Apple releases OS X 10.8.3 update

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Date: Friday, March 15th, 2013, 07:10
Category: News, Software

I think it’s fair to say that you’ve been hankering for this for a while now.

On Wednesday, Apple released version 10.8.3 of its OS X Mountain Lion operating system. The new version, a 540 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
– The ability to redeem iTunes gift cards in the Mac App Store using your Mac’s built-in camera.

– Boot Camp support for installing Windows 8.

– Boot Camp support for Macs with a 3TB hard drive.

– A fix for an issue that could cause a file URL to quit apps unexpectedly.

– A fix for an issue that may cause Logic Pro to become unresponsive when using certain plug-ins.

– A fix for an issue that may cause audio to stutter on 2011 iMacs.

– Includes Safari 6.0.3.

OS X 10.8.3 requires an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.8 to install and run, the update itself being attainable by using OS X’s Software Update feature.

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

Apple receives patent for Smart Cover wireless charging system

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 14th, 2013, 07:25
Category: Hardware, iPad, News, Patents

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It’s sort of a weird patent application, but apparently it’s been pushed through.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple on Thursday published an Apple patent application that details a system of inductively charging an iPad through the Smart Cover. The idea is that rather than plugging in the iPad, the Smart Cover would include an inductive power transmitter that would allow it to pair with an inductive power transceiver embedded into the iPad. The result is the Smart Cover would become a wireless charging station, connecting to an external power source, and allowing you to power your iPad in various positions. Apple also explained that it could use “ambient power gathering devices, such as solar cells, can be used to gather ambient power (such as sunlight) to be stored internally in the flap for later inductive transfer.”

A method for wireless powering a tablet device, comprising: determining if a protective cover is in a closed configuration with respect to the tablet device; enabling a wireless power receiver circuit in the tablet device when it is determined that the protective cover is in the closed configuration with respect to the tablet device; and wirelessly receiving power from a wireless power transmitter associated with the protective cover.

Apple described the advanced Smart Cover as including multiple power transmitters to allow the iPad to charge even when using the case, for example, as a stand to prop up the device. Alternatively, the cover could continue charging the device when in the closed position or when an iPad is placed on top:

The method as recited in claim 10, the method further comprising: determining that the tablet device is positioned relative to a flat surface at a viewing angle; and enabling a second wireless power receiver circuit only when it is determined that the tablet device is in the portable mode and is positioned relative to the flat surface at the viewing angle and the tablet device is configured to present video by the display. An apparatus for wireless powering a tablet device, comprising: means for determining if a protective cover is in a closed configuration with respect to the tablet device; means for enabling a wireless power receiver circuit in the tablet device when it is determined that the protective cover is in the closed configuration with respect to the tablet device; and means for wirelessly receiving power from a wireless power transmitter associated with the protective cover.

13. The apparatus as recited in claim 12, the tablet device further comprising; a battery; a display; and a sensor arranged to detect an external stimulus only when the protective cover is in the closed configuration with respect to the display.

The system described in the patent would be similar to wireless charging systems already available on the market, something that Apple’s Phil Schiller recently described as “more complicated” than Apple’s current solution:

As for wireless charging, Schiller notes that the wireless charging systems still have to be plugged into the wall, so it’s not clear how much convenience they add. The widely-adopted USB cord, meanwhile, can charge in wall outlets, computers and even on airplanes, he said. “Having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated,” Schiller said.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple now offering built-in VESA mounts for iMacs through its online store

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Date: Thursday, March 14th, 2013, 07:58
Category: Hardware, News

This could come in handy.

Per AppleInsider and German web blog iFun, Apple recently updated its online store to reflect availability of a new VESA mount-compatible iMac, with the tweaked version of the thin all-in-one costing in at US$40 more than standard models.


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The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) compatibility is likely to be a welcome addition for users who are already invested in the mounting standard.

When Apple first announced the redesigned iMac in October, it was discovered that, unlike previous models, the new machines could not be used with standard VESA mounts. In response to feedback from users disappointed in the change, Apple said it was taking the idea of adding the capability into consideration, but offered no concrete details as to when a solution would be made available.

From Apple’s description of the new VESA-compatible iMac models:
“The iMac with Built-in VESA Mount Adapter is ready to pair with your favorite VESA-compatible wall mount, desk mount, or articulating arm (sold separately). This iMac doesn’t include a stand, so a mount is required. If you don’t already have a mount, you can purchase one when you configure your iMac.”

The VESA models are not highly advertised on Apple’s Online Store, and are nowhere to be seen on the main product page, though a link at the bottom of the iMac configuration tool will take customers to a webpage dedicated to the new versions.

Apple is charging a US$40 premium for the ability to use VESA mounts with the iMac. The special configuration is on sale now with shipping estimates starting at 7 to 10 days.

If you’ve tried the new, thin iMac with a VESA mount and have any feedback to offer about the experience, please let us know in the comments.

Skype updated to 6.3.0.582

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Date: Thursday, March 14th, 2013, 07:32
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, version 6.3.0.582 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 37.5 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

– See a slideshow of other participants in a group call when you are the current speaker.

– New In-Call DTMF dial pad.

Skype 6.3.0.582 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 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.

Leaked images, training documents show Apple merchandise headed to Staples for late March

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Date: Wednesday, March 13th, 2013, 11:08
Category: News, retail

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The Apple stuff you’ve been hankering for Staples to carry should be there by late March.

Per Mac Rumors, a series of screenshots from training materials for Staples sales associates. The screens describe sales curricula for the iPhone 5, Apple TV, and Mac notebooks.

Those materials showed that the training modules needed be completed by March 26 or 27, likely indicating that the retailer will begin selling Apple products shortly thereafter.

Reports that Staples was preparing to sell Apple products emerged earlier this year, with a Staples executive tweeting the news, though without specifics. Subsequent reports brought word that the retailer would be carrying Apple TV and accessories.

The addition of Apple’s higher-end merchandise to Staples’ offerings will put Apple products in more than 1,500 outlets across the United States, considerably expanding the computer maker’s accessibility. Staples’ reputation in the enterprise sector could also aid Apple in accelerating the growth of its presence in the enterprise segment.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Satechi releases powered 10-port USB 3.0 hub

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Date: Wednesday, March 13th, 2013, 07:22
Category: Accessory, News

If you were hoping for the mother of all 10-port USB 3.0 hubs with nifty power management controls, this might be it.

Per 9to5Mac, accessory maker Satechi has unveiled a 10-port USB 3.0 adapter complete with three separate banks, power management and includes a 2.1A iPad charging port.

The device is currently retailing for about US$49.99 on Amazon.com and yon nifty video can be seen below:



As always, if you’ve seen anything entirely new, cool or nifty for the Mac road warrior, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 25.0.1364.172

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 13th, 2013, 07:08
Category: News, security, Software

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Hey, take an update where you can find it.

On Wednesday, Google released version 25.0.1364.172 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 48.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– This release contains stability improvements, and a new version of Adobe Flash.

Google Chrome 25.0.1364.172 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.

Adobe releases Flash Player 11.6.602.180

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Date: Wednesday, March 13th, 2013, 07:37
Category: News, Software

An update’s an update.

Late Tuesday, Adobe released Flash Player 11.6.602.180 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:
– Loading of telemetry.cfg causes performance problems on page refresh(3506936).

– Opera browser crash(3488141).

– Flash Player crash due to integer overflow(3475889).

New Features:
Memory intrinics: To enable memory intrinics two changes are required:
– Produce the memory op codes by changing the compiler
– Expose the appropriate APIs through playeglobal.swc to leverage these opcodes

Graphics Data Query:
– Improved permissions UI for full screen keyboard access.

– Multiple SWF support(iOS).

– Setting device specific Retina Display resolution(iOS).

– Updated File API following App store guidelines(iOS).

– HiDpi support for FlashPro.

Adobe Flash Player 11.6.602.180 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.

Dropbox 2.0.0 released

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Date: Tuesday, March 12th, 2013, 11:27
Category: News, Software

A nifty thing has just hit version 2.0.0.

On Tuesday, Dropbox released version 2.0.0 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 26.1 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
– Fix a bug where discrete graphics would be enabled on OS X laptops.

– Add support for Brazilian Portuguese.

– Other small fixes.

Dropbox 2.0.0 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.

Microsoft releases Office 2011 14.3.2, Microsoft Office 2008 12.3.6 updates for Mac

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Date: Tuesday, March 12th, 2013, 09:17
Category: News, Software

On Tuesday, Microsoft released its Microsoft Office 2011 14.3.2 update. The update, a 118 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

– This update fixes critical issues and also helps to improve security. It includes fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.

Microsoft Office 2011 14.3.2 requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

The company also released its Office 2008 12.3.6 update, a 219.9 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which offers the following fixes and changes:

– This update fixes critical issues and also helps to improve security. It includes fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.

Microsoft Office 2008 12.3.6 requires Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later to install and run.