Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) to Offer Warning for Near-Dead Notebook Batteries

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Date: Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 18:06
Category: Software

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While the immediate charge on a Mac notebook’s battery has been available for years, Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) users will be able to see when their batteries are nearing the end of their useful lifespans.

According to AppleInsider, the Mac OS X 10.6 build offered to Worldwide Developers Conference sports a feature in which clicking the battery icon in the menu bar now shows a new, one-word “battery condition” summary in addition to the energy for the current charge and the power source.

When the battery has been used often enough that it ‘s losing capacity, the icon is overlaid with an exclamation mark warning and the battery condition changes to “poor” — both signs that the pack is due to be replaced. While not every condition is known, Snow Leopard presumably reports varying degrees of battery status when the pack has only been moderately used or is like new.

Though Apple has yet to document the reasons behind the change, the most logical explanation is simply that the company’s decision to seal in most notebook batteries makes it more important to have an early notice that a battery is near failing.

Apple has lately been paying closer attention to battery life on all its devices and with iPhone OS 3.0 will add a numerical percentage to the iPhone’s previously icon-only battery indicator.

iPhone OS 3.0 to Hit Today

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 08:14
Category: iPhone, iPod Touch, Software

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Per CNET, current iPhone owners will be able to download the software from iTunes for free while iPod touch users will have to pay a US$9.95 fee for it.

Though its exact release time is currently unknown, iPhone OS 3.0 will offer features such as multimedia messaging (to be supported by AT&T later this summer), voice recording, buying and renting movies and TV shows over the air, full system search, tethering and push notifications.

The update will be available through iTunes and users are advised to hook their handhelds to their Mac or PC later today, mount the device in iTunes and click the “Check for Update” button to download and install iPhone OS 3.0.

Apple has also bundled in some extras, like landscape virtual keyboard for certain apps, more extensive parental controls, in-app purchasing, and a feature for MobileMe customers called Find My Phone.

There will also be stereo Bluetooth available, as well as the capability to create applications specifically for interfacing with third-party hardware.

The new iPhone 3G S is scheduled to hit stores such as the Apple Store retail locations, Best Buy and the AT&T stores Friday morning.

CrossOver 8.0 Out the Door

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Date: Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 07:09
Category: Software

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CrossOver, the popular emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 8.0. The new version, which is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:

New application support:

  • Quicken 2009
  • Internet Explorer 7
  • Photoshop CS2

MS Office 2003:

  • Non-English language service packs should now apply.
  • Word 2003: ‘Insert Field’ should now work properly.
  • Word 2003: Table calculations fixed.
  • Word 2003: Insert… Picture… From File improved.
  • Outlook 2003: NTLM proxy authentication fixed.
  • Excel 2003: Insert Picture improved.
  • Outlook 2003: Problem with dropping into ‘disconnected’ mode is resolved.

MS Office 2007:

  • Service Packs 1 and 2 now apply.
  • Enterprise, Pro, and Corporate editions should now install.
  • Word 2007: Fixed misbehavior when using the ‘insert image’ function.
  • Several other Office service packs and add-ons should work better.

QuickTime 7:

  • Intermittent hanging bugs should be fixed.

Several other general fixes.

  • Outlook 2000: e-mail attachments should now work.
  • Acrobat 5 and 7: “Save As” dialog no longer causes crashes.
  • FrameMaker: Handling of PPD files improved on systems without CUPS.
  • Word XP: “Combine Documents” fixed.
  • Equation Editor should install and run.

Other crossover improvements:

  • A ‘symbol’ font as been added. This should improve Equation Editor behavior.
  • A couple of improvements were made to dual-monitor support on the Mac.
  • Fixed problem with resizing windows on dual-head linux systems.
  • KDE systray on SUSE 10.1 fixed.
  • KDE Printer improved.
  • Fixed a problem with demo registration and gksu version 2.0.2.
  • Improved copy and paste.
  • Added better 64-bit support in the RPM package.
  • Updated many components to fix behavior on the upcoming Snow Leopard release of OS X.

CrossOver 8.0 retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.