Dutch Google Ads Hint at Updated iMacs, MacBooks and Mac Minis

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 5th, 2009, 03:02
Category: iMac, Mac mini, MacBook, News

applelogo1.jpg

A series of Dutch-based Google AdSense ads appear to have prematurely revealed new Apple iMacs, entry level white MacBooks and Mac minis. According to AppleInsider, the ads, now mostly removed from Google searches, appeared over the weekend, suggested “thinner iMacs, redesigned polycarbonate MacBooks with thinner, sleeker enclosures, and speed-bumped Mac minis,” could be revealed sooner than later, even as early as this month.

Italian, German, Austrian and Belgium Google searches also reportedly produced similar results.

The ads revealed a “faster and more affordable than ever,” Mac mini “from only €499,” a €100 saving on the current cheapest price.

Alongside the Mac mini, the white MacBook notebook was listed as “thinner, lighter and stronger,” according to some translations – “Dunner, lichter en krachtiger! Gratis bezorging. Bestel vandaag” on the Belgium version of Google – while the new iMac was described as “ultra thin,” starting from €1099.

Rumours of a redesigned iMac with a “thinner, organic design, likely with smoothed or rounded edges” have also been doing the rounds for the last few weeks with analysts helping to fuel claims a refresh is imminent. Observers have claimed a new look iMac could be close to the current Apple Cinema Display in design.

The reports of a new Mac mini, with faster NVIDIA graphics processor appear to be new.

BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac 1.0.0 Released

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 2nd, 2009, 08:47
Category: Software

blackberrylogo

It’s not terribly exciting, but it’s been long-anticipated and may just be useful.

After, oh, several years of treating the Mac OS X platform like a second class citizen and letting third party outfits pick up the slack on syncing, Research In Motion has finally released version 1.0.0 of its BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac software. The application, a 26.7 megabyte download, allows Mac users to sync data from Mac applications like iCal, Address Book, Microsoft Entourage and others, as well as add and remove applications, schedule automatic backups, encrypt backup files and install software updates for their BlackBerry smartphones.

The application also integrates BlackBerry Media Sync, enabling Mac users to sync their iTunes music collections.

BlackBerry Desktop Manager 1.0.0 is available as a free download and requires Mac OS X 10.5, iTunes 7.2 or later and BlackBerry Device Software 4.2 or later to install and run.

Recently Published Apple Patent Reveals Possible Tablet Interface

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 2nd, 2009, 03:19
Category: Patents

applelogo1.jpg

Via a recently published patent application, Apple has again disclosed plans for a multi-touch surface that could accommodate two full hands and distinguish between palms and individual fingers for typing, gestures and more. According to AppleInsider, the application, filed by Morrison and Foerster LLP in Los Angeles in June 2009 on behalf of Apple, expands on information made available last year. The massive document details a hand-based system that would allow “unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a versatile, ergonomic computer input device.”

The document notes that input with a stylus, mouse, keyboard and voice recognition are all options that work well in specific circumstances, but are not dynamic enough to address the many needs of users. But, it states, many of those needs can be met with touch-sensitive technology that can recognize a number of hand configurations.

“Many attempts have been made to embed pointing devices in a keyboard so the hands do not have to leave typing position to access the pointing device… The limited movement range and resolution of these devices, leads to poorer pointing speed and accuracy than a mouse, and they add mechanical complexity to keyboard construction,” the application reads. “Thus there exists a need in the art for pointing methods with higher resolution, larger movement range, and more degrees of freedom yet which are easily accessible from typing hand positions.”

The described system in the patent application would individually detect all ten fingers and separate palms on a person’s hand, giving the ability to type, write, draw and interact with a device large enough to support multiple hands. Examples of the touchscreen’s capabilities include resting of hands, measuring when a hand or fingers touches and leaves the surface, interpreting taps from one finger as mouse button clicks, but disregarding a tap from two fingers, and more. Activities done with multiple fingers are referred to as “chords.”

Such a system could adapt to individual hand sizes, eliminate the need for a stylus and mouse and would require minimal typing force. The application notes that there are other patents for touchscreen devices that negate the need for a keyboard or mouse, but states that Apple’s method is unique because it addresses both needs.

Typing is a large part of the lengthy application. The document goes into great detail about how a multi-touch interface could distinguish what keys a set of hands intend to type on the surface. It discusses pressure on the sides or center of individual fingers and palms, and how to interpret those various signals.

Key points of the invention, as described in the application, include:

-Integrating and distinguishing different types of input, such as typing, multiple degree-of-freedom manipulation, and handwriting, via different hand configurations that are easy to use and recognize.

-Includes an electronic system which minimizes the number of sensing electrodes to allow easier understanding of a variety of hand configurations.

-Provide a multi-touch surface that is contoured to be comfortable and ergonomic under extended use.

-Provide tactile key or hand position feedback without interfering with a hand resting on the smooth touch-sensitive surface.

-Provide images of “flesh proximity” to a variety of sensors that can distinguish hand configuration.

-Understand when the user wants cursor motion, and ignore commands when deceleration by the user is detected.

-Understand the movement of two or more hands to allow manipulation of two-dimensional electronic documents, like rotation and scaling of photos.

The application is partially credited to Wayne Westerman of Fingerworks, a company absorbed by Apple several years ago as part of its quest to deliver iPhone and a new generation of input devices.

Apple has reportedly been at work on the tablet project for several years, and the hardware has seen numerous internal iterations. The current device is believed to have a 10″ screen, 3G connectivity, and sport a custom-made chip from P.A. Semi.

VMWare Releases Fusion 2.0.6

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 2nd, 2009, 03:34
Category: Software

vmwarelogo.jpg

Late Tuesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 2.0.6 of its Fusion software for the Mac.

Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.

The new version, a 289 megabyte download, offers the following new features and fixes:
– Fixes multiple issues when running VMware Fusion 2.0.x on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (32-bit kernel mode).
– Provides improved 3D performance on Macs with NVIDIA graphics cards running Mac OS X 10.6.
– Contains fixes for more than 20 bugs.

The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.

Some Mac OS X 10.6 Users Report Difficulty Using .DMG Files

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 1st, 2009, 03:17
Category: Software

snowleopard

As cool as Snow Leopard may be, if this issue happens, you’re going to notice it:

Per CNET, a number of users are experiencing issues concerning Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard’s handling of .dmg files. Since upgrading to Snow Leopard these users are not able to mount the files or run packages stored in them.

Over on the Apple Support Discussions web site user “Logan G” described the following:

“Since upgrading to Snow Leopard, I cannot get any downloaded .dmg files to do anything. After downloading them, I double click on them and nothing happens. Nothing. No error message. No bouncing dock icons. Nothing. I’ve tried downloading them using Firefox and Safari with the same results. This is happening with all .dmg files, not just the same ones, so I know it’s not unique to a particular .dmg file.”

Several suggestions are made regarding a fix for this issue, although none seem to permanently solve the problem. First, check to be sure your Disk Image files are set to open with the correct program–in this case, DiskImageMounter. To check, highlight a disk image file and press (Command + I) to Get Info. In the Open with: section, if DiskImageMounter is not selected, choose it and click “Change All…”

Users can also try deleting the following files:
Home > Library > Preferences > com.apple.frameworks.diskimages.uiagent
Home > Library > Preferences > com.apple.diskimages.fsck

From here, log out, log back in again or restart your Mac. This appears to be a temporary fix only and a long term solution has yet to be discovered and reported back. If you’ve seen this on your end or, better yet, found a fix, let us know!!!

Elgato Releases EyeTV 3.2 Update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 1st, 2009, 03:37
Category: Software

eyetv2

Late Wednesday, Elgato Systems released version 3.2 of its EyeTV software application, which finds and tracks all television programming you want to see and allows users to pause live television and save content to file.

The new version, which can be found here (and can also be found through EyeTV 3.0’s update feature), adds the following fixes and features:
– Turbo.264 HD users can now access the Turbo custom options when exporting from EyeTV.
– Fixed a crash when using the digital audio output.
– Fixed missing commands in AppleScript dictionary.
– Improved H.264 playback with certain channels.
– Improved tuning for both DVB-S and DVB-S2 with EyeTV Sat and Terratec S7
– Fix default sort order and improved channel assignments on several different channels.
– Fix a problem where EyeTV Sat could not manually add DVB-S2 channels.
– Reception improvements with the EyeTV DTT.
– Improved localizations.

EyeTV 3.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run. The program retails for US$79.95.

Microsoft Releases Version 7.0.1 of IntelliPoint, IntelliType Drivers

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 1st, 2009, 03:42
Category: Software

microsoftlogo.jpg
On Saturday, Microsoft released version 6.2 of their drivers for their IntelliType keyboards and IntelliType mice. The drivers, which can be selected and downloaded here, bring the software up to speed with Mac OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”) and offer full 64-bit compatibility with the operating system.

The drivers require Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, let us know what you think and feel free to hurl your two cents in.

Rumor: Apple Contacted Media Outfits Regarding Tablet Device

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 30th, 2009, 04:01
Category: Rumor

applelogo1.jpg

Per Gizmodo, Apple recently approached a number of newspapers, magazines and other print media describing putting their products for sale on iTunes via a new piece of hardware. The report cited people familiar with The New York Times, publishers McGraw Hill and Oberlin Press, and a trip that “several executives from one of the largest magazine groups” took to the company’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.

The Apple tablet project has apparently been through a number of different iterations, and the project has been reset numerous times by company co-founder Steve Jobs. The report said that Jobs was presented with a tablet device that ran a modified version of OS X years ago, but the device was shelved because the company could not determine what use people would have for the hardware.

The focus of the hardware now is said to not be the playback of media, which the iPod and iPhone lines already handle well. Instead, Apple is reportedly working to have publishers place their print content on iTunes.

“The eventual goal is to have publishers create hybridized content that draws from audio, video, interactive graphics in books, magazines and newspapers, where paper layouts would be static,” the report said. “And with release dates for Microsoft’s Courier set to be quite far away and Kindle stuck with relatively static e-ink, it appears that Apple is moving towards a pole position in distribution of this next-generation print content. First, it’ll get its feet wet with more basic repurposing of the stuff found on dead trees today.”

The article has stated that the device will debut in early 2010, which seems consistent with the rest of the rumor mill on this issue.

Two employees from The New York Times were allegedly contacted by Apple in June about putting their product on a “new device.” Publishers McGraw Hilll and Oberlin Press are said to be working to put their textbooks on iTunes, possibly in a DRMed format that would allow use for a period of time. Magazine executives are alleged to have presented their ideas on the future of publishing on Apple’s campus. Given the evidence, the report asserts that Apple is looking to go beyond e-readers, like Amazon’s Kindle, to “redefine print.”

Intel Working on Apple’s “Light Peak” Brainchild to Eventually Replace Multiple Connection Cables

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 30th, 2009, 04:10
Category: Hardware, News

intellogo.jpg

Ok, this is interesting. A new interconnect technology called Light Peak is being developed by Apple as a potential replacement for FireWire, USB and traditional monitor cables. Engadget reports that Apple brought the technology to Intel and asked them to create it.

Per Engadget, Apple had reached out to Intel as early as 2007 with plans for an interoperable standard which could handle massive amounts of data and “replace the multitudinous connector types with a single connector (FireWire, USB, Display interface).”

According to documents reviewed by Engadget, Light Peak would enable users to connect a variety of devices into a single Light Peak port. Longer-term, Light Peak has the potential to replace almost all the ports that are on your current computer, including networking, display driving, and general connectivity.

The technology is centered around fiber optics capable of transferring data at 10Gbps . At this speed, you could transfer a full-length Blu-Ray movie in less than 30 seconds. According to Intel, Light Peak can scale to 100Gbps over the next decade and has a number of other benefits.

Optical technology also allows for smaller connectors and longer, thinner, and more flexible cables than currently possible. Light Peak also has the ability to run multiple protocols simultaneously over a single cable, enabling the technology to connect devices such as peripherals, workstations, displays, disk drives, docking stations, and more. The technology is faster than the recently ratified SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) which can transfer data at 4.8Gbps and could wind up in Apple systems as soon as Fall 2010 in a line of Macs destined for back-to-school shoppers. Following the initial launch, a low-power version of Light Peak is planned for 2011, which could find its way into tablets and mobile phones.

Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, take a gander at the video from the lab…



Cocktail 4.4 (Tiger Edition) Released

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 30th, 2009, 03:25
Category: Software

cocktaillogo.jpg
On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.4 of Cocktail (Tiger Edition), Cocktail, the popular freeware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.
The new version, a 2.0 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
– Fixed miscellaneous bugs discovered in the previous release.
– Now distributed as freeware.

Cocktail 4.4 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.