VirtualBox 3.1 Released

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Date: Monday, November 30th, 2009, 09:05
Category: Software

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VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 3.1. The new version, a 65 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

- Teleportation (aka live migration); migrate a live VM session from one host to another (see the manual for more information).
- VM states can now be restored from arbitrary snapshots instead of only the last one, and new snapshots can be taken from other snapshots as well (“branched snapshots”; see the manual for more information).
- 2D video acceleration for Windows guests; use the host video hardware for overlay stretching and color conversion (see the manual for more information).
- More flexible storage attachments: CD/DVD drives can be attached to arbitrary storage controllers, and there can be more than one such drive (the manual for more information).
- The network attachment type can be changed while a VM is running.
- Complete rewrite of experimental USB support for OpenSolaris hosts making use of the latest USB enhancements in Solaris Nevada 124 and higher.
- Significant performance improvements for PAE and AMD64 guests (VT-x and AMD-V only; normal (non-nested) paging).
- Experimental support for EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface; see the manual for more information).
- Support for paravirtualized network adapters (virtio-net; see the manual for more information).
- VMM: guest SMP fixes for certain rare cases.
- GUI: snapshots include a screenshot.
- GUI: locked storage media can be unmounted by force.
- GUI: the a log window grabbed all key events from other GUI windows (bug #5291).
- GUI: allow to disable USB filters (bug #5426).
- GUI: improved memory slider in the VM settings.
- GUI: the VirtualBox website couldn’t be opened from the help menu (bug #4559).
- 3D support: major performance improvement in VBO processing.
- 3D support: added GL_EXT_framebuffer_object, GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array support.
- 3D support: fixed crashes in FarCry, SecondLife, Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament, Eve Online (bugs #2801, #2791).
- 3D support: fixed graphics corruption in World of Warcraft (#2816).
- 3D support: fixed Final frame of Compiz animation not updated to the screen (#4653).
- 3D support: fixed incorrect rendering of non ARGB textures under compiz.
- iSCSI: support iSCSI targets with more than 2TiB capacity.
- VRDP: fixed occasional VRDP server crash (bug #5424).
- Network: fixed the E1000 emulation for QNX (and probably other) guests (bug #3206).
- NAT: added host resolver DNS proxy (see the manual for more information).
- VMDK: fixed incorrectly rejected big images split into 2G pieces (bug #5523, #2787).
- VMDK: fixed compatibility issue with fixed or raw disk VMDK files (bug #2723).
- VHD: fixed incompatibility with Hyper-V.
- Support for Parallels version 2 disk image (HDD) files; see the manual for more information.
- OVF: create manifest files on export and verify the content of an optional manifest file on import.
- OVF: fixed memory setting during import (bug #4188).
- Mouse device: now five buttons are passed to the guest (bug #3773).
- VBoxHeadless: fixed loss of saved state when VM fails to start.
- VBoxSDL: fixed crash during shutdown (Windows hosts only).
- X11 based hosts: allow the user to specify their own scan code layout (bug #2302).
- Mac OS X hosts: don’t auto show the menu and dock in fullscreen (bug #4866).
- Mac OS X hosts (64 bit): don’t interpret mouse wheel events as left click (bug #5049).
- Mac OS X hosts: fixed a VM abort during shutdown under certain conditions.
- Solaris hosts: combined the kernel interface package into the VirtualBox main package.
- Solaris hosts: support for OpenSolaris Boomer architecture (with OSS audio backend).
- Shared folders: VBOXSVR is visible in Network folder (Windows guests, bug #4842).
- Shared folders: performance improvements (Windows guests, bug #1728).
- Windows, Linux and Solaris Additions: added balloon tip notifier if VirtualBox host version was updated and Additions are out of date.
- Solaris guests: fixed keyboard emulation (bug #1589).
- Solaris Additions: fixed as_pagelock() failed errors affecting guest properties (bug #5337).
- Windows Additions: added automatic logon support for Windows Vista and Windows 7.
- Windows Additions: improved file version lookup for guest OS information.
- Windows Additions: fixed runtime OS detection on Windows 7 for session information.
- Windows Additions: fixed crash in seamless mode (contributed by Huihong Luo).
- Linux Additions: added support for uninstalling the Linux Guest Additions (bug #4039).
- Linux guest shared folders: allow mounting a shared folder if a file of the same name as the folder exists in the current directory (bug #928).
- SDK: added object-oriented web service bindings for PHP5.

VirtualBox 3.1 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

Adobe, Intuit, Others Offering Premium Deals for Online Customers

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Date: Friday, November 27th, 2009, 10:20
Category: News, Software

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Software gets pricey, but today it might not have to be. Per MacNN, major programs from Adobe, Intuit and Parallels have also become a part of special Black Friday software deals. Amazon is currently selling Adobe’s CS4 Design Standard Student Edition for US$296, the CS4 Web Premium Student Edition for US$350, and the CS4 Design Premium Student Edition for US$404 with discounts between 78 and 79% lower than list price.

Adobe itself is now selling Photoshop Elements 8 for just US$60, US$40 lower than normal. The price does require taking advantage of a US$20 mail-in rebate, but at least includes free shipping. Parallels has dropped US$10 off its Desktop 5.0 virtualization software, whereas VMware is selling Fusion 3.0 for $16 less with the code “dsktp20sale”.

Finally, Intuit has dropped the price of QuickBooks 2010 to US$160, though MacMall is offering it for as little as US$150.

HandBrake Updated to 0.9.4

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Date: Wednesday, November 25th, 2009, 06:10
Category: Software

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Handbrake, Eric Petit’s incredibly useful open-source DVD ripping/conversion utility, has been updated to version 0.9.4.

The new version, which can be found here, boasts the following fixes and changes:

- Improves speed, size and quality with official notes available here.

HandBrake 0.9.4 is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Apple Releases iPhoto 8.1.1 Update

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Date: Wednesday, November 25th, 2009, 06:51
Category: iPod, Software

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Apple on Tuesday released iPhoto 8.1.1, the latest version of its image organization and editing application. The update, a 12.3 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), adds the following fixes and changes:

- This update addresses issues affecting face recognition performance and accuracy.

- It also fixes minor issues in the areas of book ordering, and iPod touch support.

The update can be installed via the direct link or located and installed via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

iPhoto 8.1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Second iPhone Worm in the Wild

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Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2009, 06:24
Category: iPhone, security

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We told you not to jailbreak your iPhone, but you had to be super cool and rebellious. Per BBC News, jailbroken iPhones could be vulnerable to a new, malicious worm that can allow remote access and control without the owner’s knowledge or permission. It’s been estimated that hundreds of users are currently affected by a worm that targets users of “jailbroken” iPhones who live in the Netherlands and use the bank ING Direct. But security company F-Secure told stated that the currently isolated issue could easily jump to thousands of handsets. The worm is reportedly spread between phones when they share the same Wi-Fi spot.

In order for an iPhone to be vulnerable to the new worm, they must have willingly modified their handset’s software to allow them to run unauthorized code. Phones can be jailbroken to run applications or modify the system in ways not approved by Apple.

The worm only affects jailbroken phones that have SSH (secure shell) installed, without the default password — “alpine” — changed. It employs the same method as a previous worm, Ikee, that was not malicious. Instead, the wallpaper-changing prank simply changed the user’s background to a picture of 1980s pop star Rick Astley, who sang the 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

The new worm reportedly has botnet functionality and connects to a Web-based command and control center based in Lithuania.

For now, the worm is only aimed at customers who live in the Netherlands and bank with ING Direct. The company has stated that it intends to put a warning on its Web site.

Cocktail 4.5 (Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Monday, November 23rd, 2009, 05:47
Category: Software

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Late Friday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.5 of Cocktail (Leopard 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 clear data detectors caches.
- Added ability to clear QuickLook caches.
- Improvements on the clear dynamic link editor’s shared caches procedure.
- Improvements on the clear potentially harmful files procedure.
- Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may unexpectedly quit while clearing system caches.
- Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may report problems with diskutil.
- Addresses an issue in which check of the S.M.A.R.T. status may fail.
- Fixed a bug in which some items in /private/tmp folder were not deleted during clearing of the temporary files.
- Other minor bug fixes and improvements.
- Updated Automator actions.

Cocktail 4.5 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

Missing Sync for Palm OS 6.0.6 Released

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Date: Friday, November 20th, 2009, 06:25
Category: Software

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Late Thursday, developer Mark/Space released The Missing Sync for Palm OS 6.0.6, a 40.1 megabyte download (via MacUpdate). The application syncs contact information, calendars and tasks with Address Book and iCal, and can also transfer photos, syncs contact photos, syncs music playlists and video, synchronizes notes with Microsoft Entourage, Bare Bones Yojimbo or Mark/Space Notebook, copy folders, documents and files to the Palm OS device, lets you save text messages and extract information, and copies your Treo and Centro call history to your Mac.

The new version offers the following fixes and changes:

- Fixed an issue that caused the application to hang, which caused an inability to connect successfully after computer sleep or Bluetooth changes.

Missing Sync for Palm OS retails for US$40, is also available as a US$30 “crossgrade” for users of other Mark/Space products. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

TomTom App Updated to 1.2, Adds Support for iPod Touch and First-Gen iPhones

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Date: Thursday, November 19th, 2009, 06:08
Category: iPhone, iPod, Software

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GPS software firm TomTom has released version 1.2 of its popular iPhone application. The update adds support for both the iPod touch and the first-gen iPhone when used in conjunction with its car kit.

Per AppleInsider, version 1.2 was submitted on November 12th and was released Wednesday. The new version contains updates to maps and IQ Routes. Added features include advanced lane guidance, text-to-speech, integrated iPod player support, and support for the iPod Touch and first-generation iPhone.

The new version includes the following fixes and changes:
- Improved search and route summary screens.
- Updated map from v8.30 to v8.35.
- Updated points of interest database.
- Updated IQ Routes database with millions of new measurements.
- Added Advanced Lane Guidance in both portrait and landscape mode.
- Added Text-to-speech in English US, English UK, English Australia, French Canada, Spanish Latin America.
- Added Help Me! emergency menu.
- Added iPod player support.
- Added support for original iPhone and iPod touch (all models).

In order to successfully use the app on the newly supported Touch and 1st-gen iPhones, TomTom’s car kit is required. This is due to the fact that both devices lack an integrated GPS receiver.

TomTom’s car kit is a cradle which contains a GPS module, integrated speaker, charger, and line out. It is not required when the TomTom app is paired with the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The kit retails for US$119.95.

The updated application requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.99.

Google Earth 5.1.3533.1731 Released

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Date: Thursday, November 19th, 2009, 05:34
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday, software giant Google released version 5.1.3533.1731 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 15.9 megabyte download, adds the following new features:

- Improved Startup Time. The improvement is most noticeable when users launch the Earth application multiple times.
- Improved overall rendering performance. Changes include faster atmosphere rendering and using compressed textures whenever possible.
- Improved Road rendering Performance: Frame rate at places with dense road networks is three times faster than in previous releases.
- Improved memory utilization in the application.
- Significantly smoother frame-rate and less stuttering in the application compared to previous releases.
- Improved performance with large region based network link KML documents. Some of large KML documents are now processed and rendered at more than twice the speed of earlier releases.
- Improved KML document handling performance. Large regionated KML Image overlays are up to 80% faster than previous releases.
- Support for KML hint = moon or mars to switch to moon or mars based on kml document.
- Availability of one installer that installs both the Google Earth application and browser plugin.
- Desktop Application now works on Windows 7.
- Users can set the memory cache size up to 1024 MB now.

The new version requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

DivX Player 7.2 Released

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Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 08:34
Category: Software

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DivX for Mac, the shareware player that allows users to view high definition H.264 (.mkv) videos with AAC audio and video, hit version 7.2 yesterday. The new version, a 30.5 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), contains the followings changes and features:

- DivX Player for Mac now plays DivX Plus HD (.mkv) videos and H.264/AAC/MKV videos from the Internet.
- DivX Player for Mac sports a brand new design with translucent windows, cleaner play controls and more.

DivX Player 7.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for a US$19.99 registration fee.