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Drive Genius 3.1.2 update released

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 8th, 2011, 06:45
Category: News, Software

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Prosoft Engineering has released Drive Genius 3.1.2, an updated version of its drive repair and recovery program for Mac OS X.

The new version, a 15.5 megabyte download” target=”_blank”>download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Application Help is now provided via the standard Mac OS X help viewer.

- Repartition will automatically prompt to create a new volume when an existing volume is shrunk.

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.

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

Hitachi announces new hard drives, cites new capacity of up to 1 terabyte per platter

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 7th, 2011, 03:56
Category: hard drive, News

There’s some good news: all the data you love, it just got packed in a bit tighter.

According to Macworld, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Tuesday announced that it’s started shipping hard disk drives that cram a terabyte of capacity onto a single spinning platter. The new technology allows Hitachi to produce slimmer form factors. The new single-platter technology is now shipping in the Hitachi Deskstar, Travelstar and CinemaStar lines in storage devices with capacities ranging from 250GB to 1TB.

Utilizing the higher-capacity platters, Hitachi said it has produced new 3.5-in wide, .27-in (7mm) thick “z-height” drives targeted at everything from desk tops and TV set top boxes to ultra thin and light notebooks.

For the ultra-thin and light notebook market, Hitachi’s Travelstar Z5K500 drives offer up to 636Gbit/sq. in. on a platter that spins at 5200RPMs.

Hitachi’s new Deskstar 7K1000.D 7200rpm and 5K1000.B 5200rpm drives, which utilize a 6Gbit/sec SATA interface and a 32MB cache buffer, are designed for commercial desktops, external storage arrays and PC gaming systems.

The new Deskstar line uses CoolSpin technology to save up to 15 percent power over standard drives by idling down the spindle. CoolSpin technology is an optimization of motor speed to provide a balance of performance, power utilization and acoustics.

Hitachi GST’s CinemaStar 7K1000.D and 5K1000.B hard drives are aimed at the market for storage-based TVs and DVRs that record, playback, surf and stream content from and to devices.

Single-disk capacities ranging from 250GB to 500GB make up about 90 percent of disk drive demand for consumer electronics devices. Hitachi’s new CinemaStar drive family now doubles that capacity for video content.

If you’ve picked up one of the new Hitachi models and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Apple begins shipping Thunderbolt-equipped displays to customer base

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 7th, 2011, 03:03
Category: Hardware, News

This had to come eventually.

Per MacRumors, Apple’s new 27-inch Thunderbolt Display to its retail stores and resellers this week, while individual pre-orders are said to have shipping estimates of Sept. 15.

The new displays are arriving this week and will be available for purchase “very soon.” Meanwhile, Electronista noted that it has heard of Sept. 15 shipping estimates for online pre-order customers.

Apple unveiled the US$999 27-inch LED display, billed as the world’s first display to take advantage of the new Thunderbolt I/O technology, in July, promising availability within 60 days. The display requires a Mac with a Thunderbolt I/O port.

The Thunderbolt Display features a 16:9 edge-to-edge glass design with an ultra-wide 178 degree viewing angle made possible via IPS technology. It also includes a built-in FaceTime HD video camera, a 2.1 speaker system, MagSafe charger, three USB 2.0 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, a FireWire 800 port and a Thunderbolt port.

Up to five additional Thunderbolt devices can be daisy chained to the display. Additionally, eligible Macs, such as the MacBook Pro, can run two Thunderbolt Displays.

Apple and Intel co-developed the Thunderbolt standard, combining the chipmaker’s Light Peak technology with the Mini DisplayPort standard. Thunderbolt currently supports two channels of 10Gbps transfers in both directions and is expected to eventually reach speeds of 100Gbps.

The first Thunderbolt external RAID storage options arrived on the Apple online store in June. LaCie was scheduled to release the more consumer-oriented Little Big Disk Thunderbolt drive in “Summer 2011,” but has yet to announce a more specific release date.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve gotten your mitts on a Thunderbolt display, let us know what you think of it in the comments.

Apple posts two security-related job openings, looks to be closing holes where present

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 6th, 2011, 04:53
Category: iPhone, News, security

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If you keep losing an incredibly valuable intellectual property, it might be time to give your security a once-over.

Per PCmag.com, Apple posted two job openings on Thursday for managers of “New Product Security.” While it might be a coincidence that the positions opened up when they did, the job descriptions certainly sound like a response to Apple’s troubles of late for losing test gadgets:

“The candidate will be responsible for overseeing the protection of, and managing risks to, Apple’s unreleased products and related intellectual property,” said the post.

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Recently, an iPhone was taken into a San Francisco tequila bar in July by an unidentified Apple employee who somehow lost control of the device. The circumstances were strangely similar to an incident in April 2010, when another Apple employee lost an iPhone 4 prototype in a Bay Area beer garden.

San Francisco Police confirmed last Friday that they assisted an Apple security team to search a home in the city’s Bernal Heights neighborhood where Apple had electronically tracked the phone. The device wasn’t found there.

While it was easy to draw parallels between those two events, there were other signs that Apple’s problems went beyond iPhones. Apple is also apparently working to retrieve a prototype laptop that is in the possession of Carl Frega, a North Carolina resident who said he acquired the unreleased device via a Craigslist ad. He bought the machine thinking it was only good for spare parts.

On the same day that Apple posted the job openings, an Apple store customer was given internal company media and documents by accident after taking his computer in for service in Stamford, Conn. The customer said he was given a hard drive in addition to a computer that was being repaired with the spare drive containing a backup of the store’s internal file server.

This is significant because this is Apple, a company that has forged quite a reputation over the years for effectively keeping its secrets and sticking close to its message.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Parallels 7 upgrade goes live, available via retail on September 6

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 2nd, 2011, 03:30
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

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Upgrading: It’s not always a bad thing.

Per AppleInsider, Windows virtualization favorite Parallels Deskktop has reached version 7, the new version adding faster performance and new support for Mac OS X Lion, including Windows integration of apps in Launchpad and windows in Mission Control and the ability to run an instance of Lion within Lion itself.

The new update allows users to share iSight or FaceTime HD cameras between Mac and Windows apps, and adds the ability to run Mac OS X Lion as a guest OS. This summer, Apple relaxed its licensing for Mac OS X to allow Lion users to run up to two instances of the client OS on any Mac.

Previously, Apple only allowed Mac OS X Server to run in virtualization, and required that each virtual instance use a different license.

Beginning with Lion and the availability of Mac OS X through the Mac App Store, Server is now an application package that is hosted on Mac OS X Lion, and neither purchase uses serial numbers.

The Mac OS X Lion end user license agreement now states users may “install, use and run up to two (2) additional copies or instances of the Apple Software within virtual operating system environments on each Mac Computer you own or control that is already running the Apple Software,” something virtualization tools can now take advantage of to offer the ability to host Lion as a guest OS.

Additional new features:
Among a list of 90 other enhancements, Parallels Desktop 7 can also take advantage of 1 GB of video RAM to accommodate high resolutions and color depth.

Parallels says graphics performance is up to 45 percent faster in 3D operations, and Windows start, stop and resume features are as much as 60 percent faster than previous versions. The company also claims that copy operations within Windows are now 120 percent as fast as its competitor’s product.

A new Parallels Mobile app for iOS allows iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users to interact and control their Mac or Windows desktop guest OS instances, remotely (over WiFi or mobile) start or stop apps, play back music and audio remotely, and copy and paste data between their mobile device and Windows programs.

The new version, which will sell for US$79.99 in its standard version, US$49.99 as an upgrade to existing Desktop 5 or 6 users, or US$39.99 in a student edition, will enter the retail channel September 6.

However, upgrades for existing users became available for immediate purchase and download this afternoon.

Parallels 7 requires a 64-bit Intel-based processor, Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, 2GB of RAM (4GB recommended to run Windows 7), at least 700 MB of space available on the boot volume for Parallels Desktop installation and 15 GB of available disk space for Windows.

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

Skype updated to version 5.3.60.1093, adds fixes

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 2nd, 2011, 03:16
Category: News, Software

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On Thursday, version 5.3.60.1093 of the Skype VoIP application was released. The new version, a 22.5 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Sometimes Skype crashed during video calls.

- Fixes a problem in Norwegian localization which could lead to client freeze.

Skype 5.3.60.1093 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run.

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

OWC releases firmware updater for SandForce-based solid state drives

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 1st, 2011, 09:48
Category: hard drive, News, Software

Accessory outfitter Other World Computing announced today the release of its Apple/Mac compatible firmware updater for SandForce-Driven Solid State Drives. The fully Mac bootable updater is freely available from OWC for use exclusively with select OWC Mercury Solid State Drive models manufactured since January 2010. This new Mac compatible firmware updater is in addition to firmware update support OWC previously made available for Macintosh computers via the use of Boot Camp, as well as for PCs running the Windows OS.

To run the updater, Mac users only need to download the updater from OWC’s site, obtain and burn a DVD, and then boot from that DVD to launch an easy to use, point and click GUI for installing the latest firmware revision to their OWC Mercury SSD.

If you’ve tried the updater and have any feedback to offer, please let us know via the comments and thank you.

Apple releases Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.8, adds support for new camera formats

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 1st, 2011, 04:33
Category: News, Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple posted its Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 3.8, an update designed to extend RAW image compatibility for the Aperture 3 and iPhoto ’09 applications.

The update, a 6.9 megabyte download, adds support for the following cameras:

- Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200

- Olympus PEN E-P3

- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G3

- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3

- Samsung NX11

- Samsung NX100

- Sony Alpha NEX-C3

- Sony Alpha SLT-A35

The update requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run and is also available via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the new Digital Camera RAW update and noticed any changes, please let us know how it went.

Apple loses iPhone 5 prototype, manages to locate it within days

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 1st, 2011, 03:31
Category: iPhone, News

Ok, this is odd.

Remember when an Apple employee lost an iPhone 4 prototype in a bar last year and the company was, well, mildly upset regarding the aftermath?

It’s happened again.

In a bizarre repeat of a high-profile incident last year, an Apple employee once again appears to have lost an unreleased iPhone in a bar.

Per CNET, the errant iPhone, which went missing in San Francisco’s Mission district in late July, sparked a scramble by Apple security to recover the device over the next few days, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

Last year, an iPhone 4 prototype was bought by a gadget blog that paid US$5,000 in cash. This year’s lost phone seems to have taken a more mundane path: it was taken from a Mexican restaurant and bar and may have been sold on Craigslist for US$200. Still unclear are details about the device, what version of the iOS operating system it was running, and what it looks like.

Apple declined to comment after being contacted this morning. A spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department said the company did not file a police report based on the loss at the bar. Craigslist did not respond to requests for comment.

A day or two after the phone was lost at San Francisco’s Cava 22, which describes itself as a “tequila lounge” that also serves lime-marinated shrimp ceviche, Apple representatives contacted San Francisco police, saying the device was priceless and the company was desperate to secure its safe return, the source said.

Apple electronically traced the phone to a two-floor, single-family home in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, according to the source. When San Francisco police and Apple’s investigators visited the house, they spoke with a man in his twenties who acknowledged being at Cava 22 on the night the device went missing. But he denied knowing anything about the phone. The man gave police permission to search the house, and they found nothing, the source said. Before leaving the house, the Apple employees offered the man money for the phone no questions asked, the source said, adding that the man continued to deny he had knowledge of the phone.

In an interview this afternoon, Jose Valle told CNET that neither the police nor Apple security ever contacted him. Valle, who owns the bar with his family, said however does he remember a man calling multiple times about a lost iPhone about a month ago. He told the man he would call him back if he ever found the phone.
“I guess I have to make my drinks a little less strong,” Valle said.

After last year’s embarrassing loss, Apple reportedly has taken extraordinary steps to protect its prototype devices from leaks. Next-generation iPhones are sent to carriers for testing “inside locked and sealed boxes so that the carriers can carry out checks on their network compatibility in their labs,” according to the Guardian.

Apple developers have been given new iPhones with an upgraded processor — the one that is used in the iPad 2 and is expected to appear in the next-generation iPhone. But the device “is virtually identical to the iPhone 4, and there is no way anyone can tell it’s not an iPhone 4 based on the phone’s exterior,” according to a report at 9to5Mac.com. Even last year’s prototype was enclosed in a case designed to make it look like an iPhone 3GS.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

SpamSieve updated to 2.8.7

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 1st, 2011, 03:35
Category: News, Software

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Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.8.7. The new version, an 8.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and improvements, as listed here.

SpamSieve is available for a US$30 registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The new version can either be downloaded directly from the web site or brought up to the current version via the program’s built-in update feature.

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