Apple patent application explores idea of magnetic stand that could hold iPads in new ways, configurations

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Date: Thursday, February 28th, 2013, 08:23
Category: iPad, News, Patents

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If you ever need to hang an iPad upside down, Apple may just have you covered.

Per the United States Patent and Trademark Office and TechCrunch, a new patent application by Apple published this week describes a stand for the iPad that uses magnets to hold the Apple tablet in place. iPads already come with fairly powerful magnets built into their frames, something Apple introduced along with the very first model to make the iPad compatible with its smart cover. The patent describes a magnetic stand which would be able to hold the iPad firmly in place in a number of different settings, and perform various functions.

Some examples provided in the patent include mounting the iPad to a tripod, a treadmill, or a music stand, and even attaching two iPads together via a hinge that would allow iPads to be used together in a book-style configuration. The patent text says that the mounting device would work together with a shielded, in-built magnetic component on the target device (which the iPad already has), thus enabling for a much stronger connection that would normally be possible, since powerful unshielded magnets could have an adverse effect on internal electronic components.

The mounting system described in the patent does more than just provide for a stand that can grip the iPad firmly: different permutations also include data connections, so that in the book type instance, for example, both tablet devices have a wired connection built in to their portion of the hinge, making communication between the two tablets possible. That would mean things like flipping pages in a book would actually have an effect on both tablet displays simultaneously, instead of each acting independently.

The patent also goes into a lot more detail about how an in-car mount might work with an iPad. A rotational sensor could be used to activate and deactivate the tablet, for instance, meaning the iPad could have an on and off position (likely portrait and landscape respectively), and there’s also potential to have a tablet-to-vehicle connection initiated when a car detects a specific “magnetic signature.” That, combined with wireless connection direct to a car’s communication system, would effectively render a person’s iPad a unique and personalized in-car entertainment device and control console.

The patent describes a driver issuing voice-based commands to the iPad, which are passed on to the car to change the car’s “configuration.” The communication would be two-way, too, with the car feeding ”car status information “ back to the iPad, which would also be able to handle navigation duties and play back music through the connected car’s stereo.

Cool stuff and it could help integrate the iPad into even more areas than before.

The proposed invention, made public this week, was first filed with the USPTO in August of 2011. The invention is credited to Matthew D. Rohrbach.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Adobe releases Photoshop Touch app for iPhone, iPod touch devices

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Date: Thursday, February 28th, 2013, 07:29
Category: iOS, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

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The app you’ve been hankering for has arrived.

Per AppleInsider, Adobe on Wednesday officially released the latest iteration of its mobile Photoshop software, Photoshop Touch for Phone, bringing powerful image editing to the iPhone and iPod touch.

The app, which boasts features users of the desktop version have become accustomed to, including layers, adjustment tools and filters as well as the following bells and whistles:

– Improve your photos using classic Photoshop features to bring out the best in your photography. Apply precise tone and color adjustments to your entire composition, a particular layer, or a select area.

– Create something other-worldly using painting effects, filter brushes, and so much more. With Photoshop Touch, the creative possibilities are endless.

– Make your images pop with graphical text. Apply strokes, add drop shadows and fades, and more.

– Take advantage of your device’s camera to fill an area on a layer with the unique Camera Fill feature.

– Quickly combine images together. Select part of an image to extract just by scribbling with the Scribble Selection tool. With the Refine Edge feature, use your fingertip to easily capture hard-to-select image elements, like hair.

– Work on high-resolution images while maintaining the highest image quality. Images up to 12 megapixels are supported.

Buyers will also get access to Adobe Creative Cloud, which allows users to sync projects and switch between Photoshop mobile and desktop versions. The membership includes 2GB of Creative Cloud storage

Along with the image editing feature set and Creative Cloud integration, users can easily share their work with friends through via Facebook and Twitter, as well as the usual “save to camera roll” iOS compatibility.

The iOS version of the app weighs in at 32.2MB and requires iOS 6 running on an iPhone 5, iPhone 4S or fifth-generation iPod touch. Adobe Photoshop Touch for Phone is available now in the App Store for US$4.99.

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

OnyX 2.6.8 beta 1 released

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Date: Thursday, February 28th, 2013, 07:06
Category: News, Software

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OnyX, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.6.8 beta 1. The new version, a 17.1 megabyte download via MacUpdate, adds the following fixes and changes:
– Deleting the Internet Cache improved.

– Bug corrected in the authenticate pane.

– Maintenance > Scripts pane improved.

– Help improved, corrected, and reindexed.

– New option: Show the Displays Extras menu with resolutions.

– New option: Show/hide shadow in window captures.

– New option: Show/hide the Reminders Debug menu.

– New option: Show/hide the Photo Booth Debug menu.

– New option: Lock/unlock the screen of automatically logged in user.

– New option: Show the dark menu bar in fullscreen mode.

– Misc. corrections.

OnyX 2.6.8 beta 1 requires an Intel-based processor and OS X 10.8 or later to install and run.

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

Microsoft announces updated Mac accreditation program

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Date: Wednesday, February 27th, 2013, 06:21
Category: News, Software

This may be handy.

Per MacTech and The Apple Core, the new Microsoft Office for Mac Accredited Support Professional program will target Microsoft Office for Mac, and Microsoft Office 365 suites. The pilot training and accreditation program will be offered free to registered attendees to MacTech’s 2013 BootCamps II seminars, depending upon limited space.

A press release said that the accreditation program will span topics such as Office Web Apps, best practices in configuration, licensing options, cross platform features, sharing documents with SkyDrive and SharePoint as well as other troubleshooting and common questions.

The accreditation is specifically designed for Apple consultants and techs supporting others using Microsoft Office for Mac, and Office 365 suites. At the end of the course, attendees will be evaluated on the content presented, and those who demonstrate sufficient knowledge will become a “Microsoft Office for Mac Accredited Support Professional.” Once obtained, attendees will receive an accreditation certificate from Microsoft, and be able to display the new accreditation graphic on their web sites and other promotional materials, as well as in their credentials.

The first course will be offered the week after next in Seattle with additional information available here.

Adobe releases Lightroom 4.4 release candidate beta

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Date: Wednesday, February 27th, 2013, 06:39
Category: News, Software

These Release Candidate updates, they are nifty…

Late Tuesday, Adobe offered a release candidate beta 4.4 of its Lightroom image editing program. The new version, a 441.4 megabyte download via MacUpdate, offers the following fixes and changes:

New Camera Support:
– Canon EOS 1D C

– Casio Exilim EX-ZR700

– Fujifilm X100s

– Fujifilm X20

– Hasselblad Lunar

– Leica M

– Nikon 1 V3

– Nikon 1 S1

– Pentax MX-1

Fixed Issues:
– The crop overlay tool resized incorrectly when used in conjunction with the “Constrain to Crop” checkbox in the Lens Correction panel.

– Background graphics were not correctly rendered within the Book Module.

– The supplied lens profile for the Sony RX-1 did not contain vignette information.

– Previews of photos in portrait orientation were blurry when viewed in the filmstrip in the Develop module. (Mac only)

– Stack badges displayed the wrong count when creating new stack that included a preexisting stack.

– The Filter scrollbar within the Library module was not rendering properly.

Adobe Lightroom 4.4 retails for US$149.00 and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 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.

Adobe releases Flash Player 11.6.602.175 beta

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Date: Wednesday, February 27th, 2013, 06:35
Category: News, Software

Hey, a reliable update never hurts.

Late Thursday, Adobe released Flash Player 11.6.602.175 for Mac OS X, a 16.9 megabyte download via MacUpdate as a pre-release beta. The new version adds the following fixes and changes:

Fixed Issues:
– External interface Javascript zero-day(3496801.)

– Microphone stops dispatching SampleDataEvents after repeated use(3499824).

New Features:
– Graphics Data Query.

– Improved permissions UI for full screen keyboard access.

– Multiple SWF support.

– Setting device specific Retina Display resolution.

– Updated File API following App Store guidelines.

– HiDpi support for FlashPro.

Adobe Flash Player 11.6.602.175 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

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

Second lockscreen bypass exploit discovered in iOS 6.1, data vulnerable via USB connection

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Date: Tuesday, February 26th, 2013, 07:07
Category: Hack, iOS, News, security, Software

Apple either needs to assign its iOS security people some business hammocks or take their current ones away…

A second iOS 6.1 bug has been discovered that gives access to contacts, photos and more. The vulnerability uses a similar method as the one disclosed previously, though it apparently gives access to more user data when the phone is plugged into a computer.

Per MacRumors and Kaspersky’s Threatpost, the exploit involves manipulating the phone’s screenshot function, its emergency call function and its power button. Users can make an emergency call (911 for example) on the phone and then cancel it while toggling the power on and off to get temporary access to the phone. A video posted by the group shows a user flipping through the phone’s voicemail list and contacts list while holding down the power button. From there an attacker could get the phone’s screen to turn black before it can be connected to a computer via a USB cord. The device’s photos, contacts and more “will be available directly from the device hard drive without the pin to access,” according to the advisory.

Apple was expected to fix the lock screen bug in iOS 6.1.2, but that small release fixed a different bug. Instead, it appears a fix for at least one of the lock screen vulnerabilities will be coming in iOS 6.1.3, currently in the hands of developers.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple’s iOS 6.1.3 beta could fix security holes, disable Evasi0n jailbreak

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, February 26th, 2013, 07:02
Category: Hack, iOS, News, security, Software

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It was awesome while it lasted.

Per Forbes,

Late last week Apple released an update for iOS to developers in beta that prevents the use of the popular jailbreak software evasi0n, according to one of evasi0n’s creators who tested the patch over the weekend, David Wang.

Wang has stated that he’s analyzed the 6.1.3 beta 2 update and found that it patches at least one of the five bugs the jailbreak exploits, namely a flaw in the operating system’s time zone settings. The beta update likely signals the end of using evasi0n to hack new or updated devices after the update is released to users, says Wang, who says he’s still testing the patch to see which other vulnerabilities exploited by the jailbreak might no longer exist in the new operating system.

That impending patch doesn’t mean evasi0n’s time is up, says Wang. Judging by Apple’s usual schedule of releasing beta updates to users, he predicts that it may take as long as another month before the patch is widely released.

When evasi0n hit the Web earlier this month, it quickly became the most popular jailbreak of all time as users jumped at their first chance to jailbreak the iPhone 5 and other most-recent versions of Apple’s hardware. The hacking tool was used on close to seven million devices in just its first four days online.

Apple already has a more pressing security reason to push out its latest update. The patch also fixes a bug discovered earlier this month that allows anyone who gains physical access to a phone to bypass its lockscreen in seconds and access contacts and photos.

When Apple’s update arrives, the team of jailbreakers known as the evad3rs may still have more tricks in store. Wang has stated that the group has discovered enough bugs in Apple’s mobile operating system to nearly build a new iOS jailbreak even if all the bugs they currently use are fixed.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Dropbox 1.7.7 beta released

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Date: Tuesday, February 26th, 2013, 07:53
Category: News, Software

You can’t knock a steady stream of update-based goodness.

On Tuesday, Dropbox released a public beta of version 1.7.7 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 21.9 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
– Fix a bug where notifications may enter a bad state without the ability to recover.

– Clicking a shared folder invitation now opens the invitation inbox.

– Re-enabled Notification Center on OS X 10.8.

– Fixed a bug where the popup would remain visible while the tray icon was hidden while quitting the application.

– Improved performance when acknowledging notifications.

– Fixed a bug where notifications would sometimes fail to appear on Windows.

– Other small fixes and polish.

Dropbox 1.7.7 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: Fifth-gen iPad to take after iPad mini, feature slimmer design

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Date: Monday, February 25th, 2013, 08:52
Category: Hardware, iPad, Rumor

Sometimes it’s the leaked case specs that give it away.

Per MacRumors, Apple accessory manufacturer MiniSuit has already created a case for the upcoming fifth-generation iPad, based on data and specifications received from what the site claims is a reliable source.

Case manufacturers (in this case, accessory maker MiniSuit) often obtain case specs ahead of product releases to get a jump on manufacturing. Creating a case based on measurements can be a gamble, but an early case release can be financially beneficial.

The iPad 5 case is slimmer than the fourth-generation iPad case, which supports rumors that the next iPad will share design similarities with the iPad mini, most notably featuring smaller side bezels.

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The back of the case depicts an extra hole, which is for the microphone. The current fourth-generation iPad’s microphone is located at the top of the device, but Apple has relocated the microphone to the back of the iPad 5, as noted in leaked photos of the rear shell of the device.

In addition to slimmer bezels and a smaller size, the iPad 5 is said to be significantly thinner than the iPad 4, featuring the chamfered edges of the iPad mini, which is apparent in the less angled design of the iPad 5 case.

An iPad 5 with a reduced size would likely necessitate a redesign of the interior of the tablet as well, incorporating smaller chip components and a thinner display panel.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.