VLC updated to 2.0.7

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Date: Monday, June 10th, 2013, 07:52
Category: News, Software

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Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), was updated to version 2.0.7. The new version, a 41.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fix track selection for PowerPC machines.

- Fix audio decoding for WMA Pro, MPEG 4 ALS, APE, MLP and ADPCM-IMA4.

- Fix audio encoding for MP3 and AAC.

- Numerous translations updates and new Azerbaijani, Kirgyz, Oriya translations.

- Fix a memory leak when creating AVI files.

- Fix two XSS vulnerabilities in the Web UI.

- Fix memory exhaustion vulnerability in some playlist files.

- Fix a libVLC crash in OS X port.

VLC 2.0.7 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, let us know in the comments.

Adobe releases Lightroom 5

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Date: Monday, June 10th, 2013, 07:35
Category: News, Software

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A spiffy program just got a hefty upgrade.

Per AppleInsider, Adobe on Monday announced the availability of the latest version of its prosumer photo editing software, Lightroom 5, bringing improved workflow features and functionality highlighted by a new perspective-correcting “Upright” tool.

First released as a beta in mid-April, the final version of Lightroom sports a new Healing Brush and an Upright tool that automatically corrects perspective for images with skewed elements. Adobe has also added a new Radial Filter and the ability to create off-center vignettes.

In addition, the latest Lightroom features new tools to improve user workflows. A Smart Preview function allows users to edit offline images when away from their primary image storage device by keeping a smaller version of the image locally. When a user edits the Smart Preview version, those changes are saved and automatically applied to the original once the user reconnects to the primary image repository.

The new version also adds PNG file support, a true full screen mode, and assorted drag and drop capabilities for moving pictures between folders. It also gives users the ability to publish directly to Behance, as well as assorted new keyboard shortcuts to ease transitions between regularly used features.

Lightroom saw its last major version change in March of last year with an update that added geotagging support, as well as improvements to handling highlights and shadows. The latest iteration builds on its predecessor, Adobe reps said, by adding features that the Lightroom community continually requested.

Lightroom 5 is available for both Mac and PC platforms. Mac users will need a multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support, running OS X 10.7 or later along with at least 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended) 2GB of available HDD space, and a 1024×768 resolution to install and run.

The software is available from Adobe’s website for US$79 when upgrading from an earlier version, or US$149 for new users. Those already subscribed to Adobe’s Creative Cloud service will find that the new software is included in their memberships.

If you’ve tried Lightroom 5 and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Apple to stream WWDC keynote to web site, iOS, Apple TV beginning at 10 AM PST

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Date: Monday, June 10th, 2013, 06:40
Category: News, Software

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We’re about two hours from the WWDC kickoff and its accompanying keynote address.

And it will, of course, be streamed.

Per 9to5Mac, like as it has done for some events in the past, Apple has pushed a WWDC app to Apple TV units overnight in order to access a live stream for today’s keynote, which is slated to start at 10 AM Pacific standard time.

Apple is expected to announce iOS 7, OS X 10.9, and a streaming music service at this event.

The keynote can be seen live at www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2013/.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Security researchers to demo 30-pin dock connector hack/malware injection at Black Hat next month

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Date: Friday, June 7th, 2013, 07:57
Category: Hack, iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, security, Software

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You’re not going to like this.

Per Senor O’Grady over on the Apple Core, a group of researchers from Georgia Tech have discovered a way to hack into an iPhone or iPad in less than a minute using a “malicious charger.” The group plans to present its findings at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas on July 27, 2013.

Billy Lau, Yeongjin Jang and Chengyu Song are presenting a session is called “Mactans: Injecting Malware Into iOS Devices Via Malicious Chargers” at the popular security conference next month. The name “Mactans” comes from Latrodectus Mactans, the highly venomous (and deadly) black widow spider.

According to the synopsis on the Black Hat website, the Mactans session will describe how USB capabilities can be leveraged to bypass Apple’s defense mechanisms built into the iPhone.

Jason’s got the full details, so head on over, take a gander and get ready to never completely trust your iOS device’s 30-pin dock connector again…

Microsoft demonstrates updated Start button for Windows 8.1, feature to arrive on June 26th

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Date: Friday, June 7th, 2013, 07:11
Category: News, Software

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If you’re using Windows 8 on your Mac, there’s some changes coming down the pipe.

Per The Verge, Microsoft demonstrated a number of new features in Windows 8.1 earlier this week, but the company briefly showed the return of the Start button as well.

During Computex this week the company took the time to fully demo the Start button. In the following video you can see how Microsoft is adding options to show the All Apps view when the Start button is activated. The animation of the Start button switching between the desktop and Start Screen is clearly shown too with the new support for desktop wallpapers on the Start Screen. Microsoft will deliver a preview version of Windows 8.1 on June 26th:



Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple, Sony reach agreement, all three major music labels signed of for anticipated WWDC iRadio launch

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Date: Friday, June 7th, 2013, 07:21
Category: News, Software

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Give them time at the negotiation table and they will come.

Per AppleInsider and AllThingsD, Sony Music, the last big kahuna they were waiting for, has reportedly signed a deal with Apple for its anticipated “iRadio” streaming music service, marking the last of the three major music labels to reach an agreement.

The story cites a source familiar with negotiations between the two companies, the agreement lending credence to the rumor that Apple is gearing up to unveil its rumored “iRadio” service at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

Details of the deal come just days after Apple was also said to have successfully courted Warner Music Group. Previously, Apple had already agreed to terms with Universal Music Group, rounding out the big three labels.

For months, reports have claimed that stalled negotiations with Sony in particular have been holding up Apple’s debut of “iRadio.” Specifically, it was said that a song skipping feature was a major stumbling block for the record label.

With Sony now on board, Apple is expected to announced “iRadio” at its WWDC keynote next Monday. The anticipated service is expected to be a direct competitor to established streaming music services like Pandora.

Apple is also said to be revising its iAd network to run audio advertisements as part of the service. Ad support is expected allow users to stream content from “iRadio” for free when it launches.

Google also recently stepped into the streaming Internet radio market with All Access, which launched in May. The search company’s subscription music service is expected to debut on iOS devices in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Developer locates data speed-throttling code in iOS for AT&T, Verizon and Sprint devices

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Date: Thursday, June 6th, 2013, 06:49
Category: iPad, iPhone, News, Software

You might not like this.

Per Joseph Brown’s iTweakiOS and Cult of Mac, specialized code exists on iPhones and iPads operating on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, which limits the devices’ network settings to effectively caps data bandwidth.

Brown took snapshots of the iOS code managing the three carriers’ network settings as applied to an iPhone 5, all of which appear to hamstring the handset’s cellular data capabilities. For example, an AT&T iPhone 5 was limited to HSDPA “Category 10,” which tops out at 14.4Mbps. The second-largest U.S. carrier’s network is capable of supporting up to HSDPA+ speeds that reach 21.1Mbps.

As for Verizon, Brown found throttling code on the telecom’s versions of the iPhone and iPad relating to its 4G LTE network. Sprint, it seems, does not have such limitations enabled for its high-speed data offerings. Apple devices running on the 3G networks owned by both Verizon and Sprint, however, are also affected by similar limitations.

Because Apple is in complete control of the code running all of its devices, it can be posited that the company instituted the bandwidth caps at the behest of its partner carriers.

“[…] from previous statements released by AT&T and many tech orginizations [sic], iPhones are very complex devices with a very complex OS,” Brown writes. “The OS eats much more data, even when in idle mode, than most phones on the market. So by carrier request, Apple limits devices to ‘even out’ the network, even if it means Galaxy users out perform Apple devices by such large scales.”

In his testing, Brown did not find evidence of throttling on devices operating on T-Mobile’s network.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Dropbox updated to 2.2.0

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Date: Thursday, June 6th, 2013, 06:44
Category: News, Software

It’s hard to dislike a good bug fix.

On Thursday, Dropbox released version 2.2.0 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 31 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
- New notifications badge.

- Refactoring of core sync engine.

- Improved memory usage.

- Startup performance improvements.

- Finder icon overlay improvements.

Dropbox 2.2.0 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.

Apple releases Aperture 3.4.5 update

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Date: Thursday, June 6th, 2013, 06:00
Category: News, Software

Late Wednesday, Apple released version 3.4.5 of Aperture, its pro-grade image editing application. The new version, which is available as a direct download or via Mac OS X’s Software update feature, is a 548.6 megabyte download and offers the following fixes and changes:
- Addresses an issue that could cause Aperture to quit unexpectedly when deleting items from a camera or memory card after import.

- Memory cards are now ejected correctly when using the Delete Items option after import.

- Includes stability improvements.

Aperture 3.4.5 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.5 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.

Apple releases iTunes 11.0.4 update

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Date: Thursday, June 6th, 2013, 06:46
Category: News, Software

These updates/bug fixes are getting a bit more common.

Not that that’s a bad thing.

On Wednesday, Apple released version 11.0.4 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 196.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- New MiniPlayer. MiniPlayer now includes a beautiful new view that showcases your album artwork. In addition, a progress bar is now built right into MiniPlayer.

- Improved Songs View. You can now enjoy your album artwork while in Songs view.

- Multi-Disc Albums. Albums with multiple discs now appear as a single album.

- Fixes a problem that may cause iTunes to quit if you switch between wired and wireless syncing.

- Addresses an issue that may require you to log into the iTunes Store repeatedly.

iTunes 11.0.4 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later to install and run.

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