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Doug McLean

Doug McLean

Doug McLean holds the position of Staff Writer at TidBITS, before which he did testing for the New York Times Web site and oversaw Mac support at the Montserrat College of Art. Doug has an art degree from Cornell University and remains a working artist.

Doug McLean No comments

BusyCal 1.3.2

Fixes a short list of bugs including some relating to syncing errors in Snow Leopard, dragging events in the Week View, and deleting duplicate events. ($49 new, free update, 6.2 MB)

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Apple Replacing Defective Time Capsules

Apple has announced that it is now replacing or repairing, free of charge, Time Capsules purchased roughly between February 2008 and June 2008 that exhibit certain power failures. These failures include not powering on, or shutting down unexpectedly after startup. A recent Knowledge Base article has more information on how to identify whether your Time Capsule has a qualifying serial number, how to arrange for Apple to retrieve data from your device, and how to receive a refund for a previously paid repair or replacement.

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iPhone Supply Chain Points to Rising Costs

The New York Times uses a discussion of the iPhone 4's supply chain as a springboard to discuss how rising labor, currency, and housing costs in China may result in increased prices for consumer electronics. Though the actual assembly of a product like the iPhone makes up only a fraction of its total cost, prices of commodity parts such as circuit boards and batteries also reflect fluctuations in labor costs. And while Apple's wide profit margins may provide some insulation from these pressures, other electronics companies that compete largely on price could be hard hit.

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AT&T Denies Data Capping

Ars Technica has received confirmation from the horse's mouth that AT&T is not capping data speeds for iPhone 4 users, as recent rumors have suggested. AT&T said that what some users are experiencing - a degradation in upload speeds to as low as 100 Kbps - is the result of a software defect in the Alcatel-Lucent equipment that AT&T uses in some of its cell towers. AT&T noted that the defect should affect only about 2 percent of users, and that Alcatel-Lucent is working on a fix.

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Apple Unveils MobileMe Calendar Beta

Apple is now offering a beta preview of its revamped MobileMe Calendar. The latest version includes the capability to share and edit calendars with other MobileMe members, and to publish read-only calendars that can be viewed by anyone. Email event invitations can also be sent to any contact through the new Web application interface. The latest version of MobileMe Calendar is compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.4, iOS 4 (for iPhone and iPod touch), and iOS 3.2 (for iPad). To try out the new service, log in at and click the Request an Invitation link; one will be sent to you shortly in email.

Doug McLean No comments

PDFpen and PDFpenPro 4.7

Adds support for the note-taking utility Evernote. ($49.95/$99.95 new, free updates, 45.8 MB/46.0 MB)

Doug McLean 4 comments

HoudahSpot 3.0

Adds several new features, most notably file tagging. ($30 new, $5 upgrade or free for purchases in 2010, 2.5 MB)

Doug McLean No comments

Apple Releases iOS 4 Sync Workaround

If you recently updated to iOS 4 you may find you're having trouble completing syncs with Exchange ActiveSync Mail, Contacts, or Calendars. Similarly, Exchange server administrators may see their servers running more slowly than usual. To address these issues Apple has posted a Knowledge Base article on its Web site, detailing instructions for the download and installation of a configuration file that will extend the amount of time iOS 4 devices will wait for a sync to complete. Hopefully Apple will incorporate this fix in its next iOS update, but for those having trouble in the meantime it is nice to see a solution immediately available.

Doug McLean 4 comments

Adobe Acrobat and Reader 9.3.3

Addresses several critical security vulnerabilities, including one in Flash version (Free update, 6.1/3.1 MB)

Doug McLean 1 comment

WireTap Studio 1.1.1

Improves compatibility with iTunes 9.2, improves Silence Remove functionality, and increases encoding speeds for MP3s. ($69 new, free update, 23.7 MB)

Doug McLean 5 comments

HP/Epson Printer Drivers 2.4.1/2.4 for Mac OS X 10.6

Includes the latest Epson and HP printing and scanning software for Snow Leopard. (Free, 387.47/737.48 MB)

Doug McLean 8 comments

iOS 4: Essential Early Reading

With iOS 4 finally hitting the streets, loads of reviews, tips, and analysis have followed close behind. With so much content out there, and so little time, it can be hard to know what to read. Here's a look at the practical articles we've found most useful.

Doug McLean No comments

iPhone 4 Sales Hit 1.7 Million in 3 Days

Apple has announced that it has sold over 1.7 million units of the iPhone 4 in the first three days. Describing it as "the most successful product launch in Apple’s history," Steve Jobs also apologized to customers who were turned away because of Apple's inability to meet the unanticipated demand.

Doug McLean 1 comment

Default Folder X 4.3.9

Now displays pixel dimension information for images, improves performance on newer MacBook Pros, and expands the number of compatible hotkeys. ($34.95 new, free update, 9.9 MB)

Doug McLean 1 comment

Things 1.3.4

Fixes 14 bugs and includes other recent changes including support for multiple device syncing. ($49.95 new, free update, 9 MB)