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San Diego Comic Con International or SDCC as the initiated refer to it is THE Comic Con of all cons.  There are plenty of cons that take place throughout the year all over the planet, some big, some small, but none come close to sheer scale and magnitude of SDCC.  As I pack my bags to head to my 5th SDCC, I find myself thinking about how the term “Comic Con” is no longer the proper way to describe what is going on every July in San Diego.  Most everyone has at least heard of Comic Con, and I bet if took a poll, I’d find that most people think that it’s just a bunch of geeks dressing up as characters from movies and comic books and gathering in a sweaty convention center for a few days of nerd-tastic bonding.  I’m not going to lie, there’s some of that going on (and some of the costumes people come up with are superior to stuff we see in movies!), but over the years SDCC has changed and the focus on comic books has slowly shifted into what is today – Pop Culture Central. 

SDCC is where all the heavy hitters from Hollywood come to show off their new movies, tv shows and other projects.  On any given day you will have the chance of bumping in to some seriously famous people like Robert Downey Jr., Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hugh Jackman, Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence and so many others that are there to promote their latest films.  Of course you’ll need a ticket to see most of them in the big hall or just take your chances trying to pick them out of the crowd of over 130,000 attendees.

Not only to star chasers and movie buffs find themselves crawling over one another, but so do toy collectors that flock to SDCC every year to get a glimpse at what manufacturers are planning to put out over the next year.  Companies like Hasbro, Lego and Mattel put up huge booths with impressive displays of their cool products for collectors to drool over with anticipation.  These companies usually make the action figures and role playing toys that are tied into movies, so this year we expect to see a lot of Guardians of the Galaxy products along with some glimpses of Avengers 2 merchandise.  Along with booths to display upcoming products, Hasbro and Mattel both have separate booths where they are selling exclusive products available only at the convention.  Needless to say, both of these booths are very popular and you can plan on standing in line for many hours just for the chance to hand over your money!

Popular TV shows are also very well represented on the floor of the convention center with favorites like The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad having had their share of people visiting their booths in the past.  Even kid’s TV is represented with a Disney Channel XD and Nickelodeon presence, usually fun filled booths with activities and giveaways for the kids.

But alas, it is still called COMIC Con, and yes, even though it’s not the biggest part of the show, there are plenty of vendors and comic book publishers at the show too.  You can visit the Marvel or DC booths which are generally big, but there are plenty of smaller independent publishers and artist there as well.  If unique, one of a kind artwork is your thing, you’ll find no shortage of incredible artists waiting to take your commission and draw you something special.  Or if you are just there to see the sights and the sounds, be sure to check out some of the rare comic books on display (some of which have price tags of over 1 million dollars!).

I better get going if I’m going to make my flight, but check back next week when I’ll share my experiences and pictures from this year’s SDCC! 

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a1sx2_Thumbnail1_WWDC-2014_20140606-190443_1.jpgWell WWDC 2014 has come and gone and while there was plenty of exciting news about the future of Apple's operating systems, both on mobile and desktop, there were no announcement for new devices as many rumor experts had predicted. If you were like the millions of others that tuned in to see this year's live stream of the keynote, you may have zoned out while Tim Cook and friends were showing off the bevy of new features coming to iOS8 and OS X Yosemite this fall.

WWDC, for those that might not know, stands for World Wide Developers Conference, and this year it was all about the developers. Much of the conversation on the keynote stage was directed at the development crowd. Apple unveiled a ton of new tools and improvements to others for the developers that make apps for our favorite devices. Which means that we should be seeing some great innovation when it comes to apps in the very near future. One of the biggest things that Apple announced is the ability for developers to now access the fingerprint ID which has, up until now, been only for Apple. This means that very soon you may be able to sign into your bank app with just a touch of your finger!

Beyond the excitement that the developers were feeling, we the common users have plenty to get jazzed up about too! The new iOS 8 looks to build upon the solid base of iOS 7 and continue to improve with new gestures and a much more integrated platform between your Apple devices. Plenty of smart type features and a better notification center.

And for desktops, we will be getting the latest version of OS X, named Yosemite. Seems like the days of naming the operating systems after cats is now behind us as we enter the world of Yosemite which will bring us an updated interface and a more integrated experience between Apple devices. Apple showed us how we will be able to start typing an email on our iPhone while on the go and be able to pick up on our Mac to finish it, pretty neat stuff!  There's so much little stuff in these new OS's that they add up to big news and I look forward to this fall when we can all get our hands on them. Stay tuned to this blog for updates on when Apple will finally announce new devices, like the long rumored iPhone 6.

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With WWDC 2014 happening in just mere days, Apple has announced that they will be live streaming the entire keynote presentation via iOS devices.  So if you have an iPhone or iPad or just use Safari and go to Apple’s homepage starting at 10 AM PT (1 PM ET) on Monday June 2.  While the fact that the keynote will be streaming isn’t a brand new idea, after all, they’ve live streamed in the past and always provide videos after the fact, but that Apple has announced it in advance is new.

Apple has never before made it a point to make a press release stating that they will be live streaming their keynote, which has us Apple rumor mongers excited for a couple of reasons.  One big reason is that this may mean Apple wants more than just fanboy and tech junkies to be watching, they want the general public glued to their devices.  Why? Perhaps it points to the possibility of more consumer-friendly announcements than usual.  Generally, we see one or two new gadgets and a bunch of OS and software during the keynote – not really the stuff that your average iPhone user gets too excited about, but if Apple is getting ready to unveil something big and secret, they will want as many people watching as they can get.

Personally, I don’t expect any “surprise” device announcements that we haven’t already heard rumors about, and perhaps Apple is just betting that their average customer hasn’t heard many, if any, of these rumors themselves.

At any rate, come Monday we will all know what Apple has up their sleeves this year that will send more than a few of us rushing to Apple Stores to gladly hand over our money.

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As we inch ever closer to this year’s WWDC there’s no shortage of speculation on what we might see from Apple.  For a run down on what products, operating system updates and everything else check out our blog from May 16th, but this week we are going to round up the rumors and ramblings surrounding the new iPhone.

It’s long been rumored that Apple has wanted to make a larger model of the iPhone to compete with other bigger devices like the Galaxy S4 and now the Galaxy S5, and many sources are thinking that’s exactly what Apple is about to do.  As with any rumors that surround Apple, nothing is set in stone until they make the announcements themselves.  It is widely believed that Apple with announce not one, but two new models of the iPhone the first being a 4.7 inch version, which is bigger than the current iPhone 5 model, and a 5.5 inch version, which will be close in size to the Samsung Galaxy devices.

In addition to making the iPhone bigger, most rumor chasers believe the screens will now be much closer to the edge of the device, making it close to an “edge-to-edge” screen as we’ve seen.  

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Along with a new size will come a thinner profile – the new iPhones will be considerably thinner than previous models.  Also changing for this round of iDevices is the frame of the phone itself, which has been a flat metal surface since the iPhone 4, will now once again be rounded and smooth much like it’s grandfather, the original iPhone. 

Many insiders believe that Apple will announce these two new models at WWDC in the coming weeks and speculate that the smaller version will begin shipping in September, while the bigger one may not be available until the new year.  At any rate I’m personally excited to see what Apple has in store for us and can’t wait to see how much the “rumor mill” has correct this time around.

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This year’s WWDC at Moscone Center in San Francisco is going to be busy and bustling with developers from all around the world, who make their way to see the upcoming features that the company has laid out for them into both the code side and hardware side.

This year’s big announcements is also probably going to have a new high-profile member added to the center stage with the acquisition of Beats Electronics, makers of the awesome and trendsetting Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.

According to Billboard, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre are most probably going to make their presence known by appearing next to Apple’s CEO Mr. Tim Cook to make the official live broadcast announcement, just my guess. 

In terms of products….strong possibility that this year’s emphasis is going to be on Mac OS X.  Since we are currently on 10.9 I would take a guess that its going to be called 10.10.  Since Mac OS has been mostly, but quite efficiently, ignored over the past few years, rumors have been circulating the mac walls on the internet that a huge upgrade is in the works with more seamless compatibility with iOS. 

On a side note of naming conventions, I’ve always said, versions numbers are cheap!  We can make any software or app any version we want… Does anyone think it might even be called OS11?

Like usual, I bet developers will be able to download it on day of the announcement but my guess for the proper Apple-style release date would be October 10th 2014 (10.10.14).

On the Hardware front, Mac Mini’s haven’t been updated in a while and we think the Apple version of iWatch, will also quite possibly make an appearance with actual release date later in the year.  It was Steve Jobs favorite thing to do…announce a amazingly brand new product and let the audience just soak it in for a moment and then hear the thunderous applause that followed.  If this new piece of hardware were to be announced at WWDC, This would be Tim Cooks’ first New Product announcement.  How do you think he will handle it?  I’ve seen him over the years evolve into the “Steve Jobs style of walking and talking” so he may do it in the same manner…we’ll see!

Last year he did do iOS7, so I’m expecting that this year will be iOS8 on a bigger size iPhone model to compete with the larger Android devices like the Note and Tab from Samsung.  I love my Apple iPhone, and I just wish they don’t make it too big that it’s awkward to hold in one hand.  Since the market is demanding larger screen smartphones, Apple has no choice to actually provide it now to its loyal fans.

Now Apple can surprise us all and make a Mac OS X iPad form factor tablet.  They have the technology, they have the hardware so what’s stopping them?

One things for sure, since they just update the Mac Pro and the Mac Book Pro last year, they sure won’t be updating that product line.

Untill next time (After WWDC…)

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What a difference the Mac App Store has made in the way we buy computer software.  When Apple announced the online store would open on January 6, 2011, we were all excited at Macware.  At the time they announced it, we had 6 of our Macware titles in all the Mac retail stores and we saw this as a way to increase our product offerings.

The Mac App Store allowed thousands of developers to have their software in a location that would be seen globally.  Macware has enjoyed great success on the Mac App Store, but find one small problem with the store.  We like to communicate with our customers directly when they have questions about our software, but the Mac App Store does not allow for this.  Hopefully this might change in the future.

Another concern I’ve heard from Mac users about the Mac App Store is, “Am I getting full versions of a product” and “why did some products that used to sell for $20-50, and now sell for $1-2 on the Mac App Store”. 

I’m not sure that I can answer those questions for every developer, but I do like that Apple approves every app that is on the Mac App Store. They perform strict testing of every product submitted, to ensure that it will work smoothly.  This is something that as a developer of quality Mac apps, I strongly support.

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1.  OpenType fonts were developed by Microsoft & Adobe upon the previous TrueType and PosrScript font format.

2.  The OpenType format was developed out of the need of a more expressive font format to handle fine typography and the complex behavior of many of the world's writing systems 

3.  OpenType fonts became the industry standard around 2005.

4.  An OpenType font can accommodate more than 65,000 glyphs where the previous TrueType and PostScript fonts could only contain up to 256 characters.

5.  OpenType fonts are cross-platform font files, which mean they can be used without modification on Mac OS & Windows operating systems.

6.  Unicode standards give Open Type fonts much better language support opportunities than Post Script or True Type fonts. Unicode's consistent encoding can support multiple language characters instead of one font for each language group (Western Roman, CE, Baltic, etc.).

7.  OpenType fonts are digitally signed which means your applications and operating system can verify the source and integrity of the font, making them more secure.

8.  Changes to kerning, line spacing and naming don’t allow for compatibility between the new OpenType Fonts and older TrueType and PostScript fonts.

9.  Most new applications support the OpenType format since it is the industry standard.

10.  OpenType font file sizes can be considerably smaller than their older counterparts.

Macware has a collection of over 6,200 OpenType fonts designed by our own SummitType font foundry.  You can view the collection here: Macware’s Premium Font Collections.  You can also download 40 Free Fonts

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