Cocktail 4.5.1 (Snow Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Wednesday, September 16th, 2009, 03:07
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.4.1 of Cocktail (Leopard Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware 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:
– Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may not launch on 32-bit only Macs.
– Addresses an issue in which Cocktail was unable to search for corrupted preference files.
– Added Mac OS X 10.6.1 compatibility.
– Other minor improvements and bug fixes discovered in the previous version.

Cocktail 4.5.1 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

Adobe Releases Camera Raw 5.5 Update

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Date: Tuesday, September 15th, 2009, 04:01
Category: Software

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Early Tuesday, software giant released version 5.5 of its Camera Raw plugin, a program which delivers access to “raw” image formats in professional and mid-range digital cameras from Canon, Fujifilm, Minolta, Nikon and Olympus.

Newly supported camera models include:
– Nikon D300s.
– Nikon D3000.
– Olympus E-P1.
– Panasonic DMC-FZ35.
– Panasonic DMC-GF1.
– Camera Raw 5.5 includes a correction to the demosaic algorithms for Bayer sensor cameras with unequal green response.

Users can visit Adobe’s Camera Raw web site for a complete list of supported cameras.

Camera Raw 5.5 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Adobe Releases Lightroom 2.5 Update

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Date: Tuesday, September 15th, 2009, 03:50
Category: Software

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On Thursday, Adobe released Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.5, the newest version of its professional-grade image editing program and Adobe’s first application to support 64-bit processing under Mac OS X 10.5.
The new version, a 67 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), adds the following fixes and changes:
– Additional camera support for several new camera models including the Nikon D3000 and Olympus E-P1.
– Includes several corrections for issues introduced by previous Lightroom 2 releases.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.5 retails for US$299 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried the new version, let us know what you think of it over in the comments or forums.

iFixIt Teardown Finds 802.11n Chip, Space for Video Camera on New iPod Touch

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Date: Monday, September 14th, 2009, 06:32
Category: iPod, iPod Touch

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You’ve gotta love iFixIt and their recent teardown of the new third generation iPod touch has revealed some interesting details pertaining to Apple’s newly-released third generation media player.

Per the report, the new iPod touch features an 802.11n chip as well as enough space to fit a video camera such as the one found in the new iPod nano. In addition, the space is in the center on the back of the device, where the camera was rumored to be located. However, there are no headers on the iPod’s board for a camera cable.

“It appears that Apple left in room for a camera in the top of the device,” the solutions provider said. “There is a 6mm x 6mm x 3mm space between the Broadcom chip and the wireless antenna. There isn’t enough depth for an iPhone-style autofocus still camera, but just enough room for the camera that Apple used in the 5th generation iPod nano.”

The new iPod nano features a video-only camera and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said in an interview with The New York Times this week that the iPod touch was not given a camera because the company wanted to focus on promoting the hardware as a gaming machine, and keeping the low-end model’s price under US$200.

The teardown located a Broadcom BCM4329 chip inside the new third-generation device, the chip supporting the 802.11n protocol. The iPhone 3GS features a BCM4325 chip, which only supports 802.11 a/b/g. The new iPod touch does not support 802.11n Wi-Fi out of the box.

“This reminds us of last year when we broke the news that the 2nd generation touch had Bluetooth support in hardware,” they said. “Apple didn’t enable software support until 9 months later with iPhone OS 3.0.”

The new device also features a Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and and a FM receiver and transmitter. However, that does not necessarily mean that the iPod touch will be able to receive and send FM signals. The latest iPod nano, however, does have a built-in FM receiver.

“If they built in the antennas, and if Apple adds software support,” iFixit said, “you could theoretically stream music to your car stereo without any external hardware. But that’s a lot of ifs.”

“While we were all disappointed by Apple’s underwhelming iPod touch announcement, it is clear that there is more engineering effort under the surface of this device than meets the eye.”

Apple TV Price Reduced by $100 for 160GB Model, 40GB Model Discontinued

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Date: Monday, September 14th, 2009, 06:58
Category: Apple TV, News

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If you recently purchased a 40GB Apple TV unit, now may be the time to start kicking yourself. According to Macworld UK, the 160GB model’s price has been reduced by US$100 to US$229 while the company has discontinued the 40GB model, as seen in the Apple Store.

Some, including analysts, had anticipated a new version of the Apple TV at last Wednesday’s San Francisco event which saw a iPod refresh and new look in iTunes.

iTunes 9 adds a range of features, including Home Sharing and iTunes LP that would benefit the Apple TV.

AT&T Staggering iPhone MMS Feature Release, Some Users Report Early Activation

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Date: Monday, September 14th, 2009, 04:20
Category: iPhone, News

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A number of iPhone users have reported that the long awaited MMS feature seems to have been enabled on their devices well in advance of AT&T’s declared September 25th start date according to howardforums.com.

The MMS support feature will allow iPhone OS 3.0 users to send pictures, video and audio recordings, contacts, or locations from Maps via 3G-capable iPhones.

In announcing its plans to enable the feature for iPhone users, AT&T explained, “It was important to give our customers a positive experience from day one. We support more iPhone customers than any other carrier in the world so we took the time necessary to make sure our network is ready to handle what we expect will be a record volume of MMS traffic. We truly appreciate our customers’ patience and hope they’ll understand our desire to get it right from the start.”

Rather than turning on MMS service for millions of American iPhone users all at once, AT&T has been selectively activating users across the country. Once activated, iPhone 3G and 3GS users should see a new “Cellular Data Network” menu item within the General/Network page of the Settings app and a new camera icon within the Messages app for sending photos.

It’s possible to install a modified carrier bundle for AT&T to activate MMS software features, but this does not necessarily result in functioning MMS. Without AT&T removing your opt out, MMS messages will queue up with a red exclamation icon as they fail to actually send.

Many users are reporting that there is no correlation between working MMS and either their installed software version, their carrier bundle version, their service or texting plan, or their geographic location. AT&T appears to turning on MMS for users at random to achieve a staggered release up to the September 25th deadline.

Apple Files Patent for iPhone Theft Prevention Technology

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Date: Friday, September 11th, 2009, 05:58
Category: iPhone 3GS, Patents, security

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A recently published patent application filed this week by Apple suggests the company is looking to use the device’s accelerometer to detect possible theft of the hardware. Per AppleInsider, in a application entitled “Acceleration-Based Theft Detection System for Portable Electronic Devices,” Apple describes a system that would analyze movement via a device’s accelerometer to determine whether a theft is present. If the system were to interpret fast movement as a theft, it would initiate an alarm.

“The drive toward miniaturization of electronics has resulted in computer-based systems that are becoming much more portable,” the application reads. “Current portable electronic devices such as laptop computers, hand-held devices such as cellular telephones and personal media devices, such as the iPod from Apple Computer, Inc., and even devices such as compact disc players, are sufficiently compact and lightweight as to make them easily movable. Unfortunately, such ease of transport also implies ease of theft. While the rightful owner of a portable electronic device may conveniently transport it almost anywhere, so can a thief. ”

The patent application goes on to state that traditional theft-prevention methods like mechanical locks are bulky and tether the device, eliminating portability and convenience. In the proposed system, the accelerometer would be used to determine whether the device is currently in a likely theft condition.

“Typically, theft or other large-scale movement of the device results in an acceleration signal having characteristics different from other events such as shock, impact, nearby machinery, etc,” the application reads. “The detected acceleration as a function of time is thus analyzed to determine whether it corresponds to such large-scale movement of the device, rather than an innocuous event such as the impact of a book dropped nearby. If so, an alarm is produced in order to alert others to the theft.”

The described system would have methods to prevent false alarms through “signal conditioning,” which could filter out events such as shock or impact associated with an iPhone being dropped. The system would also allow the phone owner to display a “visual warning” for potential would-be thieves. Such a warning would warn potential thieves that the device “has an active theft detection system protecting it.”

The patent was filed by Apple on May 20th, 2009 and is credited to Paul J. Wehrenberg of Palo Alto, Calif.

Apple Releases Security Update 2009-005 for Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5 Operating Systems

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Date: Friday, September 11th, 2009, 04:56
Category: Software

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On Thursday, Apple released Security Update 2009-005, its consolidated security update containing the four previous security fixes for the Mac OS X 10.4 (“Tiger”) and Mac OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”) operating systems.

Full details as to fixes and changes within the update can be found here.

The updates are also available as regular downloads for the following operating systems:
Tiger PPC
Tiger Intel
Leopard
Tiger Server PPC
Tiger Server Universal
Leopard Server

As usual, the update can also be downloaded and installed via Mac OS X’s Software update feature.

Apple Releases Mac OS X 10.6.1 Update

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Date: Friday, September 11th, 2009, 04:23
Category: Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released its first maintenance update to its Mac OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”) operating system. Mac OS X 10.6.1, a 71.5 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
– Compatibility with some Sierra Wireless 3G modems.
– An issue that might cause DVD playback to stop unexpectedly.
– Some printer compatibility drivers not appearing properly in the add printer browser.
– An issue that might make it difficult to remove an item from the Dock.
– Instances where automatic account setup in Mail might not work.
– An issue where pressing cmd-opt-t in Mail brings up the special characters menu instead of moving a message. – Motion 4 becoming unresponsive.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.6 to install and run and can also be snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

Apple Releases QuickTime 7.6.4 Update

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Date: Thursday, September 10th, 2009, 03:44
Category: Software

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On Thursday, Apple released the latest version of QuickTime, its multimedia support system for Mac OS X and Windows. The new version, known as QuickTime 7.6.4, is available as a variably-sized download (depending on version chosen through the download page), improves compatibility with iTunes 9 and improves audio device support on Windows Vista.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and can be located and snagged via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.