Some users complaining about Wi-Fi signal strength on third-generation iPad units

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Date: Wednesday, March 21st, 2012, 07:54
Category: iPad, News

A firmware update or two may be in order for the iPad 3.

Per the Apple Support Communities forum, a number of users have reported that wireless reception with their new iPad is notably inferior than with Apple’s previous iPad models.

In a growing thread, dozens of users have posted about their troubles with Wi-Fi connectivity on the new iPad. Reports claim that areas that previously achieved strong Wi-Fi signals are now weak, or have no reception at all.

Some users have also compared the reception of their new iPad to their iPhone or MacBook Pro. While the other Apple devices might receive a strong signal in a particular location, they say the new iPad has weak or no connectivity.

“MacBook Pro as well as iPhone 4S show ‘Full Fan’ — new iPad (16GB WIFI) shows ‘one dot’ or just flat drops the wifi connection (and is often unable to search and find it),” user ‘aka_srp’ wrote in a post over the weekend.

Another user, ‘gdtobm,’ said they bought a new iPad from Best Buy on last Friday’s launch and experienced Wi-Fi connectivity issues. The iPad was returned later that day, and the new model they received did not have any problems.

Still another person who posted to Apple’s forums, ‘Andrew Mclaughlin2,’ compared the performance of the new iPad to a first-generation iPad and an iPhone 4S. The tests conducted at reportedly found that the third-generation iPad has half the throughput of the other devices.

Some of those posting in Apple’s forums have attempted to resolve their issues with AppleCare representatives, while others have talked to personnel at the company’s retail stores. One user, ‘HealthClif,’ said they switched back to a previous-generation iPad 2 after experiencing Wi-Fi connectivity issues with multiple replacements of the new iPad.

Complaints of Wi-Fi-related issues also cropped up with the launch of the first iPad in 2010. Two years ago, some users said they experienced weak Wi-Fi reception, dropped signals, and difficulty connecting to a network.

Apple eventually resolved those issues with an iPad software update. The company acknowledged that a “very small number of iPad users” had experienced issues with Wi-Fi connectivity on the first-generation iPad.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Additional third-generation iPad thermal testing continues with some reports indicating temperatures as high as 97 degrees Fahrenheit

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Date: Wednesday, March 21st, 2012, 07:48
Category: Hardware, iPad, News

There’s a plus side to the iPad 3: you’ll always be able to reheat your favorite foods with it.

Per AppleInsider, a new analysis has found the A5X chip in the new device runs as much as 16 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the A5 chip in the iPad 2.

According to a series of tests conducted by Repair Labs, the A5X chip registered temperatures up to 36 degrees celsius (96.8 degrees Fahrenheit), compared to A5 readings of 27 degrees C (80.6 degrees F). The experiment involved opening up the tablets in order to directly measure the temperatures of the chips.

Technicians measured multiple components inside the new iPad in order to verify that the A5X was the part putting out the most heat. The report speculated that a difference in materials between the A5 and the A5X may be a contributing factor, as the A5 is believed to be ceramic, while the A5X is “obviously metallic.”

An external test involved having the two iPads to play movies on Netflix. The third-generation iPad started at 27 degrees C (80.6 degrees F) and warmed up to 32-33 degrees C (89.6-91.4 degrees F), while the iPad 2 started at 24 degrees C (75.2 degrees F) and only climbed to 25-26 degrees C (77-78.8 degrees F).

Repair Labs said it was was unable to reproduce the 116 degree F temperatures that Consumer Reports noted earlier on Tuesday, though it did note that holding the new iPad 3 “could be noticeably warmer after only a few minutes use,” especially if held where the A5X is located.

Writing for Consumer Reports, Donna L. Tapellini said that the new iPad felt “very warm” when at its hottest, but not “especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period.” The story was quickly picked up by other outlets, some of which dubiously claimed that Apple’s new tablet could cause burns.

Consumer Reports is no stranger to controversy with Apple’s devices. The consumer advocacy group retracted its recommendation of the iPhone 4 in 2010 because it was able to reproduce a signal-loss problem in the device. With the release of the iPhone 4S last year, the group announced that Apple had resolved the issue.”

Separate tests conducted by Tested found a maximum temperature of 82 degrees F on the third-generation iPad when playing “Infinity Blade II,” the same app used by Consumer Reports in its tests.

Display expert Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate attributes the new iPad’s extra warmth to the fact that the device has approximately twice as many LEDs as its predecessor. “The LEDs give off 2.5 times as much heat as the iPad 2 and so will the battery and power electronics on the new iPad compared to the iPad 2,” he said.

An infrared test conducted earlier this week by a Dutch site found the new iPad to have reached 92.5 degrees F during a GLBenchmark test, almost 10 degrees hotter than the 83 degrees F measured on the iPad 2 during the same test.

For its part, Apple issued a statement on Tuesday that the new iPad operates “well within [its] thermal specifications” and urged customers with concerns to contact its support service.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Software Installer Update 1.0 for Mac OS X 10.6.8 operating system

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Date: Wednesday, March 21st, 2012, 06:11
Category: News, Software

Late Tuesday, Apple released its Software Installer Update patch. The upgrade, a 1.3 megabyte download, addresses an issue that may prevent certain Apple software from installing under the Mac OS X 10.6.8 operating system.

The update requires an Intel-based Mac and Mac OS X 10.6.8 to install and run.

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

CrossOver updated to 11.0.1

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Date: Tuesday, March 20th, 2012, 15:39
Category: News, Software

CrossOver, the popular emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 11.0.1. The new version, which is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:

– If you have registered CrossOver for ‘All users’ on your computer and CrossOver erroneously states that it is expired, even though you have registered it, please install this update to fix this issue.

– Fix to registration: registration would fail for users who selected ‘Register for all users of this computer’ … single-user registration would work as expected, but computer-wide registration, while appearing to work, would fail to register and CrossOver would expire after the demo period.

– Fix for Vocaloid 3.

– Fix for PerfectWorld Skills / Icons.

– Translation updates (including Russian translation of CrossOver).

– Improved CrossOver icons.

CrossOver 11.0.1 retails for US$69.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 and or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

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

FAA to take “fresh look” at permitted onboard electronics, may allow iPad use during all stages of flights

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, March 20th, 2012, 08:39
Category: iPad, News

Maybe the FAA will get sensible sometime soon.

Per the New York Times, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has indicated it is taking a “fresh look” at the use of portable electronics on airplanes, which could potentially lead do devices like Apple’s iPad being allowed for use during takeoff and landing.

The FAA plans to explore allowing the use of tablets, e-readers and other devices on planes according to The New York Times. The FAA is not, however, interested in allowing fliers to be able to use smartphones in flight.

“With the advent of new and evolving electronic technology, and because the airlines have not conducted the testing necessary to approve the use of new devices, the FAA is taking a fresh look at the use of personal electronic devices, other than cellphones, on aircraft,” said Laura J. Brown, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs at the FAA.

While the administration is looking into the possibility of relaxing rules for the use of Apple’s iPad, any changes are unlikely to come soon. That’s because FAA rules require that each model of a device be tested on a separate flight with no passengers on the plane for each carrier.

That would leave testing to be done with the first-generation iPad, iPad 2, and the new iPad, as well as every version of the Amazon Kindle. And each device would have to be tested on every different model of plane in a carrier’s fleet.

While passengers cannot currently use their iPad during takeoff and landing, Apple’s touchscreen tablet has been approved for use as an electronic flight bag by pilots. Use of the iPad can allow pilots to replace their cumbersome 40-pound paper manuals with Apple’s thin and light tablet.

Now, major companies like American Airlines have begun to use the iPad in the cockpit, thanks to the FAA’s exception to its rules on “class 1” electronic devices being used during takeoff and landing.

When the first iPad was released in 2010, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration decided that fliers who bring an iPad through security would be able to leave the device in their bag without removing it and placing it in a separate bin. Larger notebooks with more components must be removed so they can be adequately analyzed when passing through an airport security checkpoint.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Early thermal testing shows iPad 3 running 10 degrees hotter than previous generations

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Date: Tuesday, March 20th, 2012, 07:19
Category: Hardware, iPad, News

You may love your new iPad 3, but it’s been commented as a toasty beast.

Per Engadget, thermal imaging of a side-by-side comparison of the third-generation iPad and the iPad 2 found Apple’s latest tablet running 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) hotter than its predecessor.

Dutch site performed the GLBenchmark test on the two generations of iPads for five minutes to measure a heat difference. Using an infrared camera, the publication discovered that the hottest part of the new iPad was 33.6 degrees Celsius (92.5 Fahrenheit), while the iPad 2 measured 28.3 degrees Celsius (83 Fahrenheit).

Though the new iPad does appear to run warmer than the iPad 2, it should be noted that the temperatures are still well within Apple’s specified operating temperature of 32 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (0 to 35 Celsius).

The report went on to speculate that the new GPU is the likely cause for the added heat in the third-generation iPad. The new iPad features an A5X chip with quad-core graphics, presumably from the PowerVR SGX543MP4. A teardown of the tablet late last week revealed a new metal heat spreader affixed on top of the A5X.

Anecdotal evidence from iPad users on the Apple Support Communities forum shows that some users have found the new iPad to be warmer than the previous generation. One discussion had generated nearly 19,000 views and 219 replies as of Monday evening.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Onyx updated to 2.4.5

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Date: Tuesday, March 20th, 2012, 07:22
Category: News, Software


Onyx, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.4.5. The new version, a 16.5 megabyte download adds the following fixes and changes:

– Deleting the internet cache improved.

– Deleting the logs improved.

– Deleting the fonts cache improved.

– Deleting the applications cache improved.

– Set application to execute at launch of X11.

– Translations improved.

Onyx 2.4.5 requires Mac OS X 10.7 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.

Cocktail 5.1.4 (Lion Edition) released

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Date: Monday, March 19th, 2012, 08:52
Category: News, Software


On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 5.1.4 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:

– Fixed compatibility issues with Google Chrome 18 and Firefox 11.

– Added the ability to force eject CD/DVD (Disks – Misc).

– Major improvements on the clear potentially harmful files procedure.

– Added clearing of the new variants of the Flashback trojan.

– Fixed code signing issues.

– Other minor bug fixes and improvements.

– Updated Automator actions.

Cocktail 5.1.4 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later to install and run.

Apple to spend $45 billion over next three years on stock share, repurchase program, offer dividends

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Date: Monday, March 19th, 2012, 07:05
Category: Firewire, News


So what DO you do with those fat stacks of cash laying about?

Per AppleInsider, following up on today’s financial news, Apple will initiate a dividend and share repurchase program, spending US$45 billion over the next three years.

Apple’s new quarterly dividend will amount to US$2.65 per share. Assuming it is approved by the company’s board of directors, it will be initiated at some point in the company’s fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, which begins on July 1 of this year.

The dividend will be joined by a US$10 billion share repurchase program that will start with Apple’s fiscal 2013. The share repurchase program has already been authorized by the company’s board of directors.

Apple plans to repurchase shares over three years, with the primary objective to neutralize the impact of dilution from future employee equity grants and employe stock purchase programs.

“We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said. “You’ll see more of all of these in the future. Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program.”

More details on the new initiatives will be discussed during a conference call that Cook and Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer will participate in at 9 a.m. Eastern, 6 a.m. Pacific Monday morning. The company will not, however, provide any updates on its current quarter, and no topics other than cash will be discussed.

“Combining dividends, share repurchases, and cash used to net-share-settle vesting RSUs, we anticipate utilizing approximately US$45 billion of domestic cash in the first three years of our programs,” Oppenheimer said. “We are extremely confident in our future and see tremendous opportunities ahead.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

VLC updated to 2.0.1

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Date: Monday, March 19th, 2012, 07:18
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 2.0.1. The new version, a 25.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Support for MxPEG files and streams.

– New features in the Mac OS X interface for more customization.

– Numerous fixes in the Qt, the Mac OS and the skins interfaces.

– Fixes for HTTP Live Streaming, CDDB, UDP/RTP support.

– Security issues SA-1201 and SA-1202.

– Limited support for Bluray discs menus.

– Numerous fixes for MKV support.

– Fix for splitted RAR files playback.

– Numerous fixes for more than 120 bugs.

– Codec and 3rd party libraries security updates.

VLC 2.0.1 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.