Parallels Desktop for Mac Update Beta 3 Released

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Date: Friday, December 29th, 2006, 11:52
Category: Software

Parallels has released beta three of its Windows emulation software, Parallels Desktop for Mac. The beta, a 34.5 megabyte download available through its beta page, provides several fixes to the previously released betas, a more polished interface (even with unusually shaped windows) and better USB device support.
Click the “Read More” link for the full details!

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CrossOver for Mac 6.0 Final Candidate 2 Released

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Date: Friday, December 29th, 2006, 11:55
Category: Software

CodeWeavers’ Windows emulation software, CrossOver for Mac 6.0 has reached a second final candidate stage with several new improvements and fixes. The software, like the popular Parallels Desktop, allows Intel-based Macs to simultaneously run a Windows operating system alongside Mac OS X.
Fixes in the update, a 28.6 megabyte update via VersionTracker.com, include the following:
-The beginnings of an audio input service (which works only for small test applications, but we hope to expand on it in future versions).
-Support for Quickbooks 2000-2004.
-A minor adjustment for the ‘My Mac Desktop’ target within file dialogs.
-A minor improvement to the web browser in Quicken 2007.
CrossOver for Mac 6.0 retails for $39.95 and requires an Intel-based Mac as well as Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
If you have any comments or feedback regarding this release, let us know.

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Apple Restates Past Earnings, Clears Actions of Current Executive Team

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Date: Friday, December 29th, 2006, 11:22
Category: News

In a released financial statement on its web site, Apple Computer, following an independent investigation into the backdating of awarded stock options which began back in June, restated past earnings and cleared currently employed executives of corporate misconduct.
Following the independent investigation, Apple has stated that it will record a non-cash charge of $84 million to compensate for the improper handling of stock option awards granted to executives made between 1997 and 2002. The company has stated that after-tax profits would be lowered by $10 million for the 2004 fiscal year, $7 million for the 2005 fiscal year and $4 million for the 2006 fiscal year.
The investigation made no discovery of actions after December 31, 2002 that required accounting adjustments or restatements.
The company has also stated that a special committee within its board of directors found that while CEO Steve Jobs and other executives were aware of or recommended inaccurate stock option grant dates, they did not financially benefit from these actions. The firm has stated that it has “complete confidence” in its current executive team, despite the quiet departure of former Apple senior vice president Nancy Heinan and former chief financial officer Fred Anderson, both of whom resigned from the company this year.
“The special committee, its independent counsel and forensic accountants have performed an exhaustive investigation of Apple’s stock option granting practices,” commented Al Gore, chair of the special investigative committee, and Jerome York, chair of Apple’s Audit and Finance Committee, in a joint statement. “The board of directors is confident that the company has corrected the problems that led to the restatement, and it has complete confidence in Steve Jobs and the senior management team.”
If you have any comments or feedback on this issue, please let us know.

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Troubleshooting Guide for Photoshop CS3 Beta Published

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Date: Friday, December 29th, 2006, 08:46
Category: How-To

The folks over at MacFixIt have assembled a full guide, complete with workarounds and fixes, for the recently-released Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta.
The guide covers error messages, a cropping tool/rotation bug, a brush size indicator bug workaround, images opening in the wrong application, installation bugs, how to restore auto-correction, interaction with Lightroom and CS2, PowerPC plug-ins not functioning on Intel-based Macs unless Rosetta emulation has been launched and serial number workarounds for when a valid serial number is entered and rejected and what to do when the beta expires.
Adobe Photoshop CS3 is expected in 2007 and is the first version of Photoshop to be a full Universal Binary, functioning natively on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
The Photoshop CS3 beta requires a Macintosh running Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later, a 1 GHz G4 or G5 PowerPC processor of an Intel-based Macintosh. 512 megabytes of RAM and a minimum screen resolution of 1024×769 are also required.
If you have have any comments or feedback on this, let us know.

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Apple Files Patent for Notebook “Drive Guard”

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Date: Friday, December 29th, 2006, 08:47
Category: News

According to an article on MacNN, the United Stated Patent and Trademark Office published a patent on December 28th that had initially been filed in mid-2005 by Apple Computer. The patent relates to a device that can be included within portable notebook computers and establishes a guard system for their optical disk drives.
Within the patent background description, Apple states that a notebook computer faces a “host of insults” such as rough handling and transportation in the presence of other items that may be placed in a container along with the computer. These hazards can damage a computer, even when turned off and closed, especially when ports, air vents and other openings are exposed. Foreign objects such as paper clips, show tickets, business cards and bits of loose paper. can find their way into the laptop and damage internal components of the computer.
The device in question under the patent is meant as protective measure, especially for opposing-brush slot disk drives like those found in current PowerBooks, MacBooks and MacBook Pro units.
The guard slot described by the patent would be a device that would be positioned adjacent to the laptop’s optical drive slot and alternate between an open and closed position. The open position would provide free access while the closed position would protect the drive slot when the computer is not in use.
The patent lists John DiFonzo and Chris Lightenberg as being the inventors of this patent.
If you have any ideas, suggestions or comments regarding this, let us know.

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Report: Apple Falsified Jobs’ Stock Options Authorization

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Date: Thursday, December 28th, 2006, 13:09
Category: News

Apple Computer’s stock fell $1.64 per share, or two percent, following a report that indicated that Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who returned to the company in 1997, was awarded 7.5 million stock options in 2001 without proper authorization from the company’s board of directors. The revelation was made public via a recently released Financial Times article.
The article reports that records logging a full board meeting, which is required to approve stock options remunerations, were later falsifed. These records are now under review by the Securities and Exchange Commission as it decides which investigative avenues to pursue (individual or company-wide) and Apple is expected to discuss the situation along with details about an additional investigation as to stock option irregularities and backdating within the company at the annual meeting on Friday.
Additional questions and pressures have arisen given the fact that Jobs has sought legal counsel outside the company, despite having been above the fray of the investigation since it began this fall. To date, Jobs had claimed he had been “aware” of the backdating “in a few instances”, but claimed he had never benefited from these actions or been aware of the accounting implications.
In October of 2001, Jobs’ stock options were offered at an exercise price of $18.30 per share while the alleged board authorization occurred near the end of 2001. Such an action would indicate that the options weren’t properly authorized and had been backdated to maximize the value of Jobs’ stock options.
Jobs would later surrender the stock options before exercising them, thereby not showing any actual gain on the transaction. The Apple CEO would later be given a grant of restricted stock by the company in lieu of the options, this value perhaps having been calculated on the backdated stock options and targeted by the investigation.
Apple has reportedly refused to comment on the issue, but a spokesman has claimed the company has handed the findings of its own internal investiation to the SEC. The company has stated that its investigation found “no misconduct by any member of Apple’s current management team”, although two executives – Nancy Heinan, former senior vice president and Fred Anderson, former chief financial officer for the company, both resigned as of this year.
Anderson may be under investigation for a different set of actions, as he was not a part of the board of directors as of the October, 2001 decision that’s pertinent to Jobs’ reported role in the case.
If you have any ideas or comments, let us know.

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Updated VirtueDesktops Build Released

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Date: Thursday, December 28th, 2006, 12:38
Category: Software

VirtueDesktops, the donationware open source virtual desktop manager for Mac OS X, has received another update, bringing the current version to 0.53r265a.
virtue_desktops.jpg
Like the long-awaited Spaces feature in Apple’s upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 operating system, VirtueDesktops helps switch between applications and provides additional screen real estate to the selected application.
The new version includes the following fixes:
-Fixed a crash in localisations other than English.
-Compiled as Universal binary – compiling as Intel-only was an accident.
-Adding desktops doesn’t result in multiple, unstable entries in the desktop inspector.
-Resolved a crash on startup when migrating from an older version.
-Fixed corrupted nibs that were causing issues with languages other than English.
-Custom desktop pictures now work. Be aware that if your transition time is set too low, you won’t get a smooth change between desktops – I’ll be adding a warning to the transition preferences about this in the next build.
-Bindings are working – check the application organiser and watch in wonder as windows update in near-real-time.
-There is now an option in the application inspector, and the operations window, to not change the focus of an application on desktop switches. This means you can exclude applications like X11.app and Parallels from taking focus when you switch to them — this was a patch submitted by Alex Peyser.
-There is now a welcome screen the first time you run VirtueDesktops, to show you where the menu is (you’d be surprised how often I get asked!).
-Fixed an error that was causing sticky applications to be ignored by Expose.
-All window operations should be much more consistent – try out sticky windows – no more lost windows!
-Lots of UI work.
The new update is a 3.1 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. The software is a Universal Binary and functions natively under both the PowerPC and Intel hardware architectures.
VirtueDesktops is a community-based open source project and the author is actively looking for help with the project. If you think you have something to contribute, give him a shout.
If you have any feedback or comments about this, let us know.

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Apple Includes Hidden Games in Terminal

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Date: Thursday, December 28th, 2006, 09:21
Category: Fun

Well, it’s more a part of emacs and code written by Richard M. Stallman, but a cool article over at digg.com shows a full video of how to access hidden games within Mac OS X’s Terminal program:



Mac OS X Hidden Games – video powered by Metacafe

Otherwise, just follow the following instructions:
Type into terminal:
ls /usr/share/emacs/21.2/lisp/play
Get the name of what you want to play
type:
emacs
press escape and x at the same time
type your game ex: tetris
I you’ve heard of any other easter eggs or have ideas or comments, let us know.

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Apple Looks to Improve Synching, Bluetooth, Fix Bugs in 10.4.9

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Date: Thursday, December 28th, 2006, 08:51
Category: Software

An article over at AppleInsider fleshes out details as to how Apple has begun contacting its developer communities and asked for feedback as to current builds to a Mac OS X 10.4.9 operating system update.
Sources familiar with Apple stated that as of last Thursday, the company began distributing the first external software compile of the update to members of the Apple Developer Connection. The current build is apparently available as a bare-bones “Delta” updater and a larger “Combo” version with wider hardware support.
Apple has reportedly asked the developer community to focus its testing on components such as .Mac, Bluetooth, Bonjour, FireWire, Graphics and USB. The company also drew attention to Flash, Automator, Dashboard, Fonts, iChat video conferencing, Sync Services and iSync when it released the builds.
According to the release, users can expect fixes for issues related to Rosetta emulation, USB Modem, caller ID, the Universal Access preference pane, Bluetooth and device pairing, QC Engine, CoreGraphics and the HID Manager.
Apple last released a major update for Mac OS X back in September when it distributed Mac OS X 10.4.8 and an additional release is expected before the company releases its Mac OS X 10.5 operating system in 2007.
If you have any comments, ideas or feedback, let us know.

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17″ MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo Wins in Macworld Review

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Date: Thursday, December 28th, 2006, 08:10
Category: Review

A full review over at Macworld News put the 17″ MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo laptop through its paces with Henry Norr liking what he found.
Apple’s 17″ laptops, long the lusted-after portable of choice, have been on the market for two years now and an overhaul was in the works. In this case, the company stuck to a classic design and included a 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, replacing the retired 2.16 GHz Intel Core duo processor, included a standard two gigabytes of RAM and beefed up the hard drive from 120 gigabytes to 160 gigabytes. Maximum RAM capacity has been raised from two gigabytes to three gigabytes, albeit with only two memory slots, raising the memory via a one gigabyte RAM chip and a two gigabyte RAM chip becomes an expensive proposition – about $575 through Apple and more through third party vendors.
The review is more than happy with the usual features on the laptop such as the beautiful screen, meaty ATI Radeon X1600 with 256 MB of VRAM, iSight, AirPort Exreme, BlueTooth, ExpressCard, gigabit Ethernet, DVI-out port, illuminated keyboard and MagSafe power adapter.
Norr and the Macworld Lab found the 17″ MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo to actually be a bit slower than its 15″ counterpart on some tasks such as unzipping an archive, running Unreal Tournament and some Photoshop CS2 tasks but performed speedily nonetheless and roundly beat the fastest PowerBook G4 laptops.
For the full review and details, click here.
If you’ve had any experiences, positive or negative, regarding your 17″ MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo, let us know.

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