Drive Genius 3.1 update released

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Date: Wednesday, January 26th, 2011, 05:38
Category: News, Software

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Prosoft Engineering has released Drive Genius 3.1, an updated version of its drive repair and recovery program for Mac OS X.

The new version, a 16.6 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and features:

- The system startup volume can now be defragmented without the need of a DVD or alternate startup volume (“live” defrag).

- DrivePulse™ verifies the preference files of the logged in user and the global preferences located on the startup volume.

- DrivePulse™ displays visual error and warning status hints in its menu.

- Up to one month of DrivePulse™ event history can be browsed.

- Repartition offers the option to add HFSX volumes. UFS volume support has been removed as Apple is moving away from supporting UFS.

- ExFAT volume support. (10.6.5+ only)

- Drobo devices are officially not supported for most tools. Drobos are proprietary devices and due to the way they store and manipulate data on multiple physical drives, Drive Genius cannot safely manipulate that same data. It is the decision of Data Robotics, Inc to not share the technical information necessary to safely support Drobo devices.

- Bug Fix: Possible spurious failures when defragging an 8TiB or larger volume.

- Bug Fix: Missing fragmentation information in the Defrag overview for volumes that contain a very large number of files (such as Time Machine volumes).

- Bug Fix: Stability improvements to DriveSlim™while searching and while slimming files.

- Bug Fix: The DriveSlim™ Universal Binary slimming plan could spuriously fail.

- Bug Fix: If DriveSlim™ found an application that matched multiple slimming plans and one of the plans was Universal Binary slimming, only the Universal Binary plan would be run on the application.

Drive Genius retails for US$99 and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.3 or later installed to install and run.

Verizon to offer $30/month unlimited data plan, cites unknown “cutoff date” to deal

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Date: Tuesday, January 25th, 2011, 10:25
Category: iPhone, News

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With Verizon en route to sell the iPhone come February 10th, this is where competition becomes interesting.

Per the Wall Street Journal, Verizon COO Lowell McAdam confirmed that it will offer its US$30 unlimited data plan during the launch of the iPhone but stated the plan will only be available for a limited time. McAdam did not specify a cutoff date for offering the plan, but he reiterated statements the company made in June 2010 that Verizon will soon follow AT&T’s lead and drop unlimited data plans altogether in favor of a tiered pricing model.

Even though Verizon plans to eventually drop its unlimited data plans, this comes as good news, as iPhone owners are known to gobble much more data than users of competing devices.

Delicious Library Updated to 2.6.3

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Date: Tuesday, January 25th, 2011, 05:24
Category: News, Software

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On Wednesday, software company Delicious Monster released version 2.6.3 of the shareware favorite, Delicious Library. Delicious Monster allows Macs with webcams to scan the bar codes of any book, movie, music CD or video game, then creates an archive based on background information from the Internet. Additional features help keep the library organized and reseller’s tools allow for items to be quickly posted for sale online.

The update, a 17.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Removed strange ☛ and ☞ characters that suddenly appeared in our final localizations due to recent changes in our build system. These are still in this beta, but will be removed in the final.

- Fixed some minor coding errors I made a long time ago around multi-threading that could, in rare cases, cause crashes.

- Fixed some broken links in Help files.

- Changed the app name in the main menu to “Delicious Library” to comply with the Mac App Store (but now we aren’t in compliance with the Apple Human Interface Guidelines).

- Folded in various other changes made for the Mac App Store that shouldn’t change visible functionality but still need testing.

Full release notes can be found here and Delicious Library 2.6.3 retails for US$40 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

White iPhone 4 spotted in AT&T database system

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Date: Monday, January 24th, 2011, 10:16
Category: iPhone, News

You’ve been hankering for a white iPhone and it just might be on its way.

Per Boy Genius Report, the white iPhone has been sighted in AT&T’s online systems, but there is still no indication when the phone will be available.

In a recent sighting, listings appeared for a white iPhone 4 16GB model and a 32GB model. AT&T also has 32GB and 16GB models of the iPhone 3GS, as well as a 16GB white iPhone 3G.
Signs at Apple’s retail stores in December listed the white iPhone as becoming “available spring 2011.”

Apple has never given a specific reason for the delay of the white iPhone 4, other than it has “proven more challenging to manufacture than expected.”

Originally scheduled to be released shortly after the black iPhone, the white iPhone 4 delayed in late July until “later this year,” and again in October until spring 2011.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Italian hacker locates Qualcomm references hidden in iTunes software

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Date: Monday, January 24th, 2011, 05:06
Category: News, Software

A hacker claims to have discovered evidence pointing to an upcoming Qualcomm cellular baseband inside the code for Apple’s iTunes software, possibly indicating that the iPhone maker plans to incorporate Qualcomm’s CDMA baseband into the next generation of iOS devices.

Per AppleInsider, Italian hacker Zibri published a section of code on his blog Friday that hints at Qualcomm as the baseband provider for the iPhone 5 or iPad 2 devices. Zibri obtained the code by decompiling the latest version of iTunes.

According to the post, the code is a “definitive answer” to rumors from last week that named Qualcomm as the baseband provider for the iPhone 5. As the inventor of CDMA, Qualcomm may also already provide the radios for the CDMA iPhone 4, which will arrive on the Verizon network on Feb. 10.

Per the post, the files “partition.mbn” and “AMSS.MBN,” which were discovered in the iTunes code, mean “only one thing: QUALCOMM. Those files are the building blocks of any Qualcomm baseband.”

“So I can tell you that the next wave of iProducts will be using a QUALCOMM baseband,” Zibri wrote. “Which one I don’t know… maybe the iPad2, maybe the iPhone5 most probably all of them. What is clear is that they are testing them using the same iTunes you have on your hard drives.”

However, if Qualcomm is indeed the supplier of the baseband for the upcoming Verizon iPhone, references to a Qualcomm baseband in the iTunes code may simply point to the CDMA iPhone, rather than the next-generation iPhone or iPad.

Reports of a Qualcomm baseband for future iPhone models have persisted for some time. Apple and Qualcomm reportedly met in late 2009 to discuss “future cooperation.” In August of of 2010, reporters noticed a job posting on the Qualcomm website for an “iPhone developer guru.”

Interesting things may be on the horizon so stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

VLC 1.1.6 update released

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Date: Monday, January 24th, 2011, 05:36
Category: News, 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 1.1.6. The new version, a 40.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Security updates in codecs and demuxers.

- Support for RTP/PCM 24bits, audio/L24.

- Support for MPC SV7/SV8 on Windows and MacOS builds.

- Faster Webm/VP8 decoding.

- Support for Midi on MacOS.

- Major updates in most language translations.

- Support for projectM visualisation on Windows.

- KDE and PulseAudio integration improvements.

- Subtitles fixes and improvements.

- Improvements in visualisations and interfaces.

- Codecs updates.

- Many miscellaneous fixes.

VLC 1.1.6 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Apple to ship universal bumper case for GSM, CDMA iPhone 4 handsets

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Date: Friday, January 21st, 2011, 12:59
Category: Accessory, iPhone, News

If you’re hankering for a Verizon iPhone and worried about needing a bumper case, Apple may be a step ahead of you.

Per Engadget, Apple has apparently worked around the problem of needing two versions of its Bumper case with the pending launch of the iPhone 4 on Verizon’s network by creating a universal Bumper. The new Bumper case includes a larger switch slot that accommodates the slightly different positions of the mute switch on the two iPhone 4 models.

The iPhone 4 bumper Apple shipped months ago for GSM-based networks like AT&T, O2 and Orange, the handset using a different antenna configuration than the new CDMA-based model that will sell for Verizon’s network. That change meant Apple needed to reposition the mute switch that sits just above the iPhone’s volume buttons, making the company’s current Bumper cases incompatible with the new model.

It’s unknown whether the bumper will be free (as was the case with the iPhone 4) or available via retail.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple swapping in new inaccessible, “pentalobe” screws to new, repaired iPhone 4 units

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Date: Friday, January 21st, 2011, 05:58
Category: iPhone, News

If you were hoping to buy a new iPhone 4 and tinker with it, you might have some problems.

Per the mighty iFixIt, Apple has begun replacing the standard phillips head screws that hold together most iPhones sold in the U.S. with tamper-resistant “pentalobe” screws. The result is a device that most users are unable to open which also proves difficult for third party battery replacement services to replaces the battery in the device.

The pentalobe screw is a design controlled by Apple, and getting a screwdriver is very difficult, unless you’re an Apple Certified repair technician. Apple is apparently replacing the old screws with the new ones whenever an iPhone is brought into an Apple Store for repair, and users aren’t alerted to the change before or after it takes place.

Pentalobe Screw from iFixIt’s explanatory video

The new screws have begun to surface in recently shipped iPhones and iPhone 4 models shipped with the screw in Japan from the get-go.

These same screws are used on some MacBook Pro and Air models, and are likely to make their way to more Apple products in the future.

A video’s worth a couple thousand words and quite a bit of argument:


Apple’s Diabolical Plan to Screw your iPhone from iFixit on Vimeo.

Apple seeds first Mac OS X 10.6.7 beta to developer community

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Date: Friday, January 21st, 2011, 05:25
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday Apple issued the first beta of Mac OS X 10.6.7, the next security and maintenance update for its Snow Leopard operating system, to its developers community for testing.

Per AppleInsider, the first beta is dubbed Build 10J842 is a 338.6MB download in its delta form. People familiar with the first beta said that its documentation notes there are no known issues with the software.

Developers have reportedly been asked to focus on AirPort, Bonjour, SMB file sharing, and graphics drivers.

The first beta arrived just weeks after Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.6 for Snow Leopard. That update brought the Mac App Store, a new digital download destination to obtain software for the Mac platform.

While it is unknown what new features or fixes might come in Mac OS X 10.6.7, the Mac App Store will likely prove to be the last major feature added to Snow Leopard. Apple has already begun to hype Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, its next major operating system release. Lion will bring features from iOS, including a home screen, full-screen applications and new multi-touch gestures, to the Mac platform when it debuts this summer.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases iMovie 9.0.2 update

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Date: Thursday, January 20th, 2011, 14:36
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released iMovie 9.0.2, the latest version of its consumer-level video editing application. The new version, a 28.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- This update improves overall stability and fixes an issue that could cause audio playback to be out of sync.

iMovie 9.0.2 requires Mac OS X 10.6.3 or later to install and run and can be snagged manually or via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.