Apple Releases iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 5

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Date: Thursday, May 7th, 2009, 08:27
Category: iPhone, Software

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Late Thursday and only a little over one week since its last revision, Apple released iPhone OS 3.0 beta 5. While details regarding the new version are thin on the ground, The iPhone Blog is reporting that the new version appears to require iTunes 8.2 to install and run.
Other noted changes include MMS support no longer being able to be turned on in the Settings menu and Apple appears to have patched a loophole that allowed tethering to be enabled.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve gotten your mitts on the new build and have something to offer, please let us know.

Opinion: iPhone Applications Not Worth Your US$0.99

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Date: Thursday, May 7th, 2009, 08:33
Category: Opinion

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By Rachel Hoyer
Who can explain the popularity of goofy iPhone applications? Here’s some of my favorite iPhone applications not worth your US$0.99:
The Moron Test – This quiz features increasingly difficult puzzles which eventually become tricky for even Mensa members to solve. I’m guessing that the point is that it waits for you to get a wrong answer so it can tell you that you’re a moron. Why not save yourself a dollar and go talk to your boss? Furthermore, do you really need validation from your phone that you’re not a moron?
Larry the Scary Cockroach – Now you can make an animated cockroach run across a friend’s iPhone. How scary. Instead, you could get a free real cockroach off the sidewalk and place it on your friend’s phone, now that would be icky!
iHunt 3D – Target virtual deer and shoot them by clicking. You can hunt without actually being outdoors or actually killing animals. Anyone remember Duck Hunt? It’s like that, but less fun and without the cool plastic gun.
iBeer Special – An application that turns the screen of your iPhone into a glass of beer. You can select from a variety of types of beer and then “pour” them by rotating your phone. This is an a highly popular application. Kinda reminds me of those trick plastic mugs with attached plastic beer pouring out.
Zip Codes – Reference guide to U.S. zip codes. Type in the name of a city and find out its zip code and county name. The U.S. Post Office offers this service for free on their website, or you could just type the city name into any web browser. This application can not be used for its only logical purpose: Determining the zip code of a letter or parcel you’d like to mail. The application’s database doesn’t include street names, you can only search by city or county name. This application would be an ideal gift for people who enjoy memorizing phone books and train schedules.
Animalizer – You know those pieces of plywood with clowns or silly characters painted on them, but face holes cut out so you can place your own face in them and take a picture? Now you can take pictures of friends and then paste their face onto an image of an animal.
Smacktalk – If you like Animalizer, you’ll love Smacktalk. Speak a phrase into your iPhone microphone and the audio clip is modified to a squeaky voice and repeated back to you by a dog, cat, or other cute animal. The best part of this game is the glowing testimonials on its App Store page.
iFart – Ever wished you could embarass yourself in public more often? This is the application for you. Choose from a variety of fart noises to play on your phone, from wet ones to staccato ones to really, really loud ones. As a gag, it would make more sense for the application to send audio clips of farts to other people’s phones. Then your unsuspecting friend would receive an iPhone whoopie cushion. Oddly enough, it’s not only extremely popular, but has also received excellent reviews.
Name Analyzer – Type your name into your iPhone and it randomly assigns words to describe you based on the acronym. For example: If you type in “Jen” it could respond with “Joyous, Esoteric, Nerdy.” Its database includes both positive and negative words … I suppose if people want to fart in public more often, perhaps they also like to be insulted by their phone.

SlingPlayer 1.0.8 Released

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Date: Thursday, May 7th, 2009, 08:01
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday, Sling Media announced the release of SlingPlayer 1.0.8, the newest version of its software packages that allows Mac users to access their television content on their computer. The new version, a 131 megabyte download (thanks to VersionTracker), sports the following fixes and changes:

  • Improved video quality.
  • Hybrid tuning support for the Slingbox PRO-HD.
  • Online Slingbox registration added; plus users can store their Slingbox ID online for easy access.
  • Improved Slingbox Setup Assistant: New setup and configuration screens are streamlined and easier to use.
  • Users can rapidly cycle between Fullscreen (4:3), Widescreen (16:9), Letterbox, Windowbox, Pillarbox modes.
  • Show / Hide player controls with one-click toggle.
  • SlingPlayer is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to install and run.

    Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0 Build 3844 Released

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    Date: Thursday, May 7th, 2009, 07:49
    Category: Software

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    Virtualization software maker Parallels released Parallels Desktop for Mac build 3810 on Wednesday. The new version, a 174.6 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), contains the following fixes and changes:

  • Improved 3D graphics in Windows virtual machines.
  • Problems with Palm synchronization in Windows virtual machines — fixed.
  • Random disconnection of USB 1.1 devices in Linux virtual machines — fixed.
  • Invisibility of the text mouse pointer on black background in Windows virtual machines — fixed.
  • Problems with SMB shares in native Windows Boot Camp installations that have Parallels Tools installed — fixed.
  • Problems with Shared Networking on Snow Leopard host computers — fixed.
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac 4.0 retails for US$79.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.