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Stay and StatsBar Worthy Additions to a Mac's Utility Belt
May 21, 2013
Designers of operating systems can't think of everything that should be in their programs. Utilities are a testament to that. Utilities are software programs that do things that should have been included in an operating system, but weren't. They can help you keep your system performing at top speed or solve irritating problems.
The Hot Mess That Is Apple's E-Book Legal Fight
May 16, 2013
The U.S. Justice Department is painting Apple as the "ringmaster" of an e-book price-fixing conspiracy. The news came out in court filings made public earlier this week as the DoJ prepares to do battle with the only member of the so-called conspiracy unwilling to admit wrongdoing and take a public spanking.
WebStart's a Snore-Worthy Substitute for iGoogle's Snappy Style
May 14, 2013
With iGoogle scheduled to be axed in November, orphans of that offering will be looking at alternatives like uStart, Protopage, Netvibes and Myfav.es. While those alternatives will meet the needs of many iGoogle users set adrift by the search company, some souls may want to create their own homepage substitutes for the versatile portal.
Silk's Cool Art App Lets You Swipe the Light Fantastic
May 13, 2013
Wow. I don't think I've ever started any review with a "wow," much less an italicized wow, but here it is: That one word sums up my first impression of Silk -- Interactive Generative Art, an app for the iPad and iPhone. The app lets you create flowing, mirrored strands of silk-like lines of colored light. You do that simply by swiping and dragging your finger.
The Dastardly Benefits of iOS Homogenization
May 09, 2013
Google's Android offers up more cool homescreens and customizations than Apple's iOS. In iOS, you get to jiggle your stack of icons around on the iPhone or iPad homescreen and swap out the background photo. Woohoo. I can hardly contain my excitement. There are no live tiles, like Windows Phone. There are no fancy weather images, no retro themes.
Apple Basks in Bullish Reviews From Wall Street Media Giants
May 08, 2013
Apple's fall from grace on the stock market over the past six months has been well documented, but investor confidence seems to have taken a turn for the better over the past week. The company worked its way onto two high-profile lists. It was the top company on Barron's 500 list, up from its second-place finish in 2012 and fourth in 2011.
Easy, Elegant Scapple Brightens Mind Maps
May 07, 2013
Scapple isn't a spelling mistake for that Pennsylvania Dutch concoction made with pork scraps, corn meal, flour and spices. In fact, scapple is actually a word meaning to work roughly, or shape without finishing. It's also the name of a dynamite new mind mapping program from Literature and Latte, the folks who brought the Mac world Scrivner.
iOS 7 Will Be Flat by Design
May 03, 2013
Compared to recent Apple announcements, the secrecy surrounding the next release of the company's mobile operating system, iOS 7, has almost been hermetic. There have been reports of improvements in email and calendar apps, as well as a possible expansion of the operating systems' gesture library so it will match Apple's OS X products.
iOS7's Road Could Include More Auto Integration
May 01, 2013
Apple is reportedly working with automobile makers to push more integration of its operating system into vehicles. iOS 7 is expected to debut at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and the refreshed version might launch with a total user interface overhaul led by company design guru Jony Ive. That update will include embedding Maps and Siri into new cars.
A Bond Sale Today Keeps Apple's Taxman Away
May 01, 2013
A week after announcing its first drop in quarterly earnings in a decade, Apple is selling $17 billion in bonds to fund a $100 billion buyback program for its stakeholders. The sale will be the largest non-bank bond deal ever. The move was somewhat unexpected coming from a company with $145 billion in cash on hand and no debt, a rarity among tech companies.
Google Now Could Steal Siri's Voice on iOS
April 30, 2013
In yet another challenge to Apple on the mobile front, Google has made its Google Now intelligent personal assistant available for iOS devices. Google Now is part of the Google Search application. It recognizes repeated actions that a consumer performs on a device to learn about usage patterns. The app displays more relevant information as cards that can be swiped on and off the screen.
CallNote Dials Up Clean, Easy Skype Recordings
April 30, 2013
Recording phone calls has always been a gray area of the law. That's because there are both state and federal wiretapping laws that govern the practice. Federal law allows a conversation to be recorded if one party consents to it. Some states use that rule, too, but others require the consent of everyone on the call. Nevertheless, those uncertainties haven't deterred people from recording calls.
The Tim Cook Earnings Show Needs an Edge
April 25, 2013
I admire Tim Cook's unflagging patience with investors and analysts during quarterly conference calls. However, I'm starting to wonder if his subtle digs and point-by-point comments are enough for a guy who's stuck on the biggest tech company stage in the world right now. I just wish he would conduct these calls while languidly sharpening a knife. In fact, I want the guy to pull out a freaking sword.
Apple's Mixed Earnings Bag Includes Stock Sweetener
April 24, 2013
For any company in the world, a quarter with revenues of $43.6 billion and profits of $9.5 billion would be cause for celebration. Unfortunately, Apple isn't any company. "Apple beat highly lowered expectations for the quarter," said Trip Chowdhry, managing director for equity research at Global Equities Research. Apple's numbers disappointed financial analysts.
Apple's Q1 Beats Wall Street, but Breaks a Profit Streak
April 24, 2013
Apple dominated the earnings roundup this week. Investors braced for a quarterly report that could determine whether the company's stock heads back towards last September's highs -- or continues its 40 percent-plus decline. Expectations weren't stellar for Apple before the Q1 report, but the company did barely beat analyst estimates thanks to high sales for iPhones and iPads.
Cloud Drive May Stoke Amazon Fans - for Others It's 'Meh'
April 22, 2013
When Amazon updated its Cloud Drive earlier this month with file syncing built in -- along with its desktop app for the Mac -- the file storage service suddenly got a lot more interesting. Why? For long-term file storage, syncing isn't that big of a deal. However, if you want a place to dump files that you can access from another computer or via a Web browser, the no-brainer need is for automatic syncing.
Analysts: What's Ailing Apple Isn't Contagious
April 19, 2013
Apple's stock plunge this week to its lowest levels in a year has the financial community bracing for the company's earnings announcement next week. That stock drop is raising questions about whether the company's problems will worm their way into other corners of the Apple universe. For example, Verizon Wireless -- a key carrier partner for Apple -- announced this week that it sold 4 million iPhones in Q1.
AirPlay to the HDTV Is More Hot Air Than Play
April 18, 2013
While screen mirroring solutions -- like Apple's AirPlay -- have reached a relatively high level of awareness, not a lot of people are actually using them, according to a new study by the NPD Group's Connected Intelligence team. What is screen mirroring? It's wirelessly projecting what you see on your smartphone or tablet to show it on a TV screen.
Facebook Gives iOS a Homey Touch
April 17, 2013
Facebook on Tuesday released an update to its Apple iOS app that includes just a few of the features in its Home suite of mobile social networking apps recently unveiled for Android users. iOS users can now refresh their Facebook app to include Chat Heads, the network's new messaging feature that makes short texts more personal by planting a tiny bubble with the picture of the person who is messaging next to the text.
Analyst: Slack Demand Sours Apple's Outlook
April 12, 2013
Wall Street continues to take a jaundiced view of Apple's fortunes for the year, as shown in the latest research note on the company from Morgan Stanley, which revised its estimates Thursday for Apple shipments of iPhones and iPads. Shipments of the iPhone for the quarter ending in March will be around 33 million, down from its original estimate of 37 million.
My Alarm Is iRinging
April 11, 2013
Let's get this straight right now: Using an "iRing" to control an Apple iTV is dumb. Mind-numbingly dumb. However, there's a seemingly realistic rumor about it, stemming from analyst Brian White at Topeka Capital Markets who apparently learned of the potential motion-based controller after a tour of Apple's supply chain in China.
One Ring to Rule iTV?
April 04, 2013
The long-awaited Apple TV set will finally hit shelves this year, accompanied by a controlling ring and a smaller portable screen, according to analyst Brian White at Topeka Capital Markets. After a tour of some of Apple's supply chain stops in China, White wrote in a note to investors that the launch of the "iTV," as he calls it, will happen later this year.

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