VirtualBox updated to 4.0.10

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Date: Tuesday, June 28th, 2011, 03:44
Category: News, Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.0.10. The new version, a 82.8 megabyte download, sports the following list of fixes and changes:

– GUI: fixed disappearing settings widgets on KDE hosts (bug #6809).

– Storage: fixed hang under rare circumstances with flat VMDK images.

– Storage: a saved VM could not be restored under certain circumstances after the host kernel was updated (bug #8983).

– Storage: refuse to create a medium with an invalid variant (for example Split2G with VDI; bug #7227).

– Snapshots: none of the hard disk attachments must be attached to another VM in normal mode when creating a snapshot.

– USB: fixed occasional VM hangs with SMP guests (bug #4580).

– USB: proper device detection on RHEL/OEL/CentOS 5 guests (partial fix for bug #8978).

– ACPI: force the ACPI timer to return monotonic values for improve behavior with SMP Linux guests (bug #8511 and others).

– RDP: fixed screen corruption under rare circumstances (bug #8977).

– rdesktop-vrdp: updated to version 1.7.0.

– OVF: under rare circumstances some data at the end of a VMDK file was not written during export.

– Lion fixes (bug #8903).

– GNOME 3 fix.

VirtualBox 4.0.10 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please let us know.

Analyst predicts Apple to start assembling iPhone 5 in August

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Date: Monday, June 27th, 2011, 05:21
Category: iPhone, Rumor

Apple will begin production of fifth-generation iPhones in August ahead of a projected late third quarter launch, according to intelligence obtained by by one investment banker’s recent trip to Taiwan .

Per AppleInsider, after meetings with unnamed individuals in Taiwan last week where Apple’s supply chain and manufacturing facilities reside, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty issued a note to clients in which she confidently stated: “Apple’s next iPhone will begin production in mid to late August and ramp aggressively” into the calendar fourth quarter.

She added that, based on her intelligence, the new handset will launch and be available to consumers sometime near the end of the third calendar quarter of the year, which ends September.

As a result of the later than usual launch, Huberty shifted 2 million iPhone units from the firm’s third quarter estimates to its fourth quarter estimates, though the firm’s full year estimate of 72 million units remain unchanged. However, the analyst notes that if the next iPhone were to come out in early September, it would “drive upside” to Morgan Stanley’s lowered estimates.

Lower priced iPhones and an Apple-branded TV may also be in the works, Huberty noted. According to the analyst, Apple is forecasting a large iPhone unit increase in 2012 “on the back of new products and potentially lower price points.” Various major news outlets reported this spring that Apple is planning a cheaper iPhone model, which analysts believe would help the company make gains in emerging and prepaid mobile markets.

“We also believe Apple is in the early design stages for a TV, which could add US$19 billion and US$4.50 of annual revenue and EPS longer-term,” Huberty continued. In March, the analyst reported that checks in Asia suggested Apple was working on a “Smart TV prototype.” Earlier this week, an unverified report claimed to leak Apple’s plans for iOS-powered connected TVs, citing a “former Apple executive” as the source.

In addition to Apple’s ramping up of iPhone production, Morgan Stanley sees upward pressure on iPad shipments as post-Japan earthquake product constraints have subsided. Huberty also echoed reports that improved component supply has led Apple to negotiate price cuts with some of its suppliers. Those cuts could boost margins “modestly in the June quarter and more in September,” the note read.

A recent report out of Asia said Apple has demanded 10 percent price cuts from iPad suppliers as orders increase. The report specifically cited companies supplying printed circuit boards, optical components, battery modules and touch panels as being pressured to lower prices.

Huberty sees the recent dip in Apple’s share price as a buying opportunity for investors in light of the prospect of improved shipments of the iPhone and iPad. Morgan Stanley reiterated its Overweight rating of Apple, with a price target of US$428. The company’s stock has slide more than 6 percent to US$326.35 since the beginning of June.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Best Buy puts hold on MacBook Air orders, next-gen units expected soon

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Date: Monday, June 27th, 2011, 04:58
Category: MacBook Air, News

National retailer Best Buy has put a hold on online MacBook Air orders, providing further evidence that Apple plans to release an updated version of its diminutive laptop.

Per Electronista, Best Buy’s listings for the current-generation MacBook Air are now listed as “Not Available for Shipping.” Meanwhile, all MacBook Air models on Apple’s Online Store remain ready for shipping.

Best Buy continues to offer the portables in its brick-and-mortar retail stores, though some locations have reportedly run out of stock. In the U.K., the big-box retailer allows orders for a MacBook Air with 128GB of storage, but only with in-store pickup at certain locations.

Apple is expected to refresh the MacBook Air line with Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and the addition of the Thunderbolt port. However, sources close to the story have stated that Apple is waiting until it can load a Gold Master build of Mac OS X Lion onto the notebooks before releasing them.

Mac OS X Lion is due for release on the Mac App Store in July. As a major upgrade to Apple’s flagship desktop OS, Lion will include more than 250 new features such as full screen apps, additional multi-touch gestures and Mission Control.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Onyx 2.2.8 released

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Date: Monday, June 27th, 2011, 04:11
Category: News, Software

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Onyx, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.2.8. The new version, a 17.8 megabyte download (courtesy of MacUpdate), adds the following fixes and changes:

– Deleting Caches improved.

– Deleting Browsers History improved.

– Deleting Cookies improved.

– Deleting Recent Items improved.

– Deleting Temporary Items improved.

– Deleting Diagnostic Reports improved.

– Maintenance and Automation panels improved.

– New Info > Memory panel.

– Purging the inactive memory.

– Enable/disable virtual memory swapping.

– New Utilities > Packages panel.

– Bug corrected while deleting OnyX’s diagnostic reports.

– Bug corrected at launch OnyX.

– Bug corrected in the Preferences.

– Bug corrected while deleting Webpage previews.

– Bugs corrected in the Info panel.

– Help corrected and reindexed.

– Some cosmetic changes.

Onyx 2.2.8 requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

Apple releases Security Update 2011-004

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Date: Friday, June 24th, 2011, 08:23
Category: News, Software

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Along with yesterday’s Mac OS X 10.6.8 update, Apple also released Security Update 2011-004, which brings some of the same patches to Mac OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”), as well as fixing some Leopard-specific security bugs.

Per Macworld, the update patched 28 bugs in systems ranging from AirPort to MobileMe, QuickTime, and subversion. While many of the bugs fixed in Leopard have been addressed in previous updates to Snow Leopard, a handful affect both versions of the OS; Apple’s Knowledge Base document also addresses some Snow Leopard-specific bugs patched in Mac OS X 10.6.8.

The one thing Leopard doesn’t benefit from is Snow Leopard’s malware detection system, which was updated in 10.6.8 to catch more versions of the Mac Defender Trojan horse. Leopard users will instead have to rely on a combination of third-party antivirus software and common sense to defend themselves from the malware.

Security Update 2011-004 is recommended for all users of Mac OS X 10.5, and requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run. For users of the OS’s client version, a 256.4MB download is available via Software Update or the support section of Apple’s web site; Leopard Server users can download a 499.8MB update via Software Update or Apple’s site.

If you’ve tried the security update and have any feedback about it, let us know.

Rumor: Apple to release fifth-generation iPhone in China this September

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Date: Friday, June 24th, 2011, 04:34
Category: iPhone, Rumor

Per Boy Genius Report, analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities said in a new note to investors on Thursday that China Mobile may receive the iPhone in September. The source is said to be an employee of China Mobile, who reportedly posted the information on “Weibo,” which is China’s version of Twitter.

The Weibo message was said to have been quickly deleted, but not before an image of the text was captured.

White noted that if the report is true, it would mean that the iPhone 5 would need to support China Mobile’s current 3G TD-SCDMA network, because the carrier’s 4G TD-LTE network is only in trials. Apple is said to have already agreed to support China Mobile’s 4G network at some point in the future.

“If this weibo message and story are true, this would represent a landmark agreement for Apple, providing the company with access to the largest wireless carrier in the world with 611 million wireless subscribers at the end of May or 68% of the total China wireless market,” White said. “Additionally, the timing would be much sooner than expected and provide another growth driver for the final months of (calendar year 2011).”

White has been on top of the Apple-China Mobile story, and earlier on Thursday offered his analysis that Apple would make great inroads in the nation, particularly by reaching an agreement with the largest carrier in the world. In addition, he believes Apple would do extremely well by releasing a smaller, cheaper iPhone that could be sold in China without a contract.

Rumors of an agreement between Apple and China Mobile picked up steam on Wednesday, when a report claimed that Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook was spotted at the carrier’s corporate headquarters. Cook was said to be in good spirits, and speculation began to swirl that the two parties are nearing a deal.

China Mobile currently uses home-grown 3G data technology that is incompatible with the existing GSM and CDMA iPhone models. Despite this fact, there are estimated to be 4 million iPhone users on the massive network, running their device at much slower 2G wireless data speeds.

The iPhone 4 launched in China on carrier China Unicom last September, drawing crowds of thousands at Apple’s retail stores. The handset debuted first in the U.S. in late June of last year.

Roxio Toast Titanium 11.0.3 update released

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Date: Friday, June 24th, 2011, 03:13
Category: News, Software

Late Thursday, Roxio released version 11.0.3 of its Toast Titanium authoring software. The new version, available here, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Resolves an issue where unexpected beahviour occurs when working with VIDEO_TS folders authored by a specific application.

– Resolves an issue where adding MKV video with MPEG-2 content may cause a crash.

– Only valid start and end times are accepted in the Edit Video window.

– Custom audio transition now accepts user specified duration correctly.

– Verification will now occur when copying when burning disc-to-disc.

– Resolves an issue where some High Definition DVD projects and Blu-ray projects may hang at 99% of completion.

Toast Titanium 11 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.

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

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.8 update

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Date: Thursday, June 23rd, 2011, 14:11
Category: News, Software

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Late Monday, Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.8, the most recent version of its Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” operating system. The update, which alternates between 250 MB and 1.09 gigabytes for the combo update download, offers the following fixes and changes:

– Enhancements to the Mac App Store to get your Mac ready to upgrade to Mac OS X Lion.

– Resolves an issue that may cause Preview to unexpectedly quit.

– Improves support for IPv6.

– Improves VPN reliability.

– Identifies and removes known variants of MacDefender malware.

– Corrects timezone data in iCal for Lisbon-Portugal.

– Adds the ability to use Kerberos authentication to a web proxy server.

– Fixes an issue when saving documents from Xcode or TextEdit when using an NFS home directory.

– Fixes an issue when importing certain media files into Final Cut Pro.

– Includes RAW image compatibility for additional digital cameras.

– Mac OS X v10.6.8 also includes fixes provided in the Mac OS X v10.6.7 Snow Leopard Font Update

– Addresses an issue in which some OpenType fonts don’t display correctly in certain applications.

– Resolves issues printing from Preview.

– Addresses an issue with PDF files not opening in third-party PDF viewing applications.

– Resolves invalid font errors when printing to PostScript printers.

Mac OS X 10.6.8 can be directly downloaded here or via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, positive or negative, please let us know about your experience in the comments.

Apple releases updated Epson, Lexmark printer drivers

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Date: Thursday, June 23rd, 2011, 03:38
Category: News, Software

They’re not the most exciting updates in the world, but they help keep your print jobs running.

Per Macworld, late Thursday, Apple updated drivers aimed at hardware from Epson and Lexmark.

The Epson 2.7 Printer Drivers update installs the latest software for both printers and scanners from Epson. The 961.5MB download requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run and the driver release notes include a list of supported devices.

Likewise, the Lexmark 2.5 Printer Driver update installs new software for Lexmark-built printers and scanners—you can get a list of supported devices in the release notes. The file is a 147.5MB download that also requires Mac OS X 10.6 to install and run.

The driver downloads are available from Apple’s Support site or via OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the updates and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.

Rumor: Apple to switch to dual-LED flash for iPhone 5

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Date: Thursday, June 23rd, 2011, 03:22
Category: iPhone, Rumor

The new iPhone 5: It may just feature an even swankier flash system.

Per DigiTimes, “recent market rumors” indicate Apple’s iPhone 5 will likely come with a dual-LED flash. Taiwan-based LED packaging firms Everlight Electronics, Edison Opto and Lite-On Technology are named as potential suppliers. Although the publication has well-placed sources within the Asian supply chain, the accuracy of its Apple predictions varies significantly.

“Everlight and Lite-On have strengthened their deployments in the smartphone market for a while, with their products already being shipped to the supply chains of brand-name handset vendors,” the reported noted industry sources as saying. Meanwhile, sources said that Edison specializes in high-power LEDs and has reportedly started shipping LED flash products to branded handset vendors, giving it a “high chance” of attracting dual-LED flash orders from Apple.

It had been reported that Apple had “greatly reduced” orders for Philips LED flash components in recent months and may go with another company for the iPhone 5, according to a person familiar with the matter. At the time, the source indicated that “highly unconfirmed” rumors pointed to a Taiwan-based firm as the new LED flash supplier.

Apple first began using LED flash in last year’s iPhone 4.

Last month, photos of a few purported next-generation iPhone cases and parts components emerged, showing a shift in the location of the device’s camera flash. An alleged case leak showed up on a Chinese international trade site, followed by photos of a supposed fifth-generation iPhone rear camera part without attached flash. Finally, a photo of a back panel allegedly for the so-called iPhone surfaced in late May.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.