Adobe Reader 9.3.1 Out the Door

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Date: Wednesday, February 17th, 2010, 03:27
Category: News, Software

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Late Tuesday, Adobe released version 9.3.1 of Acrobat Reader, the company’s Portable Document Format reader and creation utility.

Adobe Systems has updated Reader to version 9.3.1 and the update is available through the Adobe Updater application or for download through Adobe’s Web site.

The new versions address a number of customer workflow issues, security vulnerabilities, and offer additional stability.

Adobe Reader 9.3.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and is available for free.

Battery-Powered Wi-Reach Classic Converts 3G/4G Cards Into Wi-Fi Hotspot

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Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010, 08:18
Category: News

This could be nifty.

Per Business Wire, Connect One‘s battery powered Wi-Reach Classic allows users to insert a 3G or 4G USB card to create a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that can allow up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices to connect to the Internet. The device will support the WiMax and LTE protocols after a future firmware update and car reportedly run for up to five hours on a full charge as well as recharge over a USB connection.

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The Wi-Reach Classic is available now for US$99.

Powermat Designing Wireless Battery Packs for iPhone, Blackberry, Other Handsets

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Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010, 04:53
Category: iPhone, News

Powermat, a firm that specializes in wireless charge pads for handsets, has announced that the company will begin making wireless battery packs that will enable handsets to be recharged without the need for an accessory device to pick up the charge.

Per Macworld UK, the present Powermat charging approach is to embed a rechargable cell into the outside of an iPod or other smartphone sleeve. This additional cover is then placed in contact with the Powermat charging device that holds the charge.

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Any device can be recharged using a Powermat, but it must have a corresponding rechargeable cell. Powermat currently sells a mat on which three separate devices can be simultaneously charged and is about to launch dual-device and single device versions.

The company has also developed batteries that can be recharged using the same technique but without the need for a smartphone jacket. Instead, the regular lithium-ion battery is removed and switched for a Powermat one designed specially for the item.

A small amount of power is required in order to enable the Powermat battery to work, but this is embedded in the replacement cover for the phone in question. The Powermat battery will be sold with the charging plate cover as part of the bundle. Charging time and power supplied are comparable to those of a lithium-ion equivalent.

Over at the Mobile World Congress show, representatives stated that Powermat is in talks with many of the best-known handset makers with a view to offering such a wireless charging solution as an accessory or even as part of the standard bundle.

It hopes manufacturers will adopt the idea and offer it to consumers for free, rather than charging customers for the convenience of being able to wirelessly charge their phones by placing them on a special mat.

Apple Set to Offer Fairplay DRM Access to Book Publishers

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Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010, 04:19
Category: iPad, News

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Digital Rights Management software has never been universally popular, though Apple is offering publishers a crack at it.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Apple will use the DRM to prevent piracy of titles sold on the multimedia device. Apple abandoned restrictive DRM for music titles last year when it removed FairPlay from the iTunes Music Store.

FairPlay restricted the number of devices that could have access to purchased content. Its use was the subject of great debate and criticism until Apple removed it in 2009.

While the content of the iTunes Music Store is currently DRM-free, Apple still uses the technology for movies and TV shows purchased through iTunes. Now, similar restrictions could reportedly be extended to some e-books sold for the iPad, though the article suggested publishers will have a choice.

“The majority of publishers are expected to embrace FairPlay, along with other copy protection software such as Adobe’s Content Server 4, as a means to squelch incipient book piracy as the e-book market begins to take off.”

When it introduced the iPad last month, Apple highlighted five major publishers that will offer content for the device. The iBooks application includes the iBookstore, where bestsellers are expected to be priced between US$12.99 and US$14.99.

The price range has been the subject of debate for publishers, who were previously unhappy with the standard US$9.99 price for new hardcover bestsellers sold on the Amazon Kindle e-reader. Amazon has reluctantly agreed to publisher demands and is expected to offer higher e-book prices with the release of the iPad in March.

O2, Orange Form Alliance to Compete with App Store

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Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010, 06:27
Category: iPhone, News

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Maybe it’s flattering when dozens of companies attempt to take you down.

Per Macworld UK, mobile phone providers O2 and Orange will team with leading mobile phone companies across the world to create a new open application platform that could rival Apple’s iTunes App Store.

The new consortium, will be announced by industry trade body the GSM Association at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona today.

América Móvil, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, mobilkom Austria group, MTN Group, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Orascom Telecom, Softbank Mobile, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, SingTel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, VimpelCom, Vodafone and Wind are all involved in the plans.

The group has stated that it wants to create an ecosystem for the development and distribution of mobile and internet applications irrespective of device or technology, uniting a fragmented industry.

Three of the world’s largest device manufacturers – LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson – also support the new initiative.

Ultimately, the group will collectively work with the W3C for a common standard based on a converged solution to ensure developers can create applications that port across mobile device platforms, and in the future between fixed and mobile devices.

Apple Pins Down Comprehensive Patent for iPhone

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Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010, 06:06
Category: News

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In other news, Apple has finally nailed down the most comprehensive trademark registration for the iPhone. According to Patently Apple, the company, which was already entitled to use the brand name under international categories 9 (mobile phone and digital audio player) and 38 (electronic data-transmitting device), has now added category 28, which reads shortly and sweetly as a ‘handheld unit for playing electronic games.’

Apple initially filed the claim for this trademark way back in December 2007.

Apple Now Offering iPhone OS 3.0 Update to iPod Touch Users for Free

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Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010, 05:25
Category: iPod, News

When Apple first released the iPhone OS 3.0 firmware update and informed iPod touch users they’re need to pay for the upgrade, the user base went slightly nuts.

And for good reason, as a new accounting practice that no one really understood seemed to require this and Apple simply looked like they wanted a bit more money in their pockets.

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Apple appears to now be offering the iPhone 3.0 Software Update free to iPod touch users running the iPhone 2.0 Software Update.

According to Pocket Gamer, an older iPod touch updated without the request for a fee.

“Syncing a second generation iPod touch today with an older version of the software prompted me to accept the free upgrade. How exciting,” the author writes.

“Just as when asked to download and install the latest firmware on an iPhone, iTunes simply asks for confirmation – no signing in to pay for the software.”

As Pocket Gamer notes, this is good news for iPod touch gamers reluctant to upgrade due to the additional fee, which iPhone users didn’t have to pay.

If you’ve seen this on your end, please let us know.

MWSF: Worth Ave Group Now Offering iPhone, iPod Touch, Apple Notebook Insurance

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Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010, 05:00
Category: iPhone, Macworld Expo, News

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If you meandered over to the Worth Ave. Group booth at Macworld Expo, you might have noticed their staff hammering on expensive gadgets. Per Macworld, the Worth Ave. Group is now offering notebook and iPhone insurance and invited Macworld Expo attendees to take a hammer to some of the MacBooks, iPhones and iPod touches they had on hand.

The Worth Ave. Group claims to be the only iPhone insurance company around and has stated that they’ll cover stuff that won’t be handled by your typical warranty from Apple. Whether your iPhone has been dropped, stolen, or damaged by liquid, you are covered. The annual premiums are pretty reasonable too, starting at US$55 for 3G/8GB or earlier models and going up to US$79 for 3GS/32GB models. If your iPhone encounters a fall into a toilet or falls out of your pocket at some juncture, they’ll buy you a new one.

The insurance plan seems fairly comprehensive and the company has stated that they’ll also cover cameras, game systems, and cell phones.

MWSF: DriveSavers Offering iPhone App to Simulate Solid State Drive Crashes

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Date: Friday, February 12th, 2010, 08:00
Category: iPhone, Macworld Expo, News

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If you’ve ever worried about your iPhone or iPod touch’s hard drive crashing, DriveSavers has once again proven useful.

Over at Macworld Expo, the company has announced that it will update its free DriveSaver app for the iPhone and iPod touch that can simulate solid-state drive failures.

Per Macworld, the Crash a Hard Drive feature educates users about how hard drives can crash and what you can do to ensure safe data storage. The new addition will now add a solid-state drive to the mobile app’s simulations of real-world drive failures.

To illustrate this feature, the data-recovery company posted a Flash-based version of the feature on its web site.

If you’re at Macworld Expo, you can see demonstrations of the app first-hand at both the Mobile Applications Showcase (Booth #1366) and DriveSavers’ booth (#1448).

Trading4u Web Site Offering Cash for MacBooks, Other Goods

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Date: Friday, February 12th, 2010, 05:33
Category: MacBook, News

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If you want to get rid of your old MacBook in a hurry, this may be for you.

According to Macworld UK, Trading4u has announced plans to offer cash for any old and unwanted MacBooks. Potential customers can receive a free estimate online, then arrange for pick up, if happy with the price quoted.

The company promises a quick turnaround from collection to payment, on average paying customers in just five days from receiving the goods. The site claims to buy and sell just about everything.

“We have a huge success rate of more than 90% – That’s 9 out of 10 items achieve a completed sale.
If you don’t set a reserve and your item doesn’t sell – You don’t pay a penny,” the company insists.

If you’ve tried this site and have any feedback about it, let us know.