Cocktail Updated to 3.8

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Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007, 14:11
Category: Software

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In other news, Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests, has been updated to version 3.8.
The new version, a small download, sports the following fixes and improvements:
Major interface improvements:
-Updated Cocktail Help.
-Improved Activity Log.
-Added possibility to join Cocktail eList.
-Added possibility to include Activity Log when providing feedback.
-Other miscellaneous fixes and improvements.
Disks:
-Misc. New “Disable Sudden Motion Sensor” feature.
System:
-Spotlight. Added possibility to enable/disable Spotlight indexing of selected disk.
-Spotlight. Added possibility to erase Spotlight index for selected disk.
-Databases. Improved rebuilding of Launch Services database.
-Databases. Added possibility to restore default file associations when rebuilding Launch Services database.
-Startup. New “Startup delay” feature.
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VLC Updated to 0.8.6c

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Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007, 08:05
Category: Software

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Video Lan Client, the popular open source media player for multiple audio and video formats (MPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Divx, ogg, etc.), has recently been updated to version 0.8.6c. The new version, a 23.3 megabyte download, adds the following bug fixes and changes:
-Windows Vista compatibility.
-Cropping in Direct3D.
-Full screen change crash on Mac OS X.
-RSS filter string overflow.
-Few memory leaks.
-MKV demuxer crash (related to seeking).
CDDA / Vorbis / Theora / SAP plugins:
-Security updates (VideoLAN-SA-0702).
Demuxers:
-Fixed a problem with detecting embedded subtitles (GAB2 format) in AVI.
Decoders:
-Updated FLAC API compatibility.
Input:
-Support for new v4l2 encoder API.
Localization:
-New localisation: Arabic, Persian.
VLC 0.8.6 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run and is available as a free download.
If you’ve tried the new version and had either a positive or negative experience with it, let us know.

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Newton Connection Reaches Version 1.1

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Date: Monday, June 18th, 2007, 09:22
Category: Software

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I’ll grant that this is somewhat out of left field, but someone wrote me a few weeks ago wondering if I could fix their Apple eMate. There are still Newton units out there and for those of you who still have one, Newton Research‘s Newton Connection 1.1 has just been updated to version 1.1.
The new version, a 6.6 megabyte download, still allows users to back up their Newton data onto their desktop, but without needing to enter the Classic environment. The software is still a work in progress with the authors stating the program can’t sync yet but asking for bugs and feature requests to be submitted.
Version 1.1 offers the following fixes and changes:
-This version of the application is self-contained and does not require an installer – simply move the NCX application wherever you like.
-The frameworks installed separately as part of version 1.0 (build 21) are no longer needed and can be removed by double-clicking the UnInstall21 script.
-The script runs in the Terminal application which you should close when it has completed. If the script fails, open UnInstalltext editor to view the files that should be deleted and do it manually in the Finder.
Newton Connection requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run and is available for free.
If you’ve tried this or another Newton communication program and have either positive or negative feedback, let us know.

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Skype 2.6.0.148 Released

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Date: Friday, June 15th, 2007, 08:11
Category: Software

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On Thursday, Skype released version 2.6.0.148 of its free Voice over Internet Protocol client. The new version, a 29.8 megabyte download, adds the following changes:
-Improvement: Skype’s own audio codec.
-Improvement: Skype improved conference mixer.
-Improvement: Skype Jitter Buffer and concealment.
-Improvement: Skype audio preprocessing components.
-Localizations: all updated.
-Bugfix: fixed application hangup on handling certain URL links in chat messages.
-Bugfix: fixed exception (resulting in disappearance of message) on handling certain intentionally constructed “bad” chat messages.
-Bugfix: privacy policy fix, not accepting multichats from non-authorized users.
Skype requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run and is coded as a Universal Binary capable of running at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’re tried the new version and have positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.

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iPhone Killer App

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Date: Thursday, June 14th, 2007, 10:56
Category: iPhone

The killer app for the iPod was iTunes. The killer app for the iPhone is Safari. The iPhone will be first and foremost a web browsing machine.
How can that be? It uses the lame Edge network to connect! OK. What does the iPhone do best? Its the screen baby. The whole face of the thing is a screen and it will orient itself. It will presumably leave the expensive and slow AT&T network in favor of a wifi hotspot as soon as it sniffs out a signal. Lots of fast free and pay hotspots out there including your own home and work. Nobody else had the clout to negotiate this kind of user friendly behavior with a telco. This is where the iPhone will shine. It is first and foremost a computer with an intuitive interface and great graphical display. Everything else is either a vegetable or the spice in the stew. The iPhone relies on Safari in many ways.
Secondly, its an iPod. Like a super graphical nano. It has limited capacity like the nano and its even smaller. Smaller? Presumably you need to carry a phone anyway so it takes up no room on your person.
Its a camera. Not a useless VGA but 2 megapixels. But, with that big screen it is finally the photo album you needed to have in your pocket. It really is the screen that makes the iPhone. iPhoto could become the second killer app for the iPhone. I think iLife needs to come to Windows for lots of reasons.
Apple needs to do something more with iCal, maybe team up with Google to get the calendar function more useful. You can’t hit iPhone buyers with the high price of .mac on top of the purchase price and the two year service contract.
Oh, and it is a phone. Smartphone keyboards are horrid little things. Touch screen text entry is no fun. Pick your poison.
Seems like the battery problem will be the same as with the iPod. People seem to deal with keeping their iPods charged up, but as the device gets older the capacity drops and battery replacement is an expensive hassle. Apple needs to anticipate this and have loaners or a swap available for battery replacement at the stores. This applies equally to potential touch-screen problems.
Memory is the same old, same old. All iPods have fixed amounts and you always want more!

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Gizmo Project Adds AIM and MSN Support

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Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2007, 14:29
Category: Software

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On Monday, SIPphone announced that Gizmo Project, the company’s free Voice over Internet Protocol program, was now able to communicate with AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger contacts.
Like other Voice over Internet Protocol programs, Gizmo Project allows users to transmit and receive voice data, essentially making the data connection into a telephone. According to Macworld News, Gizmo Project users receive free voice mail and conference calling features with their accounts and can purchase “call in” and “call out” features that allow each user to have a phone number as well as call land line and mobile phone connections.
SIPphone has commented that the new feature is change that’s been completed on the server end and a download of the latest version of the client software isn’t necessary. The company has also stated that it plans to add similar features for communication with Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk and iChat contacts.
Gizmo Project is an 18.5 megabyte download and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later to run. The program is a Universal Binary and functions at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’ve tried the new features and have either positive or negative feedback about them, let us know.

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Apple Releases AirPort Extreme 802.11n 7.1.1 Firmware Update

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Date: Monday, June 11th, 2007, 08:36
Category: Software

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I’m going to grant that firmware updates aren’t quite as intimidating as being 10 years old and going to the dentist, but they’re almost there.
You know this is supposed to be helpful, but part of you still can’t help but worry. That and no one ever gave you a lollipop at the end for enduring a new firmware version on your computer.
On Friday, Apple released version 7.1.1 of its firmware for the 802.11n-based AirPort Extreme Base Station. The new version, a 4.6 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
- Printers and Routers, VPN, PPPoE, WDS(ACL), WEP(TSN)
- Localized file naming, port mapping, IPv6, and NAS
- Improved stability with keychain passwords
- Improved support for third party applications saving files to a USB disk
- Improved support for AirPort USB disk stability and power saving, disk read/write performance, disk file sharing and passwords
- Addressed an issue where Base Station would not request a password when expected
For more information, click here.
The software is also available through Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. Users will need to have AirPort Utility 5.1 for Mac or Windows installed for it to run.
If you’ve tried the new firmware and have either positive or negative comments about it, let us know.

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VMWare Releases Fusion Beta 4

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Date: Monday, June 11th, 2007, 08:35
Category: Software

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Late Friday, VMWare released the fourth beta of Fusion, its virtualization application for Intel-based Macs.
The new version, a a 168 megabyte download, includes the following additions and changes:
-Unity: This feature allows users to open and run Windows XP appications from the Mac OS X desktop.
-Fusion Launch Palette: This allows users to save Windows favorites in the Dock.
-Boot Camp support: Boot Camp disk partitions can now be used as a virtual machine. The beta adds “experimental” support for Windows Vista and offers Boot Camp partition detection.
-A new feature automatically updates Windows to use optimized drivers within a virtual machine.
-Improved speed: The new version of Fusion boasts shorter boot times as well as faster application launching and a more responsive interface.
-Fusion beta four also offers a customizable toolbar that can be adjusted on the fly.
-Hardware Editor: Settings for virtual hardware are now complete now with the ability to add a USB controller as well as virtual serial and parallels ports that map to files on the Mac. The virtual machine hardware editor is also now a sheet attached to the virtual machine to make it easier to determine which VM you are editing.
-Support for Apple’s 30″ Cinema Displays: Now virtual machines can take advantage of the full resolution of the 30 inch Cinema Display.
Fusion requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run.
If you’ve tried out the new beta and have either positive or negative feedback about it, let us know.

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Missing Sync for Palm OS 6 Released

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Date: Thursday, June 7th, 2007, 13:37
Category: Software

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Palm Desktop for the Mac users have always felt a mutual love and hate for their program. It works…for the most part. Still, when the time came for a specific feature or new trick, this was like trying to find a pop stand in the middle of the Sahara.
On Thursday, Mark/Space released version 6.0 of its Missing Sync for Palm OS 6.0 communication and synchronization software for Palm handhelds. The new version, a 38.7 megabyte download.
Full version notes as to changes provided can be found here.
Missing Sync for Palm OS 6.0 retails for US$39.95 for new users and US$24.95 for upgrade users. The program requires Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later, a Palm OS handheld or smartphone running Palm OS 4 or later and a USB, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection and is coded as a universal binary which functions at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.
If you’ve tried the new version and had either a positive or negative experience with it, let us know.

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Netscape, Camino Web Browsers Updated

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Date: Thursday, June 7th, 2007, 08:50
Category: Software

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Although the web browser wars may never be fully settled (and this is a good thing), some interesting new updates emerged on Tuesday that are worth looking into:
Camino, by the Camino Project, just reached version 1.5. The new version, a 14.8 megabyte download for the English version and an 18.1 megabyte download for the multilingual version, adds the following fixes and changes:
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