Marketcircle Releases Daylite Touch

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Date: Wednesday, April 1st, 2009, 18:40
Category: iPhone, Software

Yesterday, Marketcircle Inc. released Daylite Touch to the App Store allowing users of their CRM software, Daylite, to synchronize their data to their iPhone or iPod Touch.
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From the Marketcircle web site,

“Daylite Touch is a business productivity manager for the iPhone and iPod touch, designed as a companion to Daylite on the Mac. Winner of a 2009 Macworld Best of Show award, Daylite Touch helps you manage your business and your team, keeping everyone on the same page and helping you stay on track and deliver on time.”

Daylite has been an award winning business solution serving as a contact, calendar, and project database for the Mac. The desktop client allows data to be synchronized to multiple computers, and now with Daylite Touch, data can be as handy as your mobile phone. The app was demonstrated at the 2009 MacWorld Expo, but was not ready for launch.
The app can be downloaded for free from iTunes now and requires Daylite Server and firmware 2.2 on the iPhone and iPod Touch
UPDATE:
While the Daylite Touch app is free to download from the App Store, a license must be purchased from Marketcircle for each copy of Daylite Touch being used with Daylite Server. The price is $49.99 per license, per year.

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Internet News Reading Down 80% Due to Unreliable April 1st Trends

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Date: Wednesday, April 1st, 2009, 17:07
Category: Humor, News

People used to getting their daily news from internet news sources and blogs have finally given up reading the news online as the yearly trend to post fake news on April 1st continues. The online statistics service AdNumbers stated today that ad revenue from online marketing and banner ads, as of 5:00 PM EST, was down nearly 80%. ADNumbers representative Nick O’Parkman stated, “Everyone is just fed up. They go to the internet to read news on April 1st and they don’t know what to believe anymore, so now they don’t bother!”
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Medical health journalist, Dr. Eugene Simmons suggests that in the past this trend has been dangerous to unsuspecting news readers, in particular investors and individuals with large stock portfolios who might read that Apple Inc. is producing a line of computers with no keyboard, or that Steve Ballmer is going to be CEO of Microsoft. “Such outrageous stories have been know to cause heart-attacks, nervous break-downs, and unwarranted stock sellouts, which could hurt our already fragile economy”, says Simmons.
In a related story, the Onion News Network posted a TRUE news story today….and nobody noticed.

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Sprint Adds 4G Service to More Cities

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Date: Tuesday, March 31st, 2009, 13:42
Category: Mobile, Services

In a press release, Sprint announced that they are expanding their 4G network coverage in 2009 to cover more cities. Along with the service will be announcements, later this year, of new 4G devices and offerings.

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Sprint advertises that its 4G service is good for peak download speeds of 12 Mbps and average download speeds of 2-4 Mbps. This is available today on its Baltimore network, which was the rollout city for 4G in mid-2008.

Sprint’s 4G network relies on the WiMAX standard for mobile broadband. Recently, Google and Sprint had announced a formal partnership in deploying WiMAX technology, with Google providing search content along with Sprint. Sprint is aggresively pushing for deployment and adoption of the 4G technology to help gain leadership in the race to beat out other carriers to control the fastest mobile data network. To this end, it would seem that the 3G network technology is being left behind in spite of insufficient coverage and bandwidth across the country.

It will be interesting to see how competitors like AT&T and Apple’s iPhone will respond to Sprint’s efforts, and how they will manage to remain the leaders of “the internet in your pocket”.

New Mac Virus Discovered by Sophos

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 26th, 2009, 17:51
Category: News

Early this week, security firm Sophos discovered a new Trojan Horse virus which they are calling OSX/RSPlug-F. They even have a video of the virus in action! The virus’ method seems to be a variation of the malware DNSChanger which was detected some time ago.
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As indicated by the blog entry, the virus is activated by browsing to particular web sites and downloading an infected program. Once the user selects the download, the virus is downloaded via a remote download server and OSX/RSPlug-F will try to change your DNS server settings which could lead to your Internet traffic being redirected through malicious servers.
Blogger Graham Cluley’s states, “One of the ways in which the OSX/RSPlug-F Mac Trojan horse is being distributed by hackers is in the form of a poisoned HDTV/DTV program called MacCinema.”
The biggest problem is that being disguised as a useful piece of software, users are that much more likely to give the program authorization to do whatever it wants. Since many programs on OS X request an administrator’s password the first time they are run, users may simply be in the habit of entering their password and hitting ok without a second thought. Another interesting thing about this particular distribution, it affects both Macs AND Windows. If you are using Windows, the web site will conveniently download a Windows executable file instead of the OS X program variant.
To keep up to date on the issue, you can follow the Sophos Analyses page or MacFixit.

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Twitter to Offer Paid “Pro” Accounts

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Date: Wednesday, March 25th, 2009, 17:05
Category: News

Today, Silicon Alley Insider confirmed that the social, micro-blogging service Twitter will be offering a fee based “Pro” version marketed towards businesses and power users.
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The company recently started introducing unobtrusive ads in order to generate some revenue from the highly popular service. High service demands, often resulting in the famed “Fail Whale”, and increased popularity require Twitter to start finding a way to fund updates and meet the demands of a growing user base.
Although no additional features have been announced, the article suggests, “There’s a lot of stuff companies would pay Twitter for, such as a way to verify the company rep’s legitimacy; to more analytics and information about who is reading their Twitter page; to better tracking features to see what people are saying about their company.”. Twitter will still offer access to free services, but whether those accounts’ capabilities would be changed is unknown.
Most analysts agree that the addition of this model would be a good way for Twitter to generate much needed revenue without burdening the users with overly intrusive advertising.

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MacHeist 3 App Bundle Announced

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Date: Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, 22:20
Category: Mac Desktop, Software

MacHeist, the purveyors of free software, clever puzzles, and low-priced, charity-giving software bundles has done it again! Having just wrapped the latest installment of the game-based software giveaway, the generous folks at MacHeist have put together a new bundle of 14 programs for $39.00 (currently a $558 value)!
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The currently unlocked applications are as follows:

  • iSale – for list eBay auctions
  • Picturesque – photo touchup software
  • SousChef – a recipe database
  • World Of Goo – a fun, Lemmings-like game
  • PhoneView – an app that allows you to manage some of your iPhone’s data without jailbreaking
  • LittleSnapper – an iPhoto like image organizer with online service integration
  • Acorn – simple photo editor
  • Kinemac – 3D animation software
  • Big Bang Board Games (if you act early)

If enough bundles are sold, WireTap Studio, BoinxTV, Espresso, and The Hit List will be added to the bundle. Not only that, but the first 25,000 buyers also get Big Bang Board Games for the Mac. The site gives 25% of each sale to charities such as the AIDS Research Alliance and World Wildlife Fund (more info on their web site). If you have any interest in even two of the bundled applications, it practically pays for itself, so there are two good reasons to check it out.

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Cha-Ching Touch Comes to the App Store

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Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009, 17:28
Category: iPhone, iPod Touch, Software

It was a long wait, but it’s finally here. The mobile version of Midnight Apps’ finance tracking app is now available on the App Store for $ 2.99 as of Saturday night. Partially coinciding with the 2.0 release of the popular desktop software, the new iPhone app will sync accounts and data with the 2.0 version allowing mobile expense entry, or can be used for stand-alone expense management on the iPhone.
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The 2.0 version of Cha-Ching Desktop is on the Midnight App web site as a public beta. Recent builds have added the ability to sync to the iPhone app. I have not had a chance to put Cha-Ching Touch to the test, but I have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity for some time. My checkbook, to put it simply, is a complete mess. Not even Quicken could help me, although they haven’t made it easy either. Cha-Ching was originally released as the “Quicken killer” and I wanted to give it a chance since it seemed to have a nice, Mac-like interface, and I liked it’s simplicity. The hardest part for me is staying on top of entering my expenses so that my balances are in sync with my bank account. Bus commutes are the ideal time to catch up with this busy-work, and allow me to be more efficient with my travel time. I’m really hoping Cha-Ching Touch helps me do that.
It seemed like the app wasn’t going to make it to the App Store for a while. I have been following the Midnight Apps Twitter feed (@Midnight_Apps) since the announcement that they submitted the app to Apple, and waited along with many frustrated people (including the Midnight Apps folks) as over a week went by before word was finally received late Saturday, March 21st, that the app was approved and due in the App Store “at any moment”. Apparently the app fell into that 2% that Apple wasn’t getting reviewed in 7 days or less.
The data sync seemed to go without a hitch, although I did have to FINALLY update my iPhone’s firmware since Cha-Ching Touch requires 2.2.1. I’ll let you know how the app fares after I have some time to work with it.

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Is Internet Tethering Finally Coming to the iPhone?

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Date: Friday, March 20th, 2009, 01:30
Category: iPhone, Software

Well, that’s sort of a rhetorical question really. By now, reports of successful tetherings of an iPhone running the developer release of iPhone OS 3.0 have blanketed the blogosphere. It certainly isn’t without caveats, but then it IS a developer preview of unreleased software.
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On Tuesday, March 16th, Apple’s held it’s latest press release party to show off the iPhone’s next OS to media and developers. Scott Forstall stated, in response to media questions about when Apple was bringing tethering to the iPhone, “We’re absolutely supporting tethering in the client side in iPhone 3.0, but we’re working with carriers around the world to see when they can add tethering support on their networks. But we are building that support into iPhone 3.0.”. While no demonstration of this capability was given, the ravenous developer community began looking for hints within the software’s SDK that tethering was in the works.
Not only did they find clues, but apparently fully working components and system controls to manage a tethered connection through the iPhone. The software in the 3.0 firmware will allow connection to be be made using a USB or Bluetooth connection to a computer. Now that we know that the software is there, now we just have to wait for word from AT&T to see how much they are going to bilk charge us for the privilege. Odds favor it will cost around $30 per month like their other tethering plans for other phones. Maybe Apple will go to bat for iPhone users to get the price lowered.
What do you think about tethering and what would you pay? Let us know in the forums.

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Google Launches Google Voice

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Date: Friday, March 13th, 2009, 15:08
Category: Google, News

This week Google launched the latest of its technology services, Google Voice, an online voicemail service that promises “one phone number for all your phones, for life”. However, Google Voice did not originally sprout from Google’s tech labs, it started out as GrandCentral. The GrandCentral service was launched in 2006 and was acquired by Google in 2007 for US$50+ million. Shortly after the acquisition, Google shut down the creation of new accounts, so only then current subscribers (like myself) have been able to use the service.
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Now after nearly two years, the wait is over…almost. Google has spent a lot of time rewriting GrandCentral to give it that special Google “glow” and is available to current GrandCentral subscribers only. Google will be doling out new accounts over time. Logging into your GrandCentral account will may prompt you to “upgrade” to Google Voice and migrate your data. If you don’t already have one, you will need to create a Google account to do this. Once complete, you will be deposited into your new Google Voice Inbox and will have to recreate your custom greetings and assignments. The migration does not, however, appear to transfer your GrandCentral contacts or any messages you had in your inbox, but you can still log into your GrandCentral account separately to access those. Google Voice will use your Google contacts, if you have any, so you will need to recreate any missing contacts there. Any new calls you get to your GrandCentral number will be deposited in the new Google Voice Inbox.
All the original features are there, call-screening, custom greetings for different groups of contacts, sending SMS and email notices of received calls, and forwarding calls to other phones. With the launch of the new service, Google has added new features such as Voicemail Transcription which converts your voicemails to text and can be searched and tagged within Google Voice. You can now use SMS to send messages from your Google Voice number, rather than using one number for voice and a second for texting. This was one of the biggest complaints from GrandCentral users. SMS messages sent through the service will also be searchable and taggable. And competing directly with services such as Skype, Google has added conference calling with up to six people, with recording features, as well as an international calling service with rates similar to Skype’s. Your balance, as well as the ability to add credit through Google Checkout, are in the Google Voice sidebar.
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It may have taken a long time, but the service seems to be mature enough now with the added features to be a suitable replacement for most people’s current voicemail services. It is especially compelling if you are already using other Google services, such as GMail, with it’s combined contacts and searching capabilities. Like Google’s other services, Google Voice will be FREE, except for the international calling feature, which is making the new service a highly prized commodity among online users. Account invitations offered by various news sites have already been spoken for and can be found on eBay for as much as US$650! I will be putting the new service through it’s paces to see if it is worth trying to switch over again and trying to get people to use the new number. Wish me luck!

Apple Holds iPhone OS 3.0 Media Event on the 17th

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Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 14:56
Category: iPhone, Software

The word is out that Apple will be holding a media event on March 17th to showcase the iPhone OS 3.0 software. Rumors of what was expected to be in the next major release, as well as possible new iPhone features, had started making the rounds in the last couple of weeks, showing up on blogs such as Derek Underwood’s.
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Is important to note that this event is not to release the software, but merely to offer a glimpse of what Apple is working on, probably to generate some buzz for the possible release of the next iPhone model at WWDC. The event will be held at Apple’s Town Hall building at 10 am PST on that Tuesday. No word as to who will be doing the presentation, but the money is on Phil Schiller.
This is sure to generate some excitement leading into the summer as this “sneak peek” may offer some hints as to what the next iPhone hardware will have to offer.

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