Primate Labs testing shows 3-5% performance bump for updated Retina Display MacBook Pro notebooks

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Date: Monday, February 25th, 2013, 07:07
Category: News

If you waited a bit for the newer Retina display MacBook Pros, then you get to feel somewhat wise at this moment in time.

Per the cool cats at Primate Labs, a series of cross-platform Geekbench 2 tests founds slight jumps in performance for the new models.

The 13-inch model, which got a 100MHz bump in processor speed, saw a three to five percent jump in performance on the Geekbench 2 test. Likewise, the 15-inch model, which also got a 100MHz spec bump, saw performance improve between three and five percent. Primate Labs attributes the jump entirely to the new processors.

The new Retina models are available now and were announced along with a price reduction in the line. The 13-inch model now starts at US$1,499 for a model with a 128GB SSD, while the model with a 2.6GHz processor and 256GB SS sells for US$1,699.

If you’ve gotten your hands on the new Retina MacBook Pros and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Flip4Mac updated to 3.1.0.24

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Date: Monday, February 25th, 2013, 07:29
Category: News, Software

flip4mac.jpg

Late last week, software developer Telestream has released version 3.1.0.24 of Flip4Mac, its QuickTime components package which allows for Windows Media files to be viewed, imported and converted under Mac OS X. The new release, a 66.3 megabyte download, includes the following fixes and changes:

New Features:
- Added support for Retina displays.

- Added the ability to export to iTunes from Flip Player, including exporting both audio and video, or exporting just the audio portion of a movie.

- Added iPad mini and iPod Nano scaling presets.

Fixes and Enhancements:
- Fixed a bug that prevented Flip4Mac from playing ASX files with a bad first entry but a valid second entry.

- Fixed a bug that prevented exports from the Mac App Store version of ScreenFlow due to a sandboxing violation.

- Fixed a bug that could cause Flip Player to crash if a movie was closed while being loaded for trimming.

Flip4Mac 3.1.0.24 is available for free but can go as high as US$179 depending on the version purchased. The new version requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7 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.

Google opens Maps API to entire developer base

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Date: Friday, February 22nd, 2013, 08:04
Category: News, Software

Google-Maps-Logo

Well, this is one pretty definite way to win the GPS app war…

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Google has expanded its Google maps SDK for iOS developers. The SDK, which was quietly launched back in December, allowed developers to do two things: first, they can embed Google Maps in their apps instead of Apple Maps, and second, they could specify in their apps if an address or directions should be opened in Apple Maps, or the Google Maps app. However, in order to access the SDK, iOS developers had to register their interest and wait in line to be approved, which led to a limited amount of third-party apps bringing Google maps back.

Google has now released version 1.1 of Google Maps SDK for iOS. Not only does the updated SDK include support for ground overlays, gesture control and geodesic polylines, it makes the Google Maps API immediately available to all developers that want it. Now a developer simply needs to grab their keys from the Google API Console.

With the release of Google Maps SDK for iOS version 1.1 users can expect to see a quick uptick in the number of iOS apps that are using Google Maps again.

If you’ve had a chance to play with the new SDK, please let us know.

Apple releases iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 build to developer community, looks to resolve recently-discovered lock screen security hole

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Date: Friday, February 22nd, 2013, 07:21
Category: iOS, News, security, Software

This could be useful.

Per MacNN, Apple on Thursday pushed a new beta build to the developer community of its iOS mobile operating system designed to address a bug that can allow users to get past an iPhone lock screen even when a secure passcode is enabled.

iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 is available to members of Apple’s development community for testing prior to the software’s official release. Sources familiar with the latest build indicated it addresses the security hole discovered last week that could allow anyone to bypass an iPhone lock screen.

Those with access to the new software indicated it is identified as “Build 10B318.”

The software also reportedly includes a number of improvements related to the Maps application in Japan. Specifically, they are:
- Improved pronunciation of roads during turn-by-turn navigation.

- Optimized directions to more strongly prefer highways over narrower roads.

- Now indicates upcoming toll roads during turn-by-turn navigation.

- Added labels for junctions, interchanges, on-ramps, off-ramps, and intersections.

- Added indicators for transit station buildings, subway lines, and traffic lights.

- Updated freeway color to green.

- Updated icons for some location categories including fire stations, hospitals, and post offices Added 3D buildings including Tokyo Station, Japan Imperial Palace, and Tokyo Tower.

The new beta comes only two days after Apple released iOS 6.1.2 to the public, addressing a bug related to Exchange calendars that could drain a device’s battery.

Apple first began testing its planned improvements for iOS Maps in Japan with the first beta of iOS 6.1.1 earlier this month. But that software number was quickly used for an update issued to iPhone 4S owners that addressed issues related to battery life and 3G connectivity.

Thursday’s beta software release was renamed iOS 6.1.3 for developers because the iOS 6.1.2 identifier was also used this week in the latest public update.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 25.0.1364.99

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Date: Friday, February 22nd, 2013, 07:59
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

Ya can’t knock a regular update.

On Thursday, Google released version 25.0.1364.99 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 46.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Improvements in managing and securing your extensions.

- Better support for HTML5 time/date inputs.

- Javascript speech API support.

- Better WebGL error handling.

- And lots of other features for developers.

Google Chrome 25.0.1364.99 requires an Intel-based Mac with 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.

How-To: Get around garbled DVD playback in Mac OS X

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Date: Thursday, February 21st, 2013, 08:44
Category: How-To, News, Software

dvdstack

This could be handy.

If you’ve ever been watching a commercial DVD on your Mac and noticed a blocklike pattern covering its output, you’re not alone.

Fortunately, the mighty Topher Kessler over at CNET has written a spiffy workaround guide as to how to get around this problem and clear up your DVD’s playback for the future.

Granted, it involves a little time in the Terminal application and removing a temporary file, but it could help remove a sometimes-headache and guides like these are why I’m of the opinion that Topher rocks to all perceptible degrees.

Take a gander, see what ya think and if you’ve seen this bug on your end, please let us know in the comments.

Apple cyber attack investigation shifts from Chinese to eastern European hackers

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Date: Thursday, February 21st, 2013, 07:51
Category: News, security, Software

Ok, maybe we were a bit hasty in blaming the chinese…

Per Bloomberg, while earlier reports suggested hackers who targeted Apple emanated from China, investigators now believe the criminals are instead based out of Eastern Europe.

The attacks on Apple, Facebook, Twitter and others are now linked to “an Eastern European gang of hackers that is trying to steal company secrets,” citing sources people familiar with an ongoing investigation.

“Investigators suspect that the hackers are a criminal group based in Russia or Eastern Europe, and have tracked at least one server being used by the group to a hosting company in the Ukraine,” the report said. “Other evidence, including the malware used in the attack, also suggest it is the work of cyber criminals rather than state-sponsored espionage from China, two people familiar with the investigation said.”

An earlier report had instead linked recent attacks on companies like Facebook to the Chinese Army. It claimed that there was “little doubt” that an “overwhelming percentage of attacks on American corporations, organizations and government agencies” originate from a People’s Liberation Army group known as “Unit 61398″ based out of the outskirts of Shanghai.

Apple announced on Wednesday that some of its employees’ laptops had been infected through a vulnerability in the Java plug-in for browsers. The company revealed that the same malware was used against a number of companies, but did not indicate what country the attacks may have originated from.

“We identified a small number of systems within Apple that were infected and isolated them from our network,” the company said in a statement. “There is no evidence that any data left Apple. We are working closely with law enforcement to find the source of the malware.”

The attacks are believed to have occurred through an iPhone developer community website that was hosting malware. It’s believed that the infected code made its way onto the computers of Apple, Facebook, Twitter and other companies utilizing a Java zero-day flaw.

The method used by the criminals is a so-called “watering hole attack,” in which hackers compromise a popular website that many people visit and trust.

Apple on Tuesday pushed out an update for all OS X users that patches the exploit, and also removes the Java Web applet.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Sony unveils upcoming PlayStation 4 architecture, announces “PlayStation App” to extend second screen functionality to iOS devices

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Date: Thursday, February 21st, 2013, 07:39
Category: iOS, News, Software

ps4controller

This could lead to something nifty.

In a follow-up to Sony’s PS4 announcement on Wednesday, the company released a statement regarding the platform’s “second screen” abilities, noting that Apple’s iOS devices will be supported.

Per AppleInsider, the “PlayStation App” will allow iPhone, iPad and Android device owners to use their devices with the upcoming PlayStation 4 console. While second screen apps were touched on in the platform unveiling, specific device support went unmentioned.

Information regarding the app’s capabilities is scarce, and it is unclear how feature-rich Sony is willing to make the second screen experience given that the company is pushing hard to incorporate its own handheld, the PS Vita, as part of the PS4 ecosystem.

A new application from SCE called “PlayStation®App” will enable iPhone, iPad, and Android-based smartphones and tablets to become second screens. Once installed on these devices, users can, for example, see maps on their second screens when playing an adventure game, purchase PS4 games while away from home and download it directly to the console at home, or remotely watch other gamers playing on their devices.

During the keynote, Gaikai founder David Perry noted users will be able to purchase game content from mobile devices and have it downloaded to their consoles at home. Another possibility for the app is live streaming to friends’ devices through the PS4′s “Share” option, though this feature was mentioned in regard to the PS Vita.

Microsoft currently offers its own app, called Xbox SmartGlass, for the Xbox 360, though the title’s feature set offers little more than controlling basic console functions.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Adobe Reader, Acrobat Pro updated to 11.0.02, add security fixes

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Date: Wednesday, February 20th, 2013, 12:40
Category: News, Software

You can’t argue with a security update…

On Wednesday, Adobe released version 11.0.02 of its Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat Pro applications. The updates, which can also be snagged through the Adobe Update Utility, add the following fixes and changes:

- This full installer provides mitigation for specific security issues. For additional release details, see the Release Notes.

Acrobat Reader 11.0.02 and Acrobat Pro 11.0.02 require an Intel-based processor and Mac OS X 10.6.4 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new versions and noticed any differences, please let us know what you think.

Evasi0n hack updated, new version offers iOS 6.1.2 support

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Date: Wednesday, February 20th, 2013, 08:34
Category: iOS, News, security, Software

evasi0n-icon

It’s hard to knock a hack that’s also updated frequently.

Per MacNN, the Evasi0n iOS jailbreak tool has been released enabling support for the new 6.1.2 OS update. No bug fixes are noted for the release, or specific notes on what the group had to modify to enable the hack.

Problems such as app instability, battery drain or other minor issues are common with jailbreaks, as they rely on injecting new code to overwrite portions of the original Apple code. Other potential hazards, according to Apple, include security issues as the jailbreak relies on an exploit, which could be found and misused by others to serve malware or foster hacking attacks as seen on the Android platform.

Apple has also warned that iOS devices that are jailbroken may in some cases be refused warranty or extra-warranty service, particularly if there is any chance that the jailbreaking is related to the complaint. Most devices can be easily un-jailbroken and returned to normal service if they are still operable, but if they are nonfunctional as a result of the process (known as “bricked’) then the jailbreak cannot be removed before servicing.

If you’ve tried the updated version of Evasi0n and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.