Apple Releases Safari 4.0.2 Update

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Date: Thursday, July 9th, 2009, 03:26
Category: Software

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On Wednesday, Apple released an update to the Safari 4 browser.

The Safari 4.0.2 Update is recommended for all Safari users and improves the stability of the Nitro JavaScript engine and includes the latest compatibility and security fixes.

Safari 4.0.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and can be downloaded via the Software Update control panel on your Mac.

VLC Reaches Version 1.0

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, July 7th, 2009, 06:41
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.), has recently been updated to version 1.0. The new version, a 29 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), adds the following fixes and changes:

Mac OS X Interface:
* Completely reworked user interface (based upon works from GSoC 2008)

Playlist:
* WPL playlist support
* ZPL playlist support

Audio filters:
* Chorus/Flanger audio filter

VLC 1.0 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run and is available as a free download.

Wireless Carrier China Unicom Apparently Leading Race to Bring iPhone to China

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Date: Tuesday, July 7th, 2009, 04:45
Category: iPhone

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In the ongoing (and sometimes epic) struggle to bring the iPhone to China, wireless carrier is purportedly closest to reach a deal but still faces an attack from dominant carrier China Mobile.

According to AppleInsider, analyst Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. claims to have sources aware of Apple’s leanings and gives China Unicom the nod as Apple favors the finances, hardware compatibility and degree of control it would get through an agreement. China Unicom is reportedly more willing to heavily subsidize the iPhone to its creator’s satisfaction and to let Apple have its usual say over the device and its software, both of which are doubtful through China Mobile. Rumors have long swirled that China Mobile is insisting on controlling the local App Store, a practice that Apple hasn’t allowed once in the history of its cellphones.

The smaller of the two Chinese carriers boasts 133 million carriers compared to China Mobile’s 488 million but is in the middle of deploying a 3G cellular network that uses UMTS and WCDMA, both standards that are already supported by the iPhone 3G and 3GS. Should Apple go with China Unicom, the deal would let Apple keep selling the same iPhone in China as it does elsewhere while also getting more reach: the faster network should reach 284 cities within several months.

In comparison, China Mobile’s government-supported TD-SCDMA standard for 3G would require that Apple incorporate a custom chipset just for the one carrier and would come with growth limitations of its own. Despite having over three times as many customers, the larger carrier will reach nearly 50 fewer cities with its 3G and doesn’t anticipate the network reaching complete coverage until three years from now, or well after China Unicom’s network is ready.

Wu’s contacts, however, maintain that Apple doesn’t entirely consider China Mobile “out of the running” both through its sheer influence and its interest in the iPhone, which would be a victory even in a country well-known for grey market imports.

Wu has indicated that he doesn’t see a deal with either carrier as close enough to force a change in predicted iPhone numbers for now and the year ahead. About 20 million iPhones should ship in 2009 and 26 million in 2010. All the same, he notes that Chinese shouldn’t necessarily be disappointed without an official deal thanks to the nation’s thriving bootleg community.

“Our sources indicate that iPhones will likely continue to flow into China,” Wu says. “There are an estimated 1 million-1.5 million iPhones in use despite lack of an official carrier relationship.”

Apple Store Locations to Begin Replacing Broken Displays

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Date: Tuesday, July 7th, 2009, 03:51
Category: iPhone, News

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As mixed as Apple can be, sometimes its service offerings move in the right direction.

Last month, Apple announced that its AppleCare Protection Plan for iPhone would extend technical support to two years from the iPhone’s date of purchase as well as extend hardware coverage to two years as well. According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Apple this week announced that a specific repair, screen replacement, can be performed at Apple Store Genius Bars while the customer waits. The service is free if your phone is under warranty and would otherwise retail for US$199.

Hulu Desktop 0.9.6 Released for Mac OS X

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Date: Monday, July 6th, 2009, 03:41
Category: Mac, Software

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Over the weekend, Hulu released Hulu Desktop 0.9.6, a lean application for Mac OS X allowing users to navigate Hulu’s library via the Apple remote control. For users without remotes, the application is keyboard and mouse-enabled.

The application, a 2.2 megabyte download, is currently available as a public beta and requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.4 or later with a 2.0 GHz or faster Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of RAM, 2 Mbps Internet connection and Adobe Flash Player 9.0.124 or later to install and run.

Security Hole Found in iPhone SMS Code

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Date: Friday, July 3rd, 2009, 02:17
Category: iPhone, News

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Over at the SyScan conference in Singapore, security researcher Charlie Miller cited his discovery of a new significant exploit in the iPhone’s SMS system. The flaw may “allow an attacker to remotely install and run unsigned software code with root access to the phone.”

“The SMS vulnerability allows an attacker to run software code on the phone that is sent by SMS over a mobile operator’s network. The malicious code could include commands to monitor the location of the phone using GPS, turn on the phone’s microphone to eavesdrop on conversations, or make the phone join a distributed denial of service attack or a botnet.”

According to HotHardware, it’s unlikely that there could be any risk of a wide-spread attack on iPhones, though the high number of iPhone handsets out there make it an issue. Miller has agreed with Apple to wait until Black Hat USA expo in Las Vegas later this year to release the details of the exploit, giving Apple a window of time to patch the exploit.

OnyX Reaches Version 2.0.5 beta 2, Adds Fixes

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Date: Friday, July 3rd, 2009, 02:20
Category: Mac, Software

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Onyx, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.0.5 beta 2. The new version, a 16.5 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Compiled with Xcode 3.1.3.
  • English translation improved.
  • Deleting logs and Crash reports improved.
  • Deleting User Cache improved.
  • Deleting Internet Cache improved.
  • Errors management improved.
  • Show/hide the alert message at first launch of downloaded applications.
  • New iTunes tab in the Parameters panel with new options:
  • - Add or not the track number.
  • - Auto play the songs while importing.
  • - Enable/disable the notation by half star.
  • Help updated and reindexed.
  • Bug in Uninstaller options corrected.
  • Uninstaller updated.

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

Apple Issues Overheating Warning for iPhone, iPhone 3GS Handsets

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Date: Thursday, July 2nd, 2009, 04:18
Category: iPhone

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Whether reports of iPhones overheating are entirely true or not, Apple seems to be taking the situation seriously enough to reveal the presence of a temperature warning screen for the iPhone 3G and 3GS.

According to Gearlog, an unknown but probably very small number of iPhones have been affected by overheating, to the point that some white iPhone 3GSes have allegedly turned pink.

Apple, has issued what some might call a “common sense” warning: a support document that warns users not to keep the iPhone in an environment where temperatures can exceed 113 degrees Fahrenheit, including parked cars.

The company has also warned that CPU-intensive applications, such playing music or using the GPS while in direct sunlight may also overheat the iPhone.

In that case, actually using the iPhone in temperatures over 95 degrees can also trigger the temperature warning. “Low- or high-temperature conditions might temporarily shorten battery life or cause the device to temporarily stop working properly,” Apple warns.

Obviously, summer temperatures in many locations top 95 degrees.Las Vegas, for example, has forecasts topping 100 degrees for the next 10 days; Phoenix routinely climbs above 103.

Apple also says that the iPhone 3G and 3GS should not be stored where the temperature can fall under -4 degrees Fahrenheit, or used in less in temperatures under 0 degrees F.

If the phone exceeds those temperatures, Apple says, the iPhone may stop charging, its display might dim, a weak cellular signal may be experienced, and the temperature warning screen on the left may also appear. Apple’s support document implies that there’s a temperature sensor of some sort built in to the iPhone 3G or 3G S

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and please let us know if you’ve seen this on your end.

Cocktail 4.4 (Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Thursday, July 2nd, 2009, 04:18
Category: Mac

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On Thursday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.3.4 of Cocktail (Tiger Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.
The new version, a 1.9 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Added ability to reset home directory permissions and ACLs. (Disks – Permissions)
  • Added “Enable unsupported network volumes” setting. (System – Time Machine)
  • Added “Disable backup of system files” setting. (System – Time Machine)
  • Added “Do not backup when disks are mounted” setting. (System – Time Machine)
  • Added “Do not ask to use newly connected disks” setting. (System – Time Machine)
  • Added “Animate background” setting. (System – Time Machine)
  • Added ability to set Time Machine’s backup interval. (System – Time Machine)
  • Added support for more network interfaces. (Network – Optimization)
  • Added support for Safari 4.
  • Added “Disable webpage previews” setting. (Interface – Safari)
  • Other minor bug fixes and improvements.
  • Updated Automator actions.
  • Updated help files.

Cocktail 4.3.4 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

Apple Releases New Mac OS X 10.5.8, Mac OS X 10.6 Seeds to Developer Community

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Date: Wednesday, July 1st, 2009, 04:50
Category: Mac, Software

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Apple has reportedly issued new seeds of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and Mac OS X 10.5.8 to developers that, at least in the former case, add functionality that was previously only shown at WWDC.

Per AppleInsider and sources close to the story, the new Snow Leopard seed, 10A394, officially provides just compatibility, reliability and security fixes but appears to give developers access to Expose’s integration with the Dock.

As demonstrated by Apple executive Phil Schiller earlier this month, the feature lets users click and hold on an app’s Dock icon to show the windows relating to that app in equal-sized, organized tiles. The simple change makes it much easier to find a particular window for a project, for example, without having to invoke a specific Expose shortcut. They can also choose to view a selected window at full size to determine if the content inside is what they want.

A new Xcode 3.2 build has been released in tandem with the Snow Leopard build.

The new Mac OS X 10.5.8 seed has apparently advanced four builds from its previous state, to 9L20. Apple appears to be quickly winding up development, as it supposedly hasn’t mentioned any remaining known bugs and has fixed just a few prior issues, such as problems with using auto-complete on CalDAV servers in iCal, Image Capture’s support for large files, and syncing Address Book with MobileMe.

Apple has also asked developers to focus their testing on low-level components like graphics drivers, power management and storage.