Adobe releases Photoshop Elements 12.0

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Date: Tuesday, September 24th, 2013, 07:37
Category: News, Software

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You can’t knock a new version of Photoshop Elements.

On Tuesday, graphics giant Adobe announced the released of its Photoshop Elements 12 consumer image editing suite, the new version, a 1.55 gigabyte download with a 30 day demo available, adds the following features and changes:
New:
- Take your photos and videos with you wherever you go: Easily view, relive, and share your Elements photos on your smartphone and tablet. And finally–unlock the photos from your mobile device, and see them in your Elements albums back at home.

- Easily move objects: Move objects in a photo and have the background automatically filled in with Content-Aware Move.

- Pet-Eye Correction: Remove green, yellow, and other “pet eye” discolorations as easily as you remove red eye in photos of people.

- Share from Editor: Sharing options previously only available in the Organizer are now available in the Editor.

- Add your personal touch, instantly: Use a variety of one-touch Frames, Effects, and Textures to add depth to your snapshots.

Enhanced:
- Discover a friendly and intuitive environment: Organize, edit, create, and share more quickly and easily thanks to big, bold icons; a helpful Action bar; and the ability to choose from Quick, Guided, and Expert editing modes to fit your needs.

- Go from flawed to phenomenal in seconds: Get the photo fixes you’re looking for with one-step shortcuts that whiten teeth or make skies a vibrant blue. Make unwanted photo elements vanish with one stroke of the Spot Healing Brush, and use Auto Smart Tone for intelligent photo corrections.

- Fix photos the easy way: Easily straighten a photo and fill in any missing background with Content-Aware Fill for the Straighten tool. Available in Expert mode.

- Share photos: Quickly post your photos on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, and more. Now, easily share your Elements photos in shared albums, and view them on your smartphone or tablet.

- Print using integrated online offerings: Order prints, cards, and photo books online to bring your creations to life. Print folded cards to your local printer. (Services vary worldwide.)

- Learn as you use: It’s fun to produce professional effects using one of more than 25 Guided Edits. New effects include Zoom Burst, which brings dramatic action to your photos; Photo Puzzle, which gives a fun puzzle effect; and Old Photo Restore, which helps you fix an old or worn photo.

- Count on step-by-step assistance: Get the results you want with Guided Edits. New options include Zoom Burst, Photo Puzzle, and Old Photo Restore.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 retails for US$99.99 for the full version and US$79.99 for the upgrade version and requires Mac OS X 10.7 and an Intel multi-core processor to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new Photoshop Elements and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments or feedback.

iPhone 5s’ 64-bit A7 processor shows possible road map for Apple’s future

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Date: Monday, September 23rd, 2013, 14:55
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Software

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If nothing else, the iPhone 5s and 5c launches – and the processors within – offer a glimpse of things to come down the line.

More to the point, they show a future without Intel.

Per Jason Perlow’s excellent column over on ZDNet and pointed out the us by reader Robert Snow, the piece brings up the notion that no one really expected to see a 64-bit System on a Chip this soon and that the term “Desktop Class”, which was being thrown around, seems appropriate and not just hype.

The article also points out that the biometric authentication that Apple is incorporating with its new Touch ID system requires a significant amount of CPU horsepower to pull off without being sluggish, as would strong end-to-end VPN encryption, both of which are likely necessary for the iPhone to continue to attract corporate attention. This, also with increased image-processing power that can push gaming console-quality graphics similar to those found on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 show that 64-bit mobile architectures are ready for the prime time.

The piece also makes the strong argument that this is where Apple wants to be with its processors and that perhaps Intel – and its mobile offerings – may be left behind, as ARM’s offerings show a more mature platform that various development environments can converge towards.

Take a gander at the article, see what you make of it and, as always, please let us know what you think in the comments.

BlackBerry releases BBM client for Android, iOS, then recalls software due to “rogue version” concerns

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Date: Monday, September 23rd, 2013, 11:05
Category: iOS, News, Software

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Not that BlackBerry’s officially dead in the water (yet), but this isn’t a great sign.

Per Mac|Life, BlackBerry announced Saturday that it had suspended the rollout of the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app for iPhone and Android over concerns that a rogue version of the Android app would cause issues with the service.

Originally scheduled for release on Saturday, BlackBerry’s BBM app for iPhone actually did make it out of the gate in a few countries such as New Zealand, only to be withdrawn from the App Store after the company decided to hit the pause button on the global rollout.

Those users lucky enough to have downloaded BBM for iPhone can continue using it, while the unreleased Android app — currently in use by 1.1 million users — will be disabled until BlackBerry can get get things back to normal.

“As soon as we are able, we will begin a staggered country roll-out of BBM for Android and continue the roll-out of BBM for iPhone,” the company noted in a blog post.

The company has yet to specify as to exactly when its messaging client will once again roll out for Android and iOS.

German group breaks through iPhone 5s Touch ID fingerprint authentication, releases video of hack

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Date: Monday, September 23rd, 2013, 11:48
Category: Hack, iPhone, News, security

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It only took three days to hack the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID authentication system.

Per The Mac Observer, the gChaos Computer Club has claimed to have hacked Apple’s newest security feature. The group started by scanning the fingerprint associated with an iPhone at high resolution, and then printing it out for transfer to another material such as latex. Once the material holding the print, complete with ridges and grooves, has finished setting up, the group placed it over someone else’s finger and used it to successfully unlock the iPhone.

The Chaos Computer Club said, “In reality, Apple’s sensor has just a higher resolution compared to the sensors so far. So we only needed to ramp up the resolution of our fake.”

They added that it’s a simple process to lift fingerprints and then convert those into fakes that can be used to bypass security systems. “You leave them everywhere, and it is far too easy to make fake fingers out of lifted prints,” they said.

While the process CCC showed was fairly straight forward, it isn’t exactly a simple process for the average person. It involves successfully collecting a quality fingerprint, scanning it at 2400 DPI or higher, and cleaning up the scanned image and then printing it to an acetate sheet on a laser printer before applying the material that will ultimately hold the fake print.

The group released the following video demonstrating the hack:



Assuming someone steals your iPhone with the intent of hacking around Touch ID it’s actually much easier to simply make you unlock your iPhone instead of duplicating your finger or thumb’s unique patterns. Find My iPhone can also be used to remotely wipe the device and keep anyone from hacking into your personal information.

The bigger problem in this case is that someone else has physical control over your iPhone. When that happens it’s much easier to find ways to hack in — especially since at that point the potential hackers have time on their hands.

Even still, the CCC’s Touch ID demonstration does show that Apple’s Touch ID technology may not be quite as secure as the company implied.

Working around fingerprint security systems is something that people have been doing for years, and Apple doesn’t force iPhone 5s owners to use Touch ID. It’s a convenient alternative to using a four-digit passcode, and is still more difficult to work around.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

iPhone 5s, 5c handsets now available for Apple Store Personal Pickup

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Date: Monday, September 23rd, 2013, 06:06
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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As of now, you can have the new iPhone models set aside at the Apple Store location for later.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Monday extended its popular order-online, pick-up-in-store option to the newly launched iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

The Personal Pickup program, in which customers can choose to order their device online and pick it up at their local Apple store rather than wait for the item to be shipped, has proven popular with consumers. Apple says that in most cases, products ordered for personal pickup can be collected within one hour.

Facing “incredible” demand for the new flagship iPhone 5s and mid-range iPhone 5c, Apple sold more than nine million of the devices in their opening weekend. Shipping times for the handsets from the Apple online store have since slipped to “October,” and the new gold model is reportedly in particularly high demand.

By choosing the Personal Pickup option, customers can cut their wait down to the time it takes to drive to the nearest Apple retail store. Some models can be picked up immediately, with the iPhone 5c showing generally wider availability than the iPhone 5s. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said that the company completely sold out of its launch supply of the new Touch ID-enabled iPhone.

Apple TV 6.0 out the door, adds support for AirPlay, iTunes Radio, other new features

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Date: Friday, September 20th, 2013, 11:05
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

On a day filled to the brim with iPhone 5s and 5c happenings, Apple pulled the trigger on the good stuff for its Apple TV set top box.

Per AppleInsider, Apple released its anticipated software update to Apple TV today. The new software adds the followings fixes and changes:
- Added support for iTunes Radio and AirPlaying content from iCloud — like music from iTunes Match — to another person’s Apple TV.

- Allows users to take any purchased iTunes content — such as music, movies or TV episodes — and stream it directly to an Apple TV that may not be configured with their iTunes login credentials. The authentication is instead provided wirelessly by a connected iOS device, like an iPhone or iPad.

- Added access to purchases from the iTunes Music Store, and allows users to sync their podcasts. Photos from a shared Photo Stream can also be accessed.

- Added support for the newly launched iTunes Radio service, which is similar to established streaming Internet music provider Pandora. iTunes Radio debuted on Wednesday on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with the release of iOS 7.

The new Apple TV update may be the last software refresh before the company’s rumored Apple TV hardware reboot. The company took delivery of a mysterious shipment of “set top boxes” in the days leading up the iPhone 5s and 5c announcement.

As always, the software can be downloaded and installed by entering the Apple TV’s General Settings, then clicking “Software Update”.

If you’ve tried the new Apple TV software and have any comments or feedback about it, please let us know in the comments.

iFixit completes iPhone 5s teardown, finds interesting new changes in current handset

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Date: Friday, September 20th, 2013, 08:14
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

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The gents at iFixit got busy again.

Granted, they were a little behind the Aussie teardown, but they still found some pretty cool stuff within the new iPhone 5s.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, the iFixit teardown revealed the following:

- The confirmation of AuthenTec as the company behind the fingerprint sensor, which was expected since Apple acquired the biometric hardware company last year. The sensor uses a CMOS chip and requires 5 to ten images to create a complete profile of your fingerprint ridges.

- iFixit also noted that the display in the 5s should be familiar to everyone as it is “no bigger, better, or badder than the [iPhone] 5.” In fact, it is the same 326 ppi Retina display assembly.

- iFixit has reported that the teardown is done and has given the iPhone 5s a 6 out of 10 for repairability. It gets a lower score for using pentalobe screws, a battery with a more sticky adhesive and an all-in-one front panel that includes the front glass, digitizer, and LCD.

- Other goodies include the potential identification of the camera module as a Sony component and the sighting of 1GB of RAM.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Gold iPhone 5s sells out via Online Apple Store, other iPhone 5s, 5c models show varying availability

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Date: Friday, September 20th, 2013, 08:02
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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Sometimes you don’t know how popular a product model is going to be.

Per The Mac Observer, the Online Apple Store quickly ran through its gold iPhone 5s inventory for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint in the first half hour of availability Friday morning. T-Mobile’s contract-free gold iPhone models are still showing shipping estimates of 1-3 days.

This means the gold iPhone 5s is either the most popular model or the model with the least availability.

You might remember that the gold and white model was initially met with disdainful criticism by tech bloggers, who labeled it a terrible mistake and a sure sign of Apple’s downfall when it was leaked.

Within minutes of being available for order online, however, it was the gold one whose shipping estimates slipped the fastest. In 26 minutes, gold models for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon were all listed as “October.” T-Mobile’s contract-free models were still showing 1-3 days.

Most space gray (the new black) and silver (the new white) models are still showing shipping availability in 1-3 days as of this writing, though the 64GB model on AT&T quickly slipped to 7-10 days.

Apple began taking orders for the iPhone 5s at 12:01 AM PST, and customers can also wait in line at their nearest Apple Store and some third party retailers, with Apple’s retail stores opening at 8:00 AM local across the country.

Carriers have reported having “grotesquely low” inventory of all models, with inventory of anything but space gray being particularly light.

So…if you want the gold iPhone 5s, you’re out of luck for a bit. If you’re comfortable with the other colors, you’re in better shape.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

First iPhone 5s, 5c unboxing videos surface

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Date: Friday, September 20th, 2013, 08:48
Category: iPhone, News, retail

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The iPhone 5c and 5s unboxing videos have surfaced.

Just hours after Apple launched sales of the iPhone 5s and 5c at its brick-and-mortar Apple Stores, videos showing the some of the devices’ first unboxings have been uploaded to YouTube.

Per AppleInsider, Aussie iPhone customer Ben Pasternak offers one of the first looks at the two devices in two separate clips. The first features what seems to be an rare gold version of the iPhone 5s. Availability of the of the new color is thought to be extremely constrained as reports from those waiting in line have said Apple Stores will only be receiving five to ten units per location.

iPhone 5c unboxing:



iPhone 5s unboxing:



Apple is rolling out sales in 11 countries on Friday, opening its doors to customers starting at 8 a.m. local time. Those unwilling to wait in line can order the device via the Online Apple Store, though delivery times in countries such as Australia and the UK started out at 7 to 10 days.

iOS 7 Lock Screen bug discovered, Apple says fix is en route

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Date: Thursday, September 19th, 2013, 15:58
Category: iOS, News, security, Software

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Per Forbes and AllThingsD, the first iOS 7 security bug has appeared and may be worth noting. The bug is currently found in the iOS 7 Lock screen and Control Center implementation that could allow a person to bypass the device’s passcode and access the photo library. This bug is more of a potential security issue as it requires users to both be running their camera app (so it shows up in multitasking) and have Control Center activated for the Lock screen. Here are the steps (which we have independently re-produced):

1) Swipe up from the bottom of the Lock screen to open Control Center.

2) Launch the Clock app.

3) Open the Alarm Clock section of the Clock app.

4) Hold down the power button.

5) Quickly tap Cancel the immediately double-click the Home button.

6) Hold down for a bit longer on the second click.

With access to the photos, users could also share the images to social networks and via email (which could be worrisome). Of course, disabling Control Center access from the Lock screen will completely rid you of this potential security breach, but, either way, Apple will likely get a fix out in the coming weeks.

The hack is demonstrated below:



Apple has also confirmed in a statement to AllThingsD that it is working on a fix for a future software update:

“Apple takes user security very seriously,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told AllThingsD. “We are aware of this issue, and will deliver a fix in a future software update.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.