Intuit to revise Quicken 2007, add Lion compatibility in “early 2012″

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Date: Friday, December 23rd, 2011, 06:00
Category: News, Software

You either love or hate Quicken, but you’ve got to admit it’s useful.

Per AppleInsider, Intuit announced to customers on Thursday that it plans to release a “re-engineered” version of Quicken for Mac 2007 that will be compatible with the latest version of Apple’s Mac operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion.

A note from Aaron Forth, general manager of the Intuit Personal Finance Group, was sent out to customers Thursday, acknowledging that the company has “not always delivered” on its promise to deliver the best products to Mac customers. In particular, he was addressing the fact that Quicken for Mac 2007 does not have compatibility with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

“I understand the frustration this may have caused you and have put a team in place to address this issue,” Forth wrote. “I am happy to announce that we will have a solution that makes Quicken 2007 for Mac ‘Lion-compatible’ by early spring.”

Details on the forthcoming release are available on Intuit’s support website with a newly published list of questions and answers. There users can request to be notified when more information becomes available.

Forth told customers that the Quicken for Mac 2007 solution is “just a first step” in winning back the confidence of customers. Intuit is also expanding its development team to better support Mac users.

“I understand we have a way to go, but I wanted to start by communicating our commitment to Mac and look forward to sharing the details with you as they emerge,” he said.

Intuit last overhauled Quicken for Mac with Quicken Essentials, released in early 2010. But its latest efforts aim to support legacy customers, who have been locked out from Quicken for Mac 2007 since Apple launched Lion in July.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available. And for Mac users looking to motivate Intuit’s developers regarding the next version, you can always look up their headquarters and send them snacks and cocoa given the holiday season.

Mozilla releases Firefox 9.0.1 update

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

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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

Posted by:
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

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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.

Google Voice updated, includes full Sprint network integration

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 21st, 2011, 12:49
Category: iPhone, News, Software

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This could be useful

Per Electronista, Google on Wednesday quietly rolled an update to its Google Voice app for iOS with a major help to Sprint users. The app now lets iPhone owners on Sprint take full advantage of Google Voice integration on the network. All Google Voice calls on Sprint now get relayed to the native phone component and make it even more a part of Google’s service.

The app catches up to the Android version on any US carrier through support for multi-recipient text messaging that now auto-completes contacts. Messaging now gets a long-expected multi-line text field that tracks characters to avoid splitting messages. Dialing gets another boost through support for single-tap copying and pasting.

The app requires iOS 3.0 or later to install and run.

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

Apple fixes iOS 3.1.3 App Store/update bug, older devices able to grab updates as needed

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Date: Wednesday, December 21st, 2011, 05:21
Category: iOS, News, Software

Complain loudly enough and people will listen.

Per Engadget, after a few days of not being able to download or buy apps directly on the devices due to a recent App Store update that rendered such basic features unusable, Apple has now returned things back to working order. The site has confirmed that a first-generation iPod touch running iOS 3.1.3, as have a number of iPhone and iPod touch users on the official Apple support forums, have returned to being able to grab App Store updates. As with the bug in the first place, there’s no actual software update involved here and everything should be back to normal as soon as you open the App Store on your device.

Internal fixes…gotta love ‘em.

If you’ve seen this bug or fix on your end, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases updated Mac OS X 10.7.3 beta to developer community

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Date: Wednesday, December 21st, 2011, 05:37
Category: News, Software

Apple on Tuesday issued a new beta version of Mac OS X 10.7.3, labeled build 11D36, to developers for testing.

Per AppleInsider, sources familiar with Apple’s seed notes for the release, focus areas for the beta include iCloud Document Storage, Address Book, iCal, Mail, Spotlight and Safari. The build was reportedly seeded with no known issues.

The combo update is a 1.25GB download, while the delta version weighs 986.68MB.

Developer releases of Mac OS X 10.7.3 have come fairly regularly in recent weeks, with the previous build, labeled 11D33, arriving on Dec. 15. Apple began testing the update in mid-November.

Earlier this month, beta drivers for AMD’s next-generation graphics cards were discovered in a beta build of the update. AMD’s new cards, which are expected to arrive on the market in the first quarter of 2012, could power a future iteration of the Mac Pro, though Apple is believed to be debating whether to continue making its full-sized workstation line.

Apple released OS X 10.7.2 in October, adding iCloud support to the desktop OS.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

VirtualBox updated to 4.1.8

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Date: Tuesday, December 20th, 2011, 07:40
Category: News, Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.1.8. The new version, a 88.9 megabyte download, sports an extensive list of changes that can be found here.

VirtualBox 4.1.8 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.

AT&T ends T-Mobile acquisition effort

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Date: Tuesday, December 20th, 2011, 06:32
Category: iPhone, News

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Sometimes you’ve just gotta throw in the towel.

Per AppleInsider, AT&T has given up its efforts to buy carrier T-Mobile, citing opposition from federal regulators.

A statement by AT&T says the company will take a pretax charge of US$4 billion that was stipulated in the agreement between the two carriers if the deal were dropped before being finalized.

In addition to the payoff, T-Mobile patent company Deutsche Telekom is also entering into what AT&T described as “mutually beneficial” roaming agreements with its attempted buyer.

“The actions by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice to block this transaction do not change the realities of the U.S. wireless industry,” AT&T stated. “It is one of the most fiercely competitive industries in the world, with a mounting need for more spectrum that has not diminished and must be addressed immediately. The AT&T and T-Mobile USA combination would have offered an interim solution to this spectrum shortage. In the absence of such steps, customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled.”

The merger was opposed throughout the year by the US FCC and the DOJ, both of whom cited limited competition and job layoffs as reasons for opposing the deal.

AT&T’s chairman and chief executive Randall Stephenson wrote that “to meet the needs of our customers, we will continue to invest. However, adding capacity to meet these needs will require policymakers to do two things.

“First, in the near term, they should allow the free markets to work so that additional spectrum is available to meet the immediate needs of the U.S. wireless industry, including expeditiously approving our acquisition of unused Qualcomm spectrum currently pending before the FCC. Second, policymakers should enact legislation to meet our nation’s longer-term spectrum needs.”

It is not known if the new roaming agreement between T-Mobile and AT&T would enable Apple to sell its existing iPhone models to T-Mobile, or if it would still need to develop a unique version of the iPhone to sell on the carrier, which uses a different AWS band for 3G service than the rest of the GSM/UMTS world.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Mozilla releases Firefox 9.0 update

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, December 20th, 2011, 06:08
Category: News, Software

elfirefox

On Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 9.0 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.

Firefox 9.0 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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