Crucial unveils solid-state drives for older Mac notebooks

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Date: Tuesday, July 31st, 2012, 14:34
Category: hard drive, Hardware, News

You should add more solid-state drives to more things, as they are awesome.

Per Macworld, accessory provider Crucial today announced a new solid-state drive (SSD) targeted at users who want to upgrade older computer systems with a flash drive that boasts a price well under US$1 per gigabyte of capacity.

Crucial’s new v4 SSD, which is being manufactured by partner Micron, may not sport top flash-drive speeds. But it outpaces any consumer hard drive by more than twice the performance. The new 128GB SSD sells for US$100; a 256GB model can be had for US$190.

The price of consumer-class SSDs had been expected to drop to US$1 per gigabyte this year. SSD prices further slipped precipitously because of market oversupply. For example, NAND flash memory maker Toshiba recently slashed its production by 30 percent in order to deal with oversupply issues.

Crucial’s new v4 SSD uses the more widely used but older SATA-2, which has the 3 Gbps interface that most pre-2011 computer systems sport for internal drive connectivity. SATA-3 offers 6 Gbps, but only the latest systems (such as the new MacBook Pro) come with it.

Crucial said its v4 SSD has sequential read/write speeds of 230 MBps and 190 MBps, respectively. To put that in perspective, a top-of-the-line hard disk drive, such as Western Digital’s 7200-rpm Scorpio Black, has maximum read/write speeds of around 104 MBps and 101 MBps.

By comparison, an Intel top-of-the-line 520 Series SSD boasts peak read/write speeds of 550 MBps and 520 MBps, respectively. So the new Crucial SSD rests nicely in the middle.

The v4 SSDs are available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities with suggested retail prices of US$50, US$70, US$100, and US$190, respectively. The SSDs can be purchased now through global channel partners, or direct through Crucial’s website.

The Crucial v4 SSD comes with a three-year limited warranty, and is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X systems.

Apple confirms iCloud error, some users unable to access older email messages

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Date: Tuesday, July 31st, 2012, 14:42
Category: iCloud, News, Software

Ok, this is somewhat awkward.

On Tuesday, Apple issued a system status update on the iCloud Support web page that confirmed that some users may be affected by a temporary error where older emails are inaccessible.

The message, posted under “iCloud: Mail & Notes” shortly after noon PST on Tuesday, said select iCloud users may not be able to access older email messages, though sending and receiving new messages should be unaffected.

Apple has promised the issue would be resolved “ASAP” but gave no indication of what exactly caused the error.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Hulu Plus quietly appears on Apple TV devices, no update needed

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Date: Tuesday, July 31st, 2012, 06:50
Category: Apple TV, News

Soon you will watch Hulu Plus on your Apple TV.

And it’ll have all the nifty perks of Hulu Plus.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Tuesday quietly updated the Apple TV set-top box, adding a new application for the Hulu Plus streaming video service.

The subscription service appeared on users’ Apple TV home screens on Tuesday without the need for a software update. Those who subscribe to the Hulu Plus service can log in to access their account, while new users are offered a free one-week trial.

Hulu Plus joins Netflix, MLB.TV, the NBA, NHL, Vimeo, YouTube, and WSJ Live as third-party content providers available on the Apple TV. They join Apple’s own iTunes content available for sale or rental.

The US$10-per-month Hulu Plus service debuted in mid-2010, offering access to back episodes of popular shows like “Family Guy,” “Modern Family” and “Glee.” Users of the service have previously been able to access Hulu Plus on their iPhone or iPad.

Apple has steadily added new applications to the Apple TV even without the availability of a dedicated App Store, like exists on the iPhone, iPad and even Mac platforms. Streaming MLB and NBA games were added along with 5.1 sound support for Netflix in March of 2011, while NHL games, Wall Street Journal Live, Photo Stream, AirPlay Mirroring and iTunes Trailers were added with a software update last October.

This fall, the functionality of the Apple TV will grow with the launch of iOS 6. Developer previews of the forthcoming software update have the added ability to reorder icons on the Apple TV home screen, much like users can do on an iPhone or iPad. The third iOS 6 beta for Apple TV also added enhanced AirPlay control, allowing users to actively stream audio to external AirPlay-capable speakers.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.7.5 build, iCloud Control Panel beta to developer community

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Date: Tuesday, July 31st, 2012, 05:24
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock the development cycle.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Monday seeded new builds of OS X Lion, Lion Server and the Windows-only iCloud Control Panel beta to developers with no known issues.

In the new builds, noted as 11G30 for both OS X Lion and Lion Server, Apple is asking developers to focus on graphics performance and quality as there are no known issues with the release.

Work on the server side is a bit more substantial as developers have been tasked with focusing on Password Server, Profile Manager, Webmail (RoundCube), Server App, System Image Utility, Software Update Server, Web Sharing and Workgroup Manager. No known issues are present in the server build.

iCloud Control Panel:
- The second seed for version 2.0 of iCloud Control Panel brings a host of new features to the Windows-centric software including consolidation of Mail, Contacts, Calendars and Tasks enablement into a single checkbox and overall stability enhancements.

- This seed build of iCloud Control Panel 2.0 includes all the same features as Seed 1, with the following changes:

- Mail, Contacts, Calendars and Tasks are now enabled with a single checkbox.

- Shared Photo Streams can now be explicitly enabled and disabled through the Control Panel.

- Shared Photo Streams UI in Explorer view has been substantially improved.

- Addressed an issue where Push Notifications could crash or stop working.

There are a few known issues with the second iCloud Control Panel beta:
- The seed is available in English only

- If you sign out of the control panel and sign in as another iCloud account, you may need to restart your computer to use Shared Photo Streams with your second iCloud account.

- If you are unable to sign out of the iCloud Control Panel, open the task manager and stop the ApplePhotoStreams.exe process.

- Portrait JPG images may create low-resolution versions and not have proper orientation.

- Both the OS X Lion and Lion server seeds as well as the iCloud Control Panel are available for developer download today.

If you’ve gotten your hands on the new beta and had a chance to play with it, please let us know what you make of it in the comments.