Appearance: PPUG Saturday in Philadelphia (Withings WS-50 preview)

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Date: Friday, March 29th, 2013, 09:28
Category: Accessory, PPUG, User Group, Wearables

Withings WS-50 Wi-Fi scale

I’ll be presenting at the Philadelphia PowerBook User Group (PPUG) on Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. PPUG is the first dedicated PowerBook User Group (PPUG) in the United States and was founded in 1999.

We meet at the Manayunk Brewing Company along the beautiful Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, PA and our meetings is open to all. We usually have lunch (or a brew) while we talk mobile computing.

We’ve got a big slate to present.

I’m going to present the latest in wearable fitness computers, including the Jawbone Up band, the BodyMedia FIT LINK and their associated iOS apps. I’m also giving an exclusive demonstration of the Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer. It’s your chance to preview the new Wi-Fi scale that measures weight, body composition, heart rate, and air quality before it starts shipping in mid-April.

Rob Parker will do a roundup of the latest gadgets in the ParkerDigital stable, including the Pebble watch, Nike+ Fuel Band, FitBit One, Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone 5 and some iPad mini cases. Apple Distinguished Educator Youngmoo Kim will give a presentation about issues and tricks he’s encountered doing presentations wirelessly using AirPlay. He’ll be presenting using an Apple TV connected to a BenQ 761 projector.

Join us for a great meeting, it’s free and open to you and your guests. Feel free to bring items to sell or swap as well.

Manayunk Brewing Company

4120 Main Street

Philadelphia, PA 19127

215.482.8220

Microsoft Windows 8 certification change could hint at upcoming iPad mini competitor

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Date: Friday, March 29th, 2013, 06:02
Category: iPad mini, News

microsoftlogo.jpg

Microsoft could have an iPad mini competitor en route.

Per AppleInsider, recent changes quietly made to the Windows 8 hardware certification guidelines suggest that Microsoft could be gearing up to debut a new, smaller “Windows Reader” tablet designed to compete with more portable devices like Apple’s iPad mini.

The company recently relaxed its hardware certification rules to allow devices with screen resolutions of 1,024 by 768 pixels at a depth of 32 bits. But the Redmond, Wash., company also warned developers that it doesn’t mean they are allowed to develop hardware with low-resolution displays.

“This doesn’t imply we’re encouraging partners to regularly use a lower screen resolution,” Microsoft said. “In fact, we see customers embracing the higher resolution screens that make a great Windows experience. We understand that partners exploring designs for certain markets could find greater design flexibility helpful.”

The company has been rumored to be at work on a so-called “Windows Reader” for some time.

The new resolution allowed for Windows 8 devices happens to match the display of Apple’s iPad mini, which also sports a 1,024-by-768-pixel 7.9-inch screen. And the iPad 2, which Apple also continues to sell, features the same resolution on a larger 9.7-inch display, giving it a lower pixel density.

Windows 8 operating systems that run at Microsoft’s newly approved lower resolution will lose the operating system’s “snap” feature, which allows two Windows Store applications to be viewed simultaneously side by side. Manufacturers are required by Microsoft to disclose this loss “to avoid potential customer disappointment.”

While Microsoft looks to lower resolutions, some expect that Apple will boost the iPad mini to a Retina-caliber display with a second-generation model this year. However, others have suggested that doubling the iPad mini’s resolution on its small 7.9-inch display may be too difficult a feat to accomplish this year.

Microsoft’s current closest competitor to the full-size iPad is the Surface with Windows RT, which has a screen resolution of 1,366 by 768 pixels on a 10.1-inch display. A head-to-head comparison conducted last November by Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate found that the Surface outperforms Apple’s iPad 2, but falls short of newer full-size iPad models with Retina displays.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Parallels Desktop updated to 8.0.18480

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Date: Friday, March 29th, 2013, 06:24
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday, Parallels released version 8.0.18480 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 335.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Better compatibility with new iMacs.

- Create Boot Camp virtual machines on new iMacs with 3 TB hard drives.

- Create virtual machines from the Boot Camp partition with Windows 8 installed.

- Support for Fedora 18.

- Fixed visual artifacts when changing screen resolution in a Windows 8 Pro virtual machine with more than 256 MB of video memory and nested virtualization enabled.

- Resolves an issue with the Command + click combination not opening links in new tabs in Windows browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.)

Parallels Desktop 8 retails for US$79.99 and requires a 64-bit Intel-based processor, Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended to run Windows 7), at least 700 MB of space available on the boot volume for Parallels Desktop installation and 15 GB of available disk space for Windows.

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

Apple releases Final Cut Pro X 10.0.8 update

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Date: Friday, March 29th, 2013, 06:11
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock a good update.

Late Thursday, Apple released version 10.0.8 of its Final Cut Pro X video editing software.

The update, a 1.53 gigabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Support for Sony XAVC codec up to 4K resolution.

- Option to display ProRes Log C files from ARRI ALEXA cameras with standard Rec. 709 color and contrast levels.

- Resolves an issue where some third-party effects generated green frames during render.

- Resolves performance issues that could occur with certain titles and effects.

- Time reversed clips render in the background.

- Ability to use key commands to adjust Clip Appearance settings in the timeline.

- Ability to view reel number metadata located in the timecode track of video files.

- Mono audio files in a surround project export with correct volume levels.

- Drop zones no longer reset to the first frame of video after application restart.

- Fixes a performance issue which resulted from selecting multiple ranges on a single clip.

- Fixes an issue where the Play Around function did not work properly on certain clips when viewed through external video devices.

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.8 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run along with an OpenCL-capable graphics card or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or later, 256MB of VRAM, display with 1280-by-768 resolution or higher and retails for US$299.99

If you’ve tried version 10.0.8 of Final Cut Pro X and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.