Want to make a Mountain Lion USB stick or SD Card Installer? Here’s how

Apple will not offer a USB or Optical Disk external installer to Mountain Lion (as far as we have heard). That does not mean you cannot sneaker net the install around your home, office or lab like Apple Store employees do (sometimes). Lion Diskmaker has been updated to allow you to make a bootable USB or SD Card installer on a 8GB piece of media.

The process is straightforward:

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Review: Griffin StudioConnect audio/midi interface & dock for iPad

We first told you about Griffin’s StudioConnect audio interface when it unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. There are more than a few products on the market that make it easy to hook up your guitar, mic, or MIDI controller to the iPad for use with the many iOS apps that include built-in DAWs with CoreMIDI support (such as Apple’s own GarageBand). While it might not be the prettiest iPad dock we have seen, there are a few reasons why it beats the competition.

With StudioConnect, in terms of inputs and outputs, what you get is pretty basic: standard 5-pin MIDI in and out, one 1/4-inch mono input, and left and right RCA output. The large knob out front controls the 3.5mm headphone jack below it, while a separate volume wheel on the side is for your main output. It is more than enough to plug in supported mics, a guitar, or a MIDI controller, but it is clear that Griffin did not build the StudioConnect with professionals in mind. Most pros will not do anything too heavy-duty inside of an iOS app at this point. The inputs above will likely be sufficient for most musicians using the iPad as a mobile or writing setup.

While it does not offer some of the standard inputs and outputs that pros are familiar with, Griffin used its experience making iOS accessories to nail the design where the competition gets it wrong….

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Apple announces new AirPort Express featuring dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi for $99

Apple just unveiled its new AirPort Express on its online store at the conclusion of its WWDC keynote. The new router features dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi for $99. Besides the new bands, the new Express does not seem to feature any new updates, except that it does seem to look closer to an Apple TV — in white. The update Express keeps the same USB 2.0 and 3.5mm headphone jack that it has always carried. You can check it out on the Apple Online Store now.  Read more

Matrox goes back to the future with DS-1 Thunderbolt Dock—USB 3.0, DVI, GigE for $249

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Do you remember all of those ports you used to see on Macs? DVI, Gig Ethernet (har), and separate analog stereo for in and out? Matrox, a company that used to make mad graphics cards and other video devices, is coming to DubDub with a new $249 piece of kit called the “DS-1.” This box brings you all of those old school ports and even throws in a “superspeed” USB 3.0 port, so you can match the speed of the new MacBooks.

Matrox makes a bunch of other highly rated, high-end Thunderbolt breakout boxes that retail for much more. If you are looking for a (relatively) cheap Thunderbolt dock to hide away from sight and hook up to an old DVI monitor, this may be a good pick up. We should have a review unit to play with next week.

The press release follows: Read more

Une Bobine is a flexible, hybrid stand/dock/cable for iPhone

Recently launched as a Kickstarter project, Jon Fawcett and his new company [Fuse] Chicken invented a flexible gooseneck accessory with a built-in USB cable that doubles as a shapeable stand and dock for your iPhone.

The benefits of the Une Bobine (which is French for “A coil”) are obvious from the images above— the ability to adjust your iPhone to an appropriate position in various scenarios, such as charging, while still being able to place the device at eye-level. It also holds your device in landscape mode, as you can see in the images.

Although the Kickstarter project already surpassed its funding goal of $9,800, you can preorder yours now by pledging $25. The company planned to start shipping Une Bobine roughly 45 days after reaching its funding goal, and it appears to still be on schedule.

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G-Technology releases its G-RAID Thunderbolt drive, starting at $700

We already took a look at Hitachi’s G-Technology’s Thunderbolt solutions at CES in January but today they are finally available to the public. The Thunderbolt version features two Thunderbolt ports, rather than the eSATA, FireWire, and USB ports found on the regular version of the G-RAID. As for the hard drives inside, there are two SATA 3Gb/s Hitachi Deskstar hard drives, which can be configured in a 4TB, 6TB, or 8TB setup, each running at 7200RPM. All three versions of the drive are priced at $700, $850, and $1,000 respectively. You can see more technical specs below, as laid out by AnandTech.

With two Thunderbolt ports, these drives can be daisy-chained together to build-out the ultimate storage solution. Currently, the G-Technology competes against four other companies in the space: LaCie, Promise, Western Digital, and Seagate. The G-Raid is the only drive that features 8TB of storage, however.

We compared the drive during this year’s CES with a few others:

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9to5Toys: Amazon cuts Kindle Fire to $139 (refurb), Airport Extreme for $99, lots more

Some good deals from 9to5Toys.com today:

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If you like Kindle, no better time to jump on the refurb Kindle Fire for $139 + free shipping.  Like new with 1 year warranty.

MacConnection has the Airport Extreme Base Station ($30 off) for $149.  Best Buy has refurb for $99

Used iPhone 4 (no contract): $235 at Cowboom

Transcend 8GB Class 4 SDHC Memory Card for $5 + free shipping

iTunes library fixer upper Tuneup bundle is $30

Logitech Wireless Keyboard: $15 at Best Buy

Lots more at 9to5toys.com (Facebook) (Twitter)(RSS)(Subscribe via eMail)

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Poll: Would you enjoy a MicroSD Card slot in your iOS device?

Apple is unlikely to ever do such a thing (among other things, it would kill its pricing matrix), but sometimes I wish my iPhone or iPad had a built-in MicroSD card slot for easy access to lots of cheap storage. The 16GB cards routinely sell for $10 and new cards go as high as 64GB. However, it is not just about the storage being inexpensive and extremely portable. The SD cards easily swap with Macs, PCs, Cameras, photo frames, video players, Blu-ray players, and other phones.

You can currently connect MicroSD cards with the unwieldy iPad Apple Digital AV Adapter (this) and a Micro to SD Card adapter, but what say you? Should Apple build a MicroSD card slot into upcoming iOS devices?

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The MiFi just shrunk to the size of a thumb and got a microSD card NAS

Berlin-based Nova Media, best known for its OS X utilities for OEMs used by carriers like Vodafone, announced a new personal hotspot device today called “XYFI.” The thumb drive-sized device (80mm-by-23mm-by-12mm) connects to any USB port for power and allows you to insert a SIM card to share a 3G data connection with up to eight other devices. The XYFI is also completely configured through a browser, so the entire setup process can be done through an iPad or iPhone. It will also function as a regular Wi-Fi modem for your Mac and packs a microSD card slot for file sharing over the network.

Nova Media explained in its press release that the XYFI provides up to 5.76 Mbit/s upload speeds and 14.4 Mbit/s download on 3G. Meanwhile, the Wi-Fi is compatible up to up to 54 Mbit/s on 802.11 b/g networks. It also supports WPS and uses WPA, WPA2, and WEP. In the image to the right, we see the web-based interface will allow a user to hide the network SSID, create guest logins, and manage network settings.

You can buy the world’s smallest 3G Wi-Fi hotspot for 179 euros (around $234 USD) from Nova Media here.

The full press release is after the break.

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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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Thunderbolt display: $900 + free shipping

From 9to5Toys.com:

Today only, MacConnection has Apple’s Thunderbolt Display for $899.99+ free shipping.  That’s $100 off list and the lowest price we’ve ever seen by almost $50.  It features a native resolution of 2560×1440, 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 12ms grey-to-grey response time, 375 cd/m² brightness, built-in iSight camera, 3-port USB 2.0 hub, Thunderbolt port, and Mini DisplayPort connectivity. Read more