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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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iMac Wi-Fi Update 1.0

Resolves an issue for iMacs running Mac OS X 10.7.3 that can prevent automatic connection to a Wi-Fi network after waking from sleep. (Free, 25.81 MB)

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System Change Highlights in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

While much of the chatter over the upcoming release of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion has focused on the Gatekeeper security feature and unifying the Mac and iOS experience, Macworld’s Serenity Caldwell delves into ten less-heralded system changes, including multi-disk Time Machine backup, draggable files in screen sharing, and a Dashboard overhaul.

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Mastering the Audiophile Experience for iTunes

Apple recently debuted a Mastered for iTunes section in the iTunes Store, where audiophiles can discover releases that have been optimized for playback within its 256 kbps AAC format. Chris Foresman at Ars Technica delves into what goes into the mastering process for compressed digital audio files, including a discussion with Masterdisk Chief Engineer Andy VanDette (who recently completed a remastering project for Rush’s back catalogue).

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Firmware Updates for iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro

Quartet of firmware updates for 2011 Macs improves stability for three instances of system booting. (Free, each approximately 4 MB)

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ScreenFlow 3.0.5

Maintenance update to the screencast recording app with a plethora of fixes, including problems with publishing to Vimeo and recording PowerPoint. ($99 new, free update, 14.1 MB)

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Camino 2.1.1

Open source Web browser gets updated to the latest Mozilla Gecko rendering engine and limits the use of older versions of Adobe Flash Player 10 and 11. (Free, 18.5 MB)

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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)