iLifesoft announces iMedia Converter for Mac is an all-in-one Mac Blu-ray ripper, DVD ripper and video converter. It helps you back up or rip blu-ray disc and DVD, either encrypted or non-encrypted, and converts video of all popular formats to your hard drive for playing. The iMedia Converter for Mac also converts HD video footages from cameras and camcorders to editable HD video formats for non-linear editing software like iMovie, Final Cut Express and more. Provides perfect audio solutions.
Read The Full Article:
My thanks to Mac DVDRipper Pro for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Mac DVDRipper Pro is a great app for converting DVDs to formats compatible with just about any device imaginable — including the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Download the free demo (fully-featured for the first five rips) and check out the quick start guide for an overview of the features.?
Just what it says on the tin.?
New promotional page from Apple touting the jobs the company has created, including over 200,000 jobs in what they’re calling the “app economy”:
With more than 550,000 apps and more than 24 billion downloads inless than four years, the App Store has created an entirely newindustry: iOS app design and development. The app revolution hasadded more than 210,000 iOS jobs to the U.S. economy since theintroduction of iPhone in 2007. And Apple has paid more than $4billion in royalties to developers through the App Store.
While many companies locate their technical support call centersoverseas to save money, we?ve decided to keep our call centers inthe U.S. The vast majority of our customer support calls arehandled by U.S. employees.
What prompted this? I’m guessing it was the first piece in the New York Times’s “iEconomy” series, which focused on manufacturing jobs that have gone to Asia.?
Eric Grevstad, writing for PC Mag:
That’s because, for all the talk about whether the iPad 3 willhave a quad-core processor or a retina display or a VW Beetle budvase, we already know one thing about it: It won’t be a laptop.And we know, if we’re honest, that the iPad is no substitute for alaptop. Never will be. Isn’t supposed to be.
Meanwhile, out in the real world, every time I go into a coffee shop or airport, I see people using iPads for things which previously required a laptop. That the iPad is not a substitute for a laptop for everyone does not mean it is not a substitute for anyone. That’s the key to the iPad’s success. Many people don’t need a laptop for their away-from-the-desk computing needs.?
Apple has pushed back, for the second time, the date by which all apps submitted to the App Store must be sandboxed in OS X. While the original deadline was moved from Nov. 1, 2011 to March 1, it has now been pushed forward again to June 1. Sandboxing, a security measure that isolates applications from the rest of the systen they’re running on, has been a controversial measure because it imposes rather strict limitations on what Mac software is allowed to do that runs against long-held traditions.
The delay itself has been greeted with mostly positive reactions from developers, who are thankful for the additional time to adapt to this new approach even if they are still anxious about the long-term implications. Chris Foresman wrote a great summary of sandboxing, Daniel Jalkut of Red Sweater Software covered some of the issues that face developers of Mac software and Manton Reece, developer of Clipstart, explained why he is dropping out of the Mac App Store to avoid sandboxing entirely. Most discussion of sandboxing has focused on the security implications of the new approach. However, I think that Apple may be playing a long game here that goes far beyond incremental improvements to the security of OS X.
I don’t mean to imply that security is not an important consideration. It is. The problem is that sandboxing is only partially effective as a technique to improve security simply because outright malicious software won’t use it anyways. Wil Shipley of Delicious Monster wrote an excellent essay on the limitations of sandboxing as a security measure. Gatekeeper is likely to be s more effective security measure. So if sandboxing is not the last word on the future security of the Mac platform, what else might be going on?
What use could there be for a shift in programming conventions that requires apps to assume that all their files and settings are held in their own isolated container? That requires developers to carefully document when, where and why they need to reach out of their sandbox? That puts the OS in charge of allowing apps to access shared resources instead of unfettered access to the whole filesystem? What use is there in breaking long-held traditions of using arbitrary file access to enable shared settings? Why remove the ability to talk to other apps through Apple Events?
It is not a far stretch to consider that this shift in approach might have a connection to Apple’s long-term plans to make iCloud the center of their strategy for the next decade. Apple intends for developers to move away from reliance on direct access to the all the nooks and crannies of the local filesystem on the computer and instead package up their files using the container approach. Self-contained sandboxes are more easily copied and moved between machines and are easier to back up. More and more, applications interact with online services across multiple devices. If your digital “stuff” is strewn about the cloud and across a couple Macs (work, home, desktop, laptop) as well as multiple mobile devices like your iPhone and iPad, a dotfile on your computer might not be the best place to store settings anyways. Sandboxing could be a step towards abstracting away the local filesystem in favor of cloud-based storage.
While we don’t have answers now, there are a few areas to pay close attention to over the coming months as Mountain Lion moves closer to release and iOS is updated as expected later this year. (WWDC this summer will be interesting.)
The first feature to watch is entitlements, which are the list of permitted actions apps are allowed to perform from within the sandbox. Apple has expanded them a bit in Lion 10.7.3, but developers would like more. Daniel Jalkut thinks that it is urgent that Apple address the current scope of entitlements. “The number one broken thing about sandboxing as it stands today, is the list of entitlements is simply too limited.” Further refinement of the available entitlements is likely, but it will be more interesting to watch where Apple expands the access granted to sandboxed apps. Will there be more direct access to places in the filesystem? More access to hardware features like serial ports? Or just more refinement to the iCloud APIs? Entitlements will be a clear indication of Apple loosening up on app restrictions or sticking to their guns.
The second area to watch is to see what Apple will do to explain sandboxing to users. If this is truly a security-focused measure, I would expect to see more prompts in OS X about what applications are asking to do (or which entitlements they have requested). If sandboxing isn’t meant to keep users better informed on what apps can and can’t do, then I would suspect that sandboxing is more about corralling developers to interact with the system in ways that can be abstracted or redirected to iCloud.
The big question in my mind, is what will be done with inter-process communication? URL schemes, like we have in iOS, are certainly much more limited than Apple Events, even with call-backs. However, URL schemes also provide an abstraction where they could be made to work in different contexts, like on a computer, on an iPhone or in a web app. Surely, something else is coming to meet the need for automation, workflow scripting and sharing between apps if the Apple Events system is being phased out. This will be a key area to watch over the next few months to see where the wind blows out of Cupertino.
I can’t shake the feeling that sandboxing is part of a much bigger play by Apple and that it connects to their strategy for iCloud. While all we can do at the moment is speculate, I feel certain that developers that can suss out the larger meaning here and see a few steps ahead of the rest of us have a real opportunity. We saw companies that pulled ahead of the pack with the first generation of mobile, connected and social apps for the App Store. There is a similar opportunity here with Sandboxing and iCloud to try and skate to where Apple is looking to send the puck, to borrow a phrase from Wayne Gretzky, instead of simply complaining that puck is not where it’s been.
Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.
Just announced this week, available now for pre-order. If I didn’t already have the Mark II this is the camera I’d buy. (Pre-order from Amazon and I’ll get filthy rich from the affiliate kickback.) Those bastards at The Verge already have their hands on one.?
Stock shortages are a pretty good predictor of an imminent new product, so now I’m thinking there might be an Apple TV announcement as part of next week’s event.?
Terrific number-crunching analysis by Richard Gaywood for TUAW regarding “retina displays” and the general math of display pixel density. He makes a strong case that “retina” Mac displays, unlike the iPhone and iPad’s, would not necessarily need to be doubled from their existing resolutions.?
Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we?ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome enough to keep you busy until Monday, at least.
Unstoppable Gorg ($4.99 iPad, $9.99 Mac) is a tower defense game with futuristic gameplay and old-fashioned movie appeal. With a sci-fi theme based on the Age of Sputnik, Buck Rogers and a Martian race in need of women, Unstoppable Gorg is a well-polished and detailed game that has a enough going on to set it apart from other tower defense games.
There are three ways you can play: Story, Challenges and Arcade. In Story mode, your mission is to protect some base, mine or human dwelling that is under attack. The setup is always the same: position your satellites in orbit around the object you are assigned to defend. There are 21 missions to complete, and complete them you must. By completing missions in the Story mode of the game, you unlock more and more features, like different types of satellites and even new Challenges.
In the Challenges mode you are limited in some way and must fulfill a specific mission beyond simply defending your base. Sometimes it takes just one hit to destroy your base; at other times, one of your orbits automatically rotates, or perhaps you can only have two different satellites. You really have to have a good strategy when taking on each new challenge. Then there is the unstoppable Arcade mode. The Arcade mode forces you to complete the Story, as you’ll want every feature unlocked and at your disposal. In Arcade, there are no breaks, there is no end, they just keep coming for as long as you can hold them off. The Gorg will prove to be truly unstoppable.
Gameplay is a cross between traditional tower defense, and games like Harbor Master and Flight Control. While your satellites must be placed in a limited number of predetermined spots in fixed orbit around your space station, you can at least rotate each orbit around your space station in an effort to re-position your satellites to ward off attacks.
Unlike many other tower defense games, the path that your attackers take will keep changing within each level. In fact, multiple alternate attack paths through your orbiting satellites could be undertaken all at once. Where the game catches you off guard is when other space elements like asteroids may come flying in from any direction, destroying anything in their way. This makes you start repositioning your satellites in orbit to avoid being destroyed. Repositioning may then affect your original strategy to defeat the Gorg, and this is where this game excels at keeping you on your toes. You cannot rest once you amass your fortune and build up your defense. You are constantly moving things around.
Part of the entertainment value is also derived from the rich story line and various cut scenes throughout the game. There is a mix of authentic footage from old sci-fi movies mixed in with homemade model scenes that match the design of the characters and space ships that appear in the game. But it goes well beyond a clever opening sequence that merely introduces the game — as you play the game, you unlock 52 different encyclopedia articles that explain the story even more. It is this attention to detail that makes Unstoppable Gorg a real pleasure to play.
Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.