Mozilla releases Firefox 9.0.1 update

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Date: Thursday, December 22nd, 2011, 14:19
Category: News, Software

elfirefox

On Thursday, Mozilla.org released version 9.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version stands as a 30.8 megabyte download (via MacUpdate) and adds the following fixes and changes:

- Added Type Inference, significantly improving JavaScript performance.

- Improved theme integration for Mac OS X Lion.

- Added two finger swipe navigation for Mac OS X Lion.

- Added support for querying Do Not Track status via JavaScript.

- Added support for font-stretch.

- Improved support for text-overflow.

- Improved standards support for HTML5, MathML, and CSS.

- Fixed several stability issues.

- Fixed security issues.

- Fixed add-on crashes.

Firefox 9.0.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Apple exploring fuel cell technologies for future notebook power sources

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Date: Thursday, December 22nd, 2011, 12:52
Category: Hardware, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Patents

It’s the patents that make life interesting.

Per two articles (1, 2) at Free Patents Online, Apple is apparently exploring ways to power its notebooks via fuel cells.

“Our country’s continuing reliance on fossil fuels has forced our government to maintain complicated political and military relationships with unstable governments in the Middle East, and has also exposed our coastlines and our citizens to the associated hazards of offshore drilling,” the filings state. “These problems have led to an increasing awareness and desire on the part of consumers to promote and use renewable energy sources.”

Apple’s proposed invention notes that the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEAT, has helped to increase consumer awareness of the environmental friendliness of electronic devices. In addition, Apple usually highlights the EPEAT ratings of products it introduces at highly publicized keynote events.

“As a consequence of increased consumer awareness, electronics manufacturers have become very interested in renewable energy sources for their products, and they have been exploring a number of promising renewable energy sources such as hydrogen fuel which is used in hydrogen fuel cells,” both documents state.

Apple then makes a case for using fuel cells to power portable electronic devices, noting that hydrogen and associated fuels could allow such devices to operate “for days or even weeks without refueling.” But the company also notes there are challenges in creating hydrogen fuel cell systems that are portable and cost-effective.

The solution presented by Apple describes a fuel cell system that can both provide power to and receive power from a rechargeable battery found in a device like a MacBook.

“This eliminates the need for a bulky and heavy battery within the fuel cell system, which can significantly reduce the size, weight and cost of the fuel cell system,” one filing reads. “This fuel cell system includes a fuel cell stack which converts fuel into electrical power. It also includes a controller which controls operation of the fuel cell system.”

“Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device” was first filed with the USPTO in August of 2010. It is credited to Bradley L. Spare, Vijay M. Iyer, Jean L. Lee, Gregory L. Tice, Michael D. Hillman and David I. Simon. “Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing device” is a continuation-in-part of a patent filed in 2010. It lists Iyer and Spare as its inventors.

Apple’s interest in fuel cell technology is not new and other patent applications have been found that showcase Apple as looking into lighter and more efficient hydrogen fuel cells. The company proposed accomplishing this by building multiple fuel cells connected in a parallel configuration by a power bus, along with a voltage-multiplying circuit to increase the voltage of the stack.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Parallels Desktop updated to 7.0.15052

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Date: Thursday, December 22nd, 2011, 10:57
Category: News, Software

parallelslogo1.jpg

On Thursday, Parallels released version 7.0.15052 of its Parallels Desktop virtualization software. The new update, a 304 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Better compatibility with Mac OS X 10.7.2 Launchpad.

- Improves network stability.

- Addresses the issue of Linux virtual machine not resuming upon waking the Mac from Sleep mode.

Parallels Desktop 7 retails for US$79.99 and requires a 64-bit Intel-based processor, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended to run Windows 7), at least 700 MB of space available on the boot volume for Parallels Desktop installation and 15 GB of available disk space for Windows.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.