The popularity of Apple’s MacBook Pro and Air laptops is one of the reasons that Mac sales have increased while PC sales are waning. But if there’s one thing that the laptop experience is lacking, it’s a plethora of USB 3.0 and video ports. Kensington’s USB 3.0 Docking Station with DVI/HDMI/VGA Video (Model sd3500v, US$ 199.99) has been around for a while to help out PC laptop users; the recent availability for OS X drivers for the DisplayLink hardware inside the unit now gives MacBook owners a piece of the action.
The Docking Station is a slim vertical black tower that’s unobtrusive on any desktop. On the front of the unit are a pair of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports as well as connectors for a pair of headphones and a microphone (or headset). Like many a good bar, all the action is in the back — there are four USB 3.0 ports, a gigabit Ethernet adapter, a DVI port that can be used for VGA or HDMI output with included adapters, and a separate HDMI port. All of this port activity requires some power, so there’s also a 5V AC adapter included that plugs into the back of the unit.
The unit has a good, solid feel. Since it’s made by Kensington, there’s a standard Kensington lock port on one side as well so the dock won’t “walk away” from your desk over a weekend.
Plugging the docking station into power turns on a blue indicator light on the front of the tower, while connecting a USB 3.0 cable from your MacBook to the dock illuminates a small green USB indicator light.
From this point on, you can start plugging in your choice of devices. I tested the docking station with a VGA connection to an external monitor, and was able to drive that monitor at 1920 x 1080 while my MacBook Pro happily supported its own Retina display. For even more fun, I plugged in an old VGA monitor while driving the external monitor via HDMI. The three displays (built-in, HDMI, VGA) all worked properly, although resolution on the old, cheap VGA monitor was a bit off — that’s more of an issue of the monitor and not the docking station.
I plugged in a variety of USB 3.0 and 2.0 devices — hard drives, flash drives, even a printer — and all worked like a champ with the docking station. If you need one less video port (for instance, you may already have a mini-DisplayPort to HDMI or VGA adapter that you want to use), Kensington also sells a model (sd3000v) that has a single DVI port and adapters for VGA or HDMI priced at $ 169.99.
For MacBook Pro or Air owners looking for a way to easily connect an array of monitors and USB devices to their laptops with a single plugin, the Kensington USB 3.0 Docking Station with Dual DVI/HDMI/VGA Video is a compact and high-functioning peripheral.
Compact vertical design takes up very little desktop space
Two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and four “regular” USB 3.0/2.0 ports provide a lot of expansion capability
Theoretically, using the two ports on this device as well as the two Thunderbolt ports and HDMI-out on the MacBook Pro, you can drive up to five external monitors (note, this was not tested…)
None to speak of
Who is it for?
Owners of USB 3.0-equipped MacBook Pro or MacBook Air notebooks who want a fast way to connect multiple monitors and devices
Our review unit is up for grabs for one lucky TUAW reader. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before May 28, 2013 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected and will receive a Kensington USB 3.0 Docking Station with Dual DVI/HDMI/VGA Video valued at US$ 199.99
According to Otellini, Apple and Intel couldn’t come to terms regarding cost. Further, Otellini explained that he simply had no way of knowing how successful and ubiquitous the iPhone would go on to become.
While there’s no way to know for sure just how seriously Apple was considering Intel as a partner for the iPhone, I couldn’t help but laugh at the notion of an iPhone sporting an “Intel Inside” sticker on the back. Of course, Apple would have never allowed such a thing in a million years, but the thought reminded me of an old video where Steve Jobs is asked why Apple doesn’t put “Intel Inside” stickers on its Macs.
The video is from August, 2007 and is of a Q&A session that followed an Apple special media event where the first aluminum iMac was introduced.
The pertinent part of the video begins at about 32 seconds in.
Comically, the very premise of the question elicits laughter from both Tim Cook and Phil Schiller.
Jobs, always masterful when put on the spot, evokes laughter and applause from the audience when he responds sharply, “What can I say? We like our own stickers better.”
Jobs, of course, follows that up with praise for Intel.
Don’t get me wrong. We love working with Intel. We’re very proud to ship Intel products in Macs. I mean, they are screamers. And combined with our operating system, we’ve really tuned them well together, so we’re really proud of that. It’s just that everyone knows we’re using Intel processors, and so I think putting a lot of stickers on the box is just redundant. We’d rather tell them about the product inside the box, and they know it’s got an Intel processor.
With iPhone owners restricted by capped data plans on the largest U.S. carriers, cable sports network ESPN has expressed interest in potentially subsidizing those data plans to allow users to stream video without worrying about overage fees.
After several years of sneak peeks, Adobe’s propensity for revealing aspects of its new video and motion graphics applications to a select audience prior their release qualifies as something of a tradition. The captive audience at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters national convention—the favored venue—saw an abbreviated version of what will soon be released as the new cloud-based Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC, and more.
As Adobe wraps all of its professional creative apps into the cloud, Premiere Pro benefits from universal cloud features such as Sync Fonts and Sync Settings that let remote videographers and artists get down to work right away in a familiar tool-based environment, regardless of where they’re working.
In Adobe’s transition from Creative Suite to Creative Cloud, familiar apps get an upgrade while subscribers get a slate of extra services for their $ 50 monthly subscription. Access to Sync services, 20GB of online storage, the Behance community hub, automatic cross-platform downloading and updates to all programs in the suite, and training are some of the benefits built into subscriptions.
Today, at its own conference, Adobe Max 2013, the company is revealing more details about the new version of its desktop nonlinear editing and motion graphics programs. Here are some of the highlights of the video line.
Developer Tapbots on Tuesday released a version update for its popular Twitter client Tweetbot, introducing an all-new feature called “media timeline” that limits a user’s feed to those tweets with embedded photos and video.
NPD today released a new report highlighting the U.S. online digital video market for 2012, finding that Apple continues to dominate both purchases and rentals.
In looking at purchased content, Apple holds a commanding 67% of the TV show market and 65% of the movie market, with its closest competitors Xbox Video and Amazon each holding roughly 10% of the market.
While the competition is tighter in the rental market, Apple still holds a solid lead with 45% of the market for digital movie rentals, with Amazon taking second place at 18%.
“Apple has successfully leveraged its first-mover advantage and of iTunes, iOS and the popularity of iPhone and iPad to dominate the digital sale and rental markets for movies and music,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “While worthy competitors have come along, no other retailer has so thoroughly dominated its core entertainment product categories for so long.”
Notably, NPD’s study does not include subscription services such as Netflix and on-demand content from cable providers. Previous studies including those types of content have found Apple’s market share shrinking to roughly 5% in the face of Netflix’s overwhelming strength.
Lo and behold, on Friday Apple did just that, adding new download options for a variety of content, including movies, individual TV show episodes, TV Season Passes, and completed seasons. You get the same options for movie bundles, music box sets, and for when you choose to complete a TV season or Season Pass.
When purchasing any of the above items using iTunes 11 on a Mac or Windows PC, or an iOS device running iOS 6 or later, you’re now presented with Later and Download (or Download All) buttons. Tap Later and the purchased items will be added to your iTunes account and accessible to stream or download in the future via Apple’s iTunes in the Cloud feature. It’s a handy feature if you, say, want to buy a movie on sale while you have a spotty data connection; you can make sure to get the cheaper price, then download the item when you get home—or even just play it from the cloud.
Note that the new option is available to those who live in countries or regions where Apple supports iTunes in the Cloud for video and audio. You can check Apple’s complete list to see if you qualify.
Time Warner Cable has announced an upcoming update to their iOS app that will enable subscribers to watch live television and on-demand programming from their mobile device as long as they have a Wi-Fi connection. Verizon Wireless customers can stream content over 3G and 4G.
The app update is significant because it marks the first time Time Warner subscribers will be able to access content on mobile devices outside of their home-based Wi-Fi network.
“We were the first provider to bring live television to the iPad in the home,” Time Warner Cable executive Mike Angus explained in a press release. “Since then, we’ve increased the number of platforms and devices on which our customers can watch live television, and added thousands of hours of Video On Demand programming at no additional cost. The release of this TWC TV update is the next natural step towards our goal of giving customers even more of the content they love on every screen.”
Time Warner Cable’s iOS app is scheduled to update Wednesday at 10 a.m ET. Following that, subscribers will be able to access over 1,100 hours of On Demand offerings from 26 networks such as Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, TV Land, VH1 and the Food Network.
Subscribers will also be able to access live TV streams from 10 stations, though the selection is rather small. Thus far, the national options for TV streaming includes stations such as BBC America, Aspire, the Pac-12 Network and the TV Guide Network. Time Warner Cable notes that they are awaiting approval to stream live content from the Big Ten Network, Fox News Channel and Fox Business.
Nobody likes spam, but if you use Apple’s Mail on Mountain Lion, at least you have some tools to deal with it.
Plenty of Mac users rely on Mail to read, manage and process their emails… and spam messages. If you use email, you have spam — that’s just the way it works. Following up on Kelly’s how-to from a few months back, let’s take a look at some ways to manage spam efficiently and decrease your email processing time.
Built-in Spam Filtering
Mail‘s built-in spam filtering is enabled by default. You’ll find it in the Junk Mail setting in Preferences. Make sure that the box labeled “Enable junk mail filtering” is selected. You can also determine where spam messages go after detection, or add exemptions to your filter.
[Note that some online mail services -- Gmail in particular -- recommend disabling Mail's onboard spam filtering. Be sure to check the setup instructions for your service provider. --Ed.]
In the Viewing preferences tab, disable “Display remote images in HTML messages.” Some spammers send out messages with web bugs — invisible images linked to the specific message you received — that notify the spammer that your email is an active email account once you click on the message. From the spammer’s perspective, this “validates” you as a real, live address, which then generates more spam for you. Not good. Turning off this feature prevents the spammer from recognizing your email as an active email account.
Mail lets you create rules to fine-tune your spam filtering. One helpful method is to create a new mailbox for messages that meet your spam criteria. Once your new mailbox is created and properly labeled (i.e., “Spam-ish”), go to the Rules setting under Preferences and create specific actions based on a predetermined set of criteria. For example:
If all the Content-Type Contains ‘multipart/related‘ then Move Message to [the mailbox you just created].
Now that you’ve set that rule, messages that meet your criteria are moved to that mailbox.
No spam filter is completely foolproof, so you will get false positives and false negatives. Mail allows you to select a message and click on “Not Junk” or “Load Image” which will correct the labeling of the message. The more times you correct these errors, the better Mail gets at reducing them. A good rule of thumb is to review your Junk Mail folder periodically to make sure valid messages haven’t slipped through the cracks.
If you’re not using Mail on your Mac, you still have options in the cloud. An iCloud or Gmail account can act as a buffer between malicious spam and your computer. In some cases, the cloud service filters may be a bit too aggressive; if you suspect some of your inbound mail is being blocked incorrectly, be sure to check the support page for your provider and test with another account.
Third-Party Spam Utilities
Several third-party spam utilities are available to further enhance your spam-squashing powers, including SpamSieve from C-Command Software. It’s been around for quite a while and works very well. A single license will cost you US$ 30; a free trial is also available.
SaneBox is an online application which helps to sort your email into proper boxes and reduces your email processing time. An added feature is that it runs through spam amazingly well. The Smart filtering feature of SaneBox reads your email messages, determines the level of importance and moves unimportant messages out of the inbox.
The @SaneBlackHole will not only delete your spam messages but makes sure you never receive email from the sender again and automatically unsubscribes you from the mailing list. You can also defer processing your email by placing your email in the “@SaneTomorrow” or “@SaneNextWeek” folder and it will automatically pop back into your inbox when the time comes. The cost for SaneBox is US$ 5/month but if you refer other people you’ll receive extra credits.
The free Mailstrom.co service also can help you reduce spam along with unwanted subscriptions, newsletters and so forth. Mailstrom groups your email by big-picture criteria (sender, subject, size, etc.) and lets you archive or delete in bulk with a single click. For catalog emails or newsletters, you can also unsubscribe in only a few steps, rather than having to track down and confirm individual unsubscribe requests.
By using these techniques, hopefully the only place you will see spam is in your musubi.