O'Grady's PowerPage » Software

Apple releases Mac OS X 10.6.5 beta four to developer community

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Date: Friday, September 3rd, 2010, 04:39
Category: News, Software


Late Thursday, Apple seeded Apple on Thursday seeded its fourth beta of Mac OS X 10.6.5 to developers, as the security and maintenance update continues to be tested before its public release.

Per AppleInsider, sources familiar with the latest build, said to be known as 10H535, indicated that it features the same focus areas as the previous build, issued exactly one week ago Developers have reportedly been asked to concentrate on 3D Graphics, Mail, iCal, QuickTime, Time Machine and USB Devices.

The latest build is also said to have the same known issue as before, in which having VMWare or Parallels installed may prevent the use of devices connected to a USB port.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Parallels Desktop 5.0.9376 Released

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Date: Thursday, September 2nd, 2010, 04:42
Category: News, Software


Parallels Desktop, the popular virtualization application that allows users to run the Windows and Linux operating systems simultaneously alongside Mac OS X, reached version 5.0.9376 on Thursday. The new version, available here, sports the following major fix:

– This version of Parallels Desktop fixes compatibility with new Mac Pros based on Intel Xeon Westmere processors.

Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac retails for US$79.99 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 later to install and run.

Apple previews iOS 4.2 at media event, hints at additional new features

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Date: Thursday, September 2nd, 2010, 04:43
Category: iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, Software

Amidst yesterday’s announcements, Apple CEO Steve Jobs offered a preview of iOS 4.2 for the iPad during the company’s special media event on Wednesday. Per the Mac Observer, the update will include wireless printing support along with multitasking.

The 4.2 update will also bring folders to iPad as well, and a new feature called AirPlay, which hinted at a new feature to be announced during the media event.

iOS 4.2 will be available in November as a free download for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Apple releases iTunes 10

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Date: Thursday, September 2nd, 2010, 04:48
Category: News, Software

Following yesterday’s announcement, Apple released iTunes 10, the latest version of its digital jukebox/digital hub software. The new version, an 82.3 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and new features:

– Introducing Ping. Use Ping to follow your favorite artists and friends or connect with the world’s most passionate music fans. Discover the music everyone is talking about, listening to, and downloading.

– Rent HD TV episodes for just 99¢ each. Watch them on your Mac or PC, on-the-go with iPhone or iPod touch, or in your living room with the all new Apple TV.

– Play your favorites on the all new iPod touch, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, and Apple TV.

– Play music wirelessly with AirPlay on AirPlay-enabled speakers, home theater receivers, and iPod accessories.

– Explore many look-and-feel improvements throughout iTunes.

– Enjoy performance improvements which make iTunes faster and more responsive.

– Additional voice support with VoiceOver Kit for iPod.

iTunes 10 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and can be located, downloaded and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

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

Apple announces iOS 4.1 update, new features

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Date: Wednesday, September 1st, 2010, 16:07
Category: iPhone, News, Software

Arguably more important that a physical new product, Apple announced Wednesday that its iOS 4.1 will fix proximity sensor and Bluetooth issues, and will add a new feature allowing users to take high dynamic range photographs that produce stunning pictures. The new software will ship Wednesday, Sept. 8th for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Per Macworld, the golden master of iOS 4.1 was issued to developers. The new iPod touch, which will be available next week, comes with iOS 4.1 and Game Center preinstalled.

During the keynote, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that Bluetooth and proximity sensor issues that currently exist with the iPhone 4 will be addressed with next week’s release of iOS 4.1. Such problems have persisted since the handset was first launched in June.

“All the bugs that we get mails on,” Jobs said. “We think we’ve nailed a lot of them, and we think you’re going to be pretty happy with it.”

Jobs showed off the HDR photo capability at Wednesday’s keynote in San Francisco, Calif. The new feature allows a device to take three rapid photos — one regular, one underexposed and one overexposed. When the pictures are combined, it creates an HDR photo.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Jobs said. When taking an HDR photo, both it and the normal photograph will show up in the user’s Photos application, so they can compare the two and choose which one they prefer.

Apple announces iTunes 10 at media event

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Date: Wednesday, September 1st, 2010, 16:28
Category: News, Software

Kicking off today’s Apple media event, Apple announced that iTunes 10 will be available today. The new version includes a feature called Ping, a social music discovery tool that allows users to follow friends and artists, helping customers to discover and share new music.

“It’s sort of like Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes,” Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said of the entirely new Ping service. He described it as a social network all about music, built in to the new iTunes, now available for download.

Per AppleInsider, the product is based on discovery, allowing users to see what their friends are listening to and what concerts they’re going to.

Users can choose to “follow” artists, as well as their friends, and iTunes will populate a customized top 10 list that represents what their friends are downloading. Users can also see concerts that are coming near them, and inform their friends that they will be attending.

Ping users can sign up immediately and the service will also be available to iPhone and iPod touch users through the existing iTunes Store.

Jobs also demonstrated a new “hybrid” view within iTunes 10, which automatically displays album art when there are five or more tracks from the same record.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Delicious Library Updated to 2.5

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Date: Wednesday, September 1st, 2010, 04:49
Category: News, Software


On Wednesday, software company Delicious Monster released version 2.5 of the shareware favorite, Delicious Library. Delicious Monster allows Macs with webcams to scan the bar codes of any book, movie, music CD or video game, then creates an archive based on background information from the Internet. Additional features help keep the library organized and reseller’s tools allow for items to be quickly posted for sale online.

The update, a 20.6 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

– Fixed a crasher after configuring MobileMe and publishing. Me am stupid.

– Fixed crasher in configuring FTP sites. Yes, another one.

– Fixed a memory leak creating images when publishing collections to the web, which made largish collections slow down the machine, run out of memory, and then crash during publishing. There’s a theme, huh?

– Recycle memory more efficiently when publishing collections, so very large collections (14,000+ items) now can publish without slowing down, running out of memory, and crashing. Because programming is hard.

– We now filter errant control characters out of the data we publish, because sometimes our data providers have extra garbage in their descriptions, and that would end up blocking publishing because it generated invalid HTML, which threw an internal error.

– Fixed a crasher in publishing if there was a warning the HTML generated that wasn’t fatal. I don’t know if this ever happened in real life, but, hey, less ways to crash is good.

– We now update our publishing progress HUD every 10 items instead of every page, so you can see what’s going on if you have, say, 14,000 items. (Also, seriously, 14,000 items are going to take a LONG time to upload to your website.)

– We now check to see if the user wants to cancel MUCH more often, so publishing doesn’t appear to have hung the app. You can see we’ve really learned a lot from people with these huge collections.

– Removed publishing to iWeb, because iWeb is a private format, and we thought we understood it, but were wrong. We apologize. If you’d like to continue using the old buggy iWeb support, from Terminal you can re-enable support with “defaults write com.delicious-monster.library2 enableBuggyiWeb -bool true”.

Full release notes can be found here and Delicious Library 2.5 retails for US$40 and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

SpamSieve update to 2.8.3

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Date: Tuesday, August 31st, 2010, 11:24
Category: News, Software


Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.8.3. The new version, a 7.1 megabyte download, makes the following fixes and improvements:

– Adjusted SpamSieve’s tokenizer to improve the filtering accuracy.

– Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Apple Mail.

– MailForge now works with SpamSieve, as described in the Setting up MailForge section of the manual.

– Made some changes to better support the upcoming Microsoft Outlook 2011. (Full support will come when Office ships.)

– Added various updates and clarifications to the manual.

– Fixed a regression where SpamSieve wouldn’t be able to install its Apple Mail plug-in if Mail’s folder had been redirected using an alias.

– Fixed a bug where SpamSieve would sometimes quit when coming out of trial mode.

– Fixed a bug where sometimes the Hits column in a rules window couldn’t be resized.

– Worked around an OS bug that could cause an internal error when reporting a corpus error.

– Made various modernizations to SpamSieve’s code and interface files.

– The Apple Mail plug-in now shows up with the proper name in Mail Plugin Manager.

– Updated the disk image layout.

SpamSieve is available for a US$30 registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The new version can either be downloaded directly from the web site or brought up to the current version via the program’s built-in update feature.

Adobe releases Lightroom 3.2, Camera Raw 6.2 updates

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Date: Tuesday, August 31st, 2010, 03:56
Category: News, Software


Early Tuesday, software giant released version 3.2 of its Lightroom (available on the company’s update page) photo editing utility and version 6.2 of its Camera Raw plugin. Lightroom 3.2 added the ability to publish photos to both Facebook and photo-sharing site SmugMug. The update also brings a number of improvements to Lightroom’s Library, Develop, Slideshow, Print, and Web modules, as well as over 120 new lens profiles to help photographers correct distortion and other undesirables.

Camera Raw 6.2, a 69.8 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), support for the following cameras:

– Canon EOS 60D

– Casio EXILIM EX-FH100

– Fuji FinePix HS10

– Leica S2 (DNG*)

– Panasonic DMC-FZ100

– Panasonic DMC-FZ40 (FZ45)

– Panasonic DMC-LX5

– Pentax 645D

– Samsung NX10

– Samsung TL500 (EX1)

– Sony A290

– Sony A390

– Sony Alpha NEX-3

– Sony Alpha NEX-5

– Sony SLT-A33

– Sony SLT-A55V

Camera Raw 6.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Apple patent reveals consolidated headphone jacks for upcoming devices

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Date: Monday, August 30th, 2010, 05:59
Category: iPad, iPhone, iPod, News, Patents

Per Patently Apple, Apple is looking to develop a new audio input port configuration for the iPod, iPhone and iPad devices. The effort seems to indicate that Apple is working to limit the amount of holes in its devices, because each ”breaches the barrier that protects components inside the housing.”

Apple’s answer is to reduce the hole count by making them multifunctional. It proposes removing the need for a separate microphone aperture by making it part of the socket the headphone jack plugs into. This adds only a couple of milllimetres to the socket length – the mic fits behind the tip of the jack plug. The result: “A microphone can be added to a mobile telephone without the need for an external aperture.”

According to the Apple Core, Apple appears to be considering combining multiple jacks into one smarter jack. It makes sense too. For starters, less holes mean less physical parts to manufacture (and potentially fail) and Apple is already heading down this road with the iPhone 4 which features two microphones and noise cancellation.

The first mic is for phone calls, voice commands and memos. The second mic is for FaceTime calls and for making your calls better.

The other potential direction could take is to use the new port for beamforming — where the audio input of the two microphones is used as an amiable directional input. Patently Apple thinks this could be advantageous for the iPhone in speakerphone mode or video camera mode when projecting or recording a sound source at some distance from the device.

Apple could even do away with invasive “breach” type ports altogether and convert its audio/microphone ports into surface contact ports that attach via a magnet — like the popular MagSafe power adapter found on its MacBook Pro notebooks. I just hope that Apple retains backward compatibility with the millions of 3.5mm stereo headsets that are out there, changing to a new jack entirely would alienate too many customers in one fell swoop.

The patent is credited to Apple employees Shaohai Chen, Phillip Tamchina, Richard Dinh, Jae Lee, Michelle Yu and Adam Mittleman as the inventors of patent application 20100216526.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.