VLC Updated to 1.0.5

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 1st, 2010, 05:45
Category: 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 1.0.5 over the weekend. The new version, a 40.1 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

Decoders:
- SubRip extra styles improvements.
- Fix potential crashes in SSA and svg decoders.

Mac OS X Interface:
- Improved support for the 2009 Apple Remote.

Windows port:
- Use of gcc 4.4.2 to compile instead of gcc 4.2. This might slightly increase performance and fix x264 issues.

Translations:
- Portuguese Brazilian, Lithunanian, Romanian, Ukranian, Japanese, Bengali, Walloon, Galician, Danish, Khmer, Polish, Slovenian, Vietnamese, Finnish Russian, Slovak translation updates.
- New Malayalam, Macedoninan, Nynorsk translations.

Audio outputs:
- Fix deadlocks in the audio output core.
- Make PulseAudio the default output if available.

Video outputs:
- Fix fullscreen mode with KDE 4.3.3 and other window managers.
- Fix incompatibility with cairo-dock and compositing.

Input:
- Fix DVB scanning regression from VLC 1.0.3.
- Support for XZ-compressed byte stream (LZMA algorithm).

Playlist:
- Support for .m3u8 playlist files (UTF-8 M3U).

Unix:
- Support for xcb-keysyms version 0.3.4 or higher.
- Fix globalhotkeys on FreeBSD.

Qt4 interface:
- Fix opening V4L version 1 devices.
- Fix default destination ports in the streaming wizard.

Translations:
- New Walloon translation.
- Swedish, Ukrainian and French translation updates.

VLC 1.0.5 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

AT&T Formally Admits to Poor Coverage in New York City

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 29th, 2010, 10:27
Category: iPhone, News

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If you live in New York and have an iPhone, you probably saw this coming.

Wireless carrier AT&T has formally admitted that its New York City iPhone service is below par per a presentation slide published on Tom’s Guide noting that the company’s 3G Voice Composite Quality in the New York metro area—particularly in Manhattan—is below its performance objective.

Recently, the company explained that 3G service has suffered in New York due to “better than average iPhone penetration,” meaning “AT&T has been too successful in selling the iPhone, to the point where the network has been severely strained.” The company even briefly stopped selling iPhones online in New York City because the area didn’t “have enough towers to handle the phone.”

The slide does contain some good news for AT&T subscribers. Apparently, AT&T has had “three consecutive months of improvement” and it is doing “change-outs” of Radio Network Controllers among other upgrades.

If you live in New York and have noticed a difference, let us know.

Rumor: Foxconn Prepping WAPI iPhone for Chinese Marketplace

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 29th, 2010, 08:12
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Long-time component supplier and Apple partner Foxconn is reportedly preparing a WAPI-based iPhone handset that will be distributed to China Unicom. Per Cloned in China, WAPI is the local wireless standard that is compatible with Wi-Fi, unlike the current iPhone version which omits the Wi-Fi functionality due to government regulations.

The lack of Wi-Fi has been considered a significant factor in the modest sales numbers following the iPhone launch in China. China Unicom reportedly sold only 300,000 iPhones by the end of 2009, moving only 5,000 handsets sold during the launch weekend.

Instead of buying the official Chinese version of the iPhone, which begins around US$1,025, many customers instead opted to import a standard iPhone from another country and unlock the device upon arrival.

Final pricing and launch information for the WAPI iPhone remains unknown.

iPad A4 Chip Could Find Way to iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 29th, 2010, 06:39
Category: iPad, iPhone, News, Processors

Initial reports about the iPad are coming back and the general consensus seems to agree that the thing is fairly speedy.

Per Macworld UK, the 1GHz A4 chip found in the iPad could ultimately find its way into the iPhone, as both the A4 and the current iPhone processors are designed around a low-power scheme as well as designed to run the iPhone OS.

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The A4 chip was designed for portable products, and modified chips based on the architecture are prime candidates to be used in new iPhone versions, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64. A variant of the A4 chip could make iPhones much faster, he said.

“There’s really no reason why a chip with this kind of characteristic wouldn’t make it in the iPhone,” Brookwood said.

“My guess is [the A4] is a lot faster than what they use in existing products,” Brookwood said.

An Apple representative declined to provide details about the A4 chip on Wednesday, but analysts said it was based on an Arm processor core. The chip was most likely designed by employees who came with Apple’s 2008 acquisition of chip firm PA Semi, which earlier was involved in designing low-power chips.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments.

Adobe Seeking Developers to Help Bring Flash to the iPad

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 28th, 2010, 10:38
Category: iPad, Software

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In the wake of Apple’s iPad release, Adobe Systems reached out to its Flash developer base via a blog post stating its plans to add support for the iPad’s higher screen resolution to its upcoming Packager for iPhone development tool.

Although the iPad offers a significantly larger screen and packs more powerful hardware than the iPhone and iPod Touch, it won’t support Flash when released in the coming months.

Per the post, Flash developers can use Adobe’s upcoming Packager for iPhone tool to convert Flash content into applications that can run on the iPad. The converted content won’t immediately be able to take advantage of the iPad screen’s resolution of 1,024 x 768 pixel resolution and the company said this feature would arrive later.

“It is our intent to make it possible for Flash developers to build applications that can take advantage of the increased screen size and resolution of the iPad,” the post said.

The iPhone and iPod touch handsets feature screen resolutions of 480 x 320 pixels, with a pixel density of 163 pixels per inch. The iPad screen has a pixel density of 132 pixels per inch.

Adobe also asked for developers interested in developing iPad applications using Flash to get in touch.

“We are looking for developers and designers who have a specific app in mind to be submitted to the iTunes App Store within the next two months,” the blog post said.

Updated iPhone SDK Now Allows VoIP Calls Over 3G Connections

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, January 28th, 2010, 06:01
Category: iPhone, News

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Apple’s iPhone SDK update didn’t just bring iPad support, the SDK is now permitting VoIP calls to be made over 3G networks. In the past, this option had only been available via a Wi-Fi connection. Per iCall, Apple has revised its SDK to allow VoIP calls over cellular networks. This is a major change from Apple’s previous agreement with AT&T which only allowed VoIP communications over a Wi-Fi connection.

Last October, AT&T announced that it would open up its 3G network to VoIP applications on the iPhone, the action apparently coming to fruition.

Previously, as part of a concession made to AT&T, Apple’s terms for software approval on the App Store prohibited VoIP-based applications like Skype from utilizing networks operated by wireless carriers.

In April, internet advocacy group Free Press asked the FCC to investigate both AT&T and Apple over claims that both companies were violating federal net-neutrality protection.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Developer Agreement Slip Hints at Upcoming iPhone OS 4.0 Release

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, January 27th, 2010, 05:18
Category: iPhone, Software

This isn’t about the Apple tablet.

That’ll happen in a few hours.

Though word is the tablet will be reasonably priced and be made of unicorn smiles.

Per Engadget, an unintended update to the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement went live Tuesday with a placeholder referencing a January 27th launch. The date of course suggests that an updated iPhone OS could be presented at Apple’s product unveiling Wednesday.

The placeholder can be found on the signup for for Apple’s iPhone Developer Program and reads: “Need to update this for the 27th launch.”

According to McGrall-Hill CEO Terry McGraw, Apple’s tablet device will run a variant of the iPhone mobile operating system, which lends credence to the idea of an updated iPhone OS announcement Wednesday.

On Monday, analytics firm Furry released statistics that possible tablet prototypes were being used on Apple’s campus running iPhone OS 3.2, an unreleased version of Apple mobile operating system. This means that rumors of the tablet running iPhone OS 4.0 could be off base.

Either way, this is going to be interesting.

Google Voice (Sort of) Arrives for the iPhone

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 26th, 2010, 10:21
Category: iPhone, Software

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In other news, Google has managed to bypass the App Store (and its approval process) and release its much-lauded Google Voice app to the iPhone and webOS devices via an HTML5-based web app. Per Engadget, the app should work with any HTML5-compliant device, although the formatting at this point has been tailored to Apple and Palm’s platforms.

The app, which can be found at http://m.google.com/voice, caches your contacts list in a browser page and allows users to write SMS messages, check their your inbox, and, in future versions, listen to voicemails.

To place a call, you choose the recipient, the app prompts you to call one of Google’s local numbers via the native dialer and the recipient will see your proper Google Voice, and upside with this method is you’ll still be able to utilize call waiting and background usage.

The page should be up and running later today, so if you’re anxious, direct your mobile browser to voice.google.com and just keep hitting refresh.

If you’re interested, take a gander and let us know what you think.

Apple Releases Aluminum Keyboard 1.1 Firmware Update

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 26th, 2010, 06:14
Category: Software

Late Monday, Apple release version 1.1 of its aluminum keyboard firmware via an update. The new version, a 1.5 megabyte download, improves battery performance of the 2007 aluminum Apple Wireless Keyboard when used in combination with other Bluetooth devices and addresses an issue with the 2007 aluminum Apple Keyboard and the 2007 aluminum Apple Wireless Keyboard where a key may repeat unexpectedly while typing.

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The update requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 on the Mac OS X 10.5 end or Mac OS X 10.6.2 on the Mac OS X 10.6 end to install and run and can also be snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve installed the update and noticed any major changes, please let us know.

Rumor: AT&T Exclusive iPhone Deal Could End Wednesday

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 25th, 2010, 05:15
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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AT&T’s exclusive contract with the iPhone (read: license to essentially print money) could end on Wednesday. Per Electronista, a purported contact within the carrier says exclusivity should end along with the January 27th date. The tipster doesn’t say who would join AT&T in supporting the iPhone, albeit Verizon has often been cited as the most likely pick, in part for the large subscriber base as well as the frequently cited network strength.

While evidence have yet to be provided, possible signs of this have shown up in the following leaked screen capture:

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A contract found by web site HotHardware has cited a strategy that AT&T strategy that the company has indirectly confirmed itself. The company would “compensate” for losing sole rights to the iPhone by carrying smartphones on platforms it has previously ignored. The carrier has already said it would offer several new smartphones in the first half of the year that include five Android devices as well as Palm’s webOS phones, most likely GSM versions of the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus. It’s also been noted anecdotally that AT&T has lately deemphasized its exclusivity and has instead focused on attacking Verizon.

Per the contact, AT&T has been mentioned as being internally frustrated with the reputation it has garnered through its network problems and may actually be willing to end exclusivity simply to offload the more publicly hostile customers to Verizon. It’s been hinted that some of the complaints may stem from the iPhone having a less than ideal transition from 3G to GSM when 3G isn’t ideal. Nearly all of AT&T’s upgrade efforts in recent months have focused on adding either 850MHz 3G or improving 3G capacity behind the scenes.

Once again, all should be revealed at the media event on Wednesday.