Apple to release Q2 results on Tuesday, April 24th

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Date: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012, 07:18
Category: Finance, News

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It’s not the most exciting announcement in the world, but if you have Apple stock, you might want to know about it.

Per Mac|Life, Apple has updated their website to include details of the company’s second quarter 2012 financial results for the January through March period. As usual, the conference call will be streamed live via QuickTime shortly after a press release is made public with the key details.

The company’s financial Q2 2012 report will include the first wave of sales for the new iPad, although Apple has already announced that more than three million of the tablets moved during the mid-March launch weekend.

Some analysts believe that Apple is on target to hit more than US$1,000 per share by 2014, which would make it one of the world’s first trillion-dollar companies, should such predictions come true.

The event will take place on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 2pm PST (5pm EST).

Flashback trojan changes tactics, can now install on your Mac without a password

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Date: Monday, April 2nd, 2012, 15:43
Category: News, security, Software

Well, you’ve gotta admit, they’re persistent.

Per Macworld and F-Secure, the Flashback Mac trojan uncovered by security firm Intego last year can now infect your computer from little more than a visit to a website.

Originally, Flashback masqueraded as an installer for Adobe’s Flash Player. Since then, the malware has changed tacks at last once since then, instead pretending to be a Mac software update or a Java updater.

The latest variant, discovered by security researchers at F-Secure and dubbed OSX/Flashback.K, takes advantage of a weakness in Java SE6. That vulnerability, identified as CVE-2012-0507, allows the malware to install itself from a malicious website the user visits, without needing the user to enter an administrator’s password.

No fix is currently available for this vulnerability on the Mac, although the hole was patched in Java for Windows back in February. Unfortunately, Apple has long been criticized for lagging behind Windows when it comes to updating Java for security patches. However, given that Apple rolls out updates every few months, it seems likely that the company will distribute a patch in the not too distant future.

Until then, F-Secure suggests users deactivate Java on their Macs. The company has also given instructions for checking if your system is currently infected by the Flashback Trojan.

It’s also worth noting that the Java vulnerability has recently been included in the popular BlackHole exploit kit used by many attackers.

While there’s no need for widespread panic, the fact that this latest version of the malware can install itself without the user’s password is enough of a reason for concern that some precautions are necessary. Disabling Java is a good step, but the first line of defense is, as always, to be cognizant of the websites you visit and use common sense.

Stay tuned fora additional details as they become available.

VirtualBox updated to 4.1.12

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Date: Monday, April 2nd, 2012, 11:06
Category: News, Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 4.1.12. The new version, a 89.5 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:

– VMM: fixed VERR_NOT_SUPPORTED and VERR_RAW_MODE_INVALID_SMP guru meditation due to an invalid reschedule to raw mode (bug #10370).

– VMM: fixed PDMCritSectLeave guru meditation under rare circumstances with SMP guests.

– VMM: proper Math Fault handling with certain legacy guests (bug #9042).

– NAT: fixed a socket leak under certain conditions.

– Storage: better sanity check against reading beyond end-of-file.

– Audio: fixed a crash in the NUL audio backend (bug #10374; 4.1.10 regression).

– HGCM: fixed a crash during savestate under rare circumstances.

– VBoxSVC: several locking fixes.

– VBoxManage: return the correct error code if controlvm savestate failed (bug #10134).

– Guest Additions: VBoxService should not crash on exit (bug #10326; 4.1.10 regression).

– Windows Additions: set the correct time stamp when a file is closed (bug #6473).

– Windows Additions: better help if the DirectX backups are not properly installed.

– Linux Additions: Linux 3.4-rc1 compile fixes.

VirtualBox 4.1.12 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

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

New round of “Test & Keep iPhone 5” texts hit, scam continues

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Date: Friday, March 30th, 2012, 06:21
Category: iPhone, News

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably an iPhone 5 texting-based scam run by people that should rightfully be trampled by irate moose.

Per the cool cats at The Mac Observer, a scam purporting to offer you the opportunity to “test and keep the New iPhone5!” began making new rounds on Thursday. iPhone users received text messages with the bogus offer, which is an effort to lure people to a website and give up personal information or some other nefarious scheme.

The scam message many of us have received:



This scam first began circulating in February, but the scumbags responsible sent out a new wave of texts today.

To recap:

– This is a scam

– Apple does not send out unannounced products for testing outside of Apple

– Even if it did decide to test its devices in this fashion, it wouldn’t do so by sending random text messages

– This scam is similar to another scam currently circulating via Twitter that purports to be from Draw Something. It is not from Draw Something, or the game’s parent company, Zynga, but it is a scam trying to get your personal information.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if any of you have an insight as to who’s spreading this effort around, feel free to lead your own “Frankenstein”-esque mob, complete with pitchforks and torches, to whomever is doing this so they may be hung up by their spleens and made to listen to Rebecca Black’s “Friday” on an infinite loop…

Apple patent hints at 3D photography on iOS devices

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Date: Friday, March 30th, 2012, 06:46
Category: iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, Patents

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Your iOS may one day shoot 3D pictures.

Which would be a cool thing.

According to a recently published application discovered by Patently Apple on Thursday, Apple may be looking into a way in which cameras in iOS-based devices would snap 3D images. According to the blog, which tracks all Apple patents and applications, the technology would utilize “depth-detection sensors,” like radar and lidar, and use the latest and greatest luminance sensors to recreate an image’s color as accurately as possible. By the time the picture is taken, it’ll deliver a full 3D image.

The fact that Apple is thinking about 3D implementation on the iPhone and iPad isn’t necessarily a surprise, given the importance the third dimension has taken on across the industry. At this point, it’s hard to find a television that doesn’t come with 3D support. And across the mobile space, more and more companies are starting to integrate 3D features.

For years now, it’s been believed that Apple would bring some sort of 3D integration to the iPhone and iPad, but there hasn’t really been much talk of the camera on the devices handling the task.

Apple’s patent application, however, takes things further than just snapping an image. According to the patent, the technology can scan an object and create a 3D model on the device. It could also come with facial-gesture recognition that can detect smiling, grimacing, and frowning.

It’s just a patent application for the time being, but it could lead to something cool.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases iPhoto 9.2.3 update

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Date: Friday, March 30th, 2012, 06:24
Category: News, Software

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Late Thursday, Apple released its anticipated iPhoto 9.2.3 update. The update, a 354 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Improves overall stability.

– Addresses an issue that could cause iPhoto to quit unexpectedly on systems with multiple user accounts.

iPhoto 9.2.3 retails for US$49 as part of iLife ’11 and requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the update and noticed any changes, please let us know.

Cocktail 5.1.6 (Lion Edition) released

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Date: Thursday, March 29th, 2012, 06:49
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 5.1.6 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:

– Addresses an issue in which the “Disable saved application states” setting may not work properly.

Cocktail 5.1.6 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later to install and run.

Google Chrome updated to 18.0.1025.142

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Date: Thursday, March 29th, 2012, 06:00
Category: News, Software

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Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 18.0.1025.142 for the Mac. The new version, a 35.4 megabyte download, offers the following changes:

– Sped up graphics and drawing performance for users on capable hardware, and enabled fancier 3D content for other users on older computers.

Google Chrome 18.0.1025.142 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.

Apple releases iTunes 10.6.1 update

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Date: Wednesday, March 28th, 2012, 16:02
Category: News, Software

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On Wednesday, Apple released version 10.6.1 of its iTunes multimedia/jukebox application. The new version, a 64.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Fixes several issues that may cause iTunes to unexpectedly quit while playing videos, changing artwork size in Grid view, and syncing photos to devices.

– Addresses an issue where some iTunes interface elements are incorrectly described by VoiceOver and WindowEyes.

– Fixes a problem where iTunes may become unresponsive while syncing iPod nano or iPod shuffle.

– Resolves an ordering problem while browsing TV episodes in your iTunes library on Apple TV.

iTunes 10.6.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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

Adobe releases Flash Player 11.2.202.228 update

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Date: Wednesday, March 28th, 2012, 07:38
Category: News, Software

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On Wednesday, Adobe released Flash Player 11.2.202.228 for Mac OS X, a 10.7 megabyte download via MacUpdate. The new version includes the following fixes and changes:

– Drivers gating for hardware acceleration relaxed — Previously, the hardware accelerated content was gated to 1/1/2009, however, we have relaxed the driver gating to 1/1/2008.

– Throttling event — This release introduces a new ThrottleEvent. A ThrottleEvent is now dispatched by the stage when the Flash Player throttles, pauses or resumes content.

– Mouse lock, relative mouse coordinates, right and middle click events — Create immersive, panoramic games with infinite scrolling to enable new classes of content, including first-person games.

– Multithreaded video decoding (Windows, Mac OS, and Linux) — The video decoding pipeline is now fully multithreaded. This feature should improve the overall performance on all platforms. Note that this feature is a significant architecture change required for other future improvements.

Flash Player 11.2.202.228 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback, please feel free to hurl your two cents in via the comments.