OWC releases 480GB Aura Pro Express SSD for MacBook Air

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Date: Friday, January 27th, 2012, 13:51
Category: hard drive, MacBook Air, News

The good news: You can now snag up to a 480GB solid-state drive for your MacBook Air.

The bad part: It ain’t cheap.

Per Electronista, Other World Computing has released a 480GB version of its Mercury Aura Pro Express. The new solid-state drive doubles the storage of its SATA3-based, 6Gbps model line. As with other SSDs, more capacity doesn’t mean a sacrifice in speed, and it can deliver as much as 500MB per second in peak transfer speeds.

Apple’s stock SSDs in current-generation Airs usually stop at around half the maximum speed. OWC gets to the faster speed by using a modern SandForce memory controller. Although it doesn’t officially support the TRIM command to optimize the drive, it’s touted as having its own data block management techniques to keep the SSD fast throughout its lifespan.

The drive works with either size of MacBook Air and has a cost roughly in line with other 480GB SSDs at about US$1,079. Users have to install the drive themselves, but they’re given instructions and a three-year warranty in case the drive itself is faulty. OWC has begun shipping the new drives, which are immediately available.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Earth updated to 6.2.0.5905

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Date: Friday, January 27th, 2012, 13:11
Category: News, Software

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On Monday, software giant Google released version 6.2.0.5905 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 34 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Seamless imagery of geographic landscapes.

- Improved search results and suggestions.

- Biking and transit directions.

- Screenshot sharing via Google+.

Google Earth 6.2.0.5905 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

EFF looking to keep jailbreaking iOS devices legal in U.S.

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Date: Friday, January 27th, 2012, 13:04
Category: Hack, iOS, iPad, iPhone, News

Since it’s now kind of, sort of legal to jailbreak your iOS device, the Electronic Frontier Foundation aims to keep it that way.

Per AppleInsider, an exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that has made iPhone “jailbreaking” legal is set to expire, and a digital rights advocacy group hopes the U.S. government will renew and expand that exemption.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation this week reached out to members of the public, asking them to help protect the act of jailbreaking, in which users can hack their iPhone or iPad to run unauthorized code. Up until now, jailbreaking has been legal through exemptions in the DMCA, but that exemption is set to expire this year.

“The DMCA is supposed to block copyright infringement, but it’s been misused to threaten tinkerers and users who just want to make their devices more secure and more functional,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. “The U.S. Copyright Office should hear from concerned Americans who want to run software of their choice on the gadgets of their choice.”

The EFF helped to ensure that jailbreaking was granted an exemption in the DMCA in 2010, but this year the group wants to expand it to specifically cover tablets and videogame systems through its “Jailbreaking is Not a Crime” campaign at jailbreakingisnotacrime.org.

The term jailbreaking usually refers to hacking Apple’s iOS devices in order to run software not approved by Apple. But the EFF’s campaign uses jailbreaking as a blanket term for hacking all devices, regardless of platform.

Every few years, the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office authorizes exemptions to ensure existing law does not prevent non-infringing use of copyrighted material. Two years ago, the office officially ruled that jailbreaking is an acceptable practice, though it still voids Apple’s product warranties.

Through jailbreaking, hackers have created their own custom applications which are available from an alternative storefront known as Cydia, similar to Apple’s official App Store for iOS. There are many free and paid applications available on Cydia that allow users to install custom tweaks, user interface themes and various pieces of software that does not comply with Apple’s iOS developer agreement.

While jailbreaking itself is not illegal, the process can be used to pirate software from the App Store, which is against the law. Concern over piracy is one of the main reasons Apple has fought the practice of jailbreaking.

To keep jailbreaking legal, the EFF has asked that supporters sign a letter written by author and hacker Andrew “bunnie” Huang, an MIT graduate who wrote the 2003 book “Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering.” Huang’s letter advocates for expanded jailbreaking exemptions to protect “security researchers and other tinkerers and innovators.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apparent announces Doxie Go scanner with wireless scanning features

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Date: Friday, January 27th, 2012, 07:23
Category: Accessory, News

This could prove useful.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, accessory maker Apparent has announced a new model of its popular Doxie Go scanner with Wi-Fi support. The tiny appliance can be charged up, slipped into a bag and carried around for on-the-go scanning of documents, receipts or other slip of paper you want to digitize and save.

Back in December, Apparent had developed a workaround that allowed to unit to enable with Eye-Fi Wi-Fi/SD card wireless scanning of sorts. As of the Expo, the devices now have that wireless functionality built in. Documents scanned with the new model can be sent to your computer, mobile device, or to Evernote, Flickr, or an FTP account. Its street price is listed at US$239.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Anthro Cart allows up to 40 iPads/Android tablets to be charged at once

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Date: Friday, January 27th, 2012, 04:34
Category: Accessory, iPad

Ok, so you probably don’t have 40 iPads (or iOS devices in general) just laying around your house waiting to be charged. Still, if you have a business or school that does, the Anthro Charging Cart & Cabinet for Tablets is a storage cabinet on wheels that can store and recharge up to 40 iPads or Android tablets.

Per Macworld, the cart, which is on display at Macworld/iWorld in San Francisco has two compartments: one in the front for storing and charging the tablets, and one in the back for cable management and power outlets.

Although Anthro promotes the cabinet as one for storing iPads, the company has stated that Android tablets will work just fine with it as well, since it just uses the standard power cables that come with your tablet. This particular cabinet retails for US$1,499, but Anthro has other tablet/phone cabinets as well and also sells a cabinet that holds 20 tablets, along with ones that hold 20 or 40 phones.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.