Apple Seeds First Mac OS X 10.6.2 Build to Developers

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Date: Tuesday, October 6th, 2009, 05:33
Category: Software

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A recently released build of Apple’s upcoming Mac OS X 10.6.2 operating system reveals a slew of changes, fixes and tweaks according to AppleInsider.

A pre-release build of the next update to Mac OS X 10.6 was seeded to developers Monday, bringing a long list of changes, fixes and tweaks.

People familiar with the latest build, dubbed 10C514, said the latest update has general focus areas that affect just about every facet of the operating system, from the applications like the Address Book and QuickTime, to services like Spotlight and Time Machine, and basic hardware functions like USB and Bluetooth. The disk image has a 445.4MB file size.

The update reportedly features dozens of areas of change, including fixes for AppleScript, graphics drivers, Xtype, OpenCL and more.

The pre-release build also allegedly comes with a handful of known issues, including hang-ups with the DVD player, crashing of the parental controls preference pane, and a glitch where the system does not recognize an optical drive.

Monday’s build is the first that Mac OS X 10.6.2 has been seen by developers.

Adobe Working on Tools to Create Flash-Based Apps for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Tuesday, October 6th, 2009, 05:18
Category: News, Software

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Adobe announced on Monday that its developers will be able to use an upcoming version of its Flash Professional software to create apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. The announcement, made at the company’s Max developer conference in Los Angeles, coincides with the unveiling of its Flash Player 10.1.

According to Macworld, Flash Player 10.1 will be operable with a large number of smartphones, though none of them currently include the iPhone. Apple’s smartphone doesn’t run Flash in any form, and Monday’s announcements don’t change that. What has changed is the ability of Adobe developers to use the Flash platform to build standalone apps for Apple’s mobile devices.

New features in the upcoming Flash CS5 Professional will allow developers to write applications and compile the code to run on the iPhone and iPod touch. Applications can target the iPhone OS 3.0 and later.

“We are ecstatic to announce that we’re enabling you to use your Flash development tools to build applications and compile them to run natively on the iPhone,” said John Loiacono, head of Adobe’s Creative Solutions business unit, who made the announcement at Adobe Max.

A public beta of Flash CS5 will be available on Adobe’s Web site later this year and the final shipping version could arrive anywhere between March and September of 2010, according to Adobe’s typical upgrade cycle. The CS5 version will contain a feature that allows developers to export Flash’s native FLA files to IPA, the iPhone app format.

Developers can create brand new content, or repurpose content they’ve already built, for the iPhone. “In some ways it’s more exciting, because they can actually charge for the apps and get revenue coming in,” Voltmer added. “Apple’s going to be excited because they’ll see more revenue from all these new developers; and end-users get more choices.”

Though Adobe is still unable to offer a standard Flash Player for the iPhone or iPod touch because Apple’s license terms prohibit plug-ins for the built-in Safari browser, these new Flash apps are different: iPhone apps built with Adobe Flash Professional CS5 don’t include any runtime interpreted code. The applications would go through the same approval process, and follow the same rules and procedures, as other iPhone apps to be sold in the App Store.

Flash Player 10.1 is due in beta form later this year and final form in the first half of 2010, will be available for many smartphones: Google Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm WebOS, and Nokia Symbian. Adobe holds out hope that eventually, Flash will arrive in its full form on the iPhone, in spite of complaints about the mobile version from the very top of Apple. “We do know that people are looking to have a Flash-enabled experience on their iPhone,” Voltmer said, “But it’s really up to Apple to finalize that and to let us get that working. We’d love to work with Apple, but Apple does control the hardware, and at this point we’re waiting for them.”

Recent NPD Group Report Finds Mac Market Share up to 12% in U.S. Households

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Date: Tuesday, October 6th, 2009, 05:59
Category: News

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If you’ve been having the market share debate with your friends for years (if not decades), this may come as a welcome surprise. Per an article on The Loop, nearly 12% of U.S. computer-owning households now own a Mac according to the NPD Group’s second annual Household Penetration Study. The new report places the market share up three percentage points from the market-research firm’s 2008 findings.

According to the report, 72% of those Mac users have laptops, and are very likely to live in mixed environments, a staggering 85% of those Mac users surveyed also own a Windows-based PC and 66% of those households contain three or more computers, compared with 29% for Windows households.

Those in Mac households are also greater consumers of consumer electronics. The survey found that 63% of Apple households own an iPod, compared to 36% of overall computer owners. 32% own a DSLR camera (versus 12%), while 18% own a 50+” LCD TV (versus 8%).

The report went on to explain that Mac households tended to make more money and thus had additional income for gadgets. In a statement accompanying the report, Stephen Baker, NPD’s vice president of industry analysis, wrote, “36% of Apple computer owners reported household incomes greater than $100,000, compared to 21% of all consumers. With a higher household income, though, it’s not a surprise that those consumers are making more electronics purchases.”

He also said that Apple households own twice as many consumer electronics devices—48—as the average computer household.

The results come from a survey of more than 2300 of NPD’s online panelists.

Apple Store Customer Allegedly Displays Gun in Wake of iPhone Troubles

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Date: Monday, October 5th, 2009, 07:50
Category: iPhone

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You love your iPhone or you hate it.

Per the WCPO web site, a frustrated customer at the Kenwood Towne Centre Apple store Thursday afternoon ended up going to jail after police say he showed an employee a gun.

According to court records, Donald Goodrich, 38, of Westwood, was frustrated his iPhone was not working properly.

He told the employee he was, “So mad, I could pop a 9mm at it.”

The Apple Store employee allegedly told Goodrich there was no need for that with Goodrich replying “I’ll do it right now. Look!”

Goodrich then allegedly opened the right side of his shirt, displaying a black, 9mm handgun.

Goodrich had a concealed weapon permit.

The employee told Goodrich she’d get his phone fixed and walked him over to a technician in the store, then told her manager, who called police.

Goodrich is charged with aggravated menacing, causing fear of harm to an Apple employee and also faces a carrying concealed weapons charge for not telling the deputy he had a gun. He is scheduled for arraignment Friday morning.

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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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.