Category Archives: mac
German users have noticed one other change from the Apple Store downtime last night, and that is that Apple will now accept Paypal payments their Apple.com store. You could previously use Paypal as a payment service on the iTunes and Mac App Stores, but you can’t (in most places) on the official Apple website. The German store, however, has now implemented Paypal. So German users can now use that extra eBay money to pick up a new accessory or charger cable.
Google’s Chrome browser for OS X has had the ability to do voice search for about two years now, but the latest version of Chrome appears to bring something a bit more Siri-like to the mix. Now, when you ask Google certain questions about the weather, sports scores, stock prices, directions, and calculations, you get a spoken answer.
The latest version is 27.0.1453.93, which you can update to by selecting About Chrome from the Chrome menu, and approving any updates or restarting the browser if prompted. Once Chrome is up, head on over to the google.com search page and you’ll see the familiar microphone in the search field (note that the mic does not appear in the Chrome “omnibar”). Click the mic, respond to any requests to let Chrome have access to your mic and video camera, and then start asking questions.
Tim Cook on Tuesday morning appeared before Congress to talk about Apple’s tax practices, with a specific focus on Apple’s foreign stash of cash. As it stands now, the bulk of Apple’s revenue is derived from overseas sales. Consequently, Apple has chosen to keep that cash abroad where it’s subject to much lower tax rates than the corporate income tax rate of 35% it would be subject to if it brought that cash back.
During his opening remarks, Cook highlighted all Apple has done for the U.S. economy, emphasizing how much the company already pays in domestic taxes and how it’s been responsible for the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the U.S.
Further, Cook noted that Apple was investing $100 million to begin manufacturing Macs in the US. While we had previously heard of Apple’s plans to do so, Cook for the first time fleshed out some more details, in a geographic sense, surrounding Apple’s plans.
Poser has come a long way from the last time I used it, right around version 4. We’re now at 10 for the basic edition (retail US$299.99) and Poser Pro 2014 (retail $499.99) has become a powerful animation tool in its own right. I got to look at some of the new features rolling out today and they are impressive, putting Poser on par with many animation and modeling suites costing much more.
A problem with any humanoid character is how the “skin” folds when you bend it. Poser now offers Pixar’s OpenSubdiv libraries, which means subdivision surfaces anywhere you need them. I was impressed with the accuracy and speed at which Poser created subdivisions, which add greatly to the realism already available in Poser. There are also some new characters, both realistic and cartoonish, to help get you started. For basic work the stock characters will keep you busy for quite a while, but there’s also a great third party market for Poser models should you need more.
A TUAW staffer recently asked if there were a way to snapshot the exact same region of the screen over and over at timed intervals without buying third-party software.
There is, but it depends on your comfort with the command line. If you’re experienced in Unix scripting, read on. If not, you may want to investigate standalone screen-capture apps instead.