Some MacBook, MacBook Pro Users Report Overheating Under Snow Leopard

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Date: Wednesday, November 4th, 2009, 04:30
Category: MacBook, MacBook Pro

A number of MacBook and MacBook Pro users are reporting that their systems running inordinately hot after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, causing their fans to work exceptionally loud. According to CNET, users in this thread on the Apple Support Discussions forums focus the issue primarily on MacBook Pros, though some scattered entries from MacBook owners suggest the issues may be noticed in many of Apple’s notebooks.

Users’ machines tend to run extremely hot, causing the fans to cycle at a high rate and deplete battery power at an accelerated clip. ASD forum user “Ryan83” reports:

“Fans running constantly at 6000 RPM without any program running – – just letting it idle or running solely iTunes. iPhoto 09 unusable – – when you edit in full screen – – the screen shows colored artifacts all over. Internet has been very spotty and misbehaves.”

Similar symptoms are reported by many of the thread contributors. Typically, CPU usage will spike when users do media-heavy actions with their systems, such as editing photos with Photoshop, cutting movies with Final Cut Pro, or watching media online at sites like YouTube or Hulu. Some users suggest that it could be a hardware issue with the actual fans, though this is unlikely (at least at first). Because most users report the problem after their upgrade to Snow Leopard, chances are it is a software issue. If left unattended, the problem could eventually lead to the fans, logic board, or other hardware becoming corrupt.

Some things to check :
– Be sure all your programs are Snow Leopard compatible. Several users reported that updating the notification utility, Growl, to the Snow Leopard ready version, 1.2, solved their overheating issues. Users should open Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities) and take a look at any background processes that may be running. If any of those programs are not Snow Leopard compatible, they could be causing the excessive CPU usage and heat production.

– When in doubt, especially if you are under AppleCare, taking your machine to an AppleCare Authorized Technician or an Apple Store is a good idea. You will want to avoid any future damage to your hardware as soon as possible. Keep in mind that a solution may involve reinstalling Snow Leopard. Be sure you have a stable and current backup of all your important data. As we have mentioned in recent articles, the 10.6.2 update for Snow Leopard is expected very soon and includes (based on information from beta releases) a myriad of fixes that may include a solution to the overheating issue. When the update is made available, drop by MacFixIt to get a rundown of all the included fixes.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end or found a workaround or fix of your own, please let us know in the comments.

AT&T Files Suit Over Verizon “Map” Ads

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 4th, 2009, 04:46
Category: iPhone 3GS, Legal

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Ad campaigns will always be snarky, but there are some areas you don’t want crossed. Per AppleInsider, AT&T has filed suit over Verizon’s “There’s a Map for That” advertising campaign, claiming Verizon is misrepresenting AT&T’s coverage areas.

The suit seeks a temporary restraining order and a injunction to stop Verizon from “disseminating misleading coverage maps” of AT&T’s areas of cellular and data coverage. AT&T is also seeking damages in the suit.

The “Map” advertisement displays two competing 3G coverage maps, in which the Verizon coverage area is clearly more widespread than AT&T’s coverage area. The suit contains an AT&T commissioned survey of the ads which found that 53% of those asked interpreted the non-colored areas of the maps to be total gaps in coverage.

AT&T cites that the company had previously contacted Verizon directly on Oct. 7, requesting that the ads be withdrawn or modified, according to the suit. Verizon responded by dropping the words “out of touch” from the ads and included the phrase “Voice & data services available outside 3G coverage areas” in small print at the end of the advertisements.

The complaint lists two TV spots currently airing, dubbed “College” and “Bench,” as well as a print advertisement that has run in various publications.

“The map attributed to AT&T shows large swaths of white or blank space, as if these are areas in which AT&T has no coverage whatsoever,” the suit reads. “By depicting AT&T’s non-“3G” coverage as white or blank space in the map used in Verizon’s print advertisement, consumers are being misled into believing that AT&T’s customers have no coverage whatsoever and thus cannot use their wireless devices when they are outside of AT&T’s depicted coverage area.”

The complaint was filed Tuesday in an Atlanta, Ga., federal court, and requests a temporary restraining order against Verizon to prevent the ads from continuing to air. The suit notes that the ads are airing during the “most vigorous and important marketing season for the wireless industry.”

AT&T claims that the ads in their current form convey the message that AT&T has no coverage in the areas that are blank on the 3G maps that are shown. AT&T contends that the 2.5G (EDGE) network is available in a much wider area, so to imply that there is no coverage is misleading.

According to Reuters, Verizon has responded, saying that the suit is without merit and the advertisements are intended to show 3G coverage only: “The ads in question clearly state that voice and data services are available outside 3G areas.

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009, 06:40
Category: News

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If two technology companies each worth billions to their assorted stockholders can’t resolve a longstanding issue, then they should publicly insult each other.

According to Gear Diary, Adobe has cast the blame on Apple, changing its Flash download page to display the following text on iPhone and iPod touch units:

Listen up, you may want flash but you can’t have flash- at least not on this device. Why? Don’t blame us. It is certainly doable to enable flash on this thing but Apple RESTRICTS the technology needed to make it happen. And until Apple changes their policy you are out of luck. Seriously, we WANT to give you Flash. It would be our pleasure to give you Flash. We are ready to give you Flash. Seriously! But Apple won’t let us. Adobe – Good. Apple- Bad.

I’m staying tuned until next week when the two companies begin with the “Yo Mamma” jokes, which can only help raise their stock prices.

Rumor: Apple Looking Into Creating $30/Month iTunes TV Subscription Service

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Date: Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009, 05:10
Category: iTunes, Rumor

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If you want additional television content over iTunes, you might not have that much longer to wait.

Per MediaMemo, Apple has reportedly reached out to TV networks in recent weeks with a proposed US$30/month subscription plan to deliver content via iTunes — a service it hopes to launch in early 2010.

Citing multiple sources, the article stated that Apple’s subscription proposal is not based on any specific piece of hardware, like the Apple TV or forthcoming tablet. Rather, the plan would stick with the existing iTunes desktop software.

“Apple has told industry executives it wants to launch the service early next year,” the report said, “but I have yet to hear of a single programmer that has made a firm commitment to the company, which has tasked iTunes boss Eddy Cue with promoting the idea.”

If anyone does bite, the first expected is Disney, of which Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder. Disney was the first to allow its content on iTunes and saw tremendous early success.

Kafka said that industry executives are “intrigued” by the prospect of a subscription plan on iTunes, as they are looking for new revenue streams as advertising returns diminish. However, cable networks are concerned about sacrificing existing relationships with providers like Comcast, and all content providers are worried that advertising revenue could decrease if live viewership shrinks.

“So Apple’s proposed subscription service, which the company has floated in the past, is no longer a huge stretch,” the report said. “Says one executive briefed on the company’s plans: ‘I think they might get it right this time.'”

Apple has been long rumored to provide a subscription option for TV content. In August, Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray senior research analyst, said he believes that Apple would release a new Apple TV in conjunction with a subscription TV account. But the agreements necessary to offer a subscription service would take some time.

“Apple could leverage its deep library of content with many network and cable channel content owners to provide unlimited access to a sub-library of its TV shows for a standard monthly fee ($30 or $40 per month),” Munster writes. “Such a product would effectively replace a consumer’s monthly cable bill (~$85/month) and offer access to current and older episodes of select shows on select channels.”

Last week, the Apple TV software was updated to version 3.0. Improvements included a newly redesigned interface, support for iTunes Extras and iTunes LP, and streaming Internet radio.

Onyx 2.1 Out the Door

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Date: Monday, November 2nd, 2009, 10:32
Category: Software

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Onyx, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.1. The new version, a 12.1 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Very many modifications in this version of Onyx. They relate to primarily compatibility with Snow Leopard.
– No installer anymore… Just drag and drop.
– Now, you can uninstall OnyX from the OnyX menu of the application.

OnyX requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

Orange Announces November 10th Launch Date for UK Customers

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Date: Monday, November 2nd, 2009, 06:40
Category: iPhone, News

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Wireless carrier Orange announced that Apple’s iPhone 3G and 3GS handsets will be available to the company’s customers on November 10th, marking the end of a two- year exclusive deal with operator O2.

Per BBC News, Orange said it would offer the handset to pay as you go, pay monthly and business customers.

Customers taking out 24 month contracts worth £30 or £45 a month will get the handset for free.
The Orange tariffs are very similar to O2 and the cheapest 24 month contract is £29.36, compared with £34.26 with O2.

“Since we announced the iPhone on Orange we have already seen more than a quarter of a million customers register their interest on our website,” said Tom Alexander, head of Orange UK.

Back in September, both Orange and Vodafone announced that they would be offering the iPhone. Vodafone said the phone would be available on its network from 2010 but has yet to confirm pricing details.

O2 has offered the iPhone since its UK launch in 2007.

VLC Updated to 1.0.3

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 2nd, 2009, 05:54
Category: Software

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Video Lan Client, the nigh-indispensable open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), was updated to version 1.0.3 over the weekend. The new version, a 41 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Video outputs:
– Fixed video quality when resizing the video on Windows Vista and 7, due to regressions in most popular drivers.
– New deinterlacers modules based on yadif and yadif(x2) algorithms.

Decoders:
– Windows version supports now natively the WMA Professional codec, as it didn’t work in the packaged version of 1.0.2.
– Fixed downmixing of particual 4.0 AC-3 audio tracks.

Encoders:
– x264 has profile-limitter, like: #transcode{vcodec=h264,venc=x264{profile=baseline,level=12}..}.

Input:
– Update for appletrailers lua script.
– Fixes on the RAR stream filter.
– Fix for E-AC3 in ATSC/TS streams.
– Various fixes for v4l and v4l2.
– Fixed a crash in mjpeg demuxer.

Service discovery:
– New udev module for linux.

Qt4 interface:
– Fixes on the playlist and the stream output panels.

Translations:
– French, Galician, Korean, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Slovak and Ukrainian updates.

VLC 1.0.3 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and is available as a free download.

Opera 10.01 Web Browser Released

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Date: Friday, October 30th, 2009, 04:39
Category: Software

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Early Tuesday, Opera Software released Opera 10.01, the latest version of its free web browser.

The new version, a 16.3 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

Added:
– Opera Link button with dropdown menu on the status bar; access to Opera Link in the main menu moved to Tools.

Fixed:
– Issue with Opera Turbo and plug-in placeholders.

– Enabling Opera Turbo for the first time not showing the Opera Turbo information page.

– Opera not synchronizing more than 9 Speed Dials.

– Open instance of Opera not running when a laptop enters its wakeup stage.

– Issue with the Flip4Mac plug-in.

– Problem creating a new mail account.

– Drafts sometimes missing after upgrading to Opera 10.00.

– Follow/Ignore contact not working from the message header toolbar.

– Fixed an issue where certain domain names could allow execution of arbitrary code.

– Fixed an issue where scripts can run on the feed subscription page.

– Custom changes to operaprefs not appearing when upgrading from a version older than Opera 10.00.

– Issue of 100% CPU usage fixed by preventing and avoiding the filling up of message loop.

Opera 10.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Apple TV 3.0 Out the Door

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Date: Friday, October 30th, 2009, 04:17
Category: Apple TV, Software

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About six weeks after dropping the 40 gigabyte Apple TV model and reducing the price on the remaining 160 gigabyte model to US$229, Apple has released version 3.0 of its Apple TV software. Per Macworld, the updated software offers a new main menu interface that provides direct access to rented and purchased movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, photos, and YouTube videos. Your content (My Movies, for example) now sits at the top of lists instead of at the bottom. Once you drill down into secondary menus, however, the interface is the same as before.

The new software also lets Apple TV users enjoy iTunes LP and iTunes Extras content for albums and movies, respectively.

The Apple TV now supports Genius Mixes as well, a new feature of iTunes 9 that also works on some iPod models.

For photos, the latest software adds support for iPhoto ‘09’s Events and Faces (but not Places) features.

Finally, Apple has stated that users can now listen to thousands of Internet radio stations and tag stations for later listening. You could in fact listen to Internet radio on the Apple TV previously, you just had to put the stations in a playlist.

The software is a free update for all Apple TV owners and can be snagged via the Apple TV’s Software Update feature.

Apple Releases iTunes 9.0.2 Update

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Date: Friday, October 30th, 2009, 04:49
Category: Software

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Late Tuesday, Apple released iTunes 9.0.2, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, an 85.8 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

– Adds support for Apple TV software version 3.0, adds an option for a dark background for Grid View, and improves support for accessibility.

iTunes 9.0.2 is available via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.