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As weekends go, the middle of April came and went relatively quietly as far as the tech world was concerned. But the week is getting off to a rousing start with developers getting their hands on Windows Phone 8.1 this morning, and we've managed to round up a handful of Mac-related stories to kickstart your Monday. Did we say "kickstart"? That ties in nicely with our first story...
Ever get a frayed cord on your MacBook charger? That annoying problem could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new Kickstarter crowdfunding project from the folks at Juiceboxx Inc. Made in the USA, the Juiceboxx is the creation of a group of Ohio State University students, who have designed a colorful plastic enclosure that makes it nearly impossible to fray the end of a MacBook charging cable, which any notebook owner who moves from place to place has probably experienced at least once. At this writing, the project is about halfway through its $25,000 goal and funding wraps up on April 30.
On July 1, it will have been one year since the shutdown of Google Reader — an event that effectively ended the short life of Reeder for Mac, the desktop version of developer Silvio Rizzi's popular RSS reader. No longer dependent upon Google Reader for sync, Rizzi debuted a free public beta of Reeder 2 for Mac late last week which now works with Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler, Fever, or even no sync service at all, as well as read later service Readability (and others yet to come). The long wait appears to have been worth it, and Reeder fans can expect further beta updates to come in the weeks (months?) ahead prior to the app winging its way back to the Mac App Store.
CNNMoney reported Friday that a January 2011 report which revealed Samsung hit the tablet ground running with two million Android-powered Galaxy Tab devices appears to have been false. According to an internal Samsung document recently unearthed by Apple as part of its current courtroom battle over patents, in reality it took Samsung a full year — not six weeks — to hit the two-million tablet milestone in the U.S., its most lucrative market for such devices. The iPad's share of the tablet market has unsurprisingly fallen over the last three years against a tidal wave of competitors from Samsung, Amazon, Nook, and others, and Apple will likely try to leverage this latest top secret data to punish Samsung accordingly as a result.
Corel-owned Roxio announced Friday the release of Toast DVD, a new disc-burning solution available exclusively on the Mac App Store. Priced at $19.99 with an introductory price of $14.99 through the end of May, Toast DVD follows the company's earlier release of Toast Burn (for burning data files only) and allows applications like iMovie to create DVD and Blu-ray discs complete with menus. Roxio hasn't had a major update to its flagship, all-in-one Toast product in some time, so it appears the company's new strategy is to splinter that software into bite-sized pieces for MAS customers for the time being.
Bloomberg is reporting that one of the meccas of consumer electronics is closing its doors after 43 years in business. Opened in 1971 as a basement record shop, J&R Music and Computer World evolved over more than four decades to become a preeminent retailer of photography, computer and other electronics on top of its core business of slinging music and movies. Although the J&R website will live on, the brick-and-mortar location offered Manhattanites and visitors to the Big Apple a place to experience everything hands-on. The closure was blamed on the most obvious of enemies — the internet — and the owners are looking to use the five-story building for something else "involving electronics" by 2015.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter