayer 1.0.8, the newest version of its software packages that allows Mac users to access their television content on their computer. The new version, a 131 megabyte download (thanks to VersionTracker), sports the following fixes and changes:

  • Improved video quality.
  • Hybrid tuning support for the Slingbox PRO-HD.
  • Online Slingbox registration added; plus users can store their Slingbox ID online for easy access.
  • Improved Slingbox Setup Assistant: New setup and configuration screens are streamlined and easier to use.
  • Users can rapidly cycle between Fullscreen (4:3), Widescreen (16:9), Letterbox, Windowbox, Pillarbox modes.
  • Show / Hide player controls with one-click toggle.
  • SlingPlayer is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to install and run.

    Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0 Build 3844 Released

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, May 7th, 2009, 07:49
    Category: Software

    parallelslogo1.jpg
    Virtualization software maker Parallels released Parallels Desktop for Mac build 3810 on Wednesday. The new version, a 174.6 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), contains the following fixes and changes:

  • Improved 3D graphics in Windows virtual machines.
  • Problems with Palm synchronization in Windows virtual machines — fixed.
  • Random disconnection of USB 1.1 devices in Linux virtual machines — fixed.
  • Invisibility of the text mouse pointer on black background in Windows virtual machines — fixed.
  • Problems with SMB shares in native Windows Boot Camp installations that have Parallels Tools installed — fixed.
  • Problems with Shared Networking on Snow Leopard host computers — fixed.
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0 retails for US$79.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

    Myst Comes to the iPhone and iPod Touch

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009, 23:35
    Category: Game, iPhone, Software

    Ah, the beautifully rendered scenes, the clever puzzles, and the creepy ambient sounds and music. If you’ve been a Mac user since the days of the beige cases, you probably remember all of these characteristics from playing the game Myst and its sequels, developed by Cyan which was founded by Rand and Robyn Miller.

    myst_box.png

    The original Myst, released in 1993, sold over 12 million copies and held the title of best-selling computer game until The Sims was released in 2000. The game was partly responsible for the CD’s increase in popularity as it was the first game to be released exclusively on CD. The game made extensive use of Apple’s QuickTime technology for its gameplay, and all the environments were complete 3D modeled creations, which was rare for games at the time.

    Now, the entire game has been reproduced in iPhone/iPod Touch format and is available in the App Store [app link]. The game has been updated to use multi-touch controls rather than the original point and click navigation. Otherwise your trip through the four Ages of Myst to solve its puzzles and unravel the mystery of Atrus and his “linking books” remains intact from the original.

    Myst requires 1.5GB of free space to install, though it will reduce in size to 727MB or so once it’s finished installing. The game requires iPhone 2.2.1 software and is $5.99 in the App Store.

    iPhone OS 3.0 to Provide Much-Desired MMS Capabilities

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009, 10:03
    Category: Opinion

    3giphone.jpg
    By Rachel Hoyer
    So, you’ve just taken the world’s most adorable picture of your dog on your iPhone.
    If you want to text it to your friends, you’re out of luck.
    You’ll have to email it to them.
    iPhone enthusiasts everywhere have bemoaned the lack of MMS support on the handset. MMS is the protocol which allows transmission of images in text messages. The current iPhone OS 2.2.1 software supports SMS, but not its MMS extension. SMS, or Short Messaging Service, is a communication protocol that enables text messaging between mobile devices. MMS, or Multimedia Messaging Service, is an extension of SMS that allows transmission of multimedia objects such as images, audio, video and rich text files within a text message. Both SMS and MMS are supported on a wide variety of mobile networks, including the 3G network used by iPhone. SMS and MMS technology are rapidly becoming obsolete due to widespread availability of the Internet on mobile devices via Wi-Fi, 3G and Apple Wireless technology. This may be the reason that Apple did not include MMS on previous iPhone software versions.
    This begs the question: Why include SMS support, but not MMS support on iPhone OS 2.0? One possibility is that AT&T, the sole cell phone service provider for iPhone, pressured Apple into maintaining SMS text messaging support. Despite the advanced age of its technology, text messaging remains hugely popular among cell phone users. In addition, cell phone service providers such as AT&T rake in a ridiculously high profit margin on SMS text messaging services. But they make equal, if not more money, from selling ringtones and sending images delivered via MMS. Following the cell phone provider profits theory, it would be illogical to include SMS but not MMS. Another hypothesis: Apple did not want to deprive iPhone users of the highly convenient and popular SMS service, but assumed that MMS would not be missed given the ease of web access.
    At present, when you try to send a picture on your iPhone, it is posted on a website. Then, a text message linking the page is sent to your selected recipients inviting them to visit the site to view the picture. While web browsing is a simple task on the iPhone, it is a problematic endeavor for many other types of cell phones. Although nearly all cell phones have MMS capability, typically their web browsers are both dodgy and expensive. Not to worry, iPhone users: Apple plans to release iPhone OS 3.0 in June which (along with a host of other improvements) will provide MMS support. The upgrade will be free for iPhone 3G owners and $9.99 for iPod Touch owners. Sadly, due to a hardware compatibility issue, older iPhone models are not upgradeable.
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go email my friends pictures of my dog in a football jersey.

    Apple Now Involved in Class Action Suit Regarding MagSafe Power Adapters

    Posted by:
    Date: Wednesday, May 6th, 2009, 09:28
    Category: Legal, MacBook

    magsafeshot.jpg
    A recently filed class action lawsuit has accused Apple Inc. of neglecting a flaw in its MagSafe power connector for MacBook notebooks that might not only cause a break but could trigger sparks, forcing customers to buy replacements and even creating a potential fire hazard.
    According to AppleInsider, the suit, which was submitted late last week to a Northern District of California court in San Jose, the joint complaint from Tim Broad, Naotaka Kitagawa and Jesse Reisman claims that the MagSafe cable used for the MacBook and MacBook Pro will inevitably fray near one of its connecting ends. The claim contradicts Apple’s claims that the adapter is “durable.” The plaintiffs allege that day-to-day use, including winding the cable around the power adapter’s pop-out guides, ends up destroying the cable over time — and that Apple is aware of the problem but hasn’t fully addressed it with a safer design.
    All three plaintiffs at varying points have had to buy replacement MagSafe adapters for their systems that, in two cases, have already either needed a replacement or are showing signs of needing one. The plastic sheath on the cable in each circumstance was often melted away and exposed the bare wiring. In the complaint, Broad noted the heat was enough that it might have caused fire damage to his home if he hadn’t been present to watch for the danger signs.
    “It almost burned my hand when I brushed it accidentally,” he says in the 27-page filing.
    The trio also points to numerous examples of similar patterns online, including Apple’s own online store, where the cables had frayed, melted or sparked and forced customers to get one or more replacements. Apple, meanwhile, only asks customers to visit a certified Apple service location if sparks occur anywhere other than at the power plug’s metal prongs; many of these visits, however, only result in the customers buying another US$80 adapter rather than receiving a free replacement.
    As the problem is already known to affect “at least thousands” of users and may well include hundreds of thousands with the exact same issue, the plaintiffs want class action status to represent anyone who may have bought an affected MacBook and have charged Apple with violating California’s business codes as well as breaching the implied and explicit warranties attached to the computers.
    Broad, Kitagawa and Reisman want Apple to not only refund any of the associated costs with the known defective products but to warn the public and, if successful, pay punitive damages alongside the expected compensation.
    As always, Apple has yet to comment on the lawsuit.