Rumor: Apple May Be Looking to Google for Continued iPhone Search Engine Deal

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Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 15:58
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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A recent rumor stating that Apple may be looking to develop its own search engine may be untrue, an inside source citing that Apple may look to extend its current search engine deal with Google to continue providing such a function for the iPhone.

The deal may also be worth over US$100 million per year to Apple in revenue sharing.

Per Silicon Alley Insider, a source has stated “there’s too many options” for search on the market and thus no reason for Apple to build its own search engine.

Another reason Apple might not want to build its own search engine: It’s getting over US$100 million a year from Google in its revenue share deal, according to the source.

According to the source, although US$100 million isn’t a ton of money to Apple, it wouldn’t make sense for the company to invest a significant number of resources building its own search engine when Microsoft has Bing and a nigh-limitless checkbook to finance its research and development.

Additional rumors have stated that Apple and Microsoft have been in talks to make Bing the default search provider for the iPhone as the relationship between Google and Apple has reportedly soured as competition between the two companies has become increasingly intense.

MWSF: Synology Introducts Two-Bay DiskStation NAS Units

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Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 15:51
Category: hard drive, Macworld Expo, News

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NAS units may be technical and slightly dorky, but you’ve got to admit: they come in handy.

Synology America announced the released of the company’s two-bay DiskStation line. The DS710+, is a scalable 2-bay NAS server that grows from 2 bays to 7 bays to offer a total of 14TB of storage. The unit includes built-in file sharing, automatic backup, remote access, web hosting, email hosting and media streaming with read speeds of 110+ MB/sec and write speeds of 100+ MB/sec under a RAID 1 configuration in a Windows environment.

The Synology DS710+ is equipped with the new Intel Atom D410 CPU, one Gigabit LAN ports, 3 USB ports and 1 GB DDRII RAM. Green features include lower power consumption, wake on LAN, scheduled power off and hard drive hibernation to ensure optimal energy conservation.

The DS710+ comes with Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) 2.2 with robust features and applications for business use and sports such bells and whistles as Volume Manager, Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) which optimizes the use of disk capacity with data protection when using hard drives of different sizes are used, share level encryption and backup to the cloud with Amazon S3 service.

MWSF: Apple Releases Apple TV 3.0.2 Update

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Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 14:32
Category: Apple TV, Macworld Expo, Software

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It’s not the sexiest update in the world, but it’s functional.

On Thursday, Apple released version 3.0.2 of its firmware for its Apple TV media center device.

Although no official changes were mentioned, the update seems to address changes in image sharing first introduced by the recent release of Aperture 3.

Per Macworld, the update appears to fix a few bugs, eliminating issues related with switching HDMI cables and improving the general readability of its user interface.

The 3.0.2 update can be downloaded and installed directly from the Apple TV firmware upgrade menu.

If you’ve tried the update and noticed any major changes, please let us know.

MWSF: iBooks App Won’t be Bundled with iPad

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Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 14:59
Category: iPad, Macworld Expo, Software

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Yes, the iPad is coming.

But it won’t come with the featured iBooks application.

Per Apple’s product listing for the device, the iBooks application won’t be bundled with the iPad and will instead be downloaded from the App Store, a move which places it on an equal footing with other e-book readers on the market.

The application is available for free and if you look at the photos of the iPad, the only bundled apps included with the system appear to be Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Maps, Videos, YouTube, iTunes, App Store, Settings, Safari, Mail, Photos, and iPod. Perhaps this will change if and when iBooks becomes available outside the U.S.

MWSF: Microsoft Announces Office for Mac 2011

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Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 09:10
Category: Macworld Expo, News

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With Macworld Expo underway, representatives from Microsoft announced Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, which should arrive in time for the 2010 holiday season.

Per Macworld, the new version focuses on better compatibility across platforms, improved collaboration tools, and a more refined user interface. Also, as Microsoft announced last August, the suite will include Outlook for Mac, which replaces Entourage as Office’s e-mail client. The new version of Office will also offer renewed support for Visual Basic, which was dropped in the 2008 version of the productivity suite.

“Nowadays, compatibility means more than just file formats,” said Microsoft’s Kurt Schmucker. “It’s also workflow, collaboration, and user interface.”

To that end, the new version of Office will incorporate document-collaboration features that take advantage of Microsoft’s online storage features. With Office for Mac 2011, Mac users will be able to share files and collaborate on documents with other Mac and Windows users via Microsoft’s SharePoint, SkyDrive, and Office Web Apps.

Those online tools will allow users to collaborate on documents with other Windows and Mac Office users in real time, similar to the features found in Google Docs. For example, users could create a document in Word on your laptop, save it to SkyDrive, then share it with others. A pop-up in Word will display who’s working on the document; click on that list, and you’ll be able to send them a message (as long as everyone is using Outlook or Microsoft’s Messenger IM application). The paragraphs your collaborators are working on will be locked out until they’re done. Users will also be able to edit those same documents from any computer, using Office’s Web apps. Mac users will have the same experience in the their versions of Safari and Firefox as Windows users get with their browsers, Schmucker said.

Microsoft also says it’s learned from user feedback about Office 2008 and has tweaked the user interface accordingly in Office 2011.

A new Ribbon at the top of each document window replaces Office 2008’s controversial Elements Gallery, which took some fire from Mac users for its size and inflexibility. This new Ribbon is designed to give users quick access to each program’s most commonly used tools. Unlike the Elements Gallery, the ribbon is customizable and, if you want more screen space, completely collapsible.

The new suite will also feel more Mac-like than Office 2008. For example, the Ribbon is built entirely using Apple’s Cocoa development framework, and takes takes advantage of Apple’s Core Animation system. (As a result, Ribbon tabs will slide smoothly when you rearrange them.) Click on Ribbon tools and they’ll expand smoothly into popovers that don’t obscure the document you’re working on.

Summarizing the interface changes, Microsoft’s Han-Yi Shaw likened Office 2008 to a teenager—“a little quirky”—but said the new edition is Office matured. “This is the version that everyone wanted,” he said.

Shaw added that the Mac team at Microsoft worked hard to adopt Apple technologies while also making sure their product was recognizably Microsoft Office. “We’re at a cross-section of Mac and PC, and because we’re die-hard Mac users, we look at the [Office] technology and try to translate it,” he said. “Following the Apple design philosophy really takes you in the right direction.”

The new Outlook will support PST imports (allowing you to move an Outlook installation, including all your old e-mails, from a Windows PC to a Mac) and will also support Microsoft’s Information Rights Management (IRM), which allows senders to specify what recipients can do with messages (print, forward, and so on). Previously-Windows only, IRM is required in some corporate settings. IRM support in Office 2001 is aimed at Mac users in cross-platform environments, Schmucker said: “It’s been a blocker for some companies because the Mac support was not there.”

The company has also re-engineered the Outlook message database system to be a series of small files, so it’s more easily backed up with Time Machine and searched in Spotlight. “Outlook’s new database is more reliable, faster, and fully supports Time Machine and Spotlight,” Schmucker said.

Finally, power users will be be able to make use of the Visual Basic macro language. Visual Basic was dropped from Office 2008 in part because it was to technically difficult to port it to the Mac’s then-new Intel CPUs. Microsoft says it began work on that port as far back as 2008, before the last Mac Office shipped. That work is now complete and the Mac suite will be using the most up-to-date version of Visual Basic.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Skype 2.8.0.851 Released

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Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 04:05
Category: Software

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On Monday, Skype released version 2.8.0.851 of its popular Voice over Internet Protocol communications program.

The new version, a 43.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

– Platform specific: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Skype Access was not working
– Skype occasionally crashed when the host of a conference call would hang up on one participants during the call.
– Platform specific: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Users were unable to call phone numbers via their Mac Address Book.
– Platform specific: OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Some animated emoticons were not displayed correctly.
– Skype crashed due to invalid avatars (occurred seldom).
– Users sometimes experienced an “Unable to mount database” error message when launching Skype.
– Skype crashed when a user quit after opening an authorization missed event.
– Platform specific: OS X 10.3 Panther Occasionally Skype crashed right after an account was created.
– Improved notification on how to disable a mood message chat.

Skype 2.8.0.851 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to install and run.

Apple Releases 2009 Aluminum Keyboard Firmware 1.0 Update

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Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 04:16
Category: News, Software

On Wednesday, Apple released its 2009 Aluminum Keyboard Firmware 1.0 update for the 2009 Apple Wireless Keyboard. The update, a 1.1 megabyte download, improves battery performance of the device when used in combination with other Bluetooth devices. The keyboard must be connected or paired to perform this update. The update package will install an updater application into the Applications/Utilities folder and will launch it automatically.

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As always, the update can also be located and snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

The updater requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later running on an Intel-based Mac to function.

Some Users Cite Erratic Battery Life, Syncing Issues Following iPhone OS 3.1.3 Update

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Date: Wednesday, February 10th, 2010, 08:40
Category: iPhone, News

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Despite Apple’s best intentions, the iPhone OS 3.1.3 firmware update may not have gone as well as the company would have liked.

Per iPodNN, a number of users over on the Apple Discussion Board have reported that issues such as erratic battery life have emerged.

In certain cases, the unit’s battery meter may potentially swing wildly, for instance going from 25 to 7 to 10 percent, then jumping back up to 24%.

Worst-case scenarios may see phones losing hours of power, and even running unusually hot. The v3.1.3 firmware was in part meant to correct battery meter trouble on the iPhone 3GS.

Another major problem involves iTunes playlists, which in some cases are failing to sync properly with the iPod touch. While files will copy over properly, playlists may be empty or simply absent. The glitch is believed to affect only smart playlists, and potentially only those with multiple criteria. Temporary workarounds may include reducing criteria to a single field, and/or deleting and remaking previous playlists.

Apple has yet to formally address or fix either of the cited errors.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know.

Apple Releases Second Beta of iPhone SDK 3.2, Adds iPad Features

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Date: Wednesday, February 10th, 2010, 08:39
Category: News

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The iPad is coming, so developers might as well be ready for it.

On Tuesday, Apple released the second beta version of its iPhone SDK 3.2 for the iPad. Per iLounge, the new version contains functions specifically designed for the iPad, including support for the unit’s 1024 x 768 resolution, other iPad-specific interface functions, and includes an iPad simulator application so developers can pre-test their apps in an environment similar to that of the final device.

It is currently unclear if any major changes were made in the updated version.

The new beta is now available for iPhone developers via the iPhone Dev Center.

Roxio Toast Titanium 10.0.6 Update Released

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Date: Wednesday, February 10th, 2010, 07:55
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday night, Roxio released version 10.0.6 of its Toast Titanium authoring software. The new version, available here, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Resolves issue where adding VIDEO_TS or Image files may result in error message.
– Resolves issue where dragging EyeTV recordings to content area may result in error message.
– Resolves an issue where some DivX/AVI recordings may have AV sync issues when authored to Blu-ray Disc.
– Resolves an issue that caused SVCD projects to return a -50 error code.
– Resolves issue playing back US TiVo recordings.

Toast 10 Titanium requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.99.