PowerPage Podcast Episode 135

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Date: Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010, 20:09
Category: Podcast

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Episode 135 of the PowerPage Podcast is now available. You can either download it from the iTunes Store or directly (34.4 MB, MP3). This week we went with MP3 encoding because the podcast was too long to keep under the 20GB cap for OTA downloading on the iPad/iPod/iPhone.

Panel: Jason O’Grady and Rob Parker

Topics: This week we discuss AT&T’s sweeping changes to its data plans, Steve Jobs’ interview at D8, Jason’s Evo 4G and we play “What’s on your Mac.”

Here’s what’s on our Macs this week:

Jason

  • Diner Dash: Grilling Green ($4.99, iTunes) – Seat and serve customers in this waitress sim designed for the iPad
  • Putt Putt Golf HD ($6.99, iTunes) – Excellent mini golf sim for iPad with 90 challenging holes and multiple angles
  • How to Destroy Angels (free) – 6 song EP from Trent Reznor

Rob

  • Shanghai Mahjong for iPhone ($0.99, iTunes) –  Beautiful Mahjong game for the iPad and iPhone
  • Video Genius (free, iTunes) –  Record video on your first generation and 3G iPhone

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Subscribe to the PowerPage Podcast in iTunes or add the Podcast RSS feed to your RSS client. Our theme music is generously provided by The Tragically Hip their new release “We Are The Same” is available on iTunes.

Apple releases sixth beta of Mac OS X 10.6.4, no known issues reported

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Date: Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010, 11:09
Category: News, Software

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Apple this week issued a sixth beta of its Mac OS X 10.6.4 security and maintenance update for its Snow Leopard operating system. Per AppleInsider, the latest build remains free of known issues.

According to sources close to the story, the beta, which was issued to developers last Tuesday, is labeled as “build 10F564″, weighs in at 600 megabytes which developers being asked to focus on graphics drivers, SMB, USB, VoiceOver and VPN.

The last few builds have all contained the same focus areas and enhancements, and this week’s update is no different. The updates addressed issues that could cause the keyboard or trackpad to become unresponsive, and also fixed a problem that prevented some Adobe Creative Suite 3 applications from loading.

Apple first began widespread testing of Mac OS X 10.6.4 in late April. The previous update to Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6.3, was released at the end of March. It included improvements for QuickTime X and OpenGL-based applications, in the form of a 437.2 megabyte update.

AT&T revises calling plans, announces tethering for iPhone OS 4.0

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Date: Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010, 05:54
Category: iPhone, News

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AT&T will be transitioning away from unlimited data plans beginning June 7th according to AppleInsider, the company introducing tethering, iPad 3G data plans capped at 2GB per month and slightly lower pricing.

The company announced this week that a new data plan for iPhone owners, dubbed “DataPro,” will be offered starting June 7th, providing 2GB of data for US$25 per month. Tethering will be available for an additional US$20 per month, and lets customers use their handset to share Internet connectivity with another device, such as a laptop. Tethering will be available this summer when iPhone OS 4.0 is released.

AT&T will also offer a less expensive data plan, called “DataPlus,” which offers 200MB for US$15 per month. The carrier noted in its press release that 65% of its smartphone customers use less than 200MB per month, while 98% use less than 2GB per month.

Customers who near their cap for the month will be sent a text message notifying them when they reach a certain usage level. For customers who exceed the cap, an extra 1GB in the DataPro plan costs US$10, and an extra 200MB in the DataPlus plan runs US$15.

Current AT&T customers are not required to switch to the new plans and sacrifice their unlimited data, but can do so without a contract extension.

AT&T also announced that it would discontinue its existing US$29.99-per-month unlimited 3G data plans for the iPad for new customers. This plan will be replaced by a no-contract plan that runs US$25 a month for 2GB of data. Customers who have the existing unlimited plan are not required to change.

Plans for voice and texting through AT&T will remain unchanged after June 7.

AT&T has long hinted that changes to its unlimited data plans were coming, as the company has faced network issues and bandwidth problems. The carrier has sought ways to encourage the heaviest bandwidth consumers to reduce or modify their usage of the AT&T network.

Last December, one AT&T executive said he believed it was inevitable that users who utilize more bandwidth than their share will have to pay more than the rest. At the time, the company said that 40% of the network capacity for AT&T is used by just 3% of smartphone users. Other reports have alleged that the average iPhone user consumes 10 times the bandwidth of a typical smartphone user.

Stay tuned for additional details and let us know what you make of this in the comments.

Adobe releases Camera Raw 6.1 update

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Date: Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010, 04:37
Category: News, Software

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Early Tuesday, software giant released version 6.1 of its Camera Raw plugin, a program which delivers access to “raw” image formats in professional and mid-range digital cameras from Canon, Fujifilm, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus and others. The new update, a 61.9 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), includes the following fixes and changes:

– This new version of the Camera Raw plug-in replaces the original Camera Raw plug-in that was installed with Adobe Creative Suite 5, Adobe Photoshop CS5.

Support has been added for the following cameras:

– Canon EOS 550D (Digital Rebel T2i/ EOS Kiss X4 Digital)

– Kodak Z981

– Leaf Aptus-II 8

– Leaf Aptus-II 10R

– Mamiya DM40

– Olympus E-PL1

– Olympus E-600

– Panasonic G2

– Panasonic G10

– Sony A450

Camera Raw 6.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.