Type: Aside

Quark to ship XPress 9.0 next month

Announcing Quark XPress 9

Quark announces XPress 9, featuring tools to create eBooks and iPad apps

Quark recently announced that Quark XPress 9.0 will ship sometime in late April. The upgrade will feature a few nice features for designers creating flyers, brochures, posters and books like an improved links palette, import of images into a grid, and an integrated story editor. But the biggest new thing with XPress 9 is the interactive tools. XPress users can create and publish richly designed, interactive content for the web, eBooks, smartphones, the iPad, and more.

If you upgrade to ($299) or purchase a full version of ($799) Quark XPress 8 now, you’ll get the upgrade to version 9 for free.

Web developers and designers: How fast does your page load?


loads.in is a great site to test your web page load speed

In a day and age where a good majority of web surfers have high-speed Internet, web developers and designers still must concern themselves with page loading speed. Javascript, JQuery, Java, Flash, and large images can slow the load time of any given page. The best way to test the speed of your web pages is to use an off-site app to test it.

Loads.in is a great site to do just that. You simply type in the URL of your web page and wait a few seconds for the test to run. Once completed, a display of average load times is provided. From there, you can select cities in various countries from a list and retest your page. Additionally, you can choose to use IE, Safari, Chrome, or Firefox to run the test.

Firefox 4 arrives!

Firefox 4 released

Firefox 4 for the Mac is now available

If you’re a Firefox browser user, you’ll be happy to know that while they haven’t officially announced it, Firefox 4 for the Mac is already available for download.

Firefox 4 brings a wealth of updates, including faster launch times, faster JavaScript engine, account syncing (for those with multiple Macs that want to keep their bookmarks and prefs in sync), tabs on top and tab pinning, and a host of under-the-hood updates.

AT&T acquires T-Mobile for $39 billion

AT&T buys T-Mobile USA

AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile USA increases the iPhone's potential marketshare even more

AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at approximately $39 billion. The agreement has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.

What does this mean for Apple and the iPhone? It means that AT&T just got a huge boost in their efforts of bringing their 4G LTE network to customers, adding 46.5 million more potential customers in the process. It also means AT&T gains a boat load of new towers that would have otherwise taken 5 years to build – and that’s great news for iPhone users! Speaking of the iPhone, Apple’s potential customer base just got a lot bigger.

Is there a down side to this deal? Yes. If you’re a happy T-Mobile customer who wanted nothing to do with AT&T, you’re out of luck.

UPDATE (3/21/11): The Q&A page on the news release at T-Mobile’s website had this to say:
T-Mobile USA remains an independent company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone. We offer cutting edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and coming soon our new Sidekick 4G.

So it now appears that the iPhone will NOT be coming to T-Mobile customers after all. At least, not this year. But just like the Alltel acquisition by Verizon some years ago, I suspect everything will eventually fold under the AT&T brand, and that will probably mean iPhone availability.

11 apps for $49 – including Parallels, 1Password and TechTool Pro

MacUpdate Bundle

MacUpdate's latest bundle includes Parallels, 1Password, TechTool Pro and more

This year’s MacUpdate Bundle includes the latest versions of the following apps:

  • Parallels Desktop 6 – Run Windows on a Mac
  • 1Password – Manage your website logins, software passwords and more
  • TechTool Pro 5 – Hard drive system repair and maintenance tool
  • DVDRemaster Pro 7 – Duplicate, burn or convert DVD movies to iPod, iPhone or Apple TV
  • HandsOff! – Monitor and control app access to your network
  • Civilization IV – Game where you learn how to build empires
  • MacUpdate Desktop – Update all your Mac apps with a click
  • Mac DVDRipper Pro 2 – Copy DVD video to your Mac
  • App Tamer – Stops idle apps from taking up CPU time and battery life
  • A Better Finder Rename – File, photo and MP3 batch renamer

I’m a huge fan of 1Password and App Tamer, and if you’re looking to run Windows on your Mac, you’ll definitely want Parallels. Quality software bundles only come along once in a while, so grab this one while you can. I also thank you for clicking the affiliate links in this article – it pays for my coffee!

Google Chrome gets a new icon

Google has dropped the robotic chrome icon in favor of a new, flattened and more balanced icon for their Chrome browser. The open source version of Chrome, Chromium, got the refresh last week, and now the Developer Builds now sport the new look.

Google Chrome Icons

Google's new Chrome browser icon

The new logo should work it’s way down into the beta and stable release version soon. While I had nothing against the old icon, the new version is definitely more recognizable in the OS X Dock. The only problem I see with it now is that it looks too much like Google Picasa.

Countdown to IE6 extinction: Even Microsoft wants it!

Microsoft is behind the IE6 countdown site, which endeavors to let the world know just how many (or few, as the case is) IE6 users are still out there – which currently stands at a mere 12 percent of the web browsing population.

IE6 use worldwide

IE6 users account for less than 3 percent of U.S. browsers

As a web designer or developer, you’re probably sick and tired of working around the fact that your company wants IE6 compatibility with their website. But my question to you is, WHY do you continue to do it?

Unless your primary audience lives in China (34.5 percent) or South Korea (24.8 percent), you have little reason to care about IE6 users – which are probably people who don’t care about your site to begin with. In fact, half of that 12 percent can probably be attributed to servers or computers not actively used by humans.

Here in the U.S., less than 3 percent of the web browsing population uses IE6, and you can safely assume that those people probably are on dial-up connections, or do little surfing to begin with. After all, wouldn’t you grow tired of seeing all the “sorry, this doohicky site won’t work with IE6” error messages and just click that upgrade button eventually if you had a nice speedy cable connection? There’s most likely a reason they aren’t upgrading.

Just stop worrying about IE6 users and move on. The web browsing public is much more savvy today than they were just a few years ago. If they’re truly interested in your site, they WILL upgrade their browser.

To help encourage browser upgrades, the IE6 Countdown site even offers a simple HTML code you can place in the header of your HTML that pops up a banner encouraging an IE6 visitor to upgrade.

Best and worst logo redesigns of 2010

Best & worst logo redesigns of 2010

The NBA Golden State Warriors takes the prize for worst, in my opinion

I’m not sure how I missed the annual Best/Worst Of post at BrandNew, but it’s always worth checking out. This year’s crop of corporate brand redesigns has me baffled. Some of the logos listed in the Worst category I found to be pretty decent – such as the Super Bowl XLV logo. On the other hand, a few listed in the Best category couldn’t be worse, in my opinion – like the MySpace logo.