attaining new heights with LaunchSquad

Their clients have exciting new products we’ll want to use; cutting-edge stories we need to hear. Who better to spread the word than LaunchSquad. One of the world’s fastest growing PR firms, LaunchSquad wants to excite people about the new ideas and technologies offered by the companies they represent. And they depend on their Macs to get the story out, supplementing traditional PR tools with audio, video and other Web 2.0 techniques. We’re “building stories about our clients using new communications channels such as blogs and podcasts,” says founding member Jason Throckmorton. “And we couldn’t do it without our Macs.”

professional Tip of the Week: Scheduling iCal via Mail

You get an email confirming your registration for a Final Cut Studio seminar. Next step: adding the event to your iCal schedule. Since you’re using Mac OS X Leopard, you don’t even have to leave Mail or open iCal. That’s because Leopard introduces a new technology called Data Detectors that lets your Mac recognize dates, email addresses, physical addresses, and other similar data. In this case, Mail can take advantage of Data Detectors to create a new iCal event for you. Find out how by reading the Pro Tip of the Week.

think Secret Shutting Down

A number of readers are sending in the news that the Mac rumors site Think Secret will be shutting down, as part of the (secret) settlement of a lawsuit Apple filed in 2005. Apple had claimed that the blog, published since 1998 by college student Nick Ciarelli, had revealed Apple’s trade secrets. The only other detail of the settlement that has been revealed is that Think Secret was not forced to reveal any sources.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

“Aperture has given me a truly stylish solution”

“John McDermott’s workflow once consisted of handing off rolls of Kodachrome to a courier and waiting to see which images appeared in Newsweek,” writes Derrick Story (digitalmedia.oreilly). But now Aperture has transformed McDermott’s workflow. “It’s basically brought everything under one roof for me,” the assignment photographer tells Story in the latest Inside Aperture podcast. Aperture allows him to “download, edit, caption, and correct images” in the post-production tool McDermott describes as “a really elegant solution, and a simple one.”

Spreading the love of physics. On iTunes.

“Walter H. G. Lewin, 71, a physics professor, has long had a cult following at M.I.T. And he has now emerged as an international Internet guru, thanks to the global classroom the institute created to spread knowledge through cyberspace,” writes Sara Rimer (New York Times). Due to MIT OpenCourseWare, the “global classroom” that delivers more than 1800 courses via the MIT website, Lewin receives fan mail from students all over the world. “Professor Lewin revels in his fan mail and in the idea that he is spreading the love of physics. ’Teaching is my life,‘ he said.” Like to sit in on a physics course taught by Professor Lewin? You can download free video podcasts of his lectures on iTunes.

hypothesis On a Lossless iTunes retailer

DrJenny writes “C|net UK has up an interesting blog post predicting that within 12 months Apple’s iTunes Store will include a download center for lossless audio. This would be a massively positive move for people who spend thousands of dollars on hi-fi gear, but refuse to give money to stores that only offer compressed music — they could finally take advantage of legal digital downloads. The article goes into details on how Apple’s home-grown ALAC lossless encoding relates to FLAC, DRM, and the iPod ecosystem.”

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extra Mac Vulnerabilities Than home windows In 2007?

eldavojohn writes “A ZDNet blog reports stats from Secunia showing OSX averaged 20.25 vulnerabilities per month while XP & Vista combined averaged 3.67/month. Is this report card’s implication accurate, or is this a symptom of one company turning a blind eye while the other concentrates on timely bugfixes? ‘While Windows Vista shows fewer flaws than Windows XP and has more mitigating factors against exploitation, the addition of Windows Defender and Sidebar added 4 highly critical flaws to Vista that weren’t present in Windows XP. Sidebar accounted for three of those additional vulnerabilities and it’s something I am glad I don’t use. The lone Defender critical vulnerability that was supposed to defend Windows Vista was ironically the first critical vulnerability for Windows Vista.'”

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quick Tip of the Week: personal browsing

Surf private. To keep you safe when you visit sites on a borrowed or public computer, Safari offers an option called Private Browsing. When it’s activated, Safari stops adding the sites you visited to History, removes items you’ve downloaded from the Downloads window, eliminates personal data from AutoFill, and doesn’t add your search terms to the pop-up menu in the Google search box. How can you take advantage of Private Browsing? Find out by watching our Quick Tip of the Week.

iPhone most popular Google search time period

The editors at report that Google Zeitgeist 2007, the “list of the most popular search terms it processed in” 2007 “has just been made public and, as expected, is topped by everybody’s favourite gadget, Apple’s iPhone. The iconic device was the fastest-rising search term both globally and in the US, which is where most of Google’s stats are drawn from.”

Picasa retooled for iPhone

Bryan Gardiner ( reports that Google has optimized its popular Picasa photo service for the iPhone. He quotes Google software engineer Joe Walnes as saying: “Today, I’m happy to tell you that we’ve just released this new iPhone interface for Picasa. After you go to Picasa on your iPhone and log in, you can quickly see all your albums that you’ve uploaded to Picasa web. If you click on any of the albums, you can get a full view of your picture with comments from your friends.”

5 stars for iPod nano

After thoroughly testing the new iPod nano, Dan Frakes (Macworld) concludes that “it’s been improved in almost every way.” It offers “very good sound quality, excellent battery life,” and an “improved user interface.” And one great screen for watching video. “Even though this is the smallest video-playing screen we’ve used, after watching a 90-minute movie on the nano we were pleasantly surprised by the experience. Picture quality is comparable to that of the iPhone, just smaller.”

a bit .Mac security Flaw

deleuth writes “The de facto online connectivity software sold along with many Apple computers, .Mac, has a Web interface through which users can check their ‘iDisk’ while away from their own computer. However, there is no Log-Out button in this Web interface, so most users just close the browser and walk away… not realizing that their iDisk has been cached by the browser and that anyone who wants to can open up the browser, go back to the link in History, and get into their iDisk completely logged in. From here, files can be downloaded and/or deleted. This seems like a minor security flaw via bad interface design, and podcaster Klaatu (of posted this on the site, only to have his post removed by Apple. Furthermore, feedback at has gone unanswered. The problem remains: there is no way for the average computer user to log-out of their iDisk on public computers. A quick review of any public terminal’s browser history could bring up all kinds of interesting things.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.