Intel, partners looking to manufacture 64-bit mobile processors

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Date: Thursday, October 31st, 2013, 10:30
Category: Hardware, News, Processors

Never doubt the power of the mobile processor business.Intel-logo

According to Forbes, at the ARM developers conference today, Intel partner Altera announced that the world’s largest semiconductor company will fabricate its ARM 64-bit chips starting next year. The announcement sent shockwaves through the technology industry as Intel is desperately trying to break ARM’s supremacy in the mobile market. Unlike Intel, ARM Holdings of the U.K. doesn’t manufacture chips but its designs are licensed and used worldwide in the mobile industry.

“It’s huge. Imagine ARM’s most powerful and technologically advanced 64-bit processor built on Intel’s leading-edge fabs. A duo that will be hard to beat,” explains Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.

But this is just the beginning of a much larger endeavor for the chip giant as Intel is even willing to compete with semiconductor foundry leader TSMC for the business of its fiercest rivals, like Nvidia or Qualcomm.

“Intel will build Apple’s, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon or the Nvidia Tegra for the right price. Now, the question is, are they ready to pay that premium [to ARM] and feed their direct competitor? But that would actually make business sense for everyone,” adds Brookwood.

With Intel ready to open up its leading-edge factories to whomever is willing to pay a premium, chip prices could actually come down, with the other foundries (TSMC, UMC, GlobalFoundries, Samsung, IBM or SMIC) feeling the pressure to compete.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

FAA to allow airplane mode use of electronic devices during all phases of flights

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Date: Thursday, October 31st, 2013, 10:41
Category: News

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It’s all about the airplane mode.

Per AppleInsider, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced on Thursday that by the end of the year passengers will be allowed to use portable electronic devices, such as Apple’s iPhone and iPad, from gate to gate as long as they are kept in airplane mode.

The rule change will allow passengers to be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos during all phases of flight, including takeoff and landing, with very limited exceptions. Previously, passengers had to wait until their plane was at a high enough altitude before they could turn on their devices.

The FAA will require that electronic items, books and magazines be held or put in the seat-back pocket during actual takeoff and landing. Cell phones must be kept in airplane mode or have cellular service disabled, and they will not be able to be used for cellular voice calls.

If a carrier offers Wi-Fi service during a flight, that may be accessed. In addition, short-range Bluetooth connections are also allowed.

“We believe today’s decision honors both our commitment to safety and consumer’s increasing desire to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flights,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These guidelines reflect input from passengers, pilots, manufacturers, and flight attendants, and I look forward to seeing airlines implement these much anticipated guidelines in the near future.”

So, airplane mode happy device-usage, you crazy gatos!!!

Apple support document acknowledges late-2013 13-inch Retina Display MacBook Pro input issues, promises fix

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Date: Thursday, October 31st, 2013, 10:37
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

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It’s not the easiest thing being an early adopter.

Per Macworld, an Apple support document posted on Wednesday stated that the input devices on the brand spanking new MacBook Pro may become “unresponsive,” which is a fancy way of saying “no worky so good.” Fortunately, you only need those for little tasks like controlling your computer, so no big deal. The 15-inch MacBook Pro seems to be unaffected, so if you decided to opt for one of those, good on you.

The company’s working on an update that should fix this tantrum-like behavior, but in the meantime, Apple suggests that those who run into this issue close the computer’s display for around a minute, and then open it again. Which I guess is the 21st century equivalent of “Have you tried restarting it?”

Security firms weigh in on Adobe breach, cite 38 million+ user IDs stolen

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Date: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, 10:56
Category: Hack, News, security

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You’re probably going to want to change your Adobe login and password.

Per Macworld and Krebs on Security, the security breach reported earlier this month at Adobe is turning out to be much more widespread than the company first let on. At least 38 million users have been affected by the early October incident.

When Adobe announced the breach on October 3, it said that attackers stole user names and encrypted passwords for an undisclosed numbers of users, along with encrypted credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates for 2.9 million customers. Krebs on Security has reported on the full extent of the attack, confirming the 38 million figure with Adobe.

The total damage could go beyond 38 million users. According to the article, the 3.8GB file includes more than 150 million usernames and hashed passwords, all taken from Adobe. The same file also apparently turned up on a server with the other stolen Adobe data.

Adobe says that 38 million active users users were affected, whereas the other usernames and passwords could include inactive IDs, test accounts and IDs with invalid passwords. However, Adobe is still investigating, and given the tendency of users to repeat the same usernames and passwords across multiple Web services, inactive account holders could still face a security risk. Adobe is trying to notify inactive users of the breach, and has already reset passwords for active users who were affected.

To make matters worse, Krebs on Security and Hold Security both claim that the hackers stole source code for flagship products such as Photoshop, Acrobat, and Reader. Adobe acknowledged that at least some Photoshop source code was stolen; the company is trying to get the data taken down.

In a blog post, Hold Security suggested that the source code theft could have far-reaching security implications. “While we are not aware of specific use of data from the source code, we fear that disclosure of encryption algorithms, other security schemes, and software vulnerabilities can be used to bypass protections for individual and corporate data,” the firm wrote. “Effectively, this breach may have opened a gateway for new generation of viruses, malware, and exploits.”

Active Adobe users affected by the breach should have received a notification from the company by now, prompting them to change passwords. As always, users can employ several strategies to keep their data safe, such as setting different passwords on each site or setting up a password manager.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple confirms manufacturing issue that could shorten battery life in some iPhone 5s units

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Date: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, 10:58
Category: battery, Hardware, iPhone

eliphone5s

If your iPhone 5s’ battery seems a bit wonky, there’s a valid reason for it.

Per 9to5Mac and The New York Times, Apple has confirmed that a “very limited” number of iPhone 5s units could experience shortened battery life as the result of a manufacturing problem.

“We recently discovered a manufacturing issue affecting a very limited number of iPhone 5S devices that could cause the battery to take longer to charge or result in reduced battery life,” said Teresa Brewer, an Apple spokeswoman. “We are reaching out to customers with affected phones and will provide them with a replacement phone.”

The exact number of affected units is not clear, but the statement is said to imply that the number is in the few thousands range. Apple sold 9 million iPhones total over its opening weekend. The article notes that a manufacturing problem does not equal a defective battery, so it is unclear what the actual source of the issue is.

Affected users can expect to be contacted by Apple soon and will be issued a replacement phone.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know in the comments.

Dropbox updated to 2.4.5

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Date: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, 10:37
Category: News, Software

This could be somewhat helpful.

On Tuesday, Dropbox released version 2.4.5 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 32.1 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fixed Finder crash at startup.

- Fixed crash when quitting in XP.

- Other small fixes.

Dropbox 2.4.5 requires Mac OS X 10.4 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.

Firefox updated to 25.0

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, 10:08
Category: News, Software

elfirefox

Firefox is now old enough to make foolish mistakes but get a lower insurance rates when it goes to rent a car.

On Wednesday, Mozilla.org released version 25.0 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 47.1 megabyte download via MacUpdate, adds the following fixes and changes:
- [New] Web Audio support.

- [New] The find bar is no longer shared between tabs.

- [Changed] If away from Firefox for months, you now will be offered the option to reset it to its default state while preserving your essential information.

- [Changed] Resetting Firefox no longer clears your browsing session.

- [Developer] CSS3 background-attachment:local support to control background scrolling.

- [Developer] Many new ES6 functions implemented.

- [HTML5] iframe document content can now be specified inline.

- [Fixed] Blank or missing page thumbnails when opening a new tab.

- [Fixed] Security fixes can be found here.

Firefox 25.0 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.

Rumor: LG closer to becoming iWatch component supplier, Samsung apparently shut out of consideration

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 29th, 2013, 10:45
Category: Hardware, Rumor

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The iWatch rumors continue, this time focusing on component suppliers.

Per AppleInsider and the Korea Herald, one report claiming LG Display is closing in on a deal to supply a portion of the device’s flexible OLED screens, while longtime supply partner Samsung will be shut out of the project.

Citing an “expert,” The Korea Herald on Tuesday reported that LG is close to furthering its partnership with Apple, and may soon ink a deal to provide screens for the Cupertino company’s much rumored “iWatch.”

“LG Display has been in talks over flexible organic light-emitting diode panels for quite a while and it looks like it will be sealing the deal with Apple,” the anonymous source said.

Currently, LG supplies Apple with LCD panels for the iPad, MacBook and iMac product lineups.

Along with LG, Taiwan’s RiTDisplay is also rumored to be a main contender for Apple’s purported wearable device. In May, a report claimed Apple was looking into the firm’s 1.5-inch one-glass touchscreen technology, which would allow the iWatch to be as thin and light as possible.

Notably absent from the list of possible suppliers is Samsung. According to the publication’s sources, Apple recently met with the Korean tech giant to discuss the matter, but discussions fell flat. Samsung is currently marketing its own smart watch in the Galaxy Gear, which has seen negative reviews from critics and high return rates from consumers.

Apple has yet to use OLEDs in any of its consumer products, but the power-sipping tech is a good fit for small portables like a smart watch. The iWatch rumor has been circulating for some time, and is continually on the verge of “launching soon.” The most recent chatter points to a 2014 unveiling, but hard evidence supporting a near-future debut has yet to surface.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: Apple to offer iPad Air for Personal Pickup come November 1st

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Date: Tuesday, October 29th, 2013, 10:37
Category: iPad, retail, Rumor

Come Friday, you should be able to snag an iPad Air from an Apple Store retail location.

Per 9to5Mac and MacRumors, Apple will offer Personal Pickup for the iPad Air beginning on the November 1st launch date according to anonymous sources. When the Apple Online Store goes live on November 1st at midnight Pacific Time (3 AM EST), customers will be able to order iPad Airs to be shipped to their addresses…


ipadairlarge

With Personal Pickup, the new tablets will be able to be reserved for pickup at their local Apple Retail Store. There’s also been some unconfirmed chatter inside Apple retail that Apple has considered putting the iPad mini with Retina display up for pre-order on November 1st, but plans certainly will change due to the device’s supply constraints. Apple has so-far said that the iPad mini with Retina display will become available later in November.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Parallels Desktop updated to 9.0.23140

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Date: Tuesday, October 29th, 2013, 10:31
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a useful update.

Parallels Desktop 9.0.23140 has gone out the door. The new version, a 373.9 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and new features:
- Resolves a problem with virtual machines crashing accidentally while running on Macs with OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

- Resolves a problem with the Parallels Desktop GUI (graphical user interface) crashing accidentally on Macs with OS X 10.9 Mavericks when switching a virtual machine to Coherence.

Parallels Desktop 9 retails for US$79.99 for the full version, US$49.99 for the upgrade version and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 to install and run.

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