Google Chrome updated to 20.0.1132.47

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Date: Monday, July 2nd, 2012, 07:34
Category: News, Software


Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 20.0.1132.47 for the Mac. The new version, a 40.7 megabyte download, offers the following changes:

– Disables some of Chrome’s GPU acceleration features on Mac hardware containing the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip (e.g. the new Macbook Air notebooks), in order to prevent a resource leak which is causing a kernel panic on that hardware. This is a temporary change while we work on fixing the root cause of the issue.

Google Chrome 20.0.1132.47 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.

VLC updated to 2.0.2

Posted by:
Date: Monday, July 2nd, 2012, 07:34
Category: News, Software


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 a release candidate version of 2.0.2. The new version, a 25.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Video Output:
– XP machine will now use DirectX mode by default, like in previous versions. There were too many errors with broken drivers.

– More accurate colourspaces conversions for YUV->RGB in OpenGL

– Add menu support for libvlc / VLCKit applications on Mac OS X

– Various fixes on Mac OS X, notably for crop, zoom, osd and menu support

– Misc fixes in OpenGL module, on all platforms

– Fix video output on PowerPC-based Macs equipped with an ATI Radeon 7500, an ATI Radeon 9200 or a NVIDIA GeForceFX 5200 Ultra.

– Fix video output of 10bit encoded contents on Intel-based Macs equipped with an Intel GMA 950 chipset running OS X 10.6 or later.

– Add support for the HiDPI mode used on recent Apple products with so-called Retina Displays.

– Rework Digital TV module for Windows. DVB-T and DVB-C should work again

– Fixes for RAR compressed files

– Fix DirectShow crashes on exit

– Improve PulseAudio input latency

– Fixes for HTTP access through a proxy

– v4l2 webcam outputting H264 can now be used directly (use –v4l2-chroma=h264)

– Fix subtitles auto-detection in subfolders and detection behaviour

– IE http proxy is not used anymore by VLC on Win32

– Accept more extensions for DVD images

– Fix crash in VC1 packetizer

– Improvements in Blu-Ray playback

– Improvements and fixes in HLS support

– Fix crashes in AAC decoder on channels changes, notably in ISDB streams

– Fix compilation with multiple FFmpeg and libav versions

– Fix G726 support

– Fix MP3 free format support

– Fixes for MKV segments, seeking and MKV title display

– Fix for some mp4, voc, midi and au crashes

– Fix for Real .ram, .f4v, .avi and .ra files support

– Fix for DVB channels file support

– Fixes for alac, vorbis, DTS, VC-1 and Dirac in mp4

– Fix for MPEG Audio encoding, use layer2 when using fourcc “mp2 ” and “mp2a”

– Fix for JPEG generation, when doing snapshots

– Audio filters and output:

– Limitation of spatializer volume output

– Fix DirectSound device selection

– Correct PulseAudio volume control

– Do not apply volume in file output

– Fix sampling rate in JACK output

– Fixes in ALSA output for latency and for broken drivers

Mac OS X:
– Enable drag and drop of playlist items between the temporary playlist and the persistent media library

– Enable import of playlist items taken from the service discovery modules to the media library or the temporary playlist

– Media key support for keyboards by other manufacturers than Apple This fix was facilitated through a hardware donation by ZF Friedrichshafen AG manufacturing keyboards under the brand “Cherry”.

– Add support for the Apple Remote to set the Mac to sleep using a longer press on the Play/Pause button

– Remove libfontconfig’s font cache by an Apple Type Services lookup. This removes the “Updating Cache” dialog, before finding all fonts.

– Re-add an option to hide the window decoration during video playback

– Improve compatibility with other 3rd party apps using SPMediaKeyTap

– Many Fullscreen fixes

– Keep Aspect Ratio when resizing is back

– Add controls to manipulate the Subtitles Duration to the Track Synchronization panel

– Hidden items in the sidebar are being retained for the next launch now

– Fix crash when trying to open an Audio CD by drag & drop

– Improve reliability when opening DVDs or BDs by drag & drop

– Fix crashes on exit

– Fix crash when mounting a device with multiple logical volumes while VLC is running

– Chosen audio output device is retained throughout multiple sessions

– Since running the Mac OS X interface as an Extra Interface or Control Interface can lead to undefined results, eventual settings will be automatically reset on the first launch.- This fixes issues with unresponsive playback controls and crashes on quit.

– Update Growl plugin for use with Growl 1.3

– Miscellaneous minor interface improvements

Lua Scripts:
– Fixes for stdin/stdout and for different locale issues

– Fixes for icecast SD

– Fix preferences for audio devices on Windows

– Fix playlist search and selector behaviour

– Fix multiple issues in the Open Disc dialog

– Miscellaneous fixes in preferences, buttons, EPG, playlist and customize dialog

– Fix tags and file names display

– Fix various crashes, display issues and usability issues

– Fix mousewheel on Windows

– Fix for key events and focus loss

Web interface:
– Fix display of some buttons

– Fix listing of files in the Open interface

– Fixes for widgets behaviour and vlm dialog

– Fix Ogg Heap buffer overflow

– Update taglib (CVE-2012-2396)

– Update libavcodec and other codecs libraries

– Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Walloon, Slovak, Polish, Khmer, Japanese, Italian, French, Czech, Belarusian, Breton, Greek, Spanish, Estonian, Irish, Galician, Hungarian, Japanese, Dutch, Telugu, Ukranian, Thai translations update
New Scottish Gaelic translation

VLC 2.0.2 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 to offer, let us know in the comments.

Apple releases extensive batch of printer driver updates for Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 operating systems

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Date: Friday, June 29th, 2012, 09:03
Category: News, Software

It’s not the sexiest set of updates in the world, but it’s useful.

Per AppleInsider, Apple released the following printer driver updates as listed below. The updates provide additional support for a wide range of devices from assorted providers and vary in size:

NRG Printer Drivers v2.3

InfoPrint Printer Drivers v2.3

Lanier Printer Drivers v2.3

Savin Printer Drivers v2.3

Ricoh Printer Drivers v2.3

Gestetner Printer Drivers v2.3

Infotec Printer Drivers v2.3

Lexmark Printer Driver v2.8

Epson Printer Drivers v2.10

Canon Printer Drivers v2.9

The updates require an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later and can also be located, snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

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

Adobe to discontinue new Flash Player installs on August 15th

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Date: Friday, June 29th, 2012, 05:08
Category: News, Software


Sometimes a Web technology just has to ride off into the sunset.

According to The Verge, Adobe’s mobile Flash days are now numbered, as the company has announced that it will no longer accept new Flash Player installations through the Google Play application store after August 15 and will not support the upcoming 4.1 Jelly Bean version of Android.

Following up on the announcement last November that it was discontinuing development of Flash for mobile browsers, Adobe published a blog post on Thursday detailing deprecated support for the player on Android.

“Beginning August 15th we will use the configuration settings in the Google Play Store to limit continued access to Flash Player updates to only those devices that have Flash Player already installed,” the post read.

Adobe also said that there will not be any Flash-certified Android 4.1 devices. Though in the past unsupported devices were sometimes able to get Flash Player working, the company said that this is “no longer going to be the case” because it has not developed or tested the player for the upcoming version of Android and its browsers.

Android users who want to keep running Flash as legacy software will need to download and install Flash before the August 15th deadline. Adobe also recommends that they stay on Android 4.0, as Flash Player on 4.1 Jelly Bean could exhibit “unpredictable behavior.”

“We recommend uninstalling Flash Player on devices which have been upgraded to Android 4.1,” the company wrote.

Last year, an Adobe manager put part of the blame on Apple for the demise of mobile Flash. Mike Chambers acknowledged that the software would never reach “anywhere near the ubiquity” of its install base on desktops because Apple would not allow Flash Player in the iOS browser.

“No matter what we did, the Flash Player was not going to be available on Apple’s iOS anytime in the foreseeable future,” he said.

Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs set off an intense debate about the merits of Flash in 2010 with his open letter criticizing the format as outdated and needlessly proprietary.

Android makers decided early on to advertise Flash as a differentiating feature of their devices as compared to Apple’s own. The move ultimately backfired on companies like Motorola, as Flash support ended up being postponed due to technical issues.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Cocktail updated to 5.3.3

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Date: Friday, June 29th, 2012, 05:28
Category: News, Software


On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 5.3.3 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 the “Use SRM secure delete” option to the “Force empty Trash” feature. SRM removes each file by overwriting, renaming, and truncating it before unlink-ing. This option meets the US Department of Defense (DOD) 5220-22M standard for securely erasing magnetic media. It erases the information used to access your files and writes over the data 7 times.

– Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may not be able to repair permissions on RAID sets.

– Other minor improvements and bug fixes.

– Various minor bug fixes and improvements.

– Updated Help.

Cocktail 5.3.3 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later to install and run.

Google releases Google Chrome, Google Drive for iOS

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Date: Thursday, June 28th, 2012, 14:05
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch, News, Software


It had to happen sometime.

Per Mac|Life, on Thursday, Google announced the release of both its Google Chrome and Google Drive apps for iOS on Thursday. Announced during the company’s day two keynote at Google I/O, the pair of free universal apps have been long awaited from iOS users.

Google Drive version 1.0.1 is already available from the App Store, offering quick and easy access to documents, photos and videos stored in your 5GB of free cloud storage. Users can make files available offline for access when an internet connection isn’t available, and Drive offers easy file sharing as well.

The app also allows searching within any kind of file synced across your desktop and other devices, and files stored on Drive can be opened from other iOS apps with just a tap.

Google’s Chrome web browser is also making the leap to iOS on Thursday, allowing Mac, PC, Chrome OS and Android users to now sync their bookmarks, tabs and other data seamlessly to iOS devices as well.

Google Drive and Google Chrome require an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later to install and run.

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

Apple releases Aperture 3.3.1 update

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Date: Thursday, June 28th, 2012, 13:48
Category: News, Software

On Thursday, Apple released version 3.3.1 of Aperture, its pro-grade image editing application. The new version, which is available as a direct download or via Mac OS X’s Software update feature, is a 529 megabyte download and offers the following fixes and changes:

– Fixes an issue that in rare cases could cause Aperture to hang or quit unexpectedly when upgrading libraries.

Aperture 3.3.1 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.7.4 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.

Axiotron announces Modbook Pro products, points towards early fall launch

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Date: Thursday, June 28th, 2012, 09:35
Category: Hardware, Modbook, News

It’s been a while since we covered this.

Per MacRumors, Axiotron, creators of the famed Modbook tablet, has announced a new generation of Modbook Pro products.

Built from a unique enclosure conversion kit, the Modbook Pro incorporates and completely encases the original hardware of a new Apple MacBook Pro 13.3-inch base system. Its Wacom digitizer delivers 512 levels of pen pressure sensitivity — more than any other tablet computer on the market. And its ForceGlass screen provides an etched, paper-emulating drawing surface.

The Modbook Pro components connect to the original MacBook Pro through one of its two USB 3.0 ports, with the entire assembly being enclosed in a new casing for an integrated OS X-based tablet solution that also supports Windows 7.

The Modbook Pro is scheduled to launch in “early fall 2012”, with pricing and retail partners yet to be announced.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: Facebook revamping iOS app for July, aiming for significant speed/performance boosts

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Date: Thursday, June 28th, 2012, 06:26
Category: News, Rumor, Software

You might not be proud to admit how much you use it, but it could prove useful.

Per the New York Times, Facebook is working on a new application for iOS that has been completely rebuilt to address its current, “painfully slow” performance.

Two unnamed engineers working on the project shared the details of the updated application with Nick Bilton of The New York Times. He reported on Wednesday that the rebuilt application will focus on speed and performance.

“One of the Facebook engineers said the new application has been built primarily using Objective-C, the programming language used to build applications for iOS,” Bilton wrote. “Many of the components of the current version of the Facebook app are built using HTML5, a Web-based programming language.”

Bilton tested the unreleased iPhone application and said it delivers “blazing fast” performance. He said the application is being tested by developers and should be released this summer, indicating that it is expected to launch “next month.”

Though it will be rewritten, the application “looks exactly like the old one,” he said. All of the changes have been made behind the scenes to improve performance.

The Facebook application has been available on iPhone for years, but the social networking site released its official iPad application last fall. The iOS software is universal, meaning it has built-in support for both the iPhone and the iPad.

Facebook will also play a major role in the release of iOS 6 this fall. With iOS 6, Apple will add system-wide Facebook integration, allowing users to log in to their account in the iOS Settings application in order to quickly post to their Facebook account and share music, applications and photos with their friends.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple looking into technologies to help improve iOS device typing speed/autocorrect

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Date: Thursday, June 28th, 2012, 06:47
Category: News, Patents, Software


This could be useful.

Per AppleInsider, a trio of patent applications published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and discovered on Thursday show that Apple is looking into automatic typing and spelling correction, while a third application could indirectly relate to the feature.

Timing and Geometry:
Application No. 12/976834, titled “Combining timing and geometry information for typing correction,” describes a process for using keystroke geometry and timing to better detect a user’s intended input.

In one embodiment of the invention, a string of typed characters is timestamped and can be analyzed by a process for use in either autocorrection or autocompletion. The invention also suggests that “baseline typing speed data” could be gathered in order to determine whether double strikes, transpositions or other errors have occurred.

“For example, if the string “theere” is entered and the time between the keystrokes “ee” is less than an associated baseline by more than a threshold amount, the replacement candidate “there” may be assigned a higher score,” the application read.

Apple’s invention could start with a pre-determined typing speed that would be monitored and adjusted in case users type slower or faster than a “typical” user.

The system would also take into account the location of letters on the keyboard and the geometry of the typed words in order to catch mistakes.

“For example, a word that is similar to the typed text except for one or more errors associated potentially with keyboard geometry, such as differing by a letter where the correct letter is located adjacent to the typed incorrect letter on the keyboard, may be suggested,” Apple wrote.

Douglas Davidson and Karan Misra are named as the inventors of the patent, which Apple filed for in late 2010.

Parts of Speech:
A second autocorrect-related patent application (No. 12/976849) is entitled “Using parts-of-speech tagging and named entity recognition for spelling correction.” The proposed process involves understanding the context surrounding typed words in order to tag their parts of speech and identify named entities, such as differentiating between the company “Apple” and reference to the fruit.

The technical details for Apple’s invention are relatively advanced, as they involve a “statistical language model.” That process would involve parsing words, phrases and sentences and would make use of clues like capitalization, suffixes and prefixes and other “contextual features.”

Apple filed for the patent in December 2010. Brent Ramerth, Douglas Davidson and Jennifer Moore are listed as its inventors.

Contextual Lookup:
Apple’s application for “Using statistical language models for contextual lookup” (No. 12/976864), closely resembles the aforementioned parts-of-speech tagging application, but it describes a system for applying language processing to search queries.

According to the invention, a process for analyzing parts of speech could help make searching documents or the Internet more efficient. In its filing, Apple provided examples of phrases and words that could be interpreted different ways and would benefit from a process for forming specific and targeted searches.

Autocorrect Lawsuit:
Apple has put some of its autocorrect-related patents to work in its legal complaint against rival handset maker Samsung. In February, the compiled asserted a patent for a “Method, system, and graphical user interface for providing word recommendations” against the South Korean company.

Autocorrect on the iPhone has also entered popular culture by giving rise to several Websites documenting humorous or embarrassing instances of the feature, such as Damn You Auto Correct! and Autocorrect Fail.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.