Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 Benchmarks Show Huge Speed Improvements




MacTech has put Office 2011 through its paces on Snow Leopard 10.6.4, running 1,000 tests to determine its performance.

The results show that Office 2011 performs much faster than Office 2008 and massively faster than Office 2004.

App launches are between 70% to 98% faster than the 2008 edition and when compared to their prior releases MacTech found that:
● Word performs 36% faster
● Excel performs 129% faster
● PowerPoint performs 66% faster
● Outlook performs 17% faster.

Take a look at the chart below or hit this link for more details.



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Angry Birds Sequel From the Pigs' Point of View




Rovio CEO Peter Vesterbacka revealed some exciting news for the Angry Birds franchise at the Virtual Goods Summit in London, reports Pocket-Lint.

First, Vesterbacka confirmed that the game will make its way to all major consoles: PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii.

He also talked about a sequel. "We are not going to do a sequel. We want to surprise people. No one has told the story from the pigs point of view" [via @dav3d]

In addition, Vesterbacka revealed plans for a multiplayer version of the game: "Multiplayer Angry Birds will be like old school Worms games", he said. "Multiplayer is a priority, but we have not determined the best way for our players to experience it yet".

Finally, there are big plans for a Facebook version of the game. "Most of Rovio's investment is going towards a Facebook game", he said [via @snowcrashed]. "Not Angry Birds, but in the same world. Also film/TV show coming".




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Pearson and Peachpit Titles Now Available in iBookstore




Pearson and Peachpit says that hundreds of their books are now available for purchase on the iBookstore, according to Macsimum News.

Pearson's imprints including Addison-Wesley Professional and Prentice Hall Professional, Sams Publishing, IBM Press, Cisco Press, and Pearson IT Certification, publish a suite of learning materials and tools in the areas of IT certification, programming, operating systems/server, mobile and web development and software engineering. Que Publishing delivers practical advice on home, office and business computing.

Peachpit's umbrella covers Adobe Press, New Riders, Apple Pro Training, and Apple Training titles. Peachpit's iBookstore titles include books by bestselling authors such as Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, Garr Reynolds, and many others.




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Apple Fixes Issue With Using Same App Name Across iOS and Mac App Stores




Apple has fixed an issue which prevented developers from using the same application name across the iOS and Mac App Stores.

Mac App Store Submission FAQ:

When I tried to submit my app a few days ago, iTunes Connect said my app name was already in use. This FAQ said this was a known problem and I should wait to resubmit. Should I continue to wait?

No, this issue has been fixed and you can now submit apps with identical names in the iOS App Store and Mac App Store.




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Apple Adds Ronald D. Sugar to Board of Directors




Apple today announced that Dr. Ronald D. Sugar, former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Northrop Grumman Corporation, was appointed to Apple's Board of Directors. Dr. Sugar will serve as the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee.

"Ron is an engineer at heart, who then became a very successful business leader. We are very excited to welcome him to Apple's Board," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "In addition to having been the CEO of a high-tech Fortune 100 company, Ron has a Ph.D. in engineering and has been involved in the development of some very sophisticated technology."

"I have always had enormous admiration for the people of Apple," said Sugar. "It is a special privilege to serve on the board of such an amazing company."

Dr. Sugar served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Northrop Grumman Corporation from 2003 until his retirement in 2010. Previous to Northrop, he held executive positions at Litton Industries and TRW Inc., where he served as chief financial officer.

He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Royal Aeronautical Society. He is a director of Chevron Corporation, Amgen Inc. and Air Lease Corporation, and serves as a senior advisor to the private investment firm Ares Management LLC.

He is a trustee of the University of Southern California, where he also holds the Judge Widney Chair as Professor of Management and Technology. He is a member of the boards of UCLA Anderson School of Management, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and several other philanthropic organizations focused on children and education.

He graduated summa cum laude in engineering in 1968 from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he also received master's and doctorate degrees in the same field. He subsequently completed executive programs at Stanford, Wharton and Harvard.




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Griffin Debuts Slap Wristwatch Case for iPod Nano




Griffin today unveiled Slap for iPod nano (6th generation), "a decidedly 80s twist on a very modern piece of technology".

"Anyone who grew up in the 80s and 90s remembers the slap bracelet," said Melissa Lapsley, head of User Research at Griffin. "Fashion trends are cyclical, as seen by the return of New Wave fashion and new wristwatch trends. Slap for iPod nano is an opportunity to take something nostalgic and do something fun and unique with it."

Griffin's Slap case crosses a wristwatch and a silicone skin to keep your iPod nano close at hand. Slap's flexible, spring-steel band is also wrapped in soft silicone. Snap Slap open, then snap Slap shut around your wrist; it comfortably self-adjusts to your exact size. Your iPod is surrounded by a frame of thick silicone that guards against bumps and jolts. Slap protects the dock connector and volume controls, but leaves the headphone port open so you can plug in and listen any time. And speaking of time, you can use your Slap-enclosed iPod nano as a wristwatch; just press the Sleep/Wake button through the frame to check the time or control iTunes.

Slap is available in the following colors: Red, Purple, Blue, Green, Black, Orange, Yellow, and Pink.

Pricing and Availability
Slap for iPod nano, $24.99, will soon be available for the 2010 holiday season at major retailers everywhere, and online at www.griffintechnology.com.







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Twitter for iPhone Adds Push Notifications, iPad Gets Inline Media




Twitter has updated its iOS application with push notifications for the iPhone and inline media for the iPad.

Discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world with the official Twitter for iPhone app.

Features:
Realtime search, Top Tweets, trending topics and maps show whats happening now everywhere and nearby.

Tweet, send DMs, share photos, videos and links to your friends and the world.

What's New In This Version:
iPhone:
● Push notifications for @mentions and messages
● Improved display of shortened URLs
● Correctly load reserved Twitter.com paths, such as http://twitter.com/newtwitter
● Fix connection error caused by a device clock being set incorrectly
● Additional retina graphics
● Enable geotagging in your account with one tap
● fix itunes links

iPad:
● Inline media
● Manage saved searches
● UI improvements

You can download Twitter from the App Store for free.


















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Official Google Voice Application Now Available in the App Store




Apple has finally approved the official Google Voice application for the iPhone.

Features:
● Access your Google Voice account right from your iPhone.
● Receive push notifications for new text or voicemail messages.
● Send free text messages to U.S. numbers and make international calls at cheap rates.
● Listen to your voicemail, read transcripts and manage your Google Voice inbox.
● Display your Google Voice number as caller ID when making calls.
● Call contacts from your iPhone Address Book or enter new numbers on the dialpad.

A Google Voice account is required to use this app. To sign up go to www.google.com/voice.

Google Voice is only available in the United States.

What's New In This Version:
● Small UI updates
● Miscellaneous small bug fixes

You can download Google Voice from the App Store for free.















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NVIDIA Announces Quadro 4000 for Mac Pro




NVIDIA announced today the expansion of its NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions to the Mac platform, bringing the computational and visualization breakthroughs enabled by NVIDIA Fermi architecture to Mac Pro users.

For professional users operating on Mac OS X Snow Leopard, this means the wait is over. The NVIDIA Quadro 4000 graphics processing unit (GPU) for Mac is optimized to accelerate workflows and drive a range of top professional applications. For example, the Adobe Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 software leverages NVIDIA CUDA parallel processing technology to enable film and video professionals to work unconstrained. Other examples include visual effects and image processing applications from The Foundry, including NUKE and STORM, and MATLAB from MathWorks.

The high-end NVIDIA Quadro 4000 GPU for Mac, with 256 NVIDIA CUDA processing cores and 2GB of fast GDDR5 memory, delivers exceptional graphics performance across a broad range of design, animation and video applications. With new NVIDIA Scalable Geometry Engine technology, the Quadro 4000 for Mac can process up to 890 million triangles per second¹, enabling professionals to design, iterate and deliver higher quality results in less time.

The Quadro 4000 GPU for Mac also provides additional display flexibility through a DisplayPort and a DVI-I (Dual Link) connector built into its bracket, and a 3D stereo bracket for optimal stereo connection to the system. A DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort cable is also included to enable mini-DisplayPort only Apple displays. Additionally, users can enable up to four high resolution displays from a single Mac Pro using dual NVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Mac boards.

The NVIDIA Quadro 4000 GPU for Mac enables dramatic increases in computing performance. Minimum system requirements include Mac OS X v10.6.5 or later with MacPro3,1 (early 2008), MacPro4,1 (early 2009), or MacPro5,1 (mid-2010).

Availability and Pricing
The Quadro 4000 GPU for Mac ($1,199 MSRP, USD) is available this month at Apple.com, select Apple resellers and system integrators, and from authorized distribution partners including: PNY Technologies in the Americas and Europe, ELSA in Japan, and Leadtek in Asia Pacific.




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Altec Lansing Octiv Stage Lets You Rotate Your iPad




Altec Lansing today introduced the new Octiv Stage docking speaker system for the iPad, iPhone and iPod. Designed to significantly enhance center channel voicing for dialogue as well as stereo audio while playing and charging the device, the Octiv Stage is the first product from Altec Lansing designed to support the iPad and showcase its unique capabilities for entertainment.

The Octiv Stage allows users to dock and charge their iPad with the Apple 30-pin connector, while a 3.5mm auxiliary jack offers support for additional devices. Altec Lansing’s Audio Alignment technology provides distinctive center channel voicing and enhanced stereo delivery for distortion-free performance even at full volume.

For a more pleasant viewing experience, the Octiv Stage features a unique rotating connection arm that allows the iPad to be viewed in both portrait and landscape positions and offers a tilt screen for multiple viewing angles and support while typing on the iPad. For added convenience, a full featured, wireless remote provides easy navigation from across the room.

The Octiv Stage was awarded with the prestigious Innovations Design and Engineering Award from the Consumer Electronics Association.

Availability and Pricing
The Altec Lansing Octiv Stage is available now at Apple Stores, www.alteclansing.com and other retailers. MSRP is $149.95.



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Amazon Drops Price of Beatles Box Set By 50%, Beats iTunes By $20




Amazon has dropped the price of the physical Beatles Box Set, offering it at a 50% discount, $20 cheaper than iTunes.

Both the stereo and mono box sets can be purchased for $129.99.


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AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Announce Isis Mobile Commerce Network




AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless today announced the formation of a joint venture chartered with building ISIS, a national mobile commerce network that aims to fundamentally transform how people shop, pay and save.

Isis' initial focus will be on building a mobile payment network that utilizes mobile phones to make point-of-sale purchases. By utilizing smartphone and near-field communication (NFC) technology to modernize the payments process, Isis intends to deliver new levels of competition and value to consumers and merchants. Isis expects to introduce its service in key geographic markets during the next 18 months.

Michael Abbott has been named as Chief Executive Officer of Isis. Formerly with GE Capital, Abbott is a veteran financial services executive with extensive experience in the payment and technology industries.

"Our mobile commerce network, through relationships with merchants, will provide an enhanced, more convenient, more personalized shopping experience for consumers," said Michael Abbott, Chief Executive Officer of Isis. "While mobile payments will be at the core of our offering, it is only the start. We plan to create a mobile wallet that ultimately eliminates the need for consumers to carry cash, credit and debit cards, reward cards, coupons, tickets and transit passes."

Isis is working with Discover Financial Services' payment network, currently accepted at more than seven million merchant locations nationwide, to develop an extensive mobile payment infrastructure for the joint venture.

Barclaycard US, part of Barclays PLC, is expected to be the first issuer on the network, offering multiple mobile payment products to meet the needs of every customer.

"We believe the venture will have the scope and scale necessary to introduce mobile commerce on a broad basis. In the beginning, we intend to fully utilize Discover's national payment infrastructure as well as Barclaycard's expertise in contactless and mobile payments," said Abbott. "Moving forward, Isis will be available to all interested merchants, banks and mobile carriers."

How It Works
The new venture will enable contactless mobile payment and commerce services using near-field communication technology. NFC uses short-range, high frequency wireless technology to enable the encrypted exchange of information between devices at a short distance. The new system is being designed and built to


include strong security and privacy safeguards.



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