Dropbox updated to 2.4.4

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Date: Friday, October 25th, 2013, 10:23
Category: News, Software

This could come in handy for your Windows or Boot Camp partition…

On Friday, Dropbox released version 2.4.4 of its cloud-based storage client for Mac OS X. The new version, a 32.1 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), which adds the following fixes and changes:

- Fixed memory leak in Windows.

Dropbox 2.4.4 requires Mac OS X 10.4 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.

Apple TV 6.0.1 update goes live, now available for download

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Date: Thursday, October 24th, 2013, 23:48
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

There’ve been updates galore this week…and this is one of them.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Thursday released a new Apple TV software update, bringing the set-top streamer’s firmware up to version 6.0.1.

Apple’s latest Apple TV version 6.0.1, dubbed build 11B511d, comes one day after the company rolled out a dedicated channel for iMovie Theater, the new video sharing feature that debuted with iMovie for iOS and Mac on Tuesday.

As the update has yet to hit Apple’s Support Downloads webpage, it is unknown what changes were made to the software. A quick look reveals no major user interface or content additions, suggesting version 6.0.1 is a point update that deals with backend fixes and performance improvements.

In September, a major release added support for iTunes Radio and AirPlay over iCloud.

Apple TV version 6.0.1 is available now as an over-the-air download for second- and third-generation devices.

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

Apple, Adobe sandbox Flash Player development for OS X versions

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Date: Thursday, October 24th, 2013, 22:00
Category: News, security, Software

When in doubt, sandbox the sucker.

Per Mac|Life, Adobe announced on Wednesday that the latest version of the Safari web browser included with OS X Mavericks now features app sandboxing for Flash Player, following similar moves with browsers from Google, Microsoft and Mozilla.

Although Flash Player has been sandboxed for some time, for whatever reason Apple didn’t get on board with Safari until version 7.0, which is included with this week’s update to OS X Mavericks.

“For the technically minded, this means that there is a specific com.macromedia.Flash Player.plugin.sb file defining the security permissions for Flash Player when it runs within the sandboxed plugin process,” explains Adobe Platform Security Strategist Peleus Uhley.

“As you might expect, Flash Player’s capabilities to read and write files will be limited to only those locations it needs to function properly. The sandbox also limits Flash Player’s local connections to device resources and inter-process communication (IPC) channels. Finally, the sandbox limits Flash Player’s networking privileges to prevent unnecessary connection capabilities.”

The bottom line is that viewing Flash Player content will now be safer and more secure for Safari users on OS X Mavericks, thanks to the combined work of Adobe and Apple, who not so long ago were on opposite sides of the track when it came to Flash technology.

If it makes it more secure, then godspeed…

Apple unveils new Mac Pro units, announces December ship date

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 10:34
Category: Hardware, Mac Pro, News

el2013macpro

Apple’s new Mac Pro desktop has been revealed.

And it’s kinda pricey.

Per AppleInsider, Apple took the wraps off the last unannounced details on its upcoming Mac Pro desktop, namely price and release date at yesterday’s press event, with the professional-grade machine set to debut in December with a starting price of US$2,999.

The new Mac Pro is one-eighth the volume of the previous Mac Pro. It features Xeon E5 processors of up to 12 cores, as well as AMD FirePro graphics.

It also sports next-generation flash with a PCIe controller with up to 1.2GB/s reads, 1.0GB/s writes, and up to 1-terabyte capacity. Thunderbolt connectivity offers 20Gb/s throughput.

The new Mac Pro can drive up to three 4K displays with HDMI 1.4 support.

A new integrated motion controller also illuminates the input-output on the back when the device is moved.

A revamped version of Final Cut Pro X has also been developed by Apple, designed to take advantage of the horsepower of the new Mac Pro. As part of Tuesday’s presentation, quotes from audio and video professionals praising the device were shared after they had time to sample the hardware pre-release.

The base model of Apple’s next-generation desktop features a 3.7-gigzhertz Intel Xeon E5 processor, 12 gigabytes of RAM, dual FirePro D300 GPUs with 2 gigabytes of video RAM each, and a 256 gigabyte solid state drive.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple posts footage of October 22nd media event

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 10:43
Category: News

applelogo

A lot happened yesterday at Apple’s press event.

With that in mind, the full broadcast of the event has been posted on Apple’s web site for your convenience.

So, sit back, grab a cup of coffee, see what you like out of the event and enjoy.

Carbon Copy Cloner updated to 3.5.3

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Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 10:21
Category: News, Software

carboncopycloner

On Tuesday, Carbon Copy Cloner, the shareware favorite for drive cloning operations by Mike Bombich, reached version 3.5.3. The new version, an 11.4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- This update is fully qualified on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, OS X 10.7 Lion, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and now OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

- CCC now offers volume-specific advice about how to enable full disk encryption. Enabling encryption on an OS X backup volume, for example, involves several steps that must be executed in the correct order. If full disk encryption is not supported on a particular volume, CCC indicates exactly why not. We have also added answers to some frequently asked questions about full disk encryption to our documentation.

- Fixed an odd edge case in OS X in which you can mount a network volume using a short user name, such as “johnny”, but the remote host will place the long name in the filesystem URL that is returned, e.g. “Johnny Appleseed”. Previously, this difference would cause CCC to believe that the network volume was mounted with other credentials altogether, and CCC would refuse to use the network volume under the assumption that permissions issues would ensue. This update addresses that issue, CCC will now immediately evaluate the filesystem URL of the network volume that is returned in reponse to its mount request and update its own internal reference to the user account as appropriate.

- Fixed an issue in which CCC may refuse to allow the user to schedule a backup task to a disk image that resides on a FUSE volume.

- Fixed an issue in which a scheduled task could load in a hung state if the task configuration file was corrupted.

- Changed to accommodate some Drobo devices having a problem storing extended attributes larger than 1KB. Rather than reporting that the Drobo device is unable to accommodate the extended attribute, these devices report that the destination volume is full, even when there is adequate space available. This update catches this edge case and reports it in a more meaningful way.

- Changed to explicitly refuse to create a Recovery HD partition if it can positively identify the selected volume as a Drobo device. Drobo’s proprietary data moving techniques do not play well with dynamic partition changes, and Drobo specifically does not support the modification of partitioning outside of the Drobo Dashboard.

- Fixed an OS X 10.9 Mavericks-specific display anomaly in the list of items to be copied.

- Fixed an issue in which the OS rarely, but occasionally, does not send an “application finished launching” notification to the scheduled task helper tool, causing task initialization to fail.

- Fixed an issue in which the OS rarely, but occasionally, does not send a distributed notification that a task has finished, resulting in the task appearing to hang at the end despite the fact that it had actually finished.

- Fixed the option to “Silently skip if the source or destination is missing”, CCC will no longer proceed with that backup task if the missing volume reappears before the next scheduled run time. The task will instead run on its normal schedule.

- Fixed the “LOGIN” SMTP authentication mechanism for Apple’s iCloud SMTP service which recently started to return invalid challenge responses to SMTP clients, causing some CCC email notifications to fail (for users that use iCloud SMTP accounts with CCC). This version of CCC works around this problem by preferring the
“PLAIN” authentication mechanism instead.

- Fixed an issue related to Google’s recent changes to its Gmail SMTP service that introduced a problem with sending email notifications to multiple recipients. This update resolves that problem.

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.5.3 retails for a US$39.95 shareware registration fee. The application requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

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

Apple releases MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) Software Update 1.0

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 10:09
Category: MacBook Pro, News, Software

elretina2

This might come in handy.

On Tuesday, Apple releases its MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) Software Update 1.0 firmware update. The new firmware, a 4.97 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
- Addresses an issue with the Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese OS X Software License Agreement by installing a readable copy in your Documentation folder.

The new firmware requires a late-2013 13-inch Retina display MacBook Pro running OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

Apple introduces iPad Air, sets product launch for 40 countries on November 1st

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Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 00:42
Category: iPad, News

The fifth-generation iPad was announced today.

And under a new name to boot…

Per Electronista, Apple today announced the iPad Air, a fifth generation of its flagship 9.7-inch tablet. The name stems from its new design, which weighs just 1 pound, in part thanks to thinner side bezels. Inside it uses an A7 processor, paired with an M7 motion co-processor. It includes a 5 megapixel iSight camera, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, and dual microphones. Wireless technology incorporates Bluetooth 4.0, extended LTE coverage, and 802.11n Wi-Fi with MIMO antennas, potentially doubling Wi-Fi performance up to 300Mbps.


ipadair

The tablet will come in silver/white and space gray colors, and continue to offer up to 10 hours of battery life. A 16GB model will start at US$499. 32GB is US$599, 64GB is US$699, and 128GB is US$799.

The product is set to launch in about 40 countries on November 1st. Significantly, one of those countries will be China, which has never before been a launch region for the iPad.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple introduces Retina iPad mini, aims for November release date

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Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 00:31
Category: Hardware, iPad, iPad mini, News

Now THIS is the thing you’ve been hankering for.

Per Macworld, Apple announced a new iPad mini with Retina display at its press event on Tuesday, the company also lowering prices for the original iPad mini, giving its smaller tablet much-anticipated upgrades to its screen, processor, cameras, and more.

As hoped and expected—the new iPad mini with Retina display ups the screen resolution to Retina quality, going from 1024 by 768 pixels to 2048 by 1536 pixels at the same 7.9-inch (diagonal) screen size. This change raises the iPad mini’s pixel density from 163 pixels per inch to 326 pixels per inch—a density almost identical to that of the iPhone 5s.


ipadminiretina

The new mini gets some upgrades on the inside, as well. Whereas the original mini used the same dual-core A5 processor, at the same clock speed, as the two-and-a-half-year-old iPad 2, the new mini line bumps its horsepower significantly by using Apple’s 64-bit A7 processor, similar to the one in the iPhone 5s. During Tuesday’s media event, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said that the new processor makes the Retina iPad mini up to four times as fast as its predecessor for processor-intensive tasks, and up to eight times faster for graphics-intensive tasks. Like the new full-size iPad, the iPad mini with Retina display also features Apple’s M7 motion coprocessor, which can monitor the device’s various motion sensors (accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope) without having to wake the main processor.

The new mini also gains upgraded wireless capabilities thanks to dual Wi-Fi antennas and support for MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology. Apple says this change allows the new iPad mini to communicate at up to twice the bandwidth: 300 MBps (megabytes per second). The cellular-equipped versions of the new iPad mini also include expanded LTE capabilities, allowing them to work on more LTE networks around the world.

Apple has also upgraded the iPad mini’s cameras slightly. Though the resolution of those cameras hasn’t changed (5 megapixels for the rear camera, 1.2 megapixels for the front FaceTime HD camera), the company says the new iPad mini gains larger pixels and improved backside illumination sensors in order to take better low-light photos. In addition, the improved image-signal processing of the A7 processor should provide better overall camera performance.

Apple says the new iPad mini with Retina display offers the same 10-hour battery life as the original iPad mini. However, it appears that accomplishing this feat while adding the additional power drain of a Retina display required Apple to increase—ever so slightly—the size and weight of the new iPad mini. The new version is exactly the same height (200mm) and width (134.7mm) as the original, but it’s a tiny big thicker (7.5mm compared to 7.2mm) and a little bit heavier: 331 grams versus 308 grams for the Wi-Fi model, and 341 grams versus 312 grams for the Wi-Fi + Cellular version.

The iPad mini with Retina display will be available in silver/white or Space Gray/black “later in November,” according to Apple. The Wi-Fi versions will retail for US$399 for 16GB, US$499 for 32GB, US$599 for 64GB, and US$699 for 128GB—a first in that capacity for the iPad mini. Cellular versions add US$130 to each: US$529, US$629, US$729, and US$829, respectively.

By all accounts, the original iPad mini has been a big hit for Apple, even though other small tablets, such as the latest Nexus 7, have debuted with better specs or lower prices. The new iPad mini line should blunt some of that spec-sheet-based criticism.

Along with the new iPad mini units, the company is keeping the original iPad mini around—in a single configuration—as a lower-price option. Specifically, the 16GB Wi-Fi iPad mini is now priced at US$299, rather than its original price of US$329, with the Wi-Fi + Cellular version at US$429. The cellular version is available for the U.S. networks of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

Apple did make one minor change to the original iPad mini: It’s now available in Space Gray or Silver, rather than the original black or white. It is available now.

Both iPad mini versions (Retina and non-Retina) ship with iOS 7 installed, and—as with all devices running iOS 7—allow you to download Apple’s iLife and iWork suites for iOS free of charge.

Finally, Apple announced new cases for its new Retina iPad mini. The new iPad mini Smart Cover, made of polyurethane, will sell for US$39. A new leather iPad Smart Case will cost US$69.

As always, let us know what you make of this and if Apple delivered what you wanted or if improvements could be made.

Apple TV update hits, adds iMovie Theater feature

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Date: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013, 00:29
Category: Apple TV, News, Software

This could prove nifty.

Per AppleInsider, following Apple’s announcement that its new iMovie apps for OS X and iOS would support a new sharing feature called iMovie Theater, the company activated an Apple TV channel dedicated to the service.

In an over-the-air update to its set-top streaming device on Tuesday, Apple is now pushing from its servers a new iMovie Theater channel to support the new iMovie apps released alongside OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

Along with a graphical overhaul, iMovie for both Mac and iOS offer new features rooted in iCloud. With iMovie Theater, users can create clips, trailers or movies and share them across devices with friends and family.

The content served up by the service can be created in iOS or OS X and stored in one location for easy access.

iMovie for iOS can be purchased for US$4.99 via the App Store, while the Mac version retails for US$14.99. Both versions come pre-installed on new devices and those who purchased the software through the App Store are eligible for free upgrades.

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