Cocktail updated to 6.2.1

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 8th, 2012, 08:56
Category: News, Software

cocktaillogo.jpg

On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 6.2.1 of CocktailCocktail (Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 5.2 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

– Added ability to disable startup sound (System – Misc).

– Addresses compatibility issues with USB flash drives.

Cocktail 6.2.1 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

Apple patent shows interest in developing dual-function headphones

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 8th, 2012, 08:28
Category: News, Patents

applelogo_silver

This could get really interesting.

Per AppleInsider, a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday shows that Apple presented an invention for a “dual-mode headphone” which can transform from a normal set of earbuds to a more robust speaker system.

First filed for in 2011, the proposed system incorporates the usual in-ear headphone arrangement with specialized position-sensing circuitry and a power amplifier, allowing a user to dynamically switch from personal listening mode to speaker mode.

From the application’s background:
“Users typically listen to content on their portable devices using headphones, although there are speakers available that can be connected to the portable devices to enable multiple users to listen in at the same time. This approach, however, may require a user to carry both a headphone and speakers, or may require the user to rely on speakers built into the device, which may not be as powerful or have as high a sound quality as external speakers.

In operation, the headphones can detect its position and output sound in “headphone mode,” where the amplifier is bypassed, or “speaker mode,” which passes the audio signal through said amplifier. To prevent a user from being harmed by inadvertently activating the speaker mode while wearing the headphones, a separate sensor can be employed to detect when the unit is near a user’s ears.

Any number of sensors can be implemented in the invention, including IR sensors, ambient light sensors, Hall effect sensors, and others. In one embodiment, a sensor that can detect contact with a user’s ears is integrated into the headphone to prevent hearing damage.

In addition to automatically detecting positioning, users can manually activate speaker mode with physical buttons. An articulating arm or other design component can also be used to prop the headphones up when in speaker mode. ”

Finally, one embodiment describes an implementation that allows the headphone to be used as an in-ear set as well as a speaker by positioning extra ports directed away from the user’s ears.

As with many patent applications, the fate of the dual-mode headphone remains uncertain, though Apple’s new EarPods illustrated the company is still researching new design techniques for its audio products.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Twitter sends out e-mails to significant number users needing passwords on “compromised accounts”

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 8th, 2012, 07:40
Category: News, security, Software

If you found that your Twitter password was reset, there’s a valid reason for it.

Per CNET and the TweetSmarter blog, an unknown number of Twitter users have received a genuine e-mail from the company warning they should change their password as soon as possible.

In the e-mail, the microblogging company noted: “Twitter believes that your account may have been compromised by a website or service not associated with Twitter. We’ve reset your password to prevent others from accessing your account.”

The company did not say in the e-mail that there has been a hack, a breach of data, or anything out of the ordinary, however. At this stage, it’s unclear how many have been affected or what’s caused the mass e-mailing of its users.

A post on Wednesday noted that in some cases when “large numbers of Twitter accounts have been hijacked,” the company sends out these e-mails en masse, even sending messages to accounts that may not have been affected by any hack or hijack to err on the side of caution.

So far, a few high profile accounts have noted interference, including David Mitchell, who said:

“Got an e-mail from twitter telling me that my password had to be changed because they thought my account had been hacked,” adding in another tweet: “So I’ve changed it, but the only evidence of hacking I can find is that my tweet about my Observer column last Sun has disappeared. Weird.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Dropbox 1.5.46 beta goes live, now available for download

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 8th, 2012, 07:18
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock a decent public beta.

On Wednesday, Dropbox released a public beta of version 1.5.46 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 24.5 megabyte download, which adds the following fixes and changes:

– Fixed Web Login opening an HTML editor instead of a Browser in OS X.

– Other small fixes.

Dropbox 1.5.46 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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

Rumor: Microsoft to release free Office app for iOS in early 2013, will charge subscription fees for document editing

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 7th, 2012, 08:46
Category: Rumor, Software

microsoftlogo.jpg

This is interesting.

According to The Verge, a version of Microsoft Office designed for Apple’s iPhone and iPad is now expected to arrive on the iOS App Store in early 2013, offering free document viewing, while a subscription will be needed for editing.

Details on the rumored software were revealed on Wednesday, which also obtained screenshots of the software and other details from “several sources close to Microsoft’s plans.” The “Office Mobile” application will be a free option available on the iOS App Store that will require a Microsoft Office account.

Included in Office Mobile will be Word, PowerPoint and Excel support, while those with an Office 365 subscription will be able to edit documents. Office Mobile is also expected to come to Google’s Android platform, though it will debut on Apple’s iOS first.

An Office 365 subscription will reportedly be available for purchase through the application, meaning it will comply with Apple’s in-app purchase rules for App Store content. Wednesday’s report said the subscription will allow for “basic editing” in the application, though it “won’t go very far in attempting to replace regular full use of a desktop Office application.

Those who do not purchase an Office 365 subscription will still be able to use the free Office Mobile application for iPhone and iPad for basic viewing of documents.

Last month, a Microsoft product manager in the Czech Republic indicated that the new version of Office for iOS could arrive as soon as March of 2013. A spokesperson for Microsoft declined to give a date, only saying that its Office suite would “work across Windows Phone, iOS and Android.”

Rumors of a version of Microsoft Office for iPad have swirled for the past year, and a picture claiming to show a screenshot of the iPad application surfaced this February. One report from late May pegged a specific release date of Nov. 10 for Office for iPad, but recent reports suggest that date will not be met.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Foxconn chair cites crushing demand, possible delays for iPhone 5 units

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 7th, 2012, 08:49
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

You know that iPhone 5 you ordered?

You may have to wait a little longer for it to be manufactured and ship.

Per Reuters, Crushing demand for the iPhone 5 has proven to be too much for Apple’s manufacturing partner, Foxconn, to handle, as it continues to struggle to produce the device.

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou admitted on Wednesday that his company is finding it difficult to meet the significant demand for Apple’s iPhone 5. Foxconn is Apple’s primary partner for assembly of a number of its devices, including the iPhone.

“It’s not easy to make the iPhones,” Gou reportedly said. “We are falling short of meeting the huge demand.”

Sales of the iPhone 5 have been held back by limited supply since the device launched in September. Apple itself said the company has been “completely blown away” by consumer demand for the device.

In particular, the in-cell touch panel and aluminum chassis featured in the new design of the iPhone 5 are said to have posed quality control issues for both Apple and Foxconn. One unnamed source from Foxconn revealed in October that the iPhone 5 is “the most difficult device” the company has ever been tasked with assembling.

Rumors first surfaced a month ago that Foxconn had expanded production to a subsidiary known as Foxconn International Holdings in an effort to boost production. When asked about that rumor on Wednesday, Gou declined to comment.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Adium updated to 1.5.4

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 7th, 2012, 08:37
Category: News, Software

adiumducky.gif

Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.5.4.

The new version, a 22.7 megabyte download adds the following fixes and changes:

– Updated the included Growl SDK to 2.0, adding support for Notification Center on 10.8 if Growl is not installed. (#15867)

– Updated libotr to 3.2.1, fixing a security vulnerability.

– Updated libpurple to 2.10.6.

– Changed the default tab switching shortcuts for new users to Control-Tab/Control-Shift-Tab, to match Safari. (#16102)

– Improved disk usage: limit the tracking of the “last seen” time to contacts who are on your contact list.

– Fixed a problem where accepting a group chat invite on Sametime 8.5.1 would crash Adium. (Jonathan Rice and Jere Krischel) (#16114)

– Fixed a problem where accepting a group chat invite on HipChat’s XMPP server would crash Adium. (#16007)

– Fixed a problem preventing Adium from executing Applescripts when Gatekeeper is enabled.

– Added routines to make Secure Transport (on 10.8 and above) work around buggy TLS implementations in certain older XMPP servers. (#16081)

РUpdated translations: British English, Czech, Danish (#16196), Dutch (#16220), French (#16207), Italian (#16218), Norwegian (Bokm̴l) (#16219), Portuguese (Portugal) (#16211), Slovakian (#16194), Turkish.

Adium 1.5.4 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later and an Intel-based Mac to run.

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

Google Chrome updated to 23.0.1271.64

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 7th, 2012, 08:53
Category: News, security, Software

google-chrome-logo

It’s the bug fixes that make a difference.

Late Tuesday, Google released a beta of version 23.0.1271.64 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 56.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Medium CVE-2012-5127: Integer overflow leading to out-of-bounds read in WebP handling. Credit to Phil Turnbull.

– High CVE-2012-5116: Use-after-free in SVG filter handling. Credit to miaubiz.

– [Mac OS only] [149717] High CVE-2012-5118: Integer bounds check issue in GPU command buffers. Credit to miaubiz.

– High CVE-2012-5121: Use-after-free in video layout. Credit to Atte Kettunen of OUSPG.

– Low CVE-2012-5117: Inappropriate load of SVG subresource in img context. Credit to Felix Groebert of the Google Security Team.

– Medium CVE-2012-5119: Race condition in Pepper buffer handling. Credit to Fermin Serna of the Google Security Team.

– Medium CVE-2012-5122: Bad cast in input handling. Credit to Google Chrome Security Team (Inferno).

– Medium CVE-2012-5123: Out-of-bounds reads in Skia. Credit to Google Chrome Security Team (Inferno).

– High CVE-2012-5124: Memory corruption in texture handling. Credit to Al Patrick of the Chromium development community.

– Medium CVE-2012-5125: Use-after-free in extension tab handling. Credit to Alexander Potapenko of the Chromium development community.

– Medium CVE-2012-5126: Use-after-free in plug-in placeholder handling. Credit to Google Chrome Security Team (Inferno).

– High CVE-2012-5128: Bad write in v8. Credit to Google Chrome Security Team (Cris Neckar).

Google Chrome 23.0.1271.64 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Analyst: ARM-based Macs “inevitable”, though still a ways off

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 6th, 2012, 09:24
Category: News, Processors

Apple’s future may be in the hands of ARM some day.

Per AppleInsider, Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu has gone on record as saying it’s “inevitable” that Apple will merge its Mac and iOS devices at some point, but such a change is not expected to happen for years.

Wu said in a note to investors on Tuesday that he believes it will take Apple some time to optimize its Mac OS X operating system for the ARM processors currently found in the iPad and iPhone.

Intel processors are currently much more powerful for running intensive Mac applications, as well as for development. But he believes that ARM processors will eventually become powerful enough to replace Intel chips.

In his view, making Apple’s entire product line based on custom-built ARM-based processors would simplify the architecture of its devices, and also help to create a more seamless experience for users.

Wu also noted that the Mac represents just 14 percent to 18 percent of Apple’s total revenue. In comparison, the iPhone accounts for between 45 and 50 percent of the company’s revenue, and the iPad is 20 to 25 percent.

Wu’s take was issued in response to a report that surfaced on Monday from Bloomberg, which indicated that Apple’s engineers are confident that the company’s A-series custom chip designs will one day be powerful enough to run the company’s desktop and laptop machines. ARM-based silicon in Apple devices is currently limited to iOS devices.

Monday’s report also suggested a change to ARM processors is not likely to take place “in the next few years.” But it also portrayed a shift to proprietary chip designs as an “inevitable” transition for the company in the future.

Apple is said to have a team dedicated to the project, with engineers working to design a lineup of machines that rely on a common chip design. Apple already employs this approach with its current lineup of iPhones, iPads and iPods.

A potential switch to ARM chips would pose a challenge to Intel, Wu said. He noted that Apples’ 11-inch MacBook Air gets four to five hours of battery life under heavy use, compared to 10 hours of battery life with an ARM-based iPad.

Reports suggesting Apple could power future Macs with ARM processors are not new. One recent story issued in October also said Apple has “deliberated” moving its lineup of Mac computers away from Intel processors, though such a change was said to not be “imminent.”

Apple has made headway in designing its own custom silicon for the iPhone and iPad. Earlier this year, rumors suggested Apple was looking to use its own ARM processors in upcoming iterations of the MacBook, especially in power-critical applications like the thin-and-light MacBook Air.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Election Day: Remember to vote for your Space Overlord

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 6th, 2012, 08:07
Category: Fun, News

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s now November 6th.

Which, of course, means that it’s up to you to vote for the best possible Space Overlord for your country.

Personally, I have chosen Zorgoth the Mighty, who has all the qualifications to make both a terrific AND cruel Space Overlord (unlike his opponents, many of whom lay slain at Zorgoth’s MIGHTY hands throughout the galaxy).

The other functional candidate for Space Overlord, Zantor (I scoff at his FEEBLE name) allowed nine star systems to be lost to the puny rebels in the last fortnight alone. Only ZORGOTH will crush those rebels, much less bargain SPACE TECHNOLOGY with them.

As such, you should vote ZORGOTH to his rightful position, as he has promised me no less than four space harems for my support and may extend his generosity to you as well as NOT CONQUER your planet.

But seriously, get on out and vote today if you can.

And remember to vote ZORGOTH.