O'Grady's PowerPage » Software

VMWare releases Fusion 3.1.2 update

Posted by:
Date: Friday, December 3rd, 2010, 06:39
Category: News, Software


Late Friday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 3.1.2 of its Fusion software for the Mac.

Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.

The new version, a 436 megabyte download, can be found here, offers the following new features and fixes:

– The error Could not publish or run one or more applications. occurs when resuming a virtual machine that has DivX Player installed in the guest.

– Slingbox Slingplayer does not display video in the guest when 3D acceleration is enabled. In addition, very high CPU usage occurs if the guest is set to 1 core.

– Microsoft Office applications do not display as the frontmost window when they are launched in Unity view.

– Sound volume in the guest operating system is reduced after upgrading to Fusion 3.1. The volume observed through the host is not consistent with the guest volume setting.

– In a Windows XP guest, if you connect a handheld device to the host, the handshake application might time out or stop responding due to unhandled USB disable requests.

– While the virtual machine is running, if you switch from full screen mode to single window mode, the virtual machine window disappears and the light underneath the Fusion icon disappears as well. Fusion stops responding if you restart after this issue occurs.

– The guest operating system might fail with a blue screen and the error Multiple IRP Complete Requests if you access a file or folder two or more folders deep into a VMware Shared Folder and are running applications, such as Microsoft Office Powerpoint or Project, that use the byte range locks file system feature.

– Samsung Galaxy S phone with Android 2.1 does not work with Fusion. The phone does not appear in the virtual machine.

– Guest software might use CPUID information to determine characteristics of underlying (virtual or physical) CPU hardware. In some instances, CPUID information returned by virtual hardware will differ from the responses physical hardware might report. Based on these differences, certain pieces of guest software might not behave as expected. In this release, this fix causes certain CPUID responses to more closely match the responses that physical hardware might return.

– If you run Outlook 2007 in Unity mode, the Outlook dock icon might flash, or briefly quit and restart. When this happens the Outlook window also disappears and then reappears.
Mac OS X Server guests might intermittently fail to boot, displaying a stop symbol on a gray screen shortly after powering on.

Additionally, this release resolves the following security-related issues:
– The way temporary files are handled by the mounting process could result in a race condition. This issue could allow a local user on the host to elevate their privileges. Windows-based host systems are not affected.

– vmware-mount, which is a SUID binary, has a flaw in the way libraries are loaded. This issue could allow local users on the host to execute arbitrary shared object files with root privileges. Windows-based host systems are not affected.

– A vulnerability in the input validation of VMware Tools update allows for injection of commands.

– This issue could allow a user on the host to execute commands on the guest operating system with root privileges. The issue can only be exploited if VMware Tools is not fully up-to-date. Windows-based virtual machines are not affected.

Fusion 3.1.2 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.

BBC planning subscription-only iPlayer app for iPad in 2011

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 2nd, 2010, 10:05
Category: iPad, News, Software


You love the BBC.

And the BBC loves your iPad.

Per paidContent:UKthe BBC has announced that it plans to begin the international launch of its lauded iPlayer catch-up service by first rolling out a paid subscription service for iPad users.

While iPlayer itself is free, it’s included as part of the annual license fee that U.K. residents pay to support the ad-free, non-profit BBC (the fee currently works out to around US$20 per month). Because of that, the service is not currently available to users outside the U.K.

BBC.com’s managing director Luke Bradley-Jones says that iPlayer’s global rollout will only be available via a paid subscription at launch, though the organization is talking with advertisers about supporting free areas of the service, as well as examining additional models such as pay-per-view and download-to-own. Prices for the service have not yet been revealed.

The iPlayer application is currently available in the U.K. only via Web browser; while an iPlayer iOS app has been developed, it has yet to be released. Still, the service proven popular, registering 139 million requests in the month of October, compared to Hulu’s 260 million.

The app, in turn, could bring UK-only shows (including the mighty “Dr. Who”) to international viewers, the BBC taking a chance in the pay-for-streaming-video marketplace.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you have any thoughts on this, please let us know.

Elgato releases EyeTV 3.5 update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 2nd, 2010, 05:24
Category: News, Software


Late Monday, Elgato Systems released version 3.5 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 104 megabyte update which can be found here via MacUpdate (and can also be found through EyeTV 3.0’s update feature), adds the following fixes and features:

– Enhanced performance & stability with EyeTV Netstream Sat.

– Recordings from IceTV are now correctly labeled as Movie or Series when exported.

– Fixes a problem where thumbnails were not always created for recordings.

– Fixes a problem where recordings without thumbnails had no artwork when exported.

– Fixes incorrect positioning of subtitles when changing between SD and HD channels.

– Fixes invalid characters being displayed in chapter names on the new Apple TV.

– Resolved an issue where EyeTV HD recordings in iPad format would display artifacts when played back on devices running iOS 4.

EyeTV 3.5 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run. The program retails for US$79.95.

Nokia Siemens: iOS 4.2 update feature helps reduce wireless network congestion

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, December 1st, 2010, 06:08
Category: iPhone, News

Electronics outfit Nokia Siemens Networks revealed Tuesday that the company had conducted tests confirming that the iOS 4.2 update for iPhone supports its Network Controlled Fast Dormancy technology, which minimizes network congestion and improves battery life.

Network Controlled Fast Dormancy (NCFD), which was developed by Nokia Siemens Networks, reduces network congestion by keeping smartphones in an “intermediate state” instead of alternating between idle and always active on the network.

From this intermediate state, smartphones can “wake up” more quickly while conserving battery life when not in use. NCFD also reduces the number of signals needed to start a data connection between a smartphone and a network.

The post did not explain what kinds of tests Nokia Siemens Networks ran to confirm the iPhone’s support of the technology, but did state that the iPhone will take advantage of NCFD on networks that support it. Nokia implemented NCFD into its own smartphones earlier this year, the post noted.

Per an unnamed Middle Eastern operator, smartphones on a Nokia Siemens Networks network had 11 hours of battery life compared to 6 hours on a competing network. Testing in North America found that Nokia Siemens Networks’ “smart networks” generate “up to 50% less smartphone signaling.”

It is unclear to what extent NCFD has been implemented on the AT&T network, but the new technology could serve to lighten the load for the sole carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., which has been criticized for poor coverage in major cities such as New York and San Francisco.

If any of you have seen improvements on this end with your iPhone since the iOS 4.2.1 update last week, please let us know.

Google Earth released

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 30th, 2010, 04:42
Category: News, Software


Late Wednesday, software giant Google released version of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 53.3 megabyte download, adds the following new features:

New features in Google Earth 6:

– Integrated Street View: In Google Earth 6, the Street View experience is now fully integrated. You can enter Street View either by dropping pegman in navigation controls or by zooming in all the way to ground level on places that have Street View.

– 3D Trees:Google Earth now has trees. You can enable trees by turning on the check-box next to the Trees layer under the 3D buildings layer folder. You can see trees in several places, and we will add trees to more places over time.

– Easy to use historical imagery:When you fly to an area where historical imagery is available, the date of the oldest imagery will appear in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. If you click on this date, you’ll instantly be taken back in time to view imagery from that time period.

– Ground-level navigation: In Google Earth 6, in addition to flying around features, you can now walk on the ground to explore either 3D buildings and trees or Street View imagery.
3D Measurements in Google Earth Pro:In addition to measuring distances and areas on the ground, you can now measure heights and widths of 3D building and distances from buildings to the ground.

Other changes in Google Earth 6:
– Tour Recorder Improvements:With Google Earth 6, the tour recording feature has been improved in several ways. The tour recorder now incorporates the activation of Sunlight, Street View, and Historical Imagery modes into the recorded tour. Additionally, the quality of the recording has been significantly improved, including better motion fidelity and better synchronization with sound recording.

– Earth on PowerPC Mac:We are discontinuing support for Google Earth builds that work on PowerPC Macs. Users of PowerPC macs can still use the Google Earth 5.2 version.

– Earth on OS X 10.4:We are discontinuing support for Google Earth builds that work on 10.4 version of Mac OS X. Users of this version of Mac OS X can still use Google Earth 5.2 version.
Earth on Windows 2000:We are discontinuing support for Google Earth builds that work on Windows 2000. Users of Windows 2000 can still use the Google Earth 5.2 version.

– Linux Builds:Google Earth Linux binaries are now based on the Linux Standard Base. This improves the compatibility of Google Earth on different Linux distributions, but requires users to have Linux Standard Base installed on their system. If your Linux system does not have LSB, please install it using apt, yum, smart or up2date. As a side effect of moving to LSB, joysticks are currently unsupported.

Issues Fixed:
– Addressed issues related to slow internal browser and balloon performance

– Addressed issues related to broken images in balloons seen in Earth 5.2.

– Linux now handles KML in locales where the radix separator isn’t “.”.

– Linux fixes for Flash-induced crashes. Google Earth Plug-in and API Changes

– Updated API version 1.007

– New class KmlViewerOptions, to set global render state (Historical Imagery, StreetView, and Sun)

– Added ability to enable/disable street view in GENavigationControl

– Added ability to enable/disable automatic transition to ground level view in GEOptions

– Added ability to enable/disable 3d tree rendering through new layer LAYER_TREES

– Added altitudeOffset functionality to KmlLinearRing and KmlLineRing. This allows ability to set altitude for all vertices through a single function call.

– Added ability to enable/disable building selection through mouse input in GEOptions

– Added ability to enable/disable building highlight through mouse input in GEOptions

– Added copyAsLookAt() and copyAsCamera() conversion to KmlAbstractView

– Improved performance on Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

The new version requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Random FaceTime calls reported, iOS 4.2.1 bug suspected

Posted by:
Date: Monday, November 29th, 2010, 14:50
Category: iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Software

As cool as the idea of FaceTime and videoconferencing can be, you really don’t want to be receiving these calls without expecting them.

Per iPodNN, some of Apple’s various FaceTime-compatible devices made a series of random calls to each other overnight between the 27th and the 28th, according to reports and complaints on Apple’s support forums. While the iPhone 4 was predominantly affected, the issue is also said to have hit the fourth-generation iPod touch, and even the Mac beta client. The calls are often described as showing mutual requests, even though no one actually dialed, and in some cases one of the devices was off.

The incidents are moreover said to have occurred at about the same time: approximately 6:30PM Pacific, 9:30PM Eastern and 3:30AM in central Europe. The exact cause is unclear, but could involve a problem on Apple servers handling the FaceTime system. Because of the involvement of Macs, the glitch is unlikely to be related to iOS 4.2.1, which was made public just last Monday.

Me, I’m of the opinion that this is a preemptive (and lame) initial attack by a SkyNet-esque computer that simply wants to terrify you by having to conduct a FaceTime call with relatives this close after Thanksgiving…

SlingPlayer Mobile app comes to iPad, allows streaming TV, video content from 3G and Wi-Fi connections

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 24th, 2010, 09:48
Category: iPad, News, Software


It’s been nifty on other devices, it can’t help but nifty on the iPad.

Per iLounge, Sling Media has released an iPad version of its Slingbox client for iOS devices.

The SlingPlayer Mobile app for iPad allows users to stream TV and other video content to their iPad from select Slingbox devices using a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. Users can view and control video content via the SlingPlayer app and Slingbox from sources such as cable, satellite and IPTV set-top boxes and DVRs, TiVO, Apple TV and even home security cameras.

Slingbox Pro-HD users can also stream digital over-the-air broadcasts. SlingPlayer Mobile for iPad follows the release of SlingPlayer for iPhone (available for US$29.99) earlier this year with a redesigned iPad-native interface including a revamped programming guide and a recent channels feature.

Slingbox for iPad is available from the App Store for US$29.99. The SlingPlayer applications for iOS require a Slingbox Solo or Pro-HD and are not compatible with older Slingbox devices.

The app requires iOS 4.2 or later to instal and run.

Apple explains iOS 4.2 security fixes

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 24th, 2010, 08:41
Category: News, security, Software

Following Apple’s Monday release of iOS 4.2 for iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices, the company outlined its security fixes in a Knowledge Base entry posted online.

Per Macworld, many of the patches protect against malicious attackers running code on your device, which could in theory be used for all sorts of malicious purposes. Vulnerabilities were corrected for WebKit, Configuration Profiles, CoreGraphics, FreeType (in PDF rendering), and more to prevent against this type of attack.

iOS 4.2 also includes a fix for iAd content display, to prevent attackers in what Apple calls “a privileged network position” to force phone calls from your device without your permission. A separate fix for Mail corrects an issue where carefully-crafted HTML emails could track whether you viewed a message, even if you had turned off remote image loading in Settings.

The update also addresses a situation where your MobileMe password could become visible to an outside user in a privileged network position when using the Photos app to send images to the service. iOS 4.2 also corrects a race condition that could force the Reset Safari option to take a full 30 seconds to remove your saved Web passwords–during which time a speedy user with access to your device could still log in to those sites.

So, there you have it. And if you’ve noticed any major changes in iOS that you’d like to comment on, let us know.

Carbon Copy Cloner updated to 3.3.7

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 24th, 2010, 07:34
Category: News, Software


Late Tuesday, Carbon Copy Cloner, the shareware favorite for drive cloning operations by Mike Bombich, reached version 3.3.7. The new version, a 4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Resolved in issue introduced by Mac OS X 10.6.5 in which errant messages related to allocating memory for ACLs were reported.

– Improved several progress indication irregularities.

– Fixed a problem affecting some Tiger users in which the source and target menus were not properly populated.

– The “Show log” button that is presented when the scheduled task helper application reports a problem will work more consistently now.

– Minor errors will no longer prevent CCC from blessing the target volume.

– Fixed a minor scheduling issue in which tasks that ran after 11PM could not be (re)scheduled to run before 11PM on the next day.

– Fixed a regression introduced by CCC 3.3.5 in which deny Access Control Entries were not preserved. Simply re-running a backup task with this updated version of CCC will repair any of the affected ACEs on the target volume.

– Resolved an issue in which CCC would errantly report that the connection to a remote Macintosh had been dropped when two minutes had elapsed without encountering any files that needed to be updated.

– The software update mechanism used by the scheduled task helper application (introduced in version 3.3.4) now uses the interval settings defined in the main application. Additionally, when the scheduled task helper application determines that an update is available and launches the main application to perform the update, the main application will now be more reliable about immediately executing the update procedure

– Fixed a race condition involving multiple scheduled tasks trying to roll the same log file (e.g. on startup).

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3.7 retails for a US$10 shareware registration fee. The application requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.

Rumor: iOS 4.3 to be released in December, include app subscription features

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010, 15:56
Category: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Rumor, Software

Because rumors make technology interesting.

Per MacStories, a new rumor claims that Apple is planning to release iOS 4.3 in December, with recurring app subscriptions.

Citing an anonymous source, the site reported that Apple plans to release iOS 4.3 in mid-December. The update will reportedly allow users to subscribe to content, like News Corp’s purported tablet-only newspaper The Daily.

The latest report corroborates previous rumors that Apple is planning to hold a special media event on Dec. 9 to announce its subscription plans, as well as partnerships with content providers for newspapers and magazines. It cautioned, however, that the release of iOS 4.3 could be delayed due to unexpected issues that forced the delay of iOS 4.2.

The report said Apple hopes to release iOS 4.3 on Dec. 13, after its planned event. In addition to app subscriptions, the software update may also address initial issues with AirPlay.

The report also suggested that Apple’s massive data center in North Carolina, the purpose of which remains unknown, could play a part in the release of iOS 4.3. It noted that Monday’s release of iOS 4.2 strained Apple’s systems, and the company could flip the switch on the server farm to help services like iTunes, MobileMe, activations and more.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.