HandBrake updated to 0.9.9

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Date: Monday, May 20th, 2013, 07:48
Category: News, Software

Handbrake, Eric Petit’s incredibly useful open-source DVD ripping/conversion utility, has been updated to version 0.9.9.

The new version, a 9.1 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

General:
- Improved HandBrake pineapple icon by Matt Johnson.

- Improved Retina-resolution icons within the application, by Nik Pawlak (http://nikpawlak.com).

Core:
- Blu-ray (PGS) subtitle support.

- Works with Foreign Audio Search.

- Can be Burned-In.

- Can be passed through to MKV (but not MP4).

- Additional video framerates (30, 50, 59.94, 60 fps).

- Double framerate (“bob”) mode for the deinterlace and decomb filters.

- Better audio remix support.

- Additional mixdowns: 6.1, 7.1, 7.1 (5F/2R/LFE).

- CLI users should note 6ch becomes 5point1.

- Better-than-Stereo sources can be upmixed to 5.1.

- Discard one channel from Stereo sources.

- Mono (Left Only), Mono (Right Only).

- Allow the selection of higher audio bitrates where appropriate.

- Allow the selection of lower audio samplerates where appropriate.

- 8, 11.025, 12, 16 kHz.

- Audio dithering (TPDF) when converting to 16-bit FLAC.

- Use libavcodec for DTS audio decoding (instead of libdca).

- DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete support.

- All graphical interfaces: support for x264′s preset, tune and profile options alternative to the Advanced panel (which is still available).

- HandBrake-specific option to ensure compliance with a specific H.264 level.

Updated built-in presets:
- Take advantage of x264 preset/tune/profile support.

- Removed increasingly suboptimal and irrelevant Legacy presets.

- Assorted bug fixes and improvements to the core library (libhb).

Updated libraries:
- x264 r2273-b3065e6.

- Libav v9.6.

- libbluray 0.2.3.

Windows:
- User Interface has been re-written in WPF.

- Includes many small UI enhancements.

- Switched to .NET 4 Client Profile (smaller download for those who don’t have .NET 4 fully installed).

Mac:
- Assorted bug fixes including better support for Retina displays.

- Prevent sleep during encoding and scanning for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

- Drag & Drop files onto the Main window or application icon to scan.

- Nicer progress indication on the dock icon.

- Preview window improvements and bugfixes.

- Updated Growl to 2.0.1.

- Notification Center support (when Growl is not installed).

Linux:
- Assorted bug fixes and improvements.

- Use some system libraries rather than bundling (fontconfig, freetype, libxml2, libass, libogg, libvorbis, libtheora and libsamplerate).

Command Line Interface:
- Audio option (-a) will ignore invalid input tracks and encode with only the valid ones.

- Allow use of hh:mm:ss format when specifying p-to-p start/stop time.

Advanced audio options:
- Enable level normalization when downmixing (disabled by default).

- Disable audio dithering or select a specific algorithm.

HandBrake 0.9.9 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, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: Apple, suppliers testing 1.5-inch displays for upcoming “iWatch”

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Date: Monday, May 20th, 2013, 06:25
Category: Hardware, Rumor

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It’s in the rumor mill, so part of it must be true.

Per ” target=”_blank”>Macotakara and AppleInsider, development of Apple’s rumored smart watch is allegedly gaining momentum, as a pair of new reports claim the company is testing 1.5-inch OLED screens for a wrist-worn device, and that Foxconn has been contracted to build a trial batch.

The latest rumors on Apple’s so-called “iWatch” were highlighted on Monday by Macotakara. The publication spotted pair of reports from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News which, like other publications that print unattributed rumors stemming from Apple’s supply chain, has a hit-or-miss track record.

In the first report, the publication claims that Apple is testing organic light emitting diode displays for its anticipated smart watch. The company allegedly tested 1.8-inch panels, but felt they were too big, prompting development to go smaller with 1.5-inch displays.

According to the report, Apple is exploring 1.5-inch OLED touchscreens manufactured by RiTdisplay of Taiwan that use one-glass-solution touch sensors. This would allow the display component to be as thin as possible for the wearable accessory.

It should be noted that rumors for years have claimed that Apple is interested in OLED displays, but to date the company has never used the display technology in any of its devices. OLED screens could, however, be an optimal choice for wearable technology because of their low power consumption levels.

In a second report, Foxconn, Apple’s longtime manufacturing partner, has already received orders for an “iWatch.” However, the initial production run is said to be for no more than a thousand units, as Foxconn is allegedly running a “small-scale trial production.”

With “iWatch” rumors heating up, one survey from last month found that 19 percent of consumers are interested in buying such a device from Apple. That exceeds pre-announcement interest in both the iPad and Intel-based Mac hardware.

Rumors of an Apple smart watch began growing earlier this year, when a number of reports claimed that the company is developing a wearable wrist accessory. One such report claimed that the company has a 100-person team working on the project.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

13-inch MacBook Air inventory beginning to come up short, new models expected around WWDC

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Date: Monday, May 20th, 2013, 06:29
Category: MacBook Air, News, retail

When the inventory numbers trend downwards, the cool new stuff tends to be around the corner.

Per AppleInsider, availability of Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air had apparently begun to dry up at major authorized resellers.

The popular 13-inch MacBook Air with a 1.8-gigahertz processor and 256-gigabyte solid-state drive is currently out of stock at resellers Amazon, B&H, MacConnection, and MacMall. In addition, J&R is currently advertising that the thin-and-light notebook is only available for purchase in its brick-and-mortar stores.

In fact, one of the few resellers that is currently advertising available inventory of that 13-inch MacBook Air configuration is Best Buy.

Constrained availability of existing models is often one of the first signs of an impending product refresh, as Apple draws down inventory in anticipation of the release of new hardware. Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, scheduled for June 10 through 14, would be an opportune time for the company to introduce newly updated MacBook Airs.

Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities indicated last month that Apple apparently plans to introduce new MacBook Airs featuring Intel’s next-generation Haswell processors at WWDC. The new ultraportable notebooks are expected to go on sale before the end of June.

Intel Haswell chips are scheduled to launch the first week of June, boasting more capable processors that will consume less power, leading to longer battery life on notebooks. The chips will also feature next-generation Intel HD 5000 integrated graphics that will offer a 50 percent in improvement over the previous 4000-class.

Kuo also said that Apple will likely introduce Haswell-powered MacBook Pro models at WWDC 2013. He expects that updated versions of the legacy, optical-drive-equipped MacBook Pro will launch alongside new MacBook Airs before the end of June, while a refresh of the premium Retina display MacBook Pro models will become available at a later date.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

OnyX updated to 2.6.9

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Date: Monday, May 20th, 2013, 05:14
Category: News, Software

onyxicon

An update’s an update.

OnyX, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.6.9. The new version, a 17.9 megabyte download via MacUpdate, adds the following fixes and changes:
- New option: Delete the saved application states.

- New option: Show/hide interface level switching (Simple/full Finder).

- New option: Turn on/Turn off Rubber-Band Scrolling.

- New version of sqlite3.

- It is no longer necessary to quit all applications in order to check the disk.

- Help improved.

OnyX 2.6.9 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.