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Apple board member Andrea Jung facing scrutiny at Avon

AppleInsider.com - Fri, 10/28/2011 - 7:32am
Andrea Jung, who has served on Apple's board of directors since 2008, is under fire for performance at her day job, as CEO of cosmetics company Avon.


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10.7: Hidden Mobile Network Profile support

MacOSXHints.com - Fri, 10/28/2011 - 7:30am
Opening a .mobileconfig file in Lion exposes an otherwise hidden System Preference, 'Profiles' as shown here.

The .mobilconfig files are typically used to manage network settings on iOS, including the Access Point Name (APN).

To view this in Lion, just open a .mobileconfig file from Finder and System Preferences will now reveal 'Profiles' with a means to manage multiple profiles.

If you install a .mobileconfig, Profiles will remain available in System Preferences; if you delete all profiles, then Profiles no longer appears in System Preferences.

This doesn't yet seem to affect network access or browsing at all, so it is possible this feature exists to pave the way for more unified management of APN on desktops with mobi ...


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iOS 5: Repeating Tasks in Reminders

MacOSXHints.com - Fri, 10/28/2011 - 7:30am
This may not be so much a hint as a caveat.

I was thrilled to discover iOS 5.0 now allows repeating reminders until I discovered that while the iOS software (such as that on the iPad) allows repeating reminders, iCal and iCloud still DO NOT.

So, if you create a repeating reminder you need to make sure you check it off on your iOS device and NOT on iCloud or iCal -- doing so checks off the task and removes it. Checking it off on the iOS device marks it as done for that day and then automatically creates the task again at the specified repeat interval.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. The hint submitter didn't mention the version of iCal being used, so if that makes any difference please note so in the comments. I'm certainly willing to believe iCloud is still undergoing improvement, and maybe this is an issue which will be corrected.]


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Dear Aunt TUAW: Help Siri pronounce Dutch names

TUAW.com - Fri, 10/28/2011 - 7:00am

Dear Aunt TUAW,

I am a great fan of your articles on all Apple-related products.

I have a question for you about Siri. I am Dutch, live in Switzerland and work in a international company. How will this reflect on my Siri usage? Even with Voice Control I have a problem. My iPhone is setup in English (working language) but Dutch or Swiss/German names are not picked up well. So, did anyone try this out so far?

Thanks for an answer.

Your loving nephew,

Hester B.

Dear Hester,

Here's a quick answer, courtesy of the "Talking to Siri" eBook: You can enter phonetic names in the Contacts app. These help with both pronunciation and recognition.

Auntie created a contact for "Sergio Jones" in her address book, making sure to add a phonetic pronunciation field for the first name of "Ser hee yo" (Edit > Add field).

Sure enough, once added, Siri was able to interpret Auntie's request to "Call Ser hee yo" to the right contact.

The secret lies in using English-sounding phonemes. When Auntie pronounces Sergio correctly -- with rolled R, and the non-English-sounding "e" like "air" -- Siri will not pick it up. You need to English-ify the way you say it, so you better match what Siri expects.

Auntie's friend Sjoerd van Geffen regaled her this morning with hilarious stories about trying to make a C-64 pronounce the Dutch "eu" sound. For some names, Auntie is afraid, you're just going to have to sacrifice the proper vowels.

When talking to Siri with US-English set as your default language, you have to adapt the way you speak: unnaturally enunciated word endings, longer pauses between words than you're used to, and flatter English-y vowels. Try using "Choord" for "Sjoerd" and "Leak ah" for Lieke.

Your Mac offers a great way to build these up. Use the "say" command from the Terminal app's command line, e.g. "Say leak ah". Fortunately Siri is even a little better at the "sounds like" translations than "say" is.

Hugs,

Auntie T.

Dear Aunt TUAW: Help Siri pronounce Dutch names originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 28 Oct 2011 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple Lossless Audio Codec Project becomes open source

AppleInsider.com - Fri, 10/28/2011 - 6:30am
Apple this week made its Lossless Audio Codec project for high-quality audio files open source under the Apache license, allowing anyone to make their own ALAC files.


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Daily iPhone App: Dark Meadow

TUAW.com - Fri, 10/28/2011 - 6:00am

Dark Meadow isn't really my kind of app -- it's a little too scary for my tastes, and I tend to gravitate away from scary games in general. But we did mention it as a quality app in our recent Halloween roundup, and a new update for the app increases the game's level cap, adds a New Game+ option so you can go back into the fray after completing the game for the first time, and optimizes the game for iPhone 4S users.

The game is sort of an RPG, though it's basically just an excuse for you to explore the location and story of a mysterious hospital, all rendered in beautiful Unreal Engine 3 graphics. As you can see above, the game looks great, All of your actions are gesture-based, sort of like Infinity Blade. The game's probably not all that scary for you hardcore game players, but I hear this one evokes a strong mood, and I'm a chicken.

If you're interested, you can play Dark Meadow as a universal app now for just $1.99, on sale for the update. Happy Halloween! Just don't get too scared yourself.

Daily iPhone App: Dark Meadow originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 28 Oct 2011 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iTat tattoos up the back of your iPhone

TUAW.com - Fri, 10/28/2011 - 5:00am

"iTat" is a questionable name for a product, but the actual effect of these "iPhone tattoos" looks pretty good. iTat is a system for etching on the back glass panel of the iPhone, which, on the black iPhone, looks like a sort of tattoo. The whole process is being offered by a company called Sirtified, and you can choose a patterned look, etch a picture, or put text on the back of your iPhone in any way you want. Personally I just like the patterns, but I also think subtler is better.

Unfortunately, it's a DIY process. You put a special vinyl sticker on the back of the iPhone, rub in some "Super Magical Etching Fluid" (likely some mix of hydrofluoric acid, not to be played with), then wait a few minutes while the glass gets eaten away. It only takes a few minutes and sounds pretty easy if you follow directions (in fact, you can buy the fluid in art stores, and try etching even without their kit if you want), but the only assurance your iPhone gets is that it's apparently easy to replace the back cover if you need to.

(It actually is very easy to swap the iPhone's back out, though you will need a "pentalobe" screwdriver. In fact, if you're going to be customizing your iPhone with strong chemicals, it's a good idea to remove the backside plate first anyway. --Ed)

Still, if you want a nice etched pattern on the back of your favorite device, no pain, no gain, right? If you do jump on something like this, be sure to let us know how it works out.

iTat tattoos up the back of your iPhone originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 28 Oct 2011 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SoundCloud iPad app out now

TUAW.com - Fri, 10/28/2011 - 4:00am

Music sharing site SoundCloud has had an iPhone app for a while, but the company has just released a version of the service built specifically for the iPad. SoundCloud generally opted for the dual-pane look in the app, which means you can browse around your friends and their shares, all while listening to and learning about any music you happen to pull up on the side of the screen.

A video of SoundCloud's app runs through the main features, but you might as well just download the app for yourself -- it's completely free, just like the rest of SoundCloud. There are quite a few apps out there that will let you listen to and browse socially around your favorite music, but if you happen to be a SoundCloud fan or just like the heavy social network integration, you might be excited try this app out.

SoundCloud iPad app out now originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 28 Oct 2011 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Adobe Photoshop CS6 to adopt Aperture-like theme, new 3D functionality

AppleInsider.com - Thu, 10/27/2011 - 11:54pm
Early betas of Photoshop CS6, an update to Adobe's flagship digital imaging software due next year as part of Creative Suite 6.0 (CS6), show off a darker interface theme, new 3D capabilities, autosave, and a handful of other tool additions, AppleInsider has learned.


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Samsung handset sales surge, profits shrink in the third quarter

AppleInsider.com - Thu, 10/27/2011 - 11:49pm
South Korean electronics maker Samsung on Friday posted record mobile phone sales and profits for the third quarter of 2011, but the growth wasn't enough to overcome a drop in profit from other segments of the company.


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Apple slips to No. 5 handset maker, No. 2 in smartphones after iPhone transition quarter

AppleInsider.com - Thu, 10/27/2011 - 10:41pm
After buyers holding out for the iPhone 4S resulted in slowed iPhone 4 sales for Apple last quarter, Chinese handset maker ZTE slipped past it to become the fourth-largest global handset maker, while Samsung took the top spot among smartphone vendors worldwide, according to a new analysis.


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Nintendo profits evaporate as gamers turn to Apple's iOS

AppleInsider.com - Thu, 10/27/2011 - 8:58pm
Japanese gaming giant Nintendo revealed on Thursday that it lost $925 million over the six months ending in September due to a sharp drop off of game and console sales, even as healthy sales of Apple's iPhone and iPad continue to establish iOS as an alternative gaming platform.


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Get Jetpack Joyride for free from Apple via Facebook

TUAW.com - Thu, 10/27/2011 - 6:30pm

I've never heard of a deal like this, but we'll take it anyway. Halfbrick's great game Jetpack Joyride (one of the best iOS games of the year, honestly), is being given away for free by none other than Apple. You have to be a Facebook member, but if you 'like' Apple's official App Store Facebook page, you can get a code that will nab you a free copy of the game from the App Store.

The one catch is that you have to essentially allow Apple access to your information on Facebook, but all it's asking for is to have that information (which might be public on your profile anyway, depending on your settings). It's worth nothing that the company doesn't ask for the right to post things on your profile, though those concerned about that probably won't take the deal anyway.

At any rate, as long as you're OK with seeing your name attached to Apple on Facebook (and this is an official Apple account), you can get a free Jetpack Joyride code! Enjoy.

Get Jetpack Joyride for free from Apple via Facebook originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple's ALAC codec is now open source

TUAW.com - Thu, 10/27/2011 - 6:00pm

Apple Lossless, also known as ALAC, is a lossless audio codec Apple developed some time ago for digital music. The codec compresses music files anywhere from 40-60 percent of their original size with no discernible loss in audio quality or fidelity. "A decoded ALAC stream is bit-for-bit identical to the original uncompressed audio file," according to its description. iTunes on the Mac and virtually all of Apple's portable devices support the codec, and it's been my personal format of choice when ripping songs from a CD source.

The big news today is that ALAC is now open source. "Apple Lossless Audio Codec sources are available under the Apache license," according to Mac OS Forge, and the project "contains the sources for the ALAC encoder and decoder."

The project also includes alacconvert, a command line utility that can read and write audio data to and from Core Audio Format (CAF) and WAVE files. "A description of a 'magic cookie' for use with files based on the ISO base media file format (e.g. MP4 and M4A) is included as well," Mac OS forge says.

Open sourcing ALAC may or may not lead to more widespread adoption of the codec, but for purely selfish reasons I hope it does. While FLAC fulfills many of the same functions as Apple's in-house lossless codec, it has no support on iOS devices, and re-encoding FLAC files into something that iTunes won't choke on has always been a pet peeve of mine. If more people begin adopting ALAC instead of FLAC, it'll make life a lot easier for audiophiles.

[via Vincent Gable/twitter]

Apple's ALAC codec is now open source originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NYT: Siri-powered Apple HDTV is definitely coming

TUAW.com - Thu, 10/27/2011 - 5:30pm

Over at the New York Times' Bits blog, Nick Bilton has added his well-sourced voice to the rising chorus of yea-sayers on the rumor of an Apple-branded television set, arriving at some date yet uncertain. Bilton's reporting, stretching back over a year, leads him to believe that while Apple isn't yet manufacturing televisions, the company is within striking distance; it could announce a product by the end of next year and begin shipping in 2013. "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," Bilton says.

While rumors of an AppleTV-with-a-TV product have been percolating for years (Bilton pegs 2007 as the start of internal awareness at Apple that such a thing would someday happen), the recent resurgence of the concept is driven in part by a quote in Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs. The late CEO reportedly said "I finally cracked it" regarding the secret formula for simplifying and enhancing the TV interface.

Bilton believes that Siri's intelligent assistant is the key for controlling a TV, giving the program guide a massive shot of search savvy and friendliness. Apple's put some serious talent behind the project, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek; they report Apple's lead engineer on the TV project is Jeff Robbin, who joined the company in 2000 as one of the original designers of SoundJam MP at Casady & Greene; that app eventually led to iTunes.

An Apple TV would presumably tackle the wide variance in TV sizes and capabilities with a MacBook Pro/iPhone approach of 'fewer choices, less confusion,' but it's less clear how the company would meet its own expectations for profitability in a challenging market. Getting content and collaborating with other TV providers could be a sticking point, especially without the legendary negotiating skills of Steve Jobs, and Apple hasn't exactly set the world on fire with its existing iOS-based TV product. We'll have to wait and see.

NYT: Siri-powered Apple HDTV is definitely coming originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple updates Thunderbolt software, Aperture and printer drivers

AppleInsider.com - Thu, 10/27/2011 - 5:22pm
Following Wednesday's slew of software updates, Apple on Thursday issued a second Thunderbolt software update, alongside new HP and Epson printer drivers and a minor update to Aperture.


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Daily Mac App: Trillian

TUAW.com - Thu, 10/27/2011 - 5:00pm

When Cerulean Studio made an alpha version of its Trillian software available for the Mac in early 2010, I wasn't very impressed. There were no buddy icons, the product didn't resemble the images released for it, there was no group chat support, a good many of the options didn't work, therer were no chat logs and more. At the time, I recommended sticking with Adium or Pidgin.

I'm very pleased to say that nearly two years later, Trillian has developed into a solid text-based instant messaging client for the Mac.

Trillian is available as a free download in the Mac App Store now, and it has gone through a vast number of improvements. While there's still not as many features as Adium, it's a solid client. Like Adium, it has integrated Facebook and Twitter, and I actually like these features better on Trillian than Adium.

It also syncs with the free Trillian for iPhone, which means you can start a conversation on your Mac and pick up where you left off on the iPhone if you need to run somewhere. The sync is the standout feature for Trillian, and for those of us who need to maintain IM sync on the go, that might be the feature that gets you to use this.

You still have to register for a Trillian account if you don't have one, but since you gain syncing ability for chats and settings, it's not as nitpicky of an issue as it was for me last year.

Some of the cons I found last year still exist. There is still no group chat ability, which prevents Trillian from adding IRC. It's light on customization, for that you'll need Adium. There's no audio/video/Skype integration, but that's something I've lived with regardless because I use Adium. Not all the buddy icons come through OK, the most success seems to be the ones associated with AIM and Yahoo accounts. You can log chats now, which that alone makes it worth considering for me as a Mac client. I like the way the chat logs are handled. Right click on each user, and you can access the history, including a calendar for easy access to certain dates.

Trillian Pro is available for $12 a year, which allows chat logs to be stored in the cloud and no ads, though there are currently no ads in the Mac version anyhow.

If you need a solid text-based IM client with updates handled through the Mac App Store and syncing, Trillian is a good way to go. If you want more features and customization, stick with Adium. If you want audio, video or Skype, you'll be stuck juggling multiple clients regardless.

Daily Mac App: Trillian originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dear Aunt TUAW: Why am I in Atlanta?

TUAW.com - Thu, 10/27/2011 - 4:00pm

Dear Aunt TUAW,

I recently upgraded to iOS 5 on my 3GS. Oddest thing happened yesterday. I am sitting on board a jet in NH waiting to take off for Atllanta. I pull up Find My Friends to see where a few people are at and it shows me on the tarmac at the Atlanta airport. Thinking it might be an app error, I pull up Google Earth and it showed the same thing. I was on a Delta flight with wifi but had not connected to the network. I felt like I was in a Star Trek time warp. Any thoughts?

Your loving nephew,

Chad

Dear Chad,

Auntie thought this might have to do with the plane's onboard WiFi system, so she turned to Uncle Steve to explain the situation. Steve replies, "Just because your iPhone wasn't connected to the network doesn't mean it wasn't using the airplane's Wi-Fi for geolocation. I had the same thing happen on a cruise last year. The ship had a home base of Port Canaveral, Florida, so all of the onboard networks were set so that any device locally thought they were sitting at port in Florida -- even when we were in St. Petersburg, Russia!

"Chances are that all of Delta's aircraft Wi-Fi systems are set to show Atlanta as their "home base" location and that's what you were seeing. Bizarre, isn't it?!"

Auntie hopes this helps explain what may have happened.

Hugs,

Auntie T.

Dear Aunt TUAW: Why am I in Atlanta? originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motorola Mobility loses $32 million as Xoom sales collapse in Q3

AppleInsider.com - Thu, 10/27/2011 - 3:33pm
Motorola Mobility announced revenues of $3.3 billion in the third quarter on sales of 4.8 million smartphones and just 100,000 Xoom tablets that resulted in an operating loss of $32 million.


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Sailor Bags iPad Sleeve adds a nautical theme to your favorite tablet

TUAW.com - Thu, 10/27/2011 - 3:00pm

The blogging team here at TUAW has pretty much seen every type of iPad bag, sleeve, case, and cover that has been developed since the first iPad hit the streets last year. Now a New York-based company that is well-known for nautically-themed gear, Sailor Bags, is selling a fun iPad Sleeve (US$27) that will have you dancing the hornpipe.

Design

What makes this sleeve so different from the rest of those bazillions of sleeves we've covered so far? It's made of sailcloth, a very robust and rugged material that can keep your iPad protected from bumps, drops and liquid splashes.

Like many of the other Sailor Bags products, the cool iPad Sleeve is made in multiple colors -- a bright red, a sea blue, and plain old white. The material is manufactured by Sailor Bags to be less stiff than the sailcloth used for boat sails. The company notes that the bag will acquire a patina with age and "personality all its own."

Gallery: Sailor Bags iPad Sleeve

Unlike many of the sleeves and bags that we review, the Sailor Bags sleeve actually comes with a lifetime guarantee. Whether that's for your lifetime or the lifetime of the sleeve is a legal question I'm not going to answer, but basically they say that if the sleeve "wears out of underperforms in any way, just return it. We'll repair or replace it for free." That's pretty darned good.

There's a nice zippered pocket on the outside of the sleeve for holding sync cables, your Camera Connection Kit, or other small accessories. Both of the zippers appear to be made of a nylon material to provide a good water-resistant seal, and they opened and closed smoothly.

The inside of the sleeve is lined with a microfiber material to keep from scratching your iPad, and the sleeve has just enough foam padding to insure adequate protection in the case of a drop or bump.

Functionality

I'm not sure why, but I really like this relatively plain-looking sleeve. Perhaps it has something to with the solid construction, or maybe I was a sailor in another life, but I quickly became fond of the Sailor Bags sleeve. It provides a lot of protection while not trying to be too high-tech or fancy, and the wide diagonal stitch marks in the corner add a very nice sailing touch.

The price is definitely right (at least for the base cost; custom embroidery adds $12 to the total) and the sleeve would make an awesome Christmas gift for the iPad owner on your list. Just add up to two lines of embroidered love to that sleeve, and you've given a gift that someone will remember for years to come.

Conclusion

I was pleasantly surprised by this iPad sleeve from a manufacturer that up until now hasn't been a player in the Apple accessories market. With this sleeve cradling my iPad 2, I don't think I'd feel uncomfortable taking it to a beach or laying it on a chaise lounge next to a swimming pool. If I had a sailboat, my iPad would be wearing the Sailor Bags iPad Sleeve every time it went aboard. You don't need to be a sailor to love this iPad sleeve, though, and I'm giving it my highest recommendation.

Sailor Bags iPad Sleeve adds a nautical theme to your favorite tablet originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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