O'Grady's PowerPage » Chris Barylick

Apple Releases Updates for iPhoto 8, iWork 9, iMovie 8 and iWeb 3

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Date: Friday, March 27th, 2009, 09:54
Category: Software

Yesterday, Apple released updates to…well…pretty much everything, so if you’ve got a few free minutes to spare and wanted to use Software Update, you’ll have a field day.
First among the updates is the company’s iPhoto 8.0.2 update. The new update, an 87.9 megabyte download, improves overall stability and addresses minor issues in a number of areas, including Faces, Places, photo sharing, and slideshows.
Next, Apple released its iWork 9.0.1update1 patch, a 42.7 megabyte download, that, oddly enough, lacks specific fixes in its description but is offered as a recommended update for all iWork 9.0 users.
Then, the company released its iMovie 8.0.1 update, a 24.5 megabyte download designed as a bug fix for the recently-released iMovie 8.0 video editing application. The new version improves overall application stability as well as addressing minor issues related to usability.
Finally, Apple released iWeb 3.0.1, the company’s update to its WYSIWYG HTML editing application. The new version, a 14.2 megabyte download, addresses issues when publishing to an FTP server and other minor issues.
The updates requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried the updates and can offer any feedback, please let us know in the comments or forums.


Apple Releases iLife Support 9.0.2 Update

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Date: Friday, March 27th, 2009, 09:40
Category: Software

Late Thursday, Apple released its iLife Support 9.0.2 update, a four megabyte download designed to improve overall stability and addresses a number of other minor issues. The update is recommended for all users of Aperture, iLife 09, and iWork 09.
Like most patches, the file can be located and installed via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.
The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried the update and have any feedback to offer, please let us know how it went in the comments or forums.


OnLive Gaming Service Announced, Will Be Mac and Windows-Compatible

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Date: Thursday, March 26th, 2009, 08:28
Category: News

Over at the Game Developers Conference, the OnLive broadband gaming service was announced. The effort, developed over seven years, focuses on offering a variety of game choices to subscribers by handling the each game’s video and audio on remote servers and streaming the results to players. According to Gamasutra, the service is stated to be compatible with Mac and Windows-based machines (via a web browser), or without a machine at all via the use of a “micro console” attachment which connects directly to a television.
“What OnLive does is seamless and completely transparent, and it does not have any requirements for the local system,” said OnLive founder and CEO Steve Perlman.
OnLive’s service, which is planned to combine a relatively low monthly subscription fee with other per-game business models not yet fully determined, requires only a one-megabyte download to a computer, or a small plastic dongle (called a “micro-console”) to connect to a TV; no GPU is required.
Once subscribed, users will be able to run any of the service’s games, regardless of system requirements.
A variety of major publishers including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Warner Bros., Take-Two, Eidos, and Atari have already signed on and OnLive has announced a partnership with Epic Games that will see the Unreal Engine 3 easily adapt to OnLive’s APIs.
“Not only have we solved the problem of compressing the video games, we’ve solved the latency problem,” Perlman said to Gamasutra. “We knew, in order to make this thing work, we’d have to figure out a way to get video to run compressed over consumer connections with effectively no latency. Our video compression technology has one millisecond in latency — basically no latency at all. All the latency is just for the transport, and we’ve also addressed that.”
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you ever wanted to stream your console games to your Apple notebook, you might not have long to wait.
Let us know what you think in the comments or forums.


Users Reporting Dropped Internet Connections During Time Capsule Backups

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 26th, 2009, 08:18
Category: Software, Time Capsule

In the category of “it should be working perfectly forever but isn’t”, a number of users have reported that their Time Capsule units are dropping Internet connections during the backup process. According to MacFixIt, the AirPort Utility does not see the Time Capsule during the dropped out period. Even so, the backup continues and completes despite the Internet connection not working. Time Capsules may also be dropping Internet connections more frequently than during backup sessions as multiple users report anywhere from 5 minute to 30-minute increments between drops.
One user, identified as “Zzooomm”, described the situation as follows:

“Time Capsule V7.4.1 loses Internet/Wireless Connection with my MacBookPro2,2 Core 2 Duo 10.5.6 during backup. It appears the backup continues successfully. Opening Airport Utility shows my second Airport Extreme but not the Time Capsule. Within 10 minutes of completing the backup, the TC reappears. Suggestions?”

Strangely enough and on an apparently-unrelated note, Apple has acknowledged that the Real Player Downloader has been causing communications complications between airport cards and Time Capsules. To repair this, head over to System Preferences, Accounts, Login Items, highlight the RP Downloader and click the (-) button. This is a solution that many of the users on the discussion threads acknowledge solves the issue.
If you do not have the Real Player Downloader installed and are still having problems, be sure you have Apple’s latest update to the Time Capsule firmware, 7.4.1. If you do not have it, download the update from Apple and install it.
If you have the firmware updated and do not have Real Player Downloader installed and are still having issues, try resetting your Time Capsule following instructions in the User’s Manual or read this Apple Knowledge Base article.
If you’ve seen this issue on your end or have an opinion to offer on it, let us know in the comments or forums.


Apple Releases 17″ Unibody MacBook Pro Graphics Firmware 1.0 Update

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Date: Thursday, March 26th, 2009, 08:17
Category: MacBook Pro, Software

Late Wednesday, Apple released its Graphics Firmware 1.0 update for its 17″ unibody MacBook Pro notebook. The update, a 770 kilobyte download, addresses the appearance of vertical lines or distorted graphics on the notebook display.
Like other patches, the update can also be located and downloaded via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.
If you’ve tried the firmware update and have any comments to offer, let us know in the comments or forums.


Sprint to Deploy WiMAX Networks in 10 U.S. Cities Throughout 2009

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 25th, 2009, 14:00
Category: News

Telecommunications giant Sprint has announced plans to deploy WiMAX services in 10 major cities throughout 2009, with at least five additional major markets due to get services in 2010.
According to Macworld, the company plans to deploy services to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Portland, and Seattle. The comapny also expects to launch WiMAX services in Boston, Houston, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. throughout 2010. Sprint’s WiMAX services are only available currently only available in Baltimore, where Sprint kicked off its nationwide WiMAX deployment last September. Comcast, one of Sprint’s partners in the Clearwire WiMAX coalition, recently announced that it planned to start reselling WiMAX services from Clearwire sometime this year.
Sprint’s WiMAX division, now referred to as “Sprint 4G”, has stated that it plans to release several new WiMAX devices in 2009 and 2010, such as a single-mode WiMAX data card, WiMAX-embedded laptops and a small-office WiMAX broadband modem. The company’s currently offer peak downlink speeds of 12Mbps and average downlink speeds between 2Mbps and 4Mbps.
Through the release of WiMAX services in major cities, Sprint is looking to stay ahead of rival carriers AT&T and Verizon, which each plan to launch their own 4G mobile data services based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) in roughly two years’ time. The LTE standard is the latest variation of Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology and is seen as the natural progression of High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), the GSM technology that is currently used by carriers such as AT&T to deliver 3G mobile data services.
If you’ve seen any Sprint WiMAX network prep work taking place in your city, let us know in the comments or forums.


Apple Activates iTunes Genius Recommendation Engine for Movies, TV Shows

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Date: Wednesday, March 25th, 2009, 07:15
Category: Software

Apple this week activated its iTunes Genius recommendation engine for both movies and television shows, a feature it had originally planned to bring out alongside the iTunes 8.1 release.
According to AppleInsider, the Genius engine, Apple’s proprietary recommendation engine used for collaborative filtering and iTunes’ built-in rating system, allows users to generate recommendations based on their current music catalog.
During the iTunes 8.1 release a few weeks ago, Apple had promised to expand the feature to video files before pulling the plug for undisclosed reasons.
As of Tuesday, users reported Genius iTunes Store recommendations for movies and tv shows appearing alongside their iTunes libraries.
When selecting an TV Show from your iTunes library, for instance, the Genius sidebar now lists additional episodes from that show’s same season, additional shows from other seasons, and then 10 recommendations for similar shows.
If you’ve seen this feature in action, please let us know in the comments or forums.


TomTom Home Updated to

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 25th, 2009, 07:38
Category: Software

TomTom Home, the desktop/driver software for the TomTom GPS devices, reached version late Tuesday. The new version, a 42.4 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), offers the following bug fixes and new features:

  • Link to our new online Route Planner.
  • Fresh new menu icons.
  • HOME now shows in the bottom right corner which TomTom device you have and offers a button to disconnect it.
  • It is now easier to get the latest maps by clicking the new Add Maps button.
  • After buying a new map you can now choose Install later.
  • Greek added as a new language.
  • Deselected update items are moved to the bottom of the list and remain deselected until you select them again.
  • TomTom HOME now stores all username and password combinations (if auto-login is chosen). You can automatically log in with any previously used device.
  • You need to fill in fewer fields when creating an account.
  • Improved device linking to better explain the process.
  • Fewer steps when using your activation or promotion code.
  • Bug fix: TomTom HOME now allows you to log in with e-mail domains of only one character long: e.g. username@c.dk.
  • It is now easier to install TomTom HOME themes and extensions that are already on your computer.
  • The new version requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and is available as a free update.
    If you’ve tried the new version of TomTom Home or have a GPS program of choice, let us know in the comments or forums.


    iPhone 3G Details, Specifications Emerge on China Mobile Web Site

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, 12:42
    Category: iPhone

    iPhone photos and product specifications have now appeared on the web site of wireless carrier China Unicom, a sign that a deal may have been reached between Apple and the Chinese carrier.
    According to AppleInsider, the information provided on the web site does not specifically indicate whether the Apple handset will be available from China Unicom, but joins references to similar handsets like the Android-based G1 that will be supported by the carriers upcoming 3G network.
    The site changes emerged one week after China Unicom representatives met in the United States with Apple executives in what has been described as a “breakthrough” negotiation session aimed at bringing the iPhone 3G to China Unicom’s network.
    A spokesperson at China Unicom headquarters could not explain why the information had been posted on one of the carrier’s regional websites, though it’s reportedly not uncommon for the company’s branches to operate independently.
    A launch was said to hinge largely on China Unicom’s first trial run of its new 3G network this May. In contrast to China Mobile, which is endorsing the government’s TD-SCDMA wireless standard, China Unicom will be running its first trials for an iPhone-compatible WCDMA network. Such a standard would let Apple sell its current handset virtually unchanged with full feature support.
    Although Apple has long pursued a deal with China Mobile, the world’s largest cellular provider with over 415 million subscribers, talks reportedly stalled over the government-backed carrier’s insistence on controlling the local version of Apple’s App Store, among other demands.
    Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what’s on your minds in the comments or forums.


    Review: TechRestore

    Posted by:
    Date: Tuesday, March 24th, 2009, 09:10
    Category: Review

    By Robert Kaneko
    This review is going to be slightly different for me. Instead of reviewing a product, I am looking at a service. I think that’s important to note, since any time you are looking at a service, there is a very human element to the experience.
    TechRestore is a company that specializes in repairs for mobile electronic devices. They do more than that, but my impression is that their primary focus is repairing items like iPods, iPhones, gaming devices and laptops. They are also an advertiser here on the PowerPage. In fact, that’s how I found them, and I’m glad I did.
    My ten-year-old son is a gadget junkie. He loves cell phones, Nintendos, laptops and other electronic devices. When I bought an iPod Touch, he couldn’t get enough of the experience. He saved for almost a year, and when the iPod Touch 2nd generation was released, he bought one for himself. That was about three months ago and he’s spent almost every day since playing with it. Interestingly, he has yet to put any music on it. He uses it to surf the Internet, handle his email and watch YouTube videos. Last week, he downloaded Text Free and my SMS inbox has never been the same. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
    About three weeks ago, my son’s iPod Touch went swimming. It was a devastating moment in our house. I tried the trick of putting the iPod in a bag of dry rice. I do think that helped to leech the water out of the unit, but it wouldn’t recover. After a fair amount of research, we decided to look into the possibility of repairing the existing unit instead of buying a new one.
    Enter TechRestore.
    Being a long-time reader of the Powerpage, I’ve seen the banner ads for TechRestore for years. As with most ads on most sites, I’ve pretty much ignored them. This time I didn’t. The PowerPage got a click-through from me and I got sent to Tech Restore’s web site.
    Click the jump for the full review…