Google Earth 5.1.3533.1731 Released

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Date: Thursday, November 19th, 2009, 05:34
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday, software giant Google released version 5.1.3533.1731 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 15.9 megabyte download, adds the following new features:

– Improved Startup Time. The improvement is most noticeable when users launch the Earth application multiple times.
– Improved overall rendering performance. Changes include faster atmosphere rendering and using compressed textures whenever possible.
– Improved Road rendering Performance: Frame rate at places with dense road networks is three times faster than in previous releases.
– Improved memory utilization in the application.
– Significantly smoother frame-rate and less stuttering in the application compared to previous releases.
– Improved performance with large region based network link KML documents. Some of large KML documents are now processed and rendered at more than twice the speed of earlier releases.
– Improved KML document handling performance. Large regionated KML Image overlays are up to 80% faster than previous releases.
– Support for KML hint = moon or mars to switch to moon or mars based on kml document.
– Availability of one installer that installs both the Google Earth application and browser plugin.
– Desktop Application now works on Windows 7.
– Users can set the memory cache size up to 1024 MB now.

The new version requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Camino 2.0 Released

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Date: Thursday, November 19th, 2009, 05:22
Category: News

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Late Wednesday, the Camino Project released version 2.0 of Camino, its free, open source web browser.
The new version, a 15.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Improved tabbed browsing:
– The Tab Overview feature displays a grid of thumbnails of the tabs in the current window.

– Tabs can be rearranged by dragging and dropping.

– Command-click now defaults to opening links in new tabs instead of new windows.

New security features:
– Camino now supports the Google Safe Browsing service to provide warnings about many potentially malicious websites.

– Camino now displays error pages for secure web pages using invalid or untrusted certificates.

Full content zoom:
– Camino now has support for making the entire contents of a web page bigger or smaller.

Download notifications:
– If Growl is installed, Camino will generate notifications when downloads begin and finish.

– On Mac OS X 10.5 and higher, Camino will bounce the downloads folder in the Dock when a download finishes.

Recently closed pages:
-The History menu now contains a sub-menu listing the last 20 closed web pages.

Improved support for Full Keyboard Access:
– When Full Keyboard Access is enabled, tabbing now moves correctly through the entire browser window.

Enhanced annoyance blocking:
– Camino now includes an exceptions list to allow disabling “Block Flash animations” on a per-site basis and an “Allow Flash From This Site” contextual menu item to ease adding sites to the exceptions list.

New AppleScript capabilities:
– AppleScripts can now obtain the HTML source or text of an entire web page or of a selection.

– Added AppleScript support for setting the active tab in each browser window.

Web content support:
– Camino now uses version 1.9.0 of Mozilla’s Gecko rendering engine, which contains thousands of bug fixes, better web plug-in compatibility and performance, enhanced support for web standards, and new technologies like JavaScript 1.8.

Camino requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the new version of Camino and have any kind of feedback about it, let us know.

DivX Player 7.2 Released

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Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 08:34
Category: Software

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DivX for Mac, the shareware player that allows users to view high definition H.264 (.mkv) videos with AAC audio and video, hit version 7.2 yesterday. The new version, a 30.5 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), contains the followings changes and features:

– DivX Player for Mac now plays DivX Plus HD (.mkv) videos and H.264/AAC/MKV videos from the Internet.
– DivX Player for Mac sports a brand new design with translucent windows, cleaner play controls and more.

DivX Player 7.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for a US$19.99 registration fee.

Firefox Web Browser Unlikely to Come to iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 05:55
Category: iPhone, News

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Representatives from Mozilla, the company responsible for Firefox, have announced that the web browser will not be coming to the iPhone. Responding to questions from ElectricPig.co.uk, Mozilla’s European president, Tristan Nitot, said that Firefox on the iPhone isn’t an option with Apple’s current restrictions on web browsers that would compete with Mobile Safari.

“The issue is more with Apple than with us because they control the App Store and because they refuse applications which compete with something that is already on the phone. It’s unlikely that we’ll see a version of Firefox running on the iPhone,” said Nitot.

Nitot also stated that Mozilla is so sure it isn’t going to happen that he said the foundation isn’t even looking in to making a version for just in case Apple changes their mind.

“We’re not investing time and energy in this direction because we’re pretty sure it would be blocked by Apple, so we’re better off using our time in terms of development to do things on open platforms”.

“[Firefox for mobile] is a modern browser with all the bells and whistles that you’ll find in your desktop browser so you need a powerful operating system such as Android or Maemo or Windows Mobile,” he said. “The list of operating systems we want to support in the mobile world is already pretty long – I guess BlackBerry would be one of the last in our priority list”

Firefox Mobile will be launching on Symbian, Android, Windows Mobile, and Nokia Maemo tablets in December.

VirtualBox 3.0.12 Released

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Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 05:01
Category: Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 3.0.12. The new version, a 62.9 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

– VMM: reduced IO-APIC overhead for 32 bits Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 guests; requires 64 bits support (VT-x only; bug #4392).
– VMM: fixed double timer interrupt delivery on old Linux kernels using IO-APIC (caused guest time to run at double speed; bug #3135).
– VMM: reinitialize VT-x and AMD-V after host suspend or hibernate; some BIOSes forget this (Windows hosts only; bug #5421).
– VMM: fix loading of saved state when RAM preallocation is enabled.
– BIOS: ignore unknown shutdown codes instead of causing a guru meditation (bug #5389).
– GUI: never start a VM on a single click into the selector window (bug #2676).
– Serial: reduce the probability of lost bytes if the host end is connected to a raw file.
– VMDK: fix handling of split image variants and fix a 3.0.10 regression (bug #5355).
– VRDP: fixed occasional VRDP server crash.
– Network: even if the virtual network cable was disconnected, some guests were able to send / receive packets (E1000; bug #5366).
– Network: even if the virtual network cable was disconnected, the PCNet card received some spurious packets which might confuse the guest (bug #4496).
– Shared folders: fixed changing case of file names (bug #2520).
– Windows Additions: fix crash in seamless mode (contributed by Huihong Luo).
– Linux Additions: fix writing to files opened in O_APPEND mode (bug #3805).
– Solaris Additions: fix regression in guest additions driver which among other things caused lost guest property updates and periodic error messages being written to the system log.

VirtualBox 3.0.12 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

Apple Releases Sexy, Romantic Printer Driver Updates for Snow Leopard

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Date: Tuesday, November 17th, 2009, 05:20
Category: Software

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Printer driver updates may not be the sexiest thing to mention to your significant other after you’ve drawn her a hot bath, lit the candles and dimmed the lights, but they are necessary.

I mean, everyone needs to print.

Late Monday afternoon, Apple posted printer updates for Canon, Brother, HP, and Lexmark on its Support Downloads site..

Per Macworld, each of the four drivers contain the latest printing software for Snow Leopard from the respective hardware makers. The Canon, Brother, and HP drivers also include scanning software and require Mac OS X 10.6.1.

The four drivers and their files sizes include:

– Canon Printer Drivers for Mac OS X 10.6 (274.59MB)
– Brother Printer Drivers for Mac OS X 10.6 (99.9MB)
– HP Printer Drivers (387.44MB)
– Lexmark Printer Drivers for Mac OS X 10.6 (117MB)

Users can also snag the updated drivers via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

Apple lists detailed information about supported printer models on its web site.

Rumor: Apple Black Friday Discounts Leaked

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Date: Tuesday, November 17th, 2009, 05:54
Category: Rumor

It may still be a full 10 days away, but it got leaked to the media and it’s interesting.

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Per Boy Genius Report, Apple will be offering the following deals on the Friday after Thanksgiving:

– Up to 30% off on all iPods (except iPhone and iPod shuffle).
– Up to 25% off Macs.
– Up to 15% off all accessories as well as Apple software and hardware.

The only catch is that the deals are only good on Friday, November 27th according to the rumor.

As mentioned over on the Apple Core, in 2008 Apple offered a US$101 discount on the unibody MacBook, a US$51 discount on the white MacBook, US$51 and US$101 off the aluminum iMacs, plenty of iPod discounts (US$11 off 8GB iPod nanos, US$21 off iPod classics, and US$21 off iPod touches) and a US$21 discount on Apple TV and 500GB Time Capsule.

If you’re inclined to go battle the herd, have at it and let us know how it goes.

Google Earth iPhone App Reaches Version 2.0

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Date: Tuesday, November 17th, 2009, 05:56
Category: iPhone, Software

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Late Monday, Google released version 2.0 of its Google Earth for iPhone app. The new version lets you add user-created maps from your Mac or PC to your iPhone, adds visual feedback when you select certain locations, provides easier browsing and adds new language support.

The application is available for free and requires iPhone OS 2.0 or later to install and run.

Apple Wins Key Legal Ruling Against Clone Maker Psystar

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Date: Monday, November 16th, 2009, 04:03
Category: Legal

The lesson for the day: If you didn’t develop or actually license an operating system, you can’t sell computers with that operating system on it. Late last week, clone Mac maker Psystar discovered this in a court decision in the company’s ongoing legal battle with Apple. According to AppleInsider, judge William Alsup ruled this week in a summary judgment that Psystar infringed on copyrights owned by Apple in order to place Mac OS X on unauthorized computers built and sold by the Florida corporation. In addition, Psystar was found to be in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by circumventing Apple’s protection barrier that prevents installation of its operating system on third-party hardware.

“Psystar infringed Apple’s exclusive right to create derivative works of Mac OS X,” the ruling reads. “Specifically, it made three modifications: (1) replacing the Mac OS X bootloader with a different bootloader to enable an unauthorized copy of Mac OS X to run on Psystar’s computers; (2) disabling and removing Apple kernel extension files; and (3) adding non-Apple kernel extensions.”

Alsup also denied Psystar’s own motion for summary judgment, in which the company attempted to prove that Apple engaged in copyright misuse. The judge ruled that Apple’s End User License Agreement only attempts to control use of Apple’s own software, which is within its rights.

The summary judgment isn’t the final blow and a number of issues remain to be resolved. Apple has alleged that Psystar has also engaged in breach of contract, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition, among other activities.

Another hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 14, and trial between the two companies is due to start in January of 2010.

The decision came after both companies requested summary judgments, which turned into a positive for Apple and a significant defeat for Psystar.

The decision marks the latest of many setbacks for Psystar as it has attempted to defend itself from Apple’s suit. In September, a member of the Psystar defense team withdrew himself from the case. And in July, the Florida-based corporation brought on a new legal team after it emerged from bankruptcy.

The company, which sells machines with Snow Leopard, Apple’s latest operating system, preinstalled began to license its virtualization technology to third-party hardware vendors as of October. The Psystar OEM Licensing Program intends to allow Intel machines made by companies other than Apple to run Mac OS X 10.6.

Apple Releases Version 1.0.2 Firmware Update for Fifth-Generation iPod Nano

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Date: Monday, November 16th, 2009, 04:29
Category: iPod Nano, Software

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Late Friday, Apple released version 1.0.2 of its firmware for the company’s fifth generation iPod nano. The update, which can be located through iTunes, fixes audiobook playback to allow Normal, Slower, and Faster settings to work for audio podcasts.

Per Macworld UK, the update also resolves an issue where Genius Mixes were not working for anyone using the Nike + iPod Sport Kit add-on. Other fixes in the 1.0.2 nano update include one that allows the accessibility setting for Mono Audio to work and another involving a bug where VoiceOver menu items were skipped when using the plus (+) and minus (-) volume buttons on the included headphones.

If you’ve tried the update and have any positive or negative feedback, let us know in the comments.