Recosoft Corporation has released PDF2Office Standard v5.3 and PDF2Office SE for iWork v1.3 through the Mac App store. Both have been updated to include the latest conversion components. These updates include Conversion Core, Keynote converter and Pages converter. PDF2Office Standard converts PDF files into fully editable Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint formats recreating the intended construction and layout of the document. PDF2Office SE for iWork converts PDFs to the iWork formats.
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MacMediaConverter announces Pavtube HD Video Converter for Mac is the best M4V to FCE Converter for Mac users to convert and import M4V files to FCE for editing on Mac. FCE is designed for advanced editing of digital video. They can import videos which are different formats into FCE and do some editing, then upload videos to web or play them on Mac. With the powerful conversion function, you can get the high quality videos with fast conversion speed.
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Timothy Egan, writing for the NYT Opinionator:
Sobriety, laudable in many respects, does imply rigidity ofthought. The best presidents were open-minded, and generally opento a drink. The nondrinkers, at least over the last century or so,were terrible presidents.
Speaking of cool Kickstarter projects, here’s one that can use your help to reach funded status — Chris Granger’s Light Table IDE:
Light Table is based on a very simple idea: we need a real worksurface to code on, not just an editor and a project explorer. Weneed to be able to move things around, keep clutter down, andbring information to the foreground in the places we need it most.
Watch the video to get the gist of the concept. Granger aptly compares it to a drafting table:
Towards the end of my time on the Visual Studio team, I came tothe conclusion that windows aren’t a good abstraction for what wedo. Other engineers have large tables where they can scatterdrawings, tools, and other information around. A drafting table isa much better abstraction for us. We shouldn’t need to limitourselves to a world where the smallest moveable unit is a file —our code has much more complex interactions that we can better seewhen we can organize things conceptually.
L. Gordon Crovitz, writing for the WSJ:
‘I don’t think you understand. We can’t treat newspapers ormagazines any differently than we treat FarmVille.”
With those words, senior Apple executive Eddy Cue stuck to histake-it-or-leave-it business model of a 30% revenue share payablefor transactions through the iTunes service. Despite my argumentsto Mr. Cue in Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., offices last year onbehalf of news publishers seeking different terms, to him therewas no difference between a newspaper and an online game.
It was a sobering reminder that traditional media brands have nopreferred place in the new digital world. It also should be thedefense’s Exhibit A in the Justice Department’s antitrust caseagainst Apple and book publishers: The 30% revenue-share model isApple’s standard practice, not, as alleged by the government, theproduct of a conspiracy.
This is one of my biggest questions about the DOJ’s suit against Apple. Why are books any different than music or apps or periodicals? (And, if Apple loses this suit, does it mean their App Store and Music Store 70/30 pricing models are at risk too?)?
Boston rail commuters will soon have a mobile alternative to traditional paper tickets, allowing them to use their smartphones to buy and display their train tickets. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which serves 1.3 million people a day, will launch the U.S.’s first smartphone rail ticketing system this fall through a partnership with Masabi, a London company which has been rolling out mobile ticketing services in the UK.
Users will be able to buy their tickets and passes via their smartphone instead of lining up at vending machines. When it comes time to show their proof of purchase, the smartphone application will display an animated watermark with a background color that changes according to the day. The app, which will work on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices, also produces a bar code that can be scanned for closer inspection. Smartphone-equipped train conductors will be able to do quick visual inspections of the tickets or scan the tickets to be sure.
The system will be tested this summer with a pilot group before a full launch this fall. It can also work in conjunction with the MBTA’s contactless CharlieCard, allowing monthly pass holders to link their cards to their account and charge them up through their smartphone. The move to mobile ticketing should speed up the ticketing process commuters, many of whom are forced to buy tickets on the trains because there are no vending machines at their stations. It also allows the MBTA to not have to buy or maintain additional vending machines and lowers the cost of handling cash.
Ben Whitaker, CEO of Masabi told the Wall Street Journal that the the MBTA had been trying to build a payment system around its CharlieCards, but the system required a huge investment in hardware placed at every station. By going with Masabi, the MBTA can start migrating a lot of the work to smartphones. About 60 percent of commuters already own a smartphone. Whitaker said using near field communications via smartphones wasn’t an option because the technology wasn’t fully in place.
Going with Masabi is another reminder that while NFC is often touted as a solution for payments and ticketing, simpler barcode-based systems are ready now. We’ve seen the success of Starbuck’s payment system and more recently LevelUp has gotten a lot of momentum for its local loyalty program by creating its own barcode-based smartphone payment system. Ultimately, you just need a system that provides a simple and seamless mobile experience and barcodes are proving they’re up to the task.
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Podcasts are the internet’s version of episodic radio or television. The challenge is no longer finding a great podcast, rather it is automating the subscription process on the device you intend to listen to the podcast. You may be new to podcasting, or not an avid listener. In that case, you may not already have a favorite podcasting app. Trying to master podcast subscriptions utilizing Apple’s out-of-the-box solutions may be a little cumbersome at first. The following are a few solid techniques that can help you master the art of listening and viewing podcasts, no matter where you manage your subscriptions.
For quite some time now, the iTunes Store has been managing a directory of registered podcasts that you can subscribe to from the iTunes app on your Mac. In the left column of iTunes under Store, click on iTunes Store. Then locate the navigation bar along the top of the iTunes Store homepage on the right, and select the Podcasts tab. Browse for a podcast you like and subscribe. Subscribing to podcasts is a way to have your Mac automatically check for new episodes and download them to your Mac when they become available.
Once you have subscribed to a few podcasts, click on the Podcasts entry in the left column of iTunes under Library. At the bottom left of the screen, you will see a button labeled Settings; click it. Here you can establish the rules for how often iTunes should check for new episodes to download, and how long each downloaded episode should be kept in your iTunes Library. This is the best feature of managing podcasts on the Mac, as it will keep your subscriptions up to date and delete the older episodes so that you don’t fill up your hard drive. Apple has even put together some tips for podcast fans to help make the process of managing your podcasts on your Mac a little easier.
If you use an iPod Nano, Classic or Shuffle, or even if you still sync your music and videos to your iOS device via a tethered connection to your Mac, you can elect to sync your favorite podcasts to your device. I still find this to be the best way to keep on top of my subscribed list of podcasts, as my InsomniMac is always on and checking for updates regularly.
Syncing podcasts to your iPod or other iOS device is the same as syncing any other media to your device. Simply attach your device to your Mac via USB and select it on the left-hand column within iTunes. Then look along the top of the iTunes screen where you will see a tab labeled Podcasts. Here you can choose which podcasts to sync to your device. The only downside to this technique is that all updates to your subscriptions will be downloaded first to your Mac. In order to get these updates onto your device, you will need to tether it to your Mac and sync again.
When you are at home and connected to your Wi-Fi network, you can access any of your Mac’s podcasts through Home Sharing. Home Sharing is a way to share your Mac’s iTunes Music Library with any other Mac, Apple TV or iOS Device on your home network. This technique will allow you to access all of your subscribed podcasts on your Mac without having to tether via USB cable and sync. To enable Home Sharing from iTunes on your Mac, select Turn On Home Sharing in the Advanced menu in iTunes. Here you will be asked to enter your iTunes account information in order to start sharing your music library.
Once Home Sharing is turned on from your Mac, you will need to authorize your iOS devices to attach to your Home Sharing. Using the iOS settings, select the Music setting (or iPod setting in iOS 4.3) and scroll to the bottom. Here you will see a section labeled Home Sharing where you will need to enter the exact same iTunes account information you used to set up the Home Sharing instance on your Mac. Once the link is established, launch the Music App on iOS and select the More tab, here you should see a Shared selectable item. Switch to the Home Sharing instance you created on your Mac and your Music app on your iOS device will be able to access all of the shared music from your iTunes Library on your Mac. This of course includes sharing of the podcasts you have subscribed to.
This solution is not limited to iOS devices. You can also access your shared iTunes Library from any other Mac attached to your home network. This will allow you to download your subscribed podcast episodes just once, and share them with all of your OS X and iOS devices. And yes, the AppleTV can be configured to access your shared iTunes Library via Home Sharing as well. There are two downsides to this solution. The first is that it only works when you have access to your home network. And the second is that it only works when the Mac you are sharing your iTunes Library from is powered on.
On its own, the Apple TV can also browse, view or listen to any podcasts in iTunes directory of podcasts, even when your Mac is powered off. In fact, you can establish a list of favorite podcasts on your Apple TV so you do not have to keep finding a particular podcast you like over and over again. This unfortunately is not the same thing as “subscribing” to a podcast, as the Apple TV has nowhere to store your subscribed podcasts. To save a podcast on your Apple TV as a favorite you must first find the podcast. Once the podcast has been located, you will notice a save as favorite button on the screen. This will add the podcast to the list of favorites that is accessible via the main list on the podcast screen on the Apple TV. It will even keep track of whether or not you have already reviewed a particular episode.
This is where Apple’s support of podcasting is lacking. For those of us that no longer sync our iOS devices to iTunes on a Mac, store all of our music in the cloud via iTunes Match, and listen to podcasts everywhere else in our lives except where we are within range of our home networks, there is no good solution. But there is one trick that just may be manageable in such instances. And that is to stream podcasts over the internet directly to our iOS devices when we want to listen to them. The tricky part is to figure out a way to manage our list of favorite podcasts. One way it to create a folder of bookmarks in Safari using links from the podcasts listing in the iTunes Store.
To do this, first create a new bookmarks folder in Safari on your Mac. Open iTunes and navigate to your favorite podcast in the iTunes Store. From here, you can drag the URL in iTunes into the bookmarks folder in Safari. The next time Safari on the Mac syncs its bookmarks to iCloud, you will have your list of favorite podcasts accessible via bookmarks in mobile Safari on your iOS device. Clicking on the bookmark in mobile Safari will launch the iTunes Store on the iOS device and navigate directly to the podcast listing in the store. Here you can elect to listen to a streaming version of the podcast, or download the podcast directly to the iOS device.
As you can see, there is more than one way to locate, subscribe, manage and listen to your favorite podcasts using Apple’s products. Unfortunately each solution has its plusses and minuses. There really is no one good way to manage all of your podcasts across all of your Apple products as each technique has its own quirks and inconsistencies. The good news is that there are several different techniques to choose from, and any one or combination of a few can be utilized to suit the needs of most podcast fans.
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One troubling sign: Even now, more than a year after Microsoftstarted shipping Windows Phone 7 devices, U.S. mobile customersare getting rid of Microsoft devices faster than they’re buyingnew ones.
In the three months ending in February, Microsoft’s share of U.S.smartphone subscribers was 3.9%, according to comScore. That’sdown from 5.2% last November and 7.7% last February.
John Teti, remembering Dick Clark:
Last week, Clark did the only thing that he would ever do, orcould ever do, to besmirch that legacy of Always Being DickClark. He died. Most remembrances have placed the focus foremoston his music-related projects, and rightly so. When I heard thenews of Clark?s death, though, my thoughts went to the Lymantwins. For me, as I suspect for them, Clark?s legacy is felt mostdeeply with Pyramid. There may be no such thing as the perfectgame show, but Pyramid is the closest anyone has ever come, in nosmall part because for 15 years and almost 4,000 episodes, it hadthe perfect host.
I spent the weekend watching hours of old Pyramid shows on the Game Show Network. Teti nails it.?