Firefox updated to 22.0

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Date: Tuesday, June 25th, 2013, 08:57
Category: News, Software

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Sit back, grab a refreshing drink and watch the Firefox version numbers soar…

On Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 22.0 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 42.6 megabyte download via MacUpdate, adds the following fixes and changes:

New:
– Mac OS X: Download progress in Dock application icon.

– HTML5 audio/video playback rate can now be changed.

– Social services management implemented in Add-ons Manager.

– asm.js optimizations (OdinMonkey) enabled for major performance improvements.

Changed:
– Improved WebGL rendering performance through asynchronous canvas updates.

– Plain text files displayed within Firefox will now word-wrap.

– For user security, the |Components| object is no longer accessible from web content.

– Improved memory usage and display time when rendering images.

– Pointer Lock API can now be used outside of fullscreen.

Developer:
– CSS3 Flexbox implemented and enabled by default.

– New Web Notifications API implemented.

– Added clipboardData API for JavaScript access to a user’s clipboard.

– New built-in font inspector.

HTML5:
– New HTML5 data and time elements.

Fixed:
– Scrolling using some high-resolution-scroll aware touchpads feels slow (829952).

Firefox 22.0 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.

Study finds mid-2013 MacBook Air’s 802.11ac Wi-Fi speeds throttled by bug in OS X

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Date: Tuesday, June 25th, 2013, 07:51
Category: MacBook Air, News, Software, wireless

Even in the event that the Wi-Fi connectivity issues on the mid-2013 MacBook Air notebooks are hardware-based, the underlying operating system software is apparently throttling potential data speeds on the new networking protocol.

Per AnandTech and CNET, a series of tests by AnandTech confirms that much of the Wi-Fi speed throttling is software-based. The new MacBook Air was announced by Apple at the recent Worldwide Developers Conference, and in addition to extended battery life, the new systems include support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi networking, which supports up to three times faster data rates in comparison with 802.11n.

In testing, AnandTech noticed that the link speeds of the systems are very high, at an average of about 533Mbps, but when transferring files over standard networking protocols, the speed drops to about 169Mbps at its maximum. This is over three times less than the expected speeds.

In investigating the issue, AnandTech discovered that an apparent bug in OS X limits the TCP window size (the maximum data that can be sent at a time) to a maximum of 64KB, which is far less than the 256KB needed to meet the speed capabilities of the 802.11ac connection.

As a result of this finding, AnandTech shows that in its current state, while the 2013 MacBook Air will still give fast file transfers, these will be limited to about 21MBps, instead of the more than 50MBps expected. Luckily, this limitation being in software means the fix should be easy, and it may be only a matter of a quick update for these systems to realize their full potential.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple looking into mid-2013 MacBook Air Wi-Fi issues, “capturing” units for study

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Date: Tuesday, June 25th, 2013, 07:41
Category: MacBook Air, News, Software, wireless

This might be why your friends, the ones who wait a month or two after a brand new product hits the market, could be right…

Per 9to5Mac, over the past few days, a notable amount of users have complained about Wi-Fi issues plaguing the new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models released during the week of WWDC. Besides less-battery-intensive chipsets, the marquee feature of the new MacBook Air revolves around faster Wi-Fi connectivity thanks to new 802.11ac cards. As with any new product, bugs are plausible. It’s also been noted that new reports claim that the MacBook Air WiFi issues are due to networking issues in Apple’s OS X software.

The following facts are currently in place:

In the United States, Apple Geniuses and Advisors should capture MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) and MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) computers with any Wi-Fi issues.

According to a source at Apple, the company is working to independently identify what exactly is causing the new Wi-Fi-related problems. According to the source, AppleCare and Apple Store Genius Bar employees have been instructed to “capture” affected MacBook Air units. These units will then be sent back to Apple for further testing so a solution could hopefully be achieved. While Apple is asking AppleCare and Genius Bar staff to “capture” units facing problems, that does not mean Apple is confirming the new MacBook Air is flawed. This points to Apple pushing to determine why at least some units are seeing Wi-Fi problems.

There have also been reports of at least a couple of customers facing MacBook Air WiFi issues who have successfully swapped out their notebooks for new ones. One of these people has said that AppleCare provided them with a complementary USB-to-Ethernet adapter so the new MacBook Air could connect to the internet without Wi-Fi. Apple also informed these people that their original laptops have been “captured”.

If you’ve picked up Apple’s latest MacBook Air notebook and have any feedback to provide about its 802.11ac Wi-Fi performance, please let us know in the comments.

Skype updated to 6.5.0.443

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Date: Tuesday, June 25th, 2013, 06:25
Category: News, Software

skypelogo.jpg

On Tuesday, version 6.5.0.443 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 40 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
– [Contact] Scroll bar is displayed when sending multiple contacts.

– [Contact] User cannot drag & drop contacts who are already existing participants in the conversation.

– [Calling] Call toolbar + button contextual menu items will is not disabled after sending contact.

– [Calling] Call duration info in history is correctly displayed.

– [Conversation] Chat input field switches to SMS mode when adding PSTN numbers to new conversation.

– [Conversation] ‘Check Spelling While Typing’ setting is saved.

– [Generic] Detached conversation window is opened automatically after restarting Skype.

– [File Transfer] Received file is saved in download folder when custom download folder no longer exists.

– [File Transfer] File transfer control buttons are presented after reconnection.

– [Preferences] Skype does not freeze when switching the ringing output to all devices from USB headset.

Skype 6.5.0.443 is available for free 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.