Skype 2.6.0.148 Released

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2007, 08:11
Category: Software

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On Thursday, Skype released version 2.6.0.148 of its free Voice over Internet Protocol client. The new version, a 29.8 megabyte download, adds the following changes:
-Improvement: Skype’s own audio codec.
-Improvement: Skype improved conference mixer.
-Improvement: Skype Jitter Buffer and concealment.
-Improvement: Skype audio preprocessing components.
-Localizations: all updated.
-Bugfix: fixed application hangup on handling certain URL links in chat messages.
-Bugfix: fixed exception (resulting in disappearance of message) on handling certain intentionally constructed “bad” chat messages.
-Bugfix: privacy policy fix, not accepting multichats from non-authorized users.
Skype requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run and is coded as a Universal Binary capable of running at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’re tried the new version and have positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.

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MaxUpgrades Announces MaxProtect Impact-Resistant Sleeve for Laptops

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2007, 14:01
Category: News

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On Thursday, MaxProtect announced that it had released the MaxProtect, an impact-resistant sleeve designed for the MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. According to MacNN, the MaxProtect sleeve is made from Visco-Elastic Memory Foam and designed to resist impact and shock from all sides via thick foam padding along the surface of the notebook.
The sleeve features a two-zipper, pull-apart design that prevents the zippers from coming in contact with the laptop and a durable handle and can also accommodate Apple’s 12″, 15″ and 17″ PowerBook G4 laptops. Prices range from US$23.99 to US$28.99 depending on size and model chosen.

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Apple Cancels Personal Shopping Appointments for June 29th

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2007, 14:34
Category: News

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I’ll say this: June 29th is going to be interesting, no matter how you slice it.
Apparently Apple feels the same way.
PowerPage head honcho Jason O’Grady, in an effort to snag an iPhone, has found that the Apple Store may be canceling its Personal Shopping service for June 29th, the day of the iPhone’s launch.
For additional details, check out the Apple Core and if you’ve seen anything like this on your end, let us know.

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Safari 3.0.1 Beta Released for Windows

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2007, 10:12
Category: News

Yes, it’s news from the dark side, but it’s interesting:
Apple has released Safari Beta 3.0.1 for Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista. The new version is available through the Macworld News, the new version includes the following security fixes:
-Correction for a “command injection vulnerability”.
-The update also lends additional cycles and URL validation that could lead to the browser shutting down on its own.
-A fix for an out-of-bounds memory issue.
-A fix for a race condition that could lead to cross-site scripting via a JavaScript exploit.
Apple has also stated that these security issues are only present on Windows XP and Windows Vista and not the Mac OS X operating system.
If you’ve had a chance to play with this new version, let us know how it went.

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iPhone Killer App

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2007, 10:56
Category: iPhone

The killer app for the iPod was iTunes. The killer app for the iPhone is Safari. The iPhone will be first and foremost a web browsing machine.
How can that be? It uses the lame Edge network to connect! OK. What does the iPhone do best? Its the screen baby. The whole face of the thing is a screen and it will orient itself. It will presumably leave the expensive and slow AT&T network in favor of a wifi hotspot as soon as it sniffs out a signal. Lots of fast free and pay hotspots out there including your own home and work. Nobody else had the clout to negotiate this kind of user friendly behavior with a telco. This is where the iPhone will shine. It is first and foremost a computer with an intuitive interface and great graphical display. Everything else is either a vegetable or the spice in the stew. The iPhone relies on Safari in many ways.
Secondly, its an iPod. Like a super graphical nano. It has limited capacity like the nano and its even smaller. Smaller? Presumably you need to carry a phone anyway so it takes up no room on your person.
Its a camera. Not a useless VGA but 2 megapixels. But, with that big screen it is finally the photo album you needed to have in your pocket. It really is the screen that makes the iPhone. iPhoto could become the second killer app for the iPhone. I think iLife needs to come to Windows for lots of reasons.
Apple needs to do something more with iCal, maybe team up with Google to get the calendar function more useful. You can’t hit iPhone buyers with the high price of .mac on top of the purchase price and the two year service contract.
Oh, and it is a phone. Smartphone keyboards are horrid little things. Touch screen text entry is no fun. Pick your poison.
Seems like the battery problem will be the same as with the iPod. People seem to deal with keeping their iPods charged up, but as the device gets older the capacity drops and battery replacement is an expensive hassle. Apple needs to anticipate this and have loaners or a swap available for battery replacement at the stores. This applies equally to potential touch-screen problems.
Memory is the same old, same old. All iPods have fixed amounts and you always want more!

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Opinion: Where to Get an iPhone at a…Discount?!!!

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2007, 09:38
Category: Opinion

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Where to Get an iPhone at… a discount?!!
By Steve Abrahamson
This morning, in his blog Converging worlds of IP Telephony, VoIP, Broadband,
Russell Shaw quoted Simon Croom, Ph.D., executive director of the Supply Chain Management Institute
at the University of San Diego, as saying this about the iPhone launch:
“Depending on reliability of the product, there may also be a rapid ramp
up in returns and warranty claims.”
That’s an excellent point. We all know that the v1 of any product is
likely to be just a little buggier than those that follow, so his
assertion is not really shocking. But wait a moment… what does Apple
do with those products it takes back on warranty replacement? Why, they
wind up on the Apple Outlet in the online Apple store, don’t they? For a
discount, no less.
Of course, this situation is a little stickier due to the AT&T interplay
and contract requirements and such, but it will be interesting to see if
ever-so-slightly discounted refurbished iPhones start to show up in the
Apple store. I’ve personally purchased refurbished merchandise from
there before, and it’s all perfectly good – maybe even better, being as
they are, as Garp so aptly put it, disaster-proofed.
Yet another interesting speculation surrounding the iPhone to sit and
idly watch play out.

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Gizmo Project Adds AIM and MSN Support

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2007, 14:29
Category: Software

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On Monday, SIPphone announced that Gizmo Project, the company’s free Voice over Internet Protocol program, was now able to communicate with AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger contacts.
Like other Voice over Internet Protocol programs, Gizmo Project allows users to transmit and receive voice data, essentially making the data connection into a telephone. According to Macworld News, Gizmo Project users receive free voice mail and conference calling features with their accounts and can purchase “call in” and “call out” features that allow each user to have a phone number as well as call land line and mobile phone connections.
SIPphone has commented that the new feature is change that’s been completed on the server end and a download of the latest version of the client software isn’t necessary. The company has also stated that it plans to add similar features for communication with Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk and iChat contacts.
Gizmo Project is an 18.5 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run. The program is a Universal Binary and functions at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’ve tried the new features and have either positive or negative feedback about them, let us know.

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“Get Ready” Email Offers Additional iPhone Details

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2007, 08:19
Category: News

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A mass email sent out by Apple and AT&T entitled “Get Ready. iPhone is coming July 29th” lists several suggestions as to how to prepare for the device’s arrival. Broken down into “Contacts,” “Calendar,” “Email,” “Photos,” “Music and Video,” and “iTunes Account” sections, the message explains how each category works on the iPhone.
According to an article on iLounge, the e-mail explains how each user will need to create an iTunes account in order to set up the iPhone.
The section by section breakdown:
Contacts:
Apple recommends getting your contact information up to date and prep your address book program (such as Address Book, Entourage, Outlook Express, etc.) to automatically synch with the iPhone.
Calendar:
The e-mail cites that the iPhone can import events from programs such as iCal or Entourage on the Mac or Outlook on the PC by synching the iPhone with your computer. Appointments can also be directly entered into the iPhone itself.
Email:
The announcement mentions that the iPhone can automatically synch e-mail account settings through iTunes and that popular email services such as Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, AOL and .Mac Mail as well as POP and IMAP-based email will work on the iPhone. The iPhone will be able to automatically retrieve email on a set schedule if desired.
Photos:
The iPhone can display photos synched to the device via iTunes and iPhoto. On the Windows end, users can synch images to the iPhone from Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop Album or any picture folder. Apple suggests creating a test album of 50 to 100 photos as a test bed for the function.
Music and Video:
Like several of the other major features, the email cites that iTunes will be required to synch music and video to the iPhone. Apple suggests making a playlist of your favorite songs in advance.
iTunes Account:
Perhaps the most interesting part of the e-mail, users will need to create an iTunes account in order to set up the iPhone. Once the iPhone is in hand, fire up iTunes to create an account. Also double check your user name and password if any of these are in question for a smooth setup process.

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Opinion: Safari: Apple’s New Platform?

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2007, 08:31
Category: Opinion

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Reader Tristan Louis has submitted a link to a thoughtful blog post regarding Apple, Safari, development for the iPhone, iTunes, Software Update and infiltration into the Windows platform via its new services and devices. He raises some good points and the entry is worth the read:
Yesterday’s announcement of Apple launching its Safari web browser for the Windows platform was a bit puzzling and I wasn’t sure of what to make of it at first. So I decided to read more about it and then install it.
Of course, day one is always amusing. First, it’s clear that the security claims are not fully justified. And moving from the confines of the OS X world, which is generally like a meticulously cleaned up suburban neighborhood into the wilds known as the world of Windows was bound to test some of Apple’s mettle when it comes to security. But that’s really besides the point: the software is not a full released
version and one can hope that it will be improved upon further down the line (then again, hope springs eternal.)
But all this is really besides the point. In order to see what is happening, one must start thinking about why would Apple think about a new browser today.
For the full blog entry, click here.
If you have an opinion on this, let us know.

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Santa Rosa MacBook Pro Benchmark Tests Updated

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2007, 08:05
Category: News

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The guys over at BareFeats.com have added to their battery of tests on the newly-released Intel Santa Rosa-based MacBook Pro laptops. The new round of tests still focused on 3D gaming ability, the new MacBook Pro units running titles such as Prey and Quake 4 appreciably faster than the previous revisions.
As expected, the current MacBook laptop came out on the low end, its integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics chip holding it back despite BareFeats’ installing two gigabytes of RAM.
More reports are due to come as the site compares the MacBook Pro’s available 7,200 RPM 160 gigabyte drive to the 5,400 RPM 120 gigabyte model as well as runs comparisons of the same applications under both Parallels Desktop for Macs 3.0 and Apple’s Boot Camp.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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