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Agen Schmitz

Agen Schmitz

Agen Schmitz is a freelance writer and editor with a lot of Amazon time under his belt. Since leaving Amazon in 2003 (as senior editor for the Electronics and Camera & Photo stores), Agen has continued to work within the Amazon eco-sphere to help vendors bring clarity to their marketing content. He lives in Seattle with his wife and son, and is always dreaming of Iceland.

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PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.7.2

Updates add official Smile developer ID used by OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper plus provide small fixes. ($59.95/$99.95 new, free update, 47 MB)

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Default Folder X 4.4.9

Adds the capability to select folder favorites via the Finder’s contextual menus and supports Automator workflows in Lion. ($34.95 new, free update, 10.6 MB)

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VLC 2.0

Major update to of free, open-source multimedia player includes overhauled user interface, faster multi-processor decoding, and “experimental” Blu-ray compatibility. (Free, 24 MB)

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Bookle 1.0.4

Fixes small glitch in initial selection of some ebooks, expands font size range, adds toolbar tips for better VoiceOver support, and more. ($9.99 new, free update, 2.6 MB)

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MacVoicesTV Parenting Panel from Macworld | iWorld

Tonya Engst discusses raising children in the age of screentime as part of the “Parenting in the Mobile Internet Age” panel discussion from Macworld | iWorld 2012, moderated by Chuck Joiner of MacVoicesTV.

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The Unexpected Downsides of Ebooks

With tongue firmly in cheek, Cracked (yes, Cracked) delves into the pitfalls of our societal move away from printed books to ebooks on iPads and Kindles — from no longer having an extra support for your IKEA bed to the declining impact of book burnings.

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Fair Labor Association to Inspect Apple Suppliers

Following weeks of heated discussion over working conditions that included some protests, Apple announced that it has asked the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to begin special voluntary audits at the company’s final assembly suppliers, including Foxconn, Quanta, and Pegatron.

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Action-Packed Instructions for Creating a Bootable Lion Install Drive

Dan Frakes at Macworld details the steps for creating a bootable installer disc or drive for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which is important especially for Macs that debuted after the release of Lion (as they don’t include a downloadable version of the installer). While nicely thorough and practical, it’s also notable for a hair-raising maneuver to avoid re-installing Mac OS X and zapping your Mac’s PRAM.

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Airfoil 4.6.5

Restores compatibility with pulling video from Netflix in full-screen mode and can now capture audio from sandboxed applications sold through the Mac App Store. ($25 new, free update, 9.8 MB)

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iTunes Match a (Small) Moneymaker for Copyright Holders

Subscribers to Apple’s iTunes Match service are sending copyright holders “magic money,” writes Jeff Price at the blog for the TuneCore online music distribution service. And while not an overwhelming amount ($10,000 in the first two months, spread out across 55,000 TuneCore artists), Price points out that it is more than the null sum that artists were previously receiving.

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Bookle 1.0.3

Fixes addition of “-Temporary” to some EPUB display names plus disappearance of table of contents when resizing window in Mac OS X 10.6. ($9.99 new, free update, 2.6 MB)

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Piezo 1.1.2

Fixes issue that prevented recording audio from Skype on Mac OS X 10.7.3. ($10 new, free update, 2.8 MB)

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Firmware Updates for iMac, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air

Trio of updates for additional 2010 Macs enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection. (Free, 3 MB)

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Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.4

Long list of new features, bugs, and tweaks highlighted by support for archiving Lion Recovery HD partition and cloning a Lion installation disk image. (Free update, 6.0 MB)

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ChronoSync 4.3 and ChronoAgent 1.3

Refines connections between ChronoSync and ChronoAgent with SSL encryption, plus additional new features. ($40 new for ChronoSync, $10 new for ChronoAgent; free updates; 29 MB, 8.1 MB)