Users complain of shorter battery life after Mountain Lion install, Apple reportedly launching investigation of issue

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Date: Friday, August 3rd, 2012, 12:15
Category: battery, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

This is either the end of the world or a firmware update that may need to happen.

Per AppleInsider, a number of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners who updated to the recently-released OS X Mountain Lion are complaining of battery performance issues, with some reporting their batteries only last half as long as when OS X 10.7 Lion was installed.

Since the first complaints surfaced in an Apple Support Communities thread started on July 25, the day Mountain Lion launched, the number of reportedly affected MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners has grown to the point where Apple has supposedly initiated an investigation. As of this writing the thread, titled “Battery life dropped considerably on Mountain Lion” now stands at 15 pages.

While most users are seeing battery life drops of about one to two hours, some cases claim performance has fallen to less than 50 percent as their machines are only capable of staying on for a little over two hours.

Community members have been trying a variety of methods to remedy the issue, from re-installing the software to turning off some of Mountain Lion’s new features like Power Nap, but the attempts have yet to produce a fool-proof solution. Some members have seen limited success in resetting the machine’s system management controller (SMC), though the battery issue crops up again after continued use.

Many users are reporting heightened CPU temperatures even when the machine is at idle, possibly pointing to a backend program management problem, while others are seeing battery drain when the system is sleeping.

Apple has taken notice of the complaints and, according to one community member, sent out a questionnaire on Friday in an attempt to pinpoint the problem.

OS X Mountain Lion launched last week, bringing with it over 200 new features including tighter iCloud integration, the Messages app, Notification Center, Facebook integration, Dictation, AirPlay Mirroring and Game Center.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

And, as always, if you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know in the comments.

Guide: How to troubleshoot PowerNap weirdness under OS X 10.8

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Date: Friday, August 3rd, 2012, 11:13
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News

There’s been a lot written about OS X 10.8’s new PowerNap feature, wherein your 2011-2012 MacBook Air and 2012 Retina Display MacBook Pro notebooks can perform various background tasks (such as synchronization and updates) while in Sleep mode, but it’s hard to say what to do when things go wrong.

With that in mind, the mighty Topher Kessler has written a spiffy PowerNap troubleshooting guide over on CNET.

Go.

Take a gander.

Check it out.

And even though the guide goes through the somewhat frightening steps as to how to reset your notebook’s SMC should circumstances require it, it’s worth reading.

That is all and enjoy your Friday.

Apple Store for iOS updated to 2.3, adds new shopping features

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Date: Friday, August 3rd, 2012, 07:24
Category: News, Software

It’s not the most exciting news in the world, but it’s sort of a helpful update.

On Friday, Apple released version 2.3 of its Apple Store app for iOS. The new version, a 5.6 megabyte download via iTunes, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Now get the option to have Pages, Keynote and Numbers pre-installed on any MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac or Mac Pro.

– Performance enhancements to make it easier to shop for Apple products on the go.

The Apple Store app is available for free and requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later.

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

Apple reduces shipping times for Retina Display MacBook Pro to under a week

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Date: Thursday, August 2nd, 2012, 07:17
Category: MacBook Pro, News, retail

You know that mucho-spiffy new MacBook Pro with the Retina Display you’ve been saving up for? Now it’ll get to you in a shorter time frame.

Per AppleInsider, the new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is now advertised to ship in 5 to 7 business days from Apple’s online store.

Both the 2.3 gigahertz and 2.6 gigahertz standard configuration models now ship in a week or less when ordered directly from Apple. Previously, estimated shipping times were pegged at 2 to 3 weeks.

The shortened shipping times come as Apple has also expanded configuration options for the entry-level MacBook Pro with Retina display, allowing users to add 512- or 768-gigabyte solid-state drives to the base model with a 2.3-gigahertz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor.

Shipping times for the MacBook Pro with Retina display have readily improved since the next-generation notebook was unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Apple has called the new MacBook Pro, which borrows elements from the thin-and-light MacBook Air, “the most beautiful computer we have ever made.”

The standout feature of the new MacBook Pro is its 2,880-by-1,880-pixel Retina display that features 220 pixels-per-inch on the 15.4-inch screen. The new design also cuts glare by 75 percent by removing the glass cover found in previous models.

In addition to Apple’s own online store, the new MacBook Pro with Retina display is also available for purchase from authorized Apple resellers.

If you’ve ordered a Retina Display MacBook Pro and it’s en route, please let us know about your experience in the comments.

Opera web browser updated to 12.01

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Date: Thursday, August 2nd, 2012, 06:02
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, Opera Software released version 12.01 of its web browser. The new version, a 26.9 megabyte download, boasts the following fixes and changes:

Several general fixes and stability improvements:
– Website thumbnail memory usage improvements.

– Address bar inline auto-completion no longer prefers shortest domain.

– Corrected an error that could occur after removing the plugin wrapper.

– Resolved an issue where favicons were squeezed too much when many tabs were open.

– Fixed a problem where the Adobe PDF plugin is picked up and used by Opera.

Display and Scripting:
– Resolved an error with XHR transfers where content-type was incorrectly determined.

– Improved handling of object literals with numeric duplicate properties.

– Changed behavior of nested/chained comma expressions: now expressing and compiling them as a list rather than a tree.

– Aligned behavior of the #caller property on function code objects in ECMAScript 5 strict mode with the specification.

– Fixed an issue where input type=month would return an incorrect value in its valueAsDate property.

– Resolved an issue with JSON.stringify() that could occur on cached number conversion.

– Fixed a problem with redefining special properties using Object.defineProperty().

Network and Site-Specific:
– Fixed an issue where loading would stop at “Document 100%” but the page would still be loading.

– tuenti.com: Corrected behavior when long content was displayed
https://twitter.com: Fixed an issue with secure transaction errors

– Fixed an issue with Google Maps Labs that occured when compiling top-level loops inside strict evals.

– Corrected a problem that could occur with DISQUS.

– Fixed a crash occurring on Lenovo’s “Shop now” page.

– Corrected issues when calling window.console.log via a variable at watch4you.

– Resolved an issue with Yahoo! chat.

Mail, News, Chat:
– Resolved an issue where under certain conditions the mail panel would continuously scroll up.

– Fixed a crash occurring when loading mail databases on startup.

Security:
– Re-fixed an issue where certain URL constructs could allow arbitrary code execution, as reported by Andrey Stroganov; see our advisory.

– Fixed an issue where certain characters in HTML could incorrectly be ignored, which could facilitate XSS attacks; see our advisory.

– Fixed another issue where small windows could be used to trick users into executing downloads as reported by Jordi Chancel; see our advisory.

– Fixed an issue where an element’s HTML content could be incorrectly returned without escaping, bypassing some HTML sanitizers; see our advisory.

– Fixed a low severity issue, details will be disclosed at a later date.

Opera 12.01 is available for free and requires and Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Apple shutters iWork.com web site, grace period for file transfer ends

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Date: Wednesday, August 1st, 2012, 14:13
Category: News, Software

Sometimes the store just closes.

Per MacRumors, Apple finally brought an end the grace period that had allowed users to retrieve their Gallery photos and iDisk files from the iWork.com web site and to transition their accounts to iCloud following the June 30 shutdown of the service.

As of today, visitors to MobileMe.com are no longer given the option to convert their accounts to iCloud or to retrieve old photos and files, with Apple now simply pointing users to iCloud.

Also in line with previous announcements, Apple has officially discontinued its iWork.com service, automatically redirecting visitors to the main Apple home page. While the service was to officially shut down as of the end of the day yesterday, it did continue to function until just a short time ago.

Apple adds build-to-order options for low-end Retina Display MacBook Pro notebooks

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Date: Wednesday, August 1st, 2012, 10:59
Category: MacBook Pro, News, retail

It never hurts to have options.

Per MacRumors, Apple’s base model MacBook Pro with Retina display can now be custom built with solid-state hard drives of 512 and 768 gigabytes.

The new build-to-order configurations first appeared in Apple’s online store on Wednesday. Users who select the low-end 2.3-gigahertz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor can have a 512-gigabyte flash storage drive for an additional US$500, or 768 gigabytes for an extra US$1,000.

In addition, users can also choose to upgrade the base model to a faster 2.6-gigahertz quad-core Intel Core i7 chip for an extra US$100. Previously, that chip was only available with a 512-gigabyte flash storage drive for US$600 more than the base price of US$2,199.

Users can also upgrade the processor to a 2.7-gigahertz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor for US$350. Build-to-order configurations also come with 16 gigabytes of 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM for an extra US$200.

Shipping times for the new MacBook Pro with Retina display remain estimated at one to two weeks as Apple works to catch up with demand for its latest notebook computer.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display can also be found in standard configurations from third-party resellers. It is available with 8 or 16 gigabytes of RAM and a 256-gigabyte solid-state drive with the 2.3-gigahertz processor, while the 2.6- and 2.7-gigahertz configurations come with 512 gigabytes of storage.

Apple releases Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter to online storefront

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Date: Wednesday, August 1st, 2012, 06:44
Category: Hardware, News

applelogo_silver

Hey…adapters are always useful.

Late Tuesday, Apple added its new Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter for newer Thunderbolt-equipped Macs at a US$29 price on the Apple online store.

The new adapter is estimated to ship in one to three business days. It allows users to connect their Thunderbolt-equipped Mac to a FireWire device with the small and compact cable.



The connector provides a FireWire 800 port that supplies up to 7 watts for bus-powered peripherals like hard drives and audio devices and can utiize two separate 10Gbps links — one for displays and one for PCI-Express device traffic — for throughput of up to 10Gbps between Thunderbolt-capable devices and a compatible Mac.

If you’ve tried the new adapter and have any feedback, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 21.0.1180.57

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Date: Wednesday, August 1st, 2012, 05:38
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

If you have one of the fancy new MacBook Pro notebooks with a Retina Display, you’ll like this.

Otherwise, it’s a Google Chrome update and those are always useful…

According to its Chrome blog, Google released version 21.0.1180.57 of its Chrome web browser on Tuesday.

The update, a 40.7 megabyte download, adds high-resolution support to its browser for Retina display Macs as well as other fixes tracked over on the change log page.

Released at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has a screen resolution of 2,880 by 1,800 pixels. Optimized versions of Apple’s own software for OS X, including its Safari Web browser, became quickly available, while some third-party applications took more time.

Google Chrome 21.0.1180.57 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Crucial unveils solid-state drives for older Mac notebooks

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Date: Tuesday, July 31st, 2012, 14:34
Category: hard drive, Hardware, News

You should add more solid-state drives to more things, as they are awesome.

Per Macworld, accessory provider Crucial today announced a new solid-state drive (SSD) targeted at users who want to upgrade older computer systems with a flash drive that boasts a price well under US$1 per gigabyte of capacity.

Crucial’s new v4 SSD, which is being manufactured by partner Micron, may not sport top flash-drive speeds. But it outpaces any consumer hard drive by more than twice the performance. The new 128GB SSD sells for US$100; a 256GB model can be had for US$190.

The price of consumer-class SSDs had been expected to drop to US$1 per gigabyte this year. SSD prices further slipped precipitously because of market oversupply. For example, NAND flash memory maker Toshiba recently slashed its production by 30 percent in order to deal with oversupply issues.

Crucial’s new v4 SSD uses the more widely used but older SATA-2, which has the 3 Gbps interface that most pre-2011 computer systems sport for internal drive connectivity. SATA-3 offers 6 Gbps, but only the latest systems (such as the new MacBook Pro) come with it.

Crucial said its v4 SSD has sequential read/write speeds of 230 MBps and 190 MBps, respectively. To put that in perspective, a top-of-the-line hard disk drive, such as Western Digital’s 7200-rpm Scorpio Black, has maximum read/write speeds of around 104 MBps and 101 MBps.

By comparison, an Intel top-of-the-line 520 Series SSD boasts peak read/write speeds of 550 MBps and 520 MBps, respectively. So the new Crucial SSD rests nicely in the middle.

The v4 SSDs are available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities with suggested retail prices of US$50, US$70, US$100, and US$190, respectively. The SSDs can be purchased now through global channel partners, or direct through Crucial’s website.

The Crucial v4 SSD comes with a three-year limited warranty, and is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X systems.