O'Grady's PowerPage » Software

Rumor: Apple working to include RFID, near-field computing functions into next-gen iPhone

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Date: Monday, November 1st, 2010, 10:37
Category: iPhone, Rumor

Ok, this could be interesting.

Citing an anonymous source, Mac web site Cult of Mac has reported that Apple is working on adding a near-field communication chip to Apple’s next-generation iPhone would add not only “e-wallet” transactions, but also the ability to securely turn a nearby Mac into your own computer, complete with custom settings and personal passwords.

Citing an anonymous source, Cult of Mac reported Monday that Apple is working on near-field communication technology for both its smartphone and future Macs. The functionality is rumored to appear in Apple’s next iPhone, expected to launch in June 2011.

The source said an iPhone with near-field communications like an RFID chip could be used within proximity of a Mac, allowing users to load applications, settings and data on the Mac from the phone. When the iPhone is taken away from the proximity of the computer, the data would disappear with it.

“The Mac authenticates with the iPhone, which contains a lot of the information the computer needs, such as bookmarks, passwords and other data,” the source reportedly said. “The system would essentially turn any Apple computer into your own — like you’re actually working on your own computer. Same settings, look, bookmarks, preferences. It would all be invisible. Your iPhone would be all you needed to unlock your Mac.”

The information contained on the phone would reportedly include contacts, desktop picture, mouse and keyboard settings, website passwords, and even software licenses. Taking the iPhone away from the proximity of the computer would then restore the Mac to its original state.

The source indicated that Apple is interested in making it easy for users to carry all of their information with them, but that task has become difficult as file sizes and the amount of data continues to grow. They said it’s possible that Apple could store larger files in the cloud, while the basics like passwords and documents would be contained on the phone.

Last week, a report alleged that Apple is developing a new open SIM for its next-generation iPhone, which would allow one handset to work with multiple carriers. It was also speculated that the technology from a partnership with Gemalto could also enable contactless transactions through an integrated RFID chip.

Rumors of an RFID-enabled iPhone have existed for some time, though the product has yet to come to fruition. Apple has also filed patents related to near-field communications, including an application in July that described a system allowing users to rely on NFC functionality in the iPhone to research products and quickly find helpful information, such as an instruction manual.

The company has also hired experts on near-field communications, and was even rumored to be testing iPhone models with RFID chips as recently as August.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Adium updated to 1.4.0

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Date: Monday, November 1st, 2010, 04:38
Category: News, Software


Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.4.0.

The new version, a 21.3 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

– Added Twitter.

– Added IRC.

– Greatly improved group chats and group chat bookmarks.

– Updated to libpurple 2.6.6 with added fixes.

– Mind-bogglingly large number of enhancements and bug fixes.

Adium 1.4.0 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run. The program functions as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

Multitasking/running apps may help deplete batteries on iOS-based devices

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Date: Friday, October 29th, 2010, 04:26
Category: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News

When Apple released the iOS 4 update, people noted significantly lower battery life on a number of iOS devices. In troubleshooting the problem, it became apparent that Wi-Fi usage was in large responsible for draining the battery, and initially the recommendations were to disable Wi-Fi features.

Per CNET, users may find the device losing battery power if you keep multiple applications open when you put the device to sleep.

MacFixIt reader R.T. Taylor wrote in with a little clarification on the issue:
“Each programmer is responsible for turning on or off multitasking. And evidently they are not paying attention to that tiny detail. That is how you can have a multitasking job running in the background for a flashlight app.

To see what is running in the background, press the home key twice. You will see up to four background apps in the bottom of the display, scroll right to see what else is running. Mine had about 50 apps running.”

Having multiple applications running at the same time will obviously drain the battery to a greater extent when the device is in use, but when the device is in sleep mode, the applications should be suspended; however, people have found that quitting them all before putting the device to sleep seems to solve the low-battery-life problem.

It is possible that even though the applications are suspended, their being active when the device is put to sleep may prevent some hardware components such as the Wi-Fi adapter from being put to sleep at the same time. This may result in items like the Wi-Fi adapter staying active during sleep, and may also be a reason why when people specifically turn off Wi-Fi before sleep, that the battery level no longer drains rapidly.

Most people run applications and then press the home button to quit them and run alternative applications, but this does not fully quit the application. Instead, if you want to fully quit an application, press and hold it until the icon jiggles, and then press the X and the full application process will shut down.

As always, the peanut gallery is open for business and let us know what’s on your mind.

White iPhone 4 yanked from Apple Store web sites

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 28th, 2010, 04:46
Category: iPhone, News

Apple today quietly pulled the white iPhone 4 from the online Apple Store, the web site’s international versions that offer the iPhone online now only show the black iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS. The white hue is still visible in the store’s image gallery and in the regular product page.

Per Electronista, Apple had maintained the white iPhone 4 on the store and had simply said it was “currently unavailable” to buy despite multiple delays. The decision to delay white iPhones to the spring has given the company little incentive to keep the unavailable color scheme in its store.

Unconfirmed rumors have suggested that Apple has cancelled the white iPhone 4 altogether and that the spring date amounted to a white version for the next-generation model instead. Blame has shifted alternately between the difficulty of getting consistently colored phones in high production numbers and the unintentional effect of the white, reflective glass on the camera flash.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Mozilla releases Firefox 3.6.12 update

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Date: Thursday, October 28th, 2010, 03:27
Category: News, Software


Late Tuesday, Mozilla.org released version 3.6.12 of its Firefox web browser. The new version, an 18.6 megabyte download, sports the following major change:

– Firefox 3.6.12 fixes a critical security issue that could potentially allow remote code execution.

Firefox 3.6.12 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.

Rumor: White iPhone 4 construction process allowing light leaks, may need to be reworked prior to release

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 27th, 2010, 19:18
Category: iPhone, Rumor

You’d think making a white iPhone 4 would require, well, certain parts to be white.

End of story.

It might be more complicated than that.

Per Cult of Mac, a recent rumor has stated that the white glass planned to be used for the delayed iPhone 4 model allows in too much light, resulting in poorer quality digital pictures.

Apple announced this week that its white iPhone 4 was delayed yet again this time until spring of 2011. Apple has not offered any reason for the delays, except that the device has proven “more challenging to manufacture” than the company had originally anticipated.

The story cited an anonymous source “with connections at Apple” indicated that the white model takes poor pictures due to its white glass. That person indicated that the white case allows light to leak in, causing washed out pictures.

“The white iPhone 4 can’t take accurate photographs,” author Leander Kahney wrote. “The handset’s semi-translucent glass case leaks light in, ruining pictures taken with the internal camera, especially when the built-in flash is used.”

The source reportedly indicated that Apple has been “struggling to isolate the camera sensor,” and may have to completely redesign the iPhone 4 to address the issue. The problem was reportedly found at the last minute at a secret testing facility Apple uses to allow case manufacturers to qualify for its “Made for iPhone” certification.

Previous reports had alleged that the white iPhone 4 experienced delays due to light leakage, but suggested the issue was light leaking from inside of the case. Another report alleged that Apple’s overseas manufacturing partners were struggling to achieve the right balance of paint thickness and opacity to color the glass front and back of the device.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple delays white iPhone 4 model until spring 2011

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, October 27th, 2010, 03:18
Category: iPhone, News

If you’ve been dreaming of a white iPhone 4, well…it’s good to have dreams, because you’ll have to keep doing so.

Per Digital Daily, Apple on Tuesday announced it was again forced to delay the launch of its white iPhone 4, this time past the holiday buying season until spring 2011.

The article stated that the white iPhone 4 won’t arrive until next year. The news comes after some speculated the device’s inclusion in an update to the Apple Store application on the App Store could imply an imminent launch.

“We’re sorry to disappoint customers waiting for the white iPhone yet again, but we’ve decided to delay its release until this Spring,” an Apple spokesperson reportedly said.

Apple has publicly delayed the white iPhone 4 numerous times. In late July, the company issued its last update on the hardware, stating that it would go on sale in late 2010.

In July, Apple said that manufacturing of the white hardware proved “more challenging to manufacture” than the company had originally anticipated. That reveal came just a week after Chief Executive Steve Jobs publicly said the white iPhone 4 was on track to launch by the end of July.

Some reports have claimed that Apple and its manufacturing partners have had difficulty creating glass with the right shade of white for the handset. Apple, however, has not offered specifics on the issues, though the white model has not been available for sale anywhere since the iPhone 4 launched on June 24th.

If you have any feelings about this, please let us know what’s on your mind.

Camino updated to 2.0.5

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Date: Wednesday, October 27th, 2010, 02:24
Category: News, Software


Late Wednesday, the Camino Project released version 2.0.5 of Camino, its free, open source web browser.
The new version, a 15.8 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Improved stability.

– Google Calendar’s print function now works in Camino.

– Plug-ins now receive the correct modifier keys after switching Spaces using keyboard shortcuts on Mac OS X 10.6.

– Links on the blocked site overlay are now visible even if the “Underline links” preference is off.

– Removed Bloglines from the supported web-based feed readers.

– Upgraded the bundled Java Embedding Plugin to version

– Improved ad-blocking.

Camino requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.

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

Rumor: Verizon hiring call center workers for possible AT&T launch

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 25th, 2010, 17:21
Category: iPhone, Rumor


If you’re fed up with your iPhone on AT&T’s network, you might just like this.

Per CNET, Verizon is reportedly hiring hundreds of call center staff through third-party hiring companies, adding to speculation that the largest wireless carrier in the U.S. is preparing to launch the iPhone.

Customer service call center staffing companies Teleperformance and Ryla are looking for thousands of customer service representatives to field calls for a “major wireless cell phone service retailer,” per the article. Posts to the Careerbuilder website as well as the companies’ own websites reveal that the positions will be dedicated to “either a wireless, cell phone, or communications company,” with additional positions offering technical support for “personal computers and portable devices like MP3 players and smartphones.”

One Teleperformance call center in Augusta, Georgia, will double its employees through the hiring campaign. “It is for a major wireless company that we have secured a new line of business, one of our existing clients,” Marcie Ballard, vice president of recruiting for Teleperformance, told the Augusta Chronicle, although she declined to say which provider.

Both companies have prior experience supporting Verizon. Teleperformance also works with Apple, in addition to Verizon Wireless and the other major cell phone carriers in the past, the report notes. Ryla has worked with Verizon for over 10 years, a source told CNET.

While the connection between a flurry of call center recruiting and a Verizon iPhone remains tenuous, the rumor was bolstered by Friday’s news that Verizon had lost more ground to rival AT&T than expected in the third quarter. Third-quarter earnings reports from Verizon and AT&T this week show that Verizon netted 584,000 new monthly-bill paying customers during the quarter, compared to AT&T’s 745,000 additions according to Reuters.

Verizon CFO John Killian told Reuters that Verizon expects to add 550,000 to 600,000 new monthly-bill paying customers in the fourth quarter, less than half of last years’ number. Killian also stressed the importance of converting standard users into smartphone users in order to increase revenue through sales of data plans.

Though Verizon Wireless still holds the No. 1 spot as the largest telecommunications network in the U.S. with 93.2 million subscribers as of October, AT&T is close to overtaking the provider with 92.8 million subscribers of its own.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.5 build 10H562 to developer community for testing

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Date: Friday, October 22nd, 2010, 06:16
Category: News, Software


Late Thursday, Apple released a new beta for its forthcoming Mac OS X 10.6.5 update. The new build, labeled “10H562” was released to developers late Thursday as a 616MB delta update. According to the release notes, there are no known issues. With new builds coming steadily for several months now, the update is expected to arrive in advance of the November release of iOS 4.2.

Per AppleInsider, the seed note accompanying the build specifies Printing as a “Focus Area.” 10.6.5 will work with iOS devices running iOS 4.2 to enable the new AirPrint wireless printing functionality. 10.6.4, the last update to Mac OS X 10.6, came in June with fixes to Adobe Creative Suite 3 issues and a resolution for unresponsive keyboards and trackpads.

Stay tuned for additional details as we get it and if you’ve gotten your mitts on the new build for testing, let us know.