Nvidia releases Mac OS X 10.6.4-compatible driver for GTX-285 graphics card

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010, 04:04
Category: News, Software

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This is sort of interesting.

With the recent release of the Mac OS X 10.6.4 update, assorted users have complained of conflicts with some of Nvidia’s graphics cards. Responding to this, Nvidia has released a new suite of graphics drivers for the GTX-285 graphics card. The driver, a 20.87 megabyte download, is listed for OS X 10.6.4 only, and is specifically for the GTX-285 card that is available as a third-party purchase for Mac Pro systems.

Per CNET, the update specifically addresses OpenGL performance issues and improved compatibility with the latest OS X software updates. In addition, the update has support for applications that implement Nvidia’s CUDA technology, but you will need to download and install an additional driver for this functionality.

Keep in mind that this driver will replace the one provided by Apple, and while it should bring new and updated functionality to the GPU, there is a chance that you may experience some errors. If so, try booting into Safe Mode and using a maintenance application to clear the system’s boot caches, along with running other general maintenance routines.

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

Mozilla releases Firefox 3.6.4 update

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Date: Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010, 03:52
Category: News, Software

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Late last week, Mozilla.org released version 3.6.4 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, an 18.6 megabyte download, sports the following major changes:

- Version 3.6.4 makes four critical security fixes. Unlike the Windows version, it does not introduce the Out-of-Process Plug-in sandboxing feature. That is expected for Mac users in Firefox 4.

Firefox 3.6.4 is available in more than 70 different languages and requires a G3, G4, G5 or Intel-based Mac, Mac OS X 10.4 or later and 128MB of RAM to install and run. If you’ve snagged the new version and have any feedback to offer about it, let us know in the comments.

VLC 1.1.0 update released

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010, 03:36
Category: News, Software

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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 version 1.1.0. The new version, a 40.4 megabyte download, adds a massive list of fixes and changes detailed here.

VLC 1.1.0 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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

iPhone 4 shipments arrive at Walmart, first box photos taken

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Date: Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010, 06:34
Category: iPhone, News, Pictures

The first iPhone 4 units have begun arriving at retailers in anticipation of the unit’s June 24th launch. Per Engadget, a Walmart worker has taken the first picture of the unit’s new packaging:

Unlike each past iPhone, the iPhone 4�s box does not feature a life-sized, forward-facing representation of the phone enclosed. Instead, it shows off only the top portion of the phone, facing the right, with its power and volume buttons, ring/silent switch, headphone port, auxiliary microphone, forward facing camera, and a portion of the display visible, all set against a black background. The sides and the top of the box, meanwhile, appear to be similar to past releases. A picture of the new 8GB iPhone 3GS packaging has also appeared online; it is identical to the past packaging apart from depicting a default iOS 4 installation instead of iPhone OS 3.

Apple confirms June 23rd delivery date for some iPhone 4 orders

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Date: Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010, 05:42
Category: iPhone, News

Representatives from Apple confirmed on Tuesday that some iPhone 4 pre-order customers will receive their new combination iPod and smartphone on June 23, a day ahead of the official launch.

Per The Mac Observer, the confirmation e-mail Apple sent to some pre-order customers stated “This email is to confirm that your delivery will occur on June 23rd. Although Apple and FedEx tracking information may currently indicate a later date, you can check the FedEx website the morning of the June 23rd to track your package to your doorstep.”

The official launch date for the iPhone 4 is Thursday, June 24th. Apple will be opening its stores at 7 AM for customers that reserved iPhones after the pre-order program kicked off.

The iPhone 4 offers several improvements over the iPhone 3GS such as a thinner body, a higher resolution multi-touch display, a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, support for capturing 720p video, a front-facing video call camera, a built-in gyroscope, and more. It is priced at US$199 for the 16GB model and US$299 for the 32GB model.

If you’ve gotten this e-mail on your end, let us know.

Apple releases iOS 4 update for iPhone 3G, 3GS and third-generation iPod touch units

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Date: Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010, 05:33
Category: iPhone, iPod Touch, News

After months of waiting, Apple finally released its iOS 4 operating system for the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS, the third-generation iPod touch and the iPhone 4. The new version of the operating system, which weighs in at a hefty 579 megabyte download, is available through iTunes boasts the following changes and fixes:

Multitasking: Now you can run your favorite third-party apps —- and switch between them instantly —- without slowing down the performance of the foreground app or draining the battery unnecessarily.

Folders: Organize apps into folders with drag-and-drop simplicity. Get faster access to your favorites and browse and manage up to 2160 apps.

Even better Mail: See messages from all your accounts in a unified inbox, organize messages by threads, open attachments in third-party apps, and more.

iBooks: More than a great ebook reader, iBooks is also an amazing place to browse and shop for books, day or night.

Create playlists: Create custom playlists right on your iPhone.

5x digital zoom: Get closer to your subjects by zooming in up to 5x.

Tap to focus video: While shooting video, tap the display to choose where to focus.

Faces and Places in Photos: View photos based on who’s in them and where they were taken.

Home screen wallpaper: Change the background wallpaper on your Home screen.

Gift apps: Send apps as gifts to your friends or family.

Spell checking: A built-in spell checker works in Mail, Notes, and other apps.

Wireless keyboard support: Pair a keyboard based on Bluetooth wireless technology with your iPhone.

Like similar iPhone OS (now iOS) updates, simply connect your iPhone or iPod touch to your Mac or PC, select the device and tell it to check for an update. This will find the new version of the iOS and should begin the several-minute update process.

If you’ve tried the new iOS and have any feedback, positive or negative, to offer, please let us know what you think.

Review: Find My iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 21st, 2010, 11:28
Category: iPhone, Review, Software

By Steve Abrahamson

Friday, Apple released the Find My iPhone app (in truth it’ll find your iPad too). In this reviewer’s opinion, this is an app that should have been here a year ago, but I’m just glad it’s finally here.

Having this as an app is a terrific idea. A case study: early last year, before you could even get to Find My iPhone in Mobile Safari, my wife misplaced her phone, and we had to go home to find where she lost it. If we’d had this, I could have found it while we were still out – and it turns out, near where she’d left her iPhone. For families with more than one iDevice, this app makes a great functionality more accessible.



With tools this powerful, however, comes increased risk. Improper access to this functionality in the wrong hands could easily offer the potential for serious stalking, and Apple stands in the way by insisting on login credentials for the device you’re looking for, each time you launch the app.

Unfortunately, it “offers” you the same Login ID you last used to successfully log in – and there does not appear to be any way to clear it, even between sessions. I tried deleting the ID, but the app remembered the last successful login and “offered” it when I re-launched the app; so it doesn’t remember null values. I tried replacing the ID with a random word, but that wouldn’t stick either. Power cycling the iPhone didn’t even clear it.

Not only does the app offer whoever is launching it a user ID, it ignores non-valid ones: anyone launching the app can therefore be assured that any ID they find there is a real, valid ID.

I understand the desire to offer a helping hand to the end user, but this “offering” an email address – one of only two pieces of security info – blindly to whoever is holding the device is exactly the sort of thing AT&T got into mighty hot water for just two weeks ago, exposing millions of email addresses with iPads. This isn’t Facebook. This is an app that will silently give you the accurate location of a person (well, their iPhone, but that’s probably the same thing), or even let you lock them out or destroy their data.

For an app this powerful, with these kinds of security implications, “convenient” should lose to “secure.”

All Apple needs to do to fix this is rev the app to let it forget the login credentials between sessions. This otherwise wonderful little app would be so much the better for it.

Steve Abrahamson is a technologist and Certified FileMaker developer in Chicago. He has a small development firm, Ascending Technologies (http://www.asctech.com), and is really just a technofetishist writing software as a cover to buy more toys.

Customers receive shipment dates, expected arrival times for iPhone 4 handsets

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Date: Monday, June 21st, 2010, 04:00
Category: iPhone, News

Just a couple more days and you’ll have your mitts on it.

Per iLounge, Apple has started shipping iPhone 4 units to customers who pre-ordered the handset last week.

According to shipment details seen by one customer, the phones appear to be shipping directly out of Shenzhen, China. Based on reports from readers, some shipping estimates list June 23rd instead of June 24th; however, Apple has in the past halted shipments that would have arrived earlier in order to coincide with its pre-announced launch date.

Apple will officially launch the iPhone 4 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Japan on June 24th.

If you’ve heard about the arrival date on yours, please let us know.

Apple quietly installs specific anti-malware code into Mac OS X 10.6.4 update

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 21st, 2010, 04:18
Category: News, Software

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There’s something to be said for an operating system succeeding and gaining market share: people will make more of an effort to write viruses and malware for it.

Per CNET, Apple’s recent Mac OS X 10.6.4 update includes software to protect Macs from a Trojan horse that has been distributed by attackers disguised as iPhoto, but which opens a back door on the machine, security firm Sophos said on Friday.

When Apple released OS X 10.6.4 on Tuesday, the company said it addressed certain compatibility issues with VPN connections and other things, but failed to mention anything about adding an anti-malware update.
Buried in the code is an update to the XProtect.plist file, which contains signatures of malware written to target the Mac. The signatures now detect malware dubbed “HellRTS,” Graham Clulely of Sophos wrote in a blog post.

HellRTS, which Sophos detects as “OSX/Pinheard-B,” is a Trojan that has been around several months. It lets attackers use infected computers to send spam, take screenshots, access files, and pretty much take control of the computer, Sophos said.

“Unfortunately, many Mac users seem oblivious to security threats which can run on their computers. And that isn’t helped when Apple issues an anti-malware security update like this by stealth, rather than informing the public what it has done,” Clulely writes. “You have to wonder whether their keeping quiet about an anti-malware security update like this was for marketing reasons. “Shh! Don’t tell folks that we have to protect against malware on Mac OS X!”

Representatives from Apple have yet to return any requests for comment on the issue.

E3 2010: Gameloft demos assorted iPhone/iPad titles en route to market

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 17th, 2010, 16:19
Category: iPad, iPhone, News

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Over at E3, mobile publisher Gameloft introduced a slew of iPhone and iPad titles over the course of the week.

Per Macworld, Gameloft will release the following titles to the iPhone and iPad:

Hero of Sparta 2:
In the coming months, Gameloft will release Hero of Sparta 2, the sequel to the adventure title in which the player must follow avenge his homeland after finding everything he knows has been destroyed. Although no firm release date has been set, the title has been confirmed for both the iPhone and iPad.

Splinter Cell: Conviction for iPad:
The first Splinter Cell game for the iPad, Splinter Cell: Conviction places you in the middle of a plot where stealth means everything. A final release date has yet to be confirmed, though the game seems to be a better fit on the larger iPad than the iPhone.

Ultimate Spiderman: Total Mayhem:
Set in the comic book style of the hero’s roots, Ultimate Spiderman: Total Mayhem has you control Spiderman as he battles criminals and super villains while web swinging throughout the world of New York.

Expect to see this title within the App Store before too long and this proved promising.

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
In addition to providing applications in the stealth and brawler genres, Gameloft is producing some new titles in the platformer genre as well. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within was originally released on consoles in 2004 but is getting its own iPad version in July of this year.

Like the console version, expect to wall jump, backflip, dispose of several demonic guards, and then maybe slide down a banner for good measure. The current build looks on par with the 2004 release, which was still impressive and the title itself played pretty smoothly.

Let’s Golf 2:
Let’s Golf 2 will hit the iPhone this July and features eight characters with their own powers as well as over 108 holes of golf. Users will be able to travel to six exotic locations including Aztec ruins, African jungles, and Greenland.

Other new features Gameloft will add to Let’s Golf 2 include new leaderboards and ways to challenge your friends, a new career mode, and new achievements to unlock.