O'Grady's PowerPage » Chris Barylick

Microsoft Office 2008 to Ship in Late 2007

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2007, 12:47
Category: News

On Thursday, Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit stated that it remains on target to ship Office 2008, its Macintosh version of the Microsoft Office suite, in the second half of 2007.
The company, which recently replaced the Mac BU’s general manager Roz Ho with Craig Elser, answered questions about the timeline for the product. In an interview with MacNN, Elser cited that the departure of Ho (who has now taken a place within Microsoft’s Entertainment and Services division) should not be taken as an indication that development for Office 2008 has been altered.
“The overall focus on the (Mac Business Unit) is delivering Office 2008 for Mac in the second half of 2007,” stated representatives from the company.
Additional details can be found over at Microsoft’s mac mojo blog.
Information such as new features, machine specifications and retail prices have yet to be determined, but will be forthcoming the moment we have them in hand.


Skype Released

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2007, 08:11
Category: Software

On Thursday, Skype released version of its free Voice over Internet Protocol client. The new version, a 29.8 megabyte download, adds the following changes:
-Improvement: Skype’s own audio codec.
-Improvement: Skype improved conference mixer.
-Improvement: Skype Jitter Buffer and concealment.
-Improvement: Skype audio preprocessing components.
-Localizations: all updated.
-Bugfix: fixed application hangup on handling certain URL links in chat messages.
-Bugfix: fixed exception (resulting in disappearance of message) on handling certain intentionally constructed “bad” chat messages.
-Bugfix: privacy policy fix, not accepting multichats from non-authorized users.
Skype requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run and is coded as a Universal Binary capable of running at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’re tried the new version and have positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.


MaxUpgrades Announces MaxProtect Impact-Resistant Sleeve for Laptops

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2007, 14:01
Category: News

On Thursday, MaxProtect announced that it had released the MaxProtect, an impact-resistant sleeve designed for the MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. According to MacNN, the MaxProtect sleeve is made from Visco-Elastic Memory Foam and designed to resist impact and shock from all sides via thick foam padding along the surface of the notebook.
The sleeve features a two-zipper, pull-apart design that prevents the zippers from coming in contact with the laptop and a durable handle and can also accommodate Apple’s 12″, 15″ and 17″ PowerBook G4 laptops. Prices range from US$23.99 to US$28.99 depending on size and model chosen.


Apple Cancels Personal Shopping Appointments for June 29th

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2007, 14:34
Category: News

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I’ll say this: June 29th is going to be interesting, no matter how you slice it.
Apparently Apple feels the same way.
PowerPage head honcho Jason O’Grady, in an effort to snag an iPhone, has found that the Apple Store may be canceling its Personal Shopping service for June 29th, the day of the iPhone’s launch.
For additional details, check out the Apple Core and if you’ve seen anything like this on your end, let us know.


Safari 3.0.1 Beta Released for Windows

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2007, 10:12
Category: News

Yes, it’s news from the dark side, but it’s interesting:
Apple has released Safari Beta 3.0.1 for Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista. The new version is available through the Macworld News, the new version includes the following security fixes:
-Correction for a “command injection vulnerability”.
-The update also lends additional cycles and URL validation that could lead to the browser shutting down on its own.
-A fix for an out-of-bounds memory issue.
-A fix for a race condition that could lead to cross-site scripting via a JavaScript exploit.
Apple has also stated that these security issues are only present on Windows XP and Windows Vista and not the Mac OS X operating system.
If you’ve had a chance to play with this new version, let us know how it went.


Gizmo Project Adds AIM and MSN Support

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2007, 14:29
Category: Software

On Monday, SIPphone announced that Gizmo Project, the company’s free Voice over Internet Protocol program, was now able to communicate with AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger contacts.
Like other Voice over Internet Protocol programs, Gizmo Project allows users to transmit and receive voice data, essentially making the data connection into a telephone. According to Macworld News, Gizmo Project users receive free voice mail and conference calling features with their accounts and can purchase “call in” and “call out” features that allow each user to have a phone number as well as call land line and mobile phone connections.
SIPphone has commented that the new feature is change that’s been completed on the server end and a download of the latest version of the client software isn’t necessary. The company has also stated that it plans to add similar features for communication with Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk and iChat contacts.
Gizmo Project is an 18.5 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run. The program is a Universal Binary and functions at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’ve tried the new features and have either positive or negative feedback about them, let us know.


Opinion: Safari: Apple’s New Platform?

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2007, 08:31
Category: Opinion

Reader Tristan Louis has submitted a link to a thoughtful blog post regarding Apple, Safari, development for the iPhone, iTunes, Software Update and infiltration into the Windows platform via its new services and devices. He raises some good points and the entry is worth the read:
Yesterday’s announcement of Apple launching its Safari web browser for the Windows platform was a bit puzzling and I wasn’t sure of what to make of it at first. So I decided to read more about it and then install it.
Of course, day one is always amusing. First, it’s clear that the security claims are not fully justified. And moving from the confines of the OS X world, which is generally like a meticulously cleaned up suburban neighborhood into the wilds known as the world of Windows was bound to test some of Apple’s mettle when it comes to security. But that’s really besides the point: the software is not a full released
version and one can hope that it will be improved upon further down the line (then again, hope springs eternal.)
But all this is really besides the point. In order to see what is happening, one must start thinking about why would Apple think about a new browser today.
For the full blog entry, click here.
If you have an opinion on this, let us know.


Santa Rosa MacBook Pro Benchmark Tests Updated

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2007, 08:05
Category: News

The guys over at BareFeats.com have added to their battery of tests on the newly-released Intel Santa Rosa-based MacBook Pro laptops. The new round of tests still focused on 3D gaming ability, the new MacBook Pro units running titles such as Prey and Quake 4 appreciably faster than the previous revisions.
As expected, the current MacBook laptop came out on the low end, its integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics chip holding it back despite BareFeats’ installing two gigabytes of RAM.
More reports are due to come as the site compares the MacBook Pro’s available 7,200 RPM 160 gigabyte drive to the 5,400 RPM 120 gigabyte model as well as runs comparisons of the same applications under both Parallels Desktop for Macs 3.0 and Apple’s Boot Camp.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.


Safari 3.0 Beta Removal Guide Posted

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Date: Tuesday, June 12th, 2007, 13:09
Category: News

For some, the Safari 3.0 beta is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Admittedly, it’s a bit faster, the ability to move tabs around is something I’ve wanted for a while and the improved search functions are worth writing home about.
A beta is still a beta, though, and you take the good with the bad.
If you’ve downloaded the new Safari beta and found it’s done more harm than good, the intrepid lads over at MacFixIt have thrown together a roundup guide as to how best to remove the browser if it’s affecting your programs.
The guide functions as an addendum to the uninstaller that arrives with the download and provides a better way to root through your system if you still want a better way to clean out your operating system in these cases.
As always, if you have any feedback about Safari 3.0, positive or negative, let us know.


VMware Announces Price Points for Fusion

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Date: Tuesday, June 12th, 2007, 09:06
Category: News

Among yesterday’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference hubbub, VMware, makers of the Fusion virtualization package, announced that it had arrived on price points for its upcoming software, which is currently available as a public beta.
The company stated that the software can be pre-ordered starting today for a price of US$40 or for US$80 when it’s officially released near the end of August. Competitor Parallels currently makes a similar virtualization package via Desktop for Macs 3.0 that allows the user to simultaneously run both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows on their Intel-based Mac. VMware’s announcement is seen as offering their software at a similar price (Parallels Desktop for Macs 3.0 retails for US$79.99).
Full details and download links for the current beta of Fusion can be found here.