Google releases Picasa 3.9.0.522 update, adds social networking features

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Date: Friday, December 9th, 2011, 12:52
Category: News, Software

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On Friday, software giant Google released Picasa 3.9.0.522, the latest version of its photo organization program for the Mac. Once installed, Picasa imports (without moving or copying) photos from the iPhoto library as well as other folders and external hard drives on your Mac. The program also includes assorted editing tools for straightening, text generation, red eye removal, collage creation and Photoshop-like effects and adjustments. The new version, a 33.1 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

– Added ability to upload to Google+: share with circles, post pictures to your stream, and upload images at original size.

– Social Tagging: name tag people in your Google+ circles and notify them via G+.

– New photo editing effects, including:
Infrared
Lomo-ish
Holga-ish
HDR-ish
Cinemascope
Orton-ish
Sixties
Invert Colors
Heat Map
Nightvision
Cross Process
Posterize
Duo-Tone
Boost
Soften
Vignette/Matte
Pixelate/Focal Pixelate
Focal Zoom
Pencil Sketch
Neon
Comic Book
Border
Rounded Edges
Drop Shadow
Museum Matte
Polaroid

– Side by side editing: compare two pictures side-by-side, or compare different edits on the same picture.

– Updated RAW support for pictures from newer cameras.

– Support for WebP files.

– On the Tools > Experimental menu, we’ve added support for migrating your database to another local drive.

– Improvements to Face Movie maker: number of photos included, chronological ordering.

– Sync now uploads unshared albums privately.

– Improved restoring of virtual albums when you uninstall and reinstall, or move to a new computer. Album data is written to the picasa.ini file now, along with all of your other edits.

– OAuth support: use 2-factor accounts without getting an application-specific password.

Picasa 3.9.0.522 requires 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.

Apple releases Aperture 3.2.2 update

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Date: Thursday, December 8th, 2011, 14:37
Category: News, Software

Late Thursday, Apple released version 3.2.2 of Aperture, its pro-grade image editing application. The new version, a 635 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
– Addresses compatibility with iCloud and iOS 5.

– Resolves an issue that could cause the “Loading” indicator to reappear in the Viewer when cropping a photo.

– Aperture now automatically relaunches into Full Screen mode if the application was in.

– Full Screen mode when last quit.

– Pinch-to-zoom gesture now automatically activates Zoom mode in the Viewer.

– Left and right swipe gestures can now be used to navigate between photos in the Viewer.

– Microsoft Outlook can now be chosen in Preferences as the application used by Aperture for emailing photos.

– Fixes a problem that could cause Aperture, running on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, to quit unexpectedly when using brushes to apply adjustments.

– Loupe now correctly displays magnification levels between 50-100%.

– Fixes an issue that could cause Aperture, running on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, to display the incorrect color profile on externally edited images.

– Import window now includes an option to delete photos from iPhone and iPad after they have been imported into Aperture.

– The Lift & Stamp tool now displays the correct cursor icons when being used in Split View and Viewer only modes.

Aperture retails for US$199 and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later to install and run. If you have Aperture 3.0 installed, the most recent version can be located, snagged and installed via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

If you’re tried the new version and have any feedback, let us know via the comments.

Delicious Library updated to 2.7.5

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Date: Thursday, December 8th, 2011, 05:51
Category: News, Software

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On Wednesday, software company Delicious Monster released version 2.7.5 of the shareware favorite, Delicious Library. Delicious Monster allows Macs with webcams to scan the bar codes of any book, movie, music CD or video game, then creates an archive based on background information from the Internet. Additional features help keep the library organized and reseller’s tools allow for items to be quickly posted for sale online.

The update, a 16.4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Easily see which shelves contain your items!

– Use the new “Shelves” column in list view.

– Control-click an item for the new “Show on Shelf” menu.

– Include the set of shelves containing each item when exporting.

– Recognize a larger variety of iTunes audiobook formats.

– Those with old iTunes libraries should, in iTunes, choose File > Library> Organize Library…, selecting to “Reorganize files”.

– Improved display of Nintendo 3DS game boxes.

– French translation improvements, thanks to Fabrice Deville.

– Export directly to Numbers.

– Excel exporter now uses CSV format instead of the ancient SYLK format, providing better support for long values and values in more languages.

– Cover drawing fixes on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion (fixed blurry covers, incorrectdrawing after changing dimensions, and more).

– Many fixes to the importer.

– Accept USB scanners that send EAN-5 along with the EAN-13 barcode.

– We’re aware that some customers have issues using their USB barcode scannerswith Delicious Library. We’d like to address this as soon as possible. Ifyou have a USB scanner (working or not), please email support@delicious-monster.comwith the make and model, and whether or not scans are recognized.

– Work around Amazon returning strange item dimensions (manifesting as coversbeing tiny)

– Better handling of large cover images.

– Strip ColorSync profiles from images when publishing for smaller file sizes.

– Fixed a cause of large memory usage when publishing.

– Add a work-around for an Apple bug in 10.7 that produces invalid HTML when publishing
Enable “Refresh Details from Internet” for items with an EAN or ISBN, butwithout an ASIN.

– Fixed a crash when selecting “Enable Bluetooth Scanning” and Bluetooth isdisabled (Apple’s bug).

Delicious Library 2.7.5 retails for US$40 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Cocktail 5.1.0 (Lion Edition) released

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Date: Wednesday, December 7th, 2011, 13:37
Category: News, Software

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On Wednesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 5.1.0 of Cocktail (Lion Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests. The new version, a 2.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

– Added “Disable local snapshots” setting (System – Time Machine).

– Added “Disable spelling correction” setting (Interface – General).

– Added “Disable Character Picker” setting (Interface – General).

– Added “Disable the New Window animation” setting (Interface – General).

– Added “Enable mouse over on stacks” setting (Interface – Dock).

– Added “Disable Reply animation” setting (Interface – Mail).

– Added “Disable Send animation” setting (Interface – Mail).

– Added “Disable leather skin in Address Book” setting (Interface – Misc).

– Added “Disable leather skin in iCal” setting (Interface – Misc).

– Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may freeze when trying to gather disk information.

– Addresses an issue in which the journaling state of the case-sensitive HFS+ disks could not be detected.

– Addresses an issue in which improper permissions were applied to the File Sharing logs during the rotation of these logs.

– Other minor improvements and bug fixes.

– Updated Help files.

Cocktail 5.1.0 retails for a US$19.00 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later to install and run.

U.S. Cellular to hold off on iPhone until 4G LTE functionality arrives

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Date: Wednesday, December 7th, 2011, 09:35
Category: iPhone, News

Sprint may have jumped at the chance to carry the iPhone, but other carriers may have a few requirements. Per Fierce Wireless, carrier U.S. Cellular is not interested in the iPhone, at least not until it has LTE.



Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Ted Carlson, CEO of U.S. Cellular’s parent company TDS, said, “The iPhone for us would need to be at the cutting edge of where we’re going, and then there might be an opportunity to consider it.”

Like other wireless carriers, regional carrier U.S. Cellular is updating its 3G network to 4G LTE. Because its network is small, the carrier will blanket 25 percent of its subscribers in 4G by the end of this year and another 25 percent by the end of 2012. It hopes to cover all its subscribers across 26 states within three years.

U.S. Cellular will sell its first 4G handset and tablet in early 2012 and may pick up the iPhone if it shipped with LTE.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Developers investigate H1Siri hack, recommend avoiding it for time being

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Date: Wednesday, December 7th, 2011, 06:10
Category: iOS, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

You’d love every device in your home — toaster included — to run Siri.

That might not be the best idea.

Per Macworld UK, Jailbreakers and hackers will want to stay away from the H1siri hack that promises to bring Siri voice command functionality to the iPhone 4 and the fourth-generation iPod Touch. Several users and other developers have discovered that the hack actually contains illegal code, could break your device in several ways, and sends your personal information through questionable servers.

The new H1siri hack by a group of Chinese called CD-Dev Team popped up on Cydia yesterday. Since then, users have reported that they have only gotten it work in short bursts due to unresponsive servers, and that in some cases it even breaks their iPhones.

iDownloadBlog originally reported on H1siri with extreme skepticism because it could only be loaded into Cydia as a custom repo package, a package type that notoriously contains cracks and illegal software. Grant Paul, a prominent developer of the JailbreakMe team, confirmed this and discovered that the code contains copyrighted binaries from the iPhone 4s.

Paul also noted that by using this unofficial version of Siri, you would be sending emails, texts, calendar information, and contacts through a proxy server. Siri normally has to access a server in order to do heavy-duty voice command processing, but it’s done through Apple certified and secured servers. These servers, on the other hand, could be unsecured and recording any information you accessed using voice commands.

If you were pondering using the H1siri hack of your devices, this might not be the best idea in the world. The hack no longer works as CD-Dev Team has confirmed that the server is down and could be for weeks. There are other more reputable Siri porting hacks on the way including the one being put together by Grant Paul and Ireland-based hacker Steve Troughton-Smith. Unlike CD-Dev Team, Paul and Smith’s solution will use a third party server to only modify data sent from a unapproved Siri device to Apple’s servers.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve found a Siri hack you love that brings the vaunted functionality to a wider base of devices, please let us know.

Apple releases iBooks 1.5 update, adds night reading theme, other features

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Date: Wednesday, December 7th, 2011, 06:56
Category: iOS, News, Software

Apple on Wednesday issued an update to its iBooks iOS app, adding a night-time reading theme, full-screen layout, new fonts and an improved annotation palette.

iBooks 1.5 for iPhone and iPad arrived in the App Store early Wednesday. The free 20.7MB download requires iOS 4.2 or later.

The update adds the following fixes and changes:
– Nighttime reading theme makes reading books in the dark easier on the eyes.

– Full-screen layout lets you focus on the words without distraction.

– iBooks now features an improved selection of fonts, including Athelas, Charter, Iowa, and Seravek.

– Beautiful new classic covers for public domain books.

– A redesigned annotation palette makes it easier to choose a color for your highlighted text.

iBooks 1.5 requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 4.2 or later to install and run.

If you’ve played with the new version and have any feedback, let us know.

Cox TV Connect streaming app goes live in App Store

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Date: Monday, December 5th, 2011, 11:13
Category: iPad, News, Software

You’re fond of your cable service and you’re fond of your iPad, so maybe it’s time for the two of them to finally tie the knot.

Per Electronista, Cox on Monday rolled out its Live TV streaming app in the form of its free Cox TV Connect for the iPad. As with those from most other cable providers, it lets those with the Apple tablet watch live TV as long as they’re on Wi-Fi paired up with a Cox Internet connection and the right level of TV service. The app has a full programming guide and lets viewers watch through an inset while they check the full guide, or else launches a pop-over to show other currently running shows while minimizing the effect on the full-screen view.

The access isn’t a full range of channels but includes 35 more frequently watched channels, such as AMC, Bravo, History, and Spike.

Anyone who uses the app can get away with watching through at least a Cox TV Essential bundle, but they also need a Preferred, Premier, or Ultimate Internet connection. The app itself requires any iPad that can run at least iOS 4.3. No mention has been made of Android or iPhone ports.

As with most such services, the in-home requirement is likely to appease TV producers that see tablet TV as a second use, even if it’s the same feed. Viacom has tried suing providers like Cablevision, even for service within the home.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve tried the app on your end, please let us know how it went in the comments.

Google Earth 6.1.0.5001 released

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Date: Monday, December 5th, 2011, 07:40
Category: News, Software

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On Monday, software giant Google released version 6.1.0.5001 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 30.6 megabyte download, adds a slew of fixes and changes that can be found here.

Google Earth 6.1.0.5001 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, let us know in the comments.

Rumor: Mac OS X 10.7.3 beta references hint at upgraded Mac Pro units, improved video cards

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Date: Monday, December 5th, 2011, 07:20
Category: Hardware, Rumor, Software

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It’s the beta references that provide the best hints.

Per netkas.org, Apple’s Mac Pro may be getting a long awaited refresh according to hints tucked away in the most current Mac OS X 10.7.3 beta. The beta version of the OS update includes references to an ATI video card code named “Tahiti” tucked away in the ATIRadeonX3000 driver file, which would give a new Mac Pro model even more powerful graphics processing than current models.

The article stated that “Tahiti” is a code name for ATI’s next generation AMD-based video cards, and may be the upcoming high-performance 7900-series.

The Mac Pro was last updated in July 2010, making the current configuration well over a year old.

The long interval between updates has to reports claiming Apple is questioning whether or not to continue selling its pro-level tower computer, especially since processors like the Core i7 are available, and Thunderbolt ports offer a potential alternative to the Mac Pro’s built-in expansion slots.

Referencing new AMD video cards doesn’t, however, necessarily mean new Mac Pros are on the way. Apple could simply be adding support for the upcoming cards as a build-to-order option, or developers might be misinterpreting what the references in the driver files mean.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.