The MacCast » 2006 » October

Vote For My Dream App Semi-Finals

Written by: cynthia

Categories: News

My Dream appThe My Dream App semi-finals have begun. Nine finalists remain in the competition. Users are asked to vote for their favorite idea. In this round of voting, three competitors will be eliminated. Those eliminated will receive Mac Mini computers.

Voting has already started and will end on Saturday, October 14 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. My Dream App has been giving free software to voters in the past three weeks. In this round, all voters will receive Voice Candy, a voice recorder for OS X.

Several guest judges are on the panel to assist with the voting: Kevin Rose co-founder of, David Pogue the New York Times tech columnist, and Leo Laporte from This Week in Tech.

My Dream App launched a month ago and has received over 2,700 ideas.

My Dream App was created by Phill Ryu. If you want more information on the contest visit My Dream App.

Apple going RED tomorrow? (updated)

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: News

Red Apple Logo
Bono Oprah RED
NYC Apple photo courtesy of iProng.

Listner Paul just sent me an email to let me know that it looks like Apple is in the process of replacing the silver Apple logo over the elevator and stairs at the 5th Avenue NYC store with a red Apple logo. My first thought was maybe they are getting ready for the holidays, but then I saw this post on Think Secret. Apparently Bono will be on the Oprah Winfrey Show tomorrow and will show off a special edition red iPod Nano. The unit will be a 4GB model wrapped in a special red case and will sell for the standard USD$199.00 price. USD$10.00 of each unit sold will go to Bono’s AIDS-awareness charity, (RED). RED then passes the money they raise to The Global Fund who helps women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Until this launch (RED) products have oinly been available for purchase within the UK where they have special (RED) American Express cards and Motrola SLVR phones.

Update: Friday (10/13) Apple did release a special edition red iPod Nano. Also, the 5th Avenue Apple store in New York did have it’s logo changed to a red version. Thanks to Bill at iProng for the photo.

Mirror turns your MacBook iSight into DV cam

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Cool Stuff, News

Huckleberry border=Mungai Mirrors, a UK company, has just announced a cool little device to turn your MacBook or MacBook Pros iSight into a quick and dirty DV cam. The device is called the Huckleberry and it’s genius is in it’s simplicity. It consists of a set of brackets and a small mirror that attach to the top lid of your Mac notebook. It fits just above the built-in iSight and effectively turns the iSight around allowing you to shoot video directly while monitoring what you are capturing on your Mac’s screen. Now one slight problem with the technique might be the “mirrored” image effect but, as the companies site points out, that is easily solved by using iMovie’s “Mirror” Video FX filter or by picking up a copy of eCamm’s iGlasses. Unfortunately the company’s site doesn’t seem to offer any images of video captured via the device so I can’t say what the quality is, but assuming there is no image loss this could prove to be a fun little gadget. The Huckleberry available for pre-sale now and is just £15.00 plus post & packing (shipping and handling to us Yanks). It will be launching at Mac Expo in London, October 26-28 2006, in partnership with Computer Warehouse and will be shipping in mid-October.

MacCast 10.11.2006

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

Download today’s show here! podcast-mini2.gif
MC20061011.mp3 [20.3mb 00:44:12 64kbps]

A podcast about all things Macintosh. For Mac geeks, by Mac geeks. Show 161. Apple seeking a Mobile Marketing Manager. Former Apple CFO Andersen resigns from Apple board. Target gets in on movie studio “persuasion”. Apple posts new “Get a Mac” ads. Starbucks most recent expansion… iTunes. Is Santa Steve bringing us a real video iPod for Christmas this year? iPod Screensaver trick. Comment about iTV and HDMI connector. Rumors of Core 2 Duo MacBooks (Pros?), but are they worth it? Is Apple’s .Mac customer service sub-par? How I create an enhanced podcast. How to display the full date in the menu bar. Can we get a non-Apple BT mouse and keyboard recommendation? Geekanoids Mac Expo London Coverage.

New music, Open Mind by Daniel Bjornmo.

In the fortress you will need more than men and swords. You will need the power of the glave.Krull (1983)

Shownotes: HTML or OPML
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TuneStage IIBelkin announced the TuneStage II on Wednesday. TuneStage II allows you to play your iPod wirelessly through your home stereo using Bluetooth. In order to use TuneStage 2, you would connect the transmitter to your iPod and wire the receiver to your stereo. You can use your iPod to control the music playing through your stereo from over 30 feet away. If you own the iPod Nano 1G/2G (aluminum) or iPod 5G, you will also be able to remotely control the volume.

Available separately, is the TuneStage II Transmitter. With the TuneStage II Transmitter, your iPod can be connected to stereo headphones and car stereos that come with stereo Bluetooth technology.

TuneStage II is compatible with the following iPod models: iPod nano 1G/2G, iPod mini, and the 4G/5G iPod.

You can purchase TuneStage II starting in late November for USD$149.99.

TuneCast 3On October 11th, Belkin announced a universal FM transmitter that can be used with MP3s, portable DVD players and other devices using the 3.5mm headphone jacks. TuneCast 3 is reported to be an improved version of TuneCast II, offering greater ease of use and a status indicator.

You can use TuneCast 3 to listen to music and movies through your FM stereo. With a battery life of 20 hours it is great for long drives. If you don’t want to use the battery, a power code is also included.

You can purchase TuneCast 3 in North America beginning in November. Sales in other regions will follow. If your car doesn’t come factory equipped to connect your iPod or you use a portable DVD player, TuneCast 3 is a great solution at an affordable price, just USD$49.99.

First 30 Days with a Mac

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Random Thoughts

black macbookI have been using computers for about 25 years, and have owned a variety of different platforms. Over the last 15 years I’ve owned nothing but PCs running DOS, then Windows. I had never owned an Apple product (and never thought I would), and really didn’t know much about them. In high school I learned Pascal on an Apple IIe, then wrote for the school paper using one of the very early Macs. Several years ago I worked for a magazine publisher and there were many Macs there that the designers and editors used. I was around Macs then and picked up a little, but was never really that intrigued.

About 2 years ago I saw an iPod and was completely blown away. I had heard about them but never really thought that it was something I would want…. until I held one. So I bought one the next day and have been thrilled with it ever since. After my iPod experience I became interested in Apple and started following Apple news and products. Then I saw a Jobs keynote where he showed the iMac, Front Row and Dashboard and I must say I was more than a bit intrigued. It looked like such a beautiful platform that really focused on style and elegance. For several months to follow I read a lot about Apple and the Mac and listened to the Maccast.
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Back to Basics: Safari Browsing Tips Part 1

Written by: Alex Curtis

Categories: Hints & Tips

I’ve had a number of friends recently switch to Mac. They may have known how to use their Windows PCs well enough, but they weren’t what some may call “power users.” Having switched to the Mac, they’re finding themselves actually enjoying the use of their new computer, and wanting to know more. One of the first things I show them is some simple tips for browsing the web with Mac OS X’s built-in browser, Safari.

In our last Back to Basics, we explored how adding contacts to Address Book can add additional functionality to Safari.

This time, let’s look at some more basic features of the modern browsers that can dramatically improve your every day browsing.
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Belkin SportCommand to Remote Control your iPod

Written by: Alex Curtis

Categories: Cool Stuff

Manufacturer: Belkin
Price: $79.99US
iPod Compatibility: 1G/2G nano, iPod mini, 4G and 5G iPod
More Information: Wirelessly Control Your iPod with the Belkin SportCommand™ for iPod®

On Monday, Belkin announced a rugged wireless remote for the iPod. The target market is for outdoor sports enthusiasts, regardless of the weather. The idea is that you expose the remote to the elements, while keeping your iPod safe in a bag or in your jacket.

The controls themselves are made out of a durable fabric that attaches with Velcro™ to a flexible armband that you wear on the outside of your winter jacket or outer gear. The basic buttons are there—PLAY/PAUSE, FF/REW, and Volume UP/DOWN. They look chunky and tactile, so you can easily skip to the next track with your gloves on.

Just below the controls is a screw-tight piece where the battery resides. I read from a large image of the SportCommand that there’s an indicator light for battery level, but it wasn’t readily apparent where that indicator is on the front of the device. The remotes wireless bits are probably stored inside that same compartment.

The SportCommand remote velcros to the armband, which looks rugged as well.

The press release doesn’t show the other side of the equation, that is, the part that connects to your iPod. Also, the SportCommand is simply a remote, you’ll still have to run your headphones from wherever you’ve stashed your iPod to your ears.

If you play hard in in-climate weather, and you don’t want to pay to have your iPod built into your jacket, the $79.99US Belkin SportCommand for iPod looks like a great solution.

You can find more information about the SportCommand here.

Lineform – drawing at a Sensible Price

Written by: Dave Cryer

Categories: Reviews

lineform_screenshot.jpgHow many times have you launched something like Illustrator and been frustrated by the hundreds of tools thrown in front of you, when all you need is a simple application for creating a quick logo, map or other drawing? Or perhaps you are new to the world of design and you need to create something, but do not have the budget to spend on every single app on your shopping list. Until now, there has not really been a viable alternative, so Freeverse steps up to the mark with their ‘Lineform’ application.

Many of my comments in this review may seem to sound negative, but I need to put you straight on this right away. When I say that Lineform offers a simplistic interface, or takes the easy route to giving me the tools to do the job in hand, this is really a positive. For many years now I have used Freehand instead of Illustrator because the interface makes it a lot simpler to find your way around. Lineform is very similar to this, the interface is very clean and allows you to get on with what you are trying to achieve. When you need more powerful tools, they are on tap too, but without being over-complicated (unlike some very expensive apps).
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