Tip: Bring Siri’s voice to your Mac with Samantha downloadable Voice for Lion

Since the introduction of Nuance speech technology in OS X Lion, which provides several new voice options in system preferences for the System Voice, many have compared the voice of Nuance-powered Siri on iPhone 4S to the improved text-to-speech included as free downloads within Lion. As noted by Reddit user Moosehadley, what you might not have realized is the downloadable “Samantha” voice for Lion is the same as Siri’s in the United States. Here is how to download it:

Open System Preferences> Speech> Text to Speech>System Voice> Customize> and select “Samantha” from the list. Apple will ask you to confirm the 469MB install.

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That’s not a defibrillator, it’s OWC’s DIY SSD kit for 2011 iMacs

iFixit introduced its iMac Mid 2011 Dual Hard Drive Kit ($69.95) last month for adding an SSD to both the 21.5-inch and 27-inch models. Meanwhile, OWC Macsales made its own kit available today for 2011 iMac users, which allows you to install any 2.5-inch Serial ATA SSD. The kit will work with most compatible SSDs, but OWC recommends its $99.97 OWC Mercury 6G SSD (up to 480GB) shown in the installation video below. As for the kit itself, it is now available through Macsales for $44.99. Here is what you will get:
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How to create a live-updating Photo Stream folder on your Mac, bypass iPhoto

With iCloud’s Photo Stream feature, photos taken on a iOS device and photos imported to your computer are automatically sent to all your devices including Mac, iOS devices, Apple TV, and PC. On iOS, the photos are stored in the Photos.app and on Mac through iPhoto or Aperture. Understandably, launching iPhoto or Aperture just to pull a screenshot off an iOS device can be cumbersome. Most users would typically opt for Dropbox or email, which also requires several steps.

One way to avoid these steps is to create an auto-updating folder on your dock that allows access to Photo Stream images stored in the cloud. In this scenario, you will be able to instantly access photos on your Mac without having to use Dropbox or a similar solution. The Iconmaster (via LifeHackerpointed us to an easy trick that allows you to save a search for PNG screenshots and filter them based on resolution and the type of image. The trick could also be used to access Photo Stream files depending on your search criteria.

After enabling Photo Stream on your devices, The Iconmaster walked us through how it works:

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Apple TV OS 5.0 Jailbroken (tethered), fireCore ready for Last.fm, web/media browsing, NitoTV, weather, more…

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FireCore announced today that it successfully jailbroke the Apple TV 2 (not the new Apple TV 1080P that released earlier this month). The jailbreak is tethered, which requires the Apple TV to be connected to a Mac/PC when first powering it on (only once). You also have to pay fireCore $30, but it has been plenty good about updating.

What’s new in the 5.0 AppleTV software? Should I update?

  • New interface: – Fast, visual access to all content choices
  • Movie purchases in iCloud: Support for buying movies on Apple TV and playing back purchased movies from iCloud
  • Genius Recommendations: Recommendations for content on the iTunes Store based on previous rentals and purchases
  • Screensaver photos: New National Geographic photos built-in for screensaver
  • On-device sign-up: On-device sign up for content partners on Apple TV using your Apple ID
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One More Thing Conference, May 25-26th in Melbourne, Australia -making a living developing software for the iPhone and iPad

Wow. Solid lineup of developer/presenters:

This year we have an awesome speaker line-up, including cool dudes like Loren Brichter (Tweetie/ex-Twitter), Neven Mrgan (Panic), Karl von Randow (Camera+), Raphael Schaad (Flipboard), Matt Rix (Trainyard), Shaun Inman (Last Rocket) and many more.The full line-up and other details like the date and location can be found on our website, www.onemorething.com.au – videos from the 2011 event can be found on Vimeo:http://vimeopro.com/omtconf/2011 and we even have a podcast where we interview all the 2012 speakers up on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/one-more-thing-ios-conference/id511706732

This is a great excuse to visit a world-class city. Read more

Walmart is selling new iPads tonight at midnight

With reports of retailers in Australia offering early midnight sales of the new iPad before it officially goes on sale at 8 a.m. local time through Apple, it looks like at least one retailer stateside will do the same tonight. Walmart apparently announced (via Insanely Great Mac) that the third-generation iPad will go on sale at 12:01 a.m. local time on March 16 throughout all of its 24-hour locations.

If you want to be the first person amongst your friends and colleagues to have the new iPad, you will need to head to your local Walmart. Starting at 12:01 a.m. local time on March 16, a limited supply of the new iPad will be available at your local 24-hour Walmart. Other retailers’ doors don’t open until 8 a.m. local time, so you can get to work on time and beat the rush by coming to Walmart.

Apple will open its retail stores for an early 8 a.m. launch of the new iPad on Friday.

Update: We’re on the scene! (Below) Read more

Top 10 places to trade an iPad for cash or credit

The Internet is abuzz with stats about iPad trade-ins going through the roof as the March 7 iPad 3 unveiling in San Francisco looms closer, and while percentages and graphs are vaguely interesting, the real meat to the story concerns where and how people can get the most bang for their buck.

Look no further as 9to5Mac compiled a list of places to trade in an ole’ dusty iPad for cash or credit to buy Apple’s upcoming toy. Before perusing the options, identify the condition, features, and model of the swappable iPad. This knowledge will help decide its maximum value, because most of these online programs use a survey to determine the slate’s estimate. Moreover, it is prudent to act now as some reports indicate retailers are steadily dropping prices with Apple’s event drawing nearer.

Trade-in websites and their prices are available below. 

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9to5Toys: Portable USB/SD storage options under $1/GB

From 9to5Toys.com:

A quick roundup of storage options from 9to5Toys at Amazon this weekend:

SDHC Cards:
16GB
Amazon Class 4: $14.38; Transcend Micro Class 4 w/adapter: $12.98 (pictured)
32GB Sandisk Class 6: $29.95  Transcend Class 10: $32.95

USB Sticks:
8GB Kingston:  $6.95
16GB Kingston: $13.99, Sandisk $14.72 Transcend: $13.99
32GB Sandisk: $28.99
64GB Lexar: $61.10

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MacBook Air Thunderbolt editing 4K video shows why the Mac Pro as we know it can die

Describing it as “jamming a V8 into a Miata” in his blog post, Adobe’s Dave Helmy/via John Nack set out to see if he could edit full-res 4K RED video footage in the field using a MacBook Air beefed up courtesy of various Thunderbolt solutions. The concept proves with enough RAM and a powerful processor, Thunderbolt could enable smaller Macs to do the work of a Mac Pro.  Hard Drives, PCI cards and everything besides the processor and RAM can now be connected via Thunderbolt rather that being built into the box.

Apple could modularize for their Pros.  Think about starting with a Mac Mini with a XEON Processor and lots of RAM (OK, the cooling stuff might turn it into a cube).

As for the performance of the 13-inch MacBook Air,…

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OWC puts together Mac Mini Stack Max: USB 3.0, 4TB 3.5 inch drive, eSATA and more

We love this add-on to the Mac Mini that turns it into more of a pro-device (and a cube!).  The business up front is a DVD-R drive (not sure about BluRay) and an SDXC card reader that complements the one on the back of the mini. On the rear, you get a high power USB source for quick-charging an iPad as well as a few USB 3.0 ports that require separate drivers.  Also on the back is an eSATA port for fast external peripheral support as well as two Firewire 800 ports. Inside, there is room for up to a 4TB 3.5 inch hard drive which you can order with the Mini Stack Max or you can bring your own.

This is interesting because it is moving the Mini more toward a pro-like setup.

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OWC has not put a price on the Mac Mini Stack Max but expects them to be available in March. Read more