CrossOver 8.0 Out the Door

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Date: Wednesday, June 17th, 2009, 07:09
Category: Software

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CrossOver, the popular emulation program from CodeWeavers, has been updated to version 8.0. The new version, which is available as a demo, offers the following fixes and changes:

New application support:

  • Quicken 2009
  • Internet Explorer 7
  • Photoshop CS2

MS Office 2003:

  • Non-English language service packs should now apply.
  • Word 2003: ‘Insert Field’ should now work properly.
  • Word 2003: Table calculations fixed.
  • Word 2003: Insert… Picture… From File improved.
  • Outlook 2003: NTLM proxy authentication fixed.
  • Excel 2003: Insert Picture improved.
  • Outlook 2003: Problem with dropping into ‘disconnected’ mode is resolved.

MS Office 2007:

  • Service Packs 1 and 2 now apply.
  • Enterprise, Pro, and Corporate editions should now install.
  • Word 2007: Fixed misbehavior when using the ‘insert image’ function.
  • Several other Office service packs and add-ons should work better.

QuickTime 7:

  • Intermittent hanging bugs should be fixed.

Several other general fixes.

  • Outlook 2000: e-mail attachments should now work.
  • Acrobat 5 and 7: “Save As” dialog no longer causes crashes.
  • FrameMaker: Handling of PPD files improved on systems without CUPS.
  • Word XP: “Combine Documents” fixed.
  • Equation Editor should install and run.

Other crossover improvements:

  • A ‘symbol’ font as been added. This should improve Equation Editor behavior.
  • A couple of improvements were made to dual-monitor support on the Mac.
  • Fixed problem with resizing windows on dual-head linux systems.
  • KDE systray on SUSE 10.1 fixed.
  • KDE Printer improved.
  • Fixed a problem with demo registration and gksu version 2.0.2.
  • Improved copy and paste.
  • Added better 64-bit support in the RPM package.
  • Updated many components to fix behavior on the upcoming Snow Leopard release of OS X.

CrossOver 8.0 retails for US$59.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

AT&T States Data Pricing to Hold Steady, Faces More Competitive Marketplace

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Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 18:05
Category: iPhone

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Data pricing plans look to hold steady for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S handsets in the near future per an article in the Wall Street Journal. “We’ve been very happy with our pricing,” said AT&T spokesman Mark Segal, who went on to mention the average monthly bill for an iPhone user was within US$90 to US$100. The article went on to suggest that AT&T could charge an additional US$10 to US$40 per month for MMS and tethering featured on the new iPhone 3G S. AT&T is currently facing pressure to offer lower priced data plans by both consumers facing the financial crunch and competitors setting aggressive data pricing.

Last month, AT&T’s wireless chief Ralph de la Vega stated that the company was considering a lower tier of pricing plans. These packages would include limits over the amount of time spent on the Internet or the number of applications that could be wirelessly downloaded.

Sprint Nextel has said its Palm Pre data plans cost US$600 less per year than AT&T, while Verizon wireless offers an unlimited data plan for US$70 per month. AT&T offers a similar plan, charging an additional US$5 for text messages.

AT&T could lose money if it does decrease its data plan pricing, as users commonly purchase unlimited data plans which AT&T then must pay to transfer across the network. The company must also must pay hundreds of dollars in subsidies to Apple in order to maintain iPhone exclusivity. In addition, current upgrades being installed to double the network speed for the iPhone 3G S have raised costs even further for AT&T.

Apple Releases Java Security Update for Mac OS X 10.4, Mac OS X 10.5 Operating Systems

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Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 18:12
Category: Software

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On Monday, Apple released Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 4 (a 158.3 megabyte download) and Java for Mac OS X 10.4 Release 9 (an 80.1 megabyte download). The two updates work to “deliver improved reliability, security and compatibility” and are available via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

The updates address previously reported exploits to Java that Sun Microsystems patched more than six months ago.

Best Buy to Offer iPhone 3G S Accident Insurance Plan

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Date: Monday, June 15th, 2009, 17:34
Category: iPhone

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For those of you planning to snag a new iPhone 3G S unit from Best Buy, you’ll also have the opportunity to purchase the chain’s rare (and somewhat pricey) accident insurance plan. According to AppleInsider, Best Buy stores nationwide on Friday will begin selling the next-generation Apple handset on launch day, albeit at the big-box retailer’s usual 10 a.m. opening time instead of the early hours both Apple and AT&T promise.

In contrast to these more direct channels, however, Best Buy plans to continue offering Geek Squad’s Black Tie Protection service with the new iPhone, people familiar with the plans say.

While Apple has never offered more than a standard two-year extended AppleCare warranty and AT&T has specifically exempted the iPhone from its insurance offerings, the Black Tie plan covers regular technical problems as well as drops, spills and other failures that would normally require a costly repair service or the purchase of an entirely new device.

Under Best Buy’s offering, any instance in which the phone can’t be fixed or replaced on the spot will see those customers offered a temporary phone until the repair or replacement is ready within three days or less. Battery replacements aren’t as likely due to Apple’s sealed-up design, but the company vows anti-lemon protection for devices that have to be brought in four times due defects.

Opting for Black Tie will reportedly still be expensive. For other cellphones, the program costs between US$7 and US$10 per month depending on the model, but the iPhone’s rate rises to US$15 per month, leaving iPhone owners paying about US$180 per year.

Sources close to the story say the added cost of iPhone protection comes from the heavy subsidies attached to Apple’s products. Since the actual, retail price of a phone without a contract is between US$599 and US$699, it becomes prohibitively expensive to offer Black Tie when customers may use it more than once.

Delicious Library Updated to 2.1.1

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 12th, 2009, 17:33
Category: Software

Late Thursday, software company Delicious Monster released version 2.1.1 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 new version, a 15.8 megabyte download, incorporates the following major fixes and changes:

  • There is a free Delicious Library iPhone app for viewing your collection on-the-go (without needing a network connection).
  • When you first run Delicious Library 2.1 you’ll be prompted to download the iPhone app, if you have an iPhone.
  • Our long national nightmare is finally over, and details are vertical again (like in version one), instead of horizontal.
  • Lots of layout changes because of this. Rather than merely going back to version one’s look, I’ve tried to improve on it.
  • We now allow copying / pasting the raw cover image from the details pane using standard copy menu item. (Just click on image first.)
  • Some fields have been added to make syncing and publishing your collection faster in the future, but this requires a one-time upgrade when you first launch version 2.1.
  • This upgrade may take a long time. Sorry.
  • Your new file will NOT work with 2.0, but a backup of your 2.0 data is made in the folder Library / Application Support / Delicious Library 2 – you can use that if you want to go back for some reason.
  • If you launch Delicious Library after upgrading, and get a message to the effect of “the model file can’t be used with the data file,” that means you’re accidentally running an your old 2.0 version, not 2.1. You probably don’t want to leave Delicious Library 2.0.7 on your system after going to 2.1.
  • Scanning with your web cam, our Bluetooth scanner, or a USB scanner has been enhanced so you can select different kinds of shelves and scan new or existing items and the functionality you might expect now actually works:
  • If you select a custom shelf in your collection and scan a new or existing item, the item will be created if needed, then added to the selected shelf.
  • If you select a friend’s shelf and scan a new or existing item, the item will be created if needed and then loaned to the friend. (If you have multiple copies of the same item already in your library, only the first one that hasn’t already been loaned out will be lent.)
  • If you select one of your shelves (or your main library) and scan an existing item that has been loaned out, the item will be checked-in. (If you have multiple copies of the same item in your library, only the last one on your shelf that has been loaned out will be checked-in.)
  • ‘Number in Series’ property is now present for all media types.
  • Worked around a Logitech mouse driver bug – people who installed the Logitech mouse driver found that many items would draw as their generic types instead of specific types (eg, Nintendo video games would draw as DVDs instead of in Nintendo boxes). Logitech illegally injects their code into ALL running programs in their current software, and actually messes up other people’s code.
  • Fixed a very rare bug we’d fail to scan items that had two different keywords in their subtitles that we recognized, like “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Widescreen & Full Screen Edition)”
  • Fixed a bug where Backups were sometimes truncated when they were written out, so they couldn’t be read in again. (Sorry!)
  • iPods (non-touch) are now listed under the new “DEVICES” header shelf.
  • iPods present themselves like iPods do in iTunes, for syncing libraries.
  • iPods now delete the library out of their “Notes” directory if you set them to no longer sync.
  • iPods won’t needlessly sync as often if you leave them plugged in.
  • iPods won’t ever be duplicated (rare bug).
  • Only write out the first 1,000 items to the iPod, since iPods are hard-wired by Apple to never display more than 1,000 notes, and it just slows us down to write, like, 7,000 items every time a single one changes.
  • Pop up a HUD when updating the iPod’s contents.
  • Searches are now encoded correctly when searching for items by keywords in non-English alphabets, including Japanese (finally), German, and French. It turns out there’s no real standard for these searches, but I finally figured out what Amazon does.
  • ‘Search for Cover Art’ now works for items with special characters in their names (eg, “Harold & Kumar”).
  • Added a first Korean localization.
  • Fixed some translations from user suggestions.

Delicious Library 2.1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.0.11 Update

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Date: Friday, June 12th, 2009, 17:19
Category: Software

Late Thursday, Mozilla.org released version 3.0.11 of its Firefox web browser.

The new version, a 17.3 megabyte download, sports the following fixes and changes:

  • Fixed several security issues.
  • Fixed several stability issues.
  • Several issues were reported with the internal database, SQLite, which have now been fixed by upgrading to a newer version.
  • Fixed an issue where, in some specific cases, the bookmarks database would become corrupt. (bug 464486)

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

Apple Nearing Completion of Chinese iPhone Deal

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Date: Thursday, June 11th, 2009, 17:52
Category: iPhone

Apple may be making progress towards a Chinese iPhone deal, as noted by signs on the company’s web site as well as that of a Chinese government organization.

According to Macworld, an Apple handset that uses one of the next-generation mobile standards offered in China has appeared on the approved product list of the State Wireless Inspection Center, a government-managed industry arbiter. The handset, apparently an iPhone, was cleared last month to use its assigned frequency range for five years, according to the center’s Web site.

Unicom, a Chinese carrier currently negotiating with Apple about offering the iPhone to the Chinese market, operates a network based on the standard used by the approved Apple handset, WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access).

Separately, Apple has also posted an ad on its Web site for a <a href=”http://jobs.apple.com/index.ajs?BID=1&method=mExternal.showJob&RID=35658&CurrentPage=1″>Beijing-based job</a> overseeing “iPhone training” across Asia. The job’s tasks include designing training for carrier partners that sell the iPhone.

Apple has stated that it hopes to begin selling the iPhone in China in 2010. Still, talks with China Unicom have hit disputes over whether the phone will use Wi-Fi and whether China Unicom will be allowed to pre-install non-Apple programs, such as a media player other than iTunes, analysts say.

The Chinese government appears to have lifted a long-standing ban on Wi-Fi in handsets in recent weeks. Still, it has gone on to require phones with Wi-Fi also to use a China-developed security protocol for wireless LANs, said Liu Ning, an analyst at BDA, a telecommunications research company.

The protocol, called WAPI (WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure), can also be used without dual support for the equivalent Wi-Fi protocol, Liu said.

The iPhone might require an additional chipset to support WAPI, though a software upgrade might also make it compatible, he said.

The frequency approval is just one of three government tests the iPhone must pass to receive a network access license. But the “major difficulty” for Apple is still the terms of cooperation with China Unicom, Liu said.

The argument as to how to split revenue from sales in the iPhone’s App Store is another snag in discussions about what applications the carrier can put on the phone, said Liu.

Microsoft Releases Office 2004 11.5.5, Office 2008 12.1.9 and Open XML Converter 1.0.3 Updates

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Date: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009, 09:47
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, Microsoft released updates for both its Office 2004 and Office 2008 suites for the Mac.
Microsoft Office 2004 version 11.5.5, a 59.2 megabyte download through the AutoUpdate program, offers stability and performance fixes and repairs a vulnerability in which an outside party could insert malicious code.
The program requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later to install and run.
The company also released Microsoft Office 2008 12.1.9, a 267.7 megabyte download through the AutoUpdate program that offers improvements to enhance security, stability, and performance, including fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.
Microsoft Office 2008 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.
Finally, the company released Open XML Converter 1.0.3, the latest version of its XML file translation application. The new version, a 44.8 megabyte download, also improves security and prevents malicious code from being activated on your computer. The update can also be installed via the Microsoft AutoUpdate application.
Open XML Converter 1.0.3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Adobe Reader Updated to 9.1.2

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Date: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009, 09:59
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, Adobe released version 9.1.2 of its free Reader program. The program, which has long been a staple for viewing and printing Portable Document Format (PDF) files, addresses a number of customer workflow issues and critical security vulnerabilities.
Adobe Reader 9.1.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and its download file size varies depending on version chosen. The update can also be snagged and installed via the “Check for Updates Online” option, which can be pulled down from Adobe Reader’s Help menu.

Flip4Mac 2.2.3.7 Released

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Date: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009, 08:31
Category: Software

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Software developer Telestream has announced a new beta version of Flip4Mac, its QuickTime components package which allows for Windows Media files to be viewed, imported and converted under Mac OS X. The new release, an 10.7 megabyte download (courtesy of VersionTracker), includes the following fixes and changes:

  • Fixed hang when exporting files with a high Quality setting.
  • Added warning when attempting to open a DRM protected file.
  • Improvements to wording and tool tips in Preference Pane.
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes.
  • Flip4Mac 2.2.3.7 is available for free but can go as high as US$179 depending on the version purchased. The new version requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later and QuickTime 6.5.1 or later to run.