Skype updated to 6.6.0.467

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 5th, 2013, 09:33
Category: News, Software

skypelogo.jpg

On Friday, version 6.6.0.467 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 40 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

Improvements:
- Optimizations to video messaging: To ensure a consistent Skype experience no matter which device you use, we have added entry points for video messaging to the share menu (plus button). You will now be prompted to send a video message if your call goes unanswered for ten seconds.

- Upgrading for users with non-administrator accounts: After downloading 6.6, all future updates will be silently downloaded for you even if you don’t have an administrator account on OS X.

- Improvements to the instant messaging experience: We have reintroduced quick access to the button that lets you edit chat messages. By clicking the arrow that appears on hover next to the timestamp of a message, you can access the editing menu.

Resolved:
- [File Transfer] “Reveal File in Finder” can point to the wrong file when multiple files with the same name are sent via file transfer.

- [Conversations] Sometimes unsent chat message does not show up when switching back to prior a conversation.

- [Generic] In some cases, Skype accesses the non-existent file video.cfg every second.

- [Calling] Cannot block phone numbers.

Known issues:
- [Conversations] Messages sent to a Facebook contact show up multiple times. Fix is in progress.

Skype 6.6.0.467 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.

Apple releases OS X 10.8.5 build 12F17 to developer community

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 5th, 2013, 07:28
Category: News, Software

Mavericks is further down the line, but the OS X 10.8.5 update is in progress.

Per 9to5Mac, one week after the second beta seed of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5, Apple has issued OS X 10.8.5 build 12F17 to registered developers. The new update, again, includes no known issues and is available for developers via the Mac Developer Center and the Mac App Store Software Update function.

Apple has asked testers to focus on Wi-Fi, Graphics, Wake from Sleep, PDF viewing and Accessibility, and Mobile Device Management during their testing. Apple has also been providing 10.8.5 beta updates to its retail staff for testing.

If you’ve gotten your mitts on the new build and have any feedback to offer about it, please let us know in the comments.

Apple patent application cites research into earbud headphones with noise cancelation features

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 5th, 2013, 07:33
Category: News

applelogo_silver

This could come in handy.

Per The United States Patent and Trademark Office and AppleInsider, an Apple patent application discovered on Thursday describes a set of earbud type headphones that automatically adjust audio output based on seal quality, with necessary impedance data gathered by built-in microphones or electrical current measurements.

The patent application, entitled “Electronic device and headset with speaker seal evaluation capabilities” details a new type of self-calibrating earbud that can deliver enhanced audio reproduction over a wide variety of ear shapes and sizes. Also alluded to in the patent are noise canceling headphones which rely heavily on good earbud-to-ear seals to operate.

Apple’s invention is primarily aimed at earbud headphones, which are designed to create a seal in a user’s ear that helps reduce ambient noise while retaining a compact form factor. When an earbud does not create a proper seal, however, these properties are negatively impacted.

From the filing’s description:
“The quality of the seals that are formed between earbuds and a user’s ears affects performance. For example, satisfactory noise cancellation can become difficult when is high-quality seal is not present. Poor earbud-to-ear seals can also affect audio quality in other ways. For example, left-right balance (volume) and equalization can be affected by seal quality.”

To evaluate this seal, the invention proposes measuring the impedance of the speakers by taking current measurements, acoustic measurements with a microphone, or both.

As earbud impedance may vary as a function of signal frequency, impedance-versus-frequency curves can also be mapped and compared against to reveal poor seals. In addition, these curves can be used to adjust speaker output to compensate for inadequate performance.

The filing details a number of techniques to measure impedance levels, including current sensing circuitry. Test tones can also be used in conjunction with microphones to assess disparity in output and input amplitudes. In the case of noise-canceling headphones, microphones are disposed near the ear to measure ambient noise, and the amount of required noise cancellation can be used to judge whether a seal is good.

When a poor seal is detected, actions can take the form of warnings displayed on a user’s device. Alternatively, self-adjustment steps can include balance, equalization, and noise cancellation circuitry adjustments.

Apple’s self-evaluating, self-adjusting earbud patent application was first filed for in February 2013 and credits Victor Tiscareno, Jeffrey J. Terlizzi, Wendell B. Sander and Christopher Todd Beauchamp as its inventors.

Stay tuned for additional details about this patent application as they become available.

VirtualBox updated to 4.2.16

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 5th, 2013, 07:36
Category: News, Software

virtualbox.png

An update’s an update.

VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.2.16. The new version, a 110 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:
- OVF/OVA: don’t crash on import if no manifest is used (4.2.14 regression; bug #11895).

- GUI: do not restore the current snapshot if we power-off after a Guru Mediation.

- Storage: fixed a crash when hotplugging an empty DVD drive to the VM.

- Storage: fixed a crash when a guest read from a DVD drive attached to the SATA controller under certain circumstances.

- EFI: don’t fail with 64-bit guests on 32-bit hosts (bug #11456).

- Autostart: fixed VM startup on OS X.

- Windows hosts: native Windows 8 controls.

- Windows hosts: restore native style on Vista 32.

- Windows hosts / guests: Windows 8.1 adaptions (bug #11899).

- Mac OS X hosts: after removing VirtualBox with VirtualBox_Uninstall.tool, remove it from the pkgutil –pkgs list as well.

VirtualBox 4.2.16 is available for free and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

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