Apple Files Patent for Motion-Adaptive iPhone Software

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Date: Thursday, April 16th, 2009, 08:56
Category: iPhone, Patents, Software

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Apple may be looking into creating a version of its iPhone with a front-facing camera as well as a software interface capable of adjusting itself for more precise interaction when the user carrying the phone is in motion.
While the front-facing camera idea hints towards the inevitable adoption of video conference capabilities by the iPhone in the coming years, the adaptive software interface concept could become a reality that much sooner, improving a user’s accuracy in making touch selections by increasing the size of user interface elements on the touch-screen when its determined that the user is operating the device while jogging or participation in some other kind of motion-based activity.
According to AppleInsider, Apple has filed a patent that proposes an updated version of its iPhone OS software that can detect when the device is in motion and then compare the detected degree of motion to one or more predetermined “signatures of motion.” The iPhone software could then adjust itself by enlarging selection areas on the screen to a degree suitable for the current motion of the device and user.
“For example, if the user wishes to view the contact information for ‘John Adams,’ the user touches the display over the area of the row for the contact ‘John Adams,” Apple says. “While the device is moving, the motion of the device can be detected. The device can change the size of the rows of the contacts in the contact list application to give the user a larger target area for each contact. For example, the height of a row can be increased. This gives the user a larger touch area with which to select a contact. In some implementations, the height of the toolbar can be increased as well.”
The 16-page patent filing made back in November of 2007 also suggests that interface elements, such as an array of home screen icons, could shift their position on the screen based on predictions of where the user may touch the screen. Oddly enough, the need for such adjustments isn’t entirely clear from Apple’s description.
“The shift moves the target touch areas of the display objects to a different position. In some implementations, the new position is a predetermined distance from the original position,” the company says. “In some other implementations, the new position is determined by the device based on a prediction of where the user will touch the touch-sensitive display if the user wanted to select the user interface element while the device is in motion.”
The filing is credited to Apple employee John Louch.

AT&T Pushing for Exclusive iPhone Rights Through 2011

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Date: Wednesday, April 15th, 2009, 08:35
Category: iPhone

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After three years of holding exclusive rights to the iPhone, AT&T is looking to take one more shot at an exclusive deal for the Apple handset and may keep it away from competitors until 2011.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “people familiar with the matter” have stated that AT&T has a deal to keep the iPhone in its stable until 2010 and that negotiations are underway to have the device onboard for one more year.
Though there has been no specific commentary from AT&T regarding this, an Apple spokeswoman would only say that the two companies have a “great relationship.”
The commentary follows a report from last year that also said AT&T had struck a deal to keep the iPhone until 2010 and may provide insight into current talks. At the time, the cellular carrier reportedly agreed to allow iPhone 3G subsidies in exchange for a one-year extension of the iPhone’s US exclusivity. Although the cost of discounting those phones has been severe — as much as US$1.3 billion to date, according to an estimate — the agreement renewed interest in AT&T and gave it millions of users paying at least US$60 per month (on grandfathered plans) for service.
Should AT&T be allowed to keep exclusive rights to the iPhone, it would be able to help prevent customers from jumping ship to Verizon or an alternate carrier at a time when the market is saturated and customers are more likely to have switched than sign up for the first time. The company added 1.9 million iPhone users just in the fall 2008 quarter alone.

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Apple Releases iMovie 8.0.2 Update

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Date: Wednesday, April 15th, 2009, 07:35
Category: Software

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Tuesday afternoon, Apple released iMovie 8.0.2, the latest version of its consumer-level video editing application. The new version, a 24.5 megabyte download, fixes an issue with projects having a size of 0 KB. Attempting to open these projects would cause iMovie to quit unexpectedly at launch. The update also addresses a problem where full-screen mode could not be accessed on some systems.
The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

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Microsoft Releases Office 2004 11.5.4, Office 2008 12.1.7 Updates

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Date: Wednesday, April 15th, 2009, 07:17
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 11.5.4, a 9.7 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 12.1.7, 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.
Additional details regarding the update can be found here.
Microsoft Office 2008 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

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Rumor: Apple May Have Ordered Four Million Additional iPhones for Chinese Marketplace

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Date: Tuesday, April 14th, 2009, 08:40
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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This is a bit strange but there may be something to it.
According to ChinaTimes, component suppliers have stated that Apple has placed orders for shipments of four million iPhone units expected to be ready by the end of the quarter.
The units will allegedly be a combination of three new models, consisting of an EDGE-only device, a 3G-capable model and a model made for the market in China, possibly on TD-SCDMA.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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SpamSieve Updated to 2.7.4

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Date: Monday, April 13th, 2009, 17:05
Category: Software

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Michael Tsai’s must-have shareware program, SpamSieve, has just been updated to version 2.7.4. The new version, a 5.8 megabyte download, makes the following fixes and improvements:

  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
  • SpamSieve is better able to recover from corpus files that were damaged due to disk errors.
  • Improved the Entourage installer’s error handling.
  • Improved the error reporting when saving the corpus.
  • Improved the troubleshooting instructions.
  • Fixed a problem where messages trained as good in Apple Mail could be moved into the inbox of a disabled account.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause harmless error messages to be logged to the Console when playing System 7 sound files.
  • The crash reporter now warns before sending a report without an e-mail address.
  • You can now press Enter to click the Send Report button in the crash reporter.
  • 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.

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    Apple Releases VoiceOver Kit 1.0.1 Update for iPod Shuffle

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    Date: Monday, April 13th, 2009, 06:50
    Category: iPod shuffle, Software

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    Late Friday, Apple released its VoiceOver Kit 1.0.1, an update containing several fixes for the newest generation of its iPod Shuffle media player. According to Macworld UK, the update, a 17 megabyte download contains corrected pronunciations for several artist names as well as a series of unspecified minor bug fixes.
    The update is currently not listed on Apple’s Web site, but it is available via the Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update feature.

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    Roxio Toast Titanium 10.0.2 Update Released

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    Date: Thursday, April 9th, 2009, 07:19
    Category: Software

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    Late Wednesday night, Roxio released version 10.0.2 of its Toast Titanium authoring software. The new version, available here, adds the following fixes and changes:

  • Resolves crash issue that may occur with some FLAC audio files.
  • Resolves issue when converting QuickTime movies with text tracks.
  • Improved handling of corrupt PCM audio packets.
  • Toast 10 Titanium requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.99.

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    Skype 2.8.0.438 Released

    Posted by:
    Date: Thursday, April 9th, 2009, 07:20
    Category: Software

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    On Thursday, Skype released version 2.8.0.438 of its popular Voice over Internet Protocol communications program.
    The new version, a 41.4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and features:

  • change: spectator window for screen sharing.
  • change: My Account page embedded in the client.
  • bugfix: Skype didn’t hide on OS X login< ./li>
  • bugfix: copy/paste from chats was not working correctly.
  • bugfix: sometimes Skype froze for a couple of seconds when starting or stopping screen sharing.
  • bugfix: screen sharing windows could be left on screen when a call was joined to a conference.
  • bugfix: PiP didn’t appear in full screen when receiving screen sharing.
  • bugfix: the overlay didn’t appear for fullscreen screen sharing and then the exit fullscreen button didn’t work.
  • bugfix: fullscreen mode would exit after a held call was resumed.
  • bugfix: call could not be ended after being redirected to voicemail.
  • bugfix: the call window layout was broken if the dialpad was shown during a video call
  • bugfix: URLs inside brackets were not clickable.
  • bugfix: sometimes Skype crashed after deleting missed events without reading them.
  • Click the jump for the full story…

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    Seesmic Releases Preview of Seesmic Desktop

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    Date: Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, 17:22
    Category: Software

    Yesterday during a live presentation event, mirrored on Ustream, Seesmic demonstrated and released a preview version of their new social network gateway application, Seesmic Desktop.
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    Seesmic is best known for their video, social networking service where users can exchange or broadcast video messages from their computer. Seesmic is also responsible for developing Twhirl, running on the Adobe Air platform, which allows management of their Seesmic videos as well as other social networks such as Twitter, FriendFeed, and Identi.ca in a single desktop application. Using Adobe Air allows Seesmic Desktop (and Twhirl) to run on any system capable of running the Air platform and provides feature parity, a definite plus for a small software company. The software should run on OS X, Windows 98, and Windows Vista. Support for Ubuntu is hopefully coming soon.
    Tuesday night from their San Francisco location, Loic Le Meur, founder of Seesmic, demonstrated the new application that the company has been working on and describing the plans for the software. Seesmic Desktop will be eventually replacing Twhirl, but all of the features from the latter will be migrated to Seesmic Desktop. Le Meur stated that due to the small size of the company, it did not make sense to split their resources to maintain both applications. The preview version, released to members of Team Seesmic right after the demo, currently only manages multiple Twitter accounts, but other services will be added soon.
    Thomas Knoll, Seesmic’s Community Advocate, explained that there is much to do, but that they had decided that they wanted to get the software into people’s hands to “kick the tires” and get suggestions for which features to prioritize. Thomas says that the objective of Seesmic Desktop is not just to act as a social service aggregator, but to eventually leverage features that will allow users to manage “communities” within all of their networks.
    If you want to get your hands on the preview, go to the Seesmic web site and sign up for Team Seesmic. You will also need to install Adobe Air for your system.

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