Apple posts position for iPad camera expert

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 16th, 2010, 03:28
Category: iPad, News

If you’re hankering for your iPad to have a built-in camera, you may not have too long to wait. Per Cult of Mac, Apple is apparently searching for a performance quality assurance engineer to work on still and video capture in the iPad Media department.

The job, posted back on February 9th is for a “Performance QA Engineer, iPad Media,” to work within Apple’s Interactive Media Group. The software quality engineer must have a strong technical background in order to test still, video and audio capture and playback frameworks.

“Build on your QA experience and knowledge of digital camera technology (still and video) to develop and maintain testing frameworks for both capture and playback pipelines,” the job description reads. “You will work together with the development team to ensure quality. Your focus will mainly be on performance testing and developing performance measurement test tools.”

The full-time position is based in Cupertino, Calif., at Apple’s corporate headquarters. It requires candidates have a bachelor of science in computer science or equivalent experience, with three or more years experience in software quality assurance.

The job listing is yet another piece of evidence that Apple has plans for a camera in future iPads. A potential spot for a forward-facing camera was found in a replacement part for the iPad soon after the device was unveiled. But later, a teardown of the iPad post-release found that spot was actually used for the device’s ambient light sensor.

The iPhone OS 3.2 SDK has also been found to include mentions of video chat, suggesting that Apple explored the possibility of a forward-facing camera in its multi-touch device.

Introduced last week, the beta of iPhone OS 4.0 also features references to iChat, including framework strings referencing “front facing” and “back facing.” Evidence of iChat sounds has also been found in the pre-release software. While it will hit the iPhone this summer, iPhone OS 4.0 is scheduled to be available for the iPad this fall.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and please let us know what you make of this from your end.

Mid-2010 MacBook Pros selling well, 13″ model becoming harder to find

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 15th, 2010, 05:41
Category: MacBook Pro, News

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The new MacBook Pro notebooks are out.

And if you can find a 13″ one, you’re in luck.

Per AppleInsider, demand for Apple’s newly upgraded line of MacBook Pro notebooks was strong on the first day, with scattered reports of the low-end 13″ model selling out in some retail locations.

Analyst Maynard Um with UBS Investment research said checks with various Apple stores indicated that the Mac maker is sold out of the new 13″ MacBook Pro model, introduced Tuesday. The Core 2 Duo-equipped machine has the Nvidia GeForce 320M, a graphics processor created especially for Apple’s new low-end MacBook Pro machine.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations: one with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 250GB hard drive priced at US$1,199; and one with a 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 320GB hard drive priced at US$1,499. It has graphics 80 percent faster than its predecessor, and offers an Apple-estimated 10 hours of battery life.

Customers ordering the new 13″ MacBook Pro from Apple’s online store have also reported that shipping times have lagged to between one and three business days, instead of a standard 24 hours according to MacNN. The 24-hour cap still applies to Apple’s more powerful and expensive 15- and 17-inch systems.

Um said he has also found that some stores are out of stock of iPads, supporting the announcement made earlier Wednesday by Apple, that a hardware shortage would delay the device’s international launch until late May. The analyst said this news means it is likely his estimate of 1.2 million iPads sold in the June quarter will likely prove conservative, depending on manufacturing constraints.

Apple releases firmware updates for 27″ iMacs

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 15th, 2010, 04:12
Category: iMac, News, Software

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Apple’s in one of its update-o-rama sprees again and late Wednesday, the company released firmware updates for its popular 27″ iMac line.

The first update, the 27″ iMac SMC Firmware Update 1.0, a 397 kilobyte download, fixes Target Display Mode compatibility issues on 27″ iMac computers.

The second update, the 27″ EFI FW Update 1.0, a 2.0 megabyte download, addresses the newer Intel Core i5 and i7 iMacs and fixes the following issues:

- Resolves an issue that sometimes caused high processor utilization while playing audio through the headphone output mini-jack.

- Resolves an issue that prevented the display backlight from turning on after powering on the iMac.

Both updates can be located, downloaded and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and require Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the updates and noticed any differences, please let us know.

Intel: Light Peak could succeed, replace USB 3.0 ports in several years

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 14th, 2010, 11:14
Category: News

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Representatives from Intel went on record to state that the company’s upcoming Light Peak technology could eventually succeed and replace USB 3.0 in several years. Intel, which announced Light Peak last year, hopes it will be broadly used by devices ranging from PCs to consumer electronics and other gadgets, said Kevin Kahn, an Intel senior fellow, in a speech at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing. Per Macworld, Intel will make the technology available late this year and expects partners to start shipping devices with it next year, Kahn said.

“We view this as a logical future successor to USB 3.0,” Kahn said. “In some sense we’d… like to build the last cable you’ll ever need.”

A trend toward optical instead of electrical links raises the risk that separate optical cables could appear for many protocols, such as USB and serial ATA, said Justin Rattner, the head of Intel Labs, on the sidelines of IDF. Light Peak can run multiple protocols at the same time over one line, so all the data meant for the separate cables could run through one Light Peak cable instead.

Intel insists there is no conflict between Light Peak and USB 3.0 and views the technologies as complementary, as Light Peak enables USB and other protocols to run together on a single, longer cable and at higher speeds in the future, according to a slide in Kahn’s IDF presentation. “We expect both to exist together in the market and perhaps on the same platform at the same time,” the slide said.

A laptop with Light Peak built in was on show during Kahn’s speech. A long, thin Light Peak cable, which linked the laptop to a docking station and a monitor, was used simultaneously to transmit Blu-ray video, a feed from a high-definition camera and a duplication of the notebook’s display onto the other screen. Light Peak can currently transfer data at a speed of 10G bps (bits per second), or fast enough to send a full Blu-Ray movie in less than half a minute, according to Intel. But the technology could be scaled up to 10 times that speed in the next decade according to company representatives.

USB 3.0, the latest version of USB, is far slower than Light Peak with a signalling rate of 5G bps, though it remains much faster than the current version of USB. Still, USB 3.0 is not yet widespread in devices. That is partly because many PC manufacturers will wait on USB 3.0 until support is built directly into the chipsets they buy, which is only expected to happen in late 2011, according to a research note from In-Stat.

Intel, which is a major vendor of PC chipsets, did not immediately reply to a question about whether it will launch chipsets with built-in support for USB 3.0. A spokesman for rival chip maker Advanced Micro Devices said the company will have chipsets with built-in support for USB 3.0 but declined to say when.

When asked if Intel would build Light Peak support into its chipsets, Kahn said the company could do so if Light Peak spreads quickly, but declined to comment further.

Intel expects an industry group promoting Light Peak to launch next year, Kahn said. The company has said it will work with the industry to make Light Peak a standard and speed its adoption.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.3 v1.1 Supplemental Update to address stability problems

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 14th, 2010, 03:59
Category: News, Software

snowleopard

This was strange but it’s worth snagging.

On Tuesday, Apple released stability fixes for the client and server versions of its Mac OS X 10.6.3 operating systems via its Mac OS X 10.6.3 v1.1 Supplemental Update. The update, which can be found here, is intended for users who have updated to Mac OS X 10.6.3 directly from Mac OS X 10.6 using the recently issued Mac OS X Update Combined 10.6.3 for Snow Leopard. Users who updated from either Mac OS X 10.6.1 or 10.6.2 to 10.6.3 do not need to install this update.

Per Macworld, the update includes many of the same improvements in Mac OS X 10.6.3, such as updates to QuickTime X, OpenGL-based apps, coloring messages in Mail, and printing reliability. It also addresses issues with opening files with some special characters in Rosetta apps, color problems with HD content in iMovie, recurring events in iCal when connected to an Exchange server, and it improves performance of Logic Pro 9 and Main Stage 2 under 64-bit mode.

The Mac OS X 10.6.3 v1.1 update is available from Apple’s support download site as a 785MB combo updater; there’s also a 897MB combo update for Mac OS X Server 10.6.3 v1.1.

As always, if you’ve tried the update and noticed any significant changes (for better or for worse), feel free to hurl your two cents in.

Apple releases MacBook Pro Software Update 1.3 for mid-2010 models

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 14th, 2010, 03:41
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

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On Tuesday (literally the same day the company released its updated MacBook Pro notebooks), Apple released Software Update 1.3 for the mid-2010 MacBook Pro notebooks. The update, a 258.3 megabyte download, is recommended for all 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro mid 2010 models and contains improvements for graphics stability for high-performance video and gaming applications as well as various bug fixes.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.6.3 or later to install and run and is available for free.

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

Apple releases updated MacBook Pros featuring Core i5, i7 processors, boosted graphics cards

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 13th, 2010, 07:31
Category: MacBook Pro, News

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The rumors were true and Apple released its long-awaited MacBook Pro notebooks on Tuesday. Per Macworld UK, the new notebooks boast faster processors, NVIDIA graphics and longer battery life.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro now features the new NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor for up to 80% faster graphics and 10-hour built-in battery. The GeForce 320 features 48 processing cores and is billed as the fastest integrated graphics processor on the market.

New 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models meanwhile, feature Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and Apple’s new automatic graphics switching technology that toggles between powerful NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M and energy efficient Intel HD Graphics processors.

Apple claims the 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro laptops are up to 50% faster. Using Intel’s 32 nanometer process, Intel Core i5 and i7 processors integrate the memory controller and Level 3 cache for faster access to system memory.

Hyper-Threading technology improves data throughput by creating virtual processing cores, while Turbo Boost optimises performance between the two processor cores, accelerating the system from 2.66 GHz to 3.06 GHz for intensive dual core tasks, and up to 3.33 GHz for single core tasks.

Apple notes, all 15-inch and 17-inch models include two graphics processors, the new NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M for peak performance and Intel HD Graphics for better energy efficient operation.

Apple adds, the MacBook Pro glass Multi-Touch trackpad now supports inertial scrolling, an intuitive way to scroll through large photo libraries, lengthy documents and long web sites. All MacBook Pros feature LED-backlit wide-angle displays with a broad color gamut.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro includes a high resolution 1920 x 1200 display, while the 15-inch MacBook Pro is now available with an optional high resolution 1680 x 1050 display.

Customers can also upgrade their MacBook Pro with new 128GB, 256GB and 512GB solid state drives.

Apple has released the following MacBook Pro specs and pricing details:

The 2.4 GHz, 13-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of US$1,199, includes:
• 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1280 x 800 glossy display;
• 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB shared L2 cache;
• 1066 MHz front-side bus;
• 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
• NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
• 250GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
• a slot-load 8X SuperDrive® with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
• Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
• AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
• Gigabit Ethernet port;
• iSight® video camera;
• two USB 2.0 ports;
• one FireWire® 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);
• SD card slot;
• combined headphone/line in (analog/digital);
• glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
• built-in, 63.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
• 60 Watt MagSafe® Power Adapter.

The 2.66 GHz, 13-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of US$1,499, includes:
• 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1280 x 800 glossy display;
• 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 3MB shared L2 cache;
• 1066 MHz front-side bus;
• 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
• NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
• 320GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
• a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
• Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
• AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
• Gigabit Ethernet port;
• iSight video camera;
• two USB 2.0 ports;
• one FireWire 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);
• SD card slot;
• combined headphone/line in (analog/digital);
• glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
• built-in, 63.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
• 60 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

Build-to-order options for the 13-inch MacBook Pro include the ability to upgrade to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, a 320GB 5400 rpm or a 500GB 5400 rpm hard drive, a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drive, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

The 2.4 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of US$1,799, includes:
• 15.4-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1440 x 900 glossy display;
• 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache;
• 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
• integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics with 256MB of VRAM;
• 320GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
• a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
• Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
• AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
• Gigabit Ethernet port;
• iSight video camera;
• two USB 2.0 ports;
• one FireWire 800 port;
• SD card slot;
• audio line in (analog/digital);
• audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);
• glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
• built-in, 77.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
• 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

The 2.53 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of US$1,999, includes:
• 15.4-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1440 x 900 glossy display;
• 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache;
• 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
• integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics with 256MB of VRAM;
• 500GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
• a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
• Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
• AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
• Gigabit Ethernet port;
• iSight video camera;
• two USB 2.0 ports;
• one FireWire 800 port;
• SD card slot;
• audio line in (analog/digital);
• audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);
• glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
• built-in, 77.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
• 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

The 2.66 GHz, 15-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of US$2,199, includes:
• 15.4-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1440 x 900 glossy display;
• 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 with 4MB shared L3 cache;
• 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
• integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics with 512MB of VRAM;
• 500GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
• a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
• Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
• AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
• Gigabit Ethernet port;
• iSight video camera;
• two USB 2.0 ports;
• one FireWire 800 port;
• SD card slot;
• audio line in (analog/digital);
• audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);
• glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
• built-in, 77.5WHr lithium polymer battery; and
• 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

Build-to-order options for the 15-inch MacBook Pro include the ability to upgrade to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, a high resolution 15-inch 1680 x 1050 display in glossy and antiglare, a 500GB 5400 rpm or 500GB 7200 rpm hard drive, a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drive, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

The 2.53 GHz, 17-inch MacBook Pro, for a suggested retail price of US$2,299, includes:
• 17-inch widescreen LED-backlit 1920 x 1200, glossy display;
• 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 with 3MB shared L3 cache;
• 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable to 8GB;
• integrated Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics with 512MB of VRAM;
• 500GB serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm, with Sudden Motion Sensor;
• a slot-load 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
• Mini DisplayPort (VGA, DVI and HDMI adapters sold separately);
• AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
• Gigabit Ethernet port;
• iSight video camera;
• three USB 2.0 ports;
• one FireWire 800 port (FireWire 400 compatible);
• ExpressCard/34 expansion card slot;
• audio line in (analog/digital);
• audio line out/headphone (analog/digital);
• glass Multi-Touch trackpad and illuminated keyboard;
• built-in, 95WHr lithium polymer battery; and
• 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter.

Build-to-order options for the 17-inch MacBook Pro include a 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 memory, a 500GB 7200 rpm hard drive, a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drive, antiglare display, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, Apple MagSafe Airline Adapter and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

Full details can be found on the Apple Store web site.

If you have two cents to hurl in on the new machines, please let us know in the comments.

Apple approves Opera Mini Web Browser for iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 13th, 2010, 06:21
Category: iPhone, News, Software

operalogo

I’m calling this either a casual miracle or something that eventually had to happen.

Per Opera’s web blog, “Opera today announced its popular mobile browser, Opera Mini, has been approved for iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store. Opera Mini will be available in less than 24 hours, market by market, as a free download.”

It’s here, it’s pretty speedy and it opens up a lot of doors for developers. Download it here, take a gander and let us know what you think.

Jobs denies future upgrades for original iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 13th, 2010, 04:56
Category: iPhone, News

You’ve got to hand it to Steve Jobs: he’s getting to the point pretty quickly these days.

Per iLounge, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has replied to a customer’s e-amil with the statement that the original iPhone won’t be supported by future software updates.

In the exchange, Twitter user Ven000m asked Jobs in a tweet if Apple would be “supporting/updating” the original iPhone in the future, to which the regularly terse Jobs replied, “sorry, no.” Apple made no mention of the original iPhone or the first-generation iPod touch during its iPhone OS 4.0 special event last week, where it announced that the new multitasking features would be limited to the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch, with the iPhone 3G receiving a stripped down upgrade

Jobs would later offer comments during a Q & A session that suggested the company was ceasing support for its oldest iPhone OS devices.

On the plus side, the newer handsets are fairly awesome and will look great with the torches and pitchforks you’ll be holding as you stand outside 1 Infinite Loop…

Elgato releases EyeTV 3.3.3 update

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 13th, 2010, 04:32
Category: News

eyetv2

Late Monday, Elgato Systems released version 3.3.3 of its EyeTV software application, which finds and tracks all television programming you want to see and allows users to pause live television and save content to file.

The new version, a 112 megabyte update which can be found here via VersionTracker (and can also be found through EyeTV 3.0′s update feature), adds the following fixes and features:

- EyeTV 3.3.3 contains several additional components that are running in Intel 64-bit mode. In addition to the H.264 video decoder, MPEG-2 video is decoded in 64-bit mode for both playback and export.
- Improved quality of analog recordings with EyeTV Hybrid (North America 2010) on Macs with Intel Core Duo processors 2.26 GHz and faster.
- Improved stability for the EyeTV Netstream DTT, EyeTV Hybrid 2010 (North America), and EyeTV Sat.
- Improved CAM reliability and support for EyeTV Sat.
- EyeTV Sat no longer accepts remote commands from unsupported remote controls.
- Fixed a problem where analog channel names were not displayed when tuning with EyeTV Hybrid.
- Improved performance when loading large libraries.
- Fixed crashes related to memory usage.
- Fix a problem where an incorrect audio track was exported to program or elementary streams.
- Improved sort speed in Programs window.
- Fixed a problem where shows longer than 3 hours would not show a title or episode title in the EPG.
- Improved details view for EPG.
- Fixed a crash when clearing the EPG.
- Program Guide searches are no longer case sensitive.
- Improved resiliency during EPG server outages.
- EyeTV 3.3.3 fixes video playback problems with EyeTV 3.3.2 in certain countries.
- Fixed a crash when displaying Picture-in-Picture.
- Fixed a problem during analog input capture where certain VHS players would show “No Signal” after a few seconds of fast forward or reverse.
- Improved picture quality of DV exports.
- EyeConnect now recognizes when the local IP Address has changed, and resumes working.
- Fixed a problem where large channels list were deleted.

EyeTV 3.3.3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run. The program retails for US$79.95.