Retina Display MacBook Pro battery more expensive than previous iterations

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Date: Monday, June 18th, 2012, 09:15
Category: battery, Hardware, MacBook Pro, News

Apple’s new Retina Display MacBook Pro may be snazzy, but it isn’t cheap to fix if the battery fails.

Per Macworld, the battery on the current model has been priced at 54 percent more expensive than the previous iteration. Apple updated the pricing list for MacBook battery replacements, showing that servicing the new model’s battery will run US$199 before tax.

Some MacBook Pro notebooks with built-in batteries require a replacement battery two or three years down the line. Since all of Apple’s latest models do not feature a user-serviceable battery slot, you have to take it to the Genius Bar to get it serviced. This costs US$129 for 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros, but the Retina MacBook Pro features a higher price.

A replacement battery for the Retina MacBook Pro will cost you US$199 before taxes, Apple’s price list shows—54 percent more than that of previous models. In comparison, the cost of servicing the battery on the now-retired 17-inch MacBook Pro, which featured a larger battery than its smaller notebook counterparts, was US$179.

iFixit’s teardown of the US$2200 15-in Retina MacBook Pro gives a few hints on the reasoning behind the price increase. The battery has 95 watt hours (Wh) at 10.95 V, compared to last year’s 77.5 Wh battery, and instead of being screwed into the machine, it’s glued into place, making it more difficult to replace.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple to include U.S. government warning alert feature in iOS 6

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Date: Monday, June 18th, 2012, 06:35
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

Under iOS 6, when the zombie apocalypse occurs, you’ll be among the first to know.

Apple devices running iOS 6 will be able to receive U.S. government alerts during an emergency or disaster, in compliance with a National Alerting Program.

Per Emergency Management, the new feature, labeled by Apple as “Government Alerts,” will be a part of the iOS 6 operating system when it launches for iPhone and iPad this fall, as first noticed by Emergency Management (via CNet) on Friday. That means that Wireless Emergency Alerts can be provided to Apple mobile device users.

The feature is expected to be available on all devices that can run iOS 6, including the iPhone 3GS, first released in 2009, and the iPhone 4, which became available in 2010.

Author Rick Wimberley said Apple’s adoption of Wireless Emergency Alerts is “big news” for those who work in the emergency management industry. The new feature means that users can receive alerts from local, state and federal officials through FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.

The National Weather service also intends to start issuing Wireless Emergency Alerts by the end of June, meaning iPhone and iPad users will be able to receive weather warnings once their device runs iOS 6. There is also an option to opt out of warnings in the Settings menu represented by the usual on/off iOS toggle button.

Further details on the new emergency alert system in iOS 6 are unknown as Apple did not detail the new feature at its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote this week.

The U.S. government’s Wireless Emergency Alert system went live just last month. Carriers already offer users the ability to receive alerts to customers via text message, without the need for support from mobile operating systems.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Dropbox updated to 1.4.9

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Date: Monday, June 18th, 2012, 05:09
Category: News, Software

The updates may not be huge, but they help.

On Friday, Dropbox released version 1.4.9 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 21.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Fix missing Korean Translations.

– Better photo importing from Blackberry devices.

Dropbox 1.4.9 requires Mac OS X 10.4 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.

Mozilla releases Firefox 13.0.1 update

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2012, 19:37
Category: News, Software

elfirefox

On Monday, Mozilla.org released version 13.0.1 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, a 30.7 megabyte download and adds the following fixes and changes:

– FIXED – Windows Messenger did not load in Hotmail, and the Hotmail inbox did not auto-update (764546, fixed in 13.0.1).

– FIXED – Hebrew text sometimes rendered incorrectly (756850, fixed in 13.0.1).

– FIXED – Flash 11.3 sometimes caused a crash on quit (747683, fixed in 13.0.1).

– NEW – When opening a new tab, users are now presented with their most visited pages.

– NEW – The default home page now has quicker access to bookmarks, history, settings, and more.

– CHANGED – SPDY protocol now enabled by default for faster browsing on supported sites.

– CHANGED – Restored background tabs are not loaded by default for faster startup.

– CHANGED – Smooth scrolling is now enabled by default.

– DEVELOPER – 72 total improvements to Page Inspector, HTML panel, Style Inspector, Scratchpad and Style Editor.

– DEVELOPER – The column-fill CSS property has been implemented.

– DEVELOPER – Experimental support for ECMAScript 6 Map and Set objects has been implemented.

– DEVELOPER – Support for the CSS3 background-position property extended syntax has been added.

– DEVELOPER – The :invalid pseudo-class can now be applied to the element.

– DEVELOPER – The CSS turn unit is now supported.

– FIXED – Various security fixes.

Known Issues:
– UNRESOLVED – If you try to start Firefox using a locked profile, it will crash (see 573369).

– UNRESOLVED – For some users, scrolling in the main GMail window will be slower than usual (see 579260).

– UNRESOLVED – Windows: The use of Microsoft’s System Restore functionality shortly after updating Firefox may prevent future updates (see 730285).

– UNRESOLVED – OS X: nsCocoaWindow::ConstrainPosition uses wrong screen in multi-display setup (see 752149).

– UNRESOLVED – CSS :hover regression when an element’s class name is set by Javascript (see 758885).

Firefox 13.0.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running 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.

Rumor: Qualcomm getting ready to prepare 4G LTE chips for next-gen iPhone handset

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2012, 11:32
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

You’re probably going to need components if you’re going to build a snazzy new thing.

Per DigiTimes, Taiwanese chip maker Qualcomm is said to be providing high-speed 4G long-term evolution chips produced using a 28-nanometer process.

The company is expected to build its 4G LTE chips at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, supply chain sources shared with DigiTimes. Qualcomm will need about 10,000 28-nanometer 12-inch wafers, representing one-third of the 28-nanometer capacity at TSMC, just to produce 4G chips for the next iPhone, the report said.

Also relying on TSMC’s 28-nanometer process for the next iPhone will be Broadcom, which is expected to provide Wi-Fi chips to Apple. And OmniVision is also said to be looking to get in on TSMC’s 12-inch fabrication process.

The report noted that TSMC’s “tight production capacity” for its 28-nanometer process will also have customers Nvidia, Texas Instruments, Altera, Xilinx and others. It’s expected that it will be difficult for TSMC to meet market demand for the 28-nanometer process until it can produce 50,000 units a month around the fourth quarter of 2012.

With supply constraints in mind, STMicroelectronics is said to be ramping up output of MEMS devices for Apple’s next iPhone. Similarly, NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments are reportedly stockpiling inventory of analog integrated circuits to meet Apple’s demand.

In March it was said that Apple was in the process of reviewing potential components for the company’s next-generation LTE 4G iPhone. Among the parts Apple was expected to utilize by Barclays was Qualcomm’s “MDM9615” LTE chip, which supports both voice and data connections on high-speed 4G networks.

Analysts at Barclays also said at the end of May that Apple had “locked down” suppliers of important radio chips for the sixth-generation iPhone. Companies said to have been selected by Apple included Skyworks, Avago Technologies, and TriQuint.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Opera web browser updated to 12.00

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2012, 06:54
Category: News, Software

operalogo

On Thursday, Opera Software released version 12.00 of its web browser. The new version, a 23.3 megabyte download, boasts the following fixes and changes:

New Features:
– Opera now runs plug-ins as a separate process, allowing for more control when a plug-in misbehaves. This feature will enhance security and stability.

– The 64-bit version of Opera will offer performance improvements for some functions and allow Opera more freedom in allocating memory.

– New, lightweight themes make it easier to customize the browser. Install or change themes at the click of a button, without restarting the browser.

Numerous improvements to the address bar have been made:
– Improved address field and address bar drop-down suggestions.

– Smart URL shortening in the address field drop-down.

– The page title and the page excerpt will be used for full page search results
URL and page content columns in the address field drop-down have been combined
Hardware acceleration allows Opera to offload graphics rendering from the processor (CPU) to the graphics card (GPU), making graphics intensive operations such as animations faster.

– RTL support will bring additional stability for certain languages. Persian, Urdu, Hebrew, and Arabic languages added.

– Extensions will now be able to interact with tabs, create tab groups, and manage windows.

– Opera Unite and Opera Widgets will be off by default in Opera 12.00, and will eventually be phased out of the Opera browser in the future. Voice support will be removed as of Opera 12.00, as the voice-detection library is no longer supported by the third-party vendor.

– Opera 12.00 will include changes in the Opera Presto 2.10 engine up to core-integration-point 289.

– Initial support for real-time communication has been added. Allowing the source of HTML5

– Drag and drop enables webpages to have elements that the user can drag from one page to another, or from their desktop to the webpage.

– Support for animations and transitions has been updated and expanded.

– Added support for the Do Not Track (DNT) HTTP header.

– An innovative new set of CSS constructs that allow webpages to be split up into paged media, revolutionizing the Web reading experience.

– CORS enables more secure and flexible communications between websites.

Improvements:
– General and User Interface.

– Appearance dialog improvements and cleanup.

– Sandboxing enabled for Mac App Store builds.

– A custom user agent preference has been added to opera:config.

Display and Scripting:
– Improved pipelining, JavaScript, and Turbo.

Fixes and Changes:
– Mail, News, Chat.

– Removed IRC client, start bar, navigation bar, main bar, and BitTorrent support.

Security:
– Fixed an issue where hidden keyboard navigation could allow cross site scripting or code execution, as reported by Jordi Chancel.

– Fixed an issue where a combination of clicks and key presses could lead to cross site scripting or code execution, as reported by Jordi Chancel.

– Fixed an issue where cross-domain JSON resources may be exposed as JavaScript variable data.

– Fixed an issue where carefully timed reloads, redirects, and navigation could spoof the address field, as reported by Jordi Chancel.

– Fixed a moderate severity issue; details will be disclosed at a later date.

– Fixed an issue where pages could prevent navigation to a target page, spoofing the address field, as reported by Code Audit Labs of vulnhunt.com.

Opera 12.00 is available for free and requires and Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Skype updated to 5.8.0.865, adds Mac OS X 10.8 support, refined contacts list

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2012, 10:18
Category: News, Software

skypelogo.jpg

On Thursday, version 5.8.0.865 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 23.5 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

– Support for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

– Reintroduction of a slimmer contact list, which can be resized and repositioned as necessary.

– When talking to people using the iOS or Android apps, the Mac software will now automatically detect when a person has rotated their mobile device, and adjust incoming video on a Mac automatically. Auto-rotation was already supported for incoming Windows Phone video; Skype is notably owned by Microsoft. Premium subscribers, meanwhile, can now see photos and live video simultaneously during Screen Sharing.

– The company has promised that a future Mac release will add the ability to open chats in separate windows, and talk to multiple contacts at once.

Skype 5.8.0.865 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

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

Cocktail updated to 5.3.2

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2012, 06:50
Category: News, Software

cocktaillogo.jpg

On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 5.3.2 of CocktailCocktail (Lion Edition), the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

– Added clearing of /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.IntlDataCache.le and /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.IntlDataCache.le.kbdx caches to the clear system caches procedure

– Launch time optimization.

– Fixed registration issues some users encountered when registering.

– Various minor bug fixes and improvements.

– Updated Automator actions.

Cocktail 5.3.2 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later to install and run.

Apple releases MacBook Air (Mid 2012) Software Update 1.0 firmware upgrade

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2012, 06:54
Category: MacBook Air, News, Software

It never hurts to pin down the bugs within the early days.

Early Thursday, Apple released its MacBook Air (Mid 2012) Software Update 1.0 firmware upgrade. The update, a 167 megabyte download, can also be found, snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and offers the following fixes and changes for the newly-released notebooks:

– The update includes fixes that improve graphics stability, flash performance, and external display support.

The update requires a mid-2012 MacBook Air and Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later to install and run.

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

VMWare releases Fusion 4.1.3 update

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2012, 05:39
Category: News, Software

Late Wednesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 4.1.3 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 182 megabyte download, can be found here and offers the following fixes and changes:

– Resolved an intermittent issue with an unreleased version of Mac OS X.

– Fixed a race-condition when starting VMware Tools in some OpenSUSE virtual machines.

Fusion 4.1.3 retails for US$49.99 and requires an Intel-based Mac, 2 GB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.6.7 or later (10.7 recommended) and a copy of Windows (if you’ll be installing Windows).

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