Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.6 Web Browser

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Date: Friday, January 22nd, 2010, 06:37
Category: Software

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On Thursday, Mozilla.org released the long-awaited 3.6 version of its Firefox web browser.
The new version, an 17.6 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

- Available in more than 70 languages – get your local version.
- Support for a new type of theme called Personas, which allow users to change Firefox’s appearance with a single click.
- Protection from out-of-date plugins to keep users safer as they browse.
- Open, native video can now be displayed full screen and supports poster frames.
- Improved JavaScript performance, overall browser responsiveness, and startup time.
- The ability for web developers to indicate that scripts should run asynchronously to speed up page load times.
- Continued support for downloadable web fonts using the new WOFF font format.
- Support for new CSS attributes such as gradients, background sizing, and pointer events.
- Support for new DOM and HTML5 specifications including the Drag & Drop API and the File API, which allow for more interactive web pages.
- Changes to how third-party software can integrate with Firefox in order to prevent crashes.

Firefox 3.6 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.

Flying Jalapeno Software Releases ScareBear Trail Companion for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Thursday, January 21st, 2010, 06:41
Category: iPhone

You have an iPhone and that’s fine, but bears still roam through America’s forests, eager to eat you and your iPhone.

Per The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Flying Jalapeno Software has released something that could save your life against these furry terrors; the ScareBear Trail Companion.

ScareBear Trail Companion is an iPhone app that replicates the sounds of bells, clapping, and rocks in a tin can which could help scare bears from your path before you even encounter them. Should you happen to come across a bear immune to these charms and wards, ScareBear Trail Companion still has you covered – in an emergency, you can use the app to sound an emulated air horn, which may terrify the creature and send it scurrying away.

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While this isn’t guaranteed to save your life, it’s designed for the iPhone user who fears being eaten by bears (which we all should on one level or another).

ScareBear Trail Companion retails for US$0.99 and requires iPhone OS 3.1.2 or later to install and run.

Cocktail 4.7 (Snow Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Thursday, January 21st, 2010, 05:13
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.7 of Cocktail (Snow Leopard Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.

The new version, a 2.3 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

-Adds clearing of Adobe Flash Player caches and cookies, as well as clearing of Google Chrome cookies, form values, history and page icons.

- The update also features overall performance improvements and addresses minor compatibility issues with Mac OS X Server.

Cocktail 4.7 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

Rumor: Apple Could Release Verizon iPhone at Jan. 27th Media Event, Additional Tablet Specs Emerge

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Date: Thursday, January 21st, 2010, 05:03
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

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Albeit a new generation iPhone isn’t expected until June, Apple could use its January 27th media event at the Yerba Buena to announce a Verizon handset next week.

Per AppleInsider, Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek has stated that he expects Apple to announce a Verizon iPhone as well as introduce iPhone OS 4.0. The Verizon iPhone could fall under the category of Steve Jobs’ “One More Thing…” used at the end of his product announcement speeches.

Misek said he believes tiered data plans are imminent with most wireless carriers in the U.S., but his checks with industry sources indicate that a Verizon-capable iPhone would still carry an unlimited data plan. He also said that the new handset will run on both CDMA and GSM networks.

“Together with our semi-conductor partners, we have ascertained that there is a reasonable chance the Asian supply chain is prepping for mass production of a new iPhone in March, for availability in late Q2, likely June,” he said.

In addition, he predicted the new handset will have different pricing than Apple’s current model. However, he said, sources have not provided any details on prices.

Misek also stated that he expects Apple to release an LTE-capable “4GS” iPhone in June 2011.

Per Apple’s long-anticipated tablet, analyst Ashok Humar of Northeast Securities has stated that he believes the tablet will be available in a subsidized model through Verizon at launch.

Kumar has offered his thoughts as to the tablet’s specs, which he believes will be manufactured by Samsung and will be based on the Cortex-A8 ARM architecture, rather than the new Cortex-A9, with a speed of about 1GHz.

As for a Verizon-compatible iPhone, Kumar disagrees with Misek that the handset would be a world phone capable of both CDMA and GSM networks. Kumar has stated that dual-mode chips from Qualcomm will not likely see enough availability for a June iPhone launch. Instead, Kumar expects a separate CDMA-only phone to be introduced in 2010, alongside the existing GSM-only models.

Six days and we’ll see what’s what, homegeese. Six days.

Apple Releases Security Update 2010-001

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Date: Wednesday, January 20th, 2010, 06:58
Category: security, Software

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Late Tuesday, Apple released Security Update 2010-001 for its Mac OS X operating systems. The updates, which range between a 21 and 159 megabyte download (depending on operating system), address critical vulnerabilities in the system where hackers and malicious software can take advantage and either compromise the system or steal personal information.

The update requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later for the Mac OS X 10.5 operating system and Mac OS X 10.6.2 or later for the Mac OS X 10.6 operating system and can also be located and snagged with Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

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

Rumor: Apple to Release iPhone OS 4.0 at Jan. 27th Media Event, Details Leaked

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Date: Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, 09:08
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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You’ve got to admit, it’s the rumors that make life interesting.

Boy Genius Report has reportedly received information from a source close to the story claiming iPhone OS 4.0 will be introduced at Apple’s press event next week at the Yerba Buena on January 27th. Per the source, iPhone OS 4.0 will be limited to the iPhone 3G and 3GS (presumably including at least more recent iPod touch models and omitting the original iPhone) and will incorporate solutions for multitasking by running applications in the background and a revamped user interface for easier navigation.

Other changes will include the following:

- There will be multi-touch gestures OS-wide.

- “A few new ways” to run applications in the background — multitasking.

- Many graphical and UI changes to make navigating through the OS easier and more efficient.

- The update will supposedly be available for only the iPhone 3G and 3GS, but will “put them ahead in the smartphone market because it will make them more like full-fledged computers” more than any other phone to date. Everyone is “really excited.”

- A brand new syncing ability for the contacts and calendar applications.

The ability to run iPhone applications in the background has been near the top of many users’ wish lists, but Apple has yet to implement full backgrounding and multitasking due to its effect on performance and battery life, instead opting to deploy push notifications as a means for closed applications to serve data to users.

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

Apple Releases EFI Firmware 1.4 for Early 2009 Mac Pro

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Date: Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, 06:43
Category: Software

Albeit mobile devices are important, never forget your home desktop machines.

Late Monday, Apple released EFI Firmware 1.4 for the early 2009 Mac Pro desktop workstations. The update, a 1.9 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Improves compatibility with virtualization products utilizing VT-d.
- Improves storage performance under Windows XP for Boot Camp users.
- Improves system reliability during the boot process.

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Once downloaded, please follow the instructions in the updater application (/Applications/Utilities/MacPro EFI Firmware Update.app). The updater will launch automatically when the installation is complete.

The update requires an Intel-based early 2009 Mac Pro and Mac OS X 10.5 to install and run. The update can also be located and snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update utility.

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

Rumor: iPhone Developer Hints at “Imminent” iPhone OS 4.0 Release

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Date: Monday, January 18th, 2010, 05:15
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Additional evidence of iPhone OS 4.0′s release being just on the horizon emerged Friday when Rick Broid of CNET’s iPhone Atlas stated that he received an e-mail from a “prominent app developer” regarding an update to the iPhone operating system. “Just wanted to give you a heads up that we’ve submitted an updated app for the new iPhone OS 4.0 software,” the e-mail allegedly said. Additional details on the supposed software were not given.

Earlier this month, it was alleged that Apple’s rumored January 27th media event at the Yerba Buena could include the introduction of iPhone OS 4.0. One report claimed the new software developer kit includes a “simulator” that makes it easy for developers to adapt to different screen resolutions.

Apple is widely expected to introduce its long-rumored tablet device at the event. This week, one rumor claimed that Apple has not issued any updates for the iPhone in some time because the next version has many tablet-related references that the company did not want to leak in advance of its planned unveiling.

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

AT&T, Verizon Drop Calling Plan Rates, Unlimited iPhone Plan Reduced by $30 Per Month

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Date: Monday, January 18th, 2010, 05:59
Category: iPhone, News

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The pot shots between wireless carriers Veizon and AT&T continue with Verizon Wireless on Friday cutting the prices of its unlimited talk and text plans and AT&T immediately following suit. The end result benefits iPhone customers, who can now opt for an unlimited voice and data plan that costs US$30 less per month.

Per Macworld, iPhone users paid US$100 per month for unlimited voice plan plus another US$30 for unlimited data. Starting Monday, however, AT&T is charging US$100 a month for unlimited voice and data. Family Talk plans feature unlimited voice and data for US$180 (assuming two iPhones). Texting prices remain unchanged, at US$20 for unlimited plans and US$30 for Family Talk Plans.

An AT&T spokesman stated that the pricing changes only affect unlimited voice and data plans. Full details as to the new pricing structures can be found here for reference.

For users looking to move over to the new plan, they can make the move starting today without penalty or contract extension using AT&T’s online account management tool.

Apple Releases MobileMe Gallery App for iPhone, iPod Touch

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Date: Friday, January 15th, 2010, 07:19
Category: iPhone, Software

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On Thursday, Apple released its MobileMe Gallery app, an application which allows users to view photos and videos from the cloud-based service on their iPhone or iPod touch.

Per AppleInsider, the MobileMe Gallery app allows users to select an album with a tap and flick back and forth through photos, pinch to zoom, or rotate into landscape view. The software also automatically stores photos that have been viewed, so they can be accessed again even without a network connection.

Users can access publicly shared content by choosing names from contacts or entering their MobileMe member name. The application also includes a scrolling sampler at the top that gives users access to recent photos.

Users must enter their MobileMe member name and password to see their list of published movies and photos. A MobileMe subscription is required.

The application is available for free and requires iPhone OS version 3.1 or later.